LETTER xxv KUKDISH ROAD-GUARDS 201 LETTER XXV (Continued) THE following morning the Sartip turned out in my honour all the road-guards then in Sain Kala to the number of twelve to escort me to the castle of Muhammad Jik, a large village, the residence and property of the Nail Sartip. This was the wildest escort I have had yet. These men were dressed in full Kurdish finery, and besides guns elaborately inlaid with silver and ivory, and swords in much-decorated scabbards, they carried daggers with hilts incrusted with turquoises in their girdles. They went through all the usual-equestrian performances, and added another, which consists in twirling a loaded and clubbed stick in a peculiar manner, and throwing it as far ahead as possible while riding at full gallop, the one who picks it up without dismounting being entitled to the next throw. Very few succeeded in securing it in the regulation manner, and the scrimmage for this purpose was often on the point of becoming a real fight. They worked themselves up to a pitch of wild excitement, screamed, yelled, shouted, covered their horses with sweat and foam, nearly unhorsed each other, and used their sharp bits so unmercifully that the mouth of every horse dripped with blood. After they received laUisheesh they escorted me two miles farther " to honour the Khanwn" fired their guns in the air, salaamed profoundly, and with shrieks and yells left me at a gallop.