LETTER XXV  pp. 168-200


By Isabella Bird

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Gaukhaud, Sept. 18.

This is a difficult journey. The road is rarely traversed by Europeans, the marches are long, and I am really not well enough to travel at all, not having been able to shake off the fever. Cooler days and cold nights are, however, coming to the rescue.

My Hamadan friends gave me a badraghah (a parting escort)—Miss C. M——, Mr. Watson, Pastor Ovannes and his boy, all on horseback; Mrs. Watson and her baby on an ass; several servants on foot, and Miss M—— and Mrs. Alexander in a spidery American buggy with a pair of horses; Dr. Alexander, a man six feet two inches high and very thin, “riding postilion” on one of them to get the buggy over difficult places; Ibrahim, the ladies' factotum, with a gun slung behind him, following on horseback. Two of the ladies and the native pastor stayed at night. It was not a pleasant return to camp life, for Johannes is quite ignorant of it, and everything was at sixes and sevens. Nor was the first morning pleasant, for the head charvadar, Sharban, came speaking loud with vehement gesticulation, saying that if I did not march with the big caravan and halt when it did, they would only give me one man, and added sundry other threats.