Why did Mulla Husayn go south?

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Posted by S. Varner on July 08, 1998 at 22:47:29:

No, the answer is not "to cross the road."
I found a curious jump in narrative in the Dawnbreakers as I was doing research on historical geography. The problem is on page 339. After the violence in Barfarush, Mulla Husayn and the Babis make camp at Sabzih-Maydan. Several "nobles and chiefs of the people" came to ask mercy from Mulla Husayn. They blamed the Sa'idu'l-'Ulama for all the trouble (true of course). They then suggested to Mulla Husayn that he and his companions should go to Amul, which lies WEST of Barfarush (Babul). He agreed to go there on the following day. Two of the chiefs, Abbas-Quli Khan-i-Larijani and Haji Mustafa Khan, swore to protect Mulla Husayn. He would be their guest that evening. Then they said they would have Khusraw-i-Qadi-Kala'i escort Mulla Husayn to Shir-Gah. The rest is (ahem)... history. BUT, Shir-Gah lies SOUTHEAST of Barfarush, on the road south across the mountains. Why in the world would they go south if they were trying to go to Amul, which is relatively close by in the valley to the west? Some part of the story must be missing. Aside from meeting preordained and prophesy-fulfilling fate -- why the change in plans? What do other histories say on this?

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