LETTER xxvin ROBBERY BY "DEMAND" 2*79 made under threat of death. The latter mode of robbery is called "demand." The servants of a Kurdish Bey enter and ask for some jars of oil or roglian, a Kashmir shawl, women's ornaments, a jewelled dagger, or a good foal, under certain threats, or they show the owner a bullet in the palm of the hand, intimating that a bullet through his head will be his fate if he refuses to give up his property or informs a,ny one of the demand. In this way (among innumerable other instances) my host at-------/ a much-respected man, had been robbed of five valuable shawls, such as descend from mother to daughter, four handsome coats, and 300 krans in silver. In the last two years ten and fifteen loads of wheat have been taken from him, and four four-feet jars filled with oil and roghan. Four hundred and fifty sheep have like- wise been seized by violence, leaving him with only fifteen; and one night while I was at his house fifty-three of the remaining village sheep, some of which were his, were 1 The complaints to which I became a listener were made by malefcs, bishops, priests, headmen, and others. Exaggerations prevail, and the same story is often told with as many variations as there are narrators. I cannot vouch for anything which, did not come under my own observa- tion. Some narratives dissolved under investigation, leaving a mere nucleus of fact. Those which I thought worthy of being noted down —some of which were published in the Contemporary Eeview in May and June in two papers called The Shadow of the Kurd—were either fortified by corroborative circumstances, or rest on the concurrent testimony as to the main facts of three independent narrators. In some cases I was asked to lay the statements before the British Consul at Erzerum, with the names of the narrators as the authority on which they rested, but in the greater number I was implored not to give names or places, or any means of identification. " We are in fear of our lives if we tell the truth," they urged. Sometimes I asked them if they would abide by what they told me in the event of an investigation by the British Vice-Consul at Yan. " No, no, no, we dare not!" was the usual reply. Under these circumstances, the only course open to me is to withhold the names of persons and places wherever I was pledged to do so, but as a guarantee of good faith I have placed the statements, confidentially, with the names, in the hands of Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.