Innumerable imperial anectodes deliberately mix up the comic and the very dangerous, a piquancy always relished by the British. There is a story from upper Egypt, in which a man on a lonely Nile station was said to have cabled to Cairo: 'POST SURROUNDED BY LIONS AND TIGERS.' Back went the reply from Cairo: 'THERE ARE NO TIGERS IN AFRICA', and back again went the Empire-builder's simple ripost: 'DELETE TIGERS.' Jan Morris: Pax Britannica. The Climax of an Empire
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