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Altneuland- Theodor Herzl's Zionist Utopia

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When the car reached the bottom of the road that ran down the side of the Carmel, it turned not toward the town, but to the right, heading for the suburb watered by the Kishon river. They made a halt in front of a charming little home on the tree-planted quay, where a gentleman with a gray mustache stood gesticulating violently. With head thrown back, he looked at them over the rims of his glasses, and shouted, "If I'd been you, I'd not have come at all. Here I've been standing for half an hour! Never again shall I be prompt!"

David held out his watch silently.

"That proves nothing!" cried Steineck. "Your watch is slow. I don't believe in watches, anyway. Here, take my plans. Don't crush them, please. So! Now we're ready!' He shoved three enormous rolls of carton which he had under his arm at David and Reschid, and climbed into the car panting. But hardly had the car started when he shouted anxiously, "Stop! Stop! I've forgotten my traveling bag."

"They'll send it along with your other luggage," replied David soothingly. "I've sent the large pieces to Tiberias by train, you know, because we're making a detour."

"Impossible!" lamented the architect. "My speech is in that traveling bag. We must go back for it."

And they had to turn back. The traveling bag was fetched and stowed in the car. Steineck heaved a sigh of relief, and suddenly became very cheerful. The touring car, with its comparatively limited space, now harbored two famous bawlers-Kingscourt and Steineck. Like the old misanthrope, Steineck made a frightful uproar in delivering himself of the most commonplace remarks. Hardly had they been introduced when they began to shout into each other's ears. David and Reschid were hugely amused. Suddenly Kingscourt stopped shouting and placed his forefinger on his lips.

"Mr. Steineck," he whispered, "you spoke very loudly, but Fritzchen fell asleep in spite of the noise." He carefully lifted the sleeping child from his lap and handed him to the nurse, while the others smiled broadly.

Steineck's feelings were hurt. "I don't believe, Mr.-'" Kingscourt," he whispered, "that I spoke any more loudly than you did."

The road along which they were traveling constantly gave the strangers occasion for surprised questioning. There was of course less traffic here than in the town, but numerous bicycles and motor cars speeded past them, and horseback riders appeared and disappeared on the soft bridle path which ran parallel with the road. Some of the riders wore the picturesque Arab costume, others the conventional European clothing. Occasionally, too, camels filed past, singly and in cavalcades-picturesque and primitive relics of an obsolete era. The car rolled along comfortably on the smooth roadway. To the left and to the right they saw small houses with garden plots, and behind them well-cultivated fields that now were freshly green. Kingscourt noticed that wires strung on poles along the road had extensions into the houses.

"Are those telephone wires?" he asked. "And what kind of people live here?"

Reschid enlightened him. "Most of them are artisans. This is a shoemakers' village. The wires carry power into their homes for their machines. Is that new to you?"

"Oh, no. The principle of power transmission was already well known in my time, but it had very little practical application. And where does the power come from, if I may ask?"

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