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0409 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 409 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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by day, and findeth at its halts all necessary provender. But his own immediate company hath its order of march thus. The king travelleth in a two-wheeled carriage, in which is formed a very goodly chamber, all of lign-aloes and gold, and covered over with great and fine skins, and set with many precious stones. And the carriage is drawn by four elephants, well broken in and harnessed, and also by four splendid horses, richly caparisoned. And alongside go four barons, who are called Cuthe,r keeping watch and ward over the chariot that no hurt come to the king.~ Moreover, he carrieth with him in his chariot twelve gerfalcons; so that even as he sits therein upon his chair of state or other seat, if he sees any birds pass he lets fly his hawks at them. And none may dare to approach within a stone's throw of the carriage, unless those whose duty brings them there. And thus it is that the king travelleth.

And so also his women travel, according to their degree ; and his heir-apparent travels in similar state.

As for the numbers which the lord hath with him on his progress, 'tis difficult to believe or conceive of them. The number of the troops in those armies that attend the lord is fifty tumans, and these are entirely provided with everything by the lord. And if anyone happen to die of those who are enrolled among them, another instantly replaces him ; so that the number is always complete.3

1 Most read. Zuche or Cuche. This Cuthe, which seems best, is in FAR. only.

2 Demailla and Gaubil relate that there were four Mongol captains who had devoted themselves with singular fidelity to guarding the person of Chinghiz Khan ; the descendants of these four Mongols were all employed in the body-guard, and were called the four Kie-sie (according to Gaubil Suesie); they were withdrawn from this office only to become ministers of state. (Demailla, Hist. Gen. de la Chine, quoted in Il 111ilione, ii, 181; Gaubil, p. 6).

Odoric's four barons undoubtedly were these Kuesie, whom Polo calls. Quesitan, and the reading Cuthe has therefore been preferred to the Zuche of most MSS.

3 Here MIN. RAM. has the following passage. [And countless is the