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

LETTER xxvni             A NIGHT ALARM                            283

They held out no hope of getting baggage animals, and I
returned to the sheepfold.

It was a long day. The servants did not arrive till
night, and Kochanes receded hourly ! Many people came
for medicine, and among them a very handsome man
whose house was entered by Kurds a month ago, who
threatened him with death unless he surrendered his
possessions. After this he and his brothers fled and hid
among the wheat, but fearing to be found and killed, they
concealed themselves for a fortnight in the tall reeds of
a marsh. He is now subject to violent fits of trembling.
" My illness is fear/' the poor fellow said. Three hundred
sheep had been taken from him and twenty-five gold liras ;
his grass had been burned, "and now," he said, "the
oppressor Hazela Bey says, e give me the deeds of your
lands, if not I will kill you/ " He had been a MaleJc,
and was so rich that he entertained travellers and their
horses at all times. Now his friends have to give him
wheat wherewith to make bread.

The house of QasJia Jammo has granaries at each side
of the low door, a long dark passage leading into a
subterranean stable With a platform for guests, and a
living-room, on a small scale, like the one at Marbishu.
A space was cleared in the granary for my bed among
wheat, straw, ploughs, beetles, starved cats, osier grain-
tubs coated with clay, six feet high, and agricultural gear
of all sorts. It was a horrid place, and the door would
not bolt. After midnight I was awakened by a sound as
if big rats were gnawing the beams. I got up and
groping my way to the door heard it more loudly, went
into the passage, looked through the chinks in the outer
door, and saw a number of Kurds armed with guns. I
retreated and fired my revolver in the granary, which
roused the dogs, and the dogs roused the twenty strangers
who were receiving the priest's hospitality. In the stable