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

360                 JOUBNEYS IN KUEDISTAN     LETTER ssxin

Van white clouds were piled in sunlit masses. After
halting at Tadvan, a pleasant village among streams,
fountains, gardens, and fruit trees, we skirted the lake
along pleasant cultivated slopes and promontories with
deep bays and inlets to G-udzag, where I spent the evening
in an odah, retiring to sleep in my small tent, pitched in
the village, where a big man with a gun, and wearing a
cloak of goatskin reaching to his feet, kept up a big fire
and guarded me till morning. The water froze in my
basin during the night. The odah was full of Armenians,
and Murphy interpreted their innumerable tales* of wrong
and robbery. " Since the Erzerum troubles," so the tales
ran, "the Kurds kill men as if they were partridges."
On asking them why they do not refuse to be robbed by
" demand," they replied, " Because the Kurds bring big
sticks and beat us, and say they will cut our throats."
They complained of the exactions of the zaptielis and of
being tied to the posts of their houses and beaten when
they have not money wherewith to pay the taxes.

Starting at sunrise on the following morning I had a
very pleasant walk along the sweet shore of the lake,
while water, sky, and mountains were blended in a flood
of rose and gold, after which, skirting a wooded inlet, on
the margin of which the brown roofs of the large village
of Zarak were scarcely seen amidst the crimson foliage,
and crossing a low range, we descended upon a plain at
the head of a broad bay, on the farther side of which,
upon a level breezy height, rose the countless monoliths
and lofty mausoleums of Akhlat, which I had made a long
detour to see. The plain is abundantly watered, and its
springs were surrounded with green sward, poplars, and
willows, while it was enlivened by numerous bullock-
carts, lumbering and creaking on their slow way with the
latest sheaves of the harvest.

After winding up a deep ravine we came upon a great