Page:Thirty-five years in the East.djvu/68

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In the course of a week the Agha was perfectly cured upon which we requested him to despatch us without any further delay to Bagdad, according to his promise. He replied, that his gratitude towards us for the important services we had rendered him, would not allow him to expose our lives to his enemies the Agelis, who had by this time pitched their camp on the banks of the river, and he advised us to wait'for a caravan, and join it when passing. But we so urged upon him the necessity of our departure, that he despatched us in a boat, in which we descended the river. We were escorted only by one soldier, so that with the owner of the boat, and his man, our party consisted of five persons.

On the evening of our departure, we got wet through by a violent shower of rain ; and owing to that, and the fear of being attacked by the Arabs, who were supposed to be on the banks of the river, we could not sleep. That night and the ensuing day,which by the bye was a delightful one, we passed down the river through lonely and desert regions, where not a man was to be seen ; nor, indeed, had we any great wish to see anyone. But on the following evening, when it had become quite dark, we were aroused from our slumbers by hearing from the right bank, where the Agelis ( as we were told ) had their camp, an imperious voice, crying " jedem ! jedem !" ( come on, come on.) Here they are, thought we, and to prevent their firing on us, we obeyed the call, and approached the shore. We could perceive none of them till we came to land, where we met eight naked fellows armed with sticks, whose first business was to moor our boat, jump in, and plunder our luggage. Whilst this gang of robbers were busy plundering the bow of our boat, and searching the pockets of my companion, the servant of the owner of the boat, who was sitting on the poop, whispered me in a low voice, " I am a native of Quoise ( a village be- fore mentioned, near Hit ), and have nothing to fear from the Agelis, I may save your purse, if you trust it to me." I did so ; but a small bunch of keys, belonging to the luggage, which we had sent by the caravan, being attached