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Full text of "Around the world on a bicycle"

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ON A glCYCLE 



ROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN 



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3tl;ata, Hew ^arh 



CHARLES WILLIAM WASON 
COLLECTION 

CHINA AND THE CHINESE 



THE GIFT OF 

CHARLES WILLIAM WASON 

CLASS OF 1876 

1918 




Cornell University 
Library 



The original of this book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 



http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924023253093 



Cornell University Library 
G 440.S84 
^Around the world on a bicvd^^^ 




3 1924 023 253 093 



FROM SAK FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN 



LONDON : 
GILBERT AND RIVINGTON, LIMITED, 

ST. John's house, clerkenwell road, e.c. 



ABOUND ^IHE WOELD 
ON A BICYCLE 



BY 

THOMAS STEVENS 



FEOM SAN FEANCISCO TO TEHEEAN 



WITH OVER ONE HUNDRED ILLUSTRATIONS 



EonWon 

SAMPSON LOW, MAESTOX, SEAELE, AND EIVINGTON 

CROWN BDILDINGS, 188, FLEET STREET 

1887 

[^AU rights reserved'] 

(^ K' I y I U f; ( T r 



COLONEL ALBERT A. POPE, 

OF BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, 

"WHOSE LIBEEAL SPIBIT OF ENTEKPEISE, AMD GENEEOUS CONFIDENCE IN THE INTEGRITY AND 

ABILITY OF THE ATJTHOH. MADE THE TOTJB 

AEOimD THE WORLD ON A BICYCLE 

POSSIBLE, BY UNSTINTED FINANCIAL PATRONAGE, IS THIS VOLUME 
RESFECTFULLY DEDICATED. 



PREFACE. 



Shaxespeaee says, in AWs Wdl that Ends Well, that " a 
good traveller is something at the latter end of a dinner ; " and 
I never was more struck with the truth of this than when I 
heard Mr. Thomas Stevens, after the dinner given in his 
honor by the Massachusetts Bicycle Club, make a brief, off- 
hand report of his adventures. He seemed like Jules Verne, 
telling his own wonderful performances, or like a contemporary 
Sinbad the Sailor. We found that modern mechanical inven- 
tion, instead of disenchanting the universe, had really afforded 
the means of exploring its marvels the more surely. Instead 
of going round the world with a rifle, for the purpose of kill- 
ing something, — or with a bundle of tracts, in order to convert 
somebody, — this bold youth simply went round the globe to see 
the people who were on it ; and since he always had something 
to show them as interesting as anything that they could show 
him, he made his way among all nations. 

What he had to show them was not merely a man perched 
on a lofty wheel, as if riding on a soap-bubble ; but he was 
also a perpetual object-lesson in what Holmes calls " genuine, 
solid old Teutonic pluck." When the soldier rides into danger 
he has comrades by his side, his country's cause to defend, his 
uniform to vindicate, and the bugle to cheer him on ; but this 
solitary rider had neither military station, nor an oath of alle- 
giance, nor comrades, nor bugle ; and he went among men of 



Vill PREFACE. 

unknown languages, alien habits and hostile faith with only 
his own tact and courage to help him through. They proved 
sufficient, for he returned alive. 

I have only read specimen chapters of this book, but find in 
them the same simple and manly quality which attracted us all 
when Mr. Stevens told his story in person. It is pleasant to 
know that while peace reigns in America, a young man can 
always find an opportunity to take his life in his hand and orig.^ 
inate some exploit as good as those of the much-wandering 
Ulysses. In the German story " Titan," Jean Paul describes a 
manly youth who " longed for an adventure for his idle brav- 
ery ; " and it is pleasant to read the narrative of one who has 
quietly gone to work, in an honest way, to satisfy this longing. 

Thomas Wentwokth Higginson. 
Cambeidge, Mass. , April 10, 1887. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 

PAGE 

Over the Siereas Nevadas, 1 



CHAPTER II. 
OvEK THE Deserts of Nevada, . , 31 

CHAPTER III. 
Through Mormon-Land and over the Rookies, .... 46 

CHAPTER IV. 
From the Great Plains to the Atlantic, • .... 70 

CHAPTER V. 
From America to the German Frontier, 91 

CHAPTER VI. 
Germany, Austria, and Hungary, 131 

CHAPTER VII. 
Through Slavonia and Servla, 153 

CHAPTER VIII. 

BULGARLl, ROUMELIA, AND INTO TURKEY, 184 



X CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER rX. 

PAGE 

Through European Turkey, 315 



CHAPTER X 
The Start through Asia, 251 

CHAPTER XL 
On through Asia, 263 

CHAPTER XU. 
Through the Angora Goat Country, 279 

CHAPTER Xni. 
Bey Bazaar, Angora, and Eastward, 307 

CHAPTER XIV. 
Across the Kizil Irmatc Riter to Tuzgat, 338 

CHAPTER XV. 
From the Koordish Camp to Yuzqat, 351 

CHAPTER XVL 
Through the Sivas Vilayet into Armenia, 368 

CHAPTER XVII. 
Through Erzingan and Erzeroum, 397 

CHAPTER XVIII. 
Mount Ararat and Koordistan, .... . 430 



CONTENTS. XI 



CHAPTER XIX. 

PAGE 

Persia and the Tabreez Caravan Trail, 455 



CHAPTER XX. 
Tabreez to Teheran, 486 

CHAPTER XXL 
Teheran, , . . 517 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



PAGE 

PoKTKAiT OF THOMAS STEVENS Frontispiece. 

The Stabt, 3 

The BuBNiifG Tuiles 5 

Crossing the Sibrea Nbvadas, 14 

In the Central Pacific Snow-sheds, 18 

The "Forty-Mile Desert," ... .... 26 

The Piute's Header, . . 32 

Ugh ! What Is It ? 35 

Bncoctnter wtth a Mountain Lion, 41 

A Stampede of Wild Mustangs, 49 

A Fair Young Mormon 53 

A Tough Bit of Country, 58 

Fishing Out My Clothes, 67 

The First Homestead 71 

Geemaity Transplanted, 77 

Jumbo Comes Out to Meet Me, 81 

Amenities of the Brie Tow-path, 87 

The Starley Memorial, Coventry, 98 

Resting in an English Village, 99 



XIV LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 

The Dieppe Milkman, 103 

The Champs Eltseb at 10 p.m., Ill 

A Glimpse of Medieval France, 115 

Borrowed Plumage 135 

Whitsuntide in Bavaria, 132 

The Barber op M(3lk, 140 

Charming Presburg, 143 

The Slavonian Shepherds, 157 

A Belle of the Balkans, 175 

Sunday at Bela Palanka 177 

The Zaribrod Passport Office, , , 181 

Meeting the "Bulgarian Express," 191 

Turkish Amenities, . . 300 

On the Minaret with the Muezzin, . . . 310 

" Are You an English Baron ? " . . ... 213 

" And Makes a Grab for Mt Revolver," 318 

Almost Pursuaded to be a Christian, 226 

"Play 'Yankee Doodle,'" said the Pasha, .... 230 

Constantinople Fire Laddies, . . . « . . . 233 

Prinkipo the Beautiful, . . 345 

Bicycle Tent, ... 247 

A Notice of My Journey in the Sultan's Official Organ, . 249 

Osmanli Pilgrims, 354 

My Bill of Fare, 359 

Greeks Enjoying Themselves, 36i 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIOJS^S. XV 

A Circassian Refugee, . 264 

Sabanjans Wobrting Me to Ride, 267 

Down the Sakaria, .- ... 271 

Lively Times, 285 

A Faithful Guardian . 291 

The Byways op Asia Minor, 297 

Early Morning Callers, 299 

A Quarry of Startled Dears, 303 

Serenaded by Turkish Dandies, 313 

Racing with the Zaptibh, 819 

Angora Water- works 323 

Genuine Bkmek, 332 

The Unspeakable Oriental, 834 

A Sketch on the Kizil Irmak, 339 

Grapes and Grace, 343 

Camping Out, 345 

The Contemplative Young Man , . 354 

My Xuzgat Audience, 365 

An Armenian Family Reunion, 369 

Slightly Armed, . 370 

A Harem Beauty, 382 

The Vali on Floor with Map 383 

Armenian Hospitality, , 387 

At Kikkor-agha Vartarian's, 388 

Apprehensive of Danger, 391 



XVI LIST OP tLLTJSTBATIONS. 

PAGE 

The Armenian Egg-spoon, 398 

The Native Idea of Butteb, 403 

"Stand and Deliver J" 404 

The Pasha -was Plating Chess, 408 

"A Russian, AM I?" 412 

Wantonly Assaulted, 422 

"Undisturbed" Eepose, 423 

A Suspicious Offer of Protection, 425 

Well Guarded at Lunch, i . .... 438 

The Persistent Son is Shoved into the Water, . . . 441 

EiDiNG fob the Pasha Khan's Ladies 443 

An Evbry-dat Occurrence, . 446 

Politeness in a Koobdish Tent, 447 

Explaining England's Friendly Offices 450 

KooRDisH Highwaymen, 453 

" Limp as a Dish-rag," ^ . , 457 

Doing the Agreeable 459 

Taking a Drink, 403 

The Patriotic Moonshi-Bashi, 4(55 

A Yankee Artist's Idea of Dervishes, 4g7 

Hassan Khan Takes a Lesson, 47q 

The Maitah-jee Surprised, 47g 

The Khan-jee Escapes through the Window 477 

"Take the Horse and Leave the Bicycle," .... 479 

Persian Katik-jees Differ, . . . . ^ . . . 434 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. Xvii 

PAGE 

They Swoop Down on Mb from the Reae 487 

The Valiat Gives Me a Race, 489 

Like a CoKYPHfeE with Hand Aloft, 495 

The Bridgbless Streams op Asia, 498 

Midnight Intruders, 500 

Firing over their Heads, 505 

Passing a Camei, Caravan . 507 

Persian " Lutis," or Buffoons, .... . . 509 

Entering the Teheran Gate, 516 

The Shah's Foot-runners, 519 

Soldiers Clearing my Road, 623 

The Shah Escorts Mb to Dohan Tepe, 525 

The Shah shows Mb his Menagerie, 537 

The Naib-i-Sultan Smiles Approvingly, 531 

The Old Pomegranate Vender Wants Me to Give Chase, . 537 

Ayoob Khan and His Attendant, 545 



FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 



CHAPTEE I. 

OVER THE SIEREAS NEVADAS. 



The beauties of nature are scattered with a more lavish hand 
across the country lying between the summit of the Sierra Nevada 
Mountains and the shores where the surf romps and rolls over the 
auriferous sands of the Pacific, in Golden Gate Park, than in a 
journey of the same length in any other part of the world. 

Such, at least, is the verdict of many whose fortune it has been 
to traverse that favored stretch of country. Nothing but the lim- 
ited power of man's eyes prevents him from standing on the top of 
the mountains and surveying, at a glance, the whole glorious pan- 
orama that stretches away for more than two hundred miles to 
the west, terminating in the gleaming waters of the Pacific Ocean. 
Could he do this, he would behold, for the first seventy-five or 
eighty miles, a vast, billowy sea of foot-hUls, clothed with forests 
of sombre pine and bright, evergreen oaks ; and, lower down, 
dense patches of white-blossomed chaparral, looking in the en- 
chanted distance like irregular banks of snow. Then the world- 
renowned valley of the Sacramento Eiver, with its level plains of 
dark, rich soil, its matchless fields of ripening grain, traversed here 
and there by streams that, emerging from the shadowy depths of 
the foot-hUIs, wind their way, like gleaming threads of silver, 
across the fertile plain and join the Sacramento, which receives 
them, one and all, in her matronly bosom and hurries with them 
on to the sea. 

Towns and villages, with white church-spires, irregularly sprin- 
kled over hill and vale, as though sown like seeds from the giant 



2 FKOM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEIIEUAN. 

hand of a mighty Imsbanclman, would be seen nestling snugly 
amid groves of waving shade and semi-tropical fniit trees. Beyond 
all this the lower coast-range, where, toward San Francisco, Mount 
Diablo and Mount Tamalpais — grim sentinels of the Golden Gate 
— rear their shaggy heads skyward, and seem to look down with 
a patronizing air upon the less pretentious hills that border the 
coast and reflect their shadows in the blue water of San Fran- 
cisco Bay. Upon the sloping sides of these hills sweet, nutritious 
grasses grow, upon which peacefully graze the cows that supply 
San Francisco with mUk and butter. 

Various attempts have been made from time to time, by am- 
bitious cj'clers, to wheel across America from ocean to ocean ; but 
— " Around the World 1 " 

" The impracticable scheme of a visionary," was the most chari- 
table verdict one could reasonably have expected. 

The first essential element of success, however, is to have suf- 
ficient confidence in one's self to brave the criticisms — ^to say noth- 
ing of the witticisms — of a sceptical public. So eight o'clock on 
the morning of April 22, 1884, finds me and my fifty-inch machine 
on the deck of the Alameda, one of the splendid ferry-boats plying 
between San Francisco and Oakland, and a ride of four miles 
over the sparkling waters of the bay lands us, twenty-eight ruin- 
utes later, on the Oakland jiier, that juts far enough out to allow 
the big ferries to enter the slip in deep water. On the beauties 
of San Francisco B.iy it is, perhaps, needless to dwell, as every- 
body has heard or read of this magnificent sheet of water, its sur- 
face flecked with snowy sails, and surrounded by a beautiful 
framework of evergreen hills ; its only outlet to the ocean the fa- 
mous Golden Gate — a narrow channel through which come and 
go the ships of all nations. 

With the hearty well-wishing of a small grou]D of Oakland and 
'Frisco cyclers who have come, out of cm-iosity, to see the start, I 
mount and ride away to the east, down San Pablo Avenue, toward 
the village of the same Spanish name, some sixteen miles distant. 
Tlie first seven miles are a sort of half-macadamized road, and I 
bowl briskly along. 

The past winter has been the rainiest since 1857, and the con- 
tinuous pelting rains had not beaten down upon the last half of 
this imperfect macadam in vain ; for it has left it a surface of 
wave-like undulations, from out of which the frequent bowlder 



OVER THE SIERRAS NEVADAS. 



3 



protrudes its unwelcome head, as if ambitiously striving to soar 
above its lowly surroundings. But this one don't mind, and I am 
perfectly willing to put up with the bowlders for the sake of 
the undulations. The sensation of riding a small boat over " the 
gently-heaving waves of the murmuring sea " is, I think, one of the 
pleasures of life ; and the nest thing to it is riding a bicycle over 




The Start. 



the last three miles of the San Pablo Avenue macadam as I found 
it on that AprU morning. 

The wave-like macadam abruptly terminates, and I find myself 
on a common dirt road. It is a fair road, however, and I have 
plenty of time to look about and admire whatever bits of scenery 
happen to come in view. There are few spots in the "Golden 
State " from which views of more or less beauty are not to be ob- 
tained ; and ere I am a baker's dozen of miles from Oakland pier I 



Si 
4 FnOM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

find myself within an ace of taking an undesirable header into a 
ditch of water by the road-side, while looking upon a scene that 
for the moment completely wins me from my immediate surround- 
ings. There is nothing particularly grand or imposing in the out- 
look here ; but the late rains have clothed the whole smiling face 
of nature with a bright, refreshing green, that fails not to awaken 
a thiill of pleasure in the breast of one fresh from the verdureless 
streets of a large sea-port city. Broad fields of pale-green, thrifty- 
looking young wheat, and darker-hued meads, stretch away on 
either side of the road ; and away beyond to the left, through an 
opening in the hills, can be seen, as through a window, the placid 
waters of the bay, over whose glittering, sunlit surface white- 
winged, aristocratic yachts and the plebeian smacks of Greek and 
Italian fishermen swiftly glide, and fairly vie with each other in 
giving the finishing touches to a picture. 

So far, the road continues level and fairly good ; and, notwith- 
standing the seductive pleasures of the ride over the bounding bil- 
lows of the gently heaving macadam, the dalliance with the 

scenery, and the all too fi-equent dismounts in deference to the 
objections of phantom-eyed roadsters, I puUed up at San Pablo 
at ten o'clock, having covered the sixteen miles in one hour and 
thii-ty-two minutes ; though, of course, there is nothing speedy 
about this — to which desii-able qualification, indeed, I lay no 
claim. 

Soon after leaving San Pablo the country gets somewhat 
" choppy," and the road a succession of short-hills, at the bottom 
of which modest-looking mud-holes patiently await an opportunity 
to make one's acquaintance, or scraggy-looking, latitudinous wash- 
outs are awaiting their chance to commit a murder, or to make the 
unwaiy cycler who should ventm-e to "coast," think he had 
wheeled over the tail of an eai-thquake. One never minds a hiUv 
road where one can reach the bottom with an impetus that sends 
him spinning half-way up the nest ; but where mud-holes or wash- 
outs resolutely " hold the fort " in every depression, it is different 
and the progress of the cycler is necessarily slow. 

I have set upon reaching Suisun, a point fifty mUes alone the 
Central Pacific EaUway, to-night ; but the roads after leavin"- San 
Pablo -are anything but good, and the day is warm, so six p ^r 
finds me trudging along an unridable piece of road throu"h the 
low tuile swamps that border Suisun Bay. " Tuile " is the name 



ovEi; THE siei;i:as nevadas. 



given to a species of tall raiilc grass, or ratber rush, that grows to 
the lieight of eight or ten feet, and so thick in places that it is diffi- 




The Burning Tuiles. 



cult to pass through, in the low, swampy grounds in this part of 
CaliforDia. These tuile swamps are traversed by a net-work of 



6 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

small, sluggish streams and sloughs, that fairly swarm with wild 
ducks and geese, and justly entitle them to their local title of "the 
duck-hunters' paradise." Ere I am through this swamp, the shades 
of night gather ominously around and settle down like a pall over 
the half-flooded flats ; the road is fuU of mud-holes and pools of 
water, through which it is difficult to navigate, and I am in some- 
thing of a quandary. I am sweeping along at the irresistible ve- 
locity of a mile an hour, and wondering how far it is to the other 
end of the swampy road, when thrice welcome succor appears from 
a strange and altogether unexpected source. I had noticed a small 
fire, twinkling through the darkness away off in the swamp ; and 
now the wind rises and the flames of the small fire spread to the 
thick patches of dead tuile. In a short time the whole country, in- 
cluding my road, is lit up by the fierce glare of the blaze ; so that 
I am enabled to proceed with Httle trouble. These tuiles often catch 
on fire in the fall and early winter, when everything is comparatively 
dry, and fairly rival the prairie fires of the Western plains in the 
fierceness of the flames. 

The next morning I start off in a drizzling rain, and, after going 
sixteen mUes, I have to remain for the day at Elmira. Here, 
among other items of interest, I learn that twenty miles farther 
ahead the Sacramento Kiver is flooding the country, and the only 
way I can hope to get through is to take to the Central Pacific track 
and cross over the six mUes of open trestle-work that spans the 
Sacramento Eiver and its broad bottom-lands, that are subject to 
the annual spring overflow. Prom Elmira my way leads through 
a fruit and farming country that is called second to none in the 
world. Magnificent farms line the road ; at short intervals appear 
large well-kept vineyards, in which gangs of Chinese coolies ai-e 
hoeing and pulling weeds, and otherwise keeping trim. A profu- 
sion of peach, pear, and almond orchards enhvens the landscape 
with a wealth of pink and white blossoms, and fills the balmy 
spring air with a subtle, sensuous perfume that savors of a tropical 
chme. 

Already I realize that there is going to be as much " foot-riding '' 
as anything for the first part of my journey ; so, while haltin"- for 
dinner at the village of Davisville, I deliver my rather sli"-ht shoes 
over to the tender mercies of an Irish cobbler of the old school 
with carte blanche instructions to fit them out for hard service 
While diligently hammering away at the shoes, the old cobbler 



OVER THE SIERRAS NEVADAS. 7 

grows communic£ltive, and in almost unintelligible brogue tells ii 
complicated tale of Irish Ufe, out of which I can make neither head, 
tail, nor tale ; though nodding and assenting to it all, to the great 
satisfaction of the loquacious manipulator of the last, who in au 
hour hands over the shoes with the proud assertion, " They'll last 
yez, be jabbers, to Omaha." 

Reaching the overflowed country, I have to take to the trestle- 
work and begirt the tedious process of trundhng along that aggra- 
vating roadway, where, to the music of rushing waters, I have to 
step from tie to tie, and bump, bump, bump, my machine along 
for six weary miles. The Sacramento Eiver is the outlet for the 
tremendous volumes of water caused every spring by the melting 
snows on the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and these long stretches of 
open trestle have been found necessary to allow the water to pass 
beneath. Nothing but trains are expected to cross this trestle- 
work, and of course no provision is made for pedestrians. The en- 
gineer of an approaching train sets his locomotive to tooting for 
all she is worth as he sees a " strayed or stolen " cycler, slowly 
bumping along ahead of his train. But he has no need to slow uj), 
for occasional cross-beams stick out far enough to admit of stand- 
ing out of reach, and when he comes up alongside, he and the fire- 
man look out of the window of the cab and see me squatting on 
the end of one of these handy beams, and letting the bicycle hang 
over. 

That night I stay in Sacramento, the beautiful capital of the 
Golden State, whose well-shaded streets and blooming, almost 
tropical gardens combine to form a city of quiet, dignified beauty, 
of which Cahfornians feel Justly proud. Thi-ee and a half miles 
east of Sacramento, the high trestle bridge spanning the main 
sti-eam of the American Eiver has to be crossed, and from this 
bridge is obtained a remarkably fine view of the snow-capped 
Sien-as, the great barrier that separates the fertile valleys and glori- 
ous climate of California, from the bleak and barren sage-brush 
plains, rugged mountains, and forbidding wastes of sand and alkali, 
that, from the summit of the Sien-as, stretch away to the eastward 
for over a thousand miles. The view from the American Eiver 
bridge is grand and imposing, encompassing the whole foot-hiU 
country, which rolls in broken, irregular billows of forest -crowned 
bill and charming vale, upward and onward to the east, gradually 
getting moi-e rugged, rocky, and immense, the hills changing to 



8 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

mountains, the vales to canons, until they terminate in bald, hoary- 
peaks whose white rugged pinnacles seem to penetrate the sky, and 
stand out in ghostly, shadowy outline against the aziure depths of 
space beyond. 

After cros^ng the American Eiver the character of the country 
changes, and I enjoy a ten-mile ride over a fair road, through one 
of those splendid sheep-ranches that are only found in California, 
and which have long challenged the admiration of the world. 
Sixty thousand acres, I am informed, is the extent of this pasture, 
all within one fence. The soft, velvety greensward is half-shaded 
by the wide^spreading branches of evergreen oaks that singly and 
in small groups are scattered at irregular intervals from one end of 
the pasture to the other, giving it the appearance of one of the old 
ancestral parks of England. As I bowl pleasantly along I invol- 
untarily look about me, half expecting to see some grand, stately 
old mansion peeping from among some one of the splendid oak- 
groves ; and when a Jack-rabbit hops out and halts at twenty paces 
from my road, I half hesitate to fire at him, lest the noise of the 
report should bring out the Vigilant and lynx-eyed gamc'keeper, 
and get me "summoned" for poaching. I remember the pleasant 
ten-mile ride through this park-Uke pasture as one of the brightest 
spots of the whole journey across America. But " every rose con- 
ceals a thorn," and pleasant paths often lead astray ; when I emerge 
from the pasture I find myself several miles off the right road and 
have to make my unhappy way across lots, through numberless 
gates and small ranches, to the road again. 

There seems to be quite a sprinkling of Spanish or Mexican 
rancheros through here, and after partaking of the welcome noon- 
tide hospitality of one of the ranches, I find myself, before I realize 
it, illustrating the bicycle audits uses, to a group of sombrero-decked 
rancheros and darked-eyed senoritas, by riding the machine round 
and roimd on their own ranch-lawn. It is a novel position, to say 
the least ; and often afterward, wending my solitary way across 
some dreary Nevada desert, with no company but my own un- 
canny shadow, sharply outlined on the white alkali by the glai-in" 
rays of the sun, my untrammelled thoughts would wander back to 
this scene, and I would grow "hot and cold by turns," in my 
uncertainty as to whether the bewitching smiles of the senoritas 
were smiles of admiration, or whether they were simply "grin- 
ning " at the figure I cut. While not conscious of havin" cut a 



OVEK THE SIEEEAS NEVADAS. 9 

somer figure than usual on that occasion, somehow I cannot rid 
myself of an unhappy, harrowing suspicion, that the latter comes 
nearer the ti-uth than the former. 

The gi-ound is gradually getting more broken ; huge rocks in- 
trude themselves upon the landscape. At the town of Eocklin we 
are supposed to enter the foot-hill countiy proper. Much of the 
road in these lower foot-hills is excellent, being of a hard, stony 
character, and proof against the winter rains. 

Everybody who writes anything about the Golden State is ex- 
pected to say something complimentary — or otherwise, as his ex- 
perience may seem to dictate — about the " glorious climate of Cali- 
fornia ; " or else render an account of himself for the slight, should 
he ever return, which he is very Uable to do. For, no matter what 
he may say about it, the " glorious climate " generally manages to 
make one, ever after, somewhat dissatisfied with the extremes of 
heat and cold met with in less genial regions. 

This fact of having to pay my measure of tribute to the climate 
forces itself on my notice prominently here at RockUn, because, in- 
directly, the "climate " was instrumental in bringing about a slight 
accident, which, in turn, brought about the — to me — serious ca- 
lamity of sending me to bed without any supper. Eocklin is cele- 
brated — and by certain bad people, ridiculed — all over this part of 
the foot-hills for the superabundance of its juvenile population. If 
one makes any inquisitive remarks about this fact, the Eocklinite 
addressed wUl either blush or grin, according to his temperament, 
and say, "It's the glorious climate." A bicycle is a decided novelty 
up here, and, of course, the multitudinous youth turn out in droves 
to see it. The bewildering swarms of these small mountaineers 
distract my attention and cause me to take a header that tempora- 
rily disables the machine. The result is, that, in order to reach the 
village where I wish to stay over night, I have to " foot it " over 
four miles of the best road I have found since leaving San Pablo, 
and lose my supper into the bargain, by procrastinating at the village 
smithy, so as to have my machine in trim, ready for an eai-ly start 
next morning. If the " glorious climate of California " is respon- 
sible for the exceedingly hopeful prospects of Rocklin's future census 
reports, and the said lively outlook, materialized, is responsible for 
my mishap, then plainly the said " G. C. of C." is the responsible 
element in the case. I hope this compliment to the climate will 
strike the Californians as about the correct thing ; but, if it should 



10 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

happen to work the other way, I beg of them at once to pour out 
the vials of their wrath on the heads of the 'Frisco Bicycle Club, 
in order that their fury may be spent ere I again set foot on their 
auriferous soiL 

" What'U you do when you hit the snow ? " is now a frequent 
question asked by the people hereabouts, who seem to be more con- 
versant with affairs pertaining to the mountains than they are of 
what is going on in the valleys below. This remark, of course, has 
reference to the deep snow that, toward the summits of the moun- 
tains, covers the ground to the depth of ten feet on the level, and 
from that to almost any depth where it has drifted and accumulated. 
I have not started out on this greatest of all bicycle tours without 
looking into these difficulties, and I remind them that the long 
snow-sheds of the Central Pacific Eailway make it possible for one 
to cross over, no matter how deep the snow may he on the ground 
outside. Some speak cheerfully of the prospects for getting over, 
but many shake their heads ominously and say, " You'll never be 
able to make it through." 

Rougher and more hilly become the roads as we gradually pene- 
trate farther and farther into the foot-hills. "We are now in fai-- 
famed Placer County, and the evidences of the hardy gold diggers' 
work in pioneer days are all about us. In every gulch and ravine 
are to be seen broken and decaying sluice-boxes. Bare, whitish- 
looking patches of washed-out gravel show where a " claim " has 
been worked over and abandoned. In every direction are old 
water-ditches, heaps of gravel, and abandoned shafts — all telling, 
in language more eloquent than word or pen, of the palmy days of 
'49, and succeeding years ; when, in these deep gulches, and on 
these yeUow hiUs, thousands of bronzed, red-shu-ted miners du" and 
delved, and " rocked the cradle " for the precious yellow dust and 
nuggets. But all is now changed, and where were hundreds be- 
fore, now only a few " old timers " roam the foot-hiUs, prospecting, 
and working over the old claims; but "dust,"' "nugo-ets," and 
" pockets " stiU form the burden of conversation in the villa"e bar- 
room or the cross-roads saloon. Now and then a " strike " is made 
by some lucky — or perhaps it turns out, unlucky — prospector. 
This for a few days kindles anew the slumbering spark of " gold 
fever " that lingers in the veins of the people here, ever ready to 
kindle into a flame at every bit of exciting news, in the way of a 
lucky " find " near home, or new gold-fields in some distant land. 



OVER THE SIBRBAS NEVADAS. 11 

These occasions never fail to bave their legitimate effect upon the 
business of the bar where the " old-timers " congregate to learii the 
news ; and, between drinks, yarns of the good old days of '49 and 
'50, of " streaks of luck," of " big nuggets," and " wild times," are 
spun over and over again. Although the palmy days of the 
"diggin's" are iio more, yet the finder of a "pocket" these days 
seems not a whit wiser than in the days when " pockets " more fre- 
quently rewarded the patient prospector than they do now ; and at 
Newcastle — a station near the old-time mining camps of Ophir and 
Gold Hill — I hear of a man who lately struck a " pocket," out of 
which he dug forty thousand dollars ; and forthwith proceeded to 
imitate his reckless predecessors by going down to 'Frisco and en- 
tering upon a career of protracted sprees and debauchery that cut 
short his earthly career in less than six months, and wafted his 
riotous spirit to where there are no more forty thousand dollar 
pockets, and no more 'Priscos in which to squander it. 

In this instance the " find " was clearly an unlucky one. Not 
quite so bad was the case of two others who, but a few days before 
my arrival, took out twelve hundred dollars ; they simply, in the 
language of the goldfields " turned themselves loose," " made things 
hum," and " whooped 'em up " around the bar-room of their village 
for exactly three days ; when, " dead broke," they took to the 
gulches again, to search for more. "Yer oughter hev happened 
through here with that instrumint of yourn about that time, young 
fellow ; yer might hev kept as full as a tick till they war busted," 
remarked a slouchy-looking old fellow whose purple-tinted nose 
plainly indicated that he had devoted a good part of his existence 
to the business of getting himself " full as a tick " every time he 
ran across the chance. 

Quite a different picture is presented by an industrious old 
Mexican, whom I happen to see away down in the bottom of a deep 
ravine, along which swiftly hurries a tiny stream. He is diligently 
shovelling dirt into a rude sluice-box which he has constructed in 
the bed of the stream at a point where the water rushes swiftly down 
a dechvity. Setting my bicycle up against a rock, I clamber down 
the steep bank to investigate. In tones that savor of anything but 
satisfaction with the result of his labor, he informs me that he has 
to work " most infernal hard " to pan out two dollars' worth of 
" dust " a day. " I have had to work over all that pile of gravel you 
see yonder to clean up seventeen dollars' worth of dust," further 



12 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

volunteered the old " greaser," as I picked up a spare shovel and 
helped him remove a couple of bowlders that he was trying to roll 
out of his way. I condole with him at the low grade of the gravel 
he is working, hope he may " strike it rich "one of these days, and 
take my departure. 

Up here I find it preferable to keep the railway track, alongside 
of which there are occasionally ridable side-paths ; while on the 
wagon roads Htile or no riding can be done on account of the hills, 
and the sticky nature of the red, clayey soil. From the railway 
track near Newcastle is obtained a magnificent view of the lower 
country, traversed during the last three days, with the Sacramento 
Eiver windiag its way through its broad valley to the sea. Deejj 
cuts and high embankments follow each other in succession, as the 
road-bed is now broken through a hill, now carried across a deep 
gulch, and anon winds around the next hill and over another ravine. 
Before reaching Auburn I pass through " Bloomer Cut,'' where 
perpendicular walls of bowlders loom up on both sides of the track 
looking as if the slightest touch or jar would unloose them and send 
them bounding and crashing on the top of the passing train as it 
glides along, or drop down on the stray cycler who might venture 
through. On the way past Auburn, and on up to Clipper Gap, the 
dry, yeUow dirt under the overhanging rocks, and in the crevices, 
is so suggestive of " dust," that I take a smaU prospecting glass, 
which I have in my tool-bag, and do a little prospecting ; without, 
however, finding sufficient " color " to induce me to abandon my 
journey and go to digging. 

Before reaching Chpper Gap it begins to rain ; while I am tak- 
ing dinner at that place it quits raining and begins to come down 
by buckets fuU, so that I have to lie over for the remainder of the 
day. The hills around Clipper Gap are gay and white with chapar- 
ral blossom, which gives the whole landscape a pleasant, gala-day 
appearance. It rains all the evening, and at night turns to heavy, 
damp snow, which clings to the trees and bushes. In the morning 
the landscape, which a few hours before was white with chaparral 
bloom, is now even more white with the bloom of the snow. 

My hostelry at Clipper Gap is a kind of half ranch, half road- 
side inn, down in a small valley near the railway ; and mine host, 
a jovial Irish blade of the good old " Donnybrook Fair " variety, 
who came here in 1851, during the great rush to the gold fields 
and, failing to make his fortune in the " diggings," wisely decided 



OVER THE SIERRAS NEVADAS. 13 

to send foir his family and settle down quietly on a piece of land, 
in preference to returning to the " ould sod." He turns out to be 
a "bit av a sphort meself," and, after showing me a number of 
minor pets and favorites, such as game chickens, Brahma geese, 
and a litter of young bull pups, he proudly leads the way to the 
barn to show me "Barney," his greatest pet of all, whom he at 
present keeps secm-ely tied up for safe-keeping. More than one 
evil-minded person has a hankering after Barney's gore since his 
last battle for the championship of Placer County, he explains, in 
which he inflicted severe punishment on his adversary and reso- 
lutely refused to give in ; although his opponent on this important 
occasion was an imported dog, brought into the county by Barney's 
enemies, who hoped to fill their pockets by betting against the 
local champion. But Barney, who is a medium-sized, ferocious- 
looking bull terrier, " scooped " the crowd backing the imported 
dog, to the extent of their "pile," by "walking all round" his ad- 
versary ; and thereby stirring up the enmity of said crowd against 
himself, who — so says Barney's master — ^have never yet been 
able to scare up a dog able to " down " Barney. As we stand in 
the barn-door Barney eyes me suspiciously, and then looks at his 
master ; but luckily for me his master fails to give the word. 
Noticing that the dog is scai-red and seamed all over, I inquire the 
reason, and am told that he has been fighting wild boars iu the 
chapaiTal, of which gentle pastime he is extremely fond. " Yes, 
and he'll tackle a cougar too, of which there are plenty of them 
around here, if that cowardly animal would only keep out of the 
trees," admiringly continues mine host, as he orders Barney into 
his empty salt-barrel again. 

To day is Sunday, and it rains and snows with little interrup- 
tion, so that I am compelled to stay over till Monday morning. 
While it is raining at Clipper Gap, it is suovriug higher up in the 
mountains, and a railway employee volunteers the cheering infor- 
mation that, during the winter, the snow has drifted and accumu- 
lated ia the sheds, so that a train can barely squeeze through, 
leaving no room for a person to stand to one side. I have my own 
ideas of whether this state of affairs is probable or not, however, 
and determine to pay no heed to any of these rumors, but to push 
ahead. So I pull out on Monday morning and take to the railway 
track again, which is the only passable road since the tremendous 
downpour of the last two days. 



li 



FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 



The first thing I come across is a tunnel burrowing through a. 
hill. This tunnel was originally built the proper size, but, after 




Crossing the Sierra Nevadas. 



being walled up, there were indications of a general cave-in ; so 
the company had to go to work and build another thick rock- wall 
inside the other, which leaves barely room for the trains to pass 



OVER THE SIERIIAS NEVADAS. 15 

through without touching the sides. It is anj-thiiig but an inviting 
path around the hill ; but it is far the safer of the two. Once my 
foot slips, and I unceremoniously sit down and slide around in the 
soft yellow clay, in my frantic endeavors to keep from slipping 
down the hill. This hardly enhances my personal appeai-auce ; 
but it doesn't matter much, as I am where no one can see, and a 
clay-besmeared individual is worth a dozen dead ones. Soon I am 
on the ti-ack again, briskly trudging up the steep grade toward the 
snow-line, which I can plainly see, at no great distance ahead, 
through the windings around the mountains. 

All through here the only riding to be done is along occasional 
short stretches of difficult path beside the track, where it happens 
to be a hard sui-face ; and on the plank platforms of the stations, 
where I generally take a turn or two to satisfy the consuming curi- 
osity of the miners, who can't imagine how anybody can ride a 
thing that won't stand alone ; at the same time arguing among 
themselves as to whether I ride along on one of the rails, or bump 
along over the protruding ties. 

This morning I follow the railway track ai'ound the famous 
" Cape Horn," a place that never fails to photograph itself perma- 
nently upon the memoi-y of all who once see it. For scenery that 
is magnificently grand and picturesque, the view from where the 
railroad track curves around Cape Horn is probably without a 
peer on the American continent. 

"When the Central Pacific Railway company started to grade 
their road-bed around here, men were first swung over this jsreci- 
pice from above with ropes, until they made standing room for 
themselves ; and then a narrow ledge was cut on the almost per- 
pendicular side of the rocky mountain, around which the railway 
now winds. 

Standing on this ledge, the rocks tower skyward on one side of 
the track so close as almost to touch the passing train ; and on the 
other is a sheer precipice of two thousand five hundred feet, where 
one can stand on the edge and see, far below, the north fork of the 
American Eiver, which looks like a thread of silver laid along the 
narrow valley, and sends up a far-away, scarcely perceptible roar, 
as it rushes and rumbles along over its rocky bed. The raUroad 
track is carefully looked after at this point, and I was able, by 
turning round and taking the down grade, to experience the nov- 
elty of a short ride, the memory of which will be ever welcome 



16 FROM SAN FEANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

should one live to be as old as " the oldest inhabitant." The 
scenery for the next few miles is glorious ; the grand and impos- 
ing mountains are partially covered with stately pines down to 
their bases, around which winds the turbulent American River, 
receiving on its boisterous march down the mountains tribute from 
hundreds of smaller streams and rivulets, which come splashing 
and dashing out of the dark cations and crevasses of the mighty 
hills. 

The weather is capricious, and by the time I reach Dutch Flat, 
ten miles east of Cape Horn, the floodgates of heaven are thrown 
open again, and less than an hour succeeds in impressing Dutch 
Flat upon my memory as a place where there is literally " water, 
water, everywhere, but not a drop to — ; " no, I cannot finish the 
quotation ! What is the use of lying ? There is plenty to drink 
at Dutch Flat ; plenty of everything. 

But there is no joke about the water ; it is pouring in torrents 
from above ; the streets are shallow streams ; and from scores 
of ditches and guUies comes the merry music of swiftly rush- 
ing waters, while, to crown all, scores of monster streams are 
rushing with a hissing sound from the mouths of huge pipes or 
nozzles, and playing against the surrounding hills ; for Dutch Plat 
and neighboring camps are the great centre of hydraulic mining 
operations in California at the present day. Streams of water, 
higher up the mountains, are taken from their channels and con- 
ducted hither through miles of wooden flumes and iron piping ; 
and from the mouths of huge nozzles are thrown with tremen- 
dous force against the hUls, literally mowing them down. 

The rain stops as abruptly as it began. The sun shines out clear 
and warm, and I push ahead once more. 

Gradually I have been getting up into the snow, and ever 
and anon a muffled roar comes booming and echoing over the 
mountains like the sound of distant artillery. It is the suUen 
noise of monster snow-slides among the deep, dark canons of 
the mountains, though a wicked person at Gold Run winked at 
another man and tried to make me believe it was the grizzlies 
" going about the mountains like roaiing lions, seeking whom they 
might devour." The giant voices of nature, the imposing scenery 
the gloomy pine forests which have now taken the place of the 
gay chaparral, combine to impress one who, all alone, looks and 
listens with a realizing sense of his own littleness. 



OVER THE SIEREAS JN'EVADAS. 17 

What a change has come over the whole face of nature in a few 
days' travel ! But four clays ago I was in the semi-tropical Sacra- 
mento Valley ; now gaunt mnter reigns supreme, and the only 
vegetation is the hardy pine. 

This afternoon I pass a small camp of Digger Indians, to whom 
my bicycle is as much a mystery as was the first locomotive ; j-et 
they scarcely turn their uncovered heads to look ; and my cheery 
greeting of "How," scarce elicits a grunt and a stare in reply. 
Long years of chronic hunger and wretchedness have well-nigh 
eradicated what little energy these Diggers ever possessed. The 
discovery of gold among their native mountains has been their 
bane ; the only antidote the rude grave beneath the pine and the 
happy hunting-grounds beyond. 

The next morning finds me briskly trundling through the gTeat, 
gloomy snow-sheds that extend with but few breaks for the next 
forty miles. When I emerge from them on the other end I shall 
be over the summit and weU. dovyn the eastern slope of the moun- 
tains. These huge sheds have been built at gTeat expense to pro- 
tect the track from the vast quantities of snow that fall every 
winter on these mountains. They wind around the mountain-sides, 
their roofs built so slanting that the mighty avalanche of rock and 
snow that comes thunderiug down from above glides harmlessly 
over, and down the chasm on the other side, whUe the train glides 
along unharmed beneath them. The section-houses, the water- 
tanks, stations, and everything along here are all under the gloomy 
but friendly shelter of the great protecting sheds. 

Fortunately I find the difficulties of getting through much less 
than I had been led by rumors to anticipate ; and although no 
riding can be done in the sheds, I make very good progress, and 
trudge merrily along, thankful of a chance to get over the mountains 
without having to wait a month or six weeks for the snow outside 
to disappear. At intervals short breaks occur in the sheds, where 
the track runs over deep gulch or ravine, and at one of these open- 
ings the sinuous structure can be traced for quite a long distance, 
winding its tortuous way around the rugged mountaia sides, and 
through the gloomy pine forest, all but buried under the snow. It 
requires no great eifort of the mind to imagine it to be some won- 
derful relic of a past civilization, when a venturesome race of men 
thus dared to invade these vast wintry solitudes and burrow their 
way through the deep snow, like moles burrowing through the 
2 



18 



FEOM SAK FRANCISCO TO TEHEKAN. 



loose earth. Not a living thing is in sight, and the only sounds 
the occasional roar of a distant snow-slide, and the mournful sigh- 
ing of the breeze as it plays a weird, melancholy dirge through the 
gently swaying branches of the tall, sombre pines, whose stately 
trunks are half buried in the omnipresent snow. 



' WVrl 




In the Central Pacific Snow-sheds. 

To-night I stay at the Summit Hotel, seven thousand and seven- 
teen feet above the level of the sea. The " Summit " is nothing if 
not snowy, and I am told that thirty feet on the level is no unusual 
thing up here. Indeed, it looks as if snow-baUing on the " Glo- 
rious Fourth "were no great luxury at the Summit House ; yet not- 



OVER THE SIERRAS NEVADAS. 19 

withstanding the decidedly wintry aspect of the Sierras, the low 
temperatui'e of the Rockies farther east is unknown ; and although 
there is snow to the right, snow to the left, snow all around, and 
ice under foot, I travel all through the gloomy sheds in my shirt- 
sleeves, with but a gossamer rubber coat thrown over my shoulders 
to keep off the snow-water which is constantly melting and drip- 
ping through the roof, making it almost Uke going through a shower 
of rain. Often, when it is warm and balmy outside, it is cold and 
frosty under the sheds, and the dripping water, falling among the 
rocks and timbers, freezes into all manner of fantastic shapes. 
Whole menageries of ice animals, birds and all imaginable objects, 
are here reproduced in clear crystal ice, while in many places the 
gToxmd is covered with an irregular coating of the same, that often 
has to be chipped away from the rails. 

East of the summit is a succession of short tunnels, the space 
between being covered with snow-shed ; and when I came through, 
the openings and crevices through which the smoke from the en- 
gines is wont to make its escape, and through Avhich a few rays of 
light penetrate the gloomy interior, are blocked up with snow, so 
that it is both dark and smoky ; and groping one's way with a 
bicycle over the rough surface is anything but pleasant going. But 
there is nothing so bad, it seems, but that it can get a great deal 
worse ; and before getting far, I hear an approaching train and 
forthwith proceed to occupy as small an amoiint of space as possi- 
ble against the side, while three laboriously pufiSng engines, tugging 
a long, heavy freight train up the steej) grade, go past. These three 
puffing, smoke-emitting monsters fill evei-y nook and corner of the 
tunnel with dense smoke, which creates a darkness by the side 
of which the natural darkness of the tunnel is daylight in com- 
parison. Here is a darkness that can be felt ; I have to grope my 
way forward, inch by inch ; afraid to set my foot down until I have 
felt the place, for fear of blundering into a culvert ; at the same 
time never knowing whether there is room, just where I am, to get 
out of the way of a train. A cyclometer wouldn't have to exert 
itself much through here to keep tally of the revolutions ; for, be- 
sides advancing with extreme caution, I pause every few steps to 
listen ; as in the oppressive darkness and equally oppressive si- 
lence the senses are so keenly on the alert that the gentle rattle of 
the bicycle over the uneven surface seems to make a noise that 
would prevent me hearing an approaching train. 



20 FEOM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHEEAN. 

This finally comes to an end ; and at the opening in the sheds I 
climb up into a pine-tree to obtain a view of Conner Lake, called 
the " Gem of the Sierras." It is a lovely little lake, and amid the 
pines, and on its shores occurred one of the most pathetically tragic 
events of the old emigrant days. Briefly related : A smaU. party of 
emigrants became snowed in while camped at the lake, and when, 
toward spring, a rescuing party reached the spot, the last survi- 
vor of the party, crazed with the fearful suffering he had under- 
gone, was sitting on a log, savagely gnavring away at a human arm, 
the last remnant of his companions in misery, off whose emaciated 
carcasses he had for some time been living ! 

My road now follows the course of the Truckee River down the 
eastern slope of the Sierras, and across the boundary line into 
Nevada. The Truckee is a rapid, rollicking stream from one end to 
the other, and affords dam-sites and mill-sites without limit. 

There is Httle ridable road down the Truckee canon ; but be- 
fore reaching Verdi, a station a few miles over the Nevada line, 
I find good road, and ride up and dismount at the door of the 
little hotel as coolly as if I had rode without a dismount all the way 
from 'Frisco. Here at Verdi is a camp of Washoe Indians, who at 
once showed their superiority to the Diggers by clustering around 
and examining the bicycle with great curiosity. Verdi is less than 
forty miles from the summit of the Sierras, and from the porch of 
the hotel I can see the snow-storm still fiercely raging up in the 
place where I stood a few hours ago ; yet one can feel that he is 
already in a dryer and altogether different climate. The great 
masses of clouds, travelling inward from the coast with their bur- 
dens of moisture, like messengers of peace with presents to a far 
country, being unable to surmount the great mountain barrier 
that towers skyward across their path, unload their precious car- 
goes on the mountains ; and the parched plains of Nevada open 
their thirsty mouths in vain. At Verdi I bid good-by to the Golden 
State and follow the course of the sparkling Truckee towaa.-d the 
Forty-mile Desert. 



CHAPTER II. 

OVER THE DESERTS OF NEVADA. 

GBAD0AiiT I leave the pine-clad slopes of tlie Sierras behind, 
and every revolution of my wheel reveals scenes that constantly re- 
mind me that I am in the great " Sage-brush State." How ap]3ro- 
priate indeed is the name ! Sage-brush is the first thing seen on 
entering Nevada, almost the only vegetation seen while passing 
through it, and the last thing seen on leaving it. Clear down to 
the edge of the rippHng waters of the Truckee, on the otherwise 
barren plain, covering the elevated table-lands, up the hills, even 
to the mountain-tops — everywhere, everywhere, nothing but sage- 
brush. In plain view to the right, as I roll on toward Reno, are 
the mountains on which the world-renowned Comstock lode is situ- 
ated, and Reno was formerly the point from which this celebrated 
mining-camp was reached. 

Before reaching Reno I meet a lone Washoe Indian ; he is 
riding a diminutive, scraggy-looking mustang. One of his legs is 
muffled up in a red blanket, and in one hand he carries a rudely- 
invented crutch. " How will you trade horses ? " I banteringly 
ask as we meet in the road ; and I dismount for an interview, to 
find out what kind of Indians these Washoes are. To my friendly 
chaff he vouchsafes no reply, but simply sits motionless on his 
pony, and fixes a regular " Injun stare '' on the bicycle. " What's 
the matter with your leg ? " I persist, pointing at the blanket-be- 
muffled member. 

" Heap sick foot " is the reply, given with the characteristic 
brevity of the savage ; and, now that the ice of his aboriginal re- 
serve is broken, he manages to find words enough to ask me for 
tobacco. I have no tobacco, but the ride through the crisp morn- 
ing air has been productive of a surplus amount of animal spirits, 
and I feel like doing something funny ; so I volunteer to cure his 
"sick foot " by sundry dark and mysterious manoeuvres, that I un- 
blushingly intimate are "heap good medicine." With owlish so- 
lemnity my small monkey-wrench is taken from the tool-bag and 



22 FKOM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN". 

waved around the " sick foot " a few times, and the operation is 
completed by squirting a few drops from my oil-can through a 
hole in the blanket. Before going I give him to understand that, 
in order to have the " good medicine " operate to his advantage, he 
will have to soak his copper-colored hide in a bath every morning 
for a week, flattering myself that, while my mystic manoeuvres will 
do him no harm, the latter prescription will certainly do him good 
if he acts on it, which, however, is extremely doubtful. 

EoUing into Eeno at 10.30 a.m. the characteristic whiskey- 
straight hospitality of the Far West at once asserts itself, and one 
individual with sporting proclivities invites me to stop over a day 
or two and assist him to " paint Eeno red ." at his expense. Leav- 
ing Eeno, my route leads through the famous Truckee meadows — 
a strip of very good agricultural land, where plenty pf monej' used 
to be made by raising produce for the Virginia City market. 

" But there's nothing in it any more, since the Comstock's 
played out," glumly remarks a ranchman, at whose place I get din- 
ner. " I'll take less for my ranch now than I was ofifered ten years 
ago," he continues. 

The " meadows " gradually contract, and soon after dinner I 
find myself again following the Truckee down a narrow space be- 
tween mountains, whose volcanic-looking rocks are destitute of aU 
vegetation save stunted sage-brush. All down here the road is 
ridable in patches ; but many dismounts have to be made, and the 
walking to be done aggregates at least one-third of the whole dis- 
tance travelled during the day. Sneakish coyotes prowl about these 
mountains, from whence they pay neighborly visits to the chicken- 
roosts of the ranchers in the Truckee meadows near by. Toward 
night a pair of these animals are observed following behind at the 
respectful distance of five hundred yards. One need not be appre- 
hensive of danger from these contemptible animals, however ; they 
are simply following behind in a frame of mind similar to that of a 
hungry school-boy's when gazing longingly into a confectioner's 
window. Still, night is gathering around, and it begins to look as 
though I will have to pillow my head on the soft side of a bowlder, 
and take lodgings on the footsteps of a bald mountain to-night ; 
and it will scarcely invite sleep to know that two pairs of sharp, 
wolfish eyes are peering wistfully through the darkness at one's 
prostrate form, and two red tongues are licking about in hungry 
anticipation of one's blood. Moreovei-, these animals have an uu- 



OVER THE DESERTS OF NEVADA. 23 

pleasant habit of congregating after night to pay their compliments 
to the pale moon, and to hold concerts that would put to shame a 
whole regiment of Kilkenny cats ; though there is but little com- 
parison between the two, save that one howls and the other yowls, 
and either is equally effective in driving away the drowsy Goddess. 
I try to draw these two animals within range of my revolver by 
hiding behind rocks ; but they are too chary of their precious car- 
casses to take any risks, and the moment I disappear from their 
sight behind a rock they are on the alert, and looking " forty ways 
at the same time," to make sure that I am not creeping up on them 
from some other direction. Fate, however, has decreed that I am 
not to sleep out to-night — not quite out. A lone shanty looms up 
through the gathering darkness, and I immediately turn my foot- 
steps thither wise. I find it occupied. I am all right now for the 
night. Hold on, though ! not so fast ! "There is many a slip," 
etc. The little shanty, with a few acres of rather rockj- ground, on 
the bank of the Truckee, is presided over by a lonely bachelor of 
German extraction, who eyes me with evident suspicion, as, leaning 
on my bicycle in front of his rude cabin door I ask to be accom- 
modated for the night. "Were it a man on horseback, or a man 
with a team, this hermit-like rancher could satisfy himself to some 
extent as to the character of his visitor, for he sees men on horse- 
back or men in wagons, on an average, perhaps, once a week during 
the summer, and can see plenty of them any day by going to Reno. 
But me and the bicycle he cannot " size up " so readily. He never 
saw the like of us before, and we are beyond his Teutonic frontier- 
like comprehension. He gives us up ; he fails to solve the puzzle ; 
he knows not how to unravel the mj'stery ; and, with characteristic 
Teutonic bluntness, he advises us to push on through fifteen miles 
of rocks, sand, and darkness, to Wadsworth. The prospect of 
worrying my way, hungry and weary, through fifteen miles of 
rough, unknown country, after dark, looms up as rather a formida- 
ble task. So summoning my reserve stock of persuasive eloquence, 
backed up by sundry significant movements, such as setting the 
bicycle up against liis cabin-wall, and sitting down on a block 
of wood under the window, I finally prevail upon him to accom- 
modate me with a blanket on the floor of the shanty. He has just 
finished supper, and the remnants of the frugal repast are still 
on the table ; but he says nothing about any supper for me : he 
scarcely feels satisfied with himself yet : he feels that I have, in 



24 FROM SAK FEANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

some mysterious manner, gained an unfair advantage over him, and 
obtained a foothold in his shanty against his own wish — jumped 
his claim, so to speak. Not that I think the man really inhospitable 
at heart ; but he has been so habitually alone, away from his fellow- 
men so much, that the presence of a stranger in- his cabin makes 
him feel uneasy ; and when that stranger is accompanied by a 
queer-looking piece of machinery that cannot stand alone, but 
which he nevertheless says he rides on, our lonely rancher is per- 
haps not so much to be wondered at, after all, for his absent-mind- 
edness in regard to my supper. His mind is occupied with other 
thoughts. " You couldn't accommodate a fellow with a bite to eat, 
could you ? " I timidly venture, after devouring what eatables are 
in sight, over and over again, with my eyes. " I have plenty of 
money to pay for any accommodation I get," I think it policy to 
add, by way of cornering him up and giving him as little chance to 
refuse as possible, for I am decidedly hungry, and if money or 
diplomacy, or both, will produce supper, I don't propose to go to 
bed supperless. I am not much surprised to see him bear out my 
faith in his innate hospitality by apologizing for not thinking of 
my supper before, and insisting, against my expressed wishes, on 
lighting the fire and getting me a warm meal of fried ham and cof- 
fee, for which I beg leave to withdraw any unfavorable impressions 
in regard to him which my previous remarks may possibly have 
made on the reader's mind. 

After supper he thaws out a little, and I wheedle out of him a 
part of his history. He settled on this spot of semi-cultivable 
land during the flush times on the Comstock, and used to prosper 
very well by raising vegetables, with the aid of Truckee-Eivpr 
water, and hauling them to the mining-camps ; but the palmy days 
of the Comstock have departed and with them our lonely rancher's 
prosperity. Mine host has barely blankets enough for his own 
narrow bunk, and it is really an act of generosity on his part when 
he takes a blanket off his bed and invites me to extract what com- 
iort I can get out of it for the night. Snowy mountains are round 
about, and curled up on the floor of the shanty, like a kitten under 
a stove in mid-winter, I shiver the long hours away, and endeavor 
to feel thankful that it is no worse. 

For a short distance, next morning, the road is ridable but 
neariug Wadsworth it gets sandy, and " sandy,'' in Nevada means 
deep, loose sand, in which one sinks almost to his ankles at every 



OVER THE DESEETS OF NEVADA. 25 

step, and where the possession of a bicycle fails to awaken that de- 
gree of enthusiasm that it does on a smooth, hard road. At Wads- 
worth I have to bid farewell to the Truekee River, and start across 
the Forty-mile Desert, which lies between the Truekee and Hum- 
boldt Rivers. Standing on a sand-hill and looking eastward across 
the dreary, desolate waste of sand, rocks, and alkali, it is with posi- 
tive regTet that I think of leaving the cool, sparkling stream that 
has been my almost constant companion for nearly a hundred 
miles. It has always been at hand to quench my thirst or furnish 
a refreshing bath. More than once have I beguiled the tedium of 
some uninteresting part of the journey by racing with some tri- 
fling object hurried along on its rippling surface. I shall miss the 
murmuring music of its dancing waters as one would miss the con- 
versation of a companion. 

This Forty-mile Desert is the place that was so much dreaded 
by the emigrants en route to the gold-fields of California, there 
being not a blade of grass nor drop of water for the whole forty 
miles ; nothing but a dreary waste of sand and rocks that reflects 
the heat of the sun, and renders the desert a veritable furnace in 
midsummer ; and the stock of the emigrants, worn out by the long 
journey from the States, would succumb by the score in crossing. 
Though much of the trail is totally unfit for cycling, there are 
occasional alkali flats that are smooth and hard enough to play 
croquet on ; and this afternoon, whUe riding with careless ease 
across one of these places, I am struck with the novelty of the situa- 
tion. I am in the midst of the dreariest, deadest-looking country 
imaginable. Whirlwinds of sand, looking at a distance like huge 
columns of smoke, are wandering erratically over the plains in aL. 
directions. The blazing sun casts, with startling vividness on the 
smooth white alkali, that awful scraggy, straggling shadow that, 
like a vengeful fate, alwaj'S accompanies the cycler on a sunny day, 
and which is the bane of a sensitive wheelman's life ! The only 
representative of animated nature hereabouts is a species of small 
gray lizard that scuttles over the bare ground with astonishing 
rapidity. Not even a bird is seen in the air. AU living things 
seem instinctively to avoid this dread spot save the lizard. A 
desert forty miles wide is not a particularly large one ; but when 
one is in the middle of it, it might as well be as extensive as Sa- 
hara itself, for anything he can see to the contrary, and away off to 
the right I behold as perfect a mirage as one could wish to see. 



4fi 






u 






OVER THE DESERTS OF NEVADA. 27 

A person can scarce help believing his own eyes, and did one not 
have some knowledge of tliese strange and wondrous phenomena, 
one's orbs of vision would indeed open with astonishment; for 
seemingly but a few miles away is a beautiful lake, whose shores 
are fringed with wavy foliage, and whose cool waters seem to lave 
the burning desert sands at its edge. 

A short distance to the right of Hot Springs Station broken 
clouds of steam are seen rising from the ground, as though huge 
caldrons of water were being heated there. Going to the spot I 
find, indeed, " caldrons of boiling water ; " but the caldrons are in 
the depths. At irregular openings in the rocky ground the bub- 
bhng water wells to the surface, and the fires — ah ! where are the 
fires ? On another part of this desert ai-e curious springs that look 
demure and innocuous enough most of the time, but occasionally 
they emit columns of spray and steam. It is related of these 
springs that once a party of emigrants passed by, and one of the 
men knelt down to take a drink of the clear, nice-looking water. 
At the instant he leaned over, the spring spurted a quantity of 
steam and spray all over him, scaring him nearly out of his wits.' 
The man sprang up, and ran as if for his life, frantically beckoning 
the wagons to move on, at the same time shouting, at the top of 
his voice, " Drive on ! drive on ! hell's no great distance from 
here ! " 

From the Forty-mile Desert my road leads up the valley of the 
Humboldt Eiver. On the shores of Humboldt Lake are camped a 
dozen Piute lodges, and I make a half-hour halt to pay them a 
visit. I shall never know whether I am a welcome visitor or not ; 
they show no signs of pleasure or displeasure as I trundle the 
bicycle through the sage-brush toward them. Leaning it familiarly 
up against one of their teepes, I wander among them and pry into 
their domestic affairs like a health-ofiScer in a New York tenement. 
I know I have no right to do this without saying, "By your leave,'' 
but item-hunters the world over do likewise, so I feel Httle squeam- 
ishness about it. Moreover, when I come back I find the Indians 
are playing " tit-for-tat " against me. Not only are they curiously 
examining the bicycle as a whole, but they have opened the tool- 
bag and are examining the tools, handing them around among 
themselves. I don't think these Piutes are smart or bold enough 
to steal nowadays ; their intercourse with the whites along the 
railroad has, in a measure, relieved them of those aboriginal traits 



28 FROM SAK FEAWCISCO TO TEHEEAN. 

of character that would incite them to steal a brass button off their 
pale-faced brother's coat, or screw a nut off his bicycle ; but they 
have learned to beg ; 'the noble Piute of to-day is an incorrigible 
mendicant. Gathering up my tools from among them, the monkey- 
wrench seems to have found favor in the eyes of a wrinkled-faced 
brave, who, it seems, is a chief. He hands the wrench over with a 
smile that is meant to be captivating, and points at it as I am put- 
ting it back into the bag, and grunts, " Ugh ! Piute likum ! Piute 
likum ! " As I hold it up, and ask him if this is what he means, he 
again points and repeats, " Piute likum ; " and this time two others 
standing by point at him and also smile and say, "Him big chief ; 
big Piute chief, him ; " thinking, no doubt, this latter would be a 
clincher, and that I would at once recognize in " big Piute chief, 
him " a vastly superior being and hand him over the wrench. In 
this, however, they are mistaken, for the vsrench I cannot spare ; 
neither can I see any lingering trace of royalty about him, no king- 
liness of mien, or extra cleanliness ; nor is there anything winning 
about his smile — nor any of their smiles for that matter. The 
Piute smile seems to me to be simply a cold, passionless expansion 
of the vast horizontal slit that reaches almost from one ear to the 
other, and separates the upper and lower sections of their expres- 
sionless faces. Even the smiles of the squaws are of the same un- 
lovely pattern, though they seem to be perfectly oblivious of any 
ugliness whatever, and whenever a pale-faced visitor appears near 
their teepe they straightway present him with one of those repul- 
sive, unwinning smiles. 

Sunday, May 4th, finds me anchored for the day at the village 
of Lovelocks, on the Humboldt River, where I spend quite a re- 
markable day. Never before did such a strangely assorted crowd 
gather to see the first bicycle ride they ever saw, as the crowd that 
gathers behind the station at Lovelocks to-day to see me. There 
are perhaps one hundred and fifty people, of whom a hundred are 
Piute and Shoshone Indians, and the remainder a mingled company 
of whites and Chinese raih-oaders ; and among them all it is difii- 
cult to say who are the most taken with the novelty of the exhibi- 
tion — the red, the yellow, or the white. Later in the evening 
I accept the invitation of a Piute brave to come out to their 
camp, behind the village, and witness rival teams of Shoshone and 
Piute squaws play a match-game of " Fi-re-fla," the national game 
of both the Shoshone and Piute tribes. The principle of the game 



OVER THE DESERTS OF NEVADA. 29 

is similar to polo. The squaws are armed with long sticks, with 
which they endeavor to carry a shorter one to the goal. It is a 
picturesque and novel sight to see the squaws, dressed in costumes 
in which the garb of savagery and civilization is strangely mingled 
and the many colors of the rainbow are promiscuously blended, 
flitting about the field with the agility of a team of professional 
polo-players ; while the bucks and old squaws, with their pap- 
pooses, sit around and watch the game with unmistakable enthu- 
siasm. The Shoshone team wins and looks pleased. 

Here, at Lovelocks, I fall in with one of those strange and seem- 
ingly incongruous characters that are occasionally met with in the 
West. He is conversing with a small gathering of Piutes in their 
own tongue, and I introduce myself by asking him the probable 
age of one of the Indians, whose wrinkled and leathery countenance 
would indicate unusual longevity. He tells me the Indian is prob- 
ably ninety years old ; but the Indians themselves never know their 
age, as they count everything by the changes of the moon and the 
seasons, having no knowledge whatever of the calendar year. 
While talking on this subject, imagine my surprise to hear my in- 
formant—who looks as if the Scriptures are the last thing in the 
world for him to speak of — volunteer the information that our ven- 
erable and venerated ancestors, the antediluvians, used to count 
time in the same way as the Indians, and that instead of Methuse- 
lah being nine hundred and sixty-nine years of age, it ought to be 
revised so as to read " nine hundred and sixty-nine moons," which 
would bring that ancient and long-lived person — the oldest man 
that ever lived — down to the venerable but by no means extraor- 
dinary age of eighty years and nine months. This is the first time 
I have heard this theory, and my astonishment at hearing it from 
the lips of a rough-looking habitue of the Nevada plains, seated in 
the midst of a group of illiterate Indians, can easily be imagined. 

On, up the Humboldt valley I continue, now riding over a 
smooth, alkali flat, and again slavishly trundling through deep sand, 
a dozen snowy mountain peaks round about, the Humboldt slug- 
gishly winding its way through the alkali plain ; on past Eye 
Patch, to the right of which are more hot springs, and farther on 
mines of pure sulphur — all these things, especially the latter, un- 
pleasantly suggestive of a certain place where the climate is popu- 
larly supposed to be uncomfortably warm ; on, past Humboldt 
Station, near which place I wantonly shoot a poor hai-mless badger, 



30 FROM SAK FRANCISCO TO TEHEEAN. 

who peers inquisitively out of his hole as I ride piist. There is 
something peculiarly pathetic about the actions of a dying bad- 
ger, and no sooner has the thoughtless shot sped on its mission of 
death than I am sorry for doing it. 

Going out of Mill City next morning I lose the way, and find 
myself up near a small mining camp among the mountains south 
of the railroad. Thinking to regain the road quickly by going 
across country through the sage-brush, I get into a place where 
that enterprising shrub is so thick and high that I have to hold 
the bicj'cle up overhead to get through. 

At three o'clock in the afternoon I come to a railroad section- 
house. At the Chinese bunk-house I find a lone Celestial who, for 
some reason, is staying at home. Having had nothing to eat or 
drink since six o'clock this morning, I present the Chinaman with a 
smile that is intended to win his heathen heart over to any gastro- 
nomic scheme I may propose ; but smiles are thrown away on John 
Chinaman. 

"John, can you fix me up something to eat ? " 

" No ; Chinaman no savvy whi' man eatee ; bossee ow on thlack. 
Chinaman eatee nothing bu' licee [rice] ; no licee cookee.'' 

This sounds pretty conclusive ; nevertheless I don't intend to 
be thus put off so easily. There is nothing particularly beautiful 
about a silver half-dollar, but in the almond-shaped eyes of the 
Chinaman scenes of paradisiacal loveliness are nothing compared 
to the dull surface of a twenty-year-old fifty-cent piece ; and the 
jingle of the silver coins contains more melody for Chin Chin's 
unromantic ear than a whole musical festival. 

" John, I'll give you a couple of two-bit pieces if you'll get me 
a bite of something," I persist. John's small, black eyes twinkle at 
the suggestion of two-bit pieces, and his expressive countenance 
assumes a commerical air as, with a ludicrous change of front, he 
replies : 

" Wha' ! You gib me flore bittee, me gib you bitee eatee ? " 

"That's what I said, John ; and please be as lively as possible 
about it." 

" All li ; you gib me flore bittee me fly you Meliean plan-cae." 

"Yes, pancakes will do. Go ahead ! " 

Visions of pancakes and molasses flit before my hunger- 
distorted vision as I sit outside until he gets them ready. In ten 
minutes John calls me in. On a tin plate, that looks as if it has 



OVER THE DESERTS OF NEVADA. 31 

just been rescued from a barrel of soap-grease, reposes a shapeless 
mass of substance resembling putty — it is the " Melican plan-cae ; " 
and the Celestial triumphantly sets an empty box in front of it for 
me to sit on and extends his greasy palm for the stipulated j)rice. 
May the reader never be ravenously hungry and have to choose be- 
tween a " Melican plan-cae " and nothing ! It is simply a chunk of 
tenacious dough, made of flour and water only, and soaked for a 
few minutes in warm grease. I call for molasses ; he doesn't know 
what it is. I inquire for syrup, thinking he may recognize my 
want by that name. He brings a jar of thin Chinese catsup, that 
tastes something like Limburger cheese smells. I immediately beg 
of him to take it where its presumably benign influence will fail to 
reach me. He produces some excellent cold tea, however, by the 
aid of which I manage to "bolt "a portion of the "plan-cae." 
One doesn't look for a very elegant spread for fifty cents in the 
Sage-brush State; but this "Melican plan-cae " is the worst fifty- 
cent meal I ever heard of. 

To-night I stay in Winnemucca, the county seat of Humboldt 
County, and quite a lively little town of 1,200 inhabitants. " What'U 
yer have ? " is the first word on entering the hotel, and " Won't yer 
take a bottle of whiskey along ? " is the last word on leaving it next 
morning. There are Piutes and Piutes camped at Winnemucca, and 
in the morning I meet a young brave on horseback a short distance 
out of town and let him try his hand with the bicycle. I wheel 
him along a few yards and let him dismount ; and then I show 
him how to mount and invite him to try it himself. He gallantly 
makes the attempt, but springs forward with too much euergj', 
and over he topples, with the bicycle cavorting around on top of 
him. This satisfies his aboriginal curiosity, and he smiles and 
shakes his head when I offer to swap the bicycle for his mustang. 
The road is heavy with sand aU along by Winnemucca, and but 
little riding is to be done. The river rans through green meadows 
of rich bottom-land hereabouts ; but the meadows soon disappear 
as I travel eastward. Twenty miles east of Winnemucca the river 
and railroad pass through the caiion in a low range of mountains, 
while my route lies over the summit. It is a steep trundle up the 
mountains, but from the summit a broad view of the surrounding 
counti-y is obtained. The HumboldtEiveris not a beautiful stream, 
and for the greater part of its length it meanders through alter- 
nate stretches of dreary sage-brush plain and low sand-hills, at long 



OVER THE DESERTS OF NEVADA. 33 

intervals passing througli a canon in some barren mouiitain chain. 
But " distance lends enchantment to the view," and from the sum- 
mit of the mountain pass even the Humholdt looks beautiful. The 
Sim shines on its waters, giving it a sheen, and for many a mile its 
glistening surface can be seen winding its serpentine course through 
the broad, gray-looking sage and gi-ease-wood plains, while at oc- 
casional intervals narrow patches of green, in stiiking contrast to 
the surrovinding gray, show where the hardy mountain grasses 
venturously endeavor to invade the domains of the autocratic sage- 
brush. What is that queer-looking little reptile, half lizard, half 
frog, that scuttles about among the rocks ? It is different from 
anything I have yet seen. Around the back of its neck and along 
its sides, and, in a less prominent degree, all over its yellowish- 
gray body, are small, horn-like protuberances that give the little 
fellow a very peculiar appearance. Ah ! I know who he is. I have 
heard of him, and have seen his picture in books. I am happy to 
make his acquaintance. He is "Prickey," the famed horned toad 
of Nevada. On this mountain spur, between the Golconda mining- 
camp and Iron Point, is the only place I have seen him on the 
tour. He is a very interesting little creature, more lizard than 
frog, perfectly harmless ; and his little bead-like eyes are bright 
and fascinating as the eyes of a rattlesnake. 

Allcali flats abound, and some splendid riding is to be obtained 
east of Iron Point. Just before darkness closes down over the sur- 
rounding area of plain and mountain I reach Stone-House section- 
house. 

" Yes, I guess we can get you a bite of something ; but it will 
be cold," is the answer vouchsafed in reply to my query about sup- 
per. 

Being more concerned these days about the quantity of provis- 
ions I can command than the quality, the prospect of a cold supper 
arouses no ungrateful emotions. I would rather have a four-pound 
loaf and a shoulder of mutton for supper now than a smaller quan- 
tity of extra choice viands ; and I manage to satisfy the cravings of 
my inner man before leaving the table. But what about a place to 
sleep ? For some inexplicable reason these people refuse to grant 
me even the shelter of their roof for the night. They are not keep- 
ing hotel, they say, which is quite true ; they have a right to refuse, 
even if it is twenty miles to the next place ; and they do refuse. 

" There's the empty Chinese bunk-house over there. You can 
3 



34 FKOM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEIIERAPT. 

crawl in there, if you arn't afeerd of ghosts," is the parting remark, 
as the door closes and leaves me standing, like an outcast, on the 
dark, barren plain. 

A week ago this bunk-house was occupied by a gang of Chinese 
railroaders, who got to quarrelling among themselves, and the 
quarrel wound up in quite a tragic poisoning affair, that resulted in 
the death of two, and nearly killed a third. The Chinese are 
nothing, if not superstitious, and since this affair no Chinaman 
would sleep in the bunk -house or work on this section ; conse- 
quently the building remains empty. The " spooks " of murdered 
Chinese are everything but agreeable company ; nevertheless they 
are preferable to inhospitable whites, and I walk over to the house 
and stretch my weary frame in — for aught I know — the same bunk 
in which, but a few days ago, reposed the ghastly corpses of the 
poisoned Celestials. Despite the unsavory memories clinging 
around the place, and my pillowless and blanketless couch, I am 
soon in the land of dreams. It is scarcely presumable that one 
would be blessed with rosy-hued visions of pleasure under such 
conditions, however, and near midnight I awake in a cold shiver. 
The snowy mountains rear their white heads up in the silent night, 
grim and ghostly all around, and make the midnight air chilly, 
even in midsummer. I lie there, trying in vain to doze off again, 
for it grows perceptibly cooler. At two o'clock I can stand it no 
longer, and so get up and strike out for Battle Mountain, twenty 
miles ahead. 

The moon has risen ; it is two-thirds full, and a more beautiful 
sight than the one that now greets my exit from the bunk-house it 
is scarcely possible to conceive. Only those who have been in this 
inter-mountain country can have any idea of a glorious moonlight 
night in the clear atmosphere of this di-y, elevated region. It is al- 
most as light as day, and one can see to ride quite well wherever 
the road is ridable. The pale moon seems to fiU the whole broad 
valley with a flood of soft, silvery light ; the peaks of many snowy 
mountains loom up white and spectral ; the stilly air is broken by 
the excited yelping of a pack of coyotes noisily baying the pale-yel- 
low author of all this loveliness, and the wild, unearthly scream of 
an unknown bird or animal coming from some mysterious, undefin- 
able quarter completes an ideal Western picture, a poem, a dream, 
that fully compensates for the discomforts of the pi-ecedin"- hour. 
The inspiration of this beautiful scene awakes the slumberin"- poesy 



OVEK THE DESERTS OF NEVADA. 



35 



■within, and I am inspired to compose a poem — ^" Moonlight in the 
Rockies " — that I expect some day to see the world go into raptures 
over ! 

A few miles from the Chinese shanty I pass a party of Indians 




Ugh ! What is it? 

camped by the side of my road. They are squatting around the 
smouldering embers of a sage-brush fire, sleeping and dozing. I am 
riding slowly and carefully along the road that happens to be rida- 
ble just here, and am fairly past them before being seen. As I 
gradually Vanish in the moonlit air I wonder what they think it 



36 FKOM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

was — that strange-looking object that so silently and mysteriously 
glided past. It is safe to -warrant they think me anything but flesh 
and blood, as they rouse each other and peer at my shadowy form 
disappearing in the dim distance. 

From Battle Mountain my route leads across a low alkali 
bottom, through which dozens of small streams are flowing to the 
Humboldt. Many of them are narrow enough to be jumped, but 
not with a bicycle on one's shoulder, for under such conditions 
there is alwaiys a disagreeable uncertainty that one may disastrously 
alight before he gets ready. But I am getting tired of partially 
undressing to ford streams that are little more than ditches, every 
little way, and so I hit upon the novel plan of using the machine 
for a vaulting-pole. Beaching it out into the centre of the stream, 
I place one hand on the head and the other on the saddle, and 
vault over, retaining my hold as I alight on the opposite shore. 
Pulling the bicycle out after me, the thing is done. There is no 
telling to what uses this two-wheeled " creature " could be put 
in case of necessity. Certainly the inventor never expected it to 
be used for a vaulting-pole in leaping across streams. Twenty-five 
miles east of Battle Mountain the valley of the Humboldt vridens 
into a plain of some size, through which the river meanders with 
many a horseshoe curve, and maps out the pot-hooks and hangers 
of our childhood days in mazy profusion. Amid these innumerable 
curves and counter-curves, clumps of willows and tall blue-joint 
reeds grow thickly, and afibrd shelter to thousands of pelicans, that 
here make their homes far from the disturbing presence of man. 
All unconscious of impending difficulties, I follow the wagon trail 
leading through this valley until I find myself standing on the ed"-e 
of the river, ruefully looking around for some avenue by which I 
can proceed on my way. I am in the bend of a horseshoe curve, 
and the only way to get out is to retrace my footsteps for several 
miles, which disagreeable performance I naturally feel somewhat 
opposed to doing. Casting about me I discover a couple of old 
fence-posts that have fioated down from the Be-o-wa-we settlement 
above and lodged against the bank. I determine to try and uti- 
lize them in getting the machine across the river, which is not over 
thirty yards wide at this point. . Swimming across with my clothes 
first, I tie the bicycle to the fence-posts, which barely keep it from 
sinking, and manage to navigate it successfully across. The village 
of Be-o-wa-we is full of cowboys, who are preparing for the annual 



OVER THE DESERTS OF NEVADA. 37 

spring round-up. Whites, Indians, and Mexicans compose the 
motley crowd. They look a wild lot, with their bear- skin chaparejos 
and semi-civiUzed trappings, galloping to and fro in and about the 
village. "I can't spare the time, or I would," is my slightly un- 
truthful answer to an invitation to stop over for the day and have 
some fun. Briefly told, this latter, with the cowboy, consists in 
getting hilariously drunk, and then turning his " pop " loose at 
anything that happens to strike his whiskey-bedevilled fancy as pre- 
senting a fitting target. Now a bicycle, above all things, would 
intrude itself upon the notice of a cowboy on a " tear " as a peculiar 
and conspicuous object, especially if it had a man on it ; so after 
taking a " smile " with them for good-feUowship, and showing them 
the modus operandi of riding the wheel, I consider it wise to push 
on up the vallej'. 

Three miles from Be-o-wa-we is seen the celebrated "Maiden's 
Grave," on a low hill or bluff by the road-side ; and " thereby hangs 
a tale." In early daj'S, a party of emigrants wei-e camped near by 
at Gravelly Ford, waiting for the waters to subside, so that they 
could cross the river, when a young woman of the party sickened 
and died. A rudely carved head board was set up to mark the spot 
where she was buried. Years afterward, when the railroad was 
being built through here, the men discovered this rude head-board 
all alone on the bleak hill-top, and were moved by worthy sentiment 
to build a rough stone wall around it to keep off the ghoulish coy- 
otes ; and, later on, the superintendent of the division erected a 
large white cross, which now stands in plain view of the railroad. 
On one side of the cross is written the simple inscription, " Maid- 
en's Grave ;" on the other, her name, "Lucinda Duncan." Leav- 
ing the bicycle by the road-side, I climb the steep bluff and examine 
the spot with some curiosity. There are now twelve other graves 
beside the original " Maiden's Grave," for the people of Be-o-wa-we 
and the surrounding country have selected this romantic spot on 
which to inter the remains of their departed friends. This after- 
noon I follow the river through Humboldt Canon in preference to 
taking a long circuitous route over the mountains. The first no- 
ticeable things about this cation are the peculiar water-marks plainly 
visible on the walls, high up above where the water could possibly 
rise while its present channels of escape exist unobstructed. It is 
thought that the country east of the spur of the Red Range, which 
stretches clear across the valley at Be-o-wa-we, and through which 



38 FEOM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

the Humboldt seems to have cut its way, was formerly a lake, and 
that the water gradually wore a passage-way for itself through the 
massive barrier, leaving only the high-water marks on the moun- 
tain sides to tell of the mighty change. In this canon the rocky 
walls tower like gigantic battlements, grim and gloomy on either 
side, and the seething, boiling waters of the Humboldt — that for 
once awakens from its characteristic lethargy, and madly plunges 
and splutters over a bed of jagged rocks which seem to have been 
tossed into its channel by some Herculean hand — fill this mighty 
"rift "in the mountains with a never-ending roar. It has been 
threatening rain for the last two hours, and now the first peal of 
thunder I have heard On the whole journey awakens the echoing 
voices of the canon and rolls and rumbles along the great jagged 
fissure like an angry monster muttering his mighty wrath. Peal 
after peal follow each other iu quick succession, the vigorous, new- 
born echoes of one peal seeming angrily to chase the receding 
voices of its predecessor from cliff to cliflf, and from recess to pro- 
jection, along its rocky, erratic course up the canon. Vivid flashes 
of forked lightning shoot athwart the heavy black cloud that seems 
to rest on either wall, roofing the canon with a ceiling of awful 
grandeui'. Sheets of electric flame light up the dark, shadowy re- 
cesses of the towering rocks as they play along the ridges and hover 
on the mountain-tops ; while large drops of rain begin to patter 
down, gradually increasing with the growing fury of their battlin"* 
allies above, until a heavy, drenching downpour of rain and haU 
compels me to take shelter under an overhanging rock. 

At 4 P.M. I reach Palisade, a railroad village situated in the most 
romantic spot imaginable, under the shadows of the towerino' pali- 
sades that hover above with a sheltering care, as if their special 
mission were to protect it from all harm. Evidently these moun- 
tains have been rent in twain by an earthquake, and this great 
gloomy chasm left open, for one can plainly see that the two walls 
represent two halves of what was once a solid mountain. Curious 
caves are observed in the face of the cliffs, and one, more conspicu- 
ous than the rest, has been christened " Maggie's Bower," in honor 
of a beautiful Scottish maiden who with her parents once lingered 
in a neighboring creek-bottom for some time, recruiting their stock. 
But all is not romance and beauty even in the glorious palisades of 
the Humboldt ; for great, glaring, patent-medicine advertisements 
are painted on the most conspicuously beautiful spots of the pali- 



OYER THE DESERTS OF NEVADA. 89 

sades. Business enterprise is of course to be commended and en- 
coui-aged ; but it is really annoying that one cannot let Ms aesthetic 
soul — that is constantly yearning for the sublime and beautiful — 
rest in gladsome reflection on some beautiful object without at the 
same time being reminded of " corns," and " biliousness," and all 
the multifarious evils that flesh is heir to. 

It grows pitchy dark ere I leave the canon on my way to Carlin. 
Farther on, the gorge widens, and thick underbrush intervenes be- 
tween the road and the river. From out the brush I see peering two 
little round phosphorescent balls, like two miniature moons, turned 
in my direction. I wonder what kind of an animal it is, as I trun- 
dle along through the darkness, revolver in hand, ready to defend 
myself, should it make an attack. I think it is a mountain-lion, as 
they seem to be plentiful in this part of Nevada. Late as it is when 
I reach Carlin, the " boys " must see how a bicycle is ridden, and, as 
there is no other place suitable, I manage to circle around the pool- 
table in the hotel bar-room a few times, nearly scalping myself 
against the bronze chandelier in the operation. I hasten, however, 
to explain that these proceedings took place immediately after my 
arrival, lest some worldly wise, over-sagacious person should be led 
to suspect them to be the riotous undertakings of one who had 
" smiled with the boys once too often." Little riding is possible 
all through this section of Nevada, and, in order to complete the 
forty miles a day that I have rigorously imposed upon myself, I 
sometimes get up and pull out at daylight. It is scarce more than 
sunrise when, following the railroad through Five-mile Canon — 
another rift through one of the many mountain chains that cross 
this part of Nevada in all directions under the general name of the 
Humboldt Mountains — I meet with a startling adventure. I am 
trundling through the canon alongside the river, when, rounding 
the sharp curve of a projecting mountain, a tawny mountain lion is 
perceived trotting leisurely along ahead of me, not over a hundred 
yards in advance. He hasn't seen me yet ; he is perfectly oblivious 
of the fact that he is in " the presence." A person of ordinary dis- 
cretion would simply have revealed his presence by a gentlemanly 
sneeze, or a slight noise of any kind, when the lion would have 
immediately bolted back into the underbrush. Unable to resist 
the temptation, I fired at him, and of course missed him, as a person 
naturally would at a hundred yards with a bull-dog revolver. The 
bullet must have singed him a little though, for, instead of wildly 



40 FKOM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

scooting for the brush, as I anticipated, he turns savagely round and 
comes bounding rapidly toward me, and at twenty paces crouches for 
a spring. Laying his cat-like head almost on the ground, his round 
eyes flashing fire, and his tail angrily waving to and fro, he looks 
savage and dangerous. Crouching behind the bicycle, I fire at him 
again. Nine times out of ten a person will overshoot the mark with 
a revolver under such circumstances, and, being anxious to avoid 
this, I do the reverse, and fire too low. The ball strikes the ground 
just in front of his head, and throws the sand and gravel in his 
face, and perhaps in his wicked round eyes ; for he shakes his head, 
springs up, and makes off into the brush. I shall shed blood of 
some sort yet before I leave Nevada ! There isn't a day that I don't 
shoot at something or other ; and all I ask of any animal is to come 
within two hundred yards and I will squander a cartridge on him, 
and I never fail to hit — the ground. 

At Elko, where I take dinner, I make the acquaintance of an 
individual, rejoicing in the sobriquet of " Alkali Bill," who has the 
largest and most comprehensive views of any person I ever met. 
He has seen a paragraph, something about me riding round the 
world, and he considerately takes upon himself the task of sum- 
ming up the few trifling obstacles that I shall encounter on the way 
round : 

"There is only a small rise at Sherman," he rises to explain, 
" and another still smaller at the AUeghanies ; all the balance is 
downhill to the Atlantic. Of course you'll have to ' boat it ' across 
the Frogpond ; then there's Europe — mostly level ; so is Asia, ex- 
cept the Himalayas — and you can soon cross them ; then you're 
all ' hunky,' for there's no mountains to speak of in China." 

Evidently Alkali Bill is a person who points the finger of scom 
at smaU ideas, and leaves the bothersome details of life to other 
and smaUer-minded folks. In his vast and glorious imagery he 
sees a centaur-like 'cycler skimming Uke a frigate-bird across states 
and continents, scornfully ignoring sandy deserts and bridgeless 
streams, halting for nothing but oceans, and only slowing up a 
little when he runs up against a peak that bobs up its twenty 
thousand feet of snowy grandeur serenely in his path. What a 
Csesar is lost to this benighted world, because in its blindness it 
will not search out such men as Alkali and ask them to lead it on- 
ward to deeds of inconceivable greatness ! Alkali Bill can whittle 
more chips in an hour than some men could in a week. 




Encounter with a Mountain Lion. 



OVER THE DESERTS OF NEVADA. 43 

Much of the Humboldt Valley, through which my road now 
runs, is at present flooded from the vast quantities of water that are 
pouring into it from the Euby Range of mountains now visible to 
the southeast, and which have the appearance of being the snowiest 
of any since leaving the Sierras. Only yesterday I threatened to 
shed blood before I left Nevada, and sure enough my prophecy is 
destined to speedy fulfilment. Just east of the Osino Canon, and 
where the North Fork of the Humboldt comes down from the north 
and joins the main stream, is a stretch of swampy ground on which 
swai-ms of wild ducks and geese are paddling about. I blaze away 
at them, and a poor inoffensive gosling is no more ! 

While writing my notes this evening, in a room adjoining the 
" bar " at Halleck, near the United States fort of the same name, I 
overhear a boozy soldier modestly informing his comrades that 
forty-five miles an hour is no unusual speed to travel with a bi- 
cycle. 

Gradually I am nearing the source of the Humboldt, and at the 
town of Wells I bid it farewell for good. Wells is named from a 
group of curious springs near the town. They are supposed to be 
extinct volcanoes, now filled with water ; and report says that no 
sounding-liue hasyet been found long enough to fathom the bottom. 
Some day when some poor, unsuspecting tenderfoot is peering in- 
quisitively down one of these well-like springs, the volcano may 
suddenly come into play again and convert the water into steam that 
win shoot him clear up into the moon ! These volcanoes may 
have been soaking in water for millions of years ; but they are not 
to be trusted on that account ; they can be depended upon to fill 
some citizen full of lively surprise one of these days. Everything 
here is surprising ! You look across the desert and see flowing 
water and waving trees ; but when you get there, with your tongue 
hanging out and your fate wellnigh sealed, you are surprised to 
find nothing but sand and rocks. You climb a mountain expecting 
to find trees and birds' eggs, and you are surprised to find high- 
water marks and sea-shells. Finally, you look in the looking-glass 
and are surprised to find that the wind and exposure have trans- 
formed your nice blonde complexion to a semi-sable hue that would 
prevent your own mother from recognizing you. 

The next day, when nearing the entrance to Montella Pass, over 
the Goose Creek Range, I happen to look across the mingled sage- 
brush and juniper-spruce brush to the right, and a sight greets my 



44 FKOM SAW FRANCISCO TO TEHEI4AN. 

eyes that causes me to iustinctively look around for a tall tree, 
though well knowing that there is nothing of the kind for miles ; 
neither is there any ridable road near, or I might try my hand at 
breaking the record for a few miles. Standing bolt upright on their 
hind legs, by the side of a clump of juniper-spruce bushes and in- 
tently watching my movements, are a pair of full-grown cinnamon 
bears. When a bear sees a man before the man happens to descry 
him, and fails to betake himself off immediately, it signifies that he 
is either spoiling for a fight or doesn't care a continental password 
whether war is declared or not. Moreover, animals recognize the 
peculiar advantages of two to one in a fight equally with their human 
inferi — superiors ; and those two over there are apparently in no par- 
ticular hurry to move on. They don't seem awed at my presence. On 
the contrary', they look suspiciously like being undecided and hesi- 
tative about whether to let me proceed peacefully on my way or not. 
Their behavior is outrageous ; they stare and stare and stare, and 
look quite ready for a fight. I don't intend one to come off, though, 
if I can avoid it. I prefer to have it settled by arbitration. I haven't 
lost these bears ; they aren't mine, and I don't want anything that 
doesn't belong to me. I am not covetous ; so, lest I should be 
tempted to shoot at them if I come within the regulation two hun- 
dred yards, I " edge off" a few hundred yards in the other direction, 
and soon have the intense satisfaction of seeing them stroU off toward 
the mountains. I wonder if I don't owe my escape on this occasion 
to my bicycle ? Do the bright spokes glistening in the sunlight as 
they revolve make an impression on their bearish intellects that 
iufluences their decision in favor of a retreat. It is perhaps need- 
less to add that, aU through this mountain-pass, I keep a loose eye 
busily employed looking out for bears. 

But nothing more of a bearish nature occurs, and the early 
gloaming finds me at Tacoma, a village near the Utah boundary 
line. There is an awful calamity of some sort hovering over this 
village. One can feel it La the air. The habitues of the hotel bar- 
room sit around, listless and glum. When they speak at all it is to 
predict all sorts of difficulties for me in my progress through Utah 
and Wyoming Territories. " The black gnats of the Salt Lake mud 
flat'lleat you clean up," snarls one. " Bear Elver's floodin"- the hull 
kintry up Weber Canon way," growls another. " The slickest thin'v 
you kin do, stranger, is to board the keers and git out of this " 
says a third, in a tone of voice and with an emphasis that plainly in- 



OVER THE DESERTS OF NEVADA. 45 

dicates his great disgust at " this." By " tliis " he means the village 
of Tacoma ; and he is disgusted with it. They are all disgusted ■with 
it, and with the whole world this evening, because Tacoma is " out 
of whiskey." Yes, the village is destitute of whiskey ; it should 
have arrived yesterday, and hasn't shown up yet ; and the effect on 
the society of the bar-room is so depressing that I soon retire to my 
couch, to dream of Utah's strange intermingling of forbidding de- 
serts and beautiful orchards through which my route now leads 



CHAPTER in. 

THROUGH MORMON-LAND AND OVER THE ROCKIES. 

A DEEAET-LOOKING countrj is tlie " Great American Desert," in 
. Utah, the northern boundary line of which I traverse next morning. 
To the left of the road is a low chain of barren hills ; to the right, 
the uninviting plain, over which one's eye wanders in vain for some 
green object that might raise hopes of a less desolate region be- 
yond ; and over all hangs an oppressive silence — the silence of a 
dead country — a country destitute of both animal and vegetable 
life. Over the great desert hangs a smoky haze, out of which 
Pilot Peak, thirty-eight miles away, rears its conical head 2,500 
feet above the level plain at its base. 

Some riding is obtained at intervals along this unattractive 
stretch of country, but there are no continuously ridable stretches, 
and the principal incentive to mount at all is a feeling of disgust 
at so much compulsory walking. A noticeable feature through the 
desert is the almost unquenchable thirst that the dry saline air in- 
flicts upon one. Reaching a railway section-house, I find no one 
at home ; but there is a small underground cistern of imported 
water, in which "wrigglers '' innumerable wriggle, but which is 
otherwise good and cool. There is nothing to drink out of, and the 
water is three feet from the surface ; while leaning down to try and 
drink, the wooden framework at the top gives way and precipitates 
me head first into the water. Luckily, the tank is large enough to 
enable me to turn round and reappear at the surface, head first, and 
with considerable difficulty I scramble out again, with, of coui-se, 
not a dry thread on me. 

At three in the afternoon I roll into Terrace, a small Mormon 
town. Here a rather tough-looking citizen, noticing that my gar- 
ments are damp, suggests that 'cycling must be hard work to make 
a person perspire like that in this dry climate. At the Matlin sec- 
tion-house I find accommodation for the night v?ith a whole-souled 
section-house foreman, who is keeping bachelor's hall temporarily, 
as his wife is away on a visit at Ogden. From this house, which is 



THROUGH MORMON-LAND AND OVER THE ROCKIES. 47 

situated on the table-land of the Red Dome Mountains, can be ob- 
tained a more comprehensive view of the Great American Desert 
than when we last beheld it. It has all the appearance of being the 
dry bed of an ancient salt lake or inland sea. A broad, level plain 
of white alkali, which is easily mistaken in the dim distance for 
smooth, still water, stretches away like a dead, motionless sea as far 
as human vision can penetrate, until lost in the haze ; while, here 
and there, isolated rocks lift their rugged heads above the dreary 
level, like islets out of the sea. It is said there are many evidences 
that go to prove this desert to have once been covered by the waters 
of the great inland sea that still, in places, laves its eastern borders 
with its briny flood. I am. informed there are many miles of smooth, 
hard, salt-flats, over which a 'cycler could skim like a bird ; but I 
scarcely think enough of bird-like skimming to go searching for it 
on the American Desert. A few miles east of Matlin the road leads 
over a spur of the Red Dome Eange, from whence I obtain my first 
view of the Great Salt Lake, and soon I am enjoying a long-antici- 
pated bath in its briny waters. It is disagreeably cold, but other- 
wise an enjoyable bath. One can scarce sink beneath the surface, 
so strongly is the water" impregnated with salt. 

For dinner, I reach Kelton, a town that formerly prospered as 
the point from which vast quantities of freight were shipped to 
Idaho. Scores of huge freight-wagons are now bunched up in the 
corrals, having outUved their usefulness since the innovation from 
mules and " overland ships " to locomotives on the Utah Northern 
Railway. Empty stores and a general air of vanished i^rosperity 
are the main features of Kelton to-day ; and the inhabitants seem 
to reflect in their persons the aspect of the town ; most of them 
being freighters, who, finding their occupation gone, hang listlessly 
around, as though conscious of being fit for nothing else. From 
Kelton I follow the lake shore, and at six in the afternoon arrive at 
the salt-works, near Monument Station, and apply for accommoda- 
tion, which is readily given. Here is erected a wind-mill, which 
pumps the water from the lake into shallow reservoirs, where it 
evaporates and leaves a layer of coarse salt on the bottom. These 
people drink water that is disagreeably brackish srnd unsatisfactory 
to one unaccustomed to it, but which they say has become more 
acceptable to them, from habitual use, than purely fresh water. 
This spot is the healthiest and most favorable for the prolific pro- 
duction of certain forms of insect hfe I ever was in, and I spend 



48 FEOM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHEEAN. 

the liveliest night here I ever spent anyvfhere. These people pro- 
fessed to give me a bed to myself, but no sooner have I laid my 
head on the pillow than I recognize the ghastly joke they are 
playing on me. The bed is already densely populated with guests, 
who naturally object to being ousted or overcrowded. They seem 
quite a kittenish and playful lot, rather inclined to accomplish their 
ends by playing wild pranks than by resorting to more austere 
measures. Watching tiU. I have closed my eyes in an attempt to 
doze off, they slip up and playfully tickle me under the chin, or 
scramble around in my ear, and anon they wildly chase each other 
up and down my back, and play leap-frog and hide-and-go-seek all 
over my sensitive form, so that I arise in the morning anything but 
refreshed from my experience. 

Still following the shores of the lake, for several miles, my road 
now leads over the northern spur of the Promontory Mountains. 
On these hiUs I find a few miles of hard gravel that affords the 
best riding I have experienced in Utah, and I speed along as rapidly 
as possible, for dark, threatening clouds are gathering overhead. 
But ere I reach the summit of the ridge a violent thunder-storm 
breaks over the hills, and I seem to be verily hobnobbing with the 
thunder and lightning, that appears to be round about me, rather 
than overhead. A troop of wild bronchos, startled and stampeded 
by the vivid lightning and sharp peals of thunder, come wildly 
charging down the mountain trail, threatening to run quite over 
me in their mad career. PuUing my six-shooter, I fire a couple of 
shots in the air to attract their attention, when they rapidly swerve 
to the left, and go tearing frantically over the rolling hills on their 
wild flight to the plains below. 

Most of the rain falls on the plain and in the lake, and when I 
arrive at the summit I pause to take a view at the lake and sur- 
rounding country. A more auspicious occasion could scarcely 
Jiave been presented. The storm has subsided, and far beneath 
my feet a magnificent rainbow spans the plain, and dips one end 
of its variegated beauty in the sky-blue waters of the lake. From 
this point the view to the west and south is truly grand — rugged, 
irregular mountain-chains traverse the country at every conceivable 
angle, and around -among them winds the lake, filling with its blue 
waters the intervening spaces, and reflecting, impartially alike, their 
grand majestic beauty and their faults. What dreams of empire 
and white-winged commerce on this inland sea must fill the mind 




A Stampede of Wild Mustangs, 



so FKOM SAN FKANCISCO TO TEIIEEAW. 

and fire the imagery of tlie newly arrived Mormon convert v^lio, 
standing on tlie commanding summit of these mountains, feasts his 
eyes on the glorious panOTama of blue water and rugged moun- 
tains that is spread like a wondrous picture before him ! Surely, 
if he be devotionally inclined, it fails not to recall to his mind an- 
other inland sea in far-off Asia Minor, on* whose pebbly shores and 
by whose rippling waves the cradle of an older rehgion than Mor- 
monism was rocked — but not rocked to sleep. 

Ten miles farther on, from the vantage-ground of a pass over 
another spur of the same range, is obtained a widely extended 
view of the country to the east. For nearly thirty miles from the 
base of the mountains, low, level mud-flats extend eastward, bor- 
dered on the south by the marshy, sinuous shores of the lake, and 
on the north by the Blue Creek Mountains. Thirty miles to the 
east — looking from this distance strangely like flocks of sheep 
grazing at the base of the mountains — can be seen the white- 
painted houses of the Mormon settlements, that thickly dot the 
narrow but fertile strip of agricultural land between Bear River 
and the mighty Wahsatch Mountains, that, rearing their snowy 
crest skyward, shut out all view of what lies beyond. From this 
height the level mud-flats appear as if one could mount his wheel 
and bowl across at a ten-mile pace ; but I shall be agreeably sur- 
prised if I am able to aggregate ten miles of riding out of the 
thirty. Immediately after getting down into the bottom I make 
the acquaintance of the tiny black gnats that one of our whiskey- 
bereaved friends at Tacoma had warned me against. One's head 
is constantly enveloped in a black cloud of these little wretches. 
They are of infinitesimal proportions, and get into a person's 
ears, eyes, and nostrils, and if one so far forgets himself as to open 
his mouth, they swarm in as though they think it the " pearly gates 
ajar," and this their last chance of effecting an entrance. Mingled 
with them, and apparently on the best of terms, are swarms of 
mosquitoes, which appear perfect Jumbos in comparison with their 
disreputable associates. 

As if partially to recompense me for the torments of the after- 
noon, Dame Fortune considerately provides me with two separate 
and distinct suppers this evening. I had intended, when I left 
Promontory Station, to reach Corinne for the night ; consequently 
I bring a lunch with me, knowing it will take me till late to reach 
there. These days, I am troubled with an appetite that makes me 



TIIUOUGn MOEMON-LAND AND OVER THE EOCKIES. 51 

blush to speak of it, and about five o'clock I sit down — on the 
bleacbed skeleton of a defunct mosquito ! — and proceed to eat my 
lunch of bread and meat — and gnats ; for I am quite certain of 
eating hundreds of these omnipresent creatures at every bite I 
take. Two hours afterward I am passing Quarry section-house, 
when the foreman beckons me over and generously invites me to 
remain over night. He brings out canned oysters and bottles of 
Milwaukee beei', and insists on my helping him discuss these ac- 
ceptable viands ; to which invitation it is needless to say I yield 
without extraordinary pressure, the fact of having eaten two hours 
before being no obstacle whatever. So much for 'cychng as an aid 
to digestion. Arriving at Corinne, on Bear Eiver, at ten o'clock 
next morning, I am accosted by a bearded, patriarchal Moi-mon, 
who requests me to constitute myself a parade of one, and ride 
the bicycle around the town for the edification of the people's 
minds. 

" In coui^se they knows what a ' perlocefede ' is, from seein' 'em 
in picturs ; but they never seed a real machine, and it'd be a 
' hefty ' treat fer 'em," is the eloquent appeal made by this person 
in behalf of the Corinnethians, over whose destinies and happiness 
he appears to preside with fatherly solicitude. As the streets of 
Corinne this morning consist entirely of black mud of uncertaiil 
depth, I am reluctantly compelled to say the elder nay, at the same 
time promising him that if he would have them in better condition 
next time I happened around, I would willingly second his brilHant 
idea of making the people happy by permitting them a glimpse of 
my " perlocefede " in action. 

After crossing Bear Eiver I find myself on a somewhat superior 
road leading through the Mormon settlements to Ogden. No 
greater contrast can well be imagined than that presented by this 
strip of country lying between the lake, and the Wahsatch Moun- 
tains, and the desert country to the westward. One can almost 
fancy himself suddenly transported by some good genii to a quiet 
farmin"' community in an Eastern State. Instead of untamed 
bronchos and wild-eyed cattle, roaming at their own fi-ee will over 
unlimited tenitory, are seen staid work-horses ploughing in the field, 
and the sleek milch-cow peacefully cropping tame grass in en- 
closed meadows. Birds are singing merrily in the willow hedges 
and the shade-trees ; green fields of alfalfa and ripening grain line 
the road and spread themselves over the surrounding country in 



52 FROM SAN FEANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

alternate squares, like those of a vast checker-board. Farms, on 
the average, are small, and, consequently, houses are thick ; and 
not a farm-house among them all but is embowered in an orchard 
of fruit and shade-trees that mingle their green leaves and white 
blossoms harmoniously. At noon I roU into a forest of fmiit-trees, 
among which, I am informed, WiUard City is situated ; but one 
can see nothing of any city. Nothing but thickets of peach, plum, 
and apple trees, aU in full bloom, surround the spot where I alight 
and begin to look aroimd for some indications of the city. "Where 
is "WUlard City? " I inquire of a boy who comes out from one of 
the orchards carrying a can of kerosene in his hand, suggestive of 
having just come from a grocery, and so he has. " This is Wil- 
lard City, right here,'' replies the boy ; and then, in response to my 
inquiry for the hotel, he points to a small gate .leading into an 
orchard, and tells me the hotel is in there. 

The hotel — like every other house and store here — is embow- 
ered amid an orchard of blooming fruit-trees, and looks like any- 
thing but a public eating-house. No sign up, nothiag to distin- 
guish it from a private dwelling ; and I am ushered into a nicely 
furnished parlor, on the neatly papered walls of which hang en- 
larged portraits of Brigham Young and other Mormon celebrities, 
while a large-sized Mormon bible, expensively bound in morocco, 
reposes on the centre-table. A charming Miss of — teen summers 
presides over a private table, on which is spread for my material 
benefit the finest meal I have eaten since leaving California. Such 
snow-white bread ! Such delicious butter ! And the exquisite flavor 
of " spiced peach-butter " lingers in my fancy even now ; and as if 
this were not enough for " two bits " (a fifty per cent, come-down 
from usual rates in the mountains), a splendid bouquet of flowers is 
set on the table to round off the repast with their grateful perfume. 
As I enjoy the wholesome, substantial food, I fall to musLag on the 
mighty chasm that intervenes between the elegant meal now be- 
fore me and the " Melican plan-cae " of two weeks ago. 

" You have a remarkably pleasant country here, Miss," I venture 
to remark to the young lady who has presided ovfer my table, and 
whom I judge to be the daughter of the house, as she comes to the 
door to see the bicycle. 

" Yes ; we have made it pleasant by planting so many orchards '' 
she answers, demurely. 

" I should think the Mormons ought to be contented, for they 



54 FROM SAiSr FEANCISCO TO TEIIEUAN. 

possess the only good piece of farming country between California 
and 'the States,'" I blunderingly continued. 

"I never heard anyone say they are not contented, but their 
enemies," replies this fair and yaliant champion of Mormonism in 
a voice that shows she quite misunderstands my meaning. 

"What I intended to say was, that the Mormon people are to 
be highly congTatulated on their good sense in settling here," I has- 
ten to explain ; for were I to leave at this house, where my treat- 
ment has been so gratifying, a shadow of prejudice against the Mor- 
mons, I should feel like kicking myself all over the Territory. The 
women of the Mormon religion are instructed by the \viseacres of 
the church to win over strangers by kind treatment and by the 
charm of their conversation and graces ; and this young lady has 
learned the lesson well ; she has graduated with high honors. 
Coming from the barren deserts of Nevada and Western Utah — from 
the land where the irreverent and irrepressible " Old Timer " fills 
the air with a sulphurous odor from his profanity and where nat- 
ure is seen in its sternest aspect, and then suddenly finding one's 
self literally surrounded by flowers and conversing with Beauty 
about Religion, is enough to charm the heart of a marble statue. 

Ogden is reached for supper, where I quite expect to find a 
'cycler or two (Ogden being a city of eight thousand inhabitants) ; 
but the nearest approach to a bicycler in Ogden is a gentleman who 
used to belong to a Chicago club, but who has failed to bring his 
" wagon " West with him. Twelve miles of alternate riding and 
walking eastwardly from Ogden bring me to the entrance of Weber 
Canon, through which the Weber River, the Union Pacific Rail- 
road, and an uncertain wagon-trail make theh' way through the 
Wahsatch Mountains on to the elevated table-lands of Wyoming- 
Territory. Objects of interest foUow each other in quick succes- 
sion along this part of the journey, and I have ample time to ex- 
amine them, for Weber River is flooding the canon, and in many 
places has washed away the narrow space along which wagons are 
wont to make their way, so that I have to trundle slowly along the 
railway track. Now the road turns to the left, and in a few min- 
utes the rugged and picturesque walls of the canon are towering in 
imposing heights toward the clouds. The Weber River comes 
rushing— a resistless torrent — from under the dusky shadows of 
the mountains through which it runs for over fifty miles, and on- 
ward to the plain below, where it assumes a more moderate pace, 



THROUGH MOEJCON-LAND AND OVER THE ROCKIES. 66 

as if conscious tliat it lias at last escaped from the Lurrying tur- 
moil of its boisterous march down the mountain. 

Advancing into the yawning jaws of the range, a continuously 
resounding roar is heard in advance, which gradually beconies 
louder as I proceed eastward ; in a short time the source of the 
noise is discovered, and a weird scene greets my enraptured vision. 
At a place where the fall is tremendous, the waters are opposed in 
their mad march by a rough-and-tumble collection of huge, jagged 
rocks, that have at some time detached themselves from the walls 
above, and come crashing down into the bed of the stream. The 
rushing waters, coming with haste from above, appear to pounce 
with insane fury on the rocks that dare thus to obstruct their path ; 
and then for the next few moments all is a hissing, seething, roar- 
ing caldron of strife, the mad waters seeming to pounce with ever- 
increasing fury from one imperturbable antagonist to another, now 
leaping clear over the head of one, only to dash itself into a cloud 
of spray against another, or pour like a cataract against its base in 
a persistent, endless struggle to undermine it ; while over all tower 
the dark, shadowy rocks, grim witnesses of the battle. This spot 
is known by the appropriate name of " The Devil's Gate." 

Wherever the walls of the canon recede from the river's brink, and 
leave a space of cultivable laud, there the industrious Mormons have 
built log or adobe cabins, and converted the circumscribed domain 
into farms, gardens, and orchards. In one of these isolated settle- 
ments I seek shelter from a passing shower at the house of a " three- 
ply Mormon " (a Mormon with three wives), and am introduced to 
his three separate and distinct better-halves ; or, rather, one should 
say, " better-quarters," for how can any tiling have three halves? A 
noticeable feature at all these farms is the universal plurality of wom- 
en around the house, and sometimes in the field. A familiar scene 
in any farming community is a woman out in the field, visiting her 
husband, or, perchance, assisting him in his labors. The same 
thing is observable at the Mormon settlements along the Weber 
Eiver — only, instead of one woman, there are generally two or 
three, and perhaps yet another standing in the door of the house. 

Passing through two tunnels that burrow through rocky spurs 
stretching across the cailon, as though to obstruct farther progress, 
across the river, to the right, is the " Devil's Slide " — two perpen- 
dicular walls of rock, looking strangely like man's handiwork,, 
stretching in parallel lines almost from base to summit of a slop- 



56 ^ FROM SAN FEANCISCO TO TEHERAW. 

ing, grass-covered mountain. The walls are but a dozen feet apart. 
It is a curious phenomenon, but only one among many that are 
scattered at intervals all through here. A short distance farther, 
and I pass the famous " Thousand-mile Tree " — a rugged pine, that 
stands between the railroad and the river, and which has won re- 
nown by springing up just one thousand miles from Omaha. This 
tree is having a tough struggle for its life these days ; one side of its 
honored trunk is smitten as with the leprosy. The fate of the Thou- 
sand-mile Tree is plainly sealed. It is unfortunate in being the 
most conspicuous target on the line for the fe-ro-ci-ous youth who 
comes West with a revolver in his pocket and shoots at things from 
the car-window. Judging from the amount of cold lead contained 
in that side of its venerable trunk next the railway few of these 
thoughtless marksmen go past without honoring it with a shot. 
Emerging from " the Narrows " of Weber Canon, the route follows 
across a less contracted space to Echo City, a place of two hundred 
and twenty-five inhabitants, mostly Mormons, where I remain over- 
night. The hotel where I put up at Echo is all that can be deeired, 
so far as " provender " is concerned ; but the handsome and pictu- 
resque proprietor seems afflicted with sundry eccentric habits, his 
leading eccentricity being a haughty contempt for fractional cur- 
rency. Not having had the opportunity to test him, it is difficult 
to say whether this peculiarity works both ways, or only when the 
change is due his transient guests. However, we willingly give 
him the benefit of the doubt. 

Heavily freighted rain-clouds are hovering over the mountains 
next morning and adding to the gloominess of the gorge, which, 
just east of Echo City, contracts again and proceeds eastward under 
the name of Echo Gorge. Turning around a bold rocky projection 
to the left, the far-famed " Pulpit Rock " towers above, on which 
Brigham Young is reported to have stood and preached to the Mor- 
mon host while halting over Sunday at this point, during their pil- 
grimage to their new home in the Salt Lake Valley below. Had 
the redoubtable prophet turned " dizzy " while haranguing his fol- 
lowers from the elevated pinnacle of his novel pulpit, he would at 
least have died a more romantic death than he is accredited with 
— from eating too much green corn. 

Fourteen miles farther brings me to " Castle Eocks,'' a name 
given to the high sandstone bluffs that compose the left-hand side 
of the canon at this point, and which have been worn by the ele- 



THROUGH MOEMON-LAND AWD OVER THE ROCKIES. 57 

ments into all manner of fantastic shapes, many of them calling to 
mind the towers and turrets of some old-world castle so vividly, 
that one needs but the pomp and circumstance of old knight-errant 
days to complete the illusion. But, as one gazes with admiration 
on these towering buttresses of nature, it is easy to realize that the 
most massive and imposing feudal castle, or ramparts built with 
human hands, would look like children's toys beside them. 

The weather is cool and bracing, and when, in the middle of 
the afternoon, I reach Evanston, Wyo. Terr., too late to get din- 
ner at the hotel, I proceed to devour the contents of a bakery, 
filling the proprietor with boundless astonishment by consuming 
about two-thirds of his stock. When I get through eating, he 
bluntly refuses to charge anything, considering himself well repaid 
by having witnessed the most extraordinary gastronomic feat on 
record — the swallowing of two-thirds of a bakery ! Following the 
trail down Yellow Creek, I arrive at Hilliard after dark. The Hil- 
liardites are " somewhat seldom," but they are made of the right 
material. The boarding-house landlady sets about preparing me 
supper, late though it be ; and the "boys" extend me a hearty in- 
vitation to turn in with them for the night. Here at Hilliard is a 
long V-shaped flume, thirty miles long, in which telegraph poles, 
ties, and cordwood are floated down to the railroad from the piner- 
ies of the Uintah Mountains, now plainly visible to the south. The 
" boys " above referred to are men engaged in handling ties thus 
floated dovm ; and sitting around the red-hot stove, they make the 
evening jolly with songs and yarns of tie-drives, and of wUd rides 
down the long " V " flume. A happy, light-hearted set of feUows 
are these " tie-men," and not an evening but their rude shanty re- 
sounds with merriment galore. Fun is in the air to-night, and 
" Beaver " (so dubbed on account of an unfortunate tendency to 
fall into every hole of water he goes anywhere near) is the' unlucky 
wight upon whom the rude witticisms concentrate ; for he has 
fallen into the water again to-day, and is busily engaged in drying 
his clothes by the stove. They accuse him of keeping up an un- 
comfortably hot fire, detrimental to everybody's comfort but his 
own, and threaten him with dire penalties if he doesn't let the room 
cool off; also broadly hinting their disapproval of his over-fondness 
for "Adam's ale," and threaten to make him "set 'em up" every 
time he tumbles in hereafter. In revenge for these remarks, 
" Beaver " piles more wood into the stove, and, with many a west- 



58 FEOM SAW FEAWCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

ernism — not permitted in print — threatens to keep up a fire that 
will drive them all out of the shanty if they persist in their perse- 
cutions. 

Crossing next day the low, broad pass over the Uintah Moun- 
tains, some stretches of ridable surface are passed over, and at this 
point I see the first band of antelope on the tour ; but as they faU 
to come within the regulation two hundred yards they are graciously 
permitted to hve. 

At Piedmont Station I decide to go around by way of Fort 
Bridger and strike the direct trail again at Carter Station, twenty- 
four miles farther east. 




■A. ^.r. 
■V J- 



A tough bit of Country. 



The next day at noon finds me " tucked in my little bed " at 
Carter, decidedly the worse for wear, having experienced the touoh- 
est twenty-four hours of the entu-e journey. I have to ford no less 
than nine streams of ice-cold water ; get benighted on a rain-soaked 
adobe plain, where I have to sleep out all night in an abandoned 
freight-wagon ; and, after carrying the bicycle across seven miles 
of deep, sticky clay, I finally arrive at Carter, looking like the last 
sad remnant of a dire calamity — having had nothing to eat for 
twenty-four hours. From Carter my route leads through the Bad- 
Lands, amid buttes of mingled clay and rock, which the elements 
have worn into all conceivable shapes, and conspicuous among them 



TIIEOUGII MORMON-LANX) AND OVER THE KOCKIES. 59 

can be seen, to the south, " Church Buttes," so called from ha-ving 
been chiselled by the dexterous hand of nature into a group of domes 
and pinnacles, that, from a distance, strikingly resembles some 
magnificent cathedral. High-water mai-ks are observable on these 
buttes, showing that Noah's flood, or some other aqueous calamity 
once happened ai-ound here ; and one can easily imagine droves of 
miserable, half-clad Indians, perched on top, looking with doleful, 
melancholy expression on the suiTounding wilderness of waters. 
Arriving at Granger, for dinner, I find at the hotel a crest-fallen 
state of affairs somewhat similar to the glumness of Tacoma. Ta- 
coma had plenty of customers, but no whiskey ; Granger on the 
contrary has plenty of whiskey, but no customers. The effect on 
that marvellous, intangible something, the saloon proprietor's intel- 
lect, is the same at both places. Here is plainly a new field of re- 
search for some ambitious student of psychology. Whiskey without 
customers ! Customers without whiskey ! Truly all is vanity and 
vexation of spirit. 

Next day I pass the world-renovyned castellated rocks of Green 
Eiver, aud stop for the night at Eock Springs, where the Union 
Pacific Railway Company has extensive coal mines. On calling for 
my bill at the hotel here, next morning, the proprietor — a corpu- 
lent Teuton, whose thoughts, words, aud actions, run entirely to 
■^eer— rephes, "Twenty-five cents a quart." Thinking my hearing 
apparatus is at fault, I inquire again. " Twenty-five cents a quart 
and vumish yer own gan." The bill is abnormally large, but, as I 
hand over the amount, a " loaded schooner " is shoved under my 
nose, as though a glass of beer were a tranquillizing antidote for all 
the ills of life. Splendid level alkali flats abound east of Eock 
Springs, and I bowl across them at a lively pace until they termi- 
nate, and my route follows up Bitter Creek, where the surface is 
iust the reverse ; being seamed and furrowed as if it had just 
emerged from a devastating flood. It is said that the teamster 
who successfully navigated the route up Bitter Creek, considered 
himself entitled to be called " a tough cuss from Bitter Creek, on 
wheels, with a perfect education." A justifiable regard for individ- 
ual rights would seem to favor my own assumption of this distin- 
guished title after traversing the I'oute with a bicycle. 

Ten o'clock next morning finds me leaning on my wheel, sur- 
veying the sceneiy from the " Continental Divide "—the bactbone 
of the continent. Facing the north, all waters at my right hand 



60 FROM SAIf FRANCISCO TO TEHERAW. 

flow to the east, and all on my left flow to the west — the one event- 
ually finding their way to the Atlantic, the other to the Pacific. 
This spot is a broad low pass through the Eockies, more plain 
than mountain, but from which a most commanding view of nu- 
merous mountain chains are obtained. To the north and north- 
west are the Seminole, Wind Eiver, and Sweet- water ranges — ^bold, 
rugged mountain-chains, filling the landscape of the distant north 
with a mass of great, jagged, rocky piles, grand beyond conception ; 
their many snowy peaks peopling the blue ethery space above 
with ghostly, spectral forms well calculated to inspire with feel- 
ings of awe and admiration a lone cycler, who, standing in 
silence and solitude profound on the great Continental Divide, 
looks and meditates on what he sees. Other hoary monarchs 
are visible to the east, which, however, we shall get acquainted 
with later on. Down grade is the rule now, and were there a good 
road, what an enjoyable coast it would be, down from the Continen- 
tal Divide ! but half of it has to be walked. About eighteen miles 
from the divide I am greatly amused, and not a little astonished, 
at the strange actions of a coyote that comes trotting in a leisurely, 
confidential way toward me ; and when he reaches a spot com- 
manding a good view of my road he stops and watches my move- 
ments with an air of the greatest inquisitiveness and assurance. 
He stands and gazes as I trundle along, not over fifty yards away, 
and he looks so much like a well-fed collie, that I actually feel like 
patting my knee for him to come and make friends. Shoot at him ? 
Certainly not. One never abuses a confidence like that. He can 
come and rub his sleek coat up against the bicycle if he likes, and 
— blood-thirsty rascal though he no doubt is — I will never fire at 
him. He has as much right to gaze in astonishment at a bicycle as 
anybody else who never saw one before. 

Staying over night and the next day at Eawlins, I make the 
sixteen miles to Fort Fred Steele next morning before breakfast, 
there being a very good road between the two places. This fort 
stands on the west bank of North Platte Eiver, and a few miles 
west of the river I ride through the first prairie-dog town encoun- 
tered in crossing the continent from the west, though I shall see 
plenty of these interesting little fellows during the next three hun- 
dred miles. These animals sit near their holes and excitedly bark 
at whatever goes past. Never before have they had an opportunity 
to bark at a bicycle, and they seem to be making the most of their 



THROUGH MORMON-LAND AND OVER THE ROCKIES. 61 

opportunity. I see at this village none of the small speckled owls, 
which, with the rattlesnake, make themselves so much at home in 
the prairie-dogs' comfortable quarters, but I see them farther east. 
These three strangely assorted companions may have warm affec- 
tions toward each other ; but one is inclined to think the great 
bond of sympatliy that binds them together is the tender regard 
entertained by the owl and the rattlesnake for the nice, tender 
young prairie-pups that appear at intervals to increase the joys and 
cares of the elder animals. 

I am now getting on to the famous Laramie Plains, and Elk 
Mountain looms up not over ten mUes to the south — a solid, towery 
mass of black rocks and dark pine forests, that stands out bold and 
distinct from surroundiQg mountain chains as though some animate 
thing conscious of its own strength and superiority. A snow-storm 
is raging on its upper slopes, obscuring that portion of the moun- 
tain ; but the dark forest-clad slopes near the base are in plain view, 
and also the rugged peak which elevates its white-crowned head 
above the storm, and reposes peacefully in the bright sunlight in 
striking contrast to the warring elements lower down. I have heard 
old hunters assert that this famous " landmark of the Eockies " is 
hollow, and that they have heard wolves howling inside the moun- 
tain ; but some of these old western hunters see and hear strange 
things ! 

As I penetrate the Laramie Plains the persistent sage-brash, 
that has constantly hovered around my path for the last thousand 
mUes, grows beautifully less, and the short, nutritious buffalo-grass 
is creeping everywhere. In Carbon, where I arrive after dark, I 
mention among other things in reply to the usual volley of ques- 
tions, the fact of having to foot it so great a proportion of the way 
through the mountain country ; and shortly afterward, from 
among a group of men, I hear a voice, thick and husky with "val- 
ley tan," remark: "Faith, Oi cud roide a bicycle meself across 
the counthry av yeez ud lit me walluk it afut ! " and straightway 
a luminous bunch of shamrocks dangled for a brief moment in the 
air, and then vanished. After passing Medicine Bow Valley and 
Como Lake I find some good ridable road, the surface being hard 
gravel and the plains high and dry. Beaching the brow of one of 
those rocky ridges that hereabouts divide the plains into so many 
shallow basins, I find myself suddenly within a few paces of a small 
herd of antelope peacefully grazing on the other side of the narrow 



62 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

ridge, all unconscious of the presence of one of creation's alleged 
proud lords. My ever handy revolver rings out clear and sharp on 
the mountain air, and the startled antelope go bounding across the 
plain in a succession of quick, jerky jumps peculiar to that nimble 
animal ; but ere they have travelled a hundred yards one of them 
lags behind and finally staggers and lays down on the grass. As I 
approach him he makes a ' gallant struggle to rise and make off 
after his companions, but the effort is too much for him, and com- 
ing up to him, I quickly put him out of pain by a shot behind the 
ear. This makes a proud addition to my hitherto rather smaU hst 
of game, which now' comprises jack-rabbits, a badger, a fierce gos- 
ling, an antelope, and a thin, attenuated coyote, that I bowled over 
in Utah. 

From this ridge an extensive view of the broad, billowy plains 
and surrounding mountains is obtained. Elk Mountain still seems 
close at hand, its towering form marking the western Hmits of the 
Medicine Bow Range whose dark pine-clad slopes form the western 
border of the plains. Back of them to the west is the Snowy 
Eange, towering in ghostly grandeur as far above the timber-clad 
summits of the Medicine Bow Range as these latter are above the 
grassy plains at their base. To the south more snowy mountains 
stand out against the sky like white tracery on a blue ground, with 
Long's Peak and Fremont's Peak towering head and shoulders 
above them alL The Rattlesnake Eange, with Laramie Peak rear- 
ing its ten thousand feet of rugged grandeur to the clouds, are 
visible to the north. On the east is the Black HiUs Eange, the 
last chain of the Rockies, and now the only barrier intervening be- 
tween me and the broad prairies that roll away eastward to the 
Missouri River and " the States.'' 

A genuine Laramie Plains rain-storm is hovering overhead as I 
pull out of Rock Creek, after dinner, and in a little while the per- 
formance begins. There is nothing of the gentle pattering shower 
about a rain and wind storm on these elevated plains ; it comes on 
with a blow and a bluster that threatens to take one off his feet. 
The rain is dashed about in the air by the wild, blustering wind, 
and comes from all directions at the same time. While you are 
frantically hanging on to your hat, the wind playfully unbuttons 
your rubber coat and lifts it up over your head and flaps the wet, 
muddy corners about in your face and eyes ; and, ere you can dis- 
entangle your features fi-om the cold uncomfortable embrace of 



THROUGH MORMON-LAND AND OVER THE ROCKIES. 63 

the wet mackintosh, the rain — which " falls " upward as well as 
clo^vn, and sidewise, and eveiy other way — has wet you through up 
as high as the armpits ; and then the gentle zephyrs complete your 
discomfiture by purloining your hat and making off across the sod- 
den plain with it, at a pace that defies pursuit. The storm winds up 
in a pelting shower of hailstones — round chunks of ice that cause 
me to wince whenever one makes a square hit, and they strike the 
steel spokes of the bicycle and make them produce harmonious 
sounds. Trundling through Cooper Lake Basin, after dark, I get 
occasional glimpses of mysterious shadowy objects flitting hither 
arid thither through the dusky pall around me. The basin is full 
of antelope, and my presence here in the darkness fills them with 
consternation ; theu- keen scent and instinctive knowledge of a 
strange presence warn them of my proximity ; and as they cannot 
see me in the darkness they are flitting about in wild alarm. 

Stopping for the night at Lookout, I make an early start, in 
order to reach Laramie City for dinner. These Laramie Plains 
"can smile and look pretty" when they choose, and, as I bowl 
along over a fairly good road this sunny Sunday morning, they 
certainly choose. The Laramie Eiver on my left, the Medicine 
Bow and Snowy ranges — black and white respectivelj' — towering 
aloft to the right, and the intervening plains dotted with herds 
of antelope, complete a picture that can be seen nowhere save on 
the Laramie Plains. Beaching a swell of the plains, that almost 
rises to the digiiity of a hill, I can see the nickel-plated wheels of the 
Laramie wheelmen glistening in the sunlight on the opposite side 
of the river several miles from where I stand. They have come out 
a few miles to meet me, but have taken the wrong side of the river, 
thinkins; I had crossed below Kock Creek. The members of the 
Laramie Bicycle Club are the first wheehnen I have seen since leav- 
ing California ; and, as I am personally acquainted at Laramie, it is 
needless to dwell on my reception at their hands. The rambles of 
the Laramie Club are well known to the cycUng world from the 
iliany interesting letters from the graphic pen of their captain, 
Rlr. Owen, who, with two other members, once took a tour on 
their wheels to the Yellowstone National Park. They have some 
very good natural roads around Laramie, but in then- rambles over 
the mountains these "rough riders of the Eockies" necessarily 
take risks that are unknown to theii- fraternal brethren farther 
east. 



64 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

Tuesday morning I pull out to scale the last range that 
separates me from " the plains " — popularly known as such — and, 
upon arriving at the summit, I pause to take a farewell view of 
the great and wonderful inter-mountain country, across whose 
mountains, plains, and deserts I have been travelling in so novel a 
manner for the last month. The view from where I stand is mag- 
nificent — ay, sublime beyond human power to describe — and well 
calculated to make an indelible impression on the mind of one gaz- 
ing upon it, perhaps for the last time. The Laramie Plains extend 
northward and westward, like a billowy green sea. Emerging 
from a black canon behind Jelm Mountain, the Laramie Eiver 
winds its serpentine course in a northeast direction until lost to 
view behind the abutting mountains of the range, on which I now 
stand, receiving tribute in its course from the Little Laramie and 
numbers of smaller streams that emerge from the mountainous 
bulwarks forming the western border of the marvellous picture now 
before me. The unusual rains have filled the numberless depres- 
sions of the plains with ponds and lakelets that in their green set- 
ting glisten and glimmer in the bright morning sunshine like gems. 
A train is coming from the west, winding around arhong them as if 
searching out the most beautiful, and finally halts at Laramie City, 
which nestles* in their midst — the fairest gem of them all — the 
"Gem of the Eockies." Sheep Mountain, the embodiment of all 
that is massive and indestructible, juts boldly and defiantly for- 
ward as though its mission were to stand guard over all that lies to 
the west. The Medicine Bow Range is now seen to greater advan- 
tage, and a bald mountain-top here and there protrudes above the 
dark forests, timidly, as if ashamed of its nakedness. Our old 
friend. Elk Mountain, is still in view, a stately and magnificent 
pile, serving as a land-mark for a hundred miles around. Beyond 
all this, to the west and south — a good hundred mUes away — are 
the snowy ranges ; their hoary peaks of glistening purity penetrat- 
ing the vast blue dome above, like monarchs in royal vestments 
robed. Still others are seen, white and shadowy, stretching away 
down into Colorado, peak beyond peak, ridge beyond ridge, until 
lost in the impenetrable distance. 

As I lean on my bicycle on this mountain-top, drinking in the 
glorious scene, and inhaling the ozone-laden air, looking through 
the loop-holes of recent experiences in crossing the great wonder- 
land to the west ; its strange intermingling of forest-clad hiUs and 



THROUGH MORMON-LAND AND OVER THE ROCKIES. 65 

grassy valleys ; its barren, rocky mountains and dreary, desolate 
plains ; its vast, snowy solitudes and its sunny, sylvan nooks ; the 
no less strange intermingling of people ; the wandering red-skin 
with Lis pathetic history ; the feverishly hopeful prospector, toiling 
and searching for precious metals locked in the eternal hills ; and 
the wild and free cow-boy who, mounted on his wiry bronco, roams 
these plains and mountains, free as the Ai-ab of the desert — I 
heave a sigh as I realize that no tongue or jaen of mine can hope 
to do the subject justice. 

My road is now over Cheyenne Pass, and fi-om this point is 
mostly down-grade to Cheyenne. Soon I come to a naturally 
smooth granite surface which extends for twelve miles, where I 
have to keep the brake set most of the distance, and the constant 
friction heats the brake-spoon and scorches the rubber tire black. 
To-night I reach Cheyenne, where I find a bicycle club of twenty 
members, and where the fame of my journey from San Francisco 
draws such a crowd on the corner where I alight, that a blue-coated 
guardian of the city's sidewalks requests me to saunter on over to 
the hotel. Do I? Yes, I saunter over. The Cheyenne "cops" 
are bold, bad men to trifle with. They have to be " bold, bad men 
to trifle with," or the wild, wicked cow-boys would come in and 
"paint the city red" altogether too frequently. 

It is the morning of June 4th as I bid farewell to the "Magic 
City," and, turning my back to the mountains, ride away over very 
fair roads toward the rising sun. I am not long out before meet- 
ing with that characteristic feature of a scene on the Western 
plains, a "prairie schooner;" and meeting prame schooners will 
now be a daily incident of my eastward journey. Many of these 
"pilgrims" come from the backwoods of Missouri and Arkansas, 
or the rural districts of some other Western State, where the perse- 
vering, but at present circumscribed, cycler has not yet had time 
to penetrate, and the bicycle is therefore to them a wonder to be 
gazed at and commented on, generally — it must be admitted — in 
language more fluent as to words than in knowledge of the subject 
discussed. Not far from where the trail leads out of Crow Creek 
bottom on to the higher table-land, I find the grassy plain smoother 
than the wagon-trail, and bowl along for a short distance as easUy 
as one could wish. But not for long is this permitted ; the ground 
becomes covered with a carpeting of small, loose cacti that stick 
to the rubber tire with the clinging tenacity of a cuckle-burr to a 
5 



66 FEOM SAN FKANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

mule's tail. Of course they scrape off again as they come round 
to the bridge of the fork, but it isn't the tire picking them up that 
fills me with lynx-eyed vigilance and alarm ; it is the dreaded pos- 
sibility of taking a header among these awful vegetables that un- 
nerves one, starts the cold chills chasing each other up and down 
my spinal column, and causes staring big beads of perspiration to 
ooze out of my forehead. No more appalling physical calamity on 
a small scale could befall a person than to take a header on to a 
cactus-covered greensward ; milhons of miniature needles would 
fill his tender hide with prickly sensations, and his vision with 
floating stars. It would perchance cast clouds of gloom over his 
whole hie. Henceforth he would be a solemn- visaged, bilious-eyed 
needle-cushion among men, and would never smile again. I once 
knew a young man named Whipple, who sat down on a bunch 
of these cacti at a picnic in Virginia Dale, Wyo., and he never 
smiled again. Two meek-eyed maidens of the Eockies invited him 
to come and take a seat between them on a thin, innocuous-looking 
layer of hay. Smilingly poor, unsuspecting Whipple accepted the 
invitation ; jokingly he suggested that it would be a rose between 
two thorns. But immediately he sat dovm. he became convinced 
that it was the liveliest thorn — or rather miUions of thorns — be- 
tween two roses. Of course the two meek-eyed maidens didn't 
know it was there, how should they ? But, all the same, he never 
smiled again — ^not on them. 

At the section-house, where I call for dinner, I make the mis- 
take of leaving the bicycle behind the house, and the woman takes 
me for an uncommercial traveller — yes, a tramp. She snaps out, 
"We can't feed everybody that comes along," and shuts the door 
in my face. Yesterday I was the centre of admiring crowds in the 
richest city of its size in America ; to-day I am mistaken for a hun- 
gry-eyed tramp, and spumed from the door by a woman with a 
faded calico dress and a wrathy what-are-you-doing-here ? look in 
her eye. Such is life in the Far West. 

Gradually the Eockies have receded from my range of vision, 
and I am alone on the boundless prairie. There is a feeling of 
utter isolation at finding one's self alone on the plains that is not 
experienced in the mountain country. There is something tann-i- 
ble and companionable about a mountain ; but here, where there 
is no object in view anywhere — nothing but the boundless, level 
plains, stretching away on every hand as far as the eye can reach. 



TIIEOUGII MORMON-LAND AND OVER THE ROCKIES. 67 

and all around, wliicbever way one looks, nothing' but tlie green 
carpet below and the cerulean arch above — one feels that he is the 
sole occupant of a vast region of otherwise unoccupied space. This 
evening, while fording Pole Creek with the -bicycle, my clothes, 




Fishing out my Ciothes. 



and shoes — all at the same time — the latter fall in the river ; and 
in my wild scramble after the shoes I drop some of the clothes ; 
then I drop the machine in my effort to save the clothes, and wind 
up by falhng down in the water with everything. Everything is 



68 rnoM SAN francisco to teheraw. 

fished out again all right, but a sad change has come over the 
clothes and shoes. This morning I was mistaken for a homeless, 
friendless wanderer ; this evening as I stand on the bank of Pole 
Creek with nothing-over me but a thin mantle of native modesty, 
and ruefully wring the water out of my clothes, I feel considerably 
like one ! Pine Bluffs provides me with shelter for the night, and a 
few miles' travel next morning takes me across the boundary-line into 
Nebraska. My route leads down Pole Creek, with ridable roads 
probably half the distance, and low, rocky bluffs lining both sides of 
the narrow valley, and leading up to high, rolling prairie beyond. 
Over these rocky bluffs the Indians were wont to stampede herds 
of buffalo, which falling over the precipitous bluffs, would be killed 
by hundreds, thus XDrocuring an abundance of beef for the long 
winter. There are no buffalo here now — they have departed with 
the Indians — and I shall never have a chance to add a bison to 
my game-list on this tour. But they have left plenty of tangible 
evidence behind, in the shape of numerous deeply worn trails lead- 
ing from the bluffs to the creek. 

The prairie hereabouts is spangled with a wealth of divers-col- 
ored flowers that fill the morning air with gratifying perfume. 
The air is soft and balmy, in striking contrast to the chilly atmos- 
phere of early morning in the mountain country, where the accu- 
mulated snows of a thousand winters exert their chilling influence 
in opposition to the benign rays of old Sol. This evening I pass 
through "Prairie-dog City,'' the largest congregation of prairie- 
dog dwellings met with on the tour. The " city " covers hundreds 
of acres of ground, and the dogs come out in such multitudes to 
present their noisy and excitable protests against my intrusion, that 
I consider myself quite justified in shooting at them. I hit one 
old fellow fair and square, but he disappears like a flash down his 
hole, which now becomes his grave. The lightniug-like movements 
of the prairie-dog, and his instinctive inclination toward his home, 
combine to perform the last sad rites of burial for his body at 
death. As, toward dark, I near Potter Station, where I expect ac- 
commodation for the night, a storm comes howling from the west, 
and it soon resolves into a race between me and the storm. With 
a good ridable road I could win the race ; but, being handicapped 
with an unridable trail, nearly obscured beneath tall, rank grass, 
the storm overtakes me, and comes in at Potter Station a winner 
by about three hundred lengths. 



THROUGH MORMON-LAND AND OVER THE ROCKIES. 69 

In the morning I start out in good season, and, nearing Sidney, 
the road becomes better, and I sweep into that enterprising town 
at a becoming pace. I conclude to remain at Sidney for dinner, 
and pass the remainder of the forenoon visiting the neighboring 
fort. 



CHAPTER IV. 

PROM THE GREAT PLAINS TO THE ATLANTIC. 

Through the courtesy of the commanding o£Scer at Fort Sidney 
I am enabled to resume my journey eastward under the grateful 
shade of a military summer helmet in lieu of the semi-sombrero 
slouch that has lasted me through from San Francisco. Certainly 
it is not without feelings of compunction that one discards an old 
friend, that has gallantly stood by me through thick and thin 
throughout the eventful journey across the inter-mountain country ; 
but the white helmet gives such a delightfully imposing air to my 
otherwise forlorn and woebegone figure that I ride out of Sidney 
feeling quite vain. The first thing done is to fill a poor yellow- 
spotted snake — whose head is boring in the sand — with lively sur- 
prise, by riding over his mottled carcass ; and only the fact of the 
tire being rubber, and not steel, enables him to escape unscathed. 
This same evening, while halting for the night at Lodge Pole Sta- 
tion, the opportunity of observing the awe-inspiring aspect of a 
great thunder-storm on the plains presents itself. "With absolutely 
nothing to obstruct the vision the Alpha and Omega of the whole 
spectacle are plainly observable. The gradual mustering of the 
forces is near the Rockies to the westward, then the skirmish-line 
of fleecy cloudlets comes rolling and tumbling in advance, bringing 
a current of air that causes the ponderous -wind-mill at the railway 
tank to "about face" sharply, and sets its giant arms to -whirling 
vigorously around. Behind comes the compact, inky veil that 
spreads itself over the whole blue canopy above, seemingly banish- 
ing all hope of the future ; and athwart its Cimmerian surface 
shoot zigzag streaks of lightning, accompanied by heavy, muttering 
thunder that rolls and reverberates over the boundless plains 
seemingly conscious of the spaciousness of its play-ground. Broad 
sheets of electric flame play along the ground, filling the air with 
a strange, unnatural light ; hea-vy, pattering raindrops begin to 
fall, and, ten minutes after, a pelting, pitiless down-pour is drench- 



FROM THE GREAT PLAINS TO THE ATLANTIC. 71 

ing the sod-cabin of the lonely rancher, and, for the time being, 
converting the level plain into a shallow lake. 

A fleet of prairie schooners is anchored in the South Platte 
bottom, waiting for it to dry up, as I trundle down that stream— 
every mile made interesting by reminiscences of Indian fights and 
massacres— next day, toward Ogallala ; and one of the " Pilgrims ' 
looks wise as I approach, and propounds the query, " Does it hev 
ter git very muddy afore yer kin ride yer verlocify, mister?" 
" Ya-as, purty dog-goned muddy," I drawl out in reply ; for, 
although comprehending his meaning, I don't care to venture into 




The First Homestead. 



an explanatory lecture of uncertain • length. Seven weeks' travel 
through bicycleless territory would undoubtedly convert an angel 
into a hardened prevaricator, so far as answering questions is con- 
cerned. 

This afternoon is passed the first homestead, as distinguished 
from a ranch — ^consisting of a small tent pitched near a few acres 
of newly upturned prairie — in the picket-line of the great agricult- 
ural empire that is gradually creeping westward over the plains, 
crowding the autocratic cattle-kings and their herds farther west, 
even as the Indians and their still greater herds — buffaloes — have 



72 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

been crowded out by the latter. At Ogallala — which but a few 
years ago was par excellence the cow-boys' rrillying point — "home- 
steads," "timber claims," and "pre-emption" now form the all- 
absorbing topic. 

" The Platte's ' petered ' since the hoosiers have begun to settle 
it up," deprecatingly reflects a bronzed cow-boy at the hotel supper- 
table ; and, from his standpoint, he is correct. 

Passing the next night in the dug-out of a homesteader, in the 
forks of the North and South Platte, I pass in the morning Buffalo 
Bill's home ranch (the place where a ranch proprietor himself re- 
sides is denominated the "home ranch" as distinctive from a ranch 
presided over by employes only), the house and improvements of 
which are said to be the finest in Western Nebraska. Taking din- 
ner at North Platte City, I cross over a substantial wagon-bridge, 
spanning the turgid yellow stream just below where the north and 
south branches fork, and proceed eastward as " the Platte " simply, 
reaching Brady Island for the night. Here I encounter extraordi- 
nary difiiculties in getting supper. Pour families, representing the 
Union Pacific force at this place, aU living in separate houses, con- 
stitute the population of Brady Island. " AU our folks are just 
recovering from the scarlet fever," is the reply to my first applica- 
tion ; " Muvver's down to ve darden on ve island, and we ain't dot 
no bread baked," says a barefooted youth at house No. 2 ; " Me 
ould ooman's across ter the naybur's, 'n' there ain't a boite av grub 
cooked in the shanty," answers the proprietor of No. 3, seated on 
the threshold, puffing vigorously at the traditional short clay ; " We 
all to Nord Blatte been to veesit, und shust back ter home got mit 
notings gooked," winds up the gloomy programme at No. 4. I am 
hesitating' about whether to crawl in somewhere, supperless, for 
the night, or push on farther through the darkness, when, "I don't 
care, pa ! it's a shame for a stranger to come here where there are 
four families and have to go without supper," greet my ears in a 
musical, tremulous voice. It is the convalescent daughter of house 
No. 1, valiantly championing my cause ; and so well does she suc- 
ceed that her "pa" comes out, and notwithstanding my protests 
insists on setting out the best they have cooked. 

Homesteads now become more frequent, groves of youno- cot- 
tonwoods, representing timber claims, are occasionally encoun- 
tered, and section-house accommodation becomes a thing of the 
past. Near Willow Island I come within a trifle of steppin" on a 



FUOM THE GREAT PLAINS TO THE ATLANTIC. 73 

belligerent rattlesnake, and in a moment his deadly fangs are 
hooked to one of the thick canvas gaiters I am wearing. Were my 
exquisitely outlineel calves encased in cycling stockings only, I 
should have had a " heap sick foot " to amuse myself with for the 
next three weeks, though there is little danger of being " snuffed 
out " entirely by a rattlesnake favor these days ; an all-potent rem- 
edy is to drink plenty of whiskey as quickly as j)ossible after being 
bitten, and whiskey is one of the easiest things to obtain in the 
"West. Giving his snakeship to understand that I don't appreciate 
his " good intentions " by vigorously shaking him off, I turn my 
"barker" loose on him, and quickly convert him into a "goody- 
good snake ; " for if "the only good Indian is a dead one," surely 
the same terse remark applies with much greater force to the vi- 
cious and deadly rattler. As I progress eastward, sod-houses and 
dug-outs become less frequent, and at long intervals frame school- 
houses appear to remind me that I am passing through a civilized 
country. Stretches of sand alternate with ridable roads all down 
the Platte. Often I have to ticklishly wobble along a narrow space 
between two j'awning ruts, over ground that is anything but smooth. 
I consider it a lucky day that passes without adding one or more to 
my long and eventful list of headers, and to-day I am fairly " un- 
horsed ' by a squall of wind that — taking me unawares — blows me 
and the bicycle fairly over. 

East of Plum Creek a greater proportion of ridable road is 
encountered, but they still continue to be nothing more than 
well-worn wagon-trails across the prairie, and when teams are 
met en route westward one has to give and the other take, in order 
to pass. It is doubtless owing to misunderstanding a cycler's 
capacities, rather than ill-nature, that makes these Western team- 
sters oblivious to the precept, " It is better to give than to re- 
ceive ; " and if ignorance is bliss, an outfit I meet to-day ought to 
comprise the happiest mortals in existence. Near Elm Creek I 
meet a train of " schooners," whose drivers fail to recognize my 
right to one of the two wheel-tracks ; and in my endeavor to ride 
past them on the uneven greensward, I am rewarded by an inglori- 
ous header. A dozen freckled Arkansawish faces are watching my 
movements with undisguised astonishment ; and when my crest- 
fallen self is spread out on the prairie, these faces — one and aU — 
resolve into expansive grins, and a squeaking female voice from out 
the nearest wagon, pipes ; " La me ! that's a right smart chance of 



74 FKOM SAN FEANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

a travelling machine, but, if that's the way they stop 'em, I wonder 
they don't break every blessed bone in their body ! " But all sorts 
of people are mingled promiscuously here, for, soon after this inci- 
dent, two young men come running across the prairie from a semi- 
dug-out, who prove to be college graduates from " the Hub," who 
are rooting prairie here in Nebraska, preferring the free, indepen- 
dent life of a Western farmer to the restraints of a position at an 
Eastern desk. They are more conversant with cycling affairs than 
myself, and, having heard of my tour, have been on the lookout, 
expecting I would pass this way. 

At Kearney Junction the roads are excellent, and everything is 
satisfactory ; but an hour's ride east of that city I am shocked at 
the gross misconduct of a vigorous and vociferous young mule who 
is confined alone in a pasture, presumably to be weaned. He evi- 
dently mistakes the picturesque combination of man and machine 
for his mother, as, on seeing us approach, he assumes a thirsty, 
anxious expression, raises his unmusical, undignified voice, and en- 
deavors to jump the fence. He follows along the whole length of 
the pasture, and when he gets to the end, and realizes that I am 
drawing away from him, perhaps forever, he bawls out in an agony 
of grief and anxiety, and, recklessly bursting through the fence, 
comes tearing down the road, filling the air with the unmelodious 
notes of his soul-harrowing music. The road is excellent for a 
piece, and I lead him a lively chase, but he finally overtakes me, 
and, when I slow up, he jogs along behind quite contentedly. 

East of Kearney the sod-houses disappear entirely, and the im- 
provements are of a more substantial character. At Wood Eiver 
I " make my bow " to the first growth of natural timber since leav- 
ing the mountains, which indicates my gradual advance off the vast 
timberless plains. Passing through Grand Island, Central City, and 
other towns, I find myself anchored Saturday evening, June 14th, 
at Duncan — a settlement of Polackers — an honest-hearted set of 
folks, who seem to thoroughly understand a cycler's digestive ca- 
pacity, though understanding nothing whatever about the uses of 
the machine. Eesuming my journey next morning, I find the roads 
fair. After crossing the Loup Eiver, and passing through Colum- 
bus, I reach — about 11 a.m. — a country school-house, with a gather- 
ing of farmers hanging around outside, awaiting the arrival of the 
parson to open the meeting. Alighting, I am engaged in answer- 
ing forty questions or thereabouts to the minute when that pious 



FROM THE GREAT PLAINS TO THE ATLANTIC. 75 

inclividual canters ug, and, dismounting from his nag, comes for- 
ward and joins in the conversation. He invites me to stop over and 
hear the sermon ; and when I beg to be excused because desirous 
of pushing ahead while the weather is favorable His Eeverence sol- 
emnly warns me against desecrating the Sabbath by going farther 
than the prescribed " Sabbath-day's journey." 

At Fremont I bid farewell to the Platte — which turns south 
and joins the Missouri Eiver at Plattsmouth — and fbllow the old 
military road through the Elkhorn Valley to Omaha. "Military 
road " sounds like music in a cycler's ear — suggestive of a well- 
kept and well-graded highway ; but this particular military road 
between Fremont and Omaha fails to awaken any blithesome sen- 
sations to-day, for it is almost one continuous mud-hole. It is 
* called a military road simply from being the route formerly tra- 
versed by troops and supply trains bound for the Western forts. 
Resting a day in Omaha, I obtain a permit to trundle my wheel 
across the Union Pacific Bridge that spans the Missouri Eiver — 
the ' ' Big Muddy," toward which I have been travelling so long — 
between Omaha and Council Bluffs ; I bid farewell to Nebraska, 
and cross over to Iowa.' 

Heretofore I have omitted mentioning the tremendously hot 
weather I have encountered lately, because of my inability to pro- 
duce legally tangible evidence ; but to-day, while eating dinner at 
a farm-house, I leave the bicycle standing against the fence, and old 
Sol ruthlessly unsticks the tire, so that, when I mount, it comes off, 
and gives me a gymnastic lesson all unnecessary. My first day's 
experience in the great " Hawkeye State " speaks volumes for the 
hospitality of the people, there being quite a rivalry between two 
neighboring farmers about which should take me in to dinner. A 
compromise is finally made, by which I am to eat dinner at one place, 
and be "turned loose" in a cherry orchard afterward at the other, to 
which happy arrangement I, of course, enter no objections. In strik- 
ing contrast to these friendly advances is my own unpardonable con- 
duct the same evening in conversation with an honest old farmer. 

"I see you are taking notes. I suppose you keep track of the 
crops as you travel along ? " says the H. O. P. 

" Certainly, I take more notice of the crops than anything ; I'm 
a natural born agiiculturist myself." 

"Well," continues the farmer, "right here where we stand 
is Carson Township." 



76 FKOM SAN FKAWCISCO TO TEHBRAX. 

." All ! indeed ! Is it possible that I have at last arrived at Car- 
son Township ? " 

" You have heard of the township before, then, eh ? " 

" Heard of it ! why, man alive, Carson Township is all the talk 
out in the Eockies ; in fact, it is known all over the world as the 
finest Township for corn in Iowa ! " 

This sort of conduct is, I admit, unwarrantable in the extreme ; 
but cycling is responsible for it all. If continuous cycling is pro- 
ductive of a superfluity of exhilaration, and said exhilaration bub- 
bles over occasionally, plainly the bicycle is to blame. So forcibly 
does this latter fact intrude upon me as I shake hands with the 
farmer, and congratulate him on his rare good fortune in belong- 
ing to Carson Township that I mount, and with a view of taking a 
little of the shine out of it, ride down the long, steep hill leading 
to the bridge across the Nishnebotene Eiver at a tremendous 
pace. The machine "kicks" against this treatment, however, 
and, when about half way down, it strikes a hole and sends me 
spinning and gyrating through space ; and when I finally strike 
terra firvxa, it thumps me unmercifully in the ribs ere it lets 
me up. 

" Variable " is the word descriptive of the Iowa roads ; for 
seventy-five miles due east of Omaha the prairie rolls like a 
heavy Atlantic swell, and during a day's journey I pass through a 
dozen alternate stretches of muddy and dusky road ; for like a 
huge watering-pot do the rain-clouds pass to and fro over this great 
garden of the West, that is practically one continuous fertile farm 
from the Missouri to the Mississippi. 

Passing through Des Moines on the 23d, muddy roads and hot, 
thunder-showery weather characterize my journey through Cen- 
tral Iowa, aggravated by the inevitable question, " Why don't you 
ride ? " one Solomon-visaged individual asking me if the railway 
company wouldn't permit me to ride along one of the rails. No 
base, unworthy suspicions of a cycler's inability to ride on a two- 
inch rail finds lodgement in the mind of this wiseacre ; but his 
compassionate heart is moved with tender soheitude as to whether 
the soulless "company" will, or will not, permit it. Hurryin"- 
timorously through Grinnell — the city that was badly demolished 
and scattered all over the surrounding country by a cyclone in 
1882 — I pause at Victor, where! find the inhabitants highly elated 
over the prospect of building a new jail with the fines nightly in- 



78 FEOM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHEEAN. 

flicted on graders employed on a new railroad near by, who come 
to town and " hilars " every evening. 

" What kind of a place do you call this ? " I inquire, on arriv- 
ing at a queer-looking town twentj'-five miles west of Iowa City. 

" This is South Amana, one of the towns of the Amana Society," 
is the civil reply. 

The Amana Society is found upon inquiry to be a commu- 
nism of Germans, numbering 15,000 souls, and owning 50,000 
acres of choice land in a body, with woollen factories, four small 
towns, and the best of credit everywhere. Everything is common 
property, and upon withdrawal or expulsion, a member takes with 
him only the value of what he brought in. The domestic relations 
are as usual ; and while no person of ambition would be content with 
the conditions of life here, the slow, ease-loving, methodical people 
composing the society seem well satisfied with their lot, and ai-e, 
perhaps, happier, on the whole, than the average outsider. I re- 
main here for dinner, and take a look around. The people, the 
buildings, the language, the food, everything, is precisely as if it 
had been picked up bodily in some rural district in Germany, and 
set down unaltered here in Iowa. " Wie gehts," I venture, as I 
wheel past a couple of plump, rosy-cheeked maidens, in the quaint, 
old-fashioned garb of the German peasantry. " Wie gehts," is the 
demure reply from them, both at once ; but not the shadow of a 
dimple responds to my unhappy attempt to win from them a smile. 
Pretty but not coquettish are these communistic maidens of 
Amana. 

At Tiffin the stilly air of night is made joyous with the mel- 
lifluous voices of whip-poor-wills — the first I have heard on the 
tour — and their tuneful concert is impressed on my memory in 
happy contrast to certain other concerts, both vocal and instru- 
mental, endured en route. Passing through Iowa City, crossinn^ 
Cedar Biver at Moscow, nine days after crossing the Missouri, I 
hear the distant whistle of a Mississippi steamboat. Its hoarse 
voice is sweetest music to me, heralding the fact that two-thirds of 
my long tour across the continent is completed. Crossing the 
" Father of Waters " over the splendid government bridge between 
Davenport and Rock Island, I pass over into Illinois. For several 
miles my route leads up the Mississippi River bottom, over sandy 
roads ; but neariug Rock River, the sand disappears, and, for some 
distance, an excellent road winds through the oak-groves lining 



FROM THE GKEAT PLAIN'S TO THE ATLANTIC. 79 

this beautiful stream. The green •woods are free from under- 
brush, and a cool undercurrent of air plays amid the leafy shades, 
which, if not ambrosial, are none the less grateful, as it registers 
over 100° in the sun ; without, the silvery sheen of the river glim- 
mers through the interspaces ; the dulcet notes of church-bells 
come floating on the breeze from over the river, seeming to pro- 
claim, ^Yith their melodious tongues, peace and good-will to all. 
Eock Eiver, with its 300 yards in width of unbridged waters, now 
obstructs my path, and the ferryboat is tied up on the other shore. 
" "Whoop-ee," I yeU at the ferryman's hut opposite, but without 
receiving any response. " Wh-o-o-p-e-ee," I repeat in a gentle, 
civilized voice — learned, by the by, two years ago on the Crow res- 
ervation in Montana, and which sets the surrounding atmosphere 
in a whiii and drowns out the music of the church-bells — but it 
has no effect whatever on the case-hardened ferryman in the hut ; 
he pays no heed whatever until my persuasive voice is augmented by 
the voices of two new arrivals in a buggy, when he sallies serenely 
forth and slowly ferries us across. Biding along rather indifferent 
roads, between farms worth $100 an acre, through the handsome 
town of Geneseo, stopping over night at Atkinson, I resume my jour- 
ney next morning through a country abounding in all that goes to 
make people prosperous, if not happy. Pretty names are given to 
places hereabouts, for on my left I pass " Pink Prairie, bordered 
with Green Eiver." Crossing over into Bureau County, I find 
splendid gravelled roads, and spend a most agreeable hour with 
the jolly Bicycle Club, of Princeton, the handsome county seat of 
Bureau County. Pushing on to Lamoille for the night, the en- 
terprising village barber there hustles me into his cosey shop, 
and shaves, shampoos, shingles, bay-rums, and otherv?ise manipu- 
lates me, to the great enhancement of my personal appearance, all, 
so he says, for the honor of having lathered the chin of the " great 

and only " In fact, the Blinoisians seem to be most excellent 

folks. 

After three days' journey through the great Prairie State my 
-iiead is fairly turned with kindness and flattery ; but the third 
night, as if to rebuke my vanity, I am bluntly refused shelter at 
three different farm-houses. I am benighted, and conclude to make 
the best of it by " turning in " under a hay-cock ; but the Fox 
Eiver mosquitoes oust me in short order, and compel me to "mosey '' 
alon"- through the gloomy night to Yorkville. At Yorkville a stout 



80 FROM SAW FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

German, on being informed that I am going to ride to Chicago, 
replies, " What ! Ghigago mit dot ? Why, mine dear vellow, Ghi- 
gago's more as vorty miles ; you gan't ride mit dot to Ghigago ; " 
and the old fellow's eyes fairly bulge with astonishment at the bare 
idea of riding forty miles " mit dot.'' I considerately refrain from 
telling him of my already 2,500-mile jaunt "mit dot," lest an apo- 
plectic fit should waft his Teutonic soul to realms of sauer-kraut bliss 
and Limburger happiness forever. On the morning of July 4th I 
roll into Chicago, where, having persuaded myself that I deserve a 
few days' rest, I remain till the Democratic Convention winds up 
on the 13th. 

Fifteen miles of gaod riding and three of tough trundling, 
through deep sand, brings me into Indiana, which for the first 
thirty-five miles around the southern shore of Lake Michigan is 
simply and solely sand. Finding it next to impossible to traverse 
the wagon-roads, I trundle around the water's edge, where the sand 
is firmer because wet. After twenty miles of this I have to shoulder 
the bicycle and scale the huge sand-dunes that border the lake 
here, and after wandering for an hour through a bewildering wil- 
derness of swamps, sand-hills, and hickory thickets, I finally reach 
Miller Station for the night. This place is enough to give one the 
yellow-edged blues : nothing but swamps, sand, sad-eyed turtles, 
and ruthless, relentless mosquitoes. At Chesterton the roads im- 
prove, but still enough sand remains to break the force of headers, 
which, notwithstanding my long experience on the road, I still 
manage to execute with undesirable frequency. To-day I take 
one, and while unravelling myself and congratulating my lucky 
stars at being in a lonely spot where none can witness my discom- 
fiture, a gruff, sarcastic " haw-haw " falls like a funeral knell on 
my ear, and a lanky "Hoosier " rides up -on a diminutive pumpkin- 
colored mule that looks' a veritable pygmy between his hoop-pole 
legs. It is but justice to explain that this latter incident did not 
occur in "Posey County." 

At La Porte the roads improve for some distance, but once again 
I am benighted, and sleep under a wheat-shock. Traversing several 
miles of corduroy road, through huckleberry swamps, next morning, 
I reach Crum's Point for breakfast. A remnant of some Indian tribe 
still lingers around here and gathers huckleberries for the market, 
two squaws being in the village purchasing supplies for their camp 
in the swamps. "What's the name of these Indians here ? " I ask. 



FROM THE 6KEAT PLAINS TO THE ATLANTIC. 



81 



" One of em's Blinkie, and t'other's Seven-up," is the reply, in a, 
voice that implies such profound knowledge of the subject that I 




Jumbo comes out to meet me. 



forbear to investigate further. Splendid gravel roads lead from 
Crum's Point to South Bend, and on through Mishawaka, alternat- 
ing witli sandy stretches to Goshen, which town is said^by the 
6 



82 FROM SAIif FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

Goshenites — to be the prettiest in Indiana ; but there seems to be 
considerable pride of locality in the great Hoosier State, and I vent- 
ure there are scores of "prettiest towns in Indiana." Neverthelesp, 
Goshen is certainly a very handsome place, with unusually broad, 
well-shaded streets ; the centre of a magnificent farming country, it 
is romantically situated on the bants of the beautiful Elkhart Eiver. 
At Wawaka I find a corpulent 300-pound cycler, who, being afraid 
to trust his jumbolean proportions on an ordinary machine, has had 
an extra stout bone-shaker made to order, and goes out on short 
runs with a couple of neighbor wheelmen, who, being about fifty 
per cent, less bulky, ride regulation wheels. " Jumbo " goes all 
right when mounted, but, being unable to mount without aid, he 
seldom ventures abroad by himself for fear of having to foot it 
back. Ninety-five degrees in the shade characterizes the weather 
these days, and I generally make a few miles in the gloaming — not, 
of course, because it is cooler, but because the " gloaming " is so 
delightfully romantic. 

At ten o'clock in the morning, July 17th, I bowl across the 
boundary line into Ohio. Following the Merchants' and Bankers' 
Telegraph road to Napoleon, I pass through a district where the rain 
has overlooked them for two months ; the rear wheel of the bicycle 
is half buried in hot dust ; the blackberries are dead on the bushes, 
and the long-suffering corn looks as though afflicted with the yeUow 
jaundice. I sup this same evening with a family of Germans, who 
have been settled here forty years, and scarcely know a word of 
English yet. A fat, phlegmatic-looking baby is peacefully reposing 
in a cradle, which is simply half a monster pumpkin scooped out 
and dried ; it is the most intensely rustic cradle in the world. 
Surely, this youngster's head ought to be level on agricultural af- 
fairs, when he grows up, if anybody's ought ! 

From Napoleon my route leads up the Maumee Eiver and canal, 
first trying the tow-path of the latter, and then rehnquishing it for 
the very fair wagon-road. The Maumee Eiver, winding through 
its splendid rich valley, seems to possess a pecuUar beauty all its 
own, and my mind, unbidden, mentally compares it with our old 
friend, the Humboldt. The latter stream traverses dreary plains, 
where almost nothing but sage-brush grows ; the Maumee waters 
a smiling valley, where orchards, fields, and meadows alternate 
with sugar-maple groves, and in its fair bosom reflects beautiful 
landscape views, that are changed and rebeautified by the master- 



FROM THE GREAT PLAINS TO THE ATLANTIC. 83 

hand of the sun every hour of the day, and doubly embeUished at 
night by the moon. It is whispered that during " the late un- 
pleasantness " the Ohio regiments could out-yell the Louisiana 
tigers, or any other Confederate troops, two to one. Who has not 
heard the " Ohio yell ? " Most people are magnanimously inclined 
to regard this rumor as simply a " gag " on the Buckeye boys ; but 
it isn't. The Ohioans are to the manner born ; the " Buckeye 
yell " is a tangible fact. AU along the Maumee it resounds in my 
ears ; nearly every man or boy, who from the fields, far or near, 
sees me bowling along the road, straightway delivers himself of a 
yeU, pure and simple. At Perrysburg I strike the famous " Mau- 
mee pike " — forty mUes of stone road, almost a dead level. The 
western half is kept in rather poor repair these days ; but from 
Fremont eastward it is splendid wheeling. The atmosphere of 
BeUevue is blue with politics, and myself and another innocent, 
unsuspecting individual, hailing from New York, are enticed into 
apolitical meeting by a wily politician, and dexterously made to 
pose before the assembled company as two gentlemen who have 
come — one from the Atlantic, the other from the Pacific — to wit- 
ness the overwhelming success of the only honest, horny-handed, 
double-breasted patriots — the . . . party. The roads are 
found rather sandy east of the pike, and the roadful of wagons go- 
ing to the cu-cus, which exhibits to-day at Norwalk, causes consid- 
erable annoyance. 

Erie County, through which I am now passing, is one of the 
finest fruit countries in the world, and many of the farmers keep 
open orchard. Staying at Eidgeville overnight, I roll into Cleveland, 
and into the out-stretched arms of a policeman, at 10 o'clock, next 
morning. " He was violating the city ordinance by riding on the 
sidewalk," the arresting policeman informs the captain. " Ah ! he 
was, hey ! " thunders the captain, in a hoarse, bass voice that 
causes my knees to knock together with fear and trembling ; and 
the captain's eye seems to look clear through my trembling form. 
" P-1-e-a-s-e, s-i-r, I d-i-d-n't t-r-y t-o d-o i-t," I falter, in a weak, 
gasping voice that brings tears to the eyes of the assembled officers 
and melts the captain's heart, so that he is already wavering be- 
tween justice and mercy when a local wheelman comes gallantly to 
the rescue, and explains my natural ignorance of Cleveland's city 
laws, and I breathe the joyous air of freedom once again. 

Three members of the Cleveland Bicycle Club and a visiting 



84 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

wheelman accompany me ten miles out, riding down far-famed Eu- 
clid Avenue, and calling at Lake View Cemetery to pay a visit to 
Garfield's tomb. I bid them farewell at Euclid village. Following 
the ridge road leading along the shore of Lake Erie to Buffalo, I 
ride through a most beautiful farming country, passing through 
"Willoughby and Mentor — Garfield's old home. Splendidly kept 
roads pass between avenues of stately maples, that cast a grateful 
shade athwart the highway, both sides of which are lined with 
magnificent farms, whose fields and meadows fairly groan bebeath 
their wealth of produce, whose fructiferous orchards are marvels 
of productiveness, and whose barns and stables would be veritable 
palaces to the sod-housed homesteaders on Nebraska's frontier 
prairies. Prominent among them stands the old Garfield home- 
stead — a fine farm of one hundred and sixty-five acres, at present 
managed by Mrs. Garfield's brother. Smiling villages nestling 
amid stately groves, rearing white church-spires from out their 
green, bowery surroundings, dot the low, broad, fertile shore-land 
to the left ; the gleaming waters of Lake Erie here and there glisten 
like burnished steel through the distant interspaces, and away be- 
yond stretches northward, like a vast mirror, to kiss the blue Cana- 
dian skies. 

Near Conneaut I whirl the dust of the Buckeye State from my 
tire and cross over into Pennsylvania, where, from the little hamlet 
of Springfield, the roads become good, then better, and finally best 
at Girard — the home of the veteran showman, Dan Eice, the beau- 
tifying works of whose generous hand are everywhere visible in his 
native town. Splendid is the road and delightful the country com- 
ing east from Girard ; even the red brick school-houses are embow- 
ered amid leafy groves ; and so it continues with ever-varying, ever- 
pleasing beauty to Erie, after which the highway becomes hardly 
so good. 

Twenty-four hours after entering Pennsylvania I make my exit 
across the boundary into the Empire State. The roads continue 
good, and after dinner I reach Westfield, six miles from the famous 
Lake Chautauqua, which beautiful hill and forest embowered sheet 
of water is popularly believed by many of its numerous local admirers 
to be the highest navigable lake in the world. If so, however, Lake 
Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada Mountains comes next, as it is about six 
thousand feet above the level of the sea, and has three steamers ply- 
ing on its waters ! At Fredonia I am shown through the celebrated 



FROM THE GREAT PLAINS TO THE ATLANTIC. 85 

watcli-movemeut factory here, by the captain of the Fredonia Club, 
who accompanies me to Silver Creek, where we call on another en- 
thusiastic wheelman — a physician who uses the wheel in preference 
to a horse, in making professional calls throughout the surround- 
ing country. Taking supper with the genial "Doc," they both 
accompany me to the summit of a steep hill leading up out of the 
creek bottom. No wheelman has ever yet rode up this hill, save 
the muscular and gritty captain of the Fredonia Club, though sev- 
eral have attempted the feat. From the top my road ahead is 
plainly visible for miles, leading through the broad and smiling 
Cattaraugus Valley that is spread out like a vast garden below, 
through which Cattaraugus Creek slowly winds its tortuous way. 
Stopping over night at Angola I proceed to Buffalo next morning, 
catching the first glimpse of that important " seaport of the lakes," 
where, fifteen miles across the bay, the wagon-road is almost licked 
by the swashing waves ; and entering the city over a " misfit" plank- 
road, oS which I am almost upset by the most audaciously indiffer- 
ent woman in the world. A market woman homeward bound with 
her empty truck-wagon, recognizes my road-rights to the extent of 
barely room to squeeze past between her wagon and the ditch ; and 
holds her long, stiff buggy-whip so that it " swipes " me viciously 
across the face, knocks my helmet off into the mud ditch, and well- 
nigh upsets me into the same. The woman — a crimson-crested blonde 
— jogs serenely along without even deigning to turn her head. 

Leaving the bicycle at "Isham's " — who volunteers some slight re- 
pairs — I take a flying visit by rail to see Niagara Falls, returning the 
same evening to enjoy the proffered hospitality of a genial member of 
the Buffalo Bicycle Club. Seated on the piazza of his residence, on 
Delaware Avenue, this evening, the symphonious voice of the club- 
whistle is cast a'drift whenever the glowing orb of a cycle-lamp 
heaves in sight through the darkness, and several members of the 
club are thus rounded up and their hearts captured by the witchery 
of a smile — a " smile '' in Buffalo, I hasten to explain, is no kin what- 
ever to a Rocky Mountain " smile " — far be it from it ! This club- 
whistle of the Buffalo Bicycle Club happens to sing the same melo- 
dious son g as the police-whistle at Washington, D. C. ; and the Buffalo 
cyclers who graced the national league-meet at the Capital with 
their presence took a folio of club music along. A small but frolic- 
some party of them on top of the Washington monument, "heaved 
a sigh " from their whistles, at a comrade passing along the street 



86 FEOM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEIIEBAN. 

below, •when a corpulent policeman, naturally mistaking it for a 
signal from a brother "cop," hastened to cHmb the five hundred 
feet or thereabouts of asceiit up the monument. When he arrived, 
puffing and perspiring, to the summit, and discovered his mistake, 
the wheelmen say he made such awful use of the Queen's English 
that the atmosphere had a blue, sulphurous tinge about it for some 
time after. 

Leaving Buffalo next moKning I pass through Batavia, where 
the wheelmen have a most aesthetic little club-room. Besides be- 
ing jovial and whole-souled fellows, they are awfully aesthetic ; and 
the sweetest little Japanese curios and bric-d-brac decorate the walls 
and tables. 

Stopping over night at LeEoy, in company with the president 
and captain of the LeEoy Club, I visit the State fish-hatchery at 
Mumford next morning, and ride on through the Genesee Valley, 
finding fair roads through the valley, though somewhat hilly and 
stony toward Canandaigua. Inquiring the best road to Geneva I 
am advised of the superiority of the one leading past the poor- 
house. Finding them somewhat intricate, and being too super- 
sensitive to stop people and ask them the road to the poor-house, 
I deservedly get lost, and am wandering erratically eastward 
through the darkness, when I fortunately meet a wheelman in 
a buggy, who directs me to his mother's farm-house near by, 
with instructions to. that most excellent lady to accommodate me 
for the night. Nine o'clock next morning I- reach fair Geneva, so 
beautifully situated on Seneca's silvery lake, passing the State agri- 
cultural farm en route ; continuing on up the Seneca River, passing 
through Waterloo and Seneca Falls to Cayuga, and from thence to 
Auburn and Skaneateles, where I heave a sigh at the thoughts of 
leaving the last — I cannot say the loveliest, for all are equally lovely 
— of that beautiful chain of lakes that transforms this part of New 
York State into a vast and delightful summer resort. 

"Down a romantic- Swiss glen, where scores of sylvan nooks 
and rippUng rills invite one to cast about for fairies and sprites,'' is 
the word descriptive of my route from Marcellus next morning. 
Once again, on nearing the CamiUus outlet from the narrow vale, I 
hear the sound of Sunday bells, and after the chutch-bell-less 
Western wilds, it seems to me that their notes have visited me 
amid beautiful scenes, strangely often of late. Arriving at Camil- 
lus, I ask the name of the sparkling little stream that dances along 



^^ c- 




88 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

this fairy glen like a child at play, absorbing the sun- rays and 
coquettishly reflecting them in the faces of the venerable oaks that 
bend over it like loving guardians protecting it from evil My ears 
are prepared to hear a musical Indian name — " Laughing- Waters " 
at least ; but, like a week's washing ruthlessly intruding upon love's 
young dream, falls on my waiting ears the uupoetic misnomer, 
" Nine-Mile Creek." 

Over good roads to Syracuse, and from thence my route leads 
down the Erie Canal, alternately riding down the canal tow-path, 
the wagon-roads, and between the tracks of the New York Central 
Railway. On the former, the greatest drawback to peaceful cycling 
is the towing-mule and his unwarrantable animosity toward the 
bicycle, and the awful, unmentionable profanity engendered there- 
by in the utterances of the boatmen. Sometimes the burden of 
this sulphurous profanity is aimed at me, sometimes at the inoffen- 
sive bicycle, or both of us collectively, but oftener is it directed at 
the unspeakable mule, who is really the only party to blame. A 
mule scares, not because he is really afraid, but because he feels 
skittishly inclined to turn back, or to make trouble between his 
enemies — the boatmen, his task-master, and the cycler, an intruder 
on his exclusive domain, the Erie tow-path. A span of mules will 
pretend to scare, whirl around, and jerk loose from the driver, and 
go "scooting" back down the tow-path in a manner indicating that 
nothing less than a stone wall would stop them ; but, exactly in 
the nick of time to prevent the tow-line jerking them sidewise 
into the canal, they stop. Trust a mule for never losing his head 
when he runs away, as does his hot-headed relative, the horse ; he 
never once allows surrounding circumstances to occupy his thoughts 
to an extent detrimental to his own self-preservative interests. The 
Erie Canal mule's first mission in life is to engender profanity and 
strife between boatmen and cyclists, and the second is to work and 
chew hay, which brings him out about even with the world aU 
round. 

At Rome I enter the famous and beautiful Mohawk Valley, a 
place long looked foj'ward to with much pleasurable anticipation, 
from having heai;d so often of its natural beauties and its interest- 
ing historical associations. " It's the garden spot of the world ■ 
and travellers who have been all over Europe and everywhere, say 
there's nothing in the world to equal the quiet landscape beauty 
of the Mohawk Valley,'' entlmsiastically remai'ks an old gentelman 



FROM THE GKEAT PLAINS TO THE ATLANTIC. 89 

in spectacles, wliom I cbance to encounter on the heights east of 
Herkimer. Of the first assertion I have nothing to say, having 
passed through a dozen " garden spots of the world " on this tour 
across America ; but there is no gainsaying the fact that the Mohawk 
Valley, as viewed from this vantage spot, is wonderfully beautiful. 
I think it must have been on this spot that the poet received in- 
spiration to compose the beautiful song that is sung alike in the 
quiet homes of the valley itself and in the trapper's and hunter's 
tent on the far off Yellowstone — 

" Fair is the vale where the Mohawk gently glides, 
On its clear, shining way to the sea." 

The valley is one of the natural gateways of commerce, for, at Lit- 
tle Falls — where it contracts to a mere pass between the hills — one 
can almost throw a stone across six railway tracks, the Erie Canal 
and the Mohawk River. Spending an hour looking over the mag- 
nificent Capitol building at Albany, I cross the Hudson, and 
proceed to ride eastward between the two tracks of the Boston & 
Albany Eailroad, finding the riding very fair. From the elevated 
road-bed I cast a longing, lingering look down the Hudson Valley, 
that stretches away southward like a heaven-born dream, and 
sigh at the impossibility of going two ways at once. "There's 
$50 fine for riding a bicycle along the B. & A. Eailroad," I am 
informed at Albany, but risk it to Schodack, where I make inquiries 
of a section foreman. "No ; there's no foine ; but av yeez are run 
over an' git killed, it'll be useless for yeez to inther suit agin the 
company for damages," is the reassuring reply ; and the unpleasant 
visions of bankrupting fines dissolve in a smile at this characteristic 
Milesian explanation. 

Crossing the Massachusetts boundary at the village of State 
Line, I find the roads excellent ; and, thinking that the highways 
of the "Old Bay State "wiU be good enough anywhere, I grow 
careless about the minute directions given me by Albany wheel- 
men, and, ere long, am laboriously toiling over the heavy roads 
and steep grades of the Berkshire Hills, endeavoring to get what 
consolation I can, in return for unridable roads, out of the charming 
scenery, and the many interesting features of the Berkshire-Hill 
country. It is at Otis, in the midst of these hills, that I first be- 
come acquainted with the peculiar New England dialect in its na- 
tive home. 



90 FROM SAN FEANCISCO 'to TEHEKAN. 

The widely heralded intellectual superiority of the Massachusetts 
fair ones asserts itself even in the wildest parts of these wild hills ; 
for at small farms — that, in most States, would be characterized by 
bare-footed, brown-faced housewives — I encounter spectacled ladies 
whose fair faces reflect the encyclopEedia of knowledge within, and 
whose wise looks naturally fill me with awe. At Westfield I learn 
that Karl Kron, the author and publisher of the American road- 
book, " Ten Thousand Miles on a Bicycle" — not to be outdone by 
my exploit of floating the bicycle across the Humboldt — undertook 
the perilous feat of swimming the Potomac with his bicycle sus- 
pended at his waist, and had to be fished up from the bottom with 
a boat-hook. Since then, however, I have seen the gentleman 
himself, who assures me that the whole story is a canard. Over 
good roads to Springfield — and on through to Palmer ; from 
thence riding the whole distance to Worcester between the tracks 
of the railway, in preference to the variable country roads. 

On to Boston next morning, now only forty miles away, I pass 
venerable weather-worn mUe-stones, set up in old colonial days, 
when the Great West, now trailed across -with, the rubber hoof- 
marks of " the popular steed of to-day," was a pathless wilderness, 
and on the maps a blank. Striking the famous "sand-papered 
roads " at Framingham — which, by the by, ought to be pumice- 
stoned a little to make them as good for cycling as stretches of 
gravelled road near Springfield, Sandwich, and Piano, 111. ; La 
Porte, and South Bend, Ind. ; Mentor, and WUloughby, O. ; Gir- 
ard, Penn. ; several places on the ridge road between Erie and 
Buffalo, and the alkali flats of the Eocky Mountain territories. 
Soon the blue intellectual haze hovering over " the Hub " heaves 
in sight, and, at two o'clock in the afternoon of August 4th, I roll 
into Boston, and whisper to the wild waves of the sounding At- 
lantic what the sad sea-waves of the Pacific were saying when I 
left there, just one hundred and three and a half days ago, having 
wheeled about 3,700 miles to deliver the message. 

Passing the winter of 1884-85 in New York, I became acquainted 
with the Outing Magazine, contributed to it sketches of my tour 
across America, and in the Spring of 1885 continued around the 
world as its special correspondent ; embarking April 9th from 
New York, for Livei'pool, aboard the City of Chicago, 



CllAPTEE V. 

FROM AMERICA TO THE GERMAN FRONTIER. 

At one p.m., on that day, the ponderous but shapely hull of the 
City of Chicago, with its li-ving and lively freight, moves from 
the dock as though it, too, were endowed with mind as weU as 
matter ; the crowds that a minute ago disappeared down the gang- 
plank are now congregated on the outer end of the pier, a compact 
mass of waving handkerchiefs, and anxious-faced people shouting 
out signs of recognition to friends aboard the departing steamer. 

From beginning to end of the voyage across the Atlantic the 
weather is delightful ; and the passengers — well, half the cabin- 
passengers are members of Henry Irving's Lyceum Company en 
route home after their second successful tour in America ; and old 
voyagers abroad who have crossed the Atlantic scores of times pro- 
nounce it altogether the most enjoyable trip they ever experienced. 
The third day out we encountered a lonesome-looking iceberg — an 
object that the captain seemed to think would be better appreci- 
ated, and possibly more affectionately remembered, if viewed at 
the respectful distance of about four miles. It proves a cold, un- 
sympathetic berg, yet extremely entertaining in its own way, since 
it accommodates us by neutralizing pretty much aU the surplus 
caloric in the atmosphere around for hours after it has disappeared 
below the horizon of our vision. 

I am particularly fortunate in finding among my fellow-passen- 
gers Mr. Harry B. French, the traveller and author, from whom 
I obtain much valuable information, particularly of China. Mr. 
French has travelled some distance through the Flowery Kingdom 
himself, and thoughtfully forewarns me to anticipate a particularly 
lively and interesting time in invading that country with a vehicle 
so strange and incomprehensible to the Celestial mind as a bicycle. 
This experienced gentleman informs me, among other interesting 
things, that if five hundred chattering Celestials batter down the 
door and swarm unannounced at midnight into the apartment where 



92 FROM SAN FEANCISCO TO TEHEEAN". 

I am endeavoring to get the first wink of sleep obtained for a whole 
week, instead of following the natural inclinations of an Anglo- 
Saxon to energetically defend his rights with a stuffed club, I shall 
display Solomon-hke wisdom by quietly submitting to the invasion, 
and deferentially bowing to Chinese inquisitiveness. If, on an oc- 
casion of this nature, one stationed himself behind the door, and, 
as a sort of preliminary warning to the others, greeted the first 
interloper with the business end of a boot-jack, he would be morally 
certain of a lively one-sided misunderstanding that might end dis- 
astrously to himself ; whereas, by meekly submitting to a critical 
and exhaustive examination by the assembled company, he might 
even become the recipient of an apology for having had to batter 
down the door in order to satisfy their curiosity. One needs more 
discretion than valor in dealing with the Chinese. 

At noon on the 19th we reach Liverpool, where I find a letter 
awaiting me from A. J. Wilson (Paed), inviting me to call on him 
at Powerscroft House, London, and offering to tandem me through 
the intricate mazes of the West End ; likewise asking whether it 
would be agreeable to have him, with others, accompany me from 
London down to the South coast — a programme to which, it is need- 
less to say, I entertain no objections. As the custom-house ofScer 
wrenches a board off the broad, flat box containing my American 
bicycle, several fellow-passengers, prompted by their curiosity to 
obtain a peep at the machine which they have learned is to carry 
me around the world, gather alsout ; and one sympathetic lady, as 
she catches a gUmpse of the bright nickeled forks, exclaims, " Oh, 
what a shame that they should be allowed to wrench the planks off ! 
They might injure it;" but a small tip thoroughly convinces the 
individual prying off the board that, by removing one section and 
taking a conscientious squint in the direction of the closed end, his 
duty to the British government would be performed as faithfully as 
though everything were laid bare ; and the kind-hearted lady's ap- 
prehensions of possible injury are thus happily allayed. In two 
hours after landing, the bicycle is safely stowed away in the un- 
derground store-rooms of the Liverpool & Northwestern Railway 
Company, and in two hours more I am wheeUng rapidly toward 
London, through neatly cultivated fields, and meadows and parks 
of that intense greenness met with nowhere save in the British 
Isles, and which causes a couple of native Americans, riding in the 
same compartment, and who are visiting England for the first 



FROM AMERICA TO THE GERMAN FRONTIER. 93 

time, to express their admiration of it all in tbe unmeasured lan- 
guage of the genuine Yankee when truly astonished find delighted. 

Arriving in London I lose no time in seeking out Mr. Bolton, a 
■well-known wheelman, who has toured on the continent probably 
as extensively as any other English cycler, and to whom I bear a 
letter of introduction. Together, on Monday afternoon, we ruth- 
lessly invade the sanctums of the leading cycling papers in London. 
Mr. Bolton is also able to give me several useful hints concerning 
wheeling through France and Germany. Then comes the appUca- 
tion for a passport, and the inevitable unpleasantness of being sus- 
pected by every policeman and detective about the government 
buildings of being a wild-eyed dynamiter recently arrived from 
America with the fell purpose of blowing up the place. 

On Tuesday I make a formal descent on the Chinese Embassy, 
to seek information regarding the possibiHty of making a serpen- 
tine trail through the Flowery Kingdom via Upper Burmah to 
Hong-Kong or Shanghai. Here I learn from Dr. McCarty, the in- 
terpreter at the Embassy, as from Mr. French, that, putting it as 
mildly as possible, I must expect a wild time generally in getting 
through the interior of China with a bicycle. The Doctor feels 
certain that I may reasonably anticipate the pleasure of making my 
way through a howling wilderness of hooting Celestials from one 
end of the country to the other. The great danger, he thinks, -will 
be not so much the well-known aversion of the Chinese to having 
an " outer bai-barian " penetrate the sacred interior of their coun- 
try, as the enormous crowds that would almost constantly surround 
me out of curiosity at both rider and wheel, and the moral cer- 
tainty of a foreigner unwittingly doing something to offend the 
Chinamen's peculiar and deep-rooted notions of propriety. This, 
it is easily seen, would be a peculiarly ticklish thing to do when 
surrounded by surging masses of dangling pig-tails and cerulean 
blouses, the wearers of which are from the start predisposed to 
make things as unpleasant as possible. My own experience alone, 
however, will prove the kind of reception I am likely to meet with 
among them ; and if they will only considerately refrain from im- 
paling me on a bamboo, after a barbarous and highly ingenious 
custom of theirs, I httle reck what other unpleasantries they have 
in store. After one remains in the world long enough to find it 
out, he usually becomes less fastidious about the future of things 
in general, than when in the hopeful days of boyhood every pros- 



94 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

pect ahead was fringed ■with the golden expectations of a budding 
and inexperienced imagery ; nevertheless, a thoughtful, meditative 
person, who realizes the necessity of drawing the line somewhere, 
would naturally draw it at impalation. Not being conscious of any 
presentiment savoring of impalation, however, the only request I 
make of the Chinese, at present, is to place no insurmountable 
obstacle against my pursuing the even— or uneven, as the case may 
be — tenor of my way through their country. China, though, is sev- 
eral revolutions of my fifty-inch wheel away to the eastward, at this 
present time of writing, and speculations in regard to it are rather 
premature. 

Soon after reaching London I have the pleasure of meeting 
"Faed,"a gentleman who carries his cycling enthusiasm almost 
where some people are said to carry their hearts — on his sleeve ; 
so that a very short acquaintance only is necessary to convince one 
of being in the company of a person whose interest in whirling 
wheels is of no ordinary nature. When I present myself at Powers- 
croft House, Faed is busily wandering around among the curves and 
angles of no less than three tricycles, apparently endeavoring to 
encompass the complicated mechanism of all three in one grand com- 
prehensive effort of the mind, and the addition of as many tricycle 
crates standing around makes the premises so suggestive of a flour- 
ishing tricycle agency that an old gentleman, happening to pass by 
at the moment, is really quite excusable in stopping and inquirin"' 
the prices, with a view to purchasing one for himself. Our tandem 
ride through the West End has to be indefinitely postponed, on 
account of my time being limited, and our inability to procure 
readily a suitable machine ; and Mr. Wilson's bump of discretion 
would not permit him to think of allowing me to attempt the feat 
of manoeuvring a tricycle myself among the bewildering traffic of 
the metropolis, and risk bringing my " wheel around the world" to 
an inglorious conclusion before being fairly begun. While walking 
down Parliament Street my attention is called to a venerable-look- 
ing gentleman wheeling briskly along among the throngs of 
vehicles of every description, and I am informed that the bold tri- 
cycler is none other than Major Knox Holmes, a vigorous youth of 
some seventy-eight summers, who has recently accomplished the 
feat of riding one hundred and fourteen miles in ten hours • for a 
person nearly eighty years of age this is really quite a promising 
performance, and there is small doubt but that when the gallant 



FROM AMERICA TO THE GERMAN FRONTIER. 95 

Major gets a littie older — say •when he becomes a centenarian — he 
will develop into a veritable prodigy on the cinder-path ! 

Having obtained my passport, and got it vis^ for the Sultan's 
dominions at the Tui-kish consulate, and placed in Faed's possess- 
ion a bundle of maps, which he generously volunteers to forwai-d 
to me, as I require them in the various counti-ies it is proposed to 
ti-averse, I retui-n on April 30th to Liverpool, from which point the 
formal start on the wheel across England is to be made. Four 
o'clock in the afternoon of May 2d is the time announced, and 
Edge Hill Chui-ch is the appointed place, where Mi-. Lawrence 
Fletcher, of the Anfield Bicycle Club, and a number of other Liver- 
pool wheelmen, have volunteered to meet and accompany me some 
distance out of the city. Several of the Liverpool daily papers have 
made mention of the affair. Accordingly, upon arriving at the ap- 
pointed place and time, I find a crowd of several hundred people 
gathered to satisfy their curiosity as to what sort of a looking indi- 
vidual it is who has crossed America awheel, and furthermore pro- 
poses to accomplish the greater feat of the circumlocution of the 
globe. A small sea of hats is enthusiastically waved aloft ; a ripple 
of applause escapes from five hundred English throats as I mount 
my glistening bicycle ; and, with the assistance of a few policemen, 
the twenty-five Liverpool cyclers who have assembled to accompany 
me out, extricate themselves from the crowd, mount and fall into 
line two abreast ; and merrily we wheel away down Edge Lane and 
out of Liverpool. 

English weather at this season is notoriously capricious, and the 
present year it is unusually so, and ere the start is fairly made we 
are pedaling along through quite a pelting shower, which, however, 
fails to make much impression on the roads beyond causing the 
flinging of more or less mud. The majority of my escort are mem- 
bers of the Anfield Club, who have the enviable reputation of being 
among the hardest road-riders in England, several members having 
accomplished over two hundred miles within the twenty-four hours ; 
and I am informed that Mr. Fletcher is soon to undertake the task 
of beating the tricycle record over that already weU-eoutested route, 
from John o' Groat's to Land's End. Sixteen miles out I become the 
happy recipient of heai-ty weU-wishes innumerable, with the accom- 
panying hand-shaking, and my escort turn back toward home and 
Livei-pool — all save four, who wheel on to Wan-ington and remain 
overnight, with the avowed intention of accompanying me twenty- 



96 FEOM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

five miles farther to-morrow morning. Our Sunday morning expe- 
rience begins with a shower of rain, which, however, augurs well 
for the remainder of the day ; and, save for a gentle head wind, no 
reproachful remarks are heard about that much-criticised individ- 
ual, the clerk of the weather ; especially as our road leads through 
a country prolific of everything charming to one's sense of the beau- 
tiful. Moreover, we are this morning bowling along the self-same 
highway that in days of yore was among the favorite promenades 
of a distinguished and enterprising individual known to every Brit- 
ish juvenile as Dick Turpin — a person who won imperishable re- 
nown, and the undying affection of the small Briton of to-day, by 
making it unsafe along here for stage-coaches and travellers indis- 
creet enough to carry valuables about with them. 

" Think I'll get such roads as this all through England ? " I ask 
of my escort as we wheel joyously southward along smooth, ma- 
cadamized highways that would make the " sand-papered roads " 
around Boston seem almost unfit for cycling in comparison, and 
that lead through picturesque villages and noble parks ; occasion- 
ally catching a glimpse of a splendid old manor among venerable 
trees, that makes one unconsciously begin humming : — 

"The ancient homes of England, 
How beautiful they stand 
Amidst the tall ancestral trees 
O'er all the pleasant land ! " 

" Oh, you'll get much better roads than this in the southern 
counties," is the reply ; though, fresh from American roads, one 
can scarce see what shape the improvements can possibly take. 
Out of Lancashire into Cheshire we wheel, and my escort, after 
wishing me all manner of good fortune in hearty Lancashire style, 
wheel about and hie themselves back toward the rumble and roar 
of the world's greatest sea-port, leaving me to pedal pleasantly 
southward along the green lanes and amid the quiet rural scenery 
of Staffordshire to Stone, where I remain Sunday night. The coun- 
try is favored with another drenching down-pour of rain during the 
night, and moisture relentlessly descends at short, unreliable in- 
tervals on Monday morning, as I proceed toward Birmingham. 
Notwithstanding the superabundant moisture the morning ride is 
a most enjoyable occasion, requiring but a dash of sunshine to 
make everything perfect. The mystic voice of the cuckoo is heai-d 



FROM AMERICA TO THE GERMAN FRONTIER. 97 

from many an emerald copse around ; songsters that inhabit only 
the green hedges and woods of " Merrie England " are carolling 
their morning vespers in all directions ; skylarks are soaring, soar- 
ing skyward, warbling their unceasing pseans of praise as they gradu- 
ally ascend into cloudland's shadowy realms ; and occasionally I 
bowl along beneath an archway of spreading beeches that are col- 
onized by crowds of noisy rooks incessantly "cawing" their ap- 
proval or disapproval of things in general. Surely England, with 
its wellnigh perfect roads, the wonderful greenness of its vegeta- 
tion, and its roadsters that meet and regard their steel-ribbed 
rivals with supreme indifference, is the natural paradise of 'cyclers. 
There is no annoying" dismounting for frightened horses on these 
happy highways, for the English horse, though spirited and brim- 
ful of fire, has long since accepted the inevitable, and either has 
made friends with the wheelman and his swifi^winged steed, or, 
what is equally agreeable, maintains a haughty reserve. 

Pushing along leisurely, between showers, into Warwickshire, I 
reach Birmingham about three o'clock, and, after spending an hoiir 
or so looking over some tricycle works, and calling for a leather 
writing-case they are making especially for my tour, I wheel on to 
Coventry, having the company of Mr. Priest, Jr., of the tricycle 
works, as far as Stonehouse. Between Birmingham and Coventry 
the recent rainfall has evidently been less, and I mentally note this 
fifteen-mile stretch of road as the finest traversed since leaving 
Liverpool, both for width and smoothness of surface, it being a 
veritable boulevard. Arriving at Coventry I call on "Brother Stur- 
mey," a gentleman well and favorably known to readers of 'cycling 
literature everywhere ; and, as I feel considerably like deserving 
reasonably gentle treatment after perseveringly pressing forward 
sixty miles in spite of the rain, I request him to steer me into the 
Cyclists' Touring Club Hotel — an office which he smilingly i:)ev- 
forms, and thoughtfully admonishes the proprietor to handle me 
as tenderly as possible. I am piloted around to take a hurried 
glance at Coventrj', visiting, among other objects of interest, the 
Starley Memorial. This memorial is interesting to 'cyclers from 
having been erected by public subscription in recognition of the 
great interest Mr. Starley took in the 'cycle industry, he having 
been, in fact, the father of the interest in Coventry, and, conse- 
quently, the direct author of the city's present prosperity. 

The mind of the British small boy along my route has been 
7 



.98 



FEOM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 



taxed to its utmost to account for my white military helmet, and 
various and interesting are the passing remarks heard in conse- 
quence. The most general impression seems to be that I am direct 
from the Soudan, some youthful Conservatives blandly intimating 




The Starley Memorial, Coventry. 



that I am the advance-guard of a general scuttle of the army out 
of Egypt, and that presently whole regiments of white-helmeted 
wheelmen will come whirling along the roads on nickel-plated 
steeds, some even going so far as to do me the honor of callino- 



FROM AMERICA TO THE GERMAN FRONTIER. 



99 



me General "Wolseley ; while others — rising young Liberals, proba- 
bly — recklessly call me General Gordon, intimating by this that the 
hero of Khartoum was not killed, after all, and is proving it by 
sweeping through England on a bicycle, wearing a white helmet to 
prove his identity ! 

A pleasant ride along a splendid road, shaded for miles with rows 
of spreading elms, brings me to the charming old village of Dun- 
church, where everything seems moss-grown and venerable with age. 
A squatty, castle-like church-tower, that has stood the brunt of 




'-%_^\''-, 



Resting in an English Village. 



many centuries, frowns down upon a cluster of picturesque, thatched 
cottages of primitive architecture, and ivy-clad from top to bottom ; 
while, to make the picture complete, there remain even the old 
wooden stocks, through the holes of which the feet of boozy un- 
fortunates were wont to be unceremoniously thrust in the good 
old times of rude simplicity ; in fact, the only really unprimitive 
building about the place appears to be a newlj' erected Methodist 
chapel. It couldn't be — no, of course it couldn't be possible, that 
there is any connecting link between the American peculiarity of 



100 FEOM SAN FKANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

elevating the feet on the window-sill or the drum of the heating- 
stove and this old-time custom of elevating the feet of those of our 
ancestors possessed of boozy, hilarious procUvities ! 

At Weedon Barracks I make a short halt to watch the soldiers 
go through the bayonet exercises, and suffer myself to be per- 
suaded into quaffing a mug of delicious, creamy stout at the can- 
teen with a genial old sergeant, a bronzed veteran who has seen 
active service in several of the tough expeditions that England 
seems ever prone to undertake in various uncivilized quarters of 
the world ; after which I wheel away over old Eoman military 
roads, through Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire, reaching 
Penny Stratford just in time to find shelter against the machina- 
tions of the weather-clerk, who, having withheld rain nearly all the 
afternoon, begins dispensing it again in the gloaming. It rains 
uninterruptedly all night ; but, although my route for some miles is 
now down cross-country lanes, the rain has only made them rather 
disagreeable, without rendering them in any respect unridable ; 
and although I am among the slopes of the Chiltern Hills, scarcely 
a dismount is necessary during the forenoon. Spending the night 
at Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire, I pull out toward London on 
Thursday morning, and near Watford am highly gratified at meet- 
ing Faed and the captain of the North London Tricycle Club, who 
have come out on their tricycles from London to meet and escort 
me into the metropolis. At Faed's suggestion I decide to remciu 
over in London untU Saturday, to be present at the annual tricycle 
meet on Barnes Common, and together we wheel down the Edge- 
ware Koad, Park Road, among the fashionable turnouts of Pic- 
cadilly, past Knightsbridge and Brompton to the " Inventories " 
Exhibition, where we spend a most enjoyable afternoon inspecting 
the thousand and one material evidences of inventive genius from 
the several countries represented. 

Five hundred and twelve 'cyclers, including forty-one tandem 
tricycles and fifty ladies, ride in procession at the Barnes Common 
meet, making quite an imposing array as they wheel two abreast 
between rows of enthusiastic spectators. Here, among a host of 
other wheehng celebrities, I am introduced to Major Knox Holmes, 
before mentioned as being a gentleman of extraordinary powers of 
endurance, considering his advanced age. After tea a number of 
tricyclers accompany me down as far as Croydon, which place we 
enter to the pattering music of a drenching rain-storm, experienc- 



FROM AMERICA TO THE GERMAN FRONTIER. 101 

ing the accompanying pleasure of a wet skin, etc. The threaten- 
ing aspect of the weather on the following morning causes part of 
our company to hesitate about venturing any farther from Lon- 
don ; but Faed and three companions wheel with me toward 
Brighton through a gentle morning shower, which soon clears 
away, however, and, before long, the combination of the splendid 
Sussex roads, fine breezy-weather, and lovely scenery, amply repays 
lis for the discomforts of yester-eve. Fourteen mUes from Brigh- 
ton we are met by eight members of the Kempton Bangers Bicycle 
Club, who have saUied forth thus far northward to escort us into 

town ; having done which, they deliver us over to Mr. C , 

of the Brighton Tricycle Club, and brother-in-law to the mayor of 
the city. It is two in the afternoon. This gentleman straightway 
ingratiates himself into our united affections, and wins our eternal 
gratitude, by giving us a regular wheelman's dinner, after which 
he places us under still further obligations by showing us as many 
of the lions of Brighton as are accessible on Sunday, chief among 
which is the famous Brighton Aquarium, where, by his influence, 
he kindly has the diving-birds and seals fed before their usual 
hour, for our especial delectation — a proceeding which naturally 
causes the barometer of our respective self-esteems to rise several 
notches higher than usual, and doubtless gives equal satisfaction 
to the seals and diving-birds. We linger at the aquarium until 
near sun-down, and it is fifteen miles by what is considered the 
smoothest road to Newhaven. Mi-. C declares his inten- 
tion of donning his riding-suit and, by taking a shorter, though 
supposably roiigher, road, reach Newhaven as soon as we. As we 
halt at Lewes for tea, and ride leisurely, likewise submitting to be- 
ing photographed en route, he actually arrives there ahead of us. 

It is Sunday evening. May 10th, and my ride through " Merrie 
England " is at an end. Among other agreeable things to be ever 
remembered in connection with it is the fact that it is the first three 
hundred miles of road I ever remember riding over without scoring 
a header — a circumstance that impresses itself none the less favor- 
ably perhaps when viewed in connection with the solidity of the 
average English road. It is not a very serious misadventure to take 
a flying header into a bed of loose sand on an American country 
road ; but the prospect of rooting up a flint-stone with one's nose, 
or knocking a curb-stone loose with one's bump of cautiousness, is 
an entirely different affair ; consequently, the universal smoothness 



102 FROM SAN FKAWCISCO TO TEHERAX. 

of the surface of the English highways is appreciated at its full value 
by at least one wheelman whose experience of roads is nothing if not 
varied. Comfortable quarters are assigned me on board the Chan- 
nel steamer, and a few minutes after bidding friends and England 
farewell, at Newhaven, at 11.30 p.m., I am gently rocked into un- 
consciousness by the motion of the vessel, and remain happily 
and restfally oblivious to my surroundings imtil awakened next 
morning at Dieppe, where I find myself, in a few minutes, on a 
foreign shore. All the way from San Francisco to Newhaven 
there is a consciousness of being practically in one country and 
among one people — people who, though acknowledging separate 
governments, are bound so firmly together by the ties of common 
instincts and -interests, and the mystic brotherhood of a common 
language and a common civilization, that nothing of a serious nat- 
ure can ever 6ome between them. But now I am verily among 
strangers, and the first thing talked of is to make me pay duty on 
the bicj'cle. 

The captain of the vessel, into whose hands Mr. C as- 
signed me at Newhaven, protests on my behalf, and I likewise enter 
a gentle demurrer ; but the custom-house officer declares that a duty 
will have to be forthcoming, saying that the amount will be returned 
again when I pass over the German frontier. The captain finally 
advises the payment of the duty and the acceptance of a receipt for 
the amount, and takes his leave. Not feeling quite satisfied as yet 
about paying the duty, I take a short stroll about Dieppe, leaving 
my wheel at the custom-house ; and when I shortly return, pre- 
pared to pay the assessment, whatever it may be, the officer who, 
but thirty minutes since, declared emphatically in favor of a duty, 
now answers, with all the politeness imaginable : " Monsieur is at 
liberty to take the velocipede and go whithersoever he will." It is 
a fairly prompt initiation into the impulsiveness of the French char- 
acter. They don't accept bicycles as baggage, though, on the Chan- 
nel steamers, and six shillings freight, over and above passage- 
money, has to be yielded up. 

Although upon a foreign shore, I am not yet, it seems, to bo 
left entirely alone to the tender mercies of my own lamentable ina- 
bility to speak French. Fortunately there lives at Dieppe a gen- 
tleman named Mr. Parkinson, who, besides being an Englishman 
to the backbone, is quite an enthusiastic wheelman, and, among 
other things, considers it his solemn duty to take charge of visitin"- 



104 FKOM SAN FEANCISCO TO TEHEEAN. 

'cyclers from England and America and see them safely launched 
along the magnificent roadways of Normandy, headed fairly toward 
their destination. Faed has thoughtfully notified Mr. Parkinson of 
my approach, and he is watching for my coming as tenderly as 
though I were a returning prodigal and he charged with my wel- 
coming home. Close under the frowning battlements of Dieppe 
Castle — a once wellnigh impregnable fortress that was some time 
in possession of the English — romantically nestles Mr. Parkinson's 
studio, and that genial gentleman promptly proposes accompanying 
me some distance into the country. On our way through Dieppe I 
notice blue-bloused peasants guiding small flocks of goats through the 
streets, calling them along with a peculiar, tuneful instrument that 
sounds somewhat similar to a bagpipe. I learn that they are Nor- 
mandy peasants, who keep their flocks around town aU summer, goat's 
milk being considered beneficial for infants and invalids. They 
lead the goats from house to house, and miUj whatever quantity 
their customers want at their own door — a custom that we can 
readily understand will never become widely popular among Anglo- 
Saxon milkmen, since it leaves no possible chance for pump-handle 
combinations and corresponding profits. The morning is glorious 
with sunshine and the carols of feathered songsters as together we 
speed away down the beautiful Arques Valley, over roads that are 
simply perfect for wheehng ; and, upon arriving at the picturesque 
ruins of the Chateau d'Arques, we halt and take a casual peep at 
the crumbling walls of this once famous fortress, which the trailing 
ivy of Normandy now partially covers with a dark-green mantle of 
charity, as though its piu-pose and its mission were to hide its fall- 
en grandeur from the rude gaze of the passing stranger. 

All along the roads we meet happy-looking peasants driving into 
Dieppe market with produce. They are driving Normandy horses 
— and that means fine, large, spirited animals — which, being un- 
familiar with bicycles, almost invariably take exception to ours, 
j)rancing about after the usual manner of high-strung steeds. Un- 
hke his English relative, the Norman horse looks not supinely upon 
the whirling wheel, but arrays himself almost unanimously against 
us, and usually in the most uncompromising manner, similar to the 
phantom-eyed roadster of the United States agriculturist. The 
similarity between the turnouts of these two countries I am forced 
to admit, however, terminates abruptly with the horse itself, and 
does not by any means extend to the driver ; for, while the Nor- 



FROM AMERICA TO THE GERMAN FRONTIER. 105 

mandy horse capers about and threatens to upset the vehicle into 
the ditch, the Frenchman's face is wreathed in apologetic smiles; 
and, while he frantically endeavors to keep the refractory horse 
under control, he delivers himself of a whole dictionary of apologies 
to the wheelman for the animal's fooHsh conduct, touches his cap 
with an air of profound deference upon noticing that we have con- 
siderately slowed up, and invariably utters his Bon jour, monsieur, 
as we wheel past, in a voice that plainly indicates his acknowledg- 
ment of the wheelman's — or anybody else's — right to half the road- 
way. A few days ago I called the EhgUsh roads perfect, and Eng- 
land the paradise of 'cyclers ; and so it is ; but the Normandy roads 
are even superior, and the scenery of the Arques Valley is truly 
lovely. There is not a loose stone, a rut, or depression anywhere 
on these roads, and it is little exaggeration to call them veritable 
bilhard-tables for smoothness of surface. As one bowls smoothly 
along over them he is constantly wondering how they can possibly 
keep them in such condition. Were these fine roads in America 
one would never be out of sight of whirUng wheels. 

A luncheon of Normandy cheese and cider at Cleres, and then 
cnwai-d to Rouen is the word. At every cross-roads is erected an 
iron guide-post, containing directions to several of the nearest 
towns, telling the distances in kUometres and yards ; and small 
stone pUlaxs are set up alongside the road, marking every hundred 
3'ards. Arriving at Rouen at iova o'clock, Mr. Parkinson shows me 
the famous old Rouen Cathedral, the Palace of Justice, and such 
examples of old medieval Rouen as I care to visit, and, after invit- 
ing me to remain and take dinner with him by the murmuring 
waters of the historic Seine, he bids me bon voyage, turns my head 
southward, and leaves me at last a stranger among strangers, to 
"comprendre i^Vanpais " unassisted. Some wiseacre has placed it 
on record that too much of a good thing is worse than none at aU ; 
however that may be, from having concluded that the friendly iron 
guide-posts would be found on evei-y corner where necessai-y, 
pointing out the way with infallible truthfulness, and being doubt- 
less influenced by the superior levelness of the road leading down 
the valley of the Seine in comparison with the one leading over the 
bluffs, I wander towai-d eventide into Elbeuf, instead of Pont de 
I'Arques, as I had intended ; but it matters little, and I am con- 
tent to make the best of my suiToundings. WheeHng along the 
crooked, paved streets of Elbeuf, I enter a small hotel, and, after 



106 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHEKAN. 

tlie customary exchange of civilities, I arcli my eyebrows at an in- 
telligent-looking madame, and inquire, " Oomprendre Anglais ? " — 
" Non," replies the lady, looking puzzled, while I proceed to venti- 
late my pantomimic powers to try and make my wants understood. 
After fifteen minutes of despairing effort, mademoiselle, the daugh- 
ter, is despatched to the other side of the town, and presently re- 
turns with a bewhiskered Frenchman, who, in very much broken 
English, accompanying his words with wondrous gesticulations, 
gives me to understand that he is the only person in all Elbeuf 
capable of speaking the English language, and begs me to unbur- 
den myself to him without reserve. He proves himself useful and 
obliging, kindly interesting himself in obtaining me comfortable 
accommodation at reasonable rates. This Elbeuf hotel, though, is 
anything but an elegant establishment, and le propriUaire, though 
seemingly intelligent enough, brings me out a bottle of the inevita- 
ble mn ordinaire (common red wine) at breakfast-time, instead of 
the coffee for which my opportune interpreter said he had given 
the order yester-eve. If a Frenchman only sits down to a bite of 
bread and cheese he usually consumes a pint bottle of vin ordinayre 
with it. The loaves of bread here are rolls three and four feet long, 
and frequently one of these is laid across — or rather along, for it is 
oftentimes longer than the table is wide — the table for you to 
hack away at during your meal, according to your bread-eating 
capacity or inclination. 

Monsieur, the accomplished, comes down to see his Anglais 
friend and prot'eg'e next morning, a few minutes after his Anglais 
friend and protege has started off toward a distant street called Hue 
Poussen, which le gar^n had unwittingly directed him to when he 
inquired the way to the bureau de poste ; the natural result, I sup- 
j-iose, of the difference between Elbeuf pronunciation and mine. 
Discovering my mistake upon arriving at the Eue Poussen, I am 
more fortunate in my attack upon the interpreting abilities of a 
passing citizen, who sends an Elbeuf gamin to guide me to the 
post-office. 

Post office clerks are proverbially intelligent people in any coun- 
try, consequently it doesn't take me long to transact my business 
at the bureau de poste ; but now — shades of Csesar ! — I have 
thoughtlessly neglected to take down either the name of the hotel 
or the street in which it is located, and for the next half-hour go 
wandering about as helplessly as the "babes in the wood." Once, 



FROM AMERICA TO THE GERMAN FRONTIER. 107 

twice I fancy recogniziug the location ; but the ordinary Elbeuf 
house is not easily recognized from its neighbors, and I am stand- 
ing looking around me in the bewildered attitude of one uncertain 
of his bearings, when, lo ! the landlady, who has doubtless been 
wondering whatever has become of me, appears at the door of a 
building which I should certainly never have recognized as my 
hotel, besom in hand, and her pleasant, "Otii, monsieur,'' sounds 
cheery and welcome enough, under the circumstances, as one may 
readily suppose. 

Fine roads continue, and between Gaillon and Vernon one can 
see the splendid highway, smooth, straight, and broad, stretching 
ahead for miles between rows of stately poplars, forming magnifi- 
cent avenues that add not a little to the natural loveliness of the 
country. Noble chateaus appear here and there, oftentimes situa- 
ted upon the bluffs of the Seine, and forming the background to a 
long aveniie of chestnuts, maples, or poplars, running at right 
angles to the main road and principal avenue. The well-known 
thriftiness of the French peasantry is noticeable on every hand, and 
particularly away off to the left yonder, where their small, well- 
cultivated farms make the sloping bluffs resemble huge log-cabiii 
quilts in the distance. Another glaring and unmistakable evidence 
of the Normandy peasants' thriftiness is the remarkable number of 
patches they manage to distribute over the surface of their panta- 
loons, every peasant hereabouts averaging twenty patches, more or 
less, of all shapes and sizes. When the British or United States 
Governments impose any additional taxation on the people, the 
people grumblingly declare they won't put up with it, and then go 
ahead and pay it ; but when the Chamber of Deputies at Paris 
turns on the financial thumb-screw a little tighter, the French peas- 
ant simply puts yet another patch on the seat of his pantaloons, 
and smilingly hands over the difference between the patch and the 
new pair he intended to purchase ! 

Huge cavalry barracks mark the entrance to Vernon, and, as I 
watch with interest the manoeuvring of the troops going through 
their morning drill, I cannot help thinking that with such splendid 
roads as France possesses she might take many a less practical 
measure for home defence than to mount a few regiments of light 
infantry on bicycles ; infantry travelling toward the front at the 
rate of seventy-five or a hundred miles a day would be something 
of an improvement, one would naturally think. Every few miles my 



108 FKOM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEIIEEAN. 

road leads through the long, straggling street of a village, every 
building in which is of solid stone, and looks at least a thousand 
years old ; while at many cross-roads among the fields, and in all 
manner of unexpected nooks and corners of the villages, crucifixes 
are erected to accommodate the devotionally inclined. Most of 
the streets of these interior villages are paved with square stones 
which the wear and tear of centuries have generally rendered too 
rough for the bicycle ; but occasionally one is ridable, and the as- 
tonishment of the inhabitants as I wheel leisurely through, whist- 
ling the solemn strains of "Eoll, Jordan, roll," is really quite 
amusing. Every village of any size boasts a church that, for fine- 
ness of architecture and apparent costliness of construction, looks 
out of all proportion to the straggling street of shapeless structui'es 
that it overtops. Everything here seems built as though intended 
to last forever, it being no unusual sight to see a ridiculously small 
jDiece of ground surrounded by a stone wall built as though to re- 
sist a bombardment ; an enclosure that must have cost more to 
erect than fifty crops off the enclosed space could repay. 

The important town of Mantes is reached early in the evening, 
and a good inn found for the night. 

The market-women are arraying their varied wares all along 
the main street of Mantes as I wheel down toward the banks of 
the Seine this morning. I stop to procure a draught of new milk, 
and, while drinking it, point to sundry long rows of light, flaky- 
looking cakes strung on strings, and motion that I am desirous of 
sampling a few at current rates ; but the good dame smiles and 
shakes her head vigorously, as well enough she might, for I learn 
afterward that the cakes are nothing less than dried yeast-cakes, a 
breakfast off which would probably have produced spontaneous 
combustion. Getting on to the wrong road out of Mantes, I find 
myself at the river's edge down among the Seine watermen. I am 
shown the right way, but from Mantes to Paris they are not Nor- 
mandy roads ; from Mantes southward they gradually deteriorate 
until they are little or no better than the " sand-papered roads of 
Boston." Having determined to taboo vin ordinaire altogether I 
astonish the restaurateur of a village where I take lunch by motion- 
ing away the bottle of red wine and calling for " de Veau," and the 
glances cast in my direction by the other customers indicate plainly 
enough that they consider the proceeding as something quite ex- 
traordinary. 



from: AMEliICA TO THE GEKMAJST FRONTIER. 109 

Rolling througli Saint Germain, Chalon Pav6y, and Nanterre, 
the magnificent Arc cle Triomphe looms up ia the distance ahead, 
and at about two o-'clock, "Wednesday, May 13th, I wheel into the 
gay capital through the Porte Maillott. Asphalt pavement now takes 
the place of macadam, and but a short distance inside the city limits 
I notice the 'cycle depot of Eenard Fferres. Knowing instinctively 
that the fraternal feelings engendered by the magic wheel reaches to 
wherever a wheelman lives, I hesitate not to dismount and present 
my card. Yes, Jean Glinka, apparently an employ^ there, compre- 
hends Anglain ; they have all heard of my tour, and wish me hon 
voyage, and Jean and his bicycle is forthwith produced and dele- 
gated to accompany me into the interior of the city and find me a 
suitable hotel. The streets of Paris, like the streets of other large 
cities, are paved with various compositions, and they have just 
been sprinkled. French-like, the luckless Jean is desirous of dis- 
playing his accomplishments on the wheel to a visitor so distingue ; 
he circles around on the slippery pavement in a manner most un- 
necessary, and in so doing upsets himself while crossing a car- 
track, rips his pantaloons, and injures his wheel. At the Hotel du 
Louvre they won't accept bicycles, having no place to put them ; 
but a short distance from there we find a less pretentious estab- 
lishment, where, after requiring me to fill up a formidable-looking 
blank, stating my name, residence, age, occupation, birthplace, the 
last place I lodged at, etc., they finally assign me quarters. 

Prom Paul DeviUiers, to whom I bring an introduction, I learn 
that by waiting here till Friday evening, and repairing to the 
rooms of the Societe Velocipedique Metropolitaine, the president 
of that club can give me the best bicycle route between Paris and 
Vienna ; accordingly I domicUe myself at the hotel for a couple of 
days. Many of the lions of Paris are within easy distance of my 
hotel. The reader, however, probably knows more about the 
sights of Paris than one can possibly find out in two daj'S ; there- 
fore I refrain from any attempt at describing them ; but my hotel 
is worthy of remark. 

Among other agreeable and sensible arrangements at the Hotel 
du Loiret, there is no such thing as opening one's room-door 
from the outside save with the key ; and unless one thoroughly 
understands this handy peculiarity, and has his wits about him 
continually, he is morally certain, sometime when he is leaving 
his room, absent-mindedly to shut the door and leave the key in- 



110 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

side. This is, of course, among tlie first things that happen to 
me, and it costs me half a franc and three hours of wretched- 
ness before I see the interior of my room again. The hotel 
keeps a rude skeleton-key on hand, presumably for possible 
emergencies of this nature ; but in manipulating this uncouth in- 
strument le portier actually locks the door, and as the skeleton-key 
is expected to manage the catch only, and not the lock, this, of 
course, makes matters infinitely worse. The keys of every room 
in the house are next brought into requisition and tried in succes- 
sion, but not a key among them all is a duplicate of mine. What 
is to be done ? Le portier looks as dejected as though Paris was 
about to be bombarded, as he goes down and breaks the dreadful 
news to le proprietaire. Up comes le proprietaire — avoirdupois 
three hundred pounds — sighing like an exhaust-pipe at every step. 
For fifteen unhappy minutes the skeleton-key is wriggled and 
twisted about again in the key-hole, and the fat proprietaire rubs 
his bald head impatiently, but all to no purpose. Each returns to 
his respective avocation.. Impatient to get at my writing materials, 
1 look up at the iron bars across the fifth-story windows above, and 
motion that if they will procure a rope I will descend from thence 
and enter the window. They one and all point out into the street; 
and, thinking they have sent for something or somebody, I sit 
down and wait with Job-like patience for something to turn up. 
Nothing, however, turns up, and at the expiration of an hour I 
naturally begin to feel neglected and impatient, and again suggest 
the rope ; when, at a motion from le proprietaire, le portier pilots 
me around a neighboring corner to a locksmith's establishment, 
where, voluntarily acting the part of interpreter, he engages on my 
behalf, for half a franc, a man to come with a bunch of at least a 
hundred skeleton-keys of all possible shapes to attack the refrac- 
tory key-hole. After trying nearly all the keys, and disburdening 
himself of whole volumes of impulsive French ejaculations, this 
man likewise gives it up in despair ; but, now everything else has 
been tried and failed, the countenance of le portier suddenly lights 
up, and he slips quietly around to an adjoining room, and enters 
mine inside of two minutes by simply lifting a small hook out of a 
staple with his knife-blade. There appears to be a slight coolness, 
as it were, between le proprietaire and me after this incident, prob- 
ably owing to the intellectual standard of each becoming somewhut 
lowered in the other's estimation in consequence of it. Le pro- 




The Champs Elysee at 10 P.M. 



FROM AMERICA TO THE GERMAN ERONTIEK. 113 

prietaire, doubtless, thinks a man capable of leaving the key inside 
of the door must be the worst type of an ignoramus ; and certainly 
my opinion of him for leaving such a diabolical ai-rangement un- 
changed in the latter half of the nineteenth century is not far re- 
moved from the same. 

Visiting the headquarters of the Soci^te Velocipedique Me- 
tropolitaine on Friday evening, I obtain from the president the de- 
-sired directions regarding the route, and am all prepared to con- 
tinue eastward in the morning. Wheeling down the famous 
Champs Elys^es at eleven at night, when the concert gardens are 
in full blast and everything in a blaze of glory, with myriads of 
electric lights festooned and in long brilliant rows among the trees, 
is something to be remembered for a lifetime. Before breakfast I 
leave the city by the Porte Daumesiul, and wheel through the 
envii-onments toward Vincennes and JoinviUe, pedalling, to the 
sound of martial music, for miles beyond the Porte. 

The roads for thirty miles east of Paris are not Normandy 
roads, but the country for most of the distance is fairly level, and 
for mile after mile, and league beyond league, the road is beneath 
avenues of plane and poplar, which, crossing the plain in every 
direction Uke emerald walls of nature's own building, here embel- 
lish and beautify an otherwise rather monotonous stretch of coun- 
try. The villages are little different from the villages of Normandy, 
but the churches have not the architectural beauty of the Nor- 
mandy churches, being for the most part massive structures with- 
out any pretence to artistic embellishment in theu' construc- 
tion. Monkish-looking priests are a characteristic feature of these 
villages, and when, on passing down the narrow, crooked streets 
of Fontenay, I wheel beneath a massive stone archway, and looking 
around, observe cowled priests and everything about the place 
seemingly in keeping with it, one can readily imagine himself 
transported back to medieval times. One of these little interior 
French villages is the most unpromising looking place imaginable 
for a hungry person to ride into ; often one may ride the whole 
length of the village expectantly looking around for some visible 
evidence of wherewith to cheer the inner man, and all that greets 
the hungry vision is a couple of four-foot sticks of bread in one 
dust-begrimed window, and a few mournful-looking crucifixes and 
Eoman Catholic paraphernalia in another. Neither are the peas- 
ants hereabouts to be compared with the Normandy peasantry in 



114 FROM SAN FRAKCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

personal appearance. True, tliey have as many patches on theii; 
l^antaloons, but they don't seem to have acquired the art of at- 
taching them in a manner to produce the same picturesque effect 
as does the peasant of Normandy ; the original garment is almost 
invariably a shapeless corduroy, of a bagginess and an o'er-ample- 
ness most unbeautiful to behold. 

The well-known axiom about fair paths leading astray holds 
good with the high-ways and by-ways of France, as elsewhere, and 
soon after leaving the ancient town of Provins, I am tempted by a 
splendid road, following the windings of a murmuring brook, that 
appears to be going in my direction, in consequence of which I 
soon find myself among crosscountry bj'-ways, and among peasant 
proprietors who apparently know little of the world beyond their 
native villages. Pour o'clock finds me wheeling through a hilly 
vineyard district toward Villenauxe, a town several kilometres off 
my proper route, from whence a dozen kilometres over a very good 
road brings me to Sezanne, where the Hotel de France affords ex- 
cellent accommodation. After the table d'hote the clanging bells of 
the old church hard by announce services of some kind, and hav- 
ing a natural penchant when in strange places from wandering 
whithersoever inclination leads, in anticipation of the ever possible 
item of interest, I meander into the church and take a seat. There 
appears to be nothing extraordinary about the service, the only 
unfamiliar feature to me being a man weaiing a uniform similar to 
the gendarmerie of Paris : cockade, sash, sword, and everything 
complete ; in addition to which he carries a large cane and a long 
brazen-headed staff resembling the boarding-pike of the last cen- 
tury. 

It has rained heavily during the night, but the roads around 
here are composed mainly of gravel, and are rather improved than 
otherwise by the rain ; and from Sezanne, through Champenoise 
and on to Vitry le Francois, a distance of about sixty -five kilo- 
metres, is one of the most enjoyable stretches of road imaginable. 
The contour of the country somewhat resembles the swelling 
prairies of Western Iowa, and the roads are as perfect for most 
of the distance as an asphalt boulevard. The hills are gradual ac- 
clivities, and, owing to the good roads, are mostly ridable, -while 
the declivities make the finest coasting imaginable ; the exhilara- 
tion of gliding dovra them in the morning air, fresh after the rain 
can be compared only to Canadian tobogganing. Ahead of you 



116 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAX. 

stretches a gradual downward slope, perhaps two kilometres long. 
Knowing full well that from top to bottom there exists not a 
loose stone or a dangerous spot, you give the ever- ready steel-horse 
the rein ; faster and faster whirl the glistening wheels until objects 
by the road -side becom^ indistinct phantoms as they glide instan- 
taneously by, and to strike a hole or obstruction is to be trans- 
formed into a human sky-rocket, and, later on, into a new arrival 
in another world. A mid yell of warning at a blue-bloused peas- 
ant in the road ahead, shrill screams of dismay from several fe- 
males at a cluster of cottages, greet the ear as you sweep past 
like a whirlwind, and the next moment reach the bottom at a rate 
of speed that would make the engineer of the Flying Dutchman 
green with envy. Sometimes, for the sake of variety, when glid- 
ing noiselessly along on the ordinary level, I wheel unobserved 
close up behind an unsuspecting peasant walking on ahead, with- 
out calling out, and when he becomes conscious of my presence and 
looks around and sees the strange vehicle in such close proximity it 
is well worth the price of a new hat to see the lively manner in 
which he hops out of the way, and the next moment becomes fairly 
rooted to the ground with astonishment ; for bicycles and bicycle 
riders are less familiar objects to the French peasant, outside of the 
neighborhood of a few large cities, than one would naturally sup- 
pose. 

Vitry le Francois is a charming old town in the beautiful valley 
of the Marne ; in, the middle ages it was a strongly fortified city ; 
the moats and earth- works are still perfect. The only entrance to 
the town, even now, is over the old draw-bridges, the massive gates, 
iron wheels, chains, etc., still being intact, so that the gates can yet 
be drawn up and entrance denied to foes, as of yore ; but the moats 
are now utilized for the boats of the Marne and Rhine Canal, and 
it is presumable that the old draw-bridges are nowadays always 
left open. To-day is Sunday — and Sunday in France is equivalent 
to a holiday — consequently Vitry le Frangois, being quite an im- 
portant town, and one of the business centres of the prosperous 
and populous Marne Valley, presents all the appearance of circus- 
day in an American agricultural community. Several booths are 
erected in the market square, the proprietors and attaches of two 
peregrinating theatres, several peep-shows, and a dozen various 
games of chance, are vying with each other in the noisiness of theii- 
demonstrations to attract the attention and small change of the 



FROM AMERICA TO THE GERMAN FRONTIER. 117 

crowd to their respective enterprises. Like every other highway 
in this part of Prance the Marne and Ehine Canal is fringed with 
an avenue of poplars, that from neighboring elevations can be seen 
winding along the beautiful valley for miles, presenting a most 
pleasing effect. 

East of Vitry le Fran9ois the roads deteriorate, and from thence 
to Bar-le-Duc they are inferior to any hitherto encountered in France ; 
nevertheless, from the American standpoint they are very good 
roads, and when, at five o'clock, I wheel into Bar-le-Duc and come 
to sum up the aggregate of the day's journey I find that, without 
any undue exertion, I have covered very nearly one hundred and 
sixty kilometres, or about one hundred English miles, since 8.30 a.m., 
notwithstanding a good hour's halt at Vitry le Franjois for dinner. 
Bar-le-Duc appears to be quite an important business centre, pleas- 
antly situated in the valley of the Ornain Eiver, a tributary of the 
Marne ; and the stream, in its narrow, fertile valley, winds around 
among hills from whose sloping sides, every autumn, fairly ooze 
the celebrated red wines of the Meuse and Moselle regions. 

The valley has been favored with a tremendous downpour of rain 
and hail during the night, and the partial formation of the road lead- 
ing along the level valley eastward being a light-colored, slippery 
clay, I find it anything but agreeable wheeling this morning ; more- 
over, the Ornain Valley road is not so perfectly kept as it might be. 
As in every considerable town in France, so also in Bar-Ie-Duc, the 
mihtary element comes conspicuously to the fore. - Eleven kilometres 
of slipping and sliding through the greasy clay brings me to the little 
village of TronviUe, where I halt to investigate the prospect of ob- 
taining something to eat. As usual, the prospect, from the street, 
is most unpromising, the only outward evidence being a few glass 
jars of odds and ends of candy in one small window. Entering this 
establishment, the only thing the woman can produce besides candy 
and raisins is a box of brown, wafer-like biscuits, the unsubstantial 
appearance of which is, to say the least, most unsatisfactory to a per- 
son who has pedalled his breakfastless way through eleven kilome- 
tres of slippery clay. Uncertain of their composition, and remem- 
bering my unhappy mistake at Mantes in desiring to breakfast ofi' 
yeast-cakes, I take the precaution of sampling one, and in the ab- 
sence of anything more substantial conclude to purchase a few, and 
so motion to the woman to hand me the box in order that I can 
show her how many I want. But the o'er-careful Frenchwoman, 



118 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

mistakiug my meaning, and fearful that I only want to sample yet 
another one, probably feeling uncertain of whether I might not 
wish to taste a whole handful this time, instead of handing it over 
moves it out of my reach altogether, meanwhile looking quite angry, 
and not a little mystified at her mysterious, pantomimic customer. 
A half-franc is produced, and, after taking the precaution of putting 
it away in advance, the cautious female weighs me out the current 
quantity of her ware ; and I notice that, after giving lumping weight, 
she throws in a few extra, presumably to counterbalance what, upon 
sober second thought, she perceives to have been an unjust sus- 
picion. 

While I am extracting what satisfaction my feathery jJurchase 
contains, it begins to rain and hail furiously, and so continues with 
little interruption all the forenoon, compelling me, much against 
my inclination, to search out in Tronville, if possible, some accom- 
modation till to-morrow morning. The village is a shapeless cluster 
of stone houses and stables, the most prominent feature of the 
streets being huge heaps of manure and grape-vine prunings ; but 
I manage to obtain the necessary shelter, and such other accom- 
modations as might be expected in an out-of-the-way village, un- 
frequented by visitors from one year's end to another. The follow- 
ing morning is still rainy, and the clayey roads of the Ornaiu Valley 
are anything but inviting wheeling ; but a longer stay in Tronville 
is not to be thought of, for, among other pleasantries of the place 
here, the chief table delicacy appears to be boiled escargots, a large, 
ungainly snail procured from the neighboring hiUs. Whilst fond 
of table delicacies, I emphatically draw the line at escargots. 

Pulling out toward Toul I find the roads, as expected, barely 
ridable ; but the vineyard-environed little valley, lovely in its tears 
wrings from one praise in spite of muddy roads and lowering 
weather. Un route down the valley I meet a battery of artillery 
travelling from Toul to Bar-le Due or some other point to the west- 
ward ; and if there is any honor in throwing a battery of French 
artillery into confusion, and weUnigh routing them, then the bicy- 
cle and I are fairly entitled to it 

As I ride carelessly toward them, the leading horses suddenlv 
wheel around and begin plunging about the road. The officers' 
horses, and, in fact, the horses of the whole company, catch the in- 
fection, and there is a plunging and a general confusion all alono- 
the line, seeing which I, of course, dismount and retire but not 



FROM AMEKICA TO THE OEKMAN FRONTIEK. 119 

discomfited — from the field until tbey have passed. These French 
horses are certainly not more than half-trained. I passed a battery 
of English artillery on the road leading out of Coventry, and had I 
v^heeled along under the horses' noses there would have been no 
confusion whatever. 

On the divide between the Oruain and Moselle Valleys the 
roads are hiUier, but somewhat less muddy. The weather con- 
tinues showery and unsettled, and a short distance beyond Void I 
find myself once again wandering off along the wrong road. The 
peasantry hereabout seem to have retained a lively recollection of 
the Prussians, my helmet appearing to have the effect of jogging 
their memory, and frequently, when stopping to inquire about the 
roads, the first word in response will be the pointed query, "Prus- 
sian ? " By following the directions given by three different peas- 
ants, I wander along the muddy by-roads among the vineyards for 
two wet, unhappy hours ere I finally strike the main road to Toul 
again. After floundering along the wellnigh unimproved by-ways 
for two hours one thoroughly appreciates how much he is indebted 
to themilitary necessities of the French Government for the splen- 
did highways of France, especially among these hills and valleys, 
where natural roadways would be anything but good. Following 
down the Moselle Valley, I arrive at the important city of Nancy 
in the eventide, and am fortunate, I suppose, in discovering a hotel 
where a certain, or, more properly speaking, an uncertain, quantity 
and quality of English are spoken. Nancy is reputed to be one of 
the loveliest towns in Prance. But I merely remained in it over 
night, and long enough next morning to exchange for some Ger- 
man money, as I cross over the frontier to-day. 

Luneville is a town I pass through, some distance nearer the 
border, and the military display here made is perfectly overshadow- 
ing. Even the scarecrows in the fields are military figures, with 
wooden swords threateningly waving about in their hands with 
every motion of the wind, and the most frequent sound heard along 
the route is the sharp bang ! bang ! of muskets, where companies 
of soldiers ai'e target-practising in the woods. There seems to be 
a bellicose element in the very atmosphere ; for every dog in every 
village I ride through verily takes after me, and I run clean over 
one bumptious cur, which, miscalculating the speed at which I am 
coming, fails to get himself out of the way in time. It is the nar- 
rowest escape from a header I have had since starting from Liver- 



120 FROM SAN FEANCISCO TO TEHEEAW. 

pool ; although both man and dog were more scared than hurt. 
Sixty-five kilometres from Nancy, and I take lunch at the frontier 
town of Blamont. The road becomes more hDIy, and a short dis- 
tance out of Blamont, behold, it is as though a chalk-line were 
made across the roadway, on the west side of which it had been 
swept with scrupulous care, and on the east side not swept at all ; 
and when, upon passing the next roadman, I notice that he bears 
not upon his cap the brass stencil-plate bearing the inscription, 
" Cantonnier," I know that I have passed over the frontier into the 
territory of Kaiser Wilhelm. 

My journey through fair France has been most interesting, and 
perhaj)S instructive, though I am afraid that the lessons I have 
taken in French politeness are altogether too superficial to be last- 
ing. The " Bon jour, monsieur," and " Bon voyage," of France, may 
not mean any more than the "If I don't see you again, why, heUo ! " 
of America, but it certainly sounds more musical and pleasant. 
It is at the table d'hdte, however, that I have felt myself to have 
invariably shone superior to the natives ; for, lo ! the Frenchman 
eats soup from the end of his spoon. True, it is more convenient 
to eat soup from the prow of a spoon than from the larboard ; 
nevertheless, it is when eating soup that I instinctively feel my 
superiority. The French peasants, almost without exception, con- 
clude that the bright-nickelled surface of the bicycle is silver, and 
presumably consider its rider nothing less than a mUlionnaire in 
consequence ; but it is when I show them the length of time the 
rear wheel or a pedal wiU «pin round that they manifest their 
greatest surprise. The crowning glory of French landscape is the 
magnificent avenues of poplars that traverse the country in every 
direction, winding with the roads, the railways, and canals along 
the valleys, and marshalled like sentinels along the brows of the 
distant hiUs ; without them French scenery woiild lose half its 
charm. 



CHAPTER VI. 

GERMANY, AUSTEIA, AND HUNGARY. 

NoTWiTHSTANDiNO Alsace was Frendi territory only fourteen 
years ago (1871) tliere is a noticeable difference in the inhabitants, 
to me the most acceptable being -their great Hnguistio superiority 
over the people on the French side of the border. I linger in Saar- 
burg only about thirty minutes, yet am addressed twice by natives 
in my own tongue ; and at Pfalzburg, a smaller- town, where I remain 
over night, I find the same characteristic. Ere I penetrate thirty 
kilometres into German territory, however, I have to record what 
was never encountered in France ; an insolent teamster, who, hav- 
ing his horses strung across a narrow road-way in the suburbs of 
Saarburg, refuses to turn his leaders' heads to enable me to ride 
past, thus compelling me to dismount. Soldiers drilling, soldiers 
at target practice, and soldiers in companies marching about in 
every direction, greet my eyes upon approaching Pfalzburg ; and 
although there appears to be less beating of drums and blare of 
trumpets than in French garrison towns, one seldom turns a street 
corner without hearing the measured tramp of a military company 
receding or approaching. These German troops appear to march 
briskly and in a business-like manner in comparison with the 
French, who always seem to carry themselves with a tired and de- 
jected deportment ; but the over-ample and rather slouchy-looking 
pantaloons of the French are probably answerable, in part, for this 
impression. One cannot watch these sturdy-looking German sol- 
diers without a conviction that for the stem purposes of war they 
are inferior only to the soldiers of our own country. 

At the little gasthaus at Pfalzburg the people appear to under- 
stand and anticipate an Englishman's gastronomic peculiarities; 
and for the first time since leaving England I am confronted at the 
supper-table with excellent steak and tea. 

It is raining next morning as I wheel over the rolling hills 
toward Saverne, a city nestling pleasantly in a little valley beyond 



122 FROM SAN FKAKCISCO TO TEUEEAN. 

those dark wooded heights ahead that form the eastern boundary 
of the valley of the Rhine. The road is good but hilly, and for 
several kilometres, before reaching Saveme, winds its way among 
the pine forests tortuously and steeply down from the elevated di- 
vide. The valley, dotted here and there with pleasant villages, is 
spread out like a marvellously beautiful picture, the ruins of sev- 
eral old castles on neighboring hill-tops adding a charm, as well as 
a dash of romance. 

The rain pours down iu torrents as I wheel into Saverne. I 
pause long enough to patronize a barber shop ; also to procure 
an additional small wrench. Taking my nickelled monkey-wrench 
into a likely-looking hardware store, I ask the proprietor if he 
has anything similar. He examines it with lively interest, for, in 
comparison with the clumsy tools comprising his stock-in-trade, 
the wrench is as a watch-spring to an old horse-shoe. I purchase a 
rude tool that might have been fashioned on the anvil of a village 
blacksmith. Prom Saverne my road leads over another divide 
and down into the glorious valley of the Ehine, for a short distance 
through a narrow defile that reminds me somewhat of a canon in 
the Sierra Nevada foot-hills ; but a fine, broad road, spread with a 
coating of surface-mud only by this morning's rain, prevents the 
comparison from assuming definite shape for a cycler. Extensive 
and beautifully terraced vineyards mark the eastern exit 

The road-beds of this country are hard enough for anything ; 
but a certain proportion of clay in their composition makes a slip- 
pery coating in rainy weather. I enter the village of Marlenheim 
and observe the first stork's nest, built on top of a chimney, that I 
have yet seen in Europe, though I saw plenty of them afterward. 
The parent stork is perched solemnly over her youthful brood 
which one would naturally think would get smoke-dried. A short 
distance from Marlenheim I descry in the hazy distance the famous 
spire of Strasburg cathedral looming conspicuously above every- 
thing else in all the broad valley ; and at 1.30 p.m. I wheel through 
the massive arched gateway forming part of the city's fortifications, 
and down the broad but roughly paved streets, the most mud-be- 
spattered object in all Strasburg. The fortifications surrounding 
the city are evidently intended strictly for business, and not merely 
for outward display. The railway station is one of the finest in 
Europe, and among other conspicuous improvements one notices 
steam tram-cars. While ' trundling through the city I am impera- 



GERMANY, AUSTRIA, AND HUNGARY. 123 

tively ordered oif the sidewalk by the policemnn ; and when stop- 
ping to inquire of a respectable-looking Strasburger for the Ap- 
penweir road, up steps an individual with one eye and a cast 
off mihtary cap three sizes too small. After querying, " Appen- 
loeir? Englander?" he wheels "about face "with military pre- 
cision—doubtless thus impelled by the magic influence of his 
headgear — and beckons me to follow. Not knowing what better 
course to pursue I obey, and after threading the mazes of a dozen 
streets, composed of buUdings ranging iu architectiu-e from the 
much gabled and not unpicturesque structures of mediteval times 
to the modern brown-stone front, he j)ilots me outside the fortifi- 
cations again, points up the Appenweir road, and after the never 
neglected formality of touching his cap and extending his palm, 
returns city-ward. 

Crossing the Ehine over a pontoon bridge, I ride along level 
and, happily, rather less muddy roads, through pleasant suburban 
villages, near one of which I meet a company of soldiers in undress 
uniform, strung out carelessly along the road, as though returning 
from a tramp into the country. As I approach them, pedalling 
laboriously against a stiff head wind, both myself and the bicycle 
fairly yellow with clay, both ofiBcers and soldiers begin to laugh in 
a good-natured, bantering sort of manner, and a round dozen of 
them sing out in chorus "Ah! ah! der Englander!" and as I 
reply, "Yah ! yah ! " in response, and smile as I wheel past them, 
the. laughing and banter go all along the line. The sight of an 
"Englander" on one of his rambling expeditions of adventure 
furnishes much amusement to the average German, who, while he 
cannot help admiring the spirit of enterprise that impels him, fails 
to comprehend where the enjoyment can possibly come in. The 
average German would much rather loll around, sipping wine or 
beer, and smoking cigarettes, than impel a bicycle across a con- 
tinent. 

A few miles eastv^ard of the Ehine another grim fortress frowns 
upon peaceful village and broad, green meads, and off yonder to 
the right is yet another ; sure enough, this Franco-German frontier 
is one vast military camp, with forts, and soldiers, and munitions 
of war everywhere ! When I crossed the Ehine I left Lower Al- 
sace, and am now penetrating the middle Ehine region, where vil- 
lages are picturesque clusters of gabled cottages — a contrast to the 
shapeless and ancient-looking stone structures of the French vil- 



124 FROM SAW FRANCISCO TO TEHEEAN, 

lages. The difference also exteada to the inhabitants ; the peasant 
women of France, in either real or affected modesty, would usually 
pretend not to notice anything extraordinary as I wheeled past, 
but upon looking back they would almost invariably be seen stand- 
ing and gazing after my receding figure with unmistakable interest ; 
but the women of these Ehine villages burst out into merry peals 
of laughter. 

Eolling over fair roads into the village of Oberkirch, I conclude 
to remain for the night, and the first thing undertaken is to dis- 
burden the bicycle of its covering of clay. The awkward-looking 
hostler comes around several times and eyes the proceedings with 
glances of genuine disapproval, doubtless thinking I am cleaning 
it myself instead of letting him swab it with a besom with the sin- 
gle purpose in view of dodging the inevitable tip. The proprietor 
can speak a few words of English. He puts his bald head out of 
the window above, and asks : " Pe you Herr Shtevens ? " 

"Yah, yah," I reply. 

"Do you go mit der veld around? " 

" Yah ; I goes around mit the world." 

"I shoust read about you mit der noospaper." 

" Ah, indeed ! what newspaper ? " 

"Die Frankfurter Zeitung. You go around mit der veld." 

The landlord looks delighted to have for a guest the man who 
goes " mit der veld around," and spreads the news. During the 
evening several people of importance and position drop in to take 
a curious peep at me and my wheel. 

A dampness about the knees, superinduced by wheeling in rub- 
ber leggings, causes me to seek the privilege of the kitchen fire 
upon arrival. After listening to the incessant chatter of the cook 
for a few moments, I suddenly dispense with aU pantomime, and 
ask in purest English the privilege of drying my clothing in peace 
and tranquillity by the kitchen fire. The poor woman hurries out, 
and soon returns with her highly accomplished master, who, com- 
prehending the situation, forthwith tenders me the loan of his Sun- 
day pantaloons for the evening ; which offer I gladly accept, not- 
withstanding the wide disproportion in their size and mine, the 
landlord being, horizontally, a very large person. 

Oberkirch is a pretty village at the entrance to the narrow and 
charming valley of the River Eench, up which my route leads, into 
the fir-clad heights of the Black Forest. A few miles farther up 



126 FEOM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

the valley I wheel through a small village that nestles amid sur- 
roundings the loveliest I have yet seen. Dark, frowning firs inter- 
mingled with the lighter green of other vegetation crown the sur- 
rounding spurs of the Knibis Mountains ; vineyards, small fields of 
waving rye, and green meadow cover the lower slopes with varie- 
gated beauty, at the foot of which huddles the cluster of pretty 
cottages amid scattered orchards of blossoming fruit-trees. The 
cheery lute of the herders on the mountains, the carol of birds, 
and the merry music of dashing mountain-streams fill the fresh 
morning air with melody. All through this country there are 
apple-trees, pear-trees, cherry-trees — everywhere. In the fruit 
season one can scarce open his mouth out-doors without having 
the goddess Pomona pop in some delicious morsel. The poplar 
avenues of France have disappeared, but the road is frequently 
shaded for miles with fruit-trees. I never before saw a spot so 
lovely — certainly not in combination with a wellnigh perfect road 
for wheeling. On through Oppenau and Petersthal my way leads 
— this latter a place of growing importance as a summer resort, 
several commodious hotels with swimming-baths, mineral waters, 
etc., being already prepared to receive the anticipated influx of 
health and pleasure-seeking guests this coming summer — and then 
up, up, up among the dark pines leading over the Black Forest 
Mountains. Mile after mile of steep incline has now been trundled, 
following the Bench River to its source. Ere long the road I have 
lately traversed is visible far below, winding and twisting iip the 
mountain-slopes. Groups of swarthy peasant women are carrying 
on their heads baskets of pine cones to the villages below. At a dis- 
tance the sight of their bright red dresses among the sombre green 
of the pines is suggestive of the fairies with which legend has peo- 
pled the Black Forest. 

The summit is reached at last, and two boundary posts apprise 
the traveller that on this wooded ridge he passes from Baden into 
Wurtemberg. The descent for miles is agreeably smooth and 
gradual ; the mountain air blows cool and refreshing, with an odor 
of the pines ; the scenery is Black Forest scenery, and what more 
could be possibly desired than this happy combination of circum- 
stances ? 

Reaching Freudenstadt about noon, the mountain-climbing, the 
bracing air, and the pine fragrance cause me to give the good peo- 
ple at the gasthaus an impressive lesson in the effect of cyclino- on 



(JEEMANY, AXJSTEIA, and HUNGAEf. 127 

the human appetite. At every town and village I pass through in 
WUrtemberg the whole juvenile population collects around me in 
an incredibly short time. The natural impulse of the German 
small boy appears to be to start running after me, shouting and 
laughing immoderately, and when passing through some of the 
larger villages, it is no exaggeration to say that I have had two 
hundred small Germans, noisy and demonstrative, clattering along 
behind in their heavy wooden shoes. 

Wiirtemburg, by this route at least, is a decidedly hilly coun- 
try, and the roads are far inferior to those of both England and 
France. There will be, perhaps, three kilometres of trundling up 
through wooded heights leading out of a small valley, then, after 
several kilometres over undulating, stony upland roads, a long and 
not always smooth descent into another small valley, this programme, 
several times repeated, constituting the journey of the day. The 
small villages of the peasantry are frequently on the uplands, but 
the larger towns are invariably in the valleys, sheltered by wooded 
heights, perched among the crags of the most inaccessible of which 
are frequently seen the ruins of an old castle. Scores of little boys 
of eight or ten are breaking stones by the road-side, at which I 
somewhat marvel, since there is a compulsory school law in Ger- 
many ; but perhaps to-day is a holiday ; or maj'be, after school 
hours, it is customary for these unhappy youngsters to repair to 
the road-sides and blister their hands with cracking flints. 

"Hungry as a buzz-saw " I roll into the sleepy old town of 
Rothenburg at six o'clock, and, repairing to the principal hotel, 
order supper. Several flunkeys of different degrees of usefulness 
come in and bow obsequiously from time to time, as I sit around, 
expecting supper to appeiir every minute. At seven o'clock the 
waiter comes in, bows profoundly, and lays the table-cloth ; at 7.15 
he appears again, this time with a plate, knife, and fork, doing 
more bowing and scraping as he lays them on the table. Another 
half-hour roUs by, when, doubtless observing my growing impa- 
tience as he happens in at intervals to close a shutter or re-regulate 
the gas, he produces a small illustrated paper, and, bowing pro- 
foundly, lays it before me. I feel very much like making him 
swallow it, but resigning myself to what appears to be inevitable 
fate, I wait and wait, and at precisely 8.15 he produces a plate of 
soup ; at 8.30 the kalbscotolel is brought on, and at 8.45 a small 
plate of mixed biscuits. During the meal I call for another piece 



128 FROM SAN FKANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

of bread, and behold there is a hurrying to and fro, and a resound- 
ing of feet scurrying along the stone corridors of the rambling old 
buildiug, and ten minutes later I receive a small roU. At the op- 
posite end of the long table upon which I am writing some half- 
dozen ancient and honorable Eothenburgers are having what they 
doubtless consider a " howling time." Confronting each is a huge 
tankard of foaming lager, and the one doubtless enjoying himself 
the most and making the greatest success of exciting the envy and 
admiration of those around him is a certain ponderous individual 
who sits from hour to hour in a half comatose condition, barely 
keeping a large porcelain pipe from going out, and at fifteen-minute 
intervals taking a telling pull at the lager. Were it not for an oc- 
casional bUuk of the eyelids and the periodical visitation of the 
tankard to his lips, it would be difficult to teU whether he were 
awake or sleeping, the act of smoking being barely perceptible to 
the naked eye. 

In the morning I am quite naturally afraid to order anything to 
eat here for fear of having to wait until mid-day, or thereabouts, 
before getting it ; so, after being the unappreciative recipient of 
several more bows, more deferential and profound if anything than 
the bows of yesterday eve, I wheel twelve kilometres to Tubingen 
for breakfast. It showers occasionally during the forenoon, and 
after about thirty-five kilometres of hilly country it begins to de- 
scend in torrents, compelling me to foUow the example of several 
peasants in seeking the shelter of a thick pine copse. We are 
soon driven out of it, however, and donning my gossamer rubber 
suit, I push on to Alberbergen, where I indulge in rye bread and 
milk, and otherwise while away the hours until three o'clock, when, 
the rain ceasing, I pull out through the mud for Blaubeuren. 

Down the beautiful valley of one of the Danube's tributaries I 
ride on Sunday morning, pedalling to the music of Blaubeuren's 
church-beUs. After waiting untU ten o'clock, partly to allow the 
roads to dry a little, I conclude to wait no longer, and so puU out 
toward the important and quite beautiful city of Ulm. The char- 
acter of the country now changes^ and with it Hkewise the charac- 
teristics of the people, who verily seem to have stamped upon 
their features the pecuUarities of the region they inhabit. My road 
eastward of Blaubeuren follows down a narrow, winding valley, be- 
side the rippling head-waters of the Danube, and eighteen kilo- 
metres of variable road brings me to the strongly fortified city of 



GERMANY, AUSTRIA, AND HUNGARY. 129 

Ulm, the place I should have reached yesterday, except for the 
inclemency of the weather, and where I cross from Wurtemberg 
into Bavaria. On the uninviting uplands of Central "Wurtemberg 
one looks in vain among the peasant women for a prepossessing 
countenance or a graceful figure, but along the smiling valleys of 
Bavaria, the women, though usually with figures disproportionately 
broad, nevertheless carry themselves with a certain gracefulness ; 
and, while far from the American or English idea of beautiful, are 
several degrees more so than their relatives of the part of Wiirtem- 
berg I have traversed. I stop but a few minutes at Ulm, to test a 
mug of its lager and inquire the details of the road to Augsburg, 
yet dui'ing that short time I find myself an object of no little curi- 
osity to the citizens, for the fame of my undertaking has pervaded 
Ulm. 

The roads of Bavaria possess the one solitary merit of hardness, 
otherwise they would be simply abominable, the Bavarian idea of 
road-making evidently being to spread unUmited quantities of loose 
stones over the sui'face. For miles a wheelman is compelled to 
follow along narrow, wheel- worn tracks, incessantly dodging loose 
stones, or otherwise to pedal his way cautiously along the edges of 
the roadway. I am now wheeling through the greatest beer-drink- 
ing, sausage-consuming country in the world ; hop-gardens are a 
prominent feature of the landscape, and long links of sausages are 
dangling in nearly every window. The quantities of these viands 
I see consumed to-day are something astonishing, though the cele- 
bration of the Whitsuntide holidays is probably augmentative of 
the amount. 

The strains of instrumental music come floating over the level 
bottom of the Lech valley as, toward eventide, I approach the 
beautiful environs of Augsburg, and ride past several beer-gardens, 
where merry crowds of Augsburgers are congregated, quaffing 
foaming lager, eating sausages, and drinking inspiration from the 
music of military bands. " Where is the headquarters of the 
Augsburg Velocipede Club?" I inquire of a promising-looking 
youth as, after covering one hundred and twenty kilometres since 
ten o'clock, I wheel into the city. The club's headquarters are at 
a prominent cafe and beer-garden in the south-eastern suburbs, and 
repairing thither I find an accommodating individual who can 
speak English, and who willingly accepts the office of interpreter 
between me and the proprietor of the garden. Seated amid 
9 



130 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

hundreds of soldiers, Augsburg civilians, and peasants from the 
surrounding country, and with them extracting genuine enjoyment 
from a tankard of foaming Augsburg lager, I am informed that 
most of the members of the club are celebrating the Whitsuntide 
holidays by touring about the surrounding country, but that I am 
very welcome to Augsburg, and I am conducted to the Hotel Moh- 
renkopf (Moor's Head Hotel), and invited to consider myseK the 
guest of the club as long as I care to remain in Augsburg — the 
Bavarians are nothing if not practical. 

Mr. Josef Kling, the president of the club, accompanies me as 
far out as Friedburg on Monday morning ; it is the last day of the 
holidays, and the Bavarians are apparently bent on making the 
most of it. The suburban beer-gardens are abeady filled with 
people, and for some distance out of the city ■ the roads are 
thronged with hoUday-making Augsburgers repairing to various 
pleasure resorts in the neighboring country, and the peasantiy 
streaming cityward from the villages, their faces beaming in an- 
ticipation of unlimited quantities of beer. About every tenth 
person among the outgoing Augsburgers is carrying an accor- 
dion ; some playing merrily as they walk along, others preferring 
to carry theirs in blissful meditation on the good time in store 
immediately ahead, while a thoughtful majority have large um- 
brellas strapped to their backs. Music and song are heard on 
every hand, and as we wheel along together in sUence, enforced by 
an ignorance of each other's language, whichever way one looks, 
people in holiday attire and holiday faces are moving hither and 
thither. 

Some of the peasants are fearfully and wonderfully attired : 
the men wear high top-boots, polished from the sole to the up- 
permost hair's-breadth of leather ; black, broad-brimmed felt hats, 
frequently with a peacock's feather a yard long stuck through the 
band, the stem protruding forward, and the end of the feather be- 
hind ; and their coats and waistcoats are adorned with long rows 
of large, ancestral buttons. I am now in the Swabian district, and 
these buttons that form so conspicuous a part of the holiday attire 
are made of silver coins, and not infrequently have been handed 
down from generation to generation for several centuries, they be- 
ing, in fact, family heirlooms. The costumes of the Swabish peas- 
ant women are picturesque in the extreme : their finest dresses 
and that wondrous head-gear of brass, silver, or gold — the Schwa- 



GERMANY, ATJSTEIA, AND IIUNGAET. 131 

bische Bauernfrauenhauhe (Swabish farmer-woman hat) — being, like 
the buttons of the men, family heirlooms. Some of these won- 
derful ancestral dresses, I am told, contain no less than one hun- 
dred and fifty yards of heavy material, gathered and closely pleated 
in innumerable perpendicular folds, frequently over a foot thick, - 
making the form therein incased appear ridiculously broad and 
squatty. The waistbands of the dresses are up in the region of 
the shoulder-blades ; the upper portion of the sleeves are likevfise 
padded out to fearful proportions. 

The day is most lovely, the fields are deserted, and the roads 
and villages are alive with holiday-making peasants. In every 
village a tall pole is erected, and decorated from top to bottom with 
small flags and evergreen ■^'reaths. The little stone churches and 
the adjoining cemeteries are filled with worshippers chanting in 
solemn chorus ; not so preoccupied with their devotional exercises 
and spiritual meditations, however, as to prevent their calling one 
another's attention to me as I wheel past, craning their necks to 
obtain a better view, and, in one instance, an o'er-inquisitive wor- 
shipper even beckons for me to stop — this person both chanting 
and beckoning vigorously at the same time. 

Now my road leads through forests of dark firs ; and here I 
overtake a procession of some fifty peasants, the men and women 
alternately chanting in weird harmony as they trudge along the 
road. The men are bareheaded, carrying their hats in hand. 
Many of the women are barefooted, and the pedal extremities of 
others are incased in stockings of marvellous pattern ; not any are 
wearing shoes. All the colors of the rainbow are represented in 
their respective costumes, and each carries a large umbrella 
strapped at his back ; they are trudging along at quite a brisk 
pace, and altogether there is something weird and fascinating 
about the whole scene : the chanting and the surroundings. The 
variegated costumes of the women are the only bright objects amid 
the gloominess of the dark green pines. As I finally pass ahead, 
the unmistakable expressions of interest on the faces of the men, 
and the even rows of ivories displayed by the women, betray a di- 
verted attention. 

Near noon I arrive at the antiquated to-^vn of Dachau, and upon 
repairing to the gasthaus, an individual in a last week's paper col- 
lar, and with general appearance in keeping, comes forward and 
addresses me in quite excellent English, and during the dinner 



132 



FROM SAN FEAlSrCISCO TO TEHERAN. 



hour answers several questions concerning the country and the 
natives so intelligently that, upon departing, I ungrudgingly offer 
him the small tip customary on such occasions in Germany. " No, 




Whitsuntide in Bavaria. 



I thank you, very muchly," he replies, smiling, and shaking his 
head. " I am not an employe of the hotel, as you doubtless think ; 
I am a student of modem languages at the Munich University, 
visiting Dachau for the day." Several soldiers playing billiards in 



GERMANY, AUSTRIA, AND HUNGARY. 133 

tjie room grin broadly in recognition of tlie ludicrousness of the 
situation ; and I must confess that for the moment I feel like ask- 
ing one of them to draw his sword and charitably prod me out of 
the room. The unhappy memory of having, in my ignorance, ten- 
dered a smaU tip to a student of the Munich University will cling 
around me forever. Nevertheless, I feel that after all there are 
extenuating circumstances — he ought to change his paper collar 
occasionally. 

An hour after noon I am industriously dodging loose flints on 
the level road leading across the Isar KiverVaUey toward Munich ; 
the Tyrolese Alps loom up, shadowy and indistinct, in the distance 
to the southward, their snowy peaks recalling memories of the 
Rockies through which I was wheeling exactly a year ago. While 
wending my way along the streets toward the central portion of 
the Bavarian capital the familiar sign, "American Cigar Store," 
looking like a ray of Ught penetrating through the gloom and 
mystery of the multitudinous unreadable signs that surround it, 
greets my vision, and I immediately wend my footsteps thither- 
ward. I discover in the proprietor, Mr. Walsch, a native of Munich, 
who, after residing in America for several years, has returned to 
dream away declining years amid the smoke of good cigars and the 
quaffing of the delicious amber beer that the brewers of Munich 
alone know how to brew. Then who should happen in but Mr. 
Charles Buscher, a thorough-going American, from Chicago, who 
is studying art here at the Eoyal Academy of Fine Arts, and who 
straightway volunteers to show me Munich. 

Nine o'clock next morning finds me under the pilotage of Mr. 
Buscher, wandering through the splendid art galleries. We next 
visit the Eoyal Academy of Fine Arts, a magnificent building, be- 
ing erected at a cost of 7,000,000 marks. 

We repair at eleven o'clock to the royal residence, making a 
note by the way of a trifling mark of King Ludwig's well-known 
eccentricity. Opposite the palace is an old church, with two of its 
four clocks facing the King's apartments. The hands of these 
clocks are, according to my informant, made of gold. Some time 
since the King announced that the sight of these golden hands hurt 
his eyesight, and ordered them painted black. It was done, and 
they are black to-day. Among the most interesting objects in the 
palace are the room and bed in which Napoleon I. slept in 1809, 
and which has since been occupied by no other person ; the " rich 



134 FROM SAN FEAWCISCO TO TEHEEATST. 

bed," a gorgeous affair of pink and scarlet satin-work, on which 
forty women wove, with gold thread, daily, for ten years, until 
1,600,000 marks were expended. 

At one of the entrances to the royal residence, and secured with 
iron bars, is a large bowlder weighing three hundred and sixty- 
three pounds" ; in the wall above it are driven three spikes, the 
highest spike being twelve feet from the ground ; and Bavarian 
historians have recorded that Earl Christoph^ a famous giant, 
tossed this bowlder up to the mark indicated by the highest spike, 
with his foot. 

After this I am kindly warned by both Messrs. Buscher and 
Walsch not to think of leaving the city without visiting the Konig- 
liche Eofbrauhaus (Eoyal Court Brewery) the most famous place 
of its kind ia all Europe. For centuries Munich has been famous 
for the excellent quality of its beer, and somewhere about four cen- 
turies ago the king founded this famous brewery for the charitable 
purpose of enabling his poorer subjects to quench their thirst with 
the best quality of beer, at prices within their means, and from gen- 
eration to generation it has remained a favorite resort in Munich 
for lovers of good beer. In spite of its remaining, as of yore, a 
place of rude benches beneath equally rude, open sheds, with cob- 
webs festooning the rafters and a general air of dilapidation about 
it ; in spite of the innovation of dozens of modem beer-gardens 
with waving palms, electric lights, military music, and all modern 
improvements, the Konigliche Hofbrduhaus is daily and nightly 
thronged with thirsty visitors, who for the trifling sum of twenty- 
two pfennigs (about five cents) obtain a quart tankard of the most 
celebrated brew in all Bavaria. 

"Munich is the greatest art-centre of the world, the true hub 
of the artistic universe," Mr. Buscher enthusiastically assures me as 
we wander together through the sleepy old streets, and he points 
out a bright bit of old frescoing, which is already partly obliterated 
by the elements, and compares it with the work of recent years ; 
calls my attention to a piece of statuary, and anon pilots me down 
into a'restaurant and beer-hall in some ancient, underground vaults 
and bids me examine the architecture and the frescoing. The very 
custom-house of Munich is a glorious old church, that would be 
carefuUy preserved as a relic of no small interest and importance in 
cities less abundantly blessed with antiquities, but which is here 
piled with the cases and boxes and bags of commerce. 



GERMANY, AUSTRIA, AND HUNGARY. 135 

One other conspicuous featui-e of Munich life must not be over- 
looked ere I leave it, viz., the hackmen. Unlike their Transatlantic 
brethren, they appear supremely indifferent about whether they pick 
up any fares or not. Whenever one comes to a hack-stand it is a 
pretty sure thing to bet that nine drivers out of every ten are tak- 
ing a quiet snooze, reclining on their elevated boxes, entirely ob- 
livious of their surroundings, and a timid stranger would almost 
hesitate about disturbing their slumbers. But the Munich cabby 
has long since got hardened to the disagreeable process of being 
wakened up. Nor does this lethargy pervade the ranks of hackdom 
only : at least two-thirds of the teamsters one meets on the roads, 
hereabouts, are stretched out on their respective loads, contentedly 
sleeping while the horses or oxen crawl leisurely along toward their 
goal. 

Munich is visited heavily with rain during the night, and for 
several kilometres, next morning, the road is a horrible waste of 
loose flints and mud-filled ruts, along which it is all but impossible 
to ride ; but after leaving the level bottom of the Isar Eiver the 
road improves sufficiently to enable me to take an occasional, ad- 
miring glance at the Bavarian and Tyrolese Alps, towering cloud- 
ward on the southern horizon, their shadowy outlines scarcely dis- 
tinguishable in the hazy distance from the fleecy clouds their peaks 
aspire to invade. While absentmindedly taking a more lingering 
look than is consistent with safety when picking one's way along 
the narrow edge of the roadway between the stone-strewn centre 
and the ditch, I run into the latter, and am rewarded with my first 
Cis-atlantic header, but fortunately both myself and the bicycle 
come up uninjured. Unlike the Swabish peasantry, the natives east 
of Munich appear as prosy and unpicturesque in dress as a Kansas 
homesteader. 

Ere long there is noticeable a decided change in the character 
of the villages, they being no longer clusters of gabled cottages, 
but usually consist of some three or four huge, rambHng build- 
ings, at one of which I call for a drink and observe that brewing 
and baking are going on as though they were expecting a whole 
regiment to be quartered on them. Among other things I mentally 
note this morning is that the men actually seem to be bearing the 
drudgery of the farm equally with the women ; but the favorable 
impression becomes greatly imperilled upon meeting a woman har- 
nessed to a small cart, heavily laboring along, while her husband — 



136 FROM SAN FEANCI8CO TO TEHERAK. 

kind man — is walking along-side, holding on to a rope, upon which 
he considerately pulls to assist her along and lighten her task. 
Nearing Hoag, and thence eastward, the road becomes greatly im- 
proved, and along the Inn River Valley, from Muhldorf to Alt Get- 
ting, where I remain for the night, the late rain-storm has not 
reached, and the wheeling is superior to any I have yet had in Ger- 
many. Muhldorf is a curious and interesting old town. The side- 
walks of Mtihldorf are beneath long arcades from one end of the 
principal street to the other ; not modern structures either, but 
massive archways that are doubtless centuries old, and that sup- 
port the front rooms of the buildings that tower a couple of stories 
above them. 

As toward dusk I ride into the market square of Alt Getting, it 
is noticeable that nearly all the stalls and shops remaining open 
display nothing but rosaries, crucifixes, and other paraphernalia of 
the prevailing religion. Through Eastern Bavaria the people seem 
pre-eminently devotional ; church- spires dot the landscape at every 
point of the compass. At my hotel in Alt Getting, crucifixes, holy 
water, and burning tapers are situated on the dififerent stairway 
landings. I am sitting in my room, penning these lines to the 
music of several hundred voices chanting in the old stone church 
near by, and can look out of the window and see a number of peas- 
ant women taking turns in dragging themselves on their knees 
round and round a small religious edifice in the centre of the mar- 
ket square, carrying on their shoulders huge, heavy wooden crosses, 
the ends of which are traiUug on the ground. 

All down the Inn River Valley, there is many a picturesque bit 
of intermingled pine-copse and grassy slopes ; but admiring scen- 
ery is anything but a riskless undertaking along here, as I quickly 
discover. Gn the Inn River I find a primitive ferry-boat operated 
by & facsimile of the Ancient Mariner, who takes me and my wheel 
across for the consideration of five pfennigs — a trifle over one cent 
— and when I refuse the tiny change out of a ten-pfennig piece the 
old fellow touches his cap as deferentially, and favors me vrith a 
look of gratitude as profound, as though I were bestowing a pen- 
sion upon him for life. My arrival at a broad, well-travelled high- 
way at once convinces me that I have again been unwittingly wan- 
dering among the comparatively untravelled by-ways as the result 
of following the kindly meant advice of people whose knowledge of 
bicycling requirements is of the slimmest nature. The Inn River 



GERMANY, AUSTRIA, AND HUNGARY. 137 

has a warm, rich vale ; haymaking is ah-eady in full progress, and 
the delightful perfume is wafted on the fresh morning air from 
meadows where scores of barefooted Maud Mullers are raking hay, 
ay, and mowing it too, swinging scythes side by side with the 
men. Some of the out-door crucifixes and shrines (small, substan- 
tial buildings containing pictures, images, and all sorts of religi- 
ous emblems) along this valley are really quite elaborate affairs. 
AH through Eoman Catholic Germany these emblems of rehgion 
are very elaborate, or the reverse, according to the locality, the 
chosen spot in rich and fertile valleys generally being favored with 
better and more artistic affairs, and more of them, than the com- 
paratively unproductive uplands. This is evidently because the in- 
habitants of the latter regions are either less wealthy, and conse- 
quently cannot afford it, or otherwise realize that they have really 
much less to be thankful for than their comparatively fortunate 
neighbors in the more productive valleys. 

At the town of Simbach I cross the Inn River again on a substan- 
tial wooden bridge, and on the opposite side pass under an old stone 
archway bearing the Austrian coat-of-arms. Here I am conducted 
into the custom-house by an officer wearing the sombre uniform of 
Franz Josef, and required, for the first time in Europe, to produce 
my passport. After a critical and unnecessarily long examination 
of this document I am graciously permitted to depart. In an ad- 
jacent money-changer's office I exchange what German money I 
have remaining for the paper currency of Austria, and once more 
pursue my way toward the Orient, finding the roads rather better 
than the average German ones, the Austrian s, hereabouts at least, 
having had the goodness to omit the loose flints so characteristic 
of Bavaria. Once out of the valley of the Inn River, however, I 
find the uplands intervening between it and the valley of the Dan- 
ube aggravatingly hilly. 

While eating my first luncheon in Austria, at the village of 
Altheim, the village pedagogue informs me in good English that I 
am the first Briton he has ever had the pleasure of conversing with. 
He learned the language entirely from books, without a tutor, he 
says, learning it for pleasure solely, never expecting to utilize the 
accomplishment in any practical way. One hill after another 
characterizes my route to-day ; the weather, which has hitherto 
remained reasonably mild, is turning hot and sultry, and, arriving 
at Hoag about five o'clock, I feel that I have done sufficient hill- 



138 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAJST. 

climbing for one day. I have been wheeling through Austrian 
territory since 10.30 this morning, and, with observant eyes the 
whole distance, I have yet to see the first native, male or female, 
possessing in the least degree either a graceful figure or a prepos- 
sessing face. There has been a great horse-fair at Hoag to-day ; 
the business of the day is concluded, and the principal occupation 
of the men, apart from drinking beer and smoking, appears to be 
frightening the women out of their wits by leading prancing horses 
as near them as possible. 

My road, on leaving Hoag, is hilly, and the snowy heights of the 
Nordliche Kalkalpen (North Chalk Mountains), a range of the Aus- 
trian Alps, loom up ahead at an uncertain distance. To-day is what 
Americans call a " scorcher," and climbing hills among pine-woods, 
that shut out every passing breeze, is anything but exhilarating ex- 
ercise with the thermometer hovering in the vicinity of one hun- 
dred degrees. The peasants are abroad in their fields as usual, 
but a goodly proportion are reclining beneath the trees. Reclin- 
ing is, I think, a favorite pastime with the Austrian. The team- 
ster, who happens to be wide awake and sees me approaching, 
knows instinctively that his team is going to scare at the bicycle, 
yet he makes no precautionary movements whatever, neither does 
he arouse himself from his loUing position until the horses or oxen 
begin to swerve around. As a usual thing the teamster is filling 
his pipe, which has a large, ungainly-looking, porcelain bowl, a 
long, straight wooden stem, and a crooked mouth-piece. Almost 
every Austrian peasant from sixteen years old upward carries one 
of these uncomely pipes. 

The men here seem to be dull, uninteresting mortals, dressed 
in tight-fitting, and yet, somehow, ill-fitting, pantaloons, usually 
about three sizes too short, a small apron of blue ducking — an un- 
becoming garment that can only be described as a cross between a 
short jacket and a waistcoat — and a narrow-rimmed, prosy-looking 
billycock hat. The peasant women, are the poetry of Austria, as 
of any other European country, and in their short red dresses and 
broad-brimmed, gypsy hats, they look picturesque and interesting 
in spite of homely faces and ungraceful figures. Eiding into Lam- 
bach this morning, I am about wheeling past a horse and drag that, 
careless and Austrian-like, has been left untied and unwatched in 
the middle of the street, when the horse suddenly scares, swerves 
around just in front of me, and dashes, helter-skelter, down the 



GERMANY, AUSTRIA, AND HUNGARY. 139 

street. The horse circles around the market square and finally 
stops of his own accord without doing any damage. Eunaways, 
like other misfortunes, it seems, never come singly, and ere I have 
left Lambach an hour I am the innocent cause of yet another one ; 
this time it is a large, powerful work-dog, who becomes excited 
upon meeting me along the road, and upsets things in the most 
lively manner. Small carts pulled by dogs are common vehicles 
here, and this one is met coming up an incline, the man consider- 
ately giving the animal a lift. A life of drudgery breaks the spirit 
of these work-dogs and makes them cowardly and cringing. At 
my approach this one howls, and swerves suddenly around with a 
rush that upsets both man and cart, topsy-turvy, into the ditch, 
and the last glimpse of the rumpus obtained, as I sweep past and 
down the hill beyond, is the man pawing the air with his naked 
feet and the dog struggling to free himself from the entangling 
harness. 

Up among the hills, at the village of Strenburg, night arrives 
at a very opportune moment to-day, for Strenburg proves a nice, 
sociable sort of village, where the doctor can speak good English 
and plays the role of interpreter for me at the gasthaus. The 
school-ma'am, a vivacious Italian lady, in addition to French and 
German, can also speak a few words of English, though she per- 
sistently refers to herself as the "school-master." She boards at 
the same gasthaus, and all the evening long I am favored by the 
liveliest prattle and most charming gesticulations imaginable, while 
the room is half fiUed with her class of young lady aspirants to 
linguistic accomplishments, listening to our amusing, if not in- 
structive, efforts to carry on a conversation. It is altogether a most 
enjoyable evening, and on parting I am requested to write when 
I get around the world and tell the Strenburgers all that I have 
seen and experienced. On top of the gasthaus is a rude observa- 
tory, and before starting I take a view of the country. The out- 
look is magnificent ; the Austrian Alps are towering skyward to the 
southeast, rearing snow-crowned heads out from among a biUowy 
sea of pine-covered hills, and to the northward is the lovely valley 
of the Danube, the river glistening softly through the morning 
haze. 

On yonder height, overlooking the Danube on the one hand 
and the town of Molk on the other, is the largest and most im- 
posing edifice I have yet seen in Austria ; it is a convent of the 



140 



PEOM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 



Benedictine monks ; and though Molk is a solid, substantially 
built town, of perhaps a thousand inhabitants, I should think there 
is more material in the immense convent building than in the 
whole town besides, and one naturally wonders whatever use the 
monks can possibly have for a building of such enormous dimen- 
sions. 

Entering a barber's shop here for a shave, I find the barber fol- 




The Barber of Molk. 



lowing the example of so many of his countrymen by snoozing the 
mid-day hours happily and unconsciously away. One could easily 
pocket and walk off with his stock-in-trade, for small is the danger 
of his awakening. Waking him up, he shuffles mechanically over 
to his razor and lathering apparatus, this latter being a soup-plate 
with a semicircular piece chipped out to fit, after a fashion, the 
contour of the customers' throats. Pressing this jagged edn'e of 



GERMANY, AUSTRIA, AND HUNGART. 141 

queen's-waxe against your ■windpipe, the artist alternately rubs the 
water and a cake of soap therein contained about your face with 
his hands, the water meanwhile passing freely between the ill-fit- 
ting soup-plate and your throat, and running down your breast ; 
but don't complain ; be reasonable : no reasonable-minded person 
could expect one soup-plate, however carefully chipped out, to fit 
the throats of the entire male population of Molk, besides such 
travellers as happen along. 

Spending the night at Neu Lengbach, I climb hiUs and wabble 
along, over rough, lumpy roads, toward Vienna, reaching the 
Austrian capital Sunday morning, and putting up at the Englischer 
Z?o/" about noon. At Vienna I determine to make a halt of two 
days, and on Tuesday pay a visit to the headquarters of the Vienna 
Wanderers' Bicycle Club, away out on a suburban street called 
Schmmmschulenstrasse ; and the club promises that if I will delay 
my departure another day they will get up a small party of wheel- 
men to escort me seventy kilometres, to Presburg. The bicycle 
clubs of Vienna have, at the "Wanderers' headquarters, constructed 
an excellent race-track, three and one-third laps to the English mile, 
at an expense of 2,000 gulden, and this evening several of Austiia's 
fliers are training upon it for the approaching races. English and 
American wheelmen little understand the difficulties these Vienna 
cyclers have to contend with : all the city inside the Eingstrasse, 
and no less than fifty streets outside, are forbidden to the mounted 
cyclers, and they are required to ticket themselves with big, glaring 
letters, as also their lamps at night, so that, in case of violating any 
of these regulations, they can by their number be readily recog- 
nized by the police. Self-preservation compels the clubs to exer- 
cise every precaution against violating the police regulations, in 
order not to excite popular prejudice overwhelmingly against bicy- 
cles, and ere a new rider is permitted to venture outside their own 
grounds he is hauled up before a regularly organized committee, 
consisting of officers from each club in Vienna, and required to 
go through a regular examination in mounting, dismounting, and 
otherwise proving to their entire satisfaction his proficiency in 
managing and manceuvi-ing his wheel ; besides which every cycler 
is provided with a pamphlet containing a list of the streets he may 
and may not frequent. In spite of all these harassing regulations, 
the Austrian capital has already two hundi-ed riders. 

The Viennese impress themselves upon me as being possessed 



142 FROM SAN FEANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

of more than ordinary individuality. Yonder comes a man, walking 
languidly along, and carrying his hat in his hand, because it is 
warm, and just behind him comes a feUow-citizen muffled up in an 
overcoat because — because of Viennese individuality. The people 
seem to walk the streets with a swaying, happy-go-anyhow sort of 
gait, colliding with one another and jostling together on the side- 
walk in the happiest manner imaginable. 

At five o'clock on Thursday morning I am dressing, when I 
am notified that two cyclers are awaiting me below. Church-bells 
are clanging joyously all over Vienna as we meander toward sub- 
urbs, and people are already streaming in the direction of the St. 
Stephen's Church, near the centre of the city, for to-day is Frohn- 
leichnam (Coi-pus Christi), and the Emperor and many of the great 
ecclesiastical, civil, and military personages of the empire 'will pass 
in procession with all pomp and circumstance ; and the average 
Viennese is not the person to miss so important an occasion. Three 
other wheelmen are awaiting us in the suburbs, and together we 
ride through the waving barley-fields of the Danube bottom to 
Schwechat, for the light breakfast customary in Austria, and thence 
onward to Petronelle, thirty kilometres distant, where we halt a 
few minutes for a Corpus Christi procession, and drink a glass of 
white Hungarian wine. Near Petronelle are the remains of an old 
Roman waU, extending from the Danube to a lake called the Neu- 
sledler See. My companions say it was built 2,000 years ago, when 
the sway of the Romans extended over such ]parts of Europe as 
were worth the trouble and expense of swaying. The roads are 
found rather rough and inferior, on account of loose stones and 
uneven surface, as we push forward toward Pr^sburg, passing 
through a dozen villages whose streets are carpeted with fresh-cut 
grass, and converted into temporary avenues, with branches stuck in 
the ground, in honor of the day they are celebrating. At Hamburtr 
we pass beneath an archway nine hundred years old, and wheel 
on through the grass-carpeted streets between rows of Hungarian 
soldiers drawn up in line, with green oak-sprigs in their hats ; the 
villagers are swarming from the church, whose bells are filling the 
air with their clangor, and on the summit of an over- shadowing cliff 
are the massive ruins of an ancient castle. Near about noon we 
roll into Presburg, warm and dusty, and after dinner take a stroll 
through the Jewish quarter of the town up to the height upon 
which Presburg castle is situated, and from which a most extensive 



144 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

and beautiful view of the Danube, its wooded bluffs and broad, rich 
bottom-lands, is obtainable. At dinner the waiter hands me a 
card, which reads : " Pardon me, but I believe you are an English- 
man, in which case I beg the privilege of drinking a glass of wine 
with you." The sender is an English gentleman residing at Buda- 
pest, Hungary, who, after the requested glass of wine, tells me that 
he guessed who 1 was when he first saw me enter the garden with 
the five Austrian wheelmen. 

My Austrian escort rides out with me to a certain cross-road, 
to make sure of heading me direct toward Budapest, and as we 
part they bid me good speed, with a hearty " Eljen I " — the Hunga- 
rian "Hip, hip, hui-rah." After leaving Presburg and crossing over 
into Hungary the road-bed is of a loose gravel that, during the dry 
weather this country is now experiencing, is churned up and loos- 
ened by every passing vehicle, until one might as well think of rid- 
ing over a ploughed field. But there is a fair proportion of ridable 
side-paths, so that I make reasonably good time. Altenburg, my 
objective point for the night, is the centre of a sixty-thousand-acre 
estate belonging to the Archduke Albrecht, uncle of the present 
Emperor of Austro-Hungary, and one of the wealthiest land-owners 
in the empire. Ere I have been at the gasthaus an hour I am hon- 
ored by a visit from Professor Thallmeyer, of the Altenburg Royal 
Agricultural School, who invites me over to his house to spend an 
hour in conversation, and in the discussion of a bottle of Hungary's 
best vintage, for the learned professor can talk very good English, 
and his wife is of English birth and parentage. Although Frau 
Thallmeyer left England at the tender age of two years, she calls 
herself an Englishwoman, speaks of England as " home," and wel- 
comes to her house as a countryman any wandering Briton hap- 
pening along. I am no longer in a land of small peasant proprie- 
tors, and there is a noticeably large proportion of the land devoted 
to grazing purposes, that in Prance or Germany would be found 
divided into small farms, and every foot cultivated. Villages are 
farther apart, and are invariably adjacent to large commons, on 
which roam flocks of noisy geese, herds of ponies, and cattle with 
horns that would make a Texan blush — the long-horned roadsters 
of Hungary. The costumes of the Hungarian peasants are both 
picturesque and novel, the women and girls wearing top-boots and 
short dresses on holiday occasions and Sundays, and at other times 
short dresses without any boots at all ; the men wear loose-flowing 



GEKMANY, AUSTRIA, AND HUNGARY. 145 

pantaloons of white, coarse linen tliat reach just below the knees, 
and which a casual observer would unhesitatingly pronounce a 
short skirt, the material being so ample. Hungary is still practi- 
cally a land of serfs and nobles, and nearly every peasant encoun- 
tered along the road touches his cap respectfully, in instinctive 
acknowledgment, as it were, of his inferiority. Long rows of 
women are seen hoeing in the fields vntli watchful overseers stand- 
ing over them — a scene not unsuggestive of plantation life in the 
Southern States in the days of slavery. If these gangs of women 
are not more than about two hundred yards from the road their 
inquisitiveness overcomes every other consideration, and dropj)ing 
everything, the whole crowd comes helter-skelter across the field to 
obtain a closer view of the strange vehicle ; for it is only in the 
neighborhood of one or two of the principal cities of Hungary that 
one ever sees a bicycle. 

Gangs of gypsies are now frequently met with ; they are dark- 
skinned, interesting people, and altogether different-looking from 
those occasionally encountered in England and America, where, al- 
though swarthy and dark-skinned, they bear no comparison in that 
respect to these, whose skin is wellnigh black, and whose gleaming 
white teeth and brilliant, coal-black eyes stamp them plainly as 
alien to the race around them. Bagged, unwashed, happy gangs 
of vagabonds these stragglers appear, and regular droves of par- 
tially or wholly naked youngsters come raciag after me, calling out 
" kreuzer ! kreuzer ! kreuzer ! " and holding out hand or tattered 
hat in a supplicating manner as they run along-side. Unlike the 
peasantry, none of these gypsies touch their hats ; indeed, yon 
swarthy-faced vagabond, arrayed mainly in gewgaws, and eyiag me 
curiously with his piercing black eyes, may be priding himself on 
having royal blood in his veins ; and, unregenerate chicken-lifter 
though he doubtless be, would scarce condescend to touch bis tat- 
tered tile even to the Emperor of Austria. The black eyes scintil- 
late as they take notice of what they consider the great wealth of 
sterling silver about the machiae I bestride. Eastward from Alten- 
burg the main portion of the road continues for the most part un- 
ridably loose and heavy. 

For some kilometres out of Eaab the road presents a far better 
surface, and I ride quite a lively race with a small Danube passen- 
ger steamer that is starting down-stream. The steamboat toots and 
forges ahead, and in answer to the waving of hats and exclamations 
10 



146 FROM SAN FEANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

of encouragement from the passengers, I likewise forge ahead, and 
although the boat is going down-stream with the strong current 
of the Danube, as long as the road continues fairly good I manage 
to keep in advance ; but soon the loose surface reappears, and when 
I arrive at Gonys, for lunch, I find the steamer already tied up, and 
the passengers and officers greet my appearance with shouts of rec- 
ognition. My route along the Danube Valley leads through broad, 
level wheat-fields that recall memories of the Sacramento Valley, 
CaUfomia. Geese appear as the most plentiful objects around the 
villages : there are geese and goslings everywhere ; and this even- 
ing, in a small village, I wheel quite over one, to the dismay of the 
maiden driving them homeward, and the unconcealed delight of 
several small Hungarians. 

At the village of Nezmely I am to-night treated to a foretaste of 
what is probably in store for me at a goodly number of places 
ahead by being consigned to a bunch of hay and a couple of sacks 
in the stable as the best sleeping accommodations the vUlage gast- 
haus afibrds. True, I am assigned the place of honor in the man- 
ger, which, though uncomfortably narrow and confining, is perhaps 
better accommodation, after all, than the peregrinating tinker and 
three other hkely-iooking characters are enjoying on the bare floor. 
Some of these companions, upon retiring, pray aloud at unseemly 
length, and one of them, at least, keeps it up in his sleep at frequent 
intervals through the night ; horses and work-cattle are rattling 
chains and munching hay, and an uneasy goat, with a bell around 
his neck, fills the stable with an incessant tinkle tiU dawn. Black 
bread and a cheap but very good quaUty of white wine seem about 
the only refreshment obtainable at these little villages. One asks 
in vain for milck-brod, butter, kcise, or in fact anything acceptable 
to the English palate ; the answer to all questions concerning these 
things is "nicht, nicht, nicht." — "What have you, then?" I some- 
times ask, the answer to which is almost invariably " brod und wein." 
Stone-yards thronged with busy workmen, chipping stone for ship- 
ment to cities along the Danube, are a feature of these river-side 
villages. The farther one travels the more frequently gypsies are 
encountered on the road. In almost every band is a maiden, who, 
by reason of real or imaginary beauty, occupies the position of pet 
of the camp, wears a profusion of beads and trinkets, decorates 
herself with wild flowers, and is permitted to do no manner of 
drudgery. Some of these gypsy maidens are really quite beautiful 



GERMANY, AUSTP.IA, AXD HUNGARY. 147 

iu spite of their very dai-k complexions. Their eyes glisten with 
inborn avai-ice as I sweep past on my " silver " bicycle, and in their 
astonishment at my strange appearance and my evidently enormous 
wealth they almost forget their plaintive waU of " kreuzer ! kreu- 
zer ! " a cry which readily bespeaks their origin, and is easily recog- 
nized as an echo from the land where the cry of " backsheesh " is 
seldom out of the traveller's hearing. 

The roads east of Nezmely ai-e variable, flint-strewn ways pre- 
dominating ; otherwise the way would be very agreeable, since the 
gradients are gentle, and the dust not over two inches deep, as 
against three in most of Austro-Hungary thus far traversed. The 
weather is broUing hot ; but I worry along perseveringly, through 
rough and smooth, toward the land of the rising sun. Nearing Buda- 
pest the roads become somewhat smoother, but at the same time hill- 
ier, the country changing to vine-clad slopes ; and all along the un- 
dulating ways I meet wagons laden with huge wine-casks. Reaching 
Budapest in the afternoon, I seek out Mr. Kosztovitz, of the Buda- 
pest Bicycle Club, and consul of the Cj'clists' Touiing Club, who 
proves a most agreeable gentleman, and who, besides being an en- 
thusiastic cycler, talks English perfectly. There is more of the sport- 
ing spirit iu Budapest, perhaps, than in any other city of its size on 
the Continent, and no sooner is my arrival known than I am taken 
in hand and practically compelled to remain over at least one day. 
Svetozar Igali, a noted cycle tourist of the village of Duna SzekesiJ, 
now visiting the international exhibition at Budapest, volunteers to 
accompany me to Belgrade, and perhaps to Constantinople. I am 
rather surprised at finding so much cychng enthusiasm in the Hun- 
garian capital. Mr. Kosztovitz, who lived some time in England, 
and was president of a bicycle club there, had the honor of bring- 
ing the first wheel into the AustroHungai-ian empire, in the autumn 
of 1879, and now Budapest alone has three clubs, aggregating nearly 
a hundred riders, and a still greater number of non-riding mem- 
bers. 

Cyclers have far more liberty accorded them in Budapest than 
in Vienna, being permitted to roam the city almost as untrammelled 
as in London, this happy condition of affairs being partly the re- 
sult of Mr. Kosztovitz's diplomacy in presenting a ready drawn-up 
set of rules and regulations for the government of wheelmen to 
the police authorities when the first bicycle was introduced, and 
partly to the police magistrate, being himself an enthusiastic all- 



148 FROM SAX FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN". 

'round sportsman, inclined to patronize anything in the way of 
athletics. They are even experimenting in the Hungarian army 
with the view of organizing a bicycle despatch service ; and I am 
told that they already have a bicycle despatch in successful opera- 
tion in the Bavarian army. In the evening I am the club's guest at 
a supper under the shade-trees in the exhibition grounds. Mr. 
Kosztovitz and another gentleman who can speak EngUsh act as in- 
terpreters, and here, amid the merry clinking of champagne-glasses, 
the glare of electric lights, with the ravishing music of an Hunga- 
rian gypsy band on our right, and a band of swarthy Servians play- 
ing their sweet native melodies on our left, we, among other toasts, 
drink to the success of my tour. There is a cosmopoHtan and 
exceedingly interesting crowd of visitors at the international ex- 
hibition : natives from Bulgaria, Servia, Eoumania, and Turkey, in 
their national costumes ; and mingled among them are Hungarian 
jjeasants from various provinces, some of them in a remarkably 
picturesque dress, that I afterward learn is Croatian. 

A noticeable feature of Budapest, besides a predilection for 
sport among the citizens, is a larger proportion of handsome ladies 
than one sees in most European cities, and there is, moreover, a 
certain atmosphere about them that makes them rather agreeable 
company. If one is traveUing around the world with a bicycle, it 
is not at all inconsistent with Budapest propriety for the wife of 
the wheelman sitting opposite you to remark that she wishes she 
were a rose, that you might wear her for a button-hole bouquet on 
your journey, and to ask whether or not, in that case, you would 
throw the rose away when it faded. Compliments, pleasant, yet 
withal as meaningless as the coquettish glances and fan-play that 
accompany them, are given with a freedom and liberality that put 
the sterner native of more western countries at his wits' end to re- 
turn them. But the most delightful thing in all Hungary is its 
gypsy music. As it is played here beneath its own sunny skies, 
methinks there is nothing in the wide world to compare with it^ 
The music does not suit the taste of some people, however ; it is 
too wild and thrilling. Budapest is a place of many languages, 
one of the waiters in the exhibition caf6 claiming the ability to 
speak and understand no less than fourteen different languages and 
dialects. 

Nine wheelmen accompany me some distance out of Budapest 
on Monday morning, and Mr. Philipovitz and two other members 



GERMANY, AUSTRIA, AND HUNGARY. 149 

continue with Igali and me to Duna Pentele, some seventy-five 
miles distant ; this is our first sleeping-place, the captain making 
me his guest iintil our separation and departure in different direc- 
tions, next morning. Dui-ing the fierce heat of mid-day we halt for 
about three hours at Adony, and spend a pleasant after-dinner 
hour examining the trappings and trophies of a noted sporting gen- 
tleman, and witnessing a lively and interesting set-to with fen- 
cing foils. There is everything in fire-arms in his cabinet, from an 
English double-barrelled shot-gun to a tiny air-pistol for shooting 
flies on the walls of his sitting-room ; he has swords, oars, gymnas- 
tic paraphernalia — in fact, everything but boxing gloves. 

Arriving at Duna Pentele early in the evening, before supper 
we swim for an hour in the waters of the Danube. At 9.30 p.m. 
two of oiu- little company board the up-stream-bound steamer for 
the return home, and at ten o'clock we are proposing to retire for 
the night, when lo, in come a half-dozen gentlemen, among them 
llr. XJjvarii, whose private wine-cellar is celebrated all the country 
round, and who now proposes that we postpone going to bed long 
enough to pay a short visit to his cellar and sample the "finest 
wine in Hungary." This is an invitation not to be resisted by 
ordinary mortals, and accordingly we accept, following the gentle- 
man and his friends through the dark streets of the village. Along 
the dark, cool vault penetrating the hill-side Mr. tJjviSrii leads the 
way between long rows of wine-casks, heber * held in ai"m like a 
sword at dress parade. The heber is first inserted into a cask of 
red wine, with a. perfume and flavor as agreeable as the rose it re- 
sembles in color, and cai-ried, full, to the reception end of the vault 
by the coipulent host with the stately air of a monarch bearing 
his sceptre. After two rounds of the red wine, two hebers of 
champagne are brought — champagne that plays a fountain of dia- 
mond spray three inches above the glass. The following toast is 
proposed by the host : " The prosperity and welfare of England, 
America, and Hungary, three countries that are one in their love 
and appreciation of sport and adventure.'' The Hungarians have 
all the Anglo-American love of sport and adventure. 

* A glass combination of tube and flask, holding about three pints, with an 
orifice at each end and tlie bulb or flask near the upper orifice ; the wine is 
sucked up into the flask with the breath, and when withdrawn from the ca.«k 
the index finger is held over the lower orifice, from which the glasses are 
filled by manipulations of the finger. 



150 FROM SAN FEANCrSCO TO TEHERAN. 

From Budapest to Paks, about one liundrecl and twenty kilo-t 
metres, the roads are superior to anything I expected to find east 
of Germany ; but the thermometer clings around the upper regions, 
and everything is covered with dust. Our route leads down the 
Danube in an almost directly southern course. 

Instead of the poplars of France, and the apples and pears of 
Germany, the roads are now fringed witli mulberry-trees, both 
raw and manufactured silk being a product of this part of Hun- 
gary. 

My companion is what in England or America would be con- 
sidered a " character ; '' he dresses in the thinnest of racing cos- 
tumes, through which the broiling sun readily penetrates, wears 
racing-shoes, and a small jockey-cap with an enormous poke, be- 
neath which glints a pair of " specs ; " he has rat-trap pedals to his 
wheel, and winds a long blue girdle several times around his waist, 
consumes raw eggs, wine, milk, a certain Hungarian mineral water, 
and otherwise excites the awe and admiration of his sport-admiring 
countrymen. Igali's only fault as a road companion is his utter 
lack of speed, six or eight kilometres an hour being his natural 
pace on average roads, besides footing it up the gentlest of gradi- 
ents and over all rough stretches. Except for this little drawback, 
he is an excellent man to take the lead, for he is a genuine Magyar, 
and orders the peasantry about with the authoritative manner of 
one born to rule and tyrannize ; sometimes, when the surface is un- 
even for wheeling, making them drive their cliimsj' ox-wagons 
almost into the road-side ditch iu oi'der to avoid any possible chance 
of difficulty in getting past. Igali knows four languages : French, 
German, Hungarian, and Slavonian, but Anglaise nicht, though with 
what little French and German I have j^icked up while crossing 
those countries we manage to converse and understand each other 
quite readily, especially as I am, from constant practice, getting to 
be an accomplished pantomimist, and IgaU is also a pantomimist 
by nature, and gifted with a versatility that would make a French- 
man envious. Ere we have been five minutes at a gasthaus Igali is 
usually found surrounded by an admiring circle of leading citizens 
— not peasants ; Igali would not suffer them to gather about him 
— pouring into their willing ears the account of my journey ; the 
words, " San Francisco, Boston, London, Paris, Wien, Pesth, Bel- 
grade, Constantinople, Afghanistan, India, Khiva," etc., which are 
repeated in rotation at wonderfully short intervals, being about all 



GERMATSTT, AUSTRIA, AND HUNGARY. 151 

that my linguistic abilities are capable of grasping. The road con- 
tinues hard, but south of Paks it becomes rather rough ; conse- 
quently, halts under the shade of the mulberry-trees for Igali to 
catch up are of frequent occurrence. 

The peasantry, hereabout, seem very kindly disposed and hos- 
pitable. Sometimes, while lingering for Igali, they -will wonder 
what I am stopping for, and motion the questions of whether I wish 
anything to eat or drink ; and this afternoon one of them, whose 
curiosity to see how I mounted overcomes his patience, offers me a 
twenty-kreuzer piece to show him. At one village a number of 
peasants take an old cherry-woman to task for charging me two 
kreuzers more for some cherries than it appears she ought, and al- 
though two kreuzers are but a farthing they make quite a squabble 
with the poor old woman about it, and will be soothed by neither 
her voice nor mine until I accept another handful of cherries in lieu 
of the overcharged two kreuzers. 

Szekszard has the reputation, hereabout, of producing the best 
quality of red wine i?! all Hungary — no small boast, by the way — 
and the hotel and wine-gardens here, among them, support an ex- 
cellent gypsy band of fourteen pieces. Mr. Gari'iy, the leader of 
the band, once spent nearly a year in America, and after supper the 
band plays, with all the thrilling sweetness of the Hungarian muse, 
"Home, sweet Home," " Yankee Doodle," and "Sweet Violets," for 
my especial delectation. 

A wheelman the fame of whose exploits has preceded him 
might as well try to wheel through hospitable Hungary without 
breathing its atmosphere as without drinking its wine ; it isn't pos- 
sible to taboo it as I tabooed the vin ordinaire of France, Hunga- 
rians and Frenchmen being two entirely different people. 

Notwithstanding music until 11.30 p.m., yesterday, we are on 
the road before six o'clock this morning — for genuine, unadulter- 
ated Hungarian music does not prevent one getting up bright and 
fresh next day — and about noon we roll into Duna Szekeso, Igali's 
native town, where we have decided to halt for the remainder of 
the day to get our clothing washed, one of my shoes repaired, and 
otherwise i^repare for our journey to the Ssrvian capital. Duna 
Szekeso is a calling-place for the Danube steamers, and this after- 
noon I have the opportunity of taking obsei-vations of a gang of 
Danubian roustabouts at their noontide meal. They are a swarthy, 
wild-looking crowd, wearing long hair parted in the middle, or not 



152 FEOM SAN FRAA'CISCO TO TEHEEAN. 

parted at all ; to their national costume are added the jaunty trap- 
pings affected by river men in all countries. Their food is coarse 
black bread and meat, and they take turns in drinking wine from 
a wooden tube protruding from a two-gallon watch-shaped cask, 
the body of which is composed of a section of hollow log instead of 
staves, lifting the cask up and drinking from the tube, as they 
would from the bung-hole of a beer-keg. Their black bread would 
hardly suit the palate of the Western world ; but there are doubt- 
less a few individuals on both sides of the Atlantic who would will- 
ingly be transformed into a Danubian roustabout long enough to 
make the acquaintance of yonder rude cask. 

After bathing in the river we call on several of Igali's friends, 
among them the Greek priest and his motherly-looking vrife, Igali 
being of the Greek religion. There appears to be the greatest 
familiarity between the priests of these Greek churches and their 
people, and during our brief visit the priest, languid-eyed, fat, and 
jolly, his equally fat and joUy wife, and Igali, caress playfully, and 
cut up as many antics as three kittens in a bay window. The far- 
ther one travels southward the more amiable and affectionate in 
disposition the people seem to become. 

Five o'clock next morning finds us wheeling out of Duna Sze- 
keso, and dm-ing the forenoon we pass through Baranyavar, a col- 
ony of Greek Hovacs, where the women are robed in white drapery 
as scant as the statuary which the name of their religion calls to 
memory. The roads to-day are variable ; there is little but what is 
ridable, but much that is rough and stony enough to compel slow 
and careful wheeling. Early in the evening, as we wheel over the 
bridge spanning the Eiver Drave, an important tributary of the 
Danube, into Eszek, the capital of Slavonia, unmistakable rain- 
signs appear above the southern horizon. 



CHAPTER Vri. 

THEOUGH SLAVONIA AND SERVIA. 

The editor of Der Drau, the semi-weekly official organ of the 
Slavonian capital, and Mr. Freund, being the two citizens of Eszek 
capable of speaking English, join voices at the supper-table in hop- 
ing it will rain enough to compel us to remain over to-morrow, 
that they may have the pleasure of showing us around Eszek 
and of inviting us to dinner and supper ; and Igali, I am con- 
strained to believe, retires to his couch in full sympathy with 
them, being possessed of a decided weakness for stopping over and 
accepting invitations to dine. Their united wish is gratified, for 
when we rise in the morning it is still raining. 

Eszek is a fortified city, and has been in time past an important 
fortress. It has lost much of its importance since the introduction 
of modern arms, for it occupies perfectly level ground, and the for- 
tifications consist merely of large trenches that have been excavated 
and walled, with a view of preventing the city from being taken by 
storm — not a very overshadowing consideration in these days, when 
the usual mode of procedure is to stand off and bombard a citj' into 
the conviction that further resistance is useless. After dinner the 
assistant editor of Der Drau comes around and pilots us about the 
city and its pleasant environments. The worthy assistant editor is 
a sprightly, versatile Slav, and, as together we promenade the parks 
and avenues, the number and extent of which appear to be the chief 
glory of Eszek, the ceaseless flow of language and wellnigh contin- 
uous interchange of gesticulations between himself and Igali are 
quite wonderful, and both of them certainly ought to retire to-night 
far more enlightened individuals than thej' found themselves this 
morning. 

The Hungarian seems in a particularly happy and gracious 
mood to-day, as I instinctively felt certain he would be if the fates 
decreed against a continuation of our journey. When our com- 
panion's conversation tiu-us on any particularly interesting sub- 



154 FROM SAW FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

ject I am graciously given the benefit of it to the extent of some 
French or German word the meaning of which, Igali has discovered, 
I understand. During the afternoon we wander through the intri- 
cacies of a yew-shrub maze, where a good-sized area of impenetrably 
thick vegetation has been trained and trimmed into a bewildering 
j net- work of arched walks that almost exclude the light, and IgaU 
pauses to favor me with the information that this maze is the favor- 
ite trysting place of Slavonian nymphs and swains, and further- 
more expresses his opinion that the spot must be indeed romantic 
and an appropriate place to " come a-wooin' " on nights when the 
moonbeams, penetrating through a thousand tiny interspaces, con- 
vert the gloomy interior into chambers of dancing light and shadow. 
All this information and these comments are embodied in the two 
short words, " Amour, luna," accompanied by a few gesticulations, 
and is a fair sample of the manner in which conversation is carried 
on between us. It is quite astonishing how readily two persons 
constantly together will come to understand each other through the 
medium of a few words which they know the meaning of in com- 
mon. 

Scores of ladies and gentlemen, the latter chiefly miUtary offi- 
cers, are enjoying a promenade in the rain-cooled atmosphere, and 
there is no mistaking the glances of interest with which many of 
them favor — Igali. His pronounced sportsmanlike make-up at- 
tracts universal attention and causes everybody to mistake him for 
myself— a kindly office which I devoutly wish he would fiU until 
the whole journej' is accomplished. In the Casino garden a dozen 
bearded musicians are playing Slavonian airs, and, by request of 
the assistant editor, they play and sing the Slavonian national an- 
them and a popular air or two besides. The national musical in- 
strument of Slavonia is the "tamborica" — a smaU steel-stringed 
instrument that is twanged with a chip-like piece of wood. Their 
singing is excellent in its way, but to the writer's taste there is no 
comparison between their tamboricas and the gypsy music of Hun- 
gary. 

There are no bicycles in all Eszek save ours— thouo-h Mr. 
Freund, who has lately returned from Paris, has ordered one, with 

which he expects to win the admiration of all his countrymen 

and Igali and myself are lionized to our hearts' content ; but this 
evening we are quite startled and taken aback by the reappearance 
of the assistant editor, excitedly announcing the arrival of a tricycle 



THROUGH SLAVONIA AND SERVIA. 155 

in town ! Upon going down, in breathless anticipation of summar- 
ilj- losing the universal admiration of Eszek, we find an itinerant 
cobbler, who has constructed a machine that would make the rudest 
bone-shaker of ancient memory seem hke the most elegant product 
of Hartford or Coventry in comparison. The backbone and axle- 
tree are roughly hewn sticks of wood, ironed equally rough at the 
village blacksmith's ; and as, for a twenty-kreuzer piece, the rider 
mounts and wobbles all over the sidewalk for a short distance, the 
spectacle would make a stoic roar with laughter, and the good peo- 
ple of the Lower Danubian provinces are anything but stoical. 

Sis o'clock nest morning finds us travelling southward into the 
interior of Slavonia ; but we are not mounted, for the road pre- 
sents an unridable surface of mud, stones, and ruts, that causes my 
companion's favorite ejaciilatory espletive to occur with more than 
its usual frequency. For a portion of the waj- there is a narrow 
siclepath that is fairly ridable, but an uuiuvitingly deep ditch runs 
unpleasantly near, and no amount of persuasion can induce my 
copnpanion to attempt wheeling along it. IgaH's bump of cautious- 
ness is fully developed, and day by day, as we journey together, I 
am becoming more and more convinced that he would be an inval- 
uable companion to have accompany one around the world ; true, 
the journey would occupy a decade, or thereabout, but one would 
be morally certain of coming out safe and sound in the end. 

During our progression southwaixl there has been a percepti- 
ble softening in the disposition of the natives, this being more no- 
ticeably a marked characteristic of the Slavonians ; the generous 
southern sun, shining on the great area of Oriental gentleness, 
casts a softening influence toward the sterner north, imparting to 
the people amiable and genial dispositions. It takes but compara- 
tively small deeds to win the admiration and applause of the 
natives of the Lower Danube, wth their chUdlike manners ; and, 
by slowly meandering along the roadways of Southern Hungary 
occasionally with his bicycle, Igali has become the pride and ad- 
miration of thousands. 

For mile after mUe we have to trundle our way slowly along the 
muddy highway as best we can, our road leading through a flat and 
rather swampy area of broad, waving wheat-fields ; we reheve the 
tedium of the journey bj' whistling, alternately, " Yankee Doodle,"' 
to which IgaU has taken quite a fancy since first healing it played 
by the gypsy band in the wine-garden at Szekszard three days ago, 



156 FKOM SAW FRANCISCO TO TEHERAIT. 

and the Hungarian national air — this latter, of course, falling to 
Igali's share of the entertainment. Having been to college in 
Paris, IgaU is also able to contribute the famous Marseillaise 
hymn, and, not to be outdone, I favor him with " God Save the 
Queen" and "Britannia Eules the Waves," both of which he thinks 
very good tunes — the former seeming to strike his Hungarian ear, 
however, as rather solemn. In the middle of the forenoon we 
make a brief halt at a rude road-side tavern for some refreshments 
— a thick, narrow slice of raw, fat bacon, white with salt, and a 
level pint of red wine, satisfying my companion ; but I substitute 
for the bacon a sHce of coarse, black bread, much to Igali's won- 
derment. Here are congregated several Slavonian shepherds, in 
their large, ill-fitting, sheejDskin garments, with the long wool 
turned inward — clothes that apparently serve them alike to keep 
out the summer's heat and the winter's cold. One of the peas- 
ants, with ideas a trifle befuddled with wine, perhaps, and face all 
aglow with admiration for our bicycles, produces a tattered memo- 
randum and begs us to favor him with our autographs, an act that 
of itself proves him to be not without a degree of intelligence one 
would scarcely look for in a sheepskin-chid shepherd of Slavonia. 
Igali gruffly bids the man " begone," and aims a careless kick at the 
proffered memorandum ; but seeing no harm in the request, and, 
moreover, being perhaps by nature a trifle more considerate of 
others, I comply. As he reads aloud, " United States, America," to 
his comrades, they one and all lift their hats quite reverently and 
place their brown hands over their hearts, for I suppose they 
recognize in my ready compliance with the simple request, in com- 
parison with Igali's rude rebuff — which, by the way, no doubt 
comes natural enough — the difference between the land of the 
prince and peasant, and the land where "liberty, equality, and 
fraternity " is not a meaningless motto — a land which I find every 
down-trodden peasant of Europe has heard of, and looks upward 
to. 

Soon after this incident we are passing a prune-orchard, when, 
as though for our especial benefit, a couple of peasants working 
there begin singing aloud, and with evident enthusiasm, some 
national melody, and as they observe not our presence, at my sug- 
gestion we crouch behind a convenient clump of bushes and for 
several minutes are favored with as fine a duet as I have heard for 
many a day ; but the situation becomes too ridiculous for Igali, 



158 FllOM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHEKAN. 

and it finally sends him into a roar of laughter that causes the per- 
formance to terminate abruptly, and, rising into full view, we 
doubtless repay the singers by letting them see us mount and ride 
into their native village, but a few hundred yards distant. 

We are to-day passing through villages where a bicycle has 
never been seen — this being outside the area of Igali's peregrina- 
tions — and the whole population invariably turns out en masse, 
clerks, proprietors, and customers in the shops unceremoniously 
dropping everything and running to the streets ; there is verily a 
hurrying to and fro of all the citizens ; husbands hastening fi'om 
magazine to dv^elling to inform their wives and families, mothers 
running to call their children, children their parents, and every- 
body scampering to call the attention of their sisters, cousins, and 
aunts, ere we are vanished in the distance, and it be everlastingly 
too late. 

We have been worrying along at some sort of pace, with the ex- 
ception of the usual noontide halt, since six o'clock this morning, 
and the busy mosquito is making life interesting for belated way- 
farers, when we ride into Sarengrad and put up at the only gasl- 
haus in the village. Our bedroom is situated on the ground floor, 
the only floor in fact the gasthaus boasts, and we are in a fair way 
of either being lulled to sleep or kept awake, as the case may be, 
by a howling chorus of wine-bibbers in the public room adjoining ; 
but here, again, Igali shows up to good advantage by peremptorily 
ordering the singers to stop, and stop instanter. The amiably dis- 
posed peasants, notwithstanding the wine they have been drinking, 
cease their singing and become silent and circumspect, in defer- 
ence to the wishes of the two strangers with the wonderful ma- 
chines. We now make a practice of taking our bicycles into our 
bedroom with us at night, otherwise every right hand in the whole 
village would busy itself pinching the "gum-elastic" tires and 
pedal-rubbers, twirling the pedals, feeling spokes, backbone, and 
forks, and critically examining and commenting upon every visible 
portion of the mechanism ; and who knows but that the latent cu- 
pidity of some easy-conscienced villager might be aroused at the 
unusual sight of so much " silver " standing around loose (the na- 
tives hereabout don't even ask whether the nickelled parts of the 
bicycle are silver or not ; they take it for granted to be so), and 
surreptitiously attempt to chisel off enough to purchase an em- 
broidered coat for Sundays? From what I can understand of 



TIIUOUGH SLAVONIA AND SEKVIA. 159 

their comments among tliemselves, it is perfectly consistent with 
their ideas of the average Englishman that he should bestride a 
bicycle of soUd silver, and if their vocabulary embraced no word 
corresponding to our "millionnaire,'' and they desired to use one, 
they would probably pick upon the word " Englander " as the most 
appropriate. While we are making our toilets in the morning- 
eager faces are peeriug inquisitively through the bedroom windows ; 
a murmur of voices, criticizing us and our strange vehicles, greets 
our waking moments, and our privacy is often invaded, in spite of 
IgaU's inconsiderate treatment of them whenever they happen to 
cross his path. 

Many of the inhabitants of this part of Slavonia are Croatians 
— people who are noted for their fondness of finery ; and, as on 
this sunny Sunday morning we wheel through their villages, the 
crowds of peasantry who gather about us in all the bravery of their 
best clothes present, indeed, an appearance gay and picturesque be- 
yond, anything hitherto encountered. The garments of the men 
are covered with braid-work and silk embroidery wherever such 
ornamentation is thought to be an embellishment, and, to the Cro- 
atian mind, that means pretty much everywhere ; and the girls and 
women are arrayed in the gayest of colors ; those displaying the 
brightest hues and the greatest contrasts seem to go tripping along 
conscious of being irresistible. Many of the Croatian peasants 
are fine, strapping fellows, and very handsome women are observed 
in the villages — women with great, dreamy eyes, and faces with an 
expression of languor that bespeaks their owners to be gentleness 
personified. Igali shows evidence of more susceptibility to female 
charms than I should naturally have given him credit for, and 
shows a decided incHnation to linger in these beauty-blessed villages 
longer than is necessary, and as one dark-eyed damsel after another 
gathers around us, I usually take the initiative in mounting and 
clearing out. 

Were a man to go suddenly flapping his way through the 
streets of London on the long-anticipated flying-machine, the aver- 
age Cockney would scarce betray the unfeigned astonishment that 
is depicted on the countenances of these Croatian villagers as we 
ride into their midst and dismount. 

This afternoon my bicycle causes the first runaway since the 
trifling affair at Lembach, Austria. A brown-faced peasant woman 
and a little girl, driving a small, shaggy pony harnessed to a bas- 



160 FROM SAN FEANCISCO TO TEIIEEATT. 

ket-work, four-wheeled vehicle, are approaching ; their humble- 
looking steed betrays no evidence of restiveness until just as I am 
turning out to pass him, when, without warning, he gives a swift, 
sudden bound to the right, nearly upsetting the vehicle, and with- 
out more ado bolts down a considerable embankment and goes 
helter-skelter across a field of standing grain. 

The old lady pluckily hangs on to the reins, and finally succeeds 
in bringing the runaway around into the road again without damag- 
ing anything save the corn. It might have ended much less satis- 
factorily, however, and the iacident illustrates one possible source 
of trouble to a 'cycler travelling alone through countries where the 
people neither understand, nor can be expected to understand, a 
wheelman's position ; the situation would, of course, be aggravated 
in a country vUlage where, not speaking the language, one could 
not make himself understood in his own defence. These people 
here, if not wise as serpents, are at least harmless as doves ; but, in 
case of the bicycle frightening a team and causing a runaway, with 
the unpleasant sequel of broken Umbs, or injured horse, they would 
scarce know what to do in the premises, since they would have no 
precedent to govern them, and, in the absence of any intelligent 
guidance, might conclude to wreak summary vengeance on the bi- 
cycle. In such a case, would a wheelman be justified in using his 
revolver to defend his bicycle ? 

Such is the reverie into which I fall while reclining beneath a 
spreading mulberry-tree waiting for Igali to catch up ; for he has 
promised that I shall see the Slavonian national dance sometime 
to-day, and a village is now visible in the distance. At the Danube- 
side vUlage of Hamenitz an hour's halt is decided upon to give me 
the promised opportunity of witnessing the dance in its native land. 
It is a novel and interesting sight. A round hundred young gal- 
lants and maidens are rigged out in finery such as tio other people 
save the Croatian and Slavonian peasants ever wear — the young 
men braided and embroidered, and the damsels having their hair 
entwined with a profusion of natural flowers in addition to their 
costumes of all possible hues. Forming themselves into a large 
ring, distributed so that the sexes alternate, the young men extend 
and join their hands in front of the maidens, and the latter join 
hands behind their partners ; the steel-strung tamboricas strike up 
a lively twanging air, to which the circle of dancers endeavor to 
shuffle time with their feet, while at the same time moving around 



THROUGH SLAVONIA AND SERVIA. 161 

in a circle. Livelier and faster twang the tamborieas, and more 
and more animated becomes the scene as the dancing, shuffling 
ring endeavors to keep pace with it. As the fun progi-esses into 
the fast and furious stages the youths' hats have a knack of getting 
into a jaunty position on the side of their heads, and the wearers' 
faces assume a reckless, flushed appearance, like men half intoxi- 
cated, while the maidens' bright eyes and beaming faces betoken 
unutterable happiness ; finally the music and the shuffling of feet 
terminate with a rapid flourish, everybody kisses everybody — save, 
of course, mere luckless onlookers like Igali and myself — and the 
Slavonian national dance is ended. 

To-night we reach the strongly fortified town of Peterwardein, 
opposite which, just across a pontoon bridge spanning the Dan- 
ube, is the larger city of Neusatz. At Hamenitz we met Professor 
Zaubaur, the editor of the Uj Videk, who came down the Danube 
ahead of us by steamboat ; and now, after housing our machines 
at our gasthaus in Peterwardein, he pilots us across the pontoon 
bridge in the twilight, and into one of those wine-gardens so uni- 
versal in this part of the world. Here at Neusatz I listen to the 
genuine Hungarian gypsy miisic for the last time on the Euro- 
pean tour ere bidding the territory of Hungary adieu, for Neusatz 
is on the Hungarian side of the Danube. The professor has evi- 
dently let no grass grow beneath his feet since leaving us scarcely 
an hour ago at Hamenitz, for he has, in the mean time, ferreted out 
.the only English-speaking person at present in town, the good 
Prau Sclirieber, an Austrian lady, formerly of Vienna, but now at 
Neusatz with her husband, a well-known advocate. This lady 
talks English quite fluently. Though not yet twenty-five she is 
very, very wise, and among other things she informs her admiring- 
friends gathered round about us, listening to the — to them — unin- 
telligible flow of a foreign language, that Englishmen are " very grave 
beings," a piece of information that wrings from Igali a really 
sympathetic response — nothing less than the startling announce- 
ment that he hasn't seen me smile since we left Budapest to- 
gether, a week ago ! " Having seen the Slavonian, I ought by all 
means to see the Hungarian, national dance," Frau Schrieber says ; 
adding, " It is a nice dance for Englishmen to look at, though it is 
so very gay that English ladies would neither dance it nor look at 
it being danced." Ere parting company with this entertaining lady 
she agrees that, if I will but remain in Hungary permanently, she 
11 



162 FROM SAN FEANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

knows of a very handsome fraulein of sixteen summers, -who, hav- 
ing heard of my "wonderful journey," is already predisposed in my 
favor, and with a little friendly tact and management on her — Frau 
Schrieber's — part would no doubt be wilUng to waive the formalities 
of a long courtship, and yield up hand and heart at my request ! 
I can scarcely think of breaking in twain my trip around the world 
even for so tempting a prospect, and I recommend the fair Hun- 
garian to Igali ; but " the fraulein has never heard of Herr Igali, 
and he will not do." 

"Will the fraulein be willing to wait until my journey around 
the world is completed ? " 

" Yes ; she vill vait mit much pleezure ; I viU zee dat she vait ; 
und I know you vill return, for an Englishman alvays forgets his 
promeezes.'' Henceforth, when Igali and myself enter upon a 
programme of whistling, " Yankee Doodle " is supplanted by " The 
girl I left behind me," much to his annoyance, since, not under- 
standing the sentiment responsible for the change, he thinks " Yan- 
kee Doodle " a far better tune. So much attached, in fact, has 
Igali become to the American national air, that he informs the pro- 
fessor and editor of Uj Videk of the circumstance of the band play- 
ing it at Szekszard. As, after supper, several of us promenade 
the streets of Neusatz, the professor links his arm in mine, and, 
taking the cue from Igali, begs me to favor him by whistling it. I 
try my best to palm this patriotic duty off on Igali, by paying flatter- 
ing compliments to his style of whistling ; but, after all, the duty falls, 
on me, and I whistle the tune softly, yet merrily, as we walk along, 
the professor, spectacled and wise-looking, meanwhile exchanging 
numerous nods of recognition with his fellow-Neusatzers we meet. 

The provost-judge of Neusatz shares the honors with Frau 
Schrieber of knowing more or less English ; but this evening the 
judge is out of town. The enterprising professor lies in wait for 
him, however, and at 5.30 on Monday morning, while we are dress- 
ing, an invasion of our bed-chamber is made by the professor, the 
jolly-looking and portly provost-judge, a Slavonian lieutenant of 
artillery, and a druggist friend of the others. The provost-judge 
and the lieutenant actually own bicycles and ride them, the only 
representatives of the wheel in Neusatz and Peterwardein, and the 
judge is " very angry" — as he expresses it — that Monday is court 
day, and to-day an unusually busy one, for he would be most happy 
to wheel with us to Belgrade. 



inROUGII SLAVONIA AND SERVIA. 163 

The lieutenant fetches his wheel and accompanies us to the next 
village. Peterwardein is a strongly fortified place, and, as a po- 
sition commanding the Danube so completely, is furnished with 
thirty guns of large calibre, a battery certainly not to be despised 
when posted on a position so commanding as the hill on which 
Peterwardein fortress is built. As the editor and others at Eszek, 
so here the professor, the judge, and the druggist unite in a friend- 
1}' protest against my attempt to wheel through Asia, and more es- 
pecially through China, " for everybody knows it is quite danger- 
ous,'' they say. These people cannot possibly understand why it is 
that an Englishman or American, knowing of danger beforehand, 
will stiU venture ahead ; and when, in reply to their questions, I 
modestly announce my intention of going ahead, notwithstanding- 
possible danger and probable difficulties, they each, in turn, shake 
my hand as though reluctantly resigning me to a reckless deter- 
mination, and the judge, acting as spokesman, and echoing and in- 
terpreting the sentiments of his companions, exclaims, " England 
and America forever ! it is ze grandest peeples on ze world ! " 
The lieutenant, when questioned on the subject by the judge and 
the professor, simply shrugs his shoulders and says nothing, as be- 
comes a man whose first duty is to cultivate a supreme contempt 
for danger in all its forms. 

They all accompany us outside the city gates, when, after 
mutual farewells and assurances of good-will, we mount and wheel 
away down the Danube, the lieutenant's big mastiff trotting soberly 
alongside his master, while Igali, sometimes in and sometimes out 
of sight behind, brings up the rear. After the lieutenant leaves 
us we have to trundle our weary way up the steep gradients of the 
Fruskagora Mountains for a number of kilometres. For Igali it 
is quite an adventurous morning. Ere we had left the shadows 
of Peterwardein fortress he upset while wheeling beneath some 
overhanging mulberry-boughs that threatened destruction to his 
jockey-cap ; soon after parting company with the lieutenant he gets 
into an altercation with a gang of gypsies about being the cause of 
their horses breaking loose from their picket-ropes and stampeding, 
and then making uncivil comments upon the circumstance ; an 
hour after this he overturns again and breaks a pedal, and when we 
dismount at Indjia, for our noontide halt, he discovers that his 
saddle-spring has snapped in the middle. As he ruefuUy surveys 
the breakage caused by the roughness of the Fruskagora roads, and 



164 FllOM SAN FEANCISCO TO TEHEEAN. 

sends out to scour the village for a mechanic capable of undertak- 
ing the repairs, he eyes my Columbia wistfully, and asks me for 
the address where one like it can be obtained. The blacksmith is 
not prepared to mend the spring, although he makes a good job 
of the pedal, and it takes a carpenter and his assistant from 1.30 
to 4.30 P.M. to manufacture a grooved piece of wood to fit between 
the spring and backbone so that he can ride with me to Belgrade. 
It would have been a fifteen-minute task for a Yankee carpenter. 

We have been traversing a spur of the Pruskagora Mountains all 
the morning, and our progress has been slow. The roads through 
here are mainly of the natural soil, and correspondingly bad ; but 
the glorious views of the Danube, with its alternating wealth of 
green woods and greener cultivated areas, fully recompense for the 
extra toil. Prune-orchards, the trees weighed down with fruit yet 
green, clothe the hiU-sides with their luxuriance ; indeed, the whole 
broad, rich valley of the Danube seems nodding and smiling in the 
consciousness of overflowing plenty ; for days we have traversed 
roads leading through vineyards and orchards, and broad areas 
with promising-looking grain-crops. 

It is but thirty kilometres from Indjia to Semlin, on the river- 
bank opposite Belgrade, and since leaving the Pruskagora Moun- 
tains the country has been a level plain, and the roads fairly smooth. 
But Igali has naturally become doubly cautious since his succession 
of misadventures this morning, and as, while waiting for him to 
overtake me, I recline beneath the mulberry-trees near the vUlage 
of Batainitz and survey the blue mountains of Servia looming up 
to the southward through the evening haze, he rides up and pro- 
poses Batainitz as our halting-place for the night, adding persua- 
sively, " There will be no ferry-boat across to Belgrade to-night, and 
we can easily catch the first boat in the morning." I reluctantly 
agree, though advocating going on to Semlin this evening. 

While our supper is being prepared we are taken in hand by the 
leading merchant of the village and " turned loose " in an orchard 
of small fruits and early pears, and from thence conducted to a 
large gypsy encampment in the outskirts of the villan-e, where in 
acknowledgment of the honor of our visit — and a few kreuzers by 
way of supplement — the "flower of the camp," a bloomin^ damsel 
about the shade of a total eclipse, kisses the backs of our hands 
and the men play a strumming monotone with sticks and an in- 
verted wooden trough, while the women dance in a most Uvely and 



THROUGH SLAVONIA AND SERVIA. 165 

not ungraceful manner. These gj'psy bands are a happy crowd of 
vagabonds, looking as though they had never a single care in all 
the world ; the men wear long, flowing hair, and to the ordinary 
costume of the peasant is added many a gewgaw, worn with a care- 
less, jaunty grace that fails not to carry with it a certain charm in 
spite of unkempt locks and dirty faces. The women wear a mini- 
mum of clothes and a profusion of beads and trinkets, and the 
children go stark naked or partly dressed. 

Unmistakable evidence that one is approaching the Orient ap- 
pears in the semi-Oriental costumes qI the peasantry and roving 
gypsy bands, as we gradually near the Servian capital. An Oriental 
costume in Eszek is sufficiently exceptional to be a novelty, and so 
it is until one gets south of Peterwardein, when the national cos- 
tumes of Slavonia and Croatia are gradually merged into the tas- 
selled fez, the many-folded waistband, and the loose, flowing pan- 
taloons of Eastern lands. Here at Batainitz the feet are encased in 
rude raw-hide moccasins, bound on with leathern thongs, and the 
ankle and calf are bandaged with many folds of heavy red material, 
also similarly bound. The scene around our gasthans, after our 
arrival, resembles a populai' meeting ; for, although a few of the 
villagers have been to Belgrade and seen a bicycle, it is only within 
the last sis months that Belgrade itself has boasted one, and the 
great majority of the Batainitz people have simply heard enough 
about them to whet their curiosity for a closer acquaintance. More- 
over, from the interest taken in my tour at Belgrade on account of 
the bicycle's recent introduction in that capital, these villagers, but 
a dozen kilometres away, haVe heard more of my journey than 
people in villages fai-ther north, and their curiosity is roused in 
proportion. 

We are astir by five o'clock next morning ; but the same curious 
crowd is making the stone corridors of the rambling old gasthaus im- 
passable, and fiUing the space in front, gazing curiously at us, and 
commenting on our appearance whenever we' happen to become 
visible, while waiting with commendable patience to obtain a glimpse 
of our wonderful machines. They are a motley, and withal a ragged 
assembly; old women devoutly cross themselves as, after a slight 
repast of bread and milk, we sally forth with our wheels, prepai-ed 
to start ; and the spontaneous murmur of admiration which breaks 
forth as we mount becomes louder and more pronounced as I turn 
in the saddle Eind doff my helmet in deference to the homage paid 



166 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

US by hearts which are none the less warm because hidden beneath 
the rags of honest poverty and semi-civilization. It tates but little 
to win the hearts of these rude, unsophisticated people. A two 
hours' ride from Batainitz, over level and reasonably smooth roads, 
brings us into Semlin, quite an important Slavonian city on the 
Danube, nearly opposite Belgrade, which is on the same side, but 
separated from it by a large tributary called the Save. Ferry-boats 
ply regularly between the two cities, and, after an hour spent in 
hunting up different officials to gain permission for Igali to cross 
over into Servian territory without having a regular traveller's pass- 
port, we escape from the madding crowds of SemHnites by board- 
ing the ferry-boat, and ten minutes later are exchanging signals 
with three Servian wheelmen, who have come down to the landing 
in full uniform to meet and welcome us to Belgrade. 

Many readers will doubtless be as surprised as I was to learn 
that at Belgrade, the capital of the little Kingdom of Servia, inde- 
pendent only since the Treaty of Berlin, a bicycle club was organ- 
ized in January, 1885, and that now, in June of the same year, they 
have a promising club of thirty members, twelve of whom are 
riders owning their own wheels. Their club is named, in French, 
La Societe Velocipedique Serbe ; in the Servian language it is un- 
pronounceable to an Anglo-Saxon, and printable only with Slav 
type. The president, Milorade M. Nicolitch Terzibachitch, is the 
Cyclists' Touring Club Consul for Servia, and is the southeastern 
picket of that organization, their club being the extreme 'cycle out- 
post in this direction. Our approach has been announced before- 
hand, and the club has thoughtfully " seen " the Servian authorities, 
and so far smoothed the way for our entrance into their country that 
the officials do not even make a pretence of examining my passport 
or packages — an almost unprecedented occiirrence, I should say, 
since they are more particular about passports here than perhaps 
in any other European country, save Eussia and Turkey. 

Here at Belgrade I am to part company with Igali, who, by the 
way, has applied for, and just received, his certificate of appoint- 
ment to the Cyclists' Touring Club Consulship of Puna Szekesii 
and Mohacs, an honor of which he feels quite proud. True, there 
is no other 'cycler in his whole district, and hardly likely to be for 
some time to come ; but I can heartily recommend him to any 
wandering wheelman happening down the Danube Valley on a 
tour ; he knows the best wine-cellars in all the country round, and 



TIIKOXJGII SLAVONIA AND SERVIA. 167 

besides being an agreeable and accommodating road companion, 
wiU prove a salutary check upon the headlong career of anyone 
disposed to over-exertion. I am not yet to be abandoned entirely 
to my own resources, however ; these hospitable Servian wheel- 
men couldn't think of such a thing. I am to remain over as their 
guest till to-morrow afternoon, when Mr. Douchan Popovitz, the 
best rider in Belgrade, is delegated to escort me through Servia 
to the Bulgarian frontier. When I get there I shall not be much 
astonished to see a Bulgarian wheelman offer to escort me to 
Roumelia, and so on clear to Constantinople ; for I certainly never 
expected to find so jolly and enthusiastic a company of 'cyclers in 
this corner of the world. 

The good fellowship and hospitality of this Servian club know 
no bounds ; Igali and I are banqueted and di'iven about in carriages 
all day. 

Belgrade is a strongly fortified city, occupying a commanding 
hill overlooking the Danube ; it is a rare old town, battle-scarred 
and rugged ; having been a frontier position of importance in a 
country that has been debatable ground between Turk and Christian 
for centuries, it has been a coveted prize to be won and lost on the 
diplomatic chess-board, or, worse still, the foot-ball of contending 
armies and wranghng monarchs. Long before the Ottoman Turks 
first appeared, like a small dark cloud, no bigger than a man's 
hand, upon the southeastern horizon of Europe, to extend and 
overwhelm the budding flower of Christianity and civilization in 
these fairest portions of the continent, Belgrade was an important 
Eoman fortress, and to-day its national museum and antiquarian 
stores are particularly rich in the treasure-trove of Byzantine an- 
tiquities, unearthed from time to time in the fortress itself and the 
region round about that came under its protection. So plentiful, 
indeed, are old coins and relics of aU sorts at Belgrade, that, as I 
am standing looking at the collection in the window of an antiquary 
shop, the proprietor steps out and presents me a small handful of 
copper coins of Byzantium as a sort of bait that might perchance 
tempt one to enter and make a closer inspection of his stock. 

By the famous Treaty of Berlin the Servians gained their com- 
plete independence, and their country, from a principality, paying 
tribute to the Sultan, changed to an independent kingdom with a 
Servian on the throne, owing allegiance to nobody, and the people 
have not yet ceased to show, in a thousand little ways, their thorough 



168 FKOM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

appreciation of the change ; besides filling the picture-galleries of 
their museum with portraits of Servian heroes, battle-flags, and 
other gentle reminders of their past history, they have, among 
other practical methods of manifesting how they feel about the 
departure of the dominating crescent from among them, turned 
the leading Turkish mosque into a gas-house. One of the most 
interesting relics in the Servian capital is an old Koman well, 
dug from the brow of the fortress hill to below the level of the 
Danube, for furnishing water to the city when cut off from the liver 
by a besieging army. It is an enormous affair, a tubular brick 
wall about forty feet in circumference and two hundred and fifty 
feet deep, outside of which a stone stairway, winding round and 
round the shaft, leads from top to bottom. Openings through the 
wall, six feet high and three wide, occur at regular intervals all the 
way down, and, as we follow our ragged guide down, down into 
the damj) and darkness by the feeble light of a tallow candle in a 
broken lantern, I cannot help thinking that these o'erhandy open- 
ings leading into the dark, watery depths have, in the tragic his- 
tory of Belgrade, doubtless been responsible for the mysterious 
disappearance of m'ore than one objectionable person. It is not 
without certain involuntary misgivings that I take the lantern from 
the guide — whose general appearance is, by the way, hardly calcu- 
lated to be reassuring — and, standing in one of the openings, peer 
<lown into the darksome depths, with him hanging on to my coat 
as an act of precaution. 

The view from the ramparts of Belgrade fortress is a magnifi- 
cent panorama, extending over the broad valley of the Danube — 
which here winds about as though trying to bestow its favors with 
impartiality upon Hungary, Servia, and Slavonia — and of the Save. 
The Servian soldiers are camped in small tents in various parts of 
the fortress grounds and its environments, or loUing under the shade 
of a few scantily verdured trees, for the sun is to-day broiling hot. 
With a population not exceeding one and a half million, I am told 
that Servia supports a standing army of a hundred thousand men ; 
and, when required, every man in Servia becomes a soldier. As one 
lands from the ferry-boat and looks about him he needs no inter- 
preter to inform him that he has left the Occident on the other 
side of the Save, and to the observant stranger the streets of Bel- 
grade furnish many a novel and interesting sight in the way of 
fanciful costumes and phases of Oriental life here encountered for 



TIIKOUGII SLAVONIA AND SEEVIA. 169 

the first time. In the afternoon we visit the national museum of 
old coins, ai-ms, and Eoman and Servian antiquities. 

A banquet in a wine-garden, where Servian national music is 
dispensed by a band of female musicians, is given us in the evening 
by the club, and royal quarters are assigned us for the night at the 
hospitable mansion of Mi-. Terzibachitch's father, who is the mer- 
chant-prince of Servia, and purveyor to the court. Wednesday 
morning we take a general ramble over the citj, besides visiting the 
club's head-quarters, where we find a handsome new album has been 
purchased for receiving our autographs. The Belgrade wheelmen 
have names painted on their bicycles, as names are painted on 
steamboats or yachts: "Fairy," "Good Luck," and "Servian 
Queen," being fair specimens. The cyclers here are sons of leading 
citizens and business men of Belgrade, and, while they dress and 
conduct themselves as becomes thorough gentlemen, one fancies 
detecting a certain wild expression of the eye, as though their civ- 
ilization were scarcely yet established ; in fact, this peculiar expres- 
sion is more noticeable at Belgrade, and is apparently more general 
here than at any other place I visit in Europe. I apprehend it to 
be a peculiarity that has become hereditary with the citizens, from 
their city having been so often and for so long the theatre of un- 
certain fate and distracting political disturbances. It is the half- 
startled expression of people with the ever-present knowledge of 
insecurity. But they are a warm-hearted, impulsive set of fellows, 
and when, while looking through the museum, we happen across 
Her Britannic Majesty's representative at the Servian court, who is 
doing the same thing, one of them unhesitatingly approaches that 
gentleman, cap in hand, and, with considerable enthusiasm of man- 
ner, announces that they have with them a countryman of his who 
is riding around the world on a bicycle. This cooler-blooded and 
dignified gentleman is not near so demonstrative in his acknowl- 
edgment as they doubtless anticipated he would be ; whereat they 
appear quite puzzled and mystified. 

Three carriages with cyclers and their friends accompany us a 
dozen kilometres out to a wayside viehana (the Oriental name here- 
abouts for hotels, wayside inns, etc.) ; Douchan Popovitz, and Hugo 
Tichy, the captain of the club, will ride forty-five kilometres with me 
to Semendria, and at i o'clock we mount our wheels and ride away 
southward into Servia. Arriving at the mehana, wine is brought, 
and then the two Servians accompanying me, and those returning. 



170 FKOM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHEEAN. 

kiss each other, after the manner and custom of their country ; then 
a general hand-shaking and well-wishes all around, and the car- 
riages turn toward Belgrade, while we wheelmen alternately ride 
aud trundle over a muddy- — for it has rained since noon — and 
mountainous road till 7.30, when relatives of Douchan Popovitz, in 
the village of Grotzka, kindly offer us the hospitality of theii- house 
till morning, which we hesitate not to avail ourselves of. When 
about to part at the mehana, the immortal IgaU unwinds from 
around his waist that long blue girdle, the arranging and rearrang- 
ing of which has been a familiar feature of the last week's expe- 
riences, and presents it to me for a souvenir of himself, a courtesy 
which I return by presenting him with several of the Byzantine 
coins given to me by the Belgrade antiquary as before mentioned. 

Beyond Semendria, where the captain leaves us for the return 
journey, we leave the course of the Danube, which I have been fol- 
lowing in a general way for over two weeks, and strike due south- 
ward up the smaller, but not less beautiful, valley of the Morava 
Eiver, where we have the intense satisfaction of finding roads that 
are both dry and level, enabHng us, in spite of the broiling heat, to 
bowl along at a sixteen-kilometre pace to the village, where we 
halt for dinner and the usual three hours noontide siesta. Seeing 
me jotting down my notes with a short piece of lead-pencil, the 
proprietor of the mehana at Semendria, where we take a parting 
glass of wine with the captain, and who admires America and the 
Americans, steps in-doors for a minute, and returns with a telescopic 
pencil-case, attached to a silken cord of the Servian national colors, 
which he places around my neck, requesting me to wear it around 
the world, and, when I arrive at my journey's end, sometimes to 
think of Servia. 

With Igali's sky-blue girdle encompassing my waist, and the 
Servian national colors fondly encircling my neck, I begin to feel 
quite a heraldic tremor creeping over me, and actually surprise my- 
self casting wistful glances at the huge antiquated horse pistol 
stuck in yonder bull-whacker's ample waistband ; moreover, I reaUy 
think that a pair of these Servian moccasins would not be bad 
foot-gear for riding the bicycle ! All up the Morava Valley the 
roads continue far better than I have expected to find in Servia, and 
we wheel merrily along, the Eesara Mountains covered with dark 
pine forests, skirting the valley on the right, sometimes rising into 
peaks of quite respectable proportions. The sun sinks behind 



THROUGH SLAVONIA AND SEEYIA. 171 

tlie receding hills, it grows dusk, and finally dark', save the feeble 
light vouchsafed by the new moon, and our destination still lies sev- 
eral kilometres ahead. But at about nine we roll safely into Jago- 
diaa, well-satisfied Avith the consciousness of having covered one 
hundred and forty-five kilometres to-day, in spite of delaying our 
start in the morning until eight o'clock, and the twenty kilometres 
of indifferent road between Grotzka and Semendria. There has 
been no reclining under road-side mulberry-trees for my compan- 
ion to catch up to-day, however ; the Servian wheelman is altogether 
a speedier man than Igali, and, whether the road is rough or 
smooth, level or hilly, he is found close behind my rear wheel ; my 
own shadow follows not more faithfully than does the " best rider 
in Servia." 

We start for Jagodina at 5.30 next morning, finding the roads 
a little heavy with sand in places, but otherwise all that a wheelman 
could wish. Crossing a bridge over the Morava Eiver, into Tchu- 
pria, we are required not only to foot it across, but to pay a toll for 
the bicycles, like any other wheeled vehicle. At Tchupria it seems as 
though the whole town must be depopulated, so great is the throng 
of citizens that swarm about us. Motley and picturesque even in 
their rags, one's pen utterly fails to convey a correct idea of their 
appearance ; besides Servians, Bulgarians, and Turks, and the 
Greek priests who never fail of being on hand, now appear Rou- 
manians, wearing huge sheep-skin busbies, with the long, ragged 
edges of the wool dangling about eyes and ears, or, in the case of 
a more " dudish " person, clipped around smooth at the brim, mak- 
in"- the head-gear look like a small, round, thatched roof. Urchins, 
whose daily duty is to promenade the family goat around the streets, 
join in the procession, tugging their bearded charges after them ; 
and a score of dogs, overjoyed bej'ond measure at the general com- 
motion, romp about, and bark their joyous ap^Droval of it all. To 
have crowds like this following one out of town makes a sensitive 
person feel uncomfortably like being chased out of a community 
for borrowing chickens by moonlight, or on account of some irregu- 
larity concerning hotel bills. On occasions like this Orientals 
seemingly have not the slightest sense of dignity ; portly, well- 
dressed citizens, priests, and military officers press forward among 
the crowds of peasants and unwashed frequenters of the streets, 
evidently more delighted with things about them than they have 
been for many a day before. 



172 FEOM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERABT. 

At Delegrad we wheel through the battle-field of the same name, 
where, in 1876, Turks and Servians were arrayed against each other. 
These battle-scarred hills above Delegrad command a glorious view 
of the lower Morava Valley, which is hereabouts most beautiful, 
and just broad enough for its entire beauty to be comprehended. 
The Servians won the battle of Delegrad, and as I pause to admire 
the glorious prospect to the southward from the hills, methinks 
their general showed no little sagacity in opposing the invaders at 
a spot where the Morava Vale, the jewel of Servia, was spread out 
like a panorama below his position, to fan with its loveliness the 
patriotism of his troops — they could not do otherwise than win, with 
the fairest portion of their well-beloved country spread out before 
them like a picture. A large cannon, captured from the Turks, is 
standing on its carriage by the road-side, a mute but eloquent wit- 
ness of Servian prowess. 

A few miles farther on we halt for dinner at Alesinatz, near the 
old Servian boundary -line, also the scene of one of the greatest bat- 
tles fought during the Servian struggle for independence. The 
Turks were victorious this time, and fifteen thousand Servians and 
three thousand Eussian allies yielded up their lives here to superior 
Turkish generalship, and Alexiuatz was burned to ashes. The 
Russians have erected a granite monument on a hill overlooking 
the town, in memory of their comrades who perished in this fight. 

The roads to-day average even better than yesterday, and at six 
o'clock we roll into Nisch, one hundred and twenty kilometres from 
our starting-point this morning, and two hundred and eighty from 
Belgrade. As we enter the city a gang of convicts working on the 
fortifications forget their clanking shackles and chains, and the 
miseries of their state, long enough to greet us with a boisterous 
howl of approval, and the guards who are standing over them for 
once, at least, fail to check them, for their attention, too, is wholly 
engrossed in the same wondrous subject. Nisch appears to be a 
thoroughly Oriental city, and here I see the first Turkish ladies, 
with their features hidden behind their white yashmals. 

At seven or eight o'clock in the morning, when it is compara- 
tively cool and people are patronizing the market, trafficking and 
bartering for the day's supply of provisions, the streets present quite 
an animated appearance ; but during the heat of the day the scene 
changes to one of squalor and indolence ; respectable citizens are 
smoking nargilehs (Mark Twain's "hubble-bubble"), or sleeping 



THROUGH SLAVONIA AND SEEVIA. 173 

somewhere out of sight ; business is generally suspended, and in 
every shady nook and corner one sees a swarthy ragamuffin stretched 
out at full length, perfectly happy and contented if only he is al- 
lowed to snooze the hours away iu peace. 

Human nature is verily the same the world over, and here, in the 
hotel at Nisch, I meet an individual who recalls a few of the sensible 
questions that have been asked me from time to time at different 
places on both continents. This Nisch interrogator is a Hebrew com- 
mercial traveller, who has a smattering of English, and who after as- 
certaining diu-ing a short conversation that, when a range of moun- 
tains or any other small obstruction is encountered, I get down and 
push the bicycle up, airs his knowledge of English and of 'cycling 
to the extent of inquiring whether I don't take a man along to push 
it up the hills ! 

Riding out of Nisch this morning we stop just beyond the sub- 
urbs to take a curious look at a grim monument of Turkish prowess, 
in the shape of a square stone structure which the Turks buUt iu 
1840, and then faced the whole exterior with grinning rows of Ser- 
vian skulls partially embedded in mortar. The Servians, naturally 
objecting to having the skulls of their comrades thus exposed to the 
gaze of everybody, have since removed and buried them ; but the 
rows of indentations in the thick mortared surface still bear unmis- 
takable evidence of the nature of their former occupants. 

An avenue of thrifty prune-trees shades a level road leading out 
of Nisch for several kilometres, but a heavy thunder-storm during 
the night has made it rather slavish wheeling, although the surface 
becomes harder and smoother, also hillier, as we gradually approach 
the Balkan Mountains, that tower well up toward cloudland im- 
mediately ahead. The morning is warm and muggy, indicating- 
rain, and the long, steep trundle, kilometre after kilometre, up the 
Balkan slopes, is anything but child's play, albeit the scenery is 
most lovely, one prospect especially reminding me of a view in the 
Big Horn Mountains of northern Wyoming Territory. On the 
lower slopes we come to a mehana, where, besides plenty of shade- 
trees, we find, springs of most delightfully cool water gxishing out 
of crevices in the rocks, and, throwing our freely perspiring forms 
beneath the grateful shade and letting the cold water play on our 
wrists (the best method in the world of cooling one's self when 
overheated), we both vote that it would be a most agreeable place 
to spend the heat of the day. But the morning is too young yet 



174 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

to think of thus indulging, and the mountainous prospect ahead 
warns us that the distance covered to-day will be short enough at 
the best. 

The Balkans are clothed with green foliage to the topmost 
crags, wild pear-trees being no inconspicuous feature ; charming 
little valleys wind about between the mountain-spurs, and last 
night's downpour has imparted a freshness to the whole scene that 
perhaps it would not be one's good fortune to see every day, even 
were he here. This region of intermingled vales and forest-clad 
mountains might be the natural home of brigandage, and those fe- 
rocious-looking specimens of humanity with things like long guns 
in hand, running with scrambUng haste down the mountain-side 
toward our road ahead, look like veritable brigands heading us off 
with a view to capturing us. But they are peacefully disposed goat- 
herds, who, alpenstocks in hand, are endeavoring to see " what in 
the world those queer-looking things are, coming up the road." 
Their tuneful noise, as they play on some kind of an instrument, 
greets our ears from a dozen mountain-slopes round about us, as 
we put our shoulders to the wheel, and gradually approach the 
summit. Tortoises are occasionally surprised basking in the sun- 
beams in the middle of the road ; when molested they hiss quite 
audibly in protest, but if passed peacefully by they are seen shuffling 
off into the bushes, as though thankful to escape. Unhappy oxen 
are toiling patiently upward, literally inch by inch, dragging heavj', 
creaking wagons, loaded with miscellaneous importations, promi- 
nent among which I notice square cans of American petroleum. 

Men on horseback are encountered, the long guns of the 
Orient slung at their backs, and knife and pistols in sash, looking 
altogether ferocious. Not only are these people perfectly harmless, 
however, but I verily think it would take a good deal of aggravation 
to make them even think of fighting. The fellow whose horse we 
frightened down a rocky embankment, at the imminent risk of 
breaking the neck of both horse and rider, had both gun, knife, 
and pistols ; yet, though he probably thinks us emissaries of the 
evil one, he is in no sense a dangerous character, his weapons being 
merely gewgaws to adorn his person. Finally, the summit of this 
range is gained, and the long, grateful descent into the valley of the 
Nissava Eiver begins. The surface during this descent, though 
averaging very good, is not always of the smoothest ; several dis- 
mounts are fouad to be necessary, and many places ridden over 



THROUGH SLAVONIA AND SERVIA. 



175 



require a quick hand and ready eye to pass. The Servians have 
made a capital point in fixing their new boundary-hne south of this 
mountain-range. 




A Belle of the Balkans, 



Mountaineers are said to be " always freemen ; " one can with 
equal truthfulness add that the costumes of mountaineers' wives 
and daughters are always more picturesque than those of their sis- 



176 FROM SAN FEANCISCO TO TEIIEEAK. 

ters in the valleys. In these Balkan Mountains their costumes are 
a truly wonderful blending of colors, to say nothing of fantastic 
patterns, apparently a medley of ideas borrowed from Occident and 
Orient. One woman we have just passed is wearing the loose, flow- 
ing pantaloons of the Orient, of a bright-yellow color, a tight-fitting 
jacket of equally bright blue ; around her waist. is folded many 
times a red and blue striped waistband, while both head and feet 
are bare. This is no holiday attire ; it is plainly the ordinary every- 
day costume. 

At the foot of the range we halt at a way-side mehana for 
dinner. A daily diligence, with horses four abreast, runs over the 
Balkans from Niseh to Sophia, Bulgaria, and one of them is halted 
at the mehana for refreshments and a change of horses. Refresh- 
ments at these mehanas are not always palatable to travellers, who 
almost invariably carry a supply of provisions along. Of bread 
nothing but the coarse, black variety common to the country is 
forthcoming at this mehana, and a gentleman, learning from Mr. 
Popovitz that I have not yet been educated up to black bread, 
fishes a large roll of excellent milch-Brod out of his traps and 
kindly presents it to us ; and obtaining from the mehana some 
hune-hen fahrica and wine we make a very good flieal. This hune- 
henfabrica is nothing more nor less than cooked chicken. Whether 
hune-hen fahrica is genuine Hungarian for cooked chicken, or 
whether Igali manufactured the term especially for use between 
us, I cannot quite understand. Be this as it may, before we started 
from Belgrade, Igali impaiied the secret to Mi-. Popovitz that I 
was possessed with a sort of a wild appetite, as it were, for hune-hen 
fahrica and cherries, three times a day, the consequence being that 
Mr. Popovitz thoughtfully orders those viands whenever we halt. 
After dinner the mutterings of thunder over the mountains warn 
us that unless we wish to experience the doubtful luxuries of a 
road-side mehana for the night we had better make all speed to the 
village of Bela Palanka, twelve kilometres distant over rather hilly 
roads. In forty minutes we arrive at the Bela Palanka mehana, some 
time before the rain begins. It is but twenty kilometres to Pirot, 
near the Bulgarian frontier, whither my companion has purposed 
to accompany me, but we are forced to change this programme and 
remain at Bela Palanka. ■ . 

It rains hard all night, converting the unassuming Nissava into 
a roaring yellow torrent, and the streets of the little Balkan village 




13 



178 FEOM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

into mud-holes. It is still raining on Sunday morning, and as Mr. 
Popovitz is obliged to be back to his duties as foreign correspond- 
ent in the Servian National Bank at Belgrade on Tuesday, and the 
Balkan roads have been rendered impassable for a bicycle, he is 
compelled to hire a team and wagon to haul him and his wheel 
back over the mountains to Niseh, while I have to remain over 
Sunday amid the dirt and squalor and discomforts — to say noth- 
ing of a second night among the fleas — of an Oriental village 
mehana. We only made fifty kilometres over the mountains yester- 
day, but during the three days from Belgrade together the aggre- 
gate has been satisfactory, and Mr. Popovitz has proven a most 
agreeable and interesting companion. When but fourteen years of 
age he served under the banner of the Eed Cross in the war be- 
tween the Turks and Servians, and is altogether an ardent patriot. 

My Sunday in Bela Palanka impresses me with the conviction 
that an Oriental village is a splendid place not to live in. In dry 
weather it is disagreeable enough, but to-day it is a disorderly ag- 
gregation of miserable-looking villagers, pigs, ducks, geese, chick- 
ens, and dogs, paddling around the muddy streets. The Oriental 
peasant's costume is picturesque or otherwise, according to the 
fancy of the observer. The red fez or turban, the upper garment 
and the ample red sash wound round and round the waist imtil it is 
eighteen inches broad, look picturesque enough for anybody ; but 
when it comes to having the seat of the pantaloons dangling about 
the calves of the legs, a person imbued with Western ideas naturally 
thinks that if the Une between picturesqueness and a two-bushel 
gunny-sack is to be drawn anywhere it should most assuredly bo 
drawn here. As I notice how prevalent this ungainly style of nether 
garment is in the Orient, I find myself getting quite uneasy lest, 
perchance, anything serious should happen to mine, and I should 
be compelled to ride the bicycle in a pair of natives, which would, 
however, be an altogether impossible feat unless it were feasible to 
gather the surplus area up in a bunch and weajr it like a bustle. I 
cannot think, however, that Fate, cruel as she sometimes is, has 
anything so outrageous as this in store for me or any other 'cycler. 

Although Turkish ladies have almost entirely disappeared from 
Servia since its severance from Turkey, they have left, in a certain 
degree, an impress upon the women of the country villages ; al- 
though the Bela Palanka maidens, as I notice on the streets in 
thek Sunday clothes to-day, do not wear the regulation yashmak, 



TnUOUGII SLAVONIA AND SERVIA. 179 

but a head-gear that partially obscures the face, their whole de- 
meanor giving one the impression that their one object in life is to 
appear the pink of propriety ia the eyes of the whole world ; they 
walk along the streets at a most circumspect gait, looking neither 
to the right nor left, neither stopping to converse with each other 
by the way, nor paying any sort of attention to the men. The two 
proprietors of the mehana where I am stopping are subjects for a 
student of human nature. With their wretched little pigsty of a 
mehana in this poverty-stricken village, they are gradually accumulat- 
ing a fortune. Whenever a luckless traveller falls into their clutches 
they make the incident count for something. They stand expect- 
antly about in their box-like public room ; their whole stock consists 
of a Uttle diluted wine and mastic, and if a bit of black bread and 
smear-kiise is ordered, one is putting it down in the book, while the 
other is ferreting it out of a little cabinet where they keep a starva- 
tion quantity of edibles ; when the one acting as waiter has placed 
the inexpensive morsel before you, he goes over to the book to 
make sure that number two has put down enough ; and, although 
the maximum value of the provisions is perhaps not over twopence, 
this precious pair will actually put their heads together in consul- 
tation over the amount to be chalked down. Ere the shades of 
Sunday evening have settled down, I have arrived at the conclusion 
that if these two are average specimens of the Oriental Jew they are 
financially a totally depraved people. 

The rain ceased soon after noon on Sunday, and, although the 
roads are all but impassable, I pull out southward at five o'clock on 
Monday morning, trundling up the mountain-roads through mud 
that frequently compels me to stop and use the scraper. After the 
summit of the hills between Bela Palanka and Pirot is gained, the 
road descending into the valley beyond becomes better, enabling 
me to make quite good time into Pirot, where my passport under- 
goes an examination, and ia favored with a vise by the Servian of- 
ficials preparatory to crossing the Servian and Bulgarian frontier 
about twenty kilometres to the southward. Pirot is quite a large 
and important village, and my appearance is the signal for more 
excitement than the Pu-oters have experienced for many a day. 

While I am partaking of bread and coffee in the hotel, the main 
street becomes crowded as on some festive occasion, the grown-up 
people's faces beaming with as much joyous anticipation of what 
they expect to behold when I emerge from the hotel as the un- 



180 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

washed countenances of the ragged youngsters around them. Lead- 
insf citizens who have been to Paris or Vienna, and have learned 
something about what sort of road a 'cycler needs, have imparted 
the secret to many of their fellow-townsmen, and there is a general 
stampede to the highway leading out of town to the southward. 
This road is found to be most excellent, and the enterprising people 
who have walked, ridden, or driven out there, in order to see me 
ride past to the best possible advantage, are rewarded by witness- 
ing what they never saw before — a cycler speeding along past them 
at ten miles an hour. This gives such general satisfaction that for 
some considerable distance I ride between a double row of lifted 
hats and general salutations, and a swelling murmur of applause 
runs all along the line. 

Two citizens, more enterprising even than the others, have de- 
termined to follow me with team and light wagon to a road-side 
office ten kilometres ahead, where passports have again to be ex- 
amined. The road for the whole distance is level and fairly 
smooth ; the Servian horses are, like the Indian ponies of the 
West, small, Taut wiry and tough, and although I press forward 
quite energetically, the whip is applied without stint, and when 
the passport office is reached we pull up alongside it together, but 
their ponies' sides are white with lather. The passport officer is 
so delighted at the story of the race, as narrated to him by the 
others, that he fetches me out a piece of lump sugar and a glass of 
water, a common refreshment partaken of in this country. 

Yet a third time I am halted by a roadside official and required 
to produce my passport, and again at the village of Zaribrod, just 
over the Bulgarian frontier, which I reach about ten o'clock. To 
the Bulgarian official I present a small stamped card-board check, 
which was given me for that purpose at the last Servian examina- 
tion, but he doesn't seem to understand it, and demands to see the 
original passport. When my English passport is produced he ex- 
amines it, and straightway assures me of the Bulgarian official re- 
spect for an Englishman by grasping me warmly by the hand. The 
passport office is in the second story of a mud hovel, and is reached 
by a dilapidated flight of out-door stairs. My bicycle is left lean- 
ing against the building, and during my brief interview with the 
officer a noisy crowd of semi-civilized Bulgarians have collected 
about, examining it and commenting unreservedly concernin"' it 
and myself. The officer, ashamed of the rudeness of his country- 



TIIUOUGU SLAVOi^IA AND SKRVIA. 



181 



men and tlieir evidently untutored minds, leans out of the window, 
and in a chiding voice explains to the crowd that I am a private in- 
dividual, and not a travelling mountebank going about the country 




The Zaribrod Passport Office. 



giving exhibitions, and advises them to uphold the dignity of the 
Bulgarian character by scattering forthwith. But the crowd 
doesn't scatter to any appreciable extent ; they don't care whether 
I am public or private ; they have never seen anything like me and 
the bicycle before, and the one opportunity of a lifetime is not to 



182 FBOM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEUERAN. 

be lightly passed over. They are a ■wild, imtamed lot, these Bul- 
garians here at Zaribrod, little given to self-restraint. 

When I emerge, the silence of eager anticipation takes entire 
possession of the crowd, only to break forth into a spontaneous 
howl of delight from three hundred bared throats vyhen I mount 
into the saddle and ride away into— Bulgaria. 

My ride through Servia, save over the Balkans, has been most 
enjoyable, and the roads, I am agreeably surprised to have to 
record, have averaged as good as any country in Europe, save Eng- 
land and France, though being for the most part unmacadamized ; 
■with ■wet ■weather they ■would scarcely show to such advantage. 
My impression of the Servian peasantry is most favorable ; they 
are evidently a warm-hearted, hospitable, and withal a patriotic 
people, loving their little country and appreciating their indepen- 
dence as only people who have but recently had their dream of 
self-government realized know how to appreciate it ; they even 
paint the wood-work of their bridges and public buildings 'Vfith 
the national colors. I am assured that the Servians have pro- 
gressed wonderfully since acquiring their full independence ; but 
as one journeys down the beautiful and fertile valley of the 
Morava, where improvements would naturally be seen, if anywhere, 
one faUs to wondering where they can possibly have come in. 

Some of their methods would, indeed, seem to indicate a most 
deplorable lack of practicability ; one of the most ridiculous, to the 
writer's mind, is the erection of small, long sheds substantially 
built of heavy hewn timber supports, and thick, home-made tiles, 
over ordinary plank fences and gates to protect them from the 
weather, when a good coating of tar or paint would answer the 
purpose of preservation much better. These structures give 
one the impression of a doUar placed over a penny to protect 
the latter from harm. Every peasant owns a few acres of land, 
and, if he produces anything above his own wants, he hauls it to 
market in an ox-wagon with roughly hewn wheels without tires, 
and whose creaking can plainly be heard a mile away. At present 
the Servian tills his little freehold with the clumsiest of imple- 
ments, some his o^wn rude handiwork, and the best imperfectly 
fashioned and forged on native anvils. His plow is chiefly the 
forked limb of a tree, pointed with iron sufficiently to enable him 
to root around in the surface soil. One would think the country 
might offer a promising field for some entei-prising manufacttu-er 



THROUGH SLAVONIA AND SERVIA. 183 

of such implementa as hoes, scythes, hay-forks, small, strong plows, 
cultivators, etc. 

These people are industrious, especially the women. I have 
frequently met a Servian peasant woman returning homeward in 
the evening from her labor in the fields, carrying a fat, heavy baby, 
a clumsy hoe not much lighter than the youngster, and an earthen- 
ware water-pitcher, and, at the same time, industriously spinning 
wool with a small hand-spindle. And yet some people argue about 
the impossibility of doLug two things at once! "Whether these 
poor women have been hoeing potatoes, carrying the infant, and 
spinning wool at the same time all day I am unable to say, not 
having been an eye witness, though I reaUy should not be much 
astonished if they had. 



CHAPTEE VIII. 

BULGARIA, ROUMELIA, AND INTO TURKEY. 

The road leading into Bulgaria from the Zaribrod custom-house 
is fairly good for several kilometres, when mountainous and rough 
ways are encountered ; it is a country of goats and goat-herds. A 
rain-storni is hovering threateningly over the mountains imme- 
diately ahead, but it does not reach the vicinity I am traversing : 
it passes to the southward, and makes the roads for a number of 
miles wellnigh impassable. Up in the mountains I meet more than 
one " Bulgarian national express ' — pony pack-trains, cariying mer- 
chandise to and fro between Sofia and Nisch. Most of these ani- 
mals are too heavily laden to think of objecting to the appearance 
of anything on the road, but some of the outfits are returning from 
Sofia in "ballast " only ; and one of these, doubtless overjoyed be- 
yond measure at their unaccustomed lissomeness, breaks through 
all restraint at my approach, and goes stampeding over the rolling 
hUls, the wild-looking teamsters in full tear after them. Whatever 
of this nature happens in this part of the world the people seem to 
regard with commendable complacence : instead of wasting time in 
trying to quarrel about it, they set about gathering up the scattered 
train, as though a stampede were the most natural thing going. 

Bulgaria — at least by the route I am crossing it — is a land of 
mountains and elevated plateaus, and the inhabitants I should call 
the "ranchers of the Orient," in their general appearance and de- 
meanor bearing the same relation to the plodding corn-hoer and 
scythe-swinger of the Morava Valley as the Niobrara cow-boy does 
to the Nebraska homesteader. On the mountains are encountered 
herds of goats in charge of men who reck little for civilization, and 
the upland plains are dotted over with herds of ponies that require 
constant watching in the interest of scattered fields of grain. For 
lunch I halt at an unlikely-looking mehana, near a cluster of mud 
hovels, which, I suppose, the Bulgarians consider a village, and am 
rewarded by the blackest of black bread, in the composition of 
which sand plays no inconsiderable part, and the remnants of a 



BULGAltlA, UOUMELIA, AND INTO TUUKEY. 185 

cbicken killed and stewed nt some uncertain period of the past. 
Of all places invented in the world to disgust a hungry, expectant 
wayfarer, the Bulgarian mehana is the most abominable. Black 
bread and mastic (a composition of gum-mastic and Boston rum, 
so I am informed) seem to be about the only things habitually kept 
in stock, and everything about the place plainly shows the proprie- 
tor to be ignorant of the crudest notions of cleanliness. 

A storm is observed brewing in the mountains I have lately 
traversed, and, having swallowed my unpalatable lunch, I hasten to 
mount, and betake myself off toward Sofia, distant thirty kilometres. 
The road is nothing extra, to say the least, but a howling wind blow- 
ing from the region of the gathering storm propels me rapidly, in 
spite of undulations, ruts, and undesirable road qualities generally. 
The region is an elevated plateau, of which but a small proportion 
is cultivated ; on more than one of the neighboring peaks patches of 
snow are still lingering, and the cool mountain breezes recall mem- 
ories of the Laramie Plains. Men and women returning home- 
ward on horseback from Sofia are frequently encountered. The 
women are decked with beads and trinkets and the gewgaws of 
semi-civilization, as might be the favorite squaws of Squatting 
Beaver or Sitting Bull, and furthermore imitate their copper-col- 
ored sisters of the Far West by bestriding their ponies like men. 
But in the matter of artistic and profuse decoration of the person 
the squaw is far behind the peasant woman of Bulgaria. The gar- 
ments of the men are a combination of sheepskin and a thick, 
coarse, woollen material, spun by the women, and fashioned after 
patterns their forefathers brought with them centuries ago when 
they first invaded EuroiJe. The Bulgarian saddle, like everything 
else here, is a rudely constructed affair, that answers the double 
purpose of a pack-saddle or for riding — a home-made, unwieldy 
thing, that is a fair pony's load of itself. 

At 4.30 P.M. I wheel into Sofia, the Bulgarian Capital, having 
covered one hundred and ten kilometres to-day, in spite of mud, 
mountains, and roads that have been none of the best. Here again 
I have to patronize the money-changers, for a few Servian francs 
which I have are not current in Bulgaria ; and the Israelite, who 
reserved unto himself a profit of two francs on the pound at Nisch, 
now seems the spirit of fairness itself along-side a hook-nosed, 
wizen-faced relative of his here at Sofia, who wants two Servian 
fi-ancs in exchange for each Bulgarian coin of the same intrinsic 



186 FROM SAN FEANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

value ; and the best I am able to get by going to several different 
money-changers is five francs in exchange for seven ; yet the 
Servian frontier is but sixty kilometres distant, with stages run- 
ning to it daily ; and the two coins are identical in intrinsic value. 
At the Hotel Concordia, in Sofia, in lieu of plates, the meat is served 
on round, flat blocks of wood about the circumference of a saucer 
— the " trenchers " of the time of Henry VHI. — and two respecta- 
ble citizens seated opposite me are supping off black bread and 
a sliced cucumber, both fishing slices of the cucumber out of a 
wooden bowl with their fingers. 

. Life at the Bulgarian Capital evidently bears its legitimate re- 
lative comparison to the life of the country it represents. One of 
Prince Alexander's body-guard, pointed out to me in the bazaar, 
looks quite a semi-barbarian, arrayed in a highly ornamented na- 
tional costume, with immense Oriental pistols in waistband, and 
gold-braided turban cocked on one side of his head, and a fierce 
mustache. The soldiers here, even the comparatively fortunate ones 
standing guard at the entrance to the prince's palace, look as though 
they haven't had a new uniform for years and had long since de- 
spaired of ever getting one. A war, and an alliance with some 
wealthy nation which would rig them out in respectable uniforms, 
would probably not be an unwelcome event to many of them. 

While wandering about the bazaar, after supper, I observe that 
the streets, the palace grounds, and in fact every place that is lit up 
at all, save the minarets of the mosque, which are always illumLned 
with vegetable oil, are lighted with American petroleum, gas and 
coal being unknown in the Bulgarian capital. There is an evident 
want of system in everything these people do. From my own ob- 
servations I am inclined to think they pay no heed whatever to 
generally accepted divisions of time, but govern their actions en- 
tirely by light and darkness. There is no eight-hour nor ten-hour 
system of labor here ; and I verily believe the industrial classes 
work the whole time, save when they pause to munch black bread 
and to take three or four hours' sleep in the middle of the night ; 
for as I trundle my way through the streets at five o'clock next 
morning, the same people I observed at various occupations in the 
bazaars are there now, as busily engaged as though they had been 
keeping it up all night ; as also are workmen building a house • 
they were pegging away at nine o'clock yesterday evening, by the 
flickering light of small petroleum lamps, and at five this morning 



AND INTO TURKEY. 187 

they scarcely look like men who are just commencing for the day. 
The Oriental, with his primitive methods and tenacious adherence 
to the ways of his forefathers, probably enough, has to work these 
extra long hours in order to make any sort of progress. However 
this may be, I have throughout the Orient been struck by the in- 
dustriousness of the real working classes ; but in practicability and 
inventiveness the Oriental is sadly deficient. 

On the way out I pause at the bazaar to drink hot milk and eat 
a roll of white bread, the former being quite acceptable, for the 
morning is rather raw and chilly ; the wind is still blowing a gale, 
and a company of cavalry, out for exercise, are incased in their 
heavy gray overcoats, as though it were midwinter instead of the 
twenty-third of June. Rudely clad peasants are encountered on the 
road, carrying large cans of milk into Sofia from neighboring ranches. 
I stop several of them with a view of sampling the quality of their 
milk, but invariably find it unstrained, and the vessels looking as 
though they had been strangers to scalding for some time. Others 
are carrying gunny-sacks of smear-kdse on their shoulders, the 
whey from which is not infrequently streaming down their backs. 
Cleanliness is no doubt next to godliness ; but the Bulgarians 
seem to be several degrees removed from either. They need the 
civilizing influence of soap quite as much as anything else, and if 
the missionaries cannot educate them up to Christianity or civili- 
zation it might not be a bad scheme to try the experiment of start- 
ing a native soap-factory or two in the country. 

Savagery lingers in the lap of civilization on the breezy plateaus 
of Bulgaria, but salvation is coming this way in the shape of an 
extension of the EoumeUan railway from the south, to connect with 
the Servian line north of the Balkans. For years the freight depart- 
ment of this pioneer railway will have to run opposition against ox- 
teams, and creaking, groaning wagons ; and since railway stockhold- 
ers and directors are not usually content with an exclusive diet of 
black bread, with a wilted cucumber for a change on Sundays, as 
is the Bulgarian teamster, and since locomotives cannot be turned 
out to graze free of charge on the hill-sides, the competition will 
not be so entirely one-sided as might be imagined. Long trains of 
these ox-teams are met with this morning hauling freight and build- 
ing-lumber from the railway terminus in Roumelia to Sofia. The 
teamsters are wearing large gray coats of thick blanketing, with 
hoods covering the head, a heavy, convenient garment, that keeps 



188 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

out botli rain and cold while on the road, and at night serves for 
blanket and mattress ; for then the teamster turns his oxen loose 
on the adjacent hill-sides to graze, and, after munching a piece of 
black bread, he places a small wicker-work wind-break against the 
windward side of the wagon, and, curling himself up in his great- 
coat, sleeps soundly. Besides the ox-trains, large, straggling trains 
of pack-ponies and donkeys occasionally fill the whole roadway ; 
they are carrying firewood and charcoal from the mountains, or 
wine and spirits, in long, slender casks, from Roumelia ; while 
others are loaded with bales and boxes of miscellaneous merchan- 
dise, out of all proportion to their own size. 

The road southward from Sofia is abominable, being originally 
constructed of earth and large unbroken bowlders ; it has not been 
repaired for years, and the pack-trains and ox-wagons forever 
crawling along have, during the wet weather of many seasons, 
tramped the dirt away, and left the surface a wretched waste of 
ruts, holes, and thickly protruding stones. It is the worst piece of 
road I have encountered in all Europe ; and although it is ridable 
this morning by a cautious person, one risks and invites disaster 
at every turn of the wheel. " 01 J Boreas " comes howling from the 
mountains of the north, and hustles me briskly along over ruts, 
holes, and bowlders, however, in a most reckless fashion, furnishing 
all the propelling power needful, and leaving me nothing to do but 
keep a sharp lookout for breakneck places immediately ahead. 

In Servia, the peasants, driving along the road in their wagons, 
upon observing me approaching them, being uncertain of the char- 
acter of my vehicle and the amount of road-space I require, would 
ofttimes drive entirely off the road ; and sometimes, when they 
failed to take this precaution, and their teams would begin to show 
signs of restiveness as I drew near, the men would seem to lose 
their wits for the moment, and cry out in alai-m, as though some 
luiknown danger were hovering over them. I have seen women 
begin to wail quite pitifully, as though they fancied I bestrode an 
all-devouring circular saw that was about to whirl into them and 
rend team, wagon, and everything asunder. But the Bulgai-ians 
don't seem to care much whether I am going to saw them in twain 
or not ; they are far less particular about yielding the road and 
both men and women seem to be made of altogether sterner stuff 
than the Servians and Slavonians. They seem several decrees less 
civilized than their neighbors farther north, judging from their 



BULGARIA, KOUMELIA, AND INTO TURKEY. 189 

general appearance and demeanor. They act peaceably and are 
reasonably civil toward me and the bicycle, however, and person- 
ally I rather eujoy their rough, unpolished manners. Although 
there is a certain element of rudeness and boisterousness about 
them, compared with anything I have encountered elsewhere in 
Europe, they seem, on the whole, a good-natured people. We 
Westerners seldom hear anything of the Bulgarians except in war- 
times, and then it is usually iu connection with atrocities that fur- 
nish excellent sensational material for the illustrated weeklies ; 
consequently I rather expected to have a rough time riding through 
alone. But, instead of coming out slashed and scarred like a Hei- 
delberg student, I emerge from their territory with nothing more 
serious than a good healthy shaking up from their ill-conditioned 
roads and howling winds, and my prejudice against black bread 
with sand in it partly overcome from having had to eat it or noth- 
ing. Bulgaria is a principality under the suzerainty of the Sultan, 
to whom it is supposed to pay a yearly tribute ; but the suzerainty 
sits lightly upon the people, since they do pretty much as they 
please ; and they never worry themselves about the tribute, simply 
putting it down on the slate whenever it comes due. The Turks 
might just as well wipe out the account now as at any time, for 
they will eventually have to whistle for the whole indebtedness. 

A smart rain-storm drives me into an uninviting mehana near 
the Eoumelian frontier, for two unhappy hours, at noon — a mehana 
where the edible accommodations would wring an " Ugh ! " from 
an American Indian — and the sole occupants are a blear-eyed Bul- 
garian, in twenty-year-old sheep-Skin clothes, whose appearance 
plainly indicates an over-fondness for mastic' and an unhappy-look- 
ing black kitten. Fearful lest something, perchance, might occur to 
compel me to spend the night here, I don my gossamers as soon as 
the rain slacks up a little, and splurge ahead through the mud to- 
ward Ichtiman, which, my map informs me, is just on this side of 
the Kodja Balkans, which rise up in dark wooded ridges at no 
great distance ahead, to the southward. The mud and rain com- 
bine to make things as disagreeable as possible, but before three 
o'clock I reach Ichtiman, to find that I am in the province of Eou- 
meUa, and am again required to produce my passport. 

I am now getting well down into territory that quite recently 
was completely u^der the dominion of the " unspeakable Turk " — 
unspeakable, by the way, to the wi-iter in more senses than one — 



190 FROM SAN PEANCISCO TO TEIIEKAN. 

and is partly so even now, but have as j-et seen very little of the 
"mysterious veiled lady." The Bulgarians are Christian when 
they are anything, though the great majority of them are nothing 
religiously. A comparatively comfortable mehana is found here at 
Ichtiman, and the proprietor, being able to talk German, readily 
comprehends the meaning of hune-hen fahrica; but I have to dis- 
pense with cherries. 

Mud is the principal element of the road leading out of Ichtiman 
and over the Kodja Balkans this morning. The curious crowd of 
Ichtimanites that foUow me through the mud-holes and filth of 
their native streets, to see what is going to happen when I get clear 
of them, are rewarded but poorly for their trouble ; the best I can 
possibly do being to make a spasmodic run of a hundred yards 
through the mud, which I do purely out of consideration for their 
inquisitiveness, since it seems rather disagreeable to disappoint a 
crowd of villagers who are expectantly following and watching one's 
every movement, wondering, in their ignorance, why you don't ride 
instead of walk. It is a long, wearisome trundle up the muddy 
slopes of the Kodja Balkans, but, after the descent into the Maritza 
Valley begins, some little ridable surface is encountered, though 
many loose stones are lying about, and pitch-holes innumerable, 
make riding somewhat risky, considering that the road frequently 
leads immediately alongside precipices. Pack-donkeys are met on 
these mountain-roads, sometimes filling the way, and coming dog- 
gedly and indifferently forward, even in places where I have little 
choice between scrambling up a rock on one side of the road or 
jumping down a precipice on the other. I can generally manage 
to pass them, however, by placing the bicycle on one side, and, 
standing guard over it, push them off one by one as they pass. 
Some of these EoumeUan donkeys are the most diminutive creatures 
I ever saw ; but they seem capable of toiling up these steep moun- 
tain-roads with enormous loads. I met one this morning carryiu" 
bales of something far bigger than himself, and a big Eoumelian, 
whose feet actually came in contact with the ground occasionally, 
perched on his rump ; the man looked quite capable of carrying 
both the donkey and his load. 

The warm and fertile Maritza Valley is reached soon after noon 
and I am not sorry to find it traversed by a decent macadamized 
road ; though, while it has been raining quite heavily up among 
the mountains, this valley has evidently been favored with a small 




Meeting the "Bulgarian Express.' 



BULGARIA, RODMELIA, AND INTO TURKEY. 193 

deluge, and frequent stretches are covered with deep mud and 
sand, -washed down from the adjacent hills ; in the cultivated areas 
of the Bulgarian uplands the grain-fields are yet quite green, but 
harvesting has already begun in the warmer Maritza Vale, and gangs 
of Eoumelian peasants are in the fields, industriously plying reap- 
ing-hooks to save their crops of wheat and rye, which the storm 
has badly lodged. Ere many miles of this level valley-road are 
ridden over, a dozen pointed minarets loom up ahead, and at four 
o'clock I dismount at the confines of the well nigh impassable 
streets of Tatar Bazardjik, quite a lively little city in the sense 
that Oriental cities are lively, which means well-stocked bazaars 
thronged with motley crowds. Here I am delayed for some time 
by a thunder-storm, and finally wheel away southward in the face 
of threatening heavens. Several villages of gypsies are camped on 
the banks of the Maritza, just outside the limits of Tatar Bazar- 
djik ; a crowd of bronzed, half -naked youngsters wantonly favor me 
"tt'ith a fusillade of stones as I ride past, and several gaunt, hungry- 
looking curs follow me for some distance with much threatening 
clamor. The dogs in the Orient seem to be pretty much all of 
one breed, genuine mongrel, possessing nothing of the spirit and 
courage of the animals we are familiar with. Gypsies are more 
plentiful south of the Save than even in Austria-Hungary, but since 
leaving Slavonia I have never been importuned by them for alms. 
Travellers from other countries are seldom met with along the 
roads here, and I su^jpose that the wandering Eomanies have long 
since learned the uselessness of asking alms of the natives ;' but, 
since they religiously abstain from anything like work, how they 
manage to live is something of a mystery. 

Ere I am five kilometres from Tatar Bazardjik the rain begins 
to descend, and there is neither house nor other shelter visible 
anywhere ahead. The peasants' villages are all on the river, and 
the road leads for mile after mile through fields of wheat and rye. 
I forge ahead in a drenching downpour that makes short work 
of the thin gossamer suit, which on this occasion barely pre- 
vents me getting a wet skin ere I descry a thrice-welcome me- 
hana ahead and repair thither, prepared to accept, with becoming 
thankfulness, whatever accommodation the place affords. It proves 
many degrees superior to the average Bulgarian institution of the 
same name, the proprietor causing my eyes faii-ly to bulge out with 
astonishment by producing a box of French sardines, and bread 
13 



194 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

several shades lighter thau I had, in view of previous experience, 
expected to find it ; and for a bed provides one of the huge, 
thick overcoats before spoken of, which, with the ample hood, en- 
velops the whole figure in a covering that defies both wet and cold. 
I am provided with this unsightly but none the less acceptable 
garment, and given the happy privilege of occupying the floor of a 
small out-building in company with several rough-looking pack- 
train teamsters similarly incased ; I pass a not altogether comfortless 
night, the pattering of rain against the one small window effect- 
ually suppressing such thankless thoughts as have a tendency to 
come unbidden whenever the snoring of any of my feUow-lodgers 
gets aggravatingly harsh. In all this company I think I am the 
only person who doesn't snore, and when I awaJ^e from my rather 
fitful slumbers at four o'clock and find the rain no longer pattering 
against the window, I arise, and take up my journey toward 
Philippopolis, the city I had intended reaching yesterday. 

It is after crossing the Kodja Balkans and descending into the 
Maritza VaUey that one finds among the people a peculiarity that, 
until a person becomes used to it, causes no little mystification and 
many ludicrous mistakes. A shake of the head, which with us 
means a negative answer, means exactly the reverse with the people 
of the Maritza VaUey ; and it puzzled me not a little more than once 
yesterday afternoon when inquiring whether I was on the right road, 
and when patronizing fruit-stalls in Tatar Bazardjik. One never 
feels quite certain about being right when, after inquiring of a na- 
tive if this is the correct road to Mustapha Pasha or Philippopolis 
he replies with a vigorous shake of the head ; and although one 
soon gets accustomed to this peculiarity in others, and accepts it 
as it is intended, it is not quite so easy to get into the habit your- 
self. This queer custom seems to prevail only among the inhabi- 
tants of this particular valley, for after leaving it at Adrianople I 
see nothing more of it. Another peculiarity aU through Oriental, 
and indeed through a good part of Central Europe, is that, instead 
of the " whoa " which we use to a horse, the driver hisses like a 
goose. 

Yesterday evening's downpour has little injured the road be- 
tween the mehana and Philippopolis, the capital of Eoumelia, and I 
wheel to the confines of that city in something over two hours. 
Philippopolis is most beautifully situated, being built on and 
around a cluster of several rocky hills ; a situation which, torrether 



BULGARIA, ROUMELIA, AND INTO TURKEY. 195 

with a plenitude of waving trees, imparts a pleasing and pictu- 
resque effect. With a score of tapering minarets pointing skyward 
among the green foliage, the scene is thoroughly Oriental; but, 
like all Eastern cities, " distance lends enchantment to the view." 

All down the Maritza Valley, and in lesser numbers extending 
southward and eastward over the undulating plains of Adrianople, 
are many prehistoric mounds, some twenty-five or thirty feet high, 
and of about the same diameter. Sometimes in groups, and some- 
times singly, these mounds occur so frequently that one can often 
count a dozen at a time. In the vicinity of Philippopolis several 
have been excavated, and human remains discovered reclining beneath 
large slabs of coarse pottery set up like an inverted V, thus : A, evi- 
dently intended as a water-shed for the preservation of the bodies. 
Another feature of the landscape, and one that fails not to strike 
the observant traveller as a melancholy feature, are the Moham- 
medan cemeteries. Outside every town and near every village are 
broad areas of ground thickly studded vnth slabs of roughly hewn 
rock set up on end ; cities of the dead vastly more populous than 
the abodes of life adjacent. A person can stand on one of the Phil- 
ippopolis heights and behold the hills and vales all around thickly 
dotted with these rude reminders of our universal fate. It is but 
as yesterday since the Turk occupied these lands, and was in the 
habit of making it particularly interesting to any " dog of a Chris- 
tian " who dared desecrate one of these Mussulman cemeteries with 
his unholy presence ; but to-day they are unsurrounded by pro- 
tecting fence or the moral restrictions of dominant Mussulmans, 
and the sheep, cows, and goats of the " infidel giaour " graze 
among them ; and oh, shade of Mohammed ! hogs also scratch 
their backs against the tombstones and root around, at their own 
sweet will, sometimes unearthing skulls and bones, which it is the 
Turkish custom not to bury at any great depth. The great num- 
ber and extent of these cemeteries seem to appeal to the unaccus- 
tomed observer in eloquent evidence against a people whose rule 
and religion have been of the sword. 

While obtaining my breakfast of bread and milk in the Philip- 
popolis bazaar an Arab ragamuffin rushes in, and, with anxious 
gesticulations towai-d the bicycle, which I have from necessity left 
outside, and cries of "Monsieur, monsieur,'' plainly announces that, 
there is something going wrong in connection with the machine. 
Quickly going out I find that, although I left it standing on the narrow 



196 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

apology for a sidewalk, it is in imminent danger of coming to grief 
at the instance of a broadly laden donkey, which, with his load, ver- 
itably takes up the whole narrow street, including the sidewalks, as 
he slowly picks his way along through mud-holes and protruding 
cobble-stones. And yet PhiUppoiJolis has improved wonderfully 
since it has nominally changed from a Turkish to a Christian city, 
I am told ; the Cross having in Philippopolis not only triumphed 
over the Crescent, but its influence is rapidly changing the condi- 
tion and appearance of the streets. There is no doubt about the 
imi^rovements, but they are at present most conspicuous in the 
suburbs, near the English consulate. It is threatening rain again 
as I am picking my way through the crooked streets of Philipj)opo- 
lis towai'd the Adriauople road ; verily, I seem these days to be 
fully occupied in playing hide-and-seek with the elements ; but in 
Eoumelia at this season it is a question of either rain or insuffer- 
able heat, and perhaps, after all, I have reason to be thankful at hav- 
ing the former to contend with rather than the latter. Two thunder- 
storms have to be endured during the forenoon, and for lunch I 
reach a mehana where, besides eggs roasted in the embers, and 
fairly good bread, I am actually offered a napkin that has been 
used but a few times — an evidence of civilization that is quite re- 
freshiiig. 

A repetition of the rain-dodging of the forenoon characterizes 
the afternoon journey, and while halting at a small village the in- 
habitants actually take me foi' a mountebank, and among them col- 
lect a handful of diminutive copper coins about the size and thick- 
ness of a gold twenty-five-cent piece, and of which it would take at 
least twenty to make an Ameiican cent, and offer them to me for a 
performance. What with shaking my head for " no '' and the vil- 
lagers naturally mistaking the motion for " yes," according to their 
own custom, I have quite an interesting time of it making them un- 
derstand that I am not a mountebank travelling from one Roumelian 
village to another, living on two cents' worth of black sandy bread 
per diem, and giving performances for about three cents a time. 

For my halting-place to-night I reach the village of Cauheme, 
in which I find a mehana, where, although the accommodations are 
of the crudest nature, the proprietor is a kindly disposed and, with- 
al, a thoroughly honest individual, furnishing me with a reed mat 
and a pillow, and making things as comfortable and agreeable as 
possible. Eating raw cucumbers as We eat apples or pears appears 



BULGARIA, EOUMELIA, AND INTO TURKEY, 197 

to be universal in Oriental Europe ; frequently, througli Bulgaria 
and Eoumelia, I have noticed people, both old and young, gnawing 
away at a cucumber with the greatest relish, eating it rind and all, 
without any condiments whatever. 

All through Eoumelia the gradual decay of the Crescent and the 
corresponding elevation of the Cross is everywhere evident ; the 
Christian element is now predominant, and the Turkish authorities 
play but an unimportant part in the government of internal affairs. 
Naturally enough, it does not suit the Mussulman to live among 
people whom his religion and time-honored custom have taught him 
to regard as inferiors, the consequence being that there has of late 
years been a general folding of tents and silently stealing away ; 
and to-day it is no very infrequent occurrence for a whole Mussul- 
man village to pack up, bag and baggage, and move bodily to Asia 
Minor, where the Sultan gives them tracts of land for settlement. 
Between the Christian and Mussulman poi3ulations of these coun- 
tries there is naturally a certain amount of the " six of one and 
half a dozen of the other " principle, and in certain regions, where 
the Mussulmans have dwindled to a small minority, the Christians 
are ever prone to bestow upon them the same treatment that the 
Turks formerly gave them. There appears to be little conception 
of what we consider " good manners " among Oriental villagers, 
and while I am writing out a few notes this evening, the people 
crowding the 7H e/iana because of my strange unaccustomed presence 
stand around watching every motion of my pen, jostling carelessly 
against the bench, and commenting on things concerning me and 
the bicycle with a garrulousness that makes it almost impossible 
for me to write. The women of these Eoumelian villages bang 
their hair, and wear it in two long braids, or plaited into a stream- 
ing white head-dress of some gauzy material, behind ; huge silver 
clasps, ai'tistically engraved, that are probably heirlooms, fasten a 
belt around their waists ; and as they walk along barefooted, 
strings of beads, bangles, and necklaces of silver coins make an in- 
cessant jingling. The sky clears and the moon shines forth re- 
splendently ere I stretch myself on my rude couch to-night, and the 
sun rising bright nest morning would seem to indicate fair weather 
at last ; an indication that proves iUusory, however, before the day 
is over. 

At Khaskhor, some fifteen kilometres from Cauheme, I am able 
to obtain my favorite breakfast of bread, milk, and fruit, and while 



198 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

I am in-doors eating it a stalwart Turk considerately mounts guard 
over the bicycle, resolutely keeping the meddlesome crowd at bay 
until I get through eating. The roads this morning, though hUly, 
are fairly smooth, and about eleven o'clock I reach Hermouli, the 
last town in Eoumelia, where, besides being required to produce 
my passport, I am requested by a pompous lieutenant of gendar- 
merie to produce my permit for carrying a revolver, the first time I 
have been thus molested in Europe. Upon explaining, as best I can, 
that I have no such permit, and that for a voyageur permission is 
not necessary (something about which I am in no way so certain, 
however, as my words would seem to indicate), I am politely dis- 
armed, and conducted to a guard-room in the police-barracks, and 
for some twenty minutes am favored with the exclusive society 
of a uniformed guard and the unhappy reflections of a probable 
heavy fine, if not imprisonment. I am inclined to think afterward 
that in arresting and detaining me the officer was simply showing 
off his authority a little to his fellow-Hermoulites, clustered about 
me and the bicycle, for, at the expiration of half an hour, my revol- 
ver and passport are handed back to me, and without further in- 
quiries or explanations I am allowed to depart in peace. 

As though in wilful aggravation of the case, a village of gypsies 
have their tents pitched and their donkeys grazing in the last Mo- 
hammedan cemetery I see ere passing over the Roumelian border 
into Turkey proper, where, at the very first village, the general as- 
pect of religious afiairs changes, as though its proximity to the 
border should render rigid distinctions desirable. Instead of the 
crumbling walls and tottering minarets, a group of closely veiled 
women are observed praying outside a well-preserved mosque, and 
praj'ing sincerely too, since not even my never-before-seen presence 
and the attention-commanding bicycle are sufficient to win their 
attention for a moment from their devotions, albeit those I meet on 
the road peer curiously enough from between the folds of their 
muslin yashmaks. I am worrying along to day in the face of a most 
discouraging head-wind, and the roads, though mostly ridable, are 
none of the best. For much of the way there is a macadamized 
road that, in the palmy days of the Ottoman dominion, was doubt- 
less a splendid highway, but now weeds and thistles, evidences of 
decaying traffic and of the proximity of the Eoumelian railway, are 
growing in the centre, and holes and impassable places make cyclin"- 
a necessarily wide-awake performance. 



BULGARIA, EOUMELIA, AND INTO TURKEY. 199 

Mustapha Pasha is the first Turkish town of any importance I 
come to, and here again my much-required " passaporte " has to be 
exhibited ; but the police-ofScers of Mustapha Pasha seem to be 
exceptionally intelligent and quite agreeable fellows. My revolver 
is in plain view, in its accustomed place ; but they pay no sort of 
attention to it, neither do they ask me a whole rigmarole of ques- 
tions about my linguistic accomplishments, whither I am going, 
■whence I came, etc., but simply glance at my passport, as though 
its examination were a matter of small congequence anyhow, shake 
hands, and smihngly request me to let them see me ride. 

It begins to rain soon after I leave Mustapha Pasha, forcing me 
to take refuge in a convenient culvert beneath the road. I have 
been under this shelter but a few minutes when I am favored with 
the company of three swarthy Turks, who, riding toward Mustapha 
Pasha on horseback, have sought the same shelter. These people 
straightway express their astonishment at finding me and the bicy- 
cle under the culvert, by first commenting among themselves ; then 
they turn a battery of Turkish interrogations upon my devoted 
head, nearly driving me out of my senses ere I escape. They are, 
of course, quite unintelligible to me ; for if one of them asks a 
question a shrug of the shoulders only causes him to repeat the 
same over and over again, each time a little louder and a little 
more deliberate. Sometimes they are all three propounding ques- 
tions and emphasizing them at the same time, until I begin to think 
that there is a plot to talk me to death and confiscate whatever val- 
uables I have about me. They all three have long knives in their 
waistbands, and, instead of pointing out the mechanism of the 
bicycle to each other with the finger, like civilized people, they use 
these long, wicked-looking knives for the purpose. They may be a 
coterie of heavy villains for anything I know to the contrary, or am 
able to judge from their general appearance, and in view of the ap- 
parent disadvantage of one against three in such cramped quarters, 
I avoid their immediate society as much a's possible by edging off to 
one end of the culvert. They are probably honest enough, but as 
their stock of interrogations seems inexhaustible, at the end of half 
an hour I conclude to face the elements and take my chances of 
finding some other shelter farther ahead rather than endure their 
vociferous onslaughts any longer. They all three come out to see 
what is going to happen, and I am not ashamed to admit that I 
stand tinkering around the bicycle in the pelting rain longer than 



200 



FKOM SAN FEANCISCO TO TEIlEEAW. 



is necessary Ijefore mounting, in order to keep them out in it and 
get them wet through, if possible, in revenge for having practically 
ousted me from the culvert, and since I have a water-proof, and 
they have nothing of the sort, I partially succeed in my plans. 




Turkish Amenities. 



The road is the same ancient and neglected macadam, but be- 
tween Mustapha Pasha and Adrianople they either make some pre- 
tence of keeping it in repair, or else the traffic is sufficient to keep 



BULGARIA, EOUMELIA, AND IKTO TURKEY. 201 

down the weeds, and I am able to mount and ride in spite of the down- 
pour. After riding about two miles I come to another culvert, in 
which I deem it advisable to take shelter. Here, also, I find myself 
honored with company, but this time it is a lone cow-herder, who 
is either too dull and stupid to do anything but stare alternately 
at me and the bicycle, or else is deaf and dumb, and my recent ex- 
perience makes me cautious about tempting him to use his tongue. 
I am forced by the rain to remain cramped up in this last narrow 
culvert until neai-ly dark, and then trundle along through an area 
of stones and water-holes toward Adrianople, which city lies I know 
not how far to the southeast. While trundling along through the 
darkness, in the hope of reaching a village or mehana, I observe a 
rocket shoot skyward in the distance ahead, and surmise that it 
indicates the whereabout of Adriauople ; but it is plainly many a 
weary mile ahead ; the road cannot be ridden by the uncertain light 
of a cloud-veiled moon, and I have been forging ahead, over rough 
•ways leading through an undulating country, and most of the day 
against a strong head-wind, since early dawn. By ten o'clock I 
happily arrive at a section of country that has not been favored by 
the afternoon rain, and, no mehana making its appearance, I con- 
clude to sup off the cold, cheerless memories of the black bread 
and half-ripe pears eaten for dinner at a small village, and crawl 
beneath some wild prune-bushes for the night. 

A few miles wheeling over very fair roads, next morning, brings 
me into Adrianople, where, at the Hotel Constantinople, I obtain 
an excellent breakfast of roast lamb, this being the only well- 
cooked piece of meat I have eaten since leaving Nisch. It has 
rained every day without exception since it delayed me over Sun- 
day at Bela Palanka, and this morning it begins while I am eating 
breakfast, and continues a drenching downpour for over an hour. 
While waiting to see what the weather is coming to, -I wander 
around the crooked and mystifying streets, watching the animated 
scenes about the bazaaxs, and try my best to pick up some knowl- 
edge of the value of the different coins, for I have had to deal with 
a bewildering mixture of late, and once again there is a complete 
change. Medjidis, cheriks, piastres, and paras now take the 
place of Serb francs, Bulgar francs, and a bewildering hst of 
nickel and copper pieces, down to one that I should think would 
scarcely purchase a wooden toothpick. The first named is a large 
silver coin worth four and a half francs ; the cherik might be called 



202 FEOM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHEKAN. 

a quarter dollar ; while piastres and paras are tokens, the former 
about five cents and the latter requiring about nine to make one 
cent. There are no copper coins in Turkey proper, the smaller 
coins being what is called " metallic money,'' a composition of cop- 
per and silver, varying in value from a five-para piece to five 
piastres. 

The AdrianopoUtans, drawn to the hotel by the magnetism of 
the bicycle, are bound to see me ride whether or no, and in their 
quite natural ignorance of its character, they request me to per- 
form in the small, roughly-paved court-yard of the hotel, and all 
sorts of impossible places. I shake my head in disapproval and 
explanation of the impracticability of granting their request, but 
unfortunately Adrianople is within the circle where a shake of the 
head is understood to mean "yes, certainly ; " and the happy crowd 
range around a ridiculously small space, and smiling approvingly at 
what they consider my wUlingness to oblige, motion for me to 
come ahead. An explanation seems really out of the question after 
this, and I conclude that the quickest and simplest way of satisfy- 
ing everybody is to demonstrate my vidllingness by mounting and 
wabbling along, if only for a few paces, which I accordingly do 
beneath a hack shed, at the imminent risk of knocking my brains 
out against beams and rafters. 

At eleven o'clock I decide to make a start, I and the bicycle 
being the focus of attraction for a most undignified mob as I 
trundle through the muddy streets toward the suburbs. Arriving 
at a street where it is possible to mount and ride for a short dis- 
tance, I do this in the hope of satisfying the curiosity of the 
crowd, and being permitted to leave the city in comparative peace 
and privacy ; but the hope proves a vain one, for only the respect- 
able portion of the crowd disperses, leaving me, solitary and alone, 
among a howling mob of the rag, tag, and bobtail of Adrianople, 
who follow noisily along, vociferously yelling for me to " bin ! bin ! " 
(mount, mount), and " chu I chu ! " (ride, ride) along the really 
unridable streets. This is the worst crowd I have encountered on 
the entire journey across two continents, and, ajriving at a street 
where the prospect ahead looks comparatively promising, I mount, 
and wheel forward with a view of outdistancing them if possible ; 
but a ride of over a hundred yards without dismounting would be 
an exceptional performance in Adrianople after a rain, and I soon 
find that I have made a mistake in attempting it, for, as I mount, 



BULGARIA, KOXJMELIA, AND INTO TURKEY. 203 

the mob grows fairly wild and riotous with excitement, flinging their 
red fezes at the wheels, rushing up behind and giving the bicycle 
smcart pushes forward, in their eagerness to see it go faster, and 
more than one stone comes bounding along the street, wantonly 
flung by some young savage unable to contain himself. I quickly 
decide upon allaying the excitement by dismounting, and trundling 
until the mobs gets tired of following, whatever the distance. 

This movement scarcely meets with the approval of the unruly 
crowd, however, and several come forward and exhibit ten-para pieces 
as an inducement for me to ride again, while overgrown gamins 
swarm around me, and, straddling the middle and index fingers of 
their right hands over their left, to illustrate and emphasize their 
meaning, they clamorously cry, "bin! bin! chu! chu ! monsieur! 
chu ! chu ! " as well as much other persuasive talk, which, if one 
could understand, would probably be found to mean in substance, 
that, although it is the time-honored custom and privilege of 
Adrianople mobs to fling stones and similar compliments at such 
unbelievers from the outer world as come among them in a con- 
spicuous manner, they will considerately forego their privileges 
this time, if I will only " bin ! bin ! " and "chu! chu ! " The as- 
pect of harmless mischievousness that would characterize a crowd 
of Occidental youths on a similar occasion is entirely wanting here, 
their faces wearing the determined expression of people in dead 
earnest about grasping the only opportunity of a lifetime. Eespect- 
able Turks stand on the sidewalk and eye the bicycle curiously, but 
they regard my evident annoyance at being followed by a mob like 
this with supreme indifference, as does also a passing gendarme, 
whom I halt, and motion my disapproval of the proceedings. Like 
the civilians, he pays no sort of attention, but fixes a curious stare 
on the bicycle, and asks something, the import of which will to me 
forever remain a mystery. 

Once well out of the city the road is quite good for several 
kilometres, and I am favored with a unanimous outburst of ap- 
proval from a rough crowd at a suburban mehana, because of 
outdistancing a horseman who rides out from among them to 
overtake me. At Adrianople my road leaves the Maritza Valley 
and leads across the undulating uplands of the Adrianople Plains, 
hiUy, and for most of the way of inferior surface. Eeaching the 
village of Hafsa, soon after noon, I am fairly taken possession of 
by a crowd of turbaned and fezed Hafsaites and soldiers wearing 



204 FROM SAN FEANCISCO TO TEHERAN, 

the coarse blue uniform of the Turkish regulars, and given not 
one moment's escape from "bin! bin /"until I consent to parade 
my modest capabilities with the wheel by going back and foi-th 
along a ridable section of the main street. The population is 
delighted. Solid old Turks pat me on the back approvingly, and 
the proprietor of the mehana fairly hauls me and the bicycle into 
his establishment. This person is quite befuddled with mastic, 
which makes him inclined to be tyrannical and officious ; and 
several times within the hour, while I wait for the never-failing 
thunder-shower to subside, he peremptorily dismisses both civil- 
ians and military out of the mehana yard ; but the crowd always 
filters back again in less than two minutes. Once, while eating 
dinner, I look out of the window and find the bicycle has disap- 
peared. Hurrying out, I meet the boozy proprietor and another 
individual making their way with alarming unsteadiness up a steep 
stairway, carrying the machine between them to an up-stairs room, 
where the people will have no j)ossible chance of seeing it. Two 
minutes afterward his same whimsical and capricious disposition 
impels him to politely remove the eatables from before me, and 
with the manners of a showman, he gently leads me away from the 
table, and requests me to ride again for the benefit of the very 
crowd he had, but two minutes since, arbitrarily denied the privilege 
of even looking at the bicycle. Nothing would be more natural 
than to refuse to ride under these circumstances ; but the crowd 
looks so gratified at the proprietor's sudden and unaccountable 
change of front, that I deem it advisable, in the interest of being 
permitted to finish my meal in peace, to take another short spin ; 
moreover, it is always best to swallow such little annoyances in 
good part. 

My route to-day is a continuation of the abandoned macadam 
road, the weed-covered stones of which I have frequently found 
acceptable in tiding me over places where the ordinary dirt road 
was deep with mud. la spite of its long-neglected condition, 
occasional ridable stretches are encountered, but every bridge 
and culvert has been destroyed, and an honest shepherd, not fur 
from Hafsa, who from a neighboring knoll observes me wheel- 
ing down a long declivity toward one of these uncovered water- 
ways, nearly shouts himself hoarse, and gesticulates most franti- 
cally in an effort to attract my attention to the danger ahead. 
Soon after this I am the innocent cause of two small pack- 



BULGARIA, KOUMELIA, AND INTO TURKEY. 205 

mules, heavily laden with merchandise, attempting to bolt from 
their driver, who is walking behind. One of them actually suc- 
cee.is in escaping, and, although his pack is too heavy to admit of 
running at any speed, he goes awkwardly jogging across the rolling 
plains, as though uncertain in his own mind of whether he is act- 
ing sensibly or not ; but his companion in pack-slavery is less for- 
tunate, since he tumbles into a gully, bringing up flat on his broad 
and top-heavy pack with his legs frantically pawing the air. Stop- 
ping to assist the driver in getting the collapsed mule on his feet 
again, this individual demands damages for the accident ; so I judge, 
at least, from the frequency of the word " medjedie," as he angrily, 
yet ruefully, points to the mud-begrimed pack and unhappy, yet 
withal laughter-jDrovokiug, attitude of the mule ; but I utterly fail 
to see any reasonable connection between the uncalled-for scariness 
of his mules and the contents of my pocket-book, especially since I 
was riding along the Sultan's ancient and deserted macadam, while 
he and his mules were patronizing a separate and distinct dirt-road 
alongside. As he seems far more concerned about obtaining a 
money satisfaction from me than the rescue of the mule from his 
topsy-tur-s'y position, I feel perfectly justified, after several times 
indicating my willingness to assist him, in leaving him and pro- 
ceeding on my way. 

The Adrianople plains are a dreary expanse of undulating graz- 
ing-land, traversed by small sloughs and their adjacent cultivated 
areas. Along this route it is without trees, and the villages one 
comes to at intervals of eight or ten miles are shapeless clusters of 
mud, straw-thatched huts, out of the midst of which, perchance, 
rises the tapering minaret of a small mosque, this minaret being, 
of course, the first indication of a village in the distance. Between 
Adrianople and Eski Baba, the town' I reach for the night, are 
three villages, in one of which I apjsroach a Turkish private house 
for a drink of water, and sui-prise the women with faces unveiled. 
Upon seeing my countenance peering in the doorway they one 
and all give utterance to little screams of dismay, and dart like 
frightened fawns into an adjoining room. When the men appear, 
to see what is up, they show no signs of resentment at my abrupt 
intrusion, but one of them follows the women into the room, and 
loud, angry words seem to indicate that they are being soundly 
berated for allowing themselves to be thus caught. This does not 
prevent the women from reappearing the next minute, however, 



206 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

with their faces veiled behind the orthodox yashmak, and through 
its one permissible opening satisfying their feminine curiosity by 
critically surveying me and my strange vehicle. 

Four men follow me on horseback out of this village, presum- 
ably to see what use I make of the machine ; at least I cannot 
otherwise account for the honor of their unpleasantly close atten- 
tions — close, inasmuch as they keep their horses' noses almost 
against my back, in spite of sundry subterfuges to shake them off. 
When I stop they do likewise, and when I start again they delib- 
erately follow, altogether too near to be comfortable. They are, 
all four, rough-looking peasants, and their object is quite unac- 
countable, unless they are doing it for "pure cussedness," or per- 
haps with some vague idea of provoking me into doing something 
that would offer them the excuse of attacking and robbing me. 
The road is sui5Sciently lonely to invite some such attention. If 
they are only following me to see what I do with the bicycle, they 
return but little enlightened, since they see nothing but trundling 
and an occasional scraping off of mud. At the end of about two 
miles, whatever their object, they give it up. 

Several showers occur during the afternoon, and the distance 
travelled has been short and unsatisfactory, when just before dai'k 
I arrive at Eski Baba, where I am agreeably surprised to find a 
mehana, the proprietor of which is a reasonably mannered individ- 
ual. Since getting into Turkey proper, reasonably mannered peo- 
ple have seemed wonderfully scarce, the majority seeming to be 
most boisterous and headstrong. Next to the bicycle the Turks of 
these interior villages seem to exercise their minds the most con- 
cerning whether I have a passport ; as I enter Eski Baba ; a gendarme 
standing at the police-barrack gates shouts after me to halt and 
produce " passaporte." Exhibiting my passport at almost every 
village is getting monotonous, and, as I am going to remain here at 
least overnight, I ignore the gendarme's challenge and wheel on to 
the mehana. Two gendarmes are soon on the spot, inquiring if I 
have a " passaporte ; " but, upon learning that I am going no far- 
ther to-day, they do not take the trouble to examine it, the average 
Turkish official religiously believing in never doing anything to-day 
that can be put off till to-morrow. 

The natives of a Turkish interior village are not over-intimate 
with newspapers, and are in consequence profoundly ignorant, 
having little conception of anything save what they have been fa- 



BULGARIA, EOTJMELIA, AND INTO TURKEY. 207 

miliar with and surrounded by all tlieir lives, and the appearance 
of the bicycle is indeed a strange visitation, something entirely be- 
yond their comprehension. The mehana is crowded by a wildly 
gesticulating and loudly commenting and arguing crowd of Turks 
and Christians all the evening. Although there seems to be quite 
a large proportion of native unbelievers in Eski Baba there is not 
a single female visible on the streets this evening ; and from obser- 
vations next day I judge it to be a conservative Mussulman village, 
where the Turkish women, besides keeping themselves veiled with 
orthodox strictness, seldom go abroad, and the women who are not 
Mohammedan, imbibing something of the retiring spirit of the 
dominant race, also keep themselves well in the background. 

A round score of dogs, great and small, and in all possible condi- 
tions of miserableness, congregate in the main street of Eski Baba 
at eventide, waiting with hungry-eyed expectancy for any morsel of 
food or offal that may peradventure find its way within their reach. 
The Turks, to their credit be it said, never abuse dogs ; but every 
male " Christian " in Eski Baba seems to consider himself in duty 
bound to kick or throw a stone at one, and scarcely a minute 
passes during the whole evening without the yelp of some unfortu- 
nate cur. These people seem to enjoy a dog's sufferings ; and one 
soulless peasant, who in the course of the evening kicks a half- 
starved cur so savagely that the poor animal goes into a fit, and, 
after staggering and rolling all over the street, falls down as though 
really dead, is the hero of admiring comments from the crowd, who 
watch the creature's suffeiings with delight. Seeing who can get 
the most telling kicks at the dogs seems to be the regular evening's 
pastime among the male population of Eski Baba unbelievers, and 
everybody seems interested and delighted when some unfortunate 
animal comes in for an unusually severe visitation. 

A rush mat on the floor of the stable is my bed to-night, with 
a dozen unlikely looking natives, to avoid the close companionship 
of whom I take up my position in dangerous proximity to a donkey's 
hind legs, and not six feet from where the same animal's progeny is 
stretched out with all the abandon of extreme youth. Precious lit- 
tle sleep is obtained, for fleas innumerable take liberties with my 
person. A flourishing colony of swallows inhabiting the roof keeps 
up an incessant twittering, and toward dayhght two muezzins, one 
on the minaret of each of the two mosques near by, begin calling the 
faithful to prayer, and howling "Allah ! Allah ! " with the voices of 



208 FEOM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

men bent on conscientiously doing their duty by making themselves 
heard by every Mussulman for at least a mile around, robbing me 
of even the short hour of repose that usually follows a sleepless 
night. 

It is raining heavily again on Sunday morning — in fact, the last 
week has been about the rainiest that I ever saw outside of Eng- 
land — and considering the state of the roads south of Eski Baba, 
the prospects look favorable for a Sunday's experience in an inte- 
rior Turkish village. Men are solemnly squatting around the 
benches of the mehana, smoking nargilehs and sipping tiny cups of 
thick black coffee, and they look on in wonder while I devour a sub- 
stantial breakfast ; but whether it is the novelty of seeing a 'cycler 
feed, or the novelty of seeing anybody eat as I am doing, thus early 
in the morning, I am unable to say ; for no one else seems to partake 
of much solid food until about noontide. All the morning long, 
people swarming around are importuning me with, " Bin, bin, bin, 
monsieur ! " The bicycle is locked up in a rear chamber, and thrice 
I accommodatingly fetch it out and endeavor to appease their curios- 
ity by riding along a hundred-yard stretch of smooth road in the rear 
of the mehana ; but their importunities never for a moment cease. 
Finally the annoyance becomes so unbearable that the proprietor 
takes pity on my harassed head, and, after talking quite angrily to 
the crowd, locks me up in the same room with the bicycle. 

Iron bars guard the rear windows of the houses at Eski Baba, 
and ere I am fairly stretched out on my mat several swarthy faces 
appear at the bars, and several voices simultaneously join in the 
dread chorus of, "Bin, bin, bin, monsieu?' I bin, bin!" compelling 
me to close, in the middle of a hot day — the rain having ceased 
about ten o'clock — the one small avenue of ventilation in the stuffy 
little room. A moment's privacy is entirely out of the question, for, 
even with the window closed, faces are constantly peering in, eager 
to catch even the smallest glimpse of either me or the bicycle. Fate 
is also against me to-day, plainly enough, for ere I have been im- 
prisoned in the room an hour the door is unlocked to admit the 
mulazim (lieutenant of gendarmes), and two of his subordinates, 
with long cavalry swords dangling about their legs, after the man- 
ner of the Turkish police. 

In addition to puzzling their sluggish brains about my passport, 
my strange means of locomotion, and my affairs generally, they 
have now, it seems, exercised their minds up to the jjoint that they 



BULGARIA, EOUMELIA, AND INTO TURKEY. 209 

ought to interfere in the matter of my revolver. But first of all 
they want to see my wonderful performance of riding a thing that 
cannot stand alone. After I have favored the gendarmes and the 
assembled crowd by riding once again, they return the compliment 
by tenderly escorting me down to police headquarters, where, after 
spending an hour or so in examining my passport, they place that 
document and my revolver in their strong box, and lackadaisically 
wave me adieu. Upon returning to the mehma, I find a corpulent 
pasha and a number of particularly influential Turks awaiting my 
reajDpearance, with the same diabolical object of asking me to " bin ! 
bin ! " Soon afterward come the two Mohammedan priests, with 
the same request ; and certainly not less than half a dozen times 
during the afternoon do I bring out the bicycle and ride, in defer- 
ence to the insatiable curiosity of the sure enough "unspeakable " 
Turk ; and every sepai-ate time my audience consists not only of 
the people personally making the request, but of the whole gesticu- 
lating male population. The j)roprietor of the inehana kindly takes 
upon himself the of&ce of apprising me when my visitors are people 
of importance, by going through the pantomime of swelling his 
features and form up to a size corresponding in proportion relative 
to their importance, the process of inflation in the case of the pasha 
being quite a wonderful performance for a man who is not a pro- 
fessional contortionist. 

Once during the afternoon I attempt to write, but I might as 
well attempt to fly, for the mehana is crowded with people who 
plainly have not the slightest conception of the proprieties. Finally 
a fez is wantonly flung, by an extra-enterprising youth, at my ink- 
bottle, knocking it over, and but for its being a handy contrivance, 
out of which the ink wiU not spill, it would have made a mess of 
my notes. Seeing the uselessness of trying to write, I meander 
forth, and into the leading mosque, and without removing my 
shoes, tread its sacred floor for several minutes, and stand listening 
to several devout Mussulmans reciting the Koran aloud, for, be it 
known, the great fast of Eamadan has begun, and fasting and prayer 
is now the faithful Mussulman's daily lot for thirty days, his religion 
forbidding him either eating or drinking from early morn tUl close 
of day. After looking about the interior, I ascend the steep spi- 
ral stairway up to the minaret balcony whence the muezzin calls 
the faithful to prayer five times a day. As I pop my head out 
through the little opening leading to the balcony, I am slightly 
14 



210 



FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 



taken aback by finding that small footway already occupied by the 
muezzin, and it is a fair question as to whether the muezzin's 
astonishment at seeing my white helmet appear through the 
opening is greater, or mine at finding him already in possession. 
However, I brazen it out by joining him, and he, like a sensible 




On the Minaret with the Muezzin, 

man, goes about his business just the same as if nobody were 
about. The people down in the streets look curiously up and call 
one another's attention to the unaccustomed sight of a white-helmeted 
'cycler and a muezzin upon the minaret together ; but the fact that 
I am not interfered with in any way goes far to prove that the Mus- 



BDLGAKIA, KOUMELIA, AND INTO TUKKEY. 211 

sulman fanaticism, that we have aU heard and read about so often, 
has welluigh flickered out in European Turkey ; moreover, I think 
the Eski Babaus would allow me to do anything, in order to place 
me under obligations to " bin ! bin ! " whenever they ask me. 

At nine o'clock I begin to grow a trifle uneasy about the fate of 
my passport and revolver, and, proceeding to the police-barracks, 
formally demand their return. Nothing has apparently been done 
concerning either one or the other since they were taken from me, 
for the mulazim, who is lounging on a divan smoking cigarettes, pro- 
duces them from the same receptacle he consigned them to this 
afternoon, and lays them before him, clearly as mystified and per- 
plexed as ever about what he ought to do. I explain to him that 
I wish to depaa't in the morning, and gendarmes are despatched to 
summon several leading Eski Babans for consultation, in the hope 
that some of them, or all of them put together, might perchance 
arrive at a satisfactory conclusion concerning me. The great trou- 
ble appears to be that, while I got the passport vised at Sofia and 
Philippopolis, I overlooked Adrianople, and the Eski Baba oifici- 
als, being in the vilayet of the latter city, are naturally puzzled to 
account for this omission ; and, from what I can gather of their 
conversation, some are advocating sending me back to Adrianople, 
a suggestion that I straightway announce my disapproval of by 
again and again calling their attention to the vise of the Turkish 
consul-general in London, and giving them to understand, with 
much emphasis, that this w'se answers for every part of Turkey, 
including the vilayet of Adrianople. The question then arises as to 
whether that has anything to do with my carrying a revolver ; to 
which I candidly reply that it has not, at the same time pointing 
out that I have just come through Servia and Bulgaria (countries 
in which the Turks consider it quite necessary to go armed, though 
in fact there is quite as much, if not more, necessity for arms in 
Turkey), and that I have come through both Mustapha Pasha and 
Adrianople without being molested on account of the revolver ; all 
of which only seems to mystify them the more, and make them 
more puzzled than ever about what to do. Finally a brilliant idea 
occurs to one of them, being nothing less than to shift the weight 
of the dreadful responsibihty upon the authoritative shoulders of a 
visiting pasha, an important personage who arrived in Eski Baba 
by can-iage about two hours ago, and whose arrival I remember 
caused quite a flurry of excitement among the natives. 



212 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

The pasha is fouucl surrounded by a number of bearded Turks, 
seated cross-legged on a carpet in the open air, smoking nargUehs 
and cigarettes, and sipping coffee. This pasha is fatter and more 
unwieldy, if possible, than the one for whose edification I rode the 
bicycle this afternoon ; noticing which, all hopes of being created 
a pasha upon my arrival at Constantinople naturally vanish, for 
evidently one of the chief qualifications for a pashalic is obesity, a 
distinction to which continuous 'cycling, in hot weather is hardly 
conducive. The pasha seems a good-natured person, after the 
manner of fat people generally, and straightway bids me be seated 
on the carpet, and orders coffee and cigarettes to be placed at my 
disposal while he examines my case. In imitation of those around 
ine I make an effort to sit cross-legged on the mat ; but the posi- 
tion is so uncomfortable that I am quickly compelled to change it, 
and I fancy detecting a merry twinkle in the eye of more than one 
silent observer at my inability to adapt my posture to the custom 
of the country. I scarcely think the pasha knows anything more 
about what sort of a looking document an English passport ought 
to be, than does the mulazim and the leading citizens of Eski Baba ; 
but he goes through the farce of critically examining the vis& of 
the Turkish consul-general in London, while another Turk holds 
his lighted cigarette close to it, and blows from it a feeble glimmer 
of light. Plainly the pasha cannot make anything more out of it 
than the others, for many a Turkish pasha is unable to sign his 
own name intelligibly, using a seal instead ; but, probably with a 
view of favorably impressing those around him, he asks me first if 
I am an Englishman, and then if I am "a baron," doubtless think- 
ing that an English baron is a person occupying a somewhat sim- 
ilar position in English society to that of a pasha in Turkish : viz., 
a really despotic sway over the people of Ms district ; for, although 
there are law and lawyers in Turkey to-day, the pasha, especially 
in country districts, is still an all-powerful person, practically doing 
as he pleases. 

To the first question I return an affirmative answer ; the latter I 
pretend not to comprehend ; but I cannot help smiling at the 
question and the manner in which it is put — seeing which the pasha 
and his friends smile in response, and look knowingly at each 
other, as though thinking, " Ah ! he is a baron, but don't intend 
to let us know it." "\^''hether this self-arrived-at decision influences 
things in my. favor I hardly know, but anyhow he tosses me m^' 



214 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

passport, and orders the mulazim to return my revolver ; and as I 
mentally remark the rather jolly expression of the pasha's face, I 
am inclined to think that, instead of treating the matter with the 
ridiculous importance attached to it by the mulazim and the other 
people, he regards the whole affair in the light of a few minutes' 
acceptable diversion. The ^^a^sha arrived too late this evening at 
Eski Baba to see the bicycle : " Will I allow a gendarme to go to 
the mefiana and bring it for his inspection ? " "I will go and fetch 
it myself," I explain ; and in ten minutes the fat pasha and his 
friends are examining the perfect mechanism of an American 
bicycle by the light of an American kerosene lamp, which has been 
provided in the meantime. Some of the on-lookers, who have seen 
me ride to-day, suggested to the pasha that I "bin! bin/" and the 
pasha smiles approvingly at the suggestion ; but by pantomime I 
explain to him the impossibility of riding, owing to the nature of 
the ground and the darkness, and I am really quite sui-prised at 
the readiness with which he comprehends and accepts the situation. 
The pasha is very likely possessed of more intelligence than I have 
been giving him credit for ; anyhow he has in ten minutes proved 
himself equal to the situation, which the mulazim and several prom- 
inent Eski Babans have puzzled their collective brains over for an 
hour in vain, and, after he has inspected the bicycle, and resumed 
his cross-legged position on the carpet, I doff my helmet to him 
and those about him, and return to the mehana, well satisfied vnth 
the turn affairs have taken. 



CHAPTER IX. 

THKOUGH EUROPEAN TURKEY. 

On Monday morning I am again awakened by the muezzin call- 
ing the Mussulmans to tlieir early morning devotions, and, arising 
from my mat at five o'clock, I mount and speed away southward 
from Eski Baba. Not less than a hundred people have collected 
to see the wonderful performance again. 

All pretence of road-making seems to have been abandoned ; 
or, what is more probable, has never been seriously attempted, the 
visible roadways from village to village being mere ox-wagon and 
pack-donkey tracks, crossing the wheat-fields and uncultivated 
tracts in any direction. The soil is a loose^ black loam, which the 
rain converts into mud, through which I have to trundle, wooden 
scraper in hand ; and I not infrequently have to carry the bicycle 
through the worst places. The morning is sultry, requiring good 
roads and a breeze-creating pace for agreeable going. 

Harvesting and threshing are going forward briskly, but the 
busy hum of the self-binder and the threshing-machine is not 
heard ; the reaping is done with rude hooks, and the threshing 
by dragging round and round, with horses or oxen, sleigh-runner 
shaped, broad boards, roughed with flints or iron points, making 
the surface resemble a huge rasp. Large gangs of rough-looking 
Armenians, Arabs, and Africans are harvesting the broad acres of 
land-owning pashas, the gangs sometimes counting not less than 
fifty men. Several donkeys are always observed picketed near 
them, taken, wherever they go, for the purpose of carrying provis- 
ions and water. Whenever I happen anywhere near one of these 
gangs they all come charging across the field, reaping-hooks in 
hand, racing with each other and good-naturedly howling defiance 
to competitors. A band of Zulus charging down on a fellow, and 
brandishing their assegais, could scarcely present a more ferocious 
front. Many of them wear no covering of any kind on the upper 
part of the body, no hat, no foot-gear, nothing but a pair of loose, 



16 FROM SAN FKANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

baggy trousers, while the tidiest man among them would be imme- 
diately arrested on general principles in either England or America. 
Rough though they are, they appear, for the most part, to be good- 
natured fellows, and although they sometimes emphasize their 
importunities of " bin ! bin ! " by flourishing their reaping-hooks 
threateningly over my head, and one gang actually confiscates the 
bicycle, which they lay up on a shock of wheat, and with much 
flom-ishing of reaping-hooks as they return to their labors, warn 
me not to take it away, these are simply good-natured pi-anks, 
such as large gangs of laborers are wont to occasionally indulge in 
the world over. 

Streams have to be forded to-day for the first time in Europe, 
several small creeks during the afternoon ; and near sundown I 
find my pathway into a village where I propose stopping for the 
night, obstructed by a creek swollen bank-full by a heavy thunder- 
shower in the hills. A couple of lads on the opposite bank 
volunteer much information concerning the depth of the creek 
at different points ; no doubt their evident mystification at not 
being understood is equalled only by the amazement at my an- 
swers. Four peasants come down to the creek, and one of them 
kindly wades in and shows that it is only waist deep. Without 
more ado I ford it, with the bicycle on my shoulder, and straight- 
way seek the accommodation of the village mehana. This village 
is a miserable little cluster of mud hovels, and the best the mehana 
affords is the coarsest of black-bread and a small salted fish, 
about the size of a sardine, which the natives devour without any 
pretence of cooking, but which are worse than nothing for me, 
since the farther they are away the better I am suited. Sticking a 
flat loaf of black-bread and a dozen of these tiny shapes of salted 
nothing in his broad waistband, the Turkish peasant sallies forth 
contentedly to toil. 

I have accomplished the wonderful distance of forty kilo- 
metres to-day, at which I am really quite surprised, considering 
everything. The usual daily weather pi-ogTamme has been faith- 
fully carried out — a heavy mist at morning, that has prevented 
any drying up of roads during the night, three hours of op- 
pressive heat — from nine till twelve — during which myraids of 
ravenous flies squabble for the honor of drawing your blood, and 
then, when the mud begins to dry out sufficient to justify my dis- 
pensing with the wooden scraper, thunder-showers begin to be- 



TriUOUGII EUROPEAN TURKEY. 217 

stow their iinappreciated favor upon the roads, making them well- 
nigh impassable again. The following morning the climax of vex- 
ation is reached when, after wading through the mud for two hours, 
I discover that I have been dragging, carrying, and trundling my 
laborious way along in the wrong direction for Tchorlu, which is not 
over thirty-five kilometres from my starting-point, but it takes me 
till four o'clock to reach there. A hundred miles on French or 
English roads would not be so fatiguing, and I wisely take advantage 
of being in a town where comparatively decent accommodations 
are obtainable to make up, so far as possible, for this morning's 
breakfast of black bread and coffee, and my noontide meal of cold, 
cheerless reflections on the same. The same programme of " bin ! 
bin ! " from importuning crowds, and police inquisitiveness con- 
cerning my " passporte " are endured and survived ; but I spread 
myself upon my mat to-night thoroughly convinced that p, month's 
cycling among the Turks would worry most people into premature 
graves. 

I am now approaching pretty close to the Sea of Marmora, and 
next morning I am agreeably surprised to find sandy roads, which 
the rains have rather improved than otherwise ; and although much 
is iinridably heavy, it is immeasurably superior to yesterday's mud. 
I pass the country residence of a wealthy pasha, and see the ladies 
of his harem seated in the meadow hard by, enjoying the fresh 
morning air. They form a circle, facing inward, and the swarthy 
eunuch in charge stands keeping watch at a respectful distance. I 
carry a pocketful of bread with me this morning, and about nine 
o'clock, upon coming to a ruined mosque and a few deserted build- 
ings, I approach one at which signs of occupation are visible, for 
some water. This place is simply a deserted Mussulman village, 
from which the inhabitants probably decamped in a body during 
the last Russo-Turkish war ; the mosque is in a tumble-down con- 
dition, the few dwelling-houses remaining are in the last stages of 
dilapidation, and the one I call at is temporarily occupied by some 
shepherds, two of whom are regaling themselves with food of some 
kind out of an earthenware vessel. 

Obtaining the water, I sit down on some projecting boards to 
eat my frugal lunch, fully conscious of being an object of much 
furtive speculation on the part of the two occupants of the deserted 
house ; which, however, fails to strike me as anything extraordi- 
nary, since these attentions have long since become an ordinary 



218 



FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 



every-daj' affair. Not even the sulky and rather hang-dog expres- 
sion of the men, which failed not to escape my observation at my 
first approach, awakened any shadow of suspicion in my mind of 
their being possibly dangerous characters, although the appearance 
of the place itself is really sufficient to make one hesitate about 
venturing near ; and upon sober after-thought I am fully satisfied 




"And makes a grab for my Revolver" 

that this is a resort of a certain class of disreputable characters, 
half shepherds, half brigands, who are only kept from turning 
full-fledged freebooters by a wholesome fear of retributive justice. 
While I am discussing my bread and water one of these worthies 
saunters with assumed carelessness up behind me and makes a 
grab for my revolver, the butt of which he sees protruding from 



THROUGH EUROPEAN TURKEY. 219 

the holster. Although I am not exactly anticipating this move- 
ment, travelling alone among strange people makes one's faculties 
of self-preservation almost mechanically on the alert, and my hand 
reaches the revolver before his does. Springing up, I turn round 
and confront him and his companion, who is standing in the door- 
way. A full exposition of their character is plainly stamped on 
their faces, and for a moment I am almost tempted to use the re- 
volver on them. Whether they become afraid of this or whether 
they have urgent business of some nature will never be known to 
me, but they both disappear inside the door ; and, in view of my 
uncertainty of their future intentions, I consider it advisable to 
meander on toward the coast. 

Eve I get beyond the waste lauds adjoining this village I en- 
counter two more of these shepherds, in charge of a small flock ; 
they are watering their sheep ; and as I go over to the spring, 
ostensibly to obtain a drink, but really to have a look at them, 
they both sneak off at my approach, like criminals avoiding one 
whom they suspect of being a detective. Take it all in all, I am 
satisfied that this neighborhood is a place that I have been for- 
tunate in coming through in broad daylight ; by moonlight it 
might have furnished a far more interesting item than the above. 

An hour after, I am gratified at obtaining my first glimpse of 
the Sea of Marmora off to the right, and in another hour I am dis- 
porting in the warm clear surf, a luxury that has not been within 
my reach since leaving Dieppe, and which is a thrice welcome privi- 
lege in this land, whei'e the usual ablutions at mehanas consist of 
pouring water on the hands from a tin cup. The beach is composed 
of sand and tiny shells, the waim surf-waves are clear as crystal, 
and my first plunge in the Marmora, after a two months' cycle tour 
across a continent, is the most thoroughly enjoyable bath I ever 
had ; notwithstanding, I feel it my duty to keep a loose eye on some 
shepherds perched on a handy knoll, who look as if half inclined to 
slip down and examine my clothes. The clothes, with, of course, 
the revolver and every penny I have with me, are almost as near to 
them as to me, and always, after ducking my head under water, my 
firstcare is to take a precautionary glance in their direction. " Cursed 
is the mind that nurses suspicion, " someone has said ; but under 
the circumstances almost anybody would be suspicious. These 
shepherds along the Marmora coast favor each other a great deal, 
and when a person has been the recipient of undesirable attentions 



220 FKOM SAN FRANCISCO "TO TEHERAN. 

from one of them, to look askance at the next one met with comes 
natural enough. 

Over the undulating cliffs and along the sandy beach, my road 
now leads through the pretty little seaport of Cilivi-ia, toward Con- 
stantinople, traversing a most lovely stretch of country, where wav- 
ing wheat-fields hug the beach and fairly coquet with the waves, 
and the slopes are green and beautiful with vineyards and fig- 
gardens, while away beyond the glassy shimmer of the sea I fancy 
I can trace on the southern horizon the inequalities of the hills 
of Asia Minor. Greek fishing-boats are plying hither and thither ; 
one noble sailing-vessel, with all sails set, is slowly ploughing her 
way down toward the Dardanelles — probably a gi-ain-ship from 
the Black Sea — and the smoke from a couple of steamers is discern- 
ible in the distance. Flourishing Greek fishing-villages and vine- 
growing communities occupy this beautiful strip of coast, along 
which the Greeks seem determined to make the Cross as much 
more conspicuous than the Crescent as possible, by rearing it on 
every public building under their control, and not infrequently on 
private ones as well. The people of these Greek villages seem pos- 
sessed of sunny dispositions, the absence of all reserve among the 
women being in striking contrast to the demeanor of the Turkish 
fair sex. These Greek women chatter after me from the windows as 
I wheel past, and if I stop a minute in the street they gather around 
by dozens, smiling pleasantly, and plying me with questions, which, 
of course, I cannot understand. Some of them are quite handsome, 
and nearly all have perfect white teeth, a fact that I have ample 
opportunity of knowing, since they seem to be all smiles. 

There has been much making of artificial highways leading from 
Constantinople in this direction in ages past. A road-bed of huge 
blocks of stone, such as some of the streets of Eastern towns are 
made impassable with, is traceable for miles, ascending and de- 
scending the rolling hills, imperishable witnesses of the wide dif- 
ference in Eastern and Western ideas of making a road. These are 
probably the work of the people who occupied this country before 
the Ottoman Turks, who have also tried their hands at making a 
macadam, which not infrequently runs close along-side the old block 
roadway, and sometimes crosses it ; and it is matter of some wonder- 
ment that the Turks, instead of hauling material for their road from 
a distance did not save expense by merely breaking the stones of 
the old causeway and using the same road-bed. Twice to-day I 



THROUGH EUROPEAN TURKEY. 221 

have been required to produce my passport, and when toward 
evening I pass through a small YUlage, the lone gendarme who is 
smoking a nargileh in front of the mehana where I halt points to 
my revolver and demands " passaporte, " I wave examination, so 
to speak, by arguing the case with him, and by the not always un- 
handy plan of pretending not exactly to comprehend his meaning. 
"Passaporte ! passaporte ! gendarmerie, me, " replies the officer, au- 
thoritativelj', in answer to my explanation of a voyageur being privi- 
leged to carry a revolver ; while several villagers who have gathered 
aroimd us interpose " Bin J bin ! monsieur, bin ! bin ! " I have little 
notion of yielding up either revolver or passport to this village gen- 
darme, for much of their officiousness is simply the disposition to 
show off their authority and satisfy their own personal curiosity re- 
garding me, to say nothing of the possibility of coming in for a little 
backsheesh. The villagers are worrying me to " bin ! bin I " at the 
same time the gendarme is worrying me about the revolver and pass- 
port, and knowing from previous experience that the gendarme 
would never stop me from mounting, being quite as anxious to wit- 
ness the performance as the villagers, I quickly decide upon killing 
two birds with one stone, and accordingly mount, and pick my way 
along the rough street out on to the Constantmople road. 

The gloaming settles into darkness, and the domes and mina- 
rets of Stamboul, which have been visible from the brow of every 
hill for several miles back, are still eight or ten miles away, and 
rightly judging that the Ottoman Capital is a most bewildering 
city for a stranger to penetrate after night, I pillow my head on a 
sheaf of oats, within sight of the goal toward which I have been 
pedalling for some 2,500 miles since leaving Liverpool. After 
surveying with a good deal of satisfaction the twinkling lights that 
distinguish every minaret in Constantinople each night during the 
fast of Ramadan, I fall asleep, and enjoy, beneath a sky in which 
myriads of fai--off lamps seem to be twinkling mockingly at the 
Eamadan illuminations, the finest night's repose I have had for a 
week. Nothing but the prevailing rains have prevented me from 
sleeping beneath the starry dome entirely in preference to putting 
up at the village mehanaa. 

En route into Stamboul, on the following morning, I meet the 
first train of camels I have yet encountered ; in the gray of the 
morning, with the scenes around so thoroughly Oriental, it seems 
like an appropriate introduction to Asiatic life. Eight o'clock 



222 FROM SAN FKANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

finds me inside the line of earthworks thrown up by Baker Pasha 
when the Eussians were last knocking at the gates of Constantino- 
ple,- and ere long I am trundling through the crooked streets of 
the Turkish Capital toward the bridge which connects Stamboul 
with Galata and Pera. Even here my ears are assailed with the 
eternal importunities to " bin ! bin ! " the officers collecting the 
bridge-toll even joining in the request. To accommodate them I 
mount, and ride part way across the bridge, and at 9 o'clock on 
July 2d, just two calendar months from the start at Liverpool, I 
am eating my breakfast in a Constantinople restaurant. 

I am not long in finding English-speaking friends, to whom my 
journey across the two continents is not unknown, and who kindly 
direct me to the Chamber of Commerce Hotel, Eue Omar, Galata, 
a home-like establishment, kept by an English lady. I have been 
purposing of late to remain in Constantinople during the heated 
term of July and August, thinking to shape my course southward 
through Asia Minor and down the Euphrates Valley to Bagdad, 
and by taking a south-easterly direction as far as circumstances 
would permit into India, keep pace with the seasons, thus avoiding 
the necessity of remaining over anywhere for the winter. At the 
same time I have been reckoning upon meeting Englishmen in 
Constantinople who, having travelled extensively in Asia, could 
further enlighten me regarding the best route to India. As I 
house my bicycle and am shown to my room I take a retrospective 
glance across Europe and America, and feel almost as if I have ar- 
rived at the half-way house of my journey. The distance from 
Liverpool to Constantinople is fully 2,500 miles, which brings the 
wheeling distance from San Francisco up to something over 6,000. 

So far as the distance wheeled and to be wheeled is concerned, 
it is not far from half-way ; but the real difficulties of the journey 
are still ahead, although I scarcely anticipate any that time and 
perseverance wUl not overcome. My tour across Europe has been, 
on the whole, a delightful journey, and, although my linguistic 
shortcomings have made it rather awkward in interior places 
where no English-speaking person was to be found, I always man- 
aged to make myself understood sufficiently to get along. In the 
interior of Turkey a knowledge of French has been considered in- 
dispensable to a traveller : but, although a full knowledge of that 
language would have made matters much smoother by enabling me 
to converse with officials and others, I have nevertheless come 



THROUGH EUROPEAN TURKEY. 223 

through all right without it ; and there have doubtless been occa- 
sions when my ignorance has saved me from a certain amount of 
bother with the gendarmerie, who, above all things, dislike to exer- 
cise their thinking apparatus. A Turkish official is far less indis- 
posed to act than he is to think ; his mental faculties work slug- 
gishly, but his actions are governed largely by the impulse of the 
moment. 

Someone has said that to see Constantinople is to see the entire 
East ; and judging from the different costumes and peoples one 
meets on the streets and in the bazaars, the saying is certainly not far 
amiss. From its geographical situation, as well as from its history, 
Constantinople naturally takes the front rank among the cosmopol- 
itan cities of the world, and the crowds thronging its busy thorough- 
fares embrace every condition of man between the kid-gloved ex- 
quisite without a wrinkle in his clothes and the representative of 
half-savage Central Asian States incased in sheepskin garments of 
rudest pattern. The great fast of Eamadan is under full headway, 
and all true Mussulmans neither eat nor drink a particle of any- 
thing throughout the day until the booming of cannon at eight in 
the evening announces that the fast is ended, when the scene 
quickly changes into a general rush for eatables and drink. Be- 
tween eight and nine o'clock in the evening, during Eamadan, cer- 
tain streets and bazaars present their liveliest appearance, and from 
the highest-classed restaurant patronized by bey and pasha to the 
venders of eatables on the streets, all do a rushing business ; even 
the sujees (water-venders), who with leather water-bottles and a 
couple of tumblers wait on thirsty pedestrians with pure drinking 
water, at five paras a glass, dodge about among the crowds, an- 
nouncing themselves with lusty lung, fully alive to the opportu- 
nities of the moment. 

A few of the coffee-houses provide music of an inferior quaUty, 
Constantinople not being a very musical place. A forenoon hour 
spent in a neighborhood of private residences will repay a stranger 
for his trouble, since he will during that time see a bewildering 
assortment of street-venders, from a peregrinating meat-market, 
with a complete stock dangling from a wooden framework attached 
to a horse's back, to a grimy individual worrying along beneath 
a small mountain of charcoal, and each with cries more or less 
musical. The sidewalks of Constantinople are ridiculously narrow, 
their only practical use being to keep vehicles from running into 



224 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

the merchandise of the shopkeepers, and to give pedestrians plenty 
of exercise in jostHng each other, and hopping on and off the 
curbstone to avoid inconveniencing the ladies, who of course are 
not to be jostled either off the sidewalk or into a sidewalk stock of 
miscellaneous merchandise. The Constantinople sidewalk is any- 
body's territory ; the merchant encumbers it with his wares and 
the coffee-houses with chairs for customers to sit on, the rights of 
pedestrians being altogether ignored ; the natural consequence is 
that these latter fill the streets, and the Constantinople Jehu not 
only has to keep his wits about him to avoid running over men and 
dogs, but has to use his lungs continually, shouting at them to clear 
the way. If a seat is taken in one of the coffee-house chairs, a watch- 
ful waiter instantly^ makes his appearance with a tray containing 
small chunks of a pasty sweetmeat, known in England as " Turkish 
Delight," one of which you are expected to take and pay half a 
piastre for, this being a polite way of obtaining payment for the 
privilege of using the' chair. The coffee is served steaming hot in 
tiny cups holding about two table-spoonfuls, the price varying 
from ten paras upward, according to the grade of the establishment. 
A favorite way of passing the evening is to sit in front of one of 
these establishments, watching the passing throngs, and smoke a 
nargileh, this latter requiring a good half-hour to do it properly. 
I undertook to investigate the amount of enjoyment contained in a 
nargileh one evening, and. before smoking it half through con- 
cluded that the taste has to be cultivated. 

One of the most inconvenient things about Constantinople is 
the great scarcity of small change. Everybody seems to be short 
of fractional money save the money-changers — people who are here 
a genuine necessity, since one often has to patronize them before 
making the most trifling purchase. Ofttimes the store-keeper will 
refuse point-blank to sell an article when change is required, solely 
on account of his inability or unwUlingness to supply it. After 
drinking a cup of coffee, I have had the kahvajee refuse to take any 
payment rather than change a cherik. Inquiring the reason for this 
scarcity, I am informed that whenever there is any new output of 
this money the noble army of money-changers, by a liberal and ju- 
dicious application of backsheesh, manage to get a corner on the 
lot and compel the general public, for whose benefit it is ostensibly 
issued, to obtain what they require through them. However this 
may be, they manage to dontrol its circulation to a great extent ; 



THROUGH EUROPEAN TURRET. 225 

for while their glass cases display an overflowing plenitude, even 
the fruit-vender, whose transactions are mainly of ten and twenty 
paras, is not infrequently compelled to lose a customer because of 
his inability to make change. There are not less than twenty 
monej'-chaugers' offices within a hundred yards of the Galata end 
of the principal bridge spanning the Golden Horn, and certainly 
not a less number on the Stamboul side. 

The money-changer usually occupies a portion of the frontage 
of a cigarette and tobacco stand ; and on all the business streets 
one happens at frequent intervals upon these little glass cases full 
of bowls and heaps of miscellaneous coins, varying in value. Be- 
hind sits a business-looking person — usually a Jew — jingling a 
handful of medjedis, and expectantly eyeing every approaching 
stranger. The usual percentage charged is, for changing a lira, 
eighty paras ; thirty paras for a medjedie, and ten for a cherik, 
the percentage on this latter coin being about five per cent. 
Some idea of the inconvenience to the public of this state of affairs 
can be better imagined by the American by reflecting that if this 
state of affairs existed in Boston he would frequently have to walk 
around the block and give a money-changer five per cent, for 
changing a dollar before venturing upon the purchase of a dish of 
baked beans. If one offers a coin of the larger denominations in 
payment of an article, even in quite imposing establishments, thej' 
look as black over it as though you were trying to palm off a 
counterfeit, and hand back the change with an ungraciousness and 
an evident reluctance that makes a sensitive person feel as though 
he has in some way been unwittingly guilty of a mean action. 

Even the principal streets of Constantinople are but indifferently 
lighted at night, and, save for the feeble •ghmmer of kerosene lamps 
in front of stores and coffee-houses, the by-streets are in darkness. 
SmaU parties of Turkish women are encountered picking their way 
along the streets of Galata in charge of a male attendant, who 
walks a little way behind, if of the better class, or without the 
attendant in the case of poorer i^eople, carrying small Japanese 
lanterns. Sometimes a lantern will go out, or doesn't burn satis- 
factorily, and the whole pai-ty halts in the middle of the, perhaps, 
crowded thoroughfare, and clusters around until the lantern is 
readjusted. The Turkish lady walks with a slouchy gait, her 
shroud-like abbas adding not a little to the ungracefulness. 

Matters are likewise scarcely to be improved by wearing two 
15 



220 FROM SAN FRAKCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

pairs of shoes, the large, slipper-like overshoes being required by 
etiquette to be left on the mat upon entering the house she is 
visiting ; and in the case of a strictly orthodox Mussulman lady — 
and, doubtless, we may also easily imagine in case of a not over- 
prepossessing countenance — the yashmak hides all but the eyes. 
The eyes of many Turkish ladies are large and beautiful, and peep 

from between the white, 
gauzy folds of the yash- 
mak with an effect upon 
the observant Frank not 
unUke coquettishly og- 
ling from behind a fan. 
Handsome young Turk- 
ish ladies with a leaning 
toward Western ideas 
are no doubt coming to 
understand this, for 
many are nowadays met 
on the streets wearing 
yashmaks that are but 
a single thickness of 
transparent gauze that 
obscures never a fea- 
ture, at the same time 
producing the decided- 
ly interesting and tak- 
ing effect above men- 
tioned. It is readily 
... . -^ . seen that the wearinff of 

Almost persuaded to be a Christian. o 

yashmaks must be quite 
a charitable custom in the case of a lady not blessed with a hand- 
some face, since it enables her to appear in public the equal of her 
more favored sister in commanding whatever homage is to be 
derived from that mystery which is said to be woman's greatest 
charm ; and if she has but the one redeeming feature of a beauti- 
ful pair of eyes, the advantage is obvious. In street-cars, steam- 
boats, and aU public conveyances, board or canvas partitions wall 
off a small compartment for the exclusive use of ladies, where 
hidden from the rude gaze of the Frank, the Turkish lady can re- 
move her yashmak and smoke cigarettes. 




THROUGH EUROPEAK TURKEY. 227 

On Sunday, July 12th, in company with an Englishman in the 
Turkish artillery service, I pay my first visit to Asian soil, taking a 
caique across the Bosphorus to Kadikeui, one of the many delight- 
ful seaside resorts within easy distance of Constantinople. Many 
objects of interest are pointed out, as, propelled by a couple of 
swarthy, half-naked caique-jees, the sharp-prowed caique gallantly 
rides the blue waves of this loveliest of all pieces of land-environed 
water. More than once I have noticed that a firm belief in the 
supernatural has an abiding hold upon the average Turkish mind, 
having frequently during my usual evening promenade through 
the Galata streets noted the expression of deep and genuine ear- 
nestness upon the countenances of fez-crowned citizens giving re- 
spectful audience to Arab fortune-tellers, paying twenty-pai-a pieces 
for the revelations he is favoring them with, and handing over the 
coins with the business-like air of people satisfied that they are 
getting its full equivalent. Consequently I am not much astonished 
when, rounding Seraglio Point, my companion calls my attention 
to several large sections of whalebone suspended on the wall facing 
the water, and tells me that they are placed there by the fishermen, 
who believe them to be a talisman of no small efficacy in keeping 
the Bosphorus well suppHed with fish, they firmly adhering to the 
story that once, when the bones were removed, the fish nearly all 
disappeared. The oars used by the caique-jees are of quite a pecul- 
iar shape, the oar-shaft immediately next the hand-hold swells into 
a bulbous affair for the next eighteen inches, which is at least four 
times the circumference of the remainder, and the end of the oar- 
blade is for some reason made swallow-tailed. The object of the en- 
larged portion, which of course comes inside the rowlocks, appears 
to be the double purpose of balancing the weight of the longer por- 
tion outside, and also for preventing the oar at all times from escap- 
ing into the water. The rowlock is simply a raw-hide loop, kept well 
greased, and as, toward the end of every stroke, the caique-jee leans 
back to his work, the oar slips several inches, causing a considerable 
loss of power. The day is wai-m, the broiling sun shines directly 
down on the bare heads of the caique-jees, and causes the perspiration 
to roll off their swarthy faces in large beads ; but they lay back to 
their work manfully, although, from early morning until cannon roar 
at 8 P.M. neither bite nor sup, not even so much water as to moisten 
the end of their parched tongues, will pass their lips ; for, although 
but poor hard-working caique-jees, they are true Mussulmans. 



228 FKOM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

Pointing sliywarcT ffom the summit of the hill back of Seraglio 
Point are the four tapeiing minarets of the world-renowned St. 
Sophia mosque, and a little farther to the left is the Sultana Aeli- 
met mosque, the only mosque in all Mohammedanism with six 
minarets.' Near by is the old Seraglio Palace, or rather what is 
left of it, built by Mohammed II. in 1467, out of materials from the 
ancient Byzantine palaces, and in a department of which the savjiak 
shereef (holy standard), boorda-y shereef (holy mantle), and other 
veiierated relics of the prophet Mohammed are preserved. To this 
place, on the 15th of Ramadan, the Sultan and leading dignitaries 
of the Empire repair to do homage to the holy relics, upon which 
it would be the highest sacrilege for Christian eyes to gaze. The 
hem of this holy mantle is reverently kissed by the Sultan and the 
few leading personages present, after which the spot thus brought 
in contact with human hps is carefully wiped with an embroidered 
napkin dipped in a golden basin of water ; the water used in this 
ceremony is then supposed to be of priceless value as a purifier of 
sin, and is carefully preserved, and, corked up in tiny phials, is dis- 
tributed among the sultanas, grand dignitaries, and prominent 
people of the realm, who in return make valuable presents to the 
lucky messengers and Mussulman ecclesiastics employed in its dis- 
tribution. This precious liquid is doled out drop by drop, as 
though it were nectar of eternal life received direct from heaven, 
and, mixed with other water, is drunk immediately upon breaking 
fast each evening during the remaining fifteen days of Eamadan. 

Arriving at Kadikeui, the opportunity presents of observing 
something of the high-handed manner in which Turkish pashas are 
wont to expect from inferiors their every whim obeyed. We meet 
a friend of my companion, a pasha, who for the remainder of the 
afternoon makes one of our company. Unfortunately for a few 
other persons the pasha is in a whimsical mood to-day and inclined 
to display for our benefit rather arbitrary authority toward others. 

The first individual coming under his immediate notice is a 
young man torturing a harp. Summoning the musician, the pasha 
summarily orders him to play " Yankee Doodle." The musician 

' The writer arrived in Constantinople with the full impression tliat it was 
the mosque of St. Sophia that has the famous six minarets, having, I am quite 
sure, seen it tlius quite frequently accredited in print, and I mention this 
especially, in order that readers who may have been similarly misinformed 
mav know that the above account is the correct one. 



THKOUail EUKOPEAW TURKEY. 229 

does not know it, and humbly begs the paslia to name something 
more familiar. " Yankee Doodle ! " replies the pasha peremptorily. 
The poor man looks as though he would willingly relinquish all 
■ hopes of the future if only some j)resent avenue of escape would 
cffer itself; but nothing of the Mud seems at all likely. The 
musician appeals to my Turkish- speaking friend, and begs him to 
request me to favor him with the tune. I am of course only too 
glad to help him stem the rising tide of the pasha's Avrath by whist- 
ling the tune for him ; and after a certain amount of preliminary 
twanging he strikes up and manages to blunder through " yankeo 
Doodle." The pasha, after ascertaining from me that the per- 
formance is creditable, considering the circumstances, forthwith 
hands him more money than he would collect among the poorer 
patrons of the place in two hours. Soon a company of five strolling 
acrobats and conjurers happens along, and these likewise are sum- 
moned into the " presence" and ordered to proeeed. Many of the 
conjurer's tricks are quite creditable performances ; but the pasha 
occasionally interferes in the proceedings just in the nick of time 
to prevent the prestidigitator finishing his manipulations, much to 
the pasha's delight. Once, however, he cleverly manages to hood- 
wink the pasha, and executes his trick in spite of the latter's inter- 
ference, which so amuses the pasha that he straightway gives him 
a medjedie. Our return boat to Galata starts at seven o'clock, and 
it is a ten minutes' drive down to the landing. At fifteen minutes 
to seven the pasha calls for a public carriage to take us down to the 
steamer. 

" There arc no carriages. Pasha Effendi. Those three are all 
engaged by ladies and gentlemen in the garden," exclaims the 
waiter, respectfully. 

" Engaged or not engaged, I want that open carriage yonder,'' 
replies the pasha authoritatively, and already beginning to show 
signs of impatience." Boschanna! " (hi, you, there !) " drive around 
here," addressing the driver. 

The driver enters a plea of being already engaged. The pasha's 
temper rises to the point of threatening to throw carriage, horses, 
and driver into the Bosphorus if his demands are not instantly 
complied with. Finally the driver and everybody else interested 
collapse completely, and, entering the carriage, we are driven to our 
destination without another murmur. Subsequently I learned that 
a government ofScer, whether a pasha or of lower rank, has the 




II 

;/ 







THROUGH EUROPEAN TURKEY. 231 

power of taiing arbitrary possession of a public conveyance over 
the head of a civilian, so that our pasha was, after all, only sticking 
up for the rights of himself and my friend of the artillery, who 
likewise wears the mark by which a military man is in Turkey 
always distinguishable from a civUian — a longer string to the tassel 
of his fez. 

This is the last day of Eamadan, and the following Monday 
ushers in the three days' feast of Biaram, which is in substance a 
kind of a general carousal to compensate for the rigid self-denial 
of the thirty days' fasting and prayer just ended. The government 
offices and works are all closed, everybody is wearing new clothes, 
and holiday-making engrosses the public attention. A friend pro- 
poses a trip on a Bosphorus steamer up as far as the entrance to 
the Black Sea. The steamers are profusely decorated with gay- 
colored flags, and at certain hours all war-ships anchored in the 
Bosphorus, as well as the forts and arsenals, fire salutes, the roar 
and rattle of the great guns echoing among the hills of Europe and 
Asia, that here confront each other, with but a thojisand yards of 
daucing blue waters between them. All along either lovely shore 
villages and splendid country-seats of wealthy pashas and Constanti- 
nople merchants dot the verdure-clad slopes. Two white marble 
kiosks of the Sultan are pointed out. The old castles of Europe 
and Asia face each other on opposite sides of the narrow channel. 
They were famous fortresses in theu" day, but, save as interesting 
relics of a bygone age, they are no longer of any use. 

At Therapia are the summer residences of the different ambasr 
sadors, the English and French the most conspicuous. The exten- 
sive grounds of the former are most beautifully terraced, and evi- 
dently fit for the residence of royalty itself. Happy indeed is the 
Constantinopolitan whose income commands a summer villa in 
Therapia, or at anj' of the many desirable locations in plain view 
within this earthly paradise of blue waves and sunny slopes, and a 
yacht in which to wing his flight whenever and wherever fancy bids 
him go. In the glitter and glare of the mid-day sun the scene along 
the Bosphorus is lovely, yet its loveliness is plainly of the earth ; 
but as we return cityward in the eventide the dusky shadows of the 
gloaming settle over everything. As we gradually approach, the 
city seems half hidden behind a vaporous veil, as though, in imita- 
tion of thousands of its fair occupants, it were hiding its comeliness 
behind the yashmak:; the scores of tapering minarets, and the 



232 FROM SA:^ FEAN-CISCO TO TEHERAlSr. 

towers, and the masts of the crowded shipping of all nations rise 
above the mist, and line with delicate tracery the western sliy, 
already painted in richest colors by the setting sun. 

On Saturday morning, July 18th, the sound of martial music 
announces the arrival of the soldiers from Sbamboul, to guard the 
streets through which the Sultan will pass on his way to a certain 
mosque to perform some ceremony in connection with the feast just 
over. At the designated place I find the streets already lined with 
Circassian cavalry and Ethiopian zouaves ; the latter in red and 
blue zouave costumes and immense turbans. Mounted gendarmes 
are driving civilians about, first in one direction and then in another, 
to try and get the streets cleared, occasionally fetching some un- 
lucky wight in the threadbare shirt of the' Galata plebea stinging 
cut across the shoulders with short raw-hide whips — a glaring in- 
justice that elicits not the slightest adverse criticism from the spec- 
tators, and nothing but silent contortions of face and body from 
the individual receiving the attention. I finally obtain a good 
place, where nothing but an oj)en plank fence and a narrow plot of 
ground thinly set with shrubbery intervenes between me and the 
street leading from the palace. In a few minutes the approach of the 
Sultan is announced by the appearance of half a dozen Circassian 
outriders, who dash wildly down the streets, one behind the other, 
mounted on splendid dapple-gray chargers ; then come four close 
carriages, containing the Sultan's mother and leading ladies of the 
imperial harem, and a minute later appears a mounted guard, two 
abreast, keen-eyed fellows, riding slowly, and critically eyeing 
everybody and everything as they proceed ; behind them comes a 
gorgeously arrayed individual in a perfect blaze of gold braid and 
decorations, and close behind him follows the Sultan's carriage, 
surrounded by a small crowd of pedestrians and horsemen, who 
buzz around the imperial carriage like bees near a hive, the pedes- 
trians especially dodging about hither and thither, hopping nimbly 
over fences, crossing gardens, etc., keeping pace with the carriage 
meanwhile, as though determined upon ferreting out and destroy- 
ing anything in the shape of danger that may possibly be lurking 
along the route. My object of seeing the Sultan's face is gained ; 
but it is only a momentary glimpse, for besides the horsemen flit- 
ting around the carriage, an officer suddenly appears in front of my 
position and unrolls a broad scroll of paper with something printed 
on it, which he holds up. Whatever the scroll is, or the object of 



THROUGH EUROPEAN TURKEY. 



283 



its display may be, the Sultan bows Ms acknowledgments, either to 
the scroll or to the officer holding it up. 

Ere I am in the Ottoman capital a week, I have the opportunity of 
witnessing a fire, and the workings of the Constantinople Fire De- 
partment. While walking along Tramway Street, a hue and cry of 
"yamjoonvar! yangooyi var ! " (there is fire! there is fire !) is raised, 
and three barefooted men, dressed in the scantiest linen clothes, 
come charging pell-mell through the crowded streets, flourishing long 
brass hose-nozzles to clear- the way ; behind them comes a crowd of 




Constantinople Fire Laddies. 

about twenty others, similarly dressed, four of whom are bearing on 
their shoulders a primitive wooden pump, while others are carrying 
leathern water-buckets. They are trotting along at quite a lively 
pace, shouting and making much unnecessary commotion, and lastly 
comes their chief on horseback, cantering close at their heels, as 
though to keep the men well up to their pace. The crowds of 
pedestrians, who refrain from following after the firemen, and who 
scurried for the sidewalks at their approach, now resume their 
place in the middle of the street ; but again the wild cry of " yan- 
goon varf" resounds along the narrow street, and the same scene 



234 FROM SAN TEANCISCO TO TEHERAIf. 

of citizens scuttling to the sidewalks, and a hurrying fire brigade 
followed by a noisy crowd of gamins, is enacted over again, as an- 
other and yet another of these primitive organizations go scooting 
swiftly past. It is said that these nimble-footed firemen do almost 
miraculous work, considering the material they have at command— 
an assertion which I think is not at all unUkely ; but the wonder 
is that destructive fires are not much more frequent, when the 
fire department is evidently so inefficient. In addition to the reg- 
ular police force and fire department, there is a system of night 
watchmen, called bekjees, who walk their respective beats through- 
out the night, carrying staves heavily shod with iron, with which 
they pound the flagstones with a resounding " thwack ! " 

Owing to the hilliness of the city and the roughness of the 
streets, much of the carrying business of the city is done hjhamals, 
a class of sturdy-limbed men, who, I am told, are mostly Arme- 
nians. They wear a sort of pack-saddle, and carry loads the mere 
sight of which makes the average Westerner groan. For canying 
such trifles as crates and hogsheads of crockery and glass-ware, and 
puncheons of rum, four hamals join strength at the ends of two 
stout poles. Scarcely less marvellous than the weights they carry 
is the apparent ease with which they balance tremendous loads, 
piled high up above them, it being no infrequent sight to see a 
stalwart hamal with a veritable Saratoga trunk, for size, on his back, 
with several smaller trunks and valises piled above it, making his 
way down Step Street, which is as much as many pedestrians can 
do to descend without carrying anything. One of these hamals, 
meandering along the street with six or seven hundred pounds of 
merchandise on his back, has the legal right — to say nothing of the 
evident moral right — to knock over any unloaded citizen who too 
tardily yields the way. From observations made on the spot, one 
cannot help thinking that there is no law in any countiy to be 
compared to this one, for simon-pure justice between man and man. 
These are most assuredly the strongest-backed and hardest work- 
ing men I have seen anywhere. They are remarkably trustworthy 
and sure-footed, and their chief ambition, I am told, is to save suf- 
ficient money to return to the mountains and valleys of their native 
Armenia, where most of them have wives patiently awaiting their 
coming, and purchase a piece of land upon which to spend their 
declining years in ease and independence. 

Far different is the daily lot of another habitue of the streets 



THROUGH EUROPEAN TURKEY. 235 

of this busy capital — large, pugnacious-looking rams, that occupy 
pretty much the same position in Turkish sporting circles that 
thoroughbred bull-dogs do in England, being kept by young Turks 
solely on account of their combative propensities and the facilities 
thereby afforded for gambling on the prowess of their favorite 
animals. At all hours of the day and evening the Constantinople 
sport may be met on the streets leading his wooUy pet tenderly 
with a string, often carrying something in his hand to coax the ram 
along. The wool of these animals is frequently clipped to give 
them a fanciful aspect, the favorite clip being to produce a lion-like 
appearance, and they are always carefully guarded against the fell 
inflaence of the "evil eye " by a circlet of blue beads and pendent 
charms suspended from the neck. This latter precautionary meas- 
ure is not confined to these hard-headed contestants for the cham- 
pionship of Galata, Pera, and Stamboul, however, but grace the 
necks of a goodly proportion of all animals met on the streets, not- 
ably the saddle-ponies, whose services are offered on certain street- 
corners to the public. 

Occasionally one notices among the busy throngs a person 
wealing a turban of dark green ; this distinguishing mark being 
the sole privilege of persons who have made the pilgrimage to 
Mecca. All true Mussulmans are supposed to make this pilgrimage 
some time diuing theu* lives, either in person or by employing a 
substitute to go in their stead, wealthy pashas sometimes paying 
quite large sums to some imam or other holy person to go as their 
proxy, for the holier the substitute the greater is supposed to be 
the benefit to the person sending him. Other persons are seen 
with turbans of a lighter shade of gi-een than the returned Mecca 
pilgrims. These are people related in some way to the reigning 
sovereign. 

Constantinople has its pecuHar attractions as the great centre of 
the Mohammedan world as represented in the person of the Sultan, 
and during the five hundred years of the Ottoman dominion here, 
almost every Sultan and gi-eat personage has left behind him some 
interesting reminder of the times in which he hved and the won- 
derful possibilities of unlimited wealth and power. A stranger 
wiU scarcely show himself upon the streets ere he is discovered and 
accosted by a guide. From long experience these men can readily 
distinguish a new ai'rival, and they seldom make a mistake regard- 
in" his nationality. Their usual mode of self-inti-oduction is to ap- 



236 FKOM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

proacli bim, and ask if he is looking for the American consulate, or 
the EngUsh post-office, as the case may be, and if the stranger 
rephes in the affirmative^ to offer to show the way. Nothing is 
mentioned about charges, and the uninitiated, new arrival naturally 
wonders what kind of a place he has got into, . when, upon offering 
what his experience in Western countries has taught him to con- 
sider a most liberal recompense, the guide shrugs his shoulders, 
and teUs you that he guided a gentleman the same distance yester- 
day and the gentleman gave — usually about double what you are 
offering, no matter whether it be one cherik or half a dozen. 

An afternoon ramble with a guide through Stamboul embraces 
the Museum of Antiquities, the St. Sophia Mosque, the Costume 
Museum, the thousand and one columns, the Tomb of Sultan Mah- 
moud, the world-renowned Stamboul Bazaar, the Pigeon Mosque, 
the Saraka Tower, and the Tomb of Sultan Suliman I. Passing 
over the Museum of Antiquities, which to the average observer is 
very similar to a dozen other institutions of the kind, the visitor 
very naturally approaches the portals of the St. Sophia Mosque 
with expectations enlivened by having ah-eady read wondrous ac- 
counts of its magnificence and unapproachable grandeur. But, let 
one's fancy riot as it will, there is small fear of being disappointed 
in the " finest mosque in Constantinople." At the door one either 
has to take off his shoes and go inside in stocking-feet, or, in addi- 
tion to the entrance fee of two cheriks, " backsheesh " the attendant 
for the use of a pair of overslippers. People with holes in their 
socks and young men wearing boots three sizes too small are the 
legitimate prey of the slipper-man, since the average human would 
yield up almost his last piastre rather than promenade around in St. 
Sophia with his big toe protruding through his foot-gear like a 
mud-turtle's head, or run the risk of having to be hauled bare- 
footed to his hotel in a hack, from the impossibility of putting his 
boots on again. Devout Mussulmans are bowing their foreheads 
down to the mat-covered floor in a dozen different parts of the 
mosque as we enter ; tired-looking pilgrims from a distance are 
curled up in cool corners, happy in the privilege of peacefully 
slumbering in the holy atmosphere of the great edifice they have, 
perhaps, travelled hundreds of miles to see ; a dozen half -naked 
youngsters are clambering about the railings and otherwise disport- 
ing themselves after the manner of unrestrained juveniles every- 
where — free to gambol about to their hearts' content, providing 



THROUGH EUROPEAN TURKEY. 237 

tliej' abstain from making a noise that -would interfere with devo- 
tions. 

Upon the marvellous mosaic ceiling of the great dome is a fig- 
ure of the Virgin Mary, which the Turks have frequently tried to 
cover up by painting it over ; but paint as often as they will, the 
figure will not be concealed. On one of the upper galleries are the 
" Gate of Heaven " and "Gate of Hell," the former of which the 
Turks once tried their best to destroy ; but every arm that ventured 
to raise a tool against it instantly became paralyzed, when the 
would-be destroyers naturally gave up the job. In giving the 
readers these facts I earnestly request them not to credit them to 
my personal account ; for, although earnestly believed in by a cer- 
tain class of Christian natives here, I would prefer the responsibility 
for their truthfulness to rest on the broad shoulders of tradition 
rather than on mine. 

The Turks never call the attention of visitors to these reminders 
of the religion of the infidels who built the structure, at such an 
enormous outlay of money and labor, little dreaming that it would 
become one of the chief glories of the Mohammedan world. But 
the door-keeper who follows visitors around never neglects to 
point out the shape of a human hand on the wall, too high up to 
be closely examined, and volunteer the intelligence that it is the 
imprint of the hand of the first Sultan who visited the mosque after 
the occupation of Constantinople by the Osmanlis. Perhaps, how- 
ever, the Mussulman, in thus discriminating between the traditions 
of the Greek residents and the alleged hand-mark of the fii-st Sul- 
tan, is actuated by a laudable desire to be truthful so far as possi- 
ble ; for there is nothing improbable about the story of the hand- 
■ mark, inasmuch as a hole chipped in the masonry, an application 
of cement, and a pressure of the Sultan's hand against it before 
it hardened, give at once something for visitors to look at through 
future centuries and shake their heads incredulously about. 

Not the least of the attractions are two monster wax candles, 
which, notwithstanding their lighting up at innumerable fasts and 
feasts, for the guide does not know how many years past, are still 
eir^ht feet long by four in circumference ; but more wonderful than 
the monster wax candles, the brass tomb of Constantine's daughter, 
set in the wall over one of the massive doors, the Sultan's hand- 
mark, the figure of the Virgin Mary, and the green columns 
brought from B;uilbec ; above everything else is the wonderful 



238 FKOM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

mosaic-work. The mighty dome and the whole vast ceiling are 
mosaic- work in which tiny squares of blue, green, and gold crystal 
are made to work out patterns. The squares used are tiny par- 
ticles having not over a quarter-inch surface ; and the amoimt of 
labor and the expense in covering the vast ceiling of this tremen- 
dous structure with incomputable myriads of these small particles 
fairly stagger any attempt at comprehension. 

An interesting hour can next be spent in the Costume Museum, 
where life-size figures represent the varied and most decidedly 
picturesque costumes of the different officials of the Ottoman cap- 
ital in previous ages, the janizaries, and natives of the different 
provinces. Some of the head-gear in vogue at Constantinople 
before the fez were tremendous affairs, but the fez is certainly a 
step too far in the opposite direction, being several degrees more 
uncomfortable than nothing in the broiling sun ; the fez makes no 
pretence of shading the eyes, and excludes every particle of air 
from the scalp. The thousand and one columns are in an ancient 
Greek reservoir that formerly supplied all Stamboul with water. 
The columns number but three hundred and thirty-four in reality, 
but each column is in three parts, and by stretching the point we 
have the fanciful "thousand-and-one." The reservoir is reached by 
descending a flight of stone steps ; it is fiUed in with earth up to 
the upper half of the second tier of columns, so that the lower tier 
is buried altogether. This filling up was done in the days of the 
janizaries, as it was found that those frisky warriors were can-ying 
their well-known theory of "right being might and the Devil take 
the weakest " to the extent of robbing unprotected people who ven- 
tured to pass this vicinity after dark, and then consigning them to the 
dark depths of the deserted reservoir. The reservoir is now occupied 
during the day by a number of Jewish silk-weavers, who work here 
on account of the dampness and coolness being beneficial to the silk. 

The tomb of Mahmoud is next visited on the way to the Bazaar. 
The several coffins of the Sultan Mahmoud and his Sultana and 
princesses are surrounded by massive railings of pure silver ; mon- 
ster wax candles are standing at the head and foot of each coffin, 
in curiously wrought candlesticks of solid silver that must weigh 
a hundred pounds each at least ; ranged around the room are silver 
caskets, inlaid with mother-of-pearl, in which rare illumined copies 
of the Koran are carefully kept, the attendant who opened one for 
my inspection using a silk pocket-handkerchief to turn the leaves. 



THROUGH EUROPEAN TURKEY. 239 

The Stamboul Bsizaar well deserves its renown, since there is 
nothing else of its kind in the whole world to compare with it. Its 
labyi-inth of little stalls and shops if joined together in one straight 
line would extend for miles ; and a whole day might be spent quite 
profitably in wandering around, watching the busy scenes of bar- 
gaining and manufacturing. Here, in this bewildering maze of 
buying and selling, the peculiar life of the Orient can be seen to 
perfection ; the " mysterious veiled lady " of the East is seen 
thronging the narrow traffic-ways and seated in every stall ; water- 
venders and venders of carpooses (water-melons) and a score of dif- 
ferent eatables are meandering through. Here, if your guide be an 
honest fellow, he can pilot you into stuffy little holes f uU of an- 
tique articles of every description, where genuine bargains can be 
picked up ; or, if he be dishonest, and in league with equally dis- 
honest tricksters, whose places are antiquaries only in name, he can 
lead you where everything is basest imitation. In the former case, 
if anything is purchased he comes in for a small and not unde- 
served commission from the shopkeeper, and in the latter for per- 
haps as much as thirty per cent. I am told that one of these 
guides, when escorting a party of tourists with plenty of money 
to spend and no knowledge whatever of the real value or genuine- 
ness of antique articles, often makes as much as ten or fifteen pounds 
sterling a day commission. 

On the way from the Bazaar we call at the Pigeon Mosque, so 
called on account of being the resort of thousands of pigeons, that 
have become quite tame from being constantly fed by visitors and 
surrounded by human beings. A woman has charge of a store of 
seeds and grain, and visitors purchase a handful for ten paras and 
throw to the pigeons, who flock around fearlessly in the general 
scramble for the food. At any hour of the day Mussulman ladies 
may be seen here feeding the pigeons for the amusement of their 
children. From the Pigeon Mosque we ascend the Saraka Tower, 
the great watch-tower of Stamboul, from tbe summit of which the 
news of a fire in any part of the city is signalled, by suspending 
huge frame-work balls covered with canvas from the ends of pro- 
jecting poles in the day, and lights at night. Constant watch and 
ward is kept over the city below by men snugly housed in quarters 
near the summit, who, in addition to their duties as watchmen, 
turn an honest cherik occasionally by supplying cups of coffee to 
visitors. 



240 FROir SAW FRANCISCO TO TEIIERAW. 

No fairer site ever greeted human vision than the prospect 
from the Tower of Saraka. Stamboul, Galata, Pera, and Scutari, 
with every suburban village and resort for many a mile around, 
can be seen to perfection from the commanding height of Saraka 
Tower. The guide can here point out eveiy building of interest 
in Stamboul — the broad area of roof beneath which the busy scenes 
of Stamboul Bazaar are enacted from day to day, the great Persian 
khan, the different mosques, the Sultan's palaces at Pera, the Im- 
perial kiosks up the Bosphortis, the old Grecian aqueduct, along 
which the water for supplying the great reservoir of the thousand 
and one columns used to be conducted, the old city walls, and 
scores of other interesting objects too numerous to mention here. 
On the opposite hill, across the Golden Horn, Galata Watch-tower 
points skyward above the mosques and houses of Galata and Pera. 
The two bridges connecting Staraboul and Galata are seen thronged 
with busy traffic ; a forest of masts and spars is ranged all along 
the Golden Horn ; steamboats are plying hither and thither across 
the Bosphorus ; the American cruiser Quinnebaug rides at anchor 
opposite the Imperial water-side palace ; the blue waters of the Sea 
of Marmora and the Gulf of Ismidt are dotted here and there with 
snowy sails or hned with the smoke of steamships ; aU combined to 
make the most lovely panorama imaginable, and to which the coast- 
wise hills and more lofty mountains of Asia Minor in the distance 
form a most appropriate background. 

From this vantage-point the guide wiU not neglect whetting 
the curiosity of his charge for more sight-seeing by pointing out 
everything that he imagines would be interesting ; he points out 
a hill above Scutari, whence, he says, a splendid view, can be had 
of "all Asia Minor," and "we could walk there and back in half 
a day, or go quicker with horses or donkej's ; " he reminds j-ou 
that to-morrow is the day for the howUng dervishes in Scutari, 
and tells you that by starting at one we caii walk out to the Eng- 
lish cemetery, and return to Scutari in time for the howling der- 
vishes at four o'clock, and manages altogether to get his employer 
interested in a programme, which, if carried out, would guarantee 
him employment for the nest week. On the way back to Galata 
we visit the tomb of "Sulieman I., the most magnificent tomb in 
Stamboul. Here, before the coffins of Sulieman I., Sulieman 11., 
and his brother Ahmed, are monster wax candles, that have stood 
sentry here for three hundred and fifty years ; and the mosaic dome 



THROUGH EUEOPEAN TURKEY. 241 

of tlie beautiful edifice is studded with what are popularly believed 
to be genuine diamouds, that twinkle down on the curiously gaz- 
ing visitor like stars from a miniature heaven. The attendant tells 
the guide, in answer to an inquiry from me, that no one Uving 
knows whether they are genuine diamonds or not, for never, since 
the day it was finished, over three centuries and a half ago, has any- 
one been permitted to go up and examine them. The edifice was 
so perfectly and solidly built in the beginning, that no repairs of 
any kind have ever been necessai-y ; and it looks almost like a new 
building to-day. 

Not being able to spare the time for visiting all the objects of 
interest enumerated by the guide, I elect to see the howHng der- 
vishes as the most interesting among them. Accordingly we take 
the ferry-boat across to Scutari on Thursday afternoon in time to 
visit the English cemetery before the dervishes begin their peculiar 
services. We pass through one of the largest Mussulman ceme- 
teries of Constantinople, a bewUdering area of tombstones beneath 
a grove of dai-k cypresses, so crowded and disorderly that the 
oldest gravestones seem to have been pushed down, or on one side, 
to make room for others of a later generation, and these again for 
still others. In happy comparison to the disordered area of 
crowded tombstones in the Mohammedan graveyard is the Eng- 
lish cemetery, where the soldiers who died at the Scutari hospital 
during the Crimean war were buried, and the English residents of 
Constantinople now bury their dead. The situation of the Eng- 
hsh cemetery is a charming spot, on a sloping bluff, washed by the 
waters of the Bosphorus, where the requiem of the murmuring 
waves is pei^petually sung for the brave fellows interred there. An 
Englishman has charge ; and after being in Turkey a month it is 
really quite refreshing to visit this cemetery, and note the scrupu- 
lous neatness of the grounds. The keeper must be industry per- 
sonified, for he scarcely permits a dead leaf to escape his notice ; 
and the four angels beaming down upon the grounds from the 
national monument erected by England, in memory of the Crimean 
heroes, were they real visitors from the better land, could doubt- 
less give a good account of his stewardship. 

The howling dervishes have already begun to howl as we open 

the portals leading into their place of worship by the influence of 

a cherik placed in the open palm of a sable eunuch at the door ; 

but it is only the overture, for it is half an horn- later when the inter- 

16 



.242 rROil SAN FRAWCISCO TO TEIIEKAN. 

esting pm-'t of the progratnine begins. The firsf lidur seems to be 
-devoted to preliminary meditations and comparatively quiet cere- 
monies ; but the cruel-looking instruments of self-flagellation hang- 
ing on the wall, and a choice and complete assortment of drums 
and other noise-producing but unnielodious instruments, remind 
the visitor that he. is in the presence of a peculiar people. Sheep- 
skin mats almost cover the floor of the room, which is kept scfupur 
lously clean, presumably to guard against the worshippers soiling 
their lips whenever they kiss the floor, a ceremony which they per- 
form quite frequently during the first hour ; and everyone who pre- 
sumes to tread within'that holy precinct removes his over-shoes, if 
■he is wearing any, otherwise lie enters in his stockings. 

At five o'clock the excitement begins ; thirty or forty men are 
ranged around one end of the Toom, bowing themselves about most 
violently, and keeping time to the movements of their bodies with 
shouts of "Allah ! Allah! " and then branching off into a howling 
chorus of Mussulman supplications, that, unintelligible as they are 
to the infidel ear, are not altogether devoid of melody in the expres-r 
sion, the Turkish language abounding in words in which there is a 
world of meUifluousness. A dancing dervish, who has been patiently 
awaiting at the inner gate, now receives a nod of permission from 
the priest, and, after laying aside an outer garment, waltzes nimbly 
into the room, and straightway begins spinning round like a balr 
let-dancer in Italian opera, his arms extended, his long skirt form- 
ing a complete circle around, him as he revolves, and his eyes fixed 
with a determined gaze into vacancy. Among the howlers is a 
negro, who. is six feet three at least, not in his socks, but in the fin- 
est pair of under-shoes in the room, and whether it be in the cere- 
liioiiy of kissing the floor, knocking foreheads against the same, kiss- 
ing the hand of the priest, or in the howling and bodilj' contortions, 
this towering son of Ham performs his part with a grace that brings 
him conspicuously to the fore in this respect. But as the contor- 
tions gradually become more violent, aiid the cry of " Allah akbar ! 
Allah hai ! " degenerates into violent grunts of " h-o-o-o-o-a-hoo- 
hoo," the half-exhausted devotees fling aside everything but a white 
shroud, and the perspu'atiou fairly streams off them, froni such 
violent exercise in the hot weather and close atmosphere of the small 
room. The exercises make rapid inroads, upon the tall negro's 
powers of endurance, and he steps to one side and takes a breath- 
ing-spell of five minutes, after which he resumes his place again, 



THROUGH EUEOPEATSr TURKEY. 243 

find, in spite of the ever-increasing- violence of both lung and mus- 
cular exercise, and the extra exertion imposed by his great height, 
he keeps it up heroically to the end. 

For twenty-five minutes by my watch, . the one lone dancing 
dervish— who appears to be a visitor merely, but is accorded the 
brotherly privilege of whirling round in silence while the others 
howl — spina round and round like a tireless top, making not the 
slightest sound, spinning in a long, persevering, continuous whirl, 
as though determined to prove himself holier than the howlers, by 
spinning longer than they can keep up their howling — a fair test 
of fanatical endurance, so to speak. One cannot help admiring the 
religious fervor and determination of purpose that impel this lone 
figure silently around on his axis for twenty-five minutes, at a speed 
that would upset the equilibrium of anybody but a dancing dervish 
in thirty seconds ; and there is something really heroic in the 
manner in which he at last suddenly stops, and, without uttering a 
sound or betraying any sense of dizziness whatever from the exer- 
cise, puts on his coat again and departs in silence, conscious, no 
doubt, of being a holier person than all the howlers put together, 
even though they are still keeping it up. As unmistakable signals 
of distress are involuntarily hoisted by the violently exercising 
devotees, and the weaker ones quietly fall out of line, and the mili- 
tary precision of the twists of body and bobbing and jerking of 
head begins to lose something of its regularity, the six " encoura- 
gers," ranged on sheep-skins before the line of howling men, like 
non-commissioned officers before a squad of new recruits, increase 
their encouraging cries of " Allah ! Allah alcbar 1 " as though fearful 
that the din might subside, on account of the several already ex- 
hausted organs of articulation, unless they chimed in more lustily 
and helped to swell the volume. 

Little children now come trooping in, seeking with eager antici- 
pation the happy privilege of being ranged along the floor like 
sardines in a tin box, and having the priest walk along theii- bod- 
ies, stepping from one to the other along the row, and returning 
the same way, while two assistants steady him by holding his hands. 
In the case of the smaller children, the priest considerately steps 
on their thighs, to avoid throwing their internal apparatus out of 
gear ; but if the recipient of his holy attentions is, in his estimation, 
strong enough to run the risk, he steps square on their backs. 
The little things jump up as sprightly as may be, kiss the priest's 



244 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TT-:HERAN. 

hand fervently, and go trooping out of the door, apparently well 
pleased with the novel performance. Finally human nature can 
endure it no longer, and' the. performance terminates in a long, 
despairing wail of "Allah! Allah 1 Allah!" The exhausted de- 
votees, soaked wet with perspiration, step forward, and receive 
what I take to be rather an inadequate reward for what they have 
been subjecting themselves to — viz., the privilege of kissing the 
priest's already much-kissed hand, and at 5.45 p.m. the performance 
is over. I take my departure in time to catch the sis o'clock boat 
for Galata, well satisfied with the finest show I ever saw for a cherik. 

I have abeady made mention of there being many beautiful 
sea-side places to which ConstantinopoUtans resort on Sundays and 
holidays, and among them all there is no lovelier spot than the 
island of Prinkipo, one of the Prince's Islands group, situated some 
twelve miles from Constantinople, down the Gulf of Ismidt. Shel- 
ton Bey (Colonel Shelton), an English gentleman, who superintends 
the Sultan's cannon-foundry at Tophana, and the well-known author 
of Shelton's " Mechanic's Guide," owns the finest steam-yacht on 
the Bosphorus, and three Sundays out of the five I remain here, 
this gentleman and his excellent lady kindly invite me to visit 
Prinkipo with them for the day. 

On the way over we usually race with the regular passenger 
steamer, and as the Bey's yacht is no plaj'thing for size and speed, 
we generally manage to keep close euough to amuse ourselves 
with the comments on the beauty and speed of our little craft from 
the crowded deck of the other boat. Sometimes a very distin- 
guished person or two is aboard the yacht with our little company, 
.personages known to the Bey, who having arrived on the passen- 
ger-boat, accept invitatious for a cruise around the island, or to 
dine aboard the yacht as she rides at anchor before the town. But 
the advent of the "Americanish Velocipediste " and his glistenin" 
machine, a wonderful thing that Prinkipo never saw the Uke of be- 
fore, creates a genuine sensation, and becomes the subject of a 
nine-days' wonder. Prinkipo is a delightful gossipy island, occu- 
pied during the summer by the families of wealthy Constanti- 
uopolitans and leading business men, who go to and fro daily 
between the little island and the city on the passenger-boats re"-, 
ularly plying between them, and is visited every Sunday by crowds 
in search of the health and pleasure afforded by a day's outin". 

While here at Constantinople I received by mail from America a 



246 FROM SAN FltANCISCO TO TEHERAK. 

Butcher spoke cyclometer, and on the second visit to Prinkipo I 
measured the road which has been made around half the island ; 
the distance is four English miles and a fraction. The road was 
built by refugees employed by the Sultan during the last Eusso- 
Turldsh war, and is a very good one ; for part of the distance it 
leads between splendid villas, on the verandas of which are seen 
groups of the wealth and beauty of the Osmanli capital, Armenians, 
Greeks, and Turks — the latter ladies sometimes take the privilege of 
dispensing with the yashmah during their visits to the comparative 
seclusion of Prinkipo villas — with quite a sprinkling of English and 
Europeans. The sort of impression made upon the imaginations 
of Prinkipo young ladies by the bicycle is apparent from the follow- 
ing comment made by a bevy of them confidentially to Shelton Bey, 
and kindly written out by him, together with the English interpreta- 
tion thereof. The Prinkipo ladies' compliment to the first bicycle 
rider visiting their beautiful island is : " Bizdan kaydore ghyur- 
ulduzug em nezaJcetU sadi Mr dakiha utehum ghyuriorus nazaman Mr 
dah bacJdorus Mttum gitmush." (He glides noiselessly and grace- 
fully past ; we see him only for a moment ; when we look again he 
is quite gone ) The men are of course less poetical, their ideas run- 
ning more to the practical side of the possibilities of the new ar- 
rival, and they comment as follows : " Onum beyghir hich-Mr-sMy 
yemiore hich-bir-sh&y ichmiore hich yorumliore ma sheitan gibi ghiti- 
ore." (His horse, he eats nothing, drinks nothing, never gets tired, 
and goes like the very devil.) It is but fair to add, however, that any 
bold Occidental contemplating making a descent on Prinkipo v?ith a 
" sociable" with a view to delightful moonlight rides with the fair 
authors of the above poetic contribution will find himself " all at 
sea " upon his arrival, unless he brings a three-seated machine, so 
that the mamma can be accommodated with a seat behind, since 
the daughters of Prinkipo society never wander forth by moon- 
light, or any other light, unless thus accompanied, or by some 
equally staid and solicitous relative. 

For the Asiatic tour I have invented a " bicycle tent " — a handy 
contrivance by which the bicycle is made to answer the place of 
tent poles. The material used is- fine, strong sheeting, that will 
roll up into a small space, and to make it thoroughly water-proof, 
I have dressed it with boiled linseed oil. My footgear henceforth 
will be Circassian moccasins, with the pointed toes sticking up like 
the prow of a Venetian gallej;. I have had a pair made to order 



TIIEOUGH EUKOPEAN TUKKEY. 



247 



by a native slioemaker in Galata, an J, for either walking or pedal- 
ling, they are ahead of any foot-gear I ever wore ; they are as 
easy as a three-year-old glove, and last indefinitely, and for faiicir 
fulness in appearance, the shoes of civUizatiou are nowhere. 

Three days before starting out I receive friendly warnings from 
both the English and American consul that Turkey in Asia is in- 
fested with brigands, the former going the length of saying that 
if he had the power he would refuse me permission to meander 
forth upon so risky an undertaking. I have every confidence, how- 
ever, that the bicycle will prove an effectual safeguard against any 
undue familiarity on the part of these frisky citizens. Since reach- 
ing Constantinople the papers here have published accounts of 
recent exploits accomplished by brigands near Eski Baba. I have 
little doubt but that more 
than one brigand was among 
my highly interested audi- 
ences there on that memor- 
able Sunday. 

The Turkish authorities 
seem to have made them- 
selves quite familiar with my 
intentions, and upon making 
application for a teskorli 
(Turkish passport) they re- 
quired me to specif}', as far 
as possible, the precise route 
I intend traversing from Scutari to Ismfdt, Angora, Erzeroum, 
and beyond, to the Persian frontier. An English gentleman who 
has lately travelled through Persia and the Caucasus tells me that 
the Persians are quite agreeable people, their only fault being the 
one common failing of the East : a disposition to charge whatever 
they think it possible to obtain for anything. The Circassians 
seem to be the great bugbear in Asiatic Turkey. I am told that 
once I get beyond the country that these people range over — who 
are regarded as a sort of natural and half -privileged freebooters — I 
shall be reasonably safe from molestation. It is a common thing in 
Constantinople when two men are quarrelling for one to threaten 
to give a Circassian a couple of medjedis- to kill the other. The 
Circassian is to Turkey what the mythical " bogie " is to England ; 
mothers threaten, undutiful daughters, fathers unruly sons, and 




Bicycle Tent. 



248 FKOM SAN FKANCISCO TD TEHERAN. 

everj'body their enemies generally, with the Circassian, who, Low- 
ever, unlike the "bogie" of the English household, is a real ma- 
terial presence, popularly understood to be ready for any devilment 
a person may hire him to do. 

The bull-dog revolver, under the protecting presence of which I 
have travelled thus far, has to be abandoned here at Constantinople, 
having proved itself quite a wayward weapon since it came from the 
gunsmith's hands in Vienna, who seemed to have upset the internal 
mechanism in some mysterious mannei* while boring out the cham- 
bers a trifle to accommodate European cartridges. My experience 
thus far is that a revolver has been more ornamental than useful ; 
but I am now about penetrating far different countries to any I 
have yet- traversed. Plenty of excellently finished German imita- 
tions of the Smith & Wesson revolver are found in the magazines 
of Constantinople ; but, apart from it being the duty of eveiy Eng- 
lishman or American to discourage, as far as his power goes, the 
unscrupulousness of German manufacturers in placing upon foreign 
markets what are, as far as outward appearance goes, the exact 
counterparts of our own goods, for half the money, a genuine 
American revolver is a different weapon from its would-be imitators, 
and I hesitate not to pay the price for the genuine article. Re- 
membering the narrow escape on several occasions of having the 
bull-dog confiscated by the Turkish gendarmerie, and having heard, 
moreover, in Constantinople, that the same class of officials in Tur- 
key in Asia will most assuredly want to confiscate the Smith & 
Wesson as a matter of private speciilation and enterprise, I obtain 
through the British consul a teskere giving me special permission 
to carry a revolver. Subsequent events, however, proved this pre- 
caution to be unnecessary, for a more courteous, obliging, and 
gentlemanly set of fellows, according to their enlightenment, I 
never met anywhere, than the government officials of Asiatic Turkey. 

Were I to make the simple statement that I am starting into 
Asia with a pair of knee-breeches that are worth fourteen English 
pounds (about sixty-eight dollars) and offer no further explanation, 
I should, in all probability, be accused of a high order of prevari- 
cation. Nevertheless, such is the fact ; for among other subter- 
fuges to outwit possible brigands, and kindred citizens, I have made 
cloth-covered buttons out of Turkish liras (eighteen shillings 
English), and sewed them on in place of ordinary buttons. Panta- 
loon buttons at $54 a dozen are a luxury that my wildest dreams 



THROUGH EUROPEAN TURKEY. 



249 



never soared to before, and I am afraid many a thrifty person will 
condemn me for extravagance ; but the " splendor " of the Orient 
demands it ; and the extreme handiness of being able to cut off a 
button, and with it buy provisions enough . to load down a mule, 
would be all the better appreoiated if one had just been released 
from the hands of the Philistines with nothing but his clothes — 



^.\Sj\ j^\Sj J^_» ^J-J ,a.lljy Jli. 

^-».3l. ill ilj- JjSj\j\ ^ ii\ ay 
VjU ijJ-\ *>\-mB <(Jil J>jl!;_^ JjT A_« 




'-*'\?'l/ *:?J? * AiJl^J 4cjKil J,(jj,1j 



A Notice of my Journey in the Sultan's Official Organ. 

and buttons — and the bicycle. With these things left to him, one 
could afford to regard the whole matter as a joke, expensive, per- 
haps, but nevertheless a joke compared with what might have been. 
The Constantinople papers have advertised me to start on Mon- 
day, August 10th, " direct from Scutari." I have received friendly 
warnings from several Constantinople gentlemen, that a band of 
brigands, under the leadership of an enterprising chief named 



250 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

Mahmoud Pehlivan, operating about thirty mileS out of Scutari; 
have beyond a doubt received intelligence of this fact from spies 
here in the city, and, to avoid running direct into the lion's 
mouth, I decide to make the start from Ismidt, about twenty-five 
miles beyond their rendezvous. A Greek gentleman, who is a 
British subject, a Mr. J. T. Corpi, whom I have met here, fell into 
the hands of this same gang, and being known to them as a wealthy 
gentleman, had to fork over £3,000 ransom ; and he says I would 
be in great danger of molestation in venturing from Sciitari to 
Ismidt after my intention to do so has been published. 



CHAPTER X. 

THE START THROUGH ASIA. 

In addition to a cycler's ordinary outfit and the before-mentioned 
small wedge tent I provide myself with a few extra spokes, a cake 
of tire cement, and an extra tire for the rear wheel. This latter, 
together with twenty yards of small, stout rope, I wrap snugly 
around the front axle ; the tent and spare underclothing, a box of 
revolver cartridges, and a small bottle of sewing-machine oil are 
consigned to a luggage-carrier behind ; while my writing materials, 
a few medicines and small sundries find a repository in my White- 
house sole-leathei: case on a Lamson carrier, which also accommo- 
dates a suit of gossamer rubber. 

The result of my study of the various routes through Asia is a 
determination to push on to Teheran, the capital of Persia, and 
there spend the approaching winter, completing my journey to the 
Pacific next season. 

Accordingly nine o'clock on Monday morning, August 10th, finds 
me aboard the little Turkish steamer that plies semi-weekly between 
Ismidt and the Ottoman capital, my bicycle, as usual, the centre of 
a crowd of wondering Orientals. This Ismidt steamer, with its 
motley crowd of passengers, presents a scene that upholds with 
more eloquence than words Constantinople's claim of being the 
most cosmopolitan city in the world ; and a casual observer, judg- 
ing only from the evidence aboard the boat, would pronounce it 
also the most democratic. There appears to be no first, second, or 
third class ; everybody pays the same fare, and everybody wanders 
at his own sweet will into every nook and corner of the upper 
deck, perches himself on top of the paddle-boxes, loafs on the 
pilot's bridge, or reclines among the miscellaneous assortment of 
freight pUed up in a confused heap on the fore-deck; in short, 
everybody seems perfectly free to follow the bent of his inclina- 
tions, except to penetrate behind the scenes of the aftmost deck, 
where, cai'efuUy hidden from the rude gaze of the male passengers 



252 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

by a canvas partition, the Moslem ladies have their little world of 
gossip and coffee, and fragrant cigarettes. Every public conveyance 
in the Orient has this walled-off retreat, in which Osmanli fair 
ones can remove their yashmaks, smoke cigarettes, and comport 
themselves with as much freedom as though in the seclusion of their 
apartments at home. 

Greek and Armenian ladies mingle with the main-deck passen- 
gers, however, the picturesque costumes of the former contributing 
not a little to the general Oriental effect of the scene. The dress 
of the Armenian ladies differs but little from Western costumes, 
and their deportment would wreathe the benign countenance of 
the Lord Chamberlain with a serene smile of approval ; but the 
minds and inclinations of the gentle Hellenic dames seem to i-un in 
rather a contrary channel. Singly, in twos, or in cosey, confidential 
coteries, arm in arm, they promenade here and there, saying httle 
to each other or to anybody else. By the picturesqueness of their 
apparel and their seemingly bold demeanor they attract to them- 
selves more than their just share of attention ; but with well- 
feigned ignorance of this they divide most of their time and atten- 
tion between rolling cigarettes and smoking them. Their heads 
are bound with jaunty silk handkerchiefs ; they wear rakish-looking 
short jackets, down the back of which their luxuriant black hair 
dangles in two tresses ; but the crowning masterpiece of their 
costume is that wonderful garment which is neither petticoat nor 
pantaloons, and which can be most properly described as " inde- 
scribable," which tends to give the wearer rather an unfeminine ap- 
pearance, and is not to be compared with the really sensible and 
not unpicturesque nether garment of a Turkish lady. 

The male companions of these Greek women are not a bit be- 
hind them in the matter of gay colors and startling surprises of the 
Levantine clothier's art, for they hkewise are in all the bravery of 
holiday attire. There is quite a number of them aboai-d, and they 
now appear at their best, for they are going to take part in wedding 
festivities at one of the Uttle Greek villages that nestle amid the 
vine-clad slopes along the coast — white-painted villages, that from 
the deck of the moving steamer look as though they have been 
placed here and there by nature's artistic hand for the sole purpose 
of embellishing the lovely green frame-work that surrounds the 
blue waters of the Ismidt Gulf. Several of these merry-makers 
enliven the passing hours with music and dancing, to the delight 



THE STAKT THROUGH ASIA. 253 

of a numerous audience, -while a second ever-changing but never- 
dispersing audience is gathered around the bicycle. 

The verbal comments and Solomon-like opinions, given in ex- 
pressive pantomime, of this latter garrulous gathering concerning 
the machine and myself, I can of course but partly understand ; 
but occasionally some wiseacre suddenly becomes inflated with the 
idea that he has succeeded in unravelling the knotty problem, and 
forthwith proceeds to explain, for the edification of his fellow-pas- 
sengers, the modus operandi of riding it, supplementing his words 
by the most extraordinary gestures. The audience is usually very 
attentive and highly interested in these explanations, and may be 
considerably enlightened by their self-constituted tutors, whose sole 
advantage over their auditors, so far as bicycles are concerned, 
consists simply in a belief iu the superiority of their own pai-ticular 
powers of penetration. But to the only person aboard the steamer 
who really does know anything at all about the subject, the chief 
end of their exposition seems to be gained when they have duly 
impressed upon the minds of their heai-ers that the bicycle is to 
ride on, and that it goes at a rate of speed quite beyond the com- 
prehension of their — the auditora' — minds; "Bin, bin, bin/ Chu, 
chu, chu ! Haidi, haidi, haidi ! " being repeated with a vehemence 
that is intended to impress upon them little less than flying-Dutch- 
man speed. 

The deck of a Constantinople steamer affords splendid oppor- 
tunity for character study, and the Ismidt packet is no exception. 
Nearly every person aboard has some characteristic, peculiar and 
distinct from any of the others. At intervals of about fifteen min- 
utes a couple of Armenians, bare-footed, bare-legged, and ragged, 
clamber with much difficulty and scraping of shins over a large pile 
of empty chicken-crates to visit one particular crate. Theii- collec- 
tive baggage consists of a thin, half-grown chicken tied by both 
feet to a small bag of barley, which is to prepare it for the useful 
but inglorious end of all chickendom. They have imprisoned their 
unhappy chai'ge in a crate that is most difficult to get at. Why 
they didn't put it in one of the nearer crates, what their object is 
in climbing up to visit it so frequently, and why they always go 
together, are problems of the knottiest kind. 

A far less difficult riddle is the case of a middle-aged man, whose 
costume and avocation explain nothing, save that he is not an Os- 
manli. He is a passenger homevvai-d bound to one of the coast ^il- 



254 



FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 



lages, and he constantly circulates among the crowd with a baskfet 
of water-melons, which he has brought aboard " on spec," to vend 
among his fellow-passengers, hoping thereby to gain sufficient to 
defray the cost of his passage. Seated on whatever they can find to 
perch upon, near the canvas partition, all unmoved by the gay and 
stin-ing scenes before them, is a group of Mussulman pilgrims froni 
some interior town, returning from a pilgi-image to Stamboul — 
fine-looking Osmanli graybeards, whose haughty reserve not even 
the bicycle is able to completely overcome, although it proves more 
efficacious in subduing it and waking them out of their habitual 




Osmanli Pilgrims. 



contemplative attitude than anything else aboard. Two of these 
men are of magnificent physique ; their black eyes, i-ather full lips, 
and swarthy skins betraying Arab blood. In addition to the long 
daggers and antiquated pistols so universally worn in the Orient, 
tUey are armed with fine, large, pearl-handled revolvers, and thev 
sit cross-legged, smoking cigarette after cigarette in silent medita- 
tion, paying uo heed even to the merry music and the dancing of the 
Greeks. 

At Jelova, the first village the steamer halts at, a coupleof 
zapliehs come aboard with two prisoners whom .they are convey- 



THE STAKT TIIUOUGH ASIA. 255 

ing to Ismidt. Tliese men are lower-class criminals, aiul tlieii- 
■wretched appearance betxays the utter absence of hygienic consid- 
erations ou the part of the Turkish prison authorities ; they evi- 
dently have had no cause to complain of any harsh measures for 
the enforcement of personal cleanliness. Their foot-gear consists 
of pieces of rawhide, fastened on with odds and ends of string ; 
and pieces of coarse sacking tacked on to what were once clothes 
barely suffice to cover their nakedness ; bare-headed — their bushy 
hah- has not for months felt the smoothing inf_ueuce of a comb, and 
their hands and faces look as if they had just endured a seven- 
yeai-s' famine of soap and water. This latter feature is a sure sign 
that they are not Turks, for prisoners are most likely allowed full 
liberty to keep themselves clean, and a Turk would at least have 
come out into the world with a clean face. 

The zaptiehs squat down together and smoke cigarettes, and allow 
their charges full liberty to roam wheresoever thej' will while on 
board, and the two prisoners, to all appearances j)erfectly oblivious 
of their rags, filth, and the degradation of their position, mingle 
freely with the passengers ; and, as they move about, asking and 
answering questions, I look in vain among the latter for any sign 
of the spirit of social Pharisaism that in a Western crowd would 
have kept them at a distance. Both these men have every ap- 
pearance of being the lowest of criminals — men capable of any 
deed in the calendar within theu- mental and physical capacities ; 
they may even be members of the very gang I am taking this 
steamer to avoid ; but nobody seems to either pity or condemn 
them ; everybody acts toward them precisely as they act toward 
each other. Perhaps in no other country in the world does this 
social and moral apathy obtain among the masses to such a de- 
gree as in Turkej'. 

While we lie to for a few minutes to disembark passengers at 
the vUlage where the before-mentioned wedding festivities are in 
progress, four of the seven imperturbable Osmanlis actually arise 
from the one position they have occupied unmoved since coming 
aboard, and follow me to the foredeck, in order to be present while 
I explain the workings and mechanism of the bicycle to some Aiv 
menian students of Eoberts College, who can speak a certain 
amount of English. Having listened to my explanations without 
understanding a word, and, without condescending to question the 
Armenians, they survey the machine some minutes in silence and 



256 FEOM SAN FKANCISCO TO TEHEEAN. 

then return to their former positions, their cigarettes, and their 
meditations, paying not the slightest heed to several caique loads of 
Greek merry-makers who have rowed out to meet the new arrivals, 
and are paddling around the steamer, fiUing the air with music. 
Finding that there is someone aboard that can converse with me, 
the Greeks, desirous of seeing the bicycle in action, and of introduc- 
ing a novelty into the festivities of the evening, ask me to come ashore 
and be their guest until the arrival of the next Ismidt boat — a 
matter of three days. Offer declined with thanks, but not without 
reluctance, for these Greek merry-makings are well worth seeing. 

The Ismidt packet, Hke everything else in Turkey, moves at a 
snail's pace, and although we got under way in something less than 
an hour after the advertised starting-time, which, for Turkey, is quite 
commendable promptness, and the distance is but fifty-five miles, 
we call at a number of villages en route, and it is 6 p.m. when we tie 
up at the Ismidt wharf. 

"Five piastres, Effendi, " says the ticket-collector, as, after wait- 
ing till the crowd has passed the gang- plank, I follow with the bicy- 
cle and hand him my ticket. 

" What are the five piastres for ? " I ask. For answer, he points 
to my wheel. 

"Baggage," I explain. 

"Baggage yoke, cargo, " he replies ; and I have to pay it. The 
fact is, that, never having seen a bicycle before, he don't know 
whether it is cargo or baggage ; but whenever a Turkish official has 
no precedent to follow, he takes care to be on the right side in case 
there is any money to be collected ; otherwise he is not apt to be so 
pai-ticular. This is, however, rather a matter of private concern than 
of zealousness in the performance of his official duties ; the possibil- 
ities of peculation are ever before Lim. 

While satisfying the claim of the ticket-collector a deck-hand 
comes forward and, pointing to the bicycle, blandly asks me for 
backsheesh. He asks, not because he has put a finger to the machine 
or been asked to do so, but, being a thoughtful, far-sighted youth, he 
is looking out for the future. The bicycle is something he never saw 
on his boat before ; but the idea that these things may now become 
common among the passengers wanders through his mind, and that 
obtaining backsheesh on this particular occasion will establish aprece- 
dent that may be very handy hereafter ; so he makes a most re- 
spectful salaam,, calls me " Bey Effendi, " and smilingly requests two 



THE START THROUGH ARIA. 257 

piastres baclcsheesh. After him comes the passport officer, wlio, be- 
sides the tcxl-et-i for myself, demands a special passport for the ma- 
chine. He likewise is in a puzzle (it don't take much, by the by, to 
puzzle the brains of a Turkish official), because the bicycle is some- 
thing he has had no previous dealings with ; but as this is a matter 
in which finances play no legitimate part — though probably his de- 
mand for a passport is made for no other purpose than that of get- 
ting backsheesh — a ^•igorous protest, backed up by the unanimous, 
and most certainly vociferous, support of a crowd of wharf-loafers, 
and my fellow-i^assengers, who, having disembarked, are waiting 
patiently for me to come and ride down the street, either overrules 
or overawes the officer and secures my relief. 

Impatient at consuming a whole day in reaching Ismidt, I have 
been thinking of taking to the road immediately upon landing, 
and continuing till dark, taking my chances of reaching some suit- 
able stopping-place for the night. But the good people of Ismidt 
raise their voices in protest against what they professedly regai-d as 
a rash and dangerous proposition. As I evince a disposition to over- 
ride their well-meant interference and pull out, they hurriedly send 
for a Frenchman, who can speak sufficient English to make himself 
intelligible. Speaking for himself, and acting as interpreter in 
echoing the words and sentiments of the others, the Frenchman 
straightway warns me not to start into the interior so late in the day, 
and run the risk of getting benighted in the brush ; for " Much very 
bad people, very bad people ! are between Ismidt and Angora ; 
Circassians plenty, " he says, adding that the worst characters are 
near Ismidt, and that the nearer I get to Angora the better I shall 
find the people. As by this time the sun is already setting behind 
the hUls, I conclude that an early start in the morning will, after all, 
be the most sensible course. 

During the last Eusso-Turldsh war thousands of Circassian ref- 
ugees migrated to this part of Asia Minor. Having a restless, rov- 
ing disposition, that unfits them for the laborious and uneventful 
life of a husbandman, many of them remain even to the present day 
loafers about the villages, maintaining themselves nobody seems to 
know how. The belief appears to be unanimous, however, that 
they are capable of any deviltry under the sun, and that, while 
their great specialty and favorite occupation is stealing horses, if 
this becomes slack or unprofitable, or even for the sake of a little 
pleasant variety, these freebooters from the Caucasus have no hes- 
17 



258 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

ita'tiori about turning highwaymen whenever a tempting occasion 
offers. All sorts of advice about the best way to avoid being 
robbed is volunteered by the people of Ismidt. My watch-chain, 
L. A. W. badge, and everything that appears of any value, they tell 
me, must be kept strictly out of sight, so as not to excite the latent 
cupidity of such Circassians as I meet on the road or in the vil- 
lages. Some advocate the plan of adorning my coat with Turkish 
official buttons, shoulder-straps, and trappings, to make myself 
look like a government officer ; others think it would be best to 
rig myself up as a full-blown zaptieh, with whom, of course, neither 
Circassian nor any other guilty person would attempt to interfere. 

To these latter suggestions I point out that, while they are very 
good, especially the zaptieh idea, so far as warding off Cii'cassians is 
concerned, iny adoption of a uniform would most certainly get me 
into hot water with the military authorities of every town and vil- 
lage, owing to my ignorance of the vernacular, and cause me no 
end of vexatious delay. To this the quick-witted Frenchman re- 
plies by at once offering; to go. with me to the resident pasha, ex- 
plain the matter to him, and get a letter permitting me to wear 
the uniform ; which offer I gently but firmly decline, being secretly 
of the opinion that these excessive precautions are all unnecessary. 
From the time I left Hungary I have been warned so persistently 
of danger ahead, and have so far met nothing really dangerous, that 
I am getting sceptical about there being anything like the risk 
people seem to think. Without being bhnd to the fact that there 
is a certain amount of danger in traveUing alone through a country 
where it is the universal custom either to travel in company or to 
take a guard, I feel quite confident that the extreme novelty of my 
conveyance will make so profound an impression on the Asiatic mind 
that, even did they know that my buttons are gold coins of the 
realm, they would hesitate seriously to molest me. From past ob- 
servations among people seeing the bicycle ridden for the first time, 
I believe that with a hundred yards of smooth road it is quite pos- 
sible for a cycler to ride his way into the good graces of the worst 
gang of freebooters in Asia. 

Having decided to remain here over-night, I seek the accommo- 
dation of a rudely comfortable hotel, kept by an Armenian, where, 
at the supper-table, I am first made acquainted with the Asiatic 
dish called "pillau," that is destined to form no inconsiderable part 
of my daily bill of fare for several weeks. Pillau is a dish that is met 



THE START THROUGH ASIA. 



259 



■with in one disguise or another all over Asia. "With a foundation 
of boiled rice, it receives a variety of other compounds, the nature 
of which will appear as they enter into my daily experiences. In 
deference to the limited knowledge of each other's language pos- 
sessed by myself and the proprietor, I am invited into the cook- 
house and permitted to take a peep at the contents of several dif- 




My Bill of Fare. 



ferent pots and kettles simmering over a slow fire in a sort of brick 
trench, to point out to the waiter such dishes as I think I shall 
like. Failing to find among the assortment any familiar acquaint- 
ances, I try the pillau, and find it quite palatable, preferring it to 
anything else the house affords. 

Our fi-iend the Fi-enchman is quite delighted at the advent of a 



260 FROM SAN FKAKCISCO TO TEnEKAN. 

bicycle in Ismidt, for in his younger days, lie tells me with rnuch 
enthusiasm, he used to be somewhat partial to whirling wheels him- 
self ;■ and when he first came here from Prance, some eighteen.years 
ago, he actually brought with him a bone-shaker, with which, for 
the first summer, he was wont to surprise the natives. This relic 
of by-gone days has been stowed away among a lot of old traps ever 
since, all but forgotten ; but the appearance of a mounted wheelman 
recalls it to memory, and this evening, in honor of my visit, it is 
brought once more to light, its past history explained by its owner, 
and its merits and demerits as a vehicle in comparison with my bi- 
cycle duly discussed. The bone-shaker has wheels heavy enough 
for a dog-cart ; the saddle is nearly all gnawed away by mice, and 
it presents altogether so antiquated an appearance that it seems 
a relic rather of a past century than of a past decade. Its owner 
assays to take a ride on it ; but the best he can do is to wabble 
around a vacant space in front of the hotel, the awkward motions 
of the old bone-shaker affording intense amusement to the crowd. 
After supper this chatty and entertaining gentleman brings his 
wife, a rotund, motherly-looking person, to see the bicycle ; she is 
a Levantine Greek, and besides her own lingua franca, her husband 
has improved her education to the extent of a smattering of rather 
misleading English. Desiring to be complimentary in return for 
my riding back and forth a few times for her special benefit, the 
lady comes forward as I dismount and, smiling complacently upon 
me, remarks, "How very grateful you ride, monsieur!" and her 
husband and tutor, desiring also to say something complimentary, 
echoes, " Much grateful — very." 

The Greeks seem to be the life and poetry of these sea-coast 
places on the Ismidt gulf. My hotel faces the water ; and for 
hours after dark a half-dozen caigwe-loads of serenaders are pad- 
dling about in front of the town, making quite an entertaining con- 
cert in the silence of the night, the pleasing effect being heightened 
by the well-known softening influence of the water, and not a little 
enhanced by a display of rockets and Eoman candles. 

Earlier in the evening, while taking a look at Ismidt and the 
surrounding scenery, in company with a few sociable natives, who 
point out beauty-spots in the surrounding landscape with no little 
enthusiasm, I am impressed with the extreme loveliness of the sit- 
uation. The town itself, now a place of thirteen thousand inhabi- 
tants, is the Nicomedia of the ancients. It is built in the form of a 




Greeks Enjoying Themselves. 



262 FROM SAN FEANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

crescent, facing the sea ; the houses, many of them painted white, 
are terraced upon the slopes of the green hills, whose sides and 
summits are clothed with verdure, and whose bases are laved by 
the blue waves of the gulf, which here, at the upper extremity, nar- 
rows to about a mile and a half in width ; white villages dot the 
green mountain-slopes on the opposite shore, prominent among 
them being the Armenian town of Bahgjadjik, where for a number 
of years has been established an American missionary-school, a 
branch, I think, of Eoberts College. Every mile of visible country, 
whether gently sloping or more rugged and imposing, is green 
with luxuriant vegetation, and the waters of the gulf are of that 
deep-blue color peculiar to mountain-locked inlets ; the bright 
green hiUs, the dancing blue waters, and the white painted villages 
combine to make a scene so lovely in the chastened light of early 
eventide that, after the Bosporus, I think I never saw a place more 
beautiful ! Besides the loveliness of the situation, the little moun- 
tain-sheltered inlet makes an excellent anchorage for shipping ; and 
during the late war, at the well-remembered crisis when the Russian 
armies were bearing down on Constantinople and the British fleet 
received the famous 'order to pass through the Dardanelles with 
or without the Sultan's permission, the head-waters of the Ismidt 
gulf became, for several months, the rendezvous of the ships. 



CIIAPTEE, XI. 

ON THROUGH ASIA. 

Early dawn on Tuesday morning finds me already astir and 
groping about tlie hotel in search of some of the slumbering em- 
ployees to let me out. Pocketing a cold lunch in lieu of eating 
breakfast, I mount and wheel down the long street leading out of 
the eastern end of town. Ou the way out I pass a party of caravan- 
teamsters who have just arrived with a cargo of mohair from An- 
gora ; theu- pack-mvdes are fairly festooned with strings of bells of 
all sizes, from a tiny sleigh-bell to a solemn-voiced sheet-iron affair 
the size of a two-gaUon jar. These bells make an awful din ; the 
men are unpacking the weary animals, shouting both at the mules 
and at each other, as if their chief object were to create as much 
noise as possible ; but as I wheel noiselessly past, they cease their 
unpacking and their shouting, as if by common consent, and greet 
me with that silent stare of wonder that men might be supposed to 
accord to an apparition from another world. For some few miles 
a rough macadam road affords a somewhat choppy but neverthe- 
less ridable surface, and further inland it develops into a fairly 
good roadway, where a dismount is unnecessary for several miles. 

The road leads along a depression between a continuation of the 
mountain- chains that inclose the Ismidt gulf, which now run parallel 
with my road on either hand at the distance of a couple of miles, 
some of the spurs on the south range rising to quite an imposing- 
height. For four miles out of Ismidt the country is flat and 
swampy ; beyond that it changes to higher ground ; and the 
swampy flat, the higher ground, and the mountain-slopes are all 
covered with timber and a dense growth of underbrush, in which 
wild-fiw shrubs and the homely but beautiful ferns of the English 
commons, the Missouri Valley woods, and the California foot-hills, 
mingle their respective chai-ms, and hob-nob with scrub-oak, chest- 
nut, walnut, and scores of others. The whole face of the country 
is covered with this dense thicket, and the first little hamlet I pass 
on the road is neai-ly hidden in it, the roofs of the houses being 



264 



FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 



barely visible above the gi-een sea of vegetation. Orchards and 
little patches of ground tbat have been cleared and cultivated are 
hidden entirely, and one cannot helj) thinking that if this intermi- 
nable forest of brushwood 
were once to get fairly ablaze, 
nothing could prevent it from 
destroying everything these 
villagers possess. 

A foretaste of what awaits 
me farther in the interior is 
obtained even within 
the first few hours of 
the morning, when a 
couple of horsemen 
canter at my heels for 
miles ; they seem de- 
lighted beyond meas- 
ure, and their solici- 
tude for my health 
and general welfare is 
quite affecting. When 
I halt to pluck some 
blackberries, they sol- 
emnlj^ pat their stom- 
achs and shake their 
heads in chorus, to 
make me understand 
that blackberries are 
not good things to eat ; 
and by gestures they 
notify me of bad places 
in the road which are 
yet out of sight ahead. 
Rude mehanas, now 
called khans, occupy 
little clearings by the 
roadside, at intervals of a few miles ; and among the habitues con- 
gregated there I notice several of the Circassian refugees on whose 
account friends at Ismidt and Constantinople have shown them- 
selves so concerned for my safety. 




A Circassian Refugee. 



ON TiniouGii ASIA. 265 

They are dressed in tlie loug Cossact coats of dai"k cloth peculiar 
to the inhabitants of tlie Ciuicasaa ; two rows of bone or metal 
cartridge-cases adorn their breast, being fitted into flutes or 
pockets made for thena ; they wear either top boots or top boot- 
legs, and the counterpart of my own moccasins ; and their head- 
dress is a tall black lamb's- wool turban, similar to the national head- 
gear of the Persians. They are by far the best-dressed and most 
respectable-looking men one sees among the groups ; for Nvhile the 
majority of the natives are both ragged and barefooted, I don't re- 
member ever seeing Circassians either. To all outward appear- 
ances they are the most trustworthy men of them all ; but there is 
really more deviltry concealed beneath the smiling exterior of one 
of these homeless mountaineers from Gircassia than in a whole 
village of the less likely-looking natives here, whose general cut- 
throat appearance — an effect produced, more than anything else, 
by the imiversal custom of wearing all the old swords, knives, and 
pistols they can get hold of — really counts for nothing. In pict- 
uresqueness of attire some of these khan loafers leave nothing to 
be desired ; and although I am this morning wearing Igali's ceru- 
lean scarf as a sash, the tri-colored pencil string of Servia ai-ouud 
my neck, and a handsome pair of Circassian moccasins, I am abso- 
lutely nowhere by the side of many a native here whose entu-e 
wardrobe wouldn't fetch half a medjedie in a Galata auction-room. 

The great light of Central Asian hospitality casts a ghmmer 
even up into this out-of-the-way northwestern corner of the conti- 
nent, though it seems to partake more of the Nevada interpretation 
of the word than farther in the interior. Thrice during the fore- 
noon I am accosted witli the invitation " mastic ? cogniac ? coffee ? " 
by road-side khan-jees or their customers who wish me to stop 
and let them satisfy their consuming curiosity at my novel bagar 
(horse), as many of them jokingly allude to it. Beyond these three 
beverages and the inevitable nargileh, these wayside khans provide 
nothing ; vishner syrup (a pleasant extract of the vishner cherry ; 
a spoonful in a tumbler of water makes a most agreeable and re- 
freshing sherbet), which is my favorite bevei-age on the road, being 
an inoffensive, non-intoxicating drink, is not in sufScient demand 
amon" the patrons of the khans to justify keeping it in stock. 

An ancient bowlder causeway traverses tlie route I am following, 
but the blocks of stone composing it have long since become mis- 
placed and scattered about in confusion, making it impassable for 



266 FROM SAN FEANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

wheeled veldcles ; and the natural dirt-road alongside it is covered 
■with several inches of dust which is continually being churned up 
by mule-caravans bringing mohair from Angora and miscellaneous 
merchandise from Ismidt. Camel-caravans make smooth tracks, 
but they seldom venture to Ismidt at this time of the year, I am 
told, on account of the bellicose character of the mosquitoes that 
inhabit this particular region ; their special mode of attack being 
to invade the camels' sensitive nostrils, which drives these patient 
beasts of burden to the last verge of distraction, sometimes even 
worrying them to death. Stopping for dinner at the village of Sa- 
banja, the scenes familiar in connection with a halt for refresh- 
ments in the Balkan Peninsula are enacted ; though for bland and 
childlike assurance there is no comparison between the European 
Turk and his brother in Asia Minor. More than one villager ap- 
proaches me diu'ing the few minutes I am engaged in eating din- 
ner, and blandly asks me to quit eating and let him see me ride ; 
one of them, with a view of putting it out of my power to refuse, 
supplements his request vrith a few green apples which no Eu- 
ropean could eat without bringing on an attack of cholera morbus, 
but which Asiatics consume with impunity. After dinner I request 
the proprietor to save me from the madding crowd long enough to 
round up a few notes, which he attempts to do by locking me in 
a room over the stable. In less than ten minutes the door is un- 
locked, and in walks the headman of the village,, making a most 
solemn and profound salaam as he enters. He has searched out a 
man who fought with the English in the Crimea, according to his 
— the man's — own explanation, and who knows a few words of 
Frank language and has brought him along to interpret. Without 
the slightest hesitation he asks me to leave off writing and come 
down and ride, in order that he may see the performance, and — 
he continues, artfuUy— that he may judge of the comparative merits 
of a horse and a bicycle. 

This peculiar trait of the Asiatic character is further illustrated 
during the afternoon in the case of a caravan leader whom I meet 
on an unridable stretch of road. " Bin ! bin ! " says this person, 
as soon as his mental faculties grasp the idea that the bicycle is 
something to ride on. " Mimkin, deyil ; fenna yole ; duz yole lazim " 
(impossible ; bad road ; good road necessary), I reply, airing my 
hmited stock of Turkish. Nothing davmted by this answer, the 
man blandly requests me to turn about and follow his cai-avan until 




Sabanjans Worrying Me-4o Ride. 



ox TIIEOtTGII ASIA. 269 

ridable road is reached — a good mile — in order that he may be 
enlighteued. It is, perhaps, superfluous to add that, so far as I 
know, this particular individual's ideas of 'cycling are as hazy and 
undefined to-day as they ever were. 

The principal occupation of the Sabanjans seems to be killing 
time ; or perhaps waiting for something to tiu-n up. Apple and 
pear-orchards are scattered about among the brush, looking utterly 
neglected ; they are old ti'ees mostly, and were planted by the more 
enterprising ancestors of the present ownere, who would appear to 
be altogether unworthy of their sires, since they evidently do noth- 
ing in the way of trimming and pruning, but merely accept such 
blessings as unaided nature vouchsafes to bestow upon them. 
Moss-grown gravestones are visible here and there amid the thick- 
ets ; the graveyards are neither protected by fence nor shorn of 
brush ; in short, this aggressive undergrowth appears to be alto- 
gether too much for the energies of the Sabanjans ; it seems to be 
encroaching upon them from every direction, ruthlessly pursuing 
them even to their very door-sills ; like Banquo's ghost, it will not 
down, and the people have evidently retired discouraged from the 
contest. Higher up on the mountain-slopes the underbrush gives 
place to heavier timber, and small clearings abound, around which 
the unsubdued forest stands Uke a soUd wall of green, the scene 
reminding one quite forcibly of backwoods clearings in Ohio ; and 
were it not for the ancient appearance of the Sabanja minarets, the 
old bowlder causeway, and other evidences of declining years, one 
might easily imagine himself in a new country instead of the cradle 
of our race. 

At Sabanja the wagon-road terminates, and my way becomes 
execrable beyond anything I ever encountered ; it leads over a low 
mountain-pass, following the ti-ack of the ancient roadway, that on 
the acclivity of the mountain has been torn up and washed about, 
and the stone blocks scattered here and piled up there by the tor- 
rents of centuiies, until it would seem to have been the sport and 
plaything of a hundred Kansas cyclones. Eouud about and among 
this disorganized mass, caravans have picked their way over the 
pass from the first dawn of commercial intercourse ; foUovring the 
same trail year after year, the stepping-places have come to resem- 
ble the steps of a iiide stairway. Fi'om the summit of the pass is 
obtained a comprehensive view of the verdure-clad valley ; here and 
there white minarets are seen protruding above the verdant area. 



270 FEOM SAN PBANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

like lighthouses from a green sea ; villages dot the lower slopes of 
the mountaias, while a lake, covering half the width of the valley 
for a dozen miles, glimmers in the mid-day sun, making altogether 
a scene that in some countries would long since have been immor- 
talized on canvas or in verse. The descent is even rougher, if 
anything, than the western side, but it leads down into a tiny val- 
ley that, if situated near a large city, would resound with the voices 
of merry-makers the whole summer long. The undergrowth of 
this morning's observations has entirely disappeared ; wide-spread- 
ing chestnut and grand old sycamore trees shade a circumscribed 
area of velvety greensward and isolated rocks ; a tiny stream, a 
tributary of the Sackaria, meanders along its rocky bed, and forest- 
clad mountains tower almost perpendicularly around the charming 
little vale save one narrow outlet to the east. There isnot a human 
being in sight, nor a sound to break the silence save the murmuring 
of the brook, as I fairly clamber down into this little sylvan retreat ; 
but a wreath of smoke curling above the trees some distance from 
the road betrays the presence of man. The whole scene vividly 
calls to mind one of those marvellous mountain-retreats in which 
writers of banditti stories are wont to pitch their heroes' silken 
tent — no more appropriate rendezvous for a band of story-book 
free-booters could well be imagined. 

Short stretches of ridable mule-paths are found along this val- 
ley as I follow the course of the little stream eastward ; they are by 
no means continuous, by reason of the eccentric wanderings of the 
rivulet ; but after climbing the rough pass one feels thankful for 
even smaU favors, and I plod along, now riding, now walking, oc- 
casionally passing little clusters of mud huts and ' meeting with 
pack animals en route to Ismidt with the season's shearing of mohair. 
"Alia Franga!" is the greeting I am now favored with, instead of 
the "Ah, V Anglais ! " of Europe, as I pass people on the road; 
and the bicycle is referred to as an araba, the name the natives 
give their rude carts, and a name which they seem to think is quite 
appropriate for anything with wheels. 

Following the course of the Uttle tributary for several miles, 
crossing and recrossing it a number of times, I finally emerge with 
it into the valley of Sackaria. There are some very good roads 
down this valley, which is narrow, and in places contracts to but 
little more than a mere neck between the mountains. At one of the 
narrowest points the mountains present an almost perpendicular 



ON THROUGH ASIA. 



271 



face of rock, and here are the remnants of an ancient stone wall 
reputed to have been built by the Greeks, somewhere about the 




Down the Sakaria. 



twelfth century, in anticipation of an invasion of the Turks from 
the south. The wall stretches across the valley from mountain to 



272 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

river, and is quite a massive affair ; an archway has been cut through 
it for the passage of caravans. Soon after passing through this open- 
ing I am favored with the company of a horseman, who follows me 
for three or four miles, and thoughtfully takes upon himself the 
office of telling me when to bill and when not to bin, according 
as he thinks the road suitable for 'cycling or not, until he discovers 
that his gratuitous advice produces no visible effect on my move- 
ments, when he desists and follows along behind in silence like a 
sensible fellow. About five o'clock in the afternoon I cross the 
Sackaria on an old stone bridge, and half an hour later roll into 
Geiveh, a large village situated in the middle of a triangular valley 
about seven miles in width. My cyclometer shows a trifle over 
forty miles from Ismidt ; it has been a variable forty mUes ; I shall 
never forget the pass over the old causeway, the view of the Sabanja 
Valley from the summit, nor the lovely Httle retreat on the eastern 
side. 

Trundling through the town in quest of a khan, I am soon sur- 
rounded by a clamorous crowd ; and passing the house or office of 
the mudir or headman of the place, that person sallies forth, and, 
after ascertaining the cause of the commotion, begs me to favor the 
crowd and himself by riding round a vacant piece of ground hard 
by. After this performance, a respectable-looking man beckons me 
to follow him, and he takes me — not to his own house to be his 
guest, for Geiveh is too near Europe for this sort of thing — to a 
khan kept by a Greek with a mote in one eye, where a " shake 
down '' on the floor, a cup of coffee or a glass of vishner is obtain- 
able, and opposite which another Greek keeps an eating-house. 
There is no separate kitchen in this latter establishment as in the 
one at Ismidt • one room answers for cooking, eating, nargileh- 
smoking, coffee-sipping, and gossiping ; and while I am eating, a 
curious crowd watches my every movement with intense interest. 
Here, as at Ismidt, I am requested to examine for myself the con- 
tents of several pots. Most of them contain a greasy mixture of 
chopped meat and tomatoes stewed together, with no visible dif- 
ference between them save in the sizes of the pieces of meat ; but 
one vessel contains pillau, and of this and some inferior red wine I 
make my supper. Prices for eatables are ridiculously low ; I hand 
him a cherik for the supper ; he beckons me out of the back door 
and there, with none save ourselves to witness the transaction, he 
counts me out two piastres change, which left him ten cents for the 



ON THROUGH ASIA. 27B 

supper. He has probably been guilty of the awful crime of charg- 
ing me about three farthings over the regular price, and was afraid 
to ventiu-e upon so iniquitous a proceeding in the public room lest 
the Turks should perchance detect him in cheating an Englishman, 
and revenge the wrong by making him feed me for nothing. 

It rains quite heavily during the night, and while waiting for it 
to dry up a little in the morning, the Geivehites voluntarily tender 
me much advice concerning the state of the road ahead, being gov- 
erned in their ideas according to their knowledge of a 'cycler's 
mountain-climbing ability. By a round dozen of men, who pene- 
trate into my room in a body ere I am fairly dressed, and who, 
after solemnly salaaming in chorus, commence delivering them- 
selves of expressive pantomime and gesticulations, I am led to 
understand that the road from Geiveli to Tereklu is something 
feai'ful for a bicycle. One fat old Turk, undertaking to explain it 
more fully, after the others have exhausted their knowledge of sign 
language, swells himself up like an inflated toad and imitates the 
labored respiration of a broken-winded horse in order to duly im- 
press upon my mind the phj-sical exertion I may expect to put forth 
in "riding" — he also paws the air with his right foot — over the 
mountain-range that looms up like an impassable bai-rier three 
miles east of the town. The Turks as a nation have the reputation 
of being solemn-visaged, imperturbable people, yet one occasionally 
finds them quite animated and "Prenchj'" in their behavior — the 
bicycle may, however, be in a measure responsible for this. 

The soil around Geiveh is a red clay that, after a shower, clings 
to the rubber tires of the bicycle as though the mere resemblance 
in color tended to establish a bond of sympathy between them that 
nothing could overcome. I pass the time until ten o'clock in avoid- 
ing the crowd that has swarmed the khan since early dawn, and has 
been awaiting with Asiatic patience ever since. At ten o'clock I 
win the gratitude of a thousand hearts by deciding to start, the 
happy crowd deserting half-smoked nargilehs, rapidly swallowing 
tiny cups of scalding-hot coffee in their anxiety lest I vault into the 
saddle at the door of the khan and whisk out of their sight in a 
moment — an idea that is flitting through the imaginative mind of 
more than one Turk present, as a natural result of the stories his 
wife has heard from his neighbor's wife, whose sistei', from the roof 
of her house, saw me ride around the vacant space at the mudir's 
request yesterday. The Oriental imagination of scores of wonder- 
18 



274 FEOM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

ing villagers has been drawn upon to magnify that modest perform- 
ance into a feat that fills the hundreds who didn't see it with the 
liveliest anticipations, and a murmuring undercurrent of excitement 
thriUs the crowd as the word goes round that I am about to start. 
A minority of the people learned yesterday that I wouldn't ride 
across the stones, water-ditches, and mud-holes of the village 
streets, and these at once lead the way, taking upon themselves the 
office of conducting me to the road leading to the Kara Su Pass ; 
while the less enHghtened majority press on behind, the more rest- 
less spirits worrying me to ride, those of more patient disposition 
maintaining a respectful silence, but wondering why on earth I am 
walking. 

The road they conduct me to is another of those ancient stone 
causewaj's that traverse this section of Asia Minor in all direc- 
tions. This one and several others I happen to come across are 
but about three feet wide, and were evidently built for military 
pui-poses by the more enterprising people who occupied Constanti- 
nople and the adjacent country before the Turks — narrow stone 
pathways built to facilitate the marching of armies during the rainy 
season when the natural gi'ound hereabout is all but impassable. 
These stone roads were probably built during the Byzantine occu- 
pation. Fairly smooth mule-paths lead along-side this relic of de- 
parted greatness and energy, and the warm sun having dried the 
surface, I mount and speed away from the wondering crowd, and 
in four miles reach the foot of the Kara Su Pass. From this spot I 
can observe a small caravan, slowly picking its way down the moun- 
tain ; the animals are sometimes entirely hidden behind rocks, as 
they follow the windings and twistings of the trail down the rug- 
ged slope which the old Turk this morning thought would make me 
puff to climb. 

A little stream called the Kara Su, or black water, comes dan- 
cing out of a rocky avenue near by ; and while I am removing my 
foot-gear to ford it, I am joined by several herdsmen who are tend- 
ing flocks of the celebrated Angora goats and the peculiar fat-tailed 
sheep of the East, which are grazing ou neighboring knoUs. These 
gentle shepherds are not overburdened with clothing, their naked- 
ness being but barely covered ; but they wear long sword-knives 
and old flint-lock, bell mouthed horse-pistols — weapons that give 
them a ferocious appearance that seems strangely at variance with 
their peaceful occupation. They gather about me with a familiarity 



ON THROUGH ASIA. 2/;) 

that impresses me anything but favorably toward them ; they crit- 
ically examine my clothing from helmet to moccasins, eying my 
various belongings wistfully, tapping my leather case, and pinching 
the rear package to try and ascertain the nature of its contents. I 
gather from their remarks about "para " (a term used in a general 
sense for money, as w^ll as for the small coin of that name), as 
they regard tire leather case with a covetous eye, that they are in- 
clined to the opinion that it contains money ; and there is no telling 
the fabulous wealth their untutored minds are associating with the 
supposed treasure-chest of a Frank who rides a silver " araha." 

Evidently these fellows have never heard of the tenth command- 
ment ; or, having heard of it, they have failed to read, mark, learn, 
and inwardly digest it for the improvement of their moral natures ; 
for covetousness beams forth from every lineament of their faces 
and every motion of their hands. Seeing this, I endeavor to win 
them from the moral shackles of their own gloomy minds by point- 
ing out the beautiful mechanism of my machine ; I twirl the pedals 
and show them how perfect are the bearings of the rear wheel ; I 
pinch the rubber tire to show them that it is neither iron nor wood, 
and call their attention to the brake, fully expecting in this iisuaEy 
winsome manner to fill them with gratitude and admiration, and 
make them forget all about my baggage and clothes. But these 
fellows seem to differ from those of their countrymen I left but 
a short time ago ; my other effects interest them far more than 
the wheel does, and one of them, after wistfully- eying my mocca- 
sins, a handsomer pau', perhaps, than he ever saw before, points 
ruefully down to his own rude sandals of thong-bound raw-hide, 
and casts a look upon his comrades that says far more elequently 
than words, " "What a shame that such lovely moccasins should 
grace the feet of a Frank and an unbeliever — ashes on his head — 
while a true follower of the Prophet like myself should go about 
almost barefooted ! " There is no mistaking the natural bent of 
these gentle shepherds' inclinations, and as, in the absence of a 
rusty sword and a seventeenth-century horse pistol, they doubtless 
think I am unarmed, my impression from their bearing is that they 
would, at least, have tried to frighten me into making them a pres- 
ent of my moccasins and perhaps a few other things. In the in- 
nocence of their unsophisticated natures, they wist not of the com- 
pact little weapon reposing beneath my coat that is as superior to 
their entire armament as is a modern gunboat to the wooden walls 



276 FIJOM SAN^ FRAWCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

of the last centuiy. Whatever their intentions may be, however, 
they are doomed never to be carried out, for their attention is now 
attracted by the caravan, whose approach is heralded by the jingle 
of a thousand bells. 

The next two hours find me engaged in the laborious task of 
climbing a mere bridle-path up the rugged mountain slope, along 
which no wheeled vehicle has certainly ever been before. There is 
in some places barely room for pack animals to pass between the 
masses of rocks, and at others, but a narrow ledge between a per- 
pendicular rock and a sheer precipice. The steepest portions are 
worn into rude stone stairways by the feet of pack animals that 
toiled over this pass just as they toiled before America was dis- 
covered and have been toiling ever since ; and for hundreds of yards 
■ at a stretch I am compelled to push the bicycle ahead, rear wheel 
aloft, in the well-known manner of going up-stairs. While climb- 
ing up a rather awkward place, I meet a lone Arab youth, leading 
his horse by the bridle, and come near causing a serious accident. 
It was at the turning of a sharp corner that I met this swarthy- 
faced youth face to face, and the sudden appearance of what both 
he and the horse thought was a being from a far more distant 
sphere than the western half of our own so frightened them both 
that I eTqjected every minute to see them go toppling over the 
precipice. Reassuring the boy by speaking a word or two of Turk- 
ish, and seeing the impossibility of either passing him or of his 
horse being able to turn around, I turn about and retreat a short 
distance, to where there is more room. He is not quite assured of 
my terrestrial character even yet ; he is too frightened to speak, 
and he trembles visibly as he goes past, greeting me with a leer of 
mingled fear and suspicion ; at the same time making a brave but 
very sickly effort to ward off any evil designs I might be meditating 
against him Ipy a pitiful propitiatory smile which will haunt my 
memory for weeks ; though I hope by plenty of exercise to escape 
an attack of the nightmare. , 

This is the worst mountain climbing I have done with a bicycle ; 
all the way across the Rockies there is nothing approaching this 
pass for steepness ; although on foot or horseback it would of 
course not appear so formidable. When part way up, a bank of 
low hanging clouds come rolling down to meet me, envelopincr 
the mountain in fog, and'bringing on a disagreeable drizzle which 
scarcely improves the situation. 



ON THROUGH ASIA. 277 

Five miles from the bottom of the pass and three hours from 
Geiveh I reach a small postaya-khan, occupied by one zaptieh and 
the station-keeper, where I halt for a half hour and get the zaptieh 
to brew me a cup of coffee, feeling the need of a little refreshment 
after the stiff tugging of the last two hours. Coffee is the only re- 
freshment obtainable here, and, though the weather looks anything 
but propitious, I push ahead toward a regular roadside khan, which I 
am told I shall come to at the distance of another hour — the natives 
of Asia Minor know nothing of miles or kilometres, but reckon the 
distance from point to point by the number of hours it usually 
takes to go on horseback. Reaching this khan at three o'clock, I 
call for something to satisfy the cravings of hunger, and am forth- 
with confronted with a loaf of black bread, villanously heavy, and 
given a preliminary peep into a large jar of a crumbly white sub- 
stance as villanously odoriferous as the bread is heavy, and which 
I think the proprietor expects me to look upon as cheese. This 
native product seems to be valued by the people here in proportion 
as it is rancid, being regarded by them with more than affection 
when it has reached a degree of rancidness and odoriferousness 
that would drive a European — barring perhaps, a Limburger — 
out of the house. These two delicacies, and the inevitable tiny 
cups of black bitter coffee make up all the edibles the khan af- 
fords ; so seeing the absence of any alternative, I order bread and 
coffee, prepared to make the most of circumstances. The pro- 
prietor being a kindly individual, and thinking perhaps that limited 
means forbid my indulgence in such luxuries as the substance in 
the earthenware jar, in the kindness of his heart toward a lone 
stranger, scoops out a small portion with his unwashed hand, puts 
it in a bowl of water and stirs it about a little by way of washing it, 
drains the water off through his fingers, and places it before me. 

While engaged in the discussion of this delectable meal, a cara- 
van of mules arrives in charge of seven rough-looking Turks, who 
halt to procure a feed of barley for their animals, the sujjplying of 
which appears to be the chief business of the khan-jee. No sooner 
have these men alighted and ascertained the use of the bicycle, than 
I am assailed with the usual importunities to ride for their further 
edification. It would be quite as reasonable to ask a man to fiy as 
to ride a bicycle anywhere near the khan; but in the innocence of 
their hearts and the dulness of their Oriental understandings they 
think differently. They regard my objections as the result of a per- 



278 FROM SAN FEANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

verse and coiltrary disposition, and my explanation of " minikin 
deijil " as but a groundless excuse born of my unwillingness to 
oblige. One old gray-beard, after examining the bicycle, eyes me 
meditatively for a moment, and then comes forward with a humor- 
ous twinkle in his eyfi, and pokes me playfully in the libs, and 
makes a peculiar noise with the mouth : " q-u-e-e-k," in an effort 
to tickle me into good-humor and compliance with their wishes ; 
in addition to which, the artful old dodger, thinking thus to work 
on my vanity, calls me " Pasha Effendi." Finding that toward their 
entreaties I give but the same reply, one of the younger men coolly 
advocates the use of force to coerce me into giving them an exhi- 
bition of my skill on the at'aba. As far as I am able to interpret, 
this bold visionary's argument is : "Behold, we are seven ; Effendi 
is only one ; we are good Mussulmans — peace "be with us — he is 
but a Frank — ashes on his head — let us make him bin." 



CHAPTEK XII. 

THROUGH THE ANGORA GOAT COUNTRY. 

The other members of tbe caravan company, while equally anx- 
ious to see the performance, and no doubt thinking me quite an 
unreasonable person, disapprove of the young man's proposition ; 
and the khnn-jee severely reprimands him for talking about resort- 
ing to force, and turning to the others, he lays his forefingers to- 
gether and says something about Franks, Mussulmans, Turks, and 
Ingilis ; meaning that even if we are Franks and Mussulmans, we 
are not prevented from being at the same time allies and brothers. 

From the khan the ascent is more gradual, though in places 
muddy and disagreeable from the drizzling rain which still falls, 
and about 4 p.m. I arrive at the summit. The descent is smoother, 
and shorter than the western slope, but is even more a,brupt ; the 
composition is a slaty, blue clay, in which the caravans have worn 
trails so deep in places that a mule is hidden completely from 
view. There is no room for animals to pass each other in these 
deep trench-like trails, and were any to meet, the only possible 
plan is for the ascending animals to be backed down until a wider 
place is reached. There is little danger of the larger caravans be- 
ing thus caught in these " traps for the unwary," since each can 
hear the other's approach and take precautions ; but single horse- 
men and small parties must sometimes find themselves obliged to 
either give or take, in the depths of these queer highways of com- 
merce. It is quite an awkward task to descend with the bicycle, 
as for much of the way the trail is not even wide enough to admit 
of trundling in the ordinary manner, and I have to adopt the same 
tactics in going down as in coming up the mountain, with the dif- 
ference, that on the eastern slope I have to pull back qiiite as stout- 
ly as I had to push forward on the western. In going down I meet 
a man with three donkeys, but fortunately I am able to scramble 
up the bank sufficiently to let him pass. His donkeys are loaded 
with half -ripe grapes, which he is perhaps taking all the way to 



280 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHEEAN. 

ConstaHtinojple in this slow and laborious manner, and he offers 
me some as an inducement for me to ride for his benefit. Some 
wheelmen, being possessed of a sensitive nature, would undoubt- 
edly think they had a right to feel aggrieved or insulted if offered 
a bunch of unripe grapes as an inducement to go ahead and break 
their necks ; but these people here in Asia Minor are but simple- 
hearted, overgrown children ; they wiU go straight to heaven when 
they die, every one of them. 

At six o'clock I roll into Tereklu, having found ridable road a 
mile or so before reaching town. After looking at the cyclometer 
I begin figuring up the number of days it is likely to take me to 
reach Teheran, if yesterday and to-day have been expository of the 
country ahead ; forty and one-third miles yesterday and nineteen 
and a half to-day, thirty miles a day — ^rather slow progress for a 
wheelman, I mentally conclude ; but, although I would rather ride 
from " Land's End to John O'Groat's " for a task, than bicycle over 
the ground I have traversed between here and Ismidt, I find the 
tough work interlarded with a sufficiency of novel and interesting 
phases to make the occupation congenial Upon dismounting at 
Tereklu, I find myself but little fatigued with the day's exertions, 
and with a view to obtaining a little peace and freedom from impor- 
tunities to ride after supper, I gratify Asiatic curiosity several 
times before undertaking to aUay the pangs of hunger — a piece of 
self-denial quite commendable, even if taken in connection with the 
idea of self-protection, when one reflects that I had spent the day 
in severe exercise, and had eaten since morning only a piece of 
bread. 

Not long after my arrival at Tereklu I am introduced to another 
peculiar and not unknown phase of the character of these people, 
one that I have sometimes read of, but was scarcely prepared to 
encounter before being on Asian soil three days. From some of 
them having received medical favors from the medicine chest of 
travellers and missionaries, the Asiatics have come to regard every 
Frank who passes through theii- country as a skilful physician, 
capable of all sorts of wonderful things in the way of curiu"- their 
ailments ; and immediately after supper I am waited upon by my 
first patient, the mulazim of the Tereklu zaptiehs. He is a tall, 
pleasant-faced fellow, whom I remember as having been wonder- 
fully courteous and considerate whUe I was riding for the people 
before supper, and he is suffering with neuralgia in his lower 



THEOUGII THE ANGORA GOAT COUNTRY. 281 

jaw. He comes and seats himself beside me, rolls a cigarette in 
silence, liglits it, and hands it to me, and then, with the confident 
assurance of a child approaching its mother to be soothed and 
cured of some ailment, he requests me to cure his aching jaw, 
seemingly having not the slightest doubt of my ability to afford 
him instant relief. I ask him why he don't apply to the hakim 
(doctor) of his native town. He roUs another cigarette, makes me 
throw the half-consumed one away, and having thus ingratiated 
himself a trifle deeper into my affections, he tells me that the Te- 
reklu hakim is "fenna ; " in other words, no good, adding that th«re 
is a duz hakim at Gieveh, but Gieveh is over the Kara Su dagh. 
At this juncture he seems to arrive at the conclusion that perhaps 
I require a good deal of coaxing and good treatment, and, taking 
me by the hand, he leads me in that affectionate, brotherly manner " 
down the street and into a coffee-Man, and spends the nest hour 
in pressing upon me coffee and cigarettes, and referring occasion- 
ally to his aching jaw. The poor fellow tries so hard to make him- 
self agreeable and awaken my sympathies, that I really begin to 
feel myself quite an ingrate in not being able to afford him any 
relief, and slightly embarrassed by my inability to convince him 
that my failure to cure him is not the result of indifference to his 
sufferings. 

Casting about for some way of escape without sacrificing his 
good-will, and having in mind a box of pills I have brought along, 
I give him to understand that I am. at the top of the medical pro- 
fession as a stomach-ache hakim, but as for the jaw-ache I am, un- 
fortunately, even worse than his compatriot over the way. Had I 
attempted to persuade him that I was not a doctor at all, he would 
not have believed me ; his mind being unable to grasp the idea of 
a Frank totally unacquainted with the noble .ffi^sculapian art ; but 
he seems quite aware of the existence of specialists in the profes- 
sion, and notwithstanding my inability to deal with his particular 
affliction, my modest confession of being unexcelled in another 
branch of medicine seems to satisfy him. My profound knowledge 
of stomachic disorders and their treatment excuses my ignorance 
of neuralgic remedies. 

There seems to be a larger proportion of supeiior dwelling- 
houses in Tereklu than in Gieveh, although, to the misguided mind 
of an unbeliever from the West, they have cast a sort of a funereal 
shadow over this otherwise desirable feature of their town by 



282 FROM SAW FEANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

buikliug flieir principal residences around a populous cemetery, 
wbicli plays tlie part of a large central square. The houses are 
mostly two-story frame buildings, and the omnipresent balconies 
and all the windows are faced with close lattice work, so that the 
Osmanli ladies can enjoy the luxury of gazing contemplatively out 
on the area of disorderly grave-stones without being subjected to 
the prying eyes of passers-bj'. In the matter of veiling their faces 
the women of these interior towns place no such liberal — not to 
say coquettish — interpretation upon the ofSce of the yashmak as 
do their sisters of the same religion in and about Constantinople. 
The ladies of Tereklu, seemingly, have a holy horror of displaying 
any of their facial charms ; the only possible opportunity offered 
of seeing anything, is to obtain an occasional glimpse of the one 
black eye with which they timidly survey you through a small 
opening in the folds of their shroud-Uke outer garment, that en- 
cases them from head to foot ; and even this peeping window of 
their souls is frequently hidden behind the impenetrable yashviak. 

Mussulman women are the most gossipy and inquisitive creat- 
ures imaginable ; a very natural result, I suppose, of having had 
their feminine rights divine under constant restraint and suppres- 
sion by the peculiar social position women occupy in Mohammedan 
countries. When I have arrived in town and am surrounded and 
hidden from outside view by a solid wall of men, it is really quite 
painful to see the women standing in small groups at a distance 
trying to make out what all the excitement is about. Nobody 
seems to have a particle of sympathy for their very natural inquisi- 
tiveness, or even to take any notice of their presence. It is quite 
surprising to see how rapidly the arrival of the Frank with the 
wonderful araba becomes known among these women from one end 
of town to another ; in an incredibly short space of time, groups of 
shrouded forms begin to appear on the housetops and other van- 
tage-points, craning their necks to obtain a glimpse of whatever is 
going on. 

In the innocence of an unsophisticated nature, and a feelin" 
of genuine sympathy for their position, I propose collecting these 
scattered groups of neglected females together and giving an exhi- 
bition for their especial benefit, but the men evidently regard the 
idea of going to any trouble out of consideration for them as quite 
ridiculous ; indeed, I am inclined to think they regard it as evidence 
that I am nothing less than a gay Lothario, who is betravino- alto- 



THROUGH THE ANGORA GOAT COUNTKY. 283 

getber too much interest in their women ; for the old school Os- 
mauli encompasses those hapless mortals about with a green wall of 
jealousy, and regai'ds with disapproval, even so much as a glance in 
theu- direction. While riding on one occasion, this evening, I noticed 
one over-inquisitive female become so absorbed in the proceedings 
as to quite forget herself, and approach nearer to the crowd than 
the Tereklu idea of propriety would seem to justify. Li her absent- 
mindedness, while watching me ride slowly up and dismount, she 
allowed her yashmak to become disarranged and reveal her features. 
This awful indiscretion is instantly detected by an old Blue-beard 
standing by, who eyes the offender severely, but says nothing ; if 
she is one of his own wives, or the wife of an intimate friend, ilxe 
poor lady has perhaps earned for herself a chastisement with a 
stick later in the evening. 

Human nature is pretty much the same in the Orient as any- 
where else ; the degradation of woman to a position beneath her 
proper level has borne its legitimate fruits ; the average Turkish 
woman is said to be as coarse and unchaste in her conversation as 
the lowest outcasts of Occidental society, and is given to assaihng 
her lord and master, when angry, with language anything but 
choice. 

It is hardly six o'clock when I issue forth next morning, but 
there are at least fifty women congregated in the cemetery, along- 
side which my route leads. During the night they seem to have 
made up their minds to grasp the only opportunity of " seeing the 
elephant " by witnessing my departm-e ; and as, " when a woman 
will she will," etc., applies to Turkish ladies as well as to any others, 
in their laudable determination not to be disappointed they have 
been patiently squatting among the gray tombstones since early 
dawn. The roadway is anything but smooth, nevertheless one 
could scarce be so dead to all feelings of commiseration as to re- 
main unmoved by the sight of that patiently waiting crowd of 
shrouded females ; accordingly I mount and pick my way along the 
street and out of town. Modest as is this performance, it is the 
most marvellous thing they have seen for many a day ; not a 
sound escapes them as I wheel by, they remain as silent as though 
they were the ghostly population of the graveyard they occupy, for 
which, indeed, shrouded as they are in white from head to foot, 
they might easUy be mistaken by the superstitious. 

My road leads over an undulating depression between the higher 



284 FROM SAN rEANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

hills, a region of small streams, wheat-fields, and irrigating ditches, 
among which several trails, leading from Tereklu to numerous vil- 
lages scattered among the mountains and neighboring small valleys, 
make it quite difficult to keep the proper road. Once I wander off 
my proper course for several miles ; finding out my mistake I deter- 
mine upon regaining the Torbali trail by a short cut across the stub- 
ble-fields and uncultivated knolls of scrub oak. This brings me 
into an acquaintanceship with the shepherds and husbandmen, and 
the ways of their savage dogs, that proves more lively than agreeable. 
Here and there I find primitive threshing-floors ; they are simply 
spots of level ground selected in a central position and made smooth 
and hard by the combined labors of the several owners of the ad- 
joining fields, who use them in common. Eain in harvest is very 
unusual ; therefore the trouble and expense of covering them is 
considered unnecessary. At each of these threshing-centres I find a 
merry gathering of villagers, some threshing out the grain, others 
winnowing it by tossing it aloft with wooden, flat-pronged forks ; 
the wind blows the lighter chaff aside, while the grain falls back 
into the heap. When the soil is sandy, the grain is washed in a 
neighboring stream to take out most of the grit, and then spread 
out on sheets in the sun to dry before being finally stored away 
in the granaries. The threshing is done chiefly by the boys and 
women, who ride on the same kind of broad sleigh-runner-shaped 
boards described in European Turkey. 

The sight of my approaching figure is, of course, the signal for 
a general suspension of operations, and a wondering as to what sort 
of being I am. If I am riding along some well-worn by-trail, the 
women and younger people invariably betray their apprehensions 
of my unusual appearance, and seldom fail to exhibit a disposition 
to flee at my approach, but the conduct of their dogs causes me 
not a little annoyance. They have a noble breed of canines 
throughout the Angora goat country — fine animals, as large as New- 
foundlands, with a good deal the appearance of the mastiff ; and 
they display their hostility to my intrusion by making straight at 
me, evidently considering me fair game. These dogs are invalu- 
able friends, but as enemies and assailants they are not exactly 
calculated to win a 'cycler's esteem. In my unusual appearance 
they see a strange, undefinable enemy bearing down toward their 
friends and owners, and, like good, faithful dogs, they hesitate not 
to commence the attack ; sometimes there is a man among the 



THROUGH THE ANGORA GOAT COUNTRY. 



285 



threshers and winnowers who retains presence of mind enough to 
notice the dogs sallying forth to attack me, and to think of calling 
them back ; but oftener I have to defend myself as best I can, 
while the gaping crowd, too dumfounded and overcome at my un- 
accountable appearance to think of anything else, simply stare as 
though expecting to see me sail up into space out of harm's way, 
or perform some other miraculous feat. My general tactics are to 




Lively Times. 



dismount if riding, and manoeuvre the machine so as to keep it 
between myself and my savage assailant if there be but one ; and if 
more than one, make feints with it at them alternately, not for- 
getting to caress them with a handy stone whenever occasion 
offers. There is a certain amount of cowardice about these animals 
notwithstanding their size and fierceness ; they are afraid and 
suspicious of the bicycle as of some dreaded supernatural object ; 
and although I am sometimes fairly at my wit's end to keep them 



286 FBOM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

at bay, I manage to avoid tlie necessity of sliooting any of them. 
I have learned that to kill one of these dogs, no matter how great 
the provocation, would certainly get me into serious trouble with 
the natives, who value them very highly and consider the wilful 
killing of one little short of murder ; hence, my forbearance. 

When I arrive at a threshing-floor, and it is discovered that I am 
actually a human being and do not immediately encompass the 
destruction of those whose courage has been equal to awaiting my 
arrival, the women and children who have edged off to some dis- 
tance now approach, quite timidly though, as if not quite certain 
of the prudence of trusting their eyesight as to the peaceful nature 
of my mission ; and the men vie with each other in their eager- 
ness to give me all desired information about my course ; sometimes 
accompanying me a considerable distance to make sure of guiding 
me aright. But their contumacious canine friends seem anything 
but reassured of my character or willing to suspend hostilities ; in 
spite of the friendly attitude of their masters and the peacefulness 
of the occasion generallj', they make furtive dashes through the 
ranks of the spectators at me as I wheel round the small circular 
threshing-floor, and savagely snap at the revolving wheels. Some- 
times, after being held in check until I am out of sight beyond 
a knoll, these vindictive and determined assailants will sneak 
around through the fields, and, overtaking me unseen, make stealthy 
onslaughts upon me from the brush ; my only safety is in unre- 
mitting vigilance. Like the dogs of most semi-civilized peoples, 
they are but imperfectly trained to obey ; and the natives dislike 
checking them in their attacks upon anybody, arguing that so 
doing interferes with the courage and ferocity of their attack when 
called upon for a legitimate occasion. 

It is very questionable, to say the least, if inoffensive wayfarers 
should be expected to quietly submit to the unprovoked attack of 
ferocious animals large enough to tear down a man, merely in view 
of possibly checking their ferocity at some other time. When caper- 
ing wildly about in an unequal contest with three or four of these 
animals, while conscious of having the means at hand to give them 
all their quietus, one feels as though he were at that particular 
moment doing as the Romans do, with a vengeance ; nevertheless, 
it has to be borne, and I manage to come through with nothing 
worse than a rent in the leg of my riding trousers. 

Finally, after fording several small streams, giving half a dozen 



THROUGH THE ANGORA GOAT COUNTRY. 287 

threshing-floor exhibitions, and running the gauntlet of no end of 
warlike canines, I reach the lost Torbali trail, and, find it running 
parallel with a range of hills, intersecting numberless small streams, 
across which are sometimes found precarious foot-bridges consisting 
of a tree-trunk felled across it from bank to bank, the work of some 
enterprising peasant for his own particular benefit rather than the 
outcome of public spirit. Occasional! j' I bowl merrily along stretches 
of road which nature and the caravans together have made smooth 
enough even to justify a spurt ; but like a fleeting dream, this favor- 
able locality passes to the rearward, and is followed by another 
mountaiu-slope whose steep grade and rough surface reads " trundle 
only." 

They seem the most timid people hereabout I ever saw. Few 
of them but show unmistakable signs of being frightened at my 
approach, even when I am trundling — the nickel-plate glistening iu 
the sunlight, I think, inspires them with awe even at a distance — 
aud while climbing this hill I am the innocent cause of the ignomini- 
ous flight of a youth riding a donkey. While yet two hundred 
yards away, he reins up and remains transfixed for one transitory 
moment, as if making sure that his eyes are not deceiving him, or 
that he is really awake, and then hastily turns tail and bolts across 
the country, belaboring his long-eared charger into quite a lively 
gallop in his wild anxiety to escape from my awe-inspiring presence ; 
and as he vanishes across a field, he looks back anxiously to reas- 
sure himself that I am not giving chase. Ere kind friends and 
thoughtful well-wishers, with aU their warnings of danger, are three 
days' journey behind, I find myseK among people who run away at 
my approach. Shortly afterward I observe this bold donkey-rider 
half a mile to the left, ti-ying to pass me and gain my rear unob- 
served. Others whom I meet this forenoon are more courageous ; 
instead of resorting to flight, they keep boldly on theii- general 
course, simply edging off to a respectful distance from my road ; 
some even venture to keep the road, taking care to give me a suffi- 
ciently large margin over and above my share of the way to insure 
against any possibDity of giving offence ; while others will even greet 
me with a feeble effort to smile, and a timid, hesitating look, as if 
undecided whether they are not venturing too far. Sometimes I 
stop and ask these lion-heai-ted specimens whether I am on the 
ri^ht road, when they give a hurried reply and immediately take 
themselves off, as if startled at their own temerity. 



288 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

These, of course, are lone individuals, with no companions to 
bolster up their courage or witness their cowardice ; the conduct of 
a party is often quite the reverse. Sometimes they seem deter- 
mined not to let me proceed without riding for them, whether rocky 
ridge, sandy depression, or mountain-slope characterizes our meet- 
ing place, and it requires no small stock of forbearance and tact to 
get away from them without bringing on a serious quarrel. They 
take hold of the machine whenever I attempt to leave them, and 
give me to understand that nothing but a compliance with their 
vsdshes will secure my release ; I have known them even try the 
effect of a little warlike demonstration, having vague ideas of gaining 
their object by intimidation ; and this sort of thing is kept up until 
their own stock of patience is exhausted, or until some more reason- 
able member of the company becomes at last convinced that it 
really must be " minikin deyil, " after all ; whereupon they let me go, 
ending the whole annoying, and yet really amusing, performance 
by giving me the most minute particulars of the route ahead, and 
parting in the best of humor. To lose one's temper on these occa- 
sions, or to attempt to forcibly break away, is quickly discovered to 
be the height of folly ; they themselves are brimful of good humor, 
and from beginning to end their countenances are wreathed in 
smiles ; although they fairly detain me prisoner the whUe, they 
would never think of attempting any real injury to either myself or 
the bicycle. Some of the more enterprising even express their de- 
termination of trying to ride the machine themselves ; but I always 
make a firm stand against any such liberties as this ; and, rough, 
half-civilized fellows though they often are, armed, and fully under- 
standing the advantage of numbers, they invariably yield this point 
when they find me seriously determined not to allow it. 

Descending into a narrow valley, I reach a road-side khan, ad- 
joining a thrifty-looking melon-garden — this latter a welcome sight, 
since the day is warm and sultry ; and a few minutes' quiet, soulful 
communion with a good ripe water-melon, I think to myself, wiU be 
just about the proper caper to indulge in after being worried with 
dogs, people, small streams, and unridable hills since six o'clock. 

" Carpoose?" I inquu-e, addressing the proprietor of the khan, 
who issues forth from the stable. 

" Peeki, effendi," he answers, and goes off to the gai-den for the 
melon. Smiling sweetly at vacancy, in joyous anticipation of the 
coming feast and the soothing influence I feel sure of its exerting 



THROUGH THE ANGORA GOAT OOTJNTRT. 289 

upon my feelings, somewhat ruffled by the many annoyances of the 
morning, I seek a quiet, shady corner, thoughtfully loosening iny 
i-evolver-belt a couple of notches ere sitting down. In a minute the 
khan-jee returns, and hands me a " cucumber " about the size of a 
man's forearm. 

"That isn't a cai'poose; I want a carjjoose — a sii carpoose!" I 
explain. 

" Su carpoose, yoke ! " he replies ; and as I have not yet reached 
that reckless disregard of possible consequences to which I after- 
ward attain, I shrink from tempting Providence by trying conclu- 
sions with the overgrown and untrustworthy cucumber ; so bidding 
the khan-jee adieu, I wheel off down the valley. I find a fau- propor- 
tion of good road along this valley ; the land is rich, and though 
but rudely tilled, it produces wonderfully heavy crops of grain when 
irrigated. Small vUlages, surrounded by neglected-looking orchards 
and vineyards, abound at frequent intervals. Wherever one finds 
an orchard, ■\'ineyard, or melon-patch, there is also almost certain to 
be seen a human being evidently doing nothing but sauntering about, 
or perhaps eating an unripe melon. 

This naturally creates an unfavorable impression upon a traveller's 
mind ; it means either that the kleptomaniac tendencies of the people 
necessitate standing guard over all portable property, or that the 
Asiatic follows the practice of hovering around all summer, watching 
and waiting for natui-e to bestow her blessings upon his undeserving 
head. Along this valley I meet a Turk and his wife bestriding the 
same diminutive -donkey, the woman riding in front and steering 
their long-eared craft by the terror of her tongue in lieu of a bridle. 
The fearless lady halts her steed as I aj)proach, trundling my wheel, 
the ground being such that riding is possible but undesirable. 
" What is that for, effendi ? " inquires the man, who seems to be 
the more inquisitive of the two. " WTiy, to bin, of course ! don't 
you see the saddle?" says the woman, without a moment's hesita- 
tion ; and she bestows a glance of reproach upon her worse half for 
thus betraying his ignorance, twisting her neck round in order to 
send the glance straight at his unoflending head. This woman, I 
mentally conclude, is an extraordinary specimen of her race ; I never 
saw a quicker- witted person anywhere ; and I am not at all surprised 
to find her proving herself a phenomenon in other things. When a 
Turkish female meets a stranger on the road, and more especially a 
Frank, her first thought and most natural impulse is to make sure 
19 



290 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

that no part of her features is visible — about other parts of her per- 
son she is less particular. This remarkable woman, however, flings 
custom to the winds, and instead of drawing the ample folds of her 
abbas about her, uncovers her face entirely, in order to obtain a 
better view ; and, being unaware of my limited understanding, she 
begins discussing bicycle in quite a chatty manner. I fancy her poor 
husband looks a trifle shocked at this outrageous conduct of the part- 
ner of his joys and sorrows ; but he remains quietly and discreetly in 
the background ; whereupon I register a silent vow never more to 
be surprised at anything, for that long-suffering and submissive 
being, the hen-pecked husband, is evidently not unknown even in 
Asiatic Turkey. 

Another mountain-pass now has to be climbed ; it is only a short 
distance — perhaps two miles — but all the way up I am subjected to 
the disagreeable experience of having my footsteps dogged by two 
armed villagers. There is nothing significant or exceptional about 
their being armed, it is true ; but what their object is in stepping 
almost on my heels for the whole distance up the acclivity is beyond 
my comprehension. Uncertain whether their intentions are honest 
or not, it is anything but reassuring to have them following within 
sword's reach of one's back, especially when trundling a bicycle up 
a lonely mountain-trail. I have no right to order them back or 
forward, neither do I care to have them think I entertain suspicions 
of their intentions, for in all probability they are but honest villagers, 
satisfying their curiosity in their own peculiar manner, and doubtless 
deriving additional pleasure from seeing one of their fellow-mortals 
laboriously engaged while they leisurely foUow. We aU know how 
soul-satisfying it is for some people to sit around and watch their 
fellow-man saw wood. Whenever I halt for a breathing-spell they 
do likewise ; when I continue on, they promptly take up their line 
of march, following as before in silence ; and when the summit is 
reached, they seat themselves on a rock and watch my progress down 
the opposite slope. 

A couple of miles down grade brings me to Torbali, a place 
of several thousand inhabitants with a small covered bazaar and 
every appearance of a thriving interior town, as thrift goes in 
Asia Minor. It is high noon, and I immediately set about finding 
the wherewithal to make a substantial meal. I find that upon arriv- 
ing at one of these towns, the best possible disposition to make of 
the bicycle is to deliver it into the hands of some respectable Turk 



TIUIOUGII THE ANGOEA GOAT COUNTRY. 



291 



request him to preserve it from the meddlesome crowd, and then pay 
no further attention to it until ready to start. Attempting to keep 
watch over it oneself is sure to result in a dismal failure, whereas 
an Osmanli gray-beard becomes an ever-willing custodian, regards 




r^PCXj^'^-^- 



A Faithful Guardian. 



its safe-keeping as appealing to his honor, and will stand guard over 
it for hours if necessary, keeping the noisy and curious crowds of 
his townspeople at a respectful distance by brandishing a thick 
stick at anyone who ventures to approach too near. These men 
will never accept payment for this highly appreciated service, it 
seems to appeal to the Osmanli's spirit of hospitality ; they seem 



292 FEOM SAN FEANCISCO TO TEHEEAW. 

happy as clams at high tide while gratuitously protecting my prop- 
erty, and I have known them to unhesitatingly incur the displeasure 
of their own neighbors by officiously carrying the bicycle off into an 
inner room, not even granting the assembled people the harmless 
privilege of looking at it from a distance — for there might be some 
among the crowd possessed of thefeniia ghuz (evil eye), and rather 
than have them fix their baleful gaze upon the important piece of 
property left under his charge by a stranger, he chivalrously braves 
the displeasure of his own people ; smiling complacently at their 
shouts of disapproval, he triumphantly bears it out of their sight 
and from the fell influence of the possible fenna ghuz. Another 
strange and seemingly paradoxical phase of these occasions is that 
when the crowd is shouting out its noisiest protests against the 
withdrawal of the machine from popular inspection, any of the 
protestors will eagerly volunteer to help carry the machine inside, 
should the self-important personage having it in custody condescend 
to make the slightest intimation that such service would be accept- 
able. 

Handing over the bicycle, then, to the safe-keeping of a respect- 
able kahuay-jee (coffee-Man employee) I sally forth in quest of eat- 
ables. The kah vay-jee has it immediately carried inside and set up on 
one of the divans, in which elevated position he graciously permits 
it to be gazed upon by the people, who swarm into his khan in such 
numbers as to make it impossible for him to transact any business. 
Under the guidance of another volunteer, who, besides acting the 
part of guide, takes particular care that I get lumping weight, etc., 
I proceed to the ett-jees and procure some very good mutton-chops, 
and from there to the ekmek-jees for bread. This latter person 
straightway volunteers to cook my chops. Sending to his residence 
for a tin dish, some chopped onions and butter, he puts them in 
his oven, and in a few minutes sets them before me, browned and 
buttered. Meanwhile, he has despatched a youth somewhere on 
another errand, who now returns and supplements the savory chops 
with a small dish of honey in the comb and some green figs. Seated 
on the generous-hearted ekmek-jee's dough-board, I make a din- 
ner good enough for anybody. 

While discussing these acceptable viands, I am somewhat 
startled at hearing one of the worst " cuss-words " in the English 
language repeated several times by one of the two Turks engaged 
in the self-imposed duty of keeping people out of the place while 



THROUGH THE ANGORA GOAT COTJNTEY. 293 

I am eating — a kindly piece of courtesy that wins for them my 
warmest esteem. Tlie old fellow proves to be a Crimean veteran, 
and, besides a much-prized medal he brought back with him, he 
somehow managed to acquire this discreditable, perhaps, but 
nevertheless unmistakable, memento of having at some time or 
other campaigned it with " Tommy Atkins." I try to engage him 
iu conversation, but find that he doesn't know another solitary 
word of English. He simply repeats the profane expression al- 
luded to in a parrot-like manner without knowing anything of its 
meaning ; has, in fact, forgotten whether it is English, French, or 
Italian. He only knows it as a " Prank " expression, and in that 
he is perfectly right : it is a frank expression, a very frank expres- 
sion indeed. As if determined to do something agreeable in return 
for the gratifying interest I seem to be taking in him on account of 
this profanity, he now disappears, and shortly returns vsith a young 
man, who turns out to be a Greek, and the only representative of 
Christendom in Torbali. The old Turk introduces him as a " Ka- 
ris-ti-ahn " (Christian) and then, in reply to questioners, explains to 
the interested on-lookers that, although an Englishman, and, unlike 
the Greeks, friendly to the Turks, I also am a " Ka-ris-ti-ahn ; " one 
of those queer specimens of humanity whose perverse nature pre- 
vents them from embracing the religion of the Prophet, and there- 
by gaining an entrance into the promised land pf the Icara ghuz kiz 
(black-eyed houris). During this profound exposition of my merits 
and demerits, the wondering people stare at me with an expression 
on their faces that plainly betrays their inabiUty to comprehend so 
queer an individual ; they look as if they think me the oddest speci- 
men they have ever met, and taking into due consideration my novel 
mode of conveyance, and that many Torbali people never before 
saw an Englishman, this is probably not far from a correct inter- 
pretation of their thoughts. 

Unfortunately, the streets and environments of Torbali are ui a 
most wretched condition ; to escape sprained ankles it is necessary 
to walk with a great deal of caution, and the idea of bicycHng 
through them is simply absurd. Nevertheless the populace tm-ns 
out in high glee, and their expectations run riot as I relieve the 
kahvay-jee of his faithful vigil and bring forth my wheel. They 
want me to &wi in their stuffy little bazaar, crowded with people 
and donkeys ; mere alley-ways with scarcely a twenty yard stretch 
from one angle to another ; the surface is a disorganized mass of 



294 FROM SAN FBANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

lioles and stones over wliicli the wary and hesitative donkey picks 
his way with the greatest care ; and yet the popular clamor is " Bin, 
bin ; bazaar, bazaar ! " The people who have been showing me how 
courteously and considerately it is possible for Turks to treat a 
stranger, now seem to have become filled with a determination not 
to be convinced by anything I say to the contrary ; and one of the 
most importunate and headstrong among them sticks his bearded 
face almost up against my own placid countenance (I have akeady 
learned to wear an unrufiled, martyr-like expression on these howl- 
ing occasions) and fairly shrieks out, "Bin! bin!" as though de- 
termined to hoist me into the saddle, whether or no, by sheer force 
of his own desire to see me there. This person ought to know 
better, for he wears the green turban of holiness, proving him to 
have made a pilgrimage to Mecca, but the universal desire to see 
the bicycle ridden seems to level all distinctions. 

All this tumult, it must not ba forgotten, is carried on in perfect 
good humor ; but it is, nevertheless, very annoying to have it seem 
that I am too boorish to repay their kindness by letting them see 
me ride ; even walking out of town to avoid gratifying them, as 
some of them doubtless think. These little embarrassments are 
some of the penalties of not knowing enough of the language to be 
able to enter into explanations. Learning that there is a piece of 
wagon-road immediately outside the town, I succeed in silencing 
the clamor to some extent by promising to ride when the araba 
yole is reached ; whereupon hundreds come flocking out of town, 
following expectantly at my heels. Consoling myself with the 
thought that perhaps I will be able to mount and shake the clam- 
orous multitude off by a spurt, the promised araba yole is an- 
nounced ; but the fates are plainly against me to-day, for I find 
this road leading up a mountain slope from the very beginning. 
The people cluster expectantly around, while I endeavor to explain 
that they are doomed to disappointment — that to be disappointed 
in their expectations to see the araha ridden is plainly their Jcismet, 
for the hill is too steep to be ridden. They laugh knowingly and 
give me to understand that they are not quite such simpletons as 
to think that an araba cannot be ridden along an araba yole. " This 
is an araba yole," they argue, " you are riding an araba ; we have 
seen even our own clumsily-made arabas go up here time and again, 
therefore it is evident that you are not sincere," and they gather 
closer around and spend another ten minutes in coaxing. It is a 



THROUGH THE ANGOEA GOAT COUNTRY. 295 

ridiculous position to be in ; these people use the most endearing 
terms imaginable ; some of them kiss the bicycle and would get 
down and kiss my dust-begrimed moccasins if I would permit it ; 
at coaxing they are the most persevering people I ever saw. To 
convince them of the impossibility of riding up the hill I allow a 
muscular young Turk to climb into the saddle and try to propel 
himself forward while I hold him up. This has the desired effect, 
and they accompany me farther up the slope to where they fancy 
it to be somewhat less steep, a score of all too-willing hands being 
extended to assist in trundling the machine. Here again I am 
subjected to another interval of coaxing ; and this same annoying 
programme is carried out several times before I obtain my release. 
They are the most headstrong, persistent people I have yet en- 
countered ; the natural pig-headed disposition of the " unspeakable 
Turk" seems to fairly run riot in this little valley, which at the 
point where Torbali is situated contracts to a mere ravine between 
rugged heights. 

For a full mile up the mountain road, and with a patient insist- 
ence quite commendable in itself, thej' persist in their aggravating 
attentions ; aggravating, notwithstanding that they remain in the 
best of humor, and treat me with the greatest consideration in 
every other respect, promptly and severely checking any unruly 
conduct among the youngsters, which once or twice reveals itself 
in the shape of a stone pitched into the wheel, or some other plea^ 
antry pecuUar to the immature Turkish mind. At length one en- 
terprising j'oung man, with wild visions of a flying wheelman 
descending the mountain road with lightning-like velocity, comes 
prominently to the fore, and unblushingly announces that they 
have been bringing me along the wrong road ; and, with something 
akin to exultation in his gestures, motions for me to turn about 
and ride back. Had the others seconded this brilliant idea there 
was nothing to prevent me from being misled by the statement ; 
but his conduct is at once condemned; for though pig-headed, 
they are honest of heai't, and have no idea of resorting to trickery 
to gain their object. It now occurs to me that perhaps if I turn 
roxmd and ride down hill a short distance they will see that my 
trundUng up hill is really a matter of necessity instead of choice, 
and thus rid me of their undesirable presence. 

Hitherto the slope has been too abrupt to_ admit of any such 
thought, but now it becomes more gTadual. As I expected, the 



396 rEOM SAN FEANOISOO TO TEHEKAN. 

proposition is heralded witli unanimous shouts of approval, and I 
take particular care to stipulate that after this they are to follow me 
no farther ; any condition is acceptable to them as long as it in- 
cludes seeing how the thing is ridden. It is not without certain 
misgivings that I mount and start cautiously down the declivity be- 
tween two rows of turbaned and fez-bedecked heads, for I have not 
yet forgotten the disagreeable actions of the mob at Adiianople in 
running up behind and giving the bicycle vigorous forward pushes, 
a proceeding that would be npt altogether devoid of danger here, 
for besides the gradient, one side of the road is a yawning chasm. 
These people, however, confine themselves solely to howling with 
delight, proving themselves to be well-meaning and comparatively 
well-behaved after all. Having performed my part of the com- 
pact, a few of the leading men shake hands, and express their 
gratitude and well-wishes ; and after calling back several youngsters 
who seem unwilling to abide by the agreement forbidding them 
to follow any farther, the whole noisy company proceed along foot- 
paths leading down the cUfifs to town, which is in plain view almost 
immediately below. 

The entire distance between Torbali and Keshtobek, where to- 
morrow forenoon I cross over into the vilayet of Angora, is through 
a rough country for bicycling. Forest-clad mountains, rocky 
gorges, and rolling hills characterize the landscape ; rocky passes 
lead over mountains where the caravans, engaged in the exportation 
of mohair ever since that valuable commodity first began to be ex- 
ported, have worn ditch-Kke trails through ridges of solid rock 
three feet in depth ; over the less rocky and precipitous hills be- 
yond a comprehensive view is obtained of the country ahead, and 
these time-honored trails are seen leading in many directions, 
ramifying the country like veins of one common system, which are 
necessarily drawn together wherever there is but one pass. Parts 
of these commercial by-ways are frequently found to be roughly 
hedged with wild pear and other hardy shrubs indigenous to the 
country — the relics of by-gone days, planted when these now 
barren hUls were cultivated, to protect the growing crops from 
depredation. Old miU-stones with depressions in the centre, 
formerly used for pounding com in, and pieces of hewn masonry 
are occasionally seen as one traverses these ancient trails, marking 
the site of a village in days long past, when cultivation and centres 
of industry were more conspicuous features of Asia Minor than 



THROUGH THE ANGORA GOAT COUNTRY. 



297 



tliey are to-day ; lone graves and graves in clusters, marked by 
rude uncMselled headstones or oblong mounds of bowlders, are 
frequently observed, completing the scene of general decay. 

While riding along these tortuous ways, the smooth-worn eamel- 
paths sometimes affording excellent \yheeling, the view ahead is 
often obstructed by the untrimmed hedges on either side, and one 
sometimes almost comes into collision, in turning a bend, with 




The Byways of Asia Minor. 



horsemen, wild-looking, armed formidably in the manner peculiar 
to the country, as though they were assassins stealing forth under 
cover. Occasionally a female bestriding a donkey suddenly ap- 
pears "but twenty or thirty yards ahead, the narrowness and the 
crookedness of the hedged-in ti-ail favoring these abrupt meetings ; 
shrouded perhaps in a white abbas, and not infrequently riding a 
white donkey, they seldom fail to inspire thoughts of ghostly eques- 
tiiennes gliding silently along these now half-deserted pathways. 
Many a hasty but sincere appeal is made to Allah by these fright- 



298 FROM SAN PEANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

ened ladies as they faucy themselves brought suddenly face to face 
with the evil one ; more than once this afternoon I overhear that 
agonizing appeal for providential aid and protection of which I am 
the innocent cause. The second thought of the lady — as if it 
occurred to her that with any portion of her features visible she 
would be adjudged unworthy of divine interference in her behalf 
— is to make sure that her yashmak is not disarranged, and then 
comes a mute appeal to her attendant, if she have one, for some 
explanation of the strange apparition so suddenly and unexpectedly 
confronting them. 

In view of the nature of the coimtry and the distance to Kesh- 
tobek, I have no idea of being able to reach that place to-night, 
and when I arrive at the ruins of an old mud-built khan, at dusk, I 
conclude to sup off the memories of my excellent dinner and a 
piece of bread I have in my pocket, and avail myseK of its shelter 
for the night. While eating my frugal repast, up ride three mule- 
teers, who, after consulting among themselves some minutes, 
finally picket their animals and prepare to join my company ; 
whether for aU night or only to give their animals a feed of grass, 
I am unable to say. Anyhow, not liking the idea of spending the 
whole night, or any part of it, in these unfrequented hills with 
three ruffianly-looking natives, I again take up my line of march 
along mountain mule-paths for some three miles farther, when I 
descend into a smaU valley, and it being too dark to undertake the 
task of pitching my tent, I roU myself up in it instead. Soothed 
by the music of a babbling brook, I am almost asleep, when a 
glorious meteor shoots athwart the sky, lighting up the valley with 
startling vividness for one brief moment, and then the dusky pall 
of night descends, and I am gathered into the arms of Morpheus. 

Toward morning it grows chilly, and I am but fitfully dozing 
in the early gray, when I am awakened by the bleating and the 
pattering feet of a small sea of Angora goats. Starting up, I dis- 
cover that I am at that moment the mysterious and interesting 
subject of conversation between four goatherds, who have appar- 
ently been quietly surveying my sleeping form for some minutes. 
Like our covetous friends beyond the Kara Su Pass, these early- 
morning acquaintances are unlovely representatives of their pro- 
fession ; their sword-blades are half naked, the scabbards being 
rudely fashioned out of two sections of wood, roughly shaped to the 
blade, and bound together at top and bottom with twine • in addi- 



THROUGH THE AN60KA GOAT COUNTET. 



299 



tion to which ai-e bell-mouthed pistols, half the size of a Queen 
Bess blunderbuss. This villainous-looking quai-tette does not make 
a very reassuring picture in the foreground of one's waking mo- 
ments, but they ai-e probably the most harmless mortals imaginable ; 
anyhow, after seeing me astir, they pass on with their flocks and 
herds without even submitting me to the customary catechizing. 

The morning light reveals in my surroundings a most charming 
little valley, about half a mile wide, walled in on the south by tow- 
ering mountains covered with a forest of pine and cedar, and on 
the north by low, brush-covered hills ; a small brook dances along 




Early Morning Callers. 

the middle, and thin pasturage and scattered clumps of willow 
fringe the stream. Three miles down the valley I arrive at a road- 
side Ichan, where I obtain some hai-d bread that requires soaking in 
water to make it eatable, and some wormy raisins ; and from this 
choice assortment I attempt to fill the aching void of a ravenous 
appetite ; with what success I leave to the reader's imagination. 
Here the khan-jee and another man deliver themselves of one of 
those strange requests pecuhar to the Asiatic Turk. They pool 
the contents of their respective ti-easuries, making in all perhaps 
three medjedis, and, with the simplicity of children whoso 
minds have not yet dawned upon the crooked ways of a wicked 
world, they offer me the money in exchange for my "Wliitehouse 



300 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAH". 

leather case with its contents. They Lave not the remotest idea 
of what the case contains ; but their inquisitiveness apparently 
overcomes all other considerations. Perhaps, however, their seem- 
ingly innocent way of offering me the money may be their own pe- 
culiar deep scheme of inducing me to reveal the nature of its con- 
tents. 

For a short distance down the valley I find road that is gener- 
ally ridable, when it contracts to a mere ravine, and the only 
road is the bowlder - strewn bed of the stream, which is now 
nearly dry, but in the spring is evidently a raging torrent. An 
hour of this delectable exercise, and I emerge into a region of un- 
dulating hills, among which are scattered wheat-fields and clusters 
of mud-hovels which it would be a stretch of courtesy to term vil- 
lages. Here the poverty of the soil, or of the water-supply, is her- 
alded to every observant eye by the poverty-stricken appearance of 
the villagers. As I wheel along, I observe that these poor half- 
naked wretches are gathering their scant harvest by the laborious 
process of pulling it up by the roots, and carrying it to their com- 
mon threshing-floor on donkeys' backs. Here, also, I come to a 
camp of Turkish gypsies ; they are dark-skinned, with an abun- 
dance of long black hair dangling about their shoulders, hke our 
Indians ; the women and larger girls are radiant in scarlet calico 
and other high-colored fabrics, and they wear a profusion of bead 
necklaces, armlets, anklets, and other ornaments dear to the semi- 
savage mind ; the younger children are as vnld and as innocent of 
clothing as their boon companions, the dogs. The men affect the 
fez and general Turkish style of dress, with many unorthodox 
trappings and embellishments, however ; and with their own wild 
appearance, their high-colored females, naked youngsters, wolfish- 
looking dogs, picketed horses, and smoke-browned tents, they 
make a scene that, for picturesqueness, can give odds even to the 
wigwam-villages of Uncle Sam's Crow scouts, on the Little Big 
Horn River, Montana Territoiy, which is saying a good deal. 

Twelve miles from my last night's rendezvous, I pass through 
Keshtobek, a village that has evidently seen better days. The iniina 
of a large stone khan take up all the central portion of the place ; 
massive gateways of hewn stone, ornamented by the sculptor's 
chisel, are still standing, eloquent monuments of a more prosperous 
era. The unenterprising descendants of the men who erected this 
substantial and commodious retreat for passing caravans and trav- 



THROUGH THE ANGORA GOAT COUNTRY. 301 

ellers are now content to house tliemselves and their families in 
tumble-down hovels, and to drift aimlessly and unambitiously along 
on wretched fare and worse clothes, from the cradle to the grave. 
The Keshtobek people seem principally interested to know why I 
am travelling without any zaptieh escort ; a stranger traveUing 
through these wooded mountains, without guard or guide, and not 
being able to converse with the natives, seems almost beyond their 
belief. When they ask me why I have no zaptieh, I tell them I have 
one, and show them the Smith & Wesson. They seem to regard 
this as a very witty remark, and say to each other : " He is right ; an 
English effendi and an American revolver don't require any zaptiehs 
to take care of them, they are quite able to look out for themselves.'' 

From Keshtobek my road leads down another small valley, and 
before long I find myself in the Angora vilayet, bowling briskly east- 
wai'd over a most excellent road ; not the mule-paths of an hour ago, 
but a broad, well-graded highway, as good, clear into Nalikhau, 
as the roads of any New England State. This sudden transition is 
not unnaturally productive of some astonishment on my part, and 
inquiries at Nalikhan result in the information that my supposed 
graded wagon-road is nothing less than the bed of a proposed 
railway, the preliminary grading for which has been finished be- 
tween Keshtobek and Angora for some time. 

This valley seems to be the gateway into a country entirely dif- 
ferent from what I have hitherto traversed. Unlike the forest- 
crowned mountains and shrubbery hills of this morning, the moun- 
tains towering aloft on every hand are now entirely destitute of 
vegetation ; but they are in nowise objectionable to look upon on 
that account, for they have their own peculiar features of loveli- 
ness. Various colored rocks and clays enter into their composi- 
tion ; their giant sides are fantastically streaked and seamed with 
blue, yeUow, green, and red ; these variegated masses encompass- 
in" one round about on every side are a glorious sight — they are 
more interesting, more imposing, more grand and impressive even 
than the piny heights of Kodjaili. Many of these mountains bear 
evidence of mineral formation, and anywhere in the Occident would 
be the scene of busy operations. In Constantinople I heard an Eng- 
lish mineralist, who has lived many years in the country, express 
the belief that there is more mineral buried in these Asia Minor 
hills than in a corresponding area in any other part of the world ; 
that he knew people who for years have had their eye on cer- 



302 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

tciin localities of unusual promise waiting patiently for tlie advan- 
tages of mineral development to dawn upon the sluggish mind 
of Osmanli statesmen. At present it is useless to attempt pro- 
specting, for there is no guarantee of security ; no sooner is anything 
of value discovered than the finder is embarrassed by imperial taxes, 
local taxes, backsheesh, and all manner of demands on his resources, 
often ending in having everything coolly confiscated by the govern- 
ment ; which, like the dog in the manger, will do nothing with it, 
and is perfectly contented and apathetic so long as no one else is 
reaping any benefit from it. 

The general ridableness of this chemin de fer, as the natives 
have been taught to call it, proves not to be without certain disad- 
vantages, for during the afternoon I unwittingly manage to do 
considerable mischief. Suddenly meeting two horsemen, when 
bowling at a moderate pace around a bend, the horse of one 
takes violent exception to my intrusion, and, in spite of the ex- 
cellent horsemanship of his rider, backs down into a small ravine, 
both horse and rider coming to grief in some water at the bot- 
tom. Fortunately, neither man nor horse sustained any more 
serious injury than a few scratches and bruises, though it might 
easily have resulted in broken bones. Soon after this affair, an- 
other donkey-rider takes to his heels, or rather to his donkey's 
heels across country, and his long-eared and generally sure-footed 
charger ingloriously comes to earth ; but I feel quite certain that 
no damage is sustained in this case, for both steed and rider are 
instantly on their feet ; the bold steeple-chaser looks wildly and 
apprehensively toward me, but observing that I am giving chase, 
it dawns upon his mind that I am perhaps after all a human being, 
whereupon he refrains from further flight. 

Wheeling down the gentle declivity of a broad, smooth road that 
almost deserves the title of boulevard, leading through the vine- 
yards and gardens of Nalikhan's environments, at quite a rattling 
pace, I startle a quarry of four dears (deers) robed in white man- 
tles, who, the moment they observe the strange apparition ap- 
proaching them at so vengeful a speed, bolt across a neighboring 
vineyard like the aU-possessed. The rapidity of their movements, 
notwithstanding the impedimenta of their flowing shrouds, readily 
suggests the idea of a quarry of dears (deer), but whether thev are 
pretty dears or not, of course, their yashmaks fail to reveal ; but in 
return for the beaming smile that lights up our usually solemn- 



THROUGH THE ANGORA GOAT COUNTRY. 



303 



looking countenance at their ridiculously hasty flight, as a recipro- 
cation pure and simple, I suppose we ought to give them the bene- 
fit of the doubt. 

The evening at Nalikhan is a comparatively happy occasion ; it is 
Friday, the Mussulman Sabbath ; everybody seems fairly well-dressed 
for a Turkish interior town ; and, more important than all, there is 
a good, smooth road on which to satisfy the popular curiosity ; on 
this latter fact depends all the difference between an agreeable and 
a disagreeable time, and at Nalikhan everything passes off pleasantly 
for all concerned. Apart from the novelty of my conveyance, few 
Europeans have ever visited these interior places under the same 




A Quarry of Startled Dears. 



conditions as myself. They have usually provided themselves be- 
forehand with letters of introduction to the pashas and mudirs of 
the villages, who have entertained them as their guests during their 
stay. On the contrary, I have seen fit to provide myself with none 
of these way-smoothing missives, and, in consequence of my linguis- 
tic shortcomings, immediately upon reaching a town I have to sur- 
render myself, as it were, to the intelligence and good-will of the 
common people ; to their credit be it recorded, I can invariably 
count on their not lacking at least the latter qualification. 

The little khan I stop at is, of course, besieged by the usual crowd, 
but they are a happy-heai-ted, contented people, bent on lionizing me 



304 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

the best they know how ; for have they not witnessed my marvellous 
performance of riding an araba, a beautiful web-like araba, more 
beautiful than any makina they ever saw before, and in a manner 
that upsets all their previous ideas of equilibrium ? Have I not 
proved how much I esteem them by riding over and over again for 
fresh batches of new arrivals, until the whole population has seen 
the performance ? And am I not hobnobbing and making myself 
accessible to the people, instead of being exclusive and going 
straightway to the pasha's, shutting myself up and permitting none 
but a few privileged persons to intrude upon my privacy ? AH these 
things appeal strongly to the betternature of the imaginative Turks, 
and not a moment during the whole evening am I suffered to be un- 
conscious of their great appreciation of it all. A bountiful supper 
of scrambled eggs fried in butter, and then the mulazim of zaptiehs 
takes me under his special protection and shows me around the 
town. He shows me where but a few days ago the Nalikhan ba- 
zaar, with all its multifarious merchandise, was destroyed by fire, 
and points out the temporary stalls, among the black ruins, that 
have been erected by the pasha for the poor merchants who, with 
heavy hearts and doleful countenance, are trying to recuperate 
their shattered fortunes. He calls my attention to two-story 
wooden houses and other modest structures, which, in the sim- 
plicity of his Asiatic soul, he imagines are objects of interest ; and 
then he takes me to the headquarters of his men, and sends out 
for coffee in order to make me literally his guest. Here, in his 
office, he calls my attention to a chromo hanging on the wall, which 
he says came from Stamboul — Stamboul, where the Asiatic Turk 
fondly imagines all wonderful things originate. This chromo is 
certainlj' a wonderful thing in its way. It represents an English 
trooper in the late Soudan expedition kneeling behind the shelter 
of a dead camel, and with a revolver in each hand keeping at bay 
a crowd of Arab spearmen. The soldier is badly wounded, but 
with smoking revolvers and an evident determination to die hard, 
he has checked, and is still checking, the advance of somewhere 
about ten thousand Arab troops. No wonder the people of Kesh- 
tobek thought an Englishman and a revolver quite safe in travel- 
ling without zaptiehs ; some of them had probably been to Nalikhan 
and seen this same chromo. 

When it gxows dark the mulazim takes me to the^ublic coffee- 
garden, near the burned bazaar, a place which is really no garden at 



THROUGH THE ANGORA GOAT COUNTRY. 305 

all, only some broad, rude benches encircling a round water-tank or 
fountain, and whfch is fenced in with a low, wabbly picket-fence. 
Seated crossed-legged on the benches are a score of sober-sided 
Turks, smoking nargilehs and cigarettes, and sipping coffee ; the 
feeble light dispensed by a lantern on top of a pole in the centre 
of the tank makes the darkness of the " garden " barely visible ; a 
continuous splashing of water, the result of the overflow from a 
pipe projectiug three feet above the surface, furnishes the only 
music ; the sole auricular indication of the presence of patrons 
is when some customer orders "Jcahvay " or "nargileh " in a scarcely 
audible tone of voice ; and this is the Turk's idea of an evening's 
enjoyment. 

EeturniDg to the Man, I find it full of happy people looking at 
the bicycle ; commenting on the wonderful marifet (skill) appar- 
ent in its mechanism, and the no less marvellous marifet required 
in riding it. They ask me if I made it myself and katch-lira ? 
(how many liras ?) and then requesting the privilege of looking 
at my teskeri they find ■ rare amusement in comparing my personal 
charms with the description of my form and features as interpreted 
by the passport of&cer in Galata. Two men among them have ia 
some manner picked up a sand from the sea-shore of the English 
language. One of them is a very small sand indeed, the solitary 
negative phrase, "no;" nevertheless, during the evening he in- 
spires the attentive auditors with respect for his linguistic accom- 
plishments by asking me numerous questions, and then, antici- 
pating a negative reply, forestalls it himself by querying, "No?" 
The other " linguist " has in some unaccountable manner added 
the ability to say " Good morning " to his other accomplishments ; 
and when about time to retire, and the crowd reluctantly bestirs 
itself to depart from the magnetic presence of the bicycle, I notice 
an extraordinary degree of mysterious whispering and suppressed 
amusement going on among them, and then they commence filing 
slowly out of the door with the " linguistic person " at their head ; 
as that learned individual reaches the threshold he turns toward 
me, makes a salaam and says, "Good-morning," and everyone of 
the company, even down to the ii-repressible youngster who was 
cuffed a minute ago for venturing to twirl a pedal, and who now 
forms the rear-guard of the column, likewise makes a salaam and 
says, "Good-morning." ' 

Quilts are provided for me, and I spend the night on the divan 
SO 



306' FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

of the khan ; a few roving mosquitoes wander in at the open window 
and sing their siren songs around my couch, a few entomological 
specimens sally forth from their permanent abode in the lining of 
the quilts to attack me and disturb my slumbers ; but later experi- 
ence teaches me to regard my slumbers to-night as comparatively 
peaceful and undisturbed. In the early morning I am awaikened 
by the murmuring voices of visitors gathering to see me off ; coffee 
is handed to me ere my eyes are fairly open, and the savory odor 
of eggs already sizzling in the pan assail mj' olfactory nerves. 
The khan-jeeis an Osmanliand a good Mussulman, and when ready 
to depart I carelessly toss him my purse and motion for him to 
help himself — a thing I would not care to do mth the keeper of a 
small tavern in any other country or of any other nation. Were 
he entertaining me in a private capacity he would feel injured at 
any hint of payment ; but being a khan-jee, he opens the purse and 
extracts a cherik — twenty cents. 



CIIAPTEE XIII. 

BEY BAZAAE, ANGORA, AND EASTWARD. 

A TRDKDLE of half an hour up the steep slopes leading out of 
another of those narrow valleys in which all these towns are situated, 
and then comes a gentle declivity extending with but little inter- 
ruption for several miles, winding in and out among the ineqijalities 
of an elevated table-land. The mountain-breezes blow cool and ex- 
hilarating-, and just before descending into the little Chai-khan Val- 
ley I pass some interesting cliffs of castellated rocks, the sight of 
which immediately wafts my memory back across the thousands of 
miles of land and water to what they are almost a counterpart of — 
the famous castellated rocks of Green Eiver, Wyo. Ter. 

Another scary youth takes to his heels as I descend into the val- 
ley and halt at the village of Charkhan, a mere shapeless cluster of 
mud-hovels. Before one of these a ragged agriculturist solemnly pre- 
sides over a small heap of what I unfortunately mistake at the time 
for pumpkins. I say "unfortunately," because after-knowledge 
makes it highly probable that they were the celebrated Charhkan 
musk-melons, famous far and wide for their exquisite flavor ; the 
variety can be grown elsewhere, but, strange to say, the peculiar, 
delicate flavor which makes them so celebrated is absent when they 
vegetate anywhere outside this particular locality. It is supposed to 
be owing to some peculiar mineral properties of the soil. The 
Charkhan Valley is a wild, weird-looking region, looking as if it 
were habitually subjected to destructive downpourings of rain, that 
have washed the grand old mountains out of all resemblance to 
neighboring ranges round about. They are of a soft, shaly composi- 
tion, and are worn by the elements into all manner of queer, fantastic 
shapes ; this, together with the same variegated colors observed 
yesterday afternoon, gives them a distinctive appearance not easily 
forgotten. They are " grand, gloomy, and peculiar ; " especially are 
they peculiar. The soil of the valley itself seems to be drift-mud 
from the surrounding hills ; a stream furnishes water sufficient to 



308 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

irrigate a number of rice-fields, whose brilliant emerald hue loses 
none of its brightness from being surrounded by a framework of 
barren hills. 

Ascending from this interesting locality my road now traverses 
a dreary, monotonous district of whitish, sun-blistered hiUs, water- 
less and verdureless for fourteen mUes. The cool, refreshing 
breezes of early morning have been dissipated by the growing heat 
of the sun ; the road continues fairly good, and while riding I am 
unconscious of oppressive heat ; but the fierce rays of the sun 
blisters my neck and the backs of my hands, turning them red 
and causing the skin to peel off a few days afterward, besides ruin- 
ing a section of my gossamer coat exposed on top of the Lamson 
carrier. The air is dry and thirst-creating, there is considerable 
hUl-climbing to be done, and long ere the fourteen miles are cov- 
ered I become sufficiently warm and thirsty to have little thought 
of anything else but reaching the means of quenching thirst. 
Away off in the distance ahead is observed a dark object, whose 
character is indistinct through the shimmering radiation from the 
heated hills, but which, upon a nearer approach, proves to be a 
jujube-tree, a welcome sentinel in those arid regions, beckoning 
the thirsty traveller to a never-failing supply of water. At the 
jujube-tree I find a most magnificent fountain, pouring forth at 
least twenty gallons of delicious cold water to the minute. The 
spring has been walled up and a marble spout inserted, which 
gushes forth a round, crystal column, as though endeavoring to 
compensate for the prevailing ariJuess and to apologize to the 
thirsty wayfarer for the inhospitableness of its surroundings. 

Miles away to the northward, perched high up among the ra- 
vines of a sun-baked mountain -spur, one can see a circumscribed 
area of luxuriant foliage. This conspicuous oasis in the desert 
marks the source of the beautiful road-side fountain, which traverses 
a natural subterranean passage-way between these two distant points. 
These little isolated clumps of waving trees, rearing their green 
heads conspicuously above the surrounding barrenness, are an un- 
erring indication of both water and human habitations. Often one 
sees them suddenly when least expected, nestling in a little depres- 
sion high up some mountain-slope far away, the little dark-green 
area looking almost black in contrast with the whitish color of the 
hills. These are literally "oases in the desert," on a smaU scale, 
and although from a distance no sign of human habitations appear, 



BET BAZAATI, ANGORA, AND EASTWARD. 309 

since they are but mud-hovels corresponding in color to the hills 
themselves, a closer examination invariably reveals well-worn don- 
key-trails leading from different directions to the spot, and per- 
chance a white-turbaned donkey-rider slowly wending his way 
along a trail. 

The heat becomes almost unbearable ; the region of treeless, 
shelterless hills continues to characterize my way, and when, at two 
o'clock P.M., I reach the town of Bey Bazaar, I conclude that the 
thu'ty-nine miles already covered is the limit of discretion to-day, 
considering the oppressive heat, and seek the friendly accommoda- 
tion of a khan. There I find that while shelter from the fierce heat of 
the sun is obtainable, peace and quiet are altogether out of the ques- 
tion. Bey Bazaar is a place of eight thousand inhabitants, and the 
khan at once becomes the objective point of, it seems to me, half the 
population. I put the machine up on a barricaded yaltack-Aivan, 
and climb up after it ; here I am out of the meddlesome reach of 
the " madding crowd," but there is no escaping from the bedlam- 
like clamor of their voices, and not a few, yielding to their uncon- 
trollable curiosity, undertake to invade my retreat ; these invariably 
" skedaddle " respectfully at my request, but new-comers are con- 
tinually intruding. The tumult is quite deafening, and I should 
certainly not be surprised to have the k/ian-jee request me to leave 
the place, on the reasonable ground that my presence is, imder the 
circumstances, detrimental to his interests, since the crush is so 
great that transacting business is out of the question. The khan-je.f, 
however, proves to be a speculative individual, and quite contraiy 
thoughts are occupying his mind. His subordinate, the kahvay-jee, 
presents himself with mournful countenance and humble attitude, 
points with a perplexed air to the surging mass of fezzes, turbans, 
and upturned Turkish faces, and explains — what needs no explana- 
tion other than the evidence of one's own eyes — that he cannot 
transact his business of making coffee. 

" This is your khan," I reply ; " why not turn them out? " 

" Mashallah, effendi I I would, but for everyone I turned out, 
two others would come in — the sons of burnt fathers ! " he says, 
casting a reproachful look down at the stmggling crowd of his fel- 
low-countrymen. 

'•■"What do you propose doing, then?" I inquire. 

" Eatch para, effendi," he answers, smiling approvingly at his 
own suggestion. 



310 FEOM SAW TEAlSrCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

The enterprising kahvay-jee advocates charging them an admis- 
sion fee of five paras (half a cent) each as a measure of protection, 
both for himself and me, proposing to make a "divvy" of the pro- 
ceeds. Naturally enough the idea of making a farthing show of 
either myself or the bicycle is anything but an agreeable proposi- 
tion, but it is plainly the only way of protecting the kahvay-jee and 
his khan from being mobbed all the afternoon and far iuto the night 
by a surging mass of inquisitive people ; so I reluctantly give him 
permission to do whatever he pleases to protect himself. I have no 
idea of the financial outcome of the speculative khan-jee's expedient, 
but the arrangement secures me to some extent from the rabble, 
.though not to any appreciable extent from being worried. The 
people nearly drive me out of my seven senses with their peculiar 
ideas of making themselves agreeable, and honoring me ; they offer 
me cigarettes, coffee, mastic, cognac, fruit, raw cucumbers, melons, 
everything, in fact, but the one thing I should really appreciate — a 
few minutes quiet, undisturbed, enjoyment of my own company ; 
this is not to be secured by locking one's self in a room, nor by any 
other expedient I have yet tried in Asia. After examining the 
bicycle, they want to see my " Alia Franga " watch and my revolver ; 
then they want to know how much each thing costs, and scores of 
other things that appeal strongly to their excessively inquisitive 
natures. 

One old fellow, yearning for a closer acquaintance, asks me if I 
ever saw the wonderful "chu, chu, chu ! chemin defer at Stamboul," 
adding that he has seen it and intends some day to ride on it ; an- 
other hands me a Crimean medal, and says he fought against tlie 
Muscovs with the "lagilis,'' while a third one solemnly introduces 
himself as a "makinis " (machinist), fancying, I suppose, that there 
is some fraternal connection between himself and me, on account 
of the bicycle being a makina. 

I begin to feel uncomfortably like a curiosity in a dime museum 
— a position not exactly congenial to my nature ; so, after enduriu"' 
this sort of thing for an hour, I appoint the kahvay-jee custodian of 
the bicycle and sally forth to meander about the bazaar a while, 
where I can at least have the advantage of being able to move 
about. Upon returning to the khan, an hour later, I find there a 
man whom I remember passing on the road ; he was ridino- a don- 
key, the road was all that could be desired, and I swept past him at 
racing speed, purely on the impulse of the moment, in order to treat 



BEY BAZAAE, ANGORA, AND EASTWARD, 311 

him to the fibstract sensation of blank amazement. This impromptu 
action of mine is now bearing its legitimate fruit, for, surrounded 
by a most attentive audience, the wonder-struck donkey-rider is 
eudqavoring, by word and gesture, to impress upon them some idea 
of the speed at which I swept past him and vanished round a bend. 

The Icahvaij-jee now approaches me, puffing his cheeks out like a 
penny balloon and jerking his thumb in the direction of the street 
door. Seeing that I don't quite comprehend the meaning of this 
mysterious facial contortion, he whispers confidentially aside, 
" pasha," and again goes through the highly interesting perform- 
ance of puffing out his cheeks and winking in a knowing manner ; 
he then says — also confidentially and aside — " lira," winking even 
more significantly than before. By all this theatrical by-play, the 
kahvay-jee means that the pasha — a man of extraordinary social, 
political, and, above all, financial importance — has expressed a wish 
to see the bicycle, and is now outside ; and the kahvay-jee, with 
many significant winks and mysterious hints of " lira," advises me 
to take the machine outside and ride it for the pasha's special bene- 
fit. A portion of the street near by is " ridable under difficulties ; " 
so I conclude to act on the kahvay-jee' s suggestion, simply to see 
what comes of it. Nothing particular comes of it, whereupon the 
kahvay-jee and his patrons all express themselves as disgusted be- 
yond measure because the Pasha failed — to give me a present. 

Shortly after this I find myself hobnobbing with a small com- 
pany of ex-Mecca pilgrims, holy personages with huge green tui'-, 
bans and flowing gowns ; one of them is evidently very holy in- 
deed, almost too holy for human associations one would imagine, 
for in addition to his green turban he wears a broad green kammer- 
hund and a green undergarment ; he is in fact very green indeed. 
Then a crazy person pushes his way forward and wants me to cure 
him of his mental infirmity ; at all events I cannot imagine what 
else he wants ; the man is crazy as a loon, he cannot even give 
utterance to his own mother-tongue, but tries to express himself 
in a series of disjointed grunts beside which the soul-harrowing 
efforts of a broken-winded donkey are quite melodious. Someone 
has probably told him that I am a hakim, or a wonderful person on 
general principles, and the fellow is sufficiently conscious of his 
own condition to come forward and endeavor to grunt himself into 
my favorable consideration. 

Later in the evening a couidIb of young Turkish dandies come 



.312 FKOM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHEEAN. 

round to the khan and favor me with a serenade ; one of them 
twangs a doleful melody on a small stringed instrument, some- 
thing like the Slavonian tamborica, and the other oile sings a dole- 
ful, melancholy song {nearly all songs and tunes in Mohammedan 
countries seem doleful and melancholy) ; afterwards an Arab camel- 
driver joins in with a dance, and furnishes some genuine amuse- 
ment with his hip play and bodily contortions ; this would scarcely 
.be considered dancing from our point of view, but it is according to 
the ideas of the East. The dandies are distinguishable from the 
common run of Turkish bipeds, like the same species in other 
countries, by the fearful and wonderful cut of their garments. 
The Turkish dandy wears a tassel to his fez about three times 
larger than the regulation size, and he binds it carefully down to 
the fez with a red and yellow silk handkerchief ; he wears a jaunty- 
looking short jacket of bright blue cloth, cut behind so that it 
reaches but Uttle below his shoulder-blades ; the object of this is 
apparently to display the whole of the multifold kammerbund, a 
wonderful, colored waist-scarf that is wound round and round the 
waist many times, and which is held at one end by an assistant, 
while the wearer spins round like a dancing dervish, the assistant 
advancing gradually as the human bobbin takes up the length. 
The dandy wears knee-breeches corresponding in color to his 
jacket, woollen stockings of mingled red and black, and low, slipper- 
like shoes ; he allows his hau- to fall about his eyes a la negligee, 
and affects a reckless, love-lorn air. 

The last party of sight-seers for the day call around near mid- 
night, some time after I have retired to sleep ; thej' awaken me 
with their garrulous observations concerning the bicycle, which 
they are critically examining close to my head with a classic 
lamp ; but I readily forgive them their nocturnal intrusion, since 
they awaken me to the first opportunity of hearing women wailing 
for the dead. A dozen or so of women are waUing forth their 
lamentations in the silent night but a short distance from the 
khan ; I can look out of a small opening in the wall near my shake- 
down, and see them moving about the house and premises by the 
flickering glare of torches. I could never have believed the female 
form divine capable of producing such doleful, unearthly music ; 
but there is no telling what these shrouded forms are really capa- 
ble of doing, since the opportunity of passing one's judgment 
upon their accomplishments is confined solely to an occasional 



314 FROM SAN PRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

glimpse of a languishing eye. The Icahvay-jee, who is acting the 
part of explanatory lecturer to these nocturnal visitors, explains 
the meaning of the wailing by pantomimically describing a corpse, 
and then goes on to explain that the smallest imaginable proportion 
of the lamentations that are making night hideous is genuine 
grief for the departed, most of the uproar being made by a body 
of professional mourners hired for the occasion. When I awake 
in the morning the unearthly wailing is still going vigorously for- 
ward, from which I infer they have been keeping it up all night. 
Though gradually becoming inured to all sorts of strange scenes 
and customs, the united wailing and lamentations of a houseful of 
women, awakening the echoes of the silent night, savor too much 
of things supernatural and unearthly not to jar unpleasantly on 
the senses ; the custom is, however, on the eve of being relegated 
to the musty past by the Ottoman Government. 

In the larger cities where there are corpses to be wailed over 
every night, it has been found so objectionable to the expanding 
intellects of the more ealightened Turks that it has been pro- 
hibited as a public nuisance, and these days it is only in such con- 
servative Ulterior towns as Bey Bazaar that the custom still obtains. 

When about starting early on the following morning the khan- 
jee begs me to be seated, and then several men who have been 
waiting around since before daybreak vanish hastily through the 
door-way ; in a few minutes I am favored with a small company of 
leading citizens who, having for various reasons failed to swell 
yesterday's throng, have taken the precaution to post these mes- 
sengers to watch my movements and report when I am ready to 
depart. Our grunting patient, the crazy man, likewise reappears 
upon the scene of my departure from the khan, and, in company 
with a small but eminently respectable following, accompanies me 
to the brow of a bluffy hill leading out of the depression iu which 
Bey Bazaar snugly nestles. On the way uj) he constantly gives 
utterance to his feelings in guttural gruntings that make last 
night's lamentations seem quite earthly after all in comparison ; 
and when the summit is reached, and I mount and glide noiselessly 
away down a gentle declivity, he uses his vocal organs in a manner 
that simply defies chirographical description or any known com- 
parison ; it is the despairing howl of a semi-lunatic at witnessing 
my departure without having exercised my supposed extraordinai'y 
powers in some miraculous manner in his behalf. 



BEY BAZAAi;, ANGORA, AND EASTWARD. 315 

The road continues as an artificial bigliway, but is not continu- 
ously ridable, owing to the rocky nature of the material used in its 
construction and the absence of vehicular traffic to wear it smooth ; 
but it is highly accei^table in the main. From Bey Bazaar east- 
ward it leads for several miles along a stony valley, and then 
through a region that differs little from yesterday's barren hills in 
general appearance, but which has the redeeming feature of being 
traversed here and there by deep cailons or gorges, along which 
meander tiny streams, and whose wider spaces are areas of remark- 
ably fertile soil. While wheeling merrily along the valley road I 
am favored with a " peace-offering " of a splendid bunch of grapes 
from a bold vintager en route to Bey Bazaar with a grape-laden 
donkej'. When within a few hundred yards the man evinces un- 
mistakable signs of uneasiness concerning my character, and 
would probably follow the bent of his inclinations and ingloriously 
flee the field, but his donkey is too heavily laden to accompany 
him ; he looks apprehensively at my rapidly apisroaching figui-e, 
and then, as if a happy thought suddenly occurs to him, he quickly 
takes the finest bunch of grapes ready to hand and holds them out 
toward me while I am yet a good fifty yards away. • The grapes 
are luscious, and the bunch weighs fully an oke, but I should feel 
uncomfortably like a highwayman, guilty of intimidating the man 
out of his property, were I to accept them in the spirit in which 
they are offered ; as it is, the honest fellow will hardly fall to 
trembling in his tracks should he at any future time again descry 
the centaur-like form of a mounted wheelman approaching him in 
the distance. 

Later in the forenoon I descend into a canon-like valley where, 
among a few scattering vineyards and jujube-trees, nestles Ayash, 
a place which disputes with the neighboring village of Istanos the 
honor of being the theatre of Alexander the Great's celebrated ex- 
jjloit of cutting the Gordiau knot that disentangled the harness of 
the Phiygian king. Ayash is to be congratulated upon having its 
historical reminiscence to recommend it to the notice of the outer 
world, since it has little to attract attention nowadays ; it is 
merely the shapeless jumble of inferior dwellings that characterize 
the average Turkish village. As I trundle through the crooked, ill- 
paved alley-way that, out of respect to the historical association 
referred to, may be called its business thoroughfare, with fore- 
thou"-bt of the near approach of noon I obtain some pears, and 



316 FROM SAW FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

hand an ekmeh-jee a coin for some bread ; lie passes over a tougli 
flat cake, abundantly sufficient for my purpose, together with the 
change. A zwptieh, looking on, observes that the man has retained 
a whole half-penny for the bread, and orders him to fork over an- 
other cake ; I refuse to take it up, whereupon the zaptieh fulfils his 
ideas of justice by ordering the ekmek-jae to give it to a ragged 
youth among the spectators. 

Continuing on my way I am next halted by a young man of the 
better class, who, together with the zaptieh, endeavors to prevail 
upon me to stop, going through the pantomime of writing and 
reading, to express some idea that our mutual ignorance of each 
other's language prevents being expressed in words. The result is 
a rather curious intermezzo. Thinking they want to examine myi 
teskeri merely to gratify their idle curiosity, I refuse to be thus 
bothered, and, dismissing them quite brusquely, hurry along over 
the rough cobble-stones in hopes of reaching ridable ground and 
escaping from the place ere the inevitable " madding crowd " be- 
come generally aware of my arrival. The young man disappears, 
while the zaptieh trots smilingly but determinedly by my side, 
several times endeavoring to coax me into making a halt ; which is, 
however, promptly interpreted by myself into a paternal plea on be- 
half of the villagers — a desire to have me stop until they could be 
generally notified and collected — the veiy thing I am hurrying along 
to avoid. I am already clear of the village and trundling up the 
inevitable acclivity, the zaptieh and a small gathering still doggedly 
hanging on, when the young man reappears, hurriedly approaching 
from the rear, followed by half the village. The zaptieh pats me 
on the shoulder and points back with a triumphant smile ; thinking- 
he is referring to the rabble, I am rather inclined to be angry with 
him and chide him for dogging my footsteps, when I observe the 
young man waving aloft a letter, and at once understand that I 
have been guilty of an ungenerous misinterpretation of their de- 
termined attentions, The letter is from Mr. Binns, an English 
gentleman at Angora, engaged in the exportation of mohair, and 
contains an invitation to become his guest while at Angora. A 
well-deserved backsheesh to the good-natured zaptieh and a peni- 
tential shake of the yotiug man's hand silence the self-accusations 
of a guilty conscience, and, after riding a short distance dovm the 
hill for the satisfaction of the people, I continue on my way, trundl- 
ing up the varying gradations of a general acclivity for two miles. 



BEY BAZAAB, ANGORA, AND EASTWARD. 317 

Away up the road ahead I now observe a number of queer, 
sliapeless objects, moving about on the roadway, apparently de- 
scending the hill, and resembling nothing so much as animated 
clumps of brushwood. Upon a closer approach they turn out ta 
be not so very far removed from this conception ; they are a com- 
pany of poor Ayash peasant-women, each carrying a bundle oi 
camel-thorn shrubs several times larger than herself, which they 
have been scouring the neighboring hills all morning to obtain for 
fuel. This camel-thorn is a light, spriggy shrub, so that the size 
of their burthens is lai-ge in proportion to its weight. Instead of 
being borne on the head, they are carried in a way that forms a 
complete bushy backgTOund, against which the shrouded form of 
the woman is undistinguishable a few hundred yards away. In- 
stead of keeping a straightforward course, the women seem to be 
doing an unnecessary amount of erratic wandering about over the 
road, which, until quite near, gives them the queer appearance of 
animated clumps of brush dodging aboiit among each other. I 
ask them whether there is water ahead ; they look frightened and 
hurry along faster, but one brave soul turns partly round and 
points mutely in the direction I am going. Two miles- of good, 
ridable road now brings me to the spring, which is situated near a 
two-acre swamp of rank sword-grass and bulrushes six feet high 
and of almost inpenetrable thickness, which looks decidedly re- 
freshing in its setting of barren, gray hills ; and I eat my noon- 
tide meal of bread and pears to the cheerj' music of a thousand 
swamp-frog bands which commence croaking at my approach, and 
never cease for a moment to twang their tuneful lyre until I de- 
part. 

The tortuous windings of the chemin de fer finally bring me 
to a cul-de-sac in the hills, terminating on the summit of a ridge 
overlooking a broad plain ; and a horseman I meet informs me that 
I am now midway between Bey Bazaar and Angora. While ascend- 
in"' this ridge I become thoroughly convinced of what has fre- 
quently occui-red to me between here and Nalikhan — that if the 
road I am traversing is, as the people keep calling it, a chemiA 
de fer, then the engineer who graded it must have been a youth 
of tender age, and inexperienced in railway matters, to imagine 
that trains can ever round his cui-ve or eUmb his grades. There 
is something about this broad, artificial highway, and the tremen- 
dous amount of labor that has been expended upon it, when com- 



318 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

pared with the glaring poverty of the country it traverses, together 
with the wellnigh total absence of wheeled vehicles, that seem to 
preclude the possibility of its having been made for a wagon-road ; 
and yet, notwithstanding the belief of the natives, it is evident 
that it can never be the road-bed of a railway. We must inquire 
about it at Angora. 

Descending into the Angora Plain, I enjoy the luxury of a con- 
tinuous coast for nearly a mile, over a road that is simply perfect 
for the occasion, after which comes the less desirable performance 
of ploughing through a stretch of loose sand and gravel. While 
engaged in this latter occupation I overtake a zaptieh, also en route 
to Angora, who is letting his horse crawl leisurely along while he 
concentrates his energies upon a water-melon, evidently the spoils 
of a recent visitation to a melon-garden somewhere not far off ; he 
hands me a portion of the booty, and then requests me to bin, and 
keeps on requesting me to bin at regular three-minute intervals for 
the next half-hour. At the end of that time the loose gravel ter- 
minates, and I find myself on a level and reasonably smooth dirt- 
road, making a shorter cut across the plain to Angora than the 
chemin de fer. The zaptieh is, of course, delighted at seeing me 
thus mount, and not doubting but that I will appreciate his com- 
pany, gives me to understand that he will ride alongside to Angora. 
For nearly two miles that sanguine but unsuspecting minion of the 
Turkish Government spurs his noble steed alongside the bicycle 
in spite of my determined pedalling to shake him off ; but the road 
improves ; faster spins the whirling wheels ; the zaptieh begins to 
lag behind a little, though still spurring his panting horse into 
keeping reasonably close behind ; a bend now occurs in the road, 
and an intervening knoll hides us from each other ; I put on more 
steam, and at the same time the zaptieh evidently gives it up and 
relapses into his normal crawling pace, for when three miles or 
thereabout are covered I look back and perceive him leisurely 
heaving in sight from behind the knoll. 

Part way across the plain I arrive at a fountain and make a,short 
halt, for the day is unpleasantly warm, and the dirt -road is covered 
with dust ; the government postaya araha is also halting here to rest 
and refresh the horses. I have not failed to notice the proneness 
of Asiatics to base their conclusions entirely on a person's apparel 
and general outward appearance, for the seeming incongruity of my 
" Ingilis " helmet and the Circassian moccasins has puzzled them not 



BEY BAZAAR, ANGORA, AND EASTWARD. 



519 



a little on more than one occasion. Aud now one wiseacre among 
this pai-ty at the road-side fountain stubbornly asserts that I can- 
not possibly be an Englishman because of my wearing a mustache 




Racing with the Zaptieh. 



•without side whiskers — a feature that seems to have impressed 
upon his enlightened mind the unalterable conviction that I am an 
" Austrian ; " why an Austrian any more than a Frenchman or an 
inhabitant of the moon, I wonder? and wondering, wonder in vain. 



320 PEOM SAW FRANCISCO TO TEHERATJ-. 

Five P.M., August 16, 1885, finds me seated on a rude stone slab, 
one of those ancient tombstones whose serried ranks constitute the 
suburban scenery of Angora, ruefully disburdening my nether gar- 
ments of mud and water, the results of a slight miscalculation of 
my abilities, at leaping irrigating ditches with the bicycle for a 
TaultiQg-pole. "While engaged in this absorbing occupation several 
inquisitives mysteriously collect from somewhere, as they invai'ia- 
bly do whenever I happen to halt for a minute, and following the 
instructions of the Ayash letter I inquire the way to the " IngDisin 
Adam " (Englishman's man). They pilot me through a number of 
narrow, ill-paved streets leading up the sloping hill which Angora 
occupies — a situation that gives the supposed ancient capital of 
Galatia a striking appearance from a distance — and into the prem- 
ises of an Armenian whom I find able to make himself intelligible 
in English, if allowed several minutes undisturbed possession of his 
own faculties of recollection between each word — the gentleman is 
slow but not quite sure. Prom him I learn that Mr. Binns and 
family reside during the summer months at a vineyard five miles 
out, and that Mr. Binns will not be in town before to-morrow 
morning; also that, "You are welcome to the humble hospitality 
of our poor family." 

This latter way of expressing it is a revelation to me, and the 
leaden-heeled and labored utterance, together with the general 
bearing of my volunteer host, is not less striking ; if meekness, 
lowliness, and humbleness, permeating a person's every look, word, 
and action, constitute worthiness, then is our Armenian friend be- 
yond a doubt the worthiest of men. Laboring under the impres- 
sion that he is Mr. Binns' " Ingihsin Adam," I have no hesitation 
about accepting his profiiered hospitality for the night ; and storing 
the bicycle away, I proceed to make myself quite at home, in that 
easy manner peculiar to one accustomed to constant change. Later 
in the evening imagine my astonishment at learning that I have 
thus nonchalantly quartered myself, so to speak, not on Mr. Binns' 
man, but on an Armenian pastor who has acquired his slight ac- 
quaintance with my own language from being connected mth the 
American Mission having headquarters at Kaisarieh ! 

AU the evening long, noisy crowds' have been besieging the 
pastorate, worrying the poor man nearly out of his senses oji 
my account ; and what makes matters more annoying and lament- 
able, I learn afterward that his wife has departed this life but 



BEY BAZAAR, ANGORA, AND EASTWARD. 321 

a sliort time ago, and the bereaved pastor is still bowed down 
with sorrow at the affliction — I feel like kicking myself unceremo- 
niously out of his house. Following the Asiatic custom of wel- 
coming a stranger, and influenced, we may reasonably suppose, as 
much by their eagerness to satisfy their consuming curiosity as any- 
thing else, the people come flocking in swarms to the pastorate 
again next morning, filling the house and grounds to overflowing, 
and endeavoring to find out all about me and my unheard-of mode 
of travelling, by questioning the poor pastor nearly to distrac- 
tion. That excellent man's thoughts seem to run entirely on mis- 
sionaries and mission enterprises ; so much so, in fact, that sev- 
eral negative assertions from me fail to entirely disabuse his mind 
of an idea that I am in some way connected with the work of 
spreading the Gospel in Asia Minor ; and coming into the I'oom 
where I am engaged in the interesting occupation of returning the 
salaams and inquisitive gaze of fifty ceremonious visitors, in slow, 
measured words he asks, " Have you any words for these people ? " 
as if quite expecting to see me rise up and solemnly call upon the 
assembled Mussulmans, Greeks, and Armenians to forsake the re- 
lirrion of the False Prophet in the one case, and mend the error 
of their ways in the other. I know well enough what they all 
want, though, and dismiss them in a highly satisfactory manner by 
promising them that they shall all have an opportunity of seeing 
the bicycle ridden before I leave Angora, 

About ten o'clock Mr. Binns arrives, and is highly amused at the 
ludicrous mistake that brought me to the Armenian pastor's instead 
of to his man, with whom he had left instructions concerning me, 
should I arrive after his departm-e in the evening for the vineyard ; 
in return he has an amusing story to tell of the people waylaying 
him on his way to his office, telling him that an Englishman had 
arrived with ai wonderful araha, which he had immediately locked 
up in a dark room and would allow nobody to look at it, and beg- 
ging him to ask me if they might come and see it. "VVe spend the 
remainder of the forenoon looking over the town and the bazaar, 
Mr. Binns kindly announcing himself as at my service for the day, 
and seemingly bent on pointing out everything of interest. 

One of the most curious sights, and one that is peculiai- to An- 
gora, owing to its situation on a hill where Uttle or no water is 
obtainable, is the bewildering swarms of su-katirs (water donkeys) 
engaged in the transportation of that important necessai-y up into 
31 



322 



FJiOM SAN FEANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 



the city from a stream that flows near the base of the hill. These 
unhappy animals do nothing from one end of their working Uvea 
to the other but toil, with almost machine-like regularity and un- 
eventfulness, up the crooked, stony streets with a dozen large 
eartheu-ware jars of water, and down again with the empty jars. 
The donkey is sandwiched between two long wooden troughs sus- 
pended to a rude pack-saddle, and each trough accommodates six 
jars, each holding about two gallons of water ; one can readily im- 
agine the swarms of these novel and primitive conveyances required 




Angora Water-works. 



to supply a population of thirty-five thousand people. Upon in- 
quiring what they do in case of a fire, I learn that they don't even 
think of fighting the devouring element with its natural enemy, 
but, collecting on the adjoining roofs, they smother the flames 
by pelting the burning building with the soft, crumbly bricks of 
which Angora is chiefly built ; a house on fire, with a swarm of 
half-naked natives on the neighboring housetops bombarding the 
leaping flames with bricks, would certainly be an interesting 
sight. 



BEY BAZAAR, ANGORA, AND EASTWARD. 323 

Other pity-exciting scenes besides the patient Httle water-carry- 
ing donkeys are not likely to be wanting on the streets of an Asiatic 
city ; one case I notice merits particular mention. A ji'outh with 
both arms amputated at the shoulder, having not so much as the 
stump of an arm, is riding a donkey, and persuading the unwilling 
animal along quite briskly— with a stick. All Christendom could 
never guess how a person thus afflicted could possibly wield a stick 
so as to make any impression upon a donkey ; but this ingenious 
person holds it quite handily between his chin and right shoulder, 
and from constant practice has acquired the ability to visit his 
long-eai-ed steed with quite vigorous thwacks. 

Near noon we repair to the government house to pay a visit to 
Sirra Pasha, the Vali or governor of the vilaijet, who, having heard 
of my arrival, has expressed a wish to have us call on him. We 
happen to arrive while he is busily engaged with an important 
legal decision, but upon our being announced he begs us to wait a 
few minutes, promising to hurry through with the business. "We 
are then requested to enter an adjoining apartment, where we find 
the Mayor, the Cadi, the Secretary of State, the Chief of the Angora 
zaptiehs, and several other functionaiies, signing documents, affix- 
ing seals, and otherwise variously occupied. At our entrance, doc- 
uments, pens, seals, and everything are relegated to temporary 
oblivion, coffee and cigarettes are produced, and the journey dunia- 
nin-athrafana (around the world) I am making with the wonderful 
araha becomes the aU-absorbing subject. These wise men of state 
entertain queer, Asiatic notions concerning the probable object of 
my journey ; they cannot bring themselves to beheve it possible 
that I am performing so great a journey " merely as the Outing 
correspondent ; " they think it more probable, they say, that my 
real incentive is to " spite an enemy "—that, having quai-relled with 
another wheelman about our comparative skill as riders, I am 
wheeling entirely around the globe in order to prove my superior- 
ity, and at the same time leave no opportunity for my hated rival 
to perform a greater feat — Asiatic reasoning, sure enough ! Eea- 
soning thus, and commenting in this wise among themselves, their 
curiosity becomes worked up to the highest possible pitch, and 
they commence plying Mr. Binns with questions concerning the 
mechanism and general appeai'ance of the bicycle. To faciUtate 
Ml'. Binns in his task of elucidation, I produce from my inner coat- 
pocket a set of the earlier sketches illustrating the tour across 



324 FEOM SAN FEANCISCO TO TEHERAK. 

America, and for tlie next few minutea the set of sketches are of 
more importance than all the State documents in the room. 
Curiously enough, the sketch entitled "A Pair Young Mormon " 
attracts more attention than any of the others. 

The Mayor is Suleiman Effendi, the same gentleman mentioned 
at some length by Colonel Burnaby in his " On Horseback Through 
Asia Minor,'' and one of his first questions is ■whether I am ac- 
quainted with " my friend Burnaby, whose tragic death in the Sou- 
dan will never cease to make me feel unhappy." Suleiman Effendi 
appears to be remarkably intelligent, compared with many Asiatics, 
and, moreover, of quite a practical turn of mind ; he inquires what 
I should do in case of a serious break-down somewhere in the far 
interior, and his curiosity to see the bicycle is not a little increased 
by hearing that, notwithstanding the extreme airiness of my strange 
vehicle, I have had no serious mishap on the whole journey across 
two continents. Alluding to the bicycle as the latest product of 
that Western ingenuity that appears so marvellous to the Asiatic 
mind, he then remarks, with some animation, "The next thing we 
shall see will be Englishmen crossing over to India in balloons, 
and dropping down at Angora for refreshments." 

A uniformed servant now announces that the Vali is at liberty, 
and waiting to receive us in private audience. Following the at- 
tendant into another room, we find Sirra Pasha seated on a richly 
cushioned divan, and upon our entrance he-iises smilingly to receive 
us, shaking us both cordially by the hand. As the distinguished 
visitor of the occasion, I am appointed to the place of honor next 
to the governor, while Mr. Binns, with whom, of course, as a resi- 
dent of Angora, His Excellency is already quite well acquainted, 
graciously fills the office of interpreter, and enlightener of the 
Vali's understanding concerning bicycles in general, and my own 
wheel and wheel journey in particular. Sirra Pasha is a full-faced 
jnan of medium height, black-eyed, black-haired, and, like nearly 
all Turkish pashas, is rather inclined to corpulencj-. Like many 
pronainent Turkish officials, he has discarded the Turkish costume, 
retaining only the national fez ; a head-dress which, by the by, is 
without one single merit to recommend it save its picturesqueness. 
In sunny weather it affords no protection to the eyes, and in rainy 
weather its contour conducts the water in a trickling stream down 
one's spinal column. It is too thin to protect the scalp from the 
fierce sun-rays, and too close-fitting and close in texture to afford 



BEY BAZAAR, ANGORA, AND EASTWARD. 325 

any ventilation, yet -with all this formidable array of disadvantages 
it is universally worn. 

I have learned during the morning that I have to thank Sirra 
Pasha's energetic administration for the artificial highway from 
Keshtobek, and that he has constructed in the vilayet no less than 
two hundred and fifty miles of this highway, broad and reasonably 
well made, and actually macadamized in localities where the neces- 
sary material is to be obtained. The amount of work done in con- 
structing this road through so mountainous a country is, as before 
mentioned, plainly out of all proportion to the wealth and popula- 
tion of a second-grade vilayet like Angora, and its accomplishment 
has been possible only by the employment of forced labor. Every 
man in the whole vilayet is ordered out to work at the road-making 
a certain number of days every year, or provide a substitute ; thus, 
during the present summer there have been as many as twent}^ thou- 
sand men, besides donkej's, working on the roads at one time. Un- 
accustomed to public improvements of this nature, and, no doubt, 
failing to see their advantages in a country practically without ve- 
hicles, the people have sometimes ventured to grumble at the rather 
ai'bitrary proceeding of making them work for nothing, and board 
themselves ; and it has been found expedient to make them believe 
that they were doing the preliminary grading for a railway that 
was shortly coming to make them all prosperous and happy ; be- 
yond being credulous enough to swallow the latter part of the bait, 
few of them have the least idea of what sort of a looking thing a 
railroad would be. 

When the Vali hears that the people all along the road have 
been teUing me it was a chemin defer, he fairlj- shakes in his boots 
with laughter. Of course I point out that no one can possibly ap- 
preciate the road improvements any more than a wheelman, and 
explain the great difference I have found between the mule-paths 
of Kodjaili and the broad highways he has made through Angora, 
and I promise him the universal good opinion of the whole world 
of 'cyclers. In reply. His Excellency hopes this favorable opinion 
will not be jeopardized by the journey to Yuzgat, but expresses 
the fear that I shall find heavier wheeling in that direction, as the 
road is newly made, and there has been no vehicular ti-affie to pack 
it down. 

The Governor invites me to remain over until Thursday and 
witness the ceremony of laying the corner-stone of a new school, of 



320 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

tlie founding of which he has good reason to feel proud, and which 
ought to secure him the esteem of right-thinking people every- 
where. He has determined it to be a common school in which no 
question of Mohammedan, Jew, or Christian, will be allowed to en- 
ter, but where the young ideas of Turkish, Christian, and Jewish 
youths shall be taught to shoot peacefully and harmoniously to- 
gether. Begging to be excused from this, he then invites me to 
take dinner with him to-morrow evening ; but this I also decline, 
excusing myself for having determined to remain over no longer 
than a day on account of the approaching rainy season and my 
anxiety to reach Teheran before it sets in. Yet a third time the 
pasha rallies to the charge, as though determined not to let me off 
without honoring me in some way ; and this time he offers to fur- 
nish me a zaptieh escort, but I tell hitn of the zaptieh's inability to 
keep up yesterday, at which he is immensely amused. His Excel- 
lency then promises to be present at the starting-point to-morrow 
morning, asking me to name the time and place, after which we 
finish the cigarettes and coffee and take our leave. 

"We next take a survey of the mohair caravansary, where buyers 
and sellers and exporters congregate to transact business, and I 
watch with some interest the corps of half-naked sorters seated 
before large heaps of mohair, assorting it into the several classes 
ready for exportation. Here Mr. Binns' ofSce is situated, and 
we are waited upon by several of his business acquaintances ; among 
them a member of the celebrated — celebrated in Asia Minor — Tif- 
ticjeeoghlou family, whose ancestors have been prominently engaged 
in the mohair business for so long that their very name is significa- 
tory of their profession — Tifticjee-oghlou, literally, "Mohair-dealer's 
son." The Smiths, Bakers, and Hunters of Occidental society are 
not a whit more significative than are many prominent names of 
the Orient. Prominent among the Angorians is a certain Mr. Al- 
tentopoghlou, the literal interpretation of which is, " Son of the 
golden ball," and the origin of whose family name Eastern ti-adition 
has surrounded by the following little interesting anecdote : 

Ages ago it pleased one of the Sultans to issue a proclamation 
throughout the empire, promising to present a golden ball to 
whichever among all his subjects should prove himself the biggest 
liar, giving it to be understood beforehand that no " merely irri- 
probable story " would stand the ghost of a chance of winning, 
since he himself was to be the judge, and nothing short of a story 



BET BAZAAR, ANGOEA, AND EASTWAllD. 327 

that was simply impossible would secure tlie prize. The procla- 
mation naturally made quite a stir among the great prevaricators 
of the realm, and hundreds of- stories came pouring in from com- 
petitors everywhere, some even surreptitiously borrowing " whop- 
pers " from the Persiatis, who are well known as the greatest 
economizers of the truth in all Asia ; but they were one and all ad- 
judged by the astute monarch — who was himself a most experi- 
enced prevaricator — probably the noblest Eoman of them all — as 
containing incidents that might under extraordinary circumstances 
Lave been true. The coveted golden ball still remained unawarded, 
when one day there appeared before the gate of the Sultan's 
palace, requesting an audience, an old man with travel-worn 
appearance, as though from a long pilgrimage, and bearing on his 
stooping shoulders an immense eai'tlieu-ware jar. The Sultan re- 
ceived the aged pilgrim kindly, and asked him what he could do 
for him. 

" Oh, Sultan, may you live forever ! " exclaimed the old man, 
" for your Imperial Highness is loved and celebrated throughout 
all the empire for your many virtues, but most of all for your well- 
known love of justice.'' 

" Inshallah ! " replied the monarch, reverently. 

"May it please Your Imperial Majesty," continued the old man, 
calling the monarch's attention to the jar, "Tour Highness' most 
excellent father — may his bones rest in peace ! — borrowed from 
my father this jar full of gold coins, the conditions being that 
Your Majesty was to pay the same amount back to me." 

"Absurd, impossible 1 " exclaimed the astonished Sultan, ey- 
ing the huge vessel in question. 

"If the story be tnie," gravely continued the pilgrim, "pay 
your father's debt ; if it is as you say, impossible, I have fairly won 
the golden ball." And the Sultan immediately awarded him the 
prize. 

In the cool of the evening we ride out on horseback through 
vineyards and yellow-berry gardens to Mi-. Binns' country resi- 
dence, a place that formerly belonged to an old pasha, a veritable 
Bluebeard, who built the house and placed the windows of his 
harem, even closely latticed as they always ai-e, in a position that 
would not command so much as a glimpse of passers-by on the 
road, hundreds of yards away. He planted trees and gardens, and 
erected marble fountains at great cost. Surrounding the whole 



328 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

with a wall, and purchasing three beautiful young wives, the old 
Turk fondly fancied he had created for himself an earthly paradise ; 
but as love laughs at locksmiths, so did these three frisky dames 
laugh at latticed windows, and lay their heads together against 
being prevented from watching passers-by -through the windows of 
the harem. With nothing else to do, they would scheme and plot 
all day long against their misguided husband's tranquillity and 
peace of mind. One day, while sunning himself in the garden, he 
discovered that they had managed to detach a section of the 
lattice-work from a window, and were in the habit of sticking out 
their heads — awful discovery ! Plying into a righteous rage at 
this act of flagrant disobedience, he seized a thick stick and sought 
their apartments, only to find the lattice-work skilfullj' replaced, 
and to be confronted with a general denial of what he had wit- 
nessed with his own eyes. This did not prevent them from all 
three getting a severe chastisement ; but as time wore on he 
found the life these three caged-up young women managed to lead 
him anything but the earthly paradise he thought he was creating, 
and, financial troubles overtaking him at the same time, the old 
fellow fairly died of a broken heart in less than twelve mouths 
after he had so hopefully installed himself in his self-created 
heaven. 

There is a moral in the story somewhere, I think, for anybody 
caring to analyze it. Mr. Binns says the old Mussulman was also 
au inveterate hater of unbelievers, and that the old fellow's bones 
would fairly rattle in his coffin were he conscious that a family of 
Christians are now actually occupying the house he built with such 
careful regard for the Mussulman's ideas of a material heaven, with 
trees and fountains and black-ej'ed hoviris. 

Near ten o'clock on Tuesday morning finds Angora the scene 
of more excitement than it has seen for some time. I am trundl- 
ing through the narrow streets toward the appointed starting- 
place, which is at the commencement of a half-mile stretch of ex- 
cellent level macadam, just beyond the tombstone-planted suburbs 
of the city. Mr. Binns is with me, and a squad of zaptiehs are en- 
gaged in the lively occupation of protecting us from the crush of 
people following us out ; they are armed especially for the occa- 
sion with long switches, with which they unsparingly lay about 
tbem, seemingly only too delighted at the chance of making the 
dust fly from the shoulders of such unfortunate wights as the 



BEY BAZAAU, ANGOEA, AND EASTWAIID. 329 

pressure of the throng forces anywhere near the magic cause of the 
commotion. The time and place of starting have been proclaimed 
by the Vali and have become generally noised abroad, and near 
thi-ee thousand people ai-e already assembled when we arrive ; 
among them is seen the genial face of Suleiman Effendi, who, in his 
capacity of mayor, is early on the ground with a force of zaptiehs 
to maintain order ; and with a little knot of friends, behold, is also 
our humble friend the Armenian pastor, the irresistible attractions 
of the wicked bicycle having temporaiily overcome his contempt of 
the pomps and vanities of secular displays. 

" Englishmen are always punctual ! " saj's Suleiman Effendi, look- 
ing at his watch ; and, upon consulting our own, sure euoiigh we 
have happened to arrive precisely to the minute. An individual 
named Mustapha, a blacksmith who has acqiiired an enviable rep- 
utation for skill on account of the beautiful horseshoes he turns 
out, now presents himself and begs leave to examine the mechan- 
ism of the bicycle, and the question arises among the officers stand- 
ing by as to whether Mustapha would be able to make one ; Mus- 
tapha himself thinks he could, providing he had mine always at 
hand to cojDy from. 

"Yes," suggests the practical-minded Suleiman Effendi, "j'es, 
Mustapha, you may have marifet enough to make one ; but when 
you have finished it, who among all of us wHL have mai-ifel enough 
to ride it?" 

"True, effendi," solemnly assents another, "we would have to 
send for an Englishman to ride it for us, after Mustapha had 
turned it out ! " 

The Mayor now requests me to ride along the road once or 
twice to appease the clamor of the multitude until the Vali arrives. 
The crowd along the road is tremendous, and on a neighboring 
knoll, commanding a view of the proceedings, are several carriage- 
loads of ladies, the wives and female relatives of the officials. The 
Mayor is indulgent to his people, allowing them to throng the road- 
way, simply ordering the zaptiehs to keep my road through the sm-g- 
inf mass open. While on the home-stretch from the second spin, up 
dashes the Vali in the state equipage with quite an imposing body- 
guard of mounted zaptiehs, their chief being a fine military-look- 
ing Circassian in the picturesque military costume of the Caucasus. 
These horsemen the Governor at once orders to clear the people 
entirely off the road-way — an order no sooner given than executed ; 



330 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

and after the customary interchange of salutations, I mount and 
•wheel briskly up the broad, smooth macadam between two compact 
masses of delighted natives ; excitement runs high, and the people 
clap their hands and howl approvingly at the performance, while 
the horsemen gallop briskly to and fro to keep them from intrud- 
ing on the road after I have wheeled past, and obstructing the 
Governor's view. After riding back and forth a couple of times, I 
dismount at the Vali's carriage ; a mutual interchange of adieus 
and well-wishes aU around, and I take my departure, wheeling 
along at a ten-mile pace amid the vociferous plaudits of at least 
four thousand people, who watch my retreating figure until I dis- 
appear over the brow of a hill. At the upper end of the main 
crowd are stationed the " irregular cavalry " on horses, mules, and 
donkeys ; and among the latter I notice our ingenious friend, the 
armless youth of yesterday, whom I now make happy by a nod of 
recognition, having scraped up a backsheesh acquaintance with him 
yesterday. 

For some miles the way continues fairly smooth and hard, lead- 
ing through a region of low vineyard-covered hUls, but ere long I 
arrive at the newly made road mentioned by the Vah. 

After which, like the course of true love, my forward career 
seldom runs smooth for any length of time, though ridable donkey- 
trails occasionally run parallel with the bogus chemin defer. For 
mile after mile I now alternately ride and trundle along donkeys- 
paths, by the side of an artificial highway that would be an enter- 
prise worthy of a European State. The surface of the road is 
either gravelled or of broken rock, and well rounded for self-drain- 
age ; it is graded over the mountains, and wooden bridges, with 
substantial rock supports, are built across the streams ; nothing is 
lacking except the vehicles to utilize it. In the absence of these 
it would almost seem to have been an unnecessary and superfluous 
expenditure of the people's labor to make such a road through a 
country most of which is fit for little else but grazing goats and 
buffaloes. Aside from some half-dozen can-iages at Angora, and 
a few light government postaya arabas — an innovation from horses 
for carrying the mail, recently introduced as a result of the im- 
proved roads, and which make weekly trips between such points 
as Angora, Yuzgat, and Tokat — the only vehicles in the country 
are the buflfalo-carts of the larger farmers, rude home made arabas 
with solid wooden wheels, whose infernal creaking can be heard 



BEY BAZAAR, ANGORA, AND EASTWARD. 331 

for a mile, and which they seldom take any distance from home, 
preferring their pack-donkeys and cross-couutry trails when going 
to town with produce. Perhaps in time vehicular traffic may ap- 
peal- as a result of suitable roads ; but the natives are slow to adopt 
new improvements. 

About two hours from Angora I pass through a swampy upland 
basin, containing several small lakes, and then emerge into a much 
less mountainous countiy, passing several mud villages, the inhab- 
itants of which are a dark-skinned people — Turkoman refugees, 
I think — who look several degrees less particular about their 
personal cleanliness than the villagers west of Angora. Their 
wretched mud hovels would seem to indicate the last degree of 
poverty, but numerous flocks of goats and herds of buffalo graz- 
ing near apparently tell a somewhat different story. The women 
and children seem mostly engaged in manufacturing cakes of 
tezek (large flat cakes of buffalo manure mixed with chopped sti-aw, 
which are "dobbed"on the outer walls to dry; it makes very 
good fuel, like the " buffalo chips " of the far West), and stacking it 
up on the house-tops, with provident forethought, for the approach- 
ing winter. 

Just as dai-kness is beginning to settle down over the landscape 
I arrive at one of these unpromising-looking clusters, which, it 
seems, are now peculiar to the country', and not characteristic of 
any particular race, for the one I arrive at is a purely Turkish vil- 
lage. After the usual preliminaries of pantomime and binning, I 
am conducted to a capacious flat roof, the common covering of 
several dwellings and stables bunched up together. This roof is 
as smooth and hard as a native threshing-floor, and well knowing, 
from recent experiences, the modus operandi of capturing the hearts 
of these bland and childlike villagers, I mount and straightway 
secure their universal admiration and applause by riding a few 
times round the roof. I obtain a supper of fried eggs and yaorl 
(milk soured with rennet), eating it on the house-top, surrounded 
by the whole population of the village, on this and adjoining roofs, 
who watch my every movement with the most intense curiosity. 
It is the raggedest audience I have yet been favored with. There 
are not over half a dozen decently clad people among them all, and 
two of these are horsemen, simply remaining over night, like my- 
self. Everybody has a feai-fully flea-bitten appearance, which 
augurs ill for a refreshing night's repose. 



332 



FROM SAN FKAWCISCO TO TEHERAN. 



Here, likewise I am first introduced to a peculiar kind of bread, 
that I straightway condemn as the most execrable of the many va- 
rieties my everchanging experiences bring me iu contact with, and 
which I find myself mentally, and half unconsciously, naming — 
" blotting-paper etmek " — a not inappropriate title to convey its ap- 




Genuine Ekmek, 



pearance to the civilized mind ; but the sheets of blotting-paper 
must be of a wheaten color and in circular sheets about two feet 
in diameter. This peculiar kind of bread is, we may suppose, the 
natural result of a great scarcity of fuel, a handful of tezek, beneath 
the large, thin sheet-iron griddle, being sufficient to bake many 



BEY BAZAAR, ANGORA, AND EASTWARD. 333 

cakes of this bread. At first I start eating it something like a 
Shantytown goat would set about consuming a political poster, if 
it — not the political poster, but the Shantytown goat — had a pair 
of hands. This outlandish performance creates no small merri- 
ment among the watchful on-lookers, who forthwith initiate me 
into the mode of eating it d la Turque, which is, to roll it up like 
a scroU of paper and bite mouthfuls off the end. I afterwards find 
this pai-ticular variety of ekmek quite handy when seated around a 
communal bowl of yaort with a dozen natives ; instead of taking 
my turn with the one wooden spoon in common use, I would form 
pieces of the thia bread into small handleless scoops, and, dip- 
ping up the yaort, eat scoop and all. Besides sparing me from 
using the same greasy spoon in common with a dozen natives, 
none of them overly squeamish as regards personal cleanliness, this 
gave me the appreciable advantage of dipjping into the dish as often 
as I choose, instead of waiting for my regiilar turn at the wooden 
spoon. 

Though they are Osmauli Turks, the women of these small vil- 
lages appear to make little pretence of covering their faces. Among 
themselves they constitute, as it were, one large family gathering, 
and a stranger is but seldom seen. They are apparently simple- 
minded females, just a trifle shame-faced in their demeanor before 
a stranger, sitting apart by themselves while listening to the con- 
versation between myself and the men. This, of course, is very 
edifying, even apart from its pantomimic and monosyllabic char- 
acter, for I am now among a queer people, a people through the 
unoccupied chambers of whose unsophisticated minds wander 
strange, fantastic thoughts. One of the transient horsemen, a con- 
templative young man, the promising appearance of whose upper 
lip proclaims him something over twenty, announces that he Uke- 
wise is on the way to Yuzgat ; and after listening attentively to my 
explanations of how a wheelman climbs mountains and overcomes 
stretches of bad road, he solemnly inquires whether a 'cycler could 
scurry up a mountain slope all right if some one were to follow be- 
hind and touch him up occasionally with a whip, in the persuasive 
manner required in driving a horse. He then produces a rawhide 
"persuader," and ventures the opinion that if he followed close 
behind me to Yuzgat, and touched me up smartly with it whenever 
we came to a motmtain, or a sandy road, there would be no neces- 
sity of trundling any of the way. He then asks, with the innocent 



334 



FEOM SAW FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 



simplicity of a cbild, whether in case he made the experiment, I 
would get angry and shoot him. 




The Unspeakable Oriental. 



The other transient appears of a more speculative turn of mind, 
and draws largely upon his own pantomimic powers and my limited 



BEY BAZAAK, ANGOEA, AND EASTWARD. 335 

knowledge of Turkisli, to ascertain the difference between the 
kalch lira of a bicycle at retail, and the hatch lira of its manufac- 
ture. Prom the amount of mental labor he voluntarily inflicts 
upon himself to acquire this particular item of information, I ap- 
prehend that nothing less than wild visions of acquiring a rapid 
fortune by starting a bicycle factory at Angora, are flitting through 
his imaginative mind. The villagers themselves seem to consider 
me chiefly from the standpoint of their own peculiar ideas con- 
cerning the nature of an Englishman's feelings toward a Eussian. 
My performance on the roof has put them in the best of humor, 
and has evidently whetted their appetites for further amusement. 
Pointing to a stoHd-looking individual, of an apparently taciturn 
disposition, and who is one of the respectably-dressed few, they 
accuse him of being a Russian ; and then all eyes are turned to- 
wards me, as though they quite expect to see me rise up wrathfully 
and make some warlike demonstration against him. My undemon- 
strative disposition forbids so theatrical a proceeding, however, 
and I confine myself to making a pretence of falling into the trap, 
casting furtive glances of suspicion towards the supposed hated 
subject of the Czar, and making whispered inquiries of my immedi- 
ate neighbors concerning the nature of his mission in Turkish ter- 
ritory. During this interesting comedy the " audience " are fairly 
shaking in their rags with suppressed merriment ; and when the 
taciturn individual himself — who has thus far retained his habitual 
self-composure — growing restive under • the hateful imputation of 
being a Muscov and my supposed bellicose sentiments toward him 
in consequence, finally repudiates the part thus summarily assigned 
him, the whole company bursts out into a boisterous roar of 
laughter. At this happy turn of sentiment I assume an air of in- 
tense relief, shake the taciturn man's hand, and, borrowing the 
speculative transient's fez, proclaim myself a Turk, an act that fairly 
" brings down the house." 

Thus the evening passes men-ilj' away until about ten o'clock, 
when the people begin to slowly disperse to the roofs of their re- 
spective habitations, the whole population sleeping on the house- 
tops, with no roof over them save the star-spangled vault— the 
arched dome of the great mosque of the universe, so often adorned 
with the pale yellow, crescent-shaped emblem of their religion. 
Several families occupy the roof which has been the theatre of the 
evening's social gathering, and the men now consign me to a com- 



336 FROM SAN FKANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

fortable coueli made up of several quilts, one of the transients 
thougMfully cautioning me to put my moccasins under my pillow, 
as these articles were the object of almost universal covetousness 
during the evening. No sooner am I comfortably settled down, 
than a wordy warfare breaks out in my immediate vicinity, and 
an ancient female makes a determined dash at my coverlet, with 
the object of taking forcible possession ; but she is seized and 
unceremoniously hustled away by the men who assigned me my 
quarters. It appears that, with an eye singly and disinterestedly 
to my own comfort, and regardless of anybody else's, they have, 
without taking the trouble to obtain her consent, appropriated to 
my use the old lady's bed, leaving her to shift for herself any way 
she can, a high-handed proceeding that naturally enough arouses 
her virtuous indignation to the pitch of resentment. 

Upon this fact occurring to me, I of course immediately vacate 
the property in dispute, and, with true Western gallantry, arraign 
myself on the rightful owner's side by carrying my wheel and other 
eifects to another position ; whereupon a satisfactory compromise 
is soon arranged between the disputants, by which another bed is 
prepared for me, and the ancient dame takes triumphant possession 
of her own. Peace and tranquillity being thus established "on a 
firm basis, the several families tenanting our roof settle themselves 
snugly down. The night is still and calm, and naught is heard 
save my nearer neighbors' scratching, scratching, scratching. This 
— not the scratching, but the quietness — doesn't last long, however, 
for it is customary to collect all the four-footed possessions of the 
village together eveiy night and permit them to occupy the inter- 
spaces between the houses, while the humans are occupying the 
roofs, the horde of watch-dogs being depended upon to keep 
watch and ward over everything. The hovels are more under- 
ground than above the surface, and often, when the village occu- 
pies sloping ground, the upper edge of the roof is practically but 
a continuation of the solid ground, or at the most there is but a 
single step-up between them. The goats are of course permitted 
to wander whithersoever they wUl, and equally, of course, they abuse 
their privileges by preferring the roofs to the gTound and wander- 
ing incessantly about ainong the sleepers. Where the roof comes 
too near the ground some temporary obstruction is erected, to 
guard against the iatrusion of venturesome buffaloes. 

No sooner have the humans quieted down, than several goats 



BEY BAZAAR, ANGORA, AND EASTWARD. 337 

promptly iuvade the roof, and commence their usual nocturnal 
promenade among tlie prostrate forms of their owners, and further 
indulge their well-known goatish propensities by nibbling away the 
edges of the roof. (They would, of course, prefer a square meal off 
a patchwork quilt, but from their earliest infancy they are tau.ght 
that meddling with the bedclothes will bring severe punishment.) 
A buffalo occasionally gives utterance to a solemn, prolonged 
" m-o-o-o ;" now and then a baby wails its infantile disapproval of 
the fleas, and frequent noisy squabbles occur among the dogs. 
Under these conditions, it is not surprising that one should w'oo in 
vain the drowsy goddess ; and near midnight some person within 
a few yards of my couch begins groaning fearfully, as if in great paiu 
— probably a case of the stomach-ache, I mentallj' conclude, though 
this hasty conclusion may not unnaturally result from an inner con- 
sciousness of being better equipped for curing that particular afflic- 
tion than any other. From the position of the sufferer, I am in- 
cliaed to think it is the same ancient pai-ty that ousted me out of 
her possessions two hom-s ago, and I lay here as far removed from 
the realms of unconsciousness as the moment I retired, expecting 
every minute to see her appear before me in a penitential mood, 
asking me to cure her, for the inevitable hakim question had been 
raised during the evening. She doesn't present herself, however ; 
perhaps the self-accusations of her conscience, for having in the mo- 
ment of her wrath attempted to appropriate my coverlet in so rude 
a manner, prevent her appealing to me now in the hour of distress. 
These people are eaiiy risers ; the women are up milking the 
goats and buffaloes before daybreak, and the men hieing them away 
to the harvest fields and thi-eshing-fioors. I, likewise, bestir myself 
at daylight, intending to reach the next village before breakfast. 



22 



CHAPTER XIV. 

ACEOSS THE KIZIL IRMAK EIVBE TO YUZGAT. 

The country continues much the same as yesterday, with the 
road indifferent for wheeling. Eeaching the expected village about 
eight o'clock, I breakfast off ekmek and new buffalo milk, and at 
once continue on my way, meeting nothing particularly interesting, 
save a lively bout occasionally with goat-herds' dogs — the reminis- 
cences of which are doubtless more vividly interesting to myself 
than they would be to the reader — until high noon, when I arrive 
at another village, larger, but equally wretched-looking, on the 
Kizil Ii-mak River, called Jas-chi-kham. On the west bank of the 
stream are some ancient ruins of quite massive architecture, and 
standing on the opposite side of the road, evidently having some 
time been removed from the ruins with a view to being transported 
elsewhere, is a couchant lion of heroic proportions, carved out of a 
sohd block of white marble ; the head is gone, as though its would- 
be possessors, having found it beyond their power to transport the 
whole animal, have made off with what they could. An old and 
curiously arched bridge of massive rock spans the river near its 
entrance to a wild, rocky gorge in the mountains ; a primitive 
grist mill occupies a position to the left, near the entrance to 
the gorge, and a herd of camels are slaking their thirst or 
grazing near the water's edge to the right — a genuine Eastern 
picture, surely, and one not to be seen every day, even in the land 
where to see it occasionally is quite possible. 

Riding into Jas-chi-khan, I dismount at a building which, from 
the presence of several "do-nothings," I take to be a khan for 
the accommodation of travellers. In a partially open shed-like 
apartment are a number of demure looking maidens, industriously 
employed in weaving carpets by hand on a rude, upright frame, 
while two others, equally demure-looking, are seated on the ground 
cracking wheat for pillau, wheat being substituted for rice where 
the latter is not easily obtainable, or is too expensive. Waiving all 



ACROSS THE KIZIL IKMAK KIVEE TO YUZGAT. 339 

considerations of whether I am welcome or not, I at once enter 
this abode of female industry, and after watching the interesting 
process of cai'pet-weaving for some minutes, turn my attention to 
the preparers of cracked wheat. The process is the same primitive 
one that has been employed among these people from time imme- 
morial, and the same that is referred to in the passage of Scripture 
which says : " Two women were grinding corn in the field ;" it con- 
sists of a small upper and nether millstone, the upper one being 



'^^!i|y 




A Sketch on the Kizil Irmak. 



turned round by two women sitting facing each other ; they both 
take hold of a perpendicular wooden handle with one hand, em- 
ploying the other to feed the mill and rake away the cracked grain. 
These two young women have evidently been very industrious this 
morning ; they have half-buried themselves in the product of their 
labors, and are still grinding away as though for their very lives, 
while the constant "click-clack " of the carpet weavers prove them 
likewise the embodiment of industry. 



340 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

They seem rather disconcerted by the abrupt iutrusion and 
scrutinizing attentions of a Frank and a stranger; however, the 
fascinating search for bits of interesting experience forbids my 
retirement on that account, but rather urges me to make the most 
of fleeting opportunities. Picking up a handful of the cracked 
wheat, I inquire of one of the maidens if it is for pillau ; the 
maiden blushes at being thus directly addressed, and with down- 
cast eyes vouchsafes an affirmative nod in reply ; at the same time 
an observant eye happens to discover a little brown big-toe peejp- 
ing out of the heap of wheat, and belonging to the same demure 
maiden with the downcast eyes. I know full well that I am 
stretching a point of Mohammedan etiquette, even by coming 
among these industrious damsels in the manner I am doing, but 
the attention of the men is fully concentrated on the bicycle out- 
side, and the temptation of trying the esperiment of a little jocu- 
larity, just to see what comes of it, is under the circumstances 
irresistible. Conscious of venturing where angels fear to tread, I 
stoop down, and take hold of the peeping little brown big-toe, and 
addressing the demure maiden with the downcast eyes, inquire, 
" Is this also for pillau ? " This proves entirely too much for the 
risibilities of the industrious pillau grinders, and letting go the 
handle of the mill, they both give themselves up to uncontrollable 
laughter ; the carpet- weavers have been watching me out of the 
corners of their bright, black eyes, and catching the infection, the 
click-clack of the carpet-weaving machines instantly ceases, and 
several of the weavers hurriedly retreat into an adjoining room to 
avoid the awful and well-nigh unheard-of indiscretion of laughing 
in the presence of a stranger. Having thus yielded to the tempta- 
tion and witnessed th^ results, I discreetly retire, meeting at the 
entrance a gray-bearded Turk coming to see what the merriment 
and the unaccountable stopiJuig of the carpet-weaving frames is 
all about. 

A sheep has been slaughtered in Jas-chi-khan this morning, 
and I obtain a nice piece of mutton, which I hand to a bystander, 
asking him to go somewhere and cook it ; in five minutes he re- 
turns with the meat burnt black outside and perfectly raw within. 
Seeing my evident disapproval of its condition, the same ancient 
person who recently appeared ujjon the scene of my jocular experi- 
ment and who has now squatted himself down close beside me, 
probably to make sure against any further indiscretions, takes the 



ACROSS THE KIZIL IU:\[AK raVER TO YUZUAT. 341 

meat, slashes it across in several directions with bis dagger, orders 
the afore-mentioned bystander to try it over again, and then coolly 
wipes bis blackened and greasy fingers on my sheet of ekmek as 
though it were a table napkin. I obtain a few mouthfuls of eatable 
meat from the bystander's second culinary efibrt, and then buy a 
water-melon from a man happening along with a laden donkey ; 
cutting into the melon I find it perfectly green all through, and 
toss it away ; the men look surprised, and some youngsters 
straightway pick it up, eat the inside out until they can scoop out 
no more, and then, breaking the rind in pieces, they scrape it out 
with their teeth until it is of egg-shell thinness. They seem to do 
these things with impunity in Asia. 

The grade and the wind are united against me on leaving Jas- 
chi-khan, but it is ridable, and having made such a dismal failure 
about getting dinner, I push on toward a green area at the base of 
a rocky mountain spur, which I observed an hour ago from a point 
some distance west of the Kizil Irmak, and concluded to be a 
cluster of vineyards. This conjecture turns out quite correct, and, 
what is more, my experience ,upon arriving there would seem to in-, 
dicate that the good genii detailed to arrange the daily programme 
of my journey had determined to recompense me to-day for hav- 
ing seen nothing of the feminine world of late but yashmaks and 
shrouds, and momentary monocular evidence ; for here again am 
I thrown into the society of a bevy of maidens, more interesting, 
if anything, than the nymphs of industry at Jas-chi-khan. 

There is apparently some festive occasion at the little vineyai-d- 
euvironed village, which stands back a hundred yai'ds or so from 
the road, and which is approached by a narrow foot-way between 
thrifty-looking vineyards. Three blooming damsels, in all the brav- 
ei-y of holiday attire, with necklaces and pendants of jingling coins 
to distinguish them from the matrons, come hurrying down the path- 
way toward the road at my approach. Seeing me dismount, upon 
arriving opposite the village, the handsomest and gayest dressed 
of the three goes into one of the vineyards, and with charming- 
grace of manner, presents herself before me with both hands over- 
flowing with bunches of luscious black grapes. Their abundant 
black tresses are gathered in one long plait behind ; they wear 
bracelets, necklaces, pendants, brow-bands, head ornaments, and 
all sorts of wonderful articles of jewelry, made out of the common 
silver and metallic coins of the country ; they are small of stature 



343 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

and possess oval faces, large black eyes, and warm, dark com- 
plexions. Their manner and dress prove rather a puzzle in deter- 
mining their nationality ; they are not Turkish, nor Greek, nor 
Armenian, nor Circassian ; they may possibly be sedentary Turko- 
mans ; but they possess rather a Jewish cast of countenance, and 
my first impression of them is, that they are "Bible people," the 
original inhabitants of the country, who have somehow managed 
to cling to their little possessions here, in spite of Greeks, Turks, 
and Persians, and other conquering races who have at times over- 
run the country ; perhaps they have softened the hearts of every- 
body undertaking to oust them by their graceful manners. 

Other villagers soon collect, making a picturesque and interest- 
ing group around the bicycle ; but the maiden with the grapes makes 
too pretty and complete a picture for any of the others to attract 
more than passing notice. One of her two companions whisperingly 
calls her attention to the plainly evident fact that she is being re- 
garded with admiration by the stranger. She blushes perceptibly 
through her nut-brown cheeks at hearing this, but she is also quite 
conscious of her claims to admiration, and likes to be admired ; so 
she neither changes her attitude of respectful grace, nor raises her 
long drooping eyelashes, while I eat and eat grapes, taking them 
bunch after bunch from her overflowing hands, until ashamed to 
eat any more. I confess to almost falling in love with that maiden, 
her manners were so easy and graceful ; and when, with ever-down- 
cast eyes and a bewitching manner that leaves not the sHghtest 
room for considering the doing so a bold or forward action, she 
puts the remainder of the grapes in my coat pockets, a peculiar 
fluttering sensation — but I draw a veil over my feelings, they are 
too sacred for the garish pages of a book. I do not inquire 
about their nationality, I would rather it remain a mystery, and a 
matter for future conjecture ; but before leaving I add something 
to her already conspicuous array of coins that have been increas- 
ing since her birth, and which wiU form her modest dowry at mar- 
riage. 

The road continues of excellent surface, but i-ather hilly for a 
few miles, when it descends into the Valley of the Delijeh Irmak, 
where the artificial highway again deteriorates into the unpacked 
condition of yesterday ; the donkey trails are shallow trenches of 
dust, and are no longer to be depended upon as keeping my gen- 
eral course, but are rather cross-country trails leading from one 



ACROSS THE KIZIL IRMAK RIVER TO YUZGAT. 



M3 



mountain village to another. The well-defined caravan trail lead- 
ing from Ismidt to Angora comes no farther eastwai-d than the lat- 
ter cit}', which is the central point where the one exportable com- 
modity of the vilayet is collected for barter and transportation to 
the seaboai-d. The Delijeh Ii-mak Valley is under partial cuUiva- 




.. h-^f ' 



Grapes and Grace. 

tion, and occasionally one passes through small areas of melon 
gardens far away from any permanent habitations ; temporary huts 
or dug-outs are, however, an invariable adjunct to these isolated 
possession of the villagers, in which some one resides day and 
night during the melon season, guarding theu- property with gun 



344 FROM SAW FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

and dog from uuscrupulous wayfarers, wlio otherwise would not 
hesitate to make their visit to town profitable as well as pleasurable, 
by surreptitiously confiscating a donkey-load of salable melons from 
their neighbor's roadside garden. Sometimes I essay to purchase a 
musk-melon from these lone sentinels, but it is impossible to ob- 
tain one fit to eat ; these wretched preyers on Nature's bounty evi- 
dently pluck and devour them the moment they develop from the 
bitterness of their earliest growth. No villages are passed on the 
road after leaving the vintagers' cluster at noon, but bunches of 
mud hovels are at intervals descried a few miles to the right, 
perched among the hills that form the southern boundary of the 
valley ; being of the same color as the general surface about them, 
they are not easily distinguishable at a distance. There seems to 
be a decided propensity among the natives for choosing the hUls as 
an habitation, even when their arable lands are miles away in the 
valley ; the salubrity of the more elevated location may be the chief 
consideration, but a swiftly flowing mountain rivulet near his habi- 
tation is to the Mohammedan a source of perpetual satisfaction. 

I travel along for some time after nightfall, in hopes of reach- 
ing a village, but none appearing, I finally decide to camp out. 
Choosing a j)Osition behind a convenient knoll, I pitch the tent 
where it will be invisible from the road, using stones in lieu of tent- 
pegs ; and inhabiting for the first time this unique contrivance, I 
sup off the grapes remaining over from the bountiful feast at noon- 
and, being without any covering, stretch myself without undressing 
beside the upturned bicycle ; notwithstanding the gentle reminders 
of unsatisfied hunger, I am enjoying the legitimate reward of con- 
stant exercise in the open air ten minutes after pitching the tent. 
Soon after midnight I am awakened by the chilly influence of the 
" wee sma' hours," and recognizing the Ukelihood of the tent prov- 
in"' more beneficial as a coverlet than a roof, in the absence of rain, 
I take it down and roU myself up in it ; the thin, oiled cambric is 
far from being a blanket, however, and at daybreak the bicycle and 
everything is drenched with one of the heavy dews of the country. 
Ten mUes over an indifferent road is traversed next morning ; 
the comfortless reflection that anything like a " square meal" seems 
out of the question anywhere between the larger towns scarcely 
tends to exert a soothing influence on the ravenous attacks of a 
most awful appetite ; and I am beginning to think seriously of 
making a detour of several miles to reach a mountain village, when 




Camping out. 



ACKOSS THE KIZIT. 1R-\[AK TaVEU TO YUZGAT. 347 

I meet a party of three horsemen, a Turkish Bey, with an escort of 
two zaptiehs. I am trunclUng at the time, and without a moments 
hesitancy I make a dead set at the Bey, with the single object of 
satisfying to some extent my gastronomic requirements. 

" Bey Effendi, have you any ekmelc f " I ask, pointing inquiringly 
to his saddle-bags on a zaptieh's horse, and at the same time giving 
him to understand by impressive pantomime the uncontrollable con- 
dition of my appetite. With what seems to me, under the circum- 
stances, simply cold-blooded indifference to human suffering, the 
Bey ignores my inquiry altogether, and concentrating his whole at- 
tention on the bicycle, asks, " What is that ? " 

" An Americanish araba, Eflfendi ; have you any ekinek ? " toying 
suggestively with the tell-tale slack of my revolver belt. 

" Where have you come from ? " 

" Stamboul ; have you eJcmeh in the saddle-bags, Effendi? " this 
time boldly beckoning the zaptieh with the Bey's effects to approach 
nearer. 

" Where are you going ? " 

" Tuzgat ! ekmek ! ekmek ! " tapping the saddle-bags in quite 
an imperative manner. This does not make any outward impression 
upon the Bey's aggravating imperturbability, however ; he is not 
so indifferent to my side of the question as he pretends ; aware of 
his inabihty to supply my want, and afraid that a negative answer 
would hasten my departure before he has fuUy satisfied his curi- 
osity concerning me, he is playing a little game of diplomacy in his 
own interests. 

" What is it for ? " he now asks, with soul-harrowing indifference 
to aU. my counter inquiries. 

"To bin," I reply, desperately, curt and indifferent, beginning 
to see through his game. 

" Bin, bin ! bacalem ! " he says ; supplementing the request with 
a coaxing smile. At the same moment my long-suffering digestive 
apparatus favors me with an unusually savage reminder, and net- 
tled beyond the point where forbearance ceases to be any longer a 
virtue, I return an answer not exactly complimentary to the Bey's 
ancestors, and continue my hungry way down the valley. A couple 
of mUes after leaving the Bey, I intercept a party of peasants trav- 
ersing a cross-country traU, with a number of pack-donkeys loaded 
with rock-salt, from whom I am fortunately able to obtain several 
thin sheets of ekmek, which I sit down and devour immediately, 



348 FROM SA:N^ PRAlSrCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

■without even water to moisten the repast ; it seems one of the most 
tasteful and soul-satisfying breakfasts I ever ate. 

Like misfortunes, blessings never seem to come singly, for, an 
hour after thus breaking my fast I happen upon a party of villagers 
working on an unfinished portion of the new road ; some of them 
are eating their morning meal of ekmek and yaorl, and no sooner 
do I appear upon the scene than I am straightway invited to par- 
take, a seat in the ragged circle congregated around the large bowl 
of clabbered milk being especially prepared with a bunch of pulled 
grass for my benefit. The eager hospitality of these poor villagers 
is really touching ; they are working without so much as " thank 
you " for payment, there is not a garment amongst the gang fit for 
a human covering ; their unvarying daily fare is the " blotting- 
paper ekmek " and i/aort, with a melon or a cucumber occasionally 
as a luxury ; yet, the moment I approach, they assign me a place 
at their " table,'' and two of them immediately bestir themselves to 
make me a comfortable seat. Neither is there so much as a mer- 
cenary thought among them in connection with the invitation ; 
these poor fellows, whose scant rags it would be a farce to call 
clothing, actually betray embarrassment at the barest mention of 
compensation ; they fill my pockets with bread, apologize for the 
absence of coffee, and compare the quality of their respective 
pouches of native tobacco in order to make me a decent cigarette. 

Never, surely, was the reputation of Dame Fortune for fickle- 
ness so completely proved as in her treatment of me this morning 
— ten o'clock finds me seated on a pile of rugs in a capacious 
black tent, " wrassling " with a huge bowl of savory mutton •pillau, 
flavored with gi-een herbs, as the guest of a Koordish sheikh ; 
shortly afterwai-ds I meet a man taking a donkey-load of musk- 
melons to the Koordish camp, who insists on presenting me with 
the finest' melon I have tasted since leaving Constantinople ; and 
high noon finds me the guest of another Koordish sheikh ; thus 
does a morning, which commenced with a fair prospect of no 
breakfast, following after yesterday's scant supply of unsuitable 
food, end in more hospitality than I know what to do with. 

These nomad tribes of the famous " black-tents " wander up to- 
ward Angora every summer with their flocks, in order to be near 
a market at shearing time ; they are famed far and wide for their 
hospitality. Upon approaching the great open-faced tent of the 
Sheikh, there is a hurrying movement among the attendants to pre- 



ACROSS THE KIZIL IKMAK KIVEU TO YUZGAT. 349 

pare a suitable raised seat, for they know at a glauce that I am an 
Englisliman, and likewise are aware that an Englishman cannot sit 
cross-legged like an Asiatic ; at first, I am rather surprised at their 
evident ready recognition of my nationality, but I soon afterwards 
discover the reason. A hugh bowl of pillan, and another of excel- 
lent yaoi't is placed before me without asking any questions, while 
the dignified old Sheikh fulfils one's idea of a gray-bearded nomad 
patriarch to perfection, as he sits cross-legged on a rug, solemnly 
smoking a nargileh, and watching to see that no letter of his gener- 
ous code of hospitality toward strangers is overlooked by the attend- 
ants. These latter seem to be the picked young men of the tribe ; 
fine, strapping fellows, well-dresed, six-footers, and of athletic pro- 
portions ; perfect specimens of semi-civilized manhood, that would 
seem better employed in a grenadier regiment than in hovering 
about the old Sheikh's tent, attending to the filling and lighting of 
his nargileh, the arranging of his cushions by day and his bed at 
night, the serving of his food, and the proper reception of his guests ; 
and yet it is an interesting sight to see these splendid young fel- 
lows waiting upon their beloved old chieftain, fairly bounding, 
like great affectionate mastiffs, at his merest look or suggestion. 

Most of the boys and young men are out with the flocks, but 
the older men, the women and children, gather in a curious crowd 
before the open tent ; they maintain a respectful silence so long as 
I am their Sheikh's guest, but they gather about me without reserve 
when I leave the hospitable shelter of that respected person's quar- 
ters. After examining my helmet and sizing up my general appear- 
ance, they pi-onounce me an " English zaptieli," a distinction for 
which I am indebted to the circumstance of Col. N ■, an Eng- 
lish officer, having recently been engaged in Koordistan organizing 
a force of native zaptiehs. The women of this particular camp 
seem, on the whole, rather unprepossessing specimens ; some of 
them are hooked-nosed old hags, with piercing black eyes, and hair 
dyed to a flaming "carrotty" hue with henna; this latter is sup- 
posed to render them beautiful, and enhance their personal appear- 
ance in the eyes of the men ; they need something to enhance 
their personal appearance, certainly, but to the untutored and in- 
artistic eye of the writer it produces a horrid, unnatural effect. 
According to our ideas, flaming red hair looks uncanny and of vul- 
gar, uneducated taste, when associated with coal-black eyes and a 
complexion like gathering darkness. These vain mortals seem in- 



350 FROM SAW I'llANCISCO TO TEIIERAW. 

clined to tliiuk that in me tliey liave discovered soinething to be 
petted and made much of, treating me pretty much as a troop of 
affectionate little girls would treat a ■wandering kitten that might 
unexpectedly appear in their midst. Giddy young things of about 
fifty summers cluster around me in a compact body, examining my 
clothes from helmet to moccasins, and critically feeling the text- 
ure of my coat and shirt, they take off my helmet, reach over each 
other's shoulders to stroke my hair, and pat my cheeks in the most 
affectionate manner ; meanwhUe expressing themselves in soft, 
purring comments, that require no linguistic abilities to interpret 
into such endearing remarks as, " Ain't he a dai-ling, though ? " 
" What nice soft hair and pretty blue eyes ? " " Don't you wish the 
dear old Sheikh would let us keep him ? " Considering the source 
whence it comes, it requires very little of this to satisfy one, and as 
soon as I can prevail upon them to let me escape, I mount and 
wheel away, several huge dogs escorting me, for some minutes, 
in the peculiar manner Koordish dogs have of escorting stray 
'cyclers. 



CHAPTER XV. 

FnOM THE KOORDISH CAMP TO YUZGAT. 

From tlie Koordish encampment my route leads over a low 
mountain spur by easy gradients, and by a winding, unridable 
trail down into the valley of the eastern fork of the Delijah Irmak. 
The road improves as this valley is reached, and noon finds me the 
■wonder and admiration of another Koordish camp, where I remain 
a couple of hours in deference to the powers of the midday sun. 
One has no scruples about partaking of the hospitality of the no- 
mad Koords, for they are the wealthiest people in the country, their 
flocks covering the hills in many localities ; they are, as a general 
thing, fairly well dressed, ai-e cleaner in their cooking than the 
villagers, and hospitable to the last degTee. Like the rest of us, 
however, they have their faults as well as their virtues ; they are 
born freebooters, and in unsettled times, when the Turkish Govern- 
ment, being handicapped by weightier considerations, is compelled 
to relax its control over them, they seldom fail to promptly re- 
spond to their plundering instincts and make no end of trouble. 
They stUl retain their hospitableness, but after making a ti-aveller 
their guest for the night, and allowing him to depart with everj-- 
thing he has, they will intercept him on the road and rob him. 
They have some objectionable habits, even in these peaceful times, 
which will better appear when we reach their own Koordistan, 
where we shall, doubtless, have better opportunities for criticising 
them. Whatever their faults or virtues, I leave this camp, hoping 
that the termination of the day may find me the guest of another 
sheikh for the night An hour after leaving this camp I pass 
through an area of vineyai-ds, out of which people come running 
with as many grapes among them as would feed a dozen people ; 
the road is ridable, and I hurry along to avoid their bother. Verily 
it would seem that I am being hounded down by retributive jus- 
tice for sundiy evil thoughts and impatient remarks, associated 
with my hungiy experiences of early morning ; then I was wonder- 



352 FUOM SAN FIIANCISCO TO TKUEIJAX. 

ing where the next mouthful of food was going to overtake me, 
this afternoon finds me pedalling determinedly to prevent being 
overtaken by it. 

The afternoon is hot and with scarcely a breath of air moving ; 
the little valley terminates in a region of barren, red hills, on which 
the sun glares fiercely ; some toughish climbing has to be accom- 
plished in scaling a ridge, and then I emerge into an upland lava 
plateau, where the only vegetation is sun-dried weeds and thistles. 
Here a herd of camels are contentedly browsing, munching the 
dry, thorny herbage with a satisfaction that is evident a mile away. 
From casual observations along the route, I am incUned to tliink a 
camel not far behind a goat in the depravity of its appetite ; a 
camel will wander uneasily about over a greensward of moist, suc- 
culent grass, scanning his surroundings in search of giant thistles, 
frost-bitten tumble-weeds, tough, spriggy camel thorns, and odds 
and ends of unpalatable vegetation generally. Of course, the 
"ship of the desert" never sinks to such total depravitj' as to han- 
ker after old gum overshoes and circus posters, but if permitted to 
forage around human habitations for a few generations, I think 
they would eventually degenerate to the goat's disreputable level. 
The expression of utter astonishment that overspreads the angular 
countenance of the camels browsing near the roadside, at my ap- 
pearance, is one of the most ludicrous sights imaginable ; they 
seem quite intelligent enough to recognize in a wheelman and his 
steed something inexplicable and foreign to their country, and 
their look of timid inquiry seems ridiculously unsuited to their 
size and the general ungainliness of then* appearance, producing a 
comical effect that is worth going miles to see. 

It is approaching sun-down, when, ascending a ridge overlooking 
another valley, I am gratified at seeing it occupied bj' several Koor- 
dish camps, their clusters of .black tents being a conspicuous feat- 
ure of the landscape. With a fair prospect of hospitable quarters for 
the night before me, and there being no distinguishable signs of a 
road, I make my way across country toward one of the camps that 
seems to be nearest my proper course. I have arrived within a mile 
of my objective point, when I observe, at the base of a mountain 
about half the distance to my right, a large, white two-storied build- 
ing, the most pretentious structure, by long odds, that has been 
seen since leaving Angora. My curiosity is, of course, aroused 
concerning its probable character ; it looks like a bit of ci^iliza- 



FROM TIIK KOORDISir CAMP TO YUZGAT. 353 

tion tliat has in some unaccountable manner found its way to a re- 
■ gion where no other human habitations are visible, save the tents 
of wild tribesmen, and I at once shape my course toward ii It 
turns out to be a rock-salt mine or quai-ry, that supplies the whole 
region for scores of miles around with salt, rock-salt being the only 
kind obtainable in the country ; it was from this mine that the 
donkey party from whom I first obtained bread this morning 
fetched their loads. Here I am invited to remain over night, am 
provided with a substantial supper, the menu including boiled 
mutton, with cucumbers for desert. The managers and employees 
of the quarry make their cucumbers tasteful by rubbing the end 
with a piece of rock-salt each time it is cut off or bitten, each per- 
son keeping a select little square for the purpose. The salt is sold 
at the mine, and owners of transportation facilities in the shape of 
pack animals make money by purchasing it here at six paras an 
oke, and selling it at a profit in distant towns. 

Two young men seem to have charge of transacting the business; 
one of them is inordinately inquisitive, he even wants to try 
and unstick the envelope containing a letter of introduction to Mr. 
Tifticjeeoghlou's father in Yuzgat, and read it out of pure curiosity 
to see what it says ; and he offers me a lira for my Waterbury 
watch, notwithstanding its Alia Franga face is beyond his Turkish 
comprehension. The loud, confident tone in which the Waterbury 
ticks impresses the natives very favorably toward it, and the fact of 
its not opening at the back like other time-pieces, creates the im- 
pression that it is a watch that never gets cranky and out of order ; 
quite different from the ones they carry, since their curiosity leads 
them to be always fooling with the works. American clocks ai-e 
found all through Asia Minor, fitted mth Oriental faces and there is 
little doubt but the Waterbury, with its resonant tick, if similiarly 
prepared, would find here a ready market. 

The other branch of the managerial staff is a specimen of human- 
ity peculiarly Asiatic Turkish, a melancholy-faced, contemplative per- 
son, who spends nearly the whole evening in gazing in silent wonder 
at me and the bicycle ; now and then giving expression to his utter 
inabUity to understand how such things can possibly be by shaking 
his head and giving utterance to a pecuHar clucking of astonish- 
ment He has heard me mention having come from Stamboul, which 
satisfies him to a certain extent ; for, like a true Turk, he believes 
that at Stamboul all wonderful things originate ; whether the bicycle 
33 



354 



■ FKOM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHEEAN. 



was made there, or whetlier it originally came from somewhere else, 
doesn't seem to enter into his speculations ; the simple knowledge 
that I have come from Stamboul is aU-suffieient for him ; so far as 
he is concerned, the bicycle is simply another wonder from Stam- 
boul, another proof that the earthly paradise of the Mussulman 
world on the Bosphorus is all that he has been taught to believe 
it. When the contemplative young man ventures away from the 




The Contemplative Young Man. 

dreamy realms of his own imaginations, and from the society of his 
inmost thoughts, far enough to make a remark, it is to ask me some- 
thing about Stamboul ; but being naturally taciturn and retiring, 
and moreover, anything but an adept at pantomimic language, he 
prefers mainly to draw his own conclusions in silence. He man- 
ages to make me understand, however, that he intends before long 
making a journey to see Stamboul for himself ; like many another 
Turk from the barren hills of the interior, he will visit the Otto- 



FROM THE KOORDISH CAMP TO YUZGAT. 355 

man capital ; he will recite from the Koran under the glorious 
mosaic dome of St. Sophia ; wander about that wonder of the Ori- 
ent, the Stamboul bazaar ; gaze for hours on the matchless beauties 
of the Bosphorus ; ride on one of the steamboats ; see the rail- 
way', the tramway, the Sultan's palaces, and the shipping, and re- 
turn to his native hills thoroughly convinced that in all the world 
there is no place fit to be compared with Stamboul ; no place so 
full of wonders ; no place so beautiful ; and wondering how even 
the land of the kara ghuz kiz, the material paradise of the Moham- 
medans, can possibly be more lovely. The contemplative young 
man is tall and slender, has large, dreamy, black eyes, a downy 
upper lip, a melancholy cast of countenance, and wears a long print 
wrapper of neat dotted pattern, gathered at the waist with a girdle 
d la dressing-gown. 

The inquisitive partner makes me up a comfortable bed of 
quilts on the divan of a large room, which is also occupied by 
several salt traders remaining over night, and into which their 
own small private apartments open. A few minutes after they 
have retired to their respective rooms, the contemplative young 
man reappears with silent tread, and with a scornful glance at my 
surroundings, both human and inanimate, gathers up my loose 
effects, and bids me bring bicycle and everything into his room ; 
here, I find, he has already prepared for my reception quite 
a downy couch, having contributed, among other comfortable 
things, his wolf-skin overcoat ; after seeing me comfortably estab- 
lished on a couch more appropriate to my importance as a person 
recently from Stamboul than the other, he takes a lingering look 
at the bicycle, shakes his head and clucks, and then extinguishes 
the Ught. 

Sunrise on the following morning finds me wheeling eastward 
from the salt quarry, over a trail well worn by salt caravans, to 
Tfuzgat ; the road leads for some distance down- a grassy valley, 
covered with the flocks of the several Koordish camps round about ; 
the wild herdsmen come galloping from all directions across the 
vaUey toward me, their uncivilized garb and long swords giving 
them more the appearance of a ferocious gang of cut-throats ad- 
vancing to the attack than shepherds. Hitherto, nobody has 
seemed any way incUned to attack me ; I have almost wished 
somebody would undertake a little devilment of some kind, for the 
sake of livening things up a little, and making my narrative more 



356 'FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

stirring ; after venturing everything, I have so far nothing to tell 
but a story of being everywhere treated with the greatest con- 
sideration, and much of the time even petted. I have met armed 
men far away from any habitations, whose appearance was equal to 
our most ferocious conception of bashi bazouks, and merely from a 
disinclination to be bothered, perhaps being in a hurry at the 
time, have met their curious inquiries with imperious gestures to 
be gone ; and have been guilty of really inconsiderate conduct on 
more than one occasion, but under no considerations have I yet 
found them guilty of anything vrorse than casting covetous glances 
at my effects. But there is an apparent churlishness of manner, 
and an overbearing demeanor, as of men chafing under the re- 
straining influences that prevent them gratifying their natural free- 
booting instincts, about these Koordish herdsmen whom I en- 
counter this morning, that forms quite a striking contrast to the 
almost childlike harmlessness and universal respect toward me ob- 
served in the disposition of the villagers. 

It requires no penetrating scrutiny of these fellows' countenances 
to ascertain that nothing could be more uncongenial to them than 
the state of affairs that prevents them stopping me and looting me 
of everything I possess ; a couple of them order me quite impera- 
tively to make a detour from my road to avoid approaching too 
near their flock of sheep, and their general behavior is pretty much 
as though seeking to draw me into a quarrel, that would afford 
them an opportunity of plundering me. Continuing on the even 
tenor of my way, affecting a lofty unconsciousness of their existence, 
and wondering whether, in case of being molested, it would be ad- 
visable to use my Smith & Wesson in defending my effects, or tak- 
ing the advice received in Constantinople, offer no resistance what- 
ever, and trust to being able to recover them through the authorities, 
I finally emerge from their vicinity. Theu- behavior simply confirms 
■what I have previously understood of their character ; that while 
they wiU invariably extend hospitable treatment to a stranger visit- 
ing their camps, like unreliable explosives, they require to be han- 
dled quite " gingerly " when encountered on the road, to prevent 
disagreeable consequences. 

Passing through a low, marshy district, peopled with solemn- 
looking storks and croaking frogs, I meet a young sheikh and his 
personal attendants returning from a morning's outing at their 
favorite sport of hawking ; they carry their falcons about on small 



FROM THE KOOKDISH CAMP TO TUZGAT. 357 

perches, fastened by the leg with a tiny chain. I try to induce 
them to make a flight, but for some reason or other they refuse ; 
an Osmanli Turk would have accommodated me in a minute. 
Soon I arrive at another Koordish camp, fording a stream in order 
to reach their tents, for I have not yet breakfasted, and know full 
well that no better opportunity of obtaining one will be likely to 
turn up. Entering the nearest tent, I make no ceremony of call- 
ing for refreshments, knowing well enough that a heaping dish of 
pillau will be forthcoming, and that the hospitable Koords will re- 
gard the ordering of it as the most natui-al thing in the world. 
The pillau is of rice, mutton, and green herbs, and is brought in a 
large pewter dish ; and, together with sheet bread and a bowl of 
excellent yaort, is brought on a massive pewter tray, which has pos- 
sibly belonged to the tribe for centuries. These tents are divided 
into several compartments ; one end is a compartment where the 
m.en congregate in the daytime, and the younger men sleep at 
night, and where guests are received and entertained ; the central 
space is the commissary and female industrial department ; the 
others are female and family sleeping places. Each compartment 
is partitioned off with a hanging carpet partition ; light portable 
railing of small, upright willow sticks bound closely together pro- 
tects the central compartment from a horde of dogs hungrily nosing 
about the camp, and small " coops " of the same material are usu- 
ally built inside as a further protection for bowls of milk, yaort, 
butter, cheese, and cooked food ; they also obtain fowls from the 
villagers, which they keep cooped up in a similar manner, until 
the hapless prisoners are required to fulfil their destiny in chicken 
inllau ; the capacious covering over all is strongly woven goats'- 
hair material of a black or smoky brown color. In a wealthy tribe, 
the tent of their sheikh is often a capacious affair, twenty-five by 
one hundred feet, containing, among other compartments, stabling 
and hay-room for the sheikh's horses in winter. 

My breakfast is brought in from the culinary department by a 
3'oung woman of most striking appearance, certainly not less than 
six feet in height ; she is of slender, willowy build, and straight as 
an arrow ; a wealth of auburn hair is surmounted by a small, gay- 
colored turban ; her complexion is fairer than common among 
Koordish woman, and her features are the queenly features of a 
Juno ; the eyes are brown and lustrous, and, were the expression 
but of ordinary gentleness, the picture would be perfect ; but they 



358 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

are the round, wild-looking orbs of a newly-caged panther — grimal- 
kin-like eyes, that would, most assuredly, turn green and luminous 
in the dark. Other women come to take a look at the stranger, 
gathering around and staring at me, while I eat, with all their eyes 
— and such eyes ! I never before saw such an array of " wild-ani- 
pial eyes ; " no, not even in the Zoo ! Many of them are magnifi- 
cent types of womanhood in every other respect, tall, queenly, and 
symmetrically perfect ; but the eyes — oh, those wild, tigress eyes ! 
Travellers have told queer, queer stories about bands of these wild- 
eyed Koordish women waylaying and capturing them on the roads 
through Koordistan, and subjecting them to barbarous treatment. 
I have smiled, and thought them merely " travellers' tales ; " but I 
can see plain enough, this morning, that there is no improbability 
in the stories, for, from a dozen pairs of female eyes, behold, there 
gleams not one single ray of tenderness : these women are capable 
of anything that tigresses are capable of, beyond a doubt. 

Almost the first question asked by the men of these camps is 
whether the English and Muscovs are fighting ; they have either 
heard of the present (summer of 1885) crisis over the Afghan 
boundary question, or they imagine that the English and Russians 
maintain a sort of desultory warfare aU the time. When I tell them 
that the Muscov is fenna (bad) they invariably express their ap- 
proval of the sentiment by eagerly calling each other's attention to 
my expression. It is singular with what perfect faith and confi- 
dence these rude tribesmen accept any statement I choose to make, 
and how eagerly they seem to dwell on simple statements of facts 
that are knovm to every school-boy ia Christendom. I entertain 
them with my map, showing them the position of Stamboul, Mecca, 
Erzeroum, and towns in their own Koordistan, which they recog- 
nize joyfully as I call them by name. They are profoundly im- 
pressed at the " extent of my knowledge," and some of the more 
deeply impressed stoop down and reverently kiss Stamboul and 
Mecca, as I point them out. 

While thus pleasantly engaged, an aged sheikh comes to tht 
tent and straightway begins " kickiag up a blooming row " about 
me. It seems that the others have been guilty of trespassinn- on 
the sheikh's prerogative, in entertaining me themselves, instead of 
conducting me to his own tent. After upbraiding them in un- 
measured terms, he angrily orders several of the younger men to 
make themselves beautifully scarce forthwith. The culprits— some 



FROM THE KOORDISH CAMP TO TUZGAT. 359 

of tlieni abundantly able to throw the old fellow over their shoul- 
ders — instinctively obey ; but they move off at a snail's pace, with 
lowering brows, and muttering angry growls that beti-ay fully their 
untamed, intractable dispositions. 

A two-hours' road experience among the constantly varying 
slopes of rolling hills, and then comes a fertile valley, abounding 
in villages, wheat-fields, orchards, and melon-gardens. These days 
I find it incumbent on me to turn washer-woman occasionally, and, 
halting at the first little stream in this valley, I take upon myself 
the onerous duties of ^Yah Lung in Sacramento City, having for an 
interested and interesting audience two evil-looking kleptomaniacs, 
buffalo-herders dressed in nest to nothing, who eye my garments 
drying on the bushes with lingering covetousness. It is scarcely 
necessaiT to add that I watch them quite as interestingly myself ; 
for, while I pity the scantiness of their wardrobe, I have notliing 
that I could possibly spare among mine. A network of irrigating 
ditches, many of them overflowed, render this valley difficult to 
traverse with a bicycle, and I reach a lai-ge village about noon, 
myself and wheel plastered with mud, after traversing a section 
where the normal condition is three inches of dust. 

Bread and grapes are obtained here, a light, airy dinner, that is 
seasoned and made interesting by the unanimous worrying of the 
entire population. Once I make a desperate effort to silence their 
clamorous importunities, and obtain a little quiet, by attempting to 
ride over impossible ground, and reap the well-merited reward of 
permitting my equanimity to be thus disturbed in the shape of a 
header and a slightly-bent handle-bai'. While I am eating, the gazing- 
stock of a wondering, commenting crowd, a respectably dressed man 
elbows his way through the compact mass of humans around me, and 
announces himself as having fought under Osman Pasha at Plevna. 
What this has to do with me is a puzzler ; but the man himself, 
and every Tui-k of patriotic age iu the crowd, is evidently expecting 
to see me make some demonstration of approval ; so, not knowing 
what else to do, I shake the man cordially by the hand, and mod- 
estly inform my attentively listening audience that Osman Pasha 
and myself are brothers, that Osman yielded only when the over- 
whelming numbers of the Muscovs pi'oved that it was his kismet 
to do so ; and that the Kussians would never be permitted to oc- 
cupy Constantinople ; a statement, that probably makes my sim- 
ple auditors feel as though they were inheriting a new lease of 



360 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

national life ; anyhow, they seem not a little gratified at what I 
am saying. 

After this the people seem to find material for no end of amuse- 
ment among themselves, by contrasting the marifet of the bicycle 
with the marifet of their creaking arabas, of which there seems to be 
.quite a number in this vaUey. They are used chiefly in harvesting, 
are roughly made, used, and worn out in these mountain -environed 
valleys without ever going beyond the hills that encompass them 
in on every side. From these villages the people begin to cT-ince 
an alarming disposition to foUow me out some distance on don- 
keys. This undesirable trait of their character is, of course, easily 
counteracted by a short spurt, where spurting is possible, but it is 
a soul-harrowing thing to trundle along a mile of unridable road, in 
company with twenty importuning katir-jees, their diminutive don- 
keys filling the air with suffocating clouds of dust. There is nothing 
on all this mundane sphere that will so effectually subdue the pi'oud, 
haughty spirit of a wheelman, or that will so promptly and com- 
pletely snuff out his last flickering ray of dignity ; it is one of the 
pleasantries of 'cycling through a country where the people have 
been riding donkeys and camels since the flood. 

A few miles from the village I meet another candidate for medi- 
cal treatment ; this time it is a woman, among a merry company of 
donkey-riders, bound from Yuzgat to the salt-mines ; they are 
laughing, singing, and othervrise enjoying themselves, after the 
manner of a New England beiTying party. The woman's affliction, 
she says, is " fenna ghuz," which, it appears, is the term used to 
denote ophthalmia, as well as the "evil-eye;" but of course, not 
being a ffhuz hakim, I can do nothing more than express my sym- 
pathy. The fertile valley gradually contracts to a narrow, rocky 
defile, leading up into a hilly region, and at five o'clock I reach 
Yuzgat, a city claiming a population of thirty thousand, that is 
situated in a depression among the mountains that can scarcely be 
called a valley. I have been three and a half days making the one 
hundred and thirty miles from Angora. 

Everybody in Yuzgat knows Youvanaki Effendi Tifticjeeoghlou, 
to whom I have brought a letter of introduction ; and, shortly 
after reaching town, I find myself comfortably installed on the 
cushioned divan of honor in that worthy old gentleman's lai-ge 
reception room, while half a dozen serving-men are almost knock- 
ing each other over in their anxiety to furnish me coffee, vishner- 



FROM THE KOOEDTSH CAMP TO YUZGAT. 361 

su, cigarettes, etc. They seem determined upon interpreting the 
slightest motion of my hand or head into some want which I am 
unable to explain, and, fancying thus, they are constantly bobbing 
up before me with all sorts of surprising things. Tevfik Bey, gen- 
eral superintendent of the Regie (a company having the monopoly 
of the tobacco trade in Turkey, for which they pay the government 
a fixed sum per annum), is also a gniest of Tifticjeeoghlou Eflfendi's 
hospitable mansion, and he at once despatches a messenger to his 
Tuzgat agent, Mr. G. O. Tchetchian, a vivacious Greek, who speaks 
English quite fluently. After that gentleman's arrival, we soon 
come to a more perfect understanding of each other all round, and 
a very pleasant evening is spent in receiving crowds of visitors in a 
ceremonious manner, in which I really seem to be holding a sort 
of a levee, except that it is evening instead of morning. Open 
door is kept for everybody, and mine host's retinue of pages and 
serving men are kept pretty busy supplying coffee right and left ; 
beggai's in their rags are even allowed to penetrate into the recep- 
tion-room, to sip a cup of coffee and take a curious peep at the lu- 
gilisin and his wonderful araba, the fame of which has spread like 
wildfire through the city. Sline host himself is kept pretty well 
occupied in returning the salaams of the more distinguished visit- 
ors, besides keeping his eye on the servants, by way of keeping 
them well up to their task of dispensing coffee in a manner satis- 
factory to his own liberal ideas of hospitality ; but he presides 
over all with a bearing of easy dignity that it is a pleasure to wit- 
ness. 

The street in front of the Tifticjeeoghlou residence is swarmed 
with people next morning ; keeping open house is, under the cir- 
cumstances, no longer practicable ; the entrance gate has to be 
guarded, and none permitted to enter but privileged persons. 
During the forenoon the Oaiinacan and several officials call round 
and ask me to favor them by riding along a smooth piece of road 
opposite the mimicipal konak ; as I intend remaining over here to- 
dav, I enter no objections, and accompany them forthwith. The 
rabble becomes wildly excited at seeing me emerge vrith the bicy- 
cle, in company with the Caimacan and his staff, for they know 
that their curiosity is probably on the eve of being gratified. It 
proves no easy task to traverse the streets, for, like in aU Oriental 
cities, they are narrow, and ai-e now jammed with people. Time 
and again the Caimacan is compelled to supplement the exertions 



362 FROM SAN FEANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

of an inadequate force of zaptiehs with his authoritative voice, to 
keep down the excitement and the wild shouts of " Bin bacalem ! 
bin bacalem ! " (Ride, so that we can see — an innovation on bin, bin, 
that has made itself manifest since crossing the Kizil Irmak River) 
that are raised, gradually swelling into the tumultuous howl of a 
multitude. The uproar is deafening, and, long before reaching 
the place, the Gaimacan repents having brought me out. As for 
myself, I certainly repent having come out, and have 'still better 
reasons for doing so before reaching the safe retreat of Tifticjeeo- 
ghlou Effendi's house, an hour afterward. 

The most that the inadequate squad of zapliehs present can do, 
when we arrive opposite the muncipal konak, is to keep the crowd 
from pressing forward and overwhelming me and the bicycle. They 
attempt to keep open a narrow passage through the surging sea of 
humans blocking the street, for me to ride down ; but ten yards 
ahead the lane terminates in a mass of fez-crowned heads. Uuder 
the impression that one can mount a bicycle on the stand, like 
mounting a horse, the Gaimacan asks me to mount, saying that when 
the people see me mounted and ready to start, they will themselves 
yield a passage-way. Seeing the utter futility of attempting ex- 
planations uuder existing conditions, amid the defeaning clamor of 
" Bin bacalem ! bin bacalem ! " I mount and slowly pedal along a 
crooked " fissure " in the compact mass of people, which the zajytiehs 
manage to create by frantically flogging right and left before me. 
Gaining, at length, more open ground, and the smooth road con- 
tinuing on, I speed away from the multitude, and the Gaimacan 
sends one fleet-footed zaptieh after me, with instructions to pilot 
me back to Tifticjeeoghlou's by a roundabout way, so as to avoid 
returning through the crowds. 

The rabble are not to be so easily deceived and shook off as 
the Gaimacan thinks, however ; by taking various short cuts, they 
manage to intercept us, and, as though considering the having 
detected and overtaken us in attempting to elude them, justifies 
them in taking hberties, their " Bin bacalem ! " now develops into 
the imperious cry of a domineering majority, determined upon do- 
ing pretty much as they please. It is the worst mob I have seen on 
the journey, so far ; excitement runs high, and their shouts of '•' Bin 
bacalem ! " can, most assuredly, be heard for miles. We are en- 
veloped by clouds of dust, raised by the feet of the multitude ; the 
hot sun glares down savagely upon us ; the poor zaptieh, in heavy 



FUOM THE KOORDISH CAMP TO YUZGAT. 363 

top-boots and a brand-new uniform, heavy enough for winter, works 
like a beaver to protect the bicycle, until, with perspii-ation and 
dust, his face is streaked and tattooed like a South Sea Islander's. 
Unable to proceed, we come to a stand-still, and simply occu2Dy 
ourselves in protecting the bicycle from the crush, and reasoning 
with the mob ; but the only satisfaction we obtain in reply to any- 
thing we say is " Bin bacalem." 

One or two pig-headed, obstreperous young men near us, em- 
boldened by our apparent helplessness, persist in handling the 
bicycle. After being pushed away several times, one of them even 
assumes a menacing attitude toward me the last time I thrust his 
meddlesome hand awaj'. Under such circumstances retributive 
justice, prompt and impressive, is the only politic course to pur- 
sue ; so, leaving the bicycle to the zaptieh a moment, in the 
absence of a stick, I feel justified in favoring the culprit with 
a brief, ^Dointed lesson in the noble art of self-defence, the first 
boxing lesson ever given in Yuzgat. In a Western mob this 
■would have been anything but an act of discretion, probably, but 
■with these people it has a salutary efiect ; the idea of attempting 
retahation is the farthest of anything from their thoughts, and in 
all the obstreperous crowd there is, perhaps, not one but what is 
quite delighted at either seeing or hearing of me ha^ving thus 
chastised one of their number, and involuntarily thanks Allah that 
it didn't happen to be himself. 

It would be useless to attempt a description of how ■we finally 
managed, by the assistance of two more zaptiehs, to get back to 
Tifticjeeoghlou Eflendi's, both myself and the zaptieh simply un- 
recognizable from dust and perspiration. The zaptieh, having first 
washed the streaks and tattooing off his face, now presents himself, 
with the broad, honest smile of one who knows he weU deserves 
what he is asking for, and says, " Effendi, backsheesh ! " 

There is nothing more certain than that the honest fellow merits 
backsheesh from somebody ; it is also equally certain that I am the 
only person from whom he stands the ghost of a chance of getting 
any ; nevertheless, the idea of being appealed to for backsheesh, 
after what I have just undergone, merely as an act of accommoda- 
tion, strikes me as just a trifle ridiculous, and the opportunity of 
engaging the grinning, good-humored zaptieh in a little banter con- 
cerning the abstract preposterousness of his expectations is too 
good to be lost. So, assuming an air of astonishment, I reply : 



364 FEOM SAW FRANCISCO TO TEHEEAN. 

"Backsheesh! where is mj/ backsheesh? I should think it's me that 
deserves backsheesh if anybody does ! " This argument is entirely 
beyond the zaptieh's child-like comprehension, however ; he only 
understands by my manner that there is a " hitch " somewhere ; 
and never was there a more broadly good-humored countenance, 
or a smile more expressive of meritoriousness, nor an utterance 
more coaxing in its modulations than his "E-f-fendi, backsheesh ! " 
as he repeats the appeal ; the smile and the modulation is well 
worth the backsheesh. 

In the afternoon, an officer appears with a note saying that the 
Mutaserif and a number of gentlemen would like to see me ride 
inside the municipal konak grounds. This I very naturally promise 
to do, only, under conditions that an adequate force of zaptiehs be 
provided. This the If^toseri/"' readily agrees to, and once more I 
venture into the streets, trundling along under a strong escort of 
zaptiehs who form a hollow square around me. The- people accu- 
mulate rapidly, as we progress, and, by the time we arrive at the 
konak gate there is a regular crush. In spite of the frantic ex- 
ertions of my escort, the mob press determinedly forward, in an 
attempt to rush inside when the gate is opened ; instantly I find 
myself and bicycle wedged in among a struggling mass of natives ; 
a cry of " Sakin araba ! sakin araba ! " (Take care ! the bicycle !) 
is raised ; the zaptiehs make a supreme effort, the gate is opened, 
I am fairly carried in, and the gate is closed. A couple of dozen 
happy mortals have gained admittance in the rush. Hundreds of 
the better class natives are in the inclosure, and the walls and 
Jtieighborihg house-tops are swarming with an interested audience. 

There is a small plat of decently smooth ground, upon which I 
circle around for a few minutes, to as delighted an audience 
as ever collected in Barnum's circus. After the exhibition, the 
Mutaserif eyes the swarming multitude on the roofs and wall, and 
looks perplexed ; some one suggests that the bicycle be locked up 
for the present, and, when the crowds have dispersed, it can be re- 
moved without further excitement. The Jfittasen/ then places the 
municipal chamber at my disposal, ordering an officer to lock it up 
and give me the key. Later in the afternoon I am visited by the 
Armenian pastor of Yuzgat, and another young Armenian, who 
can speak a little English, and together we take a strolling peep at 
the city. The American missionaries at Kaizarieh have a small 
book- store here, and the pastor kindly offers me a New Testament 



366 FEOM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

to carry along. We drop in on several Armenian shopkeepers, who 
are introduced as converts of the mission. Coffee is supplied 
wherever we call. While sitting down a minute in a tailor's stall, 
a young Armenian peeps in, smiles, and indulges in the pantomime 
of rubbing his chin. Asking the meaning of this, I am informed 
by the interpreter that the fellow belongs to the barber shop next 
door, and is taking this method of reminding me that I stand in 
need of his professional attentions, not having shaved of late. 

There appears to be a large proportion of Circassians in town ; 
a group of several wild-looking bipeds, armed d la Anatolia, ragged 
and unkempt haired for Circassians, who are generally respectable 
in their personal appearance, approach us, and want me to show 
them the bicycle, on the strength of their having fought against 
the Russians in the late war. " I think they are liars," says the 
young Armenian, who speaks English ; " they only say they fought 
against the Russians because you are an Englishman, and they 
think you will show them the bicycle " Some one comes to me 
with old coins for sale, another brings a stone with hieroglyphics 
on it, and the inevitable genius likewise appears ; this time it is an 
Armenian ; the tremendous ovation I have received has filled his 
mind with exaggerated ideas of making a fortune, by purchasing 
the bicycle and making a two-piastre show out of it. He wants to 
know how much I will take for it. 

Early daylight finds me astir on the following morning, for I 
have found it a desirable thing to escape from town ere the populace 
is out to crowd about me. Tifticjeeoghlou Effendi's better half has 
kindly risen at an unusually early hour, to see me off, and provides 
me with a dozen circular rolls of hard bread — rings the size of rope 
quoits aboard an Atlantic steamer, which I string on Igali's ceru- 
lean waist-scarf, and sliag over one shoulder. The good lady lets 
me out of the gate, and says, "Bin bacalem, Effendi." She hasn't 
seen me ride yet. She is a motherly old creature, of Greek ex- 
traction, and I naturally feel like an ingrate of the meanest type, at 
my inability to grant her modest request. Stealing along the side 
streets, I manage to reach ridable ground, gathering by the way 
only a small following of worthy early risers, and two katir-jees, who 
essay to follow me on their long-eared chargers ; but, the road 
being smooth and level from the beginning, I at once discourage 
til em by a short spurt. A half -hour's trundling up a steep hill, and 
then comes a coastable descent into lower territory. A conscrip- 



FROM THE KOORDISII CAMP TO YUZGAT. 367 

tion party collected from the neighboring Mussulman villages, en 
route to Samsoon, the nearest Black Sea port, is met while riding 
down this declivity. lu anticipation of the Sultan's new uniforms 
awaiting them at Constantinople, they have provided themselves 
for the journey with barely enough rags to cover their nakedness. 
They are in high glee at their departure for Stamboul, and favor 
me with considerable good-natured chaff as I wheel past. " Human 
nature is everywhere pretty much alike the world over," I think to 
myself. There is little difference between this regiment of raga- 
muffins chaffing me this morning and the weU-dressed troopers of 
Kaiser WilUam, bantering me the day I wheeled out of Strassburg. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

THROUGH THE SIVAS VILAYET INTO ARMENIA. 

It is six hours distant from Yuzgat to the large village of 
Koehne, as distance is measured here, or about twenty-three Eng- 
lish miles ; but the road is mostly ridable, and I roll into the vil- 
lage in about three hours and a half. Just beyond Koehne, the 
roads fork, and the mudir kindly sends a mounted zaptieh to guide 
me aright, for fear I shouldn't quite understand by his pantomimic 
explanations. I understand well enough, though, and the road 
just here happening to be excellent wheeling, to the delight of the 
whole village, I spurt ahead, outdistancing the zaptieh's not over 
sprightly animal, and bowling briskly along the right road within 
their range of vision, for over a mUe. Soon after leaving Koehne 
my attention is attracted by a small cluster of civilized-looking 
tents, pitched on the bank of a running stream near the road, and 
from whence issues the joyous sounds of mirth and music. The 
road continues ridable, and I am wheeling leisurely along, hesitat- 
ing about whether to go and investigate or not, when a number of 
persons, in holiday attire, present themselves outside the tents, 
and by shouting and gesturing, invite me to pay them a visit. It 
turns out to be a reunion of the Yuzgat branch of the Pampasian- 
Pamparsan family — an Armenian name whose representatives in 
Armenia and Anatolia, it appears, correspond in comparative 
numerical importance to the great and illustrious family of Smiths 
in the United States. Following — or doubtless, more properly, 
setting — a worthy example, they likewise have their periodical re- 
unions, where they eat, drink, spin yarns, sing, and twang the tune- 
ful lyre in frolicsome consciousness of always having a howhn« 
majority over their less prolific neighbors. 

Refreshments in abundance are tendered, and the usual panto- 
mimic explanations exchanged between us ; some of the men have 
been honoring the joyful occasion by a liberal patronage of the 
flowing bowl, and are already mildly hilarious ; stringed instru- 



THEOUGH THE SIVAS VILAYET INTO ARMENIA. 369 

ments are twangied by the musical members of the great family, 
■while several others, misinterpreting the inspiration of raid 
punch for terpsichorean talent are prancing wildly about the tent. 
Middle-aged matrons are here in plenty, housewifely persons, find- 
ing their chief enjoyment in catering to the gastronomic pleasures 
of the others ; while a score or two of blooming maidens stand 
coyly aloof, watching the festive merry-makings of the men ; their 
heads and necks are resplendent with bands and necklaces of gold 
coins, it still being a custom of the East to let the female mem- 







An Armenian Family Reunion, 



bers of a family wear the surplus wealth about them in the shape 
of gold ornaments and jewels, a custom resulting from the absence 
of safe investments and the unstability of national affairs. Tuzgat 
enjoys among neighboring cities a reputation for beautiful women, 
and this auspicious occasion gives me an excellent opportunity for 
drawing my own conclusions. It is not fair perhaps to pass judg- 
ment on Tuzgat's pretensions, by the damsels of one family con- 
nection, not even the great and niimerous Pampasian-Pamparsan 
family, but stiU they ought to be at least a fair average. They 
have beautiful large black eyes, and usually a luxuriant head of 
21 



370 



FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 



hair ; but tlieir faces are, on the whole, babyish and expression- 
less. The Yuzgat maiden of " sweet sixteen " is a coy, babyish 
creature, possessed of a certain doll-like prettiness, but at twenty- 
three is a rapidly fading flower, and at thirty is already beginning 
to get wrinkled and old. 

Happening to fall in with this festive gathering this morning 
is quite a gratifying and enlivening surprise ; besides the music 
and dancing and a substantial breakfast of chicken, boiled mutton, 
and rice pillau, it gives me an opi3ortunity of witnessing an Ar- 
menian f amUy reunion 
under primitive con- 
ditions. Watching 
over this peaceful and 
gambolling flock of Ar- 
menian lambkins is a 
lone Circassian watch- 
dog ; he is of a stal- 
wart, warlike appear- 
ance ; and although 
wearing no arms — ex- 
cept a cavalry sword, 
a shorter broad-sword, 
a dragoon revolver, a 
two-foot horse-pistol, 
and a double-barrelled 
shot-gun slung at his 
back — the Armenians 
seem to feel perfectly 
safe under his protec- 
tion. They probably 
don't require any such protection really ; they are nevertheless wise 
in employing a Circassian to guard them, if for nothing else for 
the sake of freeing their own unwarlike minds of aU disquieting ap- 
prehensions, and enjoying their family reunion in the calm atmos- 
phere of perfect security ; some lawless party passing along the 
road might peradventure drop in and abuse their hospitality, or 
partaking too freely of raki, make themselves obnoxious, were 
they unprotected ; but with one Circassian patrolling the camp, 
they are doubly sure against anything of the kind. 

These people invite me to remain with them until to-morrow ; 




Slightly Armed. 



THBOUGII THE SIVAS VILAYET INTO ARMENIA. 371 

but of course I excuse myself from this, and, after spending a very 
agreeable hour in their company, take my departure. The coun- 
try develops into an undulating plateau, which is under general 
cultivation, as cultivation goes in Asiatic Turkey. A number of 
Circassian villages are scattered over this upland plain ; most of 
them are distant from my road, but many horsemen are encount- 
ered ; they ride the finest animals in the country, and one natur- 
ally falls to wondering how they manage to keep so well-dressed 
and well-mounted, while rags and poverty and diminutive donkeys 
seem to be^the well-nigh universal rule among their neighbors. 
The Circassians betray more interest in my purely personal affairs— 
whether I am Eussian or English, whither I am bound, etc. — and 
less interest in the bicycle, than either Turks or Armenians, and 
seem altogether of a more reserved disposition ; I generally have 
as little conversation with them as possible, confining myself to 
letting them know I am English and not Russian, and replying 
" Turkchi binmus " (I don't understand) to other questions ; they 
have a look about them that makes one apprehensive as to the dis- 
interestedness of their wanting to know whither I am bound — appre- 
hensive that their object is to find out where three or four of them 
could " see me later." I see but few Circassian women ; what few 
I approach sufficiently near to observe are all more or less pleasant- 
faced, prepossessing females ; many have blue eyes, which is very 
rare among their neighbors ; the men average quite as handsome 
as the women, and they have a peculiar dare-devil expression of 
countenance that makes them distinguishable immediately" from 
either Turk or Armenian ; they look like men who wouldn't hesi- 
tate about undertaking any devilment they felt themselves equal 
to for the sake of plunder. They are very like their neighbors, 
however, in one respect ; such among them as take any great in- 
terest in my extraordinary outfit find it entirely beyond their com- 
prehension ; the bicycle is a Gordian knot too intricate for their 
semi-civiUzed minds to unravel, and there are no Alexanders 
among them to think of cutting it. Before they recover from their 
first astonishment I have disappeared. 

The road continues for the most part ridable until about 2 p.m., 
when I arrive at a mountainous region of rocky ridges, covered 
chiefly with a growth of scrub-oak. Upon reaching the summit 
of one of these ridges, I observe some distance ahead what appears 
to be a tremendous field of large cabbages, stretching away in 



372 FROM SAN FKANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

a northeasterly direction almost to the horizon of one's vision ; 
the view presents the striking appearance of large compact cab- 
bage-heads, thickly dotting a well-cultivated area of clean black 
loam, surrounded on all sides by rocky, uncultivatable wilds. Fif- 
teen minutes later I am picking my way through this " cultivated 
field," which, upon closer acquaintance, proves to be a smooth 
lava-bed, and the "cabbages" are nothing more or less than boul- 
ders of singular uniformity ; and what is equally curious, they are 
all covered with a growth of moss, while the volcanic bed they 
repose on is perfectly naked. 

Beyond this singular area, the country continues wild and moun- 
tainous, with no habitations near the road ; and thus it con- 
tinues until some time after night-fall, when I emerge upon a few 
scattering wheat-fields. The baying of dogs in the distance indi- 
cates the presence of a village somewhere around ; but having 
plenty of bread on which to sup I once again determine upon 
studying astronomy behind a wheat-shock. It is a glorious moon- 
light night, but the altitude of the country hereabouts is not less 
than six thousand feet, and the chilliness of the atmosphere, al- 
ready apparent, bodes ill for anything like a comfortable night ; 
but I scarcely anticipate being disturbed by anything save atmos- 
pheric conditions. I am rolled up in my tent instead of under it, 
slumbering as lightly as men are wont to slumber under these un- 
favorable conditions, when, about eleven o'clock, the unearthly 
creaking of native arabas approaching arouses me from my lethar- 
gical condition. Judging from the sounds, they appear to be mak- 
ing a bee-line for my position ; but not caring to voluntarily reveal 
my presence, I simply remain quiet and listen. It soon becomes 
evident that they are a party of villagers, coming to load up their 
bufialo arabas by moonlight with these very shocks of wheat. One 
of the arahas now approaches the shock which conceals my recum- 
bent form, and where the pale moonbeams are coquettishly ogling 
the nickel-plated portions of my wheel, making it conspicuously 
scintillant by their attentions. 

Hoping the araha may be going to pass by, and that my pres- 
ence may escape the driver's notice, I hesitate even yet to reveal my- 
self ; but the araha stops, and I can observe the driver's frightened 
expression as he suddenly becomes aware of the presence of strange, 
supernatural objects. At the same moment I rise up in my wind- 
ing-sheet-like covering ; the man utters a wild yell, and abandoning 



THROUGH THE SIVAS VILAYET INTO ARMENIA. 373 

the araba, vanishes like a deer in the directiqn of his companions. 
It is an unenviable situation to find one's self in ; if I boldly approach 
them, these people, not being able to ascertain my character in the 
moonlight, would be quite likely to discharge their fire-arms at me 
in their fright ; if, on the contrary, I remain under cover, they 
might also try the experiment of a shot before venturing to ap- 
proach the deserted buffaloes, who are complacently chewing the 
cud on the spot where their chicken-hearted driver took to his 
heels. 

Under the circumstances I think it best to strike off toward the 
road, leaving them to draw their own conclusions as to whether I 
am Sheitan himself, or merely a plain, inoffensive hobgoblin. But 
while gathering up my effects, one heroic individual ventures to 
approach part way and open up a shouting inquiry ; my answers, 
though unintelligible to him in the main, satisfy him that I am at 
all events a human being ; there are six of them, and in a few min- 
utes after the ignominious flight of the driver, they are all gathered 
around me, as much interested and nonplussed at the appearance 
of myself and bicycle as a party of Nebraska homesteaders might 
be had they, under similar circumstances, discovered a turbaned 
old Turk complacently enjoying a nargileh. 

No sooner do their apprehensions concerning my probable war- 
like character and capacity become allayed, than they get altogether 
too familiar and inquisitive about my packages ; and I detect one 
venturesome kleptomaniac surreptitiously unfastening a strap when 
he fancies I am not noticing. Moreover, laboring under the im- 
pression that I don't understand a word they are saying, I observe 
they are commenting in language smacking unmistakably of covet- 
ousness, as to the probable contents of my Whitehouse leather 
case ; some think it is sure to contain choRh para (much money), 
while others suggest that I am a postaya (courier), and that it con- 
tains letters. Under these alarming circumstances there is only 
one way to manage these overgrown children ; that is, to make 
them afraid of you forthwith ; so, shoving the strap-unfastener 
roughly away, I imperatively order the whole covetous crew to 
" haidi ! " Without a moment's hesitation they betake themselves 
off to their work, it being an inborn trait of their character to me- 
chanically obey an authoritative command. Following them to 
their other arabas, I find that they have brought quilts along, in- 
tending, after loading up to sleep in the field until daylight. Se- 



374 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

lecting a good heavy quilt with as little ceremony as though it were 
my own property, I take it and the bicj'cle to another shock, and 
curl myself up warm and comfortable ; once or twice the owner of 
the coverlet approaches quietly, just near enough to ascertain that 
I am not intending making off with his property, but there is not 
the slightest danger of being disturbed or molested in any way till 
morning ; thus, in this curious round-about manner, does fortune 
provide me with the wherewithal to pass a comparatively comfort- 
able night. " Eather arbitrary proceedings to take a quilt without 
asking permission,'' some might think ; but the owner thinks noth- 
ing of the kind ; it is quite customary for travellers of their own 
nation to help themselves in this way, and the villagers have come 
to regard it as quite a natural occurrence. 

At dayhght I am again on the move, and sunrise finds me busy 
making an outline sketch of the ruins of an ancient castle, that oc- 
cupies, I should imagine, one of the most impregnable positions in 
all Asia Minor ; a regular Gibraltar. It occupies the summit of a 
precipitous detached mountain peak, which is accessible only from 
one point, aU the other sides presenting a sheer precipice of rock ; 
it forms a conspicuous feature of the landscape for many miles 
around, and situated as it is amid a wilderness of rugged brush- 
covered heights, admirably suited for ambuscades, it was doubtless 
a very important position at one time. It probably belongs to the 
Byzantine period, and if the number of old graves scattered among 
the hills indicate anything, it has in its day been the theatre of stir- 
ring tragedy. An hour after leaving the frowning battlements of 
the grim old relic behind, I arrive at a cluster of four rook houses, 
which are apparently occupied by a sort of a patriarchal family con- 
sisting of a turbaned old Turk and his two generations of descend- 
ants. The old fellow is seated on a rock, smoking a cigarette and 
endeavoring to coax a little comfort from the slanting rays of the 
morning sun, and I straightway approach him and broach the all- 
important subject of refreshments. 

He turns out to be a fanatical old gentleman, one of those old- 
school Mussulmans who have neither eye nor ear for anything but 
the Mohammedan religion ; I have irreverently interrupted him in 
his morning meditations, it seems, and he administers a rebuke in 
the form of a sidewise glance, such as a Pharisee might be expected 
to bestow on a Cannibal Islander venturing to approach him, and 
delivers himself of two deep-fetched sighs of "Allah, Allah!" 



THROUGH THE SIVAS VILAYET INTO ARMENIA. 375 

Anybody would think from his actions that the sanctimonious old 
man — ikiu (five feet three) had made the pilgrimage to Mecca a 
dozen times, whereas he has evidently not even earned the privilege 
of wearing a green turban ; he has neither been to Mecca himself 
during his whole unprofitable life nor sent a substitute, and he 
now thinks of gaining a nice numerous harem, and a walled-in 
garden, with trees and fountains, cucumbers and carpooses, in the 
land of the kara ghuz hiz, by cultivating the spirit of fanaticism at 
the eleventh hour. I feel too independent this morning to sacri- 
fice any of the wellnigh invisible remnant of dignity remaining 
from the respectable quantity with which I started into Asia, for 
I still have a couple of the wheaten " quoits " I brought from 
Yuzgat ; so, leaving the ancient Mussulman to Lis meditations, I 
push on over the hills, when, coming to a spring, I eat my frugal 
breakfast, soaking the unbiteable "quoits " in the water. 

After getting beyond this hilly region, I emerge upon a level 
plateau of considerable extent, across which very fair wheeling is 
found ; but before noon the inevitable mountains present them- 
selves again, and some of the acclivities are trundleable only by re- 
peating the stair-climbing process of the Kara Su Pass. Necessity 
forces me to seek dinner at a village where abject poverty, beyond 
anything hitherto encountered, seems to exist. A decently large 
fig-leaf, without anything else, would be eminently preferable to 
the tattered remnants hanging about these people, and among the 
smaller children puris naiuralis is the rule. It is also quite evi- 
dent that few of them ever take a bath ; as there is plenty of water 
about them, this doubtless comes of the pure contrariness of human 
nature in the absence of social obligations. Their religion teaches 
these people that they ought to bathe every day ; consequently, 
they never bathe at all. There is a small threshing-floor handy, 
and, taking pity on their wretched condition, I hesitate not to 
" drive dull care away " from them for a few minutes, by giving 
them an exhibition ; not that there is any " dull care " among them, 
though, after all ; for, in spite of desperate poverty, they know 
more contentment than the well-fed, respectably-dressed mechanic 
of the Western World. It is, however, the contentment born of 
not realizing their own condition, the bliss that comes of ignorance. 

They search the entire village for eatables, but nothing is readily 
obtainable but bread. A few gaunt, angular fowls are scratching 
about, but they have a beruffled, disreputable appearance, as 



376 FROM SAN PKAlSrCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

though their lives had been a continuous struggle against being 
caught and devoured ; moreover, I don't care to wait around three 
hours on purpose to pass judgment on these people's cooking. 
Eggs there are none ; they are devoured, I fancy, almost before 
they are laid. Finally, while making the best of bread and water, 
which is hardly made more palatable by the appearance of the peo- 
ple watching me feed — a woman in an airy, fairy costume, that is 
little better than no costume at all, comes forward, and contributes a 
small bowl of yaort ; but, unfortuntaely, this is old yaort, yaort that 
is in the sere and yellow stage of its usefulness as human food ; 
and although these people doubtless consume it thus, I prefer to 
wait until something more acceptable and less odoriferous turns 
up. I miss the genial hospitality of the gentle Koords to-day ! In- 
stead of heaping plates oi pillau, and bowls of wholesome ne-^ yaort, 
fickle fortune brings me nothing but an exclusive diet of bread and 
water. 

My road, this afternoon, is a tortuous donkey-trail, intersecting 
ravines with well-nigh perpendicular sides, and rocky ridges, cov- 
ered with a stunted growth of cedar and scrub-oak. The higher 
mountains round about are heavily timbered with pine and cedar. 
A large forest on a mountain-slope is on fire, and I pass a camp of 
people who have been driven out of their permanent abode by the 
flames. Fortunately, they have saved everything except their 
naked houses and their grain. They can easily build new houses, 
and their neighbors will give or lend them sufficient grain to tide 
them over till another harvest. 

Toward sundown the hilly country terminates, and I descend 
into a broad cultivated valley, through which is a very good 
wagon-road ; and I have the additional satisfaction of learning that 
it will so continue clear into Sivas, a wagon-road having been 
made from Sivas into this forest to enable the people to haul wood 
and building-timber on their ambas. Arriving at a good-sized 
and comparatively well-to-do Mussulman village, I obtain an ample 
supper of eggs and pillau, and, after binning over and over again 
until the most unconscionable Turk among them aU can bring him- 
self to importune me no more, I obtain a little peace. Supper for 
two, together with the tough hill-climbing to-day, and insufficient 
sleep last night, produces its natural effect ; I quietly doze off to 
sleep whUe sitting on the divan of a small khan, which might very 
appropriately be called an open shed. Soon I am awakened ; they 



TIIROUGn THE 8IVAS VILAYET INTO AEMENIA. 377 

want me to accommodate them by binning once more before tliey 
retire for the night. As the moon is shining brightly, I offer no 
objections, knowing that to grant the request will be the quickest 
way to get rid of their worry. They then provide me with quUts, 
and I spend the night in the khan alone. I am soon asleep, but 
one habitually sleeps lightly under these strange and ever-varying 
conditions, and several times I am awakened by dogs invading 
the khan and sniffing about my couch. 

My daily experience among these people is teaching me the 
commendable habit of rising with the lark ; not that I am an en- 
thusiastic student, or even a willing one — be it observed that few 
people are — but it is a case of either turning out and sneaking oflf be- 
fore the inhabitants are astir, or to be worried from one's waking 
moments to the departure from the village, and of the two evils 
one comes finally to prefer the early rising. One can always obtain 
something to eat before starting by waiting till an hour after sun- 
rise, but I have had quite enough of these people's importunities 
to make breakfasting with them a secondary consideration, and so 
pull out at early daylight. The road is exceptionally good, but an 
east wind rises with the sun and quickly develops into a stiff 
breeze that renders riding against it anything but child's play ; no 
rose is to be expected without a thorn, nevertheless it is rather 
aggravating to have the good road and the howling head-wind 
happen together, especially in traversing a country where good 
roads are the exception instead of the rule. 

About eight o'clock I reach a village situated at the entrance to 
a rocky defile, vnih a babbling brook dancing through the space 
between its two divisions. Upon inquiring for refreshments, a man 
immediately orders his wife to bring me pillau. For some reason 
or other — perhaps the poor woman has none prepared ; who knows? 
— the woman, instead of obeying the command like a " guid wifey," 
enters upon a wordy demurrer, whereupon her husband borrows a 
hoe-handle from a bystander and advances to chastise her for daring 
to thus hesitate about obeying his orders ; the woman retreats pre- 
cipitately into the house, heaping Turkish epithets on her devoted 
husband's head. This woman is evidently a regular termagant, or 
she would never have used such violent language to her husband 
in the presence of a stranger and the whole village ; some day, if 
she doesn't be more reasonable, her husband, instead of satisfying 
his outraged feelings by chastising her with a hoe-handle, will, in a 



378 FROM SA]sr feancisco to teheean. 

moment of passion, bid her begone from his house, which in Turk- 
ish law constitutes a legal separation ; if the command be given 
in the presence of a competent witness it is irrevocable. Seeing 
me thus placed, as it were, in an embarrassing situation, another 
woman — dear, thoughtful creature ! — fetches me enough wheat 
pillau to feed a mule, and a nice bowl of yaort, off which I make a 
substantial breakfast. 

Near by where I am eating are five industrious maidens, pre- 
paring cracked or broken wheat by a novel and interesting pro- 
cess, that has hitherto failed to come under my observation ; 
perhaps it is peculiar to the Sivas vilayet, which I have now 
entered. A large rock is hollowed out like a shallow druggist's 
mortar ; wheat is put in, and several girls (sometimes as many as 
eight, I am told by the American missionaries at Sivas) gather 
in a circle about it, and pound the wheat with light, long-headed 
mauls or beetles, striking in regular succession, as the reader 
has probably seen a gang of circus roustabouts driving tent-pins. 
When I first saw circus tent-pins driven in this manner, a few 
years ago, I remember hearing on-lookers remarking it as quite 
novel and wonderful how so many could be striking the same peg 
without their swinging sledges coming into collision ; but that very 
same performance has been practised by the maidens hereabout, 
it seems, from time immemorial — another proof that there is noth- 
ing new under the sun. 

Ten miles of good riding, and I wheel into the considerable 
town of Yennikhan, a place sufficiently important to maintain a 
public coffee-Mara and several small shops. Here I take aboard a 
pocketful of fine large pears, and after wheeling a couple of miles 
to a secluded spot, halt for the purpose of shifting the pears from 
my pocket to where they will be better appreciated. Ere I have 
finished the second pear, a gentle goatherd, who from an ad- 
jacent hiU. observed me alight, appears upon the scene and waits 
around, with the laudable intention of further enlightening his 
mind when I i-emount. He is carrj'ing a musical instrument 
something akin to a flute ; it is a mere hollow tube with the 
customary finger-holes, but it is blown at the end ; having neither 
reed nor mouth-piece of any description, it requires a peculiar 
sidewise application of the Ups, and is not to be blown readily 
by a novice. When properly played, it produces soft, melodious 
music that, to say nothing else, must exert a gentle soothing in- 



THROUGH THE SIVAS VILAYET INTO ARMENIA. 379 

fluence on the wild, turbulent souls of a herd of goats. The goat- 
herd offers me a cake of ekmek out of his wallet, as a sort of a 
peace-offering, but thanks to a generous breakfast, music hath 
more charms at present than diy ekmek, and handing him a pear, 
I strike up a bargain by which he is to entertain me with a solo 
until I am ready to start, when of course he will be amply recom- 
pensed by seeing me bin ; the bargain is agreed to, and the solo 
duly played. 

East of Yennikhan, the road develops into an excellent mac- 
adamized highway, on which I find plenty of genuine amusement 
by electrifying the natives whom I chance to meet or overtake. 
Creeping noiselessly up behind an unsuspecting donkey-driver, 
until quite close, I suddenly reveal my presence. Looking round 
and observing a strange, unearthly combination, apparently swoop- 
ing down upon him, the affrighted katlr-jee's first impulse is to 
seek refuge in flight, not infrequently bolting clear off the road- 
way, before venturing upon taking a second look. Sometimes I 
simply put on a spurt, and whisk past at a fifteen mile pace. 
Looking back, the katir-jee generally seems rooted to the spot with 
astonishment, and his utter inabiUty to comprehend. These men 
will have marvellous tales to tell in their respective villages con- 
cerning what they saw ; unless other bicycles are introduced, the 
time the " Ingilisin " went through the country with his wonder- 
ful araba will become a red-letter event in the memory of the peo- 
ple along my route through Asia Minor. Crossing the Yeldez 
L:mak River, on a stone bridge, I follow along the valley of the 
head-waters of our old acquaintance, the Kizil Irmak, and at three 
o'clock in the afternoon, roll into Sivas, having wheeled nearly 
fifty miles to-day, the last forty of which will compare favorably in 
smoothness, though not in levelness, with any forty-mile stretch I 
know of in the United States. From Angora I have brought a 
letter of introduction to Mr. Ernest Weakley, a young Englishman, 
engaged, together with Mr. Eodigas, a Belgian gentleman, for the 
Ottoman Government, in collecting the Sivas vilayet's proportion of 
the Russian indemnity ; and I am soon installed in hospitable quai-- 
ters. Sivas artisans enjoy a certain amount of celebrity among 
their compatriots of other Asia Minor cities for unusual skUfulness, 
particularly in making filigree silver work. Toward evening myself 
and Mr. Weakley take a stroll through the silversmiths' quarters. 
The quarters consist of twenty or thirty small wooden shops, sur- 



380 FKOM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHEEAN. 

rounding an oblong court ; spreading willows and a tiny rivulet 
running through it give the place a semi-rural appearance. In the 
little open-front workshops, which might more appropriately be 
called stalls, Armenian silversmiths are seated cross-legged, some 
working industriously at their trade, others gossiping and sipping 
coffee with friends or purchasers. 

" Doesn't it call up ideas of what you conceive the quarters of 
the old alchemists to have been hundreds of years ago ? " asks my 
companion. " Precisely what I was on the eve of suggesting to 
you," I reply, and then we drop into one of the shops, sip coffee 
with the old silversmith, and examine his filigree jewelry. There 
is nothing denoting remarkable skill about any of it ; an intricate 
pattern of theu* jewelry simply represents a great expenditure of 
time and Asiatic patience, and the finishing of clasps, rivetting, 
etc., is conspicuously rough. Sivas was also formerly a seat of 
learning ; the imposing gates, with portions of the fronts of the 
old Arabic universities are still standing, with sufficient beauti- 
ful arabesque designs in glazed tUe-work stiU undestroyed, to 
proclaim eloquently of departed glories. The squaHd mud hov- 
els of refugees from the Caucasus novv occupy the interior of 
these venerable edifices ; ragged urchins romp with dogs and 
baby buffaloes where pashas' sons formerly congregated to 
learn wisdom from the teachings of their prophet, and now 
what remains of the intricate arabesque designs, worked out in 
small, bright-colored tiles, that once formed the glorious ceil- 
ing of the dome, seems to look down reproachfully, and yet sor- 
rovsrfully, upon the wretched heaps of tezeh placed beneath it for 
shelter. 

I am remaining over one day at Sivas, and in the morning we 
call on the American missionaries. Mr. Perry is at home, and 
hopes I am going to stay a week, so that they can " sort of make 
up for the discomforts of journeying through the country ; " Mi-. 
Hubbard and the ladies of the Mission are out of town, but will be 
back this evening. After dinner we go round to the government 
konak and call on the Vali, Hallil Eifaat Pasha, whom Mr. Weakley 
describes beforehand as a very practical man, fond of mechanical 
contrivances ; and who would never forgive him if he allowed me 
to leave Sivas with the bicycle without paying him a visit. The 
usual rigmarole of salaams, cigarettes, coffee, compliments, and 
questioning are gone through with ; the Vali is a jolly-faced, good- 



THROUGH THE SIVAS VILAYET INTO ARMENIA. 381 

natured man, and is evidently much interested in my companion's 
description of the bicycle and my journey. 

Of course I don't forget to praise the excellence of the road 
from Yenuikhan ; I can conscientiously tell him that it is superior 
to anything I have wheeled over south of the Balkans ; the Pasha 
is delighted at hearing this, and beaming joyously over his spec- 
tacles, his fat jolly face a rotund picture of satisfaction, he says to 
Mr. Weakley : " You see, he praises up our roads ; and he ought 
to knovr, he has travelled on wagon roads half way round the 
world." The interview ends by the Vali inviting me to ride the 
bicycle out to his country residence this evening, giving the or- 
der for a squad of zaptiehs to escort me out of town at the ap- 
pointed time. " The Vali is one of the most energetic pashas in 
Turkey," says Mr. Weakley, as we take our departure. "You 
would scarcely believe that he has established a small weekly news- 
paper here, and makes it self-supporting into the bargain, would 
you?" 

" I confess I don't see how he manages it among these people," 
I reply, quite truthfully, for these are anything but newspaper- 
supporting people ; " how does he manage to make it self-sup- 
porting ? " 

" Why, he makes every employ^ of the government subscribe 
for a certain number of copies, and the subscription price is kept 
back out of their salaries ; for instance, the niulazim of zaptiehs 
would have to take half a dozen copies, the mutaserif a dozen, 
etc. ; if from any unforeseen cause the current expenses are 
found to be more than the income, a few additional copies are 
saddled on each ' subscriber.' " Before leaving Sivas, I arrive at 
the conclusion that Hallil Eifaat Pasha knows just about what's 
what ; while administering the affairs of the Sivas vilayet in a man- 
ner that has gained him the good-wiU of the population at large, 
he hasn't neglected his opportunities at the Constantinople end of 
the rope ; more than one beautiful Circassian girl has, I am told, 
been forwarded to the Sultan's harem by the enterprising and 
sagacious Sivas Vali ; consequently he holds " trump cards," so to 
speak, both in the province and the palace. 

Promptly at the hour appointed the squad of zaptiehs arrive ; 
Mr. Weakley mounts his servant on a prancing Arab charger, and 
orders him to manoeuvre the horse so as to clear the way in front ; 
the za2}tiehs commence their flogging, and in the middle of the 



382 



FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 



cleared space I trundle the bicycle. While making our way- 
through the streets, Mr. Hubbard, who, with the ladies, has just 
returned to the city, is encountered on the "way to invite Mr. 
Weakley and myself to supper ; as he pushes his way through the 
crowd and reaches my side, he pronounces it the worst rabble he 
ever saw in the streets of Sivas, and he has been stationed here 
over twelve years. Once clear of the streets, I mount and soon 
outdistance the crowd, though stUl followed by a number of horse- 
men. Part way out we wait for the Vah's state carriage, in which 
he daily rides between the city and his residence. While waiting, 




A Hafem Beauty. 



a terrific squall of wind and dust comes howling from the direction 
we are going, and while it is stiU blowing great guns, the Vali 
and his mounted escort arrive. His Excellency alights and ex- 
amines the Columbia with much interest, and then requests me to 
ride on immediately in advance of the carriage. The grade is 
slightly against me, and the whistling wind seems to be shrieking 
a defiance ; but by superhuman efforts, almost, I pedal ahead and 
manage to keep in front of his horses all the way. The distance 
from Sivas is four and a quarter miles by the cyclometer ; this is 
the first time it has ever been measured. 



THROUGH THE SIVAS VILAYET INTO ARMENIA. 383 

We are ushered into a room quite elegantly furnished, and light 
refreshments served. Observing my partiality for vishner-sa, the 
Governor kindly offers me a flask of the syrup to take along ; which 
I am, however, reluctantly compelled to refuse, owing to my inabil- 
ity to carry it. Here, also, we meet Djaved Bey, the Pasha's son, who 
has recently returned from Constantinople, and who says he saw me 
riding at Prinkipo. The Vali gets down on his hands and knees to 
examine the route of my journey on a map of the world which he 
spreads out on the carpet ; he grows quite enthusiastic, and exclaims, 
" Wonderful ! " " Very wonderful ! " says Djaved Bey ; " when you 
get back to America they will — build you a statue." Mr. Hubbard 
has mounted a horse and followed us to the.Vali's residence, and 
at the approach of dusk we take our departure ; the wind is favor- 
able for the return, as is also the gradient ; ere my two friends 
have unhitched their horses, 
I mount and am scudding 
before the gale half a mile 
away. 

" Hi hi-hi-hi ! you'll never 
overtake him ! " the Vali 
shouts enthusiastically to the 

two horsemen as they start y^^ y^,, „„ n,,, ^n^ Map. 

at full gallop after me, and 

which they laughingly repeat to me shortly afterward. A very 
pleasant evening is spent at Mr. Hubbard's house ; after supper 
the ladies sing " Sweet Bye and Bye," "Home, Sweet Home," and 
other melodious reminders of the land of liberty and song that 
gave them birth. Everything looks comfortable and homelike, 
and they have EngHsh ivy inside the dining-room trained up the 
walls and partly covering the ceiling, which produces a wonder- 
fully pleasant effect. The usual extraordinary rumors of my 
wonderful speeding ability have circulated about the city during 
the day and evening, some of which have happened to come to the 
ears of the missionaries. One story is that I came from the port 
of Samsoon, a -distance of nearly three hundred miles, in six houi-s, 
while an imaginative katir-jee, whom I whisked past on the road, 
has been telling the Sivas people an exaggerated story of how a 
genii had ridden past him with lightning-like speed on a shining 
wheel ; but whether it was a good or an evil genii he said he didn't 
have time to determine, as I went past like a flash and vanished in 




384 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

the distance. The missionaries have four hundred scholars at- 
tending their school here at Sivas, which would seem to indicate 
a pretty flourishing state of affairs. Their recruiting ground is, of 
course, among the Armenians, who, though professedly Christians, 
really stand in more need of regeneration than their Mohammedan 
neighbors. The characteristic condition of the average Armenian 
villager's mind is deep, dense ignorance and moral gloominess ; 
it requires more patience and perseverance to ingraft a new idea 
on the unimpressionable trunk of an Armenian villager's intellect 
than it does to put up second-hand stove-pipe ; and it is a gen- 
erally admitted fact — i.e., west of the Missouri Eiver— that anyone 
capable of setting up three joints of second-hand stove-pipe with- 
out using profane language deserves a seat in Paradise. 

" Come in here a minute,'' says Mr. Hubbard, just before our 
departure for the night, leading the way into an adjoining room ; 
" here's shirts, under-clothing, socks, handkerchiefs — everything ; 
help yourself to anything you require ; I know something about 
travelling through this country myself ! " But not caring to im- 
pose too much on good nature, I content myself with merely 
pocketing a strong pair of socks, that I know will come in handy. 
I leave the bicycle at the mission over night, and in the morning, 
at Miss Chamberlain's request, I ride round the school-house yard 
a few times for the edification of the scholars. The greatest diffi- 
culty, I am informed, with Armenian pupils is to get them to take 
sufficient interest in anything to ask questions ; it is mainly because 
the bicycle will be certain to awaken interest, and excite the spirit 
of inquiry among them, that I am requested to ride for their benefit. 
Thus is the bicycle fairly recognized as a valuable aid to missionary 
work. Moral : let the American and Episcopal boards provide 
their Asia Minor and Persian missionaries with nickel-plated bicy- 
cles ; let them wheel their way into the empty wilderness of the 
Armenian mind, and light up the impenetrable moral darkness 
lurking therein with the glowing and mist-dispelling orbs of cycle 
lamps. 

Messrs. Perry, Hubbard, and Weakley accompany me out some 
distance on horseback, and at parting I am commissioned to carry 
salaams to the brethren in China. This is the first opportunity 
that has ever presented of sending greetings overland to far-off 
China, they say, and such rare occasions are not to be lightly over- 
looked. They also promise to send word to the Erzeroum mission 



THROUGH THE SIVAS VILAYET IWTO ARMENIA. 385 

to expect me ; the chances are, however, that I shall reach Erze- 
roum before their letter ; there are no lightning mail-trains in 
Asia Minor. The road eastward from Sivas is an artificial high- 
way, and affords reasonably good wheeling, but is somewhat infe- 
rior to the road from Yennikhan. Before long I enter a region of 
low hiUs, dales, and small lakes, beyond which the road again de- 
scends into the valley of the Kizil Irmak. All day long the road- 
way averages better wheeling than I ever expected to find in Asiatic 
Turkey ; but the prevailing east wind offers strenuous opposition 
to my progress every inch of the way along the hundred miles or 
so of ridable road from Yennikhan to Zara, a town at which I ar- 
rive near sundown. Zara is situated at the entrance to a narrow 
passage between two mountain spurs, and although the road is 
here a dead level and the surface smooth, the wind comes roaring 
from the gorge with such tremendous pressure that it is only by 
extraordinary exertions that I am able to keep the saddle. 

Tifticjeeoghlou Elfeudi was a gentleman of Greek descent. At 
Zara I have an opportunity of seeing and experiencing something 
of what hospitality is like among the better class Armenians, for I 
have brought from Sivas a letter of introduction to Kirkor-agha 
Vartarian, the most prominent Armenian gentleman in Zara. I have 
no difficulty whatever in finding the house, and am at once installed 
in the customary position of honor, while five serving-men hover 
about, ready to wait on me ; some take a hand in the inevitable 
ceremony of preparing and serving coffee and lighting cigarettes, 
while others stand watchfully by awaiting word or look from my- 
self or mine host, or from the privileged guests that immediately 
begin to arrive. The room is of cedar planking throughout, and is 
absolutely without furniture, save the carpeting and the cushioned 
divan on which I am seated. Mr. Vartarian sits crossed-legged on 
the carpet to my left, smoking a iiargileh ; his younger. brother oc- 
cupies a similar position on my right, rolling and smoking cigar- 
ettes ; while the guests, as they arrive, squat themselves on the car- 
pet in positions varying in distance from the divan, according to 
their respective rank and social importance. No one ventures to 
occupy the cushioned divan alongside myself, although the divan is 
fifteen feet long, and it makes me ^f eel uncomfortably like the dog- 
in the manger to occupy its whole length alone. 

In a farther corner, and off the slightly raised and carpeted floor 
on which are seated the guests, is a small brick fire-place, on which 
25 



386 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

a charcoal fire is brightly burniag, and here Mr. Vartarian's private 
kahvay-jee is kept busily employed in brewing tiny cups of strong 
black coffee ; another servant constantly visits the fire to ferret out 
pieces of glowing charcoal with small pipe-lighting tongs, with which 
he circulates among the guests, supplying a light to the various 
smokers of cigarettes. A third youth is kept pretty tolerably busy 
performing the same of6.ce for Mr. Vartarian's nargileh, for the gen- 
tleman is an inveterate smoker, and in all Turkey there can scarcely 
be another nargileh requiring so much tinkering with as his. All 
the livelong evening something keeps getting wrong with that 
wretched pipe ; mine host himself is continually rearranging the 
little pile of live coals on top of the dampened tobacco (the tobacco 
smoked in a nargileh is dampened, and live coals are placed on top), 
taking off the long coiled tube and blowing down it, or prying 
around in the tobacco receptacle with an awl-like instrument in his 
efforts to make it draw properly, but without making anything like 
a success ; while his nargileh-boy is constantly hovering over it with 
a new supply of live coals. " Job himself could scarcely have been 
possessed of more patience," I think at first ; but before the evening 
is over I come to the conclusion that my worthy host wouldn't ex- 
change that particular hubble-bubble with its everlasting contrari- 
ness for the most perfectly drawing nargUeh in Turkey : like cer- 
tain devotees of the weed among ourselves, who never seem to be 
happier than when running a broom-straw down the stem of a pipe 
that chronically refuses to draw, so Kirkor-agha Vartarian finds his 
chief amusement in thus tinkering from one week's end to another 
with his nargileh. 

At the supper table mine host and his brother both lavish atten- 
tions upon me ; knives and forks of course there are none, these 
things being seldom seen in Asia Minor, and to a cycler who has 
spent the day in pedalling against a stiff breeze, their absence is a 
matter of small moment. I am ravenously hungry, and they both 
win my warmest esteem by transferring choice morsels from their 
own plates into mine with their fingers. From what I know of 
strict haut ton Zaran etiquette, I think they should really pop these 
tid-bits in my mouth, an3 the reason they don't do so is, perhaps, 
because I fail to open it in the customary haxd ton manner ; how- 
ever, it is a distasteful thing to be always sticking up for one's in- 
dividual rights. A pile of quilts and mattresses, three feet thick, 
and feather pillows galore are prepared for me to sleep on. An 



388 



FROM SAN FRAWCISCO TO TEHERAN. 



attendant presents himseK with a wonderful night-shirt, on the 
ample proportions of which are displayed bewildering colors and 
figures ; and following the custom of the country, shapes himself for 
undressing me and assisting me into bed. This, however, I prefer 
to do without assistance, owing to a large stock of native modesty. 
I never fell among people more devoted in their attentions; their 
only thought during my stay is to make me comfortable ; but they 
are very ceremonious and great sticklers for etiquette. I had in- 
tended making my usual early start, but mine host receives with 
open disapproval — I fancy even with a showing of displeasure — my 

proposition to depart without first par- 
taking of refreshments, and it is nearly 
eight o'clock before I finally get started. 
Immediately after rising comes the in- 
evitable coffee and early morning visi- 




tors ; later an attend- 
ant arrives with break- 
fast for myself on a 
small wooden tray. 



At Kirkor-agha Varlarian's. 



Mr. Vartarian occupies precisely the same 
position, and is engaged in precisely the same occupation as yester- 
day evening, as is also his brother. No sooner does the hapless 
attendant make his appearance with the eatables than these two 
persons spring simultaneously to their feet, apparently in a tower- 
ing rage, and chase him back out of the room, meanwhile pursuing 
him with a torrent of angry words ; they then return to their re- 
spective positions and respective occupations. Ten minutes later 
the attendant reappears, but this time bringing a larger tray with 
an ample spread for three persons ; this, it afterward appears, is 
not because mine host and his brother intends partaking of any. 



THROUGH THE SIVAS VILAYET INTO ARMENIA. 389 

but because it is Ai-menian etiquette to do so, and Armenian eti- 
quette therefore becomes responsible for the spectacle of a solitary 
feeder seated at breakfast with dishes and everything prepared for 
three, while of the other two, one is smoking a uargileh, the other 
cigarettes, and both of them regarding my evident relish of scram- 
bled eggs and cold fowl with intense satisfaction. 

Having by this time determined to merely drift with the current 
of mine host's intentions concerning the time of my departure, I 
resume my position on the divan after breakfasting, simply hinting 
that I would like to depart as soon as possible. To this Mr. Var- 
tarian complacently nods assent, and his brother, with equal com- 
placency roUs me a cigarette, after which a good half-hour is con- 
sumed in preparing for me a letter of introduction to their friend 
Mtidura Ghana in the village of Kachahurda, which I expect to 
reach somewhere near noon ; mine host dictates while his brother 
writes. Visitors continue coming in, and I am beginning to get 
a trifle impatient about starting ; am beginning in fact to wish all 
their nonsensical ceremoniousness at the bottom of the deep blue 
sea or some equally unfathomable quarter, when, at a signal from 
Mr. Tartarian himself, his brother and the whole roomful of visi- 
tors rise simultaneously to their feet, and equally simultaneously 
put their hands on their respective stomachs, and, turning toward 
me, salaam ; mine host then comes forward, shakes hands, gives 
me the letter to Miidura Ghana, and permits me to depart. 

He has provided two zaptiehs to escort me outside the town, and 
in a few minutes I find myself bowling briskly along a beautiful 
little valley ; the pellucid waters of a purling brook dance merrily 
alongside an excellent piece of road ; birds are singing merrily in 
the wiUow-trees, and dark rocky crags tower skyward immediately 
around. The lovely little vaUey terminates aU too soon, for in fifteen 
minutes I am footing it up another mountain ; but it proves to be 
the entrance gate of a region containing grander pine-clad mountain 
scenery than anything encountered outside the Sierra Nevadas ; in 
fact the famous scenery of Cape Horn, California, almost finds its 
counterpart at one particular point I traverse this morning ; only 
instead of a Central Pacific Railway winding around the gray old 
crags and precipices, the enterprising Sivas Vali has built an araba 
road. One can scarce resist the temptation of wheeling down some 
of the less precipitous slopes, but it is sheer indiscretion, for the 
roadway makes sharp turns at points where to continue straight 



390 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

ahead a few feet too far would launch one into eternity ; a broken 
brake, a wild "coast" of a thousand feet through mid-air into the 
dark depths of a rocky gorge, and the "tour around the world" 
would abruptly terminate. 

For a dozen miles I traverse a tortuous road winding its way 
among wild mountain gorges and dark pine forests ; Circassian 
horsemen are occasionally encountered : it seems the most appropri- 
ate place imaginable for robbers, and I have again been cautioned 
against these freebooting mountaineers at Sivas. They eye me cu- 
riously, and generally halt after they have passed, and watch my 
progress for some minutes. Once I am overtaken by a couple of 
them ; they follow close behind me up a mountain slope ; they are 
heavily armed and look capable of anything, and I plod along, men- 
tally calculating how to best encompass their destruction with the 
Smith & Wesson, without coming to grief myself, should their inten- 
tions toward me prove criminal. It is not exactly comfortable or 
reassuring to have two armed horsemen, of a people who are regarded 
with universal fear and mistrust by everybody around them, following 
close upon one's heels, with the disadvantage of not being able to 
keep an eye on their movements ; however, they have little to say ; 
and as none of them attempt any interference, it is not for me to 
make insinuations against them on the barren testimony of their 
outward appearance and the voluntary opinions of their neighbors. 
My route now leads up a rocky ravine, the road being fairly under 
cover of over-arching rocks at times, thence over a billowy region of 
mountain summits — an elevated region of pine-clad ridges and rocky 
peaks — to descend again into a cultivated country of undulating hills 
and dales, checkered with fields of grain. These low rolling hills 
appear to be in a higher state of cultivation than any district I have 
traversed in Asia Minor ; from points of vantage the whole country 
immediately around looks like a swelling sea of golden grain ; har- 
vesting is going merrily on ; men and women are reaping side by 
side in the fields, and the songs of the women come floating through 
the air from all directions. They are Armenian peasants, for I am 
now in Armenia proper ; the inhabitants of this particular locahty 
impress me as a light hearted, industrious people ; they have an 
abundant harvest, and it is a pleasure to stand and see them reap, 
and listen to the singing of the women ; moreover they ai-e more 
respectably clothed than the lower, class natives round about them, 
barring, of course, our unfathomable acquaintances, the Circassians. 



THROUGH THE SIVAS VILAYET INTO ARMENIA. 



391 



Toward tlie eastern exti-emity of this peaceful, happy scene is 
the village of Kaehahui-da, which I reach soon after noon, and where 
resides Mtidura Ghana, to whom I bring a letter. Picturesquely 
speaking, Kachahurda is a disgrace to the neighborhood in which it 
stands ; its mud hovels are combined cow-pens, chicken-coops, and 
human habitations, and they are bunched up together without any 




Apprehensive of Danger. 



pretence to order or regularity ; yet the light-hearted, decently-clad 
people, whose songs come floating from the harvest-fields, live con- 
tentedly in this and other equally wretched villages round about. 
Mtidura Ghana provides me with a repast of bread and yaort, and 
endeavors to make my brief halt comfortable. WhUe I am dis- 
cussing these refreshments, himself and another unwashed, unkempt 
old party come to high, angry words about me ; but whatever it is 
about I haven't the slightest idea. Mine host seems a regular old 



392 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN, 

savage when angry. He is the happy possessor of a pair of powerful 
lungs, which ai-e ably seconded by a fog-horn voice, and he howls at 
the other man like an enraged bull. The other man doesn't seem to 
mind it, though, and keeps up his end of the controversy — or what- 
ever it is — in a comparatively cool and aggravating manner, that 
seems to feed MMura Ghana's righteous wrath, until I quite expect 
to see that outraged person reach down one of the swords off the 
wall and hack his opponent into sausage-meat. Once I venture to 
inquire, as far as one can inquire by pantomime, what they are quar- 
relling so violently about me for, being reaUy inquisitive to find out. 
They both immediately cease hostilities to assure me that it is nothing 
for which I am in any way personally responsible ; and then they 
straightway fall to glaring savagely at each other again, and renew 
their vocal warfare more vigorously, if anything, from having just 
drawn a peaceful breath. Mine host of Kachahurda can scarcely be 
called a very civilized or refined individual ; he has neither the gentle 
kindliness of Kirkoragha Tartarian, nor the dignified, gentlemanly 
bearing of Tifticjeeoghlou Effendi ; but he grabs a cluli, and roaring 
like the hoarse whistle of a Mississippi steamboat, chases a crowd of 
villagers out of the room who venture to come in on purpose to stare 
rudely at his guest ; and for this charitable action alone he deserves 
much credit ; nothing is so annoying as to have these unwashed 
crowds standing gazing and commenting while one is eating. A 
man is sent with me to direct me aright where the road forks, a 
mile or so from the village ; from the forks it is a newly made road, 
in fact, unfinished ; it resembles a ploughed field for looseness and 
depth ; and when, in addition to this, one has to climb a gradient of 
twenty metres to the hundred, a bicycle is anything but a comforting 
thing to possess. 

The country becomes broken and more mountainous than ever, 
and the road winds about fearfully. Often a part of the road that 
is but a mUe away as the crow flies requires an hour's steady going 
to reach it ; but the mountain scenery is glorious. Occasionally I 
round a point, or reach a summit, from whence a magnificent and 
comprehensive view bursts upon the vision, and it really requires an 
effort to tear one's self away, realizing that in all probabUity I shall 
never see it again. At one point I seem to be overlooking a vast 
amphitheatre which encompasses within itself the physical geog- 
raphy of a continent. It is traversed by whole mountain-ranges of 
lesser degree ; it contains tracts of stony desert and fertile valley, 



THROUGH THE SIVAS VILAYET INTO ARMENIA. 393 

lakes, and a river, not excepting even the completing element of a 
fine forest, and encompassing it round about, like an impenetrable 
palisade protecting it against invasion, are scores of grand old 
mountains — grim sentinels that nothing can overcome. The road, 
though still among the mountains, is now descending in a general 
way from the elevated divide, down toward Enderes and/ the valley 
of the Gevmeili Chai River ; and toward evening I enter an Arme- 
nian village. 

The custom from here eastward appears to be to have the 
threshing-floors in or near the village ; there are sometimes several 
different floors, and when they are winnowing the grain on windy 
days the whole village becomes covered with an inch or two of 
chaff. I am glad to find these threshing-floors in the villages, be- 
cause they give me an excellent opportunity to ride and satisfy the 
people, thus saving me no end of worry and annoyance. 

The air becomes chilly after sundown, and I am shown Lato a 
close room containing one smaU air-hole, and am provided with a 
quUt and piUow. Later in the evening a Turkish Bey arrives with 
an escort of zaptiehs and occupies the same apartment, which would 
seem to be a room especially provided for the accommodation of 
travellers. The moment the officer arrives, behold, there is a hurry- 
ing to and fro of the villagers to sweep out the room, kindle a 
fire to brew his coffee, and to bring him water and a vessel for his 
ablutions before saying his evening prayers. Cringing servility 
characterizes the demeanor of these Armenian villagers toward the 
Turkish officer, and their hurrying hither and thither to supply him 
ere they are asked looks to me wonderfully like a "propitiating of 
the gods." The Bey himself seems to be a pretty good sort of a 
fellow, offering me a portion of his supper, consisting of bread, 
olives, and onions ; which, however, I decline, having already ordered 
eggs and pillau of a villager. The Bey's company is highly accept- 
able, since it saves me from the annoyance of being surrounded by 
the usual ragged, unwashed crowd during the evening, and secures 
me a refreshing sleep, undisturbed by visions of purloined straps 
or moccasins. He appears to be a very pious Mussulman ; after 
washing his head, hands, and feet, he kneels toward Mecca on the 
wet towel, and prays for nearly twenty minutes by my timepiece ; 
and his sighs of Allah ! are wonderfully deep-fetched, coming appar- 
ently from clear down in his stomach. While he is thus devotion- 
ally engaged, his two zaptiehs stand respectfully by, and divide their 



394 FKOM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

time between eying myself and the bicycle with wonder and the 
Bey with mingled reverence and awe. 

At early dawn I steal noiselessly away, to avoid disturbing the 
peaceful slumbers of the Bey. For several miles my road winds 
around among the foot-hills of the range I crossed yesterday, but 
following a gradually widening depression, which finally terminates 
in the Gevmeili Chai Valley ; and directly ahead and below me lies 
the considerable town of Enderes, surrounded by a broad fringe of 
apple-orchards, and walnut and jujube groves. Here I obtain a 
substantial breakfast of Turkish kabobs (tid-bits of mutton, spitted 
on a skewer, and broiled over a charcoal fire) at a public eating khan, 
after which the inudir kindly undertakes to explain to me the best 
route to Erzingan, giving me the names of several villages to inquire 
for as a guidance. While talking to the mudir, Mr. Pronatti, an 
Italian engineer in the employ of the Sivas Vali, makes his appear- 
ance, shakes hands, reminds me that Italy has recently volunteered 
assistance to England in the Soudan campaign, and then conducts 
me to his quarters in another part of the town. Mr. Pronatti can 
speak almost any language but English ; I speak next to nothing but 
English ; nevertheless, we manage to converse quite readily, for, be- 
sides proficiency in pantomimic language acquired by daily practice, 
I have necessarily picked up a few scattering words of the vernac- 
ular of the several countries traversed on the tour. While discussing 
a nice ripe water-melon with this gentleman, several respectable- 
looking people enter and introduce themselves through Mr. Pronatti 
as Osmanli Turks, not Armenians, expecting me to regard them 
more favorably on that account. Soon afterward a party of Arme- 
nians arrive, and take labored pains to impress upon me that they 
are not Turks, but Christian Armenians. Both parties seem de- 
sirous of winning my favorable opinion. One party thinks the 
surest plan is to let me know that they are Turks ; the others, to let 
me know that they are not Turks. " I have told both parties to go 
to Gehenna," says my Italian friend. " These people will worry 
you to death with their foolishness if you make the mistake of 
treating them with consideration." 

Donning an Indian pith-helmet that is three sizes too lai-ge, and 
wellnigh conceals his features, Mr. Pronatti orders his horse, and 
accompanies me some distance out, to put me on the proper course 
to Erzingan. My route from Enderes leads along a lovely fertile 
valley, between lofty mountain i-anges ; an intricate net-work of irri- 



THROUGH THE SIVAS VILAYET INTO ARMENIA. 395 

gating ditches, fed by mountain streams, affords an abundance of 
water for wheat-fields, vineyai-ds, and orchards ; it is the best, and 
yet the worst watered valley I ever saw — the best, because the irri- 
gating ditches are so numerous ; the worst, because most of them 
are overflowing and converting my road into mud-holes and shallow 
pools. In the afternoon I reach somewhat higher ground, where 
the road becomes firmer, and I bowl merrily along eastward, inter- 
rupted by nothing save the necessity of dismounting and shedding 
my nether garments every few minutes to ford a broad, swift feeder 
to the lesser ditches lower down the valley. In this fructiferous 
vale my road sometimes leads through areas of vineyards surrounded 
by low mud walls, where grapes can be had for the reaching, and 
where the proprietor of an orchard will shake down a shower of deli- 
cious yellow pears for whatever you like to give him, or for nothing 
if one wants him to. . I suppose these villagers have established 
prices for their commodities when dealing with each other, but they 
almost invariably refuse to charge me anything ; some will absolutely 
refuse any payment, and my only plan of recompensing them is to 
give money to the children ; others accept, with as great a show of 
gratitude as if I were simply giving it to them without having re- 
ceived an equivalent, whatever I choose to give. 

The numerous irrigating ditches have retarded my progress to 
an appreciable extent to-daj', so that, notwithstanding the early start 
and the absence of mountain-climbing, my cyclometer registers but 
a gain of thirty-seven miles, when, having continued my eastward 
course for some time after nightfall, and failing to reach a village, 
I commence looking around for somewhere to spend the night. The 
valley of the Gevmeili Chai has been left behind, and I am again 
traversing a narrow, rocky pass between the hills. Among the rocks 
I discover a small open cave, in which I determine to spend the night. 
The region is elevated, and the night air chilly ; so I gather together 
some dry weeds and rubbish and kindle a fire. With something to 
cook and eat, and a pair of blankets, I could have spent a reasonably 
comfortable night ; but a pocketful of pears has to suffice for sup- 
per, and when the imsubstantial fuel is burned away, my airy cham- 
ber on the bleak mountain-side and the thin cambric tent affords 
little protection from the insinuating chilliness of the night an-. 
Variety is said to be the spice of life ; no doubt it is, under certain 
conditions, but I think it all depends on the conditions whether it 
is spicy or not spicy. For instance, the vicissitudes of fortune that 



396 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

favor me with bread and sour milk for dianer, a few pears for sup- 
XDer, and a wakeful night of shivering discomfort in a cave, as the 
reward of wading fifty irrigating ditches and traversing thirty miles 
of ditch-bedevUled donkey-trails during the day, may look spicy, 
and even romantic, from a distance ; but when one wakes up in a 
cold shiver about 1.30 a.m. and realizes that several hours of wretch- 
edness are before him, his waking thoughts are apt to be anything 
but thoughts compHmentary of the spiciness of the situation, 
lushallah ! fortune will favor me with better dues to-morrow ; and 
if not to-morrow, then the next day, or the next. 



CHAPTER XVII. 

THROUGH ERZINGAN AND BRZEROTJM. 

For mile after mile, on the following morning, my route leads 
through broad areas strewn with bowlders and masses of rock that 
appear to have been brought down from the adjacent moimtains 
by the annual spring floods, caused by the melting winter's snows ; 
scattering wheat-fields are observed here and there on the higher 
patches of ground, which look like small yellow oases amid the des- 
ert-like area of loose rocks surrounding them. Squads of diminu- 
tive donkeys are seen picking their weary way through the bowl- 
ders, toiling from the isolated fields to the village threshing-floors 
beneath small mountains of wheat-sheaves. Sometimes the don- 
keys themselves are invisible below the general level of the bowl- 
ders, and nothing is to be seen but the head and shoulders of 
a man, persuading before him several animated heaps of straw. 
Small lakes of accumulated surface-water are passed in depressions 
having no outlet ; thickets and bulrushes are growing around the 
edges, and the surfaces of some are fairly black with multitudes of 
wUd-ducks. Soon I reach an Armenian village ; after satisfying the 
popular curiosity by riding around their threshing-floor, they bring 
me some excellent wheat-bread, thick, oval cakes that are quite ac- 
ceptable, compared with the wafer-like sheets of the past several 
days, and five boiled eggs. The people providing these wiU not 
accept any direct payment, no doubt thinking my having provided 
them with the only real entertainment most of them ever saw, a 
fair equivalent for their breakfast ; but it seems too much like rob- 
bing paupers to accept anything from these people without return- 
ing something, so I give money to the children. These villagers 
seem utterly destitute of manners, standing around and watching 
my efforts to eat soft-boiled eggs with a pocket-knife with undis- 
guised merriment. I inquire for a spoon, but they evidently pre- 
fer to extract amusement from watching my interesting attempts 
with the pocket-knife. One of them finally fetches a clumsy 



398 



FROM SAN FRANCISCO Ta TEHERAN. 



wooden ladle, three times broader than an egg, which, of course, 
is worse than nothing. 

I now traverse a mountainous country with a remarkably clear 
atmosphere. The mountains are of a Ught cream-colored shaly 
composition ; wherever a living stream of water is found, there also 
is a village, with clusters of trees. From points where a compre- 
hensive view is obtainable the effect of these dark-green spots, 
scattered here and there among the whitish hiUs, seen through the 
clear, rarefied atmosphere, is most beautiful. It seems a peculiar 
feature of everything in the East — not only the cities themselves, 

but even of the land- 
scape — to look beauti- 
ful and enchanting at 
a distance ; but upon a 
closer approach all its 
beauty vanishes like 
an illusory dream. 
Spots that from a dis- 
tance look, amid their 
barren, sun-blistered 
surroundings, like 
lovely bits of fairy- 
land, upon closer in- 
vestigation degenerate 
into wretched habita- 
tions of a ragged, pov- 
erty-stricken people, 
having about them a 
few neglected orchards and vineyards, and a couple of dozen strag- 
gling wiUows and jujubes. 

For many hours agaia to-day I am traversing mountains, moun- 
tains, nothing but mountains ; following tortuous camel-paths far 
up their giant slopes. Sometimes these camel-paths are splendidly 
smooth, and make most excellent riding. At one place, particularly, 
where they wind horizontally around the mountain-side, hundreds 
of feet above a village immediately below, it is as though the vil- 
lagers were in the pit of a vast amphitheatre, and myself were 
wheeling around a semicircular platform, five hundred feet above 
tliem, but in plain view of them all. I can hear the wonder-struck 
villagers calling each other's attention to the strange apparition. 




The Armenian Egg-spoon. 



THROUGH KRZINGAN AND ERZEEOUM. 399 

and can observe them swarming upon tlie house-tops. What won- 
derful stories the inhabitants of this particular village will have to 
recount to their neighbors, of this marvellous sight, concerning 
which their own unaided minds can give no explanation ! 

Noontide comes and goes without bringing me any dinner," 
when I emerge upon a small, cultivated plateau, and descry a co- 
terie of industrious females reaping together in a field near by, and 
straightway turn my footsteps thitherward with a view of ascer- 
taining whether they happen to have any eatables. No sooner do 
they observe me trundling toward them than they ingloriously flee 
the field, thoughtlessly leaving bag and baggage to the tender 
mercies of a ruthless invader. Among their effects I find some 
bread and a cucumber, which I forthwith confiscate, leaving a two 
and a half piastre metallique piece in its stead ; the afEi-ighted women 
are watching me from the safe distance of three hundred yards ; 
when they return and discover the coin they will wish some 'cycler 
would happen along and frighten them away on similar conditions 
every day. Later in the afternoon I find myself wandering along 
the wrong trail ; not a very unnatural occurrence hereabout, for 
since leaving the valley of the Gevmeili Chai, it has been difiicult 
to distinguish the Erzingan trail from the numerous other trails 
intersecting the country in every direction. On such a journey as 
this one seems to acquire a certain amount of instinct concerning 
roads ; certain it is, that I never traverse a wrong trail any dis- 
tance these days ere, without any tangible evidence whatever, I feel 
instinctively that I am going astray. A party of camel-drivers 
direct me toward the lost Erzingan trail, and in an hour I am fol- 
lowing a tributary of the ancient Lycus Eiver, along a valley where 
evei-ything looks marvellously green and refreshing ; it is as though 
I have been suddenly transferred into an entirely different country. 

This innovation from barren rocks and sun-baked shale to a 
valley where the principal crops seem to be alfalfa and clover, and 
which is flanked on the south by dense forests of pine, encroaching 
downward from the mountain slopes clear on to the level green- 
sward, is rather an agreeable surprise ; the secret of the magic 
change does not remain a secret long ; it reveals itself in the shape 
of sundry broad snow-patches still lingering on the summits of a 
higher mountain range beyond. These pine forests, the pleasant 
greensward, and the lingering snow-banks, tell an oft-repeated 
tale ; they speak eloquently of forests preserved and the winter 



400 FROM SAN FEANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

snow-fall tliereby increased ; they speak all the more eloquently 
because of being surrounded by barren, parched-up hills which, 
under like conditions, might produce similar happy results, but 
which now produce nothing. While traversing this smiling valley 
I meet a man asleep on a buffalo ardba ; an irrigating ditch runs 
parallel with the road and immediately alongside ; the meek-eyed 
buffaloes swerve into the ditch in deference to their awe of the 
bicycle, and upset their drowsy driver into the water. The man 
evidently stands in need of a bath, but somehow he doesn't seem 
to appreciate it ; perhaps it happened a trifle too impromptu, as it 
were, to suit his easy-going Asiatic temperament. He returns my 
rude, unsympathetic smile with a prolonged stare of bewilderment, 
but says nothing. 

Soon I meet a boy riding on a donkey, and ask him the postaya 
distance to Erzingan ; the youth looks frightened half out of his 
senses, but manages to retain sufficient presence of mind to elevate 
one finger, by which I understand him to mean that it is one hour, 
or about four miles. Accordingly I pedal perseveringly ahead, 
hoping to reach the city before dusk, at the same time feeling 
rather surprised at finding it so near, as I haven't been expecting 
to reach there before to-morrow. Five miles beyond where I met 
the boy, and just after sundown, I overtake some katir-jees en route 
to Erzingan with donkey-loads of grain, and ask them the same 
question. Prom them I learn that instead of one, it is not less 
than twelve hours distant, also that the trail leads over a fearfully 
mountainous country. Nestling at the base of the mountains, a 
short distance to the northward, is the large village of Merriserriff, 
and not caring to tempt the fates into giving me another supper- 
less night in a cold, cheerless cave, I wend my way thither. 

Fortune throws me into the society of an Armenian whose chief 
anxiety seems to be, first, that I shall thoroughly understand that 
he is an Armenian, and not a Mussulman ; and, secondly, to hasten 
me into the presence of the mudir, who is a Mussulman, and a 
Turkish Bey, in order that he may bring himself into the mudir s 
favorable notice by personally introducing me as a rare novelty on 
to his (the mudir's) threshing-floor. The official and a few friends 
are sipping coffee in one corner of the threshing floor, and, al- 
though I don't much relish my position of the Armenian's puppet- 
show, I give the mudir an exhibition of the bicycle's use, in the 
expectation that he will invite me to remain his guest over night. 



THEOUGII EEZINGAN AND ERZEROUM. 401 

He proves uncourteous, however, not even inviting me to partake 
of coffee ; evidently, he has become so thoroughly accustomed to 
the abject servility of the Armenians about him — -who would never 
think of expecting reciprocating courtesies from a social superior 
— that he has unconsciously come to regard everybody else, save 
those whom he knows as his official superiors, as tarred, more or 
less, with the same feather. In consequence of this belief I am 
not a little gratified when, upon the point of leaving the threshing- 
floor, an occasion offers of teaching him different. 

Other friends of the mudir's appear upon the scene just as I am 
leaving, and he beckons me to come back and bin for the enlighten- 
ment of the new arrivals. The Armenian's cotintenance fairly beams 
with importance at thus being, as it were, encored, and the collected 
villagers murmur their approval ; but I answer the mudir's beck- 
oned invitation by a negative wave of the hand, signifying that I 
can't bother with him any further. The common herd around re- 
gard this self-assertive reply with open-mouthed astonishment, as 
though quite too incredible for belief ; it seems to them an act of 
almost criminal discourtesy, and those immediately about me seem 
almost inclined to take me back to the threshing-floor like a cul- 
prit. But the mudir himself is not such a blockhead but that he 
realizes the mistake he has made. He is too proud to acknowledge 
it, though ; consequently his friends miss, perhaps, the only op- 
portunity in their uneventful Hves of seeing a bicycle ridden. 

Owing to my ignorance of the vernacular, I am compelled to 
drift more or less with the tide of circumstances about me, upon 
entering one of these ^dllages, for accommodation, and make the 
best of whatever capricious chance provides. My Armenian "man- 
ager " now delivers me into the hands of one of his compatriots, 
from whom I obtain supper and a quilt, sleeping, from a not over 
extensive choice, on some straw, beneath the broad eaves of a log 
granary adjoining the house. 

I am for once quite mistaken in making an early, breakfastless 
start, for it proves to be eighteen weary miles over a rocky moun- 
tain pass before another human habitation is reached, a region of 
jagged rocks, deep gorges, and scattered pines. Fortunately, how- 
ever, I am not destined to travel the whole eighteen miles in a 
breakfastless condition — not quite a breakfastless condition. Per- 
haps half the distance is traversed, when, while trundUng up the 
ascent, I meet a party of horsemen, a turbaned old Turk, with an 
2G 



402 FUOJI SAW FEANCISCO TO TEIIEEAW. 

escort of three zaptiehs, and another traveller, who is keeping pace 
with them for company and safety. The old Turk asks me to bin 
bacaleni, supplementing the request by calling my attention to his 
turban, a gorgeously spangled affair that would seem to indicate 
the wearer to be a personage of some importance ; I observe, also, 
that the butt of his revolver is of pearl inlaid with gold, another 
indication of either rank or opulence. Having turned about and 
granted his request, I in turn call his attention to the fact that 
mountain climbing on an empty stomach is anything but satisfac- 
tory or agreeable, and give him a broad hint by inquiring how far 
it is before elcviek is obtainable. For reply, he orders a zaptieh to 
produce a wheaten cake from his saddle-bags, and the other trav- 
eller voluntarily contributes three apples, which he ferrets out from 
the ample folds of his kammerbund and off this I make a breakfast. 

Toward noon, the highest elevation of the pass is reached, and I 
commence the descent toward the Erzingan Valley, following for a 
number of miles the course of a tributary of the western fork of 
the Euphrates, known among the natives in a general sense as the 
"Prat; "this particular branch is locally termed the Kara Su, or 
black water. The stream and my road lead down a rocky defile 
between towering hUls of rock and slaty formation, whose precipi- 
tous slopes vegetable nature seems to shun, and everything looks 
black and desolate, as though some blighting curse had fallen upon 
the place. Up this same rocky passage-way, eight summers ago, 
swarmed thousands of wretched refugees from the seat of war in 
Eastern Armenia ; small oblong mounds of loose rocks and bowl- 
ders are frequently observed all down the ravine, mournful re- 
minders of one of the most heartrending phases of the Ai'menian 
campaign ; green lizards are scuttling about among the mde 
graves, making their habitations in the oblong mounds. 

About two o'clock I arrive at a road-side khan, where an ancient 
Osmanli dispenses feeds of grain for travellers' animals, and brews 
noffee for the travellers themselves, besides furnishing them with 
whatever he happens to possess in the way of eatables to such as 
are unfortunately obliged to patronize his cuisine or go ■without any- 
thing ; among this latter class belongs, unhappily, my hungry self. 
Upon inquiring for refreshments tlie khan-jee conducts me to a rear 
apartment and exhibits for my inspection the contents of two jars, 
one containing the native idea of butter and the other the native 
conception of a soft variety of cheese ; what difference is discover- 



THROUGH EEZINGAN AND EEZEEOUM. 



403 



able between these two kiudred products is chiefly a difference in 
the degxee of rancidity and odoriferousness, in which respect the 
cheese plainly carries off the honors ; in fact these venerable and 
esteemable qualities of the cheese are so remarkably developed 
that after one cautious peep into its receptacle I forbear to inves- 
tigate their comparative excellencies any further ; but obtaining 
some bread and a portion of the comparatively mild and inoffensive 
butter, I proceed to make the best of circumstances. The old 
khan-jee proves himself a thoughtful, considerate landlord, for as 

I eat he busies himself 
picking the most glar- 
ingly conspicuous hairs 
out of my butter ^vith 
the point of his dagger. 
One is usually somewhat 
squeamish regarding 
hirsute butter, but all 
such little refinements of 




>.Hf 



The Native Idea of Butter. 




civilized life as hairless butter or strained milk have to be winked 
at to a greater or less extent in Asiatic travelling, especially when 
depending solely on what happens to turn up from one meal to an- 
other. 

The narrow, lonely defile continues for some miles eastward 
from the khan, and ere I emerge from it altogether I encounter a 
couple of ill-starred natives, who venture upon an effort to intimi"- 
date me into yielding up my purse. A certain Mahmoud Ali 
and his band of enterprising freebooters have been terrorizing the 
^•illa"■ers and committing highway robberies of late around the 
country ; but from the general appearance of these two, as they 



404 



FROM SAW FRANCISCO TO TEIIEKAW. 



approach, I take them to be merely villagers returning home from 
Erzingan afoot. They are armed with Circassian guardless swords 
and flint-lock horse-pistols ; upon meeting they address some ques- 
tion to me in Turkish, to which I make my customary reply of 
Turkchi hinmus ; one of them then demands para (money) in a 
manner that leaves something of a doubt whether he means it for 
begging, or is ordering me to deliver. In order to the better dis- 
cover their intentions, I pretend not to understand, whereupon 




" stand and Deliver ! ' 



the spokesman reveals their meaning plain enough by reiterating 
the demand in a tone meant to be intimidating, and half unsheaths 
his sword in a significant manner. Intuitively the precise situa- 
tion of affairs seems to reveal itself in a moment ; they are but or- 
dinarily inoffensive villagers returning from Erzingan, where they 
have sold and squandered even the donkeys they rode to town ; 
meeting me alone, and, as they think in the absence of outward 
evidence that I am unarmed, they have become possessed of the 
idea of retrieving their fortunes by intimidating me out of money. 



TIIR0D6II EKZINGAN AND ERZEKOUM. 405 

Never were men more astonished and taken aback at finding me 
armed, and they- both turn pale and fairly shiver with fright 
as I produce the Smith & Wesson from its inconspicuous position 
at my hip, and hold it on a level with the bold spokesman's head ; 
they both look as if they expected their last hour had arrived and 
both seem incapable either of utterance or of running away ; in 
fact, their embarrassment is so ridiculous that it provokes a smile 
and it is with anything but a threatening or angrj' voice that I bid 
them liaidy ! The bold highwaymen seem only too thankful of a 
chance to "haidij," and they look quite confused, and I fancy even 
ashamed of themselves, as they betake themselves off up the ravine. 
I am quite as thankful as themselves at getting off without the 
necessity of using my revolver, for had I killed or badly wounded 
one of them it would probably have caused no end of trouble 
or vexatious delay, esj)ecially in case they prove to be what 
I take them for, instead of professional robbers ; moreover, I 
might not have gotten off unscathed myself, for while their ancient 
flint-locks were in all probability not even loaded, being worn 
more for appearances by the native than anything else, these fel- 
lows sometimes do desperate work with their ugly and ever-handy 
swords when cornered up, in proof of which w^e have the late das- 
tardly assault on the British Consul at Erzeroum, of which we 
shall doubtless hear the particulars upon reaching that city. 

Before long the ravine terminates, and I emerge upon the broad 
and smiling Erzingau Valley ; at the lower extremity of the ravine 
the stream has cut its channel through an immense depth of con- 
glomerate formation, a hundred feet of bowlders and pebbles ce- 
mented together by integrant particles which appear to have been 
washed down from the mountains — probably during the subsidence 
of the deluge, for even if that great catastrophe were a comparatively 
local occurrence, instead of a universal flood, as some profess to be- 
lieve, we are now gradually creeping up toward Ararat, so that this 
particular region was undoubtedly submerged. What appear to 
be petrified chunks of wood are interspersed through the mass. 
There is nothing newunder the sun, they say ; peradventure they may 
be sticks of cooking-stove wood indignantly cast out of the kitchen 
window of the ark by Mrs. Noah, because the absent-minded patri- 
arch habitually persisted in cutting them three inches too long for 
the stove ; who knows ? I now wheel along a smooth, level road 
leadin" through several orchai-d-environed villages; general cul- 



406 FEOM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

tivation and an atmosphere of peace and plenty seems to pervade 
the valley, which, with its scattering villages amid the foliage of 
their orchards, looks most charming upon emerging from the 
gloomy environments of the rock-ribbed and verdureless ravine ; a 
fitting background is presented on the south by a mountain- chain 
of considerable elevation, upon the highest peaks of which still 
linger tardy patches of snow. 

Since the occupation of Kars by the Russians the military 
mantle of that important fortress has fallen upon Erzeroum and 
Erzingan ; the booming of cannon fired in honor of the Sultan's 
birthday is awakening the echoes of the rock-ribbed mountains as 
I wheel eastward down the valley, and within about three miles of 
the city I pass the headquarters of the garrison. Long rows of 
hundreds of white field-tents are ranged about the position on the 
level greensward ; the place presents an animated scene, with the 
soldiers, some in the ordinary blue, trimmed with red, others in cool, 
white uniforms especially provided for the summer, but which they 
are not unlikely to be found also wearing in winter, owing to the 
ruinous state of the Ottoman exchequer, and one and all wearing 
the picturesque but uncomfortable fez ; cannons are booming, 
drums beating, and bugles playing. From the mihtary headquarters 
to the city is a splendid broad macadam, converted into a magnifi- 
cent avenue by rows of trees ; it is a general holiday with the mil- 
itary, and the avenue is alive with officers and soldiers going and 
returning between Erzingan and the camp. The astonishment of 
the valiant warriors of Islam aa I wheel briskly down the thronged 
avenue can be better imagined than described ; the soldiers whom 
I pass immediately commence j'elling at their comrades ahead to 
call their attention, while epauletted officers forget for the moment 
their military dignity and reserve as they turn their affrighted 
chargers around and gaze after me, stupefied with astonishment ; 
perhaps they are wondering whether I am not some supernatural 
being connected in some way with the celebration of the Sultan's 
birthday — a winged messenger, perhaps, from the Prophet. 

Upon reaching the city I repair at once to the large custom- 
house caravanserai and engage a room for the night The pro- 
prietor of the rooms seems a sensible fellow, with nothing of the 
inordinate inquisitiveness of the average native about him, and 
instead of throwing the weight of his influence and his persuasive 
powers on the side of the importuning crowd, he authoritatively 



THJtOUGH EKZINGAN AND EUZEEOUM. 407 

bids them "haidy! " locks the bicycle iu my room, and gives me the 
key. The Erzingan caravanserai — and aU these caravanserais are 
essentially similar — is a square court-yard surrounded by the four 
sides of a two-storied brick building ; the ground-floor is occupied 
by the ofSces of the importers of foreign goods and the custom- 
house authorities ; the upper floor is divided into small rooms for 
the accommodation of travellers and caravan men arriving with 
goods from Trebizond. Sallying forth in search of supper, I am 
taken in tow by a couple of Armenians, who volunteer the Welcome 
information that there is an " Americanish hakim" in the city; 
this intelligence is an agreeable surprise, for Erzeroum is the near- 
est place in which I have been expecting to find an English-speak- 
ing person. "While searching about for the hakim, we pass near 
the zaptie.h headquarters ; the officers are enjoying their nargileh 
iu the cool evening air outside the building, and seeing an Eng- 
lishman, beckon us over. They desire to examine my leskeri, the 
first occasion on which it has been ofiScially demanded since land- 
ing at Ismidt, although I have voluntarily produced it on previous 
occasions, and at Sivas requested the Vali to attach his seal and 
signature ; this is owing to the proximity of Erzingan to the Rus- 
sian frontier, and the suspicions that any stranger may be a sub- 
ject of the Czar, visiting the military centres for sinister reasons. 
They send an officer with me to hunt up the resident pasha ; that 
worthy and enhghtened personage is found busily engaged in 
playing a game of chess with a military officer, and barely takes 
the trouble to glance at the proffered passport: "It is vised by 
the Sivas Vali," he says, and lackadaisically waves us adieu. Upon 
returning to the zaptieh station, a quiet, unassuming American 
comes forward and introduces himself as Dr. Van Nordau, a physi- 
cian formerly connected with the Persian mission. The doctor is 
a spare-built and not over-robust man, and would perhaps be con- 
sidered by most people as a trifle eccentric ; instead of being con- 
nected with any missionary organization, he nowadays wanders 
hither and thither, acquiring knowledge and seeking whom he can 
persuade from the error of their ways, meanwhile sujDporting him- 
self by the practice of his profession. Among other interesting 
things spoken of, he tells me something of his recent, journej' to 
Kbiva (the doctor pronounces it "Heevah") ; he was surprised, he 
says, at finding the Khivans a mild-mannered and harmless sort of 
people, among whom the carrying of weapons is as mach the ex- 



408 



FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 



ception as it is the rule in Asiatic Turkey. Doubtless the fact of 
Khiva being under the Russian Government has something to do 
with the latter otherwise unaccountable fact. 

After supper we sit down on a newly arrived bale of Manchester 
calico in the caravanserai court, cross one knee and whittle chips 
like Michigan grangers at a cross-roads post-office, and spend two 
hours conversing on different topics. The good doctor's mind 




The Pasha was Playing Chess. 



V^S-vxV 



wanders as naturally into serious channels as water gravitates to its 
level ; when I inquire if he has heard anything of the whereabout 
of Mahmoud Ali and his gang lately, the pious doctor replies 
chiefly by hinting what a glorious thing it is to feel prepared to 
yield up the ghost at any moment ; and when I recount something 
of my experiences on the journey, instead of giving me credit for 
pluck, like other people, he merely inquires if I don't recog-nize 
the protecting hand of Providence ; native modesty prevents me 



THROUGH EUZINGAN AND EEZEROUM. 409 

telling the doctor of my valuable missionary work at Sivas. After 
the doctor's departure I wander forth into the bazaar to see what it 
looks like after dark ; many of the stalls are closed for the day, 
the principal places remaining open being kahmij-khans and Ar- 
menian wine-shops, and before these petroleum lamps are kept 
burning ; the remainder of the bazaar is in darkness. I have not 
strolled about many minutes before I am corralled as usual by Ar- 
menians ; they straightway send off for a youthful compatriot of 
theirs who has been to the missionary's school at Kaizareah and 
can speak a smattering of EngUsh. After the usual programme of 
questions, they suggest : 

" Being an Englishman, you are of course a Christian," by which 
they mean that I am not a Mussulman. 

" Certainly," I reply ; whereupon they lug me into one of their 
wine-shops aud tender me a glass of raki (a corruption of " arrack " 
— raw, fiery spirits of the kind known among the English soldiers 
in India by the suggestive pseudonym of " fixed bayonets "). 
Smelling the raki, I make a wry face and shove it away ; they 
look surprised and order the waiter to bring cognac ; to save the 
waiter the trouble, I make another wry face, indicative of dis- 
appi-oval, and suggest that he bring vishner-st«. 

"Vishner-su .' " two or three of them sing out in a chorus of 
blank amazement; "Ingilis? Christi-au ? vishner-sit .' " they ex- 
claim, as though such a preposterous and unaccountable thing as a 
Christian partaking of a non-intoxicating beverage like vishner-sw 
is altogether beyond then- comprehension. The youth who has 
been to the Kaizareah school then explains to the others that the 
American missionaries never indulge in intoxicating beverages ; 
this seems to clear away the clouds of their mystification to some 
extent, and they order vishner-su, eying me critically, however, as 
I taste it, as though expecting to observe me make yet another wry 
countenance and acknowledge ' that in refusing the fiery, thi-oat- 
blistering raki I had made a mistake. 

Nothing in the way of bedding or furniture is provided in the 
caravanserai rooms, but the proprietor gets me plenty of quilts, 
and I pass a reasonably comfortable night. In the morning I ob- 
tain breakfast and manage to escape from town without attracting 
a crowd of more than a couple of hundred people ; a remarkable 
occurrence in its way, since Erziugan contains a population of about 
twenty thousand. The road eastward from Erzingan is level, but 



410 FROM SAN FEANCISCO TO TEHEEAN". 

heavy with dust, leading through a low portion of the valley that 
earlier iu the season is swampy, and gives the city an unenviable 
reputation for malarial fevers. To prevent the travellers drinking 
the unwholesome water in this part of the valley, some benevolent 
Mussulman or public-spirited pasha has erected at intervals, by the 
road side, compact mud huts, and placed there in huge earthenware 
vessels, holding perhaps fifty gallons each ; these are kept supplied 
with pure spring- water and provided with a wooden driuking-scoop. 

Fourteen miles from Erzingan, at the entrance to a ravine whence 
flows the boisterous stream that supplies a goodly proportion of the 
irrigating water for the valley, is situated a military outpost station. 
My road runs within two hundred yards of the building, and the 
officers, seeing me evidently intending to pass without stopping, 
motion for me to halt. I know well enough they want to examine 
iny passport, and also to satisfy their curiosity concerning the bi- 
cycle, but determine upon spurting ahead and escaping their bother 
altogether. This movement at once arouses the official suspicion 
as to my being in the country without proper authority, and causes 
them to attach some mysterious significance to my strange vehicle, 
and several soldiers forthwith receive racing orders to intercept me. 
Unfortunately, my spurting receives a prompt check at the stream, 
which is not bridged, and here the doughty warriors intercept my 
progress, taking me into custody with broad grins of satisfaction, 
aa though pretty certain of having made an important capture. 
Since there is no escaping, I conclude to have a little quiet amuse- 
ment out of the affair, anywaj-, so I refuse point-blank to accom- 
pany my captors to their officer, knowing full well that any show 
of reluctance will have the very natural effect of arousing their sus- 
picions still further. 

The bland and childlike soldiers of the Crescent receive this 
show of obstinacy quite complacently, their swarthy countenances 
wreathed in knowing smiles; but' they make no attempt at com- 
pulsion, satisfying themselves with addressing me deferentially as 
"Effendi," and trying to coax me to accompany them. Seeing 
that there is some difficulty about bringing me, the two officers 
come down, and I at once affect righteous indignation of a mild 
order, and desire to know what they mean by arresting my prog- 
ress. They demand my tenkeri in a manner that plainly shows 
their doubts of my having one. The teskeri is produced. One 
of the officers then whispers something to the other, and they both 



TIIKOUGII EKZINGAN AKD EKZEROUM. 411 

glance knowingly mysterious at the bicycle, apologize for having 
detained me, and want to shake hands. Having read the pass- 
port, and satisfied themselves of my nationality, they attach some 
deep mysterious significance to my journey in this incomprehen- 
sible manner up in this particular quarter ; but they no longer 
wish to offer any impediment to my progress, but rather to render 
me assistance. Poor fellows ! how suspicious they are of their 
great overgrown neighbor to the north. "What good-humored fel- 
lows these Turkish soldiers are ! what simple-hearted, overgrown 
children ! What a pity that they are the victims of a criminally in- 
competent government that neither pays, feeds, nor clothes them a 
quarter as well as they deserve ! In the fearful winters of Erze- 
i-oum, they have been known to have no clothing to wear but the 
linen suits provided for the hot weather. Their pay, insignificant 
though it be, is as uncertain as gambling ; but they never raise a 
murmur. Being by nature and religion fatalists, they cheerfully 
accept these undeserved hardships as the will of Allah. 

To-day is the hottest I have experienced in Asia Minor, and 
soon after leaving the outpost I once more encounter the ever- 
lasting mountains, following now the Trebizond and Erzingan car- 
avan trail. Once again I get benighted in the mountains, and push 
ahead for some time after dark. I am beginning to think of camp- 
ing out supperless again when I hear the creaking of a buffalo 
araba some distance ahead. Soon I overtake it, and, following it 
for half a mile off the trail, I find myself before an enclosure of sev- 
eral acres, surrounded by a high stone wall with quite imposing 
gateways. It is the walled village of Houssenbegkhan, one of those 
places built especially for the accommodation of the Trebizond 
caravans in the winter. I am conducted into a large apartment, 
which appears to be set apart for the hospitable accommodation of 
travellers. The apartment is found already occupied by three 
travellers, who, from their outward appearance, might well be taken 
for cutthroats of the worst description ; and the villagers swarm- 
iu"' in, I am soon surrounded by the usual ragged, flea-bitten con- 
gregation. There are various arms and warUke accoutrements 
hanging on the wall, enough of one kind or other to arm a small 
company. They all belong to the three travellers, however ; my 
modest little revolver seems really nothing compared with the war- 
like display of swords, daggers, pistols and guns hanging around ; 
the place looks like a small armory. The first question is— as is 



412 



FROM SAN FRAWCISCO TO TEHERAN. 



usual of late— "Kuss orlngilis?" Some of the younger and less 
experienced men essay to doubt my word, and, on their own sup- 
position that I am a Russian, begin to take unwarrantable liberties 
with my person ; one of them steals up behind and commences 
playing a tattoo on my helmet with two sticks of wood, by way of 
bravado, and showing his contempt for a subject of the Czar. 
Turning round, I take one of the sticks away and chastise him with 
it until he howls for AUah to protect him, and then, without at- 
tempting any sort of explanation to the others, resume my seat ; 
one of the travellers then Solemnly places his forefingers together 
and announces himself as kardash (my brother), at the same time 

j)ointing significantly 
to his choice assort- 
ment of ancient wea- 
pons. I shake hands 
with him and remind 
him that I am some- 
what hungry ; where- 
upon he orders a vil- 
lager to forthwith 
contribute six eggs, 
another butter to fry 
them in, and a third 
bread ; a tezek fire is 
already burning, and 
with his own hands he 
fries the eggs, and 
makes my ragged audience stand at a respectful distance while I 
eat ; if I were to ask him, he would probably clear the room of 
them instanter. About ten o'clock my impromptu, friend and his 
companion order their horses, and buckle their arms and accoutre- 
ments about them to depart; my "brother" stands before me and 
loads up his flintlock rifle ; it is a fearful and wonderful process ; it 
takes him at least two minutes ; he does not seem to know on which 
particular part of his wonderful paraphernalia to find the slugs, the 
powder, or the patching, and he finishes by tearing a piece of rag 
off a by-standing villager to place over the powder in the pan. 
"While he is doing all this, and esj)ecial]y when ramming home the 
bullet, he looks at me as though expecting me to come and pat him 
approvingly on the shoulder. 




' A Russian, am I ? 



THROUGH EKZINGAK AND ERZEKOtTJI. 413 

When they are gone, the third traveller, who is going to remain 
over night; edges up beside me, and pointing to his own imposing 
armory, likewise announces himself as my brother ; thus do I un- 
expectedly acquii'e two brothers withia the brief space of an even- 
ing. 

The villagers scatter to their respective quarters ; quilts are pro- 
vided for me, and a ghostly light is maintained by means of a cup 
of grease and a twisted rag. In one corner of the room is a paunchy 
youngster of ten or twelve summers, whom I noticed during the 
evening as being without a single garment to cover his nakedness ; 
he has partly inserted himself into a large, coarse, nose-bag, and 
lies curled up in that ridiculous position, probably imagining him- 
self in quite comfortable quarters. " Oh, wretched youth ! " I men- 
tally exclaim, "what will you do when that nose-bag has petered 
out ? " and soon afterward I fall asleep, in happy consciousness of 
perfect security beneath the protecting shadow of brother number 
two and his formidable armament of ancient weapons. 

Ten miles of good ridable road from Houssenbegkhan, and I 
again descend into the valley of the west fork of the Euphrates, 
crossing the river on an ancient stone bridge ; I left Houssenbeg- 
khan Ti^-ithout breakfasting, preferring to make my customary early 
start and trust to luck. I am beginning to doubt the propriety of 
having done so, and find myself casting involuntary glances to- 
ward a Koordish camp that is visible some miles to the north of 
my route, when, upon rounding a mountain-spur jutting out into 
the valley, I descry the minaret of Mamakhatoun in the distance 
ahead. A minaret hereabout is a sui-e indication of a town of suffi- 
cient importance to support a public eating-Man, where, if not a 
vei-y elegant, at least a substantial mefd is to be obtained. I ob- 
tain an acceptable breakfast of kabobs and boiled sheeps'-trotters ; 
killing two birds with one stone by satisf j-ing my own appetite and 
at the same time giving a first-class entertainment to a khan-tul of 
wonderiug-eyed people, by eating with the khan-jee's carving-knife 
and fork in preference to my fingers. Here, as at Houssenbeg- 
khan, there is a splendid, lai-ge caravanserai ; here it is buUt chiefly 
of hewn stone, and almost massive enough for a fortress ; this is a 
mountainous, elevated i-egion, where the winters ai-e stormy and 
severe, and these commodious and substantial retreats are abso- 
lutely necessary for the safety of Erzingan and Trebizond cai-a- 
vans during the winter-. 



414 FROM RAN rEANCISCO TO TEHEEAM". 

The country now continues hilly rather than mountainous. 
The road is generally too heavy with sand and dust, churned up 
by the Erzingan mule-caravans, to admit of riding wherever the 
grade is unfavorable ; but much good wheeling surface is encoun- 
tered on long, gentle declivities and comparatively level stretches. 
During the forenoon I meet a company of three splendidly armed 
and mounted Circassians ; they remain speechless with astonish- 
ment until I have passed beyond their hearing ; they then con- 
clude among themselves that I am something needing investiga- 
tion ; they come galloping after me, and having caught up, their 
spokesman gravely delivers himself of the solitary monosyllable, 
"Euss?" "Ingilis,"! reply, and they resume the even tenor of 
their way without questioning me further. Later in the day the 
hilly country develops into a mountainous region, where the trail 
intersects numerous deep ravines whose sides are all but perpen- 
dicular. Between the ravines the riding is ofttimes quite excel- 
lent, the composition being soft shale, that packs do^n hard and 
smooth beneath the animals' feet. Deliciously cool streams flow at 
the bottom of these ravines. At one crossing I find an old man 
washing his feet, and mournfully surveying sundry holes in the 
bottom of his sandals ; the day is hot, and I likewise halt a few 
minutes to cool my pedal extremities in the crystal water. With 
that childlike simplicity I have so often mentioned, and which is 
nowhere encountered as in the Asiatic Turk, the old fellow blandly 
asks me to exchange my comparatively sound moccasins for his 
worn-out sandals, at the same time ruefully pointing out the di- 
lapidated condition of the latter, and looking as dejected as though 
it were the only pair of sandals in the world. 

This afternoon I am passing along the same road where Mahmoud 
Ali's gang robbed a large party of Armenian harvesters who had 
been south to help harvest the wheat, and were returning home in a 
body with the wages earned during the summer. This happened but 
a few days before, and notwithstanding the well-known saying that 
lightning never strikes twice in the same place, one is scarcely so un- 
impressionable as not to find himself involuntarily scanning his sur- 
roundings, half expecting to be attacked. Nothing startling turns 
up, however, and at five o'clock I come to a village which is envel- 
oped in clouds of wheat chaff; being a breezy evening, winnow- 
ing is going briskly forward on several threshing-floors. After 
duly binning, I am taken under the protecting wing of a prominent 



TnROTTGII EEZINGAW AND ERZEROUM. 415 

villager, who is walking about with his hand in a sling, the reason 
whereof is a crushed finger ; he is a sensible, intelligent fellow, and 
accepts my reply that I am not a crushed-finger hakim, with all 
reasonableness ; he provides a substantial supper of bread and 
yaort, and then installs me in a small, wiudowless, unventilated 
apartment adjoining the buffalo-stall, provides me with quilts, 
lights a primitive grease-lamp, and retires. During the evening 
the entire female population visit my dimly-lighted quarters, to sat- 
isfy their feminine curiosity by taking a timid peep at their neigh- 
bor's strange guest and his wonderful araba. They imagine I am 
asleep and come on tiptoe part way across the room, craning their 
necks to obtain a view in the semi-darkness. 

An hour's journey from this village brings me yet again into 
the West Euphrates Valle}'. Just where I enter the valley the river 
spreads itself over a wide stony bed, coursing along in the form of 
several comparatively small streams. There is, of course, no bridge 
here, and in the chilly, almost frosty, morning I have to disrobe and 
carry clothes and bicycle across the several channels. Once across, 
I find myself on the great Trebizond and Persian caravan route, and 
in a few minutes am partaking of breakfast at a village thirty-five 
miles from Erzeroum, where I learn with no little satisfaction that 
my course follows along the Euphrates Valley, with an artificial 
wagon-road, the whole distance to the city. Not far from the vil- 
lage the Euphrates is recrossed on a new stone bridge. Just be- 
yond the bridge is the camp of a road-engineer's party, who are 
putting the finishing touches to the bridge. A person issues from 
one of the tents as I approach and begins chattering away at me 
in French. The face and voice indicates a female, but the costume 
consists of jack-boots, tight-fitting broadcloth pantaloons, an or- 
dinary pilot-jacket, and a fez. Notwithstanding the masculine 
apparel, however, it turns out not only to be a woman, but a Pari- 
sienne, the better half of the Erzeroum road engineer, a French- 
man, who now appears upon the scene. They are both astonished 
and delighted at seeing a " velocipede," a reminder of their own 
far-off France, on the Persian caravan trail, and they urge me to re- 
main and partake of coffee. 

I now encounter the first really great camel caravans, en route 
to Persia with tea and sugar and general European merchandise ; 
they are all camped for the day alongside the road, and the camels 
scattered about the neighboring hills in search of giant thistles 



416 FROM SAW FEAWCISCO TO TEHEEAK. 

and other outlandisli vegetation, for which the patient ship of the 
desert entertains a partiality. Camel caravans travel entirely at 
night during the summer. Contrary to what, I think, is a common 
belief in the Occident, they can endure any amount of cold 
weather, but are comparatively distressed by the heat ; still, this 
may not characterize all breeds of camels anymore than the differ- 
ent breeds of other domesticated animals. During the summer, 
when the camels are required to find their own sustenance along 
the road, a large caravan travels but a wretched eight miles a 
day, the remainder of the time being occupied in filling his capa- 
cious thistle and camel-thorn receptacle ; this comes of the scarcity 
of good grazing along the route, compared with the number of 
camels, and the consequent necessity of wandering far and wide 
in search of pasturage, rather than because of the camel's absorp- 
tive capacity, for he is a comparatively abstemious animal. In 
the winter they are fed on balls of barley flour, called nawalla ; 
on this they keep fat and strong, and travel three times the dis- 
tance. The average load of a full-grown camel is about seven hun- 
dred pounds. 

Before reaching Erzeroum I have a narrow escape from what 
might have proved a serious accident. I meet a buffalo araiia 
carrying a long projecting stick of timber ; the sleepy buffaloes pay 
no heed to the bicycle until I arrive opposite their heads, when they 
give a sudden lurch sidewise, swinging the stick of timber across 
my path ; fortunately the road happens to be of good width, and by 
a very quick swerve I avoid a collision, but the tail end of the tim- 
ber just brushes the rear wheel as I wheel past. Soon after noon 
I roll into Erzeroum, or rather, up to the Trebizond gate, and dis- 
mount. Erzeroum is a fortified city of considerable importance, 
both from a commercial and a military point of view ; it is sur- 
rounded by earthwork fortifications, from the parapets of which 
large siege guns frown forth upon the surrounding country, and 
forts are erected in several commanding positions round about, like 
watch-dogs stationed outside to guard the city. Patches of snow 
linger on the Palantokan Mountains, a few miles to the south ; the 
Deve Boyun Hills, a spur of the greater Palantokans, look down on 
the city from the east ; the broad valley of the West Euphrates 
stretches away westward and northward, terminating at the north 
in another mountain range. 

Eepairing to the English consulate, I am gratified at finding 



THROUGH EEZINGAN AND EEZEROUM. 417 

several letters awaiting me, and furthermore by the cordial hos- 
pitality extended by Yusuph Effendi, an Assyrian gentleman, the 

charge d'affaires of the consulate for the time being, Colonel E , 

the consul, having left recently for Trebizond and England, in con- 
sequence of numerous sword-wounds received at the hands of a 
desperado who invaded the consulate for plunder at midnight. The 
Colonel was a general favorite in Erzeroum, and is being tenderly 
caiTied (Thursday, September 3, 1885) to Trebizond on a stretcher 
by relays of wQling natives, no less than forty accompanying hiin 
on the road. Yusuph Effendi tells me the story of the whole la- 
mentable affair, pausing at intervals to heap imprecations on the 
head of the malefactor, and to bestow eulogies on the wounded 
consul's character. 

It seems that the door-keeper of the consulate, a native of a 
neighboring Armenian village, was awakened at midnight by an 
acquaintance from the same village, who begged to be allowed to 
sliare his quarters till morning. No sooner had the servant ad- 
mitted him to his room than he attacked him with his sword, in- 
tending — as it afterward leaked out — to murder the whole family, 
rob the house, and escape. The servant's cries for assistance awak- 
ened Colonel E , who came to his rescue without taking the 

trouble to provide himself with a weapon. The man, infuriated 
at the detection and the prospect of being captured and brought 
to justice, turned savagely on the consul, inflicting several severe 
wounds ou the head, hands, and face. The consul closed with him 
and threw him down, and called for his wife to bring his revolver. 
The wretch now begged so piteously for his life, and made such 
specious promises, that the consul magnanimously let him up, neg- 
lecting — doubtless owing to his own dazed condition from the 
scalp wounds — to disarm him. Immediately he found himself re- 
leased he commenced the attack again, cutting and slashing like 
a demon, knocking the revolver from the consul's already badly 
wounded hand while he yet hesitated to pull the trigger and take 
his treacherous assailant's life. The revolver went off as it struck 
the floor and wounded the consul himself in the leg — broke it? 
The servant now rallied sufficiently to come to his assistance, and 
together they succeeded in disarming the robber, who, however, 
escaped and bolted up-stairs, followed by the servant with the 
sword. The consul's wife, with praiseworthy presence of mind, 
now appeared with a second revolver, which her husband grasped 
27 



418 FROM SAN FEANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

in Lis left hand, the right being almost hacked to pieces. Dazed 
and faint with the loss of blood, and, moreover, blinded by the 
blood flowing from the scalp-wounds, it was only by sheer strength 
of will that he could keep from falling. At this juncture the ser- 
vant unfortunately appeared on the stairs, returning from an un- 
successful pursuit of the robber. Mistaking the servant with the 
sword in his hand for the desperado returning to the attack, and 
realizing his own helpless condition, the consul fired two shots at 
him, wounding him with both shots. The would-be murderer is 
now (September 3, 1885), captured and in durance vile ; the servant 
lies here in a critical condition, and the consul and his sorrowing 
family are en route to England. 

Having determined upon resting here until Monday, I spend a 
good part of Friday looking about the city. The population is a 
mixture of Turks, Armenians, Russians, Persians, and Jews. Here 
I first make the acquaintance of a Persian tchai-khan (t«a-drinking 
shop). With the exception of the difference in the beverages, there 
is little difference between a tchai-khan and a kahvay-khan, although 
in the case of a swell establishment, the tchai-khan blossoms forth 
quite gaudily with scores of colored lamps. The tea is served scald- 
ing hot in tiny glasses, which are first half-filled "with loaf-sugar. If 
the proprietor is desirous of honoring or pleasing a new or distin- 
guished customer, he drops in lumps of sugar until it protrudes 
above the glass. The tea is made in a samovar — a brass vessel, hold- 
ing perhaps a gallon of water, with a hollow receptacle in the centre 
for a charcoal fire. Strong tea is made in an ordinary queen's-ware 
teapot that fits into the hollow ; a small portion of this is poured 
into the glass, which is then filled up with hot water from a tap in 
the samovar. 

There is a regular Persian quarter in Erzeroum, and I am 
not suffered to stroU through it without being initiated into 
the fundamental difference between the character of the Persians 
and the Turks. When an Osmanli is desirous of seeing me ride 
the bicycle, he goes honestly and straightforwardly to work at 
coaxing and worrying ; except in very rare instances they have 
seemed incapable of resorting to deceit or sharp practice to gain 
their object. Not so childlike and honest, however, are oui- new 
acquaintances, the Persians. Several merchants gather round me, 
and pretty soon they cunningly begin asking me how much I will sell 
the bicycle for. " Fifty Hras," I reply, seeing the deep, deep scheme 



THROUGH EKZINGAN AND EKZEKOUM. 419 

hidden beneath the superficial fairness of their ohservations, and 
thinking this will quash all further commercial negotiations. But 
the wily Persians ai-e not so easily disposed of as this. " Bring it 
round and let us see how it is ridden," they say, " and if we like it 
we will purchase it for fifty liras, and perhaps make you a present 
besides." A Persian would rather try to gain an end by deceit 
than by honest and above-board methods, even if the former were 
more trouble. Lying, cheating, and deception is the universal 
rule among them ; honesty and straightforwardness are unknown 
■virtues. Anyone whom they detect telling the truth or acting 
honestly they consider a simpleton unfit to transact business. 

The missionaries and their families are at present tenting out, 
five miles south of the city, in a romantic little ravine called Kirk- 
dagheman, or the place of the forty mills ; and on Saturday morn- 
ing I receive a pressing invitation to become their guest during the 
remainder of my stay. The Erzeroum mission is represented by 
Jlr. Chambers, his brother — now absent on a tour — their respec- 
tive families, and Miss Powers. Yusuph Effendi accompanies us 
out to the camp on a spendid Arab steed, that curvets gracefuUj 
the whole way. Myself and the — other missionary people (bicycle 
work at Sivas, and again at Erzeroum) ride more sober and deco- 
ous animals. Kirkdagheman is found to be near the entrance to 
a pass over the Palantokan Mountains. Half a dozen small tents 
are pitched beneath the only grove of trees for many a mile around. 
A dancing stream of crystal water furnishes the camp with an 
abundance of that necessary, as also a lavish supply of such music 
as babbling brooks coursing madly over pebbly beds are wont to 
furnish. To this particular section of the little stream legendary 
" lore has attached a story which gives the locality its name, Kirk- 
dagheman : 

" Once upon a time, a worthy widow found herself the happy 
possessor of no less than forty small grist-mills strung along this 
stream. Soon after her husband's death, the lady's amiable quali- 
ties — and not unlikely her forty mills into the bargain — attracted 
the admiration of a certain wealthy ownei- of flocks in the neigh- 
borhood, and he sought her hand in marriage. 'No,' said the 
lady, who, being a widow, had perhaps acquired wisdom ; ' no ; I 
have forty sous, each one faithfully laboring and contributing 
cheerfully toward my support ; therefore, I have no use for a hus- 
band.' ' I will kill your forty sous, and compel you to become my 



420 FROM SAN FKANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

wife,' replied the suitor, in a huff at being rejected. And he went 
and sheared all his sheep, and, with the multitudinous fleeces, 
dammed up the stream, caused the water to flow into other chan- 
nels, and thereby rendered the widow's forty mills useless and un- 
productive. With nothing but ruination before her, and seeing no 
alternative, the widow's heart finally softened, and she suffered her- 
self to be wooed and won. The fleeces were removed, the stream 
returned to its proper channel, and the merry whir of the forty mills 
henceforth mingled harmoniously with the bleating of the sheep." 

Two days are Spent at the quiet missionary camp, and thor- 
oughly enjoyed. It seems like an oasis of home life in the sur- 
rounding desert of uncongenial social conditions. I eagerly de- 
vour the contents of several American newspapers, and embrace 
the opportunities of the occasion, even to the extent of nui'siug the 
babies (missionaries seem rare folks for babies), of which there are 
three in camp. The altitude of Erzeroum is between six thousand 
and seven thousand feet ; the September nights are delightfully 
cool, and there ai-e no blood-thirsty mosquitoes. I am assigned a 
sleeping-tent close alongside a small waterfall, whose splashing 
music is a soporific that holds me in the bondage of beneficial re- 
pose until breakfast is announced both mornings ; and on Monday 
morning I feel as though the hunger, the irregular sleep, and the 
rough-and-tumble dues generally of the past four weeks were but 
a troubled dream. Again the bicycle contributes its curiosity- 
quickening and question-exciting powers for the benefit of the 
sluggish-minded pupils of the mission school. The Persian consul 
and his sons come to see me ride ; he is highly interested upon 
learning that I am travelling on the wheel to the Persian capital, 
and he vises my passport and gives me a letter of introduction to 
the Pasha Khan of Ovahjik, the first village I shall come to beyond 
the frontier. 

It is nearly 3 p.m., September 7th, when I bid farewell to everj-- 
body, and wheel out through the Persian Gate, accompanied by 
Mr. Chambers on horseback, who rides part way to the Deve 
Boyun (camel's neck) Pass. On the way out he tells me that he 
has been intending taking a journey through the Caucasus this 
autumn, but the difficulties of obtaining permission, on account of 
his being a clergyman, are so great — a special permission having to 
be obtained from St. Petersburg — that he has about relinquished 
the idea for the present season. 



THROUGH ERZINGAN AND ERZEKOUM. 421 

Deve Boyun Pass leads over a comparatively low range of bills. 
It was here where the Turkish army, in November, 1877, made 
their last gallant attempt to stem the tide of disaster that had, by 
the fortunes of war and the incompetency of their commanders, 
set in irresistibly against them, before taking refuge inside the 
waUs of the city. An hour after parting from Mr. Chambers I am 
wheeling briskly down the same road on the eastern slope of the 
pass where Mukhtai- Pasha's ill-fated column was drawn into the 
fatal ambuscade that suddenly turned the fortunes of the day against 
them. "While rapidly gliding down the gentle gradient, I fancy I 
can see the Cossack regiments, advancing toward the Turkish posi- 
tion, the unwary and over-confident Osmanlis leaping from their 
intrenchments to advance along the road and drive them back ; 
now I come to the Nabi Tchai ravines, where the concealed masses 
of Russian infantry suddenly sprang up and cut off their retreat ; I 
fancy I can see — chug ! wh-u-u-p ! thud ! — stars, and see them 
pretty distinctly, too, for while gazing curiously about, locating the 
Eussian ambushment, the bicycle strikes a sand-hole, and I am fa- 
vored with the worst header I have experienced for many a day. 
I am — or rather was, a minute ago — bowling along quite briskly ; 
the header ti-eats me to a fearful shaking up ; I am sore all over 
the next morning, and present a sort of a stiff-necked, woe-begone 
appearance for the next four days. A bent handle-bar and a 
sHghtly twisted rear wheel fork likewise forcibly remind me that, 
while I am beyond the reach of repair shops, it will be Solomon- 
like ^viSdom on my part to henceforth survey battle-fields with a 
larger margin of regard for things more immediately interesting. 

From the pass, my road descends into the broad and cultivated 
valley of the Passin Sa ; the road is mostly ridable, though heavy 
with dust. Part way to Hassen' Kaleh I am compelled to use con"^ 
siderable tact to avoid trouble vsdth a gang of riotous kalir-jees whom 
I overtake ; as I attempt to wheel past, one of them wantonly essays 
to thrust his stick into the wheel ; as I spring from the saddle for. 
sheer self-protection, they think I have dismounted to attack him, 
and his comrades rush forward to his protection, brandishing their 
sticks and swords in a menacing manner. Seeing himself rein- 
forced, as it were, the bold aggressor raises his stick as though to 
strike me, and peremptorily oi'ders me to hin and haidi ! Very natu- 
rally I refuse to remount the bicycle while suiTOunded by this evi- 
dently mischievous crew ; there are about twenty of them, and it re- 



422 



FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 



quires mueh self-control to prevent a conflict, in which, I am per- 
suaded, somebody would Lave been hurt ; however, I finally manage 
to escape their undesirable company and ride off amid a fusillade of 
stones. 

This incident reminds me of Yusuph Effendi's warning, that 
even though I had come thus far without a zaptieh escort, I should 
require one now, owing to the more lawless disposition of the peo- 
ple near the frontier. Near dark I reach Hassan K^leh, a large 
village nestling under the shadow of its former importance as a 
fortified town, and seek the accommodation of a Persian tchaikhan ; 




Wantonly Assaulted. 



it is not very elaborate or luxurious accommodation, consisting 
solely of tiny glasses of sweetened tea in the public room and a 
shake-down in a rough, unfurnished apartment over the stable ; 
eatables have to be obtained elsewhere, but it matters little so loner 
as they are obtainable somewhere. During the evening a Persian 
troubadour and story-teller entertains the patrons of the tchai-khan 
by singing ribaldish songs, twanging a tambourine-like instrument, 
and telling stories in a sing-song tone of voice. In deference to 
the mixed nationality of his audience, the sagacious troubadour 
wears a Turkish fez, a Persian coat, and a Russian metallic-faced 
belt ; the burden of his songs are of Erzeroum, Erzingan, and Is- 



TIIEOUGII EEZINGAN AND ERZEKOUM. 



423 



pahan ; the Russians, it would appear, are too few and unpopular 
to justify risking the displeasure of the Turks by singing any Kus- 
sian songs. So fai* as my comprehension goes, the stories are 
chiefly of intrigue and love affaii-s among pashas, and would quickly 
bring the righteous retribution of the Lord Chamberlain down 
about his ears, were he telling them to an English audience. 

I have no small difficulty in getting the bicycle up the narrow 




'^c' 



and crooked stairway into my sleeping 
apartment ; there is no fastening of any 
kind on the door, and the proprietor 
seems determined upon treating every 
subject of the Shah in Hassan Kaleh to 
a private confidential exhibition of my- 
self and bicycle, after I have retired to 
bed. It must be near midnight, I think, 

when I am again awakened from my uneasy, oft-disturbed slumbers 
by murmuring voices and the shuffling of feet ; examining the bi- 
cycle by the feeble glimmer of a classic lamp are a dozen meddle- 
some Persians. Annoyed at their unseemly midnight intrusion, and 
at being repeatedly awakened, I rise up and sing out at them rather 
authoratively ; I have exhibited the marifet of my Smith & Wesson 
dui'iug the evening, and these intruders seem really afraid I might 



424 FROM SAN" FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

be going to practise on them with it. The Persians are ap- 
parently timid mortals; they evidently regard me as a strange 
being of unknown temperament, who might possibly break loose 
and encompass their destruction on the slightest provocation, and 
the proprietor and another equally intrepid individual hurriedly 
come to my couch, and pat me soothingly on the shoulders, after 
■which they all retire, and I am disturbed no more till morning. 

The " rocky road to Dublin " is nothing compared to the road 
leading eastward from Hassan Kaleh for the first few miles, but 
afterward it improves into very fair 'wheeling. Eleven miles down 
the Passin Su Valley brings me to the Armenian village of Euipri 
Kui. Having breakfasted before starting I wheel on without halting, 
crossing the Araxes Eiver at the junction of the Passin Su, on a 
very ancient stone bridge known as the Tchehankerpi, or the bridge 
of pastures, said to be over a thousand years old. Hearing Dele 
Baba Pass, a notorious place for robbers, I pass through a village 
of sedentary Koords. Soon after leaving the village a vrild-looking 
Koord, mounted on an angular sorrel, overtakes me and wants me 
to employ him as a guard while going through the pass, backing 
up the offer of his presumably valuable services by unsheathing a 
semi-rusty sword and waving it vaUantly aloft. He intimates, by 
tragically graphic pantomime, that unless I traverse the pass under 
the protecting shadow of his ancient and rusty blade, I will be 
likely to pay the penalty of my rashness by having my throat cut. 
Yusuph Effendi and the Erzeroum missionaries have thoughtfully 
warned me against venturing through the Dele Baba Pass alone, 
advising me to wait and go through with a Persian caravan ; but 
this Koord looks like anything but a protector ; on the contrary, I 
am inclined to regard him as a suspicious character himself, inter- 
viewing me, perhaps, with ulterior ideas of a more objectionable 
character than that of faithfully guarding me through the Dele 
Baba Pass. Showing him the shell-extracting mechanism of my 
revolver, and explaining the rapidity with which it can be fired, I 
give him to understand that I feel quite capable of guarding my- 
self, consequently have no earthly use for his services. A tea car- 
avan of some two hundred camels are resting near the approach to 
the pass, affording me an excellent opportunity of having company 
through by waiting and journeying with them in the night ; but 
warnings of danger have been repeated so often of late, and they 
have proved themselves groundless so invariably that I should feel 



THROUGH ERZINGAN AND EEZEROUM. 



425 



the taunts of self-reproach were I to find myself hesitating to pro- 
ceed on their account. 

Passing over a mountain spur, I descend into a rocky canon, 
■with perpendicular walls of rock towering skyward like giant bat- 
tlements, inclosing a space not over fifty yards wide ; through 
this rxms my road, and alongside it babbles the Dele Baba Su. 
The canon is a wild, lonely-looking spot, and looks quite appro- 
priate to the reputation it bears. Professor Vambery, a recog- 
nized authority on Asiatic matters, and whose party encountered a 
gang of marauders here, says the Dele Baba Pass bore the same 




A Suspicious Offer of Protection. 

unsavory reputation that it bears to-day as far back as the time of 
Herodotus. However, suffice it to say, that I get through without 
molestation ; mounted men, armed to the teeth, like almost every- 
body else hereabouts, are encountered in the pass ; they invariably 
halt and look back after me as though endeavoring to comprehend 
who and what I am, but that is aU. Emerging from the canon, I 
foUow in a general course the tortuous windings of the Dele Baba 
Su through another ravine-riven battle-field of the late war, and up 
toward its source in a still more mountainous and elevated region 
beyond. 



CIIAPTEK XVm. 

MOUNT ARARAT AND KOORDISTAN. 

The shades of evening are beginning to settle down over the 
wild mountainous country round about. It is growing uncom- 
fortably chilly for this early in the evening, and the prospects look 
favorable for a supperless and most disagreeable night, when I de- 
scry a village perched in an opening among the mountains a mile 
or thereabouts off to the right. Eepairing thither, I find it to be 
a Kpordish village, where the hovels are more excavations than 
buildings ; buffaloes, horses, goats, chickens, and human beings all 
find shelter under the same roof ; their respective quarters are noth- 
ing but a mere railing of rough poles, and as the question of ven- 
tilation is never even thought of, the effect upon one's olfactoi-y 
nerves upon entering is anything but reassuring. The filth and 
rags of these people is something abominable ; on account of the 
chilliness of the evening they have donned their heavier raiment ; 
these have evidently had rags patched on top of other rags for 
years past until they have gradually developed into thick-quilted 
garments, in the innumerable seams of which the most disg-usting 
entomological specimens, bred and engendered by their wretched 
mode of existence, live and perpetuate their kind. However, re- 
pulsive as the outlook most assuredly is, I have no alternative but 
to cast my lot among them till morning. 

I am conducted into the Sheikh's apartment, a small room par- 
titioned off with a pole from a stable-full of horses and buffaloes, 
and where darkness is made visible by the sickly gHmmer of a 
grease lamp. The Sheikh, a thin, saUow-faced man of about forty 
years, is reclining on a mattress in one corner smoking cigarettes ; 
a dozen ill-conditioned ragamuffins are squatting about in various 
attitudes, while the rag, tag, and bobtaU of the population crowd 
into the buffalo-stable and survey me and the bicycle from outside 
the partition-pole. 

A circular wooden tray containing an abundance of bread, a 
bowl of yaort, and a small quantity of peculiar stringy cheese that 



MOUNT ARARAT AND KOORDISTAN. 427 

resembles chunks of dried codfish, warped and twisted in the dry- 
ing, is brought in and placed in the middle of the floor. Every- 
body in the room at once gather round it and begin eating with as 
little formality as so many wild animals ; the Sheikh silently mo- 
tions for me to do the same. The yaort bowl contains one solitary 
wooden spoon, with which they take turns at eating mouthfuls. 
One is compelled to draw the line somewhere, even under the most 
uncompromising circumstances, and I naturally draw it against 
eating yaort with this same wooden spoon ; making small scoops 
with pieces of bread, I dip up yaorl and eat scoop and aU together. 
These particular Koords seem absolutely ignorant of anything in 
the shape of mannerliness, or of consideration for each other at the 
table. When the yaort has been dipped into twice or thrice all 
round, the Sheikh coolly confiscates the bowl, eats part of what is 
left, pours water into the remainder, stirs it up with his hand, 
and deliberately drinks it all up ; one or two others seize all the 
cheese, utterly regardless of the fact that nothing remains for my- 
self and their companions, who, by the by, seem to regard it as a 
perfectly natural proceeding. 

After supper they return to their squatting attitudes around the 
coom, and to a resumption of theu' never-ceasing occupation of 
scratching themselves. The eminent economist who lamented the 
wasted energy represented in the wagging of all the dogs' tails in 
the world, ought to have travelled through Asia on a bicycle and 
have been compelled to hob-nob with the villagers ; he would un- 
doubtedly have wept with sorrow at beholding the amount of this 
same wasted energy, represented by the above-mentioned occupa- 
tion of the people. The most loathsome member of this interest- 
ing company is a wretched old hypocrite who rolls his eyes about 
and heaves a deep-drawn sigh of Allah ! every few minutes, and 
then looks furtively at myself and the Sheikh to observe its effects ; 
his sole garment is a round-about mantle that reaches to his knees, 
and which seems to have been manufactured out of the tattered 
remnants of other tattered remnants tacked carelessly together with- 
out regard to shape, size, color, or previous condition of cleanliness ; 
his thin, scrawny legs are bare, his long black hair is matted and 
unkempt, his beard is stubby and unlovely to look upon, his small 
black eyes twinkle in the semi-darkness like ferret's eyes, while 
soap and water have to all appearances been altogether stricken from 
the category of his personal requu-ements. 



428 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

Probably it is nothing but the lively workings of my own im- 
agination, but this wretch appears to me to entertain a decided 
preference for my society, constantly insinuating himself as near me 
as possible, necessitating constant watchfulness on my part to avoid 
actual contact with him ; eternal vigilance is in this case the price 
of what it is unnecessary to expatiate upon, further than to say 
that self-preservation becomes, under such conditions, pre-eminently 
the first law of Occidental nature. Soon the sallow-faced Sheikh 
suddenly bethinks himself that he is in the august presence of a 
Jiakim, and beckoning me to his side, displays an ugly wound on his 
knee which has degenerated into a running sore, and which he says 
was done with a sword ; of course he wants me to perform a cure. 
While examining the Sheikh's knee, another old party comes for- 
ward and unbares his arm, also wounded with a sword. This not 
unnaturally sets me to wondering what sort of company I have got- 
ten into, and how they came by sword wounds in these peaceful 
times ; but my inquisitiveness is compelled to remaiu in abeyance 
to my limited Hnguistic powers. Having nothing to give them foi 
the wounds, I recommend an application of warm salt water twice 
a day ; feehng pretty certain, however, that they will be too lazy 
and trifling to foUow the advice. Before dispersing to their re- 
spective quarters, the occupants of the room range themselves in a 
row and go through a reUgious performance lasting fully half an 
hour ; they make almost as much noise as howling dervishes, 
meanwhile exercising themselves quite violently. Having made 
themselves holier than ever by these exercises, some take theu* de- 
parture, others make up couches on the floor with sheepskins and 
quilts. 

Thin ice covers the stOl pools of water when I resume my toil- 
some route over the mountains at daybreak, a raw vrind comes 
whistling from the east, and until the sun begins to warm things 
up a little, it is necessary to stop and buffet occasionally to prevent 
benumbed hands. Obtaining some small lumps of wheaten dough 
cooked crisp in hot grease, like unsweetened doughnuts, from a 
horseman on the road, I push ahead toward the summit and then 
down the eastern slope of the mountains ; rounding an abutting 
hill about 9.30, the glorious snow-crowned peak of Ararat suddenly 
bursts upon my vision ; it is a good foi-ty leagues away, but even 
at this distance it dwarfs everything else in sight. Although sur- 
rounded by giant mountain chains that traverse the country at 



MOUNT ARARAT AND KOORDISTAN. 429 

eveiy conceivable angle, Ararat stands alone in its solitary grandeur, 
n glistening white cone rearing its giant height proudly and con- 
spicuously above surrounding eminences ; about mountains that 
ai-e insignificant only in comparison with the white-robed monarch 
that has been a beacon-light of sacred history since sacred history 
has been in existence. 

Descending now toward the Alashgird Plain, a prominent 
theati-e of action during the war, I encounter splendid wheeling for 
some miles ; but once fairly down on the level, cultivated plain, the 
road becomes heavy with dust. Villages dot the broad, expansive 
plain in every direction ; conical stacks of tezek are observable 
among the houses, piled high up above the roofs, speaking of com- 
mendable forethought for the approaching cold weather. In one 
of the Armenian villages I am not a httle surprised at finding a 
lone German ; he says he prefers an agricultural life in this coun- 
try with all its disadvantages, to the hard, grinding struggle for ex- 
istence, and the compulsory military service of the Fatherland. 
'"Here," he goes on to explain, "there is no foamy lager, no monej^, 
no comfort, no amusement of any kind, but there is individual lib- 
erty, and it is very easy making a living ; therefore it is for me a 
better country than Deutschland." "Everybody to their liking," 
I think, as I continue on across the plain ; but for a European to 
be Uving in one of these Uttle agricultural villages comes the near- 
est to being buried alive of anything I know of. The road im- 
proves in hai'dness as I proceed eastward, but the peculiar disad- 
vantages of being a conspicuous and incomprehensible object on a 
populous level plain soon becomes manifest. Seeing the bicycle 
glistening in the sunlight as I ride along, horsemen come wddly 
galloping from villages miles away. Some of these wonderstiicken 
people endeavor to pilot me along branch trails leading to their 
vUlnges, but the main caravan trail is now too easily distinguishable 
for any little deceptions of this kind to succeed. Here, on the 
Alashgird Plain, I first hear myself addressed as "Hamsherri," a 
term which now takes the place of Eflendi for the next five hun- 
dred miles. 

Owing to the disgust engendered by my unsavory quarters in 
the wretched Dele Baba village last night, I have determined upon 
seeking the friendly shelter of a wheat-shock again to-night, pre- 
ferring the chances of being frozen out at midnight to the en- 
tomological possibilities of village hovels. Accordingly, near sun- 



430 FROM SAN" FEANCISCO TO TEHERAN". 

set, I repair to a village not far from tlie road, for the purpose of 
obtaining something to eat before seeking out a rendezvous for 
the night. It turns out to be the Koordish village of Malosman, 
and the people sire found to be so immeasurably superior in every 
particular to their kinsfolk of Dele Baba that I forthwith cancel 
my determination and accept their proffered hospitality. The 
Malosmanlis are comparatively clean and comfortable ; are reason- 
ably well-dressed, seem well-to-do, and both men and women are, on 
the average, handsomer than the people of any village I have seen 
for days past. Almost all possess a conspicuously beautiful set of 
teeth, pleasant, smiling countenances and good physique ; they 
also seem to have, somehow, acquired easy, agreeable manners. 

The secret of the whole difference, I opine, is that, instead of be- 
ing located among the inhospitable soil of barren hUls they are cul- 
tivating the productive soil of the Alashgird Plain, and, being situ- 
ated on the great Persian caravan trail, they find a ready market 
for their grain in supplying the caravans in winter. Their Sheikh 
is a handsome and good-natured young feUow, sporting white 
clothes trimmed profusely with red braid ; he spends the evening 
in my company, examining the bicycle, revolver, telescopic pencil- 
case, L. A. W. badge, etc., and hands me his carved ivory case to 
select cigarettes from. It would have required considerable in- 
ducements to have trusted either my L. A. W. badge or the Smith 
& "Wesson in the custody of any of our unsavory acquaintances of 
List night, notwithstanding their great outward show of piety. 
There are no deep-drawn sighs of Allah, nor ostentatious praying 
among the Malosmanlis, but they bear the stamp of superior 
trustworthiness plainly on their faces and their bearing. There 
appears to be far more jocularity than religion among these pros- 
perous villagers, a trait that probably owes its development to 
their apparent security from want ; it is no newly discovered trait 
of human character to cease all prayers and supplications whenever 
the granary is overflowing with plenty, and to commence devo- 
tional exercises again whenever the supply runs short. This rule 
would hold good among the childlike natives here, even more so 
than it does among our more enlightened selves. 

I sally forth into the chilly atmosphere of early morning from 
Malosman, and wheel eastward over an excellent road for some 
miles ; an obliging native, en route to the harvest field, turns his 
buflalo araba around and carts me over a bridgeless stream, but sev- 



MOUNT ARAEAT AND KOOEDISTAN. 431 

eral others have to be forded ere reaching Kiraklian, where I obtaha 
breakfast. Here I am required to show my teskei-i to the mudir, and 
the zaptieh escorting me thither becomes greatly mystified over the 
circumstance that I am a Prank and yet am wearing a Mussuhnan 
head-band ai'ound my helmet (a new one I picked up on the road) ; 
this little fact appeals to him as something savoring of an attempt 
to disguise myself, and he grows amusingly mysterious while whis- 
peringiy bringing it to the mudir's notice. The habitual serenity 
and complacency of the corpulent mudir's mind, however, is not 
to be unduly disturbed by trifles, and the untutored zaptieh's dis- 
position to attach some significant meaning to it, meets with noth- 
ing from his more enlightened superior but the silence of uncon- 
cern. 

More streams have to be forded ere I finally emerge on to 
higher ground ; all along the Alashgird Plain, Ararat's gUsteniug 
peak has been peeping over the mountain framework of the plain 
like a white beacon-light showing above a dark rocky shore ; but 
approaching toward the eastern extremity of the plain, my road 
hugs the base of the intervening hills and it temporarily disapjDears 
from view. In this portion of the country, camels are frequently 
employed in bringing the harvest from field to village threshing- 
floor ; it is a curious sight to see these awkwardly moving animals 
walking along beneath tremendous loads of straw, nothing visible 
but their heads and legs. Sometimes the meandering course of 
the Euplu-ates — now the eastern fork, and called the Moorad-Chai 
— brings it near the mountains, and my road leads over blufls im- 
mediately above it ; the historic river seems well supplied with trout 
hereabouts, I can look down from the bluffs and observe speckled 
beauties sporting about in its pellucid waters by the score. To- 
ward noon I fool away fifteen minutes trying to beguile one of them 
into swallowing a grasshopper and a bent pin, but they are not the 
guileless creatures they seem to be when surveyed from an elevated 
bluff, so they steadily refuse whatever blandishments I offer. An 
hour later I reach the village of Daslische, inhabited by a mixed 
population of Turks and Persians. At a shop kept by one of the 
latter I obtain some bread and ghee (clarified butter), some tea, and 
a handful of wormy raisins for dessert ; for these articles, besides 
building a fire especially to prepare the tea, the unconscionable 
Pei-sian charges the awful sum of two piastres (ten cents) ; where- 
upon the Turks, who have been interested spectators of the whole 



432 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

nefarious proceeding, commence to abuse him roundly for over- 
cliarging a stranger unacquainted with the prices of the locality, 
calliBg him the son of a burnt father, and other names that tingle 
unpleasantly in the Persian ear, as though it was a matter of pounds 
sterling. 

Beyond Daslische, Ararat again becomes visible ; the country 
immediately around is a ravine-riven plateau, covered with bowld- 
ers. An hour after leaving Daslische, while climbing the eastern 
slope of a ravine, four rough-looking footmen appear on the oppo- 
site side of the slope ; they are following after me, and shouting 
" Kardash ! " These people with their old swords and pistols con- 
spicuously about them, always raise suspicions of brigands and evil 
characters under such circumstances as these, so I continue on up 
the slope without heeding their shouting until I observe two of 
them turn back ; I then wait, out of curiosity, to see what they 
really want. They approach with broad grins of satisfaction at 
having overtaken me : they have run all the way from. Daslische in 
order to overtake me and see the bicycle, having heard of it after 
I had left. I am now but a short distance from the Russian fron- 
tier on the north, and the first Turkish patrol is this afternoon 
patrolling the road ; he takes a wondering interest in my wheel, but 
doesn't ask the oft-repeated question, " Euss or Ingiliz ? " It is 
presumed that he is too familiar with the Muscovite " phiz '' to 
make any such question necessary. 

About four o'clock I overtake a jack-booted horseman, who 
straightway proceeds to try and make himself agreeable ; as his 
flowing remarks are mostly unintelligible, to spare him from wasting 
the sweetness of his eloquence on the desert air around me, I reply, 
" Turkchi binmus." Instead of checking the impetuous torrent of 
his remarks at hearing this, he canters companiouably alongside, 
and chatters more persistently than ever. " 1-ur-k-chi b-i-n- 
m-u-s ! " I repeat, becoming rather annoyed at his persistent gar- 
rulousuess and his refusal to understand. This has the desired 
effect of reducing him to silence ; but he canters doggedly behind, 
and, after a space creeps up alongside again, and, pointing to a 
large stone building which has now become visible at the base of a 
mountain on the other side of the Euphrates, timidly ventures 
upon the explanation that it is the Armenian Gregorian Monastery 
of Sup Ogwanis (St. John). Finding me more favorably disposed 
to hsten than before, he explains that he himself is an Armenian, 



MOUNT ARARAT AND KOORDISTAN. 433 

is acquainted with the priests of the monastery, and is going to 
remain there over night ; he then, proposes that I accompany him 
thither, and do likewise. 

I am, of course, only too pleased at the prospect of experienc- 
ing something out of the common, and gladly avail myself of the 
opportunity ; moreover, monasteries and religious institutions in 
general, have somehow always been pleasantly associated in my 
thoughts as inseparable accompaniments of orderliness and clean- 
liness, and I smile serenely to myself at the happy prospect of 
snowy sheets, and scrupulously clean cooking. 

Crossing the Euphrates on a once substantial stone bridge, now 
in a sadly dilapidated condition, that was doubtless built when 
Armenian monasteries enjoyed palmier days than the present, we 
skirt the base of a compact mountain and in a few minutes alight at 
the monastery village. Exit immediately all visions of cleauliness ; 
the village is in no wise different from any other cluster of mud 
hovels round, about, and the rag-bedecked, flea-bitten objects that 
come outside to gaze at us, if such a thing were possible, compare 
unfavorably even with the Dele Baba Eoords. There is apparent 
at once, however, a difference between the respective dispositions 
of the two peoples : the Koords are inclined to be pig-headed and 
obtrusive, as though possessed of their full share of the spirit of 
self-assertion ; the Sup Ogwanis people, on the contrary, act like 
beiugs utterly destitute of anythiug of the kind, cowering beneath 
one's look and shunning immediate contact as though habitually 
overcome with a sense of their own inferiority. The two priests 
come out to see the bicycle ridden ; they are stout, bushy-whisk- 
ered, greasy-looking old jokers, with small twinkling black eyes, 
whose expression would seem to betoken anything rather than 
saintliness, and, although the Euphrates flows hard by, they are 
evidently united in their enmity against soap and water, if in noth- 
ing else ; in fact, judging from outward appearances, water is 
about the only thing concerning which they practise abstemious- 
ness. The monastery itself is a massive structure of hewn stone, 
surrounded by a high wall loop-holed for defence ; attached to the 
wall inside is a long row of small rooms or cells, the habitations of 
the monks in more prosperous days ; a few of them are occupied 
at present by the older men. 

At 5.30 P.M., the bell tolls for evening service, and I accompany 
my guide into the monastery ; it is a large, empty-looking edifice 
28 



434 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHEKAN. 

of simple, massive arcliitecture, and appears to have been built 
with a secondary purpose of withstanding a siege or an assault, 
and as a place of refuge for the people in troublous times ; con- 
taining among other secular appliances a large brick oven for bak- 
ing bread. During the last war, the place was actually bombarded 
by the Kussians in an effort to dislodge a body of Koords who had 
taken possession of the monastery, and from behind its solid walls, 
harassed the Eiissian troops advancing toward Erzeroum. The 
patched up holes made by the Russians' shots are pointed out, as 
also some light earthworks thrown up on the Eussian position 
across the river. In these degenerate days one portion of the 
building is utilized as a storehouse for grain ; hundreds of pigeons 
are cooing and roosting on the crossbeams, making the place their 
permanent abode, passing in and out of narrow openings near the 
roof ; and the whole interior is in a disgustingly filthy condition. 
Eude fresco representations of the different saints in the Grego- 
rian calendar formerly adorned the walls, and bright colored tiles 
embellished the approach to the altar. Nothing is distinguishable 
these days but the crumbling and half-obliterated evidences of 
past glories ; both priests and people seem hopelessly sunk in the 
quagmire of avariciousness and low cunning on the one hand, and 
of blind ignorance and superstition on the other. Clad in greasy 
and seedy-looking cowls, the priests go through a few nonsensical 
manoeuvres, consisting chiefly of an ostentatious affectation of rever- 
ence toward an altar covered with tattered drapery, by never turn- 
ing their backs toward it while they walk about, Bible in hand, 
mumbling and sighing. My self-constituted guide and mj'self 
comprise the whole congregation during the "services." When- 
ever the priests heave a pai-ticularly deep-fetched sigh or faU to 
mumbling their prayers on the double quick, they invariably cast 
a furtive glance toward me, to ascertain whether I am noticing the 
impenetrable depth of their holiness. They needn't be uneasy on 
that score, however ; the most casual observer cannot fail to per- 
ceive that it is really and truly impenetrable — so impenetrable, in 
fact, that it will never be unearthed, not even at the day of judg- 
ment. In about ten minutes the priests quit mumbling, bestow a 
Pharisaical kiss on the tattered coverlet of their Bibles, graciously 
suffer my jack-booted companion to do likewise, as also two or 
three ragamuffins who have come sneaking in seemingly for that 
special purpose, and then retreat hastily behind a patch-work cur- 



MOUNT ARARAT AND KOORDISTAN. 435 

tain ; the nest minute they reappear in a cowllesa condition, their 
countenances wearing an expression o£ intense relief, as though 
happy at having gotten through with a disagreeable task that had 
been weighing heavily on their minds all day. 

We are invited to take supper with their Keverences in their 
cell beneath the walls, which they occupy in common. The repast 
consists of yaort andpillau, to which is added, by way of compli- 
ment to visitors, five salt fishes about the size of sardines. The 
most greasy-looking of the divines thoughtfully helps himself to a 
couple of the fishes as though they were a delicacy quite irresist- 
ible, leaving one apiece for us others. Having created a thirst 
with the salty fish, he then seizes what remains of the yaort, pours 
water into it, mixes it thoroughly together with his unwashed hand, 
and gulps down a full quart of the swill with far greater gusto than 
mannerliness. Soon the priests commence eructating aloud, which 
appears to be a well-understood signal that the limit of their re- 
spective absorptive capacities are reached, for three hungry-eyed 
laymen, who have been watching our repast with seemingly be- 
grudging countenances, now carry the wooden tray bodily off into 
a corner and ravenously devour the remnants. Everything about 
the cell is abnormally filthy, and I am glad when the inevitable 
cigarettes are ended and we retire to the quarters assigned us in 
the village. Here my companion produces from some mysterious 
corner of his clothing a pinch of tea and a few lumps of sugar. A 
villager quickly kindles a fire and cooks the tea, performing the 
services eagerly, in anticipation of coming in for a modest share of 
what to him is an unwonted luxury. Being rewarded with a tiny 
glassful of tea and a lump of sugar, he places the sweet morsel in 
his mouth and sucks the tea through it with i3,oisy satisfaction, pro- 
longing the presumably delightful sensation thereby produced to 
fully a couple of minutes. During this brief indulgence of his 
palate, a score of his ragged co-religionists stand around and regard 
him with mingled envy and covetousness ; but for two whole min- 
utes he occupies his proud eminence in the lap of comparative 
luxury, and between slow, lingering sucks at the tea, regards their 
envious attention with studied indifference. One can scarcely con- 
ceive of a more utterly wretched people than the monastic com- 
munity of Sup Ogwanis ; one would not be surprised to find them 
envying even the pariah curs of the country. 

The wind blows raw and chilly from off the snowy slopes of 



436 FEOM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEI-IEEAN. 

Ararat next morning, and the shivering, half-clad wretches shuffle 
off toward the fields and pastures, with blue noses and unwilling 
faces, humping their backs and shrinking within themselves and 
wearing most lugubiious countenances ; one naturally falls to won- 
dering what they do in the winter. The independent villagers of 
the surrounding country have a tough enough time of it, worrying 
through the cheerless winters of a treeless and mountainous coun- 
try ; but they at least have no domestic authority to obey but their 
own personal and family necessities, and they consume the days 
huddled together in their unventilated hovels over a smouldering 
tezek fire ; but these people seem but helpless dolts under the vas-. 
salage of a couple of crafty-looking, coarse-grained priests, who re- 
gard them with less consideration than they do the monastery buffa- 
loes. 

Eleven miles over a mostly ridable trail brings me to the large 
village of Dyadin. Dyadin is marked on my map as quite an im- 
portant place, consequently I approach it with every assurance of 
obtaining a good breakfast. My inquiries for refreshments are 
met with importunities of bin bacalem, from five hundred of the 
rag-tag and bob-tail of the frontier, the rowdiest and most incon- 
siderate mob imaginable. In their eagerness and impatience to 
see me ride, and their exasperating indifference to my own press- 
ing wants, some of them tell me bluntly there is no bread ; others, 
more considerate, hurry away and bring enough bread to feed 
a dozen people, and one fellow contributes a couple of onions. 
Pocketing the onions and some of the bread, I mount and ride 
away from the madding crowd with whatever despatch is possible, 
and retire into a secluded dell near the road, a mile from town, to 
eat my frugal breakfast in peace and quietness. While thus engaged, 
it is with veritable savage delight that I hear a company of horse- 
men go furiously galloping past ; they are Dyadin people endea- 
voring to overtake me for tlie kindly purpose of worrying me out 
of my senses, and to prevent me even eating a bite of bread un- 
seasoned with their everlasting gabble. Although the road from 
Dyadin eastward leads steadily upward, they fancy that nothing 
less than a wild, sweeping gallop will enable them to accomplish 
their fell purpose ; I listen to their clattering hoof-beats dying 
away in the dreamy distance, with a grin of positively malicious 
satisfaction, hoping sincerely that they will keep galloping onward 
for the next twenty miles. 



MOUjSTT ARARAT AND KOORDISTAN. 437 

No such happy consummation of my wishes occurs, however ; 
a couple of miles up the ascent I find them hobnobbing with some 
Persian caravan men and patiently awaiting my appearance, having 
learned from the Persians that I had not yet gone past. Mingled 
with the keen disappointment of overtaking them so quickly, is 
the pleasure of witnessing tlie Persians' camels regaling themselves 
on a patch of juicy thistles of most luxuriant growth ; the avidity 
with which they attack the great prickly vegetation, and the ex- 
pression of satisfaction, utter and peculiar, that characterizes a 
camel while munching a giant thistle stalk that protrudes two feet 
out of his mouth, is simply indescribable. 

Fi-om this pass I descend into the Aras Plain, and, behold the 
gigantic form of Ararat rises up before me, seemingly but a few 
miles away ; as a matter of fact it is about twenty miles distant, 
but with nothing intervening between myself and its tremendous 
proportions but the level plain, the distance is deceptive. No hu- 
man habitations are visible save the now familiar black tents of 
Koordish tribesmen away off to the north, and as I ride along I am 
overtaken by a sensation of being all alone in the company of an 
overshadowing and awe-inspiring presence. One's attention seems 
irresistibly attracted toward the mighty snow-crowned monarch, 
as though the immutable law of attraction were sensibly exerting 
itself to draw lesser bodies to it, and all other objects around seemed 
dwarfed into insignificant proportions. One obtains a most com- 
prehensive idea of Ararat's 17,325 feet when viewing it from the 
Aras Plain, as it rises sheer from the plain, and not from the 
shoulders of a range that constitutes of itself the greater part of 
the height, as do many mountain peaks. A few miles to the east- 
ward is Little Ararat, an independent conical peak of 12,800 feet, 
without snow, but conspicuous and distinct from surrounding 
mountains ; its proportions are completely dwarfed and over- 
shadowed by the nearness and bulkiness of its big brother. The 
Aras Plain is lava-strewn and uncultivated for a number of miles ; 
the spongy, spreading feet of innumerable camels have worn paths 
in the hard lava deposit that makes the wheeling equal to English 
roads, except for occasional stationary blocks of lava that the ani- 
mals have systematically stepped over for centuries, and which not 
infrequently block the narrow trail and compel a dismount. Evi- 
dently Ararat was once a volcano ; the lofty peak which now 
presents a wintry appearance even in the hottest summer weather. 



438 



FEOM SAW FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 



formerly belelied forth lurid flames that lit up the surroTinding 
country, and poured out fiery torrents of molten lava that stratified 
the abutting hiUs, and spread like an overwhelming flood over the 
Aras Plain. Abutting Ararat on the veest are stratiform hills, the 
strata of which are plainly distinguishable from the Persian trail, 
and which, were their inclination continued, would strike Ararat 
at or near the summit. This would seem to indicate the laj'ers to 
be representations of the mountain's former volcanic overflowings. 
I am sitting on a block of lava making an outline sketch of Ara- 
rat, when a peasant happens along with a bullock-load of cucum- 
bers which he is 
taking to the 
Koordish ' camjjs ; 
he is pretty badly 
scared at finding 
himself all alone 
on the Aras Plain 
with such a non- 
descript and dan- 
gerous -looking 
object as a helmet- 
ed wheelman, and 
when I halt him 
with inquiries 
concerning the 
nature of his wai'es 
he turns pale and 
becomes almost 
speechless with 
fright. He would 
empty his sacks as 
a peace-ofieriiig at my feet without venturing upon a remon- 
strance, were he ordered to do so ; and when I relieve him of but 
one solitary cucumber, and pay him more than he would obtain 
for it among the Koords, he becomes stupefied with astonishment; 
when he continues on his way he hardly knows whether he is on 
his head or his feet. An hour later I arrive at Kizil Dizah, the last 
village in Turkish teri'itory, and an official station of considerable 
importance, where passports, caravan permits, etc., of everybody 
passing to or from Persia have to be examined. An officer here 




Well Guarded at Lunch. 



MOUNT ARARAT AND KOORDISTAN. 439 

provides me with refreshments, and while generously permitting 
the population to come in and enjoy the extraordinary spectacle of 
seeing me fed, he thoughtfully stations a man with a stick to keep 
them at a respectful distance. A later hour in the afternoon finds 
me truudhng up a long acclivity leading to the summit of a low 
mountain ridge ; arriving at the summit I stand on the boundaiy- 
line between the dominions of the Sultan and the Shah, and I pause 
a minute to take a brief, retrospective glance. 

The cyclometer, affixed to the bicycle at Coastautinople, now 
registers within a fraction of one thousand miles ; it has been on 
the whole an arduous thousand miles, but those who in the forego- 
ing pages have followed me through the strange and varied experi- 
ences of the journey will agree with me when I say that it hag 
proved more interesting than arduous after all. I need not here 
express any blunt opinions of the different people encountered ; it 
is enough that my observations concerning them have been jotted 
down as I have mingled with them and their characteristics from 
day to day ; almost without exception, they have treated me the 
best they knew how ; it is only natural that some should know how 
better than others. 

Bidding farewell, then, to the land of the Crescent and the home 
of the unspeakable Osmauh, I wheel down a gentle slope into a 
mountain-environed area of cultivated fields, where Persian peas- 
ants are busy gathering their harvest. The strange apparition ob- 
served descending from the summit of the boundary attracts uni- 
versal attention ; I can hear them calling out to each other, and can 
see horsemen come wildly galloping from every direction. In a few 
minutes the road in my immediate vicinity is alive with twenty 
prancing steeds ; some are bestrode by men who, from the superior 
quality of their clothes and the gaudj' trappings of their horses, 
are evidently in good circumstances ; others by wild-looking, bare- 
legged bipeds, whose horses' trappings consist of nothing but a 
bridle. The transformation brought about by crossing the moun- 
tain ridge is novel and complete ; the fez, so omnipresent through- 
out the Ottoman dominions, has disappeared, as if by magic ; the bet- 
ter class Persians wear tall, brimless black hats of Astrakan lamb's 
wool ; some of the peasantry wear an xinlovely, close-fitting skull- 
cap of thick gray felt, that looks wonderfully like a bowl clapped 
on top of their heads, others sport a huge woolly head-dress like the 
Koumanians ; this latter imparts to them a fierce, war-like appear- 



440 FROM SAN FKANCISCO TO TEnERAN. 

ance, that the meek-eyed Persian ryot (tiller of the soil) is far from 
feeling. The national gai-ment is a sort of frock-coat gathered at 
the waist, and with a skirt of ample fulness, reaching nearly to the 
knees ; among the wealthier class the material of this garment is 
usually cloth of a solid, dark color, and among the lyots or peas- 
antry, of calico or any cheap fabric they can obtain. Loose-fitting 
pantaloons of European pattern, and sometimes top-boots, with 
tops ridiculously ample in their looseness, characterize the nether 
garments of the better classes ; the ryots go mostly bare-legged in 
summer, and wear loose, slipper-like foot-gear ; the soles of both 
boots and shoes are frequently pointed, and made to turn up and 
inwards, after the fashion in England centuries ago. 

Nightfall overtakes me as, after traveUing several miles of vari- 
able road, I commence following a winding trail down into the val- 
ley of a tributary of the Arasces toward Ovahjik, where resides the 
Pasha Khan, to whom I have a letter ; but the crescent-shaped 
moon sheds abroad a silvery glimmer that exerts a softening influ- 
ence upon the mountains outlined against the ever-arching dome, 
from whence here and there a star begins to twinkle. It is one of 
those beautiful, cahn autumn evenings when all nature seems 
hushed in peaceful slumbers ; when the stars seem to first peep 
cautiously from the impenetrable depths of their hiding-place, and 
then to commence blinking benignantly and approvingly upon the 
world ; and when the moon looks almost as though fair Luna has 
been especially decorating herself to embellish a scene that without 
her lovely presence would be incomplete. Such is my first autumn 
evening beneath the cloudless skies of Persia. 

Soon the village of Ovahjik is reached, and some peasants guide 
me to the residence of the Pasha Ehan. The servant who presents 
my letter of introduction fills the untutored mind of his master 
with wonderment concerning what the peasants have told him about 
the bicycle. The Pasha Khan makes his appearance without having 
taken the trouble to open the envelope. He is a dull-faced, unin- 
teUectual-looking personage, and without any preliminary palaver 
he says : "Bin bacalem," in a dictatorial tone of voice. " Sacalem 
yole lazim, bacalem saba," I reply, for it is too dark to ride on un- 
known ground this evening. " £in bacalem ! " repeats the Pasha 
Khan, even more dictatorial than before, ordering a servant to bring 
a tallow candle, so that I can have no excuse. There appears to 
be such a total absence of all consideration for myself that I am not 



MOUNT ARARAT AND KOORDISTAN. 



441 



disposed to regard very favorably or patiently the obtrusive med- 
dlesomeness of two younger men — whom I afterward discover to 
be sons of the Pasha Khan — who seem almost inclined to take the 
bicycle out of my charge altogether, in their excessive impatience 
and inordinate inquisitiveness to examine everything about it. One 
of them, thinking the cyclometer to be a watch, puts his ear down 
to see if he can hear it tick, and then persists in fingering it about, 
to the imminent danger of the tally-pin. After telling him several 




The Persistent Son is Slioved into the Water. 



times not to meddle with it, and receiving overbearing gestures in 
reply, I deliberately throw him backward into an in-igating ditch. 
A gleam of intelligence overspreads the stolid countenance of the 
Pasha Khan at seeing his offspring floundering about on his back 
in the mud and water, and he gives utterance to a chuckle of de- 
light. The discomfited young man betrays nothing of the spirit 
of resentment upon recovering himself from the ditch, and the other 
son involuntarily retreats as though afraid his turn was coming next 



442 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

The servant now arrives with the Hghted candle, and the Pasha 
Kahn leads the way into his garden, where there is a wide brick- 
paved walk ; the house occupies one side of the garden, the other 
three sides are inclosed by a high mud wall. After riding a few 
times along the brick-paved walk, and promising to do better in 
the morning, I naturally expect to be taken iuto the house, instead 
of which the Pasha Khan orders the people to show me the way to 
the caravanserai. Arriving at the caravanserai, and finding myself 
thus thrown unexpectedly upon my own resources, I inquire of some 
bystanders where I can obtain ekme/c ; some of them want to know 
bow many liras I will give for ekmek ! When it is reflected that a 
lira is nearly five dollars, one realizes from this something of the 
unconscionable possibilities of the Persian commercial mind. 

While this question is being mooted, a figure appears in the 
doorway, toward which the people one and all respectfully salaam 
and give way. It is the.great Pasha Khan ; he has bethought him- 
self to open my letter of introduction, and having perused it and dis- 
covered who it was from and all about me, he now comes and squats 
down in the most friendly manner by my side for a minute, as 
though to remove any unfavorable impressions his inhospitable action 
in sending me here might have made, and then bids me accompany 
him back to his residence. After permitting him to eat a sufficiency 
of humble pie in the shape of coaxing, to atone for his former in- 
civility, I agree to his proposal and accompany him back. Tea is 
at once provided, the now very friendly Pasha Khan putting extra 
lumps of sugar into my glass with his own hands and stirring it 
up ; bread and cheese comes in with the tea, and under the mis- 
taken impression that this constitutes the Persian evening meal I 
eat sufficient to satisfy my hunger. While thus partaking freely of 
the bread and cheese, I do not fail to notice that the others partake 
very sparingly, and that they seem to be rather astonished because 
I am not following their example. Being chiefly interested in sat- 
isfying my appetite, however, their silent observations have no ef- 
fect save to further mystify my understanding of the Persian char- 
acter. The secret of all this soon reveals itself in the form of an 
ample repast of savory chicken pillau, brought in immediately af- 
terward ; and while the Pasha Khan and his two sons proceed to 
do full justice to this highly acceptable dish, I have to content my- 
self with nibbling at a piece of chicken, and ruminating on the un- 
happy and ludicrous mistake of having satisfied my hunger with 



MOUNT ARARAT AND KOOEDKTAN. 



443 



dry bread and clieese. Thus does one pay the penalty of being un- 
acquainted with the domestic customs of a country when first en- 
tering upon its experiences. 

There seems to be no material difference between the social 
position of the women here and in Turkey ; they eat their meals 
by themselves, and occupy entirely separate apartments, which are 
unapproachable to members of the opposite sex save their hus- 
bands. The Pasha Khan of Ovahjik, however, seems to be a kind, 
indulgent husband and father, requesting me next morning to ride 
up and down the brick-paved walk for the benefit of his wives and 
daughters. In the 

seclusion of their _ _,^^^"- ^= — ^ ■ f"'CT;r-, 
own walled prem- ^ ^ -i^^^'J 'b i^ - i ^?^ \ 'isimi'M 
ises the Persian 
females are evi- 
dently not so par- 
ticular about con- 
cealing their feat- 
ures, and I ob- 
tained a glimpse 
of some very pret- 
ty faces; oval faces 
with large dreamy 
black eyes, and a 
flush of warm sun- 
set on brownish 
cheeks. The in- 
door costume of 
Persian women is 

but an inconsiderable improvement upon the costume of our an- 
cestress in the garden of Eden, aud over this they hastily don a 
flimsy shawl-like garment to come out and see me ride. They are 
always much less concerned about concealing their nether extremi- 
ties than about their faces, and as they seem but little concerned 
about anything on this occasion save the bicycle, after riding for 
them I have to congratulate myself that, so far as sight-seeing is 
concerned, the ladies leave me rather under obligations than other- 
wise. 

After supper the Pasha Khan's falconer brings in several fine 
falcons for my inspection, and in reply to questions concerning one 




Riding for the Pasha Khan's Ladies, 



444 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

witli liis eyelids tied up in wliat appears to be a cruel manner, I 
am told that tliis is the customarj' way of breaking the spirits of 
the young falcons and rendering them tractable and submissive ; 
the eyelids are pierced with a hole, a silk thread is then fastened 
to each eyelid and the ends tied together over the head, sufficiently 
tight to prevent them opening their eyes. Falconing is considered 
the chief out-door sport of the Persian nobility, but the average 
Persian is altogether too indolent for out-door sport, and the keep- 
ing of falcons is fashionable, because regarded as a sign of rank 
and uobQity rather than for sport. 

In the morning the Pasha Khan is wonderfully agreeable, and 
appears anxious to atone as far as possible for the little incivihty 
of yesterday evening, and to remove any unfavorable impressions I 
may perchance entertain of him on that account before I leave. 
His two sons and a couple of soldiers accompany me on horseback 
some distance up the valley. The valley is studded with villages, 
and at the second one we halt at the residence of a gentleman 
named Abbas Koola Khan, and partake of tea and light refresh- 
ments in his garden. Here I learn that the Pasha Khan has car- 
ried his good intentions to the extent of having made arrangements 
to provide me armed escort from point to 23oint ; how far ahead 
this well-meaning arrangement is to extend I am unable to under- 
stand ; neither do I care to find out, being already pretty well con- 
vinced that the escort will prove an insufferable nuisance to be 
gotten rid of at the first favorable opportunity. Abbas Koola 
Khan now joins the company until we arrive at the summit of a 
knoll commanding an extensive view of my road ahead so they can 
stand and watch me when they all bid me farewell save the soldier 
who is to accompany me further on. As we shake hands, the 
young man whom I pushed into the irrigating ditch, points to a 
similar receptacle near by and shakes his head with amusing sol- 
emnity ; whether this is expressive of his sorrow that I should have 
pushed him in, or that he should have annoyed me to the extent of 
having deserved it, I cannot say ; probably the latter. 

My escort, though a soldier, is dressed but little difierent from 
the better-class villagers ; he is an almond-eyed individual, with 
more of the Tartar cast of countenance than the Persian. Besides 
the short Persian sword, he is armed with a Martini Henry rifle of 
the 1862 pattern ; numbers of these rifles having found their way 
into the hands of Turks, Koords and Persians, since the Eusso- 



MOUNT ARARAT ANB KOORDISTAlSr. 445 

Turkish war. My predictions concerning liis turning out an in- 
supportable nuisance are not suffered to remain long unverified, 
for he appears to consider it his chief duty to gallop ahead and 
notify the villagers of my approach, and to work them up to the 
highest expectations concerning my marvellous appearance. The 
result of all this is a swelling of his own importance at having so 
wonderful a person under his protection, and my own transforma- 
tion from an unostentatious traveller to something akin to a free 
cu-cus for crowds of barelegged ryots. I soon discover that, with 
characteristic Persian truthfulness, he has likewise been spreading 
the interesting report that I am journeying in this extraordinary 
manner to carry a message from the "IngilLs Shah " to the "Shah 
in Shah of Iran " (the Persians know their own country as Iran) 
thereby increasing his own importance and the wonderment of the 
people concerning myself. The Persian villages, so far, are little 
different from the Turkish, but such valuable property as melon- 
gardens, vineyards, etc., instead of being presided over by a watch- 
man, are usually surrounded by substantial mud walls ten or twelve 
feet high. The villagers themselves, being less improvident and 
altogether more thoughtful of number one than the Turks, are on 
the whole, a trifle less ragged ; but that is saying very little indeed, 
and theii- condition is anything but enviable. During the summer 
they fai'e comparatively well, needing but little clothing, and thej' 
are happy and contented in the absence of actual suffering ; they 
are perfectly satisfied with a diet of bread and fruit and cucumbers, 
rarely tasting meat of any kind. But fuel is as scarce as in Asia 
Minor, and like the Turks and Armenians, in winter they have re- 
source to a peculiar and economical arrangement to keep themselves 
warm ; placing a pan of burning tezek beneath a low table, the 
whole family huddle around it, covering the table and themselves 
— save of course their heads — up with quilts ; facing each other in 
this ridiculous manner, they chat and while away the dreary days 
of vrinter. 

At the third village after leaving the sons of the Pasha Khan, 
my Tartar-eyed escort, with much garrulous injunction to his suc- 
cessor, delivers me over to another soldier, himself returning back ; 
this is my favorable opportunity, and soon after leaving the village 
I bid my valiant protector return. The man seems totally un- 
able to comprehend why I should order him to leave me, and 
makes an elaborate display of his pantomimic abilities to impress 



446 



FROM SAK FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 



upon me tlie information that the country ahead is full of very bad 
Koords, who will kiU and rob me if I venture among them unpro- 
tected by a soldier. The expressive action of drawing the finger 
across the throat appears to be the favorite method of signifying 
personal danger among all these people ; but I already understand 
that the Persians live in deadly fear of the nomad Koords. Con- 
sequently his warnings, although evidently sincere, fall on biased 
eai's, and I peremptorily order him to depart. The Tabreez trail 

is now easily followed 
without a guide, and 
with a sense of per- 
fect freedom and un- 
restraint, that is de- 
stroyed by having a 
horseman cantering 
alongside one, I push 
ahead, finding the 
roads variable, and 
passing through sev- 
eral vUlages during 
the day. 

The chief concern 
of the ryots is to de- 
tain me until they can 
bring the resident 
Khan to see me ride, 
evidently from a ser- 
vile desire to cater to 
his pleasure. They 
gather around me and 
prevent my departure 
until he arrives. An appeal to the revolver vnll invariably secui-e 
my release, but one naturally gets ashamed of threatening peo- 
ple's lives' even under the exasperating circumstances of a forci- 
ble detention. Once to-day I managed to outwit them beautifully. 
Pretending acquiescence in their proposition of waiting till the ar- 
rival of their Khan, I propose mounting and riding a few yards for 
their own edification while waiting ; in their eagerness to see they 
readily fall into the trap, and the next minute sees me flying down 
the road with a swarm of bare-legged ryots in full chase after me, 




An every-day Occurrence. 



MOUKT ARARAT AND KOORDISTAN". 



447 



yelling for me to stop. Fortunately, they Lave no horses handy, 
but some of these lanky fellows can run like deer almost, and 
nothing but an excellent piece of road enables me to outdistance 
niy pursuers. Wily as the Persians are, compared to the Osman- 
lis, one could play this game on them quite frequently', owing to 
their eagerness to see the bicycle ridden ; but it is seldom that the 
road is sufficiently smooth to justify the attempt. I was gratified 
to learn from the Persian consul at Erzeroum that my stock of 
Turkish would answer me as far as Teheran, the people west of the 

capital speaking a dia- 
^=Ers^'^^^z::.:^-'^r:::^i"~=- lect known as Tabreez 

Turkish; still, I find 
quite a difference. Al- 




Politeness in a Koordish Tent. 



and says : " Boo; ndmi ndder f " ("This ; what is it?") and it is sev- 
eral days ere I have an opportunity of finding out exactly what they 
mean. They are also exceedingly prolific in using the endearing 
term of kardash when accosting me. The distance is now reckoned 
by farsakhs (roughly, four miles) instead of hours ; but, although 
the farsakh is a more tangible and comprehensive measurement than 
the Turkish horn-, in reality it is almost as unreliable to go by. 

Towards evening I ascend into a more mountainous region, in- 
habited exclusively by nomad Koords ; fi-om points of vantage 



448 FEOM SAN I'RANCISCO TO TEHEEAN. 

their tents are observable clustered here and there at the bases of 
the mountains. Descending into a grassy vallej' or depression, I 
find myself in close proximity to several different camps, and 
eagerly avail myself of tlie opportunity to pass a night among 
them. I am now in the heart of Northern Koordistan, which em- 
braces both Persian and Turkish territory, and the occasion is 
most oj)portune for seeing something of these wild nomads in 
their own mountain pastures. The greensward is ridable, and I 
dismount before the Sheikh's tent in the presence of a highly in- 
terested and interesting audience; The half-wild dogs make 
themselves equally interesting in another and a less desirable sense 
as I approach, but the men pelt them with stones, and when I 
dismount they conduct me and the bicycle at once into the tent of 
their chieftain. The Sheikh's tent is capacious enough to shelter 
a regiment almost, and it is divided into compartments similar to 
a previous description ; the Sheikh is a big, burly feUow, of about 
forty-five, wearing a turban the size of a half-bushel measure, and 
dressed pretty much like a well-to-do Turk ; as a matter of fact, 
the Koords admire the Osmanlis and despise the Persians. The 
bicycle is reclined against a carpet partition, and after the customary 
interchange of questions, a splendid fellow, who must be six feet 
six inches tail, and broad-shouldered in proportion, squats himself 
cross-legged beside me, and proceeds to make himseK agreeable, 
rolHng me cigarettes, asking questions, and curiously investigat-, 
ing anything about me that strikes him as peculiar. I show them, 
among other things, a cabinet photograph of myself in all the gloiy 
of needle-pointed mustache and dress-parade apparel ; after a 
critical examination and a brief conference among themselves they 
pronounce me an " English Pasha." I then hand the Sheikh a set 
of sketches, but they are not sufficiently civilized to appreciate the 
sketches ; they hold them upside down and sidewise ; and not 
being able to make anything out of them, the Sheikh holds them, 
iu his hand and looks quite embarrassed, like a person in posses- 
sion of something he doesn't know what to do with. 

Noticing that the women are regarding these proceedings with 
much interest from behind a low partition, and not having yet be- 
come reconciled to the Mohammedan idea of women being 
habitually ignored and overlooked, I venture upon taking the pho- 
tograph to them ; they seem much confused at finding themselves 
the object of direct attention, and they appear several degrees 



MOUNT ARAKAT AND KOORDISTAN. 449 

wilder than the men, so far ns comprehending such a product of 
civilization as a photograph is an indication. It requires more 
material objects than sketches and photos to meet the appreciation 
of these semi-civilized children of the desert. They bring me 
their guns and spears to look at and pronounce upon, and then 
my stalwart entertainer grows inquisitive about my revolver. 
First extracting the cartridges to prevent accident, I hand it to 
him, and he takes it for the Sheikh's inspection. The Sheikh ex- 
amines the handsome little Smith & Wesson long and wistfully, 
and then toys with it several minutes, apparently reluctant about 
having to return it ; finally he asks me to give him a cartridge and 
let him go out and test its accuracy. I am getting a trifle uneasy 
at his evident covetousness of the revolver, and in this request I 
see my opportunity of giving him to understand that it would be 
a useless weapon for him to possess, by telling him I have but a 
few cartridges and that others are not procurable in Koordistan 
or neighboring countries. Eecognizing immediately its useless- 
ness to him under such circumstances, he then returns it without 
remark ; whether he would have confiscated it without this timely 
explanation, it is difficult to say. 

Shortly after the evening meal, an incident occurs which causes 
considerable amusement. Everything being unusually quiet, one 
sharp-eared youth happens to hear the obtrusive ticking of my 
Waterbury, and strikes a listening attitude, at which everybody 
else likewise begins listening ; the tick, tick is plainly discernible 
to everybody in the compartment and they become highly inter- 
ested and amused, and commence looking at me for an explanation. 
"With a view to humoring the spirit of amusement thus awakened, 
I likewise smile, but affect ignorance and innocence concerning the 
origin of the mysterious ticking, and strike a listening attitude as 
well as the others. Presuming iipon our interchange of familiarity, 
our six-foot-sixer then commences searching about my clothing for 
the watch, but being hidden away in a pantaloon fob, and minus a 
chain, it proves beyond his power of discovery. Nevertheless, by 
bending his head down and listening, he ascertains and announces 
it to be somewhere about my person ; the Waterbury is then pro- 
duced, and the loudness of its ticking awakes the wonder and 
admiration of the Koords, even to a greater extent than the Turks. 

During the evening, the inevitable question of Kuss, Osmanli, 
and English crops up, and I win unanimous murmurs of approval 
29 



450 



FKOM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHEKAN. 



by laying my forefingers together and stating that the English and 
the Osmanlis are kardash. I show them my Turkish teskeri, upon 
which several of them bestow fervent kisses, and when, by means 
of placing several stones here and there I explained to them how 
in 1877, the hated Muscov occupied different Mussulman cities one 
after the other, and was prevented by the English from occupying 
their dearly beloved Stamboul itself, their admiration knows no 
bounds. Along the trail, not over a mile from camp, a large Per- 
sian caravan has been halting during the day ; late in the evening 




Explaining England's Friendly Offices. 

loud shouting and firing of guns announces them as prepared to 
start on their night's journey. It is customary when going through 
this part of Koordistan for the caravan men to fire guns and make 
as much noise as possible, in order to impress the Koords with ex- 
aggerated ideas concerning their strength and number ; everybody 
in the Sheikh's tent thoroughly understands the meaning of the 
noisy demonstration, and the men exchange significant smiles. The 
firing and the shouting produce a truly magical effect upon a 
blood-thirsty youngster of ten or twelve summers ; he becomes 



MOUNT AKARAT AND KOORDISTAN. 451 

wildly hilarious, gamboling about the tent, and rolling over and 
kicking up his heels. He then goes to the Sheikh, points to me, 
and draws his finger across his throat, intimating that he would 
like the privilege of cutting somebody's throat, and why not let 
him cut mine ? The Sheikh and others laugh at this, but instead of 
chiding him for his tragical demonstration, they favor him with 
the same admiring glances that grown people bestow upon preco- 
cious youngsters the world over. Under these circumstances of ab- 
ject fear on the one hand, and inbred propensity for violence and 
plunder on the other, it is really surprising to find the Koords in 
Persian territory behaving themselves as well as they do. 

Quilts are provided for me, and I occupy this same compart- 
ment of the tent, in common with several of the younger men. In 
the morning, before departing, I am regaled with bread and rich, 
new cream, and when leaving the tent I pause a minute to watch the 
bugy scene in the female department. Some are churning butter 
in sheep-skin churns which are suspended from poles and jerked 
back and forth ; others are weaving carpets, preparing curds for 
cheese, baking bread, and otherwise industriously employed. I de- 
part from the Koordish camp thoroughly satisfied with my expe- 
rience of their hospitality, but the cerulean waist-scarf bestowed 
upon me by our Hungarian friend Igali, at Belgrade, no longer 
adds its embellishments to my personal adornments. Whenever a 
favorable opportunity presents, certain young men belonging to 
the noble army of hangers-on about the Sheikh's apartments in- 
variably glide inside, and importune the guest from Frangistan for 
any article of his clothing that excites the admiration of then- semi- 
civilized minds. This scarf, they were doubtless penetrating- 
enough to observe, formed no necessary part of my wardrobe, and 
a dozen times in the evening, and again in the morning, I was 
worried to part with it, so I finally presented it to one of them. 
He hastily hid it away among his clothes and disappeared, as 
though fearful, either that the Sheikh might see it and make him 
return it, or that one of the chieftain's favorites might take a fancy 
to it and summarily appropriate it to his own use. 

Not more than five miles eastward from the camp, whUe trun- 
dling over a stretch of stony ground, I am accosted by a couple of 
Koordish shepherds ; but as the country immediately around is 
wild and unfrequented, save by Koords, and knowing something 
of their little weaknesses toward travellers under tempting, one- 



452 



FEOM SAX FRAKCISCO TO TEHERAN, 



sided conditions, I deem it advisable to pay as little heed to them 
as possible. Seeing that I have no intention of halting, they come 
running up, and undertake to forcibly detain me by seizing hold 
of the bicycle, at the same time making no pretence of conceaHng 
. their eager curiosity concerning the probable contents of my lug- 
gage. Naturally disapproving of this arbitrary conduct, I push 
them roughly away. With a growl more hke the voice of a wild 
animal than of human beings, one draws his sword and the other 
picks up a thick knobbed stick that he had dropped in order to 
the better pinch and sound my packages. Without giving them 




Koordish Highwaymen. 

time to reveal whether they seriously intend attacking me, or only 
to tiy intimidation, I have them nicely covered with the Smith & 
Wesson. They seem to comprehend in a moment that I have them 
at a disadvantage, and they hurriedly retreat a short distance, exe- 
cuting a series of gyral antics, as though expecting me to fire at 
their legs. 

They ai-e accompanied by two dogs, tawny-coated monsters, 
larger than the largest mastiffs, who now proceed to make things 
lively and interesting around myself and the bicycle. Keeping 
the revolver in my hand, and threatening to shoot their dogs if 



MOUNT xVliAKAT AND KOORDISTAN. 453 

they don't call tliem away, I continue my progress toward where 
the stony ground terminates in favor of smooth camel-paths, about 
a hundred yai-ds farther on. At this juncture I notice several 
other " gentle shepherds " coming racing down from the adjacent 
knolls ; but whether to assist their comrades in catching and rob- 
bing me, or to prevent a conflict between us, will always remain 
an uncertainty. I am afraid, however, that with the advantage on 
their side, the Eoordish herdsmen rarely trouble themselves about 
auy such uncongenial task as peace-making. Eeaching the smooth 
ground before any of the new-comers overtake me, I mount and 
speed away, followed by wild yells from a dozen Koordish throats, 
and chased by a dozen of their dogs. Upon sober second thought, 
when well away from the vicinity, I conclude this to have been a 
rather ticklish incident ; had they attacked me in the absence of 
anything else to defend myself with, I should have been comjjelled 
to shoot them ; the nearest Persian village is about ten miles distant ; 
the absence of anything like continuously ridable road would have 
made it impossible to out-distance their horsemen, and a Persian 
village would have afforded small security against a party of en- 
raged Koords, after all. 

The first village I arrive at to-day, I again attempt the " ske- 
daddling " dodge on them that proved so successful on one occa- 
sion yesterday ; but I am foiled by a rocky "jump-off" in the road 
to-day. The road is not so favorable for spurting as yesterday, 
and the racing ryots grab me amid much boisterous merriment ere 
I overcome the obstruction ; they take particular care not to give 
me another chance until the arrival of the Khan. The country 
hereabouts consists of gravelly, imdulating plateaus between the 
mountains, and well-worn camel-paths afford some excellent wheel- 
ing. Near mid-day, while laboriously ascending a long but not 
altogether uniidable ascent, I meet a couple of mounted soldiers ; 
they obstruct my road, and proceed to deliver themselves of volu- 
ble Tabreez Turkish, by which I understand that they ai-e the ad- 
vance guard of a party in which there is a Ferenghi (the Persian 
term for an Occidental). WhUe talking wdth them I am somewhat 
taken by surprise at seeing a lady on horseback and two children 
in a kajaveh (mule panier) appear over the slope, accompanied by 
about a dozen Persians. 

If I am surprised, the lady herself not unnaturally evinces even 
gi-eater astonishment at the apparition of a lone wheelman here on 



454 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEIIEEAN. 

the caravan roads of Persia ; of course we are mutually delighted. 
With the assistance of her servant, the lady alights from the saddle 

and introduces herself as Mrs. E , the wife of one of the Persian 

missionaries ; her husband has lately returned home, and she is on 
the vyay to join him. The Persians accompanying her comprise her 
own servants, some soldiers procured of the Governor of Tabreez by 
the Euglish consul to escort her as far as the Turkish frontier, and 
a couple of unattached travellers keeping with the party for com- 
pany and society. A mule driver has charge of pack-mules carry- 
ing boxes containing, among other things, her husband's library. 
During the course of ten minutes' conversation the lady informs me 
that she is compelled to travel in this manner the whole distance to 
Trebizond, owing to the practical impossibility of passing through 
Eussian territory with the library. Were it not for this a com- 
paratively short and easy journey would take them to Tifhs, from 
which point there would be steam communication with Europe. 
Ere the poor lady gets to TrebizGnd she will be likely to reflect 
that a government so civilized as the Czar's might relax its gloomy 
laws sufficiently to allow the affixing of official seals to a box of 
books, and permit its transportation through the country, on con- 
dition — if they will — that it should not be opened in transit ; surely 
there would be no danger of the people's minds being enlightened 
— not even a little bit — by coming in contact with a library tightly 
boxed and sealed. At the frontier an escort of Turkish zaptiehs 
will take the place of the Persian soldiers, and at Erzeroum the mis- 
sionaries will, of course, render her every assistance to Trebizond ; 
but it is not without feelings of anxiety for the health of a lady 
travelling in this rough manner unaccompanied by her natural pro- 
tector, that I reflect on the discomforts she must necessarily put 
up with between here and Erzeroum. She seems in good spirits, 
however, and says that meeting me here in this extraordinary man- 
ner is the "most romantic" incident in her whole experiences of 
missionary life in Persia. Like many another, she says, she can 
scarcely conceive it possible that I am traveUing without attendants 
and without being able to speak the languages. One of the un- 
attached travellers gives me a note of introduction to Mohammed 
Ali Khan, the Governor of Peri, a suburban village of Khoi, which I 
expect to reach some time this afternoon. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

PERSIA AND THE TABREEZ CARAVAN TRAIL. 

A SHORT trundle to the summit of a sloping pass, and then a 
winding descent of several miles brings me to a position com- 
manding a view of an extensive valley that looks from this distance 
as lovely as a dreamy vision of Paradise. An hour later and I am 
bowling along beneath overhanging peach and mulberry trees, fol- 
lowing a volunteer horseman to Mohammed Ali Khan's garden. Be- 
fore reaching the garden a gang of bare-legged laborers engaged iu 
patching up a mud wall favor me with a fusillade of stones, one of 
which caresses me on the ankle, and makes me limp like a Green- 
wich pensioner when I dismount a minute or two afterward. This 
is their peculiar way of complimenting a lone Perenghi. Mohammed 
Ali Khan is found to be rather a moon-faced individual under thirty, 
who, together with his subordinate officials, are occupying tents iu 
a large garden. Here, during the summer, they dispense justice to 
applicants for the same within their jurisdiction, and transact such 
other official business as is brought before them. In Persia the dis- 
tribution of justice consists chiefly in the officials ruthlessly looting 
the applicants of everything lootable, and the weightiest task of the 
officials is intriguing together against the pocket of the luckless 
wight who ventures upon seeking equity at their hands. 

A sorrowful-visaged husbandman is evidently experiencing the 
easy simplicity of Persian civil justice as I enter the garden ; he 
wears the mournful expression of a man conscious of being irretriev- 
ably doomed, while the festive Kahn and his equally festive moonshi 
bashi (chief secretary) are laying their wicked heads together and 
whispering mysteriously, fifty paces away from everybody, ever and 
anon looking suspiciously around as though fearful of the presence 
of eavesdroppers. After duly binning, a young man yclept Abdullah, 
who seems to be at the beck and call of everybody, brings forth the 
samovar, and we drink the customary tea of good fellowship, after 
which they examine such of my modest effects as take their fancy. 



456 FROM SAN FEANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

The moonshi bashi, as becomes a man of education, is quite infat- 
uated with my pocket map of Persia ; the fact that Persia occupies 
so great a space on the map in comparison with the small portions 
of adjoining countries visible around the edges makes a powerful 
appeal to his national vanity, and he regards me with increased af- 
fection every time I trace out for him the comprehensive boundary 
line of his native Iran. After nightfall we repair to the principal 
tent, and Mohammed Ali Khan and his secretary consume the 
evening hours in the joyous occupation of alternately smoking the 
kalian (Persian water-pipe, not tmlike the Turkish nargUeh, except 
that it has a straight stem instead of a coiled tube), and swallowing 
glasses of raw arrack everj' few minutes ; they furthermore amuse 
themselves by trying to induce me to follow their noble example, 
and in poking fun at another young man because his conscientious 
scruples regarding the Mohammedan injunction against intoxicants 
forbids him indulging with them. About eight o'clock the Khan 
becomes a trifle sentimental and very patriotic. Producing a pair of 
silver-mounted horse-pistols from a corner of the tent, and waving 
them theatrically about, he proclaims aloud his mighty devotion to 
the Shah. At nine o'clock Abdullah brings in the supper. The 
Khan's vertebra has become too limp and willowy to enable him to 
sit upright, and he has become too indifferent to such coarse, un- 
spiritual things as stewed chicken and musk-melons to care about 
eating any, while the moonshi bashi' s affection for me on account of 
the map has become so overwhelming that he deliberately empties 
all the chicken on to my sheet of bread, leaving none whatever for 
himself and the phenomenal young person with the conscientious 
scruples. 

When bedtime arrives it requires the united exertions of Abdullah 
and the phenomenal young man to partially undress Mohammed 
Ali Khan and drag him to his couch on the floor, the Kahn being 
limp as a dish-rag and a moderately bulky person. The moonshi 
bashi, as becomes an individual of lesser rank and superior mental 
attainments, is not quite so helpless as his official superior, but on 
retiring he humorously reposes his feet on the pillow and his head 
on nothing but the bare floor of the tent, and stubbornly refuses to 
l^ermit Abdullah to alter either his pillow or his position. The 
phenomenal young man and myself likewise seek our respective 
pile of quilts, Abdullah removes the lump, draws a curtain over the 
entrance of the tent, and retires. 



PERSIA AND THE TABEEEZ CARAVAN TRAIL. 



457 



The Persians, as representing the Shiite division of the Moham- 
medan rehgion, consider themselves by long odds the holiest peo- 
ple on the earth, far holier than the Turks, virhom they religiously 
despise as Sunnites and unworthy to loose the latchets of their 
shoes. The Koran strictly enjoins upon them great moderation in 
the use of intoxicating drinks, yet certain of the Persian nobility 
ai-e given to drinking this raw intoxicant by the quart daily. When 



iifi \ \ 




Limp as a Dish-rag." 



asked why they don't use it in moderation, they reply, " What is 
the good of drinking arrack unless one drinks enough to become 
drunk and happy ? " Following this briUiant idea, many of them 
get " drunk and happy " regularly every evening. They likewise 
frequently consume as much as a pint before each meal to create 
a false appetite and make themselves feel boozy while eating. 

In the morning the moonshi bashi, with a soldier for escort, ac- 



458 FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO TEHERAN. 

companies me on horseback to Khoi, whicli is but about seven miles 
distant over a perfectly level road. Sad to say, the moonshi bashi, be- 
sides his yearning affection for fiery, untamed arrack, is a confirmed 
opium smoker, and after last night's debauch for supper and " hit- 
ting the pipe " this morning for breakfast, he doesn't feel very dashing 
in the saddle ; consequently I have to accommodate myself to his pace. 
It is the slowest seven miles ever ridden on the road by a wheelman, 
I think ; a funeral procession is a lively, rattling affair, beside our 
onward progress toward the mud battlements of Khoi, but there 
is no help for it. Whenever I venture to the fore a little the dreamy- 
eyed moonshi bashi regards me with a gaze of mild reproachfulness, 
and sings out in a gently-chide-the-erring tone of voice : " Kardash f 
Kardash ? '" vuBsjamg "If we are brothers, why do you seem to 
want to leave me ? " Human nature could scarcely be proof against 
an appeal wherein endearment and reproach are so beautifully and 
harmoniously blended, and it always brings me back to a level with 
his horse. 

Reaching the suburbs of Khoi, I am initiated into a new de- 
parture — new to myself at this time — of Persian sanctimonious- 
ness. Halting at a fountain to obtain a drink, the soldier shapes 
himself for pouring the water out of the earthenware drinking 
vessel into my hands ; supposing this to be merely an indication 
of the Persian's own method of drinking, I motion my preference 
for drinking out of the jar itself. The soldier looks appeaHngly 
toward the moonshi bashi, who tells him to let me drink, and then 
orders him to smash the jar. It then dawns upon my unenlight- 
ened mind, that being, a Perenghi, I should have known better 
than to have touche'ci my unhallowed lips to a drinking Tessel at 
a public fountain, defiling it by so doing, so that it must be 
smashed in order that the sons of the "true prophet" may not un- 
wittingly drink from it afterward and themselves become defiled. 
The moonshi bashi pilots me to the residence of a certain wealthy 
citizen outside the city walls ; this person, a mild-mannered, pur- 
ring-voiced man, is seated in a room with a couple of seyuds, or 
descendants of the prophet ; they are helping themselves from a 
large platter of the finest pears, peaches, and egg plums I ever saw 
anywhere. The room is carpeted with costly rugs and carpets in 
which one's feet sink perceptibly at every step ; the walls and ceil- 
ing are artistically stuccoed, and the doors and windows are gay 
with stained class. 



PERSIA AND THE TABEEEZ CAKAVAW TRAIL. 



459 



Abandoning myself to the guidance of the moonshi basJii, I ride 
around the garden -walks, show them the bicycle, revolver, map of 
Persia, etc. ; like the vwonshi bashi, they become deeply interested 
in the map, finding much amusement and satisfaction in having 
me point out the location of different Persian cities, seemingly re- 
garding my ability to do so as evidence of exceeding cleverness and 
erudition. The untravelled Persians of the northern provinces re- 
gard Teheran as the grand idea of a large and important city ; if 




Doing the Agreeable. 

there is any place in the whole world larger and more important, 
they think it may perhaps be Stamboul. The fact that Stamboul 
is not on my map while Teheran is, they regard as conclusive proof 
of the superiority of their own capital. The moonshi bashi's chief 
purpose in accompanying me hither has been to introduce me to 
the attention of the " hoikim " ; although the pronunciation is a 
little different from hakim, I attribute this to local brogue, and 
have been surmising this personage to be some doctor, who, per- 
haps, having graduated at a Frangistan medical college, the moonahi 



460 FROM SAN FEANCISCO TO TEHERAN, 

bashi thinks will be able to converse with me. After partaking of 
fruit and tea we continue on our way to the nearest gate-way of the 
city proper, Khoi being surrounded by a ditch and battlemented 
mud wall. Arriving at a large, public inclosure, my guide sends in 
a letter, and shortly afterward delivers me over to some soldiers, 
who forthwith conduct me into the presence of — not a doctor, but 
Ali Khan, the Governor of the city, an officer who hereabouts re- 
joices in the title of the " hoibim." 

The Governor proves to be a man of superior intelligence ; he 
has been Persian ambassador to France some time ago, and under- 
stands French fairly well ; consequently we manage to understand 
each other after a fashion. Although he has never before seen a 
bicycle, his knowledge of the mechanical ingenuity of the Feren- 
ghis causes him to regard it with more intelligence than an un- 
travelled native, and to better comprehend my journey and its ob- 
ject. Assisted by a dozen mollahs (priests) and officials in flowing 
gowns and henna-tinted beards and finger-nails, the Governor is 
transacting official business, and he invites me to come into the 
council chamber and be seated. In a few minutes the noon-tide 
meal is announced ; the Governor invites me to dine with them, 
and then leads the way into the dining-room, followed by his coun- 
sellors, who form in line behind him according to their rank. The 
dining-room is a large, airy apartment, opening into an extensive 
garden ; a bountiful repast is spread on yellow-checkered table- 
cloths on the carpeted floor ; the Governor squats cross-legged at 
one end, the stately-looking wiseacres in flowing gowns range them- 
selves along each side in a similar attitude, with much solemnity 
and show of dignity ; they— at least so I fancy — evidently are any- 
thing but rejoiced at the prospect of eating vdth an infidel Ferenghi. 
The Governor, being a far more enlightened and consequently 
less bigoted personage, looks about him a trifle embarrassed, as if 
searching for some place where he can seat me in a position of be- 
coming honor without offending the prejudices of his sanctimonious 
counsellors. Noticing this, I at once come to his relief by taking 
the position farthest from him, attempting to imitate them in their 
cross-legged attitude. My unhappy attempt to sit in this uncom- 
fortable attitude — uncomfortable at least to anybody unaccustomed 
to it — provokes a smile from His Excellency, and he straightway or- 
ders an attendant to fetch in a chair and a small table ; the coun- 
sellors look on in silence, but they are evidently too deeply im- 



PERSIA AND THE TABREEZ CARAVAN TRAIL. 461 

pressed with their own dignity and holiness to commit themselves 
to auy such display of levity as a smile. A portion of each dish is 
placed upon my table, together with a travellers' combination knife, 
fork and spoon, a relic, doubtless, of the Governor's Parisian ex- 
perience. His Excellency having waited and kept the counsellors 
waiting until these preparations are finished, motions for me to 
commence eating, and then begins himself. The repast consists of 
boiled mutton, rice pillau with curry, mutton chops, hard-boiled 
eggs with lettuce, a pastry of sweetened rice-flour, musk-melons, 
water-melons, several kinds of fruit, and for beverage glasses of iced 
sherbet ; of all the company I alone use knife, fork, and plates. 
Before each Persian is laid a broad sheet of bread ; bending their 
heads over this they scoop up small haudf uls of pillau, and toss it 
dextrously into their mouths ; scattering particles missing the ex- 
pectantly opened receptacle fall back on to the bread ; this handy 
sheet of bread is used as a plate for placing a chop or anything else 
on, as a table-napkin for wiping finger-tips between courses, and 
now and then a piece is puUed ofif and eaten. "When the meal is 
finished, an attendant waits on each guest with a brazen bowl, an 
ewer of water and a towel. 

After the meal is over the Governor is no longer handicapped 
by the religious prejudices of the moUahs, and leaving them he in- 
vites me into the gai-den to see his two little boys go through their 
gymnastic exercises. They are clever little feUows of about seven 
and nine, respectively, with large black eyes and clear olive com- 
plexions ; aU the time we are watching them the Governor's face is 
wreathed in a fond, parental smUe. The exercises consist chiefly in 
cUmbing a thick rope dangling from a cross-beam. After seeing 
me ride the bicycle the Governor wants me to try my hand at gym- 
nastics, but being nothing of a gymnast I respectfully beg to be 
excused. While thus enjoj'ing a pleasant hour in the garden, a 
series of resounding thwacks are heard somewhere near by, and 
looking around some intervening shrubs I observe a couple of far- 
rashes bastinadoing a culprit ; seeing me more interested in this 
novel method of administering justice than in looking at the young- 
sters trying to climb ropes, the Governor leads the way thither. 
The man, evidently a ryot, is lying on his back, his feet ai-e lashed 
to"-ether and held soles uppermost by means of an horizontal pole, 
while the farrashes briskly belabor them with willow sticks. The 
soles of the ryot's feet ai'e hard and thick as rhinoceros hide almost 



462 FROM SAK FRANCISCO TO TEIIERAW. 

from habitually walking barefooted, and under these conditions his 
punishment is evidently anything but severe. The flagellation goes 
merrily and iininterruptedly forward until fifty sticks about five feet 
long and thicker than a person's thumb are broken over his feet 
without eUciting any signals of distress from the homy-hoofed ryot, 
except an occasional sorrowful groan of " A-l-l-ah ! " He is then 
loosed and limps painfully away, but it looks like a rather hypo- 
critical limp, after all ; fifty sticks, by the by, is a comparatively 
light punishment, several hundred sometimes being broken at a 
single punishment. Upon taking my leave the Governor kindly 
details a couple of soldiers to show me to the best caravanserai, and 
to remain and protect me from the worry and annoyance of the 
crowds until my departure from the city. 

Arriving at the caravanserai, my valiant protectors undertake 
to keep the following crowd from entering the courtyard ; the 
crowd refuses to see the justice of this arbitrary proceeding, and a 
regular pitched battle ensues in the gateway. The caravanserai- 
jees reinforce the soldiers, and by laying on vigorously with thick 
sticks, they finally put the rabble to flight. They then close the 
caravanserai gates until the excitement has subsided. Khoi is a 
city of perhaps fifty thousand inhabitants, and among them all 
there is no one able to speak a word of English. Contemplating 
the surging mass of woolly-hatted Persians from the bala-khana (bal- 
cony ; our word is taken from the Persian), of the caravanserai, 
and hearing nothing but unintelligible language, I detect myself 
unconsciously recalling the lines : " Oh it was pitiful ; in a whole 
city full ." It is the fitrst large city I have visited without find- 
ing somebody capable of speaking at least a few words of my own 
language. Locking the bicycle up, I repair to the bazaar, my watch- 
ful and zealous attendants making the dust fly from the shoulders 
of such unlucky wights whose eager inquisitiveness to obtain a good 
close look brings them within the reach of their handy staves. "VVe 
are followed by immense crowds, a Ferenghi being a rara avis in 
Khoi, and the fame of the wonderful asp-i-awhan (horse of iron) 
has spread Uke wild-fire through the city. In the bazaar I obtain 
Russian silver money, which is the chief currency of the country as 
far east as Zendjan. Partly to escape from the worrying crowds, 
and partly to ascertain the way out next morning, as I intend 
making an early start, I get the soldiers to take me outside the 
city wall and show me the Tabreez road. 



PERSIA AND THE 'J'ABUEEZ CAEAVAN TRAIL. 



463 



A new caravanserai is in process of construction just outside 
the Tabreez gate, and I become an interested spectator of the 
Persian mode of building the walls of a house ; these of the new 
caravanserai are nearly four feet thick. Parallel walls of mud 
bricks are built up, leaving an interspace of two feet or there- 
abouts ; this is filled with stiff, well-worked mud, which is dumped 
in by bucketsful and continually tramped by barefooted laborers ; 
harder bricks are used for the doorways and windows. The b: rick- 
layer uses mud for mortar and his hands for a trowel ; he worto- 
without either level or plumb-hne, and keeps up a doleful, melan- 




TakinfT a Drink. 



choly chant from morniug to night. The mortar is handed to him 
by an assistant by handsful ; every workman is smeared and spat- 
tered with mud from head to foot, as though glSrying in covering 
themselves with the trade-mark of their calling. 

Strolling away from the busy builders we encounter a man — 
the " wather bhoy av the ghang " — bringing a three-gallon pitcher 
of water from a spring half a mile away. Being thirsty, the sol- 
diers shout for him to bring the pitcher. Scarcely conceiving it 
possible that these humble mud-daubers would be so wretchedly 
sanctimonious, I drink from the jar, much to the disgust of the 



464 FUOM SAN FEANCISCO TO TEIIEUATST. : 

poor water-camer, ■who forthwith empties the remainder away and 
returns with hurried trot to the spring for a fresh supply ; he would 
doubtless have smashed the vessel had it been smaller and of lesser 
value. Naturally I feel a trifle conscience-stricken at having caused 
■him so much trouble, for he is rather an elderly man, but the sol- 
diers display no sympathy for him whatever, apparently regarding 
am humble water-carrier as a person of small consequence anyhow, 
and^ they laugh heartily at seeing him trotting brisMy back half a 
mitt for another load. Had he taken the first water after a Fe- 
renghi had drank from it and allowed his fellow-workmen to unwit- 
tingly partake of the same, it would probably have fared badly with 
the old fellow had they found it out afterward. 

Eeturning cityward we meet our friend, the moonshi bashi, 
looking me up ; he is accompanied by a dozen better-class Per- 
sians, scattering friends and acquaintances of his, whom he has col- 
lected during the day chiefly to show them my map of Persia ; the 
mechanical beauty of the bicycle and the apparent victory over the 
laws of equilibrium in riding it being, in the opinion of the scholar- 
ly moonshi bashi, quite overshadowed by a map which shows Te- 
heran and Khoi, and doesn't show Stamboul, and which shows 
the whole broad expanse of Persia, and only small portions of other 
countries. This latter fact seems to have made a very deep im- 
pression upon the moonshi bashi's mind ; it appears to have filled 
him with the unalterable conviction that all other countries are in- 
significant compared with Persia ; in his own mind this patriotic 
person has always believed this to be the case, but he is overjoyed 
at finding his belief verified — as he fondly imagines — by the map 
of a Ferenghi. Eeturning to the caravanserai, we find the court- 
yard crowded ■with people, attracted by the fame of the bicycle. The 
moonshi bashi straightway ascends to the bala-hhana, tenderly un- 
folds my map, and displays it for the inspection of the gaping mul- 
titude below ; while five hundred pairs of eyes gaze wonderingly 
upon it, without ta^ring the slightest conception of what they are 
looking at, he proudly traces with his finger the outHues of Per- 
sia. It is one of the most amusing scenes imaginable ; the moon- 
shi bashi and myself, surrounded by his little company of friends, 
occupying the bala-khana, proudly displaying to a mixed crowd of 
fully five hundred people a shilling map as a thing to be wondered 
at and admired. 

After the departure of the moonshi bashi and his friends, by in- 



PERSIA AND THE TABREEZ CARAVAN TRAIL. 



465 



vitation I pay a visit of curiosity to a company of dervishes (they 
themselves pronounce it " darwish ") occupying one of the cai-avan- 
serai rooms. There are eight of them lolling about in one small 
room ; their appearance is disgusting and yet interesting ; they are 
all but naked in deference to the hot vreather and to obtain a little 
rehef from the lively tenants of their clothing. Prominent among