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Full text of "Journeys In Persia And Kurdistan ( Vol.Ii)."

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LETTEE xx                   PERSIA PEOPER                               89

a change from the grand scenery of the Bakhtiari moun-
tains to low passes and gravelly spurs, which sink down
upon a plain. A blazing hillside; a mountain of gravel
among others of similar ugliness, sprinkled with camel
thorn and thistles; a steep and long descent to a stream;
ripe wheat on some irrigated slopes; above these the
hundred hovels of the village of Sarawand clinging one
above another to the hillside, their white clay roofs intoler-
able in the fierce light; more scorched gravel hills breaking
off abruptly, and then a blazing plain, in a mist of dust
and heat, and low hills on the farther side seen through
a brown haze, make up the view from my tent. The
plain is Silakhor in Persia proper, and, nolens volens,
that heat and dust must shortly be encountered in the
hottest month of the year. Meanwhile the mercury is at
105° in the tent.

Outside is a noisy crowd of a mixed race, more
Persian than Lur, row behind row. The Jcetchuda said
if I would stand outside and show myself the people
would be pacified, but the desired result was not
attained, and the crushing and pushing were fearful—
not that the people here or elsewhere are ever rude,
it is simply that their curiosity is not restrained by
those rules wKich t govern ours. The Agha tried to
create a diversion by putting a large musical box at a
little distance, but they did not care for it. I attempted
to give each woman a card of china buttons, which they
like for sewing on the caps of their children, but the
crush was so overpowering that I was obliged to leave it
to Aziz. Then came the sick people with their many
woes and wants, and though now at sunset they have all
gone, Aziz comes in every few minutes with the laugh of
a lost spirit, bringing a fresh copper bowl for eye lotion,
quite pleased to think of my annoyance at being con-
stantly dragged up from my writing.