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A Peep into Toorkisthhan eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 130 pages of information about A Peep into Toorkisthhan.
grounds for the outrage, beyond the helplessness of her situation and the natural cupidity of the robber chief of the fort; but, unfortunately, we were travelling without credentials, the Envoy having declined to furnish us, lest the inhabitants should fancy that we were vested with any political power; and therefore we could not interfere, and what became of her I know not, though we were afterwards told that on her resigning her trinkets as her ransom she would be released.  Indeed the personal ornaments of the petty chiefs are generally the point of some lawless proceeding like the one alluded to, as they are seldom possessed of sufficient capital in specie to purchase jewels, but exchange their grain and fruits for clothes and precious stones.  I have mentioned the above circumstance to give the reader some notion of the lawless state of society, deeming it out of keeping with the humble character of this simple narrative, and perhaps beyond the ability of the writer, to enter more minutely into the various causes which have contributed to bring the country into so unhappy a state.

CHAPTER VIII.

On the 4th July our route lay across the Dundun Shikkun.  Kotul, or “tooth-breaking pass,” and a truly formidable one it is for beasts of burden, especially the declivity on the northern side.  Very few venture upon the descent without dismounting, for the surface of the rock is so smooth and slippery, that the animals can with difficulty keep their legs even when led, and many teeth, both of man and horse, have been broken before reaching the bottom.

The valley of K[=a]mmurd lying at the foot of the northern side of the pass has a very fertile appearance, and orchards of different descriptions of fruit-trees are interspersed throughout the cultivation.  The fort of the principal chief, named Uzzuttoollah Beg, from whom we received a visit, is high up the valley, and there are two others of minor importance on either bank of the river, lower down and together.

Uzzuttoollah Beg was in appearance a very fine old man with an imposing white beard; he was six feet high, large boned and muscular, and by far the most powerful and stately looking personage we had hitherto met; but he was a shrewd wicked old fellow, and when the star of British prosperity began to wane, proved himself a dangerous enemy.  His own vassals, from whom he exacted the strictest obedience, stood in great awe of him.  He came merely, he said, to pay his respects, to chat over political affairs, and to inquire from us whether the English intended giving up his valley to the Meer Walli of Koollum.  We could give him no information as to the intentions of Government.  “Khoob (well,)” answered he, “if such really be the case, the Meer Walli may seize me if he is able, provided you keep aloof; the Meer has tried that game before now, but did not succeed; on two separate occasions he has visited my fort in an unceremonious manner, and with

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