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

LETTER xxis        AN EPISCOPAL FUGITIVE                    295

unarmed, for their long guns, some of them matchlocks,
are of no use against the rifles of the Kurds, nor dare
they fire in self-defence. Travelling is nearly suspended.
A company of people whose needs call them to Urmi
dare not run the risk of the journey till they can go down
with Mar Gauriel and his large escort. It is evident
that the Patriarch and his people hoped for a British
protectorate as one result of " the Archbishop of Canter-
bury's Mission," and that they are bitterly disappointed
that their condition is growing worse.

" How can we listen to teaching," say some of them,
" when we have no rest ? How can we believe in God
when He lets these things happen to us ? The Almighty
is deaf, and we cease to pray. Can we hear teaching
when the wolf is on us by night and day ? If we let go
the Cross we might be rich and safe. Night by night
we ask, ' Shall we see the morning ?' for our oppressors
wax fiercer daily."

Mar-------, Bishop of-------, mentioned previously as a

fugitive from his diocese, is a fine, pleasant-looking middle-
aged man, more like a sailor than^an ecclesiastic. Late one
night, in a whisper, with a trusty watch at the door, he told
his story, through Qasha,-------, in the following words:

f< I fled, fearing for my life, because many times I had spoken
against the oppressions. The Kurds have carried away most of
the sheep and goats, besides taking all they wished to have, and
they entered through the houses, plundering everything, and burn-
ing two in------. Their words are 'give or die.' I petitioned

Government regarding the oppressions, and Mohammed Bey came,
and by threat of death he got my seal, and wrote in my name a
letter, saying it was all false, there were no oppressions, and he was a
very good man, and he signed it with my seal, and it went to Stam-
boul. My seal has now been for one year in the hands of Moham-
med Bey, who has killed about thirty Christians in Berwar. Three
months ago I fled to save my life.