A Year Amongst the Persians: From England to the Persian Frontier




     So at last I was really to go to Persia. About that there could be no question. For I had long determined to go if I got the chance; and now, not only had the opportunity come, but, in view of the probability that the University would soon require a resident teacher of Persian, I was urged by my friends at Cambridge to spend the first year of my fellowship in the way which would best qualify me for this post. Yet, as the time for my departure approached, a strange shrinking from this journey which I had so much desired--a shrinking to which I look back with shame and wonder, and for which I can in no wise account --took possession of me. It arose partly, I suppose, from the sudden reaction which unexpected good fortune will at times produce; partly, if not from ill health, at least from that lowering of the vitality which results from hard work and lack of exercise and fresh air; partly also from the worry inseparable from the preparations for a long journey into regions little known. But, whatever its cause, it did much to mar my happiness at a time when I had no excuse for being otherwise than happy. At length, however, it came to an end. Bewildered by conflicting


counsels as to the equipment which I should need and the route which I had best take, I at last settled the matter by booking my passage from Marseilles to Batoum at the London office of the Messageries Maritimes, and by adding to the two small portmanteaus into which I had compressed so much clothing as appeared absolutely indispensable nothing but a Wolseley valise, a saddle and bridle, a pith hat (which was broken to pieces long before the summer came round), a small medicine-chest, a few surgical instruments, a revolver, a box of a hundred cartridges, a few books, a passport with the Russian and Turkish visas, and a money-belt containing about 200 pounds in gold, paper, and circular notes. At the last moment I was joined by an old college friend, H , who, having just completed a term of office at the hospital, was desirous to travel, and whose proposal to join me I welcomed. He was my companion as far as Teheran, where, as I desired to tarry for a while, and he to proceed, we were obliged to separate.

     We had booked our passage, as I have said, to Batoum, intending to take the train thence to Baku, and so by the Caspian to Resht in Persia. For this route, unquestionably the shortest and easiest, I had from the first felt little liking, my own wish being to enter Persia through Turkey, either by way of Damascus and Baghdad, or of Trebizonde and Erzeroum. I had suffered myself to be persuaded against my inclinations, which, I think, where no question of principle is involved, is always a mistake, for the longer and harder way of one's own choosing is preferable to the shorter and easier way chosen by another. And so, as soon as I was withdrawn from the influences which had temporarily overcome my own judgment and inclination, I began to repent of having adopted an uncongenial plan, and to consider whether even now, at this eleventh hour, it was not possible to change. The sight of the Turkish shore and the sound of the Turkish tongue (for we stayed two days at Constantinople, whence to Trebizonde the deck of the steamer was crowded with Turks and Persians,


with whom I spent the greater part of each day in conversing) swept away my last samples as to the wisdom of thus reversing at the outset a decision which had been fully discussed. I consulted with H --, who raised no objection; and we decided on reaching Trebizonde (where the steamer anchored on 4th October) to enquire at the British Consulate as to the safety and practicability of the old caravan road leading thence into Central Asia, and, if the report were favourable, to adopt that route.

     There was a heavy swell in the open roadstead, and the wind, which rolled back the rain-clouds on the green, thickly-wooded hills, seemed to be rising, as we clambered into one of the clumsy boats which hovered round the steamer to go ashore. Nor had the gruff old captain's answer to my enquiry as to how long the steamer would lie there tended to reassure me. "If the wind gets up much more," he had said, "I may start at any time." "And if we are on shore," I demanded, "how shall we know that you are starting?" "Vous me verrez partir, voila tout," he replied, and, with a shrug of his shoulders, walked off to his cabin. So I was somewhat uneasy in my mind lest, while we were conducting our enquiries on shore, the steamer might put out to sea, bearing with it all our worldly goods. This disquieting reflection was dispelled by the shock of the boat striking against the little wooden jetty. We stepped out, and found ourselves confronted by one of the Turkish police, who demanded our passports. These had not been presented, as theoretically they should have been, at Constantinople for a fresh visa, and I feared we might consequently have some trouble in landing. However, I assumed an air of confident alacrity, produced the passports, and pointed to the seal of the Turkish Consulate given in London. As the visa--"bon pour se rendre a Constantinople"--to which this was attached was in French, the officer was not much the wiser, and, after scrutinising the passports (which he held upside down) with a critical air, he returned them and stood aside to let us pass.


And this is typical of Turkey, where the laws, though theoretically stringent, are not practically troublesome; in which point it has the advantage over Russia.

     Guided by a boy belonging to our boat, we ascended through narrow, tortuous streets to the British Consulate, where, though unprovided with recommendations, we received from the Consul, Mr Longworth, that courteous and kindly welcome which, to their honour be it said, Englishmen (and, indeed, other Europeans, as well as Americans) resident in the Turkish and Persian dominions seldom fail to give the traveller. In reply to our enquiries, he told us that the road to the Persian frontier was perfectly safe, and that we should have no difficulty in hiring horses or mules to convey us to Erzeroum, whence we could easily engage others for the journey to Tabriz. He also kindly offered to send his dragoman, an Armenian gentleman, named Hekimian, to assist us in clearing our baggage at the custom- house. So we returned to the steamer to bring it ashore. As we pushed our way through the deck-passengers to the side of the ship, some of my Persian acquaintances called out to me to tell them why I was disembarking and whither I was going, and, on learning my intention of taking the old caravan-road through Erzeroum, they cried, "O dear soul, it will take you three months to get to Teheran thus, if indeed you get there at all! Why have you thus made your road difficult?" But the step was taken now, and I paid no heed to their words.

     The custom-house, thanks to the aegis of the British Consulate, dealt very gently with us. We were even asked, if I remember right, which of our packages we should prefer to have opened. H---'s Wolseley valise was selected; but we forgot that his rifle had been rolled up in it. The Turkish excisemen stroked their chins a little at this sight (for fire-arms are contraband), but said nothing. When this form of examination was over we thanked the mudir, or superintendent, for his courtesy, gave a few small coins to his subordinates, and, with the help of two


or three sturdy porters, transported our luggage to the one hotel which Tribizonde possesses. It is called the "Hotel d'Italie," and, though unpretentious, is clean and comfortable. During the three days we spent there we had no cause to complain either of being underfed or overcharged.

     Next morning our preparations began in earnest. Hekimian was of inestimable service, arranging everything and accompanying us everywhere. The Russian paper-money with which we had provided ourselves for the earlier part of the journey was soon converted into Turkish gold; tinned provisions and a few simple cooking utensils and other necessaries were bought in the bazaars; and arrangements were concluded with two sturdy muleteers for the journey to Erzeroum. They on their part agreed to provide us with five horses for ourselves and our baggage, to convey us to Erzeroum in six or seven days, and to do what lay in their power to render the journey pleasant; while we on our part covenanted to pay them 6 1/4 Turkish pounds (3 pounds down, and the remainder at Erzeroum), to which we promised to add a trifle if they gave us satisfaction.

     There remained a more important matter, the choice of a servant to accompany us on the journey. Two candidates presented themselves: an honest-looking old Turkish Kavvas of the Consulate, and a shifty Armenian, who, on the strength of his alleged skill in cookery, demanded exorbitantly high wages. We chose the Turk, agreeing to pay him one Turkish pound a week, to guarantee this payment for six months, and to defray his expenses back to Trebizonde from any point at which we might finally leave him. It was a rash agreement, and might have caused us more trouble than it actually did, but there seemed to be no better alternative, seeing that a servant was an absolute necessity. The old Turk's real name was 'Omar; but having regard to the detestation in which this name is held in Persia (for he whom Sunnite Muhammadans account the second Caliph, or successor of the Prophet, is regarded by the sect of


the Shi'a as the worst of evil-doers and usurpers)*, it was decided that he should henceforth bear the more auspicious name of 'Ali, the darling hero of the Persian Shi'ites. As for our old servant's character, viewed in the light of subsequent experience, I do him but justice when I express my conviction that a more honest, straightforward, faithful, loyal soul could not easily be found anywhere. But, on the other hand, he was rather fidgety; rather obstinate; too old to travel in a strange country, adapt himself to new surroundings, and learn a new language; and too simple to cope with the astute and wily Persians, whom, moreover, religious and national prejudices caused him ever to regard with unconquerable aversion.

     This business concluded, we had still to get our passports for the interior. Hekimian accompanied us to the Government offices, where, while a courteous old Turk entertained me with coffee and conversation, a shrewd-looking subordinate noted down the details of our personal appearance in the spaces reserved for that purpose on the passport. I was amused on receiving the document to find my religion described as "English" and my moustache as "fresh" (ter), but not altogether pleased at the entries in the "head" and "chin" columns, which respectively were "top" (bullet-shaped) and "deyirmen" (round). Before leaving the Government-house we paid our respects to Sururi Efendi, the governor of Trebizonde, one of the judges who tried and condemned the wise and patriotic Midhat Pasha. He was a fine-looking old man, and withal courteous; but he is reputed to be corrupt and bigoted.

     In the evening at the hotel we made the acquaintance of a Belgian mining-engineer, who had lived for some time in Persia. The account which he gave of that country and its inhabitants


was far from encouraging. "I have travelled in many lands," he said, "and have discovered some good qualities in every people, with the exception of the Persians, in whom I have failed to find a single admirable characteristic. Their very language bears witness against them and exposes the sordidness of their minds. When they wish to thank you they say, 'Lutf-i-shuma ziyad,' 'May your kindness be increased,' that is, 'May you give me something more'; and when they desire to support an assertion with an oath they say 'Bi-jan-i-'aziz-i-khudat,' 'By thy precious life,' or 'Bi-marg-i-shuma,' 'By your death,' that is, 'May you die if I speak untruly.* And they would be as indifferent to your death as to the truth of their own assertions."

     Although we were ready to start on the following day, we were prevented from doing so by a steady downpour of rain. Having completed all our arrangements, we paid a visit to the Persian Consulate in company with Mr Longworth. In answer to our enquiry as to whether our passports required his visa, the Persian Consul signified that this was essential, and, for the sum of one mejidiyye apiece, endorsed each of them with a lengthy inscription so tastefully executed that it seemed a pity that, during the whole period of our sojourn in Persia, no one asked to see them. Though perfectly useless and unnecessary, the visa, as a specimen of calligraphy, was cheap at the price.

     Next day (Friday, 7th October) the rain had ceased, and at an early hour we were plunged in the confusion without which, as it would seem, not even the smallest caravan can start. The muleteers, who had been urging us to hasten our preparations. disappeared so soon as everything was ready. When they had been found and brought back, it was discovered that no bridle had been provided for H---'s horse; for, though both of us had


brought saddles from England, he had thought that it would be better to use a native bridle. Eventually one was procured, and, about 9 a.m., we emerged from the little crowd which had been watching our proceedings with a keen interest, and rode out of the town. Our course lay for a little while along the coast, until we reached the mouth of the valley of Khosh Oghlan, which we entered, turning to the south. The beauty of the day, which the late rains had lendered pleasantly cool, combined with the novelty of the scene and the picturesque appearance of the people whom we met on the road, raised our spirits, and completely removed certain misgivings as to the wisdom of choosing this route which, when it was too late to draw back, had taken possession of my mind. the horses which we rode were good, and, leaving the muleteers and baggage behind, we pushed on until, at 2.30 p.m., we reached the pretty little villagc of Jevizlik, the first halting-place out of Trebizonde. Here we should have halted for the night; but, since the muleteers had not informed us of their plans, and it was still early, we determined to proceed to Khamse-Kyuy, and accordingly continued our course up the beautiful wooded valley towards the pass of Zighana-dagh, which gleamed before us white with newly-fallen snow. During the latter part of the day we fell in with a wild-looking horseman, who informed me that he, like all the inhabitants of Khamse-Kyuy, was a Christian.

     It was quite dark before we reached Khamse-Kyuy, and it took us some little time to find a khan at which to rest for the night. The muleteers and baggage were far behind, and at first it seemed probable that we should have to postpone our supper till their arrival, or else do without it altogether. However, 'Ali presently succeeded in obtaining some bread, and also a few eggs, which he fried in oil, so that, with the whisky in our flasks,, we fared better than might have been expected.

     At about 9 p.m. the muleteers arrived and demanded to see me at once. They were very tired, and very angry because we


had not waited for them at Jevizlik. I did not at first easily understand the cause of their indignation (for this was my first experience of this kind of travelling, and my ideas about the capacity of horses were rather vague) till it was explained to me that at the present rate of proceeding both men and animals would be wearied out long before we reached Erzeroum. "O my soul!" said the elder muleteer in conclusion, more in sorrow than in anger, "a fine novice art thou if thou thinkest that these horses can go so swiftly from morning till evening without rest or food. Henceforth let us proceed in company at a slower pace, by which means we shall all, please God, reach Erzeroum with safety and comfort in seven days, even as was agreed between us." Not much pleased at thus being admonished, but compelled to admit the justice of the muleteer's remarks, I betook myself to the Wolseley valise which I had, after much deliberation selected as the form of bed most suitable for the journey. Excellent as this contrivance is, and invaluable as it proved to be, my first night in it was anything but comfortable. As I intended to stuff with straw the space left for that purpose beneath the lining, I had neglected to bring a mattress. Straw, however, was not forthcoming, and I was therefore painfully conscious of every irregularity in the ill-paved floor; while the fleas which infest most Turkish khans did not fail on this occasion to welcome the advent of the stranger. In spite of these discomforts and the novelty of my surroundings I soon fell fast asleep.

     Looking back at those first days of my journey in the light of fuller experience, I marvel at the discomforts which we readily endured, and even courted by our ignorance and lack of foresight.

     Bewildered by conflicting counsels as to equipment, I had finally resolved to take only what appeared absolutely essential, and to reduce our baggage to the smallest possible compass. Prepared by what I had read in books of Eastem travel to endure discomforts far exceeding any which I was actually called upon to experience, I had yet to learn how comfortably one may travel


even in countries where the railroad and the hotel are unknown. Yet I do not regret this experience, which at least taught me how few are the necessaries of life, and how needless are many of those things which we are accustomed to regard as such. Indeed, I am by no means certain that the absence of many luxuries which we commonly regard as indispensable to our happiness is not fully compensated for by the freedom from care and hurry, the continual variety of scenery and costume, and the sense of health produced by exposure to the open air, which, taken together, constitute the irresistible charm of Eastern travel.

     On the following morning we were up betimes, and after a steep ascent of an hour or so reached the summit of the pass of Zighana-dagh, which was thinly covered with a dazzling garment of snow. Here we passed a little khan, which would have been our second resting-place had we halted at Jevizlik on the preceding day instead of pushing on to Khamse-Kyuy. As it was, however, we passed it without stopping, and commenced the descent to the village of Zighana-Kyuy, where we halted for an hour to rest and refresh ourselves and the horses. Excellent fruit and coffee were obtainable here; and as we had yielded to the muleteers' request that we should not separate ourselves from the baggage, we had our own provisions as well, and altogether fared much better than on the previous day.

     After the completion of our meal we proceeded on our journey, and towards evening reached the pretty little hamlet of Kyupribashi situated on a river called, from the town of Ardessa through which it flows, Ardessa-irmaghi, in which we enjoyed the luxury of a bathe. The inhabitants of this delightful spot were few in number, peaceable in appearance, and totally devoid of that inquisitiveness about strangers which is so characteristic of the Persians. Although it can hardly be the case that many Europeans pass through their village, they scarcely looked at us, and asked but few questions as to our business, nationality, or destination. This lack of curiosity, which, so far as my experience goes,


usually characterises the Turkish peasant, extends to all his surroundings. Enquiries as to the name of a wayside flower, or the fate of a traveller whose last resting-place was marked by a mound of earth at the roadside, were alike met with a half- scornful, half-amused "kim bilir" ("who knows?"), indicative of surprise on the part of the person addressed at being questioned on a matter in which, as it did not concern himself, he felt no interest. In Persia, more especially in Southern Persia, it is quite otherwise; and, whether right or wrong, an ingenious answer is usually forthcoming to the traveller's enquiries.

     Our third day's march took us first through the town of Ardessa, and then through the village of Demirji-suyu, on emerging from which we were confronted and stopped by two most evil-looking individuals armed to the teeth with pistols and daggers. My first idea was that they were robbers; but, on riding forward to ascertain their business, I discovered that they were excisemen of a kind called dightaban, whose business it is to watch for and seize tobacco which does not bear the stamp of the Ottoman Regie. It appeared that some one, either from malice or a misdirected sense of humour, had laid information against us, alleging that we had in our possession a quantity of such tobacco. A violent altercation took place between the excisemen and our servant 'Ali, whose pockets they insisted on searching, and whose tobacco-pouch was torn in two in the struggle. Meanwhile the muleteers continued to manifest the most ostentatious eagerness to unload our baggage and submit it to examination, until finally, by protestations and remonstrances, we prevailed on the custom-house officers to let us pass. The cause of the muleteers' unnecessary eagerness to open our baggage now became apparent. Sidling up to my horse, one of these honest fellows triumphantly showed me a great bag of smuggled tobacco which he had secreted in his pocket. I asked him what he would have done if it had been detected, whereat he tapped the stock of a pistol which was thrust into his belt


with a sinister and suggestive smile. Although I could not help being amused at his cool impudence, I was far from being reassured by the warlike propensities which this gesture revealed.

     Continuing on our way, and still keeping near the river, we passed one or two old castles, situated on rocky heights, which, we were informed, had been built by the Genoese. Towards noon we entered the valley of Gyumish-Khane, so-called from the silver mines which occur in the neighbourhood. This valley is walled in by steep and rocky cliffs, and is barren and arid, except near the river, which is surrounded by beautiful orchards. Indeed the pears and apples of Gyumish-Khane are celebrated throughout the district. We passed several prosperous-looking villages, at one of which we halted for lunch. Here for the first time I tasted petmez, a kind of treacle or syrup made from fruit. In Persia this is known as dushab or shire; it is not unpalatable, and we used occasionally to eat it with boiled rice as a substitute for pudding. Here also we fell in with a respectable-looking Armenian going on foot to Erzeroum. Anyone worse equipped for a journey of 150 miles on foot I never saw. He wore a black frock-coat and a fez; his feet were shod with slippers down at the heels; and to protect himself from the heat of the sun he carried a large white umbrella. He looked so hot and tired and dusty that I was moved to compassion, and asked him whether he would not like to ride my horse for a while. This offer he gladly accepted, whereupon I dismounted and walked for a few miles, until he announced that he was sufficiently rested and would proceed on foot. He was so grateful for this indulgence that he bore us company as far as Erzeroum, and would readily have followed us farther had we encouraged him to do so. Every day H--- and myself allowed him to ride for some distance on our horses, and the poor man's journey was, I trust, thereby rendered less fatiguing to him.

     During the latter part of the day our course lay through a most gloomy and desolate valley, walled in with red rocks and


utterly devoid of trees or verdure. Emerging from this, and passing another fine old castle situated on a lofty and precipitous crag, we arrived about 5 p.m. at the little hamlet of Tekke, where we halted for the night. It is rather a miserable place, containing several khans swarming with Persian camel-drivers, but very few private houses. A shallow river which runs near it again enabled us to enjoy the luxury of a bathe.

     Our fourth day's march was very dreary, lying for the most part through gloomy ravines walled in with reddish rocks, like that which we had traversed at the end of the previous day's journey. In addition to the depressing character of the sccne, there was a report that robbers were lurking in the neighbourhood, and we were consequently joined by several pedestrians, all armed to the teeth, who sought safety in numbers. Shortly after noon we halted at a small roadside inn, where we obtained some cheese, and a not very savoury compound called kawurma which consists of small square lumps of mutton imbedded in fat. At 3 p.m. we reached the solitary khan of Kadarak, which was to be our halting-place for the night. A few zabtiyyes were lounging about outside, waiting for the post, which was expected to pass shortly. As it was still early, I went out into the balcony to write my diary and contemplate the somewhat cheerless view-- but I was soon interrupted by our Armenian fellow-traveller who came to tell me that the zabtiyyes outside were watching my proceedings with no favourable eye, and suspected that I was drawing maps of the country. He therefore advised me either to stop writing or to retire indoors, lest my diary should be seized and destroyed. Whether the Armenian spoke the truth, or whether he was merely indulging that propensity to revile the ruling race for which the Christian subjects of the Porte are conspicuous, I had no means of deciding, so I thought it best to follow his advice and retire from the balcony till I had completed my writing.

     Our fifth day's march led us through the interesting old


Armenian village of Varzahan. Just before reaching this we passed several horsemen, who were engaged in wild and apparently purposeless evolutions, accompanied with much firing of guns. It appeared that these had come out to welcome the Ka'im-makam of Diyadin, who had been dismissed from office, and was returning to his native town of Gyumish-Khane; and we had scarcely passed them when he appeared in sight, met, and passed us. I wished to examine the curious old churches which still bear witness that Varzahan, notwithstanding its present decayed condition, must formerly have been a place of some importance. Our Armenian fellow-traveller offered to conduct me, and I was glad to avail myself of his guidance. After I had examined the strange construction of the churches, the Armenian inscriptions cut here and there on their walls, and the tombstones which surrounded them (amongst which were several carved in the form of a sheep), my companion suggested that we should try to obtain some refreshment. Although I was anxious to overtake our caravan, I yielded to his importunity, and followed him into a large and dimly-lighted room, to which we only obtained admission after prolonged knocking. The door was at length opened by an old man, with whom my companion conversed for a while in Armenian, after he had bidden me to be seated. Presently several other men, all armed to the teeth, entered the room, and seated themselves by the door. A considerable time elapsed, and still no signs of food appeared. The annoyance which I felt at this useless delay gradually gave way to a vague feeling of alarm. This was heightened by the fact that I was unable to comprehend the drift of the conversation, which was still carried on in Armenian. I began to wonder whether I had been enticed into a trap where I could be robbed at leisure, and to speculate on the chances of escape or resistance, in case such an attempt should be made. I could not but feel that these were slender, for I had no weapon except a small pocket revolver; five or six armed men sat by the heavy


wooden door, which had been closed, and, for anything that I knew, bolted; and even should I succeed in effecting an exit, I knew that our caravan must have proceeded a considerable distance. My apprehensions were, however, relieved by the appearance of a bowl of yoghurt (curds) and a quantity of the insipid waferlike bread called lawash. Having eaten, we rose to go; and when my companion, whom I had suspected of harbouring such sinister designs against my property and perhaps my life, refused to let me pay for our refreshment, I was filled with shame at my unwarranted suspicions. On emerging once more into the road I found the faithful 'Ali patiently awaiting me. Perhaps he too had been doubtful of the honesty of the Armenian villagers. At any rate he had refused to proceed without me. About 2 p.m. we arrived at the town of Baiburt and found that H--- and the muleteers had already taken up their quarters at a clean and well-built khan owned by one Khalil Efendi. We at once proceeded to explore the town, which lies at the foot of a hill surmounted by an old fortress. Being too lazy to climb this hill, we contented ourselves with strolling through the bazaars which form so important a feature of every Eastern town, and afford so sure an index of the degree of prosperity which it enjoys. We were accompanied by the indefatigable Armenian who, thinking to give me pleasure, exerted hirnself to collect a crowd of Persians (mostly natives of Khuy and Tabriz), whom he incited to converse with me. A throng of idlers soon gathered round us to gaze and gape at our unfamiliar aspect and dress which some, bolder or less polite than the rest, stretched out their hands to finger and feel. Anxious to escape, I took refuge in a barber's shop and demanded a shave, but the crowd again assembled outside the open window, and continued to watch the proceeding with sustained interest. Meanwhile 'Ali had not been idle, and on our return to the khan we enjoyed better fare, as well as better quarters, than had fallen to our lot since we left Trebizonde.


     Our sixth day's march commenced soon after daybreak. The early morning was chilly, but later on the sun shone forth in a cloudless sky, and the day grew hot. The first part of our way lay near the river which flows through Baiburt, and the scenery was a great improvement on anything that we had seen since leaving Gyumish-Khane. We halted for our midday rest and refreshment by a clump of willow trees in a pleasant grassy meadow by the river. On resuming our march we entered a narrow dehle leading into the mountains of Kopdfigh. A gradual ascent brought us to the summit of the pass, just below which, on the farther side, we came to our halting-place, Pasha-punari. The view of the surrounding mountains standing out against the clear evening sky was very beautiful, and the little khan at which we alighted was worthy of its delightful situation. We were lodged in a sort of barn, in which was stored a quantlty of hay. How fragrant and soft it seemed! I still think of that night's sleep as one of the soundest and sweetest in my experience.

     Early on the morning of the seventh day we resumed our march along a circuitous road, which, after winding downwards amongst grassy hills, followed the course of a river surrounded by stunted trees. We saw numerous large birds of the falcon kind, called by the Turks doghan. One of these H brought down with his rifle while it was hovering in the air, to the great delight of the muleteers. At a village called Ash-Kal'a we purchased honey, bread, and grapes, which we consumed while halting for the midday rest by an old bridge. Continuing on our way by the river, we were presently joined by a turbaned and genial Turk, who was travelling on horseback from Gyumish- Khane to Erzeroum. I was pleased to hear him use in the course of conversation certain words which I had hitherto only met with in the writings of the old poet Fuzuli of Baghdad, and which I had regarded as archaic and obsolete. The road gradually became more frequented than it had been since leaving Baiburt, and we passed numerous travellers and peasants. Many of the


latter drove bullock-carts, of which the ungreased axles sent forth the most excruciating sound. The sun had set before we reached our halting-place, Yeni-Khan, and so full was it that we had some difficulty in securing a room to ourselves

     The eighth day of our march, which was to conclude the first portion of our journey, saw us in the saddle betimes. after riding or four hours through a scorched-up plain, we arrived about 10.30 a.m. at the large village of Ilija, so named from its hot springs, over which a bath has been erected. From this point the gardens and minarets of Erzeroum were plainly visible, and accordingly we pushed on without halting. Fully three hours elapsed, however, ere we had traversed the weary stretch of white dusty road which still separated us from our goal; and the sun was well past the meridian when we finally entered the gate of the city, and threaded our way through the massive fortifications by which it is surrounded.

     Erzeroum has one hotel, which stands midway in the scale of development between the Hotel d'Italie at Trebizonde and an average caravansaray. Were these two towns connected by a railroad, so as to bring them within a day's journey of one another, this institution might perhaps form a happy transition between the West and the East. As things are at present, it is too much like a caravansaray to be comfortable, and too much like a casino to be quiet.

     On alighting at this delectable house of entertainment, we were met by a young Armenian representing the bank on which our cheque was drawn, who informed us in very fair French that his name was Missak Vanetzian, and that his principal, Simon Dermounukian, had been apprised of our coming by letter from Trebizonde, and instructed to give us such help as we might need After a brief conversation in the balcony of a coffee-room thronged with Turkish officers and enlivened by the strains of a semi-Oriental band, he departed, inviting us to visit his chief so soon as we were at leisure.


     We now requested an attendant to show us our room, and were forthwith conducted to a large, dingy, uncarpeted apartment on the first floor, lighted by several windows looking out upon the street, and containing for its sole furniture a divan covered with faded chintz, which ran the whole length of one side, and a washing-stand placed in a curtained recess on the other. It was already occupied by a Turkish mudir, bound for the frontier fortress of Bayezid, whom the landlord was trying to dislodge so that we might take possession. This he very naturally resented; but when I apologised, and offered to withdraw, he was at once mollified, declared that there was plenty of room for all of us, and politely retired, leaving us to perform our ablutions in private.

     Just as we were ready to go out, an officer of the Turkish police called to inspect our passports, so, while H--- went to visit Mr Devey, the acting British Consul, I remained to entertain the visitor with coffee and cigarettes--an attention which he seemed to appreciate, for he readily gave the required visa, and then sat conversing with me till H--- returned from the consulate. We next paid a visit to our banker, Simon Dermounukian, called by the Turks "Simun Agha," a fine-looking old man, who only spoke Turkish and Armenian, and whose appearance would have led one to suppose that the former rather than the latter was his native tongue. After the ordinary interchange of civilities, we drew a cheque for three or four pounds, and returned to the hotel to settle with the muleteers. On the way to Erzeroum these had frequently expressed a wish to go with us as far as Teheran; but since their arrival they had been so alarmed by fabulous accounts of the dangers of travelling in Persia, the inhospitality of the country, and the malignant disposition of the people, that they made no further allusion to this plan, and on receiving the money due to them, together with a small gratuity, took leave of us with expressions of gratitude and esteem.


After a thoroughly Turkish dinner, I again proposed to go out, but the mudir told me that this was impossible, as the streets were not lighted, and no one was allowed to walk abroad after nightfall without a lantern. He offered, however, to introduce me to some acquaintances of his who occupied an adjoining room One of these was a Turk who spoke Persian with a fluency and correctness rarely attained by his countrymen; the other was a Christian of Caesarea. Both were men of intelligence, and their conversation interested me so much that it was late before I retired to rest on the chintz-covered divan, which I would gladly have exchanged for the fragrant hay of Pasha-punari.

     Next day our troubles began. The news that two Englishmen were about to start for Persia had got abroad, and crowds of muleteers--Persians, Turks, and Armenians--came to offer their services for the journey. The scene of turmoil which our room presented during the whole morning baffles description, while our ears were deafened with the clamour of voices. It was like the noisiest bazaar imaginable, with this difference, that whereas one can escape from the din of a bazaar when it becomes insupportable, this turmoil followed us wherever we went. An Armenian called Vartan demanded the exorbitant sum of 5 pounds T. per horse to Tabriz. A Persian offered to convey us thither in a mighty waggon which he possessed, wherein, he declared, we should perform the journey with inconceivable ease. This statement, which I was from the first but little disposed to credit was subsequently denied in the most categorical manner by our friend the mudir, who assured me that he had once essayed to travel in such a vehicle, but had been so roughly jolted during the first stage that he had sworn never again to set foot in it and had completed his journey on horseback. Any lingering regrets which we might have entertained at having renounced the prospect of "inconceivable ease" held out to us by the owner of the waggon were entirely dispelled some days later by the sight of a similar vehicle hopelessly stuck, and abandoned


by its possessor, in the middle of a river which we had to ford.

     At length, partly because no better offer seemed forthcoming, partly from a desire to have done with the matter and enjoy a little peace and quietude for the remainder of our stay in Erzeroum, we accepted the terms proposed by a Persian muleteer called Farach, who promised to supply us with five horses to Tabriz at 2 pounds T. and 2 mejidiyyes a head; to convey us thither in twelve days; and to allow us the right of stopping for two days on the road at whatever place we might choose.

     I now flattered myself that I should be allowed a little peace, but I found that I had reckoned without my host. No sooner had I satisfied myself as to the efficiency of Farach's animals, agreed to the terms proposed by him, and accepted the peh (a pledge of money, which it is customary for the muleteer to place in the hands of his client as a guarantee that he will hold to the bargain, and be prepared to start on the appointed day), than our ears were assailed on all sides with aspersions on the honesty and respectability of the successful candidate. Farach, so I was assured, was a native of the village of Seyvan, near Khuy, and the Seyvanlis were, as was well known, the wickedest, most faithless, and most dishonest people in Persia. In this assertion all the muleteers present agreed, the only difference being that while the Persians rested content with the reprobation of the Seyvanlis, the non-Persians further emphasised it by adding that the Persians were the wickedest, most faithless, and most dishonest people in the world.

     At first I paid no attention to these statements, but my suspicions were in some degree aroused by Farach's disinclination to go before the Persian Consul, and by the doubts expressed by Vanetzian and Simun Agha as to his honesty and trustworthiness. With Vanetzian I was somewhat annoyed, because he, being present when I engaged Farach, had withheld his advice till it was too late to be useful. I therefore told him that he should


either have spoken sooner or not at all, to which he replied that it was still possible to rescind the bargain. Farach was accordingly summoned and requested to take back his pledge. This, however, he resolutely declined to do, and I could not help admitting that he was in the right.

     Finally Vanetzian desisted from his attempts to annul the contract, and indeed retracted to some extent the objections which he had raised against it. What motive impelled him to this change of front I cannot say, and I am unwilling to credit an assertion made to me by Farach a few days later, to the effect that the Armenian's sole object in these manoeuvers was to extort a bribe from the poor muleteer, and that having obtained this he was content to withdraw all opposition.

     Although these annoyances, combined with a temporary indisposition (due, probably, to the badness of the water-supply) somewhat marred the pleasure of our stay in Erzeroum, the kindness shown us by Mr Devey, the British Consul, and Mr Chambers, an American missionary, and his wife, rendered it much more agreeable than it would otherwise have been. Before leaving we paid a visit to the Persian Consul, who received us very courteously, and gave us a letter to Pasha Khan of Avajik the Persian Warden of the Marches, from whom, he added, we should receive an escort to conduct us to Khuy, should this be necessary. Beyond Khuy the country was perfectly safe, and no such protection would be required.

     The consul next enquired whether we were travelling with our own horses or with hired animals, and, on learning that the latter was the case, insisted on summoning the muleteer to admonish " him. Knowing that Farach was unwilling to appear before the consul, I ventured to deprecate this proceeding, and made as though I had forgotten the muleteer's name. The consul however, insisted, and at once despatched some of his servants to make enquiries. These returned in a surprisingly short space of time, bringing with them the muleteer, whose appearance


indicated the utmost disquietude. After demanding his name and that of his native place, the consul asked him whether it was true that he had promised to convey us to Tabriz in twelve days, and whether, if so, he had any intention of keeping this promise. To these questions the muleteer replied in a voice trembling with fear, that "perhaps, In-sha'llah, he would do so." This statement was received by the consul with derision. "You lie, Mr Perhaps," cried he; "you eat dirt, Mr In-sha'llah; hence, rascal, and be assured that if I hear any complaints about you, you shall give a full account of your conduct to me on your return to Erzeroum!" Whether in consequence of this "admonition," or whether, as I believe, because the muleteer was really an honest fellow, we certainly had no cause for complaint, and, indeed, were glad to re-engage Farach at Tabriz for the journey to Teheran.

     On Monday, 17th October, we quitted Erzeroum. In consequence of the difficulty of getting fairly under way, to which I have already alluded, it is usual to make the first stage a very short one. Indeed, it is often merely what the Persians call "Nakl-i-makan" (change of place), a breaking up of one's quarters, a bidding farewell to one's friends, and a shaking one's self free from the innumerable delays which continue to arise so long as one is still within the walls of an Eastern town. We therefore did not expect to get farther than Hasan-Kal'a, which is about three hours' ride from Erzeroum. Before we had finished our leave-taking and settled the hotel bill (which only reached the modest sum of 108 piastres--about 1 pound sterling-- for the two of us and 'Ali for three days) the rest of the caravan had disappeared, and it was only on emerging from the town that I was able to take note of those who composed it. There were, besides the muleteers, our friend the mudir and his companions and servants, who were bound for Bayezid; a Turkish zabtiyye, who was to escort us as far as Hasan-Kal'a; and three Persians proceeding to Tabriz. Of these last, one was a decrepit old man;


the other two were his sons. In spite of the somewhat ludicrous appearance given to the old man by a long white beard of which the lower half was dyed red with henna, the cause which had led him to undertake so long a journey in spite of his advanced age commanded respect and sympathy. His two sons had gone to Trebizonde for purposes of trade, and had there settled; and although he had written to them repeatedly entreating them to return to Tabriz, they had declined to comply with his wishes until eventually he had determined to go himself, and, if possible, persuade them to return home with him. In this attempt he had met with the success which he so well deserved.

     As we advanced towards the low pass of Deve-boyun (the Camel's Neck), over which our road lay, I was much impressed with the mighty redoubts which crown the heights to the northeast and east of Erzeroum, many of which have, I believe, been erected since the Russian war. Beyond these, and such instruction and amusement as I could derive from our travelling companions, there was little to break the monotony of the road till we arrived at our halting-place about 3 p.m. As the khan was full, we were obliged to be content with quarters even less luxurious; and even there the mudir, with prudent forethought, secured the best room for himself and his companions.

     Hasan-Kal'a is, like Ilija, which is about equidistant from Erzeroum on the other side, remarkable for its natural hot springs, over which a bath has been erected. The mudir was anxious to visit these springs, and invited us to accompany him. To this I agreed, but H -, not feeling well, preferred to remain quiet. The bath consists of a circular basin, twenty-five or thirty feet in diameter, surrounded with masonry and roofed in by a dome. In the summit of the dome was a large aperture through which we could see the stars shining. The water, which is almost as hot as one can bear with comfort, bubbles up from the centre of the basin, and is everywhere out of one's depth After a most refreshing bathe, we returned to our quarters.


     Next day we started about 6 a.m., and were presently joined by a Turkish mufti proceeding to Bayezid, with whom I conversed for some time in Persian, which he spoke very incorrectly and with great effort. He was, however, an amusing companion, and his conversation beguiled the time pleasantly enough till we halted about midday at a large squalid Armenian village called Kumasur. Our Turkish fellow-travellers occupied the musafiroda, or guest-room, and intimated to us that they wished to be left undisturbed for their midday devotions, so we were compelled to be content with a stable. As the rest of the caravan had not yet come up, we had nothing for lunch but a few biscuits and a little brandy and water, which we fortunately had with us. Several of the Armenian villagers came to see us. They were apathetic and dull, presenting a sad contrast to the Armenians of the towns. They talked much of their grievances, especially of the rapacity of the multezim, or tax-gatherer, of the district, who had, as they declared, mortally wounded one of the villagers a few days previously, because he had brought eight piastres short of the sum due from him. They said that the heaviest tax was on cereals, amounting to I in 8 of their total value, and that for the privilege of collecting this the tax-gatherer paid a certain fixed sum to the Government and made what profit he could.

     Quitting this unhappy spot as soon as the rest of our caravan appeared, we again joined the mudir's party, which had been further reinforced by a chawush (sergeant) and two zabtiyyes, one of whom kept breaking out into snatches of song in the shrillest voice I ever heard. For some time we succeeded in keeping up with these, who were advancing at a pace impossible for the baggage animals, but presently our horses began to flag, and we were finally left behind, in some doubt as to the road which we should follow. Shortly after this, my horse, in going down a hill to a river, fell violently and threw me on my face. I picked myself up and remounted, but having proceeded some distance,


discovered that my watch was gone, having probably been torn out of my pocket when I fell. We rode back and sought diligently for it, but without success; and while we were still so occupied Farach the muleteer came up with 'Ali. These joined us in the fruitless attempt to find the lost watch, the former attributing my misfortune to the inconsiderate haste of the mudir, the latter attempting to console me with the philosophical reflection that some evil had evidently been destined to befall me, and that the loss of the watch had probably averted a more serious catastrophe. At length the near approach of the sun to the horizon warned us that we must tarry no longer; and though we made as much haste as possible, it was dark before we reached the village of Deli Baba.

     Here we obtained lodgings in a large stable, at one side of which was a wooden platform, raised some two feet above the ground and covered with a felt carpet. On this our host spread cushions and pillows, but the hopes of a comfortable night's rest which these preparations raised in our minds were not destined to be fulfilled, for the stable was full of fowls, and the fowls swarmed with fleas. There were also several buffaloes in the stable, and these apparently were endowed with carnivorous instincts, for during the night they ate up some cold meat which was to have served us for breakfast. At this place I tasted buffalo's milk for the first time. It is very rich, but has a peculiar flavour, which is, to my mind, very disagreeable

     On starting the next day, we found that the mudir, who had obtained quarters elsewhere in the village, had already set out; neither did we again overtake him. Soon after leaving our halting-place we entered a magnificent defile leading into the mountains and surrounded by precipitous crags. On the summit of one of these crags which lay to our left was a mined castle said to have been formerly a stronghold of the celebrated bandit- minstrel, Kurroghlu. The face of the rock showed numerous cave-like apertures, apparently enlarged, if not made, by the


hand of man, and possibly communicating with the interior of the castle.

     About noon we reached a Kurdish village, situated amidst grassy uplands at the summit of the pass, and here we halted for a rest. Most of the male inhabitants were out on the hills looking after their flocks, but the women gathered round us staring, laughing, and chattering Kurdish. Some few of them knew a little Turkish, and asked us if we had any munjas to give them. This word, which I did not understand, appeared to denote some kind of ornament.

     On quitting this village our way led us through fertile uplands covered thinly with low shrubs, on which hundreds of draught camels were feeding. The bales of merchandise, unladen from their backs, were piled up in hollow squares, in and around which the Persian camel-drivers were resting till such time as the setting of the sun (for camels rarely travel by day) should give the signal for departure.

     A little farther on we passed one of the battlefields of the Russian war, and were shown an earthwork close to the road, where we were told that Farik Pasha had been killed. Soon after this, on rounding a corner, the mighty snow-crowned cone of Mount Ararat burst upon our view across a wide hill-girt plain, into which we now began to descend. During this descent we came upon a party of Kurdish mountebanks, surrounded by a crowd of peasants. In the midst of the group a little girl, in a bright red dress, was performing a dance on stilts, to the sound of wild music, produced by a drum and a flute. It was a pretty sight, and one which I would fain have watched for a time; but the muleteers were anxious to reach the end of our day's journey, and indeed it was already dusk when we arrived at the village of Zeyti-Kyan. The inhabitants of this place were, as we entered it, engaged in a violent altercation, the cause of which I did not ascertain; while a few Turkish zabtiyyes were making strenuous efforts to disperse them, in which they eventually succeeded. It


was only after 'Ali had been to half the houses in the village that he succeeded in obtaining a lodging for us in the house of a poor Armenian family, who were content to share with us their only room. As usual, no sort of privacy was possible, numbers of people coming in to stare at us, question us, and watch us eat.

     Next day's march was both short and uninteresting. At 2 p.m. we reached the large squalid village of Kara Kilisa. As the day was still young, and the place far from attractive, we were anxious to proceed farther, but this the muleteers declined to do, answering, after the manner of their class, that they had agreed to take us to Tabriz in twelve days from Erzeroum, and that this they would do; but that for the rest we must allow them to arrange the stages as they thought fit. Farach concluded the argument by making me a propitiatory gift of a melon, which he had just received from a fellow-countryman whom he had met on the road; and, half amused, half annoyed, I was obliged to acquiesce in his arrangement.

     We obtained wretched quarters in the house of a very ill-favoured and inquisitive Armenian, and, after allaying our ill-humour with tea, strolled through the village to see the yuz-bashi or captain of the police, about securing a zabtiyye as an escort for the morrow. From him we learned that our friend the mudir had not forgotten us, for on his way through the village that morning he had left instructions that we were to be provided with a zabtiyye, should we require one. The dustiness of the streets, combined with the inquisitiveness of the inhabitants, soon drove us back to our lodging, where a night disturbed by innumerable fleas concluded a miserable day.

     In spite of our desire to quit so unattractive a spot, we did not start till 7.45 a.m. (a much later hour than usual), partly because we knew that the stage before us was a short one, and had no reason to anticipate better quarters at the end of it than those we were leaving; partly because 'Ali's whip had disappeared and could not be found till our host was informed that no money


would be paid him until it was forthcoming; whereupon it was speedily produced. We were accompanied by a fine old Armenian zabtiyye, who presented a thoroughly soldierly, as well as a very picturesque, appearance. The scenery through which we passed reminded me more of England or Scotland than anything which I had seen since leaving home. Close to the road ran a beautiful clear river, rippling down over its stony bed to join the Western Euphrates. On either side of this lay undulating grassy hills, beyond which appeared in the distance more lofty mountains. The warm, cloudy day, too, and the thin mists which lay on the hills, favoured the fancy that we were back once more in our native land.

     About 1 p.m. we reached our halting-place, Tashli-Chay, and found lodgings in a gloomy hovel, which served the double purpose of a resting-place for guests and a stable for buffaloes. The people, however, were better than the place. Our host was an old Persian with henna-dyed beard and nails, who manifested his good feeling towards us by plunging his hand, with an introductory "Bismi'llah," into the dish of poached eggs which was set before us for luncheon. His son, a bright handsome lad of sixteen or seventeen, made every effort to enliven us, and, on my enquiring whether there were any fish in the river, offered to conduct us thither, and show us not only where they were, but how to catch them. Having collected several other youths, he commenced operations by constructing a dam of stones and turf half across the river, at a point where it was divided into two branches by a bed of shingle. The effect of this was to direct the bulk of the water into the left-hand channel, while the depth of that which remained in the right-hand channel (at the lower end of which a boy was stationed to beat the water with a stick, and so prevent the imprisoned fish from effecting their escape) sunk to a few inches. Having completed these preparations, the operators entered the water with sticks in their hands, struck at the fish as they darted past, thereby killing or stunning them, and


then picked them up and tossed them on to the bank. One lad had a sort of gaff wherewith he hooked the fish very dexterously. In less than an hour we had nearly fifty fish, several of which must have weighed 2 1/2 or 3 lbs. Some of these we ate for supper; others we gave to the muleteers and to our fellow-travellers. They were not unpalatable, and made a pleasing change from the fowls and eggs of which our fare had so long consisted.

     Although our lodging was not much superior, in point of cleanliness and comfort, to that of the preceding night, it was with something like regret that I bade farewell to the kindly folk of Tashli-Chay. Farach had started on in front with the baggage, leaving his brother Feyzu'llah, of whom we had hitherto seen but little, to bear us company. This Feyzu'llah was a smooth-faced, narrow-eyed, smug-looking, sturdy rascal, whose face wore a perpetual and intolerable grin, and whose head was concealed rather than crowned by the large, low, conical, long-haired papak which constitutes the usual head-dress of the peasants inhabiting that region which lies just beyond the Turco-Persian frontier. We were also accompanied by a Turkish zabtiyye, who proved to be unusually intelligent; for when we were come opposite to the village of Uch-Kilisa, which lies on the farther side of the river, he told us that there was an old Armenian church there which was worth looking at, and that we should by no means neglect to pay our respects to an aged Armenian ecclesiastic, entitled by him the "Murakhkhas Efendi," who, as he assured us, enjoyed such influence in the neighbourhood that, were he to give the command, a hundred men would escort us to Tabriz.

     We therefore turned aside from our course (to the infinite disgust of Feyzu'llah, whose only desire was to reach the end of the stage as soon as possible), and first proceeded to the church. This was a fine old building, but it had suffered at the hands of the Kurds during the Russian war, and the beautiful designs and paintings with which it had before that time been


adorned had for the most part been destroyed by fire. Leaving the church, we passed the house and mill of the "Murakhkhas Efendi," who, on hearing of our approach, came out to meet us, and begged us to enter his house and partake of some refreshment. The opposition offered by Feyzu'llah to any further delay compelled us to decline his hospitality; yet would he scarcely take nay for an answer, saying that he was ashamed to let strangers pass by without alighting at his house. Finally, seeing that we were firm in our resolve, he bade us farewell with the words, " I pray Almighty God that He will bring you in safety to Tabriz."

     It was with a sense of comfort and encouragement that we parted from the venerable and reverend old man; but this feeling was presently changed to one of indignation against Feyzu'llah, who had urged the length of the stage as a reason for hastening on, when not much after 1.30 p.m., we arrived at the wretched town of Diyadin, where we were to sleep for the last time on Turkish territory. A more desolate spot I do not think I have ever seen; the dirty, dusty town, which scarcely contains two respectable houses, stands in a barren, treeless waste, and is half encompassed by a vast crescent-shaped chasm with precipitous sides. Heaps of refuse lie about in all directions, both before the doors of the miserable hovels which compose the town, and amongst the graves of the extensive and neglected cemetery which surrounds it. Of the two respectable houses which I have noticed, one belongs to the governor, the other is the post-office. To the latter we paid a visit, and conversed for a while with the postmaster and telegraph-clerk (for both functions were united in one individual), who was a Turk of Adrianople. He complained bitterly of the dullness of Diyadin, where he had been for two years, and to which a marriage contracted with a Kurdish girl had failed to reconcile him. On returning to our lodging we found that the aperture in the roof which did duty for window and chimney alike admitted so much wind and dust that we were compelled to cover it with sacking; while to add to our miseries


we discovered that all our candles were used up. Having eaten our supper by the dim light of a little earthenware lamp, we had therefore no resource but to seek forgetfulness of our discomforts in sleep.

     Next morning (23rd October), the seventh day of our departure from Erzeroum, we were in the saddle by 6 a.m. My spirits were high, for I knew that before sunset we should enter the land which I had so long and so eagerly desired to behold. The zabtiyye who accompanied us (remarkable for an enormous hooked nose) took pains to impress upon us the necessity of keeping well together, as there was some danger of robbers. Presently, on rounding a corner, a glorious view burst upon us. Ararat (which had been hidden from us by lower hills since we first saw it from the heights above Zeyti-Kyan) lay far to the left, its snowy summit veiled in clouds, which, however, left unconcealed the lower peak of little Ararat. Before us, at the end of the valley, perched midway up the face of a steep, rocky mountain, lay the town and fortress of Bayezid, which keeps solitary watch over the north-east frontier of the Turkish Empire. This we did but see afar off, for, while two or three hours' march still separated us from it, we turned sharply to the right into the valley leading to Kazil-Dize, the last village on Turkish soil. At this point we left the telegraph wires, which had, since our departure from Trebizonde, kept us company and indicated the course of our road.

     Soon after mid-day we reached Kazil-Dize, and, leaving our baggage in the custom-house, betook ourselves for rest and refreshment to a large and commodious khan. The custom-house officials gave us no trouble; but as soon as we were again on the road Farach informed us, with many lamentations, that they had exacted from him a sum of forty-five piastres, alleging, as a pretext for this extortion, that whereas he had brought seven horses with him on his last journey into Turkey, he was returning with only five; that they suspected him of having sold the two


missing horses in Turkish territory; and that they should therefore exact from him the duty payable on animals imported into the country for purposes of commerce. It was in vain that Farach protested that the two horses in question had died on the road, for they demanded documentary proof of this assertion, which he was unable to produce. And, indeed, to me it seemed an absurd thing to expect a certificate of death for an animal which had perished in the mountains of Asia Minor.

     The hook-nosed veteran who had accompanied us from Diyadin had yielded place to a fresh zabtiyye, who rode silently before us for two hours, during which we continued to ascend gradually through wild but monotonous hills, till, on reaching a slight eminence over which the road passed, he reined in his horse, and, turning in his saddle, said, "Farther I cannot go with you, for this is our frontier, and yonder before you lies the Persian land."

Home ][ Sacred Writings ][ Bulletin board
Primary sources ][ Secondary sources ][ Resources
Links ][ Personal pages ][ Other sites

Google distinguishes accents, e.g. "Babi" and "Bábí"
return different results. See more search tips.