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whose territory lies to the Hari with an enemy, it would be unsafe Rud and the Safid Kun, and is to predict. The Russians, howshut in on the east and west by ever, have already begun a course the Hazarajat and the Kalah-i-nau of intrigue with the Chahar AiHazaras, are the bravest of the maks, even while the Commission Chahar Aimaks, and are estimated was still engaged in its work; and at 14,500 families. The most im- Lieutenant Yate is of opinion that portant section of the Firuzkuhis “it is contrary to reason to expect is under the rule of Fathullah Beg, that they will in any way aid the an Achakzai, who can put 3000 Afghans in the defence of Herat.” horsemen into the field, and who The headquarters of the Comis now in favour with the Ameer, mission left Bala Murghab on 15th though he formerly supported the February, and marching by Marurebellion of Ayub Khan. Gul- chak, crossed into the valley of the ran, a point important as lying Khushk and on to Gulran. It was in the centre of Badkis, and where here that the news of the engagea number of roads converge, as ment at Panjdeh reached the camp. well as for its proximity to the We cannot follow Mr Yate through new frontier, has quite recently the very minute details which he been colonised by 250 families of gives of all the circumstances conChahar Aimaks from Fathullah nected with this incident-details, Beg's division of the tribe, while however, which are quite excusthere are sections of the same stock able, considering that the event settled in Maimena and other not merely placed the Commission towns in Balkh.

in a most critical position, but About the Taimaniss whose pos- brought two empires to the very sessions lie about the head-waters verge of war. It is sufficient to say of the Farah Rud, we have less that the facts adduced by Mr Yate information; but they are set conclusively establish the treachery down at 10,000 families, which of the Russians, as well as the falsecould turn out 10,000 horsemen. hood of the versions of the affair “In estimating the fighting power which they published. We prefer of all these tribes," says Lieuten- rather to quote the description of ant Yate, “it is customary to the storm of the 4th April, which reckon only the horsemen, inas- overtook Sir Peter Lumsden while much as they alone are available retiring from Gulran to Tirpul. for service out of their own country. No doubt every able-bodied “When the Gulran party reached man would aid in defence of his the mouth of the Au-safid Pass, they own village; and if ever the Brit- found it a swollen running stream, ish Government were to desire to with a bed of soft mud into which drill and discipline levies from the and foundered. The horses of the

horses, mules, and ponies sank deep Aimak tribes, they would prob- cavalry could with difficulty struggle ably find them excellent material.” through it, so you may imagine how The Ameer has already, with con- it affected the mules. The water was siderable success, converted num- bitterly cold, the wind piercing; and bers of the Chahar Aimaks, prob- laden animals kept foundering and ably from Fathullah Beg's clan— falling—the drivers had to paddle

about in the water, and soon became into irregular troopers ; but how

half paralyzed with cold. When the faithful they would be likely to top of the Au-safid Pass was reached prove to their salt, in the event of by General Lumsden, the main body their tribes throwing in their lot of the cavalry, and others, the wind

irrespective of the bitterness, and the battery tents a dozen officers huddled. snow and sleet that accompanied it, For food they had half-a-dozen biswas so powerful that it blew General cuits, a quarter-loaf of bread, and a Lumsden and his horse off the path small piece of tinned beef. That is down a steep bank.

Fortunately all the food they tasted from 8 A.M. neither was much the worse for it. yesterday to 2 P.M. to-day. Any It was, in fact, just all that man and small quantity of wine and spirits horse could do to struggle against the that was available was reserved exviolence of the wind. It was then clusively for the use of the exhausted proposed to halt and camp in the first and benumbed natives. The cold sheltered spot come to. For some was intense, the floors of the tents inexplicable reason it was decided to were puddles, and the violent wind go on to Chashma-i-sabz. Had they repeatedly drew the pegs. Almost camped in the Au-safid Pass many every dog in camp died that night. lives would have been saved. Start- Nine, it is said, took refuge in one of ing from Gulran at 7.30, the cavalry the officers' tents, thereby preserving reached Chashma-i-sabz early in the their own lives and keeping their afternoon. Arrived there, they and

As for those poor all the officers, the native attachés, fellows who had no tents, they lay and others with them, found them- down anywhere in a postin blanket selves without servants, without food, or a numdah, or in their ordinary without tents, and nothing to drink clothing, and passed the night as best but muddy water. Captain Heath they could. The animals stood starvand Lieutenant Wright started back ing and shivering, saddled as they with some sowars and ponies to bring came in and without jhools, some in helpless stragglers. They went wandering away in the night in back three or four miles, and having search of food and getting lost. then picked up as many men, utterly Those that were securely picketed powerless and some dying, as the turned their tails to the snow and ponies could carry, they returned to biting blast; next morning their camp. The men of the 11th Bengal tails were a bunch of icicles. In the Lancers behaved admirably through- morning those poor fellows who had out. A number of them came into to pass the night in the open air were camp almost paralyzed with cold, and found covered with snow. General were tended and cared for by their Lumsden was out at 5 A.M. on the comrades with the greatest kindness. 5th to see what could be done, both Many men seen to deprive to aid and rescue stragglers, and themselves of the warm clothing they succor those who had lain out all so much needed, to give it to their night in the cold. As one of the suffering fellow-soldiers. They had officers said, when they first went but one tent among them, and round in the early morning among throughout the night, it is said, they the figures lying motionless on the took it turn about by tens at a time ground, some silent, some moaning, to sit in this tent. Sleep there was they shuddered to think that half of none, neither for officer nor man, them might be dead. General Lumsexcept the sleep of death, and that den did all in his power to assist and was only vouchsafed to a few. That relieve the miserable natives. Subamany natives prayed for it, I have dar Mahomed Husain Khan managed little doubt. Britons are not so fond to collect wood, light a fire, and make of death as all that. Such servants some tea. Here all in distress were and syces as had come in were welcome, and having had a warm either prostrate and numbed—in fact, and a cup of tea, retired in favour of 'crumpled up'-with cold, or, as it the next batch. Three men was graphically expressed, shivering found dead in the morning, and many and chattering idiots. After some others were, it is feared, frost-bitten. search it was found that a few mules Large numbers were missing, includwith tents had struggled in. Two or ing some sowars. Many horses were three of them were given to the found dead." sowars and Persian mule-drivers and farrashes, and in two small mountain- This was a terrible disaster to

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the Commission, coming as it did intrigue, if not the first scene of at a time its fortunes appeared to Russian aggression. Cut off as have been reduced to the lowest that province is from Cabul, for ebb by the Russian infr ngement five months at least every year, of the peace, and when all the the Ameer's authority is never very strength and all the resources of potent, and is not infrequently the escort were so much needed to altogether repudiated by refracsecure the general safety. During tory chiefs. Even when we have the month of April and the greater fixed a boundary line to the Oxus, part of May, when the issues of our difficulties will only have compeace and war were trembling in menced. Russia will, with justice, the balance, and while the contro- demand the guarantee of a responversy over the Panjdeh incident sible power-either the Ameer or was threatening to cut away all the British Government-for the possibility of understanding preservation of good order on the between England and Russia, the Afghan side of the line; and how Commission was indeed in a criti- is such order to be secured? As cal condition, and had little chance we have said, Abdur Rahman of making its way back to the In- Khan's power over his Balkh-Turdian frontier had a declaration of kistan subjects is, at its best, but war emanated from either side. limited; the country is ruled, and

Lieutenant Yate paid a flying its tribes influenced, by Khans who visit to Mashhad, and as he was are ever intriguing and often reobliged to return to India before belling—who, at the first difficulty the conclusion of the Commission's with the Cabul durbar, or the work, he left its members in Ameer's representative in the proBadkis, and made his way back to vince, will create a diversion in Bombay by the Persian frontier, their own favour by seeking Rusthe Caspian, Constantinople, and sian support, and to whom RusEgpyt. But though he did not sian roubles will be ever welcome. accompany the Commission to The Mirs of Maimena have always Balkh, he succeeded, while at Gul- affected more or less independran, in amassing a variety of fresh ence of Cabul, have on several ocand useful information regarding casions resisted the Ameer's forces, the country between the Oxus and and have for years been under the the Paropamisus, which we are suspicion of having intrigued with glad to hear is to be supplemented the Russian Government of Turby another volume dealing specially kistan. Now that Russia comwith this part of the demarcation mands the ferries on the Oxus, survey from the pen of a member and has a recognised position on of the Commission.

the Balkh borders, her influence It is to the Balkh portion of the for fomenting trouble is redoubled. frontier that attention is chiefly On her side of the frontier, guarded at this moment directed, since its by military posts, she will be able exact position has still to be to prevent the Turkomans from settled by the negotiations which giving any cause of offence to the are at present pending between Ameer's subjects, except when it our Foreign Office and the Govern- suits her policy to offer provocament of St Petersburg. And tions—a game which she has hitherthere is every reason to believe to played with signal success in that Balkh will in the future be Central Asia. Her great aim will the favourite theatre of Russian be to find cause for offence on the Afghan side; and considering the with picking from

picking from Lieutenant unruly character of the Balkh Yate's valuable book such pieces Uzbeks, there is every probability of information as are new and inof her wishes being promptly teresting; but there is a lighter gratified. The value of a frontier side to his narrative, which will will only be half secured unless prevent the reader from being arrangements are made for pre- wearied with descriptions of arid serving its inviolability, and for passes and rude clans. The volume the due execution of border laws. is full of incidents connected with As the British Government has the adventurous march of the aligned the new frontier, it is not Commission; the ruined forts and asking too much of the Ameer that shrines are made to yield their it should also be allowed to appoint, traditions; and the natives are as Wardens of the Marches, Euro- sketched with shrewd but genial pean officers who will watch the penetration. There is much in course of events, whose presence the book of politics, of the Central will be a check to the machina- Asian question in all its phasestions of emissaries of the Alikhan- overmuch we would be tempted off type, and who, when a difficulty to say, but for the fresh and does occur, will be able to put the forcible way Lieutenant Yate has rights of the matter in a reliable of stating his sometimes too imway before the Foreign Office and petuous conclusions ; and the the Government of India. There reader will in all probability preis another reason why we should fer the author in his capacity of have British eyes upon the watch a clever and accurate observer to on the Oxus. Competent military his assumed rôle of diplomatist. authorities have always pointed His book, however, is by far the out that India was not less liable most valuable contribution that to menace from Russia, through has been added to the literature Balkh, than by the way of Herat, of the Russo - Afghan question and the Government of India, from since Sir Henry Rawlinson's volrecent steps which it has taken, ume, and with a little more pruning would now seem to be more closely and condensation, it would have recognising this fact.

taken a very high place among We have contented ourselves standard works of recent travel.

SARRACINESCA.

(Copyright by F. Marion Crawford, 1886.]

CHAPTER XXV.

The opportunity which Giovanni not yet above the hills, and the sought of being alone with Cor- mountain air was keen and fresh ; ona was long in coming. Sister the stamping of the horses sounded Gabrielle retired immediately after crisp and sharp, and their bells rang dinner, and the Duchessa was left merrily as they shook their sturdy alone with the two men. Old necks and pricked their short ears Sarracinesca would gladly have to catch Giovanni's voice. left his son with the hostess, but Have you forgotten nothing, the thing was evidently impos- Duchessa ? ” asked Giovanni, gathsible. The manners of the time ering the reins in his hand. would not allow it, and the result " Nothing, thanks. I have sent was that the Prince spent the our things on mules — by the evening in making conversation bridle-path.” She smiled involfor two rather indifferent listeners. untarily as she recalled her adHe tried to pick a friendly quarrel venture, and half turned her face with Giovanni, but the latter was away. too absent-minded even to be an- "Ah, yes—the bridle-path, noyed; he tried to excite the peated Giovanni, as he nodded to Duchessa's interest, but she only the groom to stand clear of the smiled gently, from time to time horses' heads. In a moment they making a remark which was con- were briskly descending the windspicuous for its irrelevancy. But ing road through the town of Asold Sarracinesca was in a good trardente; the streets were quiet humour, and he bore up bravely and cool, for the peasants had all until ten o'clock, when Corona gone to their occupations two gave the signal for retiring. They hours before, and the children were to start very early in the were not yet turned loose. morning, she said, and she must I never hoped to have the have rest.

honour of myself driving you to When the two men were alone, Sarracinesca,” said Giovanni. " It the Prince turned upon his son in is a wild place enough, in its way. semi-comic anger, and upbraided You will be able to fancy yourself him with his obstinate dullness in Switzerland,” during the evening. Giovanni “I would rather be in Italy." only smiled calmly, and shrugged answered Corona. "I do not care his shoulders. There was nothing for the Alps. Our own mountains more to be said.

as beautiful, and are not inBut on the following morning, fested by tourists." soon after six o'clock, Giovanni had “ You are a tourist to-day," said the supreme satisfaction of instal- Giovanni. " And it has pleased ling Corona beside him upon the Heaven to make me your guide.'' driving-seat of his cart, while his "I will listen to your explanafather and Sister Gabrielle sat to- tions of the sights with interest." gether behind him.

The sun was " It is a reversal of the situa

are

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