Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

´╗┐Title: Birdseye Views of Far Lands
Author: Nichols, James T. (James Thomas), 1865-
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Birdseye Views of Far Lands" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



BIRDSEYE VIEWS OF FAR LANDS

_by_

JAMES T. NICHOLS

Author of "Lands of Sacred Story," "The World Around," etc.

Published by
JAMES T. NICHOLS
University Place Station
DES MOINES, IOWA

Copyrighted 1922


[Illustration: JAMES T. NICHOLS]



INTRODUCTION


Birdseye Views of Far Lands is an interesting, wholesome presentation of
something that a keen-eyed, alert traveler with the faculty of making
contrasts with all classes of people in all sorts of places, in such a
sympathetic way as to win their esteem and confidence, has been able to
pick up as he has roamed over the face of the earth for a quarter of a
century.

The book is not a geography, a history, a treatise on sociology or
political economy. It is a _Human Interest_ book which appeals to the
reader who would like to go as the writer has gone and to see as the
writer has seen the conformations of surface, the phenomena of nature
and the human group that make up what we call a "world."

The reader finds facts indicating travel and study set forth in such
vigorous, vivid style that the attention is held by a story while most
valuable information is being obtained. The casual reader, the pupil in
the public school and student in the high school, professional men and
women, will all find the book at once highly interesting and
instructive. In no other book with which I am acquainted can so much
that is interesting be learned of the world in so short time and in such
a pleasing way.

Teachers in rural schools will find the book especially helpful. It will
inspire the pupils in the upper grades in these schools to do some
observation work themselves and to in this manner seek to learn their
own localities better, while at the same time it will suggest the
collection of materials about other countries, their peoples, products,
characteristics and importance from sources other than text books.

_Every rural school as well as every high school and public library in
the land should have one or more copies of this book._

W. F. BARR

_Dean College of Education
Drake University_



AN ACKNOWLEDGMENT


The contents of this book have appeared, in substance, in Successful
Farming, a magazine that has a circulation of more than eight hundred
and fifty thousand copies per issue, and the book is published largely
at the request of many of the readers of this journal.

The author began traveling in foreign countries many years ago. Some of
the countries described in the book have been visited many times and
often with unusual opportunity to see places and people as they really
are.

When the writer began traveling it was with no thought of ever writing
for a magazine or publishing a book. It is only natural, however, that
one would read what others say about the countries he expected to visit.
Travel books and articles were often read in public libraries and the
habit was formed of making extensive notes, sometimes entire sentences
being copied in notebook without the use of quotation marks or any
reference whatever to the author. It is therefore impossible to give
credit where credit is often due.

No literary merit is claimed for the book. The information was gained in
every possible way and the book is sent forth hoping that it will be
suggestive and helpful, especially to those who find it impossible to
visit foreign lands. If the eye of an author of a book or magazine
article should read the following pages and fall upon a thought or
sentence that is familiar it will be evidence that your book or article
was very helpful to the one who writes these lines. This book is simply
an effort to pass some of the worth while things on to others.

"Jas. T. Nichols" [handwritten signature.]



TABLE OF CONTENTS


CHAPTER                                                        PAGE

    I   The Land of Opposites--China                              5

   II   The Pearl of the Orient--Philippines                     12

  III   The Country America Opened to Civilization--Japan        20

   IV   The Transformation of a Nation--Korea                    28

    V   A Great Unknown Land--Manchuria                          35

   VI   The Land of Sorrow--Siberia                              43

  VII   The Home of Bolshevism--Russia                           51

 VIII   The Nation That Conquers the Sea--Holland                58

   IX   The Nation That the World Honors--Belgium                65

    X   A Glimpse of America's Friend--France                    73

   XI   Some Impressions of the Great Peace Conference           81

  XII   The Nightmare of Europe--Alsace-Lorraine                 88

 XIII   The Home of the Passion Play--Oberammergau               95

  XIV   The Country Where the War Started--Servia               102

   XV   A World-Famous Land--Palestine                          110

  XVI   A World-Famous City--Jerusalem                          116

 XVII   A World-Famous River--The Jordan                        122

XVIII   The Playground of Moses--Egypt                          128

  XIX   A Country With a Thousand Rivers--Venezuela             136

   XX   A Land of Great Industries--Brazil                      143

  XXI   Uruguay and Paraguay                                    151

 XXII   The Wonderful Argentine Republic                        158

XXIII   Yankeedom of South America--Chile                       165

 XXIV   The Switzerland of South America--Bolivia               173

  XXV   The Land of Mystery--Peru                               179

 XXVI   The World's Great Crossroad--Panama Canal               186

XXVII   The Seven Wonders of the World                          193



CHAPTER I

THE LAND OF OPPOSITES--CHINA


A half century ago the world laughed at Jules Verne for imagining that
it would ever be possible to go around the world in eighty days. It was
not until years later that Nellie Bly, a reporter, actually encircled
the globe in that space of time. Now we are dreaming of making such a
journey in ten days and our aeroplanes are flying at a rate of speed
that would take one around the world in eight days. At this hour
thousands of young men can handle these flyers as easily and with almost
as little danger as they can handle an automobile. With aerial mail
routes already established in many countries it will not be long until
mail service by aeroplane will be established around the world.

This book is a series of Birdseye Views of Far Lands something the same
as one would see on a flying visit to various countries. In this way it
will be possible to get glimpses of countries on every continent in one
small volume and thus give interesting and valuable information about
countries and peoples in all parts of the world. Young people especially
are in the mind of the writer. As most of the information was secured by
rambling through these countries and rubbing elbows with the common
people it will be difficult to keep from using the personal pronoun
quite often.

It is fitting that our first view be of China which is one of the oldest
civilizations on the earth. This great agricultural people have tilled
the same soil for forty centuries and in most cases it yet produces more
per acre than the soil of perhaps any other country. The Chinese are a
great people. Although they are just awakening from a sleep that has
lasted twenty centuries or more, yet the world can learn many valuable
lessons from them. They used to embody the genius of the world and even
yet have skill along certain lines that is simply amazing. Many of the
great inventions that have blessed the world and which we are using
today were wrought out by these people and it will not be out of place
here to recount some of their achievements.

The Chinese invented printing five hundred years before Caxton was born
and the Peking Gazette is said to be the oldest newspaper in the world.
They invented paper nearly eighteen centuries ago and had books hundreds
of years before the days of Gutenburg. They invented the compass twenty
centuries before Jesus was born in Bethlehem. They invented gunpowder
ages ago and were the first people to use firearms. They used banknotes
and bills of exchange long before other nations, and the modern adding
machine is founded upon a principle which has been used by them a
thousand years. They discovered the process of rearing the silkworm and
they dressed in silk when our forefathers wore clothing made of the
skins of animals. The writer has crossed the Atlantic more than a dozen
times on ships with watertight compartments, a so-called modern safety
device, but the Chinese had watertight compartments in their junks
hundreds of years before modern steamships were ever dreamed about.

To the Chinese we must credit the making of asbestos, the manufacture of
lacquer, the carving of ivory and many other important industries. Even
today they make the finest dishes and the best pottery. At one time
they built a tower two hundred and fifty-six feet high entirely of
porcelain. Ages ago they dug the longest and in some respects the
greatest canal ever dug on earth, the Grand Canal of China, which was a
thousand miles long and some of which is in use to this day. They built
the Great Wall of China which was fifteen hundred miles in length and
which was a greater undertaking than the building of the Pyramids of
Egypt.

The Chinese were the first people to coin money in a mint; the first to
have a standard of weights and measures; the first to have a system of
marking time. They had a celestial globe, an observatory, and noted the
movements of heavenly bodies more than four thousand years ago. A
Chinaman was the first to distill and use intoxicating liquor and for
this he was dismissed from the public service by the ruler who said,
"This will cost someone a kingdom some day." They are industrious,
resourceful and skillful and should they become warriors and introduce
modern methods and instruments of warfare the world would be up against
the most frightful peril of all ages. Napoleon Bonaparte said of China,
"Yonder sleeps a mighty giant and when it awakens it will make the whole
world tremble."

The Chinese are one of the strongest races of people in existence. They
have only been conquered twice but in both cases they absorbed their
conquerors and made Chinese of them. Although old, out of date and slow,
they have principles in their civilization that will last as long as
time, and China will be a great nation long after some of the so-called
great nations now in existence are forgotten.

With the exception of Russia as it was before the world war, the
Chinese Empire is perhaps the largest the world has ever known. Its
population comprises one-fourth of the human race. If the single state
of Texas were as densely populated as at least one of the provinces of
China, there would be living in this one state more than two hundred
million people or nearly twice as many people as are now living in the
whole United States. The resources of this great country are almost
boundless. There is said to be coal enough in China to furnish the whole
world fuel for a thousand years. While in China I was told of one
mountain that has five veins of coal that can be seen without throwing a
shovelful of dirt. Some years ago the German government investigated the
iron resources of China and published the fact that they are the finest
in the world. This no doubt explains one reason why Germany was trying
to get a foothold in China.

But in agriculture the Chinese shine. As noted above they have tilled
the same soil for four thousand years. Some of this soil too is very
thin and poor but it produces as well today as it did a thousand years
ago. While most of their methods are the oldest and crudest that can be
found, yet in some other ways the whole world can learn lessons from
them. They use fertilizer in the form of liquid and put it on the
growing plant rather than on the soil as we do. The farmer will feed his
plants with the same regularity and care that our farmers feed and care
for their horses and cattle. Every drop of urine and every particle of
night soil is preserved for fertilizer. This is saved in earthen jars
and gathered, mostly by women, each morning. A Chinese contractor paid
the city of Shanghai $31,000 in gold in a single year for the privilege
of collecting the human waste and selling it to the farmers around near
the city. Where a beast of burden is at work a boy or girl is near with
a long handled dipper ready to catch the urine and droppings as they
fall.

In China the farmers have always been held in high esteem. While the
scholar is highest, the farmer is second on the list in the social
scale. It is interesting to know that the soldier is fifth or last on
the list because his work is to destroy rather than to build up. The hoe
is an emblem of honor in China. For hundreds of years the Emperor with
his nobles went every spring to the Temple of Agriculture to offer
sacrifice. After this ceremony they all went to a field near the temple
and paid honor to the tillers of the soil. At a yellow painted plow, to
which was hitched a cow or buffalo, with a yellow robed peasant leading,
the Emperor dressed as a farmer put his hand to the plow and turned nine
furrows across the field while bands of musicians chanted the praises of
agriculture. Even the Empress set the example of honest agricultural
toil by picking the leaves from the mulberry trees, early each spring,
to be fed to silk worms.

All China is a network of canals and the Chinese are a race of
irrigators. Both men and women stand from daylight until dark walking on
a sort of a windlass turning an endless chain with buckets on it, one
end of which is in the canal and the other end up on the bank, pumping
the water up to flood the rice fields or irrigate the growing crops. No
people toil harder or more earnestly than do these simple people. While
they grow an abundance of vegetables, yet rice and tea are the greatest
products of China.

The great rivers of the empire are so liable to disastrous floods that
in many of the lower lands the people content themselves with fishing
and raising geese and ducks. A duck farm is most interesting. A large
shed by the river, or a raft, will serve as a shelter for the night. The
farmer of course sleeps in this shed. Early in the morning he opens the
door and out come the ducks. At night they return from every direction
scrambling over each other to get in. The Chinaman sits near the door
with a long bamboo pole herding them in. He even trains drakes to assist
him and they care for the flock something like a good shepherd dog will
care for sheep.

The Chinese do nearly everything backward or opposite from the way we do
it. The reading in their books begins at the end. Instead of across the
page the lines are up and down with footnotes at the top. The Chinaman
laughs at a funeral and cries at a wedding. He beckons you to come when
he wants you to go away. Instead of shaking his friend's hand in
greeting him he shakes his own hands. When he gets puzzled instead of
scratching his head as we do he kicks off his shoe and scratches the
bottom of his foot. When he gets mad at another he kills himself
imagining that his dead spirit will haunt the enemy and make life
miserable for him. Men often do crochet work while women dig ditches and
drive piling. Men wear petticoats and women wear trousers.

The Chinese launch ships sideways. Their compass points to the south. In
building a house they make the roof first and the foundation is the last
thing they put in. The key in the door turns backward to lock it. The
kitchen is in the front while the best room is in the back of the house.
When a Chinaman sprinkles clothes for ironing purposes he uses his mouth
as the sprinkler. I never had a collar washed in China that was not
ironed wrong side out. He pays the doctor when he is well and stops the
pay the moment he gets sick. You can almost bank on a Chinaman doing
anything the opposite from the way you do it and he laughs at your way
as much as you do at his.



CHAPTER II

THE PEARL OF THE ORIENT--PHILIPPINES


Of all the islands in the eastern seas, none are more interesting than
our own Philippines. Like the genuine pearl which is the result of a
bruise and the outcome of suffering, these pearls of the far east are
said by geologists to be the result of great volcanic forces that tore
them away from the continent and set them out six hundred miles as "gems
in the ocean." More than three thousand there are of these islands all
together, and their combined area is nearly equal to that of Japan or
California. I visited the Philippines a short time before the world war
broke out and at that time there were seven million acres of arable land
unoccupied and some of it could be entered and purchased for ten cents
per acre.

This is a land where the storms of winter never blow but where from
month to month and age to age there is good old summer time. Children
are born, grow to manhood, old age, and die without ever seeing fire to
keep them warm for they never need it. A range of twenty degrees is
about all that the spirits in the thermometer ever show, for the minimum
is seventy-two and the maximum ninety-two degrees. While the nights are
cool and the days warm, yet a case of sunstroke was never known and but
once in a generation has a hundred in the shade been recorded.

About the most unpleasant feature is the little tiny ants. They find
their way into everything. Table legs must be placed in jars of water
and yet they find their way to the top of the tables. Then there is
dampness everywhere. Books soon become mildewed or unglued and the
finest library will soon have the appearance of a secondhand bookshop.

Almost all kinds of tropical fruits can be raised in the Philippines. I
drove out from Manila to the home of Mr. Lyon, who is a regular Burbank.
He located on some of the worst soil to be found and undertook to
demonstrate that anything that will grow on any spot on the earth will
grow there and he practically succeeded. He has sent to India,
California, Egypt and nearly everywhere for the rarest orchids and most
delicate plants. To eat of the fruits of every kind of tree and hear him
tell the story of plants and shrubs and trees in his Garden of Eden is
an experience one cannot forget.

The story of how these islands came into our possession is still fresh
and vivid in the memory of thousands. Spanish cruelty had reached the
climax and Admiral Dewey was commanded to "find the Spanish fleet and
sink it to the bottom of the sea." As the great ship upon which I went
into and out of this harbor plowed the waves I lived over again that
marvelous May day in 1898. It was one of the great days in our history.
As the fleet entered the harbor word came to the flagship that they were
entering a territory covered with submarine mines, yet Admiral Dewey
signaled, "Steam ahead." A little later word came that they were in
direct range of the guns at the fort and once more the Admiral signaled
"Steam ahead." Still later word came that they were entering the most
dangerous mine-infested district of all and were liable any instant to
be blown to atoms, and once more the fearless Admiral signaled "Steam
ahead." The result was that the long dark night of Spanish rule was
ended and a new era was ushered in.

The transformation brought about since that memorable day is almost
unbelievable. The whole country has been revolutionized. Railroads and
macadamized roads have been built with steel and concrete bridges and
where it used to be almost impassable it is now a pleasure to travel.
Schools and colleges have been established. A bureau of labor has
averted many strikes. A constabulary force of nearly five thousand men
has done wonders in suppressing brigandage, bringing the savage tribes
into subjection and preserving the peace in general. This force is
somewhat similar to the mounted police system of Saskatchewan in Canada
and is a terror to evil doers.

A bureau of health has transformed the city of Manila from a
fever-infested hotbed of contagious diseases to one of the most
healthful cities on the globe. Six thousand lepers have been collected
and established in a colony on an island. The number of cases of
small-pox has been reduced from forty thousand to a few hundred per
year. Cholera, which used to sweep away tens of thousands is almost
unknown. With a dozen or more great hospitals and more than three
hundred boards of health, great things have been accomplished.

I was much interested in the report of Francis Burton Harrison who was a
recent governor general of the Philippines who said, "During the war
this race of people was intensely and devotedly loyal to the cause of
the United States. It raised a division of Filipino volunteers for
federal service and presented destroyers and a submarine to the United
States Navy; it oversubscribed its quota in Liberty bonds and gave
generously to Red Cross and other war work. America was criticised and
even ridiculed for her altruism in dealing with this problem. The idea
of training tropical people for independence was thought to be
idealistic and impracticable. The result was quite to the contrary. Once
more idealism has been shown to be the moving force in working out the
destinies of nations. That is what America has done to the Philippines."

"If the city of Manila could, by some genius of modern times, be laid
down in Europe and ticketed, labeled, bill-posted and guide-booked, it
would be famous," says one authority. The city contains an area of more
than fifteen square miles and is more densely populated per mile of
street than New York. When civil government was established in 1901 the
conditions were deplorable. The streets were narrow and filthy and there
was no sewer system to speak of. The river and dirty canals divided and
subdivided the city. There was practically no water system and disease
and death lurked in almost every shadow.

Now the city is fast becoming one of the world's great cities and one of
the most healthful cities on the globe. The streets have been widened,
many of them, and are kept clean. A water system brings pure water to
almost every household and a great sewer system takes away the filth.
The Manila Hotel is worth a million and a park or square on the water
front covers hundreds of acres of ground.

The great Y. M. C. A. buildings were thronged as in no other city the
writer ever visited. The fire department is up-to-date, the police
system well organized, and even in the great Bilibid prison the reforms
introduced are second to none in any prison. This prison covers
seventeen acres of ground, making it one of the largest in the world.
Many of its fifty buildings are built around a circle and in the tower
at the center, watchmen, who can see the entire prison, stand night and
day.

Through the kindness of the officials the writer was allowed to go into
this tower one afternoon as the five thousand prisoners came from the
shops, formed into companies and went through a thirty-minute drill. The
band played throughout and as the men were formed into companies we from
the tower could see each individual company although they were hidden
from each other. The great body of men moved like the wheels of a great
clock. They stood, knelt, touched hands, lay down, arose, walked and
exercised, keeping time with the music in a way that was wonderful to
behold. Cells for prisoners have long since been done away. They mingle
in companies in large sunny, clean, dormitories, where they visit, read
and sing.

In the heart of Manila there remains "all that is mortal" of one of the
most interesting spots in the eastern world. It is the old, old capital
city and its story is the story of the Philippines. The old walls of
this inner city were built some four hundred years ago and could they
speak, the whole world would listen with amazement and horror. There
were seven gates in this old wall and they were closed and opened by
means of gigantic windlasses.

Then, too, the story of the old Fort Santiago almost rivals that of the
Tower of London. Here were found, when we took it, mysterious
underground passages, store rooms and magazines, dark and hidden
chambers some of which were nearly half filled with skeletons. The
stories that center around this old fort make one shudder to hear them.
Possibly they are exaggerated, but there are many today who believe
them. As an example, we are told that a woman had been walled up in a
cell, with only a small opening through which food was shoved in, the
day her baby was born and when the Americans came they found her and her
sixteen-year-old child in this dark room. The child had never had even a
glimpse of the sunlight.

When I climbed upon this old fort and saw the stars and stripes waving
in the breeze, where for more than three hundred years the Spanish
emblem had terrorized the people, I thought of the mighty changes that
the American flag had brought. That memorable day in 1898 when our own
General Merritt met the Spanish governor-general and arranged for the
surrender of the city, was one of the greatest days in the history of
the orient.

People in Manila slept but little that eventful night for somehow they
had gotten the idea that the coming morning would be their day of doom.
When the sun arose they hardly breathed. For a whole week they were
afraid to venture from their homes. But there was no pillage, no plunder
and no bloodshed. When the amazed people found courage to venture out,
their astonishment knew no bounds. It was almost too good to be true
that American occupation meant the dawning of a new, and for them, a
glorious day, and it is not surprising that such a report could be given
as Governor General Harrison submitted in 1919.

Soon after he came from the Philippines I heard Rev. Homer C. Stuntz
recount many of his experiences there and will give a single one of
these as memory recalls it. As Bishop of the Methodist church he had
been there about six months when one day a fine looking young Filipino
came to his home and asked for a private interview. He insisted on
having doors and windows closed and blinds all down. Mr. Stuntz said he
had no idea what the man wanted. When they were alone with door locked
and with evidence of great agitation the young man said: "I have come
many miles to see you and ask you a question that means more to us
Filipinos than any other question that I could ask." Mr. Stuntz said
that as yet he had no idea what was troubling the man until he
continued: "I want to know, sir, if it is now safe--the soldiers say it
is, but I cannot believe it--to have a copy of the Protestant Bible in
my house and read it to my family?"

Mr. Stuntz said the whole thing seemed so strange to him that he was
silent for a moment, when the man continued: "Sir, this is a very
important question to us Filipinos. You know the law under which we have
lived here is this," and quoting from section 219 of the Penal Code of
Spain in the Philippines, said: "If any person or persons shall preach
or teach or otherwise maintain any doctrine or doctrines not established
by the state, he shall be deemed guilty of a crime and shall be punished
at the discretion of the judge." Then, to the amazement of Mr. Stuntz,
the man continued: "Under the operation of that law my own father was
dragged from our house and we never saw him alive again. That was when I
was eleven years old. I have supported my mother as best I could, and
now I have a wife and two children. I want to know if it is safe."

It was with a heart thrilling with pride that this great American took
the young man to the window and as he opened the blind and the window
itself and saw the stars and stripes proudly waving in the breeze and
with tears running down his face said to him: "My dear man, as long as
yonder flag waves over the city you may take the Bible and climb up on
the ridgeboard of your house at high noon each day, three hundred and
sixty-five days in the year and read it as loud as you can and no man
shall harm you." Three months later Mr. Stuntz went to that man's home
city, spoke from half past seven until midnight, announced that he would
speak in the same building at six o'clock the next morning, and an hour
before the appointed time five hundred people were in line waiting to
get in.



CHAPTER III

THE COUNTRY AMERICA OPENED TO CIVILIZATION--JAPAN


Three hundred and fifty years ago there were perhaps a million
Christians in Japan. The great Jesuit missionary, Francis Xavier,
introduced the religion of the Nazarene into Japan in 1849, and it
spread like a prairie fire. But in the course of time the Japanese
leaders turned against the priests and leaders of the new religion and
undertook to obliterate everything Christian from their civilization.

They placed a price upon the head of every Christian. They made what
they called footplates, a plate about the size of a shoe sole with a
picture of Christ upon it. When a person was brought whom they
suspicioned as being a Christian they put this footplate down and
commanded the accused one to stamp it. If this was done freely the
person was allowed freedom, for they said no Christian would step on the
face of Christ. If the accused one refused to do this the horrors of his
torture were so great that death was a release. The writer of these
lines has seen some of those old footplates that have been preserved to
this day.

Stone signboards were placed along the highways of Japan upon which were
written: "So long as the sun shall continue to warm the earth, let no
Christian be so bold as to enter Japan; and let all know that the King
of Spain himself, or the Christian's God, or the great God of all, if he
dare violate this command, shall pay for it with his head." I saw one of
these old signboards on exhibition in a museum in Tokyo. Japan closed
her ports, established a deadline around her domain and allowed no
ships to land, shut out the world and became a hermit nation.

It was the eighth of July, 1853, that a fleet of vessels boldly crossed
the forbidden line and dropped anchor in what is now known as Yokohama
harbor. It was Commodore Perry and the stars and stripes were waving
from the ship masts. At once there was great excitement on shore and
soon boats with men wearing swords were along the ships' sides trying to
explain that they were on forbidden territory.

The men in the small boats were told emphatically that only the highest
official could come on board. One of the men represented that he was
second in rank and when he was allowed to come on board Commodore Perry
refused to see him. After a parley this Japanese officer was made to
understand that the expedition bore a letter from the President of the
United States to the Emperor of Japan and that it could be delivered
only to the officer of the highest rank. When the Japanese officer
produced the notifications warning all ships against entering the port,
the lieutenant refused to receive them.

Returning to the shore the officer came back to the ship in an hour or
two saying that his superior would not receive the letter addressed to
the Emperor; that he doubted that the Emperor would receive the letter
at all. He was instantly informed that if the superior officer did not
come for the letter at once the ships would proceed up the Bay of Yeddo
and deliver the letter without him. Of course this ultimatum created
great excitement and the officer finally asked a stay in the proceedings
until the next day.

During the night signal fires blazed from the mountain tops and bells
sounded the hours. In the next few days the famous letter, which was
incased in a golden box of a thousand dollars value, was delivered.
Nothing very definite was accomplished, however, and the fleet came
home. The next year Commodore Perry returned with a larger fleet,
another letter, and with presents of various kinds. These consisted of
cloth, agricultural implements, firearms and a small locomotive with
cars and a mile of circular track for the miniature train, together with
a telegraph line to go around it.

The interest and curiosity caused by this miniature railway was
wonderful. People walked hundreds of miles to see it. When some of the
dignitaries were told that in the United States of America there were
many large trains in which hundreds of passengers were carried they
could hardly believe it. One of these officials said that if big trains
could carry passengers little ones ought to be able to do so. It was
then arranged for him to take a ride. With his flowing robe he was
assisted to mount one of these little cars like as if it were a donkey.
The whistle was blown, the steam turned on and away he went around the
circle and it created as much excitement as a balloon once did at a
circus in this country.

Finally, it was suggested that a treaty be made between the United
States and Japan. On board the flagship of Commodore Perry was a
minister of the gospel who was consulted and after much discussion a
clause was inserted giving America the right to erect or establish
places of worship in Japan and a promise that Japan would abolish the
practice of trampling on the face of Christ and the cross.

At first our missionaries were restricted to certain localities and
they had a time of it. Less than twenty-five years ago this treaty was
revised and until this was done no Christian missionary could leave
these restricted areas without permission from the Japanese government.
This treaty also gave Japan the right to send their missionaries to the
United States and thus we have a half hundred Buddhist temples on the
Pacific coast at the present time.

On landing at Yokohama, one of the first places I went to visit was the
great bronze idol of Kamakura, which is but eighteen miles from
Yokohama. It is about fifty feet high, and it is called the "Great
Buddha" or "Diabutsa." It is a thousand years old and a horrible looking
affair. I went up into the hollow image which is ninety-seven feet in
diameter. I wanted to scratch the eyes out, for they are said to be made
of solid gold. Years ago there was a temple over this image, so it is
said, but a great tidal wave swept the building away. Now they are
collecting money from tourists to erect another temple, so they say.
They tackle every American for a subscription and strangely enough they
get a lot of money out of them.

Speaking of heathen temples brings to mind a large one that I visited in
Tokyo. It is dedicated to a fox. The people used to believe, some of
them do yet, that when one dies his spirit enters the form of some
animal. A man is afraid to throw a rock at a dog for fear he will hit
his old grandfather--he doesn't know but that his grandfather's spirit
entered that particular dog. So they dedicate their temples to these
lower animals and often take better care of animals than poor people.

In this Tokyo temple mentioned there is a great image in one end of the
building and below it a money chest nearly as large as a trunk the lid
of which is like a hopper. Of course it takes money to keep up the
temple and the followers of Buddha come here to worship. They always pay
before they pray. A lot of us pray and then don't pay. Fortune tellers
are nearly always in heathen temples. The gambling instinct abounds. The
people too often undertake to deceive their gods by making promises that
they will do so and so if successful when they never intend to fulfill
the promises. It makes one's heart ache to see people bow down before
these lifeless idols. Most of these temples are hotbeds of immorality as
many of the treacherous priests have neither principle nor conscience.

One night I went to a real Japanese hotel. Of course, in a great city
like Tokyo, there are plenty of English or European hotels, but in this
case I went for the experience. Before entering we had to take off our
shoes. No person enters a real Japanese house with shoes on. However,
they wear clogs that can be kicked off at the door. Entering a small
vestibule of the hotel a servant bowed, seated us, took off our shoes,
put them up like checking one's grip, brought slippers and assisted in
putting them on, then invited us in. The proprietor bowed and began to
apologize. The Japanese always apologize. A friend was with me and the
landlord said that he was very sorry that he had no rooms good enough
for such dignified guests to sleep in, but he would give us his best.

Bidding us follow him he led the way upstairs. I simply could not keep
the slippers on my feet so took them off and carried them, one in each
hand. At the top of the stairway a door slid open and a Japanese lady
began laughing. I expect she is telling yet about a foreigner who once
came to the hotel who thought slippers were to wear on his hands. On
reaching the rooms, amidst profuse apologies, he named the price which
was double the amount named on the printed card. When my friend called
his attention to his published prices he said: "Yes, but I will make you
fine gentlemen a discount," and proceeded to discount the price to that
named on his card.

The city of Tokyo is a little world in itself. It contains nearly three
million people. It covers more than twenty-eight square miles of
territory. Its streets are generally narrow and in much of the city
there is practically no sewer system. The refuse and night soil is all
saved and sold for fertilizer. If a fire should get well started it
looks like a great portion of the city would go up in smoke for most of
the houses are of flimsy material and would burn like haystacks.

They have no system of numbering houses and to hunt for some certain one
is like hunting for a needle in a haymow. Like in all cities the people
are pleasure loving and the parks and shows are well attended. In the
very heart of the city is a square mile of territory given entirely up
to the lowest form of evil. It is undoubtedly one of the most wicked
spots on the globe.

One must not judge the Japanese people or even the people of Tokyo by
this standard, however, for no people ever made such tremendous strides
as have the Japanese nation since the days of Commodore Perry. The great
Imperial University of Tokyo makes one think of Yale or Harvard. The
buildings are modern and the campus beautiful and well kept. Passing
through these grounds a friend pointed out the most noted buildings.
Entering them I found the most modern and up-to-date equipment. One
large building is devoted exclusively to the study of earthquakes. The
Japanese know more about earthquakes than any other people.

The students are taught how to erect buildings earthquakeproof. The most
powerful seismographs in the world are in this university. I saw a
record of the San Francisco earthquake that was made by these
instruments--just when it started, when it was at the worst, length of
time it lasted and all about it. Here in this building is a picture of a
place where, during an earthquake, the ground was opened and a lot of
people had fallen perhaps a hundred feet down. The photograph was
evidently taken just as the ground was closing and the people below were
waving good-bye to those above as they were going to their death.

Japan has been called the land of flowers and cherry blossoms or The
Flowery Kingdom. It is one of the most interesting countries on the
globe to visit. While shut away to themselves these people developed a
civilization of their own which is far superior, in most respects, to
that of other oriental peoples. Their experience with Christianity,
corrupt though it was, no doubt gave them the start. The entire area of
Japan is but little larger than California and most of it is very
mountainous and yet so wonderful are they in the development of
agriculture that nearly sixty million people live upon the products of
their soil.

The Japanese people think a lot of America for they recognize the fact
that to America they owe more than to any other nation. Their friendship
for us is real too, if one can judge anything by mingling with the
people. All this talk about Japan attacking America is too ridiculous
to think seriously about, even though we have not treated them as we
should in all cases. If you were in Tokyo today you would see the stars
and stripes just below their own flag, and you would see more American
flags than of all other nations combined, barring of course, their own.



CHAPTER IV

THE TRANSFORMATION OF A NATION--KOREA


The Palestine of eastern Asia is Korea. While called the "Land of the
Morning Calm," it has been the battleground of the eastern world for
centuries. Japan on the east has looked upon Korea as a "sword pointed
at her heart." China on the south has always felt that Korea practically
belonged to her, while the Great Bear on the north has looked longingly
for ages toward this coveted land. The same can be said of Manchuria as
well.

Until recent years the world knew but little of this country. It was
really a "Hermit Nation." The people lived in walled cities and allowed
no outside people to come in. Less than a half century ago signboards
could be seen along the highways upon which was written: "If you meet a
foreigner, kill him; he who has friendly relations with him is a traitor
to his country." It is said that they actually kept the country along
the sea shore barren and unattractive while in the interior the people
lived on the fat of the land. The mountain peaks were great beacon
towers lighted up every night to signal to the capital that no danger
threatened and all was well along the borders.

In area, Korea is about as large as Minnesota. The population is more
than fifteen millions. Except in the northern part, which is as cold as
Minnesota, the climate is delightful. Nearly everything that will grow
in Japan will grow in Korea. The surface is largely mountains and
plains. In the mines are gold, copper, iron and coal, as well as other
minerals. The silk industry is becoming one of great value and although
every mountain forest has been cleared, some paper is made.

Perhaps in no other country in the world has such an effort been made to
keep men and women apart as in this strange land. In Seoul, the capital
city, they used to toll a bell at eight in the evening which meant that
men must go indoors and let women on the streets. Blind men, officials,
and certain others were exempt. Any man with a doctor's prescription was
allowed on the streets, but so many of these were forged that much
trouble resulted. At midnight the bell tolled again and after that hour
men could circulate on the streets freely without danger of arrest.

The people in Korea nearly all dress in white no matter what their work
may be. Men and women dress much alike. A curious custom among married
women is the wearing of waists that expose the entire naked breasts.
This is all but beautiful and as some one says, gives the appearance of
a shocking show window. The theory is, so they say, that to cover the
breasts is to poison the milk. No man really amounts to much in Korea
until after he is married, but that is largely true in our country.
There, however, silence is the wife's first duty. Marriage customs are
much like those in Japan where parents make the matches. It is said that
often the husband never hears the voice of his wife until after marriage
and even then she keeps silent for as long as a month.

The Korean people have some happy times together in spite of some of
these strange customs. One of their national festival days is called
"Swing day." Swings are prepared nearly everywhere and people drop their
work and swing. The Koreans are different from any other people in the
far east and when they play they play with all their might. Men and
boys love to hunt the swimming holes along the streams and they seem to
enjoy this sport as do our own men and boys in America.

While Korea has been a battleground for ages yet it was opened up to
modern civilization by Japan something like America, through Commodore
Perry, opened up Japan. Later on Korea paid tribute to China. The great
crisis came in 1894 when the battle royal was waged between Japan and
China for this land. On September 15th of that year a great battle
occurred on land and two days later, in the mouth of the Yala River
occurred what is said to be the first great naval battle of history in
which modern warships were used. In this battle the Chinese fleet went
to the bottom of the sea and soon Port Arthur was besieged and taken and
the Japanese army started across the country with the cry, "On to
Peking." This opened the eyes of the Chinese and Korea was surrendered
and was practically annexed by Japan and its name changed to Chosen.
Since that time Korean civilization has gone forward by leaps and bounds
and is fast becoming a country that has to be reckoned with. The story
of Japan's dealings with Korea during these years contains some mighty
dark spots. These things have aroused the indignation of the whole
civilized world and the end is not yet.

To plant the seed of Christianity on Korean soil has required a great
effort and the story of the transformation of this nation that has
occurred within the past forty years is as thrilling as can be found in
the history of modern missions. It was the pleasure of the writer to
travel to the far east with one who has been on the field in Korea for
twenty-five years. Thirteen of these years were spent in the city of
Pyeng Yang which became the scene of one of the greatest revivals in all
the history of the Christian church.

At the time that Mr. and Mrs. Swallen, who were sent as missionaries by
the Presbyterian church (Mrs. Swallen was my traveling companion), to
Pyeng Yang, it was said to be the most wicked city in Korea. So
frightful were the conditions that boys in their play would often drag
the corpse of a person who had died during the night through the streets
the next day, unmolested. It is almost impossible to believe the story
of things that occurred almost daily in this city.

The first building of the mission was but eight feet square, not much
larger than a storebox. As at that time men and women were always
separate in public gatherings, the men met at one hour and the women at
another. Soon the building was doubled in size. When the Swallen's took
charge the mission was called the Central church. Then came the great
revival wave and the church grew to a great congregation. A new building
seating between five and six hundred was erected and before it was
finished it was too small. About one hundred members then withdrew to
form another congregation in another part of the city. A little later
another hundred started still another congregation.

As the Central church building was even yet far too small they erected a
great building that will seat two thousand. The interest was so great
that other congregations had to be formed and at the time Mrs. Swallen
told me this wonderful story, out from this little store-box mission
seven great congregations had been formed in different parts of the
city. Besides this the movement spread to the country and nearly thirty
congregations had grown from this central mission.

Then came the great revival of 1910 which attracted so much attention.
These people started the cry, "A million converts in one year." The work
was systematized. Bible classes were formed and every Christian became a
real missionary. Volunteers were called for, who could give one or more
days to the work. Nearly everyone volunteered and during the first three
months it was estimated that seventy-five thousand days of personal work
was promised. Great earnestness and enthusiasm were manifest everywhere.

The pastor of this Central church and one of his elders formed the habit
of going to the church every morning at dawn for prayer. This soon
became known and others wished to join them. One Sunday morning the
pastor announced that all who wished to do so might join them the
following morning and the bell would be rung at four thirty. At one a.
m. the people began gathering and at two o'clock more than one hundred
were present. For four mornings these meetings were kept up and between
six and seven hundred were present each morning. On the fourth morning
the pastor asked how many would give one or more days of service and
every hand went up, more than three thousand days work being promised.

The secret of this mighty revival seems to have been caused by the study
of the Bible and prayer. Everyone carried a New Testament. Bible
training classes were formed and sometimes two thousand men actually
gathered to study the Bible. In the churches in Korea, even yet men and
women sit apart from each other. A petition divides the building but
both men and women can see the minister. Men keep their hats on in
church, but all, both men and women, take off their shoes before
entering. To see these shoes, or clogs, is quite a sight. They are
placed in racks made for that purpose, each having their own particular
place in the rack.

As might be expected trouble over shoes is not unheard of. Some of the
women who are not over scrupulous sometimes take the best pair of shoes.
In fact this custom became so universal that the women were taught to
make and carry with them to church a small muslin bag. On reaching the
church the women now take off their shoes, place them in the bag, and
take them into the building with them. All, both men and women, sit on
the floor. In some of the churches now small mats are piled high at the
door and each takes one of these to sit on. One remarkable feature of
these Korean churches is that each church is self-supporting from the
beginning. Instead of leaning upon others they are taught to depend upon
themselves.

The World's Sunday School Convention was recently held in Tokyo. A
significant thing about the invitation cabled to this country for this
convention was the fact that it was signed by Japan's leading captain of
industry and the Mayor of Tokyo as well. A Business Man's Sunday School
Party had toured both Japan and Korea before this, however. In almost
every one of the forty cities visited this party was met by governors,
mayors, chambers of commerce, boards of education, railroad officials,
as well as Christian workers and the friendly attitude of Japan toward
America was manifest in every possible way, at the very time too when
the California legislature was stirring up so much trouble between the
two nations.

But the greatest demonstration of all on this entire trip was that made
in Seoul, Korea. The day was perfect. The great throng marched to the
parade grounds, a Sunday school banner leading the way. Only members of
Sunday schools and officials were admitted and fourteen thousand seven
hundred Sunday school workers, by actual count, went into the grounds.
It is said that the Japanese officials who for the first time witnessed
an array of the Sunday school forces of Seoul looked troubled. It was in
the month of May and the bushes of the old palace yard were abloom in
white and red. As the great multitude sang the Christian hymns in the
Korean language the very buildings almost trembled.



CHAPTER V

A GREAT UNKNOWN LAND--MANCHURIA


Of all the lands in eastern Asia perhaps the least is known about
Manchuria of any of them. And yet one of the finest sleeping cars I ever
traveled in was on the South Manchurian railway. I had a large roomy
compartment to myself. In it was a comfortable bed, or berth, a folding
washstand and writing desk, electric fan, and various other
conveniences. While this was an eastern model sleeper, an American
pullman was also attached to the train for those who preferred it.

For two hundred and seventy years the Manchurians furnished the rulers
for the whole Chinese Empire. The Empress Dowager was a Manchu. Born in
a humble home, at the age of sixteen she became a concubine of the
Emperor. She was so diligent in study and self-improvement that she was
elevated to the position of first concubine and later became the mother
of the Emperor's son and was raised to the position of wife. When her
son was but three years of age the Emperor died and she swept aside all
aspirants to the throne, placed her son upon it with herself as regent
until he was of age. For forty-seven years, in a country where women had
scarcely any power, this marvelous woman ruled one-fourth of the human
race.

Manchuria is a little larger than the combined area of Iowa, Minnesota,
Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri. It is located at the northeast of China
and until recently formed a part of the Chinese Empire. While nearly all
kinds of grain and vegetables are grown, the one great staple crop of
Manchuria is the soybean. Think of growing two million tons of these
beans per year! Before the war Manchurian beans were shipped all over
the world. In a Manchurian city I asked a business man to tell me the
chief sights of the city and he said: "We have nothing here but bean
mills. It is beans, beans, beans." In the hills and mountains nearly all
kinds of wild beasts are found. The Manchurian tiger is perhaps most
dreaded of all.

Perhaps the best known place in Manchuria is Port Arthur. Years ago the
Chinese had what they believed to be an impregnable fortress in Port
Arthur, but the wily Japanese battered it down in twenty-four hours.
Later on the Russians got it and worked seven years on the
fortifications and gun emplacements and really felt that they had it
secure. Although the forts were built on the Belgian plan and Port
Arthur was as secure as Antwerp, yet the unconquerable Japanese took it
with a loss of only a thousand or fifteen hundred men. Nature has been
kind to Port Arthur by throwing up the mountains of "The Chair," "The
Table," and the "Lion's Mane," but the best defense that nature provides
has to give way before the genius of the human brain.

Only a little more than four miles from Port Arthur is the city of
Dalney, also called Dairen. It is a beautiful little city of fifty or
sixty thousand people with a good street car system and many modern
buildings. On landing I went to the Yamato hotel and found comfortable
quarters at a reasonable price. The South Manchurian railway operates a
string of these Yamato hotels. This is a Japanese railway and operates
with a steamship line crossing the Yellow Sea and the great
Trans-Siberian railroad, or rather did so before the world war. In Dalny
I found a good Y. M. C. A. building with an American secretary. This
association has good buildings in nearly every large oriental city
especially if it is near the coast. One can hardly realize the debt of
gratitude civilization owes to this organization. These buildings are
oases on the great oriental desert where the American traveler can find
rest and a quiet home.

At the close of the war between Russia and Japan by the treaty of
Portsmouth, Russia agreed to transfer to Japan without compensation and
with the consent of the Chinese Government, the South Manchurian Railway
between Port Arthur and Changchun, a distance of four hundred and
thirty-six miles, "together with all rights, privileges, and properties
appertaining thereto in that region, as well as all coal mines in said
region belonging to or worked for the benefit of the railway." The
Chinese Government also agreed not to construct any parallel lines that
would injure the interests of this railway, so the Japanese have an iron
hold upon the whole proposition.

To travel the full extent of this railway in the late fall is an
interesting experience. The soil is of a reddish color and the fall
plowing was already done. The methods of farming used in China largely
prevail here. I saw many of them taking their beans, grain, and other
produce to market. Along the dusty highway the oxen slowly trudged,
drawing great wooden wheeled carts. On one occasion the engine had
frightened the oxen and they had their heads up and tails flying as the
loaded cart bumped along over the field with the driver doing all he
could to get them back into the highway. Women and children were often
sitting on the ground in the villages, seemingly without any work
whatever to do.

The Manchurian people are larger physically than the Chinese and are
better looking. But some one has said of the Manchu, "he knows not,
neither does he learn." They say that he only bathes once a year and
does not care who owns the ground as long as he can till it, and that it
does not bother him in the least to see his wife and daughter sit on the
stone fence for hours picking the lice from each other's head. The women
folks are largely slaves of fashion and still persist in trying to stunt
the growth of their feet. Even while they do this they often work in the
harvest field, wash their clothing along the streams, clean out the
donkey stable, and do all kinds of outdoor work. While baking bread,
spanking their children and doing other household duties, they are not
slow in looking after and waiting upon their lordly husbands.

Some years ago a plague of the most deadly description swept over
northern Manchuria. It was so terrible and fatal that when one was
stricken there was but little hope for recovery. It was so contagious
that when one member of a family took it, generally the entire family
perished, as simply a whiff of the breath of one stricken was sufficient
to give it to another. The government made every effort to cope with the
situation but the difficulties were tremendous and the scourge spread
like a prairie fire. More than forty-two thousand took it and it is said
that not a single one recovered.

The ground was frozen so hard that it was impossible to dig graves for
the dead and preparation was made for cremating bodies. This created
consternation among the Manchus. Every possible subterfuge was resorted
to to conceal cases of the plague and bodies were often hidden in the
snow all winter long. Dr. Jackson, a brilliant young physician of the
Irish Presbyterian Mission in Manchuria, was stricken and died, as did
Dr. Mesny, a splendid French physician. Early the next spring the plague
ceased as suddenly as it broke out and has never appeared again in any
country. However, many believe the "influenza" is a modification of this
plague.

Mukden, the Manchurian capital city, has been called "The Asiatic
Armageddon!" It is a walled city and contains a couple of hundred
thousand people. During the Russian-Japanese war a portion of it is said
to have been eight different times in the hands of the Russians and
Japanese. The streets are unpaved; dirt and filth abounds. There are
many big dirty restaurants. The Manchus are great feeders. They eat
between meals, soup and vegetables and most everything else. The
temperature of Mukden is about the same as Saint Paul, Minnesota.

The Imperial Tombs are not far from Mukden. The road to these tombs is
paved with stones. This is called the "Road of the Spirit." On each side
are six great life-sized stone animals. It is thought that these signify
the Emperor's rule over certain countries. Visiting the great Ming Tombs
near Nanking, China, one sees many of these large stone animals.

Not far from Mukden one can get a look at the great Wall of China, the
building of which is said to be the greatest undertaking of all history.
It was fifteen hundred miles long, fifty feet thick at the bottom and
from twenty-five to forty feet high. It was built over mountains, across
valleys and rivers and down into the sea. There were towers about every
three hundred yards and although built more than two thousand years ago,
much of it is in good repair to this day. It took a million men ten
years to do the job of building it. The Chinese and Manchus were great
wall builders. Their cities were always walled.

Mukden stands on a plain but its walls are forty feet high and thirty
feet thick at the top. At each corner, and over each of the eight
gateways there used to be a tower, and then the great Drum Tower and
Bell Tower were in the midst of the city. Nearly every city had its big
Drum Tower upon which drums were beaten if the city was in danger or an
enemy near. Here in Mukden nearly all these towers have been taken down,
but large portions of the old city walls remain. There are said to be
very many more men than women in the city today. Until 1905, it is said,
the city never had a policeman. The gates were closed at dark and the
city became silent as the streets were not lighted. There is not enough
light in the streets yet at night to hardly be noticed. The old
patriarchal family system often prevails. Sometimes a family will be
composed of a hundred people--several generations. The following from
Dugald Christie will give a glimpse of some of the strange customs of
these people.

He says: "There was in Mukden a wealthy family who had land in the
country adjoining that of some poor people. A dispute arose over
boundaries and they went to law. Having money to back him the rich man
won the case. The next day a son of the poor man committed suicide at
the rich man's door and he had to compensate the parents heavily. When
that was settled another son did the same, calling on all to witness
that he did this because of the injustice his parents had suffered at
the hands of this man. This time a much heavier indemnity was demanded
and after months of haggling it was paid. Then a third son killed
himself in like manner and the payment of the still further increased
blood money reduced the once wealthy man to a state poorer than his
rival. Again the law suit was heard and this time the country family won
the case."

Another Manchurian city of note is Harbin. This is located in the great
agricultural district of the country. Twenty-five or thirty years ago
this was open prairie, but one night two Russians pitched their tent on
the spot that is now the center of the city. Like Jonah's gourd, the
city almost grew up in a night. For years it was about the worst city to
be found, there being at least one murder committed almost every day.
After changing trains at midnight and rambling around a few hours I
would say that it is not filled with saints yet. During the
Russian-Japanese war it was one of the great gateways, more than a
million soldiers passing through it.

From Harbin west one passes through the Kuigan mountains. This is said
to be the coldest place of like latitude on the globe. Here grows in
abundance the Edelweiss, which is so rare and so prized in Switzerland.
Mr. Taft, in "Strange Siberia," calls attention to the fact that one of
the Manchurian towns here is named for Genghis Khan, who was one of the
great military geniuses of the old days. He united the vast hordes of
warring tribes of Siberia into one vast army and swept over this whole
country like a mighty conqueror. Our American soldiers who were sent to
this section of the Far East sure got a glimpse of Manchuria that they
will never forget.

Before the world war many of the Chinese and Manchus crossed the line
and worked in the Russian gold mines and grew rich, but they had a time
getting their gold out of Russia without being discovered. But their
cuteness is proverbial. Even Chinamen die, and they as well as the
Manchus must sleep their long sleep in their native land. In a certain
Russian city it is said that these Chinese were paying great attention
to the dead bodies of their kindred in preparing them for the journey
back home. The Russians became suspicious and peeping through a keyhole
at the embalming processes these policemen discovered that gold dust was
blown from a tube into the dead man's skull. This let the cat out of the
bag, for these Chinese were making the bodies of the dead the carriers
of gold, for as soon as the bodies reached home the gold was extracted.



CHAPTER VI

THE LAND OF SORROW--SIBERIA


Away yonder in eastern Siberia, on the banks of the Amur River, high on
the projecting cliff stands a huge iron cross which can be seen many
miles away. Upon this Christian emblem is inscribed one of the greatest
sentences in all the literature of the world. Here it is: "Power lies
not in force but in love." Strange it is indeed that such an emblem and
such an inscription should be found in the wilds of this country. But
many are the strange sights one beholds on a journey across this great
lonely, strange, and sad land. Having crossed this country it is my
purpose to recount some of the observations and experiences of the
journey.

But few people today realize the immensity of Siberia. You could take a
map of the whole United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, and add to
it a map of Great Britain, Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium, Italy,
Switzerland, Germany and Austria (before the war), Holland, Denmark, the
Turkish Empire, Greece, Roumania, and Bulgaria, and lay all these
together down on Siberia alone and have territory left. Nearly five
thousand miles of the main line of the great Trans-Siberian railway are
in this one country.

The building of this railroad was a gigantic undertaking and its
construction cost the Russian Government four hundred million dollars.
With all our boasted American hustle it took twenty years to build the
Canadian Pacific railway from coast to coast. The Trans-Siberian is more
than twice as long and was completed in half that length of time.
Before the war there was hardly ever an accident on this railway. Every
verst (about two-thirds of a mile) there is a little guardhouse and
there was always a man or woman, generally a woman, standing with a flag
as the train passed. I crossed on the International Sleeping Car train.
It took ten days and ten nights and the average speed was more than
twenty miles per hour.

The berths on this train were very comfortable. They were crosswise of
the car while ours are lengthwise. The train consisted of two
first-class, two second-class sleepers, a diner and a baggage car. These
international trains ran once a week each way before the war and
sometimes one had to purchase a ticket weeks in advance to go at a given
time. When all berths were sold those who had none simply had to wait a
week for the next train. I was the lone American on the train all the
way across. There were a number of Englishmen and many Frenchmen on
board.

My roommate was an old sea captain from Scotland. He had been on the sea
forty-six years. Unfortunately his baggage was left at Harbin. He asked
the chief of the train to wire back that it be forwarded on the next
train, giving or rather offering a tip of a few shillings, but the chief
would not give him any satisfaction. The next day the captain tried
again, offering a tip of an English pound. This had the desired effect.
In a few days we discovered that the English Consul from Yokohama was on
board and laid the matter before him. Not long after this the train
chief came and apologized and gave back the tip. I have wondered many
times whether or not the captain ever received his baggage.

The dining car was a regular saloon on wheels. The first thirty minutes
were spent by the waiters in soliciting orders for drinks. If you did
not order anything to drink you were always served last. I had heard
that it was almost impossible to get anything to eat on this train
unless you were liberal in giving tips. So I started out to break the
record--to cross Siberia without giving a tip on the diner. All went
well for a couple of days. I was served all right. In fact, as long as I
had the exact change everything was lovely. But when I gave the
collector a bill he never came back with any change and I had to give it
up. Such a feat as crossing Siberia without giving a tip in the diner
could not be performed. The prices were not exorbitant, however, for one
could get a fairly good meal for a dollar at that time.

Some of the great rivers of the world are in Siberia. It is said that if
all the steel bridges on this main line were placed end to end they
would make a great steel structure more than thirty miles long. These
were all built too by Russian engineers. Lake Baikal is a long, narrow
body of water in the heart of Siberia. It is said to be the most
elevated lake on the globe and has the distinction of being the only
body of fresh water in which seals will live. In some places no bottom
has been found. When the railroad was first built trains were taken
across this lake on gigantic ferries.

As the winters are long and cold, great ice-breakers were built to take
the trains across during the winter time. It is actually said that these
ice-breakers would slowly plow their way through thirty-six inches of
ice. During the Russian-Japanese war these were too slow so they laid
down heavy steel rails on the ice and all winter long trains were
speeded across on this ice railway. Some time ago I made this statement
in a lecture and as soon as the last word was spoken a Russian came
forward saying: "I was a soldier in the Russian army and walked across
this lake on the ice and saw them laying the rails at the time. It was
then nearly sixty below zero."

Siberia is the greatest wheat country on earth. All our great northwest,
with Canada thrown in, is but a mere garden spot as compared with
Siberia. There are multiplied millions of acres of the finest wheat
fields in the world in this great country that are as yet untouched. The
Siberian women make the best bread of any cooks the world around. It is
as white as the driven snow and so good and nourishing that no one who
eats it can ever forget the taste.

Siberia is also one of the greatest dairy countries in the world. When
the war broke out Siberia was actually supplying a large portion of
Europe with dairy products. In two Siberian cities there were
thirty-four large butter and dairy establishments. The Russian
Government sent a professor of agriculture around the world to study the
science and art of buttermaking. The results of his investigation were
published in pamphlet form and sent to buttermakers and agriculturists.
It is said that sometimes a thousand tons of Siberian butter have been
delivered in London in a single week. It is also said that Great Britain
was purchasing five million dollars worth of eggs per year from Siberia
when the war broke out.

I learned something of the superstition of the Siberian peasant when
cream separators were first introduced. It is said that when these hard
working people were told of machines that would separate the cream from
milk instantly they declared that only a machine with a devil in it
could do such a thing. But an enterprising foreigner went ahead and
built a factory and about the time he had some of the separators ready
for delivery a mob gathered, wrecked the factory and smashed the
separators into smithereens, declaring that they would not have machines
with devils in them in their country. That was years ago, however, and
they have long since learned to use and appreciate these machines.

But the saddest sights I saw in Siberia were the trains loaded with
exiles. These cars were not much better than stock cars and had iron
bars across the windows. The sad faces within made one's heart ache to
see them. As I rode in a comfortable car with a good bed to sleep in it
was hard to keep from thinking of these unfortunate people who were
herded like cattle in cold, dirty cars day after day and night after
night for a month. Food was thrown to them almost as though they were
pigs and at best this food was of the coarsest and most unsavory kind.

But their journey, packed in these unwarmed and unsanitary cars was so
much better than what exiles had endured before the railroad was built,
that one can hardly make a comparison. Then the exiles had to make the
long four thousand mile journey on foot. It took about two years. Most
of the convicts wore chains on their ankles that weighed five pounds and
chains on their wrists that weighed two pounds. Sometimes these chains
wore the flesh from the bones and the pain, as they trudged along their
way, was simply terrible. Men and women were herded in droves like
cattle. They had to make so many miles each day through storm or
sunshine. Often it was midnight before they reached the sheds in which
were the sleeping benches. Here they had to lie down on bare planks
without any covering. There was no ventilation in these sheds except a
bare window or two in the gable. In summer they sweltered and in winter
they nearly froze to death.

As these unfortunate people slowly trudged along, the heartless guards
on horseback whipped them and often prodded them with bayonets.
Sometimes both men and women fell fainting and dying along the wayside.
As two were nearly always chained together, the living was unlocked from
the dead, the body kicked out of the way and even left unburied. In the
heat of summer the dust nearly suffocated them and in the late autumn
and early spring (they stopped in winter quarters in the coldest
months), they often floundered along through mud nearly knee deep. Often
the mud was frozen in the morning and their feet would break through.
Perhaps their shoes were completely worn out, but no mercy was shown
them and they had to make their way barefooted.

There was one thing the guards could not do, however, and that was to
keep them still. As they went on their way they kept up a kind of a wail
that was said to be the saddest chant that human ears ever heard. For
miles and miles this mournful wail could be heard by the few people who
lived in villages along the way. Sometimes, however, these villages were
fifty or a hundred miles apart. But this wail was kept up continually.
Every plan imaginable was used to stop it, but this could not be done
and the guards and officers grew accustomed to it and let it go. No
wonder that even yet in Siberia the call of the milkmaid is something
like the wail of the exiles.

One of the most thrilling events during the war was the opening of the
Siberian prison doors in the spring of 1917, when more than one hundred
thousand exiles walked out as free men and women. In the great Irkutsk
prison a company of men were watching some of their fellow prisoners
being flogged when a man appeared at the door saying: "Russia is a
republic and you are all free." Instantly all was excitement. The
officers fled for their lives. Even the prison blacksmiths fled, for
they had welded the shackles on thousands of prisoners and they feared
vengeance. Other smiths were pressed into service and were compelled to
work all night long cutting these iron chains. Many were chained to
wheelbarrows and of course could not get away until their irons were
broken. A committee of public safety was formed at once and precautions
taken. A banquet was prepared in the dismissed governor's palace and
sixty men whose chains had not been cut loose sat down at the table with
their chains rattling.

In one place the priest, while performing his duties in the church,
heard the news and announced it. Fifty men rushed out to kill the local
police captain who had been a regular tyrant. As they came to his home
they were met by the captain's ten-year-old daughter, who stood in front
of her father and calmly said: "You will have to kill me first," and
thus she saved his life.

In five days after the revolution, six thousand exiles had reached
Irkutsk from other prisons. By the way, Irkutsk is the capital of
eastern Siberia and here the greatest prisons were located. It is said
that as many as one hundred thousand prisoners have been in the great
prisons in and around this city at one time. There were no trains for
these freed exiles and they camped along the railroad track. Every day
the company became larger. At one time it was said that fifty thousand
sledges were rushing toward the railroad as fast as horses, dogs and
reindeer could drag them. The snow was already melting and they were
determined to get to the railroad before it was too late.

Those who think the great Russian Empire is nothing but cold, bleak,
barren waste, will have to think again. In 1913 there were eleven
million acres planted in potatoes, five and one-half million acres of
flax and hemp and nearly two million acres in cotton. They even had one
hundred and fifty thousand acres in tobacco. In all there were in
cultivation nearly four hundred million acres of land. In 1914 Russia
and Siberia possessed thirty-five million head of horses, fifty-two
million head of cattle, seventy-two million sheep, and fifteen million
head of hogs.



CHAPTER VII

THE HOME OF BOLSHEVISM--RUSSIA


Of All the countries in Europe, conditions in Russia are perhaps most
deplorable. With the granary of the world her people have the least
food. A few years ago her laws were the most rigid of all countries, now
she is nearest without law of any of them. With all her boundless
resources, she is as helpless as a child. Like poor old blind Samson,
she has lost her strength and is a pitiful sight to behold.

But the purpose of this article is not to recount the horrors the war
brought to Russia. I would much rather tell something about the people
as I saw them just before the war, and their country and cities in times
of peace. Some day these people will have a stable government. They have
suffered for a long time, but out of it all will come a purified people
and a government in which the people will have some rights and
privileges worth while. The writer of these lines does not pose as a
prophet, but will say that in twenty-five years Russia will have the
best government in Europe.

The Russian people are a race of farmers. When the war broke out
eighty-five per cent of the people lived in the country. Although a
nation having one-sixth of the earth's surface, yet she has only a few
large cities. It is actually said that years ago people had to be
chained in the cities to keep them from moving to the country.

The people, as a rule, are honest-hearted, hard-working people, who have
never had a chance. They are ignorant and often superstitious. They have
been used to hardship and cruelty. In the old days a man was beaten
three hours a day for debt and after a month sold as a slave if no one
came to his rescue. Thieves and other criminals were hanged, beheaded,
broken on a wheel, drowned under the ice or whipped to death. "Sorcerers
were roasted alive in cages; traitors were tortured by iron hooks which
tore their sides into a thousand pieces; false coiners had to swallow
molten metal," says one writer.

Woman was considered the property of man and her glory was to obey her
husband as a slave obeys his master. No eyes could look upon her face
and she was shut up like a prisoner. They used to think that if a
husband beat his wife it was the sign he loved her. The Russian proverb
says: "I love thee like my soul, but I beat thee like my jacket."

Never will I forget the time spent in Moscow. The great center of the
city is the Kremlin Palace and at the time of my visit it contained
riches untold. Of course, the Bolshevists have looted it long before
this. In it at that time was the largest gun ever made before the war,
but it had never been fired. Also the largest bell ever cast was there,
but this had never been rung. In front of this palace is the famous Red
Square, and this has no doubt been red with blood many times during
these terrible years of Bolshevist rule. If the very stones upon which
people walk could speak, a wave of horror would sweep around the world.

Perhaps the most curious church in the world is that of Saint Basil the
Blessed, which is in the city of Moscow. It has nearly a dozen spires
most curiously built and no one seeing it can ever forget it. It is said
that the eyes of the Italian architect who built it were put out so he
could never build another like it. The Russian people are very religious
and Moscow is their sacred city. At the sight of the glittering crosses
the peasants coming into the city for the first time would often fall
upon their faces and weep.

This sacred city has passed through some horrible times. Famine has
raged and the ravages of hunger caused parents to eat the flesh of their
own children. Pestilence at one time stalked through the city like a
mighty conqueror and a hundred and twenty thousand people perished
before it could be checked. Nearly the entire city has gone up in smoke
on more than one occasion and yet it still lives. When I was there its
streets were ablaze with electric lights at night and thronged with
shopping multitudes by day, but all this is changed at this time.

If we can believe the historian, orgies have taken place in this city
that would make it, for the time being, a rival of Hades itself. When
the Russians turn against a man their hatred knows no bounds. In one
case they caught a pretender for the throne and almost continuously for
three days they tortured him in every imaginable way, shape and form.
After he was finally killed they were so afraid that he might come to
life that they took his body, burned it to ashes, loaded them in a
cannon and fired it, scattering them to the four winds.

One of the empresses of Russia became enraged at one of the princes
whose wife had died and she compelled him to marry an old ugly woman
whose nickname was "Pickled Pork." One historian says: "The marriage
festival was celebrated with great pomp: representatives of every tribe
and nation in the Empire took part, with native costumes and musical
instruments: some rode on camels, some on deer, others were drawn by
oxen, dogs and swine. The bridal couple were borne in a cage on an
elephant's back. A palace was built entirely of ice for their
reception. It was ornamented with ice pillars and statues, and lighted
by panes of thin ice. The door and window posts were painted to
represent green marble: droll pictures on linen were placed in ice
frames. All the furniture, the chairs, the mirrors, even the bridal
couch, were ice. By an ingenious use of naphtha the ice chandeliers were
lighted and the ice logs on the ice grates were made to burn! At the
gates two dolphins of ice poured forth fountains of flame: vessels
filled with frosty flowers, trees with foliage and birds, and a
life-sized elephant with a frozen Persian on its back adorned the yard.
Ice cannon and mortars guarded the doors and fired a salute. The bride
and groom had to spend the night in their glacial palace."

For centuries the common people of Russia were afraid to open their
mouths. Detectives were everywhere and half of the people exiled to
Siberia had no idea what they had committed. One of the secret service
men might visit a peasant home disguised as a tramp or agent. Allowed
into the humble home he would examine the books on the table if any were
there, and should he find a sentence tabooed by the government, the
farmer who gave the stranger a place to eat and sleep would likely be
exiled, although he had never read a line in the book.

I have seen these detectives on trains, at depots, in hotels, always
watching everybody. No proprietor of a hotel would keep a stranger over
night without the guest's passport in his possession. One of these
secret service men might come in at midnight and if he found a stranger
or even a name on the register without an accompanying passport, the
landlord might have to go to prison and of course they took no chances.
As soon as I registered at a hotel in Moscow the landlord had to have my
passport in his possession.

All things considered it is not at all surprising that when the
restraint was removed the people went to the greatest possible extreme.
It is not surprising that they all wanted to talk and speechify. Every
man had some grievance or something to talk about. While the peasants
were honest and trusted each other, yet there have developed so many
traitors that now they do not know who they can trust. The great mass of
people are like a lot of sheep without a shepherd and can be led or
driven in any direction. Of all people, they are perhaps most to be
pitied.

A Russian gentleman recently expressed his conviction to the writer that
the only hope for the country is in the church people. They are very
religious and the Orthodox church was rich in priceless treasure and
lands. But the Bolshevists looted and robbed the churches, which of
course enraged the people. They were held in check by alluring promises,
but these promises were not fulfilled and their eyes are now opened and
they will rise up, so this man hopes, and overthrow Bolshevism. One
thing is certain and that is that the Bolshevist leaders have recently
made all kinds of concessions to the people.

As the darkest days in the history of the Chosen Race in Bible times was
when "every man did what was right in his own eyes," so these Russian
folks have been passing through just such a time. There has not been any
law to speak of and every man has been doing as he pleases with
everything he could get his hands on. But as Russia has produced some of
the master minds of the ages some of us believe that some of these
times a leader will appear who will bring order out of chaos. As a rule,
in the days agone, when the people of a great nation were really ready
for a mighty step forward the good Lord raised up a man to lead them.

Passing the great estate of Tolstoi I could not help thinking of one of
his marvelous word pictures and as it concerns everyone of us it will
not be out of place to call attention to it here. As the story goes a
youth had fallen heir to his father's estate and this taste of wealth
made him crazy for the lands adjoining the little homestead. One fine
morning this young man was greeted in the highway by a fine looking
nobleman who said he had taken a liking to him and had decided to give
him all the land he could cover during one day. As they stood at the
corner of the little homestead at the grave of his father the stranger
said to the young man: "You may start now and walk all day, but at
sundown you must be back here at your father's grave."

Without even stopping to tell his wife the good news, or bid her and
their little child good-bye, the young man started. At first thought he
decided to cover a tract six miles square which would mean a walk of
twenty-four miles, but he had only gotten well started when the plan was
enlarged to a square of nine miles. The morning was so cool and fine and
he felt so strong that he increased it to twelve miles and still later
he made it a square of fifteen miles, which would mean a walk of sixty
miles before sundown. By noon he had made the thirty miles but so great
was his fear of failure he decided not to stop for lunch. An hour later
he saw an old man at a wayside spring, but felt that he must not stop
even for a drink of water and rushed on his way.

By the middle of the afternoon he had discarded his coat and a little
later threw away his shirt. An hour before sunset it was a race for
life. His heart had almost stopped beating and his eyes began to bulge
from their sockets. As the sun touched the horizon he was still many
rods from the starting point. With all the strength of both body and
soul he lunged forward and just as the sun went out of sight he
staggered across the line and fell into the arms of the stranger who was
there to meet him, but when he fell he was _dead_.

"I promised him," said the stranger, "all the ground he could cover.
Strictly speaking, it is about two feet wide and six feet long. And I
drew the line here at his father's grave because I thought he would
rather have the land he could cover close to his father than to have it
anywhere else." "Then the stranger--_death_--slipped away," says Dr.
Hillis, who tells the story, saying: "I always keep my pledge." So they
buried the man with the land-hunger.

The Russian people have just gotten a taste of liberty and are as crazy
as was the man with the land-hunger. All hope and trust that they will
see their condition before the nation comes to a death struggle, but
they have passed the meridian and entered the dangerous part of the day
and if the leader does not soon come who can stop their onward sweep,
they will be in the last great struggle and the death rattle will be
heard. But terrible as the situation is at this writing, however, there
are some signs of a better day, and as long as there is life there is
hope. Some of us still believe that the day will come when Russia will
be a mighty and powerful nation.



CHAPTER VIII

THE NATION THAT CONQUERS THE SEA--HOLLAND


We read in ancient history that Xerxes whipped the sea, but this chapter
will give a glimpse of a nation that conquers the sea. A million acres
of the best land in Holland have actually been rescued from the water,
and at this hour a large lake is being drained which means that hundreds
of thousands of acres will soon be rescued from the sea and be made to
blossom as the rose.

The country of Holland is about the size of the state of Maryland.
One-fourth of its entire area is below the sea level, and its great
dykes were they placed end to end, would make an immense dam more than
fifteen hundred miles long and in some places from thirty to sixty feet
high. Almost the entire country is a network of canals. A single one of
these canals cost more than fifteen million dollars and it is less than
fifty miles in length.

The faith of these Holland people in times of adversity is one of the
wonders of history. For a hundred years they struggled against powerful
Spain, but their faith saved them. It is said that at the siege of
Leyden they were reduced to such desperate straits that all they had to
eat was dogs and cats. In derision they were called "dog and cat
eaters." They replied to their enemies: "As long as you hear the bark of
a dog or the mew of a cat the city holds. When these are gone we will
devour out left arms, retaining the right to defend our homes and our
freedom. When all are gone we will set fire to the city and with our
wives and children perish rather than see our families destroyed and our
religion desecrated."

Think of it! A country one-half of which is below the level of the
water, some of it sixteen feet lower than the ocean, which is only a few
miles away! What watchfulness and anxiety bordering upon fear must
occupy every moment, both day and night! In a single century there were
thirty-five great inundations which literally swallowed up several
hundred thousand people. Instead of being disheartened, like ants, they
went to work at once to rebuild the dykes, and with the aid of hundreds
of gigantic windmills pumped the water back into the sea.

These windmills are not only used to pump water, but they saw wood,
grind corn, crush seeds, make paper, and do about everything else. While
they are imperilled all the time by water, they make the water serve
them in numerous ways. Their fences are ditches filled with water. How
their cattle and horses have been trained to stay in, a small lot
surrounded by narrow ditches filled with water which they could easily
jump over, is a mystery, but every visitor to Holland has seen it with
his own eyes.

These Dutch people are great farmers and stock raisers. As their country
has no minerals, the people depend upon agriculture more perhaps than in
any other part of the world. Supporting a population of four hundred and
seventy people to the square mile, every foot of the land of course is
tilled carefully. The main agricultural product is potatoes, of which
they raise about one hundred million bushels per annum. Then come oats,
twenty million bushels, rye, fifteen million and about a third as much
wheat.

The Hollanders build ships, refine sugar, dredge oysters, distill liquor
and brew beer. They manufacture carpets, leather and paper goods, make
chocolate, cut diamonds as well as produce gold and silver articles and
pottery. The farmer uses his cow like one of the family. He keeps her in
the house when the weather is cold, washes and combs her hair more often
than his own, and keeps her room as clean as the parlor. She chews her
cud contentedly and the only thing about her which is tied up is her
tail, which is generally fastened to a beam above to keep it from
getting soiled. Of course, milk, butter and cheese are not a small part
of the living of these people. Often in a Holland home the sitting room,
dining room and sleeping room are one and the same. People often sleep
in bunks one above the other like berths on a ship or sleeping car.

The great bird in Holland is the stork, which is kept and given a home
because of the service rendered in keeping down toads and frogs. The
people who live in the lowest ground make nests for the storks upon
posts erected for the purpose, and almost every Dutch city has a pet
colony of these birds. The Dutch folk-lore tells of the tragedy of the
stork colony away back in the fifteenth century which occurred during
the breeding season. The town of Delft caught fire and when the older
storks made ready for flight their offspring were too young to fly and
too heavy to be carried, and rather than leave their young, the old
birds went back to their nests and perished.

The two great recreation amusements that everybody engages in are
cycling and skating. Roads are good so that the former can be practiced
the year around, while the latter, of course, can only be indulged in
during the winter time. These people become so skilled on the ice that
they can beat an express train, and to skate a hundred miles in an
afternoon is an ordinary excursion. Some years ago a record of four
miles in five minutes was established which is "going some" on skates.

In the beginning of winter when the skating season opens, the young men
and maidens have a great time going to the city of Gouda. The young men
go to buy long pipes and bring them home safely in their mouths or
pockets. The fair maidens try to waylay them and break these pipes.
Likewise the maidens purchase brittle cakes and attempt to carry them
home in bags without breaking them up, and the young men endeavor to
knock the bags from their hands and thus, "break the cake." They all
have a gay time.

Skating is ruled by a sort of a national society. The fee is so small
that everyone can join it. This society decides when skating is safe,
marks the routes and employs sweepers to keep these highways clear from
snow, etc. Everyone must obey the rules laid down by this society,
consequently accidents are rare. One week each year they have a great
festival called the "Kermis," which is not unlike the old-fashioned
carnival in this country. All kinds of amusements are engaged in and all
have a jolly time. St. Nicholas Day, which occurs on December fifth, is
also a great day in Holland, especially for the children.

The largest city in Holland is Amsterdam, which contains more than
one-half million people. This is a walled city, but the walls are water
in the shape of canals. There are four of them, the outermost being
called the Single or "Girdle." Across these canals are smaller canals
running diagonally and the city itself is as though built on a thousand
islands.

These larger canals are almost filled with ships of various sizes and
boats and barges fill the smaller ones. The city has the appearance of
being built on the water, canals serving the purposes of streets. The
ground used to be a great marsh and the entire city is practically built
on piles which are driven down sometimes eighty feet.

One great palace in the city stands upon fourteen thousand piles. One
would think the buildings would collapse in the course of time, and some
of them are all out of shape, but the people are so used to seeing the
buildings lean, almost like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, that they think
nothing about it. Once in awhile the road will give way under a heavily
loaded truck, but they pry the load out, repair the roadway, and go
ahead as though the highway were built upon solid rock.

That the people of Amsterdam are religious is shown by the fact that
there are many large churches in the city. The front of the great palace
called the Dam has a hundred windows and only one little insignificant
entrance. It has been called "the palace without a door." Just across
the square is the Exchange with a great portico supported by seventeen
columns. Some have called this "A door without a house."

Like New York, Amsterdam has its Ghetto, in which more than sixty
thousand Jews are packed almost like sardines in a box, and most of
these live in the direst poverty and misery imaginable. However, just
beside this Ghetto live wealthy Jewish families, and one of the great
synagogues is so magnificent that they claim it represents the Temple of
Solomon.

As noted above the gigantic task of draining the Zuyder Zee has already
been started. This great lake is a hundred miles long and half as wide,
and used to be a great forest. Between seven and eight hundred years
ago, this forest and some better lands consisting of farm lands and
cities, were destroyed by the River Chim. A writer in the Scientific
American, quoted in the Literary Digest, says:

"Then Neptune looked down with longing eyes for his own. About the
middle of the thirteenth century, the North Sea broke through the upper
sand dunes and swept over the land. Hundreds of villages with their
inhabitants were engulfed and destroyed. Geographical continuity was
obliterated, and Holland found herself cut in two by an ocean
eighty-five miles long from north to south, and from ten to forty-five
broad. It proved, moreover, quite as treacherously dangerous a sea as
that which divided her from Britain."

The capital city of Holland contains more than a quarter of a million
people. Perhaps the most outstanding building in The Hague is the Palace
of Peace. It was dedicated August 28, 1913. Something like twenty
countries contributed materials for this great building. The granite in
the base of the walls came from Norway and Sweden, the marble in the
great corridor is Italian; Holland supplied the steps in the great
stairway, and the group of statuary at the foot of this stairway came
from Argentina.

The stained glass in the windows of the Court of Law came from Great
Britain, and the rosewood in the paneling of the Council Chamber is
Brazil's contribution. Turkey and Roumania each supplied carpets,
Switzerland furnished the clock, and Belgium the iron work on the door
at the main entrance. Our own contribution was a group of statuary in
marble and bronze at the first landing of the great stairway. Russia and
China furnished vases, Japan sent silken curtains, and France furnished
a magnificent painting. Thus the nations builded together and we all
hope the dream for which this Palace of Peace stands will soon become a
reality. We are glad that the building is now open again.

For more than four years Holland occupied perhaps the most difficult
position in which any country was ever placed. Every day of that time
she was between the "devil and the deep sea." Compelled to be ready for
invasion every moment, yet trying to remain strictly neutral, she had
the job of feeding hundreds of thousands of refugees. These were anxious
months and years, but the Dutch did most remarkably well and kept their
heads above water all the time. No people were more happy to see peace
come although they were compelled to harbor the greatest enemy
civilization ever had.



CHAPTER IX

THE NATION THAT THE WORLD HONORS--BELGIUM


During the world war the eyes of the world were upon Belgium and it is
quite fitting that an article be devoted to this little country whom the
world honors. Although one of the smallest of all the independent
nations yet before the invasion this little country stood eighth in
wealth and sixth in export and import trade among the nations. Texas is
more then twenty times as large as Belgium. Although not nearly all her
land is under cultivation yet she supported seven and a half million
people and before the war it is said she had no paupers.

This little country has been called the "balance wheel of the world's
trade." The city of Antwerp is said to have forty miles of quays--ahead
of New York City. When the war broke out Belgium had just completed a
ten million dollar canal and had spent eighty million dollars on her
waterways. Her commercial and industrial interests were amazing. She had
one hundred and eighty factories for the manufacture of arms alone. A
single engine factory in Liege turned out two thousand large engines
complete, annually. The zinc foundries and cycle works of this one city
are world famous.

Belgium had the cheapest railroad fare of any country on earth.
Twenty-four of her thirty-two lines were government owned. One could
purchase a third-class ticket, good for five days going anywhere over
these lines for $2.35. One could ride to his work on the railway train
twenty miles and back each day for a whole week for the insignificant
sum of thirty-seven and one-half cents. This made it possible for even
the poorest people to travel and many of them did. The city of Brussels
had two hundred passenger trains entering and leaving the two great
depots every twenty-four hours.

Belgium gave the world the greatest example of thrift ever known.
Surely, if ever a nation needed such an example, we did and do. Belgium
could live well from the crumbs that fall from our tables. Were the
American people as thrifty as the Belgians, we could save all the war
cost us, including the soldiers' bonus, in a generation. There,
everybody works, even father. While the people are poor, yet, as noted
above, it was a country without paupers and will soon be so again.

The government paid interest on savings and encouraged even the poorest
to have a savings account. Such an account could be started with one
franc and could be opened at any post office. Our thrift stamp idea came
from Belgium. The farmer or working man could buy a small plot of
ground, build a little home for his family, be insured against sickness
or accident, even though he hardly had a dollar to start with. The
government would back him and he could borrow money from the national
savings bank system.

The Belgians are said to have the best courts in existence. With a
single judge in the Supreme Court, cases are reviewed quickly while
everything is fresh in mind and witnesses and all other evidence is
easily obtained, and the decisions of the lower courts either reversed
or sustained at once without any lost motion whatever. The lower courts
are open for the settlement of all disputes. The judge cross-questions
both sides without any lawyers to interfere and the poorest wage earner
can have his wrongs righted without a cent's expense. The assistance of
an attorney is hardly ever needed and not one decision in a hundred is
appealed.

The contribution of Belgium to farming and stock raising has been
immense. Most of the soil is thin and has been used for centuries, and
yet she raises more than twice as much wheat per acre as the Dakotas and
harvests as much as $250 worth of flax per acre. A few centuries ago the
district between Antwerp and Ghent was a barren moor called Weasland.
Today every inch of this land is cultivated and is dotted by some of the
finest farms in Belgium. This entire sandy district was covered,
"cartload by cartload, spadeful by spadeful with good soil brought from
elsewhere." It is now like a great flower garden and in fact much of it
is flower beds. The city of Ghent is known as the flower city of Europe,
there being a hundred nursery gardens and half as many horticultural
establishments in the suburbs of this one city.

A marvelous thing about Belgian agriculture is that they rotate the soil
rather than the crops. Their methods of intensive farming are so
wonderful that if North and South Dakota could be farmed as is Belgian
soil, nearly all the people in the United States could move to these two
states and be fed. Belgium is a land of very small farms and it is said
that the poorest agricultural laborer has a better chance to become a
land owner than in most any other country. Until auto trucks made their
appearance the great drays of London and New York were drawn by Belgian
horses. Belgian stallions often take the blue ribbons at our great
state fairs and our farmers have found that the Belgian breeds of stock
are second to none. Even Belgian hares are most prolific and most
profitable of any breed of rabbits in this country today.

The contribution in architecture of this little country to the world has
been so great and her churches and public buildings so stately that
Belgium has been called, "The Jewel box of Europe." Of course, many of
her great cathedrals and public buildings were damaged or destroyed, but
they will, in a large measure, at least, be restored.

The art of Belgian painters is world famous and graces the finest
galleries in both Europe and America. Many of the paintings of Rubens
and other master artists are almost priceless. As lace makers the women
of Belgium are famous the world around. From early morning until late at
night these toilers sit in their low chairs and the skill with which
they shoot the little thread-bobbins back and forth across the cushions
is indescribable. Neither men nor women in Belgium are overly much given
to amusements. They work with all their might, but when the national
holidays come they abandon themselves to the amusements for the moment
and have a most enjoyable time.

While many are illiterate, the Belgians are giving much attention to
schools these times. Even while they were guests of France, with their
government located at Havre, they established twenty-four schools for
the children and a single woman had more than five thousand pupils under
her care and direction. They also established large schools at that
place for disabled soldiers and many of them became not only skilled
workers, but inventors. One of these disabled men invented a process to
make artificial limbs out of waste paper and it is said that these limbs
are the best made. Many of these legless soldiers with artificial limbs
can walk so well that one would never imagine that they had been
wounded.

Providence seems to have made Belgium the great battlefield of Europe.
Nearly every great general of European history has fought on Belgian
soil. When the Spaniards looted Belgian cities and set up the
inquisition it seemed as though the very imps of the lower regions were
turned loose. I have looked upon many of the instruments of torture that
can still be seen in European museums and they were even more terrible
than anything used in the late war. Again and again has Belgian soil
been drenched with blood. Only a little more than one hundred years ago
the hosts of Napoleon and Wellington decided the destiny of nations at
the battle of Waterloo.

Here was this great hive of industry, with the wheels of her factories
humming and her people happy, industrious and contented up to that
fateful day in August, 1914. No people were more loyal to their ideals,
more trustful of others or more anxious to serve humanity than these
honest-hearted, hard-working people. They felt secure, for the treaty
which protected them had been signed by all the nations around them.
This treaty had been held sacred for more than eighty years and was to
last as long as time. It had held them secure during the great crisis of
1870-1871 and when the war cloud gathered in Austria and Servia they
felt secure.

Soon, however, it became plain that Germany had been planning for years
to crush this little country like an egg shell. Four double-track lines
of railway had been built up to the Belgian border. Miles of concrete
platforms had been built, but no suspicions had been aroused. When the
enemy started across Belgium he had better maps of the country than any
Belgian had ever seen. At once many Germans in Belgium left their homes
silently and the surprise of Belgian neighbors can be better imagined
than described when they saw their old friends coming back with the
enemy's army. They had been spies all these years.

When the great siege guns were brought from their hiding places in the
Krupp factories into Belgium, the foundations for them were already
there. These guns were so heavy that the London Times stated that it
took thirteen traction engines to pull a single one of them. They threw
shells that weighed almost a ton twenty miles and a single one of them
would destroy a building as large as our own national capital building
in Washington. So accurately had these foundations been placed that
scarcely a single shell was wasted.

It is said that years ago some so-called German university men asked the
Belgian Government for permission to study the geology of their country.
This permission was granted freely. But these were mostly military men
and spent months investigating and surveying and marking certain places.
Once more these men came to the Belgian Government stating that they
wished to study the formation of rocks and soil which would necessitate
digging into the earth and as they did not wish to be bothered by the
public, asked permission to build barricades around the places where
they worked. Their request was granted instantly and by this means they
built the foundations for these great siege guns.

Finally the fateful day came. Germany told Belgium that she intended
going across her territory anyway and if she would allow this to be done
peaceably she would pay her double price for everything destroyed; that
it would be to her best interests to allow this and that she might have
twelve hours to think it over. In the darkest hours of the war, when it
seemed that the Germans would be victorious, I heard the Belgian
minister in Washington say in an address: "Yes, they gave us twelve
hours to decide, but they gave us eleven hours and fifty-nine minutes
too much time." As long as time, it will be remembered to the glory of
Belgium that she told Germany instantly to stay upon her own territory;
that the world would never say that Belgium went back upon her word;
that if war came she would remain neutral as in the treaty she had
agreed to do. The minister referred to above also said in this darkest
hour: "They now have all but three hundred square miles of our
territory, but what will it profit a man though he gain the whole world
and lose his own soul.' We have lost our property, but we have saved our
soul, and if it were to do over again we would do exactly the same
thing."

Brave little Belgium! For four and one half years she stood bleeding and
with her head bowed in sorrow! Her homes were destroyed, her old men and
women shot down like dogs, her women outraged, her youths and maidens
enslaved, her little children misused, but Belgium still lives, and
always will live in the hearts of men and women wherever civilization is
known! Her King and Queen were brave and heroic through all those
horrible times; her church leaders could not be bought or sold, and her
common people were true as steel. As a nation she blundered in days
agone, but what nation has not made mistakes? Belgium saved democracy
for a thousand years and is today the nation that the whole world
honors.



CHAPTER X

A GLIMPSE OF AMERICA'S FRIEND--FRANCE


Although great in history, France is but a small country. It is
interesting to note that all France could be placed in the state of
Texas and there would be room enough left for Belgium, Holland, Denmark
and Switzerland, one in each corner. Even then, Delaware and the
District of Columbia could be put in for good measure and the Lone Star
State would still have more than eight hundred square miles to spare.

About half of the people of France depend wholly upon agriculture for
their living. Instead of living on farms as we do they live in small
villages. Their farms are very small, generally running from two to
fifteen acres. As a rule, the soil is thin and unproductive, but with
their patient toil, careful methods of farming and a very liberal use of
fertilizer they raise abundant crops. Just about half of the soil of
France is tilled and about one-eighth is used for grazing while all the
famous vineyards of this country cover but about four per cent of the
ground. The balance is in forests and streams, highways, canals, and
railways.

When the war broke out there were about four million French families who
owned their homes and a thriftier and more industrious people could
hardly be found. In 1871, when the heartless Bismarck insisted on having
a one billion dollar indemnity, besides the provinces of Alsace and
Lorraine, he thought he had the people of France throttled for a
generation, but to his very great amazement every dollar of this huge
sum was paid in less than three years. This fact is but an indication
that the French are a race of savers.

A silent revolution in the habits of the peasant people has been the
outcome of the war. Ages ago an uprising took the land away from wealthy
owners and gave it to the peasants. A few years later Napoleon had
enacted or rather established a Code by which a man's property was
equally divided between his children. Thus, if a man died leaving four
children and an eight-acre farm, it was divided into four strips of two
acres each. Then, in the course of time, one of these children died
leaving four children, his two-acre farm was divided into four strips of
a half acre each.

Thus a great portion of the land is cut up into little strips and
gardens. Through the intermarriage of children a family might own
several of these strips of land, often miles from each other. This often
brought complications and made it impossible to introduce modern farm
implements and do away with much of the drudgery of peasant life.

This is one advantage that grew out of the war in many places. In the
devastated areas all landmarks were often obliterated and in many cases
the government brought in tractors and plowed great fields which before
the war were hundreds of little farms and gardens. Then, too, many of
these peasants became greedy, selfish individualists. Each man worked by
himself and for himself and the idea of co-operation was almost unknown.
No ordinary farmer ever became able to have modern farm implements
himself and they never dreamed that several of them could go together
and purchase a binder, a thresher or tractor. Their one standby was the
hoe and not only the man but his wife and children often had to work
from daylight until dark to keep the wolf from the door.

Since the war a new day has dawned for the French peasantry. It was very
hard for some of them to give up their old notions and customs, but it
meant a new order for all who were in the pathway of the war. While the
city of Paris has been always known as the Gay City, yet the people in
the country did not enjoy life in any such way. They had no amusements,
no daily papers, and in some places no songs. The famous Man with the
Hoe is a picture of the French farmer. In many of the rebuilt villages
now they have amusements and movies and in many cases public libraries
have been started.

It is said that in many of the farmhouses of the French peasantry may be
seen hanging little colored prints representing the main professions. At
the top of a stairway stands a king with the motto: "I rule you all," on
a step below is a priest who says: "I pray for you all;" still farther
down stands the soldier who says: "I defend you all;" but at the bottom
of the stairway is the peasant whose motto is: "I feed you all." The
French peasant seemed to take this for granted and never imagined that
while doing it he might have advantages and pleasures that would help to
make life worth living.

Of course, there are great industries and industrial centers in France.
The city of Lille was, before the war, the Pittsburg of France. This
city was not only the center of the textile industry, but had scores and
hundreds of factories and machine shops of all kinds. While the city
itself was not totally destroyed, the factories were almost completely
ruined. In some cases railroad tracks were laid into the buildings and
whole trainloads of costly machinery were shipped out of the country. I
saw the inside of many of these buildings where high explosives were
used and all that was left was the shell of the building, the inside
being one mass of twisted iron girders and broken concrete.

Of course, the idea of the enemy was to make it impossible for French
factories to ever again compete with their own so they attempted to
destroy all they left. They especially looked after all patterns and
plans and thought they were making a clean sweep. In one case a great
factory that covered sixty acres of ground was destroyed. But the owners
had a branch factory in southern France and immediately began
manufacturing duplicate machinery so that when the war closed all that
was needed was the transportation facilities to get the machinery to
Lille.

In the great coal fields about Lens the works and machinery were so
completely destroyed that one could hardly tell there were coal mines in
the district at all. The writer went over these ruins after the war
closed and it is simply beyond the imagination to picture the actual
conditions at that time. The course of small rivers and streams were
changed so that the water could be run into these mines.

One quite remarkable distinction is noticeable to a stranger going
through France and that is that an occasional factory seems to be
located in the midst of an agricultural district. The land may be farmed
on all sides up to the factory buildings. The men often work in these
factories while the women and children and old men do the work on the
farms.

Portions of southern France are noted for the beautiful vineyards.
Bordeaux and other brands of wine are famous the world around. Some of
our boys are laughing yet about the French methods of making wine. The
grapes are gathered and piled into a great vat. When this receptacle is
filled, men, women and children take off their shoes and most all of
their clothes and climb in. Here they walk and jump and tramp until the
whole thing is a mass of pulp. In the meantime, the wine is continually
draining out and being cared for by others.

After they have tramped out all the juice possible by this method the
remains are put into a great press something like a cider press. After
all the wine has been extracted by these various methods, they use the
pulp in the manufacture of a powerful intoxicant, but this is not
generally used as a beverage. Of course, all understand that in many
places they have modern machinery and make wine along scientific lines,
but in many cases they use these old methods to this day.

The courage of the French people is sublime. Even in the darkest days
their faith never wavered and they firmly believed they would be
victorious. As a monument of this faith there is in Paris today the most
wonderful painting perhaps that was ever put upon canvas. It is called
the "Pantheon de Guerre" and is a marvelous cycloramic painting of the
war. It was opened up to the public soon after the armistice was signed
and the writer saw it while attending the Peace Conference.

Many remember the wonderful representation of the Battle of Gettysburg
which used to be in Chicago. This Paris cyclorama is along the same
line, but ten times more wonderful. It is three hundred and
seventy-four feet in circumference and forty-five high. The actual
preparation of this began in October, 1914, and while the army of the
invaders was within thirty miles of Paris and the big guns were shaking
the city, more than twenty artists were working on the marvelous
production.

The central figure is a woman, mounted upon a high pedestal, which
stands in front of a huge temple, and she is holding aloft the laurel
wreath of victory. Upon the first step of a giant stairway which leads
to the temple is a group of French heroes which includes Joffre, Foch,
Petain and many others, while in front of them are guns and flags
bearing marks of conflict. The only allusion to Germany in the whole
painting is in the battle-scarred flags and guns which were used in the
first battle of the Marne. Upon this gigantic stairway are life-size
figures of more than five thousand people nearly everyone of which is a
life sketch of some French hero of the war. Among them are many women
whose heroic work and influence will live forever.

Just across on the opposite side of the painting from this scene is
depicted a gigantic tomb on the top of which is a group of soldiers
holding aloft a great coffin in which is a dead companion. At the base
and on the steps is a woman dressed in mourning, kneeling in the
attitude of prayer, while nearby is a wreath inscribed to the unknown
dead. Back of the tomb in the distance you can see the rays of the
setting sun and in some indescribable way they are lighting up the faces
of those on the temple stairway like a beautiful rainbow of promise,
while the tomb itself is left in the shadows of the declining day.

In the group representing Belgium it is only natural that Edith Cavil
should have a prominent place. To be sure King Albert and his queen and
others are there. As in Belgium the first casualties occurred it is
fitting that here alone is seen a wounded man and the Red Cross workers
are caring for him as he lies upon a stretcher. Here too, are seen the
broken pieces of a cathedral tower with a chalice and altar and Cardinal
Mercier in his priestly robes, while lying on the steps between him and
the king is the torn "scrap of paper."

But it would take pages of this book to give an adequate description of
the entire panorama. Of course, all the allies are represented. In a
group representing the United States, President Wilson is one of the
chief figures. I am told that the picture of General Pershing is a
life-sized painting, which he was kind enough to sit for, to be used in
this production. Here is also seen an American Indian, a cowboy, a
merchant and an artisan. An American flag is borne aloft while four West
Point cadets suggest training and leadership. Women relief workers of
all kinds are seen. Then extending entirely around the room above and
back of all these groups is a profile map of France from the Channel to
the Swiss border. Here can be seen the principal towns and cities
involved during the war. Here, too, can be seen all the modern
implements of war and everything is actual or life size.

As I stood gazing upon this wonderful production of artistic genius, my
own brain almost reeled and staggered at the immensity and vividness of
it. One moment the perspiration would break out and the next moment it
was hard to keep the tears back. Pride, beauty, indignation, mourning,
genius, art, science, invention, generalship, statesmanship, honor,
love, tenderness, devotion, heroism and glory are all intermingled in a
most marvelous way. The opportunity to behold and study this great
panorama of the war is almost worth a trip to Paris. Then to think of
the faith and courage it must have taken to work on and on while the
shells from the big guns were bursting at regular intervals during the
day and the bombs dropping from the aeroplanes above at night; all this
fills and thrills one's heart with admiration for the French people.



CHAPTER XI

SOME IMPRESSIONS OF THE GREAT PEACE CONFERENCE


For a month the writer listened to the heartbeat of nations as their
representatives were gathered in the city of Paris. No other city ever
had within its borders so many of the statesmen of nations. There were
worked out the beginnings of the great problems that will mean the life
of civilization.

Should the nations of the earth plan and make preparation for another
war the race is imperilled. It is either universal peace or universal
doom. Either some plan to stop war or preparation for the final
judgment. Quit fighting or quit living. Peace or death.

The late war revealed the possibilities of human genius. Man's power to
destroy has been discovered and across the sky can be seen in letters of
blood the warning, "Abolish war or perish." Some say the war ended six
months too soon, but had it continued that much longer, the probable
results are too awful to contemplate. The Angel of Destruction had the
sword lifted over Germany, but it was as though divine providence stayed
his hand.

American genius was just coming into play. For instance, we are told
that a gas had been discovered that is so deadly that a few bombs filled
with it and dropped upon a city would all but wipe it out of existence.
When the armistice was signed hundreds of tons of that gas were ready
for use and on the way to the battle front. Other inventions and
discoveries have since been brought out that are too deadly to even talk
about.

No one can describe the Peace Conference without giving great credit to
our president, for without him it seemed that the leaders were unable to
get anywhere. When he said that the time had come when the civilized
nations of the earth should form an organization to abolish war the
enthusiasm of the common people knew no bounds. A committee was at once
appointed to work out a constitution for such an organization and
President Wilson was made the chairman.

Some problems touch only the rich and others have to do with the poor
alone; some interest only the capitalist and others interest only those
who toil with their hands; some absorb the thought of only the white
race while others have to do with the black and yellow races; some have
to do only with the educated while others reach none but the ignorant;
but here is a problem that has to do with every family on the earth,
rich or poor, capitalist or laboring man, white, black and all other
colors and races--in fact, it touches every home and will do so as long
as people live upon the earth.

To abolish war would rejoice the heart of every mother who has gone into
the jaws of death to give birth to a son. It would bring gratitude from
the heart of every wife and sweetheart whose face has been bathed with
tears as the last good-bys were on their lips. It would be a blessing to
every child now living, as well as to the generations yet unborn. It
would thrill the heart of every lover of justice and mercy and would
answer the heart longings of millions who have prayed without ceasing
for the reign of peace on earth among men of good will.

When President Wilson enunciated the fourteen points some wiseacres
laughed and criticised, but these very points formed the basis of the
armistice and the Good Lord only knows how many American lives were
saved to say nothing of English, French, Italian and all the rest. No
one knows how many are alive and well today who would have been sleeping
in unknown and unmarked graves had the armistice been detained a single
week.

The American headquarters in Paris during the Peace Conference were in
the Hotel Grillion, which is on the Place de la Concorde in the heart of
the city. The room number 351 belonged to the suite occupied by Colonel
House and it was really the birth chamber of the League of Nations. The
nineteen men who made up the committee belonged to fourteen nations.
President Wilson, as chairman, called them together in this room. The
first meeting of this committee was held February third and was very
brief. In all, ten meetings were held and all were held in this room.
President Wilson presided at all but one of them. Each man brought his
suggestions in writing so there would be no chance for misunderstanding.
Full discussion of all points was always encouraged. When the entire
constitution was worked out it was agreed to unanimously and it was then
ready to be presented to the Peace Conference.

Until the Peace Treaty was ready to sign all meetings of the great
conference were held in the Foreign Ministry building in Paris. This is
across the river Seine from the Concorde. Many supposed all meetings
were held at Versailles but this is a mistake. Versailles is a city of
some sixty thousand people and about ten miles from Paris. The old
Palace is there but the great Hall of Mirrors where the treaty was
finally signed could not be comfortably heated in the winter time. So
for that as well as other reasons the meetings were held in Paris.

Through Mr. Ray Stannard Baker I received a pass to the Peace
Conference. These passes were only given to newspaper men and I
represented People's Popular Monthly. The great day was February
fourteenth, 1919. On this date eighty-four statesmen representing
twenty-seven nations, the combined population of which is more than
twelve hundred million people, were seated around one table. Clemenceau
was the chairman of the conference and sat at the head of the table. By
his side sat our own president, who at that time, towered head and
shoulders above the statesmen of the world. Let politicians rave and
senators criticize, yet the fact remains that Woodrow Wilson will have a
place in history by the side of the immortal Lincoln and Washington.

When he was introduced our president read the constitution, or covenant
as it was called, and then made some remarks concerning it. While I
stood listening to him as he thrilled the hearts and held almost
breathless this company of statesmen and noted their faces as he said:
"We are now seeing eye to eye and learning that after all, all men on
this earth are brothers," my eyes are swimming in tears and I don't know
yet whether it was the man speaking, what he said, or the way he
thrilled those men, that caused it. I do know, however, that it was one
of the greatest moments I ever lived.

Near the end of the table sat the black man from Liberia. How his face
shone and his eyes sparkled when he heard these words! When he reached
his homeland he no doubt told his people how the great American
president championed a plan to abolish war and told the statesmen of the
Peace Conference that the world is learning that all men on this earth
are brothers, and the very hills of that black land echoed with praises
for America.

Since that day the Chinese, who have never been warriors and love
America anyway, have talked in their tea rooms and joss houses about the
American President's plan to abolish war. In the villages of far away
India, in the homes of the Sea Islanders and in fact wherever human
beings have congregated they have talked of a world peace. But it was
the peoples of the downtrodden, war-stricken nations especially who
looked to our president as the great champion of liberty and freedom.
They believed that he was the "Big Brother" and that the country that he
represented would see that they were treated fairly.

Representing the great western giant whose genius, power and marvelous
accomplishments of a few short months filled all Europe with amazement
and far out-distanced anything they had done in the three years before,
standing at the head of the only unexhausted nation and which could
dictate the policies of the world--for this man to go to the Peace
Conference with a plan to forever abolish war, it simply won for himself
and our country the admiration and confidence of the statesmen of the
world. Nothing like it had ever been seen before and the gratitude of
all knew no bounds.

Then the modest, dignified, unselfish bearing of our president among
them turned gratitude into love and devotion. The words of far-sighted
wisdom spoken everywhere brought from the greatest statesmen the
recognition of leadership. Without a single effort on his part to put
himself forward, he became the natural leader of all.

A single instance of his thoughtfulness will be given. I was determined
to see the tomb where General Pershing stood when he uttered the famous
words: "Lafayette we have come," and which made the whole French nation
doff its hat and cheer. After hours of searching and miles of walking
and inquiries galore, the place was found, but the door to the enclosure
had to be unlocked with a silver key. When entrance was gained and the
spot finally reached, there on the tomb was a wreath of flowers nearly
as large as a wagon wheel and which, when they were fresh, must have
been beautiful beyond words to described. Upon it was a card on which
had been written in English the words: "The President of the United
States of America. In memory of the great Lafayette from a fellow
servant of liberty."

Then came the months of haggling, the work of selfish politicians both
at home and abroad, and finally the rejection by our own people of the
greatest piece of work since the beginning of the Christian era, all of
which makes one who knows the real situation hang his head in shame. Why
any living mortal in America could oppose a plan that has for its object
the abolition of war is simply amazing to the people of Europe. Just
before I left Paris in 1919 a French business man said to me: "I
understand that the cables are saying that you have some men in your
country who are opposing your president and this effort to abolish war.
What kind of men have you got over there, anyway? Go back and tell them
that it is not only the greatest thing for America that he came over
here but it is one of the greatest things for the whole world that ever
happened."

In the fall of 1921 I made another trip to Europe and the change was
beyond any power to describe. People who looked upon America as the one
great nation of the earth almost sneered when they mentioned our
attitude toward the League of Nations. They have almost lost confidence
in us and it will be hard to regain it. France is especially bitter.
Perhaps the result of the Disarmament Conference, which is practically
the same thing under another name, will help them to forget some things,
but the French will be slow to take up with it. We are all proud of the
part our leaders had in this great meeting in Washington, but had our
government stood enthusiastically for the League of Nations it would
have saved hundreds of millions of dollars that we now have to dig up in
taxes, and at the same time saved famine, fighting and hatred that it
will take a long time to overcome.



CHAPTER XII

THE NIGHTMARE OF EUROPE--ALSACE-LORRAINE


"I congratulate you on the annexation of an open sore to your Empire,"
said Emperor Francis Joseph of Austria to the German Kaiser when
Alsace-Lorraine was ceded to Germany by the Treaty of Frankfort at the
close of the Franco-Prussian War, in 1871. As we entered the world war
to fight for the downtrodden people of the world, determined that people
must have their rights and that the peril of military autocracy must be
crushed forever, the problem of Alsace-Lorraine became a great problem
to America. Every citizen of the United States should know something of
this little country that has been called "The Nightmare of Europe."

Germany made every possible effort to blind the eyes of the world in
regard to the facts about these provinces. She constantly declared there
was no Alsace-Lorraine problem. In 1881, the Kaiser, in speaking of
these provinces gave utterance to these words: "Germany would leave her
eighteen army corps and her forty-two million people on the field of
battle rather than surrender a single stone of the territory won in
1871." Because Mr. Daniel Blumenthal, who lived in Alsace all his life,
was mayor of one of the important cities there and a member of the
German Reichstag and the Alsace-Lorraine Senate for years, dared to tell
the world the truth about his country, he was condemned to death eight
times. He lived, however, and then they imposed upon him sentences of
penal servitude that aggregated more than five hundred years' time.
This man finally got out of Germany and the whole world then listened to
his story.

First, take a look at the provinces. They are located, as you know, at
the northeast corner of France. Together they are about as large as the
Yellowstone National Park, or the size of about six Iowa counties. The
soil is the most fertile to be found in Central Europe. The hills are
richly wooded with fir, oak and beech, as well as other varieties. Corn,
flax, tobacco, grapes and various fruits are grown. The great wealth,
however, is in the minerals. Iron, lead, copper, coal, rock salt and
even silver are there. Manufacturers of cotton and linen are plentiful.

In the old days this country was a part of ancient Gaul and the Romans
had it for five hundred years. When Rome broke up it became a part of
France, and so remained until about the middle of the tenth century, at
which time it came under the jurisdiction of Germany. Later on Alsace
became a part of the Holy Roman Empire. During these days it was made a
republic under the direction of a bishop and became a _decapole_, or
province with ten free cities. This league of free cities had control
for two hundred years, and with this in mind it is easy to see where and
how this principle of liberty and freedom was born in the hearts of
these people.

At the close of the Thirty Years War, at the Peace of Westphalia in
1648, these provinces came back to France and constituted a part of this
country until the close of the Franco-Prussian War when Germany took it.
The Treaty of Frankfort, which ceded this land to Germany was, as some
one says, "not a treaty of peace but a treaty of hatred." Bismarck
declared that Metz and Strassburg had been an open door through which
France came again and again to invade Germany and he proposed to lock
the door and throw the key into the well. Of course he had an eye upon
the rich iron mines which were absolutely necessary to Germany in her
preparation for a world war.

This country has been a battlefield for centuries. It was the religious
battleground in the seventh century. The Thirty Years War devastated
almost every foot of the territory. It is said that in one community
there was not a wedding for twelve years and not a baptism for fifteen
years. Strassburg with its great university and priceless library was
burned. The writer of these lines passed through this country years ago
where it is said that there were two hundred square miles of cemeteries
instead of farms.

In 1870-1871 came the Franco-Prussian War and once more these provinces
were largely devastated. Somehow the people got an inkling that their
land might go to Germany and at once they were up in arms about it. They
sent a delegation of twenty-eight men to the national assembly at
Bordeaux with the following appeal: "Alsace-Lorraine are opposed to
alienation. These two provinces, associated with France for more than
two centuries in good and evil fortune and constantly opposed to hostile
attack, have consistently sacrificed themselves in the cause of national
greatness; they have sealed with their blood the indissoluble compact
that binds them to French unity. With one accord, citizens who have
remained in their own homes and the soldiers who have hastened to join
the colors, proclaim by their votes or by their action on the field, to
Germany and to the world, the unalterable determination to remain
French."

When the decision was reached to give these provinces to Germany they
sent the following appeal to the nations of Europe: "Europe cannot
permit or ratify the abandonment of Alsace and Lorraine. The civilized
nations, as guardians of justice and national rights, cannot remain
indifferent to the fate of their neighbor under pain of becoming in
their turn victims of the outrages they have tolerated. Modern Europe
cannot allow a people to be seized like a herd of cattle; she cannot
continue deaf to the repeated protest of threatened nationalities. She
owes it to her instinct of self-preservation to forbid such abuses of
her power. She knows too that the unity of France is now, as in the
past, a guarantee of the general order of the world, a barrier against
the spirit of conquest and invasion. Peace concluded at the price of
cession of territory could be nothing but a costly truce, not a final
peace. It would be for a cause of international unrest, a permanent and
legitimate provocation of war."

Even after this wonderful appeal, still another final plea was made, but
it did no good. The heartless Bismarck had France by the throat and
other nations seemed afraid to champion the cause of these helpless
people. Thus the whole world reaped the reward of silence when great
principles were involved. I have given the protest almost in full,
quoting it from David Starr Jordan, that readers of this chapter can
behold the evil effects of accepting a peace when the rights of people
are left out of the question.

A provision in this Treaty of Frankfort allowed those who wished to
cross the line into France to go. Of course this would involve leaving
their homes, their farms, their old neighbors and everything else that
they could not take along. More than a year was given for this and on
the last day of grace one author says: "All those who had means of
transportation rode in carts, wagons, carriages, running over the black
roads. Whole families drove their cattle. Old men dragged themselves on,
leaning on the shoulders of young women who bore at the breast new-born
children. Sick men, who wished not to die German, were carried bodily
that they might draw their last breath on the frontier of Nancy and
thank heaven to die on French soil."

Then the Germans tried to blot out all traces of France. The French
language was forbidden in schools, on advertisements or even on tombs.
Police and secret service men watched the inhabitants and men were
imprisoned for any demonstration whatsoever that exalted France. The
frontier was closed, all communication with France was cut off and no
one could cross the border without a passport that was vized by the
German Ambassador in Paris. This was done until the death of Bismarck.
In spite of all this, whenever a chance was given for the people to
choose between France and Germany, they chose France. It must be
remembered too, that a half million people crossed the line into France
while they could and that a half million German immigrants had taken
their places.

All through the years France had mourned for her lost provinces and
refused to be comforted. Many times I have seen the mourning figure of
Strassburg, which is in the Place de la Concorde, in the heart of the
city of Paris. This statue represents the distress of Alsace-Lorraine
and "around this figure the war spirit of France rallied for forty
years." It is said that flowers were placed at this figure every day for
forty years.

When General Joffre and the French army entered Alsace in August, 1914,
the joy of the people knew no bounds. How they wept and rejoiced as the
bands played the Marseillaise! French flags that had been hidden away
for forty-three years were brought out and such scenes of rejoicing have
rarely been witnessed. The same was true in Paris. A great company of
Alsatians formed a procession and marched to the Strassburg statue on
the Concorde. The procession was led by Alsatian women who carried palm
branches. All marched bare-headed to the statue. Ladders were placed
against the monument. An Alsatian climbed to the top and wound a broad
tri-colored sash around the statue. The crowd cried: "Away with the
crepe" and instantly all signs of mourning that had surrounded the
statue for forty-three years were torn away.

As might be expected, when the French army was driven out of Alsace
later on, the people suffered untold misery. The Good Lord only knows
what they went through. Thousands were condemned to prison for the awful
crime of manifesting their French sentiments. A single word that
reflected upon what Germany had done in any way would send one to
prison. A lawyer by the name of Berger was sentenced to prison for a
term of eight years for casually alluding to the invasion of Belgium.
The number of women condemned to prison was enormous, for the women were
more outspoken and less respectful to the Germans than the men.

Neither did prison sentences end it; sentences of death were very many.
The press was not allowed to mention those who were shot. It was
reported that thirty thousand of the people in these provinces were
imported into Germany. But those days have gone by and it is certain
that never again will Germany wield the sceptre over these provinces. Of
course in this brief glimpse of Alsace-Lorraine many very important
matters could not be mentioned at all, but these are sufficient to show
why they could not help hating the people who have been heartless in
their effort to subdue some of their blood relatives.



CHAPTER XIII

THE HOME OF THE PASSION PLAY--OBERAMMERGAU


Nestled at the foot of the mountains in the highlands of Bavaria, is the
little village of Oberammergau, the home of the world-famous Passion
Play. Although of German extraction, these humble people were opposed to
war with all their power, but when it came they were compelled to
submit. One of the saddest pictures during the war was that of these
people as it was given by Madaline Doty, which was published in the
Atlantic Monthly in 1917.

This writer said: "The village was silent and the people were in great
distress. There were no carriages or even push carts; no smiling people,
no laughter, and no gay voices were heard. Old people sat about as if
dazed. Five hundred and fifty out of eighteen hundred population had
gone to war." The village was bankrupt. There was no money. It was like
a plague-stricken place. The theater building was locked up. The little
stores had nothing to sell. No person was allowed more than one egg per
week and but few could get that. People were on the point of starvation.

During the season of 1910 the writer made the journey to Oberammergau on
purpose to see the Passion Play and this chapter is but a brief
description of it. Journeying from Zurich, Switzerland, to Oberammergau
a stop was made at Munich. From that place there is but one little dinky
railroad and one of the greatest mobs I ever got into was at the depot
in Munich. A thousand people were trying to get on a train that could
carry only a few hundred. Finding a porter who was persuaded to open a
compartment with a silver key a half dozen of us had a comfortable
place. The distance to the mountain village is less than one hundred
miles, but it took from five in the evening until midnight to reach it.

Having purchased a ticket for the play on the following day weeks
before, and with it lodging for two nights, a gentleman took me from the
depot to the home of one of the players and I went to bed. Early the
next morning while eating breakfast at the home, on looking through the
door I discovered that one end of the house was a cow stable. Going from
the house all that was necessary was to follow the crowd, for people
seemed to be coming from everywhere. Passing through the winding, narrow
streets, soon the large theater building was reached.

This building is one hundred and forty feet square. The roof is
supported by six gigantic arches that are sixty-five feet high in the
center. The floor is built on an incline so that every one of the four
thousand seats is a good one. The stage reaches entirely across the
building and is in the open air, the whole end of the building open. At
each end of the stage are small buildings representing the Palace of
Pilate and the Palace of the High Priest. Back about twenty feet from
the edge of the stage is a covered stage with a curtain and in which the
tableaus are arranged. There are fourteen entrances to the building.

The large orchestra is just in front of the stage but lower than the
people, so unless one happens to be near the platform the musicians
cannot be seen at all. The end of the entire building being open, the
rain beats in and the cheapest seats are those where one is likely to
get wet should it rain. The orchestra is kept dry by a large canvas that
is pulled out when the rain begins. Back in the inner covered stage is a
network of ropes, pulleys, lances, arms for Roman soldiers, dishes for
banquets, costumes and wardrobes for the players, all in perfect order
and ready for use at a moment's notice.

The play itself occupies about eight hours. There are six hundred and
eighty-five people in it, but only one hundred and twenty speaking
parts. The principal actors are not many, but during the play there are
many children as well as old men and women take part. There are
twenty-two tableaus; seventy-six scenes and in all eighteen acts. The
tableaus represent Old Testament prophecies of the events portrayed. It
must be remembered, however, that the play represents only the events
that occurred during the last week of Christ's life.

The music is simply wonderful. For generations these mountain people
have been developing a tenderness and pathos that really grips one's
heart. The music was composed by a man by the name of Dedler, about one
hundred years ago, and while it gives expression to the composer's
tender heart, yet experts say that it reminds them of Hayden and Mozart.
The paintings in the building are those of great masters. It took an
entire year to paint the scenery for the play in 1910, but they could
not afford to spend so much upon it in 1922. The curtains and costumes
are of fine material, nothing shoddy or cheap about it.

The story of the beginning of the Passion Play is as interesting as a
novel. It was in the year 1633. A pestilence was raging in the villages
in the mountains of Bavaria and death rode down the valleys like a
mighty conqueror. Hundreds were smitten and the hand of death could not
be stayed. Whole villages were depopulated and even the dead were left
unburied. For a while the village of Oberammergau was favored, while
neighboring villages were stricken. A line of sentinels were stationed
around the village and a strict quarantine was maintained. Finally, love
of home and the desire to see his family caused a laboring man, Casper
Schushler, who was working in another village, to steal through the line
and spend an evening at his own family fireside.

In a couple of days all was changed. The songs of the children were
hushed in silence, for this man had brought the plague into the village.
In thirty-three days eighty-four had perished and scores of others were
smitten by the hand of death. It was a great crisis and looked as though
that soon there would not be left among the living enough to bury the
dead. A public meeting was called. It was a sad gathering of hollow-eyed
men and women. They spent the whole day in earnest prayer. They vowed to
the Lord that day that if he would hear their petition and save them,
they would repent of their sins as a token of their sincerity, and that
they would try to re-enact the scenes of Calvary and thus give an object
lesson of God's love for humanity.

The chronicler says that from that moment the hand of death was stayed.
Not another person in the village died from the plague. Every one
smitten recovered and by this they knew that the Lord had heard their
prayers. At once they set about to carry out their vow. From that day
forward they aimed to give the object lesson every ten years and have
done so except on occasions when they have been hindered by war, as two
years ago. In 1910 a quarter of a million people endured the hardships
and inconveniences of a long, tiresome journey, sometimes spending many
hundred dollars, to see the play.

The day I spent there was one of the shortest days in my memory. Sermons
not an hour long have sometimes seemed longer than this entire day. A
strange silence was everywhere. There was no gaiety such as one sees at
a theater. There was no applause, no laughter. Criticise it if you will,
condemn it if you like, yet the fact remains that it is the greatest
object lesson of the ages. It would be hard for any man to see it and
not come away with a more tender heart and a better appreciation of the
world's Redeemer. The late William T. Stead truly called this play "The
Story That Has Transformed the World."

No other story so fills and thrills the soul. I saw non-Christian men
sit trembling with emotion and great tears rolling down their faces.
Sometimes one's indignation was so aroused that it was hard to sit
still. At other times the fountains of the great deep were broken up and
one's heart would nearly burst. On this particular day every one of the
four thousand seats were taken and five hundred people stood up from
morning until evening. It is as impossible to describe the Passion Play
as it is to describe a song. It is real life before your eyes. I have
never yet seen pictures of it that did not make me heart-sick, for it is
impossible to give a true picture of it on the screen.

On years when the play is given it generally begins about the middle of
May and closes the last of September. They give it regularly on Sunday
and Wednesday of each week during this time. During the busy season it
is often repeated for the overflow on Monday and Thursday and
occasionally on Friday. Tickets for the regular play are generally sold
out beforehand but as usual a great many reach the place without tickets
and have to be accommodated in this way.

All the years the highest ambition of the boys and girls in the village
is to so live that they will be chosen for some prominent part in the
play. No one can be chosen unless born in the village and this confines
it to the village. No one is chosen for a prominent part if there is
anything against his character and that places a premium on right
living. Hence one can easily see their reason for hating war with all
their power. While narrow in their peculiar religious ideas, no doubt,
yet a more consecrated and devoted class of people are perhaps not found
in another village on earth.

All told there are nearly a thousand people who are connected in some
way with the play and as the population of the village is less than two
thousand, it practically takes in every family and sometimes every
member of the family. The choosing of the important players is always an
important event in the village. After a season closes no characters are
chosen for seven years. At length the day arrives when the committee of
fourteen who are to choose the leading characters for the play three
years hence is elected. It is a great day. The assembly meets in the
town hall. Every parishioner has a vote. The mayor of the village is
chairman.

After this committee of fourteen is duly elected a meeting is soon
called. It takes several months to consider the problem. Every player
must sign a contract to carry out his part to the best of his ability.
Offenders are punished with great severity. Married women are barred
from the prominent parts. It is said that more than one hundred
rehearsals are held before the opening day.

The receipts for a season are enormous. The sale of post cards and
souvenirs greatly add to the sum. It is not surprising that these people
are often accused for running the play for the money there is in it. But
the leading characters only receive a few hundred dollars for the
season's work. The church receives a large amount. The theater building
and upkeep represents a fortune. To care for the thousands who attend,
the town must have a good water supply, an up-to-date sanitary system,
and many things that would be uncalled for in an ordinary town. Located
as it is away in the mountains, it is very difficult to have the things
that are necessary in the way of improvements.

The people of Oberammergau are a humble, hard-working people. Their main
business is wood carving and they are experts in this work. Without the
Passion Play season the demand for their product would not be so great.
As is said above these people are very religious. They have a very
expensive church or two. On a peak of one of the highest mountains in
the vicinity is a gigantic cross. This is kept polished and when the sun
shines upon it the sight is very beautiful. Many journey to the top of
this mountain and the view richly repays one for the difficult climb.



CHAPTER XIV

THE COUNTRY WHERE THE WAR STARTED--SERVIA


It was a Servian lad who started the war, or rather the fire was all
ready to start and he lit the match. Whether he was hired to do this or
not as has been reported may never be known as he died before the
investigation had been completed. Nevertheless, this deed aroused the
interest of the world in a country that was almost unknown before the
war.

Servia is not quite as large as the state of Indiana. The population is
about double that of Indiana and the climate about the same as this
state. The northern boundary is, or was at the outbreak of the war, the
Danube river, on the east Bulgaria, on the south Greece, while on the
west were Albania, Montenegro and Austria. She was shut away from any
seaports all the years, and most of the time surrounded by enemies, the
greatest of these being Austria on the west and Turkey to the east.

In natural resources Servia is one of the richest countries in Europe,
being productive of soil, good climate, well watered and having large
mineral wealth. The Moravia river runs across the great plain in middle
Servia and is to the country much the same as the Nile is to Egypt. Corn
is cultivated everywhere in the country and is perhaps the greatest
crop, while wheat also is largely raised. While various fruits are
widely grown the plum orchards are the most numerous. Grapes also are
grown extensively. Gold, silver, copper, iron and coal are found in many
parts of the country. It is interesting to know that a Belgian company
has perhaps the largest anthracite coal mine in Servia. Also, there are
three and one-half million acres of forests in this small country.

The Servians are a race of peasant farmers, eighty per cent of the
people being tillers of the soil. Most of the farms, however, are very
small. The average farm is less than twenty acres. Servia perhaps leads
the world in home owners according to population. Nine-tenths of the
farmers own their farms. This is largely due to laws and old customs.
The law allows a man a minimum farm of five acres with a team of oxen
and farming implements and no one can take these from him for debt no
matter how just may be his claim. Another law requires everyone to
contribute a certain quantity of corn or wheat each year to a municipal
institution to be lent in time of need or for seed to anyone and at a
very moderate rate of interest.

Another old custom among the Servians is for the entire community to go
and help any man, who may be unfortunate, harvest his grain. This is
made a great day and singing and laughing can be heard all day long in
the fields, and in the evening they have certain religious ceremonies
which end in a feast with music and dancing. These are great events for
the young folks. It is a custom among the girls for those who are open
for engagement to wear a red feather in their hair. Of late years the
farmers have an organization that is not unlike the grange that we used
to have in this country. Through this they get better markets for what
they have to sell and lower prices for what they have to buy. Many who
read these lines can call to mind some of the great times that people
used to have in the meetings and great days in granger times.

The Servians have some queer customs in regard to death and funerals.
Almost every Servian prepares boards with which to make his own coffin
and keeps them in a dry place ready for use when he dies. Old women save
up money and sew it in their dresses, to be used to pay their funeral
expenses. If a farmer is able to afford it he generally keeps a barrel
of whisky in his cellar, to be drunk at his funeral.

When the body of a dead person is in the house no one eats anything and
the floors are not swept. After the funeral the floors are swept and the
broom thrown away. For a day after one dies a little bread and a glass
of wine are kept in the room with the dead body. They believe the soul
tarries awhile and might want to eat and drink. They also believe that
the soul lingers on earth forty days after death, visiting old familiar
places and on the fortieth day ascends to heaven.

On the day of a funeral an animal, likely a sheep, but never a goat, is
killed at the grave in the presence of one holding a wax candle. This
animal is then roasted and those attending the funeral have a feast, the
guests each bringing something to eat with the roast. Women never sing
or wear flowers or jewelry during the first year of mourning.

European civilization owes much to the Servians. For hundreds of years
these people have fought to save Europe from invasion. They have been
the bulwark of Christendom against the unspeakable Turk and his
religion. The bitter trials and hardships of the Servians have made them
brave, heroic and self-sacrificing. This is especially true of the
women as the following incident among many will show.

After all the hardships of the Balkan War, when diseases and suffering
were everywhere; when the land had been left uncultivated and hunger
stalked across the country and the women in both town and country had
toiled unceasingly; after all these days of misery, when Austria was
mentioned to a peasant woman she declared that she was ready for fresh
sacrifices. Being reminded of what it would mean to have war again she
said: "What matters the leaves and twigs that fall, provided the tree
remains standing."

There has been a very bitter feeling in Servia against the Austrians
since 1908. In that year Austria had trampled under foot her sacred
treaties and by brute force annexed Bosnia and Herzegovnia, Servia's
neighbors, and had threatened the very existence of Servia herself. In
the streets of Belgrade, their capital city, on that occasion there was
a vast demonstration held almost in silence and every Servian pledged to
do or die at his country's call. They well knew that a conflict was
coming. In that war they had done a noble part but when it came to the
settlement Austria practically refused to allow Servia an Adriatic port
and other advantages she had justly earned.

From that day until the world war broke out, Austria backed and assisted
by German secret agents, tried to stir up Albania and Bulgaria against
Servia. Turkey too was only waiting for a chance to plunder this
country. But worst of all and greatest of all, Servia had the audacity
to block the Kaiser's Berlin to Bagdad railway scheme which was to go
through Belgrade.

Now the time had arrived when something must be done to provoke a war
with Servia and annihilate her. The self-appointed world ruler of
Germany had decreed it. As he was dictating the policy of Austria she
must find some excuse to do the job. Then came the fateful day, July 29,
1914. On that day the Crown Prince of Austria and his wife were
assassinated at Sarajevo by a Servian youth.

Not a thing was done openly for twenty-four days. At once on the
assassination of the Austrian Grown Prince, the Kaiser called in his war
lords and financiers and other great men of his coterie. He asked if all
were ready for war. The army and navy men said they were ready
instantly. The financiers said they could be ready in two weeks. They
were told to get ready. While this was being done the Kaiser with the
Austrian war lords worked out a plan by which the act of this Servian
youth could be laid upon the nation and be made an excuse for war. So on
the twenty-fourth day after the assassination came the ultimatum from
Austria. It came as a thunderclap out of a clear sky.

The little country was only allowed forty-eight hours to concede the
unheardof demands. Diplomats tried to get Austria to extend the time,
but she refused to do so. Sir Edward Grey of England led in an effort to
bring about arbitration after Austria had declared war, and he all but
succeeded for Austria and Servia both agreed to submit their differences
to arbitration and Russia agreed to this. But just here Germany openly
butted in and declared that she would not arbitrate anything and thus
the war went on until it had involved nation after nation and
practically the whole world was into it either directly or indirectly.

When the declaration of war came to Servia, their old king was in bad
health and was at a sanitarium. He had appointed his son to the regency.
But at the word of war, old King Peter left the watering-place and
started for the front. With flag in hand he came to the troops and
addressed the men saying: "Soldiers, your old king has come to die with
you; if there be any who are afraid let him turn back." It is easy to
imagine the result. Not one of them turned back, and they easily routed
the enemy and swept all before them. But the story of these terrible
years can only be mentioned. The year 1914 was a year of victory for the
Servians. But later on came the tremendous reverses, the awful typhus
fever and the heroic retreat over the mountains. This retreat is one of
the saddest and yet one of the most heroic pages of history. Finally
France was able to come to the rescue and the Servians found a refuge on
the island of Corfu. Had it not been for France the Servian nation would
have been all but annihilated.

While Servia has never made a contribution to civilization as has
Belgium, she has played such a noble part that she will always have a
large place in the heart of mankind. She has kept the Turk from invading
Europe for centuries and it is hard to realize just what that means. The
Turk has always been a plunderer and has cursed everything he touched.
But his cup of iniquity has been filled to overflowing and the death
rattle is in his throat.

Providence has thus used Servia in a most wonderful way. Her great
vision has been a united country with all the Servians included, where
they can work out their own problems and live in peace and harmony.
These people are devoutly religious, most of them belonging to the Greek
Orthodox church. They have great respect for learning. They are a most
hospitable people and any foreigner is always made a welcome guest. They
are well read in history but have never been favorably inclined toward
either German education or language. They admire and love the French and
invited the French Government to open a school in Belgrade. They have
their own literature and folklore, their own popular music and national
songs. The following are some of their bright proverbs of which they
have a great many:

"It is better to serve a good man than to give orders to a bad man.

"It is better to suffer injustice than to commit it.

"It is better to die honestly than to live dishonestly.

"It is better to have a good reputation than a golden belt.

"As long as a man does not dishonor himself no one can dishonor him.

"Debt is a bad companion.

"He who wishes to rest when he is old must work when he is young.

"The lie has short legs.

"An earnest work is never lost.

"The unjustly acquired wealth never reaches the third generation.

"A kind word opens the iron door.

"God sometimes shuts one door that he may open a hundred other doors.

"It is better to weep with the wise than to sing with the fool.

"In the forest a tree leans upon tree, in a nation a man leans on man.

"Where there is no fear of God there is no shame of man.

"Where there is no wife there is no home.

"Where the devil cannot cause mischief he sends an old woman and she
does it.

"Work as if you are to live a hundred years, pray to God as if you were
to die tomorrow."



CHAPTER XV

A WORLD-FAMOUS LAND--PALESTINE


The most fascinating and lureful land on the globe is the little country
we call Palestine. Since it was wrested from the unspeakable Turk during
the world war, the eyes of the world have been focused upon it to a
greater degree than ever. It is the dearest spot to civilization. From
it have gone the greatest and most powerful influences for good that
ever affected humanity. It produced the one great character which is
today the great center of history. The date of his birth is the
recognized beginning of the greatest era in the history of mankind. The
calendars of the world have been changed by the Galilean carpenter.

Palestine is less than one-eighth as large as Wisconsin. Smaller than
Greece or Italy or England or even Belgium, it has a greater history
perhaps than all these combined. The book it produced is the foundation
of history, literature and law. The hills and valleys, mountains and
rivers are hallowed by the memory of him who wore the crown of thorns.
The writer of these lines will never forget the tender memories aroused
when standing on the sacred spots in this world-famous land.

The man who said: "Palestine is the world in a nutshell," told the exact
truth. Between snow-capped Mount Herman on the north, which is ten
thousand feet above the ocean, and the Dead Sea on the south, which is
thirteen hundred feet below the level of the ocean, are found all the
zones and climates that can be found on the globe. The geologist finds
here not only all the formations of rock found on the earth, but all
the geological periods and ages. The botanist finds here about all the
plants, shrubs and flowers; the zoologist finds most all the animals and
the ornithologist finds most all the birds, while the ichthyologist
finds all the fishes.

It used to be thought that there was at least one exception to the above
named rule: that there was at least one type of fish that could not be
found in Palestine. The exception was a type of fish found by David
Livingstone in an inland lake in tropical Africa. Nature has provided
the male of this peculiar fish with a large head and made him the
protector of the school of little fishes when they are first hatched out
so that in time of danger he opens his gills and the little ones swim
into his mouth where they will be safe. The habit is unheard of and
unparalleled among any fish in the world, so it is said. While for years
it was supposed that this family of fish was found only in tropical
Africa, yet some years ago one of this very type of fish was caught in
the sea of Galilee.

It was the privilege of the writer to visit Palestine some years ago
with a converted Jew as a guide. We fell in together on an Italian
steamship on the way from Italy to Egypt. On account of the bubonic
plague which was raging in Egypt at the time we were thrown together
again unexpectedly, leaving Egypt on the same ship bound for Syria. We
were quarantined together on a ship in a Syrian harbor and became so
well acquainted that he was persuaded to act as my guide through
Palestine.

Our first landing place on this sacred soil was at the city of Haifa,
which is located at the foot of Mount Carmel near the northern part of
the country. Haifa is a small city of some ten thousand people and to
visit the market place in the early morning makes one think that the
people are very much alive. Not far from the city are shown some
rock-cut chambers in Mount Carmel that are said to be the very rooms
where Elisha conducted his school for the young prophets.

On the top of this mountain perhaps four or five miles from Haifa is a
sort of a natural amphitheater and in this an old, old, rock-cut altar
that is pointed out as the place where Elijah and the prophets of Baal
had the great test to see whose god would answer by fire. At the foot of
the mountain is a large mound which is to this day called the "Priest's
Mound" and which is the traditional burial place of the false prophets
who were slain at that time.

From Haifa we went to Nazareth which is about eighteen miles in an
eastward direction. We traveled for several miles along a railroad that
the builders had started and then abandoned. The story told me at the
time as to why this project was abandoned became quite significant when
the war broke out, although it was told me several years before this
happened. They said an English company secured the right to build a
railway from Haifa to Damascus. About the time the work was started the
Kaiser came to visit Palestine.

Great preparation had been made for this visit and as a worshipper (?)
he visited all the sacred places. On his return he spent a week in
Constantinople with the Sultan of Turkey and that immediately after this
visit this Turkish ruler decided that this railway would give the
English too much power and the company was compelled to give up the
work. Of course the railway was finished later on, but not by the
English. As it developed after the war broke out, the Kaiser and the
Sultan of Turkey had worked together for years.

Stopping by the highway a Mohammedan woman was drawing water at a well
and on request she cheerfully gave us a drink. These people never refuse
to help even an enemy get a drink of water so I was told. The women do
most of the hard work in Palestine. Where we stopped to pay the
government tax that was always collected from travelers, I saw a man and
woman building a stone wall. The only thing the man did was to sit on
the wall while the woman mixed the mortar and carried both it and the
stone to him. She even had to lift the stone up on the wall without any
assistance from him, but he did manage to spread the mortar alone.

Spread out before us was the great Plain of Esdraelon, which was often
spoken of as the world's greatest battlefield. Here more battles that
decided the destiny of nations have been fought than on any other spot
on the globe. To behold the place where "The stars in their courses
fought against Sisera" and a score of other world-famous struggles was a
marvelous sight to say the least.

Nazareth is a beautiful little city on the side of a mountain. The
streets are narrow, the paving stones are worn slippery, and the shops
are all open to the streets. In the Church of the Annunciation they
point out "Joseph's Workshop" and "Mary's Kitchen" and with great
solemnity show you the tools used by the Galilean carpenter and the
cooking utensils used in the sacred home. There is in Nazareth one
building the walls of which perhaps were standing nineteen hundred
years ago. This old wall is hoary with age and the Hebrew characters
above the door indicate that it used to be a Jewish synagogue. Possibly
it was the place where the great sermon was preached which so enraged
the people that they tried to mob the preacher, but he escaped from
their hands.

An amusing experience was when we visited the Hall of Justice. The
officials found that we had come into their city without permission from
the authorities at Haifa. At once we were held up and fined. The fines
and costs amounted to sixty cents each and I had to pay one dollar and
twenty cents for myself and guide. When this was paid they gave us
permission to proceed on our journey. That all might know that we had
this permission it was so stated upon the back of our passports.

The last thing I remember before going to sleep one night in the city of
Nazareth was the loud talk of a crazy man in the street near the window.
As there were no asylums for these unfortunate people they often just
wandered around. I visited the only asylum for crazy people in all Syria
at that time, and Dr. Waldimier told me with his own lips that it took
him nineteen long years to get permission from the Turkish government to
found the institution.

From the top of the mountain near Nazareth one has a wonderful view of
the entire country. As Palestine is less than one hundred and fifty
miles long and but one-third as wide one can see almost entirely over
the land from some high elevation. To the east and southeast of the top
of this mountain lies the great Jordan valley with the mountains of Moab
in the background. It was from one of these peaks, Mount Nebo, that
Moses viewed the landscape o'er. Only about fifteen miles to the
northeast lies the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias and
Lake of Gennesaret. One cannot see the water in this lake, but the
depression where it lies is very marked.

To the north is the "Horn of Hattin," where the famous Sermon on the
Mount was given to the assembled multitude. Still further is Mount
Hermon which was the scene of the transfiguration. Still farther away
are the mountains of Lebanon. To the west is old Mount Carmel and beyond
that the great Mediterranean Sea. Stretched out to the southwest is the
Plain of Esdraelon, and beyond that the mountains of Samaria. Just east
of this plain are Mount Tabor and Gilboa. One can stand for hours and
not get tired of looking for every foot of the ground is historic.



CHAPTER XVI

A WORLD-FAMOUS CITY--JERUSALEM


The history of the world is largely the story of the rise and fall of
great cities. In these great centers one can feel the heart-throb of
civilization. Some of the great cities of today are famous for their
size, such as New York and London; some for their beauty, like Paris and
Rio Janeiro; some for their culture and learning, as Boston and Oxford;
some for their manufacturing and commercial supremacy, as Detroit and
Liverpool. But there is one city on the globe not nearly as large as Des
Moines, not at all beautiful, its people neither cultured nor learned,
has no factories and one narrow gauge railway takes care of most of its
commerce, and yet it is by far the most famous city of all time. It is
the city of Jerusalem.

The site of the city was once owned by a farmer whose name was Oman. He
had a threshing floor on the top of Mount Moriah. The city as it is
today is on top of two mountains, but the valley between has been filled
up so that it is almost like one continuous mountain top. Higher
mountains are practically on every side so that the moment one sees the
city he thinks of the scripture, "As the mountains are round about
Jerusalem, so is the Lord round about his people."

To get an idea of the city as it was when the war broke out you must
imagine a city of about sixty thousand people, without street cars,
electric lights, telephones, waterworks, sewer system or any modern
improvements whatever. However, General Allenby's entrance into the city
in December, 1917, was the beginning of a new era. In three months the
English did more for the city than the Turk did in a thousand years.

There is an old Arab legend which says: "Not until the River Nile flows
into Palestine will the Turk be driven from Palestine." Of course this
was their way of saying that such a thing would never come to pass for
the Turk actually believed that he had such a hold on that country that
there was no power on earth that could make him give it up. But when the
English started from Egypt they not only built a railroad as they went
toward Jerusalem, but not far from the Nile they prepared a great
filtering process to cleanse the water, and then laid a twelve-inch pipe
and brought the pure water along with them for both man and beast.

Wherever they stopped for a length of time in the desert, "the glowing
sands became pools," as the prophet had forecasted, and the desert began
to "blossom as the rose." Sixty-five days after General Allenby entered
the Jaffa Gate into the city of Jerusalem the water pipe or system was
brought into the city and the Canadian engineer had made the Arab legend
a reality, bringing the sweet waters of the Nile, a hundred and fifty
miles away, into the City of the Great King.

Jerusalem is to this day a walled city. The walls average some thirty
feet high and are about fifteen feet thick at the top. It is a little
less than two and one-half miles around the city wall, but the city
itself has outgrown these limitations, quite a portion of it being on
the outside of the wall. The hotel at which the writer stopped while
visiting the city some years ago, was located outside the wall, as are
many of the best buildings. The streets are narrow, the houses have
flat tops and many of them are but one or two stories high.

There was a time, however, when this city boasted of having the finest
building ever erected by the hands of man, viz: Solomon's Temple. This
was built on Mount Moriah which was a great flat mountain top of uneven
rock. Great arches were built around the sides and then the top leveled
off until the large temple area was formed. Below the sides of this area
are still seen the massive rooms that are called Solomon's stables. The
writer rambled for hours through these great underground vaults and saw
the holes in the stone pillars where the horses were tied. Here
multiplied thousands took refuge during some of the memorable sieges
that the city went through.

Not far away are the great vaults known as Solomon's Quarries. Here is
where the massive stones were "made ready" and the master builder's
plans were so perfect that, "there was neither hammer nor ax nor any
tool of iron heard in the temple while it was in building." The marks of
the mason's tools and the niches where their lamps were placed can be
seen to this day. It is a remarkable fact that in sinking shafts
alongside the temple wall, great stones have been discovered but no
stone chips are found by them. There are numerals and quarry marks and
special mason marks on some of these stones but they are all Phoenician,
thus confirming the Bible account that Hiram, the great Phoenician
master builder prepared the stones and did the building for King
Solomon.

Jerusalem has several large churches the most noted of which is the one
built over the traditional tomb of Christ. It is called the "Church of
the Holy Sepulchre." For sixteen hundred years there was no question
but what this tomb was the identical one in which the body of Christ was
laid. This church as it stands today is a magnificent building with two
great entrances. The sad thing about it is the fact that it is divided
up into various chapels, each held by sects of so-called Christians, and
a large-armed guard has to be kept in the church to keep these fanatical
people from killing each other. Before soldiers were placed there,
scenes of conflict and bloodshed were very common indeed--a sad
spectacle for Jews and Moslems and other enemies of the Christ to gaze
upon.

In the Church of Pater Noster I counted the Lord's Prayer in thirty-two
different languages inscribed on marble slabs so that almost any person
from any country can read this prayer in his own language. In this
connection it is interesting to note that at the gate entrance to the
Pool of Bethesda the scripture story of the healing of the impotent man
is written, or rather inscribed, beneath the arch, in fifty-one
different languages.

One of the large churches in the city was dedicated by the ex-kaiser
when he visited the city in 1898. It was later found out that this
German church was built for military purposes. During the war a wireless
outfit and great searchlights were found in its tower. This
self-appointed world ruler is represented on the ceiling of the chapel
of a building on Mount Olivet in a companion panel with the Deity. In
this same building the ex-kaiser is represented as a crusader by a
figure and the Psalmist is painted with the moustache of a German
general. When the ex-kaiser entered the city of Jerusalem, a breach was
made in the wall near the Jaffa Gate, so instead of entering through
the gate like an ordinary mortal, he went in through a hole in the wall.
He would no doubt be glad now to go through another "hole in the wall"
to have his liberty.

To the writer, however, perhaps the most interesting place in or about
the entire city is the Garden Tomb and Mount Calvary. This is almost
north of the Damascus gate and on the great highway from Jerusalem from
the north. Mount Calvary is only a small hill. The Jews speak of it as
the Hill of Execution, or the Skull Place, as the outline of the hill
seen from a certain direction resembles the form of a gigantic skull. It
is said that no Jew cares to pass this place after night and if he
passes it in daylight he will mutter a curse upon the memory of him who
presumed to be the King of the Jews.

Near this Skull Place is an old tomb that just fits the Bible narrative,
viz: "Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in
the garden a new sepulchre wherein never man was yet laid." This tomb
was discovered many years ago by General Gordon and is often spoken of
as Gordon's Tomb, also called the Garden Tomb. When excavating about it
a wall was found which proved to be a garden wall the end of which butts
up against Mount Calvary. One writer who has examined every nook and
corner says in regard to this tomb: "It stands in the mass of rock which
forms the northern boundary of a garden which literally runs into the
hillside to the west of Mount Calvary itself."

One of the first things noted as the writer went into this tomb was the
fact that it is a Jewish tomb. They made their tombs different from
those of any other people. That it was a "rich man's tomb" is also very
certain, as is the fact that it dates back to the Herodian period in
which Jesus lived. There is also some frescoed work upon it showing that
it was held sacred by the early Christians. Then the "rolling stone" and
the groove in which it was placed is very interesting. This was
something like a gigantic grindstone which rolled in the groove and was
large enough to cover the opening when the tomb was closed.

While in and about Jerusalem the writer visited the famous "Upper Room,"
the "Jew's Wailing Place," the "Mosque of Omar," which stands upon the
very spot where Solomon's Temple used to stand, the "Way of Sorrows,"
the "Ecco Homo Arch," the "Castle of Antonio," "Tower of David," the
"Pool of Siloam," and a great many other interesting places. The Garden
of Gethsemane and the Mount of Olives as well as scores of other places
were fascinating but it would take a large volume to describe them all.



CHAPTER XVII

A WORLD-FAMOUS RIVER--THE JORDAN


The great Mississippi and Amazon rivers are noted for their length; the
Hudson and the Rhine for their scenery; the Thames and Tiber for the
great cities on their banks; the Volga and the Dneiper for their
commerce; the Nile and the Yellow rivers for their annual overflow, the
former to give life and the latter to destroy; and the Euphrates and
Tigress for the ruins of mighty cities of other days.

But this chapter is a description of a river only a little more than two
hundred miles in length, no scenery to speak of near it, never a great
city on its banks, no sail or steamboat for commerce ever traveled upon
its waters, no one scarcely ever cared whether it was within its banks
or not, and not even any ruins worth while along its shores; and yet it
is today and has been for centuries the most famous river on the face of
the earth.

It is the River Jordan, and a glimpse of it brings forth some of the
most wonderful characteristics possessed by any river, as well as many
historical events that make their memories dear to the hearts of men and
women wherever civilization has found its way. Unlike all other rivers
which rise in some elevated place and flow toward the sea level, nearly
every mile of this river is below the surface of the ocean.

At the foot of Mount Herman in northern Palestine there is a spring of
water that is almost ice cold. That spring is but a few hundred feet
above sea level. The water from this spring is joined by that of several
other springs and small rivulets caused by the melting snows on the
mountain, flows to the south a distance of a few miles, and forms a
small lake which is about three miles wide and four miles long. This
lake is just on a level with the Mediterranean Sea which is only about
thirty miles to the west. This is spoken of in the Bible as "the waters
of Merom." From the southern end of this lake the Jordan begins.

The first ten and one-half miles the water falls six hundred and eighty
feet to where it enters the Sea of Galilee. This pear-shaped body of
water is a little more than a dozen miles long and half that wide and is
surrounded by mountains. The river enters through a small canyon at the
northwest and passes out through another canyon at the south end.
Sometimes the wind will rush down the canyon at the northwest and in a
few moments the waters of the lake are like a great whirlpool. These
sudden storms often imperil any small boats which may be out on the sea
as was the case in Bible times when the Master was sleeping and his
disciples awakened him, saying: "Lord, save us; we perish."

From this body of water to the point where the Jordan empties into the
Dead Sea is only sixty-five miles by airline, but the way the river
winds like a gigantic serpent, one would travel twice that distance were
he to go in a boat. This Jordan valley is from four to fourteen miles
wide and the mountains on each side rise to the height of from fifteen
hundred to three thousand feet.

Within this Jordan valley is what might be called an inner valley which
is from a quarter of a mile to a mile wide, and from fifty to something
like seventy-five feet deep. This might be called the river bottom and
the river winds like a snake in this smaller valley. That boy was a
wise lad who wrote a description of the Jordan as follows: "The Jordan
is a river which runs straight down through the middle of Palestine, but
if you look at it very closely, _it wriggles about_." When the river
overflows it simply covers the bottom of this inner valley.

As noted above, the Sea of Galilee is six hundred and eighty feet below
the level of the ocean. During this sixty-five miles (airline) to the
Dead Sea, it falls more than six hundred feet more, so that the Dead Sea
itself is about thirteen hundred feet below the level of the
Mediterranean Sea which is only forty miles west. Should a canal be cut
across to the Mediterranean which would let the water through, not only
would the Dead Sea and the River Jordan disappear, but the Sea of
Galilee be included in a great inland sea east of Palestine.

While the Jordan as well as other smaller streams flow continually into
the Dead Sea, it is said that it never raises an inch. This, with the
fact that this body of water has no outlet whatever, makes a problem to
which geologists and scientific men have failed to give a satisfactory
solution. Of course, the water evaporates very rapidly, but in the
spring when the Jordan overflows and pours a much greater volume of
water into it, how does it come that it evaporates so much faster than
at any other time in the year?

When the writer visited the Dead Sea the water was as smooth as glass.
The water is so salty that a human body will not sink in it at all.
Should the body go under it will bob up again like a cork. I have never
learned to swim; in deep water simply cannot keep my feet up, but in the
Dead Sea they could not be kept down, and of course I could swim like a
duck. Nothing grows near this body of water. Everything about it is
dead. Like some people, it is always receiving but never giving. At the
mouth of the Jordan one can see dead fish floating on the water. When
carried by the swift current into this salty water they soon die.

The River Jordan runs very swiftly. It is about the size of the Des
Moines river in northern Iowa, not nearly so large as this river in the
southern part of the state. At the fords of the Jordan I waded out into
the stream but the current was so swift that I did not attempt to go
entirely across.

Here at this ford occurred some of the greatest events of Bible history.
On the plain just east of the river the Children of Israel were encamped
when Moses went up on Mount Nebo, looked over the Promised Land, folded
his arms and peacefully passed into the great beyond. It must have been
an exciting day for the entire camp when they last saw their great
leader become a mere speck on the mountain side and finally disappear
altogether. They not only never saw him again but they never were able
to find a trace of his body.

There must have been much speculation among these people as to what
became of Moses until in some miraculous way Joshua was informed that
the great leader was dead and that he must now take charge and lead the
people across the Jordan into the Promised Land. After thirty days
mourning for Moses, the great company marched down to the river; it was
opened for them and they crossed on dry ground. The record also states
that this crossing was at the time when the river was out of its banks
and this whole bottom, nearly a mile wide, was a rushing torrent.
Perhaps this accounts for the fact that the enemies who had taken
possession of the Promised Land were totally unprepared for their
coming, feeling secure while the river was so high and dangerous.

Another great event which occurred was when the old prophet Elijah and
the young prophet Elisha crossed the river together and the young man
came back alone later on for Elijah was taken up to heaven in a
whirlwind. Now fifty young men had followed the two prophets to the
river and when Elisha came back alone and told them how the chariot of
fire came after Elijah they simply couldn't believe it and finally went
across and searched the mountains for three days trying to find his
body. Failing to find the body, together with the fact that they had
witnessed the parting of the waters when the two men went over and the
same when Elisha came back alone, was sufficient evidence to them that
the young prophet had told the truth.

Evidently this event created a great impression all over the country and
young men came to the school for the prophets which was located near,
that the buildings had to be enlarged. Every student borrowed an ax and
went to work felling trees along the river bank. In one case the ax flew
off the handle and went into the water. The young man was greatly
troubled about this for it was a borrowed one. Word reached the prophet
Elisha and he came out and caused the ax to come to the surface.

But perhaps the greatest of all events that occurred at this place was
the baptism of Christ. John the Baptist must have been the Billy Sunday
of his day for the crowds that came to hear him were immense. One day
among others who came was a fine looking young man who asked for
baptism. But the preacher knew him and refused, saying that he was
unworthy to do this, but the young man, who was no other than the Master
himself, explained the situation and the preacher hesitated no longer.

In connection with the River Jordan and the bodies of water at each end,
it is interesting to note that the first man to take the level and give
to the world the remarkable facts about the physical characteristics of
this wonderful and world-famous river, was an American. His name was
Lynch and he was a lieutenant in the American Navy. At the close of the
Mexican War, our Government permitted Lieutenant Lynch to take ten
seamen and two small boats and make this exploration. The boats were
taken overland to the Sea of Galilee and launched and this man and his
helpers went down the river to the Dead Sea in them, and thus gave to
the world the remarkable facts about this wonderful country.



CHAPTER XVIII

THE PLAYGROUND OF MOSES--EGYPT


Next to Palestine, Egypt is perhaps the most interesting country on the
globe to visit. For great antiquity and splendor no land surpasses this
cradle of civilization. The science, art and architecture of the
Egyptians is the marvel of leading men even to this day. The schools of
Egypt produced the greatest characters of all ages before the coming of
Christ. The wisdom of this ancient race as well as some of the
engineering feats command the respect of these modern days.

Take a map of Texas and California together, place a map of modern Egypt
upon it and you will have enough left to make West Virginia. Ancient
Egypt was only about one-fourth as large as modern Egypt. The greater
portion of the land always has been and is today a desert. The thirteen
million people practically live on the narrow valley of the Nile in a
strip of territory from five to fifteen miles wide except down near the
sea.

Not far from Cairo is a place called Fayoum. The name means "A Thousand
Days." A missionary told me how it got this name. When Joseph was an old
man some of the younger officers wanted him deposed and they said that
he was no longer fit to be at the head of affairs. They said that near
the city was a great swamp and if he were capable he would have drained
this land. They, of course, did not think this was possible, hence the
suggestion.

Putting their heads together they went to the old councillor and
persuaded him to put the impossible task up to Joseph believing that his
failure would be so ignominious that he would be deposed. At once
Joseph called Egypt's greatest civil engineers, outlined his plan, took
hundreds of laborers, went to work and in sixty days the swamp was
completely drained. When the old adviser was taken out to see how well
the work was done, he was so amazed that he exclaimed: "That would have
been a mighty work for a thousand days," and it is called Fayoum to this
day. Today the gardens and orchards of Fayoum are among the finest and
most productive in all Egypt.

No one can go over this land without walking in the footsteps of Moses,
for Egypt was his playground. Of course I was shown the exact (?) spot
where the little ark was found among the bullrushes in the River Nile.
When Pharoah's daughter saw the little child she was touched and thus
the destiny of a nation hung on the cry of a little child. Miriam, the
sister of Moses appeared just in the nick of time and when the princess
told her to call one of the Hebrew women her feet hardly touched the
ground in her effort to get her mother to the spot. When the little
hands were held out toward the joyous mother she was told to take the
child and nurse him and thus she was paid wages for bringing up her own
child upon whom the sentence of death had been pronounced.

Not far from the spot mentioned above is the famous Nilometer that Moses
looked upon many a time. As I went down the steps to get a nearer view
of this measuring apparatus a panorama of the old days seemed to come
before my eyes. The very life of the people depended upon the overflow
of the Nile. June 17th was one of the great days for on that day almost
as regular as the sunrise the upper Nile began to rise. A few days later
an anxious crowd gathered to see the water mark on the Nilometer begin
to come up. About July third the criers started on their daily rounds
through the city announcing the measurement. If it was up to normal the
people were happy and if not they were sad. When the rise was about
twenty feet the "Completion" or "Abundance of the Nile" was announced
and preparation was made for the opening of the canal which time was a
regular jubilee among the people.

All night long before this ceremony rockets were fired at intervals and
in the morning at the appointed time the governor and those with him
"cut the dam" and the inundation started. For more than a month the
canals were full, and the fields were flooded and a thin coat of fine
pulverized soil was spread over the ground like a carpet and when seed
was placed in the ground it grew like in a hothouse. At Cairo the Nile
would often rise twenty-five feet.

During these days a great deal of irrigating is done all through the
season. In some places ponderous machinery is used but to this day a
large portion of work is done by hand. One of the most common sights
along the Nile is the shadoof. This is a long pole with a weight on one
end and a bucket on the other. Hour after hour half dressed men and
women will dip up water and pour it into irrigation ditches. Great
wooden waterwheels are also used and an ox or donkey or man or woman or
a blinded camel will go round and round and you can hear this wooden
wheel squeak for a mile. The little buckets on the waterwheel keep an
almost endless stream flowing into the irrigation ditch.

Another method is a sort of a paddle wheel on a windlass upon which a
native will walk hour after hour. This turns a kind of an endless chain
something like the old-fashioned cistern pump with which we are all
familiar. In Egypt nearly everything is done by hand as man power is
cheaper than machinery. I saw them grading a railroad with wheelbarrows,
not even a cart or a donkey on the job. The great bridge across the Nile
used to be opened by hand and boats pulled through by hand. It was a
most interesting sight to the writer for a hundred or more men to get
hold of a large rope and begin to heave-to. Soon the boat would begin to
move slowly.

As a rule people in Egypt are very poor. The plague of flies has not yet
ceased in Egypt. Children are dirty and often diseased and the streets
of the old portion of the city of Cairo literally swarm with them. While
the people generally look quite hearty and well fed, yet beggars are
everywhere. "Backsheesh" is about the first word the little child learns
to speak and the last word an old beggar lisps before he dies. From noon
until two-thirty or three o'clock shops are closed and thousands of
people drop down where they are and go to sleep. Riding through old
Cairo at this time of day my donkey had to pick his way, often stepping
over people who were sound asleep.

Many of the customs of Egyptians always have been different from those
of other nations. Here women seldom pray to any god but men pray to all
of them. Women carry burdens on their shoulders while men carry them on
their heads. Women buy and sell in the market while their men sit at
home and spin. The daughter instead of the son is supposed to care for
the old folks when they become feeble and helpless. In kneading dough
they use their feet while in handling mud they use their hands. Other
peoples consider themselves above the beasts but the Egyptians made gods
of the beasts and worshipped them. When an ancient enemy attacked Egypt,
dogs, cats, and other beasts were driven at the head of the army and the
Egyptians would surrender rather than run the risk of killing their
sacred animals.

The people in Egyptian cities do not eat their evening meal until from
eight to ten at night. The restaurants have their tables in the streets
and the people eat and shop at the same time. Watching the people at a
large restaurant in Cairo, one night, I wrote down a list of the
articles offered for sale while they were eating their evening meal.
Here is the list: Alarm clocks, nuts, bread, lead pencils, fish, knives,
cards, live chickens, cigars, cigarettes, cakes, eggs, mutton, matches,
melons, watches, flowers, rugs, fancy boxes, stands, socks, perfumes,
balloons, fruits of all kinds, slippers, canes, neckties, whips and
guns.

In addition to these venders, blind beggars and cripples, traveling
musicians, gamblers with all kinds of devices, fortune tellers with
wheels of fortune and many others were among the people all the time.
After eating, many of the people drink wine and play cards until the
early morning. All this time nearly everybody was talking at once and it
was a regular circus to watch them. Several times hot words were passed
but as a rule the people were in good humor and seemed to be having a
good time.

One of the much used and often abused beasts in Egypt is the camel.
Riding a camel for the first time is quite an experience. The beast
will lie down, but it is continually snarling and when it gets up you go
through all kinds of motions. As I rode around the great pyramid and
sphinx on one of these beasts the swing was not unlike that of a great
rocking chair and while this ship of the desert did not seem to be going
fast I noticed that the driver was running and the donkey alongside was
on the gallop most of the time.

At the time I was in Egypt one could purchase a fairly good camel for a
little less than one hundred dollars. These beasts can live on next to
nothing. They will strip a shrub of leaves and stems. A camel can eat
and drink enough at one time to last it a week or ten days. The natives
say that it lives on the fat of its hump. When a camel is weary from a
long march across the desert the hump almost disappears and then as it
eats its fill the hump becomes strong and hard again. It will carry a
burden of from five to six hundred pounds.

The city of Cairo is full of interesting sights. The streets of the
better portion of the city are well paved and the buildings substantial
and several stories high. The streets are sprinkled by hand. These men
carry a skin of water--often half a barrel--and by means of a nozzle
they throw it everywhere. There are many beautiful parks and drives in
and about the city. The wonderful palms and other trees furnish shade
and although the sun shines very hot it is quite cool under these trees.

Runners go ahead of carriages containing prominent persons telling
people to get out of the way for so and so is coming. Many people stop
and look as they go by. An interesting sight was a wedding procession.
It was headed by a band and an enclosed carriage with a black cloth
over it contained the bride while the groom walked alongside holding on
to the carriage. Following along behind on foot were the relatives and
the rabble of the streets. My guide explained that when a wedding takes
place a cloth is hung from the window and kept there for three days so
one can go through the city and pick out the homes where they have had a
wedding within that time.

One of the lost arts is the Egyptian method of embalming the bodies of
the dead. It seems that they believed that the spirit will return to the
body in the course of time and they undertook to preserve the body as
near perfect as possible until that time arrived. There are multiplied
thousands of these mummies in Egypt. In the great museum in Cairo the
mummy of the Pharoah who made the burdens of the enslaved Hebrews
heavier can be seen today. Little did he think that in thousands of
years the descendants of these people would spit in the face of his
mummy, but they often do that very thing.

In the old days it is said that they used to license robbery and govern
it by law. The spoil was taken to the robber chief and the victim could
go and claim his property and by paying a certain per cent of its value
recover the property, after which the man who did the stealing could
secure from the chief his portion of the proceeds. We laugh at this but
how much worse is it than some of the things we license today?

I had a most pleasant visit in the home of Dr. Ewing, a United
Presbyterian missionary. The United Presbyterian people have done and
are doing a most remarkable work in Egypt. A visit to their mission in
Cairo was wonderfully interesting to say the least. I was presented
with some coins there, the smallest of which was worth, at that time,
one-sixteenth of a penny, but the missionaries assured me that those
coins were seldom used except in church collections.



CHAPTER XIX

A COUNTRY WITH A THOUSAND RIVERS--VENEZUELA


Years ago two miners worked together for months and finally came to know
each other as Tom and Jack. One day Tom was not well and could not do
much but watch Jack dig. After noting some movements of the body that
seemed familiar he said: "Jack, where did you come from?" The two men
sat down and talked of boyhood days and found that they were born in the
same community and had played together when they were small boys. Here
they had worked together for months without knowing that they were
neighbors; they actually got up and shook hands with each other.

Venezuela is our nearest neighbor to the south. This country is nearer
to Florida than New Orleans is to New York and yet we have lived side by
side for four hundred years and hardly knew we were neighbors. We might
have been friends and greatly assisted each other all these years. Is it
not about time we were getting acquainted and shaking hands with each
other?

It is surprising to know that Venezuela is as large as Maine, New
Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York,
Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, the two Virginias, North and South
Carolina and Georgia combined. It is a country that has a thousand
rivers. In some parts of it you can travel for days in regions where as
yet no white man has ever set his foot. One writer says that of all the
countries in the world Venezuela is the one for which God has done the
most and man has done the least.

This great country has been called the hunting ground of South America.
This is not so much because of the abundance of game, although all kinds
of wild animals are plentiful; it has been given this appellation
because of its unstable government. Its treasury has been looted again
and again. Even the president of Venezuela was for years a criminal. He
robbed merchants of other countries who tried to do business with his
government. He imprisoned those who refused to assist him and ran things
in a high-handed way. Business firms of other lands found this out and
did not care to do business with such a country or help develop its
resources in any way.

We are not ashamed of our revolution in 1776 for its purpose was to gain
our independence. During the past seventy or eighty years Venezuela has
had more than a half hundred revolutions but generally they were gotten
up to give an excuse for pillage and robbery rather than to make a
better country or government. Things are better now, however, and a new
day is dawning for these unhappy people.

The main port or entrance to this country is La Guaira and sailors say
it is about the worst port to enter in the world. This port city
contains about fifteen thousand people and has but a single street. The
high mountains are so near the sea that there is only a narrow strip of
land at the foot and on this narrow strip the city is built. The sea is
nearly always rough and the weather always hot. How people can endure
such extreme heat all the time is a mystery.

All along this coast strip of Venezuela are plantations generally
covered with cocoa trees. From the beans of this tree are made cocoa and
chocolate. Coffee is also a staple crop. At the piers will be noticed
bags of coffee and cocoa beans, great quantities of rubber and piles of
hides. As we are nearer to them than other foreign countries we now use
much of their products. The population of this great country is only a
little more than that of the state of Iowa.

Back only six or eight miles, in a direct line, from La Guaira and the
blue waters of the Caribbean sea, high up in the mountains is a great
valley in which is located the capital city of Venezuela. This city,
Caracas, is about as large as Sioux City, Iowa, but to get to it is some
job. It is only about twenty-five miles by rail and this railroad was
about as difficult to build as any of our mountain railroads. The tracks
cling to the mountain sides almost like vines cling to brick walls, and
the curves are so short that one riding in the end coach can nearly
reach the engineer. One can look hundreds of feet into caverns and
gorges that seem almost like the bottomless pit.

Venezuela got its name from Venice, Italy, in the following way. One of
the earliest explorers sailing along the coast saw the Indian villages
built on piles in the water along the shore and was reminded of the
Italian city and called the country Venezuela, which means "little
Venice."

Here lived Las Casas, a priest who was the Indian's greatest champion in
the early days and who is said to be the father of African Slavery in
the new world. It was he who suggested that negroes be imported to labor
in the fields and mines that the Indians might have an easier time.
Brought from Africa to work that the Indians might rest, these black
people became the slaves of all.

Venezuela was the birthplace of the great Simon Bolivar and other
patriots who were fired with enthusiasm against Spanish oppression and
literally gave their lives that the colonies might be free. Even the
coins of the old days were stamped with Bolivar's name and everywhere he
is revered as the George Washington of that country.

In one of the large museums is a room in which are kept the great
liberator's clothing, saddle, boots and spears and these things are as
sacred to them as the Ark of the Covenant was to the Jews. In this same
room is a portrait of Washington upon which is the inscription: "This
picture of the liberator of North America is sent by his adopted son to
him who acquired equal glory in South America."

Through this country runs one of the world's greatest rivers, the
Orinoco, which with its tributaries furnishes more than four thousand
miles of navigable rivers. This great river system drains a territory of
three hundred and sixty thousand square miles.

It is rather strange that in this country with lovely and productive
valleys whose irrigated orchards and gardens make a regular paradise,
that the farming classes should be poor and ignorant, without ambition
or education and be satisfied to live in comfortless, tumble-down huts
without furniture or any of the improvements that make life worth
living. But such is the case. Here where there are millions of coffee
trees, fields of sugar cane and orchards of oranges, lemons and all
kinds of tropical fruit, where the farmer could be happiest, he is
about the most miserable creature that could be found. In his miserable
home he has no lamp or candle, no books or papers of any sort.

While Venezuela is rich in mines and forests, grain and livestock,
coffee and rubber, dyes and medicines, gold and copper, lead and coal,
to say nothing of tropical fruits and vegetables, she has another
product that makes her known the world around. This is asphalt, or
mineral pitch as it is sometimes called. This makes the smoothest street
paving of any material known. It is also used extensively for calking
vessels, making waterproof roofs, lining cold storage plants, making
varnishes as well as shoe blacking as well as in a hundred other ways.

At the mouth of the Orinoco river is the Island of Trinidad upon which
is the famous pitch lake. This is the most noted deposit of asphalt
known. This lake is a mile and a half across and looks, from a distance,
like a pond surrounded with trees. Nearing it, however, one soon
discovers that it contains anything but water.

This material is of a dark green color and at the border is hard and
strong enough to bear quite a heavy weight, but near the center it is
almost like a boiling mass. The asphalt is dug from the edges of the
lake, loaded on carts, hauled to the port and from there shipped to
nearly every country on the globe. Two hundred thousand tons per year
have been taken from the lake and yet there is no hole to be seen. Negro
workmen dig it to the depth of a couple of feet and in a week or so the
hole is level with the top again.

The government of Trinidad has leased the asphalt lake to an American
company and the income amounts to nearly a quarter of a million dollars
per year. Nobody knows how deep the asphalt bed is for borings have been
made a hundred feet or more deep and there was no bottom. The heat is
intense all around this lake.

About fifty miles from the coast in Venezuela there is another asphalt
lake and the material in it is of finer quality than at Trinidad, but it
is hard to reach. Some believe that the two deposits are connected by a
subterranean passage and supplied from the same source. It was from this
inland lake of asphalt that the material was procured to protect the New
York subway tunnels from moisture, so it is said.

In the central part of Venezuela are the llanos which are said to be
about the best pasture lands in the world. The chief industry here is
cattle raising. More than two million head of cattle feed, upon these
llanos, but they are capable of feeding many times that number.

One reason why the people of this country have no ambition to lay up for
the future or even get large herds of cattle has been because of the
numerous revolutions of the past. Every time they have succeeded in
getting large herds of cattle or stores of grain a revolution would come
and their property be seized and often destroyed.

No people can be prosperous and happy without a stable government,
schools and colleges and the influences that are uplifting. This is the
great need of many of the countries of South America today. Just here it
is well for the farmers of this country to congratulate themselves. The
writer of these lines has traveled nearly all over the world and having
been a farmer all his early life it is only natural that he would try
to study the problems of the farmers in all lands.

It is therefore with pride that one can say that considering all the
complex problems with which the American farmer has to grapple, he is a
hundred times better off than his brother farmers in any country in the
world. He is more independent, has more privileges, more opportunities
for making the most of life, has higher ideals, and lives better than
the tillers of the soil in any other country on earth.



CHAPTER XX

A LAND OF GREAT INDUSTRIES--BRAZIL


You could take a map of the whole United States, lay it down on Brazil
and still have room for England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Denmark and
Switzerland left. Walk around Brazil and you have traveled a distance
equal to two-thirds of a journey around the globe. If every man, woman
and child in the United States were placed in Matto Grasso, the state in
Brazil where Roosevelt discovered the "River of Doubt," in 1914, that
state would not have as many people to the square mile as England has at
this moment. If all the people on earth were placed in Brazil the
population of that country would not be as dense as that of Belgium
today.

Brazil could produce enough rubber to supply the whole world with
automobile tires for generations and never have to plant another rubber
tree to do it, that is, of course, if all her rubber forests could be
utilized. From a single Brazilian port is shipped one-fourth of all the
coffee used in the whole world. In a single Brazilian state there are
ten thousand coffee plantations that have more than fifty thousand trees
each and six hundred of them have more than one hundred thousand trees
each.

Brazil might be called the "jewel box" of the world. Her diamond fields
rival those of South Africa. Her mines produced a single stone that sold
for fifteen million dollars. One writer says: "Of all the fabulous tales
related of bonanza princes the palm for extravagance belongs to the
early mining days of Brazil, when horses were shod with gold, when
lawyers supported their pleadings before judges with gifts of what
appeared at first sight to be oranges and bananas, but proved to be
solid gold imitations, when guests were entertained at dinner with
pebbles of gold in their soup and when nuggets were the most convenient
medium of exchange in the money market."

Would you like to go nutting? Brazil has the greatest groves on earth.
Some of these nut trees grow to a height of a hundred and fifty feet and
have a girth of twenty feet, fifty feet up from the ground. A single
tree is said to produce as many as three tons of nuts during a season.
In the trees of Brazil are found sixteen hundred species of birds. There
are parrots galore and sixty-five varieties of woodpeckers have been
catalogued. One family of birds in Brazil are said to be devout
Christians as they never work but six days in the week.

One would naturally suppose that in Brazil the weather would be
extremely hot as the equator runs across the great Amazon valley. But
the nights are cool and sunstroke is unknown. Frost can be seen in the
highlands at certain times in the year. While fevers rage in parts of
the land, yet most of the country is conducive to good health. The very
dangerous parts of the Amazon valley are limited to certain parts of the
country.

Some years ago at a contest in Paris between twelve hundred children the
first prize for healthy appearance was given to a boy born in Manaos of
Amazonian parents. This city is in the very heart of the jungle in the
Amazon valley. There is one authenticated case of a man in this valley
who lived to be one hundred and forty-five years old.

In the dense forests of the uplands of Brazil there are people who are
living in the stone age of culture. They are practically wild tribes who
know nothing about the use of metal, in fact, they know but little about
civilization. They are said to be ignorant of common food such as
bananas and rice. They seem to have no idea of a supreme being, believe
in a soul that goes wandering about after death.

In some parts of Brazil rice is cultivated quite extensively and it
makes a cheap food. It is said that in one place a man from Louisiana is
running an experimental rice farm showing the Brazilian farmers how to
cultivate Japanese rice. Rather strange, isn't it, that United States
farmers should be teaching the Brazilian farmers Japanese agriculture?

A peculiar thing about the land of Brazil is the absence of earth worms.
In our country these worms improve the physical condition of the soil
but there this lack is made up by the multiplied millions of ants that
burrow down deep into the earth. In our country, too, the chemical
changes of winter help prepare the soil for the coming crops, but in
Brazil there is no winter season when the land "sleeps" and it does not
seem to be necessary.

While in the great rubber industry of Brazil the trees grow and produce
with but little if any cultivation, this is not true of the coffee
trees. They have to be cultivated and carefully looked after. Insect
pests that are so destructive to coffee trees in many countries, are
almost absent in Brazil and this fact has not a little to do with making
this the greatest coffee country in the world. In the state of Sao
Paulo almost the entire energies of the people are absorbed in the
coffee industry.

This state is a little larger than Colorado and is the most powerful
state of the twenty that make up the United States of Brazil. The name
of the capital is the same as that of the state and the city of Sao
Paulo is about as large as Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is noted for its
beauty and industry. The climate is delightful, always cool, but never
freezing cold. With more than one hundred elementary schools besides
numerous high schools and colleges it is perhaps the greatest
educational center of the country. Near this city is the largest coffee
plantation in the world. It contains something like eight million trees
and takes about eight thousand people to run it. This one plantation
produces twenty million pounds of coffee annually and there are thirty
railroad stations upon it.

A well kept coffee tree is about twelve feet high when full grown. The
leaves are a shiny green, a little like holly. The trees bloom in
September and fill the air with fragrance. As the white blossoms fade
the berries begin to form. May is the harvest time. Harvest hands come
in large numbers as they do in Kansas or the Dakotas during the wheat
harvest. Workmen are paid according to the amount they gather and some
of them gather fifty pounds a day.

The coffee berries are first stripped from the tree then raked and piled
into baskets. Next they are run through a machine that takes the bean
out of the covering, then into tanks of water where they are thoroughly
washed and then comes the drying process. It used to take weeks to get
the coffee beans well dried and men had to watch and keep stirring the
piles continually, but quite recently a new process was discovered by
which they are dried by steam.

After the coffee beans are thoroughly dried they are run through rollers
that break the skin covering and great ventilators blow the chaff away.
Then the beans are poured into a gigantic sieve with different sized
holes which are chutes in reality and from which endless streams of
coffee graded according to size run into a large room. At each stream
stand women who pick out imperfect or damaged grains. The coffee is then
sacked and is ready for shipment. The ordinary bag of coffee weighs
about one hundred and twenty pounds. Santo is the great coffee port and
here can be seen ships from every civilized land taking on cargoes of
coffee. If it is well kept coffee gets better with age, so it can be
piled in great warehouses for months or even years and not deteriorate.
Nearly a dozen million bags of coffee are shipped from Santo annually
and as we are the greatest coffee drinkers in the world about half of
the entire crop comes to us.

Formerly many of the coffee plantations were worked by slaves. Negroes
were brought from South Africa, as they were brought to work in the
cotton fields in the south in anti-slavery days. In the year 1888 Brazil
freed her slaves and the sudden freeing of a half million slaves almost
demoralized the coffee and sugar industries of the country. Many of
these negroes thought that freedom meant that they would never have to
work any more and they became loafers and often criminals. Of course
thousands of them drifted to the great centers of population and Brazil
has had and is still having her share of race troubles.

Many of the workers on the coffee plantations at present are Italians.
They come in large numbers to work on these estates. Each family is
given a certain number of trees to look after; sometimes a single family
will take care of several thousand trees. They have to do a lot of
hoeing and weeding. The soil is almost red and these workmen take on
largely the color of the soil as their faces and clothes are stained
with red dust and water. Families are furnished houses to live in and
they live their own lives as if they were in their home country.

After coffee and rubber comes sugar. For many years Brazil furnished
more sugar than any other country; now there are a half dozen countries
ahead of her in the production of sugar. This is largely accounted for,
not so much because of inability to produce, as because of the
antiquated methods in use. There are places in the country where it is
said that the same variety of sugar has been grown for two hundred years
and that without any attempt on the part of the planters to restore the
soil.

One of the first things ever exported from Brazil was tobacco. This weed
has been grown there ever since the country was discovered. Modern
methods of culture are now being used so more of it will be produced
than ever. They say, too, that Brazil produces as fine a quality of
tobacco as Cuba. Cotton is also produced in large quantities.

The Brazilians are an interesting people. I like them. They are always
courteous and polite. Men often tip their hats to each other and kiss
each other's hands. In Rio de Janeiro nearly everyone is well dressed.
The women are good looking. The Brazil people are more friendly than
any other South American people. The language, except among the Italians
and other foreigners, is largely Portuguese while in practically all
other South American countries the people speak Spanish.

Although Brazil has millions of acres of the best timber in the world I
never saw a wooden building in their great capital city. In Rio, nearly
every automobile factory in the United States is represented. In this
land of rubber they have no manufacturing plants to utilize it. Wages
for common laborers are low and yet the people only work part of the
time. In coaling a ship the men will work like beavers for a couple of
hours and then sit down and smoke and talk as long and no urging them to
work seems to do any good. One can make a living there with half the
work it takes here and that is all they care for.

The Brazilians have some odd customs. People always carry their burdens
on their heads. Baskets as large as barrels are carried in this way
without a bit of trouble. They say that four men will carry a heavy
piano on their heads but I never saw them moving one. On almost every
street there are venders of sweetmeats, vegetables, brooms, baskets and
furniture. I saw one vender with two dozen brooms, a dozen mops, two
chairs, and a lot of other truck on his head. He had the chairs hooked
on the brooms, baskets on the chairs and a lot of other stuff piled up
so that he looked like a moving express wagon.

Streets in Brazilian cities are often named for days or months. I
noticed one of the prominent streets in Rio named "13th of September,"
another "15th of November." Rio de Janeiro means "River of January." I
never saw a chimney in the city, yet the streets and many of the houses
are washed every night. Everything is shining. They seem to have a
wonderful appreciation of beauty and never in any other city in the
world have I seen more beautiful or artistic shop windows.

Everybody seemed to be in a good humor. Policemen are small of stature,
but they direct the street traffic in a most wonderful way. Everybody
smiles and there is no loud talking, or drunkenness. The national drink
is coffee and there are coffee shops with tables and cups everywhere.
Men often drink a cup or two of coffee a dozen times a day. There are
hundreds of coffee shops in Rio. Of course, liquor is sold in many
places, but it is mostly drunk by foreigners. I never saw a Brazilian
drinking liquor in their capital city.



CHAPTER XXI

URUGUAY AND PARAGUAY


Uruguay is the smallest of the South American republics. It is just a
little larger than the state of Oklahoma. It is a little wedge between
Brazil and Argentina and is, all in all, the most advanced country in
South America. At the time of the visit of the writer it was the only
country in South America whose dollar was worth a hundred cents. The
population is about a million and a quarter--eighteen to the square
mile. The principal industry is stock raising. The country has something
like nine million head of cattle and fifteen million head of sheep. The
meat packing business is enormous for such a small country.

Fray Bentos, a town near Montevideo, boasts of the largest establishment
in the world for the preparation of beef extract. The tall chimneys of
this great factory make it look like a large city. The employees number
thousands. They are well cared for and contented. There are no strikes
there. They are well paid while able to work and pensioned when they
reach old age.

Thus, the Leibig company, has given all South America an example of the
better way to treat men and women who toil. Schools are provided for the
children. The religious nature is looked after, the company furnishing a
church building. The company also provides hospitals for the sick. The
cottages of the working people are supplied with electricity and are
quite comfortable.

This company has its own gas and water systems. In the great slaughter
house many hundred head of cattle are killed each day. It only takes
eight minutes from the time an animal is killed until it is in the
refrigerating rooms ready to be made into beef extract. Every drop of
blood is saved in this factory, being dried and made into chicken feed
or something else that is useful. Chicago, however, goes Fray Bentos one
better for there you know the squeal is caught by the phonograph and the
records sold for grand opera.

This establishment is not the only one of its kind in Uruguay. There are
many other great plants where meat is chilled or frozen in the most
modern, up-to-date way. In no country in the world is meat more
carefully or scientifically cared for than in these great establishments
and no one need be afraid to eat the meat that comes from Uruguay. The
inspection is said to be the most rigid of any packing plants in the
world.

The Uruguayan boasts that every acre of ground in his country is
productive. The grass is green the year around and stock does not have
to be housed and fed in winter as in our country. All the grains and
vegetables that will grow in our middle west will grow in Uruguay and
there the farmers never have such a thing as a killing frost.

The greatest city in Uruguay is Montevideo, the capital city. It is
located on the Rio de la Plata river, which really seems more like a sea
than a river, being sixty-two miles wide at this place. Buenos Aires is
but a hundred and ten miles away and to reach it you just go angling
across this great river. Montevideo is larger than Kansas City,
Missouri. It has many splendid buildings, but no skyscrapers. The parks
or plazas as they are called, are as pretty as nature and the hands of
man can make them.

These people claim that Montevideo is the most healthful city on the
globe, but the traveler often finds the same claim made for other
cities. Most of the streets are narrow but are well paved and generally
quite clean. Their street car system is certainly a good one. When the
street is wide enough for a double track the tracks are laid close to
the sidewalks which leaves the center of the street free for autos and
other vehicles. This plan could certainly be adopted by the cities in
our country and be a blessing. I had no idea that any city contained so
many beautiful homes and flower gardens until I took a ride into the
suburbs of this city. Almost every home, or villa, has a rose garden and
there must be many wealthy people for it takes a tremendous amount of
labor to keep these wonderful flower gardens in such good order.

The people of Uruguay as a whole are better educated and brighter
looking than the people of most other South American countries. Their
schools and colleges are said to be the very best. The people, as a
rule, dress well and seem to be prosperous and happy. A ramble through
the streets and plazas lingers in one's memory like a pleasant dream.

Away to the north in the very heart of the south central part of the
continent is the country of Paraguay. While nearly twice as large as
Uruguay it has but few more than half as many people and a majority of
them are women. This ought to be called a bachelor's paradise.

Paraguay came to be a woman's country in the following manner. Years ago
Paraguay got into trouble with Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina, all her
neighbors, at the same time. These countries combined their forces and
all but annihilated the Paraguayan army. As all the able bodied men were
in the army they were nearly all killed. It used to be said that there
were five women to every man in Paraguay and from all reports conditions
have not greatly changed yet. It is almost dangerous for an unmarried
man to show his head.

The country is naturally divided into two parts, eastern and western.
The most of the people live in the eastern part for the western part is
flat and the rivers overflow, covering a great portion of the country.
No wonder that great swarms of ferocious mosquitoes make parts of the
country almost uninhabitable, fever-infested and unhealthy. Besides
these unpleasant features the heat is often almost unbearable.

The summer in Paraguay lasts from October to March and the winter from
April to September, July and August being the coldest months. The Parana
river takes to the sea a greater volume of water than our great
Mississippi. Near the place where the Iguassu river empties into the
Parana are the famous Iguassu Falls which are twice as wide and fifty
feet higher than Niagara Falls.

In the eastern part of Paraguay are great orange groves and all kinds of
tropical fruits. The oranges are delicious and are so plentiful that
they are fed to the pigs. As many as thirty are sometimes sold for a
penny. Wheat and corn are grown and tobacco and cotton plantations are
numerous.

They say that in Paraguay a great many of the women smoke, but I imagine
that this is greatly exaggerated. The same has been said of other South
American countries but after traveling more than twelve thousand miles
in and around this country I here record the fact that in not more than
a case or two did I see a woman smoking. My traveling company only saw
two or three cases so we are forced to think that many talk who do not
know. For if any large number, as is often reported, used the weed in
this way we would have discovered it.

There is a very valuable tree that grows in Paraguay that is not often
found in other countries. It is called the quebracho tree. The name
really means "ax-breaker," and the wood is almost as hard as iron. A
quebracho log will not float upon water, but will sink like iron. This
wood makes the most valuable railroad ties known.

But a certain variety of the quebracho tree is much more valuable for
another purpose, viz: the tanning of leather. For ages the world's great
tanneries used the bark of oak, hemlock and other trees for that
purpose. But it was discovered that not only the bark of this tree but
the wood itself makes better tanning extract than any other bark or tree
known.

In the heart of the continent there is a vast plain that takes in not
only western Paraguay but reaches into Brazil and Bolivia on the north
and Argentina on the south. This is called the Gran Chaco and it is
nearly as large as the state of Texas. Most of this region is as yet
unexplored. In parts of it are tribes of wild Indians as well as wild
and ferocious beasts, alligators and snakes that are usually found in
tropical jungles. In other parts are grassy plains suitable for cattle
and other livestock. Already there are many ranches here, one of the
largest of which is run by a stockman from the United States.

Here in this far away and unknown country are millions of acres of
quebracho forests in which this tanning extract is already being made.
Thousands of men are employed in the forest to cut the trees and others
with oxen haul them to the factories where hundreds of expert workmen
are making this extract and shipping it to all parts of the world. It is
said that a single one of these companies owns two million acres of this
forest land. More than ten thousand men are employed by this one firm,
so it is said, and as might be expected it is a United States company.

But perhaps the greatest industry in Paraguay is the tea called by the
name of the country. In their country they call it "mate." It is much
more valuable than ordinary tea. It is a stimulant that leaves no bad
effect and is said to be more healthful than the tea we use. People who
have a good supply of this tea can work harder and with less fatigue
than by using any other stimulant known.

The plant or tree from which this "mate" is secured often grows as large
as an orange tree and the leaves are green and shiny. There are
thousands of acres of this growing wild and the product made from that
in the wild state is as good as any. Thousands of Indians, as well as
white people, are engaged in the harvesting and shipping of this tea.

The largest city in Paraguay is Asuncion, the capital city. It is nearly
as large as Des Moines, Iowa, and a portion of it is simply the ruins of
the ancient city that was ruled by tyrants. One can see the massive
uncompleted tomb where the last of these rulers expected to be buried.
The two million dollar palace in which he lived in luxury and
unspeakable vice can also be seen. But another part of the city is
modern and up-to-date.

Before closing this article at least one man noted in the story of
Paraguay should be mentioned. He was the first of the tyrants that ruled
immediately after Paraguay freed herself from Spanish oppression. His
name was Dr. Jose R. G. Francia and, according to the historian, for
twenty-five years he was the government of Paraguay. In all history no
man ever so dominated and controlled a nation as did he. He had no
confidants or assistants. No one was allowed to approach him on terms of
equality. He neither received nor sent consuls from or to any foreign
countries. He was the sole foreign merchant of his country.

This man was gloomy and peculiar and assumed supreme power without
marrying, was against the educated classes and ordered wholesale
executions. So fearful was he of assassination that he lived in several
houses and no one but himself knew where he would sleep at night. When
he walked the streets guards walked both in front and behind him. The
very news that he was out was sufficient to clear the streets. And yet,
powerful and cruel that he was, the humblest Indian could receive a
hearing and justice from him. He was modest in a way, abstemious and
never used his power for selfish indulgence. He was one of the wonders
of history.



CHAPTER XXII

THE WONDERFUL ARGENTINE REPUBLIC


The wonderful Argentine Republic is a little world in itself. Take all
the United States east of the Mississippi river, add the state of Texas,
place them in the Argentine Republic and there will be room for more.
Here you can find some of the highest and most rugged mountains and then
you can travel two thousand miles and hardly find a hill worthy of the
name.

From the torrid heat of the north you can go to the cold, bleak glacial
regions of the south, all in Argentine. The seasons are just the
opposite from ours. July is their coldest month and the hottest time in
the year is in January. The north side of the house is the sunny side.
In the Argentine there are some of the finest forest regions imaginable
and then you can travel a thousand miles across level plains and never
see a tree.

The southern part of Argentina used to be called Patagonia. This is the
Alaska of South America. The extreme southern point is the island of
Tierra del Fuego, which is divided between Argentina and Chile.
Argentina's part of the island is as large as the state of
Massachusetts.

Argentina has nearly five hundred million acres of ground that can be
cultivated and this great area is extended over well watered plains, all
of which are so accessible to the sea that the simplest railway
construction is all that is necessary. Of this vast area only about
one-fifth has as yet been cultivated or brought within the present
railway area.

At present the country has less than one-tenth as many miles of railway
as the United States and what they have is practically under English
control. Engines and cars are all of English pattern. American
locomotive works make engines for some of these lines, but everyone of
them must be made strictly according to the English pattern.

One-fifth of the eight million people in the Argentine live in Buenos
Aires, the capital city. This city is the Paris of South America and is
one of the great cities of the world. Here can be seen more extravagance
perhaps than in any other city in the world. The advertised rates in the
best hotels are from twelve to sixty dollars per day and these hotels
are nearly always crowded. The writer attended a luncheon given by the
United States Chamber of Commerce at the Hotel Plaza. The price was
three dollars and a half per plate; there was scarcely anything to eat
and the waiters expected a dollar tip from each man.

These people buy their clothes in Paris and are only satisfied with the
latest fashion. They drink French liquor in French style and demand the
best Parisian comedy and opera in their theaters. The Colon theater is
finer than anything in New York, and rivals any playhouse in Europe. It
seats thirty-seven hundred and fifty people and I am told that a man
cannot get in unless he is dressed in an evening suit.

Buenos Aires boasts of the greatest newspaper on the globe and surely no
other paper rivals it when it comes to service to its patrons. That
paper is the La Prensa and it is housed in a beautiful building. The
office of its editor in chief makes one think of a king's palace. This
paper provides a company of the best physicians and surgeons who
minister to all who apply free of charge. Its expert lawyers give
council and advice free, its skilled teachers of music instruct all who
enter one or more of the five series of classes. The prizes given
annually by this journal for altruistic acts and deeds of heroism are
worth a large sum. The chemical, industrial and agricultural bureaus are
a boon to those interested in such subjects.

This city also has the greatest race tracks in any land and the weekly
races are generally attended by from thirty to fifty thousand people.
The money bet on a single day's races often runs into hundreds of
thousands of dollars, and the Jockey Club that owns the race tracks is
so rich that it is embarrassing to get its money spent.

Of all the cemeteries the writer ever visited, the aristocratic burying
ground in Buenos Aires caps the climax. To be laid away in this ground
costs a fortune. The tombs, many of them, are above the ground and
nearly every family tomb is a little chapel. Here the living friends
gather on certain days, visit, drink tea, and smoke cigarettes with
coffins all around them. In many of these tombs chairs are always in
order with flowers arranged, kept so by the servants of the tomb.

There are thirty-six public markets in the city, some of which are very
large. The wool market alone covers thirty acres of ground and the iron
and steel building cost four million dollars. In it are seventy-two
cranes and elevators and fifty million pounds of wool can be stored at
one time. Not far from this building is another almost as large where
the sheep are killed. The arrangements are so complete and the men so
skilled that it is said a single man has killed as many as six thousand
sheep in a day.

Buenos Aires is a city of locked doors. People never think of leaving
their homes even for a few moments without locking the doors. If a
business house or hotel has a rug at the door on which to wipe the shoes
it will be chained fast. Stealing and pilfering is carried on
extensively all over the city. Shippers claim that there is an
international organization for stealing at the port cities all along the
coast and it is hard to get at. In one shipment of thirty automobiles
twenty-nine of the boxes had been opened and the set of tools taken. It
is the custom at that factory to pack the set of tools in a certain
corner of the case. A hole was cut exactly in the right place and the
set of tools neatly taken out. In two instances that I was told about a
drygoods firm had shipments opened and ten thousand dollars worth of
silks and velvets taken.

Near the city is said to be the largest dairy in the world. They milk
seven thousand cows and this is done with the latest and most up-to-date
machinery. At an annual stock show recently the crowds were so dense
that men paid five dollars each to get near enough to the judges to see
them do their work. The sale at the close was attended by five thousand
people. The champion shorthorn bull sold for more than forty thousand
dollars of American money. The champion Hereford sold for $32,737.00 and
a two-year-old bull sold for $23,643.00. One ram sold for more than four
thousand dollars.

The Argentine could be made a great sugar producing country, but for
some reason this industry is not being developed very rapidly. During
the war special inducements were offered but the 1919 crop was but
little more than that of 1913. There are only forty-three mills and
refineries in the whole country and the surplus for exportation for
1919 was only three hundred thousand tons and that is insignificant when
one thinks of the possibilities of this great industry.

But one can hardly think of Argentina without thinking of cattle ranches
and wheat fields. It is in these industries that she shines. She now has
thirty million head of cattle, but strange as it may seem she had as
many ten years ago. She has thirty million sheep which makes her the
greatest wool producing country on earth except Australia and if I am
correctly informed she is not far behind that country.

In Argentina the country is called "Elcampo" and the large farms
"Estancias." These great estancias often consist of thousands of acres.
A single one of them is said to be as large as the state of Rhode
Island. The owners generally have good houses but do not live in them
much of the time. They are in Buenos Aires, or traveling in Europe, and
their children are in the colleges and universities. A number of
overseers look after the farm but the work is largely done by
foreigners, mostly Italians. Their lives are far from easy.

The homes of these workers are generally made of mud. The floors are
often nothing but the bare ground. These people are generally called
colonists and work the soil on shares. They are in debt to start on; the
overseers generally manipulate things so that they often never do get
out of debt. The poor man's children do not have much in common with
those of the rich. They are generally kept entirely separate from each
other.

While the cities are filled with beautiful parks and clinging roses are
nearly everywhere, yet I never saw a country town with any thing
beautiful in sight. The streets of these towns are either mud holes or
dust piles, no work whatever being done upon them. The houses and stores
are one-story buildings and often look like hovels. The one exception is
the railroad station and often that is quite well kept.

There are no four-wheeled wagons like ours in this country. All the
hauling is done on large lumbersome carts often pulled by oxen. But they
sure load them heavy; how they get so much stuff on them is a mystery.
Much of the farming is slovenly done. While England produces thirty
bushels of wheat per acre the rich fields of Argentine only produce
eleven bushels per acre. This is but little more than half as much per
acre as is raised in Saskatchewan and Argentine soil is fully as rich as
Canadian grain fields.

I crossed the great Argentine plain in October. Wheat was just beginning
to head. Corn planting was in progress. Alfalfa fields were green while
both trees and flowers were in bloom. But in riding six hundred miles
without a hill, or tree except those planted by the hands of man, the
journey soon became monotonous. Thousands of acres were almost covered
with cattle and sheep.

On Sunday men and women were in the fields almost the same as any other
day. At the towns almost the entire population came down to see the
International train go through. This train only runs twice a week. The
young women were dressed in their best but they were never with the
young men. They would parade up and down the platform while the young
men would go in the other direction and the lads and lassies hardly
seemed to notice each other.

The train ran almost on the dot. A hotbox delayed it thirty minutes on
one occasion but it was carefully watched. At every stop for hours the
train would hardly come to a standstill before a couple of men were at
that box. The engines have no bells on them and the whistle is blown
just before the train starts rather than before it stops as in our
country. The train was largely made up of sleepers and a diner. The cars
were quite comfortable. The berths are crosswise rather than lengthwise
as in our sleepers. Everything on this train, however, from fare to eats
was very expensive.

On many of the larger farms the better breeds of stock are being raised,
agricultural schools are springing up and scientific farming is being
talked about. The government is taking a hand along many lines. Some of
the great estancias are being divided and subdivided. The Welch people
have a large settlement where better methods are being introduced. The
Jews have a large colony and even the Italians are looking forward to a
better day. Men from this country are entering in small numbers but with
ideas that will revolutionize things, and especially the school house.
An Englishman truly said: "Wherever the Germans go you find the arsenal;
wherever the French go you find the railroad; wherever the British go
you find the custom house, but wherever the Americans go you find the
school house."



CHAPTER XXIII

YANKEEDOM OF SOUTH AMERICA--CHILE


On account of their energy and enterprise the people of Chile have been
called the Yankees of South America. They are a quick tempered people
but often show a disposition to be whiter than their skin would signify.

On a railroad train I saw a well-dressed young Chilean raise the car
window. Behind him was an elderly man who did not like the wind blowing
in and he evidently made some sign to the conductor, who simply put the
window down.

This angered the young man who raised the window again. A little later
the conductor came back and said something to the young man who lowered
the window immediately. The old gentleman had moved by this time and I
supposed that the incident was closed.

A little later the young man called the conductor and had him go and
apologize to the old gentleman who came and sat down in the seat with
the young man. Then they settled their differences, smoked and visited
together like old friends. I felt a sort of admiration for these men
that they would settle their difference on the spot and became friends.
Such a procedure is much better than carrying a grouch.

The country of Chile is a narrow strip of land from fifty to two hundred
and fifty miles wide, but so long that if one end were placed at New
Orleans the other end would reach to the Arctic Circle. The mighty ridge
of the Andes mountains extends almost the entire distance. One of these
peaks in Chile is nearly five miles high--the highest on the globe
except Mount Everest.

In Chile there are many rich valleys yet much of the land is a desolate
desert. One writer suggests regarding this awful silent region that the
Desert of Sahara is a botanical garden in comparison with it. I traveled
five hundred miles along this desert without seeing a tree or a blade of
grass. This was in the northern part where it never rains. Much of the
southern part is covered with water-soaked forests.

Yet this Chilean desert is almost as valuable as a gold mine. Here are
the only large deposits of nitrate of soda in the world. While no plants
of any kind grow in this desert yet from it is obtained the product that
farmers all over the world use for fertilizer. Plants of all kinds must
have food to make them grow and this Chilean desert alone furnishes this
food in abundance and in suitable form.

Many millions are invested in establishments to get this nitrate, or
saltpeter as it is often called, from the worthless material with which
it is mixed and railroads to carry it to port. Little towns have sprung
up along the seashore where the nitrates make up cargoes of hundreds of
ships which carry this fertilizer to all parts of the world.

A gentleman who lives in Santiago told me how he could set out tomato
plants in the best soil, take a little handful of nitrates that look
like common salt, dissolve it in water and pour it on the soil and the
difference it would make is almost unbelievable. But a spoonful dropped
on the plant will kill it. It never rains on these nitrate beds--if it
did they would be worthless.

Of course, the people who do the work in these deserts or in the little
ports along the shore have a hard life. No green lawns or trees adorn
their villages. The dust is irritable and the people are a hard-looking
class. In one of these towns which I saw, Antofagasta by name, the water
the people use is brought nearly two hundred miles. The people used to
drink champagne mostly for it was cheaper than water.

Not far from Antofagasta are the great salt plains, said to be large
enough to supply the whole world with this commodity for generations.
The real nitrate beds are from fifteen to fifty miles from the ocean and
at least three thousand feet above sea level. The largest beds are from
four to five hundred miles in length so the supply is practically
inexhaustible. When the nitrates are richest they are mixed with
rock--about half and half. It is blasted out with dynamite, loaded on
carts and dumped into great machines that grind it to a coarse powder,
then thrown into immense tanks of boiling water where it forms in
crystals on the sides and bottom. The water is then drawn off, the white
sparkling stuff shoveled onto drying boards and when thoroughly dry is
sacked and shipped.

The liquid that is drawn off from these vats is made into iodine, which
is so valuable that a cask of it is worth several hundred dollars. Chile
owns about all the nitrate deposits yet discovered. She exports millions
of tons of it annually, levies a tax on every ton of it and thus the
government receives an immense income each year from this one industry.

In addition to the nitrate industry, Chile has immense stores of copper,
tin and other metals. At one port where the ship stopped a small boat
brought out a few sacks of copper ore. It took but a few minutes to put
it on board but one of the officers said it was worth thirteen thousand
dollars. At another Chilean port six hundred tons of tin were added to
our cargo. Chile is about the only country in South America where coal
is found in anything like large quantities.

Of course such a mountainous region is volcanic. There are many
earthquakes but they seldom do much harm. My first night in Chile was
spent in Los Andes and I had not been in bed five minutes until an
earthquake shock made it tremble like a leaf. But the people are so used
to it that they pay no attention whatever to these minor quakes. At the
time San Francisco was ruined, Valparaiso was all but destroyed but you
would never know it by a visit to the city now.

Chile includes a large part of the island of Tierra del Fuego. At the
very southern tip of this is Cape Horn. This is a gigantic rock fourteen
hundred feet high that juts out into the ocean and the great waves that
continually lash against it make it perhaps the most dreaded spot by
sailors in all the trade routes of the world. On all sides are wrecked
vessels and this rock has been named the Giant Headstone in the Sailor's
Graveyard.

It was the famous Magellan who discovered the water passage above Cape
Horn and it is called the Strait of Magellan. While safer than the route
around Cape Horn, yet many are the stories of shipwreck, hunger and
suffering told by those who went this way during the earlier days. Here
are some of the names of places along the Strait: "Fury Island," "Famine
Reach," "Desolation Harbor," "Fatal Bay," "Hope Inlet," and "Last Wreck
Point."

No one lives down at this point but tribes of Indians. It was the
signals and campfires of these Indians that caused Magellan to call the
island "Tierra del Fuego." The name means "Land of Fire." These Indians
are said to be one of the lowest classes of human beings in existence
today. Although the weather is very cold these savages wear but little
clothing--in fact, they wore none until of later years they began
getting cast off garments from wrecks and are now making some of their
own clothing from the skins of animals.

On this strait is located Punta Arenas, which is the southernmost town
in the world. It is directly south of Boston and farther south of the
equator than Winnipeg is north of it. Only about a thousand people live
here. Many of them are rough characters and live hard and comfortless
lives. This town is the only port within a thousand miles.

Although cold and cheerless most of the time, yet millions of sheep are
raised in this southern land and Punta Arenas is the shipping point. A
kind of coarse grass grows here that is nourishing and sheep thrive and
live for weeks alone on the open plains. Wool, hides and meat are
brought to this port and shipped to the outside world. Of course all
clothing, building material and machinery must be brought in for there
are no factories in Punta Arenas.

Santiago, the capital of Chile, is located in a valley that has been
called the "Garden of South America." This valley is seven hundred miles
long, fifty or sixty miles wide and hundreds of feet above sea level. On
the east are the snow-capped Andes and on the west the coast ranges. On
the mountain slopes on either side are the great herds of cattle and
sheep and lower down the rich fields of alfalfa and grain, fruit and
flowers.

Strange to say the farming is nearly all done with oxen. I counted six
yoke of oxen in a ten-acre field. Women as well as men work in the
fields. The fences are made of stone but in many parts of the valley you
never see a stone in the field. If they have any modern farm machinery I
did not see it. All the fields are irrigated, as it seldom rains in this
valley in the summer time.

Most of the best land is owned by wealthy men who live in the city.
Those who do the work are mostly Indians or half breeds, and they have
but few of the comforts of life. Many of the farms are great tracts and
there is a store where the worker can purchase what he needs but the
prices are high and he is kept in debt. A country can never really
prosper where the tillers of the soil are ignorant and have no say in
the affairs of the government.

It is in this valley where most of the Chileans live. While in other
parts of the country there are but two people to the square mile, here
in this valley there are seventeen to the square mile. Here are most of
the schools and colleges, cities, railways and manufacturing plants.
When about sixty per cent of the people are illiterate and this class is
almost entirely the laboring class it does not look as if conditions
would be changed very soon.

I saw more drinking in Chile than in any other South American country. A
portion of the city of Valparaiso seems to be given over almost entirely
to the liquor dealers and the people who throng that district are
hard-looking folks. The fag ends of civilization seem to have gathered
here. This is the only city in South America where I was accosted by
both men and women and they almost try to hold one up in the streets in
broad daylight.

Nearly all the Chilean women dress in black. A black shawl is worn and
you would think they are all dressed in mourning, but they are not. This
black cloth is called a manto and all women, both rich and poor, wear
them. The business portion of the city of Valparaiso is built on a
narrow strip of land at the foot of a high hill.

All along there are elevators or lifts as they call them. For a couple
of pennies you can step into one of these lifts and be taken up a
hundred feet or more. While one lift goes up another comes down as they
are always built in pairs. There are winding ways where horses and
donkeys can walk up but no wheeled vehicle can be taken up or down for
it is too steep.

For this reason the dairymen and venders all have donkeys or small
horses. A dairyman will have a couple of large milk cans, one on either
side of the beast, or perhaps a small barrel on the top of a frame or
saddle. The man leads or drives the animal and they are so sure-footed
that they can go up a place so steep that one not used to climbing could
not make the ascent.

There are but few North Americans in Chile. I had breakfast (they call
the noon meal breakfast) with the American Club. There were but
twenty-five or thirty present, mostly business men. But few of these men
are satisfied to stay long in Chile.

The American Y. M. C. A. is doing some good work in Valparaiso, as in
all other South American cities. The rooms are well patronized and it
was homelike to see the leading magazines of the United States upon the
reading table. The Sunday afternoon program that I attended was well
gotten up and very interesting.

While in Chile you see more to remind you of the United States than in
any other South American country but I was not favorably impressed with
the people. They will not compare in looks or actions with the people
east of the Andes. Lack of education, culture and refinement are
noticeable everywhere. Religion and morality are conspicuous by their
absence and one cannot but pity those who live among them although one
sees some good traits in many of them.



CHAPTER XXIV

THE SWITZERLAND OF SOUTH AMERICA--BOLIVIA


In the very heart of the South American continent there is a vast
table-land nearly as large as the great Mississippi valley, that some
titanic convulsion has boosted up nearly three miles in the air. This
great plateau is hemmed in by mountains, the coast range on the west and
the main range on the east.

These mountain peaks rise as high as twenty-two thousand feet. In these
heights, two and one-half miles above sea level is Lake Titicaca, which
is one hundred and sixty miles long and thirty miles wide. This lake,
which is the highest body of water in the western hemisphere, is fed by
streams of water from the Andes and is so cold that ice is formed along
the edge every night in the year although the lake itself is never
frozen over. The lake has no outlet and the color of the water is a
steely blue.

This lake forms the northwestern border of Bolivia. Situated as it is,
including both mountains and table-land, Bolivia has been called the
Switzerland of South America. It is more than twelve times as large as
the state of Iowa and is the cradle of the ancient civilization that
made up the world-famous Inca empire which existed many centuries ago.

The people of Bolivia today have the blood of this ancient race in their
veins and they are an industrious people. Visiting a mission school in
Buenos Aires I was much impressed by one young man who seemed to be the
peer of the two hundred students in the school.

On talking to this young man I found that he was from Bolivia. How he
heard about this mission school I have forgotten, but the story of how
he tramped two hundred miles over the mountains and then across the
great Argentine plains determined to reach this school and work his way
through, could not be forgotten. On Sunday morning I went to the
American church and this fellow was at the door as an usher and the
friendly greeting and winning smile he had for everyone gave me great
respect for him and his people as well.

Portions of this great Bolivian plateau are very beautiful. One noted
naturalist coming from Paraguay said as he beheld this region, "If
tradition has lost the records of the place where Paradise is located
the traveler who visits these regions of Bolivia feels at once the
impulse to exclaim: 'Here is Eden.'"

Here grows the famous chincona tree from which we get quinine. Also the
coca plant from which we get cocaine. Perhaps when the dentist pulled
your tooth he used cocaine that came from this country. The natives chew
the coca leaf as a stimulant. It is actually said that by the use of
this leaf a man can go for many hours without food and perform feats of
endurance that seem to us impossible.

The cultivation of the coca plant is one of the important industries of
eastern Bolivia. The plant grows as a shrub and must not be confused
with the cocoa tree from the beans of which our chocolate and cocoa are
made. The Bolivians produce eight to ten million pounds of coca leaves
annually. The telegraph system of portions of this region is made up of
fleet-footed Indians and it is said that with a supply of coca leaves
and parched corn they can run fifty miles a day.

Here too grows the quinna which is not only a substitute for wheat but
more nutritious and easier raised if reports are true. Cotton and sugar
are produced in Bolivia as are the nutmeg and castor bean. Oranges and
all such fruit are also grown in some parts of this country. But the
supply and variety of medicinal plants is remarkable. The list includes
aconite, arnica, absinthe, belladonna, camphor, cocaine, ginger, ipecac,
opium, sarsaparilla and a lot of others.

But this great inland country is noted the world around for its rich
mines. Mount Potosi is often spoken of as a mountain of silver. It is
said that not only millions but billions of dollars worth of silver have
been taken from this one mountain. There are said to be six thousand
abandoned mines on its slopes to say nothing of the hundreds that are
being worked today. The city of Potosi used to be the largest city in
the western hemisphere and was ten times its present size when the early
settlements of the United States were but small villages.

While the silver in this mountain is not nearly exhausted by any means,
yet it was discovered that deeper down is a mountain of tin. Bolivia has
been furnishing more than one-fourth of the world's supply of tin for
many years.

On the hills back of the city of Potosi can still be seen the thirty-two
lakes or reservoirs that used to furnish water for the city and mines.
It took half a century to complete this great ancient water system. The
largest of these lakes is three miles in circumference and thirty feet
deep. Each lake is surrounded by five sets of walls and two of these
reservoirs are sixteen thousand feet above sea level. All this mighty
work was done before railroads were ever dreamed of. Only recently a
railroad was built into this mining city and many of these abandoned
mines are being opened again.

The capital of Bolivia used to be Sucre. In fact, it is still the
nominal capital of the republic. Here live many of the wealthy mine
owners of the region. The Supreme Court is held here and the new
government palace is a stately building. The richest cathedral in
Bolivia is here and the image of the Virgin in it is made of solid gold
adorned with jewels and is worth a million dollars.

There are nine public parks or plazas in the city of Sucre and through
one of these flows two streams of pure water. The one on the north side
runs north and finally reaches the Atlantic Ocean through the great
Amazon river while the other flows southward reaching the sea through
the Rio de la Plata river.

The capital of Bolivia as we know it is La Paz, but only the legislative
and executive departments are in this city. Although La Paz is more than
twelve thousand feet above sea level it is located in the bottom of a
deep canyon. Back of the city is the giant peak of Mount Illimani which
pierces the sky at the height of twenty-one thousand feet. While the
weather is always warm in the day time it gets very cool at night,
sometimes freezing cold. As they have no heating stoves it is very
uncomfortable to sit quiet.

The farmers of Bolivia live in little villages as a rule and know but
little of the comforts of life. Their houses are built of mud and both
people and animals often live in the same room. Their farms have to be
irrigated and the people are skilled in this work. The plows used are
wooden sticks and generally pulled by oxen. As in other South American
countries the land is mostly owned by wealthy men who let it out on
shares to common farmers who are generally kept in debt and have but
little independence.

The question of fuel for cooking purposes is one of their great
problems. As our early settlers on the western plains had to use buffalo
chips for fuel, these people use a great deal of donkey and llama dung
for the same purpose. They bake their bread in small community ovens
that are built something like a large barrel with a dome shaped top. On
bread baking day they build a fire of moss, bushes and dry dung and heat
the stove oven. Then they remove the coals, put their bread in and when
it is baked you may be sure that it does not smell very good.

The great beast of burden in Bolivia is the llama, which looks something
like a cross between a camel and a sheep. Like the camel it can go for
days without food or drink. It can be turned out and will make its
living browsing on coarse grass, moss and shrubs that grow on the
mountains. It is an intelligent animal and if loaded a little too
heavily will lie down and refuse to budge until the load is lightened.

The women of these Indian farmers and herders dress rather queerly. They
put on many bright colored skirts all of a different hue. As the day
grows warmer they remove a skirt showing one of a different hue. They
are proud of their skirts and take much pride in showing each other
their fine clothing.

These women too are nearly always at work. If they are walking along
driving llamas they are working as they walk winding wool into yarn or
knitting some garment. With juices from plants the yarn is colored and
by means of a loom which any woman among them can make they weave this
yarn into a kind of cloth.

In Bolivian cities there are large markets to which these Indian women
especially resort. On the ground are little piles of fruit, coca leaves
and other products. They have no scales and sell by the pile. The
gardeners will sell their products of onions, beans, parched corn and
all such stuff in this way.

Thus the people of this great inland empire live above the clouds. One
of their railroads is a half mile higher than Pike's Peak in places and
one of their cities, Aullagus, lacks but a hundred feet of being as high
as this. They have four cities more than fourteen thousand feet above
sea level, twenty-six above the thirteen thousand foot line, and
seventy-three cities above the twelve thousand foot line. Of the one
hundred and fifty-one cities in Bolivia most every one is above the
eleven thousand foot line. Truly this land is the "Switzerland of South
America."



CHAPTER XXV

THE LAND OF MYSTERY--PERU


When we reach the backbone of Peru we are not only above the clouds as
in Bolivia, but we are surrounded by mystery. Here can be seen today the
ruins of temples that were richer perhaps than any of those of the
countries with which we are all so familiar. This article, however, will
largely have to do with the Peruvian country as it is today. You could
take a map of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, North and South Dakota,
Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma, place them all on the
map of Peru and have territory left.

The country runs largely north and south, having some fourteen hundred
miles of sea coast. In the north is a great desert plain, but in this
almost lifeless desert there is a great valley in which is a most
interesting city. The name of this city is Piura and it is on a small
river bearing the same name. This river is more like the Nile in Egypt
than any other river known. Up and down this river are farms and
plantations with irrigation ditches leading to fields of rice and grain,
sugar cane and cotton as well as other valuable farm products.

But upon the rise of the water in the river depends the life and
prosperity of the people. Like the people of Egypt and the Nile, these
people look upon this river with feelings of reverence. They have a
great feast day for the river. In their spring time when the snows melt
the river gradually rises, spreading over the valley bottom and filling
all the low places and irrigation ditches with water.

As the time for this rise approaches every traveler from upstream is
questioned and on the day the big rise is due the great feast day is
proclaimed and the people, generally five thousand or more, march toward
the coming tide to meet the water. If there is an abundance of water
they are sure of a great harvest. With fife and drum they meet the
oncoming flood and go back with it; if it is a great flood they are
happy and merry, but if the tide is low they are sad and gloomy for they
know that many will be hungry.

It rains here about once in seven years and these are called the seven
year rains. Following the showers there is a wonderful burst of life
everywhere. Quick growing grasses cover the land with a carpet of green
and fragrant blossoms fill the air with sweetness; but in a short time,
except where the irrigation ditches reach the land, the entire region
once more becomes a yellow, parched desert.

In this valley grows the best cotton that is produced anywhere. It is a
well known fact among cotton growers that Piura cotton has a peculiar
strength of fiber that makes it sell for nearly double the price of that
grown in our southern states. As goats can live where other animals will
starve, this valley is also noted for its great goat herds which make
their living on the dry mountain sides.

The greatest seaport of Peru is Callao. If the sea were rough this would
be a dangerous harbor for all ocean liners must anchor far from the
docks as only very small ships can approach them. I counted forty-two
ocean liners in the harbor so you can imagine that it is a busy place.
These liners represented nearly every sea-faring country on the globe.

The city of Callao has had its ups and downs. Some one has said that the
chief product of Peru is revolutions and Callao has had its share of
them. Also, nearly every earthquake along the coast gives this city a
shaking up. At one time many years ago when the city had a population of
some six thousand people there came an earthquake followed by a mighty
tidal wave that only left two persons alive. The very site of the city
sunk beneath the waves of the ocean and never came up, the present city
being built upon a new site entirely.

The short ride from Callao to Lima, the capital city, is interesting.
Here one is introduced to the famous "mud fence," as the fences are all
made of mud. Little patches of ground are tilled and bananas, pears,
oranges, and all kinds of fruit and vegetables as well as corn and other
grain grow in abundance. Everything looks ancient. The ground is plowed
by oxen hitched to a wooden stick. The mud huts and houses of the
farmers are almost as bare of furniture as a hen coop and almost as
dirty. It hardly seems possible that people so near the port as well as
the capital city could be so far behind the times.

The railroad runs along the Rimac river, but this is nearly dry much of
the time, the water being used for irrigating purposes. Everything
smells bad and the people are even dirtier than in Chile. Of course,
there are some beautiful spots in the country and plazas in the cities,
but all this gush about the beauty and loveliness of things in general
makes one tired.

I saw more turkey buzzards and vultures in ten minutes in the city of
Lima than I ever saw before all put together. At the slaughter house one
can see a stream of blood running in the open soil and I suppose the
offals are dumped out for the vultures to devour. The Rockefeller
Foundation has set apart twenty-five million dollars, so I understand,
to be spent in twenty-five Peruvian cities for the purpose of cleaning
them up and providing sanitary systems for them. The leaders of this
foundation have certainly found an appropriate place to spend money. I
have seen four or five of the cities that are to benefit by this
appropriation and they all sure do need cleaning up.

In Lima, of course, I went to the great cathedral. Everybody does this
for it is about the most outstanding thing to be seen. It is said to be
the largest cathedral in South America. The corner stone was laid by the
great Pizarro himself in 1535. His bones are in the cathedral now. I saw
them. They are in a coffin the side of which is made of glass. The very
holes that were made in the bones when they tortured him can be seen.
The guide declared that such is the case and of course he would not yarn
to a stranger in a sacred church.

The houses in Lima are, as a rule, only one story high. The tops are
flat and many of them are almost covered with chicken coops. They say
that many a rooster is hatched, grows up to old age and enters the
ministry without ever having set foot upon the ground.

The small plaza in front of the cathedral is really beautiful and there
are some good substantial buildings around it. The large depot is a
modern, well built stately building. The streets are narrow and the shop
doors are open to the street. The doors of these shops are corrugated
iron and are raised up like the cover of a roll-top desk. Above the
shops are the residences of the more well-to-do class. Little balconies
are built out over the sidewalk and here the "idle rich" ladies sit and
watch the crowds below.

To me a very interesting place was a building that used to be a sort of
a place of refuge something like the cities of refuge we read about in
the Bible. In the wide door, so they say, there used to be a chain
stretched across and any man who could reach this was safe regardless of
the crime he had committed. No officers or law could touch him. Of
course, he was in the power of the keepers of the refuge. They could
enslave him for life or kill him and no law could touch them. At least
this is the story told me by a resident of the city.

But the briefest article about Peru should not leave out at least a
mention of the wonderful mountain railways of the country. The Central
Peruvian railway tracks reach the dizzy height of 15,865 feet above sea
level, which is almost a mile higher than the famous Marshall Pass in
the Rockies. This railroad too is a standard gauge. To reach this
altitude the train passes over forty-one bridges, one of which is two
hundred and fifty feet high. It passes through sixty tunnels, the
highest one of which is the Galeria tunnel, which is 15,665 feet above
the sea.

This railroad, perhaps the most wonderful ever constructed, was built by
Henry Meiggs, an American contractor from New York. Some eight thousand
men were employed in the construction and in some places in order to
gain a foothold to begin their work they had to be swung down from
dizzy heights above and held while they cut a safe place in the rocks.

As might be expected many men were killed during the building of this
railway. Once a runaway engine crashed into a derrick car on the top of
a bridge and the debris can be seen in the valley below to this day.
Several Americans lost their lives in this one accident. It is quite
remarkable, however, that there has not been a single accident where a
life was lost since the construction was completed years ago. This line
is two hundred and fifty miles in length and every mile cost a snug
fortune. It takes a train almost ten hours to reach the summit and the
average rise the entire distance is twenty-seven feet per minute.

Near Callao are some islands which are very interesting to tillers of
the soil especially. In passing them I noticed millions and millions of
birds. For many centuries these islands have been the nesting places for
these sea fowl. Not only have these birds lived and died here but
multiplied thousands of seal have come here to breed. The droppings of
these millions of birds and animals and the accumulating bodies of the
dead have decayed and made a kind of grayish powder. This substance is
called guano and it is hundreds of feet thick.

Hundreds of years ago it was discovered that this substance is the best
fertilizer known. In the early days the Incas took every precaution to
distribute this guano to agriculturists in the country. Districts of
this deposit were allotted to certain territories and the boundaries of
each district were clearly defined and all encroachments upon the rights
of others were severely punished. No one was allowed to go about these
islands during the breeding season under pain of death and the same
penalty was meted out to any man who killed either birds or animals
here.

Of late years millions of dollars worth of this guano have been shipped
to all parts of the world. While the islands are closed to shipping
during the breeding season and it is thought that many of the birds
especially have been frightened away, yet they come in such numbers at
times that it is said that the sky is darkened as they fly over.



CHAPTER XXVI

THE WORLD'S GREAT CROSSROAD--PANAMA CANAL


Perhaps the greatest achievement of history, both in length of time of
construction and in service to humanity, stands to the credit of the
United States. The Panama Canal was dug in less time than it took to
build the causeway in Egypt to get the stone from the quarries to where
it was wanted for the big pyramid. This canal, too, is wholly an
American achievement. It was planned by American brains, constructed by
American engineers and with American machinery, and paid for with
American gold, and every American has great reason to be proud of it.

We paid the Republic of Panama ten million dollars for the lease on the
zone through which the canal passes, and are now paying the same
government two hundred and fifty thousand dollars per year to keep them
in a good humor. We bought the ground again from individual owners and
have agreed to pay Colombia twenty-five million dollars to keep her from
raising a racket. We paid the French forty million dollars for the work
they did and the machinery they left so the whole thing, lock, stock and
barrel, ought to be ours without any question.

It was published on supposedly good authority that some of the machinery
we used was purchased from Belgium, that we could not make it in
America. While visiting Mr. P. B. Banton, the chief office engineer,
some time ago I asked him about this and he said the only machinery
Belgium furnished was to the French. We tried to repair and use part of
this but it had to be discarded entirely.

We purchased two gigantic cranes to use in the work from Germany, but
one of them collapsed and both had to be rebuilt by American machinists
before they would do the work they were guaranteed to do. The only parts
used in the canal that were not made in America, according to Mr.
Banton, are some gigantic screws which were made in Sweden. It so
happened at that time that Sweden was the only country that had
machinery to make such screws, and while we could have easily
constructed such machinery, it was cheaper to get them from Sweden and
this was done. After making this statement, Mr. Banton got the drawings
and explained them, and later on I saw some of them in the Gatun-Locks.
If I remember correctly they are about eight inches in diameter and
forty or fifty feet long.

Speaking of drawings and blue prints this official said: "There are more
than eighty thousand drawings in this one room." Of course, the original
blue prints and complicated drawings of the canal are sealed up in a
great bomb-proof vault, kept dry by electricity. Although I had passed
through the canal on a ship and rode up and down it on the train it was
only after talking an hour with this engineer and then going into the
control station tower and watching boats taken through the Gatun lock
system, going into the tunnels below and watching the gigantic cog
wheels and wonderful machinery, that I began to appreciate the real
ingenuity and brain work of this colossal achievement.

On his last voyage to the new world Columbus visited Panama and was told
by the Indians that beyond a narrow strip of land was the "Big Water."
He sailed up the Chagres river a distance, failed to find it, and died
believing that they were mistaken. About ten years later Balboa climbed
to the top of a tree not far from where Culebra Cut is located and saw
the "Big Water." Four hundred years later almost to the day the water
was turned into the canal and thus America united the world's greatest
oceans.

After completing the Suez Canal and thus uniting the world's greatest
seas, the French people believed they could dig across the Isthmus of
Panama, but digging through Culebra Cut thousands of miles from home was
much different from digging across the level plain of Suez only a few
hundred miles away. A canal without locks is entirely different from one
where great ocean liners must be lifted eighty-five feet above sea
level.

Then Panama was a jungle, where disease-carrying mosquitoes were
swarming in districts where heat was almost unbearable. True, their
medical skill was the best and their hospitals of the latest design, but
where they cured hundreds thousands died like flies. Added to all these
disadvantages was extravagance and waste, greed and graft, mismanagement
and misappropriation of funds to say nothing of palaces and princely
salaries for officials.

The result was that after spending more than two hundred million dollars
of the people's money, the whole scheme collapsed, and the work stopped.
De Lesseps himself was arrested, disgraced, and imprisoned and died with
a broken heart a little later in an insane asylum. The French had worked
seven years, and now for four years not a wheel turned. Then they
organized a new company and worked at intervals ten years more until
1903, when we bought them out. During these years a half dozen nations
developed projects and made surveys but no digging was done except by
the French until we took charge in 1904.

The Canal Zone is a strip of land ten miles wide across the Isthmus of
Panama, the distance being about forty miles from shore to shore. It is
less than this, however, in a straight line. The canal runs from
northwest to southeast, the Atlantic end at the north being about
twenty-two miles west of the Pacific end at the south. This seems rather
strange but we must remember that the Isthmus is in the shape of the
letter S and it so happens that the shortest point runs in the direction
named.

Of course it would have been impossible for us to have dug the canal
without a tremendous loss of life had it not been for the advance of
medical science. Until we took charge this was one of the worst
fever-infested districts on the globe. But just about this time it was
discovered that the mosquito carries the germ of yellow fever and other
contagious diseases. These pests breed in stagnant water and it was
discovered that kerosene on the water forms a film on the surface that
means death to the newborn mosquito. Then began one of the greatest
battles of all history, the fight to eradicate the mosquito pest.

Colonel Gorgas had charge of the forces and he was determined to do the
job well. Tracts of the jungle were burned over, ditches to drain
stagnant pools were dug, and every barrel was looked after. Hundreds of
Negroes with oil cans sprayed almost every nook and corner of the Zone
with kerosene. Houses were screened, every case of sickness was looked
after, and the result was soon manifest. A mighty victory was won by
Gorgas and today the Canal Zone is as healthful as any tropical country
on earth. Of course, people criticized and joked about the mosquito
brigade, but the colonel went ahead pouring oil upon the water, cleaning
up filth, and compelling sanitary measures, paying not the slightest
attention to the harping critics.

At the north end of the Zone are the cities of Cristobal and Colon, the
latter in Panama. The fact is they are practically one city, the
railroad being the dividing line. While Cristobal is clean and beautiful
much of Colon is dirty and rum soaked. Somebody said to me: "Colon is
that part of the city where you can buy a drink," and it sure looks it.

While it is only about forty miles across the isthmus yet the canal is
fifty miles long. The fact is they had to dredge out to deep water which
is about five miles at each end. Entering the channel at the north it is
about seven miles to the Gatun locks. There are three pairs of these
locks and they lift the vessel to Gatun Lake, which is eighty-five feet
above sea level. It is twenty-four miles across this lake to Culebra
Cut, which extends about nine miles through the hills, and to the first
lock on the Pacific side. This lock lowers the ship about thirty feet to
Miraflores Lake, which is a little more than a mile in length. Here are
two pairs of locks which lowers the ship to sea level and then it is
about eight miles or a little more to deep water. Counting all the
distance occupied by the locks we have the fifty miles.

Gatun Lake was made by a great dam across the Chagres river. This dam is
a stupendous piece of work, being a half mile wide at the bottom, a mile
and a half long, and more than one hundred feet high. A gigantic
spillway allows the surface water to run over. During the dry season,
about four months, the river does not supply enough water to run the
locks so Gatun Lake must furnish the supply. This lake at present covers
one hundred and sixty-four square miles, and last year it was lowered
five feet during the dry season. The land has been purchased for the
extension of the lake and the great spillway can be raised twenty feet
higher if necessary so that a shortage of water is practically
impossible.

Each lock in the canal is a thousand feet long, one hundred and ten feet
wide, and the average height about thirty feet, so they hold a
tremendous amount of water. Every ship passing through empties two lock
chambers full of water into the ocean at each end. It is an interesting
fact that at the Atlantic the tide only makes a difference of two and a
half feet, at the Pacific side the difference is more than twenty feet.
While the low lock gates at the Atlantic side are sixty-four feet high
the low lock gates at the Pacific side are eighty-two feet high.

I was permitted to go into the control station tower at the Gatun lock
system and see three ships taken through, also into the tunnels below to
see the machinery in operation and it is a sight never to be forgotten.
To take a ship through these locks the operator sets in motion twice
ninety-eight gigantic electric motors and it is all done without an
audible word being spoken. Every possible emergency has been provided
for. Could an enemy ship by any manner of means get into the canal and
undertake to ram the gates it would be helpless as far as any damage is
concerned. Mighty chains guard the gates and it is impossible to get
the gates closed without these chains being raised to their places.
Emergency gates are provided so the water can all be shut off, the locks
emptied and repairs made in the bottoms of the lock chambers, if
necessary.

At the continental divide the Culebra Cut is almost five hundred feet
deep and more than a half mile wide at the top. The channel itself is
three hundred feet wide and forty-five feet deep. There have been half a
hundred slides and a single one of them brought down an area of
seventy-five acres. Think of a seventy-five acre field all sliding in at
once, every foot of which had to be dug out!

The worst trouble was when the bottom bulged up from below. Some little
time before my visit a large tree came up from the bottom. It had been
rolled in by one of those fearful slides and long afterwards came up
from the bottom. Somebody has figured out that if all the dirt that has
been taken from Culebra Cut was loaded on railroad cars they would, if
coupled together, make a train that would reach around the world four
times.

The canal cost about four hundred million dollars. The tolls now amount
to almost a million dollars a month so it is more than paying expenses.
The ship upon which I passed through paid seven thousand dollars toll,
but it was one of the largest ships that pass through. Now that the
danger from slides is practically over and trade routes are being
established it ought to be a paying investment.



CHAPTER XXVII

THE SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD


A few years ago the editor of one of the great magazines of America sent
out a thousand letters to as many scientists and great men scattered
among all civilized nations in an effort to get the consensus of opinion
as to what might be called the seven wonders of the modern world. A
ballot was prepared containing fifty-six subjects of scientific and
mechanical achievement and blank spaces in which other subjects might be
written. Each man was asked to designate the seven he felt were entitled
to a place on the list. He, of course, was not confined to the printed
list and could write in others that were better entitled to a place than
those on the printed list.

About seventy per cent of these ballots were returned properly marked
and the result was most interesting indeed. At once it was discovered
that a complete change in human intelligence or judgment has taken place
since the ancient Greeks made their list of the seven wonders of the
world. Today the standard of measurement as to what should be classed in
such a list is _service to humanity_, while in the old days the standard
of measurement was or at least had largely to do with brute force.

It is not surprising, therefore, that wireless telegraphy should have
the highest place on the list. Guglielmo Marconi is far more worthy to
be remembered than the king who built the great Pyramid in Egypt. This
brilliant Italian, when but fifteen years of age was reveling in the
dreamland wonders of electricity and when but twenty had the theory
practically worked out and his patience and enthusiasm were simply
amazing. He actually tried more than two thousand experiments along a
single line before he was able to demonstrate the truth of one of his
own theories.

No one crosses the Atlantic Ocean these days who is not impressed with
the marvels of this wonderful discovery. Through it the seven seas have
became great whispering galleries. One of the greatest races the writer
ever saw he did not see at all. For three days and nights two great
ocean liners raced across the deep and never came in sight of each other
at all. Yet every few hours we all knew just which ship was gaining and
it was really a most exciting race. A few hours after Roosevelt was shot
in Milwaukee I heard the news by wireless although I was on board a ship
in the China Sea on the other side of the world.

The telephone was given second place in the list of modern wonders. It
is hard to realize that the telephone only dates back to 1875. It was
during that year that Alexander Graham Bell and his assistant, Thomas A.
Watson, were making experiments in a building in Boston. Mr. Watson was
in the basement with an instrument trying without success to talk with
Mr. Bell in the room above. Finally the latter made a little change in
the instrument and spoke and Mr. Watson came rushing upstairs greatly
excited, saying: "Why, Mr. Bell, I heard your voice distinctly and could
almost understand what you were saying."

The next year the imperfect telephone was exhibited at the Centennial in
Philadelphia, but for a time it was the laughing stock of most people
and hardly anyone ever dreamed that it would ever be more than a mere
plaything. One day Dom Pedro, the Emperor of Brazil, who knew Mr. Bell
personally, came in. With him was Sir William Thompson, the great
English scientist. The emperor was given the receiver and placed it to
his ear and was suddenly startled, saying: "My God, it speaks." This
amused all, but greatly interested the man of science and thus the
telephone was brought into prominence. While at the World's Fair in San
Francisco I sat with a receiver and heard a man speaking in New York as
plainly as though he were in the next room. Sitting within the sound of
the waves of the Pacific, I was connected up with Atlantic City and
heard the waves of the Atlantic.

The third largest number of votes were given to the aeroplane and since
the birdmen played such a part in the world war these scientists were
correct in giving the flying machine a place among the wonders of the
modern world. The fourth place was given to Radium, the fifth to
Antiseptics and Antitoxines, the sixth to Spectrum Analysis, and the
seventh to the marvelous X-Ray. Had eight subjects been called for the
Panama Canal would have had a place, for it lacked but eleven votes of
tie for seventh place. It can, therefore, be called the eighth wonder of
the modern world.

How different were the ideas of men during the days of ancient Greece.
It is a remarkable fact that among the seven wonders of the ancient
world only one of them was of any real service to humanity. True, one or
two of them served as tombs for the dead and one of them was a sort of a
pleasure resort, but it proved a curse rather than a blessing. The one
of real service was the Pharos, or lighthouse, at Alexandria, Egypt.
This was a gigantic structure more than four hundred feet high on the
top of which a great fire was kept burning at night, thus serving as a
lighthouse. The structure was so large at the base and the winding
roadway so spacious that it is said a team of horses could be driven to
the summit. The entire building has long since disappeared, but while in
Alexandria its location was pointed out to me.

In the list of ancient wonders, however, the Pyramids of Egypt were
given first place. There are seventy-seven of these pyramids altogether.
Three of them are located less than a dozen miles from Cairo, the others
being up the river Nile a half day's journey. The largest is known as
the Pyramid of Cheops and is nearest Cairo. It covers thirteen acres of
ground and is four hundred and fifty feet high. My first sight of it was
a disappointment for after all it is nothing but a pile of stone, and
seems smaller to the eye than it really is. When one walks along by its
side and begins the ascent to the top, however, its immensity begins to
grow and impress the mind.

Heroditus, the Father of History, says a hundred thousand men worked on
this pyramid at one time and that it took twenty years to build it. It
was scientifically and mathematically constructed ages before modern
science or mathematics were born. The one who planned it knew that the
earth is a sphere and that its motion is rotary. It is said that in all
the thousands of years since it was built not a single fact in astronomy
or mathematics has been discovered to contradict the wisdom of those who
constructed it.

On the north side of the pyramid, about fifty feet up, there is a narrow
tunnel that runs down at an angle of twenty-six degrees to the center of
the field that forms its base. The tunnel is so true that from the
bottom one can see the star, that is near the North Star, which is
supposed to have been directly in the north when the structure was
built. After you have descended eighty-five feet in this tunnel there is
another tunnel that runs up to the center of the structure where there
are some large rooms or chambers. The pyramid was supposed to have been
built for a tomb and these rooms are called the king's chamber, the
queen's chamber, etc. In these rooms there are large mummy cases, but
they are empty at the present time. One great satisfaction for me in
visiting the pyramids was the fulfilling of a life-long desire to see
all that is left of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

The third ancient wonder was the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. These
gardens were in reality a great artificial mountain built upon massive
arches. It was four hundred feet high and terraced on all sides and
according to historians beautiful beyond description. Not only were
beautiful flowers and shrubbery kept growing, but large forest trees as
well. On approaching it this great mountain seemed to be suspended or
hanging in the air--hence the name. Water was brought from the river and
the ruins of these vast waterworks are said to be the marvel of civil
engineers even to this day.

It seems that these hanging gardens were built to please the wife of one
of the most powerful monarchs of the old days. This queen had been
brought up among the hills, and as Babylon was located on a great level
plain she was dissatisfied and pined away for the hills and forests of
her home land. To please her the king accomplished this mighty work.
Today the whole thing, in fact, the entire city of Babylon, is nothing
but a pile of ruins. Portions of the city have been excavated, however,
and old records have been found in the ruins that throw light on many
customs and phases of life in those days. Even the paving brick were
stamped with the name of the king and anyone who visits the British
Museum in London can see samples of them today.

The next in the list of ancient wonders was the Temple of Diana at
Ephesus. It is said that this temple was two hundred years in building.
It was more than four hundred feet long and half as wide. The foundation
was made earthquake-proof. The temple proper was supported by one
hundred and twenty-seven columns which were sixty feet high. Each of
these columns was a gift from a king. They tell us that the great
stairway was carved from a single grapevine and that the cypress wood
doors were kept in glue a lifetime before they were hung on their
hinges.

The image on the top of this temple was said to have fallen from heaven,
but in reality it was carved from ebony and the men who did the work
were put to death so they could not deny its celestial origin. It is
said that around this image stood statues which by an ingenious
invention could be made to shed tears. Another invention moistened the
air in the temple with sweet perfume. The treasures of nations and the
spoil of kingdoms were brought here for safe keeping and criminals from
all nations fled to this temple, for when they reached it no law could
touch them. No wonder that when the preaching of the Apostle Paul
interfered with the business of the tradesmen who sold souvenirs of the
image that they gathered up a mob and cried out for the space of two
hours: "Great is Diana of the Ephesians," and ran the apostle from the
city. Today this temple with the city itself is nothing but ruins.

Passing not far from the Island of Rhodes some years ago I tried to at
least imagine that I could see the great statue called the Colossus of
Rhodes which was given a place among these seven ancient wonders, but as
not a vestige of it remains on the island it required a great stretch of
the imagination to behold it. But although given this prominence it was
not as large or as beautiful as the Statute of Liberty that graces New
York harbor. It only took twelve years to build it and after standing
fifty-six years it was overthrown by an earthquake and after nearly a
thousand years the metal was used for other purposes. The other ancient
wonders were the Statue of Jupiter that was made of ivory and gold by
Phidias, and the Mausoleum of Artemisia. Both of these have long since
passed out of existence.

Brute force is no longer the measure of power or influence. Neither are
towering structures or mighty tombs. The standard of measurement these
days is the ability to serve. We are learning that the Galilean
carpenter told the truth when he said: "He who would be great among you
let him be servant of all." Service is one of the greatest words in
human language. The man, or the institution, or the magazine that can
render the greatest measure of service to the largest number of people
is more powerful and influential than all the seven wonders of the
ancient world put together.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Birdseye Views of Far Lands" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home