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

372

JOURNEYS IN KURDISTAN    LETTER xxxm

the odalis at night, and as Murphy lost no opportunity
of showing up the poor fellow's want of travelling savoir-
faire, he would have had a bad time but for his philo--
sophical temperament and imperturbable good-nature. I
suffered very much from my spine, but the men were
all kind, and tried to make things easy for me, and the
zaptiehs were attentive and obliging.

Kurdistan is scarcely a " geographical expression," and
colloquially the word is used to cover the country in-
habited by the Kurds. They are a mysterious people,
having maintained themselves in their original seats and
in a condition of semi-independence through all the
changes which have passed over Western Asia, though
they do not exceed numerically two and a quarter
millions of souls. Such as they were when they opposed
the retreat of the Ten Thousand they seem to be still.
War and robbery are the business of Kurdish life.

One   great interest  of this journey is  that it lies

through a country in
which Kurds, Turks,
and Armenians live
alongside each other—
the Kurds being of two
classes, the tribal, who
are chiefly nomads,
owning no law but the
right of the strongest;
and the non-tribal or
settled, who, having
been conquered by
Turkey, are fairly or-
derly, and are peace-
able except in their
relations with the
Christians. The strongholds of the tribal Kurds are in

A HAKKIATU KURD.