156 THE TRAVELS OF
far as ten days' journey off. The friars bid the demons depart forth instantly from the bodies of the possessed in the name of Jesus Christ, and they do depart immediately in obedience to this command. Then those who have been delivered from the demon straightway cause themselves to be baptised; and the friars take their idols, which are made of felt, and carry them to the fire, whilst all the people of the country round assemble to see their neighbour's gods burnt. The friars, accordingly, cast the idols into the fire, but they leap out again. And so the friars take holy water and sprinkle it upon the fire, and that straightway drives away the demon from the fire ; and so the friars again casting the idols into the fire, they are consumed. And then the devil in the air raises a shout, saying:—" See then, see . then, how I am expelled from my dwelling-place." And in this way our friars baptise great numbers in that country.1
49. The Friar telleth of a certain valley wherein he saw terrible things.
Another great and terrible thing I saw. For, as I went through a certain valley which lieth by the River of Delights, I saw therein many dead corpses lying. And I heard also
1 Wadding, in his account of Odoric, ascribes these performances to our traveller himself, which must have been from careless reading. For the felt idols of the Tartars see Rubruquis (pp. 223, 287) and Carpini (p. 618).
2 The account of the terrible valley is one of the most striking bits of narrative in Odoric's story. Whether its exaggeration be wilful, or the unconscious work of an excited imagination, it seems based on some real experience or combination of experiences.
The account of the sandy hill, on which he heard the sound of invisible nakkaras or drums, strikingly recals the phenomenon of the Khwdja Regruwdn, forty miles north of Kabul, near the foot of the Indian Caucasus. Burnes describes the sounds heard there as loud and hollow, very like those of a large drum, whilst Sultan Baber speaks of the sounds of drums and nagarets, the very instruments specified by Odoric. A still more apt comparison is afforded by Captain Newbold's fuller account of the like phenomenon in the Sinai desert, at the sand hill known as Jibal Ndk'ûs, " the Hill of the Bell." Dr. Wallin also was told, in crossing a Wadi of the Sinai desert called Hamade, near Wadi Araba, that sometimes very