Project Gutenberg's Across Coveted Lands, by Arnold Henry Savage Landor

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Title: Across Coveted Lands
       or a Journey from Flushing (Holland) to Calcutta Overland

Author: Arnold Henry Savage Landor

Release Date: July 22, 2007 [EBook #22117]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


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london and bungay

Kerman and Zeris, the two Kittens who accompanied Author on his wanderings.

Kerman and Zeris, the two Kittens who accompanied Author on his wanderings.

"A whole day was spent in preparing for the journey, and when November 4th came, shortly before midnight my provisions were packed upon my camels, with an extra load of fowls and one of fruit, while on the hump of the last camel of my caravan were perched, in a wooden box made comfortable with straw and cotton-wool, two pretty Persian kittens, aged respectively three weeks and four weeks, which I had purchased in Kerman, and which, as we shall see, lived through a great many adventures and sufferings, and actually reached London safe and sound, proving themselves to be the most wonderful and agreeable little travelling companions imaginable. One was christened "Kerman," the other "Zeris.""

Volume I

ChapterParagraph DescriptionPage
I The start—The terrors of the Russian Custom-house—An amusing incident at the Russian frontier—Politeness of Russian officials—Warsaw: its sights; its lovely women—The talented Pole—People who know how to travel by train—A ludicrous scene. 1
II Kiev—Its protecting Saint—Intellectuality and trade—Priests and education—Wherein lies the strength of Russia—Industries—A famous Monastery—The Catacombs of St. Theodosius and St. Anthony—Pilgrims—Veneration of Saints—The Dnieper river—Churches—A luminous cross—Kharkoff—Agriculture—Horse fairs—Rostoff—Votka drunkenness—Strong fortifications—Cheap and good travelling—Baku. 12
III Baku—Unnecessary anxiety—A storm—Oil wells—Naphtha spouts—How the wells are worked—The native city—The Baku Bay—Fortifications—The Maiden's Tower—Depressing vegetation—Baku dust—Prosperity and hospitality—The Amir of Bokhara—The mail service to Persia on the Caspian—The Mercury and Caucasus line—Lenkoran—Astara (Russo-Persian boundary)—Antiquated steamers. 21
IV The Port of Enzeli—Troublesome landing—Flat-bottomed boats—A special permit—Civility of officials—Across the Murd-ap lagoon—Piri-Bazaar—A self-imposed golden rule—Where our stock came from—The drive to Resht—The bazaar—The native shops and foreign goods—Ghilan's trade—The increase in trade—British and Russian competitions—Sugar—Tobacco—Hotels—The British Consulate—The Governor's palace—H.E. Salare Afkham—A Swiss hotel—Banks. 29
V Resht—Impostors—A visit to the Head Mullah—Quaint notions—Arrangements for the drive to Teheran—The Russian concession of the Teheran road—The stormy Caspian and unsafe harbours—The great Menzil bridge—A detour in the road—Capital employed in the construction of the road—Mistaken English notions of Russia—Theory and practice—High tolls—Exorbitant fares—A speculator's offer refused—Development of the road. 44
VI A journey by landau and four—Picturesque coachman—Tolls—Intense moisture—Luxuriant vegetation—Deschambe Bazaar—The silk industry of Ghilan—The cultivation and export of rice—The Governor's energy—Agriculture and Allah—The water question—The coachman's backshish—The White River—Olive groves—Halting places on the road—The effects of hallucination—Princes abundant. 57
VII Menzil and the winds—The historical Alamut mountain—A low plateau—Volcanic formation—Mol-Ali—A genuine case of smallpox—Characteristic sitting posture—A caravan of mules—Rugged country—The remains of a volcanic commotion—The old track—Kasvin, the city of misfortunes—The Governor's palace and palatial rest house—Earthquakes and famine—Kanats, the marvellous aqueducts—How they are made—Manufactures—Kasvin strategically. 69
VIII Four thousand feet above sea-level—Castellated walls—An obnoxious individual—Luggage weighing—The strange figure of an African black—How he saved an Englishman's life—Teheran hotels—Interesting guests—Life of bachelors in Teheran—The Britisher in Persia—Home early—Social sets—Etiquette—Missionaries—Foreign communities—The servant question. 78
IX Teheran—The seat of the Kajar family—The square of the gun—Sanctuaries—The Top Meidan—Tramways—A railway—Opposition of the Mullahs and population—Destruction of a train—Mosques—Habitations—Extortion and blackmail—Persian philosophy. 87
X Legations—Germany a stumbling-block to Russia's and England's supremacy—Sir Arthur Hardinge, British Minister in Teheran—His talent, tact, and popularity—The British Legation—Summer quarters—Legation guards—Removal of furniture. 95
XI Visits to high Persian officials—Meftah-es-Sultaneh—Persian education—A college for orphans—Uncomfortable etiquette—The Foreign Office—H.E. Mushir-ed-Doulet, Minister of Foreign Affairs—Persian interest in the Chinese War of 1900—Reform necessary. 102
XII The Persian army—The Persian soldier as he is and as he might be—When and how he is drilled—Self-doctoring under difficulties—Misappropriation of the army's salary—Cossack regiments drilled by Russian officers—Death of the Head Mullah—Tribute of the Jews—The position of Europeans—A gas company—How it fulfilled its agreement. 111
XIII Cash and wealth—Capital as understood by Persians—Hidden fortunes—Forms of extravagance—Unbusiness-like qualities—Foreign examples—Shaken confidence of natives in foreigners—Greed for money—Small merchants—Illicit ways of increasing wealth—The Persian a dreamer—Unpunctuality—Time no money and no object—Hindrance to reform—Currency—Gold, silver, and copper—Absorption of silver—Drainage of silver into Transcaspia—Banknotes—The fluctuations of the Kran—How the poorer classes are affected by it—Coins old and new—Nickel coins—The Shai and its subdivisions. 120
XIV The Banks of Persia—The Imperial Bank of Persia—The most revered foreigner in Persia—Loans—The road concession—The action of the Stock Exchange injurious to British interests—Securities—Brains and not capital—Risks of importing capital—An ideal banking situation—Hoarding—Defective communication—The key to profitable banking in Persia—How the exchange is affected—Coins—Free trade—The Russian Bank and Mr. De Witte—Mr. Grube an able Manager—Healthy competition—Support of the Russian Government. 135
XV Illegitimate Bank-notes—Hampering the Bank's work—The grand fiasco of the Tobacco Corporation—Magnificent behaviour of the natives—The Mullahs and tobacco—The nation gives up smoking—Suppression of the monopoly—Compensation—Want of tact—Important European commercial houses and their work—Russian and British trade—Trade routes—The new Persian Customs—What they are represented to be and what they are—Duties—The employment of foreigners in Persia—The Maclean incident. 147
XVI Russia on the brain—The apprehended invasion of India—Absolute nonsense—Russia's tariff—In the House of Commons—A friendly understanding advisable—German competition—The peace of the world—Russia's firm policy of bold advance—An outlet in the Persian Gulf—The policy of drift—Sound knowledge of foreign countries needed—Mutual advantages of a Russian and British agreement—Civilisation—Persia's integrity. 159
XVII Education—Educated but not instructed—The Mullahs—The Madrassahs—The Royal College in Teheran—Secular Schools—The brain of Persian students—Hints on commercial education for Englishmen—Languages a necessity—Observation—Foreigners and Englishmen—The Englishman as a linguist—Special commercial training in Germany—The British manufacturer—Ways and ways—Our Colonies swamped with foreign-made goods—Russia fast and firmly advancing. 169
XVIII Persia's industrial, mineral and agricultural resources—Climate of various districts—Ghilan's trade—Teheran and the surrounding country—Khorassan and Sistan—The Caspian provinces—Mazanderan, Astrabad and Azerbaijan—Russian activity and concessions in Azerbaijan—Hamadan—The Malayer and Borujird districts—The nomads of Kurdistan—Naphtha—The tribes of Pusht-i-kuh—The pastoral people of Luristan—Arabistan—Farsistan—Laristan—Shiraz wines—Persian Beluchistan. 183
XIX A Persian wedding—Polygamy—Seclusion of women—Match-makers—Subterfuges—The Nomzad, or official betrothal day—The wedding ceremony in the harem—For luck—The wedding procession—Festival—Sacrifices of sheep and camels—The last obstacle, the ruhmah—The bride's endowment—The bridegroom's settlement—Divorces—A famous well for unfaithful women—Women's influence—Division of property. 192
XX Persian women—Their anatomy—Their eyes—Surmah—Age of puberty—The descendants of Mohammed—Infanticide—Circumcision—Deformities and abnormalities—The ear—The teeth and dentistry—The nose—A Persian woman's indoor dress—The yel—The tadji and other jewels—Out-of-door dress—The Chakchur—The ruh-band—The Chudder. 204
XXI The Shah's birthday—Illuminations—The Shah in his automobile—Ministers in audience—Etiquette at the Shah's Court—The Shah—A graceful speaker—The Shah's directness of speech—The Kajars and the Mullahs—The défilé of troops—A blaze of diamonds. 216
XXII The Shah's Palace—The finest court—Alabaster throne hall—A building in European style—The Museum—A chair of solid gold and silver—The Atch—Paintings—The banqueting room—The audience room—Beautiful carpets—An elaborate clock—Portraits of sovereigns and their places—Pianos and good music—The Jewelled-Globe room—Queen Victoria's photograph—Moving pictures—Conservatory—Roman mosaics—Toys—Adam and Eve—Royal and imperial oil paintings—A decided slight—The picture gallery—Valuable collection of arms—Strange paintings—Coins—Pearls—Printing press—Shah's country places. 225
XXIII The selection of a servant—A Persian diligence—Shah-Abdul-Azim mosque—Rock carving—The round tower—Beggars—The Kerjawa—Hasanabad—Run-away horses—Misplaced affection—Characteristics of the country—Azizawad—Salt lake of Daria-i-Nimak—Aliabad—Sunsets. 241
XXIV Severe wind—Kum, the holy city—Thousands of graves—Conservative Mullahs—Ruin and decay—Leather tanning—The gilt dome—Another extortion—Ingenious bellows—Damovend—The scenery—Passangun—Evening prayers—A contrivance for setting charcoal alight—Putrid water—Post horses—Sin Sin—Mirage—Nassirabad—Villages near Kashan. 252
XXV Kashan—Silk manufactories—Indo-European Telegraph—The Zein-ed-din tower—The Meh-rab shrine—The Madrassah Shah—The Panja Shah—The hand of Nazareth Abbas—The Fin Palace—Hot springs—The tragic end of an honest Prime Minister—Ice store-houses—Cultivation—In the bazaar—Brass work—Silk—The Mullahs and places of worship—Wretched post-horses—The Gyabrabad caravanserai—An imposing dam—Fruit-tree groves—Picturesque Kohrut village. 263
XXVI Crossing the Pass—Held up by robbers—Amusing courtesy—Brigands to protect from brigands—Parting friends—Soh—Biddeshk—Copper and iron—Robber tribes—An Englishman robbed—A feature of Persian mountains—A military escort—How compensation is paid by the Persian Government—Murchikhar—Robbers and the guards—Ghiez—Distances from Teheran to Isfahan. 273
XXVII Missionary work in Persia—Educational and medical work—No Mahommedan converts—Bibles—Julfa—Armenian settlement—Conservative customs—Armenian women—Their education—The Armenian man—Europeans—A bird's-eye view of Isfahan—Armenian graveyard—A long bridge—The Rev. James Loraine Garland—Mission among the Jews. 281
XXVIII The Mission among Jews—Schools for boys and girls—A practical institution—The Jews of Persia—Persecution by Persians—Characteristics of Jews—Girls—Occupations—Taxation—The social level of Jews. 288
XXIX The square of Isfahan—The Palace gate—The entrance to the bazaar—Beggars—Formalities and etiquette—The bazaar—Competition—How Persians buy—Long credit—Arcades—Hats—Cloth shops—Sweet shops—Butchers—Leather goods—Saddle-bags—The bell shop—Trunks. 296
XXX The Brass Bazaar—Mirror shop—Curdled milk—A tea shop—Fruit and vegetable bazaar—The walnut seller—The Auctioneer—Pipe shops—Barber—Headdress—Bread shops—Caravanserais—The day of rest. 305
XXXI A carpet factory—Children at work—The process of carpet-making—Foreign influence in the design—Aniline dyes—"Ancient carpets" manufactured to-day—Types of carpets—Kerman carpets—Isfahan silk carpets—Kurdistan rugs—Birjand and Sultanabad carpets—Carpets made by wandering tribes—Jewellers—Sword-makers and gunsmiths—Humming birds. 313
XXXII The Grand Avenue of Isfahan—The Madrassah—Silver gates—The dome—The Palace—The hall of forty columns—Ornamentations—The picture hall—Interesting paintings—Their artistic merit—Nasr-ed-din Shah's portrait—The ceiling—The quivering minarets. 321
XXXIII Isfahan the commercial heart of Persia—Dangers of maps in argument—Bandar Abbas—The possibility of a Russian railway to Bandar Abbas—Bandar Abbas as a harbour—The caravan road to Bandar Abbas—Rates of transport—Trade—British and Russian influence—Shipping—A Russian line of steamers—Customs under Belgian officials—Lingah—Its exports and imports. 330
XXXIV Mahommerah—Where Russia's aims are directed—Advantages of Mahommerah—The navigation of the Karun River—Traffic—Rates on the Ahwaz-Isfahan track—The Government's attitude—Wheat—Russian influence—Backhtiari Chiefs—Up and down river trade—Gum—Cotton goods—Sugar—Caravan route—Steamers—Disadvantages of a policy of drift—Russian enterprise. 339
XXXV The British Consul-General in Isfahan—Russia's influence in Southern Persia—H.R.H. Zil-es-Sultan—Departure for Yezd—Pigeon towers—A Persian telegraph line—Ghiavaz—Characteristics of the scenery—A village in ruins—Types—Saigsi—Mud dunes—Mirage—A reservoir—Kanats—Scarcity of fodder. 348
XXXVI Khupah—Sunken well—Caravanserai—Night marching—Kudeshk—The Fishark and Sara ranges—Lhas—The pass—Whirlwinds—Robbers—Fezahbad—The dangers of a telegraph wire—An accident—Six villages—Deposits of sand and gravel—Bambis—The people—Mosquitoes—A Persian house—Weaving loom—Type of natives—Clothing—Sayids. 357
XXXVII Bambis—The Kashsan-Yezd high road—The Kevir plain—Minerals—Chanoh—Sand deposits—Sherawat—Kanats—Agdah—Stone cairns—Kiafteh—An isolated mount—A long sand bar—A forsaken village—Picturesque Biddeh—Handsome caravanserai at Meiboh—Rare baths—Shamsi—Sand-hills—Hodjatabad—Fuel—A "tower of silence"—A split camel—Thousands of borings for water—A four-towered well. 369
XXXVIII Yezd—Water supply—Climate—Cultivation—Products—Exports and imports—Population—Trade—Officials—Education—Persian children—Public schools—The Mushir school—The Parsee school—C.M.S. mission school—The medical mission—The hospital—Christianizing difficult—European ladies in Persia—Tolerance of race religions. 381
XXXIX The Guebres of Yezd—Askizar—The Sassanian dynasty—Yezdeyard—The name "Parsees"—The Arab invasion of Persia—A romantic tale—Zoroaster—Parsees of India—Why the Parsees remained in Yezd and Kerman—Their number—Oppression—The teaching of the Zoroastrian religion and of the Mahommedan—A refreshing quality—Family ties—Injustice—Guebre places of worship—The sacred fire—Religious ceremonies—Three excellent points in the Zoroastrian religion—The Parsees not "fire worshippers"—Purification of fire—No ancient sacred books—Attire—No civil rights—The "jazia" tax—Occupations—The Bombay Parsees Amelioration Society and its work—The pioneers of trade—A national assembly—Ardeshir Meheban Irani—Establishment of the Association—Naturalized British subjects—Consulates wanted—The Bombay Parsees—Successful traders—Parsee generosity—Mr. Jamsetsji Tata. 394
XL Badjirs—Below the sand level—Chappar service between Yezd and Kerman—The elasticity of a farsakh—Sar-i-Yezd—An escort—Where three provinces meet—Etiquette—Robbers' impunity—A capital story—Zen-u-din—The Serde Kuh range—Desert—Sand accumulations—Kermanshah—The Darestan and Godare Hashimshan Mountains—Chappar Khana inscriptions and ornamentations by travellers—Shemsh. 408
XLI Desolate scenery—Anar—A word for Persian servants—Sadek's English—Bayas village—Sand deposits—Robber villagers—Kushkuhyeh Chappar khana—The post contractor, his rifle—Cotton cultivation—Fast growing Rafsenju—Trade tracks—Hindu merchants—Sadek and the Chappar boy—Kafter-han—Photography and women—A flat, salty stretch of clay and sand—The Kuh Djupahr peaks—Robat women—Baghih—Attractive girls—Mirage—Arrival in Kerman. 419
XLII Kerman—The Ark or citadel—Civility of the natives—Europeans—The British Consulate—Major Phillott—H. E. Ala-el-Mulk, Governor of Kerman—Soldiers—Teaching music to recruits—Preparation for the campaign against the Beluch—Cloth manufacture. 431
XLIII The Madrassah—"Peace on Abraham"—The Hammam—Trade caravanserais—The Hindoo caravanserai—Parsees—Ancient fortifications—The Kala-i-Dukhtar, or virgin fort—Speculation—The Kala-Ardeshir—A deep well—Why it was made. 439
XLIV The deserted city of Farmidan—More speculation—The Afghan invasion—Kerman surrenders to Agha Muhammed Khan—A cruel oppressor—Luft-Ali-Khan to the rescue—The Zoroastrians—Mahala Giabr—Second Afghan invasion—Luft-Ali-Khan's escape—Seventy thousand human eyes—Women in slavery—Passes—An outpost—Fire temples—Gigantic inscriptions—A stiff rock climb—A pilgrimage for sterile women—A Russian picnic—A Persian dinner—Fatabad—The trials of abundance—A Persian menu—Rustamabad—Lovely fruit garden. 447



Illustrations—Volume I

 To face page
His Majesty the Shah of PersiaFrontispiece
The Baku Oil Wells20
The Amir of Bokhara leaving Baku to return to his Country26
Persian Wrestling38
Fourgons on the Russian Road between Resht and Teheran50
Making a Kanat74
The Murderer of Nasr-ed-din Shah90
Persian Cossacks (Teheran) Drilled by Russian Officers100
The Eftetahié College, supported by Meftah-el-Mulk102
H. E. Mushir-ed-Doulet, Minister of Foreign Affairs106
Persian Soldiers—The Band112
Recruits learning Music112
The Arrival of a Caravan of Silver at the Imperial Bank of Persia126
The Imperial Bank of Persia Decorated on the Shah's Birthday134
A Typical Persian Window. (Mr. Rabino's House, Teheran.)140
The First Position in Persian Wrestling158
Palawans, or Strong Men giving a Display of Feats of Strength158
Iman Jumeh. Head Priest of Teheran, and Official Sayer of Prayers to the Shah170
Sahib Divan, who was at various periods Governor of Shiraz and Khorassan190
Persian Woman and Child206
A Picturesque Beggar Girl206
Ruku Sultaneh, Brother of the present Shah218
The Shah in his Automobile224
The Sadrazam's (Prime Minister's) Residence, Teheran224
In the Shah's Palace Grounds, Teheran230
The Shah and his Suite240
Rock Sculpture near Shah-Abdul-Azim244
Author's Diligence between Teheran and Kum244
The Track along the Kohrut Dam270
Between Gyabrabad and Kohrut270
The Interior of Chappar Khana at Kohrut272
Chapparing—the Author's post horses278
Persian Escort firing at Brigands278
Jewish Girls, Isfahan292
An Isfahan Jew292
The Square, Isfahan298
The Palace Gate, Isfahan304
Boys Weaving a Carpet314
Cotton Cleaners314
Handsome Doorway in the Madrassah, Isfahan322
One of Zil-es-Sultan's Eunuchs326
The "Hall of Forty Columns," Isfahan326
The Quivering Minarets near Isfahan330
H.R.H. Zil-es-Sultan, Governor of Isfahan350
Agriculture and Pigeon Towers near Isfahan352
Persian Spinning Wheels and Weaving Looms366
Halting at a Caravanserai380
A Street in Yezd, showing High Badjirs or Ventilating Shafts380
Ardeshir Meheban Irani and the Leading Members of the Anguman-i-Nasseri (Parsee National Assembly), Yezd394
Parsee Priests of Yezd Officiating during Ceremony in their Fire Temple400
Interior of Old Caravanserai with Central Water Tank410
Typical Caravanserai and Mud Fort in the Desert between Yezd and Kerman414
A Trade Caravanserai, Kerman414
H. E. Ala-el-Mulk, Governor of Kerman, in his Palace432
Tiled Walls and Picturesque Windows in the Madrassah, Kerman438
Sirkar Agha's Son, the Head of the Sheikhi Sect, Kerman438
The Interior of a Hammam or Bath—First Room442
The Hot Room in a Persian Bath444
The Kala-i-Dukhtar or Virgin Fort444
Graveyard and Kala-i-Dukhtar or Virgin Fort, Kerman446
Ruined Houses of Farmitan450
Plan of House at Farmitan450
A Steep Rock Climb, Kerman454
A View of the Kerman Plain from the "Ya Ali" Inscription458
Wives Returning from the Pilgrimage for Sterile Women458
Map at the End of Volume.461



Volume II

ChapterParagraph DescriptionPage
I Difficulties of crossing the Great Salt Desert—The trials of arranging a caravan—The ways of camel-men—A quaint man of the Desert—A legal agreement—Preparations for the departure—"Kerman" and "Zeris," my two Persian kittens and travelling companions—Persian cats—The start—The charms of camel riding—Marching among mountains. 1
II Fifty miles from Kerman—Camels not made for climbing hills—The Godar Khorassunih Pass—Volcanic formation—Sar-es-iap—A variegated mountain—A castle—Rock dwellings—Personal safety—Quaint natives—Women and their ways—Footgear. 11
III An abandoned caravanserai—Fantastic hill tops—No water—A most impressive mountain—Sediments of salt—A dry river bed—Curious imprints in the rock—A row—Intense heat—Accident to our supply of eggs—The end of a meeting—Misleading maps—Haoz Panch—The camel-man's bread—Lawah. 19
IV Lawah or Rawar—A way to Yezd—The bazaar—Trade—Ruined forts—Opium smoking and its effects—Beggar's ingenious device—In a local gentleman's home—The Tokrajie—Buying fresh provisions—Water skins—An unhealthy climate—A fight—When fever is contracted—Wolves in camp—Fever stricken—A third cat purchased. 27
V Salt sediments as white as snow—Brilliant stars—Plaintive songs of the camel men—An improvisatore—Unpleasant odour of camels—A large salt deposit—No water and no fuel—A device to protect oneself against great heat—Amazing intelligence of cats—Nature's ways and men's ways—A hot climb—A brilliantly coloured range—Sea shells and huge fossils. 36
VI A long detour—Mount Darband—A water-cut gorge—Abandoned watch towers—Passes into the desert—A wall-like mountain range—The tower and fortified caravanserai at camp Darband—Brackish water—Terrific heat—Compensating laws of nature better than absurd patents—Weird rocks—Cairns—Chel-payeh salt well—Loss of half our supply of fresh water—Camels and men overcome by the heat. 44
VII Fortress-like cliffs—A long troublesome march—Sixteen hours on the saddle—All our fresh-water supply gone!—Fever—Electricity of the desert—Troublesome camel men—A small oasis—An ancient battered tower—A giant—Naiband mountain and village—Rock habitations—A landmark in the desert. 53
VIII A visit to the eight-towered village—A hostile demonstration—Quaint houses—Stoned—Brigand villagers—A device—Peculiar characteristics of natives—Picturesque features—Constant intermarriage and its effects—Nature's freaks—Children—Elongating influence of the desert—Violent women—Beasts of burden—Photography under difficulty—Admirable teeth of the natives—Men's weak chests—Clothing—A farewell demonstration—Fired at. 60
IX Misfortunes—Suffocating heat—An expected attack—Electricity—Strayed camels—A barber and his ways—A track to Meshed—Pilgrim husband and wife across the desert—Another long march—A salt stream—Brackish well. 70
X Intense cold—Dulled sense of taste—Characteristics of the country—Beautiful stones—Clouds of the desert—A salt stream—Icicles on the moustache and eyelashes—Longing for sunrise—Prayers of the camel men—Fedeshk—Ali Murat meets his wife—Opium dens and opium smokers—Effects of smoking opium in excess—Fever-stricken people—Dwellings—An official visitor—Science reduced to practice—Sadek's idea of sunset and sunrise—"Keshk" cheese—Arrival in Birjand. 77
XI My caravan disbanded—Birjand—Ruined fortress—The city—Number of houses—Population—The citadel—Artillery—Trade routes—Birjand as a strategical position—A trading centre—No fresh water—The Amir—Indian pilgrims—Birjand carpets—Industries—A pioneer British trader—Imports and exports—How business is transacted—Russian and British goods—Long credit—A picturesque caravanserai—Afghan soldiers—Beluch camel men. 90
XII A loud explosion—Persian military officers—Dr. Abbas Ali Khan, British Agent in Birjand—His excellent work—Gratefulness of the natives—A quaint letter—The Russian Agent—A Russian temporary score—More British Consulates needed—Visits returned—Altitude and temperature of Birjand—Cossacks and their houses—A bright scene in a graveyard—Departure of Indian pilgrims for Meshed—British Consular postal service—Russian post—Making up a second caravan. 103
XIII Departure from Birjand—A cloud like a skeleton hand—A downpour—The village of Muht—A ruined fortress—A beautiful sunset—A pass—Besieged by native callers—Two towers at Golandeh—Strayed—Curious pits—Sahlabad—The impression of a foreign bed—Fujiama's twin. 112
XIV Suspicious characters—A trap—Held up—No water—The haunt of robbers—Fierce daily winds—Volcanic formation—A crater—Wall-like barriers—A salt stream—A caravan from Quetta. 122
XV Sadek's wastefulness—Meeting two enterprising English traders—Another circular crater—Wind and electricity in the air—Their effects—A fortress—Soldiers and brigandage—Zemahlabad—Windmills—Bandan—Ancient tombs—Picturesque women—Lost our way—A welcome messenger—Nasirabad—"Ruski" or "Inglis"—Several miles of villages and houses—English maps and foreign names—Greeted by Major Benn. 131
XVI English fancy geographical names—Sher-i-Nasrya—The main street—The centre of the city—Reverence of the natives for Major Benn—A splendid type of British official—Indian and Russian goods—The Shikin Maghut cloth—Steadily increasing trade of the Nushki route—Khorassan horses for remounts—Husseinabad—Russian Vice-Consulate—Mr. Miller—Characteristic windmills—"The wind of 120 days"—Benn Bazaar. 142
XVII The British Bazaar—The pioneer traders of Sistan—Sistan a half-way house and not the terminus of the route—Comfortable route—Protection and redress—Indian tea in Persia—Persian market overstocked—Enterprise of Indian tea traders—Which are the markets worth cultivating—Articles mostly wanted in Sistan and Meshed—Exports—A problem to be faced—Ways of communication needed to cities of central Persia. 151
XVIII Sistan's state of transition—British Consul's tact—Advancing Russian influence—Safety—A fight between Sistanis and Afghans—The Sar-tip—Major Benn's pluck and personal influence—Five Afghans seriously wounded—The city gates closed—The Customs caravanserai—A British caravanserai needed—Misstatements—Customs officials—Fair and just treatment to all—Versatile Major Benn—A much needed assistant—More Consulates wanted—Excellent British officials—Telegraph line necessary—A much-talked-of railway—The salutary effect of a garrison at Robat frontier post. 161
XIX The history of the Sistan Vice-Consulate—Major Chevenix Trench—Laying the foundation of the Consulate—Hoisting the British flag—Major Benn—A terrible journey—A plucky Englishwoman—The mud Consulate—Its evolution—The new buildings—Ka-khanas—Gardening under difficulties—How horses are kept—The enclosing wall—The legend of Trenchabad city—The Consulate Mosque—Dr. Golam Jelami—The hospital—Successful operations—Prevalent complaints of Sistan—The Sistan Sore. 171
XX Laid up with fever—Christmas Day—A visit to the Amir—Hashmat-ul-Mulk—An ancient city over eighty miles long—Extreme civility of Persian officials—An unusual compliment—Prisoners—Personal revenge—"An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth"—Punishments and crime—Fines—Bastinado—Disfigurement—Imprisonment—Blowing criminals from a gun—Strangling and decapitation. 183
XXI The London of the East—A city eighty-six miles long—The village of Bunjar—An ancient tower—Iskil—The Kalantar of Sistan—Collection of ancient jewellery from the buried city—Interesting objects—A romantic life and tragic death—A treacherous Afghan—Strained relations between the Sistan and Afghan Governors—Sand-barchans—Flat roofs and gable roofs—The pillar of Mil-i-Zaidan—A conical ice-house—The imposing fort of Zaidan—A neighbouring modern village. 194
XXII An ancient city as big as London—The citadel—Towers—Small rooms—The walls—Immensity of the city—Sand drifts—Why some parts are buried and some are not—An extensive wall—Great length of the city—Evidence that the habitations were continuous—The so-called Rud-i-Nasru—Its position—A double outer wall—A protected road—Interesting structures—An immense graveyard—Tombs—Sand drifts explained—A former gate of the city—The Chil-pir or tomb of forty saints—Interesting objects found—Beautiful inscriptions on marble and slate—Marble columns—Graceful lamps—Exciting digging—A tablet—Heptagonal tower—A ghastly figure. 205
XXIII A short historical sketch of Zaidan city—How it was pillaged and destroyed—Fortresses and citadels—Taimur Lang—Shah Rukh—Revolutions—The Safavi dynasty—Peshawaran, Pulki, Deshtak—Sir F. Goldsmid's and Bellew's impressions—The extent of the Peshawaran ruins—Arabic inscriptions—A curious ornamentation—Mosques and mihrab—Tomb of Saiyid Ikbal—The Farah Rud and Harut Rud—The "Band" of the Halmund—Canals and channels old and new of the Halmund delta—The Rud-i-Nasru and the Rud-i-Perian—Strange temporary graves—Ancient prosperity of Eastern Persia. 219
XXIV Departure from Sistan—Dadi—Not one's idea of a pasture—The Kuh-i-Kwajah—Its altitude—The "City of roars of laughter"—Interesting ascent to the summit—A water reservoir—Family graves—Dead-houses—A grave with thirty-eight compartments—The Gandun Piran Ziarat—Scrolls and inscriptions—Priest's house—Modern graves—Skulls and their characteristics—A smaller Ziarat—The Kuk fort—A bird's-eye view of Kala-i-Kakaha city—Strange legends about the city—Why Kala-i-Kakaha is famous. 233
XXV Villages between Sher-i-Nasrya and Kuh-i-Kwajah—The last of the Kayani—Husena Baba—Thousands of sheep—The Patang Kuh—Protecting black walls—A marsh—Sand dunes—Warmal—Quaint terraces—How roofs are built—A spacious residence built for nine shillings—Facial characteristics of natives—Bread making—Semi-spherical sand mounts—Natural protections against the northerly winds. 251
XXVI Sand accumulations—A round tower—Mahommed Raza Chah—A burial ground—Rustam's city—An ancient canal—Rustam's house—The Persian hero's favourite room—A store room—Reception hall—The city wall—Where Rustam's son was impaled—The stable of Rustam's gigantic horse—More dry canals—An immense graveyard—Sand and its ways—A probable buried city—A land-mark—Sadek's ways—A glorious sunset—Girdi—Beluch greeting. 261
XXVII Girdi-chah, a desolate spot—Its renowned water—Post-houses and Persian Customs soldiers—Nawar-chah and its well—The salt river Shela—Its course—Beautiful colours in salt crystals—Tamarisks—The Kuh-i-Malek-Siah—The loftiest mountain—Afghans—Hormak, a picturesquely situated post station—A natural pyramid of rock—Natural fortresses—The Malek-Siah Ziarat—Where three coveted countries meet—The hermit—The evolution of a sand hill—Parallel sand dunes—In Beluchistan—Robat, the most north-easterly British post. 277
XXVIII The Lahr Kuh—Robat thana and bungalow—Saïd Khan—Persian and Beluch music, songs and dancing—Beluch musical instruments—Beluch melodies, love and war songs—Comic songs—Beluch voices—Persian melodies—Solo songs—Ululations—Persian instruments—Castanets—Persian and Beluch dancing—The chap. 293
XXIX An excellent track—A quaint rock—A salt rivulet—Laskerisha—Mahommed Raza-chah—Beluch encampment—The horrors of photography—Maternal love—A track to Mirjawa—Kirtaka—Direct track to Sher-i-Nasrya—Track to Cabul—Sand-hills—A wide river bed—A high yellow pillar—Undulating track—Ten sharp-pointed peaks. 307
XXX An excursion into Afghanistan—The salt deposits of God-i-Zirreh—Sand hills—Curious formation of hill range—Barchans and how they are formed—Alexander's march through the country—The water of Godar-i-Chah—Afghans and their looks. 316
XXXI Saindak—Beluch prisoners—Thana and Bungalow—Beluch bread—The Saindak mountain and its mineral resources—The Daftan volcano—Surmah and lead—Mukak and its strong man—A sick camel—Gypsum—Regheth—Where the track will deviate in future—Difficulty in obtaining drinkable water—Wells made attractive—Sahib chah—A well ventilated rest-house. 324
XXXII Sick men and camels—What came of photographing Sahib Chah—Losing the track—Divided opinions—Allah versus the compass—Sadek's way of locating positions—Picked up hungry and thirsty by sensible Mahommed who had come in search—Curious scenery—Trouble at Mirjawa—Mythical Perso-Beluch frontier—Gypsum and limestone—Mushki Chah. 336
XXXIII Mushki-Chah—A Ziarat—Beluch dwellings—The Beluch and the camera—Characteristics of Beluch—Three wells of good water at Kundi—The Kuh-i-Sultan and the "Spear of the Sultan"—A big Ziarat at Kundi—Nineteen hours on the saddle—Tretoh—Cold wind—Parallel rows of sand barchans—Startling effect of mirage—Chah Sandan—Brahui salutation—Belind Khan and his good points—A respected officer—Praying at the Ziarat. 346
XXXIV The picturesque Gat mountain—Strange-looking mountains—Mirui—White covered country—Sotag—Desolate shed at Chakal—The Karenghi rirri deadly plant—The Mesjid or Masit—Their characteristics—The religion of Beluch—Sects—Superstitions—The symbol of evil—A knife "possessed"—A Beluch's idea of a filter. 358
XXXV Captain Webb-Ware, C.I.E.—The Nushki route—An excellent track—Bungalows built and in course of construction—The water—Postal service—Important Government concession—The Nushki route and the railways—Hints to traders—Quaint official formalities—Pilgrims and their ways—An amusing incident. 367
XXXVI The Beluch-Afghan boundary—Substantial advantages obtained—The Afghans driven from Chagai—Who owns Beluchistan?—How Beluchistan is subdivided—Treaties and engagements with the Kahn of Kelat—The Brahui and Nhauri—When British political connection with Kelat began—Intrigue—The treaty of 1839—The treaty stolen—Kelat stormed by the British—A revolution—Protection of caravans—Treaty of 1841—At the death of Nasir Khan—Boundary matters settled in 1887—A Brahui rebellion—British mediation—A state of chaos—The Marris and Bugtis—Reconciliation of the Sardars with the Khan of Kelat—Treaty of 1876—British agents at the Khan's court—Railways and telegraphs—Subsidies—British troops stationed in the country—Major Sandeman, agent to the Governor-General—The agreement of 1883—Transfer of dues and tolls—The chiefship of Kharan—The chief of Las Bela—Troublesome Marris—British Beluchistan—The occupants of Zhob. 376
XXXVII The evolution of Nushki—The Zagar Mengal tribe—Tribal feuds—Competition in trade—Venturesome caravans—Pasand Khan—Dalbandin and its geographical situation—Game big and small—Dates—A famous Ziarat—A Beluch burial ground—Preparing corpses for interment—How graves are cut into the ground—Beluch marriages—Beluch thoughtfulness towards newly married couples—A mark of respect. 395
XXXVIII A long march—Karodak—Sandstorm—A salt plain—Yadgar—Padag—Beluch huts—Fierce wind—Plants—Kuchaki chah—Another double march—Mall—Two tracks—Peculiar cracks—A gigantic geological fault—An old Beluch fort—Nushki. 407
XXXIX A new city—The Bungalow—Numerous Beluch villages—Nomads—Beluch architecture—Weaving looms—Implements—Beluch diet—Cave dwellers of Nushki—Beluch dress—Children—The salaam of the chiefs—An impressive sight—The Kwajah Mahommed Ziarat—Shah Hussein's Ziarat and its legend—A convenient geographical site. 414
XL The fast growing city of Nushki—The Tashil—the Tashildar—Beluch law—Hospital—Pneumonia and consumption—Lawn tennis—The Nushki Bazaar—Satisfactory trade returns—The projected Quetta-Nushki Railway—A great future for Nushki—An extension to Sistan necessary—Also a telegraph—Preferable routes for a railway to Sistan—From Nushki to Kishingi—A curious Mesjid—Mudonek Ateng Mountain—A fast of twenty-five days—The Chiltan and Takatu Mts.—The Gurghena tribe—Huts and tents—Beluch hospitality—Villages. 425
XLI Morad Khan Kella—The horrors of a camera—Seven high dunes—Three tracks—Where the railway will be laid—A fine old tamarisk turned into a Ziarat—Pagoda-like rest-houses—Science versus comfort—Kanak—Afghan women—The Kandahar road—How we butcher foreign names—Quetta and Chaman—The horse fair and Durbar at Sibi—Arrival in Calcutta—The first mishap—The death of faithful Lawah—The end. 436
  INDEX 447



Illustrations—Volume II

 To face page
Mahommed Hussein and Sadek (Author's Servants)Frontispiece
Kerman and Zeris, the two Kittens who accompanied Author on his wanderings6
Author's Caravan and Others Halting in the Desert20
Author's Caravan in the Salt Desert26
Ali Murat Making Bread26
Wolves in Camp34
Author's Camel Men in their White Felt Coats38
Camel Men saying their Prayers at Sunset38
Author's Camels being Fed in the Desert48
The Trail we left behind in the Salt Desert54
Author's Caravan Descending into River Bed near Darband58
Rock Habitations, Naiband58
The Village of Naiband, and Rock Dwellings in the Cliff60
Young Men of an Oasis in the Desert64
Man and Child of the Desert64
Naiband Barber Stropping a Razor on his Leg68
A Woman of Naiband68
Fever Stricken Man at Fedeshk86
The Citadel, Birjand86
The City of Birjand, showing main street and river bed combined90
Women Visiting Graves of Relatives, Birjand. (Ruined Fort can be observed on Hill.)110
In the Desert. (Tamarisks in the Foreground.)118
Women at Bandan142
Dr. Golam Jelami and his Patients142
The Main Street, Sher-i-Nasrya (Showing centre of City)144
The British Bazar (Husseinabad), Sistan150
The Wall of Sher-i-Nasrya at Sunset156
The Sar-tip162
The Customs Caravanserai, Sher-i-Nasrya, Sistan (Belgian Customs Officer in foreground)166
The Sistan Consulate on Christmas Day, 1901174
Major R. E. Benn, British Consul for Sistan, and his Escort of 7th Bombay Lancers186
The Citadel of Zaidan, the Great City202
The Zaidan West Towers and Modern Village204
Towers of the Citadel, Zaidan206
S.E. Portion of Zaidan City, showing how it disappears under distant sand accumulations208
Double Wall and Circular Unroofed Structures, Zaidan. In the distance high sand accumulations above City208
Interior of Zaidan Fortress212
Graveyard of Zaidan City212
East View of the Zaidan Citadel214
The Figure we dug out at Zaidan218
Arabic Inscription and marble columns with earthenware lamps upon them.
Fragment of water-pipe.
Stone implements.
Brick wall of the "Tombs of Forty Saints" showing in top corners of photograph.
Arabic Inscription on Marble dug by Author at the City of Zaidan220
Transfer of Inscription dated 1282, found in the "Tomb of Forty Saints," Zaidan222
Transfer of Ornament above four lines of Koran on Grave Stone222
Transfer of Ornamentations on Marble Grave222
Presumed Summits of Towers buried in Sand, Zaidan (Notice top of Castellated Wall behind.)222
Sketch Plan of Zaidan Citadel, by A. Henry Savage Landor228
Sketch Map of Summit of Kuh-i-Kwajah, by A. Henry Savage Landor238
Dead Houses and Ziarat on Kuh-i-Kwajah240
A Family Tomb (Eight Compartments) on Kuh-i-Kwajah240
Kala-i-Kakaha, the "City of Roars of Laughter"242
The "Gandun Piran" Ziarat on Kuh-i-Kwajah242
A Bird's Eye View of Kala-i-Kakaha, the "City of Roars of Laughter"246
Sher-i-Rustam. (Rustam's City)260
The Stable of Rustam's Legendary Horse260
The Gate of Rustam's City, as seen from Rustam's House262
The Remains of the Two Upper Storeys of Rustam's House266
Rustam's City, showing Rustam's House in Citadel, also domed roofs blown in from the north268
Plan of Sher-i-Rustam270
View of Sher-i-Rustam from Rustam's House. (West portion of City under the lee of wall)272
View of Sher-i-Rustam from Rustam's House (South-east section of City)274
Saïd Khan, Duffadar and Levies at the Perso-Beluch Frontier Post of Robat294
Beluch Musicians (at Sibi)298
Beluch Dance (at Sibi)304
The Beluch-Afghan Boundary Cairn and Malek-Siah Mountains in Background306
Rest House at Mahommed Raza Chah overlooking Afghan Desert310
Beluch Black Tents at Mahommed Raza Chah314
Rock Pillar between Kirtaka and Saindak314
Sand Hills318
A Caravan of Donkeys in Afghanistan320
In Afghanistan. Who are you?322
In the Afghan Desert. Afghan Caravan Men322
The Thana and New Bungalow at Saindak. (Saindak Mt. in Background.)324
Beluch Prisoners at Saindak326
Interior of Rest House, Mukak332
The Rest House at Sahib Chah332
Windmill at Mushki Chah350
Three Beluch who would not be Photographed!350
Ziarat at Chah Sandan. (Belind Khan Salaaming)362
Desert covered with Gypsum, near Sotag362
Circular Mesjid, with Tomb and Outer Kneeling Place364
Mesjid on the Site where a Man had been Killed between Kishingi and Morad Khan Kella364
The Type of Thana and New Bungalow between Nushki and Robat368
The Nushki-Robat Track372
A Beluch Family382
Beluch Huts thatched with Palm Leaves and Tamarisk394
Circular Ziarat with Stone, Marble and Horn Offerings398
Ziarat with Tomb showing Stone Vessels398
Beluch Mesjid and Graveyard at Dalbandin402
Kuchaki Chah Rest House410
Old Beluch Mud Fort near Nushki410
Beluch Huts and Weaving Loom416
Cave Dwellers, Nushki416
A Badini Sardar422
The Salaam of the Beluch Sardars at Nushki422
The New City of Nushki (overlooking the Tashil Buildings.)426
Jemadar and Levies, Nushki428
A Giant Beluch Recruit. (Chaman.)428
The Track between Nushki and Kishingi432
Taleri (Kanak). The new type of Rest House between Nushki and Quetta438
The Horse Fair at Sibi, Beluchistan440
Beluch Boys off to the Races—Horse Fair at Sibi442
Map at the End of Volume.446



Transcriber's Notes

1. Obvious punctuation and printing errors repaired.

2. Format of: "(altitude," "per cent.," "a.m.," "p.m.," "a.d.," "b.c." and "s.s." have been standardised.

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