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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/102

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8o Miscellanea.

wild Baloch tribes, who were swarming down in the commence- ment of the sixteenth century from the uplands of what is now called Balochistan (here spoken of as Khorasan) into the valley of the Indus, and the Mughal Emperors Babar and Hamayun and their following from Central Asia, who were founding the Mughal Empire of India at the same period. They are popularly and correctly spoken of as Turks. Another body of Mughals, or Turks, the Arghun family, who founded a short-lived dynasty in Kandahar and Northern Sindh, also came into collision with the Baloches at the same period. Harrand is an ancient fort which at that time was held by a Mughal garrison to keep the Hill Baloches in check. It commands the entrance to the Chachar Pass, one of the easiest routes from the Indus valley into the hill country near the point where the Indus is joined by the united five rivers of the Punjab. Here the story is localised, and the names mentioned in the narrative of the flight through the pass are still borne by various spots in the Chachar Gorge.]

There was once a Rind named Dosten, and he was betrothed to Shiren, a daughter of Lai Khan. The two learned to read and write the Persian language together. But it happened that one day the Turks made a raid on the Rind village and slew several men and seized Dosten and carried him away with another boy as prisoners, and brought them to Harrand, where they passed many years in captivity. After this Shiren's father and mother betrothed her to another Rind, and he too was called Dosten.

Then Shiren made a poem and wrote it on paper, and sent it to Dosten ; a faqir brought it and delivered it to him.

Now as time went on, the Turk who ruled at Harrand as repre- sentative of Humau (Humayun) made Dosten a groom to look after his horses ; and as he worked well, the head-groom became friendly to him, and entrusted him with two fillies, saying : " Train these, train them very carefully." When the mares were four years old they saddled them, and Dosten and the other Rind, his com- panion, used to ride them about to train them. But before taking off their fetters the Turk made them give their word not to escape secretly ; and Dosten said : " I will not go off secretly ; I will not go till I have your leave." And so they rode and trained the mares until the day of the ' Id ' arrived, when the Turk had horse-races : and he said to Dosten: "You two have leave to take out the mares and race them." And Dosten said : " Have we your leave