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170                     JOURNEYS IN PERSIA            LETTER xxv

connected by a stream, and the camping-ground, a fine
piece of level sward, much of which was already occupied
by two Turkish caravans, with 100 horses in each, and
a man to every ten. The loads were all carefully stacked,
covered with rugs, and watched by very large and fierce

I lay down in the slmldari, feeling really ill. Four
o'clock, five o'clock, sunset came, but no caravan. Johannes
was quite ill, but went to the village to hire a samovar,
and to try to get tea and supplies. There was neither
tea nor samovar, and no supplies but horse food and
some coarse cheese and blanket bread, too sour and dirty
to be eaten. Long after dark they brought a little milk.
Boy was locked up in a house, and I rolled myself in his
blanket and the few wraps I had with me, and, making
the best of circumstances, tried to sleep; but it was too
cold, and the position too perilous, and Johannes, who had
loaded his gun with ball, overcome with fatigue, instead
of watching was sound asleep. At eleven Mirza's voice,
though it said, "Madam, these charvadars won't do for
you, they are wicked men," was very welcome. They
had stopped half-way, and four of them, including
Sharban's father, had dragged him off his horse with
some violence, and had unloaded it. He appealed to
the village headman, who, after wrangling with them
for some hours, persuaded them to let him have a mule,
and come to Kooltapa with the servants' tent, my bed,
and other comforts, and sent two armed guides with him.

The larger tent was pitched and I went to bed, and
not having the nettings which hang from the roof of my
Cabul tent, and are a complete security against mere
pilferers, I put all I could under the blankets and
arranged the other things within reaich of my hand in
the middle of the tent. I also burned a light, having
learned that Kooltapa is a dangerous place. At mid-