94 JOURNEYS IN PERSIA LETTER xx wide cultivated plain of Silakhor, with its many villages; the winding Ab-i-Diz, its yellow crops, hardly distinguish- able from the yellow soil and hazy yellow hills whose many spurs descend upon the plain—all merged in a haze of dust and heat. The eye is not tempted to linger long upon that specimen of a Persian summer landscape, but turns with relief to the other side of the ridge, to a confused mass of mountains of great height, built up of precipices of solid rock, dark gray, weathered into black and denuded of soil, a mystery of chasms, rifts, and river-beds, sheltering and feeding predatory tribes, but unknown to the rest of the world. The chaos of mountain summits, chasms, and pre- cipices is very remarkable, merging into lower and less definite ranges, with alpine meadows at great heights, and ravines much wooded, where charcoal is burned and carried to Burujird and Hamadan. Among the salient points of this singular landscape are the mighty Shuturun range, the peak of Kuh-i-Kargun on the other side of the Silakhor plain, the river which comes down from Lake Irene, the Holiwar, with the fantastic range of the Kuh- i-Haft-Kuh (seven peaks) on its left bank, descending abruptly to the Ab-i-Zaz, beyond which again rises the equally precipitous range of the Kuh-i-Kuhbar. Near the Holiwar valley is a mountain formed by a singular arrangement of rocky buttresses, surmounted by a tooth- like rock, the Tuk-i-Karu, of which the guide told the legend that in " ancient times " a merchant did a large trade in a tent at the top of it, and before he died buried his treasure underneath it. A very striking object from the top is the gorge or canon, the Tang-i-Bahrain, by which the Ab-i-Burujird leaves the plain of Silakhor and enters upon its rough and fretted passage through ravines, for the most part in- accessible except to practised Ilyat mountaineers.