The Lands of the Saracen eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 452 pages of information about The Lands of the Saracen.

Our tent was pitched under a grand sycamore, beside a swift mountain stream which almost made the circuit of our camp.  Beyond the tops of the elm, beech, and fig groves, we saw the picturesque green summits of the lower ranges of Giaour Dagh, in the north-east, while over the southern meadows a golden gleam of sunshine lay upon the Gulf of Scanderoon.  The village near us was Chaya, where there is a military station.  The guards we had brought from Scanderoon here left us; but the commanding officer advised us to take others on the morrow, as the road was still considered unsafe.

Chapter XVII.

Adana and Tarsus.

The Black Gate—­The Plain of Cilicia—­A Koord Village—­Missis—­Cilician Scenery—­Arrival at Adana—­Three days in Quarantine—­We receive Pratique—­A Landscape—­The Plain of Tarsus—­The River Cydnus—­A Vision of Cleopatra—­Tarsus and its Environs—­The Duniktash—­The Moon of Ramazan.

  “Paul said, I am a man which am a Jew of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, a
  citizen of no mean city.”—­Acts, xxi. 89.

Khan on Mt.  Taurus, Saturday, June 19, 1852.

We left our camp at Chaya at dawn, with an escort of three soldiers, which we borrowed from the guard stationed at that place.  The path led along the shore, through clumps of myrtle beaten inland by the wind, and rounded as smoothly as if they had been clipped by a gardener’s shears.  As we approached the head of the gulf, the peaked summits of Giaour Dagh, 10,000 feet in height, appeared in the north-east.  The streams we forded swarmed with immense trout.  A brown hedgehog ran across our road, but when I touched him with the end of my pipe, rolled himself into an impervious ball of prickles.  Soon after turning the head of the gulf, the road swerved off to the west, and entered a narrow pass, between hills covered with thick copse-wood.  Here we came upon an ancient gateway of black lava stone, which bears marks of great antiquity It is now called Kara Kapu, the “Black Gate,” and some suppose it to have been one of the ancient gates of Cilicia.

Beyond this, our road led over high, grassy hills, without a sign of human habitation, to the ruined khan of Koord Koolak, We dismounted and unloaded our baggage in the spacious stone archway, and drove our beasts into the dark, vaulted halls behind.  The building was originally intended for a magazine of supplies, and from the ruined mosque near it, I suspect it was formerly one of the caravan stations for the pilgrims from Constantinople to Mecca.  The weather was intensely hot and sultry, and our animals were almost crazy from the attacks of a large yellow gad-fly.  After the noonday heat was over we descended to the first Cilician plain, which is bounded on the west by the range of Durdun Dagh.  As we had now passed the most dangerous part of the road, we dismissed the three soldiers and took but a single man with

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The Lands of the Saracen from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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