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284                  JOURNEYS IN KURDISTAN     LETTER xxvm

were fourteen horses, including my own two, and several
buffaloes. The Kurds had dug through the roof of the
granary opposite mine, and through its wall into the
stable, and were on the point of driving out the horses
through the common passage when the hardy mountaineers
rushed upon them. The same night, though it was light
and clear, another house in Gahgoran was dug into, and
a valuable horse belonging to a man in the Patriarch's
train was abstracted. A descent was also made on the
neighbouring village of Vasivawa, which has suffered
severely. Eight zaptieks employed by the villagers at a
high price to watch the threshing-floor, and my own
zaptieh escort, were close at hand.

Horses having at last been obtained from a Kurdish Bey,
I left on Tuesday, the Gahgoran people being stupefied
with dismay at the growing audacity of the Kurds. The
mountain road was very dangerous, but I travelled with
Mar Gauriel and his train, thirteen well armed and
mounted men, besides armed servants on foot. The ice
was half an inch thick, but the sun was very hot. The
mountain views were superb, and the scenery altogether
glorious, but the passes and hillsides are not inhabited.
We were ten hours on the journey, owing to the custom
of frequent halts for smoking and talking.

In the afternoon a party of Syrians with some unladen
baggage mules came over the crest of a hill, preceded by
a figure certainly not Syrian. This was a fair-com-
plexioned, bearded man, with hair falling over his
shoulders, dressed in a girdled cassock which had once
been black, tucked up so as to reveal some curious nether
garments, Syrian socks, and a pair of rope and worsted
shoes, such as the mountaineers wear in scaling heights.
On his head, where one would have expected to see a
college " trencher," was a high conical cap of white felt
with a pagri of black silk twisted into a rope, the true