Our friend the author encounters an Italian man in India sometime in the late 1800s, and decides it would be a good idea to join him on a trip around Arabia. The Italian man is purportedly traveling there to buy thorough-bred Arabian horses for the Emperor of France, Napoleon III.
On the way he encounters 40-foot waves on the sea, torture, accidents, several near-death experiences, miscommunication, robbery, war, slavery, and every other conceivable manner of inconvenience. The tale is told with a great deal of humour and minute observations of the people around and is a very easy read. A wonderful window into life in the Middle-East from just over a century ago.