As we turned from the bank of the Nile, a long, haunting cry sounded across the water. I had heard this same exotic cry for several evenings, and I was certain that it must be of ancient origin, a hymn perhaps to Ikhnaton's falling sun. I asked Ahmed what this lovely aria meant. He listened a moment and then said, "It's this man on the other side who says: will the ferryboat please pick him up?". So much for magic.
Gore Vidal, Reflections upon a Sinking Ship, Little Brown & Co., Boston and Toronto, 1963, p. 190.
TIME: 20th century