34 ALEXANDER'S CAMPAIGN IN THE PANJAB [Chap. I
distance above Jalâlpur clearly shows that the river's course has for ages set against it, as already stated above (p. 27) . There, too, the volume of water carried by the Halkiwâni bed at flood time has been clearly demonstrated.
The second difficulty raised as regards the identification of the Kandar Kas with the praealta fossa of Curtius is equally groundless. Though the left bank of the torrent bed at its debouchment half a mile above Jalâlpur town is shown by the one-inch map No. 43. H. 6 at 730 feet and hence, as Professor Breloer assumes, about 30 feet above the level of the river, ocular inspection makes it certain that the bed near its mouth, fully 1- miles lower down, must be sufficiently filled with water from the river to permit the easy launching of boats and rafts. This is fully supported by the statement received during my stay at Jalâlpur that during the three preceding years the river floods had repeatedly reached close to the temples and rest house just outside the town. That the bottom of the Kandar Kas is sandy near its mouth and also where it passes the town would not, as suggested, have interfered with the assembly of troops on the wide clay terraces on either bank near and above the town.
That the bend in the river course which Arrian mentions in connexion with the &Kp« is at the spur above Jalâlpur very much smaller than the one below Mangla is certain. But it should be remembered that the bend exists, and that the boldness and mass of the projecting spur as seen from the flat riverine plain must necessarily increase the impression of the bend made by the river round its foot for any one not provided with a map. As regards the fourth observation bearing on the river channel which, unsuspected before, proved so serious an obstacle after the crossing, it will suffice to point out that the formation of such minor beds is quite a regular feature in a river such as the Jhélum passing over a wide alluvial plain. What has to be kept in view is the fact that Arrian (v. xiii. 2) distinctly speaks of a river branch and not of a torrent bed such as the Jabar Nâlâ at the foot of the Mangla hills. Just because this torrent bed is a permanent and well-marked feature it could have easily been observed well before from the height above the supposed starting-point at the Pothawâla Kas.
The next point concerns the wooded island which screened the place selected from the crossing. Regarding it we have Curtius's definite statement (viii. xiii. 15) that it was `greater than the rest', though Professor Breloer finds it convenient to distinguish it as `the small island' (p. 202) . The exceptional advantages which a large wooded island like Admâna must have offered for screening such protracted and extensive operations as the assembling and embarkation of a considerable force and its crossing are so obvious that, compared with the evidence thus afforded by physical features, the fact of this island nowadays being partially