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

LETTER xxvin         AN ANGLICAN PRIEST                       285

Tyari turban. This was Mr. Browne, one of the English
Mission clergy, who, from living for nearly four years
among the Syrians of the mountains, helping them and
loving them, has almost become one of them. He was
going to Diza to get winter supplies before his departure
for one of the most inaccessible of the mountain valleys, but
with considerate kindness turned back to Kochanes with
me, and remains here until I leave. This fortunate ren-
contre adds the finishing touch to the interest of this
most fascinating Kurdistan journey.

Crossing the Kandal Pass, we descended on the ham-
let of Shawutha, superbly situated on a steep declivity
at the head of a tremendous ravine leading to the Zab,
blocked apparently by mountains violet-purple against
a crimson sky, with an isolated precipitous rock in the
foreground, crowned by an ancient church difficult of
access. Below the village are fair shelving lawns, with
groups of great walnut trees, hawthorn, and ash, yellow,
tawny, and crimson—a scene of perfect beauty in the
sunset, while the fallen leaves touched the soft green turf
with ruddy gold. The camping-grounds were very fair,
but the villagers dared not let me camp. The Kurds
were about, and had exacted a ewe and lamb from
every house. Owing to the influx of strangers, it was
difficult to get any shelter, and I slept in a horse and ox
stable, burrowed in the hillside, the passage to the family
living-room, without any air holes, hot and stifling, and
used my woollen sheets for curtains. The village is
grievously smitten by the " cattle plague." In telling me
of the loss of <s four bulls" within three days, my host
used an expression which is not uncommon here, " By the
wealth of God, and the head of Mar Shimun."

Yesterday we descended 1500 feet, alongside of a
torrent fringed with scarlet woods, and halted where the
Shawutha, Kochanes, and Diz valleys meet at the fords