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LETTER xxv               SHABBAN COWED                            173

they replied that it was false that they had made any
agreement except to take  me to Urmi in twenty days,
and that they were not afraid of the Prince Governor of
Hamadan, " for he is always asleep, and the Feringhi is
only a Kfianum" I sent to them that I wished to leave
Kooltapa at noon. They replied that they were not going
to move. I was in their power, for they had received
advance pay for seven days, and I said no more about
moving. However, at noon I sent Mirza to read the
agreement to them, and Sharban and his father could not
deny the authenticity of the seal, and a superior villager, *
who could read, testified that Mirza had read it correctly.

They then saw that they had put themselves into a
" tight place/' and sent that they desired to humble them-
selves, saying, " your foot is on our eyes," a phrase of
humility. I took no notice of them all day, but at
sunset sent for Sharban, and telling Mirza not to soften
down my language, spoke to him in few words. " You
have broken your agreement, and you will have to take
the consequences. Your conduct is disgraceful and
abominable, so cowardly that you don't deserve to be
called a man, it is only what one would expect from a
pidar sag. Do you mean to keep your agreement or
not ?" He began to whine, and threw himself at my feet,
but I reluctantly assumed a terrific voice, and saying
" Khamosh! Bero \" (Be silent! Begone !), shut the tent.

JBijar, September 21.  No Persian ever believes
your word, and these poor fellows did not believe that
I had letters to the governors en route. They are now
terribly frightened, and see that a Feringhi, even though
"only a Khanum" cannot be maltreated with impunity.
When I arrived here, even before I sent my letter of
introduction, the Governor sent a farash-lashi with
compliments and offers of hospitality, and afterwards a
strong guard. Then Sharban piteously entreated that I