The First Summer
We had no communication whatever with the out-side world. Each loaf of
bread was cut open by the guard to see that it contained no message. All
who believed in the Baha'i manifestation, children, men and women, were
imprisoned with us. There were one-hundred and fifty of us together in two
rooms and no one was allowed to leave the place with the exceptions of
four persons, who went to the bazaar to market each morning, under guard.
The first summer was dreadful. Akka is a fever-ridden town. It was said
that a bird attempting to fly over it would drop dead. The food was poor
and insufficient, the water was drawn from a fever-infected well and the
climate and conditions were such, that even the natives of the town fell
ill. Many soldiers succumbed and eight out of ten of our guard died.
During the intense heat, malaria, typhoid and dysentery attacked the
prisoners, so that all, men, women and children, were sick at one time.
There were no doctors, no medicines, no proper food, and no treatment of
I used to make broth for the people, and as I had much practice, I make
good broth, said 'Abdu'l-Baha laughingly.
At this point one of the Persians explained to me that it was on account
of 'Abdu'l-Baha's wonderful patience, helpfulness, and endurance that he
was always called The Master. One could easily feel his mastership in
his complete severance from time and place, and absolute detachment from
all that even a Turkish prison could inflict.
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