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Across Coveted Lands by Arnold Henry Savage Landor

Two caravanserais are found at Nushki


[Illustration:

The New City of Nushki. (overlooking the Tashil Buildings.)]

The Tashildar, a most intelligent officer, seems to understand the Beluch chiefs thoroughly, treats them with extreme consideration--in private life dealing with them as honoured guests, and politically as Government subjects who must adhere to their loyalty to the King.

There are also within the Tashil wall a post and telegraph office and a treasury, a neat little red brick building, with strong iron gates and huge padlocks. Prisons are on either side of the treasury, so that one single sentry may keep an eye on both the prisoners and the local Government funds.

When I visited the place an old man in chains was squatting in the sun outside his cell. I inquired what crime he had committed. His daughter, they said, was betrothed to a young man, and at the time appointed for the marriage the old man did not bring the girl to the bridegroom as stipulated. He had consequently already been here in prison for two months to pay for his folly, and would possibly have to remain some months longer, for, according to Beluch law--which is in force here--such a crime deserves severe punishment.

Another prisoner--a cattle lifter--had a most hideously criminal head. Prisoners were very well cared for, had nice clean cells given them, and were provided with plenty of food and blankets.

justify;">The Tashil establishment consisted of one Tashildar, one _Sarishtedar_ (clerk who reads papers), one Judicial _Moharrir_, one _Kanungo_ (revenue clerk), three _patwaris_, one accountant in treasury and one treasurer, one _chaprassi_, one petition writer, one levy moonshee, one post and telegraph master, one postman, one hospital assistant, one compounder, three servants.

Next to the Tashil was the _thana_ and Police-station, with a police thanedar, one sergeant and nine (Punjab) constables, as well as a levy _jemadar_ with one _duffadar_ and ten _sawars_.

There is a practical little hospital at Nushki, with eight beds and a dispensary, but the health of the place seemed very good, and there were no patients when I visited it. Moreover, it seems that the Beluch prefer to be given medicine and remain in their dwellings, except in cases of very severe illness. The principal ailments from which they suffer are small-pox, measles, and scurvy, which in various stages is most prevalent among the Beluch. Chest complaints are unknown among them while they live out in the open air, but when they are forcibly confined to rooms, for instance as prisoners, they generally die of pneumonia or develop consumption.

Two caravanserais are found at Nushki, one for traders from Sistan, and one for caravans from Quetta, and a mosque, so that the place is quite a self-contained little town.

In front of the hospital one is rather staggered by finding an actual tennis court laid down according to the most precise rules, and no doubt in course of time we may expect golf links and ping-pong tournaments which will mark further steps towards the Anglicisation of that district. But personally I was more interested in the local bazaar, counting already 150 shops.


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