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244                      JOUBNEYS IN PEESIA          LETTER sxvii

reply through an interpreter, and reminded them of the
glories of their historic church and its missionary fervour.

Geog-tapa (cerulean hill) possesses one of the largest
of the Zoroastrian mounds of ashes. It is a pity that
these are not protected, and that the villagers are allowed
to carry away the soil for manure, and to break up the
walls and cells (?) which are imbedded in them for building
materials. This vandalism has brought to notice various
curious relics, such as earthenware vessels of small size
and unique shape, and a stone tomb containing a human
skeleton, with several copper spikes from four to five
inches long driven into its skull. In another mound, at
some distance from this one, a large earthen sarcophagus
was discovered, also containing a skeleton with long nails
driven into its skull.

Deacon Abraham's work is on the right lines, being
conducted entirely by Syrians. It is most economic-
ally managed, and the children are trained in the simple
habits of Syrian peasants. The religious instruction is
bright and simple. The boys receive an elementary
education, a practical training in agriculture on some
lands belonging to the Orphanage, and in various useful
handicrafts. As much of the money for the support of
this work is raised in England, it is satisfactory to know
that the accounts are carefully audited by the American

The days have flown by, for, in addition to the social
whirl, I have been occupied in attempts, only partially
successful, to provide myself with necessaries for the
journey, and in an endeavour, altogether unsuccessful, to
replace Johannes by a trustworthy servant. The kind
friends here have lent me a few winter garments out of
their slender stock, and have helped me in every way.

It has been most difficult to get charvadars. The
country on the other side of the frontier is said to