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an almost foregone conclusion. Yet the primary object of this propaganda is to render that amalgamation more difficult. They are not, however, numerous enough to form an independent State. Union with their trans-Danubian cousins appears to be a geographical impossibility. The propaganda must necessarily work equally against their absorption either by Albania or Bulgaria. The movement is therefore only a negative movement, and as such appears doomed to exercise no decisive influence on the destinies of the Wallachs.

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CHAPTER X.

YANINA.

AUTUMN, with its constant alternations of fierce storms and bright sunshine, is the season which most harmonises with the wild nature of Epirus. The swollen streams rush headlong down its narrow valleys, or leap over its cliffs in foaming cascades ; the wind sweeps freely over its bleak precipices; the forked lightning plays among its lofty peaks; the thunder rolls in resounding poals from rock to rock ; while now and again the run bursts forth, shedding rainbows on the retreating clouds, and lighting up with its transient glory the grand outlines of the desolate landscape.

After the first sharp descent from Metzovo, the track to Yanina-for it would be idle to call it a rond-lies for some fifteen miles along the bed of the Arta. Yet in olden days there must have been a road, and a fine and frequented road too, to judge from the number of hans or wayside inns, and bridges, of which traces are still to be seen. But the hans are nowadays empty and ruinous, and the bridges are only marked by broken piles, or by one solitary span spared by the devious torrent. Needless to say that in winter, communication is constantly interrupted by snows and storms, and Epirus and Thessaly are temporarily cut off from one another. On both sides, the mountains rise grandly from the broad bed of the Arta Metzovitico, which is presently joined by the sister waters of the Arta Zagoritico, descending from the heights of the Zagori district. Villages nestle in the shelter of their flanks, looking at this distance prosperous . and peaceful enough amid their oases of green trees and terraced fields. Yet there is scarcely another district in Turkey where lawlessness and brigandage have wrought such havoc as in Zagori. For the last three years it has been the happy hunting-ground of two formidable Greek bands, led by two brothers, Davelli by name, who have acquired for themselves in Epirus no

less infamous a reputation than the mighty Kapitanos Kathrakia in Macedonia. The highlands of the Zagori district contain forty-three villages, all Christian ; within three years more than half of them, and those the wealthiest, have been burnt, pillaged, and desolated by these ruffians. Nor are they content to spoil them once and for all; time after time do they return to the charge, carrying off the wealthier inhabitants for ransom, outraging the women, plundering and destroying in the mere wantonness of lust. In the presence of these atrocities what does the Government do ? Nothing, worse than nothing. Now and then an expedition is organised, and a troop of Circassians sent off to the hills to find the brigands; but whether the latter receive information from the terror-stricken peasants, who fear their revenge, or from corrupt officials, who take their bribes, they always succeed in eluding pursuit, and the Circassians, after living for a few days at the villagers' expense, and completing their ruin, return to their quarters until a fresh opportunity is afforded for another such fruitless errand. The police alone are sometimes more successful; for in this province, where they are, almost without exception, recruited from among the Albanians, they are, as a body, honest and energetic. Only nine months ago a detachment of zaptiehs was despatched against the notorious band of Leonidas; and after six days of ceaseless marching and countermarching, they tracked the brigands to their lair, and the colonel of the zaptiehs, who was himself in command of the expedition, slew the robber chief with his own hand. But the coup has never been repeated. The zaptiehs are neither sufficiently numerous nor organised to cope with so gigantic and widespread an evil, and the military authorities, who perhaps alone have the power, are criminally supine. Mehemet Zekki Pasha, the general in command of the troops in Epirus—a fanatical and haughty Circassian, who owes his high and rapid promotion to Palace influences—is reported to have said that, “so long as Greeks only killed Greeks, the harm was not very great." But of late the brigands have not restricted themselves to the innocent amusement of torturing unfortunate peasants—they have even ventured to attack some of the leading Mussulmans; and no little commotion was caused some ten days be

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