At the end of this time, Aly Beg Ghurbāny, chief of the Tūrkumāns, having been informed that Timūr was in the desert, and was endeavouring to collect his followers for the purpose of plundering the Tūrkumāns, was alarmed, and sent a a party to seize me by surprize.

In fact, whilst we were quite off our guard, they made a night attack on us, seized me, and led me to the Tūrkumān cantonment; when arrived there, Aly Beg, without seeing me, ordered me to be confined in a cow-house, swarming with fleas and other vermin, where he kept me and my wife without any other companion than the vermin, for fifty-three days and nights; at this time I made a vow to God, that I would never keep any person, whether guilty or innocent, for any length of time, in prison or in chains.*

At length, encouraged by the predictions of my rising to sovereignty, I re­solved either to make my escape from the horrid place, or terminate my existence; I therefore determined to make the attempt, and either to be victorious, or to die manfully: at first I endeavoured to win over my keepers, by promises of re­ward, but being unsuccessful, I seized the sword of one of the sentinels, and attacked the guard; they fled, and I pursued them even into the presence of their chieftain: when Aly Beg saw my determined bravery and exertion, he was struck with remorse, and repented of his conduct, and sent back all the things that he had plundered from me.

At this time, a letter was delivered to him from his brother Muhammed Beg Ghurbāny, the contents of which were, “it is reported in Khurasān, that you have “seized and imprisoned Amyr Timūr, such conduct is highly unbecoming and “improper; it is requisite that you should immediately apologize to him, that “you treat him with the greatest honour and respect, and that you deliver to “his Highness the curiosities and presents which I have sent.” In consequence of this letter, Aly Beg waited on me in a hut, which had been assigned for the purpose, asked my pardon, and gave me some of the presents which his brother had sent, but as he was a mean and avaricious wretch, he purloined many of them.

Having thus escaped from the clutches of Aly Beg, I was enabled to collect twelve horsemen; however, with these I again raised the standard of royalty, and resolved to proceed to the desert of Khuarizm: after two days we reached a village, where I alighted and took possession of a house, but I had no sooner done so, than a party of Tūrkumāns came out of the other houses, and prepared to attack me; I closed the door upon (my wife) the sister of Amyr Hussyn, and attacked them. At this time one of them named Ahmed, recollected me, called out to them to desist, and with his followers, whom he had brought for the pur­pose of joining me, came and bent their knees, made their salutations, and entered my service. I placed my own turban on his head; in consequence of this honour, he promised to bring me fifty cavalry.

About this time, Mubarik Shāh Sunjery joined me with a hundred cavalry, he also brought me several horses as a present; in short, a number of the Syeds and other people of Khurasān, joined me, and brought numerous presents.

When I had collected about two hundred horse and foot in the desert, Amyr Hussyn, having taken some offence, left me and set off for Gurmsyr and Canda­har. At this time, Mubarik Shāh, and some other chiefs, waited upon me, and said, “our remaining here in the desert, will be quite ruinous to our affairs. It is probable that Alyas Khuajē may send a Jete army against us; it is there­fore better that we should quit this desert, let us go either to Khuarizm, or the countries of Merve Shāhjehān* or Bādghuish, and subdue one of them.” I ap­proved of their advice, but I reflected that it was predicted in my Horoscope, that I should mount the throne of Maveralnaher, the country of my Gūrgān ancestors, and I shewed the Horoscope to Mubarik Shāh, and the other officers, all of whom were pleased with it.

At length we determined that we would take the two hundred soldiers, and canton them in the vicinity of Kesh, where they might remain till wanted, while I should go among the nomade hordes and clans, and endeavour to collect more partizans.

Having repeated the prayer for success, we set out, and having reached the village of Karindān, a dependancy of Bukhārā, I first fixed on cantonments for my officers and soldiers, and I left my wife Aljay Tūrkān Aghā there; being thus alone, I went and passed my time amongst the hordes and tribes.

At this time, Timūr Kujy, who was one of my friends, having heard of my arrival, joined me with forty troopers, and paid me great attention: I therefore let him into my secret, and sent him to remain with my other troops, with orders that as soon as he should hear of my having raised the standard of independence in Samerkund, he should immediately join me. When a number of persons from the hordes, the clans, and the tribes, had agreed to join me, I determined that I would take with me one thousand of my bravest followers, and conceal ourselves in the city of Samerkund, and that another thousand should follow me and take up their abode in the neighbourhood. In consequence of this arrangement, I marched in the middle of the night, and proceeded towards the city. The next night, I entered Samerkund about the time of the last prayer, and took up my abode at the house of my eldest sister, Kutlugh Tūrkān Aghā. I passed forty-eight days in the city of Samerkund, but when matters were nearly ready for my breaking out on the troops of Jetteh, and destroying them, some of the inhabitants discovered my plot, and loosed their tongues in divulging my secret; my intentions being thus made known, I was under the necessity of quitting Samerkund; I, therefore, left it in the middle of the night, and repaired to the vicinity of Kesh; but as I found it imprudent to remain there, I proceeded with fifty followers towards Khuarizm; but as several of my people were without horses, and found it extremely uncomfortable to travel on foot, by good luck we discovered a herd of horses which were at pasture in the plains of Ajfer. I sent to inquire to whom they belonged, and having ascertained that they were the property of a tribe of Tūrkumāns, I wrote a royal edict to the proprietors, and seized the herd; having divided the horses among my foot soldiers, and now being well mounted, we galloped on to the banks of the Jihūn, and encamped on the side of the river. After a week, we crossed the river, and having reached the village of Achfy, where the country was composed of hill and dale, and the weather being very warm, we remained under the shade of some trees on the bank of the river Amuvy, for a month, and passed our time in hunting and shooting. At this place, my wife and Mubarik Shāh, with the other officers I had left at Karindān, joined me with their troops.

When my party was augmented to a thousand men, being distressed for pro­visions, I consulted the officers what we should do, they advised me that we should go and seize upon the country of Badghuish, and having taken possession of it, we might then plunder the territory of Merve Shāhjehān, by which means our followers would be relieved from their distress and want; I said to them, “this is all very well, but it appears to me better that we should go to Bākhter and Kandahār, and if we can take the latter place, we shall then become rulers of Kabulistān, of Sinde, and Moultan;” they all approved of this advice, and agreed to follow it; we then repeated the prayer for success, and prepared to march.

Previous to attempting so bold a measure, I thought it requisite to inspect my forces, and to equip them in the best manner possible; I found that I had just one thousand soldiers of my own, both foot and horse, but as many of them were in a wretched plight, I disposed of various ornaments which I had in store, and divided the amount among them; I then set out at the head of my cavalry; when we reached the banks of the river Hermūn, I entrenched my camp, and gave orders that every person in the army should construct a house or hut for himself. I also determined that I would take possession of Gurmsyr and Kan­dahār, and raise the standard of royalty. On this principle I sent a summons to Myr Mehedy, the Kelanter of Gurmsyr, and followed it in person.

When Myr Mehedy received the summons, and was informed of my approach by the sound of my trumpets; he advanced to meet me with the steps of sub­mission: on his arrival in my presence, I placed my turban on his head, and he brought me many presents; thus I became ruler (Hakim) of Gurmsyr, and sub­dued it. At this time, Amyr Hussyn, who had chosen to abandon me, came and rejoined me, and I gave over to him half of the revenue of Gurmsyr.

After we had remained for some time in that situation, the ruler (Valy) of Systān sent an Ambassador to me, and laid the foundations of friendship; he also sent me valuable presents worthy of his rank. I made choice of the terri­tory of Gurmsyr for my own residence, and waited a favourable opportunity to take Kandahār out of the hands of the Ghory dynasty, and to erect my own standard.