378 JOUENEYS IN KURDISTAN LETTEK xxxm to retrieve their fortunes,—" to let the sheep's wool grow? as their phrase is,—and then to rob them again, is the simple story of the relations between Kurd and Christian. They are well armed with modern rifles and revolvers. I have rarely seen a Kurd with an old-fashioned weapon, and I have never seen a Christian with a rifle, and their nearly useless long guns have lately been seized by the Government. The Kurds hate and despise the Turks, their nominal rulers; but the Islamic bond of brother- hood is stronger than the repulsion either of hatred or contempt, and the latent or undisguised sympathy of their co-religionists in official positions ensures them, for the most part, immunity for their crimes, for the new Code, under which the evidence of a Christian has become nominally admissible in a court of law, being in direct opposition to the teaching of the Koran, to the practice of centuries, to Kurdish fanaticism, and to the strong religious feelings and prejudices of those who administer justice, is practically, so far as the Christians are concerned, a dead letter.1 I am writing in an odah in the village of Harta, after a wild mountain ride in wind, sleet, and snow. The very long marches on this journey have been too much for me, and I made a first and last attempt to travel in a mqffir or covered wooden pannier, but the suffering was so great that I was glad to remount my faithful woolly Boy. We had a regular snowstorm, in which nothing could be seen I In a Minute by the late Mr. Clifford Lloyd (Turkey, No. 1, 1890-91, p. 80) the condition of the Christian peasant population of Kurdistan is summarised thus:— (' Their sufferings at present proceed from three distinct causes— "1. The insecurity of their lives and properties, owing to the habitual ravages of the Kurds. II 2. The insecurity of their persons and the absence of all liberty of thought and action (except the exercise of public worship). " 3. The unequal status held by the Christian as compared with the Mussulman in the eyes of the Government."