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A Ride to India across Persia and Baluchistán   By: (1856-1933)

Book cover

First Page:

[Illustration: IN THE DESERT SUNRISE]

A RIDE TO INDIA

ACROSS PERSIA AND BALUCHISTÁN.

BY

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

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

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS

BY

HERBERT WALKER FROM SKETCHES BY THE AUTHOR .

1891.

TO

AUDLEY LOVELL, ESQUIRE,

COLDSTREAM GUARDS,

THIS VOLUME

IS

DEDICATED.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I. TIFLIS BAKU

II. THE CASPIAN ASTARÁ RÉSHT

III. RÉSHT PATCHINAR

IV. PATCHINAR TEHERÁN

V. TEHERÁN

VI. TEHERÁN ISPAHÁN

VII. ISPAHÁN SHIRÁZ

VIII. SHIRÁZ BUSHIRE

IX. BALUCHISTÁN BEILA

X. BALUCHISTÁN GWARJAK

XI. KELÁT QUETTA BOMBAY

APPENDIX

MAP

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

IN THE DESERT SUNRISE

TIFLIS

A DIRTY NIGHT IN THE CASPIAN

ASTARÁ, RUSSO PERSIAN FRONTIER

CROSSING THE KHARZÁN

TEHERÁN

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

KELÁT

PALACE OF H.H. THE KHAN KELÁT

THE KHAN OF KELÁT

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 cloisonné , 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 Vereschágin'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 Korsákoff, 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. The War Minister in St. Petersburg alone has power to grant foreigners permission to visit Central Asia. You must apply to him, but let me first warn you that it is a long business. No" after a pause "no; were I in your place I would go to Persia. It is a country replete with interest."

I know, from bitter experience of Russian officials, that further parley is useless. Making my bow with as good a grace as possible under the circumstances, I take leave of the governor and am escorted by an aide de camp, resplendent in white and gold, through innumerable vestibules, and down the great marble staircase, to where my sleigh awaits me in the cutting north easter and whirling snow. Gliding swiftly homewards along the now brilliantly lit boulevards, I realize for the first time that mine has been but a wild goose chase after all; that, if India is to be reached by land, it is not viâ Merv and Cábul, but by way of Persia and Baluchistán... Continue reading book >>




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