SAUDI ARABIA: Magic Carpet

Ibn Saud, Guardian of the Holy Places, King of Saudi Arabia, left his palace at Riyadh for a gazelle-&-bustard shoot in the flinty wilderness to the north. With him he took falcons, Ford convertibles and 2,000 attendants. At the green oasis of Hafar-el-Ats the hunting party pitched its tents, unrolled its rugs, settled down for a fat taste of the patriarchal monarch's favorite pastime.

One day brought an unlooked-for diversion. Higher than bustard ever flew, the wings of a DC-3 soared up from the south, circled Hafar-el-Ats's cool palms, slid down the desert air,...

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