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LETTER xxiv         LIFE ON HOUSE -ROOFS                        157


HAMADAN, Sept. 14.

I AM visiting the three lady teachers of the Faith
Huhbard Boarding School for girls, and the visit is an
oasis on my journey. It is a most cheerful house, a
perfect hive of industry, each one being occupied with
things which are worth doing. I cannot say how kind
and how helpful they have all been to me, and with
what regret I am leaving them.

The house is large, plain, airy, and thoroughly sanitary,
very well situated, with an open view over the Hamadan
plain. It is closely surrounded by the houses of the
Armenian quarter, and all those domestic operations
which are performed on the roofs in hot weather are
easily studied, such as the drying of clothes and herbs,
the cleaning of heads, the beating of children, the bring-
ing out of beds at night, and the rolling them up in the
morning, the " going to bed" of families much bundled
up, the performance of the very limited ablutions which
constitute the morning toilette, and the making and
mending of clothes, the roof being for many months both
living-room and bedroom.

At sunset, as in all Persian towns, a great hush falls
on Hamadan. Only people who have. business are seen
in the streets, the bazars are closed, and from sunset to
sunrise there would be complete silence were it not for
the yelping and howling of the scavenger dogs and the