LETTER xxrv REVENONS A NOS MOUTONS 165
is here, but the grapes are put into a coarse bag, through
which the juice drops without pressure. The gluten
being - retained by the bag, fermentation does not take
place, and a bottle of the juice, even if left without a
cork, retains its excellence till it dries up.
Hamadan, September 15.—" jRevenons fa nos moutons "—
the moutons in this instance being my travelling arrange-
ments. Three roads go to Urmi from Hamadan, one, the
usual caravan route wd Tabriz, the commercial capital of
Persia, and round the north end of Lake Urmi, very long,
but safe; another called the " Kurdistan route," which no
charvadar will take by reason of its danger; and a third
by Sujbulak, the capital of Persian Kurdistan, twenty
marches, only five of which are reported as risky. I
decided on the last, but it was only two days ago that I
was able to get a charvadar willing to undertake the
journey. " It is too late," they say, " there are robbers on
the road," they " don't know the way," or " provender is
dear," or " snow will come on" before they can return.
Kerbelai, the excellent fellow who brought my loads from
Burujird, wished to go, and I engaged him gladly, but
afterwards his father came and declared he could not let
him go, for he did not know the way, and would be robbed.
Another man was engaged, but never reappeared.
Soon after I came a tall, well-dressed rich Turk, the
owner of sixty mules, applied for the engagement, and we
think that by certain underhand proceedings, familiar to
the Persian mind, he has driven off other competitors,
and made himself my last resource. I engaged him on
Saturday, and the mules and Mirza went off this morning.
An agreement was drawn up in Persian and English
placing five mules under my absolute control, to halt or
march as I desire, at thirteen pence a day each so long
as I want them, with two men, " handing over the mules
and men" to me till I reach Urrni, which arrival is to