Skip to main content

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

See other formats

326                  JOURNEYS IN KURDISTAN       LETTER xxx

floor, and the zaptiehs were most unwilling to drive off the
marauders, saying that their only orders were to protect
me. The Kurds, who were at least ten to one, retired
when they saw the Government uniforms, hut the big dogs
barked for the rest of the night.

The next day's march occupied eleven hours. It
was very cold, "light without heat/' superb travelling
weather. One zaptieli was a Moslem, the other an
Armenian, and there were strong differences of opinion
between them, especially when we halted to rest at a
Christian village, and the Kurdish Jcatirgi took several
sheaves of corn from a threshing-floor without paying for
them. The Moslem insisted that he should not pay, and
the Christian that he should, and it ended by my paying
and deducting the sum from his lakJisheesh. The zaptiehs
are usually men who have served five years with the
colours. In Eastern Asia Minor they are well clothed
in dark blue braided uniforms, and have ulsters in
addition for cold weather. They provide their own
horses. Their pay is eighty piastres a month, with
rations of bread for themselves and of barley for their
animals, but the pay is often nine months in arrear, or
they receive it in depreciated paper. They are accused
of being directly or indirectly concerned in many rob-
beries, and of preying on the peasantry. They are
armed with Snider rifles, swords, and revolvers. From
the top of a high pass above Kotranis there was a final
view of the Jelu mountains, and the remainder of the
day was spent among hills, streams, and valleys, with
rich fertile soil and abundant water, but very thinly

A very ingenious plough has taken the place of the
primitive implement hitherto used. The share is big and
heavy, well shod with iron, and turns up the soil to a
great' depth. The draught is from an axle with two