A Ride To India Across Persia And Baluchistan By Harry De Windt









































 - A RIDE TO INDIA

ACROSS PERSIA AND BALUCHISTAN.



BY HARRY DE WINDT, F.R.G.S.,

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A RIDE TO INDIA

ACROSS PERSIA AND BALUCHISTAN.

BY HARRY DE WINDT, F.R.G.S.,

AUTHOR OF "FROM PEKIN TO CALAIS BY LAND," ETC.

1891.

TO

AUDLEY LOVELL, ESQUIRE,

COLDSTREAM GUARDS,

THIS VOLUME

IS

DEDICATED.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I. TIFLIS - BAKU

II. THE CASPIAN - ASTARA - RESHT

III. RESHT - PATCHINAR

IV. PATCHINAR - TEHERAN

V. TEHERAN

VI. TEHERAN - ISPAHAN

VII. ISPAHAN - SHIRAZ

VIII. SHIRAZ - BUSHIRE

IX. BALUCHISTAN - BEILA

X. BALUCHISTAN - GWARJAK

XI. KELAT - QUETTA - BOMBAY

APPENDIX

MAP

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

* * * * *

IN THE DESERT SUNRISE

TIFLIS

A DIRTY NIGHT IN THE CASPIAN

ASTARA, RUSSO-PERSIAN FRONTIER

CROSSING THE KHARZAN

TEHERAN

PERSIAN DANCING-GIRL

POST-HOUSE AT KUSHKU BAIRA

A CORPSE CARAVAN

A DAY IN THE SNOW

A FAMILY PARTY

YEZDI-GHAZT

THE CARAVANSERAI, MEYUN KOTAL

SONMIANI

OUR CAMP AT OUTHAL

MALAK

A "ZIGRI" AT GWARJAK

NOMAD BALUCH TENT

JEBRI

KELAT

PALACE OF H.H. THE KHAN KELAT

THE KHAN OF KELAT

A RIDE TO INDIA.

CHAPTER I.

TIFLIS - BAKU.

"Ceci non!"

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.

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