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LETTER svn       AN ABORTIVE ENTERPRISE                    33

the design of turning to account the difference in level
s (about 300 feet) between the Karun and Zainderud, and by
'cleaving an intervening mountain spur to let the waters
of the one pass into the other. The work of cleaving
was carried on by his successors, but either the workmen
failed to get through the flint which underlies the free-
stone, or the downfall of the Sufari dynasty made an end
of it, and nothing remains of what should have been a
famous engineering enterprise but a huge cleft with tool
marks upon it in the crest of the hill, "in length 300
yards, in breadth fifteen, and fifty feet deep."1 Above
it are great heaps of quarried stones and the remains of
houses, possibly of overseers, and below are the remnants
.of the dam which was to have diverted the Karun
water into the cleft.

On a cool, beautiful evening I came down from this
somewhat mournful height to a very striking scene, where
the peacock-blue branch from the Sar-i-Cheshmeh unites
with the peacock-green stream from Kuh-i-Bang, the
dark, high sides of their channels shutting out the moun-
tains. Both rivers rush^turnultuously above their union,
but afterwards glide downwards in a smooth, silent
volume of most exquisite colour, so deep as to be unfordable,
and fringed with green strips of grass and innumerable
flowers. On emerging from the ravine the noble mass of
the Zard Kuh was seen rose-coloured in the sunset, its
crests and spires of snow cleaving the blue sky, and the
bright waters and flower-starred grass of the plain gave
a smiling welcome home.

The next march was a very beautiful one, most of
the way over the spurs and deeply-cleft ravines of the
grand Kuh-i-Bang by sheep and goat tracks, and no
tracks at all, a lonely and magnificent ride, shut in
among mountains of great height, their spurs green with

1 Six Months in Persia.—Stack.
VOL. II                                                                             j