free ebooks

Across Coveted Lands by Arnold Henry Savage Landor

I being fast asleep on my camel


We

left Muht at noon of the same day and passed a small village on our way, then we gradually ascended to a pass 7,050 feet high, on the other side of which was a plain--green not from vegetation, but because the clayish soil was of that colour--with hills to the east and west.

It was hardly possible to imagine more dreary, desolate scenery than that through which we were going. There was not a living soul beyond ourselves anywhere in sight. The camels, which had caught cold in the shower of the previous night, had to be given a rest, and we halted again after a five hours' march. The cold was intense. Whether owing to the moisture in the atmosphere, or to some other cause, we had on the evening of the 28th a really beautiful sunset. The sky was dazzling with brilliant gold and vermilion tints.

At midnight we were again under way, first across flat, then over undulating country, after which we got among the mountains and between precipitous gorges. This was quite a welcome change, but not for the camels, the way being somewhat rough and stony.

We had some little difficulty in going up the steep pass, 7,200 feet, the camels panting terribly. We suffered from the cold and the heavy dew which positively drenched men, camels, and baggage. It was quite as bad as having been out in the rain, we were so soaked. I, unfortunately, became ill again, fever attacking me afresh more fiercely

than ever; Sadek, too, and Abbas Ali, the camel man, were also taken very sick.

On the other side of the pass we went through a steep, narrow, and most fantastically picturesque defile of rocks, and eventually passed the little hamlet of Golandeh which boasts of no less than half-a-dozen mud huts and as many fruit trees.

We had descended to precisely the altitude of Muht, or 6,520 feet. From this village the Sistan track descends for a few hundred yards and then proceeds in a south by south-east direction over a flat stretch with some hills. A very high mountain could be seen to the south by south-west and another quite pointed to the south by south-east (at 170 deg. b.m.). To the east-south-east some twenty miles from Muht, was another tiny hamlet built against the foot of the mountain along which we had come. A large plain opened before us to the south-west.

At Golandeh we were besieged by natives applying for medicine, as there seemed to be hardly a soul in the place who was not affected by some complaint or other. Affections of the eyes were most common. Those who wanted no medicine begged for money or lumps of sugar,--which latter there is apparently some difficulty in obtaining here and for which they seemed to have a perfect craving. Men, women, and children implored to be given some.

There were two towers at Golandeh, the lower one quadrangular in shape and two-storied. The upper floor had recesses in all the rooms for storing grain and provisions.

We left camp at 5.45 p.m. and all went well until about ten o'clock, when Sadek took it into his head that we were travelling in the wrong direction and proceeded to put us right, I being fast asleep on my camel. The camel man, having never been on this route, did not know the way and depended a great deal on the bearings I gave him daily by my compass. When I awoke we had got sadly mixed up among big boulders and sharp broken-up rocks, from which the camels had the greatest difficulty in extricating themselves, and we wasted a good deal of time in helping the animals to get on to better ground as they continually stumbled and fell among the loose stones. The loads got undone several times and we were all three so ill that we had not the strength to tie them up again properly on the saddles.


eBook Search
Social Sharing
Share Button
About us

freefictionbooks.org is a collection of free ebooks that can be read online. Ebooks are split into pages for easier reading and better bookmarking.

We have more than 35,000 free books in our collection and are adding new books daily.

We invite you to link to us, so as many people as possible can enjoy this wonderful free website.

© 2010-2013 freefictionbooks.org - All Rights Reserved.

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Contact Us