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nate relish of this people for asafoetida, which is indeed common to the whole Belooche race, and to many of the eastern nations: A mountaineer, who brought two asses' loads of this stinking vegetable, was knocked down, in the general scramble for his commodity.
• In return for our present of a slice of meat, Boodhoo brought us, one evening at dinner time, what he prized as a much greater delicacy, and on which he expatiated with all the zest and rapture of a professed epicure. This was a tender young asafætida plant stewed in rancid butter, and our polite friend could hardly be persuaded that we were serious, when we declared that we could not relish the gout of the dainty he had prepared for us. Indeed the smell was not tolerable, for the green plant is even more rank and nauseous than the drug itself; a fact our olfactories attested, as they were abundantly regaled for two or three days subsequent to the supply being brought from the Brahooé, of which every soul in the Toomun had a share.'
While they remained here, they made a very important change in their plans, and determined on a separation, in order more completely to accomplish their purpose of exploring the country, Capt. Christie was to take a northerly route for Heerat, and thence, by the regular road, to reach Kirman; while Lieutenant Pottinger was to strike off at once for the latter place in a westerly direction. On the 22d of March, Capt. C. commenced his journey, of which a brief journal is given in the Appendix. The very day after his friend's departure, Lieut. P. received intelligence of a very alarming kind. Indeed, from the very outset of their journey, the travellers had been continually liable to suspicion, and at an early period information of their movements had been conveyed to the Umeers, or rulers of the neighbouring territory of Sinde. Of these chiefs we shall have occasion to say more hereafter ; at present we shall remark merely, that their dominions are completely at the mercy of the Anglo-Indian Government; and being conscious of this, they are continually watching, with an impotent and petulant jealousy, every movement, how slight soever, that appears to originate in that dreaded quarter. Lieut. Pottinger now ascertained that some emissaries had tracked him to Kelat, and that they had obtained from Muhmood Khan, the head of the Belooche nation, a conditional permission to secure his person. No time was to be lost, and after encountering various difficulties, Mr. P. quitted Nooshky on the 25th, under the guidance of Moorad Khan, one of the most worthless even of Asiatic knaves. Three miles from the village they passed a solitary
• Goombuz or Cupola, which, according to tradition, stands near the site of an ancient town, whose inhabitants were so affluent that, · as one means of disposing of their wealth, they mixed the chunam or cement for the erection of all their houses and edifices with milk
A short way in
instead of water ; which flagrant instance of unnecessary and ostentatious waste so incensed the Deity, that a curse was denounced on the place, and it gradually sunk into misery and decay.
At present there is no other vestige of this fabulous city than this Goombuz, which has certainly a very singular appearance, being built in the desert a long way from the mountains, which here run off to the southward. I was not near enough to examine with precision the style of architecture or the materials. From Moorad's account, the only thing observable with regard to the latter, is the amazing hard. ness of the Chunam, which he compared to marble. advance, I observed some very large stones on the side of the path, at the distance of twenty or thirty yards from each other, and on asking the meaning of them, I was gravely assured that they had been placed there by• Roostum, to commemorate the pace at which his favourite steed galloped. This solution, it is needless to add, I laughed at; but for whatever purpose the stones in question may have been brought to the spot they are now at, it is clear that their transportation from the nearest mountain must have been attended with great trouble and cost ; many of them are several tons weight, and six or seven yards square."
This last surmise is sufficiently extravagant. It may not, however, be wholly devoid of probability, that the hardness of the Chunam'is owing to some such inixture as that reported by Moorad. The existence of these monuments of unre. membered splendour and skill, points to remote times, when this deserted region was inhabited and cultivated by a refined and wealthy race. Two or three days after, ruins of buildings were seen, which seem to be the work of the same artificers. They were of a quadrangular form, and surrounded by a low + wall of curious open freestone work. These structures the guide assigned to the Guebres, and Mr. Pottinger expresses his doubts whether they were sepulchres or temples: their entrances all fronted due east.' That they also were of high antiquity, is evident from their inouldering condition, though built of the most durable stone. It is remarkable too, if Moorad Khan may be depended on, that no similar material is to be found • in any part of the country. The desert, on which the party now entered, was nearly of the same description as that described by Mr. Elphinstone; it had the same wave-like appearance, and from the circumstance of its being less trodden, was yet more difficult to the traveller. Even Moorad seemed to be imperfectly acquainted with the route, and Mr. P. obliged to engage an additional guide who had been more accustomed to the road. Considerable inconvenience was sustained by the party, from the dust of the desert,' as it was called by the Brahooé guide.
When I first observed it,' Mr. P. writes, . about ten 'a. m. the desert seemed, at the distance of half a mile or less, to have an ele.
vated and flat surface from sis to twelve inches higher than the summits of the waves.
This vapour appeared to recede as we advanced, and once or twice completely encircled us, limiting the horizon to a very small space, and conveying a most gloomy and unnatural sensation to the mind of the beholder: at the same moment we were im. perceptibly covered with innumerable atoms of small sand, which getting into our eyes, mouths, and nostrils, caused excessive irrita. tion attended with extreme thirst, that was increased in no small den gree by the intense heat of the sun....this sandy ocean was only visible during the hottest part of the day. To prevent the supposition of my having been deceived in its reality, I may here add, that I have seen this phenomenon and the suhrab or watery illusion, so frequent in deserts, called by French travellers the mirage, in opposite quarters at the same precise moment, and that they were to my siglit perfectly distinct ; the former having a cloudy and dim aspect, whilst the latter is luminous, and can only be mistaken for water.'
The Brahooé accounted for this, by the supposition that the finer particles of the sand were so highly rarefied by the heat of the sun, as to rise and float in the atmosphere. It is a fact worthy of notice, that this phenomenon takes place only dur
ing the hottest part of the day.' Mr. Pottinger seems disposed to admit this mode of explaining the circumstance, with the addition that the sands having been previously agitated by the whirlwinds of the desert, this finer portion was heated, and held afloat after the subsidence of the grosser particles.
On the 2nd of April, a tornado came on unexpectedly...... Before it began, the sky was clear, save a few small clouds in the North-west quarter, and the oniy antecedent warning it afforded, was the oppressive sultriness of the air and a vast number of whirlwinds springing up on all sides ; the moment the Brahooé saw these whirlwinds disperse, which they did as if by magic, and a cloud of dust approaching, he advised us to dismount, and we had hardly time to do so and lodge ourselves snugly behind the camels, when the storm burst upon us with a furious blast of wind; the rain fell in the largest drops I ever remember to have seen, and the air was so completely darkened that I was absolutely unable to discern any thing at the distance of even five yards.'
These whirlwinds, as, for want of a better name, they are incorrectly termed, seem to be of the same kind as the waterspouts of the ocean, with only the difference of the substance raised. Mr. Pottinger states that the resemblance is complete, and that he has seen thirty or forty of them at the same time s of different dimensions, apparently from one to twenty yards • in diameter,' yet moved by every breath of wind. During the hot months, from June to December,
« The winds in this desert are often so scorching and destructive, as to kill any thing, either animal or vegetable, that may be exposed
to them, and the route by which I travelled is then deemed impassable. This wind is distinguished every where in Beloochistan, by the different names of Julot or Julo, the Flame, and Badé Sumoom, the pestilential wind. So powerfully searching is its nature, that it has been known to kill camels or other hardy animals, and its effects on the human frame were related to me by those who had been eyewitnesses of them, as the most dreadful that can be imagined; the muscles of the unhappy sufferer become rigid and contracted; the skin shrivels, an agonizing sensation, as if the flesh was on fire, pervades the whole frame, and in the last stage it cracks into deep gashes, producing hemorrhage, that quickly ends this misery. In some instances life is annihilated instantaneously, and in others the unfortunate victim lingers for hours, or perhaps days, in the ex. cruciating tortures I have described To render this terrible scourge still more baneful, its approach is seldom, if ever, foreseen ; and among all the Belooches with whom I have conversed regarding it, no one asserted more than that they had heard it was ndicated by an unusual oppression in the air, and a degree of heat that affected the eyes; the precaution then adopted, is to cover themselves over, and lie prostrate on the earth. A curious fact is established by this custom, that any cloth, however thin, will obviate the deleterious effects of the Badé Sumoom on the human body.'
This is something like an anticipation of Sir Humphrey Davy’s safety lamp:
On the 3d of April, they started in the night, but soon ascertained that the guide was at fault and that they were moving in a circle. By taking out the glass of his compass, Lieutenant P. succeeded in retrieving the track, and the next day they reached the habitations of men. Before they entered the village of Kullugan, Moorad went forward to apprize the Sirdar, and returned with instructions from Meer Khodadad, for Mr. P. to assume the name and character of a Peerzaduh or religious devotee, as the only way of ensuring his safety. At night, Mr. Pottinger had symptoms of fever, but found great relief from the operation of shampoing, which consists in kneading,
as it were, the body, all over, squeezing and stretching the joints at the same time. There are, however, many other
of its being done. I have seen a man who, as soon as he lay down, had three or four people to come and pat every part of him (not even missing his face) until he went to sleep.'
On expressing his wish to proceed, Lieut. Pottinger found that his protector Moorad was an errant rogue; he refused to proceed any further, and Mr. P. was obliged, at the expense of fifty rupees, to make an agreement with Meer Khodadad for a guard to Huftur or Bunpoor. In evidence of the insecurity of property in these parts, it is stated that the houses are so built as
to enable the owners, when attacked, to take refuge in the upper part; indeed, the majority of the inhabitants sleep above,
ascending by a ladder through a trap-door, and drawing it up after them; so that should the robbers come at night, they cannot molest the family, nor get at their stock of grain and other provisions.
On the 6th, the party proceeded, and during their bivouac at night, a fox or some other animal,' ran away with one of Lieut. Pottinger's shoes, a loss which he felt severely in the next day's march over rocky and irregular ground. About 12 or 14 miles from his route, rose the lofty - Kohé Gubr, or the · Guebre's mountain,' in the form of a cupola. He was assured that the remains of an Atush Kudu or fire temple might be seen on its summit. They passed within a quarter of a mile of another singular detached hill in the plain, called Kohé Gwan• ka or the hill of echo;' this mountain, it is said, possesses
the surprising power of distinctly repeating any words spoken in a low tone of voice within fifty yards of its base ..
.. my people hal. looed out, and it certainly reverberated whatever they said without the slightest deviation. I should conjecture from its appearance that it is hollow; and since my return to India, I have heard from a native of those countries, that there are hieroglyphic characters on the Kohé Gubr. They are both, however, superstitiously held to be the residence of Deves or sprites, and many marvellous stories are recounted of the injury and witchcraft suffered by those who essayed, in former days (for now they are shunned by all classes) to ascend or explore them.
In this neighbourhood they were unconsciously exposed to the most imminent danger. Some of the inhabitants of the adjacent villages had seen them pass, and suspecting tbem to be on a marauding expedition, had made preparations for attacking them by surprise ; but seeing them dismount and prepare for their night's repose, the armed villagers entered into amicable explanations, and expressed their strong satisfaction that they had been prevented injuring the Peerzaduh. Mr. Pottinger soon after this was placed in rather awkward circumstances, in consequepce of being invited to breakfast by a Moollah or Priest; be was unexpectedly called upon to return thanks, and it required some dexterity to get through his task. At Mughsee he was withheld from remaining through the night, by a circumstance which, as it shews the dreadfully insecure state of things in this country, we shall detail. It seems that these and other parts of the East, are much infested by hordes of wandering wretches called Loorees, whose character bears
a marked affinity to the gipsies of Europe. They have a peculiar dialect. Each troop elects its king. They are thieves and kidnappers by profession; they tell fortunes; their manners are dissolute in the extreme; their dress is tawdry and fantastic; and they lead in their train bears and monkeys taught to 'perform all manner of grotesque tricks.' Their creed is of the