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Across Coveted Lands by Arnold Henry Savage Landor

Chah Sandan possessed three wells of excellent water


This

was not pure flattery but it was truly meant, and it was most pleasant to find that such was the opinion, not only of Belind Khan, but of every one of Captain Webb-Ware's subordinates on the entire length of the road from the frontier to Quetta.

There is a _thana_ of three rooms at Chah Sandan and a Ziarat to the Sultan Mountain. I took a photograph of Belind Khan making his salaams in the Ziarat, the altar of which was made of a pile of white marble pieces and rounded stones with sticks on which horns and a red rag had been fixed.

Chah Sandan possessed three wells of excellent water. The distance from Tretoh to Chah Sandan was 23 miles 760 yards.

CHAPTER 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.

Due east of Chah Sandan was the Gat mountain, this time, as there was no mirage, duly resting upon the desert. It was a most attractive looking mountain, and quite one of the most striking sights in the scenery upon the Nushki-Robat road.

Five

miles from Chah Sandan we again struck high, flat-topped sandbanks, and a great many conical sand hills. Ten miles off we went through a cut in the hills near which are to be found a well of brackish water and a great many palm trees, of two kinds (_Pish_ and _Metah_). Big tamarisks (_kirri_) were also abundant, and there was good grazing for camels, _regheth_ being plentiful. Near the salt well stood a gigantic palm tree.

We had come east-north-east (70 deg. b.m.) from Chah Sandan, and from this, our nearest point to the Gat mountain, the track turned east-south-east (110 deg. b.m.). One really had to halt to look at the Gat, it was so impressive. Two enormous blocks of rock several hundred feet high, one, roughly speaking, of a quadrangular shape (to the north) and one rectangular (to the south), were joined on the east side by a perpendicular wall of solid rock. Up to about two-thirds of the height of the mountain these huge blocks had accumulations of debris and sand, forming a slanting pad all round except on the west side, where there was a sort of hollow recess.

There was a large plain with good camel grazing to the east-south-east, bounded from east to south by a semicircle of low hills.

After leaving Gat there was nothing of interest on the march. Another extensive sand bank, 50 feet high, forming the eastern part of the hilly semicircle above mentioned, was crossed, then we were in a barren valley. Further on, however, after going over yet another sand dune (extending from north to south) we entered one more plain, this time absolutely covered with low palm trees. From this plain we began to rise in order to cross the hill range that stood before us, and here there were innumerable sand hills and sand banks, the latter facing north.


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