The commencement of the war between Chungeez Khan and Khorazm Shah.

Khorazm Shah must have been aware a storm was impending, but when he heard of the approach of Chungeez Khan, and recollected the bravery of a handful of Moghool troops in their battle with him, he became greatly alarmed, and retired to Samurkund; the astrologers, also, told him that the signs of the heavens were so unfavourable, that he should for the present avoid every attempt to oppose his enemies, and this still more increased his anxiety.

It is related, that at that time Sultan Mahum­mud had an army at his command of 400,000 men of all arms; however, after the advance of the Moghools, he despatched Kurachi with ten thousand men to Otrar, to assist Ghair Khan; and he assigned thirty thousand men to the defence of Bokhara. He also left one hundred and ten thou­sand men to protect Samurkund. Among these troops were sixty thousand Turks, who were com­manded by the bravest chiefs in the country; and fifty thousand were Tachiks, each of them a Rustum in valour; he also appointed thirty thou­sand men to the defence of his different forts and castles. They also attempted to fill the ditch at Samurkund with water; but the sultan, on seeing it the next day, said, “If the troops that pursue me were each to throw his whip into it, they would fill it.” Sultan Mahummud Kho­razm Shah now moved to Nuksheb, and wherever he went he left instructions with the people to seek their safety in flight; and he also despatched his servants to Khorezm, to forward his mother, Turkan Khatoon, his wives and children, with his treasure, to Mazinderan. When his mother received this order, she left the guards belonging to the sultan’s children, and a body of troops under the command of their chiefs, to defend Khorezm, and with the rest, and the wives and children of the sultan, proceeded to Mazinderan. The sultan now also consulted with his ministers how he should oppose Chungeez Khan. The most expe­rienced of these were of opinion that nothing could save Mawurunneher, but that measures should be immediately taken to preserve Khorasan and Irak; that every man the sultan had detached to defend his cities should be summoned, and the whole encamped on the banks of the Jihoon, that the Moghool army might be prevented from crossing the fords of that river. Some, how­ever, were of opinion that it would be best to march towards Ghizni and Hindoostan. The sultan approved of the latter counsel, and moved towards Balkh. At this time the son of Sultan Mahum­mud, Sultan Rokn-ud-deen, who was in Irak, des­patched Imad-ul-Moolk to his father with presents. Imad was a great favourite with the sultan, and from the love of his country, recommended that as the Moghools had taken possession of the coun­try they then occupied, it was best the sultan should proceed towards Irak, where they might collect their forces, and then return. Sultan Julal-ud-deen, who was with his father, condemned this advice, and said, “if the sultan be determined to proceed to Irak, it is better policy that he should give me charge of a force, that I may go and seize the fords of the river Jihoon, to the end that if the Moghools obtain possession of the opposite bank, we may preserve this side.” Sultan Mahummud, however, was so confounded at the inva­sion of the Moghools, that he paid no attention to the advice of his son, and replied, that he had determined not to attempt any decisive move­ment for the present; and following the advice of Imad-ul-Moolk, marched from Balkh towards Irak. He also sent messengers to the Punjab, to give intelligence of the events which had occurred. At this time news arrived that the Moghools had taken Bokhara, and the sultan now gave himself and his kingdom up as lost. The chief part of his troops at this time were Toorkmans, of the tribe and family of his mother: these were called Kufku­lians and Ooranians, and, in these circumstances, these men attempted the life of Khorazm Shah. The cause of this villainy was, that in the court of Sultan Mahummud, a certain Budruddeen had become disaffected, and deserted to Chun­geez Khan; he had also written friendly letters to Chungeez Khan, who sent him answers in the same strain, which fell into the hands of one of the confidential servants of Khorazm Shah, and he the shah, in consequence, became suspicious of all his ameers; the ameers also in turn became appre­hensive of him, and determined to assassinate him, and an attempt was made one night as above stated; but the sultan having changed his sleeping apartment, it failed. The Toorkmans, &c. concerned in this attempt, all fled to Chungeez Khan, and Sultan Mahummud became doubtful even of the fidelity of those ameers who remained with him; he therefore despatched them to different stations, and retired to Nishapoor, where he arrived on the 12th Suffur 617 Hejri, or Yullan Eel Toorki; and again, from folly or despair, gave himself up to debauchery.