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Abercromby, John / A trip through the eastern Caucasus

A trip through the eastern Caucasus: chapter I: from Tiflis to Nukha,   pp. [1]-29

Page 20

understand enough to take it down. If I would only 
stay a few days longer he would show me, he said, 
everything of interest in the neighbourhood, all the 
old churches and chapels for twenty miles round. 
Next day he would take me to a very old Armenian 
church, and introduce me to an Armenian monk 
of one hundred and twenty years of age who lived 
near it. 
Another guest was M. Rashderishin, a pleasant 
man of uncertain nationality, but married to a 
Tatar wife. Once he must have spoken English 
well, but now it was rather rusty. He had learnt 
it in the United    States, having served in the 
war under Generals Hooper, Burnside, and Mac- 
Clellan.  He had also taken part in the last war 
in the Caucasus, and knew a great deal about the 
country. His advice was to ride to Akhti in two 
days, instead of three, as I proposed doing. The path 
across the mountains was not dangerous, though there 
were very narrow places where only one rider could 
pass at a time. My intention had been to ride from 
Akhti to Kuba, leave the horses there for three days, 
and take the post to Derbend, which I thought could 
be seen in one day. Very fortunately I took his 
advice, did not go to Kuba, and postponed Derbend, 
making it a special headquarters on a later occasion. 
It was perfectly safe travelling in the mountains, he 
said, safer indeed than in the plain. As the Lesgians 
go up the mountains in summer, leaving the women 
and children in the villages, he recommended passing 
the night with shepherds in the mountains rather 

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