Rule of the sons of Súkhrá and revolt of
Wandád Hurmuzd.

Then arose Wandád Hurmuzd, the son of Alandá, the son of Qárin, the son of Súkhrá, who has been already mentioned in speaking of the Garsháhs (Jarsháhs) or kings of the Mountains; for the word Jar (or Gar) is applied to mountain-land susceptible of cultivation, and Gáw-bára had given this land to this family, who had held it for a hund­red years. Now the inhabitants of Ummídwár-Kúh came to Wandád Hurmuzd to complain of the tyranny and exactions of the Caliph’s governors, promising him their support if he would rebel against them, whereby tḥey might escape from the tyranny which was crushing them down, and he might recover the authority enjoyed by his ancestors. He answered them that he must first consult with (f. 89b) the Ispahbad Sharwín, the king of the Mountains, and seek for the support of the Mas-mughán Walásh; and that if these consented to help him, he would revolt against the Caliph. So he sent messengers to Sharwín at Shahriyár-kúh in Farím, and to the Mas-mughán at Mayándarúd, both of whom agreed to help him, and encouraged him in his enterprise. A day was then fixed on which the people of Ṭabaristán should make a general massacre of all the Arabs and servants of the Caliph. This was done; and so tho­roughly were the Ṭabaristánís in accord that women who were married to followers of the Caliph dragged them out of their houses by their beards, and delivered them over to the executioners, so that in all Ṭabaristán not an Arab was left. When Ḥammál b. 'Umar ad-Duhalí and Khálid b. Barmak, whom the Caliph had sent to Ray, received news of this, they despatched tidings to Baghdad, and al-Mahdí sent Sálim of Farghána, one of his most trusted officers, whom he had nick-named “the Devil of Farghána” to enquire into and report on the matter. On learning the truth, the Caliph exclaimed, “Is there no one who will go to Ṭabar­istán and bring me the head of Wandád Hurmuzd?” Sálim offered himself, and the Caliph despatched him wíth a fol­lowing of brave and hardy soldiers. On arriving in Ṭabar­istán, he encamped in the plain of Aṣram, where Wandád Hurmuzd came to meet him, accompanied by a great host. Sálim was mounted on a favourite piebald horse, well known throughout 'Iráq-i-'Arab. He at once rode at Wandád Hur­muzd and smote at him with his great mace, which weighed twenty maunds, splitting the shield with which he sought to parry the blow (f. 90a), but nor succeeding in inflicting on him any further injury. At dusk they ceased from battle, and Wandád Hurmuzd and his men encamped at Hurmuzdábád. Next day they fell to banqueting and drink­ing. Wandád Hurmuzd had a black horse, which had on its neck a curious mole, and which was of incomparable excellence. This he had saddled with a golden saddle and caparisoned with jewelled trappings, and when it was brought before him he said, “O people, know that this is our antagonist whom ye have seen, and whose pomp and power ye have witnessed. And ye are all of you the bravest men of Ṭabaristán. Which of you will take this caparisoned horse and do battle with him?” Thrice he made this appeal, and no one responded to it, until at last one of his sons, a lad named Wandá-ummíd, and called Khudáwand-i-Kalálak, advanced, kissed the ground, and said, “By thy good fortune I am he who shall bring thee thine enemy’s head; and for this I desire nothing but the horse.” “When,” said Wandád Hurmuzd, “hast thou contended with warriors and taken part in such contests?” The lad, however, persisted in his resolve, in spite of the attempts to dissuade him made by his father and his maternal uncle Qúhyár, who was finally bidden to accompany his nephew, notwithstanding his weak­ness and old age. The bravest men were chosen to accom­pany them, and a cow-herd named Ardashírak Báblúraj (f. 90b), who knew all the intricacies of the thickets and forests, was sent to lead them by secret paths against Sálim, who, being taken by surprise, was slain by Wandá-ummíd in single combat, at Harsa-mál, three parasangs from ´Amul, or, as some say, at Aṣram, at the place now called Hí-Hí-Kayán. So the lad Wandá-ummíd came back in triumph to his father, Wandád-Hurmuzd, and was received by him with great honour and rejoicing, and ever afterwards permitted to sit beside him on his golden throne. And Sálim was esteemed by the Caliph as equivalent in value to a thousand horsemen*.