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2                           JOURNEYS IN PERSIA            LETTER xvi

flocks, and Lake Albolaki has shrunk into something
little better than a swamp. A path at a great elevation
above a stream and a short rocky ascent brought us to
the top of the pass above Nagliun, a wall of rock, with
an altitude of 7320 feet, and a very stiff zigzag descent
upon Isfandyar Khan's garden, where the heat made a
long halt necessary. The view from the Naghun Pass of
the great Arclal valley is a striking one, though not so
striking as one would suppose from the altitude of the
mountains, which, however, do not nearly reach the limit
of perpetual snow, though the Kuh-i-Kaller, the Kuh-i-
Sabz, the great mass of the Kuh-i-Gerra, the range of the
Kuh-i-Dinar, and the Kuh-i-Zirreh are all from 11,000
to 13,000 feet in height. Even on the north side the
range which we crossed by the Gardan-i-Zirreh exceeds
9000 feet. The Karun, especially where it escapes from
the Arclal valley by the great Tang-i-Ardal, is a grand
feature of the landscape from the Naghun Pass.

On leaving Naghun we were joined by Aziz Khan,
a petty chief, a retainer of Isfandyar Khan, who has
been deputed to attend on the Agha, and who may be
useful in various ways.

Between Naghun and Ardal, in an elevated ravine, a
species of aristolocliia, which might well be mistaken for
a pitcher-plant, was growing abundantly, and on the
Ardal plain the "sweet sultan" and the Ferula glauca
have taken the place of the Centaurca alata, which is all
cut and stacked.

A hot and tedious march over the Ardal plateau, no
longer green, and eaten up by the passage of Ilyat
flocks, brought us to the village of Ardal, now deserted
and melancholy, the great ibex horns which decorate
the roof of the Ilkhani's barrack giving it a spectral
look in its loneliness. The night was hot, and the per-
petual passing of Ilyats, with much braying and bleating,