электронная
180
печатная A5
657
18+
Nader Shah

Бесплатный фрагмент - Nader Shah

Historical novel


Объем:
538 стр.
Возрастное ограничение:
18+
ISBN:
978-5-4496-4998-0
электронная
от 180
печатная A5
от 657

18+

Книга предназначена
для читателей старше 18 лет

It was the beginning of March; kichik chille was past. The Sun was warming the ground little by little, nature was awakening, flowers and grass were peeping from the soil. The breath of spring was clearly felt. Light steam was rising from the soil, as if after the severe cold of the winter the soil was warming in order to come to life.

…It was one of the days of early spring. A nine year old little boy was going towards the slope of the mountain and was leading about a hundred sheep. The stick with a round top in his hand was bigger than him. It could be felt that he was accustomed to that job in spite of being little. He knew well that though the he-goat at the head didn’t lead the flock of sheep, it would lead the sheep directly to the green grass-plot. When the sheep parted from the flock, the dogs named Aghbileng and Qarabileng* would return them again. It was as if those giant dogs drew border lines for the flock of sheep. And the flock of sheep didn’t have to go out of that border. Aghbileng and Qarabileng returned either the sheep that was behind the flock or the sheep going right or left. The little boy felt himself more courageous near the giant dogs. It wasn’t in vain. Someone who saw those dogs would get frightened.

...At last, the flock of sheep reached the slope of the mountain, and began to graze more eagerly. It was the first time that year the mouths of the sheep touched the green grass; after the dry grass and straw of the winter, green grass would be for the sheep and lambs like a holiday gift.

The little boy sat in the sunny place of the rock, the height of which was about seven or eight meters. He leaned his stick against the rock, and put the saddlebag on his back, on the ground. In the morning, his mother had put into the saddlebag a piece of bread and a bit of cheese. It was his lunch. His cap on his head and the sheepskin coat on his shoulder were threadbare. The torn shoe he wore showed his poverty.

The little boy took a pipe out of his saddlebag. The boy took the pipe so respectfully that it showed he liked it very much. The pipe was made of cane. The boy cleared his throat and then brought the pipe nearer to his lips. Mournful music spread all around.

Aghbileng came and lay at the feet of the boy as if it had finished its task. But the dog didn’t take its eyes off the sheep and lambs. Qarabileng was lying at the other side of the flock and looking at him.

It was as if the voice of the pipe touched the top of the mountain and then returned back. As though the birds were delighted hearing the voice of the pipe and began warbling.

Suddenly Aghbileng heard voices of flittering and picked up its ears and looked up. Firstly, the dog saw nothing. Then its eyes noticed the falcon flying in the sky screaming, but the dog didn’t change its way of sitting. The falcon flew into the expanse of the sky, looked over the ground from above and began to look for its prey. While the bird was in the sky, its rapid eyes saw on the ground rodents basking in the sun, which were known among the people as “Arabdovshany”.

The rodent, which was standing on its legs and turning its head to the right and the left enjoying the sun’s beams, was unaware of rapacious glances staring at it.

Aghbileng noticed it rapidly; it raised its head up and squatted, and pursued the distance between the falcon and the rodent… Everything happened within a moment. No sooner had the rodent noticed the danger than the falcon appeared unexpectedly at its head. The falcon stuck its sharp talons like iron into the rodent’s back and raised its sacrifice up the sky. In the sky the falcon pecked hard on the head of the rodent. Then the twittering of the rodent stopped. The falcon flew towards the top of the sky and dis- appeared. But the voice of the pipe didn’t stop, as if it was flowing like water.

Aghbileng again lay at the feet of the boy. But it didn’t last long. The dog felt something and squatted again and barked. As if somehow Aghbileng wanted to make Qarabileng aware of danger. The danger was felt among the scent of thousands of flowers. Qarabileng felt the danger and began to gather the sheep towards the bottom of the rock. At that moment Aghbileng didn’t move away from its master. The master saw that the dogs behaved anxiously and that was why he stopped playing his pipe and put it into his saddlebag. He took his stick and stood up. Just at that moment from the other side of the hill, there was seen a group of wolves. The hungry wolves came to look for food to catch after the severe winter. Aghbileng looked towards the wolves with indifference and it barked. As if it was certain of its strength. The wolves also saw the dogs, but they didn’t attack the sheep directly. Between them there stood Aghbileng and the little boy. It didn’t seem that the wolves were frightened by the hugeness or a dread of the dogs; whatever happened the wolves had the intention of catching some sheep. Aghbileng began to bark dreadfully as if it was sensing the intention of the wolves and ran towards them.

The little boy fastened the cord of his trousers. Sensing beforehand that something would happen, he took his stick in his hand hard and prepared to fight.

Five of the wolves encircled Aghbileng, they clenched their teeth; and turning round the dog began to look for a chance to attack. Two of the dogs flew out towards the little boy. The boy wasn’t frightened; he waved his stick towards the wolves and cried:

— Hi, diseased ones, if only you try to come nearer to me!

Aghbileng attacked firstly. The dog seized the throat of one of the wolves and threw it aside. The wolf whined with pain while falling on the ground after flying out in the air, but it didn’t run and rushed at Aghbileng again. When Aghbileng tried to seize the throat of another wolf, the wolves standing behind, caught his back legs. While the dog was whining with pain, it missed the mark, and at that moment the third wolf seized its throat. The other two wolves wanted to catch its throat too. The dog turned over the wolves courageously, shook them right and left, but the wolves didn’t free the dog. Little by little the dog weakened, its eyes went dark and it began to lose its strength.

At that moment the little boy roared like adults. He raised his stick above his head and turned his stick over. The stick hit the wolf which wanted to rush him and fell on the ground together with the wolf. Seeing that his stick fell on the ground, the boy faltered and moved away a step. The attack was weak, which was why the wolf stood up immediately. The wolf curled up in order to attack its mark, clenching its teeth furiously. The little boy stepped back towards the rock. Suddenly the wolf rushed at the boy. But it was as if it was frozen in the air. Qarabileng snatched it and stopped the jumping of the wolf right in the air. The sudden attack of Qarabileng confused the wolf. While the wolf was coming to itself, the dog again snatched and pushed it under its feet.

The case of Agblileng was gradually becoming worse; the dog weakened and it fell on its knees. As if the beasts of prey felt the problems of Aghbileng. One of the wolves saw the weakening of Aghbileng and left it, and rushed at Qarabileng. Qarabileng had already throttled and killed the wolf that it snatched. One of the wolves jumped towards the dog, the other one went towards the little boy. He thought about the coming of death and he was a bit frightened. He stepped back a little and leaned against the rock. The wolf stood on its front legs and began to spring out towards the boy. The boy bent down, he took a stone in his palm and threw the stone towards the wolf. Though the stone fell near the wolf, it didn’t stop it. Then the boy leaned against the rock and closed his eyes as if he reconciled to his death. One thought was in his mind: “Now the wolf will tear me into pieces” Aghbileng and Qarabileng were continuing grappling with the wolves. Just at that moment from the upper part of the rocks there was heard howling of a wolf: “Au- u- u- u....Au-u-u…” It was a grey wolf and as if it wanted to say something to its friends. The grey wolf howled once more: “Au- u-u-u.”

It was as if the wolves were waiting for the second howling of the grey wolf. Hearing its second howling, firstly, the wolf at the boy moved off. The other wolves which had seized the throat and the legs of Aghbileng freed the dog and moved off. The dog had no strength. Though Aghbileng wanted to stand up it couldn’t. The wolves had badly wounded the dog. The wolf which was grappling with Qarabileng also stopped. As if the dogs also were enchanted by the voice of the howling wolf. The dogs neither barked nor attacked the wolves that had stopped “the fight”. The wolves withdrew siiently, after a moment they were not seen behind the other side of the hill.

But the grey wolf standing at the rock, didn’t want to go. The wolf howled once more: “Au-u-u.Au-u-u…”

The little boy couldn’t come to himself remembering all what had happened a moment before. Though the danger was past, his body was trembling. But his trembling wasn’t because of fear.

The boy squatted at the bottom of the rock. He grew dumb, his body sweated because of excitement. That time the last howling of the grey wolf made him come to himself: «Au-u-u...Au-u-u..

The voice of the grey wolf was heard from the top of the hill. After some time it wasn’t seen behind the hill.

Just then the boy remembered the story of “a grey wolf’ which his grandmother used to tell him in childhood.

The boy took his stick in a cowardly way and stood up. With one end of the stick he wanted to set in motion the wolf lying near him motionless. But the wolf had already died. Qarabileng was licking the bleeding wounds of Aghbileng.

…That little boy was the great warlord of Azerbaijan, the conqueror who would shake the world, and an eminent ruler before whom all would bow saying “my Shah”. The little boy was the future Nader Shah..

CHAPTER I

...In Daragoz there began a clamor, the people were yelling at the top of their voices, because there were no armed men to fight against the Uzbeks of Khorasan who had all of a sudden attacked because there remained only old people, women and children in the winter quarters. Usually when the brave men of the Qirkhli branch of the stock of Avshar were in winter quarters, they would either go to battles foltowing the order of the Shah of Qizilbash or would guard the eastern borders of the Empire of the Safavids. The Uzbeks of Khorasan knew it very well, by attacking the Qirkhli of Avshars they wanted both to get plunder to increase their wealth and to force the women and children they captured to work like slaves.

The Uzbeks of Khorasan knew exactly the time when to attack.

In the streets of Daragoz one could hear nothing be t cause of the noise of crying, screaming, and shouting, wailing and neighing of horses. The Uzbeks of Khorasan killed the old people and captured the boys, beautiful girls and women and filled the prisoners into the cart which they had brought with them.

The mother embraced fourteen year old Nader and ten year old Ibrahim and sat close to the corner of the shack built from earth-bricks. In the shack there was nothing except kitchen utensils and threadbare bedding put on the old chest. Nader considered himself to be the head of the family and wanted to show his manly features to his mother and little brother. That was why he had taken the only knife and was ready to attack:

— When they enter inside, if I don’t cut them I am not the son of my father, — he said and drew back into the arms of her mother.

His mother embraced him:

— Nader, I beseech you, hide that knife! The brave men of Qirkhli are not here, the Uzbeks consider themselves stronger. Calm your mind! Let us be out of danger… As soon as our brave men come they will take vengeance on them.

But Nader had no patience:

— Mother, what are you saying? If they harm you or my brother, I shall never absolve myself!

Just at that moment somebody kicked the door of the shack. Because of kicking, the frame of the door broke into pieces and fell on the floor. It raised clouds of dust. The Uzbek of Khorasan who rushed into the shack had a Damask sword in his hand, on his shoulder hung a bow and an arrow. He had worn boots made of skin. Firstly, he could see nothing. He waited for the dust to settle. After some time he saw one woman and two boys squatting in the corner sitting close to one another. In that poor shack there was nobody except them. The Uzbek screw up his courage seeing the shack without a man:

— Hi, woman, where is your jewelry? — The Uzbek of Khorasan shouted.

— What? What jewelry? Don’t you see our poor shack? We have no jewelry, — mother said.

The Uzbek of Khorasan cried:

— Don’t speak stupidly! I know that even a poor Avshar has jewelry. You can’t deceive me, — he said and approached the woman. — Let me see your neck!

The Uzbek had a sword in his right hand; he wanted to take the kerchief off the woman with his left hand. Just at that moment Nader stood between his mother and the Uzbek.

— Don’t touch my mother or I shall kill you! -Nader shouted and got ready to fight.

The Uzbek of Khorasan, who didn’t expect such kind of courage from a teenager, remembered the Damask sword in his hand and came to himself. “Shall I kill children of the Avshars?” — he thought for a while and calmed himself. Firstly, he decided to punish and frighten the child. He smacked the face of Nader by the back of his left hand:

— Don’t interfere, whelp! Or I shall kill both your bitch

mother and you!

Nader staggered because of the blow, and he leaned his hand against the wall for support and could stand with difficulty.

The Uzbek of Khorasan again wanted to take the kerchief of the woman and touch her breast.

— Hi, you bitch, show me whatever you have! If I wrangle with everybody so much I shall return to Qayin without plunder. Be quick!

At that moment he felt pain on one side. Firstly, he supposed that the pain was the ache of hurt from wresiling. It gave Nader a chance to thrust the knife three times into his side. It was too late when the Uzbek of Khorasan understood what had happened. He was losing his strength, Nader said scornfully:

— But I had told you not to touch my mother or I should kill you!

The Uzbek of Khorasan crashed onto the floor. Mother, who stiffened in astonishment seeing the scene before her eyes, began to tear her hair:

— What did you do, my child? Now they will come and kill all of us!

Nader didn’t change his posture:

— Let them come, I shall kill them too!

Mother said anxiously:

— You get into trouble not only me but yourself and your brother. What must I do now? My God, help me!

Nader took the knife which was covered with the blood of the Uzbek and hid it under his shirt without wiping the blood. Then he raised the Damask sword:

— What had to happen has already happened, mother! Now I shall defend you better!

Mother cried anxiously:

— What are you saying, my son, throw away that sword, don’t seek death for yourself!

Nader didn’t want to throw away the sword. Mother came nearer to him, pulled the sword and threw it to the corner of the shack:

— Didn’t I ask you to throw away the sword? Now, we need not to fight but leave immediately. There are a lot Uzbeks in the mountains and valleys! My God, help me, if one of them comes here he will kill us! She raised her hands up and prayed the God. My God, help my poor children!

The woman passed through the broken door and looked outside. The Uzbeks were busy with plundering. It was good that the horse of the dead Uzbek was tied to the neighbor’s gate, or after finding the dead body it wouldn’t be difficult for them to find out his murderer. Suddenly it thundered. As if the black clouds in the sky couldn’t bare the screaming, shouting, wailing and wanted to become free of pain. It began to rain hard, as if it would wash away all the pain. Rain helped the mother and her two children to run. The Uzbeks of Khorasan who wanted to escape from the rain, stopped plundering and looked for a place to hide themselves.

Mother turned towards her children and said:

— Be quick! Hurry up!

The children looked round the street; there was nobody there. The rain was not going to stop. They ran along the street about fifty meters and then they turned to the left. After fifty meters there was empty land, thorns-and-shrubs. If only they reached there, they could be able to reach the mountains and hide themselves. But they didn’t have any luck. From behind, somebody was shouting at them: “Stop!”

Mother wanted to look behind and to see who was shouting. But she lost her balance in the slippery and muddy place and fell. She wanted to stand up, but she couldn’t. Apparently, her foot was sprained. The running boys looked behind and didn’t see their mother following and they stopped.

— Nader, I beg you, don’t stop, run!

Mother couldn’t finish her words. The Uzbek of Khorasan appeared unexpectedly above her head and kicked her:

— Where are you running? You won’t be able to save yourselves.

The woman lost consciousness because of the blow. Nader looked at his brother and said:

— Let’s return! Our mother is in trouble and that scoundrel will kill her with his kicking.

When the children came nearer to their mother the Uzbek said to them furiously:

— Come, bitch ones, where were you running? — He shouted.

The children kept silence.

— Is she your mother?

The children nodded their heads affirming.

The Uzbek of Khorasan faced Nader:

— You seem older than your brother. Take this woman and drag her towards the cart. If you think about running once more I shall kill both of you. You are my slaves from this day.

Nader lifted his mother who had lost her consciousness and whose face and clothes were covered with mud. Then he took her on his shoulder and told his brother: “Follow me!”

The Uzbek left them behind. Though it was difficult to go in the mud and rain, Nader wasn’t tired carrying his mother. When they reached the carts in the outskirts of the hamlet the Uzbek turned to Nader and asked him:

— Aren’t you tired?

— The son who carries the load of the mother can never be tired.

Nader’s answer surprised the Uzbek:

— You look like a bright fel l ow by your clever answer. Whose son are you in Qirkhli?

The sudden question of the Uzbek was heavier than the load on his shoulder. Nader didn’t want to show his feelings: -Now it makes no difference, our father died long ago. The Uzbek of Khorasan shouted with laughter:

— Well, very well! It is better if my slaves are without a father.

Nader preferred to keep silence because they had reached the carts. He placed his mother in one corner of a cart. He tied the muddy kerchief round her head. The rain was soon going to be over.

…On a rough road the carts were going towards the city of Qayin in the province of Khorasan. The fighting Uzbeks had already galloped their horses and were not seen. There were nine or ten fighters in the carts. They were laughing and didn’t pay attention to the moaning of the captive people they had taken like plunder. They knew that no one could be able to run, because except Nader’s mother they had tied the hands and feet of all the captivated women. They didn’t need to tie the hands of Nader’s mother because of her losing conscious ness.

Mother awoke when the cart fell on the next pot-holes. She groaned, and when she came to herself her first word was: “Where are we?”

Nader bent to the head of his mother:

— I understood from their talking that they are taking us to Qayin, mother!

— Where is Ibrahim?

— He is also here.

— Did they beat you?

— No, mother!

The woman mourned noisily when the cart fell into the pot-hole again:

— It feels as if the bitch Uzbek has broken my bones with his kicking. Nader, my son, raise me up and give your ear to me!

Nader raised his mother and bent his ear close to her.

— My son, don’t they know anything about your killing the Uzbek? — She asked.

— No, they don’t know…

— As soon as they reach Qayin, they will know without fail, -the woman moaned again. At that time no one will be able to save you from their revenge. You must run together with your brother before reaching Qayin. Then it will be too late.

— I can’t leave you here, mother! — He whispered in the ears of his mother.

— It is the end of my life, my son! I can’t run even I want to. My foot has been sprained; one of my bones has apparently been broken.

— We shall be together, mother!

Mother got angry:

— Don’t argue with me, my son! Listen to my words! It is getting dark. Qayin is far from here. They will without fail spend the night somewhere. Darkness won’t let them come after you. Darkness loses the traces quickly. While you are running go on the right side of the road. That road will lead you to Kalat. The Shah of Avshars, Baba-ali khan lives in Kalat. Go to his palace and speak about what had happened. Baba-ali khan has always been the rescuer of us, the Avshars. If it is fated we shall meet again, if it is not fated to meet, you may revenge me with on our enemies. I am proud of you, my son!

— Mother, but…

Nader couldn’t finish his words.

— It is enough! Hide yourselves in the corner of the cart; show yourselves as if you are sleeping. If they feel you are awake, they will tie your hands and feet.

Nader couldn’t say a word because the woman had already closed her eyes because of the pains…

...After some time they stopped near the city. They encircled the carts in order that they would not be attacked while sleeping, and they made a fire…

...It was the middle of the night. The Uzbeks ate the jerked meat they brought with them and drank a wineskin of wine after eating. They were drunk. The squint-eyed one who seemed to be the head of the group couldn’t stand on his feet. Without doubt he was sexually excited. In the cart he was looking for the most beautiful of the captured women. They didn’t think about giving food to the prisoners. At last, the head of the group shouted: “Won’t they dance for us?” Another Uzbek fighter could say stammering: “It is a good idea” and stood up with difficulty and approached one of the carts. Though he was drunk, he could untie the cord of the hands and feet of a fifteen-sixteen years old girl and helped her to get off the cart. He pulled her arms and brought near the fire. The girl was so weak that she couldn’t put up any resistance; her body had grown numb because of remaining tied for a long time, which was why she couldn’t move.

The head of the group approached the girl stammering:

— Now we shall sing a song and you will dance for us.

The girl said nothing. The strange singing of the fighters didn’t make her move. The head of the group stopped his singing and approached the girl taking out his poniard:

— Dance or I shall kill you. All of you are my slaves.

The fighters again began to sing strange songs. The girl raised her hands being helpless… That merriment continued till the morning. The tired fighters fell asleep by the fire…

...Nader was watching all what was happening. When all around was silent mother said to her children: “Stand up, it is time!” Mother and children embraced one another in tears. Mother was feeling that it was the time of parting and she wouldn’t see her children any more. Nader and Ibrahim got off the cart quietly. They couldn’t walk without their mother. But the woman hastened them:

— Be quick, the lights of my eyes! Hurry!

Nader and Ibrahim left the cart in a hurry.

The Uzbek fighter who had broken the bones of Nader’s mother by kicki ng, was in Nader’s opini on someone to be dealt with…

The fire couldn’t be seen. Nader stopped and whispered to his brother:

— Wait for me here! I shall return after a little time.

He returned the same way as silently as he had come. He took the knife that he had hidden under his shirt with which he had killed the Uzbek of Khorasan. He readied it in his hand and approached the fire. He cast a furtive glance at the place where the Uzbek who had kicked his mother was sleeping. Nader approached him carefully. The noise of the snoring of the drunken fighters mixed with the noise of the dragonflies. Nader closed the mouth of the fighter with his left hand and began to thrust the knife into the Uzbek’s throat with his right hand:

— Didn’t I tell you beforehand that I shall kill anyone who touched my mother? — He whispered in a low voice that couldn’t be heard. The fighter struggled a little and then he died. Then Nader disappeared in the darkness of the night. The darkness swallowed and made him unseen.

Their mother was watching that scene in tears and was saying in her heart: “Well done, my son!”

After some time the beams of the Sun began to be seen through the skyline. It was the first night that the teenage Nader spent without his mother.

Kalat, 1722

From Nader:

“....It seemed that somebody was calling my name. I opened my eyes. Sona Beyim was calling me. She was the daughter of Baba-ali khan, the head of the stock of Avshar. My son Rzaqulu was standing near her and was catching the hem of her dress. I was so busy with fulfilling the tasks of Baba-ali-khan, which was why just then I noticed that my son had already been brought up.

— What do you want? — I asked her angrily. -Don’t you know that I came just towards morning?

Sona Beyim:

— I know, but my grandfather is calling you. — Sona Beyim called her father as grandfather. — He sent my brother to call you.

— Where is he?

— In his own room.

— Has anything happened?

— I don’t know, my brother said nothing.

I raised myself up in the bedding; I called Rzaqulu. The child jumped towards my arms as if he was waiting for my words. I sleeked his hair and kissed his red cheeks. Then I turned towards Sona :

— Ask the servant to bring water! I want to wash myself. Tell your brother that I am coming after a little time.

— All right, my bey! — Sona Beyim said and went out.

The voice of Sona Beyim was heard in the yard.

Sona Beyim was the elder daughter of Baba-ali khan. She was very beautiful. She could rule the home very well. But she often fell ill because her health wasn’t good. She had suffered much while giving a birth to Rzaqulu.

I kissed my son once more and stood up. The boy went out of the room running.

I wore my chukha and my cap, fastened my sword to my waist and went into the yard. Rzaqulu came to me. Immediately the servants brought the washbasin and a can. I took my cap and put it on Rzaqulu’s head. He looked funny. Sona Beyim wanted to serve me herself. She took the water can and poured water into my palm. I asked while washing my hands, face and throat:

— How is the khan?

— He looks a bit tired.

— He had to marry after your mother’s death.

— My God! Enough! Did our father want to marry and we didn’t agree?

— Yes, I know, he might marry. The khan himself didn’t want to marry; he loved your mother too much

When I finished my washing, Sona Beyim gave me the towel. The wife of the khan died while giving birth for the last time. The doctors tried hard but they couldn’t save her. After the death of his wife the khan grieved. The hale and hearty man began to melt like a candle before our eyes.

…When we escaped from the danger of the Uzbeks of Khorasan, I and my brother Ibrahim came to the city of Kalat, to Baba-ali khan’s palace. He greeted us kindly. Though our family was poor, he knew my father very well. Baba-ali khan spoke some sweet words about my father. I told him all that had happened; I informed him that my mother and other Avshar women and children were captured. Baba-ali khan was listening to me attentively and he couldn’t take his eyes off me. I lost the power of speech under his looks. But also I was afraid of not befing able to speak. I finished my words and kept silent. He turned pas- sionately towards my brother and asked:

— My son, did you see how Nader killed the armed Uzbek?

Ibrahim answered simply:

— Yes, I saw only one of them, but not the other one. When he ran towards the camp of the Uzbeks I was in the forest.

Baba-ali khan stood up:

— Bravo! Bully for you! — He said. Do you want to work in my palace?

We answered his question by nodding our heads. We had nowhere to go. Thus, we began to serve to Baba-ali khan.

Afterwards I learned that Baba-ali khan had sent a mes- senger to the ruler of Khorasan and asked him to give back the women and the children of the stock of Avshar. The Uzbeks of Khorasan promised to return the captured people in return for some sum money in order not to be cross with the Avshars.

I couldn’t see my mother among the returned prisoners. In this way, the languor of my mother remained in my heart for ever.

I was promoted to the post of a military leader in the palace. The quickest, the most famous regi ment among the Avshars was mine. One day Baba-ali khan called me. I supposed that he was going to send me to fight. But I was mis- taken. That time he had another thought. Baba-ali khan began talking in a roundabout way. It was his habit, when he wanted to solve a serious problem he used to begin his talk in a roundabout way. He spoke about the summer pas- ture, winter hut of the Avshars, about the forest, river and frontier fights. At last he began to state his purpose:

— My son, Nader, you are more than twenty five years old. Don’t you want to marry?

I dropped my eyes shyly:

— I follow you advise, my khan!

Baba-ali khan:

— My son, don’t be ashamed! Consider me to be close to you. There is a saying if water is in the can it is drinkable. If you love somebody, tell me. I shall be your match-maker.

— I love nobody, my khan!

From the author:

Nader had a vigorous constitution; he was tall, large-eyed, with long eyelashes and black brows. The scar which was the keepsake of the fight made him look much braver. The colors of his eyes were yellow and that color suited him very well. He had a severe character. When he was betrayed he used to suffer from nerves and became much crueler. In spite of everything he was very joyful.

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