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Across Coveted Lands by Arnold Henry Savage Landor

And later the camel men in a body attacked Sadek


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gentlemanly-looking fellow came forward and asked me to visit his house, where he was manufacturing a huge carpet--very handsome in design, but somewhat coarse in texture--ordered for Turkestan. Three women in his house had uncovered faces, and were very good-looking. They brought us tea in the garden, and sweets and water melon, but did not, of course, join in the conversation, and modestly kept apart in a corner. They wore white _chudders_ over the head and long petticoats--quite a becoming attire--while the men, too, were most artistic in appearance, with smart zouave yellow jackets trimmed with fur, with short sleeves not reaching quite to the elbow, leaving the arm quite free in its movements, and displaying the loose sleeve of the shirt underneath.

A couple of newly-born babies were swung in hammocks in the garden, and were remarkably quiet when asleep!

On going for a walk on the outskirts of the city one found a great many fairly high mud hillocks to the east, averaging 400 feet. East-south-east there stood hundreds more of these hillocks, with taller brown hills (the Leker Kuh) behind them, and to the west a high peak, rising to an estimated 11,000 feet, in the Kuh-Benan mountains. The Tokrajie Mountains, south-west of Lawah, did not seem to rise to more than 9,000 or 10,000 feet, and extended in a south-south-east direction. South-east we could still see the Kuh Legav Mountain, at the foot of which

we had camped on November 8th. To the north was a long mountain, with a white stratum like a horizontal stripe half-way up it, and the summit was in regular teeth like those of a saw. Another similar but more pointed mountain was to the east-south-east, the white stratum being less horizontal in this portion. This curious white stripe in the hills extended over an arc of a circle from 70 deg. (east-north-east) to 320 deg. (north-west).

We made great purchases of provisions in Lawah--sheep, chickens, eggs, vegetables and fruit, the slaughtered chickens being carefully prepared in layers of salt to make them last as long as possible. Then we purchased a number of sheep skins to carry a further supply of drinking water, for from this place, we were told, we should be several days without finding any. Sadek was busy all day smearing these skins with molten butter to make them absolutely water tight, and I, on my part, was glad to see all the butter go in this operation, for with the intense heat of the day it was impossible to touch it with one's food. Sadek's idea of good cooking was intense richness--everything floating in grease and butter; so these skins, which absorbed all the butter we had, were really a godsend to me--as far as the _cuisine_ of the future was concerned.

There was something in the climate of Lawah that made one feverish and irritable. In the afternoon some of the camel men had a fight with a number of Lawah people, and later the camel men in a body attacked Sadek. He was very plucky and quick--they were heavy but clumsy--so that Sadek succeeded with a heavy mallet in giving them several cracks on the head, but as they were eight to one and closed in upon him and were about to give him a good hammering, I had to rush to his assistance and with the butt of my rifle scattered the lot about. For a moment they seemed as if they were going to turn on me; they were very excited and seized whatever they could lay their hands upon in the shape of sticks and stones, but I casually put a few cartridges in the magazine of my rifle and sat down again on my carpets to continue writing my diary. They came to beg pardon for the trouble they had given, and embraced my feet, professing great humility.


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