LETTER sis MOSLEM DEVOTIONS 81
Yesterday he came for plaster, and while I cut it he
saw a padlock pincushion with a mirror front on ray bed,
and said, "You've given me nothing to-day, you must
give me that because my mare kicked me." But I like
him. He is a brave fellow, and with a large amount
of the mingled simplicity and cunning of -a savage has
a great deal of thought, information, and ability, and
a talk with him is worth having.
Mirab Khan had promised that not only guides but
his son would accompany the Agha, but when I arrived
at his eyrie the next morning it was evident that some-
thing was wrong, for the Agha looked gloomy, and Mirab
Khan uncomfortable, and as I was dressing the wound of
the snake-bitten man, the former said, " So far as I can see,
we are in a perfect hornets' nest." Neither son nor guides
were forthcoming. It was necessary to use very decided
language, after which the Khan professed that he had
withheld them In order to compel us to be his guests, and
eventually they were produced.
I called again on the ladies, who received me in a sort
of open stable, horses on one side and women on the other,
in a crowd and noise so overpowering that I was obliged
to leave them, but not before I had been asked for needles,
scissors, love philtres, etc. Polygamy, besides being an
atrocious system, is very hard on a traveller's resources.
I had brought presents for four legitimate wives, but
not for the crowd of women who asked for them. Each
wife wanted to get her present unknown to the others.
Later they returned my visit, and we're most importunate
in their requests.
When I went to say farewell to the Khan I found
Mm on his knees, bowing his forehead to the earth upon a
Mecca prayer-stone, and he concluded his prayers before
he spokeónot like many of us, who would jump up
ashamed and try to seem as if we never demeaned our-
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