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132                       JOURNEYS IN PERSIA            LETTER xxi

routes with the best agricultural and commercial regions
of Persia to the north, east, and west by easy roads, never
snow-blocked, or at least they never need be if there were
traffic enough to keep them open. It is only 130 miles
from rich Kirrnanshah, 90 from the fertile district which
surrounds Hamadan, 60 from Sultanabad, the most im-
portant carpet-producing region of "Western Persia, and
rich besides in grain and cotton, 140 from Kum, on the
main road from Isfahan to Tihran, something about 230
from Tihran, and only 310 from Ahwaz.

These routes are all easy, though, so far as I know
them, very badly supplied with caravanserais, except on the
main road between the two capitals. The southern road,
leading through Ehuramabad to Dizful and Shuster, has
no great natural difficulties, though part of it lies through
a mountainous region. Some blasting and much boulder-
lifting would, according to Colonel Bell, remedy the evils
of the fifty miles of it which he regards as bad. But,
apart from this, the Shuster - Burujird route, the most
natural route for north and south-western Persian com-
merce to take to and from the sea, is at present useless
to trade from its insecurity, as the Feili Lurs, through
whose territory it passes, own no authority, live by
robbery when they have any one to rob, and are always
fighting each other.

There are no regular charvadars in Burujird, and
many and tedious have been the difficulties in the way
of getting off. Up to last night I had no mules, and
Hadji said mournfully, " When you learn what other char-
vadars are like, you'll think of me." I have taken leave
of Aziz Khan with regret. He echoes the oft-repeated
question, "Why does not England come and give us
peace ? In a few years we should all be rich, and not.
have to fight each other." - " Stay among us for some
years," he said, " and you will get very rich. What have