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Full text of "Journeys In Persia And Kurdistan ( Vol.Ii)."

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LETTER xxvi        A THRONGED HIGHWAY                     219

in their cradles are lying in the fields and vineyards,
while the mothers are at work. This picture of beauty,
fertility, and industry is framed by the Kurdistan moun-
tains on the one side, and on the other by long lines
of poplars, through which there are glimpses of the
deep blue waters of the "Urmi Sea. These Kurdistan
mountains, a prolongation of the Taurus chain, stern
in their character, and dwarfing all the minor ranges,
contrast grandly with the luxuriant plains of Sulduz
and Urmi.

As I passed northwards the villages grew thicker, the
many tracks converged into a wide road which was
thronged with foot passengers, horsemen, camel and horse
caravans, and strings of asses loaded with melons and
wood. Farther yet the road passes through beautiful
orchards with green sward beneath the trees; mud walls
are on both sides, and over them droop the graceful
boughs and gray-green foliage of an elcegnus, with its
tresses of auburn fruit.

At the large village of Geog-tapa a young horseman
overtook me, and said in my native tongue, " Can you
speak English ?" He proved to be a graduate of the
American College at Urmi, and a teacher in Shamasha
Khananeshoo's school (known better to his supporters in
England as Deacon Abraham). He told me that I was
expected, and shortly afterwards I was greeted by the
son of the oldest missionary in Urmi, Dr. Labaree.

The remaining four miles were almost entirely under
the shade of fine trees, past the city walls and gates, put
into tolerable repair after the Kurdish invasion ten years
ago, and out into pretty wooded country, with the grand
mountains of the frontier seen through the trees, where a
fine gateway admitted us into the park in which are the
extra-mural buildings of the American Presbyterian
Mission, now more than half a century old. These are