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6                           JOURNEYS IN PEESIA            LETTER svi

delicate white tulips, and the violet penguicula so common
on our moorlands. Mares with mule foals were grazing
at a height of over 9000 feet.

The Khan of Eustam-i, married to a daughter of the
Ilkliani, " called." He is very intelligent, has some idea
of conversation, and was very pleasant and communi-
cative. He says the " Bakhtiaris love fighting, and if
there's a fight can't help taking sides, and if they have
not guns fight with stones," and that " one Bakhtiari can
beat ten Persians"! I asked him if he thought there
would be fighting at Chigakhor, and he said it was very
likely, and he and his retainers would take the Ilkani's
side. He showed me with great pleasure a bullet wound
in his ankle, and another in his head, where a piece
of the skull had been removed. He wishes that " the
English " would send them a doctor. " We would gladly
receive even a Kafir" he said. Mirza politely translated
this word Christian. He says they " suffer so much in
dying from want of knowledge." I explained to him the
virtues of some of their own medicinal herbs, and he at
once sent his servant to gather them, and having identi-
fied them he wrote down their uses and the modes of
preparing them.

With the Khan was his prim little son, already, at
ten years old, a bold rider and a good shot, the pale
auburn-haired boy whom his grandmother, the Ilkhani's
principal wife, offered me as a present if I would cure
him of deafness, debility, and want of appetite! I gave
him a large bottle of a clandestinely-made decoction of
a very bitter wormwood, into which I put with much
ceremony, after the most approved fashion of a charlatan,
some tabloids of nux wmica and of permanganate of
potash. When I saw him at the fort of Chigakhor he
was not any better, but since, probably from leading a
healthier life than in Ardal, he has greatly improved, and