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

LETTER xx                   THE AB-I-DIZ                               115

district of Faraidan, and receives the important tributaries
of the G-uwa and the Gokun before its junction with
the Ab-i-Burujird. A tributary rising in the Kuh-i-
Eang has been locally considered the head-water of the
Ab-i-Diz.

Leaving the Ab-i-Diz, the path pursues valleys with
streams and dry torrent-beds, much wooded with oak and
hawthorn, with hills above, buff with uncut sun-cured hay,
magnificent pasturage, but scantily supplied with water.

The lelut, or oak, grows abundantly in these valleys,
and on it is chiefly collected the deposit called gaz, a
sweetish glaze upon the leaf, which is not produced every
year, and which is rather obscure in its origin. When
boiled with the leaves it forms a shiny bottle-green mass,
but when the water is drained from them and carefully
slammed, it cools into a very white paste which, when
made up with-rose-water and chopped almonds, is cut
into blocks, and is esteemed everywhere. It is mentioned
by Diodorus Siculus.1 The unwatered valleys are wooded
with the PaUurus aculeata chiefly, and the jujube tree
(Zizyphus vulgaris), which abounds among the Bakhtiari
mountains.

The heat was frightful, and progress was very slow,
owing to the low projecting branches of trees, which de-
layed the baggage and tore some of the tents. In places
the path was further obstructed by a species of liana
known in New Zealand as " a lawyer," with hooked thorns.

We passed by the steep ledgy village of Shahbadar,
on the roofs of which I rode inadvertently, till the shouts
of the people showed me my error, and encamped on
the only available spot which could be found, a steep,
bare prominence above a hollow, in which is a spring
surrounded by some fine plane trees. The Shahbadar
people live in their village for three winter months only,

1 Book xvii. c. viii.