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LETTER xxv         AN UNTRAINED SERVANT                   177

style, wear black sleeveless jackets vandyked and tasselled,
red skirts, and black handkerchiefs rolled round their heads.
Little Persian is spoken or even understood, and every-
thing indicates that the limit of Persia proper, i.e. the
Persia of Persians, has been passed. Gaukhaud is a village
of 350 houses, grows wheat, barley, grapes, and melons;
and though a once splendid caravanserai on a height is
roofless and ruined, and the village has no better water
than an irrigation ditch, it is said to be fairly prosperous.

The march to Babarashan is for twenty miles along a
featureless irrigated valley about a mile wide, with grass
and stubble, several beehive villages, and mud hills never
over 150 feet high on either side. Crossing a brick
bridge over a trifling stream, and passing through the
large village of Tulwar, where men who were burying a
corpse politely laid fried funeral-cakes flavoured with
sesamum on my saddle-bow, -we ascended over low
scorched hills, much ploughed for winter sowing, to the
beehive village of Babarashan, of 18 0 houses, abundantly
supplied with water, where we camped close to some
tents of the Kara Tepe and a large caravan. The dust
blown across the camp from the threshing-floors was ob-
noxious but inevitable. The " sharp threshing instruments
having teeth" are not used in this region, but mobs of
animals, up to a dozen, tied together, oxen, cows, horses,
and asses, are driven over the wheat.

I am finding the disadvantages of having an untrained
servant. Johannes that evening ran hither and thither
without method, never finished anything, spent an hour
in bargaining for a fowl, failed to get his fire to burn,
consequently could not cook or make tea, and I went
supperless to bed. The same confusion prevailed the
next morning, but things have been better since. No
life is so charming as camp life, but incompetent servants
are a great drawback.

YOL. II                                                                             N