The wheeling improves in the afternoon, and alongside my road runs a bit of civilization in the shape of the splendid iron poles of the Indo-European Telegraph Company. Half a dozen times this afternoon I become the imaginary enemy of a couple of cavalrymen travelling in the same direction as myself; they swoop down upon me from the rear at a charging gallop, valiantly whooping and brandishing their Martini-Henrys; when they arrive within a few yards of my rear wheel they swerve off on either side and rein their fiery chargers up, allowing me to forge ahead; they amuse themselves by repeating this interesting performance over and over again. Being usually a good rider, the dash and courage of the Persian cavalryman is something extraordinary in time of peace; no more brilliant and intrepid cavalry charge on a small scale could be well imagined than I have witnessed several times this afternoon. But upon the outbreak of serious hostilities the average warrior in the Shah's service suddenly becomes filled with a wild, pathetic yearning after the peaceful and honorable calling of a katir-jee, an uncontrollable desire to become a humble, contented tiller of the soil, or handy-man about a tchaikhan, anything, in fact, of a strictly peaceful character. Were I a hostile trooper with a red jacket, and a general warlike appearance, and the bicycle a machine gun, though our whooping, charging cavalrymen were twenty instead of two, they would only charge once, and that would be with their horses' crimson-dyed tails streaming in the breeze toward me. The Shah's soldiers are gentle, unwarlike creatures at heart; there are probably no soldiers in the whole world that would acquit themselves less creditably in a pitched battle; they are, nevertheless, not without certain soldierly qualities, well adapted to their country; the cavalrymen are very good riders, and although the infantry does not present a very encouraging appearance on the parade-ground, they would meander across five hundred miles of country on half rations of blotting-paper ekmek without any vigorous remonstrance, and wait uncomplainingly for their pay until the middle of next year. About five o'clock I arrive at Hadji Agha, a large village forty miles from Tabreez; here, as soon as it is ascertained that I intend remaining over night, I am actually beset by rival khan-jees, who commence jabbering and gesticulating about the merits of their respective establishments, like hotel-runners in the United States; of course they are several degrees less rude and boisterous, and more considerate of one's personal inclinations than their prototypes in America, but they furnish yet another proof that there is nothing new under the sun. Hadji Agha is a village of seyuds, or descendants of the Prophet, these and the mollahs being the most bigoted class in Persia; when I drop into the tchai-khan for a glass or two of tea, the sanctimonious old joker with henna-tinted beard and finger-nails, presiding over the samovar, rolls up his eyes in holy horror at the thoughts of waiting upon an unhallowed Ferenghi, and it requires considerable pressure from the younger and less fanatical men to overcome his disinclination; he probably breaks the glass I drank from after my departure.

About dusk the Valiat and his courtiers arrive on horseback from Tabreez; the Prince immediately seeks my quarters at the khan, and, after examining the bicycle, wants me to take it out and ride; it is getting rather dark, however, so I put him off till morning; he remains and smokes cigarettes with me for half an hour, and then retires to the residence of the local Khan for the night. The Prince seems an amiable, easy-going sort of a person; while in my company his countenance is wreathed in a pleasant smile continually, and I fancy he habitually wears that same expression. His youthful courtiers seem frivolous young bloods, putting in most of the half-hour in showing me their accomplishments in the way of making floating rings of their cigarette smoke. Later in the evening I stroll around to the tchai-khan again; it is the gossiping-place of the village, and I find our sanctimonious seyuds indulging in uncomplimentary comments regarding the Yaliat's conduct in hobnobbing with the Ferenghi; how bigoted these Persians are, and yet how utterly destitute of principle and moral character. In the morning the Prince sends me an invitation to come and drink tea with them before starting out; he bears the same perennial smile as yesterday evening. Although he is generally understood to be completely under the influence of the fanatical and bigoted seyuds and mollahs, who are strictly opposed to the Ferenghi and the Fereughi's ideas of progress and civilization, he seems withal an amiable, well-disposed young man, whom one could scarce help liking personally, arid feeling sorry at the troubles in store for him ahead. He has an elder brother, the Zil-es-Sultan, now governor of the Southern Provinces; but not being the son of a royal princess, the Shah has nominated Ameer-i-Nazan as his successor to the throne. The Zil-es-Sultan, although of a somewhat cruel disposition, has proved himself a far more capable and energetic person than the Valiat, and makes no secret of the fact that he intends disputing the succession with his brother, by force of arms if necessary, at the Shah's demise. He has, so at least it is currently reported, had his sword-blade engraved with the grim inscription, "This is for the Valiat's head," and has jocularly notified his inoffensive brother of the fact. The Zil-es-Sultau belongs to the party of progress; recks little of the opinions of priests and fanatics, is fond of Englishmen and European improvements, and keeps a kennel of English bull dogs. Should he become Shah of Persia, Baron Reuter's grand scheme of railways and commercial regeneration, which was foiled by the fanaticism of the seyuds and mollahs soon after the Shah's visit to England, may yet come to something, and the railroad rails now rusting in the swamps of the Caspian littoral may, after all, form part of a railway between the seaboard and the capital. The road for a short distance east of Hadji Agha is splendid wheeling, and the Prince and his courtiers accompany me for some two miles, finding much amusement in racing with me whenever the road permits of spurting. The country now develops into undulating upland, uncultivated and stone-strewn, except where an occasional stream, affording irrigating facilities, has rendered possible the permanent maintenance of a mud village and a circumscribed area of wheat-fields, melon-gardens, and vineyards. No sooner does one find himself launched upon the comparatively well-travelled post-route than a difference becomes manifest in the character of the people. Commercially speaking, the Persian is considerably more of a Jew than the Jew himself, and along a route frequented by travellers, the person possessing some little knowledge of the thievish ways of the country and of current prices, besides having plenty of small change, finds these advantages a matter for congratulation almost every hour of the day. The proprietor of a wretched little mud hovel, solemnly presiding over a few thin sheets of bread, a jar of rancid, hirsute butter, and a dozen half-ripe melons, affects a glum, sorrowful expression to think that he should happen to be without small change, and consequently obliged to accept the Hamsherri's fifty kopec piece for provisions of one-tenth the value; but the mysterious frequency of this same state of affairs and accompanying sorrowful expression, taken in connection with the actual plenitude of small change in Persia, awakens suspicions even in the mind of the most confiding and uninitiated person. A peculiar system of commercial mendicancy obtains among the proprietors of melon and cucumber gardens alongside the road of this particular part of the country; observing a likely-looking traveller approaching, they come running to him with a melon or cucumber that they know to be utterly worthless, and beg the traveller to accept it as a present; delighted, perhaps with their apparent simple-hearted hospitality, and, moreover, sufficiently thirsty to appreciate the gift of a melon, the unsuspecting wayfarer tenders the crafty proprietor of the garden a suitable present of money in return and accepts the proffered gift; upon cutting it open he finds the melon unfit for anything, and it gradually dawns upon him that he has just grown a trifle wiser concerning the inbred cunningness and utter dishonesty of the Persians than he was before. Ere the day is ended the same game will probably be attempted a dozen times. In addition to these artful customers, one occasionally comes across small colonies of lepers, who, being compelled to isolate themselves from their fellows, have taken up their abode in rude hovels or caves by the road-side, and sally forth in all their hideousness to beset the traveller with piteous cries for assistance. Some of these poor lepers are loathsome in appearance to the last degree; their scanty coverings of rags and tatters conceals nothing of the ravages of their dread disease; some sit at the entrance to their hovels, stretching out their hands and piteously appealing for alms; others drop down exhausted in the road while endeavoring to run and overtake the passer-by; there is nothing deceptive about these wretched outcasts, their condition is only too glaringly apparent. Toward sundown I arrive at Turcomanchai, a large village, where in 1828, was drawn up the Treaty of Peace between Persia and Russia, which transferred the remaining Persian territory of the Caucasus into the capacious maw of the Northern Bear. It is currently reported that after depriving the Persians of their rights to the navigation of the Caspian Sea the Czar coolly gave his amiable friend the Shah a practical lesson concerning the irony of fortune by presenting him with a yacht. Seeking the guidance of a native to the caravanserai, this quick-witted individual leads the way through tortuous alleyways to the other end of the village and pilots me to the camp of a tea caravan, pitched on the outskirts, thinking I had requested to be guided to a caravan; the caravan men direct me to the chapar-khana, where accommodations of the usual rude nature are provided. Sending into the village for eggs, sugar, and tea, the chapar- khana keeper and stablemen produce a battered samovar, and after frying my supper, they prepare tea; they are poor, ragged fellows, but they seem light-hearted and contented; the siren song of the steaming samovar seems to a waken in their semi-civilized breasts a sympathetic response, and they fall to singing and making merry over tiny glasses of sweetened tea quite as naturally as sailors in a seaport groggery, or Germans over a keg of lager. Jolly, happy-go-lucky fellows though they outwardly appear, they prove no exception, however, to the general run of their countrymen in the matter of petty dishonesty; although I gave them money enough to purchase twice the quantity of provisions they brought back, besides promising them the customary small present before leaving, in the morning they make a further attempt on my purse under pretence of purchasing more butter to cook the remainder of the eggs. These are trifling matters to discuss, but they serve to show the wide difference between the character of the peasant classes in Persia and Turkey. The chapar-khana usually consists of a walled enclosure containing stabling for a large number of horses and quarters for the stablemen and station- keeper. The quickest mode of travelling in Persia is by chapar, or, in other words, on horseback, obtaining fresh horses at each chapar-khana. The country east of Turcomanchai consists of rough, uninteresting upland, with nothing to vary the monotony of the journey, until noon, when after wheeling five farsakhs I reach the town of Miana, celebrated throughout the Shah's dominions for a certain poisonous bug which inhabits the mud walls of the houses, and is reputed to bite the inhabitants while they are sleeping. The bite is said to produce violent and prolonged fever, and to be even, dangerous to life. It is customary to warn travellers against remaining over night at Miana, and, of course, I have not by any means been forgotten. Like most of these alleged dreadful things, it is found upon close investigation to be a big bogey with just sufficient truthfulness about it to play upon the imaginative minds of the people. The "Miana bug-bear" would, I think, be a more appropriate name than Miana bug. The people here seem inclined to be rather rowdyish in their reception of a Ferenghi without an escort. While trundling through the bazaar toward the telegraph station I become the unhappy target for covertly thrown melon-rinds and other unwelcome missiles, for which there appears no remedy except the friendly shelter of the station. This is just outside the town, and before the gate is reached, stones are exchanged for melon-rinds, but fortunately without any serious damage being done. Mr. F - , a young German operator, has charge of the control-station here, and welcomes me most cordially to share his comfortable quarters, urging me to remain with him several days. I gladly accept his hospitality till tomorrow morning. Mr. F - has a brother who has recently become a Mussulman, and married a couple of Persian wives; he is also residing temporarily at Miana. He soon comes around to the telegraph station, and turns out to be a wild harum-skarum sort of a person, who regards his transformation into a Mussulman and the setting up of a harem of his own as anything but a serious affair. As a reward for embracing the Mohammedan religion and becoming a Persian subject the Shah has given him a sum of money and a position in the Tabreez mint, besides bestowing upon him the sounding title of Mirza Ab-dul Karim Khan. It seems that inducements of a like substantial nature are held out to any Ferenghi of known respectability who formally embraces the Shiite branch of the Mohammedan religion, and becomes a Persian subject - a rare chance for chronic ne'er-do-wells among ourselves, one would think.

This novel and festive convert to Islam readily gives me a mental peep behind the scenes of Persian domestic life, and would unhesitatingly have granted me a peep in person had such a thing been possible. Imagine the ordinary costume of an opera-bouffe artist, shorn of all regard for the difference between real indecency and the suggestiveness of indelicacy permissible behind the footlights, and we have the every-day costume of the Persian harem. In the dreamy eventide the lord of the harem usually betakes himself to that characteristic institution of the East and proceeds to drive dull care away by smoking the kalian and watching an exhibition of the terpsichorean talent of his wives or slaves. This does not consist of dancing, such as we are accustomed to understand the art, but of graceful posturing and bodily contortions, spinning round like a coryphee, with hand aloft, and snapping their fingers or clashing tiny brass cymbals; standing with feet motionless and wriggling the joints, or bending backward until their loose, flowing tresses touch the ground. Persians able to afford the luxury have their womens' apartment walled with mirrors, placed at appropriate angles, so that when enjoying these exhibitions of his wives' abilities he finds himself not merely in the presence of three or six wives, as the case may be, but surrounded on all sides by scores of airy-fairy nymphs, and amid the dreamy fumes and soothing bubble-bubbling of his kalian can imagine himself the happy - or one would naturally think, unhappy - possessor of a hundred. The effect of this mirror-work arrangement can be better imagined than described.

"You haven't got one of those mirrored rooms, have you?" I inquire, beginning to get a trifle inquisitive, and perhaps rather impertinent. "You couldn't manage to smuggle a fellow inside, disguised as a seyud or - " "Nicht," replies Mirza Abdul Kaiim Khan, laughing, "I have not bothered about a mirror chamber yet, because I only remain here for another month; but if you happen to come to Tabreez any time after I get settled down there, look me up, and I'll-hello! here comes Prince Assabdulla to see your velocipede!" Fatteh - Ali Shah, the grandfather of the present monarch, had some seventy-two sons, besides no lack of daughters. As the son of a prince inherits his father's title in Persia, the numerous descendants of Fatteh-Ali Shah are scattered all over the empire, and royal princes bob serenely up in every town of any consequence in the country. They are frequently found occupying some snug, but not always lucrative, post under the Government. Prince Assabdulla has learned telegraphy, and has charge of the government control-station here, drawing a salary considerably less than the agent of the English company's line. The Persian Government telegraph line consists of one wire strung on tumble-down wooden poles. It is erected alongside the splendid English line of triple wires and substantial iron poles, and the control-stations are built adjacent to the English stations, as though the Persians were rather timid about their own abilities as telegraphists, and preferred to nestle, as it were, under the protecting shadow of the English line. Prince Assabdulla has an elder brother who is Governor of Miana, and who comes around to see the bicycle during the afternoon; they both seem pleasant and agreeable fellows. "When the heat of the day has given place to cooler eventide, and the moon comes peeping over the lofty Koflan Koo Mountains, near-by to the eastward, we proceed to a large fruit-garden on the outskirts of the town, and, sitting on the roof of a building, indulge in luscious purple grapes as large as walnuts, and pears that melt away in the mouth. Mirza Abdul Karim Khan plays a German accordeon, and Prince Assabdulla sings a Persian love-song; the leafy branches of poplar groves are whispering in response to a gentle breeze, and playing hide-and-seek across the golden face of the moon, and the mountains have assumed a shadowy, indistinct appearance. It is a scene of transcendental loveliness, characteristic of a Persian moonlight night.

Afterward we repair to Mirza Abdul Kiirim Khan's house to smoke the kalian and drink tea. His favorite wife, whom he has taught to respond to the purely Frangistan name of " Eosie," replenishes and lights the kalian-giving it a few preliminary puffs herself by way of getting it under headway before handing it to her husband-and then serves us with glasses of sweetened tea from the samovar. In deference to her Ferenghi brother-in-law and myself, Eosie has donned a gauzy shroud over the above-mentioned in-door costume of the Persian female. "She is a beautiful dancer," says her husband, admiringly, "I wish it were possible for you to see her dance this evening; bat it isn't; Eosie herself wouldn't mind, but it would be pretty certain to leak out, and Miana being a rather fanatical place, my life wouldn't be worth that much," and the Khan carelessly snapped his fingers. Supper is brought up to the telegraph station. Prince Assabdulla is invited, and comes round with his servant bearing a number of cucumbers and a bottle of arrack; the Prince, being a genuine Mohammedan, is forbidden by his religion to indulge; consequently he consumes the fiery arrack in preference to some light and harmless native wine; such is the perversity of human nature.

Two princes and a khan are cantering (not khan-tering) alongside the bicycle as I pull out eastward from Miana. They accompany me to the foot- hills approaching the Koflan Koo Pass, and wishing me a pleasant journey, turn their horses' heads homeward again. Reaching the pass proper, I find it to be an exceedingly steep trundle, but quite easy climbing compared with a score of mountain passes in Asia Minor, for the surface is reasonably smooth, and toward the summit is an ancient stone causeway. A new and delightful experience awaits me upon the summit of the pass; the view to the westward is a revelation of mountain scenery altogether new and novel in my experience, which can now scarcely be called unvaried. I seem to be elevated entirely above the surface of the earth, and gazing down through transparent, ethereal depths upon a scene of everchanging beauty. Fleecy cloudlets are floating lazily over the valley far below my position, producing on the landscape a panoramic scene of constantly changing shadows; through the ethery depths, so wonderfully transparent, the billowy gray foothills, the meandering streams fringed with green, and Miana with its blue-domed mosques and emerald gardens, present a phantasmagorical appearance, as though they themselves were floating about in the lower strata of space, and undergoing constant transformation. Perched on an apparently inaccessible crag to the north is an ancient robber stronghold commanding the pass; it is a natural fortress, requiring but a few finishing touches by man to render it impregnable in the days when the maintenance of robber strongholds were possible. Owing to its walls and battlements being chiefly erected by nature, the Persian peasantry call it the Perii-Kasr, believing it to have been built by fairies. While descending the eastern slope, I surprise a gray lizard almost as large as a rabbit, basking in the sunbeams; he briskly scuttles off into the rocks upon being disturbed.

Crossing the Sefid Rud on a dilapidated brickwork bridge, I cross another range of low hills, among which I notice an abundance of mica cropping above the surface, and then descend on to a broad, level plain, extending eastward without any lofty elevation as far as eye can reach. On this shelterless plain I am overtaken by a furious equinoctial gale; it comes howling suddenly from the west, obscuring the recently vacated Koflan Koo Mountains behind an inky veil, filling the air with clouds of dust, and for some minutes rendering it necessary to lie down and fairly hang on to the ground to prevent being blown about. First it begins to rain, then to hail; heaven's artillery echoes and reverberates in the Koflan Koo Mountains, and rolls above the plain, seeming to shake the hailstones down like fruit from the branches of the clouds, and soon I am enveloped in a pelting, pitiless downpour of hailstones, plenty large enough to make themselves felt wherever they strike. To pitch my tent would have been impossible, owing to the wind and the suddenness of its appearance. In thirty minutes or less it is all over; the sun shines out warmly and dissipates the clouds, and converts the ground into an evaporator that envelops everything in steam. In an hour after it quits raining, the road is dry again, and across the plain it is for the most part excellent wheeling.

About four o'clock the considerable village of Sercham is reached; here, as at Hadji Aghi, I at once become the bone of contention between rival khan-jees wanting to secure me for a guest, on the supposition that I am going to remain over night. Their anxiety is all unnecessary, however, for away off on the eastern horizon can be observed clusters of familiar black dots that awaken agreeable reflections of the night spent in the Koordish camp between Ovahjik and Khoi. I remain in Sercham long enough to eat a watermelon, ride, against my will, over rough ground to appease the crowd, and then pull out toward the Koordish camps which are evidently situated near my proper course.

It seeins to have rained heavily in the mountains and not rained at all east of Sercham, for during the next hour I am compelled to disrobe, and ford several freshets coursing down ravines over beds that before the storm were inches deep in dust, the approaching slopes being still dusty; this little diversion causes me to thank fortune that I have been enabled to keep in advance of the regular rainy season, which commences a little later. Striking a Koordish camp adjacent to the trail I trundle toward one of the tents; before reaching it I am overhauled by a shepherd who hands me a handful of dried peaches from a wallet suspended from his waist. The evening air is cool with a suggestion of frostiness, and the occupants of the tent are found crouching around a smoking tezek fire; they are ragged and of rather unprepossessing appearance, but being instinctively hospitable, they shuffle around to make me welcome at the fire; at first I almost fancy myself mistaken in thinking them Koords, for there is nothing of the neatness and cleanliness of our late acquaintances about them; on the contrary, they are almost as repulsive as their sedentary relatives of Dele Baba-but a little questioning removes all doubt of their being Koords. They are simply an ill-conditioned tribe, without any idea whatever of thrift or good management. They have evidently been to Tabreez or somewhere lately, and invested most of the proceeds of the season's shearing in three-year-old dried peaches that are hard enough to rattle like pebbles; sacksful of these edibles are scattered all over the tent serving for seats, pillows, and general utility articles for the youngsters to roll about on, jump over, and throw around; everybody in the camp seems to be chewing these peaches and throwing them about in sheer wantonness because they are plentiful; every sack contains finger-holes from which one and all help themselves ad libitum in wanton disregard of the future.

Nearly everybody seems to be suffering from ophthalmia, which is aggravated by crouching over the densely smoking tezek; and one miserable-looking old character is groaning and writhing with the pain of a severe stomach- ache. By loafing lazily about the tent all day, and chewing these flinty dried peaches, this hopeful old joker has well-nigh brought himself to the unhappy condition of the Yosemite valley mule, who broke into the tent and consumed half a bushel of dried peaches; when the hunters returned to camp and were wondering what marauder had visited their tent and stolen the peaches, they heard a loud explosion behind the tent; hastily going out they discover the remnants of the luckless mule scattered about in all directions. Of course I am appealed to for a remedy, and I am not sorry to have at last come across an applicant for my services as a hakim, for whose ailment I can prescribe with some degree of confidence; to make assurance doubly sure I give the sufferer a double dose, and in the morning have the satisfaction of finding him entirely relieved from his misery. There seems to be no order or sense of good manners whatever among these people; we have bread and half-stewed peaches for supper, and while they are cooking, ill-mannered youngsters are constantly fishing them from the kettles with weed-stalks, meeting with no sort of reproof from their elders for so doing; when bedtime arrives, everybody seizes quilts, peach-sacks, etc., and crawls wherever they can for warmth and comfort; three men, two women, and several children occupy the same compartment as myself, and gaunt dogs are nosing hungrily about among us. About midnight there is a general hallooballoo among the dogs, and the clatter of horses' hoofs is heard outside the tent; the occupants of the tent, including myself, spring up, wondering what the disturbance is all about. A group of horsemen are visible in the bright moonlight outside, and one of them has dismounted, and under the guidance of a shepherd, is about entering the tent; seeing me spring up, and being afraid lest perchance I might misinterpret their intentions and act accordingly, he sings out in a soothing voice, "Kardash, Hamsherri; Kardash, Kardash." thus assuring me of their peaceful intentions. These midnight visitors turn out to be a party of Persian travellers from Miana, from which it would appear they have less fear of the Koords here than in Koordistan near the frontier; having, somehow, found out my whereabouts, they have come to try and persuade me to leave the camp and join their company to Zenjan. Although my own unfavorable impressions of my entertainers are seconded by the visitors' reiterated assurances that these Koords are bad people, I decline to accompany them, knowing the folly of attempting to bicycle over these roads by moonlight in the company of horsemen who would be continually worrying me to ride, no matter what the condition of the road; after remaining in camp half an hour they take their departure.

In the morning I discover that my mussulman hat-band has mysteriously disappeared, and when preparing to depart, a miscellaneous collection of females gather about me, seize the bicycle, and with much boisterous hilarity refuse to let me depart until I have given each one of them some money; their behavior is on the whole so outrageous, that I appeal to my patient of yesterday evening, in whose bosom I fancy I may perchance have kindled a spark of gratitude; but the old reprobate no longer has the stomach-ache, and he regards my unavailing efforts to break away from my hoi-denish tormentors with supreme indifference, as though there were nothing extraordinary in their conduct. The demeanor of these wild- eyed Koordish females on this occasion fully convinces me that the stories concerning their barbarous conduct toward travellers captured on the road is not an exaggeration, for while preventing my departure they seem to take a rude, boisterous delight in worrying me on all sides, like a gang of puppies barking and harassing anything they fancy powerless to do them harm. After I have finally bribed my freedom from the women, the men seize me and attempt to further detain me until they can send for their Sheikh to come from another camp miles away, to see me ride. After waiting a reasonable time, out of respect for their having accommodated me with quarters for the night, and no signs of the Sheikh appearing, I determine to submit to their impudence no longer; they gather around me as before, but presenting my revolver and assuming an angry expression, I threaten instant destruction to the next one laying hands on either myself or the bicycle; they then give way with lowering brows and sullen growls of displeasure. My rough treatment on this occasion compared with my former visit to a Koordish camp, proves that there is as much difference between the several tribes of nomad Koords, as between their sedentary relatives of Dele Baba and Malosman respectively; for their general reputation, it were better that I had spent the night in Sercham. A few miles from the camp, I am overtaken by four horsemen followed by several dogs and a pig; it proves to be the tardy Sheikh and his retainers, who have galloped several miles to catch me up; the Sheikh is a pleasant, intelligent fellow of thirty or thereabouts, and astonishes me by addressing me as "Monsieur;" they canter alongside for a mile or so, highly delighted, when the Sheikh cheerily sings out "Adieu, monsieur!" and they wheel about and return; had their Sheikh been in the camp I stayed at, my treatment would undoubtedly have been different. I am at the time rather puzzled to account for so strange a sight as a pig galloping briskly behind the horses, taking no notice of the dogs which continually gambol about him; but I afterward discover that a pet pig, trained to follow horses, is not an unusual thing among the Persians and Persian Koords; they are thin, wiry animals of a sandy color, and quite capable of following a horse for hours; they live in the stable with their equine companions, finding congenial occupation in rooting around for stray grains of barley; the horses and pig are said to become very much attached to each other; when on the road the pig is wont to signify its disapproval of a too rapid pace, by appealing squeaks and grunts, whereupon the horse responsively slacks its speed to a more accommodating speed for its porcine companion. The road now winds tortuously along the base of some low gravel hills, and the wheeling perceptibly improves; beyond Nikbey it strikes across the hilly country, and more trundling becomes necessary. At Nikbey I manage to leave the inhabitants in a profound puzzle by replying that I am not a Ferenghi, but an Englishman; this seems to mystify them not a little, and they commence inquiring among themselves for an explanation of the difference; they are probably inquiring yet. Fifty-eight miles are covered from the Koordish camp, and at three o'clock the blue-tiled domes of the Zendjan mosques appear in sight; these blue-tiled domes are more characteristic of Persian mosques, which are usually built of bricks, and have no lofty tapering minarets as in Turkey; the summons to prayers are called from the top of a wall or roof. When approaching the city gate, a half-crazy man becomes wildly excited at the spectacle of a man on a wheel, and, rushing up, seizes hold of the handle; as I spring from the saddle he rapidly takes to his heels; finding that I am not pursuing him, he plucks up courage, and timidly approaching, begs me to let him see me ride again. Zendjan is celebrated for the manufacture of copper vessels, and the rat-a-tat-tat of the workmen beating them out in the coppersmiths' quarters is heard fully a mile outside the gate; the hammering is sometimes deafening while trundling through these quarters, and my progress through it is indicated by what might perhaps be termed a sympathetic wave of silence following me along, the din ceasing at my approach and commencing again with renewed vigor after I have passed.

Mr. F - , a Levantine gentleman in charge of the station here, fairly outdoes himself in the practical interpretation of genuine old-fashioned hospitality, which brooks no sort of interference with the comfort of his guest; understanding the perpetual worry a person travelling in so extraordinary a manner must be subject to among an excessively inquisitive people like the Persians, he kindly takes upon himself the duty of protecting me from anything of the kind during the day I remain over as his guest, and so manages to secure me much appreciated rest and quiet. The Governor of the city sends an officer around saying that himself and several prominent dignitaries would like very much to see the bicycle. "Very good, replies Mr. F - , "the bicycle is here, and Mr. Stevens will doubtless be pleased to receive His Excellency and the leading officials of Zendjan any time it suits their convenience to call, and will probably have no objections to showing them the bicycle." It is, perhaps, needless to explain that the Governor doesn't turn up; I, however, have an interesting visitor in the person of the Sheikh-ul-Islam (head of religious affairs in Zendjan), a venerable-looking old party in flowing gown and monster turban, whose hands and flowing beard are dyed to a ruddy yellow with henna. The Sheikh-ul-Islam is considered the holiest personage in Zendjan and his appearance and demeanor does not in the least belie his reputation; whatever may be his private opinion of himself, he makes far less display of sanctimoniousness than many of the common seyuds, who usually gather their garments about them whenever they pass a Ferenghi in the bazaar, for fear their clothing should become defiled by brushing against him. The Sheikh-ul-Islam fulfils one's idea of a gentle-bred, worthy-minded old patriarch; he examines the bicycle and listens to the account of my journey with much curiosity and interest, and bestows a flattering mead of praise on the wonderful ingenuity of the Ferenghis as exemplified in my wheel.

>From Zeudjan eastward the road gradually improves, and after a dozen miles develops into the finest wheeling yet encountered in Asia; the country is a gravelly plain between a mountain chain on the left and a range of lesser hills to the right. Near noon I pass through Sultaneah, formerly a favorite country resort of the Persian monarchs; on the broad, grassy plain, during the autumn, the Shah was wont to find amusement in manoeuvring his cavalry regiments, and for several months an encampment near Sultaneah became the head-quarters of that arm of the service. The Shah's palace and the blue dome of a large mosque, now rapidly crumbling to decay, are visible many miles before reaching the village. The presence of the Shah and his court doesn't seem to have exerted much of a refining or civilizing influence on the common villagers; otherwise they have retrograded sadly toward barbarism again since Sultaneah has ceased to be a favorite resort. They appear to regard the spectacle of a lone Ferenghi meandering through their wretched village on a wheel, as an opportunity of doing something aggressive for the cause of Islam not to be overlooked; I am followed by a hooting mob of bare-legged wretches, who forthwith proceed to make things lively and interesting, by pelting me with stones and clods of dirt. One of these wantonly aimed missiles catches me square between the shoulders, with a force that, had it struck me fairly on the back of the neck, would in all probability have knocked me clean out of the saddle; unfortunately, several irrigating ditches crossing the road immediately ahead prevent escape by a spurt, and nothing remains but to dismount and proceed to make the best of it. There are only about fifty of them actively interested, and part of these being mere boys, they are anything but a formidable crowd of belligerents if one could only get in among them with a stuffed club; they seem but little more than human vermin in their rags and nakedness, and like vermin, the greatest difficulty is to get hold of them. Seeing me dismount, they immediately take to their heels, only to turn and commence throwing stones again at finding themselves unpursued; while I am retreating and actively dodging the showers of missiles, they gradually venture closer and closer, until things becoming too warm and dangerous, I drop the bicycle, and make a feint toward them; they then take to their heels, to return to the attack again as before, when I again commence retreating. Finally I try the experiment of a shot in the air, by way of notifying them of my ability to do them serious injury; this has the effect of keeping them at a more respectful distance, but they seem to understand that I am not intending serious shooting, and the more expert throwers manage to annoy me considerably until ridable ground is reached; seeing me mount, they all come racing pell-mell after me, hurling stones, and howling insulting epithets after me as a Ferenghi, but with smooth road ahead I am, of course, quickly beyond their reach.

The villages east of Sultaneah are observed to be, almost without exception, surrounded by a high mud wall, a characteristic giving them the appearance of fortifications rather than mere agricultural villages; the original object of this was, doubtless, to secure themselves against surprises from wandering tribes; and as the Persians seldom think of changing anything, the custom is still maintained. Bushes are now occasionally observed near the roadside, from every twig of which a strip of rag is fluttering in the breeze; it is an ancient custom still kept up among the Persian peasantry when approaching any place they regard with reverence, as the ruined mosque and imperial palace at Sultaneah, to tear a strip of rag from their clothing and fasten it to some roadside bush; this is supposed to bring them good luck in their undertakings, and the bushes are literally covered with the variegated offerings of the superstitious ryots; where no bushes are handy, heaps of small stones are indicative of the same belief; every time he approaches the well-known heap, the peasant picks up a pebble, and adds it to the pile. Owing to a late start and a prevailing head-wind, but forty-six miles are covered to-day, when about sundown I seek the accommodation of the chapar-khana, at Heeya; but, providing the road continues good, I promise myself to polish off the sixty miles between here and Kasveen, to-morrow. The chaparkhana sleeping apartments at Heeya contain whitewashed walls and reed matting, and presents an appearance of neatness and cleanliness altogether foreign to these institutions previously patronized; here, also, first occurs the innovation from "Hamsherri" to "Sahib," when addressing me in a respectful manner; it will be Sahib, from this point clear to, through and beyond India; my various titles through the different countries thus far traversed have been; Monsieur, Herr, Effendi, Hamsherri, and now Sahib; one naturally wonders what new surprises are in store ahead. A bountiful supper of scrambled eggs (toke-mi-morgue) is obtained here, and the customary shake-down on the floor. After getting rid of the crowd I seek my rude couch, and am soon in the land of unconsciousness; an hour afterward I am awakened by the busy hum of conversation; and, behold, in the dim light of a primitive lamp, I become conscious of several pairs of eyes immediately above me, peering with scrutinizing inquisitiveness into my face; others are examining the bicycle standing against the wall at my head. Rising up, I find the chapar-lchana crowded with caravan teamsters, who, going past with a large camel caravan from the Caspian seaport of Eesht, have heard of the bicycle, and come flocking to my room; I can hear the unmelodious clanging of the big sheet-iron bells as their long string of camels file slowly past the building.

Daylight finds me again on the road, determined to make the best of early morning, ere the stiff easterly wind, which seems inclined to prevail of late, commences blowing great guns against me. A short distance out, I meet a string of some three hundred laden camels that have not yet halted after the night's march; scores of large camel caravans have been encountered since leaving Erzeroum, but they have invariably been halting for the day; these camels regard the bicycle with a timid reserve, merely swerving a step or two off their course as I wheel past; they all seem about equally startled, so that my progress down the ranks simply causes a sort of a gentle ripple along the line, as though each successive camel were playing a game of follow-my leader. The road this morning is nearly perfect for wheeling, consisting of well-trodden camel-paths over a hard gravelled surface that of itself naturally makes excellent surface for cycling; there is no wind, and twenty-five miles are duly registered by the cyclometer when I halt to eat the breakfast of bread and a portion of yesterday evening's scrambled eggs which I have brought along. On past Seyudoon and approaching Kasveen, the plain widens to a considerable extent and becomes perfectly level; apparent distances become deceptive, and objects at a distance assume weird, fantastic shapes; beautiful mirages hold out their allurements from all directions; the sombre walls of villages present the appearance of battlemented fortresses rising up from the mirror-like surface of silvery lakes, and orchards and groves seem shadowy, undefinable objects floating motionless above the earth. The telegraph poles traversing the plain in a long, straight line until lost to view in the hazy distance, appear to be suspended in mid-air; camels, horses, and all moving objects more than a mile away, present the strange optical illusion of animals walking through the air many feet above the surface of the earth. Long rows of kanaat mounds traverse the plain in every direction, leading from the numerous villages to distant mountain chains. Descending one of the sloping cavernous entrances before mentioned, for a drink, I am rather surprised at observing numerous fishes disporting themselves in the water, which, on the comparatively level plain, flows but slowly; perhaps they are an eyeless variety similar to those found in the Mammoth Cave of Kentucky; still they get a glimmering light from the numerous perpendicular shafts. Flocks of wild pigeons also frequent these underground water-courses, and the peasantry sometimes capture them by the hundred with nets placed over the shafts; the kanaats are not bricked archways, but merely tunnels burrowed through the ground. Three miles of loose sand and stones have to be trundled through before reaching Kasveen; nevertheless my promised sixty miles are overcome, and I enter the city gate at 2 P.M. A trundle through several narrow, crooked streets brings me to an inner gateway emerging upon a broad, smooth avenue; a short ride down this brings me to a large enclosure containing the custom-house offices and a fine brick caravanserai. Yet another prince appears here in the person of a custom-house official; I readily grant the requested privilege of seeing me ride, but the title of a Persian prince is no longer associated in my mind with greatness and importance; princes in Persia are as plentiful as counts in Italy or barons in Germany, yet it rather shocks one's dreams of the splendor of Oriental royalty to find princes manipulating the keys of a one wire telegraph control-station at a salary of about forty dollars a month (25 tomans), or attending to the prosy duties of a small custom-house. Kasveen is important as being the half-way station between Teheran and the Caspian port of Eesht, and on the highway of travel and commerce between Northern Persia and Europe; added importance is likewise derived from its being the terminus of a broad level road from the capital, and where travellers and the mail from Teheran have to be transferred from wheeled vehicles to the backs of horses for the passage over the rugged passes of the Elburz mountains leading to the Caspian slope, or vice versa when going the other way. Locking the bicycle up in a room of the caravanserai, I take a strolling peep at the nearest streets; a couple of lutis or professional buffoons, seeing me strolling leisurely about, come hurrying up; one is leading a baboon by a string around the neck, and the other is carrying a gourd drum. Reaching me, the man with the baboon commences making the most ludicrous grimaces and causes the baboon to caper wildly about by jerking the string, while the drummer proceeds to belabor the head of his drum, apparently with the single object of extracting as much noise from it as possible. Putting my fingers to my ears I turn away; ten minutes afterward I observe another similar combination making a bee-line for my person; waving them off I continue on down the street; soon afterward yet a third party attempts to secure me for an audience. It is the custom for these strolling buffoons to thus present themselves before persons on the street, and to visit houses whenever there is occasion for rejoicing, as at a wedding, or the birth of a son; the lutis are to the Persians what Italian organ-grinders are among ourselves; I fancy people give them money chiefly to get rid of their noise and annoyance, as we do to save ourselves from the soul-harrowing tones of a wheezy crank organ beneath the window. Among the novel conveyances observed in the courtyard of the caravanserai is the takhtrowan, a large sedan chair provided with shafts at either end, and carried between two mules or horses; another is the before-mentioned kajaveh, an arrangement not unlike a pair of canvas-covered dog kennels strapped across the back of an animal; these latter contrivances are chiefly used for carrying women and children. After riding around the courtyard several different times for crowds continually coming, I finally conclude that there must be a limit to this sort of thing anyhow, and refuse to ride again; the new-comers linger around, however, until evening, in the hopes that an opportunity of seeing me ride may present itself. A number of them then contribute a handful of coppers, which they give to the proprietor of a tributary tchai-khan to offer me as an inducement to ride again. The wily Persians know full well that while a Ferenghi would scorn to accept their handful of coppers, he would probably be sufficiently amused at the circumstance to reward their persistence by riding for nothing; telling the grinning khan-jee to pocket the coppers, I favor them with "positively the last entertainment this evening." An hour later the khan- jee meets me going toward the bazaar in search of something for supper; inquiring the object of my search, he takes me back to his tchai-khan, points significantly to an iron kettle simmering on a small charcoal fire, and bids me be seated; after waiting on a customer or two, and supplying me with tea, he quietly beckons me to the fire, removes the cover and reveals a savory dish of stewed chicken and onions: this he generously shares with me a few minutes later, refusing to accept any payment. As there are exceptions to every rule, so it seems there are individuals, even among the Persian commercial classes, capable of generous and worthy impulses; true the khan-jee obtained more than the value of the supper in the handful of coppers - but gratitude is generally understood to be an unknown commodity among the subjects of the Shah. Soon the obstreperous cries of "All Akbar, la-al-lah-il-allah" from the throats of numbers of the faithful perched upon the caravanserai steps, stable-roof, and other conspicuous soul-inspiring places, announces the approach of bedtime. My room is actually found to contain a towel and an old tooth-brush; the towel has evidently not been laundried for some time and a public toothbrush is hardly a joy-inspiring object to contemplate; nevertheless they are evidences that the proprietor of the caravanserai is possessed of vague, shadowy ideas of a Ferenghi's requirements. After a person has dried his face with the slanting sunbeams of early morning, or with his pocket-handkerchief for weeks, the bare possibility of soap, towels, etc., awakens agreeable reflections of coming comforts. At seven o'clock on the following morning I pull out toward Teheran, now but six chopar-stations distant. Running parallel with the road is the Elburz range of mountains, a lofty chain, separating the elevated plateau of Central Persia from the moist and wooded slopes of the Caspian Sea; south of this great dividing ridge the country is an arid and barren waste, a desert, in fact, save where irrigation redeems here and there a circumscribed area, and the mountain slopes are gray and rocky. Crossing over to the northern side of the divide, one immediately finds himself in a moist climate, and a country green almost as the British Isles, with dense boxwood forests covering the slopes of the mountains and hiding the foot-hills beneath an impenetrable mantle of green. The Elburz Mountains are a portion of the great water-shed of Central Asia, extending from the Himalayas up through Afghanistan and Persia into the Caucasus, and they perform very much the same office for the Caspian slope of Persia, as the Sierra Nevadas do for the Pacific slope of California, inasmuch as they cause the moisture-laden clouds rolling in from the sea to empty their burthens on the seaward, slopes instead of penetrating farther into the interior.

The road continues fair wheeling, but nothing compared with the road between Zendjan and Kasveen; it is more of an artificial highway; the Persian government has been tinkering with it, improving it considerably in some respects, but leaving it somewhat lumpy and unfinished generally, and in places it is unridable from sand and loose material on the surface; it has the appreciable merit of levelness, however, and, for Persia, is a very creditable highway indeed. At four farsakhs from Kasveen I reach the chapar-khana of Cawanda, where a breakfast is obtained of eggs and tea; these two things are among the most readily obtained refreshments in Persia. The country this morning is monotonous and uninteresting, being for the most part a stony, level plain, sparsely covered with gray camel-thorn shrubs. Occasionally one sees in the distance a camp of Eliauts, one of the wandering tribes of Persia; their tents are smaller and of an entirely different shape from the Koordish tents, partaking more of the nature of square-built movable huts than tents; these camps are too far off my road to justify paying them a visit, especially as I shall probably have abundant opportunities before leaving the Shah's dominions; but I intercept a straggling party of them crossing the road. They have a more docile look about them than the Koords, have more the general appearance of gypsies, and they dress but little different from the ryots of surrounding villages.

At Kishlock, where I obtain a dinner of bread and grapes, I find the cyclometre has registered a gain of thirty-two miles from Kasveen; it has scarcely been an easy thirty-two miles, for I am again confronted by a discouraging head breeze. Keaching the Shah Abbas caravanserai of Yeng-Imam (all first-class caravanserais are called Shah Abbas caravanserais, in deference to so many having been built throughout Persia by that monarch) about five o'clock, I conclude to remain here over night, having wheeled fifty-three miles. Yeng-Imam is a splendid large brick serai, the finest I have yet seen in Persia; many travellers are putting up here, and the place presents quite a lively appearance. In the centre of the court-yard is a large covered spring; around this is a garden of rose-bushes, pomegranate trees, and flowers; surrounding the garden is a brick walk, and forming yet a larger square is the caravanserai building itself, consisting of a one-storied brick edifice, partitioned off into small rooms. The building is only one room deep, and each room opens upon a sort of covered porch containing a fireplace where a fire can be made and provisions cooked. Attached to the caravanserai, usually beneath the massive and roomy arched gateway, is a tchai-khan and a small store where bread, eggs, butter, fruit, charcoal, etc., are to be obtained. The traveller hires a room which is destitute of all furniture; provides his own bedding and cooking utensils, purchases provisions and a sufficiency of charcoal, and proceeds to make himself comfortable. On a pinch one can usually borrow a frying-pan or kettle of some kind, and in such first-class caravanserais as YengImam there is sometimes one furnished room, carpeted and provided with bedding", reserved for the accommodation of travellers of importance.

After the customary programme of riding to allay the curiosity and excitement of the people, I obtain bread, fruit, eggs, butter to cook them in, and charcoal for a fire, the elements of a very good supper for a hungry traveller. Borrowing a handleless frying-pan, I am setting about preparing my own supper, when a respectable-looking Persian steps out from the crowd of curious on-lookers and voluntarily takes this rather onerous duty out of my hands. Readily obtaining my consent, he quickly kindles a fire, and scrambles and fries the eggs. While my volunteer cook is thus busily engaged, a company of distinguished travellers passing along the road halt at the tchai-khan to smoke a kalian and drink tea. The caravanserai proprietor approaches me, and winking mysteriously, intimates that by going outside and riding for the edification of the new arrivals I will be pretty certain to get a present of a keran (about twenty cents). As he appears anxious to have me accommodate them, I accordingly go out and favor them with a few turns on a level piece of ground outside. After they have departed the proprietor covertly offers me a half-keran piece in a manner so that everybody can observe him attempting to give me something without seeing the amount. The wily Persian had doubtless solicited a present from the travellers for me, obtained, perhaps, a couple of kerans, and watching a favorable opportunity, offers me the half-keran piece; the wily ways of these people are several degrees more ingenious even than the dark ways and vain tricks of Bret Harte's "Heathen Chinee." Occupying one of the rooms are two young noblemen travelling with their mother to visit the Governor of Zendjan; after I have eaten my supper, they invite me to their apartments for the evening; their mother has a samovar under full headway, and a number of hard boiled eggs. Her two hopeful sons are engaged in a drinking bout of arrack; they are already wildly hilarious and indulging in brotherly embraces and doubtful love-songs. Their fond mother regards them with approving smiles as they swallow glass after glass of the raw fiery spirit, and become gradually more intoxicated and hilarious. Instead of checking their tippling, as a fond and prudent Ferenghi mother would have done, this indulgent parent encourages them rather than otherwise, and the more deeply intoxicated and hilariously happy the sons become, the happier seems the mother. About nine o'clock they fall to weeping tears of affection for each other and for myself, and degenerate into such maudlin sentimentality generally, that I naturally become disgusted, accept a parting glass of tea, and bid them good-evening.

The caravanserai-Jee assigns me the furnished chamber above referred to; the room is found to be well carpeted, contains a mattress and an abundance of flaming red quilts, and on a small table reposes a well-thumbed copy of the Koran with gilt lettering and illumined pages; for these really comfortable quarters I am charged the trifling sum of one keran.

I am now within fifty miles of Teheran, my destination until spring-time comes around again and enables me to continue on eastward toward the Pacific; the wheeling continues fair, and in the cool of early morning good headway is made for several miles; as the sun peeps over the summit of a mountain spur jutting southward a short distance from the main Elburz Range, a wall of air comes rushing from the east as though the sun were making strenuous exertions to usher in the commencement of another day with a triumphant toot. Multitudes of donkeys are encountered on the road, the omnipresent carriers of the Persian peasantry, taking produce to the Teheran market; the only wheeled vehicle encountered between Kasveen and Teheran is a heavy-wheeled, cumbersome mail wagon, rattling briskly along behind four galloping horses driven abreast, and a newly imported carriage for some notable of the capital being dragged by hand, a distance of two hundred miles from Resht, by a company of soldiers. Pedalling laboriously against a stiff breeze I round the jutting mountain spur about eleven o'clock, and the conical snow-crowned peak of Mount Demavend looms up like a beacon-light from among the lesser heights of the Elburz Range about seventy-five miles ahead. De-niavend is a perfect cone, some twenty thousand feet in height, and is reputed to be the highest point of land north of the Himalayas. From the projecting mountain spur the road makes a bee-line across the intervening plain to the capital; a large willow-fringed irrigating ditch now traverses the stony plain for some distance parallel with the road, supplying the caravanserai of Shahabad and several adjacent villages with water. Teheran itself, being situated on the level plain, and without the tall minarets that render Turkish cities conspicuous from a distance, leaves one undecided as to its precise location until within a few miles of the gate; it occupies a position a dozen or more miles south of the base of the Elburz Mountains, and is flanked on the east by another jutting spur; to the southward is an extensive plain sparsely dotted with villages, and the walled gardens of the wealthier Teheranis.

At one o'clock on the afternoon of September 30th, the sentinels at the Kasveen gate of the Shah's capital gaze with unutterable astonishment at the strange spectacle of a lone Ferenghi riding toward them astride an airy wheel that glints and glitters in the bright Persian sunbeams. They look still more wonder-stricken, and half-inclined to think me some supernatural being, as, without dismounting, I ride beneath the gaudily colored archway and down the suburban streets. A ride of a mile between dead mud walls and along an open business street, and I find myself surrounded by wondering soldiers and citizens in the great central top- maidan, or artillery square, and shortly afterward am endeavoring to eradicate some of the dust and soil of travel, in a room of a wretched apology for an hotel, kept by a Frenchman, formerly a pastry-cook to the Shah. My cyclometre has registered one thousand five hundred and seventy-six miles from Ismidt; from Liverpool to Constantinople, where I had no cyclometre, may be roughly estimated at two thousand five hundred, making a total from Liverpool to Teheran of four thousand and seventy-six miles. In the evening several young Englishmen belonging to the staff of the Indo-European Telegraph Company came round, and re-echoing my own above- mentioned sentiments concerning the hotel, generously invite mo to become a member of their comfortable bachelor establishment during my stay in Teheran. "How far do you reckon it from London to Teheran by your telegraph line." I inquire of them during our after-supper conversation. "Somewhere in the neighborhood of four thousand miles," is the reply. "What does your cyclometre say?"