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Title: The Burton Holmes Lectures, Volume 1 (of 10) - In Ten Volumes
Author: Holmes, Burton
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.

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  [Illustration]



     THE
     BURTON HOLMES
     LECTURES

     _With Illustrations from Photographs
     By the Author_

       [Illustration]

     COMPLETE IN TEN VOLUMES

       [Illustration]

     BATTLE CREEK, MICHIGAN
     THE LITTLE-PRESTON COMPANY, LIMITED
     M C M I



     COPYRIGHT 1901
     BY E. BURTON HOLMES

     ALL RIGHTS RESERVED



     The "Edition Original" of The Burton Holmes Lectures
     is Limited to One Thousand Sets.

     The Registered Number of This Set is —— ——.



Mr. Holmes has been asked to supply data for a biographical sketch. He
replies that his biography will be found in his lectures, each lecture
being a chapter from his life of travel. Thirty chapters of this
autobiography appear in these volumes,—thirty preliminary chapters,—for
Mr. Holmes hopes that his life of travel is but just begun.

Elias Burton Holmes was born in Chicago in January, 1870, inheriting
a love for travel. In 1883 he acquired a love for photography. In 1886
he traveled abroad and took pictures. He has been traveling and taking
pictures ever since. In 1890 he appeared before his first audience,—the
members of the Chicago Camera Club, reading and illustrating an account
of a tour "Through Europe with a Camera." In 1893 he made his first
professional appearance in the recital hall of the Auditorium, Chicago,
describing a journey to Japan. Kind friends and curious acquaintances
insured the success of this venture, and encouraged Mr. Holmes to enter
upon a career in which the labor has been a labor of love. For five
successive winters the Burton Holmes Lectures were among the features of
the amusement season in the cities of the Middle West. In 1897, on the
retirement of Mr. John L. Stoddard from the field which he had created
and occupied for nineteen years, Mr. Holmes found himself prepared to
carry on the work begun by Mr. Stoddard.

  [Illustration: E. Burton Holmes]



     TO
     MY
     THREE



_Half-Tone Etchings and Colored Inserts by_ WHIPPLE ENGRAVING CO.,
_Chicago.... Decorative Titles by_ ARTHUR DODDS, _Rochester, N. Y....
Typography, Electrotyping, Presswork and Binding by_ ELLIS PUBLISHING
COMPANY, LTD., _Battle Creek, Mich._



FOREWORD


To transfer the illustrated lecture from public platform to printed page
is to give permanent form to the ephemeral. To set down in formal black
and white the phrases framed for the informality of speech is to offer
them to a keener scrutiny than they were meant to bear. To reproduce
in miniature, by means of the half-tone engraver's art, pictures that
were intended to meet the eye, enriched by color and projected in a
darkened auditorium, is to reduce mountains to mole-hills and to dim
the brilliancy of nature to a sober gray.

In these volumes The Burton Holmes Lectures undergo a trying
transformation. The words and the pictures are the same, but the manner
of presentation must affect the value and force of both. The appeal
is now made not to expectant auditors in the sympathetic atmosphere of
a place of entertainment, but to readers uninfluenced by the tone and
the inflection of the speaker, and free from the magical influence of
pictures that glow and fade as the traveler tells his tale.

In an illustrated lecture the impression upon eye and ear should be
simultaneous, that the suggestion of travel may be successfully produced.
It may be pardonable to cite, in proof of the completeness of the
illusion, an incident which conveys a convincing compliment to the art
of the illustrated lecture. On the screen a picture of a village at
sunset—a river flows at the spectators' feet—misty mountains rise in
the distance—the calmness of approaching night seems to hover in the
golden twilight. All this simply an effect produced by the projection
of a colored photograph and the utterance of a few suggestive words.
A woman in the audience looks and listens—and then unconscious of the
humor of her words, murmurs to a companion, "Oh, if some one could only
paint that!"

Therefore the author begs that all who read, will, at the same time,
listen with the mental ear to catch the shade of meaning that should be
conveyed by every phrase, and that they will endeavor to project the
illustrations, through the lenses of imagination upon the screen of
fancy, and thus re-magnify the mole-hills into mountains, re-tint the
landscapes and the cities, and restore to the sunset-skies their wonted
wealth of color.

In appearing before a new audience—the reading public—the author is
cheered by the thought that it is an audience, not of strangers, but
of friends, who, as readers in their easy chairs at home, will manifest
toward him the same indulgence that they have shown as auditors in the
orchestra stalls of theaters or the seats of lecture-halls.

The author gladly acknowledges his debt of gratitude to his auditors,
who, by their support and sympathy, have made possible the years of
travel which these volumes represent; and to his fellow-workers whose
efforts have contributed in so large a measure to the success of his
lectures, to Katharine Gordon Breed, who was the first to realize the
possibilities of the art of coloring lantern slides; to Oscar Bennett
Depue, who, with modesty and self-effacement, has devoted himself to
the operating of the illustrating instruments and to the development
of the art of motion-photography, and to Louis Francis Brown, who, with
business ability and tact, has directed the public presentations of The
Burton Holmes Lectures.

     E. BURTON HOLMES.

     New York, March 4, 1901.
     THE PLAYERS.



  [Illustration]

INTO MOROCCO


The transatlantic steamers, that every season bear so many of our
fellow-countrymen from our own shores directly to the ports of Italy,
pass, as all travelers know, through the Gibraltar Straits. Those who
have sailed this course undoubtedly recall with a thrill of pleasure the
morning when, after eight days upon the broad Atlantic, they waked to
find on either hand the shores of a great continent,—the hills of Spain
upon the north, and opposite, the grim forbidding mountains of Morocco.

They will recall, as well, those two gigantic rocky promontories which
guard the western entrance to the Mediterranean,—those historic Pillars
of Hercules called by the ancients Calpe and Abyla,—the rocks that for
the men of that time marked the extreme western boundary of the known
world.

For centuries Calpe and Abyla, sea-girt mountains torn asunder by some
god of might, were looked upon as the very ends of the earth. Beyond
them no man dared venture.

  [Illustration: GIBRALTAR]

Calpe is now the famous fortress of Gibraltar, a bit of Spain held by
the British Empire. Abyla, upon the shore of Africa, is now the penal
colony Ceuta, a piece of Moorish territory, conquered and held by force
of Spanish arms. At the bases of these two mighty cliffs the waters of
two oceans mingle; for there the wide Atlantic, the waterway of the new
world, touches the historic inland ocean, around the shores of which are
grouped the nations that have ruled the world in ages past. The narrow
channel that links the seas together serves also to separate two lands
so widely dissimilar that nowhere in the world may the traveler, with
so little effort, enjoy a greater shock of contrast than by crossing
the Gibraltar Strait from Southern Spain to Tangier, in Morocco.

  [Illustration: CAPE SPARTEL LIGHT
   (By Permission)]

In the space of a few short hours he may there go back a thousand years;
pass from to-day to a mysterious yesterday, strangely remote from us in
life and thought. Within sight of the shores of Europe, within sight of
the Spanish railway stations, within sound of the cannon of Gibraltar,
he will find a land in which there are no roads of any sort, a people
who still use in war the picturesque Arabian flintlock and the clumsy
yataghan; he will find a remnant of the Middle Ages, so perfectly
preserved by the peculiar embalming influence of the Mohammedan religion
that the Morocco of to-day differs little from the Morocco of the year
one thousand.

  [Illustration: A CITY LIKE A DRIFT OF SNOW]

One of the most keenly relished moments of my life was the moment when
that tiny patch of white, at first so like a drift of snow on the distant
Moorish hills, finally resolved itself into a city of strange African
aspect, and our ship dropped anchor in what the Moors are pleased to
call the _harbor_ of Tangier. At last we are about to touch the shore
of the strangest, most inaccessible, and most mysterious land that
borders on the Mediterranean. Algeria and Tunis have been modernized
by France; railways transport pilgrims to and from the Holy Sepulcher
in Palestine; Egypt is but an Anglo-Saxon playground; Greece also has
her roads of steel, her daily papers, and her parliament. But Morocco
remains unique. Isolated from the world of to-day, and—thanks to that
isolation—completely independent, the Empire of the Moorish Sultan has
preserved the customs and traditions of its past, untouched by modern
civilization, unchanged by European influence. The land is to-day as it
was, and as it shall be—at least until it be conquered by the infidel,
and the throne of the descendants of the Prophet be overthrown by the
enemies of Allah.

  [Illustration: CORSAIRS OF TO-DAY]

Meantime, the contemporary devotees of Allah have taken cognizance
of our arrival. Lighters are quickly manned, and we are treated to an
excellent representation of the manner in which Christian ships were
boarded and pillaged by Barbary pirates, in the day when the Corsairs
ruled the sea, and all Christendom paid forced tribute to the Sultans,
Deys, and Bashas of the Barbary States. A horde of turbaned porters and
guides overrun the decks, seize indiscriminately all visible handbags,
bundles, and boxes, and toss them, yelling madly all the while, into the
boats which rise and fall alongside as the huge swells from the Atlantic
glide swiftly underneath our ship. Emulating wise and pious Moslems, we
decide to trust in Allah for the recovery of our belongings in due time;
and, while the battle of the baggage rages, we turn our attention to a
neighboring cattle-ship, where the embarkation of its bovine passengers is
proceeding with much celerity and considerable discomfort to the unhappy
creatures. The horns of each steer are bound with rope; a hook descends,
is engaged in the loops; the donkey-engine snorts, and skyward go the
astonished steers, two at a time, in attitudes painfully undignified.
But painful as is this rise in beef, the worst is still to come. To land
the animal in the proper place upon the deck, fearless Arabs seize his
tail, and by a series of vigorous yanks and twists cause the suffering
creature to alight with his nose pointed toward the pen in which he may
leisurely readjust his elongated carcass, recover from his undisguised
indignation, and console himself by watching the precipitate arrival of
some other steer with whom he may have had unfriendly relations on the
Moorish plains. Thus it is that hundreds of head of Moorish cattle begin
their fatal voyage across the strait; for vast quantities of Moroccan
beef go to feed the lean and hungry Spaniard, or to supply the brawn
and muscle of Gibraltar's sturdy English garrison.

  [Illustration: PIRATES OR PORTERS]

  [Illustration: A RISE IN BEEF]

Having witnessed the acme of this cruelty, we observe with comparative
unconcern the unceremonious manner in which the animals are persuaded to
enter the lighters. A yelling band of Arabs and negroes boost and shove
the resisting brute up the gangplank and tumble him head foremost into
an already crowded boat, where he regains his feet as best he may. The
thuds of falling bodies, the wild cries of the savage workers, continue
until, the cargo complete, the craft puts off.

  [Illustration: A TAIL OF WOE]

Looking around we find that we have neared the beach, above which rise
the frowning walls of old Tangier. Formerly all passengers landed on the
beach, and in rough weather the arrival of a tourist party was a diverting
spectacle, the frightened passengers being carried from the tossing
rowboats to the sandy beach upon the broad backs of native porters.
These porters are invariably Jews, for we are given to understand that
no self-respecting Moslem would bend his back to so vile a burden as the
carcass of a "Christian dog." We almost regret the tameness of our own
arrival, for, thanks to a comparatively calm sea, our boats are able to
approach the little pier, and to land us without danger or discomfort
save that occasioned by the pressing curiosity of the crowd assembled
to watch the coming of the money-spending infidel.

  [Illustration: PERSUASIVE METHODS]

  [Illustration: THE BEACH]

  [Illustration: THE PIER]

  [Illustration: THE HARBOR OF TANGIER]

The pier, by the way, represents the one harbor-improvement grudgingly
executed by the Moors. The harbor of Tangier could be made most secure at
small expense, but the Moors prefer not to tamper with it. "God made it
so," they tell us; "we would not presume to alter the wise arrangements
of the Almighty." They did not even attempt to repair the old breakwater
built by the English years ago and blown up by them upon the close
of the brief British occupation. The mention of a British occupation
recalls a bit of history. Tangier was taken by the Portuguese in 1471.
By them it was held until a Portuguese princess, Catarina of Braganza,
went to England as the bride of Charles the Second. She brought to him a
splendid dower, including two then unimportant pieces of real estate,—the
island of Bombay in far-off India, and this city of Tangier at the
Mediterranean's western gate. Strange indeed the fate of these two bits
of real estate. Bombay, the hopeless, far-away possession, became in
time the glorious Indian Empire. Tangier, with its unrivaled situation
at one of the great doorways of the western world, was held for twenty
years, and then, through sheer stupidity, abandoned to barbarism. It was
returned by England to the Moors as a free gift; a transaction almost
unique in Britain's history. But we must not forget that Gibraltar was
not yet a cushion for the British lion's paw; had it been so, another
paw would have rested firmly on this Moorish shore, insuring to England
absolute control of the Gibraltar Strait.

  [Illustration: THE CONTINENTAL HOTEL]

But if the Anglo-Saxon armies long since relinquished this invaluable
prize, the Anglo-Saxon tourist has made Tangier his own. Having passed
the solemn Moors who sit at the water-gate at receipt of custom, we find
ourselves in a trough-like passage above which rises that stronghold of
the globe-trotter, the Continental Hotel. It appears like a huge grin
upon the frowning face of the walled city; and its hospitable and cheery
aspect contradicts the hostile impression produced by the cannon on the
ramparts and the scowling looks of some of the inhabitants.

Let not the tourist be disappointed because a modern structure first
obtrudes itself. Tangier is not the real Morocco; it is a Moslem seaport,
defiled by contact with an infidel world.

  [Illustration: THE HILLS OF SPAIN ARE SEEN ACROSS THE STRAITS]

  [Illustration: A CROWD OF MENDICANTS]

The late Sultan of Morocco disowned the city. When last he came and
beheld the changes wrought by foreigners, it is said that he exclaimed:
"Allah confound these greedy Christians!—they have stolen from me my
beautiful Tangier!"

  [Illustration: PENNIES FOR THE POOR]

  [Illustration: AFTER TASTING GOVERNMENTAL GENEROSITY]

The crowd we see near yonder doorway is gathered by a distribution
of pennies to the poor,—an act of charity performed every week by
the officials of the custom-house. How superbly important seems the
white robed Moor charged with the graceful task of pressing into every
outstretched dirty palm a shining Spanish copper worth about two cents,
while his assistant keeps his eyes well open to detect repeaters. Every
now and then there is a lively row, resulting from the detection of some
clever unfortunate, who has changed rags with a fellow pauper, and has
complacently applied for a second dose of governmental generosity. Utter
poverty and black misery are depicted upon the rags and visages of the
expectant throng—even the babies wear oldish, knowing expressions on their
little faces. A strange feature is the curious little pigtail worn by
the boys,—a pigtail growing all awry, sprouting, not from the crown, but
from one side of the head. The pigtail is an agent of salvation; on it
depends the hope of heaven; for we are told that at the day of judgment
Allah is to lift the righteous faithful by their pigtails into paradise.
Apropos of this statement and other statements heard in the course of
our journey, it may be well to quote an Arab maxim: "Never believe all
you hear; for he who believes all he hears often will believe that which
is not." Another maxim from the same source contains excellent advice
for the traveler, and much comfort for the lazy: "Do not do all that you
can; for he who does all he can, often will do that which he should not."
Another is a pearl of great price to the returned traveler especially:
"Do not say all you know; for he who says all he knows often will say
that which he knows not." There is yet a fourth gem of Arabian wisdom
with a similar setting: "Do not spend all you have; for he who spends
all he hath, often will spend that which he hath not."

  [Illustration: COMRADES IN POVERTY]

The arrival in Tangier is unlike that in any other city in the world.
Every native face is a type, every group a picture. We begin to love
the dirt, the smells (not all bad ones, by any means, merely strange
foreign smells suggestive of what is old and Oriental), and as we make
our way into the perplexing maze of Tangier's weird little alleys, we
seem to have taken a journey backward through the ages. Our sensations
might be those of one suddenly transported from this familiar earth to a
strange planet; and yet the hills of Spain are seen across the straits.
A group of water-carriers earnestly discussing some important piece of
news that probably will never be published to the Christian world, forms
a picture almost Biblical in its antiquity. They are retailers of that
precious beverage,—the beverage of all the worshipers of Allah,—the
true gift of God, pure water. We can forgive the Moslem many things,
because he never has been, and, so long as he clings to the religion of
his fathers, never will be, a drunkard. The water-bags are goat-skins,
the hind leg serving as a faucet; but although we are as thirsty as the
African sun itself, we do not patronize these itinerant fountains; being
newly come to Tangier, our squeamishness interferes with an indulgence
in many little comforts; but what a surprising revolution will be worked
by an expedition into Morocco! We shall return from the interior with
adamantine sensibilities as regards such trifles. But to-day we are
open to impressions of all kinds. So dazed are we by the strangeness
of our surroundings that we have left no words with which to express
our delight when, stepping out at last upon the balcony of our hotel,
we look down upon Tangier, the "White City of the Straits." Below us
is the beach, dotted with the rude camps of pilgrims who are awaiting
ships for Mecca; above it are tiers of batteries; beyond we see a mass
of white cubes, the dwelling-houses of the Moors. A dainty minaret,
green-tiled and graceful, rises from this angular snow-bank; near it,
the flags of foreign nations float above their respective consulates
and legations. Strange indeed this mingling of the Occidental and the
Oriental, beautiful indeed this city of Tangier, the sentinel city of
Morocco, posted here at the corner of Africa to watch with jealous eyes
for the coming of the inevitable conqueror who is to sally forth from
the gates of Christendom, dimly discerned across the Gibraltar Channel.
Of small account will be these batteries, furnished with antiquated
cannon. These crippled dogs of war rend nothing more tangible than air,
and damage nothing but ear-drums. And frequently is the air rent, and
the ear assaulted, for the arrival of every man-of-war is greeted with
a ferocious salvo of artillery, at sound of which the Moors gaze proudly
seaward, expand their chests, recall the days when Moorish corsairs ruled
the seas, and dream of future victories for the armies of the Prophet.

  [Illustration: WATER CARRIERS]

The sunshine in this land is wonderful; at seven in the morning it is so
brilliant that we cannot bear the reflection from the chalky housetops,
and recover the use of our eyesight only when in the dark and narrow
corridors that serve the Tangerines in lieu of streets. The thoroughfare
which every visitor must traverse when going from the hotel to the
great or lesser market-places, is distinctly banal in aspect. It is the
leading shopping street of the European residents; its shops are stuffed
with canned provisions, patent-medicines, and playing-cards, while a
saloon or two make known their presence, even to the blind, by strong
gin-like aromas wafted thence. When lost in the labyrinthine maze of
Moorish Tangier, the foreigner has but to follow his nose to reach the
place where rum and brandy are on sale, and European civilization well
in evidence. Then he may emerge into the lesser market-place, or "Soko,"
as it is called in local speech. Here he finds one tiny French cafe
and the postal stations of England, Spain, and France; for as Morocco's
postal-service is on a par with its other governmental enterprises, these
nations each maintain post-offices in Tangier and an elaborate courier
service in the interior. European mails now penetrate to Fez, even to
Mequinez and Morocco City, with tolerable dispatch and certainty.

  [Illustration: TANGIER]

  [Illustration: THE WHITE CITY OF THE STRAITS]

  [Illustration: THE STREET OF EUROPEAN SHOPS]

While we refresh ourselves at the cafe, we are amused by the ape-like
antics of a negro from the far-away province of Suss. His wig of wool is
hung with shells and teeth and nails, all of which clatter as he dances
to the music of a pair of iron castanets.

But he cannot compare in picturesqueness with this other visitor—a superb
representative of the saintly beggar class. So imposing a revelation of
dignity in rags it is not possible to find among men of any other race or
creed. We learn that this haughty mendicant is crazy; that in Morocco,
insanity is the most valuable asset of those who desire to engage in
what European residents irreverently term the "saint business." The
Moors are convinced that if the mind of a man inhabit not his body, it
is because God, having discerned in that mind much beauty of holiness,
retains it in paradise as a thing too precious to be sent with the man
to earth. Therefore great consideration should be shown for the mortal
coil pertaining to that mind. Thus "crazy" has become a synonym for
"sanctified," and an insane man has but to mumble prayers, and watch
his saner fellow-citizens vie with one another in propitiating him with
gifts and offerings. But sometimes this insanity is only feigned, and
some of these weird characters are in reality agents of the militant
Moslem brotherhoods of Tripoli and Tunis, charged with the spreading of
a Mohammedan propaganda and the keeping alive of bitter anti-Christian
agitation.

  [Illustration: THE CAFE IN THE LITTLE SOKO]

  [Illustration: A... SINGING NEGRO FROM THE SUSS]

If we follow this splendid _miserable_, we shall presently lose sight of
him in the confusion of the be-draped, be-hooded crowd surging through
the upper gate that opens toward the greater market-place, or "Soko," on
the high ground behind the city. The women are closely veiled and buried
in the smothering folds of the white woolen "haik." All rich men wear
the colored caftan, or the white burnoose, and some are draped in muslin
veils; the poor men wear the rough brown jelaba, a sack-like garment
with a pointed hood. On feet that are not bare are yellow slippers; on
the heads, a red fez, a white turban, or a monkish-looking hood.

  [Illustration: DIGNITY IN RAGS]

  [Illustration: A SPLENDID "MISERABLE"]

The Soko on Thursday or on Sunday (local market-days) is a sight to be
remembered. The market-place itself is, literally, out of sight; during
the night and early morning, living things, from men to mules, from
women to camels, and things inanimate, from eggs to beef and mutton, from
oats to olive oil, have been gathered together, spread out, heaped up,
forming a mass that moves and gives forth cries and odors. Twice every
week the sun looks down upon a scene like this. Here in the Soko is
the true frontier between the Christian and the Moslem worlds. Here is
the borderland of the real Africa; here couriers from Fez and from the
desert region farther south meet the postmen of the European provinces;
here surges the murky tide of African humanity; here breaks the last
sun-crested wave of continental civilization; here top-hats and turbans
mingle; here Europe ends and Africa begins.

  [Illustration: THE BE-DRAPED, BE-HOODED CROWD]

From the windows of the legation of a European nation which open upon
the Soko, there are wafted lively measures of piano melody; and these
are almost drowned by the prayers of beggars, the vociferations of the
trading throng, and the incantations of half-crazy conjurors. Conquering
our first emotion of aversion, almost of fear, we press through the
ill-smelling, yelling crowd, and work our way to the front rank of a
magician's audience. The conjuror welcomes us with curses, and refuses
to continue his performance until our cameras have been lowered, and
our offering of money has been cast into the ring of spectators. Then,
muttering strange prayers, he gathers from the ground a handful of straw,
calls on his god, and on the generosity of the onlookers, and blowing upon
the straw causes it miraculously to burst into flames, which instantly
consume it. More offerings are then demanded, more prayers are said, and
more unflattering remarks are made concerning us; for to curse and to
insult a Christian is a pious deed. Another trick is performed: A youth
is (supposedly) hypnotized, and while he seems unconscious, a long bodkin
is thrust through the flesh of his throat and the ends left protruding,
while the old fakir takes up the most successful collection of the
afternoon. Because we do not give more silver coins instead of Moorish
coppers, the holy wonder-worker exhausts his stock of anti-Christian
expletives, much to the edification of his sympathetic congregation.
So great is the hatred of Christians on the part of the lower classes
that even the beggars return curses instead of thanks, atoning for the
sin of receiving unclean Christian money by calling down the wrath of
heaven, not only upon our heads, but also upon the heads of all who are
dear to us, or related to us, even unto the fourth and fifth generation
of those who have preceded us and are responsible for our existence.
One simple and popular anathema is, "May Allah burn your grandmother!"
Another expresses the wish that the wife of your great-grandfather may
enjoy perpetual torridity in the nether world.

  [Illustration: THE BORDERLAND OF THE REAL AFRICA]

  [Illustration: THE SOKO ON SUNDAY]

  [Illustration: A CURSING CONJUROR]

The blind mendicants beg in little companies of six or eight. One
sightless horrible, standing, cries aloud for charity in the name of
his companions. These are not pleasant sights, but no true impression
of Tangier can be imparted if we leave out of the picture the rags, the
beggars, and the dirt. One more sad spectacle must suffice—that of an
old beggar, shriveled by age, baked by the cruel sun, bent beneath the
burden of many hopeless years, not even clad in rags, but merely covered
with a mat of straw—a superlative expression of Moroccan misery.

  [Illustration: "MAY ALLAH BURN YOUR GRANDMOTHER!"]

  [Illustration: HYPNOTIZED!]

  [Illustration: A PETTY TRANSACTION]

  [Illustration: MOROCCAN MISERY]

Here we may recall the story of the English clergyman, who, touched
at the sight of all this misery and ignorance, resolved to tell the
gospel-story to the people of Tangier—to make a public exhortation in
the market-place. With the greatest difficulty he secured a capable
interpreter, for most of the hotel guides feared to assist him in his
rash and dangerous crusade. When the pious preacher began his sermon in
the market-place, he was not only surprised, but thoroughly delighted
at the reverence with which his glowing words, translated by his guide,
were received by the attentive throng of Moslems. When he had finished,
he was even urged to speak again. Undoubtedly the good man carried away
a soul filled with joy because of the good seed he had planted here. One
English newspaper chronicled the marked interest shown by the heathen
in the words of Christian truth; but it is to be hoped that the good
man will never learn that while he stood in the center of this meeting
place and spoke, his diplomatic interpreter and guide not only held the
respectful ears of the crowd, but possibly saved the missionary's life
by cleverly turning the orthodox sermon into one of the favorite romances
from the "Arabian Nights."

  [Illustration: A SYNDICATE OF BLIND BEGGARS]

  [Illustration: MOSLEM SALVATIONISTS]

No, it is virtually impossible to turn the Moslem from the faith of his
fathers. His religion forms too intimate a part of his daily life; his
religious fasts and festivals are observed with a strictness that is
absolute. We chanced to witness the celebration of the great feast called
Aid-el-Kebir. The early morning finds us on a hillside near the market,
where there is gathered a multitude of spectral forms. Here the slanting
rays of the newly risen sun draw out all shadows to a grotesque length,
while from the midst of the assemblage there bursts a cloud of smoke
which like a veil conceals the wild tribesmen who are there performing a
fantastic powder-play with old-fashioned noisy flintlocks. An hour later
the populace repairs to the high-walled garden of a suburban mosque to
witness the sacrifice of a magnificent ram. The ram, however, is not
allowed to die in peace, for according to an ancient custom its bleeding
body must be borne swiftly down through the city streets to the great
mosque in the lower town, where, if it arrives living, the omen for
the year is pronounced good; if dead, the wise men shake their heads
and prophesy disaster. Hence are the swiftest runners employed to dash
with the dying burden across the Soko, into the city gates, down abrupt
alleys to the other sanctuary. Like a host of madmen they rush past us,
the sheep slung in a basket dragged by four men. Thrice do the bearers
stumble, thrice is the bleeding mass rolled in the dust, thrice is the
mad race resumed, the people urging on the panting runners with cries,
and sticks, and stones. The sacrificial ram is dead upon arriving at the
mosque, yet it is given out by the authorities that it was still alive.
The disorderly mob disappears through the arched portals of the town,
and a dignified procession crosses the Soko. The Basha, or Governor,
of the province of Tangier, with his mounted escort, is returning from
the recent ceremony. Although his salary is only seventy-five dollars a
month, this wise official, by strict economy, has grown very rich. He,
like all the swells, rides a handsome mule; for in Morocco mules enjoy
much favor and are preferred to horses for long journeys and for city
promenades; in fact, for everything, save battle.

  [Illustration: GATHERING TO CELEBRATE THE "GREAT FEAST"
  (Photograph by Mr. White, of Tangier)]

  [Illustration: NEAR THE SUBURBAN MOSQUE]

  [Illustration: THE BASHA OF TANGIER]

A feast is held in every house upon this sacred day, a sheep being
sacrificed for each adult member of the family. We see many a woolly
burden carried through the streets upon the shoulders of the purchaser.
Other means also are employed for the successful home-bringing of the
fatted creatures. One man will attempt to drag the balky ram by the
horns; another, more clever, will seize the hind feet and shove the sheep
along as one would push a wheelbarrow, the result being a wildly zigzag
progress down the steep, narrow streets. Throughout the entire Moslem
world this day of Aid-el-Kebir is celebrated. At Mecca, the fountain-head
of the Moslem faith, a hundred and twenty thousand sheep are put to the
knife at each recurrence of the festival. Even in Tangier the feast may
be likened to an ovine Saint Bartholomew Massacre, a day as fatal to
these woolly victims as is Thanksgiving day to the devoted gobblers of
New England. The city becomes a mammoth butcher-shop; the gutters in the
narrow streets run red with blood. To escape these little tragedies, we
make our way up to the higher regions of the town, where the Palace of
the Governor, the Treasury Building, and the Prison are found in close
proximity to one another. We find the palace inaccessible, the treasury
empty, and the prison full.

  [Illustration: AN OVINE SAINT BARTHOLOMEW]

  [Illustration: THE SACRIFICIAL RAM]

The prison externally is a blank, white structure, high and in sad want
of repair. We enter a small vestibule, where several lazy guards are
stationed; they indicate an opening in the wall, a window, protected by
heavy bars and closed by a thick metal shutter. This, they say, is the
unique means of ingress to the prison. No means of egress is required,
for prisoners seldom come thence alive. A hasty glance through a round
hole in the metal shutter reveals a filthy, spacious hall, crowded with
animated mummies loosely wrapped in earth-colored tatters. We are told
that no food is furnished to the prisoners save that which may be brought
by pitying outsiders, friends of the unfortunates within. The government
allows its victims the one privilege of reaching out through the little
aperture for the bread of pity. Some of the prisoners make colored
baskets, like those which hang upon the wall, and eke out an existence
by the sale of these. The presence of a traveler becoming known in the
den, baskets by the dozen come tumbling out to tempt him in charity to
buy.

  [Illustration: THE ONLY DOORWAY TO THE PRISON]

  [Illustration: THE PRISON]

While it is difficult for a man to get out of the prison, it is absolutely
impossible for a man to enter the harem of the neighboring palace of the
Basha; but foreign women are sometimes presented to the Basha's wives. One
feminine visitor reports that the mysterious beauties examined carefully
the details of her dress. "Oh," said one to another, as she discovered
that the white hands were gloved, "see!—the American lady has two skins
upon her hands!" In reply to a question as to what little present might
be welcome, one Oriental matron replied with much enthusiasm, "Ah, send
us from your country some of those pretty little combs with the fine
teeth—they are so much more useful than our coarse ones, and—we need
them very much!"

  [Illustration: THE BASHA'S PALACE AND THE TREASURY]

  [Illustration: AT THE U. S. CONSULATE-GENERAL]

Leaving the inhospitable palace, we descend to the one building of all
Tangier, in which we are certain to receive a cordial welcome. The shield
of the United States Consulate-General dispels the Moorish gloom of at
least one dim thoroughfare. Here in this land of despotism and darkness
it shines forth like a symbol of liberty and light. The Consul-General,
Dr. J. J. Barclay, tells us with justifiable pride that his grandfather,
the Hon. Thos. Barclay, negotiated the first treaty between the United
States and the Empire of Morocco. He shows us two interesting documents;
one, the Consular Commission signed by George Washington; the other,
the Exequatur granted by the Sultan to the first Consul of the young
American Republic. The following is a translation of the Exequatur, made
by the official interpreter of the Consulate-General:

"In the name of God, the Clement and Merciful. There is no strength
or force but in God, the High and Eternal. From Abdallah Mohammed, Ben
Abdallah, in whom the Almighty deposited his confidence."

  [Illustration: IMPERIAL SEAL]

"To the great President of the American States: I salute you with
empressment, and hope in God you are well. The Ambassador, Thomas Barclay,
has come to us bearing a precious letter from the Spaniard Charles. We
have read it, and we understand all its contents in which you asked us
peace with you like the other Christian nations with whom you have made
peace. We accept your demand, and peace be between us on land and sea,
and according to the Treaties you demanded from us. We have written this
in our letter to you, to which I affixed my Sheriffian seal, and we
have ordered all our employees in my seaports to do with your vessels
and merchandise that go to my seaports, as they do with those of the
Spaniards, and your vessels can enter, and anchor with safety in any
of my seaports you choose, from Tetuan to Wadnoon; they can also buy
and sell, and do business for themselves, and they can depart. We have
answered just like this to the great Spaniard Charles, who wrote me a
letter on your behalf. I join with you in perfect peace and friendship.
In peace.

"This is written the first day of the blessed month of Ramadan 1200
(1785-1786)."

  [Illustration: AN AMERICAN HOUSE IN TANGIER]

  [Illustration: COMMISSION OF CONSUL THOMAS BARCLAY SIGNED BY GEORGE
   WASHINGTON]

To Dr. Barclay we confided our cherished plans for a journey into Morocco,
and asked him to advise, assist, and guide us. He became most zealous
in our cause; made light of the difficulty and danger said to attend the
journey, spoke in glowing terms of the pleasures and surprises in store
for us. Within the week all the formalities incident to our departure
are complied with. The Moorish Minister of Foreign Affairs has graciously
granted us permission to traverse the Empire of his Master, the Sultan of
Morocco, and he has provided us with letters to many provincial chiefs,
and to the Governor of Fez, the capital. He has promised us a military
escort equal to our needs, and has called down blessings upon us, and
has accepted the usual little token of our high esteem in the form of
a pile of Spanish dollars. All this we owed to the good offices of Dr.
Barclay, to whom also we owed a delightful glimpse of the gay social
life led by the foreign residents and diplomats in old Tangier.

  [Illustration: EXEQUATUR OF THE FIRST U. S. CONSUL TO TANGIER]

The hillsides round about the city are dotted with luxurious, palatial
villas, in the drawing-rooms of which cosmopolitan gatherings discuss
the latest continental news in half a dozen languages. According to an
English dictum, "Society in Tangier is split into three factions,—those
who will know one another, those who won't know one another, and those
who must know one another, but don't like to." There are artists,
musicians, and diplomats, millionaires and globe-trotters, and ex-consuls
and ex-ministers by the dozen; for they say that when one has lived in
Tangier, it is not possible to be contented elsewhere. Therefore many men
who come hither for a few years of diplomatic service, end by purchasing
hillside villas and becoming permanent residents.

  [Illustration: A LAST LOOK AT TANGIER]

Tangerine hospitality is famous for its freedom, but we have little time
for social dissipations. Every moment is occupied in preparations for
departure. A few days more and we are to leave this most attractive corner
of Cosmopolis, bid farewell to friends, to comfort, and to civilization.
The hotel will give place to the tent, the daily pony-canter on the beach
to the long weary marches of our caravan over hills and mountains, in the
region where there are no roads, where to-day is the same as yesterday.
We are to voyage forth upon a strange expanse, where the ship of Moorish
civilization, stranded upon the shoals of the religion of immutability,
has lain rotting since the conquest of Granada.

It is but right that you should know something about the men upon whom
our future comfort, welfare, and safety entirely depend. Let me introduce,
first of all, the most faithful of guides, the most honest of dragomans,
the cheeriest of companions, the cleverest of pathfinders, the best of
cooks, and—the most amusing prevaricator I have ever known. His name
is like all Moorish names, a mouthful, "Haj Abd-er-Rahman Salama." We
see him first at the door of his dwelling, a bright young Salama at his
side. We speak with him in French and Spanish, for his much-advertised
command of English is monumentally inadequate. Moreover in French he
speaks like a gentleman, in English like a blackguard; one language having
been learned in Algiers and in Paris, the other picked up from profane
sportsmen, while serving as dragoman for pig-sticking expeditions. As for
his name, we forget it altogether, and address him simply as Haj, the
word "Haj" being a sort of honorific prefix, meaning Pilgrim, in other
words, a righteous Moslem who has made the Holy Pilgrimage to Mecca.
When it was noised abroad that we were thinking of a trip to Fez, the
professional guides of Tangier looked on us as lawful, tempting prey.
One Jewish pathfinder proffered his services and outfit for seven English
pounds a day. Then others came with other propositions, and there ensued
a veritable rate-war in which tents figure in place of Pullman cars,
and, in place of sixty-miles-an-hour locomotives, mules that travel only
sixteen miles a day. And Haj triumphed over all competitors, not because
he made the lowest bid, but because we saw in him a useful, clever
man, full of resource, one of the few Moorish minds able to respond to
Anglo-Saxon sympathies. He is one who has bridged the gulf between the
Moslem and the Christian races, at the cost, possibly, of his orthodoxy
and his hopes of heaven.

  [Illustration: THE BEST OF GUIDES, HAJ ABD-ER-RAHMAN SALAMA]

In violent contrast to him in these respects, is our military escort:
our fighting-force, assigned us by the government and consisting of one
personal unit—with dignity and bigotry and decorative picturesqueness
enough for half a regiment. Kaid Lharbi, for such are his title and
name, belongs to the Makhazni, or corps of irregular cavalry, the most
ornamental branch of the Moorish Sultan's army. No traveler is permitted
to go into Morocco unless chaperoned by a Makhazni. Kaid Lharbi will
be for us a sort of living passport, his presence at the head of our
caravan assuring all persons that we are traveling under the protection
of the Moorish government, and that offenses against us will be severely
punished. Without this living token of governmental sanction for our
expedition, it would be within the power of any local chief to arrest
our progress, sending us back in ignominious captivity to Tangier;
or, if he preferred, he could rob us with impunity. Kaid Lharbi is
therefore a valuable acquisition from the standpoints both of safety
and of picturesqueness. He is Moorish in the fullest sense; he thinks
such thoughts and dreams such dreams as did his fathers half a thousand
years ago. He carries a flintlock made in Tetuan, and is supplied with
a lump of lead and a small bullet-mold, that in case of attack he may
be able to cast the necessary bullets.

  [Illustration: KAID LHARBI, OUR MILITARY ESCORT]

The sixth day of May is appointed for the departure of our caravan.
It is a memorable day for us, because it marks the close of a long
period of doubt and uncertainty as to the possibility of undertaking
the expedition, and because it marks the beginning of a new life—the
entry into a new world, which is yet immeasurably old. The pack-mules in
charge of the three servants have been sent on ahead to await us in the
suburbs. Kaid Lharbi, muffled in his blue burnoose, has been stationed
like an equestrian statue at the door of the hotel since early morning.
Haj, the guide, is here, there, and everywhere, attending to the thousand
and one little details and difficulties that always arise at the last
moment.

We bid adieu to our acquaintances at the hotel door. At last the start
is made, we file through narrow streets, cross the crowded market-place,
and on its outskirts overtake the pack-mules and the muleteers. A few
necessary articles, brought at the last moment by our thoughtful Haj,
who would have felt himself disgraced had he forgotten anything, are
added to the already heavy burdens of the mules.

  [Illustration: THE DEPARTURE]

Then at a signal, our men, the skeptic Haj, and all the rest reverently
turn their faces toward the East, toward Holy Mecca, while Kaid Lharbi,
his head bent low over his horse's neck, intones an impressive prayer
for the successful and happy termination of our journey. This pious duty
done, the order for a forward march is given, and in single file our
little train of men, horses, mules, and donkeys winds its way out of
Tangier, every hoof-beat of the animals taking us nearer to the Middle
Ages. Gradually the suburban street becomes a lane, gradually the lane
fades away, becoming a mere trail, and finally the trail itself, crossing
a ruined bridge, loses itself in the roadless vastness of the Moorish
Empire.

  [Illustration: ADDING THE LAST ITEM TO THE PACKS]

  [Illustration: THE EDGE OF CIVILIZATION]

Never in all my travels have I more keenly felt that oppressive sense
of separation from things known and familiar than at this moment. No
previous departure by train or steamer had ever seemed so definitely to
break the link that binds us to our own age and our own civilization.
Here, at the bridge that spans a dry and thirsty river-bed, all semblance
of civilization abruptly terminates; before us lies a land without
railways, without roads, without fences, hedges, trees—without dividing
lines of any kind, save long low ranges of barren hills and, in the
eastern distance, the crests of savage mountains. Across this roadless
empire we are now to travel for many days; overhead there will hang
at times a scorching sun, at times dark storm-clouds are to form our
canopy; around us is to stretch a savage, silent land. Before us lies a
scarcely distinguishable track, worn by the hoofs of countless caravans
in years that are uncounted. But for me, in the foreground of every
Moorish landscape looms the figure of Kaid Lharbi. All day I looked over
my horse's ears upon Kaid Lharbi's back, his horse's tail, and his cloak
of blue, his broad-brimmed hat, such as are made and worn by the women of
Tetuan, its brim so broad that colored cords are required as guy ropes to
sustain it. That famous hat served both as a parasol and umbrella; the
image of its expansive brim, flapping gaily in the breeze, or drooping
gloomily beneath an avalanche of water from the skies, will never be
effaced from memory. All day I looked upon that hat; at night I saw it
in my dreams; and, at the journey's end, I acquired it by purchase, and
it now hangs upon my wall,—a mute reminder of a memorable ride.

  [Illustration: ACROSS THE ROADLESS PLAINS]

  [Illustration: "TWO HARD-WORKING HUMBLE SOULS"]

  [Illustration: "BOKHURMUR"]

Less picturesquely mounted, less self-important than Kaid Lharbi but
far more useful, diligent, and kindly were the two hard-working humble
souls who rode on little burros in the rear of the procession. On them
devolved the hardest labors of the journey—to load the mules; to drive
or guide them all day long, frequently running along for miles on foot;
to help or urge the struggling, overburdened animals through the muddy
ditches; to unpack everything at night, set up the tents, build fires,
tether and find forage for nine animals, including their own patient
little donkeys—this formed their regular daily routine. Yet they are
cheerful with it all, although sun and rain, health and sickness, must
mean the same to them; they must not rest on pain of being left behind.
Their names, as near as it was possible for us to grasp them, were
respectively, Bokhurmur and Abuktayer, but which was "Abuktayer," and
which "Bokhurmur" is a point upon which my friend and I could never
quite agree.

  [Illustration: THE FIRST HALTING PLACE]

  [Illustration: DEVELOPING OUR CANVAS VILLAGE]

At a command from Haj, the caravan has halted. "We have arrived," adds
Haj; "unload! pitch camp! We are where we should be at five o'clock."

  [Illustration: THE FIRST CAMP]

Here, then, is to be our first camping-ground, here for the first time
we are to see our outfit set up in its entirety; here we are, for the
first time, to sleep in tents like the Bedouins; to begin the new life
that promises to be so strange and fascinating. With keenest interest
we watch our little canvas village develop. At first we attempt to aid
the men, but Haj sternly prohibits all effort on our part. It is not
consistent with our dignity as great American _seigneurs_ to stoop to
labor. A mattress is hastily unpacked and spread upon the ground, and
on it we repose in lordly laziness. Had we driven a single tent-peg, we
should have lost completely the respect of our Oriental hirelings.

  [Illustration: A SILENT, CURIOUS PYRAMID]

Three tents compose the camp: one large green tent of English manufacture
for the grand _seigneurs_, two Moorish tents, for the accommodation of
the faithful suite. One by one the canvas houses rise. The animals are
tethered close at hand. From the neighboring village, ragged men bring
fodder for the animals, eggs and chickens for the foreign lords. These
things, of course, are paid for, because, our expedition not being of a
diplomatic or official nature, we do not enjoy the right to be served
with the traditional "Mouna," that is, we cannot levy contributions
upon the tribes. Our letters of recommendation demand for us merely
the protection of the village chiefs. When a great man, be he a native
potentate or the ambassador of a foreign nation, passes through the land
in state, all things are by the Sultan's command furnished him gratis
by the people of each bashalik, or province. As the villagers gather in
a silent, curious pyramid, to watch with deepest interest everything
we do, to examine with uncomprehending eyes our mysterious camp-beds,
our folding chairs and tables, let me describe another custom that is
observed during the progress of an official expedition.

  [Illustration: "WITH UNCOMPREHENDING EYES"]

  [Illustration: CHEZ NOUS]

When the people of a village have a boon to ask or a favor to entreat
from the Sultan at Fez, such as the release from prison of some fellow
tribesman, or the recall of some too cruel tax-extortioner, a deputation
of villagers comes in procession to the tent of the great man, and
before the entrance sacrifices a heifer or a sheep. If the chief or
the ambassador is inclined to grant the petition, or to further the
purposes of the suppliants, he accepts the gift of meat and it is eaten
by his escort. If he denies their request, he averts his face; no man
is permitted to touch the sacrifice, and it is left as food for birds
of prey.

  [Illustration: "HAJ" IN DOUBT]

  [Illustration: "HAJ" IN JOY]

  [Illustration: "ACHMEDO"]

The camp arrangements being complete, and all things made ready for
our reception, Haj proudly but anxiously invites our inspection of the
interior arrangements of our canvas home. "Well done, Haj Abd-er-Rahman
Salama!" we exclaim, as a vision of coziness and comfort is revealed to
us. Well done, indeed! No wanderer in a barbarous land could ask for
more. We behold soft beds with fresh white sheets and pillow cases,
bright rugs upon the turf, a table large enough for two, well spread
with tempting food, and all this is protected from heat and cold and rain
and wind by a fine triple tent, green without, pink-lined within like a
luxurious boudoir. And this is to be our home for forty long delightful
days. No matter where our camp may lie, on the barren hillside, in the
fertile plain, or on the outskirts of a dirty town, this cozy corner
will be always the same. No matter how wild and hostile the surrounding
scenes, we have but to draw the tent-flaps close to find ourselves
delightfully _chez nous_. Moreover, we are as well served as in an
excellent hotel, for although we lack the electric-button, we have a
perfect substitute in the person of Achmedo al Hishu, our valet, groom,
and butler. Achmedo is not handsome, but he is indispensable; he is
always at hand, answering a call before it is made, satisfying a want
as soon as it is felt. He speaks a kind of Tangerine servant language, a
mixture of Spanish, French, and English, startling at times, but always
comprehensible. His one fault is a fondness for the pipe, in which he
smokes—not comparatively innocent tobacco—but the nerve-deadening weed
called "keef." Moreover, we observe him to be a great imbiber. As he
rides across the plain, proudly seated on the summit of a baggage-pack
(beneath which the poor mule is scarcely visible), Achmedo may be seen
to lift a bottle reverently to his lips, three times to every mile. We
marveled that he could preserve his equilibrium day after day, until we
discovered the nature of the contents of that bottle—cold tea, flavored
with mint and sugar.

  [Illustration: A MISTY MORNING]

A word more about our invaluable Haj Abd-er-Rahman Salama, whose dusky
face reflects the anxiety that fills his soul as he awaits our verdict
upon the first meal prepared by him. He claimed to be himself a skillful
chef, and insisted that he be allowed to manage the commissary department
without interference. We reluctantly intrusted our gastronomic welfare
to this homely heathen, and throughout the day visions of hard-tack and
rancid bacon haunted our hungry souls. We scarcely dared to hope for
better fare, furnished, as it was to be, by this cunning caterer, who has
us completely in his power. He is free to starve or stuff us; no power
can touch him now. If he prove faithless, we must suffer; we are his
slaves for forty days; he is our master, we must go whither he leads,
for we are in an unknown country; we must eat that which he provides,
for we are in an empty land.

  [Illustration: OVER THE RED HILL]

But when dinner is served, we enthusiastically declare that Haj is
the best cook south of Paris; and at this his handsome features are
convulsed into a smile of proud and happy satisfaction. The dinner
served on that first evening in our camp was a culinary triumph; a
perfect little table d'hôte: consomme; fish, fresh from the basket of
a Tangier fisherman; sweetbread croquettes; broiled chicken; salad;
blancmange, cooled in a neighboring stream; a sip of Turkish coffee, a
little glass of benedictine, and then a cigarette. All this prepared and
served in a little tent pitched far from town or city in the midst of
the somber Moorish plain. How it was possible for Haj to turn out from
his tiny canvas kitchen, and with his crude utensils, dishes so varied
and delicious, was an enduring mystery to us, but we fared sumptuously
throughout the journey. We lived in greater comfort and were better
served than in the French hotels of Algeria or the big hotels of Spain,
and we dined as well as on the Paris boulevards; and for all this,
we paid a price ridiculously low. Haj provided the entire outfit,—two
horses, five mules, two donkeys, and three tents; paid wages to three
servants, baksheesh to the military escort, furnished all provisions,
cooked for us, schemed for us, guided us,—all for twelve dollars daily
and a present at the journey's end. Beyond this small sum we spent not
a penny, save for the purchase of some little souvenirs.

  [Illustration: "NEVER MORE THAN TWENTY MILES A DAY"]

  [Illustration: THE CAMP OF THE GOVERNOR]

On the second morning, dark, lowering clouds obscure the heavens; yet,
despite the threat of a stormy day we break camp, a task requiring about
two hours of hard labor for our men. Our animals are loosed and roam at
will, browsing upon the fresh sweet clover. The men of the neighboring
village, who have been guarding the camp since evening, return to their
huts at daybreak; all night they sat in groups around our tents, chanting
or mumbling prayers to keep themselves awake. We reward them with a
present of silver coins, which they accept with greedy eyes. At last,
the countless things pertaining to the camp being all stowed securely in
the broad packs, we bid farewell to our first Morocco halting-place and
begin what, we have been told, will prove the most disagreeable stage of
the entire journey—the crossing of the Red Hill; an experience dreaded
by all caravans, especially in rainy weather. And rightly unpopular is
it, this trail of broken rock and slimy reddish clay, where at every
step our horses stumble or slip, where every now and then a pack mule,
fixing the forefeet firmly, goes glissading swiftly down the hill, until,
over-balanced by its enormous burden, it literally capsizes, and lies
helpless in the mire while the crew jettisons the cargo, rights the
poor hulk, re-ballasts it, and steers it down the dangerous channel,
using the tail as rudder and sharpened sticks as inspiration. Frequent
heavy downpours of rain add to our discomfort, drenching us to the skin
and threatening to shipwreck our hopes of reaching camp with tents and
baggage dry. But suddenly, an hour after we reach the plain, the sky is
cleared and swept completely clean, as if a great sponge had wiped away
the rain clouds; and then a beaming sun quickly dries men and animals and
burdens, causing us to give off clouds of vapor until we can scarcely
distinguish one another. And thus we journey on, never faster than at
a rapid walk, with frequent delays caused by the breaking of a strap,
the balky temper of a mule, or by a deep ditch difficult to ford. We
cover never more than twenty miles a day. At midday we come upon the
camp of the Basha of Tangier, and near it we make a halt for luncheon.
Haj informs us that the Governor has come up country to arrange a few
official robberies, and to administer a little Moorish justice—a peculiar
quality of justice.

  [Illustration: SUBJECTS OF THE SULTAN]

The collection of taxes is, however, the Basha's most important business.
The taxpayers are assembled around his tent, and pay in money, in produce,
and in cattle. The assessment varies according to the visible possessions
and apparent prosperity of the victim. No wise subject of the Moorish
Sultan ever boasts of his possessions. All feign poverty; for every man
is allowed to rob the man who is next in rank below him. The poor man
who can find no poorer man to rob that he may pay his due, is the one
who suffers most. We saw a dozen such in the tent at the Basha's camp,
chained together, the neck of each locked in a metal collar; the whole
procession was to be marched with the music of that clanking chain to
the prison at Tangier, many miles away.

  [Illustration: PRISONERS]

There is no justice in Morocco. The headman of a village squeezes all
he can out of the nothing that his people have; the chief man of the
district levies on the village headman; the chief pays tribute to the
Governor; the Governor cannot expect to hold his office unless magnificent
presents are annually sent to some grand vizier of the court at Fez; and
every now and then we hear of the downfall of a grand vizier, who has
waxed wealthy, boasted of his possessions, excited the cupidity of his
sacred Sultan and paid the penalty, either by suffering the confiscation
of his fortune and then exile, or perhaps by drinking, at the command
of the all-holy Emperor, a little glass of poisoned tea.

  [Illustration: ALCAZAR-EL-KEBIR]

We one day tendered in payment for provisions a Spanish dollar somewhat
dim and dark. It was refused. "Give me bright shining money," said the
man who had supplied us with eggs and milk. "That dark coin looks as if
it had been buried; if I attempt to pass it, the chief will send his men
to dig around and underneath my house, to see if I have more concealed
beneath the floors or in the ground outside."

Next day after our meeting with the Basha, we reach the first interior
city of any considerable size, Alcazar-el-Kebir. "Alcazar the Great,"
its inhabitants proudly entitle it, and in its time it has been great.
Here there were fitted out, in the eighth century, the expeditions that
went forth to conquer Spain and Europe. Later it was taken and held by
the Portuguese until that fatal day in 1578, when, on the battlefield not
far from the city gates, the very flower of the chivalry of Portugal fell
before the fearful onslaught of the Moorish foe. At Alcazar, Portugal
received the death-blow of her greatness. Before the loss of Alcazar
Portugal was one of the world's great powers. This terrible defeat was
the beginning of the end.

  [Illustration: A THOROUGHFARE]

  [Illustration: THE SULTAN MULAI AL HASAN IN TANGIER
  (Photographed by Molina)]

  [Illustration: WE PURCHASE MORE MOORISH CLOTHING]

The city is unlike all other cities of the interior, for it was built
by the Portuguese. It is not white, as are the Moorish cities, but all
in dull greys, browns, and soiled and dingy yellows. In the bazaar we
purchase more Moorish clothing—long white garments, far cooler than
our riding-suits, and upon returning in our new attire to the camp, we
are greeted effusively by a dusky gentleman who introduces himself as
the Consular Agent of the United States. Unfortunately his kindly words
are all Arabic, of which we do not understand a word. Nevertheless Mr.
Hamman Slawi convinces us of his good-will by presenting us with a pair
of yellow slippers, and manifests his admiration by sitting in our tent
and looking at us intently for just two hours and a half. Long calls are
the custom in Morocco, and when Mr. Slawi finally departed, he left his
son, a fat little chap, to continue staring at us so that we might not
feel neglected. And when the boy was finally induced to go, the father
sent the local symphony orchestra to serenade us in the gloaming, with
two insistent drums and an exasperating flute.

  [Illustration: MR. HAMMAN SLAWI, U. S. CONSULAR AGENT]

We are compelled to give these cacophonic tormentors a present to bring
the concert to an end. A present, by the way, is an important element in
every Moorish proposition. Presents are the lubricating medium used in
the social and political machinery of this ancient empire. Acting upon
the advice of former travelers, we have brought with us many gifts for
the Kaids or sheiks or bashas who show us kindness, or from whom we may
desire to obtain favors. A dozen Waterbury watches are reserved for the
men who are very great; for lesser notabilities we carry other presents,
among them, strange to say, all sorts of little toys, like jumping
jacks, kaleidoscopes, and automatic animals. These are not intended for
the children, but for full-grown men, hoary-headed chieftains who have
a passion for such novelties. The Moors are at heart big children, with
all the simplicity, deceitfulness, and passion of real children.

  [Illustration: THE SERENADE]

And, like unfeeling children, these people are often thoughtlessly cruel.
They appear not to notice the wounds caused by the heavy, ill-adjusted
harness of the pack mules, or the ugly cut made by the brutal bit in the
mouth of Kaid Lharbi's faithful horse. When we remonstrated with our men
about this useless cruelty, they answered that the animals are "used to
it;" that it is the custom of the country for mules to have raw backs
and horses bleeding jaws. The Moslem firmly believes that "whatever is,
is right;" and we console ourselves with the assurance of the classic
author who asserts that "the souls of usurers are metempsychosed, or
translated, into the bodies of asses, and there remain certain years
for poor men to take their pennyworth out of their bones."

  [Illustration: TRAVELING THUS EIGHT HOURS EVERY DAY]

  [Illustration: THE MOUNTAINS OF WAZZAN]

Later in the day we met with a curious experience. As we began the descent
into a broad valley, we saw approaching us another caravan. When it
drew near, we discovered, with pleased surprise, that the man who rode
in front was clothed in coat and trowsers, evidently a European, a man
from our own world, perhaps the only other white-skinned traveler in the
land. We shook off the lethargy that results from a long morning in the
saddle, and prepared to greet the stranger with smiles and questions,
eager to give news of the living world to one who must have been buried
for at least many days in this roadless land, eager to send back by him
messages to the consul in Tangier. Nearer he comes and nearer, but as
yet he makes no sign. Imagine, then, our blank dismay when the caravans
pass one another on this narrow trail amid the yellow grain, and the
stranger—a German merchant, as we learned afterward—rides past with his
Teutonic nose high in air, without a side glance or a nod, without the
slightest sign of recognition in answer to our smiles; for so astonished
were we that we could not speak. This exhibition of boorishness, I fear,
gave our Moslem followers a sad notion of the love and good-fellowship
existing between man and man in the world of unbelievers.

After receiving this cut-direct, we ride on across the grand free
landscape, its lines unbroken by trees or houses, where grain grows wild
and rots unharvested. In Roman times Morocco was the granary of Europe;
to-day the Moorish authorities prohibit the exportation of all grain.
"It is not meet," they say, "that the unbeliever should be nourished by
the labor of the faithful."

  [Illustration: "WHERE GRAIN GROWS WILD"]

Thus our days pass until, on the fifth morning of the journey, we halt
in a delightful garden on the outskirts of the city of Wazzan. The word
"Wazzan" perhaps means nothing to a stranger, but to a Moorish Moslem
it is second only to Mecca in sacred significance; for as Mecca was
the home of Mohammed, the great prophet, so Wazzan is the home of the
grand Shareef, the most direct descendant of Mohammed, the most revered
personage in all Morocco. A connection, however remote, with the prophet's
line is a relationship that insures the respectful consideration of every
Mohammedan. To be the most descendant, the grandson-many-times-removed
of Fatima, the prophet's daughter and Ali, his favorite disciple, is to
take precedence over Emperors and Sultans in the sight of every true
believer. And thus the Shareef of Wazzan, upon whose holy city we now
cast our profane glance, is a greater, holier man than either the Sultan
of Turkey or the Sultan of Morocco.

  [Illustration: DRUDGERY]

  [Illustration: A WELL IN THE GARDEN NEAR WAZZAN]

  [Illustration: THE SACRED CITY OF WAZZAN]

True, these two emperors trace their ancestry back to the same sacred
source; but many true believers call his Turkish majesty a renegade
and backslider, while the family-tree of the Moorish Sultan has been
so bent and twisted, and its branches have been so rudely hacked and
broken by revolutions, wars, and crimes that a majority of his subjects
look askance upon his pretensions as Commander of the Faithful. Many of
them secretly, some openly, acknowledge the Shareef of Wazzan not only
as the spiritual head of the Empire, but also as its rightful temporal
lord. Fortunately for the internal peace of the land the Shareefs have
been content to exercise imperial power by suggestion, to receive tithes
in lieu of taxes, and to leave to the Sultan and his ministers at Fez
the vexatious details of the government and the semblance of absolute
authority. So sacred is this city of Wazzan, so fanatical are its
inhabitants, that we dared not enter its gates until a military escort
sent by the Shareef came to conduct us to the home assigned us as a
residence by that sainted potentate.

  [Illustration: THE MARKET-PLACE]

It cost our servants several hours' labor to clean the mansion and make
it habitable. In the meantime, with Haj as interpreter and Kaid Lharbi
to lend dignity to our party, we were escorted by a half-dozen ragged
soldiers to the Shareef's palace, which gleams white in the midst of
green gardens. There we were received with high-bred dignity and more
than ordinary cordiality by the man who, as has been said, is revered,
from Morocco to Madras, as the holiest and greatest representative of
Islamism.

  [Illustration: OUR "PALACE" IN WAZZAN]

We found the Shareef seated on soft cushions beneath a white pavilion in
the midst of a luxuriant garden. Around him courtiers were grouped; old
men with long, white beards, young men with fierce, hard faces—chiefs of
the neighboring tribes. The Shareef, a handsome man, black-bearded and
completely robed in simple veils of white, bore his thirty-five years
with dignity, despite a suggestion of indolence, almost of lethargy in
his manner. Haj approached on hands and knees and kissed the Shareef's
garments. We bowed and took the chairs which had been placed for our
comfort just outside the pavilion. The dialogue ensuing between our host
and guide was deliberate, cordial, and much embroidered with compliments,
as is the custom here in good society. We, through our spokesman, thanked
his holiness for his hospitality. He apologizes for the condition of
our house.

  [Illustration: "THE SHAREEF'S PALACE, WHITE IN THE MIDST OF GREEN GARDENS"]

  [Illustration: A HOME IN THE SHAREEF'S CITY]

Haj is instructed to express our complete satisfaction. He translates
our crude reply with Moorish tact and delicacy: "My masters, O Shareef,"
he says, "bid me declare that to see thy face is so great joy that they
have no thought of minor things; illuminated by the light of thy face,
the house becomes a palace, grander than their own palaces in foreign
lands." And this sort of thing is actually taken seriously in Morocco!
Then, remembering that the presentation of gifts is now in order, Haj
continues: "O Shareef, so grateful are my masters for thy kindness that
they beg thee to accept a humble present. The youth who wears no beard
gladly parts with his precious timepiece, the gift of his father, much
prized by him, but still scarcely worthy thine acceptance." Whereupon
my friend, with feigned reluctance, detaches from his watch-chain one
of our stock of Waterburys, and, as if it had been a gold chronometer,
an heirloom in the family, lays it at the feet of Holiness. Holiness
graciously accepts the gift, and although he remarks upon the absence of
a chain, is apparently well pleased. We are glad that he does not know
that we have still nine "Waterbury heirlooms" left in stock.

  [Illustration: A FORD]

  [Illustration: THEIR DAILY TIPPLE—"TEA"]

The interview being over, we return to our residence to find our men
indulging in their daily tipple—tea. Kaid Lharbi, sitting aloof as befits
his higher rank, brews the tea, and serves it with much ceremony to the
rest. Meantime Haj gives us some information regarding the Shareefs of
Wazzan. The present saint is, he assures us, a very proper personage,
but his late father who owed his title to a clever ruse, was a scandal
to the holy name. When his immediate predecessor was upon his deathbed,
his ministers implored him to designate which of his many children should
succeed him. The old man answered: "In the garden you will find a child
playing with my staff. Him shall ye consider the one chosen of God to
become Shareef." At this, one of the negresses, a slave, slipped secretly
from the room, and finding in the garden the favorite white child of the
dying saint, snatched away from the little one the staff, and placed it
in the hands of her own little boy, a jet-black imp, who also had the
right to call the Shareef father. When the ministers appeared, they bowed
low before the negro child, and upon him the mantel of impeccability
descended; but whoever has gazed upon him as he appeared in later years
will not wonder that the mantle of impeccability was not worn gracefully,
and that it frequently slipped off. The charm of European life appealed
too strongly to him. He forsook Wazzan, and built for himself a palace
in Tangier, where he wined and dined the foreign diplomats, and ended
by falling in love with an English governess. As to his liking for
liquor, that sin was forgiven him, since wine cannot enter the mouth
of a Shareef—it turns to water at the merest touch of saintly lips. As
to his love-affair, that was more serious; for he married his English
sweetheart, to the horror of his people and despite the protests of the
woman's friends. The marriage was not performed, however, until he had
been forced to sign a contract, abolishing his harem, and making her
his wife in a Christian sense. Moreover, one clause provided that should
he, "the party of the first part," in spite of all take to himself other
wives in the future, a forfeit of twenty thousand dollars should be paid,
per wife, to "the party of the second part." Alas, how many thousands
of his great income went to balance this account, so rashly opened
with his Christian spouse! After a brief spell of good behavior, the
husband fell back into his old ways; marriages occurred with startling
frequency, and, finally worn out by his excesses, the "holiest man in
all Morocco," revered by Moslems from the east to the west of Islam, died
from the effects of too frequently performing his favorite miracle—that
of changing champagne and brandy into water by pouring them between his
sacred lips.

  [Illustration: THE LATE LAMENTED SHAREEF OF WAZZAN]

  [Illustration: IN CONVERSATION WITH KAID LHARBI]

The English wife of the wicked old Shareef bore him two sons, now
young men. They have been educated abroad, speak English well, and are
distinctly up to date. Yet when they travel in Morocco they wear the
native dress, and their journey is like a triumphal progress; all the
people worship them. I have seen large crowds in Tangier fighting only
for the opportunity to kiss their garments as they rode through the
market-place. Neither, however, became grand Shareef on their father's
death, for he appointed Sidi Mohammed, his son by a Moorish wife, the
man to whom we gave the Waterbury watch. The English widow lives a very
secluded life near Oran, in Algeria, but she is loved and revered by
the Moors; for while her influence endured, she went about doing good,
relieving distress, bringing a little Anglo-Saxon light into the dark
lives of her people.

  [Illustration: "BIDS US BEGONE"]

And dark indeed must be the lives of the people in the villages near which
we pitch our camp. Perhaps a woman would, with great vehemence, bid us
begone, lamenting the desolation that will surely come to her village
if the strangers camp under the protection of its chief. Her reason is
that should we meet with loss from the attack of some wandering band of
marauders, this village will be held responsible, and punishment for
offenses committed against us will be visited upon those who, by the
sacred laws of hospitality, are bound to protect us.

  [Illustration: "YET FLOWERS AND BABIES GROW IN THESE MOORISH VILLAGES"]

But disregarding prayers and threats we make ourselves at home; and
finally the women, reconciled, come with their babies to beg for aid and
medical advice. Every white man is supposed to possess the power to cure
disease, and many were the pitiful appeals made to us for relief and
help. We were asked to treat all kinds of maladies, but we discovered one
unique and hitherto unknown ailment: "What is your trouble?" was asked
of a man who came with sadness written on his face. "Oh!" he replied,
"I cannot eat as much as I should like to." Poverty and ignorance are
the common lot, yet flowers and babies grow in these Moorish villages.

  [Illustration: "ON THE LOOKOUT FOR ADVENTURE"]

We have now approached a portion of the Beni Hassan territory, a region
inhabited by a tribe whose chief pursuit is robbery, whose supreme
joy is murder; and the placing of a guard around the tent is no longer
a mere formality. As yet, however, we have seen no roving bands; but
next day as we file across the flower-spotted plain, we observe on the
horizon a number of moving patches of bright color. With lightning-like
rapidity, these flashes of color sweep toward us, each one resolving
itself into a Moorish cavalier, well mounted, fully armed, and seemingly
upon the lookout for adventure. These, then, are Beni Hassan men! What
will they do to us and how shall we greet them? is our anxious thought,
as they draw nearer, brandishing their rifles, shouting as they ride.
The first brief moment of alarm is, however, quickly ended. The chief
salutes us cordially; asks Haj whence we come, whither we are going; and
then, desirous of showing honor to us (for foreign travelers are always
looked upon as men of great distinction), he offers to perform for us
a fantasia. The fantasia is an exhibition of Arabian horsemanship, a
sort of glorified cavalry-charge, a spectacular manœuver, the favorite
amusement of the Moorish cavalier, the exercise in which he takes most
pleasure and most pride. It is called by him lab-el-baroud, "the powder
play." A dozen cavaliers, each one a savage, long-haired son of Hassan,
advance across the plain, their horses aligned, breast with breast. They
twirl aloft their richly inlaid guns; then, putting their chargers to
their fullest speed, the riders rise in the stirrups, seize the reins
between their teeth, and sweep toward us in swift majesty. On go the
horses at full gallop, still accurately in line. Faster and faster
spin the guns above the riders' heads; now muskets are tossed high in
air, and descending are caught by strong bronzed hands that never fail.
On go the horses; then the men, still standing in the stirrups, their
loose garments enveloping them like rapid-flying clouds, at a signal
discharge a rousing volley, and under cover of the smoke check—almost
instantaneously with the cruel bits—their panting horses, bloody-mouthed
and deeply scarred and wounded by the spurs. This intensely thrilling
and picturesque performance is rehearsed before us several times, the
chief being proud of his little band of "rough riders."

  [Illustration: A SON OF HASSAN]

The men disdainfully examine our English saddles, our horses with docked
tails, and laugh at our tiny spurs, for their spurs are sharp spikes
three or four inches long. They mockingly challenge us to join them in
another fantasia, and to the amazement of the chief my friend accepts
the challenge. The long muzzle-loading rifles are charged again, and
the entire troop, with an American in its midst, slowly canters away.
Facing about, the horsemen form in line and begin to twirl their guns
on high. Having no rifle, the stranger draws and flourishes an American
revolver. Then, suddenly, the horses leap away, and like a whirlwind the
fantasia is upon us. The muskets are discharged; the revolver pops away,
and then a mad race begins. Strange to say, the Tangier horse outruns
the chargers of the plains, and we see the white helmet of the American
flash past, one length in advance of the line of frenzied horsemen!

  [Illustration: A NOONDAY RESTING-PLACE]

Chagrined at this defeat, the chief attempts to unseat the victor,
charging directly at my friend, who, by a skillful movement, avoids
a dangerous collision. Then, spurring after that boasting Beni Hassan
tribesman, the American overtakes him, and throws an arm around his neck;
and, as they dash on, locked in this embrace, my friend, with a voice
that was trained in the Athletic Field at New Haven, shouts a rousing
"Rah, Rah, Rah!—Yale!" into the ear of the astonished savage, and thus
ends our adventure with the wild Beni Hassan band.

  [Illustration: HAPPY MOMENTS FOR THE MULES]

Reassured by the amusing outcome of this first encounter, we ride on
toward our noonday halting-place. Our marches are so timed that at midday
we may find ourselves near some patch of shade. Shade in Morocco is rare
indeed, but as every tree and bush between Tangier and Fez is marked
on Haj's mental map, we are usually assured of leafy shelter during our
noonday rest. Throughout the burning hours from noon till three or four
o'clock, we lie at full length amid the flowers, carefully following
the shadows as they slowly creep around the trees. The animals, relieved
of pack, though not of saddle, browse dreamily, or roll in ecstasy amid
the fragrant grasses. Our men with Oriental resignation lunch frugally,
sit and smoke in silence, or indulge in semi-slumber, with one eye open
lest the mules escape. Then, after the sun's rays have lost a little of
their torrid sting, we jog on once more in the comparative coolness of
the afternoon across the Moorish prairies.

  [Illustration: ROUGH RIDERS]

Space in Morocco is still a stern reality. The city Fez, to reach which
we must travel thus during eleven days, could be reached by rail (were
there a railway leading thither) in a half-dozen hours! Apropos of this,
let me repeat a scrap of wayside conversation.

"Morocco is indeed a spacious country," said I one day to dignified Kaid
Lharbi.

"It is the biggest country in the world," gravely replied the Kaid. Then
gently I endeavored to disabuse his mind of this impression by telling
of the vastness of the territory of the United States.

"But how long does it take to cross your country?" he inquired.

"We travel five days in fast trains to go from San Francisco to New
York," I answered.

"Bah! that is nothing," rejoined our military escort with a sneer of
triumph. "To go from Tafilet in the south to Tangier in the north, the
fastest caravan must travel _forty days_. You see Morocco is the biggest
country in the world!"

  [Illustration: "HAJ"]

Nor can we blame him for his opinion, for the land looks boundless. The
grand, free lines of the Moorish landscape are unbroken; no trees, no
houses, no hedges, and no highways are there to spoil the composition of
the picture drawn and painted by the master artist, Nature. The country,
although fertile, is uncultivated. The horizon seems wider than in other
lands. Apparently there is no end, no limit to the landscape. We know
that beyond each range of hills there will be revealed a replica of this
primeval picture. One scene like this will succeed another with scarce
an interruption until the minarets of Fez shall cut their square majestic
outlines against the southern sky.

  [Illustration: "SPACE, IN MOROCCO, IS STILL A STERN REALITY"]

Who can describe the floral beauty of these boundless prairies?—who
except Pierre Loti? It was his dainty volume, "Au Maroc," that inspired
me with a desire to follow him into Morocco. When I was reading his
beautiful descriptions of the floral mosaic that covers both the plains
and hillsides of the land, I could not easily accept as true the seemingly
exaggerated assertions of the author; his glowing word-pictures of an
"empire carpeted with flowers." Yet he spoke truly, and as I rode across
these broad stretches of pure white, where marguerites in all their modest
loveliness lie thick upon the greensward, I knew that I had seen it all
before—seen it upon his printed page, as real, as beautifully vivid as
it is to me to-day. To visit Morocco after reading Pierre Loti is like
returning to a land that is familiar, to a land already seen, to a land
the charm of which has been revealed in the magic pages of his poetic
prose.

  [Illustration: "THE BIGGEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD"]

For miles and miles this bundle of narrow intersecting trails, the
only Imperial Highway of the Sultan of Morocco, leads us on through a
veritable garden—between interminable flower-beds. Our foreground is
at times pure white, at others purple with a sea of iris flowers, at
others scarlet with the blood of anemones, at others yellow with the
golden glory of the buttercups and daisies. The mountain slopes and
hillsides meanwhile reflect the many colors of the spectrum. It is as
if some gorgeous rainbow, shattered in the Moorish heaven, had fallen
upon the deserted hills and valleys of this savage, silent land. It is
as if the divine Artist had resolved to make this wilderness the palette
from which to take the colors for all future landscapes. It is as if the
sunset of the day before was lingering here to meet the sunset of the
morrow. It is as if Almighty Allah had selected the Empire of Moghreb
for his sanctuary, and had spread out upon its sacred floor a prayer-rug
of unutterable beauty, woven by the divine looms—a carpet of heavenly
design to inspire man to fall upon his knees and pray.

  [Illustration: AN EMPIRE CARPETED WITH FLOWERS]

This is our life during ten delightful, never-to-be-forgotten days.
All day we journey southward, pausing at noon "midway twixt here and
there;" at night we arrive, as my friend expressed it, at "nowhere in
particular," and in the glow of the sunset we pitch our little camp. Then,
when the evening fire is lighted, the encircling night grows blacker,
the surrounding darkness becomes a protecting wall, and we feel almost
secure. Our animals are hobbled in a row before the tent, each with a
heap of fresh green grass or clover. They eat all night; and when we
wake, startled by the cry of a jackal, or by a shout from one of the men
on guard, we are sure to hear that music of nine munching mouths. It is
our lullaby, and we fall asleep again to dream of Fez, the mysterious
city which we shall enter on the morrow.

  [Illustration: INTERMINABLE FLOWER-BEDS]

  [Illustration: "NOWHERE IN PARTICULAR"]

  [Illustration: "A SEMBLANCE OF A HIGHWAY"]

On the eleventh morning of our journey this semblance of a highway comes
straggling from the south to meet us. The countless caravans, crawling
toward the holy city, have created this illusion of a road—a road that
will lead us in a few short hours to the gates of a great city, the
fascination of which, for him who has the slightest love of romance in
his soul, is irresistible. Fez is no banal, modernized, or tourist-ridden
city, nor is it a mere heap of ugliness and ruin of which the only charm
is a remoteness from the living world. Fez is a city that has been in its
time one of the proudest and most splendid cities of the Moslem world.
Its fall has been so gradual that there has been no change, nothing but
a slow decay, so gentle that it has not scarred old Fez, but beautified
it. Fez, like Venice, requires but a touch of the imagination, aided by
the long shadows of the early morning, the mystery of twilight, or the
silvery magic of the moonlight, to restore it to us as it stood in all
its somber beauty eight hundred years ago.

  [Illustration: "MIDWAY TWIXT HERE AND THERE"]

  [Illustration: UN TRIBUNAL ARABE
   (J. LAURENT MADRID)]

Therefore do we most eagerly await the moment that will reveal to us
this crumbling stronghold of a dying race, this beautiful but fragile
shell of Moorish civilization,—a civilization that long ago ceased to
progress, and, ceasing to progress, has thereby ceased to live.



  [Illustration]

FEZ

THE METROPOLIS OF THE MOORS


To modern minds the word "metropolis" suggests a city, great in extent,
in the heart of a thickly populated country; a place of marvels and of
wonderful contrivances; a place where commerce has worn mighty cañons
between huge cliffs of masonry; a place toward which all roads converge;
a place whence radiate interminable rails of steel, along which speed
steaming monsters, annihilating space and bringing vast regions under
the spell of urban supremacy; or else the suggestion is of a mighty
seaport, to which the great ships of the deep bring men from far-off
lands and cargoes from the far ends of the earth.

Metropolis, moreover, means a place where burn the beacon-lights of
intelligence and culture; where the latest word of science is spoken;
where every day a superstition dies; where seekers after truth come
nearest to their goal. A metropolis is the essence of our New Century
civilization,—the creation of an irresistible modern impulse, an entity
that challenges our admiration and inspires us with awe.

  [Illustration: THE METROPOLIS OF THE MOORS]

  [Illustration: APPROACHING FEZ]

But there is in this world a great city, the metropolis of a nation,
which is not like the cities that we know.

In the midst of a fertile, smiling wilderness, it is a stranger to all
things that are new; its commerce ebbs and flows through channels unknown
to the world. At its gates are no railways and no carriage-roads, but it
holds infrequent communication with a distant port by means of caravans
of mules and camels, and of messengers who run on foot. Its culture
is the culture of the Fifteenth Century, its science of still earlier
date; and truth there is yet hid by clouds of superstition. This city
is the essence of the Middle Ages; it is the heart of a nation that was
mummified eight hundred years ago by the religion of Mohammed. This city
is called Fez; the land of which it is the capital is Morocco.

  [Illustration: "IN THE MIDST OF A SMILING WILDERNESS"]

The first glimpse of Fez is an event in the life of a traveler. Then,
if ever, will be experienced one of those delicious little thrills that
make their way down the spinal column of a man when he realizes that he
has accomplished something of which he has long been dreaming. And when
we, who have long been dreaming of a visit to the Moor's metropolis,
actually behold it, though it first appears as only a faint line of
walls and towers, almost undiscernible through the rough sea of heated
air-waves that surge between us and the city, now that Fez at last has
risen from this endless plain over which we have been toiling southward
for eleven days, we feel that we must draw rein, and for a few minutes
indulge in the enjoyment of that creeping thrill. There are so few of
them in life; the traveler who can remember twenty of these delicious
moments in as many years is fortunate above his kind!

  [Illustration: "A FAINT LINE OF WALLS AND TOWERS"]

  [Illustration: "AT ITS GATES, NO RAILWAYS—NO ROADS—"]

Happy in the assurance that a new and thoroughly uncommon experience
is opening before us, we ride rapidly on. Leaving our baggage caravan
far in the rear, and halting at a respectful distance from the walls,
we snatch a hasty luncheon before entering the gates of Fez; and this
luncheon is the last incident of our delightful journey into Morocco. We
have been eleven long days in the saddle. We recall the departure from
Tangier, the nights in camp near Berber villages, the passing glimpse
of the city of Alcazar-el-Kebir, and the visit to Morocco's greatest
saint, the Shareef of Wazzan; nor can we forget the great sun-flooded
land, bright with the colors of a million-million flowers, across which
our little caravan has struggled at a snail-like pace, crawling scarce
twenty miles between the rising and the setting of the sun.

  [Illustration: "THE SUN-FLOODED LAND"]

  [Illustration: "WHO CAN FORGET THE SMILING FACE OF HAJ?"]

  [Illustration: KAID LHARBI]

Still with us are the Faithful Five—the five men who formed our escort,
the men to whom we looked for comfort, willing service, and protection.
There is Kaid Lharbi, the military guard, under his broad-brimmed
hat; and as for the dragoman-in-chief, who can forget the smiling face
of Haj Abd-er-Rahman? A marvel of tact and cleverness was "Haj," but
though he has successfully piloted our fleet of mules and horses, with
their cargoes of tents, furniture, provisions, cameras, and presents,
across trackless expanses where the only law is the Law of Might, he may
well assume an anxious expression as we approach the gates of Fez; for
there his task will be even more difficult. Instead of the lawless, but
simple-minded, easily-won people of the plains, he will now have to deal
with city men, men of strong anti-Christian prejudices, with the proud,
ignorant, fanatical, and cunning population of this untaken stronghold of
Mohammed's faith. We shall be met at every turn by a polite resistance,
and although our letters, obtained in Tangier from the Moorish Minister
of Foreign Affairs, assure us official protection, we shall be given to
understand that we are not welcome visitors, and that our sojourn must
be made as short as possible.

  [Illustration: THE WESTERNMOST STRONGHOLD OF MOHAMMED'S FAITH]

  [Illustration: THE WALLS OF FEZ]

The surroundings are so smiling and peaceful that we can scarcely realize
that yonder city is one of the most fanatical, one of the most rigidly
opposed to foreign intrusion of any in the world. Our first impression is
that Fez lies on a level plain; but we find this is not true, for it is
spread out on the slopes of an irregular valley. Another view than our
first will tell us more of the situation of the place. I must confess,
however, that although my bump of locality is fairly well developed,
I found the situation of Fez most difficult clearly to understand, and
it was only after repeated excursions to the surrounding eminences that
I was able to map out mentally the various quarters of the town. That
there are two great divisions, each almost independent of the other, we
very soon discover.

  [Illustration: "FASS-EL-DJEDID"]

First, there is the Imperial and official quarter, where the palaces and
gardens of the Sultan and the buildings of the government are scattered
over uncounted acres of high-walled areas. In native speech, this quarter
is called Fass-el-Djedid; that is, "Fez, the new," for it is new when
measured by the age of Fass-Bali, or Old Fez, which soon reveals itself
to us, lying in a hollow to the left of Fass-el-Djedid. This is the
_medina_, or city proper, wherein are situated the most sacred mosques,
the busiest bazaars, the dwellings of the poorer classes, and the modest
Vice-Consulates of only two or three European nations. Between the
animated Medina,—a mass of closely packed cubes of white, appearing when
viewed from a distance like a saucer filled with sugar lumps,—and the
spacious, stately governmental quarter, lies what is called the garden
region.

  [Illustration: "FASS-BALI"]

  [Illustration: THE GATE OF NEW FEZ]

This portion of the city in part resembles a well-cultivated farming
region, open and free of access; in part it is like a labyrinth of
narrow high-walled alleys, dividing, with their double barriers of
stone and plaster, one mysterious garden from another, isolating the
secret retreat of one aristocratic Moor from the perfumed inclosure in
which the harem of another is confined. A veritable abode of mystery
and beauty is that distant portion of the garden region, a paradise to
which the stranger is not welcomed. Nor will the stranger be _persona
grata_ in any part of Fez if the reports of other travelers are true.
Surely, it will be a luxury to be despised by an entire population, and
despised because we are that which we are most proud to be, champions
of progress, lovers of civilization. And ready to meet the contempt of
Allah's people, we approach this city. Near the ruined walls we see a
multitude of whitish forms, now immobile, now swayed as by emotion. It
is an audience composed of men of Fez, gathered in a sort of natural
theater to listen to the dramatic tale of a famous story-teller. In
ages that are past the white-robed Greeks came forth from Athens and
sat thus in the shadow of the old Acropolis to listen to the stories of
dramatists and poets whose fame the whole world now knows. And because
of its suggestion of those ancient gatherings, this assembly takes on
a dignity and an importance in our eyes. Our coming causes a diversion;
spectators drop the thread of the speaker's discourse, and turn toward
us with a scowling curiosity. There are no greetings, not a smile, but
we are not conscious of any open rudeness, save that now and then as
we ride through the crowd, we notice that men clear their throats and
spit; this, however, we expected, for we knew that the presence of a
Christian so defiles the atmosphere that good Mohammedans must needs
cleanse their mouths and nostrils after he has passed.

  [Illustration: A MULTITUDE OF SHROUDED FASSIS]

  [Illustration: THE ARSENAL]

And now one of the great gates of New Fez looms before us. We enter.
For a moment a dampness like that of a tunnel wraps its cool refreshing
blackness about us, and then we emerge into a spacious age-worn court,
which shows us that the adjective "new" applied to this strange, almost
deserted quarter has only a comparative significance. There is in the
entire city nothing that is really new. And yet this is not strictly true,
for on our right we see a gateway freshly plastered, freshly painted in
pale blue, with piles of cannon balls upon the top of its pilasters.
It is the recently established arsenal of the Sultan. For the Sultan,
though averse to progress and to civilization, has not hesitated to
adopt that which is most barbarous in our science,—the modern methods
of destruction; and here he manufactures death-dealing instruments like
those invented by the Christians. We traverse the long, almost deserted
square, and cross the threshold of another gate. We find ourselves in a
tortuous, vaulted corridor, divided into gloomy sections by huge horseshoe
arches. These gates of Fez are surely not designed to facilitate urban
circulation, rather are they designed, in case of need, to prevent or at
least to impede the rapid gathering of crowds in the great areas around
the imperial palace—to isolate the various precincts of the city in case
of revolution.

  [Illustration: "FEZ—IN ALL ITS DILAPIDATED REALITY"]

As we pass onward, veiled women observe us with a silent wonder, a few
men pause to clear their throats or sneer, a holy beggar crouching in
an angle howls after us his incoherent curse. While my horse passes
close to one of these ruined pillars, I involuntarily extend my hand and
touch the crumbling brick, as if to be assured that all this is not an
illusion; that Fez, the city of our dream, does actually exist in all
its dilapidated reality; that at last the object of our journey into
Morocco has been attained; that our arrival in the Sultan's city is an
accomplished fact. Then, followed by our caravan, we pass from under
these ponderous arches and enter another court, smaller but not less
strange than the first. Here, moving to and fro are a few white-robed
beings; but so silently do they stalk along, seemingly unconscious of
our presence, that we feel as if we had entered a city of the dead,
inhabited only by sheeted ghosts. Already we feel as if the shroud of
Islam were being slowly wrapped about us. To the left rise the walls
which hide from view the seraglios and palaces of Mulai El-Hasan III,
the Sultan; to the right are other walls, concealing we know not what
mysterious buildings—vast abandoned structures which the stranger never
sees.

  [Illustration: IN THE GATES]

The Sultans have been reckless builders. We are told that the father of
Mulai El-Hasan began, long years ago, a palace which was designed to be
the largest in the world. The walls of one room only were erected, and
this room was never even covered by a roof. It forms to-day one of the
most extensive public squares of Fez, measuring three hundred by nine
hundred feet. How the old architects would have solved the problem of
arching this huge empty space, it is impossible to guess.

  [Illustration: A STOLEN GLIMPSE OF THE IMPERIAL PALACE]

  [Illustration: "THE EMPTY SPACIOUSNESS OF NEW FEZ"]

This is but one of the long series of abandoned squares and public places
across which our escort conducts us, each separated from another by
crumbling walls, pierced by artistic Moorish archways. Before reaching the
city proper, we pass through a dozen or more of these arched portals, so
ruinous, many of them, that they appear about to fall and crush us beneath
tons of century-old masonry. I should but weary you were I to describe our
progress in detail; suffice it to repeat that before we reach Old Fez we
pass through many gates and traverse interminable, broad, deserted alleys
leading between high, crumbling, battlemented walls, where we are stared
at, muttered at, scowled at, by the shaven-pated youth of Fez, while more
mature citizens exhibit their contempt by striding past without so much
as a look. It argues an immense amount of self-control to refrain from
gazing on such an unusual spectacle as our caravan presented, simply
because we were not true believers. Nevertheless, there were few among
the better dressed men whom we met, who did not march severely by, nose
in air, eyes front, denying themselves the satisfaction of an interested
stare, because an initial glance had assured them that we were "unclean
Christians." Though I confess that this reproach, owing to our ten days'
travel overland, and to the scarcity of water in Morocco, was only too
well founded, yet we found it consoling to notice convincing proofs that
many of the true believers were also without the virtue that is next to
godliness. Moreover, we intended to reform as soon as we could find a
home, while no such admirable intentions can be credited to those who
reviled us.

  [Illustration: A PUBLIC SQUARE]

  [Illustration: "STARED AT, MUTTERED AT, SCOWLED AT"]

But as for the ladies we encountered—bless their feminine souls!—with
them, womanly curiosity proved stronger than religious prejudice.
They frankly halted, turned their pretty faces toward us and gazed up
smilingly at the arriving travelers. We must admit, however, that they
had the advantage of us; we were compelled to take for granted both
the prettiness and smiles, and it was pleasanter to do so; moreover,
there was nothing else to do. Still, the features of her who paused on
the left, as vaguely molded by the masking haik, were not of Grecian
purity. She would have charmed us more had she not drawn her veil so
tight. On the right an older woman was more discreet; like the wise
Katisha she believed that it is not alone in the face that beauty is to
be sought, so she sparingly displayed her charms, revealing only a left
heel which people may have come many miles to see. The fair one in the
middle bares her face in most immodest fashion: through an opening at
least three quarters of an inch in width two pretty eyes of black are
flaming; and, indeed, it may be set down as an almost invariable rule
that the wider the opening 'twixt veil and haik, the prettier the eyes
that flash between.

  [Illustration: "WOMANLY CURIOSITY STRONGER THAN RELIGIOUS PREJUDICE"]

With maledictions on the prevailing style of dress for Moorish beauties,
we ride on, passing finally from the empty spaciousness of New Fez into
the crowded compactness of the old Medina. Here our pace, always slow,
must be made even slower; our caravan winds at a careful walk into a
labyrinth of narrow ways, so dark, so crowded, so redolent of Oriental
life, so saturated with the atmosphere of Islam and the East, that we
are thrilled with pleasure at the thought that we are for a space to
become dwellers in this strange metropolis and to live its life—a life
so utterly unrelated to that of the cities whence we come.

  [Illustration: "THE CROWDED COMPACTNESS OF THE OLD MEDINA"]

First we must secure an abiding-place, for there are no hotels in Fez—at
least none in which foreigners could live and remain in possession of
their self-respect and sanity. The only places of public entertainment
are the Fondaks, where men and mules are lodged and fed. A glance through
the door of the Fondak, where our own faithful animals were later in the
day entered as boarders for an indefinite period, proved how utterly
preposterous it would be for us to depend upon the hotel resources of
the capital. Although the packs have been removed, the pack-saddles,
each a burden in itself, have not been taken off nor will they be until
to-morrow for fear the animals uncovered while heated from exertion
might catch cold, fall sick, and die. In fact, the mules have not been
free from these cruel weights at any time during the journey of eleven
days. Why the idea of suicide does not appeal to the Morocco mule is
but another of the unaccountable problems of the land.

Convinced that hotel-life in Fez has no attraction for us, we follow Haj
toward the palace of the Governor, where, thanks to our official letters,
we expect to find that ample provisions for our comfort have been made.
We halt at last before an unpromising door, in a deep and narrow street.
The palace of the Basha is not extremely imposing in its exterior, but we
know that in Morocco bare outer walls often hide undreamed-of splendor,
and that dirty, dingy streets may surround pavilions and gardens of
unsuspected beauty. Therefore it is with confidence that we intrust our
letters, long, beautifully written documents in Arabic, to the attendant
at the door. He disappears; we wait; he remains out of sight; we continue
to wait.

  [Illustration: "A LABYRINTH OF NARROW WAYS"]

  [Illustration: THE BEST "HOTEL" IN FEZ]

For three long, mortal hours this endures. Evidently the Basha is
deliberating deeply upon the proper disposition of his unwelcome visitors.
Now and then an official comes out to look us over, but nothing is done.
Soldiers and servants are sent away on errands, and seem never to return.
We sit, meanwhile, mute protests at the door. Knowing our helplessness,
we curb our anger and impatience, and endeavor to conceal our weariness
from the scornful citizens who pass with haughty sneers, happy to see
two Christians awaiting the Basha's pleasure.

  [Illustration: AT THE BASHA'S DOOR]

  [Illustration: MECCA, THE HEART OF ISLAM
   From a unique photograph by an anonymous Algerian pilgrim]

At last a servant comes with a reply. On receiving it, Haj flies into a
passion, and orders the caravan to follow him, and away we file through
the crowded streets, Haj gesticulating wildly and shouting loud enough
for all to hear that the Basha has attempted to extort money from the
foreign visitors, who are great lords, whereas he is bound by instructions
from the Minister at Tangier to lodge them at the expense of the city.
And this is true; it is the policy of the government to provide gratis
a house for foreign visitors to Fez. This policy is prompted not by a
generous spirit of hospitality, but by a desire to control the movements
of the strangers. It is feared that if the foreigner is permitted to
pay rental for his house, he may in some way establish a vague right to
occupy it longer than is consistent with the desires of the government.
This might prove awkward and lead to complications. It is much simpler
to make the foreigner a guest, who cannot refuse to move on when politely
notified that his abode is needed for another visitor.

  [Illustration: MYSTERY-PERVADED STREETS]

In our case, however, the Basha has demanded payment for the house, and
Haj, knowing well how to deal with this emergency, is leading us with
ostentatious indignation toward the city gates, breathing as he rides
loud threats that he will report our treatment to our friend, the Moorish
Minister of Foreign Affairs, and declaring that we will, meantime, pitch
our camp outside the walls, and hold the Governor responsible by any
injury suffered at the hands of prowling robbers. His shrewd tactics prove
effectual; for as we are passing through one of the pretty alleys of the
Garden Region, we are overtaken by servants of the Governor. Repentant,
he has sent them with the keys of a villa that he has assigned to us.
We follow the Governor's retainers toward the heart of the aristocratic
quarter, through a perplexing labyrinth of sun-flooded alleys, where
the redundant vegetation of the silent, surrounding gardens overflows
the sky-line, or bursts through cracks in the old masonry. We know not
whither we are being led; we scarcely dare hope that we shall be permitted
to abide in this delightful residential region, and we fear that some
abandoned house will be made to serve us as a semi-prison. And soon it
seems that our worst fears are to be realized, for although the caravan
is halted in the garden region, it is in the dingiest and narrowest of
its streets, before the lowest and the darkest of its doors.

  [Illustration: THE SUNNY ALLEYS OF THE GARDEN REGION]

When Pierre Loti came to Fez and saw for the first time the entrance to
his house, he immediately exclaimed: "But this is not a human habitation!
One might be pardoned for thinking it the entrance to a rabbit hutch;
and even then they must be very poor rabbits to live in such a place."

  [Illustration: "IN THE NARROWEST AND DINGIEST STREET"]

  [Illustration: "THE LOWEST, DARKEST DOOR"]

The door of our promised abode looks like the outlet of a sewer or
the entrance to a pig-sty. And Haj, who has buoyed up our hopes with
descriptions of the palace we were soon to occupy in Fez, receives
reproachful glances. We fear his "palaces" no more deserve their name
than did his "forests" and his "lakes" and "rivers," for to him a clump
of half a dozen trees was a "_forêt magnifique!_" a muddy pool "_un lac
superbe_," and a slimy streamlet, "_une rivière claire et belle_." And
now his "_palais splendide_" bids fair to be—a dirty prison.

  [Illustration: BETWEEN SILENT GARDENS]

But the arrival of our pack-mules leaves us no time for reproaches
or complaints. The caravan completely blocks the circulation of the
neighborhood. The pack-mules, too broadly loaded, get stuck fast in
the narrow street, and we are compelled to back them out and discharge
the cargoes at a neighboring street-intersection. Our folding beds and
chairs, our gaily-colored rugs and cushions, our kitchen outfit, and
our photographic kit are heaped up in the public thoroughfare, pending
the disappearance of the animals. But happily, owing to the blockade,
there are no passers-by; else the major portion of our goods might also
disappear. A sound of rushing water fills the air, for one of the rapid
canals that irrigate the gardens and turn the flour-mills of Fez, here
flows beneath the street. It makes a music very grateful to the ears of
those who are new come from the torrid prairies of the provinces. Truly,
it will be pleasant to rest for a few days and listen to that music,
no matter how distasteful our abode may prove to be. Let us, then, with
resignation crawl through our dingy door and make ourselves at home.

  [Illustration: "DISCHARGING CARGO"]

  [Illustration: PACK-MULES STUCK FAST BETWEEN THE WALLS]

  [Illustration: OUR FRONT DOOR]

Accordingly, we stoopingly grope through a low dark passage, then—stand
erect and gasp with pleasure! Aladdin, when for the first time he
rubbed the magic lamp, could not have been more thoroughly delighted
or surprised. Before us is a dainty villa, snowy white; around it a
delicious garden, more than an acre in extent. The fact that everything
is purely Moorish, that no hint of European occupation can be seen,
and the conviction that our home differs in no important detail from
the dwellings of our aristocratic neighbors, gives added charm to our
abode, added delight to the thought of sojourn here in this exotic
atmosphere. It is resolved that we shall occupy the upper story, that
our men shall find lodgings in the lower rooms, while for the noonday
nap, the promenade, or a quiet hour with a book, our pretty garden offers
us its shady depths. It is redolent with the perfume of orange-blossoms
and jasmine. Beneath the leafy branches of the lemon and pomegranate,
fig- and olive-trees, there is even at noon a coolness as of evening.
The hum of insects, the subdued roar of tumbling waters in the adjacent
garden, and the trickling murmur of tiny canals fill the air with a
restful symphony.

  [Illustration: OUR VILLA]

  [Illustration: OUR MOORISH GARDEN]

  [Illustration: AT HOME IN FEZ]

We have forgotten the rudeness of our welcome; we have shut out the grim,
hostile city; we are at last at home in Fez. We are as safe as if shut
up in jail. In fact, like all foreign visitors, we, too, must record
among our sensations that of being prisoners while within the walls of
Fez; but we are very willing prisoners, and when the hour of dinner is
announced, we cheerfully climb the tiny spiral stairway to our roomy
cell, and with this first meal begin the routine of our daily home life
in the Sultan's city.

  [Illustration: WILLING PRISONERS]

  [Illustration: HAJ'S CUISINE]

  [Illustration: THE JEWISH MAID-OF-ALL-WORK]

We have simply pitched camp in the great upper chamber of the house,
spread out the rugs, set up the beds, the chairs, and tables, and made
ourselves as comfortable as possible. The windows are merely huge openings
in the wall, unglazed, with metal bars and heavy wooden shutters. The
floor is neatly tiled, the walls are whitewashed, and the ceiling is
of wood. Our five attendants have taken possession of the lower floor.
There also Haj has installed his little cuisine, and is industriously
encouraging a tiny charcoal fire with a fan. Sitting near, intently
observing his culinary operations, is a young Jewish woman, who brought
a recommendation from the British Vice-Consul, and was engaged to act as
maid-of-all-work, to help five helpless men to bring order and comfort
out of the chaos that reigns here on the day of our arrival. That she
does not lack for occupation is proved by the aspect presented by our
courtyard during the painful period of installation in our exquisite
Moorish home. Pack-baskets, bedding, blankets, furniture, and dishes had
been dumped there in confusion; but through the efforts of our Hebrew
housekeeper, all things are quickly put to rights, the court resumes
its wonted air of Oriental languor, the little fountain sings on its
uninterrupted song, and the atmosphere of romance once more envelopes
house and court and garden. To fill our cup of happiness, a messenger
arrived, bringing a bulky packet of letters from America; for a courier
of the British consul, who left Tangier one week after our departure, has
arrived in Fez the day of our arrival, having run on foot the entire way,
one hundred and seventy miles in four days' time; while we, encumbered
with a baggage caravan, have been eleven days upon the way.

  [Illustration: CHAOS IN THE COURTYARD]

  [Illustration: STREETS LIKE VAULTED TUNNELS]

We remain a day and night in our new abode before venturing out into the
streets. We shall now cautiously commence a series of expeditions—one
cannot call them strolls or promenades—across and round about the
town. The objective-point of our first expedition is the office of our
banker. We descend from the high-lying Garden Region, and enter the
ruinous streets of the Medina. We are accompanied by Haj, for without
a guide we should soon go astray. We are followed by Kaid Lharbi, our
military escort, it being most imprudent for the foreigner to walk abroad
unaccompanied by a guard. To photograph in the streets of Fez is difficult
to the verge of impossibility. First, there is the Mohammedan prejudice
against picture-making, the reproduction of the likeness of living things
being prohibited by the Koran, which says: "Every painter is in hell-fire,
and Allah will appoint a person at the day of resurrection for every
picture he shall have drawn, to punish him; and they will punish him
in hell. Then, if you must have pictures, make them of trees and things
without souls." Had the photographer existed in Mohammed's day, he would
undoubtedly have had a special verse in Scripture devoted to his case;
as it is, the faithful call the camera a "painting-machine," and class
its manipulator with the impious artists whose instruments of crime are
brushes. Even though this difficulty may be overcome by cunning, the
very streets and structures conspire with the people to foil the eager
camerist. Many of these streets are vaulted tunnels, illuminated only
here and there by bands of light; others are roofed by vine-covered
trellises, that give them the appearance of interminable arbors, through
which faint squares of light flitter and fall upon the unpaved ground;
still others are so narrow and cut between such tall dark walls, that
never by any chance do rays of sunshine illuminate their depths. Street
life in Fez is vividly suggestive of subterranean existence. There is
a dark-cellar-like coolness, which, combined with the ghostly stride
and costume of the inhabitants, gives us the impression of being in the
catacombs among resuscitated men in their shrouds. Ghostly indeed is
the dress of the rich old men in Fez,—a dress that gives its wearers
the dignity of Roman senators. What a superb figure for the ghost of
Hamlet's father one well-remembered old gentleman would make! He is,
however, Haj's uncle, and greets our guide, his nephew, very cordially.
Haj, rascal that he is, knowing that we care more for snap-shots than
for introductions, always arranges when he meets a friend or relative
to detain him in conversation, in the best illuminated portion of the
street, thus giving us invaluable opportunities for secret portraiture.
Then, after he has heard the "click!" that comes from what appears to
be an innocent brown paper parcel under my right arm, Haj, with many
complimentary phrases, presents us to our visitor, introducing us as
men of great distinction from America.

  [Illustration: TRELLISED THOROUGHFARES]

  [Illustration: "AMONG RESUSCITATED MEN IN THEIR SHROUDS"]

  [Illustration: AN EXCHANGE]

Presently we emerge from the dim bazaars, and find ourselves in a small,
deep, public square. On one side is a semi-ruinous water fountain, roofed
with tiles and decorated with mosaics. Before us is a stately portal,
the entrance to a commercial exchange, a headquarters for the better
class of merchants. It dates from the time when Fez was the commercial
center of a rich and very prosperous empire, when the merchandise of the
world found here a profitable market. The building now is sadly out of
repair, like almost every other building in the city. To make repairs
in Fez is sacrilegious. If a structure crumbles and decays, the owner
with resignation folds his hands and murmurs, "It is the will of Allah;
it is written," and forthwith, grateful for this mark of divine favor,
hies him to the mosque and prays.

  [Illustration: HAJ GREETS A GENTLEMAN OF FEZ]

  [Illustration: "REPAIRS ARE SELDOM MADE IN FEZ"]

  [Illustration: TRADERS "ON THE CURB"]

  [Illustration: THE OFFICE OF THE AMERICAN CONSULAR AGENT]

The Mohammedan strictly fulfils his religious observances. During the
hour of prayer the quarter is deserted; an hour later business is resumed,
and the wheels of metropolitan commerce, released for a short space from
the religious brake, again revolve with many a squeak and crunch, clogged
as they are by superstition and neglect. Yet for the artist or lover of
the picturesque, it would be difficult to find a more attractive crowd
of business men. And these Moorish archways, fountains, tiled roofs,
and age-eaten arabesques are still most beautiful, even in dilapidation
more beautiful, perhaps, than when in all their freshness they were the
pride and admiration of generations of Fassis, long since gathered into
Paradise. We are informed that our banker, who is also the consular agent
for the United States, has offices within a certain mediæval business
block; and as we are in need of funds, and also desirous of meeting our
representative, we push through the trading throng and enter the patio,
a spacious inner court four stories deep. Four tiers of galleries rise
about us, all richly finished in old woodwork, elaborately carved, but
sharing in the slow decay of the entire building. Our consular agent,
whose office door stands open on the left, is (as we have been told) a
native Jew, by name, Benlezrah; by occupation, a merchant, broker, and
money lender; and by nationality, thanks to the "protection" system
prevalent in Morocco, an American citizen. Benlezrah admits that his
consular duties are not engrossing, nor are they profitable; for he
receives no pay except in the form of infrequent fees; but he holds
to his office most tenaciously because the United States has power
to naturalize all its servants in Morocco, and to grant them what are
called "protection papers." Were he not thus protected by some foreign
power, the Sultan's assessor would, he assures us, soon strip him of
his comfortable fortune gained in commerce. A few days later we visited
Mr. Benlezrah at his home in the Jewish quarter, where we find him
surrounded by his family. A high sepulchral bed, something between an
Oriental shrine and the proscenium of a Punch and Judy theater, is the
dominating feature of his drawing-room. During our call our host tells
us more about the protection system. It appears that all rich men in
Morocco are subject to the most barefaced robbery by the Sultan and his
ministers. When in need of funds, the government notifies its chosen
victim that a large contribution for the coffers of the sacred Sultan
will assure the giver of the imperial favor, and that a refusal to obey
the hint will be followed by imprisonment or confiscation, or both. But
men protected by foreign powers cannot be imprisoned or punished until
tried for their offenses before the consular court in Tangier, and are
therefore practically insured against the cupidity of corrupt imperial
officials. Thus every Moor or Jew, possessed of wealth, desires the
protection of a foreign nation. Protection being such a boon, abuses
have naturally attached themselves to the granting of it.

  [Illustration: JUST DIRT]

  [Illustration: MR. BENLEZRA AT HOME]

  [Illustration: ENIGMAS!]

  [Illustration: TWO OF THE SULTAN'S CABINET]

The Moorish government has complained that consuls of the European
nations, yes, even of the United States, have been guilty of selling for
cash the protection of their respective flags to wealthy Moors and Jews.
To the Jew, protection is indeed a special blessing, since it gives him
the right to ride on horseback or muleback through these streets, where
other Jews must walk. It permits him to pass the doorways of the mosques
without stopping to remove his shoes, while other Jews must bare their
feet each time they near the sacred gates.

It must be remembered that the current calendar in Fez is not that of
A. D. 1901; but it is for the year 1319, after the Hegira of Mohammed,
and the Moors are just 582 years behind the times!

  [Illustration: THE FUEL MARKET]

These Mohammedans of Fez not only do not permit the Jew to pass the
mosque with shoes upon his feet, but they do not permit any infidel to
enter their sacred places; they do not permit Jew or Christian to pause
to look in at the doors, and there is one mosque, the Shrine of Mulai
Idrees, the founder of Fez, so holy that no unbeliever is permitted even
to approach it. Across the streets leading thither barriers are placed;
the Moors stoop and pass under them; the Christian and the Jew, on pain
of death, must go no farther. Then across other streets bars are placed
to mark the point beyond which men are not allowed to pass at certain
hours.

  [Illustration: NEARING A PORTAL OF THE KARÛEEÏN]

One portion of the cool cellar-like bazaar is sacred to the women,
who, temporarily embarrassed, bring hither objects that they wish to
sell. Apparently they are not eager to attract purchasers, for they
hide whatever they may have beneath their haiks; but now and then a man
approaches, and an embroidered vest, a piece of silk, a jewel or a ring
is reluctantly brought forth and passed across the barrier in exchange
for silver coins; then one white, shrouded figure rises and fades away
amid the ghostly throng. To us, newcomers to this land of mystery, it
is as disconcerting to face a crowd of these women, as for the soldier
to stand unmoved before masked batteries. We are conscious that two
score of bright, black eyes are leveled at us, but we cannot read the
message they project—the faces that would make the message legible
are veiled. Are the lips curled in scorn of the infidel? Are smiles of
ridicule excited by his strange foreign dress, so pitifully convenient
and unpicturesque, so tight, so graceless, when compared to the splendid
sweep of the Moorish costume? Or, in some faces, is there written a deep,
bitter yearning for knowledge of the outside living world,—the world
of to-day, of which we stray moderns come here as reminders? But as we
wander ever through the bazaars, meeting everywhere the same impassive,
uncurious expressions on the uncovered faces of the men, we are inclined
to believe that to the Moor, Morocco is the world,—that for him, outside
its borders, geographically or intellectually, there is nothing worthy
his consideration. A few progressive Moors, so we were told, evince a
shadowy interest in the universe at large by subscribing for a daily
paper. This paper is not printed in Fez, where journalism is unknown,
it comes from far-off Cairo on the Nile, and reaches its eager Moorish
readers after a voyage of seven days by sea and eight by land.

  [Illustration: A COURTYARD OF THE INVIOLABLE KARÛEEÏN]

  [Illustration: A KIOSK OF THE KARÛEEÏN]

Remembering these things, it is difficult to believe that Fez is, in the
eyes of the Mohammedans, an important seat of learning, but so it is; for
does not the famous university and mosque, known as the Karûeeïn stand
in the very heart of Fez? The Karûeeïn, a sort of inner "holy city" is,
next to the mosque of Mulai Idrees, the most sacred inclosure in Fez: As
we approach it, we are warned by Haj that Christians are not permitted
even to pause and glance into its courts when passing any of its many
portals. The imperfect pictures that will reveal to you vague glimpses
of its dark corridors and sunlit patios are the result of oft-repeated
efforts, risks, and subterfuges. The entrances are jealously guarded by
the faithful; the Jew or Christian who lingers on the threshold is rudely
jostled by the passers-by, and if he does not take the hint, a sudden
surging of the crowd sweeps him away. Three mornings were devoted to
vain attempts to bring the camera to bear upon those gates. But finally
a fourth attempt, aided by strategy, met with success. Opposite every
gate are groups of beggars, crouching in the narrow street. Strolling
with ostentatious carelessness, the camera, wrapped like a paper parcel,
under my arm, I pause before the beggars, my back turned to the sacred
entrances, and fumble in my pocket for stray coppers. No one sees any
reason for interfering with the charitable stranger; but, mingled with
the chink of the coins dropped into the outstretched palms, there might
have been heard the clicks of a photographic shutter, fired almost at
random, and these pictures here shown are the rewards of my charity,
so hypocritically bestowed. I had had faith in my ability finally to
accomplish my sinful task; I had been buoyed up for the hope of success,
but while I had not charity, my efforts did not profit me.

  [Illustration: WHERE MEN ARE TAUGHT BY "INTELLECTUAL MUMMIES"]

The Karûeeïn is the greatest educational institution of western Barbary.
Nor must we smile to hear it called by so proud a name. Its past entitles
it to the respect of the world. It ranked with the great colleges of
Moorish Spain—with Cordova itself—as a seat of learning, and hither came
not only Moslems, from all corners of Islam, but also noble gentlemen
from England, France, and Spain, to complete their educations. Yes, as we
glance into another patio, where a green tiled kiosk recalls the Court
of the Lions of the Alhambra, we must not forget that here philosophy
once flourished, here astronomy, mathematics, and medicine once were more
fully developed than at any other place in the contemporary world. In the
inaccessible library of the Karûeeïn, the lost books of Euclid are said
to be moldering, also many classics, fragments for which scholars have
been seeking. But these things will not be brought to light until the
death-knell of Morocco's independence shall have sounded. The Karûeeïn
to-day stands here in the heart of Fez, as the center of resistance to
all progress, as the embodiment of slumber; yet here are gathered even
in our day more than a thousand students, four hundred of them supported
by an endowment fund dating from the twelfth century. That is, their
food is provided for them gratis, their lodging costs them nothing, for
they sleep under the arcades of the Mosque or in its spacious courts.
They are taught by wise men—"Taleebs"—men who are intellectual mummies.
They learn to repeat the Koran word for word; they learn to hate the
unbeliever, to scorn his science and inventions, to turn their backs upon
all things that are new; they are encouraged to cling to the old dream
of Islam, and to worship the God of their fathers in this holy mosque.
They are taught the forms and simple ceremonials of the Moslem faith; to
wash the feet at the fountain before entering the sanctuary; to leave
their yellow, heel-less slippers in the court; to kneel, or rise, or
prostrate themselves at proper intervals; to pray five times each day;
to turn their faces while they pray toward the sacred city Mecca in the
East; to drink no wine, to eat no pork, to keep with cruel rigor the
long fast of the Ramadan, when for forty days they may not touch food,
drink, or tobacco between the rising of the sun and the going down of
the same. As for their secular teaching, it is refreshingly original. A
map of the world, the use of which is sanctioned by the faculty, throws
much interesting light upon the Moorish geographic point of view. An
examination of the map shows that Tangier, although a Moorish port, is
placed on the north side of the Mediterranean, while Spain, apparently,
is next door to Morocco, on the coast of Africa. The results of Stanley's
explorations are outlined with remarkable angularity and distinctness
around the sources of the Nile and the Mountains of the Moon. England,
though not named, is represented by one of the islands just north of
India and Thibet; moreover, the latest Moorish expedition to the north
pole has evidently reported that Gog and Magog abide amid the frozen
seas, for they figure on the map.

  [Illustration: MAP OF THE WORLD AS USED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF FEZ A. D.
   1892.]

  [Illustration: "AIR OF DESOLATION"]

  [Illustration: "FIRST COMES A SQUAD OF SOLDIERS"]

  [Illustration: THE THOLBA CAMP]

Every spring the students of the Karûeeïn, who are called "Tholbas," go
forth from Fez, and pitch a great camp in the plain. They elect one of
their number "Sultan of the Tholbas," and to him all must pay reverence.
Even the veritable Sultan himself must ride out in state and call upon
Student Sultan in the Tholbas' camp, treating him as an Imperial brother.
The expenses of this scholastic picnic are paid by contributions exacted
by the Tholbas from the citizens of Fez.

  [Illustration: MODERN MOORISH SOLDIERY]

Returning from our visit to this camp, we make our way once more into
the official quarter of New Fez, through which we passed so hurriedly
the day of our arrival. The same grim walls are there, the frowning
towers, and the air of desolation. To our great regret we have learned
that the Imperial Master, Mulai El Hasan, Sultan of Morocco, will not
return to Fez until long after our departure. He is at present on the
march across the southern deserts, returning from a journey of eighteen
months' duration to the rebellious province of Tabilet, on the border
of the Great Sahara. Small wonder that the New Fez appears deserted;
for when his Imperial Majesty goes upon a journey, he is followed by no
less than a quarter of the population of Fez, 30,000 people,—officials,
soldiers, servants, and wives and slaves. But we are, nevertheless,
to see a remnant of his retinue, for suddenly a crowd appears as if by
magic, and the square takes on an air of life and animation.

  [Illustration: THE GATHERING AT THE GATE OF JUSTICE]

  [Illustration: WITH THE BRITISH VICE-CONSUL]

  [Illustration: CAPTURING A FORT WITH CAMERAS]

First comes a squad of soldiers, marching to the beating of a drum. They
wear the hideous modern uniform of the new Moorish army—an army that
has been created within the past few years by a foreign officer on the
Imperial staff, a Scotchman, Kaid Maclean, who has transformed the ragged
unkempt hordes of his Imperial Master into an army with some pretensions
to discipline and equipment, although to us it appears almost grotesque.
The uniform chosen gives the private soldier the aspect of a simian pet
of an organ-grinder, a little overgrown. Judging by their appearance
we are prepared to see these warriors doff their caps and pass them
around for coppers; but this is less the fault of the soldiers than of
the military tailor; the same men robed in long flowing garments would,
in all probability, appear as dignified as the civilians. We had the
curiosity to examine their weapons, and we were rewarded by discovering
several muzzle-loading rifles, bearing the inscription, "Springfield,
Massachusetts, 1865."

  [Illustration: "THERE ARE GARDENS AND ORCHARDS"]

The first awkward squad is followed by another and another, until the
great square, bisected by a long procession of those red-coated fighters,
appears like a ravine through which there flows a river of blood.
Meantime, from the portal of the palace there emerges with solemnity
and slowness a stately company of white-robed Moors, some mounted upon
superbly harnessed mules, followed by spotlessly arrayed dignitaries and
courtiers on foot; and in the midst of these rides the Viceroy of Fez.
We dared not raise our cameras as he passed, for the crowds regarded
us with hostility, and the picture we secured shows only his retreating
form, towering above the heads of his attendants.

  [Illustration: A DIPLOMATIC OUTING]

The procession enters the huge "Gate of Justice." On the left we discern
a line of crouching figures, those who have come to make or answer
charges before the autocratic tribunal. There is no appeal from the
instantaneous decisions given by the old Vizier of Justice. Happy the
citizen who, thanks to the protection afforded him by a foreign consul,
is exempt from being dragged to this bar of so-called justice!

  [Illustration: "TRAILS THAT ARE ALMOST ROADS"]

The only Anglo-Saxon representative in Fez is His Britannic Majesty's
Vice-Consul, Mr. MacIver MacLeod. For downright pertinacity commend
me to this man, who, in the face of an entire nation's opposition,
planted himself in Fez, established a vice-consulate, and stuck to his
post until the Moors gave up the fight and resolved to tolerate his
permanent presence in their holy city. With Mr. MacLeod we enjoy frequent
excursions roundabout the city, to the nearer mountain crests, and to the
abandoned forts upon the hill-tops, whence splendid views of Fez are to
be had. One day, finding no practicable doorway to one of those deserted
strongholds, we entered boldly through the embrasure where years ago the
noses of old cannon had breathed threatenings above the once-rebellious
city. Affrighted at our daring, my youthful camera-bearer dropped the
case and fled.

  [Illustration: THE VICE-CONSULAR VILLA]

There are orchards and gardens in the environs of Fez, and there are
trails that are almost roads, radiating in all directions. We are
invariably accompanied by an escort when we ride forth from Fez; the
country roundabout is not safe. The British Vice-Consul always brings
his followers, and insists that we shall order out Kaid Lharbi, our
picturesque old soldier-chaperon, every time we venture beyond the
crumbling walls.

  [Illustration: BRITISH SOCIETY IN FEZ]

The Vice-Consulate is in the old Medina, in the heart of Fez; but Mr.
MacLeod lives in the garden region. A pretty Moorish villa has been
transformed into an English home, presided over by the Vice-Consul's
mother, who has exiled herself from England to spend her days with her
courageous son in Fez.

"But I am not the only Christian woman in Fez," Mrs. MacLeod assures
us, in reply to our remark that she must sorely miss the companionship
of people of her own race and religion. "If you will dine with us on
Sunday, you will meet the five Tabeebas." We accepted the invitation,
and met the "five Tabeebas," each one a study for a statue of Lot's
wife after she had so unwisely looked over her left shoulder. Pillars
of salt they look, and in truth they are the salt of this cruel Moorish
land. They are Christian women, angels of mercy, missionaries,—but not
ordinary missionaries,—theirs is a _medical_ mission,—a mission through
which no energy is wasted, against which no criticism can be urged.

Among them are three English women, members of the Church of England;
one Irishwoman, who is a Catholic, and one Scotch lassie, who is a
Presbyterian; and yet in perfect harmony they work together. Their work
is, of necessity, with the bodies, not with the souls of those they seek
to aid; for they realize, as every sane-minded Christian must, that to
Christianize Moorish Mohammedans is an impossibility.

  [Illustration: THE TABEEBAS]

The dress of these women is but another expression of their innate tact.
If they insisted upon going abroad in the streets with uncovered faces,
they would immediately lose the respect and confidence of the people who
have learned to love them for their numberless good works. They occupy a
large house in the densely populated quarter, a home which is by turns a
school or a hospital. Here they teach Moorish girls many useful things;
here every day they receive and treat, free of charge, as many patients
as present themselves. One afternoon while we were taking tea with the
Tabeebas, they were repeatedly called from the room to dress a wound,
apply an ointment, or give advice to some poor sufferer. Of course we
were not permitted to see the Moorish girls who come to the Tabeebas
school. To secure a photograph of them my camera was lent to one of the
Tabeebas, who secretly made an exposure from behind a door that stood
ajar. Did the parents of these young girls know of the making of the
picture, there would be no pupils here upon the morrow. The faces in
the group are faces on which no man may look, unless he be the father,
brother, or husband.

  [Illustration: THE TABEEBAS TEACHING]

Let us steal away through the mysterious, fascinating streets and byways
that lead us, with a hundred puzzling turns, back to our peaceful villa.

It is needless to say that our neighbors have not called upon us, nor
indicated by any sign that they are conscious of our presence in this
aristocratic precinct. Walls from fifteen to twenty feet in height
surround our garden, cutting us off completely from the public streets
and from the garden of our next-door neighbors. Our curiosity concerning
that adjoining garden and the family that dwelt therein increased from
day to day. Apparently an interminable picnic is in progress there; for
three days past we have been hearing the shouts of children at play and
the strange shrill cry peculiar to Moorish women, a piercing tremolo, to
which they give utterance in token of joyfulness. It might be called the
"college yell" of these Oriental wives—pupils in the school of submission.

  [Illustration: OUR VILLA FROM THE STREET]

Finally we can resist no longer; we must learn what is passing there on
the other side of that high wall. But how? We dare not show our heads for
fear some jealous Moor may smash them. We resolve to make a cat's-paw
of the faithful camera to snatch curiosity-satisfying chestnuts out of
the fire of Moslem exclusiveness. We climb a ladder, lift the camera,
upside-down, above the wall, take aim by looking up into the inverted
finder, fire, and withdraw precipitately. The result was worth the
risk and effort. The plate revealed a scene from private family life in
Fez,—the picture of a rich Moor's wives and children attended by black
slaves, taking their ease in the absolute seclusion of their garden,
brewing and drinking Moorish tea, as they sit on a tiled platform that
surrounds a bathing tank. The foreshortening of the figures may be at
first a trifle puzzling; remember we are looking, or, rather, the camera
is looking down upon the group from over a garden-wall that is not less
than twenty feet in height.

  [Illustration: A STOLEN PEEP OVER GARDEN WALL]

  [Illustration: DISCOVERED!]

  [Illustration: "GREETS US WITH LOUD HOWLS"]

Fortunately, the attention of the family had been attracted by something
occurring just out of our range of vision, though we knew nothing of this
at the time. The negative was not developed till we reached America,
so the camera recorded a scene which we ourselves have never looked
upon. Encouraged by the silence following our first attempt, we chose
another section of the wall and repeated our manœuver. Unfortunately a
preliminary click was heard by our sitters, whose startled expressions,
faithfully registered, prove that they have seen the guilty lens and
shutter winking at them from the summit of the wall. Some have already
hid their faces, others are apparently crying out in protest; even the
dog, like a good Mohammedan, turns his back to the "painting machine."
The unique picture tells us what manner of women is concealed by the
shroudlike garments, which are worn in the streets and which make women,
be they young, old, rich, poor, beautiful, or ugly, appear as like,
one to another, as are bales of woolen cloth. Street life in Fez is
for women a perpetual masquerade, a lifelong domino party. But in these
high-walled gardens all the participants unmask, throw off their haiks,
and during the home hours regain an individuality of visage, form, and
dress. This revelation of the inner life of Fez makes the city seem
more human to us, less like a city of specters, ghosts, and animated
mummies. Nevertheless these people seem not quite real to us, for we
did not actually see them, nor did they see us, face to face. Next day
two huge black men-slaves came to notify us that if any more mysterious
boxes appeared over the garden-wall their master, now absent, should be
informed, and our departure hastened.

  [Illustration: NEIGHBORS]

We had one neighbor, however, who was more sociable; in fact, he became
painfully familiar. He lived at a street corner where he enjoyed a
squatter-right, for he had been squatting there without intermission
for five years or more. The man is crazy. He invariably greets us with
loud howls, and insists upon it that we are "his mothers!" Then, like a
whining child, he teases for matches with which to light a fire. He has
a mania for collecting brushwood, building fires, and then extinguishing
them by calmly sitting down upon the flames, much to the detriment of
his cuticle and raiment. When his clothes are burned completely off,
he counts upon his prudish neighbors for a new garb. Altogether, he is
decidedly eccentric even for a madman; and he must be very mad, for he
either refuses money, or, when it is thrust upon him, tosses it away to
other beggars who are always crouching near.

  [Illustration: THE PALACE OF A RICH OFFICIAL]

Toward the close of our visit we managed to scrape acquaintance with the
servants of another neighbor. One was a veiled woman, who would smile
at us through her mask, and another a fat negress slave, as unctuous
and good-natured as any Mississippi mammy. "And are there really slaves
in Fez?" some one may ask. There are; and every day in a certain remote
and cheerless market-place young negresses are sold at auction. Seldom,
however, does a stranger witness this trafficking in human flesh. At
his approach, buyers and sellers, slaves and auctioneers, mysteriously
vanish. Thrice we found the market-place deserted. Twice, owing to the
skillful manœuvering of our guide, we surprised the market in full swing,
and saw six little negro girls, fresh from the barbarous regions of the
south, purchased by solemn white-robed citizens at prices varying from
eighty to two hundred dollars.

  [Illustration: AROUND THE MOORISH MAHOGANY]

But do not think because our neighbors do not call upon us that we
receive no social courtesies whatever. On the contrary, the Minister
of Finance, the Moorish Secretary of the Treasury, one of the highest
and by a curious coincidence one of the richest dignitaries in Morocco,
one day, invited us to dinner. The invitation was delivered through the
British vice-consul, who promised to accompany us and to see that we
made no _faux pas_. We were not rude enough to take a camera with us,
knowing the prejudices of the Moors, and therefore I have no picture
of the gorgeous palace into the courtyard of which we were ushered by
a group of slaves. Our host resembled the rich men we see daily in the
streets, being princely in bearing, haughty and reserved. Contrary to
Moorish custom, we sat at a table and on chairs, instead of on the floor.
There were no other guests. As soon as we were seated, Mr. MacLeod took
from his pocket a paper parcel and opened it, displaying three pairs of
knives and forks.

"I always carry these when I dine out with the Moorish swells; they don't
have any," he explained; "and they like to have me bring them when they
are entertaining foreign guests."

"But how do they eat?" we asked.

"Watch his Excellency, and you'll soon understand."

  [Illustration: CARRYING BAKED MEATS TO A FEAST]

At this moment there appeared a huge round platter, three feet in
diameter, on which has been erected a pyramid of chickens. To each of
us an entire bird was given. Then our host, with deft fingers, tore his
portion very neatly into shreds, picked out the choicest morsels of the
chicken and passed them to us. Then followed pyramids of pigeons, then
huge chunks of mutton, then sausages on spits; and that those sausages
were not less than two inches thick and one foot long I am positively
certain, because we each were compelled to take a whole one, and I
remember my vain efforts to get it all upon my plate, three inches
of protruding sausage threatening the table-cloth on each side. And
every course was carved by our host, who used nothing sharper than his
finger-nails, and every time he came upon a morsel of especial daintiness,
he courteously offered it to one of us. We were almost stuffed to death,
for the consul warned us that to refuse the proffered tidbits would be
a great affront. There were no sauces, no vegetables, nothing but meats
roasted underground by slow fires that had burned all night.

  [Illustration: "LET ME BE AN AMERICAN FOR A MINUTE!"]

We had nothing with which to wash down this "all too solid" food except
sickly lukewarm rosewater. And not content with stuffing us and forcing
us to drink that perfumed liquid, our host would every now and then give
a signal, whereupon the servants would spray stronger rosewater down our
backs and in our ears. Never was anything more welcome than the tiny
cups of Turkish coffee that at last were brought to end our tortures.
I could not blame my friend, when, on our return to our own house, he
declared that he had had enough of Oriental luxury, exclaiming as Haj
brought the "antidotes," "Let me be an American for a minute!"

  [Illustration: THE "MELLAH" OR "GHETTO" OF FEZ]

The table was served by two slaves, and by a young man whose bearing
told us that he was no servant. He was, in fact, the eldest son of our
host. Custom commands that the son should wait upon the father's guests.
Imagine this custom introduced at Washington, and picture the sons of
a cabinet-official passing huge finger-bowls around the banquet table!

As for our conversation, it turned first upon the only modern institution
in the city, the Arsenal and Rifle Factory of the Sultan. The secretary
spoke of course in Arabic, the vice-consul acting as interpreter. Then
we were questioned regarding the city whence we come, Chicago; and,
being native-born Chicagoans, no urging was required to wring from us
the story of the great phœnix city on the shore of the American inland
sea. We described "skyscrapers," elevators, cable-cars, and trolleys.
Then we told of the World's Fair, visited in one day by seven times more
people than reside in Fez, and then with a keener interest the secretary
listened to the incredible figures relating to the movements of wheat
and corn and to the shipments of beef and mutton. Next, as a climax,
we launched enthusiastically into pork statistics, but our spokesman
checks us with the caution: "Hush! Don't shock his Excellency; remember
his religious prejudices. Don't say a word about the pigs. You know the
Moslem eats no pork." Therefore we leave our host unenlightened regarding
the pet industry of our western metropolis.

  [Illustration: "A PLACE OF WHITED SEPULCHERS"]

  [Illustration: "AND DINGY HUTS"]

  [Illustration: POOR NEIGHBORS OF THE WEALTHY DEAD]

The next day we devote to the Jewish quarter, a distinct and separate
city, called the "Mellah." We approach it through the Hebrews' burial
ground, a place of whited sepulchers, dwellings for the dead, and dingy
huts, temporary abodes for living men and women; for there are two
populations in the Jewish cemetery, a fixed population of the wealthy
dead, a passing population of the living poor. You must remember that in
these Moorish cities the Jews are still compelled to dwell apart from
true believers. Their houses are confined in the restricted Mellah,
where no provision was originally made for an increase of population.
Therefore the poorer and the weaker Jews have been squeezed out of its
gates and have found refuge here in the city of the dead, where they
have built crude huts and begun life anew. The streets or passageways
are, however, far cleaner than those of the inner Mellah, and we cannot
but agree that residence in the freer atmosphere of this city of the
dead is preferable to living on the other side of yonder walls, where
every inch of space is occupied, where the atmosphere is heavy with bad
odors, and where sunshine and fresh air are things almost unknown.

  [Illustration: A HOME IN THE CEMETERY]

  [Illustration: THE WALLS OF THE "MELLAH"]

A poor old Jew, a man with a large dependent family, serves as our guide.
He tells of the misery of his people, begs me to repeat in my own land
the story of their woe. It is not the Sultan, he says, who is most cruel
to them; it is the rich men, the elders and the rabbis of his own tribe
whom he accuses of injustice.

  [Illustration: A FOURTEEN-YEAR-OLD MOTHER]

The right to build these shelters in the cemetery was granted by the
Sultan to the poor, when the overcrowding of the Mellah proper became
a menace to the public health. Nevertheless, no poor man is permitted
to take up his abode among these cast-out members of the tribe until
he has paid certain fees to the headmen of the quarter. He says that
the oppression of Jew by Jew is harder to bear than the much-talked-of
oppression to which the children of Israel have been subjected by the
Sons of Ishmael. The statements of our pauper guide surprised us, but
what he said was confirmed by every poor Jew with whom we talked. They
all declared that the rich elders and the rabbis of their own tribe
were their hardest masters. A wealthy man, with whom we discussed the
question later, assured us that his class had almost impoverished itself
with charities, that the cause of all the evil lay in the decrease of
commerce and the rapid increase of the Jewish population. The poor,
undoubtedly, are very poor; and though the rich live in apparent luxury
and comfort, it cannot be true that Fez is the only city in the world
where the rich Jews abandon their own people to starvation and distress.
The noble Jewish charities throughout the world argue the contrary, and
even in Fez the philanthropy of European Jews is manifest in the excellent
school established here in this very Mellah by the French branch of the
Israelite Alliance.

  [Illustration: IN THE MAZE OF REEKING ALLEYS]

We can assure all those who have given pecuniary support to the Alliance
that the money is here spent conscientiously, and that the work now
doing among the Moorish Jews is nobly done and worthy the sympathy and
encouragement of every lover of humanity. But in spite of the educational
and civilizing influences of the school, many reforms in customs remain
to be effected, and it is to be hoped that in the future, a daughter of
the Mellah will not be given in marriage at the age of ten and, like
one girl we saw, be mother of a family at fourteen years of age, and
become at twenty-five a hideous old woman. Let us hope that in another
generation girl-children who at fourteen are still unmarried will not
be regarded, as they are to-day, in the light of hopeless spinsters.

  [Illustration: JEWISH COBBLERS]

  [Illustration: "OLD MEN WHO LOOK THE PART OF SHYLOCK"]

  [Illustration: AN ENGLISH HOME IN FEZ]

As for the sanitary reforms demanded in the Mellah, you have but to enter
the crowded streets to be convinced that they are numberless. Here Jews
are packed like live sardines in greasy boxes. Pierre Loti describes the
Mellah as "an airless huddle of houses squeezed together as if screwed in
a compress, and emitting all sorts of stifling odors." Again he tells of
finding here "moldy smells in varieties that are not known elsewhere."
But how is it possible to expect cleanliness on the part of people who
are denied a sufficiency of space and air and light and water, who are
not permitted to remove the refuse from their streets, lest the Moorish
scavenger should lose his fee; people who are despised by their Moslem
fellow-citizens, called "dogs," and forced to walk barefooted through
the streets of Moorish Fez?

  [Illustration: IN THE MIDST OF THE "MELLAH"]

  [Illustration: THE FAMILY OF BENSIMON]

  [Illustration: "IN TINY SHOPS SIT GOLD- AND SILVER-SMITHS"]

As a crowning indignity, the Moors have decreed that the place of deposit
for dead animals, from cats to camels, shall be at the gate of the Mellah;
and every night the jackals feast and sing their death chants beneath
the walls of this unhappy Jewish city. We are surprised, however, to
find here and there a touch of color in the dress of these unfortunate
inhabitants, for black has always been the uniform imposed upon the
Jew. Black is to Moorish minds the color of disgrace; hence were the
Jews compelled to wear black caps and gaberdines. To-day, however, this
regulation is not so rigidly enforced, although the general tone of the
men's dress is very somber.

  [Illustration: FIVE O'CLOCK TEA IN A HEBREW HOUSEHOLD]

In every street we see old men, who could, without a change of raiment,
step on the theatrical stage and look the part of Shylock to the life.
In tiny shops, like niches bordering these streets, sit the gold-
and silver-smiths, the lawyers, scribes, and money-changers; there
are few idlers here. Jewish industry and thrift here rise superior to
the discouraging surroundings. A few shops boast a supply of foreign
merchandise. The merchants greet us with a polite "_buenos dias_," and
converse in fluent Spanish; for besides Hebrew and Arabic, these people
speak the language of the land from which their fathers were cruelly
cast out by Spanish kings.

  [Illustration: A HEBREW HOME]

The commerce of the land is largely in the hands of Moorish Jews, who are
forbidden by law to leave the country, lest a general exodus occur, and
the trade of the entire empire, deprived of their fostering care, languish
and ultimately die. Many large fortunes have been accumulated here, by
usury and commerce. We made a formal call one Sabbath afternoon at the
home of one of the richest Jews in Fez, old Mr. Bensimon. Magnificent,
indeed, is the interior of the house, with its carved, painted doors, its
stucco arabesques, immaculate tiled floors, and richly furnished rooms.
The Bensimons are of the old conservatives. They speak no Spanish and
have no knowledge of anything away from their immediate surroundings. The
Mellah is their world; their house is one of the rare oases of elegance
in the midst of a wilderness of squalor. But they are all very gracious
to us; of the two pretty little girls, eleven and thirteen years of age,
respectively, the elder is already married, the younger is a fiancée.

A curious incident gave us an insight into the reality of their religion.
To amuse our host we performed some tricks of sleight-of-hand. Producing
a silver dollar, I asked the aged father to assure himself that it was
a real dollar, not tampered with in any way. He seemed reluctant to pick
up the coin.

  [Illustration: AT THE SCHOOL OF THE ISRAELITE ALLIANCE]

"You must not urge him," said our guide. "It is the Jewish Sabbath; a
Jew may not touch filthy lucre on the holy day."

Before departing we were asked to take tea with the family, and were
forthwith ushered into an apartment, furnished with that crude gaudiness
that is the result of Oriental imitation of Occidental fashions. Of their
"European Room" they are as proud as we are of our so-called "Oriental
dens." The mirrors, clocks, sofas, and chandeliers, imported from the
continent, are the envy of their neighbors.

Tea-drinking in Morocco is a solemn ceremony, to the stranger almost
a sickening one. A handful of tea is put in the teapot, and the pot is
filled to the very top with sugar, broken from a huge cone loaf; then
boiling water is poured on. Then a bouquet of mint is thrust into this
saturated solution of sugar and tea. Next, half a glassful is thrown
away to exorcise evil spirits, and then one glassful is boldly swallowed
by the host to reassure the guests by proving that there is no intent
to poison them. Extravagant as this may sound, it is a necessary bit of
etiquette in a land where tea-parties are so often fatal to a rich man's
enemies. Finally, little painted glasses full of mint tea are served to
all, and the traditional three rounds of this abominable concoction—a
sort of warm and flat mint-julep, with the true soul of a mint-julep
lacking—must be drunk on pain of being thought ill-bred. If the glasses
are not completely emptied every time, the residue is complacently turned
back into the teapot, to which more mint and water have meantime been
added, and the greater noise we make in drinking the tea, the better are
our manners thought to be. The resulting sounds at a really fashionable
tea-party suggest the releasing of the air-brakes on a railway train.

  [Illustration: "KINDLY FACES SMILING DOWN"]

During the function, sticky sweetmeats and preserved fruits, that are
as revolting as they are adhesive, are passed repeatedly, and every
time we are expected to accept and eat. I nearly ruined my digestion in
an attempt to be polite. My friend, more happily situated, is able to
pour most of his tea out of the window, and deftly to drop the sticky
abominations out upon the heads of the passers-by.

  [Illustration: OUR GUESTS]

  [Illustration: THE PICNIC PARTY IN OUR GARDEN]

Escaping finally, we make another call, this time upon the little colony
connected with the mission school of the French Israelite Alliance. We
find it most refreshing to meet a group of educated people, with whom
to talk of all the strange things we have seen. Among them are the
teachers, sent from France, their wives and families, and also a number
of the most progressive Jews in Fez. The boys are students of the school,
and a fat one is presented as the prize pupil of the institution, the
pride and admiration of his teachers who put him through his paces at
a blackboard to convince us of his cleverness. He certainly did gallop
through arithmetical puzzles with rapidity and ease, and answered the
questions that we propounded with a facility that put us quite to shame,
for we could think of nothing difficult enough to stagger him for a
moment.

  [Illustration: ISRAELITE SOCIETY IN FEZ]

Then, after another infliction of mint tea and some sweetmeats that
seemed like sugar-coated sausages, we take our leave, descend the narrow
stairway, and pass out into the dingy little street. An avalanche of
shouts and laughter overwhelms us, and looking up we see the sky-line of
the house adorned with a border of kindly faces, smiling down a cheery
"_au revoir_." For it has been arranged that we are all to meet again
upon the morrow. These new-found friends have been invited to spend the
day at our villa, to attend a picnic in our garden, to forget there in
the leafy spaciousness of our temporary abode the cramped and airless
houses of the Mellah.

There are no private gardens in the Mellah, lack of space forbids; nor
are there public gardens in the Moorish city. Therefore the Jews must
take their air and sunshine on the housetops, where level terraces,
surrounded by low parapets, afford them opportunities to bake themselves
in the torrid atmosphere of Africa. Needless to say, our invitation
was accepted, and next morning, shortly after breakfast, a caravan of
white-robed guests makes its appearance at our garden door. The women
have ridden on mule-back across the city, for they are all protégés of
France, and therefore are not compelled to go about on foot, like nearly
all their co-religionists.

  [Illustration: "EVERYWHERE THE SOUND OF RUNNING WATER"]

Great preparations have been made by Haj for their entertainment. He has
adorned the house and court-yard with objects borrowed from unsuspecting
owners. Let me explain that almost every evening when we return from
rambles in the city, we find awaiting us two or three dealers in curios,
rugs, old brocades, and Moorish weapons; their goods spread out in a most
artistic, tempting fashion. Haj has induced the men who came the night
before to leave their goods on approval until the following evening; and
thus it is that we are able to give our picnic a rich Oriental setting
without incurring any great expense. In the picture of the merrymakers
it may be interesting to identify my friend, who sits on the extreme
left, robed in a white burnoose. Then on the right is Haj, dressed in
his best; near him there sits an old gray-bearded man. He is our only
Moorish guest, one of the few Moors who is free from the prejudices of
his race, who does not fear to sit at meat with Jews and Christians;
moreover, he speaks Spanish fluently. But he is more of a good fellow
than a good Mohammedan; to our knowledge he dares to disregard the rule
of total abstinence imposed upon the nation, for in his home there is a
secret cellar filled with wine. And, curiously, this old _bon vivant_,
who to-day makes merry with us in our Moorish garden, bears the same
name as he who sang the joys of the "jug in a Persian Garden" long ago;
his name, too, is Omar.

  [Illustration: "NOTHING REMINISCENT OF THE CITIES OF OUR WORLD"]

  [Illustration: "NAUGHT IN COMMON WITH THE COMMERCE OF TO-DAY"]

  [Illustration: THE STREET THAT SKIRTS OUR GARDEN WALL]

Our guests remain with us from morning until evening, departing just
before the hour when the great wooden gates of every district are closed
securely for the night. In Fez, the populace keeps early hours. After
nine o'clock it is impossible to enter or to leave the city or even to
pass from one quarter to another, be it adjacent or remote. The gates
once closed, each district is completely isolated, and all who are shut
in must wait till morning to escape; all who are shut out must spend the
night away from home, unless they be men of influence, or carry written
orders for the opening of the barriers. There is, of course, nothing
to do at night; there are no theaters, clubs, or evening parties; the
city life dies out at sunset. The people go to their homes before the
gates are closed. There is by night no movement save the flowing of
the waters. A river sings its way through the heart of Fez, and swift
canals are laughing in every quarter. There is everywhere in Fez the
sound of running water, as in Rome, as at Nikko in Japan, as round the
hill of the Alhambra. The sound is thus associated in my mind with four
of the most fascinating places in the world. There is not in the entire
city a building that is reminiscent of the cities of our world; there
is no smoke, and there are no chimneys; there are no vehicles of any
kind in Fez, there is but one wheeled vehicle in the whole Empire; it
is the state-coach given by Queen Victoria to the Sultan, a curiosity
that is exhibited on state occasions, but a turnout in which the Sultan
never rides. There is no noise in Fez—no noise as we understand the
word; there are sounds, pleasant and unpleasant, but the ceaseless roar
of western cities is not there. The struggle for existence is almost
a silent struggle. Moreover, I believe that Fez is in a higher state
of civilization, and that its people are less given to crime than are
the dwellers in the poorer quarters of London, Paris, and New York. It
is safe for a Moorish citizen to walk these crowded streets by day; at
night he sleeps securely in his home. There is no flagrant immorality,
yet there is no regular police.

  [Illustration: "ROOFLESS DUNGEONS THAT SERVE AS STREETS"]

  [Illustration: "THERE IS NO NOISE IN FEZ"]

The streets of Fez can never cease to astonish men from the modern
world. We may have seen similar settings on the stage, similar costumes
in pictures or museums; so these are not new to us. What astonishes us
is that these things should anywhere form a part of the actual daily
life of men and women of our own time. And this life does not even
touch our life; its points of contact with the outside world are few.
Commercial Fez communicates with the mysterious regions of the south,
with Senegambia and Timbuktoo, by means of camel fleets that traverse
seas of sand. This commerce has naught in common with the commerce of
our world; its methods and its means of transport are totally foreign
to our own, and its itineraries are far beyond our ken.

  [Illustration: THE SACRED HOUR OF MOGHREB]

  [Illustration: OUR LAST EVENING IN FEZ]

But this city that appears so dim and so mysterious as we walk through
the roofless dungeons that serve as streets, reveals to us a brilliant,
dazzling aspect, when, disregarding the unwritten law forbidding men
to go upon housetops, we venture out upon the terrace of our villa. The
roof terraces are sacred to the women; there they may bare their faces in
the light of day, there they may lay aside their shrouds, and, bathed in
the soft evening light, appear for a brief space as living women,—women
with charms and personalities. The men of Fez have tacitly agreed that
on the housetops the women shall be free from male observation, free to
forget that they are practically slaves. We could not bind ourselves to
keep this courteous law, the view from our roof terrace was too tempting.
All Fez was there spread out before us, Fez with its snowy dwellings
reflecting the golden rays of the declining sun, Fez with its minarets,
its mosques, its palaces; Fez with its streets seldom trodden by the
feet of unbelievers, its sacred places never polluted by an alien glance.

  [Illustration: WHERE UNBELIEVERS SELDOM TREAD]

  [Illustration: "THE FIERCE SURROUNDING COUNTRY"]

Old Fez so long the city of our dreams now become the city of our waking
thoughts, is soon to become the city of our reminiscences. For alas!
this is to be our last evening in the holy city. The limit of official
tolerance is reached; our passports have been suggestively returned,
and, knowing the futility of protest, we dine in regretful silence
close to the open window that we may not lose a single phase of the
ever-changing coloring and lighting of the picture there revealed to us.
For the last time we watch the city grow dim in the twilight; although
we have witnessed ten times the dying of the day from this same window,
the spectacle has not lost its charm, the picture has not lost its
fascinating mystery. A sojourn of ten days in Fez has not dissipated,
it has but deepened the sense of mystery. But we, to our surprise, have
not yet suffered from that strange mental disease, the "longing to get
away" that infallibly attacks ambassadors and representatives of foreign
powers and is a political force upon which Moorish diplomats may count
to rid them of annoying visitors who have come to press vexing demands
upon their government. At last a sudden glow, like a great flood of
fire, overspreads the city; it is the glow of sunset, the last signal of
the dying day, and for a moment it suffuses the entire heavens, as if
there were a distant world in conflagration. Fez has assumed a shroud
of black; it is the sacred hour of Moghreb, and the lower darkness is
resounding with the cries of the Muezzin, those cries of intense faith,
those wailing laments that seem to express the nothingness of all things
earthly.

The Moors speak of their country as "Moghreb-al-Aksa," the "Country of the
Setting Sun." How prophetic!—for in very truth the sun of civilization
has set forever upon this land, and though its past be brilliant as the
heavenly sunset fires, its future is as dim as the soft-footed night
that, stealing in from the black, fierce surrounding country, broods
like a pall of death above the sleeping city of the Moors.

  [Illustration]

  [Illustration: LES DERNIERS REBELLES
   (BENJAMIN CONSTANT)]



  [Illustration]

THROUGH THE HEART OF THE MOORISH EMPIRE


The spell of mystery is still upon Morocco. The Moors are still the people
of romance. Of the land we know comparatively little; of the race as it
exists to-day we know still less. Christendom assumes that the Moorish
Empire expired with the last sigh of Boabdil, leaving the Alhambra as
its only legacy.

Almost novel is the thought that the Moors still live as a nation; that
Morocco is to-day what Spain would have become had the forces of the
Prophet prevailed in the Peninsula. Who would not welcome as a precious
privilege the possibility of turning back the pages of history in Spain,
to revel in the actual Moorish life as it was lived before the Christian
victories of 1492? Who would not gladly leave, at least for a short space,
the familiar round of present-day existence and the hackneyed paths
of travel, to plunge into a past so picturesque, to see a civilization
so refined and yet so utterly unlike our own? No reader of Washington
Irving but has longed to people with white-clad cavaliers the courts
on the Alhambra Hill, to hear the Arab accents in the streets of old
Granada, or the murmuring of the Moslem prayers in the old mosques. But
why persist in holding Spain to be the sole stage on which the Moors
appropriately can play their parts?

  [Illustration: ON THE ROAD TO MEQUINEZ]

Morocco was their home ere Spain was conquered for them. When Andalusia
ungratefully cast out the race that brought it light and knowledge at
a time when Europe groped in the blackness of deep ignorance, back to
Morocco went the Empire of the Moors. Empires rise and fall. The Moorish
Empire rose but did not fall; it was shaken but not shattered; it is
still erect. It stands a living skeleton wrapt in the shroud of Islam,
its hollowness concealed by the vague folds of ceremonial observances;
its government a pompous sham; its cities empty imposing shells of former
greatness; its boundless plains the haunts of savage Berber tribes to
whom the Emperor is but a name, the Empire a free space in which to ride
broad-chested chargers and do battle with hereditary enemies.

  [Illustration: DIGNITARIES _EN VOYAGE_]

In two preceding lectures I have told the story of a journey into Morocco,
and of a sojourn in Fez, the metropolis of the Moors. There yet remains
to tell a third, concluding chapter of the tale—the narrative of the
return from Fez to the sea, from a remote yesterday back to the world of
to-day. "Out of Morocco" would serve as an appropriate heading for this
chapter,—a chapter rich in adventure and in picturesque experiences.
For ten days we have dwelt in mediæval Moslem Fez—unwelcome visitors,
objects of suspicion to the jealous Moors.

  [Illustration: BRIDGES COMPETE UNSUCCESSFULLY WITH FORDS]

Two routes are open to us—the direct road to Tangier and the
less-frequented road to Rabat on the Atlantic Coast. Despite the protest
of the authorities, who warn us of many dangers, we chose the road that
leads westward to Mequinez, the Beni-Hasan Plain, and the Atlantic. But
the word "road" must be regarded only in its Moroccan sense. As has been
said already, there are no roads in this wild land; the slow caravans
and the swift troops of Moorish horsemen have followed the hoofmarks
left by the caravans or troops which have preceded them, until a system
of narrow trails meandering in uncertain parallels has been created
between the inland cities and the sea.

  [Illustration: MIDWAY BETWEEN FEZ AND MEQUINEZ]

These Moorish highways were never surveyed and never tended; like
Topsy—who, also, by the way, was an African product—they were never born,
"they just growed;" and like Topsy they are wilfully unreasonable; they
exasperate us by their defiance of conventionality; amuse us with their
peculiar antics, and delight us with preposterous surprises.

As an example, take the highway that leads from Fez to the neighboring
city of Mequinez. As we approach a river, the wandering trails converge
and form a beaten track that grows more and more like a real road as
it winds down toward a substantial bridge. But just as we are about
to compliment the road on its reform, it suddenly grows weary of good
behavior, becomes rebellious, and, like a balky mule, refuses to cross
the bridge. Incredible as it may seem to those who do not know this land
of contradictions, Moorish roads will not cross Moorish rivers by means
of Moorish bridges. The old way is preferred. Fording was good enough in
the old days, and it is good enough to-day. The roads turn sharply from
the bridge abutments, scramble down the muddy banks, and plunge into
the yellow rivers to emerge slimy and dripping on the opposite shore.
The bridges, ponderously useless, studiously neglected, are falling into
decay, and have become almost impassable.

  [Illustration: MIDDAY REPOSE]

We pitch our camp not far from one of those disdained reminders of an
attempt at progress. We are midway between Fez and Mequinez in a region
notorious because of the thieving bands with which it is infested. It
appears wholly unpeopled; yet we are not without misgivings, for, of
our caravan, four mules and two men have gone astray. With us are Haj,
the dragoman, Achmedo, the valet, and the muleteers, Abuktayer and
Bokhurmur. The missing are Kaid Lharbi, the military escort, and the new
packer who joined our force in Fez. We have our tent and Haj's kitchen;
the other tents and all the supplies and furniture are in the packs
of the missing mules somewhere on this gloomy plain, possibly already
become the loot of some lawless sheik, or, as we hope, merely delayed
because of broken harness, or gone astray because of a mistaken trail.
Our groundless fears are set at rest an hour later by the safe arrival
of the precious convoy, and once more our palates are delighted by the
delicious dinner cooked by Haj, our thirst quenched by cooled oranges,
and our weary bodies laid to rest upon our comfortable camp-cots.

  [Illustration: WIFE, CHILD, AND SLAVE]

After the confinement incident to our residence in city quarters, the
free life of the plains is doubly exhilarating, and we find intense
pleasure in the satisfaction of the simple, keen desires to eat, drink,
and sleep. All food is good, all drink is better, sleep the sweetest
gift of the gods.

  [Illustration: "YO SOY CHINO, SEÑOR"]

The morning finds us early in the saddle; four hours' westward progress
brings us at noon to one of those rare oases of shadow in this bare land
of sunshine. Here hunger, thirst, and weariness are again assuaged by
food and drink and sleep. Sharp darts of brilliant, blinding sunshine
burn through the leafy masses of the two fig-trees, and with almost
malicious persistence pursue the would-be slumberer, who, to avoid this,
must every now and then crawl after the receding shadows.

But we are not the only travelers who have sought midday shelter in this
forest. On our approach we were greeted by a family group,—a man and
woman with a little child, and a black slave. To our surprise the man
addressed us in Spanish:—

"_Buenos dias, Señor, habla usted Español?_"

"_Si, Señor, un poco_," we reply, and then begins an interesting
conversation.

"Where are your animals?" we ask.

"Stolen with all my goods, last night," he answers. "We must now go on
foot to Fez to report our loss to the authorities."

We learn that our unfortunate friend is a maker of sausage cases, that
he lives in Mequinez, and that he is hospitably inclined; for in return
for our sympathy, he begs us to make use of his house in Mequinez, where
another of his wives will welcome us and give us food and lodging.

  [Illustration: OUR DUSKY CHARGE]

This strange offer of hospitality, coupled with a something in the man's
expression leads me to say, "But, Señor, you are not like a Moor."

  [Illustration: WALLS THAT DO NOT KEEP EVEN THE SUNSHINE OUT]

"Why should I be?" he smilingly asks. "_Yo, yo soy Chino._" "I, I am a
Chinese."

He is the happy father of a dainty little girl, a type of Chinese beauty,
and two lusty boys, who bear upon their faces maps of Peking and Canton.
The negress, his slave, he is sending back to Mequinez with tidings of
his loss. Haj, with Occidental gallantry, offers the dusky damsel his
place on a pack-mule, and after the exchange of many kindnesses our
little company, made up of individuals so diverse in race, in language,
and in thought, breaks up.

  [Illustration: MULAI ISMAIL'S WALL]

Our Chinese Moor with wife and child go trudging off toward Fez, while
the American caravan with its Arab escort and African passenger moves
toward the other great interior city, Mequinez. Long before we come
in sight of Mequinez, we find our progress barred by a huge wall forty
feet or more in height, stretching away in two directions as far as the
eye can reach. But there are ogive archways, through which our caravan
passes as freely as the sunshine or the breeze. There are no gates, no
guards, to hinder us. On we file across vacant fields until we reach a
second wall as forbidding as the first and apparently as interminable.

"What are these walls?" we ask. "Why were they built? what purpose can
they serve?"

And Haj tells us that they were reared to protect the city from the
turbulent surrounding tribes, to cut off, if need be, the approach of
hostile bands.

A third wall, wide and high, beginning at the city gate wanders away
toward the south, its utility not easily divined. As we trace its curving
course over a distant ridge, we think of the Roman aqueducts in the
Campagna, and of the great wall of China, for this unknown Moorish work
vies with those famous masses of masonry in impressiveness of aspect if
not in hugeness and in length of years. It was the creation of the crazy
Sultan, Mulai Ismail, a contemporary of Louis XIV, of France, a Moorish
emperor who suffered from a mania for masonry, and made his people suffer
that he might satisfy his madness for works of colossal inutility.

  [Illustration: WANDERING WALLS]

One of his wildest projects was the building of an elevated boulevard,
two hundred miles in length, along which he could ride from Mequinez to
Morocco City, safe from the attack of the rebellious tribesmen who hold
the intervening provinces.

  [Illustration: "LIKE THE PORTAL TO A MYSTERIOUS NOWHERE"]

The huge north gate of this his favored city appears to us as we approach
late in the afternoon like the entrance to some "mysterious nowhere." It
seems to be a portal to the empty sky, a door through which the traveler
might pass into the infinity of space. It is, in fact, the gate of an
almost deserted metropolis, a city that was built for a population of
one hundred thousand and contains to-day less than six thousand souls.
Small wonder that we find it empty and forsaken in aspect as we pass from
court to court and through gate after gate. There are in Mequinez more
houses vacant than occupied, more roofs fallen than intact, more palaces
in ruins than huts in good repair. The Sultan is forced to maintain a
palace here, for Mequinez ranks with Fez and Morocco City as one of the
three capitals of the Moorish Empire, each city jealous of its dignity
as the abode of the Imperial master.

  [Illustration: THE SULTAN'S PALACE—MEQUINEZ]

  [Illustration: "THROUGH GATE AFTER GATE"]

The Sultan always dwells amid the wreck of ages. The snow-white palace
of the actual sovereign may be seen rising above the crumbling walls
of the Imperial Garden. Around it are vague piles of age-worn masonry,
the abandoned palaces of emperors who ruled here in the past. Custom
demands that on the death of a Sultan his palace be abandoned and a new
one built for his successor. It is regarded as a sacrilege for any one
to occupy the abode of a departed emperor. Thus, during the centuries,
these imperial inclosures in all the Moorish cities have become encumbered
with acres of decaying palaces in which bats and owls hold carnival.

  [Illustration: "BORN OF AN IMPERIAL MANIA FOR MASONRY"]

  [Illustration: AN ARTIFICIAL LAKE]

In Mequinez everything speaks of Mulai Ismail, the tyrant Sultan of the
sixteenth century, that imperial monster whose deeds surpass in horror
those of Nero or Caligula, the ruins of whose palaces and public works
rival in magnitude the Roman mountains of brick and stone upon the
Palatine or in the broad Campagna.

  [Illustration: ENDLESS AISLES OF ARCHES]

Mulai Ismail built three miles of stables for his twelve thousand
horses. We see, to-day, the endless aisles of arches where his chargers
were lodged in splendor, every ten horses tended by a negro slave. As
a horseman, he was superb. It is said that he was able, in one graceful
movement, to mount his steed, draw his sword, and neatly decapitate the
slave who held his stirrup. He held that to die by his imperial hand
insured immediate entry into paradise, and throughout the latter part of
his life of eighty-one vigorous years he went about his land dispensing,
with his scimitar, passports to a beatitudinous eternity. Twenty thousand
of his subjects were thus favored, Friday being the day chosen by the
imperial murderer for these executionary exercises. His pet lions were
fed upon the flesh of slaves; his forty cats were treated better than
his children, though one disobedient cat was formally executed by his
order. Workmen caught idling on the walls, at which his myriad slaves
and prisoners were unceasingly engaged, were tumbled into the molds and
rammed down into the concrete.

  [Illustration: OUR CAMP IN THE KASBAH]

An incredibly atrocious deed crowned his career of crime. A wife
suspected of infidelity was filled with powder and blown to pieces. The
mere drowning of a wife in the small artificial lake was but a gentle
pastime. He had two thousand wives. As to the number of his children we
must accept the word of an ambassador of Louis XIV, who visited the court
of Mulai Ismail in 1703. He asked the favorite son how many brothers
and sisters he possessed. After two days spent in compiling a catalogue,
the Prince submitted the names of five hundred and twenty-five brothers
and three hundred and forty-two sisters. Later reports give the number
of sons who lived to mount horse the astounding total of seven hundred.
To create palaces and to people them was the life-work of Mulai Ismail.

One incident that makes this impossible man seem real to us is this:
He actually sent ambassadors to France to demand of Louis XIV the hand
of Mlle. de Blois, the natural daughter of the King and Louise de la
Valliére! The honor was declined in polite terms by the Grand Monarque.

  [Illustration: HAJ BREAKS THE MOSLEM LAW]

  [Illustration: STUDYING THE STRANGERS]

In Mulai's day Europeans were not strangers to Morocco; but they came—not
as we come to-day, as travelers with tents and guides to camp freely
for a few sunny days under the imperial walls—they came as slaves and
captives taken from merchant-ships by pirates; they came with chains
and manacles, to toil for dark, hopeless years in building these same
walls, in piling up these useless miles of mud, brick, and cement. The
thought of the sufferings endured by them makes doubly strange our actual
comfort; the dangers of the living past throw into striking contrast the
security of the dead present. We are not even annoyed by crowds. Perhaps
there are no crowds in Mequinez to-day. The only citizen who deigns to
take an interest in us is an old man who rides up on a tiny donkey and
sits studying the strangers with a plainly puzzled look upon his wrinkled
face. That he may not depart without some mark of our appreciation of
his call, we display our modern arsenal, a shotgun and a rifle, testing
the latter by firing at an eagle that is soaring overhead. By chance
the shot is a successful one. Down comes the big bird like a meteorite,
grazing the donkey's ear, and falling with a thud at his astonished
nose; whereupon our visitor having seen enough rides off in silence to
tell of our prowess in the half-deserted bazaars.

  [Illustration: GOOD SHOOTING IN THE HEART OF THE CITY]

From Mequinez we carry away impressions as enduring as its walls and
gates. We know that we shall never forget the sadness of this empty
city, its silence, and its forlorn magnificence. In all Morocco there
is no more artistic structure than the Kasbah Gate of Mequinez. It is as
it was; no restoration has marred it. Time has but softened it, made it
more beautiful. Corinthian pillars, brought from the ruins of the Roman
city of Volubilis, add to its dignity and tell of a civilization that
long antedates that of the Arab conquerors. It, too, like every gate and
every palace in the city of Mulai Ismail recounts its tragedy. The man
whose mind conceived its form, its intricate designs, its unsymmetrical
perfections, fell victim to his artist-pride. For, when the Sultan
complimented him on his achievements, he declared that he could build a
gate more beautiful, more imposing, did the imperial master so desire;
and this boast cost the architect his eyes, for the Sultan was resolved
that this, his favorite gate, should have no rival and no peer. Less
beautiful, but more imposing is the great North Gate by which we enter
and through which we ride out into the black, treacherous country. Our
muleteers have halted at a fountain to drink and pray; for the fountain
marks the burial-place of a great Moslem saint, the founder of the
fraternity of the Hamdouchi, a kindred society to that of the fanatical
Aissaoua, a sect of self-torturers and religious maniacs.

  [Illustration: A THOROUGHFARE IN MEQUINEZ]

  [Illustration: THE BENI-HASAN PLAIN]

  [Illustration: THE NORTH GATE OF MEQUINEZ]

Devotions ended, the caravan reforms, and we find ourselves trailing
across an empty land, which we have been warned on no account to enter.
Two days of uneventful travel over the hills of a rolling region brings
us to the brink of the interior highland, from which we look down upon
the level plain that stretches westward to the wide Atlantic, many miles
away. Below us lies the country of the famous Beni-Hasan tribe. The
"Sons of Hasan" are famous as horsemen, warriors, and pirates of the
plain. Our route lies westward across their territory to the seaport
city called Rabat, where we hope to embark in due time on one of the
infrequent coasting-steamers that ply up and down the western coast of
Africa.

  [Illustration: A SOKO IN THE WILDERNESS]

As we descend the steep trail winding down from the hill region, we look
in vain for any sign of town or village. A few clumps of dark green
trees and yellow streams are all that break the dull monotony of the
wide vista,—all, save a patch of gray, which looks at first like a heap
of rags spread out for an airing and a sunning. But as we draw nearer
to it, we observe that the rag-pile is alive, that it swarms and moves
in slow confusion. Each rag enwraps a human-being; there are at least
a thousand of them come together in this desert-place to buy and barter
food and drink and raiment.

A curious feature of commerce in Morocco are these fairs held periodically
in chosen localities, far from any settlement or village. A few days
later this spot, now the scene of picturesque activity, will be brooded
over by the silence and desolation of the surrounding plain. It will
remain unvisited until, at the advent of another fair, the people of the
broad region roundabout will come again to this townless market-place,
with cattle, fruits and vegetables, woolen goods and Manchester
cotton, old flintlock muskets and inlaid Moorish daggers, to meet their
fellow-merchants, to haggle with crafty customers, and to indulge that
desire for social intercourse, innate even in the forgotten people of
this empty, lonely land.

  [Illustration: A TOWNLESS MARKET-PLACE]

We spend an hour or two at this Soko in the wilderness, watching the
ant-hill-like activity of the gray-clad sons of Hasan. The water-sellers
do a thriving business, for the sun beats down relentlessly on this
unsheltered mart. From tented restaurants are wafted odors which may
be appetizing to the native epicure. The butchers are at their work out
in the full glare of the midday sun. There is but little delay between
the abattoir and the pot or frying-pan. In fact, the fresh meat might
almost be broiled without the aid of any fire whatever when the sun is
high and hot.

  [Illustration: WATER BY THE CUPFUL]

It is but natural that we should be objects of curiosity, but so reserved
and proud are the Moslems that even in this remote place they refrain
from paying us the compliment of popular attention. We are neither
courted nor insulted. Indifferent glances are all that they vouchsafe
us. Whatever of hostility they feel toward the "dog of a Christian" is
vented upon our servants. A man attempted to steal a knife from Haj.
Haj strikes at him, the crowd sides with the would-be thief, and begins
to rain blows upon our guide and muleteers, but they defend themselves
until lazy Kaid Lharbi can be induced to make haste slowly to the rescue.
The appearance of our soldier quells the tumult. The dispute is referred
to a young sheik of the tribe, who, as one in authority, listens to our
story and to the clamor of the crowd, and like a righteous judge, orders
Haj's assailant put in chains. Before leaving, in order to propitiate
the crowd, we beg the sheik to release the culprit. This done, we depart
amid approving murmurs.

  [Illustration: "AS ONE IN AUTHORITY"]

  [Illustration: APPETIZING ODORS]

Just before sunset we reach a narrow, turbid river. There is no bridge.
Our pack-mules glissade down the slippery bank and trudge unhesitatingly
across the shallow ford. Fortunately, we have crossed the many rivers
without inconvenience; but had we entered Morocco a month earlier,
while the rivers are swollen by the April rain, we should have suffered
tedious and dangerous delays at every ford. The yellow flood respects
not even the caravans of ambassadors and ministers. Official pack-mules
have been swept away, official bedding soaked in Moorish rivers, and
many a diplomat traveling in state to Fez on some important mission has
been compelled to doff his uniform and dignity, and to breast the turgid
waters of the River Sebu or the Wad Makhazan. Half regretting that we
are deprived of similar experiences, we ride on till we reach a place
called Boghari, where we apply for the protection of the Kaid of the
village. The traveler should lose no time in taking advantage of the
laws of hospitality. In them he finds his surest safeguard. The person
and property of a guest are sacred. A robber Kaid becomes an ideal host,
answering for your safety with his life, guarding your property better
than he guards his own. But the very man who shelters you one night may,
on the morrow, after you have passed beyond the territory for the peace
of which he is held responsible, swoop down upon your caravan with a cloud
of gaily arrayed followers and seize such of your possessions as may have
attracted his fancy while you were enjoying his protection. By so doing
he also gets the neighboring chieftain into hot water, for failing to
protect you. Our official letters from the Moorish authorities at Tangier
command all Kaids and bashas to give us hospitality and protection and,
when necessary, to provide an escort for our safe-conduct across their
respective territories.

  [Illustration: FRESH MEAT]

Kaid Absalam of Bogari is pleased to order our camp pitched in his
front-yard. We should have preferred an isolated site beyond the village
amid the freshness and the flowers of the plain, but we feel more
secure under the eaves of the official residence, a mud-brick hut, with
disheveled thatch.

Kaid Absalam grants us the use of his front-yard, including the dirt,
dust, and flies, imposing only one condition upon us. He has been informed
by men familiar with the ways of Christians that they invariably travel
with "picture-making boxes," or "painting machines," with which they
do sinfully and wilfully break the Mosaic commandment, "Thou shalt not
make unto thyself the likeness of any living thing." The Kaid's will is
that if we possess such inventions of the devil, we shall religiously
refrain from using them in his domain.

  [Illustration: NEARING THE LAND OF THE BENI-HASAN]

In this emergency we turn to Haj Abd-er-Rahman Salama, for we know him to
be the most artistic prevaricator in Morocco. He rises to the occasion.
Never was a village more thoroughly photographed than Bogari, never was a
Kaid and a community more blissfully unconscious that crime was rampant
under their very noses. Haj presents us formally as two great American
astronomers traveling in Morocco on a scientific mission. The Moors of
old prided themselves upon their knowledge of the heavens. Astronomy
is still in high esteem. The Kaid begs us to display our astronomical
instruments. We promptly unpack and set up two photographic-cameras,
and arm ourselves with kodaks. One by one, or rather three by three,
the dignified villagers put their heads beneath the focusing cloth, from
the black folds of which come smothered exclamations of delight as they
behold upon the glass inverted images of familiar forms and faces.

  [Illustration: IN THE SHEIK'S "FRONT YARD"]

Meantime we are "taking the altitude of the sun" with kodaks. The result
of our first attempt shows an African "son" black as an eclipse; there
are wooly prominences on the disk, and several satellites are visible.
A second experiment reveals a young Phœbus Apollo, dark as Pluto, and
almost as naked as Eros. Later observations show the constellation of
Venus shedding the light of smiles upon this land of darkness.

Meantime my friend wins popularity with the ladies of the galaxy by
performing a series of simple tricks of sleight-of-hand. He catches
money in the air, or pretends to find it in their veils or sleeves.

  [Illustration: "A PLACE CALLED BOGHARI"]

  [Illustration: FORDING]

Encouraged by his success, I bring into play the skill acquired in my
schoolboy days, when Hermann, not Stoddard, was the man whose career
appeared most tempting to me. I, too, win smiles of surprise and
wonder-struck expressions from the simple folk of Bogari by swallowing
coins and corks, performing card-tricks, or picking pennies from the folds
of ragged garments. The last trick is the most popular, for the pennies
are invariably claimed by those from whom they have been plucked into
visibility. Fond mothers bring forward several lots of Berber babies,
and present them, one by one, to the magician, that he may deftly extract
the latent wealth from their scant clothing.

  [Illustration: THE KAID AND THE CAMERA]

But not only did we succeed in fooling the fledglings and the female
birds, our magic powers won us the respect and reverence even of the grim,
hawk-like cavaliers. We gave a matinée for the Kaid and his chief men.
They were deeply impressed and murmured compliments with bated breath;
for that which he cannot understand the Moor regards as supernatural. The
man with occult powers is to be feared, respected, and propitiated. We had
not counted upon this; but Haj, the clever rascal who was under contract
to furnish all provisions for our larder, encouraged us thereafter to
give daily performances, for every performance elicited substantial
tokens of respect in the form of chickens, baskets of eggs, haunches of
fine mutton, pails of goats' milk, and plates of honey.

  [Illustration: INSPECTING "ASTRONOMICAL" INSTRUMENTS]

  [Illustration: ALMOST A "COON"]

Our reputation as conjurors once established, Haj paid out no more money
to the villagers, exacting everywhere a willing tribute or "mouna" from
the Sheiks or Kaids.

But one more achievement crowned our perfidy to the kind people of
Bogari. The Kaid bade us take tea in his mud-house the night before our
departure. We donned our Moorish jelabas, and at the appointed hour sat
with the Hasan tribemen around the steaming samovar—for the Russian
samovar is the "_grande luxe_" of even the pettiest of chieftains.
The situation was rich in its appeal to our love of things remote and
strange. Here were we, robed in white garments made by the tailors of
Fez, crouching on mats, sipping sweetened mint-tea in company with men of
Berber blood, whose profession is plunder, whose relaxation is battle.
The Kaid's brother lies prostrate, undergoing a rough massage treatment
to allay the pain caused by bullet-wounds received in a recent foray.
Grim visaged retainers peer in at the door, keen eyes flash in the outer
darkness. The candle flickers, the samovar sings softly, now and then
a word is spoken, and a few seconds later a guttural reply is heard, or
a grunt of pain from the wounded warrior breaks the hush of the assembly.

  [Illustration: A REAL AFRICAN]

Resolved that this scene must be pictured, I appeal to Haj to put his
powers of prevarication once more to the test—to lie us into a favorable
opportunity for discharging one of our flash-lights here and now.

  [Illustration: A FLASH OF "MIDNIGHT SUNSHINE"]

  [Illustration: POPULAR WITH THE LADIES]

He hesitates. Dare he attempt another fabrication? Success has made him
bold. He speaks, "Oh, Kaid, my masters the astronomers, to whose skill
your village can bear witness, ask of you one more favor. To-morrow they
set out across our unknown country. To lay their course across this wide
land without roads they must take observation of the sun by night as
well as by day. At their command the sun will pierce the veil of night.
Permit them once more to set up their instruments, and they will cause
the brightness of the orb of day to flash for a brief instant even here
between the four walls, beneath thy roof."

Allured by the promise of this miracle, the Kaid consents. The cameras
are placed. The flash-powder is spread. Then with impressive gestures
I invoke the god of day, and Haj ignites the fuse.

A great light fills the chamber, clouds form and roll out into the night,
the sons of Hasan gasp and murmur prayers. The astronomers calmly sit
down and figure out their reckoning, and lay the course for the caravan
voyage for the morrow.

  [Illustration: LOTS OF BERBER BABIES]

  [Illustration: FOOLING THE FLEDGLINGS]

No suspicion rested on us. Kaid Absalam next day escorted us to the
confines of his territory, and thanked us for having kept our pledge
not to paint pictures of his people.

  [Illustration: TIDINGS OF TROUBLE]

  [Illustration: THE IMPERIAL POST]

Our caravan files westward across the plain, which is as peaceful as
a summer sea. We traverse patches of color, bigger than townships,
where the earth is steeped in the crimson of anemones, or the yellow
of buttercups. At midday, while the sun hangs almost in the zenith, and
the mules trample on their own shadows at every step, an incident breaks
the monotony of our ever silent progress. A solitary man appears on the
horizon, his hooded head the only thing that rises above the level of
the weeds and flowers. At last he comes within hailing distance, and we
exchange greetings. He is a courier, bearing dispatches to Mequinez. He
speaks excitedly to Haj, who listens to his words with visible anxiety,
for he conveys tidings of trouble from the west. It is the old story of
inter-tribal hostilities, of Beni-Zimour razzias in the Beni-Hasan plain,
of Beni-Hasan retaliatory trips into the hill-country of the Beni-Zimour.
The village of Twazit, where we intend to spend the night, was attacked
early this very morning, the Beni-Zimour troupe was driven off, the
Beni-Hasan horsemen have been called out to defend their frontier. We
press on rapidly until we meet a company of cavaliers led by the young
Kaid of Twazit, who is scouring the country to assemble all the available
fighting men. He halts our caravan and demands to know our destination
and the purpose of our journey. He forbids our advance into the disturbed
region, being responsible to the central government for our safety. But
seeing picturesque possibilities in the adventure, we insist upon our
right to official protection, and Haj demands an escort for us. The Kaid
cannot refuse. Eight men are detached from his troop and detailed for
escort-duty. With eagerness we ride on toward the seat of war, if war be
not too dignified a name for one of these periodic inter-tribal squabbles.

  [Illustration: THE KAID FROM TWAZIT]

Peace is upon the plain, calm is in the air; yet danger and suspicion
ride with us, and point across the flowery expanse toward the dark line
far to the south,—a line that indicates the wooded country of the Zimour
tribe, which holds the region between Mequinez and the southern capital
city, Marrakesh (or, as it appears on many maps, Morocco City).

  [Illustration: WESTWARD UNDER ESCORT]

  [Illustration: AN ANXIOUS MOMENT]

  [Illustration: "PEERING ACROSS THE PLAIN"]

So successfully have the Beni-Zimour held the Sultan's troops at bay that
it has never been possible for the Imperial master, even with the usual
escort of thirty thousand men, to march by the direct route from city
to city. He has always been forced to go around the very heart of his
own empire, to cross this plain to Rabat, thence travel down the coast,
and finally strike inland along the southern boundary of the possessions
of his rebellious subjects. Thus every state-progress from one of his
capitals to the other becomes a public humiliation of Morocco's ruler,
whose boast is that his throne is his horse's saddle, his canopy the sky,
his palace the great tent in which he spends more than half of every year.

  [Illustration: PICTURESQUE PROTECTORS]

The Beni-Hasan, while none too loyal to the Sultan in the season when he
sends to them his Bashas to collect the taxes, are hereditary enemies
of their rebellious neighbors, and therefore nominally supporters of
the Imperial cause.

  [Illustration: TOWARD THE SETTING SUN]

  [Illustration: "EVEN STERNER THAN THE REST"]

Our picturesque protectors pause every now and then, peering anxiously
toward the south, suspicious of every dot on the horizon, of every patch
that seems to move in the distance upon that sea of heat-waves that rolls
above the plain. Most of our guards are young men under twenty-five, one
only is older. Even sterner than the rest in aspect, he has a cruel face,
thick lips, and wears a gray skull-cap drawn tightly above his furrowed
forehead. We might well have some misgivings for our safety were not
our guards also our hosts, and answerable for us to their chief, who is
answerable to the Sultan. Should we suffer harm, the central government
must make amends to the United States.

  [Illustration: TENT OF THE WOUNDED TRIBESMAN]

  [Illustration: ATTENTIVE WATCHERS OF THE OPERATION]

As if in preparation for the expected fray, the horsemen are continually
rehearsing sham battles, half the troop dashing furiously ahead, then
returning at full gallop to attack the caravan, which is stoutly defended
by the other half. At first no shots are fired, but when we agree to
pay for all the ammunition used by both friends and mimic enemies, blank
charges are rammed into the elaborate old flintlocks, and the roar and
smoke of harmless battle mark our advance into a hostile territory.

  [Illustration: BERBER BELLES]

  [Illustration: SIMPLE AS CHILDREN]

At sunset we arrive at Twazit. We expected to find a village. We find
instead a circle of thirty-six Bedouin tents pitched in the open plain.
The men of our escort are here at home, and are greeted by their wives
who ask for news of the chief and the rest of the troop. The women wring
their hands and weep on learning that we are to camp with them. The
reason is that should we be robbed while under the protection of their
chief, the Sultan's government would hold their husbands responsible
for all damages, and bleed even the poorest of them to repay us for our
losses.

An atmosphere of anxiety pervades the village. One man was killed
in the morning's battle; he has just been hastily buried. Another is
lying wounded in his tent, and we are urged to go to his relief; for
every foreigner is supposed to be skilled in surgery and medicine. We
are conducted to a low tent in which the wounded man is lying. He is
surrounded by a stupid crowd, which keeps away fresh air. We strive to
clear the tent, but curiosity is strong, and a score of villagers insist
on witnessing the doctor's visit. The man lies on a rug groaning in
fever, his garments stained with blood. His wound is red with clotted
blood. No one has thought to wash him and give him water. My friend puts
cooling bandages upon his head, and to the best of his ability dresses
the wound. It is ugly, but not fatal; for the ball has glanced along
the ribs and passed out on the side.

  [Illustration: "WE EVEN DO A LITTLE VETERINARY SURGERY"]

  [Illustration: SUSPICIOUS OF EVERY DOT ON THE HORIZON]

While I am striving to keep the crowd away, two women, smeared with slimy
mud from head to foot, come running from the river. They break into the
tent, and throw themselves upon the prostrate form, uttering loud cries;
and it is with the greatest difficulty that we prevent those miserable
mud-daubed wives from overwhelming the sufferer with their conventional
expressions of grief. They have put on mud and slime as substitutes for
sackcloth and ashes.

  [Illustration: THE OLD KAID PREPARES TO SALLY FORTH]

  [Illustration: BEYOND THE REACH OF DANGER]

It is insisted that some medicine should be administered internally. "All
doctors make sick people swallow medicine," they say; and to conform to
custom, and yet do no harm, we give our patient a cup of water in which
a little paregoric has been dropped. Then, with a "Trust in Allah!" the
foreign doctors retire amid the blessings of the crowd.

  [Illustration: A PORTUGUESE PORTAL]

Could we have cured but one tenth of the maladies, or in any small way
relieved the needless suffering which greets the traveler in Morocco,
we should have been happy; but we were not prepared; we lacked both
knowledge and medical supplies. It grieved us to play the impostor, yet
it was kinder to the people, who in many things are simple as children.
To refuse them advice and treatment would have been cruel, however
worthless the advice and treatment. Our willingness to serve our doses of
paregoric, our injunctions to trust in the one God, pleased and cheered
them. That was all that we could hope to accomplish.

  [Illustration: "UP TO THE EYES IN DAISIES"]

We even do a little veterinary surgery for a wounded horse, a fine gray
steed, lamed by a bullet in the leg. The poor beast is held prostrate
while the bullet is cut out with my pocket-knife, and the wound is
cauterized with red-hot iron. The excitement keeps us from a realizing
sense of our situation, and it is only when in the gathering darkness we
have returned to our tent that we begin clearly to recognize the fact
that these little scenes of such a painful interest are not prepared
merely to amuse the curious traveler. There is a stern reality in it
all; and the Beni-Zimour who, this very morning, attacked the village
and laid low men and horses, are not many miles away.

  [Illustration: AN EMPTY TOWN]

The night is clear. The few men in camp are constantly on the alert. We
see the chief mount and ride outside that circle of flimsy tents, our
only fortification. He goes to see that the patrols are not neglecting
duty, to scan with anxious eyes the southern distance.

All is still till half-past nine. Then comes the most uncomfortable
quarter of an hour that I have ever passed. A shrill, loud cry rings
out; we think it is the call to prayer. Not so; it is the call to arms.
"_Hayel!_"—"to horse," the sentinels have shouted; and that cry of
"_Hayel_" is answered by pandemonium in the village. The tribesmen rush
to loose their shackled steeds, a hundred cowardly dogs begin to bark,
and from every tent women and children rush out terror-stricken and
weeping.

  [Illustration:"WHERE THE SEBU MEETS THE SEA"]

Their cries, the tramp of hoofs, the guttural shouts of our wild-eyed
protectors combine to wake us to a sense of personal danger. The sentinels
have seen a moving mass upon the plain, supposedly a band of Zimour
horsemen. They are in expectation of a prompt attack. Our troop hurriedly
assembled, sallies out to meet the coming foe. A troubled silence reigns.

  [Illustration: SEAWARD FORTIFICATIONS—MEHEDIA]

We wait and wait. No sound; no clash of arms; no shots exchanged. Five,
ten, twenty minutes pass, then comes tramp of hoofs, a dark mass sweeps
into the vague circle of Bedouin tents, the dogs stop barking, and with
relief we recognize our faithful cavaliers as they dismount, giving
grunts of satisfaction.

The approaching enemy had been frightened off by the unexpected appearance
of our little army. Their force was small, they had believed the village
unprotected, and they did not know that the bravest Beni-Hasan men had
returned to guard their women and their homes. The sentinels are doubled,
and after an hour more of watching, we fall asleep, weary with the day's
excitement.

And as, next day, our journey is peacefully resumed with a smaller escort
than before, we are inclined to laugh at the terrors of the night,
and to chaff one another on our respective preparations for defense
or flight. My warlike friend had spent that anxious hour cleaning his
shotgun, removing bird-shot from his shells, and substituting crude
lumps of lead obtained from Kaid Lharbi's store of ammunition. I had
quietly packed my photographic films into the smallest possible bundle,
and went to bed, ready at a moment's notice to seize the precious packet
and escape—whither, I did not know.

  [Illustration: ABANDONED PORTUGUESE PALACES]

  [Illustration: THE RIVER BU RAGREG NEAR RABAT
   (Photograph by Cavilla)]

By midday on the morrow we are beyond the reach of harm. Making a small
present to the Beni-Hasan guards, we watched them disappear in the
direction of the seat of war, where they will continue their life of
skirmish and pillage until laid low by bullets from their hated Zimour
neighbors.

  [Illustration: THE WORTHLESS INHABITANTS]

And as, some hours later, we approach the coast, our caravan plunges into
a veritable ocean of freshness, where the wild daisies are so tall that
our animals appear to be lying down, while in reality they are toiling
on as best they may through a sea of flowers four feet deep. Our pet
mule, the little white one, is almost up to his eyes in daisies, while
the others revenge themselves for many days of dry, short, withered grass
by feasting upon the rich fare so unexpectedly encountered. For several
miles we slowly advance along this curious road (for we are still upon
a road, though one little used) and at last, reaching a hilltop, we are
greeted by a glorious salt breeze, and looking westward we behold the
dim blue stretches of the broad Atlantic.

An hour more and we arrive at Mehedia, formerly a city of the Portuguese,
to-day a vast ruin in the midst of which a miserable Arab hamlet is
concealed. We camp near the decaying walls, where storks and men, gifted
with equal intelligence, observe us with a silent curiosity. This Mehedia
was once a flourishing port, and the fortifications left by the Portuguese
are very stately and must have been at one time thoroughly impregnable.
To-day, however, everything is dilapidated and forsaken.

  [Illustration: THE BASHA PROVES HIS PROWESS]

  [Illustration: A PART OF THE IMPERIAL HAREM]

  [Illustration: THE GREAT WALL OF SALLI]

We descend to the beach and enjoy a dip in the salty waters where the
River Sebu meets the sea. Above us loom the imposing walls and bastions
of Mehedia, silent and abandoned, yet eloquent of the vanished glory of
Portugal. In the thought of this empty fortress, so formidable in aspect,
so monumentally defenseless in its desolation, there is something almost
awe-inspiring. Its few miserable human denizens seem like dejected ghosts
gliding through the crumbling portals, haunting the roofless palaces.
The stork population on the wall-tops and the battlements seems more
real. The Moors declare, "Storks are men who have come from islands
far away to the west upon the great ocean to see Morocco. Like all the
world they know there is no other land to compare with it; they abandon
their outward form of men, and come hither to behold it. Therefore we
give them hospitality and do not harm them." Nay, the Moors do more than
this for the long-legged dwellers on their house-tops—they maintain in
Fez a hospital for invalid storks, founded, so runs the legend, in this
wise: Several hundred years ago a stork came to the Kadi of Fez bringing
a pearl necklace that it had stolen. As the owner could not be found,
with the proceeds from the sale of the necklace, the Kadi bought a house
that is still in existence, called the Stork House, an institution where
storks are received and treated as human beings.[a]

  [Illustration: BEFORE ENTERING SALLI]

  [Illustration: RABAT]

The Moorish lover looks upon the stork with a peculiar reverence and
affection, for from its haunts on terrace or tower the bird looks down
upon the habitations of the women, and daily beholds the beloved one.
But storks of Mehedia take no more heed of us than do the gray-robed
human inhabitants.

  [Illustration: ON THE BEACH AT SALLI]

On the eve of our departure, the Kaid of the village cannot resist
exhibiting his skill with a recently acquired Winchester rifle that,
he tells us, has been taken from smugglers in the performance of his
official duties. Learning that we are Americans and therefore compatriots
of his new gun, he deigns to look with favor upon us and invites us to
his dwelling. There he prepares to astonish us with his marksmanship.
An egg is placed upon a wall fifty feet distant. The Kaid seats himself
comfortably on a ledge, takes leisurely aim, amid the respectful silence
of his followers, and then bangs away. The plaster on the wall was badly
damaged, but after the smoke had cleared away, the egg, intact, looked
down upon the humbled Moor, who proceeded to examine and criticise the
sights of the Winchester.

  [Illustration: THE RIVER BU RAGREG]

My friend, when his turn came to try the gun, was not considerate enough
to spare the egg. His pride in his marksmanship overcame his politeness,
as a yellow blotch on that old wall may still attest.

From Mehedia it is one day's ride southward to the sister-cities of
Salli and Rabat, sister-cities which have never been on the best of
terms with one another. We follow a sandy trail along the coast—the
monotony of the journey broken by but a single incident, an encounter
with a gaily furnished caravan. Six Moorish women robed in white, with
covered faces, attended by a dozen guards and servants, come slowly
along the dusty track. At their approach Kaid Lharbi, evincing a sudden
bashfulness, dashes off to the right, points his horse's head toward the
sea, and sits there with his back turned to the veiled beauties until the
gay parade has passed. The other men of our escort follow his example,
galloping off to one side or the other, planting their steeds with tails
toward the trail, not venturing to look around until the dust raised
by the passing caravan has settled. We naturally seize our cameras to
record this strange proceeding, whereupon they shout imperatively, "Turn
your backs quickly! These are the Sultan's wives. No man may look upon
them!" Accordingly we, too, conform to a custom which seems to us rude
rather than courteous and turn our backs upon the mysterious beauties, a
contingent of Imperial wives whom Mulai El-Hasan is shipping in advance
to await his arrival at Mehedia or Mequinez.

A few hours later we pass beneath the aqueduct of Salli, which serves
also as an outer city-wall. Then, after watering our animals, we ride
on across vast vacant spaces until the gates of Salli admit us to the
famous city of the old-time "Salli Rovers."

  [Illustration: SWITCHING THE "BAGGAGE-CAR" AT THE FERRY]

So hostile is the populace that every attempt at picture-making brings
a volley of stones from howling urchins and threatening murmurs from
savage-looking citizens. All that we remember of our visit to Salli is
a rapid dash through narrow thoroughfares amid a sprinkling of missiles
and maledictions. It is with a sense of relief that we find ourselves
on the broad sandy beach that stretches from the southern walls down
to the River Bu Ragreg, on the opposite shore of which rises the city
of Rabat, our destination. As we look back toward the white line traced
by Salli's gleaming house-tops, our thoughts go back to the hero of our
childhood, Robinson Crusoe who, taken by the Salli Rovers, was there held
in slavery for many months, finally escaping in a small boat belonging
to his Moorish master. Another famous character, Captain John Smith,
came to Salli in 1604; but why he came and what he did there we do not
definitely know. For years the Corsairs of this port were the scourge
of Christian merchant-ships. Piracy was then a recognized profession,
the title "pirate" an honorable one, in fact, the highest naval title
of to-day is but a corruption of that assumed by the old pirate chiefs:
"Lord of the Sea," "Ameer-el-Bahr,"—Admiral!

  [Illustration: THE SALLI-RABAT FERRY]

Salli and Rabat, although within gunshot of one another, differ widely
in character. Salli is rabidly anti-foreign. Rabat is commercial and
comparatively cordial to Christians, sheltering a little colony of
European merchants and vice-consuls.

Between the cities flows the Bu Ragreg, "Father of Glittering," across
which we must be ferried in crude flat-bottomed barges. To switch our
baggage-train on to the ferry-boat is a task that calls for much hard
work and not a little Arabic profanity.

  [Illustration: HIS FIRST EMBARKATION]

We must wait our turn; for there are other caravans, with camels, mules,
and horses massed upon the sands. At last our animals are all embarked
with the exception of Bokhurmur's burro, who, accustomed only to fording,
requires much persuasion before he will trust himself to this new-fangled
contrivance. During the brief period of calm that intervenes between
the embarkation and subsequent landing on the Rabat beach, we look in
admiration at the scene about us. Above the palisade on the south bank
rises a noble half-completed tower. We have long since heard reports of
it. We know it as the Beni-Hasan tower, a sister to the famed Giralda
of Seville and to the Kutubiya of Morocco City. The same Sultan, Yakub
el Mansur, the great builder, reared this trinity of towers about eight
hundred years ago. To-day they prove the vast extent of his dominion;
to him owed allegiance all the lands which lie between Andalusia in the
south of Spain, and Marrakesh, on the borders of the Great Sahara. But
the Beni-Hasan pile was never finished. It stands to-day as the workmen
left it in the year 1200.

  [Illustration: RABAT—THE CITY AND THE CITADEL]

Rabat owes its existence to the builder of the tower, who late in
the twelfth century founded on this promontory his "Camp of Victory,"
"Rabat el Fatih." The frowning citadel sits darkly on the crest between
the harbor and the sea, the smiling city lies gleaming just below. We
follow the broad, animated beach, enter at the water-gate, present our
credentials to the governor, and after some delay a camping-ground is
assigned us on the crest within the shadow of the citadel, under the
very walls of the powder magazine. It is not until our outfit is here
unpacked, that we remark the fact that we are pitching our tents in a
graveyard. All roundabout us are neglected graves, tombstones inclined
at most distressing angles, with hollows where there should be mounds,
and weeds and rubbish in place of greens and flowers.

Poor Abuktayer, sick from fatigue and bad water drunk on the journey, is
excused from work, and sits amid the mossy mortuary tablets, a picture
of weariness and woe, watching the other servants as they wedge tent-pegs
into the cracks of tombstones.

  [Illustration: OUR CAMP AT THE RABAT POWDER HOUSE]

  [Illustration: ABUKTAYER]

Grewsome indeed our camping-ground, but good enough for Christian
dogs, the amiable Basha thinks, and the Christian dogs have ceased to
be fastidious. All that we ask is that the sleeping Moors, buried only
two feet underground, will manifest toward us the same aloofness as is
shown by their living co-religionists. But although our foreground is
not cheerful to contemplate, the views in two directions are superb.
Looking westward we see the snow-white city with its "saint-houses" and
minarets, and in the distance the square, commanding tower, high above
the winding river. The seaward vista is not less attractive. The wide
ocean stretches peacefully westward to the new world; at our feet the
warlike pomp of the old world is displayed in the six stately camps
of Bashas from the interior provinces. These Bashas have come to Rabat
to greet the Sultan who, with his mighty caravan, is expected within a
fortnight. Four thousand horsemen are assembled at Rabat to escort the
Imperial train from Rabat to Fez. Every evening, just before sunset,
fine old gentlemen in spotless robes of white toil up to our hill-top,
and, passing our camp without a side glance or a salutation, spread
small red rugs upon the tombs, seat themselves thereon, and watch the
slow sun sink into the progressive west. Then in the twilight they rise,
fold up their rugs, and with a measured tread return to the white city
whence they came. Seven times we saw the same old worthies come, watch,
and depart, but never was there a glance of recognition, never a sign
they are conscious of our presence amid the resting-places of their
dead. Therefore we were surprised, one evening, when three dignified
personages halted before our tents, spoke a few words to Haj, and then
sat down on tombstones and began a serenade with a violin, a tambourine,
and a peculiar form of Oriental guitar. A glance at their dress tells us
that these men are Jews; a word of explanation from Haj tells us that
they are sent to play for us by the local Consular-Agent of the United
States, a native Jew, upon whom we had called the day before.

  [Illustration: THE BENI-HASAN TOWER—RABAT
   Photograph by Cavilla]

  [Illustration: THE CAMPS OF THE GOVERNOR]

Among the European residents of this remote port is an eccentric
Englishman from Gibraltar who has built for himself in Rabat the tallest
dwelling in Morocco, a house of four stories, its façade conspicuous
because of its unusual height and its coat of bright blue paint. On
several occasions the owner of this unique Moorish skyscraper entertained
us at dinner, and insisted that we should lodge under his aspiring
roof on stormy nights, when our camp was drenched with rain. In view of
this cordial treatment extended to entire strangers, we are surprised
to learn that our host is not on speaking terms with other members of
the foreign colony. That he lives practically alone, attended by an old
Spanish housekeeper. In every corner of the world the traveler is sure
to find the solitary Englishman dwelling in Anglo-Saxon seclusion and
independence amid strange peoples, sufficient unto himself, his house
his castle, his excuse for self-banishment the remark, "Oh, I rather
like the place, you know; good air, fine climate."

  [Illustration: MINSTRELS OF ISRAEL]

Rabat is primarily a place of business; the markets and bazaars are
always thronged. Rug-making is the industry for which the port is
noted, and every day we see itinerant auctioneers, weighted down with
brilliant carpets trudging through the streets, calling the latest bid,
and offering the fabric for the examination of would-be purchasers.
Unfortunately, modern Rabat carpets, like Navajo blankets, have suffered
from the introduction of aniline dyes. The colors are crude, the designs
less artistic than in earlier times. The local industry, once carried
to perfection, is fast degenerating, and Rabat rugs are no longer things
of worth and beauty.

In all things the Moors have continually retrograded since the conquest
of Granada. From one of the foremost, they have become almost the last
of nations; their arts, their sciences, their industries forgotten,
nothing remains to them save their skill in horsemanship, their bravery
in battle, and their fixed belief in the predestination of all things,
good or evil.

  [Illustration: THE TALLEST HOUSE IN MOROCCO]

A crazy saint replied when we reproached him for being drunk with rum,
"It is no sin. It is written." Those fatalistic words, "It is written—God
has willed it," have been the cause of Moorish retrogression. They have
robbed the people of ambition and energy; the Moor, in time of disaster,
shifts the responsibility upon Allah, and murmurs resignedly, "It is
written." This philosophy helps him to bear the ills of life, great
and small. For example, if a Moor chances to seat himself upon a tack,
he does not curse nor swear nor rail at fate, nor does he wince as he
withdraws the offending point. Far be it from him to protest. He simply
murmurs, "It is written," and carefully replaces the tack for some other
Moor to sit upon.

  [Illustration: BUSINESS IN RABAT]

On the fifth morning of our sojourn in Rabat, we note a mighty stir in
all the military camps within and roundabout the city. Mysterious moving
statues appear upon the house-tops to watch the passing of armed men
through the streets. Troops of gorgeously arrayed horsemen gallop across
the town, filling the narrow lanes and covered bazaars with clatter and
confusion. We ask the cause of all this sudden animation. The answer is,
"The Prince arrives to-day. Our future Sultan, Abd-el-Aziz, is approaching
from the south to herald the advance of his imperial father, Mulai
El-Hasan III, who returns victorious from Tafilet and Tadla where he has
chastised the revolted tribes and 'eaten up' rebellious provinces." The
Sultan had written to the waiting Bashas in words like these: "To you do
I confide my best beloved son, my Mulai Abd-el-Aziz. Receive, protect,
and honor him as if he were myself and something more." That "something
more" bore a deep meaning, which was to be revealed within six days.

  [Illustration: ITINERANT AUCTIONEERS]

  [Illustration: RABAT RUGS]

  [Illustration: "IT IS WRITTEN"]

Rabat turns itself wrong-side-out to welcome the young prince. The
Bashas and Kaids, who, with their retinues, have been awaiting Imperial
orders, now sally out from the south gates, followed by the entire
population in festival attire. We mount our horses, and with Haj and Kaid
Lharbi as escort join in this picturesque exodus. An hour later we find
ourselves in the midst of an armed multitude, massed on the hillsides
stretching southward from the city walls and overlooking the narrow
plain along the sea-shore, which is to be the avenue of approach for
the princely caravan. We are the only white men in that vast expectant
throng, the only "Christian dogs" who have ventured beyond the gates.
Haj wears an anxious look; he knows that we are acting rashly in thus
exposing ourselves unguarded to the whims of an army of fanatics. But
the spectacle is worth the risk. Four thousand cavaliers are assembled
along the crests of the hills or in the plain below, where battle seems
to rage, for thence rises the smoke of oft-repeated volleys and the roar
of musketry. Troop after troop is there performing the "powder play,"
Lab-el-Baroud, that very thrilling cavalry-manœuver peculiar to the
"rough riders" of the Arab race.

  [Illustration: GATE OF SHELLA
   Photograph by Cavilla]

  [Illustration: MYSTERIOUS MOVING STATUES ON THE HOUSE-TOPS]

A dozen cavaliers advance in a broad platoon, first at canter, then
full gallop, then at a furious run, _ventre à terre_, the horses
at their highest speed, the men erect in the stirrups, spinning and
tossing their glittering flintlocks, until, at a word from the chief,
triggers are drawn, and the troop vanishes into a cloud of smoke. When
the smoke rolls away, there are the panting horses thrown back on their
haunches, motionless as statues; and then, before we can give vent to
our admiration, another troop comes thundering along, another volley
racks the ears and clouds the air, another tableau forms, and dissolves
in drifting smoke, until it seems as if all the hosts of the Prophet
were joining in a universal fantasia in honor of the young prince who
some day will be Commander of the Faithful, successor to the Shareefian
throne founded by the grandson of Mohammed.

  [Illustration: ALL HORSEMEN SALLY SOUTHWARD]

  [Illustration: A BASHA AND HIS TROOP AT REST]

  [Illustration: POWDER PLAY—READY!]

  [Illustration: THE START]

  [Illustration: FIRE]

  [Illustration: HALT!]

Then, when the troops are weary, two horsemen more energetic than the
rest dash furiously at one another, and without colliding they exchange
muskets; deftly, instantaneously, kiss each other on the cheek.

  [Illustration: MULAI ABD-EL-AZIZ APPROACHING RABAT]

  [Illustration: THE ENDLESS LINE OF HORSEMEN]

Meantime a slow, silent, interminable caravan has been creeping along
the shore. As far as the eye can reach in both directions, the shore
is dotted with tiny moving spots, some red, some white, some brown, as
if a tribe of giant ants were crawling northward toward Rabat. We see
mules and camels laden to death, urged on by cruel drivers; we see the
weary foot-soldiers dragging themselves along clad in a ragged suit of
red and blue; we see superb Moors in spotless white, dignitaries of the
imperial household, attended by mounted guards and running servants.

  [Illustration: A FRAGMENT OF THE LIVING WALL OF MEN AND HORSES]

  [Illustration: AS IN THE DAYS OF THE CRUSADES]

  [Illustration: UNIQUE PORTRAIT OF MULAI ABD-EL-AZIZ, EMPEROR OF
   MOROCCO]

Suddenly Haj exclaims, "There is the prince!" He points to a white-robed
boy, superbly mounted, with an attendant walking at each stirrup. Behind
him comes a litter borne by two mules in which young Abd-el-Aziz may
repose when weary of the saddle. Then follows a broad platoon of the
Imperial Guards, fierce negro cavaliers, the Bokharis, in whom alone,
of all the army, the Sultan places perfect trust. Slowly the prince's
train nears the waiting multitude. The four thousand horsemen on the
hill-tops form in one grand line, and, as the future ruler of Morocco
comes in view, that mighty rank of flesh and blood descends majestically
to the plain like a foamy wave receding from a beach. No illustration
can suggest the majesty of that spectacle. The endless line of white, so
faint and dim, which undulates along the hillsides, is in reality the
Moorish army drawn up in one unbroken rank, a living wall along which
the son of Mulai El-Hasan is to pass, receiving homage from the troop
of every Kaid and Basha. As far as we can see, the line, though curved
and bent by the inequalities of the ground, is perfect, unbroken, the
white, flowing garments of the horsemen looking like a mere thread lying
along the slope and stretching away over the summit of a distant hill
even to the city gates. As soon as the prince's train has passed us,
we dash across its wake and ride along behind that wall of horsemen,
peering through it at Abd-el-Aziz as he halts before each governor to
receive the homage of the tribes. My one thought is to make a photograph
of the prince during one of his brief pauses. Three times do I just
miss my opportunity. But at last, riding on in advance, I take position
directly behind two horsemen who appear like men of prominence, and there
await the passing of the imperial youth. As Abd-el-Aziz approaches, I
am trembling with excitement and anxiety; if I succeed, I shall have
accomplished what never before has been done; if I am detected in the
act of copying the features of the sacred youth, the consequences may
be serious—men have been killed for lesser sacrilege. The prince draws
nearer; to my joy he halts directly before the men who shield me from
his look. Just as he draws rein, the horses prance apart and leave an
opening in the line. Through this gap the Prince looks wonderingly at
me as I make a profound salute, and at the same time level my camera,
and with a trembling finger press the button. The click of the shutter
sends a cold chill through me. I raise my hat and bow a second time.
Abd-el-Aziz looks squarely at me, his face impassive and expressionless.
He slightly inclines his head. Meantime the horsemen, with heads bent
low, utter in unison, with religious intonation, the words, "God bless
the days of our lord!" "God send our lord victorious!"

  [Illustration: THE BASHA WITH HIS BANNERS AND BRIGADE]

  [Illustration: THE SPECTACLE IS NOT FOR UNBELIEVERS]

  [Illustration: AWAITING THE IMPERIAL ENTRY]

  [Illustration: THE EMPEROR ENTERS RABAT]

These words should be spoken only to the Sultan; but has not Mulai
El-Hasan commanded the Faithful to receive his son, as if he were "myself
and something more"?

The Prince is in appearance older than his age, being in his fifteenth
year. In his mien there is a dignity beyond his years. He looks the
Sultan, and I recall the words of Haj: "He may succeed his father before
many months are past, for rumor has it that El-Hasan III is hastening back
to Fez to die." Strange indeed that this thought should have come to me
just then, for at the very moment that my eyes met those of Abd-el-Aziz,
he was already Sultan—he was the Great Commander of the Faithful. The
boy himself did not then know it; the army and the people were still
ignorant of the event; but that very morning the old Emperor, Mulai
El-Hasan III, had "received the visit of death," and had closed his long
career of military journeyings. We therefore looked upon the face of
one who almost within the hour had been called to rule the destinies of
dark Moghreb, to sit on the Shareefian throne, to become the feared and
hated ruler of a semi-barbarous land, to bear the Imperial burden of a
direct descendant of Mohammed.

  [Illustration: A WOULD-BE CUSTOMER OF "WINCHESTER BROS."]

  [Illustration: THE SULTAN'S BARGE AND THE ENTIRE MOORISH NAVY OF TO-DAY]

  [Illustration: THE EMPEROR RETURNING FROM SALLI]

So absorbed are we in studying the face and manner of Abd-el-Aziz, that
we forget our whereabouts, forget the thousands of horsemen who are
chanting their welcome to the son of their Emperor. But when, a moment
later, the Prince rides on, we are suddenly aroused to a sense of our
perilous situation. The troops which formed the left wing of the host,
and have already rendered their salute, have now broken rank and come
dashing northward behind the line of cavaliers, that they may fall in
at the upper end of the line and be at hand to take part in the final
powder play as the Prince enters the city gate. A Basha, followed by
his banner-bearers, advances toward us, his brigade forming a phalanx
so broad that we cannot hope to avoid its onrush. To the right escape
is barred by the long file of white-robed riders; to the left we dare
not ride, for another troop is there racing past at full gallop. We are
hemmed in. There is nothing for it but to join in the tumultuous rush
of the wave of horses and men which is thundering toward us. We urge
our horses to their utmost speed, and a moment later we find ourselves
engaged in a race for safety, a roaring torrent of Moorish warriors
surging roundabout us. Should our horses stumble, we are lost. No power
on earth can stem that furious tide. Our only salvation is coolly to
guide our running steeds, avoiding obstacles and collisions; but how
easily an angered Moor, indignant at our having looked squarely into the
sacred countenance of his prince, could ride us down, and attribute the
accident to our rash attempt to emulate the rough-riders of the Moroccan
plains!

  [Illustration: A PRINCELY RETINUE ON THE BEACH]

  [Illustration: SHIP AHOY! BREAKING CAMP]

Thus we are swept onward as by the surge of a white-crested wave, until
the torrent breaks against the grim old walls of Rabat, and the flood
of horsemen recoils, divides, and spreads itself on either side of the
trail leading to a massive mediæval gate.

The scene recalls the days of the Crusades. An armed host are at the gate
of a walled city, fantastic banners wave, the clash and roar of battle
and the tramp of many hoofs is heard, and then a mighty shout rings from
six thousand throats as the gate swings open to admit an Emperor's son.
The spectacle is not for unbelievers, but we have cautiously drawn near
enough to witness the triumphal entry and to hear the shrill salutations
of the thousand closely veiled Moorish women who are massed on either
side of the imposing portal.

  [Illustration: REGRETS!]

Then follows a mad rush cityward of soldiers and civilians. The tortuous
passages of the old gates are choked for hours with swirling currents
of humanity. By the time we have reached our camp by a circuitous route,
Abd-el-Aziz is safely housed in the Imperial Palace of Rabat. The dying
wish of Mulai El-Hasan has been accomplished, his favorite son, and
appointed successor, has reached in safety a fortified city, and has been
joined by a large and loyal force under the command of trusted chiefs.
This has been done before the elder son, or the ambitious uncle, has
had time to learn of Mulai El-Hasan's death, and to raise the standard
of revolt. Seldom it is that a Sultan mounts peacefully to his throne.
There are always many claimants, each supported by a faction; and had
Hasan's death been known in Fez while Abd-el-Aziz was on the road, he
never would have had a chance at the succession despite the expression
of his father's will.

On the day of his proclamation the young Sultan makes a triumphal
progress through the streets. He rides a superb horse, with rich green
trappings. His form is hid in folds of white. On either side walks the
Mul-es-Shuash, a trusted retainer charged with the task of waving a cloth
to flick imaginary flies from the Imperial Master. The Sultan lacks,
however, the most important insignia of Moorish Majesty, the scarlet
umbrella, which is now being carried across the southern plains in the
funeral cortege of his father. Companies of red-clothed infantry guard
the prince; he is followed by a hundred dignified Moors magnificently
mounted. His passing is greeted with enthusiastic shouts from the men
in the streets, and shrill piercing cries, of "You, you, you!" from
hundreds of veiled women on the house-tops.

We follow the procession to the beach, and watch the Emperor embark on
the Imperial barge, which will bear him to Salli to pray in one of the
historic mosques. A short distance up the river the entire Moorish Navy
lies at anchor—a solitary little steam-yacht, dressed with many flags, but
too poor even to fire a salute. An hour later his Majesty returns and,
joined by the princely retinue in waiting on the Rabat side, re-enters
the city to confer with the viziers of his late father and make plans
for a triumphal progress inland to Fez, his capital.

  [Illustration: THE FINAL "PACK-UP"]

With intense interest we have followed these events; we are conspicuously
unwelcome to the Moors, being forced into prominence in our efforts
to attain effective points of view for making photographic records of
these historic incidents. We wonder why we are not molested—why we are
able to escape the stonings to which many a rash Christian onlooker
has been subjected. Haj, the invaluable, makes clear the reason of our
immunity. Knowing that our actions would make us objects of hostility,
the ingenious Haj spent several days, before the arrival of the Prince,
in visiting the numerous military camps and spreading among the Bashas,
Kaids, and Sheiks, certain reports concerning us and the object of our
presence, that would insure our safety and give us a high place in the
estimation of every warlike Moor.

  [Illustration: THE CARAVAN ARRIVES AT SUNSET]

  [Illustration: INTERESTED]

The Moors admire above all things a good gun. To them the repeating
Winchester is the noblest work of man. The tribesman armed with one of
those coveted American weapons is worth a dozen enemies armed with the
native flintlock. Therefore did Haj conceive a fabrication that worthily
crowned the forty days of persistent perjury to which we owed so many
splendid opportunities. Discreetly, confidentially, he informed the men
of every tribe that we, his Christian masters, were no less personages
than the "Winchester Brothers," makers of the famous rifles, proprietors
of the vast factories in America. We are come, he added, to perfect plans
for arming the tribes faithful to the Emperor, that they may quickly
exterminate the rebellious Beni-Zimour and the other unsubdued clans
which defy the Imperial power. And the chieftains said to Haj, "As God
is great, we shall protect your noble masters! They may move as freely
as they wish amidst our troops, who will treat them with due respect."
During our last days in Rabat, obsequious warriors came to our camp
bringing broken Winchesters, begging us to repair them. One morning a
handsomely-mounted boy, the son of a powerful Kaid, rode up attended
by a small escort. He asked for Mr. Winchester. My friend bowed low and
blushed. The little fellow kissed his own hand, my friend did likewise.
Then, through our interpreter, the boy placed an order for a boy's-size
Winchester, instructing us to make the best rifle that money could buy,
very light and small, but large enough to kill sixteen rebels without
reloading. We entered the order on the seared and yellow pages of our
Christian consciences. Our fame as fabricants of arms threatened to get
us into trouble; inquiries and demands for repairs increased each day. We
were not sorry when, a few days later, our summons to depart was given
by the whistle of a coasting merchant-ship which loomed up off the bar,
as the fog lifted shortly after sunrise.

The order to break camp is given; our men work with a will, for should
we fail to reach the ship in time, it will mean a delay of at least two
weeks or a long land-journey with the animals, along the sandy coast
road to Tangier. We bid farewell to Achmedo, Kaid Lharbi, Abuktayer, and
Bokhurmur, to the horses, mules, and burros, which are to find their
way slowly back to Tangier by land, while we, with Haj and remaining
provisions, go cruising up the coast in comfort on an English ship.

  [Illustration: READY FOR THE BATTLE WITH THE BREAKERS]

Embarkation at Rabat is easier to plan than to accomplish. No ship can
cross the bar; if the wind blows from the west, the huge native lighters
cannot climb over the inrolling breakers, and the ship, after a courteous
delay, steams off, leaving the drenched, discomfited passengers to
return shoreward and possess their souls in patience until there comes
the happy conjunction of a passing steamer and a calmer day.

  [Illustration: FAREWELL!]

Fortune, however, favored us in this as it did in all other things during
our wanderings in Morocco. True, the breakers are rolling mountain-high
across the bar, the forty-foot lighter is tossed like an egg-shell
on their crests, or dropped with awful suddenness into abysses formed
between cliffs of green transparent water. But our sturdy crew of twenty
Salli men, descendants of the famous Rovers, attack the billows with
that dogged perseverance that made their fathers the masters of the sea
and all that sailed upon it. Wave after wave sweeps past—green-robed,
with draperies foaming white, as if the cohorts of the sea were striving
to surpass the Moorish squadrons in a glorious lab-el-baroud—a powder
play where foam and spray and the roar of waters supplant the flowing
burnooses, rolling smoke, and din of volley firing.

This is our last impression of Morocco, this overwhelming "fantasia"
of the billows. And as we look back through clouds of flying spray at
the grim Kasbah of Rabat, at the white city, and the smiling hillsides
roundabout, we say with Pierre Loti, "Farewell, dark Moghreb, Empire of
the Moors, mayst thou remain, many years yet, immured, impenetrable to
the things that are new! Turn thy back upon Europe! Let thy sleep be the
sleep of centuries, and so continue thine ancient dream. And may Allah
preserve to the Sultan his unsubdued territories and his waste places
carpeted with flowers, there to do battle as in old times the Paladins,
and gather in his harvest of rebel heads! May Allah preserve to the
Arab race its mystic dreams, its immutability scornful of all things,
and its gray rags; may he preserve to the Moorish ruins their shrouds
of whitewash, and to the mosques their inviolable mystery!"

  [Illustration]



FOOTNOTE


     [a] Budgett Meakin—"The Land of the Moors" Mr. Meakin's three
     volumes, "The Moorish Empire," "The Land of the Moors," and
     "The Moors" are recommended to readers who desire fuller
     information concerning Morocco and its people.





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