chapter  9
26 Pages


We passed slowly up one of the cc tails" of the Chahala canal, which every year at flood time carries a load of rich silt to the rice la~ds on either side, and leaving the narrow distributary came out into the broad channel of the 'Adil. Here the current was strong, and paddling became hard work; at a word from Bahalul the brothers leapt out on to the bank with a coil of rope, looped themselves together so quickly that

the birkash lost almost no way at all, and began to tow her at a steady, swinging pace. Haji Rikkan left his place in the " belly" of the boat, took up a paddle, and sat down in the stern to steer.