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LETTER xix                      A BATTLE                                    85

3  P.M.—An hour  ago Mirab  Khan arrived with   a
number of armed horse and footmen.    Before he left he
spent, I may say wasted, nearly an hour of my time
again on his maladies, and again wrote down the direc-
tions for his medicines.    Volleys fired very near startled
him into departing, and he rode hastily back to Arjanak,
fearing, as he said, an attack.    Nominally, he armed the
guides and the men he left behind, but one of the guns
has neither caps nor powder, and another has only three
caps.    All the animals have been driven in.

4  P.M.—A man with grimy arms bare to the elbow
has just run down to the Agha's camp from the conflict.
He says that his people, who are greatly inferior to the
Hajwands in numbers, thought it was the camp of the
Shah's revenue collector, and sent him to ask him to
mediate.    The Agha expressed his willingness to become
a mediator on certain conditions.    There is much excite-
ment in camp, all the men who are well crowding round
this envoy, who is guilty of saying that fifty men are to
attack our camps to-night.

7.30 P.M.—The Agha, with the Sahib and Aziz Khan,
three brave men mounted and armed with rifles and
revolvers, went to mediate. I went to a knoll in the
valley with some of our men, above which on either side
were hills occupied by the combatants, and a large
number of tribesmen crowned the crest of a hill lying
across the ravine higher up. The firing was frequent,
but at long range, and I was near enough to see that
only one man fell.

Our party rode on till they reached the top of a low
ridge, where they dismounted, reconnoitred, and then
passed out of sight, being fired on by both parties. The
tribesmen kept on firing irregularly from the hill-crests,
occasionally running down the slopes, firing and running
into cover. The Sahib's tufangchi, who is of Cheragh