After heavy rain such as that of the last few days the rivers swell enormously. The Oued Tensift, normally about 10 yards wide, has filled the whole valley it runs in, about 300 yards wide. But judging from the vegetation in the valley this does not happen most years.
The Arab funerals here are the wretchedest I have ever seen. The dead man is carried by friends and relatives on a rough wooden bier, wrapped in cloth. Don’t know whether this is due to poverty, or whether Mahomedans are supposed not to have coffins. A hole not more than two feet deep is hacked in the ground and the body dumped in it with nothing over it except a mound of earth and usually either brick or broken pot at one end, presumably the head. The burial places as a rule are not walled in in any way and except when there happens to be the tomb of some rich person there one would never know them for burial places – they merely look like a rather hummocky piece of ground. No sort of identifying marks over the graves. On one, presumably of a scribe, I found a pen and inkhorn, otherwise only the broken pots etc. On one an enamel tin mug. A few vacant graves always waiting, including little ones for children. Women apparently never attend funerals.
The other widely-read French weekly paper is Gringoire. [a] Used to be a sort of gossipy literary paper, but now as much read as Candide. I notice that these papers, though evidently prosperous and having lots of advertisements, are not above inserting pornographic advertisements. Also that in spite of their politics they publish serial stories etc. by writers who are more or less “left”. On a wall in a café lavatory, “A mort Blum” in very small letters. The first political inscription I have seen in French Morocco.
[a] ”Gringoire” claims circulation of 1/2 million, evidently truthfully.
 Léon Blum (1872-1950) was the first Socialist premier of France, 1936-37, 1938, presiding over a popular front government. He was imprisoned in France and Germany from 1942 until the end of World War II, and was again premier, 1946-47. Peter Davison