'Military Report on South-West Persia, Including the Provinces of Khuzistan (Arabistan), Luristan, and Part of Fars'  (378/466)
The record is made up of 1 volume (390 pages). It was created in 1885. It was written in English. The original is part of the British Library: Printed Collections.
This transcription is created automatically. It may contain errors.
These rushing out so terribly afflicted Ahw^z and its vicinity that the
tteople fled, and thus was destroyed the sugar trade.
We were told to keep together, as the Arabs these parts are notorious
robbers, and a well there is in the hills is a noted trap of theirs. We saw
| a v(ye flocks of gazelles and an occasional houbara. As the sun rose we turned
off "first our ulsters, then our thick jackets, and would fain have stripped to
oar shirt sleeves, such is the terribly trying changeableness of tempera
ture in this part of Persia, which vies with that of Arghanistan and Peshawar,
and, combined with the muddy or brackish water which forms the drink in
these parts, tends to affect the strongest stomach Just as the sandstone
hills are " hull down " on the south-west horizon, wo come in sight of a large
marsh with fine cattle and buffaloes amongst its reeds. Some care has to be
taken to find a fordable track across it, and an abominable smell rises
from the ooxe as it is trampled by our animals. There are plenty of snipe
and ducks. The water is brackish and tastes a little of naptha. The name
of the place is Shah-Khi, or rather this is the name of the district. On the
sandhills to the east the long black line of tents shows the situation of the
encampment of the "Bowie" Arab tribe, which is our destination. As we
emerge from the marsh, we see a great commotion in the camp,—men moving
in masses, firing guns, and flashing sabres. Our guide and servants are alarm
ed, especially the former, who has a bad conscience, having once taken
part in a raid against this identical clan. He has to keep a strict incognito
or risk the loss of his ears. Old campaigners^ however, at a glance would
see that there was no fear; for are not the women here, at the margin of the
marsh, under our horses^ noses, carrying the brackish fluid in their goat skins?
The fun, for such it proves to be, goes on fast and furious, and no notice
is taken of us as we make our way to the Shaikh's tent and commence
pitching camp in its neighbourhood. It appears that the Shaikh has just
returned from a journey, and all this fuss was to welcome
His brother comes and introduces himself gradually; a knot
of the old
men gather round
oi braves dances past for
eoling: his mare ba(
bodv in graceful attitudes
then, as interest increases, the whole company
our special edilication; the Chief's brother, cara-
wards and forwards in front of the line, waving his
The braves were all dressed in long white clothes,
and danced a springy sort of step as they advanced in serried mass, waving
their swords and pieces, and chanting a wild refrain to the honour of
Shaikh. After nearly stampeding all our horses, the youths
their ordinary ways.
The soil is alluvial and impassable after rains.
Stage 2, December 4th. —The Bowie camp at Shah-Khi
Sliah-Khi marsli to
camp of Shaikh Jabir
Khan, 23f miles, easy
road, Ram-Hormuz 8
miles further. General
families; they were hospitable enough, and were com
fortably housed in tents walled off with reeds from the
marsh. They spoke hardly any Persian. The drawback
was the brackish water, the salt taste seemed to pervade
the milk of the flocks and herds that drink it. Appa
rently, however, the pasturage on and near the marsh is
too good to be abandoned, so salt drinking water must be submitted to. The
large flocks of beautiful sheep testified to the goodness of the fodder. W e
have done with the level plain. To the north and east the ground is undulating.
Our way (there is no track) soon meets the Gopal river as it meanders slowly
between mud banks 18 feet in height. It has a taste of naptha, and is the same
brackish water that is found in the marsh, which in fact is fed by it. On the
i ' !!
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Military Report on South-West Persia, Including the Provinces of Khuzistan (Arabistan), Luristan, and Part of Fars by Major and Bt. Lieut-Col. Mark S. Bell, V.C., R.E.
Publication Details: Simla: Government Central Branch Press, 1885. Prepared in the Intelligence Branch of the Quarter Master General's Department in India.
Physical Description: 3 maps in end pockets. 41 plates.
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This volume contains a table of contents giving chapter headings and page references.
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Dimensions: 245mm x 150mm
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- 'Military Report on South-West Persia, Including the Provinces of Khuzistan (Arabistan), Luristan, and Part of Fars'
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- Bell, Mark Sever
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