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LETTER xxvi     AN " INTOLERABLE CEIME"                  211


TURKMAN, Oct. 6.

RISING very early on Friday morning to keep my appoint-
ment -with the ladies of the Governor of Sujbulak, as well
as to obtain a letter from him, I reached the palace
entrance a little after sunrise, the hour agreed upon.
The walls and gateway are crumbling, the courtyard is in
heaps, the glass windows of the fa$ade and towers are much
broken, the plaster is mangy—a complete disappointment.
The Kurdish guard slept soundly at the entrance; only
a big dog, more faithful than man, was on the alert.
The Governor was not yet awake, nor the ladies. It would
be an ce intolerable crime/' the sentry said, to waken them.
He looked as if he thought it an " intolerable crime"
that his own surreptitious slumbers had been disturbed.
It is contrary to Persian etiquette to* waken persons of
distinction till they please. I waited at the entrance for
half an hour and then reluctantly departed, very sorry
not to give the ladies the opportunity they ardently
desired of seeing a European woman. They had sent
word that they had only once in their lives seen one!

The march to the poor village of Mehemetabad was
over uninteresting low rounded hills and through a
valley without habitations, opening upon a fine plain, at
the south-east end of which the village stands. The
camping-ground was a green fallow near some willows
and a stream. After marching for some hours under