CHAPTER XVII. THROUGH ERZINGAN AND ERZEROUM.

For mile after mile, on the following morning, my route leads through broad areas strewn with bowlders and masses of rock that appear to have been brought down from the adjacent mountains by the annual spring floods, caused by the melting winter's snows; scattering wheat-fields are observed here and there on the higher patches of ground, which look like small yellow oases amid the desert-like area of loose rocks surrounding them. Squads of diminutive donkeys are seen picking their weary way through the bowlders, toiling from the isolated fields to the village threshing-floors beneath small mountains of wheat-sheaves. Sometimes the donkeys themselves are invisible below the general level of the bowlders, and nothing is to be seen but the head and shoulders of a man, persuading before him several animated heaps of straw. Small lakes of accumulated surface-water are passed in depressions having no outlet; thickets and bulrushes are growing around the edges, and the surfaces of some are fairly black with multitudes of wild-ducks. Soon I reach an Armenian village; after satisfying the popular curiosity by riding around their threshing-floor, they bring me some excellent wheat-bread, thick, oval cakes that are quite acceptable, compared with the wafer-like sheets of the past several days, and five boiled eggs. The people providing these will not accept any direct payment, no doubt thinking my having provided them with the only real entertainment most of them ever saw, a fair equivalent for their breakfast; but it seems too much like robbing paupers to accept anything from these people without returning something, so I give money to the children. These villagers seem utterly destitute of manners, standing around and watching my efforts to eat soft-boiled eggs with a pocket-knife with undisguised merriment. I inquire for a spoon, but they evidently prefer to extract amusement from watching my interesting attempts with the pocket-knife. One of them finally fetches a clumsy wooden ladle, three times broader than an egg, which, of course is worse than nothing. I now traverse a mountainous country with a remarkably clear atmosphere. The mountains are of a light creamcolored shaly composition; wherever a living stream of water is found, there also is a village, with clusters of trees. From points where a comprehensive view is obtainable the effect of these dark-green spots, scattered here and there among the whitish hills, seen through the clear, rarefied atmosphere, is most beautiful. It seems a peculiar feature of everything in the East - not only the cities themselves, but even of the landscape - to look beautiful and enchanting at a distance; but upon a closer approach all its beauty vanishes like an illusory dream. Spots that from a distance look, amid their barren, sun-blistered surroundings, like lovely bits of fairyland, upon closer investigation degenerate into wretched habitations of a ragged, poverty-stricken people, having about them a few neglected orchards and vineyards, and a couple of dozen straggling willows and jujubes.

For many hours again to-day I am traversing mountains, mountains, nothing but mountains; following tortuous camel-paths far up their giant slopes. Sometimes these camel-paths are splendidly smooth, and make most excellent riding. At one place, particularly, where they wind horizontally around the mountain-side, hundreds of feet above a village immediately below, it is as though the villagers were in the pit of a vast amphitheatre, and myself were wheeling around a semicircular platform, five hundred feet above them, but in plain view of them all. I can hear the wonder-struck villagers calling each other's attention to the strange apparition, and can observe them swarming upon the house-tops. What wonderful stories the inhabitants of this particular village will have to recount to their neighbors, of this marvellous sight, concerning which their own unaided minds can give no explanation!

Noontide comes and goes without bringing me any dinner, when I emerge upon a small, cultivated plateau, and descry a coterie of industrious females reaping together in a field near by, and straightway turn my footsteps thitherward with a view of ascertaining whether they happen to have any eatables. No sooner do they observe me trundling toward them than they ingloriously flee the field, thoughtlessly leaving bag and baggage to the tender mercies of a ruthless invader. Among their effects I find some bread and a cucumber, which I forthwith confiscate, leaving a two and a half piastre metallique piece in its stead; the affrighted women are watching me from the safe distance of three hundred yards; when they return and discover the coin they will wish some 'cycler would happen along and frighten them away on similar conditions every day. Later in the afternoon I find myself wandering along the wrong trail; not a very unnatural occurrence hereabout, for since leaving the valley of the Gevmeili Chai, it has been difficult to distinguish the Erzingan trail from the numerous other trails intersecting the country in every direction. On such a journey as this one seems to acquire a certain amount of instinct concerning roads; certain it is, that I never traverse a wrong trail any distance these days ere, without any tangible evidence whatever, I feel instinctively that I am going astray. A party of camel- drivers direct me toward the lost Erzingan trail, and in an hour I am following a tributary of the ancient Lycus River, along a valley where everything looks marvellously green and refreshing; it is as though I have been suddenly transferred into an entirely different country.

This innovation from barren rocks and sun-baked shale to a valley where the principal crops seem to be alfalfa and clover, and which is flanked on the south by dense forests of pine, encroaching downward from the mountain slopes clear on to the level greensward, is rather an agreeable surprise; the secret of the magic change does not remain a secret long; it reveals itself in the shape of sundry broad snow-patches still lingering on the summits of a higher mountain range beyond. These pine forests, the pleasant greensward, and the lingering snow-banks, tell an oft-repeated tale; they speak eloquently of forests preserved and the winter snow-fall thereby increased; they speak all the more eloquently because of being surrounded by barren, parched-up hills which, under like conditions, might produce similar happy results, but which now produce nothing. While traversing this smiling valley I meet a man asleep on a buffalo araba; an irrigating ditch runs parallel with the road and immediately alongside; the meek-eyed buffaloes swerve into the ditch in deference to their awe of tho bicycle, arid upset their drowsy driver into the water. The mail evidently stands in need of a bath, but somehow he doesn't seeiu to appreciate it; perhaps it happened a trifle too impromptu, as it were, to suit his easy-going Asiatic temperament. He returns my rude, unsympathetic smile with a prolonged stare of bewilderment, but says nothing.

Soon I meet a boy riding on a donkey, and ask him the postaya distance to Erzingan; the youth looks frightened half out of his. senses, but manages to retain sufficient presence of mind to elevate one finger, by which I understand him to mean that it is one hour, or about four miles. Accordingly I pedal perseveringly ahead, hoping to reach the city before dusk, at the same time feeling rather surprised at finding it so near, as I haven't been expecting to reach there before to-morrow. Five miles beyond where I met the boy, and just after sundown, I overtake some katir-jees en route to Erzingan with donkey-loads of grain, and ask them the same question. From them I learn that instead of one, it is not less than twelve hours distant, also that the trail leads over a fearfully mountainous country. Nestling at the base of the mountains, a short distance to the northward, is the large village of Merriserriff, and not caring to tempt the fates into giving me another supper-less night in a cold, cheerless cave, I wend my way thither.

Fortune throws me into the society of an Armenian whose chief anxiety seems to be, first, that I shall thoroughly understand that he is an Armenian, and not a Mussulman; and, secondly, to hasten me into the presence of the mudir, who is a Mussulman, and a Turkish Bey, in order that he may bring himself into the mudir's favorable notice by personally introducing me as a rare novelty on to his (the mudir's) threshing-floor. The official and a few friends are sipping coffee in one corner of the threshing floor, and, although I don't much relish my position of the Armenian's puppet-show, I give the mudir an exhibition of the bicycle's use, in the expectation that he will invite me to remain his guest over night.

He proves uncourteous, however, not even inviting me to partake of coffee; evidently, he has become so thoroughly accustomed to the abject servility of the Armenians about him - who would never think of expecting reciprocating courtesies from a social superior - that he has unconsciously come to regard everybody else, save those whom he knows as his official superiors, as tarred, more or less, with the same feather. In consequence of this belief I am not a little gratified when, upon the point of leaving the threshing-floor, an occasion offers of teaching him different.

Other friends of the mudir's appear upon the scene just as I am leaving, and he beckons me to come back and bin for the enlightenment of the new arrivals. The Armenian's countenance fairly beams with importance at thus being, as it were, encored, and the collected villagers murmur their approval; but I answer the mudir's beckoned invitation by a negative wave of the hand, signifying that I can't bother with him any further. The common herd around regard this self-assertive reply with open-mouthed astonishment, as though quite too incredible for belief; it seems to them an act of almost criminal discourtesy, and those immediately about me seem almost inclined to take me back to the threshing-floor like a culprit. But the mudir himself is not such a blockhead but that he realizes the mistake he has made. He is too proud to acknowledge it, though; consequently his friends miss, perhaps, the only opportunity in their uneventful lives of seeing a bicycle ridden. Owing to my ignorance of the vernacular, I am compelled to drift more or less with the tide of circumstances about me, upon entering one of these villages, for accommodation, and make the best of whatever capricious chance provides. My Armenian "manager " now delivers me into the hands of one of his compatriots, from whom I obtain supper and a quilt, sleeping, from a not over extensive choice, on some straw, beneath the broad eaves of a log granary adjoining the house.

I am for once quite mistaken in making an early, breakfastless start, for it proves to be eighteen weary miles over a rocky mountain pass before another human habitation is reached, a region of jagged rocks, deep gorges, and scattered pines. Fortunately, however, I am not destined to travel the whole eighteen miles in a breakfastless condition-not quite a breakfastless condition. Perhaps half the distance is traversed, when, while trundling up the ascent, I meet a party of horsemen, a turbaned old Turk, with an escort of three zaptiehs, and another traveller, who is keeping pace with them for company and safety. The old Turk asks me to bin bacalem, supplementing the request by calling my attention to his turban, a gorgeously spangled affair that would seem to indicate the wearer to be a personage of some importance; I observe, also that the butt of his revolver is of pearl inlaid with gold, another indication of either rank or opulence. Having turned about and granted his request, I in turn call his attention to the fact that mountain climbing on an empty stomach is anything but satisfactory or agreeable, and give him a broad hint by inquiring how far it is before ekmek is obtainable. For reply, he orders a zaptieh to produce a wheaten cake from his saddle-bags, and the other traveller voluntarily contributes three apples, which he ferrets out from the ample folds of his kammerbund and off this I make a breakfast. Toward noon, the highest elevation of the pass is reached, and I commence the descent toward the Erzingan Valley, following for a number of miles the course of a tributary of the western fork of the Euphrates, known among the natives in a general sense as the "Frat;" this particular branch is locally termed the Kara Su, or black water. The stream and my road lead down a rocky defile between towering hills of rock and slaty formation, whose precipitous slopes vegetable nature seems to shun, and everything looks black and desolate, as though some blighting curse had fallen upon the place. Up this same rocky passage-way, eight summers ago, swarmed thousands of wretched refugees from the seat of war in Eastern Armenia; small oblong mounds of loose rocks and bowlders are frequently observed all down the ravine, mournful reminders of one of the most heartrending phases of the Armenian campaign; green lizards are scuttling about among the rude graves, making their habitations in the oblong mounds. About two o'clock I arrive at a road-side khan, where an ancient Osmanli dispenses feeds of grain for travellers' animals, and brews coffee for the travellers themselves, besides furnishing them with whatever he happens to possess in the way of eatables to such as are unfortunately obliged to patronize his cuisine or go without anything; among this latter class belongs, unhappily, my hungry self. Upon inquiring for refreshments the khan-jee conducts me to a rear apartment and exhibits for my inspection the contents of two jars, one containing the native idea of butter and the other the native conception of a soft variety of cheese; what difference is discoverable between these two kindred products is chiefly a difference in the degree of rancidity and odoriferousuess, in which respect the cheese plainly carries off the honors; in fact these venerable and esteemable qualities of the cheese are so remarkably developed that after one cautious peep into its receptacle I forbear to investigate their comparative excellencies any further; but obtaining some bread and a portion of the comparatively mild and inoffensive butter, I proceed to make the best of circumstances. The old khan-jee proves himself a thoughtful, considerate landlord, for as I eat he busies himself picking the most glaringly conspicuous hairs out of my butter with the point of his dagger. One is usually somewhat squeamish regarding hirsute butter, but all such little refinements of civilized life as hairless butter or strained milk have to be winked at to a greater or less extent in Asiatic travelling, especially when depending solely on what happens to turn up from one meal to another. The narrow, lonely defile continues for some miles eastward from the khan, and ere I emerge from it altogether I encounter a couple of ill- starred natives, who venture upon an effort to intimidate me into yielding up my purse. A certain Mahmoud Ali and his band of enterprising freebooters have been terrorizing the villagers and committing highway robberies of late around the country; but from the general appearance of these two, as they approach, I take them to be merely villagers returning home from Erzingan afoot. They are armed with Circassian guardless swords and flint-lock horse-pistols; upon meeting they address some question to me in Turkish, to which I make my customary reply of Tarkchi binmus; one of them then demands para (money) in a manner that leaves something of a doubt whether he means it for begging, or is ordering me to deliver. In order to the better discover their intentions, I pretend not to understand, whereupon the spokesman reveals their meaning plain enough by reiterating the demand in a tone meant to be intimidating, and half unsheatns his sword in a significant manner. Intuitively the precise situation of affairs seems to reveal itself in a moment; they are but ordinarily inoffensive villagers returning from Erzingan, where they have sold and squandered even the donkeys they rode to town; meeting me alone, and, as they think in the absence of outward evidence that I am unarmed, they have become possessed ot tue idea of retrieving their fortunes by intimidating me out of money. Never were men more astonished and taken aback at finding me armed, and they both turn pale and fairly shiver with fright as I produce the Smith Wesson from its inconspicuous position at my hip, and hold it on a level with the bold spokesman's head; they both look as if they expected their last hour had arrived and both seem incapable either of utterance or of running away; in fact, their embarrassment is so ridiculous that it provokes a smile and it is with anything but a threatening or angry voice that I bid them haidy. The bold highwaymen seem only too thankful of a chance to "haidy," and they look quite confused, and I fancy even ashamed of themselves, as they betake themselves off up the ravine. I am quite as thankful as themselves at getting off without the necessity of using my revolver, for had I killed or badly wounded one of them it would probably have caused no end of trouble or vexatious delay, especially in case they prove to be what I take them for, instead of professional robbers; moreover, I might not have gotten off unscathed myself, for while their ancient flint-locks were in all probability not even loaded, being worn more for appearances by the native than anything else, these fellows sometimes do desperate work with their ugly and ever-handy swords when cornered up, in proof of which we have the late dastardly assault on the British Consul at Erzeroum, of which we shall doubtless hear the particulars upon reaching that city. Before long the ravine terminates, and I emerge upon the broad and smiling Erzingan Valley; at the lower extremity of the ravine the stream has cut its channel through an immense depth of conglomerate formation, a hundred feet of bowlders and pebbles cemented together by integrant particles which appear to have been washed down from the mountains-probably during the subsidence of the deluge, for even if that great catastrophe were a comparatively local occurrence, instead of a universal flood, as some profess to believe, we are now gradually creeping up toward Ararat, so that this particular region was undoubtedly submerged. What appear to be petrified chunks of wood are interspersed through the mass. There is nothing new under the sun, they say; peradventure they may be sticks of cooking-stove wood indignantly cast out of the kitchen window of the ark by Mrs. Noah, because the absent-minded patriarch habitually persisted in cutting them three inches too long for the stove; who knows. I now wheel along a smooth, level road leading through several orchard-environed villages; general cultivation and an atmosphere of peace and plenty seems to pervade the valley, which, with its scattering villages amid the foliage of their orchards, looks most charming upon emerging from the gloomy environments of the rock-ribbed and verdureless ravine; a fitting background is presented on the south by a mountain-chain of considerable elevation, upon the highest peaks of which still linger tardy patches of snow.

Since the occupation of Ears by the Russians, the military mantle of that important fortress has fallen upon Erzeroum and Erzingan; the booming of cannon fired in honor of the Sultan's birthday is awakening the echoes of the rock-ribbed mountains as I wheel eastward down the valley, and within about three miles of the city I pass the headquarters of the garrison. Long rows of hundreds of white field-tents are ranged about the position on the level greensward; the place presents an animated scene, with the soldiers, some in the ordinary blue, trimmed with red, others in cool, white uniforms especially provided for the summer, but which they are not unlikely to be found also wearing in winter, owing to the ruinous state of the Ottoman exchequer, and one and all wearing the picturesque but uncomfortable fez; cannons are booming, drums beating, and bugles playing. From the military headquarters to the city is a splendid broad macadam, converted into a magnificent avenue by rows of trees; it is a general holiday with the military, and the avenue is alive with officers and soldiers going and returning between Erzingan and the camp. The astonishment of the valiant warriors of Islam as I wheel briskly down the thronged avenue can be better imagined than described; the soldiers whom I pass immediately commence yelling at their comrades ahead to call their attention, while epauletted officers forget for the moment their military dignity and reserve as they turn their affrighted chargers around and gaze after me, stupefied with astonishment; perhaps they are wondering whether I am not some supernatural being connected in some way with the celebration of the Sultan's birthday - a winged messenger, perhaps, from the Prophet. Upon reaching the city I repair at once to the large customhouse caravanserai and engage a room for the night. The proprietor of the rooms seems a sensible fellow, with nothing of the inordinate inquisitiveness of the average native about him, and instead of throwing the weight of his influence and his persuasive powers on the side of the importuning crowd, he authoritatively bids them "haidy!" locks the bicycle in my room, and gives me the key. The Erzingan caravanserai - and all these caravanserais are essentially similar - is a square court-yard surrounded by the four sides of a two-storied brick building; the ground- floor is occupied by the offices of the importers of foreign goods and the customhouse authorities; the upper floor is divided into small rooms for the accommodation of travellers and caravan men arriving with goods from Trebizond. Sallying forth in search of supper, I am taken in tow by a couple of Armenians, who volunteer the welcome information that there is an "Americanish hakim" in the city; this intelligence is an agreeable surprise, for Erzeroum is the nearest place in which I have been expecting to find an English-speaking person. While searching about for the hakim, we pass near the zaptieh headquarters; the officers are enjoying their nargileh in the cool evening air outside the building, and seeing an Englishman, beckon us over. They desire to examine my teskeri, the first occasion on which it has been officially demanded since landing at Ismidt, although I have voluntarily produced it on previous occasions, and at Sivas requested the Vali to attach his seal and signature; this is owing to the proximity of Erzingan to the Russian frontier, and the suspicions that any stranger may be a, subject of the Czar, visiting the military centres for sinister reasons. They send an officer with me to hunt up the resident pasha; that worthy and enlightened personage is found busily engaged in playing a game of chess with a military officer, and barely takes the trouble to glance at the proffered passport: "It is vised by the Sivas Vali," he says, and lackadaisically waves us adieu. Upon returning to the zaptieh station, a quiet, unassuming American comes forward and introduces himself as Dr. Van Nordan, a physician formerly connected with the Persian mission. The doctor is a spare-built and not over-robust man, and would perhaps be considered by most people as a trifle eccentric; instead of being connected with any missionary organization, he nowadays wanders hither and thither, acquiring knowledge and seeking whom he can persuade from the error of their ways, meanwhile supporting himself by the practice of his profession. Among other interesting things spoken of, he tells me something of his recent journey to Khiva (the doctor pronounces it "Heevah"); he was surprised, he says, at finding the Khivans a mild-mannered and harmless sort of people, among whom the carrying of weapons is as much the exception as it is the rule in Asiatic Turkey. Doubtless the fact of Khiva being under the Russian Government has something to do with the latter otherwise unaccountable fact. After supper we sit down on a newly arrived bale of Manchester calico in the caravanserai court, cross one knee and whittle chips like Michigan grangers at a cross-roads post-office, and spend two hours conversing on different topics. The good doctor's mind wanders as naturally into serious channels as water gravitates to its level; when I inquire if he has heard anything of the whereabout of Mahmoud Ali and his gang lately, the pious doctor replies chiefly by hinting what a glorious thing it is to feel prepared to yield up the ghost at any moment; and when I recount something of my experiences on the journey, instead of giving me credit for pluck, like other people, he merely inquires if I don't recognize the protecting hand of Providence; native modesty prevents me telling the doctor of my valuable missionary work at Sivas. After the doctor's departure I wander forth into the bazaar to see what it looks like after dark; many of the stalls are closed for the day, the principal places remaining open being kahvay-khans and Armenian wine-shops, and before these petroleum lamps are kept burning; the remainder of the bazaar is in darkness. I have not strolled about many minutes before I am corralled as usual by Armenians; they straightway send off for a youthful compatriot of theirs who has been to the missionary's school at Kaizareah and can speak a smattering of English. After the usual programme of questions, they suggest: "Being an Englishman, you are of course a Christian," by which they mean that I am not a Mussulman. "Certainly," I reply; whereupon they lug me into one of their wine-shops and tender me a glass of raki (a corruption of "arrack" - raw, fiery spirits of the kind known among the English soldiers in India by the suggestive pseudonym of "fixed bayonets"). Smelling the raki, I make a wry face and shove it away; thev look surprised and order the waiter to bring cognac; to save the waiter the trouble, I make another wry face, indicative of disapproval, and suggest that he bring vishner-su. "Vishner-su" two or three of them sing out in a chorus of blank amazement; "Ingilis. Christian? vishner-su." they exclaim, as though such a preposterous and unaccountable thing as a Christian partaking of a non- intoxicating beverage like vishner-su is altogether beyond their comprehension. The youth who has been to the Kaizareah school then explains to the others that the American missionaries never indulge in intoxicating beverages; this seems to clear away the clouds of their mystification to some extent, and they order vishner-su, eying me critically, however, as I taste it, as though expecting to observe me make yet another wry countenance and acknowledge that in refusing the fiery, throat-blistering raki I had made a mistake.

Nothing in the way of bedding or furniture is provided in the caravanserai rooms, but the proprietor gets me plenty of quilts, and I pass a reasonably comfortable night. In the morning I obtain breakfast and manage to escape from town without attracting a crowd of more than a couple of hundred people; a remarkable occurrence in its way, since Erzingan contains a population of about twenty thousand. The road eastward from Erzingan is level, but heavy with dust, leading through a low portion of the valley that earlier in the season is swampy, and gives the city an unenviable reputation for malarial fevers. To prevent the travellers drinking the unwholesome water in this part of the valley, some benevolent Mussulman or public-spirited pasha has erected at intervals, by the road side, compact mud huts, and placed there in huge earthenware vessels, holding perhaps fifty gallons each; these are kept supplied with pure spring-water and provided with a wooden drinking-scoop. Fourteen miles from Erzingan, at the entrance to a ravine whence flows the boisterous stream that supplies a goodly proportion of the irrigating water for the valley, is situated a military outpost station. My road runs within two hundred yards of the building, and the officers, seeing me evidently intending to pass without stopping, motion for me to halt. I know well enough they want to examine my passport, and also to satisfy their curiosity concerning the bicycle, but determine upon spurting ahead and escaping their bother altogether. This movement at once arouses the official suspicion as to my being in the country without proper authority, and causes them to attach some mysterious significance to my strange vehicle, and several soldiers forthwith receive racing orders to intercept me. Unfortunately, my spurting receives a prompt check at the stream, which is not bridged, and here the doughty warriors intercept my progress, taking me into custody with broad grins of satisfaction, as though pretty certain of having made an important capture. Since there is no escaping, I conclude to have a little quiet amusement out of the affair, anyway, so I refuse point-blank to accompany my captors to their officer, knowing full well that any show of reluctance will have the very natural effect of arousing their suspicions still further. The bland and childlike soldiers of the Crescent receive this show of obstinacy quite complacently, their swarthy countenances wreathed in knowing smiles; but they make no attempt at compulsion, satisfying themselves with addressing me deferentially as "Effendi," and trying to coax me to accompany them. Seeing that there is some difficulty about bringing me, the two officers come down, and I at once affect righteous indignation of a mild order, and desire to know what they mean by arresting my progress. They demand my tesskeri in a manner that plainly shows their doubts of my having one. The teskeri is produced. One of the officers then whispers something to the other, and they both glance knowingly mysterious at the bicycle, apologize for having detained me, and want to shake hands. Having read the passport, and satisfied themselves of my nationality, they attach some deep mysterious significance to my journey in this incomprehensible manner up in this particular quarter; but they no longer wish to offer any impediment to my progress, but rather to render me assistance. Poor fellows! how suspicious they are of their great overgrown neighbor to the north. What good-humored fellows these Turkish soldiers are! what simple-hearted, overgrown children. What a pity that they are the victims of a criminally incompetent government that neither pays, feeds, nor clothes them a quarter as well as they deserve. In the fearful winters of Erzeroum, they have been known to have no clothing to wear but the linen suits provided for the hot weather. Their pay, insignificant though it be, is as uncertain as gambling; but they never raise a murmur. Being by nature and religion fatalists, they cheerfully accept these undeserved hardships as the will of Allah. To-day is the hottest I have experienced in Asia Minor, and soon after leaving the outpost I once more encounter the everlasting mountains, following now the Trebizond and Erzingan caravan trail. Once again I get benighted in the mountains, and push ahead for some time after dark. I am beginning to think of camping out supperless again when I hear the creaking of a buffalo araba some distance ahead. Soon I overtake it, and, following it for half a mile off the trail, I find myself before an enclosure of several acres, surrounded by a high stone wall with quite imposing gateways. It is the walled village of Housseubegkhan, one of those places built especially for the accommodation of the Trebizond caravans in the winter. I am conducted into a large apartment, which appears to be set apart for the hospitable accommodation of travellers. The apartment is found already occupied by three travellers, who, from their outward appearance, might well be taken for cutthroats of the worst description; and the villagers swarming in, I am soon surrounded by the usual ragged, flea-bitten congregation. There are various arms and warlike accoutrements hanging on the wall, enough of one kind or other to arm a small company. They all belong to the three travellers, however; my modest little revolver seems really nothing compared with the warlike display of swords, daggers, pistols and guns hanging around; the place looks like a small armory. The first question is-as is usual of late - "Russ or Ingilis." Some of the younger and less experienced men essay to doubt my word, and, on their own supposition that I am a Russian, begin to take unwarrantable liberties with my person; one of them steals up behind and commences playing a tattoo on my helmet with two sticks of wood, by way of bravado, and showing his contempt for a subject of the Czar. Turning round, I take one of the sticks away and chastise him with it until he howls for Allah to protect him, and then, without attempting any sort of explanation to the others, resume my seat; one of the travellers then solemnly places his forefingers together and announces himself as kardash (my brother), at the same time pointing significantly to his choice assortment of ancient weapons. I shake hands, with him and remind him that I am somewhat hungry; whereupon he orders a villager to forthwith contribute six eggs, another butter to fry them in, and a third bread; a tezek fire is already burning, and with his own hands he fries the eggs, and makes my ragged audience stand at a respectful distance while I eat; if I were to ask him, he would probably clear the room of them instanter. About ten o'clock my impromptu friend and his companion order their horses, and buckle their arms and accoutrements about them to depart; my "brother" stands before me and loads up his flintlock rifle; it is a fearful and wonderful process; it takes him at least two minutes; he does not seem to know on which particular part of his wonderful paraphernalia to find the slugs, the powder, or the patching, and he finishes by tearing a piece of rag off a by-standing villager to place over the powder in the pan. While he is doing all this, and especially when ramming home the bullet, he looks at me as though expecting me to come and pat him approvingly on the shoulder. When they are gone, the third traveller, who is going to remain over night, edges up beside me, and pointing to his own imposing armory, likewise announces himself as my brother; thus do I unexpectedly acquire two brothers within the brief space of an evening. The villagers scatter to their respective quarters; quilts are provided for me, and a ghostly light is maintained by means of a cup of grease and a twisted rag. In one corner of the room is a paunchy youngster of ten or twelve summers, whom I noticed during the evening as being without a single garment to cover his nakedness; he has partly inserted himself into a largo, coarse, nose-bag, and lies curled up in that ridiculous position, probably imagining himself in quite comfortable quarters. "Oh, wretched youth." I mentally exclaim, "what will you do when that nose-bag has petered out?" and soon afterward I fall asleep, in happy consciousness of perfect security beneath the protecting shadow of brother number two and his formidable armament of ancient weapons. Ten miles of good ridable road from Houssenbegkhan, and I again descend into the valley of the west fork of the Euphrates, crossing the river on an ancient stone bridge; I left Houssenbegkhan without breakfasting, preferring to make my customary early start and trust to luck. I am beginning to doubt the propriety of having done so, and find myself casting involuntary glances toward a Koordish camp that is visible some miles to the north of my route, when, upon rounding a mountain-spur jutting out into the valley, I descry the minaret of Mamakhatoun in the distance ahead. A minaret hereabout is a sure indication of a town of sufficient importance to support a public eating-khan, where, if not a very elegant, at least a substantial meal is to be obtained. I obtain an acceptable breakfast of kabobs and boiled sheeps'- trotters; killing two birds with one stone by satisfying my own appetite and at the same time giving a first-class entertainment to a khan-full of wondering-eyed people, by eating with the khan-jee's carving-knife and fork in preference to my fingers. Here, as at Houssenbeg-khan, there is a splendid, large caravanserai; here it is built chiefly of hewn stone, and almost massive enough for a fortress; this is a mountainous, elevated region, where the winters are stormy and severe, and these commodious and substantial retreats are absolutely necessary for the safety of Erzingan and Trebizond caravans during the winter. The country now continues hilly rather than mountainous The road is generally too heavy with sand and dust, churned up by the Erzingan mule-caravans, to admit of riding wherever the grade is unfavorable; but much good wheeling surface is encountered on long, gentle declivities and comparatively level stretches.

During the forenoon I meet a company of three splendidly armed and mounted Circassians; they remain speechless with astonishment until I have passed beyond their hearing; they then conclude among themselves that I am something needing investigation; they come galloping after me, and having caught up, their spokesman gravely delivers himself of the solitary monosyllable, "Russ?" "Ingilis," I reply, and they resume the even tenor of their way without questioning me further. Later in the day the hilly country develops into a mountainous region, where the trail intersects numerous deep ravines whose sides are all but perpendicular. Between the ravines the riding is ofttimes quite excellent, the composition being soft shale, that packs down hard and smooth beneath the animals' feet. Deliciously cool streams flow at the bottom of these ravines. At one crossing I find an old man washing his feet, and mournfully surveying sundry holes in the bottom of his sandals; the day is hot, and I likewise halt a few minutes to cool my pedal extremities in the crystal water. With that childlike simplicity I have so often mentioned, and which is nowhere encountered as in the Asiatic Turk, the old fellow blandly asks me to exchange my comparatively sound moccasins for his worn-out sandals, at the same time ruefully pointing out the dilapidated condition of the latter, and looking as dejected as though it were the only pair of sandals in the world.

This afternoon I am passing along the same road where Mahmoud Ali's gang robbed a large party of Armenian harvesters who had been south to help harvest the wheat, and were returning home in a body with the wages earned during the summer. This happened but a few days before, and notwithstanding the well-known saying that lightning never strikes twice in the same place, one is scarcely so unimpressionable as not to find himself involuntarily scanning his surroundings, half expecting to be attacked. Nothing startling turns up, however, and at five o'clock I come to a village which is enveloped in clouds of wheat chaff; being a breezy evening, winnowing is going briskly forward On several threshing-floors. After duly binning, I am taken under the protecting wing of a prominent villager, who is walking about with his hand in a sling, the reason whereof is a crushed finger; he is a sensible, intelligent fellow, and accepts my reply that I am not a crushed-finger hakim with all reasonableness; he provides a substantial supper of bread and yaort, and then installs me in a small, windowless, unventilated apartment adjoining the buffalo- stall, provides me with quilts, lights a primitive grease-lamp, and retires. During the evening the entire female population visit my dimly- lighted quarters, to satisfy their feminine curiosity by taking a timid peep at their neighbor's strange guest and his wonderful araba. They imagine I am asleep and come on tiptoe part way across the room, craning their necks to obtain a view in the semi-darkness.

An hour's journey from this village brings me yet again into the West Euphrates Valley. Just where I enter the valley the river spreads itself over a wide stony bed, coursing along in the form of several comparatively small streams. There is, of course, no bridge here, and in the chilly, almost frosty, morning I have to disrobe and carry clothes and bicycle across the several channels. Once across, I find myself on the great Trebizond and Persian caravan route, and in a few minutes am partaking of breakfast at a village thirty-five miles from Erzeroum, where I learn with no little satisfaction that my course follows along the Euphrates Valley, with an artificial wagon-road, the whole distance to the city. Not far from the village the Euphrates is recrossed on a new stone bridge. Just beyond the bridge is the camp of a road-engineer's party, who are putting the finishing touches to the bridge. A person issues from one of the tents as I approach and begins chattering away at me in French. The face and voice indicates a female, but the costume consists of jack- boots, tight-fitting broadcloth pantaloons, an ordinary pilot-jacket, and a fez. Notwithstanding the masculine apparel, however, it turns out not only to be a woman, but a Parisienne, the better half of the Erzeroum road engineer, a Frenchman, who now appears upon the scene. They are both astonished and delighted at seeing a "velocipede," a reminder of their own far-off France, on the Persian caravan trail, and they urge me to remain and partake of coffee.

I now encounter the first really great camel caravans, en route to Persia with tea and sugar and general European merchandise; they are all camped for the day alongside the road, and the camels scattered about the neighboring hills in search of giant thistles and other outlandish vegetation, for which the patient ship of the desert entertains a partiality. Camel caravans travel entirely at night during the summer. Contrary to what, I think, is a common belief in the Occident, they can endure any amount of cold weather, but are comparatively distressed by the heat; still, this may not characterize all breeds of camels any more than the different breeds of other domesticated animals. During the summer, when the camels are required to find their own sustenance along the road, a large caravan travels but a wretched eight miles a day, the remainder of the time being occupied in filling his capacious thistle and camel-thorn receptacle; this comes of the scarcity of good grazing along the route, compared with the number of camels, and the consequent necessity of wandering far and wide in search of pasturage, rather than because of the camel's absorptive capacity, for he is a comparatively abstemious animal. In the winter they are fed on balls of barley flour, called nawalla; on this they keep fat and strong, and travel three times the distance. The average load of a full-grown camel is about seven hundred pounds.

Before reaching Erzeroum I have a narrow escape from what might have proved a serious accident. I meet a buffalo araba carrying a long projecting stick of timber; the sleepy buffaloes pay no heed to the bicycle until I arrive opposite their heads, when they - give a sudden lurch side wise, swinging the stick of timber across my path; fortunately the road happens to be of good-width, and by a very quick swerve I avoid a collision, but the tail end of the timber just brushes the rear wheel as I wheel past. Soon after noon I roll into Erzeroum, or rather, up to the Trebizond gate, and dis-mount. Erzeroum is a fortified city of considerable importance, both from a commercial and a military point of view; it is surrounded by earthwork fortifications, from the parapets of which large siege guns frown forth upon the surrounding country, and forts are erected in several commanding positions round about, like watch-dogs stationed outside to guard the city. Patches of snow linger on the Palantokan Moiintains, a few miles to the south; the Deve Boyuu Hills, a spur of the greater Palantokans, look down on the city from the east; the broad valley of the West Euphrates stretches away westward and northward, terminating at the north in another mountain range.

Repairing to the English consulate, I am gratified at finding several letters awaiting me, and furthermore by the cordial hospitality extended by Yusuph Effendi, an Assyrian gentleman, the charg'e d'affaires of the consulate for the time being, Colonel E - , the consul, having left recently for Trebizond and England, in consequence of numerous sword-wounds received at the hands of a desperado who invaded the consulate for plunder at midnight. The Colonel was a general favorite in Erzeroum, and is being tenderly carried (Thursday, September 3, 1885) to Trebizond on a stretcher by relays of willing natives, no less than forty accompanying him on the road. Yusuph Effendi tells me the story of the whole lamentable affair, pausing at intervals to heap imprecations on the head of the malefactor, and to bestow eulogies on the wounded consul's character.

It seems that the door-keeper of the consulate, a native of a neighboring Armenian village, was awakened at midnight by an acquaintance from the same village, who begged to be allowed to share his quarters till morning. No sooner had the servant admitted him to his room than he attacked him with his sword, intending-as it afterward leaked out-to murder the whole family, rob the house, and escape. The servant's cries for assistance awakened Colonel E - , who came to his rescue without taking the trouble to provide himself with a weapon. The man, infuriated at the detection and the prospect of being captured and brought to justice, turned savagely on the consul, inflicting several severe wounds on the head, hands, and face. The consul closed with him and threw him down, and called for his wife to bring his revolver. The wretch now begged so piteously for his life, and made such specious promises, that the consul magnanimously let him up, neglecting-doubtless owing to his own dazed condition from the scalp wounds-to disarm him. Immediately he found himself released he commenced the attack again, cutting and slashing like a demon, knocking the revolver from the consul's already badly wounded hand while he yet hesitated to pull the trigger and take his treacherous assailant's life. The revolver went off as it struck the floor and wounded the consul himself in the leg-broke it. The servant now rallied sufficiently to come to his assistance, and together they succeeded in disarming the robber, who, however, escaped and bolted up-stairs, followed by the servant with the sword. The consul's wife, with praiseworthy presence of mind, now appeared with a second revolver, which her husband grasped in his left hand, the right being almost hacked to pieces. Dazed and faint with the loss of blood, and, moreover, blinded by the blood flowing from the scalp-wounds, it was only by sheer strength of will that he could keep from falling. At this juncture the servant unfortunately appeared on the stairs, returning from an unsuccessful pursuit of the robber. Mistaking the servant with the sword in his hand for the desperado returning to the attack, and realizing his own helpless condition, the consul fired two shots at him, wounding him with both shots. The would-be murderer is now (September 3,1885), captured and in durance vile; the servant lies here in a critical condition, and the consul and his sorrowing family are en route to England.

Having determined upon resting here until Monday, I spend a good part of Friday looking about the city. The population is a mixture of Turks, Armenians, Russians, Persians, and Jews. Here. I first make the acquaintance of a Persian tchai-khan (tea-drinking shop). With the exception of the difference in the beverages, there is little difference between a tchai- khan and a Icahvay-lchan, although in the case of a swell establishment, the tchai-khan blossoms forth quite gaudily with scores of colored lamps. The tea is served scalding hot in tiny glasses, which are first half-filled with loaf-sugar. If the proprietor is desirous of honoring or pleasing a new or distinguished customer, he drops in lumps of sugar until it protrudes above the glass. The tea is made in a samovar-a brass vessel, holding perhaps a gallon of water, with a hollow receptacle in the centre for a charcoal fire. Strong tea is made in an ordinary queen's-ware teapot that fits into the hollow; a small portion of this is poured into the glass, which is then filled up with hot water from a tap in the samovar.

There is a regular Persian quarter in Erzeroum, and I am not suffered to stroll through it without being initiated into the fundamental difference between the character of the Persians and the Turks. When an Osmanli is desirous of seeing me ride the bicycle, he goes honestly and straightforwardly to work at coaxing and worrying; except in very rare instances they have seemed incapable of resorting to deceit or sharp practice to gain their object. Not so childlike and honest, however, are our new acquaintances, the Persians. Several merchants gather round me, and pretty soon they cunningly begin asking me how much I will sell the bicycle for. " Fifty liras," I reply, seeing the deep, deep scheme hidden beneath the superficial fairness of their observations, and thinking this will quash all further commercial negotiations. But the wily Persians are not so easily disposed of as this. "Bring it round and let us see how it is ridden," they say, " and if we like it we will purchase it for fifty liras, and perhaps make you a present besides." A Persian would rather try to gain an end by deceit than by honest and above-board methods, even if the former were more trouble. Lying, cheating, and deception is the universal rule among them; honesty and straightforwardness are unknown virtues. Anyone whom they detect telling the truth or acting honestly they consider a simpleton unfit to transact business. The missionaries and their families are at present tenting out, five miles south of the city, in a romantic little ravine called Kirk-dagheman, or the place of the forty mills; and on Saturday morning I receive a pressing invitation to become their guest during the remainder of my stay. The Erzeroum mission is represented by Mr. Chambers, his brother-now absent on a tour-their respective families, and Miss Powers. Yusuph Effendi accompanies us out to the camp on a spendid Arab steed, that curvets gracefully the whole way. Myself and the-other missionary people (bicycle work at Sivas, and again at Erzeroum) ride more sober and deco-ous animals. Kirkdagheman is found to be near the entrance to a pass over the Palantokan Mountains. Half a dozen small tents are pitched beneath the only grove of trees for many a mile around. A dancing stream of crystal water furnishes the camp with an abundance of that necessary, as also a lavish supply of such music as babbling brooks coursing madly over pebbly beds are wont to furnish. To this particular section of the little stream legendary lore has attached a story which gives the locality its name, Kirkdagheman.

" Once upon a time, a worthy widow found herself the happy possessor of no less than forty small grist-mills strung along this stream. Soon after her husband's death, the lady's amiable qualities-and not unlikely her forty mills into the bargain-attracted the admiration of a certain wealthy owner of flocks in the neighborhood, and he sought her hand in marriage. 'No,' said the lady, who, being a widow, had perhaps acquired wisdom; ' no; I have forty sons, each one faithfully laboring and contributing cheerfully toward my support; therefore, I have no use for a husband.' ' I will kill your forty sons, and compel you to become my wife,' replied the suitor, in a huff at being rejected. And he went and sheared all his sheep, and, with the multitudinous fleeces, dammed up the stream, caused the water to flow into other channels, and thereby rendered the widow's forty mills useless and unproductive. With nothing but ruination before her, and seeing no alternative, the widow's heart finally softened, and she suffered herself to be wooed and won. The fleeces were removed, the stream returned to its proper channel, and the merry whir of the forty mills henceforth mingled harmoniously with tlie bleating of the sheep." Two days are spent at the quiet missionary camp, and thoroughly enjoyed. It seems like an oasis of home life in the surrounding desert of uncongenial social conditions. I eagerly devour the contents of several American newspapers, and embrace the opportunities of the occasion, even to the extent of nursing the babies (missionaries seem rare folks for babies), of which there are three in camp. The altitude of Erzeroum is between six thousand and seven thousand feet; the September nights are delightfully cool, and there are no blood-thirsty mosquitoes. I am assigned a sleeping- tent close alongside a small waterfall, whose splashing music is a soporific that holds me in the bondage of beneficial repose until breakfast is announced both mornings; and on Monday morning I feel as though the hunger, the irregular sleep, and the rough-and-tumble dues generally of the past four weeks were but a troubled dream. Again the bicycle contributes its curiosity-quickening and question-exciting powers for the benefit of the sluggish-minded pupils of the mission school. The Persian consul and his sons come to see me ride ; he is highly interested upon learning that I am travelling on the wheel to the Persian capital, and he vises my passport and gives me a letter of introduction to the Pasha Khan of Ovahjik, the first village I shall come to beyond the frontier.

It is nearly 3 P.M., September 7th, when I bid farewell to everybody, and wheel out through the Persian Gate, accompanied by Mr. Chambers on horseback, who rides part way to the Deve Boyun (camel's neck) Pass. On the way out he tells me that he has been intending taking a journey through the Caucasus this autumn, but the difficulties of obtaining permission, on account of his being a clergyman, are so great-a special permission having to be obtained from St. Petersburg-that he has about relinquished the idea for the present season. Deve Boyun Pass leads over a comparatively low range of hills. It was here where the Turkish army, in November, 1877, made their last gallant attempt to stem the tide of disaster that had, by the fortunes of war and the incompeteucy of their commanders, set in irresistibly against them, before taking refuge inside the walls of the city. An hour after parting from Mr. Chambers I am wheeling briskly down the same road on the eastern slope of the pass where Mukhtar Pasha's ill-fated column was drawn into the fatal ambuscade that suddenly turned the fortunes of the day against them. While rapidly gliding down the gentle gradient, I fancy I can see the Cossack regiments, advancing toward the Turkish position, the unwary and over-confident Osmanlis leaping from their intrenchments to advance along the road and drive them back; now I come to the Nabi Tchai ravines, where the concealed masses of Eussian infantry suddenly sprang up and cut off their retreat; I fancy I can see- chug! wh-u-u-p! thud!-stars, and see them pretty distinctly, too, for while gazing curiously about, locating the Russian ambushment, the bicycle strikes a sand-hole, and I am favored with the worst header I have experienced for many a day. I am-or rather was, a minute ago-bowling along quite briskly; the header treats me to a fearful shaking up; I arn sore all over the next morning, and present a sort of a stiff-necked, woe-begone appearance for the next four days. A bent handle-bar and a slightly twisted rear wheel fork likewise forcibly remind me that, while I am beyond the reach of repair shops, it will be Solomon-like wisdom on my part to henceforth survey battle-fields with a larger margin of regard for things more immediately interesting. From the pass, my road descends into the broad and cultivated valley of the Passin Su; the road is mostly ridable, though heavy with dust. Part way to Hassen Kaleh I am compelled to use considerable tact to avoid trouble with a gang of riotous kalir-jees whom I overtake; as I attempt to wheel past, one of them wantonly essays to thrust his stick into the wheel; as I spring from the saddle for sheer self-protection, they think I have dismounted to attack him, and his comrades rush forward to his protection, brandishing their sticks and swords in a menacing manner. Seeing himself reinforced, as it were, the bold aggressor raises his stick as though to strike me, and peremptorily orders me to bin and haidi. Very naturally I refuse to remount the bicycle while surrounded by this evidently mischievous crew; there are about twenty of them, and it requires much self-control to prevent a conflict, in which, I am persuaded, somebody would have been hurt; however, I finally manage to escape their undesirable company and ride off amid a fusillade of stones. This incident reminds me of Yusuph Effendi's warning, that even though I had come thus far without a zaptieh escort, I should require one now, owing to the more lawless disposition of the people near the frontier. Near dark I reach Hassan Kaleh, a large village nestling under the shadow of its former importance as a fortified town, and seek the accommodation of a Persian tchai-khan; it is not very elaborate or luxurious accommodation, consisting solely of tiny glasses of sweetened tea in the public room and a shake-down in a rough, unfurnished apartment over the stable; eatables have to be obtained elsewhere, but it matters little so long as they are obtainable somewhere. During the evening a Persian troubadour and story-teller entertains the patrons of the tchai-khan by singing ribaldish songs, twanging a tambourine-like instrument, and telling stories in a sing-song tone of voice. In deference to the mixed nationality of his audience, the sagacious troubadour wears a Turkish fez, a Persian coat, and a Eussian metallic-faced belt; the burden of his songs are of Erzeroum, Erzingan, and Ispahan; the Russians, it would appear, are too few and unpopular to justify risking the displeasure of the Turks by singing any Eussian songs. So far as my comprehension goes, the stories are chiefly of intrigue and love affairs among pashas, and would quickly bring the righteous retribution of the Lord Chamberlain down about his ears, were he telling them to an English audience. I have no small difficulty in getting the bicycle up the narrow and crooked stairway into my sleeping apartment; there is no fastening of any kind on the door, and the proprietor seems determined upon treating every subject of the Shah in Hassan Kaleh to a private confidential exhibition of myself and bicycle, after I have retired to bed. It must be near midnight, I think, when I am again awakened from my uneasy, oft-disturbed slumbers by murmuring voices and the shuffling of feet; examining the bicycle by the feeble glimmer of a classic lamp are a dozen meddlesome Persians. Annoyed at their unseemly midnight intrusion, and at being repeatedly awakened, I rise up and sing out at them rather authoratively; I have exhibited the marifet of my Smith Wesson during the evening, and these intruders seem really afraid I might be going to practise on them with it. The Persians are apparently timid mortals; they evidently regard me as a strange being of unknown temperament, who might possibly break loose and encompass their destruction on the slightest provocation, and the proprietor and another equally intrepid individual hurriedly come to my couch, and pat me soothingly on the shoulders, after which they all retire, and I am disturbed no more till morning. The " rocky road to Dublin " is nothing compared to the road leading eastward from Hassan Kaleh for the first few miles, but afterward it improves into very fair wheeling. Eleven miles down the Passiu Su Valley brings me to the Armenian village of Kuipri Kui. Having breakfasted before starting I wheel on without halting, crossing the Araxes Eiver at the junction of the Passin Su, on a very ancient stone bridge known as the Tchebankerpi, or the bridge of pastures, said to be over a thousand years old. Nearing Dele Baba Pass, a notorious place for robbers, I pass through a village of sedentary Koords. Soon after leaving the village a wild-looking Koord, mounted on an angular sorrel, overtakes me and wants me to employ him as a guard while going through the pass, backing up the offer of his presumably valuable services by unsheathing a semi-rusty sword and waving it valiantly aloft. He intimates, by tragically graphic pantomime, that unless I traverse the pass under the protecting shadow of his ancient and rusty blade, I will be likely to pay the penalty of my rashness by having my throat cut. Yusuph Effendi and the Erzeroum missionaries have thoughtfully warned me against venturing through the Dele Baba Pass alone, advising me to wait and go through with a Persian caravan; but this Koord looks like anything but a protector; on the contrary, I am inclined to regard him as a suspicious character himself, interviewing me, perhaps, with ulterior ideas of a more objectionable character than that of faithfully guarding me through the Dele Baba Pass. Showing him the shell-extracting mechanism of my revolver, and explaining the rapidity with which it can be fired, I give him to understand that I feel quite capable of guarding myself, consequently have no earthly use for his services. A tea caravan of some two hundred camels are resting near the approach to the pass, affording me an excellent opportunity of having company through by waiting and journeying with them in the night; but warnings of danger have been repeated so often of late, and they have proved themselves groundless so invariably that I should feel the taunts of self-reproach were I to find myself hesitating to proceed on their account. Passing over a mountain spur, I descend into a rocky canon, with perpendicular walls of rock towering skyward like giant battlements, inclosing a space not over fifty yards wide; through this runs my road, and alongside it babbles the Dele Baba Su. The canon is a wild, lonely- looking spot, and looks quite appropriate to the reputation it bears. Professor Vambery, a recognized authority on Asiatic matters, and whose party encountered a gang of marauders here, says the Dele Baba Pass bore the same unsavory reputation that it bears to-day as far back as the time of Herodotus. However, suffice it to say, that I get through without molestation; mounted men, armed to the teeth, like almost everybody else hereabouts, are encountered in the pass; they invariably halt and look back after me as though endeavoring to comprehend who and what I am, but that is all. Emerging from the canon, I follow in a general course the tortuous windings of the Dele Baba Su through another ravine- riven battle-field of the late war, and up toward its source in a still more mountainous and elevated region beyond.