290 JOUBNEYS IN KURDISTAN LETTER xxix to be witnessed in the hall, which is roughly paved with irregular slabs of stone. On the rude stone settle men are sitting or sleeping, or a carpenter is using it as his bench, or a sheep is being cut up on it. At the end of a passage is the "house," a high, big, blackened room, with shelving floors of earth and rock, ovens in the floors, great quaraglis holding grain, piles of wood, men sawing logs, huge pots, goat-skins of butter hanging from the rafters, spinning-wheels, a loom, great roughly-cut joints of meat, piles of potatoes, women ceaselessly making blankets of bread, to be used as tablecloths before being eaten, preparations for the ceaseless meals involved by the unbounded hospitality of the house, and numbers of daggered serving-men, old, women, and hangers-on. This room is only lighted from the doors and from a hole in the roof. Nearly opposite is a low dark lobby, from which open my room, sixteen feet square, with walls three feet thick, and Mar Shimun's room, about the same size, which serves him for sleeping, eating, reception-room, and office. On the same side of the hall are two guest-rooms, now packed to their utmost capacity, and a large room in which Ishai, the Patriarch's half-brother, a young man of exceeding beauty, lives, with his lovely wife, Asiat, and their four children. In a ruinous-looking tower attached to the main building Mr. Browne has his abode, up a steep ladder. Below there are houses inhabited by the Patriarch's relations, one of whom, Marta, is a dignified and charming woman, and the mother of Mar Auraham, the Patriarch-designate, whose prospective dignity is the subject of much intrigue. The presiding genius of the Patriarch's household is his sister Sulti, a capable woman of forty, who has re- mained unmafried in order to guide his house, and who rules as well as guides. When she sleeps I know not.