UEMI THE KURDISH SIEGE OF URMI 225
occurred in 1881, when Obeidullah Khan, with 11,000
Kurds, laid siege to Urmi.
Six months previously, at this Khan's request, Dr.
Cochrane went up a three days' journey into the moun-
tains, where he remained for ten days, during which
time he cured the Khan of severe pneumonia, and
made the acquaintance of several of the Kurdish chiefs.
Before the siege began Obeidullah Khan sent for Dr.
Cochrane, saying that he wished to know his residence
and who his people were, so as to see that none of
them suffered at the hands of his men. Not only this,
but he asked for the names of the Christian villages on
the plain, and gave the Hakim letters with orders that
nothing should be touched which belonged to them.
The mission families were assembled at the College,
and 500 Christians, with their cattle and horses, took
refuge in the College grounds, which were close to the
Kurdish lines. The siege lasted seven weeks, with great
loss of life - and many of " the horrors of war/' as time
increased the fury of both Kurds and Persians. But
Obeidullah kept his word, and for the sake of the Hakim
and his healing art, not only was not a hair on the
head of any missionary touched, but the mixed
multitude within the gates and the herds were likewise
Mrs. Cochrane, the widow of the former medical
missionary, superintends the food and the nursing in the
hospitals, and I doubt whether the most fanatical Kurd
or Persian Moslem could remain indifferent to the charm
of her bright and loving presence. The profession of Dr.
Cochrane opens to him homes and hearts everywhere.
All hold him as a friend and benefactor, and he has
opportunities, denied to all others, of expounding the
Christian faith among Moslems. A letter from him is
a safe-conduct through some parts of the Kurdish
VOL. II Q