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left bank, and near the mouth way leading to the village of one of them we passed a gate, there were women coming boat with a man in it. Him out with pitchers to draw we hailed, and Abdullah, the water from the little rainship's interpreter, found out filled reservoirs among the from him the best point at date-palms. They gazed at us which to land in order to reach for a horrified moment; then, the village, the name of which, setting down their burdens, he said, was Mashúr. The they fled back home in an khor in which was his boat anguish of amazement at our was the one which led to appearanoe, possibly mingled Mashúr; but it was now dry, -and, if so, very justifiablyand even at high - water it with amusement! would soaroely have been deep While

we were en route enough to carry the steam- Abdullah had induced one of outter to its head. There was the reapers to leave his work six feet of soft and sticky bank, and to go before us to proclaim and

ар this it was necessary to our arrival to the authorities; drag ourselves in our gum- and now, as we entered at the boots, using our boat-hooks as gate, our messenger appeared, alpenstocks, in order to reach to lead as to the house of the the path to the village on the Sheikh. We were oonduoted hard ground on the top. The into a humble mud - walled unshaded sun was pouring vestibule, half open to the sky, down on us, and there oan half thatohed, cool and shady, seldom have been a trio of ad- and bidden to sit down on a venturers of a more degraded dais at one end. Before as sat appearance than Komp, Ab- the Sheikh, amid a group of dallah, and myself, when at last village fathers, who received us we were ready to start on the with the grave inborn politetwo-mile march to Mashúr. ness of a thousand generations Our sun-helmets, our white of disoiplined good mannere. uniforms and gam-boots, were We were handed tumblers daubed heavily and disgust. made of thiok green glass, ingly with mud; our soarlet and an attendant filled them, faoes rained down with muddy from & leathern bottle, with perspiration, and we each still cool, exquisitely cool, rain. bore our long mud - ologged water. In our overwhelming staves, to aid us in case of need drought we drank, regardless when crossing further creeks on of miorobes; but

but if

any the line of maroh. We were existed in the potion, our absolute mud-larks! There was personal temperatures, which no possible means of “tidying- seemed to be many degrees up," so we set forth at once for above boiling · point, must the little village. Being May, have sufficiently sterilised the

the time of barley liquid as it hissed down our harvest, and we passed many throats. No ill effeot, anyway, people out at the reaping. was caused by it. As we approached the cause- Our position was, in many

it was

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respeots, & delioate one. The This was the final coal of fire name of “Mashur” was well on our head, and we rose to go known to the ganboat officers back to the boat. Coffee of of the Gulf as that of the base an admirable flavour, but thiok of the oonstant petty piracies with sweetness, in the Arab which took place, unpunished, fashion, bad followed the in the northern end of it; but draught of water; and now of its actual whereabouts no the parting guest must be one knew, or at least no one politely speeded on his way. would tell.

The name was The Sheikh sent for, and presentered on the chart, it is true, ently & mule and a donkey but it was placed fifty miles, were brought, the sole available and more, to the eastward of beasts of burden in the village, its true position, and was oare. and by taking turns in the fully marked with a large ? saddle, we four,- for Hajji Khor Masa had now rendered Gulim Shah, the pilot, came up to as the long - guarded with us,-having reached the seoret. Anything less like steam-cutter just at sunset, pirate chiefs than these grave got baok to the ship before polite old men now confront- complete darknees had set in. ing

soarcely be The expedition up the new imagined, surprised, as they river, which was named Khor had been, in their lair by their Dorak, was arravged for a day remorseless, but now entirely later-and took place under defenceless hunters. Yet not the moat fortunate circumthe slightest resentment was stanoes. We chanced to have shown. We were guests; and hit apon the day of springit was the will of Allah that tides, and thus we started off WᎾ should discover them in the steam-cutter on the first therefore, useless to oppose of the flood stream at 6 A,M., it. Courteous compliments were carried up on its wave were exchanged, local infor- by noon to the head of navigamation asked and given; and tion, thirty-five miles inland finally, on hearing from the to the westward, where was a Sheikh that there was a river village named Beziya, stayed close at hand, which discharged there an hour, and returned to its waters into Khor Musa, the ship by 7 P.M., swiftly and nearly abreast of the new easily, on the ebb stream. anchorage of the Sphinx, we Under no other tidal condi- . asked if he could provide us tions could we have carried with a pilot to take us, in out such a programme, though the steam-outter, up it. In & it was impossible for us to have few moments there arose one known this beforehand. We of the grey beards, who de- should have had to wait a fortolared himself to be pilot to night for another similar day. the Sheikh of Mohammerah- In one way, this river was the chief Sheikh of the whole our most important find in distriot-and that he would conneotion with Khor Musa. take us for twenty rupees. If the khor ever

was to be VOL, CCVII.--NO. MCCLVI.


a “base," either for ourselves came out to view the first or for any other Power, a good steam vehicle of their lives, supply of fresh water was a unable to decide whether it primary essential. It would was Jinn or Afrit, but hopbe a necessity anywhere; but ing for the best ! how much more so in the arid At last our waterway nar. and nearly rainless Persian rowed into a small stream Gulf?

ten yards wide, and finally Hitherto, we had found the we were brought up by a water of the khor to be of small bridge thrown across the most bitterly salt char. it at the village of Beziya. aoter, having nearly twice the Here we landed, and while salinity of the open ocean; Abdullah bought fowls for us and the lack of fresh water, at & shilling apieee, and five I could not but feel, was a fat sheep at twelve shillings severe handioap on the value each (o happy uncontrolled of the discovery of this other land !), I got observations of wise possible base for small the sun to find out our geooraft.

graphical position. When the But as we steamed up Khor ebb stream began, we started Dorak, and every few miles home with it; and 88 we tested the water for density, went baok, checked the ranI found, to my great satis- ning survey of the river I faotion, that first it was be- had made on the way up, ooming less and less salt, then getting more sun-observations less and less brackish, until for longitude when the condifinally, at about fifteen miles tions were propitious. Not from the mouth, it was quite far from the spot where fresh, The scenery changed Khor Dorak opened into Khor with the saltness. The dreary Musa there was a sand - bar, sandy plain, fronted by tidal which we bad just, but only mud-flats, gave way, as we just, negotiated in the steamsteamed inland, before the outter on the way op. The soft influence of the fresh boat was then drawing 21 water, At ten miles from feet; but on the return jourKhor Musa coarse bamboo- ney, with our marketings at grass began to fringe the Beziya making a considerable banks, while the strip

the strip of extra cargo, several further pasture-land on both sides inches had been added to our behind them beoame wider draught. It was getting dusk and wider, richer and richer, when we reached this point, until it spread out, green and and the old pilot was squatfar, to the flat horizon, and ting in the bowe, directing our was dotted with cattle and course with solemn authori. sheep. After twenty miles, tative wavings of the right villages and date-palm groves hand or of the left. Presbegan to appear on both sides, ently he gave quiet utteranoe whence stupefied men and a

to a short remark. Abdullah myriad of half-terrified children translated : “ The pilot says,



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sir, that he thinks it is too deep water ! The skiff re-
late to cross the bar; the joined us, and we were back on
water has already fallen too board the Sphinx within an
low.” And, just as he said hour.
this, we grounded. The skiff On the next day, when it
was hauled swiftly up along- came to paying - off the old
side, and every available sheep pilot, before sending him home
and weight, living and dead, to Mashúr, it appeared that
was cast into her. In the he was considerably more so-
steam.outter overy one seized phistioated than we had previ-

and boat - hooks, and ously supposed (probably from shoved hard, but the heavy interoourse with the steamer deep - keeled boat remained world

dealing at with bows buried in the Mohammerah and Basra), and stioky ground, as unmoved as that he was completely aware was the old pilot himself. of the faot that the Western There he sat, calm, imperturb- seafaring man in the hands of able, amidst our activities, and the Eastern bargainer is as our, to him, undignified anxie- wet olay in the hands of the ties, merely pointing out the potter. He moulded us, therebest direction in which to fore, according to his will; push, in order most quiokly that is to say, he squeezed an to reach deeper water. "Ask extra ten rupees out of his helpHajji Gulim," I said to Ab. less employers, and left, dedullah, “if he thinks there is olaring that “he had never any chanoe of our getting off before met naval officers like -to-night, or if we shall have unto ourselves"-an enigmatic to wait for the morning tide.” utterance the purport of which

A few grave words fell from I am not, even now, quite clear. the pilot's lips in reply. “He Having thus explored the says, sir,"

gays Abdullah, N.E. branch of Khor Muga and " that it is as God wills." its offshoots, we now took the This was serious. On hearing Sphinx back down again to it, Abdullah-, portly person our first anchorage - 3.6., the

- was ordered into the skiff. spot where the original main She was already orammed channel forked into two parts, with panting sheep and terri- in order, from there, to exfied fowls, but he managed to amine the western - going find foot - room.

“One, two, branch. After a short piothree - shove." We shoved neering visit in the steamfeverishly: it was or outter, we moved the ship up never! The steam - outter this new channel for a distance withdrew her bowe, grudg- of five miles, and anchored her ingly, a few incheg.

“Again there in seven fathoms. It was 80!”—and she floated, touohed, considerably narrower and less floated, touched — the ebb- deep than the other khor, stream carrying her gently but still quite a good anchordown meanwhile, antil at last agé for small vessels. From she was over the bar and in the new anchorage we went

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on, for a further twenty miles, to the water's edge, a sandy in the steam-outter to the west- cliff, apparently ten or twelve ward. The khor ended here feet high, with some flat ground in a muddy cul-de-sac, into in front of it. In the face of whioh fell several small streams the cliff was a row of caves, high of fresh water, none of them enough at their entrances for large enough, however, to affeot a man to stand upright; and the salinity of the khor.water they were barrioaded, each of to any marked degree. There them, with boughs of brushwere no inhabitants nor battle wood. On the flat top of the to be seen; but it was evident oliff into which they had been that, once upon a time, the scooped stood & few low treesurrounding land had been trunks, out“short off.” Kemp, lived on by men, for traces of ir- who was accompanying me as rigation ehannels, now wreoked usual, was as much interested and fallen in, oould be seen in and surprised as myself. This all directions. Up at the head was, to him as to me, quite a of the khor several wild pigs, new type of Arab habitation; outcasts of Arabia, could be and we decided to land at the seen rooting and wallowing in spot, to visit the troglodyte the mud of the streams. They dwellings, and examine the looked at us in dismay, and unusual vegetation. rushed noisily away. On the approached in the boat, we return journey we met a native were rather surprised to find boat whioh had got into the that the caves seemed somekhor through a branoh chan- what smaller than we had at nel, having come by a devious first supposed; but we landed route from the Babmishir river, abreast, and walked up to some miles to the westward them. On reaching them, we The men in it told us that the looked at one another in blank khor was named “Bukhader," and even creepy dismay! It and that it had been, one was as if we both had fallen hundred and seventy years under the spell of some ancient ågo, an

outlet of running Arabian neoromanoer! For the water from the Karún river, "cliff” had become only twelve but that it had gradually inches high; the * oaves" silted ap; and the villages were mere holes burrowed into which formerly had existed them by some sea - bird ; the along the banks had disap- “barricades of boughs" turned peared as the water became out to be a few little brusb. more and more salt.

wood sticks laid in the mouth We had a curious experience of the holes in the form of a during this exploration. As nest; and the “tree-tranka" we steamed up the khor, I on top were but the broken was looking out for a place stalks of a sorubby plant, a few at whioh to land to get sun- inches high, that covered the observations for

for longitude, surrounding wilderness! We

short way walked backwards from the ahead of the boat, and close spot, and as we did so magni

when I saw,

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