LETTER xxv A KURDISH CAPITAL 207 disturbed there is the sad spectacle of human skulls and bones lying about, being gnawed by dogs. The graveyard side of Sujbulak is fouler and filthier than anything I have seen, and the odours, even in this beautiful weather, are appalling. The centre of each alley is a broken channel with a broken pavement on each side. These channels were obviously constructed for water, but now contain only a black and stagnant horror, hardly to be called a fluid, choked with every kind of refuse. The bazars are narrow, dark, and busy, full of Eussian commodities, leather goods, ready-made clothing, melons, grapes, and pop-corn. The crowds of men mostly wore the Kurdish or Turkish costume, but black-robed and white-turbaned Seyyids and mollalis were not wanting. Sujbulak, the capital of Northern Persian Kurdistan, and the residence of a governor, is quite an important entrepdt for furs, in which it carries on a large trade with Eussia, and a French firm, it is said, buys up fur rugs to the value of several hundred thousand francs annually. It also does a large business with the Kurdish tribes of the adjacent mountains and the Turkish nomads of the plains, and a considerable trade in gall-nuts. It has twenty small mosques, three hammams, some very inferior caravanserais, and a few coffee-houses. Its meat bazar and its grain and pulse bazars are capacious and well supplied. It has a reputed population of 5000 souls. Kurds largely predominate, but there are so many Turks that the Turkish Government has lately built a very conspicuous consulate, with the aspect of a fortress, and has appointed a consul to protect the interests of its subjects. There are 120 Armenians, who make wine and arak, and are usurers, and gold and silver smiths. The Jews get their living by money-lending, peddling drugs, dyeing cotton goods, selling groceries, and making gold and silver lace.