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Across Coveted Lands by Arnold Henry Savage Landor

Illustration The British Bazar Husseinabad Sistan


The

site and the outward appearance of the Russian Vice-Consulate, which one can only reach by jumping over various drain channels or treading over graves, was decidedly not one's ideal spot for a residence, but once inside the dwelling, both house and host were really charming. Mr. Miller, the Consul, was a very intelligent and able man indeed, a most wonderful linguist, and undoubtedly a very efficient officer for his country. There is also in Husseinabad a round tower where the Beluch Sirdar fought the Amir some nine years ago, and one or two windmills characteristic of Sistan and Beluchistan.

These windmills are not worked by sails in a vertical position like ours, but are indeed the simplest and most ingenious contrivance of its kind I have ever seen. The motive wheel, which revolves in a horizontal position, is encased in high walls on three sides, leaving a slit on the north side, from whence the prevalent winds of Sistan blow. The wind entering with great force by this vertical slit--the walls being so cut as to catch as much wind as possible--sets the wheel in motion--a wheel which, although made coarsely of reeds tied in six bundles fastened together by means of cross-arms of wood, revolves easily on a long iron pivot, and once set in motion attains a high speed.

The flour mill has two stories, the motive wheel occupying the entire second floor, while attached to its pivot on the ground floor is the actual

grinding stone. The wheat to be ground flows into a central aperture in this stone from a suspended vessel, a simple system of strings and ropes acting as an efficient brake on the axle of the upper wheel to control its speed, and others allowing the grain to fall uniformly and, when necessary, preventing its flow.

[Illustration: The British Bazar (Husseinabad) Sistan.]

There sweeps over Sistan in the hot weather what is called the _Bad-i-sud-o-bist-roz_, or wind of the 120 days, which blows from the north-north-west, and, although this may seem unpleasant to the inhabitants, it has a most undoubtedly salubrious effect upon the climate of the province, which, owing to the great quantity of channels and stagnant water, would otherwise be most unhealthy. As it is the climate is now extremely healthy. The water of the Halmund is delicious to drink.

The suburb of Husseinabad stretches for about one mile towards the south, and contains among other places of importance the buildings of the Customs, with a caravanserai--very modest and unsafe--a picture of which is here given. What is called "Benn Bazaar," or the British Bazaar, is also found at the south-east portion of Husseinabad and facing the Consulate Hospital.

CHAPTER 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.


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