We have been detained here a whole day, through a chain of accidents, all resulting from the rascality of our muleteers on leaving Aleppo. The lame horse they palmed upon us was unable to go further, so we obliged them to buy another animal, which they succeeded in getting for 350 piastres. We advanced the money, although they were still in our debt, hoping to work our way through with the new horse, and thus avoid the risk of loss or delay. But this morning at sunrise Hadji Youssuf comes with a woeful face to say that the new horse has been stolen in the night, and we, who are ready to start, must sit down and wait till he is recovered. I suspected another trick, but when, after the lapse of three hours, Francois found the hadji sitting on the ground, weeping, and Achmet beating his breast, it seemed probable that the story was true. All search for the horse being vain, Francois went with them to the shekh of the horses, who promised, in case it should hereafter be found, to place it in the general pen, where they would be sure to get it on their return. The man who sold them the horse offered them another for the lame one and 150 piastres, and there was no other alternative but to accept it. But we must advance the 150 piastres, and so, in mid-journey, we have already paid them to the end, with the risk of their horses breaking down, or they, horses and all, absconding from us. But the knavish varlets are hardly bold enough for such a climax of villany.
The Heart of Asia Minor.
Scenery of the Hills—Ladik,
the Ancient Laodicea—The Plague of
Gad-Flies—Camp at Ilguen—A Natural Warm Bath—The Gad-Flies Again—A
Summer Landscape—Ak-Sheher—The Base of Sultan Dagh—The Fountain of
Midas—A Drowsy Journey—The Town of Bolawaduen.
“By the forests, lakes, and fountains,
Though the many-folded mountains.” Shelley.
Bolawaduen, July 1, 1852.
Our men brought all the beasts into the court-yard of the khan at Konia, the evening before our departure, so that no more were stolen during the night. The oda-bashi, indefatigable to the last in his attention to us, not only helped load the mules, but accompanied us some distance on our way. All the merchants in the khan collected in the gallery to see us start, and we made our exit in some state. The morning was clear, fresh, and delightful. Turning away from the city walls, we soon emerged from the lines of fruit-trees and interminable fields of tomb-stones, and came out upon the great bare plain of Karamania. A ride of three hours brought us to a long, sloping hill, which gave us a view of the whole plain, and its circuit of mountains. A dark line in the distance marked the gardens of Konia. On the right, near the centre of the plain, the lake, now contracted to very narrow limits, glimmered in the sun. Notwithstanding the waste and unfertile appearance of the country, the soft, sweet sky that hangs over it, the pure, transparent air, the grand sweep of the plain, and the varied forms of the different mountain chains that encompass it, make our journey an inspiring one. A descent of the hills soon shut out the view; and the rest of the day’s journey lay among them, skirting the eastern base of Allah Dagh.