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had been deterred from journey- on a particular road, we were ing farther, owing to the reports usually referred to three sepof the dangers from the tribes arate persons, each holding a on the road and the generally perfectly good authority. If it unsettled state of the country. was a question of a complaint He remained there some for some breach of order, or months, while he vainly en- anything of an equally undeavoured obtain more pleasant nature, each referred troops from Teheran. In the us to the other, and said he meantime his political oppon- had nothing to do with it. ents had obtained the appoint- If, on the other hand, it was a ment of another man in his question of providing a paid place, although I believe the escort, or of any matter where latter never got farther than there was money to be made or Teheran. The Central Govern- an opportunity for extortion, ment, although willing to ap- each of the three maintained point a second governor, was that the responsibility and the not prepared to commit itself privilege were his alone. The so far as to cancel the original job of looking after an importappointment, and presumably ant road is much sought after hoped that the fates would in these parts, for, although intervene on one side or the no pay and no subsidy is other, or that one of the two given, there is a fat harvest to would oust the other without be reaped from caravans and the necessity for them to arrive merchants as the price of their at a definite decision. For safe-conduct. Under present there is nothing so hateful to conditions, however, the merthe vacillating Persian mind chants complained bitterly. as to have to arrive at a final They had no objection, they decision on any difficult ques- said, to paying blackmail to tion. We in Sennah, there- one person, for such is the fore, were faced with a curious immemorial custom of the counsituation, though not, I believe, try. They did object, however, a particularly unusual one in to having to pay it three times Persia. Not only did these over to three different persons, two governors make appoint- each of whom was armed with ments to various posts by a perfectly legal authority from letter, but we also had an a governor, and then having officiating governor in Sennah no certainty that their goods itself who was supposed to would get through in safety. carry on until the real incum- Finally this matter began to bent arrived. He also had his affect the importation of our own clientèle appointed to all much-needed local supplies to the more important posts in such an extent that we were the district. If, therefore, we compelled to take matters into wished to find out who was our own hands. As the acting responsible for keeping order governor was at any rate on

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the spot and accessible, we tainable at law for the balance, let it be known that no ap- while the ex-governor considers pointments would be recog- that, by persuading his advernised by the British Govern- sary to let him go without ment unless made by a gover- full payment in cash, he won nor or acting governor actually a notable diplomatic victory, within the province. This of which he is fully entitled to cleared up the situation to a reap the reward. That holding certain extent, as we were able a prominent Government offithrough the political officer to cial to ransom is illegal never strengthen very considerably strikes the one, while to the the hands of men appointed other it never appears a matter locally, and also to see that for shame that a promise should their extortions were not too not be kept. The ex-governor great to affect the importation still resides in Sennah, and mainof such supplies as we needed. tains a large armed following.

Although the position of gov- Sirdar Rashid, therefore, does ernor in Kurdistan carries very not often appear in the town, considerable advantages, pecu- and relations between them are niary and otherwise, it must still somewhat strained. not be thought that he lies Sirdar Rashid was a useful altogether on a bed of roses. ally to us on occasions, and He has his own troubles to could put a very serviceable contend with, for all round him tribal force into the field. On are great landowners and tribal one occasion, however, he scored chiefs, many of whom can

can off us heavily. It happened raise a thousand sowars to that one Sinjar Khan, a wellback their requests. Squeezing known outlaw, was giving a the governor, too, is a sport lot of trouble on the road to which has several times been Sennah, looting caravans and successfully carried out. It is making himself otherwise obsaid, for instance, that that jectionable. It was decided cheerful little villain, Sirdar that his activities on our lines Rashid of Juanrud, a few years of communication could no ago kidnapped a former gover- longer be tolerated, and a mixed nor, and only let him go in force of our troops and tribal exchange for a ransom of 30,000 levies was sent against him. tomans. Apparently, however, His force was surrounded and the whole of this amount was captured, but he himself esnever actually handed over. caped. While our troops were He was released on a cash endeavouring to intercept his payment of part of the ransom flight, our allies discovered and and a signed and sealed promise got away with all his accumufor the rest. It shows the lated loot, a pretty valuable curious mentality of the Per- treasure, said to include 10,000 sian that Sirdar Rashid con- tomans of silver. Our political siders that he has a claim 818- officer naturally pressed very heavily for a share of this spoil For the first week or two of war to be handed over to we were in Sennah we had an the British Government, who interesting but strenuous time. had after all played the chief During this period we were part in the operations. He was chiefly occupied in getting into put off with various excuses. as close touch as possible with Finally, however, a beautiful the local situation and the local Arab pony and a fine ambling personages of importance, in mule were sent to us, with a meg- trying to ascertain what their sage that, although the silver ideas on the situation were, could not be traced, these two and in endeavouring through very valuable animals were sent them to tap the more likely as the British Government's sources of recruiting. share. It was only some time This was a difficult and unlater, when we were on the point satisfactory business. It would of leaving the town, and long be easy to get as many reafter these animals had been cruits as we wanted of a sort. issued as remounts, that we Any decent pay would bring in heard their true history. It hundreds of them. But none appears that during the opera of the class who came forward tions some of our tribal allies would be of any use, for in had met a Persian gentleman Persia good fighting men are on the road with his household. as scarce as wild sheep, and as Although he was merely a difficult to catch, while they peaceful traveller, and had noth- are generally family retainers ing whatever to do with the of one or another of the local matter, the two animals in chiefs. There are only two question were stolen from him. classes likely to be of any After a time, however, it trans- value-the tribesmen, and the pired that the Persian gentle- peasant followers of the local man was not the innocuous Aghawat (landed gentry). The private individual that he former know no master, they appeared to be. He was, in- are difficult to control, and deed, closely related to a very almost impossible to discipline, highly placed personage in while the latter would only Teheran. This came to the serve if allowed to do so by knowledge of the chiefs, who their feudal chiefs, who, we found themselves in a highly soon came to the conclusion, embarrassing situation. A were at least as well disposed hasty consultation followed, and towards the Turks as to oursome bright individual suggested that the British Govern- Tribesmen could, it is true, be ment were the people who used for certain temporary duty could most easily bear the-for raids against convoys or blame. The animals were there against other hostile tribes ; fore hastily passed on to us, but it was out of the question and accepted in all innocence. to hope that they would be of

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any use against a regular or tage. Sennah was, moreover, even partially regular force. place of considerable strategical

We therefore decided that, importance, for it is an obvious while making such arrange jumping-off place for an adments with the tribes as would vance against either Hamadan allow us to draw on them for or Kermanshah, and its captemporary duty under their ture by the Turks would have own leaders when required, we constituted a very serious menwould endeavour to obtain re- ace to the long lines of comcruits for our standing force munication between Persia and from the settled peasant class. the army in Mesopotamia. To This was, however, a slow add to our anxiety, accurate inbusiness. Every landowner formation of the Turkish movenaturally objected to losing ments to the north was very the cultivators of his land, difficult to obtain. The Turkish while all the time Turkish forces were some six or seven intrigue was working hard marches away, and between us against us. It was indeed only was a barren waste of country after the most strenuous efforts patrolled by hostile tribes, and that our first half company over which there was no regular was enlisted. Then came bad traffic. This made it very news from all around. Dun- difficult to pass intelligence sterforce was compelled to evac- agents through, and many of uate Baku, large Turkish forces our spies were captured by the began to concentrate round tribes. The fog of war was, Tabriz, our troops were chased in fact, very difficult to peneout of Mianeh, while our next- trate. door neighbours at Bijar were Soon, however, there was a sorely pressed by superior change of command and a forces. Everywhere things be- change of policy in Northgan to look black from the West Persia, and things began British point of view, and re- to improve very rapidly. A cruiting became almost im- military policy was devised to possible.

meet the situation, and the To make matters worse, our good results were obvious even immediate opponents, the con- in an out-of-the-way place like siderable Turkish forces at ours. Not only were we given Saqiz, began to show signs of definite instructions as to the moving forward. The situation rôle of our force, but we were at Sennah was rendered none supplied regularly with informathe easier by the fact that the tion collected and collated at town contains 6000 or 7000 headquarters. Shortly afterarmed men, not taking into con- wards we were told to take sideration the tribes all round, over a considerable force which all of whom were potential was being raised from the enemies in the event of the Armenian refugees and was Turks gaining a decided advan- being sent up to us.

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later we were on the move terrible severity. The horses down the road to meet them. were naturally in a worse state

I do not think any of us than the men. For they had are likely to forget quickly also been campaigning for our meeting with our new months, while they had had army.

We had ridden two or to carry their riders back three days down the road to through the desolate mountain wards Hamadan, when sud- tracts for some hundreds of denly over a rise ahead of us miles to Hamadan, where little appeared masses of what we grass and no grain had been at first took to be Cossacks. obtainable. On closer inspection, these The first difficulty with which proved to be the advanced we found ourselves faced was guard of our Armenians. At the language problem. These first sight it seemed that we people talk a terrible tongue had got hold of a force which called Syriac, which appears was ready for anything. Nearer to consist entirely of words beacquaintance, however, showed ginning with Tz and Sz and Prz, that things were not as rosy and is beyond the capabilities as they looked. The force had of anybody but a linguistic been very hastily raised, and genius. Our first efforts when had been sent off before it could we met them at making ourbe fully equipped. Almost all selves understood were not very the most important items of successful. We tried signs, we equipment, such as greatcoats, tried bad Persian, bad Arabic, cooking apparatus, and service- and still worse French, all to able boots, were wanting. These no purpose. Presently we bewe knew, given a little time, gan to get a little bit heated, we could make good in Sennah. and then the situation was But two things were beyond suddenly saved. A voice from our power to cope with in a the ranks was heard remarkhurry — broken morale and ing, "Gee whiz! ain't the colonel worn-out horses.

peppery," or words to that To get an idea of the state effect, in the best American. of affairs, it must be remem- We found the speaker was an bered that only a month or 80 interpreter, worth his weight in before these people had formed gold. He was a pure Armenian part of the broken and dis- from Van, but he had been organised rout which had schooled in an American mispoured into Hamadan from sion, and had lived for a conthe north-west. They were all siderable time in New York terribly weakened physically by and Chicago. their experiences, and to crown It was a toilsome business all, as we discovered later, they shepherding this force to Senwere badly infected with in- nah. Never have we felt quite fluenza, which, in their weak- so brutal as when we urged the ened state, attacked them with stragglers on up the road, for

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