CHAPTER XVI. THROUGH THE SIVAS VILAYET INTO ARMENIA.

It is six hours distant from Yuzgat to the large village of Koelme, as distance is measured here, or about twenty-three English miles; but the road is mostly ridable, and I roll into the village in about three hours and a half. Just beyond Koehne, the roads fork, and the mudir kindly sends a mounted zaptieh to guide me aright, for fear I shouldn't quite understand by his pantomimic explanations. I understand well enough, though, and the road just here happening to be excellent wheeling, to the delight of the whole village, I spurt ahead, outdistancing the zaptieh's not over sprightly animal, and bowling briskly along the right road within their range of vision, for over a mile. Soon after leaving Koehne my attention is attracted by a small cluster of civilized-looking tents, pitched on the bank of a running stream near the road, and from whence issues the joyous sounds of mirth and music. The road continues ridable, and I am wheeling leisurely along, hesitating about whether to go and investigate or not, when a number of persons, in holiday attire, present themselves outside the tents, and by shouting and gesturing, invite me to pay them a visit. It turns out to be a reunion of the Yuzgat branch of the Pampasian-Pamparsan family - an Armenian name whose representatives in Armenia and Anatolia, it appears, correspond in comparative numerical importance to the great and illustrious family of Smiths in the United States. Following - or doubtless, more properly, setting - a worthy example, they likewise have their periodical reunions, where they eat, drink, spin yarns, sing, and twang the tuneful lyre in frolicsome consciousness of always having a howling majority over their less prolific neighbors.

Refreshments in abundance are tendered, and the usual pantomimic explanations exchanged between us; some of the men have been honoring the joyful occasion by a liberal patronage of the flowing bowl, and are already mildly hilarious; stringed instruments are twanged by the musical members of the great family, while several others, misinterpreting the inspiration of raki punch for terpsichorean talent are prancing wildly about the tent. Middle-aged matrons are here in plenty, housewifely persons, finding their chief enjoyment in catering to the gastronomic pleasures of the others; while a score or two of blooming maidens stand coyly aloof, watching the festive merry-makings of the men; their heads and necks are resplendent with bands and necklaces of gold coins, it still being a custom of the East to let the female members of a family wear the surplus wealth about them in the shape of gold ornaments and jewels, a custom resulting from the absence of safe investments and the unstability of national affairs. Yuzgat enjoys among neighboring cities a reputation for beautiful women, and this auspicious occasion gives me an excellent opportunity for drawing my own conclusions. It is not fair perhaps to pass judgment on Yuzgat's pretensions, by the damsels of one family connection, not even the great and numerous Pampasian-Pamparsan family, but still they ought to be at least a fair average. They have beautiful large black eyes, and usually a luxuriant head of hair; but their faces arc, on the whole, babyish and expressionless. The Yuzgat maiden of "sweet sixteen" is a coy, babyish creature, possessed of a certain doll-like prettiness, but at twenty-three is a rapidly fading flower, and at thirty is already beginning to get wrinkled and old. Happening to fall in with this festive gathering this morning is quite a gratifying and enlivening surprise; besides the music and dancing and a substantial breakfast of chicken, boiled mutton, and rice pillau, it gives me an opportunity of witnessing an Armenian family reunion under primitive conditions. Watching over this peaceful and gambolling flock of Armenian lambkins is a lone Circassian watchdog; he is of a stalwart, warlike appearance; and although wearing no arms - except a cavalry sword, a shorter broad-sword, a dragoon revolver, a two-foot horse-pistol, and a double-barrelled shot-gun slung at his back - the Armenians seem to feel perfectly safe under his protection. They probably don't require any such protection really; they are nevertheless wise in employing a Circassian to guard them, if for nothing else for the sake of freeing their own unwarlike minds of all disquieting apprehensions, and enjoying their family reunion in the calm atmosphere of perfect security; some lawless party passing along the road might peradventure drop in and abuse their hospitality, or partaking too freely of raki, make themselves obnoxious, were they unprotected; but with one Circassian patrolling the camp, they are doubly sure against anything of the kind.

These people invite me to remain with them until to-morrow; but of course I excuse myself from this, and, after spending a very agreeable hour in their company, take my departure. The country develops into an undulating plateau, which is under general cultivation, as cultivation goes in Asiatic Turkey. A number of Circassian villages are scattered over this upland plain; most of them are distant from my road, but many horsemen are encountered; they ride the finest animals in the country, and one naturally falls to wondering how they manage to keep so well-dressed and well-mounted, while rags and poverty and diminutive donkeys seem to be the well-nigh universal rule among their neighbors. The Circassians betray more interest in my purely personal affairs - whether I am Russian or English, whither I am bound, etc.- and less interest in the bicycle, than either Turks or Armenians, and seem altogether of a more reserved disposition; I generally have as little conversation with them as possible, confining myself to letting them know I am English and not Russian, and replying "Turkchi binmus" (I don't understand) to other questions; they have a look about them that makes one apprehensive as to the disinterestedness of their wanting to know whither I am bound - apprehensive that their object is to find out where three or four of them could "see me later." I see but few Circassian women; what few I approach sufficiently near to observe are all more or less pleasant-faced, prepossessing females; many have blue eyes, which is very rare among their neighbors; the men average quite as handsome as the women, and they have a peculiar dare-devil expression of countenance that makes them distinguishable immediately from either Turk or Armenian; they look like men who wouldn't hesitate about undertaking any devilment they felt themselves equal to for the sake of plunder. They are very like their neighbors, however, in one respect; such among them as take any great interest in my extraordinary outfit find it entirely beyond their comprehension; the bicycle is a Gordian knot too intricate for their semi-civilized minds to unravel, and there are no Alexanders among them to think of cutting it. Before they recover from their first astonishment I have disappeared.

The road continues for the most part ridable until about 2 P.M., when I arrive at a mountainous region of rocky ridges, covered chiefly with a growth of scrub-oak. Upon reaching the summit of one of these ridges, I observe some distance ahead what appears to be a tremendous field of large cabbages, stretching away in a northeasterly direction almost to the horizon of one's vision; the view presents the striking appearance of large compact cabbage-heads, thickly dotting a well-cultivated area of clean black loam, surrounded on all sides by rocky, uncultivatable wilds. Fifteen minutes later I am picking my way through this "cultivated field," which, upon closer acquaintance, proves to be a smooth lava-bed, and the "cabbages" are nothing more or less than boulders of singular uniformity; and what is equally curious, they are all covered with a growth of moss, while the volcanic bed they repose on is perfectly naked. Beyond this singular area, the country continues wild and mountainous, with no habitations near the road; and thus it continues until some time after night-fall, when I emerge upon a few scattering wheat-fields. The baying of dogs in the distance indicates the presence of a village somewhere around; but having plenty of bread on which to sup I once again determine upon studying astronomy behind a wheat-shock. It is a glorious moonlight night, but the altitude of the country hereabouts is not less than six thousand feet, and the chilliness of the atmosphere, already apparent, bodes ill for anything like a comfortable night; but I scarcely anticipate being disturbed by anything save atmospheric conditions. I am rolled up in my tent instead of under it, slumbering as lightly as men are wont to slumber under these unfavorable conditions, when, about eleven o'clock, the unearthly creaking of native arabas approaching arouses me from my lethargical condition. Judging from the sounds, they appear to be making a bee-line for my position; but not caring to voluntarily reveal my presence, I simply remain quiet and listen. It soon becomes evident that they are a party of villagers, coming to load up their buffalo arabas by moonlight with these very shocks of wheat. One of the arabas now approaches the shock which conceals my recumbent form, and where the pale moonbeams are coquettishly ogling the nickel-plated portions of my wheel, making it conspicuously sciutillant by their attentions. Hoping the araba may be going to pass by, and that my presence may escape the driver's notice, I hesitate even yet to reveal myself; but the araba stops, and I can observe the driver's frightened expression as he suddenly becomes aware of the presence of strange, supernatural objects. At the same moment I rise up in my winding-sheet-like covering; the man utters a wild yell, and abandoning the araba, vanishes like a deer in the direction of his companions. It is an unenviable situation to find one's self in; if I boldly approach them, these people, not being able to ascertain my character in the moonlight, would be quite likely to discharge their fire-arms at me in their fright; if, on the contrary, I remain under cover, they might also try the experiment of a shot before venturing to approach the deserted buffaloes, who are complacently chewing the cud on the spot where their chicken-hearted driver took to his heels.

Under the circumstances I think it best to strike off toward the road, leaving them to draw their own conclusions as to whether I am Sheitan himself, or merely a plain, inoffensive hobgoblin. But while gathering up my effects, one heroic individual ventures to approach part way and open up a shouting inquiry; my answers, though unintelligible to him in the main, satisfy him that I am at all events a human being; there are six of them, and in a few minutes after the ignominious flight of the driver, they are all gathered around me, as much interested and nonplussed at the appearance of myself and bicycle as a party of Nebraska homesteaders might be had they, under similar circumstances, discovered a turbaned old Turk complacently enjoying a nargileh. No sooner do their apprehensions concerning my probable warlike character and capacity become allayed, than they get altogether too familiar and inquisitive about my packages; and I detect one venturesome kleptomaniac surreptitiously unfastening a strap when he fancies I am not noticing. Moreover, laboring under the impression that I don't understand a word they are saying, I observe they are commenting in language smacking unmistakably of covetousness, as to the probable contents of my Whitehouse leather case; some think it is sure to contain chokh para (much money), while others suggest that I am a postaya (courier), and that it contains letters. Under these alarming circumstances there is only one way to manage these overgrown children; that is, to make them afraid of you forthwith; so, shoving the strap-unfastener roughly away, I imperatively order the whole covetous crew to "haidi." Without a moment's hesitation they betake themselves off to their work, it being an inborn trait of their character to mechanically obey an authoritative command. Following them to their other arabas, I find that they have brought quilts along, intending, after loading up to sleep in the field until daylight. Selecting a good heavy quilt with as little ceremony as though it were my own property, I take it and the bicycle to another shock, and curl myself up warm and comfortable; once or twice the owner of the coverlet approaches quietly, just near enough to ascertain that I am not intending making off with his property, but there is not the slightest danger of being disturbed or molested in any way till morning; thus, in this curious round-about manner, does fortune provide me with the wherewithal to pass a comparatively comfortable night. "Rather arbitrary proceedings to take a quilt without asking permission," some might think; but the owner thinks nothing of the kind; it is quite customary for travellers of their own nation to help themselves in this way, and the villagers have come to regard it as quite a natural occurrence. At daylight I am again on the move, and sunrise finds me busy making an outline sketch of the ruins of an ancient castle, that occupies, I should imagine, one of the most impregnable positions in all Asia Minor; a regular Gibraltar. It occupies the summit of a precipitous detached mountain peak, which is accessible only from one point, all the other sides presenting a sheer precipice of rock; it forms a conspicuous feature of the landscape for many miles around, and situated as it is amid a wilderness of rugged brush-covered heights, admirably suited for ambuscades, it was doubtless a very important position at one time. It probably belongs to the Byzantine period, and if the number of old graves scattered among the hills indicate anything, it has in its day been the theatre of stirring tragedy. An hour after leaving the frowning battlements of the grim old relic behind, I arrive at a cluster of four rock houses, which are apparently occupied by a sort of a patriarchal family consisting of a turbaned old Turk and his two generations of descendants. The old fellow is seated on a rock, smoking a cigarette and endeavoring to coax a little comfort from the slanting rays of the morning sun, and I straightway approach him and broach the all-important subject of refreshments. He turns out to be a fanatical old gentleman, one of those old-school Mussulmans who have neither eye nor ear for anything but the Mohammedan religion; I have irreverently interrupted him in his morning meditations, it seems, and he administers a rebuke in the form of a sidewise glance, such as a Pharisee might be expected to bestow on a Cannibal Islander venturing to approach him, and delivers himself of two deep-fetched sighs of "Allah, Allah!"

Anybody would think from his actions that the sanctimonious old man-ikin (five feet three) had made the pilgrimage to Mecca a dozen times, whereas he has evidently not even earned the privilege of wearing a green turban; he has neither been to Mecca himself during his whole unprofitable life nor sent a substitute, and he now thinks of gaining a nice numerous harem, and a walled-in garden, with trees and fountains, cucumbers and carpooses, in the land of the hara fjhuz kiz, by cultivating the spirit of fanaticism at the eleventh hour. I feel too independent this morning to sacrifice any of the wellnigh invisible remnant of dignity remaining from the respectable quantity with which I started into Asia, for I still have a couple of the wheaten " quoits" I brought from Yuzgat; so, leaving the ancient Mussulman to his meditations, I push on over the hills, when, coming to a spring, I eat my frugal breakfast, soaking the unbiteable "quoits" in the water. After getting beyond this hilly region, I emerge upon a level plateau of considerable extent, across which very fair wheeling is found; but before noon the inevitable mountains present themselves again, and some of the acclivities are trundleable only by repeating the stair-climbing process of the Kara Su Pass. Necessity forces me to seek dinner at a village where abject poverty, beyond anything hitherto encountered, seems to exist. A decently large fig-leaf, without anything else, would be eminently preferable to the tattered remnants hanging about these people, and among the smaller children puris naturalis is the rule. It is also quite evident that few of them ever take a bath; as there is plenty of water about them, this doubtless comes of the pure contrariness of human nature in the absence of social obligations. Their religion teaches these people that they ought to bathe every day; consequently, they never bathe at all. There is a small threshing-floor handy, and, taking pity on their wretched condition, I hesitate not to "drive dull care away" from them for a few minutes, by giving them an exhibition; not that there is any "dull care" among them, though, after all; for, in spite of desperate poverty, they know more contentment than the well-fed, respectably-dressed mechanic of the Western World. It is, however, the contentment born of not realizing their own condition, the bliss that comes of ignorance. They search the entire village for eatables, but nothing is readily obtainable but bread. A few gaunt, angular fowls are scratching about, but they have a beruffled, disreputable appearance, as though their lives had been a continuous struggle against being caught and devoured; moreover, I don't care to wait around three hours on purpose to pass judgment on these people's cooking. Eggs there are none; they are devoured, I fancy, almost before they are laid. Finally, while making the best of bread and water, which is hardly made more palatable by the appearance of the people watching me feed - a woman in an airy, fairy costume, that is little better than no costume at all, comes forward, and contributes a small bowl of yaort; but, unfortuntaely, this is old yaort, yaort that is in the sere and yellow stage of its usefulness as human food; and although these people doubtless consume it thus, I prefer to wait until something more acceptable and less odoriferous turns up. I miss the genial hospitality of the gentle Koords to-day. Instead of heaping plates of pillau, and bowls of wholesome new yaort, fickle fortune brings me nothing but an exclusive diet of bread and water. My road, this afternoon, is a tortuous donkey-trail, intersecting ravines with well-nigh perpendicular sides, and rocky ridges, covered with a stunted growth of cedar and scrub-oak. The higher mountains round about are heavily timbered with pine and cedar. A large forest on a mountain-slope is on fire, and I pass a camp of people who have been driven out of their permanent abode by the flames. Fortunately, they have saved everything except their naked houses and their grain. They can easily build new houses, and their neighbors will give or lend them sufficient grain to tide them over till another harvest. Toward sundown the hilly country terminates, and I descend into a broad cultivated valley, through which is a very good wagon-road; and I have the additional satisfaction of learning that it will so continue clear into Sivas, a wagon-road having been made from Sivas into this forest to enable the people to haul wood and building-timber on their arabas. Arriving at a good-sized and comparatively well-to-do Mussulman village, I obtain an ample supper of eggs and pillau, and, after binning over and over again until the most unconscionable Turk among them all can bring himself to importune me no more, I obtain a little peace. Supper for two, together with the tough hill-climbing to-day, and insufficient sleep last night, produces its natural effect; I quietly doze off to sleep while sitting on the divan of a small khan, which might very appropriately be called an open shed. Soon I am awakened; they want me to accommodate them by binning once more before they retire for the night. As the moon is shining brightly, I offer no objections, knowing that to grant the request will be the quickest way to get rid of their worry. They then provide me with quilts, and I spend the night in the khan alone. I am soon asleep, but one habitually sleeps lightly under these strange and ever-varying conditions, and several times I am awakened by dogs invading the khan and sniffing - about my couch. My daily experience among these people is teaching me the commendable habit of rising with the lark; not that I am an enthusiastic student, or even a willing one - be it observed that few people are - but it is a case of either turning out and sneaking off before the inhabitants are astir, or to be worried from one's waking moments to the departure from the village, and of the two evils one comes finally to prefer the early rising. One can always obtain something to eat before starting by waiting till an hour after sunrise, but I have had quite enough of these people's importunities to make breakfasting with them a secondary consideration, and so pull out at early daylight. The road is exceptionally good, but an east wind rises with the sun and quickly develops into a stiff breeze that renders riding against it anything but child's play; no rose is to be expected without a thorn, nevertheless it is rather aggravating to have the good road and the howling head-wind happen together, especially in traversing a country where good roads are the exception instead of the rule. About eight o'clock I reach a village situated at the entrance to a rocky defile, with a babbling brook dancing through the space between its two divisions. Upon inquiring for refreshments, a man immediately orders his wife to bring me pillau. For some reason or other - perhaps the poor woman has none prepared; who knows? - the woman, instead of obeying the command like a "guid wifey," enters upon a wordy demurrer, whereupon her husband borrows a hoe-handle from a bystander and advances to chastise her for daring to thus hesitate about obeying his orders; the woman retreats precipitately into the house, heaping Turkish epithets on her devoted husband's head. This woman is evidently a regular termagant, or she would never have used such violent language to her husband in the presence of a stranger and the whole village; some day, if she doesn't be more reasonable, her husband, instead of satisfying his outraged feelings by chastising her with a hoe-handle, will, in a moment of passion, bid her begone from his house, which in Turkish law constitutes a legal separation; if the command be given in the presence of a competent witness it is irrevocable. Seeing me thus placed, as it were, in an embarrassing situation, another woman - dear, thoughtful creature! - fetches me enough wheat piilau to feed a mule, and a nice bowl of yaort, off which I make a substantial breakfast. Near by where I am eating are five industrious maidens, preparing cracked or broken wheat by a novel and interesting process, that has hitherto failed to come under my observation; perhaps it is peculiar to the Sivas vilayet, which I have now entered. A large rock is hollowed out like a shallow druggist's mortar; wheat is put in, and several girls (sometimes as many as eight, I am told by the American missionaries at Sivas) gather in a circle about it, and pound the wheat with light, long-headed mauls or beetles, striking in regular succession, as the reader has probably seen a gang of circus roustabouts driving tent-pins. When I first saw circus tent-pins driven in this manner, a few years ago, I remember hearing on-lookers remarking it as quite novel and wonderful how so many could be striking the same peg without their swinging sledges coming into collision; but that very same performance has been practised by the maidens hereabout, it seems, from time immemorial- another proof that there is nothing new under the sun. Ten miles of good riding, and I wheel into the considerable town of Yennikhan, a place sufficiently important to maintain a public coffee-khan and several small shops. Here I take aboard a pocketful of fine large pears, and after wheeling a couple of miles to a secluded spot, halt for the purpose of shifting the pears from my pocket to where they will be better appreciated. Ere I have finished the second pear, a gentle goatherd, who from an adjacent hill observed me alight, appears upon the scene and waits around, with the laudable intention of further enlightening his mind when I remount. He is carrying a musical instrument something akin to a flute; it is a mere hollow tube with the customary finger-holes, but it is blown at the end; having neither reed nor mouth-piece of any description, it requires a peculiar sidewise application of the lips, and is not to be blown readily by a novice. When properly played, it produces soft, melodious music that, to say nothing else, must exert a gentle soothing influence on the wild, turbulent souls of a herd of goats. The goatherd offers me a cake of ekmek out of his wallet, as a sort of a I peace - offering, but thanks to a generous breakfast, music hath more charms at present than dry ekmek, and handing him a pear, I strike up a bargain by which he is to entertain me with a solo until I am ready to start, when of course he will be amply recompensed by seeing me bin; the bargain is agreed to, and the solo duly played. East of Yennikhan, the road develops into an excellent macadamized highway, on which I find plenty of genuine amusement by electrifying the natives whom I chance to meet or overtake. Creeping noiselessly up behind an unsuspecting donkey-driver, until quite close, I suddenly reveal my presence. Looking round and observing a strange, unearthly combination, apparently swooping down upon him, the affrighted katir-jee's first impulse is to seek refuge in flight, not infrequently bolting clear off the roadway, before venturing upon taking a second look. Sometimes I simply put on a spurt, and whisk past at a fifteen mile pace. Looking back, the katir-jee generally seems rooted to the spot with astonishment, and his utter inability to comprehend. These men will have marvellous tales to tell in their respective villages concerning what they saw; unless other bicycles are introduced, the time the "Ingilisiu" went through the country with his wonderful araba will become a red-letter event in the memory of the people along my route through Asia Minor. Crossing the Yeldez Irmak Eiver, on a stone bridge, I follow along the valley of the head-waters of our old acquaintance, the Kizil Irmak, and at three o'clock in the afternoon, roll into Sivas, having wheeled nearly fifty miles to-day, the last forty of which will compare favorably in smoothness, though not in leveluess, with any forty- mile stretch I know of in the United States. Prom Angora I have brought a letter of introduction to Mr. Ernest Weakley, a young Englishman, engaged, together with Mr. Kodigas, a Belgian gentleman, for the Ottoman Government, in collecting the Sivas vilayet's proportion of the Russian indemnity; and I am soon installed in hospitable quarters. Sivas artisans enjoy a certain amount of celebrity among their compatriots of other Asia Minor cities for unusual skilfulness. particularly in making filigree silver work. Toward evening myself and Mr. Weakley take a stroll through the silversmiths' quarters. The quarters consist of twenty or thirty small wooden shops, surrounding an oblong court; spreading willows and a tiny rivulet running through it give the place a semi-rural appearance. In the little open-front workshops, which might more appropriately be called stalls, Armenian silversmiths are seated cross-legged, some working industriously at their trade, others gossiping and sipping coffee with friends or purchasers.

"Doesn't it call up ideas of what you conceive the quarters of the old alchemists to have been hundreds of years ago." asks my companion. "Precisely what I was on the eve of suggesting to you," I reply, and then we drop into one of the shops, sip coffee with the old silversmith, and examine his filigree jewelry. There is nothing denoting remarkable skill about any of it; an intricate pattern of their jewelry simply represents a great expenditure of time and Asiatic patience, and the finishing of clasps, rivetting, etc., is conspicuously rough. Sivas was also formerly a seat of learning; the imposing gates, with portions of the fronts of the old Arabic universities are still standing, with sufficient beautiful arabesque designs in glazed tile-work still undestroyed, to proclaim eloquently of departed glories. The squalid mud hovels of refugees from the Caucasus now occupy the interior of these venerable edifices; ragged urchins romp with dogs and baby buffaloes where pashas' sons formerly congregated to learn wisdom from the teachings of their prophet, and now what remains of the intricate arabesque designs, worked out in small, bright-colored tiles, that once formed the glorious ceiling of the dome, seems to look down reproachfully, and yet sorrowfully, upon the wretched heaps of tezek placed beneath it for shelter.

I am remaining over one day at Sivas, and in the morning we call on the American missionaries. Mr. Perry is at home, and hopes I am going to stay a week, so that they can "sort of make up for the discomforts of journeying through the country;" Mr. Hubbard and the ladies of the Mission are out of town, but will be back this evening. After dinner we go round to the government konak and call on the Vali, Hallil Eifaat Pasha, whom Mr. Weakley describes beforehand as a very practical man, fond of mechanical contrivances; and who would never forgive him if he allowed me to leave Sivas with the bicycle without paying him a visit. The usual rigmarole of salaams, cigarettes, coffee, compliments, and questioning are gone through with; the Vali is a jolly-faced, good-natured man, and is evidently much interested in my companion's description of the bicycle and my journey. Of course I don't forget to praise the excellence of the road from Yennikhan; I can conscientiously tell him that it is superior to anything I have wheeled over south of the Balkans; the Pasha is delighted at hearing this, and beaming joyously over his spectacles, his fat jolly face a rotund picture of satisfaction, he says to Mr. Weakley: "You see, he praises up our roads; and he ought to know, he has travelled on wagon roads half way round the world." The interview ends by the Vali inviting me to ride the bicycle out to his country residence this evening, giving the order for a squad of zaptiehs to escort me out of town at the appointed time. "The Vali is one of the most energetic pashas in Turkey," says Mr. Weakley, as we take our departure. "You would scarcely believe that he has established a small weekly newspaper here, and makes it self-supporting into the bargain, would you." "I confess I don't see how he manages it among these people," I reply, quite truthfully, for these are anything but newspaper- supporting people; "how does he manage to make it self-supporting?" Why, he makes every employe of the government subscribe for a certain number of copies, and the subscription price is kept back out of their salaries; for instance, the mulazim of zaptiehs would have to take half a dozen copies, the mutaserif a dozen, etc.; if from any unforeseen cause the current expenses are found to be more than the income, a few additional copies are saddled on each 'subscriber.' "Before leaving Sivas, I arrive at the conclusion that Hallil Eifaat Pasha knows just about what's what; while administering the affairs of the Sivas vilayet in a manner that has gained him the good-will of the population at large, he hasn't neglected his opportunities at the Constantinople end of the rope; more than one beautiful Circassian girl has, I am told, been forwarded to the Sultan's harem by the enterprising and sagacious Sivas Vali; consequently he holds "trump cards," so to speak, both in the province and the palace. Promptly at the hour appointed the squad of zaptiehs arrive; Mr. Weakley mounts his servant on a prancing Arab charger, and orders him to manoeuvre the horse so as to clear the way in front; the zaptiehs commence their flogging, and in the middle of the cleared space I trundle the bicycle. While making our way through the streets, Mr. Hubbard, who, with the ladies, has just returned to the city, is encountered on the way to invite Mr. Weakley and myself to supper; as he pushes his way through the crowd and reaches my side, he pronounces it the worst rabble he ever saw in the streets of Sivas, and he has been stationed here over twelve years. Once clear of the streets, I mount and soon outdistance the crowd, though still followed by a number of horsemen. Part way out we wait for the Vali's state carriage, in which he daily rides between the city and his residence. "While waiting, a terrific squall of wind and dust comes howling from the direction we are going, and while it is still blowing great guns, the Vali and his mounted escort arrive. His Excellency alights and examines the Columbia with much interest, and then requests me to ride on immediately in advance of the carriage. The grade is slightly against me, and the whistling wind seems to be shrieking a defiance; but by superhuman efforts, almost, I pedal ahead and manage to keep in front of his horses all the way. The distance from Sivas is four and a quarter miles by the cyclometer; this is the first time it has ever been measured. We are ushered into a room quite elegantly furnished, and light refreshments served. Observing my partiality for vishner-su, the Governor kindly offers me a flask of the syrup to take along; which I am, however, reluctantly compelled to refuse, owing to my inability to carry it. Here, also, we meet Djaved Bey, the Pasha's son, who has recently returned from Constantinople, and who says he saw me riding at Prinkipo. The Vali gets down on his hands and knees to examine the route of my journey on a map of the world which he spreads out on the carpet; he grows quite enthusiastic, and exclaims, "Wonderful." " Very wonderful!" says Djaved Bey; "when you get back to America they will-build you a statue." Mr. Hubbard has mounted a horse and followed us to the Vali's residence, and at the approach of dusk we take our departure; the wind is favorable for the return, as is also the gradient; ere my two friends have unhitched their horses, I mount and am scudding before the gale half a mile away.

"Hi hi-hi-hi! you'll never overtake him." the Vali shouts enthusiastically to the two horsemen as they start at full gallop after me, and which they laughingly repeat to me shortly afterward. A very pleasant evening is spent at Mr. Hubbard's house; after supper the ladies sing "Sweet Bye and Bye," "Home, Sweet Home," and other melodious reminders of the land of liberty and song that gave them birth. Everything looks comfortable and homelike, and they have English ivy inside the dining-room trained up the walls and partly covering the ceiling, which produces a wonderfully pleasant effect. The usual extraordinary rumors of my wonderful speeding ability have circulated about the city during the day and evening, some of which have happened to come to the ears of the missionaries. One story is that I came from the port of Samsoon, a distance of nearly three hundred miles, in six hours, while an imaginative katir-jee, whom I whisked past on the road, has been telling the Sivas people an exaggerated story of how a genii had ridden past him with lightning-like speed on a shining wheel; but whether it was a good or an evil genii he said he didn't have time to determine, as I went past like a flash and vanished in the distance. The missionaries have four hundred scholars attending their school here at Sivas, which would seem to indicate a pretty flourishing state of affairs. Their recruiting ground is, of I course, among the Armenians, who, though professedly Christiana really stand in more need of regeneration than their Mohammedan neighbors. The characteristic condition of the average Armenian villager's mind is deep, dense ignorance and moral gloominess; it requires more patience and perseverance to ingraft a new idea on the unimpressionable trunk of an Armenian villager's intellect than it does to put up second-hand stove-pipe; and it is a generally admitted fact - i.e., west of the Missouri Elver - that anyone capable of setting up three joints of second-hand stove-pipe without using profane language deserves a seat in Paradise. "Come in here a minute," says Mr. Hubbard, just before our I departure for the night, leading the way into an adjoining room.; I "here's shirts, underclothing, socks, handkerchiefs-everything;.! help yourself to anything you require; I know something about I travelling through this country myself. " But not caring to impose too much on good nature, I content myself with merely pocketing a strong pair of socks, that I know will come in handy. I leave the bicycle at the mission over night, and in the morning, at Miss Chamberlain's request, I ride round the school-house yard a few times for the edification of the scholars. The greatest difficulty, I am informed, with Armenian pupils is to get them to take sufficient interest in anything to ask questions; it is mainly because the bicycle will be certain to awaken interest, and excite the spirit of inquiry among them, that I am requested to ride for their benefit. Thus is the bicycle fairly recognized as a valuable aid to missionary work. Moral: let the American and Episcopal boards provide their Asia Minor and Persian missionaries with nickel-plated bicycles; let them wheel their way into the empty wilderness of the Armenian mind, and. light up the impenetrable moral darkness lurking therein with the glowing and mist-dispelling orbs of cycle lamps. Messrs. Perry, Hubbard, and Weakley accompany me out some distance on horseback, and at parting I am commissioned to carry salaams to the brethren in China. This is the first opportunity that has ever presented of sending greetings overland to far-off China, they say, and such rare occasions are not to be lightly overlooked. They also promise to send word to the Erzeroum mission to expect me; the chances are, however, that I shall reach Erzeroum before their letter; there are no lightning mail trains in Asia Minor. The road eastward from Sivas is an artificial highway, and affords reasonably good wheeling, but is somewhat inferior to the road from Yennikhau. Before long I enter a region of low hills, dales, and small lakes, beyond which the road again descends into the valley of the Kizil Irmak. All day long the roadway averages better wheeling than I ever expected to find in Asiatic Turkey; but the prevailing east wind offers strenuous opposition to my progress every inch of the way along the hundred miles or so of ridable road from Yennikhan to Zara, a town at which I arrive near sundown. Zara is situated at the entrance to a narrow passage between two mountain spurs, and although the road is here a dead level and the surface smooth, the wind comes roaring from the gorge with such tremendous pressure that it is only by extraordinary exertions that I am able to keep the saddle.

Tifticjeeoghlou Effendi was a gentleman of Greek descent. At Zara I have an opportunity of seeing and experiencing something of what hospitality is like among the better class Armenians, for I have brought from Sivas a letter of introduction to Kirkor-agha Tartarian, the most prominent Armenian gentleman in Zara. I have no difficulty whatever in finding the house, and am at once installed in the customary position of honor, while five serving-men hover about, ready to wait on me; some take a hand in the inevitable ceremony of preparing and serving coffee and lighting cigarettes, while others stand watchfully by awaiting word or look from myself or mine host, or from the privileged guests that immediately begin to arrive. The room is of cedar planking throughout, and is absolutely without furniture, save the carpeting and the cushioned divan on which I am seated. Mr. Tartarian sits crossed-legged on the carpet to my left, smoking a nargileh; his younger brother occupies a similar position on my right, rolling and smoking cigarettes; while the guests, as they arrive, squat themselves on the carpet in positions varying in distance from the divan, according to their respective rank and social importance. No one ventures to occupy the cushioned divan alongside myself, although the divan is fifteen feet long, and it makes me feel uncomfortably like the dog in the manger to occupy its whole length alone. In a farther corner, and off the slightly raised and carpeted floor on which are seated the guests, is a small brick fire-place, on which a charcoal fire is brightly burning, and here Mr. Vartarian's private kahvay-jee is kept busily employed in brewing tiny cups of strong black coffee; another servant constantly visits the fire to ferret out pieces of glowing charcoal with small pipe-lighting tongs, with which he circulates among the guests, supplying a light to the various smokers of cigarettes. A third youth is kept pretty tolerably busy performing the same office for Mr. Vartarian's nargileh, for the gentleman is an inveterate smoker, and in all Turkey there can scarcely be another nargileh requiring so much tinkering with as his. All the livelong evening something keeps getting wrong with that wretched pipe; mine host himself is continually rearranging the little pile of live coals on top of the dampened tobacco (the tobacco smoked in a nargileh is dampened, and live coals are placed on top), taking off the long coiled tube and blowing down it, or prying around in the tobacco receptacle with an awl-like instrument in his efforts to make it draw properly, but without making anything like a success; while his nargileh-boy is constantly hovering over it with a new supply of live coals. "Job himself could scarcely have been possessed of more patience," I think at first; but before the evening is over I come to the conclusion that my worthy host wouldn't exchange that particular hubble-bubble with its everlasting contrariness for the most perfectly drawing nargileh in Turkey: like certain devotees of the weed among ourselves, who never seem to be happier than when running a broom-straw down the stem of a pipe that chronically refuses to draw, so Kirkor-agha Vartarian finds his chief amusement in thus tinkering from one week's end to another with his nargileh. At the supper table mine host and his brother both lavish attentions upon me; knives and forks of course there are none, these things being seldom seen in Asia Minor, and to a cycler who has spent the day in pedalling against a stiff breeze, their absence is a matter of small moment. I am ravenously hungry, and they both win my warmest esteem by transferring choice morsels from their own plates into mine with their fingers. From what I know of strict haut ton Zaran etiquette, I think they should really pop these tid-bits in my mouth, and the reason they don't do so is, perhaps, because I fail to open it in the customary haut ton manner; however, it is a distasteful thing to be always sticking up for one's individual rights. A pile of quilts and mattresses, three feet thick, and feather pillows galore are prepared for me to sleep on. An attendant presents himself with a wonderful night- shirt, on the ample proportions of which are displayed bewildering colors and figures; and following the custom of the country, shapes himself for undressing me and assisting me into bed. This, however, I prefer to do without assistance, owing to a large stock of native modesty. I never fell among people more devoted in their attentions; their only thought during my stay is to make me comfortable; but they are very ceremonious and great sticklers for etiquette. I had intended making my usual early start, but mine host receives with open disapproval - I fancy even with a showing of displeasure - my proposition to depart without first partaking of refreshments, and it is nearly eight o'clock before I finally get started. Immediately after rising comes the inevitable coffee and early morning visitors; later an attendant arrives with breakfast for myself on a small wooden tray. Mr. Vartarian occupies precisely the same position, and is engaged in precisely the same occupation as yesterday evening, as is also his brother. No sooner does the hapless attendant make his appearance with the eatables than these two persons spring simultaneously to their feet, apparently in a towering rage, and chase him back out of the room, meanwhile pursuing him with a torrent of angry words; they then return to their respective positions and respective occupations. Ten minutes later the attendant reappears, but this time bringing a larger tray with an ample spread for three persons; this, it afterward appears, is not because mine host and his brother intends partaking of any, but because it is Armenian etiquette to do so, and Armenian etiquette therefore becomes responsible for the spectacle of a solitary feeder seated at breakfast with dishes and everything prepared for three, while of the other two, one is smoking a nargileh, the other cigarettes, and both of them regarding my evident relish of scrambled eggs and cold fowl with intense satisfaction.

Having by this time determined to merely drift with the current of mine host's intentions concerning the time of my departure, I resume my position on the divan after breakfasting, simply hinting that I would like to depart as soon as possible. To this Mr. Vartarian complacently nods assent, and his brother, with equal complacency rolls me a cigarette, after which a good half-hour is consumed in preparing for me a letter of introduction to their friend Mudura Ghana in the village of Kachahurda, which I expect to reach somewhere near noon; mine host dictates while his brother writes. Visitors continue coming in, and I am beginning to get a trifle impatient about starting; am beginning in fact to wish all their nonsensical ceremoniousness at the bottom of tho deep blue sea or some equally unfathomable quarter, when, at a signal from Mr. Vartarian himself, his brother and tho whole roomful of visitors rise simultaneously to their feet, and equally simultaneously put their hands on their respective stomachs, and, turning toward me, salaam; mine host then comes forward, shakes hands, gives me the letter to Mudura Ghana, and permits me to depart. He has provided two zaptiehs to escort me outside the town, and in a few minutes I find myself bowling briskly along a beautiful little valley; the pellucid waters of a purling brook dance merrily alongside an excellent piece of road; birds are singing merrily in the willow-trees, and dark rocky crags tower skyward immediately around. The lovely little valley terminates all too soon, for in fifteen minutes I am footing it up another mountain; but it proves to be the entrance gate of a region containing grander pine-clad mountain scenery than anything encountered outside the Sierra Nevadas; in fact the famous scenery of Cape Horn, California, almost finds its counterpart at one particular point I traverse this morning; only instead of a Central Pacific Railway winding around the gray old crags and precipices, the enterprising Sivas Vali has built an araba road. One can scarce resist the temptation of wheeling down some of the less precipitous slopes, but it is sheer indiscretion, for the roadway makes sharp turns at points where to continue straight ahead a few feet too far would launch one into eternity; a broken brake, a wild "coast" of a thousand feet through mid-air into the dark depths of a rocky gorge, and the "tour around the world" would abruptly terminate. For a dozen miles I traverse a tortuous road winding its way among wild mountain gorges and dark pine forests; Circassian horsemen are occasionally encountered: it seems the most appropriate place imaginable for robbers, and I have again been cautioned against these freebooting mountaineers at Sivas. They eye me curiously, and generally halt after they have passed, and watch my progress for some minutes. Once I am overtaken by a couple of them; they follow close behind me up a mountain slope; they are heavily armed and look capable of anything, and I plod along, mentally calculating how to best encompass their destruction with the Smith "Wesson, without coming to grief myself, should their intentions toward me prove criminal. It is not exactly comfortable or reassuring to have two armed horsemen, of a people who are regarded with universal fear and mistrust by everybody around them, following close upon one's heels, with the disadvantage of not being able to keep an eye on their movements; however, they have little to say; and as none of them attempt any interference, it is not for me to make insinuations against them on the barren testimony of their outward appearance and the voluntary opinions of their neighbors.

My route now leads up a rocky ravine, the road being fairly under cover of over-arching rocks at times, thence over a billowy region of mountain summits-an elevated region of pine-clad ridges and rocky peaks-to descend again into a cultivated country of undulating hills and dales, checkered with fields of grain. These low rolling hills appear to be in a higher state of cultivation than any district I have traversed in Asia Minor; from points of vantage the whole country immediately around looks like a swelling sea of golden grain; harvesting is going merrily on; men and women are reaping side by side in the fields, and the songs of the women come floating through the air from all directions. They are Armenian peasants, for I am now in Armenia proper; the inhabitants of this particular locality impress me as a light hearted, industrious people; they have an abundant harvest, and it is a pleasure to stand and see them reap, and listen to the singing of the women; moreover they are more respectably clothed than the lower class natives round about them, barring, of course, our unfathomable acquaintances, the Circassians.

Toward the eastern extremity of this peaceful, happy scene is the village of Kachahurda, which I reach soon after noon, and where resides Mfrdura Ghana, to whom I bring a letter. Picturesquely speaking, Kachahurda is a disgrace to the neighborhood in which it stands; its mud hovels are combined cow-pens, chicken-coops, and human habitations, and they are bunched up together without any pretence to order or regularity; yet the light-hearted, decently-clad people, whose songs come floating from the harvest-fields, live contentedly in this and other equally wretched villages round about. Mudura Ghana provides me with a repast of bread and yaort, and endeavors to make my brief halt comfortable. While I am discussing these refreshments, himself and another unwashed, unkempt old party come to high, angry words about me; but whatever it is about I haven't the slightest idea. Mine host seems a regular old savage when angry. He is the happy possessor of a pair of powerful lungs, which are ably seconded by a foghorn voice, and he howls at the other man like an enraged bull. The other man doesn't seem to mind it, though, and keeps up his end of the controversy - or whatever it is - in a comparatively cool and aggravating manner, that seems to feed Mudura Ghana's righteous wrath, until I quite expect to see that outraged person reach down one of the swords off the wall and hack his opponent into sausage-meat. Once I venture to inquire, as far as one can inquire by pantomime, what they are quarrelling so violently about me for, being really inquisitive to find out They both immediately cease hostilities to assure me that it is nothing for which I am in any way personally responsible; and then they straightway fall to glaring savagely at each other again, and renew their vocal warfare more vigorously, if anything, from having just drawn a peaceful breath. Mine host of Kachahurda can scarcely be called a very civilized or refined individual; he has neither the gentle kindliness of Kirkoragha Vartarian, nor the dignified, gentlemanly bearing of Tifticjeeoghlou Effendi; but he grabs a club, and roaring like the hoarse whistle of a Mississippi steamboat, chases a crowd of villagers out of the room who venture to come in on purpose to stare rudely at his guest; and for this charitable action alone he deserves much credit; nothing is so annoying as to have these unwashed crowds standing gazing and commenting while one is eating. A man is sent with me to direct me aright where the road forks, a mile or so from the village; from the forks it is a newly made road, in fact, unfinished; it resembles a ploughed field for looseness and I depth; and when, in addition to this, one has to climb a gradient of twenty metres to the hundred, a bicycle is anything but a comforting thing to possess. The country becomes broken and more mountainous than ever, and the road winds about fearfully. Often a part of the road that is but a mile away as the crow flies requires an hour's steady going to reach it; but the mountain scenery is glorious. Occasionally I round a point, or reach a summit, from whence a magnificent and comprehensive view bursts upon the vision, and it really requires an effort to tear one's self away, realizing that in all probability I shall never see it again. At one point I seem to be overlooking a vast amphitheatre which encompasses within itself the physical geography of a continent. It is traversed by whole mountain-ranges of lesser degree; it contains tracts of stony desert and fertile valley, lakes, and a river, not excepting even the completing element of a fine forest, and encompassing it round about, like an impenetrable palisade protecting it against invasion, are scores of grand old mountains - grim sentinels that nothing can overcome. The road, though still among the mountains, is now descending in a general way from the elevated divide, down toward Enderes and the valley of the Gevmeili Chai River; and toward evening I enter an Armenian village.

The custom from here eastward appears to be to have the threshing-floors in or near the village; there are sometimes several different floors, and when they are winnowing the grain on windy days the whole village becomes covered with an inch or two of chaff. I am glad to find these threshing-floors in the villages, because they give me an excellent opportunity to ride and satisfy the people, thus saving me no end of worry and annoyance.

The air becomes chilly after sundown, and I am shown into a close room containing one small air-hole, and am provided with a quilt and pillow. Later in the evening a Turkish Bey arrives with an escort of zaptiehs and occupies the same apartment, which would seem to be a room especially provided for the accommodation of travellers. The moment the officer arrives, behold, there is a hurrying to and fro of the villagers to sweep out the room, kindle a fire to brew his coffee, and to bring him water and a vessel for his ablutions before saying his evening prayers. Cringing senility characterizes the demeanor of these Armenian villagers toward the Turkish officer, and their hurrying hither and thither to supply him ere they are asked looks to me wonderfully like a "propitiating of the gods." The Bey himself seems to be a pretty good sort of a fellow, offering me a portion of his supper, consisting of bread, olives, and onions; which, however, I decline, having already ordered eggs and pillau of a villager. The Bey's company is highly acceptable, since it saves me from the annoyance of being surrounded by the usual ragged, unwashed crowd during the evening, and secures me a refreshing sleep, undisturbed by visions of purloined straps or moccasins. He appears to be a very pious Mussulman; after washing his head, hands, and feet, he kneels toward Mecca on the wet towel, and prays for nearly twenty minutes by my timepiece; and his sighs of Allah! are wonderfully deep-fetched, coming apparently from clear down in his stomach. While he is thus devotionally engaged, his two zaptiehs stand respectfully by, and divide their time between eying myself and the bicycle with wonder and the Bey with mingled reverence and awe. At early dawn I steal noiselessly away, to avoid disturbing the peaceful slumbers of the Bey. For several miles my road winds around among the foot-hills of the range I crossed yesterday, but following a gradually widening depression, which finally terminates in the Gevmeili Chai Valley; and directly ahead and below me lies the considerable town of Enderes, surrounded by a broad fringe of apple-orchards, and walnut and jujube groves. Here I obtain a substantial breakfast of Turkish kabobs (tid-bits of mutton, spitted on a skewer, and broiled over a charcoal fire) at a public eating khan, after which the mudir kindly undertakes to explain to me the best route to Erzingan, giving me the names of several villages to inquire for as a guidance. While talking to the mudir, Mr. Pronatti, an Italian engineer in the employ of the Sivas Vali, makes his appearance, shakes hands, reminds me that Italy has recently volunteered assistance to England in the Soudan campaign, and then conducts me to his quarters in another part of the town. Mr. Pronatti can speak almost any language but English; I speak next to nothing but English; nevertheless, we manage to converse quite readily, for, besides proficiency in pantomimic language acquired by daily practice, I have necessarily picked up a few scattering words of the vernacular of the several countries traversed on the tour. While discussing a nice ripe water-melon with this gentleman, several respectable- looking people enter and introduce themselves through Mr. Pronatti as Osmanli Turks, not Armenians, expecting me to regard them more favorably on that account. Soon afterward a party of Armenians arrive, and take labored pains to impress upon me that they are not Turks, but Christian Armenians. Both parties seem desirous of winning my favorable opinion. One party thinks the surest plan is to let me know that they are Turks; the others, to let me know that they are not Turks. "I have told both parties to go to Gehenna," says my Italian friend. "These people will worry you to death with their foolishness if you make the mistake of treating them with consideration."

Donning an Indian pith-helmet that is three sizes too large, and wellnigh conceals his features, Mr. Pronatti orders his horse, and accompanies me some distance out, to put me on the proper course to Erzingan. My route from Enderes leads along a lovely fertile valley, between lofty mountain ranges; an intricate network of irrigating ditches, fed by, mountain streams, affords an abundance of water for wheat-fields, vineyards, and orchards; it is the best, and yet the worst watered valley I ever saw - the best, because the irrigating ditches are so numerous; the worst, because most of them are overflowing and converting my road into mud-holes and shallow pools. In the afternoon I reach somewhat higher ground, where the road becomes firmer, and I bowl merrily along eastward, interrupted by nothing save the necessity of dismounting and shedding my nether garments every few minutes to ford a broad, swift feeder to the lesser ditches lower down the valley. In this fructiferous vale my road sometimes leads through areas of vineyards surrounded by low mud walls, where grapes can be had for the reaching, and where the proprietor of an orchard will shake down a shower of delicious yellow pears for whatever you like to give him, or for nothing if one wants him to. I suppose these villagers have established prices for their commodities when dealing with each other, but they almost invariably refuse to charge me anything; some will absolutely refuse any payment, and my only plan of recompensing them is to give money to the children; others accept, with as great a show of gratitude as if I were simply giving it to them without having received an equivalent, whatever I choose to give.

The numerous irrigating ditches have retarded my progress to an appreciable extent to-day, so that, notwithstanding the early start and the absence of mountain-climbing, my cyclometer registers but a gain of thirty-seven miles, when, having continued my eastward course for some time after nightfall, and failing to reach a village, I commence looking around for somewhere to spend the night. The valley of the Gevmeili Chai has been left behind, and I am again traversing a narrow, rocky pass between the hills. Among the rocks I discover a small open cave, in which I determine to spend the night. The region is elevated, and the night air chilly; so I gather together some dry weeds and rubbish and kindle a fire. With something to cook and eat, and a pair of blankets, I could have spent a reasonably comfortable night; but a pocketful of pears has to suffice for supper, and when the unsubstantial fuel is burned away, my airy chamber on the bleak mountain-side and the thin cambric tent affords little protection from the insinuating chilliness of the night air. Variety is said to be the spice of life; no doubt it is, under certain conditions, but I think it all depends on the conditions whether it is spicy or not spicy. For instance, the vicissitudes of fortune that favor me with bread and sour milk for dinner, a few pears for supper, and a wakeful night of shivering discomfort in a cave, as the reward of wading fifty irrigating ditches and traversing thirty miles of ditch-bedevilled donkey-trails during the day, may look spicy, and even romantic, from a distance; but when one wakes up in a cold shiver about 1.30A.M. and realizes that several hours of wretchedness are before him, his waking thoughts are apt to be anything but thoughts complimentary of the spiciness of the situation. Inshallah! fortune will favor me with better dues to- morrow; and if not to-morrow, then the next day, or the next.