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Full text of "The struggle for Scutari (Turk, Slav, and Albanian)"

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UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO 
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THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 




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Till-: Althor (jn kki.ikf work. 



THE STRUGGLE FOR 
SCUTARI ^ 

(TURK, SLAV, AND ALBANIAN) 



^ 



BY 



M. EDITH DURHAM 

AUTHOR OF 
THE BURDEN OF THE BALKANS," "HIGH ALBANIA," ETC. 



7 -no 8 



ILLUSTRATED BY PHOTOGRAPHS AND SKETCHES 
BY THE AUTHOR 



LONDON 

EDWARD ARNOLD 

1914 

[All rights reserved] 



TO 

MAUD AND HERBERT 



PREFACE 

None who have not Hvecl through the past few years 
on the spot can imagine the fraud, the treachery, the 
cold-blooded cruelty and brutality with which the 
various rulers of Europe have striven, each against 
each, to obtain, by hook or by crook, possession of, 
or influence over, that little corner of land in the 
Near East which has been lately the seat of war, and 
is now the seat of hopeless misery. 

To detail the mass of suffering which I myself have 
witnessed would take several volumes of monotonous 
horror. To unravel the complicated mesh of intrigues 
and hes would be impossible. I have tried only to 
tell a plain tale of the main facts that came directly 
under my notice, and in no w^ay to write a history of 
the war. 

One short explanation only I would give. Want 
of space has forced me to take for granted in my 
readers a certain amount of knowledge about the 
scene of action — North Albania — which, as I am 
aware, is a rash thing to do. Such as desire a detailed 
account of the country I must refer to my " High 
Albania." To the others I would state only that 
Maltsor (sometimes spelt ^lallissor) means merely 



viii PREFACE 

"a mountain-man": from '' mal," a mountain; 
"' malt," mountains — " Maltsor," man of the moun- 
tains. Every mountain-man all over Albania, be lie 
Moslem or Christian, is a Maltsor. The Maltsors are 
divided into very numerous tribes, or clans, of which 
the Mirdites form one. 

There has been so much misunderstanding on this 
subject that at the beginning of the war a well-known 
illustrated paper pubhshed a photograph of some 
Circassians labelled " Mallissori, the Albanian shep- 
herd tribe," whereas in the Scutari vilayet alone 
there are some thirty tribes. 

So much for the past. The present is unspeakably 
miserable. Whole districts have been purposely de- 
populated, for the aim of most Balkan States is, so far 
as possible, to evict members of an alien race. These, 
hunted out from their lands and robbed of all they 
possess, are appealing now urgently for help. Each 
month has so far brought fresh victims of racial 
ferocity. 

In conclusion, I would offer most hearty thanks to 
the generous donors of money and clothing — many 
of them complete strangers to me — who have enabled 
me to relieve some of the misery and save a good 
many lives. And I would beg all readers never to 
forget that there is one thing much more awful than 
war, and that is the period which follows it, when such 
as have escaped a merciful death by shot and shell 
are left to face starvation on the mountain-side. 

M. E. DURHAM. 

May, 1914. 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER 

I. PRELIMINARY 

II. 1908-1910 - 
III. 
IV. - . . 

V. THE GREAT BETRAYAL 



PAET I 
BEFORE THE WAR 



PAGB 

3 

9 

23 

41 

71 



PART II 
THE GATHERING OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 

VI. THE WINTER OF OUR DISCONTENT (1911-1912) 
VII. MUBLEZ 1 MUBLEZ II 
VIII. THE REFORM COMMISSION - - . . 

IX. PLOT AND COUNTERPLOT - - . . 

X. THE LAST SCENE OF THE FOURTH ACT 



87 

122 
137 
148 
159 



PART III 
WAR 



XI. - . . 

XII. 

XIII. THE GLORIES OF WAR 

XIV. THE FALL OF SCUTARI 
XV, SCUTARI 



181 

200 
227 
265 
379 



IX 



X CONTENTS 

PART IV 
THE HABVEST OF WAR ^^^^ 

CHAPTBK _ 293 

XVI THE HARVEST OF WAR - " ' * 

- 311 

XVII. LAST WORI>S - 

- 317 

INDEX 



LIST OF PLATES 

THE ATTTHOR ON RELIEF WOBK (PHOTO Br MR. B. LOCH) .......X' "" 

THE sultan's accession DAY, 1910 

MEN OF HOTI COMING TO CELEBRATE THE CONSTITITTION 1908 

SOKOL BATZI (PHOTO BY MARUBBI OF SCUTARI) 

GROUP OF MALTSLl E JLiDHE MEX 

MALTSORS AT TUZI 

RETURNED REFUGEES AT BAITZA 

INNOCENT YICTIMS 

ESSAD PASHA 
DED SOKO 

CETTIGNE'S FIRST PUBLIC MEETING ..." 

MONTENEGRIN FRONTIER BLOCKHOUSE AT DZAMIYA 

SERB PEASANTS FROM IPEK NAHIA COME TO FETCH RIFLES AT " 
ANDRIYEVITZA . . ^J^*i^£.S AT 

DECmCH AND THE BURNT TURKISH BLOCKHOUSE 

MONTENEGRINS OCCUPYING THE TURKISH FOR^ESS SHIPCHAN-IK 
DDIEDIATELY AFTER ITS STOREXdER . ^^=^^^ 

THE HOUYHNHNM 
T£[E MONTENEGRINS IN TUZI 
UBA MESIT 

MONTENEGRIN ARMY REITRING OVER BOJANA BRIDGE AS THE 
ADMIRALS ROWED BENEATH IT 

- ''88 

V1CE-AD>nRAL BURNEY LANDING AT SCUTARI TO TAKE POSSESSION ^90 
BURNT HOUSE AT GRIZHA 

- 296 

BURNT-OUT CHILDREN AT SKJERZI 

- 296 



12 
12 

34 
34 
54 
80 
92 
92 

116 

116 

166 

174 

176 
194 



194 

198 
198 
216 



XI 



PART I 

BEFORE THE WAR 

VIOLENCE IS THE ENEMY OF RIGHT 



i 



THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 



CHAPTER I 

PRELIMINARY 

" The Causes and Motives of Seditions are ; Innovation in 
Religion ; Alteration of Lawes and Customes ; Breaking of Privi- 
leges ; Generall Oppression ; and Whatsoever by Offending 
People, joyneth and knitteth them in a Common Cause." — 
Bacon. 

*' The Turkish Empire is like a very old house. Leave 
it untouched, and it may stand yet a hundred years. 
Tiy to repair it — move but one stone — and it will all 
fall down on your head.'' Thus said to me, shrewdly, 
an old Albanian in 1904; and the outburst of wild 
rejoicing which took place when the Turks proclaimed 
the Constitution in 1908, filled me with little, if any, 
hope; for it sprang from a false conception of the state 
of affairs. When, to my amazement, I learnt that the 
Powers of Europe had taken the Young Turks at their 
own valuation and withdrawn the sole means of 
control — the international gendarmerie — from Mace- 
donia, I regarded the situation as already lost. That 
withdrawal was, in fact, expressly planned by certain 
Powers, who wished to precipitate the downfall, on 
the principle of " give him enough rope and he will 
hang himself," and there were diplomatists who 
boasted openly that it would hasten the end. 



4 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

Never to this day have I been able to understand 
those enthusiasts at home and abroad who believed 
that the Young Turk could possibly succeed, over- 
whelmed the new Government with praise, before 
it had had time to display the smallest capacity for 
governing, and started its representatives upon their 
career, surfeited with the most fulsome flattery and 
with their heads more than sufficiently turned. 

Be it clearly understood that I speak only of Turkey 
in Europe, for of Asiatic Turkey I have no experience. 
Consider the situation, and you will see that it was 
bound to spell disaster. Turkey in Europe, with the 
exception of the neighbourhoods of Constantinople 
and Adrianople, contained comparatively few Turks, 
save officials and soldiers. The native population con- 
sisted of Greeks, Bulgars, Albanians, Serbs, and 
Kutzo Vlahs, with a considerable sprinkling of Jews 
and Gypsies. 

The fierce race hatred felt by each of the four first- 
named peoples for each other, first enabled the Turk 
to penetrate Europe. The same hatred, continued 
from the Early Middle Ages up to the present day, 
enabled him to remain. 

Having subdued one race after the other, he con- 
trived by an ingenious policy of rubbing one against 
t'other that they should never unite against him. 
He did not succeed in assimilating them. Perhaps 
he never tried. Even those who turned Moslem 
retained their language and a great deal of their racial 
customs and characteristics. 

Partly Turkish policy, partly the great unsolved 
mystery of race, kept all these peoples separate, as in 
water-tight compartments. 



BEFORE THE WAR 5 

The Turk was never more than a great soldier. 
He reached his zenith in the seventeenth century, 
and then declined slowly. As the Turkish race de- 
generated and lost power, so did the subject peoples 
slowly revive. And with them revived their old 
ambitions — the hates and aspirations of the Middle 
Ages. Partly by their own efforts and partly by the 
help of one or other of the Great Powers, Serb, Greek, 
and Bulgar each in turn emerged from the Turkish 
Empire. It is important to note that they never all 
rose together, for the sufficient reason that their am- 
bitions were incompatible. On the strength of their 
brief medieval empires, each claimed the greater part 
of the peninsula. 

Turkey disintegrated slowly. After the war of 
1876-77, only the fact that all the Great Powers, as 
well as all the small Balkan States, desired to inherit 
the Turk's remaming European property enabled that 
tottering Turkish house to stand at all. It was shored 
up with jealousies both within and without. Whether 
the short-lived Constitution and Parliament of 1876 
would have succeeded better than the ill-fated ones 
of 1908 we will not waste time in inquii'ing. Given 
the many already irreconcilable elements, it is prob- 
able that they could not. Be that as it may, Abdul 
Hamid chose to pursue the policy which had been 
successful since the Middle Ages. With amazing skill 
and entire unscrupulousness, he played Power against 
Power, race against race, religion against religion, and 
quelled rebellion by massacre. 

It was a losing game, and its weak point was the 
apparently immutable fact the East is East and West 
is West. 



6 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

While the Moslem child, if he went to school at all, 
squatted in the balcony of the village mosque, and 
droned passages from the Koran in a tongue he did 
not understand, or, as I have seen more than once, 
tried to learn writing by inscribing Arabic letters in 
the air with outstretched forefinger — the hodja set- 
ting aerial copies to save the expense of pen and 
paper — while, in short, the Moslem stood still, Greek, 
Bulgar, and Serb vied with each other in the number 
and efficiency of the schools they provided in the 
Turkish Empire, poured out money lavishly, and 
fought and intrigued fiercely over the children. 
Serb, Greek, Bulgar, and Montenegrin teachers, sub- 
sidized from without, were each so many centres of 
national propaganda. Each hated each, and by 
fraud, persuasion, and bribe tried to attract his 
rival's scholars. Nor was this all. Missionaries 
stepped in with religious propaganda. American, 
French, Austrian, and Italian schools swept up such 
children as escaped the Nationalists. 

The teaching of all these rival schools had one thing 
in common : all inspii'ed a hatred of Turkish rule. By 
the time the Turk realized that he, too', must educate 
his people, he was already hopelessly outpaced. 

When the Young Turk revolted against Abdul 
Hamid's methods, he was the last of all the land to do 
so. For the Albanians had abeady struck for national 
recognition, had demanded the right to have schools, 
and had been crushed; but were working hard in 
secret. 

By his revolt the Young Turk only hastened his 
downfall. He stood between the devil and the deep 
sea, and to those on the spot his failure seemed in- 



BEFORE THE WAR 7 

evitable. Personally I did not expect his European 
Empire to last till a second parliamentary election. 

For if the Young Turk allowed his subjects the 
freedom promised in the paper Constitution, it was 
obvious that, freed from all restraint, they would pro- 
gress even faster than before along their national lines, 
would absorb still more of the Western ideas which 
are collectively termed " progress/' 

Though we will not stop to inquire whither they 
are progressing, we should note that these ideas are 
wholly antipathetic to the ideals of the old-school 
Moslem. The subject peoples, in 
short, were already far advanced ^^ 
upon a totally different path w^hen .O*"^ 
the Young Turk started — heavily '^^ ^J^ 
handicapped. To catch them up was ^■'/ 
mipossible. His only plan was to 
cripple their development; to retard ; | 
the growth of the subject peoples, 
till he himself had gamed strength. 
And this method he deliberatelv ^^baxian moslem 

J CHILD. 

adopted. A Young Turk officer, 
but just emerged from the military college, ex- 
plained that he had been there instructed that 
" the duty of the Government is to consolidate the 
Empire. Under bad rule, the various races of which 
the Turkish Empire is compounded were rapidly 
breaking apart. There are two ways by which an 
Empire may be consolidated. One is the peaceful 
way— by means of education. But that takes 
time — and we have no tune. There remains 
only the second method — the sword. By the sword 
we must cut down all foes to the Empii-e. Thus 



8 THE STRUGGLE FOK SCUTARI 

only can the Empire be saved. The sword of 
Islam !" 

But this plan was equally bound to fail, for it was 
almost certain to unite the subject races in a common 
wrath — a thing Abdul Hamid had skilfully avoided 
doing — and it was quite certain to alienate the sym- 
pathies of Europe. 

Nevertheless the Young Turk tried it, and started 
upon a career of forcible Ottomanization. 

An enthusiast explained to me at the begmning of 
the new order of thmgs: "All is now simplified. The 
Greek, the Bulgar, the Serb, the Albanian questions 
no longer exist. We have passed a law, and all are 
Osmanli.'' 

" You can pass a law, if you like,"' said I, " that all 
cats are dogs; but they will remain cats." 

But the Young Turk was very young, and imagined 
fondly that human nature can be changed by Acts of 
Parliament. He tried to pitchfork Nature out, and 
she came back again with a repeating rifle. 

As for the Great Powers, they squatted on the edge 
like so many Canutes, and forbade the tide to rise. 

To trace the unfolding of events as Tsaw them is the 
purpose of this book. 



CHAPTER II 

1908-1910 
" Coming events cast their shadows before." — Campbell. 

In December, 1908, the fateful year of the Constitu- 
tion, I left Scutari-Albania and returned to London, 
filled with the gloomiest forebodings. The future 
was dark. I intended to return to Albania in the 
spring of 1909 to watch events on the spot. But an 
accident and consequent illness disabled me com- 
pletely. I lay helpless, maddened by the thought 
that the last act of the tragedy of the Near East was 
about to be played, and I should not be there to see. 

Letters stated that the situation was fast becoming 
intolerable, and that the Chauvinism of the Young 
Turk would shortly bring about revolution. 

My informant was correct. In another fortnight 
the counter-revolution, as it was called, broke out, 
raged fiercely for a while, and was suppressed with 
much bloodshed. 

I deeply regretted its failure, for I believed that its 
success would mevitably cause the landing of inter- 
national troops to keep order and protect foreign 
subjects in Constantinople, and that some form of 
European control woukl be the best solution of the 
Turkish problems. But the Young Turk triumphed. 

Then came a strongly dramatic touch. Abdul 



10 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

Hamid was made the scapegoat. Every crime and 
error of the late Government — and they were many 
— were laid to his account. The Young Turk ordered 
him to abdicate. 

Of the three men to whom, upon April 27, fell the 
task of announcing his fate to " Red Hamid " — who 
had once made all Europe dance to his piping — one 
was the now notorious Essad Pasha. 

Essad is the head of the great Toptani family, 
the rich and powerful Beys of Tirana, in North 
Albania. 

Already, twenty years ago, when Albania showed 
strong symptoms of national ambitions, Abdul sus- 
pected the Toptani of auning too high, and of aspiring 
even to the throne of Albania. He therefore sum- 
moned Essad' s elder brother, Gani Bey, to Constanti- 
nople, and made him his aide-de-camp. Shortly 
afterwards Gani was murdered by the son of the then 
Grand Vizier. All Albania believed it was by Abdul's 
orders. 

Essad swore ultunate vengeance. Gjujo i Fais, 
Gani's devoted servant, wasted no time. He com- 
mended his wife and children to the care of his fellow- 
tribesmen, bought two revolvers, and hurried to Con- 
stantinople. And upon the Galata bridge he shot 
Gani's murderer dead. Throwing his spare revolver 
into the water, he cried in triumph that he had 
achieved his object, and awaited arrest calmly. 

Essad waited many years, but in the end tasted 
a vengeance sweeter than he had dared hope. He 
assisted at the final and abject humiliation of his foe. 
It was he who spoke the fatal words : " The nation hath 
pronounced thee deposed." 



BEFORE THE WAR 11 

Abdul abdicated. 

The Young Turk party was now free to work its 
will. 

And in April, 1910, one year after this event, better, 
but far from well, I returned to Scutari, 

It was the same old Scutari. The road from 
Medua, begun thirty years ago, and paid for many 
tunes in taxes, was not yet finished. The Custom- 
house ofl&cials still took bakshish and passed my 
luggage through. 

None of the promised works had as yet been begun. 
Only a new zigzag horse-track showed raw on the 
side of Tarabosh. It had been constructed by forced 
labour. Marko, my faithful old dragoman, pointed it 
out resentfully, for he had been one of the workers. 
The Turks, he said, wanted to make a fortress there, 
but Montenegro had protested. It was all labour 
in vain. We neither of us then had any idea of 
the mighty part Tarabosh was to play in the near 
future. 

April 27 brought the Sultan's xA.ccession day. The 
celebrations were very military. An archway decor- 
ated with revolvers, rifles, and bayonets was erected 
at the entrance of the Serai. Scutari looked on, 
sullen and resentful. 

The arch was held to be symbolic. " We must 
pass under their guns and swords.'' The garrison 
marched by, new uniformed, the officers ablaze with 
gold braid, and upon fine horses. 

" Look at them, the devils !" said an Albanian to 
me. " That is where our money goes. There used 
to be one big thief; now there are a lot of little 
ones." 



12 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

I wondered idly if this were a good definition of 
democratic government. 

The last ceremony I had witnessed at that Serai 
was the Proclamation of the Constitution, in August, 
1908, when the populace flocked in in a frenzy of joy, 
and believed that " Konstitutzioon '' meant freedom 
from the Turk. 

To-day the Turk was more in evidence than ever. 
Moslem and Christian alike muttered discontent. 
They would pay taxes willingly, they said, to make 
roads, to regulate rivers. But to fatten ofiicers, and 
buy gold braid for them, and " guns to kill us with " — 
never ! 

The usual tales of blackmail and false imprisonment, 
and of imprisonment without trial, were rife. " Jus- 
tice '' was, if possible, worse than ever. 

It was rumoured that the Moslems would rise but 
for the fear of provoking an Austro-Italian interven- 
tion. 

The Catholics, on the other hand, relied upon 
Austria with an amazing faith. If a Turkish army 
dared approach the Christian mountains, there were 
folk who believed that the Emperor Franz Josef 
hunself , upon a warhorse, would ride at the head of his 
troops to their rescue. 

The Moslems of Kosovo vilayet were already in 
fierce revolt. They would not pay tax till assured 
that it would be expended on their own districts. 
The Turkish assertion that they objected to any form 
of education was untrue. 

" I am going to establish schools," said Djavid 
Pasha, when interviewed by a journalist. And he 
went — with many battalions. But at the tune that 



Tin: CONTKAST 




ThK Sll.IANS AOKSSKIN D.w. lyio 




Mkn <»k I Ion 



HKAhKM \t\ IkU.NsMKN — (OMIM; To IKLKKKAIK I MK 
("nNSTITITIoN. I90^^ 



BEFORE THE WAR 13 

this educational General was teaching the people 
with artillery, some forty of the children of the in- 
surgents were in the newly opened Albanian Normal 
School at Elbasan. The Turks proposed starting 
Turkish schools only. It was to Ottomanization, 
not to education, that there was objection. 

Rumours, wild and vague, of huge Albanian vic- 
tories poured in, and were officially contradicted. 
Nevertheless, it was certain that the insurgents were 
makmg a plucky stand, and acting well; for they 
released all the prisoners they took unharmed, and 
there were no charges of atrocities brought against 
them by the Turks. 

Meantime the Young Turk officers in Scutari 
swaggered about in new uniforms, got drunk, and 
talked big of the reconquest of all the Turk's lost 
provinces — Servia, Greece, Bulgaria — and of the 
speedy expulsion of the English from Egypt, and the 
French from Algeria; of the triumph of Islam, and the 
reconstruction of the Great Ottoman Empire — to be 
crowned by the capture of Vienna. 

They saw visions and dreamed dreams, and mean- 
while did nothing whatever either to amend or con- 
solidate such fragments of Empire as still remained 
to them. 

Albania might have been the Turk's stronghold in 
Europe. For, unlike the rest of the subject peoples, 
the Albanians had no free brethren without, with 
whom to desire union. 

But the Young Turks, with blind folly, sent their 
worst officials there, and recklessly stirred up feud 
and hatred. 

The comet appeared, and the minds of all the popu- 



14 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

lation were filled with the direst portents. For a 
comet means war and disaster. Anxious eyes stared 
with awe at its short, smudgy tail. 

Sure enough, news followed that Djavid Pasha had 
wreaked fierce vengeance on the insurgents, had 
forced his way through Kosovo vilayet, and that 
Prenk Pasha, the chief of the Mirdites (who for 
political reasons had been made a member of the Com- 
mittee of Union and Progress by the Young Turks), 
had promised to give Djavid and eight battalions safe 
conduct through to Scutari. 

The other Catholic tribes were in wild dismay. 
They had discussed frequently the desirability of 
rising in support of the Kosovo men, but had no 
reserve at all of ammunition. Each man had 
merely his belt of forty cartridges — some not even 
that. 

They ran hither and thither for advice. One that 
I know applied thirteen times to the Austrian Consu- 
late, and received no answer. 

I was by this time again stricken down by severe 
illness, and lay in the Austrian Hospital quite help- 
less between bouts of agony and morphine. And as 
I lay and writhed, the Albanians came and wept 
over me, and implored me to get up — to write to 
the British Government; to the papers; to advise 
them; to help them to buy arms; to save them from 
the Turks. 

I was dragged into a sitting posture, propped with 
pillows, and with great difiiculty wrote more than 
one article detailing the state of things and making 
appeals. But the agony entailed was vain. At that 
tune it was completely impossible to break through 



BEFORE THE WAR 15 

the journalistic ring which allowed no criticism of 
Young Turk policy to be published. 

And to the inquiries of, " Is it printed yet ? Do 
the people in England know V I could only answer 
" No/' and counsel that resistance would be madness. 
The priests, too, worked to keep the people quiet; 
and the Catholics still believed in Austria's inten- 
tion ultimately to save them, and order Djavid back. 
Only the Shala tribe prepared to resist, and blocked 
their passes with felled trees, thereby causing Djavid 
to take another route. 

One Sunday in July the guns of the citadel boomed 
out a salute, and the astonished populace heard that 
Djavid had arrived. Though no resistance of any 
kind was offered, and no order had been given that 
the populace should disarm, the Turkish soldiers at 
once fell on all who wore a revolver openly, and tore 
it away. In their ignorance, they even disarmed 
officials who had every right to carry a weapon. 
Scutari was stunned, but could do nothing, and the 
whole of the town and country population yielded 
up their arms without protest, with the exception 
of part of Shala, which refused, and of the Klimenti 
men, w^ho were allowed to retain theirs in order to act 
as frontier guards. 

Some folk, indeed, rejoiced that all — both Moslem 
and Christian — were disarmed, saying, " Now w^e are 
all equal," and hoping that blood feuds would con- 
sequently come to an end. 

Had the Turks now " let well alone,'' things might 
have turned out very differently, for the populace 
had so far shown remarkable obedience and good- 
will. But the Young Turk rushed on his doom. 



16 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

Regardless of the fact that by surrendering his 
rifle the peasant in many cases gave up his most 
valuable possession without any compensation, the 
Government at once sent troops to the mountains to 
make a list of names for compulsory military service, 
and to collect taxes from rich and poor alike. In 
the town a retrospective tax to pay for the Macedonian 
revolt of 1903 was even demanded. 

The soldiers who went to the mountains were re- 
ported to have insulted the women. The tribesmen 
were infuriated. " We trusted them and gave up our 
arms. So soon as we are helpless, this is the result.'' 
Most foolishly of all, the Turks instituted public 
flogging as a punishment, and more than one well- 
known Scutarene was flogged in front of the Serai, 
to the tune of a military band, 
for disobedience to military 
orders. A '* state of siege " had 
been proclaimed. 

A blow, by Albanian custom, 
can be avenged only by blood. 
All Scutari was furious. 

Forcible Ottonianizing began 
everywhere. The Normal School 
at Elbasan, which had started 

HODJAS. _ ' 

with such enthusiasm, was for- 
cibly closed. So were all other Albanian schools. The 
newly started Albanian papers were suppressed one 
after the other, and the editors as often as not im- 
prisoned without trial. The Scutari paper existed only 
because its political articles dealt with nothmg more 
recent than the Franco-Prussian War, and finally 
expired because it was not sufficiently up-to-date. 




BEFORE THE WAR 17 

It was forbidden to meution iii print either Albania 
or the Albanians. All were now Osmanli. 

Meanwhile there were great doings over the border. 
Prince Nikola of Montenegro had asked for and ob- 
tained of the Powers, leave to style himself King. It 
was currently reported that, when so domg, he ob- 
tained leave also to construct a kingdom. " How," 
asked bazar rumour, " can you be a King without a 
kingdom V 

And when, in August, the proclamation of kingship 
took place at Cettigne, rumour, with very certain 
voice, declared that this step had been taken in agree- 
ment with King Ferdinand. He, in the approaching 
construction of kingdoms, would have Macedonia for 
his share, and Nikola would reign over Great Servia. 
King Peter's career would terminate abruptly. This 
report more than ever excited the Albanians, who 
were convinced that, if they meant to strike for 
European recognition and independence, it must be 
soon. 

All was confusion. None knew where to turn for 
help. Scutari swarmed with spies as never before — 
Young Turk spies. 

Christian and Moslem alike muttered that, had they 
known what it meant, they would never have laid 
down their arms. All cursed Prenk Pasha for letting 
Djavid through. But as the Mii'dites, too, had no 
reserve of ammunition, they could not in any case 
have done much. 

The Catholics were specially bitter. They had 
relied on Austria, and she had failed them. 

Then the unexpected happened. It always does in 
the Balkan Peninsula. Two or thiee families of the 



18 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

Hoti and Gruda tribes, who had relatives over the 
border, suddenly emigrated into Montenegro, saying 
they would never serve in the Turkish army. The 
Turkish authorities, far from trying to conciliate them, 
first ordered them to return at once, and then, as they 
did not obey, made matters worse by burning their 
houses and confiscating their goods. 

Such was the situation when I left Scutari in Octo- 
ber, to winter in Egypt and endeavour to pick up 

strength. 

The soothsayers were reading blood and war in the 

bones of sheep and fowls, and the women were wishing 

that the terrible " hylli m'bisht " (star with a tail) 

had never blighted Albania. 
News followed me that tribesmen from Maltsia e 

madhe were shifting wholesale into Montenegro, and 
that neither Turk nor Austrian knew what to make of 
the situation. 

Neither did I until, on January 23 of the new year 
(1911), I received a letter from Cettigne, from a young 
Albanian I knew well: " The Government here is pay- 
ing us four kronen a day. I have spoken with some 
of the Ministers. In the sprmg I' hope to receive 
weapons from the Government, and go into Albania 
as a Komit.'' Komit, it should be noted, is the 
Albanian for the Komitadgee of other Balkan lands. 
I replied at once that, unless all Albania were armed 
and rose together, insmTection was madness, and 
begged for patience. The reply came that all the 
Maltsors of Scutari vilayet— that is, the Maltsia e 
madhe, the Dukagini, the Pulati, and the Mirditi— 
had sworn " besa '' ; and that not only had Montenegro 
promised plenty of arms, but that General Riciotti 



BEFORE THE WAB 19 

Garibaldi had done so also, and would send volunteers 
from Italy as well. In proof of this was given a fly- 
leaf circulated by Garibaldi, giving particulars about 
his " Red Shirts/' Albania was either to be freed 
or, at least, to gain autonomy. 

Advice and remonstrance were all in vain. On 
February 11 came news: "All is prepared in Mon- 
tenegro for a great war. In the spring a great war 
will certainly break out.'' And on March 4, from 
Scutari: " Two Turkish warships are coming to Medua 
full of artillery and arms. I think they are for the 
Montenegrin frontier." Further news — that in Cet- 
tigne the Albanian rising was fixed for the middle of 
April. 

I left Egypt for Constantinople in March, and found 
on arriving that the revolt had broken out prema- 
turely among the Maltsors of Maltsia e madhe only, 
and that they were carrying all before them — had 
chased away the scanty Turkish garrison and taken 
Tuzi. This sudden commencement before due prepa- 
ration was a fatal error, engineered possibly by folk 
who meant the revolt to fail. It had been intended 
that Moslems and Christians should rise together. 
But the Christians having begun, Bedri Pasha, then 
Vali of Scutari, being very short of troops (there were 
barely 1,000 men in the Scutari garrison), proclaimed 
a Holy War, and called on the Moslems of Scutari 
and the environs to rise and protect the Faith. It 
is a cry that perhaps never fails. The Moslems 
flocked to receive arms, and started out. 

It was the undoing of Albania. The Catholics 
received them peaceably, and begged them to remem- 
ber their promises, and that they, too, were Albanian. 



20 THE STRUGGLE FOE SCUTARI 

The Moslems, however, excited by their hodjas, chose 
to fight — and were soundly beaten. On their retreat 
to Scutari they revenged themselves by burning all 
Catholic houses on their path. Bedri, having armed 
them, could not disarm them; and by his fatal policy 
of setting Albanian against Albanian hastened the 
downfall of the Turkish Empire. All this I learnt 
from letters awaiting me at Constantinople. I then 
saw Ismail Kemal Bey and Dervish Bey of Elbasan. 
Both were very hopeful that the rising would lead 
to better treatment of Albania, but they knew few 
details, for they were not in touch with the north. 
The British Consulate appeared to know none, and, 
moreover, in no way realized the gravity of the situa- 
tion. Popovitch, the Montenegrin Minister, on the 
contrary, was extremely anxious, which confirmed 
me in the belief that Montenegro was " deeply 
dipped.'* 

He complained that his Government " gave him no 
instructions,'' and left him " to explain things " to 
the Turkish Government. If " things " did not go 
right, he would then be blamed. 

Ismail Kemal and Dervish Bey wanted me to start 
for Elbasan. Popovitch urged me to go to Podgoritza, 
for he knew the true centre of affairs, and told me to 
start by the next boat. 

Strange how the Fates toss one ! I had not in- 
tended agam to travel or spend tune in Montenegro; 
had vowed especially not to go again to that hotbed 
of poHtical intrigue, Cettigne, for I had seen too 
much behind the scenes of the " bomb affair," and 
been entirely disgusted. The best men I knew were 
in prison. Everyone suspected everyone else. Each 



BEFOEE THE AYAE 21 

told me not to trust the other, and all told tales of 
treachery. 

Complaints were widespread of King Nikola's in- 
justice and tyranny, and I believed that war, if war 
it was to be, would be a desperate attempt on his part 
to regain lost power and popularity. 

I did not wish to be mixed up in Montenegro's 
sordid internal politics. But in the Near East they 
say: " You cannot escape what is written for you.'' 
Bad weather upset my plan of landing at Antivari, 
and sent me via Cattaro to Cettigne. Cettigne was 
all agog. To my astonishment, I found I was ex- 
pected. To my still greater surprise, I was plunged 
into an audience with almost all of the Eoyal Family 
at once. 

That they were all expecting war cheerfully, was 
pretty obvious. And they expressed delight at my 
avowed intention of helping my friends, the insurgent 
Maltsors. 

There was much chaff and laughter. H.E.H. 
Danilo was especially keen on war, and all seemed 
very pleased with the way things were shapmg. It 
would be best, they said, for me to go straight to 
Podgoritza. There I should find the Queen's cousin, 
General Yanko Vukotitch, and be in the centre of 
everything. The King took a Jubilee medal off 
Prince Petar and oif ered it me. I did not want to 
take it, and in my confusion let it drop on the floor; 
but one of the Princesses picked it up and pinned it 
on me. 

Princes Danilo and Mii'ko both set on me for details 
about Albania and the Albanians, about which they 
appeared to know nothing at all. 



22 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

I left wondering what they would have done had 
I told them I knew that Montenegro was supplying 
the arms, and with last year's bazar rumour run- 
ning in my head: "A King must have a 
kingdom '/' 




six^h. 



LEWING SCUTARI. 




CHAPTER III 

" In all the world there are no human beings more greatly to 
be pitied than those with whom Kings and Emperors bait their 
hooks when they angle for territory." 

The Nationalist Albanians, refugees from Scutari 
and elsewhere, seized on me at once. They were 
going into Europe to obtain political support. 
Autonomy for Albania was their object. They 
lamented bitterly that the revolt had broken out 
prematurely. But as it had done so, we agreed that 
it was urgently necessary to make it a success, and to 
gain European recognition of Albania and her rights. 
We argued late into the night, and next day some 
other guests at the hotel complained to me that it 
was very noisy. 

There had been but a garrison of 1,000 men in 
Scutari when the revolt broke out. Had the insur- 
gents waited till all the mountains were armed, they 
could, no doubt, have captured the town, and all its 
arms and munition. And all the townsfolk, except 
the Turks, would have been with them. But now 
reinforcements were hurrying up. So were events. 

23 



24 THE STEUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

Tourgoud Sliefket Pasha, who was in command, 
called a five days' armistice, telling the insurgents that 
if they laid down their arms they would be pardoned, 
except certain chiefs who were named, and who 
would be condemned to death. The insurgents called 
a meeting to discuss these terms, and in so doing 
withdrew from the strategical points they were 
occupying. 

Then came an unexpected blow. News came up 
hurriedly from Podgoritza that, though two days of 
the armistice were as yet unexpired, the Turks were 
attacking Dechich, the big mountain which is the key 
to a large part of the tribelands. So fierce was the 
fight that the firing could be seen and heard from the 
height near Cettigne. 

The battle raged all Sunday, May 14. I hurried 
down next day to Podgoritza, only to learn that 
Dechich was lost. The Turkish flag floated on its great 
bare summit, which towers above the tiny town of 
Tuzi. 

Podgoritza was wild. General Yanko Vukotitch, 
the Queen's cousin, who was directing operations — 
a tall man and broad out of all proportion — bulged in 
his khaki, and ran hither and thither, red with rage. 
The loss of Dechich upset all his calculations. Al- 
banian and Turk each swore that the other had 
broken faith. The insurgents stated that at four in 
the morning, two days before the expiration of the 
armistice, Tourgoud Pasha had suddenly advanced his 
men upon Dechich; that the very small force left there, 
together with some that hurried to the spot, fought 
till their ammunition was exhausted, and then had to 
retire under cover of night, as reinforcements could 



BEFORE THE WAR 25 

not get up in time. Tourgoud replied that his troops 
were situated near bad water; that he had therefore 
shifted them towards better, which happened to be 
near Dechich; that while on the march they were 
fired on, which justified him in rushing the position. 
To the objection that troops may not be shifted to 
better positions during armistice, he retorted that the 
tribesmen were insurgents, not belligerents. 

" Dechich must be retaken at any cost," was the 
order given out at Podgoritza. All insurgents found 
resting after the first fight were ordered to the front 
by the Montenegrhi Kapetan, and for three days 
there was sharp fighting. From a blockhouse on the 
very frontier I saw, in the distance, my first battle, 
and heard for the first time the swish of bullets that 
are aimed at live bodies. The long line of khaki- 
clad Nizams showed most distinctly on the light grey 
rocks. It occurred to me it was odd that they should 
be di-essed to match the Transvaal. 

The insurgents were invisible on the other side of 
the hill. 

The Montenegrin frontier guard growled, like 
leashed tigers, whenever the artillery boomed. One 
man flung down his rifle with a curse, and said he'd 
go home if he might not use it. And the military 
telegraph ticked feverish messages to Cettigne. But 
it was the beginning of the end. Men armed only with 
rifles cannot take a height which is defended by 
machine-guns and mountain artillery. The insurgents 
charged repeatedly, and three times rushed the lower 
slopes, but were finally beaten off. 

Rain fell in torrents. When it cleared, we saw, 
one after another, the houses scattered on the flanks 



26 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

of Dechich flame up. The Turks burnt all as they 
advanced. I watched the burning from the plain 
outside Podgoritza in company with a little party of 
refugee children. The boys talked big about shooting 
Turks and the exploits of their grandfathers. But the 
little girl told gravely the name of the owner of each 
house as it flared in turn, and added: " Ours is burnt. 
But, thank God ! we saved the cow.'' 

All Podgoritza talked of speedy war, and I learnt, 
to my surprise, that the Montenegrin guns had already 
been to the frontier — and come back again. Some 
said they had been ordered back by Russia. Many 
deplored it. " To have withdrawn when the Turks 
had only 1,000 troops at hand, and we were all ready V 

They talked war. The little girl with the cow 
already knew what it meant. So did many others. 

I went to every village on the plain with the 
Kapetan. Every shed, outhouse, and stable was full 
of refugees — women, children, and aged only. Any 
man found was at once ordered to the front. I 
realized that Montenegro was indeed directing affairs. 

Those families which had migrated in the winter had 
brought all their household gear and- flocks with them. 
But those who had just fled from the burning houses 
were destitute. There were nearly 5,000 on the plain, 
and the Triepshi Mountains were reported to be 
sheltering several thousand more. 

By May 21 Tourgoud's army had penetrated Hoti, 
and was advancing slowly, burning all houses on his 
route, and desecrating the churches. This maddened 
the Maltsors, for they prided themselves on not having 
touched a mosque; but they raged impotent, for, so 
far, Montenegro, in spite of her promise to arm them 



BEFORE THE WAR 27 

all, had only given some 1,500 rifles. They were of a 
pattern discarded by the Montenegrin army in order 
that tlie pretence might be kept up that the peasants 
sold them surreptitiously to the tribesmen. 

In reality they were given out by the Serdar (to 
give him his native title), Yanko Vukotitch, the 
Queen's cousin. The tribesmen — whose faith in 
Montenegro's promises never to desert them till 
Europe had guaranteed their rights was still unshaken 
— came nightly to his quarters in the hotel, begging 
for arms and advice. My room being opposite his, 
I occupied a fine strategical position. 

They were very anxious. Only the " Five Great 
Tribes" (Kastrati, Sk-reli, Hoti, Gruda, and Kli- 
menti) were armed in any quantity, and, though they 
kept up guerilla warfare with great pluck, and con- 
tinually captured Turkish rifles and cartridge-belts, 
it was obvious they could not stand long against the 
overwlielming forces that were pouring in. 

The large group of Dukagin Maltsors was almost 
weaponless. The Shala-Shoshi men, who had blocked 
Djavid's passage the year before, especially prayed 
and clamoured for arms. 

Yanko dealt them out now in driblets only, and, 
so he declared to me, at great risk to himself, as, were 
it proved by the Turks against him, the Montenegrin 
Government would make him scapegoat. 

He lamented loudly the unexpected speed at which 
the Turks were bringing up reinforcements. He was 
further angered by reports from the Serb districts of 
Berani, over the border, that the Young Turks had 
closed the Montenegrin school there and flogged and 
imprisoned the priest. 



28 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

Turkish activity had, it appeared, quite upset his 
plans. On the other hand, the Turks were losing 
many more men than the insurgents. Letters from 
Scutari reported all available hospital space full. At 
first all wounded were kept concealed in a field hospital 
at Kopliku; but it overflowed, and Tourgoud tele- 
graphed to Scutari. The telegram was badly muddled 
in transmission. The Vali read it: " 300 prisoners. 
What shall I do ?" and replied: " Send them here at 
once."' The Moslems of the town, still sore with the 
beating they had received, hurried to the quay to 
jeer at the Maltsor prisoners, and met, instead, three 
londras filled with wounded Nizams. 

Montenegro grinned at the tale; but Montenegro, 
it was fairly clear, had " bitten off a larger chunk 
than she could chew.'" 

The Maltsors, quite innocent of Montenegro's plans, 
were fighting only for their own autonomy; nor would 
they follow the orders of the Montenegrin officers sent 
to advise them. 

Each man's object was to take as many of the 
enemies' rifles and cartridges as possible. " I had a 
splendid day. I went to battle with only fourteen 
cartridges and I came home with a belt full \" was 
the Maltsor's idea of a victory. 

An ex-Minister (Montenegro swarms with ex-Min- 
isters) explained to me that, when a general subscrip- 
tion had been collected during the winter for the 
purpose of raising this insurrection, and especially 
to pay for the families of the insurgents (for it was 
only when the safety of their families was guaranteed 
that the tribesmen started on their wild struggle for 
freedom), he had throughout combated this wild-cat 



BEFORE THE WAR 



29 



scheme and refused to subscribe. The tribesmen, 
he said, had upset all plans by beginning and attract- 
ing the eyes of Europe before Montenegro was ready, 
and now Montenegro must get out of the mess as best 
she could. 

That Montenegro had not calculated on the torrent 
of refugees was evident. Montenegrin protests against 
the barbarity of burning villages were loud. The 
Montenegrin paper, Vjestmk, said sarcastically: 
" Blessed is the nation that 
lives in a land where such civili- 
zation is carried out. This is 
the work of an army led by a 
civilized Young Turk leader !" 

None protested louder than 
big-voiced Yanko, who got red 
in the face with indignation. 
And in little more than a year 
Yanko himself was to out-Turk 
the Turks ! But of that later. 

Then the pressing question 
for me was to relieve some of 
the miserable victims. A crowd 
of ragged, poor creatures, their 
faces already yellow and sunken, ppA 
poured in daily in hopes of the cosron^c. MaUsio. t -n^aj.Uc 
little ration of maize that was to 




REFrr.EE WiiMAN. 



keep body and soul together. 

Women who, as well-to-do peasants, had housed and fed 
me but three years ago, came, destitute and exhausted 
— sometimes an eight hours' tramp — only to find that 
the supply had run out. The work was very badly 
organized. The children starved in the mountains, 



30 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

while the mothers wandered about the town and 
begged or starved for two days before the next ration 
of raw maize was given; and then, so destitute were 
they, they were often forced to sell it at a loss to buy 
bread, for they had neither pot nor bake-iron with 
which to cook it. Where and how to find money I 
had no idea. Ten pounds of my own were all I had 
to begin with. I meant to give all I collected to 
Stanko Markovitch, Governor of Podgoritza, who 
was in charge of the maize distribution. Scarcely 
had I given him a pound or two, however, when one 
after another Albanians, Montenegrins, and foreign 
correspondents came and begged a few minutes' 
private conversation, and besought me not to trust 
Stanko with a penny. 

Tall, dark, and sinister Stanko, in a glory of white 
coat, silk sash, and gold braid, peacocked about Pod- 
goritza — quite the most decorative thing in the place 
— the centre of a little band of intimates, and avoided 
by everyone else. His well-cut features were quite 
expressionless, and his eyes^never looked one straight 
in the face. 

" Beware of the serpent, lest he brte," said Podgo- 
ritza, and sketched for him a truly Balkan biography. 
That he was at present engaged in embezzling the 
maize was the mildest of their charges. He knew no 
foreign language, and had been raised from the post 
of elementary schoolmaster to that of Governor of 
the largest town in Montenegro, because — said popu- 
lar voice — he had successfully arranged the sudden 
death of someone obnoxious to the Government. 
Two of his brothers had been imprisoned for embez- 
zling public funds, it was said, and part of the missing 



BEFOKE THE WAR 31 

money found in the family house. It was not a tale 
to inspire confidence. All friends of the insurgents 
begged me to keep the money myself, and give it 
straight to the needy. The foreign correspondents 
undertook to collect money through their respective 
papers, on this understanding. It dribbled in slowly 
from all over Europe, had to be acknowledged in 
various languages, and the postal orders were cashed 
by the Podgoritza post-office in the gold of any country 
that it happened to possess; Russian, Bulgarian, and 
Austrian gold pieces were mixed with sovereigns, 
twenty-franc pieces, and big American five- and ten- 
dollar pieces. There were diflerent rates of exchange 
for all, and the keeping of the account was a nightmare 
to me. Nor should I have known how to manage the 
work had not Fortune sent me a young Scutarene, 
Kol Martinaj, Professor of Albanian in a college in 
South Italy. 

He gave up most of his time to helping me, investi- 
gated cases, and advised where and what to buy. 
Together we tramped the slums of the town, and 
scrambled down the cliffs and into the caves along the 
river banks. 

We worked solely for the refugee families; for the 
wounded were provided for in one barrack of the Voyni 
Stan. An Austrian surgeon, in Montenegrin employ, 
was in charge. As the Maltsors ahnost always fought 
from cover, the number of wounded was not great; 
I think fifty was the most we ever had at a tune. I 
had little time save for an occasional \isit, to see how 
they were getting on. There were some most in- 
terestmg cases though, which showed the strong 
vitality of the race, and the surgeon used to remark 



32 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

jokingly that he had no idea before that he could do 
such wonderful cures. 

I recall particularly one man, who had had a part 
of one parietal bone shot of!, and had been left for 
dead on the mountain-side two days, with his brain 
exposed. Luckily for him, it was not pecked by the 
carrion crows. The women rolled him in a blanket 
and dragged him down some ten hours to Podgoritza. 
The doctor duly covered the brain and dressed the 
wound ; the man recovered consciousness, but was at 
first badly paralyzed on one side. In a few weeks, 
however, he completely recovered, and I saw hhn walk 
out of the hospital. A slight tendency to drag one 
foot was the only sign of his serious wound. 

Even more surprising was a man who was shot 
clean through the head. The bullet went in by the 
root of the nose, just missing the corner of the eye, 
and passed out through the occipital, having therefore 
raked the base of the brain. His wife brought him 
in unconscious, with a raging temperature. " Menin- 
gitis,'' said the doctor. " He won t last the day." 
But he did. He lay for three days. His wife de- 
clared he understood, because when anything was 
put in his hand he raised it at once to his mouth. 
She gave hun water from time to time. On the third 
day his temperature began to fall; and shortly after- 
wards the doctor arrived one day to find that the 
wife had propped him up in bed, and that he had 
eaten over a pound of bread— a present from some of 
his friends. He proceeded to get well without further 
trouble. His memory was good, and his mind quite 
clear; but he could walk only with great difficulty, 
and one arm remained quite paralyzed. 



BEFORE THE WAR 33 

In all I believe only fourteen died in hospital. One 
of these was a boy of fifteen; another was a man 
who went out cured and came back mortally wounded 
in a fight only two days afterwards. 

My only contribution to the help of the wounded 
was that, later on, I paid for all the drugs and dress- 
ings that had been used for them. The Montenegrin 
authorities, when they heard of my intentions, con- 
ceived the brilliant idea of asking double, for they 
had not forgiven me for keeping the funds in my own 
hands. I was warned in tune, however, and the 
doctor, who was an honest man, thwarted this by 
gomg through his prescriptions for me and checking 
the amount. 

But this was later. Now, in mid-May, life was 
crowded with incidents. Correspondents swarmed in. 
Most of them rushed to me for information, and then 
rushed away again; only the Italians were permanent. 
I was corresponding for two papers myself. The 
weather grew hotter and hotter, the white dust 
thicker and thicker, and each day more exhausting 
than the last. 

Podgoritza was haunted by picturesque figures. 
Chief among these was old Sokol Batzi, for whom, 
though he is now blamed alike by Montenegrin and 
Albanian, I have both esteem and respect. He acted 
as best he knew, according to his dim lights, and be- 
lieved that he was acting for the good of his country. 

A burly figure, in full Albanian dress, and with 
great white mustachios like walrus tusks, he was 
King Nikola's right-hand man throughout the insur- 
rection. Chief of the Gruda tribe, in his young days 
he was one of Abdul Hamid's famous Albanian guard, 

3 



34 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

but he left it owing to the way the Turks maltreated 
his country, and fell, therefore, upon evil times. After 
the war of 1876-77 he sided with the party which 
wished for free Albania, and in consequence was 
forced to flee for his life. Hunted like wild beasts, 
he and his wife took refuge with his wife's tribe, 
Triepshi, which was then annexed by Montenegro as 
part of the spoils of war, and passed a terrible nine 
months, searched for by both Montenegrins and 
Turks. Finally, King Nikola, recognizing his value 
as an influential chieftain, gave him a house and land 
and employed him largely for Albanian affairs. Sokol 
served him with doglike fidelity and touching faith, 
but never forgot his ancestral home across the border. 
When the Young Turk regime started, he hoped to 
return to it, but a short visit showed him that was 
impossible, and he returned to Podgoritza, to play 
an important part in the drama of the next few years. 
Poor Sokol ! he was used as a cat's-paw. But I 
believe that he acted in perfect good faith. 

Then there was old Mirash Lutzi of the Kastrati, 
wiry as a mountain cat and wily as a fox, addicted, 
too, to gold braid and silk sashes — Mirash, indomit- 
able, incorrigible, ready to make the best of the most 
impossible circumstances, with a jest for ever on his 
tongue and a laugh always ready. I met him first 
ten years ago on the piazza of San Marko, Venice. 
*' When I first saw you, you were giving maize to the 
pigeons," says Mirash. " I never thought, then, I 
should see you give maize to my own people V Four 
times have his house and all his possessions been 
burnt to the ground, but, phcenix-like, he has always 
risen from the ashes. 



BEFOEE THE WAR 35 

Just a month before the outbreak of the insurrec- 
tion, he and his family group had established them- 
selves in his third house, a very fine one, with stable 
and outbuildings; Tourgoud's army had left it a 
blackened ruin. " Mo matter," said Mirash serenely; 
" I borrowed money on it from a Turk. The loss 
is his." 

War with the Turks, the liberation of Albania from 
the Turks, has been the mainspring of Mii'ash's exis- 
tence. With this end in view, he has entered, with 
enthusiasm, into the plots of any and every Power 
and individual who had designs against his enemy. 

Quite illiterate and sprung from a family of no 
importance, his quick wits and native shrewdness 
have raised hun to a position of considerable influence. 
His son Nikola, a true patriot and a gallant fighter, 
we seldom saw, except when he came down to get a 
wound or two dressed, only to return to the front as 
soon as possible. 

Mehmet Shpend (Mehmet the Eaven), a Catholic, 
in spite of his Moslem name, one of the most influen- 
tial of the Shala headmen, was another notable. A 
strange, wild creature, dark-eyed, lithe in spite of 
his years, decked with silver chains, and the silver 
and crimson waistcoat, which is characteristic of his 
district, he played a great part in the insurrection. 
Of Mehmet it is told that once, when crossing a pass 
that was deep in snow, he and his wife found a perish- 
ing lamb. Mehmet at once gave it to his wife to suckle, 
and they took it safely home. 

Shala had blocked the passes with hewn trees last 
year, and Mehmet and a small following had subse- 
quently refused to yield up their arms. They took 



36 THE STEUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

to the heights, and the Turks burnt their houses as 
punishment. 

To Mehniet, Shala was the centre of the world. He 
could grasp no external politics. That a great Power 
should come to Shala's rescue was all his desire; 
and if only Shala could get a sufficiency of arms, it 
would be invincible. The whole of Shala-Shoshi was 
ready, said Mehmet, but Montenegro had not given 
the promised weapons. He prayed me to ask help 
of England. Nor could he, nor any of them, under- 
stand that England would only give help where she 
expected gain, for they always declared themselves 
ready to serve the King of England loyally. 

Mehmet, like the rest of the Maltsors, was wholly 
ignorant of the science of war, but an adept m the 
art of stalking and sniping small Turkish outposts, 
and the capture of their rifles and cartridge belts 
filled his soul with joy. 

Most picturesque of all, perhaps, was Gelosh Djoko 
of Kastrati, whose majestic figure caused even the 
most hardened war-correspondents to gasp with ad- 
miration. Some six foot four in height and splen- 
didly built, his manners were as fine' as his propor- 
tions — an engaging blend of childish simplicity and 
natural politeness. 

I remember keenly how a loud knocking waked me 
once at midnight. " A Maltsor must see you at once." 
It was just at the tune of the hardest fighting. I 
expected news, slipped on a skirt and a greatcoat, 
and went down barefoot. There stood Gelosh, who 
had come down from the mountains to say good-bye 
to his wife and his beloved little son before starting 
on a wild enterprise. 



BEFORE THE WAR 37 

He came now to commend them to my care, and 
to ask me to drink a glass to luck with him. We drank 
solemnly a glass of rakia apiece. " Tu nghiat tjeter " 
(Long life to you !). He kissed my hand with 
great style, and disappeared into the night. He 
and many another mountain man remain pictured 
in my memory, pathetically medieval beings, who 
had given up their all in a blind struggle for freedom, 
and were quite unable to understand that the great 
engine of Europe rolled pitilessly on, heedless of their 
fate, ready, in fact, to pass right over them if they 
stood in the way. 

Most of them were old acquaintances of mine, 
whose hospitality I had received in past years. Now 
they came, with the most painful faith in my powers, 
and besought my help. The mere fact that I could 
read and write, and so communicate with the outer 
world, was a mars-el. I protested vainly that I had 
no political influence; that a little help for their wives 
and children was all I could promise. They treated 
me with extraordinary respect and regard, and gave 
me the title " Kralitza Maltsorvet " (Queen of the 
mountain men), a title which subsequently gave 
offence to both the Turkish and the Montenegrin 
authorities. 

On May 24 Podgoritza was startled. General 
Yanko Vukotitch was suddenly summoned by the 
King to Cettigne. Did it mean war ? 

On the 26th he was replaced by Brigadier Blazho 
Boshkovitch, owing, it was said, to a protest made 
by the Turkish Government against Yanko's warlike 
preparations on the frontier. 

Blazho, a heavy, good-natured man of no apparent 



38 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

intellectual capacity, was, however, a mere figurehead. 
Yanko went backwards and forwards, and Montene- 
gro worked as it had not worked for many a long year. 
For thirty-five years Montenegro had sat and smoked 
and boozed and complained of poverty, while its plains 
and forests, especially the fat coast-lands of Antivari, 
remained unworked and undeveloped. Now gangs 
of men toiled day and night. Artillery tracks to 
Rumia (whence to attack Tarabosh), to Fundina, and 
Triepshi, were soon begun, and the long-delayed 
carriage-road to Andriyevitza hurried towards comple- 
tion. Had all this energy but been expended in past 
years, upon cultivation and irrigation, Montenegro 
might by now have been comparatively well off. 

On May 27 we heard that Russia had protested to 
Turkey on Montenegro's behalf — " that Montenegro 
was being put to great expense by the quantities of 
Turkish troops massed on her border." Turkey re- 
plied thatthe troops were not threatening Montenegro, 
and Montenegro had better mind her own business. 

By this time Montenegro had two whole battalions 
on the frontier near Podgoritza. Pack-horses carried 
cartridges nightly to the yet roadless outposts, and 
the guns stood all ready at the Voyni Stan awaiting 
the completion of the artillery tracks. 

My diary of 28th notes: "Rifles are being dis- 
tributed to all over eighteen, and everyone is agog. 
We are on complete war-footing. Every man has 
orders to hold himself in readiness, with five days' 
provisions and two pairs of opanke (raw-hide sandals), 
to start at any moment. The Chetas are being raised 
from 100 to 150 men. Eight to ten Chetas make a 
battalion. All work is at a standstill. Extraor- 



BEFOKE THE WAR 39 

dinar}" state of nervous tension. Place crammed with 
staff officers." 

That same day the Turkish Consul sold his horse. 
This at once raised expectation to fever heat. It was 
a sure sign, said everyone, of his unmediate with- 
drawal and the declaration of war. At night we sat 
under the nuilberry-trees in front of the Hotel Europa, 
a crowd of olHcers, officials, patriots, correspondents, 
and scalliwags, all in a patch of brilliant light from 
the glaring, spluttermg acetylene lamp. Out of the 




MONTEXEOKIN OX-CART. 



darkness creaked and groaned the ungreased wheels 
of the ox-carts; they filed slowly past, stacked liigh 
with ammunition, and disappeared into the night, to 
crawl secretly up to Kolashin and other border posts. 
The crowd roared applause. The officers drank to 
speedy war and boasted endlessly of theii' valour. 
And long after dark the hooded crows which swarm 
in Podgoiitza, came flapping heavily home, and 
settled, with hoarse cries, on the branches overhead. 
" They have come from the battlefield," said folk; 
" they are crammed with Turkish carrion." 



40 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

Grey dawn brought ill news of another fight and 
ten more wounded for the hospital. The little band 
of insurgents was fighting hopeless odds. The Turks 
were now attacking from the Gusinje side as well. 
Only a small stretch of mountain-land separated the 
two armies — the natural fortress of the situation, 
Kapa Brojs. If this height and the pass were lost, 
Shala and all the Dukagins would be cut off from the 
five great tribes, and the position, hopeless. 

Friends of Albania were cheered by news that Ri- 
ciotti Garibaldi had armed the Mirdites and South 
Albania and that they would rise at once; but this 
soon proved quite false. Only speedy help could 
save the insurgents. They harried the Turks by 
ceaseless sniping; but could not hold Traboina against 
machine-guns, and lost the position and many men. 
The Turks lost more — but they could afford to. 

The tribesmen grew bitter and sore. Bitter with 
Austria, who first had not protected them from the 
Young Turks' attempts at forcible Ottomanization, 
and now, though Protector of the Catholic Faith, 
allowed their churches to be pillaged and desecrated; 
bitter intensely with Montenegro, who had promised 
arms to all and now withheld them; and bitter that 
Garibaldi's promised help had not arrived. Some 
dozen young volunteers who had come independently 
were all that appeared of the hoped-for and promised 
Italian reinforcements. 



CHAPTER IV 

" How the Summer wore away and Hope with it." 

On May 30 poor little Padre Ludwig, of Thethi-Shala, 
came knocking at my door before 8 a.m. Haggard 
and quite exhausted, he had tramped for four days 
— crossing three snow passes, and dodging between 
the Turkish lines. Almost weeping, he threw himself 
down, saying: " Durami, Durami, in God's name, tell 
me what to do \" Shala, he said, possessed only 
some 500 old rifles (those which had not been sur- 
rendered last year), so was practically defenceless. 
A short time ago the Thethi men had gone as usual 
to buy maize in Gusinje, and were refused by the 
Turkish Kaimmakam. " We have no maize for 
Cluistians. Go and ask your papa in Montenegro !" 

** So those who do not rise must starve,'' said the 
poor Franciscan; " and if they do rise, they'll be 
massacred." Montenegro had promised arms, and 
not given them. He was specially anxious, too, to 
save his little church from desecration. 

Wearily he rose and trudged off in search of Blazho 
Boshkovitch, and came back desperate. Blazho was 
not empowered to give arms. 

His only chance was to go to Cettigne and entreat 
the King and Yanko. But he was too exhausted to 
manage the eight hours' tramp. I fed him, and sent 
him up in the motor in the afternoon. Cettigne 

41 



42 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

listened to his plea, and he came back happy with the 
promise of a thousand rifles for Shala, a considerable 
number of which were successfully passed up. 

It looked as though Montenegro really meant action, 
for that same night 300 horseloads of small ammuni- 
tion went up to the frontier. 

On June 1 the Brigadier was extraordinarily cheery 
and hopeful. All Montenegro seemed bent on fight- 
ing Turks. 

StroUmg along the Ribnitza, I saw a party of 
little boys bathing, and was pleased with the unusual 
sight; for the Montenegrins are no great lovers of 
cleanliness. A long howl, like a pack of wolves, made 
me turn, and I saw a score of big Montenegrin boys 
dashing down on the naked and defenceless little 
bathers. The situation was at once obvious. The 
bathers were Moslems, and the Christians were going 
to impress the merits of the Orthodox Church upon 
them with the sticks they brandished in their 
hands. 

The terrified little Moslems dashed out of the 
water, seized their clothes, and fled. The bigger ones 
got away. The little ones saw me, and rushed, 
tumbling and struggling half in and half out of their 
breeches, to me for protection. It was a close race. 
I dashed between the two parties, and by great luck 
grabbed the leading Montenegrin by the collar as he 
passed. This checked the whole lot. They were 
indeed paralyzed with amazement. " You cuckoo V 
said I. " Twenty of you to attack little boys V 
Now, " cuckoo " in Montenegrin is extremely rude. 

Before anyone had recovered from surprise, a 
Moslem man came to the help of the little boys, who 



BEFOEE THE WAR 43 

were hastily dressing behind me, and escorted them 
away in safety. 

Two very gorgeous Montenegrins by then arrived 
on the scene. When I released the collared boy, and 
explained, they were much surprised at my point of 
view. " We do not understand these English ideas," 
they said. " We always like to take our enemies at a 
disadvantage." I heard later that my action had 
astonished Podgoritza; but the Moslems w^ere very 
grateful, for their children had doubtless been saved 
an awful thrashing. 

On June 5 came great news. The Mirdites had 
attacked Alessio, and were said, quite erroneously, 
to have captured guns and ammunition. And Mir- 
dita, under the leadership of an Italian Albanian, 
Tochi, had declared independence. 

General Yanko turned up again. He and Blazho 
both believed the tale. He reported that the Turks 
had made no progress for five days, and that the in- 
surgents were holding Kapa Brojs splendidly. But the 
reports of the state of the refugees was worse and worse. 

I dreaded going up to the mountains, as, owing to 
illness, I had not ridden for three years. But on 
June 10, in answer to an urgent appeal, I decided to 
start for Triepshi. Sokol Batzi's son undertook to 
find me a horse, and under the white mulberry-trees 
I saw a tall grey stallion, Sokol's own horse, awaiting 
me — a beautiful beast, he said ; far too beautiful, 
thought I, for a middle-aged female who is com- 
pletely out of practice. I clambered with great diffi- 
culty on top of it; it waltzed playfully round, and 
began to sidle up the street. At that very moment 
came a telegram from old Sokol to say he was arriving. 



44 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

and the stallion was to be ready for hini. His son 
was overwhelmed with shame and apologies. An Al- 
banian's promise is a promise. I dismounted joyfully, 
however, and went off happy on a less valuable animal. 

The Triepshi tribe is Catholic Albanian, and was 
annexed by Montenegro after the war of 1877. But 
no road had as yet been made into the territory. We 
rode up the mountain- side, and struck a rough mule- 
track. It was to be adapted for mountain-guns as 
fast as possible. Wretched sheep and goats were 
hobbling on swollen hoofs, and rolling over, gasping 
and dying, on either side the way. The flocks saved 
by the refugees from the Turks were smitten with 
foot-and-mouth disease. 

Suddenly round a rocky corner came the heavy 
reek of stale blood and carbolic, and four wounded, 
swaying painfully in their saddles, passed on their 
way to Podgoritza. A man with them shouted there 
was bad news. Almost immediately a party of tribes- 
men and HilMossi (an Albanian patriot and journalist) 
came in sight. The tribesmen were going for the 
bread ration. Hil Mossi was escorting two little 
Italians who had run away from their home in Genoa 
to help the insurgents, and had arrived penniless and 
weaponless. Their fond parents traced them, and 
demanded their immediate return of the Montenegrin 
Government. But the boys were so disappointed 
that they were taken to the front, and allowed to fire 
a few shots from a safe place before returning. They 
were now happy. Not so Hil. He brought the news 
that Kapa Brojs was lost. The two Turkish armies 
had met. The Dukagin tribes were now cut off from 
all possible food or arms supply. All was lost — the 



BEFORE THE WAR 45 

situation desperate. Thus Hil, greatly moved. It 
was all their own bad management, he admitted. He 
himself had been fighting there for days. They had 
been starving, and had retired to get food, believing 
themselves unseen. When they returned, the sum- 
mit was occupied by the Turks. They tried in vain 
to retake it — had fought all night. 

Hil, lean and brown from much fighting, with a 
white Albanian cap stuck at the back of a shag of 
coal-black hair, was a picturesque figure enough. 
He was, too, the poet of the war, and scribbled verse 
in his pocket-book even under fixe. 

We went our ways. The Turks now held the key 
of the whole situation. Did it mean war ? I saw the 
Montenegrin military telegraphist putting up a tele- 
phone wire along the frontier. 

At Triepshi reigned black despair. The fatal weak- 
ness of the tribal system was once more shown. The 
Hoti tribesmen had flocked to the defence of Seltze 
when they were forced back from their tribe-land. 
But Seltze rudely declared itself capable of defending 
its own territories, and bade Hoti mind their own 
business. Nor would they even give Hoti bread. 

The Hoti men, hungry and as cross as a bear with a 
sore ear, had clambered up the steep side of the valley, 
and had come to Triepshi for food. One of their num- 
ber had been drowned crossing the swift Tsem River. 
The death wails added to the tragedy of the situation. 

At night the Turkish watch-fires glowed red on 
Kapa Brojs, and next day rain fell in torrents. "It 
always rains after a battle," said the faithful Albanian 
who accompanied me. ** God washes away the blood." 

All the houses of Vukli and Boga were reported 



46 THE STRUGGLE FOE SCUTARI 

burnt and looted. A Montenegrin, one of several 
who had taken part in the fight, had been killed. 
Albanians and Montenegrins alike were hopeless. 

Sokol Batzi arrived from Podgoritza on his grey 
stalHon, and summoned a meeting of headmen in the 
schoolroom. Sokol took the chair, and two or three 
Italian volunteers were present. The Montenegrin 
frontier commandant addressed the roomful of hag- 
gard, war-worn men. It was easy to begin a thing, 
he said, but hard to carry it through. They had 
lost all they possessed except their honour. They 
were famed as heroes. The eyes of Europe were on 
them. They must act up to their reputation. Nor 
were they without friends. He pointed to the 
Italians and to me, and enlarged on the power of our 
respective pens and rifles. The world would hear of 
them by my pen, he said. I denied it vainly, and sat 
sick with misery that such false hopes should be 
raised. From a military point of view, I felt certain 
the game was up, and that no more lives should be 
vainly sacrificed. 

The Montenegrin Commandant and Sokol, however, 
called on them to concentrate in the still untaken 
valley of Seltze, and hold that, and to continue the 
struggle for another month. So it was decided. The 
poor wretches still hoped for European intervention. 
Nothing could make them believe that Europe would 
let them sacrifice their all, in vain. 

At night I dined with the Commandant and a lot 
of the insurgents in the Commandant's quarters, which 
were also the ammunition depot — a great barn of a 
place, with a yawning roof of smoke-blacked rafters, 
from which the cobwebs hung in sheets. A fire on 



BEFORE THE WAR 47 

the ground gave a flickering ruddy light, and a dim 
lamp showed the military telegraph, which ticked 
incessantly. In the gloom at the end stacks and 
stacks of ammunition boxes reached from floor to 
roof. Rifles were piled about. It was the main 
distribution centre for cartridges. The insurgents 
came every night for supplies. 

We sat on empty ammunition boxes round the fire. 
A great many insurgents trailed in. Some, deadly 
tired, threw themselves on the ground, barefoot, 
soaked with rain and half naked, and slept like dogs. 
A few squatted around and nursed brand-new Turkish 
rifles they had captured in fight. 

HaK a sheep was stewmg in the caldron over the 
fire. We sat round silently, pokmg sHvers of am- 
munition boxes under it to keep up the blaze. The 
door was shut and barred ; there was no ventilation save 
the row of loopholes for rifles. The air was stifling. 

A Maltsor, stripped to the waist, leaned over the 
pot to stir it. The firelight played on his muscles, 
and the sweat glittered on his hairy breast. 

Someone tore the shoulder ofi the remains of the 
sheep's carcass, spitted it on the cleaning-rod of a 
rifle, and set it to roast. We watched it quite ab- 
sorbed. Miserable and hopeless, we gave all our 
attention to trivialities in a vain attempt to forget 
the loss of Kapa Brojs. 

The Montenegrin Commandant kept up a forced 
joviality, to which no one responded. 

Suddenly Sokol Batzi swaggered in, brave in gold 
waistcoat and colours; let in a draught of cold fresh 
air, which woke the men up. Hustled up to me, and 
slapped most of us on the back. Extraordinarily 



48 THE STKUGGLE FOR SCUTAEI 

confident, he inspired confidence. He directed the 
cookery. A Maltsor tipped the soup into the only 
wash-hand basin, beat some eggs into it, and set it 
on the " sofra." " Dark asht gadi " (Supper is 
ready). Someone dealt out wooden ladles. We 
fell to. The men felt better when they had something 
inside them. Many had tasted nothing but dry bread 
for weeks — fought on that and water alone. 

They sat round and worried lumps of seethed mut- 
ton with their white teeth, tore off gobbets from the 
roasting shoulder, and flung them to me. 

As they were satiated they lay down and slept. 
I went out into the night and a fine drizzle. It was 
pitch dark, wet, and steamy. Sokol guided me over 
a wet rough track to the school-house. Unless he 
knew that Montenegro meant sending strong rein- 
forcements, his confidence was inexplicable. 

A woman from the house opposite came crying for 
bread, one of a crowd of half-starved, half-naked 
refugees. A child had recently died of hunger. 

There were then 2,140 such miserable beings 
in the immediate neighbourhood. 

Our horses, stable-fed beasts, cropped thin grass 
miserably in the rain. Every shed and stall, and 
every grain of corn, was needed for human beings. 

I visited the refugees next day with Father Sebas- 
tian of Hoti, and my faithful guide. The misery was 
overpowering. Starving mothers were cooking nettles 
and asphodel leaves for their children, and mixing 
in a little maize-meal if they could get it. 

Owing to the bad organization at Podgoritza, many 
had tramped thither more than once in vain, and 
returned empty-handed. I dealt out money to as 



BEFORE THE WAR 49 

many as I could, that they might not go fruitlessly 
next time. 

Numbers of the poor things recognized me, and, 
weeping, said that I was their only hope. It was 
inexpressibly painful. Further on at^Korito I was 
told there were five hundred families out on the bare 
mountam-side, and that more were flocking in. 

Unable to cope with the situation, I returned to 
Podgoritza and reported it to Stanko Markovitch, 
who was furious, and denied that any misery existed. 
As I persisted, however, someone went up to investi- 
gate, and some improvement was made in the maize 
arrangements. The luckless Albanian schoolmaster, 
though, who had given me first information of the 
state of things, was censured. 

It was not till much later that it became apparent 
that land-grabbing was all that Stanko was intent 
upon, and that the fate of the people was a matter 
of entire indifference to him. 

Cattapani, an energetic Italian, who played a great 
part in subsequent events, arrived, ready to fight as 
volunteer, and acting at the same time as correspon- 
dent to the Mattino of Naples. He offered to co- 
operate with me to the best of his ability, and went 
straight up to the front. 

The inrush of refugees from Khmenti was the last 
straw. They were completely burnt out for the 
most part. My fund was all too small for the first 
lot; how to help these was an insoluble problem. I 
was in something like despair. The caves all along 
the Ribnitza River were cranmied with people. Many 
were widows and children. Almost all were without 
the barest necessities. The majority had not a change 

4 



50 THE STEUGGLE FOR SCUTAKI 

of clothing. The weather grew hotter and hotter; 
the stench was almost intolerable. The children were 
sickening on a diet of badly cooked maize. The days 
were roasting. The heavy blue sky closed down like 
a lid, and the land was white with dust. The 
nights were sweltering. My room and all the hotel 
swarmed with blackbeetles, which ran over one at 
night and drank the sweat, and laid eggs in my 
clothes. The corridor stank of orderlies. The night 
air streamed hot through the open windows; myriads 
of stars stared in like pitiless eyes from the cloudless 
night sky, and I hated them. 

Just as the dawn paled. Nature heaved a sort of a 
sigh, and a breath of air came over the mountains 
with the grey light. But by five the women came 
knocking at the door, " Kralitza, kralitza \" imploring, 
praying. Sleep was impossible. 

In the baking hours of midday, under a wet towel, 
I was drowsing heavily one day from sheer exhaustion, 
when the usual hammering began on my door. '' A 
man wants to see you." " Tell him to go away.'* 
A short pause, then bang, bang, bang ! '* He is an 
Englishman. He says he wants to see you at once.'* 
" Tell him he can't." I supposed he was a journalist, 
and I was sick of them. Bang, bang, bang ! again. 
" The gentleman's card, and he cannot wait." Sleep 
was hopeless. I crawled miserably downstairs, and, 
under the white mulberries, found a tall man, who 
apologized very much for disturbing me. He was 
Mr. Charles Crane, of Chicago. 

He said he wanted to see the condition of the 
refugees, and had been recommended, when in Con- 
stantinople, to apply to me. He wished to leave 



BEFOEE THE WAK 51 

early next morning. It had to be now or never. I 
cursed my luck, but could not afford to lose a chance, 
however small, so put on my opanke and clambered 
with him from cave to cave along the river-bank. 
He was quite imperturbable. I asked if he had seen 
enough. He said he had. We returned, I miserable 
at an exhausting afternoon for nothing. 

It is darkest before the dawn, however. I had 
despaired too soon. When I was seeing Mr. Crane off 
next day, he said he was sorry he had not more to 
give me, and put a little bag into my hand. I did not 
open it till I was back in my room, and then found, to 
my amazement, it contained nearly eighty pounds in 
gold. It was a miracle. A quantity of people could 
now be helped; and as if in response to the influx 
of wealth, came an urgent message next morning 
early, from Cattapani at Triepshi, reporting that the 
misery was worse than ever, and begging me to come 
at once with various necessities. I at once bought 
200 kilos of bread, and as soon as it was loaded on 
two pack-horses, started to ride up with about forty 
pounds in small coin in my pocket. Arriving late, 
there was time only to deal out bread to the nearest 
houses and turn in. 

At midnight came a violent knocking on the school- 
house door. I was awakened suddenly by cries that 
a telegram had come by military wire, and jumped 
out of bed in alarm. It was from Mr. Crane, to say 
that he had paid 10,000 kronen into the Bank of 
Podgoritza for me. 

It seemed too good to be true. I should not have 
been more surprised had the skies opened and rained 
down gold. Nor was it the end of Mr. Crane's kind- 



52 THE STRUGGLE FOB SCUTARI 

ness. From that day onward he sent most generous 
aid, and many are the people who have to thank hun 
for roof, food, and clothing. 

With Cattapani I went early round the refugees, 
dealing out bread and money. The irregular way in 
which the maize was given out still caused much 
suffering. The Triepshi people, on whom they were 
quartered, suffered, too, greatly, for two extra 
famihes were often crowded into a one-roomed hut. 
And the Triepshi folk, bemg Albanian, and in many 
cases related by marriage to the refugees, gave, too, 
liberally of their small means to the destitute. 

Cattapani and the priest of Triepshi described 
the state of the refugees at Korito as even worse. 
I planned to go there next day. Meanwhile, we 
walked to the frontier and a little over, and looked 
down into the majestic valley of the Tsem, which 
gleamed far below us. Opposite us, on the moun- 
tain-side, was a burning house. Some insurgents 
clambered up to us and said the Turks had overlooked 
this one when burning the rest of the valley, and had 
now returned to it. Turkish tenjbs were visible on 
the high points. A bullet sang as it passed us, and 
then a second. I remembered a scarlet blouse was 
unsuitable when reconnoitring the enemy, and we 
took cover. An insurgent fired a reply from below. 

Another telegram — this time from Mr. Bourchier, 
of TJie Times — suimiioned me to Podgoritza at once. 
I borrowed the church horse, and arrived there late 
in the evening, very vexed at having to give up going 
to Korito with Cattapani. Looking back, my life 
then seems like one long fatigue, spurred up and 
hunted about by telegrams and journalists. 



BEFORE THE WAE 53 

Mr. Bourchier informed me that the Turkish 
Government had denied the burning of houses. 
Tourgoud Pasha, on the other hand, had recently 
boasted to Zoli, the correspondent of the Secolo, that 
it was being done by his orders. I, having noted in 
my diary several days when I had seen the burning, 
wrote a statement to this effect for The Times. It 
afforded the Montenegrins the greatest satisfaction. 




UBA TAMARA ON THE TSEM. 



They were never tired of denouncing Turkish bar- 
barism. And in little over a year they were com- 
mitting worse, and my communications then had a 
very different effect upon them. But of this later. 

All Podgoritza was excited at the news of Mr. 
Crane's gift. Both the bank and the telegraph-office 
had made the fact public. I was at once the centre 
of a whirlpool of intrigue. 

Mysterious warnings were brought me at night. 



54 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

On no account was Stanko Markovitch to touch it. 
Ismail Kemal, who, with his secretary, Mr. Gura- 
kuchi, was recently arrived at Cettigne, wished to 
have it for revolutionary purposes. I was told there 
were plots to terrify me into giving it up, and so 
forth; and to all and everyone I replied that it had 
been given me for the refugee women and children, 
and that only to them would I give it. If the Pod- 
goritzan and other authorities were not satisfied, 
they could say so, and I would send it all back whence 
it came. The Maltsors were always on my side, and 
on this point I had no further trouble. 

But, alas ! some foolish mdividual unknown, to 
whom to this day I owe a grudge, gave out in the 
European Press that I had received 500,000 kronen, 
and had founded a hospital. This brought down a 
pack of letters from doctors, nurses, and all manner 
of people wanting employment, and, moreover, cut 
ofi all further subscriptions. I had to send costly 
telegrams to papers of various countries to stop the 
lie from circulating. 

Meanwhile the Albanian leaders were becoming 
more and more anxious as to Montenegrin intentions. 
Some members of the Albanian Committee came and 
asked me if I thought it would be a good thing to 
appeal in the name of the Albanian people to the 
British nation as a lover of justice and freedom. I 
had not so much faith as they in British unselfishness, 
but said at any rate it could do no harm. A well- 
known foreign correspondent therefore drew up a 
letter for them in French, which was so well expressed 
and moderate that, when it was submitted to me, I 
would make no alteration, and agreed that it should 



BEFORE THE WAR 55 

be sent not only to Sir Edward Grey, but to all 
the chief Continental newspapers, which was done. 
Briefly, it ran as follows: 

RESUME OF THE LeTTER SENT BY THE IXSURGEXTS 

OF Maltsia e madhe to Sir Edward Grey and 

THE Leading Xewspapers of Europe in June, 

1911. 

Causes of Complahit. 

1. The unjust manner m which the elections are 
carried out, so that the great majority in the Chamber 
favours the Osmanli element. 

2. The attempt to suppress our national language. 

3. The attempt of the Government to impose 
identical taxes on the poorest and richest districts. 
" We have seen the Christians more highly taxed 
than the Moslems, and the taxes enforced without 
fixed rule, according to the judgment of often corrupt 
officials. 

** 4. We do not consider disarmament in itself un- 
just. But the soldiers charged with it tried to beat 
us, and we have received no compensation for the 
arms taken from us. 

" 5. None of the promises made to us and none of 
the hopes we formed have been fulfilled. Not even the 
most rudimentary public works have been begun, and 
instead of opening new schools, the Government has 
closed our school at Elbasan, under the pretence it 
was against religion. 

" How, then, are we to make our voices heard ? We 
have no representative in Parliament. We have every- 
where been submitted to the rule of the sword, for our 
discontent has been reckoned rebellion; nor could we 



i 



56 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

restrain our mountaineers, exasperated by ill-treat- 
ment. Insurrection has broken out in our unhappy 
land. Favoured at first by Fortune, we showed the 
world that we acted humanely. We released all the 
prisoners, we took unharmed, merely disarming them. 
Later, when the Turks gained the upper hand, we 
have looked on shuddering and helpless at horrors 
which we know not how to describe, but which the 
world can verify. Our houses have been burnt, our 
churches bombarded, our lands laid waste, all we 
possessed sacked and pillaged by the soldiers. 
Women and wounded have been burnt to death in 
the houses. We attempted conciliation, and on the 
occasion of the Imperial Jubilee we addressed a 
letter to H.I.M. the Sultan, asking for pity and jus- 
tice, and declaring ourselves his devoted subjects; 
but we received no reply.* We then continued to 
fight, not with the hope of defeating the powerful 
Turkish army, but with the hope of drawing attention 
to our national cause. We have resisted for three 
months troops twenty times superior to ourselves. 
Our brothers in other districts, disarmed and ex- 
hausted by recent oppression, camiot-aid us. We are 
now pressed against the Montenegrin frontier, where 
our miserable families are refuged, camped often in 
holes in the rocks. Exhausted by the terrible cam- 
paign, we address ourselves to the Western Powers, 
in the name of our children, our families, and our 
brethren of Albania, and beg for intervention on 

* This is a fact. For some reason best known to themselves 
the officials at Constantinople considered this quite genuine 
letter to be a practical joke, and never even investigated it. It 
was one of the many blunders which ruined the Turkish Empire. 



BEFORE THE WAR 57 

behalf of our rights as men and citizens. We beg 
for a large autonomy, which will permit us to be an 
active and fertile unity." 

Such was the message to Europe. We anxiously 
awaited results. Existence became more and more 
intolerable, and time seemed to stand still. A cer- 
tain grim humour was the only enlivenment. I was 
prayed to attend a funeral, that of a headman — to 
please his relatives — and consented reluctantly, for 
a funeral means too much rakia and heartrending 
death wails. But at the last moment the relatives 
sent a hundred apologies for disappointing me. The 
man was much better. There would be no funeral, 
after all ! 

The Hotel Europa was crammed with officers, and 
orderlies slept in heaps in the corridors. The night 
air reeked of their sweaty uniforms. At dinner I was 
almost always the only woman in a crowd of officials, 
officers, a varied assortment of correspondents of all 
nations, spies, and Balkan adventurers. As the 
weather grew hotter and hotter, their tempers grew 
shorter and shorter, and blackbeetles more and more 
numerous. Sometimes we verged on war at the 
dinner-table. Mr. Bourchier, of The Times, left to 
inspect burnt villages. 

" He is gone,'' said a civilian on my right next day. 
" By God ! that man has more power than a whole 
Montenegrin battalion \" 

" What \" howled a young officer on my left — 
" what ! a foreign man with a pen worth more than 
one of our battalions I You have insulted the 
army. . . ." There followed incoherent torrents. 



58 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

He leapt up and went white with rage. Everyone 
yelled and shouted, some defending one and some the 
other statement. 

I sat tight between the two and grinned, believing 
that they were less likely to exchange shots if it had 
to be done across me, and if it were obvious that I 
thought them asses. Some elder men then inter- 
vened, and mgeniously pomted out that I, being Mr. 
Bourchier's compatriot, was the insulted party. I 
therefore declared honour to be satisfied by an 
apology finally offered by the officer for the somewhat 
hasty adjectives he had strewn about, and the end 
was peace. 

He had intended, he said, no offence either to the 
British Empire or to Mr. Bourchier. His intention 
was merely to enforce the fact that no civilian could 
be likened to the invincible and incomparable 
Montenegrin army. 

Heat, and waiting for war, upset most people; but 
we escaped a duel, though an Albanian patriot 
smacked an Italian who called him an Austrian spy, 
and an inhabitant of Podgoritza broke the head of 
an Austrian with a packing-case, or some such trifle, 
for strictly non-political reasons. 

While we swayed thus between peace and war, the 
Turks on June 20 made a fresh move. They offered 
amnesty for all insurgents who would return and lay 
down their arms within ten days. These should all 
be pardoned, and £T10,000 would be allotted as 
compensation for the burnt houses. If, on the con- 
trary, the insurgents persisted, they should be " pur- 
sued and punished.'' Such was the French version 
issued to the Legations and newspapers. The Al- 



BEFORE THE WAR 59 

banian version, as posted on the walls of Podgoritza, 
said, " pursued and annihilated/' 

The Legations were somewhat disturbed by this 
discrepancy. The insurgents made short work of 
the notice. It was posted at noon and torn down 
within half an hour. Again the Montenegrins ex- 
pressed horror at the idea of annihilating Albanians, 
and posed as models of humanitarianism, though they 
were in a short time to do what the Turks merely 
threatened. 

On the 24th Saddreddin Bey, the Turkish Min- 
ister, arrived from Cettigne to negotiate with the 
Maltsors. Sokol Batzi was the mouthpiece of most 
of the heads, and was for no surrender. Saddreddin 
made various verbal offers — promised to extend the 
armistice, increase the compensation money, and so 
forth — to all of which the Maltsors, led by Sokol, 
replied: " Where is the European guarantee V 
That same evening we heard artillery; the armistice 
did not count for much. 

Saddreddm left to convey the answer to Tourgoud, 
and the Maltsor heads went up to Cettigne for instruc- 
tions as to the next steps to be taken. 

Next day the Turks sent another emissary, Imail 
Hakki Bey (who had come as adviser of the Young 
Turks Committee at Scutari), a hooky-nosed, tawny- 
skinned man, with dark, unclean eyes and a smug 
manner. W^ith him came Kapetan Mark Ghioni, of 
the Mirdites, sent by his cousin, Prenk Pasha, the 
hereditary chief of the Mirdites. The Mirdites were 
very angry with Prenk for not assisting them to rise, 
and Prenk was reported to be in a state of terror. 
On the one side were the Young Turks, prepared to 



60 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

punish him if he revolted, and, on the other, the 
Mirdites, threatening to kill him if he did not. 
Austria was said to have reduced his pay by half, 
and he was all for peace. Ibram Effendi, the Mayor 
of Scutari, also arrived on a peace errand. They called 
on the Maltsors not to imperil their fatherland, the 
Turkish Empire. Ibram said he had been horrified 
by articles in foreign papers speaking of its speedy 
downfall. But to all this the Maltsors refused to 
listen, and continued to demand a European guar- 
antee of theii' rights. 

Beppi Shantoya, the son of my old dragoman in 
Scutari, arrived quite worn out. He had been all 
the time in Mirdita, had assisted at the futile attack 
on Alessio, and had now come by night over the 
Shala Mountains, dodging between the Turkish lines. 
Soon after came Tochi, who had pluckily organized 
the Mirdites, but who had failed for lack of weapons. 
He and some others told a piteous tale of how day and 
night they had kept watch for the arrival of Riciotti 
Garibaldi's promised weapons and reinforcements till 
they were sick with despair. Had they not relied 
on this help, they would not have' risen. If they 
could but have armed all the Dukagins, success 
would have been certain. On the contrary, by 
publishing in the papers that a revolution was being 
planned. Garibaldi, said the Maltsors, had spoilt 
their chances. So angry were they that they execrated 
his very name. Weapons more weapons, was their 

cry. 

General Martinovitch and Brigadier Boshkovitch 
and two Russian officers appeared suddenly one day, 
and went off to reconnoitre the frontier. So did an 



BEFORE THE WAR 61 

Austrian journalist, who, on his return, reported that 
in case of war the Montenegrins would not have a 
chance, as the Turks had occupied every position of 
importance along the frontier, and were extremely 
well placed. Together with the force of Ehtem Pasha, 
they must be about 50,000 strong. 

Thus the Austrian. What the Russians thought 
I never knew, but I always fancied that it was in 
consequence of what they saw that Russia gave 
Montenegro no encouragement to make war. Mean- 
while, our " English letter " had been favourably 
noticed by several papers, and it was not till then 
that the Montenegrin Government knew of the step 
which had been taken. The King was annoyed, for, 
as then became evident, he did not wish the Maltsors 
to be anything but pawns in his own game. He 
telegraphed for the two leading Albanian committee- 
men, and demanded the full text of the letter. As 
luck would have it, the original was in my hands. 

A messenger came to my room at midnight and 
banged and hammered on the door. As I was 
always being knocked up at midnight by silly tele- 
grams from newspapers, I flatly refused to get out of 
bed or pay any attention to the explanation that it 
was urgent Government business, and the clamouring 
messenger withdrew; nor was it till next morning 
that I learnt what was the matter, and sent off the 
letter in a huny. I was told later that the King 
believed that I had instigated the appeal to the British 
Government; but he was mistaken. 

Events followed fast. On July 4 no less a person 
than Monseigneur Sereggi, Archbishop of Scutari, 
appeared, with his secretaiy, Doni Luigi Bunci (now 



62 



THE STEUGGLE FOE SCUTAEI 



Bishop of Kalmeti), and most of the mountain Fran- 
ciscans and priests. Tourgoud Pasha had sent for 
him to the camp at Kopliku, and had there asked 
him to go straight to Podgoritza, and, as head of the 
Catholics, persuade the tribesmen to make peace. 

" I replied,'' said the Archbishop, telling the tale, 
*' that the Maltsors had already given their reply; 




A FRANCISCAN OF THE MOTTNTAINS. 



that it was a question between them and the Turkish 
Government, and that three Turkish envoys having 
failed, it was not likely I should succeed. All the while 
I was speaking the military band was playing. When 
it stopped, I heard the ' bom, bom ' of artillery. 
'What is that?' I asked. 'A little gun practice,' 
said Tourgoud. And he started the band playing 
with renewed vigour, to hide the fact that, though 



BEFORE THE WAR 63 

there is supposed to be an armistice, a fight was 
going on not far off. He would not accept my ex- 
cuses, said I was a Turkish subject, and must do as 
I was ordered, so here I am/' 

" Then you have no hope of success, Monseigneur V 

" Who am I to succeed when so many have failed V 
said the Archbishop modestly. " My duties are 
purely spiritual, not political." 

And as I knew the Archbishop to be a patriotic 
Albanian, and not easily shaken or frightened, peace 
seemed no nearer. He proceeded to Cettigne and 
dined there with the King, the Turkish Minister, and 
other guests. His Majesty, according to one of these 
others, was in the highest spirits, and chaffed the 
Turk unmercifully about his wives, whereat the Turk 
looked black, and His Majesty Nikola gayer than 
ever. From this we deduced that His Majesty 
Nikola must have " somethmg up his sleeve," and 
that the European guarantee must be in sight. 

Back came the Archbishop to Podgoritza, and day 
after day received deputations of tribesmen. The 
rank and file were so anxious that no terms should 
be accepted without European guarantee that they 
declared that if the heads made terms they would 
not submit to them. They became very democratic, 
and swore that, as they had shared all the suffering, 
their opinions, too, must be taken. All insisted on 
being heard, and the proceedings draggled along from 
day to day. 

Saddreddin Bey, the Turkish Minister, smooth, 
plausible, and Oriental, came down from Cettigne to 
receive the reply. A very noisy meeting ensued. 

The Maltsors demanded loudly, " Our rights, and 



64 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

a European guarantee/' Saddreddin declared that 
the Turkish Government promised all they asked, 
and that the Archbishop would stand as guarantee; 
whereupon the Maltsors, wildly excited, shouted: 
" We accept the Archbishop as head of our Church. 
We have the highest respect for him as such; but we 
cannot take him as a guarantee of our political rights, 
nor the head of any Church — not even the Pope him- 
self and the Sultan together/' Saddreddin vainly 
tried to read the terms; they shouted him down. 
" We want the Powers ! We want the Powers !" 

Saddreddin, angry, cried: " You do not understand 
what you are talking about/' 

They cried: " We understand very well. We are 
not children." 

He was laughed down, and returned to Cettigne, 
leaving the tribesmen hopeful and exultant. The 
Turks' evident anxiety that they should make peace, 
and King Nikola's even greater anxiety that they 
should not, inspired them, poor things ! with the 
highest hopes that their sorrow and sacrifice had not 
been vain, and that speedy protection was coming 
from the Powers. 

The rakia flowed freely ; the noise was deafening. 
Two plucky young leaders came and swore to me, 
their eyes blazing, that they would offer up them- 
selves to buy liberty for Albania. They would creep 
right into the Turkish camp at Kopliku, and kill 
Tourgoud in his tent. They would themselves be 
killed, and Europe would understand, and free 
Albania. Nor could I persuade them that this step 
would in no way help matters. 

" Well," said I to the Archbishop, " you have tried 



BEFORE THE WAR 65 

every means — even rakia — with the Maltsors, and 
have failed." 

" Even with rakia I did not expect to succeed," 
said he; and he twinkled. But he added seriously: 
" How can I recommend these, my people, to again 
trust the Turk without guarantee ? He has been 
trusted too often." He gave a sad account of the 
want and misery which already existed as a result 
of the insurrection through all the mountains. 
Unless help came, the future was veiy black. 

The Maltsors started sniping the Turkish army 
with renewed energy, generally stalking the small 
outposts at night, and picking off men by the camp- 
fires. Mehmet Shpend, with his men, crawled one 
night between two outposts, fired at first one and 
then the other, and started them firing at each other, 
each thinking the other was the enemy. Back came 
Mehmet, chuckling, to ask for more cartridges. War 
seemed inevitable. The armistice had but a few more 
days to run. 

Tourgoud declared to an interviewer that he could 
no longer hold his men, in the heat and drought, with 
nothing to do, and nervous with incessant snipmg. 
It must be settled one way or the other. 

On July 8 I received a copy of the Morning Post, 
containing an intenuew with Prince Danilo, who had 
gone to London for the Coronation, and (to quote a 
letter I wrote at the time), ** thougli I read it all 
alone in my room, I shouted with laughter over 
it. I did not know he possessed such inventive 
power." 

" We Montenegrins," said His Royal Highness, 
" who most sincerely desire peace speedily re-estalj- 

6 



66 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

listed and lastingly assured, do all we can by giving 
both sides friendly advice ... to arrive at conclusions 
satisfactory to both parties. My father is most 
anxious ... to prove to the Turks the sincerity of his 
desire to live with them in true friendship.'' On the 
attention of the Crown Prince being drawn to state- 
ments current in the Turkish Press, to the effect that 
" Montenegro is organizmg and sustaining revolt by 
providing the Maltsors with arms and ammunition, 
and by granting permission to her subjects to join 
the insurgents,'' His Royal Highness said: "I can 
assure you positively that these stories have no foun- 
dation of fact. There is, however, some sort of justi- 
fication. . . . About 100 Montenegrin Maltsors joined 
their brethren across the border. . . . The Monte- 
negrin Government immediately ordered their sub- 
jects to return at once under menace of severe punish- 
ment. ... It is, indeed, quite possible that some 
Maltsors have bought arms and cartridges from 
private Montenegrins, but the Government had 
nothing at all to do with it." " Is it true that your 
country is actively preparing for war ?" ''I can 
assure you that no active preparations are going on." 
He added: " It grieves my heart to see these brave, 
uncultured mountaineers suffer and die for the liberty 
of having their own schools for their own children." 
These remarks, when his stout cousin, Yanko, was 
actively engaged in supplying arms, keeping up the 
revolt, and preparing war, and when a Montenegrin 
ofiicer and several men had been wounded, were so 
unpudent as to border on the sublime. His tender 
grief on the subject of Albanian schools, when coupled 
with the fact that such schools were also prohibited 



BEFORE THE WAR 67 

in Montenegro, was beneath contempt. The inter- 
view is only one more example of the folly of the 
interviewing system. At its best it panders to vulgar 
curiosity; at its worst it is a wholesale disseminator 
of lies. 

On July 11 Cousin Yanko came to me and stated 
triumphantly that everything was in readiness. The 
artillery track to Suha finished, and the guns going 
up that night; the road to Rumia also finished, and 
the big guns going there; ammunition sent to all the 
frontier posts. He took war for granted, and asked 
me if I would stay in the town, or come into the 
camp with him as a correspondent. He added, 
laughing, he could take Scutari in ten days. The 
camp was under cover of the hills close by, and 
artillery drill had been going on there regularly for 
some time. 

The armistice was to expire that night. Next 
morning the Turkish army might be over the border. 
It was but two miles from the frontier, and about 
30,000 strong. I withdrew most of my relief fund 
from the bank in case of sudden emergency, and sat 
and waited through what seemed an endless after- 
noon, with the Italian and Austrian correspondents 
ready to fly to the telegraph-office and wire our re- 
spective papers that war was declared. All Pod- 
goritza palpitated with excitement, and the minutes 
dragged slowly by. At last came official news from 
the Turkish Consulate : twenty days' further armis- 
tice. The Austrian said " Damn \" All his war-kit 
was wasted. The Montenegrins said the Tuiks dared 
not fight, as they knew that, so soon as the first shot 
was fired, the whole of the Balkans would blaze. 



68 THE STEUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

Bulgaria would begin at once and support Monte- 
negro. There was general disappointment. 

Next day all was flat and the Montenegrins as 
cross as bears. The sudden relaxation of the strain 
of expectancy had let everyone down with a whump. 
The insurgents still clung to hope, as news of risings 
in Djakova and in the South cheered them, and they 
caught at any straw. The Albanian Committee in 
America telegraphed to me, and I replied that, unless 
immediate help came, the cause was lost. A hodja, 
a plucky and patriotic Moslem from South Albania, 
arrived at Podgoritza, and started on foot, through 
the Turkish lines, to Kosovo, to beg the tribesmen 
there to rise before it was too late. We saw him off 
on his perilous journey one night. 

America sent money to pay the insurgents' bread- 
bill. They had fought for four months on bread and 
water only, with the rarest exceptions. The fighting- 
men's bread was not paid for by Montenegro, though 
made by a Podgoritza baker, from whom men from 
each tribe fetched it every few days. 

The hot days throbbed by, and no news came, 
either from the South or from Kosovo. We grew sick 
with deferred hope. The leaders of both districts, 
more especially Ismail Kemal, failed to realize that 
this was a supreme moment for Albania, and that 
now or never must her boundaries and rights be 
defined. They intended to plan a larger revolution 
later on. I cabled in vain to leaders in America. 

The insurgents were furious with Ismail Kemal. 
Until he came to Cettigne he was quite unknown to 
them. He gave them no help at all, but was now 
said to be posing, in the European Press, as a leader. 



BEFORE THE WAR 69 

Then came news of a lising at Djakova. The 
hodja's journey was succeeding. Ehtem Pasha was 
wounded, and the Turkish Kainimakani killed. This 
spurred the flagging hopes of the insurgents. They 
made a sudden successful raid, and cut off the water- 
supply of Tuzi. 

Though the insurgents had still fight left in them, 
the state of their families was worse and worse. 
Quite half had not had a change of shirt for two 
months. AVater was short, soap an impossible 
luxury, and the stench sickenmg. I went from cave 
to cave and shed to shed, tramping with Martina] 
through all the neighbourhood, dealing out shirting 
cut into lengths, needles, and balls of thi-ead. In 
the heat of midday I tore and folded hundreds of 
metres of stuff, packed it and sent it to the moun- 
tains. Money for relief w^ork was coming in fairly 
well. The toil of administering it, however, was very 
severe, for it was not large enough to permit of 
hiruig assistants or of taking a special room. 

An Italian doctor. Dr. Negri, arrived as a volun- 
teer worker, and at my request went up to Triepshi 
and did admii-able work among the refugees, who 
were sickening in quantities from bad food and ex- 
posure. He sent the worst cases to me for special 
help, and I supplied him with all the drugs he wanted. 
For lack of other accommodation, the wretched, 
filthy people swarmed into my bedroom daily. 
Though I removed the only rug and drenched the floor 
with carbolic, it was all of a hop with fleas; and at 
night the rank stink of the bale of raw hide for 
sandals half choked me. 

So passed Juh . I lemember it as a nightmare in 



70 



THE STRUGGLE FOE SCUTARI 



an inferno. Peace seemed no nearer. The Arch- 
bishop left on the 22nd, and was seen off by General 
Martinovitch and his officers. A speech, made by a 
Scutarene, thanked the Archbishop for his work, and 
stated that no peace would be accepted without good 
terms guaranteed by Europe. The Archbishop 
thanked all for his kind reception; he had failed in 
his errand, and left the future in the hands of God. 
The Podgoritzans cried, " Zhivio Kralj Nikola !" 
(Long live King Nikola !), and the Archbishop and 
his attendants drove off in one of Podgoritza's 
ramshackle flies. 

It was significant that none of the heads of the 
Maltsors took part in this demonstration. 




MIRDITE OUTPOSTS. 



CHAPTER V 

THE GREAT BETRAYAL 

*' Put not your trust in Princes." 

That Yanko and Martinovitch and all their staff were 
delighted with the way that the Archbishop had con- 
ducted the affair, was obvious. They did not wish, 
nor did they intend, to have peace. Yanko boasted 
he would be in Scutari in ten days, and Tourgoud 
retorted that he would take Cettigne in a week. 
The armistice was to expire on August 1 (1911), and 
we counted the hours and minutes. Military prepara- 
tions were pushed on actively, and the weary in- 
surgents were urged to fresh efforts. In spite of 
Prince Danilo's assertions, Montenegrin soldiers were 
sent to reinforce them, and took active part in the 
sniping. 

In the very last days of July some more riffes were 
dealt out, and a band, led by the man who had sworn 
to kill Tourgoud, was fitted out and started, with 
that object, on the last night of the armistice. 

Nothing indicated that the insurrection would 
shortly end. To our amazement, on August 2, Mr. 
Butler, of The Times, and several other correspondents 
arrived early, and announced that all was over, and 
a crisis at hand. 

At noon a royal motor rushed into the town bear- 

71 



72 THE STRUGGLE FOE SCUTARI 

ing Saddreddin Bey (the Turkish Minister), Gjukaii- 
ovitch (then Minister of the Interior), Dushan Greg- 
ovitch (Marshal of the Court), Mitar Martinovitch 
(of the Artillery), and last, but by no means least, 
big Yanko. 

The car buzzed in a cloud of dust to the Turkish 
Consulate, and the stunning report spread that peace 
was to be made at once — not only peace, but that the 
Turk's terms were to be accepted without guarantee. 
Had a Turkish shell landed suddenly in the town, it 
could not have caused such astonishment, for it was 
a possibility which we had discussed often enough. 

Only last night weapons had been given out, and 
now — peace, without a guarantee. It was in- 
credible, impossible. The chiefs were summoned at 
once. They met and squatted, each tribe apart, in 
rings on the ground near the schoolhouse, to discuss 
what to do. The news was a knock-out blow. They 
were stunned. Week after week they had obeyed 
King Nikola's orders; seen their homes and goods 
plundered and burnt; starved, fought, and suffered; 
and now, in spite of all solemn promises, they were 
thrown over. 

The Gruda men, with old Sokol Batzi as President, 
sat on the school steps. They all rose as I ap- 
proached, as though I were a headman, and gave me 
a seat at Sokol's right hand. 

Briefly, the terms offered by the Turkish Govern- 
ment were — That an Albanian-speaking Kaimmakam 
should be at once appointed at Tuzi, and that he 
should be a Christian; that the right to carry arms 
should be allowed to all the insurgent tribes, except 
(as always before) in the towns and bazars; that 



BEFORE THE WAR 73 

Albanian schools should be opened by the Grovern- 
nient; that roads should be made in the mountains; 
that money to rebuild the burnt houses should be 
given; that maize, sufficient to live on, should be 
dealt out till next harv^est, and that every male over 
fifteen should receive one pound Turk on returning 
home. 

The tribesmen listened, growling, as Sokol de- 
tailed the terms. And what guarantee was offered ? 
None of any sort. 

They blazed up in a fury. They had not suffered 
and bled and lost all they possessed to be swindled 
thus ! Kbig Nikola had promised them European 
support and fi'eedom — had promised never to desert 
them till they won it; and a European guarantee 
they must have. 

" Mon Dieu ! ils ont raison/' I muttered to young 
Sokol Batzi, who was next me. 

They did not understand the words, but caught 
my meaning, and said flatly they would hear no more 
about terms, and rose. 

Muttered wrath came from the groups of Hoti, 
Kastrati, Skreli, and Klimenti. Everyone refused 
point-blank. They said it was a ruse to entrap and 
murder them. Quantities of tribesmen were present, 
as they had come from the mountains to receive 
orders at the close of the armistice. 

At 6 p.m. the heads were summoned to meet the 
Montenegrin authorities on the drill-ground before 
the Voyni Stan. The heat had parched it to an 
arid, dusty waste. A canvas awning was hastily put 
up for the officials, for, even at 6 p.m., it was still 
very hot. A thick crowd gathered round, tense with 



74 THE STKUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

suppressed excitement. Yanko and Saddreddin pre- 
sided. 

Saddreddin spoke Turkish, which not a soul under- 
stood, and then called on Mihilaki Effendi, the newly 
appointed Kaimmakam of Tuzi, to read the terms in 
Albanian. He did so, haltingly ; for, with the 
usual Turkish slop-dawdle, Saddreddin had only had 
them translated at the last minute — and then by a 
Greek ! 

The crowd appeared to understand nothing, 
listened in silence, and gave no sign. 

Yanko angrily demanded a reply of old Sokol. 
The heads murmured together. Then Sokol said 
they could give no answer till the rest of the in- 
surgents had been consulted. For months and 
months the Montenegrin Government had told them 
they must accept no terms without a European 
guarantee. Now they did not understand. 

Yanko refused to take this as an answer. He was 
obviously losing his temper rapidly. So certain, 
indeed, had the Montenegrin Government been that 
the Press agents in Cettigne had already telegraphed 
to the papers that the insurgents had at once obeyed 
King Nikola. And here they were, resisting to a man. 

Sokol, much agitated, asked if he and some of the 
heads might go to the Turkish Consulate and talk 
things over with the authorities. 

Yanko accepted. The crowd moved across the 
plain to the Consulate, murmuring, but quite orderly. 
Only at the door of the Consulate, when Sokol Batzi, 
Dod Prenchi of Kastrati, and old Ded Jon Luli of 
Hoti, passed in, they cried loudly, " Do not betray 
us, do not betray us \" and for a moment seemed 



BEFORE THE WAR 75 

about to lose control, but restrained themselves, and 
walked quietly away, and again held meetings. 

Poor people ! Tlieii- indignation and distress were 
painful to behold. I have never witnessed a more 
poignant scene. They repeated again and again that 
Montenegro had promised to stand by them till a 
guarantee was obtained. The King hunself had so 
sworn to many; had promised to assist them with 
troops, if need was. They implored me to inform 
England, to protest against this treachery, to save 
them. It was painful in the extreme. 1 went back 
late to the hotel, tired out. 

Gregovitch captured me at once. " You are the 
only person who knows their minds. Are they going 
to yield?" 

"No," said I. " And I do not see how you can 
expect it, after all you have said and done." 

He seemed very much upset, and said : " They will 
have to. The maize-supply is to be cut off the day 
after to-morrow." 

I expressed great disgust at the cruelty of this, as 
even if they yielded, it would be impossible for so 
many to return in so short a tune. He was angry. 
We said no more. 

An American correspondent came and suggested 
that I should act as mtermediary, and urge the tribes- 
men to accept the terms; but I, knowing, better than 
he, that up till now the Montenegrins had done all 
they could to prolong the struggle, refused to now 
play Montenegro's game for her. Next day a scare 
was spread that there was an outbreak of cholera, 
and this was used to get up a panic against the 
further presence of the luckless refugees. 



76 THE STEUGGLE FOE SCUTAEI 

The Montenegrins were furious at the disobedience 
of the Maltsors. The Maltsors were even more 
furious at the Montenegrins' treachery. With so 
many thousand armed men, all infuriated and 
further excited by the extreme heat, the situation 
was hourly more dangerous. 

Wearied out and anxious beyond all words, I 
kept out of sight, that my opinion might not be 
asked, and spent most of the day behind a haystack 
with Kol Martina], discussimg the hopeless situation, 
cursing Montenegro and all the Powers, and devising 
impossible schemes. 

A blood-red sunset, that seemed all too appropriate, 
darkened into night before we returned to the hotel 
for supper. We ate alone and in silence. In came 
Yanko, red-faced and much agitated, shut the door 
after him, and said: "You must listen to me, you 
two. I unplore you in God's name to act, and act 
at once." Kol and I stared amazement at one 
another. I replied to the effect that this was the 
Montenegrin Government's own affair, not mine; 
that there was much that I did not understand — 
broken promises and so forth — and I therefore 
could not act. 

Yanko blustered, seemed distrustful, finally sat 
down heavily, and expounded the whole situation. 
Things had all gone wrong. He had been all for 
war. The right moment had been lost ; the Turks 
had taken all the positions. Those fools of Maltsors 
had begun too soon ! With all the eyes of Europe 
attracted, what could one do ? The Powers now 
insisted on peace: if Montenegro disobeyed, she was 
lost. The Maltsors must be sent back somehow — 



BEFORE THE WAR 77 

he and all tlie Montenegrin authorities hacl failed to 
persuade them 

I wondered how often in history a foreign female 
had been asked by a Commander-in-Chief, who was 
also a Queen's cousin, in the name of God and his 
Government to make terms for him with insurgents 
he had himself incited. Yanko, Martinaj, and I 
argued up and down for two hours. 

The tension was extreme. Yanko stooped to 
threats. If the insurgents did not at once obey, all 
those who were within the Montenegrin frontier (and 
almost all had come in for the parley) would be 
forcibly disarmed. This would mean bloodshed un- 
doubtedly. 

All food-supplies would be cut off at once. They 
would be star^'ed out and forced to go defenceless, 
and crave pardon and bread of the Turk on their 
knees. Turks were Turks. Who knew what might 
result ? 

And if they consented to go, wliere were the 
guarantees for safety ? If they consented to go at 
once and quietly, Montenegro would see that they 
went with 6,000 rifles and a supply of cartridges for 
each man. This in itself was a guarantee of safety. 
If we needed more guarantee — well, the terms had 
been submitted to every Legation. The Turks must 
fulfil them. 

It was midnight. I was exhausted. There was 
no other possible course, so, believing rather in the 
6,000 rifles than the Powers, Martinaj and I con- 
sented to do what we could. 

I rose to go. But, no — the co-operation of the 
mountain priests had to be secured. Father Sebastian 



78 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

and Father Matteus and one or two others were 
hastily summoned. They, too, as patriotic Albanians, 
were reluctant to act. The tale began again. At 
1 a.m., reeling with fatigue, I got up to go. Yanko 
stopped me with, " You must begin early to-morrow. 
Be ready at four \" 

The night-air outside was as suffocating as the 
room. I sweltered, sleepless with the responsibility 
I had taken. Whichever I advised, resistance or 
obedience, I might have the blood of these people 
on my conscience, and I had no help to turn to. I 
had written to editors and diplomatists often enough 
to know that it would be useless; and there was no 
time to lose. Sick with sleeplessness and disgust at 
the way in which Montenegro had made a cat's-paw 
of the Maltsors, and then, having failed to extract 
chestnuts, cast them back to the enemy, I came down 
into the yard at six in the morning, and found poor 
old Marash Hutzi, the old doctor man of Hoti, await- 
ing me. A brave and very honest old man, he had 
told me often in the course of the insurrection that 
he did not mind the suffering if God .would let him 
see freedom before he died. That the Powers would 
cast them back after this terrible struggle, that 
Montenegro had given them up, dazed and stunned 
him. He could no longer think, he said; he had 
come to me for advice. I told him there was only 
one way — to yield and go back. He answered that 
he and all his family would obey. They would 
accept my word, and none other's. He cheered up, 
for he had shifted the responsibility on to me. We 
went into the dining-room, where Yanko, Blazho, 
and some other officers were waiting nervously. 



BEFORE THE WAE 79 

They were intensely relieved to see an influential 
headman, and begged me to hurry up. 

Martina] and the Franciscans came. They too 
agreed that nothing else could be done, and our duty 
was to save bloodshed. 

Already at that early hour the sun was blazing. 
The drill-ground by the Voyni Stan was deep with 
dust. Martina] and I went from one group of 
desperate and fiercely indignant men to another, and 
plunged into the thick of them, I speaking, he trans- 
lating, arguing, entreating, commanding. The air 
was foggy with dust, and stank with sweat. 

The men yelled and shouted. They had been be- 
trayed; they would have justice; they would never 
go back; they would prefer to fight and die here. 
The King had promised a European guarantee. 
They must have one. 

Yanko rushed suddenly from the Voyni Stan, and 
said he must have an answer by noon. I said he 
could not; that he must give us till the afternoon, 
and go away at once. I seized his arm and tried to 
shake him, and sent him off. 

Neither the Franciscans nor Martina] and I were 
making any headway. The Klimenti men in especial 
were furious. They said: "You are going back to 
your country, where you will be safe, and you order 
our women back to be violated by the Turks. You 
would not go back to Albania for the winter your- 
self.'' 

There was nothing left for it but to promise to go 
with them. I promised. Even this influenced only 
a few. 

At middav, exhausted and hoarse, we gave up. 



80 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

The Montenegrins were furious. I feared the worst. 
But by the afternoon the tribesmen had had time to 
consider the terms. Martinaj and the Franciscans 
once more addressed them, and at four o'clock, re- 
luctantly and sorrowfully, they consented. 

Yanko, intensely relieved, made a speech, in which 
he hoped that they would have all their national 
rights, and that Martinaj should be Professor among 
them in an Albanian school. 

Blazho and Yanko and General Martinovitch 
thanked me on behalf of the Government for my 
services, and my promise to accompany the Maltsors. 
But the iron was to be struck while hot. Carriages 
were ordered, and some twenty headmen, including 
Mirash Lutzi, drove off to Tuzi, fully armed. An 
excited crowd saw them off. 

The fateful day was over. There was no going 
back from the step we had taken. The reaction was 
horrible. Martinaj turned white. We were both 
overwhelmed with the responsibility we had taken, 
and could barely be civil m reply to the fulsome 
thanks of Yanko, Blazho, and Martinovitch. 

The Klimenti men sent me a message that they 
went back entirely on my responsibility, and that 
if aught happened to them, their blood was upon my 
soul. 

It kept me awake all night, and at 3.30 a.m. I had 
to get up and crawl down the street to meet Mr. 
Butler, of The Times, and Mr. Leland Buxton, of the 
Macedonian Relief Committee, in order to fulfil my 
promise of crossing the frontier. 

In the grey dawn we drove over the plam to Tuzi, 
where Mihilaki Eff endi, the new Kaimmakam, received 



■•-t 




BEFORE THE WAR 81 

us very affably. I confess that at the time I dis- 
trusted his promises, as I regarded him only as a tool 
of Saddreddin Bey (a man for whom I had great con- 
tempt); but he turned out to be a good man. I 
found the returned insurgents in good spirits. Poor 
old Mirash Lutzi looked ten years younger. It had 
nideed been plucky of him to be among the first to 
return, for he quite expected to be betrayed. Mihilaki 
had treated the first twenty with great hospitality- 
mutton, coftee, and suchlike delicacies galore. 

Mirash's one anxiety was for his son. He called 
me aside, and prayed me on my return to go straight 
to Yanko, or Martinovitch, or whomever was in com- 
mand, and beg him at once to warn the band they 
had sent out a few days before, that peace had been 
made. " If they are not recalled at once," he said, 
" they will throw their bomb into Tourgoud's tent,' 
and we shall all be executed in revenge.'' He cursed 
the Montenegrin Generals freely for having thus 
equipped and sent a band at the last moment. Nor 
was his anxiety uncalled for. 

Returning to Podgoritza at noon, I gave Mirash's 
message at once to Yanko, and was told they had 
ahready sent to warn the band. The insurrection 
was over. The toil and strain of the past four 
months had been vain. 

^ I had hoped up till the last that some sort of 
European protection would have been obtained, for 
that would have entailed at any rate a rough' de- 
limitation of Albanian territoiy ; and if that had been 
done, what horrors would have been later spared ! 
But a ring had been formed by the Press of Europe : 
The Young Turk was sacred. As someone remarked, 

6 



82 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

" A Turk has merely to say he is Young, and he 
may do what he pleases." Europe pursued the fatal 
policy of non-intervention. It seemed as though we 
were all swept along into the cogs of a vast machine 
that turned and turned ceaselessly and pitilessly. 

With brutal haste, men, women, and children were 
hunted back across the border like so much cattle. 
I made a struggle to serve out as many garments as 
tune allowed; but I was quite done up with the heat, 
which rose to 104° F. in the shade, as well as with 
the work, and an attack of lumbago and rheumatism 
struck me helpless. I lay on my bed, and the refugees 
came in all day for doles to help them to return to 
their rumed homes by hiring a cart or horse to carry 
the children and such goods as they possessed, and 
especially to beg for opanke (sandals) for the long 
tramp to the mountains. Martinaj sat by me and 
dealt out as I directed; and from my room such men 
as had no weapons went to the Montenegrins for the 
promised rifles. All other foreigners were ordered 
out of the town, lest they should incite the Maltsors 
to further resistance. Then Martinaj was telegraphed 
for to return to his work in Italy,' and I was left all 
alone to help of the last of the insurgents as best I 

could. 

When I recovered enough to be able to crawl 
downstairs, Podgoritza was a blank. Soldiers, 
officers, insurgents, correspondents — all had dis- 
appeared like a dream; or was the present cahn but 
a dream— the hush before the storm ? For one who 
was in touch with the King had told me, under promise 
of strict secrecy (nothing was to be published before 
next May), that the withdrawal of the Maltsors was 



BEFORE THE WAR 83 

only a ruse in order to bring about the withdrawal 
of the Turkish troops; that so soon as this was effected, 
the lost strategical positions would be reoccupied. If, 
as was hoped, this withdrawal took place shortly, it 
was possible that fighting would begin in the winter. 
If not — why, in April for certain. And I was pledged 
to winter in Albania. 



PART II 

THE GATHERING OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 




CHAPTER VI 

THE WINTER OF OUR DISCONTENT (1911-1912) 

To give even an idea of the ceaseless strain, the 
anxious waiting from hour to hour, as we drew nearer 
and nearer to an unfathomable precipice, seems to 
me an almost impossible task. It was an endless 
winter of toil, misery, rumours, alarms, deaths — 
all in an indescribable tangle of intrigue, plot, and 
counterplot. 

Only firm and prompt action on the part of the 
so-called Great Powers could have prevented the 
final catastrophe. But it daily became more and 
more obvious that the Powers would rather that the 
whole Balkan population died than that they should 
stretch a finger to save them. 

** It would be an awful thing," they said, " if our 
little hands should tear each other's eyes.'' 

Nor, so it seems, did they see any alternative plan. 
" Hawks do not pluck out hawks' een " is a fair 
saymg. But the Powers are naught but a menagerie, 
with nothing liker a hawk than a spatch-cocked eagle 
or two. And so soon as the door is opened, they 
believe they must do as other menageries — tooth and 
nail. 

87 



88 THE STEUGGLE FOE SCUTAEI 

In all the world there is nothing more pathetic 
than the belief — in spite of all evidence to the con- 
trary — that the little peoples have in the greatness 
and goodness of the " Powers/' And nothing more 
despicable than the Powers as they really are. 

But for international jealousies of the meanest kind, 
an international gendarmerie could have controlled 
the affairs of European Turkey, and by preventing 
the hideous series of outrage and reprisals that took 
place throughout Macedonia and in parts of Albania, 
as the Young Turk strove madly by every species of 
cruelty to forcibly Ottomanize his subject peoples — 
might have prevented, or at least have mitigated, the 
wholesale slaughter that was shortly to follow. 

Crueller and more calculating than the Turk, the 
rulers of the Balkan States deliberately and in 
cold blood incited resistance, stirred up rebellion. 
For the aim and hope of each was to advertise 
his cause upon a poster bloody enough to justify 
war. 

" We had expected quite half the population to die 
as the result of this insurrection,'' said the Bulgar 
Bishop of Ochrida and his secretary to me in 1904, 
" and not one quarter have. Next time a great 
many more must die, and Europe will have to listen 
to us." 

So things danced in a bloody circle, each Balkan 
ruler striving " to free " the land at the expense of 
the hapless peasants he pretended to " liberate," 
who, in fact, were so many " research guinea-pigs," 
with whom he experimented against the Turks, and 
anyone else likely to thwart his schemes of aggrandize- 
ment. And behind each petty ruler sat a Great Power 



THE GATHERING OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 89 

with " a sphere of influence " in view, and restrained 

or egged him on according as it suited a yet larger 

game. 

H« * * * * 

It was on August 19 that I arrived once more in 
Scutari, ill and tired enough, burdened with my 
promise to help the returned insurgents, and with 
the knowledge that unless the Powers took immediate 
and concerted action, more bloodshed was inevitable. 

Russia, by cutting of! Montenegro's supply of 
pocket-money, had, in fact, stopped immediate action. 
But this was a mere lull. 

Various reasons made it more desirable to stay in 
the hotel than in a private house, and I had hardly 
settled in, when the Maltsors began coming for help 
and advice. Beyond imploring them to be patient, 
I could do little for them till I had been a fortnight 
in the doctor's hands. 

The new Vali, an old Moslem Bulgar, was very 
friendly, and gave me full permission to help the 
burnt-out tribesmen. He would be glad, he said, of 
anything that would content them. The Turkish 
authorities, in fact, were not sorry that England 
should be a counter-attraction to various other 
Powers. 

The position of things was as bad as it well could 
be. The Turkish officers and all the Young Turk 
representatives were furious about the concessions 
made to the msurgents. Intense bitterness, too, 
prevailed between the town Moslems and the late 
insurgents, who had beaten them at Kopliku, and 
this bitterness was foolishly fostered by the Young 
Turk enthusiasts. 



90 THE STEUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

Before the month was up came the first row. Six 
Kastrati men were set on and severely mauled by a 
gang of town Moslems, who were enraged by seeing 
that the Kastrati had Montenegrin rifles. The six 
Christians were promptly arrested, and the Moslems 
let off. 

All the fat was in the fire at once. Hakki Bey, the 
Young Turk representative, said he was glad the 
Christians had been thrashed ; it would do them good. 
To add to the difficulties, Ramazan was beginning, 
and in Ramazan Moslems are apt for quarrel. 

The Archbishop protested — said the promised 
maize was being given irregularly; that the promised 
compensation money had not been paid ; and that if 
violence were offered to the tribesmen, he could not 
be responsible for consequences. 

The Kastrati men were liberated, but the Moslems 
were not punished. The tribesmen were defiant, and 
clamoured for their money. 

I, who had promised to go to the mountains and 
investigate the state of things there, was too ill to go, 
and was in something like despair when Mr. Nevinson 
arrived, sent by the Macedonia Relief Committee, to 
act as their agent. He relieved me of the job and 
started off to visit the burnt-out districts. I went 
with him, so far as it was possible to drive in a 
carriage, to Baitza in Lower Kastrati, and there 
visited some twenty ruined homes, all burnt, not a 
roof anjrwhere. The people were squatting under 
little sheds of rushes and boughs, and had collected 
and used every unbroken roof-tile. 

There are few sights more heart-rending than burnt 
homes. The floor, lighted from below, flares up and 



I 



THE GATHEETXG OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 91 

burns the roof rafters and all the props within. 
Down comes the roof with a crash, and the red sparks 
shoot up. Part of the stone wall is torn down by the 
falling timbers. Blackened ruins are all that remain, 
and among them cower the innocent victims who have 
wandered back, destitute of nearly all but the clothes 
they wear. And Europe says: " Thank God ! Peace 
has been preser\^ed. We have not fought each other." 
What God is it that they thank ? Moloch ? 

The courage with which some of the returned refu- 
gees faced their misery was admirable. One plucky 
old woman who had succeeded in saving the parts of 
her loom had put it up, and was hard at work weaving 
stufE for the children's clothes from w^ool she had spun 
during the insurrection. 

In the church the Turks had decapitated the 
images of the saints and poked out the eyes of the 
pictures. One of the most inexplicable of the many 
weaknesses that afflict mankind from Turks to 
Kensits is the extraordinar}^ hatred which folk bear 
for the S}Tnbols of any brand of religion but their own, 
and the blind fury with which they attack inanimate 
objects. It is the one point which many very dis- 
similar religions have in common. 

The devastation of Baitza was a fair sample of the 
rest of the Turks' work. 

Mr. Neviuson returned after a week's tour thi-ough 
the mountains, and reported that the greater part of 
the houses of the Klimenti — almost all in Hoti — 
the Christian houses in Skreli, and nearly all in Ka-s- 
trati, were burnt, and the few not burnt pillaged; 
two churches and several chapels completely de- 
stroyed, and all the churches plundered. In Gruda, 



92 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

only a hundred houses were burnt, but ahnost all 
were pillaged. The Moslems in some instances had 
suffered as badly as the Chiistians. 

Briefly, the net result of the Young Turks' policy 
of forcible Ottomanization was, that in order to 
enforce taxation, they had destroyed about 2,000 
houses, and rendered the land unable to pay any tax 
for years to come ; that they had been forced to yield 
on the point of language and on the right to carry 
arms; and that they had alienated the sympathies of 
almost all the Albanian race. 

To achieve this end, they had spent many millions 
which, had they been devoted to the much-needed 
pubHc works, might have brought peace and pros- 
perity to the land, and had sacrificed something like 
8,000 soldiers, reckoning killed, wounded, and those 
which died of disease. Many troops had already left 
Albania, but among those camped near Scutari and 
Medua, a species of cholera was reported to be still 
causing many deaths. 

The Young Turks, in their struggle for supremacy, 
had lost much. The Maltsori, fighting for freedom, 
had lost nearly all they possessed. 

The Turkish Government had by now paid the 
£1 per head promised to each male over fifteen on 
returning, and the maize distribution had begun. 
But roofing and clothing were urgently required. 
As all traffic had been, and was still, blocked by 
military stores, there was scarcity of material in the 
town, and importation was difiicult. We bought up 
all the thin planks in the town, and ordered tarred 
felt from Trieste. 

One district, the tribe of Summa, remained un- 




RKTCKNKI) kF,Il(.Kl> AT I^AITZA, SKI'TEM KI.K, I9II. 




I\S'<i KN I \ n I IM- 



THE GATHEEING OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 93 

visited. AVe started there on horseback to inspect. 
It was September 24, a golden autumn day, glorious 
with brown bracken, scarlet berries, and crimson and 
yellow foliage. Before us, all blue and mysterious, 
lay the Kiri Valley. It was with extraordinary joy 
that I, once more after three years' absence, rode 
into the mountains, past Drishti, which was then a 
bower of silver olives, up the slopes of Maranaj, and 
over his shoulder. Far below lay Scutari Lake, in- 
comparably beautiful. But the turf, as we began to 
descend on the farther side, was ringed with the marks 
of Turkish tents, and the remains of a pack of playing- 
cards were bleaching in the sun, left, perhaps, by 
some " advanced " officer; for it is a common saying: 
" He is a Moslem, but almost a Christian: he drinks 
and gambles." 

The track was very bad. We lost it more than once, 
and it was only after nearly ten hours of ridmg and 
scrambling we arrived in the dusk at the miserable 
house of the priest of Summa. It had been com- 
pletely pillaged. Save that he had a roof, he was 
little better off than the poorest of his parishioners, 
and he gladly shared the food we had brought. 

The Summa tribe had made a futile little rising, 
had failed to reach the other insurgents, been sur- 
rounded by troops who burnt thirty-five houses, of 
which twelve were Moslem, and plundered many of 
the others. As the wTetched people had not suc- 
ceeded in reaching Montenegro, they were not con- 
sidered by the Turkish Government as entitled to 
the corn ration. 

Summa was always poor; it was now in abject 
misery. We found the luckless creatures half-naked 



94 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

among the ruins, the women boiling chopped grass 
and nettles to feed the children, who shivered in 
the chill autumn morning in the ragged remains of 
shirts. 

Food was obviously the first necessity here. We 
gladdened them by the ofi'er of six loads (a load is 
about 250 pounds) of maize if they would fetch it 
themselves. I fed them at intervals all through the 
winter. 

We returned to Scutari, to find wild rumours that 
Italy was picking a quarrel with the Turks about 
Tripoli, but as there was no mention at all of the 
subject in any paper we had received from England, 
we scouted the notion. 

Most urgent appeals for quinine had been coming 
for some time from the people of Breg Mati, and a 
large consignment of tabloids had just arrived from 
England. This was our next duty. 

The tribes of Klimenti and Skreli, and scattered 
members of other tribes, have both summer and winter 
grazing-grounds for their flocks. They descend from 
the high mountain-pastures in October, and remain 
on the fertile plains between the Drin and the Mati 
till about the middle of April. The shifting of the 
flocks is a fine sight: men, women, and children, in 
native costumes, tramp with their pack-horses, loaded 
high with gaily coloured bedding and big caldrons, 
followed by hundreds of bleating, lowing beasts. 

This year (1911), however, the insurrection in 
which they had all intended to take part — for the 
Klimenti are the most gallant of all the tribes — 
broke out prematurely while they were still in the 
plains. The first thing that the troops naturally 



THE GATHERING OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 95 

did was to block their passage, and to pen them in 
the plains for the summer. The plains being water- 
logged by reason of the overflow of the Drin and 
Bojana Rivers, are haunted by a malaria of a most 
virulent type, and the unfortunate people had been 
rotting with it all the summer. They suffered, 
indeed, more deaths from disease than did their 
fighting brethi'en fi"om wounds. 

We arranged to drive to Alessio, the little fever-hole 
of a town that stands by the Drin, to give out quinine 
there, to meet some of the tribesmen, and ride with 
them to Breg Mati. 

Marko, my faithful old dragoman, was not coming 
with us. As he was helping us put our goods into 
the carriage, he remarked: " Perhaps you had better 
not go. People say there is going to be a war." 

" A war !" we cried, and we laughed and drove 
o&. 

News was hard to get, for by this time the whole 
district was. more or less in quarantine for cholera, 
and in consequence few steamers stopped, and letters 
and newspapers were much delayed. 

Arrived at Alessio, we found terrible excitement. 
Quantities of Nizams were running hither and thither, 
carrying white w^ooden ammunition boxes, and rushing 
to the hill that towers above the town, like so many 
ants on an anthill. Officers, pack-horses, transport 
waggons, soldiers — all were on the way to the coast 
to leave for Constantinople, when a report spread 
suddenly that the Italians were about to land. The 
troops turned back at once, and were taking all 
military stores up to the ruined citadel on the hilltop 
as fast as possible. " Now you won't be able to get 



96 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

horses," said our guide. " They have commandeered 
them all." 

Oddly enough, I did not take it seriously. I had 
been expecting war and hearmg gunshots and artillery 
since last April, and it had all fizzled out. The 
quinine and the fever patients seemed far more 
important. The tribesmen, who expected us, turned 
up. They had cannily hidden their horses outside 
the town, mounted us on good ones, and we reached 
Br eg Mati in three hours. 

Dom Notz, the priest, put us up hospitably in his 
little wooden hut that stood on high stone staddles. 
We rose early. Rain was pouring. By seven it 
cleared, and we started on our errand. Alas ! Dom 
Notz, with the intention of saving us a long ride and 
house-to-house visits, had sent word overnight that the 
free quinine had come, and the poor people were flock- 
ing to the village of Gursi, which was the centre of the 
district. The demand far exceeded our supply. It 
was heart-breaking work. The least ill of the family 
came to beg for the rest. In most houses it seemed 
every person was stricken. 

Lean and wasted, their skin tight and yellow on 
then- skulls, their eyes sunken, they prayed : "Give me 
quinine for fifteen people "; "I have twenty "\ "I 
have six children, they are dying." The quinine 
went like snow m sunshine. Many of the vie tuns 
had hugely enlarged spleens. In about an hour and 
a half we dealt out 6,600 grains of quinine, and the 
supply was exhausted. A most painful scene ensued. 
People, all rain-soaked, who had been tramping since 
early morning, arrived, and in despair prayed us to 
have pity and to give. And to escape the sight of 



THE GATHERING OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 97 

misery which we could not relieve, we had to mount 
and ride away. It was a scene I shall never forget. 

The horses were good, and we arrived fairly early 
at Alessio. A young Turkish officer at once rushed 
up to us. " Sprechen Sie Deutsch?'' he cried. We 
did. He poured out his grief. Italy had declared 
war. It was true; there were three Italian battle- 
ships off Medua. The straight columns of smoke 
from their funnels were visible above the hills that lie 
along the coast. 

" All is lost ! All is lost !" he cried. " It is that 
accursed Abdul Hamid. He took everything for 
himself, and left us with nothing. No navy, no 
Dreadnought, nothing, nothmg ! Here am I with 
my troops, and I cannot take them out. We must 
march to Monastir. Unless England helps us, all is 
lost. Tripoli is already lost.'' He clasped his hands 
in despair. 

" No doubt it is,'' said one of us, I forget which. 
We rode on. 
** I am sorry for that poor fellow," said Mr. Nevinson. 
" I'm not," said I. And I added: " It is the begm- 
ning of the end." 

It flashed on me that this perhaps was the meaning 
of the mysterious thing which I was pledged not to 
reveal — that Montenegi'o would move in the winter 
if circumstances allowed. Throughout Montenegro 
the Italians are hated because by their great industry 
they at once outstrip the lazy Montenegrins and make 
money; but that would not prevent a political alliance 
for mutual benefit. Italy would extend her in- 
fluence in North Albania — the Catholics would hail 
any aid that would save them from the Young Turks 

7 



98 THE STEUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

— the Montenegrins would go into the Serb terri- 
tories of Berani and Kosovo vilayet. If the constant 
rumours of Bulgar mobilization were true, we might 
have the long-expected break-up of the Near East 
upon us in a month; and Austria would not fight, 
but would demand, and later obtain, " compensa- 
tion/' It all seemed clear as daylight. I was highly 
pleased, forltho ught that Albania's chance had come. 
A party of tribesmen was escorting us. The horses 
were " going strong "\ we rode at a good pace, and 
reckoned we could reach Scutari by 7 p.m., when 
we discovered that the man who carried our over- 
coats on his saddle had dropped them. Three of 
our men vrent back to search. We remained with 
one Maltsor. Time passed. It began to grow dark. 
The Maltsor was reluctant to proceed, but we pushed 
on. The moon came out, the great plains of the Drin 
were all ghostly. We rode through magic and 
mystery, vainly trying to judge where we were by 
the dim silhouettes of the mountains, till we arrived 
at the old wooden Bachelik bridge (destroyed, alas ! 
in the war), at 9 p.m., and to our astonishment were 
promptly arrested. State of war had been pro- 
claimed, and no one w^as to be admitted to the town 
after sunset. The police outpost was very civil. 
It spoke only Turkish and Albanian, and set to work 
to write long biographies of us, and to spit on the 
mistakes and wipe them out in Turkish fashion. It 
then sent us with an armed escort to the police- 
station in the bazar, where we were handed over, 
with explanations, and the same performance was 
repeated, only this time they wrote pages. I tried 
to cheer matters by making shadows of animals on the 



THE GATHERING OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 99 

walls. Then we went off again, and were handed 
to the towm police. Finally we were liberated at 
11 p.m. without a stain on our characters. Every- 
one had known we had gone the day before to give 
quinine, so that our arrest was ridiculous. But as 
they said: " War is war.^' I have told this in detail 
as it was the first marked step which the authorities 










OLD BACHELIK BEIDOE. 



took to protect Scutari from Italian invasion. The 
next step was to call for several thousand volunteers 
" to defend the Fatherland." 

The day was fixed. The military band, the crimson 
silk banner, and the commandant, Hussein Riza 
Bey hhnself, were all ready in the drill-ground before 
the Serai, to welcome them and swear them in. 
Whenever in past times Turkey had made war, the 



100 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 



Albanians had swarmed to her standard. Now a 
row of fifteen townsmen, one of whom was over 
seventy, and another an habitual drunkard, were all 
that appeared. 

The commandant made a brave speech, thanking 
them for their patriotism. A crowd of small children 

looked on and grinned. Later, 
from the Moslem villages, came 
some more volunteers. One 
hundred and sixty men in all 
were ready to protect Albania 
from Italy. It was a rude 
shock to the authorities. 

News was suppressed. The 
English mail which came usually 
over Italy went astray alto- 
gether. On October 9 came 
official news that both Austria 
and Montenegro, who had been 
dallymg on and of! with cholera quarantine, had 
decided to cut off all communication with us. Mr. 
Nevinson went off in a hurry by the last boat to 
escape detention of unknown length, and I was left, 
feeling rather like " the boy stood on the burning 
deck.'' 

The Turkish authorities circulated quantities of 
handbills describing victories at Tripoli so vast that 
even the Moslems doubted them and inquired the 
truth at the various consulates. In spite of all 
promises that the vernacular should be used, Turkish 
continued to be the ofi&cial language, and the newly 
opened schools were teaching Arabic writing only. 
I was overwhelmed with relief work. Aided by 




MOSLEM CHILD. 



THE GATHERING OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 101 

my faithful old Marko, I worked aU day and every 
day. To tell the details would be as wearisome as 
they were in fact. Briefly, I tried to obtain the name 
of, and number of, persons in each burnt-out family, 
made alphabetical lists of each tribe, and learnt, 
when possible, the circumstances. Together Marko 
and I ransacked the bazar for any and every kind of 
cheap warm material for clothes. All had then to 
be torn into three - metre lengths, for the tribes- 
men are very like a nursery full of children — what 
one has the other must have. " We ask only for 
justice,'' they said. Moreover, they objected strongly 
to a large family having more than a small one. 
" It is the ' house ' which counts,'' they said. For 
a " house " to die out is a great calamity. It is 
better, therefore, to help small ones than large ones. 
Nor could I ever convince them that it was absm-d to 
give a '' house " of twenty-five persons the same 
ration as one of five. And, except that I insisted, 
when possible, in giving extra to widows with chil- 
dren, I had as a rule to conform to national usage. 

The roofing question was extremely difficult, for 
the quarantine made importation of more planks 
hopeless. I gave people the choice of planks or 
clothes, and we had endless trouble. 

At first I dealt out shirt-lengths in Scutari, but it 
caused too many people to flock to the town, and as 
the relations between tribesmen and Turkish ofiicials 
were highly strained, it was desirable to keep them 
apart as much as possible. Moreover, the simple 
souls persisted in doing lowly homage to me, and 
addressing me as " Queen " in the streets, and this 
caused the Turkish authorities, very foolishly, to 



102 



THE STEUGGLE FOK SCUTARI 



protest to the British Vice-Consul against my 
assuming a Royal title. 

To avoid these difficulties, we made up great bales 
of goods sewn in canvas (which could be utilized to 
make mattresses, and was the perquisite of the men 
who acted as carriers), and the priest of each tribe 
distributed the stuff and garments — so many pieces 
per house. Cutting, tearing, sewing, packing, the 
wearisome days passed by. My only relief was to go 




mi 



PACK-HORSES. 



out at night and watch the sun set crimson behind 
Rumia, or a golden full moon sail up from the purple 
mystery of the Shala Mountains. Daily a bazar 
rumour of some sort spread through the town. 

On October 13 a Scutarene from Italy reported 
huge Italian victories, but officially all were denied. 

It was the Sultan's birthday, and Mass was cele- 
brated at the Cathedral. There was a fairly large 
congregation of Scutarenes, who, I was told later, 
prayed for the Sultan's speedy conversion. The Vali 



THE GATHERING OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 103 

and suite were present, but of all the Consuls only 
the Austrian. In the absence of Italy, Austria was 
trying to be prominent and make up for lost time. 
The Archbishop, who officiated, omitted the final 
Benediction, and the Vali and suite departed without 
bemg commended to the care of the Holy Trinity — 
a fact which gave infinite satisfaction to the more 
pious of the Chiistians. 

There was whispered talk of Bulgarian mobiliza- 
tion and of Montenegrin movement near Tuzi. 
About the middle of October we heard that King 
Nikola of Montenegro was making a tour through 
all his provhices on the Herzegovinian frontier — a 
district he had not visited for thhty years. As a 
result, the Ministers of the Triple Entente at Cettigne 
at once expressed to His Majesty the desire of their 
Governments *' that peace should be maintained in 
the Balkans.'' Russia had been very nasty about it, 
France mild, and England firm. So said Petar Pla- 
menatz, then Montenegrin Consul at Scutari, and 
mightily disgusted he was; and a voice spread that, 
in spite of quarantine regulations, some Maltsor heads 
had been summoned to Cettigne. They did not go, 
however, I believe. 

The Vali meantime did his best to keep peace 
with the Maltsors, but could get no money from Con- 
stantmople for the promised house compensation. 
Money had started, it was said, but had been " held 
up " by a doctor of Korteha, who, as he was owed a 
large sum by the Government, had, with the aid of a 
band of friends, paid himself. Had it not been for 
the blow to Turkish feeluigs when no Albanian 
volunteers were forthcoming, I doubt if the money 



104 



THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 



would ever have been paid. But Turkey could not 
afford an internal revolt at this moment, and on 
October 16 part of Hoti and Gruda, as the most im- 
portant of the tribes, were paid. This only made the 
others furious. Winter was rapidly approaching, and 
the money urgently required. 

It was the feast of the Madonna of Scutari — 
Scutari's greatest day — the anniversary of that day 
in 1479 when the Venetians, after a siege of nearly 
a year, were forced to cede Scutari to the Turks, and 




PILGEIMAGE TO THE OLD CHURCH OF THE MADONNA OF SCUTARI. 

the angels swooped down upon the 'little church at 
the foot of the citadel, flew away over the Adriatic 
with the picture of the Holy Virgin, and saved it from 
the infidels. Pilgrims trudged to pray at the ruins, 
and the Cathedral was crammed with miserable peop le 
who came to beg theii- Madonna's aid. I recognized 
many. A man, wearing one of the shii-ts I had given, 
fixed large brown eyes on me, and edged his way 
through the crowd till he could kneel and pray by 
my side. Then he rose and went. 

In honour of the day my old Marko invited several 



THE GATHERING OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 105 

headmen to dinner — a noble meal. We had a wash- 
hand basin full of soup and boiled mutton, another 
full of rice, and then pancakes. In recognition of the 
immense hospitality, it was correct to take two pan- 
cakes and leave one uneaten. This mark of polite- 
ness pleased Marko immensely — it was, indeed, a re- 
markable instance of " manners," for the tribesmen 
had not eaten such a meal for many a long day — and 
he told a tale of a man who was fined five napoleons 
by his tribe, and condemned to stand his judges a 
dinner, because a stranger guest had emptied his plate 
— a sure sign that his host had been niggardly. 

The tribesmen told that there was trouble in 
Djakova. The local chieftain, Zef-i-vogel (Joseph 
the Little), had been asked to pay " dun.'' The tax- 
collectors had tried to take one horse out of eight, 
instead of one out of ten, and Zef and his friends had 
opened fire and killed three Turks. That Isa Boletin 
was between Ipck and Prishtina preparing to take the 
warpath again; that it was not true he had made it 
up with the Turks. He had been keeping quiet only 
until he had made them compensate hmi for the 
house they had burnt. 

A Djakova man reported that Djakova was " so- 
so; as hot as cold." All the tribesmen of Dukagin 
who had taken no part in the insurrection began ap- 
pealmg to the Vali for maize, money, and, above all, 
arms. They came perfectly seriously, and argued: 
" It is true we did not revolt, but it was not our fault. 
We should have done so at once if we had had arms. 
It is very unfair to give all these presents to the men 
of Maltsia e madhe, and nothing to us." When told 
they were not included ui the concessions, they replied : 



108 THE STKUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

" Very well; so soon as we can get arms we will revolt, 
and then you will have to give us maize and money, 
too." Nor could they see the situation otherwise. 
The Vali was hard put to it. 

The tribesmen read bones anxiously to learn the 
future, and a Maltsor saw " blood in Scutari in a fort- 
night if the fowl has been properly killed — at any rate, 
very soon." And all the bones, fowls' and sheep's 
alike, told '' a great war soon." 

Italy, it is true, had been prevented from attempt- 
ing to land in Albania by Austria, and had retired 
after a futile bombardment of Medua — or, rather, the 
spot where Medua is marked on the map, for a tumble- 
down barrack, a dirty Custom-house, a han, and a 
few scattered houses are all that Medua can show. 
The Italian papers announced that the Palazza Muni- 
cipale had been completely destroyed by the Italian 
fleet, and all who knew Medua smiled ; but there was 
a general feeling that Italy would return, and that 
next time — well, who knew ? 

In the town a weekly excitement was the Hana (The 
Moon), Scutari's only newspaper. The Albanian one 
had died of inanition, for it was prohibited from pub- 
lishing any recent news save that given by the Govern- 
ment, and that the populace disbelieved. The Hamt 
{The Moon), on the contrary, which was published in 
Italian by a Jew, one Pardo, who had turned Moslem, 
ran an exciting and excited career. It began as Dil 
{The Sim), was suppressed, and came out next day 
as The Moon. Pardo was a highly enthusiastic 
" Union and Progress " man, and, according to 
popular report, his paper was the paid organ of the 
party. At starting he explained to me that he was 



THE GATHERING OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 107 

making an entirely new start in journalism. Hitherto 
editors had described mainly things that took place 
by daylight, and these any fool could see for himself. 
He was going to confine hmiself to ascertaining and 
describing where everybody passed the night. 

A dirtier and more entertaming dog I never met. 
He set spies at the doors of all persons of importance, 
and prowled about in the dark. " Why waste 
money V he asked, " on foreign correspondence, 
when the domgs of your next-door neighbour are 
so much more interesting V He spared no one of 
the European residents, and attacked one Consulate 
after the other, pouring out cataracts of obscene 
rhymes, describing his victims, but seldom giving 
names. Consulate after Consulate protested indig- 
nantly. Pardo asked mildly: "Why did you think 
it was meant for you V And the Vali said gravely: 
" We have now Constitutional Government in Tur- 
key, and complete freedom of the Press." If The 
Moon were suppressed, it would only reappear as The 
Star ; " so why worry V The more folk protested, 
the better was Pardo pleased. Plamenatz, as Monte- 
negi"in Consul, was rabid about some filthy verses on 
the Queen of Italy. His protest brought out some 
worse ones on the whole Montenegrin Royal Family. 

As " Queen of the Mountahis,'' I was treated to a 
whole column of scurrility, and said nothing at all. 
A second attack followed, and then no more. Every- 
one was curious to know what steps I had taken. 
1 had taken none. But the gallant Mallsors had sent 
a message to Pardo to the cflcct that the very next 
tune he insulted the Kralitza he would be shot dead. 
Next time I met Pardo in the street I shouted: 



108 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

** Hullo, Pardo ! how are you?" He ran like a 
rabbit, and the populace laughed aloud. The Hana 
flourished, like weeds on manure, till the following 
summer, when the Union and Progress party fell. 
Pardo then made bold to attack the party which suc- 
ceeded it. Poor Pardo ! The " Constitutional Free- 
dom of the Press," upon which he had relied so long, 
collapsed at once. He was promptly expelled the 
country, and The Moon has never again materialized. 
It was my fii'st and last experience of Young Turk 
journalism. 

But this is anticipating. 

So far as the Maltsors were concerned, the Vali's 
intentions were excellent; but he could not pay them, 
for the rest of the money did not arrive. Misery 
increased. The Austrian hospital was full of cases 
of sickness caused by hunger and exposure. 

News came from the mountains that poor gallant 
old Marash Hutzi of Hoti was dead of pneumonia. 
He was the first man I had persuaded to return, and 
I felt as though I had killed him. The only comfort 
was that Padre Sebastian had tended him in the 
Church- house; he had not died out in the rain. I 
mourned him at the time, but am glad now that he 
who had given all his life to attempts to free Albania 
has not lived to see his beloved tribe Hoti handed 
by Europe to Montenegro, in spite of all its protests, 
for it was owing to Marash primarily that the Monte- 
negrins did not get Tuzi in the Berlin Treaty days. 
He it was who then brought down the tribesmen, and 
successfully resisted the Montenegrin occupation. 
He died hoping and believing that liberty was in 
sight. It is better not to live too long. 



THE GATHEKING OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 109 

There was constant friction between the troops and 
the tribesmen. The woods near Breg Mati and 
Alessio were haunted by " komits/' who w^ere at 
blood with the Government. A soldier — one of 
several sent to patrol the district — met some of them, 
and called " Halt \" They took no notice. He chal- 
lenged again, and raised his rifle, but before he could 
fire dropped with a bullet in his breast. Sorely 
wounded, he cried out that he was a Christian. The 
** komits,'' too late, befriended him, and summoned 
a priest. He asked that the silver cross that hung 
round his neck might be buried with him, and died 
in a few hours. His dying wish was fulfilled. The 
Maltsors regretted his death, saying no doubt he had 
been forced to serve against his will. 

There was great and growing discontent among the 
Christian soldiers, principally Greeks, of whom a con- 
siderable number were quartered in the town. The 
enforcing of general military service was one of the 
Young Turks' fatal errors. Exemption from military 
service had been the Christians' one valuable privi- 
lege, and no arguments of the Young Turk could 
convince them that it was a privilege to be allowed 
to serve the Turkish Government. The tales of ill- 
treatment which the Christian recruits spread, the 
disorder caused by their frequent desertion, and the 
constant friction between them and the Moslem 
troops, must all have assisted towards the final 
catastrophe. In Scutari, at any rate, hatred of the 
Young Turk was inflamed not only by the Clu-istian 
troops in the town, but by letters received by the 
relatives of the few Albanian youths who had been 
pressed for service, and were in distant parts. 



110 THE STEUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

The Orthodox troops in Scutari bad been promised 
a priest as army chaplain, and none had been ap- 
pointed owing to dissensions in Constantinople as to 
whether the right of appomtment belonged to Church 
or State. They complained bitterly of insult and ill- 
treatment to the Orthodox Bishop of Durazzo. He 
protested to Hussem Riza, who replied that he re- 
gretted that the charge was true, but it w^as all the 
fault of the chaiishes (under-ofl&cers), and he could 
do nothing. 

And ever the Italians' war on Tripoli raised hope 
that aU the Powers together would do something. 
Italy was regarded by many as the only dog who had 
dared blood the badger. When Count Mancinelli, 
the Italian Consul, left Scutari, and the Italian Post- 
Office, dispensary, and schools were closed, Pardo in 
the Hana tried hard to arouse Moslem wrath against 
the remaining Italian inhabitants, and failed com- 
pletely. From the Djakova and Prizren districts 
came new^s that from there, too, Italy's action was 
seized on as an opportunity for harrying the Turks, 
that much sniping of soldiers was going on, and that 
the half-stai'A'ed population of the districts devastated 
by the Turks in the previous year was plundering 
wherever possible. " Things have never been so bad 
as under Constituzi," said folk. 

Mirdita became uppish, and demanded the im- 
mediate withdrawal of the military outposts in her 
territory, and the Government hastily complied. 
The Maltsia e madhe m.en at once followed suit, and 
clamoured for the withdrawal of the troops from 
their land. This was refused, as the said troops were 
declared to be frontier guards against Montenegrin 



I 



THE GATHEKTNG OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 111 

attack. Already before Christmas the Turks were 
well aware that an attack from Montenegro was 
highly probable, and it was for tins reason that a 
General as good as Hussein Riza was placed there. 

There was a lull in the quarantine arrangements, 
and seven belated letter-bags turned up all at once. 
I learnt that I was to act as agent of the Macedonian 
Relief Fund, that some more money was forth- 
coming, and that the Italians were making slow but 
sure progress at Tripoli. The tarred felt, too, ar- 
rived from Trieste, and the Vali, who had not yet 
received the rest of the house compensation money, 
and was genuinely anxious to help any re-roofing 
scheme, kindly admitted it all duty free. But the 
highly conserv^ative Maltsors at first declined to have 
anything to do with it. I was dismayed. It had 
cost several hundred pounds of my little fimd, Mr. 
Summa, our Vice-Consul, had had endless trouble in 
getting it up the river — for the londras (barges) were 
all commandeered for military stores — and now the 
tribesmen said : ** No, we don't want it. We want 
shirts and planks." My canny old friend, Mirasli 
Lutzi, however, turned up. Mirash has an extra- 
ordinary eye for the main chance, and was, and is, 
ready to accept anything and everything. He bore 
off several rolls of the ** carton," and speedily con- 
structed such a fine watertight roof that its fame flew 
through the land, and the wlmle country clamoured: 
" Carton, carton !" Fortunately, the autunm was 
unusually dry and fine. There was still time to do 
some roofing. I ordered more " carton." The dis- 
tributing and seeing it despatched on horses and in 
barges was a great task. 



112 THE STEUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

On November 111 started out with Marko on horse- 
back to visit the nearer districts to try and find the 
poorest cases, and took bread and sardines enough to 
last us four days — this I have found to be the most 
portable and sustaining food for rough travel — and a 
sleeping - sack, and filled up the saddlebags with 
children's combinations. 

We arrived at Baitza after four hours' ride, and 
put up at one of the few unburnt houses. The poor 
owners were very much pleased to see me. Their 
house had been completely pillaged, and the few 
cooking-pots and covers they had were the result of 
the help I had given them at Podgoritza. 

Though bright, the weather was very cold. Three 
little girls, the youngest only three, sat sniffling, 
miserably trying to warm their fingers by thrusting 
them under the one tattered garment which each 
wore. The wretched infant whined ceaselessly, half 
perished with cold. I handed out one of the little 
combinations, and the mother put it on over the 
ragged cotton shirt which was all it had on. When 
clad, it looked like a large grey frog. The result was 
surprising. In half an hour, as it- warmed up, it 
began to chatter and to frisk about like a little lamb. 
But the two others wept miserably. I had no gar- 
ment large enough for them. 

The afternoon was passed in a four hours' ride 
round the district. At night we shared our bread 
with the family, and slept on the bare floor. We 
were in luxury — some of the few who had a roof 
over our heads. 

All next morning I visited houses at Baitza, and 
rode on to Skreli in the afternoon — up, up into the 



THE GATHERING OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 113 

high ^-alley. The sun went clown magnificently, 
and the brown, dried brushwood on the mountain- 
side looked like great stale bloodstains in the niddy 
light. Before us were blackened ruins. The man 
guiding us rode ahead on a most wretched white 
horse. And the Skreli Valley seemed a Valley of the 
Shadow of Death. 

Out of the many burnt-out families I visited next 
day, I remember vividly the cackling laugh of one 
old woman: *' The Sultan/' she said, " is the stupidest 



■41?,^ 




3jrTit" Out. 



man in the w^orld. First he spent a lot of money to 
burn down our poor houses. Now he must spend a 
lot more to build them up again.'' 

The attempt, indeed, to gain anything by violent 
means (by reverting, that is, to primitive bestiality) 
costs both victor and vanquished so dearly that it is 
questionable whether any good cause has ever re- 
ceived from it enough to compensate, not merely for 
the actual ruin entailed, but for the moral and mental 
degradation that must ensue. The good cause may 
emerge triumphant, but it is filthily defiled. And 

8 



114 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

the sins of the fathers haunt the children in the form 
of hatreds that never sleep nor slumber, but wait 
only thi'ough generations, till the moment comes to 
strike. 

One more picture will I give of relief work, and then 
pass on to the political developments of the situation. 

Ded Soko and his brother Djeto, two gallant and 
honest Maltsors of Klimenti, begged me to come again 
to Breg Mati with quinine. Ded and thi-ee of his 
men came, as armed escort, to fetch me. 

It was December 1. I wore a big " talagan '' 
(shepherd's cloak) to keep out the cold, and we 
started in the grey of 8 a.m. As we breasted the hill, 
the wonderful view opened — the waters were out 
and all the land a silver, shimmering flood, with 
inky clouds above, and the purple Mirdite moun- 
tains beyond. 

Ded rode a pacing grey, and pushed on over by- 
ways, across country, through fords, up banks, over 
sludge, and between willows. Who can pretend that 
a tar-paved road can ever give the joy of such a plunge 
into the unknown ? We cantered into Alessio, and 
halted to rest the horses. Joined by a lot more 
tribesmen, we were off again before it was dark. 
But as the light faded, down came the storm that had 
threatened all day. By the time we reached the 
forest it was pitch dark, and the rain falling in 
torrents. Ded whistled a loud signal, and plunged 
into a narrow track. I could barely see, as a grey 
patch, his horse as he rode full trot ahead through 
mud and water, yelling " heads " when the branches 
were too low, and I lay flat on the horse's neck and 
felt them thrash over me. Through mud and dark- 



THE GATHERING OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 115 

ness our beasts slithered, slipped, spread-eagled, and 
recovered. Twice my horse climbed over an invisible 
tree fallen across the track. The rain hissed and 
whistled. I could not see a yard ahead. But the 
horse followed on. It was an Erl King and Wild 
Hunter ride. Great luminous fungi, high upon 
rottuig trees, stood out here and there uncanny in 
the blackness like lumps of dead fish, and saved me 
once from cannoning into a trunk. 

We emerged at last into a lane, saw the friendly 
lights of Ded's house, and were soon seated in a great 
room, where two tree-trunks blazed under a hooded 
chimney. Djeto and Ded, the two brothers, had built 
themselves one of the finest houses in the country 
with the proceeds of many years' industry. They 
owned big flocks of sheep, goats, and cattle. A 
great family of relations all lived together, and I was 
magnificently entertained. Mother-wit and natural 
good feeling had raised these two quite untravelled 
and unlettered men to a surprising degree of civiliza- 
tion, in the best sense of the word. I little thought 
as we talked, and they told of their great desire for 
a school of agriculture to teach how best the land 
might be developed, that in less than a year the big 
house and every shed and stable would be burnt to 
the ground, and that later I should see Djeto dead, 
in his coffin, shot down by an assassin's bullet. 
Peace to his ashes. He was a brave and honest 
man, and a true patriot. 

Already, then, by his work among the poor and 
sick, he was gaining great influence among the tribes- 
men, and his increased popularity brought down 
upon him the hatred of the hereditary chiefs, among 



116 THE STEUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

them Essad Pasha. None of them wished a man of 
no family to rise to power among the mountain- 
men. 

When trouble came and war, Djeto and Ded had 
won the tiiist and faith of most of the tribes, and 
Djeto paid for this with his life. But the future was 
still unknown to us, and with Ded next day I rode 
round and gave out quinine, to the great gratitude 
and relief of the fever-stricken people. And I left 
Ded a quantity for further distribution. 

Returning to Scutari, I again found a war-scare 
at Alessio: three Italian warships were said to be 
in sight, and again the troops w^ere making active 
preparations for defence. They told the Maltsors 
that fifty Italians had been crucified by the Turks 
at Tripoli, and warned them that that would be the 
fate of all Christians. Oddly enough, this was the 
first that I heard of atrocities at Tripoli. 

Passing through Bushati, I found the Christians all 
furious. They declared that when the taxes were 
collected, the bulk was taken fi-om them, and that 
Moslems were exempted. One of the headmen said 
he had given up £16 worth of weapons last year 
without any compensation, and that he would pay 
no more tax till that sum was worked ofi. 

On December 19 an envoy from the Maltsors com- 
municated to me that the Austrian Consul-General 
had sent for the heads, and told them they must 
not revolt next year ; but promised that if they would 
remain quiet two years, they should be freed from the 
Turks by Austria. They replied : " Give us the ten 
thousand rifles Austria promised us when Bosnia 
was annexed, and we can take care of ourselves." 



THE GATHERING OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 117 

Further, tliat the Moslems throughout Albania had 
learnt over Tripoli that the Young Turks were not 
able to protect their own territories, and that it 
would be better for them to strike for freedom along 
with the Clu'istians, than to wait for Albania to be 
divided between the Slavs, Greeks, and perhaps 
Austria when Turkey broke up, as they saw it must 
do in the near future. 

I said that a revolt was madness, if they meant to 
make a little one like last year's. He said: " Stone 
on stone makes a tower; grain by grain a loaf. It 
will be good bread, God willing.'' 

Hopes were raised by the discontent of the mili- 
tary. The Christians were constantly deserting, 
paying the Maltsors with their rifles and cartridge 
belts to guide them over the border. All troops, 
both Moslem and Christian, were suffering badly from 
cold and damp under canvas on the Tri Alberi plain. 
Many were said to be time-expired. They petitioned 
Hussein Riza: " If there is war, send us, and we will 
fight. If not, send us somewhere where there are 
barracks — or dismiss us." No notice was taken, 
and on the night of December 22 they revolted. 
Sharp firing was heard in the camp at midnight. 
An alarm spread. The men on Tarabosh were to 
have revolted too, and fired on the town, but owing 
to some mistake, the Tri Alberi camp rose first. The 
artillery remained loyal, the machine guns were 
pointed at the rebels, who had at once to surrender. 
The affair was hushed up. Only freshly turned earth 
by the camp bore witness to the fact that more than 
one corpse had been buried that night. 

Christmas was upon us, and all the land was a 



118 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

hubble-bubble of hate. News came that, as ven- 
geance for a bomb outrage at Istib, the Turks were 
massacring Bulgars wholesale in Macedonia. The 
bomb had been prepared at Sofia for the express 
purpose of exciting reprisals. Was it the war 
signal ? 

But a fierce quarrel between Servia and Montenegro 
looked ill for a Balkan Alliance. Nicephor, the Serb- 
Orthodox Bishop of Prizren, had been dismissed for 
loose conduct. The Patriarchia appointed as his 
successor, one Dochich, a Montenegrin from Moracha. 
Servia, who had pegged out this district as her claim, 
was furious. The Montenegrins, whose war-cry was, 
*' Onward, onward, let me see Prizren \" regarded it 
triumphantly as: " Check to your King \" 

The Serb priests of the diocese refused to recog- 
nize the new Bishop, and telegraphed to the one 
Orthodox priest in Scutari to go out on strike with 
them. He, being Montenegrin, refused, and his tiny 
flock supported hmi. 

Christmas was dree and hopeless beyond all words. 
I shivered all alone at supper in an unwarmed room. 
And one lump of sticky pink stuff on a plate was the 
only sign of Peace and Goodwill. I was about to 
beg leave to join mine host and the servants in the 
kitchen when the belated postman arrived with two 
books from a friend. He was surprised at the size 
of the Christmas-box he received, and I passed a 
happy evenmg, reading snug in my sleeping-sack. 
So ended the long, unhappy year. 

It was bitterly cold. All the mountains were 
white. I could not deal out clothes fast enough. 
Through the long winter evenings I made sixty 



THE GATIIERTXG OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 119 

wadded coats for children, and employed people in 
the bazar to make several hundred. 

One gleam only brightonod the general hopeless- 
ness. A cheque from Mr. Crane enabled me to go 
on with the work. Unluckily, it had to be paid 
tlirough the ^lontenegrin Consulate, and Petar 
Plamenatz blabbed about the amount (" Mon Dieu, 
quel diplomat !" as one of his colleagues remarked), 
and a rush of mountain people consequently poured 
in upon me. 

Grim deed darkened the first days of the New 
Year. The soldiers at Tri Alberi again petitioned, 
and this time a mimber — said to be time-expu-ed. 
but forced to remain with the colours because the 
country was on a war footing — were given teskerehs 
(passports) permitting them to leave. 

Old Marko came in, saying: "Poor devils, how 
happy they are ! All last night they were singing 
and dancing. Now they are going home." 

Their joy was short-lived. The first lot were 
allowed to go as far as Vaspas, some three days' 
march, and were there challenged by the military 
outpost. In vain they showed their teskerehs. 
These had only been given in order to disarm them 
and get them safely outside the town, out of sight 
of Consular eyes. A number were shot down, and 
others were drowned in the foid. Meanwhile the 
second batch had reached V^audys, all unaware of 
wliat was happening. These also were stopped as 
deserters. Tlieir despairing apj)eals and attempt to 
escape were vain. The military outpost fired on the 
u I armed mon. Altogether of the happy party that 
had started homewards some two hundred were re- 



120 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

ported to have perished. The survivors were brought 
back as prisoners and put to forced labour on the 
roads. 

It was a piece of cold-blooded treachery which 
disgusted all foreigners in the town, though Hussein 
Riza defended it as the best way of suppressing revolt. 
A large number of recruits from Asia Minor arrived 
shortly afterwards, bare-legged to mid-thigh. Blue 
with cold, they staggered through Scutari, followed 
by two carts piled with what looked like dying men. 
And the Albanians, growling deep, swore that nothing 
should ever force them to do military service for 
Turkey. 

Politics flowed, as usual, a dirty course through the 
sewers. Turkey made an attempt to buy the Arch- 
bishop's support by the offer of a small decoration, 
which he flatly refused. Montenegro thereupon 
offered him a big one, which he also refused, to King 
Nikolai's great mortification. 

The Turkish Government, now in the eleventh 
hour, began in haste to press on public works. French 
engineers arrived in numbers. Roads, bridges, canals 
— all were to be constructed ; there was to be employ- 
ment for everyone. Vast plans were made and little 
done. 

In the opening of Turkish schools, however, the 
Government was busy, and boys were collected from 
all over the country. 

Then came difficulties. Those who had come with 
the belief they were to learn Albanian were disgusted 
and disappointed, and began the study of their own 
language on their own account. Two Moslems who 
had been found with a Life of their national hero 



THE GATHERING OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 121 

Skanderbeg in the vernacular were expelled and came 
to me for help. I advised their writing to the Albanian 
member for Prishtina, which they did, and owing to 
his intervention, they were reinstated. But the 
authorities learnt nothing by this lesson, and expelled 
two more boys from another school for similar reasons. 
These, though Moslem, went to the school of the 
Franciscans, an almost unprecedented step. And 
the language question continued to cause great friction 
in the town. 




CHAPTEK VII 

MUBLEZ ! MUBLEZ ! ! 

All through January the discontent of the tribesmen 
increased. The men of Maltsia e niadhe came and 
complained to me constantly that the house com- 
pensation money was insufficient, and the Dukagin 
men that they, who had not revolted, had received 
no presents at all. It seemed clear to me that some- 
one was inciting them, but whether Austria, Italy, or 
Montenegro, I could not deteimine. 

In any case, the poor tribesmen would only be 
used as cat's-paws, so I begged them to be quiet. 

On January 30 affairs took, to my mind, a sharp 
turn for the worse. Since the end of November there 
had been rumours of disagreement between the civil 
governor (the Vali) and the military one (Hussein 
Riza Bey). Now came news that the Vali was to 
leave at once for Adana. I was sorry, for the old 
man had dealt honestly by me, and I believed him 
genuinely anxious to keep the peace with the Malt- 
sors, and fulfil all the conditions promised by the 
Government. Scutarenes repeated their favourite 
tale that only once has Scutari had an honest Vali^ 
and he died on the way, before he arrived. Never- 

122 



THE GATIJEEING OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 123 

theless, even they admitted that this one left no richer 
than he came. 

Hussein Eiza Bey was, temporarily, to replace him. 
Had tlie kindly old Moslem Bulg.ir retained liis post, 
perhaps things might have ended diilerently. But 
" what is ' egil ' (written in the book of Fate) nuist be," 
says popular voice. Perhaps nothing but the inter- 
vention of all the Powers could have changed the 
current of events, which quickened at once. 

The same day a deputation of headmen came to 
tell me that they had decided to demand the full 
payment of all damages, besides house compensation, 
destroyed beehives, burnt and looted corn and hay, 
damage to vineyards, fruit-trees, timber, etc. 

I combated long and vainly, said they had received 
as much as could reasonably be expected ; that more 
quarrelling would only lead to fighting, and then 
they would lose all they had gained and the sympathy 
of Europe too. 

They replied that with arms they could do a great 
deal; that they had a right to this money, because it 
was promised in the twelve articles, and that they were 
acting in accordance with the advice of Generals 
Yanko Vukotitch and Blazho Boshkovitch ! I 
pointed out that Montenegro had thrown them over 
last time, and begged they would not start another 
futile and premature revolt. 

More headmen came, among them Mirash — foxy, 
with his little twinkling eyes — who tried to wheedle 
me by all his arts into joining a sclieme for rifle- 
buying. " Thou, oh my sister — my golden sister — 
thou canst if thou wilt." T swore by St. Nik(da I 
could not: mv monov was j)urelv for relief work. 



124 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

To prevent, in fact, their buying ammunition, I was 
giving only in kind and not in cash. " But it comes 
from komits in London,'' urged he. " Committee " 
all over the Near East means only a Revolutionary 
Committee. It was waste of breath to assure any 
of them that the Balkan Committee was not armed 
to the teeth, and awaiting only a favourable moment 
to make a raid, and had, moreover, not supplied any 
of the money. 

Mirash counter-swore, by a whole galaxy of saints, 
that I could summon " the English komits " and 
— ^weapons, too, if I would. " See here, my sister, 
about the money, it is very easy. I will sign a receipt 
for maize distributed to the tribes, for you to send to 
London. And only the Holy Trinity, God, you, 
and I will ever know V And he roared with laughter. 
I remained obdurate. 

They were all going to the Vali, to demand the 
twelve articles as written and signed in Montenegro. 
" If the Turks want peace they must pay for it. If 
not — peace if God wills." 

I went straight to our Vice-Consul, Mr. Summa, 
and asked to see his official copy of the terms. My 
impression was correct. There was no clause which 
could be interpreted into a promise to pay all damages. 
The heads had abeady been to Mr. Summa on the 
subject, and we agreed that we must stop trouble if 
possible. Off I went to the Montenegrin Consulate 
to see if I could get to the bottom of the affair; told 
Petar Plamenatz I thought the demand a great 
mistake, and asked upon what it was founded. 
Petar enthusiastically said the tribesmen were right, 
produced what he said was a copy of the original 



THE GATHERING OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 125 

document signed at Cettigne, and some French law 
books, by which to explain the legal French in which 
the terms were drawn up. His version, and the 
version of the documents dealt out officially to the 
Consulates, differed substantially. All now turned 
on Article XL This, in the Turkish official version, 
ran, (XL) " Paiement du montant des maisons in- 
cendiees," and in Plamenatz's copy: (XL) " 1\ 
n'existe pas pour le moment d'autres fonds speciaux 
en dehors des dix milles livres accordes par sa S.M. 
mais il va sans dii*e, que le Gouvernement Turque, 
qui a decide de reconstruire les immeuhles hrnles ou 
detndts, poui-vou-a a un supplement de credit dans 
le cas ou ces dix milles livres seront insuffisants.'" 

I was of opinion that by " immeubles," houses only 
were meant. Plamenatz, who had taken a law 
degi-ee in Paris, intei"preted it otherwise, and proved 
by his dictionary of legal terms that ** immeubles " 
stands for all things attached to, and belonging to, 
the soil, standing corn, thnber, fruit on trees. Even 
oxen, if used solely as plough-oxen, are ** immeubles,'' 
as necessary to the soil. 

I informed him that " maisons " was the word in 
the Consular version I had seen, and that probably 
houses only were intended. He vowed that not only 
was ** immeubles " the word in the version signed 
by Saddreddin Bey at Cettigne, but that the Maltsors 
were definitely promised the repayment of all damages. 
I took a copy of Plamenatz's version of the whole 
terms. Either the Turks or the Montenegrins were 
lying. It seemed to me to the last degree unpri)b- 
able that the Turks should have ever promised to 
make good all damages. Now the whole thing nnist 



126 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

turn on a legal quibble as to the meaning of 
" inuneubles/' 

I took Plamenatz's version to the British Vice- 
Consulate. Mr. Summa had not previously seen it. 
We compared it carefully with his version, and I sent 
copies of both to London with the comment: " My 
great effort is to prevent the Maltsori being made 
cat's-paws of, to rake out someone else's chestnuts." 

On February 9 an excited deputation of thirty 
headmen, including several Moslems, handed to 
Hussein Riza a demand for the full payment of " les 
immeubles " — " Mublez, mublez," as they called 
them — and for the release of two men who had been 
imprisoned, it was declared, contrary to Article L, 
" That a general amnesty has been accorded." 

A stormy scene ensued. Hussein Riza denied all 
knowledge of " immeubles." The tribesmen threat- 
ened hun that they would have their rights. He lost 
his temper. 

Three headmen came to me immediately after- 
wards wildly excited, swore that all the tribes were 
now united except Mirdita, which must fall into line 
with the others soon, as the Mirdites dreaded annexa- 
tion either by Austria or Montenegro; swore, too, 
that they were solely for autonomy, and would accept 
no foreign rule; that they were in communication 
with the leaders of Kosovo vilayet; and that they 
would decide their course of action in twenty days. 

A great gathering of heads of all the mountains 
took place next day in the Cathedral, and they swore 
" besa " together. I was not present, as it was better 
not for me to appear at a revolutionary meeting. 

The Archbishop paid the expenses in Scutari of all 



THE GATHERING OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 127 

the delegates, and a letter signed by thirty headmen 
was sent to each of the Consulates to " let them know 
we are Albanians, and mean to be Albanians." 

I could not understand the situation. The Mon- 
tenegrins, it w^as clear, were pushing the Maltsors 
towards revolt. But the Maltsors had declared 
themselves for autonomy. The Archbishop, I knew 
for certain, would not accept Montenegrin rule. Yet 
he was apparently encouraging the demand for 
" immeubles.'' 

On February 10 wrote I to England: " Is it possible 
that Monte negi'O will play for an autonomous Albania, 
thereby blocking Austria ? The idea here is (and in 
Montenegro, too, I believe) that Turkey will not last 
long as she is. It appears as if all now depends on 
whether Bulgaria plays Austrian or Slav. The one 
thing certain is that the place is a mass of intrigue, 
and the Maltsors, if they don't look out, will be the 
pawns in the game. Theii* idea is to strike for freedom 
before anyone else can move to annex them." 

The immediate result of the Maltsors' action was, 
that next day the " telal " (public crier) went round 
the town proclauning a state of siege, and that the 
gendarmerie had the right to shoot at sight any man, 
woman, or child, native or foreigner, who did not at 
once halt when bidden to do so. This put the town 
Christians, who, for the most part, have not the pluck 
of guinea-pigs, into a state of abject terror, so that 
they postponed indefinitely the Carnival ball they 
had been preparing, and expected a massacre any 
minute. And it infuriated all the Consulates. The 
French Consulate ni particular was enraged, and 
declared that the French engineers could not con- 



128 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

tiuue their work on the new roads till certain that 
they would not be challenged in an unknown tongue, 
and shot down before they knew what it was about. 

This was Hussein Riza's first proclamation as Vali. 
He retracted in a hurry: explained first that a baker 
who supplied bread to the troops at Berditza had 
entered the camp after being forbidden by the sentry, 
who had then fired at and wounded him. Conse- 
quently, it was advisable to warn the populace to 
halt when ordered. Secondly, he said that that was 
not what he meant. The telal had read it all 
wrong. 

Next night firing began from the low hills beyond 
the Khi. Shutters closed hastily, and the populace 
rushed about the street crying, " It has begun.'^ 
It was only, however, some foolish men of the 
Temali-Dushmani tribe, who, angry because they 
received no maize from the Government, fii'ed fifty 
shots or so m the aii-, as defiance, childishly. A rush 
of soldiers from the camp halted at the river's brink. 
It was dusk, and they feared to cross and be am- 
bushed. Nor did I go farther, for it was too dark 
to see. 

The new Vali arrived on the night of the 16th. 
We were told he was an Albanian, and I formed high 
hopes that he would perhaps save the situation. As 
a counter-blast, I was told that a huge lot of contra- 
band rifles were expected shortly to arrive at Obotti 
in charge of an Italian steamboat captain who was 
an Austrian subject. 

Spring was hard on us now. The plum-tree behind 
the hotel burst into blossom, snow-white and brilliant 
against the mountams. The birds were shouting and 



THE GATHERING OF THE WAE-CLOUDS 129 

holloaing, and young men's fancies turned towards 
thoughts of revolution. 

On February 20 the Sen^ian Minister, Gavrilovitch, 
and the French Charge d'AfEaires, Monsieur Cambon, 
arrived from Cettigne " just to take a look round." 
Gavrilovitch asked me about the situation. I told 
him I was doing my best to keep the tribesmen quiet. 
He seemed much relieved, from which I diagnosed 
that at any rate Sers'ia was not yet ready for the final 
crash. He added that much depended on the result 
of King Nikola's visit to Russia; then smiled and said : 
" You, I suppose, will wait and watch developments V 
When he left he asked: " Have I your permission to 
report at Cettigne you are working pacifically ? 
Your influence is of very great importance." " You 
exaggerate it," said I. He said: "Good-bye. I 
shall see you again here, or " — he paused — " or per- 
haps at Podgoritza. Who knows ?" 

So peace and war were still in the balance. How 
long would Europe shilly - shally before acting ? 
Nikola of Montenegro was on his way back from 
Petersburg, and was due at Cettigne to-morrow or 
the next day. Next week war might begin. Why 
did no one intervene ? It seemed as though w^e 
w^ere drifting towards the edge of rapids, with no 
branch to cling to. 

If Europe were careless, the Turks w^ere not. 
Military work, which had been going on all the 
winter, was being pressed forward quicker than ever. 
It was said that £T60,000 was being spent on barracks 
alone. Miles and miles of coiled barbed wire of 
horrific quality had for a long while been arriving 
and passing through the town. 1 think it began 

9 



130 THE STEUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

coming as early as October. Gangs of men went, to 
the cheery strains of a military band, to work outside 
the town. Only Moslems were taken; but some 
Christians assumed Moslem names, and got a tem- 
porary job in order to learn what was happening, and 
reported that bomb-proof trenches and wire tangles 
were being planned, and made, out on Fusha Stojit. 

Arms were dealt out secretly by the Government 
to the town and village Moslems at the mosques at 
night. Thereupon a deputation from the neighbour- 
ing Christian villages waited on the new Vali, and 
complained and asked for arms, too. He denied 
having given arms, and the delegates cried, " Not 
with your own hands, perhaps \" derisively. The 
new Vali made a multitude of promises. He was 
not really an Albanian, said report; had been born in 
Prishtina, and never been back since childhood — " a 
Tnrk of Turks in his heart.'' 

Hussein Riza, as military commandant, ordered 
that the tribesmen were to give up all the rifles they 
had received from Montenegro, and have Turkish 
Mausers in exchange — nice new smokeless-powder 
rifles; said that he had ascertained 'that 2,000 Monte- 
negrin rifles were waiting for distribution at Virbazar, 
and a lot more at Dulcigno, but would see to it that 
they never came in. The tribesmen replied that they 
had bought their present rifles with their blood, and 
would not part with them. As for his " modern 
smokeless-powder " weapons, they were probably a 
lot of old Martinis. They would not be swindled. 

I was told that Montenegro had given money to the 
Mirdites, and that Yanko Vukotitch was trying to 
bribe some Moslem heads in Kosovo vilayet. Lastly, 



i 



THE GATHERING OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 131 

that the revolution was tuued for May, and that 
plenty of weapons would be forthcoming. Tre- 
mendous enthusiasm and hope were raised by a 
report that Italy had bombarded Beyrout and 




A MOSQXTE. 



Smyrna, sunk some war vessels, and that the Yemen 
was in revolt. 

The British Minister and the Greek one arrived 
from Cettigne on March 1, also " just to have a look 
round." "Heavens!" thought I; "now we've had 
Serv'ia, France, England, and Greece. Things must 
be tituppy !" 

Nikola of Montenegro returned from Russia, and 



132 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

summoned Hussein Riza Bey to an artillery display 
at Podgoritza. Scutari was first stunned and then 
derisive when told the two had sworn peace. The 
news threw the tribesmen into great uncertamty. A 
tale spread that Nikola had done it on purpose to allay 
Hussein Riza's alarms, and had shown him his worst 
guns and asked his opinion on them. 

If Montenegro remained quiet, it would be a good 
opportunity for the tribesmen to rise, said some of 
the heads. I said it was madness. A large propor- 
tion of the tribes were in a state of dire poverty, and 
none of the burnt-out ones had any possibility of 
sowing corn. If there were no harvest, a famine 
must follow. I ceased giving clothes, and began to 
scrape up money for seed-corn, though how to get 
enough I had not an idea. With seed-corn in view, 
too, the Maltsors were in a fever about the payment 
for " mublez.'' 

Saddreddin Bey was dismissed suddenly from his 
post at Cettigne, whether because he had thoughtlessly 
signed an ambiguous document I never ascertained. 

On Monday, March 4, a large deputation of head- 
men went to the Vali. He greeted them affably, 
said he, too, was an Albanian, and asked what they 
wanted. They replied: " The twelve articles." First, 
schools in their own tongue. The Vali replied that 
he had already told the Archbishop that the priests 
should be paid 200 piastres (about thirty-six shillings) 
a month to make schools in their own houses. The 
tribesmen shouted: " We want proper schools, not 
priests !" They insisted. The meeting became noisy. 
They demanded the promised roads. These, said the 
Vali, were already begun. " Yes, artillery tracks to 



THE GATHERING OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 133 

the tops of the mountains. We want roads to our 
valleys." And so they fought point by point till they 
came to Ai-ticle XL, and demanded " mublez." Then 
a terrible uproar ensued. The Vali denied their claim. 
Mirash Lutzi's son threw down a copy of the Monte- 
negrin version. The Vali wished to take this copy of 
the articles, but they refused to give it up. He lost 
his temper, and, to quote an eyewitness, " these poor 
ignorant Maltsori, who have never been to school, 
made as much noise as though they were educated 
gentlemen in a real Parliament.'' 

The deputation left, furious. Some rushed ofi to 
the Austrian Consulate, and came away declaring 
angrily that they had cried to Herr Zambaur: " If no 
Chi"istian Power will protect us from the Young Turks, 
we shall be forced to turn Moslem \" and that he had 
replied: ''Why don't you, then? What does it 
matter V What truth there is in this tale 1 do not 
know, but it flew round, was generally believed, and 
caused much bitterness. Others of the deputation 
came to me, very sullen, and as cross as bears. They 
would not listen to reason, but said: '' If the Govern- 
ment will not keep its promises, so much the worse 
for the Government." And they cursed Austria, and 
asked: "Where are the ten thousand rifles Austria 
promised us when Bosnia was annexed, not one of 
which we ever received V 

I went to discuss the position with Mr. Summa, 
and found Petar Plamenatz at our Consulate. ^Ir. 
Summa maintained always that only house com- 
pensation was ever meant. Plamenatz stuck to the 
" immeubles " clause, and stated that until the 
Turkish Government received the bill, it had no idea 



134 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

of the mill which had been wrought. He related that 
on May 13 he had seen houses flaming, and had gone 
straight to Tourgoud Pasha and asked hini: ''Are 
you mad ? What are you doing ? You are destroy- 
ing your own property I" But that Tourgoud had 
persisted, saying he was giving the tribesmen a good 
lesson. Plamenatz could not sufficiently condemn the 
barbarity of house-burning. I noted this in my 
diary, and later it read strangely.* 

The Maltsori held raging meetings in the town, and 
were about to leave after a flat refusal of the Vali to 
grant their requests, when a man came flying into the 
town with the news that the road was waylaid with 
armed Moslems, and that there was a plot to assas- 
suiate the headmen, more especially Gelosh Djoko and 
Mirash and his son. The tale spread like flames that 
the Vali had arranged this in order to put an end to 
the Maltsors' demands. They rushed to the Arch- 
bishop's palace, spent the night there, and sent angry 
messages to the Vali. He declared he knew nothing. 
Every Christian in the town believed that the Govern- 
ment had planned a general assassination of the heads. 
There was wild excitement. Most of them stayed a 
couple of days with the Archbishop. Mirash and 
family slipped ofi by night; an armed escort came to 
meet the others. 

The Christian inns at which the tribesmen always 
stopped when in Scutari were closed by order of the 
police, to the indignation of the whole Christian quarter. 

The Vali, a nervous and irritable man, broke down 

* At the time of going to press news is coming in that the 
Montenegrins are burning houses in the districts they have just 
annexed. 



THE GATHERING OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 135 

and was ill. All believed that really lie was afraid 
to show his face. 

The die was cast. To this day the tribesmen 
believe that the Government tried to assassinate 
them, and never again did they place the smallest 
faith in it. Revolution appeared to be merely a 
matter of time. It was to begin, we were told, at 
Kroja and Avlona, and the Northern tribes would 
follow on. Essad Pasha Toptani, since so notorious, 
came to Scutari. He had completely split with the 
Committee of Union and Progress, of which he had 
been a member, and was now, so he said, heart and 
soul for Albania. He was working a propaganda 
among the Scutari Moslems, visited, too, the " Giuha 
Shk}^ " (Albanian Language Club) of the Catholics, 
and made a most friendly speech. It was reported 
that he was anxious to obtain the support of a great 
Power, especially England, and that he was all for 
autonomy. 

On the 10th Petar Plamenatz, the Montenegrin 
Consul, was sunmioned by telegraph to Constanti- 
nople to replace Popovitch as Minister there. I was 
surprised, for, having known him many years, I did 
not consider him of sufficient intellectual capacity for 
international affairs of importance, but believed him 
to have a fair insight into the Albanian situation, and 
therefore valuable at Scutari, for it was certain that 
Albania was the key of the whole situation. 

Scarcely had he left, when all Scutari was excited 
by the news that eleven of the Montenegrin political 
prisoners of the Bomb Affair of 1907 had escaped by 
burrowing under the walls of the prison at Podgoritza, 
fled to Tuzi, and taken refuge with Mihilaki ElTendi, 



136 THE STEUGGLE FOE SCUTAEI 

the Kaimmakam, who brought them at once by 
steamer to Scutari. King Nikola, I was told by a 
Kastrati man, sent at once and offered £300 reward 
to any of the Maltsors who would shoot the most 
important of them — an ex-Minister. But no one 
rose to this handsome offer. I went at once to learn 
if my poor friend, Dr. Marusitch, were among the 
escaped, and to aid him if possible; but he was not. 
There was widespread sympathy with the fugitives, 
not only in Albania, but in Montenegro, and it was 
never discovered who aided their flight. They left 
shortly by sea, but not before the new Montenegrin 
Consul, Jovitchevitch, had had time to exchange 
insults with them in the street. 

The appointment of Jovitchevitch puzzled me ex- 
tremely. He was blankly ignorant of place and 
people, and a raw hand at Consular work. He came 
to me for a copy of my copy of Plamenatz's copy of 
the celebrated " twelve articles,'' and the loan of my 
maps, as the Montenegrin Consulate possessed none ! 
The copy I gave; my maps I did not. He, as had 
Popovitch, complained that his Government gave him 
no instructions, and I could only suppose that it was 
hoped that, in his ignorance, he would tread on 
Turkish corns and set the Turks a- hopping. Looking 
back, I am inclined to think the reason was far 
simpler — they had no better man to put in his place. 




CHAPTER VIII 



THE REFORM COMMISSION 
" It is useless to lock the Stable-door after the Steed is Stolen." 

Now, when almost all Albania, Moslem and Christian, 
was disaffected, and want and misery were widespread 
in the North, it occurred at last to the Young Turks 
that it would be as well to send a Commission to 
mquire into the needs of the country and attempt to 
remedy them. Hadji Avdil, then Minister of the 
Interior, with a staff of Commissioners which included 
a French Colonel and an Englishman— IMi-. Graves- 
started from Constantinople. The news was received 
with derision in Scutari. " Reform V cried popular 
voice. " Not he. He is only coming to juggle the 
elections and swindle us with promises. We have had 
enough of that." I protested that there was, at any 
rate, an honest Englishman on the Commission, and 
was laughed down. " How can anyone be honest," 
they asked, "who is in the pay of the Young 
Turks?" ^ 

On March 19 the Commission, much delayed by the 
difficulties which it met in Kosovo vilayet, where it 
was fired on more than once, arrived in Scutari with 
considerable fanfaronade and a salute of guns from 

137 



138 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

the citadel. A party of town Moslems, in golden gala 
attire and armed with Mausers, acted as escort, to- 
gether with a number of soldiers; but as a show the 
thing was a failure, for, for some mysterious reason, 
the Commission was made to dismount and tramped 
through the muddy streets in draggle-tail order, the 
horses led in the rear by suvarris. The Moslem 
schoolboys lined the road at intervals. The Francis- 
cans sent some of their schoolboys, by order, it was 
said, of the Austrian Consul, and the Christian band 
played — by order of the Vali. There was no en- 
thusiasm. 

Mr. Graves visited me shortly and said: " I do not 
expect you to believe me, but I assure you that this 
Reform Commission is perfectly genuine, that we 
have come to do our best. The Government has 
realized the gravity of the situation. Unless the 
Chauvinist party should get the upper hand, and T 
hope it will not, the reforms will be carried out.'' 
He gave details as to the inefficient officials whom the 
Commission had already dismissed. I replied that 
I fully believed in the intentions of the Commission, but 
that things had arrived at such a point that it was too 
late. Moreover, it was easy to dismiss inefficient 
officials, but where was it possible to find suitable 
men to replace them ? I had no hope myself. Mr. 
Graves admitted the difficulty, but said it was not 
insuperable, and asked me to make suggestions as to 
the needs of the Maltsors. 

I begged immediately for a distribution of seed-corn, 
pointing out that the twelve articles promised rations 
of maize " until next harvest,'' but that no one 
had explained how, in the devastated land, a harvest 



THE GATHERING OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 139 

was to be obtained, and that my fund would allow of 
a very small distribution only. 

I asked for maize for the whole of the mountains, 
not merely for the late insurgents; for, owing to 
the general upset, all were in great poverty, and those 
who did not receive it would look on it as a reward for 
revolting, and act accordingly. He promised to do 
his best, and said that I might tell the people that the 
destroyed woods were to be reckoned as " inomeubles " 
and paid for. Also that the Government was pre- 
pared to remit taxation and give exemption from 
militar}^ service until the reforms were carried out. 
We discussed also the burning question of the national 
language, of schools, and of the gendarmerie. 

For the next two days I was kept busy translating 
petitions into bad French for presentation to Hadji 
Avdil. One made gigantic demands and began with 
such a servnle address to the Sultan that both I and 
the man who had draughted it burst out laughing. 
" What does it matter V he said. " This is the last 
Turkish Sultan here, and he will not last long." 

A very good petition began by pointing out that 
Albania had been till lately the faithful ally of Turkey, 
and in return had only been crushed and humiliated. 
It begged for (1) recognition of Albanian nationality, 
(2) the use of the Albanian language in police and 
law courts and all Government offices that came in 
direct contact with the people ; (3) the institution of 
Albanian schools with Albanian masters; (4) liberty 
to develop the language; (5) that heads of Govern- 
ment departments in Albania should be Albanians. 

All was labour in vain. I circulated Mr. Graves's 
messages industriously, and said he would do his 



140 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

best. Folk merely smiled, and either disbelieved it 
or said he would be bamboozled by the Turks. Hadji 
Avdil, they pointed out, had gone first of all to visit 
Hussein Bektashi, who represented " Union and 
Progress " in Scutari. " You will see,'' said everyone, 
" he has only come to arrange that two Young Turks 
shall be elected for Parliament.'' And they declared 
that they would not present any of their petitions, as 
everything was a foregone conclusion — when " the 
Englishman " was safely out of the way, everyone 
who had signed a petition would be arrested. Oh, 
yes, they knew all about Turks, young and old. 

By Sunday the 24th, all had gone wrong, and even 
Mr. Graves was less hopeful. One of the main objects 
of the Commission in Scutari had been to make 
peace with the Maltsors, and as yet the Minister and 
the heads had not met. He had ordered the Vali to 
summon them, and they, firmly convinced that the 
Vali had plotted to murder them last time they came, 
refused flatly to come without a guarantee of safe 
conduct. 

An Englishman of very great experience in the 
East once said: " In a great emergency you may 
always trust a Turkish official to do the wrong thing." 
Hadji Avdil did so now. Had he sent a genial per- 
sonal invitation, had twenty sheep roasted whole, 
and held a friendly pow-wow with the chiefs of the 
whole mountains, it is possible the whole course of 
events in North Albania, and therefore in Turkey in 
Europe, might have been very different. But he 
rode the high horse, considered himself insulted, and 
ordered the Archbishop to summon the tribesmen. 
The Archbishop said it was impossible after what had 



THE GATHEEING OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 141 

occurred, unless a formal guarantee were given. Mr. 
Graves thereupon offered his parole, and the French 
Consul the protection of his Consulate, and they asked 
me if I could act. I accordingly took council with a 
Seltze headman, who said that with a guarantee it 
could be done, but pointed out truthfully that it took 
a whole week to summon the outlying tribesmen. It 
was then Sunday night. Mr. Graves replied that the 
Commission was leaving on Wednesday, and asked 
me if I could persuade the nearer men to come — it 
would be better than nothing. As it was precisely 
the Baitza men whose death was said to have been 
planned, I hesitated a bit, as, after all, it was possible 
that certain officials might use Mr. Graves as an 
innocent lure and no French Consular protest could 
benefit Mirash and. Gelosh Djoko if they were shot 
dead on the way. So I said, if their presence were 
urgent, I would myself ride in and out with them, if 
it could be arranged, but pointed out that one tribe 
without the rest was no good. 

Hadji Avdil would not unbend from his foolish 
dignity as a Minister. Mr. Graves did his best, but 
none of the Commission realized the absolute en- 
tirety with which all confidence in the Government 
had been destroyed. In fact, the eleventh hour had 
struck, and the minutes were flying. Hadji Avdil 
and the headmen never met. 

The Commission left on the 30th — delayed because 
the road was " held up " — leaving trouble behind it. 
It had confirmed the tribesmen in the belief that the 
Government had plotted to murder them. It had 
thereby ahenat^d all the town ChristiaiLs. It had 
quarrelled with the Archbishop and had triedjto buy 



142 THE STEUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

peace of the Mirdites by giving forest-cutting con- 
cessions to the Abbot. Whether the Mirdites would 
be pleased at learning the Abbot had the right to cut 
what they regarded as their woods was an open 
question. 

The whole thing was disastrous. The important 
influence to have gained was the Archbishop's. He 
had acted quite honestly when he feared to invite 
the tribes without a formal guarantee, but was 




HOUSE AS MILITARY OUTPOST. 



blamed by both the Commission and the Austrian 
Consulate. 

A straw shows which way the wind blows. I had 
tried by Mr. Graves's influence to obtain the payment 
of a debt of £T15 to a poor man whose house had been 
commandeered by the Young Turks as a military 
guardhouse. He had applied in vain thirty times 
for the promised rent, which was a year overdue. 
Armed with a note from Mr. Graves, he applied again, 
full of hope. 

" Ah," said the Turkish oJGScial, " this is from the 



THE GATHERING OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 143 

English gentleman. How kind of him ! When the 
money comes, we will let you know !" 

It never was paid — had, in all probability, been 
embezzled on the way when it was due. After this 
I could say no more. For the reply was always: 
** Even your Englishman could not make them pay a 
debt of £T15." 

Scarcely had the Reform Commission left — the 
populace breathing fervent prayers that it would be 
ambushed at Kroja — when it was made public that 
the Vali had been dismissed and would be replaced 
by Hussein Riza Bey, and that Prenk Pasha had 
resigned his headship of Mii'dita. By tradition 
Prenk was head not only of Mirdita but of Luria, 
Kthela, and the Alessio Mountams. Now, pre- 
sumably to restrict his influence, Hadji Avdil had 
told him that a new distribution of provinces was to 
take place, and that in future he could be recognized 
only as head of Mii'dita. 

" All or none," said Prenk as an ultimatum. 

" None, then,'' said Hadji Avdil. 

Scutari was amazed, and Prenk, very vexed, said: 
** Very well; whatever happens, do not put the blame 
on me." 

Prenk in the early days of the Constitution had 
loyally played " Union and Progress." So much so, 
that the Mirdites began to turn against him, and 
accuse him of being a Moslem in his heart. There 
was no doubt about it, said some — he washed his feet 
every day. To regain lost influence, he was forced to 
play anti-Government, and was suspected of having 
instigated the refusal of the Mirdite zaptiehs to serve 
the Government any more. They had recently 



144 THE STEUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

suddenly disbanded. At the same time, Hadji 
Avdil was a fool to quarrel with Prenk, for there can 
be no doubt that on more than one occasion he pre- 
vented the Mirdites from rising. 

As for the dismissal of the Vali, all the Maltsors 
and many of the town Christians believed he had 
been dismissed because he had failed to assassinate 
the headmen, and thought that they had acted very 
wisely in refusing to come down and meet the Com- 
mission. When told of the remission of taxes, they 
jeered: "They daren't enforce them. We have 
given them one lesson; we will give them another.'' 
And they contmued to talk of autonomy as before. 

" The Turk," they said, " is, in one particular only, 
like the Lord God. As he was in the beginning he 
is now, and ever will be. We don't believe in any of 
his reforms. They are only dust in the eyes of 
Europe." 

All argument was thrown away on them. 

One of the Moslem leaders at Ipek sent me word 
that he had 700 followers, that they would accept 
neither Austrian nor Turkish rule, but would like 
English. Could I write to the King ? I replied it 
was impossible, and I could do nothing. 

The new Vali, Hussein Riza Bey, who later played 
such an important part, was an Asiatic. He was a 
short, dark, rather thick-set man, with a hook nose 
and bright, dark eyes; held himself badly, wore his 
belt crooked and his tunic sticking up in a lump 
above it behind, and was imperious in manner. He 
came from Bagdad, where he had a very good record. 
I had had to act twice as dragoman to him about the 
construction of a steel stern-wheeler steamer for the 



I 



THE GATHERING OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 145 

river, and had found him, in that aftaii', such a hopeless 
muddler that I underestimated his powers in his own 
line of business. As military commandant, too, he 
had shown himself cruel. I regretted his appoint- 
ment also, because he was so actively engaged forti- 
fying the city that he could have little time for civil 
affairs. Whether, so late in the day, any civil gover- 
nor could have pacified the Maltsors it is impossible 
to say. 

One thing is certain, Hussein Riza was a fine soldier, 
and it is primarily to him and his splendid plan of 
fortification that the thanks of all Albanians are due. 
He saved Scutari. He was trained by Germans and 
knew his work. 

The first event of importance under the new Vali 
was the Parliamentary election. This was to take 
place on Sunday, April 14. Both town and mountain 
Christians struck in a body. They formed the 
majority of the electorate, but declared that they 
would not vote — the elections would be all juggled — 
that was the reason of Hadji Avdil's visit. No 
matter how many votes they polled, a *' Young 
Turk " would be declared elected. They would not 
take part in a farce; and nothing would budge them. 

Polling-day poured rain, snow, and sleet. I was 
writing in my room when a revolver shot rang out 
close by. Leaning as far out of the window as pos- 
sible, I saw two more shots fired at a Turkish officer 
(the second in conmiand) on horseback. He ciashed 
off" at a gallop uninjured. There was a rush of 
gendarmes and people, but no arrest was made. The 
assailant was a well-known Scutari Moslem, but such 
was the unpopularity of the Government that it dared 

10 



146 THE STEUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

not provoke the Moslems by capturing him. More- 
over, at bottom the affair was unsavoury. 

The election went off without any interest. Only 
ten Christians voted — and they split their votes. All 
Catholic Scutarenes persisted in the belief that they 
had effected a great stroke of business by refusing to 
vote, and had shown the Turks what they thought of 
them. I thought them foolish, and said so. But 
they pointed triumphantly to the results of the 
elections all over the country. Greeks, Serbs, Bul- 
gars — all had been made to elect Young Turks. 
Seldom has an election been so shamelessly manipu- 
lated. 

Hussein Riza was greatly vexed at the attitude of 
the Scutari Christians, and tried hard, though the 
election was over, to put a Christian in. He vainly 
tried to induce the Archbishop to influence his flock, 
but the Archbishop replied that Hadji Avdil had for- 
bidden him to take any part in politics. 

The two Young Turks, elected as arranged, were 
declared members for Scutari, and the Christians of 
the whole district remained unrepresented. 

Hadji AvdiFs visit had, so far, made bad worse. I 
clung to the hope that the seed-corn which I had 
been promised would — come war, come peace — at 
least save lives. It had been bought, and the authori- 
ties sent for the various headmen in order to ascertain 
the names and number of persons in the families, 
with a view to fair distribution. 

I expected them all to be delighted. Not at all. 
They leapt to the conclusion it was a plot. " The 
Turks," they said, " never gave a present without a 
reason." They believed the proffered corn was a 



THE GATHERING! OF THE AVAR-CLOUDS 147 

" wooden horse/' It was a trick to ascertain how 
much arable land they had and tax it; or to lure the 
heads to Scutari and assassinate them. So com- 
pletely had all faith been destroyed that the Klimenti, 
who were first approached, refused stiffly to give a 
reply. I was horrified, sent for them at once, and 
told them the seed-corn was my idea and asked how 
they could live without it. They replied: "That 
Englishman was in the pay of the Turks. They sent 
him to you to trick us." All I could do was to send 
an assurance of the honesty of the affair to Padre 
Giacomo, the good old priest of the tribe. 

Next day came an old friend — a headman of 
Kastrati Katun — an honest old chap, in complete 
amaze. " I have come to consult you. We need 
this corn very, very much, but we dare not accept it; 
God knows what trick is at the bottom of it." 

He was delighted with my explanation, and went off 
to tell Katun it was safe to accept. 

With some other tribes I had hicrediblc difficulties. 
The heads went backwards and forwards from me to 
the British Consulate. They admitted that they had 
nothing but starvation before them — but they feared. 
Mr. Summa and I talked ourselves exhausted, and I 
told them they " were blackening my face " before 
they dared accept. If they must stane, they must, 
so they said ; it would be better than selling them- 
selves to the Turks. We persuaded them all in the 
end, and thereby saved many lives. It is one of the 
few things to which 1 look back with complete satis- 
faction. 



CHAPTER IX 

PLOT AND COUNTERPLOT 

Quite early in the year I had been told that a great 
general rising of Albania would take place. It would 
begin about St. George's Day in Kroja, Tirana, and 
Avlona, and the mountain - tribes were to rush 
Scutari. 

Meantime, the Turks, directed by Hussein Riza Bey, 
worked hard at strengthening Scutari. I learnt in 
May, by riding over the plain, that works were going 
on in five places at least, and judged they were im- 
portant, as I was warned off by shouts. Judging, 
also, by the vast amount of barbed wire that was 
always arriving and passing through the town, I told 
the Maltsors they could not possibly rush it, and that 
the attempt would be suicidal. They jeered at me 
and the barbed wire, but told me nothing would take 
place till the end of June. 

That Tarabosh was becoming extremely strong 
we learnt by chance. The Turkish officers stole a 
very good sporting dog belonging to a man I know. 
He complained to the Vali, and said the dog had 
been seen at Tarabosh. The Vali denied it. The 
dog's master persisted, and finally obtained leave, 
not to go himself, but, to send his servant. The 
latter, a sharp lad, returned with the dog and a 
description of the fort. 

148 



THE GATHERING OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 149 

I wanted a holiday badly, and also clothes. More- 
over, it was advisable for me to leave the country, 
at any rate, for a time. The tribesmen would not 
take my advice, though they were always coming 
for it. And when the " burst up " came, I did not 
wish to be considered responsible. So at the end 
of May I left Scutari for Rome. The situation be- 
tween Turkey and Montenegro was already badly 
strained, owing to a quarrel about steamboat rights 
on the lake. All steamer traffic between the two 
countries was stopped, and things looked as though 
they might develop uncomfortably. It being im- 




possible to travel via Montenegro, I had to go to 
Corfu, and tranship for Brindisi. 

In Rome, to my surprise, I was invited almost at 
once to speak with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, 
the Marchese San Giuliano. The political situation 
puzzled me extremely. 

Nikola of Montenegro had apparently failed to 
obtain Russian support. But it was obvious that 
Montenegro was stirring up perpetual unrest among 
the mountain-tribes. There were more rumours that 
" this time Montenegro will give us enough arms to 
free ourselves." Now there was the lake-steamer 
quarrel, and a company financed by Italy was mixed 



150 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

up in it. I believed that Italy must be the motive- 
power behind Montenegro, for I could not believe she 
would act alone. 

The Marchese and I talked round and round for a 
little while, for we were naturally both more anxious 
to obtain information than to give it. Then he asked : 
" Well, in your opinion, will the Maltsors of Scutari 
mountains rise this year or not ?" 

" It depends," said I, '' on Montenegro." He 
looked so genuinely surprised that I said to myself 
at once: "No; Italy is not engineering this 
affair." 

" What do you mean by ' depends on Montenegro ' ?" 
he asked. 

'* Well, I think it does," I repeated. I was now 
pretty certain how things stood. It was not Italy 
and not Russia that was shoving. So it must be 
the other Balkan States. 

The tale that Bulgaria would begin so soon as 
Montenegro did, must be true. That Montenegro 
meant business was evident; for Popovitch, the 
Montenegrin Minister in Rome, told me that the 
Montenegrin Cabinet was dissolved, and that Mitar 
Martinovitch was the new War Minister. " Now 
we shall have war," he added. 

To my mind the weak point was Greece. Ten 
years ago in Macedonia I had seen for myself the 
hatred that raged between Greek and Bulgar — a 
hatred so intense and so savage that it amounted to 
mania, and it was hard to believe that union between 
the two was possible. 

I returned Scutari-wards at the beginning of July, 
travelling through Montenegro. 



THE GATHEEING OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 151 

Podgoritza was hard at work taking in military 
stores and drilling men. For Montenegro, a great lot 
of men were mobilized. The ordinary man wanted 
war, and talked of little else. The situation, as I 
wrote at the time, " was sickish." 

Blazho Boshkovitch had gone to Cettigne for 
orders. So had the Montenegrin Consul from Scutari. 
The Turkish Consul took the blackest possible view 
of the state of things, and the Moslems of Kosovo were 
in full revolt. 

H the Maltsors rose, I should not be able to get to 
Scutari to fetch my remaining goods, so off I went at 
once across country. Scutari I found jumpy and 
nervous. War preparations were going on fast. 
Hussein Eiza Bey did not mean to be caught napping. 
But reports of Albanian victories came from Kosovo 
vilayet, and the telegraph-line to South Albania was 
cut. 

A bright idea flashed across me, and off I went to 
the old Greek Consul, with whom I was on friendly 
terms. We talked on general topics. Then I asked 
suddenly, and apropos of nothing at all: " Is it true, 
Moasieur, that your Government has signed a Treaty 
with Bulgaria against Turkey V'' 

He jumped visibly, and, greatly upset, began: 
" Mademoiselle, you must surely be aware that all 

Governments have affairs which one must not " 

I apologized, and begged him to say no more. Nor 
was more required. If it were not signed, it was 
about to be. The last straw had been laid. War 
was now as certain as is anything in this world. 

I decided to leave Scutari, calculating that both 
postal routes would be cut (via Medua and via Mon- 



152 THE STRUGGLE FOE SCUTARI 

tenegro), and that it would be impossible to send or 
receive news. 

It was July 17. Next day came news of a very 
sharp fight between Turkish regulars and Monte- 
negrins, on the frontier at Matagushi, not far from 
Podgoritza. It had lasted seven hours. The Mon~ 
tenegrins had lost nine dead and six wounded, and 
the Turks rather less. 

The Montenegrin Consul, who had just returned, 
was greatly agitated. " Mon Dieu !" he said to me, 
" I hope you will not publish a book before five 
years. You know too much." 

Popular voice said: '' Montenegro will declare war." 
A quarrel of some sort must be picked as prelude, and 
it was possible this was the one. I packed and left 
Scutari. 

Passing through Tuzi, the frontier town, I called 
on Mihilaki Effendi, the Kaimmakam. He said the 
affair was purely local: some Montenegrins had 
passed the frontier carrying arms, had been ordered 
by the frontier patrol to give them up, had refused, 
and been fired on. It was a pity, but — " Que voulez 
vous — the usual frontier incident with which these 
people amuse themselves." I told him that, in view 
of the general situation, I hoped that the Maltsors 
would not rise. They had better wait till they had 
learned more, before they struck for autonomy. 
He agreed, and said he had done his best (which was 
true. He had worked very well). But he was not 
at all hopeful, as there were Montenegrin intriguers 
at work. 

Podgoritza I found raging. In summer it is always 
a small Inferno, and with excitement, had leapt to 



THE GATHERING OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 153 

fever heat; the popular pulse was anything you 
please. Unarmed Montenegrins, so everyone swore, 
had been fired at when on their own territory. 
Turkish soldiers and bashi-bazouks had crossed the 
frontier 300 metres. Of the nine Montenegrins killed, 
four had been mutilated. The Turkish Consul had 
had to bear witness to this fact. 

I did not agree with the Kaimmakam that this was 
" a usual frontier incident," and believed it to be 
" a put-up job " by one side or the other, but was not 
sure which had the more to gain by it. When 
Monsieur Ramadanovitch came to investigate the 
circumstances, I suggested to him that the Turks 
had perhaps tried to make a war scare, as they were 
greatly bothered by the Moslem insurrection that was 
raging in Kosovo vilayet, and if the insurgents 
thought war with Montenegro imminent, they would 
make peace at once, and combine with the Turk 
against the Slav. Ramadanovitch agreed, and added 
that, for that very reason, Montenegro must keep 
quiet. 

I noted that day in my diary: " Montenegro wants 
to let the Turks and the Kosovo Albanians fight 
themselves tired before taking any active steps." 

War fever was so high that it seemed advisable to 
stay, though Podgoritza was suffocatingly hot. 

The Government ordered that no owner of a horse 
was to sell it without permission. The guns were all 
ready. 

" Wait and see the first shot fired," said the people. 
I waited a week, during which nothing happened, and 
I received a message from the tribesmen, saying they 
had not enough cartridges nor rifles, and did not 



154 THE STEUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

know what to do if a crisis arose. They begged 
help. 

I went up to Cettigne for a breath of fresh air. 
The first thing I did was, accidentally, to meet the 
King and Queen driving in their pony- carriage. His 
Majesty at once stopped and summoned me. After 
greeting me he said: 

" Absolutely you must go and tell your Maltsors 
that they must not rise now." I was considerably 
embarrassed, for this clearly meant that he intended 
them to rise later for his own purposes. I said, 
'' Sire, I have already told them they have not enough 
cartridges, and can do nothing"; and I added: 
'' But they will not wait for anyone." 

He expressed himself as very pleased with the 
advice I had given ; said I was younger and more 
beautiful each time he saw me, and drove away, 
leaving me wondering that His Majesty should attempt 
to catch such an old Balkan bird as myself with chaff 
of that sort . 

Next day I had a message from a very important 
Maltsor, saying he must speak to me in private on 
something of the highest importance. I arranged 
the meeting. He spoke very earnestly, and said he 
had come on behalf of the Maltsors, to beg that I 
would write to England and explain their situation. 
I transcribe the main points of his statement, for it 
throws a strong light on subsequent events: 

" We believe that in five years' time, by constant 
struggles, we should be able to fight free and make 
our own terms with the Turks. But Austria has 
had her plans formed for God knows how many years, 
and does not mean to give them up. King Nikola 



THE GATHER! XG OF THE WAE-CLOUDS 155 

also has his. His plan — and I swear to you that this 
is true — is to take all Maltsia e madhe, Bukagini and 
Mirdita. He is very careful to want to take only 
a population less than Montenegro. He does not 
want an Albanian majority, for he wants to crush 
and Slavize all that he takes. He planned this last 
year, but though a certain party — that led by Sokol 
Batzi— was in favour of Montenegrin rule, the majority 
were not. This is the reason why Montenegro gave 
out no more arm^; and did not advance. He knew 
we would not accept him. For the help we received 
last year we are truly grateful. But we made no 
promises. It was fear that Albania might be divided 
and part given to Montenegro, that prevented the 
Moslems of Kosovo and the Tosks from rising with 
us last year. Perhaps it was a mistake, for had they 
risen, Europe then might have recognized us. What 
we wish you to write to England now is — That King 
Nikola has 7nade a flan that will ruin us. He is doing 
all he can to prevent Maltsia e madhe from rising 
till he is ready. He wants it to rise as he advances, 
and make Europe think it is under his control and 
wants his rule. We are placed between three enemies 
—Turkey, Austria, and Montenegro. The only way 
we can spoil his plan is to rise now and help the 
revolution in Kosovo vilayet. If we fall under 
Montenegro or Austria, it is death for us as a nation. 
So we may as well rise and be killed— or win, God 
willing." 

I asked, " What about arms and ammunition ?" 
and he admitted they were very short of ammunition, 
but that there were not more than 15,000 Xizams 
around Scutari, and that all the Christian ones would 



156 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

desert; also that the Scutari Moslems were sick of 
the Turks and would rise, too. The Kosovo Moslems 
were capturing quantities of ammunition from the 
Turks, " and we can, too; it would be better than 
accepting more help from Montenegro." 

I feared a fiasco. He said: " It would be better to 
wait fifteen years perhaps, under Turkey, till we are 
more educated for autonomy, but it is impossible. 
We know for certain that Austria's and Montenegro's 
plans are complete, and will soon be in motion. We 
must act first and show Europe we are quite indepen- 
dent of these two. Say to the British Government 
that if it will not help us we beg that it will not help 
our enemies, either with money or political support. 
We beg that you will stay, for this time we shall need 
your help more than ever. As for me, I can think 
no longer of my family, but only of my Fatherland." 
Nor was this an idle boast, for he had fought very 
bravely throughout the insurrection. He spoke 
rapidly, and was tense with excitement and concen- 
trated hate. Later he brought some others to confirm 
his statements, and they all left shortly for the front. 

From this moment I considered myself definitely 
pledged to stand by the Maltsors in the coming struggle 
as I had done in the past. 

That same afternoon Miouskovitch gave me a most 
graphic account of the frightful " sitting on " that 
King Nikola and his suite got in Russia, when they 
went there hoping for support. " It was terrible, 
mademoiselle ! They threatened us with annihila- 
tion !" 

The King had behaved with his usual astuteness, 
but poor Dushan Gregovitch had succumbed to the 



THE GATHERING OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 157 

popular craze for being interviewed, and had confided 
to a newspaper that war was necessary for Montene- 
gro; she must have this, that, and the other, and 
meant to have them at an early date. 

The Tsar, in wrath, demanded of King Nikola the 
meaning of this, and he unkindly replied that no one 
ever believed Gregovitch. It was hard on poor Grego- 
vitch, for he really had spoken the truth this time. 

On Monday, July 30, came word to me that the 
Maltsors, in accordance with the determination they 
had already expressed, had risen, had stopped a 
Turkish convoy of thirty-two Nizams, captui'ed all 
their arms, and seventeen loaded mules. Two days 
later the Klimenti tribe drove all the soldiers out of 
their land and captured the stores of a whole camp. 
A letter informed me of an elaborate plan for a com- 
bined attack on Scutari and many other details. 
News from Kosovo was, that the insurgents were 
carrying all before them, that they had demanded 
the dissolution of Parliament and a fair election, and 
had given the Government forty-eight hours in which 
to make up its mind. 

It was August 2, the anniversary of the great 
betrayal of last year. Looking back, I wondered 
how I had got through the strain and misery of that 
week. And the situation was in no way better; 
there was more trouble ahead. 

On the 4th came men of Shala to me, praying 
for arms, and an appeal for ammunition from Kas- 
trati. All the Dukagin tribes together had but 
2,000 rifles, 1,500 of which were those given last year 
by Montenegro. They said, too, that a whole bat- 
talion of Montenegrins had gone up to the frontier 



158 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

from Kuchi, and had had a fight with the Turks. 
They were vexed that Montenegro should already be 
beginning before the Albanian question was decided. 

It was as I feared. Again the tribesmen had risen 
without sufficient means. In spite of the constant 
rumours of contraband, I knew that very few weapons 
had actually come in, and that, as Austria wished the 
Maltsors to keep the peace, the supply was practically 
cut off. Albania had never been re-armed properly 
since the surrender of arms in 1910. 

I said it was absolutely impossible for me to help 
with weapons. They were greatly disappointed, as 
they clung always to the belief that England had 
helped the other Balkan peoples to obtain freedom 
and would help them. 

The insurgent leaders, meanwhile, were desperately 
anxious lest the Kosovo Moslems should accept terms 
from the Turkish Government which did not include 
all Albania. It was now or never, they said, the 
time for all Albania to strike and be recognized as a 
nation. Dervish Bey, of Elbasan, was reported to 
be on the warpath, and bands of patriots were making 
ready at Kortcha. There were several good leaders 
down South, only I was begged to note that no one 
in the North had any belief at all in Ismail Kemal, 
and all would refuse to recognize him, as they believed 
he was not really a patriot, but would betray them 
to a foreign Power. 

By this time Cettigne was in great excitement. 
The rumour of a frontier fight was true. A battle 
had taken place at Mojkovach, in the Kolashin dis- 
trict, on August 3. 




THE GRrS-XIKG FRONTIER. 



CHAPTER X 



THE LAST SCENE OF THE FOURTH ACT 

Before telling of the last bloody scene of the pre- 
war era, I must briefly describe the Turko-Montene- 
grin frontier. Someone in the diplomatic service once 
told me, " In drawing frontiers the ethnographic 
question is not considered," which is just a diplomatic 
way of saying, '' You grab the land with the livestock 
on it," and ignores the fact that when a foreign body 
is thus incorporated, it almost invariably creates pus, 
which has, sooner or later, to be let out by an opera- 
tion. 

The frontiers drawn by the Treaty of Berhn were 
so impossible that in many places they could not be 
defined, much less enforced. As the borderers them- 
selves described it, '' The frontier floated on blood." 

The ethnographic question can never be safely 
ignored. Alsace is still an open sore in Germany. 

The more recent frontiers of the Treaty of London 
have already been washed out by blood, and the future 
will show how much of the Bucharest frontiers can 
stand that gory laundry. 

By the Treaty of Berlin solid Albanian districts, 

159 



160 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

which hated all things Slav, were handed over to 
Montenegro, and solid Slav districts, which asked 
nothing better than to be Montenegrin or Serb, were 
handed over to the Turkish Empire. Worse, if pos- 
sible, tribes and groups of tribes were divided, and this, 
in a tribal land, should be avoided at almost any price. 
Debatable tracts were strewn all along the Montene- 
grin frontier. The site of the recent Matagushi affair 
was one. 

It was further claimed by the Montenegrins that 
the Turks had not only built kulas (blockhouses) upon 
debatable areas, but had thrown up entrenchments 
over the frontier-line, and that from these kulas the 
frontier Nizams incessantly " sniped " Montenegrins 
who were upon their own land. The contested areas, 
it should be remarked, were mostly cases in which 
the Berlin frontier had been drawn between a village 
or tribe and its pasture-land. 

In July a Turko-Montenegrin Commission was ap- 
pointed to rectify and delimit these frontiers. 

The biggest of the Berlin blunders was that the 
large Slav tribe Vassoievitch was cut in half. Nothing 
biib very liberal concessions on either'side and care- 
fully reckoned compensations could ever have recti- 
fied that frontier. 

This Commission, instead of visiting the spots, de- 
cided everything on paper with the aid of maps — an 
extraordinary piece of Turkish slopdawdle at such a 
critical moment. In truth, the thing was a farce. 
Montenegro, in all probability, insisted on it in order 
to drive in one more peg on which to hang war. The 
Turks, on their part, if they wished peace, should 
have insisted on a delimitation by foreign inspectors. 



THE GATHERING OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 161 

Pending the ratification of this paper frontier by 
the Turkish Government, neither party was to have 
the right to occupy the debatable portions with 
mihtary. Such was the position of affairs when the 
fight took place at Mojkovach at the beginning of 
August. 

Cettigne was bubbling with wrath, but the authori- 
ties were chary of giving details ; nor was it till some 
time after that I got what I believe to be a true ac- 
count from an eyewitness ; briefly thus: " The Monte- 
negrin peasants were sent to mow grass near the 
frontier. As they had been fired at when they had 
tried to mow there before, some gendarmes went with 
them. The Nizams opened fire from the kula at 
once. The gendarmes summoned troops, who were 
waiting near in case of need. These came with such 
a mad rush that they surrounded the kula before the 
Nizams had time to fire, and crowded so close against 
the walls that it was impossible to fire down on them 
from the loopholes. Yelling their war-songs, they 
demanded the surrender of the garrison. Someone 
rushed from a neighbouring house with a can of 
petroleum, and, dodging the fire, got to the kula 
with it. A Montenegrin stripped off his shirt, dipped 
it in petroleum, and thrust it, burning, to the wooden 
roof. This blazed up, some ammunition exploded, 
and the Nizams had to rush out. More Nizams and 
some Moslem Albanians rushed to the rescue from over 
the border; they all fought like wild beasts. A 
Nizam rushed out all in flames and was shot down. 
The kula was burnt down. I saw at least seventy 
corpses round it. The Montenegrins were mad with 
rage; they cut the noses off their fallen foes, put 

11 



162 THE STRUGGLE FOE SCUTARI 

them in their pockets, and followed the retreating 
Turks in a wild rush almost to Bijelopolje, 15 kilo- 
metres over the frontier. They lost twenty-two 
killed and thirty- two wounded. A wounded Turk 
was taken alive; but at night a Montenegrin recog- 
nized him as the man who had killed his father, and 
bashed his head in. Altogether four kulas were 
burnt. The Montenegrins had over three thousand 
men in the field." 

Later a Kolashin man told me that it had been 
intended to take Bijelopolje, and the hour and the 
day had been all planned, and that it would have 
been forced to surrender, had not the troops been 
hastily recalled, owing to representations made by 
some of the Legations at Cettigne. 

The Turkish Minister, Rustem Bey (otherwise 
Bilinski) demanded an apology for the violation of 
Turkish territory, admitting that the land was de- 
batable, and that the Turks had entrenched it, but 
denying Montenegro's right to invade with troops; 
and added that if he did not receive the apology by 
8 p.m. on August 6, he would break off diplomatic 
relations and leave the country. 

Montenegro refused, and almost immediately after- 
wards the Kaimmakam of Berani, in whose district 
the fight had taken place, telegraphed apologies to 
the Montenegrin Government, and stated that the 
Nizams had fired the first shot. 

King Nikola, jubilant, sent for a gusle and played 
national airs, and then rode round Cettigne on his 
white horse. That the affair was *' a put-up job " 
to force Turkey to declare war there can, in the light 
of subsequent events, be little doubt. Montenegro 



THE GATHERIXG OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 163 



trailed her coat and Turkey trod on it. But it is 
also possible that Turkey's part was played deliber- 
ately, for it was very certain that in case of war with 
Montenegro the Moslems of Kosovo would make peace 
and play Turkish for the nonce, in hope to save their 
territory, and obtain further concessions later. 

Be that as it may, the Turks acceded to the de- 
mands of the insurgent Kosovo 
Moslems, dissolved Parliament, 
and promised a form of au- 
tonomy. 

The ^lontenegrins were not 
at all pleased w^ith this news, 
but I found Gavrilovitch (the 
Servian Minister) and MitarMar- 
tinovitch, now War Minister, 
both still confident that all the 
Catholic Maltsors, Maltsia e 
madhe, Dukagini, and Mirdites 
would support Montenegro. I 
denied this. Martinovitch would 
not believe me; but Gavrilo- 
vitch seemed shaken. 

The Maltsia e madhe men, 
meanwhile in full revolt, w^ere 

greatly put out by the failure of the Kosovo 
men to consult the Christians before making terms. 
They had captured and disarmed all the small mili- 
tary outposts in Klimenti and Gruda, and taken 
their stores and ammunition, and were besieging 
Bukovitz, the one big Turkish camp in Hoti. Owing 
to its lack of water, it was bound to surrender in a 
few days. A relief force from Scutari was routed by 




A Q0SLR. 



164 THE STEUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

a combined force of Hoti, Kastrati, and Skreli. Tuzi 
was completely cut off from Scutari and short of 
supplies, and, so far as I could learn, all the tribes 
except Gruda, which was influenced by Sokol Batzi, 
were entirely for Albanian independence. 

The Turkish Government sent the Archbishop to 
the mountains to negotiate peace. He succeeded in 
making all the insurgents, except Gruda and Shala, 
swear peace on condition the Turks evacuated the 
mountains. The Turkish troops accordingly with- 
drew from all points, except the summit of Dechich 
and Planinitza, a fortified camp on its flank, which 
they declared necessary as frontier outposts. The 
Montenegrins were furious that the tribesmen had 
made peace, and declared it was an Austrian " politik." 

War preparations went on apace in Podgoritza. 
Rifles were dealt out to young and aged. On 
August 12 artillery went to Kolashin and Suka, and 
I noted: " Montenegro has no preparations at all 
for field ambulance, let alone hospitals." The few 
wounded Albanians who came into Podgoritza were 
shamefully neglected and in most horrible state. I 
sent a lot of antiseptic dressings up to the mountains. 

We were now on the giddy brink of war. King 
Nikola notified the Powers that if they would not 
undertake to keep order by delimiting his frontier 
and protecting it from Turkish violation, he must 
himself take the necessary steps. Generals Mitar 
Martinovitch, Yanko Vukotitch, and Blazho Boshko- 
vitch held a council of war. The Powers did nothing, 
except, as usual, cackle like a lot of hens. 

Seventeen guns went to the Zeta. " Voila," said 
the Turkish Counsel, an Armenian, " the Turks have 



THE GATHERING OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 165 

now their last chance, li this new ministry fail, 
c'est une debacle, une debacle complete I Pray God 
that my poor Armenia may not fall into the hands 
of Russia !" 

It was reported that Russia was doing her best to 
restrain Montenegro; but I noted at the time in my 
diary at Cettigne on August 15: "If Russia really 
wants peace, why are so many Russian officers toddling 
about here ? They can't all pretend they have come 
to teach in the cadet school, when it is closed for the 
summer holidays." 

On Friday, August 16, the Montenegrin Govern- 
ment notified the Legations that Nizams had fallen 
upon certain Christian villages, that ten men had been 
killed and thirty women and children taken prisoners, 
and so worded the communication that it appeared 
that Montenegrin territory had been violated. 

I was sure the affair was beyond the border. So 
it was ; but it was impossible to get a clear tale from 
the Montenegrin authorities. Yanko Vukotitch went 
up at once to Andriyevitza to take command, and a 
rumour flashed in shortly that the Montenegrins had 
taken Berani; but this proved untrue. Refugees 
were reported to be swarming in, and there were 
many wounded. 

On the 19th at 10 a.m. Cettigne held a public 
indignation meeting in the market-place, the first 
public meeting permitted under the recently granted 
Constitution. The speakers called on the crowd to 
rescue their brother-Serbs beyond the border, and 
were loudly applauded. It was intended to demon- 
strate before the Palace and the Legations, but the 
police barred the way and the meeting dispersed. 



166 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

I started for the seat of war next morning early, 
arriving at Podgoritza by eleven. Here I liad to 
search for a carriage which would drive me to Andri- 
yevitza; and, when found, the man refused, owing 
to the extreme heat, to start before 5 p.m. During 
the delay Podgoritza begged me not to go. " The 
guns are all placed," they said. " The Balkan Powers 
are all now agreed. Come and see the guns early 
to-morrow. The first shot will be fired within twenty- 
four hours." I cast doubt, and was told that " men 
were going to cut grass in a certain spot, and if, as 
was hoped, they were fired on, the artillery would 
retort at once." 

I reflected that this would be the third time " the 
grass trick " was played, and that it was not good 
enough, so clung to my first plan, and started at 
5.30 p.m. on the long drive — a soothing, magical 
drive. We seemed to leave heat, hate, and squalid 
politics all behind us as the carriage zigzagged on 
and on up the mountain-road, whose edge dropped 
sheer into bottomless gloom, while the peaks towered 
above, majestic in the soft green light of a big half- 
moon. 

At 3 a.m. we halted at a han and drowsed till 7 a.m., 
and arrived finally, with weary horses, at Andriyevitza 
at 7.30 p.m., two days and one night after leaving 
Cettigne. 

Andriyevitza was in sore plight. Montenegro had 
made another attempt to bring things to a climax, 
and this time the Turks had outwitted her and taken 
terrible vengeance. Nearly all the Serb villages near 
the border had been burnt. They all formed part 
of the Vassoievitch tribe, which had been divided by 



THE GATHERING OE THE WAK-CLOUDS 167 

the Berlin blunder; everyone, therefore, in Andri- 
yevitza had relatives among the victims. In the 
schoolhouse were some fifty wounded, including several 
women and two mutilated children. Refugees were 
coming in daily. The situation was most painful. 

So closely were the Montenegrin and Turkish halves 
of the tribe intertwined that the Mayor of Andriye- 
vitza had been member for Berani in the first Turkish 
Parliament under the Constitution, but had retired, 
as it was a farce, and the despotism of the '' Union 
and Progress " was intolerable. 

Briefly, the IToung Turks had, in this Serb district, 
tried forcible Ottomanization. The school was closed, 
the priest flogged and imprisoned in a filthy latrine. 
Under the Constitution, however, the district, as it 
had a Christian majority, had the right to a Christian 
Kaimmakam. Ilia Popovitch, a native Serb, was 
appointed. Poor Ilia ! He was an honest and 
honourable man, but he and his young French wife 
undertook an impossible task — to create " un petit etat 
modele " of his district, according to the spirit of the 
Constitution. As his unfortunate widow told me, he 
was opposed both by the Moslem Albanians of the 
district and the Serbs themselves — the former because 
they dreaded measures that would allow of the 
development and expansion of the Serb element, the 
Serbs because they were opposed to any measures 
which wuuld help to make peace and strengthen 
Turkey. 

A further difliculty was that the commandant of 
the frontier garrison would not act together with a 
Christian civilian, and opposed him violently on all 
points. The Turk looked on Ilia as a pro-Serb, the 



168 THE STRUGGLE FOE SCUTARI 

Serbs considered him as a traitor who sided with the 
Young Turks. He it was who sent the telegram 
stating that the Turks had fired the first shot at 
Mojkovach, and by virtue of his office he formed 
one of the Commission appointed to inquire into 
the affair. 

Exactly what happened will never be known. 
From the frontier poor Ilia sent a hasty note to his 
wife, telling her to go to Paris at once, and he would 
join her. She, with her infant daughter and a young 
Serb lady (her friend), alarmed, left Berani secretly, 
and fled to the frontier mountains. Only just in 
time. That very night, the night of August 14-15, 
Turkish troops and Moslem Albanians, led by a 
Turkish officer, fell upon the village of Lower Urz- 
hanitza, massacred sixteen persons in their beds, cut 
off and carried away three heads, and took thirty-one 
vv^omen and children prisoners. These persons were 
all members of the Tchoukitch family, which, it would 
appear, were suspected by the Turks of being con- 
cerned in a revolutionary plot. So they undoubtedly 
were, but the savagery of the Turkish attack was un- 
pardonable. The Montenegrin troops, which, as in 
the Mojkovach affair, were ready, at once rushed to 
the aid of their cousins across the border, burnt all 
the Turkish frontier blockhouses in the neighbour- 
hood, crossed the frontier with their guns, and the 
insurgent natives and the troops together would have 
taken Berani had not the Powers at Cettigne ordered 
the cessation of hostilities. 

Andriyevitza, when I arrived, was furious at the 
recall of the troops. Seventeen Serb villages had 
been burnt or partially burnt and plundered; the 



THE GATHERING OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 169 

number of dead was not yet known. I went to in- 
ve.stigate the truth, and crossed the frontier with one 
of the surviving Tchoukitches — a schoolmaster from 
Podgoritza. The Montenegrins had a large camp on 
a hill on the very frontier, and two big guns pointing 
at Berani. We passed the burnt Turkish block- 
houses, and crawled round under cover of the hills 
to avoid the Turkish guns, which might open fire. 
From these blockhouses the frontier guard had been 
for the past three years in the habit of firing at the 
Montenegrin houses across the border, and as these 
were of wood, and not more than 1,000 metres away, 




^"^ieq^ 



MONTEKEOBIN WOODEN HOUSES. 



the bullets ripped right through them. The priest of 
Budimlje (one of the burnt villages), a wild figure in 
native di'ess, with long black elf-locks streaming from 
head and beard, climbed up to us and narrated recent 
events. 

I passed on through Urzhanitza, saw the black heap 
of ashes, all that was left of the house where Suro 
Tchoukitch was beheaded. Hard by, at a cottage- 
door, sat his weeping daughter. So on, through 
misery and terrified people, who begged that Europe 
should be told of their plight, and thanked me for 
risking my life to visit them. Wretched pawns in 
the game of politics, they were primarily the victims 



170 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

of the Berlin Treaty, which " had not considered the 
ethnographical question," and secondly of Monte- 
negro's schemes for aggrandizement. No lot can be 
more miserable than that of the luckless human beings 
who are used as live bait by ambitious rulers. 

Tchoukitch piloted me safely right up to the in- 
surgents' camp in an old cemetery, the thick stone 
wall of which gave cover from whence we could see 
the Turkish camp beyond. The leaders, one of whom 
was said to be brother to the Servian Consul at 
Saloniki, were desperately resolved to fight till their 
district was free. They were savage with Monte- 
negro for withdrawing the guns and troops, and, as 
they said, '' betraying us." 

The feeling in the whole district, including Andriye- 
vitza, was apparently pro- Serb rather than pro- 
Montenegrin. Andriyevitza had never forgiven King 
Nikola for condemning to death as rebels three of its 
goodliest sons but a short while ago. 

Of Isa Boletin, the Albanian leader, both the in- 
surgents and Tchoukitch were full of praise. Wherever 
he ruled, no Serbs were molested, but were treated 
with great justice. He had even supplied Serb in- 
surgents with arms. 

Firing was expected to begin as usual in the even- 
ing, and the insurgents would not, therefore, permit 
me to go farther. As it was, I did not reach Andriye- 
vitza till 9.30 p.m., tired out. 

Next day came news that Djavid Pasha had 
arrived with four battalions at Berani. All Andriye- 
vitza was aghast. Berani could have easily been 
taken last week, they said; now it was too late. All 
the insurgents would be massacred, and Montenegro 



THE GATHERING OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 171 

might not go to their help. General Yanko Vukotitch 
came to me much harrowed. He " wished to com- 
municate with Djavid, but was afraid of treachery. 
H only a stranger could be found to act as inter- 
mediary ! . . . Would I, perhaps ? . . . With a 
white flag the risk would not be great. ... Of 
course, the Turks fired on it sometimes . . . but 
when they saw it was a woman ..." 

I was amazed. How often did fat Yanko mean to 
fall into holes, and then expect a foreign female to 
pull him out ? But I expressed myself as willing to 
take aU risks. Yanko said he would let me know 
to-morrow. His officers very properly objected to 
the scheme, but as none of them dared ride to Berani, 
they met Djavid's envoys at '' the frontier of the 
insurgents," who held half the valley. 

Djavid demanded immediate peace and the sur- 
render of arms. The insurgents refused. All An- 
driyevitza sympathized. The number of wounded 
brought in was now sixty-eight, among whom were 
the two mutilated children, who, fortunately for 
themselves, died. Very great anxiety was felt for 
the thirty-one women and children prisoners at Berani. 

A furious meeting demanded war. Jovan Pla- 
menatz, the Minister of the Interior, arrived in all 
his best clothes, and proclaimed peace in King 
Nikola's name. 

One of the insurgent leaders, Avro Tsemovich, sent 
a letter to Djavid, which he signed with the names of 
the other leaders, accepting peace. This caused great 
anger. Andriyevitza cursed, but submitted. Tse- 
movich, a big animal with bloodshot eyes, came to 
me, breathing rakia and a-stuttcr with drink, explaiu- 



172 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

ing away his conduct incoherently; and the picture 
that remains of him in my mind is such that I can 
credit all the subsequent charges against him. 

I communicated the details about the imprisoned 
women and children to Cettigne, and through the 
influence of the British Government their release was 
obtained. 

Meanwhile the unfortunate wife of Ilia Popovitch 
(the Kaimmakam) was waiting, sick with anxiety, for 
news of her husband. It came. He had been hacked 
to pieces before the Konak at Sjenitza, his eyes 
torn out, and his fragments left unburied three days 
for the dogs to gnaw. The Turkish officials, so said 
eyewitnesses, looked out of the window and offered 
no help. How poor Ilia came to Sjenitza, a purely 
Slav district not far from the Servian frontier, no one 
will ever know. Nor has it ever been proved who 
planned his death. Andriyevitza declared that the 
frontier Izbashi, Muhedin Bey, did so, to avenge the 
fact that Ilia had declared the Turks guilty of firing 
the first shots at Mojkovach. But later some Alban- 
ians, who had been at Berani with the Turkish 
army, declared that it was the work of the Serbs, who 
wished to get rid of a man who was working to keep 
the peace and thereby block Servia's plans for ex- 
pansion. We shall never know. 

I never felt more sorry for a stranger than for his 
unhappy widow, a Frenchwoman, left penniless in a 
wild land with one little child and another about to be 
born. It is such as these who really pay in the great 
game of international politics. 

None of us dared tell her the hideous news, and she 
left for Cettigne. 



THE GATHERING OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 173 

Peace was patched up for the moment. But 
sniping was constantly reported from the borders. 
Only prompt rectification of the frontier could make 
peace lasting. So long a list of victims was given 
me that I decided to go at once and see for myself. 

A frontier Captain was going to Polimia. I took 
the opportunity and started in a hurry on a wooden 
pack-saddle. We arrived in pitch darkness at the 
telegraph-station, which was also an inn and a 
military outpost, only to learn that a man had that 
day died, shot from across the border. A lot of 
angry men told of men, women, and cattle killed and 
wounded in the past four years. I passed a wTetched 
night crowded in one stuffy room with the tele- 
graphists and the frontier guard. And while washing 
at the stream in the dawn of next day heard the sharp 
tack-tack of the Turkish Mausers from a kula at the 
end of the valley. The surroundings were most 
extraordinary. No less than five kulas looked down 
on us, nearly all within range of the Polimia people, 
who were helpless as rats in a pit. 

Twenty houses had been deserted as uninhabitable. 
From many others folk only dared come forth at night. 

I climbed with the Captain and some soldiers up the 
mountain Dzamiya, where stood the Montenegrin 
frontier kula, a very stiff ascent, and thence saw the 
frontier, complicated beyond belief, coiling in and 
out, one valley Montenegrin, one Turkish — tongues 
of land so narrow that a rifle bullet could carry right 
across and kill on the way. The Veliki Valley alone 
had seven kulas round it. We crouched behind a 
stone rampart, as the next kula was firing at intervals. 

A military wire brought word that the Captain was 



174 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

to return at once to Andriyevitza. Up leapt the 
Montenegrins and rushed straight down the mountain- 
side. It was all I could do to follow. Then came 
a ride in the dark as fast as possible, on the wooden 
pack-saddle, and I arrived dead-beat and shaken to 
pieces. 

Yanko and Plamenatz had both left. 

I had given both maize and money to as many of the 
refugees as I could. It was growing very cold. I had 
come only with a pair of saddle-bags, and had no 
warm clothing, so decided to return to Cettigne, but 
the frontier Commandant, Major Veshovitch, opposed 
this. 

" Wait," he said, " something will happen." 

I whiled away the time by writing an article which 
would be in time for the October reviews, in which I 
detailed the state of affairs. " If the Balkan people," 
I wrote, " are left to fight it out between themselves 
and the Turk, there can be little doubt of the issue. 
Together the Greeks and the Balkan people can put 
something like 600,000 men in the field, all well 
armed, and mostly first-class fighting stuff. The 
Christian subjects of the Turk would all aid the in- 
vading armies. . . . The Turk was a great soldier, but 
he is now so decayed that he is forced to send his 
officers abroad to learn the arts of war. Nor can he 
now make his own weapons; he has to borrow the 
money with which he buys them," and so forth. 
And I ended with the warning paragraph: " Not even 
the Great Powers can now arrest the course of nature 
— things can no longer remain in statu quo. It re- 
mains only to decide whether it shall end in a blood- 
bath. The curtain is rising on the last act." 



THE GATHEPvTXG OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 175 

To my great disappointment this article which I 
had intended to herald, and foretell the results of, the 
war, was never published. The editors were so ill- 
informed that they did not believe in it. 

Still nothing ha])pened. T grew tired of waiting. 
Then the Commandant told me that as Turkey could 
not be made to declare war, Montenegro would. He 
had sent a whole battalion to Dzamiya and finished 
an artillery track to the summit, was at work on 
others to neighbouring heights, had commandeered 
GOO horses to fetch up small ammunition, and the 
bomb was made which was to blow up a Turkish kula 
on the Gusinje border. This would be the signal for 
a general rising of the Serbs across the border. 

These came every night in batches of 100 to 150 at 
a time. Some were extraordinarily wild types, lean, 
dark-eyed, and shaven-headed, who squatted on the 
ground and howled weird songs at night. So much 
from " the back of beyond " were many that they 
brought with them as money, coins of Maria Teresa, 
and suchlike, and were dismayed to find they would 
not buy bread. 

Each man received a repeating-rifle of an old pat- 
tern, and a belt of cartridges. The Turkish military 
attache arrived one day on his way to Berani, and a 
whole gang of men from Ipek nahia had to be hastily 
hidden in the school. 

Arming went on thus nearly every night. And 
spies brought word that Servia was mobilizing as fast 
as possible, quietly, and that Servian Komitadjis 
were already out. 

The Montenegrin schoolmaster from Plava came 
down for orders. He was one of the insurgent 



176 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

leaders of that district, and, in the crowded guest- 
room at the baker's, yelled the most blood-curdling 
discourse I have ever heard. It was to be war; the 
Christians this time had sworn to pay back to the 
Turks all they had done to them through all the cen- 
turies — outrage for outrage, mutilation for mutilation. 
" Last year the Maltsors behaved with the utmost 
moderation. They spared the mosques, released all 
prisoners unscathed, assaulted no women, behaved 
well in all respects, and hoped that the Powers would 
mark it to their credit and recognize they were fight- 
ing for freedom. But the Powers cast them back to 
the Turks with no guarantee of decent treatment ; to 
the Turks, who had burnt and defiled their churches, 
violated their women, and burnt wounded alive in the 
houses. This showed that the Powers like atrocities — 
they encourage barbarism, and, by God ! they shall 
have it." The audience roared applause. I, horrified, 
said they would lose all outside sympathy if they 
showed themselves as bad as the Turks, and they 
shouted me down. It was a most remarkable 
speech, for it stated truly that the Maltsors had fought 
honestly the year before, and expressed the intention 
most emphatically on the part of the Montenegrins 
to commit atrocities. But in a very few months 
Montenegro denied to Europe that they had done so, 
and attempted to put all the guilt upon the Maltsors. 
News came from Podgoritza that the Maltsors had 
again risen and were trying hard to take Dechich. I 
decided not to wait for the Commandant's bomb, but 
to go to the help of the Maltsors, about whose fate I 
was extremely anxious. War was certain, and what 
would happen to them ? 



THE GATHERING OF THE WAR-CLOUDS 177 

Two days were lost tinding a conveyance. I 
started in torrents of rain, plodded through deep mud, 
and arrived at Podgoritza to find that, though there 
was temporary quiet, the Maltsors had made a 
desperate struggle for ten days to capture Dechich ; 
had captured Planinitza and all its arms, but been 
again dislodged, by artillery from the summit. With- 
out artillery Dechich could not be stormed. But 
they had destroyed nearly a whole Turkish Battalion 
near Nenhelm, had cut the route and the water canal, 
and hoped to starve Dechich out. Ded Soko of 
Klimenti was out with his men at Breg Mati w4th the 
object of blocking the route of any Turkish reinforce- 
ments from Tirana. 

The Gruda and Shala tribes had never accepted the 
peace made by the Archbishop at Bukovitza, and all 
the tribes regretted they had allowed the Turks to 
pass out with their artillery. Gruda was especially 
angry that Turldsh troops had not been withdrawn 
from her territory, as they had been from the other 
tribe lands. 

The peace at Bukovitza had, indeed, been made by 
the advice of the Austrian Consul-General, Zambaur, 
who told the Maltsors to be patient. 

But what they wanted was not foreign rule, but 
freedom; so, at the time of the Eucharistic congress 
(September 10) at Vienna, they gave Austria an ulti- 
matum. " The situation is quite intolerable. Do 
you mean to help us ? Yes or No." " No " was the 
reply. And they retorted: " Very well, then, we will 
call for help to Montenegro." 

Certain of their Austrian advisers believed that it 
waui now highly desirable that the atatiui qiio should 

12 



178 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

be overthrown, and that to allow Montenegro to do so 
would be the best policy. The mistake which Austria 
made throughout was in under-rating the Serb army. 
Various headmen of the Maltsors accordingly went 
to Cettigne. The agreement they declared them- 
selves to have made was that they would fight to- 
gether with Montenegro and drive out all Turks from 
the borders. King Nikola would not take any of their 
territory. All he wished was to free his frontiers 
from Turks. 



PART III 
WAR 

' And to make the cause of Religion to descend to the cruell 
and execrable Actions, of Murthering Princes, and Butchery of 
People . . . surely this is to bring Downe the Holy Ghost, in stead 
of the Likene^se of a Dove, in the Shape of a Vulture or a Raven: 
And to set, out of the Barke of a Christian Church, a Flagge of 
Piratfi and Assassins." 




'^^ '^ /f >) 






CB0S3 AGAINST CRESCENT. 



CHAPTER XI 

" Onward, Christian soldiers, 
Marching on through war. 
With the Cross of Jesus, 
Red with Moslem gore." 

HvMN OF King Ferdinand. 

At Cettigne there wa.s no question of patching 
frontiers. Students sang " Onamo, onamo !*' (On- 
ward, onward, let me see Prizren !), the King's battle 
hymn, in the streets. It should be noted that, in the 
early days of the war, Prizren was the popular objec- 
tive, and that the King undoubtedly aspired to make 
it his capital as King of Great Servia. 

On declaring war, he issued a proclamation in 
which he " called upon the Montenegrins to help their 
brethren in Old Servia, where Serb men, women, and 
children were being massacred. However adverse His 
Majesty might be from disturbing the peace of 

Europe, there was nothing left for him but to take 

181 



182 THE STEUGGLE FOE SCUTAEI 

up the sword, for his hopes of liberating the Serbs of 
Turkey without bloodshed had been vain. Monte- 
negro, therefore, declared a Holy War, inspired by the 
noblest intentions of preventing the final extermina- 
tion of its brethren." 

I saw Yanko. He was starting at once for Andri- 
yevitza, to take command, and had with him a young 
friend as secretary, of whom we shall hear more 
later. 

All horses and vehicles were already commandeered 
for the army. Yanko told me I must start soon if I 
wished to see the first shot fired. 

I saw Mitar Martinovitch bubbling with enthu- 
siasm. " We have all the Maltsors with us !" he cried. 
I said: " No, Excellency, you have not." To which 
he replied: " Mademoiselle, I am very well informed." 
And I: *' So am I, Excellency." 

Cettigne was dead-calm. Nearly everyone had 
gone down to the front. I went to the hospital 
to see if things were ready there and to offer help 
if necessary. 

Dr. Matanovitch assured me that all was ready. He 
and the Eussian Sister opened a small cupboard, and 
showed me it was full of shirts and bandages. And 
as he had very little trained help, and as this was the 
only hospital, he said he would be glad if I would go 
as near the front as possible, and gave me some " first- 
aid " dressings. If I were overtired and knocked up, 
he added, he could give me a private room in the 
hospital. 

I was struck dumb with amazement. He, and 
apparently the authorities, believed that this small 
hospital of some 150 beds would suffice for the whole 



WAR 183 

campaign. Nothing else had been prepared; no 
other hospital existed. 

The Montenegrins, then, really expected the war 
to be over in from four to six weeks. They began 
purposely before their allies, and, I believe, without 
informing them ; for they believed themselves in- 
vincible, and meant to sweep up all Kosovo vilayet 
before the Serbs were ready. Of the Serbs they had 
no opinion at all. 

When I asked, " What is the Servian army 
worth ?" " They are a lot of swineherds," was the 
invariable reply. 

The plan of campaign, as expounded to me, was 
that the army should be divided into three parts. 
One under Yanko Vukotitch — the Kolashin-Andri- 
yevitza division — was to attack Kosovo vilayet; the 
second, under Mitar Martinovitch, was to attack 
Scutari from the Tarabosh side ; the third, under 
Blazho Boshkovitch, was to attack it from the 
Podgoritza side. All three divisions were to unite 
subsequently at Prizren, which was spoken of as the 
main objective. Yanko himself told me so. 

Together with every friend of the South Slavs, I 
was anxious that the almost wholly Slav districts of 
the Sanjak, of Berani, and the frontier should be 
freed. But Prizren, I regarded (and regard) as an 
Albanian town and district, and hoped it would so 
remain. 

On Sunday, October 0, with an odd feeling that I 
was shortlv about to undergo an operation, I left 

Cettigne with D , the newly appointed (rovemor 

of Podgoritza, and throe of his assistants; for the 
reign of Stauko Markovitch was over. The martyr- 



184 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

dom of the horses had begun; the wretched brutes 
had made the long journey backwards and forwards 
contmuously for two days and nights, and could 
scarcely crawl. We walked on foot much of the way, 
and arrived very late. 

On Monday, October 7, Prince Danilo arrived and 
inspected the troops. A surprisingly large propor- 
tion were old men. They marched past in irregular 
herds, singing war-songs. Before the Voyni Stan, 
on the historic ground where little over a year before 
we had persuaded the Maltsors to make peace, 
numbers of men squatted about awaiting uniforms 
and orders. One old man, finishing his lunch, held 
the carefully picked sheep's blade-bone against the 
sun. 

My theory about bone-reading has always been 
that the seers see that which they expect. " What 
does the bone say V 1 asked. He stared long and 
anxiously, and shook his head. " Blood. And more 
blood. Nothing but blood." I had expected him to 
see at least the taking of Prizren, and was interested. 
He threw it down with a sigh. 

News came that Essad Pasha had ordered the 
Maltsors to accept the terms arranged by the Kosovo 
vilayet insurgents, but that they had replied they 
were sick of Turkish promises. Ded Soko and his 
men offered resistance at Breg Mati ; but Essad, who 
had realized that he must play Turkish to save 
Scutari, fought his way through, and arrived at 
Scutari with large reinforcements. Djavid Pasha 
and his army had evacuated Berani. 

On the 8th martial law was proclaimed, but no one 
took any notice of it. Orders were given out that 



WAE 185 

correspondents were to send only the official news 
given out at Cettigne. 

Professor Kovachevitch, teacher of French and 
German at the Gymnasium at Podgoritza, was 
anxious that I should employ him as assistant in any 
corresponding work I might do. Being lame, he was 
not liable for active service. 

" Soon/' said he, " you will see the noses come in. 
We shall not leave many a Turk with a nose." 

" If you do any such swinery," said I, " you will 
rightly lose all European sympathy." 

He was very angry. "It is our old national 
custom," he declared; *' how can a soldier prove his 
heroism to his commander if he does not brine in 
noses? Of course we shall cut noses; we always 
have." 

He had travelled considerably, and been in English 
employ in Egypt; but the blood of the primitive 
savage flowed in hun, and he, the trainer of 
youth, gloated and boasted over the idea of severed 
lips, ears, and noses, and confirmed the report 
that all Turkish coi-pses at Moykovach had been 
mutilated. 

I expressed strong disgust, and hoped that the 
presence of foreign military attaches, doctors, and 
correspondents would prevent the possibility of the 
hideous atrocities which occurred always in local 
risings and fights, far from foreign eyes. 

All the royal Voyvodas — Bozho, Marko, Gjuro, 
Sharko — arrived, and it was given out that King 
Nikola, who till recently could " bear, like the Turk, 
no brother near the throne," had made up liis family 
quarrels. 



186 THE STEUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

At night there was great singing of "Let me see 
Prizren." The Zetski and Piperski battalions went 
up Fundina way. The Nikshitchski and Vuchidolski, 
to the Zeta plains. I went up to bed early, to be 
ready for emergencies, and on the stairs met old 
Voy\^oda Gjuro, who said: " It will be to-morrow — 
and then as God wills." 

Next day, the 9th, I rose at five, before the dawn. 
The Voyvodas were leaving in carriages. It was 
dark, and a fine drizzle was falling. A long line of 
pack-horses waited dismally under the ' trees. Only 
those whose owners were present got a feed. 

The Bishop of Ostrog appeared, having just blessed 
the Alaj-bariak (military standard) in the church at 
a private service before the Royal Family. 

I asked for Blazho Boshkovitch, hoping he would 
tell me where to go, and was told (1) that he was at 
Fundina; (2) that he was not yet up ! A perianik 
(one of the King's bodyguard) shouted to Kovache- 
vitch, who was also waiting: " The King has gone up 
to the top of Goritza \" 

We started for the little hill from which Podgoritza 
takes its name. The rain ceased; the sun came out 
and sparkled on the coarse drenched grass. About 
thi'ee-quarters of the way up we were halted by the 
perianiks, and saw the King, in full Montenegrin 
costume, standing brilliantly white against the sky, 
on the summit, with Prince Mirko and a small 
suite. 

The clouds lifted from the mountains with a won- 
derful play of light and shade. Not a sound was 
heard but the tinkle of sheepbells from the wide plain 
below, across which ran the frontier-line. Beyond it 



WAR 187 

towered Dechich, with its roughly fortified Turkish 
outposts. The aii' was crystal clear. An endless 
quarter of an hour dragged by. So peaceful was the 
scene it was hard to realize that the long-talked-of 
status quo was about to be shattered and the map of 
Europe changed. In the strain of excitement all 
possible and impossible results of the approaching 
fall of the Turk whirled through my mind. Boom ! 
The big gun roared from Gradina, on the height to 
our left, fired by Prince Petar. A great white fuff 
of smoke showed where it struck Planinitza, the camp 
on the flank of Dechich. I had no field-glasses, but, 
so clear was the air, I could see the walled camp with 
the naked eye. 

The bells rang out from the church below us; the 
band, which was with the King, struck up the national 
hymn. The few spectators, mostly little boys, and 
the perianiks joined in, and shouted " Zliivio !" 

I looked at my watch; it was 8 a.m. And we were 
at war. The shots followed in quick succession. 
More missed than hit. We watched, with all our eyes, 
for two hours, which passed like minutes. Suddenly 
a great column of flame and smoke leapt up from 
Planinitza. Some ammunition must have been ex- 
ploded by a shell. Another followed. Soon I could 
see the Nizams, tiny khaki dots, in full retreat. The 
first victory had been scored. 

Already the Montenegrins were shelling Rogom, a 
camp near the foot of Dechich, and the summit of 
Dechich itself. To everyone's suqirise, the Turks 
made no reply save two shells, which foil far short. 
They had, in fact, no long-range guns. A rattle of 
rifle-fire told that, under cover of the artillery, the 



188 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

Maltsors, together with some Montenegrins, were 
attacking at close quarters. 

When Planinitza fell, the King and suite left 
Goritza. I hurried after and obtained permission 
from the Governor to telegraph at once to The Times 
and another paper that war was declared, and handed 
in the messages at 10.30, believing I had given Europe 
the first news. So I had; but, unfortunately, one 
Zhivkovitch, a friend of the King, was acting both 
as Renter correspondent and Press censor. He 
changed the date of my messages, and held them back 
nearly twenty-four hours; and so, though he did not 
send his own till late in the evening, his was the 
first in. 

I emphasize this fact because I believe all corre- 
spondents suffered from it, and not only the corre- 
spondents, but the public. For the earliest " news '' 
that came out was generally a version concocted in 
the palace. No correspondent should be allowed to 
act at the same time as Press censor. 

Returning from the telegraph-office, a woman 
stopped me and gasped: "Don't tell, anyone I told 
you — Blazho is dead \" 

" What !" I cried; " Blazho Boshkovitch V 

" Yes. A soldier I know has told me; it is a secret. 
There were four bullets in him. They say he shot 
himself. In God's name, do not tell of me V 

I asked at his quarters, " Where is Blazho V and 
was told, " At Fundina." So he was — but dead. 

The dull " boom " of heavy guns went on all the 
afternoon from Gradina and the Zeta. Roorom and 
Vranje and Vladnje, Turkish border-posts, were under 
continuous fire. At evening it was made public that 



WAR 189 

Blazho was dead, and had been buried hurriedly and 
privately. Suicide was the official report. " He had 
gone mad, tried to attack Dechich at night with only 
a few men, and had shot Imnself in despair." But it 
was whispered through the town that late at night he 
had been heard in hot dispute with one of the Prmces, 
and had been found dead some tune afterwards; that 
no man could fire four bullets into himself; and why 
was no public inquiiy made; and so forth. Murder 
was the verdict of his friends and relations, who 
firmly denied the charge of insanity, and swore they 
would exhume the body so soon as war was over, and 
prove the manner of death. But the war lasted much 
longer than anyone anticipated, and the mystery of 
Blazho's death will never be explained. Peace be to 
his ashes ! Prmce Danilo took over the command. 

October 10. — The dull thud of big guns began early. 
By 7 a.m. I was far out on the plain, lymg flat, so as 
not to draw fire, and listening to the shells that 
swished across well ahead of me. On my right the 
Zeta guns were playing on Vranje, and on my left the 
Gradina guns were fii'mg on Dechich. Two shells in 
quick succession struck the summit, which was pro- 
tected only by a rough stone wall run up since Tour- 
goud Pasha occupied the height last year. It could 
not by any possibility hold out long, and made no 
reply. Vranje, a modern fortress, was answermg 
strongly. I crawled nearer, and saw the fire from 
both sides. 

At 7.45 a terrible continuous rattle of rifle-fire 
began on the slopes off Dechich above Miljesh. I 
wondered how any human being could live through 
such a fire. But it seems that with repeating-rifies 



190 THE STEUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

the men, once started, keep up ceaseless fire, whether 
there is much chance of killmg or not. The big guns 
boomed continuously. The slopes of Dechich were 
a-smoke. At 8.30 firing slackened. A heavy cloud 
settled on the mountain-top, and a sudden silence. A 
few drops of rain fell. Dechich had surrendered. 
Soon the mountains were all shrouded in rain-clouds, 
and I trudged back to Podgoritza. 

Filing was heavy in the afternoon. I borrowed a 
horse from the barracks, and, for the first time in 
my life, rode out quite alone. A horrible and con- 
tinuous fire of rifles and machine-guns raged just 
behind the little hill of Eogom ahead of me. 

But, though it was evident that with no big guns 
the Turks could not hold out long, nothing resulted 
that day. 

Tramping round Podgoritza at night to find Zhivko- 
vitch, the Renter Press censor, was maddening, as he 
never appeared till he had got his own messages well 
off. But as I know Servian, I translated mine to the 
Governor, and got him to sign it, and got it off before 
Zhivkovitch knew, once or twice. 

Rogom fell next morning at seven. I met some 
very hungry soldiers on the plain, and got the news 
from them in exchange for some bread; for the com- 
missariat (or " intendanz,'" as it was called) was not 
yet organized, and only those men who managed to 
get food from home had anything to eat. 

A heap of wounded — the results of Dechich — began 
to come in. They were crammed into the barracks. 
Nothing and no one was ready for them, and Matano- 
vitch came down from Cettigne to tackle 297 wounded 
almost single-handed. All the dregs of Podgoritza 



WAR 191 

and a mass of small children put on Red Crosses, and 
swarmed to the barracks. But of trained help there 
was none, and the authorities had decided not to 
admit any foreign help or doctors into theii- hospitals 
to see the shocking mess they were in. 

Little Princess Vera arrived in a motor, leapt out 
and cried, wrmgmg her hands: " It is terrible, terrible; 
there are wounded men ! Mon Dieu ! mon Dieu ! 
what shall we do ? " It was evident she had expected 
none. 

Corresponding was for me a mere by-product. I 
was there to watch the situation for myself and do 
relief work. So I went to the barracks to see if I 
could help. Matanovitch, reeling with fatigue after 
a day and night of continuous work, begged me to 
go out and look for wounded. A Bohemian engineer 
had also volunteered for this, and together we 
collected some necessaries, for the Red Cross was in 
too great confusion to supply anything. But nearly 
all the wounded were ah-eady in, and we found little 
to do on the Zeta plaui. 

^^ Next day, however, Matanovitch cried out to me: 
'' I recognized your dressing on that bayoneted boy. 
Go as near the front as you can. We are very short- 
handed.'' 

Two Gruda Albanians, slightly wounded, told me 
that Gruda had been among the fii'st on Dechich, and 
had lost fifty-two killed and wounded, and that the 
top of Dechich was knee-deep m dead Turks. So 
quick had been the final rush on the stronghold that 
the Turks fled without putting their guns out of gear, 
and the retreating Nizams were shot down with their 
own artillery. There had been frightful jealousy 



192 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

between the Maltsors and the Montenegrins as to 
which should get first into Dechich. These two men 
rejoiced naively like children, for one had taken ten 
and the other six Turkish Mausers. The Monte- 
negrin censor, however, would allow no mention of 
the Maltsors to be made, and pretended that Dechich 
had been taken by Montenegrins alone, though at the 
same time they cursed loud and deep because the 
Maltsors had captured and carried off all the artillery 
mules and pack-horses from Dechich — a pretty good 
proof that they were first in. 

A certain halfpenny paper, it should be noted, 
published a photograph of a great " castle in Spain,'' 
with towers and castellations, of a style quite impos- 
sible in the Balkan Peninsula, and called it Dechich. 
Nor was this by any means the only bogus photo- 
graph published. The silly craze for getting a thing out 
quickly, without giving possible time for inquirmg into 
its truth, makes a large proportion of so-called " news ' 
mere rubbish to gull the public. " What is that?" 
asked an Albanian priest. "It is called Dechich in 
this English paper !" I said. He stared, and added 
disgustedly: "People say the English are truthful. 
English papers are, it seems, as bad as all the rest.'' 
And he threw it down, disgusted.* 

The great bare suimnit of Dechich stood sharp 
against the sky. I felt hot with shame. Nor could 
I again get up any interest in corresponding, haunted 
always by the dread of similar occurrences. And 

* Since writing the above, I have looked through back 
numbers of illustrated papers, and am disgusted by the gross 
carelessness which permitted photographs even of Caucasians to 
be sold to the public as Balkan subjects. 



WAR 193 

even the most accurate and conscientious of journalists 
are always liable to have tlieir facts distorted by 
picturesque and wholly false details, added, I presume, 
by the office-boy. 

Montenegro was stunned and stupefied by the 
amount of wounded. The charge had been a quite 
mad one — a race to be first in, between the Maltsors 
and Montenegrins. The leaders of both were killed, 
though in the hospitals there were, I believe, at least 
tlu-ee men petted as " the first man in Dechich." 

The Montenegrins showed once and for all that 
their idea of fighting was that of their medieval 
ballads: "Da uchinimo jurish !" (Let us charge!). 
They rushed like a pack of wolves, howling war-cries, 
and had no notion of how^ to take cover or spread. 
It w^as this which brought about Montenegro's high 
death-roll. 

News came in at once that the Montenegrms, owing 
to not having kept a good lookout, had been am- 
bushed at night on the other side of the lake at Zogaj, 
and badly cut up. Matanovitch rushed back to 
Cettigne for the wounded who resulted. In capturing 
this position, the Montenegrins had committed 
atrocities, and eight hon-ibly mutilated bodies were 
taken into Scutari, one of them that of a Turkish 
officer. The photograph of a noseless, lipless head, 
then taken by Mi". Marubbi of Scutari, has already 
been published. The clotted blood shows that the 
victim was alive when mutilated, for corpses do not 
bleed so. 

Meanwhile, on our side of the war, the Montenegrin 
army had worked round behind Dechich, having been 
given free pass through the Albanian tribelands. 

13 



194 THE STEUGGLE FOE SCUTAEI 

Moreover, the Kastrati and Skreli men on ahead 
attacked the Moslem villages on the Lake border, 
and opened the route. News came that the Monte- 
negrins had burnt a number of Moslem villages on the 
Antivari side. 

On Sunday, October 13, the Alaj-bariak and the 
band were made ready to march into Tuzi, which, it 
was believed, must fall at once. The guns of its fort, 
Shipchanik, had fired half the night, and ceased sud- 
denly, so we presumed their ammunition was ex- 
hausted. A summons to surrender was sent the 




SKETCH ON FIELD: MONTENEGRrST SOLDIERS GOING TO SHIPCHANIK. 

town. The Commandant replied by demanding per- 
mission to retu'e with his men to' Scutari, and was 
refused. Montenegro shifted her big guns down to 
the plain near the town, and next morning Tuzi was 
bombarded from six points, including the summit of 
Dechich. It surrendered at once. At 2.30, with the 
Bohemian engineer and a green omnibus, I went to 
Urzhanitzki Most, the frontier bridge, to give first 
aid, if necessary, and see the formal surrender. Three 
or four wounded Nizams, one with his breast muscles 
ripped up by a bayonet, needed dressing, and drank 
water greedily. 




Montenk(;rin.s occii'Vim; the Tl kk.i.->ii iuuiki^> Shik iia.n;k 
im.mkdiatei.v after its strrender. 



^^^^fc-^J^' " 


r 






.,„ f'^* 


-»''^ 




^F' 


■\:, •• 



I )Ki MH II AMI Mil. m kN I I'i kKl^ri l.i ' " nip'i ^i. i K' 'M i i. /: ii A S i r / K I M<>>1. 

< )i r<»KER 14. 191 2 



WAR 195 

Then time passed slowly. Prince Danilo and the 
white charger and the band were all ready. Dusk 
fell. Flames leapt up from Vladnje and Vranje. 
The soldiers had set fire to them. The little crowd 
of Montenegi'ins rejoiced. I exclaimed — for I knew 
only too well the horror of burnt homesteads — and 
remembered, too, Montenegro's loud indignation at 
" Turkish savagery " last year. But an old woman 
cried: " Burn ! Let them burn ! I am very glad.'' 
And all said: " They are Moslems. Let them burn \" 
The band struck up a lively march as a battalion 
started for Shipchanik and crossed the bridge. The 
orange sunset deepened into burning red, upon which 
the hills were very blue. The blazing villages weie 
crimson spots, and over all crept up a sUm crescent 
moon, as though the sign of the Turk were dying, 
pallid, in a sea of blood. 

It was 5.30 when, through the gathering darkness, 
the long line of prisoners came in sight with the 
Turkish Pasha at their head. He dismounted at the 
bridge, came forward on foot, and offered his sword 
to Prince Danilo, who bent down from his white horse, 
took it, and returned it, and announced at the same 
time that as a reward of victory Major Bechir was 
promoted to the rank of Brigadier. Then came the 
surrendered garrison, rank after rank, out of the 
darkness, trailing over the plain like a snake. A 
stupendous sight: several thousand able-bodied men 
— all prisoners. I thought of a drawing I had once 
made of a Roman triumj^h. Poor devils ! They had 
better have made a dash for Scutari, and died fighting. 
A large number perished slowly later of cold and 
misery. All the garrisons of Tuzi, Vranje, Nenhelm, 



196 THE STEUGGLE FOE SCUTAEI 

Eogom — the entire frontier guard — gave itself up. In 
five days something like 5,000 prisoners were taken, 
and Montenegro's head was completely turned. 

Next day the engineer and I drove on to Tuzi with 
a bus-load of various necessities. Little white rags 
flew from sticks on many a house, and chalked crosses 
on the doors appealed for mercy. A dead horse in 
the midst stank sickeningly. We reported ourselves, 
and went straight to the military hospital. The 
Turkish doctors in charge demanded angrily to be 
allowed to go to Scutari, and were amazed to learn 
that it was war, and not a mere frontier af!air, that 
was taking place. That the other Balkan States 
were about to attack, was news that stunned them. 

The hospital was crammed with wounded Nizams, 
and was foodless and waterless. The engineer went 
off to fetch a bus-load of water in cans from the river. 
I remained to clean up. Having been quite cut off for 
a week, the place was in a terrible state. Two shells 
had gone through the building in spite of its hospital 
flag. It had been impossible to clean anything, and 
the floor was thick with dirty wads and dressings, 
and old petroleum cans full of putrid blood and pus. 
The Turkish doctor, furious, demanded in broken 
German proper treatment for his wounded, and re- 
fused to help, saying he was not now responsible. I 
made a bonfire, and worked a long time burning dirty 
dressings and carrying out the blood -cans. He then 
saw I really wanted to help, and put on some orderlies 
to work also. The engineer brought bread and water, 
and we made some sort of order in the place. I had 
till then been too busy to investigate the actual 
Vv'ounded. The doctor now pointed out eight men 



WAR 197 

with bandages round tlieir faces, close and flat. 
There was no nose or lip. He imitated slicing. 
" Look ! Montenegrin work \" Eight men, not 
otherwise wounded, had been deliberately caught and 
mutilated. Kovachevitch's words had come true. 

The doctor wished me to tell Europe. I was in a 
painful position. When acting as correspondent, I 
had undertaken to reveal no secrets detrimental to 
Montenegro, and had cheerfully promised, believing 
this to mean the position of troops, guns, etc. But 
to hide such foul deeds was another thing. I worked 
the whole day, sweeping, and burning, and wrestling 
with the disgusting problem of the mutilated men. 

At night I returned to Podgoritza, and, having 
decided that " honesty is the best policy," I found 
Jovitchevitch, the late Montenegrin Consul in Scutari, 
and told him in strong terms what I had seen and 
what I thought of it. I would not report it this time, 
but there must not be any more. The result was 
that the correspondents, a mixed squad of whom were 
collected at Podgoritza, were not allowed to go for- 
ward till the mutilated men were hidden. 

The next day the engineer and I spent in prepar- 
ing to advance and in feeding the hospital. Getting 
a flock of sheep, for mutton, and pemiing them in an 
outbuilding, delayed us so that we had to sleep one 
night more In the hospital dispensar}\ It was too 
late to start. 

The woe of the conquered had already begun. The 
newly ai)pointod Montenegrin Governor of Tuzi — 
Gjurashkovitch — proceeded to "rub it iji" by hanging 
a portrait of King Nikola in the hospital, and joj-fully 
informing the Turkish stafl' that the Montenegrins 



198 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

had occupied Plava and Gusiiije, and, of 2,000 
Moslems who had endeavoured to retake Berani, had 
slaughtered all but 250. 

The doctor was terribly anxious about his horse. 
He loved it as a child, he said, and dreaded lest one 
of the many looting Montenegrins or Maltsors should 
steal and maltreat it. Lootmg was in full swing. 
Strmgs of Montenegrin women were filing across the 
plam from the surrounding houses and villages, bent 
double under bales of clothing, tobacco, household 
gear, and what not. " What have you there, mother ? 
I cried to an old woman halting on the bridge. 
*' Clothes," said she — " beautiful clothes.'' " Where 
did you steal them?" "I didn't steal them," she 
cried furiously; " I took them out of a house." " H 
you take the children's clothes, they will die of cold 
in the winter." " So they shall, God willing. They 
are all Moslems." 

Nearly all the greatcoats and blankets of the un- 
hajjpy Nizam prisoners w^ere looted. " Save my 
little horse from these brigands," prayed the doctor. 
** You had better sell it to me," said I, suddenly 
inspired. He was loath to part,' but realized he 
must sell or be robbed. We clapped his saddle on it. 
I mounted, glided smoothly, swiftly through walk 
and trot to canter, turned, dismounted, and con- 
cluded the deal in five minutes; and so, dirt cheap, 
did I acquire the Houyhnhnm, five and a half years 
old, sound as sense, and sweetly gentle, and fulfilled 
my lifelong desire to possess a horse. 

I promised the doctor to take great care of his pet, 
and he begged me to carry a letter for him to a friend 
m Scutari. " I cannot," said I. " Not even with 




Thk HorvHNHNM. 




I'lll, Mti.N 1 l.M.i.KlN.-. IN Tl/.; 



WAR 199 

your horse shall I get there now." " What \" cried 
Gjurashkovitch; " not get to Scutari ? Why not ? 
We are going to take it iji four days/' " No army 
can take Scutari in four days," said I. " It is very 
strongly fortified." Gjurashkovitch and his officers 
laughed contempt. " Ladies know nothing of mili- 
tary things." " I know what barbed wire is, though," 
said I. " I had friends in the Transvaal." " Oh, 
for the English, perhaps," cried they, " but for us 

Montenegrins Do you know what we shall do 

with this beautiful barbed wire ? We shall do this." 
And the speaker clipped the air with finger and 
thumb. 

I had not spent the winter in Scutari for nothing, 
and knew that there were guns in bombproof em- 
placements out on the plain. These fellows had had 
a whole year to spy the land, and if they had failed 
to do so, it was not my affair. That they had the 
physical courage of wild boars I was aware, but 
having seen and heard them booze and boast for 
months on end I had no behef in then: science. So 
I laughed. " You will see in a few days," they said. 
'' We shall," said I. And we did. 

I slung my saddle-bags on the Houyhnhnm, and 
started for the war with a blanket-sack and six tins 
of sardines. 



CHAPTER XII 

" The things that I have seen and heard, 
In field and camp and barrack too — 
I tells them over to myself, 
And sometimes wonders if they're true." 

It had poured in blinding torrents for two days. 
The engineer and I slopped through mud to the arm 
of the lake at Nenhehn. The green omnibus lum- 
bered after us. The ferry was entirely blocked by 
artillery. The soldiers were camped in mud and 
water; the two unburnt houses remaining were 
occupied by officers. The Commandant said he could 
not take the Red Cross bus till the guns were over; 
in any case, would not take the horses. They must 
go round by the mountain-track. There w^as no 
knowmg when the ferry would be clear, so I started 
at once over the Chafa Kishat along with the am- 
munition horses. 

The top of the pass was all great wet boulders with 
deep mud-holes between all churned up by the traffic, 
and far too bad to ride over. I stumbled and climbed 
for two hours in a clattering jam of ammunition 
horses, slithering and falling here, there, and every- 
where, and being mercilessly flogged to their feet 
again. At the other side of the pass the convoy 
halted for the night. I pushed on, and so did two 
young Montenegrins. They had never been over the 

200 



WAR 



201 



border before, and followed me. We rounded the 
head of the lake by moonlight, and plunged into a 
dark unknown track. The Houyhnhnm felt his way 
wearily over loose stones and through deep mud. I 
wondered if we should find a roof over our heads that 
night. Something loomed white, and I hailed it. 
Two Maltsors cried enthusiastically out of the dark- 
ness: " It is the Queen ! Come with us.'' I turned 
of! the track, and followed them to a great half- 
burnt house that had thi'ee rooms intact. The two 
young Montenegrins came, too, gladly. A crowd of 
insurgents rose to greet me when I entered. It was 




MONTENEGRIK CAMP AT VIR KASTEATIT, OCTOBER, 1912. 



the house of Dedush Marashi of Vukpalaj, and a 
great caldron of mutton hung over the fire ready 
for all comers. The company ate hungrily, and, 
havmg done so, turned to the east and chanted a 
long and impressive prayer for victory, before casting 
themselves upon the floor to sleep. 

October 21 saw us start at 5.30 a.m., but on 
arriving at Vii- Kastratit, the opposite side of the 
ferry, there was no green bus and no engineer. Nor 
did anyone think them likely to arrive. Hideous 
confusion reigned everj^^here. I walked tlu-ough the 
camp of cursing, hungry men. No rations had been 



202 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

served out to them, and they were climbing trees for 
any kind of eatable seed or berry, and searching 
for blackberries in the hedge. I gnawed crusts of 
bread, of w^hich I had a pocketful, and fed the 
Houyhnhnm with the hay which lay about in tons 
trampled under foot. It had been commandeered 
wholesale. 

The guns were coming up from the water's edge, 
and mules and ponies struggled desperately in harness 
made for full-sized horses, which slipped and twisted. 
The wheels sank deep in the sucking mud. The un- 
happy beasts, who could get no purchase on the loose 
collars, that reached almost to their knees, floundered 
under volleys of lashes and heaved the gun up the 
bank, only to fall again. 

I had been told at Podgoritza that I should be able 
to obtain all necessary rations from the camps; but 
I meant to have something better than hay and 
blackberries, so, when Padre Lorenzo, the Franciscan 
of the district, rode up on his ferocious bay stallion, 
I accepted his invitation to go with him. 

All day we rode round the district visiting the 
dismayed peasantry. Akeady they w^ere vaguely 
alarmed at the results of calling in Montenegrin help. 
Prince Danilo had been distributmg a lot of Monte- 
negrin caps, which they had taken as a joke at first. 
Now they asked what it meant. They did not wish 
to wear the badge of Montenegrin subjects. That 
night I wrote in my diary: " The Montenegrin troops 
are consuming all the hay, to be paid for at some 
future date when the beasts are dead for want of it. 
People all say they are sick of war — have had two 
years of it now. Many have leapt from early middle 



WAR 203 

age to old age. They are all worn and haggard. The 
land Ls all ploughed up by artillery and pack-horses. 
God knows how it will all end." 

A doleful day enough, and at night I unsaddled the 
poor Houyhnhnni, to find that my hosts of last night 
had put the saddle-bags on unskilfully, and that a 
buckle had cut a deep hole on his quarter. 

October 22. — The engineer never turned up, and 
Padre Lorenzo had other work, so I decided to push 
on alone, but (fur the sake of the Houyhnhnm's back, 
w^hich I had touched up with an antiseptic) left the 
saddle-bags behind, and with only the blanket and 
the sardines followed some natives to Kopliku. The 
Houyhnhnm, I may mention, healed up beautifully, 
but my own back and all the rest of me suffered in 
consequence, for Padre Lorenzo locked up his house 
and followed on, and I remained baggageless for the 
rest of the trip. 

Kopliku was a seething mass of soldiers, artiller}^ 
and mud — worse, if possible, than Vii- Kastratit. 
There were not nearly enough tents, and no one 
seemed to know where anyone else was. I made for 
the Maltsors, as most likely to help me, and found 
Sokol Batzi and his son and all the Gruda men. 
They told me to stick to them, and along with the 
heads I crowded into a big Maltsor house. The host 
was a Moslem cousin of Sokol's, an anti-Turk Moslem, 
so his house had escaped burning. Rain fell in 
torrents, and there was no cover for the huge 
crowd. 

Padre Lorenzo arrived, and Padre Marko of 
Triepshi, and Doni Ernesto of Rioli. The guns of 
Tarabosh boomed in the distance, and a still' fight 



204 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

was reported to be taking place between the Dukagini 
and the Moslems of Vorfaj. 

General Lazavitch, commanding under the Genera- 
lissimo, Prince Danilo, sent, so I learnt later, a letter, 
which is still extant, to the Dukagin tribes, inviting 
them to help take the Moslem villages, and promising 
they should share the spoils equally with Montenegro. 
The tribesmen, anxious to take what they considered 
legitimate vengeance upon the Moslems, who, armed 
and incited last year b}^ Bedri Pasha, had plundered 
the Christian villages, came down. 

The Montenegrins had, however, summoned them 
as " cat's-paws," meaning to use them as fighting men, 
and then throw all the blame on them. The Monte- 
negrin soldiers, under the direction of their officers, 
seized all loot worth having, loaded it upon the gangs 
of women who had come for the purpose, and sent it 
under escort to Podgoritza. The Maltsors came off 
very much " second best." 

Moreover, blood is thicker than water. The Malt- 
sors had thought of the sort of intertribal plunder of 
old days — a tit-for-tat affair. When they saw the 
awful slaughter and havoc wrought by the Monte- 
negrins, and the outrages committed on women and 
children, they were filled with pity for theii' wretched 
Moslem brethren, and sheltered and fed many of 
them in the mountains throughout the winter. This 
made the Montenegrins furious, and was quite unex- 
pected by them. They had meant their victims to 
starve. But of this more later. 

October 23. — A dismal rainy morning. Our sopped 
horses stood miserable in puddles. I went with Dom 
Ernesto to the headquarters of the General Stafi'. It 



WAR 205 

was the house of the Bairaktar of Koplikii, and, ex- 
cept the one in which I was quartered, was the only- 
Moslem house left unburn t. It had been saved on 
purj^ose to be used as headquarters, but had been 
completely looted. Princes Mirko and Petar were 
there, and Jovan Plamenatz, Minister of the Interior, 
now acting as director of the " intendanz " (commis- 
sariat). This, under his skilful management, had 
broken down completely. He had only had boiled 
maize to eat, and was very sorry for himself. I, who 
had fared sumptuously with my tribesmen, merely 
thought it funny, 

I asked Plamenatz how I could best help with the 
wounded, and found no arrangements of any kind 
had been made. A Montenegrin doctor was there 
with some cases of materials, of the contents of 
which he professed ignorance. He did not expect 
many wounded. Such as there were would have to 
walk to him; he was not going to them. I urged the 
necessity of dressing a wound at once to prevent 
infection. " Oh, if they get pus," said he, " they 
must die. I shall have no time to clean them." 

The Princesses, too, were interested in w^ounded, 
and so the field hospital must be in a quite safe place 
away from the front. Plamenatz took no interest 
whatever in wounded. Confident that Scutari would 
fall hi a day or two, he discussed absurd plans for 
taking Durazzo and Dibra. 

I rode out with Dom Ernesto. No big attack was 
as yet possible, as the big Montenegrin guns were not 
up. Stniggling teams were heaving them panifully 
tlu-ough mud a foot and more deep. 

We met the enghieer, who had just arrived, and 



206 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

had been told off to put up the military telegraph- 
wire, which was to follow the troops, who were already 
advancuig. Small fights were scattered about on the 
plain below, and had no particular results. The guns 
of Tarabosh boomed regularly. We watched the 
sudden white fuffs of smoke rising alternately from 
the Turkish and Montenegrin strongholds. 

On the 24th Tarabosh silenced suddenly, and the 
tale flew round that it had fallen ! " Martinovitch 
will shift his big gmis from Rumia to Tarabosh, and 
Scutari will surrender in a day or two." And they 
added triumphantly: " We told you so !" The truth, 
so I was told later, was that the King was so anxious 
that Prmce Danilo should have the glory of taking 
Scutari that he ordered Martmovitch not to be too 
quick about taking Tarabosh. 

Next morning came our marching orders to advance 
at once. A sheep had been set roasting early, in 
anticipation of a move. We wolfed a savage meal, 
and started on a beast of a ride in a torrent of rain. 
All along the route we met parties of Montenegrin 
women loaded with loot, and some of them wreathed 
with new telegraph-wire. As we passed, one made a 
dash at the hedge, and began hauling down the 
telegraph-line put up only yesterday by the engmeer. 
" Oy, you !" I shouted; " you mustn't take that \" 
" We shall take everything we find \" they screeched. 
And down came that military line. 

Just before reaching Gruemir we passed under the 
noses of the two big guns brought up the day before. 
The gunners, wild to open fire, yelled to us to hurry 
on, but the Maltsors paid no heed, and we trailed by 
in a long straggly line at our owm pace. Passing the 



WAR 207 

headquarters, I shouted to young Vrbitza, the Prince's 
Aide: " Your women are destroying the telegraph." 

" I know, I know," he returned, with gestures of 
despair. " What can one do ? It is terrible !" 

Two of the Franciscans had already found quarters 
at Gruemir, and I, and Nikola Batzi, and the rest of 
the priests all crowded in. Old Sokol and the food 
never turned up. We shared the sardines brought 
by Doni Ernesto and me, covered the earthen floor 
thick with hay, and burrowed into it for the night. 
Tack-tack-tack-tack rattled suddenly out of the dis- 




CAMP COOKEEY. 



tance. We leapt into our soaked coats and boots, 
and rushed, stumbling over the rocks, up the little 
hill hard by to get a view. A fight was going on, on 
the plain below. The contiimous uncanny rattle of 
the Turkish machine-guns came out of the darkness; 
thunderous reports of the two big Montenegrin guns 
shook the earth as the shells tore past us every few 
minutes. The Turks had attempted a surprise near 
V'raka. Down came the rain again in torrents. The 
firing died away. We returned to our hut, and occa- 
sional droppuig fire punctuated the ceaseless patter 
of the rain. At 2 a.m. tiie big guns again shook the 
hut. It occun-ed to iiic that milv a line of half- 



208 THE STRUGGLE FOE SCUTARI 

starved, sopped men were between me and a hideous 
death, but it all seemed so unreal that I curled deep 
into my blanket-sack and slept like a dog. 

Saturday, October 26. — A grey chill dawn, all veiled 
in rain. We lit a fire, and as there was nothing to 
eat, Dom Ernesto generously served out a nip of his 
private rum all round. I collected some maize-cobs, 
roasted them in the ashes, and, gnawing them as I 
walked, went to see the soldiers. The camp, like all 
Montenegrin camps, was a filthy muck, with no 
attempt at sanitation — not even a trench — and men 
and women all crowded together in tiny tents. I 
understood what Major Veshovitch had meant when 
he said: " For us, war in the winter will be far better 
than in summer." No army could have survived a 
summer campaign in such camps of sewage and offal. 

The army was busy looting huge stores of maize 
left in the deserted Moslem houses, and anything else 
handy, and loading it on the women. Everyone 
seemed to think the Moslems had left for ever. They 
had, in point of fact, fled into Scutari, leaving most 
of their goods behind them, for they had not enough 
ammunition to offer resistance. The Catholic house 
where we were quartered bagged a hundred hens. 

The sun came out with extraordinary brilliancy. 
Scutari seemed but a stone's-throw distant. I could 
see the well-known buildings and " chinaar i madh," 
the big plane-tree near old Marko's house. A cold 
terror seized me lest a shell should destroy the little 
house, and all the kindly innocent folk within it. 
Here was the looting army, but all the plain was 
a-tinkle with sheep-bells. It was like a mad dream. 

Plamenatz arrived and announced a great Bulgar 



WAR 209 

victory. We had only beard for certain two days 
before that the other Balkan States had begun. A 
Balkan Alliance, we w^ere told, had been signed on 
September 18 for three years. 

A large number of Maltsors arrived from Maltsia e 
raadhe, with their tribal priests and headmen, and a 
big general attack was ordered for to-morrow. We 
ate two of the looted hens to be ready for an early 
start. 

Sunday, October 27. — A crowded, suffocating night, 
lulled by the monotonous, squelching tramp of the 
troops that passed continuously. We were roused at 
dawn, and ordered to follow the army at once, and 
then not to, but to wait till the General Staff moved. 
The big guns were on the move again, and the attack 
postponed till they were in place. Our division then 
consisted of fifteen battalions — that is, about 15,000 
men — and the Maltsors as well ; and the j\Iontenegrins 
reckoned to take Scutari by storm. We could see 
black smoke and flames rise up ahead as the advancing 
army burnt and plundered. 

Monday, October 28. — A soldier, straight from Pod- 
goritza, brought mc a week-old telegram from Lord 
Lucas, much mangled in transmission. I made out 
that he was ready to send a surgeon experienced in 
field - work, and hurried to headquarters expecting 
Plamenatz to be pleased. On the contrary, he was 
vexed and upset. " We have no need of doctors," 
he said. I protested that there were a few wounded 
coming in now every night, and that there would soon 
be more, and that there was no one to attend to them 
but the one doctor who remained behind at Kopliku. 
Plamenatz replied that the slightly wounded could 



210 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

walk there, and as for serious cases, he would arrange 
later to take them by steamer to Rijeka, and thence 
motor them in freight-waggons up to Cettigne. I 
begged that he would at least let Dom Ernesto, who 
is medically trained and very skilful with wounds, 
have some material from the Kopliku store, as he 
and I would then dress wounds on the spot. This, 
too, he refused as unnecessary. I believe he thought 
they would walk into Scutari without losing a man. 
I pointed out that an answer must be sent to the 
telegram, and he dictated a reply to me, which he 
signed, and said it should at once go by military wire. 
Needless to say, it never did. 

Twenty-five Mirdites came in, saying Mirdita was 
very poorly armed and short of ammunition, and 
prayed Plamenatz for weapons for the tribe that they 
might protect their own land. He replied that he 
had none here. They must wait till we got into 
Scutari in a few days, when there would be weapons 
enough for all. The idea that the Serbs would come 
over Mirdita, and the people be obliged for lack of 
weapons to let them through, had possibly occurred 
to him. 

I left Plamenatz, and with some Maltsors and their 
priests went up a little hill behind the headquarters. 
The general attack was about to begin. Some be- 
lated Montenegrin soldiers straggled past, like a pack 
of wild creatures. " Those poor devils," said one of 
the priests prophetically, " will never storm Scutari. 
Remember, I have said it." The Montenegrin guns 
opened fire on Golema. I knew it was bomb-proof. 
Golema replied. Shot after shot was aimed at us, or 
rather at the village just below. All fell short on a 



WAR 211 

bank about half a mile away. Some burst, and the 
brown bracken flamed in patches; many fell without 
exploding. Our guns appeared to be firing straighter, 
but had no eftect whatever on the bomb-proof. Some 
Montenegrins, of the staff, climbed up to us, and gazed 
through glasses. They all had a childlike belief that 
a place has to surrender at once, so soon as a big gun 
is fired at it. I assured them you can go on firing 
for months on end — for example, Ladysmith and 
Mafeking — and that so long as there is food it does 
not greatly matter. 

Suddenly a Turkish shell fell just alongside a house 
I had visited yesterday, and a burst of black smoke 
followed. A man was killed. Till then, none of us 
had realized we were being fired at. A second fell in 
almost the same spot, and no other. They fired at 
the former range. The Turkish firing on the Monte- 
negrin battery at Vraka was, on the contrary, good, 
and the latter was very hard pressed. 

The bombardment of Scutari was to begin shortly. 
The Catholic priests were anxious the Catholic quarter 
should be spared. Dom Ernesto ran off to the gunners. 
They replied they had no idea which part was Chris- 
tian and which Moslem. It is an amazing fact that, 
though for years Scutari had been a mere week-end 
trip from Cettigne, and though for the past year any 
Montenegrin officer dressed as a peasant could have 
driven a flock of sheep to market there, and learnt 
the lie of the land between the frontier and the town, 
they were all as ignorant of the country as though it 
were Central Africa. Absurd funk had made many 
Montenegrins regard a trip to Scutari as highly dan- 
gerous. At the beginning of the campaign they had 



212 THE STEUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

no maps, and as these were published at Vienna, had, 
subsequently, much difficulty in obtaining any. I 
refused more than once to part with mine. 

Dom Ernesto indicated the quarters of the town, 
and at 3 p.m. the first shots were fired, aimed, it was 
said, at the new konak and old barracks in the middle 
of the town. So far as I could see, all fell short out- 
side the town, and the fire soon ceased. The military 
band, meanwhile, practised industriously every even- 
ing in preparation for the triumphal entry into 
Scutari, and the white steed and the Alaj-bariak were 
all ready. 

Tuesday, October 29. — Great uncertainty as to move- 
ments. Rifle-fire and shrapnel audible. Nikola Sokol 
Batzi, who was acting as official Albanian interpreter, 
told me he had to ride forward later with Plamenatz, 
but would probably go too fast for me. I therefore 
started alone on the Houyhnhnm, whom I had cher- 
ished carefully, and with whom I was now on excel- 
lent terms. It was quite a strange trail to me. I 
reached the ruined church, a remnant of pre-Turkish 
days, at Rashi, and drew rein. A multitude of troop- 
ploughed tracks branched in all directions. The sun 
glanced on the re-erected military wire, and, certain 
this must be a short-cut to headquarters, I followed 
it straight across country. Plamenatz and Nikola 
never caught me up, although I waited a bit for them, 
so, as the most important thing in war is to find 
quarters before they are all taken, I pushed on to 
Boksi. A Montenegrin officer overtook me, asking if 
I knew Plamenatz's whereabouts. We cantered on 
together, drawing nearer and nearer to the sound of 
continuous rifle-fire. The Houyhnhnm, being a 



WAR 



213 



military horse, did not mind a bit, nor yet for the 
shells which began to hum on the right. Two 
Albanian women driving a donkey with their house- 
hold goods on it, met us in mid- track, and shouted: 
" Go back ! There is a battle down there ! We 
nearly drove the donkey into it I" As it was head- 




RUIN'S OF CHURfH OF RASHI. 



quarters, and not the grave, that we were in search 
of, we slewed round. I hailed two Maltsors by a hut, 
and they directed me to the quarters of the Gruda 
tribe, and I left the officer to shift for himself. 

Bv now I had learnt that, in spite of all I had done 
for the Montenegrins in past years, they could in no 
way be reliedCon for any help, and that the poor 



214 THE STEUGGLE FOE SCUTAEI 

tribesmen whom I had aided in their last year's 
trouble were my best friends. Gruda was quartered 
in the big house of a rich Moslem. Tring Smailia of 
Gruda, an Albanian virgin, a sturdy, thick- set woman 
who does not know what fear is, had looted at Dechich 
a long, low, grey pony, built like a badger, loaded it 
high with coffee, bread, and salt, and come out to 
cook for Gruda. She hailed me with joy, led me to 
a room full of hay, weapons, and old mutton-bones, 
and gave me a handful of figs and a lump of hot duck, 
which she fished out of a petroleum-can on the fire — 
the first meal I had that day. I went out, and up a 
hill to get a view. A frightful firing was going on. 
Some Montenegrins asked me what had become of 
Plamenatz. There was much confusion. 

A rumour spread that the Montenegrin troops were 
too few, and that it was going hard with them. But 
I was very tired, so lay down in some hay and tried 
to sleep. But the next house caught fire; a Maltsor 
had let a cigarette fall on the hay-covered floor. 
There was the hell of a row, and a sauve qui pent. 
The scattered cartridges left behind went off in a 
great fusillade. Sleep was impossible, so I took the 
Houyhnhnm for a walk to graze. Heavy firing con- 
tinued. Shells began to fall beyond our house, but 
at a safe distance. I returned to it. As there was 
no other food, seven sheep were slaughtered and set 
a-roasting for the return of the tribe at night. All 
the outer wooden staircase and the balcony streamed 
with their blood, and the yard was strewn with 
paunches and entrails. 

At 5.30 the tribe came home, weary but jubilant, 
the bairaktar, carrying the tribal colours, singing and 



WAR 215 

yelling. They had had a hard fight. Only one 
Griida man was killed. They had killed a lot of 
Turks and taken their Mausers. " As for the Monte- 
negrins ? Oh yes, a lot of them are dead; but look 
at the rifles and cartridge belts we've captured !" 
They flung themselves down in the hay like couchant 
wolves. 

Old Sokol Batzi and Nikola turned up. The latter 
and Plamenatz had lost their way altogether. The 
idea of following the military wire had not occurred 
to the brilliant brain of the Minister of the Interior, 
and he had wandered right down to Ura Mesit (the 
bridge), and been turned back by the troops. 

The room at night was an indescribable scene of 
hot food and filth. The hungry men, their feet and 
trousers all bloody from the field and the sheep's 
blood on the stairs, tore the lumps of hot meat as 
fast as Tring cast it before us, but with fine courtesy 
chucked all that they considered tit-bits — the lumps 
of hot fat and the kidneys — at me. The floor was 
thick with bones, bits, and muck; the house — a fine 
one, as peasant houses go — was befouled and \\Tecked. 
Two gaudy hanging-lamps, of Austrian manufacture, 
and a woman's folding looking-glass, which in such a 
place must have been a dear treasure, were piteous 
relics of former splendour. Nikola, disgusted, said to 
me: " We are supposed to be liberating Albania, and 
we are living like wild beasts and brigands ! It is 
sickening !"' The red light of the still blazing house 
shone in on us. The Maltsors gorged the fat mutton. 
Triumphant savagery and childish joy mingled with 
blood and filth. 

A Montenegrin brought in w()rd that Golema was 



216 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

not taken; that ten battalions had been engaged, and 
had lost heavily. There was no aid at all for the 
wounded. A hundred came in. Dom Ernesto, always 
provident, had brought a little " first-aid " material, 
but used it all on the first ten. A tribesman was shot 
through the abdomen, and died. It was impossible 
without material to help any of them. 

Wednesday, October 30. — At 7 a.m. a hot fire started ; 
a big battle was raging about an hour away. The 
Montenegrins were, in fact, trying to take the hill of 
Bardhanjolt, which was not yet fortified in any way. 
I decided to get as near as I could, but was told I 
must go on foot, as on the Houyhnhnm my head 
would be visible above the hedges and draw fire. I 
met some soldiers bringing in two prisoners, who 
reported that yesterday had cost dear. Later I 
learnt that, out of two battalions, one had had to be 
made. I went on alone, and came out on the banks 
of the Kiri River, and saw with a sudden pang the 
big stone bridge, Ura Mesit, which I had known in 
so many happy moments. The shells were humming 
by, and a piece of the parapet had been carried away. 
Again it all seemed like a bad dream.' I crossed the 
bridge carefully and slowly, for it was steep and 
slippery, and was scarcely over when a shell whizzed 
behind me, just cleared the bridge, and fell into the 
water with a mighty splash. 

I turned to the track, which was under cover of 
rocks, and two more shells passed over me, one falling 
just beyond the bridge. A lot of Maltsors, mostly 
women, came hurrying along loaded up with tobacco 
and household gear, and prayed me to turn back. 
An under-officer came up and asked me if I " had 



WAR 217 

seen Brigadier Bechir, and where was Prince Mirko," 
but I could not help him. More and more shells 
screamed over or near us. Retreating people told 
me to go back. Three retreating ^lontenegrin soldiers 
said advance that way was impossible, as the Turks 
were shelling the turn of the path heavily. No one 
could get round. They, too, wanted to know the 
w^hereabouts of the Brigadier. Things were going 
badly, and he was not to be found. As there was no 
object in being shot at this stage of the war I, too, 
turned back, and on reaching the bridge saw that 
the Turks must be trying to destroy it, as the shells 
came pretty quick, but all too high. They were 
striking and exploding on the hillside just above. 

I waited in cover till just as a shell had fallen, and 
then again crossed the bridge with great deliberation, 
lest I should slip and fall, and got across before the 
next shot came. My ruling idea, now I was near 
water, was to wash, for I had not even washed my 
hands and face for some days, except in a little 
scooped-up rain-water; so I crawled dow^n to the 
brink, using the big stone buttress of the bridge as 
cover, and was getting my head and face and neck 
washed, when another shell came, and some soldiers 
yelled to me to come up. They were behind a rock 
at the top with a long deal box. When I had washed 
as much as I could in the presence of soldiers, I climbed 
up to them. They had Prince Mirko's large telescope 
in the box, asked me where he was, and where was 
Bechir, and were obviously reluctant to cross the 
bridge. Judging by the hot and hotter fire that was 
going on, I felt quite certain that Master Mirko would 
not be found out there, and advised them not to go — 



218 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

and risk the telescope. Of Bechir's whereabouts I 
knew nothing. 

They seemed greatly relieved, and, being safe under 
cover, detailed yesterday's events. The Nikshitch 
battalion had been very badly cut up. The Captain 
ignorant] y mistook a lot of Scutarene Mohammedans 
for Maltsori, and went straight into their hands, and, 
as ignorance is the costliest thing in the world, paid 
for it with his life. The Moslems hacked him to pieces, 
and the Montenegrins retorted by mutilating, and 
sixteen noses and some other bits were taken that 
night to the Commandant. I said good-bye to these 
amiable youths and went back to my quarters, which, 
with much sheep-slaying, were a hell of blood and 
muck. 

For the past few days the Maltsors had been grum- 
bling and growing bitter. They had invited the aid 
of the Montenegrins, and were rapidly discovering 
that Montenegro considered them as conquered rather 
than as allies. They had expected the Albanian flag 
to be hoisted at Tuzi, and declared they had not shed 
their blood so many times on Dechich in order to give 
it to Montenegro. Also, that the Montenegrins com- 
mandeered and looted everything, and did not give 
them the promised bread rations nor shoes, and so 
forth. There was much friction. That afternoon a 
large number of Maltsors left, taking with them such 
tobacco, wool, and hides as they had looted, and also 
the two lamps from the house and the looking-glass. 
To my remonstrances they replied that if they did 
not take them the Montenegrins would, which was 
true. 

At about four the firing, which had never quite 



WAR 219 

ceased, became very violent — a death-rattle of 
machine-guns and rifles. I climbed a little hill with 
Padre Sebastian, and the firing grew nearer and 
nearer. The Padre remarked grimly that both he 
and I would have short shrift if the Turks rushed the 
village. A number of Maltsors joined us, who, dis- 
contented, had not gone to battle. From higher up 
we could see the shells falling thick up the valley 
just beyond the bridge. As Sebastian remarked, 
" They might come our way any minute," and we 
were within range. But they appeared to be aimed 
at the bridge, though they never hit it. It was a 
small object, and invisible from the position of the 
gunners. 

As it grew dark the firing died down. Dom 
Ernesto came, in great distress. The wounded were 
coming in, and he had never a rag nor bandage left. 
Had begged Plamenatz, who replied he had no time 
to bother about such things. Ernesto begged me to 
ride back next morning and look for the Red Cross, 
and bring as much a^ I could persuade them to 
give. 

The sun-set blazed orange, and all the foreground 
was aglow with ruddy fires, at which roasted seven 
sheep spitted lengthwise. The smoke rose blue, and 
the smell of roast mutton mingled with the sickly 
stench of sour cud from the sheep's paunches on the 
ground. 

I took the Houyhnhnm to water at a muddy 
pond, and led him along the lane to graze, and when 
I tied him up in the dark stable for the night buried 
my face on his warm, clean-smelling neck, and felt he 
was the one civilized being among all the lot of us. 



220 THE STEUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

Should I saddle him ? If the Turks but knew the 
confusion of the Montenegrin camp, they could rush 
the place at night and wipe all out who were unable 
to fly. The other horses were all unsaddled. I 
decided the English one could not be the only one 
to look afraid, and climbed up to the room above. 
Tring had found two cabbages — an amazing relief. 
Our sole diet — the greasy, roasted carcasses, with 
their blood wet on our boots — was hard to tackle. 

Gjelosh Djoko, lean and haggard, but fit, turned 
up and reported that Italy had made peace with 
Turkey, to the disgust of our whole company. Yanko 
was said to have taken Ipek; Dom Ernesto said that 
the Montenegrins had lost heavily to-day ; and some- 
one from the battlefield had seen the naked corpse of 
a Moslem, bound hand and foot with cords, and with 
every appearance of having been tortured to death. 
AVe finished the meal. I, dog-tired, lay down to sleep 
with my saddle under my head ; but in came a lot of 
Skreli men, who started howling a long war-song 
about the fights with Tourgoud last year. Our men 
joined in. The room was packed to suffocation with 
a yelling mob. Tired out, the whole crew at last lay 
down to sleep, and I was sleeping heavily when 
Nikola Batzi suddenly seized my shoulder, shook me, 
and cried in my ear: " Get ready. The Turks are on 
us. The orders are to leave at once." I sat up. A 
Montenegrin was shouting something in the doorway. 
Everyone was on his feet. The one and only idea 
that occurred to me was that it meant flight over 
rocks, and I must lace my boots tight. And I did so 
very carefully, rolled the sleeping sack, picked up my 
saddle and bridle, and descended in a crowd to the 



WAR 221 

pitch-dark stable underneath, dropping my i^addlc- 
cloth on the way. 

Groping with outstretched hand, I felt the 
Houyhnhnm's hind - quarters, followed along the 
halter, untied it, took it in my teeth, and was leading 
him out, when in came Padre Buonaventura and 
struck two matches, and set all the stableful plunging. 
My beast, however, followed quietly, and stood while 
I saddled him in the light of the full moon. The 
Maltsors, with the skill of long practice, had all their 
beasts loaded up in no time, forgetting nothing, not 
even the remains of the mutton, and in very few 
minutes from the first alarm we were started. Old 
Sokol on his bay horse led, and we rode over the 
rocks to the houses on top of the little hill — the Stafi 
Headquarters. Here was a nice confusion: men 
running here, there, and everywhere, asking for their 
battalions, their officers, for the Brigadier and God 
knows what, and, as it was one in the morning and 
bitterly cold, lighting a huge fire — a most idiotic pro- 
ceeding unless they wished to show the enemy exactly 
where we were. 

Down below all the houses we had left were ablaze ; 
the Maltsors and the Montenegrins had fired them 
before leaving. The chill mist of the night glowed 
scarlet under the cold green moonlight, and all the 
distance was a dark, mysterious purple-black, a-rattle 
with rifle-fire. It was incomparably magnificent. 

I saw the long line of ammunition horses eating 
hay, so slipped oft' and began feeding the 
Houyhnhnm, as, if it came to a sauve qui pent, I 
had only him to rely on, and there was no knowing 
when he would get his next meal. 



222 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

We were to wait for orders — that is, we had to wait 

till Plamenatz and Prince Mirko and staff were safely 

off, and then cover their retreat. I saw them sneak 

by, a little party of men all mounted, and at 1.30 

we mounted and followed. I stuck close to old Sokol. 

No one was sure of the way, for it was decided to go 

straight over the mountains, lest, by the trail on the 

plains, we should be rounded up by the enemy. My 

little horse clambered gallantly over rocks I should 

not have dared ride by daylight. I kept thinking, 

" This is ridiculously like a Book for Boys," and 

began to sing. We were a long, long trail of soldiers 

(a mixed assortment, it seemed, from a variety of 

battalions) and Maltsors. Once we plunged into 

thick mist in a valley full of camp-fires, and seemed 

to be descending into hell. And soldiers joined us 

out of the fog. At five we reached a half-burnt house, 

and my party of Gruda men called a halt. One came 

up and restored my lost saddle-cloth. I covered my 

good little beast and picketed him behind a wall, and 

when I got in found that all the others were crowded 

round a fire, and there was no room for me. At 

seven the chill dawn broke. The peaks of the high 

mountains showed above a sea of white mist, with 

black smoke of the burnt houses hanging over it in 

sluggish lumps. We descended a very steep gully 

on foot, dragging our horses. I tumbled underneath 

mine, and a Maltsor kindly took him in tow. So w^e, 

in time, arrived back again at Gruemir, found an 

empty house, and I crowded into it with a lot of the 

Gruda. The indefatigable Tring unslung the old 

petroleum can from her badger-shaped horse, and set 

to work to boil the half-sheep that had been brought 



WAR 223 

along. I rubbed down the Houyhnhnm with a hand- 
ful of hay, gave him a heap from a handy haystack, 
and then laid flat on the ground to rake maize out of 
an already looted maize-store both for him and for 
myself. I did not think ever to sink so low as to 
steal hay and corn, and made a vow, and kept it, to 
go back after the war and pay the owners. The 
Maltsors were very kind, and took my horse and 
stabled him. 

Had the Turks followed us up last night, they could 
have finished us and gone through to Podgoritza, 
probably. They did not, and so gave the Monte- 
negrins time to replace the battalions which had 
retired, by some of better stuff. There was sharp 
fighting all day, and heavy firing on Tarabosh. It 
was touch and go whether we should again retire. 
I went out alone to see if I could get any news, and 
was sprung on by two Montenegrin soldiers, who said 
they were the guard, and had orders to arrest all 
strangers. But three or four Maltsors came leaping 
over the bushes, shouting, " She is ours; she is the 
Englishwoman of the Kochaks (insurgents) "'; and 
the guards, recognizing me by that title, laughed, 
** All right,'' and told gaily that they shot all they 
arrested — had shot a Scutarene the other day. He 
had asked to see Sokol Batzi, and said he had a 
message for him. " But we had no time, so we shot 
him." " Perhaps he knew Sokol ?'' said I. " Ne 
mari " (No matter), said they. And, as T learnt later, 
all they did not shoot they imprisoned at Podgoritza, 
sometimes heavily ironed, without any trial. 

I wandered round talking to stray soldiers. Many 
were barefoot; all complained of the " inteudanz." 



224 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

They were furious with Bechir, too — blamed him for 
the heavy losses of the two previous days; he knew 
nothing. They swore he would be degraded in rank 
as punishment. " We expected to go straight to 
Scutari." Were amazed and dismayed to find the 
plain fortified. I said I knew it was. " Our officers 
know nothing," they said; "it is no use attacking 
Scutari with them. We must wait till the Serb 
officers come." Thus the men. And but a few wrecks 
ago these officers had described the Serbs to me as 
'* swineherds." The men seemed so demoralized I 
could not believe they would ever storm Scutari; 
and I did not then imagine the Serbs would come, as 
I believed their objective was the ^Egean. If Scutari 
could stand bombarding, all would depend on her 
food-supply to hold out till peace were made. 

Fighting was audible all day. By night came news 
that the Turkish advance was checked; also that a 
steamer had arrived on the lake with a bread ration 
for the army. Tring's badger-horse was sent to fetch 
some for us. The soldiers that marched by that night 
looked comic, each with a loaf impaled on his bayonet. 

We all discussed the situation. -One thing I was 
resolved upon, and that was to go back to Padre 
Lorenzo's and get my saddle-bags. They had been 
locked up there while he was out with us, and I had 
not had my clothes off nor seen a hair-brush for over 
a fortnight. 

The next question was whether there would be 
anything more of interest to see. It was abundantly 
clear that the Montenegrins could not get anywhere 
near Scutari till they had strong reinforcements — if 
then. The Maltsors were all sore and sick at the way 



WAR 225 

they were being treated, and already asking what 
was to be the end. *' It won't be the Turk any more ; 
that is certain,'' said a Franciscan to me. " But 
what the tribes have fought for is freedom." 

The tribes were in favour of returning to their 
homes, and did so in detachments; and on Novem- 
ber 2, with some of them, I rode back to the church 
house at Baitza. 

Turning a corner, we heard ear-piercing screeches, 
as though all the cats of a town were making a night 
of it. Five Montenegrin women were trying by force 
to steal a horse from three Catholic Kastrati women. 
The Montenegrins had him by the tail, and clasped 
his hind-legs, and vainly strove to drag them back. 
The little beast, with straddled feet firmly planted, 
resisted stubbornly. The Albanian women held him 
by mane and neck, remonstrating at the tops of their 
voices. Up came an Albanian man, who laid his 
hand on the horse's head; and the animal, recognizing 
his master, followed so promptly that the Monte- 
negrin women had no time to resist. They were left 
lamenting, or rather cursing, loudly, while I and my 
men, roaring with laughter, followed the horse and his 
rightful owners. These explained that, though they 
had acted as allies of the Montenegrins, nothing was 
safe from these harpy women. One Catholic woman, 
sister of a man I knew well, told that, when in her 
hou.se alone, a party of Montenegrin women rushed 
in on her. Three hold her down and by the throat, 
while the others plundered her clothes-chest of every- 
thing. 

Thev were ready to tramp any distance for loot. 
As a Bosnian volunteer said to me later: '" A Mnnte- 

10 



226 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

negrin woman will march 100 kilos to steal one shirt." 
They went out with little bundles, ostensibly to carry 
food to the soldiers, and returned with at least double 
the amount of plunder, no matter how valueless. A 
girl, come all the way from Nikshitch, was tramping 
back with a bundle of tobacco, a huge iron chain, 
three pots, and a coffee-mill. 

Nor was all looting effected without bloodshed. A 
man who was with the Montenegrins told me vividly 
later how he had seen them enter a small Moslem 
house not far from Tuzi. An old man was crouched 
by the fire, with several women. None showed any 
fear, for they were all harmless non-combatants. A 
soldier with one blow cut off the old man's head. 
They all fell on the screaming women and tore their 
ornaments from them. One had a necklace which 
the robbers thought was gold ; they tried to snatch it 
from the man who had taken it, fought each other, 
and finally broke the poor little ornament to pieces, 
each man grabbing what he could, while the old man's 
spouting blood hissed in the fire. Such are the 
glories of war. 

I rode on to the Franciscan's, revelled in a change 
of clothes, and discussed the chances of war with him 
all the evening. We decided that so long as food held 
out there was no likelihood that Scutari would sur- 
render. Unless strong reinforcements came, no im- 
mediate developments were to be expected. It was 
better, therefore, for me to return to Podgoritza, and 
learn what the other Balkan States were doing. 



CHAPTER XIII 

THE GLORIES OF WAR 

The ^laltsors next morning escorted me over the 
Chafa Kishat and then the Houyhnhnm and I pushed 
on to Podgoritza, after a determined effort on his 
part to go either to his old home, the hospital at Tuzi, 
or to the burnt Turkish kula on the frontier. It was 
the evening of November 3 when we plodded wearily 
into the town. Four, or at most six weeks, it had 
been anticipated would see the end of the war and 
Montenegro victorious. Almost a month had now 
passed and the end seemed no nearer. Podgoritza 
no longer talked of showing Servia and the world in 
general how a war should be conducted. 

Yanko Vukotitch had taken Bijelopoljeon October 12 
and Berani on the 16th, and Vesho\dtch had taken 
Plava and Gusinje. He had carried out his plan, 
had blown up the Turkish border kula, and at once 
fallen unexpectedly on the frontier Moslem villages. 
The two small towns, having no military organization 
and very little ammunition, surrendered almost at 
once, though they were almost solid Moslem as to 
population. (Plava contained but fifteen Christian 
houses and Gusinje forty.) It was a case of armed 
peasants each trying to defend his own, and against 
regulars these have rarely a chance. 

227 



228 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

But the scheme of the three divisions of the Monte- 
negrin army meeting at Prizren had already passed 
into the Never-never Land, along with King Nikola's 
dream of sitting there upon the throne of Stefan Du- 
shan ; for the Serbs, to the surprise of Montenegro and 
of larger and wiser lands too, arrived at Prizren first, 
and took it. Meanwhile, the armies of Prince Danilo 
and Mitar Martinovitch had done practically nothing 
towards taking Scutari; they had shown only that 
they could not rush it. If it were to be stormed, it 
should have been done at once, without giving the 
town time to fortify itself yet more strongly. It was 
not yet — for lack of troops — effectually besieged. 
The route to Medua was still open. 

The knowledge of the Montenegrin officers was so 
wanting that, though, just after I left, they succeeded 
not only in regaining the ground they had lost, but 
actually in occupying Bardhanjolt Hill, they failed 
to recognize that it w^as one of the keys of Scutari. 
When the heavy autumn rains set in a few days later, 
they retired from it to seek a more sheltered spot. 
Hussein Riza promptly reoccupied it, and swiftly 
and skilfully made it a stronghold which played an 
important part in the saving of Scutari; but this is 
anticipating. 

About Martinovitch's army, all that the Montene- 
grins could tell me was that it had burnt a number 
of Albanian villages across the frontier, but had had 
no effect on Tarabosh as yet. 

The King, afraid of the heavy resultant death-rolls, 
gave orders that no more attempts at storming were 
to be made till the arrival of reinforcements. Rain 
fell in torrents, and the army of Prince Danilo settled 



WAR 229 

down to entrench itself in mud and water. Con- 
stantinople, it was said, was about to fall, and we 
were told that Prince Danilo was preparing to start 
in order to take part in the triumphal entry which all 
the Crown Princes of the Balkans were to make to- 
gether. It was anticipated that Europe would order 
peace so soon as Constantinople fell, and the allies 
would then share the peninsula between them. Several 
people expressed to me the belief that there would be 
little more fighting. 

So much for the political situation. In Podgoritza 
the notable facts were, that the Italian and Austrian 
military Red Crosses had arrived and installed them- 
selves. The Italians had transformed the Italian 
Monopol tobacco factory into an excellent hospital, 
bringing not only bedsteads, bedding, and clothing, 
but all necessaries for an operating-room and also 
X-ray apparatus, kitchen necessaries, and a large 
store of wine and provisions. As most of the stafi 
had been in Tripoli or seen service in one of the many 
earthquake catastrophes in Italy, they were thoroughly 
practical, and I cannot speak too highly of their 
efficiency, courtesy, and kindness. I was indebted 
also for much help and kindness to the Austrian Red 
Cross, but this was withdrawn shortly, for Austria 
mobilized. 

The most startling change in the town was that 
D , the recently appointed Governor of Podgo- 
ritza, had been arrested and marched off in irons, and 
that Stanko Markovitch, of sinister fame, was once 
again head of affairs. Some said he had intrigued 

for D 's overthrow, with what truth I do not 

know. 



230 THE STEUGGLE FOE SCUTAEI 

A change for the better was that Zhivkovitch, the 
Eeuter agent, had left Podgoritza, so that it was 
now possible to get off telegrams in time. I found 
that my Ti7nes telegram of the taking of Tuzi had 
been held back twenty-four hours while he was censor. 

Finding, from a few copies that had turned up, 
that the Daily Chronicle was a very different class of 
paper from what I had imagined, I threw it over, 
but continued to work for the Nation, Manchester 
Guardian, and, occasionally. The Times. 

With a view partly to getting details of how things 
were going, T went to work for a time in the Montene- 
grin hospital. The wounded, except those who had 
the luck to fall into Austrian or Italian hands, were 
crowded into three of the four barracks that formed 
the Voyni Stan. The fifth block, which in peace-time 
was the Commander's headquarters, served as depot 
for the Montenegrin Eed Cross, and contained the 
stores, kitchen, and operating - room. Incredible 
though it may sound, these barracks, built but a few 
years ago to contain 600 men or more at a pinch, 
have no kind of latrine accommodation and no 
washing arrangements of any sort. 

A Montenegrin doctor was in charge, and extremely 
jealous of all foreign aid (especially attempts at cleanli- 
ness), but was forced to accept it, as Montenegro 
possessed only two good surgeons, neither of whom 
was at Podgoritza, and scarcely any properly trained 
assistants. The Montenegrin ladies were all of too 
high degree to do such dirty work. Briefly, the place 
was a filthy hell. The floors were covered with 
spittle and old mutton-bones. A squawking crowd 
of dirty girls and women — the dregs of Podgoritza — 



WAR 231 

with red crosses on tlieir amis, flocked to steal anything 
stealable. With prurient giggles they pushed and 
shoved to get a glimpse of any wound they considered 
exciting, and made dressing difficult. 

When meal-times came, they stole the patients' 
food. The soup came up mere cold water, and the 
meat mostly bones. The patients flung the contents 
of their ration cans on the floor, and yelled that as 
the King had commandeered their sheep, they had 
the right to decent food. 

The patients' relatives came to share their meals, 
insisted on passing the night in the hospital, and slept 
in numbers between the beds. Referring to the 
moral atmosphere, Ognjenovitch, the head of the 
Montenegrin Red Cross, suggested playfully it should 
be called the " Red Lamp." Nor would I myself 
wear the badge. 

The air, owing to this unnecessary crowd, was foul 
and made yet fouler by the fact that the men, wounded 
three weeks ago, were still in their bloody uniforms, 
and in some cases had not had a change of sliirt. 
Many had crooked limbs, as their unset bones had 
united of themselves, and not one wound that I 
saw had been properly cleaned at the beginning; but 
into surgical details it is not my intention to enter. 

Heavy rains fell. The Rivers Kiri, Drin, and Bo- 
jana flooded wide, and the Montenegrin army could 
neither unite around Scutari nor approach near to it. 
Martinovitch's army, in spite of an Austrian protest 
that Medua must belong to a free Albania, occupied 
such as there is of it on November 17, and prepared 
to march on Alessio, and, to the intense surprise of 
many of us, the Serbs arrived over Miidita. They 



232 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

attacked Alessio from one side, while Montenegio 
attacked from the other. It surrendered, and was 
considered by the Serbs their property. They had 
marked out Medua as theirs also, to Montenegro's 
extreme wrath, and there was much friction on the 
subject. 

The Serbs had come down from Djakova, which 
the combined Serb and Montenegrin armies had 
taken. Except at Flet, where the Moslem peasants 
resisted them three days in a narrow defile, they 
passed through without difficulty, as the Mirdites 
were so short of ammunition their Abbot persuaded 
them that to fight would be only to court massacre. 
I have never understood why the fact that the Servian 
army traversed the mountains was written up as a 
marvellous exploit. By one route it is three and a 
half days' march, if you do it slowly, as I did, and by 
the other about four. A comical episode was that 
though the Servian and Montenegrin officers met 
after dark, a certain newspaper published a photo- 
graph of their meeting. They were, in fact, induced 
to meet again next day for the purpose. Such is 
journalism. 

That the Serbs would come Adriatic-wards had 
never entered my head, nor had I ever heard it sug- 
gested, and I was distressed and dismayed. Their 
demand for Durazzo as a port was, and is, outrageous. 
There were no " brother-Serbs to be liberated " there, 
and by taking the Sanjak and uniting the Serbo- 
Montenegrin frontiers, they had obtained access to 
Antivari and Dulcigno, both far better ports than 
Durazzo. 

It was rumoured on the 19th that the King was in 



WAR 233 

Rijeka offering terms of surrender to some envoys 
from Scutari, so I mounted the Houyhnhnm, who 
was eating his head off, and we set out to get news. 
Halfway I met the royal motor-car and reined him 
up by the bank lest he, quite unused to such things, 
should take fright. Being broken to artillery, he, 
however, showed no interest in it at all. In him, on 
the contrary, their Royal Highnesses were extremely 
interested. The car stopped, and out they all jumped 
— the Crown Princess, Princess Joseph Battenburg, 
Princess Vera. " This," cried one of the Royal ladies, 
" is your celebrated horse ! We have heard all about 
it !" " Very good horse, your Royal Highness," 
said I. " I bought him in Tuzi." " What!" cried 
she, "you bought it?" ''Twelve pound Turk, 
Madam." " Oh !" she cried, deeply disappointed, 
" we thought you took it. That you went straight to 
Tuzi and took a horse from the Turks." " I took 
nothing at Tuzi, your Royal Highness," said I. I 
might have added, " I was the only one that did." 
But Royal personages are unaccustomed to the chill 
truth. 

Scutari would not listen to terms of surrender, and 
the Voyni Stan hospitals were all cleared out hurriedly 
next day. Yanko Vukotitch had arrived with 10,000 
men of his army. With these reinforcements it was 
proposed to storm Scutari, and a rush of wounded 
might result. 

The Montenegrins were furious at the failure of 
pourparlers. As I wrote at the time: " Their hatred 
and ferocity are appalling. They do not even care if 
the Moslem children are starved; they declare they 
are going to stamp out the whole Moslem population. 



234 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

The Maltsori are angry at the Montenegrin attitude, 
and I foresee great complications in the future." 

The Albanians at Avlona, under the guidance of 
Ismail Kemal, hoisted the Albanian flag on Novem- 
ber 28, and declared their neutrality and independence. 
This made the Montenegrins angrier than ever. The 
affair of the Austrian Consul, Prochashka, also com- 
plicated matters. The Servian commander at Prizren 
had prevented him from communicating with his 
Government, and all sorts of tales were rife, but we 
had as yet no authentic particulars. The Montene- 
grins expressed a hope that his nose had been cut off, 
so that he could never show himself in Vienna again, 
and some actually believed this had been done. 

The Serbs offered to help Montenegro take Scutari, 
and their offer was refused, it is said, rudely. They 
were, however, allowed to help blockade the town, for 
the Montenegrins had not enough men to surround it 
efficiently. 

Meanwhile, sick men came pouring in from Yanko 

Vukotitch's army. Dr. K , a young Bosnian 

doctor, well trained in Vienna, asked me to help him, 
for most of the foreign Red CrossBs had come only 
for the fun of gunshot wounds, and no preparation 
of any kind had been made for the sick. Yanko's 
campaign had, indeed, not been much more than a 
walk-over if the report of Dr. Ilitchkovitch, the mili- 
tary surgeon, were true, that they had only lost 300 
killed. But now they were falling out in numbers 
with enteric, dysentery, neuralgic and rheumatic pains, 
and acute diarrhoea, caused by exposure and bad food. 

When K and I went to their rescue, we found 

that the Montenegrin doctor had pitched the lot 



WAR 235 

together in one filthy building, crowded together on 
the floor on mattresses that oozed dirty rags. A 
delirious case of smallpox howled in the midst. All 
had been classed as dysentery, and were receiving no 
nourishment but weak, milkless tea and opium. 

K took over the fourth house of the Voyni 

Stan for the sick, and he and his wife and two Catholic 
Sisters and I strove to reduce it to some kind of de- 
cency and order. Some of the men stank so that the 
Montenegrin women, who were supposed to be look- 
ing after them, would not go near them, and they 
were in the last stages of misery and exhaustion. 
All swarmed with lice, and the beds with bugs. The 
Red Cross kitchen supplied no invalid diet. Milk 
was all adulterated with dirty water. 

K got Turkish prisoners to do the cleaning. 

They slept in the attic, and were thankful to be under 
cover. I did anything that needed doing, including 
clipping lousy heads and washing lousy bodies with 
petroleum out of the lamps, for lack of any other 
remedy. Most of the men swarmed with them. 
Dressing bed.sores, too, for some of the men had laid 
on the bare earth a couple of weeks before being 
brought to us, and were ulcerated not only on their 
backs, but in some cases had been turned over after- 
wards on their faces and had sores on thighs and ab- 
domen as well. I cooked whatever invalid diet I 
could invent, with milk and eggs which I bought 
daily in the bazar, and Quaker oats and meat ex- 
tract, which the Austrian Red Cross gave me. All 
the cooking had to be done on my own two spirit 
lamps, and a.s the town ran out of methylated spirit. 
1 burnt the camphor spirit which was served out for 



236 THE STEUGGLE FOE SCUTAEI 

massage, and rubbed tbe rbeumatic men with oil of 
mustard instead. They were mostly stone-cold up 
to the knee through wading in snow. 

We held about 140 patients, and as fast as any 
were fit they were replaced by others. Incidentally 
I learnt a lot about the war, for I had a great number 
of men through my hands. They all gloried in their 
bestiality, and related in detail their nose-cutting 
exploits, imitated the impaling of a Turk upon a 
bayonet, and the slicing off of his nose and upper lip, 
and the shouted advice to the still living man: " Go 
home and show your wives how pretty you are !" 
All, with very few exceptions, had taken noses. An 
old man of seventy had only taken two, but excused 
himself on the grounds of having fallen ill at the 
beginning. His son, with the Podgoritza army, had, 
he said, done very well though, and so would he, 
God willing, so soon as he was well. 

They told, too, of how they had bayoneted the 
wounded, " our remedy to cure Turks," and of how 
they carried all the human fragments they had sliced 
ofi to their Commandant. And they spoke foully of 
Turkish women. 

All the men who were not too ill to be past caring 
had but one idea — to be well in time for the looting 
and slaying in Scutari. A young Bosnian, down with 
enteric, who had come as a volunteer to help " his 
brother-Slavs," told, with disgust, of the looting of 
Djakova, and particularized the hideous rapacity of 
the Montenegrin women. 

Dr. K , also an enthusiastic Slav, who had come 

to help at his own expense, was sickened. A Eussian 
surgeon, the only foreign doctor who had been allowed 



WAR 237 

in the Kosovo district, came to work with us for a 
few days, and corroborated the men's statement that 
they had scarcely left a nose on a corpse between 
Berani and Ipek. 

Some warm partisans of Montenegro have declared 
that they do not see anything very horrible in the 
mutilation of dead bodies, and if the dead alone had 
been mutilated, we might dismiss it as the dirty trick 
of a barbarous people; but the men's own account 
was that they mutilated the wounded before giving 
them a final bayonet prod. After the war I had this 
corroborated by a young Moslem from Plava, who 
came down to Scutari to beg surgical help. He told 
that he and some dozen comrades were all shot down 
in fair fight. As they lay bleeding on the field the 
Montenegrins came round and bayoneted the lot, 
who all succumbed but himself. He fainted. Later 
he came to, tried to rise, and by so doing, poor wretch, 
drew the attention of a Montenegrin officer and some 
men. They fell on him, wounded and helpless, 
hacked off his nose and upper lip, threw him down, 
and gave him another bayonet stab, and left him. 
Such is the superb vitality of these people, that in 
the night he revived and managed to crawl to shelter 
and friends, and recovered. Two surgeons examined 
him in my presence at Scutari. The scars and the 
bayonet stabs attested the truth of his story. 

Great force had been used when mutilating. The 
nasal bone was hacked right through between the 
eyes, and the whole of the upper lip sliced away to 
the corners of the mouth. The cheeks had retracted, 
and a hideous hole, with points of bone sticking up 
in it, yawned in his face. His exposed teeth and 



238 THE STEUGGLE FOE SCUTAEI 

gums grinned horribly, and for want of an upper lip 
he articulated with difficulty. 

Few, it is scarcely necessary to say, survived such 
treatment. " Lady," I was told, " there were very 
many — but the earth covers them." 

To return to the hospital. The two Catholic 

Sisters went out on strike and Mrs. K knocked up, 

and I had all three women's work as well as my own 
to do for four days, and we had about 140 patients. 

Having promised to help K , I could not leave him 

in the lurch, but I had it more and more upon my 
conscience that by curing men to go back to the front 
I was not only prolonging the war, but aiding and 
abetting every kind of atrocity, and that I ought to 
cease to do so. 

At dinner at the hotel I, with the exception of a 
Eussian Sister at the other end of the table, was the 
only woman among a pack of officers, officials, and 
Montenegrin doctors, and these discussed and joked 
over the hideous doings. I had hoped and believed 
that the Servian army was more civilized. A report 
had come to me that an Albanian passing through 
Podgoritza had declared that, in Kosovo vilayet the 
ground in many places was simply strewn with the 
bodies of women and children, that he had seen a 
living foot protruding from the ground and waving 
feebly, but had not dared to stop, as a Servian officer 
was wdth him. As I was worked almost beyond my 
strength I did not, I regret now, see this witness and 
examine him, nor, in fact, attach much belief to the 
report till a Servian officer turned up at the dinner- 
table, and related, with glee, the valorous deeds of 
the Serbs. " We have," he boasted, " annihilated 



WAR 239 

the Ljuma tribe." He described wholesale slaughter 
of men, women, and children, and the burning of the 
villages. The Montenegrins chuckled as they gobbled 
their dinners. '' Why did you do this ?" I asked at 
last. " When I was there the people received me very 
well." 

There was a shout of laughter. '' Go there now 
and look for your dear friends. You won't find a 
single one. They shot one of our telegraphists and 
we sent enough battalions to destroy them." The 
Moslem problem was to be " simplified." " When 
the land is once ours," I was repeatedly assured, 
" there will be no Moslem problem." 

Of the Ljuma tribe very few survived. The de- 
struction of the whole Albanian race was the avowed 
intention of both Serb and Montenegrin. The com- 
pany at the dinner-table varied from week to week; 
but on this point was always agreed. 

Meanwhile the Montenegrins had not dared another 
assault, but the armistice declared at the beginning 
of December at Tchatalja, was not observed, for 
Hussein Riza had refused to accept a letter ^^Titten 
by the German Minister at Cettigne, and conveyed 
by Montenegrin hands, as orders which he could obey. 

When the icy " bora," that raged and shrieked and 
broke the hospital windows, dropped, we could hear 
the heavy boom of guns now and again. Just before 
Christmas a heartrending letter reached me from 
Padre Camillo of Shoshi, telling me that the Shoshi 
people were sheltering the unhappy Moslems burnt 
out at Drishti, had till now fed them, but supplies 
were running short, and if no help came thev must 
starve. He prayed that 1 would write to King 



240 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

Nikola and beg him to have pity for the conquered, 
and send either maize or money to help them. Maize 
could still be bought from the up-country Christian 
tribes. 

I copied passages of the letter and sent them to 
the King, without result; and, not to waste time, I 
sent up some money at once. Later I sent more, 
and after the war had the pleasure of being thanked 
by some of the Drishti men, who said that the maize 
bought for them by the Padre had saved their families. 
But this is anticipating. When the Montenegrins 
heard what I had done they were furious, but this I 
only learnt later. They had hoped that all their 
victims would starve. 

Just before Christmas Dr. K , his wife, and 

I took a day off to get a breath of fresh air. We 
were all three very tired. They drove; I rode the 
Houyhnhnm. At Tuzi, Gjurashkovitch, the newly 
appointed Governor of Tuzi, joined us, and we went 
across the plain to Nenhelm, or Hum, as the Monte- 
negrins had already renamed it. Our plan was to 

ascend the hill to get a view of Scutari, as the K s 

had never seen it. From the hill-foot at the water's 
edge came an infuriated caterwauling. A pack of 
Montenegrin women had been forbidden to follow 
the army. For some weeks past there had been tales 
of theft. The Montenegrin women, having looted 
everything portable from the enemy, had begun 
plundering their own army. The women of one tribe 
robbed the men of another, stole their greatcoats, 
and even their shoes, while they were asleep, as some 
told me, and had taken a whole lot of army revolvers. 
Now that they were no longer needed to transport 



WAR 241 

loot, they were forbidden to come to camp any more. 
It wsis a pretty scene — the yowling pack of women, 
crazy for drink and the excitement of the camps, 
striving to force a way on to the ferry barges, and the 
men hounding them off with yells. 

We climbed the hill, saw the wrecked fort at the 
top, and had a clear view of poor Scutari. Gjurash- 
kovitch spoke with glee of its speedy fall, and, point- 
ing around, said: " What a lot of money we shall 
make with all thi.^ fertile land !' " But it is all 
private property, and already cultivated," I said. 
I had not realized then that the Montenegrins meant 
to expel the owners, as they had done after the last 
war, and appropriate their property. He retorted 
angrily: " What we take is ours to do as we like 
with." I stared at Scutari, with sick fear as to what 
would be the fate of my friends. And the distant 
guns boomed. 

Suddenly up leapt Gjurashkovitch with a roar. 
" Cio back, you bitches — go back, you devils ! Send 
those women back !"' The lady-pack had cea^sed 
caterwauling, and was trying to sneak round the 
shore of the lake. There was a rush, and they were 
rounded up and headed back, and the row began all 
over again. I tli<jught bitterly that these pef»ple 
were pretending to Europe that they were carrying 
civilization into Albania, and that there were folk at 
home fools enough to believe it. 

Dr. K struggled hard aguiii.-t the perpetual 

stealing in the hospital. Kach hospital was pmvided 
with a so-called " Kkonom," a Montenegrin who.se 
duty was to see that all supplies ordered by the doctor 
were sent up from the depot. One of our Ekonom<, 



242 THE STRUGGLE FOB SCUTARI 

a theology student, was descending the stairs, when 
crash fell a hospital brandy bottle from under 
his coat. I wished to report him at Cettigne, and 
was met with a chorus: " It is all paid for by the Red 
Cross money from abroad. Everyone helps him- 
self. If the highest in the land do, why not we ? 
If you report him, you must report everybody." It 
was true. The lock was knocked off the linen-box in 
the night, and most of the contents stolen. Of what 
went to the wash some was stolen always. We 
ordered thirty shirts from the depot; twenty-four 
came. The depot swore it had sent thirty, the mes- 
senger that she had brought all she received. Worst 
of all, the attendants stole money from patients too 

weak to protect themselves. K , at the end of his 

patience, cried one day: " I wish to God they'd steal 
the corrosive sublimate ; it is the only thing they have 
not taken as yet !" He stuck to his task most 
pluckily, insisting that his patients should have what 
was necessary, wringing condensed milk, quinine 
wine, and so forth from the Cettigne central depot, 
and locking it up, and endeavouring that one or other 
of our little European staff should always be on duty ; 
insisting also on clean shirts and drawers for each 
patient when he arrived. This was a very difficult 
task, as the Montenegrins had been keeping all the 
patients in the dirty uniforms they came in with, 
and could never be made to see the necessity of treat- 
ment or diet. 

So long as K was in command, there were few 

pickings for any of the employes, so they intrigued 
against him, and forced him to offer his resignation, 
which the Montenegrin Red Cross accepted at once. 



WAR 243 

They had already crowded out similarly, three or four 
other foreign volunteers. We had done five weeks' 
severe work together, and lost only seven patients, 
of whom one was brought in moribund; one, an 
enteric, was killed by his friends, who threw him 
pomegranates and cheese through the window when 
for a brief interval there was only a Montenegrin in 
attendance; and a third who, in high delirium, sprang 
out of the window and into the river. A Montenegrin 
woman had been left with instructions not to leave him 
a moment, and to shout for help if needed. She "only 
went down to the door to speak to a friend, and was 
quite surprised to find the patient gone." However, 
both she and the pomegranate woman washed their 
hands of all responsibility, and declared the results to 
be the will of God. 

It is a curious fact that no priest ever visited the 
sick or wounded so far as I saw. On the other hand, 
if a man showed sign of collapse, there was a perfect 
rush of attendants to light candles round liim, and 
they had to be chivied off, to make space to give 
him the hypodermic injection necessary to pull him 
round. 

When K , under whom it had been a pleasure 

to work, resigned, I resigned too; but K implored 

me to stay on till a decent man arrived to take his 
place. I held on, therefore, for a week under very 
difficult circumstances till one of the Bohemian Red 
Cross came from Cettignc. He, when I left, could 
find no one to do the invalid cookery, and resigned 
also. And the Italians, who had been reinforced, 
took over the fourth house. 

I was almost dead beat, for at the last I had been 



244 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

cooking on the two spirit-lamps, and serving up to 
eighty-five portions a day, as well as doing all manner 
of odd jobs. So I slept for the best part of two days, 
and then rode the Houyhnhnm out on the plain to 
consider what I would turn to next. Christmas, both 
new and old style, had come and gone drearily. 
Scutari was still bravely holding out. The Monte- 
negrins had proved their military incompetency. 
Had not the Maltsors in August forced the Turks to 
evacuate most of the frontier outposts, cut off Tuzi 




EX IN TERRA PAX HOMINIBUS. 



from all reinforcements, and then not only admitted 
the Montenegrin army through their mountains, but 
also aided largely in the capture of Dechich, and in 
clearing the way for the advance of the army, I do not 
for a moment believe the Montenegrins would have 
arrived anywhere near Scutari — probably not even 
have taken Tuzi. 

Three months had passed since the firing of the 
first shot, and, far from taking Scutari in four days, 
they had nothing to show but Medua and Tuzi, and 



WAR 245 

a number of defenceless villages that had been burnt 
and plundered. 

All Europe knew that the Servian army was 
superior to the Montenegrin. The Montenegrins were 
intensely embittered, and spoke openly and angrily 
against the King, and especially the Royal Princes. 
The antidynastic party said freely that the Petro- 
vitches were the bane of the land. Much anger was 
expressed against Princess Xenia, who was said to 
have undue influence with the Kinor and to arrange 
the movements and positions of battalions, though 
ignorant of military matters. A tale ran round that 
a Serb officer, visiting the Montenegrin camp, had 
said that in twenty-four hours he could make of any 
of his privates a better officer than any in the Monte- 
negrin army. 

Meantime, the Peace Conference hargle-bargled in 
London for weeks without result. The Montenegrin 
delegates were Miouskovitch, the best of the three; 
Popovitch, till lately Minister in Constantinople, a 
man of no particular power; and Count Louis Voino- 
vitch, an Austrian from Ragusa. He had been em- 
ployed ten years ago to draft the Code of Laws for 
Montenegro, and had left somewhat suddenly. Since 
then he had done odd jobs for Servia and Bulgaria, 
and was reputed to know the back of Balkan politic-;. 
His sudden recall to Montenegro when war began, 
and his selection as delegate, excited much comment 
and jealousy. It was a tacit admission that Monte- 
negro could not produce three home-grown politicians 
fit to go to London. And the report current at 
Ragusa and in Montenegro that the Count, if success- 
ful, was to be rewarded by being made Governor of 



246 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

Scutari by no means allayed local jealousy. How the 
delegates were getting on we had no information in 
Podgoritza. One tale was that they were financed 
by a French newspaper, anxious to support Slav 
interests. 

Without Servian aid the Montenegrins could never 
have effectually shut in Scutari. As it was, Hussein 
Riza made two successful sorties in December, and 
revictualled the town with a quantity of maize from 
the \'illage3 of Pistulli, Plesha, and Stajka. It was 
unthinkable that Europe would allow Scutari to be 
starved out by Servian aid, and then make a present 
of it to Montenegro, who had shown herself in every 
way unworthy. So furious had the conduct of the 
Montenegrin troops made the Maltsors that they 
even talked of attacking them and cutting them off 
from Podgoritza. I begged them not to attempt it, 
as it would bring down the Servian army and artillery 
upon them, and result in a hideous massacre, as in 
Kosovo vilayet. Some said even that would be 
better than to be handed over to Montenegro by the 
Powers. They held a meeting in the mountains, and 
swore they would resist this with all their strength. 
*' King Nikola," they said, " promised only last year 
to get us a European guarantee for our national 
rights, especially for schools and language. He be- 
trayed us, and now the Montenegrins talk of nothing 
but forcible Slavizing. We have not fought the 
Turks for two years on the language question in order 
to be forced to learn Servian. The army which pre- 
tended to come as our allies to help us has com- 
mandeered our hay and beasts, and not paid. We will 
give no more." 






WAR 247 

Accordingly, when tlie [Montenegrin troops fell on 
the Catholic village of Mazreku, seized cattle, and 
looted the church, the Catholic tribesmen opened fire, 
and seventeen Montenegrins were killed and wounded. 
The Montenegrins, alarmed lest a large body of tribes- 
men might descend upon them, paid up full damages. 
The Mazreku men cashed the notes at once in Pod- 
goritza, and remarked: " In future, if only a hen is 
stolen, we shall open fire." 

The desire of the Orthodox Montenegrins to stamp 
out not only Mohammedanism, but Catholicism, was 
shown by cutting off the noses of images of the saints, 
and by using a crucifix as a mark to fire at, throwing 




MONTEXEGBrS OPANKE. 



down the Host from the altar, and similar outrages 
in more than one church, and made the Catholic 
Maltsors furious. 

Thus did the Xew Year begin. It was bitterly 
cold. Misery and hatred spread over all. Enterics 
came in at the rate of ten a day, and overflowed into 
most of the hospitals. News from the front was that 
the soldiers were in rags, and often barefoot, and were 
demoralized by long waiting in the trenches. A move 
must be made, or they would lose their nerve. Yanko 
telegraphed for seven more battalions, and it was 
recognized that Servian aid must be accepted, i 
st\\\ hoped Europe would save Scutari, and gave all 



248 THE STEUGGLE FOE SCUTAEI 

my energies to helping, not the butchers, but the 
victims. 

The prisoners were in an indescribably wretched 
state. Thirty Moslem women and children were 
crowded into an upper room of a dismantled, half- 
ruined house. The windows were broken, and the 
icy wind whistled through the broken floor. Bedding 
or covering they had none, and a daily ration of dry 
bread was all they received to live on. The misery 
of the poor little children touched even the gendarmes 
on guard, and they begged me to give help. Police 
Captain Vrbitza, whom I knew well, gave me per- 
mission, and told me that their husbands and brothers 
had all been taken prisoners at Drishti for trying to 
defend their village, and that, when on the way to 
Podgoritza, had unfortunately tried to escape. For 
this they had all, he regretted to say, been killed. I 
subsequently learnt that they had not been killed in 
hot blood at the time, but that a few days later they 
had all twenty-six been put in a row by order of 
Prince Danilo, and shot down. Some of them were 
mere boys. " I Biri Kralit," the King's son — i.e., 
Prince Danilo — gained an unenviable reputation in 
Albania. Brigadier Bechir, who was with him, was 
nicknamed the Montenegrin Nero. 

The unhappy women had followed after their 
arrested men, and believed them to be in prison, 
and no one had as yet undeceived them. They had 
been well-to-do peasants, and their sufferings were 
piteous. Sobbing bitterly, they embraced me and 
prayed for leave to see their men. Food and clothing 
I gave. Fortunately, I had just received a bale of 
excellent native-shaped garments from England, and 



WAK 249 

I supplied a pan of charcoal to keep off the cold. 
One thing more they begged — some soap. They were 
used to plenty of clean clothes, and had no means of 
washing. I went to Stanko Markovitch and begged 
he would either find better quarters for the poor 
creatures or allow me to do so. He made endless 
promises, and did nothing. I wished to leave Pod- 
goritza, to visit the other side of the lake, but was 
begged by the town Moslems, for the sake of the 
prisoners, not to go. I thought of the outcry a few 
months ago, when thirty Serb women and children 
were prisoners in Berani, and I appealed again to 
Stanko, speaking of the poor things as " widows and 
orphans." His snaky eyes contracted with anger. 
"They are not!" he cried. "Their husbands are 
rebels in the mountains. Some Albanian has told 
you that lie !" " Captain Vrbitza told me the facts, 
and asked me to help the women," I said. Stanko 
was furious, but dared not deny the truth, and after 
much trouble I had the whole paity transferred to a 
decent place in the Moslem quarter, where the neigh- 
bours looked after them and the Government allowed 
them a meat ration. 

The other inmates of the prisoners' house were like- 
wise in a terrible plight. A number of sheds at the 
end of the yard were filled with Catholic and Moslem 
Albanians, caught by the soldiers for no particular 
reason that I could learn. Many were heavily ironed ; 
all were half naked, shivering, and emaciated, re- 
ceiving just enough bread to keep them alive, and 
sleeping on the damp earth with no covering. A 
cartload of firewood, shirts, and some lumps of cheese 
and strings of onions lightened their sufferings, an<l 



250 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

after the war I met more than one in Albania who 
thanked me warmly. 

There was even a lower depth of misery. Up under 
the roof of the half-ruined house were about sixty 
Moslems — men, women, and children. They were 
from the Berani district, and had fled before the 
Montenegrin army at the very beginning of the war. 
Over the mountains, through snow, hither and thither, 
they had wandered, flying now from the Monte- 
negrins, now from the invading Serbs. They had 
eaten or sold such few beasts as they fled with, had 
begged food, eaten grass and dead leaves. Thirty of 
the party had died on the way of misery. Finally, 
they were taken prisoners by the Serbs near Durazzo, 
and handed over to the Montenegrins as prisoners. 
Now, shut in this wind-swept attic, smallpox had 
broken out among the children. The cases, luckily, 
were few and slight. The whole party was supposed 
to be isolated, but some managed generally to get 
out and beg in the town, for they were perishing of 
cold and hunger on the dry-bread ration allowed 
them. I supplied these poor creatures with fire and 
food. One family I remember vividly. The mother 
told how her three little girls all died on the way. 
One got wet through crossing a river, and died of 
cold next day; the two others had died of hunger. 
She believed she had been flying for a whole year 
from the soldiers, and had lost all count of time. I 
said the war had only lasted four months. "I do 
not know," she said; " it seems like years." So soon 
as the children were well they all had to leave and 
tramp back to their burnt homes. Their gratitude 
to me was most touching. " You are the only person 



WAR 251 

who has been kind to us," said the man. " I did not 
know Christians could be so good." They kissed my 
heart, and the woman swore sisterhood with me. I 
gave them opanke (sandals) for the march, but I fear 
they must have returned home only to be left to 
starve, that their land may be given to a Christian. 

Some members of the French Red Cross turned up 
in search of stores, and told of the Montenegrin 
cruelty to the conquered. A crowd of terrified 
Albanian women and children, two wounded, had 
arrived one wet night, drenched and exhausted, 
flying from a burning village. The Montenegrins 
refused them help or even shelter. The French took 
pity on them, put them into an empty stable, and 
began to make some tea. A Montenegrin soldier 
came and kicked over the pot, saying that such 
beasts should have nothing. The Montenegrin doctor 
had refused to help a wounded Albanian, and the 
French had rescued him, and so forth. A dree tale 
of the woe of the conquered. 

In Podgoritza, when maize was given to women 
whose men were at the front, Catholics applied in 
vain, and received insults instead of help. It was 
reported and believed that the battalions of Albanians 
who were Montenegrin subjects were purposely put 
in the most dangerous positions, and Podgoritzans 
amused themselves by visiting the shops of Catholic 
tradesmen and describing to them the manner in 
which their relatives in Scutari would be massacred 
so soon as the town fell. 

A youth in officer's uniform sat next me one day 
at table, and boasted that in two years no one would 
dare speak Albanian in Scutari. I pointed out that 



252 THE STEUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

the Albanians had been under the Romans, the 
Byzantine Empire, the Bulgars, the Serbs, and the 
Turks, and still spoke their own language. " Do you 
suppose," I asked, '' that in two years Montenegro 
can effect what all these have failed to do in over a 
thousand years ?" He could not reply. But some- 
one else said that if Europe would give Montenegro 
a large piece of Albania, they would soon settle the 
Albanian question by destroying every Albanian in it. 
I afterwards discovered that the language-suppressing 
youth was one of the Petrovitches — a relative of the 
King. 

It may be recollected that little more than a year 
before Prince Danilo, interviewed by the Morning 
Post about Albania, had declared: " It grieves my 
heart to see the uncultured mountaineers die for the 
liberty of having their own schools for their own 
children." 

Nor was I long left without proof that the Monte- 
negrins, as well as the Serbs, had begun the work of 
extermination. A cheerful voice hailed me one even- 
ing under the trees, and up came Yanko Vukotitch's 
young friend, whom I had met at Yanko's the night 
before they left Cettigne together to begin the war. 
He had been all through the campaign as Yanko's 
secretary, and was now appointed secretary to the 
Prefect of the newly annexed town of Bijelopolje. 
" Come and have dinner at the Balkan Hotel with 
me, and I will tell you all about it," he cried. The 
only stiff fighting had been, he said, at the taking of 
Bijelopolje. " After this, the power of the Albanians 
was broken. We killed quantities; they could not 
escape." He made no concealment of Montenegro's 



WAR 253 

hope of getting rid of all the Moslems and resettling 
the land. His pitilessness was disgusting. " For 
example," he said, " we have killed every man of the 
Riigova tribe. We overpowered them, and then 
made every one of them pass under the sword. I 
assure you not one remains." I expressed strong 
disgust for the cold-blooded slaughter of helpless 
prisoners. " But they are beasts," he cried — " savage 
animals. We have done very well." Of the fate of 
the women he professed ignorance. 

This slaughter was planned deliberately, for I pos- 
sess a letter from a friend, describing a conversation 
with Prince Danilo in September, before the war, in 
which he said of the Rugova Moslems: '* We have 
sworn to exterminate them !" banging the table. 

Everywhere, according to the secretary, they were 
dealing out " justice." The children of the slaugh- 
tered would be sent to Serb schools, and Slavizing be 
effected quickly. He spoke bitterly of the bother of 
having to do with people who spoke Albanian only, 
and said the language must be suppressed as fast as 
possible. He had been all over the country with the 
Serbs and Yanko. " And what of the Prochaska 
affair ? Have the Austrians exaggerated that ?" I 
asked. He laughed aloud. " Exaggerated I" cried he 
joyfully; " it is not possible to exaggerate it. On the 
contrary, Austria will never dare to tell the truth. 
She would be laughed at by all Euro2:)e, and be forced 
to declare war. What was done to him ? Oh ! the 
Servian officers played fine tricks on him. Every 
kind of indignity, all that you can imagine that is 
most dirty, was done upon him. They spat in his 
face, he was rolled on the ground. He will never tell 



254 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

what was done to liim." He roared with laughter. 
" And the Austrian flag, too. If you had but seen 
it !" " Is it true," I asked, " that he was also shut 
up ?" " Of course he was — for days. I swear to 
you, Austria will never publish the facts." " But 
why was this done ?" " Because he invited a lot of 
dirty Albanians to his Consulate." " But a Consul 
has the right to invite whom he wall to his house. 
Moreover, Europe had entrusted Austria with the 
protection of the Catholic Albanians, and he repre- 
sented Austria." " Very well, this has taught Austria 
that one has no more need of her Consuls. The day 
of Austria is over." 

It is noteworthy that he brought no accusation 
against Prochaska of having fired from the Con- 
sulate, as did the Serbs in defence of their treatment 
of him ; and as the rest of his tale was true, his version 
of the Prochaska affair is probably true, too. 

At the beginning of February came the news that 
Hussein Riza Bey was dead — shot, said some, by dis- 
contented soldiers. Others accused Essad Pasha. 
This delighted the Montenegrins, and preparations 
for a big attack were made. Sokol Batzi received 
orders to summon 4,000 Maltsors, and advance with 
them. The King promised them three days' free 
looting and "go as you please " in Scutari if they 
would help take it. But scarcely any turned up. 
Not one man of all the big Klimenti tribe, and but 
thirty from Hoti, and a few others. Those who did 
come were given tw^enty francs apiece and a supply 
of cartridges, with which nearly all of them retired 
at night to their mountains. " Old King Nikola is 
an awful liar," said one of them, telling me the tale 



WAR 255 

after the war. " So are you !" said I. He laughed 
delightedly. "Yes, I know, my sister; but I lied 
better than he !" 

On February 7 bombarding was plainly audible, 
and Podgoritza was in a state of nervous tension. 
The combined attack had begun. I applied for leave 
to go again to the front, but before it arrived Stanko 
Markovitch said to me sarcastically: "You had 
better wait for leave to enter Scutari. We took 
Bardhanjolt this morning, and the Serbs took Ber- 
ditza. In four days we shall be in Scutari." I could 
not resist saying: " Yes, so I heard in October." 

There was a wild rush of excitement, followed by 
an ominous silence. Officially, there were no news at 
all. Late at night the Albanians spread rumours of 
a huge Montenegrin catastrophe, and, tremulous with 
hope, whispered: "God will never let these devils 
storm Scutari." 

The 8th dawned, and the town was dumb all day. 
At sundown I saw the Montenegrin doctor, Radulo- 
vitch, sending carriages and stretchers down to the 
steamer port on the lakeside. " How many wounded 
are there ?" I asked. " Forty-eight," said he. 

All night long I heard the constant rumble of the 
motor lorries as they rushed from port to town and 
back, and went out early to find the wounded pouring 
in in a ceaseless stream. The Montenegrins had 
talked for months about storming Scutari, and, as 
usual, made no preparations. The scenes that follow 
defy description. A number of the foreign doctors 
had left; the hospitals were blocked with the sick. 
The wounded, many of whom had had no food for 
three days, and had not had their wounds properly 



256 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

dressed, were thrown in heaps on the dirty floors of 
every drink-shop, empty house, and shop. Bedding 
there was none ready, save nine mattresses I 
had had made, and some blankets I had received 
from England. Men almost too weak to stand, just 
recovering from enteric, were turned out into the 
streets to make room, and crawled about begging 
shelter, driven pitilessly from every door, for the 
Montenegrins are terrified of infection. 

I had not intended giving more help to the wounded, 
but under the circumstances could not refuse, though 
my permit for the front had come. I worked under 
Radulovitch. Everything was lacking. I tore up a 
bale of old sheets from England for bandages, and 
hacked box-lids into splints. The first afternoon my 
nail-scissors and my corrosive sublimate were our only 
outfit. The next few days passed in a mad rush. 
Wounded poured in daily till it was said there were 
at least 1,500 in the town, but I never knew the 
precise figure. Cettigne, too, was crammed. A row 
of Montenegrin women squatted at the top of the 
street, and hurled themselves on each motor lorry as 
it arrived, and we had to bar them out by force from 
our temporary hospitals, for the men were all on the 
floor, and in looking for one, the women tumbled over 
a dozen. 

AVe went from house to house, dressing seventy in 
one, fifty in another, and shouting through windows, 
" Has a doctor been here ?" to any wounded inside. 
Numbers were overlooked, and were in a stinking 
state when found. Many volunteers returned from 
America were furious at " being thrown like dogs on 
the ground," and demanded beds and shirts. All 



WAR 257 

raged against their officers, whose ignorance had, they 
said, brought about this debacle. The Montenegrins 
had been cut up at Bardhanjolt, and the Servians 
smashed at Berditza. Montenegi"0 alone was beheved 
to have lost 5,000 killed and wounded. The men 
related that the Serbs had arranged to bombard 
Bardhanjolt for a certain time, and that when they 
had dislodged the Turks, the Montenegrins should 
rush the height and occupy it. The Montenegrin 
officer had stupidly ordered his men to charge too 
soon, and rushed them straight into the Serb fire. 
The Serbs, seeing the Montenegrins falling under their 
fire, ceased. The Turks, relieved from bombardment, 
drove the Montenegrins back down the hill, killing 
them in heaps. Three battalions were cut to pieces. 

It took two more bombardments and charges before 
the place was taken. Some eyewitnesses gave a 
horrible account of the Berditza blunder, which the 
soldiers declared also to be the fault of Montenegrin 
officers, who had misinformed the Serbs. Orders and 
counter-orders were given, with the result that at 
dawn the Serbs found themselves at the mercy of the 
big guns of Berditza, were bogged in the muddy 
plain, fell in heaps in the ditches, and lost about 
1,000 men " struggling in the mud helpless as birds 
in bird-lime." 

At Bardhanjolt, they complained, there was no 
doctor but a Montenegrin one, who had gone to look 
on, and had not even a bandage with him. No 
foreign doctors were ever allowed on the field. " Xo 
wonder," said some of the ** Americans," " for the way 
the Turkish corpses were stripped and mutilated was 
disgusting!" One man told thatThe had helped 

17 



258 THE STEUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

bury some Montenegrin corpses at Bardhanjolt which 
had lain unburied since the attack in October. Their 
clothes were intact. " Had they been Turkish 
corpses they would have been stripped and cut up !" 
he said bitterly. " What can you expect ? Look 
at the way our Red Cross is conducted." They 
related, as indeed I had heard before, that no organ- 
ized search for wounded was ever made. If a man 
had friends, they cut boughs, tied them with their 
sashes, and carried him to the nearest field hospital. 
If not, and he were too badly wounded to walk, he 
died. Many, they vowed, had died of cold at 
Bardhanjolt. 

Those Montenegrins, I found, who had left their 
native land quite young, w^ere horrified at the savagery 
they found. Those, on the other hand, who had left 
it when well over twenty, had not absorbed civiliza- 
tion, and reverted at once, and told of their mutilating 
prowess with glee. Only in Martinovitch's army was 
it forbidden, according to the men. And there the 
foreign correspondents, military attaches, and Red 
Crosses were freely let loose. 

The immediate effect of the debacle on the Monte- 
negrins was that they were crazed with thwarted 
blood-lust. Instead of respecting a foe who had 
bravely resisted for nearly five months, they were 
furious, and talked loudly of their right to butcher 
every man, woman, and child in Scutari. They 
would make a house-to-house visitation at night, and 
next day the Powers might protest as much as they 
pleased — it would not bring the Albanians to life 
again. And they would burn the town to the ground. 
The Serb newspaper Piemont favoured this scheme. 



WAR 259 

Even the postmaster, when I went to cash a contri- 
bution to my relief fund, said, " You need not keep 
any of this for Scutari. You wdll find no sick nor 
wounded there. We have got a remedy for them;" 
and he imitated bayoneting. A lot of them chuckled 
over their beer. " It will be a second St. Bartholo- 
mew's night," said one. " Worse still, Sodom and 
Gomorrha !" said another. The destruction of prop- 
erty was of no consequence. " We want the land 
and position — not a lot of dirty Albanians. Europe 
will give us a million to build a fine modern town like 
Cettigne !" 

When I heard the doctor telling the men they must 
get well quickly to assist in this and enjoy fat Turkish 
" bulas " (married women), I threw up helping to cure 
them, after first telling them that there was no hurry. 
Europe would never let them have Scutari. 

Some members of the Italian Red Cross stopped me 
in the street, and said: " If you want to do a really 
humane thing, help the Nizam prisoners; their con- 
dition is a scandal. ' ' Numbers of them were employed 
in forced labour in the town making shoes for the 
army, and road- making. But some 1 ,500 were camped 
out on the plain near Docle. I filled my saddle-bags 
with shirts and rode thither. The sentry challenged 
me, but I said I had come for the sick, and he let 
me pass. I found a military surgeon, Ruzhdi Bey, 
an Albanian, with a few medicine bottles on a rock, 
doing what he could for a number of half-naked, 
emaciated men in the last stages of misery who filed 
past. Many had nothing but a lagged coat and 
trousers split to the knee. In tents they lay on the 
damp ground dying slowdy of cold and misery. Their 



260 THE STEUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

greatcoats and blankets had all been looted. The 
wretched Asiatics were in the most pitiable state. 
Ruzhdi Bey turned and said to me : '' What is the 
good of giving this stuff " — pointing to the bottles of 
tonic — " when they have neither shirt nor blanket V 
He begged for at least twenty-five blankets for men 
who must otherwise die. 

I supplied Ruzhdi with all the clothing I could 
collect. This, too, angered the Montenegrins, though 
I was unaware of it at the time. They had not meant 
that the state of the prisoners should be known. 
When they found that I knew it, they transported the 
sick into dirty hovels in the old town, and then invited 
a German doctor, who was in Cettigne, to inspect the 
camp, and obtained from him a certificate of the 
health of all, and accused me afterwards of lying. 
Unaware of this at the time, and not imagining that 
any human being could object to the relief of such 
suffering, I visited frequently the quarters of the sick 
Nizams. A painful scene indeed ! Dark foul rooms 
crowded with little Anatolians and a few Albanians. 
I remembered seeing them march in but four months 
ago in the fiush of youth and strength. Now the 
wretched Asiatics, yellow and shrivelled with cold, 
held out lean paws like monkeys, and stared at me 
with hollow eyes, imploring, with chattering teeth, 
for a garment that would keep out the cold. Nearly 
all were barefoot, and their bare breasts, on which the 
ribs stood out like grids, were raw with scratching, 
for the place was alive with vermin. Of the 1,500, the 
Turkish doctors reported that in all 700 fell ill and at 
least 200 died. Fighting and wounds are the least 
terrible part of war. Tons of sentimentality are 



WAR 261 

lavished on the hero who has had a Mauser bullet 
through his calf and is fit for the front in ten days. 
It is to those that drop in the track of war, and rot 
with hunger and misery, that pity is really due. 

A piteous appeal came to me from the people of 
the village of Vlandje, burnt by the Montenegrins at 
the very beginning of the war. I found them all 
quartered in the outhouses of Moslem families at 
Tuzi. Most of them had used all of such little stores 
as they had saved, were living on Moslem charity, 
and were very miserable. I gave them tickets to 
obtain flour in the town. 

It was March, but still bitterly cold. My friend of 
last year, the little priest of Summa, came with two 
Summa men, all in great misery, to beg some clothes. 
Summa, up in the mountains, was untouched by war, 
but cut off from all trade and in wretched plight. 
Mindful of his last year's hospitality, I gave the poor 
man a blanket as well as clothing. Outside the hotel 
he was arrested by the police, and taken before Stanko 
Markovitch, who threatened him that if he was ever 
caught asking help of the Englishwoman again, he 
should be hanged. Another priest who had asked 
for flour for his flock was similarly treated. And 
police at the entrance of the town, searched the 
wretched Vlandje people for flour tickets, and 
destroyed the few that they found. The others 
luckily had taken their flour. All these people were 
non-combatants and in great want; there was no 
political capital to be made at all, and some of them 
were actually Montenegrin subjects. I went straight 
to Stanko to ask why charity was forbidden. He 
had not expected this, as he was accustomed only to 



262 THE STRUGGLE FOE SCUTARI 

underhand dealing, and shuffled and lied miserably. 
Montenegro was so rich it was unnecessary — but there 
was little in the land but paper- money — he feared the 
people would be pauperized, and so forth. Finally 
his object was clear — if I would give him the money, 
he would distribute it. Knowing the family reputa- 
tion for embezzling, I declined, and said I would 
inform England of Montenegro's extreme wealth, 
and see that no more relief money was given her. 
This upset him much, and in order to be safe against 
any hanky-panky I transferred the whole relief fund 
from the Montenegrin Bank to London. 

Much information on the subject was brought to 
me. Podgoritza blamed Stanko for being such a fool 
as to have let his policy of starving out the Moslems 
and Catholics be seen. " She will certainly denounce 
it not only in England, but in America." And as 
Stanko aspired to be Governor of Scutari, this upset 
him considerably. 

As I had had news from a reliable source that the 
representatives of the Powers had impressed very 
strongly upon the Montenegrin Government that the 
much-talked-of destruction of Scutari must not take 
place, that in no case would Montenegro be allowed 
to retain it even if it fell, and that it was hoped that 
peace was about to be signed, I decided to wait and 
watch events. 

Meantime the Montenegrins turned the screw down 
on the civilian prisoners. It was rumoured one night 
that Ruzhdi Bey, the doctor, contrary to the rules 
of the Geneva Convention, had been taken to Dani- 
lovgrad and there imprisoned. 

At 7.30 next morning, as I was writing in my bed- 



WAR 263 

room, came a tap at my door, and a small voice, in 
French, cried: " Open, in God's name !" In tumbled 
in his pyjamas the little old Kaimmakam of Tuzi — a 
most unlucky man. He had taken on the office for 
a month, while Mihilaki Effendi went on leave to be 
married. In the interval war was declared, and he 
taken prisoner. He was quartered in the hotel, but 
beyond an occasional " Bon jour, monsieur," I had 
had little to do with him. Now he rushed in like a 
hunted animal, crying, " Save me, mademoiselle !" 
fumbled in his breast, and pulled out £T540 in gold 
and a draft on the Ottoman Bank, and a crumpled 
paper with addresses. " Take it," he said. " Last 
night they arrested Ruzhdi Bey. To-day I have 
heard they will lock me up, too. It is the money they 
are after. They will rob me. They must not have 
it ; it is for my poor vdie. If they kill me, you must 

send it " He explained the addresses. " If not, 

you will be able to find me later." He turned to go. 
" But, monsieur — such a large sum — I must give you 

a receipt " " Non, non," panted the little man, 

" they would find it and take the money from you. 
And you are English; a receipt is not necessary. Ah, 
they are coming I" A heavy tramp sounded on the 
outdoor staircase. Like a rabbit the Kaimmakam 
bolted, and dashed into the lavatory. He was met 
on emerging by a gendarme, and conducted to his 
room. I was left thunderstruck with a pile of Turkish 
money. It was too much to carry on me, and I 
feared to leave it in my room, so I conveyed it in a 
safe place beyond Montenegrin reach. The Kaim- 
makan was kept close prisoner. I felt anxious. His 
door was open one day, so I strolled up and asked the 



264 THE STEUGGLE FOE SCUTAEI 

gendarme a question. The poor Kaimmakam was 
sitting hunched up on his bed. " Are you ill?" I 
asked. " No, no, not ill," he said. " I may not 
speak to anyone." Some five weeks later, when he 
was released by the German Minister, I gave him 
back his money at the German Legation, and he told 
me what had happened. " I was not ill that day, 
but black and sore all over my back. The police said 
to me : ' You have two thousand francs ; you must 
give it to us.' They searched my room and my clothes 
all through. They were very angry, and said they 
would make me give it. They came and beat me 
three times. You have saved me." Quite unnerved 
by what he had gone through, he overwhelmed me 
with thanks, and left the country before dawn under 
German protection. Anxious as to Euzhdi Bey's 
fate, I asked the German Minister to make inquiries 
at once. He replied next day that the Montenegrin 
Government declared the report of Euzhdi's imprison- 
ment to be untrue. 

I met Euzhdi, however, six months later, and learnt 
that he had been shut up for over two months without 
bedding or covering, had never been told why, and 
had been prevented from communicating with the 
German Legation. 

The Government's declarations were frequently 
inaccurate. It is said that upon one occasion, when 
the King made a more than usually unprobable 
statement, the representative of one of the Great 
Powers replied politely: " Your Majesty is celebrated 
throughout Europe as a — poet !" 



CHAPTER XIV 

THE FALL OF SCUTARI 

Meanwhile the Montenegrins, having failed, in spite 
of all their boasting, to take Scutari, strove madly 
to convince Europe that Scutari was their birth- 
right. 

Few Montenegrins had ever been there, and had 
not the faintest idea that it had far better shops 
and hotel accommodation than their capital Cettigne. 
They ought to have known, for in that very capital, 
if you wanted a decent meal at a reasonable price, you 
had to go to the iVlbanian Restaurant ; if you wanted 
hair-cutting or a shave, to the Albanian hairdresser; 
if you wanted groceries, to one of the two Albanian 
grocers, and so forth, all of whom had relatives in 
Scutari. 

So ignorant for the most part were the Montenegrins, 
that they even believed that Scutari — the Scodra of 
the Romans — was founded by the Serbs, and were 
furious when told that it was the seat of a Christian 
Bishop at least two hundred years before the pagan 
Serbs entered the Balkan Peninsula. 

Statements of the most absurd kind were pahned 
off in the form of interviews on journalists who were 
quite new to the land, and who were therefore, as is 
the custom, entrusted at a critical moment with 

265 



266 THE STKUGGLE FOR SCUTAEI 

supplying reliable information about it. King Nikola, 
in one of these, was said — probably with truth — to 
have asserted that the churches in Scutari were old 
Serb ones, whereas they were all nineteenth century 
— and late at that — and all, except one, are Roman 
Catholic. 

" Scutari was torn from us by the Turks V howled 
Montenegro. As a matter of fact, it was sold to the 
Venetians in 1396 by the last of the Balsha Princes 
(whose sympathies were certainly not Slav, for they 
made alliance with the Albanian chieftains, and 
together with them, fought Marko Kralyevitch, the 
great Serb hero). And from the Venetians the 
Turks took it almost a hundred years later, in 1478. 
As the Petrovitch Dynasty did not come into being 
as rulers, till two centuries later. King Nikola's asser- 
tion in the same interview that the bones of his 
ancestors rest in Scutari seems — poetic ! More especi- 
ally as he bewailed the loss of the Herzegovina in 1908 
for a similar reason. 

In plain fact the Serbs ruled Scutari from 1050 to 
1080, and lost it to Byzantium; and then again from 
1180 to 1360 it was included by the Nemanjas in their 
Great Servia. Two hundred and ten years in all — 
against all time. They did not succeed in Slavizing 
it, though contemporary record shows that they 
strove to do so by force, and they left no trace 
behind. Historically England's right to Calais is 
better. 

Having now failed to take the town by storm, they 
yowled about historic rights. They wished the 
Powers to allow the Serbs to take it for them, and to 
make them a present of it. All day and every day 



WAR 267 

the children sang, with monotonous iteration, in the 
streets : 

" Hish, hash, hosh; 
Ours is Tarabosb. 
One, two, three. 
In Scutari are we." 

The population quite forgot that they had begun 
war " to liberate their brother-Serbs ''; and when The 
Times correspondent adverted to this fact in an 
article, were deeply hurt. 

Unmindful of the King's original proclamation, 
they now cried that Scutari and the destruction of 
Albania had been their object. The throne of Dushan 
at Prizren was forgotten. Scutari was to be their 
capital — Scutari, an almost solid Albanian town, 
with a population nearly eight times that of Cettigne. 

Some even declared that no such things as Albanians 
existed. All were Slavs, who out of '' pure cussed- 
ness " had elected to speak Albanian and turned 
Catholic ! Kovachevitch the Professor of Nose- 
cutting, declared to an admiring audience that he 
could prove it by anthropological reasons. " The 
Albanians,'' said he, " burn the yule-log. This is a 
purely Servian custom, therefore," etc. " On the 
contrary," said I, " the yule-log is an old English 
custom. And your favourite St. George is our patron 
Saint. It is evident we have the right to occupy 
Cettigne, shut your schools, and force you all to 
speak English. You are clearly Slavized English." 
The Professor, who with his friends had agreed that 
" if our rule is strict enough, the Albanian tongue 
will be killed in a year," was speechless with wrath. 

A few were more humane. An artilleryman, back 



268 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

on a few days' leave, told me that working the guns 
now was sickening. '' First we have to fire a shell 
into the Christian quarter to frighten the people. 
Then the officer watches through his glass which way 
the crowd of women and children runs, and then we 
have to fire a big shell into the middle of them. I'm 
sick of shooting at women and children !" 

Then came news that the Powers, after endless 
squabbling, had decided that Scutari should be 
Albanian, and drawn a rough and most unjust and 
unfortunate frontier, by which the two gallant tribes 
Hoti and Gruda, which had borne the brunt of the 
fight for freedom in 1911, were awarded to Monte- 
negro. Solid Moslem and Albanian districts, such as 
Gusinje and Djakova, were also handed over. The 
tribe-lands Montenegro did not yet dare to touch. 
In Gusinje and Djakova she at once began a policy of 
extermination. The full details I only learnt later. 
At the time I was informed by one of the " Press 
censors," but " not for transmission," that numbers 
of executions were going on in Gusinje. '' Wholesale 
slaughter of all who resist us is the proper course." 
The Moslems were given the choice of baptism or 
death, and large numbers of men were martyred. 
The women were driven into the churches, " like 
sheep," and baptized. Those who objected were 
violated by the soldiers. Moslem villages were plun- 
dered and burnt. The deep snow on the passes pre- 
vented the escape of any burdened with a family. 
Many were slaughtered. An Orthodox Slav, a native 
of the district, was made Governor, and allowed to 
wreak private vengeance. From Djakova came even 
worse reports. The Montenegrins were striving to 



WAR 269 

forcibly convert both Moslems and Catholics. Padre 
Luigi PaHtch, the plucky little Franciscan I had met 
more than four years ago in Djakova, refused to make 
the sign of the Cross in Orthodox fashion and abjure 
his faith, and was stripped, beaten, and finally 
bayoneted to death. Nor was he the only Catholic 
martyred. Some fled to the mountains, others were 
terrorized into submitting to Orthodoxy. Austria 
intervened sharply. Had she not done so, in the 
words of a Catholic refugee, " there would not have 
been a Catholic left in the district." The Monte- 
negrin excuse was that as there were only one hundred 
Orthodox families in all Djakova and none in the 
immediate neighbourhood, they were forced to be 
severe, or they would have been hopelessly out- 
numbered. The guilt of handing over this Albanian 
district to be butchered, rests primarily with Russia. 

There is a well-known Montenegrin ballad which 
describes how, in the seventeenth century, the Monte- 
negi'ins on one Christmas Eve celebrated " peace on 
earth and goodwill to men " by massacring every 
Moslem in their land who would not consent to 
baptism, and this was held up as an example to follow. 

Huge Serb reinforcements were now said to be on 
the way, and Montenegro declared that if she might 
not hold Scutari, she would at least, with Serb guns, 
batter it to the ground. Petar Plamenatz chuckled 
over the report that the Scutarenes were starving, 
and said: " The more starve the better for us." I 
remembered his pious horror last year, when he assured 
me of the incurable barbarity of the Turks. 

The Albanian residents of Podgoritza were in a 
state of mental torture painful to witness. Why the 



270 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

Great Powers, having spoken, did not enforce their 
words, they could not understand. One whom I 
knew well called me in mysteriously, and with drawn 
blinds showed me a heap of fowls' and lambs' bones. 
Taking up a bladebone, he asked: " Did you ever see 
the like of that before? " There was a large white 
opaque spot upon it. It meant, of course, he said, a 
death. But so large a spot as this was unheard of. 
It must mean the death of someone very great, and 
its position indicated that it would occur shortly. 
" Heavens !" thought I, " does this mean they will 
kill King Nikola !" 

News came in, to my deep regret, that Yanina had 
fallen, and was in the hands of the Greeks. Its loss 
was reported to be owing to the treachery of a certain 
Greek at Corfu and Ismail Kemal, who had advised 
the population not to rise — until it was too late, and 
the Greek army was upon them. Immediately after 
this came the death of the King of Greece. The 
fulfilment of the tale of the bones made a profound 
impression. The Montenegrins persistently believed 
the murderer to have been instigated by the Bulgars. 

I went up to Cettigne to be near tlie headquarters 
of news. On March 26 fell Adrianople. This made 
the Montenegrins quite mad. They alone, though 
they had begun the first, had made a bloody and 
miserable failure. The banner, the band, and the 
white charger were tired of promenading from one 
point to the other waiting to triumphantly enter 
Scutari. 

The Powers prepared a collective note, but Russia 
impeded its delivery as long as possible. During the 
delay Montenegro hoped that she would take Scutari, 



WAR 271 

and once in, keep it. If Austria objected, the com- 
bined Servian and Montenegrin armies would take 
Vienna. 1 frequented the drink-shops, and tried to 
help make a peaceful settlement, by telling everyone 
that it was a waste of blood and money to persist in 
their folly. And a loss of honour, too. They replied 
that the King and Princes had already promised the 
best houses and posts in Scutari to their officers and 
friends. 

On Friday, March 28, at three o'clock, the collective 
note was handed in. Peace was to be made at once, 
and the Montenegrin army withdrawn. Montenegro 
gave no reply, and at dinner at the hotel young 
Tomanovitch, the King's aide-de-camp, asked loudly: 
" Have you heard the latest joke ? The Powers have 
told us to retire from Scutari." But no one responded. 

England put in a severe protest as to the way the 
civil population was being shelled. The British Vice- 
Consul was wounded, for the Montenegrins, believing 
that the Consuls were urging the Scutarenes to resist, 
were shelling the Consulates. Every one of them was 
hit, and so were several houses near them. 

I went down to Podgoritza, and found the people 
furious against England. A crowd of officials at the 
post-office shouted to me: " We will take Scutari with. 
the last drop of our blood, and then avenge ourselves 
on Austria by marching into Bosnia." " How can 
you when you've shed the last drop of your blood ?" 
I asked; and it made them madder than ever. On 
my return journey to Cettigne I lunched at an inn at 
Rijeka, and heard the talk. " Servia's plan is the 
best. She puts all these gentlemen (the Albanians) 
to the sword. She has cleaned a lot of land." 



272 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

On April 2 Montenegro replied to the collective 
note, and refused obedience. Montenegro was in 
hysterics, and the King talked of " setting all Europe 
in a blaze." It was about then that he started his 
operations on the Vienna Bourse. By causing suc- 
cessive scares over Scutari and adroitly buying and 
selling, he was currently reported to have made a very 
large sum before the Scutari question was settled. 




THE RESULT OF LIVING NEAR THE BRITISH CONStTLATE. 



Meanwhile he spread official reports of victories 
which never took place, about " five out of the eight 
forts of Tarabosh have been taken," and so forth. 
In reality there never were eight forts. And what 
really happened that day was that the Montenegrins 
lost some 500 killed and wounded over taking and 
losing again two trenches. 

I wrote at the time: '' The folly and conceit of these 
people is sickening. All the foreign Red Crosses 



WAR 273 

ought to witlidi-aw, and cease to aid and abet useless 
slaughter." 

On April 5 the combined fleets arrived off Antivari, 
and Vice- Admiral Burney sent a note to the Monte- 
negrin Government ordering the cessation of hos- 
tilities. The Serbs, too, were ordered to withdraw. 
Some of their reinforcements had arrived, but not all. 
An Italian who had been with Martinovitch's army 
described a heated discussion between the officers as 
to the advisability of a massacre at Scutari. Many 
were in favour of it; but Martinovitch, to his credit, 
was opposed. 

On the 11th the blockade was announced. This 
effectually prevented more Serbs from arriving. They 
had not more than 15,000 men, and would not risk 
another defeat. The wounded Serb artillery officer 
in the hospital announced angrily that he had official 
orders that the Serbs were to withdraw. He had 
been displaying Serb humanity by shooting, for fun, 
a little pet dog which happened to be passing the 
hospital. 1 was not sorry that he was to have no 
chance of practising on Albanian children. 

The Tsar had made a severe and most uncompro- 
mising speech, bidding Montenegro remember that 
she could not exist without Russian support, and must 
clearly understand that the Scutari episode was closed. 
The Correspondence bureau telegi-am which contained 
this was not put up till late, and then with the Russian 
note snipped out — a most childish proceeding. The 
Montenegrin delegates in London made a last effort 
by publishing quite monstrous statements, one of 
which was that there were 26,000 Serbs in Scutari. 
We asked Ramadanovitch, who was acting as Mini.>ter 

18 



274 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

of Foreign Affairs, if this were true. " Jamais de la 
vie !" he replied. " Who has said so ?" " Popo- 
vitch." " Popovitch ! Mon Dieu ! what does he 
know ? He has never been there !" 

On April 20 the Montenegrins, who had given no 
answer to the Powers' note sent by Admiral Burney, 
announced they had lost the papers, and could they 
have another copy ? 

In a long talk with Jovitchevitch, the late Consul 
in Scutari, he expatiated on the brutality of the 
Serbs, asserted that in the Ljuma tribe they had 
slaughtered men, women, and children, and that I 
should be horrified when I saw the destruction they 
had wrought in the villages round Scutari. On the 
21st early, the news spread that a boat with a white 
flag had come out of Scutari the night before to 
parley. The Montenegrin frontier was at once closed, 
and, contrary to all international law, foreign subjects 
were forbidden to leave. The foreign Ministers were 
even forbidden to send cipher telegrams to their 
Governments. This most high-handed and quite 
illegal proceeding, caused the Austrian military 
attache to start at once in his motor for Cattaro. At 
Nyegushi the motor was stopped by obstructions on 
the road. He proceeded on foot, and was stopped on 
the frontier. The Legations made a joint protest 
against these outrageous proceedings, and at 3 p.m. 
the frontier was opened. In spite of all these pre- 
cautions more than one correspondent got his news 
through. 

News from Podgoritza came that Moslems from 
Gusinje were telling piteous tales in secret, in Moslem 
back shops, of the reign of terror going on there ; that 



WAR 275 

Moslems were being flogged with knotted cords and 
threatened with death to enforce their conversion to 
Christianity. One man, weeping bitterly, told of his 
forced baptism, and of how the fezzes were snatched 
from the Moslems' heads, and they were forced to 
wear the Montenegrin cap as badge of their sub- 
jection. The Hoti and Gruda men had long since 
cast away those given them at the beginning of the 
war. They had now just learnt that Europe had 
given them and their lands to Montenegro, and were 
in a fury of despair. 

If the fleet had but landed a few men to show 
Montenegro that the Powers were in earnest, the final 
catastrophe might have been spared. They could 
have entered Scutari, and taken possession of it in 
the name of the Powers, and Montenegro would never 
have dared fire on them. But there they stuck, doing 
nothing, and Montenegro believed they would con- 
tinue to do nothing. After the last war a combined 
fleet had forced the cession to Montenegro of Dulcigno, 
a wholly Albanian town, much against the wish of all 
its inhabitants. This time it was more creditably 
employed in saving one. 

But, if only for his Stock Exchange transactions, 
Nikola meant to get inside the town. I was anxious 
beyond all words that the Powers should move. The 
endless day dragged on, and from the ominous 
silence it was evident that some hanky-panky was 
going on behind the scenes. 

***** 

Crash ! A loud report woke me. " Good God !" 
was my first flash of consciousness, " they have 
thrown a bomb at the palace !" For an attempt on 



276 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

the King was not impossible. I leapt out of bed. 
" Bom — bom — bom !" the shots dunned out a salute 
from the hill by the monastery. Sick in my soul, I 
knew that Scutari had surrendered. In five minutes 
everyone was in the streets. It was 2.15 a.m. With 
a desire to tell someone, I telegraphed the news to the 
Manchester Guardian, and returned to the Palace. A 
small crowd — for Cettigne was half empty — gathered 
outside the Palace. The King and the Princesses 
stood on the balcony. 

The crowd even at this moment sang " Let me see 




— N. ifTC ' 



king's palace, cettigne. 



Prizren !" Six months of war had not inspired a 
song about Scutari. Revolver shooting began, and, 
with shouting and singing, went on till daybreak. 
Sleep was impossible. I turned out at 6.30. The 
streets were full of drunken men, revolver in one hand 
and brandy-bottle in t'other, reehng, firing haphazard, 
and making vain attempts to dance the kolo. 

The fall of Scutari was a knockdown blow to me. I 
had hoped to the last that the Powers would play up. 
All they did now was to announce that the blockade 
was extended to Durazzo. The Montenegrins said: 



WAR 277 

" How funny !" In order to gull Europe into the 
belief that Scutari had been finally stormed by the 
victorious Montenegrin army, official " news " was 
given to a number of correspondents that there 
had been a huge battle, and that several thousand 
^lontenegrins were wounded. In truth, not a shot 
was fired. Official information with any semblance 
of truth was not to be had. 

In fact, Scutari was in sore pHght. People were 
dying at the rate of thirty or forty a day. There was 
little for the soldiers, who had been reduced to one 
bread-biscuit a day, and several battalions had 
demanded surrender. The Turks had almost ex- 
hausted their big-gun ammunition, and the Serb guns 
were now in position to batter the town to pieces. 

Peter Plamenatz drew up very good terms for 
Essad Pasha, and he accepted them. Exactly how 
good they were we shall possibly never know. That 
he was in communication with Prince Mirko secretly 
for some time previous, has leaked out. In the 
published terms Essad was to retii^e at once with all 
his army and all arms except the big guns, and as 
much military gear as he could carry. The Monte- 
negrins undertook to give him food for the march, 
and undertook also not to molest the civil population, 
to respect their religious rights, and to take care of 
the wounded. 

Some wag — it was said to be Prince Petar — dressed 
a donkey in black, labelled it *' Neue Freie Presse," 
and instructed some little boys to drive it to the 
Austrian Legation. 

Everything was in wild confusion. A Te Deum 
was arranged — and put off. I walked outside the 



278 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

town to avoid meeting any of the Royal Family, for 
I had nothing agreeable to say to them. 

In the late afternoon one of the Crown Princess's 
perianiks brought me a note. Her Royal Highness 
had greatly admired my water-colour sketches — 
would I bring them round that afternoon to show to 
the rest of the Royal Family, who desired to see them. 
I felt sorry that Her Royal Highness should have 
stooped to so poor a trick for luring me to an inter- 
view ; but the idea that on the morrow of the fall of 
Scutari the Montenegrin Royal Family should have 
been suddenly inspired wdth a craving to inspect 
sketches which they could have seen at any previous 
time, was too much for my sense of humour. 

A sense of humour is, after all, life's chief disinfect- 
ant. And in spite of the sordid circumstances, it was 
with a grin that I extracted the sketches from the 
bottom of my trunk, and gave them to the perianik 
with a note, in which I regretted that, owing to the 
fact that the drawings were already packed up, I had 
had to keep Her Royal Highness waiting. I hope the 
Royal Family enjoyed them. 




s^k^^. 



TITE CITADEL, gCTTTARI. 



CHAPTER XV 



SCUTARI 

The fall of Scutari had a mixed effect on the Foreign 
Legations at Cettigne. France and Russia, to whose 
mlful retarding of events, King Nikola's coup was 
undoubtedly due, rejoiced openly. 

" You cannot," said someone to me, *' get over 
le fait accompli f" "Except by accomplishing an- 
other,'' said I. 

Others among the Ministers were furious, and all 
knew that it entailed arduous and responsible work, 
and were proportionately serious. One thing only 
had the Powers achieved. They had by their very 
strong representations made Montenegro understand 
that no violence must take place in Scutari. Any- 
thing of the sort would mean an immediate occupa- 
tion of Cettigne by Austrian troops and a landing of 
a combined force. The authorities in consequence 
allowed only their more civilized battalions to take 
possession of the town, and policed it largely with 
Slav volunteers from abroad. 

Prince Danilo entered the citadel of Scutari on 
April 24, hoisted the ^lontenegrin flag there, and 

279 



280 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

received the keys from Essad, who, with the Turkish 
troops, at once marched off to Tirana. But no state 
entry into town was made. The King was to make 
this later. 

On the 25th, with Mr. Loch of The Times, I went to 
Scutari, greatly anxious as to the state of my friends. 
We took two large sacks of bread and several cases of 
other food. 

Poor Scutari, that I had left nine months ago, was a 
miserable sight. The people were half dazed with terror 
and starvation, and were terrified lest they should 
be left in the hands of Montenegro. " If we had but 
known help was near," said many, " we might have 
held out a day or two longer. We heard there 
were ships, but day after day passed and no help 
came, and we thought they must be Greek or Bulgar 
ships with more troops." The populace was, in fact, 
completely in the dark as to what had happened. 
The Montenegrin soldiers had already begun telling 
the Catholics that they would soon have to learn to 
cross themselves properly. 

Shattered houses and wounded people corroborated 
the indignant statements of the Consuls and the 
Archbishop, that the civil population had been 
specially selected for bombardment. The schools, 
churches, hospitals, and Consulates had all been 
aimed at, rather than the citadel or barracks. All 
had been struck, and some wrecked. It was im- 
possible that all should have been hit accidentally. 
The British Consulate had attracted heavy fire. Not 
only had it been struck and Mr. Summa wounded, but 
both the house opposite and that alongside were 
completely destroyed. The cathedral was a wreck 



WAR 



281 



of its former splendour — the roof riddled, the sacristy 
and tower burnt out, and great pits blown in the floor 
by shells. Forty — fifteen of which were of the largest 
calibre — w^ere fired at it. Nearly two thousand 
persons had been refuged in it with all their goods, 




I 



rS'TERIOR OF SACRISTY AFTER BOMBARDMENT. 

believing it safe, and fled in panic. Several were 
wounded, and many lost all their gear in the flames. 
The convent, too, was wrecked, and two nuns killed 
and one wounded. 

Poor old Marko and his family were alive, thanks to 
the Archbishop's brother, who had fed them. But 



282 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

they were ill and shaky; so were many others. In 
the poorer houses they lay on the ground in the last 
stages of misery. Tortoises, frogs, hedgehogs, dande- 
lions had all been used as food. During the last 
twenty-eight days few rations had been given out. 
Many had eaten more or less poisonous plants (especi- 
ally the very acrid root of a kind of arum), or had 
tried to make bread with linseed, both of which had 
caused acute diarrhoea. I saw a man drop and die in 
the street, and I fed a skeleton child. 

The Montenegrins had given flour to the heads of 
the Catholic and Moslem communities, and this was 
distributed free the first few days. People waited 
in long lines at the depots. 

So far, all food-supplies were in Montenegrin hands, 
and nothing could be imported. I fed all my friends 
and neighbours out of my stock. 

Poor old Marko was in despair. His orchard had 
been taken over by the Turkish military as a site for 
barracks, and four wooden ones had been erected. 
The Bimbashi, on leaving, gave Marko a signed letter, 
stating that all things left in his orchard were his 
property, to compensate for the damage done. 

But the Montenegrin troops had poured in, and 
when I arrived were looting hard, tearing down the 
barracks, smashing glass and tiles, yelling like a pack 
of wild beasts. I ordered them off, and as they re- 
fused to obey, went straight to the camp and com- 
plained to the officer that his men were behaving 
worse than the Turks, and making a very bad im- 
pression on the populace. A sentry was put on, but 
shortly withdrawn. Back came the men and began 
again. Poor Marko, afraid to speak, was almost in 



WAR 283 

tears, as his goods disappeared. I sent them off a 
second time, and threatened to go to the General 
about it. 

Petar Plamenatz was appointed Governor of 
Scutari, and arrived. It was April 28. The Mon- 
tenegrin kavas met me in the street and said that 
Petar wanted to see me at once. I went straight to 
the Montenegrin Consulate, where he was established. 
" I fehcitate you," said I. '' During the war you 
told me that this was the position you aspired 
to. You have reached it." Petar looked harassed. 
"What!" he cried; ''you — you who know the 
difficulties of the situation, felicitate me ?" '' The 
greater the difficulties the greater the honour if you 
succeed," I said. " Mon Dieu ! mon Dieu !" cried 
Petar, " what can I do ? I drew up all Essad's 
terms — arranged the whole terms of surrender. I 
believed it would be the crown of my Hfe, and that I 
should be able to retire from pubhc life, with my 
career honourably terminated!" Petar being well 
under forty, the idea of his career being terminated 
struck me as funny. I threw out no suggestions. " I 
have sent for you," he continued, " to beg your help." 
(" The devil you have," thought I.) " I beg that 
you, who understand these people, will take a house 
here and remain to assist me." I said that I hoped 
to stay on for a bit, but had no fixed plans as yet. 
" The situation," said Petar, " is very complicated." 
'* Very," said I. " What would you advise me to do 
about the Maltsori ?" " Nothing," said I. " Do not 
interfere with them in any way — unless you wish 
trouble. They all hate you." " I am of that opinion. 
We are agreed." Then, suddenly and passionately: 



284 THE STEUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

" You — you — you — a little word from you — only a 
word — these Maltsors will follow you. Speak for us 
a word — one little word — I beg you — I implore you." 
A whirl of recollection buzzed by me. For the 
third time Montenegro was begging me to pull it out 
of a hole. Not two years ago I had been called upon 
to help Montenegro to drive the betrayed Maltsors 
back across the frontier. Now Petar cringingly, 
abjectly prayed I would help whistle them to the 
Montenegrin heel again. I do not think I ever felt 
such a contempt for any living being as I did for Petar 
at that moment. " All is in the hands of the Great 
Powers," I said (hoping they would act speedily). 
" What am I ? I can do nothing." " You under- 
stand, of course," said Petar, wincing at the mention 
of the Powers, " that we have taken Scutari, and shall 
remain here ?" " Perfectly," I replied. " I have 
already heard it frequently." " And that we shall 
leave the very last drop of our blood here rather than 
retire." " Perfectly. I have already heard this for 
several months." Petar winced again. '' Can I 
count upon your assistance ?" he asked. " Unless I 
am assured that exactly similar ju'stice is employed 
towards Moslems, Catholics, and Orthodox alike, you 
cannot. It is a point upon which I feel very strongly. 
So far during the war I have seen nothing but foul- 
ness, corruption, and cruelty. You are probably not 
aware of the conduct of Stanko Markovitch at 

Podgoritza. He wished to starve " " Ah, mon 

Dieu ! mon Dieu !" cried Petar; "you can have 
no idea how I regret that. Will you distrust me 
because of the conduct of a beast, an anmial, like 
Stanko ?" "I have heard of what has happened in 



WAR 28e5 

other places also. And you must admit that Stanko 
is the Governor of the largest town in Montenegro. 
If such is the justice of a large town, what kind of 
justice is to be expected in the distant parts ? I have 
heard enough about that." Petar was desperate. He 
opened a drawer and took out papers. " See," he 
said, "you yourself shall appoint the officials here." 
He asked me to recommend a dragoman who could 
speak Serb and Albanian. They were very scarce, in 
spite of the " 26,000 Slavs " reported by Popo\dtch. 
We selected two. He started on the Judges. There 
was only one very good one in Montenegro, according 
to Petar. We appointed him — on paper. " You 
understand," said Petar, '" that we shall treat with 
perfect justice all those who are on our side. To the 
others we shall show no mercy." " Perfectly, as you 
have been doing in Djakova already," I said. " Have 
you anything to suggest ?" he asked. " It would be 
well, I think, if until more order is established, the 
Capitulations and a certain amount of European 
control should be in force." " We will tolerate no 

interference " began Petar. " It is not worth 

chscussing," said I, " since, after all, all is in the hands 
of the Great Powers." Petar made one more effort. 
" Have you anything to complain of in the way of 
justice now ?" '' Certainly. The soldiers are looting 
old Marko like wolves." I obtained a signed order 
that this should cease. " Had I permission, too, to 
cross the Drin and go to the assistance of the villages 
that had been burnt and plundered by the Serbs ?" 
He flew into a passion. '' Xo villages," he declared, 
" have been burnt or plundered by the Serbs. The 
Albanians have told you that lie." " Jovan Jovit- 



286 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

chevitcli, lately Consul here, told me. He said it 
was a scandal." Petar was upset. " And I wish to 
know if it is permitted to feed the sick and starving 
in the town, or will they, if they accept help, be 
threatened with hanging or imprisonment, as they 
were at Podgoritza ?" 

He knew this was true, and, visibly anxious, said, 
parole d'honneiir, I was free to help whom I pleased. 
He was plausible, imploring, defiant, and abject in 
turn. When he wound up with the remark, '' Though 
the task is difficult, you must at least admit. Mademoi- 
selle, that in all Montenegro I am the only man truly 
capable of undertaking it," I almost laughed aloud. 
For this was meant for a hit at Louis Voinovitch. 
I undertook to assist him on the terms of strict 
justice — if he remained — and said " Good-bye." Nor, 
as Fate ordained, did I ever speak with him again. 
The most remarkable thing in the interview was, 
perhaps, that he had not dared to deny a single one 
of my charges. 

The time passed as a sort of nightmare, and seemed 
endless. No news was admitted to the town. No 
letters could be either sent or received safely unless 
by the hands of some correspondent or other foreigner, 
coming or leaving. Montenegro meanwhile worked 
feverishly to get the populace somehow, by threat or 
promise, to sign papers stating that they wished to 
belong to Montenegro. The people, terrified, knew 
not what to do. They did not want to be Montenegrin, 
but the ships of the Powers lay inactive, and all hope 
of help was dying. Perhaps the Powers after all 
were yielding to the fait accompli. The Archbishop 
made a plucky stand. He was oftered higher re- 



WAR 287 

muneration as a Montenegrin subject if he would get 
the Catholics to sign, and refused, saying that such a 
thing must not be said in his palace. More than one 
well-known patriot had to fly by night and lie hid, and 
escaped only just in time, for the soldiers came to 
arrest him next day for telling people " not to sign, and 
the Powers would save them." Montenegro made, too, 
an attempt to set the Moslems against the Catholics. 
The place swarmed with spies. No one dared speak. 
I busied myself wholly with relief work. Two most 
able assistants, Miss Buxton and Miss Robertson — a 
trained nurse — arrived. Alone I could not have 
tackled the work. The Austrians and Italians had 
each a relief ship waiting, but were not allowed to act 
till the political situation was cleared. I obtained 
sacks of dried beans from peasants who came down 
from the mountains which war had not touched. 
We made house-to-house visits all the morning, feed- 
ing up dying people with the condensed milk and beef 
extract I had brought; and held, in the afternoon, 
an out-patient department for the less ill, and dealing 
out rations of beans and rice to the starving. The 
weather was intensely hot, and the work among the 
stuffy, dirty hovels and crowds of people very ex- 
hausting. Crowds of soldiers swarmed into the town. 
The drink shops were crammed. It was an anxious 
time. Tradesmen began to complain that the soldiers 
pilfered. No news came. I met Voivoda Vukotitch, 
the Queen's brother, on the Bojana bridge. " How 
long are you staying here ?" he asked. " I am 
waiting to see the King's State entry," said I. He 
looked uncomfortable. " Is it fixed ?" I asked. 
" No," said he. 



288 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

I felt happier. The Powers were doing something, 
at any rate. And on May 3 General Martinovitch, 
who was Military Commandant, hurried off to 
Cettigne. We struggled on with our mass of patients, 
the greater part of whom revived with careful feeding 
and a few simple di'ugs. News came that on the 14th 
the British Admiral and representatives of all the 
other Powers would take possession of the town. 

It w^as too good to be true. I had been hoping and 
fearing for Scutari through the long grey winter 
months, and now in the heat of early summer the 
hopeless year crawled on and on. I dreaded lest 
even at the last moment the Powers, to gain some 
private ends, would allow this population to be 
martyred like the Djakovans and the people of 
Gusinje. Wholesale massacre such as that reported 
from Prizren and near Monastir might follow later. 

At the very last, when the Montenegrins knew they 
must leave, they took a mean revenge. The town 
was swarming with Montenegrin women as well as 
men, and it is they who are beUeved to have set fire 
to the bazar. This is always closed at night, and 
almost all tradesmen return home to the town. It 
was patrolled entirely by Montenegrin soldiers. Fire 
broke out at three points at once a little after mid- 
night, and began, moreover, in the richest part of the 
bazar. Some bazar-men who discovered the fire 
were prevented by the soldiers from giving the alarm 
till it was well alight. It was then impossible to 
arrest the flames till quite half the bazar had been 
destroyed. I went to see what was happening. The 
crowd of Montenegrins, oflicers and all, were laughing 
— as pleased as Punch. The shopkeepers near the 



WAH 



289 



fire tried vainly to save their goods, the gieater part 
of which were looted by the Montenegrins. As the 
Montenegiins boldly denied that they were guilty, 
and blamed the Austrians among other people, I 
made inquiries at Plavnitza and at Podgoritza, and 
found that any amount of loot had been brought in 
there, and that people were boasting of it. There 
could be no doubt of Montenegro's guilt. Xo such 
fire had taken place for thirty years, and it was the 
final blow which criLshed many a poor Scutarene who 




O^fJe^ 






EVlMlJ ! ILL liCEM BAZAK. 



hoped, with reviving trade, to make up for the losses 
of the war. A rumour flew through the town that 
the Montenegrins meant to burn tliat too next night. 
But this I did not believe they would dare do. And 
on May 14 they began early to trail over the bridge 
and out of the town. 

It was a beautiful summer day. The river ghttered 
in the sun. Down by the bend, the launch came in 
sight. Nearer and nearer. The populace had pie- 
pared Albanian banners and wished to strew roses at 

19 



290 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

Vice-Admiral Burney's feet, but were forbidden, to 
their bitter disappointment, to make any sign of joy 
at all. The launch passed under the bridge over 
which the retreating Montenegrins were tramping. 
" Look at those great fat Englishmen," said one, 
pointing to the sailors. " I wish we had a Govern- 
ment that fed us like that." 

The launch drew alongside the ramshackle Custom- 
house. The Admirals landed along a plank, were met 
by some of the 3Iontenegrin authorities, and went up 
to the town. The anguish and tension of six long 
months was over. Scutari was saved. 



PART IV 

THE HARVEST OF WAR 

" Have ye fled in the sickly dawn, before it was yet too late. 
With a child in your arms new-born, leaving cripples to find 
their fate ? 
Our altars were foul with blood when we came to the homes 
we'd fled, 
Smelt the reek of oui' kinsmen's blood; thanked God that the 
dead were dead." — Aubrey Herbert. 




CHAPTER XVI 

THE HARVEST OF WAR 

The war was over. There are people, I believe, wlio 
still imagine that war brings forth fine qualities. To 
me it had appeared only as a sort of X-ray, which 
showed up pitilessly all that is most base, most foul, 
and most bestial in human nature. The very few 
acts of kindness or generosity which I had witnessed 
were those of kindly individuals whom war had not 
corrupted (they would have been equally generous in 
peace-time), and in no way compensated for the fact 
that in the sacred names of Liberty, Civilization, and 
Christianity, the ^lontenegrin people, blood-drunk, 
lust-drunk, loot-drunk, had reverted to primitive 
savagery — and in so doing had lost the very small 
idea of discipline they had acquired. Judging by 
their talk, they proposed to live in future as a maraud- 
ing army. Never fond of work, they declared that 
they had conquered enough people to do the work for 
them, and looked forward to a life of something like 
slave-driving. A marked result of war was the com- 

293 



294 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

plete manner in which the Royal Princes had lost their 
prestige. Seldom, perhaps, in the history have three 
Princes so thrown away an unique chance of gaining 
fame and popularity. Prince Petar stuck pluckily 
to the camp and suffered considerable hardship. 
Of his two elder brothers, the less said the better — if 
only half the contemptuous remarks of the soldiers 
were true. 

And with bitter ingratitude (for with all his faults 
King Nikola is the maker of Montenegro, which 
without him would never have obtained so much 
European recognition) the pro-Serb party talked openly 
of speedy union with Servia. The Petrovitch family 
would be sent to join the Obrenovitches. Some went 
even further as wipers out of dynasties, and proposed 
to assassinate as well, King Ferdinand, and construct 
the Great Servia of Dushan's days. It was poor 
stuff. I quote it only to illustrate the blood-lust 
raised by war. 

There is but one thing more terrible than war, and 
that is the time that follows immediately afterwards ; 
it is then that the war's innocent victims — those who 
have escaped sudden and merciful death by shot and 
shell — crawl back to the blackened ruins of their 
homes to face a slow and cruel death from cold and 
starvation. To the help of these it was urgently 
necessary to go. 

Miss Buxton and Miss Robertson took over the 
relief work in the town until the arrival of the Austro- 
Italian relief ships made further work there on our 
part unnecessary, and I started to ride round the 
country districts. 

If maize could be sown before June 26, there was yet 



THE HARVEST OF WAR 295 

chance of a harvest. The land beyond Drin, wasted 
by the Serb army, was my first care. Jovitchevitch 
had in no way exaggerated the devastation. Into the 
details of each ruined district I will not enter. Even 
misery a thousand times repeated monotonously, 
becomes boring. 

So effectually had the houses been destroyed in 
many places, that nothing remained but a heap of 
stones, and re-roofing was impossible. To add to the 
difficulty, the invading troops had, in some instances, 
felled so much timber for winter fuel that even for the 
building of hovels there was scanty material. 

Accompanied by local headmen, who came to fetch 
me, I rode to each miserable district, summoned the 
heads of the houses, and distributed, in cash, a sum of 
money with which to buy seed-corn or other seed, or 
a sheep or two, as folk thought best. The season 
proved a better one than usual, and all whom I w^as 
able to help in time, reaped good harvests. Those 
who sold vegetables to the international forces occupy- 
ing Scutari did good trade. 

But the destruction proved to be far more widely 
spread than I had any idea of to begin with. Miser- 
able, half-starved people began to flock in with im- 
ploring messages that I would go farther and farther 
afield. 

Of the places near Scutari the most wretched was 
Drishti, the home of the women prisoners at Pod- 
goritza. This most beautiful and rich village, once 
a bower of silvery olives, was a blank desolation. Xot 
only had every olive-tree been felled for fuel by the 
Montenegrins, who camped hard by, but even the 
roots had been stubbed up. The neat market-gardens 



296 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

with their ingenious irrigation system, that lay along 
the river- bank, were wiped out of existence. Half the 
houses were burnt. All were plundered. And when I 
visited the place, the wretched survivors were smitten 
with smallpox, and thirteen sick persons were all 
crowded in one cavern. In some other places all the 
fruit-trees upon which the people depended for a liveli- 
hood were felled. Places that I had known well-to-do, 
with fat fields of maize and flocks of sheep and goats, 
where the peasants had had plenty to eat and drink, 
and fine embroidered clothes and silver chains to 
wear on a feast day, were desert wastes, almost un- 
recognizable. 

Women crouched in hovels made of a few sticks 
leaned against the ruined walls of their house, and 
cooked leaves and grass for the children. Many were 
half naked. I was glad, indeed, that I had saved ten 
bales of the clothing sent me from England, and only 
wished they had been a thousand. 

Some districts were so large it took me three days of 
ten or twelve hours to ride round them and assist 
them and return to Scutari. In all, I visited near 
Scutari some 1,022 burnt-out families. The most 
piteous thing of all was that few of the unhappy 
victims had any idea why this ruin had fallen upon 
them. Women with starving children would ask: 
" Why did the Great Kings (the Powers) let the 
soldiers come and rob us and kill us ? We were doing 
no harm. And they took our goats, and our sheep — 
everything, everything. And when my husband 
tried to save the sheep, they shot him. Our house is 
burnt. We are starving on the highroad." Why, 
indeed ? It would be impossible to make these poor 




HlRNT HorSE AT (iKIZHA. 




^^ 





jyf.Aj|iM*^^ 



HiKNT or I Cim.iiKKN A I Skikk/.i. 



THE HARVEST OF WAR 297 

creatures understand that the Great Powers were 
actually priding themselves on having " localized the 
trouble." " Are we not good ?" they ask. " Our 
little hands have not torn each others eyes. We 
have only sat round and watched these people being 
slaughtered." The Moslem women of Albania, watch- 
ing their childi'en die of cold and hunger, are too 
ignorant to understand the noble self-restraint of the 
Powers. And the Powers now were treating Albania 
very badly. They neither appointed any Govern- 
ment nor recognized any local one, and people knew 
not to whom to look. They were for the most part 
terrified of offending Europe by recognizing any 
native as head of Albania. But local headmen were 
keeping excellent order. 

The patience with which a whole people, placed in 
a most difficult and almost unprecedented position, 
went on with their daily affairs quietly has not been 
sufficiently recognized. While I was riding about the 
burnt districts I was always unarmed, was frequently 
with men I had never seen before, and everyone knew 
I had at least £T200 in gold in the bag at my belt. 
Men by the wayside would call out by me: " Where 
are you taking the money to-day ? Come to our 
village next." But no attempt of any sort was ever 
made either to take it from me or to force me to change 
my route. I often wondered whether similar sums 
could be safely carried through England supposing 
all pohce withdrawn and the Government entirely 
done away with. 

The news that someone was giving relief near 
Scutari spread, and from districts four and five days 
distant came men with yet more horrible accounts of 



298 THE STEUGGLE FOE SCUTAEI 

suffering. These were from Puka, and were in the last 
stages of want. One man I recall who was dressed 
only in a couple of sacks. Many of this district must 
have died of want in the following winter, as funds were 
not forthcoming to help them adequately. They 
were the victims of wanton outrage. The misery of 
the homes wrecked actually in the course of war, was 
perhaps a necessary consequence of that noble pas- 
time. The misery of those wrecked in vengeance 
when war was over, cannot be excused on these 
grounds. 

The Servian army, when ordered to evacuate, 
avenged itself most cruelly upon some of the unhappy 
districts through which it passed. Puka especially 
suffered. At Flet-Puka the people, when the Serbs 
arrived in November, 1912, offered resistance and 
lost nine men. The Serbs forced a way through, and 
burnt twenty houses, but otherwise did no damage. 
But in April, when they returned and the men of the 
village were away in the mountains, the soldiers fell 
on the helpless inhabitants, killed fifty-two persons, 
of whom the majority were women and children, and 
burnt and plundered the rest of the houses. 

Miserable people from Arzi told of even worse things 
there. When passing through the village in Novem- 
ber the Serbs had merely disarmed the people, who had 
not resisted. But when the troops returned in April, 
they amused themselves by bleeding some of their 
defenceless victims to death. " Not quickly, as you 
do sheep, but slowly. They made little cuts on the 
wrists and the elbows and on the necks so that they 
should be a long time dying." Some women, with 
hideous and vivid pantomime, described the manner 



THE HARVEST OF WAR 299 

of the cuts and how the Serbs had danced round the 
dying victims and imitated tlieir last shudders. 
Told, too, how an entire family had been massacred, 
except one girl, who was hidden under the bodies of 
the others, and emerged, blood-soaked. The four 
women who told this were Moslem widows, whose 
husbands had been killed. I fear that it was all true, 
for the details were corroborated by others from the 
same district. A Catholic boy, for example, told with 
horror of the slaughter. We asked, " Did the Serbs 
put the people in a row and shoot them ?" " No, no. 
Far worse than that. They cut them here and 

here " He pointed to the spots and gave the same 

account of bleeding. 

Nor were the Serbs themselves ashamed of their 
exploits, for a Serb officer told a doctor I know, that 
he had helped to bury people alive in Kosovo vilayet. 
And the terror which the people had of the Serbs told 
a tale too. Though ordered by the Powers to 
evacuate, the Serbs kept a considerable force in Mir- 
dita, and several guns aimed towards the Abbot's 
house for about five months after they had declared 
officially that they had withdrawn. Nor did they 
take any notice of Vice-Admiral Burney's order to 
go. They were connected by outposts and by tele- 
graph with Prizren, so were in a position to pour in 
troops at any moment, which caused the greatest 
anxiety among the villagers. 

Other victims came, survivors of ^Montenegrin per- 
secution in the Gusinje and Djakova districts. In 
August I rode close up to this frontier, and heard 
from refugees, accounts which abundantly confirmed 
those w^hich the Gusinje men in April in fear confided 



300 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

to the Moslem shopmen of Podgoritza. One man 
can lie; three or four can arrange to tell the same 
tale. But when widely scattered people are met and 
questioned quite separately, at different times and in 
different places, and their accounts agree, there can 
be no reasonable doubt that the tale contains a large 
proportion of truth, even when the exaggerations 
caused by terror are allowed for. 

Briefly, so soon as the Powers drew that most un- 
fortunate frontier in March " without considering the 
ethnographical question," the Montenegrins began 
to rearrange that question to suit themselves. " When 
the officer Veshovitch came to Gusinje with the Mon- 
tenegrin soldiers, he said: ' Do not be afraid. We 
have come to set you free. We shall not hurt you.' 
And until he left in about a month's time all was 
quiet. Then there came two Brigadiers, and an 
Orthodox of Gusinje was made Kapetan. He began 
a search for arms. Those who had none — and many 
were unarmed — said so in vain, and were flogged most 
terribly. This began about St. Nikola (in December) . 
And the Montenegrins began shooting people, and 
robbing them, and stealing their 'cattle. But we 
still hoped things would be better, and did not wish 
to lose our lands; and there was deep snow on the 
passes, so that it was impossible to go with a large 
family of children. Then the Montenegrins began 
to go against our religion. This was in March. Four 
battalions came and surrounded the whole Gusinje 
district. They first took the hodjas and asked, 
' Will you be baptized V and when a man said ' No,' 
dan-dan he was shot dead. Nearly all were shot. 
Then they took Bairam Zechir, a headman, and 150 



THE HARVEST OF WAR 301 

others — all Moslems of Gusinje, Martinovitch, and 
Plava, and the neighbouring villages — and took them 
away as prisoners, and on the way shot them all in 
Chafa Previsit (a pass). They shut all our mosques, 
and put guards at the doors, and forbade anyone to 
pray as we Moslems do; and if anyone was seen 
praying through a window, he was shot. It is im- 
possible to tell the misery that has fallen on us. 
They forbade our women to go veiled, and tore the 
veils ofl' them, and insulted them. Bairam Zechir 
and his comrades were the first headmen shot for 
reUgion. But then they took men here or there, 
twenty or fifty at a time, and shot all who refused 
baptism." The number of persons thus shot was 
variously estimated. The lowest figure given was 
500, the highest about 600. It should be noted that 
the man who gave 500 had succeeded in flying from 
the district before those who gave a higher estimate. 
A considerable number, when they saw how things 
were going, managed, in spite of the snow, to escape 
to the mountains of Gashi and Krasnichi. But few 
who had large families could do so. Some men left 
their wives and childi-en — " for war is not made on 
women" — but these were driven to church "like 
sheep " and baptized. The remaining population, 
seeing it was a case of death or baptism, gave way 
on the advice of a hodja, who told them that their 
hearts would remain Moslem, and that God would 
pardon them. An old man who steadfastly refused 
baptism was seized by the soldiers, who forced a lump 
of pork in liis mouth, and bound it so fast with a hand- 
kerchief that the man was suffocated. A number of 
women were outraged. " But of this, ' said one 



302 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

man, "it is hard for us to speak. It is such a 
disgrace." 

" At Cherem, a Moslem village, very bad things 
were done. Three men from this village had turned 
' komit,' had fled to the mountains, and one day fired 
on some Montenegrin soldiers. They did not try to 
capture the assailants, but went to the village and 
captured twenty-seven innocent persons, and shot 
them all. In two houses every male was killed. The 
women were then told they must be baptized. They 
said: ' You have killed our men; leave us our religion.' 
The soldiers outraged all, both girls and women, and 
afterwards they were all forcibly baptized. In four 
other houses the women were all burnt in the houses 
after the men were shot. This was all in revenge for 
the three men who had fired on the soldiers. All 
these people were innocent." 

Persons were also killed slowly, as were those at 
Arzi by the Serbs, not by cuts, but by a multitude of 
small bayonet thrusts all over, till they died of loss 
of blood. In the neighbourhood of Ipek and Berani 
the former revolutionary leader Avro Tsemovitch, 
the half-drunk hero I had seen at Andriyevitza, was 
reported to have instigated and committed horrible 
atrocities. The Albanian mountains were full of 
these unhappy Moslems, and the tribes of Gashi and 
Krasnichi were giving them food and shelter. I 
could do but little to aid them, as my fund was almost 
exhausted. 

As for Montenegrin intolerance of Catholicism, an 
eyewitness described to me the plundering of the 
church of Mazreku. The order was given by one of 
the Royal Family of Petrovitch. In spite of the 



THE HARVEST OF WAR 303 

priest's remonstrances, Montenegrins, both men and 
women, struggled to get a bit of something out of the 
church. The crucifix and tabernacle were taken, the 
missal destroyed, and private houses were entered 
and robbed of their pictures and images of saints. 

Not satisfied with their attack on the Moslems in 
March, the Montenegrins, while I was still in the 
mountains in August, fell on the Moslem village of 
Vuthaj. I was waked early on the 21st by a man 
just in, with the news that the soldiers had attacked 
the village before dawn, broken in the doors, seized 
the sleeping inmates, and driven out many with 
bayonets, and either shot or bayoneted them on the 
road. He himself had seen eight bodies, full of 
bayonet wounds, and had fled to save his life. Most 
of the survivors fled to the Albanian mountains. 
Their property was some of the most fertile land in 
the district, and for this reason they were raided. 

Among Balkan subjects, Ferdinand of Bulgaria 
was the only one who spoke the truth in his proclama- 
tion of war. It was, he said, to be a war of Cross 
against Crescent. The massacres of Adana and the 
resultant misery pale, before the scarlet horrors com- 
mitted wholesale in cold blood by the so-called fol- 
lowers of Christ. The Orthodox Church, with her 
Jewish pogroms in Russia and her Balkan exploits, 
now holds the world's record for religious savagery. 

The Montenegrins, I learnt later, had pursued a 
similar pohcy after the war of 1877. The Moslems 
were then forcibly expelled from Podgoritza, and 
their houses in the old town burnt, as well as the 
bazar. When riding round on relief work, I came 
across a district, Buza Ujit, entirely peopled by refu- 



304 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

gees, who had then fled from Podgoritza, and their 
descendants. The Catholic Maltsors, their neigh- 
bours, had, however, come at the beginning of the 
war, and occupied their houses for them, so they told 
me, and had cried to " i biri Kralit " (the King's son) 
to spare them. As Montenegro then still wished to 
be on good terms with the Maltsors, the Buza Ujit 
people were thus saved from a second time experi- 
encing ]\Iontenegrin methods. 

When I had heard the horrors of the Gusinje dis- 
trict, I found that there were about a thousand 
refugees from the Djakova district, where similar 
horrors were being enacted. Great misery, too, was 
and is caused by the frontier-line, drawn " without 
considering the ethnographic question." It has been 
drawn between large districts and their only market- 
town, the learned frontier- drawers having, it appears, 
forgotten that a town and its surroundings necessarily 
form an organic whole, and are interdependent. By 
giving Djakova to the Montenegrins, the whole of the 
Nikaj, Merturi, Gashi, Krasnichi, Tropopoja tribes, 
and parts of Puka, are deprived of any place where 
they can either buy or sell. Djakova was founded by 
emigrants from Merturi and Berisha, and never was 
a Serb town. The luckless mountain men, when war 
was over, tried to go as usual to market. Some were 
flogged, and others shot. A four or five days' tramp 
to Scutari is their only alternative. The Serbs 
were supposed by Europe to have performed an 
heroic feat when they marched over these same moun- 
tains in the winter. The Powers have condemned 
the unhappy peasants to make a similar march when- 
ever they wish to buy some maize or lamp-oil. 



THE HARVEST OF WAR 305 

Moreover, Montenegro is so sparsely populated that 
she has not people enough of her own to populate 
these regions which she has devastated. Djakova, 
Ipek, Plevlje, and Bijelopolje, have been awarded to 
her, each one bigger than — in some cases twice or thrice 
as big as — her capital Cettigne; and the small towns 
of Berani, Gusinje, and Plava as well. So much for 
the results of war in the north. 

In June, I made a journey on the Houyhnhnm down 
south, through Alessio, Delbinishti, Durazzo, Pekin, 
Elbasan, Struga, Ochrida, Pogradech, Kortcha, Berat, 
Fieri, and Avlona, and thence returned by boat to 
Scutari. Of this journey it is not my purpose to 
speak much; space forbids, and much of it belongs 
rather to the new era than to the old one. It con- 
firmed, were more confirmation needed, the misconduct 
of the invading armies ; for only in those parts which 
no foe had penetrated were there no tales of outrage. 
The whole land was in a state of suspense, awaiting 
the help of Europe, and praying for the speedy arrival 
of a Prince who should put a stop to the intrigues, 
inspired largely from abroad, which threatened them. 
The greatest distrust was felt for Essad Pasha. He 
alone was possessed of artillery and an armed force, 
and, it was feared, would make an attempt to gain 
power for himself. It was rumoured also that he was 
receiving money from abroad. 

Tranquillity reigned everywhere, and the local 
governors were administering primitive and effective 
justice. One picture is burnt into my memory. 
It was the passing of the Turk. Through Durazzo, 
as the sun was setting, came a miserable little pro- 
cession. Pallid men in khaki rags, their bare feet 

20 



306 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

dangling limp, clung to the saddle-bow, and sat with 
pain the lean horses that bore them. Others, a shade 
less ill, limped after on foot. It was the last dying rem- 
nant of the Turkish army. The transport which was 
to fetch them had not arrived, and as the light died 
away they went out to pass the night on the bare 
ground by the shore. If the Turk had abused his 
power, he had paid for it. I shall never see anything 
more tragic than the dumb misery of those few sur- 
vivors of a military Power which had once made all 
Europe tremble. 

Ochrida in the hands of the Serbs was another 

tragic sight. I had known it well, ten years ago, 

when I first did hospital work for the wounded, and 

more than half expected to meet my own ghost as I 

walked through the melancholy streets. Then the 

Bulgars had just been crushed after a most fierce 

insurrection; but they did not look half so hopeless 

and sad then as now, when they had been " freed " 

by the Serbs. They had given their blood and goods 

in the hope of union, not with Servia, but with 

Bulgaria. Some few who recognized me said there 

was more misery than ever. The once busy Moslem 

bazar was largely closed. What had become of the 

large Moslem population, nearly all Albanian, I do 

not know. The Bulgar school was closed. The 

streets, newly inscribed with the names of Serb heroes, 

were silent except for the Serb troops which pervaded 

them. 

Rumours of the second, and most disgraceful, Balkan 
war filled officers and men with excitement. Not 
satiated with Albanian blood, they thirsted for that 
of their allies. 



THE HARVEST OF WAR 307 

At Pogradech, a little Albanian town at the foot of 
the lake, all the shops were shut in order to celebrate 
the anniversary of Kosovo, which did not interest the 
Albanians at all. They asked when the Serbs were 
going, and begged for union with Albania, but were 
cautious of speaking. When leaving, I went to the 
han to pay for my horse- forage, and, as change, was 
offered Serb coins. " Do not give me Serb money," 
said I, for I was going into Greek-held territory. In 
an instant popular feeling blazed. '' Ha ! she won't 
have anything Serb ! Bravo ! bravo !" I was 
alarmed lest trouble should arise, but the company 
was solid Albanian. 

When I was in Kortcha its fate was still undecided 
by the Conference in London. It was a-bristle with 
Greek soldiers, and there were freshly painted Greek 
inscriptions all over the town. It was in Kortcha, 
ten years ago, that I had first been inspired to help 
the Albanian people to become a nation, by the enthu- 
siasm of the patriots whose acquaintance I made 
there. From Kortcha, too, during the Young Turk 
reorime, and before it had started forcible Ottoman- 
izing, I had received Albanian papers and joyous 
reports of the way pupils were flocking to learn in 
the Albanian school. Now things were very different. 
A curiously interesting light was thrown on the way 
in which political movements are worked and dust 
thrown in the eyes of Europe. On entering the town, 
the Greeks had at once ordered that Greek and not 
Albanian should be spoken, and exiled or imprisoned 
many who had the courage to declare themselves 
Albanian. There were some 6.000 soldiers in the 
town, and the population was helpless. While I 



308 THE STRUGGLE FOE SCUTARI 

was there a " National Meeting " was got up by the 
Greeks. The bazar was closed; the Greek priests 
made house-to-house visits, ordering all persons to 
attend. The women and children were even bribed 
to do so by being told that some English people had 
come to speak to them — a statement which can only 
be described as a shameless lie. Neither I nor my 
companion had any intention of speaking at a political 
meeting. Nor, in spite of this attraction, did a very 
large number of persons attend; but the Conference 
of Ambassadors in London was informed that the 
whole population of Kortcha wished for Greek rule. 
In that case one wondered why they had not got up 
a mass meeting themselves, without the help of Greek 
soldiers at the street corners to point the way, and 
priests to tell them what to say. Many small towns 
all over the world could doubtless be made to say 
they wished to be Zulus, if an overpoweringly large 
force of that race were in occupation, and no help 
at hand. The very large majority of the inhabi- 
tants of the district were Moslem, and had no desire 
to become Greek subjects. The whole thing was so 
obviously a "put-up job" that it' weakened such 
sympathy as I had for the Greeks, and filled me with 
a certain contempt that they should have stage- 
managed it so badly. A number of persons, on 
the other hand, sent messages to us, and said they 
did not desire to become Greek subjects. As in 
Montenegro, so here, the desire of the conqueror was 
to exterminate or drive out the Albanian population, 
especially the Moslem portion. 

At Moskopol, a small Vlah town, on the return 
journey, Greek efforts were highly comical. A number 



THE HARVEST OF WAR 



309 



of persons were sent up overnight and instructed how 
to act. On our arrival, they rang the church bells 
and came prancing out to welcome us " to a Greek 
town." It was exactly like the scene of " peasants 
rejoicing " when the curtain goes up at a comic 
opera, and terribly overacted. 

If the Powers, to gain some private ends of their 
own, do not force the Greeks to evacuate, they will 
sign the death-warrants of a large proportion of the 
population. 

To arrive at Berat, a free Albanian town, after all 




GOVERNMENT HOUSE, AVLONA. 



this was like coming up for a breath of fresh air. 
Berat, gay, jolly, and full of life, was crowded with 
pack-animals and peasants come to market. The 
contrast between it and Greek-ridden Kortcha was 
most marked. Berat's one anxiety was that Europe 
should send a Prince quickly who should protect 
Albania from further aggression. 

Avlona was full of refugee Moslems who had fled 
from Greek persecution. They reported much pil- 
laging and cruelty. Avlona was then still the seat of 
Ismail Kemal's temporary government, but Avlona, 
like Berat, begged for the Prince to come quickly. 



310 THE STRUGGLE FOB SCUTARI 

There were signs that Essad, jealous of power, would 
shortly begin to make trouble, and the long-drawn 
delay of the Powers to fulfil their promises was 
causing deep anxiety. 

The international forces were not allowed jurisdic- 
tion beyond ten kilometres from Scutari, and the 
people knew not whom to obey. Had the Powers 
allowed the international troops to each occupy 
separate districts and rule till the Prince's arrival, 
much difficulty and trouble might have been spared. 
Instead, almost a year was allowed to pass between 
the Powers' decision to create a fresh Albania and 
their recognizing a ruler of it ; and time was given for 
the plans of rival chiefs and of the most interested of 
the Powers themselves to be matured. 



t: 



CHAPTER XVII 

LAST WORDS 

I RETURNED to Scutai i ill July, and worked till the 
middle of September, struggling to enable some, at 
least, of the war victims to face the coming winter. 
The distress was more widely spread than I had 
imagined. It was now too late to sow, and I had 
almost no money. This the poor people could not 
believe, and the scenes which ensued were indescrib- 
ably painful. 

I sent messages in vain up-rountry saying that no 
more help could be given. Women whose starved 
breasts had no more milk for the shrivelled baby 
came and threw themselves at my feet, and wept and 
cried: " If you will not help me, throw my children 
into the river; I cannot see them starve." I remem- 
bered Petar Plamenatz saying with a grin: " The 
more starve, the better for us !" 

I prepared to leave the country, as I could do no 
more, believing that though in outlying districts 
there would be deaths from starvation, yet our fund 
had saved a considerable number. And 1 hoped that 
England would send money to rescue others. The 
need was great, but not unconquerable. 

Then came the final catastrophe. The Serb troops, 
when withdrawing from Albanian territory in the 

311 



312 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

neigtboiirhood of the Debra frontier, looted, as they 
went, the horses and flocks. The owners resisted, 
and were shot, and forty-two headmen were taken 
prisoner to Debra. The Serb force was small. The 
whole population rose in a body, and though a number 
were armed only with sticks, hatchets, and similarly 
primitive weapons, they drove the Serbs from the 
place and rescued the prisoners, all of whom were 
bound and condemned to death, but as yet only a 
few killed. 

Ignorant of European politics, the luckless people 
hoped that the frontier would be redrawn and 
their town given back to them; but a large Serb 
force poured down upon them and took terrible 
vengeance. 

I received an urgent telegram to hurry to Elbasan 
at once with " first-aid " material. As the fund was 
exhausted, this was not easy. The Italian Consulate, 
however, gave me three cases of material, and I 
started. Three and a half days took me to Elbasan 
via Tirana; but on the way I already met with 
refugees. 

Next morning, even before the dawn, they were 
streaming into the town, and I watched them with 
dull dismay. Hundreds of women, dragging little 
children, and bent under the bundles of bedding they 
carried, filed in. There were some Gypsies and some 
Bulgarians, but the bulk were Moslem Albanians. 
The men, fine specimens of humanity, bore themselves 
bravely even in their misery as they tramped by. 
Almost all were unarmed. I remember a woman 
who showed her cut feet. She had tramped with her 
three children from the Gostivar district near Uskub. 



THE irAKVKST OF AVAR 313 

It liad taken six days — " The children went so 
slowly." 

All told the same tale. Their villages had been 
set on and burnt by the Serb troops who were on the 
way to Debra. 1 was Ejiven the particulars of twenty- 
seven villages in all. In some iastances the troops 
had set fire to the village and surrounded it, and 
driven back with the bayonet those who had not had 
time to escape. In making such inquiries, one mu.st 
always allow for the exaggeration which is inevitable 
when people are terror-stricken and have tied for 
their lives, and must always hope that some of those 
reported slain wmII have survived; but even if the 
tale of horror were divided by ten, it left an awful 
record of '* what man has done to man." Moreover, 
on my return journey I met a mass of people at 
Tirana who had fled from the same districts, and they, 
separately questioned, gave almost precisely similar 
accounts. Nor when the old hodja of Rechan broke 
down and wept, when he told that he was one of five 
men who had escaped alive out of eighty, and that he 
had heard the shrieks of the women burning in the 
hoases, could one doubt that he was speaking the 
truth. 

In the face of all this misery, 1 was helple-s. The 
local authorities allotted some money for relief work, 
and formed a committee. All the money that I had 
with me I had already spent on the refugees at 
Elbasan. I rode away from the siirht of nii^ory which 
1 could not aid. 

In Scutari I was met with more bad news. The 
Serbs and Montenegrins had cros-sed the Albanian 
frontier, an«l had entirely burnt all the houses of the 



a=: 



314 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

Gashi and Krasnichi tribes. This was in vengeance 
for the fact that these tribes had been sheltering and 
feeding the wretched refugees from Gusinje and Dja- 
kova. Moreover, a number of Moslem villages in 
the neighbourhood of Prizren and Djakova had also 
been burnt; horrible outrages were reported by the 
survivors. In one village the girls had first been 
captured and handed over to the lust of the soldiery, 
and afterwards thrown into the burning village. 
Such was the account of the refugees. 

From places four days' march away came hapless 
creatures to beg aid. I remember a man who came 
with his wife and three boys from a village in the 
Prizren district. He told that all had been quiet 
there ; it was far from the trouble at Debra. Someone 
brought word that the Serb army was approaching. 
*' I said to my brother, ' Let us fly,' for I knew what 
the Serb soldiers were like. He had a little shop, and 
said: * No; why should we ? We have done nothing.' 
But I was afraid, and took my wife, and my two boys, 
and his boy, and went up the mountain. Soon we 
saw our village burning. The people who escaped 
told me my brother was dead. I did not know where 
to turn for help. I heard of you. I am ashamed to 
beg; I did not think I should ever have to do it, for 
I have always given hospitality." His wife burst into 
tears when I said I could only give food for a day or 
two. 

I left Scutari and returned to England after three 
years and six months' absence. But the tale of 
misery has gone on, and the agents who are struggling 
with it have been unable, through lack of funds, to 
lelieve more than a limited number. In the high 



THE HARVEST OF WAR 315 

mountaias the burnt-out people of Ga-^hi and Kras- 
nichi are reported to have died at the rate of twenty 
a day. And the hitest letters (April, 1914) tell that 
the Greeks, in evacuating part of the South Albanian 
district, have burnt and pillaged eleven Moslem vil- 
lages in the Kolonia and Frasheri districts; that they 
have organized bands of raiders to resist Albanian 
occupation; that Greeks and Cretans, led by Greek 
officers, have been plundering and slaughtering; and 
that 5,000 more destitute refugees are crying for help. 

As an Albanian patriot truly wrote: " Yes, the 
Allies fought side by side simply for the devastation 
and extermination of our nation. The world must 
surely be amazed that nations calling themselves 
Christian can, through greed and anger, commit such 
barbarities." 

So much for the past. I have set down briefly a 
few of the things which I have seen and heard. Of 
the future it is impossible to propliesy. In the 
Balkan Peninsula it is usually the unexpected which 
takes place. The one thing that can be said witli 
certainty is that no permanent solution of the Balkan 
question has been arrived at. The ethnographical 
questions have been ignored. A portion of each race 
has been handed over to be ruled by another which 
it detests. Servia has acquired a population which 
is mostly Bulgar and Albanian, though of the latter 
she has massacred and expelled many thousands. 
Bulgars have been captured by (Jreeks, Cheeks by 
Bulgars, Albanians by Greeks, and not one of these 
races has as yet shown signs of being capable to rule 
another justly. The seeds have been sown of hatreds 
that will grow and bear fruit. 



316 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 

At least a generation must pass before the actual 
loss and waste of property can in any way be made 
up for. This has been so gi^eat that were it not for 
heavy loans each of the late Allies would be hope- 
lessly crippled. They are at the mercy of such of the 
Powers as finance them; and meanwhile more than 
one of the said Powers stands expectant, ready to 
snap up the pieces should a second break-up take 
place. 



% 



I \ 1) I : X 



Abdil Hamid. .">. s. lu. 11. M 
Albania. 13. '2irK 'J.ll. '^41. '2:>'2. 'JUT 
Albanian comniittco. .%4, {\S 

language. 65. 72. I'JO. 1311. 240. 

251.207 
Bchools, 13. 10. 55. 00. 73. 132. 
13l>. 240 
Alossio. fA). 95. 114. 231 
America. 08 
Andrivovitra. 38. 107 tt mtq., 174. 

lh"2. 3l>2 
Archbi»li()j) (of Scutari). 01 cl «tq., 

10. 90. 120. 141. 140. 280 
Arms. 18. 72. 150 
Austria. 12. 17, 40. 122. 120. 154. 

177.253,254.271 
Austrian ConBulato. 14. 133. 1.18. 177 
Autonomy (for Allmnia). 23. 152. 155 
Avlona. 135. 148. 234. 309 

Balkan States, 6, 88. 150. 100. 209. 

22i> 
Bardhanjolt. 210. 228, 257 
Batar. 17. 22. 2H8. 30M 
Bechir (Brigadier). 195. 127. 224. 

248 
Bodri Pa8ha. 19 
lioranj. 27. 105. 108. 171. IS4. 227. 

237. '2M. 302 
Berat. 3<K".. 34J9 
B«Ha. IH. 120 
Blazho lioHhkuvitch. 37. 41. 43, IJIi. 

151. 1K3. 180. 189 
Blockhouhoa. 25. ItU). 1<'.9. 173 
Bomb affair. 20. 135. 175 
Bourchier (Mr.. «.( The Ttmes), 53. 57 
Bmm ' ■ •' inh). 32 
Bnti~! • nt. 14. l.'.O. 172 

Vi. 124. 120. 133. 147. 

UMl. 271. 2>M» 
Bulftaria, 13. M. 103. 127. 150 
BulKam. 0. 8. 118. 140. 208. 262. 

270. 312. 315 



Burning of villagos, 26. 29, 35, 53. 
."iO. 90. 92 ft *,q.. 112. 100. 108. 
194, 209. 221. 2h.->. 295, 313 

Catholics. 12. 17. 19. 02. 140. 208. 

225. 247. 249. 251. 2.''>4, 202, 20<1. 

209. 284. 304 
Cottigno. 17, 20. 42. 03. 08. 71. lO.'i. 

174. 181. 1S5. 193. 243. 2.VS 
Cholera. 75. i>2 
Comet. 14. 18 

Constant inoj)li'. 10. 19. 5<», llo. 229 
Constitution (Turkish), 3, 5, 7, 12, 

107. 110 
Correspondents, 33, 36. 63, 57. 07. 

75 
Crane (Mr., of Chicago), 50 ct scq.. 

119 

Danilo (CYown Prince of Monto- 

nepro). 21. 05. 184. 1S9. I'M. 2in.'. 

20<>. 229. 248. 253. 279. 304 
Dochich. 24. 1(^. 170. 187. 1h9. 

190. 193. 214. 218. 244 
])ed Soko. 115. 177. 184 
Desecration of churches. 20, 50. 91. 

170. 247 
Djakova. 08. 105. 232. 230. 208. 28H. 

2l»9. 305 
Iijavid Tanha. 14. 27. 171. 184 
DriHhti. 92. 2:{9. 24s. *J<M 
Dukagini. 18. 27. 44. lo5. I.V.. 2<H 

Rlbasan. 13. 20. 158. 305. 312 
Kimad Pawha. 10. 110, 184. 264. 277. 

280. 2H3. 34>5. 310 
KurojMv 57. 59. tV4. 129. 109. 259 
Kun>iM'nn gunrantf*'. t\'.\. 04. 73 
Kuru[>ean intorwntiun. 20^. 273 

I-Vmnc*. 279 

Fr»nrii»c»ni«. 79. 2»rJ. 2«i7. 225 

Krxmticrs. 25. 40. l.'.O. 173. '2t\s. •J74 

317 



318 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 



Gani Bey, 10 

Garibaldi, 19, 40, 60 

Gelosh Djoko, 30, 134, 141, 220 

German Legation, 260, 264 

Graves (Mr.), 137 et seq., 140, 142 

Great Powers, 5, 8, 17, 70, 87, 164, 

174, 258, 262, 260, 268, 270. 275, 

279, 284. 297 
Greece, 13, 150, 270 
Greeks, 6, 109, 270, 280, 307, 315 
Gregovitch, 75, 157 
Gruda tribe, 18. 27, 72, 163, 177, 

203, 213, 222, 208, 275 
Guns (Montenegrin), 26, 166, 169, 

201, 202, 207, 210 
Gusinje, 175, 227, 208, 274, 299 

et seq., 305 

Hadji Avdil, 137, 140, 146 

Heat, 33, 50, 82, 287 

Hodja, 20, 68, 69, 301 

Hospital, 14, 33, 164, 182, 191, 197, 

229, 230 et seq., 235 et seq., 241 
Hoti (tribe). 18, 26, 45, 73, 163, 254, 

268, 275 
Houyhnhnm, 198, 201, 203, 212, 

219. 221, 227, 233. 240, 244 
Hussein Riza Bey, 99, 110, 120, 122, 

126, 130, 144, 228, 239. 246. 254 

Immeubles. 125, 139 

Indemnity (for burnt houses), 58, 

103, 104, HI, 123 et seq. 
Insurgents, 25, 46, 68, 158 

(terms ofEered to). 58, 72, 74, 
125 
Interviews, 65, 252, 265 
Ipek. 144, 175. 220, 237, 302, 305 
Isa Boletin, 105, 170 
Ismail Kemal Bey, 20, 54, 68, 158, 

270 
Italy (her policy), 97, 122, 149, 151 
(warwith), 94, 107, 110, 116 

Journalists, 12, 52, 61, 107, 192, 

232, 265 
Jovitchevitch (Montenegrin Consul), 

136, 152, 197, 274 

Kastrati, 27, 73, 90, 147, 193, 225 
King Ferdinand (of Bulgaria), 17, 

181, 303 
King Nikola (of Montenegro). 17, 21, 
33. 41. 63. 70. 72. 75, 103, 120, 
135, 154, 162. 178, 181, 185 et seq., 
197, 228, 240, 245, 246, 254, 266, 
270. 272. 275, 276 



King Peter (of Servia), 17 
Klimenti, 27, 49, 73, 254 
Kolashm, 158, 102, 183, 163 
Komits, 18, 124 
Kopliku, 28, 62, 203, 205, 209 
Kortcha, 103, 158, 305, 308 
Kosovo (vilayet), 12, 68, 153, 150, 

183, 238, 246, 299 
Kralitza (my title), 37, 50, 107, 201 
Kulas. See Blockhouses 

Language. See Albanian language 
Letter (to Sir E. Grey), 55, 61 
Ljuma, 239, 274 
Looting, 198, 204, 206, 208, 214, 

218, 225, 240, 247, 254, 282, 285, 

289 

Macedonia, 17, 150 

Maize, 30, 41, 52, 76, 95, 138, 147 

240, 246, 294 
Malaria, 95, 116 
Maltsia e madhe, 18, 110, 128, 155, 

103, 209 
Maltsors, 19, 28, 54, 62, 107, 127, 

132, 140, 150, 154 et seq., 176, 

182, 188, 192, 201, et seq., 209, 

216, 222 et seq., 244, 254, 283 
Marko, 11, 95, 101, 119, 208, 281, 

285 
Martina j, 31, 76, 79, 82 
Martinovitch (General), 60, 71. 119. 

163, 181, 208, 281, 285 
Massacres, 168, 181, 253, 288, 298, 

302 
Medua, 11, 100, 151. 228. 232, 244 
Mihilaki Eflendi, 74, 80, 135. 152 
Mirash Lutzi, 34, 80, 111, 123 
Mirdites, 14, 17. 59, 110, 126, 130, 

143.210 . 
Mirko (Prince, of Montenegro), 21, 

180, 217, 222 
Mobilization (Montenegrin). 38. 07, 

151, 175 
Mojkovach, 158, 101, 108. 185 
Montenegro. 11, 17, 18, 21, 28, 38. 

42, 61. 66, 75, 97, 120, 130, 149, 

155, 160. 166. 177, 193, 197, 218, 

252 

ontenegrin army, 38, 58, 193, 200, 

208, 221 
.loslems, 4, 6, 12. 19. 42, 93. 110, 

117. 120. 130, 134, 137, 163. 204, 

218. 232. 238, 301 et seq. 
Mosques. 6. 26. 130, 176 
Mutilation, 153, 161, 171. 176. 184, 

193, 197, 236. 257 



INDKX 



319 



Nationalist Altiaiiiann. 'J3. IM 
Nevinsuii (Mr.). IMl, l»7. liKt 
Nixttiu*. IK». "JT. lUO. 2.'i'J 

Officers (Yountt Turk). 7. 12. <JT 



UrtL...... ., ._ ...; _. ,. ...... 

303 
Ottomunization iforciMci. S. I.t. If. 

•40. 107 

Parliamont (Turkish). 5. 14U. U.i. 

103. 107 
Peaco. 02. 70. 1»1. 173 
I'otar (I'rinco. u( .Montenegro). 21 

1H7. 2<».'>. 277, J'M 
I'olrovittb. >«•«« lioyal Family 
I'latutMiatz ^.Juvun;. 171. 174. 20.>. 

210. 212 ft Btq. 
Plamoiiati (PoUr). 103. 107. IIH. 

125. 133. 13.-.. 20y. 2H3. 311 
Plava. 175. l'J7. 227. 301 
Podgoritia. 20. 24. 30. .'>0. 02. •«. 

132. 152. 100, 170. 1S3. 227. 251. 

271 
Popovitch (Ilia). 107 
Pojwvitch ( Mont«n<>grin Miitistor), 

20. 135. l.V). 274. 2H5 
Pronk Pasha. 14. 17. .V.). 143 
I*res8 censors. \HS. I'Hi, 230. 2«i8 
Priiicessoe (.Montoni'grm). 21. 191. 

233. 270. 27S 
Primmors. 29. 105. 171. 195. 223. 

235. 24S rl trq.. 2.VJ e/ /ir^. 

Prizron. IM. Ih3. 184J. 22.S. 2.34. 

207. 270. '2SH. 314 
ProchashkA (Austrian Consul). '2V, 

253 

Queen (of the mountainB), 37. 1<'1. 

107. 201 
Quinine. 90. 114 

Red Cross. 191. 229 ri atq.. 234. 242. 

■i;\ i:,'* r.s 

. 141 
...OH. 

lo.'>. 3u3. :;12. :ii.'> 

R«|iof work 31 1<M w ..,/ . 1 ij. 174. 

Si" 
Hill -ro).27. 38. 

i . . . . 1 .1 < I . .1 

(promisotl by Austria). 133 
Hon>.' \\t 
Kov tlrin). 21 



..\.,, j.-.n 



H'.t. 103. 129. \:*\, 

79 



^^inldrwljliri H^y ( I'ltrki-h Minister). 

149 

.■» ii""i-. <>, i.>. 1'. J. r' ill. 132 
Scutari (AlWania). 1». II. 13. 71. 89. 
I «"■ >■" •'■' '-' _'MH. 212. 258. 

- , • ,;.j 

.Sorvia. 17. Us. 131. 172. 175. IKl. 
227. 294 

1 army. 238. 240. 257. 273. 

:«Ml. .(1 I ,/ A,q. 

129.103.175 
■^i 7. .35 

.^k L . .;. 73. 94. 113. 193. 

220 
Sla%izing (forcible). 240. 253. 209. 

275. 30<J t/ »tq. 
Sokol Batzi. 33. 40. 72. 2n3. 221. 

•223. 254 
.Soothuavors. 14. 1H4. 270 
Stanko Slarkovitch. 30. 4li. .'^4, 1^3. 

229. 249. 2»11. 20() 
Sultan. 11. .'><>. 102. 113. 139 
8umma (Monsieur). 111. 124. 147. 

280 
Summa (trilw). 93. 2G1 
I 

Tarabo«h. 11. 148. 183. 197. 20<'.. 
223. 228. 272 
, Taxes. 10. 110. 139 
I TtrntJi (The). 52. 57. 71. 841 
; Tourgouil Pasha. 25. 02. M. 71. I'^'.t. 
I 220 
I Toptani. 10 
Trio|.Khi. 20. 34. 3s. 44. 51 
Turkov. 4. 3H. 120. 140. 149. lt,3 
Turkish army. 38. 67. 109. 117. 174. 

300 
Turkish Consulate. 39. 07. 73. 151 
Turkish (;ovommpnt. 4. 37. 02. 120. 

101. It>4 
Turks. 28. 77. 144. 148. 300 
Tun. 10. Oy. 72. SO. 108. 135. I<M. 
197. 220 

I'nion and I^rof^reas (Committee of). 
14. I3.'>. 140. 143 

\,.li ..( S.ut^ni, 19. 89. III. 128. 

le). 160. 166 



320 THE STRUGGLE FOR SCUTARI 



Vienna, 13, 177, 234, 272 
Voinovitch (Count L.), 245, 286 
Vukotitch. See Yanko V. 

War (declaration of), 187 

(preparation for), 38, 42, 

164, 175, 183 
(with Italy), 95, 110, 116, 
220 
Women (Montenegrin), 195, 
204, 208, 225. 230, 236, 
288 



66, 

131, 

198, 
240, 



Wounded, 29, 32, 152, 164, 191, 205, 
216, 256 

Yanko Vukotitch (General), 21, 24, 

27, 29, 37, 43, 67, 71, 74, 77. 123, 

164, 171, 174, 182, 252 
Young Turks, 3, 6, 9, 11, 13, 59. 81. 

117, 146 
Young Turk (methods), 7, 8, 16, 34, 

89, 92, 109, 145 

Zhivkovitch, 188, 190. 230 



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The struggle for Scutari