LETTER xxn A RECEPTION 139
pressed me very hospitably to leave my tent and live
with them, and when I refused they sent me a dinner of
Persian dishes with sweetmeats made by their own hands.
The kabols were quite appetising. They are a favourite
Persian dish, made of pieces of seasoned meat roasted on
skewers, and served very hot, between flaps of very hot
bread. Each bit of meat is rubbed with an onion before
being put on the skewer, and a thin slice of tail fat is
put between every two pieces. The cooks show great
art in the rapidity with which they rotate a skewer full
of Jcabols over a fierce charcoal fire.
In the evening, at the ketchuda's request, I held a
" reception " outside my tent, and it was a very pleasant,
merry affair. Several of the people brought their children,
and the little things behaved most graciously. It is very
pleasant to see the devotion of the men to them. I told
them that in England many of our people are so poor
that instead of children being welcome they are regarded
ruefully as additional " mouths to feed." " Ah/' said the
Jcetchuda, a handsome Seyyid, " your land is then indeed
under the curse of God. We would like ten children at
once, they are the joy of our lives." Other men fol-
lowed, expatiating on the delights of having children to
pet and play with on their return from work.
Sahmine not only dyes and prints cottons, but it ex-
ports wheat, barley, opium, cotton, and fruit, and appears
a more important and prosperous place than Daulatabad,
the capital of the district.
The fine valley between Sahmine and Daulatabad is
irrigated by a kanaat and canals, and is completely cul-
tivated, bearing heavy crops of wheat, cotton, tobacco,
opium, Iringals, and castor oil. The wheat is now being
carried to the villages on asses' backs in great nets, lashed
to six-foot poles placed in front and behind, each pole
being kept steady by a man.