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batants came rolling from the top midway down; but he also brought away the Afghan's head. A great many of these Afghans fell into my hands on this occasion, but I released them all.
After leaving Desht, we marched for three stages in a southerly direction, keeping Reaeheithe close to the skirts of the mountain of Mehter Suleman ; and at the close of the fourth' halted at Belah,1 a small district lying on the banks of the Sind, and which is dependant on Miiltan. The inhabitants in general took directly to their boats, and crossed the river; a few plunged into the water, and crossed it by swimming. Opposite to this village there was an island,2 on which we observed several natives who had not passed over to the mainland; many of our troops drove their horses, all armed as they were, into the river, and passed over. Several of them were carried down by the stream; of my followers one was Kul Ahmed Aruk, another the chief of my tentpitchers1 and house servants; of Jehangir Mirza's followers, one was Kaiturns Turkman. In this island a considerable booty in clothes, furniture, and other property, fell into the hands of our men. All the people of that neighbourhood passed the Sind in boats, and went to the other side. A party that had passed immediately opposite to the island, trusting to the breadth of the river, drew their swords, and began to flourish them in an insulting way. Among those who had passed over to the island, one was Kul Bayezid the cupbearer,4 who alone, and on an unarmed horse, threw himself into the stream and pushed for them. The water on the other side of the island was twice as broad as on this side. After swimming his horse for the distance of a bowshot in the face of the enemy, who stood on the banks, it got footing and took ground, with the water reaching as high as the flap of the saddle. He stopped there as long as milk takes to boil; and having apparently made up his mind, seeing nobody following behind to support him, and having no hopes of receiving any assistance, he rushed with great speed on the enemy who occupied the bank: they discharged two or three arrows at him, but durst not stand their ground, and fled. Alone, on an unarmed horse,5 devoid of all support, to swim across such a river as the Sind, to put the enemy to flight and occupy their ground, was a stout and manly feat. After the enemy had taken to flight, our troops passed over, and got a considerable booty in cloth, cattle, and other plunder. Although on several former occasions I had distinguished Kul Bayezid by marks of favour, in consequence of the services which he had done, and of the bravery which he had repeatedly displayed, and had promoted him from the oflice of cook to be one of my tasters,6 yet after this last courageous achievement, I was still more resolved to show him every possible mark of favour, and accordingly I did distinguish him in the most marked manner, as will be mentioned. In truth, he was worthy of every kind of attention and honour.
I made other two marches down the river Sind, keeping close to its banks. The soldiers had now completely knocked up their horses, from being perpetually on plundering parties, in the course of which too they had gained no booty worth the while. It consisted chiefly of bullocks; in the Desht they had got some sheep, and in several
1 Abul-Fazl says on the outside of Terbilah. * Arali. 3 Mehter Fcrash.
* Bekawel—also a taster or butler. 4 Yedak often signifies a led horse.
Marches westward from the
Conspiracy in Baber's camp.
places clothes, and such like articles. After leaving the Desht, they got nothing but bullocks. In our marches along the Sind, however, these were found in such plenty, that the meanest retainer in the army often picked up three or four hundred bullocks and cows; but from their very numbers they were obliged to leave the greater part of them behind.
For three marches I proceeded along the Sind, and separated from it right against the tomb of Pir Kanu,1 on reaching which we halted. As some of the soldiers had wounded several of the attendants at the tomb, I ordered one of the culprits to be punished, and he was hewn to pieces as an example. This tomb is very highly respected in Hindustan. It lies on the skirts of a hill which is connected with the mountain of Mehter Suleman.
Taking my departure from this tomb, I reached the top of a hill-pass,2 where we halted. Marching from thence I gained Rudi,3 a place dependent on the country of Duki. While moving from that station, Fazil Gokultash, the Darogha of Sivi,* a servant of Shah Beg,s with twenty of his people, who had come to reconnoitre us, were seized and brought in; but as at that time we were not in bad terms, I dismissed them with their arms and horses.
Leaving this station, the second march brought us to Chotiali, one of the villages of Duki,6 near which we encamped. Though the horses had undergone great fatigue in the continual plundering parties in which they had been engaged, both before reaching the Sind, and along its banks, yet they had plenty of corn, and abundance of grain cut in the ear, so that they did not flag. But when we left the banks of the Sind, and moved up by Plr Kanu, there were no longer green cuttings, or at least in two or three marches a very inconsiderable quantity of young corn was occasionally met with. I could not even get corn for my own horse. In the course of these marches, the horses of the army began to flag. In the stage at which we halted after leaving Chotiali, I was even forced to leave my pavilion-tent' behind for want of carriage. While there, such a rain fell during the night, that the water reached above the knee among the tents, and I was obliged to sit on carpets piled on each other; in which melancholy plight we were forced to wear away the night till morning appeared.
A march or two after, Jehangtr Mirza came up to me, and whispered in my ear, "I have a word to speak with you in private." I retired with him, and he said to me, "Baki Cheghaniani has been with me, and said, We intend to send the King, with seven, eight, or ten persons, over the Sind, and to raise you to the throne." I asked,
1 The tomb of Pir Kanu was probably near the Dera Gliazi Khan, which lies nearly in lat. 29.50. Tb* Durgah of Sakhi Sirwar is still a place of pilgrimage in that neighbourhood. The vicinity of Sivi. or Siwistan, is a proof that Baber must have gone so far down the Sind.
s The pass of Pawat lies above Sakhi Sirwar.
3 Or it may be, " a stream belonging to the country," &c. as Leyden has it.. * Or Siwi.
5 Shah Beg, Zulnun Beg's son, when expelled from Ghazni and Kabul, had occupied the country below Sivistan. He finally conquered Sind.
c Duki is not now known. A place of that name appears, however, in De 1'Isle's map, as well as in Rennell's, not more out of its situation than the rest of the country. But it is probable that the whole country took the name of Duki from lying among the hills, Duki signifying hill in the language of the country, and may thus be used as opposed to the Desht, or plain.
** Who are his inferior associates in this plot?" He replied, "Baki Beg himself mentioned it to me just now, and I know not any one else." I said, "You must endeavour to learn who the other conspirators are, as it is probable that Syed Hussain Akber, Sultan Al i Chehreh, and other Begs and retainers of Khosrou Shah, are concerned in the business." In truth, Jehangir Mirza, on this occasion, conducted himself perfectly well, and in a brotherly manner; and his proceedings, on this emergency, were the exact counterpart of my own at Kehmerd, when this same worthless man, by his machinations, attempted to stir up discord and hostility between us.
We marched from this station, and when I reached the next halting-place, I dispatched a body of soldiers, whose horses were still capable of service, under the command of Jehangir Mirza, to attack and plunder the Aughans 1 in that vicinity. At this stage, the horses of the army began to be completely worn out, and every day two hundred horses, or three hundred horses, were obliged to be left behind. Many brave partizans, and some of note, were reduced to march on foot. Shah Mahmud Oghlakchi, who was one of the officers of my household, and a man of eminence, having lost all his horses, was forced to trudge it on foot. This continued to be the state of the horses of the army till we reached Ghazni.
Three marches afterwards, Jehangir Mirza having plundered a party of Afghans, brougTit in a few sheep.
In one or two marches more, we reached Ab-istadeh,2 when a wonderfully large He arrive* sheet of water presented itself to our view. Nothing could be seen of the plains on Jjjj"""1 the opposite side. The water seemed to join the sky; the hills and mountains on the farther side appeared inverted, like the hills and mountains on the farther side of the mirage;3 while the hills and mountains near at hand appeared suspended between earth and heaven. In this spot are collected the waters arising from the inundations occasioned by the rains of spring, in the valley of Katteh-waz, the dale of Zurmet, the river of Ghazni, with the meadow of Kara-bagh, and all the superfluous water of the spring season, that arises from the swelling of the rivers, and that remains after the purposes of irrigation are answered. When I came within one kos of Ab-istadeh, a sin- Its singular gular phenomenon presented itself. From time to time, .between this water and the ance"" heavens, something of a red appearance was seen, like the ruddy crepuscule, which again by and by vanished, and so continued shifting till we had come near it. When we came close up, we discovered that this appearance was occasioned by immense flocks of wild geese,4 not of ten thousand or twenty thousand, but absolutely beyond computation, and innumerable; and in their flight, as they moved their wings, thdir red feathers sometimes appeared and sometimes were hid. But it was not wild geese alone; innumerable flocks of every species of bird settled on the banks of this water, and the eggs of countless multitudes of fowl were deposited on every corner of its banks. A few
1 The Afghans are also called Aughans, a different pronunciation of the same word.
* The Standing-Water. This lake lies in north latitude 32° 35', south-west from Ghazni.
3 The Seirab, or mirdge, is the appearance presented in desert countries, during the extreme heat' of the sun, when a lake seems to be close at hand. The objects around are seen inverted in it as in a piece of water.
1 Baghlan-kaz. The description would lead us to imagine it was a flock of flamingoes.
Afghans who had come here, and were employed in gathering these eggs, on seeing us, fled, and threw themselves into the lake; but a party of my men pursued them for nearly a kos, and brought them back. As far as these went into the water, it was nearly of one uniform depth, reaching up to the horse's belly; indeed, the water, apparently in consequence of the levelness of the plain, did not seem to acquire any great depth. On reaching the banks of the river of the plain of Katteh-waz, which falls into Ab-istadeh, we halted. It is in general a dry river, not having any running water in it. I have passed its channel many times, but never found any water in it, except on this occasion, when, in consequence of the rains of spring, it was so flooded, that I could find no ford to pass ; for though it is not very broad, yet it was extremely deep. All the horses and camels were crossed over by swimming. Many of the soldiers tied up their baggage in bundles, which they pulled over to the other side with cords. After passing this torrent, we proceeded by the way of Kuhneh-Naui,1 and, passing the water-mound of Sirdeh,2 we reached Ghazni. Jehangir Mirza there entertained us, provided us with victuals, did the honours of the place for a day or two, and presented me with his peshkesh.
This year the greater part of the streams and rivers came down in flood, so violently that we could get no passage over the river of Deh-Yikub. I therefore made them carry a boat, which I caused to be constructed in a tank of water, and launch it in the river of Deh-Yakub, opposite to Kamari,3 and by means of this vessel all the army was passed over. In this way, after surmounting the hill pass of Sejawend,4 we proceeded directly forward, and passing the Kamari river in boats, reached Kabul, in the month of Zilhajeh.
A few days before our arrival, Syed Yusef Beg had been carried off by a cholic, and departed to enjoy the mercy of God.
Nasir Mirza, as was formerly mentioned, after providing his people with some necessaries from his government, had obtained leave to stay behind in Kush-Gumbez, promising to follow me in two or three days. But we had no sooner separated, than, under pretence of quelling the refractory spirit of the men of Dereh-Nur, though in reality the matter of complaint was very slight, he dispatched his whole army towards Dereh-Nur. Fazli, who was the general of the army, did not keep up proper discipline, nor act with sufficient circumspection, considering the strength of the fort of DerehNur, that it was surrounded with rice-fields, and situated on the brow of a hill, as has been described. For in that mountainous tract, and in sight of the fortified hill, he divided his force and sent out a detachment to plunder. The men of Dereh-Nur, immediately sallying forth, attacked the plunderers who were scattered for pillage, and routed them; and no sooner were they discomfited, than the rest of the army, unable to maintain their ground, also took to flight. Many were slain, and many horses and arms taken. Such will always be the fate of an army that has a general like Fazli.
1 Old Nani. There are two Nanis; one the Old Nani, to the north of the lake of Ab-istadeh, on a river that discharges itself into it. The other Nani is a march south of Ghazni.
2 Sirdeh lies south-east of Ghazni.
3 Kamari and Deh-Yakub are both in the Tippeh of Butkhak.
4 Sejawend, in the district of Logar, south-east of Kabul.
Whether it was from this circumstance, or whether some disaffection influenced Nasir Mirza, he did not follow me, hut staid behind. Another circumstance, which had some influence on his conduct, was that I had bestowed Alengar on Yusef, and Alisheng on Behlol, the two sons of Ayub, than whom more wicked, more seditious, more arrogant or haughty persons, were nowhere to be found. They also were to have made some levies from their governments, and to have come along with Nasir Mirza to join me; but as Nasir Mirza did not come, they also staid behind, and were the favouritft bottle companions and friends of Nasir Mirza all that winter.
During the course of this winter he made one excursion against the Turkolani Afghans, and ravaged their country. All the Aimaks, Ils, and Uluses, from the upper country, who had descended into Nangenhar and Lamghanat, he attacked and drove up, and then encamped on the banks of the Baran. While Nasir Mirza was on that river, and in its neighbourhood, the" tidings arrived of the defeat and slaughter of the Uzbeks, by the inhabitants of Badakhshan, and of the general rising of that country, which took place in the following manner.
Sheibani Khan, having intrusted Kundez to Kamber-bi, proceeded himself to Revolt of Khwarizm. Kamber-bi, for the purpose of securing the submission of the inhabitants ^n. of Badakhshan, had sent into that country Mahmud, the son of Muhammed Makhdumi; but Mobarek Shah, whose ancestors had been Begs of the Kings of Badakhshan, having rebelled, cut off the heads of Mahmud, the son of Makhdumi, and of several more of the Uzbeks, and seizing on the fort of Zafer, formerly known by the name of Shaf-tiwar, fortified himself in it. He was the person who gave this fortress the name of Zafer. Besides this, Muhammed Korchi, who was one of the Korchis1 of Khosrou Shah, and at this time had the command of Khamelingan, likewise rebelled; and having slain the Sader (or Justiciary) of Sheibani Khan, with a number of Uzbeks in Rusta, fortified himself in Khamelingan. An inhabitant of Ragh, too, whose forefathers had been nobles in the court of the kings of Badakhshan, at the same time rose iu Ragh. Jehangir Turkoman, who was one of the retainers of Wali, the brother of Khosrou'Shah, and who, during the late confusions, had separated from his lord, having collected some fugitive soldiers, besides stragglers and Aimaks, drew off and revolted. Nasir Mirza, on receiving this intelligence, inspired with the ambition of Nasir Miracquiring Badakhshan, at the instigation of certain senseless and short-sighted flat- ** *uiXc" terers, passed over into that quarter by the route of Shibertu and Abdereh, accompa- ifnied by some bodies of these lls and Uluses, who, on being expelled from the other side of the hills, had come hither and were moving about with their whole families and property.
Khosrou Shah, after flying from Ajer with Ahmed Kasim, had proceeded with him to Khosrou Khorasan; and having met with Badia-ez-zeman Mirza and Zulnun Beg by the way, solves to they all went together to Heri, and paid their court to Sultan Hussain Mirza. I alone returnwas the cause that these men, who for a series of years had been at open enmity with the Mirza, and had subjected him to many insults, the old sores of which were still rank
1 The office of Korchis seems to have corresponded to that of armour-bearer. In the Persian service, however, the term was applied to a body of cavalry, the most honourable as well as ancient military force of the kingdom.