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Across Coveted Lands by Arnold Henry Savage Landor

Do those that come from Yezd or Kerman


camel men in your country, Sahib, make as good bread as this when they cross the _lut_ (desert)?" inquired Ali Murat, with an expectant grin from ear to ear.

"We have no camel men in my country, and no camels, and no _lut_! How could we then get as good bread as yours?" (Really, when one tried to forget the process of making it, which did not quite appeal to one, the bread was not bad.)

"You have no camels, sahib,--no _lut_--in your country?" exclaimed Ali, with his eyes fast expanding with surprise; "Why, then, did you come here?"

"We have so much scenery in my country that I thought I would come here for a change."

[Illustration: Author's Caravan in the Salt Desert.]

[Illustration: Ali Murat Making Bread.]

We left the caravanserai at 11.30 p.m. on November 9th and travelled across the plain all through the night. About 4 miles from Haoz Panch we found an ancient mud caravanserai abandoned and partly ruined. We had the hills quite close on our right and we came across a good many dry channels cut by water. We travelled on the flat all the time, but we passed on either side a great many low mounds of sand and gravel. There was absolutely nothing worth noticing in the night's journey until we came to the small villages of Heirabad and Shoshabad, eighteen miles from our last

camp. Two miles further we found ourselves at Lawah (Rawar)--altitude 4,430 feet--a very large oasis with a small town of some three thousand mud huts and ten thousand inhabitants, according to native accounts.


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.

Lawah or Rawar is, in a way, quite an important centre. It is the last place one passes before entering the Salt Desert proper, on the border of which it is situated, and is, therefore, the last spot where provisions and good water can be obtained. It has a certain amount of local trade and is connected with Yezd by a very tortuous track _via_ Bafk-Kuh-Benan. It has no possible resting place, and we therefore camped just outside the town. The natives were not particularly friendly and seemed inclined to give trouble. There was considerable excitement when we crossed the town in the morning on our arrival, and even more when I went to inspect the city alone in the afternoon.

There was nothing to see, the bazaar in the place being one of the most miserable looking in Persia. It was not domed over like those of other Persian cities, but the streets were merely covered with rafters supporting brush wood and rotten mats. There were no shops proper, but various merchants, and brass-smiths, fruit-sellers, or sellers of articles for caravans, had a certain amount of cheap goods within their habitation doors.

More quaintly interesting were the commercial caravanserais, or small squares with receptacles all round for travelling merchants to display their goods upon. Lawah's trade is principally a transit trade, the caravans which occasionally come through the desert taking an opportunity of selling off some of their goods here, as also, of course, do those that come from Yezd or Kerman.

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