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40                       JOURNEYS IN PERSIA             LETTER xvn

nearly hidden in sunless rifts, and the snow-fields of the
Zard Kuh will remain for a time, but eternal snow isó
nowhere, and it does not appear that the highest of the
peaks much exceeds 13,000 feet, either in Upper Elam
or the Bakhtiari country.

Great difficulties are ahead, not only from tracks
which are said to be impassable for laden animals, but
from the disturbed state of the country. Prom what I
hear from Aziz Khan and from the guides who have
come up here, I gather that the power of the Ilkhani,
shaky enough even nearer Ardal, all but dwindles
away here, and is limited to the collection of the tribute,
the petty Khans fighting among themselves, and doing
mainly what is right in their own eyes.

It is somewhat of a satisfaction to me that it is im-
possible now to go back, and that a region absolutely
unexplored lies ahead, doubtless full, as the previously
untraversed regions have been, of surprises and interests.

I L. B.