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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 24

ninety years at Kish, and that he was weary of life. 
The others said he slept away the greater part of the 
day, and life under such conditions must be wearisome 
indeed.  After drinking the regulation toasts, and 
pledging the ladies in the wine of Kakheti, we took 
leave of our hosts, and descended the hill to where 
the phaeton was standing. 
On returning home I soon remarked something 
wonderful had happened, for the incubus was visibly 
elated. When the evening meal was laid on the table 
the cause of his elation became evident. On the top 
of a pillaf, on a bed of rice dotted with raisins, lay a 
wild dove. He had shot it sitting on a tree during 
my absence. It is a fact, though incredible, that no 
less than three times in the course of the evening he 
called my attention to the circumstance he had shot 
that dove. This was small game indeed to what he 
pretended to have killed.  According to his own 
account he had shot one man in Constantinople, two 
in Poland, a lion in Algeria, a tiger at Lenkoran, and 
bears without number in the Baltic provinces. Of 
course it was pure romance, though I fancy he had 
told the stories so often that he had got to believe 
them himself. On two later occasions I saw him take 
a flying shot at an eagle, and each time he missed. 
Still he comforted himself with the assertion he had 
hit one of them. He was ready to swear he saw an 
imaginary feather drop out of its tail, a feather which 
escaped the keener vision of Abdul Mejid. 
Among other kind offices I received at the hands 
of M. Seleiko, was finding an old Lesgian, named 

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