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26                        JOURNEYS IN PEESIA            LETTER xvi

received with "benevolent equanimity. This great heat
at an altitude of 7600 feet is most disappointing. These
head-waters of the Zainderud, rising in and beautifying
the Zarin, Kharba, and Dima valleys, unite before reach-
ing the Tang-i-Ghezi, from which they pass to Isfahan, and
are, as has been stated before, eventually lost in a swamp.
This is the most watery region I have seen in Persia*
Besides the gushing, powerful springs which form vigorous
streams at the moment of their exit from the mountain
sides, there are many moist, spongy places in the three
valleys, regularly boggy, giving out a pleasant squish under
a horse's tread, and abounding in plants associated in my
ideas with Highland bogs, such as the Drosera rotundi-
folia, which seems to thrive on a small red fly unknown
to me. These waters and swampy places occupy a small
area, just within the Outer range, below the southern
slopes of the Kuh-i-Rang.

From this place I made an expedition of thirty miles
up a very fine valley, much of which is irrigated and
cultivated, by an ascent of 2500 feet to the Gal-i-Bard-i-
Jr>nal, a pass 10,500 feet in altitude, with a tremendous
Descent into an apparent abyss, from whose blue depths
rise the imposing mass of the Kuh-i-Shahan, and among
other heights Faidun, a striking peak of naked rock, super-
imposed on a rocky ridge. At this height the air was
really cool, and it was an escape from the heat of Dima.

This region seems much disturbed. We heard of
bloodshed two days ago, and to-day in the Kharba
valley of fighting among the Kuh-i-Shahan mountains with
the loss of twelve lives, and horsemen passed us armed
with long guns and swords on their way to tribal war.
I fear I shall have to return to Isfahan. Things are
regarded as looking very precarious farther on, and every
movement, retrograde or forward, is beset with difficulties.

I. L. B.