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From a photograph of the painting by R. D. Mackenzie. By permission of Raphael Tuck & Sons Co., Ltd.

Hali-tone plate engraved by R. Varley

A BAND OF BALUCHIS

INDIA'S RESTLESS NEIGHBORS

AND THE KHYBER PASS

BY RODERICK D. MACKENZIE

WITH PICTURES BY THE WRITER

IT 2 897 Grow

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Their rude, unbridled India had to quell a very formidable passions we call “fanaticism,” though it is rising of the Afridis in the Khyber Pass only an outlet to passions similar to those and the tribes in the Tirrah Valley; but that the more civilized peoples are contwo years later the guarding of the pass stantly exercising, if in a more organized, was handed over to the Khyber Rifles, and subtle, and complex form. The ultimate the British troops were withdrawn. means employed is always the same-strife

At that time some doubted the wisdom and destruction. The two races who are of the policy of the Government, but nearly face to face on the borders of India have a twelve years have now passed, and the common admiration for each other, and Afridis still stand loyal to this trust and to each sees in the other a reflection of his the handful of British officers who com- own spirit. But the Afghan, or the mand them, despite the unrest of the trans-frontier tribesman, has a very limtribesmen in the neighboring valleys. ited conception of the world and little

The Government of India undertakes sense of proportion, and he has developed to keep this pass open, and to protect the only primitive animal instincts, guarded lives and property of those who travel by boundless suspicion and superstition, through it, and it is an expensive and which envelop him like a curtain of night, onerous undertaking.

and beyond which he has no desire to see As individuals, the proud, independent or to be seen. warriors of the northwest frontier of In- The valleys that honeycomb the neighdia are

to be admired for their borhood of the Khyber Pass are filled with rugged, untamed, vigorous manhood. The tribes independent of one another and all curb of civilization has not yet touched more or less independent of Afghanistan, them; they are types of the heroic warriors their big neighbor on the north and west; of the early ages of history, whose descen- and although the pass connects India di

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grown, and so rich as to have ever since this point a traveler's permit is taken; he been the coveted treasury of the world. receives in exchange an officially stamped And its bleak, rugged, gray, sinuous rocks receipt, and he is expected to get back out are suggestive of the use it has served -a of the pass by five o'clock in the evening. gateway to the strong and a trap to the It is a thirty-mile drive in a tonga to weak.

Lundi Kotal, which is within five miles of The cold shadows of its arid walls of Lundi Khana, the Afghan boundary. Perrock in winter, its burning, shadowless mission to visit the pass is usually given heat in summer, and the lurking, silent only on the two days in the week when watchers on every side, undistinguishable caravans are going through, and special from the broken, gray, lumpy rocks, inten- precautions are taken for the safety of sify the weird silence, which is ominous, a travelers. veritable "valley of the shadow of death.' It is interesting to see the great caravan

The approach to the pass is across a serai opposite Fort Jumrood, with the great fat, stony plain for a distance of confused mass of merchandise; the great, about three miles from the border city of brown, shaggy Persian camels spluttering Peshawar. The hills that inclose the and gurgling in spiteful protest; and their pass form a rugged, gray wall-a wall burly, travel-stained drivers in turbans in that grows in length and height across the all stages of disarray coiled about their north of India until it culminates in the black, oily locks of hair and tumbling over perpetual snow of the greatest mountains their bronzed, bearded faces. They are of the world.

clad in the loose, baggy Afghan shirts and About a mile from the entrance to the trousers, and wear sheepskin coats. Everypass is Fort Jumrood, which sits on the body is preparing for departure, packing, plain in shape and appearance not unlike cooking, eating, or smoking. Each and a modern heavy-armored battle-ship. At every man apparently is having a row with

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himself or his neighbor and yelling in all seemed to think the run a rattling good the dialects of Asia. It is a picture of frolic. They were changed about every commerce that carries with it romance and ten miles, and although the grade of the adventure.

road rose occasionally where a cutting had The little tonga in which our journey been made to save distance or avoid the

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was made went clanking along, the horses rocky bed of the pass, it was virtually level trotting or galloping all the time, which is driving. the way that these comfortless but service- After passing through the outer footable little chariots are always driven. We hills, the road went winding round corners had to do our sixty miles in ten hours, in- and cuttings, suddenly coming into more cluding a two-hours' rest at Lundi Kotal; or less open spaces. At every commanding but as there was no luggage, we jolted angle of the road one observed the little along at a brisk pace through the keen, “block-houses" standing sentinel on the exhilarating mountain air, and the ponies sky-line, and half-way between the en

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trance to the pass and Ali-Musjid one for repairing the road. Far off in the stopped to marvel at an old Buddhist tope distance rose a tiny little column of dust, on the right of the road, where its great and as it approached, I got out of my dome rises from a rectangular foundation tonga, withdrew from the road, and took built into the irregularities of the hilltop up a position on a boulder a short distance to supply the necessary base for its gigantic away, where I could see to better advanproportions. There it rises a sort of tage. It was the column of British troops superimposed hill, black and hoary with withdrawing from the pass after twothe passage of centuries. One could have years' occupation. I came specially to no conception of its huge proportions were witness this, and it was a sight upon which it not for the fort that is built on the top I was later able to reflect when I reached of the dome. It looks like a toy castle, Lundi Kotal and saw their deserted camp bearing about the same relation to the and its bleak surroundings. dome that a chimney does to a house, or, The column was composed of British more correctly, a house to a hill.

officers and soldiers and "Ghurkas," the One might well

sturdy little men from pause to reflect on the

the mountains of Nepresence of such

pal, who are the best monument in such an

hill-fighters of the environment. The

Indian army. They mental shock is about

come the nearest to as great as if one sud

being real companions denly gazed upon one

for "Tommy Atkins" of the great pyramids

of all the Sepoys of of Egypt rising out of

India; for they are a the Strand or out of

jolly lot of little men, Broadway. There it

who can and do enjoy is, as permanent as

and share the grog the hill upon which it

and pipe and sports of is built, a monument

Tommy, as if to the to a great religious

manner born, and deconviction older than

light to call themChristianity. It is

selves the "Royal impossible to grasp its

Irish” or the “42d full meaning, for the

Highlanders" or any mists of ages hide its

name that happens to builders from

be conspicuously to gaze.

the front at the moThe hills grow heavier and higher as ment. They filed by in irregular marching one approaches Ali-Musjid, and here and order, a form which relaxes the mere milithere we passed a solitary figure muffled tary machine, and reveals the man, who alup to his chin in a blanket. One wondered though more or less incumbered with arms for a moment what he had to do, but it and military accoutrements, is not burwas only for a moment; for a searching dened with restraint as to the set of his glance from his keen, dark eyes, and helmet or his buttons and buckles. They about two inches of Martini-Henry just must have felt like men getting out of peeping out of the blanket in front of his prison, and even the poor fellows in the nose, made inquiry superfluous. Further hospital palanquins, who were carried observation proved that he was not so soli- along in the rear of the dusty column, tary as he looked, as several of the lumpy, must have felt grateful for every jolt that gray rocks on the hillside slowly changed took them on and out of that cage of positions, and one stood up. They were rocks. some of the tribal levies whose duty it is They were soon lost in a cloud of dust, to guard certain portions of the pass.

. and we continued on our way, and shortly The road widens out here, and we saw came to a halt in front of a tiny, whitesome slight evidence of life in men driving washed shrine or mosque, the famous a dozen or so donkeys laden with stones “Ali-Musjid." It sits on the side of the

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Drawn by R. D. Mackenzie

A GHILZAI

our

LXXXII-83

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