Time was required to bring up the heavy guns, but early in February the forts on Deve Boyun were under bombardment, and another Russian army advancing from the north down the valley of the Kara Su defeated a Turkish division and captured Kara Gubek on the 12th and Tafta on the 14th. From the south the Russians were also crossing the Palantuken Dagh, and the fate of Erzerum was sealed.
So a simple boy-scout trick came in useful on active service. Now came a period of utter stagnation It was a deadlock. We held the bay, the plain of Anafarta, the Salt Lake, the Kislar Dagh and Kapanja Sirt in a horse-shoe. The Turks held the heights of Sari Bair, Anafarta village, and the hills beyond "Jefferson's Post" in a semicircle enclosing us. Nothing happened.
"Then escape to the hills by twos and threes. You ask my advice I give it." It looked like very good advice. The slopes of the foot-hills seemed covered by a carpet of myrtle scrub, in which whole armies could have lain in ambush. And above that the cliffs of the Kara Dagh rose rocky and wild, suggesting small comfort but sure hiding-places.
And now the gallinaceous half of the world was leaving town in noisy and glittering migration, headed for temporary roosts all over the globe, from Newport to Nova Scotia, from Kineo to Kara Dagh.
The northern mountain region, called by Strabo "Mons Masius," and by the Arabs the Karajah Dagh towards the west, and towards the east the Jebel Tur, is on the whole a tolerably fertile country. It contains a good deal of rocky land; but has abundant springs, and in many parts is well wooded.
There was a chance that she might have been in earnest in persuading me to elope, and that if I rode alone she might show herself she or else Gloria's captors. Failing signs of Maga Jhaere or her men, I proposed to ride behind Beirut Dagh in search of Will, and to get his quick Yankee wit employed on the situation.
Looking backwards through the stadium from the seats of the theatre, we had a lovely view of the temple, standing out clear and bright in the midst of the summer plain, with the snow-streaked summits of Murad Dagh in the distance. It was a picture which I shall long remember.
The camel of Asia Minor does not share that antipathy for the equine species which is so general among their Asiatic cousins; but steel horses were more than even they could endure. A sudden turn in the road now brought us in sight of old Arjish Dagh, which towers 13,000 feet above the city of Kaisarieh, and whose head and shoulders were covered with snow.
Asia Minor is distinctly a hilly country, but there are no very lofty elevations under the meridian of the thirtieth degree of east longitude along which the Flying Fish was then running nor, indeed, in its immediate vicinity, until the southern coast is approached, where, at a distance of about forty miles from the point at which the travellers would again pass out over the water, and some twenty-five miles to the left of their proper course, the Bei Dagh peak rises to a height of ten thousand four hundred feet, while, a few miles farther on, and quite near to their track, the highest peak of the Susuz Dagh range rises still higher by one hundred and fifty feet.
Several military expeditions set out from this point, and every year detachments of troops were despatched to keep the roads open toward Khiva, the Kepet Dagh, or the banks of the Attrek. But the colonization scheme on the lower Caspian had once more brought the Russians to the Persian boundary.