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

>From beginning to end of the voyage across the Atlantic the weather is delightful; and the passengers - well, half the cabin-passengers are members of Henry Irving's Lyceum Company en route home after their second successful tour in America; and old voyagers abroad who have crossed the Atlantic scores of times pronounce it altogether the most enjoyable trip they ever experienced. The third day out we encountered a lonesome-looking iceberg - an object that the captain seemed to think would be better appreciated, and possibly more affectionately remembered, if viewed at the respectful distance of about four miles. It proves a cold, unsympathetic berg, yet extremely entertaining in its own way, since it accommodates us by neutralizing pretty much all the surplus caloric in the atmosphere around for hours after it has disappeared below the horizon of our vision. I am particularly fortunate in finding among my fellow-passengers Mr. Harry B. French, the traveller and author, from whom I obtain much valuable information, particularly of China. Mr. French has travelled some distance through the Flowery Kingdom himself, and thoughtfully forewarns me to anticipate a particularly lively and interesting time in invading that country with a vehicle so strange and incomprehensible to the Celestial mind as a bicycle. This experienced gentleman informs me, among other interesting things, that if five hundred chattering Celestials batter down the door and swarm unannounced at midnight into the apartment where I am endeavoring to get the first wink of sleep obtained for a whole week, instead of following the natural inclinations of an AngloSaxon to energetically defend his rights with a stuffed club, I shall display Solomon-like wisdom by quietly submitting to the invasion, and deferentially bowing to Chinese inquisitiveness. If, on an occasion of this nature, one stationed himself behind the door, and, as a sort of preliminary warning to the others, greeted the first interloper with the business end of a boot-jack, he would be morally certain of a lively one-sided misunderstanding that might end disastrously to himself; whereas, by meekly submitting to a critical and exhaustive examination by the assembled company, he might even become the recipient of an apology for having had to batter down the door in order to satisfy their curiosity. One needs more discretion than valor in dealing with the Chinese. At noon on the 19th we reach Liverpool, where I find a letter awaiting me from A. J. Wilson (Faed), inviting me to call on him at Powerscroft House, London, and offering to tandem me through the intricate mazes of the West End; likewise asking whether it would be agreeable to have him, with others, accompany me from London down to the South coast - a programme to which, it is needless to say, I entertain no objections. As the custom- house officer wrenches a board off the broad, flat box containing my American bicycle, several fellow-passengers, prompted by their curiosity to obtain a peep at the machine which they have learned is to carry me around the world, gather about; and one sympathetic lady, as she catches a glimpse of the bright nickeled forks, exclaims, "Oh, what a shame that they should be allowed to wrench the planks off. They might injure it;" but a small tip thoroughly convinces the individual prying off the board that, by removing one section and taking a conscientious squint in the direction of the closed end, his duty to the British government would be performed as faithfully as though everything were laid bare; and the kind-hearted lady's apprehensions of possible injury are thus happily allayed. In two hours after landing, the bicycle is safely stowed away in the underground store-rooms of the Liverpool Northwestern Railway Company, and in two hours more I am wheeling rapidly toward London, through neatly cultivated fields, and meadows and parks of that intense greenness met with nowhere save in the British Isles, and which causes a couple of native Americans, riding in the same compartment, and who are visiting England for the first time, to express their admiration of it all in the unmeasured language of the genuine Yankee when truly astonished and delighted. Arriving in London I lose no time in seeking out Mr. Bolton, a well-known wheelman, who has toured on the continent probably as extensively as any other English cycler, and to whom I bear a letter of introduction. Together, on Monday afternoon, we ruthlessly invade the sanctums of the leading cycling papers in London. Mr. Bolton is also able to give me several useful hints concerning wheeling through France and Germany. Then comes the application for a passport, and the inevitable unpleasantness of being suspected by every policeman and detective about the government buildings of being a wild-eyed dynamiter recently arrived from America with the fell purpose of blowing up the place. On Tuesday I make a formal descent on the Chinese Embassy, to seek information regarding the possibility of making a serpentine trail through the Flowery Kingdom via Upper Burmah to Hong-Kong or Shanghai. Here I learn from Dr. McCarty, the interpreter at the Embassy, as from Mr. French, that, putting it as mildly as possible, I must expect a wild time generally in getting through the interior of China with a bicycle. The Doctor feels certain that I may reasonably anticipate the pleasure of making my way through a howling wilderness of hooting Celestials from one end of the country to the other. The great danger, he thinks, will be not so much the well-known aversion of the Chinese to having an "outer barbarian" penetrate the sacred interior of their country, as the enormous crowds that would almost constantly surround me out of curiosity at both rider and wheel, and the moral certainty of a foreigner unwittingly doing something to offend the Chinamen's peculiar and deep-rooted notions of propriety. This, it is easily seen, would be a peculiarly ticklish thing to do when surrounded by surging masses of dangling pig-tails and cerulean blouses, the wearers of which are from the start predisposed to make things as unpleasant as possible. My own experience alone, however, will prove the kind of reception I am likely to meet with among them; and if they will only considerately refrain from impaling me on a bamboo, after a barbarous and highly ingenious custom of theirs, I little reck what other unpleasantries they have in store. After one remains in the world long enough to find it out, he usually becomes less fastidious about the future of things in general, than when in the hopeful days of boyhood every prospect ahead was fringed with the golden expectations of a budding and inexperienced imagery; nevertheless, a thoughtful, meditative person, who realizes the necessity of drawing the line somewhere, would naturally draw it at impalation. Not being conscious of any presentiment savoring of impalation, however, the only request I make of the Chinese, at present, is to place no insurmountable obstacle against my pursuing the even-or uneven, as the case may be-tenor of my way through their country. China, though, is several revolutions of my fifty-inch wheel away to the eastward, at this present time of writing, and speculations in regard to it are rather premature.

Soon after reaching London I have the pleasure of meeting "Faed," a gentleman who carries his cycling enthusiasm almost where some people are said to carry their hearts-on his sleeve; so that a very short acquaintance only is necessary to convince one of being in the company of a person whose interest in whirling wheels is of no ordinary nature. When I present myself at Powerscroft House, Faed is busily wandering around among the curves and angles of no less than three tricycles, apparently endeavoring to encompass the complicated mechanism of all three in one grand comprehensive effort of the mind, and the addition of as many tricycle crates standing around makes the premises so suggestive of a flourishing tricycle agency that an old gentleman, happening to pass by at the moment, is really quite excusable in stopping and inquiring the prices, with a view to purchasing one for himself. Our tandem ride through the West End has to be indefinitely postponed, on account of my time being limited, and our inability to procure readily a suitable machine; and Mr. Wilson's bump of discretion would not permit him to think of allowing me to attempt the feat of manoeuvring a tricycle myself among the bewildering traffic of the metropolis, and risk bringing my "wheel around the world" to an inglorious conclusion before being fairly begun. While walking down Parliament Street my attention is called to a venerable-looking gentleman wheeling briskly along among the throngs of vehicles of every description, and I am informed that the bold tricycler is none other than Major Knox Holmes, a vigorous youth of some seventy-eight summers, who has recently accomplished the feat of riding one hundred and fourteen miles in ten hours; for a person nearly eighty years of age this is really quite a promising performance, and there is small doubt but that when the gallant Major gets a little older - say when he becomes a centenarian - he will develop into a veritable prodigy on the cinder-path! Having obtained my passport, and got it vised for the Sultan's dominions at the Turkish consulate, and placed in Faed's possession a bundle of maps, which he generously volunteers to forward , to me, as I require them in the various countries it is proposed to traverse, I return on April 30th to Liverpool, from which point the formal start on the wheel across England is to be made. Four o'clock in the afternoon of May 2d is the time announced, and Edge Hill Church is the appointed place, where Mr. Lawrence , Fletcher, of the Anfield Bicycle Club, and a number of other Liverpool wheelmen, have volunteered to meet and accompany me some distance out of the city. Several of the Liverpool daily papers have made mention of the affair. Accordingly, upon arriving at the appointed place and time, I find a crowd of several hundred people gathered to satisfy their curiosity as to what sort of a looking individual it is who has crossed America awheel, and furthermore proposes to accomplish the greater feat of the circumlocution of the globe. A small sea of hats is enthusiastically waved aloft; a ripple of applause escapes from five hundred English throats as I mount my glistening bicycle; and, with the assistance of a few policemen, the twenty-five Liverpool cyclers who have assembled to accompany me out, extricate themselves from the crowd, mount and fall into line two abreast; and merrily we wheel away down Edge Lane and out of Liverpool.

English weather at this season is notoriously capricious, and the present year it is unusually so, and ere the start is fairly made we are pedaling along through quite a pelting shower, which, however, fails to make much impression on the roads beyond causing the flinging of more or less mud. The majority of my escort are members of the Anfield Club, who have the enviable reputation of being among the hardest road-riders in England, several members having accomplished over two hundred miles within the twenty-four hours; and I am informed that Mr. Fletcher is soon to undertake the task of beating the tricycle record over that already well-contested route, from John O'Groat's to Land's End. Sixteen miles out I become the happy recipient of hearty well-wishes innumerable, with the accompanying hand-shaking, and my escort turn back toward home and Liverpool - all save four, who wheel on to Warrington and remain overnight, with the avowed intention of accompanying me twenty-five miles farther to-morrow morning. Our Sunday morning experience begins with a shower of rain, which, however, augurs well for the remainder of the day; and, save for a gentle head wind, no reproachful remarks are heard about that much-criticised individual, the clerk of the weather; especially as our road leads through a country prolific of everything charming to one's sense of the beautiful. Moreover, we are this morning bowling along the self-same highway that in days of yore was among the favorite promenades of a distinguished and enterprising individual known to every British juvenile as Dick Turpin - a person who won imperishable renown, and the undying affection of the small Briton of to-day, by making it unsafe along here for stage-coaches and travellers indiscreet enough to carry valuables about with them.

"Think I'll get such roads as this all through England." I ask of my escort as we wheel joyously southward along smooth, macadamized highways that would make the "sand-papered roads" around Boston seem almost unfit for cycling in comparison, and that lead through picturesque villages and noble parks; occasionally catching a glimpse of a splendid old manor among venerable trees, that makes one unconsciously begin humming:- "The ancient homes of England, How beautiful they stand Amidst the tall ancestral trees O'er all the pleasant land." "Oh, you'll get much better roads than this in the southern counties," is the reply; though, fresh from American roads, one can scarce see what shape the improvements can possibly take. Out of Lancashire into Cheshire we wheel, and my escort, after wishing me all manner of good fortune in hearty Lancashire style, wheel about and hie themselves back toward the rumble and roar of the world's greatest sea-port, leaving me to pedal pleasantly southward along the green lanes and amid the quiet rural scenery of Staffordshire to Stone, where I remain Sunday night. The country is favored with another drenching down-pour of rain during the night, and moisture relentlessly descends at short, unreliable intervals on Monday morning, as I proceed toward Birmingham. Notwithstanding the superabundant moisture the morning ride is a most enjoyable occasion, requiring but a dash of sunshine to make everything perfect. The mystic voice of the cuckoo is heard from many an emerald copse around; songsters that inhabit only the green hedges and woods of "Merrie England" are carolling their morning vespers in all directions; skylarks are soaring, soaring skyward, warbling their unceasing paeans of praise as they gradually ascend into cloudland's shadowy realms; and occasionally I bowl along beneath an archway of spreading beeches that are colonized by crowds of noisy rooks incessantly "cawing" their approval or disapproval of things in general. Surely England, with its wellnigh perfect roads, the wonderful greenness of its vegetation, and its roadsters that meet and regard their steel-ribbed rivals with supreme indifference, is the natural paradise of 'cyclers. There is no annoying dismounting for frightened horses on these happy highways, for the English horse, though spirited and brim-ful of fire, has long since accepted the inevitable, and either has made friends with the wheelman and his swift-winged steed, or, what is equally agreeable, maintain a a haughty reserve. Pushing along leisurely, between showers, into Warwickshire, I reach Birmingham about three o'clock, and, after spending an hour or so looking over some tricycle works, and calling for a leather writing-case they are making especially for my tour, I wheel on to Coventry, having the company, of Mr. Priest, Jr., of the tricycle works, as far as Stonehouse. Between Birmingham and Coventry the recent rainfall has evidently been less, and I mentally note this fifteen-mile stretch of road as the finest traversed since leaving Liverpool, both for width and smoothness of surface, it being a veritable boulevard. Arriving at Coventry I call on "Brother Sturmey, " a gentleman well and favorably known to readers of 'cycling literature everywhere; and, as I feel considerably like deserving reasonably gentle treatment after perseveringly pressing forward sixty miles in spite of the rain, I request him to steer me into the Cyclists' Touring Club Hotel - an office which he smilingly performs, and thoughtfully admonishes the proprietor to handle me as tenderly as possible. I am piloted around to take a hurried glance at Coventry, visiting, among other objects of interest, the Starley Memorial. This memorial is interesting to 'cyclers from having been erected by public subscription in recognition of the great interest Mr. Starley took in the 'cycle industry, he having been, in fact, the father of the interest in Coventry, and, consequently, the direct author of the city's present prosperity. The mind of the British small boy along my route has been taxed to its utmost to account for my white military helmet, and various and interesting are the passing remarks heard in consequence. The most general impression seems to be that I am direct from the Soudan, some youthful Conservatives blandly intimating The Starley Memorial, Coventry, that I am the advance-guard of a general scuttle of the army out of Egypt, and that presently whole regiments of white-helmeted wheelmen will come whirling along the roads on nickel-plated steeds, some even going so far as to do me the honor of calling me General Wolseley; while others - rising young Liberals, probably - recklessly call me General Gordon, intimating by this that the hero of Khartoum was not killed, after all, and is proving it by sweeping through England on a bicycle, wearing a white helmet to prove his identity!

A pleasant ride along a splendid road, shaded for miles with rows of spreading elms, brings me to the charming old village of Dunchurch, where everything seems moss-grown and venerable with age. A squatty, castle-like church-tower, that has stood the brunt of many centuries, frowns down upon a cluster of picturesque, thatched cottages of primitive architecture, and ivy-clad from top to bottom; while, to make the picture complete, there remain even the old wooden stocks, through the holes of which the feet of boozy unfortunates were wont to be unceremoniously thrust in the good old times of rude simplicity; in fact, the only really unprimitive building about the place appears to be a newly erected Methodist chapel. It couldn't be - no, of course it couldn't be possible, that there is any connecting link between the American peculiarity of elevating the feet on the window-sill or the drum of the heating-stove and this old-time custom of elevating the feet of those of our ancestors possessed of boozy, hilarious proclivities! At Weedon Barracks I make a short halt to watch the soldiers go through the bayonet exercises, and suffer myself to be persuaded into quaffing a mug of delicious, creamy stout at the canteen with a genial old sergeant, a bronzed veteran who has seen active service in several of the tough expeditions that England seems ever prone to undertake in various uncivilized quarters of the world; after which I wheel away over old Roman military roads, through Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire, reaching Fenny Stratford just in time to find shelter against the machinations of the "weather-clerk", who, having withheld rain nearly all the afternoon, begins dispensing it again in the gloaming. It rains uninterruptedly all night; but, although my route for some miles is now down cross-country lanes, the rain has only made them rather disagreeable, without rendering them in any respect unridable; and although I am among the slopes of the Chiltern Hills, scarcely a dismount is necessary during the forenoon. Spending the night at Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire, I pull out toward London on Thursday morning, and near Watford am highly gratified at meeting Faed and the captain of the North London Tricycle Club, who have come out on their tricycles from London to meet and escort me into the metropolis. At Faed's suggestion I decide to remain over in London until Saturday to be present at the annual tricycle meet on Barnes Common, and together we wheel down the Edgeware Road, Park Road, among the fashionable turnouts of Piccadilly, past Knightsbridge and Brompton to the "Inventories" Exhibition, where we spend a most enjoyable afternoon inspecting the thousand and one material evidences of inventive genius from the several countries represented.

Five hundred and twelve 'cyclers, including forty-one tandem tricycles and fifty ladies, ride in procession at the Barnes Common meet, making quite an imposing array as they wheel two abreast between rows of enthusiastic spectators. Here, among a host of other wheeling celebrities, I am introduced to Major Knox Holmes, before mentioned as being a gentleman of extraordinary powers of endurance, considering his advanced age. After tea a number of tricyclers accompany me down as far as Croydon, which place we enter to the pattering music of a drenching rain-storm, experiencing the accompanying pleasure of a wet skin, etc. The threatening aspect of the weather on the following morning causes part of our company to hesitate about venturing any farther from London; but Faed and three companions wheel with me toward Brighton through a gentle morning shower, which soon clears away, however, and, before long, the combination of the splendid Sussex roads, fine breezy weather, and lovely scenery, amply repays us for the discomforts of yester-eve. Fourteen miles from Brighton we are met by eight members of the Kempton Rangers Bicycle Club, who have sallied forth thus far northward to escort us into town; having done which, they deliver us over to Mr. C - -, of the Brighton Tricycle Club, and brother-in-law to the mayor of the city. It is two in the afternoon. This gentleman straightway ingratiates himself into our united affections, and wins our eternal gratitude, by giving us a regular wheelman's dinner, after which he places us under still further obligations by showing us as many of the lions of Brighton as are accessible on Sunday, chief among which is the famous Brighton Aquarium, where, by his influence, he kindly has the diving-birds and seals fed before their usual hour, for our especial delectation-a proceeding which naturally causes the barometer of our respective self-esteems to rise several notches higher than usual, and doubtless gives equal satisfaction to the seals and diving-birds. We linger at the aquarium until near sun-down, and it is fifteen miles by what is considered the smoothest road to Newhaven. Mr. C - - declares his intention of donning his riding-suit and, by taking a shorter, though supposably rougher, road, reach Newhaven as soon as we. As we halt at Lewes for tea, and ride leisurely, likewise submitting to being photographed en route, he actually arrives there ahead of us. It is Sunday evening, May 10th, and my ride through "Merrie England " is at an end. Among other agreeable things to be ever remembered in connection with it is the fact that it is the first three hundred miles of road I ever remember riding over without scoring a header - a circumstance that impresses itself none the less favorably perhaps when viewed in connection with the solidity of the average English road. It is not a very serious misadventure to take a flying header into a bed of loose sand on an American country road; but the prospect of rooting up a flint-stone with one's nose, or knocking a curb-stone loose with one's bump of cautiousness, is an entirely different affair; consequently, the universal smoothness of the surface of the English highways is appreciated at its full value by at least one wheelman whose experience of roads is nothing if not varied. Comfortable quarters are assigned me on board the Channel steamer, and a few minutes after bidding friends and England farewell, at Newhaven, at 11.30 P.M., I am gently rocked into unconsciousness by the motion of the vessel, and remain happily and restfully oblivious to my surroundings until awakened next morning at Dieppe, where I find myself, in a few minutes, on a foreign shore. All the way from San Francisco to Newhaven. there is a consciousness of being practically in one country and among one people-people who, though acknowledging separate governments, are bound so firmly together by the ties of common instincts and interests, and the mystic brotherhood of a common language and a common civilization, that nothing of a serious nature can ever come between them. But now I am verily among strangers, and the first thing talked of is to make me pay duty on the bicycle.

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

Although upon a foreign shore, I am not yet, it seems, to be left entirely alone to the tender mercies of my own lamentable inability to speak French. Fortunately there lives at Dieppe a gentleman named Mr. Parkinson, who, besides being an Englishman to the backbone, is quite an enthusiastic wheelman, and, among other things, considers it his solemn duty to take charge of visiting 'cyclers from England and America and see them safely launched along the magnificent roadways of Normandy, headed fairly toward their destination. Faed has thoughtfully notified Mr. Parkinson of my approach, and he is watching for my coming - as tenderly as though I were a returning prodigal and he charged with my welcoming home. Close under the frowning battlements of Dieppe Castle - a once wellnigh impregnable fortress that was some time in possession of the English - romantically nestles Mr. Parldnson's studio, and that genial gentleman promptly proposes accompanying me some distance into the country. On our way through Dieppe I notice blue-bloused peasants guiding small flocks of goats through the streets, calling them along with a peculiar, tuneful instrument that sounds somewhat similar to a bagpipe. I learn that they are Normandy peasants, who keep their flocks around town all summer, goat's milk being considered beneficial for infants and invalids. They lead the goats from house to house, and milk whatever quantity their customers want at their own door - a custom that we can readily understand will never become widely popular among AngloSaxon milkmen, since it leaves no possible chance for pump-handle combinations and corresponding profits. The morning is glorious with sunshine and the carols of feathered songsters as together we speed away down the beautiful Arques Valley, over roads that are simply perfect for wheeling; and, upon arriving at the picturesque ruins of the Chateau d'Arques, we halt and take a casual peep at the crumbling walls of this of the famous fortress, which the trailing ivy of Normandy now partially covers with a dark-green mantle of charity, as though its purpose and its mission were to hide its fallen grandeur from the rude gaze of the passing stranger. All along the roads we meet happy-looking peasants driving into Dieppe market with produce. They are driving Normandy horses - and that means fine, large, spirited animals - which, being unfamiliar with bicycles, almost invariably take exception to ours, prancing about after the usual manner of high-strung steeds. Unlike his English relative, the Norman horse looks not supinely upon the whirling wheel, but arrays himself almost unanimously against us, and umially in the most uncompromising manner, similar to the phantom- eyed roadster of the United States agriculturist. The similarity between the turnouts of these two countries I am forced to admit, however, terminates abruptly with the horse itself, and does not by any means extend to the driver; for, while the Normandy horse capers about and threatens to upset the vehicle into the ditch, the Frenchman's face is wreathed in apologetic smiles; and, while he frantically endeavors to keep the refractory horse under control, he delivers himself of a whole dictionary of apologies to the wheelman for the animal's foolish conduct, touches his cap with an air of profound deference upon noticing that we have considerately slowed up, and invariably utters his Bon jour, monsieur, as we wheel past, in a voice that plainly indicates his acknowledgment of the wheelman's - or anybody else's - right to half the roadway. A few days ago I called the English roads perfect, and England the paradise of 'cyclers; and so it is; but the Normandy roads are even superior, and the scenery of the Arques Valley is truly lovely. There is not a loose stone, a rut, or depression anywhere on these roads, and it is little exaggeration to call them veritable billiard-tables for smoothness of surface. As one bowls smoothly along over them he is constantly wondering how they can possibly keep them in such condition. Were these fine roads in America one would never be out of sight of whirling wheels. A luncheon of Normandy cheese and cider at Cleres, and then onward to Bouen is the word. At every cross-roads is erected an iron guide-post, containing directions to several of the nearest towns, telling the distances in kilometres and yards; and small stone pillars are set up alongside the road, marking every hundred yards. Arriving at Rouen at four o'clock, Mr. Parkiuson shows me the famous old Rouen Cathedral, the Palace of Justice, and such examples of old mediaeval Rouen as I care to visit, and, after inviting me to remain and take dinner with him by the murmuring waters of the historic Seine, he bids me bon voyage, turns my head southward, and leaves me at last a stranger among strangers, to "cornprendre Franyais" unassisted. Some wiseacre has placed it on record that too much of a good thing is worse than none at all; however that may be, from having concluded that the friendly iron guide-posts would be found on every corner where necessary, pointing out the way with infallible truthfulness, and being doubtless influenced by the superior levelness of the road leading down the valley of the Seine in comparison with the one leading over the bluffs, I wander toward eventide into Elbeuf, instead of Pont de l' Arques, as I had intended; but it matters little, and I am content to make the best of my surroundings. Wheeling along the crooked, paved streets of Elbeuf, I enter a small hotel, and, after the customary exchange of civilities, I arch my eyebrows at an intelligent -looking madaine, and inquire, " Comprendre Anglais." "Non," replies the lady, looking puzzled, while I proceed to ventilate my pantomimic powers to try and make my wants understood. After fifteen minutes of despairing effort, mademoiselle, the daughter, is despatched to the other side of the town, and presently returns with a be whiskered Frenchman, who, in very much broken English, accompanying his words with wondrous gesticulations, gives me to understand that he is the only person in all Elbeuf capable of speaking the English language, and begs me to unburden myself to him without reserve. He proves himself useful and obliging, kindly interesting himself in obtaining me comfortable accommodation at reasonable rates. This Elbeuf hotel, though, is anything but an elegant establishment, and le proprietaire, though seemingly intelligent enough, brings me out a bottle of the inevitable vin ordinaire (common red wine) at breakfast-time, instead of the coffee for which my opportune interpreter said he had given the order yester-eve. If a Frenchman only sits down to a bite of bread and cheese he usually consumes a pint bottle of vin ordinaire with it. The loaves of bread here are rolls three and four feet long, and frequently one of these is laid across - or rather along, for it is oftentimes longer than the table is wide - the table for you to hack away at during your meal, according to your bread-eating capacity or inclination.

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

Post office clerks are proverbially intelligent people in any country, consequently it doesn't take me long to transact my business at the bureau de poste; but now - shades of Caesar! - I have thoughtlessly neglected to take down either the name of the hotel or the street in which it is located, and for the next half-hour go wandering about as helplessly as the "babes in the wood" Once, twice I fancy recognizing the location; but the ordinary Elbeuf house is not easily recognized from its neighbors, and I am standing looking around me in the bewildered attitude of one uncertain of his bearings, when, lo! the landlady, who has doubtless been wondering whatever has become of me, appears at the door of a building which I should certainly never have recognized as my hotel, besom in hand, and her pleasant, "Oui, monsieur," sounds cheery and welcome enough, under the circumstances, as one may readily suppose.

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

Huge cavalry barracks mark the entrance to Vernon, and, as I watch with interest the manoauvring of the troops going through their morning drill, I cannot help thinking that with such splendid loads as France possesses she might take many a less practical measure for home defence than to mount a few regiments of light infantry on bicycles; infantry travelling toward the front at the late of seventy-five or a hundred miles a day would be something of an improvement, one would naturally think. Every few miles my road leads through the long, straggling street of a village, every building in which is of solid stone, and looks at least a thousand years old; while at many cross-roads among the fields, and in all manner of unexpected nooks and corners of the villages, crucifixes are erected to accommodate the devotionally inclined. Most of the streets of these interior villages are paved with square stones which the wear and tear of centuries have generally rendered too rough for the bicycle; but occasionally one is ridable, and the astonishment of the inhabitants as I wheel leisurely through, whistling the solemn strains of "Roll, Jordan, roll," is really quite amusing. Every village of any size boasts a church that, for fineness of architecture and apparent costliness of construction, looks out of all proportion to the straggling street of shapeless structures that it overtops. Everything here seems built as though intended to last forever, it being no unusual sight to see a ridiculously small piece of ground surrounded by a stone wall built as though to resist a bombardment; an enclosure that must have cost more to erect than fifty crops off the enclosed space could repay. The important town of Mantes is reached early in the evening, and a good inn found for the night.

The market-women are arraying their varied wares all along the main street of Mantes as I wheel down toward the banks of the Seine this morning. I stop to procure a draught of new milk, and, while drinking it, point to sundry long rows of light, flaky-looking cakes strung on strings, and motion that I am desirous of sampling a few at current rates; but the good dame smiles and shakes her head vigorously, as well enough she might, for I learn afterward that the cakes are nothing less than dried yeast-cakes, a breakfast off which would probably have produced spontaneous combustion. Getting on to the wrong road out of Mantes, I find myself at the river's edge down among the Seine watermen. I am shown the right way, but from Mantes to Paris they are not Normandy roads; from Mantes southward they gradually deteriorate until they are little or no better than the "sand-papered roads of Boston." Having determined to taboo vin ordinaire altogether I astonish the restaurateur of a village where I take lunch by motioning away the bottle of red wine and calling for " de I'eau," and the glances cast in my direction by the other customers indicate plainly enough that they consider the proceeding as something quite extraordinary. Rolling through Saint Germain, Chalon Pavey, and Nanterre, the magnificent Arc de Triomphe looms up in the distance ahead, and at about two o'clock, Wednesday, May 13th, I wheel into the gay capital through the Porte Maillott. Asphalt pavement now takes the place of macadam, and but a short distance inside the city limits I notice the 'cycle depot of Renard Ferres. Knowing instinctively that the fraternal feelings engendered by the magic wheel reaches to wherever a wheelman lives, I hesitate not to dismount and present my card. Yes, Jean Glinka, apparently an employe there, comprehends Anglais; they have all heard of my tour, and wish me bon voyage, and Jean and his bicycle is forthwith produced and delegated to accompany me into the interior of the city and find me a suitable hotel. The streets of Paris, like the streets of other large cities, are paved with various compositions, and they have just been sprinkled. French-like, the luckless Jean is desirous of displaying his accomplishments on the wheel to a visitor so distingue; he circles around on the slippery pavement in a manner most unnecessary, and in so doing upsets himself while crossing a car-track, rips his pantaloons, and injures his wheel. At the Hotel du Louvre they won't accept bicycles, having no place to put them; but a short distance from there we find a less pretentious establishment, where, after requiring me to fill up a formidable-looking blank, stating my name, residence, age, occupation, birthplace, the last place I lodged at, etc., they finally assign me quarters. From Paul Devilliers, to whom I bring an introduction, I learn that by waiting here till Friday evening, and repairing to the rooms of the Societe Velocipedique Metropolitaine, the president of that club can give me the best bicycle route between Paris and Vienna; accordingly I domicile myself at the hotel for a couple of days. Many of the lions of Paris are within easy distance of my hotel. The reader, however, probably knows more about the sights of Paris than one can possibly find out in two days; therefore I refrain from any attempt at describing them; but my hotel is worthy of remark.

Among other agreeable and sensible arrangements at the Hotel uu Loiret, there is no such thing as opening one's room-door from the outside save with the key; and unless one thoroughly understands this handy peculiarity, and has his wits about him continually, he is morally certain, sometime when he is leaving his room, absent-mindedly to shut the door and leave the key inside. This is, of course, among the first things that happen to me, and it costs me half a franc and three hours of wretchedness before I see the interior of my room again. The hotel keeps a rude skeleton-key on hand, presumably for possible emergencies of this nature; but in manipulating this uncouth instrument le portier actually locks the door, and as the skeleton-key is expected to manage the catch only, and not the lock, this, of course, makes matters infinitely worse. The keys of every room in the house are next brought into requisition and tried in succession, but not a key among them all is a duplicate of mine. What is to be done. Le portier looks as dejected as though Paris was about to be bombarded, as he goes down and breaks the dreadful news to le proprietaire. Up comes le proprietaire - avoirdupois three hundred pounds - sighing like an exhaust-pipe at every step. For fifteen unhappy minutes the skeleton-key is wriggled and twisted about again in the key- hole, and the fat proprietaire rubs his bald head impatiently, but all to no purpose. Each returns to his respective avocation. Impatient to get at my writing materials, I look up at the iron bars across the fifth- story windows above, and motion that if they will procure a rope I will descend from thence and enter the window. They one and all point out into the street; and, thinking they have sent for something or somebody, I sit down and wait with Job-like patience for something to turn up. Nothing, however, turns up, and at the expiration of an hour I naturally begin to feel neglected and impatient, and again suggest the rope; when, at a motion from le proprietaire, le portier pilots me around a neighboring corner to a locksmith's establishment, where, voluntarily acting the part of interpreter, he engages on my behalf, for half a franc, a man to come with a bunch of at least a hundred skeleton-keys of all possible shapes to attack the refractory key-hole. After trying nearly all the keys, and disburdening himself of whole volumes of impulsive French ejaculations, this man likewise gives it up in despair; but, now everything else has been tried and failed, the countenance of la portier suddenly lights up, and he slips quietly around to an adjoining room, and enters mine inside of two minutes by simply lifting a small hook out of a staple with his knife-blade. There appears to be a slight coolness, as it were, between le proprietaire and me after this incident, probably owing to the intellectual standard of each becoming somewhat lowered in the other's estimation in consequence of it. Le proprietaire, doubtless, thinks a man capable of leaving the key inside of the door must be the worst type of an ignoramus; and certainly my opinion of him for leaving such a diabolical arrangement unchanged in the latter half of the nineteenth century is not far removed from the same.

Visiting the headquarters of the Societe Velocipedique Mctropolitaine on Friday evening, I obtain from the president the desired directions regarding the route, and am all prepared to continue eastward in the morning. Wheeling down the famous Champs Elysees at eleven at night, when the concert gardens are in full blast and everything in a blaze, of glory, with myriads of electric lights festooned and in long brilliant rows among the trees, is something to be remembered for a lifetime. Before breakfast I leave the city by the Porte Daumesiul, and wheel through the environments toward Vincennes and Jonville, pedalling, to the sound of martial music, for miles beyond the Porte. The roads for thirty miles east of Paris are not Normandy roads, but the country for most of the distance is fairly level, and for mile after mile, and league beyond league, the road is beneath avenues of plane and poplar, which, crossing the plain in every direction like emerald walls of nature's own building, here embellish and beautify an otherwise rather monotonous stretch of country. The villages are little different from the villages of Normandy, but the churches have not the architectural beauty of the Normandy churches, being for the most part massive structures without any pretence to artistic embellishment in their construction. Monkish-looking priests are a characteristic feature of these villages, and when, on passing down the narrow, crooked streets of Fontenay, I wheel beneath a massive stone archway, and looking around, observe cowled priests and everything about the place seemingly in keeping with it, one can readily imagine himself transported back to medieval times. One of these little interior French villages is the most unpromising looking place imaginable for a hungry person to ride into; often one may ride the whole length of the village expectantly looking around for some visible evidence of wherewith to cheer the inner man, and all that greets the hungry vision is a couple of four-foot sticks of bread in one dust-begrimed window, and a few mournful-looking crucifixes and Roman Catholic paraphernalia in another. Neither are the peasants hereabouts to be compared with the Normandy peasantry in personal appearance. True, they have as many patches on their pantaloons, but they don't seem to have acquired the art of attaching them in a manner to produce the same picturesque effect as does the peasant of Normandy; the original garment is almost invariably a shapeless corduroy, of a bagginess and an o'er-ampleness most unbeautiful to behold.

The well-known axiom about fair paths leading astray holds good with the high-ways and by-ways of France, as elsewhere, and soon after leaving the ancient town of Provins, I am tempted by a splendid road, following the windings of a murmuring brook, that appears to be going in my direction, in consequence of which I soon find myself among cross-country by-ways, and among peasant proprietors who apparently know little of the world beyond their native Tillages. Four o'clock finds me wheeling through a hilly vineyard district toward Villenauxe, a town several kilometres off my proper route, from whence a dozen kilometres over a very good road brings me to Sezanne, where the Hotel de France affords excellent accommodation. After the table d'hote the clanging bells of the old church hard by announce services of some kind, and having a natural penchant when in strange places from wandering whithersoever inclination leads, in anticipation of the ever possible item of interest, I meander into the church and take a seat. There appears to be nothing extraordinary about the service, the only unfamiliar feature to me being a man wearing a uniform similar to the gendarmerie of Paris: cockade, sash, sword, and everything complete; in addition to which he carries a large cane and a long brazen-headed staff resembling the boarding-pike of the last century. It has rained heavily during the night, but the roads around here are composed mainly of gravel, and are rather improved than otherwise by the rain; and from Sezanne, through Champenoise and on to Vitry le Francois, a distance of about sixty-five kilometres, is one of the most enjoyable stretches of road imaginable. The contour of the country somewhat resembles the swelling prairies of Western Iowa, and the roads are as perfect for most of the distance as an asphalt boulevard. The hills are gradual acclivities, and, owing to the good roads, are mostly ridable, while - the declivities make the finest coasting imaginable; the exhilaration of gliding down them in the morning air, fresh after the rain, can be compared only to Canadian tobogganing. Ahead of you stretches a gradual downward slope, perhaps two kilometres long. Knowing full well that from top to bottom there exists not a loose stone or a dangerous spot, you give the ever-ready steel-horse the rein; faster and faster whirl the glistening wheels until objects "by the road-side become indistinct phantoms as they glide instantaneously by, and to strike a hole or obstruction is to be transformed into a human sky-rocket, and, later on, into a new arrival in another world. A wild yell of warning at a blue- bloused peasant in the road ahead, shrill screams of dismay from several females at a cluster of cottages, greet the ear as you sweep past like a whirlwind, and the next moment reach the bottom at a rate of speed that would make the engineer of the Flying Dutchman green with envy. Sometimes, for the sake of variety, when gliding noiselessly along on the ordinary level, I wheel unobserved close up behind an unsuspecting peasant walking on ahead, without calling out, and when he becomes conscious of my presence and looks around and sees the strange vehicle in such close proximity it is well worth the price of a new hat to see the lively manner in which he hops out of the way, and the next moment becomes fairly rooted to the ground with astonishment; for bicycles and bicycle riders are less familiar objects to the French peasant, outside of the neighborhood of a few large cities, than one would naturally suppose.

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

East of Vitry le Francois the roads deteriorate, and from thence to Bar- le they are inferior to any hitherto encountered in France; nevertheless, from the American standpoint they are very good roads, and when, at five o'clock, I wheel into Bar-le-Duc and come to sum up the aggregate of the day's journey I find that, without any undue exertion, I have covered very nearly one hundred and sixty kilometres, or about one hundred English miles, since 8.30 A.M., notwithstanding a good hour's halt at Vitry le Francois for dinner. Bar-le-Duc appears to be quite an important business centre, pleasantly situated in the valley of the Ornain River, a tributary of the Marne; and the stream, in its narrow, fertile valley, winds around among hills from whose sloping sides, every autumn, fairly ooze the celebrated red wines of the Meuse and Moselle regions. The valley has been favored with a tremendous downpour of rain and hail during the night, and the partial formation of the road leading along the level valley eastward being a light-colored, slippery clay, I find it anything but agreeable wheeling this morning; moreover, the Ornain Valley road is not so perfectly kept as it might be. As in every considerable town in France, so also in Bar-le-Duc, the military element comes conspicuously to the fore. Eleven kilometres of slipping and sliding through the greasy clay brings me to the little village of Tronville, where I halt to investigate the prospect of obtaining something to eat. As usual, the prospect, from the street, is most unpromising, the only outward evidence being a few glass jars of odds and ends of candy in one small window. Entering this establishment, the only thing the woman can produce besides candy and raisins is a box of brown, wafer-like biscuits, the unsubstantial appearance of which is, to say the least, most unsatisfactory to a person who has pedalled his breakfastless way through eleven kilometres of slippery clay. Uncertain of their composition, and remembering my unhappy mistake at Mantes in desiring to breakfast off yeast-cakes, I take the precaution of sampling one, and in the absence of anything more substantial conclude to purchase a few, and so motion to the woman to hand me the box in order that I can show her how many I want. But the o'er-careful Frenchwoman, mistaking my meaning, and fearful that I only want to sample yet another one, probably feeling uncertain of whether I might not wish to taste a whole handful this time, instead of handing it over moves it out of my reach altogether, meanwhile looking quite angry, and not a little mystified at her mysterious, pantomimic customer. A half-franc is produced, and, after taking the precaution of putting it away in advance, the cautious female weighs me out the current quantity of her ware; and I notice that, after giving lumping weight, she throws in a few extra, presumably to counterbalance what, upon sober second thought, she perceives to have been an unjust suspicion. While I am extracting what satisfaction my feathery purchase contains, it begins to rain and hail furiously, and so continues with little interruption all the forenoon, compelling me, much against my inclination, to search out in Tronville, if possible, some accommodation till to-morrow morning. The village is a shapeless cluster of stone houses and stables, the most prominent feature of the streets being huge heaps of manure and grape-vine prunings; but I manage to obtain the necessary shelter, and such other accommodations as might be expected in an out-of-the-way village, unfrequented by visitors from one year's end to another. The following morning is still rainy, and the clayey roads of the Ornain Valley are anything but inviting wheeling; but a longer stay in Tronville is not to be thought of, for, among other pleasantries of the place here, the chief table delicacy appears to be boiled escargots, a large, ungainly snail procured from the neighboring hills. Whilst fond of table delicacies, I emphatically draw the line at escargots. Pulling out toward Toul I find the roads, as expected, barely ridable; but the vineyard-environed little valley, lovely in its tears, wrings from one praise in spite of muddy roads and lowering weather. En route down the valley I meet a battery of artillery travelling from Toul to Bar-le Duc or some other point to the westward; and if there is any honor in throwing a battery of French artillery into confusion, and wellnigh routing them, then the bicycle and I are fairly entitled to it.

As I ride carelessly toward them, the leading horses suddenly wheel around and begin plunging about the road. The officers' horses, and, in fact, the horses of the whole company, catch the infection, and there is a plunging and a general confusion all along the line, seeing which I, of course, dismount and retire - but not discomfited - from the field until they have passed. These French horses are certainly not more than half-trained. I passed a battery of English artillery on the road leading out of Coventry, and had I wheeled along under the horses' noses there would have been no confusion whatever.

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

Luneville is a town I pass through, some distance nearer the border, and the military display here made is perfectly overshadowing. Even the scarecrows in the fields are military figures, with wooden swords threateningly waving about in their hands with every motion of the wind, and the most frequent sound heard along the route is the sharp bang! bang! of muskets, where companies of soldiers are target-practising in the woods. There seems to be a bellicose element in the very atmosphere; for every dog in every village I ride through verily takes after me, and I run clean over one bumptious cur, which, miscalculating the speed at which I am coming, fails to get himself out of the way in time. It is the narrowest escape from a header I have had since starting from Liverpool; although both man and dog were more scared than hurt. Sixty-five kilometres from Nancy, and I take lunch at the frontier town of Blamont. The road becomes more hilly, and a short distance out of Blamont, behold, it is as though a chalk-line were made across the roadway, on the west side of which it had been swept with scrupulous care, and on the east side not swept at all; and when, upon passing the next roadman, I notice that he bears not upon his cap the brass stencil-plate bearing the inscription, " Cantonnier," I know that I have passed over the frontier into the territory of Kaiser Wilhelm.

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