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.