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

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LETTER xxxin         A DISTURBED NIGHT                        365

one down. The night frosts are sharp, and as we start
before sunrise we are all glad to walk for the first hour.
The night in my tent at Pikhruz was much disturbed,
and I realised that it is somewhat risky for me to have
my servants out of hearing in the depths of a semi-subter-
ranean dwelling. The village dogs raged at times as
though the Kurds were upon them, and every half-hour
the village guards signalled to each other with a long
mournful yell. I was awakened once by a confusion of
diabolical sounds, shots, shrieks, roars, and yells, which
continued for some time and then died away. In the
morning the guards said that the Kurds had attacked a
large caravan on the plain below, but had been repulsed,
and that men on both sides had been wounded.

The following day's march by the silver sheet of the
Kuzik Lake, alive with ducks, divers, and other water
fowl, was very charming. Snow had fallen heavily, and
the Sipan Dagh and the Nimrud Dagh were white more
than half-way down their sides. From the summit of a
very wild pass we bade adieu to the beautiful Sea of Van,
crossed a plain in which is a pretty fresh-water lake
with several villages and much cultivation on its margin,
and, after some hours of solitary mountain travelling,
came down upon the great plain of Norullak, sprinkled
with large villages, very fertile, and watered by the Murad-
chai, the eastern branch of the Euphrates.

1 was to have had an easy march of five hours, and
to have spent Sunday at Shaoub in the comfortable house
of a Protestant pastor with an English-speaking wife, but
the zaptiehs took the wrong road, and as twilight came on
it was found that Shaoub had been left hours behind. I
have been suffering very much from the fatigue of the
very long marches, and only got through this one by re-
peatedly lying down by the roadside while the zaptieJis
went in search of information. After it was quite dark ,