72 JOURNEYS IN PERSIA LETTER xvm
nose a deep wound, gaping fully an inch, blood caked
thick and black all over her face and matting her hair,
her upper lip cut through, and two teeth knocked out—
a regular hospital case. Her brother, they said, had
quarrelled with her and had thrown stones at her only
the day before, but they had already filled up the
wounds with some horrible paste. I asked Sardah Khan
why the Khan did not have the man thrashed for such
a brutality, and he replied that no one would touch him,
as he had killed three men last winter.
I spent two hours upon the poor creature, and the
relief was so great that her gratitude was profuse, and
the blessings invoked manifold. It was a great pleasure
to me But many things were taken out of the tent
while I sat outside attending to her. The Khan's brothers,
tufangcMs with their long guns, Seyyids with their green
turbans and contemptuous scowl, women, and children
• were all pressing upon me, hindering and suffocating me
in a temperature of nearly 100°. They seem to have no
feeling for pain or shrinking from painful spectacles, and
rather to enjoy the groans of the sufferer. Each time a
piece of stone was taken out of the wounds they exclaimed
" God is great!" Occasionally, when the crush interfered
with what I was doing, a man beat them with his gun,
or Aziz Khan threw stones at them, but it was useless.
The people tell our men that Kafirs have never before
entered their valley, and that if we were not under the
Shah's protection they would take all that we have. I
imagine that the difficulties are far greater than I know,
for the Agha, who minimises all danger, remarked last
night that this is a most anxious time, and that he should
be most thankful to get every one out of the country, for
it was impossible to say what a day might bring forth.
All idea of my returning to Julfa is now abandoned.
Bad as it is it is safer to go on.