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60                      JOURNEYS IN PERSIA           LETTER xvm

Khaja Taimur, you've given him presents, we'll rob you " !
With these and many similar words he pursued us, and
men started up as by magic, with long guns, running
alongside, the low spurs became covered with people in
no time, and there was much signalling from hill to hill,
" A-hoy-hoy-hoy-hoy," and sending of messengers. Mirza
pacified them by saying that we are friends of Isfandyar
Khan, and that I have presents for Aslam Khan, their
chief; but soon the shout of " Feringhis " was raised, and
from group to group along the knolls swelled the cry of
" Feringhis! Feringhis!" mixed with a few shouts of Kafir]
but without actual molestation we reached a steep and
uncomfortable camping-ground, Padshah-i-Zalaki, at an
altitude of 7800 feet, with an extensive view of the broad
green valley.

Before we halted Aslam Khan, a very fine-looking
man, and others met us, and performed feats of horse-
manship, wheeling their horses in small circles at a
gallop, and firing pantomimically over their left shoulders
and right flanks. The Sahib came in later, so that our
party was a tolerably strong one.

The first thing the people did was to crowd into the
shelter-tent and lie down, staring fixedly, a thing which
never happened before, and groups steadily occupied the
tops of the adjacent spurs. After my tent was pitched
the people assembled round it in such numbers, ostensibly
desiring medicine, that the Khan sent two tufangchis to
keep order among them, and Karim, whose arm is now
well, was added as a protection. The Agha ordered that the
people should sit in rows at the sides and take their turn,
one at a time, to come into the verandah, but no sooner
were he and Aziz Khan out of sight than they began to
crowd, to shout, and to become unmanageable, scuffling
and pushing, the tufangchis pretending to beat them with
the barrels of their guns, but really encouraging them,