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370                  JOURNEYS IN KURDISTAN     LETTER xxxm

that I gave the zaptieh money to pay, and that he gave
only a few coppers to the people—a glaring untruth, for
Murphy pays everything in my presence. Thereupon
Suleiman heat the Khanji with his scabbarded sword, on
which the man struck him, and there was a severe fight,
in the course of which the combatants fell over the end
of my bed. So habituated does one become to scenes
of violence in this country that I scarcely troubled my-
self to say to Murphy, " Tell them to fight outside."

It was a severe day's march over the Bingol Dagh,
and I know little about the country we passed through.
"We skirted a bleak snowy hillside, first in rain and then
in a heavy snowstorm, made a long ascent among drift-
ing snow clouds, saw an ass abandoned by a caravan
shivering in the bitter wind, with three magpies on its
back picking its bleeding wounds, and near the summit
of the Ghazloo Pass encountered a very severe " blizzard,"
so severe that no caravan but my own attempted to face
it, and sixty conscripts en route for Bitlis in charge of
two officers and some cavalry turned back in spite of
words and blows, saying, " We may be shot; better that
than to die on the hillside"! Poor fellows, they are
wretchedly dressed, and many of them have no socks.
The "blizzard" was very awful—"a horror of great
darkness," a bewildering whirl of pin-like snow coming
from all quarters at once, a hurricane of icy wind so
fearful that I had to hold on by the crupper and mane
to avoid being blown out of the saddle; utter confusion,
a deadly grip at my heart, everything blotted out, and
a sense of utter helplessness. Indeed I know of no peril
in which human resources count for so little. After
reaching the summit of the pass the risk was over, but
we were seriously delayed in forcing a passage through
the drift, which was fully seven feet deep. The men
were much exhausted, and they say that " half an hour