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Title: On Wheels Around the World - The Travels and Adventures in Foreign Lands of Mr. and - Mrs. H. Darwin McIlrath
Author: McIlrath, H. Darwin
Language: English
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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 "On Wheels Around the World - The Travels and Adventures in Foreign Lands of Mr. and - Mrs. H. Darwin McIlrath" ***

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                               ON WHEELS
                            AROUND THE WORLD
                                  FOR
                            THE INTER OCEAN

                       THE TRAVELS AND ADVENTURES
                            IN FOREIGN LANDS


                                 --OF--

                    MR. AND MRS. H. DARWIN McILRATH.

     Compiled from Letters Written by Mr. McIlrath and Published in


                   THE SUNDAY AND WEEKLY INTER OCEAN,

                  from April, 1895, to November, 1898.



                            Copyright, 1898,
                   By The Inter Ocean Publishing Co.



THE TOUR AT A GLANCE.


INTRODUCTORY.

                                                                  PAGES.

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


CHAPTER I.

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


CHAPTER II.

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


CHAPTER III.

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


CHAPTER IV.

    Lizards, snakes and swollen streams make traveling lively for
    tourists--Paralysis of hands and arms necessitates a week's
    course of medical treatment--"Tommy Atkins," most companionable
    of Englishmen, forced to desert the Inter Ocean cyclists      24-26


CHAPTER V.

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


CHAPTER VI.

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


CHAPTER VII.

    His Highness, the Emperor, objects to being "shot" by a camera--The
    war holidays at Shokausha Park, Kudan--By steamer to China--An
    effective "gun" for Chinese dogs--Cyclists the center of many
    inquisitive crowds                                            39-42


CHAPTER VIII.

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


CHAPTER IX.

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


CHAPTER X.

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


CHAPTER XI.

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


CHAPTER XII.

    The Yang-Tse-Kiang in its fiercest mood turned to advantage by
    a native undertaker--An appreciative Tai Foo pays the tourists
    for calling upon him--Severe punishment of a grasping boatman--A
    forced march to Chung King                                    62-66


CHAPTER XIII.

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


CHAPTER XIV.

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


CHAPTER XV.

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


CHAPTER XVI.

    Rangoon suffers an attack of the bicycling fever--Native sports
    supplanted by corrupt horse-racing--A prize fight where rules do
    not count--Across the Bay of Bengal by steamer                81-88


CHAPTER XVII.

    Arrival of the tourists causes great excitement at Benares--A
    pretty trio of supercilious British wheelmen--Guests of the
    Maharajah at Fort Ramnagar--A leap almost into the jaws of
    death                                                         88-94


CHAPTER XVIII.

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


CHAPTER XIX.

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


CHAPTER XX.

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


CHAPTER XXI.

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


CHAPTER XXII.

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


CHAPTER XXIII.

    The most miserable Christmas day ever passed by man--The Sultan's
    cavalrymen forced to admit the superiority of the bicycle--Deserted
    by a cowardly driver on the road to Teheran--The trip to Resht
    made by carriages                                           118-122


CHAPTER XXIV.

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


CHAPTER XXV.

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



INTRODUCTORY.

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


Beyond tests of speed involving championships and world's records,
there have been few performances in the recent history of cycling to
attract more general notice than the world's tour awheel of Mr. and
Mrs. H. Darwin McIlrath. In the early Spring of 1895 the Chicago
Inter Ocean, appreciating the great interest taken in cycling all
over the country, planned this remarkable trip of more than 30,000
miles. From the moment of the first announcement of the McIlrath
tour to the time of their home-coming, interest in and admiration
for the Inter Ocean Cyclists never abated. Letters of inquiry at
once began to come in so thick and fast to the Inter Ocean office,
that to facilitate matters and more thoroughly acquaint the public
with the details of the tour than could be done in the columns of
the Inter Ocean, a series of receptions was tendered to the intrepid
riders for several days prior to their start. The large room at 101
Madison Street, Chicago, was secured for the purpose, and for days
Mr. and Mrs. McIlrath received their friends and admiring enthusiastic
Chicago wheelmen. The crowds in front of the building became so great
gradually that special policemen were detailed to keep the throng
moving and traffic open. Among those who visited the McIlraths were:

Mrs. K. B. Cornell, President of the Ladies' Knickerbocker Cycling
Club, Roy Keator of the Chicago Cycling Club, J. L. Stevens
and W. C. Lewis of the Lincoln Cycling Club, Frank T. Fowler,
Frank S. Donahue and Frank Bentson of the Illinois Cycling Club,
O. H. V. Relihen of the Overland Cycling Club, Miss Annis Porter,
holder of the Ladies' Century Record, Thomas Wolf, of Chicago-New York
fame, Letter Carrier Smith, who has made the trip from New York to
Chicago five times, David H. Dickinson, S. J. Wagner, O. Zimmerman
(a cousin to the famous A. A.), Frank E. Borthman, R. B. Watson,
Dr. and Mrs. W. S. Fowler, Mrs. J. Christian Baker, Mrs. L. Lawrence,
John Palmer, President of Palmer Tire Co., Gus Steele, Yost racing
team, C. Sterner and Grant P. Wright, Ashland Club, H. J. Jacobs,
C. G. Sinsabaugh, editor of "Bearings," Mesdames A. G. Perry, George
E. Baude, Helen Waters, D. W. Barr, C. Hogan, Mrs. Doctor Linden,
George Pope, Robert Scott, Misses Kennedy, N. E. Hazard, Eva Christian,
Mrs. Charles Harris, J. G. Cochrane, Pauline Wagner and Ada Bale.

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

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

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

Captain Byrnes of the Lake Front Police Station and a detail of police
made a pathway through the crowd on Madison Street to Clark. Cable
cars had been stopped and the windows of the tall buildings on each
side of the street were filled with spectators. A great cheer went up
as Mr. and Mrs. McIlrath mounted their wheels to proceed. They could
go only a few yards so congested was the street, and they were forced
to lead their wheels to Clark Street, north to Washington and west to
Des Plaines. Here they mounted and the farewell procession was given
its first opportunity to form. A carriage containing Frank T. Fowler,
John F. Palmer, John M. Irwin and Lou M. Houseman, sporting editor
of the Inter Ocean, led the way. Next came a barouche containing
Mrs. Annie R. Boyer of Defiance, O., Mrs. McIlrath's mother. The
escort of cyclers, four abreast, followed, with the tourists flanked
by the secretaries of the Illinois and Lake View Cycling Clubs. At
the Illinois Club House came the leave-taking, and not until then
could the tourists be said to be fairly started.

The unlooked for events of the three years following 1895, chief among
which was the Spanish-American War, caused several material changes
in the itinerary of the McIlraths as originally planned. Though
accomplished successfully, the long trip across Persia, taken during
the dead of winter, resulted in delays that had not been anticipated
and after the cyclists had entered Germany, it was deemed best by
the promoters of the enterprise to bring the tour to an end. Mr. and
Mrs. McIlrath left Southampton, England, the first week in October,
1898. After landing in New York they took a rest of several days
before starting overland to Chicago. The route from New York to
Chicago led through the following cities: New York to Yonkers,
Poughkeepsie, Hudson, Albany, Schenectady, Canajoharie, Utica,
Syracuse, Newark, Rochester, Buffalo, Fredonia, New York; Erie,
Penn.; Geneva, Cleveland, Oberlin, Bellevue, Bowling Green, Napoleon,
Bryan, Ohio; Butler, Kendallville, Goshen, South Bend, La Porte Ind.;
through South Chicago and Englewood to the Inter Ocean Office.



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



CHAPTER I.

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


When I consented to the plan of going around the world I intended
to make the trip alone, but my wife pleaded so hard to accompany me
that I finally concluded to take her. She is a brave little girl, and
rather than considering her a burden, I now look upon her as having
been of great help to me on our memorable voyage. Aside from the fact
that she is an expert wheelwoman, she is also an unerring shot. Nerve
she possesses in abundance, as all will agree after reading of the
adventures which befell us. The outfit with which we started did not
exceed fifty pounds each. Both of us rode diamond truss-frame Fowler
wheels, weighing 26 and 27 pounds each. The saddles were Christy
anatomical, with Palmer tires, and everything from handle-bar to
pedal was stoutly made. Mrs. McIlrath wore the "rational" costume so
often derided by dress reformers, and I may say here, that had these
same reformers witnessed the advantage of the "rational" costume
upon some of the haps and mishaps which come to world's tourists,
their arguments would be forever silenced. All of our luggage was
carried in a leather case which neatly fitted the inside angles of the
bicycle frames. Our personal apparel consisted merely of a change of
underwear, as we depended upon the stores in towns along our route for
new clothes whenever we should need them. The remainder of our luggage
cases contained photograph films, medicines, repair outfits, etc. My
"artillery," for which there was great use as it afterward happened,
consisted of two 38-caliber and one 44-caliber revolvers.

To cyclists who contemplate a trip such as I have just made, or even
one of lesser proportions, I can say that these three cannon are as
necessary as a repair kit. They come in handy at the most unexpected
times, and next to the pistols, I know of no better arms to carry
than credentials from such a paper as the Inter Ocean. My credentials
were necessary before we had been three hours out of Chicago, since
through them we escaped an arrest, which meant certainly ten days
or ten dollars. It happened in Melrose Park. We had come through
Garfield Park to Washington Boulevard, through Austin, Oak Park and
Melrose Park. The roads were abominable, and in order to take to the
Northwestern tracks we were forced to return to Melrose Park. Being
overjoyed at the sight of any smooth surface, we could not resist
the temptation to ride on the sidewalks of this pretty suburb. Then
it was that we were arrested. I pleaded with the officer and offered
to pay a fine without the delay and inconvenience of standing trial,
but he was firm in refusing to release us. At last I showed him my
Inter Ocean credentials. Just as promptly he let us go, and remarking
to a fellow officer that "it did not pay to buck against newspapers,"
he went so far as to assist Mrs. McIlrath on her wheel and start us
again upon our way.

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

We were met at Clinton by a party of twenty-five wheelmen and
escorted into the city. Mrs. McIlrath and I had been reinforced
by Messrs. William Boyd and J. E. Spofford of Dixon, Ill., through
which city we had passed; Mrs. Scoville, who had been our hostess at
Dixon, and herself so ardent a wheelwoman that she could not refrain
from joining us for a few miles; and Harry Ferguson, a son of State
Senator Ferguson of Sterling, Ill. When we left Clinton on Saturday,
April 13, we had been invited by the press, municipal officers and
the entire cycling fraternity to remain over for Sunday, which was
Easter. The bright weather and the prospects of good roads, however,
overweighed the social inducements, and we started at 4 o'clock
Saturday afternoon. The promises of good weather were not fulfilled,
and Mrs. McIlrath and I spent our Easter of '95 on the road in mud
above our tires. In a chilling rain we rode into Cedar Rapids, where
our entertainment and reception was royal. Frank Harold Putnam of the
Merchants' National Bank, who, it is needless to say, is a devotee
of the wheel, and his sister, Miss Caroline Putnam, of the Saturday
Record, Cedar Rapids' society journal, gave us a warm greeting. With
them we dined at the beautiful home of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Bell and
through them we received from Messrs. C. D. Whelpley, Ben E. Miller and
Harry Hodges of the Occidental Cycling Club, a letter of introduction
to the Hon. Nicholas M. McIvor, United States Consul at Yokohama. There
was much of interest to record during our stay in Cedar Rapids, chief
of which was our visit to the Indian Reservation near Tama. Of this
visit, I may mention that the squaws and the noble red men which came
under our observation were more than sufficient to disillusion us,
who had been fond readers of Longfellow's "Hiawatha."

Hard riding, rain and the consequent exposure had got in its work
upon me by the time we struck Marshalltown, but on the 19th, in spite
of the advice of physicians, I started our party, being aided in the
carrying of luggage by Mr. Ferguson, who remained with us. At 4:30
o'clock on the afternoon of April 19 we pedaled into Des Moines, the
capital of Iowa. The dime museum man was on the alert for us, and we
had been in the Kirk wood Hotel scarcely half an hour before my wife
and I were offered $25 an hour each, for four hours' exhibition of
ourselves. It is a waste of ink to say that the offer was declined
without thanks. Our night in Des Moines was the most comfortable we
had yet spent. The following day we were entertained at the State
House by Governor and Mrs. Jackson and Private Secretary Richards. The
Governor is a hearty believer in better roads and he is an admirer of
cycling. He expressed sincere admiration for the world's tour awheel,
and declared his admiration for the Inter Ocean in furthering such
a project. The Des Moines Wheel Club entertained us lavishly in the
evening, though while at the club house the tour of the globe was
menaced with sudden termination. The brand of Marshalltown fever,
which I carried away with me, was such that a physician ordered me
promptly to bed. The sun, I am confident, was responsible for my
condition. We had been out of Chicago ten days, and two-thirds of the
distance was done over railroad beds. We had journeyed almost 300 miles
over ties and trestles, suffering intermittently with paralysis of the
hands. Often we were compelled to ride along a narrow shelf scarcely
12 inches in width just outside the track and ballast, where the
slightest deviation from the course would have caused a plunge down
an embankment frequently 30 feet deep. This, too, was accomplished
upon a heavy laden wheel with the glare of the burnished steel in
our eyes. My physician's advice was that I remain for several days in
Des Moines, but anxiety to reach the coast moved me to depart Sunday,
April 21. Fifty cyclists rode out of town with us and saw us fairly
upon our hilly ride to Council Bluffs. Bad weather was encountered,
delaying our arrival in Council Bluffs until April 23. Wheelmen from
Omaha and Council Bluffs awaited us upon the outskirts of the latter
named city, and in triumph we rolled into that splendid center of
the Republic--Omaha. Here we found that the veteran Jack Prince had
stirred much enthusiasm in wheeling, and a banquet at the "Pump House"
was the first of the chain of entertainment in store. The "Pump House,"
it should be known, is a handsomely appointed club house under the
patronage of the Omaha Wheel Club. Its name is derived from a large
pneumatic pump which stands invitingly to all cyclists outside of the
main entrance. Our stay in Omaha was pleasant and, from our selfish
standpoint, only too brief. When we started away the afternoon of
April 25, a pretty surprise and compliment was Mrs. McIlrath's when
she found her wheel literally one of gorgeous flowers. Since we
left Chicago no larger crowd has wished us good-bye than the one in
Omaha. Our friend Ferguson left us here, stubbornly refusing to bear
back with him our cargo of souvenir spoons. These precious mementos are
all very well in their way, but hardly the thing for two persons who
intend pedaling their way over the world. We were already threatened
with having to charge ourselves excess baggage. Lincoln, the capital
of the state, turned out almost to a man to receive us. The Capital
City Cycling Club escorted us on our visit to Governor Holcomb,
to whom we presented a letter of introduction. It was through the
kindness of the Governor that we visited the State University, and
with him we attended the theater in the evening.



CHAPTER II.

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


Grand Island, Neb., is a small city, but it contains more wheelmen,
in proportion to its size, than any city we encountered. There are
two bicyclists' clubs, the "Tourists" and "Orientals," the former an
organization composed exclusively of ladies. Splendid delegations
from both bodies were awaiting us outside of Grand Island the
morning we neared the city. En route, Mrs. McIlrath experienced
an accident which made me fear for her safety of limb, as well as
fearing that we should be delayed for several days. About ten miles
east of Grand Island, while riding the railroad tracks, we ran into a
hail-storm. Mrs. McIlrath, with her head between her shoulders, was
driving blindly in the face of the fusillade of ice bullets. Unable
to see where she was going, she ran straight into a cattle guard,
throwing her some twenty feet down an embankment, and bending her
handle-bars till they met above. Our stay at Grand Island was limited,
and we proceeded the same afternoon to Kearney, at which city we
arrived late the following morning. Our party, which was much like a
snowball, in that it gathered constantly, was augmented at Kearney by
Mr. W. B. Walker. The trip was an eventful one for him, and probably
changed his views upon the matter of wheelmen's costume. Walker was a
howling swell when he started away with us. His Scotch clothes were
models of the tailor's art, his cap was of the latest fashion, and
his stockings were positively delirious in their pattern. At Shelby
we struck an electrical storm, the lightning fairly gliding along the
rails and ofttimes playing about our plated handle-bars. Walker grew
frightened, and leaping from his wheel landed squarely in a pool of
water, which had been stagnant until stirred by the heavy rain shortly
before. He was anything but the dapper looking individual of Kearney
when he dragged himself from the pool. He got as far as Cozad, and
in tones of disgust he bade us good-bye to return home to his wardrobe.

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

We landed upon Colorado soil on Friday, May 3, being accompanied
from Big Springs, our last stop in Nebraska, by Messrs. Weber and
Hoagland. I may mention, by the way, that Big Springs first achieved
notoriety as the headquarters for the James gang. There are men still
in Big Springs who delight to sit by the hour and relate their personal
experiences with the daring Jesse and Frank, and their fearless
followers. As we landed at Julesburg, our first stop in Colorado, on
May 3, we made the 1,000-mile mark, the actual traveling time being
fourteen days, which I did not consider bad in view of our traveling
impedimenta and unfamiliarity with the roads. The roughest traveling
we had yet suffered came between Red Line and Iliff. Along the line
we found the natives to be the same kind-hearted, simple folk that
cheered us on our way through Iowa and Nebraska. As an instance of the
good-natured but gruff treatment we received, I cannot refrain from
relating an experience at a section-house near Stoneham. Mrs. McIlrath
was thirsty. For nearly six hours we had ridden in the blazing sun
without catching so much as a sight of water. Our joy at beholding
some evidence of human habitation proved almost too much for her. As we
neared the section-house the little woman was all but in tears, and so
impatient that she could hardly make the distance. We called at every
window and door of the house, but not a soul replied. I peered into one
of the little windows, and saw a bucket and dipper on a table. Thinking
it no harm to enter without the owner's permission, I tried the front
door, and to my bitter disappointment I discovered it locked with a
big red padlock, bigger and redder than those the sheriff uses when
he closes up a man's business house. Mrs. McIlrath was seated on the
ground with tears rolling down her cheeks. The sight of her distress
was more than I could bear. I was on the point of attempting to break
the windows when I saw the tiny prints made by the wheels of a baby
buggy rolling around the house. I knew at once that the family could
not be far away, so leaving my wife with a promise to return shortly,
I followed the tracks of the baby buggy and came upon the entire family
in a pasture about a quarter of a mile from the dwelling. The section
foreman greeted me in friendly tones, and asked what he could do. I
told him it was water I wanted, and then as a guarantee of my honest
intentions, I jokingly told him of my temptation to break his window.

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

To appreciate thirst, or rather the cause for it, in this part of
the country, it must be understood that all water is brought to
the section-houses in barrels by the railroad company. Not a drop
is wasted, the casks are watched and guarded as rigidly as the fresh
water casks on a steamer at sea. Only once on our trip were we refused
a bite to eat; food was always given us willingly and lavishly, but
in many places it was like pulling teeth to get a cup of cold water
from some of the inhabitants. On May 6 we covered 128 miles, riding
over cactus, prairie and sandy desert. In the afternoon we arrived in
Denver, marking our 1,200 miles out of Chicago, 500 of which had been
done over railroad ties. Our comfort and entertainment in Denver were
looked after by the "Ramblers." They were so kind to us that I feared
we would be handicapped. I mean this literally, for each member seemed
to think that he, solely, was paying Mrs. McIlrath the compliment of a
souvenir spoon. It seemed impossible for us to get away from souvenir
spoons. We had many pounds of souvenir spoons after a reception on
the evening of May 8, at the Rambler's Club House. Poor Mrs. McIlrath
wilted when we reached the hotel, and with a look of pleading that
was comical to behold, she sank upon the bed and exclaimed:

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

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

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



CHAPTER III.

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


Among my letters was one bearing a check from the Inter Ocean, and I
lost no time in going to the bank to obtain the money upon it. The
cashier required strong identification, which I, being a stranger,
was of course unable to give. I then applied to President Lindsay in
person. Mr. Lindsay, I am proud to record, is a gentleman who reads
the newspapers. He had already heard of the Inter Ocean cyclists, and
when he saw me he said: "My friend, you appear honest, and you look
all you say you are, when it comes to riding across the country. It
is a compliment when I tell you that you almost look like a tramp. Go
get your money," and he nodded to the cashier. At the hotel I found
everybody well and eating, "Jim" P. Anderson doing some especially
good work with a knife and fork. Mrs. McIlrath had dried her clothes
and was none the worse for her icy bath. Cripple Creek by gaslight is
quite an attractive place for a "rounder," as I learned that evening,
when with guides the gentlemen of our party visited the dance halls,
colored people's "rags" and free-and-easy theaters that line "Push
Street." The next day was spent in a visit to the El Paso and other
mines. Friday, May 28, was scheduled for our departure, but rain
made it impossible. Saturday, however, we got away at 6:30 in the
morning for Leadville by way of Florrisant, Hartzel, Buena Vista
and Granite. We had a day of hard riding, and by 8 o'clock in the
evening Mrs. McIlrath was ill and too fagged to go further. After
supper at the house of a road overseer, we came to a ranch, where we
applied for shelter. For the first time since we had left Chicago we
were bluntly refused. Mrs. McIlrath cried aloud when a gray-bearded,
hook-nosed old man told her that he had no place for her to sleep. I
argued to him that she was ill, but he shut off my pleading by telling
me that two miles away was a hotel that had been built expressly for
the accommodation of invalids. There was nothing to do but trudge
on to this hotel, which we found to be the Hartzel Springs House,
owned by and named for the gray-bearded gentleman who had without
courtesy closed his doors in our face.

We started Sunday morning on a 60-mile run to Buena Vista, following
the railroad tracks. At Hill Top we unexpectedly met Editor-in-Chief
Martin of the Rocky Mountain News, and several other writers from the
Denver papers. They fell in line with us, but wished to take their
time in admiring the beautiful scenery; but upon Duxbury's suggestion
that we "could not eat the blooming scenery," they relented and we
pushed on to Buena Vista, where we arrived on the 26th. Here we
were entertained by Ed. Krueger, now a cyclist of national fame,
Mr. and Mrs. Dean and Mr. and Mrs. C. Jones. The following day we
went out to Hot Springs to see Krueger attempt to break the world's
five-mile coasting record. After dinner at the Hot Springs hotel
we began preparations for Krueger's race. The wind had subsided as
if especially for his benefit. He was not satisfied with his own
machine, believing it not strong enough for the test, so he used
my wheel with his own saddle, handle-bars and pedals. Dean, Jones
and Mr. Mason and myself acted as timers, and Duxbury officiated as
starter. At 4 o'clock Krueger mounted his wheel and shot down the
hill. Duxbury had taken the time of his start, and it was left for
us to note the moment of his arrival. By subtracting the difference,
and also splitting the variation of time in the watches of the four
timers at the end of the course, we were enabled to gain a fairly
accurate estimate of the traveling time. Krueger lost both pedals half
way down the incline, but he curled his feet up and crossed the line
in 10 minutes and 10 seconds, which I consider wonderful. We started
the next morning, May 28, for Leadville, with Krueger also in the
party. It was my turn for a disaster, and I came near bringing the
Inter Ocean tour to a finish. In crossing a bridge of pine logs my
front wheel slipped, and with one foot entangled in the spokes of the
rear wheel I stood, eyes protruding, staring at a black rock 300 feet
below. A move backward with one foot on terra firma might prove fatal,
and to attempt to disengage the other foot meant the release and loss
of the bicycle. Nothing remained but to fall backwards on the hard
road in a sitting posture, which I did, and Mrs. McIlrath rescued me,
scolding as a mother would a disobedient child. We made but a short
day of it in Leadville for various reasons, principally that Duxbury
was seized with the hemorrhage which threatened him on Mount Rosa. At
5 in the afternoon we left for Red Cliffe, 35 miles away. At the mouth
of the Tennessee Pass Tunnel, eleven miles from Leadville, we were
overtaken by another storm, more violent than any we had yet passed
through. We were made prisoners in the tunnel for an hour or more,
the dense blackness rendering it impossible for us to proceed with
any degree of safety. Cautiously feeling our way along the walls we
managed to emerge from the tunnel and in the night to pedal along to
the nearest section-house. This turned out to be a disused box car with
bunks built along the sides for the section hands. The section boss, a
kind-hearted Irishman, readily gave us permission to stretch ourselves
on the floor for a night's rest. We were soon asleep, but about 11
o'clock he waked us and informed us that he was sorry, but he could
not help being forced to ask us to leave. The reason, he explained,
was that his wife had suddenly returned and that she was the real
"boss" of the establishment. As she had not been consulted in the
beginning upon the matter of having us for lodgers she had declined
to let us remain as her husband's guests. I begged and implored but
without avail, and in a storm we set off for the telegraph office,
half a mile away. The operator was a young woman and the sight of one
of her sisters in distress was more than enough to win an invitation
to make ourselves as comfortable as the office would allow. I was
enraged almost to the point of personal violence at the thought of an
ill-tempered woman's whim causing us such needless annoyance, but as it
afterward transpired our experience with the woman section boss was but
trivial. It is an even break in this part of the country what manner of
treatment a touring wheelman will receive at the hands of the people.

A pleasant surprise was ours the morning we rode into Glenwood Springs,
Colo., and registered at the palatial Colorado Hotel. A party of
Chicagoans, composed of Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Hynes, Mrs. Hynes' mother
and sister, Mrs. and Miss Way, en route from California, were at the
hotel and soon made themselves known. They had been present at one
of the Inter Ocean receptions to us in Chicago and the pleasure of
meeting was therefore doubled. We spent the night at Glenwood Springs,
leaving the morning of May 31. An accident to Mrs. McIlrath on June
2 between Palisades and DuBeque delayed us the greater part of the
week. It was the machine that suffered the real damage, although
she herself was rendered unconscious for half an hour. In riding
over a sluice she took a tumble, but the accident was not discovered
for some moments afterward. I chanced to look over my shoulder and
saw her figure stretched in the middle of the road with the machine
a shapeless mass by her side. "Tommy Atkins" and I worked hard to
revive her, and the walk to DuBeque, six miles ahead, was one of the
greatest efforts she was called on to put forth during our entire
journey. There was no repair shop in DuBeque, and it was evident at
once that we should have to take a freight train for Grand Junction,
the nearest point at which we might expect repairs. Our stay at Grand
Junction was pleasant in the extreme, and we certainly did not begrudge
the three days spent in the city waiting the repairs to arrive from
Chicago. Friends who had heard of our tour met us at Grand Junction
and straightway began exerting themselves for our entertainment. Their
program embraced a visit to Teller Institute, an Indian school near
by, and on the evening of our second day a complimentary dinner
was given the Inter Ocean tourists by Judge Gray, a jolly, 300-pound
enthusiast upon all topics pertaining to the wheel. On June 8 the fork
for Mrs. McIlrath's wheel arrived from Chicago, and an hour later we
were ready for one of the most difficult stages of our entire trip,
that of crossing 290 miles of desert between Grand Junction and
Springville, Utah. Tom Roe, known to every cyclist from coast to
coast, once attempted it on his ride from San Francisco to New York
City and failed. John McGuire, editor of the Cycling West, who has
wheeled from Denver to Salt Lake City three times, never succeeded
in crossing the desert entirely. When we announced that it was our
intention to make it without a break from boundary to boundary, there
was a general laugh of ridicule on all sides. Every one predicted that
we would fail before we had done 100 miles from Grand Junction. We
left at noon and rolled out on the white sandy roads, making 12 miles
before the first stop. The great difficulties of our trip across the
desert proved to be not so much the hard ploughing through sand as the
general inhospitality characteristic of the section houses which dot
the vast waste. The section hands are mostly Italians and Chinamen,
with a fair sprinkling of Indians. Asked for food or water, they
either would not or pretended they could not understand. As the next
town from Fruita, our first stop, was 67 miles distant, it will be
guessed that we had many a trying meeting with section hands before
we came to a hotel. We had been led to expect no kindness from these
foreigners, but "Tommy Atkins" and I had sworn to win to our side
every man that chance placed in our way. Some of our efforts to make
ourselves agreeable in hopes of a hearty welcome were ludicrous.

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

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



CHAPTER IV.

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


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

Continuing our journey through Jordan Valley, Mrs. McIlrath rode
some distance ahead of us. We were startled by shrieks, and it was
my first thought that she had ridden over a snake. Duxbury and I
hastened to her and discovered her standing by her wheel with a
number of lizards gliding their way through the grass and sand at
her feet. To show her that the silent crawlers were not poisonous,
I picked one up in my hand, and was making bold with the ugly thing
when a sharp rattle attracted my attention. Looking to one side, but
a few paces away, I saw a five-foot rattler coiled as if to strike,
and moving his fangs threateningly. My 44-caliber revolver settled
Mr. Snake and the encounter also came near settling Mrs. McIlrath. She
was so nervous from the shock that it was with difficulty we proceeded
to Springville. By a mistake of the telegraph operator we missed
the Springville reception committee, and proceeded straight on to
Provo City, where we spent the night. The next day Mayor Holbrook,
James Clave, editor of the Inquirer, Robert Skelton and a dozen of
the Provo City wheelmen called upon us and offered us the keys of the
town. They invited us to spend several days with them, mapping out
a program of lavish entertainment. This we were forced to decline,
as we were impatient to get into Salt Lake City for bicycle repairs
and sundry changes in our much dilapidated toilet. We arrived in Salt
Lake City the morning of June 15, under the guidance of the Social
Wheel Club. Sunday, the club members took us on a "Strawberry Run"
to Farmington, though the acceptance of this invitation necessitated
declining one to attend the run of the Wasatch Wheelmen. In the evening
with Mr. Goode, Mr. Lenne of Chicago, Duxbury and myself went out to
Saltair, the great resort a few miles from the city. On June 19 we
were guests of the Beck Hot Springs Bicycle Club, where we watched the
"crackerjacks" of Salt Lake City and Ogden. This track is one of the
best I have seen upon my travels. "Big Bill" Richel, editor of the
Rocky Mountain Cyclist, a man who has done much good work in building
up interests in wheeling throughout the West, is a prime factor in
the racing meets at Beck Hot Springs, and he has invariably arranged
for a first-class article of sport. Our entertainment in Salt Lake
City was upon so extensive a scale that I had no more than enough
time to prepare my Inter Ocean letters and to send our wheels to the
repair shop.

We left Salt Lake City on June 23, an escort of thirty accompanying
us West as far as the Grant Homestead, where a stop was made for
dinner. We arrived in Ogden the following day, expecting to leave in
the evening, as we had a full moon to ride by at night. The paralysis
of the hands and arms, from which both Mrs. McIlrath and myself had
been acute sufferers, came over me again at Ogden, and caused a week's
stop instead of a day. I consulted a physician, who imperatively
ordered that I take a course of treatment at Utah Hot Springs,
situated ten miles out of Ogden. Before we entered into our week's
seclusion, a number of the representative wheelmen of Ogden were
determined that we should visit the greatest of all Utah resorts,
"The Hermitage," in Ogden Canyon. On Tuesday, June 25, a party
comprising Mr. and Mrs. W. Beardsley, Mr. and Mrs. F. Sherwood,
F. C. Scramm, Editor Thomas of the Press, J. W. Warner and the
Inter Ocean tourists rode slowly up the steep grades into the rocky
boundaries of the Canyon. "The Hermitage" is a sequestered little
house, five miles up the gorge, ensconced in a natural cleft in the
mountain side, and facing upon the rushing, foaming Ogden River. We
rode to "The Hermitage" without a stop. Standing in the doorway in
his shirt sleeves, arms akimbo, was the famous "Billy" Wilson. In all
Ogden there is not a character so well known as "Billy" Wilson. He
is a brawny Scot, with a sun-burned face, clear blue eyes and a
luxuriant growth of sandy hair and whiskers, and he possesses the
most charming dialect that was ever imported from the unconquered
land of the thistle. I did not at all mind my week as an invalid,
for I had eight hours a day aside from my treatment by a physician
to devote to sight-seeing. There was but one disagreeable feature
in connection with the sojourn at Utah Hot Springs, and that was,
the loss of "Tommy Atkins." For his own reasons, which he explained
to me, Tommy decided to go it alone, and he left on June 26 to pedal
his way alone to the Golden Gate.

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

Seven miles further on, we came to the end of the main ditch of the
Bear River Canal Company. There we met a gang of men who reported
having met "Tommy Atkins" nine days ahead. This was the first tidings
we had received of the merry Englishman, and it was most welcome
news. The exciting ride of the day caused us to forget that it was the
Nation's birthday, until we passed Bradley's Ranch and gazed upon the
Stars and Stripes gayly floating from a tall staff in front of his
house. Bradley saluted us, and in reply to our question if we might
send any news of him to friends in the East, he proudly answered:
"Tell them that Old Glory waves over Bradley's Ranch the same as it
does over the postoffice in Chicago on the Fourth of July." I had
calculated upon spending the night at Kelton. We arrived there for
supper and found the one hotel of the town in undisputed possession of
a gang of cowboys, who were celebrating the Fourth in approved Western
style. Whisky was tapped by the barrel, and there were indications of a
beer famine soon to come. The men were good-natured for the most part,
but so noisy with their fun that Mrs. McIlrath concluded Kelton was
no place for her, and we moved on in the direction of a ranch where
we had been told we might be accommodated with lodging. I was three
hours cruising around the plains trying to find this ranch, and had
almost come to the opinion that no such place existed. The moon had
gone down and it was difficult riding in the dark. I ran into what
I considered an embankment, and was thrown from my wheel, then the
embankment gave a loud snort and a scream from Mrs. McIlrath behind
let me know that she had also been in a collision. We had struck
in the blackness a herd of cows, all lying down and peacefully
chewing their cuds. This I took as evidence that the ranch was
a reality, and again I began the search for the house, this time
riding squarely into a barb-wire fence. Following the line of the
wire I came to the dwelling, a prosperous-looking abode, painted and
adorned with a veranda and curtains in the window. All knocks and
calls were unanswered, which led me to believe that the family could
be not far away, probably attending a Fourth of July celebration in
the vicinity. Mrs. McIlrath and I sat down on a log to await their
return. After an hour's silent vigil, my watch told me that it was
long after midnight. The air had grown raw and the wind chilling. I
built a fire in the front yard and made a place for Mrs. McIlrath
to lie down. To those of my readers who have tried to sleep before a
camp fire without blanket Mrs. McIlrath's discomfort will be readily
understood. I curled up behind her, doing as best I could to keep off
the wind, and thus she was enabled to derive several hours' slumber,
but as for myself, I was almost frozen when I waked at five the next
morning, and learned that the family had been absent over night. By
this time I was desperate, and with one of my small pistols I bowled
over two fat chickens that were cackling around the yard. I was ready,
had I been surprised by the owner, to pay liberally for the pullets,
and consequently I felt no sting of conscience for my tramp-like
behavior. The fire was replenished, and while Mrs. McIlrath dressed
the chickens in a crude fashion, picking them in hot water boiled
in a tin can which I had found on the back porch, I skirmished the
premises in hopes of digging up some old utensil of the kitchen with
which to cook them. I could find nothing, but my inventive mind,
the same which prompted me to patch a tire with a buckskin glove,
came to the rescue when my eyes alighted on a piece of stovepipe. It
was old and rusted and had been thrown away evidently months before. I
smashed its circular shape flat, scraped off the rust, and that served
as our frying pan. For breakfast that morning, we had fried chicken,
not cooked Maryland style, to be sure, but nevertheless sufficient to
stave off hunger until noon. The family had still not yet returned,
as we prepared to leave, and telling Mrs. McIlrath that we would be
far away when their anger exploded and that we, ourselves, would never
be suspected, the blame for the depredation doubtless being placed
upon the shoulders of some unfortunate hobo, we mounted our wheels
and steered away in the direction of the Nevada State Line. I was
unable to learn the name of the people at whose ranch we had stopped
and whose chickens I had appropriated, but if they should ever come
across this book, I should like them to know that our intentions were
honest at least, and that we should have paid for our breakfast could
we have met anybody to take the money.

By looking at our cyclometers we ascertained that eighty-four miles
had been covered on the Fourth of July. We had hard riding the next
day, arriving at Lucin at 11 o'clock at night. For once in the life
of somebody, a little intemperance served a good purpose. The section
boss at Lucin lived alone in a neat cottage, with his Italian and
Chinese laborers in quarters a couple of hundred yards away. The
section boss, whose name is of no consequence here, had celebrated the
Fourth too vigorously. The depression which followed and the loneliness
of his surroundings had thrown him into a state of nervousness that
made him jump like a man shot if one but snapped his fingers behind
him. The sight of company was the best medicine he could have had,
and before we had an opportunity to ask him for shelter, he had
overwhelmed us with an invitation to come in and stay--stay a week
if we only would. We came to Nevada on July 6, with a register of
2,283 miles to our credit, made since leaving the office of the Inter
Ocean. This represented a daily average of 57-1/2 miles. At Tecoma,
our first stopping place in the state, we found an inquisitive crowd
awaiting us. As the crowd was in Tecoma, so it proved to be throughout
Nevada. Everywhere the people understood fully who we were, where
we were from and the auspices under which we journeyed, but we had
difficulty in convincing them that we were not dead-broke and that
we were not touring the globe for a wager. There have been so many
queer trips recently made by men who start out penniless to receive
thousands of dollars upon the culmination of their journey that the
public, I noted, had grown to expect all sorts of hard luck stories
from tourists whose mode of travel was any other than the railroad. But
for all their suspicions of us, they were indulgent and good-natured,
and never once were we mistreated or insulted. Nevada also gave us
the hardest work in moving through the United States. The sands and
head-winds were fifty per cent more exhausting than the distances,
and the 132 miles we made the day we entered Denver did not tire us
one-half as much as the 61 miles we covered on July 7, the day we
rode into Halleck.



CHAPTER V.

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


The morning of July 8 we set forth for Elko, twenty-six miles
away. Mrs. McIlrath and I were moving along at a good gait, when
a band of horsemen overtook us near Osina. They dashed across our
path and dismounted simultaneously, closing in upon us. The leader
approached me with a command to open my mouth and display my teeth. I
thought it was a joke and demanded to know who was the dentist in the
party. "None of your nonsense," growled the leader, "let's see your
teeth." My jaws immediately flew back as far as nature would permit
and the leader looked down my throat searchingly. "No, boys; 'taint
Brady," he called, and then it was my time to do some talking. Their
explanation in brief was that they were hunting for one Brady, a
bandit who had been running wild throughout for weeks. He was about
my size, they said, quite as likely to be dressed as a wheelman as
anything else, and the sole unfailing marks of identification in their
possession were the gold fillings in his molars. Goodness knows, what
would have happened to me had I been the owner of many gold-plugged
teeth. I might have been shot on the spot, or lynched, or at any
rate dragged to jail with days of delay and humiliation before me
ere I could make myself properly known. We put in a day and a night
at Elko and resumed the journey on Wednesday, July 10. The first six
miles of going outside of Elko were as good as any Eastern roads I
have ever traveled, but the white dust which fills the air makes it
advisable for all tourists to ride with gloves and their caps well
down upon the head. When this dust mingles with perspiration on any
exposed part of the body it smarts and burns like a powerful acid. Our
tires suffered also and one by one the punctures repaired in Salt
Lake City began to let go. Every revolution brought out a hiss like
an angry serpent. By pumping every half mile we managed to get into
Golconda on July 12, having made 24 miles in seven and a half hours,
the hardest traveling we had yet known. It was 20 miles further to
Winnemucca, which we covered easily next day, halting in the town for
repairs. On July 17, we were again on the road, leaving Lovelocks,
but we could make only three miles an hour in the sand and were forced
to return to the station in order to take to the railroad tracks.

Two miles from the Nevada Hot Springs, by riding the railroad trestles,
my front wheel played me another one of its tricks and threw me down
a twelve-foot embankment. Scrambling back to the trestle, I picked up
my wheel with its handle-bars snapped in two. My photographic outfit
was spilled and the camera broken. The most expert wheelman cannot ride
over Western roads without his handle-bars. I sent Mrs. McIlrath ahead
while I gathered up my belongings and pushing the wheel before me,
I set out to walk to the section house at Desert, ten miles away. As I
journeyed along the railroad tracks, bewailing my plight and rebelling
at the three hours' tramp before me, I spied a rusty bolt in the road
bed, and it occurred to me that it would prove a good substitute for my
broken bars. I lashed it with wire in place and found it answered the
purpose admirably. Slow riding was better than walking, but at that
I did not make out so poorly, for I lumbered into the section house
at Desert only fifteen minutes after Mrs. McIlrath had arrived. Our
ride through Nevada was varied. For days, we sped along rough tracks,
meeting none but illiterate laborers and camping at night upon the
hard dirty floors, often without covering. Meal after meal we partook
of without fork or spoon and in many instances, the only knife we had
was rusted and mayhap coated with plug tobacco. Table linen, napkins,
soap and even hair brushes were often total strangers to us. It seems
that the men whom fate has decreed to work in these out-of-the-way
places have for an object in life only a place of refuge from the
elements. Then again maybe the day after our dinner had been eaten from
a dry-goods box in such unpleasant surroundings, we would be at one of
the famous health resorts or hunting lodges that abound in the West,
and where everything is of the very best quality. The two extremes of
life came under our observation within our 1,800 miles out of Chicago.

At Vista, in accordance with a number of telegrams sent us at various
points, we were met by Prof. M. E. Wilson and wife on a tandem,
heading a welcoming party sent out from Reno. All preparations for
our stay in this charming city had been attended to by them before
our arrival. Following an advance guard, with Mrs. Wilson and my
wife ahead, the Professor and myself closing up the rear of the
procession, the party rode down the main streets of Reno and drew up
at the Riverside Hotel. A dinner fit for a king and sufficient for
a regiment was on the table ready for us. Our hospitable friends,
with an eye for our comfort and enormous appetites, declined to delay
sitting down any longer than it would take for us to bathe our faces
and hands. They remained for an hour or more after we had cleared the
table, arranging trips for our entertainment on the next day. For the
first time since leaving Chicago Mrs. McIlrath and I were so tired
that when we retired we slept soundly until 1 o'clock in the afternoon
of the next day. Likely as not we should have slept until the evening
had we not been called by A. S. Bragg, editor of the Reno Gazette, and
Miss Manning, a charming young lady, whom the editor had brought along
as a companion for Mrs. McIlrath. With them we rode over the entire
city, the two ladies going ahead, enabling the editor and myself to
fall behind and indulge in a discussion of our favorite theme, "Shall
it be gold, or free silver at 16 to 1?" July 20, with Professor and
Mrs. Wilson we visited the famous mines of Virginia City, and this
time we did not go upon bicycles. The Professor called for us in a
carriage, whose horses were piloted by a reliable veteran, who had
served his apprenticeship on the earlier stage coaches. The ride to
Virginia City, up the side of a mountain, is fraught with danger. Only
two weeks before our arrival there was a fatal accident, a couple of
tourists and their horses being dashed over a precipice, and after
I had arrived in San Francisco three weeks later, I learned of the
deaths of two ladies and a gentleman, who had undertaken the same
trip on horseback, and had met their end in precisely the same manner.

On Monday, July 22, we departed from Reno upon our last relay of
American touring for three years. Prof. Wilson rode with us and as we
passed Saw Mill Summit, the white dust died away and I saw nothing
but flowers, beautiful foliage and waving grass. The Professor
calmly remarked: "You have entered a new country; you are now in
California." We left Truckee July 23 in the morning, making the 160
miles to Sacramento shortly after dusk. Four days in Sacramento,
devoted to sight-seeing, and then we started for San Francisco,
arriving there July 29. We had then covered 3,002 3-8 miles from
Chicago in 52 days.

A complete overhauling of our wheels and time allowed for necessary
shopping by Mrs. McIlrath, caused us to remain in San Francisco
much longer than we had anticipated. The days did not hang heavy
upon our hands, the wheelmen of the city being universally kind in
their attentions to us both. My space is too limited to go into the
details attendant upon our sojourn in San Francisco, as much as I
should like for my cycling readers to know of the pleasure in store
for a wheelman in the metropolis of the Pacific Coast.

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

Mrs. McIlrath, for six days out, was the most sea-sick woman that
ever tossed in a berth. She was unable to come on deck before
Friday, Oct. 18, and rough weather, which set in the next day,
sent her below again, and thus she lost one of the prettiest parts
of our voyage across the Pacific. Monday, Oct. 21, was the shortest
day I ever passed. It lasted, strictly speaking, but seven hours,
or from 12 o'clock to 7:15 a. m., at which time the City of Pekin
crossed the meridian. Having been constantly racing with the sun,
and so gaining time, at 7:16 o'clock we had entered upon Tuesday,
Oct. 22. At 11:30 on the morning of the same day we caught our first
sight of Japan, the white crest of the sacred mountain, Fujiyama,
looming in the distance. Monday evening, Oct. 28, at 8:15 o'clock,
the City of Pekin steamed into the harbor, having broken her record
thirty-seven minutes. The fact of the boat's arrival ahead of time,
made the hours so late before the steam launches of the hotel arrived
that we decided to remain on board the steamer until next morning. We
were still asleep Tuesday morning when the runners of the hotels roused
us by pounding upon our state-room door. The Club Hotel was the one we
had selected, and when the representative announced himself, we gave
a list of our baggage and hastened to dress. At the English hataba
(a long pier running out into the bay) our baggage was thoroughly
overhauled by the customs officers, and upon our wheels and camera a
duty of five per cent was imposed. As cameras are listed at 50 yen and
bicycles at 200 yen each, this would have cost us in duty 22 yen 50
sen, or about twelve dollars in gold. After a short conference and an
ostentatious display of Secretary Gresham's passports and the Inter
Ocean credentials, which the revenue officers had not understood,
our articles were franked and we entered the city.



CHAPTER VI.

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


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

Bicycling, at the time of my visit, was just beginning to become
popular in Japan, and what machines were used were imported at great
cost from the States and Europe. But with commendable enterprise the
manufacturers of Japan now perfect their own machines, all parts
of which are made and assembled in local concerns, operated by
local capital and mechanics. In Japan it is not expected that cash
will be tendered for anything purchased or rented, with perhaps the
exception of "rickshas," which correspond in their common use to the
cabs of American cities, only that they are drawn by "boys" instead
of horses. There is an abominable system of credit established in
the empire by which all foreigners purchase and temporarily pay for
all articles upon bits of memorandum called "chits." If a gentleman
in Yokohama wishes a drink, a cigar, new hat or even a suit of
clothes, he steps into the nearest place of business adapted to
filling his requirements and, after making his purchase, signs a bit
of paper, giving date, price and buyer's name and address, and the
first of every month the "chit" is sent him as a receipt bill. To a
well-appearing foreigner reasonable credit will be extended without
question. My knowledge of this system was derived in the most peculiar
manner. Mrs. McIlrath and I were touring the shops, when her attention
was attracted by a shawl. She entered the shop, priced the article and
I advised the purchase, but our pocketbook had been left at the hotel,
she blushingly informed me. We thanked the shopman for his trouble
and promised to return the same evening. The price was six yen,
or about three dollars, as quoted by the dealer, and as we started
out of the shop he called to us, asking if the price was too much. I
explained our embarrassed condition, and he immediately wrapped up
the shawl, placing one of the printed slips upon the counter, asked
me to sign a "chit" for five yen. I was an entire stranger, yet upon
credit I obtained for one yen less that which I could not purchase
for cash. The most astonishing fact connected with this extraordinary
system is that no laws are provided to punish dead-beats or frauds.

On Monday, Nov. 11, we journeyed over to Tokio, eighteen miles distant,
to witness the funeral ceremonies over the body of His Imperial
Highness Prince Kitashirakawa, a commander of the Imperial Guard. In
tropical Formosa, under a fierce sun and amid miasmatic jungle, the
prince died of malarial fever Oct. 29. The sad news reached Japan
shortly after our arrival, but by a curious custom, was not announced
to the people as authentic or an accepted fact until officially
given out by the imperial authorities on Nov. 5. In fact the Prince
officially lived until that time. News of his victories in Formosa
brought forth new honors and distinctions, and upon Nov. 2, he, or
rather the corpse, was decorated with the Collar of the Chrysanthemum
and Grand Cordon of the Imperial Family. The service was simple, yet
impressive, without a shade of paganism or superstition. There was
much about it also that would befit countries, considering themselves
superior to Japan to imitate. One most noticeable was the order of
the assembled masses. Not a person offered to step outside of the
prescribed limit. There was no jamming or crowding. No voices spoke
louder than a whisper, and the presence of police and militia was
necessary only as an exhibition of official dignity. Where houses of
greater height than one story faced on the line of march, or porches
existed above the elevation of the street, the curtains at windows and
doors were closely drawn, and the occupants stood in the street. No
yelling, gesticulating mob filled the telegraph and telephone poles
and roofs, for it is not permissible in Japan that anyone look down
upon the funeral of a dignitary. The passage of the Emperor through
the streets calls into effect the same condition. He may be viewed
from an equal level, but never looked down upon from an elevation.

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

The short rides of the Inter Ocean cyclists, taken in and about
Yokohama, Kanagarua, Mississippi Bay and Tokio, demonstrated to us
the truth that the Japanese have not only respect, but love for the
Yankee. The roads of Japan compare favorably with the boulevards
of American cities, except in matter of width. They are smooth,
hard and upon the sea coast quite level. One of the finest courses I
have ridden over is a six-mile run we took daily before breakfast in
Yokohama. The course begins at the Club Hotel, along the Bund to the
Yalo Bashi, following this to the Haz-Aso-No Bashi and from there to
Mississippi Bay, the Bluffs and back to the hotel.

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

At 1 o'clock we were again on the road, keeping with the railroad
tracks until we passed through Sakawagawa. Little was to be seen
but rice and vegetable fields, the mountains in the distance and
the swift rushing river coursing to the sea. We covered 72 miles by
7 o'clock, arriving at Gotenba, where we spent our first night in
a Japanese yadoyo, or inn. In a Japanese sleeping apartment there
is nothing to be seen as one enters the room except matting upon
the floor. There is not a table, chair, bed or any other article of
furniture visible. We had begun to think that we were to pass the
night on the floor as we had done in the section houses of Nevada,
when an attendant entered the room, bearing cushions, and a second
one came with a table, small affairs resembling unpadded foot-rests,
braziers with live coals and tiny bronze tea-kettles. The cushions
were piled into soft heaps about fourteen inches high, the tables
placed between, and we were motioned to a seat upon the cushions. To
the right and left were placed box-like trays and in these our food
was served in dainty bowls and dishes. At 9 o'clock, when I thought
it time to retire, I clapped my hands for a servant. To the girl who
answered I made known my wishes and she called two assistants, who
appeared, each bringing a pair of padded comforters. The comforters
were spread upon the matting in layers, and at the head of each was
placed the Japanese substitute for a pillow, a box six inches square by
twelve inches long, the upper edge slightly padded. We passed a most
comfortable night, and awakened only by the maid entering our room
with a tea set. After breakfast we called for our bill and the amount
rendered was two yen, or one dollar in gold. Bed, bath, breakfast
and supper, unequaled service and every attention in a first-class
inn to be had at the rate of sixty cents a day! By 9 o'clock we were
again on the road with Fujiyama looming up thirty miles away. From
the guide, who had previously given us instructions, we knew which
course to take, and so turned up the fork apparently leading to the
very root of the mountain. We did not stop at Yamanaka village, but
rode through the main streets, astounding the natives and passing
from their view, before they realized what had happened, except that
something unseen or unheard of before in Yamanaka had passed their
way. From Yamanaka to Yoshida our path was over level, smooth roads,
but in the latter place we were compelled to stop and consult our
guide-books and the police. At the police station, before we were
given any information, our passports were demanded. I produced mine,
but Mrs. McIlrath had left hers, the most necessary of her effects,
behind. The officer looked over my papers and then pointed to my
wife. The passports had been made separately at our request, and of
course mine made no mention of Mrs. McIlrath. To gain time and collect
my wits I took the paper from the officer's hands and glanced over
the copy attached, which was written in English. An idea "struck"
me. My name was "parted in the middle;" why not give my wife half
of it? Calling the attention of the official to the English copy,
I pointed to "H. Darwin," and then to my wife. Then laying my finger
upon the name "McIlrath," I patted myself on the chest. The official
referred to the Japanese copy, I repeated the pantomime, he smiled
and bowed, and making a few mystic characters upon the passport,
he altered it to read, "H. Darwin, female, and McIlrath, male."



CHAPTER VII.

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


The sun was setting when we left Yoshida, and with our path principally
composed of the narrow dikes separating the rice fields, progress was
painfully slow. Miyhoji, seven miles away, was our destination for
the night. We had an idea that Miyhoji was a village, and so clicked
off eight miles before we discovered that we had either passed the
town or were on the wrong track. About one mile back we had seen a
light and there we returned. We were at Miyhoji, one of the historic
old temples of Japan, and there we slept. The priest lived here with
his wife and two acolytes, and a cordial welcome it was they gave
us. At 5 o'clock on the afternoon of Nov. 20, we entered a forest
at the end of Lake Mishi-No-Umi. We had six miles yet to go ere we
sighted Shoji Lake and the hotel at that point kept by Y. Hoshino,
a naturalized Japanese gentleman, who was born in Scotland, and
having lived eighteen years on the islands of Japan, finally became
an adopted citizen. Traveling the forests at night in Japan over lava
beds with path illumed only by a cycle lamp is not the most pleasant
of journeys. The narrow way is uncertain, deep chasms appear upon
either side and I had several rocky falls. I was bruised and battered
when we came to Hoshino's residence and lost no time in taking to
my bed. At daybreak our host called us to view the silent volcano
rising in grandeur to the extreme height 12,365 feet. There is not a
peak in all the grand elevation of the Rockies that can compare with
Fuji. Pike's Peak, taken from its setting of lesser lights, which but
serve to destroy its beauty, and placed upon the plains of Illinois,
would not even prove a petty rival to the one before us. As we looked
upon Fuji that morning a spotless mantle of snow cowled her crest,
the scintillations of which formed a halo of prismatic light about
her, and it did not seem strange to realize that the natives worshiped
this wondrous monument of eruptive power and beauty.

It was our good fortune to be present at the greatest of all "war
holidays" held at Shokausha Park in Kudan, on Dec. 15, 16, 17 and
18. After leaving Hoshino's we returned to Tokio, and spent the time
in touring the vicinity until these great fetes at which the emperor
and empress are always present, were held. Dec. 17, the day upon which
His Imperial Majesty Metsu Hito, Emperor of Japan, was to appear at
Shokousha Park, dawned dull and threatening, and awakened within us the
dread idea that the mightiest of all Japanese would not be on view. At
the park the attendance was something incalculable. Tokio seemed to
have had its million souls augmented by the thousands of Yokohama,
Nikko and other surrounding cities. Our experiences in the vast crowd
were paralleled only by those in the dense throng at the World's Fair
on Chicago Day. Shortly before 11 o'clock, a tremor ran through the
crowd, then a hoarse murmur, and amid a cavalcade of gay lancers,
the carriage of the emperor swept through the lane of blue-coated
soldiers, and halted directly in front of where we were standing. As
the emperor turned and looked about him, I saw a Japanese of low
stature, dressed in the uniform of the commander of the army and navy;
his dark-complexioned face partly shaded by a peculiar hat, heavily
jeweled. The photographs of the Mikado represent him to be a slender
man, with a long face, but they are not true likenesses. The Mikado
has a round, full face, high intellectual temple, a black mustache
which droops over the gentle, pleasing mouth, and with soft eyes,
inexpressibly sad, his face appeals to one as that of a man suffering
under the royal chains which confine him to the narrow limits of the
palace grounds.

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

We had spent two months on the volcanic island, our last few days
being fraught with interesting episodes and instructive visits. We
had received so many courtesies at the hands of the Japanese,
both from individuals and government, that we were loathe to leave
for the mainland of China. The final courtesy extended me by the
Japanese Government was the privilege of visiting the new prison just
completed, and as I was the first European granted such permission,
I felt bound to accept the unusual invitation. The precautions taken
against disease by germ in the penitentiary at Tokio are equal to
those practiced in the most famous hospitals and clinics in the United
States and Europe. The wards were models of cleanliness, well lighted,
well ventilated, warm and comfortable. The industrial features of the
institution, I am safe in saying, are superior to those of the vast
state prisons in my own country. There were seven workshops devoted
respectively to the manufacture of fire engines, to the weaving
and spinning of cotton and silk; the manufacture of silk umbrellas;
production of steel hairpins; bricks for the city; the weaving of cloth
and the manufacture of stockings, and one devoted to all branches
of carpentry and wood-carving. The governor of the prison presented
us with many valuable mementoes of our visit. But for that matter,
every Japanese gentleman of rank whom we visited sent us a little
souvenir of our meeting. We were compelled to purchase additional
trunks in which to store our "curios," and when we left on Jan. 12,
1896, on the City of Pekin, for China, we were forced to have our
"excess baggage" shipped to our home in America.

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

In many of the shops passed we noticed little girls, mere babies they
were, standing on stools or leaning over railings, their heads on their
arms. The poor tots moaned constantly, their little tear-stained faces
depicting anguish seldom seen on the bright faces of children. Nothing
seemed to attract their attention, nothing pleased them, and little
wonder. Their tiny feet had been bound in unyielding rolls of cloth
since the day they were born, and already the bones and sinews were
crushing each other into a mass of unrecognizable pulp, held together
only by the skin and bandages. This practice is common among the
Chinese of all classes and produces the fashionable small foot of the
women. The bandages once placed on are never removed, except to be
replaced by others, and in result, hundreds of lives are sacrificed
annually, the children's feet mortifying and sloughing away. It is
erroneous to believe that only women of high caste have small feet. I
saw women whose feet were only two and a half and three inches long,
dragging drays.

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



CHAPTER VIII.

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


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

We sought the darkest side of life in China and found in it all the
barrenness, yet hideous cunning, ferocity and cruelty of the middle
ages. The foreign concessions of Shanghai are guarded by municipal
police, composed of Chinese, Europeans and Indians (Sepoys or Seiks),
and these minions of the law are controlled by a superintendent,
captain and corps of inspectors. The headquarters of the municipal
government, police and other departments are located in a large brick
building on the Foo Chow Road, and toward the edifice Mrs. McIlrath,
a Mr. Burton, an Englishman, who had joined us, and myself directed our
steps on Feb. 12. We were met by Superintendent McKenzie and Inspector
Ramsey, both gentlemen who had served Great Britain for many years
in various capacities as crime suppressors, and they at once showed
us the workings of the system as applied in China. Mr. Ramsey placed
a Chinese detective at our service to accompany us to one of the
native prisons of the old city. Our guide was Kin Lung, a silk-robed,
long-cued celestial, who spoke English fluently and smoked cigarettes
incessantly. He was the best we could have selected, and thoroughly
did he perform his duties. We entered the city by a route never
selected by professional guides to conduct tourists, and passed
through alleys and streets where the presence of foreigners was as
strange a sight as in the far interior. There were few prisoners in
durance on that day, as the morrow was the Chinese New Year and all
who could obtain bail had been released for the occasion. Those who
remained were pacing back and forth in the long, steel-rod cages which
formed a sort of outside porch to each row of cells. Each prisoner
was bound to a mate by a long chain, riveted to a steel band about
his waist. The interior of the prison was dark, gloomy and foul. The
floor was covered with damp straw and no light found its way into
this tomb, save through the bars at the front door. There were more
than two hundred prisoners confined here, a building 15 × 60 feet,
and not a bed, blanket or bench to be seen. Food was not furnished,
not even uncooked rice, the incarcerated ones being fed by friends
upon the outside and by the charitable visitors.

The execution and punishment ground was next visited and entered
by a small door at the back end of the jail. The area was simply a
clayed-floor space, one end devoted to a canopied stand from which the
officials viewed the punishment. Stakes and pillars standing upright
in the soil told of horrors often perpetrated in the name of justice,
and at one side was a bamboo fence inclosure, which concealed something
I divined was of import. When I started for this inclosure a warning
call from the jailer notified me not to attempt to approach nearer,
but tossing him a silver piece I walked behind the fence. I beheld
an iron cage about ten feet square, in which hung a half naked
coolie. His head was held upright by a chain about his neck, and
his cue was fastened to the bars above. His body was supported by an
iron bar, upon which he sat astride, but to each foot was attached a
bamboo basket which contained a heavy load of bricks. The arms were
outstretched by chains, fastened to the sides of the cage, and these
were drawn taut by twisting them with a bamboo pole. At first sight
I thought the man was dead. The tendons on the back of the legs and
under the knees stood out in rigid lines; the abdomen was caved in,
and in sharp outlines the ribs and chest bones looked as if covered
with parchment; the face, yellow in color, was deathly, the eyes
sunken, the lips purple and the lower jaw dropped. As I glanced at
this horrible sight I called to my wife to keep away. At the sound
of my voice, the eyelids of the tortured wretch raised slowly. For a
moment the gaze seemed to rest upon us, and the parched and swollen
lips made an effort to form some words. Then the lids fell heavily,
as if in despair. The body had given up its fight against death,
and the soul had departed on its long journey.

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

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

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

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

The afternoon of March 3 Mrs. McIlrath and I mounted our luggage-laden
wheels, and, after shaking hands with friends, rolled out upon the
broad Bund upon the third stage of our long ride. By March 6 we were
a hundred miles from the civilized coast, and already we appreciated
the fact that our journey across the walled empire would not be "a
thing of beauty and a joy forever." The cries of the natives as they
caught sight of us silently gliding by on our wheels was strange. The
first impression they received from the unusual sight seemed that
of superstitious dread. Not a few were angry and made threatening
gestures, pointing in the direction of Shanghai, as if warning us to
turn back. Our cyclometers showed the distance to be 28 miles when
our first difficulty presented itself. It was that of a wide and
deep creek, without bridge and without ferry. After a quarter of an
hour spent in exploring the banks in vain search for the boatman,
we came across a house-boat hidden in the brush. It was owned by
two French gentlemen, who were having a pleasure ride as far as Su
Chow. Canals are the highways of China, and in going overland from
place to place, one must follow these filthy, stagnant streams. Our
friends from France, with the politeness and courtesy characteristic
of their nation, invited us to become their guests upon the house-boat
as far as Su Chow, assuring us that the journey on wheel was almost
impossible. The Inter Ocean tourists boarded the trim craft, their
wheels stowed forward, and relieving their backs of the blankets and
luggage, made themselves at home.

Our hosts had had considerable experience in China shooting and
trading, and with anecdote of adventure and travel the time passed
rapidly until the supper hour. An expert Chinese cook prepared
a hearty meal of duck, pheasant and bamboo sprouts, and after an
hour's smoking Mrs. McIlrath retired to the only "state room" on
board, while the owners of the boat and I, rolled up in blankets,
slept on the floor of the cabin. The coolies towing the boat did not
cease their labors until after 10 o'clock, and as they resumed towing
before daylight, when I woke at 7 the next morning we had covered
almost 30 miles. Breakfast over, with our hosts we took a short walk
on the banks of the canal, made a few side trips into the brush, and
returned to the boat enriched by a dozen pigeons and a pheasant. After
our return to the boat I brought forth the great red-sealed document
which the Chinese magistrate had given me in Shanghai, and asked if any
of the natives in the crew could decipher the purport of the document
as written on the envelope. It was this document which had caused us
to travel by way of Su Chow, otherwise we should have taken steamer
to Chin Kiang, about 60 miles up the Yang-tse-kiang proper, and there
begun our ride. I had inquired at Shanghai of foreigners acquainted
with the Chinese mandarin language, but all I could learn was that
the document was addressed to the Toa Foi at Su Chow, and friends
advised me to deliver it. The mystery did not please Mrs. McIlrath,
but after deliberation I decided to take chances. Su Chow is a great
dumping ground for criminals, and the document was an order intended
to reveal to me more of Chinese customs.



CHAPTER IX.

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


At 8 o'clock on the evening of March 4 our boat moored at the locks
of the Grand Canal at Su Chow, but the hour was so late and the
streets appeared so dirty and uncertain, that Mrs. McIlrath and I
remained on board until morning. Su Chow is a typical Chinese city,
and our entrance thereto was an event to the natives. Immediately
after breakfast I dispatched a message to the Toa Toi, bearing
one of my Chinese cards and the mysterious packet. In an hour the
messenger returned accompanied by four chair bearers and a score
of soldiers. They were to conduct us into the presence of the Toa
Toi. The mandarin received us in state robes, seated upon a high chair,
and over his head was held a large umbrella. As we approached him,
he graciously descended from his throne and saluted us with a low
bow. Mr. Charles Lewis, an American trader, acted as interpreter,
and as he spoke Chinese fluently, the mystery of the document and our
reception at the palace was soon explained. Mrs. McIlrath and I were
not only to see more of Chinese customs, but were the guests of the
mandarin. The document further specified that we should witness the
execution of a woman who had murdered two others on account of her
husband, and at the palace we were to remain until orders came for the
execution. "Seng chee" was the mode of death to which the woman was
sentenced. This meant "thirty-six cuts," so inflicted upon the body
as to terribly mutilate but not prove immediately fatal. The order
for execution did not arrive until March 7. The intervening days,
spent in the palace from the time of our arrival, were devoted to our
express entertainment, a Chinese boy who spoke English well having been
brought from Shanghai expressly to serve as our interpreter and guide.

It was he who awakened us on the morning of the execution with the
news that "the papers" had come. Mrs. McIlrath had no wish to view the
horrible scene soon to be enacted, and as I left the room she hid her
face within her hands and begged me not to mention the proceedings upon
my return. The mandarin awaited me in the state room, and with much
forethought had ordered two bottles of champagne with which to brace
our nerves. A moment later we were on our way to the court yard in the
rear of the palace, a retinue of soldiers surrounding us. Two guards
dragged the woman directly before the pavilion we occupied. She fell
to her knees, and as she beat the ground with her forehead, begging
for mercy, the mandarin's secretary read a few words from a scroll, and
the poor wretch was sentenced. Two soldiers tied the woman to a post in
an upright position, her feet resting upon a heavy block of wood. The
white bandage which had bound her forehead was removed and in its place
a belt was applied which held her head immovable. The hands were tied
behind the post, each one separately. When the preparations were over,
the assistant stepped back, and the executioners, like their victim,
naked to the waist, and with knives in hand, prostrated themselves
at our feet. The chief butcher took his place by the woman's left
side, and a knife gleamed. Then one of her ears was thrown upon the
ground. A few seconds more and the other ear was sliced In the same
manner. Her eyes no longer glanced wildly from side to side, following
the movements of her torturers, but appeared fixed upon mine, and,
although I could not understand her shrieking cries, I knew she pleaded
to me for mercy--a mercy I could not bestow. Her tongue was cut from
her mouth, and at each mutilation a secretary told off the number of
the slashes. When he counted ten, I braced myself for a glimpse at the
sickening sight, and where had been but a few moments before a woman's
face, there was but a bloody, unrecognizable ball. With the regularity
of a machine the butchers wielded their cleaver. When I next looked it
gave me satisfaction to know that death had come to the relief of the
wretched woman before the entire thirty-six cuts had been administered.

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

At Wu Sih we were the guests of Dr. Walters for several days before
we departed for Ching Kiang. What few roads China possesses are
mere foot paths, and in the Eastern districts, where clay is the
principal superficial soil, six months of each year these paths are
impassable save to foot passengers. Our appearance, therefore, upon
bicycles on roads where the wheelbarrow is the only wheel ever seen,
stirred the natives to the wildest pitch. The bicycle is an unknown
quantity upon the Grand Canal, none besides Lens, the St. Louisan
who lost his life in Armenia, having ever passed that way until
Mrs. McIlrath and myself appeared. The "devil carriages," as they
called our wheels, were too much for their nerves to bear. Six miles
up the Grand Canal we encountered the first village, and as the tow
path ceased, and the only route through was by the main street, our
speed was checked and we were prepared for the reception by the mob
which we knew would turn up. By repeated cries of warning I kept the
passage clear in front, but no sooner had Mrs. McIlrath passed than
the mob closed in. Hooting and jeering, they followed at our heels,
the larger and heavier knocking down and walking over the weaker and
younger. Their discordant howls were deafening, and when the end of
the village street finally appeared I signaled Mrs. McIlrath for a
sprint, and away we sped, with a shower of clods after us. We traveled
for thirty or forty miles along the banks of the canal, passing boats
under sail, the crews of which shouted as we rolled along, until at
last we sighted the south gate of Chang Chow, about 5 o'clock in the
afternoon. Selecting a place where we could be protected from the
wind, we stacked our wheels and prepared for lunch. A small spirit
lamp boiled the muddy water taken from the canal. We filtered this
through a little pocket contrivance and made each a cup of beef
tea. We had expected to avoid being bothered by curious natives,
stopping, where we did, one mile from the city, but before we had
finished eating a dozen coolies and as many boys gathered around us,
and with signs attempted to ascertain who we were and where we were
from. Each boat that passed us hailed us cordially, but it was not
until four hours after that a boat containing a party of missionaries,
friends of ours, arrived, and we were taken on board and put away
for the night. House-boats in China, where obtainable, are always
preferable to inns, and it is well for one touring the country to
attempt arriving at the water's edge by dusk.

After a good breakfast the next morning and a thorough inspection of
our wheels, we bade farewell to our friends on the boat and set out
for Ching Kiang. The streets in Chang Chow were very fair, and we made
good speed through the city. Our appearance created a great commotion,
but many of the crowd who clattered after us had heard of our reception
by various notables and mandarins, and they saluted respectfully, at
the same time assisting in clearing a way for us. Once on the open,
we sighted the telegraph poles, and by following in their direction
were soon on the Grand Canal once more. By noon we had covered forty
miles, pausing for dinner at a small village. As we sat in the dingy,
queer-smelling restaurant the sky darkened and rain began to fall. We
saw the possibility of reaching Tan Yan before night growing less with
each drop of moisture, but as the water did not fall in quantities
sufficient to make the clay path treacherous, we mounted our wheels,
determined to cover every mile we could before the downpour came. At
3 o'clock we sighted a high wall, which we knew to be that encircling
the city of Pen In. We made no stop in the city, pedaling around
the town, having been warned not to venture within its limits. We
traveled all afternoon in a drizzle, and when the rain began to fall
in sheets, about 5 o'clock, we were lucky in having a boat pass us
on the canal. We hailed the craft, and by displaying a silver dollar
obtained shelter for the night.

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

The United States Consul, Gen. A. C. Jones, occupied one of the
handsomest houses in Ching Kiang. We called upon him on the afternoon
of our arrival, but found him absent. However, we were taken into his
office and entertained by Mrs. Jones until the arrival of her husband,
who had been looked up by a native servant with the information that
"two men" had come to see him "walking on wheels."



CHAPTER X.

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


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

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

The Consul leaned over the table, one hand with clenched fist
supporting his body, the other resting upon his hip, as if to draw a
six-shooter, and with determination stamped upon his countenance, he
hurled the words, rather than spoke them. The Tao Tai first appeared
amazed, and finally he actually trembled with fear. The entire scene
was theatrical, but the climax caused those assembled more astonishment
still. After a hurried whispered conversation the Chinese officials
nodded pleasantly to Gen. Jones, and the Consul took his seat. His
claim had been accepted.

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

As Tai Ping Foo, our next stopping place, was 68 miles southwest,
and over uncertain roads, we decided to remain the second night at
the home of Mr. Ferguson, and it was not until March 23 that we took
our leave. We were unable to get further than fifteen miles of Tai
Ping Foo on account of the muddy roads. The clay collected by our
tires blocked the opening in forks and frames, the sprockets were
thick discs of the yellow, sticky mass, and every fifty feet we were
compelled to scrape the mud off in order to move a wheel. Removing the
chain from each wheel helped matters slightly, but so frequently did
the cleaning process become necessary, that we no longer used a stick
for the work, but simply scraped the mud from our tires and frames with
our hands. Darkness overtook us and added to our discomfort. The path,
only three feet wide, and built as an embankment, was as difficult
to keep upon as a greased plank. Mrs. McIlrath and I fell time and
again. Bridges had to be crossed on hands and knees, and so clogged
with mud were our shoes that our legs ached from lifting our feet. We
encountered many difficulties since leaving Chicago, but none so
hopeless and with so little promise of a night's rest as the time we
tried to make Tai Ping Foo. Mrs. McIlrath gave way to her feelings,
and sat down upon one of the muddy embankments and indulged in a good
cry. We wandered through the mud and rain the greater part of the
night, plunging through rice fields and patches of mustard plants,
guided only by the feeble light shed by our bicycle lamps. A bad fall
broke the glass in my lantern, and we were then forced to proceed only
by the dim rays cast by the lamp on Mrs. McIlrath's wheel. Toward
morning we came to a halt in front of a mud hut, through the bamboo
doors of which we could see the dying embers of a fire. I shouted
several times before I could raise any of the occupants. A generous
display of silver pieces persuaded them to let us enter. The wife
arose, cooked us food, and made places for us to sleep on the floor,
with the fire at our feet. I had expected my bill to be something
enormous for this great accommodation, and I was all but stunned when
our host demanded only 600 cash. This was equivalent to about 60
cents of Uncle Sam's money, which amount will keep a large Chinese
family for a week. Tai Ping Foo by this time was only three miles
away, and without further incident we reached the city, and though
we had been awake the lesser part of the day, we were soon ready for
another night's rest in more comfortable quarters.

A good stone road for seven miles rendered it possible for us to
ride out of Tai Ping Foo the next morning, but by 10 o'clock we
came again to the sea of mud, and were forced to resume our walk. We
were successful in executing our plans to reach the river by dusk,
for we had concluded to take no more chances in seeking shelter with
the farmers. It was comparatively easy to obtain a boat to sleep
on, and the yellow-skinned bandits took advantage of our position
immediately. They seemed to realize just how badly we wanted a boat,
and forthwith they put the price up to the excessive sum of four
dollars. But boat we had to have, and I paid the sum, stipulating,
however, that they were to carry us to Wuhu, seven miles distant,
and land us by daybreak. For the only time in my dealings with
these rascally natives they kept their word. When we waked we were
in the midst of the shipping anchored about Wuhu. On shore I spied
the Chinese imperial custom-house, and who should be stalking up
and down the paved court before it but our English friend Burton,
whom we had met in Shanghai! The meeting with him spoiled our plans
for an immediate visit to Dr. E. H. Hart, surgeon of the American
Methodist Hospital, as he introduced me to Mr. A. Knight Greyson,
agent of the Jardine-Mattison Transportation Company. So genial was
this hearty Britisher and his wife in their invitation to luncheon
that we could not refuse, and in their cosy home, on the hulk of
the old ship Madras, we ate the first good meal we had enjoyed for
three days. Our letter of introduction was later presented to Dr. and
Mrs. Hart, who not only received us with open arms, but placed fresh
linen and clean clothes at our disposal.

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

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



CHAPTER XI.

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


On the eighth day of our trip from Hankow, Mrs. McIlrath contracted a
severe cold, which impeded our progress and caused me great alarm. Much
of the journey, on this account, had to be taken in sedan chairs. Our
supply of tinned goods was also becoming low, the oil we carried for
lubricating was gone, and Cunningham, as if to add his share to the
chain of misfortune, displayed symptoms of malarial fever. As the only
resort we changed our course in the interior and pushed toward the
river, hoping to find some English steamer which might replenish our
stores. A half day of waiting on the river bank, and a steamer hove
in sight. The three of us hoisted signals, and I fired my pistols,
but the steamer evidently did not see us, and steamed on up the river,
displaying the English flag as she passed. Though not in such a serious
predicament, our sensations were similar to those of the shipwrecked
sailor adrift on his raft as the solitary ship sails by, majestic
to look upon, but to the castaway cruel and cold. As if in sympathy
with our disappointment, the rain came down in torrents as the steamer
disappeared from view, and we made our way to a settlement a few miles
ahead. It was then necessary for us to cross the river, which we did,
but in the most unexpected fashion. The lone ferryman must have been
an Asiatic descendant of Shylock, or at least his demands so indicated,
for he asked 300 cash to row us 100 feet. To convey the impression that
we were not in such a great hurry to be ferried, we sat down upon the
river bank and began munching some tasteless cakes which Mrs. McIlrath
had purchased at a restaurant. The large boat of a mandarin was moored
upon the opposite bank, the crew watching us intently, and the official
himself peering at us from the curtained window of his cabin. We next
observed the anchor of the boat drawn up and the craft making headway
in our direction. Just what was the mandarin's object in crossing we
could not imagine. A plank was laid from the shore to his boat, and we
were summoned on board. The silk-clad official received us politely,
offering the customary tea. One of his crew, who knew a bit of English,
interpreted to him that we desired to cross the river. In a moment
our boat was moving, and we soon returned to the original mooring. It
was almost too much to contemplate! For the first time we had been
rescued from the exorbitant charges of a native by one of his own
countrymen--a most unusual interference. Chinamen are very clannish,
and seldom can they be induced to compete in prices when in trade
among themselves, but never where a foreigner is concerned. Delaying
only long enough to allow the mandarin to read my passports and to
civilly refuse his invitation to remain on board his boat for the
day and night, we landed and rode on our way.

Ten miles of very fair path through short grass brought us to a
gigantic rock arising from the plain like a great castle. Under
its sheltering shelves we found a trio of fisher huts. We stopped
at the largest of these and obtained permission to cook the food
which we purchased from the fishermen, one of the many luncheons of
its kind that we ate in China. We stopped only long enough for our
repast before setting out for You Chow. Before reaching the city we
had a fierce hand-to-hand conflict with a number of savage coolies,
Cunningham being almost annihilated. He brought it on himself, however,
by rapping across the knuckles an inquisitive Mongolian who had
dared to feel his bicycle tire. At You Chow we were received in great
ceremony by the mandarin himself, who placed guards at our disposal,
and offered us every protection, going so far as to volunteer sending
men out to capture the natives who had assaulted us with clods and
stones. The Tai Toa of the province visited us the next day to make
changes in our passports. The Chinese map of China was produced, and
by comparing it with the charts which we carried, I managed to show
the official the route we had traveled since leaving Shanghai. One
thing mystified me, I could not find You Chow on the native map, and
after many efforts I succeeded in making myself understood. My breath
was taken away when the official placed his finger upon the character
indicating the city, and I learned for the first time that we were
twelve miles from the Yang-Tse-Kiang and on the channel connecting
with Tung Ting Lake. We had been lost the day before without knowing
it. We had been in the dread province of Hunan, out of the territory
permitted us to travel, and, worse than all, had put our heads into
the lion's jaws by coming into the very place where lawbreakers are
confined. I explained my position to the Tao Tai as well as I could,
and he seemed to comprehend it. The next morning, Thursday, May 21,
he had us called, gave us new passports for the province of Hunan,
and dispatched an escort of coolies to see us safely started upon
the right road. The issuing of the passport to foreigners by a Tao
Tai, when not compelled to do so by a Consul, was unprecedented, and
especially in our case, when he could have weighted us with chains,
trussed us up like pigs to a pole, and had us carted overland to
Shanghai. Such treatment has been accorded foreigners repeatedly.

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

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

"Chinaman," he retorted, sharply; "he no belong Chinaman; he belong
Ningpoo-man."

And Ningpoo is one of the principal ports of China.

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


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

    Respectfully,      S. Kwei."


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

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

When the Inter Ocean tourists reached Ichang they were half-way across
China, with the record to their credit of 600 miles traveled through a
country never penetrated by a foreigner before. Lenz, of whom I have
previously spoken, followed the direct route from Shanghai, or what
may be called the "telegraph line." Morrison and other Englishmen made
the passage by steamer from Shanghai, and Stevens crossed only from
Canton to Kui Kiang, and thence to Shanghai by steamer. It took us
twenty-one days to complete the journey, and so anxious had members
of the European colony at Ichang become about us that, had we not
arrived when we did, native couriers would have been dispatched the
next morning to search the country for us. Our first stop in the city
was at the postoffice, where I received the note from Mr. Hunter,
a friend we had met at Hankow, announcing that he had arranged
for us to stop at the American Episcopal Mission, and that to the
Rev. H. C. Collins would be due the courtesy of entertaining us. The
first day we spent in Ichang thoroughly acquainted us with the members
of the community. There were scarcely thirty foreigners in all, but
each seemed anxious to render our stay as pleasant as possible. We had
picnics, tennis parties and dinners arranged in our honor, meeting many
interesting characters, both native and European. One of these friends,
Tseo Shoo Wen, an energetic, lively Chinaman, and a man one could
well afford to win as a friend, was especially solicitous regarding
our comfort and safety. Learning that we were to travel through the
Yang-Tse-Kiang gorges by boat as far as Wan Hsien, Mr. Tseo offered
us as escort a gunboat and lifeboat. We declined, however, as we had
been asked to become the guests on the house-boat of Dr. Collins,
upon which we departed from Ichang on June 15. Our route as nearly as
possible was to go by boat to Wan Shien, thence overland to Chung King,
Suifoo, Yunnan Foo Tali and Bahme, the trip by boat merely allowing
us to see the beginning of the beauty of the marvelous gorges, and
not in the least rendering our trip any less interesting. In fact,
as the summer floods were expected daily, there was greater hazard at
this time of year on the waterways than on land. We were thoroughly
stocked with bedding and canned provisions sufficient for a ten days'
trip. We were so fortunate as to secure as captain the same native who
had piloted one of my friends, Dr. Morrison, up the river, and he had
retained his own crew of five strong, competent boatmen. The evening
prior to our departure a complimentary dinner was given in honor of
Mrs. McIlrath, and on Monday, June 15, the "Defender," as we called our
boat, hoisted sail, and the Inter Ocean tourists left Ichang as they
entered it, flying under the beautiful colors of the United States.



CHAPTER XII.

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


The rain which we had looked for did not disappoint us. The water
poured steadily for three days following the Fourth of July, and on the
7th the water rose twenty feet in eighteen hours. It continued rising
to flood height, and we were imprisoned at Ping Shan Pa until July 26,
our boat tied to the trees of an orange grove which sheltered a coffin
shop kept by an old man. The Yang-Tse-Kiang was in its fiercest mood,
and none better than ourselves were in a position to witness its
terrors. Our boat was turned and twisted as if struggling to break
its bonds. Great volumes of under-current burst in swirls under our
bow and stern, pounding as they struck the flat bottom of the boat as
if we had been crashed on a submerged rock. The yellow waters seemed
to leap in their course, all semblance to a stream being lost. Trees,
torn up by their roots, leaped full length from the whirlpools and were
drawn down into the vortex of the next. A capsized junk shot past,
and as it was near the shore a half-dozen boatmen left the bank to
seize the prize. It was an exciting sight. The crews raved, yelled
and stamped on the deck like demons, risking their lives for the
sake of a few pieces of silver. When they succeeded in beaching the
junk, every plank, nail, bit of cargo, and even the bodies on board,
were theirs to possess or claim reward for. The rampage of the river
gave the coffin shop proprietor several days of grewsome work. Within
twenty-four hours the gray-queued old fellow rescued six bodies from
the whirlpools in front of his establishment. His son, stationed
on a crag half a mile upstream, kept a keen lookout for the dead in
the river, and as soon as the yellow, bloated bodies appeared on the
surface of the water, he signaled his father, who, with an assistant,
put out in a small boat to tow the corpses ashore. For this service
and for the coffin he received 75 gold cents a body, and rich, in a
Chinaman's eyes, had the old fellow grown with his years of watching
during the spring and summer floods.

Ascending the gorges of the Yang-Tse-Kiang by boat is a trip which,
under the most propitious circumstances, is fraught with danger
and inconvenience, but especially so during the months of July and
August. But we ascended the most dangerous parts of the famed canyons,
passed through the Tan Hsin, Sung Poa Tso Tan and other dreaded
rapids. Though the trip proved at all times exciting, there was no
time that danger was sufficiently apparent to cause Mrs. McIlrath to
change color or to reach out for her cork life-belt. Nevertheless, I
would not undertake the journey again were it to lead through scenery
doubly grand and were the passage to be paid handsomely in gold. The
entire pleasure is lost in efforts to keep the Chinese crew in marching
order, and, as they must be coerced into activity, the journey may be
said to resemble an outing in the Grand Canyon with a herd of swine
to drive. The expression is homely, but just and fitting. We sighted
the beautiful Teng Hsiang gorge on Aug. 8, but long before we entered
it the country became hilly, often resembling the beautiful Palisades
of the Hudson. In America, where all things necessary to facilitate
transportation and commerce are deemed absolutely necessary, such feats
as the Port Huron Canal and the removal of Hell Gate are accepted by
the public when the feats are accomplished as simply the result of
need, but in China a mere passage a few miles long, blasted out of a
mountain side, is a rare spectacle to behold. As our boat slipped along
the rocks the beauty of the gorge disclosed itself, but to my mind the
scenery of the Teng Hsiang gorge did not compare in grandeur to that
encountered upon the rapids of Shan-Tou-Ping. The rapids are caused
by jutting shells of rock running out into the river several hundred
feet. As the water is deep, and the current runs eight miles an hour,
the rapids are terrific. Had our boat broken loose and gone down stream
onto the boulders, which reared their heads just above the water,
boat, baggage, bicycles, and probably tourists would have been lost.

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

We were the guests of the Tai Foo for three days, and when we were
ready for departure he presented us with a purse of 20 taels, insisting
that we accept it to remunerate us for the enjoyment he had derived
from our honorable company. As a farewell contribution to our part of
the entertainment, I rode the bicycle around the gardens, causing the
wives, children and attachés of the Tai Foo to scream with delight, and
then call for our chairs. As we took our places in the gaily papered
interior of the sedans, the Foo's secretary handed me three enormous
envelopes covered with imposing seals and large characters. These
were letters of commendation to the Shen at Yan Yang Hsien, where we
arrived Monday, Aug. 17. There was another official reception for us,
with the same pageant of chairs, umbrellas and ponies. We dined with
the Shen, who also stocked our boat with dainty dishes, including hams,
ducks, chickens, fish and a young pig. The quantity of food provided
for us as a single meal would have fed six Americans for several days.

The contract I had made with the boatmen called for 21,000 cash, and
stipulated that we were to be landed in Wan Hsien in twelve days. The
cash had been paid the crew in advance, and as the ship had occupied
twenty-three days, I had been liberal in granting the crew extra money,
until 17,000 extra cash had been added to the sum. But upon our arrival
at Wan Hsien the boatman demanded 7,000 cash more. I had learned from
experience that argument with the coolie class did not pay, so when the
demand was made I requested that the boatman accompany me to the Shen
and allow that official to decide the difficulty. This proposition
he accepted, and as soon as we had met the official, presented our
passports and letters of introduction, and our boy Leo had handed
the Shen my receipts, contract and a statement of the extras paid,
we adjourned to the trial room. In vain did our boat captain explain
his woes as he knelt upon the stone floor. Unfortunately for himself,
he attempted to explain some particular point, and instantly the Shen
shouted an order, four coolies seized him, and stretching him upon the
floor, administered 400 strokes with a club. I had not expected such
an outcome, and when the Shen asked through the interpreter if I was
satisfied, I could but answer, "Only too well." The boatman staggered
to his feet, and with piteous moans was thrust into a bamboo cage. This
seemed to be carrying things a little too far, and expostulating with
the Shen I succeeded in having him released. Paying him 4,000 cash as
a recompense, I sent him away, grateful that I had not taken advantage
of my influence and allowed him to remain in the filthy bamboo pen.

The road from Wan Hsien to Chung King lies directly over the
mountains. Knowing that upon our journey we would be unable to ride our
bicycles, we engaged coolies to carry them, and taking the conveyance
called mountain chairs for the accommodation of ourselves and boy,
we left Wan Hsien Aug. 26. The Shen furnished us as an escort two
soldiers and four extra coolies, and with these added to our party
of five we made quite a little procession as we started on our long
tramp. At 4:30 o'clock in the afternoon we halted at a large village
thirty miles up the mountain. The rain was pouring, and while the
coolies prepared a room for us in the inn I hastened to provide dry
clothing and medicine for Mrs. McIlrath. She had fallen ill during the
morning, and had I known what distress and alarm her indisposition
was to cause me I hardly think I should have ever ventured into the
interior of China. To be ill in a civilized land, where one has all
the advantages of medicine, proper food, bedding and pure air, is
trying enough to one's nerves and peace of mind, but to be stricken
in a land 300 miles from a white face, confined in a dark, damp room,
centipedes crawling along the walls, rain dropping from the roof,
terrible odors from pig pens in the next room, and cesspools of
filth in the rear, is calculated to affect any sufferer for the
worse. It was midnight before I could quiet my wife by the use of
drugs. She insisted upon starting with us the next morning, though so
weak she had to be carried to her chair. The rain fell in torrents,
and to protect my patient I tied sheets of oil paper over her chair,
wrapped her in a flannel blanket, and hung curtains of burlap over the
doorway. Her condition did not improve for the next three days. The
rain continued to add to our misery and discomfort, but my stock of
medicine was running low, and I considered necessary a forced march
to Chung King. Several times our coolie chair bearers mutinied, and
upon one particular rainy night they gave us the slip, forcing me
to send the Shen's two soldiers after them. They not only deserted,
but took with them the chair used in carrying Mrs. McIlrath. But the
soldiers were faithful to the friends of their master, and captured
and brought back the truants. It was only by threats to do them bodily
harm that I succeeded in making them resume the march next morning. I
probably threatened more than I would execute, but prompt action
was imperative. It was either to move rapidly toward Chung King,
or lose by an agonizing death the little companion of my travels
and of my life. The path was miserable, the rain fell in a drizzle,
and the country was half hidden in banks of fog, but never did blue
skies, green grass, and the sweet air of freedom appear more welcome
to a released convict than did that dreary view as we set forward
for relief.



CHAPTER XIII.

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


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

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

There is a belt existing for a distance of 600 miles along the lower
end of the Yang-Tse-Kiang where, at certain seasons of the year,
principally September, October and November, the sun never shines,
and if rain inaugurates the initial month a daily precipitation may be
counted upon. We were in the center of this belt Sept. 3, and our own
experiences gave evidence to the phenomenon. It rained steadily since
our departure from Wan Shen, Aug. 26, and when we resumed our journey
on Sept. 3, the roads and bridges rendered testimony to the effect of
constantly rushing waters. Journeying under such conditions was not
alone dangerous, but monotonous. One of the happiest moments of our
tour was when we ascertained that Chung King was but little more than
a hundred miles away. Several days drearily spent in climbing hills,
wading small streams and skating through mud ankle deep, brought us
within about five miles of Tu To. There we were met by a detachment
of soldiers from Chung King. We learned from them that they had been
dispatched by the Shen of Chung King to escort us to the city. We
had lost so much time through bad roads and inclement weather that
the officials of Chung King, who had been notified of our coming,
had grown anxious and had sent out troops to guide us in safety. On
Monday, Sept. 7, we obtained an early start, reaching a small village
on the Yang-Tse-Kiang by noon. In small boats we embarked for the
city, half a dozen miles above and across the river, arriving at
3 o'clock at the metropolis of Western China, a city situated on a
point of land formed by the junction of the Yang-Tse-Kiang and Min
rivers. Though Chung King has a greater population of foreigners than
any other city on the river, excepting Hankow, we were astonished,
upon arrival, to pass through miles of business streets without a
glimpse of settlements of foreign houses.

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

The interior cities of the Chinese Empire are similar in every respect;
see one of them and you have seen them all. A visitor to Ngau-King
need not go to Shaze, the man who has seen Shaze need not travel in
search of fresh sights to Chung King, and one who has seen the native
city of Shanghai has literally seen the great aggregation. Chung
King, situated 160 miles from the sea, differed only from the others
in that the shops of the various trades were grouped, each industry
occupying a section of the street. The only absolutely new features of
the town appeared to be the climate, which is delightful for duck and
pneumonia propagation, an old conjurer, and the industries established
by Mr. Archibald Little. The climate is first and most important,
since it exists in humid, opaque quantities upon all occasions,
except perhaps when the sun does not happen to be busy elsewhere;
then only does the sun shine in Chung King. Pig bristles are the
fundamental property of the establishment of Mr. Little, and Uncle
Sam's people are the chief patrons of it. After the porker has been
despoiled of his hirsute trimmings, the bristles, sorted into bunches
of three, four and five inch lengths, are wrapped and shipped to the
United States for use in brushes. The remaining great attraction of
Chung King, namely, the conjurer, we met on one of the quadrangles
of a temple, and for a performance conducted in the open air, by a
necromancer stripped from waist to crown of head, without apparatus
or appliance, he was marvelous. In a circle formed by the crowd,
the stone pavement serving as table and stage, the scrawny, wrinkled
old magician produced from space a curved sword, iron rings, hardwood
balls, clam shells and bowls. The performance opened with contortions
of the legs and back, and a dislocation and replacement of the various
joints of the body. The wizard then swallowed a hardwood ball two
inches in diameter, following this with a few clam shells and poking
the whole mass down his elastic gullet with a curved sword. Famous
sword swallowers of the vaudeville stage of our own country may use
longer instruments, and swallow equally large objects, but they always
leave enough of the swallowed article outside their internal grottos
to withdraw the obstruction. Our Chinese entertainer disdained these
sensible precautions, and after we had felt through the abdominal
walls the point of the curved sword, the ball and the clam shells,
he removed them in a style which was distinctively all his own. To
remove the sword, he contracted his waist by pressure of both hands,
gave a convulsive upheaval and the weapon glided upward until just
an inch or two remained in the throat. Then one of the spectators
removed the blade at the conjurer's request. The clam shells and ball
were brought to light in a simple manner, the conjurer not touching
his hands to his mouth, but spitting them on the ground as soon as
they appeared between his teeth.



CHAPTER XIV.

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


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

The rain continued to fall in torrents and the last miles of our
journey through China were made in an ocean of mud. Every garment we
wore was soaked, our blankets wet through and through, and our shoes
were in shreds. We had great difficulty in obtaining coolies to carry
our burdens, and as I look back upon it now, I can scarcely blame them
for not wishing to push on from early morn till night with a strong
west wind driving the sheets of water in their faces. What the brave
Lenz must have endured with no companion, I can well imagine from
the recollections of the terrible mental depression offered by our
trip. As Mrs. McIlrath and I trudged along, our very misery at times
became so great that we were able to extract a certain hysterical
amusement from it. My attire was conglomerate. A bicycle cap adorned
my head; a Norfolk jacket my body; a pair of pajamas my legs; top
boots over my feet, and straw sandals tied on these. Over my shoulders
was draped my red blanket; on my back was strapped a Chinese sword;
in my hand was a heavy walking-stick, and in my holsters a pair of
rusty 45's. This mixture of bicycle, bedroom, Navajo Indian, cowboy
and Broadway costumes delighted Mrs. McIlrath, who seemed to forget
that she wore a dilapidated bloomer costume, patched half and half,
with a man's sun helmet upon her head. Many of the temples, bridges
and arches that we passed in the province seemed familiar owing to
the photographs taken by Lenz and reproduced in his articles. I was
much disappointed that I could not duplicate many of them, but the
weather we encountered put an end to all thoughts of photography. Still
tramping onward in the rain, the bicycles seemed to realize our misery,
and occasionally when the wheels touched against some object they spun
for minutes as if remonstrating against being carried and demanding
an opportunity to "stretch their spokes." Careful inspection daily
failed to reveal a fault or a flaw in the machines. Cyclists will be
pleased to know that wooden rims stand all manner of climates. Since
leaving Chicago in April of '95 to the September of '96, we had no
occasion to alter or adjust either our rims or spokes.

On Sept. 24 we once more came upon the banks of the Yang-Tse-Kiang
crossing and re-crossing it three times before getting to Sui Foo. In
this part of the country we obtained our first view of a typical
Chinese grove of feathery bamboo. Many writers have described vividly
these beautiful pictures, but I fear many received their inspiration
from a single tree scattered somewhere along the route of their
journey. At any rate, I know that the bamboo flourishes in groves
peculiar to this part of the empire, and I know further that, beside
ourselves, Lenz and Margary have been the only ones who ever crossed
China overland from coast to boundary line. General indisposition
of Mrs. McIlrath, myself, and also of the boy Leo, delayed us at
Sui Foo until Oct. 25. We wanted for nothing during our stop in the
city, Dr. C. H. Finch and the Rev. Robert Wellwood of the American
Baptist Mission being untiring in their attentions and courtesies
bestowed. Our journey for the next few hundred miles continued to be
one afoot. By the time we arrived at Poa Tung we were so road-bruised
that we were compelled to knock off our journey and devote two entire
days to the application of poultices and hot water to our swollen and
blistered feet. On Sunday, Oct. 28, after a most exhausting tramp,
the Inter Ocean tourists reached Tai Kwan Hseen. The road had been
over the rockiest of mountain paths and we did not have an opportunity
of riding our wheels until after we had passed through the cities
of Chau Tung. More than one thousand miles of mud-plastered hills
and half-submerged valley had we practically walked since entering
Ichang, and more than 900 miles of that distance had been covered
during rainstorms. Novice never was prouder, when discharged from
the padded walls of a cyclery as a full-fledged rider, than were we
as we flushed down a boulevard leading out of Chau Tung. We covered
as much as fifty miles before a pause. In our enthusiasm we probably
overlooked many defects in the road, and corrugations and boulders
were passed over without any jar to the perfect contentment which
rendered our spirits oblivious to slight inconveniences. Our stop at
Chau Tung registered 9,000 miles over the worst roads in America,
the best in Japan, and the miserable frame-racking paths of China,
and our wheels still rode as easily and were as rigid as the day we
pedaled out Washington Boulevard in Chicago. The people ran through the
fields to head us off, here with laughter and approval and again with
mumbled threats of resentment at the invasion of their land by "the
foreign devils on iron horses." Old men joined in the unique procession
which followed us at times for more than three or four miles.

Knowing that we could wheel but a part of the distance ahead of us,
we had sent our bicycle carriers to be overtaken on the road ahead. We
overtook and passed our coolies at a point precisely suited to our
needs. Checked suddenly by a rocky hill several miles in length,
we were forced to dismount, deposit our bicycles by the roadside
and walk on. We might be considered rash for leaving our machines
unprotected in such a barbarous country, but we knew that no persons
were on the road between ourselves and coolies, and travelers going
in the opposite direction would not be met with until after reaching
the Half-Way Station of the day's journey. This important place
Mrs. McIlrath and I reached fully an hour before our wheels arrived,
and thus had plenty of time to marvel why, in such a miserable village
of ten tea huts conducted by a hundred ragged, filthy natives, a
magnificent triple archway of granite should be erected. Not one of
the natives whom we questioned was able to explain this problem of
why 30,000 silver taels of the people's money had been so expended.

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

In collecting curios we endeavor to select such of interest as we
could conveniently carry without additional cost, but in Yunnan
Foo we inspected a natural curio that I would pay any sum could I
have transported it to America. The coveted marvel was Chang, the
Yunnan giant. He was a better specimen of giant than his illustrious
namesake who once toured the United States to his great profit. When
only fifteen years old this junior Chang carried on his enormous feet
six feet of manhood, and later increased his height to seven feet
nine inches and his weight to 340 pounds. He wears a No. 13 glove and
requires No. 14 shoes. When the missionaries ushered into our presence
this massive form I was too stunned to speak. Clad in the red uniform
of the Chinese army, his head wrapped in a black turban, he towered
above me until I felt that he could not possibly be human. Being six
feet and a fraction in height myself, I am accustomed to look down, or
at best on a level, into the faces of other people, but to be compelled
to bend my head sharply back to look at this huge fellow's shoulders
was a decidedly new experience. As we were riding the "Great Stone
Road" from Yunnan Foo we passed eleven small cages hung on eleven dead
trees. In each cage rested the head of a human being. The sight was
not one to be described. On the ground about the trees were baskets,
ropes and yokes which had been used in conveying the heads from the
execution grounds. Not one of the natives who hastened past with bowed
heads dared to touch with foot or hand these abandoned trophies. At
the next village we were told that the heads were those of eleven
bandits who robbed a silk shop in the village, murdering two men and
one woman, and almost causing the death of the aged mother of their
victims. Decapitation was the punishment awarded, and that passing
thieves might be warned against similar fates, the bodies were buried
and the heads hung up as object lessons.



CHAPTER XV.

    THROUGH CHINA INTO BURMAH--ENTERTAINED LAVISHLY BY BRITISH OFFICERS
    IN MANDALAY AND MADE TO BLUSH AT A "ZAT PWEI."


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

Wednesday, Dec. 23, our last day in China, found us up bright and
early, and so impatient that we set out afoot in advance of our
carriers. Up and down over the stone-heaped path, passing numerous
Chinese forts, and over three ranges of mountains, we walked, climbed
and stumbled until we sighted a more civilized land--Burmah. Pausing
only to assure our gladdened hearts that our eyes did not deceive us,
we plunged down a precipitous path, crossed a swaying suspension
bridge of bamboo, and, with a loud hurrah, landed on Burmese
soil. Mrs. McIlrath's first action on the new territory was to flop
down in the sand and cry; mine to crack the neck from a small bottle,
and, with a prayer of thanksgiving, a toast to the United States,
Queen Victoria, the Inter Ocean, and the good wheels we rode, we
drank the bottle's fizzing contents, and yelled like a pair of cowboys.

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

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

Of the Chinese as a people, individually and collectively, we learned
them to be a weak race, morally and mentally. Opium, liquor and
disease have set their marks upon millions. In trade the natives
are unscrupulous, and chivalry or respect toward women does not
exist. Cruel to the extreme, with a cultivated ferocity they are
most arrant cowards, and yet, most overbearing when in numbers. The
country itself is rich with precious metals, commercial minerals, oil
and fibrous grasses, as yet either unknown to the natives, or else
requiring too much labor to extract. Improvement or advancement in
civilization or mercantile industries will never take place in China
while governed by China. The supreme egotism of the natives prevents
the adoption of anything modern or anything foreign. The official
classes are no less corrupt. Banded together, as if a society for
pillage, they prey upon the people, aided by the more unprincipled
priests, and woe to the merchants and peasants who enter court to
obtain justice. Such, briefly, is China as the Inter Ocean cyclists
found it to be.

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

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

We sailed from this large, but rather uninteresting, city on Jan. 25,
1897, taking passage on one of the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company's mail
steamers, the Monein. After three days' steaming the Monein tied up
at the dock in Mandalay, the capital city of Burmah, and sung of by
Mr. Kipling in his clever verses, "On the Road to Mandalay." During the
reign of Kings Mindoon and Theebaw, in order that the palaces might be
protected from invaders, the buildings were erected far to the inland,
under the shadow of Mandalay hill. Wheeling over the hard macadam
was a delight, and merrily we whirled off the miles intervening,
until we alighted, at last, at the European hotel, the first that
had welcomed us since leaving Hankow, China. In our journey of the
globe, having been the guests of thousands of people, we must credit
the members of the Burmah Club, fifty per cent of whom are British
officers, with being the most attentive and kindly organization at
whose hands we received courtesies. As a body they wined us, dined
us, gave picnic excursions on the river, drives, bicycle rides,
obtained invitations to various native celebrations, and put forth
every effort to render our sojourn instructive and pleasant. Bicycling
with several Europeans who were fortunate enough to own cycles was
one of the most delightful features of our entertainment. The roads
were excellent, and wheeling in the cool air of early morning, one
of the many delightful temples or majestic pagodas the objective
point of our excursion, is a pleasure to be enjoyed only on British
roads in an Oriental country. It was our privilege, on Feb. 12 to
witness a wedding of royal blood. The ex-Nyanugwe Saw Bwa "requested
the pleasure of the company of Mr. and Mrs. McIlrath at his home, in
South Moat Road, on the occasion of the marriage of his daughter Saw
Kin Gwi with the Sawbued of South Theinni, and also on the same night,
to witness a Zat Pwei." The ceremonies were performed by the highest
class native officials and Sir Frederick Fryer, first lieutenant
governor of Burmah. To appear successfully at such a state function
one is supposed to dress appropriately, and I felt greatly embarrassed
in my knickerbockers as I mingled in the blaze of red uniforms, royal
Scotch plaids, gold lace, decorations, and the jewels and dainty gowns
of the ladies. Extravagant as are the English in costuming for each
event and occasion of the day, the guests did not appear to notice the
greasy, dusty and patched raiment which comprised my only wardrobe,
and did all they could to make me feel at home. The verbal portion of
the marriage ceremony was unintelligible to me, but the "business,"
as an actor would describe it, made it quite plain to the most casual
observer that the dusky pair who formed the center piece of a most
interesting group were being united in the holy bonds of wedlock.

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



CHAPTER XVI.

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


Cycling in Burmah proved extremely monotonous, and the dullest of
all the dreary rides we experienced were here. Nowhere was there a
variety of scene or change from the level valley, with its dusty,
winding roads stretching out under the blistering tropical sun. The
air was ever stifling hot; it smarted our dilated nostrils; seemed
to stuff our gasping lungs and blister the backs of our hands and
necks, and a ride of three hours at a stretch caused us to relax
into a sort of stupor, from which we could only arouse ourselves by
repeated efforts. Had we reached Burmah during the fall of the year,
we could have made good progress, but now tedious delays, entirely
beyond our control, hampered us, and we had to face not only the
famine and plague-infested land, but the white man's greatest enemy,
the summer sun, which, in its molten glare, kept the temperature above
100, night and day, making death and heat apoplexy quite as possible
as from the epidemic of cholera and bubonic fever. We left Mandalay
at daybreak on March 1, and started over the dusty roads to Rangoon,
400 miles south. Mandalay had been the point which we had selected
to observe the characteristics and customs of the natives, and,
unlike the efforts put forth in the same channel in China, we found
the duties pleasant and fraught with happy little incidents. Burmans
resemble the Japanese to a certain extent; not so cleanly, energetic,
intelligent or independent, but possessing the same admirable faculty
of being happy, smiling and self-complacent under circumstances which
would fill any other being's soul with pessimistic vagaries. Farming,
carpentry and carving appear to be the only occupations left them,
for everywhere was seen the submissive black who followed the rush
of England into the land of milk and honey and rice and rubies.

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

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

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

With the advent of English rule in Burmah, native athletic sport
degenerated, and became supplanted in time by horse races of most
corrupt nature. When I state that the racing is corrupt I have but
to cite two instances which occurred at the meeting of the Mandalay
Club during our visit to that city. A captain in Her Majesty's army
placed 3,000 against 1,000 rupees that a certain horse, which we
will designate as A, would win over the field presenting two horses,
B and C. Of the latter, C was clearly outclassed, consequently the
race was between A and B. You may judge of the bookmakers' surprise
when they learned in the afternoon that the gallant captain was to
ride B, the horse he had bet against. The race had but one possible
outcome, A won. Another race was started and finished in absolute
darkness. No lights were used on the tracks, the horses were dark
in color, and the jockeys the same, but the judge readily named the
winner, and the bookmakers lost again.

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

Two years to a day after leaving Chicago we walked up the gang-plank of
the steamship "Africa," booked for Calcutta, only three days across
the formidable Bay of Bengal. Mrs. McIlrath developed her usual
attack of sea sickness, though the water was unruffled, and was kept
in her cabin for the entire voyage, leaving me to occupy the daylight
hours wandering among the deck passengers. The first impression one
receives on landing at the port of Calcutta is that the city is one
vast cab stand. "Gharries," as the natives' hacks are called, line
the walks, crowd the streets, rest under the shades of trees in parks,
and stand at the curb in front of hotels and shops. The dust, rattle
and bang caused by these shaky, dirty vehicles, which are dragged
about by horses at snail's pace, is a nuisance second only to the
tram cars, and one which would be tolerated only by custom-bound,
"strictly-in-form" Englishmen. Streets in Calcutta wander aimlessly
along, similar to the rail fences in Indiana, and the buildings,
uniformly of staff-covered brick, are of every imaginable size and
shape, as if architects were of one mind in determining to try all
kinds in an effort to obtain one adapted to the climate. Sidewalks,
roads and paths are packed with white-clad natives, barefooted and
bareheaded, in the awful glare of heat, which strikes horses dead,
unless their heads are protected, yet none of the blacks appear to
suffer. Doors of hotels and shops are kept open, but hanging in the
apertures are heavy mats of a peculiar grass, which coolies wet with
pails of water, and by which means the air is cooled. Everywhere the
heat is talked about and guarded against, and yet, with huge fans
swung constantly over one's head, with cooling draughts on a table by
your side, the perspiration pours from every part of the body. One
hundred and ten degrees in the shady corridors of the Continental
hotel, the coolest in all India, 98 degrees at night, and this was
the country we crossed on bicycles, involving over 2,000 miles'
travel, and beyond the pale of ice or daily clean clothes! Bicycles
are ridden extensively in Calcutta, comparatively speaking more
than 3,000 wheels being enumerated in the tax list at the time I
was in the city. There are, however, only about three months in the
year favorable to riding--December, January and February. In other
months cycling is tolerable only between the hours of 5 and 8 in the
morning and evening. This, of course, applies only to the Europeans,
and not to the natives, who ride in the intense heat of midday without
the slightest difficulty. A sight calculated to arouse laughter in a
wooden cigar sign is one of the proud possessors of an old solid-tire,
with hammock saddle and wide handle-bars, as he plows along the road,
making erratic dives, like misbalanced kites.

The most frequented road is a short strip on the Maidan, an enormous
clearing, five and seven-eighths miles in circumference, in which is
situated Fort Williams. Roads of fine macadam skirt the park, and amid
cricket, golf and football grounds are statues and columns erected
to Englishmen who have performed satisfactory duties in India. Eden
Garden, at one end of the Maidan, is a beautiful spot, and here,
morning and evening, a well-directed band plays sweet music to charm
Calcutta's conglomerated inhabitants. Cycling in early evening along
the Strand is also gratifying. The street is crowded with women in
white and red robes, silver anklets and bracelets, their head and
matchless figures but faintly concealed by flimsy togs. Burning ghats
are also erected on the river shore. The Calcutta burning ghats on
the Strand road affords accommodation for the cremation of sixteen
bodies simultaneously. In appearance, the crematory is unpretentious,
simply a low-roofed structure divided into an alcove, and two waiting
rooms for mourners. The Inter Ocean cyclists visited the crematory,
and were shown throughout the establishment by an aged Hindoo,
who superintended the force of men who kept going the coals under
fifteen pyres. Not of less interest, but far less disagreeable, is a
distinctively Calcutta feature. Kali ghat. This is a temple devoted
to Kali, goddess of destruction, reputed in Hindoo lore to possess a
thirst for blood, and to appease and propitiate whom live sacrifices
are made. Formerly human beings were offered, but under British rule
the custom was abolished, and kids and goats substituted. Decapitation
is the method offered, and as fast as sacrifices are brought forward,
the bleeding little things are seized by the ears, the priest makes
a cutting slash with a heavy knife, and the headless trunk is thrown
to the ground. We witnessed the religious rites of Japanese and
Chinese, and we had seen the medicine-dances of the American Indians,
but nothing approaches the furious fanaticism and the frenzy of the
Hindoo at Kali ghat. Men shouted themselves hoarse, women screamed and
tore each other's clothes at the shrine of the goddess. It took the
assistance of half a dozen hired blacks to force for us an entrance
into the temple, and rushes of worshipers were so great that thrice we
were swept back ere we obtained a glimpse of the hideous deity. Her
face and figure a blood red; with multiple arms swaying like the
tentacles of an octopus; her face distorted with blood red tongues;
a necklace of skulls about her throat, the goddess Kali is indeed
the representation of destruction. Gross, hideous and repulsive as
was the figure, the effect was heightened by the maddened crowd,
who, with wild shrieks, tossed offerings of flowers at the fiendish
idol in their effort to escape from the calamities, believed in their
pagan minds, to be brought about by neglecting to satiate the goddess'
greed for bloodshed and crime. Amid such surroundings it was not to
be wondered at that our minds reverted to the fact that "ghazi," the
assassination of Christians, is still in vogue in India, and that one
of the devout worshipers might easily plunge a knife in our backs,
and thus earn his way to Hindoo heaven with ease and glory. I can
assure my readers that we felt easier and more comfortable when once
more in our gharry and the horses on a dead run en route back to the
hotel. We learned from a priest at the ghat why Calcutta is so named,
the title being a British corruption of Kalikata, the name bestowed by
the Emperor Akbar, in 1596, in commemoration of the proximity of Kali
ghat. We were in Calcutta two weeks before the cycling fraternity knew
of our arrival. When they finally discovered our presence, we floated
along on a wave of popularity. Cyclists, dealers and agents were our
daily companions and callers. American machines were well-known and
liked, and wood rims and single-tube tires were looked upon with doubt,
but after an inspection of the hardest-used pair of wheels the world
ever knew, wood rims and single tubes took on the ascendency.



CHAPTER XVII.

    NIGHT RIDING THROUGH INDIA TO ESCAPE THE HEAT--THREE IMPUDENT
    ENGLISH WHEELMEN ENCOUNTERED AT BENARES.


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

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

Our arrival at the Hotel de Paris caused much excitement. The English
do not read newspapers as generally as do the Americans, and, with
but one exception, not one man around the hotel had the slightest
idea who we were, where we were from, or what we were doing. In
fact, after reading the "World's Tour for the Inter Ocean, Chicago,
U. S. A.," as printed in large white letters on our luggage cases,
many asked us politely, "Pray, what is the meaning of the legend?" We
had learned while in Calcutta that Messrs. Lowe, Lum and Frazer,
who had left England on a cycling tour of the world in 1896, were
on their way across India, and that in all probability we would meet
them in Benares. We looked forward with much pleasure to the occasion
of joining hands with cyclists who understood the hardships of great
journeys in strange lands, but the meeting occasioned us an unexpected
set-back in our natural affection for fellow wheelmen. The trio
arrived on the second day of our visit in Benares, and immediately sent
word that they wanted to see me. I called upon them, and was greatly
surprised to ascertain that they looked upon Mrs. McIlrath and myself
as frauds. They questioned me closely as to my journey, and concluded
by commenting upon the strangeness of the fact that they had never
heard of us before. This I did not regard as unseeming, since few of
the inhabitants of "the tight little isle" do know what is occurring
in the greater part of the world not under British taxation. Fifteen
minutes' conversation with the Frazer outfit convinced me that the
new aspirants to globe-girdling honors entertained little respect for
Americans in general, and ourselves in particular. Lenz they declared
emphatically a nonentity in cycling history; Tom Stevens was totally
unreliable, and as for ourselves, we had undergone no hardships, and
were comparatively new. They probably did not like Stevens because
he was the original "round the world on bicycles;" Lenz because he
had accomplished single-handed more up to the time of his death than
these fellows could accomplish over the route they had selected,
if they completed their program; and Mrs. McIlrath came in for her
share of contempt because a wee, slender woman, she had encompassed
what they averred they would attempt, in a number strong enough to
cross the threshold of any earthly inferno with impunity.

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

We were entertained, while at Benares, in the castle at Fort Ramnagar
by the Maharajah of Benares, one of the native princes of India. His
Highness sent a magnificently appointed carriage to the hotel for
us, with the proper quota of coachmen and liveried footmen; greeted
us in excellent English, and soon displayed his foreign tendencies
by direct inquiry about cycling, American foot-ball and base-ball,
proudly assuring us that he was an enthusiastic foot-ball and polo
player. Nothing but our anxiety to get home led us to decline his
urgent invitation to remain his guest for a fortnight, and enjoy a
jungle hunt from the backs of trained elephants. The kindness of the
Maharajah did not cease with our visit to the palace, but each day we
were the recipients of delicious fruit fresh from his garden, and upon
our departure, on May 22, we carried letters of introduction to native
gentlemen and officials along our route, who were requested to show us
every attention and furnish us desired information which would prove
of interest to the readers of the Inter Ocean at home. Still holding
to the Grand Trunk road, we set out for Allahabad. The road was lonely
and monotonous, and a few miles out from Benares there burst upon us a
typical tropical tornado. In a second's time the air was darkened and
filled with sand. Striking us from a quarter over our right shoulders,
the force of the wind pushed us along at a frightful rate. Sand struck
against our goggles with a gritting crunch, filled our nostrils and
ears, and forced its way into our mouths. Leaves and twigs struck
our faces with stinging force, and shrieking and groaning under
pressure of the terrible blasts, the trees along the road threatened
every moment to crush us. It was after dusk when the storm subsided,
and we found shelter in a village 25 miles away from Benares. On
May 27, in Allahabad, we were given an example of India's fiercest
heat. Thermometers indoors, under the influence of fans, exhibited
112 degrees, and in the sunlight open the gauge showed 165 degrees,
heat almost beyond the comprehension of Americans. We remained but one
day in the oven-like hotel, starting at 4 o'clock the next morning,
riding until 9, then resting along the roadway until nightfall, making
the journey by such easy stages to Cawnpore, "the Manchester of India."

Places of historical interest in Cawnpore are calculated as four in
number: first, the site of the government magazine, where Gen. Wheeler,
in charge of Cawnpore forces in 1857, should have erected his
fortifications of defense; second, the memorial church and the open
field south of the structure, where he did assemble his limited force
and the refugees; third, the Suttee Chowra ghat, where the massacre
of the retiring troops and civilians took place; and fourth and last,
Memorial Garden, which commemorates the massacre of the company of
women and children, and the well into which the living were cast with
the dead. We left Cawnpore on Monday, June 1, for Lucknow, one of the
most populous cities of India, situated directly east fifty miles. We
sought out the main road without much difficulty, but for the first
seven miles we had any amount of trouble, through about as rough and
uneven bit of country as one could imagine. As we had left Cawnpore
at 5 o'clock in the afternoon, we had run up only 20 miles to our
credit ere darkness compelled us to light our lamps. While engaged
in this operation our attention was attracted by awful groans at one
side of the roadway. Thinking some poor outcast was dying, I selected
one of the lamps and proceeded to investigate. A wide ditch barred
my progress at the edge of the road, and, mindful of the motto, "Look
before you leap," I flashed the cycle lamp rays on the opposite side
to select a favorable place to alight. There was none in the immediate
vicinity, for as the bright rays penetrated the gloom, they revealed
a large, fine cheetah, or panther, crouched in the edge of the brush,
his eyes fixed on the glare of my lamp, and his fangs disclosed in
excellent array. The sight was a rare one, but as I had learned from
books all I cared to know about the habits of wild beasts, I almost
broke the lamp in my haste to extinguish it and get the ever-handy
45. Cautiously picking my way back to the wheels, Mrs. McIlrath and I
made the chains and sprocket wheels grind out a merry tune to Lucknow.



CHAPTER XVIII.

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


It was our idea to see the sights of Lucknow in two days and return
to Cawnpore on the evening of the second, but our plans were changed,
as Messrs. Thoburn, Robinson and Mansell, of the American Methodist
Mission, called upon us at the hotel and transferred us, bag and
baggage, to the Mission as their guests. Under their guidance we
remained in Lucknow a week. Having returned to Cawnpore, we resumed
our journey on June 11, making rapid progress, principally during
the nights. Ever since entering China, more than a year before,
we had seen daily countless numbers of the hairless, black, water
buffalo. Many Europeans fear them and consider them dangerous, but they
treated us with deference until Sunday, June 20, when we encountered
a herd of the fierce-looking, cumbersome beasts while pedaling our
way to Delhi. I do not believe the buffalos had any premeditated
intention of attacking us, but as we wheeled slowly through a drove,
a calf became imbued with the idea that bicycles were dangerous. He
bolted straight down the road in front of us, running like a winner
for a quarter of a mile. Then he was attracted by some tempting
green leaves, and halted to browse upon them. As soon as we passed
him, the machines which had frightened him became an attraction,
and he meekly trotted out and fell in line behind us. The mother,
who had been lumbering along in the rear, became excited at the
unusual conduct of her son, gave a few short snorts, and set out
in pursuit. Immediately the entire drove joined in the novel race,
and, with a thundering clatter of hard hoofs ringing in our ears,
we realized that we were being pursued. Faster and faster we spun
along, and as native pilgrims heard the uproar, they gave one glance
at the avalanche of bicycle and buffalo sweeping down upon them and
scattered to the right and left. We tried, by shouting and waving
helmets at the calf, to drive him away, but in vain, and the affair,
which had been amusing at first, settled down into a race for life. It
is impossible, as readers know, to take to a tree when on a cycle,
so there was nothing else to do but set a pace for a crazy calf and
a drove of jealous buffalo, and for the next mile and a half we did
so. How the calf came to change his mind about joining his fortune
with ours I do not know, but a sudden cessation of the clatter behind
us revealed on sight the calf recumbent in a pool of water, with his
sympathizing friends and relatives standing by, grimly looking after
us. This was the outcome of the buffalos' end of the race; ours was
garments soaked with perspiration, panting breath, and ourselves so
heated and flushed we were dizzy and faint.

The Queen's Jubilee, celebrated the day following our arrival in
Delhi, gave us opportunity to enjoy an illumination scene in India,
and, though we observed many well-lighted European and government
employes' houses, I should not say that the Indian is as much a lover
of British rule as the British would have others believe. The usual
parade of soldiery and police was the first feature of the evening,
and fireworks the final. I thoroughly enjoyed the astonishment caused
by the presence of a large American flag, flying from a staff lashed
to the life-sized stone elephant which stands in the yard of the
government building, and was much amused at the inscriptions on the red
cloth banners which the natives hung over their doorways. They read,
"Welcome to India;" "Welcome to Delhi," and a rather suggestive few
read, "God bless the Prince." It was a few moments before it dawned
on me that the inscriptions were originally made to please the eye
of the Prince of Wales, when that great functionary of corner-stone
laying and baby christening was doing a little globe-trotting at the
English public's expense. Who did it, and why that American flag, in
all its starry beauty, was flying in front of a government building,
were the principal questions asked by army and police officers the
next day. Delhi, as a city, was founded during the shadowy ages,
which precludes the possibility of dates, but its ruins are visible
to-day on an area ten miles wide and fifteen miles long. How often
the city has changed its site is only limited to the victories gained
by invaders of all tribes and nations. The Rome of Asia, Delhi has
known its Nero; Maharrata, Hindoo, Jain, Persian, Afghan, Mohammedan,
and the cold, unfeeling Britain, have in turn ruled over the Indian
Empire from this ancient city, and the truth has ever been proven that
whosoever held Delhi ruled India. Delhi, like many other Indian cities,
offers the visitor many interesting buildings of native structure, but
so often have we viewed with reverence and awe some superb building,
only to learn that it was a tomb for some notable departed, that the
word "tomb" has become abhorrent. India will linger in our memory
chiefly as one vast group of mausoleums, set in an arid desert and
scorched by the fires of a sun fierce as the furnaces of Sheol.

The exposure to heat, from which the Inter Ocean cyclists were
suffering daily, led to Mrs. McIlrath's serious condition, which
prevented our departure from Delhi on June 24, the day upon which
we had made our arrangements to leave. With face swollen so that
her eyes were half-closed, her skin was entirely covered with tiny
pimples. Small-pox would not have presented a more pitiable sight, but
experts pronounced the case prickly heat, and beyond advising perfect
rest, cool drinks and hot baths, declared that nothing could be done
to drive away or reduce the swelling. Under these conditions we were
unable to proceed until July 1, but with the delightful attentions
shown us by Mr. and Mrs. Aitkin of the Delhi Morning Post, and Major
Mainwaring, of the Native Infantry, time did not hang heavily upon our
hands. We swung into the main road at 6 o'clock one morning, taking the
Grand Trunk once more, and following its course due north. Karnaul,
the city which we should have reached the night before, had it not
been for the stiff head winds, we entered at 8 o'clock the following
morning, just in time to escape a downfall of rain which detained us
until the next day. A second reminder of the plucky little Lenz we
found in the register book of the Karnaul dak bungalow, which read,
"F. G. Lenze, October 10, 1893, arrived six p. m. Departed six a. m.,
October 12, American Bicyclist." Strange as it may seem, this was
only the second instance in which we found trace of Lenz, though in
China, Burmah and India we traveled in all over four thousand miles
on identically the same route.



CHAPTER XIX.

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


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

Several times in the night I was awakened, the last time, along toward
morning, by a severe pain in my left leg. Paralyzed with the thought
of the deadly krite and cobra bite, and the absolute certainty of
death resulting in from five to fifteen minutes, I lay calm and rigid
for a moment, thinking I was the victim of a dream, but the smarting
in my leg continued, and I called to my wife, exclaiming that I had
been bitten. She was awake in an instant, and lighting the lamp, we
looked around for the cobra. Though we could find no possible trace
of a snake, there were on my leg six small punctures, arranged in a
semi-circle. For an hour we waited for indications of snake poison
in my system, but none appeared. Several times I imagined the choking
sensations which precede complete asphyxia, were attacking my throat,
but a gulp of water or a puff at my cigarette dispelled this illusion,
and at the end of sixty minutes I was compelled to admit that my
experience with the cobra had turned out a dismal failure. I cannot
to this day offer any possible explanation of my wounds, unless they
were inflicted by Rodney, the pet monkey which we made our traveling
companion 200 miles back. The "monk" occasionally crept up on my
bed to avoid the ants and insects which swarmed over the ground and
floors, and it may have been that after making himself comfortable,
I had disturbed him and he retaliated by biting the offending leg. Few
persons who have not visited India during the Summer rains, can realize
what danger there is from poisonous reptiles, chiefly the krite and
cobra, and how the dreaded things creep into the most unusual places,
just where one would never think of being cautious. In one village of
400 inhabitants, through which we passed, five persons died from snake
bites during the five days preceding our arrival. Unlike the rattler,
the krite and cobra give no audible warning, except a slight hiss,
and directly opposite is the effect of the bite. While the rattler's
poison acts on the blood, it may be mitigated by ligation above the
wound and the free use of alcohol, but the cobra and krite wounds act
directly upon the nerves, producing paralysis and asphyxia, and despite
all legends to the contrary, the bite of either reptile, if the fangs
are intact, is as surely fatal as decapitation. There is not a remedy
known which will even prolong life after the bite has been inflicted.

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

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

Lahore does not possess temples, mosques and tombs of great
architectural merit, but its chief charm lies in the enormous bazaars
which extend for miles through the main streets of the city. The
buildings are two-story affairs, built of brick and covered with a
staff, which, at a time long ago, was white in color. The shops are
merely square rooms, with open fronts; the goods piled on the floors
and hung from the ceiling in such a manner as to prevent walking
about without danger to stock and inspector. A few of the shops bear
sign-boards, painted in English letters. One in particular that
attracted my attention, announced that "Subri Lall was a Dentist
and Photographer." Another, which struck me as being peculiar,
announced that the firm inside sold "fresh salt, patent medicines
and millinery." Some of the characters we met wandering around
the bazaars selling charms and fetish bags were most interesting
fellows. One gigantic Sikh, who halted at the side of our carriage,
displayed his stock in trade to us, and then exhibited his personal
gear. Under his tunic he wore a coat and helmet of chain mail; in the
belt were seven knives of different sizes, and around the turban were
three sharped-edged flat circles of steel, which are thrown in the
same manner as a boomerang, and in skillful hands will decapitate an
enemy. A stout club, bound with copper, completed the Sikh's outfit,
and as I looked upon this mail-clad, walking arsenal, I could but be
impressed with how very little was English rule and law respected and
feared. Lahore marked the end of our journey along the Grand Trunk
road, as from that city on Tuesday, July 20, we turned directly south
toward the Persian Gulf and the city of Kurachee. Only thirteen miles
of the eight hundred and twenty-four were covered the first evening,
and though the two hours of jolting and jarring were keenly felt,
when we dismounted at the solitary little station at Kana Kacha, the
experience was welcomed. It was home-like, for we had not forgotten
our ride across Illinois, Iowa, Colorado, Utah and Nevada on similar
paths, usually used by the iron horse and the healthy but indigent
hobo. Truly patriotism does assume some homely forms in the American
absent from home, but then patriotism is satisfying in any form.

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

"Yes," said he, "Montgomery is quite a large place, far different
from the little settlement in the desert that I first knew. There
are now 4,000 inhabitants, 2,500 are in jail and the balance should
be, but as I care little for society that fact does not worry me,
and the presence of the city jail assists in making the town. The
heat in Montgomery is what renders it almost unbearable. Last year
we stood at the head of the list in India, and let me tell you in
quiet confidence, that a man that can exist ten years in Montgomery
will thoroughly enjoy himself in hell."

Early in the morning of July 28 we said good-bye to our friends in
Montgomery, and resumed our grind along the railway line, but we
were lonesome no longer. Each train that passed us was manned by a
crew who greeted us with cheers and encouraging signals as the train
whizzed by, and we humbly and laboriously bucked along over the humps
and high spots. From Kacha Khuh we took a run over to Mooltan City,
returning to Kacha Khuh by rail. The break in the journey afforded
us time to form new and desirable acquaintances, and various little
trips, via rail, such as this, furnished us with an insight of a
phase of life in India of which we knew nothing before, and which
will never cease to be of interest to us--the joys of a traveler
on a railway line conducted by the English Government on the English
system. In India passengers may be transported in three classes, first,
second and third, and as I have yet to learn anything English which
is branded first-class and touches the American idea of A 1, we did
not for a moment consider the second and third rate inducements of
low fare. Purchasing two slips of pasteboard at the "booking office,"
for which we paid two cents a mile, we were informed that we could
take the triangular luggage cases, which we wished to check, into the
carriage with us, no goods being checked, but dumped into the "brake
van" to be called for and identified by the owner. The first-class
carriage was easily identified on the exterior by a coat of white
paint, but the first glance into the interior would have led one to
believe it was a well-loaded furniture van, on any old day about May
1. Our fellow passengers were a Catholic priest and a lieutenant of
Her Majesty's army, and into a space only eight feet long were piled
their belongings. I took an inventory and counted five trunks, two
valises, four hat-boxes, a wash bowl in a leather case, cane, golf
stick, riding whip, four large sun helmets, two rolls of bedding,
one bundle of books and a lunch hamper. Arriving at Kacha Khuh, we
managed to attract the attention of the guard, who kindly released
us, and as we dismounted from the carriage we were convinced that our
cycles afforded us just about as great speed, comfort and certainly
less inconvenience than the government railway train in India. Truly
the Chinese are hide-bound in customs, but the English run them a close
race. Though many of their methods are modern, in railways, hotels and
conveniences for the public at large, they are far in the rear of the
ever-advancing army of modern progress which has its headquarters in
the United States of America, and whose generals are the same "wooden
nutmeg" inventing Yankees, of whom the English so often speak lightly.



CHAPTER XX.

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


Our last days in India were spent during the monsoon season. The
deserts had become lakes of steaming water, the matted undergrowth
of rank grass and vegetation rotting, and that we escaped without
malarial or typhoid fever was almost a miracle. The railway tracks,
which formed our only path, were cut away by the flood of ceaseless
rain. The ballast had been swept away and the clay embankment cut
into a series of gullies. Four hundred miles we had to push and plod
our way through this sticky mass. We left Khanpur on the evening
of Aug. 18. The rain had been pouring down for three days, and had
subsided into a steady drizzle, which we deemed the most favorable
opportunity we would have for a start. We arrived at Daharki, in the
plague-stricken district of India, on Aug. 20. We spent the next day,
Sunday, at Daharki, and early on the morning of Aug. 22 we started
out on a day of mishaps. Before we had passed the yard limits my
rear tire collapsed, necessitating a delay of half an hour. Then
an unusually long bridge of open structure made our limbs tremble,
and scarcely two miles further came a second puncture. Under ordinary
circumstances punctures with the outfit and tire we use are trifling
affairs, but when each minute counts, as with a race with the sun,
such delays are of as great importance to us as any delay to the fire
department on its way to a conflagration. Three hours interviewed,
when a loud hiss from my rear tire announced a third puncture, and
in a few minutes the rim, bumping and smashing on the stone ballast,
announced that I was "without air." Three punctures in less than thirty
miles was a record to which we were quite unaccustomed. With a third
disaster, and no plugs to repair with, my suspicions were aroused
and upon investigation I found five large wounds in the tire. As the
injury extended along one side only, and that the side which did not
come in contact with the ballast, I examined the sides and found the
threads torn outward. While sitting on the edge of the railroad ties,
gloomily reflecting on the long walk before me, and wondering who could
so maliciously have damaged my tire, the pet monkey, Rodney, crawled
from his resting place in the bosom of my coat and began plucking grass
and herbs. I paid but little attention to him until I heard a sound at
the wheel, and turned just in time to discover Rodney chewing a fresh
hole. I had caught the offender in the act, and subsequent observations
convinced me that he was determined either to make a monkey of us,
or satisfy the inexplicable monkey in him. The only reason I failed
to kick that grinning ape into space larger than that longed for by
the most ardent balloonist, was that he skipped through a barb wire
fence quicker than I could reach him with my foot. Mrs. McIlrath
carried him into Sarhad, for had he been consigned to my care I fear
he would have been cast adrift on the Indus. I reached Sarhad at noon,
and had the journey been a mile longer the heat certainly would have
killed me. From Sarhad I wired for our trunks and got them after
much difficulty. They were billed to a station forty miles ahead,
and the station master at first refused flatly to surrender them. He
gave them to me after my protests, that without them I should have
to walk forty miles more. The plugs were found, the necessary repairs
made and at 5 o'clock in the afternoon we were again upon our way.

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

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

We were in Kurrachee for a week, an attack of fever detaining me. Then
began preparation for our trip through Beloochistan, a trip which we
did not take. From Kurrachee there is a telegraph line which skirts
the coast of Beloochistan and enters Persia. This was the route we had
calculated upon since leaving Chicago, and with a view of assisting
us to obtain information regarding the conditions of the road, the
distances and supply stations, Mr. W. Flowers Hamilton, the United
States consular agent, gave a dinner, at which we met a number of
British officials and heads of the railway department. These same
gentlemen had entertained Lenz on his journey, but when the subject
was broached of Mrs. McIlrath and myself making the same trip, great
surprise was expressed and the question advanced as to whether or not
the government would permit it. "But why should Lenz be permitted to
pass through and not ourselves?" I asked of Mr. Barker, the telegraph
superintendent. "Things were different then," he replied. "The
borders from Cashmere to the gulf are now up in arms, and battles
are being fought daily, and not with the most satisfactory result to
the government either." This was the first intimation we received
that the government would probably interfere with our action. The
second came a few days later in a letter from the American Consular
Department, which caused me post haste to begin a systematic routine
of calls upon the British officials. The letter was dated Sept. 14,
and signed by Mr. Hamilton. Briefly, it was a protest against our
intention of proceeding to Beloochistan. "I am not a pessimist,"
he wrote, "and would be the last person to thwart your desires in
any way, were there the remotest chance of your safely accomplishing
the journey you have planned. I feel, though, that since the natives
between this and the Persian frontier are bound to forcibly resist
your passage to the territory, that to attempt the journey would
mean sudden death to you both, and I earnestly request you to accept
my advice and to adopt the alternative route via Bushire, Shiraz,
Ispaham, Teheran, Tabriz and Batoum."

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

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



CHAPTER XXI.

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


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

To learn that there were no telegrams and news concerning our money,
which had been lost in the mails to Kurrachee, would have stunned us
had we been anything but American nomads. Bushire did not afford a
hotel, and two paupers were forced to look up an Armenian shop-keeper,
and persuade him to clear two rooms in an unfinished building,
and furnish us with bedding and food during our enforced stay. By
sundown on the day of our arrival we were comfortably installed,
and though seriously crippled as active participants in the world's
tour, we were happy and cheerful. Though the community of foreigners
in Bushire was small, there is a certain sympathetic bond between all
which renders the circle delightful, and as all welcome a new arrival
with outstretched arms, we found our stay in the town a very pleasant
one. We were dined by Mr. Ferguson and Mr. Churchill, of the Interior
Bank of Persia; Surgeon Captain Lumsden, Mr. J. Meyer and Col. Mead,
the British Consul General. We also enjoyed a delightful little
"tiffin" with Mr. Christmas, of the Indo-European Telegraph Company's
inspection corps, and all of these gentlemen united in preparing us
for our journey inland. As the first and second steamers arriving from
India brought no news of our lost money, we finally gave up all idea
of restoration, and deciding that a longer wait was impracticable,
made preparation to start at once, having communicated by cable with
our American resources. After a week of laying in stores, supplies and
heavy clothing, obtaining passports, permits to sleep in telegraph
stations, and letters of introduction, we bade adieu to our friends
on Nov. 8, and following in the rear of a gang of coolies, started
forth to Teheran.

The journey from Bushire to Teheran may be divided into three
complete stages: first, from Bushire to Shiraz, 173 miles; thence
to Ispahan, 312 miles; then on to Teheran, 285 miles. To cycle from
Bushire to Shiraz is quite as impossible as to cycle up the side of
Pike's Peak. The elevation often reaches 6,000 feet and the road
is a mass of boulders and deep sand. The ascent is not gradual,
but a continuation of terraces called "kotals" by the Persians,
and in these kotals donkeys are the only creatures which can safely
walk and carry burdens. Our path lay through uninhabited sand desert,
with not a tree or shrub visible. Walking over unbroken road by the
side of a patient and heavily-laden mule is as tiresome as it is
monotonous, and we were a badly used pair when we arrived at Kushub,
the end of our first day's journey in Persia. Resuming the trip the
next morning, we soon caught up with a caravan of three score mules,
laden with shiny tin cases of petroleum, which bore the welcome brand,
"made in the United States." Our forces now consisted of more than
fifty men, the majority armed with muzzle-loading rifles, a few with
pistols and the remainder with clubs having iron knobs at the end. We
felt then sufficiently strong to resist the robbers, against whom
we had been warned. The bandits first manifested themselves when the
caravan was stopped, and the head muleteer asked for a "present." I
was astounded to find that the robbers were none other than a few
soldiers who were supposed to be guarding a little village we had
passed some miles back. As the "present" is always cash, and often
demanded at the muzzle of a gun, the courts of any civilized country
would probably call such proceeding highway robbery, but in Persia,
where troops are unpaid at under-paid rates, and often go ragged
and hungry for years, the laws cannot be supposed to be of superior
standing to the army. Toward Mrs. McIlrath and me the unkempt rascals
were civil enough, but persisted in detaining the muleteers. I suppose
the basis of a "present" was finally agreed upon, for the orders were
given to push on after a brief delay. We were slightly in advance of
the caravan, continuing our way among the boulder-strewn foothills,
when just about daybreak, three men sprang from behind rocks and
halted us. They demanded money. Our servant was slightly in advance
of Mrs. McIlrath and me, and he promptly pushed a 45-calibre revolver
under the nose of the leader. The second man looked into my rifle, and
in less than ten seconds so many gun locks clicked behind my back that
I feared one would be discharged by accident, and the boy and myself
perforated as well as the bandits. It was evident from the manner of
the trio that they realized that they had made a mistake, but whether
the mistake lay in the fact that we were well armed, or that we were
foreigners, was not made clear. They declared themselves soldiers, who
only wished a "present" and when I refused to accept their explanation,
they protested that they were honest men, but hungry. Such might have
been the case, but we gave them nothing except advice that they sell
their guns and buy bread. An attempt on the part of a second trio of
men, encountered a few days later, to obtain a contribution, resulted
in an exhibition of spunk by Mrs. McIlrath. The leader had seized
the bridle of her mule, and startled her to such an extent that she
poked the muzzle of her revolver into the fellow's face. The villain
released his grip and apologized profusely for not having recognized
us as Europeans. They seemed to think that so long as they robbed
only the natives, they committed no crime.

We halted at Diriz on Oct. 12, having been on the road for twelve
hours without food. The muleteers, for some reason, probably
anxiety to fulfill their contract and be through with us, protested
against the delay, urging that we could find neither food, water
nor shelter in the place. I had learned by this time that the low
caste Persians are born liars, and insisting upon the stop, we found,
just as we had expected, both food and water. We refreshed ourselves,
and two hours later proceeded at snail-like pace across the plain to
Kazeroon. We spent three days in this city, the guests of Mr. Marker,
an excellent type of the educated Armenian, who furnished us with
much information and took care to see that we were started on our
journey in proper form. Wearied by the fatigue of sleepless days
and monotonous journeying by night, we changed our hours for travel
when we left Kazeroon, taking our departure at 8 o'clock in the
morning. One of the most laborious tasks of our entire journey was
now before us. Climbing the Alps is nothing compared with the ascent
of the kotals in Persia. The muleteers know nothing of scenery, and
do not even know the names of villages only a half a mile from the
beaten path. But they do know that delays cause great annoyance, and
they keep you constantly at the best speed you are capable of making,
lest some descending caravan meet you and confusion ensue. One of the
mules, upon which was loaded Mrs. McIlrath's bicycle, backed into
a huge boulder which jutted into the road, breaking the fork and
rendering it unfit for use. Friday, Nov. 19, the road into Shiraz,
began to take on a fairly smooth appearance, whereat I lost no time
in oiling up my bike. As I prepared for a stiff run into Shiraz,
Mrs. McIlrath, contemplated her damaged machine, and expressed a
wish that the mule had died the day before she entrusted her wheel
to his care. Two miles of fairly level road enabled me to distance
the horde of rough riders. Caravan after caravan my cycle passed,
not pausing until I whizzed down the main street of Shiraz, arriving
three hours ahead of my party.

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



CHAPTER XXII.

    AT THE RUINS OF PERSEPOLIS--AN AUTOGRAPH ON THE PORCH OF
    XERXES--LOST IN A SNOWSTORM AND MRS. McILRATH'S FEET FROZEN.


Describing the ruins of an ancient city, a famous structure, or
even a locality, which, to the modern world, is vaguely grasped
as having an existence, is a task most difficult. Consequently
I shall in no manner attempt to enter detail in describing the
ruins of Persepolis. Towering forty-five feet above the plain the
grand platform extends 1,500 feet north by south, and, far as the
excavations of explorers have revealed, 800 feet east and west. The
first of the remarkable remnants of Achæmenian glory which greet one,
are the pieces which form the group known as the Porch of Xerxes. The
portals are the favorite background upon which visitors inscribe their
names. I have always held such proceeding as vandalism, and thought the
names of British ambassadors, naval officers, and clergy deface the
rock. I should have foregone the pleasure of perpetuating our visit,
had not my eye fallen upon the following inscription: "Stanley, New
York Herald, 1870." Never for a moment has an inhabitant of Chicago
allowed that New York to thrust its ancient claim upon the world as a
typical American city without resentment, and immediately we chipped
beneath, "McIlrath, Chicago Inter Ocean, 1897."

Our tour of the ruins was thorough, including visits to the grand hall
of Xerxes, the hall of One Hundred Columns, and the tombs of Darius
and Xerxes, south of the Grand Platform. Persepolis, as it stands
to-day, is a stern rebuke to him who styled himself "King of Kings"
and "Ruler of the Rulers of the Universe," and vowed that he would
build a city that would be the capital of the world, and peopled
by all tribes until time nevermore. On Sunday, Dec. 4, we resumed
our journey up the hills toward Dehbid. The roads were muddy and the
various streams swollen, and we encountered rainstorms and high winds,
which caused us to lose the path and occasioned us much discomfort
before we could enter the town of Murghab. We found the hotel crowded
with passengers, many of whom had seen us previously. There was one
Persian in the number who evidently wished to speak to me concerning
Frank Lenz, since he uttered the boy's name, pointed to the bicycle,
and drew his finger across his own throat in a manner suggestive
of Lenz's horrible fate. Monday, Dec. 6, our journey, though not
extensive, was exhaustive; we walked up grades too steep to permit
of riding, and we walked down grades too steep and rough to ride
with safety. Occasionally we passed through sections of country
where patches of snow glistened under the shade of bushes and wild
grass. From Khan-I-Khergan our ride was a steady up-hill grind for
several miles, but ended when the summit was gained by a four-mile
dash down-grade into the little settlement of Dehbid. When we left the
following morning we had the wind at our back and made such excellent
time that we entered the dreaded Koli-kush before we realized it. We
experienced no difficulty in the pass, riding down the opposite side
as easily as we had ascended the southern approach. There is little
to tell of our ride into Surmek, except that we made it at the rate
of fifteen miles an hour. The scenery in the background was rugged
and outlined against the clear blue sky was beautiful. The high
fever which Mrs. McIlrath developed in consequence of a drenching,
caused the loss of a day in Abadeh, but it gave me an opportunity
of visiting the bazaars and inspecting the marvelous work done by
the wood-carvers. We cycled from the telegraph station on Dec. 11,
bound for Maksudbeg, seventy-one miles north. We found the roads in
passable condition and were escorted for eight or ten miles by a
Mr. Stevens, who is connected with the telegraph company, and the
solitary cyclist of Central Persia. Passing through the cities of
Shulgistan and Yezbikhast, we should have made Maksudbeg early in the
afternoon, but I discovered three large lacerations in my rear tire,
which prevented fast riding.

The "Khaneh" at Maksudbeg was well filled the night of our arrival,
but until our baggage train and interpreter arrived we lacked for
nothing. We left Maksudbeg early the next morning, whirling at a rapid
rate to Marg, where we stopped for the night. On Tuesday, Dec. 14,
when we again set out for Julfa, we completed within thirteen miles
the second of the three long stages into Teheran. Though many Persians
reside in Julfa, the town is typically Armenian. The same high walls
that are so general in Persian cities, face each street, but the
buildings inside are Armenian, the inscriptions over the doors are
in Armenian characters, and the majority of the people seen on the
street are Armenians. The Armenian men are a type in themselves. They
appear dirtier than the Persian, and if circumstances permit,
they affect European clothes and get beastly drunk. In occupation,
the Armenian finds himself adapted to any business or trade and in
general transactions is a fluent liar and barefaced cheat. There
are few good Armenians, but there are those who have received a
liberal education, or have been taken in hand by kindly people and
brought up to Christian and civilized ideas. The other good Armenians
are like the good American Indians--they are deceased Armenians. At
Ispahan we were the guests of Bishop Stuart, of the Church of England
Mission. Ispahan is just across the Landah River from Julfa, and is
not so void of features. Having visited, at his palace, His Royal
Highness, the Zil-i Sultan of Persia, the Armenian Cathedral, and
the brass working bazaar of Ispahan, we departed for the North on
Saturday, Dec. 19. We had a long, hard ride over ravines strewn with
rocks, to the city of Soh, where we were the guests of Mr. Newey, an
intimate friend of Mr. Christmas, whom we met in Bushire. Snow began
to fall on Dec. 22, and our entertainer refused positively to allow
us to proceed. The storm did not cease until the following morning,
when, despite the protests of Mr. Newey, we set out for the village of
Khurud, twenty-five miles away, and a most disastrous trip it proved
to be. We expected to cover the distance to Khurud by 4 o'clock in
the afternoon, but when that hour arrived our cyclometers registered
but eight miles, and we were worn out and almost unable to proceed
farther. We had prepared for the trip by putting on extra sweaters
and incasing our legs in heavy woolen leggings, such as are worn by
native travelers, but we found, after a mile or so on the road, that
the most discomfort we suffered was with our hands and feet. Beneath
the snow were many pools of water, and into these we floundered,
wetting ourselves to the knees and our bicycles to the hubs.

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

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

It would have been Mrs. McIlrath's duty as a woman to have fainted
when the horses arrived, but she did nothing of the kind. She thanked
God, as I did, and when placed in the saddle, wrapped herself in
blankets and ordered the men to "hurry up" just as if we had been
waiting for them by appointment. Slowly we descended the tortuous
path, the intelligent horses leading the men until the right road
was regained. I called to my wife to ascertain her condition, and
she assured me that her feet no longer pained, but were "warm and
comfortable." Two hours later, when we halted at the Chapar Khaneh,
my wife cried to me piteously that she could not walk, and I knew only
too well why her feet had been "warm and comfortable." We carried her
into the dim-lighted post-room and cut the leggings from her limbs. The
shoes were ice-covered and stiff. The blackness of her stockings ended
at the ankles, and the foot casings were white frost. My instructions
to the men were to rub her feet with snow, until each toe showed
its natural ruddy glow to a candle light held behind it. For two
hours they kept up a vigorous massage, and then when the power of
motion was restored and swelling was noticeable, I was content to
leave the rest to nature. Two men on horses went up the slopes of
the mountain next day and brought in the cycles. The cyclometer was
frozen so tightly that at the first revolution of the wheel it had
broken off. Otherwise the machines were unharmed. It was absolutely
necessary that we reach a point which would afford communication
with the nearest surgeon, and on Friday we wrapped Mrs. McIlrath in
blankets and placed her upon a horse, our destination being Kashan,
a telegraph station. We were in the saddle ten hours before we sighted
the city. The telegraph operator was an Armenian, drunk as he could
be, and after questioning me as to my ability to speak and understand
English, he permitted us to occupy the waiting room.

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



CHAPTER XXIII.

    THE MOST MISERABLE OF ALL CHRISTMAS DAYS--RACE BETWEEN WHEEL AND
    SULTAN'S CAVALRYMEN--DESERTED BY A COWARDLY DRIVER.


We lingered three days at Kashan before the preliminary treatment of
my wife's feet permitted us to proceed. Here we spent our Christmas
Day, dejected and home-sick. In vain we searched the bazaars for
a turkey, goose, or duck for our Christmas dinner, but as if to
recompense us for our earnest efforts to celebrate, a ragged coolie
brought us a rabbit, and with turnips in lieu of sweet potatoes, we
endeavored to deceive ourselves into believing we had enjoyed a good
old-fashioned Southern feast. We left Kashan in the native "khagvar,"
two shallow boxes placed on a mule's back, the boxes laden equally
to balance the load on either side. We placed Mrs. McIlrath on one
side, her bicycle, luggage case and bedding in the opposite box, and
on Tuesday, Dec. 28, resumed our journey. The first night of our stop
on the way to Koom the owner of the khadgavar refused to continue on
the journey without an increase to the contract price for the rent of
his mule. Mrs. McIlrath's condition would not admit of a delay, and I
was compelled to resort to the extreme measures used in China in such
a case, and with success, for within ten minutes we were again on the
road. While stopping at a tea house for refreshments on Dec. 29, our
little caravan was overtaken by three of the Sultan's cavalrymen. They
were inclined to twit us on the effort required to propel bicycles,
and I challenged them for a race. Although Mrs. McIlrath required
my attention hourly, she entertains such contempt for those who
despise cycling, that it was at her request that I left her behind
to engage in the test of speed with the horse-soldiers. I left the
three troopers easily in the rear after their steeds had begun to
show signs of fatigue, never for an instant slackening my pace until
I flashed into a village eight miles from the starting point. I had
regained my composure, smoked several cigarettes and idled away half
an hour ere the horsemen appeared on the brow of a hill one mile
away. Though the riders were breathless, their horses reeking with
foam, when they halted in front of the tea house, not a look or a word
betrayed their chagrin, and they proffered tea and cigarettes with
good grace but with great dignity. Not satisfied with the one defeat,
the captain demanded that I overtake him ere the next stage. They had
a good half hour's start of me, because I waited for Mrs. McIlrath's
arrival. As soon as she assured me of her comfortable condition,
I sprang into saddle, and settled down into a gait which carried
me nine miles into an open valley, just in time to sight the three
horsemen and the city of Pasangoon in the distance. The horsemen must
have sighted me as soon as I did them, for when I next looked up the
trio had separated and were strung along the road in Indian file. I
strained every muscle to the utmost, but the up-grade, the load of
camera, revolvers, luggage case and monkey had been too great, and I
only succeeded in overtaking one of the trio. The other two had not
dismounted when I reached the Chapar Khaneh, and were loud in their
greeting and praise of the "asp-i-chubee," as they called the bicycle.

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

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

The city of Teheran has been the imperial residence since Shah
Aga Mohammed Kahn, founder of the Khajar dynasty, which now reigns,
chose to elevate the insignificant village to a place of royal abode,
and bestowed upon it the titles, "City of the Shadow of God," and
"Footstool of the King of Kings." We visited the magnificent palace of
the reigning Shah, Muzaffaru-ud-din, and also made a tour to Dashen
Tappi, one of his favorite resorts. In this latter tour our party
consisted of Mr. Black, Mr. Morris and myself, three cyclists; two
horsemen, Messrs. Warner and DeMunk; and Misses DeMunk and Warner, and
Mrs. McIlrath, entrusted to the care of a Cossack, who drove a pair of
mules attached to a heavy Russian carriage. Owing to the condition of
Mrs. McIlrath's extremities we were unable to accept many invitations,
but despite the fact, we left Teheran greatly indebted to the members
of the European Colony there. When we departed on Feb. 25, it was by
the carriage, as cycling to Resht was entirely out of the question,
the roads being deep with snow and the passes in the mountains
ice-bound. There is little to write of the journey in Persia. Scenery
was either a vast plain, studded with sagebrush, or the panorama
was that of a barren, dull rock which had neither rugged beauty nor
picturesque formation. Three days of this monotonous travel brought us
to Kasbin, where we were delayed by more wretched weather until March
6. More snow fell directly we took to the road, our path often taking
us along the edge of a precipice the entire slope of which, above and
below us, was glaring ice. A slip or a false step meant certain death,
and each instant that an iron-shod hoof grated and crushed, we expected
to hear a wild shriek and the crash of a fatal fall. At one point on
the journey we passed a party of laborers at work rescuing from the
bottom of the gorge a horse and rider, both stiff in death. This was
but one of the many horrors on the road to Resht, which we reached on
March 13. The city affords two hotels, both conducted by Frenchmen,
and as we inquired for the best, we were directed to one designated as
the Hotel Europe. I would recommend any reader contemplating a trip to
Resht to apply for lodgings at the other hotel. Our knowledge of the
French language was limited, but though we had absorbed sufficient
to enable us to eat heartily and sleep soundly in French, we felt
certain of success at the Europe Hotel. The avaricious design of the
frowsy proprietor foiled us, however, and as his rates were $8 a day,
we made our stay in the city as short as possible.



CHAPTER XXIV.

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


We left Resht Monday, March 21, on board the nondescript steamer
"B." There were but two cabins afforded by the steamer, and to one
of these Capt. Ahrninckie assigned the Inter Ocean tourists. The run
to Baku is less than the Chicago-Milwaukee or Cleveland-Detroit runs,
but owing to delays we did not reach Baku until Thursday, March 24. We
formed a number of friends in the city, dinners, teas and drives being
of daily occurrence. We also attended the opera, but as great as was
our diversion, we pined for the days that we should again be in the
saddle, with our feet upon the pedal. Our Easter Sunday of 1898 we
spent in Tiflis, the quaintest of all Russian cities. Tiflis is called
the "Paris of the Caucasus," but the real significance of the name
is "Hot Springs." Hot Springs there are at Tiflis, not of valuable
mineral nature, but most grateful to the weary traveler who visits
the bath-houses, and after a thorough steaming is kneaded into supple
activity by Persian attendants. Here, of all the cities on earth,
I do not know of any one which will afford the visitor more varied
and interesting street scenes. New Orleans, when in the regalia
of its annual Mardi-Gras, is not more picturesque. It is not only
the fanciful appearance of the street, but the unique procession of
pedestrians, men of all nations, that makes Tiflis and its streets
appear like the dancing room of a bal masque. The Russian and the
natives of the Caucasus are more hospitable than any people we ever
met. Officials of the city heaped upon us courtesies and seemed to
enter into a contest with each other in paying us attention. The last
few days of our stay in Tiflis were unusually busy. The ruined tires
of Mrs. McIlrath's bicycle and the badly damaged front tire of my own
had to be replaced by new ones, and the best we could make out was to
purchase inner tubes and alter our old tires to suit the available
article. We left Tiflis on April 14, many friends being present to
see us off. We were all happy, even including Rodney, the monkey,
to be again awheel. I should mention that it was not until after our
sojourn in Tiflis that Mrs. McIlrath was able, for the first time since
her horrible night in the mountains of Persia, to put her feet again
to the pedals of her machine. Lost twice on the road, and with many
an inconvenience and delay, an account of which would be but to go
over in part our misfortunes in other climes, we arrived during the
latter part of April at Ahkty, 60 miles from Mount Ararat, the most
famed mountain in the world's history, the resting place of the ark
in which Noah preserved the family, human animal, reptile and winged.

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

An oil-laden tramp steamer, after three days of wallowing along the
shores of Asia Minor, placed us in Constantinople on June 9. We had
been directed to several hotels in the city, but as our informants
had confessed that all were uniformly piratical in their practices,
we selected one directly opposite the American Consulate. Galatea,
the section of the city in which we landed, is the water front and
wholesale commercial portion of the town, and as we threaded our way
through the crowded street, following closely the coolies who carried
our luggage, we had excellent opportunity of witnessing the sights
of the most interesting quarter of the great city. To those who
have not visited the interiors of China, India, Burmah and Persia,
Constantinople may appear truly Oriental, but to the Inter Ocean
cyclists the city presented anything but a resemblance to manners
and customs Eastern. We spent seven days in diligent search for
curious sights, and of them all we decided that the most attractive
features were the Salaamlik, or public reception at prayer by the
Sultan; "the dogs of Stamboul" and Constantinople, the fires and fire
department, and the museum and the tomb of Alexander. The religious
day of Mussulmans is Friday, and we were present when Abdul Hamid,
the Sultan, wended his way to the mosque to pray. The populists
turned out to greet him, and soldiers flashed their way through the
streets; it was a gala day in Constantinople. We saw the face of
the Sultan squarely, but it did not please us. If it were possible
for human face to resemble a hawk, the Sultan of Turkey certainly
bore that resemblance to the cruel bird. The eyes were glittering,
the brows big and slanting, the nose hooked, and the lips thin and
compressed. The face was not one to be forgotten. Features do not
always bespeak the character of a man, but, after looking into the
eyes of the Sultan, one could readily understand how such a man could
order the extermination of the opposing sect of a religious people,
and calmly read the report of his subordinates who informed him
that 3,500 of his Armenian subjects had been slain in the streets of
Constantinople and Stamboul in less than thirty-six hours.

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

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

I do not know that jealousy was the cause of the little fellow's
self-inflicted end, but I am inclined to believe that the desire
to reach some strawberries which lay upon the table near him, the
twisting of the strap on his neck, and the consequent choking, had
more to do with the ending of Rodney's erratic career.

We departed for Constantza, Roumania, Saturday, June 18, on one of
the coasting steamers carrying mail and passengers to the Oriental
express, bound for Paris via Buda-Pesth and Vienna. I would not
attempt to fix the date when Roumania was populated, but during
the ages when Romans required visitors to do as Romans did, the
toga-clad nation utilized Roumania as a sort of ancient Australia,
a dumping-ground for incorrigible criminals. Some of the hotel and
restaurant keepers in Roumania at the present day should be able to
trace their ancestry without trouble. The traits of the pioneers are
still exhibited. Constantza is pretty; it is one of those white, clean
little places which only exist on the sea fronts where coal dust, soot
and factories and black dust is unknown. It is called the "Brighton
of Roumania," but since the water off Long Island is just as salt, and
the hotel prices almost as exorbitant, the name might be improved on.

We selected the Hotel Union in Bucharest as our stopping place,
but scarcely had we entered the corridors one evening than a crowd
hemmed us in and began the usual catechism in the three popular
languages, French, German and Roumanian. Though I managed to slip
Mrs. McIlrath through the crowd and up to her chamber, I was unable
to leave the throng until two hours later. The next day we were
visited by the various members of the "Clubul Ciclistilar Bucharest,"
which means Bucharest's Cycling Club, and, after luncheon with some
of the English-speaking members, we were made honorary members
of the organization. Principally Germans, the club is a jolly
set. They were our guides, companions and entertainers during our
sojourn in the city. They sent flowers to Mrs. McIlrath, dined us,
invited us to their meetings, and presented us with souvenirs of the
occasion. We fared well in the city, and our ride over the miserable
roads was the chief topic in cycling circles. It is inconceivable
to me why a country so intensely interesting as Roumania, a city
so wickedly fascinating and beautiful as Bucharest, should be so
little frequented by travelers. Paris, with all its world-wide
reputation as a city of gold-plated vice, cannot compare with the
more obscure Bucharest. Lovers of beautiful architecture will find
in the palaces, museum and academy all that they desire; admirers of
glittering uniforms and lovely women will be able to feast their eyes
each evening, when all the capital turns out in dress parade on the
beautiful boulevarde; artists will find quaint characters, costumes,
landscapes and romantic homes, and the novelist of Zolaism will
be able to weave plots of realism that will horrify the morals and
titillate the perverted palate of the sensation-loving gourmand. As
a kingdom, Roumania enjoys liberties which are not to be equaled in
any republic extant. The press is free to the extent that monarch
and private character, private history and personal characteristics
are not exempt from type. Were American editors to write as do
their Roumanian brothers, the vocation would be one excluded from
the lists of acceptable risks of life insurance companies. Rains
delayed our departure from Bucharest until Sunday, July 26. We were
escorted on our start from the city, at 1 o'clock in the afternoon,
by Messrs. Furth and Jensen, two of the most hardy road riders of the
Bucharest Cycling Club, and we whirled off thirty-one kilometers ere
we entered Ploesti, the half-way stop.



CHAPTER XXV.

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


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

When we departed from Siniai we left behind us one of the most
romantic and beautiful of cities. Our route was slightly up-hill for
the first twenty-five kilometers, but with excellent roads, cool air
and frequent shade we did not feel any discomfort and rode rapidly. It
is tantalizing to other cyclists and tourists for one to write of
elegant roadways, delightful scenery and charming little roadside inns,
when the location is so unavailable as Eastern Europe is to American
cyclists, but it would be an act of injustice to Roumania were we not
to admit it the most beautiful of countries, and the northern section
the most perfect of cycling routes. Where the valleys narrow into a
pass, the road, cut into the side of rocks, is shaded by overhanging
cliffs, and at short intervals are situated moss-covered wooden
troughs, through which trickle ice water, clear as only snow water
can be when percolated through porous rock. We were rudely disturbed
in our survey of entrancing scenery one bright morning by a soldier
standing guard at a small house by the roadside. We were at Predeal,
the border line between Roumania and Austria-Hungary. Mr. Boxshall,
the American vice-consul at Bucharest, had given us letters from the
Austro-Hungarian consul at Bucharest, and this, with my muchly-indorsed
passport, made an important looking package document which I had
handed two officers in the examining room of the outpost. After a
careful perusal of the papers, they respectfully declined to inspect
our luggage and permitted us to pass into Hungary territory. Tomasu,
an Austro-Hungarian customs house, was five miles north, and as we
did not expect further formality until reaching that point, we set
out at a lively pace as soon as our papers had been returned. We had
proceeded scarcely a hundred yards ere a trooper in uniform stepped
from a sentry-box and commanded us to halt. As he possessed a rifle
and a business-like expression, we checked up immediately. An officer
now appeared and demanded receipts for sixty florins, which should
have been paid on our bicycles as revenue bond. The sixty florins,
he explained, would be returned to us on our departure from Austrian
territory, but as our entire finances did not greatly exceed that sum,
we endeavored to appease the demands of the revenue department by a
display of papers. The official after questioning us regarding our
trip, became gracious, and returning our papers, motioned us to go
ahead without further annoyance. Having successfully run the gauntlet
on two occasions, the task at Tomasu was comparatively easy--in
fact a pleasure--the officials endorsing our papers, inviting us to
luncheon and providing us with maps. Leaving Tomasu, the grade was
in our favor, and late in the afternoon we halted at the village
inn at Persani. Stepping inside to quench our thirst, two men who
had taken an unusual interest in our bicycles and selves drew near
to listen to our conversation. One chap had an enormous revolver,
and as the other stood with feet far apart, he thrust his hands under
the tails of his smock. There was something familiar in the attitude,
and I could not but exclaim to my wife, "I will bet a hundred dollars
that chap has hip pockets in his trousers, and if he has, he has been
in America." The word America settled all doubt. The pair advanced
and declared themselves. In typical "contract labor" dialect. I was
addressed as "Boss," informed that America was "bully," and that
they had "built" a railroad at Salem, Ohio, and had brought home hip
pockets filled with big guns and American money. They insisted upon
buying us beer in true American style, and as they departed with a
low bow, they looked at the common herd of untraveled with haughty air.

We endured slight showers during the afternoon of June 29, which
proved our undoing for a century run. After a hard fall on one of
the slippery hills, I limped into Peterfalva, 85 miles away from our
starting point at midnight, the front fork of my wheel badly bent,
and the grips broken from the handle-bars. A half-drunken blacksmith,
whom I found in the village the next morning, made an aggravating botch
of the repair, but it lasted to Muhlenbach, eighteen miles distant,
where a cyclist kindly escorted me to a repair shop. The foreman of the
shop had read of the Inter Ocean tourists, and promised us a permanent
repair. He kept his word, and we again started on our journey at 6
in the evening. Twenty miles out of Muhlenbach a storm broke upon
us and for two hours no cyclists ever had such hard riding, unless,
of course, it be up the snow-clad mountains of Persia. We eventually
found a wine house on the roadside, to which we were admitted, but
informed that we could not be permitted to pass the night there. We
flatly refused to go, and when the fat wife of the proprietor realized
that we meant just what we said, she brought in straw and arranged
a bed for us, where we slept until daylight. At Broos, where we
stopped for breakfast, a jolly young fellow introduced himself to
us as Erlich Janos, captain of the local wheel club, a pilot of
Thomas Stevens, American World's cyclist of '85, and an admirer of
the Inter Ocean tourists. Erlich Janos, or, as we should call him,
John Erlich, had maps of a territory through which we would travel,
and he asked permission to accompany us on part of the run. We were
delighted to have him, and our admiration for him was doubled when he
appeared in modern wheeling costume in the seat of one of the latest
made machines. We covered thirty miles before halting for luncheon,
and the good-natured cyclist continued with us as far as a fork in
the road ten miles from Dobra. July 4 was spent on a lovely stretch
of road, whirling toward Buda-Pesth. Heavy rains made the road almost
impassable on July 5, but we foolishly attempted to press on and
reach Kecskemet by 10 o'clock that night. When about eighteen miles
from our destination, I was blinded by a flash of lightning, and the
next moment pitched over a steep embankment. My damaged front fork
was once more broken, and my leg seriously wrenched. The situation
was anything but pleasant, and how we ever reached Kecskemet carrying
the broken wheel and feeling our way in the darkness, remains this day
a source of wonder to ourselves. We arrived in the city just in time
to catch the mail train into Buda-Pesth, fifty-one miles north, where
our wheels were repaired and our broken journey once more picked up.

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

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

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





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