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

LETTER xxvin           A KURDISH CHIEF                          265

cave rather than a house. Yet Hesso receives 200 a
year from the Persian Government, and has apparently
unlimited opportunities for plunder.

There were some coarse mats on the floor, and a
samovar with some Russian glass tea-cups. Two Persian
officials and a number of well-armed and splendidly-
dressed Kurds, with jewelled Jchanjars and revolvers in
their girdles and rifles by their sides, sat or reclined
against the wall. Hesso himself leaned against a roll of
bedding at the upper end of the room, and space was
made for us on the floor at his left hand. A superb
stage brigand he looked, in fitting surroundings, the
handsomest man I have seen in Persia, a large man,
with a large face, dark prominent eyes, a broad brow, a
straight nose, superb teeth, a fine but sensual mouth, a
dark olive complexion, and a false smile. A jewelled
Kurdish turban with much crimson, a short jacket and
full trousers of a fine cream-coloured woollen fabric, an
embroidered silk shirt, socks of an elaborate pattern, a
girdle of many yards of Kashmir stuff, with eight knots,
one above another, in the middle, and a kJielat or coat of
honour of rich Kerman brocade formed his striking
costume. In his girdle he wore a Jchanjar, with an ebony
hilt and scabbard ornamented with filigree gold knobs
incrusted with turquoises, attached to the girdle by a
silver chain two yards long, of heavy filigree balls, a
beautiful piece of work. Hesso's brothers, superb men,
most picturesquely dressed, surrounded him. The Kurds
who handed round the tea and the jewelled kalians looked
fantastic brigands. The scene was a picture.

Of course my errand failed. I could not speak about
the sheep through the priest of the robbed village, and
Hesso said that he could not speak on any " political"
subject before the Persians who were present. The
conversation was not animated, and Qasha Bardah was