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

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LETTER sxxm                 GAY BAZARS                               359

and dark as they are, the sunbeams rarely entering
through their woven roofs. The stalls were piled with
fruits, roots, strange vegetables, red home-dyed cottons,
gay gear for horses, daggers and silver chains such as
Kurds love, gay Kurdish clothing, red boots with toes
turned up for tying to the knees, pack-saddles, English
cottons (" Mankester "), mostly red, and pipes of all kinds.
There was pottery in red and green, huge earthen jars
for the storage of water, brooms, horse-shoes, meat, curds,
cheeses, and everything suited to the needs of a large
and mixed population, and men seated in the shops plied
their curious trades.

Emerging into the full sunlight on the waggon road
to Erzerum, we met strings of girls carrying water-jars
on their backs from the wells, and long trains of asses
and pack-bullocks bringing in produce, mixed ^ up with
foot passengers and Kurds on showy horses. Bitlis
rejoices in abundant streams, wells, fountains, and mineral
springs, some strongly chalybeate, others resembling the
Vichy waters. The grandly picturesque city with its
piled-up houses, its barred windows suggestive of peril,
its colossal ruins, its abounding waters, its bridges, each
one more remarkable than the other, its terraced and
wooded heights and the snow-crested summits which
tower above them, with their cool blue and purple shadows,
disappeared at a turn of the road, and there too my
friends left me to pursue my perilous journey alone.

The day was superb, and full of fine atmospheric
effects. As we crossed the Kahwan Plain the great
mountains to the west were enshrouded in wild drifting
mists, through which now and then peaks and ledges,
white with recent snow, revealed themselves, to be
hidden in blackness the next moment. Over the plain
the blue sky was vaulted, and the sun shone bright and
warm, while above the mountains to the south of Lake