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LETTER xxxii              A FALSE ALARM                            34*7

kill the tree, and after a time the bark grows over much
of the uncovered portion of the trunk, only a scar being

At sunset that evening 800 sheep were driven into
the village sheepfold just below the roof on which my
tent was pitched, and it was a very picturesque scene,
men pushing their way through them to find their own
sheep by ear-mark, women with 'difficulty milking ewes
here and there, big dogs barking furiously from the roofs
above, and all the sheep bleating at once. In winter they
are all housed and hand fed. The snow lies six feet
deep, and Ghazit can communicate neither with Bitlis
nor Van. It is the " milk of the flocks " which is prized.
Cows' milk is thought but little of. I made my supper
of one of the great articles of diet in Turkey, boiled
cracked wheat, sugar, and yokoort, artificially soured milk,
looking like whipped cream.

I was glad to escape to my tent from the heat and
odours of the odah, even though I had to walk over sheep's
backs to get up to the roof. I had a guard of two men,
and eight more armed with useless matchlock guns
watched the sheepfold. I was awakened by a tremendous
noise, the barking of infuriated dogs close to me, the
clashing of arms and the shouts of men, mixed up with
the rapid firing of guns not far off on the mountain side,
so near, indeed, that I could see the flashes. It was a
Kurdish alarm, but nothing came of it. A village which
we passed a few hours later was robbed of 600 sheep,

Leaving beautiful Ghazit before the sun rose upon it
the next morning, we spent some hours in skirting the
lake, and in crossing elevated passes and following paths
along hillsides covered with oaks, the russet leaves of
which are being cut for winter "keep," The dwarf
juniper is also abundant. After crossing a pass on the