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Old July 28th, 2020, 01:39 PM
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While not a news flash per se, this quote is taken from the book by Sir Samual Baker, THE NILE TRIBUTARIES OF ABYSSINIA AND THE SWORD HUNTERS OF THE HAMRAN ARABS, published in1868 and found on Project Gutenberg.

Quote:
All was darkness and confusion; everybody was talking and no one listening; but the great event had occurred the river had arrived "like a thief in the night." On the morning of the 24th June, I stood on the banks of the noble Atbara river, at the break of day. The wonder of the desert!—yesterday there was a barren sheet of glaring sand, with a fringe of withered bush and trees upon its borders, that cut the yellow expanse of desert. For days we had journeyed along the exhausted bed: all Nature, even in Nature's poverty, was most poor: no bush could boast a leaf: no tree could throw a shade: crisp gums crackled upon the stems of the mimosas, the sap dried upon the burst bark, sprung with the withering heat of the simoom. In one night there was a mysterious change—wonders of the mighty Nile!—an army of water was hastening to the wasted river: there was no drop of rain, no thunder-cloud on the horizon to give hope, all had been dry and sultry; dust and desolation yesterday, to-day a magnificent stream, some 500 yards in width and from fifteen to twenty feet in depth, flowed through the dreary desert! Bamboos and reeds, with trash of all kinds, were hurried along the muddy waters. Where were all the crowded inhabitants of the pool? The prison doors were broken, the prisoners were released, and rejoiced in the mighty stream of the Atbara. (Emphasis Added)
The would make a great description for the initial surge in a Martian canal, with the suddenness of the change emphasized. When the Arabs that Baker was camping near heard the rumble of the approaching flood, many of them were camped in the river bed, near the existing pools of water. Some barely got out in time. For anyone running a Space: 1889 campaign, this book by Baker would be hard to beat for descriptions of travel along a flooded canal or travel along a Dead Canal. More about those to come.
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