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96                      JOUKNEYS IN PEESIA              LETTER ss

Yesterday evening the balance of opinion was definitely
against the Holiwar route, and Hadji was so vehemently
against it that he shook a man who said it was passable.
This morning the Sahib with a guide and Abbas Ali
examined the road. The Sahib thought it was passable.
Abbas Ali said that the mules would slip off the shelving
rocks. All day long there have been Lur visitors, some
saying one thing, and some another, but a dream last
night reconciled Hadji to take the route, and the Agha,
after carefully weighing the risks all round has decided
upon it.

All these pros and cons have been very interesting,
and there have been various little incidents. I have had
many visitors and "patients" from the neighboiiring
camp, and among them three of the men who" fired upon

The trifle of greatest magnitude was the illness of
Aziz's mare, the result of a kick from Screw. She had
an enormous swelling from knee to shoulder, could not
sleep, and could hardly eat, and as she belongs partly to
Isfandyar Khan, Aziz Khan has been distracted about
her, and has distracted me by constant appeals to me to
open what seemed an abscess. I had not the courage
for this, but it was done, and the cut bled so profusely
that a pad, a stone, and a bandage had to be applied.
Unfortunately there was no relief from this venture, and
Aziz " worrited" me out of my tent three times in the
night to look at the creature. Besides that, he had
about twenty ailing people outside the tent at 6 A.M.,
always sending to me to " come at once/'

He was told to wash the wound, but he would do
nothing till I went out with my appliances, very
grudgingly, I admit. The sweet animal was indeed
suffering, and the swelling was much increased. A
number of men were standing round her, and when I