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48                      JOURNEYS IN PERSIA           LETTER xvm

was reason to apprehend robbery and a night attack; so
careful arrangements were made, and the men kept guard
by turns.

The following day's march, which was also pretty, in-
cluded a long descent through a cultivated valley, with
willows, plums, and walnuts growing along a stream, and
a steep ascent and descent to the two villages of Masir on
well-cultivated slopes, belonging to Taimur Khan, the chief
of the powerful Magawe tribe, to whom the villagers pay
what they call a moderate "rent" in sheep, goats, and
grain. They are of the Chahar Lang, and deny that
they are under the Ilkhani's rule. They had a fight with
a tribe of the Haft Lang ten days ago, killed twelve men,
had seven killed and wounded, and took some guns and
horses. These, however, they have restored at the com-
mand of the Ilkhani, which contradicts their assertion.

They have a burial-ground with several very white
lions rampant upon it, of most noble aspect, boldly carved,
and with the usual bas-reliefs on their sides.

The camps were on a gravelly slope with a yellow
glare, and the mercury reached 105. The presence of
villages in this country always indicates a comparatively
warm climate, in which people can live throughout the
winter. The Scripture phrase, " maketh the outgoings of
the morning and evening to rejoice," has come to bear a
clear and vivid meaning. In this country, in this fiery
latitude, life is merely a struggle from the time the sun
has been up for two hours until he sinks very low.
"There is nothing hid from the heat thereof." One
watches with dismay his flaming disc wheel into the
cloudless sky, to blaze and scintillate mercilessly there
for many terrible hours, scorching, withering, destroying,
"turning a fruitful land into a desert," bringing eye
diseases in his train. With sunset, but not much before,
comes a respite, embittered by sand-flies, and life begins