LETTER xxxiv THE " EEZEKUM TROUBLES" 383
given him are all gone. In spite of his fatal failing, I
have re-engaged him, and shall again ride my trusty pet.
The Vali, ignoring my official letter, has insisted on a
number of formalities being complied with, and though
the acting-Consul has undertaken all the formal arrange-
ments, the delays have been many and tiresome. There
are two bugbears on the Trebizond road,—the Kop and
Zigana mountains, which are liable to be blocked by snow.
As compared with Persian towns, Erzerum looks
solid and handsome, and its uncovered bazars seem fairly
busy. The through traffic between Trebizond and Tabriz,
chiefly in British goods, is very heavy. The Custom
House is in sight from my windows, and in one day I
have counted as many as 700 laden camels passing
through it, besides horse and mule caravans. There are
about 2000 Persians in the city, and the carrying trade
is mainly in their hands. The present population is esti-
mated at from 20,000 to 24,000. The Armenians are
not very numerous, but their enterprise as traders gives
them an importance out of proportion to their numbers.
The Armenian cathedral, the "Pair of Minarets/' the
"Single Minaret," and the castle, which stands on a
height in the middle of the city, and contains a small
Saracenic chapel, are the chief " sights."
Nothing is talked about but "the troubles,"1 and the
European Consuls, who possess trustworthy information,
confirm my impressions of the seriousness of the pre-
sent latitude allowed to the JCurds. The Turkish Govern-
1 The reader will recollect that the " Erzerum troubles " so frequently
referred to consisted of riot and bloodshed following upon a search for
arms which was made under the floors of the Armenian Cathedral and
the Sanassarian College, on the strength (it is said) of an anonymous
telegram in June 1890. The lucid account given of this deplorable affair
and of the subsequent inaction of the local Government by Her Britannic
Majesty's Consul-General for Kurdistan, in the "White Book," to which
allusion has been made, should be studied by all who are interested in the
so-called "Armenian Question."