National Geographic : 1932 Jun
SURVEYING THROUGH KHORESM 759 WATER FROM THIS NATIVE PUMP WILL IRRIGATE ABOUT SEVEN AND ONE-HALF ACRES Each such chigir will lift 1oo gallons of water a minute, as the patient donkey turns the wheel (see text, page 766). farms and farmhouses. Against this force the natives are helpless, for their only tool is the shovel. Beyond the irrigated valley the stream cuts through a vast expanse of rolling sand dunes, on the right the Kizil Kum and on the left the Kara Kum. For almost two days our view of this expanse of sand was unbroken except for Dargan Ata, a small oasis of 5,000 irrigated acres midway be tween Chardzhui and Khoresm. In places the sand dunes extend to the water's edge. Elsewhere there are cliffs from o1 to 30 feet high on one or both sides, but most of the way a narrow strip of marshland extends along one shore. A number of motor boats slowly push ing their way upstream were passed, those carrying passengers loaded almost to swamping. At dusk we tied up to the bank. Navigation at night would be dan gerous on account of the shoals. CLEAN BERTHS BELIE THEIR APPEARANCE About midnight I was awakened by Mr. Davis's flashlight. He was searching his deceitfully clean-looking berth. It was not long before the rest of us were doing like wise. Thereafter most of the party de cided to sleep on deck, on the cots always carried for such emergencies on our travels in Turkistan. The next morning, meeting a mail boat coming up the river, we hove to while one of its passengers, Mr. Poliakoff, an engi neer in charge of dredging, was persuaded to join our party. A Russian and I took advantage of the pause to go ashore and investigate the ruins of a queer-looking building or fortress near by.