LETTER sviii A SAVAGE PANDEMONIUM 73 As the welcome darkness fell the hillsides near and far blazed with fires, and Aslam Khan's camp immediately below was a very picturesque sight, its thirty-one tents forming a circle, with the Khan's two tents in the middle, each having a fire in front. Supper was prepared in large pots; the men ate first, then the women, children, and dogs. The noise suggested pandemonium. The sheep and goats bleated, the big dogs barked, the men and women shouted and shrieked all together, at the top of their voices, rude musical instruments brayed and clanged, —it sounded diabolical. Doubtless the inroad of the Feringhis was the topic of talk. Savage life does not bear a near view. Its total lack of privacy, its rough brutality, its dirt, its undisguised greed, its unconcealed jealousies and hatreds, its falseness, its pure selfishness, and its treachery are all painful on a close inspection. The following morning early we came up to the Gunak, the narrow top of a pass in the Kala Kuh range with an altitude of 10,200 feet, crossing on the way a steep and difficult snow-slide, and.have halted here for two days. Marching with the caravan is a necessary pre- caution, but a most tedious and fatiguing arrangement. No more galloping, only a crawl at " caravan pace," about two and a half miles an hour for five, six, or seven hours, and though one is up at 2.45 it is fully five before the mules are under way, and meantime one is the centre of that everlasting crowd which, on some pretext or other, asks for medicine. If no ailment can be produced at present, then the request is, " Give me something from the leather box, I've a cough in the winter," or an uncovered copper bowl is brought, the contents of which would evaporate in a fortnight in this climate, with the plaint, " I've a brother," or some other relative, " who has sore eyes in spring, please give me some eye-lotion." Nothing is appreciated made from their own valuable medicinal herbs.