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Full text of "Journeys In Persia And Kurdistan ( Vol.Ii)."

LETTER xvin               OPIUM MADNESS                              69

approaching the camp was to be warned off, and was to
be fired upon if he disregarded the warning.

A blissfully quiet day followed the excitement of the
night before. The men slept after their long watch, and
the fighting horses were at a distance. The Agha did
not return, and for a day and night I was the only
European in camp. Aziz Khan, with an English rifle,
a hundred cartridges, and two revolvers in his belt, kept
faithful watch, and to " make assurance doubly sure " I
walked through the camp twice during the night to see
that the men on guard were awake.

Before midnight there was a frightful " row " for two
hours, which sounded as if fifty men were taking part in
it. I have often wondered at the idiotic things that
Hassan does, and at the hopelessly dazed way in which
he sometimes stands. Now it has come out that he is
smoking more and more opium, and has been supplying
Karim with it.

Mujid, who was formerly the Agha's cook, has been
promoted to be major-domo, rules the caravan on the
march, heads it on a fine horse, keeps accounts, and is
generally "confidential.3* Karim resents all this. He
lately bought a horse because he could not bear to ride
a baggage mule when the other man was well mounted,
and being that night mad with opium, and being armed
both with rifle and revolver, with which he threatened
to kill Mujid, it was only by the united and long-
continued efforts of all the men that bloodshed was
prevented. The next day Hassan destroyed his opium
pipe, and is trying to cure himself of the habit with the
aid of morphia, but he complains of " agony in the
waist," which is just the fearful craving which the disuse
of the drug causes.

The Agha encountered very predatory Lurs in the
lower regions. A mule was stolen by two Lurs, then