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Burnaby, Fred / A ride to Khiva: travels and adventures in central Asia

Chapter XXIV,   pp. 181-188

Page 181

The Guide's Retaliation.-Horses' Nostrils stuffed up with Icicles.-En- 
durance of the Horses.-The Brother-in-law's Horses.-Kalenderhana. 
-A Sudden Thought.-Stchi.-The Women expose their Faces.-The 
Kirghiz Poetry. -Sheep. -A Sign of Manhood in the Bridegroom.- 
Jealous Females. - Feasting. - A Peculiar Pocket. - Games. - Horse- 
races.-The Girls and their Admirers.-The Prettiest Girl in the Tribe. 
-A Simple Marriage Ceremony.-But supposing she would not have 
you ? 
THE sun now arose bright and glorious. All the colors of 
the rainbow lighted up the sky. The wind had calmed, and 
the cold became less searching. Presently my little caravan 
loomed in sight. Nazar was fast asleep, and stretched out at 
full length on the top of a gigantic came], the little Tartar's 
legs dangling on each side of the saddle, while, for better secu- 
rity, he had strapped himself to a corn-sack. 
The guide now retaliated upon the sleeper for the ducking 
the latter had inflicted upon him the previous evening: he 
seized the camel's nose, and made that peculiar lisping sound 
which all Tartars use to these animals to make them lie down. 
The big brute went down at once on his knees with a sudden 
jerk, greatly alarming my little servant, who awoke, thinking 
that his strap had broken, and that he had been precipitated to 
the ground. 
In a few minutes we had put up the walls of the kibitka, a 
fire was blazing, and one of the buckets containing frozen cab- 
bage-soup was gradually becoming thawed over the flames. It 
was just 9 A.M., and the caravan had marched six hours, we 
having, according to the guide, done seventeen miles. What 
had surprised me most during our morning's march was the 
extreme endurance of our horses. The guide frequently had 
to dismount and to clean out their nostrils, which were entire- 
ly stuffed up with icicles; but the little animals had plowed 

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