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LETTER xx              A WATERED GARDEN                        125

of the whole was the contrast between the " dry and
thirsty land where no water is " and abundant moisture,
between the scanty and scorched herbage of the arid
mountains and the " trees planted by the rivers of water,"
but I confess that the length and overpowering fatigue of
that thirty-three miles' march, much of it in blazing heat,
following on three nights without sleep, soon dulled
my admiration of the plain. Hour after hour passed
on its gravelly margin, then came melon beds, files of
donkeys loaded with melons in nets, gardens of cucum-
bers and gourds, each with its " lodge," irrigation channels,
dykes, apricot and mulberry orchards, lanes bordered
with the graceful elcegnus, a large and busy village, where
after a very uncertain progress we got a local guide, and
then a low isolated hill, crowned by a dwelling arranged
for security, and a liberally planted garden, a platform
with terraced slopes and straight formal walks, a terrace
with a fine view, and two tanks full of turtles (which
abound in many places) under large willows, giving a
pleasant shade. Between them I have pitched my
tents, with the lines of an old hymn constantly occurring
to meó

" Interval of grateful shade,
Welcome to my weary head."

Burujird, one and a half mile off, and scarcely seen
above the intervening woods, gives a suggestion of civilisa-
tion to the landscape. In the sunset, which is somewhat
fiery, Shuturun and the precipices of the Tang-i-Bahrain
are reddening.

The last three marches have been more severe than
the whole travelling of the last three months. Happy
thought, that no call to " boot and saddle" will break
the stillness of to-morrow morning!                 I. L. B.