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Full text of "Around the world on wheels for the Inter ocean : the travels and adventures in foreign lands of Mr. and Mrs. H. Darwin McIlrath"

■/rORiCAl SURVEY 




THE TRAVELS AND ADVENTURES 
IN FOREIGN LANDS 



-OF 



MR. AND MRS. H. DARWIN MClLRATH. 



Compiled from Letters Written by Mr. Mcllratli and Published in 

THE SUNDAY AND WEEKLY INTER OCEAN, 

from April, 1895, to November, 1898. 



Copyright, 1898, 
By The Inter Ocean Publishing Co. 



7 \Hl TUX 



THE TOUR AT A GLANCE. 



INTRODUCTORY. PAGES. 

Chicago Cyclists doamonstrate their enthusiasm at the proposed World's Tour 
awheel -Friends of the Inter Ocean indorse the project by giving the Mcllraths 
letters to friends in foreign lands— The starting point left behind on April 10, 1895. . 5-7 

CHAPTER I. 

Two and one-half days fretting into Nebraska— Many friends made on the road— An 
unanswerable argument in favor of the 'rational" costume for women— An en- 
counter with the law at Melrose Park and what came of it 9-13 

CHAPTER II. 

Hard cycling in a hailstorm— A speeder with one leg arouses the admiration of the 
World's rourists— In Colorado at the one-time rendezvous of the famous James 
Boys and tlu ir gang— The 1,000 mile mark covered by May 3 13-18 

CHAPTER III. 
Made wanderers at midnight through the whim of an unreasonable woman— Breaking 
a coasting record at Hot Springs, Colo.— Western railroad beds as dangerous as 
the Spanish Mines in Havana Harbor— An explosion and a badly lacerated tire. . 18-23 

CHAPTER IV. 
Lizards, snakes and swollen streams make iraveling lively for tourists— Paralysis of 
hands and arms necessitates a week's course of medical treatment— "Tommy 
Atkins," most companionable of Englishmen, forced to deserc the Inter Ocean 

cyclists 24 - 26 

CHAPTER V. 

Vigilantes of Nevada mistake the wheelman ' or a notorious bandit— Saved by one's 
gold teeth— Into Reno, where hospitality has its abode— Quick time to California, 
and then off for the Mikado's land on Oct. 12 29-33 

CHAPTER VI. 

Quartered at the Club Hotel, Yokohama— Japan's extraordinary credit system— At 
the funeral of a prince, and a few points noted on Japanese crowds— Uncle Sam's 
people get the best of everything in Japan 33-38 

CHAPTER VII. 
His Highness, the Emperor, objects to being "shot" by a camera— The war hoPdays 
at Shokausha Park. Kudan— Ry steamer to China— An effe3tive "gun" for Chinese 
dogs— Cyclists the center of many inquisitive crowds 39-42 

CHAPTER VIII. 
Guests at a Chinese wedding— The dark side of life in China sought and found— In- 
describable horrors of a native prison— New Year extravagantly celebrated— Mrs. 
Mcllrath's pen picture of a Chinese lady of fashion 43-47 

CHAPTER IX. 
Received in state by the Toa Toi of Su Chow— Invited to witness the execution of a 
woman by the "Seng Chee" method— Debut of the bicycle along the Grand Canal 
—"Foreign devils" pursued by maddened mobs of natives 48-53 

CHAPTER X. 
The American people's able representative at Ching Kiang— A reminiscence of his 
pluck and courage in settling claims for his country— Wheeling by night in a 
strange country with mud up to the bicycle hubs 53-57 

CHAPTER XI. 
Saved by a Mandarin from the clutches of an Asiatic Shylock— Cyclists stray into the 
dangerous province of Hunan— Taken into Shaze, the city of blood and crimes— 
The Yang-Tse Kiang gorges from a houseboat 57-62 

3 



4 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

CHAPTER XII. PAGES. 
The Yang-Tse-Kiang in Its fiercest mood turned to advantage by a native undertaker 
—An appreciative Tai Foo pays the tourists for calling upon him — Severe punish- 
ment of a grasping boatman— A forced march to Chung King G2-6G 

CHAPTER XIII. 

Coolie guides and luggage bearers desert the tourists— Opium the curse of the Chinese 
Empire — The most dangerous stage of the Chinese trip concluded at last— Chung 
King's conjurer gives a remaruable street performance 67-71 

CHAPTER XIV. 

Inter Ocean tourists become tramps through rain and snow, with the wheels carried 
on bamboo poles— Nearing the boundary line of China— Sudden change of 
climate and a narrow escape from the sunstroke— Chang, the Yunnan Giant 72-76 

CHAPTER XV. 
A toast to the United States on Burmese soil— "On the Road to Mandalay"— Enter- 
tained at a wedding of royalty, where a feature of the programme caused ladies 
to retire and bachelors to blush— Hospitable British officers 76-81 

CHAPTER XVI. 

Rangood suffers an attack of the bicycling fever— Native sports supplanted by cor- 
rupt hnrse-racing— A prize fight where rules do not count— Across the Bay of 
Bengal by steamer 81-88 

CHAPTER XVII. 

Arrival of the tourists causes great exc'tement at Benares— A pretty trio of super- 
cilious British wheelmen— Guests of the Maharajah at Fort Ramagar— A leap 
almost into the jaws of death 88-04 

CHAPTER XVIII. 

Pursued by a maddened herd of water buffalo— A joke ends in a race for life — 
The Yankee fla<» a conspicuous feature of the Queen's Jubilee at Delhi— A re- 
minder of the plucky but unfortunate Frank Lenz 94-96 

CHAPTER XIX. 

Patriotism nearly lands Mcllrath in a native prison— A night of terror attributed to 
Rodnev, the net monkey— Cyclists stricken with fever and become helpless 
Invalids at Lahore— Bicycling much more comfortable than English national 
traveling 97-102 

CHAPTER XX. 

Last days in India spent during the dreaded monsoon season— The pet monkey's 
anpetite for rubber brings about pn annoying delav— Officials refuse to let the 
Inter Ocean tourists follow out their plans and ride through Beloochistan 103-107 

CHAPTER XXI. 
On board the " Assyria " bound for Persia— American firearms come in handy when 
road agents ask for "presents"— Climbing the Alps child's play compared with 
crossing the Kotals of Persia 108-112 

CHAPTER XXII. 
A visiting card left on (he Porch of Xerxes— At the ruins of Persepolis— Some plain 
truths, as to the character of the Armenians— Lost in a snowstorm on the peak 
of a mountain— Mrs. Mcllrath's feet frozen badly 113-118 

CHAPTER XXIII. 
The most miserable Christmas day ever passed by man— The Sultan's cavalrymen 
forced to admit the superority of fie bicycle— Deserted by a cowardly driver on 

the road to Teheran-The trip to Resht made by carriages. 118-122 

CHAPTER XXIV. 
Landed in Russia three years after leaving Chicago— Easter Sunday in Tiflis, the 
"Paris of the Caucausus"— In sight of Mount Ararat— The pet monkey commits 
suicide in Constantinople— A Turkish newspaper joke— Roumania the next 
country entered , 122-126 

CHAPTER XXV. 
Saluted by the king of Roumania— A country where cyclists are in their glory- 
Splendid rising into Austro-Hungarv- Vienna gives the Inter Ocean tourists 
the heartiest of welcomes— Munich and its art galleries 126-130 



INTRODUCTORY. 



PROPOSAL OF THE INTER OCEAN TOUR— ENTHUSIASTIC CHICAGO WHEELMEN 
ATTEND THE RECEPTIONS TO THE CYCLISTS— THE START ON APRIL 10. 



Beyond tests of speed involving championships and world's records, 
there have been few performances in the recent history of cycling to 
attract more general notice than the world's tour awheel of Mr. and 
Mrs. EL Darwin Mellrath. In the early Spring of 1S93 the Chicago 
Inter Ocean, appreciating the great interest taken in cycling all 
over the country, planned this remarkable trip of more than 30,000 
miles. From the moment of the first announcement of the Mellrath 
tour to the time of their home-coming, interest in and admiration for 
the Inter Ocean Cyclists never abated. Letters of inquiry at once 
began to come in so thick and fast to the Inter Ocean office, that to 
facilitate matters and more thoroughly acquaint the public with the 
details of the tour than could be done in the columns of the Inter 
Ocean, a series of receptions was tendered to the intrepid riders for 
several days prior to their start. The large room at 101 Madison Street, 
Chicago, was secured for the purpose, and for days Mr. and Mrs. 
Mellrath received their friends and admiring enthusiastic Chicago 
wheelmen. The crowds in front of the building became so great grad- 
ually that special policemen were detailed to keep the throng moving 
and traffic open. Among those who visited the Mcllraths were: 

Mrs. K. B. Cornell, President of the Ladies' Knickerbocker Cycling 
Club, Roy Keator of the Chicago Cycling Club, J. L. Stevens and W. C. 
Lewis of the Lincoln Cycling Club, Frank T. Fowler, Frank S. Dona- 
hue and Frank Bentson of the Illinois Cycling Club, O. H. V. Relihen 
of the Overland Cycling Club, Miss Annis Porter, holder of the Ladies' 
Century Record, Thomas Wolf, of Chicago-New York fame. Letter 
Carrier Smith, who has made the trip from New York to Chicago five 
times, David II. Dickinson, S. J. Wagner, O. Zimmerman (a cousin to 
the famous A. A.), Frank E. Borthman, R. B. Watson, Dr. and Mrs. 
W. S. Fowler, Mrs. J. Christian Baker, Mrs. L. Lawrence. John Palmar, 
President of rainier Tire Co., Gus Steele, Yost racing team, C. Sterner 
and Grant r. Wright, Ashland Club, II. J. Jacobs. C. G. Sinsabaugli. 
editor of "Bearings," Mesdames A. G. Terry, George E. Baude, Helen 



6 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

Waters, D. W. Barr, C. Hogan, Mrs. Doctor Linden, George Pope, 
Robert Scott, Misses Kennedy, N. E. Hazard, Eva Christian, Mrs. 
Charles Han-is, J. G. Cochrane, Pauline Wagner and Ada Bale. 

Many of those who called, though utter strangers to the tourists, 
upon the strength of their friendship for the Inter Ocean brought 
letters of introduction for Mr. and Mrs. Mcllrath to relations and 
acquaintances in the foreign lands to be visited. The itinerary as 
planned by the Inter Ocean was as follows: 

Start from Chicago, April 10, 1895: Dixon, 111.; Clinton, Cedar Rap- 
ids, Des Moines, Council Bluffs, Iowa; Omaha, Lincoln, Grand Island, 
Neb.; Denver, Pike's Peak, Colo.; Cheyenne, Laramie, Green River, Wy- 
oming; Salt Lake City.Ogden, Utah; Elko, Reno, Nev.; Sacramento, San 
Francisco, Cal.; steamer to Yokohama, Kioto, Osaka, Niko, Kamachura, 
Papenburg, Japan; steamer to Hongkong and Canton, China; the 
Himalayas, Bankok, Siam, Bagoon, Nurmah; Calcutta. Benarez, Luck- 
now, Cawnpore ; Agro, Lahore, India: Jask, Teheran, Tabriz, Persia; 
Erzeroum, Constantinople, Turkey; Athens, Greece; steamer to Italy; 
Turento, Pompeii, Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan and Nice, Italy; 
Toulon, Marseilles, France; Barcelona, Valencia, Carthagena, Gibraltar, 
Spain; steamer across channel to Tangier and Cadiz; return via steamer 
to Gibraltar, Lisbon, Portugal; Madr d, Spain; Bordeaux, Orleans, Pari?, 
France; Brussels, Belgium; Frankfort, Germany; Vienna, Austria; Ber- 
lin, Germany; Warsaw, Poland; St. Petersburg, Russia; steamer to 
Stockholm, Sweden; Christiana, Norway; steamer to Great Britain, 
Scotland, England and Ireland; steamer to New York, Buffalo, Erie, 
Fenn. ; Cleveland and Toledo, Ohio; Fort Wayne, Ind.; and Chicago. 

It had been intended for the tourists to depart from Chicago at 

7 o'clock on the morning of April 10. After farewell receptions at the 
Illinois Cycling Club and the Lake View Cycling Club, it was decided. 
In view of the popular demand, that the hour for departure be changed 
until noon. So it was that as the clock in the Inter Ocean tower struck 
12 on Saturday, April 1, the credentials and passport, which was 
signed by Secretary of State Gresham, were given to Mr. Mcllrath, 
and in the midst of a crowd numbering thousands, and with an escort 
of hundreds of Chicago wheelmen, the Inter Ocean cyclists were faced 
west and started on their tour of the globe. 

Captain Byrnes of the Lake Front Police Station and a detail of 
police made a pathway through the crowd on Madison Street to Clark. 
Cable cars had been stopped and the windows of the tall buildings on 
each side of the street were filled with spectators. A great cheer went 
up as Mr. and Mrs. Mcllrath mounted their wheels to proceed. They 
could go only a few yards so congested was the street, and they were 
forced to lead their wheels to Clark Street, north to Washington and 



AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 7 

west lo Des Plaines. Here they mounted and the farewell procession 
was given its first opportunity to form. A carriage containing Frank T. 
Fowler, John F. Palmer, John M. Irwin and Lou M. Houseman, sport- 
ing editor of the Inter Ocean, led the way. Next came a barouche 
containing Mrs. Annie R. Boyer of Defiance, O., Mrs. Mcllrath's mother. 
The escort of cyclers, four abreast, followed, with the tourists flanked 
by the secretaries of the Illinois and Lake View Cycling Clubs. At 
the Illinois Club House came the leave-taking, and not until then 
could the tourists be said to be fairly started. 

The unlooked for events of the three years following 1895, chief 
among which was the Spanish-American War, caused several material 
changes in the itinerary of the Mcllraths as originally planned. Though 
accomplished successfully, the long trip across Persia, taken during the 
dead of winter, resulted in delays that had not been anticipated and 
after the cyclists had entered Germany, it was deemed best by the pro- 
moters of the enterprise to bring the tour to an end. Mr. and Mrs. 
Mcllrath left Southampton, England, the first week in October, 1SH8. 
After landing in New York they took a rest of several days before 
starting overland to Chicago. The route from New York to Chicago led 
through the following cities: New York to Yonkers, Poughkeepsie, 
Hudson, Albany, Schenectady, Canajoharie, Utica, Syracuse, Newark, 
Rochester. Buffalo, Fredonia, New York; Erie, Penn.; Geneva, Cleve- 
land. Oberlin, Bellevue, Bowling Green, Napoleon, Bryan, Ohio; Butler, 
Kendallville, Goshen, South Bend, La Porte Ind.; through South 
Chicago and Englewood to the Inter Ocean Office. 



[The Mcllrath equipment consisted of truss-frame 
wheels made by Frank T. Fowler, of Chicago, fitted 
with Palmer tires and Christy saddles furnished by 
A. G. Spalding & Bro.] 



CHAPTER I. 

PROGRESS ARRESTED BY A rOLICE OFFICER IN MELROSE PARK — A PLEASANT 
RIDE OF TWO AND A HALF DAYS INTO IOWA AND NEBRASKA. 

When I consented to the plan of going around the world I intended 
to make the trip alone, but my wife pleaded so hard to accompany me 
that I finally concluded to take her. She is a brave little girl, and rather 
than considering her a burden, I now look upon her as having been 
of great help to me on our memorable voyage. Aside from the fact that 
she is an expert wheelwoman, she is also an unerring shot. Nerve 
she possesses in abundance, as all will agree after reading of the 
adventures which befell us. The outfit with which we started did not 
exceed fifty pounds each. P>oth of us rode diamond truss-frame 
Fowler wheels, weighing 2G and 27 pounds each. The saddles were 
Christy anatomical, with Palmer tires, and everything from handle- 
bar to pedal was stoutly made. Mrs. Mcllrath wore the ''rational" 
costume so often derided by dress reformers, and 1 may say 
here, that had these same reformers witnessed the advantage 
of the "rational" costume upon some of the haps and mishaps 
which come to world' s tourists, their arguments would be for- 
ever silenced. All of our luggage was carried in a leather case which 
neatly fitted the inside angles of the bicycle frames. Our personal 
apparel consisted merely of a change of underwear, as we depended 
upon the stores in towns along our route for new clothes whenever 
we should need them. The remainder of our luggage cases contained 
photograph films, medicines, repair outfits, etc. My "artillery," for 
which there was great use as it afterward happened, consisted of two 
3S-caliber and one 44-caliber revolvers. 

To cyclists who contemplate a trip such as I have just made, or 
even one of lesser proportions, I can say that these three cannon are 
as necessary as a repair kit. They come in handy at the most unex- 
pected times, and next to the pistols, I know of no better arms to 
carry than credentials from such a paper as the Inter Ocean. My cre- 
dentials were necessary before we had been three hours out of Chi- 
cago, since through them we escaped an arrest, which meant certainly 
ten days or ten dollars. It happened in Melrose Park. We had come 
through Garfield Park to Washington Boulevard, through Austin, Oak 
Tark and Melrose Park. The roads were abominable, and in order 
to take to the Northwestern tracks we were forced to return to Mel- 

9 



10 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

rose Park. Being overjoyed at the sight of any smooth surface, we 
could not resist the temptation to ride on the sidewalks of this pretty 
suburb. Then it was that we were arrested. I pleaded with the olti- 
cer and offered to pay a fine without the delay and inconvenience of 
standing trial, but he was firm in refusing to release us. At last I 
showed him my Inter Ocean credentials. Just as promptly he let us 
go, and remarking to a fellow officer that "it did not pay to buck 
against newspapers," he went so far as to assist Mrs. Mcllrath on 
her wheel and start us again upon our way. 

When we took the Northwestern tracks at Melrose Park our party 
numbered ten. They were: Ed. Porter, Tom Haywood, William Floyd, 
G. M. Williams, A. E. Wood, William J. Dilner, J. M. Bacon, F. W. 
Mecheuer, E. M. Lauterman and Miss Annis Porter. So far as Geneva, 
where we had supper, and where our escort left us to return to Chicago, 
the journey was without event. Two and a half days out from Chicago 
we were in Clinton, Iowa. We met friends all along the line who 
extended us hearty greetings. Not one of them was in ignorance of 
our tour and the Inter Ocean enterprise. Farmers called to us from 
their fields; engineers, as they whizzed by us, saluted with their 
whistles, and passengers in the coaches behind threw us notes, fruits 
and flowers. Since leaving Chicago we had eaten four meals daily, 
sandwiched with countless drafts of creamy milk, and yet the cry 
arose from us both, "I am so hungry." But the farmers were generous 
and Ave were never refused, and wherever remuneration was offered 
it was invariably declined. 

We v>ere met at Clinton by a party of twenty-five wheelmen and 
escorted into the city. Mrs. Mcllrath and I had been reinforced by 
Messrs. William Boyd and J. E. Spofford of Dixon, 111., through which 
city we had passed; Mrs. Scoville, who had been our hostess at Dixon, 
and herself so ardent a wheelwoman that she could not refrain from 
joining us for a few miles; and Harry Ferguson, a son of State Senator 
Ferguson of Sterling, 111. When we left Clinton on Saturday, April 13, 
we had been invited by the press, municipal officers and the entire 
cycling fraternity to remain over for Sunday, which was Easter. The 
bright weather and the prospects of good roads, however, overweighed 
the social inducements, and we started at 4 o'clock Saturday afternoon. 
The promises of good weather were not fulfilled, and Mrs. Mcllrath 
and I spent our Easter of '95 on the road in mud above our tires. In a 
chilling rain we rode into Cedar Rapids, where our entertainment 
and reception was royal. Frank Harold Putnam of the Merchants' 
National Bank, who, it is needless to say, is a devotee of the wheel, 
nnd his sister, Miss Caroline Putnam, of the Saturday Record, Cedar 
Rapids' society journal, gave us a warm greeting. With them we 



12 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

dined at the beautiful home of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Bell and through 
them we received from Messrs. C. D. Whelpley, Ben E. Miller and 
Harry Hedges of the Occidental Cycling Club, a letter of introduction 
to the Hon. Nicholas M. Mclvor, United States Consul at Yokohama. 
There was much of interest to record during our stay in Cedar Rapids, 
chief of which was our visit to the Indian Reservation near Tama. 
Of this visit, I may mention that the squaws and the noble red men 
which came under our observation were more than sucffiient to 
disillusion us, who had been fond readers of Longfellow's "Hiawatha." 
Hard riding, rain and the consequent exposure had got in its 
work upon me by the time we struck Marshalltown, but on the 19th, 
in spite of the advice of physicians, I started our party, being aided 
in the carrying of luggage by Mr. Ferguson, who remained with us. 
At 4:30 o'clock on the afternoon of April 19 we petlaled into Des 
Moines, the capital of Iowa. The dime museum man was on the alert 
for us, and we had been in the Kirk wood Hotel scarcely half an hour 
before my wife and I were offered $25 an hour each, for four hours' ex- 
hibition of ourselves. It is a waste of ink to say that the offer was 
declined without thanks. Our night in Des Moines was the most 
comfortable we had yet spent. The following day we were enter- 
tained at the State House by Governor and Mrs. Jackson and Private 
Secretary Richards. The Governor is a hearty believer in better roads 
and he is an admirer of cycling. He expressed sincere admiration 
for the world's tour awheel, and declared his admiration for the 
Inter Ocean in furthering such a project. The Des Moines Wheel Club 
entertained us lavishly in the evening, though while at the club house 
the tour of the globe was menaced with sudden termination. The 
brand of Marshalltown fever, which I carried away with me, was such 
that a physician ordered me promptly to bed. The sun, I am con- 
fident, was responsible for my condition. We had been out of Chicago 
ten days, and two-thirds of the distance was done over railroad beds. 
We had journeyed almost 300 miles over ties and trestles, suffering 
intermittently with paralysis of the hands. Often we were compelled 
to ride along a narrow shelf scarcely 12 inches in width just outside 
the track and ballast, where the slightest deviation from the course 
would have caused a plunge down an embankment frequently 30 feet 
deep. This, too, was accomplished upon a heavy laden wheel with 
the glare of the burnished steel in our eyes. My physician's advice 
was that I remain for several days in Des Moines, but anxiety to 
reach the coast moved me to depart Sunday, April 21. Fifty cyclists 
rode out of town with us and saw us fairly upon our hilly ride to 
Council Bluffs. Bad weather was encountered, delaying our arrival 
in Council Bluffs until April 23. Wheelmen from Omaha and Council 



AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 13 

Bluffs awaited us upon the outskirts of the latter named city, and in 
triumph we rolled into that splendid center of the Republic— Omaha. 
Here we found that the veteran Jack Prince had stirred much enthu- 
siasm in wheeling, and a banquet at the 'Tump House" was the first 
of the chain of entertainment in store. The "Pump House," it should 
be known, is a handsomely appointed club house under the patronage 
of the Omaha Wheel Club. Its name is derived from a large pneumatic 
pump which stands invitingly to all cyclists outside of the main 
entrance. Our stay in Omaha was pleasant and, from our selfish 
standpoint, only too brief. When we started away the afternoon of 
April 25, a pretty surprise and compliment was Mrs. Mcllrath's when 
she found her wheel literally one of gorgeous flowers. Since we left 
Chicago no larger crowd has wished us good-bye than the one in 
Omaha. Our friend Ferguson left us here, stubbornly refusing to bear 
back with him our cargo of souvenir spoons. These precious mementos 
are all very well in their way. but hardly the thing for two persons 
who intend pedaling their way over the world. We were already 
threatened with having to charge ourselves excess baggage. Lincoln, 
the capital of the state, turned out almost to a man to receive us. The 
Capital City Cycling Club escorted us on our visit to Governor 
Holcomb, to whom we presented a letter of introduction. It was 
through the kindness of the Governor that we visited the State Uni- 
versity, and with him we attended the theater in the evening. 



CHAPTER II. 

CYCLING IN A HAIL-STORM — A MEETING WITH A ONE-LEGGED WHEELMAN — 
"TOMMY ATKINS" JOINS THE PARTY— MT. ROSA'S BLIZZARD. 

Grand Island, Neb., is a small city, but it contains more wheelmen, in 
proportion to its size, than any city we encountered. There are two 
bicyclists' clubs, the "Tourists" and "Orientals," the former an organiza- 
tion composed exclusively of ladies. Splendid delegations from both 
Indies Mere awaiting us outside of Grand Island the morning we neared 
the city. En route, Mrs. Mcllrath experienced an accident which made 
me fear for her safety of limb, as well as fearing that we should 
be delayed for several days. About ten miles east of Grand Island, 
while riding the railroad tracks, we ran into a hail-storm. Mrs. 
Mcllrath. with her head between her shoulders, was driving blindly 
In the face of the fusillade of ice bullets. Unable to see where she 
was going, she ran straight into a cattle guard, throwing her some 
twenty feet down an embankment, and bending her handle-bars till 
they met above. Our stay at Grand Island was limited, and we pro- 



14 AROUND THE- WORLD ON WHEELS. 

ceeded the same afternoon to Kearney, at which city we arrived 
late the following morning. Our party, which was much like a snow- 
ball, in that it gathered constantly, was augmented at Kearney by 
Mr. W. B. Walker. The trip was an eventful one for him, and probably 
changed his views upon the matter of wheelmen's costume. Walker 
was a howling swell when he started away with us. His Scotch 
clothes were models of the tailor's art, his cap was of the latest 
fashion, and his stockings were positively delirious in their pattern. 
At Shelby we struck an electrical storm, the lightning fairly gliding 
along the rails and ofttimes playing about our plated handle-bars. 
Walker grew frightened, and leaping from his wheel landed squarely 
in a pool of water, which had been stagnant until stirred by the heavy 
rain shortly before. He was anything but the dapper looking in- 
dividual of Kearney when he dragged himself from the pool. He got 
as far as Cozad, and in tones of disgust he bade us good-bye to return 
home to his wardrobe. 

We passed the night at Cozad, leaving there at noon Tuesday. 
At Gothenburg we were met by Will Edwards, S. P. Anderson and 
George Roberts. This man Roberts is a marvel. Some years ago he 
had the misfortune to lose his right leg, but put him on a wheel and 
he is a wonder in spite of his affliction. Through the sandy soil and 
mud. this man could even outwind Mrs. Mcllrath and myself, and a 
picturesque figure he was, too, as he glided over the plains, with his 
one leg turning the pedal like a steam piston, and a crutch lashed 
over his back like a musket. The boys rode with us to North Piatt, 
where we put up for the night. North Piatt is one of the best known 
cities in Nebraska, made so, no doubt, by its being the home of Col. 
W. F. Cody, famed all over the world as "Buffalo Bill." Cody has a 
magnificent ranch, which is virtually a present from the United States 
Government, as Uncle Sam donated the land in recognition of the 
Colonel's valuable services as scout during the Indian wars. The 
ranch is called "Scout's Rest," and is managed by Mr. J. A. Goodman, 
Col. Cody's brother-in-law. Our party spent a delightful day at the 
"Rest." and in the evening we were driven to the city residence of 
Col. and Mrs. Cody. 

We landed upon Colorado soil on Friday, May 3, being accompanied 
from Big Springs, our last stop in Nebraska, by Messrs. Weber and 
Hoagland. I may mention, by the way, that Big Springs first achieved 
notoriety as the headquarters for the James gang. There are men 
still in Big Springs who delight to sit by the hour and relate their 
personal experiences with the daring Jesse and Frank, and their 
fearless followers. As we landed at Julesburg, our first stop in Colo- 
rado, on May 3, we made the 1,000-mile mark, the actual traveling 



AROUND THE WORLD OX WHEELS. 15 

time being fourteen days, which I did not consider bad in view of our 
traveling impedimenta and unfamiliarity with the roads. The roughest 
traveling we had yet suffered came between Red Line aud Iliff. Along 
the line we found the natives to be the same kind-hearted, simple folk 
that cheered us on our way through Iowa and Nebraska. As an in- 
stance of the good-natured but gruff treatment we received, I cannot 
refrain from relating an experience at a section-house near Stoneham. 
Mrs. Mcllrath was thirsty. For nearly six hours we had ridden in 
the blazing sun without catching so much as a sight of water. Our 
joy at beholding some evidence of human habitation proved almost 
too much for her. As we neared the section-house the little woman 
was all but in tears, and so impatient that she could hardly make 
the distance. We called at every window and door of the house, but 
not a soul replied. 1 peered into one of the little windows, and saw 
a bucket and dipper on a table. Thinking it no harm to enter without 
the owner's permission, I tried the front door, and to my bitter dis- 
appointment I discovered it locked with a big red padlock, bigger and 
redder than those the sheriff uses when he closes up a man's business 
house. Mrs. Mcllrath was seated on the ground with tears rolling down 
her cheeks. The sight of her distress was more than I could bear. 
I was on the point of attempting to break the windows when I saw 
the tiny prints made by the wheels of a baby buggy rolling around 
the house. I knew at once that the family could not be far away, so 
leaving my wife with a promise to return shortly, I followed the tracks 
iif the baby buggy and came upon the entire family in a pasture 
about a quarter of a mile from the dwelling. The section foreman 
greeted me in friendly tones, and asked what he could do. I told 
him it was water I wanted, and then as a guarantee of my honest 
intentions, I jokingly told him of my temptation to break his window. 

"Young man," he replied sternly, "you are a fool. If my wife 
had been thirsty, and I could have found an ax, I shouldn't have 
walked this far to ask for a drink of water." 

To appreciate thirst, or rather the cause for it, in this part of the 
country, it must be understood that all water is brought to the section- 
houses in barrels by the railroad company. Not a drop is wasted, the 
casks are watched and guarded as rigidly as the fresh water casks 
on a steamer at sea. Only once on our trip were we refused a bite to 
eat; food was always given us willingly and lavishly, but in many 
places it was like pulling teeth to get a cup of cold water from some 
of the inhabitants. On May we covered 128 miles, riding over cactus, 
prairie and sandy desert. In the afternoon we arrived in Denver, 
marking our 1,200 miles out of Chicago, 50Q of which had been done 
over railroad ties. Our comfort and entertainment in Denver were 



1G AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

looked after by the "Ramblers." They were so kind to us that I 
feared we would be handicapped. I mean this literally, for each 
member seemed to think that he, solely, was paying Mrs. Mcllrath the 
compliment of a souvenir spoon. It seemed impossible for us to get 
away from souvenir spoons. We had many pounds of souvenir spoons 
after a reception on the evening of May 8, at the Rambler's Club House. 
Poor Mrs. Mcllrath wilted when we reached the hotel, and with a look 
of pleading that was comical to behold, she sank upon the bed and 
exclaimed: 

"Oh, Darwin, how on earth are we ever to get around the world 
if we keep on adding weight to our clothes and traveling cases!" The 
reception at the "Ramblers" was a delightful event, and one which 
Mrs. Mcllrath and I often talked of during our travels. We said 
good-bye to Denver at 3 o'clock on the afternoon of May 10. An escort 
of "Ramblers" followed us as far as Colorado Springs, upon the out- 
skirts of which city we found awaiting us Messrs. C. W. Dawson, 
local consul for the L. A. W., A. C. Van Cott and L. J. Wahl. It 
was at Colorado Springs also that we met "Tommy Atkins," who was 
destined to be our steady companion. "Tommy Atkins" is the name 
which we gave to Merton Duxbury, an Englishman, who had left 
Providence, R. I., two weeks before we left Chicago. He was bound 
for 'Frisco, and by hard riding had arrived in Colorado Springs but 
an hour or two ahead of the Inter Ocean tourists. I do not know what 
we should have done without Duxbury. He was original in all things, a 
born comedian, in fact, though he himself did not know how delightfully 
amusing he was. If Mrs. Mcllrath was tired, or hungry, or thirsty, 
and I wished to make her forget it, I had only to call "Tommy Atkins," 
and his pranks did the rest. More amusing things happened to 
"Tommy" than one could find by attending the theater nightly for 
years. Another "joy" in human form joined us at Manitou, in the 
person of "Jim" P. Anderson of Denver, a 200-pound cyclist who 
was trying to make himself thin by means of the wheel. He asked 
permission, which was readily given, to become one of us for a short 
time. With all regard for Anderson's staying qualities, I am inclined 
to believe it was just as well he did not ask to remain a longer time. 
But for the largest bottle in our medicine kit, he would have collapsed 
on our first hard ride up Cheyenne Mountain to Cripple Creek. A 
storm of blended raiu, snow and sand had befallen us on our eight-mile 
climb to the peak of Mount Rosa, and at its thickest the gigantic 
Anderson dismounted from his wheel, and upon his knees in a snow- 
drift he offered a prayer to "dear, good, kind Mr. Mcllrath" not to 
try to go farther, but to set back for the tavern at the base of the 
mountain. Upon this point I was immovable. The snow blinded the 



AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 17 

way ahead of us, but I insisted that we push on. After a few hundred 
yards my eyes were delighted with a sign reading, '"Halfway House, 
Mount Rosa." and a wooden hand pointing up the mountain. 

rushing our snow-elogged wheels over an unbroken track we 
came to a log hut just back of the welcome sign, and there we dis- 
covered not a haven of rest and warmth, but a deserted house with its 
every door and window nailed. Poor Jim. with a hoarse cry. threw 
himself on the snow, and moaned like a child. Had we been lost in a 
desert, thousands of miles from aid, the situation could not have been 
more dramatic. Electricity now added its terrors to our discomforts, 
and with a sharp crackling sound everything assumed a pinkish hue. 
Contact with each other produced distinct shocks, and if our fingers 
touched the wire fence, against which we had leaned our wheels, tiny 
sparks darted from their tips to the attractive metal. It was only 
the grandeur of the scene, I firmly believe, that kept Mrs. Mcllrath 
upon her feet. With Anderson it was no joke. The poor fellow was 
worn out, and the altitude had an effect upon his lungs that threatened 
him with severe hemorrhage. But "Tommy Atkins" stood the test 
nobly, and while he reassured Mrs. Mcllrath, I did my best to brace 
up the inconsolable Anderson. Duxbury and I were agreed that as 
long as the sign directing us to the Halfway House remained standing 
there must be a Halfway House somewhere not far up the road. 
Anderson pulled himself together, and the four of us. pushing our 
wheels in single file, found the Halfway House one mile away. No 
palace was ever more attractive to the eye than was this house of 
plank, with its unearpeted floors and unvarnished doors. The best 
meal we ever had was had in this hut. We passed the night here, and 
as we sat about the dining-room before going to bed, we made the 
acquaintance of Mr. George Bentley, an attorney of Colorado Springs, 
who was en route to Cripple Creek in a buggy. The meeting with 
Bentley was most fortunate for Anderson. The big wheelman lost no 
time in getting chummy with the lawyer, and as we started to retire 
Anderson surprised us all by exclaiming in the most matter-of-fact 
way: 'Well, I thank you Mr. Bentley, and since you have suggested 
it, I shall be glad to ride to Cripple Creek in your buggy with you 
to-morrow." The cunning fellow had got ahead of us, and he thought 
it a great joke. With his wheel tied behind the buggy, lie ami Bentley 
left for Cripple Creek at 8:30 o'clock the next morning, and an hour 
afterward Mrs. Mcllrath, "Tommy Atkins" and I followed in their 
wake. 

We had been on the road an hour when, from a man we met on 
the crest of one of the hills just east of Love Camp, we learned that 
the buggy was not fifteen minutes ahead. With renewed vigor we set 



18 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

out to make up the time down that and every succeeding hill. The 
first hill was descended in safety and without effort we rolled up 
the short incline and plunged down the next. As I whizzed along, my 
wheel bending from side to side, I felt the road unusually rough and 
made strenuous efforts to slacken my speed. Duxbury was just ahead 
of me and I dared not remove my feet from the pedals for fear of 
running him down. Nor could I check my wheel too much, or Mrs. 
McIIrath would telescope me from behind. The situation was a trying 
one, and only when the last curve was reached, and I had successfully 
scraped past a large boulder which obstructed a clear passage 
over a corduroy bridge, did I feel safe. The place I had just passed 
was a most dangerous one. The bridge was narrow and the gorge 
was ten or twelve feet deep, and more than half filled with rushing 
water from the thawing snow. I was just wondering what would 
save one from death if a ride such as mine should terminate in striking 
a boulder in the path, when down the hill rushed my wife. The 
front wheel of her machine struck the rock, and with a scream the 
little woman was thrown foremost on the stones below, and disap- 
peared under the foaming flood. Horror stricken, for a moment 1 stood 
spellbound, and then rushed forward expecting to find her terribly 
mangled, if not killed outright. When I reached the stream she was 
clinging to a crag, half the time completely submerged, her wheel about 
her neck like a frame. Fortunately she was unhurt beyond a few 
scratches and a bruise on the left cheek. Strangling and coughing she 
clung to the rock until I lifted the bicycle from about her and then 
Duxbury and I by much effort raised the brave woman to the bank 
above. Her wheel was uninjured, and after we had squeezed some of 
the water from her clothes, we ascended the "Divide" and pushed on 
until we came to a hut bearing a sign, "CRPL KRK Laundry." A 
Chinaman stood in the doorway, and from him we learned that Cripple 
Creek was just over the hill. When we reached the town "Tommy 
Atkins" escorted Mrs. McIIrath to our hotel, while I went to the 
postoffice for mail. 



CHAPTER III. 

ENTERTAINED BY A NATIONALLY FAMED CYCLIST — KRUEGER BREAKS THE 
COASTING RECORD — TURNED OUT OF SHELTER AT MIDNIGHT. 

Among my letters was one bearing a check from the Inter Ocean, and 
I lost no time in going to the bank to obtain the money upon it. The 
cashier required strong identification, which I, being a stranger, was of 
course unable to give. I then applied to President Lindsay in person. 



AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 19 

Mr. Lindsay. I am proud to record, is a gentleman who reads the news- 
papers. He had already heard of the Inter Ocean cyclists, and when 
he saw me he said: "My friend, you appear honest, and you look all 
you say you are, when it comes to riding across the country. It is a 
compliment when I tell you that you almost look like a tramp. Go 
get your money." and he nodded to the cashier. At the hotel I found 
everybody well and eating, "Jim" P. Anderson doing some especially 
good work with a knife and fork. Mrs. Mcllrath had dried her clothes 
and was none the worse for her icy bath. Cripple Creek by gaslight 
is quite an attractive place for a "rounder," as I learned that evening, 
when with guides the gentlemen of our party visited the dance halls, 
colored people's "rags" and free-and-easy theaters that line "Push 
Street." The next day was spent in a visit to the El Paso and other 
mines. Friday. May 28, was scheduled for our departure, but rain 
made it impossible. Saturday, however, we got away at 6:30 in the 
morning for Leadville by way of Florrisant, Hartzel, Buena Vista and 
Granite. We had a day of hard riding, and by 8 o'clock in the evening 
Mrs. Mcllrath was ill and too fagged to go further. After supper at 
the house of a road overseer, we came to a ranch, where we applied 
for shelter. For the first time since we had left Chicago we were 
bluntly refused. Mrs. Mcllrath cried aloud when a gray-bearded, hook- 
nosed old man told her that he had uo place for her to sleep. I argued 
to him that she was ill, but he shut off my pleading by telling me that 
two miles away was a hotel that had been built expressly for the 
accommodation of invalids. There was nothing to do but trudge on to 
this hotel, which we found to be the Hartzel Springs House, owned by 
and named for the gray-bearded gentleman who had without courtesy 
closed his doors in our face. 

We started Sunday morning on a 60-mile run to Buena Vista, fol- 
lowing the railroad tracks. At Hill Top we unexpectedly met Editor- 
in-Chief Martin of the Rocky Mountain News, and several other writers 
from the Denver papers. They fell in line with us, but wished to take 
their time in admiring the beautiful scenery; but upon Duxbury's sug- 
gestion that we "could not eat the blooming scenery," they relented 
and Ave pushed on to Buena Yista, where we arrived on the 26th. Here 
we were entertained by Ed. Krueger, now a cyclist of national fame, 
Mr. and Mrs. Dean and Mr. and Mrs. C. Jones. The following day we 
went out to Hot Springs to see Krueger attempt to break the world's 
five-mile coasting record. After dinner at the Hot Springs hotel we 
began preparations for Krueger's race. The wind had subsided as if 
especially for his benefit. He was net satisfied with his own machine, 
believing it not strong enough for the test, so he used my wheel with his 
own saddle, handle-bars and pedals. Dean, Jones and Mr. Mason and 



20 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

myself acted as timers, and Duxbury officiated as starter. At 4 o'clock 
Krueger mounted his wheel and shot down the hill. Duxbury bad taken 
the time of his start, and it was left for us to note the moment of his 
arrival. By subtracting the difference, and also splitting the variation 
of time in the watches of the four timers at the. end of the course, we 
were enabled to gain a fairly accurate estimate of the traveling time. 
Krueger lost both pedals half way down the incline, but he curled his 
feet up and crossed the line in 10 minutes and 10 seconds, which I 
consider wonderful. We started the next morning, May 28, for Lead- 
ville, with Krueger also in the party. It was my turn for a disaster, 
and I came near bringing the Inter Ocean tour to a finish. In crossing a 
bridge of pine logs my front wheel slipped, and with one foot entangled 
in the spokes of the rear wheel I stood, eyes protruding, staring at a 
black rock 300 feet below. A move backward with one foot on terra 
firma might prove fatal, and to attempt to disengage the other foot 
meant the release and loss of the bicycle. Nothing remained but to 
fall backwards on the hard road in a sitting posture, which I did, and 
Mrs. Mcllrath rescued me, scolding as a mother would a disobedient 
child. We made but a short day of it in Leadville for various reasons, 
principally that Duxbury was seized with the hemorrhage which 
threatened him on Mount Rosa. At 5 in the afternoon Ave left for 
Red Cliffe, 35 miles away. At the mouth of the Tennessee Tass Tun- 
nel, eleven miles from Leadville, we were overtaken by another storm, 
mere violent than any Ave had yet passed through. We were made 
prisoners in the tunnel for an hour or more, the dense blackness render- 
ing it impossible for us to proceed with any degree of safety. Cautiously 
feeling our way along the Avails we managed to emerge from the tunnel 
and in the night to pedal along to the nearest section-house. This 
turned out to be a disused box car with bunks built along the sides for 
the section hands. The section boss, a kind-hearted Irishman, readily 
gave us permission to stretch ourselves on the floor for a night's rest. 
We were soon asleep, but about 11 o'clock he waked us and informed 
us that he was sorry, but he could not help being forced to ask us 
to leave. The reason, he explained, AA-as that his wife had suddenly 
returned and that she was the real "boss" of the establishment. As 
she had not been consulted in the beginning upon the matter of 
having us for lodgers she had declined to let us remain as her hus- 
band's guests. I begged and implored but Avithout avail, and in a 
storm Ave set off for the telegraph office, half a mile away. The 
operator Avas a young Avoman and the sight of one of her sisters in 
distress was more than enough to win an invitation to make our- 
selves as comfortable as the office would allow. I was enraged almost 
to the point of personal violence at the thought of an ill-tempered 



AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 21 

woman's whim causing us such needless annoyance, but as it afterward 
transpired our experience with the woman section boss was but trivial. 
It is an even break in this part of the country what manner of treat- 
ment a touring wheelman will receive at the hands of the people. 

A pleasant surprise was ours the morning we rode into Glenwood 
Springs. Colo., and registered at the palatial Colorado Hotel. A party 
of Chicaiioaus. composed of Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Hynes, Mrs. Hynes" 
mother and sisler, Mrs. and Miss Way, en route from California, were 
at the hotel and soon made themselves known. They had been present 
at one of the Inter Ocean receptions to us in Chicago and the pleasure 
of meeting was therefore doubled. We spent the night at Glenwood 
Springs, leaving the morning of May 31. An accident to Mrs. Mcllrath 
on June 2 between Palisades and DuBeque delayed us the greater 
part of the week. It was the machine that suffered the real dam- 
age, although she heiself was rendered unconscious for half an hour. 
In riding over a sluice she took a tumble, but the accident was not 
discovered for some moments afterward. I chanced to look over my 
shoulder and saw her figure stretched in the middle of the road 
with the machine a shapeless mass by her side. "Tommy Atkins" 
and I worked hard to revive her, and the walk to DuBeque, six 
miles ahead, was one of the greatest efforts she was called on to 
put forth during our entire journey. There was no repair shop in 
DuBeque, and it was evident at once that we should have to take a 
freight train for Grand Junction, the nearest point at which we might 
expect repairs. Our stay at Grand Junction was pleasant in the 
extreme, and we certainly did not begrudge the three days spent in 
the city waiting the repairs to arrive from Chicago. Friends who 
had heard of our tour met us at Grand Junction and straightway 
began exerting themselves for our entertainment. Their program 
embraced a visit to Teller Institute, an Indian school near by, and 
on the evening oc our second day a complimentary dinner was given 
the Inter Ocean tourists by Judge Gray, a jolly, 300-pound enthu- 
siast upon all topics pertaining to the wheel. On June 8 the fork for 
Mrs. Mclirath's wheel arrived from Chicago, and an hour later we 
were ready for one of the most difficult stages of our entire trip, 
that of crossing 290 miles of desert between Grand Junction and 
Springville. Utah. Tom Roe, known to every cyclist from coast to 
coast, once attempted it on his ride from San Francisco to New York 
City and failed, .lohn MeGuire, editor of the Cycling West, who 
has wheeled from Denver to Salt Lake City three times, never suc- 
ceeded in crossing the desert entirely. When we announced that it 
was our intention to make it without a break from boundary to 
boundary, there was a general laugh of ridicule on all sides. Every 



22 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

one predicted that we v.-oidd fail before we had done 100 miles from 
Grand Ji.nctiqn. We left at noon and rolled ont on the white sandy 
roads, making 12 miles before the first stop. The great diffi- 
culties of our trip across the desert proved to be not so much the 
hard ploughing through sand as the general inhospitality character- 
istic of the section houses which dot the vast waste. The section 
band:? are mostly Italians and Chinamen, with a fair sprinkling of 
Indians. Asked for food or water, they either would not or pre- 
tended they could not' understand. As the next town from Pruita, 
our first stop, was (\~ miles distant, it will be guessed that we had 
many a trying meeting with section hands before we came to a hotel. 
We had been led to expect no kindness from these foreigners, but 
"Tommy Atkins" and I had sworn to win to our side every man 
that chance placed in our way. Some of our efforts to make ourselves 
agreeable in hopes of a hearty welcome were ludicrous. 

At a ranch near Westwater our party was refused shelter, the 
mother of three sons residing there telling us that the boys were 
away from home, one of them having gone to the next settlement 
for provisions. The pantry, she said, was all but empty, and were 
she to take in three hungry persons like myself, Mrs. McTlrath and 
Duxbury, there would be nothing left by the next morning. It was 
an uncertainty when the supplies were to arrive and a former experi- 
ence had made her firm in her intentions to take no risks when food 
promised to be scarce. Our combined entreaties weakened the old 
lady to the extent that she consented to take in Mrs. Mcllrath at least. 
She warned us that Mrs. Mcllrath would have nothing to eat but 
bread and milk, but then even bread and milk seemed more than a din- 
ner at Chicago's best hotel, and leaving my wife with her benefactress, 
Duxbury and I went forth determined to charm the Italians at the 
section house we had passed a few miles back. As soon as we had 
convinced the Italians that we were not in the service of the railroad 
as private detectives, or that we were not a pair of the thousands of 
tramps making the journey from coast to coast on foot, they not 
only gave us supper but volunteered permission to spend the night 
before their fire. When Ave started the next morning I offered money 
to the section boss, but he declined it, saying I could repay him by 
delivering a letter which he handed me, addressed to his brother at 
a section house a few hundred miles ahead. 

As I have remarked before, the scarcity of water in this part of 
the country necessitates the shipment of it to the section houses and 
stations by the railroads. This same scarcity of water was indirectly 
responsible for a serious accident to my bicycle. I mention it here 
to show wheelmen what can be accomplished in the way of impromptu 



AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 23 

repairing when the emergency demands it. The tramps who steal 
rides on the freight trains never go without a bottle or a tin can 
of water. As these vessels are drained of their precious contents at 
different intervals along the roadbed, "Weary Willie" is in the habit 
of throwing them away. The result is that the tracks for miles and 
miles are spangled with bits of sharp glass and tin. I was not aware 
of the risk I was taking with my tire until I ran over one of these 
"mines." There was an explosion like a shotgun, and when I found 
myself on the ground I realized that it. was not the "mine" that had 
exploded, but my pneumatic. The puncture was, properly speaking, 
a gash three inches long in the tire of my rear wheel. Here was a 
pretty state of affairs! Not a dealer in supplies or a repair shop 
within 100 miles, and not one of the party with a complete repair kit. 
There seemed no alternative but a long walk to the nearest section 
house or ranch, there to await until "Tommy Atkins" could make the 
next town and express me the needed material. But "necessity is the 
mother of invention," and under the press of circumstances I hit 
upon a scheme which afterward proved to work like a charm. First, 
I wet the edges of the rent Avith cement, sewing them together super- 
ficially, or, as the ladies would say, I "basted" them. Then I made 
a covering out of/pieces of a buckskin glove, moistened with medicines 
from one of my vials. This covering I stretched on as tightly as possi- 
ble over the gap. Now came a coat of cement, then the tire tape 
covering all, and my repair was as complete as I could make it until 
a cycle supply house could be found or my advance luggage reached. 
I did not jump on my wheel and ride directly, realizing that until 
the buckskin had dried and shrunken nothing was to hold the parted 
ends of tire but a few Blight stitches. Mrs. Mcllrath then came for- 
ward with a suggestion which was acted upon and proving itself 
to be one of much wisdom. It was that she take my mended tire and 
place it on her front wheel, where the pressure would be slightest, 
putting her front tire upon the rear wheel of my machine. For 
the benefit of doubting wheelmen, I must add that with three infla- 
tions daily, the crude mend held itself and answered purposes until 
Salt Lake City was reached a week later. 



24 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

CHAPTER IV. 

UTAH'S STOCK OF LIZARDS AND SNAKES — "TOMMY ATKINS' " NARROW 
ESCAPE — AT "THE HERMITAGE" IN OGDEN CANYON. 

Utah I found to be full of snakes, lizards and swollen streams. 
Mrs. Mcllrath, Duxbury and I bad personal encounters in this direc- 
tion and our escapes were thrilling. It was on our way to Thistle 
Junction Gap that Duxbury sprinted ahead, promising to meet us at the 
next railroad crossing. How he came to wind up on the side of a 
foaming torrent is beyond me to explain. I know only that wheu 
we came to the appointed meeting place, my wife and I stood upon 
one side of a miniature river with the hapless "Tommy Atkins'' on 
the other bank. He was in a bad fix, for he could not swim— bye 
the bye, a most uncommon thing among Englishmen. He called for 
aid and without thinking that the man would be so rash as to follow 
my instructions, I told him to wade across. He thereupon walked 
into the water and there came very nearly being some work for 
the coronei\ With his wheel held high above his head he walked 
boldly into midstream until he came to a step-off. I called to 
him to be cautious and not to move from where he was. With the 
warning I walked from the oppsite bank ready at any moment to 
strike out with swimming strokes, but I ascertained that though 
the current was rapid, the water was no deeper than where Dux- 
bury stood submerged to his shoulders. Lifting the wheel I led the 
way back to the bank, where "Tommy" stretched himself in the 
sun to dry. Had the boy not possessed nerve and retained his pres- 
ence of mind I fear we should have seen the last of him when he 
made his unlooked-for descent. 

Continuing our journey through Jordan Valley. Mrs. Mcllrath rode 
some distance ahead of us. We were startled by shrieks, and it was 
my first thought that she had ridden over a snake. Duxbury and I 
hastened to her and discovered her standing by her wheel with a 
number of lizards gliding their way through the grass and sand at her 
feet. To show her that the silent crawlers were not poisonous, I 
picked one up in my hand, and was making bold with the ugly thing 
when a sharp rattle attracted my attention. Looking to one side, but 
a few paces away, I saw a five-foot rattler coiled as if to strike, and 
moving his fangs threateningly. My 44-ealiber revolver settled Mr. 
Snake and the encounter also came near settling Mrs. Mcllrath. She 
was so nervous from the shock that it was with difficulty we proceeded 
to Springville. By a mistake of the telegraph operator we missed the 
Springville reception committee, and proceeded straight on to Provo 
City, where we spent the night. The next day Mayor Holbrook, James 



AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 25 

Clave, editor of the Inquirer, Robert Skelton and a dozen of the Provo 
City wheelmen called upon us and offered us the keys of the town. 
They inivted us to spend several days with them, mapping out a 
program of lavish entertainment This we were forced to decline, as 
we were impatient to get into Salt Lake City for bicycle repairs and 
sundry changes in our much dilapidated toilet. We arrived in Salt 
Lake City the morning of June 15, under the guidance of the Social 
Wheel Club. Sunday, the club members took us on a "Strawberry Run" 
to Farmington. though the acceptance of this invitation necessitated 
declining one to attend the run of the Wasatch Wheelmen. In the evening 
with Mr. Goode, Mr. Lenne of Chicago. Duxbury and myself went out 
to Saltair. the great resort a few miles from the city. On June 19 we 
were guests of the Reck Hot Springs Bicycle Club, where we watched 
the ''cracker jacks" of Salt Lake City and Ogden. This track is one of 
the best I have seen upon my travels. "Rig Bill" Richel, editor of the 
Rocky Mountain Cyclist, a man who has done much good work in 
building up interests in wheeling throughout the West, is a prime 
factor in the racing meets at Reck Hot Springs, and he has invariably 
arranged for a first-class article of sport. Our entertainment in Salt 
Lake City was upon so extensive a scale that I had no more than 
enough time to prepare my Inter Ocean letters and to send our wheels 
to the repair shop. 

We left Salt Lake City on June 2.°., an escort of thirty accompanying 
us West as far as the Grant Homestead, where a stop was made for 
dinner. We arrived in Ogden the following day. expecting to leave 
in the evening, as we had a full moon to ride by at night. The paralysis 
of the hands and arms, from which both Mrs. Mcllrath and myself had 
been acute sufferers, came over me again at Ogden. and caused a week's 
stop instead of a day. I consulted a physician, who imperatively ordered 
that I take a course of treatment at Utah Hot Springs,, situated ten 
miles out of Ogden. Before we entered into our week's seclusion, a 
number of the represent.! live wheelmen of Ogden were determined that 
we should visit the greatest of all Utah resorts, "The Hermitage," in 
Ogden Canyon. On Tuesday. June 25, a party comprising Mr. and 
Mrs. W. Beardsley, Mr. and Mrs. F. Sherwood, F. C. Scramm. Editor 
Thomas of the Tress, J. W. Warner and the Inter Ocean tourists rude 
slowly up the steep grades into the rocky boundaries of the Canyon. 
"The Hermitage" is a sequestered little house, five miles up the gorge, 
ensconced in a natural cleft in the mountain side, and facing upon the 
rushing, foaming Ogden River. We rode to "The Hermitage ' without 
a stop. Standing in the doorway in his shirt sleeves, arms akimbo. 
was the famous "Billy" Wilson. In all Ogden there is no1 a character 
so well known as "Billy" Wilson. He is a brawny Scot, with a sun- 



26 AROUND THE WORLD OX WHEELS. 

burned face, clear blue eyes and a luxuriant growth of sandy hair and 
whiskers, and he possesses the most charming dialect that was ever 
imported from the unconquered land of the thistle. I did not at all 
mind my week as an invalid, for I had eight hours a day aside from 
my treatment by a physician to devote to sight-seeing. There was but 
one disagreeable feature in connection with the sojourn at Utah Hot 
Springs, and that was, the loss of "Tommy Atkins." For his own 
reasons, which he explained to me, Tommy decided to go it alone, and 
he left on June 26 to pedal his way alone to the Golden Gate. 

The Inter Ocean cyclists left Ogden on July 2, putting in to Corinne 
for the night. Corinne is distinctive in Utah as strictly a Gentile 
town, the sight of a mormon at any time being rare. The morning of 
the great and glorious Fourth, Mrs. Mcllrath and I started from Corinne 
to celebrate the day with a long run over the sandy plains. As we 
crossed the tracks in front of the hotel and turned into the smooth 
road leading to Blue Creek a freight train started from the depot a 
few rods back of us. The morning was cool, and calling to my wife to 
keep my rear wheel in sight. I set out to hold that freight train level 
as long as possible. I had been informed that a chain of foothills 
that loomed up like a bank of blue fog in the distance, was seven 
miles away, and as the grade was up, I was determined to lead the 
engineer a merry dance ere we tipped over the hill and gravity helped 
the iron horse in his race against my steel-tubed speeder. Over the 
road we flew, the chug-chug of the engine growing fainter, until we 
lost it altogether. I knew this was only the start, and bending over 
my handle-bars I sent my wheel along with a whir. Mrs. Mcllrath 
held on nobly, and when three and a half miles had been covered, the 
engine was still beyond our hearing. We kept on "jumping on the 
pedals" and when we tipped over the hills, seven miles from Corinne, the 
sound of the locomotive's exhaust was barely audible. With the grade 
in our favor we fairly made things 1mm. My cyclometer ticked with a 
continuous rattle like an old-fashioned watchman's signal. And now 
the engineer of the train seemed to enter into the spirit of the race. 
He tooted short blasts at us as he ga'ned ground and his train caught 
the impetus afforded by the grade. The crew also took part in the 
fun, and from the top of the cars and caboose, they gave us the "come- 
on" signals when the little red coach tripped around the curve like the 
last flame of a shooting star. And then we were alone on the desert 
of Western Utah. 

Seven miles further on, we came to the end of the main ditch 
of the Bear River Canal Company. There we met a gang of men 
who reported having met "Tommy Atkins" nine days ahead. This 
was the first tidings we had received of the merry Englishman, and it 



AROUND THE WORLD OX WHEELS. 27 

was most welcome news. The exciting ride of the day caused ns to 
forget that it was the Nation's birthday, until we passed Bradley's 
Ranch and gazed upon the Stars and Stripes gayly floating from a tall 
staff in front of his house. Bradley saluted us, and in reply to our 
question if we might send any news of him to friends in the East, he 
proudly answered: "Tell them that Old Glory waves over Bradley's 
Ranch the same as it does over the postoffice in Chicago on the Fourth 
of July." I had calculated upon spending the night at Kelton. We 
arrived there for supper and found the one hotel of the town in 
undisputed possession of a gang of cowboys, who were celebrating the 
Fourth in approved Western style. Whisky was tapped by the barrel, 
and there were indications of a beer famine soon to come. The men 
were good-natured for the most part, but so noisy with their fun that 
Mrs. Mcllrath concluded Kelton was no place for her, and we moved 
on in the direction of a ranch where we had been told we might be 
accommodated with lodging. I was three hours cruising around the 
plains trying to find this ranch, and had almost come to the opinion 
that no such place existed. The moon had gone down and it was 
difficult riding in the dark. I ran into what I considered an embank- 
ment, and was thrown from my wheel, then the embankment gave a 
loud snort and a scream from Mrs. Mcllrath behind let me know 
that she had also been in a collision. We had struck in the blackness 
a herd of cows, all lying down and peacefully chewing their cuds. This 
I took as evidence that the ranch was a reality, and again I began 
the search for the house, this time riding squarely into a barb-wire 
fence. Following the line of the Wire I came to the dwelling, a pros- 
perous-looking abode, painted and adorned with a veranda and curtains 
in the window. All knocks and calls were unanswered, which led me 
to believe thai the family could be not far away, probably attending 
a Fourth of July celebration in the vicinity. Mrs. Mcllrath and I sat 
down on a log to await their return. After an hour's silent vigil, my 
watch told me that it was long after midnight. The air had grown 
raw and the wind chilling. I built a fire in the front yard and made a 
place for Mrs. Mcllrath to lie down. To those of my readers who have 
tried to sleep before a camp fire without blanket Mrs. Mcllrath* S dis- 
comfort will be readily understood. I curled up behind her, doing as 
best 1 could to keep off the wind, and thus she was enabled to derive 
several hours' slumb< r. but as for myself, I was almost frozen when 
I waked at five the next morning, and learned that the family had 
been absent over night. By this time I was desperate, and with one 
of my small pistols I bowled over two fat chickens that were cackling 
around the yard. I was ready, had I been surprised by the owner, 
to pay liberally for the pullets, and consequently I felt no sting of 






28 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

conscience for my tramp-like behavior. The fire was replenished, and 
while Mrs. Mcllrath dressed the chickens in a crude fashion, picking 
them in hot water boiled in a tin can which I had found on the back 
porch, I skirmished the premises in hopes of digging up some old 
utensil of the kitchen with which to cook them. I could find nothing, 
but my inventive mind, the same which prompted me to patch a tire 
with a buckskin glove, came to the rescue when my eyes alighted on 
a piece of stovepipe. It was old and rusted and had been thrown away 
evidently months before. I smashed its circular shape flat, scraped 
off the rust, and that served as our frying pan. For breakfast that 
morning, we had fried chicken, not cooked Maryland style, to be sure, 
but nevertheless sufficient to stave off hunger until noon. The family 
had still not yet returned, as we prepared to leave, and telling Mrs. 
Mcllrath that we would be far away when their anger exploded and 
that we, ourselves, would never be suspected, the blame for the 
depredation doubtless being placed upon the shoulders of some unfor- 
tunate hobo, we mounted our wheels and steered away in the direction 
of the Nevada State Line. I was unable to learn the name of the 
people at whose ranch we had stopped and whose chickens I had appro- 
priated, but if they should ever come across this book, I should like 
them to know that our intentions were honest at least, and that we 
should have paid for our breakfast could we have met anybody to 
take the money. 

Ry looking at our cyclometers we ascertained that eighty-four miles 
had been covered on the Fourth of July. We had hard riding the next 
day, arriving at Lucin at 11 o'clock at night. For once in the life of 
somebody, a little intemperance served a good purpose. The section 
boss at Lucin lived alone in a neat cottage, with his Italian and Chinese 
laborers in quarters a couple of hundred yards away. The section boss, 
whose name is of no consequence here, had celebrated the Fourth too 
vigorously. The depression which followed and the loneliness of his 
surroundings had thrown him into a state of nervousness that made 
him jump like a man shot if one but snapped his fingers behind him. 
The sight of company was the best medicine he could have had, and 
before we had an opportunity to ask him for shelter, he had over- 
whelmed us with an invitation to come in and stay— stay a week if we 
only would. We came to Nevada on July 6, with a register of 2,2S3 
miles to our credit, made since leaving the ofnee of the Inter Ocean. 
This represented a daily average of 57^ miles. At Tecoma, our first 
stopping place in the state, we found an inquisitive crowd awaitiug us. 
As the crowd was in Tecoma, so it proved to be throughout Nevada. 
Everywhere the people understood fully who we were, where we were 
from and the auspices under which we journeyed, but we had difficulty 



AROUND THE WORLD OX WHEELS. 29 

in convincing them that we were not dead-broke and that we were not 
touring the globe for a wager. There have been so many queer trips 
recently made by men who start out penniless to receive thousands of 
dollars upon the culmination of their journey that the public, I noted, 
had grown to expect all sorts of hard luck stories from tourists whose 
mode of travel was any other than the railroad. But for all their 
suspicions of us. they were indulgent and good-natured, and never once 
were we mistreated or insulted. Nevada also gave us the hardest work 
in moving through the United States. The sands and head-winds were 
fifty per cent more exhausting than the distances, and the 132 miles we 
made the clay we entered Denver did not tire us one-half as much as 
the 01 miles we covered on July 7, the day we rode into Halleck. 



CHAPTER V. 



HALTED BT VIGILANTES AND AN ESCAPE FROM LYNCHING IN NEVADA — A 
DELIGHTFUL RECEPTION AT RENO — ON THE STEAMER FOR JAPAN. 

The morning of July 8 we set forth for Elko, twenty-six miles away. 
Mrs. Mcllrath and I were moving along at a good gait, when a band 
of horsemen overtook us near Osina. They dashed across our path 
and dismounted simultaneously, closing in upon us. The leader 
approached me with a command to open my mouth and display my 
teeth. I thought it was a joke aud demanded to know who was the 
dentist in the party. "None of your nonsense," growled the leader, 
"let's see your teeth." My jaws immediately Hew back as far as nature 
would permit and the leader looked down my throat searchingly. "No, 
boys; 'taint Brady," he called, and then it was my time to do some 
talking. Their explanation in brief was that they were hunting for 
one Brady, a bandit who had been running wild throughout for weeks. 
He was aboul my size, they said, quite as likely to be dressed as a 
wheelman as anything else, and the sole unfailing marks of identifi- 
cation in their possession were the gold fillings in his molars. Goodness 
knows, what would have happened to me had 1 been the owner of 
ninny gold-plugged teeth. I might have been shot on the spot, or 
lynched, or at any rate dragged to jail with days of delay and humilia- 
tion before me ere I could make myself properly known. We put in a 
day and a night at Elko and resumed the journey on Wednesday, 
July 10. The first six miles of going outside of Elko were as good as 
any Eastern roads I have ever traveled, but the white dust which 
fills the air makes it advisable for all tourists to ride with gloves and 
their caps well down upon the head. When this dust mingles with 
perspiration on any exposed part of the body it smarts and burns like 



30 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

a powerful acid. Our tires suffered also and one by one the punctures 
repaired in Salt Lake City began to let go. Every revolution brought 
out a hiss like an angry serpent. By pumping every half mile we 
managed to get into Golconda on July 12, having made 24 miles in 
seven and a half hours, the hardest traveling we had yet known. It 
was 20 miles further to Winnemucca, which we covered easily next day, 
halting in the town for repairs. On July 17. we were again on the 
road, leaving Lovelocks, but we could make only three miles an hour 
in the sand and were forced to return to the station in order to take 
to the railroad tracks. 

Two miles from the Nevada Hot Springs, by riding the railroad 
trestles, my front wheel played me another one of its tricks and threw 
me down a twelve-foot embankment. Scrambling back to the trestle, 
I picked up my wheel with its handle-bars snapped in two. My photo- 
graphic outfit was spilled and the camera broken. The most expea 
wheelman cannot ride over Western roads without his handle-bars. 
I sent Mrs. Mcllrath ahead while I gathered up my belongings and 
pushing the wheel before me, I set out to walk to the section house 
at Desert, ten miles away. As I journeyed along the railroad tracks, 
bewailing my plight and rebelling at the three hours' tramp before 
me, I spied a rusty bolt in the road bed, and it occurred to me that 
it would prove a good substitute for my broken bars. I lashed it with 
wire in place and found it answered the purpose admirably. Slow 
riding was better than walking, but at that I did not make out so 
poorly, for I lumbered into the section house at Desert only fifteen 
minutes after Mrs. Mcllrath had arrived. Our ride through Nevada 
was varied. For days, we sped along rough tracks, meeting none but 
illiterate laborers and camping at night upon the hard dirty floors, 
often without covering. Meal after meal we partook of without fork 
or spoon and in many instances, the only knife we had was rusted 
and mayhap coated with plug tobacco. Table linen, napkins, soap 
and even hair brushes were often total strangers to us. It seems 
that the men whom fate has decreed to work in these out-of-the-way 
places have for an object in life only a place of refuge from the 
elements. Then again maybe the day after our dinner had been eaten 
from a dry-goods box in such unpleasant surroundings, we would be 
at one of the famous health resorts or hunting lodges that abound 
.n the West, and where everything is of the very best quality. The 
two extremes of life came under our observation within our 1,S00 miles 
out of Chicago. 

At Vista, in accordance with a number of telegrams sent us at 
various points, we were met by Prof. M. E. Wilson and wife on a 
tandem, heading a welcoming party sent out from Reno. All prepara- 



AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 31 

tions for our stay in this charming city had been attended to by them 
before our arrival. Following an advance guard, with Mrs. Wilson 
and my wife ahead, the Trofessor and myself closing up the rear of 
the procession, the party rode down the main streets of Reno and 
drew up at the Riverside Hotel. A dinner fit for a king and sufficient 
for a regiment was on the table ready for us. Our hospitable friends, 
with an eye for our comfort and enormous appetites, declined to delay 
sitting down any longer than it would take for us to bathe our faces 
and hands. They remained for an hour or more after we had cleared 
the table, arranging trips for our entertainment on the next day. For 
the first time since leaving Chicago Mrs. Mcllrath and I were so tired 
that when we retired we slept soundly until 1 o'clock in the after- 
noon of the next day. Likely as not we should have slept until the 
evening had we not been called by A. S. Bragg, editor of the Reno 
Gazette, and Miss Manning, a charming young lady, whom the editor 
had brought along as a companion for Mrs. Mcllrath. With them we 
rode over the entire city, the two ladies going ahead, enabling the 
editor and myself to fall behind and indulge in a discussion of our 
favorite theme, "Shall it be gold, or free silver at 1G to 1?" July 20, with 
Professor and Mrs. Wilson we visited the famous mines of Virginia 
City, and this time we did not go upon bicycles. The Professor called 
for us in a carriage, whose horses were piloted by a reliable veteran, 
who had served his apprenticeship on the earlier stage coaches. The 
ride to Virginia City, up the side of a mountain, is fraught with danger. 
Only two weeks before our arrival there was a fatal accident, a 
couple of tourists and their horses being dashed over a precipice, and 
after I had arrived in San Francisco three weeks later, I learned of the 
deaths of two ladies and a gentleman, who had undertaken the same 
trip on horseback, and had met their end in precisely the same 
manner. 

On Monday, July 22, we departed from Reno upon our last relay 
of American touring for three years. Prof. Wilson rode with us and 
as we passed Saw Mill Summit, the white dust died away and I saw 
nothing but flowers, beautiful foliage and waviug grass. The Professor 
calmly remarked: "You have entered a new country; you are now in 
California." We left Truckee July 2.3 in the morning, making the 160 
miles to Sacremento shortly after dusk. Four days in Sacramento, 
devoted to sight-seeing, and then we started for San Francisco, 
arriving there July 29. We had then covered 3,002 3-8 miles from 
Chicago in 52 days. 

A complete overhauling of our wheels and time allowed for neces- 
sary shopping by Mrs. Mcllrath. caused us to remain in San Francisco 
much longer than we had anticipated. The days did not hang heavy 



32 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

upon our hands, the wheelmen of the city being universally kind in 
their atteDtions to us both. My space is too limited to go into the details 
attendant upon our sojourn in San Francisco, as much as I should like 
for my cycling readers to know of the pleasure in store for a wheelman 
in the metropolis of the Pacific Coast. 

On October 12 the telegraph message of three words, "We are off," 
was flashed to the Inter Ocean office in Chicago. We had taken pas- 
sage on the Occidental and Oriental Line steamer City of Tel in, bound 
for Yokohama, the chief city of the flowery kingdom of Japan. Every- 
thing for our accommodation that could be done on board the steamer 
was ordered, not the least of our favors being two seats at the table 
of Captain Trask, commanding officer of the vessel. Our fellow pas- 
sengers were an interesting lot, including two United States naval 
officers; a member of the English Parliament, his wife and a traveling 
companion; an officer of the Austrian army; two Freuch globe 
trotters, who intended to write a book of travel upon their return to 
Paris; a Corean nobleman; four American missionaries, and a mys- 
terious personage whose visiting card read, "Capt. Yladmir Samioloff," 
of the army of the Czar. The steerage passengers were exclusively 
Japanese and Chinese. The third day out Capt. Trask escorted me 
through the steei-age and showed me the hospital ward, which con- 
tained three Japanese, who were going home to die. The captain 
explained to me that in every case of the death of a Japanese on 
board a steamer, the body was given a sailor's burial, but +hat with 
the Chinese it was entirely different. The body of a dead Chinaman, 
even though he were to die one day out, would be embalmed and taken 
home to his relatives, a Chinese embalmer nearly always being on 
board a vessel for just such emergencies. 

Mrs. Mcllrath, for six days out, was the most sea-sick woman that 
ever tossed in a berth. She was unable to come on deck before 
Friday, Oct. IS, and rough weather, which set in the next day, sent 
her below again, and thus she lost one of the prettiest parts of our 
voyage across the Pacific. Monday, Oct. 21, was the shortest day I 
ever passed. It lasted, strictlj speaking, but seven hours, or from 12 
o'clock to 7:15 a. m., at which time the City of Tekin crossed the 
meridian. Having been constantly raving with the sun, and so 
gaining time, at 7:10 o'clock we had entered upon Tuesday, Oct. 22. 
At 11:30 on the morning of the same day we caught our first sight of 
Japan, the white crest of the sacred mountain, Fujiyama, looming 
in the distance. Monday evening, Oct. 2S, at S:15 o'clock, the City 
of Pekin steamed into the harbor, having broken her record thirty-seven 
minutes. The fact of the boat's arrival ahead of time, made the hours 
so late before the steam launches of the hotel arrived that we decided 



AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 33 

to remain on board the steamer until next morning. We were still 
asleep Tuesday morning when the runners of the hotels roused us by 
pounding upon our state-room door. The Club Hotel was the one we 
had selected, and when the representative announced himself, we 
gave a list of our baggage and hastened to dress. At the English 
hataba (a long pier running out into the bay) our baggage was thor- 
oughly overhauled by the customs officers, and upon our wheels and 
camera a duty of five per cent was imposed. As cameras are listed at 
50 yen and bicycles at 200 yen each, this would have cost us in duty 
2'2 yen 50 sen. or about twelve dollars in gold. After a short conference 
and an ostentatious display of Secretary Gresham's passports and the 
Inter Ocean credentials, which the revenue officers had not under- 
stood, our articles were franked and we entered the city. 



CHAPTER VI. 



JAPAN'S QUEER CREDIT SYSTEM — INTER OCEAN TOURISTS AT THE BURIAL 
OF PRINCE KITASHIRAKAWA — A POINT FOR ALL AMERICANS. 

The Club Hotel, which is the headquarters for American tourists 
and residents, is situated only a block from the pier and adjacent to 
the Consulates, shops and points of interest. The owners and mana- 
gers are Europeans, or "foreigners" as they are called in Japan, but 
the service of the hotel is exclusively by natives. Your room is cared 
for by a "boy," your meals served by a "boy" and "boys," sometimes 
50 years of age, perform every possible service. There are without 
doubt more courtesies shown a guest in Japan than in any other 
country. Our reception in the city was all that we could ask. The 
letter to Col. Mclvor, American Consul, from friends at his home in 
Cedar Rapids. Iowa, made us thrice welcome at that gentleman's resi- 
dence. The fact of our representing an American newspaper made 
us at home in newspaper circles, which are controlled largely by 
Americans. Our coming had been heralded to the wheelmen of Japan, 
and as we were expected some weeks before we arrived, the coming 
was of more than ordinary interest. 

Bicycling, at the time of my visit, was just beginning to become 
popular in Japan, and what machines were used were imported at 
great cost from the States and Europe. But with commendable enter- 
prise the manufacturers of Japan now perfect their own machines, all 
parts of which are made and assembled in local concerns, operated by 
local capital and mechanics. In Japan it is not expected that cash 
will be tendered for anything purchased or reuted, with perhaps the 
exception of "rickshas," which correspond in their common use to the 
3 



34 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

calis of American cities, only that they are drawn by "boys" instead 
of horses. There is an abominable system of credit established in the 
empire by which all foreigners purchase and temporarily pay for 
all articles upon bits of memorandum called "chits." If a gentleman in 
Yokohama wishes a drink, a cigar, new hat or even a suit of clothes, 
he steps into the nearest place of business adapted to filling his require- 
ments and, after making his purchase, signs a bit of paper, giving 
date, price and buyer's name and address, and the first of every month 
the "chit" is sent him as a receipt bill. To a well-appearing for- 
eigner reasonable credit will be extended without question. My 
knowledge of this system was derived in the most peculiar manner. 
Mrs. Mellrath and I were touring the shops, when her attention was 
attracted by a shawl. She entered the shop, priced the article and I 
advised the purchase, but our pocketbook had been left at the hotel, 
she blushingly informed me. We thanked the shopman for his trouble 
and promised to return the same evening. The price was six yen, 
or about three dollars, as quoted by the dealer, and as we started out 
of the shop he called to us, asking if the price was too much. I 
explained our embarrassed conditon, and he immediately wrapped up 
the shawl, placing one of the printed slips upon the countei-, asked 
me to sign a "chit" for five yen. I was an entire stranger, yet upon 
credit 1 obtained for one yen less that which I could not purchase for 
cash. The most astonishing fact connected with this extraordinary 
system is that no laws are provided to punish dead-beats or frauds. 

On Monday, Nov. 11, we journeyed over to Tokio, eighteen miles 
distant, to witness the funeral ceremonies over the body of His Im- 
perial Highness Prince Kitashirakawa, a commander of the Imperial 
Guard. In tropical Formosa, under a fierce sun and amid miasmatic 
jungle, the prince died of malarial fever Oct. 29. The sad news reached 
Japan shortly after our arrival, but by a curious custom, was not 
announced to the people as authentic or an accepted fact until officially 
given out by the imperial authorities on Nov. 5. In fact the Prince 
officially lived until that time. News of his victories in Formosa 
brought forth new honors and 'distinctions, and upon Nov. 2, he, or 
lather the corpse, was decorated with the Collar of the Chrysanthemum 
and Grand Cordon of the Imperial Family. The service was simple, 
yet impressive, without a shade of paganism or superstition. There 
was much about it also that would befit countries, considering them- 
selves superior to Japan to imitate. One most noticeable was the order 
of the assembled masses. Not a person offered to step outside of the 
prescribed limit. There was no jamming or crowding. No voices 
spoke louder that a whisper, and the presence of police and militia 
was necessary only as an exhibition of official dignity. Where houses 



36 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

of greater height than one story faced on the line of march, or porches 
existed above the elevation of the street, the curtains at windows and 
doors were closely drawn, and the occupants stood in the street. No 
yelling, gesticulating mob filled the telegraph and telephone poles and 
roofs, for it is not permissible in Japan that anyone look down upon 
the funeral of a dignitary. The passage of the Emperor through the 
streets calls into effect the same condition. He may be viewed from 
an equal level, but never looked down upon from an elevation. 

I am glad to record that it is a mistaken impression that there 
exists in Japan, a general feeling against Europeans and Americans. In 
any part of the Mikado's realm the American is as safe as at home 
and the European is comparatively as secure. Why is this distinction 
of a degree made? During the late chastisement which Japan admin- 
istered to China the action was so one-sided that it could scarcely be 
called war. As soon as the Russians interfered, threats were made by 
a few anarchistic extremists in Yokohama, Tokio and other large 
cities, against the "white man" and his property. The simple minds 
of the rabble of oriental nations do not regard the English, French, 
Russian and German subjects as belonging to distinctive nations, but 
classify them as the "white man." The ministers and consuls at 
Tokio, during this excitement, were brought under guard to Yokohama. 
Their residences were guarded by police, and when any of these gen- 
tlemen drove out in carriages, they were surrounded by detectives, 
who were compelled to use force for the passages of their vhicles 
through the streets. Not an act of violence occurred which reflected 
upon the local government in the slightest degree, but the satisfactory 
ending of threatened murder and riot was due entirely to the vigilance 
of the secret service department. Upon the other hand, when the 
United States Consul drove out there was no necessity of a guard. A 
sight of the peerless colors of the United States emblazoned on the 
carriage door, or the unmistakable uniform of the driver, and the sea 
of humanity which filled the street would part, and with bows and 
cheers, allow our representative to go his way. Policemen and officers 
saluted with caps in hand, while perhaps only a half square away the 
guard of one of the other consuls struggled fiercely with an unyielding 
mob. That is the reason I say an American is as safe from personal* 
interference in any part of Japan as in the heart of any of our great 
cities. An Englishman is, in fact, more scure here than he would be 
in any of the acquired provinces of Great Britain. 

The short rides of the Inter Ocean cyclists, taken in and about 
Yokohama, Kanagarua, Mississippi "Bay and Tokio, demonstrated to us 
the truth that the Japanese have not only respect, but love for the 
Yankee. The roads of Japan compare favorably with the boulevards of 



AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 37 

American cities, except in matter of width. They are smooth, hard 
and upon the sea coast quite level. One of the finest courses I have 
ridden over is a six-mile run we took daily before breakfast in Yoko- 
hama. The course begins at the Club Hotel, along the Bund to the 
Yalo Bashi, following this to the Haz-Aso-No Bashi and from there to 
Mississippi Bay, the Bluffs and back to the hotel. 

The Inter Ocean tourists left Yokohama Monday, Nov, 18, having 
secured new passports for the interior, where the treaty laws do not' 
extend protection or privileges to the foreigner. Our destination was 
unknown even to ourselves, but as we were astride our wheels it 
mattered little where we wound up, so long as interesting scenery and 
incidences were daily occurrences. One point, in main, was to form 
the center of a circle around which we intended to swing, and that 
center was Fujiyama, the sacred mountain. To reach the lower slopes 
of Fuji there are many pathways, but for cyclists there is but one that 
may be practicably adopted, and that by way of Gotenba, Yamanka 
and Yoshida. "the route of temples," the course traveled by the native 
pilgrims to Fuji in summer months. We took a southwesterly direc- 
tion from Yokohama and came to a well ballasted wagon road, running 
almost parallel with the railroad, connecting Tokio with Kobe, 400 
miles south. We passed through the villages of Fujisawa, Hiratsuka 
and Oisa, crossing the River Yanugawa, and entering Kodsu, a village 
of large proportions, at noon. Kodsu is about thirty miles from Yoko- 
hama, and it was here we had hoped lo eat our lunch and find drinking 
water in which we could place confiilence. The one drawback to tour- 
ists in the interior of Japan is water. In their natural condition the 
waters are pure, cool streams, coursing down snow-clad mountains, 
miles in the interior, but passing through the villages, their course is 
diverted into ditches and water-boxes, running through the gutters 
and sometimes under the houses of the town. The sewerage of surface 
drains empties into these streams. Cooking utensils and food are 
washed, fish are cleaned and even dogs drink from and bathe in these 
gutters. The same system of water supply exists in all of Japan, and 
after we had struck Kodsu, Mrs. Mellrath and I drank only native- 
made beer during our stay in the land of the Mikado. 

At 1 o'clock we were again on the road, keeping with the railroad 
tracks until we passed through Sakawagawa. Little was to be seen 
but rice and vegetable fields, the mountains in the distance and the 
swift rushing river coursing to the sea. We covered 72 miles by 7 
o'clock, arriving at Gotenba, where we spent our first night in a 
Japanese yartoyo, or inn. In a Japanese sleeping apartment there is 
nothing to be seen as one enters the room except matting upon the 
floor. There is not a table, chair, bed or any other article of furniture 



38 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

visible. We had begun to think that we were to pass the night on the 
floor as we had done in the section houses of Nevada, when an attend- 
ant entered the room, beainng cushions, and a second one came with 
a table, small affairs resembling unpadded foot-rests, braziers with live 
coals and tiny bronze tea-kettles. The cushions were piled into soft 
heaps about fourteen inches high, the tables placed between, and we 
were motioned to a seat upon the cushions. To the right and left 
were placed box-like trays and in these our food was served in dainty 
bowls and dishes. At 9 o'clock, when I thought it time to retire, I 
clapped my hands for a servant. To the girl who answered I made 
known my wishes and she called two assistants, who appeared, each 
bringing a pair of padded comforters. The comforters were spread 
upon the matting in layers, and at the head of each was placed the 
Japanese substitute for a pillow, a box six inches square by twelve 
inches long, the upper edge slightly padded. We passed a most com- 
fortable night, and awakened only by the maid entering our room with 
a tea set. After breakfast we called for our bill and the amount ren- 
dered was two yen, or one dollar in gold. Bed, bath, breakfast and 
supper, unequaled service and every attention in a first-class inn to 
be had at the rate of sixty cents a day! By o'clock we were again on 
the road with Fujiyama looming up thirty miles away. From the 
guide, who had previously given us instructions, we knew which course 
to take, and so turned up the fork apparently leading to the very root 
of the mountain. We did not stop at Yamanaka village, but rode 
through the main streets, astounding the natives and passing from 
their view, before they realized what had happened, except that some 1 
thing unseen or unheard of before in Yamanaka had passed their way. 
From Yamanaka to Yoshida our path was over level, smooth roads, but 
in the latter place we were compelled to stop and consult our guide- 
books and the police. At the police station, before we were given any 
information, our passports were demanded. I produced mine, but Mrs. 
Mcllrath had left hers, the most necessary of her effects, behind. The 
officer looked over my papers and then pointed to my wife. The pass- 
ports had been made separately at our request, and of course mine 
made no mention of Mrs. Mcllrath. To gain time and collect my wits 
I took the paper from the officer's hands and glanced over the copy 
attached, which was written in English. An idea '"struck" me. My 
name was "parted in the middle;" why not give my wife half of it? 
Calling the attention of the official to the English copy, I pointed to 
"H. Darwin," and then to my wife. Then laying my finger upon the 
name "Mcllrath," I patted myself on the chest. The official referred 
to the Japanese copy, I repeated the pantomime, he smiled and bowed, 
and making a few mystic characters upon the passport, he altered it 
to read, "H. Darwin, female, and Mcllrath, male." 



AifcOUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 39 

CHAPTER VII. 

A NIGHT IN A JAPANESE TEMPLE — UNSUCCESSFUL ATTEMPT TO "KODAK" THE 
MIKADO — LANDED AMONG THE "HEATHEN CHINEE." 

The sun was setting when we left Yoshida, and with our path 
principally composed of the narrow dikes separating the rice fields, 
progress was painfully slow. Miyhoji, seven miles away, was our 
destination for the night. We had an idea that Miyhoji was a village, 
and so clicked off eight miles before we discovered that we had either 
passed the town or were on the wrong track. About one mile back we 
had seeu a light and there we returned. We were at Miyhoji, one of 
the historic old temples of Japan, and there we slept. The priest lived 
here with his wife and two acolytes, and a cordial welcome it was 
they gave us. At 5 o'clock on the afternoon of Nov. 20, we entered a 
forest at the end of Lake Mishi-No-TJmi. We bad six miles yet to go 
ere we sighted Shoji Lake and the hotel al that point kept by Y. 
noshino, a naturalized Japanese gentleman, who was born in Scot- 
land, and having lived eighteen years on the islands of Japan, finally 
became an adopted citizen. Traveling the forests at nighl in Japan 
over lava beds with path illumed only by a cycle lamp is not the most 
pleasant of journeys. The narrow way is uncertain, deep chasms 
appear upon either side and I had several rocky falls. I was bruised 
and battered when we came to Hoshiho's residence and lost no time 
in taking to my bed. At daybreak our host called us to view the 
silent volcano rising in grandeur to the extreme height 12,305 feet. 
There is not a peak in all the grand elevation of the Rockies that can 
compare with Fuji. Tike's Teak, taken from its setting of lesser 
lights, which but serve to destroy its beauty, and placed upon the 
plains of Illinois, would not even prove a petty rival to the one before 
us. As we looked upon Fuji that morning a spotless mantle of snow 
cowled her crest, the scintillations of which formed a halo of pris- 
matic light about her, and it did not seem strange to realize that 
the natives worshiped this wondrous monument of eruptive power 
and beauty. 

It was our good fortune to be present at the greatest of all "war 
holidays" held at Shokausha Park in Kudan, on Dec. 15, 16, 17 and 18. 
After leaving Iloshino's we returned to Tokio, and spent the time in 
touring the vicinity until these great fetes at which the emperor and 
empress are always present, were held. Dec. 17, the day upon which 
His Imperial Majesty Metsu Ilito, Emperor of Japau, was to appear 
at Shokousha Park, dawned dull and threatening, and awakened 
within us the dread idea that the mightiest of all Japanese would not 
be on view. At the park the attendance was something incalculable. 



40 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

Tokio seemed to have had its million souls augmented by the thousands 
of Yokohama, Nikko and other surrounding cities. Our experiences in 
the vast crowd were paralleled only by those in the dense throng at the 
World's Fair on Chicago Day. Shortly before 11 o'clock, a tremor ran 
through the crowd, then a hoarse murmur, and amid a cavalcade of 
gay lancers, the carriage of the emperor swept through the lane of 
blue-coated soldiers, and halted directly in front of where we were 
standing. As the emperor turned and looked about him, I saw a 
Japanese of low stature, dressed in the uniform of the commander of 
the army and navy; his dark-complexioned face partly shaded by a 
peculiar hat. heavily jeweled. The photographs of the Mikado repre- 
sent hirn to be a slender man, with a long face, but they are not true 
likenesses. The Mikado has a round, full face, high intellectual 
temple, a black mustache which droops over the gentle, pleasing 
mouth, and with soft eyes, inexpressibly sad, his face appeals to one 
as that of a man suffering under the royal chains which confine him 
to the narrow limits of the palace grounds. 

He stood but a moment in the roadway and surrounded by nobles 
of various high degrees with bowed form, he moved up the graveled 
path, ascended the steps of the temple and disappeared within. While 
he was at worship my American instinct to obtain a souvenir of the 
occasion got the better of my respect for royalty, and I unswung my 
camera and prepared to make a picture of the scene. Almost directly 
two pairs of brown hands seized the camera, turned it sharply up- 
ward, and held it until the imperial carriage received the person of the 
emperor and departed. The Mikado was not to be shot at even by a 
camera. It was a keen disappointment to me, but I learned later that 
it was better I did not succeed. Had I snapped the picture I should 
have lost my camera and probably been roughly handled myself. I 
was told that I had been followed all morning by the police, who 
knew what I would attempt with the instrument, and who were 
detailed especially to frustrate my plans. My camera was not only 
excluded here, but in all buildings that held treasures or relics of the 
government and public departments. 

We had spent two months on the volcanic island, our last few 
days being fraught with interesting episodes and instructive visits. 
We had received so many courtesies at the hands of the Japanese, 
both from individuals and government, that Ave were loathe to leave 
for the mainland of China. The final courtesy extended me by the 
Japanese Government was the privilege of visiting the new prison 
just completed, and as I was the first European granted such permis- 
sion, I felt bound to accept the unusual invitation. The precautions 
taken against disease by germ in the penitentiary at Tokio are equal 



AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 41 

to those practiced in the most famous hospitals and clinics in the 
United States and Europe. The wards were models of cleanliness, 
well lighted, well ventilated, warm and comfortable. The industrial 
features of the institution, I am safe in saying, are superior to those 
of the vast state prisons in my own country. There were seven work- 
shops devoted respectively to the manufacture of Are engines, to the 
weaving and spinning of cotton and silk; the manufacture of silk um- 
brellas; production of steel hairpins; bricks for the city; the weaving 
of cloth and the manufacture of stockings, and one devoted to all 
branches of carpentry and wood-carving. The governor of the prison 
presented us with many valuable mementoes of our visit. But for that 
matter, every Japanese gentleman of rank whom we visited sent us a 
little souvenir of our meeting. We were compelled to purchase 
additional trunks in which to store our "curios," and when we left on 
Jan. 12, 1S90, on the City of Pekin, for China, we were forced to have 
our "excess baggage" shipped to our home in America. 

When the Inter Ocean cyclists reached Shanghai, one of the first 
sights we wished to see was the people among whom we were to travel 
for the next 2,000 miles of our trip, and we wished to see them at 
home. To view them in all their glory as an uncivilized, barbaric 
race, a trip to the old city was necessary, and on this errand Mrs. Mc- 
Ilrath and I started Jan. 25. We had intended to ride our wheels, but 
were dissuaded from doing so on account of the hindrance they would 
prove in sight-seeing. Our friends strongly urged that we take a guide, 
claiming it unsafe for foreigners to walk about the city alone, but as 
we were perforce to travel in Chinese territory far less accustomed to 
"foreign devils" than the inhabitants of Shanghai, we resolved to make 
our initial bow among the vegeterians unprotected, save by our nerve 
and a stout cane. Crowds gathered around us wherever we stopped. 
"When I pulled out my notebook and fountain pen, the masses literally 
fought for places near in order to see me write, and when I had 
finished and upheld the scrawled page for them to look at, a roar of 
laughter went up, and several pointed to Chinese characters upon the 
dead walls of a temple, and in pantomime asked if the ink tracings on the 
page represented writing. The task of getting away from the crowd 
was much more difficult than forming it, and we were escorted the 
remainder of the afternoon by a monster band of chattering idlers. 

In many of the shops passed we noticed little girls, mere babies 
they were, standing on stools or leaning over railings, their heads on 
their arms. The poor tots moaned constantly, their little tear-stained 
faces depicting anguish seldom seen on the bright faces of children. 
Nothing seemed to attract their attention, nothing pleased them, and 
little wonder. Their tiny feet had been bound in unyielding rolls of 



42 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

cloth since the clay they were born, and already the bones and sinews 
were crushing each other into a mass of unrecognizable pulp, held 
together only by the skin and bandages. This practice is common 
among the Chinese of all classes and produces the fashionable small 
foot of the women. The bandages once placed on are never removed, 
except to be replaced by others, and in result, hundreds of lives are 
sacrificed annually, the children's feet mortifying and sloughing away. 
Ii is erroneous to believe that only women of high caste have 
small feet. I saw women whose feet were only two and a half and 
three inches long, dragging drays. 

For four hours we wandered through the dark alleyways and streets, 
passing through tunnels and archways that were filled with noxious 
vapors and used by the public for all manner of nuisances. We ex- 
perienced no interference with our progression, the only hostile feeling 
being shown was by a few street arabs who pelted us with stones 
and fruit skins. This treatment would be accorded a Chinese by our 
own precious youth in the States and does little harm if no attention is 
paid to the offenders. Dogs made several attacks upon us, but the 
little ammonia gun I always carry effectually checked all onslaughts 
and filled the observing Chinese with wonder. The "gun" was one of 
my own manufacture, simply a rubber bulb with a short glass 
nozzle. The bulb I kept filled with ammonia, and when dogs annoyed 
me, either on my wheel or afoot, the bulb, concealed in the hand, with 
the nozzle projecting between the fingers, made a most effective 
weapon. Directing the nozzle in the dog's direction, a slight pressure 
sent a tiny stream into the yelping cur's mouth and eyes. The dog's 
violent breathing invariably caused him to take a full inhalation 
before he was aware of the evil designs upon him, and the effect was 
instantaneous. He would close his mouth with a snap and then per- 
form a wild side somersault on his back. Several times I used the 
gun upon dogs in Shanghai and did it in such a manner as to conceal 
the act. The masters of the animals, who stood grinning while the 
brutes yelped and snapped at us, were unable to comprehend the 
reason for Fido's acrobatic feats, and in each instance after looking 
the dog over to find some injury, laughed heartily, and addressed to us 
words in reference to the dog which were no credit to man's most 
faithful friend. 



AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 43 

CHAPTER VIII. 

INTER OCEAN CYCLISTS GUESTS AT A CHINESE WEDDING— TORTURES OF A 
NATIVE PRISON REVEALED — JOLLY CELEBRATION OF THE NEW YEAR. 

The statement made by someone that man's birth, marriage and 
death are the three important epochs in his brief career, find support 
in the custom of the Chinese. Births are heralded by fireworks, fetes 
and rejoicings, and weddings and funerals are marked by lavish outlay 
of money and great display. The wedding of a Chinese woman is a 
complicated affair, but is conducted upon the same principles as are 
the weddings of the American Indians. The bride marries into the 
groom's family, not the groom into the bride's family; the wedding 
occurs at the groom's home and the presents are his property. Al- 
though a Chinese may marry as many wives as his income will permit 
him to support, the first wife is the only one that has an extensive 
ceremony performed over the nuptials, the succeeding wives entering 
the life of the husband with as little ceremony as a domestic or a 
new piece of furniture. In fact as such the additional wives are 
regarded, being bartered for and bought like merchandise. Mrs. Mc- 
Ilrath and I were fortunate in being present at the elaborate wedding 
ceremony of a Chinese couple. I fancy that if some of my American 
friends had their wedding march played by a Chinese orchestra, they 
would be taken from the altar raving lunatics. A boiler yard or a saw 
mill would not take "show money" with a Chinese wedding orchestra 
as a peace disturber. But with all the queer ideas dominant in China, 
there are a few very sound customs and laws, one, particularly, govern- 
ing marriage and the duties involved. It may be said truthfully that no 
race of people on earth possess more loyal wives than the Chinese. 
Infidelity is punishable by horrible death, and even the mildest of 
flirtations is a serious offense and a pastime unknown among the more 
gentle sex of China. The women, though occupying a low plane in the 
estimate of their liege lords, are devoted to their husbands and homes, 
laboring zealously for the welfare of their rising generations, but are 
repaid only by condescending approbation and often neglect. Among 
the men, the rules of morality are more lax, and the time spent among 
the slaves, bought of depraved fathers, is limited only by the husband's 
income and leisure from the absorbing occupation of money-getting. 

We sought the darkest side of life in China and found in it all the 
barrenness, yet hideous cunning, ferocity and cruelty of the middle 
ages. The foreign concessions of Shanghai are guarded by municipal 
police, composed of Chinese, Europeans and Indians (Sepoys or Seiks), 
and these minions of the law are controlled by a superintendent, cap- 
tain and corps of inspectors. The headquarters of the municipal gov- 



44 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

eminent, police and other departments are located in a large brick 
building on the Foo Chow Road, arid toward the edifice Mrs. Mcll- 
rath, a Mr. Burton, an Englishman, who had joined us, and myself 
directed our steps on Feb. 12. We were met by Superintendent Mc- 
Kenzie and Inspector Ramsey, both gentlemen who had served Great 
Britain for many years in various capacities as crime suppressors, and 
they at once showed us the workings of the system as applied in China. 
Mr. Ramsey placed a Chinese detective at our service to accompany us 
to one of the native prisons of the old city. Our guide was Kin Lung, 
a silk-robed, long-cued celestial, who spoke English fluently and 
smoked cigarettes incessantly. He was the best we could have 
selected, and thoroughly did he perform his duties. We entered the 
city by a route never selected by professional guides to conduct tour- 
ists, and passed through alleys and streets where the presence of for- 
eigners was as strange a sight as in the far interior. There were few 
prisoners in durance on that day, as the morrow was the Chinese New 
Year and all who could obtain bail had been released for the occasion. 
Those who remained were pacing back and forth in the long, steel-rod 
cages which formed a sort of outside porch to each row of cells. Each 
prisoner was bound to a mate by a long chain, riveted to a steel band 
about his waist. The interior of the prison was dark, gloomy and 
foul. The floor was covered with damp straw and no light found its 
way into this tomb, save through the bars at the front door. There 
were more than two hundred prisoners confined here, a building 15x60 
feet, and not a bed, blanket or bench to be seen. Food was not fur- 
nished, not even uncooked rice, the incarcerated ones being fed by 
friends upon the outside and by the charitable visitors. 

The execution and punishment ground was next visited and entered 
by a small door at the back end of the jail. The area was simply a 
clayed-floor space, one end devoted to a canopied stand from which the 
officials viewed the punishment. Stakes and pillars standing upright 
in the soil told of horrors often perpetrated in the name of justice, 
and at one side was a bamboo fence inclosure, which concealed some- 
thing I divined was of import. When I started for this inclosure a 
warning call from the jailer notified me not to attempt to approach 
nearer, but tossing him a silver piece I walked behind the fence. I 
beheld an iron cage about ten feet square, in which hung a half naked 
coolie. His head was held upright by a chain about his neck, and his 
cue was fastened to the bars above. His body was supported by an 
iron bar, upon which he sat astride, but to each foot was attached a 
bamboo basket which contained a heavy load of bricks. The arms 
were outstretched by chains, fastened to the sides of the cage, and 
these were drawn taut by twisting them with a bamboo pole. At first? 



AROUND THE WORLD OX WHEELS. 45 

sight I thought the man was dead. The tendons on the back of the 
legs and under the knees stood out in rigid Hues; the abdomen was 
caved in, and in sharp outlines the ribs and chest bones looked as if 
covered with parchment; the face, yellow in color, was deathly, the 
eyes sunken, the lips purple and the lower jaw dropped. As I glanced 
at this horrible sight I called to my wife to keep away. At the sound 
of my voice, the eyelids of the tortured wretch raised slowly. For a 
moment the gaze seemed to rest upon us. and the parched and swollen 
lips made an effort to form some words. Then the lids fell heavily, 
as if in despair. The body had given up its fight against death, and 
the soul had departed on its long journey. 

In less than two months the Inter Ocean cyclists were participants 
in the celebration of three distinct New Years, the Japanese New 
Year, on Dec. 25; the Christian on Jan. 1, and the Chinese celebration 
on Feb. 13. There is no greater holiday in China than the first 
day of the year. So religiously are the festivities observed that the 
natives put aside their absorbing passion of money-earning and all 
business ceases on the night of Feb. 12, until the morning of the 20th. 
Shops, even to the cigar, drug and candy stores, close, and supplies for 
house, ship and hotel must be purchased beforehand to last a week. 
Yessels which arrive must remain in port, for custom-house and con- 
sulate are closed, and as for loading and unloading, the lowest coolie 
would feel insulted if a gold dollar were offered him for an hour's 
work during the festal week. The holiday garb of men and women is 
beyond my power to describe, but. this pen picture of one lady of 
fashion whom we saw, is by Mrs. Mcllrath, and I think it worthy of 
reproduction: 

"She was extremely pretty," says Mrs. Mcllrath, "just like a fan- 
tastic doll. She was painted a dead white, her cheeks tinted pink, her 
lips brightly reddened and her eyebrows penciled black. Her eyes 
were as dark and pretty as a baby's. Her hair was smoothed back 
from her forehead and descending in a curve in front of her ears, was 
coiled neatly in a polished ball at one side on the back. Around the 
upper part the coil was a coronet of tiny white flowers, and fastening 
the coils were four ivory stick-pins. Six little ornaments of tinsel 
danced from gilt pins thrust in her hair, and large gold and jade ear- 
rings were fastened in her ears. Her blouse was beautiful. The body 
was of blue brocaded satin, with a collarette of gold and silver braid 
stitched upon yellow silk, winch fell like a cape, and the sleeves, cut 
large and loose, were ornamented to J .he elbow with the same beautiful 
designs. Her trousers were of pale pink satin with apple-green figures, 
and her tiny shoes, no longer than my finger, were of blue satin with 
ermine around the borders at the top. She had fully a dozen bracelets 



46 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

on one arm and bells on her ankles. Her gloves were of black silk, 
fingerless mitts, the back stitched with gold wire in beautiful scrolls, and 
her umbrella was carried by two servants." 

Our Chinese passports from Pekin arrived on March 1, and from 
the date of their reception till the time we left China, I ceased to be 
H. Darwin Mcllrath, becoming Mo Chee Sah, at least so the impressive 
document stated, with all the rights and privileges of a low-class Chi- 
nese mandarin. The letter from Minister Denby, which accompanied 
the passport, advised me to go exclusively by that name and use while 
in the Empire the Chinese form of card printed in Chinese characters. 
Accordingly I visited a Chinese printer, presented my passport and 
asked that he print me an appropriate card. The next day a coolie 
left at our room a package of red paper slips, each two and a half by 
six inches, bearing three black characters. They were my "visiting 
cards." On inquiry it developed that this was the proper fashion. 

The passport was written upon a sheet of coarse paper three by 
four feet in size, the characters being traced in black and red ink, 
the edges profusely decorated with signatures of Pekin officials. In 
the center was a column of characters representing cities and towns, 
around which a red circle was painted. The cities inside and touched 
with the circle were those I had permission to visit. Those outside were 
excluded. We had been long enough in China to learn of the lamentable 
lack of hotels and inns in the interior. Knowing that for the most 
part we should have to carry our own bedding and food, we purchased 
and added to the outfit with which we left Chicago two flannel blan- 
kets, a shallow frying pan, a tin plate, which also formed a cover 
to the frying pan, a knapsack and canteen. My '-battery" of three 
guns was augmented by a double-barrel hammerless shotgun, the barrels 
and stock of which were sawed off, and, in addition, I carried a short, 
heavy knife resembling the Cuban machete. A case of beef tea had 
a place in our luggage, and as we had an abundance of an American 
.brand of malted milk already with us, we were assured that we 
would pass no such hungry days as we often experienced in our ride 
to the Pacific Coast. 

The afternoon of March 3 Mrs. Mcllrath and I mounted our 
luggage-laden wheels, and, after shaking hands with friends, rolled out 
upon the broad Bund upon the third stage of our long ride. By 
March 6 we were a hundred miles from the civilized coast, and 
already we appreciated the fact that our journey across the walled 
empire would not be "a thing of beauty and a joy forever." The 
cries of the natives as they caught sight of us silently gliding by 
on our wheels was strange. The first impression they received from 
the unusual sight seemed that of superstitious dread. Not a few 



A.ROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 47 

were angry and made threatening gestures, pointing in the direction 
of Shanghai, as if warning us to turn back. Our cyclometers showed 
the distance to be 28 miles when our first difficulty presented itself. 
It was that of a wide and deep creek, without bridge and without 
ferry. After a quarter of an hour spent in exploring the banks la 
vain search for the boatman, we came across a houseboat hidd n 
in the brush. It was owned by two French gentlemen, who were 
having a pleasure ride as far as Su Chow. Canals are the highways of 
China, and in going overland from place to place, one must follow 
these filthy, stagnant streams. Our friends from France, with the 
politeness and courtesy characteristic of their nation, invited us to 
become their guests upon the house-boat as far as Su Chow, assuring 
us that the journey on wheel was almost impossible. The Inter Ocean 
tourists boarded the trim craft, their wheels stowed forward, and 
relieving their backs of the blankets and luggage, made themselves 
at home. 

Our hosts had had considerable experience in China shooting and 
trading, and with anecdote of adventure and travel the time passed 
rapidly until the supper hour. An expert Chinese cook prepared a 
hearty meal of duck, pheasant and bamboo sprouts, and after an 
hour's smoking Mrs. Mcllrath retired to the only "state room" on 
board, while the owners of the boat and I. rolled up in blankets, 
slept on the floor of the cabin. The coolies towing the boat d:d 
nut cease their labors until after 10 o'clock, and as they resumed towing 
before daylight, when I woke at 7 the next morning we had covered 
almost 30 miles. Breakfasl over, with our hosts we took a short walk 
on the banks of the canal, made a few side trips into the brush, and 
returned to the boat enriched by a dozen pigeons and a pheasant. 
After our return to the boat I brought forth the great red-sealed 
document which the Chinese magistrate had given me in Shanghai, 
and asked if any of the natives in the crew could decipher the purport 
of the document as writt< n on the envelope. It was this document 
which had caused us to travel by way of Su Chow, otherwise we should 
have taken steamer to Chin Kiang. about <;o miles up the Yang-tse- 
kiang proper, and there begun our ride. I had inquired at Shanghai of 
foreigners acquainted with the Chinese mandarin language, but all 
I could learn was that the document was addressed to the Toa Foi at 
Su Chow, and friends advised me to deliver it. The mystery did uot 
please Mrs. Mcllrath, but after deliberation I decided to take chances. 
Su Chow is a great dumping ground for criminals, and the document 
was an order intended to reveal to me more of Chinese customs. 



48 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

CHAPTER IX. 

IN THE AUGUST PRESENCE OF THE TAO TAI — THE PRIVILEGED GUESTS AT AN 
EXECUTION — FANATICS PURSUE THE "FOREIGN DEVILS." 

At S o'clock on the evening of March 4 our boat moored at the 
locks of the Grand Canal at Su Chow, but the hour was so late 
and the streets appeared so dirty and uncertain, that Mrs. McILar.h 
and I remained on board until morning. Su Chow is a typical Chinese 
city, and our entrance thereto was an event to the natives. Imme- 
diately after breakfast I dispatched a message to the Toa Toi, bearing 
one of my Chinese cards and the mysterious packet. In an hour the 
messenger returned accompanied by four chair bearers and a score 
of soldiers. They were to conduct us into the presence of the Toa 
Toi. The mandarin received us in state robes, seated upon a high 
chair, and over his head was held a large umbrella. As we approached 
him, he graciously descended from his throne and saluted us with 
a low bow. Mr. Charles Lewis, an American trader, acted as inter- 
preter, and as he spoke Chinese fluently, the mystery of the document 
aud our reception at the palace was soon explained. Mrs. Mcllrath 
and I were not only to see more of Chinese customs, but were the 
guests of the mandarin. The document further specified that we 
should witness the execution of a woman who had murdered two 
others on account of her husband, and at the palace we were to remain 
until orders came for the execution. "Seng chee" was the mode of 
death to which the woman was sentenced. This meant "thirty-six 
cuts," so inflicted upon the body as to terribly mutilate but not prove 
immediately fatal. The order for execution did not arrive until March 
7. The intervening days, spent in the palace from the time of our 
arrival, were devoted to our express entertainment, a Chinese boy 
who spoke English well having been brought from Shanghai expressly 
to serve as our interpreter and guide. 

It was he who awakened us on the morning of the executiou 
with the news that "the papers" had come. Mrs. Mcllrath had no 
wish to view the horrible scene soon to be enacted, and as I left the 
room she hid her face within her hands and begged me not to mention 
the proceedings upon my return. The mandarin awaited me in the 
state room, and with much forethought had ordered two bottles of 
champagne with which to brace our nerves. A moment later we were 
on our way to the court yard in the rear of the palace, a retinue 
of soldiers surrounding us. Two guards dragged the woman directly 
before the pavilion we occupied. She fell to her knees, and as she 
beat the ground with her forehead, begging for mercy, the mandarin's 
secretary read a few words from a scroll, and the poor wretch was 



50 ' AROUND THE WORLD OX WHEELS. 

sentenced. Two soldiers tied the woman to a post in an upright posi- 
tion, her feet resting upon a heavy block of wood. The white bandage 
which had bound her forehead was removed and in its place a belt 
was applied which held her head immovable. The hands were tied 
behind the post, each one separately. When the preparations were 
over, the assistant stepped back, and the executioners, like their 
victim, naked to the waist, and with knives in hand, prostrated them- 
selves at our feet. The chief butcher took his place by the woman's 
left side, and a knife gleamed. Then one of her ears was thrown 
upon the ground. A few seconds more and the other ear was sliced 
in the same manner. Her eyes no longer glanced wildly from sLle 
to side, following the movements of her torturers, but appeared fixed 
upon mine, and, although I could not understand her shrieking cries, 
I knew she pleaded to me for mercy— a mercy I could not bestow. 
Her tongue was cut from her mouth, and at each mutilation a secretary 
told off the number of the slashes. When he counted ten, I braced 
myself for a glimpse at the sickening sight, and where had been but 
a few moments before a woman's face, there was but a bloody, unrec- 
ognizable ball. With the regularity of a machine the butchers wielded 
their cleaver. When I next looked it gave me satisfaction to know 
that death had come to the relief of the wretched woman before the 
entire thirty-six cuts had been administered. 

Before leaving Su Chow we visited the hospital which is conducted 
under the auspices of the Southern Methodist Episcopal Church. 
The institution is in charge of Dr. W. H. Park, a typical Southerner, 
courteous and hospitable, who seemed devoted to his noble work 
among his heathen patients, and to the medical education of a small 
class of Chinese students. His corps of assistants included, besides 
his wife, Dr. Annie Walter, Dr. J. B. Fern, Mr. and Mrs. D. S. Ander- 
son, and the Misses Atkinson, Hearn and Gaither. The cost of sus- 
taining the hospital is paid by the Methodist Mission, but all money 
derived from patients and from outside visits by Dr. Park, which is 
considerable, is devoted to the hospital fund. 

At Wu Sib. we were the guests of Dr. Walters for several days 
before we departed for Ching Kiang. What few roails China possesses 
are mere foot paths, and in the Eastern districts, where clay is the 
principal superficial soil, six months of each year these paths are 
impassable save to foot passengers. Our appearance, therefore, upon 
bicycles on roads where the wheelbarrow is the only wheel ever seen, 
stirred the natives to the wildest pitch. The bicycle is an unknown 
quantity upon the Grand Canal, none besides Lens, the St. Louisan 
who lost his life in Armenia, having ever passed that way until Mrs. 
Mcllrath and myself appeared. The "devil carriages," as they called 



AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 51 

our wheels, were too much for their nerves to bear. Six miles up 
the Grand Canal we encountered the first village, and as the tow 
path ceased, and the. only route through was by the main street, our 
speed was checked and we were prepared for the reception by the 
mob which we knew would turn up. By repeated cries of warning 
I kept the passage clear in front, but no sooner had Mrs. Mcllratb. 
passed than the mob closed in. Hooting and jeering, they followed 
at our heels, the larger and heavier knocking down and walking 
over the weaker and younger. Their discordant howls were deafening, 
and when the end of the village sireet finally appeared I signaled 
Mrs. McIIrath for a sprint, and away we sped, with a shower of clods 
after us. We traveled for thirty or forty miles along the banks of the 
canal passing boats under sail, the crews of which shouted as we 
rolled along, until at last we sighted the south gate of Chang Chow, 
about 5 o'clock in the afternoon. Selecting a [place where we could 
be protected from the wind, we stacked our wheels and prepared for 
lunch. A small spirit lamp boiled the muddy water taken from 
the canal. We filtered this through a little pocket contrivance and 
made each a cup of beef tea. We had expected to avoid being bothered 
by curious natives, stopping, where we did, one mile from the city, 
but before we had finished eating a dozen coolies and as many boys 
gathered around us, and with signs attempted to ascertain who we 
were and whei*e we were from. Each boat that passed us hailed 
us cordially, but it was not until four hours after that a boat con- 
taining a party of missionaries, friends of ours, arrived, and we were 
taken on board and put away for the night. House-boats in China, 
where obtainable, are always preferable to inns, and it is well for 
one touring the country to attempt arriving at the water's edge 
by dusk. 

After a good breakfast the next morning and a thorough inspection 
of our wheels, we bade farewell to our friends on the boat and set 
out for Ching Kiang. The streets in Chang Chow were very fair, and 
we made good speed through the city. Our appearance created a 
great commotion, but many of the crowd who clattered after us had 
heard of our reception by various notables and mandarins, and they 
saluted respectfully, at the same time assisting in clearing a way 
for us. Once on the open, we sighted the telegraph poles, and by 
following in their direction were soon on the Grand Canal once more. 
By noon we had covered forty milvjs, pausing for dinner at a small 
village. As we sat in the dingy, queer-smelling restaurant the sky 
darkened and rain began to fall. We saw the possibility of reaching 
Tan Yan before night growing less with each drop of moisture, 
but as the water did not fall in quantities sufficient to make the 



52 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

clay path treacherous, we mounted our wheels, determined to cover 
every mile we could before the downpour came. At 3 o'clock we 
sighted a high wall, which Ave knew to be that encircling the city 
of Pen In. We made no stop in the city, pedaling around the 
town, having been warned not to venture within its limits. We 
traveled all afternoon in a drizzle, and when the rain began to fall 
in sheets, about 5 o'clock, we were lucky in having a boat pass us 
on the canal. We hailed the craft, and by displaying a silver dollar 
obtained shelter for the night. 

The following morning, Saturday, March 21, we again mounted 
our wheels and took to the tow-path. Though the ground was soft 
and treacherous, we reached Tan Yan at 10 o'clock. It was amusing 
to observe the effect of our bicycles upon the natives. Farmers and 
laborers in the fields dropped their implements soon as they sighted us 
and ran to the roadside to view us in blank amazement, but if I 
stopped and attempted to engage them in conversation they directly 
ran for the interior again. Some of the people we passed with wheel- 
barrows left the vehicles in the path and sought refuge in the rice 
fields. A steam street roller could not have created greater consterna- 
tion among a troop of wild ponies than our innocent rubber-tired 
vehicles did among the country folk of China. Several times we 
thought we had lost our way, so obscure had the path become, and 
had it not been for our compass, the knowledge that Ching Kiang 
lay directly north, and an occasional friendly farmer, we would 
never have found our way. Seventeen miles from Tan Yan we sighted 
the pagoda of the south gate of Ching Kiang, and entering upon a 
stone-bedded road, we plowed along at lively speed to the very entrance 
of the city wall. Inquiry for "Yen Isweesun" (foreigners) put to 
the crowd before us was fruitful, and under the escort of half a 
dozen young men we were led through a maze of small streets, and 
the way pointed out to a group of small houses which dotted the 
summits of a chain of hills. The United States flag floated over 
one residence, and with thanks to our guides we turned to leave them. 
The Chinese who had piloted us blocked our path, demanding a 
reward. By gestures they made it known that they would consider 
the account settled if I would let one man ride my wheel. Nothing 
could have suited me better, and I surrendered it at once. Two 
men held the wheel while the third mounted it, and in less than a 
minute he had taken a plunge into a ditch of muddy water, changing 
his ambition to ride into one of disgust for the wheel and respectful 
admiration for myself. 

The United States Consul, Gen. A. C. Jones, occupied one of the 
handsomest houses in Ching Kiang. We called upon him on the 



AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 53 

afternoon of our arrival, but found him absent. However, we were 
taken into his office and entertained by Mrs. Jones until the arrival 
of her husband, who had been looked up by a native servant with 
the information that "two men" had come to see him "walking on 
wheels." 



CHAPTER X. 



GENERAL JONES ABLY REPRESENTS UNCLE SAM AND HIS GOVERNMENT — 
MUD DELAYS THE TOURISTS — MISTAKEN FOR A MISSIONARY M. D. 

Gen. Jones, a tall, broad-shouldered man, whose handsome face 
was crowned with silvery white hair and ornamented by a flowing 
mustache and imperial, impressed me as one of the most courteous 
and affable gentlemen with whose acquaintance I had ever been 
honored. There are many reminiscences told of him and his admirable 
dealings in national affairs with the Chinese, and none better is related 
than how he adjusted the claim of his government arising out of the 
great riot of Ching Kiang in 1889. The riot, it may be remembered, 
resulted in the burning of the British Consulate, the looting of the 
American Consulate, and the death of Mrs. Mansfield, wife of Her 
Majesty's Consul, from shock and prostration. The claims of the 
British government were first presented to the. Tao Tai, and a'fter 
a long period of wrangling the amount of damages was considerably 
cut down and the matter was pigeon-holed for future consideration. 
When it came the American Consul's turn to present his bill, he 
did so without waste of words. It is told of him, by none other 
than Mr. Mansfield, the English Consul, that Gen. Jones disdained 
the seat offered him at the meeting of the Commissions of Arbitration, 
and remained standing in dramatic attitude before the Tao Tai. When 
that official had listened to the American claim, and expostulated that 
the figures seemed exorbitant, Gen. Jones drew himself up and 
forthwith gave an exhibition of Western ideas and American principles. 
Addressing the Tao Tai, he said: 

"Sir, I represent a people whom your horde of fanatic savages 
have maliciously wronged and robbed. I have presented the claim; 
it lies before you. I do not ask that it be paid; I do not supplicate you 
that it be settled, but, as the representative of the United States 
Government. I demand, sir, that it be paid, unaltered, unchanged and 
in its entirety." 

The Consul leaned over the table, one hand with clenched fist 
supporting his body, the other resting upon his hip, as if to draw 
a six-shooter, and with determination stamped upon his countenance, 



54 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

he burled the words, rather than spoke them. The Tao Tai first 
appeared amazed, and finally he actually trembled with fear. The 
entire scene was theatrical, but the climax caused those assembled 
more astonishment still. After a hurried whispered conversation the 
Chinese officials nodded pleasantly to Gen. Jones, and the Consul took 
his seat. His claim had been accepted. 

We had already been considerably delayed in our progress to 
Nanking, so charming and hospitable had been Gen. Jones and his 
wife, and, in spite of warm invitations to remain longer, Mrs. Mcllrath 
and I left Ching Kiang at noon on March 22. Gen. Jones had ordered 
the way cleared for us, sending ahead a native officer. We had several 
days of hot, dusty riding, which was made all the more difficult 
by the increased amount of baggage which we earned. Nanking, our 
objective point, is the Southern capital of the empire, the home of 
the Kai King rebels; the site of - :he famous porcelain palace and of 
the great Confucian temple, a city which is the greatest of all Chinese 
educational points, as well as the most historical, offering opportunity 
for the examination of 28,000 students at one place at one time. Before 
entering the city we visited the Ming tomb, the burial place of the 
Emperor Hung Woo, who reigned during the fourteenth century, and 
dying at the Imperial Palace was interred at the foot of the Purple 
mountain. The tomb itself is simply a small hill, with nothing 
extraordinary appearing about its graceful, rolling eminence. Tradition 
has it, however, that in its depth reposes a magnificent vault, which has 
been completely covered by the faithful subjects who visited the tomb, 
each one depositing a handful of earth upon and about the vault. 
I bore a letter of introduction from one of my missionary friends 
to a Mr. Ferguson, an American resident of Nanking, through whose 
kind offices we were enabled to see nearly, if not all, the points of 
interest in the historical Chinese city, visiting the Bell tower, Drum 
tower and Examination Halls before our departure. 

As Tai Ping Foo, our next stopping place, was 68 miles southwest, 
and over uncertain roads, we decided to remain the second night at 
the home of Mr. Ferguson, and it was not until March 23 that we 
took our leave. We were unable to get further than fifteen miles of 
Tai Ping Foo on account of the muddy roads. The clay collected 
by our tires blocked the opening in forks and frames, the sprockets 
were thick discs of the yellow, sticky mass, and every fifty feet we 
were compelled to scrape the mud off in order to move a wheel. 
Removing the chain from each wheel helped matters slightly, but 
so frequently did the cleaning process become necessary, that we no 
longer used a stick for the work, but simply scraped the mud from 
our tires and frames with our hands. Darkness overtook us and 



AROUND THE WORLD OX WHEELS. 55 

added to our discomfort. The path, only three feet wide, and bu'.lr. 
as an embankment, was as difficult to keep upon as a givased plank. 
Mrs. Mcllratb and I fell time and again. Bridges had to be crossed 
on bands and knees, and so clogged with mud were our shoes that 
our legs ached from lifting our feet. We encountered many difficulties 
since leaving Chicago, but none so hopeless and with so little promise 
of a night's rest as the time we tried to make Tai Ping Foo. Mrs. 
Mcllratb gave way to her feelings, and sat down upon one of the 
muddy embankments and indulged in a good cry. We wandered 
through the mud and rain the greater part of the night, plunging 
through rice fields and patches of mustard plants, guided only by 
the feeble light shed by our bicycle lamps. A bad fall broke the glass 
in my lantern, and we were then forced to proceed only by the dim 
rays cast by the lamp on Mrs. Mcllrath's wheel. Toward morning 
we came to a halt in front of a mud hut, through the bamboo doors 
of which we could see the dying embers of a fire. I shouted several 
times before I could raise any of the occupants. A generous display of 
silver pieces persuaded them to let us enter. The wife arose, cooked 
us food, and made places for us to sleep on the floor, with the fire 
at our feet. I bad expected my bill to be something enormous for 
this great accommodation, and I was all but stunned when our 
host demanded only 600 cash. This was equivalent to about 00 cents 
of Uncle Sam's money, which amount will keep a large Chinese family 
for a week. Tai Ting Foo by this time was only three miles away, 
and without further incident we reached the city, and though we 
had been awake the lesser part of the day, we were soon ready for 
another night's rest in more comfortable quarters. 

A good stone road for seven miles*rendered it possible for us to 
ride out of Tai Ping Foo the next morning, but by 10 o'clock we came 
again to the sea of mud, and were forced to resume our walk. We were 
successful in executing our plans to reach the river by dusk, for 
we had concluded to take no more chances in seeking shelter with 
the farmers. It was comparatively easy to obtain a boat to sleep 
on, and the yellow-skinned bandits took advantage of our position 
immediately. They seemed to realize just how badly we wanted a 
boat, and forthwith they put the price up to the excessive sum of 
four dollars. But boat, we had to have, and I paid the sum, stipulating, 
however, that they were to carry us to Wuhu, seven miles distant, and 
land us by daybreak. For the only time in my dealings with these 
rascally natives they kept their word. When we waked we were 
in the midst, of the shipping anchored about Wuhu. On shore I 
spied the Chinese imperial customdiouse, and who should be stalking 
up and down the paved court before it but our English friend 



56 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

Burton, whom we had met in Shanghai! The meeting with him spoiled 
our plans for an immediate visit to Dr. E. H. Hart, surgeon of the 
American Methodist Hospital, as he introduced me to Mr. A. Knight 
Greyson, agent of the Jardine-Mattison Transportation Company. So 
genial was this hearty Britisher and his wife in their invitation t.) 
luncheon that we could not refuse, and in their cosy home, on the hulk 
of the old ship Madras, we ate the first good meal we had enjoyed 
for three days. Our letter of introduction was later presented to 
Dr. and Mrs. Hart, Avho not only received us with open arms, but 
placed fresh linen and clean clothes at our disposal. 

It was necessary for us to remain three days in Wuhu. Our 
wheels needed a thorough cleaning, my correspondence had to be 
attended to, and our shoes and clothes were long past due for repairs. 
During our stay we were dined on board H. M. S. Daphne and the 
U. S. S. Detroit. Visits to us at Dr. Hart's from officers of the British 
gunboat, Commander Newell of the Detroit, Lieutenant-Commander 
Hawley, Lieutenants Evans and Desmukes, the British Consul, Mr. 
Mortimore, and the members of the various missions made time fly 
rapidly, aud though the weather was most inclement, we were loathe 
to leave on April 11, when the sun at last showed himself. Hard 
riding, favored by delightful weather, brought us to Hankow within 
the week. My generosity in this part of the country turned out to be 
dangerous to the comfort of Mrs. Mcllrath, as it almost exhausted 
my stock of medicines. We had stopped one Sunday on one of the 
boats moored in the river, and I was there mistaken for a doctor. 
The mistake was somewhat excusable, as Mrs. Mcllrath, in a s. irlt 
of mischief, had told some of the fishermen that I was a "medicine 
man." I had taken a short walk on shore during the forenoon, and 
upon my return to the boat I found the "sick for the day" mustered 
in line along the beach. One child, suffering from what the- missionary 
doctors call "rice stomach," or, in plainer English, indigestion, was 
the first to attract my attention. I sounded the little fellow's abiomsn, 
which was so swollen that his waist girth exceeded his chest measure 
by fourteen inches, and prescribed and administered a dose for him. 
Oue of the sailor's wives was afflicted with the "cash eye," a poisoned 
and inflamed condition of the eye bi ought about by handling the dirty 
copper coin and then rubbing the eye with the contaminated fingers. 
The last of my patients was a young man who suffered from a tooth- 
ache. I became on the spot a practicing dentist, cutting the gum away 
from the tooth with my pocket knife, and wrenching the offender 
from the poor chap's jaw with a pair of bladed pliers, which we carried 
in our repair kit. 

At one of the villages we had passed before arriving at Hankow 



AROUND THE WORLD OX WHEELS. 57 

we fell in with a companion named Cunningham. His other name I 
do not remember, and it is just as well for his own sake that I do not, 
as I cannot help saying that Cunningham proved himself to be the 
most annoying part of our baggage. He was a good wheelman, 
but absolutely without "backbone," and iu the serious encounters which 
we had with the natives, many of them being out-and-out fist fights, 
Cunningham proved the exception to the rule that Englishmen all are 
brave fellows and handy with their fists. He did the most injudicious 
things, and was directly responsible for several of our skirmishes. 
I may mention that we parted with him finally the day he chided 
Mrs. Mcllrath for not coming to his assistance when ho had been 
set upon and knocked down by a band of ruffianly coolies. Monday, 
May 18, 1896, I have down in my diary as one of the warmest I have 
ever passed through. The air was so humid and close that riding 
offered the only method of creating a breeze. The hot tea we drank 
at the villages did not alleviate our sufferings, and at my suggestion 
we passed the day in hard pedaling. Toward the evening we came 
upon a grove of gunbarrel trees, so called because the trunks are 
hollow like a gun barrel. The grove is situated upon the banks of 
a creek, and here we went into camp. The weather remained torrid. 
and for two days we rested in the forest. A settlement, not far 
distant, contained a market, at which we purchased our supplies, and 
the camping out was thus attended by much less inconvenience than 
one would imagine. 



CHAPTER XI. 



INTER OCEAN CYCLISTS ENCOUNTER AN ASTATIC SHYLOCK — HAND-TO-HAND 
CONFLICTS WITH THE COOLIES IN SHAZE. 

On the eighth day of our trip from Hankow, Mrs. Mcllrath con- 
tracted a severe cold, which impeded our progress and caused me 
great alarm. Much of the journey, on this account, had to be taken 
in sedan chairs. Our supply of tinned goods was also becoming low. 
the oil we carried for lubricating was gone, and Cunningham, as 
if to add his share to the chain of misfortune, displayed symptoms 
of malarial fever. As the only resort we changed our course in 
the interior and pushed toward the river, hoping to find some English 
steamer which might replenish our stores. A half day of waiting 
on the river bank, and a steamer hove in sight. The three of us hoisted 
signals, and I fired my pistols, but the steamer evidently did not see 
us. and steamed on up the river, displaying the English flag as she 
passed. Though not in such a serious predicament, our sensations 



58 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

were similar to those of the shipwrecked sailor adrift on his raft 
as the solitary ship sails by, majestic to look upon, but to the casta- 
way cruel and cold. As if in sympathy with our disappointment, the 
rain came down in torrents as the steamer disappeared from view, and 
we made our way to a settlement a few miles ahead. It was then 
necessary for us to cross the river, which we did, but in the most 
unexpected fashion. The lone ferryman must have been an Asiatic 
descendant of Shylock, or at least his demands so indicated, for he 
asked 300 cash to row us 100 feet. To convey the impression that we 
were not in such a great hurry to be ferried, we sat down upon the 
river bank and began munching some tasteless cakes which Mrs. 
Mcllrath had purchased at a restaurant. The large boat of a mandarin 
was moored upon the opposite bank, the crew watching us intently, 
and the official himself peering at us from the curtained window of his 
cabin. We next observed the anchor of the boat drawn up and the 
craft making headway in our direction. Just what was the mandarin's 
object in crossing we could not imagine. A plank was laid from the 
shore to his boat, and we were summoned on board. The silk-clad 
official received us politely, offering the customary tea. One of his 
crew, who knew a bit of English, interpreted to him that we desired 
to cross the river. In a moment our boat was moving, and we soon 
returned to the original mooring. It was almost too much to con- 
template! For the first time we had been rescued from the exorbitant 
charges of a native by one of his own countrymen— a most unusual 
interference. Chinamen are very clannish, and seldom can they be 
induced to compete in prices when in trade among themselves, but 
never where a foreigner is concerned. Delaying only long enough 
to allow the mandarin to read my passports and to civilly refuse his 
invitation to remain on beard his boat for the day and night, we landed 
and rode on our way. 

Ten miles of very fair path through short grass brought us to a 
gigantic rock arising from the plain like a great castle. Under its 
sheltering shelves we found a trio of fisher huts. We stopped at the 
largest of these and obtained permission to cook the food which we 
purchased from the fishermen, one of the many luncheons of its kind 
that we ate in China. We stopped only long enough for our repast 
before setting out for You Chow. Before reaching the city we had 
a fierce hand-to-hand conflict with a number of savage coolies, Cun- 
ningham being almost annihilated. He brought it on himself, how- 
ever, by rapping across the knuckles an inquisitive Mongolian who 
had dared to feel his bicycle tire. At You Chow we were received in 
great ceremony by the mandarin himself, who placed guards at our 
disposal, and offered us every protection, going so far as to volunteer 



ABOUND THE AVORLD OX WHEELS. 59 

sending men out to capture the natives who had assaulted us with 
clods and stones. The Tai Toa of the province visited us the next 
day to make changes in our passports. The Chinese map of China 
was produced, and by comparing it with the charts which we carried, I 
managed to show the official the route we had traveled since leaving 
Shanghai. One thing mystified me. I could not find You Chow on 
the native map. and after many efforts I succeeded in making myself 
understood. My breath was taken away when the official placed his 
finger upon the character indicating the city, and I learned for the 
first time that we were twelve miles from the Yang-Tse-Kiaug and 
on the channel connecting with Tung Ting Lake. We had been lost 
the day before without knowing it. We had been in the dread province 
of Hunan, out of the territory permitted us to travel, and, worse 
than all, had put our heads into the lion's jaws by coming into the 
very place where lawbreakers are confined. I explained my position 
to the Tao Tai as well as I could, and he seemed to comprehend it. 
The next morning. Thursday. May 21, he had us called, gave us new 
passports for the province of Hunan, and dispatched an escort of 
coolies to see us safely started upon the right road. The issuing of 
the passport to foreigners by a Tao Tai, when not compelled to do 
so by a Consul, was unprecedented, and especially in our case, when 
he could have weighted us with chains, trussed us up like pigs to a 
pole, and had us carted overland to Shanghai. Such treatment has 
been accorded foreigners repeatedly. 

It may seem strange to Europeans that the Chinese do not under- 
stand their own language when spoken by a native of some other 
province. Often in the short distance of twenty miles the dialect is 
entirely different. This fact I ascertained during our tour through 
Hupeh. The Shanghai resident is ignorant of the tongue of the 
Azecheun, and a Hupeh does not understand a syllable uttered by a 
native of Canton. The character used is the same when produced in 
writing, but the sound given it by the tongue is entirely different. 
Chinese also have the idea that natives from a distant province are 
not proper Chinamen. I asked a native of Hankow to interpret what 
a boatman was endeavoring in vain to say to me. My friend from 
Hankow made an effort, but gave it up in disgust. 

"Can't you talk witli your own people" I asked, in amazement. 
''Can't you understand a Chinaman?" 

''Chinaman." he retorted, sharply; "he no belong Chinaman; he 
belong Xingpoo-inan." 

And Ningpoo is one of the principal ports of China, 

We had some difficulty and inconvenience in entering the city 
Of Shaze, a city with a record of blocd and crime uuequaled to any 



GO AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

in the Empire. Little of its importance is known to foreigners, or 
in the coast cities, although it is one of the most important towns on 
the river between Hankow and Chung King. Possibly this is because 
Shaze has not a bund, club house, race track, or any of the other modern 
"conveniences'' of a large city. Only recently, or since the Japanese- 
Chinese war, had it been open as a treaty port, and during my visit 
there, two years ago, it had but one consulate, the Japanese. It was 
shunned by strangers on account of its reputation for being extremely 
anti-foreign, the ruins of a magnificent Roman Catholic Cathedra!, 
standing like a specter on the river bank just above the city, testifying 
to this prejudice. The reputation of the place caused us to be extremely 
chary about entering, though we finally accomplished our aim under 
unlooked for conditions. The shore opposite Shaze was sparsely settled, 
and I was correct in my conjecture that we could obtain shelter in 
some hut across the river. The farmer who accommodated us was an 
unusually kind and intelligent Chinaman. We were kept as his guests 
three days by rain. On the third day I dispatched a messenger to the 
Japanese consul at Shaze, but the answer received, written in Japanese 
characters, occasioned me great disappointment. "No room for you; 
proceed on your journey," was the reply. I took this to be a Chinese 
trick, and accused the messenger of not visiting Shaze at all, but 
writing the characters himself. Later I learned that the letter had 
been taken to the Roman Catholic Mission by mistake. I returned the 
messenger to the city, and when he came back, an hour later, he was 
accompanied by a native, who brought me a letter which read: 

"May 26, Mr Mcllrath, opposite Shaze, dear friends: We are received a letter with 
you and happy to say to you we are Christian Chinese and hope so are you. We have got 
good Chinese house in Shaze and hope you will come see us. And man will direct you 
to the right road to travel this side, and hope you will be happy to receive you. We 
are all Christians and hope so you are. Respectfully, S. Kwei." 

The evident hospitality conveyed in the note caused us to overlook 
its ludicrous wording, and following without delay the "man," we 
reached the water's edge before we learned that he had failed to bring 
a house-boat with him. Directing him to return to his master, I gave 
him a second note, requesting that a craft be sent for us on the next 
day, and expressing our happiness at the prospect of visiting Mr. 
Kwei's house. By noon the next day the Inter Ocean tourists were 
comfortably fixed in a well-appointed Chinese residence in Shaze, the 
guest of Mr. Kwei. We were detained in Shaze until Saturday, May 30, 
and during the time that we were the guests of our host we were 
dressed in the gaudy raiment of the wealthy Chinese. When we left 
Shaze it was upon a large house-boat, bound five miles above the 
city. 

Tho place scheduled for debarking appeared dangerous on account 



AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 61 

of the presence of a wild-eyed, chattering mob of coolies, and I prevailed 
upon the captain to take us further. We traveled over night, and early 
Sunday morning were landed at a point which promised fair riding. 
We were then upon our last relay of 300 miles. Ichang was our desti- 
nation, and we estimated from the point at which the boat had landed 
us that we would arrive in that city by June 1. There were many 
annoyances and encounters on the road, some of them serious, as, for 
instance, a hay knife thrown at Mrs. Mcllrath by a laborer in a wheat 
field. The weapon fell short, and was caught in the spoke of Cun- 
ningham's wheel. For the first time in our association did the little 
Englishman act promptly and correctly. He dismounted, and, picking 
up the hay knife, threw it far into the riv,er. This a't infuriated the 
Chinaman, who drew another knife, and, calling to his friends, advanced 
toward us. To make a long story short, we "bluffed" the crowd with 
our pistols. The Chinese dread individuals who do not betray the 
rage they feel more than an entire regiment of blusterers. All of 
which reminds me of the well-known maxim that a "barking dog 
never bites." 

When the Inter Ocean tourists reached Ichang they were half-way 
across China, with the record to their credit of GOO miles traveled 
through a country never penetrated by a foreigner before. Lenz, of 
whom I have previously spoken, followed the direct route from 
Shanghai, or what may be called the "telegraph line." Morrison and 
other Englishmen made the passage by steamer from Shanghai, and 
Stevens crossed only from Canton to Kui Kiang, and thence to 
Shanghai by steamer. It took us twenty-one days to complete the 
journey, and so anxious had members of the European colony at 
Ichang become about us that, had we not arrived when we did, native 
couriers would have been dispatched the next morning to search the 
country for us. Our first stop in the city was at the postoffice, where 
I received the note from Mr: Hunter, a friend we had met at Hankow, 
announcing that, he had arranged for us to stop at the American 
Episcopal Mission, and that to the Rev. II. C. Collins would be due 
the courtesy of entertaining us. The first day we spent in Ichang 
thoroughly acquainted us with the members of the community. Thrre 
were scarcely thirty foreigners in all, but each seemed anxious to 
render our stay as pleasant as possible. We had picnics, tennis parties 
and dinners arranged in our honor, meeting many interesting char- 
acters, both native and European. One of these friends, Tseo Shoo 
Wen. an energetic, lively Chinaman, and a man one could well afford 
to win as a friend, was especially solicitous regarding our comfort 
and safety. Learning that we were to travel through the Yang-Tse- 
Kiang gorges by boat as far as Wan Hsien, Mr. Tseo oTered us as 



62 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

escort a gunboat and lifeboat. We declined, however, as we had been 
asked to become the guests on the house-boat of Dr. Collins, upon 
which we departed from Ichang on June 15. Our route as nearly as 
possible was to go by boat to Wan Shien, thence overland to Chung 
King, Suifoo, Yunnan Foo Tali and Bahme, the trip by boat merely 
allowing us to see the beginning of the beauty of the marvelous gorges, 
and not in the least rendering our trip any less interesting. In fact, as 
the summer floods were expected daily, there was greater hazard 
at this time of year on the waterways than on land. We were thor- 
oughly stocked with bedding and canned provisions sufficient for a 
ten days' trip. We were so fortunate as to secure as captain the same 
native who had piloted one of my friends, Dr. Morrison, up the river, 
and he had retained his own crew of five strong, competent boatmen. 
The evening prior to our departure a complimentary dinner was given 
in honor of Mrs. Mcllrath, and on Monday, June 15, the "Defender," as 
we called our boat, hoisted sail, and the Inter Ocean tourists left Ichang 
as they entered it, flying under the beautiful colors of the United 
States. 



CHAPTER XII. 



ON THE YANG-TSE-KIANG DURING A FLOOD — TOWED BY FORTY COOLIES — 
CYCLISTS PAID FOR BEING ENTERTAINED BY THE TAI FOO. 

The rain which Ave had looked for did net disappoint us. The 
water poured steadily for three days following the Fourth of 
July, and on the 7th the water rose twenty feet in eighteen hours. 
It continued rising to flood height, and we were imprisoned at Ping 
Shan Pa until July 2G, our boat tied to the trees of an orange grove 
which sheltered a coffin shop kept by an old man. The Yang-Tse-Kiang 
was in its fiercest mood, and none better than ourselves were in a 
position to witness its terrors. Our boat was turned and twisteil 
as if struggling to break its bonds. Great volumes of under-current 
burst in swirls under our bow and stern, pounding as they struck the 
flat bottom of the boat as if we had been crashed on a submerged 
rock. The yellow waters seemed to leap in their course, all semblance 
to a stream being lost. Trees, torn up by their roots, leaped full 
length from the whirlpools and were drawn down into the vortex of 
the next. A capsized junk shot past, and as it was near the shore 
a half-dozen boatmen left the bank to seize the prize. It was an 
exciting sight. The crews raved, yelled and stamped on the deck 
like demons, risking their lives for the sake of a few pieces of silver. 
When they succeeded in beaching the junk, every plank, nail, bit 



AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 63 

of cargo, and even the bodies on board, were theirs to possess or claim 
reward for. The rampage of the river gave the coffin shop proprietor 
several days of grewsome work. Within twenty-four hours the gray- 
queued old fellow rescued six bodies from the whirlpools in front of 
his establishment. His son, stationed on a crag half a mile upstream, 
kept a keen lookout for the dead in the river, and as soon as the yellow, 
bloated bodies appeared on the surface of the water, he signaled his 
father, who, with an assistant, put out in a small boat to tow th ! 
corpses ashore. For this service and for the coffin he received 73 gold 
cents a body, and rich, in a Chinaman's eyes, had the old fellow grown 
with his years of watching during the spring and summer floods. 

Ascending the gorges of the Yang-Tse-Kiang by boat is a trip 
which, under the most propitious circumstances, is fraught with danger 
and inconvenience, but especially so during the months of July and 
August. But we ascended the most dangerous parts of the famed 
canyons, passed through the Tan Hsin, Sung Poa Tso Tan and other 
dreaded rapids. Though the trip proved at all times exciting, there 
was no time that danger was sufficiently apparent to cause Mrs. 
Mcllrath to change color or to reach out for her cork life-belt. Never- 
theless, I would not undertake the journey again were it to lead through 
scenery doubly grand and were the passage to be paid handsomely 
in gold. The entire pleasure is lost in efforts to keep the Chinese 
crew in marching order, and, as they must be coerced into activity, 
the journey may be said to resemble an outing in the Grand Canyon 
with a herd of swine to drive. The expression is homely, but just and 
fitting. We sighted the beautiful Teng Hsiang gorge on Aug. 8, but 
Ion;: before we entered it the country became hilly, often resembling 
the beautiful Palisades of the Hudson. In America, where all things 
necessary to facilitate transportation and commerce are deemed abso- 
lutely necessary, such feats as the Port Huron Canal and the removal 
of Hell Gate are accepted by the public when the feats are accom- 
plished as simply the result of need, but in China a mere passage 
a few miles long, blasted out of a mountain side, is a rare spectacle to 
behold. As our boar slipped along the rocks the beauty of the gorge 
disclosed itself, but to my mind the scenery of the Teng Hsiang gorge 
did not compare in grandeur to that encountered upon the rapids 
of Shan-Tou-ring. The rapids are caused by jutting shells of rock 
running out into the river several hundred feet. As the water is 
deep, and the current runs eight miles an hour, the rapids are terrific. 
Had our boat broken loose and gone down stream onto the boulders, 
which reared their heads just above the water, boat, baggage, bicycles, 
and probably tourists would have b en lost. 

The mast of all boats ascending the Yang-Tse-Kiang is situated 



64 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

almost amidships, just a little forward, and to the base of this is 
fastened the tracking line of bamboo. From the top of the spar runs 
another line fastened to the towline about thirty feet out from the 
mast, and by pulling in or slacking this line the tracking line may be 
raised to the top of the spar, if desired, this to enable the towline 
to clear the rocks on the shore, which are occasionally as high as 
the mast. Forty coolies composed our crew on shore in charge of 
the tracking line, and as the "Defender," trembling and groaning, 
pushed her nose into the rushing water the crew ashore chanted and 
groaned, as, bent forward until one hand almost touched the ground, 
they moved us up stream. The night of our arrival in Kwei Chou 
Foo, an old and dilapidated, yet a city of great importance, Mrs. 
Mcllrath and I slept on deck, as was our custom, awakened the next 
morning at daybreak. At 9 o'clock I sent my letter of introduction, 
card and passport to the Tai Foo by the captain of the lifeboat, and 
an hour later we received his card, and word that at noon an official 
would call for us. In the! meantime our apartments were being pre- 
pared in the palace of the Tai Foo. He sent three chairs for us, one 
for myself, one for Mrs. Mcllrath, and one for Leo, our Chinese inter- 
preter, a Shanghai boy, who was quite driven out of his wits at the idea 
that one so high in rank should condescend to provide a chair for a 
foreigner's servant. The Tai Foo was a tall, slender man, middle- 
aged, and very intellectual in appearance. Beckoning us to a sump- 
tuously furnished reception room, he welcomed us in courtly manner, 
and with Leo acting as interpreter, he asked the usual questions con- 
cerning our trip, the cause for undertaking such a journey, how much 
I received a month, if I had seen indications of gold and silver ore in 
China, and endless queries that are kept constantly on hand by ths 
official clan. Gradually the potentate thawed out, his questioning 
ceased, and he began telling of his own affairs. He laid aside the 
peacock plumed bonnet and the gold breastplate, and, clad in his 
blue silk robe, he became simply a well-educated Chinese gentleman. 
He realized that Japan had annihilated and confiscated China's navy, 
defeated her troops and generally "played horse" with the Great 
Dragon. He also knew that the world was round, and that America 
and Great Britain were different countries. 

We were the guests of the Tai Foo for three days, and when we 
were ready for departure he presented us with a purse of 20 taels, 
insisting that we accept it to remunerate us for the enjoyment he 
had derived from our honorable company. As a farewell contribution 
to our part of the entertainment, I rode the bicycle around the gardens, 
causing the wives, children and attaches of the Tai Foo to scream 
with delight, and then call for our chairs. As we took our places in 



AROUND THE WORLD OX WHEELS. 65 

the gaily papered interior of the sedans, the Foo's secretary banded 
me three enormous envelopes covered with imposing seals and large 
characters. These were letters of commendation to the Shen at Van 
Tang TIsien, where we arrived Monday, Aug. 17. There was another 
official reception for us, with the same pageant of chairs, umbrellas 
and ponies. We dined with the Shen, who also stocked oar boat with 
dainty dishes, including hams, ducks, chickens, fish and a young pig. 
The quantity of food provided for us as a single meal would have 
fed six Americans for several days. 

The contract I had made with the boatmen called for 21.000 cash, 
and stipulated that we were to be landed in Wan Hsien in twelve 
days. The cash had been paid the crew in advance, and as the ship 
had occupied twenty-three days, I had been liberal in granling the 
crew extra money, until 17,000 extra cash had been added to the sum. 
But upon our arrival at Wan Hsien the boatman demanded 7,000 cash 
more. I had learned from experience that argument with the coolie 
class did not pay, so when the demand was made I requested that 
the boatman accompany me to the Shen and allow that official to 
decide the difficulty. This proposition he accepted, and as soon as we 
had met the official, presented our passports and letters of introduction, 
and our boy Leo had handed the Shen my receipts, contract and a 
statement of the extras paid, we adjourned to the trial room. In 
vain did our boat captain explain his woes as lie knelt upon the stone 
floor. Unfortunately for himself, he attempted to explain some partic- 
ular point, and instantly the Shen shouted an order, four coolies seized 
him. and stretching him upon the floor, administered 400 strokes with 
a club. I had not expected such an outcome, and when the Shen 
asked through the interpreter if I was satisfied. I could but answer, 
"Only too well." The boatman staggered to his feet, and with piteous 
moans was thrust into a bamboo cage. This seemed to be carrying 
things a little too far, and expostulating with the Shen I succeeded 
in having him released. Paying him 4.000 cash as a recompense. I sent 
him away, grateful that I had not taken advantage of my influence 
and allowed him to remain in the filthy bamboo pen. 

The road from Wan Hsien to Chung King lies directly over the 
mountains. Knowing that upon our journey we would be unable to 
ride our bicycles, we engaged coolies to carry them, and taking the 
conveyance called mountain chairs for the accommodation of ourselves 
and boy, we left Wan Hsien Aug. 20. The Shen furnished us as an 
escort two soldiers and four extra coolies, and with these ad-led to 
our party of five we made quite a little procession as we started on 
our long tramp. At 4:30 o'clock in the afternoon we hailed at a large 
village thirty miles up the mountain. The rain was pouring, and 
5 



GG AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

•while the coolies prepared a room for us in the inn I hastened to 
provide dry clothing and medicine for Mrs. Mcllrath. She had fallen 
ill during the morning, and had I known what distress and alarm 
her indisposition was to cause me I hardly think I should have ever 
ventured into the interior of China. To be ill in a civilized land, whera 
one has all the advantages of medicine, proper food, bedding and 
pure air, is trying enough to one's nerves and peace of mind, but to 
be stricken in a land 300 miles from a white face, confined in a 
dark, damp room, centipedes crawling along the walls, rain dropping 
from the roof, terrible odors from pig pens in the next room, and 
cesspools of filth in the rear, is calculated to affect any sufferer for 
the worse. It was midnight before I could quiet my wife by the use 
of drugs. She insisted upon starting with us the next morning, though 
so weak she had to be carried to her chair. The rain fell in torrents, 
and to protect my patient I tied sheets of oil paper over her chair, 
wrapped her in a flannel blanket, and hung curtains of burlap over the 
doorway. Her condition did not improve for the next three days. 
The rain continued to add to our misery and discomfort, but my stock 
of medicine was running low, and I considered necessary a force:! 
march to Chung King. Several times our coolie chair bearers mutinied, 
and upon one particular rainy night they gave us the slip, forcing me 
to send the Shen's two soldiers after them. They not only deserted, but 
took with them the chair used in carrying Mrs. Mcllrath. But the 
soldiers were faithful to the friends of their master, and captured 
and brought back the truants. It was only by threats to do them bodily 
harm, that I succeeded in making them resume the march next morning. 
I probably threatened more than I would execute, but prompt action 
was imperative. It was either to move rapidly toward Chung King, 
or lose by an agonizing death the little companion of my travels and 
of my life. The path was miserable, the rain fell in a drizzle, and 
the country was half hidden in banks of fog, but never did blue 
skies, green grass, and the sweet air of freedom appear more welcome 
to a released convict than did that dreary view as Ave set forward 
for relief. 



AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 67 

CHAPTER XIII. 

DESERTED BY MUTINOUS COOLIES — DANGEROUS JOURNEY AFOOT TO CHUNG 
KING — THE MOST MYSTIFYING CONJURER OF THEM ALL. 

Once well under way, our rebellious gang traveled peaceably, making 
good time, possibly because we would not permit them to stop for 
rest or a few whiffs of opium in any of the larger villages, thus 
frustrating all attempts they would be certain to make in endeavoring 
to enlist the sympathy of their fellows. The miserable gang, however, 
went upon another strike when at dusk we halted in the village of 
Iluci Sung Chang. The village inn was dirty, as usual, and no more 
a fit place for an invalid than any of the other wretched quarters we 
had previously occupied. When we awoke in the morning of Aug. 31, 
Leo apprised us of the fact that rebellion had once more broken loose. 
The coolies refused emphatically to proceed without more cash. The 
first excuse was that they wanted food, but we had furnished that; 
the second they wanted opium, but the soldiers supplied them; the 
third, they wanted rice wine, and They had been given that also; and 
now they demanded cash. Nothing would satisfy them but good, 
copper hard cash. The soldiers threatened and argued in vain. The 
coolies knew that I had none of the little copper coins with me, my 
funds consisting only of large silver pieces. Their demand for casu 
was working both ways. If I did not give it them they had an excuse 
for leaving. If I did give it them they were just that much more ahead. 
I was about to repeat the object lesson of the day before when the 
boy Leo offered a solution to the difficulty by volunteering to proceed to 
the next city on foot, a distance of twenty-five miles, and exchange one 
of my silver pieces for the required coin. I accepted the proposition, 
and at 7 o'clock the next morning the faithful little fellow arrived with 
5,000 cash. Two thousand cash were given the coolie gang and I 
demanded a completion of the journey and met with refusal. A 
squabble ensued and then the storm broke. About thirty coolies as- 
sembled in the front part of the inn and more filled the streets. With 
the aid of the one coolie, upon whom I could depend, I brought out our 
bicycles and luggage, lifted Mrs. Mcllrath in my arms and placed her 
in the vehicle. This action was the draught of wind which fanned the 
spark into a flame. My own men took their positions silently and the 
little procession started through the long lines of humanity. The 
natives cursed, gesticulated wildly, some striking at us, and others 
threateningly displaying clods and stones in their hands. One villain- 
ous-featured old man followed us, talking confidentially to our men 
and slipping some article into their hands. This overt act, carried on 
through the medium of the long flowing sleeves, aroused my suspicion, 



G8 AHOUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

and at the first village I stopped the outfit and investigated. Illicit 
opium selling was the meaning of the old fellow's sly actions, and I 
could but submit and allow the gang to fill their little tin boxes with 
the low grade "dope" and push on. 

I have never seen outside of hospitals and museums such looking 
creatures as my gang of coolies were, when stripped. They were 
attenuated to such a degree that they were nothing less than breathing 
skeletons. Opium was responsible for it all. Yet there are men who 
profess to have traveled in China who deny that opium is the curse 
that missionaries claim it to be. I am positive that such men are either 
Englishmen protecting the infamy of their own land, which is largely 
an exporter of the drug, or else the remarks are made by men who 
frequent only the hotels and clubs at Shanghai, Hong Kong, Canton 
and Pekin, writing letters concerniDg a people the true character of 
whom it is as impossible to learn at any open port as it is to learn of 
Mormons, Indians or Indiana White Caps in Chicago or New York 
City. I have seen the opium fiend in all stages, from the novice to the 
exhausted hulk, who, paralyzed in every nerve, sits gaunt in a temple 
doorway, his sightless eyes staring with fixed glare from deep, dark- 
circled sockets. Every rib, every bone, even to those in his feet, could 
be seen, and were it not for the odor of the drug which permeates 
every fibre of clothing, they might be considered starved to death. 
Starvation really is the cause, for the devotee has no appetite only for 
the poppy drug. We employed coolies to carry burdens for us, who, 
In traveling one hundred miles, consumed only two bowls of rice during 
the four days spent in negotiating the distance. The lice and tea 
accompanying it cost 48 cash. The remainder of their wages, which 
amounted to 800 cash, was expended in opium. We have experienced 
the annoyance of waiting a half hour for men who had been smoking 
for four. Boatmen on the river, and laborers in the cities do not show 
the ravages of the drug as a class, for as soon as they become actual 
fiends they disappear from the busy arteries of commerce, just as 
drunkards do from active business circles in other lands. 

There is a belt existing for a distance of 600 miles along the lower 
end of the Yang-Tse-Kiang where, at certain seasons of the year, 
principally September, October and November, the sun never shines, 
and if rain inaugurates the initial month a daily precipitation may be 
counted upon. We were in the center of this belt Sept. 3, and our own ex- 
periences gave evidence to the phenomenon. It rained steadily since 
our departure from Wan Shen, Aug. 26, and when we resumed our 
journey on Sept. 3, the roads and bridges rendered testimony to the 
effect of constantly rushing waters. Journeying under such conditions 
was not alone dangerous, but monotonous. One of the happiest 



70 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

moments of our tour was when we ascertained that Chung King was 
but little more than a hundred miles away. Several days drearily 
spent in climbing hills, wading small streams and skating through mud 
ankle deep, brought us within about five miles of Tu To. There we 
were met by a detachment of soldiers from Chung King. We learned 
from them that they had been dispatched by the Shen of Chung King 
to escort us to the city. We had lost so much time through bad roads 
and inclement- weather that the officials of Chung King, who had been 
notified of our coming, had grown anxious and had sent out troops to 
guide us in safety. On Monday, Sept. 7, we obtained an early start, 
reaching a small village on the Yang-Tse-Kiang by noon. In small 
boats we embarked for the city, half a dozen miles above and across 
the river, arriving at 3 o'clock at the metropolis of Western China, a 
city situated on a point of land formed by the junction of the Yang- 
Tse-Kiang and Min rivers. Though Chung King has a greater popula- 
tion of foreigners than any other city on the river, excepting Hankow, 
we were astonished, upon arrival, to pass through miles of business 
streets without a glimpse of settlements of foreign houses. 

It took much diligent inquiry for us to find the residence of Dr. 
J. H. McCartney, surgeon in charge of the American Methodist Hos- 
pital. We were a dirty, mud-stained pair when we at last ascended to 
the veranda of the doctor's comfortable home, but the kindly surgeon 
had heard of the Inter Ocean's enterprise, and he bade us enter before 
inspecting our condition. It would have made little difference had we 
been two-fold more dilapidated in appearance, for I never met a mis- 
sionary surgeon in China who did not entertain us royally, even at the 
sacrifice of his own comfort. As he sat over dessert, discussing our jour- 
ney, tasting the first genuine American pie we had eaten since leaving 
San Francisco, I learned with strangely mixed feelings that the dis- 
trict we had just traveled was the most dangerous in China. Only a 
few weeks prior to our arrival the imperial mail, carried overland, was 
robbed. I could then understand the significance expressed in the 
remark of a certain Shen when he said, "You will have plenty to cause 
you fear before reaching Chung King." I had told him that Mrs. 
Mcllrath and I had no misgivings as to the trip, but had I known that 
mail carriers were assassinated monthly, and that commissioners, 
traveling under protection of one cf the great power's flags, were 
robbed and maltreated, our answer would have been different. 

The interior cities of the Chinese Empire are similar in every 
respect; see one of them and you have seen them all. A visitor to 
Ngau-King need not go to Shaze, the man who has seen Shaze need not 
travel in search of fresh sights to Chung King, and one who has seen 
the native city of Shanghai has literally seen the great aggregation. 



AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 71 

Chung King, situated 1(30 miles from the sea, differed only from the 
others in that the shops of the various trades were grouped, each in- 
dustry occupying a section of the street. The only absolutely new fea- 
tures of the town appeared to be the climate, which is delightful for 
duck and pneumonia propagation, an old conjurer, and the industries 
established by Mr. Archibald Little. The climate is first and most im- 
portant, since it exists in humid, opaque quantities upon all occasions, 
except perhaps when the sun does not happen to be busy elsewhere; 
then only does the sun shine in Chung King. Tig bristles are the fun- 
dimental property of the establishment of Mr. Little, and Uncle Sam's 
people are the chief patrons of it. After the porker has been despoiled 
of his hirsute trimmings, the bristles, sorted into bunches of three, 
four and five inch lengths, are wrapped and shipped to the United 
States for use in brushes. The remaining great attraction of Chung 
King, namely, the conjurer, we met on one of the quadrangles of a 
temple, and for a performance conducted in the open air, by a necro- 
mancer stripped from waist to crown of head, without apparatus or 
appliance, he was marvelous. In a circle formed by the crowd, the 
stone pavement serving as table and stage, the scrawny, wrinkled old 
magician produced from space a curved sword, iron rings, hardwood 
balls, clam shells and bowls. The performance opened with contor- 
tions of the legs and back, and a dislocation and replacement of the 
various joints of the body. The wizard then swallowed a hardwood 
ball two inches in diameter, following this with a few clam shells and 
poking the whole mass down his elastic gullet wth a curved sword. 
Famous sword swallowers of the vaudeville stage of our own country 
may use longer instruments, and swallow equally large objects, hut 
they always leave enough of the swallowed article outside their 
internal grottos to withdraw the obstruction. Our Chinese entertainer 
disdained these sensible precautions, and after we had felt through 
the abdominal walls the point of the curved sword, the ball and the 
clam shells, he removed them in a style which was distinctively all his 
own. To remove the sword, he contracted his waist by pressure of 
both hands, gave a convulsive upheaval and the weapon glided up- 
ward until just an inch or two remained in the throat. Then one of the 
spectators removed the blade at the conjurer's request. The clam 
shells and ball were brought to light in a simple manner, the conjurer 
not touching his hands to his mouth, but spitting them on the ground 
as soon as they appeared between his teeth. 



73 . AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

CHAPTER XIV. 

NEARING THE BOUNDARY LINE OP CHINA — A LONG TRAMP WITH THE WHEELS 
AS IDLERS — A WARNING TO BANDITS. 

We remained under the hospitable roof of Dr. McCartney's resi- 
dence for nine days, during which time Mrs. Mcllrath recovered from 
the serious illness which threatened her in the mountains. Her 
recovery dated from the moment we became the guests of the kind- 
hearted doctor, and was so rapid that she was able to attend dinner 
parties given by Commissioner Schutt, the Misses Galloway and Meyer, 
of the Methodist Deaconess* Home, Rev. Mr. Peet and wife, Rev. Mr. 
Mandy and wife, and to accept the invitation of the latter to visit their 
Industrial School two and a half miles from the city. As all these, 
except the commissioner, were from America, the time passed only too 
rapidly. The evening before our departure, we were very agreeably 
entertained by the Rev. Mr. and Mrs. Claxton, of the English Mission. 
We left Chung King Sept. 17, under Dr. McCartney's guidance, wheel- 
ing out of the west gate of the city. The sun had shown his presence 
on but one occasion of our nine days' -sojourn, and our de- 
parture, like our entry, was made in a drizzling rain. Our road lay 
over hills and valleys through a fertile, but badly torn up country. 
Bicycling was out of the question and we carried our wheels slung on 
bamboo poles in such a manner that they would be ready for use in 
less than two minutes. To prevent rusting we daubed the nickeled 
parts and bearings with vaseline. The saddles were kept dry by tying 
oiled paper over the leather pads. Swung between the poles, which 
were carried by two coolies, the machines rode easily, and yet did not 
hamper the progress of the carriers. The luggage cases, with fresh 
white lettering, informed passers-by (or those of them who could read 
English) that the little procession of which the wheels formed the 
most interesting part, were on a "World's tour for the Inter Ocean, 
Chicago, U. S. A." We accomplished on an average forty miles a day 
until Sept. 20, when the signs of the country indicated that we were 
then in the last province of China, Yunnan, whose chief fame is in its 
proximity to Burmah. Great numbers of Mohammedans offering for 
sale beef, mutton and pork, were to be seen along the road. They were 
not in such number, however, that we felt encouraged in buying the 
flesh displayed, as the Buddhists were in great evidence, and being 
vegetarians, they never tasted meat. We therefore refrained from 
purchasing, reasoning that the beef was probably "shop worn." 

The rain continued to fall in torrents and the last miles of our 
journey through China were made in an ocean of mud. Every gar- 
ment we wore was soaked, our blankets wet through and through, and 



AROUND THE WORLD OX WHEELS. 73 

our shoes were in shreds. We had great difficulty in obtaining coolies 
to carry our burdens, and as I look back upon it now. I can scarcely 
blame them for not wishing to push on from early morn till night with 
a strong west wind driving the sheets of water in their faces. What 
the brave Lenz must have endured with no companion. I can well 
imagine from the recollections of the terrible mental depression offered 
by our trip. As Mrs. Mcllrath and I trudged along, our very misery at 
times became so great that we were able to extract a certain hysterical 
amusement from it. My attire was conglomerate, .1 bicycle cap 
adcrned my head: a Norfolk jacket my body; a pair of pajamas my 
legs; top boots over my feet, and straw sandals tied on these. Over 
my shoulders was draped my red blanket; on my back was strapped 
a Chinese sword; in my hand was a heavy walking-stick, and in my 
holsters a pair of rusty 4-Ys. This mixture of bicycle, bedroom, 
Navajo Indian, cowboy and Broadway costumes delighted Mrs. Mc- 
llrath, who seemed to forget that she wore a dilapidated bloomer cos- 
tume, patched half and half, with a man's sun helmet upon her head. 
Many of the temples, bridges and arches that we passed in the proVinee 
seemed familiar owing to the photographs taken by Lenz and re- 
produced in his articles. I was much disappointed that I could not 
duplicate many of them, but the weather we encountered put an end 
to all thoughts of photography. Still tramping onward in the rain, the 
bicycles seemed to realize our misery, and occasionally when the 
wheels touched against some object they spun for minutes as if re- 
monstrating against being carried and demanding an opportunity to 
"stretch their spokes." Careful inspection daily failed to reveal a fault 
or a flaw in the machines. Cyclists will be pleased to know that 
wooden rims stand all manner of climates. Since leaving Chicago in 
April of '95 to the September of '9<j, we had no occasion to alter or 
adjust either our rims or spokes. 

On Sept. 24 we once more came upon the banks of the Yang- 
Tse-Kinag crossing and re-crossing it three times before getting to 
Sui Foo. In this part of the country we obtained our firs! view of 
a typical Chinese grove of feathery bamboo. Many writers have 
described vividly these beautiful pictures, but I fear many received 
their inspiration from a single tree scattered somewhere along the 
route of their journey. At any rate. I know that the bamboo nourishes 
in groves peculiar to this part of the empire, and I know further 
that, beside ourselves, Lenz and Margary have been the only ones 
Avho ever crossed China overland from coast to boundary line. Gen- 
eral indisposition of Mrs. Mcllrath, myself, and also of the boy Leo, 
delayed us at Sui Foo until Oct. 25. We wanted for nothing 
during our stop in the city, Dr. C. II. Finch and the Rev. Robert 



74 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

Wellwood of the American Baptist Mission being untiring in their 
attentions and courtesies bestowed. Our journey for the next few 
hundred miles continued to be one afoot. By the time we arrived 
at Toa Tung we were so road-bruised that we were compelled to 
knock off our journey and devote two entire days to the applica- 
tion of poultices and hot water to our swollen and blistered feet. 
On Sunday, Oct. 28, after a most exhausting tramp, the Inter 
Ocean tourists reached Tai Kwan Hseen. The road had been over 
the rockiest of mountain paths and we did not have an opportunity 
of riding our wheels until after we had passed through the cities 
of Chau Tung. More than one thousand miles of mud-plastered hills 
and half-submerged valley had we practically walked since entering 
Ichang, and more than 900 miles of that distance had been covered 
during rainstorms. Novice never was prouder, when discharged from 
the padded walls of a cyclery as a full-fledged rider, than were we 
as we flushed down a boulevard leading out of Chau Tung. We cov- 
ered as much as fifty miles before a pause. In our enthusiasm we 
probably overlooked many defects in the road, and corrugations ar.d 
boulders were passed over without any jar to the perfect contentment 
which rendered our spirits oblivious to slight inconveniences. Our 
stop at Chau Tung registered 9,000 miles over the worst roads in 
America, the best in Japan, and the miserable frame-racking paths 
of China, and our wheels still rode as easily and were as rigid as the 
day we pedaled out Washington Boulevard in Chicago. The people 
ran through the fields to head us off, here with laughter and approval 
and again with mumbled threats of resentment at the invasion of 
their land by "the foreign devils on iron horses." Old men joined in the 
unique procession which followed us at times for more than three 
or four miles. 

Knowing that we could wheel but a part of the distance ahead of 
us, we had sent our bicycle carriers to be overtaken on the road 
ahead. We overtook and passed our coolies at a point precisely suited 
to our needs. Checked suddenly by a rocky hill several miles in 
length, we were forced to dismount, deposit our bicycles by the road- 
side and walk on. We might be considered rash for leaving our 
machines unprotected in such a barbarous country, but we knew 
that no persons were on the road between ourselves and coolies, 
and travelers going in the opposite direction would not be met with 
until after reaching the Half-Way Station of the day's journey. 
This important place Mrs. Mcllrath and I reached fully an hour 
before our wheels arrived, and thus had plenty of time to marvel 
why, in such a miserable village of ten tea huts conducted by a hun- 
dred ragged, filthy natives, a magnificent triple archway of granite 



AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 75 

should be erected. Not one of the natives whom we questioned was 
able to explain this problem of why 30,000 silver taels ot the people's 
money had been so expended. 

The coolies overtook us with our -wheels and fairly level road-* 
enabled us to ride the greater part of the distance to Jeang Di, the 
village selected as the stopping place for the night. The paths were 
now trails worn deep into the clay by pony caravans, often so narrow 
that the pedals of the machines would strike the sides alternately, 
and so deep that our handbars skimmed within a few inches of the 
earth's level. We overtook a number of caravans, enjoying many 
comical antics by the sturdy animals who did not appear to be please, 1 
at their first sight of the bicycle. Pedaling along the crests of the 
mountain ranges was delightful. Strong breezes cooled the air, and 
though the sun shone brightly we did not suffer from the heat until 
we descended into Jeang Di, dropping in five miles over six thousand 
feet. In the city the air found no possibility of circulation, and over- 
come with the intense heat and the exertion of the day, Mrs. Mcllrath 
was compelled to retire, while I, scarcely able to understand the 
strange dizziness and confused vision, staggered about as if drunk 
until nausea informed me we had narrowly escaped sunstroke. We 
were told that many native travelers suffered in the same manner. 
and when the descent is considered the change is almost as sudden 
as cold, rare air to stifling heat. Bicycling was out of the question 
next morning and we sent our coolies ahead while we resumed our 
trip on foot. Far up in the mountains, where the air had again turned 
cold and the winds were biting and raw, we passed one of the her- 
mit widows of China, a peculiar class of fanatics, who in Buddhist 
belief are said to receive great merit in the veiled world. Her hus- 
band dying while the marriage festivities were being celebrated, the 
widow vowed never again to marry or participate in earthly pleasures. 
So high in the mountains she made her home and upon a pallet of 
filthy straw she slept by night and sat by day. 

In collecting curios we endeavor to select such of interest as 
we could conveniently carry without additional cost, but in Yunnan 
Foo we inspected a natural curio that I would pay any sum could I 
have transported it to America. The coveted marvel was Chang, the 
Yunnan giant. He was a better specimen of giant than his illus- 
trious namesake who once toured the United States to his great 
profit. When only fifteen years old this junior Chang carried on 
Ins enormous feet six feet of manhood, and later increased Ins height 
to seven feet nine inches and his weight to 340 pounds. He wears 
a No. 13 glove and requires No. 14 shoes. When the missionaries 
ushered into our presence this massive form 1 was too stunned to 



76 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

speak. Clad in the red uniform of the Chinese army, his head 
wrapped in a hlaek turban, he towered above me until I felt that 
he could not possibly be human. Being six feet and a fraction in 
height myself, I am accustomed to look down, or at best on a ravel, 
into the faces of other people, but to be compelled to bend my head 
sharply back to look at this huge fellow's shoulders was a decide.lly 
new experience. As we were riding the "Great Stone Road" from 
Yunnan Foo we passed eleven small cages hung on eleven dead trees. 
In each cage rested the head of a human being. The sight 
was not one to be described. On the ground about the trees 
were baskets, ropes and yokes which had been used in conveying the 
heads from the execution grounds. Not one of the natives who hast- 
ened past with bowed heads dared to touch with foot or hand these 
abandoned trophies. At the next village we were told that the heads 
were those of eleven bandits who robbed a silk shop in the village, 
murdering two men and one woman, and almost causing the death 
of the aged mother of their victims. Decapitation was the punishment 
awarded, and that passing thieves might be warned against sim'lar 
fates, the bodies were buried and the heads hung up as object lessons. 



CHAPTER XV. 



THROUGH CHINA INTO BURMAH — ENTERTAINED LAVISHLY BY BRITISH OPPI 
CERS IN MANDALAY AND MADE TO BLUSH AT A "ZAT FWEI. " 

Days of intense heat reigned, and snow marked our progress 
through the Yunnan and Kwei Chan provinces. The snowstorm rivaled 
in force a Texas blizzard, so exhausting our coolies that they refused 
to go further. We gave them from our surplus store of clothing, and 
put upon their feet extra pairs of our thick woolen socks, so earning 
their gratitude that they consented to proceed a few miles further, 
where we came upon a large hut, which sometimes did service as a 
tavern. We were snow-bound here for three days before we could 
push our way to the British line. 

Wednesday, Dec. 23, our last day in China, found us up bright 
and early, and so impatient that we set out afoot in advance of our 
carriers. Up and down over the sttfne-heaped path, passing numerous 
Chinese forts, and over three ranges of mountains, we walked, climbed 
and stumbled until we sighted a more civilized land— Burmah. Pausing 
only to assure our gladdened hearts that our eyes did not deceive us, 
we plunged down a precipitious path, crossed a swayiug suspension 
bridge of bamboo, and, with a loud hurrah, landed on Burmese soil. 
Mrs. Mcllrath's first action on the new territory was to flop down 




THE MdLBATHS AT BHAMO, BURMAH.-(SeePage79). 



78 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

m the sand and cry; mine to crack the neck from a small bottle, 
and, with a prayer of thanksgiving, a toast to the United States, Queen 
Victoria, the Inter Ocean, and the good wheels we rode, we drank 
the bottle's fizzing contents, and yelled like a pair of cowboys. 

At the water's edge were squatted a few of Great Britain's 
defenders— the black Sepoys of India. We toiled up the hill to the 
stockade above, and as we approached, an individual, who introduced 
himself as Gordon, opened the barrier gates and invited us to come 
inside. Our advent was expected, and other formalities of introduction 
were unnecessary. We remained the guests of Gordon over night, as. 
our coolies, with the bicycles, did not arrive until after sundown. 

As I looked back over the last eleven months, my recollections 
become almost kaleidoscopic in their variations. For eleven months we 
were the guests of the Mongolians, having them for companions both 
day and night; we had adopted their customs, ate, slept and journeyed 
with them for weeks isolated from a white face, and we felt on our 
arrival in Nampong that we were competent to judge as very few 
others the true character of the long queued Orientals. Our trip from 
Shanghai had involved 4,200 miles of walking, riding and climbing. 
We had been pursued by howling mobs; we had slept in swamps 
and rice fields; we had been fired upon, cut at with knives, lunged 
at by spears, and stoned innumerable times; often running a gauntlet 
of maddened natives, with clods and stones falling about us like hail. 
Coolies of the lowest and officials of the highest type had sheltered 
and entertained us; pleasures and pain had been our lot; from a palace 
as honored guests we had been altered in forty-eight hours to besieged 
beings, expecting to fight for our lives; lost in snowstorms, wading 
in streams, creeping around landslides, our journey has been fraught 
with many dangers; death in the garb of pestilent disease had brushed 
shoulders, feasted at the same table and slept in the same apartment 
with us; we had been ragged and hungry, yet now, on Burmese soil, not 
a word of regret could be expressed for all the hardships we had 
suffered. For myself, there is due little credit. I simply accomplished 
that which I understood must be done when we entered China, but 
to the heroic little woman who pleaded to be allowed to share my 
hardships, is all credit due. Never did she falter when the mobs 
gathered around us, and when the last possible recourse permitting 
escape from death and torture seemed exhausted, she was firm and 
quiet. 

Of the Chinese as a people, individually and collectively, we learned 
them to be a weak race, morally and mentally. Opium, liquor and 
disease have set their marks upon millions. In trade the natives are 
unscrupulous, and chivalry or respect toward women does not exist. 



AROUND THE WORLD OX WHEELS. 79 

Cruel to the extreme, with a cultivated ferocity they are most arrant 
cowards, and yet, most overbearing when in numbers. The country 
itself is rich with precious metals, commercial minerals, oil and fibrous 
grasses, as yet either unknown to the natives, or else requiring too 
much labor to extract. Improvement or advancement in civilization 
or mercantile industries will never take place in China while governed 
by China. The supreme egotism of the natives prevents the adoption 
of anything modern or anything foreign. The official classes are 
do less corrupt. Banded together, as if a society for pillage, they 
prey upon the people, aided by the more unprincipled priests, and 
woe to the merchants and peasants who enter court to obtain justice. 
Such, briefly, is China as the Inter Ocean cyclists found it to be. 

The first Burmese village into which we wheeled was Myathit, 
situated in one of the dustiest, hottest, driest portions of all India. 
There were fine shade trees dotting the white, dusty road, and every- 
where were to be seen the curiously attired people from all parts of 
India and Burmah. I could distinguish the Indians by their garbs 
of white, some exit into long frock coats and tight trousers, others 
Into jackets, with long, flowing trousers gathered at the ankles. Huge 
White turbans were knotted about the heads of the Indians, a bit 
of liright color in the center being the only relief in the entire study 
of black hands and faces framed in a setting of immaculate white. 
The Burmese women, as a rule, are handsome. I was aided in this 
discovery by Mrs. Mcllrath. who pointed out to me, as a type, a beauty 
possessing a complexion like cream, with the pink tint of peach blos- 
soms. When Mrs. Mcllrath announces that a woman is beautiful I 
accepl it without argument. She, and not I, is the censor in such 
matters. 

One could not. imagine a more insipid place to live in than Bahmo, 
the military and trading coast where we were quartered. The hours 
of life are routine and monotonous, excepting when one is fortunate 
enough to own a membership or to have a card to the Bahmo Club. 
For thirty days in luxuriant idleness (of course not counting the 
many short trips awheel in and about the city), we lingered in Bahmo, 
living in the bungalow of the China inland missionary. Bicycling in 
the district of Bahmo affords limited journeys, but we managed to 
travel twenty miles away, and visit the government hospital, the 
provincial jail and a number of coffee plantations. 

We sailed from tins large, but rather uninteresting, city on Jan. 25, 
1897, taking passage on one of the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company's mail 
steamers, the Monein. After three days' steaming the Momein tied 
up at the dock in Mandalay, the capital city of Burmah, and sung of by 
Mr. Kipling in his clever verses, "On the Road to Mandalay." During 



80 AROUND THE WORLD OX WHEELS. 

the reign of Kings Mindoon and Theebaw, in order that the palaces 
might be protected from invaders, the buildings were erected far to 
the inland, under the shadow of Mandalay hill. Wheeling over the 
hard macadam was a delight, and merrily we whirled off me miles 
intervening, until we alighted, at last, at the European hotel, the first 
that had welcomed lis since leaving Hankow, China. In our journey 
of the globe, having been the guests of thousands of people, we must 
credit the members of the Burmah Club, fifty per cent of whom are 
British officers, with being the most attentive and kindly organization 
at whose hands we received courtesies. As a body they wined us, 
dined us, gave picnic excursions on the river, drives, bicycle rides, 
obtained invitations to various native celebrations, and put forth 
every effort to render our sojourn instructive and pleasant. Bicycling 
with several Europeans who were fortunate enough to own cycles 
was one of the most delightful features of our entertainment. The 
roads were excellent, and wheeling in the cool air of early morning, 
one of the many delightful temples or majestic pagodas the objective 
point of our excursion, is a pleasure to be enjoyed only on British 
roads in an Oriental country. It was our privilege, on Feb. 12 to 
witness a wedding of royal blood. The ex-Xyanugwe Saw Bwa 
"requested the pleasure of the company of Mr. and Mrs. Mcllrath at 
his home, in South Moat Road, on the occasion of the marriage of his 
daughter Saw Kin Gwi with the Sawbued of South Theinni, and also 
on the same night, to witness a Zat Pwei." The ceremonies were per- 
formed by the highest class native officials and Sir Frederick Fryer, 
first lieutenant governor of Burmah. To appear successfully at such a 
state function one is supposed to dress appropriately, and I felt greatly 
embarrassed in my knickerbockers as I mingled in the blaze of red 
uniforms, royal Scotch plaids, gold lace, decorations, and the jewels 
and dainty gowns of the ladies. Extravagant as are the English in 
costuming for each event and occasion of the day, the guests did not 
appear to notice the greasy, dusty and patched raiment which com- 
prised my only wardrobe, and did all they could to make me feel 
at home. The verbal portion of the marriage ceremony was unin- 
telligible to me, but the "business," as an actor would describe it, 
made It quite plain to the most casual observer that the dusky pair 
who formed the center piece of a most interesting group were being 
united in the holy bonds of wedlock. 

The usual check from "papa" was not seen as we inspected the 
wedding gifts, but there was a profusion of diamonds and siiver plate. 
The diamonds were just such as are admired by Burmans, huge yellow 
beauties, set in dull gold rings, the base uppermost and the radiating 
surface concealed. Just why the Burmans reverse the European idea 



AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 81 

of setting gems is difficult to explain, but the prevailing idea is that 
the gem is so set to resemble the pagodas and pyramids so omnipresent 
and revered in Burmah. Diamonds valued as high as 30,000 rupees, 
or about $10,000 in our money, are set in this manner, and the color 
is invariably yellow. The Zat Pwei, which was next on the program, 
proved to be a theatrical performance. It began with an overture 
by the orchestra, the music typically Oriental; then came the dancers 
of the company, followed by the event of the evening, the drama. 
Just what the play was called, or what the plot was about, was vague 
to all the Europeans present, but as the dialogue progressed the 
audience warmed up and the actors became enlivened. Dropping their 
theatrical drawl and stagy manner which had characterized the first 
hnlf hour, the performance developed into repartee of suggestive tone. 
In fact, the most unblushing French jokes would look well upon 
Sunday-school cards after listening to a series of Zat Pweis. As our 
party was entirely dependent upon a native interpreter for translation, 
and as this gentleman did not regard the performance from a European 
standpoint, the entertainment soon reached a stage which required the 
withdrawal of the ladies, and at midnight, with a farewell congratula- 
tion to our host, we returned to the hotel, satisfied that Zat Pweis 
were most interesting— to bachelors and a few other gentlemen. 



CHAPTER XVI. 



THE CYCLING FEVER BREAKS OUT IN RANGOON — PRIZE FIGHTING UNDER 
REMARKABLE RULES — ACROSS THE BAY OF BENGAL TO CALCUTTA. 

Cycling in Burmah proved extremely monotonous, and the dullest 
of all the dreary rides we experienced were here. Nowhere was there 
a variety of scene or change from the level valley, with its dusty, 
winding roads stretching out under the blistering tropical sun. The 
air was ever stifling hot; it smarted our dilated nostrils; seemed to 
stuff our gasping lungs and blister the backs of our hands and necks, 
and a ride of three hours at a stretch caused us to relax ibto a sort 
of stupor, from which we could only arouse ourselves by repeated 
efforts. Had we reached Burmah during the fall of the year, we 
could have made good progress, but now tedious delays, entirely beyond 
our control, hampered us, and we had to face not only the famine 
and plague-infested land, but the white man's greatest enemy, the 
summer sun, which, in its molten glare, kept the temperature above 
100, night and day, making death and heat apoplexy quite as possible 
as from the epidemic of cholera and bubonic fever. We left Mandalay 
at daybreak on March 1, and started over the dusty roads to Ran- 
6 



82 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

goon, 400 miles south. Mandalay had been the point which we had 
selected to observe the characteristics and customs of the natives, 
and, unlike the efforts put forth in the same channel in China, we 
found the duties pleasant and fraught with happy little incidents. 
Burmans resemble the Japanese to a certain extent; not so cleanly, 
energetic, intelligent or independent, but possessing the same admirable 
faculty of being happy, smiling and self-complacent undei circum- 
stances which would fill any other being's soul with pessimistic vaga- 
ries. Farming, carpentry and carving appear to be the only occupa- 
tions left them, for everywhere was seen the submissive black who 
followed the rush of England into the land of milk and honey and rice 
and rubies. 

"Othello's occupation gone" is true of the Burman. Blacks are the 
scavengers, sweepers, table servants, cooks, butlers, porters, coachmen, 
tailors and merchants. Eurasians, the half-castes, whose yellow skin 
and coarse black hair betray their early English ancestors, and the 
blacks are selected to act as clerks, hospital attendants, telegraph 
operators and railroad clerks. "Baboo," the English and natives call 
them, and, if another letter had only been added to the name, the 
term would have been quite appropriate. With all these occupations 
lost to him, the native still appears to do well, always in silk and 
spotless muslin, smoking incessantly cigarettes or huge cheroots, which 
scatter sparks like a working fire engine. The women of the Indian 
races act as laundresses, nurses and maids. Thus, with aimost all 
the natural trades and occupations taken by invaders, little is left 
for the Burman but the profession of thief and thief-catcher, both 
synonymous in Burman, where a policeman is feared not for his 
authority, but for the blackmailing such office permits him to levy upon 
wrong-doers and innocent upon whom suspicion rests. 

We had many companions on the road to Rangoon. On every side 
were Burmans on foot, on horse, and in the low-roofed box-like carts, 
which creaked and groaned as the gentle, curved-horned beasts drew 
them along. We passed Indians wbo walked hand-in-hand, and Chi- 
nese gardeners who swung along at a rapid pace, though their backs 
were bowed with the weight of fresh vegetables. Bicycles did not seem 
to attract much attention in the motley throng, the only persons 
acting as though our presence was unusual being the women bathing 
around the stone-topped wells, and they only because the icy waters 
that dashed and poured over their bodies had caused the only gar- 
ment they wore, a short, scant skirt, to cling closely to their limbs, 
revealing every outline of symmetrical figures. 

The craze for wheeling had just reached an interesting stage in 
Rangoon at the time of our visit. The demand for machines exceeded 



84 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

the supply, and as a result there was to be seen every morning and 
evening the most interesting parade of antiquities ever witnessed 
outside of a bicycle show. American machines of modern make were 
a close second to the new English product, but wheels entitled to 
the utmost respect due to old age formed the creaking, groaning 
majority. The riders, too, were curious, the Europeans first in num- 
bers, Eurasians second, and the Indian-Chinese-Burman, the mongrel 
of all Asia, making up the balance. The positions, too, some of the 
riders assumed were remarkable. The "hump" had not reached the 
far East, the rat-trap pedal and toe-clip were unknown, and with 
handle-bars wide as the horns of a Texas steer, seats suspended on 
coil after coil of spring, low and set far back over the rear wheel, 
the tread eight and ten inches wide, the riders reversed the "hump" 
and appeared to be sitting on the dorsal vertebra, pumping much as 
a bather swimming on his back. There were many places of historical 
interest in and around Rangoon, and as all points were available by 
cycle, our good old wheels were kept busy. The turning point of 
our morning spins, the teak lumber yards, permitted sights which 
would delight the little folks at home as much as they secured the 
attention of tourists here. Elephants, great, huge, dirty fellows, void 
of all the tinsel trappings of the circus, were the attraction, as daily 
they performed the most arduous labor which in America is done 
by cranes and derricks. In harness of chains, the beasts drew enor- 
mous logs from the river to the carriage at the saws, and with 
ropes wound around their trunks they dragged the rough slabs into 
a yard and piled them in precise heaps. With trunk coiled as a 
cushion against their tusks, they pushed enormous pieces of timber 
into the proper places, each piece being placed in exact position, with 
the ends carefully "trimmed." Gentle and meek as the laborers are 
in appearance, as, with flapping ears and timid little eyes, they obey 
their commands, they sometimes become mutinous. In the McGregor 
yard, which we visited one morning, we were shown one of the largest 
and best workers of the herd, who had just been released from "jail." 
He had been in confinement four months, laden with chains, deprived 
of delicacies, and treated as a criminal, simply because he had wan- 
tonly walked upon and then tossed his keeper into the air. The 
beast apparently realized the disgrace which had been heaped upon 
him, for he obeyed his new master without even pausing to blow 
dust on his back or plaster his huge sides with cooling, fly-proof mud. 

With the advent of English rule in Burmah, native athletic sport 
degenerated, and became supplanted in time by horse race.i of most 
corrupt nature. When I state that ibe racing is corrupt I have but 
to cite two instances which occurred at the meeting of the Mandalay 



AROUND THE WORLD OX WHEELS. 85 

Club during our visit to that city. A captain in Her Majesty's army 
placed 3,000 against 1,000 rupees that a certain horse, which we will 
designate as A, would win over the Held presenting two horses, B and 
C. Of the latter. C was clearly outclassed, consequently the race was 
between A and B. You may judge of the bookmakers' surprise 
when they learned in the afternoon that the gallant captain was to 
ride B, the horse he had bet against. The race had but one possible 
outcome, A won. Another race was started and finished in absolute 
darkness. Xo lights were used on the tracks, the horses were dark 
in color, and the jockeys the same, but the judge readily named the 
winner, and the bookmakers lost again. 

A native prize fight is even more remarkable, though always con- 
ducted "on the square." I do not know the rules governing the ring 
in Burmah. but so few methods of attack are barred that one need 
not bother himself on that point. Biting, hair-pulling and kicking a 
fallen opponent are the only prohibited acts. I was invited to be 
present at a series of combats which took place in the arena near 
the Shway Dagon pagoda in Rangoon. Facing each other, the fighters 
stood a pace apart, the referees opposite each other, also, forming 
a square. The referees clapped their chests, the combatants smote 
themselves likewise, there was a great roar of voices, and before I 
could really notice how it happened, the fighters were wriggling on 
the tanbark. A flash of dark skins through the sun's rays, the 
clapping sounds of palms on necks, backs and thighs, a Catherine wheel 
of legs, arms, heads and tanbark, and the round was over. Separated 
by the referees, the men retired to their corners, drank bottles of 
soda water, took fresh chews of betel nut, and good-naturedly listened 
to the gratuitous advice from their friends in the audience. The 
referees called round two by slapping their chests. The fighters were 
more cautious as they went at each other, the up-country man opening 
the round by kicking his antagonist in the chest. A vicious uppercut 
with a swinging knee was next landed by the local man, and as it 
reached the curry and rice department of the up-country man, events 
looked bright for Rangoon. Blows, swung right and left, up and down, 
were delivered like a man chopping wood. The Rangoon man made a 
supreme effort to feint, and in doing so he actually struck something, 
and unexpectedly ended the bout. Leaping high in the air, be kicked 
the up-country man square on the nose. The blood flew, and the fight 
was over. Blood drawn, if only from a scratch, constitutes a victory 
for the unbled one, and two minutes later the fighters had received 
their reward, coins tossed into the ring by spectators. 

Two years to a day after leaving Chicago we walked up the gang- 
plank of the steamship "Africa," booked for Calcutta, only three days 



ABOUND Tin; WORLD ON WHEELS. 

across tbe formidable Bay of Bengal Mrs. Mcllrath developed her 
usual attack of sea sickness, though the water was unruffled, and 
was kept in her cabin for the enure voyage, leaving me to occupy 
tbe daylight hours wandering among the deck pasi g The first. 

Impression one receives on tending at the port of Calcutta is that the 
city in one vast cab stand. "Ghan the natives' hacks are called, 

line the walks, crowd the streets, rest under the shades of treed in 
parks. and stand at the curb in front of hotels and shops. The dust, rat- 
tle and ban;.' caused by these shaky, dirty vehicles, which are dr s 
about by horses at snail's pace, i- a nuisance second only to the tram 

and one which would Ik- tolerated only by custom-bound, "strictly- 
in-form" Englishmen. Streets in Calcutta wander aimlessly along, sim- 
ilar to the rail fences in Indiana, and the buildings, uniformly of 
staff-covered briek, are of every imaginable size and shape, as if 
architects were of one mind in determining to try all kinds in an 
effort to obtain one adapted to the climate. Sidewalks, roads and paths 
are packed with white-dad natives, barefooted and bareheaded, in the 

: glare of heat, which -' dead, unless their heads are 

yet. i,o;,<. of the Macks appear to suffer. l>oors of hotels 
and shops are kept open, but hanging in the appertures are heavy 
mats of a peculiar grass, which coolies wet with pails of water, and by 
which means the air is cooled. Everywhere the heat is talked about 
and jruarded against, and yet. with huge fan- SWUUg constantly over 

bead, with coding draughts on a table by your side, the perspira- 
tion pours, from every part of the body. On" hundred and ten degrees 
in the shady corridors of the Continental hotel, the coolest in all India. 
'.>* degrees at. night, and this was. the country -d on bkq 

jnvoi l 2,000 mil'.-" travel, and beyond the pale of U 

daily dean clothes! Bicycles are ridden extensively in Calcutta, com- 
naratit - ore than 3,000 wheels being enumerated in 

the tax list at the time I was in the 'jty. There are, however, only 
about three months in the year favorable to ridings-December, Janu- 
ary and February. In other months cycling i- tolerable onlj 
the hours of 5 and 8 in the morning and evening. This, of eo 
applies only to the Europeans, and not to the natives, who ride in 
the intcj, ' midday without the slightest difficulty. A 

calculated to arouse laughter in a wooden cigar . one of the 

proud 4 an old solid-tire, with hammock saddle and wide 

He-bars, as he plows along the road, making erratic dives, like 
misbalaiM i 

The frequented road is a short strip on the Maidan, an 

ions dealing, tire and seven-eighths miles in circumference, in 

which is ritual William- R macadam skirt the 



ABOUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

park. and amid cricket colt" and football grounds - ataes aud 

columns erected to Englishmen who have performed satisfactory d 
in India. Eden Garden, at one end of the Maidan. is 
and here, morning and evening, a well-directed baud plays - 
to charm > - rated its' - Dug in early even- 

g the Strand is also gratifying. The sti s ct aded with 
n in white and red robes, silver anklets aud DC - their 

head and ma ss - - but faintly 

Burr. - _ - ire also a the river shore. The I : mru- 

j ghats v ■•aud road affords a dation for the 

- simultaneously. In appearance, the ere: 
unpretentious, simply a low-roofed structure divided into an aleov, 
rwe waiting rooms for mown - Inter - - isited the 

crematory, and - >wn throughout tl - - at by an 

superintended the force of men who kept going 
under tit: • - Not of less interest, but far less disag 

- .ucrively Calcutta feature. KaB i - - temple d< 

to Kali, goddess - reputed in Hindoo lor. ss SS 

- for blood, and to appease and propiti.v 

are made. Formerly human be ss offered, but 

rule the custom was abolished, an I kids goats subs 

is the method offered, and as fas - - 
rd. the bleeding little things ire seined 

t s] ish with a henry knife, and tk< ss trunk is 

thrown to the ground We witnessed the religious rites of 
aud Chinese, and we had seen the • - Mfican 

ins, but nothing approaches the furious sm aud the frenxy 

Hindoo at Kah g x - se» 

shi I 

lr te. . — - of half a doaett h 

an entrance into the temple, and ras - - 90 

nrfce we were s we oh:. 1 se of the 

Her fa 
, s of an octapus: 

red tongues • skutta goddess 

'vH-il the • - ition of destruction — - vpul- 

- 

i. who. with - ts» toss - » the 

- 

chl about by neg to s 

- d and criH ! 



88 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

and that one of the devout worshipers might easily plunge a knife 
in our backs, and thus earn his way to Hindoo heaven with ease and 
glory. I can assure my readers that we felt easier and more com- 
fortable when once more in our gharry and the horses on a dead run 
en route back to the hotel. We learned from a priest at the ghat why 
Calcutta is so named, the title being a British corruption of Kalikata, 
the name bestowed by the Emperor Akbar, in 1500, in commemoration 
of the proximity of Kali ghat. We were in Calcutta two weeks before 
the cycling fraternity knew of our arrival. When they finally discov- 
ered our presence, we floated along on a wave of popularity. Cyclists, 
dealers and agents were our daily companions and callers. American 
machines were well-known anl liked, and wood rims and single-tube 
tires were looked upon with doubt, but after an inspection of the 
hardest-used pair of wheels the world ever knew, wood rims and single 
tubes took on the ascendency. 



CHAPTER XVII. 



NIGnT RIDING THROUGH INDIA TO ESCAPE THE HEAT — THREE IMPUTENT 
ENGLISH WHEELMEN ENCOUNTERED AT BENARES. 

We left Calcutta early on the morning of May 4. taking the Strand 
road, across the sacred Hoogly river by means of the Jubilee bridge. 
We were accompanied for a brief distance by Mr. W. S. Burke, editor 
of the Asian, the only legitimate sporting paper in the East. To this 
gentleman were the Inter Ocean tourists indebted for maps, guidance 
and excellent entertainment while in the city. He piloted us through 
a road shaded by magnificent palm trees, an avenue 40 feet wide, level 
as a billiard table and smooth as asphalt. Mr. Burke intormed us 
that this was the "GraDd Trunk" road, our path across India from 
shore to shore. Most of our riding was done at a fast clip, in spite of 
the fact that we carried full luggage cases, camera, guns, water can- 
teens, lamps, and bells to the extent of 50 pounds each. Only twice 
did we dismount in the twenty-five-mile run to Chandernagore, once to 
induce a cautious gate tender at a railroad crossing to open the gates, 
the second time to view the terrible cars of Juggernaut. Much has 
been written concerning these vehicles and the manner in which 
they are hauled about on festive occasions, and in former days crushed 
out the lives of hundreds of devout fanatics, who endeavored to reach 
heaven by self-sacrifice. One would naturally believe that such bar- 
baric practice had been done away with by British rule, but such is 
not the case, and, despite the presence of police and soldiery, each 
time the towering car is hauled out by worshipers some j)oor, weak- 
minded wretch hurls himself under the ponderous wooden rollers. 



90 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

Burke, good-natured, fat and jolly, left us at Chandernagore, but 
not before a breakfast at the same hotel where, three years ago, he 
had breakfasted with poor Lenz, served by the same woman, who 
spoke also of "the fine little lad" who was lost in Armenia. Intense 
heat made riding dangerous during the day, and after we left Burd- 
wan, on May 5 (81 miles from Calcutta), the greater part of our 
progress was accomplished at night. We never realized what Indian 
heat signified until now. The coolness of night offers many induce- 
ments for bullock-cart caravans to travel, and a sharp outlook has 
to be maintained for these obstacles. Our arrival at the Hotel de Paris 
in Benares, on May 12, completed one-fourth the run across India, a 
total of 496 miles from Calcutta, representing a succession of night 
rides, with stops for refreshment and rest at the bungalows along the 
route. Night riding in India is the only way to avoid paralyzing heat, 
but it has its terrors and dangers, and after some of my experiences in 
the jungle between Delhi and Benares, I should say that if I had 
the trip to make over again, I should undoubtedly trust to the mercies 
of the sun. We encountered leopards by the score, and though leopards 
in India are not supposed to attack humans, we could not help our 
misgivings at the sight of the graceful creatures, as they silently 
bounded their way through the jungle. 

0'ir arrival at the Hotel de Paris caused much excitement. The 
English do not read newspapers as generally as do the Americans, 
and, with but one exception, not one man around the hotel had the 
slightest idea who we were, where we were from, or what we were 
doing. In fact, after reading the "World's Tour for the Inter Ocean, 
Chicago, U. S. A.," as printed in large white letters on our luggage 
cases, many asked us politely, "Pray, what is the meaning of the 
legend?" We had learned while in Calcutta that Messrs. Lowe, Lum 
and Frazer, who had left England on a cycling tour of the world 
in 1890, were on their way across India, and that in all probability we 
would meet them in Benares. We looked forward with much pleasure 
to the occasion of joining hands with cyclists who understood the 
hardships of great journeys in strange lands, but the meeting occa- 
sioned us an unexpected set-back in our natural affection for fellow 
wheelmen. The trio arrived on the second day of our visit in Benares, 
and immediately sent word that they wanted to see me. I called upon 
them, and was greatly surprised to ascertain that they looked upon 
Mrs. Mcllrath and myself as frauds. They questioned me closely as 
to my journey, and concluded by commenting upon the strangeness 
of the fact that they had never heard of us before. This I did not 
regard as unseeming, since few of the inhabitants of "the tight little 
isle" do know what is occurring in the greater part of the world 



AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 91 

not under British taxation. Fifteen minutes' conversation with the 
Frazer outfit convinced me that the new aspirants to globe-girdling 
honors entertained little respect for Americans in general, and ourselves 
in particular. Lenz they declared emphatically a nonentity in cycling 
history; Tom Stevens was totally unreliable, and as for ourselves, we 
had undergone no hardships, and were comparatively new. They 
probably did not like Stevens because he was the original "round 
the world on bicycles;" Lenz because he had accomplished single-handed 
more up to the time of his death than these fellows could accomplish 
over the route they had selected, if they completed their program; 
and Mrs. Mcllrath came in for her share of contempt because a wee, 
slender woman, she had encompassed what they averred they would 
attempt, in a number strong enough to cross the threshold of any 
earthly inferno with impunity. 

Their object in circling the world was simply to make the journey, 
selecting the shortest, most expeditious route, and arriving home as 
quickly as possible. Frazer was once a "journalist/' he informed me. 
but had deserted journalism to become an author, and write stories 
for a magazine called the "Golden Penny." While I confessed knowl- 
edge to the existence of the Strand, Pall Mall and other magazines in 
England, I dropped another peg lower in the estimation of n>y friends 
because the "Golden Penny" was not included in my list of acquaint- 
ances. The. machines the cyclists rode were, of course, English make, 
weighed twelve pounds more than our own, and were equipped with 
mud guards, gear cases and brakes. The tires were double-tube, and 
the fourth pair for each machine were now in use, while we were using 
the same set of single tubes placed on our wheels in America. Their 
machines showed signs of wear, the front forks of each having been 
broken, and now, after only one year's use, the frames creaked pain- 
fully and the apparatus generally looked badly "used up." The luggage 
of each man was carried in a small valise fastened on the mud guard 
over the rear wheel, and large tool bags hung in the angles of the 
frame. Each carried a short-barreled, cheap revolver, and Lowe, the 
most gentlemanly and intelligent of the trio, carried a camera. It is 
needless to comment further upon these gentlemen. They announced 
their intention of visiting America, and one declared, as I informed him 
how cordial he would find our cyclists, mayors, governors, and even 
the president: "We shall not bother about Americans much; after 
being entertained by the Shah of Persia, we have decided to let your 
American dignitaries alone." 

We were entertained, while at Benares, in the castle at Fort Ram- 
magar by the Maharajah of Benares, one of the native princes of 
India. His Highness sent a magnificently appointed carriage to the 



92 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

hotel for us, with the proper quota of coachmen and liveried footmen; 
greeted us in excellent English, and soon displayed his foreign tenden- 
cies by direct inquiry about cycling, American foot-ball and base-ball, 
proudly assuring us that he was an enthusiastic foot-ball and polo 
player. Nothing but our anxiety to get home led us to decline his 
urgent invitation to remain his guest for a fortnight, and enjoy a 
jungle hunt from the backs of trained elephants. The kindness of the 
Maharajah did not cease with our visit to the palace, but each day 
we were the recipients of delicious fruit fresh from his garden, and 
upon our departure, on May 22, we carried letters of introduction 
to native gentlemen and officials along our route, who were requested 
to show us every attention and furnish us desired information which 
would prove of interest to the readers of the Inter Ocean at home. 
Still holding to the Grand Trunk road, we set out for Allahabad. The 
road was lonely and monotonous, and a few miles out from Benares 
there burst upon us a typical tropical tornado. In a second's time the 
air was darkened and filled with sand. Striking us from a quarter 
over our right shoulders, the force of the wind pushed us along at 
a frightful rate. Sand struck against our goggles with a gritting 
crunch, filled our nostrils and ears, and forced its way into our 
mouths. Leaves and twigs struck our faces with stinging force, and 
shrieking and groaning under pressure of the terrible blasts, the trees 
along the road threatened every moment to crush us. It was after 
dusk when the storm subsided, and we found shelter in a village 
25 miles away from Benares. On May 27, in Allahabad, we were 
given an example of India's fiercest heat. Thermometers indoors, under 
the influence of fans, exhibited 112 degrees, and in the sunlight open 
the gauge showed 105 degrees, heat almost beyond the comprehension 
of Americans. We remained but one day in the oven-like hotel, 
starting at 4 o'clock the next morning, riding until 9, then resting along 
the roadway until nightfall, making Hie journey by such easy stages 
to Cawnpore, "the Manchester of India." 

Places of historical interest in Cawnpore are calculated as four 
In number: first, the site of the government magazine, where Gen. 
Wheeler, in charge of Cawnpore forces in 1S57, should have erected 
his fortifications of defense; second, the memorial church and the open 
field south of the structure, where he did assemble his limited force 
and the refugees; third, the Suttee Chowra ghat, where the massacre 
of the retiring troops and civilians took place; and fourth and last, 
Memorial Garden, which commemorates the massacre of the company 
of women and children, and the well into which the living were cast 
with the dead. We left Cawnpore on Monday, June 1, for Lucknow, 
one of the most populous cities of India, situated directly east fifty 



94 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

miles. We sought out the main road without much difficulty, but 
for the first seven miles we had any amount of trouble, through about 
as rough and uneven bit of country as one could imagine. As we 
had left Cawnpore at 5 o'clock in the afternoon, we had run up only 
20 miles to our credit ere darkness compelled us to light our lamps. 
While engaged in this operation our attention was attracted by awful 
groans at one side of the roadway. Thinking some poor outcast was 
dying, I selected one of the lamps and proceeded to investigate. A 
Wide ditch barred my progress at the edge of the road, and, mindful 
of the motto, "Look before you leap," I flashed the cycle lamp rays 
on the opposite side to select a favorable place to alight. There was 
none in the immediate vicinity, for as the bright rays penetrated 
the gloom, they revealed a large, fine cheetah, or panther, crouched 
in the edge of the brush, his eyes fixed on the glare of my lamp, and 
his fangs disclosed in excellent array. The sight was a rare one, but 
as I had learned from books all I cared to know about the habits of 
wild beasts. I almost broke the lamp in my haste to extinguish it 
and get. the ever-handy 45. Cautiously picking my way back to the 
wheels, Mrs. Mellrath and I made the chains and sprocket wheels 
grind out a merry tune to Lucknow. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

RACE FOB LIFE WITH A MAD DROVE OF BUFFALO — UNCLE SAM'S FLAG A 
FEATURE OF THE QUEEN'S JUBILEE CELEBRATION AT DELHI. 

It was our idea to see the sights of Lucknow in two days and 
return to Cawnpore on the evening of the second, but our plans were 
changed, as Messrs. Thoburn, Robinson and Mansell, of the American 
Methodist Mission, called upon us at the hotel and transferred us, bag 
and baggage, to the Mission as their guests. Under their guidance we 
remained in Lucknow a week. Having returned to Cawnpore. we 
resumed our journey on June 11, making rapid progress, principally 
during the nights. Ever since entering China, more than a year before, 
we had seen daily countless numbers of the hairless, black, water 
buffalo. Many Europeans fear them and consider them dangerous, but 
they treated us with deference until Sunday, June 20, when we 
encountered a herd of the fierce looking, cumbersome beasts while 
pedaling our way to Delhi. I do not believe the buffalos had any 
premeditated intention of attacking us, but as we wheeled slowly 
through a drove, a calf became imbued witb the idea that bicycles 
were dangerous. He bolted straight down the road in front of us, 
running like a winner for a quarter of a mile. Then he was attracted 



AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 95 

by some tempting green leaves, ami baited to browse upon tbem. As 
soon as we passed him. the machines which had frightened him became 
an attraction, and he meekly trotted out and fell in line behind us. 
The mother, who had been lumbering along in the rear, became excited 
at the unusual conduct of her son, gave a few short snorts, and set 
out in pursuit. Immediately the entire drove joined in the novel 
race, and, with a thundering clatter of hard hoofs ringing in our 
ears, we realized that we were being pursued. Faster and faster we 
spun along, and as native pilgrims beard the uproar, they gave one 
glance at the avalanche of bicycle and buffalo sweeping down upou 
tlu in and scattered to the right and left. We tried, by shouting and 
waving helmets at the calf, lo drive him away, but in vain, and the 
affair, which had been amusing at first, settled down into a race for life. 
It is impossible, as readers know, lo take to a tree when on a cycle, 
so there was nothing else to do but set a pace for a crazy calf and 
a drove of jealous buffalo, and for the next mile and a half we did so. 
How the calf came to change his mind about joining his fortune with 
ours I do not know, but a sudden cessation of the clatter behind 
us revealed on sight the calf recumbent in a pool of water, with his 
sympathizing friends and relatives standing by, grimly looking after 
us. This was the outcome of the buffalos' end of the race; ours was 
garments soaked with perspiration, panting breath, and ourselves so 
heated and flushed we were dizzy and faint. 

The Queen's Jubilee, celebrated Hie day following our arrival in 
Delhi, gave us opportunity to eujoy an illumination scene in India, 
and, though we observed many well-lighted European and government 
employes' houses, I should not say that the Indian is as much a lover 
of British rule as the British would have others believe. The usual 
parade of soldiery and police was the first feature of the evening, and 
fireworks the final. I thoroughly enjoyed the astonishment caused by 
the presence of a large American flag, flying from a staff lashed to 
the life-sized stone elephant which stands in the yard of the gov- 
ernment building, and was much amused at the inscriptions on the 
red cloth banners which the natives hung over their doorways. They 
read, "Welcome to India;" "Welcome to Delhi," and a rather suggestive 
few read, "God bless the Trince." It was a few moments before 
it dawned on me that the inscriptions were originally made to please 
the eye of the Prince of Wales, when that great functionary of corner- 
stone laying and baby christening was doing a little globe-trotting at 
the English public's expense. Who did it, and why that American 
flag, in all its starry beauty, was flying in front of a government build- 
ing, were the principal questions asked by army and police officers 
the next day. Delhi, as a city, was founded during the shadowy ages, 



fi6 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

which precludes the possibility of dates, but its ruins are visible to-day 
on an area ten miles wide and fifteen miles long. How often the city 
has changed its site is only limited to the victories gained by invaders 
of all tribes and nations. The Rome of Asia, Delhi has known its 
Nero; Maharrata, Hindoo, Jain, Persian, Afghan, Mohammedan, and 
the cold, unfeeling Britain, have in turn ruled over the Indian Empire 
from this ancient city, and the truth has ever been proven that whoso- 
ever held Delhi ruled India. Delhi, like many other Indian cities, offers 
the visitor many interesting buildings of native structure, but so 
often have we viewed with reverence and awe some superb building, 
only to learn that it was a tomb for some notable departed, that the 
word "tomb" has become abhorrent. India will linger in our memory 
chiefly as one vast group of mausoleums, set in an arid desert and 
scorched by the fires of a sun fierce as the furnaces of Sheol. 

The exposure to heat, from which the Inter Ocean cyclists were suf- 
fering daily, led to Mrs. Mcllrath's serious condition, which prevented 
our departure from Delhi on June 24, the day upon which we had made 
our arrangements to leave. W T ith face swollen so that her eyes were 
half-closed, her skin was entirely covered with tiny pimples. Small- 
pox would not have presented a more pitiable sight, but experts pro- 
nounced the case prickly heat, and beyond advising perfect rest, cool 
drinks and hot baths, declared that nothing could be done to drive 
away or reduce the swelling. Under these conditions we were unable 
to proceed until July 1, but with the delightful attentions shown us by 
Mr. and Mrs. Aitkin. of the Delhi Morning Post, and Major Mainwaring, 
of the Native Infantry, time did not hang heavily upon our hands. We 
swung into the main road at 6 o'clock one morning, taking the Grand 
Trunk once more, and following its course due north. Karnaul, the 
city which we should have reached the night before, had it not been 
for the stiff head winds, we entered at S o'clock the following morning, 
just in time to escape a downfall of rain which detained us until the 
next day. A second reminder of the plucky little Lenz we found in 
the register book of the Karnaul dak bungalow, which read, "F. G. Lenze, 
October 10. 1S03. arrived six p. m. Departed six a. m., October 12, 
American Bicyclist." Strange as it may seem, this was only the second 
instance in which we found trace of Lenz, though in China, Burmah 
and India we traveled in all over four thousand miles on identically 
the same route. 



AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 97 

CHAPTER XIX. 

PATRIOTISM CURBED JUST IN TIME — BAD NIGHT WITH A FANCIED BITE FROM 
A COBRA — TWO AMERICAN INVALIDS TOGETHER IN LAHORE. 

From Karnaul we journeyed steadily north, head-winds baffling 
attempts at speed, and showers and sand storms retarding us for hours. 
In several instances, we were compelled to journey along the railway 
line, the rains having swollen the river to such an extent that the 
roads were flooded. Uruballa, a large military station midway be- 
tween Delhi and Lahore, we reached on the morning of July 3, and 
again delayed by rain, were forced to spend the glorious Fourth in that 
city. Unfortunately for me, the dak bungalow was situated within the 
cantonment lines, and when I arose at daybreak, prepared to fire a 
salute of twenty-one shots, the gentle-mannered coolie servant gave 
a terrified look at the gun and bolted for the cook-house. Before I 
could fire once, a soldier called to me not to shoot unless I wished to 
be carted off to the guardhouse for violating military orders, which 
prohibit firing within the cantonment. Undoubtedly I would have been 
arrested on the charge of discharging firearms inside the lines, creating 
a disturbance, and possibly treason, and I dread to think of the effect 
my explanation of celebrating the Fourth of July would have had on 
an Englishman, especially an army officer, who might have lived on 
"Cornwallis Road."' Rain fell throughout July 5, on which day we 
were able to cover only eighteen miles, halting for the night at the little 
village of Kajpur. Such a small settlement has little need for a dak 
bungalow, and in consequence, travelers who are so unfortunate as to 
be compelled to seek shelter for the night, take up quarters at an 
ancient building owned, but unoccupied, by the Rajah of Petialla. 
Mrs. Mcllrath declared the building was an "old cobra trap," and con- 
stantly on the watch for scorpions and snakes, it was but natural that 
when we retired our dreams were of reptiles. 

Several times in the night I was awakened, the last time, along 
toward morning, by a severe pain in my left leg. Paralyzed with the 
thought of the deadly krite and cobra bite, and the absolute certainty 
of death resulting in from five to fifteen minutes, I lay calm and rigid 
for a moment, thinking I was the victim of a dream, but the smarting 
in my leg continued, and I called to my wife, exclaiming that I had 
been bitten. She was awake in an instant, and lighting the lamp, we 
looked around for the cobra. Though we could find no possible trace 
of a snake, there were on my leg six small punctures, arranged in a 
semi-circle. For an hour we waited for indications of snake poison in 
my system, but none appeared. Several times I imagined the choking 
sensations which precede complete asphyxia, were attacking my throat, 
7 



98 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

but a gulp of water or a puff at my cigarette dispelled this illusion, and 
at the end of sixty minutes I was compelled to admit that my experi- 
ence with the cobra had turned out a dismal failure. I cannot to 
this day offer any possible explanation of my wounds, unless they were 
indicted by Rodney, the pet monkey which we made our traveling 
companion 200 miles back. The "monk" occasionally crept up on my 
bed to avoid the ants and insects which swarmed over the ground and 
floors, and it may have been that after making himself comfortable, 
I had disturbed him and he retaliated by biting the offending leg. Few 
persons who have not visited India during the Summer rains, can 
realize what danger there is from poisonous reptiles, chiefly the krite 
and cobra, and how the dreaded things creep into the most unusual 
places, just where one would never think of being cautious. In one 
village of 400 inhabitants, through which Ave passed, five persons died 
from snake bites during the five days preceding our arrival. Unlike 
the rattler, the krite and cobra give no audible warning, except a slight 
hiss, and directly opposite is the effect of the bite. While the rattlei*'s 
poison acts on the blood, it may be mitigated by ligation above the 
wound and the free use of alcohol, but the cobra and krite wounds act 
directly upon the nerves, producing paralysis and asphyxia, and despite 
all legends to the contrary, the bite of either reptile, if the fangs are 
intact, is as surely fatal as decanitation. There is not a remedy known 
which will even prolong life after the bite has been inflicted. 

Cities of considerable size, evidently prosperous and well-kept, are 
many and frequent along the Trunk road in Punjab, and under an 
excellent system of irrigating canals, crops appear vigorous and abun- 
dant. The native method of raising water from the canals into field- 
ditches is a novelty to the eyes of the Westerner, and language would 
never describe the squeaking water wheel, with earthen pots in place 
of buckets, and the slow-plodding, patient bullocks that revolve the 
wheel. "Persian Wheels," the primitive machines are called, and 
though winds are strong and almost perpetual, no one appears to con- 
sider the old way inefficient, and harness wind and water with one of 
the powerful wind engines which dot the prairies of the United States. 
India is a close second to China in adhering to native customs, and 
after a journey of fifteen hundred miles, made through the country, in 
such a manner as to mingle with and know the people, I am of the 
opinion that the English who govern India, are but a trifle less con- 
servative, and that what broad ideas of improvement they do possess, 
that would materially improve the natives' condition without bene- 
fiting the government revenue, are never allowed to develop and 
expand. India is not governed by the English with any philanthropic 
ideas, and when one has spent a few months poring over financial 



100 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

reports and statistics, tax lists and penal codes, the idea is firmly fixed 
in the mind that India is governed by the English for England. 

I have already spoken of the risk a white person incurs in India 
by being exposed to the rain. Fever is almost certain to follow, and 
the morning after our arrival in Lahore, I found Mrs. Mcllrath with 
a temperature of 104 degrees, and every symptom of malaria. Though 
I struggled through the day, caring for her, when I laid down at night, 
the ache in my muscles and joints, and the fire which raged internally, 
warned me I was a victim also, and for the next week we lay side 
by side, comparing temperatures and consoling one another. To be 
stricken with fever in India is one of the most terrible punishments 
nature can visit upon the violators of her laws, and all day and all 
night through we lay without the cooling drinks, the ripe fruits and 
the delicacies and attentions which ease and encourage the patient at 
home. By Saturday, July 17, we were able to sit up and totter about 
the room, and immediately began to obtain strength by carriage rides 
in the cool evening air. 

Lahore does not possess temples, mosques and tombs of great archi- 
tectural merit, but its chief charm lies in the enormous bazaars which 
extend for miles through the main streets of the city. The buildings 
are two-story affairs, built of brick and covered with a staff, which, 
at a time long ago, was white in color. The shops are merely square 
rooms, with open fronts; the goods piled on the floors and hung from 
the ceiling in such a manner as to prevent walking about without 
danger to stock and inspector. A few of the shops bear sign-boards, 
painted in English letters. One in particular that attracted my atten- 
tion, announced that "Subri Lall was a Dentist and Photographer." 
Another, which struck me as being peculiar, announced that the firm 
inside sold "fresh salt, patent medicines and millinery." Some of the 
characters we met wandering around the bazaars selling charms and 
fetish bags were most interesting fellows. One gigantic Sikh, who 
halted at the side of our carriage, displayed his stock in trade to us, 
and then exhibited his personal gear. Under his tunic he wore a coat 
and helmet of chain mail; in the belt were seven knives of different 
sizes, and around the turban were three sharped-edged flat circles of 
steel, which are thrown in the same manner as a boomerang, and in 
skillful hands will decapitate an enemy. A stout club, bound with 
copper, completed the Sikh's outfit, and as I looked upon this mail-clad, 
walking arsenal. I could but be impressed with how very little was 
English rule and law respected and feared. Lahore marked the end 
of our journey along the Grand Trunk road, as from that city on Tues- 
day, July 20, we turned directly south toward the Persian Gulf and 
the city of Kurachee. Only thirteen miles of the eight hundred and 



AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 101 

twenty-four were covered the first evening, and though the two hours 
of jolting and jarring were keenly telt, when we dismounted at the 
solitary little station at Kana Kacha, the experience was welcomed. 
It was home-like, for we had not forgotten our ride across Illinois, 
Iowa, Colorado, Utah and Nevada on similar paths, usually used by 
the iron horse and the healthy but indigent hobo. Truly patriotism 
does assume some homely forms in the American absent from home, 
but then patriotism is satisfying in any form. 

We were now entered on the most dangerous portion of our two 
thousand miles ride across India. Not only did we abandon all hope 
for finding an occasional stretch of road, which would afford relief 
from the monotonous jolt and jar of riding on track ballast, but had 
made up our minds to expect poor accommodation in the villages along 
our route. In the face of the heat and obstructions on the road, how- 
ever, we managed to schedule fifty miles a day before reaching 
Changa Manga. I met a delightful gentleman in Montgomery, where 
we spent two days and a night. He was Mr. Fitzherbert, a civil engi- 
neer, who had originally landed in India as first officer on a merchant- 
man. I was surprised to learn that a relationship existed between his 
family and the famous Stonewall Jackson, which fact made us fast 
friends. Regarding the city in which we were, I can best dismiss the 
subject in Mr. Fitzherbert's own language: 

"Yes," said he, "Montgomery is quite a large place, far different 
from the little settlement in the desert that I first knew. There are 
now 4.000 inhabitants, 2,500 are in jail and the balance should be, but 
as I care little for society that fact does not worry me, and the presence 
of the city jail assists in making the town. The heat in Montgomery 
is what renders it almost unbearable. Last year we stood at the 
head of the list in India, and let me tell you in quiet confidence, that a 
man that can exist ten years in Montgomery will thoroughly enjoy 
himself in hell." 

Early in the morning of July 28 we said good-bye to our friends in 
Montgomery, and resumed our grind along the railway line, but we 
were lonesome no longer. Each train that passed us was manned by 
a crew who greeted us with cheers and encouraging signals as the 
train whizzed by, and we humbly and laboriously bucked along over 
the humps and high spots. From Kacha Khuh we took a run over to 
Mooltan City, returning to Kacha Khuh by rail. The break in the jour- 
ney afforded us time to form new anrl desirable acquaintances, and 
various little trips, via rail, such as this, furnished us with an insight 
of a phase of life in India of which we knew nothing before, and which 
will never cease to be of interest to us— the joys of a traveler on a rail- 
way line conducted by the English Government on the English system. 



102 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

In India passengers may be transported in three classes, first, second 
and third, and as I have yet to learn anything English which is branded 
first-class and touches the American idea of A 1, we did not for a 
moment consider the second and third rate inducements of low fare. 
Purchasing two slips of pasteboard at the "booking office," for which 
we paid two cents a mile, we were informed that we could take the 
triangular luggage cases, which we wished to check, into the carriage 
with us, no goods being checked, but dumped into the "brake van" to 
be called for and identified by the owner. The first-class carriage was 
easily identified on the exterior by a coat of white paint, but the first 
glance into the interior would have led one to believe it was a well- 
loaded furniture van, on any old day about May 1. Our fellow pas- 
sengers were a Catholic. priest and a lieutenant of Her Majesty's army, 
and into a space only eight feet long were piled their belongings. I 
took an inventory and counted five trunks, two valises, four hat-boxes, 
a wash bowl in a leather case, cane, golf stick, riding whip, four large 
sun helmets, two rolls of bedding, one bundle of books and a lunch 
hamper. Arriving at Kacha Khuh, we managed to attract the atten- 
tion of the guard, who kindly released us, and as we dismounted from 
the carriage we were convinced that our cycles afforded us just about 
as great speed, comfort and certainly less inconvenience than the gov- 
ernment railway train in India. Truly the Chinese are hide-bound in 
customs, but the English run them a close race. Though many of their 
methods are modern, in railways, hotels and conveniences for the public 
at large, they are far in the rear of the ever-advancing army of 
modern progress which has its headquarters in the United States of 
America, and whose generals are the same "wooden nutmeg" inventing 
Yankees, of whom the English so often speak lightly. 



AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 103 

CHAPTER NX. 

THE PET MONKEY DINES UPON RUBBER TIRES AND DELAYS PROGRESS — OFFI- 
CIALS REFUSE TO LET THE TOURISTS GO THROUGH BELOOCHISTAN. 

Our last days in India were spent during the monsoon season. 
The deserts had become lakes of steaming water, the matted under- 
growth of rank grass and vegetation rotting, and that we escaped with- 
out malarial or typhoid fever was almost a miracle. The railway 
tracks, which formed our only path, were cut away by the flood of 
ceaseless rain. The ballast had been swept away and the clay em- 
bankment cut into a series of gullies. Four hundred miles we had to 
push and plod our way through this sticky mass. We left Khanpur on 
the evening of Aug. IS. The rain had been pouriug down for three 
days, and had subsided into a steady drizzle, which we deemed the 
most favorable opportunity we would have for a start. We arrived 
at Daharki, in the plague-stricken district of India, on Aug. 20. We 
spent the next day, Sunday, at Daharki, and early on the morning of 
Aug. 22 we started out on a day of mishaps. Before we had passed 
the yard limits my rear tire collapsed, necessitating a delay of half 
an hour. Then an unusually long bridge of open structure made our 
limbs tremble, and scarcely two miles further came a second puncture. 
Under ordinary circumstances punctures with the outfit and tire we 
use are trifling affairs, but when each minute counts, as with a race 
with the sun, such delays are of as great importance to us as any 
delay to the fire department on its way to a conflagration. Three 
hours interviewed, when a loud hiss fiom my rear tire annnuncod a third 
puncture, and in a few minutes the rim, bumping and smashing on the 
stone ballast, announced that I was "without air." Throe punctures 
in less than thirty miles was a record to which we were quite unaccus- 
tomed. With a third disaster, and no plugs to repair with, my sus- 
picions were aroused and upon investigation I found five large wounds 
in the tire. As the injury extended along one side only, and that the 
side which did not come in contact with the ballast, I examined the 
sides and found the threads torn outward. While sitting on the edge 
of the railroad ties, gloomily reflecting on the long walk before me, 
and wondering who could so maliciously have damaged my tire, the 
pet monkey, Rodney, crawled from his resting place in the bosom of 
my coat and began plucking grass and herbs. I paid but little attention 
to him until I heard a sound at the wheel, and turned just in time to 
discover Rodney chewing ;i fresh hole. I had caught the offender in 
the act, and subsequent observations convinced me that lie was deter- 
mined either to make a monkey of us, or satisfy the inexplicable monkey 
in him. The only reason I failed to kick that grinning ape into space 



104 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

larger than that longed for by the most ardent balloonist, was that he 
skipped through a. barb wire fence quicker than I could reach him 
with my foot. Mrs. Mcllrath carried him into Sarhad, for had he been 
consigned to my care I fear he would have been cast adrift on the 
Indus. I reached Sarhad at noon, and had the journey been a mile 
longer the heat certainly would have killed me. From Sarhad I wired 
for our trunks and got them after much difficulty. They were billed to 
a station forty miles ahead, and the station master at first refused 
flatly to surrender them. He gave them to me after my protests, that 
without them I should have to walk forty miles more. The plugs were 
found, the necessary repairs made and at 5 o'clock in the afternoon we 
were again upon our way. 

Lacki Pass, which had been our bugbear for several weeks, proved 
a serious undertaking, but one which we made with far less incon- 
venience than we had anticipated. Lacki Pass is the section of railway 
from Dadu to Lacki. Many persons in discussing our journey had said 
to us in tones of significance: "Well, just wait until you get to Lacki 
Pass." Sand of depth and finest quality was the first obstacle we 
encountered ere we entered the first cutting through stone. The pass 
would be called a canyon in America, for on one side flowed the broad 
Indus, then in torrent, and on the other rose the steep, rocky face of the 
mountain. We decided the momentous question of Lacki Pass by 
mounting our wheels and cycling along the narrow ledge just outside 
the rails and next the precipice. Our path was not all that could be 
desired by novices. It was only a foot in width, beset in places with 
stones and boulders, with the foaming river hundreds of feet below; 
but then the Inter Ocean cyclists had long ago passed the novice stage, 
and we set out at a good pace. Hundreds of water buffalos were scram- 
bling along the rocks at the base of -the mountain, or wallowing through 
the coves of slack water, but excepting the occasions that we dis- 
mounted to cross some trestle which spanned a chasm, we had little 
time to observe scenery. Five miles up the steep grade, a half hour's 
riding along the dizzy height, and we passed the little station of Bag- 
atara, congratulating ourselves that we were almost into the cuttings 
which would lead to the plain below. The bend which carried us from 
the edge of the precipice ended our ride, for we were invited to the 
home of a Mr. Swetenham, who had come up the tracks behind us on 
a hand-car. There were three miles more of the pass to cover, but the 
dinner invitation was too much for us and we loaded our wheels on 
his hand-car and rolled into Lacki. 

We were a sorry looking pair as we set out on the last short relav 
in India. The cooking pots which we carried clattered and rattled 
noisily as they banged against the frames of our bicycles. The lug- 



106 ABOUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

gage cases were heavily laden; our front tires, long ago worn out as rear 
tires, leaked badly; the cork grips were gone from our handle-bars, 
and the felt pads of our saddles had become hard as wood. Our attire 
was thoroughly in keeping with the disreputable appearance of our 
wheels. Helmets were battered and patched, clothes torn and stained, 
shoes scuffed and cut to relieve swollen feet, and stockings darned with 
thread of all colors. Mrs. Mcllrath, covered with prickly heat, looked 
as though bees had stung every portion of her hands and face, and I 
hardly recognized my own self in the mirror in the gaunt, hollow- 
cheeked, dull-eyed, yellow-skinned skeleton. Our objective point was 
Knrrachee. We had a good path, exceptionally free from culverts and 
bridges, and in the white light of the moon, fanned by the cool breeze 
from the sea, we sped merrily along until a low-railed bridge obstructed 
our path, a sign-board indicating that we were but four miles from 
Dabhugi, the village where we intended to eat our lunch. We were so 
close upon the bridge before dismounting, that to check my heavy- 
laden wheel I had to run a few steps with it. Bracing one foot against 
the curb of the bridge, my eye moved involuntarily to where my foot 
rested. I was having another encounter with a cobra. The black mon- 
ster was stretched out in heavy line four feet long. He was of the 
hooded species, the most deadly of his family, and I stood face to face 
with death in his most terrible garb. I should have retreated, I should 
have shot the hideous thing, I should have done anything else but 
what I did, to stand terrified without power to move a muscle. Sud- 
denly the snake coiled itself into a knot, then twisted around in a 
circle and disappeared in one of the crevices of the loose rock on the 
slope of the stream. It was one of the closest escapes I have to relate. 

We were in Knrrachee for a week, an attack of fever detaining me. 
Then began preparation for our trip through Beloochistan, a trip which 
we did not take. From Knrrachee there is a telegraph line which 
skirts the coast, of Beloochistan and enters Persia. This was the route 
we had calculated upon since leaving Chicago, and with a view of 
assisting us to obtain information regarding the conditions of the 
road, the distances and supply stations, Mr. W. Flowers Hamilton, the 
United States consular agent, gave a dinner, at which we met a num- 
ber of British officials and heads of the railway department. These 
same gentlemen had enteitained Lenz on his journey, but when the 
subject was broached of Mrs. Mcllrath and myself making the same 
trip, great surprise was expressed and the question advanced as to 
whether or not the government would permit it. "But why should 
Lenz be permitted to pass through and not ourselves?" I asked of Mr. 
Barker, the telegraph superintendent. "Things were different then," 
he replied. "The borders from Cashmere to the gulf are now up in 



AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 107 

arms, and battles are being fought daily, and not with the most satis- 
factory result to the government either.*' This was the first intimation 
we received that the government would probably interfere with our 
action. The second came a few days later in a letter from the Ameri- 
can Consular Department, which caused me post haste to begin a syste- 
matic routine of calls upon the British officials. The letter was dated 
Sept. 14, and signed by Mr. Hamilton. Briefly, it was a protesl against 
our intention of proceeding to Beloochistan. "I am not a pessimist," 
he wrote, "and would be the last person to thwart your desires in any 
way, were there the remotest chance of your safely accomplishing the 
journey you have planned. I feel, though, that since the natives be- 
tween this and the Persian frontier are bound to forcibly resist your 
passage to the territory, that to attempt the journey would mean sud- 
den death to you both, and I earnestly request you to accept my advice 
and to adopt the alternative route via Bushire, Shiraz, Ispaham, 
Teheran, Tabriz and Batoum." 

I called upon Mr. Wingate. commissioner of Scinde, and Capt. Tighe, 
and though I used every argument, offering to assume all risks and to 
relieve the government of any responsibility, their consent of the promise 
of an indifferent altitude was withheld. "But if I am willing to attempt 
the journey alone without Mrs. Mcllrath?" was my argument. "It is 
evident that you do not clearly understand the situation." was the 
reply. "Your life would not be worth one cent ten miles from the 
border." This was the final argument, and there was nothing for us 
to do but scratch Beloochistan from the list, and prepare to take one of 
the British India steamers leaving for Bushire, on Sept. 28. 

Our trip through India was severe upon us. physically, and we were 
compelled to suffer many inconveniences, hardships and even torture 
from hunger, thirst and weather. There is much misery in India and 
unalterable condition which fcrbid that its people ever be benefited 
by British rule, or that a sympathetic bond be established between the 
European and Indian. But none who visit its shores will ever have 
aught to say that both are not hospitable, or that the Englishmen in 
India do not strive earnestly and sincerely to execute the duties of their 
office. 



108 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

CHAPTER XXI. 

OFF TO PERSIA BY WAY OF STEAMSHIP "ASSYRIA" — FREQUENT MEETINGS 
WITH ROAD AGENTS AND AMERICAN FIRE-ARMS TO THE RESCUE. 

We took passage on the little coasting steamer "Assyria," leaving 
Kurraehee on Sept. 28, at 7 o'clock in the morning. There were but 
two other passengers in the cabin besides Mrs. Mcllrath and myself, 
one a wealthy Arab, the other a 'missionary of the Reformed Dutch 
Church. The voyage across the Persian Gulf was colorless and void 
of incident. Passengers, captain and officers expressed regret that Mrs. 
Mcllrath and I had been so unfortunate in selecting a year which had 
created so much disturbance in Persia. Scarcity of crops had forced 
many villagers to subsist by robbery and murder of travelers, and 
within a single day's journey of the coast hundreds of cases were re- 
ported. Politics were affected also, many threats of violence being heard 
against the Shah and his corps of diplomats. With such a gloomy out- 
look for a peaceful passage through the wild lands, and the knowledge 
that winter would overtake us in the mountains of Asiatic Turkey, we 
had good cause for feeling blue as we sighted the hazy shores which 
loomed up in the distance on Oct. 8. We anchored three miles off shore, 
shortly after daybreak. After breakfast, a boat came alongside, the 
pilot ran up the gang stairs and informed us of the arrival in Bushire 
of a package of letters. As we were almost destitute, this bit of news 
made us all the more impatient to be off. Gathering up our boxes, 
bicycles and the monkey, we shook hands with the genial crew of the 
"Assyria" and pushed off for Bushire. 

To learn that there were no telegrams and news concerning our 
money, which had been lost in the mails to Kurraehee, would have 
stunned us had we been anything but American nomads. Bushire did 
not afford a hotel, and two paupers were forced to look up an Armenian 
shop-keeper, and persuade him to clear two rooms in an unfinished 
building, and furnish us with bedding and food during our enforced 
stay. By sundown on the day of our arrival we were comfortably 
installed, and though seriously crippled as active participants in the 
world's tour, we were happy and cheerful. Though the community of 
foreigners in Bushire was small, there is a certain sympathetic bond 
between all which renders the circle delightful, and as all welcome a 
new arrival with outstretched arms, we found our stay in the town a 
very pleasant one. We were dined by Mr. Ferguson and Mr. Churchill, 
of the Interior Bank of Persia; Surgeon Captain Lumsden, Mr. J. 
Meyer and Col. Mead, the, British Consul General. We also enjoyed 
a delightful little "tiffin" with Mr. Christmas, of the Indo-European 
Telegraph Company's inspection corps, and all of these gentlemen 




ON DECK OF THE STEAMSHIF "ASSYBIA."-(See Page 108). 



110 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

united in preparing us for our journey inland. As the first and second 
steamers arriving from India brought no news of ^ur lost money, we 
finally gave up all idea of restoration, and deciding that a longer wait 
was impracticable, made preparation to start at once, having communi- 
cated by cable with our American resources. Alter a week of laying 
in stores, supplies and heavy clothing, obtaining passports, permits to 
sleep in telegraph stations, and letters of introduction, we bade adieu 
to our friends on Nov. 8, and following in the rear of a gang of coolies, 
started forth to Teheran. 

The' journey from Bushire to Teheran may be divided into three 
complete stages: first, from Bushire to Shiraz, 173 miles; thence to 
Ispahan, 312 miles; then on to Teheran, 285 miles. To cycle from Bu- 
shire to Shiraz is quite as impossible as to cycle up the side of Pike's 
Teak. The elevation often reaches 6,000 feet and the road is a mass of 
boulders and deep sand. The ascent is not gradual, but a continuation 
of terraces called "kotals" by the Persians, and in these kotals donkeys 
are the only creatures which can safely walk and carry burdens. Our 
path lay through uninhabited sand desert, with not a tree or shrub 
visible. Walking over unbroken road by the side of a patient and 
heavily-laden mule is as tiresome as it is monotonous, and we were a 
badly used pair when we arrived at Kushub, the end of our first day's 
journey in Persia. Resuming the trip the next morning, we soon 
caught up with a caravan of three score mules, laden with shiny tin 
cases of petroleum, which bore the welcome brand, "made in the United 
States." Our forces now consisted of more than fifty men, the major- 
ity armed with muzzle-loading rifles, a few with pistols and the 
remainder with clubs having iron knobs at the end. We felt then suf- 
ficiently strong to resist the robbers, against whom we had been 
warned. The bandits first manifested themselves when the caravan 
was stopped, and the head muleteer asked for a "present." I was 
astounded to find that the robbers were none other than a few sol- 
diers who were supposed to be guarding a little village we had passed 
some miles back. As the "present" is always cash, and often demanded 
at the muzzle of a gun, the courts of any civilized country would prob- 
ably call such proceeding highway robbery, but in Persia, where troops 
are unpaid at under-paid rates, and often go ragged and hungry for 
years, the laws cannot be supposed to be of superior standing to the 
army. Toward Mrs. Mcllrath and me the unkempt rascals were civil 
enough, but persisted in detaining the muleteers. I suppose the basis 
of a "present" was finally agreed upon, for the orders were given to 
push on after a brief delay. We were slightly in advance of the cara- 
van, continuing our Avay among the boulder-strewn foothills, when just 
about daybreak, three men sprang from behind rocks and halted us. 



AROUND THE WORLD OX WHEELS. Ill 

They demanded money. Our servant was slightly in advance of Mrs. 
Mcllratib and me, and he promptly pushed a 45-calibre revolver under 
the nose of the leader. The second man looked into my rifle, and in less 
than ten seconds so many gun locks clicked behind my hack thai I 
feared one would be discharged by accident, and the boy and myself 
perforated as well as the bandits. It was evident from the manner of 
the trio that they realized that they had made a mistake, but whether 
the mistake lay in the fact that we were well armed, or that we were 
foreigners, was not made clear. Tnoy declared themselves soldiers, who 
only wished a "present" and when I refused to accept their explanation, 
they protested that they were honest men, but hungry. Such might 
have been the case, but we gave them nothing except advice that they 
sell their guns and buy bread. An attempt on the part of a second trio 
of men, encountered a few days later, to obtain a contribution, resulted 
in an exhibition of spunk by Mrs. Mcllrath. The leader had seized the 
bridle of her mule, and startled her to such an extent that she poked 
the muzzle of her revolver into the fellow's face. The villain released 
his grip and apologized profusely for not having recognized us as Euro- 
peans. They seemed to think that so long as they robbed only the 
natives, they committed no crime. 

We halted at Diriz on Oct. 12, having been on the road for twelve 
hours without food. The muleteers, for some reason, probably anxiety 
to fulfill their contract and be through with us, protested against the 
delay, urging that we could find neither food, water nor shelter in the 
place. I had learned by this time that the low caste Persians are born 
liars, and insisting upon the stop, we found, just as we had expected, 
both food and water. AVe refreshed ourselves, and two hours later pro- 
ceeded at snaiMike pace across the plain to Kazeroon. We spent three 
days in this city, the guests of Mr. Marker, an excellent type of the 
educated Armenian, who furnished us with much information and took 
care to see that we were started on our journey in proper form. 
Wearied by the fatigue of sleepless days and monotonous journeying 
by night, Ave changed our hours for travel when we left Kazeroon, tak- 
ing our departure at 8 o'clock in the morning. One of the most laborous 
tasks of our entire journey was now before us. Climbing the Alps is 
nothing compared with the ascent of the kotals in Persia. The mule- 
teers know nothing of scenery, and do not even know the names of vil- 
lages only a half a mile from the beaten path. But they do know that 
delays cause great annoyance, and they keep you constantly at the best 
speed you are capable of making, lest some descending caravan meet 
you and confusion ensue. One of the mules, upon which was loaded 
Mrs. Mcllrath's bicycle, backed into a huge boulder which jutted into 
the road, breaking the fork and rendering it unfit for use. Friday, Nov. 



112 AROtLND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

19, the road into Shiraz, began to take on a fairly smooth appearance, 
whereat I lost no time in oiling up my bike. As I prepared for a stiff 
run into Shiraz, Mrs. Mellrath, contemplated her damaged machine, 
and expressed a wish that the mule had died the day before she en- 
trusted her wheel to his care. Two miles of fairly level road enabled 
me to distance the horde of rough riders. Caravan after caravan my 
cycle passed, not pausing until I whizzed down the main street of 
Shiran, arriving three hours ahead of my party. 

A native mechanic repaired Mrs. Mcllrath's wheel, though it took 
him eight days to do so, giving us ample time to make friends in the 
city. One would be difficult to please who .could not enjoy life in 
Shiraz. Dr. Sculley and Mr. Wood, superintendent of telegraphs, alter- 
nated in dinners; Mr. Yon Rijkon, an adopted American, entertained us 
at lunch, and in each European home we sipped afternoon tea, were 
entertained with music and listened to delightful little stories of Per- 
sian life. With friends we made several excursions about the city, 
bartering in the bazaars, visiting the places of interest and calling upon 
Persians of high rank. Our sight seeing in Shiraz was ended on 
Wednesday, Dec. 1, when we departed for the north. Our cyclometer 
revealed that we covered twenty-three miles by dusk over sandy roads 
and in the face of strong winds, the first day out from Shiraz. At 
Zerghun we halted for the night, and were up and away before day- 
break the next morning. By 10 o'clock we could see outlined against the 
blue mountains to the north, a village which we knew to be Kinorah, a 
small, harmless little settlement, where we had been advised to seek 
accommodations. The ruins of Persepolis are near by, and wishing to 
visit the grandest monument of a kingly ruler's power that the modern 
world knows, we wheeled into Kinorah, where we were the guests of 
the Rev. W. A. Rice. 



AROUND THE WORLD OX WHEELS. 113 

CHAPTER XXII. 

AT THE RUINS OP PERSEPOLIS — AN AUTOGRAPH ON THE PORCH OP XERXES — 
LOST IN A SNOWSTORM AND MRS. MCILRATH'S FEET FROZEN. 

Describing the ruins of an ancient city, a famous structure, or 
even a locality, which, to the modern world, is vaguely grasped as hav- 
ing an existence, is a task most difficult. Consequently I shall in no 
manner attempt to enter detail in describing the ruins of Persepolis. 
Towering forty-five feet above the plain the grand platform extends 
1,500 feet north by south, and, far as the excavations of explorers have 
revealed. SOO feet east and west. The first of the remarkable remnants 
of Achsemenian glory which greet one, are the pieces which form the 
group known as the Porch of Xerxes. The portals are the favorite 
background upon which visitors inscribe their names. I have always 
held such proceeding as vandalism, and though the names of British 
ambassadors, naval officers, and clergy deface the rock. I should have 
foregone the pleasure of perpetuating our visit, had not my eye fallen 
upon the following inscription: "Stanley, Xew York Herald, 1870." 
Never for a moment has an inhabitant of Chicago allowed that New 
York to thrust its ancient claim upon the world as a typical American 
city without resentment, and immediately we chipped beneath, "Mcll- 
rath. Chicago Inter Ocean, 1897." 

Our tour of the ruins was thorough, including visits to the grand 
hall of Xerxes, the hall of One Hundred Columns, and the tombs of 
Darius and Xerxes, south of the Grand Platform. Persepolis, as it 
stands to-day, is a stern rebuke to him who styled himself "King of 
Kings" and "Ruler of the Rulers of the Universe," and vowed that he 
would build a city that would be the capital of the world, and peopled 
by all tribes until time nevermore. On Sunday, Dec. 4, we resumed our 
journey up the hills toward Dehbid. The roads were muddy and the 
various streams swollen, and we encountered rainstorms and high 
winds, which caused us to lose the path and occasioned us much dis- 
comfort before we could enter the town of Murghab. We found the 
hotel crowded with passengers, many of whom had seen us previously. 
There was one Persian in the number who evidently wished to speak 
to me concerning Frank Lenz, since he uttered the boy's name, pointed 
to the bicycle, and drew his finger across his own throat in a manner 
suggestive of Lenz's horrible fate. Monday, Dec. 0, our journey, though 
not extensive, was exhaustive; we walked up grades too steep to permit 
of riding, and we walked down grades too steep and rough to ride with 
safety. Occasionally we passed through sections of country where 
patches of snow glistened under the shade of bushes and wild grass. 
From Khan-I-Khergan our ride was a steady up-hill grind for several 
miles, but ended when the summit was gained by a four-mile dash 
8 



114 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

down-grade into the little settlement of Dehbid. When we left the fol- 
lowing morning we had the wind at our back and made such excel- 
lent time that we entered the dreaded Koli-kush before we realized it. 
We experienced no difficulty in the pass, riding down the opposite side 
as easily as we had ascended the southern approach. There is little to 
tell of our ride into Surmek, except that we made it at the rate of 
fifteen miles an hour. The scenery in the background was rugged and 
outlined against the clear blue sky was beautiful. The high fever 
which Mrs. Mcllrath developed in consequence of a drenching, caused 
the loss of a day in Abadeh, but it gave me an opportunity of visiting 
the bazaars and inspecting the marvelous work done by the wood- 
carvers. We cycled from the telegraph station on Dec. 11, bound for 
Maksuddeg, seventy-one miles north. We found the roads in passable 
condition and were escorted for eight or ten miles by a Mr. Stevens, 
who is connected with the telegraph company, and the solitary cyclist 
of Central Persia. Passing through the cities of Shulgistan and Yezblk- 
hast, we should have made Maksudbeg early in the afternoon, but I dis- 
covered three large lacerations in my rear tire, which prevented fast 
riding. 

The "Khaneh" at Maksudbeg was well filled the night of our ar- 
rival, but until our baggage train and interpreter arrived we lacked for 
nothing. We left Maksudbeg early the next morning, whirling at a 
rapid rate to Marg, where we stopped for the night. On Tuesday, Dec. 
14, when we again set out for Julfa, we completed within thirteen miles 
the second of the three long stages into Teheran. Though many Per- 
sians reside in Julfa, the town is typically Armenian. The same high 
walls that are so general in Persian cities, face each street, but the 
buildings inside are Armenian, the inscriptions over the doors are in 
Armenian characters, and the majority of the people seen on the 
street are Armenians. The Armenian men are a type in themselves. 
They appear dirtier than the Persian, and if circumstances permit, they 
affect European clothes and get beastly drunk. In occupation, the 
Armenian finds himself adapted to any business or trade and in g?neral 
transactions is a fluent liar and barefaced cheat. There are few good 
Armenians, but there are those who have received a liberal education, 
or have been taken in hand by kindly people and brought up to Christian 
and civilized ideas. The other good Armenians are like the good Amer- 
ican Indians— they are deceased Armenians. At Ispahan we were the 
guests of Bishop Stuart, of the Church of England Mission. Ispa- 
han is just across the Landah River from .Tulfa, and is not so void of 
features. Having visited, at his palace, His Royal Highness, the Zil-I 
Sultan of Persia, the Armenian Cathedral, and the brass working 
bazaar of Ispahan, we departed for the North on Saturday, Dec. 19. 










rf 



p. 



116 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

We had a long, hard ride over ravines strewn with rocks, to the city of 
Soh, where we were the guests of Mr. Newey, an intimate friend of 
Mr. Christmas, whom we met in Bushire. Snow began to fall on 
Dec. 22, and our entertainer refused positively to allow us to proceed. 
The storm did not cease until the following morning, when, despite the 
protests of Mr. Newey, we set out for the village of Khurud, twenty- 
five miles away, and a most disastrous trip it proved to be. We ex- 
pected to cover the distance to Khurud by 4 o'clock in the afternoon,, 
but when that hour arrived our cyclometers registered but eight 
miles, and we were worn out and almost unable to proceed farther. 
We had prepared for the trip by putting on extra sweaters and incas- 
ing our legs in heavy woolen leggings, such as are worn by native 
travelers, but we found, after a mile or so on the road, that the most 
discomfort we suffered was with our hands and feet. Beneath the 
snow were many pools of water, and into these we floundered, wetting 
ourselves to the knees and our bicycles to the hubs. 

As a wild, , precipitous descent lay between us and the village, and 
as nightfall was fast approaching, Mrs. Mcllrath suggested that I leave 
her and the machine in the first gorge which afforded any shelter, and 
then hurry forward, find the village and send back men and horses for 
herself and the wheels. I did not entertain the thought for a moment, 
for I was too deeply impressed with the trying situation, though I did 
not let her know of our danger. For a time I succeeded in buoying up 
her spirits, but as we slowly plodded through canyon after canyon, the 
winds ever growing colder and the sun sinking from sight, Mrs. Mcll- 
rath refused to be comforted and grew weaker and more erratic in her 
movements. The effect of the high, rare air, the terrible mental strain 
and the enormous muscular exertion were the greatest test to which I 
have ever been put. It was necessary that we keep moving, and with 
such an object in view I whistled and sang, and finally scolded Mrs. 
Mcllrath in language most harsh. It would have been cowardly to 
have been unkind toward my wife under such circumstances had not 
the occasion demanded, and the cross words intended to assist in 
working out our salvation. Th?re was no time or thought to be wasted, 
and I used every means to urge her onward. Cruel as it may seem to 
those who do not know the dire result of faking exhausted in the snow, 
I looked about for something with which to flcg my wife did she refuse 
to proceed, and had decided to use the heavy leather belt which encircled 
my waist. I shouted to her constantly to keep her toes moving, and to 
bend her feet as much as possible. For two hours we floundered on, 
and I was then forced to pile the machines together in a conspicuous 
place, which could afterward be found, and leaving them, push on 
unhampered. Up the canyon we plunged, every step an agony and 



AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 117 

every hundred yards a mile to our tortured minds. I kept my wife in 
front, dreading lest she should fall and succumb to the dreadful fatigue 
which ends in death. 

So absorbed was I in her safety, that I lost track of the tele- 
graph poles, and was suddenly confronted with the realization thai we 
were lost on the very peak of the mountain. My medicine ease con- 
tained no liquors or stimulants, and we had not tasted food since 7 
o'clock in the morning. There were but two chances for our lives. 
Our interpreter had gone on ahead with his horse and our luggage. He 
might send out a rescue party for us. The second chance was a more 
forlorn one. At 9 o'clock each evening the telegraph line between 
Bushire and Teheran is tested, and if communication is broken, the 
officer on each side of the break will send out men for an immediate 
repair. It lacked a full half hour to the testing time, and I determined 
to wait fifteen minutes and then if help did not arrive, climb the pole, 
shoot the insulators from the arms, and break each and every wire. The 
fifteen minutes passed and I was in search of the telegraph pole, with 
but ten minutes to interrupt the "test." In the gloom I perceived a 
number of dark figures, which I took to be wolves. As they came 
nearer they developed into men and horses, and from the cheery man- 
ner in which the riders greeted us we knew that the interpreter had 
not forgotten us, and had sent to our rescue. 

It would have been Mrs. Mellrath's duty as a woman to have fainted 
when the horses arrived, but she did nothing of the kind. She thanked 
God, as I did, and when placet! in the saddle, wrapped herself in 
blankets and ordered the men to "hurry up" just as if we had been wait- 
ing for them by appointment. Slowly we descended the tortuous path, 
the intelligent horses leading the men until the right road was re- 
gained. I called to my wife to ascertain her condition, and she assured 
me that her feet no longer pained, but were "warm and comfortable." 
Two hours later, when we halted at the Chapar Khaneh, my wife 
cried to me piteously that she could not walk, and I knew only too well 
why her feet had been "warm and comfortable." We carried her into 
the dim-lighted post-room and cut the leggings from her limbs. The 
shoes were ice-covered and stiff. The blackness of her stockings ended 
at the ankles, and the foot casings were white frost. My instructions 
to the men were to rub her feet with snow, until each toe showed its 
natural ruddy glow to a candle light held behind it. For two hours 
they kept up a vigorous massage, and then when the power of motion 
was restored and swelling was noticeable, I was content to leave the 
rest to nature. Two men on horses went up the slopes of the moun- 
tain next day and brought in the cycles. The cyclometer was frozen 
so tightly that at the first revolution of the wheel it had broken off. 



118 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

Otherwise the machines were unharmed. It was absolutely necessary 
that we reach a point which would afford communication with the 
nearest surgeon, and on Friday we wrapped Mrs. Mcllrath in blankets 
and placed her upon a horse, our destination being Kasham, a telegraph 
station. We were in the saddle ten hours before we sighted the city. 
The telegraph operator was an Armenian, drunk as he could be. and 
after questioning me as to my ability to speak and understand English, 
he permitted us to occupy the waiting room. 

I sent in haste a message to Dr. Wishard, superintendent of the 
American Presbyterian Mission at Teheran, informing him that my 
wife's feet were frozen. He .replied that he would do all he could, 
coming himself or sending medicines as we pleased. 



CHAPTER XXIII. 

THE M08T MISERABLE OP ALL CHRISTMAS DAYS — RACE BETWEEN WHEEL 
AND SULTAN'S CAVALRYMEN — DESERTED BY A COWARDLY DRIVER. 

We lingered three days at Kashan before the preliminary treat- 
ment of my wife's feet permitted us to proceed. Here we spent our 
Christmas Day, dejected and home-sick. In vain we searched the 
bazaars for a turkey, goose, or duck for our Christmas dinner, but as if 
to recompense us for our earnest efforts to celebrate, a ragged coolie 
brought us a rabbit, and with turnips in lieu of sweet potatoes, we 
endeavored to deceive ourselves into believing we had enjoyed a good 
old-fashioned Southern feast. We left Kashan in the native "khagvar," 
two shallow boxes placed on a mule's back, the boxes laden equally to 
balance the load on either side. We placed Mrs. Mcllrath on one side, 
her bicycle, luggage case and bedding in the opposite box, and on 
Tuesday, Dec. 28, resumed our journey. The first night of our stop on 
the way to Room the owner of the khadgavar refused to continue on 
the journey without an increase to the contract price for the rent of 
his mule. Mrs. Mcllrath's condition would not admit of a delay, and 
I was compelled to resort to the extreme measures used in China in 
such a case, and with success, for within ten minutes we were again 
on the road. While stopping at a tea house for refreshments on Dec. 
29, our little caravan was overtaken by three of the Sultan's cavalry- 
men. They were inclined to twit us on the effort required to propel 
bicycles, and I challenged them for a race. Although Mrs. Mcllrath 
required my attention hourly, she entertains such contempt for those 
who despise cycling, that it was at her request that I left her behind 
to engage in the test of speed with the horse-soldiers. I left the three 
troopers easily in the rear after their steeds had begun to show signs 
of fatigue, never for an instant slackening my pace until I flashed into 



120 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

a village eight miles from the starting point. I had regained my com- 
posure, smoked several cigarettes and idled away half an hour ere the 
horsemen appeared on the brow of a hill one mile away. Though the 
riders were breathless, their horses reeking with foam, when they 
halted in front of the tea house, not a look or a word betrayed their 
chagrin, and they preferred tea and cigarettes with good grace but 
with great dignity. Not satisfied with the one defeat, the captain 
demanded that I overtake him ere the next stage. They had a good 
half hour's start of me, because I waited for Mrs. Mcllrath's arrival. 
As soon as she assured me of her comfortable condition, I sprang into 
saddle, and settled down into a gait which carried me nine miles into an 
open valley, just in time to sight the three horsemen and the city of 
Fasangoon in the distance. The horsemen must have sighted me as 
soon as I did them, for when I next looked up the trio had separated 
and were strung along the road in Indian file. I strained every muscle 
to the utmost, but the up-grade, the load of camera, revolvers, luggage 
case and monkey had been too great, and I only succeeded in over- 
taking one of the trio. The other two had not dismounted when I 
reached the Chapar Khaneh, and were loud in their greeting and praise 
of the "asp-i-chubce," as they called the bicycle. 

We were up before daybreak Dec. 30, dismayed to find the ground 
covered with snow, and pushed into Koom by nightfall, just in time to 
escape the most violent end of a storm, which delayed us for two days. 
Proceeding by caravan was out of the question, and as Koom afforded 
nothing in the medicine line, we were obliged to make the remaining 
stage by "diligence" to Teheran. Though the trip can be accomplished 
with ease in less than twenty-four hours, the exorbitant sum of $26 
was demanded for fare. The conveyance which bears such a high- 
sounding name is simply a prairie schooner, hauled by four horses 
ranged abreast. It is a "terror" as a conveyance, the jolts and jars 
sending one high into the air, making conversation impossible, while 
the rattle of the crazy vehicle is like that of volleys of musketry. When 
we had accomplished about six miles the driver deliberately guided 
the horses into a deep snow-drift, informed us that progress was im- 
possible, and threats, argument and persuasion would not induce him 
to proceed. Finding he would not yield, we became equally stubborn, 
and would not allow him to return, as he proposed, until the next day, 
when he predicted the passage would be more probable. Unfortunately 
Mrs. Mcllrath and I were weary, and while we slept the cowardly 
driver cut the horses and quietly decamped. How long we should have 
remained in this predicament is difficult to conjecture, had not a car- 
riage arrived from the north, containing as passengers Mr. J. P. 
Whiton Stuart, of New York, and his secretary. Mr. Stuart at once 



AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 121 

volunteered to send for the horses which had ahandoned our vehicle, 
effect a change of driver and animals and thus help us on our way. 
This was done, but not until the afternoon had so far advanced that 
only one stage was accomplished in the entire day. 

We passed a miserable night Jan. 2, 1898, in the stables of the Post 
House in Hassinabad. Getting an early start we arrived at Kah-rizak. 
twenty-six miles north, in the afternoon. It was then but a short ride to 
the mosque and shrine called "Shah Abdullah Azirn," where we boarded 
a steam railway for Teheran, eight miles ahead. We were then in the 
capital of Persia, snow-bound and unable to proceed, even had weather 
permitted, on account of Mrs. Mcllrath's feet, but thankful, for Teheran 
afforded hospitals and surgeons, and best of all, American ones. 

The city of Teheran has been the imperial residence since Shah Aga 
Mohammed Kahn, founder of the Khajar dynasty, which now reigns, 
chose to elevate the insignificant village to a place of royal abode, and 
bestowed upon it the titles, "City of the Shadow of God," and "Foot- 
stool of the King of Kings." We visited the magnificent palace of the 
reigning Shah. Muzaffaru-ud-din, and also made a tour to Dashen 
Tappi, one of his favorite resorts. In this latter tour our party con- 
sisted of Mr. Black, Mr. Morris and myself, three cyclists; two horse- 
men, Messrs. Warner and DeMunk; and Misses DeMunk and Warner, 
and Mrs. Mcllrath, entrusted to the care of a Cossack, who drove a pair 
of mules attached to a heavy Russian carriage. Owing to the condition 
of Mrs. Mcllrath's extremities we were unable to accept many invita- 
tions, but despite the fact, we left Teheran greatly indebted to the mem- 
bers of the European Colony there. When we departed on Feb. 25, it 
was by the carriage, as cycling to Resht was entirely out of the ques- 
tion, the roads being deep with snow and the passes in the mountains 
Ice-bound. There is little to write of the journey in Persia. Scenery 
was either a vast plain, studded with sagebrush, or the panorama was 
that of a barren, dull rock which had neither rugged beauty nor pic- 
turesque formation. Three days of this monotonous travel brought 
us to Kasbin, where we were delayed by more wretched weather until 
March C. More snow fell directly we took to the road, our path often 
taking us along the edge of a precipice the entire slope of which, above 
and below us, was glaring ice. A slip or a false step meant certain 
death, and each instant that an iron-shod hoof grated and crushed, we 
expected to hear a wild shriek and the crash of a fatal fall. At one 
point on the journey we passed a party of laborers at work rescuing 
from the bottom of the gorge a horse and rider, both stiff in death. 
This was but one of the many horrors on the road to Resht, which we 
reached on March 13. The city affords two hotels, both conducted by 
Frenchmen, and as we inquired for the best, we were directed to one 



122 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

designated as the Hotel Europe. I would recommend any reader con- 
templating a trip to Resht to apply for lodgings at the other hotel. Our 
knowledge of the French language was limited, but though we had ab- 
sorbed sufficient to enable us to eat heartily and sleep soundly in French, 
we felt certain of success at the Europe Hotel. The avaricious design of 
the frowsy proprietor foiled us, howevei', and as his rates were $8 a 
day, we made our stay in the city as short as possible. 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

CYCLISTS LAND IN RUSSIA — TIFLIS, "THE PARIS OF THE CAUCASUS" — IN 
SIGHT OF MOUNT ARARAT — SUICIDE OF THE PET MONKEY. 

We left Resht Monday, March 21, on board the nondescript steamer 
"B." There were but two cabins afforded by the steamer, and to one 
of these Capt. Ahrninckie assigned the Inter Ocean tourists. The run 
to Baku is less than the Chicago-Milwaukee or Cleveland-Detroit runs, 
but owing to delays we did not reach Baku until Thursday, March 24. 
We formed a number of friends in the city, dinners, teas and drives 
being of daily occurrence. We also attended the opern, but as great as 
was our diversion, we pined for the days that we should again be in the 
saddle, with our feet upon the pedal. Our Easter Sunday of 1S9S we 
spent in Tiflis, the quaintest of all Russian cities. Tiflis is called the 
"Paris of the Caucasus," but the real significance of the name is "Hot 
Springs." Hot Springs there are at Tiflis, not of valuable mineral 
nature, but most grateful to the weary traveler who visits the bath- 
houses, and after a thorough steaming is kneaded into supple activity 
by Persian attendants. Here, of all the cities on earth, I do not know 
of any one which will afford the visitor more varied and interesting 
street scenes. New Orleans, when in the regalia of its annual Mardi- 
Gras, is not more picturesque. It is not only the fanciful appearance 
of the street, but the unique procession of pedestrians, men of all 
nations, that makes Tiflis and its streets appear like the dancing room 
of a bal masque. The Russian and the natives of the Caucasus are 
more hospitable than any people we ever met. Officials of the city 
heaped upon us courtesies and seemed to enter into a contest with each 
other in paying us attention. The last few days of our stay in Tiflis 
were unusually busy. The ruined tires of Mrs. Mcllrath's bicycle and 
the badly damaged front tire of my own had to be replaced by new 
ones, and the best we could make out was to purchase inner tubes and 
alter our old tires to suit the available article. We left Tiflis on April 
14, many friends being present to see us off. We were all happy, even 
Including Rodney, the monkey, to be again awheel. I should mention 
that it was not until after our sojourn in Tiflis that Mrs. Mellrath was 



AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 123 

able, for the first time since her horrible night in the mountains of 
Persia, to put her feet again to the pedals of her machine. Lost twice 
on the road, and with many an inconvenience and delay, an account of 
which would be but to go over in part our misfortunes in other climes, 
we arrived during the latter part of April at Ahkty, 60 miles from 
Mount Ararat, the most famed mountain in the world's history, the 
resting place of the ark in which Noah preserved the family, human 
animal, reptile and winged. 

The day after our arrival in Ahkty was a fete day in Russia, the 
birthday of the Grand Duke. The town was rich in color with the red, 
blue and white flags, the shops were closed and bands played in the 
park. Troops in dress uniform swarmed the streets; women and child- 
ren in holiday clothes promenaded through the groves of trees 'neath 
the window of our hotel; and above all, shown in glittering, lofty beauty 
Mount Ararat, immaculate and cold as if, since her duty done in receiv- 
ing the ship of God, she had locked herself in frigid mail against 
the frivolous people beneath. 

An oil-laden tramp steamer, after three days of wallowing along the 
shores of Asia Minor, placed us iu Constantinople on June 0. We had 
been directed to several hotels in the city, but as our informants had 
confessed that all were uniformly piratical in their practices, we 
selected one directly opposite the American Consulate. Galatea, the 
section of the city in which we landed, is the water front and wholesale 
commercial portion of the town, and as we threaded our way through 
the crowded street, following closely the coolies who carried our 
luggage, we had excellent opportunity of witnessing the sights of the 
most interesting quarter of the great city. To those who have not 
visited the interiors of China, India, Burmah and Persia, Constanti- 
nople may appear truly Oriental, but to the Inter Ocean cyclists the 
city presented anything but a resemblance to manners and customs 
Eastern. We spent seven days in diligent search for curious sights, 
and of them all we decided that the most attractive features were the 
Salaarnlik, or public reception at prayer by the Sultan; "the dogs of 
Stamboul" and Constantinople, the fires and fire department, and the 
museum and the tomb of Alexander. The religious day of Mussulmans 
is Friday, and we were present when Abdul Hamid, the Sultan, wended 
his way to the mosque to pray. The populists turned out to greet him, 
and soldiers flashed their way through the streets; it was a gala day 
in Constantinople. We saw the face of the Sultan squarely, but it 
did not please us. If it were possible for human face to resemble a 
hawk, the Sultan of Turkey certainly bore that resemblance to the 
cruel bird. The eyes were glittering, the brows big and slauting, the 
nose hooked, and the lips thin and compressed. The face was not 



124 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

one to be forgotten. Features do not always bespeak the character 
of a man, but, after looking into the eyes of the Sultan, one could 
readily understand how such a man could order the extermination of 
the opposing sect of a religious people, and calmly read the report 
of his subordinates who informed him that 3,500 of his Armenian 
subjects had been slain in the streets of Constantinople and Stamboul 
in less than thirty-six hours. 

Fires are a serious event in Constantinople, much more so than my 
American brethren, in whose country conflagrations are daily affairs, 
can well imagine. The city, with its sea breeze, the hills and valleys 
as a flue, and with houses of wood, and streets so narrow that flames 
overreach, a fire, with ordinary start, has an advantage which only 
exhaustion and skill will overcome. As we saw for ourselves, "exhaus- 
tion" is the only method of the Constantinople firemen. There is so 
much ceremony about going to a fire that the chief and his men 
are well nigh put out by fatigue before the blaze is extinguished. 
When I say extinguished, I mean before the fire burns itself out. 
It is prevented only from being a conflagration by the fact that those 
members of the department not laid out for want of breath, and 
assisted by zealous fitizers, grab long poles and push and pull down 
the adjacent buildings. "The; dogs of Stamboui" are numbered by 
the thousands. They are quiet and well behaved, do not bark at 
wagons and pedestrians, and sleep on the sidewalk, in the gutter and 
in the middle of the street. They are the scavengers of the city, 
and woe to the man who abuses them. Sleeping by day, they wake 
into activity as night advances and the shops ciose. Meat markets, 
restaurants, bakeries, private residences and hotels throw the leavings 
from counter and table into the gutters, and the dogs "do the rest." 

I must record, while in Constantinople, the untimely death of 
Rodney, the monkey. The following quotation appearod in the Servet 
of Constantinople, and is a fair example, at the same time, of a 
Turkish newspaper joke: "Suicide at the Maison Tokatlian — Effendi 
Mcllrath, an American journalist, who is resting at the Maison 
Tokatlian, is completing a remarkable journey through the interior of 
Asia and Europe, using bicycles to transport himself and wife. The 
sights of Constantinople have proven so attractive that the gentleman 
has had little time to devote to a pet monkey, which has been his 
companion for several thousand miles. After sunset of the past day 
the monkey was left alone in the gentleman's room, and upon returning 
from dinner the master found the animal hanging by his neck from 
the window sash. As no papers were left and no warning given, jeal- 
ousy is ascribed as the cause, but the police will investigate." 

I do not know that jealousy was the cause of the little fellow's 



AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 125 

self-inflicted end, but I am inclined to believe that the desire to reach 
some strawberries which lay upon the table near him, the twisting 
of the strap on his neck, and the consequent choking, had more to 
do with the ending of Rodney's erratic career. 

We departed for Constantza, Roumania, Saturday, June IS, on one 
of the coasting steamers carrying mail and passengers to the Oriental 
express, bound for Taris via Buda-resth and Vienna. I would not 
attempt to fix the date when Roumania was populated, but during 
the ages when Romans required visitors to do as Romans did, the 
toga-clad nation utilized Roumania as a sort of ancient Australia, a 
dumping-ground for incorrigible criminals. Some of the hotel and 
restaurant keepers in Roumania at the present day should be able to 
trace their ancestry without trouble. The traits of the pioneers are 
still exhibited. Constantza is pretty; it is one of those white, clean 
little places which only exist on the sea fronts where coal dust, soot 
and factories and black dust is unknown. It is called the "Brighton 
of Roumania," but since the water off Long Island is just as salt, and 
the hotel prices almost as exorbitant, the name might be improved on. 

We selected the Hotel Union in Bucharest as our stopping place, 
but scarcely had we entered the corridors one evening than a crowd 
hemmed us in and began the usual catechism in the three popular 
languages, French, German and Roumanian. Though I managed to 
slip Mrs. Mcllrath through the crowd and up to her chamber, I was 
unable to leave the throng until two hours later. The next day we 
were visited by the various members of the "Clubul Ciclistilar Buchar- 
est," which means Bucharest's Cycling Club, and, after luncheon with 
some of the English-speaking members, we were made honorary mem- 
bers of the organization. Principally Germans, the club is a jolly set. 
They were our guides, companions and entertainers during our sojourn 
in the city. They sent flowers to Mrs. Mcllrath, dined us, invited us 
to their meetings, and presented us with souvenirs of the occasion. 
We fared well in the city, and our ride over the miserable roads was 
the chief topic in cycling circles. It is inconceivable to me why a coun- 
try so intensely interesting as Roumania, a city so wickedly fascinating 
and beautiful as Bucharest, should be so little frequented by travelers. 
Taris, with all its world-wide reputation as a city of gold-plated vice, 
cannot compare with the more obscure Bucharest. Lovers of beautiful 
architecture will find in the palaces, museum and academy all that 
they desire; admirers of glittering uniforms and lovely women will 
be able to feast their eyes each evening, when all the capital turns 
out in dress parade on the beautiful boulevarde; artists will find quaint 
characters, costumes, landscapes and romantic homes, and the novelist 
of Zolaism will be able to weave plots of realism that will horrify 



126 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

the morals and titilate the perverted palate of the sensation-loving gour- 
mand. As a kingdom, Roumania enjoys liberties which are not to be 
equaled in any republic extant. The press is free to the extent that 
monarch and private character, private history and personal charac- 
teristics are not exempt from type. Were American editors to write 
as do their Roumanian brothers, the vocation would be one excluded 
from the lists of acceptable risks of life insurance companies. Rains 
delayed our departure from Bucharest until Sunday, July 2G. We 
were escorted on our start from the city, at 1 o'clock in the after- 
noon, by Messrs. Furth and Jensen, two of the most hardy road riders 
of the Bucharest Cycling Club, and we whirled off thirty-one kilometers 
ere we entered Ploesti, the half-way fctop. 



CHAPTER XXY. 



ROUMANIA A PARADISE FOR CYCLISTS — DELIGHTFUL RIDING INTO AUSTRO- 
HUNGART — VIENNA ACCORDS A SPLENDID RECEPTION TO THE TOURISTS 

A curious and confusing method of road measurement exists in 
Roumania, by which many cyclists are led to believe distances are far 
less than is really the case. If the orficial distance from village A to E 
is given as 100 kilometers, that sum does not include the distance 
inside the boundaries of villages B, C and D. Thus a day's run through 
a dozen straggling settlements involves riding a total of 80 kilometers 
more than maps and road posts indicate. We found this difficulty to 
exist on our first day's run from Bucharest. When we reached Siniai 
the total mileage indicated was 82, yet we had six kilometers to travel 
ere we halted at the hotel in the center of the town. Siniai is not a 
city of trade and industry. It is a mountain summer resort, made 
popular twelve years ago by an eccentric Roumanian prince, and per- 
petuated by Carol I., King of Roumania, who selected the enchanting 
hills as the royal summer palace. The palace is called Pelesu Castle, 
and, as the English-speaking proprietor of our hotel told us that visitors 
were freely admitted, we pressed him into service as guide, and made 
a visit to the abode of royalty. We discovered His Majesty on a 
terrace in front of the castle, playing with two chubby children. I was 
fearful lest he see us and regard our presence as an intrusion, but 
assured by our guide that the monarch was not in the least sensitive 
about strangers, we passed toward the distinguished group. As we 
neared the king he stood erect, and looked at us intently, and as he 
raised one finger to salute by touching the side of his military cap, he 
spoke clearly, "Guten morgen." The little prince straightened up, 
brought his boot heels together so that the bare calves of his fat legs 



AROUND THE WORLD OX WHEELS. 127 

touched, and, imitating the sovereign, he piped, "Guteii morgen." The 
king had mistaken us for Germans, h:s own nationality. 

When we departed from Siniai we left behind us one of the most 
romantic and beautiful of cities. Our route was slightly up-hill for 
the first twenty-live kilometers, but with excellent roads, cool air 
and frequent shade we did not feel any discomfort and rode rapidly. 
It is tantalizing to other cyclists and tourists for one to write of 
elegant roadways, delightful scenery and charmiug little roadside 
inns, when the location is so unavailable as Eastern Europe is to 
American cyclists, but it would be an act of injustice to Roumania 
were we not to admit it the most beautiful of countries, and the 
northern section the most perfect of cycling routes. Where the valleys 
narrow into a pass, the road, cut into the side of rocks, is shaded by 
overhanging cliffs, and at short intervals are situated moss-covered 
wooden troughs, through which trickle ice water, clear as only snow 
water can be when percolated through porous rock. We were rudely 
disturbed in our survey of entrancing scenery one bright morning 
by a soldier standing guard at a small house by the roadside. We 
were at Predeal, the border line between Roumania and Austria- 
Hungary. Mr. Boxshall, the American vice-consul at Bucharest, had 
given us letters from the Austro-IIungarian consul at Bucharest, and 
this, with my muchly-indorsed passport, made an important looking 
package document which I had handed two officers in the examining 
room of the outpost. After a careful perusual of the papers, they 
respectfully declined to inspect our luggage and permitted us to pass 
into Hungary territory. Tomasu, an Austro-IIungarian customs house, 
was five miles north, and as we did not expect further formality until 
reaching that point, we set out at a lively pace as soon as our papers 
had been returned. We had proceeded scarcely a hundred yards ere 
a trooper in uniform stepped from a sentry-box and commanded us 
to halt. As he possessed a rifle and a business-like expression, wo 
checked up immediately. An officer now appeared and demanded re- 
ceipts for sixty florins, which should have been paid on our bicycles 
as revenue bond. The sixty florins, he explained, would be returned 
to us on our departure from Austrian territory, but as our entire 
finances did not greatly exceed that sum, we endeavored to appease 
the demands of the revenue department by a display of papers. The 
official after questioning us regarding our trip, became gracious, and 
returning our papers, motioned us to go ahead without further annoy- 
ance. Having successfully run the gauntlet on two occasions, the task 
at Tomasu was comparatively easy— in fact a pleasure— the officials 
endorsing our papers, inviting us to luncheon and providing us with 
maps. Leaving Tomasu, the grade was in our favor, and late in the 



128 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

afternoon we halted at the village inn at Persani. Stepping inside to 
quench our thirst, two men wbo had taken an unusual interest in our 
bicycles and selves drew near to listen to our conversation. One 
chap had an enormous revolver, and as the other stood with feet 
far apart, he thrust his hands under the tails of his smock. There 
was something familiar in the attitude, and I could not but exclaim 
to my wife, "I will bet a hundred dollars that chap has hip pockets 
in his trousers, and if he has, he has been in America." The word 
America settled all doubt. The pair advanced and declared themselves. 
In typical "contract labor" dialect. I was addressed as "Boss," in- 
formed that America was "bully," and that they had "built" a rail- 
road at Salem, Ohio, and had brought home hip pockets filled with 
big guns and American money. They insisted upon buying us beer 
in true American style, and as they departed with a low bow, they 
looked at the common herd of un traveled with haughty air. 

We endured slight showers during the afternoon of June 29, which 
proved our undoing for a century- run. After a hard fall on one of 
the slippery hills, I limped into Fetorfalva, 85 miles away from our 
starting point at midnight, the front fork of my wheel badly bent, and 
the grips broken from the handle-bars. A half-drunken blacksmith, 
whom I found in the village the next morning, made an aggravating 
botch of the repair, but it lasted to Muhlenbach, eighteen miles 
distant, where a cyclist kindly escorted me to a repair shop. The 
foreman of the shop had read of the Inter Ocean tourists, and promised 
us a permanent repair. He kept his word, and we again started 
on our journey at 6 in the evening. Twenty miles out of Muhlenbach 
a storm broke upon us and for two hours no cyclists ever had such 
hard riding, unless, of course, it be up the snowclad mountains of 
Persia. We eventually found a wine house on the roadside, to which 
we were admitted, but informed that we could not be permitted to 
pass the night there. We flatly refused to go, and when the fat 
wife of the proprietor realized that we meant just what we said, 
she brought in straw and arranged a bed for us, where we slept 
until daylight. At Eroos, where we stopped for breakfast, a jolly 
young fellow introduced himself to us as Erlich Janos, captain of the 
local wheel club, a pilot of Thomas Stevens, American World's cyclist 
of '85, and an admirer of the Inter Ocean tourists. Erlich Janos, 
or, as we should call him, John Erlich, had maps of a territory through 
which we would travel, and he asked permission to accompany us 
on part of the run. We were delighted to have him, and our admira- 
tion for him was doubled when he appeared in modern wheeling 
costume in the seat of one of the latest made machines. We covered 
thirty miles before halting for luncheon, and the good-natured cyclist 



AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 129 

continued with us as far as a fork in the road ten miles from Dobra. 
July 4 was spent on a lovely stretch of road, whirling toward Buda- 
Pesth. Heavy rains made the road almost impassable on July 5, but 
we foolishly attempted to press on and reach Kecskemet by 10 o'clock 
that night. When about eighteen miles from our destination. I was 
blinded by a flash of lightning, and the uext moment pitched over a 
steep embankment. My damaged front fork was once more broken, 
and my leg seriously wrenched. The situation was anything but 
pleasant, and how Ave ever reached Kecskemet carrying the broken 
wheel and feeling our May in the darkness, remains this day a source 
of wonder to ourselves. We arrived in the city just in time to catch 
the mail train into Buda-Pesth. fifty-one miles north, where our 
wheels were repaired and our broken journey once more picked up. 

Though our arrival in the city was unannounced and detracted 
from by entrance on the conventional railway, the Buda-Pesth cyclists 
immediately accepted us as wandering members of a vast fraternity. 
Mr. Emil Philopivich, Mr. Otto Blathy and Mr. Joseph Erlich were 
active in our behalf, and if we do not know the principal sights 
of the Hungarian capital, the error is not with them. When we left 
Buda-Pestli on July 17, with Messrs. Erlich and Philopivich as pace- 
makers, we had in trail many cyclists journeying from Buda-Pesth 
to Vienna. Assisted by smooth roads, we were in a fair way of reach 
ing Vienna by night, but a cold rain sent us scurrying into a hotel on 
the roadside, delaying us until the next morning. We reached the 
outskirts of Vienna at 10 o'clock in the morning, wheeling into the 
city through scores of parks, avenues of beautiful buildings, and 
squares reserved for the erection of some government structure 
designed to match some magnificent building already rearing its 
proud dome on the square opposite. Vienna would be a paradise to 
cyclists if the street pavements and condition of thoroughfares were 
not a menace to life and limb. There is not a street but that has 
suffered severe attacks of gas, ttuter and sewage contraction. The 
result is a maze of holes, ditches, depressions and bumps. There are 
many places to visit in Vienna and near by, but one of the first 
runs we made was far out in the suburbs to a cottage occupied by a 
Mr. Clemens. Few people in the book-reading world know Mr. 
Clemens, but millions know Mark Twain, and the pair are as 
closely united as Dr. .Tekyl and Mr. Hyde (yet in justice to Mr. 
Clemens, not so dissimilar in character). Mr. Clemens was situated in 
a delightful, quiet spot, hard at work, while his daughters were adding 
to their musical education the desired Viennese polish. 1 did not 
ascertain what fountain-pen he used, get a diagram of the house 
with a cross representing where he sat at work, or even his sigua- 
9 



130 AROUND THE WORLD ON WHEELS. 

ture asserting that I had a genuine interview with him, but I know 
that he was enjoying good health, was vigorous as ever, smoked good 
cigars, and said we were welcome. 

We liked Vienna and its people, and we stayed in the city just 
long enough to enjoy its pleasures and learn only a few of its incon- 
veniences. The Inter Ocean cyclists had decided to depart westward 
July 27. and the "Neue Wiener Tagblatt," which had announced every 
movement we had made, did not lose advantage of a final write-up. 
Early in the morning of the date agreed upon we were aroused 
by a visitor. He was a cyclist and came to announce that hundreds 
of people were awaiting us in the Kohlmarkt, and though the hour 
was 7 o'clock and we were to start at 9, the people would be pleased 
if we would remain on exhibition during the interval. The idea did 
not suit us exactly, and communicating the fact to the delegate 
through closed doors, we again slept the sleep of people who must do 
two days' work in one. We reached the Kohlmarkt at 9 o'clock, and, 
as our early informant had stated; a crowd awaited us. It was a 
Vienna crowd, good-natured and patient, who cheered us as we 
wheeled into sight, made way for us to pass to the rendezvous, but 
almost pulled us to pieces in efforts to shake hands with lis and attract 
attention to their hearty "Gleich lich ze reisen." 

We pulled out into the street at 9:30 o'clock. Our escort and the 
police held back the crowd long enough to allow a photographer to 
add two negatives to his collection, and then with a sign of relief 
we slipped into our saddles and wheeled slowly through the lane of 
shouting people. Our escort was a unique one, the riders clad in white 
flannel, black hose, and lavender silk sweaters. Mr. Charles Car- 
penter, Miss Marion Carpenter and Mr. Fritz of Tottstown, Pa., also 
lined up, and with a constantly accumulating line of cyclists we 
started toward the western limits. Near St. Poiten we had lunch, 
our companions returned to Vienna, and the Inter Ocean cyclists 
wheeled on alone. We halted that night sixty-four miles from where 
we had left our Vienna party at midday. We were again in the realm 
of gast-houses, plain but substantial meals, odd little chambers, 
equipped with two bedsteads, one chair, a washstand, and several 
feather beds. It is pleasant, though, clean, and our only regret at the 
resumption of our trip Mas that we had left behind Vienna, a city 
which cannot be excelled in gayety, life and beauty. Faris may be 
more wicked, vicious and historical in strife, but there is only one 
Vienna, and that a peerless city of beauty and wholesome pleasure. 



UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS-URBANA 




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