Behind a veil of sand-cloud the setting sun sank into the west. His every deepening gloom of dust thickened across its face. No lovely colouring illuminated the sky; no grand array of spectral tints followed in its downward course. Shorn of its rays by the drifting sands, its face, pale and sickly, peers over the desert as though half-hidden in a pall of smoke. Dimmer grew its silver disc as it faded imperceptibly from sight, not in a fiery glow beneath a far horizon, but, while still high above in the heavens, beneath a dense cloud of wind swept sand. The gloom which shielded the setting sun wrapped the whole desert in its mantle. It folded itself about the battered ruins; a silence fell in the deserted streets to brood over the dismantled houses.