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86                       JOURNEYS IN PERSIA            LETTER six

Ali's tribe, asked me, " Is this the way they fight in
your country," I asked him if he would not like to be
fighting? and he replied, "Yes, if it. were my quarrel."
The sun was very bright, the sky very blue, and the
smoke very white as it drifted over the lonely ravine
and burst in clouds from the hill-tops. I saw the com-
batants distinctly without a glass, and heard their wild
war-shouts. What a matter for regret is this useless
tribal fighting, with its dreary consequences of wailing
women and fatherless children 1 " Why don't the
English come and take us ? Why don't the English
come and give us peace ?" are surely the utterances of a
tired race.

After sunset the Agha returned, having so far suc-
ceeded in his mission that the headmen have promised
to suspend hostilities for to-morrow, but still shots are
fired now and then.                                         I. L. B.