LETTER xxs AEEIVAL AT VAN 333 zaptieh jumped off his horse, threw the bridle to me, and shouldered his rifle. When they saw the Government uniform these Kurds drew back, let the mules go, and passed on. The whole affair took but a few seconds, but it was significant of the unwillingness of the Kurds to come into collision with the Turks, and of the power the Government could exercise in the disturbed districts if it were once understood that the marauders were not to be allowed a free hand. After this attack not a word was spoken, the bells were taken off the mules, the zaptieh, as fine and soldierly a man as one could wish to see, marched in front, quiet and vigilant, and so in a darkness in which I could not see my horse's ears we proceeded till, three hours later, the moon rose as we entered Van. It was one of the eeriest rides I ever made, and I had many painful reflections on having risked through ignorance the property of my faithful Kurdish katirgi. The first light of Yan was a welcome sight, though after that there was a long ride to " the gardens," a large wooded suburb chiefly inhabited by Armenians, in which the American missionaries live. Dr. Reynolds, the medical missionary, has given me a most hospitable welcome, though his small house is more than full with new arrivals from America. I wanted to re- engage my jolly katirgi for Bitlis, but he went back at once with the zaptieh, and after the obvious perils of the road it would not have been fair to detain him. Visitors are scarce here. Van does not see more than one non-official European in three years. The Vice-Consul says that he should have doubted the sanity of any one who had pro- posed to travel from Urmi to Van by the route I took, but now that the journey is safely over I am glad that no one at Urmi knew enough to dissuade me from it. The Vice-Consul and all the mission party are as kind as they can be, and Van is for me another oasis. L L. B.