BY HARRY DE WINDT, F.R.G.S.,
AUTHOR OF "FROM PEKIN TO CALAIS BY LAND," ETC.
AUDLEY LOVELL, ESQUIRE,
I. TIFLIS - BAKU
II. THE CASPIAN - ASTARA - RESHT
III. RESHT - PATCHINAR
IV. PATCHINAR - TEHERAN
VI. TEHERAN - ISPAHAN
VII. ISPAHAN - SHIRAZ
VIII. SHIRAZ - BUSHIRE
IX. BALUCHISTAN - BEILA
X. BALUCHISTAN - GWARJAK
XI. KELAT - QUETTA - BOMBAY
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
* * * * *
IN THE DESERT SUNRISE
A DIRTY NIGHT IN THE CASPIAN
ASTARA, RUSSO-PERSIAN FRONTIER
CROSSING THE KHARZAN
POST-HOUSE AT KUSHKU BAIRA
A CORPSE CARAVAN
A DAY IN THE SNOW
A FAMILY PARTY
THE CARAVANSERAI, MEYUN KOTAL
OUR CAMP AT OUTHAL
A "ZIGRI" AT GWARJAK
NOMAD BALUCH TENT
PALACE OF H.H. THE KHAN KELAT
THE KHAN OF KELAT
A RIDE TO INDIA.
TIFLIS - BAKU.
A spacious apartment, its polished _parquet_ strewn with white
bearskins and the thickest and softest of Persian rugs; its panelled
walls hung with Oriental tapestries, costly daggers, pistols, and
shields of barbaric, but beautiful, workmanship, glistening with gold
and silver. Every detail of the room denotes the artistic taste of the
owner. Inlaid tables and Japanese cabinets are littered with priceless
porcelain and _cloisonne_, old silver, and diamond-set miniatures; the
low divans are heaped with cushions of deep-tinted satin and gold;
heavy violet plush curtains drape the windows; while huge palms,
hothouse plants, and bunches of sweet-smelling Russian violets occupy
every available nook and corner. The pinewood fire flashes fitfully
on a masterpiece of Vereschagin's, which stands on an easel by the
hearth, and the massive gold "ikon," [A] encrusted with diamonds and
precious stones, in the corner. A large oil painting of his Majesty
the Czar of Russia hangs over the marble chimneypiece.
It is growing dark. Already a wintry wilderness of garden without,
upon which snow and sleet are pitilessly beating, is barely
discernible. By the window looms, through the dusk, the shadowy shape
of an enormous stuffed tiger, crouched as if about to spring upon a
spare white-haired man in neat dark green uniform, who, seated at a
writing-table covered with papers and official documents, has just
settled himself more comfortably in a roomy armchair. With a pleasant
smile, and a long pull at a freshly lit "papirosh," he gives vent to
his feelings with the remark that heads this chapter.
There is silence for a while, unbroken save by the crackle of blazing
logs and occasional rattle of driving sleet against the window-panes.
It is the 5th of January (O.S.). I am at Tiflis, in the palace of
Prince Dondoukoff Korsakoff, Governor of the Caucasus, and at the
present moment in that august personage's presence.
"Ceci non!" repeats the prince a second time, in answer to my request;
adding impatiently, "They should know better in London than to send
you to me.