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Across Coveted Lands by Arnold Henry Savage Landor

And we arrived at Morad Khan Kella 5


The

village of Kardegap was seen next, and we arrived at Morad Khan Kella (5,500 feet) twenty-four miles from our last camp.

CHAPTER XLI

Morad Khan Kella--The horrors of a camera--Seven high dunes--Three tracks--Where the railway will be laid--A fine old tamarisk turned into a Ziarat--Pagoda-like rest-houses--Science _versus_ comfort--Kanak--Afghan women--The Kandahar road--How we butcher foreign names--Quetta and Chaman--The horse fair and Durbar at Sibi--Arrival in Calcutta--The first mishap--The death of faithful Lawah--The end.

There was a ruined fort at Morad Khan Kella, and half a mile off a Beluch village with two towers. Each house had a separating wall extending outwardly. The Beluch is wretched if he is not secluded. The first thing he ever wants to know is the exact extent of his property, then he is quite happy and can live at peace with his neighbours. As folks live more outside their houses than indoors, I suppose such a demarcation of property is necessary. Moreover, people and beasts live in friendly intercourse, and no doubt the beasts, which may be the cherished pets of one man, may be just the reverse to his neighbours. The houses were rectangular and plastered over with mud.

The people here were not quite so friendly as in other villages, and one began

to feel the effects of nearing civilisation. Somebody, too, had been at this people with a camera before, for I hardly had time to take mine out of its case before the whole population, which had collected around, stampeded in all directions in the utmost confusion. Only a little child--whom the mother dropped in the hurry-scurry--was left behind, and he was a quaint little fellow clad in a long coloured gown and a picturesque red hood.

We left Morad Khan Kella (5,430 feet) again on February 2nd, along the vast plain which is to be crossed by the future railway from north to south (190 deg.). On nearing the Killi range we came again to some high sand dunes rising in a gentle gradient to 250 feet, their lowest point being to the north, the highest to the south. The plain itself on which we were travelling (stretching from south-west to north-east) rose gradually to 5,650 feet on undulating ground with a number of sand hills, seven high long dunes, and some minor ones.

We then came to a flat plain slanting northwards and with high sand accumulations to the south near the hill range. A rivulet of salt water losing itself in the sand was found next, and then we had to cross a pass 6,020 feet. One obtained a beautiful view of the Mustang Mountains to the south-east with two plains, intersected by a high mountain range between us and them. There were three tracks from this pass. One south-east, called the Mustang track, the other (north-east) the Tiri Road, and one, on which we were travelling, north-north-east (50 deg.) to Kanak. The very high Kuh-i-Maran peak could be seen in the distance to the south-east.


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