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

LETTER xxs             A COLD EECEPTION                         327

wheels, one of them two feet in diameter and the other
only ten inches. The big wheel runs in the last furrow,
and the little one 0n 'the soil not yet upturned, the axle
being level. Some of these ploughs were drawn by eight
buffaloes, with a boy, singing an inharmonious tune,
seated facing backwards on each yoke. After the
ploughing, water is turned on to soften the clods, which
are then broken up by the husbandmen with spades.

There is a great charm about the scenery as seen at
this season, the glorious colouring towards sunset, the
fantastic forms and brilliant tints of the rocks, and the
purity of the new-fallen snow upon the heights; but
between Kotranis and Van, except for a little planting
in the " Valley of the Armenians," there is scarcely a
bush. If I had warm clothing I should regard the
temperature as perfect, nearly 50° at noon, and falling
to about 25° at night. After a severe march, a descent
and a sudden turn in the road brought us in the purple
twilight to Merwanen, the chief village of Norduz,
streamily situated on a slope—a wretched village, semi-
subterranean; a partly finished house, occupied by a newly
arrived Kaimakam and a number of zcvptiehs, rising
above the miserable hovels, which, bad as they are, were
all occupied by the ITaimakam's attendants. Zaptielis,
soldiers, Kurds, and villagers assured me that there was no
room anywhere, and an officer, in a much-frogged uniform,
drove my men from pillar to post, not allowing us stand-
ing room on the little dry ground that there was. I
humbly asked if I could pitch my tent, but a rough
negative was returned. A subterranean buffalo stable,
where there was just room among the bxiffaloes for me
to lie down in a cramped position, was the only available
shelter, and there was none for the servants. I do not
much mind sharing a stable with JSdy, but I " draw the
line" at buffaloes, and came out again into the frosty