Oct 24, 1938
4-Page set; click link at bottom to continue
Victim of the sandstorm is de Lesseps' staunchest friend, the impish little French girl, Toni, who loved him in vain, inspired him to continue his ambitious work, died to save his life. He honors her with a military funeral, a gun salute at sunset as her casket is lowered into the sand. Now more than ever he feels that her spirit is giving him courage.
Reward for enterprise comes to de Lesseps, as it did in history, when Eugenie, now Empress of France, arrives in Port Said to honor him. This scene is based on the opening of the canal, Nov. 17, 1869, when the French imperial yacht, L' Aigle, led 68 vessels through the cut. Also to celebrate the even Verdi's opera Aida was first performed.