24 JOURNEYS IN PERSIA LETTER xvi came down abruptly intp the elevated plain of Cheshmeh Zarin (the Golden Fountain) at a height of 8500 feet, the plain, being about five miles by two and a half. Receding hills with some herbage upon them border the plateau, and the Zard Kuh, though at some distance, apparently blocks up the western end. A powerful spring bursts from under a ridge of rock half-way down the plain, and becomes at once a clear gentle stream, fifty feet broad, which passes through the level green sward in a series of turns which are quite marvellous. Smooth sward, green barley, many yoke of big oxen ploughing up rich black soil, dark flocks of thousands of sheep and goats, asses, mares, mules, cows, all feeding, large villages of black tents, one of them surrounding the white pavilion of a Khan, saddle-horses tethered, flocks being led to and fro, others being watered, laden asses arriving and de- parting, butter being churned, and carpets being woven, form a scene of quiet but busy industry which makes one feel quite "in the world." This stream is one of the chief sources of the Zainderud. From this cheerful camping-ground we marched over low hills, forded the Zainderud several times, and came upon several Ilyat camps on low, rich pasture lands. These nomads had no tents, but dwelt in booths without fronts, the roofs and backs being made of the tough yellow flowering stalks of the celery. The path follows the left bank -of the river, there a full, broad stream, flowing through the Tang-i-Ghezi, through rounded hills, and scenery much like that of the Cheviots. At the Tang-i-Ghezi we camped, and this morning crossed a low hill into a heavily-grassed valley watered by the Kherson, ascended a shoulder of Gargunak, and halted at Aziz Khan's tents, where the women were very hospitable, bringing out cows' milk, and allowing themselves to be photographed.