LETTER xx THE NIZAM-UL-KHILWAR 121
frequently. Ten infantrymen arrived as a guard and
stacked their arms under the willows, and four obsequious
servants brought me trays of fruit and sweetmeats put
up in vine leaves from the Governor. Melons are a drug.
The servants are amusing themselves in the bazars. It
is a bewildering transition.
The altitude is only 4050 feet, and the heat is awful—
the heat of the Indian plains without Indian appliances.
When the men took up stones with which to hammer %he
tent pegs they dropped them " like hot potatoes." The
paraffin candles melt. Milk turns sour in one hour.
Even night brings little coolness. It is only heat and
darkness instead of heat and light.
I was too much exhausted by heat and fatigue to
march last night, and rested to-day as far as was possible,
merely going to pay my respects to the Governor of
Luristan, the ISTizam-ul-Khilwar, and the ladies of his
haram. The characteristics of this official's face are
anxiety and unhappiness. There was the usual Persian
etiquette—attendants in the rear, scribes and mollahs
bowing and kneeling in front, and tea and cigarettes in
the pretty garden of the palace, of which cypresses, pome-
granates, and roses are the chief features. Mirza was
not allowed to attend me in the andarun, but a munsM
who spoke a little very bad French and understood less
stood behind a curtain and attempted to interpret, but
failed so signally that after one or two compliments I
was obliged to leave, after ascertaining that a really
beautiful girl of fourteen is the " reigning favourite."
The women's rooms were pretty, and the women them-
selves were richly but elegantly dressed, and graceful in
manner, though under difficulties. After a visit to the
ruined fort, an interesting and picturesque piece of
masonry, I rode unmolested through the town and bazars.
Khuramabad, the importance of which lies in its