By training and temperament he was better qualified to appreciate and describe the social life of the people than their physical surroundings, and if the results of his great journey are disappointing to the geographer, his account of the society of the oasis towns, and of the remarkable men who were then ruling in Hail and Riad, must always possess an absorbing interest as a portrait of Arab life in its freest development.
At Riad, Fesal, who had been in power since the Egyptian retirement, was still reigning; and the religious tyranny of Wahhabism prevailed, in marked contrast to the liberal regime of Talal in Jebel Shammar.
Aeaving Riad, they passed through Yemama, and across a strip of sandy desert to El Hasa where Palgrave found himself in more congenial surroundings.
Nolde - who arrived there in 1893, not long after the amir had by his victory over the combined forces of Riad and Kasim brought the whole of Nejd under his dominion.
Hanifa is its principal watercourse; its course is marked by an almost continuous series of palm groves and settlements, among which Deraiya the former, and Riad the present, capital of the Ibn Saud kingdom are the most extensive.