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384                 JOURNEYS IN KURDISTAN     LETTER xxxiv

ment has just taken a step which is regarded as full
of hazard. Certain Kurdish Beys were summoned to
Erzerum, nominally for the purpose of being reprimanded
for their misdeeds; but they were allowed to enter the
gates with a number of armed followers, and afterwards
went to Erzingian, where, from the hands of Zeki Pacha,
the Commander of the Fourth Army Corps, they received
commissions as officers of irregulars. The Christians (but
I hope erroneously) regard this step as a menace, and the
Kurds appear to think that it gives them license to maraud.

These Beys, after receiving their commissions, went
through the Christian quarter of the Erzingian bazars,
making gestures as of cutting throats, and saying to the
Christian merchants, " Your time has come now; hitherto
we have not had the co-operation of the Government,
but we have it now." It remains to be seen whether
the Porte will succeed in bringing these men and their
wild followers under the conditions of military discipline.

The excitement following upon the " troubles"- last
June has only partially subsided, and I learn from the
Europeans that the state of suspicion, fear, distrust, and
repression within the city has undergone little diminu-
tion. Every day brings fresh reports of robbery and
outrage, and for murders of well-known Christians no
arrests are being made.1 Trade among the Armenians
is suffering, for those merchants whose transactions are
with Kurdish districts dare not collect their debts for
fear of losing their lives. Arrests of Christians on
frivolous and worthless pretexts are being made daily,
Armenian houses are being searched continually, and indi-
viduals are being imprisoned for long terms of years for

1 In a despatch in the "White Book" (Turkey, No. 1, 1890-91) Mr.
Clifford Lloyd sums up the condition of things in Kurdistan thus: "In
a country such as this is, lawlessness is to be expected ; but unfortunately
in nearly every instance armed and ungoverned Kurds are the aggressors,
and unarmed and unprotected Armenian Christians tJie victims."