Nancy’s sister bid us welcome. Her mother was dead and her older sister helped the father keep house and feed the cowboys. She offered us a beer and said that the lunch was ready. We entered the dining room and found a roasted leg of lamb weighing at least 15 kilograms, along with potatoes and a bowl of salad waiting for us at the table. That was all the food there was. After lunch, a servant came in with two trays of hot cakes topped with cream. Cream coffee was served afterwards. There were no fruits.
I sat up with Mr. Simpson and explained to him the difference between Lebanon and Assyria. He apologized for his ignorance of history. “Why bother with history in this beautiful world of yours?” I said.
The next morning, he asked me to accompany him to collect eggs, for the basket was empty. We roamed around the farm, at the foot of the hill and behind jutting rocks and picked up more than a hundred eggs. “Enough for now,” he said. “We will return tomorrow!”
“Do you collect all the eggs?” I inquired. “We collect anything we can lay hands on and the rest returns to us as small chicks in early summer days,” he explained.
Breakfast by the standards of Mr. Simpson was simple: fried eggs and bacon, oatmeal gruel, fresh bread, a variety of jam and honey and huge pots of milk and coffee. No mercy on my stomach!
We spent three lovely days there. Mr. Simpson asked me if I could ride horses but I couldn’t. He wanted me to escort the cowboys and see for myself how they kept cows there. “I will watch from a distance,” I said. Later that night, we played chess. He fancied the game but always lamented the lack of opponents. He invited me to stay over the entire summer vacation. Chess players were always welcome.