FROM GALEHDAR TO BUSHIRE
SECTION I—REMAINS OF GALEHDAR
FROM the first it had been my intention to turn from Tâhiri eastwards and to make my way into Lâristân across the succession of hill ranges running parallel to the coast-line. There seemed hope that on that higher ground, archaeologically as yet unsurveyed and also otherwise little known, it would be possible to continue exploratory field work longer into the spring than climatic conditions would permit by the hot and steamy Gulf coast. Some doubts as to the execution of this programme had first been raised by the report received at Gâbandi about unrest among the large Qâshgai tribe whose extensive winter grazing-grounds adjoin that area. The rumours heard at Tâhiri did not help to reduce these misgivings. But during our prolonged stay there even more immediate cause for concern revealed itself through the difficulties we had to face about transport. The small fishing hamlet of Tâhiri could not have supplied more than half a dozen half-starved donkeys for the move across the rugged hill range which rises steeply above the narrow coastal strip and divides it from the Galehdâr valley through which the approach to Lax lay. Even if the old Shaikh of Tâhiri, who lay dying in his castle-like mansion below which our camp stood, had been able and willing to assert what little authority was left to him, it would have been impossible to collect adequate transport along this stretch of coast, where the loss of animals due to starvation consequent on two years of drought appeared to have been even greater than elsewhere.
So it was with no small relief that by January 19th I welcomed the arrival of about a score of donkeys which `Abbas Khan, `Shaikh' of Galehdâr, in response to urgent appeals, had sent down to help us onwards. The desire to reach Lai-was shared by the commander of our escort, who hoped that the small garrison to be found there would allow him to be relieved of further responsibilities. For a similar reason he felt also much reassured by the arrival with the Galehdar transport of a small band of `Abbas Khan's armed retainers, who were to protect us on the way through the hills.
On January 20th a short march of 10 miles down the coast to the south-eas t took us to the spot known as Pûzeh, where some decayed homesteads marked cultivation which the oppression exercised by the Shaikh of Tâhiri had caused to