Being now thoroughly convinced of Amyr Hussyn’s implacable enmity, I earnestly set about refitting and strengthening my army; to effect this, I sent for each of my chiefs separately, and made them promise and swear fidelity to me; I said to them, “whoever remains with me, I will treat as a brother, what­ever I now possess, I will divide with you, and whatever I may in future obtain, shall be also divided; whoever is averse to my service, let him leave me this very day, I shall refer his retribution to the Omnipotent.” They individually declared their attachment to me, wrote their names in the muster roll, took an oath, and signed the following written promise; “we call God to witness, that if we shall be guilty of a breach of our promise, or desert the Amyr Timūr, we hope we may be overwhelmed with the Divine anger.” Being now at ease with respect to my army, I deemed it most advisable to march to Mākhān, and bring over to my party, the tribe of Sunjury, who resided in that neighbourhood, then to proceed against Amyr Hussyn, and wait for whatever might be concealed behind the curtain of futurity.

At this time, I received information that Amyr Hussyn had collected a large army, and that he had despatched Amyr Musā and Melk Behader, with twelve thousand horse against Kārshy, and to oppose me. When this news arrived, my officers began to despond, I therefore summoned the chiefs, and again demanded their promise. After some hesitation, they replied, “if you will give us some strong place to secure our families and provisions, then we will devote our lives to your service:” I therefore sent edicts to the chiefs of the tribe of Sunjury, who were under great obligations to me, and stated the case; they proved themselves grateful for my favours, sent me one thousand men, and promised to take the families of the whole tribe of Berlās, with their effects, into their fortresses.

My officers being now at ease with regard to their families and stores, agreed to march with me, but I did not place much confidence in them, which they having heard, came to me with the Korān (on which they had sworn) in their hands, and their swords suspended round their necks, and said, “here are the Korāns, and here are our swords, if we have broken our oaths, kill us.” The first of these was Amyr Jakū, the others were Ayk Timūr, Sarbugā Jelayr, the Amyrs Daoud, Muvyd, Syf Addeen, &c. &c. When I saw them in this state, I wept, and they wept; they then vowed they would devote their lives to my ser­vice, and I praised and lauded them; and with a tranquil mind, I mounted my horse, with the full intention of fighting Amyr Hussyn, but I thought it proper first to go to the tribe of Sunjury, and leave all the heavy baggage with them; I therefore quitted Kārshy, and proceeded towards Makhān.*

Amyr Musā and Amyr Hindūkē, the generals of Amyr Hussyn, having heard of my departure from Kārshy, were rejoiced, advanced against that fortress, and finding it without any garrison, took easy possession of it; they then wrote to their master that they had defeated me, compelled me to flee to Khurasān, and that they had taken the fort of Kārshy: when their boasting was communicated to me, the sinews of my honour were irritated, and I resolved to return to Kārshy, and seize them. I therefore caused it to be reported that I was gone on to Khurasān, and having sent the families of all my people to the protection of the Sunjury tribe, I selected a few of my best soldiers, and having marched to Isāck’s well in the desert, halted there several days, to give time for all my followers to join; then turning to the south, I advanced on the road to Makhān, and having arrived at the Amū or Jihūn, and encamped on its bank, and crossed over during the night. When the intelligence of my having crossed the Jihūn, was brought to Amyr Musā and his colleagues, they were delighted, and began to enjoy their tranquillity. I halted two days on the south bank of the river, till all my people had crossed; I then sent off a letter to the Prince of Herat, and another to Muhammed Khān Ghorbany. I also sent intelligent persons into Khurasān, to ascertain the disposition of the people towards me.

As I had no reliance on the people of Khurasān, I quitted the banks of the river, and marched into the (Jul) desert, and encamped near a well of brackish water, and I remained for two months in the desert; but as it abounded with wild animals, we caught a number of them, which served us for food. At the end of this time, the dromedaries that I had sent to the Prince of Herat and Muhammed Khān Ghorbany, returned, and brought me letters replete with pro­fessions of friendship; each of them sent me presents, also a number of arms, consisting of bows, swords, and quivers, of these I kept one bow and one sword, the remainder I gave to the officers and soldiers.

At this time, I received information that a caravan from Khurasān, carrying goods to Kārshy, was approaching,* I therefore marched towards them on the Herat road; when the people of the caravan saw my army, they were afraid; some of them however advanced to meet me, and presented me their offerings, whilst seated on my horse; I asked them a number of questions respecting the news of Herat, and what were the reports about me in Khurasān, they replied, “we heard that your highness was coming into Khurasān, at the invitation of the Prince of Herat, and that you had crossed the Amū; the people would not believe the report, but we are now convinced of its truth by our own eyes.” I replied, “as the tyranny of Amyr Hussyn has been excessive, and he has even led an army against me; I have been under the necessity of abandoning my country, and proceeding towards Khurasān.”

The people of the caravan blessed me, and requested I would give them a guard to protect them against my followers, and to escort them through the dangerous places. I then made two more marches on the road to Khurasān; when the caravan arrived at Kārshy, Amyr Musā, the governor of the fortress, sent for the leaders of the caravan, and asked them about me, they replied, “we saw the Amyr Timūr in the desert, with his whole army; he was going on to Herat, at the invitation of the Prince of that country, and he was making long marches in order to arrive there quickly.” When the governor heard this intel­ligence, he immediately came out of the fort with seven thousand horse, pitched his tents in the plain of Bimragh, and commenced feasting and carousing; before leaving the fort, Amyr Musā appointed his son Muhammed Beg to the command of it, and strengthened the fortifications. He also sent off an express to Amyr Hussyn with the good news; previous to this time, the Amyr had sent a rein­forcement to Kārshy, of five thousand horse, but the commander of these troops being also off his guard, halted at the village of Ghashūn.