LETTER xxv OFFICIAL POLITENESS 18V he was most courteous. He sent his secretary to ask me to spend a day or two at his house, and told him, in case I could not, to remain for the night to arrange for my comfort and safety, an order very efficiently carried out.1 He sent word also that if I could not accept his hospitality I was still to be his guest, and not to pay for anything—a kindness which, for several reasons, I never accept. He added, that though the road was safe, he should send three sowars " to show the Khanum honour," and they had received strict orders not to accept any present. The men who attempted to rob my caravan spent the night here, and, as they had robbed them before, the villagers were very glad of the protection of the Governor's scribe and my sowars. Sujlulak, October 2.—Having been "courteously en- treated," I sent on the caravan and servants at day- break, and, having the sowars with me, was able to make the march to Geokahaz at a fast pace. The sowars were three wild-looking Kurds, well mounted, and in galloping Boy had to exert himself considerably to keep up with them, and they obviously tried to force his pace. The day was cool, cool enough for a sheepskin coat, and the air delightful. The halcyon season for Persian travelling has come, the difficulties are over, and the fever has left me. Brown, bare, and bushless as are the rolling hills over which the road passes, it would be im- 1 I have very great pleasure in acknowledging a heavy debt of gratitude to Persian officials, high and low, for the courtesy with which I was uniformly treated. It is my practice in travelling to make my arrange- ments very carefully, to attend personally to every detail, and to give other people as little trouble as possible, but in Persia, when off the beaten track, the insecurity of some of the roads, the need of guards at night when one is living in camp, and the frequent insubordination and duplicity of charvadars render a reference to the local authorities occa- sionally imperative; and not only has the needed help been given, but it has been given courteously, and I have always been, treated as respectfully as an English lady would expect to be in her own country.