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In the far far North, where the most flaming vermilion; on the great artery of the North- the east by the massive bastions Western State Railway of India of the Fort and the distant has its terminus-or had rather towers and minarets of the before they pushed forward a city itself—and all around the little bit of strategic line to bounteous Vale of Peshawur, no-one-quite-knows-where in fat lands bearing two crops robber-haunted No-man's-land year—the whole framed by
a beyond the Border,- hard by the everlasting hills of the that strange city which gathers Frontier. Once, not many years the flotsam and jetsam of the ago, this tract, which to-day Middle East, stretch the Green holds two first-class polo Links of Peshawur, a pleasing grounds, a racecourse, and a picture after the sun - baked golf links, was a vast swamp, drab of the Punjab plains. the home of duck and snipe, Here, indeed, is a paradise alike bittern and curlew. A careful to the lover of games and to system of drainage has left it the lover of Nature. A great sufficient moisture to keep its verdant basin, girt by a grassy grass green and fresh, and the racecourse picked out with importunate little springs which gleaming white furlong posts bubble up every here and there and the rails at the finish, in- are sternly led into orderly terseoted by water-cuts, shaded channels. The still here and there by willows or claimed “Artillery jhil,” where mulberry-trees, flanked on the in the season of the year you west by woods, in spring the may get your thirty couple of tenderest of greens, in autumn snipe and jack, is only half a
VOL. CLXXXVI.NO. MCXXVII.
and many an errant and the Afridis. snipe finds his way thence to little encampment near the polo the Golf Links, and will rise pavilion, with tentes d'abris of with harsh betraying cry and filthy patchwork propped on jink away in a fluster before sticks, contains a Mohmand the harmless necessary niblick kadda (family), who have come raised gun-wise. Indeed there down from their wintry hills to is abundant pabulum for the pick up a precarious livelihood naturalist in this pleasant spot. in British territory by roadAlthough snakes do not actually labour, dead-leaf-gathering, and look out of the holes at you- larceny. Those merry swaggerso common an occurrence, I am ing fellows on the fifth puttingtold, in Southern India-yet green, with velvet zouaves and these abound, harmless for the chrysanthemums stuck in their most part; but I have myself black turbans, are Afridis from seen the splendid yellow and the Lancers. How picturesque black of the Russell's viper and they are !—but how tiresome is the grey twinkling haste of the their habit of leaving a pile of deadly little karait. The water well-chewed sugar-cane beside cuts teem with newts and the hole! Only
Only a year ago, on strange little bottle-nosed fish these peaceful links, we could and creeping things innumer- hear distinctly the big guns of able; the woods with finches; the Mohmand Field Force great gaudy butterflies flop speaking in anger hard by across your path; while over- Shabkadr and Mutta, but head you may tell the coming twenty miles away. Here and going of the cold weather fanaticism is rampant, and the by the passing battalions of assassin's knife is often wet. demoiselle crane (kulan) and The City itself, with its heterowild-geese, and by the move- geneous masses of credulous, ments of the Kabuli crows. cruel barbarians, at one mo
Here, too, you are in ment insolent with sedition, at atmosphere of History in the another panio-stricken with making. The ceaseless prob- plague, is a volcano. Raiders lem of Border administration, and rifle - thieves from withinvolving, as it does, the wider out, cause nightly alarms and issue of Afghan politics, upon excursions ; and fever
fever and which in turn depend largely cholera take their toll. And the relations between India what is the upshot? In so and the Great Power in the tremendous a neighbourhood North, centres here. The harsh you may think men would rugged hills of the Border, over have little time for aught but which the sun rises to light their work and their prayers. the enthusiastic morning golfer, Far from it--a jollier, merrier and behind which it sets, cast- station does not exist in India ; ing black shadows on his most and the bitterness of a short critical put, harbour those in- put missed, or the joy of a corrigible peace - breakers the clean-hit brassy shot, is neither Utmankhel, the Mohmands, the greater nor the less for this
tense environment—which only “ The snow-bound trade of the North demonstrates anew the ancient
comes down truth that the complete golfer
To the market square of Peshawur
town.” is, as the gods, self-sufficient, self-absorbed, regardless of the After the usual compliments touch of circumstances, except in Pashtu, the equivalent more in so far as they may baulk or less of the Cockney, “'Ave him of his stroke, or give him you bought the street, Bill ?” an excuse for bungling. And we at length get past in a cloud such things are not wars or of microbe-laden dust, and slip rumours of wars, but lesser and down the pretty lane to the more intolerable matters, such Links. As we pull up a crowd as the song of larks, the buzz of Pathan caddies run forward of honey - laden bees, or the with cries of welcome. Their thunder of galloping hoofs. cordiality is in a great measure
What a pleasant afternoon's sincere, but it is in part diorecreation the Peshawur Links tated by a desire to secure clubs afford! Shaking off the cob- to carry rather than to be webs of office worry, we jump for the lot of fore-caddy—a sine into the cart and leave the qua non on the Peshawur course, little bungalow, clad in mardan with its water-cuts innumerrose and passion - flower, with able. The desire for luore does its trim lawns edged with beds not affect the case, as, by an of violets and purple iris. It is arrangement which works adnot far to go, and the mare mirably here, the boys are all makes little of the wide avenue servants of the Club, and for of the jhil road, with its shade the humble remuneration of of noble shishams. As we bowl rupees two annas eight, or past the quarter-guard of the three shillings and fourpence a Soinde Rifles—with its breast- month, they carry all day and high walls dotted with mud every day for any member playballs intended resemble ing. Of course they do, in fact, sepoys' heads, and thus haply get a little backsheesh from the to confuse the fire of rifle-thief sahib whose clubs they habituor raider—the guard spring to ally clean, but this is informal. attention in conformity with what a cheery, pleasant lot the courteous practice of the they are! and the best caddies Indian Army. At the great in the world, prompt, intelligent, North Ciroular Road, the high- interested in the game-often
, way to Kabul and Bokhara, to the extent of a private wager we are stopped by the passing of pice or even annas,—sound of a mighty kafila (caravan) of in advice, and truly wonderful great slouching hairy camels, in their power to find a ball with their rosy-faced attendant submerged in the mud of a ghilzais, clad in far - smelling weed-grown water-course. All sheepskin coats, on their way Pathans are fine fellows, manly to-day from the historio and attractive, but Pathan boys Khyber. For it is by this are quite charming, full of route that
laughter and fun before the
your desire ?"
severer shadows of Love and a small rosy-faced, wizened man
there was a
forthwith. famous caddy whom we all For you are his father and called Shaitàn, which means his mother, and he has no Satan, with a face like a ripe protector but you." apricot, and the impudence of a I explained that as a civilian street arab. He played golf I was not in a position to rereally marvellously, and would call soldiers from the front, and doubtless have developed into a told him that I firmly believed Vardon had cirumstances ad- that Shaitan was alive and mitted. To-day, alas! he is a well, and that he would doubtbazaar-loafing Khidmatgar in less earn great distinction in the house of some Commissariat the campaign. I am happy to sergeant.
Shaitan had say that this was, in part at younger brother, called by his least, correct, and Shaitan reparents Ata Muhammad, but turned to his anxious parent tradition was too strong, and safe and sound. he inevitably inherited the name Apart from the
Shaitan of Shaitan, together with a like dynasty there have been genius for the royal and ancient many other quaint personalgame. A year ago he, too, left ities
among the Peshawar us and enlisted as a trooper in caddy coterie, but none more the Lancers, and when I last notable than that of Bahram, met him and said, “Hallo! -naturally called Baa Lamb Shaitan, how are you?” he by the British subaltern, - a implored me, almost with tears, strange little figure,-uncouth, never to call him by that name chinless, with head tapering of shame again, and to prevent like a cocoa-nut, and negro others from so doing, as he had lips,—a caricature of a Pathan, been so unmercifully chaffed in —truly one of “Shah Shuja's his regiment on this account. mice.” But of him it
be A little after this poor little truly said that he is not such Shaitàn was sent with his regi- a fool as he looks; and for ment to the Mohmand war; sound golfing advice in a club and one day as we listened to matoh, with money behind, I the guns talking on the Border, would as lief consult my little
friend with the poached - egg sions unjust wrath is engenface Andrew Kirkcaldy dered in the hasty against himself.
the fore - caddy, even to the Full of hope we stride to the extent of unjust chastisement. first tee and confront the great But such practices are rare, earth-bunker and watercourse and do not pass unnoticed. that yawn for us 130 yards On we press, with the shiftaway.
ing balance of fortune inclining R-r-ripper !” shouts Bah. now this way now that, past ram, as my opponent's ball the high knoll with its ancient soars safely on to the smiling graves and tamarisk grove,
, fairway, clear of all trouble. past the grand stand, past the For Bahram_has assimilated polo-ground with a match in some useful English technical full swing, past the little terms, of which he is not a Mohmand encampment, and little proud.
80 to the ninth and last hole “Wah! wah !”
wah!” cries my which lies, like Britain, waterfaithful Majid, as half-topped guarded, - a prize for
the from the heel my miserable perfect iron shot. Pleasantly effort ends in the water. In tired, we throw ourselves into à moment the fore-caddy is in long chairs on the lawn by the stream, knee-deep, grop- the little golf-house, and with ing with knowing hand in the long cold “peg" and pernicious retentive mud. A minute or cigarette re-fight our battle two, and the ball, dislodged over the Green Links, oblivifrom slime and weed, bobs to ous of the telegrams—Statethe surface, and I drop behind Urgent - which await us at with the penalty of a stroke. home, until the short twilight Sometimes, though seldom, the dying with a shiver reminds search is vain, and the ball is of fever and the other gone for ever. On such occa
realities of life in the East.