Around the World on a Bicycle V1
Thomas Stevens

Part 3 out of 9

In the morning I am quite naturally afraid to order anything to eat here
for fear of having to wait until mid-day, or thereabouts, before getting
it; so, after being the unappreciative recipient of several more bows,
more deferential and profound if anything than the bows of yesterday
eve, I wheel twelve kilometres to Tubingen for breakfast. It showers
occasionally during the forenoon, and after about thirty-five kilometres
of hilly country it begins to descend in torrents, compelling me to
follow the example of several peasants in seeking the shelter of a thick
pine copse. We are soon driven out of it, however, and donning my gossamer
rubber suit, I push on to Alberbergen, where I indulge in rye bread and
milk, and otherwise while away the hours until three o'clock, when, the
rain ceasing, I pull out through the mud for Blaubeuren. Down the
beautiful valley of one of the Danube's tributaries I ride on Sunday
morning, pedalling to the music of Blaubeuren's church-bells. After
waiting until ten o'clock, partly to allow the roads to dry a little, I
conclude to wait no longer, and so pull out toward the important and
quite beautiful city of Ulm. The character of the country now changes,
and with it likewise the characteristics of the people, who verily seem
to have stamped upon their features the peculiarities of the region they
inhabit. My road eastward of Blaubeuren follows down a narrow, winding
valley, beside the rippling head-waters of the Danube, and eighteen
kilometres of variable road brings me to the strongly fortified city of
Ulm, the place I should have reached yesterday, except for the inclemency
of the weather, and where I cross from Wurtemberg into Bavaria. On the
uninviting uplands of Central Wurtemberg one looks in vain among the
peasant women for a prepossessing countenance or a graceful figure, but
along the smiling valleys of Bavaria, the women, though usually with
figures disproportionately broad, nevertheless carry themselves with a
certain gracefulness; and, while far from the American or English idea
of beautiful, are several degrees more so than their relatives of the
part of Wilrtemberg I have traversed. I stop but a few minutes at Ulm,
to test a mug of its lager and inquire the details of the road to Augsburg,
yet during that short time I find myself an object of no little curiosity
to the citizens, for the fame of my undertaking has pervaded Ulm.

The roads of Bavaria possess the one solitary merit of hardness, otherwise
they would be simply abominable, the Bavarian idea of road-making evidently
being to spread unlimited quantities of loose stones over the surface.
For miles a wheelman is compelled to follow along narrow, wheel-worn
tracks, incessantly dodging loose stones, or otherwise to pedal his way
cautiously along the edges of the roadway. I am now wheeling through the
greatest beer-drinking, sausage-consuming country in the world; hop-
gardens are a prominent feature of the landscape, and long links of
sausages are dangling in nearly every window. The quantities of these
viands I see consumed to-day are something astonishing, though the
celebration of the Whitsuntide holidays is probably augmentative of the

The strains of instrumental music come floating over the level bottom
of the Lech valley as, toward eventide, I approach the beautiful environs
of Augsburg, and ride past several beer-gardens, where merry crowds of
Augsburgers are congregated, quaffing foaming lager, eating sausages,
and drinking inspiration from the music of military bands. "Where is the
headquarters of the Augsburg Velocipede Club?" I inquire of a promising-looking
youth as, after covering one hundred and twenty kilometres since ten
o'clock, I wheel into the city. The club's headquarters are at a prominent
cafe and beer-garden in the south-eastern suburbs, and repairing thither
I find an accommodating individual who can speak English, and who willingly
accepts the office of interpreter between me and the proprietor of the
garden. Seated amid hundreds of soldiers, Augsburg civilians, and peasants
from the surrounding country, and with them extracting genuine enjoyment
from a tankard of foaming Augsburg lager, I am informed that most of the
members of the club are celebrating the Whitsuntide holidays by touring
about the surrounding country, but that I am very welcome to Augsburg,
and I am conducted to the Hotel Mohrenkopf (Moor's Head Hotel), and
invited to consider myself the guest of the club as long as I care to
remain in Augsburg-the Bavarians are nothing if not practical.

Mr. Josef Kling, the president of the club, accompanies me as far out
as Friedburg on Monday morning; it is the last day of the holidays, and
the Bavarians are apparently bent on making the most of it. The suburban
beer-gardens are already filled with people, and for some distance out
of the city the roads are thronged with holiday-making Augsburgers
repairing to various pleasure resorts in the neighboring country, and
the peasantry streaming cityward from the villages, their faces beaming
in anticipation of unlimited quantities of beer. About every tenth person
among the outgoing Augsburgers is carrying an accordion; some playing
merrily as they walk along, others preferring to carry theirs in blissful
meditation on the good time in store immediately ahead, while a thoughtful
majority have large umbrellas strapped to their backs. Music and song
are heard on every hand, and as we wheel along together in silence,
enforced by an ignorance of each other's language, whichever way one
looks, people in holiday attire and holiday faces are moving hither and

Some of the peasants are fearfully and wonderfully attired: the men wear
high top-boots, polished from the sole to the uppermost hair's breadth
of leather; black, broad-brimmed felt hats, frequently with a peacock's
feather a yard long stuck through the band, the stem protruding forward,
and the end of the feather behind; and their coats and waistcoats are
adorned with long rows of large, ancestral buttons. I am now in the
Swabian district, and these buttons that form so conspicuous a part of
the holiday attire are made of silver coins, and not infrequently have
been handed down from generation to generation for several centuries,
they being, in fact, family heirlooms. The costumes of the Swabish peasant
women are picturesque in the extreme: their finest dresses and that
wondrous head-gear of brass, silver, or gold - the Schwabische
Bauernfrauenhaube (Swabish farmer-woman hat) - being, like the buttons
of the men, family heirlooms. Some of these wonderful ancestral dresses,
I am told, contain no less than one hundred and fifty yards of heavy
material, gathered and closely pleated in innumerable perpendicular folds,
frequently over a foot thick, making the form therein incased appear
ridiculously broad and squatty. The waistbands of the dresses are up in the
region of the shoulder-blades; the upper portion of the sleeves are likewise
padded out to fearful proportions.

The day is most lovely, the fields are deserted, and the roads and
villages are alive with holiday-making peasants. In every village a tall
pole is erected, and decorated from top to bottom with small flags and
evergreen wreaths. The little stone churches and the adjoining cemeteries
are filled with worshippers chanting in solemn chorus; not so preoccupied
with their devotional exercises and spiritual meditations, however, as
to prevent their calling one another's attention to me as I wheel past,
craning their necks to obtain a better view, and, in one instance, an
o'er-inquisitive worshipper even beckons for me to stop - this person both
chanting and beckoning vigorously at the same time.

Now my road leads through forests of dark firs; and here I overtake a
procession of some fifty peasants, the men and women alternately chanting
in weird harmony as they trudge along the road. The men are bareheaded,
carrying their hats in hand. Many of the women are barefooted, and the
pedal extremities of others are incased in stockings of marvellous
pattern; not any are wearing shoes. All the colors of the rainbow are
represented in their respective costumes, and each carries a large
umbrella strapped at his back; they are trudging along at quite a brisk
pace, and altogether there is something weird and fascinating about the
whole scene: the chanting and the surroundings. The variegated costumes
of the women are the only bright objects amid the gloominess of the dark
green pines. As I finally pass ahead, the unmistakable expressions of
interest on the faces of the men, and the even rows of ivories displayed
by the women, betray a diverted attention.

Near noon I arrive at the antiquated town of Dachau, and upon repairing
to the gasthaus, an individual in a last week's paper collar, and with
general appearance in keeping, comes forward and addresses me in quite
excellent English, and during the dinner hour answers several questions
concerning the country and the natives so intelligently that, upon
departing, I ungrudgingly offer him the small tip customary on such
occasions in Germany. "No, Whitsuntide in Bavaria. I thank you, very
muchly," he replies, smiling, and shaking his head. "I am not an employe
of the hotel, as you doubtless think; I am a student of modern languages
at the Munich University, visiting Dauhau for the day." Several soldiers
playing billiards in the room grin broadly in recognition of the ludicrousness
situation; and I must confess that for the moment I feel like asking one of
them to draw his sword and charitably prod me out of the room. The unhappy
memory of having, in my ignorance, tendered a small tip to a student of the
Munich University will cling around me forever. Nevertheless, I feel that after
all there are extenuating circumstances - he ought to change his paper collar

An hour after noon I am industriously dodging loose flints on the level
road leading across the Isar River Valley toward Munich; the Tyrolese
Alps loom up, shadowy and indistinct, in the distance to the southward,
their snowy peaks recalling memories of the Rockies through which I was
wheeling exactly a year ago. While wending my way along the streets
toward the central portion of the Bavarian capital the familiar sign,
"American Cigar Store," looking like a ray of light penetrating through
the gloom and mystery of the multitudinous unreadable signs that surround
it, greets my vision, and I immediately wend my footsteps thitherward.
I discover in the proprietor, Mr. Walsch, a native of Munich, who, after
residing in America for several years, has returned to dream away declining
years amid the smoke of good cigars and the quaffing of the delicious
amber beer that the brewers of Munich alone know how to brew. Then who
should happen in but Mr. Charles Buscher, a thorough-going American;
from Chicago, who is studying art here at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts,
and who straightway volunteers to show me Munich.

Nine o'clock next morning finds me under the pilotage of Mr. Buscher,
wandering through the splendid art galleries. We next visit the Royal
Academy of Fine Arts, a magnificent building, being erected at a cost
of 7,000,000 marks.

We repair at eleven o'clock to the royal residence, making a note by the
way of a trifling mark of King Ludwig's well-known eccentricity. Opposite
the palace is an old church, with two of its four clocks facing the
King's apartments. The hands of these clocks are, according to my
informant, made of gold. Some time since the King announced that the
sight of these golden hands hurt his eyesight, and ordered them painted
black. It was done, and they are black to-day. Among the most interesting
objects in the palace are the room and bed in which Napoleon I. slept
in 1809, which has since been occupied by no other person; the "rich
bed," a gorgeous affair of pink and scarlet satin-work, on which forty
women wove, with gold thread, daily, for ten years, until 1,600,000 marks
were expended.

At one of the entrances to the royal residence, and secured with iron
bars, is a large bowlder weighing three hundred and sixty-three pounds;
in the wall above it are driven three spikes, the highest spike being
twelve feet from the ground; and Bavarian historians have recorded that
Earl Christoph, a famous giant, tossed this bowlder up to the mark
indicated by the highest spike, with his foot.

After this I am kindly warned by both Messrs. Buscher and Walsch not to
think of leaving the city without visiting the Konigliche Hofbrauhaus
(Royal Court Brewery) the most famous place of its kind in all Europe.
For centuries Munich has been famous for the excellent quality of its
beer, and somewhere about four centuries ago the king founded this famous
brewery for the charitable purpose of enabling his poorer subjects to
quench their thirst with the best quality of beer, at prices within their
means, and from generation to generation it has remained a favorite
resort in Munich for lovers of good beer. In spite of its remaining, as
of yore, a place of rude benches beneath equally rude, open sheds, with
cobwebs festooning the rafters and a general air of dilapidation about
it; in spite of the innovation of dozens of modern beer-gardens with
waving palms, electric lights, military music, and all modern improvements,
the Konigliche Hofbrauhaus is daily and nightly thronged with thirsty
visitors, who for the trifling sum of twenty-two pfennigs (about five
cents) obtain a quart tankard of the most celebrated brew in all Bavaria.

"Munich is the greatest art-centre of the world, the true hub of the
artistic universe," Mr. Buscher enthusiastically assures me as we wander
together through the sleepy old streets, and he points out a bright bit
of old frescoing, which is already partly obliterated by the elements,
and compares it with the work of recent years; calls my attention to a
piece of statuary, and anon pilots me down into a restaurant and beer
hall in some ancient, underground vaults and bids me examine the
architecture and the frescoing. The very custom-house of Munich is a
glorious old church, that would be carefully preserved as a relic of no
small interest and importance in cities less abundantly blessed with
antiquities, but which is here piled with the cases and boxes and bags
of commerce. One other conspicuous feature of Munich life must not be
over-looked ere I leave it, viz., the hackmen. Unlike their Transatlantic
brethren, they appear supremely indifferent about whether they pick up
any fares or not. Whenever one comes to a hack-stand it is a pretty sure
thing to bet that nine drivers out of every ten are taking a quiet snooze,
reclining on their elevated boxes, entirely oblivious of their surroundings,
and a timid stranger would almost hesitate about disturbing their slumbers.
But the Munich cabby has long since got hardened to the disagreeable
process of being wakened up. Nor does this lethargy pervade the ranks
of hackdom only: at least two-thirds of the teamsters one meets on the
roads, hereabouts, are stretched out on their respective loads, contentedly
sleeping while the horses or oxen crawl leisurely along toward their

Munich is visited heavily with rain during the night, and for several
kilometres, next morning, the road is a horrible waste of loose flints
and mud-filled ruts, along which it is all but impossible to ride; but
after leaving the level bottom of the Isar River the road improves
sufficiently to enable me to take an occasional, admiring glance at the
Bavarian and Tyrolese Alps, towering cloudward on the southern horizon,
their shadowy outlines scarcely distinguishable in the hazy distance
from the fleecy clouds their peaks aspire to invade. While absentmindedly
taking a more lingering look than is consistent with safety when picking
one's way along the narrow edge of the roadway between the stone-strewn
centre and the ditch, I run into the latter, and am rewarded with my
first Cis-atlantic header, but fortunately both myself and the bicycle
come up uninjured. Unlike the Swabish peasantry, the natives east of
Munich appear as prosy and unpicturesque in dress as a Kansas homesteader.

Ere long there is noticeable a decided change in the character of the
villages, they being no longer clusters of gabled cottages, but usually
consist of some three or four huge, rambling bulldings, at one of which
I call for a drink and observe that brewing and baking are going on as
though they were expecting a whole regiment to be quartered on them.
Among other things I mentally note this morning is that the men actually
seem to be bearing the drudgery of the farm equally with the women; but
the favorable impression becomes greatly imperilled upon meeting a woman
harnessed to a small cart, heavily laboring along, while her husband -
kind man - is walking along-side, holding on to a rope, upon which he
considerately pulls to assist her along and lighten her task. Nearing
Hoag, and thence eastward, the road becomes greatly improved, and along
the Inn River Valley, from Muhldorf to Alt Oetting, where I remain for
the night, the late rain-storm has not reached, and the wheeling is
superior to any I have yet had in Germany. Muhldorf is a curious and
interesting old town. The sidewalks of Muhldorf are beneath long arcades
from one end of the principal street to the other; not modern structures
either, but massive archways that are doubtless centuries old, and that
support the front rooms of the buildings that tower a couple of stories
above them.

As toward dusk I ride into the market square of Alt Oetting, it is
noticeable that nearly all the stalls and shops remaining open display
nothing but rosaries, crucifixes, and other paraphernalia of the prevailing
religion. Through Eastern Bavaria the people seern pre-eminently devotional;
church-spires dot the landscape at every point of the compass. At my
hotel in Alt Oetting, crucifixes, holy water, and burning tapers are
situated on the different stairway landings. I am sitting in my room,
penning these lines to the music of several hundred voices chanting in
the old stone church near by, and can look out of the window and see a
number of peasant women taking turns in dragging themselves on their
knees round and round a small religious edifice in the centre of the
market square, carrying on their shoulders huge, heavy wooden crosses,
the ends of which are trailing on the ground.

All down the Inn River Valley, there is many a picturesque bit of
intermingled pine-copse and grassy slopes; but admiring scenery is
anything but a riskless undertaking along here, as I quickly discover.
On the Inn River I find a primitive ferry-boat operated by a, fac-simile
of the Ancient Mariner, who takes me and my wheel across for the
consideration of five pfennigs-a trifle over one cent -and when I refuse
the tiny change out of a ten-pfennig piece the old fellow touches his
cap as deferentially, and favors me with a look of gratitude as profound,
as though I were bestowing a pension upon him for life. My arrival at a
broad, well-travelled high-way at once convinces me that I have again
been unwittingly wandering among the comparatively untravelled by-ways
as the result of following the kindly meant advice of people whose
knowledge of bicycling requirements is of the slimmest nature. The Inn
River a warm, rich vale; haymaking is already in full progress, and
delightful perfume is wafted on the fresh morning air from aclows where
scores of barefooted Maud Mullers are raking hay, and mowing it too,
swinging scythes side by side with the men. Some of the out-door crucifixes
and shrines (small, substantial buildings containing pictures, images,
and all sorts of religious -emblems) along this valley are really quite
elaborate affairs. All through Roman Catholic Germany these emblems of
religion are very elaborate, or the reverse, according to the locality,
the chosen spot in rich and fertile valleys generally being favored with
better and more artistic affairs, and more of them, than the comparatively
unproductive uplands. This is evidently because the inhabitants of the
latter regions are either less wealthy, and consequently cannot afford
it, or otherwise realize that they have really much less to be thankful
for than their comparatively fortunate neighbors in the more productive

At the town of Simbach I cross the Inn River again on a substantial
wooden bridge, and on the opposite side pass under an old stone archway
bearing the Austrian coat-of-arms. Here I am conducted into the custom-house
by an officer wearing the sombre uniform of Franz Josef, and required,
for the first time in Europe, to produce my passport. After a critical
and unnecessarily long examination of this document I am graciously
permitted to depart. In an adjacent money-changer's office I exchange
what German money I have remaining for the paper currency of Austria,
and once more pursue my way toward the Orient, finding the roads rather
better than the average German ones, the Austrians, hereabouts at least,
having had the goodness to omit the loose flints so characteristic of
Bavaria. Once out of the valley of the Inn River, however, I find the
uplands intervening between it and the valley of the Danube aggravatingly

While eating my first luncheon in Austria, at the village of Altheim,
the village pedagogue informs me in good English that I am the first
Briton he has ever had the pleasure of conversing with. He learned the
language entirely from books, without a tutor, he says, learning it for
pleasure solely, never expecting to utilize the accomplishment in any
practical way. One hill after another characterizes my route to-day; the
weather, which has hitherto remained reasonably mild, is turning hot and
sultry, and, arriving at Hoag about five o'clock, I feel that I have
done sufficient hillclimbing for one day. I have been wheeling through
Austrian territory since 10.30 this morning, and, with observant eyes
the whole distance, I have yet to see the first native, male or female,
possessing in the least degree either a graceful figure or a prepossessing
face. There has been a great horse-fair at Hoag to-day; the business of
the day is concluded, and the principal occupation of the men, apart
from drinking beer and smoking, appears to be frightening the women out
of their wits by leading prancing horses as near them as possible.

My road, on leaving Hoag, is hilly, and the snowy heights of the Nordliche
Kalkalpen (North Chalk Mountains), a range of the Austrian Alps, loom
up ahead at an uncertain distance. To-day is what Americans call a
"scorcher," and climbing hills among pine-woods, that shut out every
passing breeze, is anything but exhilarating exercise with the thermometer
hovering in the vicinity of one hundred degrees. The peasants are abroad
in their fields as usual, but a goodly proportion are reclining beneath
the trees. Reclining is, I think, a favorite pastime with the Austrian.
The teamster, who happens to be wide awake and sees me approaching, knows
instinctively that his team is going to scare at the bicycle, yet he
makes no precautionary movements whatever, neither does he arouse himself
from his lolling position until the horses or oxen begin to swerve around.
As a usual thing the teamster is filling his pipe, which has a large,
ungainly-looking, porcelain bowl, a long, straight wooden stem, and a
crooked mouth-piece. Almost every Austrian peasant from sixteen years
old upward carries one of these uncomely pipes.

The men here seem to be dull, uninteresting mortals, dressed in tight-
fitting, and yet, somehow, ill-fitting, pantaloons, usually about three
sizes too short, a small apron of blue ducking-an unbecoming garment
that can only be described as a cross between a short jacket and a
waistcoat - and a narrow-rimmed, prosy-looking billycock hat. The peasant
women are the poetry of Austria, as of any other European country, and
in their short red dresses and broad-brimmed, gypsy hats, they look
picturesque and interesting in spite of homely faces and ungraceful
figures. Riding into Lambach this morning, I am about wheeling past a
horse and drag that, careless and Austrian-like, has been left untied
and unwatched in the middle of the street, when the horse suddenly scares,
swerves around just in front of me, and dashes, helter-skelter, down the
street. The horse circles around the market square and finally stops of
his own accord without doing any damage. Runaways, other misfortunes,
it seems, never come singly, and ere I have left Lambach an hour I am
the innocent cause of yet another one; this time it is a large, powerful
work-dog, who becomes excited upon meeting me along the road, and upsets
things in the most lively manner. Small carts pulled by dogs are common
vehicles here and this one is met coming up an incline, the man considerately
giving the animal a lift. A life of drudgery breaks the spirit of these
work-dogs and makes them cowardly and cringing. At my approach this one
howls, and swerves suddenly around with a rush that upsets both man and
cart, topsy-turvy, into the ditch, and the last glimpse of the rumpus
obtained, as I sweep past and down the hill beyond, is the man pawing
the air with his naked feet and the dog struggling to free himself from
the entangling harness.

Up among the hills, at the village of Strenburg, night arrives at a very
opportune moment to-day, for Strenburg proves a nice, sociable sort of
village, where the doctor can speak good English and plays the role of
interpreter for me at the gasthaus. The school-ma'am, a vivacious Italian
lady, in addition to French and German, can also speak a few words of
English, though she persistently refers to herself as the " school
-master." She boards at the same gasthaus, and all the evening long I
am favored by the liveliest prattle and most charming gesticulations
imaginable, while the room is half filled with her class of young lady
aspirants to linguistic accomplishments, listening to our amusing, if
not instructive, efforts to carry on a conversation. ' It is altogether
a most enjoyable evening, and on parting I am requested to write when I
get around the world and tell the Strenburgers all that I have seen and
experienced. On top of the gasthaus is a rude observatory, and before
starting I take a view of the country. The outlook is magnificent; the
Austrian Alps are towering skyward to the southeast, rearing snow-crowned
heads out from among a billowy sea of pine-covered hills, and to the
northward is the lovely valley of the Danube, the river glistening softly
through the morning haze.

On yonder height, overlooking the Danube on the one hand and the town
of Molk on the other, is the largest and most imposing edifice I have
yet seen in Austria; it is a convent of the Benedictine monks; and though
Molk is a solid, substantially built town, of perhaps a thousand
inhabitants, I should think there is more material in the immense convent
building than in the whole town besides, and one naturally wonders
whatever use the monks can possibly have for a building of such enormous
dimensions. Entering a barber's shop here for a shave, I find the barber of
Molk following the example of so many of his countrymen by snoozing the
mid-day hours happily and unconsciously away. One could easily pocket
and walk off with his stock-in-trade, for small is the danger of his awakening.
Waking him up, he shuffles mechanically over to hia razor and lathering
apparatus, this latter being a soup-plate with a semicircular piece
chipped out to fit, after a fashion, the contour of the customers'
throats. Pressing this jagged edge of queen's-ware against your windpipe,
the artist alternately rubs the water and a cake of soap therein contained
about your face with his hands, the water meanwhile passing freely between
the ill-fitting' soup-plate and your throat, and running down your breast;
but don't complain; be reasonable: no reasonable-minded person could
expect one soup-plate, however carefully chipped out, to fit the throats
of the entire male population of Molk, besides such travellers as happen

Spending the night at Neu Lengbach, I climb hills and wabble along, over
rough, lumpy roads, toward Vienna, reaching the Austrian capital Sunday
morning, and putting up at the Englischer Eof about noon. At Vienna I
determine to make a halt of two days, and on Tuesday pay a visit to the
headquarters of the Vienna Wanderers' Bicycle Club, away out on a suburban
street called Schwimmschulenstrasse; and the club promises that if I
will delay my departure another day they will get up a small party of
wheelmen to escort me seventy kilometres, to Presburg. The bicycle clubs
of Vienna have, at the Wanderers' headquarters, constructed an excellent
race-track, three and one-third laps to the English mile, at an expense
of 2,000 gulden, and this evening several of Austria's fliers are training
upon it for the approaching races. English and American wheelmen little
understand the difficulties these Vienna cyclers have to contend with:
all the city inside the Ringstrasse, and no less than fifty streets
outside, are forbidden to the mounted cyclers, and they are required to
ticket themselves with big, glaring letters, as also their lamps at
night, so that, in case of violating any of these regulations, they can
by their number be readily recognized by the police. Self-preservation
compels the clubs to exercise every precaution against violating the
police regulations, in order not to excite popular prejudice overwhelmingly
against bicycles, and ere a new rider is permitted to venture outside
their own grounds he is hauled up before a regularly organized committee,
consisting of officers from each club in Vienna, and required to go
through a regular examination in mounting, dismounting, and otherwise
proving to their entire satisfaction his proficiency in managing and
manoeuvring his wheel; besides which every cycler is provided with a
pamphlet containing a list of the streets he may and may not frequent.
In spite of all these harassing regulations, the Austrian capital has
already two hundred riders. The Viennese impress themselves upon me as
being possessed of more than ordinary individuality. Yonder comes a man,
walking languidly along, and carrying his hat in his hand, because it
is warm, and just behind him comes a fellow-citizen muffled up in an
overcoat because - because of Viennese individuality. The people seem to
walk the streets with a swaying, happy-go-anyhow sort of gait, colliding
with one another and jostling together on the sidewalk in the happiest
manner imaginable.

At five o'clock on Thursday morning I am dressing, when I am notified
that two cyclers are awaiting me below. Church-bells are clanging joyously
all over Vienna as we meander toward suburbs, and people are already
streaming in the direction of the St. Stephen's Church, near the centre
of the city, for to-day is Frohnleichnam (Corpus Christi), and the Emperor
and many of the great ecclesiastical, civil, and military personages of
the empire will pass in procession with all pomp and circumstance; and
the average Viennese is not the person to miss so important an occasion.
Three other wheelmen are awaiting us in the suburbs, and together we
ride through the waving barley-fields of the Danube bottom to Schwechat,
for the light breakfast customary in Austria, and thence onward to
Petronelle, thirty kilometres distant, where we halt a few minutes for
a Corpus Christi procession, and drink a glass of white Hungarian wine.
Near Petronelle are the remains of an old Roman wall, extending from the
Danube to a lake called the Neusiedler See. My companions say it was
built 2,000 years ago, when the sway of the Romans extended over such
parts of Europe as were worth the trouble and expense of swaying. The
roads are found rather rough and inferior, on account of loose stones
and uneven surface, as we push forward toward Presburg, passing through
a dozen villages whose streets are carpeted with fresh-cut grass, and
converted into temporary avenues, with branches stuck in the ground, in
honor of the day they are celebrating. At Hamburg we pass beneath an
archway nine hundred years old, and wheel on through the grass-carpeted
streets between rows of Hungarian soldiers drawn up in line, with green
oak-sprigs in their hats; the villagers are swarming from the church,
whose bells are filling the air with their clangor, and on the summit
of an over-shadowing cliff are the massive ruins of an ancient castle.
Near about noon we roll into Presburg, warm and dusty, and after dinner
take a stroll through the Jewish quarter of the town up to the height
upon which Presburg castle is situated, and from which a most extensive
and beautiful view of the Danube, its wooded bluffs and broad, rich
bottom-lands, is obtainable. At dinner the waiter hands me a card, which
reads: "Pardon me, but I believe you are an Englishman, in which case
I beg the privilege of drinking a glass of wine with you." The sender
is an English gentleman residing at Budapest, Hungary, who, after the
requested glass of wine, tells me that he guessed who I was when he first
saw me enter the garden with the five Austrian wheelmen.

My Austrian escort rides out with me to a certain cross-road, to make
sure of heading me direct toward Budapest, and as we part they bid me
good speed, with a hearty "Eljen." - the Hungarian "Hip, hip, hurrah."
After leaving Presburg and crossing over into Hungary the road-bed is
of a loose gravel that, during the dry weather this country is now
experiencing, is churned up and loosened by every passing vehicle, until
one might as well think of riding over a ploughed field. But there is a
fair proportion of ridable side-paths, so that I make reasonably good
time. Altenburg, my objective point for the night, is the centre of a
sixty-thousand-acre estate belonging to the Archduke Albrecht, uncle of
the present Emperor of Austro-Hungary, and one of the wealthiest land-owners
in the empire. Ere I have been at the gasthaus an hour I am honored by
a visit from Professor Thallmeyer, of the Altenburg Royal Agricultural
School, who invites me over to his house to spend an hour in conversation,
and in the discussion of a bottle of Hungary's best vintage, for the
learned professor can talk very good English, and his wife is of English
birth and parentage. Although Frau Thallmeyer left England at the tender
age of two years, she calls herself an Englishwoman, speaks of England
as "home," and welcomes to her house as a countryman any wandering
Briton happening along. I am no longer in a land of small peasant
proprietors, and there is a noticeably large proportion of the land
devoted to grazing purposes, that in France or Germany would be found
divided into small farms, and every foot cultivated. Villages are farther
apart, and are invariably adjacent to large commons, on which roam flocks
of noisy geese, herds of ponies, and cattle with horns that would make
a Texan blush - the long horned roadsters of Hungary. The costumes of the
Hungarian peasants are both picturesque and novel, the women and girls
wearing top-boots and short dresses on holiday occasions and Sundays,
and at other times short dresses without any boots at all; the men wear
loose-flowing pantaloons of white, coarse linen that reach just below
the knees, and which a casual observer would unhesitatingly pronounce a
short skirt, the material being so ample. Hungary is still practically
a land of serfs and nobles, and nearly every peasant encountered along
the road touches his cap respectfully, in instinctive acknowledgment,
as it were, of his inferiority. Long rows of women are seen hoeing in
the fields with watchful overseers standing over them - a scene not
unsuggestive of plantation life in the Southern States in the days of
slavery. If these gangs of women are not more than about two hundred
yards from the road their inquisitiveness overcomes every other
consideration, and dropping everything, the whole crowd comes helter-skelter
across the field to obtain a closer view of the strange vehicle; for it
is only in the neighborhood of one or two of the principal cities of
Hungary that one ever sees a bicycle.

Gangs of gypsies are now frequently met with; they are dark-skinned,
interesting people, and altogether different-looking from those occasionally
encountered in England and America, where, although swarthy and dark-skinned,
they bear no comparison in that respect to these, whose skin is wellnigh
black, and whose gleaming white teeth and brilliant, coal-black eyes
stamp them plainly as alien to the race around them. Ragged, unwashed,
happy gangs of vagabonds these stragglers appear, and regular droves of
partially or wholly naked youngsters come racing after me, calling out
"kreuzer! kreuzer! kreuzer!" and holding out hand or tattered hat in
a supplicating manner as they run along-side. Unlike the peasantry, none
of these gypsies touch their hats; indeed, yon swarthy-faced vagabond,
arrayed mainly in gewgaws, and eying me curiously with his piercing black
eyes, may be priding himself on having royal blood in his veins; and,
unregenerate chicken-lifter though he doubtless be, would scarce condescend
to touch his tattered tile even to the Emperor of Austria. The black
eyes scintillate as they take notice of what they consider the great
wealth of sterling silver about the machine I bestride. Eastward from
Altenburg the main portion of the road continues for the most part
unridably loose and heavy.

For some kilometres out of Raab the road presents a far better surface,
and I ride quite a lively race with a small Danube passenger steamer
that is starting down-stream. The steamboat toots and forges ahead, and
in answer to the waving of hats and exclamations of encouragement from
the passengers, I likewise forge ahead, and although the boat is going
down-stream with the strong current of the Danube, as long as the road
continues fairly good I manage to keep in advance; but soon the loose
surface reappears, and when I arrive at Gonys, for lunch, I find the
steamer already tied up, and the passengers and officers greet my
appearance with shouts of recognition. My route along the Danube Valley
leads through broad, level wheat-fields that recall memories of the
Sacramento Valley, California. Geese appear as the most plentiful objects
around the villages: there are geese and goslings everywhere; and this
evening, in a small village, I wheel quite over one, to the dismay of
the maiden driving them homeward, and the unconcealed delight of several
small Hungarians.

At the village of Nezmely I am to-night treated to a foretaste of what
is probably in store for me at a goodly number of places ahead by being
consigned to a bunch of hay and a couple of sacks in the stable as the
best sleeping accommodations the village gasthaus affords. True, I am
assigned the place of honor in the manger, which, though uncomfortably
narrow and confining, is perhaps better accommodation, after all, than
the peregrinating tinker and three other likely-looking characters are
enjoying on the bare floor. Some of these companions, upon retiring,
pray aloud at unseemly length, and one of them, at least, keeps it up
in his sleep at frequent intervals through the night; horses and work-cattle
are rattling chains and munching hay, and an uneasy goat, with a bell
around his neck, fills the stable with an incessant tinkle till dawn.
Black bread and a cheap but very good quality of white wine seem about
the only refreshment obtainable at these little villages. One asks in
vain for milch-brod, butter, kdsc, or in fact anything acceptable to the
English palate; the answer to all questions concerning these things is
"nicht, nicht, nicht." - "What have you, then?" I sometimes ask, the
answer to which is almost invariably "brod und wein." Stone-yards thronged
with busy workmen, chipping stone for shipment to cities along the Danube,
are a feature of these river-side villages. The farther one travels the
more frequently gypsies are encountered on the road. In almost every
band is a maiden, who, by reason of real or imaginary beauty, occupies
the position of pet of the camp, wears a profusion of beads and trinkets,
decorates herself with wild flowers, and is permitted to do no manner
of drudgery. Some of these gypsy maidens are really quite beautiful in
spite of their very dark complexions. Their eyes glisten with inborn
avarice as I sweep past on my "silver" bicycle, and in their astonishment
at my strange appearance and my evidently enormous wealth they almost
forget their plaintive wail of "kreuzer! kreuzer!" a cry which readily
bespeaks their origin, and is easily recognized as an echo from the land
where the cry of "backsheesh" is seldom out of the traveller's hearing.

The roads east of Nezmely are variable, flint-strewn ways predominating;
otherwise the way would be very agreeable, since the gradients are gentle,
and the dust not over two inches deep, as against three in most of Austro-
Hungary thus far traversed. The weather is broiling hot; but I worry
along perseveringly, through rough and smooth, toward the land of the
rising sun. Nearing Budapest the roads become somewhat smoother, but at
the same time hillier, the country changing to vine-clad slopes; and all
along the undulating ways I meet wagons laden with huge wine-casks.
Reaching Budapest in the afternoon, I seek out Mr. Kosztovitz, of the
Budapest Bicycle Club, and consul of the Cyclists' Touring Club, who
proves a most agreeable gentleman, and who, besides being an enthusiastic
cycler, talks English perfectly. There is more of the sporting spirit
in Budapest, perhaps, than in any other city of its size on the Continent,
and no sooner is my arrival known than I am taken in hand and practically
compelled to remain over at least one day. Svetozar Igali, a noted cycle
tourist of the village of Duna Szekeso, now visiting the international
exhibition at Budapest, volunteers to accompany me to Belgrade, and
perhaps to Constantinople. I am rather surprised at finding so much
cycling enthusiasm in the Hungarian capital. Mr. Kosztovitz, who lived
some time in England, and was president of a bicycle club there, had the
honor of bringing the first wheel into the Austro-Hungarian empire, in
the autumn of 1879, and now Budapest alone has three clubs, aggregating
nearly a hundred riders, and a still greater number of non-riding members.
Cyclers have far more liberty accorded them in Budapest than in Vienna,
being permitted to roam the city almost as untrammelled as in London,
this happy condition of affairs being partly the result of Mr. Kosztovitz's
diplomacy in presenting a ready drawn-up set of rules and regulations
for the government of wheelmen to the police authorities when the first
bicycle was introduced, and partly to the police magistrate, being himself
an enthusiastic all-'round sportsman, inclined to patronize anything in
the way of athletics. They are even experimenting in the Hungarian army
with the view of organizing a bicycle despatch service; and I am told
that they already have a bicycle despatch in successful operation in the
Bavarian army. In the evening I am the club's guest at a supper under
the shade-trees in the exhibition grounds. Mr. Kosztovitz and another
gentleman who can speak English act as interpreters, and here, amid the
merry clinking of champagne-glasses, the glare of electric lights, with
the ravishing music of an Hungarian gypsy band on our right, and a band
of swarthy Servians playing their sweet native melodies on our left, we,
among other toasts, drink to the success of my tour. There is a cosmopolitan
and exceedingly interesting crowd of visitors at the international
exhibition: natives from Bulgaria, Servia, Roumania, and Turkey, in their
national costumes; and mingled among them are Hungarian peasants from
various provinces, some of them in a remarkably picturesque dress, that
I afterward learn is Croatian. A noticeable feature of Budapest, besides
a predilection for sport among the citizens, is a larger proportion of
handsome ladies than one sees in most European cities, and there is,
moreover, a certain atmosphere about them that makes them rather agreeable
company. If one is travelling around the world with a bicycle, it is not
at all inconsistent with Budapest propriety for the wife of the wheelman
sitting opposite you to remark that she wishes she were a rose, that you
might wear her for a button-hole bouquet on your journey, and to ask
whether or not, in that case, you would throw the rose away when it
faded. Compliments, pleasant, yet withal as meaningless as the coquettish
glances and fan-play that accompany them, are given with a freedom and
liberality that put the sterner native of more western countries at his
wits' end to return them. But the most delightful thing in all Hungary
is its gypsy music. As it is played here beneath its own sunny skies,
methinks there is nothing in the wide world to compare with it. The music
does not suit the taste of some people, however; it is too wild and
thrilling. Budapest is a place of many languages, one of the waiters in
the exhibition cafe claiming the ability to speak and understand no less
than fourteen different languages and dialects.

Nine wheelmen accompany me some distance out of Budapest on Monday
morning, and Mr. Philipovitz and two other members continue with Igali
and me to Duna Pentele, some seventy-five miles distant; this is our
first sleeping-place, the captain making his guest until our separation
and departure in different directions next morning. During the fierce
heat of mid-day we halt for about three hours at Adony, and spend a
pleasant after-dinner Lour examining the trappings and trophies of a
noted sporting gentleman, and witnessing a lively and interesting set-to
with fencing foils. There is everything in fire-arms in his cabinet,
from an English double-barrelled shot-gun to a tiny air-pistol for
shooting flies on the walls of his sitting-room; he has swords, oars,
gymnastic paraphernalia - in fact, everything but boxing gloves. Arriving
at Duna Pentele early in the evening, before supper we swim for an hour
in the waters of the Danube. At 9.30 P.M. two of our little company board
the up-stream-bound steamer for the return home, and at ten o'clock we
are proposing to retire for the night, when lo, in come a half-dozen
gentlemen, among them Mr. Ujvarii, whose private wine-cellar is celebrated
all the country round, and who now proposes that we postpone going to
bed long enough to pay a short visit to his cellar and sample the
"finest wine in Hungary." This is an invitation not to be resisted by
ordinary mortals, and accordingly we accept, following the gentleman and
his friends through the dark streets of the village. Along the dark,
cool vault penetrating the hill-side Mr. Ujvarii leads the way between
long rows of wine-casks, heber* held in arm like a sword at dress parade.
The heber is first inserted into a cask of red wine, with a perfume and
flavor as agreeable as the rose it resembles in color, and carried, full,
to the reception end of the vault by the corpulent host with the stately
air of a monarch bearing his sceptre. After two rounds of the red wine,
two hebers of champagne are brought - champagne that plays a fountain of
diamond spray three inches above the glass. The following toast is
proposed by the host: "The prosperity and welfare of England, America,
and Hungary, three countries that are one in their love and appreciation
of sport and adventure." The Hungarians have all the Anglo-American love
of sport and adventure.* A glass combination of tube and flask, holding
about three pints, with an orifice at each end and the bulb or flask
near the upper orifice; the wine is sucked up into the flask with the
breath, and when withdrawn from the cask the index finger is held over
the lower orifice, from which the glasses are filled by manipulations
of the finger.

>From Budapest to Paks, about one hundred and twenty kilometres, the roads
are superior to anything I expected to find east of Germany; but the
thermometer clings around the upper regions, and everything is covered
with dust. Our route leads down the Danube in an almost directly southern

Instead of the poplars of France, and the apples and pears of Germany,
the roads are now fringed with mulberry-trees, both raw and manufactured
silk being a product of this part of Hungary. My companion is what in
England or America would be considered a "character;" he dresses in the
thinnest of racing costumes, through which the broiling sun readily
penetrates, wears racing-shoes, and a small jockey-cap with an enormous
poke, beneath which glints a pair of "specs;" he has rat-trap pedals to
his wheel, and winds a long blue girdle several times around his waist,
consumes raw eggs, wine, milk, a certain Hungarian mineral water, and
otherwise excites the awe and admiration of his sport-admiring countrymen.
Igali's only fault as a road companion is his utter lack of speed, six
or eight kilometres an hour being his natural pace on average roads,
besides footing it up the gentlest of gradients and over all rough
stretches. Except for this little drawback, he is an excellent man to
take the lead, for he is a genuine Magyar, and orders the peasantry about
with the authoritative manner of one born to rule and tyrannize; sometimes,
when, the surface is uneven for wheeling, making them drive their clumsy
ox-wagons almost into the road-side ditch in order to avoid any possible
chance of difficulty in getting past. Igali knows four languages: French,
German, Hungarian, and Slavonian, but Anglaise nicht, though with what
little French and German I have picked up while crossing those countries
we manage to converse and understand each other quite readily, especially
as I am, from constant practice, getting to be an accomplished pantomimist,
and Igali is also a pantomimist by nature, and gifted with a versatility
that would make a Frenchman envious. Ere we have been five minutes at a
gasthaus Igali is usually found surrounded by an admiring circle of
leading citizens - not peasants; Igali would not suffer them to gather
about him - pouring into their willing ears the account of my journey;
the words, "San Francisco, Boston, London, Paris, Wien, Pesth, Belgrade,
Constantinople, Afghanistan, India, Khiva," etc., which are repeated in
rotation at wonderfully short intervals, being about all that my linguistic
abilities are capable of grasping. The road continues hard, but south
of Paks it becomes rather rough; consequently halts under the shade of
the mulberry-trees for Igali to catch up are of frequent occurrence.

The peasantry, hereabout, seem very kindly disposed and hospitable.
Sometimes, while lingering for Igali, they will wonder what I am stopping
for, and motion the questions of whether I wish anything to eat or drink;
and this afternoon one of them, whose curiosity to see how I mounted
overcomes his patience, offers me a twenty-kreuzer piece to show him.
At one village a number of peasants take an old cherry-woman to task for
charging me two kreuzers more for some cherries than it appears she
ought, and although two kreuzers are but a farthing they make quite a
squabble with the poor old woman about it, and will be soothed by neither
her voice nor mine until I accept another handful of cherries in lieu
of the overcharged two kreuzers.

Szekszard has the reputation, hereabout, of producing the best quality
of red wine in all Hungary - no small boast, by the way - and the hotel and
wine-gardens here, among them, support an excellent gypsy band of fourteen
pieces. Mr. Garay, the leader of the band, once spent nearly a year in
America, and after supper the band plays, with all the thrilling sweetness
of the Hungarian muse, "Home, sweet Home," "Yankee Doodle," and "Sweet
Violets," for my especial delectation.

A wheelman the fame of whose exploits has preceded him might as well try
to wheel through hospitable Hungary without breathing its atmosphere as
without drinking its wine; it isn't possible to taboo it as I tabooed
the vin ordinaire of France, Hungarians and Frenchmen being two entirely
different people. Notwithstanding music until 11.30 P.M., yesterday, we
are on the road before six o'clock this morning - for genuine, unadulterated
Hungarian music does not prevent one getting up bright and fresh next
day - and about noon we roll into Duna Szekeso, Igali's native town, where
we have decided to halt for the remainder of the day to get our clothing
washed, one of my shoes repaired, and otherwise prepare for our journey
to the Servian capital. Duna Szekeso is a calling-place for the Danube
steamers, and this afternoon I have the opportunity of taking observations
of a gang of Danubian roustabouts at their noontide meal. They are a
swarthy, wild-looking crowd, wearing long hair parted in the middle, or
not parted at all; to their national costume are added the jaunty trappings
affected by river men in all countries. Their food is coarse black bread
and meat, and they take turns in drinking wine from a wooden tube
protruding from a two-gallon watch-shaped cask, the body of which is
composed of a section of hollow log instead of staves, lifting the cask
up and drinking from the tube, as they would from the bung-hole of a
beer-keg. Their black bread would hardly suit the palate of the Western
world; but there are doubtless a few individuals on both sides of the
Atlantic who would willingly be transformed into a Danubian roustabout
long enough to make the acquaintance of yonder rude cask.

After bathing in the river we call on several of Igali's friends, among
them the Greek priest and his motherly-looking wife, Igali being of the
Greek religion. There appears to be the greatest familiarity between the
priests of these Greek churches and their people, and during our brief
visit the priest, languid-eyed, fat, and jolly, his equally fat and jolly
wife, and Igali, caress playfully, and cut up as many antics as three
kittens in a bay window. The farther one travels southward the more
amiable and affectionate in disposition the people seem to become.

Five o'clock next morning finds us wheeling out of Duna Szekeso, and
during the forenoon we pass through Baranyavar, a colony of Greek Hovacs,
where the women are robed in white drapery as scant as the statuary which
the name of their religion calls to memory. The roads to-day are variable;
there is little but what is ridable, but much that is rough and stony
enough to compel slow and careful wheeling. Early in the evening, as we
wheel over the bridge spanning the River Drave, an important tributary
of the Danube, into Eszek, the capital of Slavonia, unmistakable rain-
signs appear above the southern horizon.



The editor of Der Drau, the semi-weekly official organ of the Slavonian
capital, and Mr. Freund, being the two citizens of Eszek capable of
speaking English, join voices at the supper-table in hoping it will rain
enough to compel us to remain over to-morrow, that they may have the
pleasure of showing us around Eszek and of inviting us to dinner and
supper; and Igali, I am constrained to believe, retires to his couch in
full sympathy with them, being possessed of a decided weakness for
stopping over and accepting invitations to dine. Their united wish is
gratified, for when we rise in the morning it is still raining. Eszek
is a fortified city, and has been in time past an important fortress.
It has lost much of its importance since the introduction of modern arms,
for it occupies perfectly level ground, and the fortifications consist
merely of large trenches that have been excavated and walled, with a
view of preventing the city from being taken by storm - not a very
overshadowing consideration in these days, when the usual mode of procedure
is to stand off and bombard a city into the conviction that further
resistance is useless. After dinner the assistant editor of Der Drau
comes around and pilots us about the city and its pleasant environments.
The worthy assistant editor is a sprightly, versatile Slav, and, as
together we promenade the parks and avenues, the number and extent of
which appear to be the chief glory of Eszek, the ceaseless flow of
language and wellnigh continuous interchange of gesticulations between
himself and Igali are quite wonderful, and both of them certainly ought
to retire to-night far more enlightened individuals than they found
themselves this morning.

The Hungarian seems in a particularly happy and gracious mood to-day,
as I instinctively felt certain he would be if the fates decreed against
a continuation of our journey. When our companion' s conversation turns
on any particularly interesting subject I am graciously given the benefit
of it to the extent of some French or German word the meaning of which,
Igali has discovered, I understand. During the afternoon we wander through
the intricacies of a yew-shrub maze, where a good-sized area of impenetrably
thick vegetation has been trained and trimmed into a bewildering net-work
of arched walks that almost exclude the light, and Igali pauses to favor
me with the information that this maze is the favorite trysting place
of Slavonian nymphs and swains, and furthermore expresses his opinion
that the spot must be indeed romantic and an appropriate place to "come
a-wooin' " on nights when the moonbeams, penetrating through a thousand
tiny interspaces, convert the gloomy interior into chambers of dancing
light and shadow. All this information and these comments are embodied
in the two short words, "Amour, lima" accompanied by a few gesticulations,
and is a fair sample of the manner in which conversation is carried on
between us. It is quite astonishing how readily two persons constantly
together will come to understand each other through the medium of a few
words which they know the meaning of in common. Scores of ladies and
gentlemen, the latter chiefly military officers, are enjoying a promenade
in the rain-cooled atmosphere, and there is no mistaking the glances of
interest with which many of them favor-Igali. His pronounced sportsmanlike
make-up attracts universal attention and causes everybody to mistake him
for myself - a kindly office which I devoutly wish he would fill until the
whole journey is accomplished. In the Casino garden a dozen bearded
musicians are playing Slavonian airs, and, by request of the assistant
editor, they play and sing the Slavonian national anthem and a popular
air or two besides. The national musical instrument of Slavonia is the
"tamborica"-a small steel-stringed instrument that is twanged with a
chip-like piece of wood. Their singing is excellent in its way, but to
the writer's taste there is no comparison between their tamboricas and
the gypsy music of Hungary. There are no bicycles in all Eszek save ours -
though Mr. Freund, who has lately returned from Paris, has ordered one,
with which he expects to win the admiration of all his countrymen - and
Igali and myself are lionized to our hearts' content; but this evening
we are quite startled and taken aback by the reappearance of the assistant
editor, excitedly announcing the arrival of a tricycle in town. Upon
going down, in breathless anticipation of summarily losing the universal
admiration of Eszek, we find an itinerant cobbler, who has constructed
a machine that would make the rudest bone-shaker of ancient memory seem
like the most elegant product of Hartford or Coventry in comparison. The
backbone and axle-tree are roughly hewn sticks of wood, ironed equally
rough at the village blacksmith's; and as, for a twenty-kreuzer piece,
the rider mounts and wobbles all over the sidewalk for a short distance,
the spectacle would make a stoic roar with laughter, and the good people
of the Lower Danubian provinces are anything but stoical. Six o'clock
next morning finds us travelling southward into the interior of Slavonia;
but we are not mounted, for the road presents an unridable surface of
mud, stones, and ruts, that causes my companion's favorite ejaculatory
expletive to occur with more than its usual frequency. For a portion of
the way there is a narrow sidepath that is fairly ridable, but an
uninvitingly deep ditch runs unpleasantly near, and no amount of persuasion
can induce my companion to attempt wheeling along it. Igali's bump of
cautiousness is fully developed, and day by day, as we journey together,
I am becoming more and more convinced that he would be an invaluable
companion to have accompany one around the world; true, the journey would
occupy a decade, or thereabout, but one would be morally certain of
coming out safe and sound in the end. During our progression southward
there has been a perceptible softening in the disposition of the natives,
this being more noticeably a marked characteristic of the Slavonians;
the generous southern sun, shining on the great area of Oriental gentleness,
casts a softening influence toward the sterner north, imparting to the
people amiable and genial dispositions. It takes but comparatively small
deeds to win the admiration and applause of the natives of the Lower
Danube, with their childlike manners; and, by slowly meandering along
the roadways of Southern Hungary occasionally with his bicycle, Igali
has become the pride and admiration of thousands.

For mile after mile we have to trundle our way slowly along the muddy
highway as best we can, our road leading through a flat and rather swampy
area of broad, waving wheat-fields; we relieve the tedium of the journey
by whistling, alternately, "Yankee Doodle," to which Igali has taken
quite a fancy since first hearing it played by the gypsy band in the
wine-garden at Szekszard three days ago, and the Hungarian national air -
this latter, of course, falling to Igali's share of the entertainment.
Having been to college in Paris, Igali is also able to contribute the
famous Marseillaise hymn, and, not to be outdone, I favor him with " God
Save the Queen" and "Britannia Rules the Waves," both of which he thinks
very good tunes-the former seeming to strike his Hungarian ear, however,
as rather solemn. In the middle of the forenoon we make a brief halt at
a rude road-side tavern for some refreshments - a thick, narrow slice of
raw, fat bacon, white with salt, and a level pint of red wine, satisfying
my companion; but I substitute for the bacon a slice of coarse, black
bread, much to Igali's wonderment. Here are congregated several Slavonian
shepherds, in their large, ill-fitting, sheepskin garments, with the
long wool turned inward-clothes that apparently serve them alike to keep
out the summer's heat and the winter's cold. One of the peasants, with
ideas a trifle befuddled with wine, perhaps, and face all aglow with
admiration for our bicycles, produces a tattered memorandum and begs us
to favor him with our autographs, an act that of itself proves him to
be not without a degree of intelligence one would scarcely look for in
a sheepskin-clad shepherd of Slavonia. Igali gruffly bids the man
"begone," and aims a careless kick at the proffered memorandum; but seeing
no harm in the request, and, moreover, being perhaps by nature a trifle
more considerate of others, I comply. As he reads aloud, "United States,
America," to his comrades, they one and all lift their hats quite
reverently and place their brown hands over their hearts, for I suppose
they recognize in my ready compliance with the simple request, in
comparison with Igali's rude rebuff-which, by the way, no doubt comes
natural enough-the difference between the land of the prince and peasant,
and the land where "liberty, equality, and fraternity" is not a meaningless
motto - a land which I find every down-trodden peasant of Europe has heard
of, and looks upward to.

Soon after this incident we are passing a prune-orchard, when, as though
for our especial benefit, a couple of peasants working there begin singing
aloud, and with evident enthusiasm, some national melody, and as they
observe not our presence, at my suggestion we crouch behind a convenient
clump of bushes and for several minutes are favored with as fine a duet
as I have heard for many a day; but the situation becomes too ridiculous
for Igali, and it finally sends him into a roar of laughter that causes
the performance to terminate abruptly, and, rising into full view, we
doubtless repay the singers by letting them see us mount and ride into
their native village, but a few hundred yards distant. We are to-day
passing through villages where a bicycle has never been seen - this being
outside the area of Igali's peregrinations - and the whole population
invariably turns out en masse, clerks, proprietors, and customers in the
shops unceremoniously dropping everything and running to the streets;
there is verily a hurrying to and fro of all the citizens; husbands
hastening from magazine to dwelling to inform their wives and families,
mothers running to call their children, children their parents, and
everybody scampering to call the attention of their sisters, cousins,
and aunts, ere we are vanished in the distance, and it be everlastingly
too late.

We have been worrying along at some sort of pace, with the exception of
the usual noontide halt, since six o'clock this morning, and the busy
mosquito is making life interesting for belated wayfarers, when we ride
into Sarengrad and put up at the only gasthaus in the village. Our bedroom
is situated on the ground floor, the only floor in fact the gaathaus
boasts, and we are in a fair way of either being lulled to sleep or kept
awake, as the case may be, by a howling chorus of wine-bibbers in the
public room adjoining; but here, again, Igali shows up to good advantage
by peremptorily ordering the singers to stop, and stop instanter. The
amiably disposed peasants, notwithstanding the wine they have been
drinking, cease their singing and become silent and circumspect, in
deference to the wishes of the two strangers with the wonderful machines.
We now make a practice of taking our bicycles into our bedroom with us
at night, otherwise every right hand in the whole village would busy
itself pinching the "gum-elastic" tires and pedal-rubbers, twirling the
pedals, feeling spokes, backbone, and forks, and critically examining
and commenting upon every visible portion of the mechanism; and who knows
but that the latent cupidity of some easy-conscienced villager might be
aroused at the unusual sight of so much "silver" standing around loose
(the natives hereabout don't even ask whether the nickelled parts of the
bicycle are silver or not; they take it for granted to be so), and
surreptitiously attempt to chisel off enough to purchase an embroidered
coat for Sundays. From what I can understand of their comments among
themselves, it is perfectly consistent with their ideas of the average
Englishman that he should bestride a bicycle of solid silver, and if
their vocabulary embraced no word corresponding to our "millionnaire,"
and they desired to use one, they would probably pick upon the word
"Englander" as the most appropriate. While we are making our toilets in
the morning eager faces are peering inquisitively through the bedroom
windows; a murmur of voices, criticizing us and our strange vehicles,
greets our waking moments, and our privacy is often invaded, in spite
of Igali's inconsiderate treatment of them whenever they happen to cross
his path.

Many of the inhabitants of this part of Slavonia are Croatians - people
who are noted for their fondness of finery; and, as on this sunny Sunday
morning we wheel through their villages, the crowds of peasantry who
gather about us in all the bravery of their best clothes present, indeed,
an appearance gay and picturesque beyond anything hitherto encountered.
The garments of the men are covered with braid-work and silk embroidery
wherever such ornamentation is thought to be an embellishment, and, to
the Croatian mind, that means pretty much everywhere; and the girls and
women are arrayed in the gayest of colors; those displaying the brightest
hues and the greatest contrasts seem to go tripping along conscious of
being irresistible. Many of the Croatian peasants are fine, strapping
fellows, and very handsome women are observed in the villages - women with
great, dreamy eyes, and faces with an expression of languor that bespeaks
their owners to be gentleness personified. Igali shows evidence of more
susceptibility to female charms than I should naturally have given him
credit for, and shows a decided inclination to linger in these beauty-blessed
villages longer than is necessary, and as one dark-eyed damsel after
another gathers around us, I usually take the initiative in mounting and
clearing out.

Were a man to go suddenly flapping his way through the streets of London
on the long-anticipated flying-machine, the average Cockney would scarce
betray the unfeigned astonishment that is depicted on the countenances
of these Croatian villagers as we nde into their midst and dismount.

This afternoon my bicycle causes the first runaway since the trifling
affair at Lembach, Austria. A brown-faced peasant woman and a little
girl, driving a small, shaggy pony harnessed to a basket-work, four-wheeled
vehicle, are approaching; their humble-looking steed betrays no evidence
of restiveness until just as I am turning out to pass him, when, without
warning, he gives a swift, sudden bound to the right, nearly upsetting
the vehicle, and without more ado bolts down a considerable embankment
and goes helter-skelter across a field of standing grain. The old lady
pluckily hangs on to the reins, and finally succeeds in bringing the
runaway around into the road again without damaging anything save the
corn. It might have ended much less satisfactorily, however, and the
incident illustrates one possible source of trouble to a 'cycler travelling
alone through countries where the people neither understand, nor can be
expected to understand, a wheelman's position; the situation would, of
course, be aggravated in a country village where, not speaking the
language, one could not make himself understood in his own defence. These
people here, if not wise as serpents, are at least harmless as doves;
but, in case of the bicycle frightening a team and causing a runaway
with the unpleasant sequel of broken limbs, or injured horse, they would
scarce know what to do in the premises, since they would have no precedent
to govern them, and, in the absence of any intelligent guidance, might
conclude to wreak summary vengeance on the bicycle. In such a case, would
a wheelman be justified in using his revolver to defend his bicycle ?

Such is the reverie into which I fall while reclining beneath a spreading
mulberry-tree waiting for Igali to catch up; for he has promised that I
shall see the Slavonian national dance sometime to-day, and a village
is now visible in the distance. At the Danube-side village of Hamenitz
an hour's halt is decided upon to give me the promised opportunity of
witnessing the dance in its native land. It is a novel and interesting
sight. A round hundred young gallants and maidens are rigged out in
finery such as no other people save the Croatian and Slavonian peasants
ever wear - the young men braided and embroidered, and the damsels having
their hair entwined with a profusion of natural flowers in addition to
their costumes of all possible hues. Forming themselves into a large
ring, distributed so that the sexes alternate, the young men extend and
join their hands in front of the maidens, and the latter join hands
behind their partners; the steel-strung tamboricas strike up a lively
twanging air, to which the circle of dancers endeavor to shuffle time
with their feet, while at the same time moving around in a circle Livelier
and faster twang the tamboricas, and more and more animated becomes the
scene as the dancing, shuffling ring endeavors to keep pace with it. As
the fun progresses into the fast and furious stages the youths' hats
have a knack of getting into a jaunty position on the side of their
heads, and the wearers' faces assume a reckless, flushed appearance,
like men half intoxicated while the maidens' bright eyes and beaming
faces betoken unutterable happiness; finally the music and the shuffling
of feet terminate with a rapid flourish, everybody kisses everybody - save,
of course, mere luckless onlookers like Igali and myself - and the Slavonian
national dance is ended.

To-night we reach the strongly fortified town of Peterwardein, opposite
which, just across a pontoon bridge spanning the Danube, is the larger
city of Neusatz. At Hamenitz we met Professor Zaubaur, the editor of the
Uj Videk, who came down the Danube ahead of us by steamboat; and now,
after housing our machines at our gasthaus in Peterwardein, he pilots
us across the pontoon bridge in the twilight, and into one of those wine-
gardens so universal in this part of the world. Here at Neusatz I listen
to the genuine Hungarian gypsy music for the last time on the European
tour ere bidding the territory of Hungary adieu, for Neusatz is on the
Hungarian side of the Danube. The professor has evidently let no grass
grow beneath his feet since leaving us scarcely an hour ago at Hamenitz,
for he has, in the mean time, ferreted out the only English-speaking
person at present in town, the good Frau Schrieber, an Austrian lady,
formerly of Vienna, but now at Neusatz with her husband, a well-known
advocate. This lady talks English quite fluently. Though not yet twenty-five
she is very, very wise, and among other things she informs her admiring
friends gathered round about us, listening to the - to them - unintelligible
flow of a foreign language, that Englishmen are "very grave beings," a
piece of information that wrings from Igali a really sympathetic response-
nothing less than the startling announcement that he hasn't seen me smile
since we left Budapest together, a week ago. "Having seen the Slavonian,
I ought by all means to see the Hungarian national dance," Frau Schrieber
says; adding, "It is a nice dance for Englishmen to look at, though it
is so very gay that English ladies would neither dance it nor look at
it being danced." Ere parting company with this entertaining lady she
agrees that, if I will but remain in Hungary permanently, she knows of
a very handsome fraulein of sixteen summers, who, having heard of my
"wonderful journey," is already predisposed in my favor, and with a
little friendly tact and management on her - Frau Schrieber's - part would
no doubt be willing to waive the formalities of a long courtship, and
yield up hand and heart at my request. I can scarcely think of breaking
in twain my trip around the world even for so tempting a prospect, and
I recommend the fair Hungarian to Igali; but "the fraulein has never
heard of Herr Igali, and he will not do."

"Will the fraulein be willing to wait until my journey around the world
is completed."

"Yes; she vill vait mit much pleezure; I vill zee dat she vait; und I
know you vill return, for an Englishman alvays forgets his promeezes."
Henceforth, when Igali and myself enter upon a programme of whistling,
"Yankee Doodle" is supplanted by "The girl I left behind me," much
to his annoyance, since, not understanding the sentiment responsible for
the change, bethinks "Yankee Doodle" a far better tune. So much attached,
in fact, has Igali become to the American national air, that he informs
the professor and editor of Uj Videk of the circumstance of the band
playing it at Szekszard. As, after supper, several of us promenade the
streets of Neusatz, the professor links his arm in mine, and, taking the
cue from Igali, begs me to favor him by whistling it. I try my best to
palm this patriotic duty off on Igali, by paying flattering compliments
to his style of whistling; but, after all, the duty falls on me, and I
whistle the tune softly, yet merrily, as we walk along, the professor,
spectacled and wise-looking, meanwhile exchanging numerous nods of
recognition with his fellow-Neusatzers we meet. The provost-judge of
Neusatz shares the honors with Frau Schrieber of knowing more or less
English; but this evening the judge is out of town. The enterprising
professor lies in wait for him, however, and at 5.30 on Monday morning,
while we are dressing, an invasion of our bed-chamber is made by the
professor, the jolly-looking and portly provost-judge, a Slavonian
lieutenant of artillery, and a druggist friend of the others. The provost-
judge and the lieutenant actually own bicycles and ride them, the only
representatives of the wheel in Neusatz and Peterwardein, and the judge
is " very angry " - as he expresses it - that Monday is court day, and to-day
an unusually busy one, for he would be most happy to wheel with us to

The lieutenant fetches his wheel and accompanies us to the next village.
Peterwardein is a strongly fortified place, and, as a poition commanding
the Danube so completely, is furnished with thirty guns of large calibre,
a battery certainly not to be despised when posted on a position so
commanding as the hill on which Peterwardein fortress is built. As the
editor and others at Eszek, so here the professor, the judge, and the
druggist unite in a friendly protest against my attempt to wheel through
Asia, and more especially through China, "for everybody knows it is
quite dangerous," they say. These people cannot possibly understand why
it is that an Englishman or American, knowing of danger beforehand, will
still venture ahead; and when, in reply to their questions, I modestly
announce my intention of going ahead, notwithstanding possible danger
and probable difficulties, they each, in turn, shake my hand as though
reluctantly resigning me to a reckless determination, and the judge,
acting as spokesman, and echoing and interpreting the sentiments of his
companions, exclaims, "England and America forever! it is ze grandest
peeples on ze world!" The lieutenant, when questioned on the subject by
the judge and the professor, simply shrugs his shoulders and says nothing,
as becomes a man whose first duty is to cultivate a supreme contempt for
danger in all its forms.

They all accompany us outside the city gates, when, after mutual farewells
and assurances of good-will, we mount and wheel away down the Danube,
the lieutenant's big mastiff trotting soberly alongside his master, while
Igali, sometimes in and sometimes out of sight behind, brings up the
rear. After the lieutenant leaves us we have to trundle our weary way
up the steep gradients of the Fruskagora Mountains for a number of
kilometres. For Igali it is quite an adventurous morning. Ere we had
left the shadows of Peterwardein fortress he upset while wheeling beneath
some overhanging mulberry-boughs that threatened destruction to his
jockey-cap; soon after parting company with the lieutenant he gets into
an altercation with a gang of gypsies about being the cause of their
horses breaking loose from their picket-ropes and stampeding, and then
making uncivil comments upon the circumstance; an hour after this he
overturns again and breaks a pedal, and when we dismount at Indjia, for
our noontide halt, he discovers that his saddle-spring has snapped in
the middle. As he ruefully surveys the breakage caused by the roughness
of the Fruskagora roads, and sends out to scour the village for a mechanic
capable of undertaking the repairs, he eyes my Columbia wistfully, and
asks me for the address where one like it can be obtained. The blacksmith
is not prepared to mend the spring, although he makes a good job of the
pedal, and it takes a carpenter and his assistant from 1.30 to 4.30 P.M.
to manufacture a grooved piece of wood to fit between the spring and
backbone so that he can ride with me to Belgrade. It would have been a
fifteen-minute task for a Yankee carpenter. We have been traversing a
spur of the Fruskagora Mountains all the morning, and our progress has
been slow. The roads through here are mainly of the natural soil, and
correspondingly bad; but the glorious views of the Danube, with its
alternating wealth of green woods and greener cultivated areas, fully
recompense for the extra toil. Prune-orchards, the trees weighed down
with fruit yet green, clothe the hill-sides with their luxuriance; indeed,
the whole broad, rich valley of the Danube seems nodding and smiling in
the consciousness of overflowing plenty; for days we have traversed roads
leading through vineyards and orchards, and broad areas with promising-looking

It is but thirty kilometres from Indjia to Semlin, on the riverbank
opposite Belgrade, and since leaving the Fruskagora Mountains the country
has been a level plain, and the roads fairly smooth. But Igali has
naturally become doubly cautious since his succession of misadventures
this morning, and as, while waiting for him to overtake me, I recline
beneath the mulberry-trees near the village of Batainitz and survey the
blue mountains of Servia looming up to the southward through the evening
haze, he rides up and proposes Batainitz as our halting-place for the
night, adding persuasively, "There will be no ferry-boat across to
Belgrade to-night, and we can easily catch the first boat in the morning."
I reluctantly agree, though advocating going on to Semlin this evening.
While our supper is being prepared we are taken in hand by the leading
merchant of the village and "turned loose" in an orchard of small
fruits and early pears, and from thence conducted to a large gypsy
encampment in the outskirts of the village, where, in acknowledgment of
the honor of our visit-and a few kreuzers by way of supplement - the
"flower of the camp," a blooming damsel, about the shade of a total
eclipse, kisses the backs of our hands, and the men play a strumming
monotone with sticks and an inverted wooden trough, while the women dance
in a most lively and not ungraceful manner. These gypsy bands are a happy
crowd of vagabonds, looking as though they had never a single care in
all the world; the men wear long, flowing hair, and to the ordinary
costume of the peasant is added many a gewgaw, worn with a careless
jaunty grace that fails not to carry with it a certain charm in spite
of unkempt locks and dirty faces. The women wear a minimum of clothes
and a profusion of beads and trinkets, and the children go stark naked
or partly dressed.

Unmistakable evidence that one is approaching the Orient appears in the
semi-Oriental costumes. of the peasantry and roving gypsy bands, as we
gradually near the Servian capital. An Oriental costume in Eszek is
sufficiently exceptional to be a novelty, and so it is until one gets
south of Peterwardein, when the national costumes of Slavonia and Croatia
are gradually merged into the tasselled fez, the many-folded waistband,
and the loose, flowing pantaloons of Eastern lands. Here at Batainitz
the feet are encased in rude raw-hide moccasins, bound on with leathern
thongs, and the ankle and calf are bandaged with many folds of heavy red
material, also similarly bound. The scene around our gasthaus, after our
arrival, resembles a popular meeting; for, although a few of the villagers
have been to Belgrade and seen a bicycle, it is only within the last six
months that Belgrade itself has boasted one, and the great majority of
the Batainitz people have simply heard enough about them to whet their
curiosity for a closer acquaintance. More-over, from the interest taken
in my tour at Belgrade on account of the bicycle's recent introduction
in that capital, these villagers, but a dozen kilometres away, have heard
more of my journey than people in villages farther north, and their
curiosity is roused in proportion.

We are astir by five o'clock next morning; but the same curious crowd
is making the stone corridors of the rambling old gasthaus impassable,
and filling the space in front, gazing curiously at us, and commenting
on our appearance whenever we happen to become visible, while waiting
with commendable patience to obtain a glimpse of our wonderful machines.
They are a motley, and withal a ragged assembly; old women devoutly cross
themselves as, after a slight repast of bread and milk, we sally forth
with our wheels, prepared to start; and the spontaneous murmur of
admiration which breaks forth as we mount becomes louder and more
pronounced as I turn in the saddle and doff my helmet in deference to
the homage paid us by hearts which are none the less warm because hidden
beneath the rags of honest poverty and semi-civilization. It takes but
little to win the hearts of these rude, unsophisticated people. A two
hours' ride from Batainitz, over level and reasonably smooth roads,
brings us into Semlin, quite an important Slavonian city on the Danube,
nearly opposite Belgrade, which is on the same side, but separated from
it by a large tributary called the Save. Ferry-boats ply regularly between
the two cities, and, after an hour spent in hunting up different officials
to gain permission for Igali to cross over into Servian territory without
having a regular traveller's passport, we escape from the madding crowds
of Semlinites by boarding the ferry-boat, and ten minutes later are
exchanging signals! with three Servian wheelmen, who have come down to
the landing in full uniform to meet and welcome us to Belgrade. Many
readers will doubtless be as surprised as I was to learn that at Belgrade,
the capital of the little Kingdom of Servia, independent only since the
Treaty of Berlin, a bicycle club was organized in January, 1885, and
that now, in June of the same year, they have a promising club of thirty
members, twelve of whom are riders owning their own wheels. Their club
is named, in French, La Societe Velocipedique Serbe; in the Servian
language it is unpronounceable to an Anglo-Saxon, and printable only
with Slav type. The president, Milorade M. Nicolitch Terzibachitch, is
the Cyclists' Touring Club Consul for Servia, and is the southeastern
picket of that organization, their club being the extreme 'cycle outpost
in this direction. Our approach has been announced beforehand, and the
club has thoughtfully "seen" the Servian authorities, and so far
smoothed the way for our entrance into their country that the officials
do not even make a pretence of examining my passport or packages - an
almost unprecedented occurrence, I should say, since they are more
particular about passports here than perhaps in any other European
country, save Russia and Turkey. Here at Belgrade I am to part company
with Igali, who, by the way, has applied for, and just received, his
certificate of appointment to the Cyclists' Touring Club Consulship of
Duna Szekeso and Mohacs, an honor of which he feels quite proud. True,
there is no other 'cycler in his whole district, and hardly likely to
be for some time to corne; but I can heartily recommend him to any
wandering wheelman happening down the Danube Valley on a tour; he knows
the best wine-cellars in all the country round, and, besides being an
agreeable and accommodating road companion, will prove a salutary check
upon the headlong career of anyone disposed to over-exertion. I am not
yet to be abandoned entirely to my own resources, however; these hospitable
Servian wheelmen couldn't think of such a thing. I am to remain over as
their guest till to-morrow afternoon, when Mr. Douchan Popovitz, the
best rider in Belgrade, is delegated to escort me through Servia to the
Bulgarian frontier. When I get there I shall not be much astonished to
see a Bulgarian wheelman offer to escort me to Roumelia, and so on clear
to Constantinople; for I certainly never expected to find so jolly and
enthusiastic a company of 'cyclers in this corner of the world.

The good fellowship and hospitality of this Servian club know no bounds;
Igali and I are banqueted and driven about in carriages all day.

Belgrade is a strongly fortified city, occupying a commanding hill
overlooking the Danube; it is a rare old town, battle-scarred and rugged;
having been a frontier position of importance in a country that has been
debatable ground between Turk and Christian for centuries, it has been
a coveted prize to be won and lost on the diplomatic chess-board, or,
worse still, the foot-ball of contending armies and wrangling monarchs.
Long before the Ottoman Turks first appeared, like a small dark cloud,
no bigger than a man's hand, upon the southeastern horizon of Europe,
to extend and overwhelm the budding flower of Christianity and civilization
in these fairest portions of the continent, Belgrade was an important
Roman fortress, and to-day its national museum and antiquarian stores
are particularly rich in the treasure-trove of Byzantine antiquities,
unearthed from time to time in the fortress itself and the region round
about that came under its protection. So plentiful, indeed, are old coins
and relics of all sorts at Belgrade, that, as I am standing looking at
the collection in the window of an antiquary shop, the proprietor steps
out and presents me a small handful of copper coins of Byzantium as a
sort of bait that might perchance tempt one to enter and make a closer
inspection of his stock. By the famous Treaty of Berlin the Servians
gained their complete independence, and their country, from a principality,
paying tribute to the Sultan, changed to an independent kingdom with a
Servian on the throne, owing allegiance to nobody, and the people have
not yet ceased to show, in a thousand little ways, their thorough
appreciation of the change; besides filling the picture-galleries of
their museum with portraits of Servian heroes, battle-flags, and other
gentle reminders of their past history, they have, among other practical
methods of manifesting how they feel about the departure of the dominating
crescent from among them, turned the leading Turkish mosque into a gas-
house. One of the most interesting relics in the Servian capital is an
old Roman well, dug from the brow of the fortress hill to below the level
of the Danube, for furnishing water to the city when cut off from the
river by a besieging army. It is an enormous affair, a tubular brick
wall about forty feet in circumference and two hundred and fifty feet
deep, outside of which a stone stairway, winding round and round the
shaft, leads from top to bottom. Openings through the wall, six feet
high and three wide, occur at regular intervals all the way down, and,
as we follow our ragged guide down, down into the damp and darkness by
the feeble light of a tallow candle in a broken lantern, I cannot help
thinking that these o'erhandy openings leading into the dark, watery
depths have, in the tragic history of Belgrade, doubtless been responsible
for the mysterious disappearance of more than one objectionable person.
It is not without certain involuntary misgivings that I take the lantern
from the guide - whose general appearance is, by the way, hardly calculated
to be reassuring - and, standing in one of the openings, peer down into
the darksome depths, with him hanging on to my coat as an act of precaution.

The view from the ramparts of Belgrade fortress is a magnificent panorama,
extending over the broad valley of the Danube - which here winds about
as though trying to bestow its favors with impartiality upon Hungary,
Servia, and Slavonia - and of the Save. The Servian soldiers are camped
in small tents in various parts of the fortress grounds and its environments,
or lolling under the shade of a few scantily verdured trees, for the sun
is to-day broiling hot. With a population not exceeding one and a half
million, I am told that Servia supports a standing army of a hundred
thousand men; and, when required, every man in Servia becomes a soldier.
As one lands from the ferry-boat and looks about him he needs no interpreter
to inform him that he has left the Occident on the other side of the
Save, and to the observant stranger the streets of Belgrade furnish many
a novel and interesting sight in the way of fanciful costumes and phases
of Oriental life here encountered for the first time. In the afternoon
we visit the national museum of old coins, arms, and Eoman and Servian
antiquities. A banquet in a wine-garden, where Servian national music
is dispensed by a band of female musicians, is given us in the evening
by the club, and royal quarters are assigned us for the night at the
hospitable mansion of Mr. Terzibachitch's father, who is the merchant
-prince of Servia, and purveyor to the court. Wednesday morning we take
a general ramble over the city, besides visiting the club's head-quarters,
where we find a handsome new album has been purchased for receiving our
autographs. The Belgrade wheelmen have names painted on their bicycles,
as names are painted on steamboats or yachts: "Fairy," "Good Luck," and
"Servian Queen," being fair specimens. The cyclers here are sons of
leading citizens and business men of Belgrade, and, while they dress and
conduct themselves as becomes thorough gentlemen, one fancies detecting
a certain wild expression of the eye, as though their civilization were
scarcely yet established; in fact, this peculiar expression is more
noticeable at Belgrade, and is apparently more general here than at any
other place I visit in Europe. I apprehend it to be a peculiarity that
has become hereditary with the citizens, from their city having been so
often and for so long the theatre of uncertain fate and distracting
political disturbances. It is the half-startled expression of people
with the ever-present knowledge of insecurity. But they are a warm-hearted,
impulsive set of fellows, and when, while looking through the museum,
we happen across Her Britannic Majesty's representative at the Servian
court, who is doing the same thing, one of them unhesitatingly approaches
that gentleman, cap in hand, and, with considerable enthusiasm of manner,
announces that they have with them a countryman of his who is riding
around the world on a bicycle. This cooler-blooded and dignified gentleman
is not near so demonstrative in his acknowledgment as they doubtless
anticipated he would be; whereat they appear quite puzzled and mystified.

Three carriages with cyclers and their friends accompany us a dozen
kilometres out to a wayside mehana (the Oriental name hereabouts for
hotels, wayside inns, etc.); Douchan Popovitz, and Hugo Tichy, the captain
of the club, will ride forty-five kilometres with me to Semendria, and
at 4 o'clock we mount our wheels and ride away southward into Servia.
Arriving at the mehana, wine is brought, and then the two Servians
accompanying me, and those returning, kiss each other, after the manner
and custom of their country; then a general hand-shaking and well-wishes
all around, and the carriages turn toward Belgrade, while we wheelmen
alternately ride and trundle over a muddy - for it has rained since noon - and
mountainous road till 7.30, when relatives of Douchan Popovitz, in the
village of Grotzka, kindly offer us the hospitality of their house till
morning, which we hesitate not to avail ourselves of. When about to part
at the mehana, the immortal Igali unwinds from around his waist that
long blue girdle, the arranging and rearranging of which has been a
familiar feature of the last week's experiences, and presents it to me
for a souvenir of himself, a courtesy which I return by presenting him
with several of the Byzantine coins given to me by the Belgrade antiquary
as before mentioned. Beyond Semendria, where the captain leaves us for
the return journey, we leave the course of the Danube, which I have been
following in a general way for over two weeks, and strike due southward
up the smaller, but not less beautiful, valley of the Morava River, where
we have the intense satisfaction of finding roads that are both dry and
level, enabling us, in spite of the broiling heat, to bowl along at a
sixteen-kilometre pace to the village, where we halt for dinner and the
usual three hours noontide siesta. Seeing me jotting down my notes with
a short piece of lead-pencil, the proprietor of the mehana at Semendria,
where we take a parting glass of wine with the captain, and who admires
America and the Americans, steps in-doors for a minute, and returns with
a telescopic pencil-case, attached to a silken cord of the Servian"
national colors, which he places abound my neck, requesting me to wear
it around the world, and, when I arrive at my journey's end, sometimes
to think of Servia.

With Igali's sky-blue girdle encompassing my waist, and the Servian
national colors fondly encircling my neck, I begin to feel quite a
heraldic tremor creeping over me, and actually surprise myself casting
wistful glances at the huge antiquated horse pistol stuck in yonder bull-
whacker's ample waistband; moreover, I really think that a pair of these
Servian moccasins would not be bad foot-gear for riding the bicycle. All
up the Morava Valley the roads continue far better than I have expected
to find in Servia, and we wheel merrily along, the Resara Mountains
covered with dark pine forests, skirting the valley on the right, sometimes
rising into peaks of quite respectable proportions. The sun sinks behind
the receding hills, it grows dusk, and finally dark, save the feeble
light vouchsafed by the new moon, and our destination still lies several
kilometres ahead. But at about nine we roll safely into Jagodina, well-
satisfied with the consciousness of having covered one hundred and forty-
five kilometres to-day, in spite of delaying our start in the morning
until eight o'clock, and the twenty kilometres of indifferent road between
Grotzka and Semendria. There has been no reclining under road-side
mulberry-trees for my companion to catch up to-day, however; the Servian
wheelman is altogether a speedier man than Igali, and, whether the road
is rough or smooth, level or hilly, he is found close behind my rear
wheel; my own shadow follows not more faithfully than does the "best
rider in Servia."

We start for Jagodina at 5.30 next morning, finding the roads a little
heavy with sand in places, but otherwise all that a wheelman could wish.
Crossing a bridge over the Morava River, into Tchupria, we are required
not only to foot it across, but to pay a toll for the bicycles, like any
other wheeled vehicle. At Tchupria it seems as though the whole town
must be depopulated, so great is the throng of citizens that swarm about
us. Motley and picturesque even in their rags, one's pen utterly fails
to convey a correct idea of their appearance; besides Servians, Bulgarians,
and Turks, and the Greek priests who never fail of being on hand, now
appear Roumanians, wearing huge sheep-skin busbies, with the long, ragged
edges of the wool dangling about eyes and ears, or, in the case of a
more "dudish " person, clipped around smooth at the brim, making the
head-gear look like a small, round, thatched roof. Urchins, whose daily
duty is to promenade the family goat around the streets, join in the
procession, tugging their bearded charges after them; and a score of
dogs, overjoyed beyond measure at the general commotion, romp about, and
bark their joyous approval of it all. To have crowds like this following
one out of town makes a sensitive person feel uncomfortably like being
chased out of a community for borrowing chickens by moonlight, or on
account of some irregularity concerning hotel bills. On occasions like
this Orientals seemingly have not the slightest sense of dignity; portly,
well-dressed citizens, priests, and military officers press forward among
the crowds of peasants and unwashed frequenters of the streets, evidently
more delighted with things about them than they have been for many a day

At Delegrad we wheel through the battle-field of the same name, where,
in 1876, Turks and Servians were arrayed against each other. These battle-
scarred hills above Delegrad command a glorious view of the lower Morava
Valley, which is hereabouts most beautiful, and just broad enough for
its entire beauty to be comprehended. The Servians won the battle of
Delegrad, and as I pause to admire the glorious prospect to the southward
from the hills, methinks their general showed no little sagacity in
opposing the invaders at a spot where the Morava Vale, the jewel of
Servia, was spread out like a panorama below his position, to fan with
its loveliness the patriotism of his troops - they could not do otherwise
than win, with the fairest portion of their well-beloved country spread
out before them like a picture. A large cannon, captured from the Turks,
is standing on its carriage by the road-side, a mute but eloquent witness
of Servian prowess.

A few miles farther on we halt for dinner at Alexinatz, near the old
Servian boundary-line, also the scene of one of the greatest battles
fought during the Servian struggle for independence. The Turks were
victorious this time, and fifteen thousand Servians and three thousand
Russian allies yielded up their lives here to superior Turkish generalship,
and Alexiuatz was burned to ashes. The Russians have erected a granite
monument on a hill overlooking the town, in memory of their comrades who
perished in this fight. The roads to-day average even better than
yesterday, and at six o'clock we roll into Nisch, one hundred and twenty
kilometres from our starting-point this morning, and two hundred and
eighty from Belgrade. As we enter the city a gang of convicts working
on the fortifications forget their clanking shackles and chains, and the
miseries of their state, long enough to greet us with a boisterous howl
of approval, and the guards who are standing over them for once, at
least, fail to check them, for their attention, too, is wholly engrossed
in the same wondrous subject. Nisch appears to be a thoroughly Oriental
city, and here I see the first Turkish ladies, with their features hidden
behind their white yashmaks. At seven or eight o'clock in the morning,
when it is comparatively cool and people are patronizing the market,
trafficking and bartering for the day's supply of provisions, the streets
present quite an animated appearance; but during the heat of the day the
scene changes to one of squalor and indolence; respectable citizens are
smoking nargilehs (Mark Twain's "hubble-bubble"), or sleeping somewhere
out of sight; business is generally suspended, and in every shady nook
and corner one sees a swarthy ragamuffin stretched out at full length,
perfectly happy and contented if only he is allowed to snooze the hours
away in peace.

Human nature is verily the same the world over, and here, in the hotel
at Nisch, I meet an individual who recalls a few of the sensible questions
that have been asked me from time to time at different places on both
continents. This Nisch interrogator is a Hebrew commercial traveller,
who has a smattering of English, and who after ascertaining during a
short conversation that, when a range of mountains or any other small
obstruction is encountered, I get down and push the bicycle up, airs his
knowledge of English and of 'cycling to the extent of inquiring whether
I don't take a man along to push it up the hills!

Riding out of Nisch this morning we stop just beyond the suburbs to take
a curious look at a grim monument of Turkish prowess, in the shape of a
square stone structure which the Turks built in 1840, and then faced the
whole exterior with grinning rows of Servian skulls partially embedded
in mortar. The Servians, naturally objecting to having the skulls of
their comrades thus exposed to the gaze of everybody, have since removed
and buried them; but the rows of indentations in the thick mortared
surface still bear unmistakable evidence of the nature of their former
occupants. An avenue of thrifty prune-trees shades a level road leading
out of Nisch for several kilometres, but a heavy thunder-storm during
the night has made it rather slavish wheeling, although the surface
becomes harder and smoother, also hillier, as we gradually approach the
Balkan Mountains, that tower well up toward cloudland immediately ahead.
The morning is warm and muggy, indicating rain, and the long, steep
trundle, kilometre after kilometre, up the Balkan slopes, is anything
but child's play, albeit the scenery is most lovely, one prospect
especially reminding me of a view in the Big Horn Mountains of northern
Wyoming Territory. On the lower slopes we come to a mehana, where, besides
plenty of shade-trees, we find springs of most delightfully cool water
gushing out of crevices in the rocks, and, throwing our freely perspiring
forms beneath the grateful shade and letting the cold water play on our
wrists (the best method in the world of cooling one's self when overheated),
we both vote that it would be a most agreeable place to spend the heat
of the day. But the morning is too young yet to think of thus indulging,
and the mountainous prospect ahead warns us that the distance covered
to-day will be short enough at the best.

The Balkans are clothed with green foliage to the topmost crags, wild
pear-trees being no inconspicuous feature; charming little valleys wind
about between the mountain-spurs, and last night's downpour has imparted
a freshness to the whole scene that perhaps it would not be one's good
fortune to see every day, even were he here. This region of intermingled
vales and forest-clad mountains might be the natural home of brigandage,
and those ferocious-looking specimens of humanity with things like long
guns in hand, running with scrambling haste down the mountain-side toward
our road ahead, look like veritable brigands heading us off with a view
to capturing us. But they are peacefully disposed goatherds, who,
alpenstocks in hand, are endeavoring to see "what in the world those
queer-looking things are, coming up the road." Their tuneful noise, as
they play on some kind of an instrument, greets our ears from a dozen
mountain-slopes round about us, as we put our shoulders to the wheel,
and gradually approach the summit. Tortoises are occasionally surprised
basking in the sunbeams in the middle of the road; when molested they
hiss quite audibly in protest, but if passed peacefully by they are seen
shuffling off into the bushes, as though thankful to escape. Unhappy
oxen are toiling patiently upward, literally inch by inch, dragging
heavy, creaking wagons, loaded with miscellaneous importations, prominent
among which I notice square cans of American petroleum. Men on horseback
are encountered, the long guns of the Orient slung at their backs, and
knife and pistols in sash, looking altogether ferocious. Not only are
these people perfectly harmless, however, but I verily think it would
take a good deal of aggravation to make them even think of fighting. The
fellow whose horse we frightened down a rocky embankment, at the imminent
risk of breaking the neck of both horse and rider, had both gun, knife,
and pistols; yet, though he probably thinks us emissaries of the evil
one, he is in no sense a dangerous character, his weapons being merely
gewgaws to adorn his person. Finally, the summit of this range is gained,
and the long, grateful descent into the valley of the Nissava River
begins. The surface during this descent, though averaging very good, is
not always of the smoothest; several dismounts are found to be necessary,
and many places ridden over require a quick hand and ready eye to pass.
The Servians have made a capital point in fixing their new boundary-line
south of this mountain-range.

Mountaineers are said to be "always freemen;" one can with equal
truthfulness add that the costumes of mountaineers' wives and daughters
are always more picturesque than those of their sisters in the valleys.
In these Balkan Mountains their costumes are a truly wonderful blending
of colors, to say nothing of fantastic patterns, apparently a medley of
ideas borrowed from Occident and Orient. One woman we have just passed
is wearing the loose, flowing pantaloons of the Orient, of a bright-yellow
color, a tight-fitting jacket of equally bright blue; around her waist
is folded many times a red and blue striped waistband, while both head
and feet are bare. This is no holiday attire; it is plainly the ordinary
every-day costume.

At the foot of the range we halt at a way-side mehana for dinner. A daily
diligence, with horses four abreast, runs over the Balkans from Niseh
to Sophia, Bulgaria, and one of them is halted at the mehana for
refreshments and a change of horses. Refreshments at these mehanas are
not always palatable to travellers, who almost invariably carry a supply
of provisions along. Of bread nothing but the coarse, black variety
common to the country is forthcoming at this mehana, and a gentleman,
learning from Mr. Popovitz that I have not yet been educated up to black
bread, fishes a large roll of excellent milch-Brod out of his traps and
kindly presents it to us; and obtaining from the mehana some hune-hen
fabrica and wine we make a very good meal. This hunehen fabrica is nothing
more nor less than cooked chicken. Whether hune-hen fabrica is genuine
Hungarian for cooked chicken, or whether Igali manufactured the term
especially for use between us, I cannot quite understand. Be this as it
may, before we started from Belgrade, Igali imparted the secret to Mr.
Popovitz that I was possessed with a sort of a wild appetite, as it were,
for hune-hen fabrica and cherries, three times a day, the consequence
being that Mr. Popovitz thoughtfully orders those viands whenever we
halt. After dinner the mutterings of thunder over the mountains warn us
that unless we wish to experience the doubtful luxuries of a road-side
mehana for the night we had better make all speed to the village of Bela
Palanka, twelve kilometres distant over - rather hilly roads. In forty
minutes we arrive at the Bela Palanka mehana, some time before the rain
begins. It is but twenty kilometres to Pirot, near the Bulgarian frontier,
whither my companion has purposed to accompany me, but we are forced to
change this programme and remain at Bela Palanka.

It rains hard all night, converting the unassuming Nissava into a roaring
yellow torrent, and the streets of the little Balkan village into mud-
holes. It is still raining on Sunday morning, and as Mr. Popovitz is
obliged to be back to his duties as foreign correspondent in the Servian
National Bank at Belgrade on Tuesday, and the Balkan roads have been
rendered impassable for a bicycle, he is compelled to hire a team and
wagon to haul him and his wheel back over the mountains to Nisch, while
I have to remain over Sunday amid the dirt and squalor and discomforts - to
say nothing of a second night among the fleas - of an Oriental village
mehana. We only made fifty kilometres over the mountains yesterday, but
during the three days from Belgrade together the aggregate has been
satisfactory, and Mr. Popovitz has proven a most agreeable and interesting
companion. When but fourteen years of age he served under the banner of
the Red Cross in the war between the Turks and Servians, and is altogether
an ardent patriot. My Sunday in Bela Palanka impresses me with the
conviction that an Oriental village is a splendid place not to live in.
In dry weather it is disagreeable enough, but to-day, it is a disorderly
aggregation of miserable-looking villagers, pigs, ducks, geese, chickens,
and dogs, paddling around the muddy streets. The Oriental peasant's
costume is picturesque or otherwise, according to the fancy of the
observer. The red fez or turban, the upper garment, and the ample red
sash wound round and round the waist until it is eighteen inches broad,
look picturesque enough for anybody; but when it comes to having the
seat of the pantaloons dangling about the calves of the legs, a person
imbued with Western ideas naturally thinks that if the line between
picturesqueness and a two-bushel gunny-sack is to be drawn anywhere it
should most assuredly be drawn here. As I notice how prevalent this
ungainly style of nether garment is in the Orient, I find myself getting
quite uneasy lest, perchance, anything serious should happen to mine,
and I should be compelled to ride the bicycle in a pair of natives, which
would, however, be an altogether impossible feat unless it were feasible
to gather the surplus area up in a bunch and wear it like a bustle. I
cannot think, however, that Fate, cruel as she sometimes is, has anything
so outrageous as this in store for me or any other 'cycler. Although
Turkish ladies have almost entirely disappeared from Servia since its
severance from Turkey, they have left, in a certain degree, an impress
upon the women of the country villages; although the Bela Palanka maidens,
as I notice on the streets in their Sunday clothes to-day, do not wear
the regulation yashmak, but a head-gear that partially obscures the face,
their whole demeanor giving one the impression that their one object in
life is to appear the pink of propriety in the eyes of the whole world;
they walk along the streets at a most circumspect gait, looking neither
to the right nor left, neither stopping to converse with each other by
the way, nor paying any sort of attention to the men. The two proprietors
of the mehana where I am stopping are subjects for a student of human
nature. With their wretched little pigsty of a mehana in this poverty-stricken
village, they are gradually accumulating a fortune. Whenever a luckless
traveller falls into their clutches they make the incident count for
something. They stand expectantly about in their box-like public room;
their whole stock consists of a little diluted wine and mastic, and if
a bit of black bread and smear-lease is ordered, one is putting it down
in the book, while the other is ferreting it out of a little cabinet
where they keep a starvation quantity of edibles; when the one acting
as waiter has placed the inexpensive morsel before you, he goes over to
the book to make sure that number two has put down enough; and, although
the maximum value of the provisions is perhaps not over twopence, this
precious pair will actually put their heads together in consultation
over the amount to be chalked down. Ere the shades of Sunday evening
have settled down, I have arrived at the conclusion that if these two
are average specimens of the Oriental Jew they are financially a totally
depraved people.

The rain ceased soon after noon on Sunday, and, although the roads are
all but impassable, I pull out southward at five o'clock on Monday
morning, trundling up the mountain-roads through mud that frequently
compels me to stop and use the scraper. After the summit of the hills
between Bela Palanka and Pirot is gained, the road descending into the
valley beyond becomes better, enabling me to make quite good time into
Pirot, where my passport.undergoes an examination, and is favored with
a vise by the Servian officials preparatory to crossing the Servian and
Bulgarian frontier about twenty kilometres to the southward. Pirot is
quite a large and important village, and my appearance is the signal for
more excitement than the Piroters have experienced for many a day. While
I am partaking of bread and coffee in the hotel, the main street becomes
crowded as on some festive occasion, the grown-up people's faces beaming
with as much joyous anticipation of what they expect to behold when I
emerge from the hotel as the unwashed countenances of the ragged youngsters
around them. Leading citizens who have been to Paris or Vienna, and have
learned something about what sort of road a 'cycler needs, have imparted
the secret to many of their fellow-townsmen, and there is a general
stampede to the highway leading out of town to the southward. This road
is found to be most excellent, and the enterprising people who have
walked, ridden, or driven out there, in order to see me ride past to the
best possible advantage, are rewarded by witnessing what they never saw
before - a cycler speeding along past them at ten miles an hour. This gives
such general satisfaction that for some considerable distance I ride
between a double row of lifted hats and general salutations, and a
swelling murmur of applause runs all along the line.

Two citizens, more enterprising even than the others, have determined
to follow me with team and light wagon to a road-side office ten kilometres
ahead, where passports have again to be examined. The road for the whole
distance is level and fairly smooth; the Servian horses are, like the
Indian ponies of the West, small, but wiry and tough, and although I
press forward quite energetically, the whip is applied without stint,
and when the passport office is reached we pull up alongside it together,
but their ponies' sides are white with lather. The passport officer is
so delighted at the story of the race, as narrated to him by the others,
that he fetches me out.a piece of lump sugar and a glass of water, a
common refreshment partaken of in this country. Yet a third time I am
halted by a roadside official and required to produce my passport, and
again at the village of Zaribrod, just over the Bulgarian frontier, which
I reach about ten o'clock. To the Bulgarian official I present a small
stamped card-board check, which was given me for that purpose at the
last Servian examination, but he doesn't seem to understand it, and
demands to see the original passport. When my English passport is produced
he examines it, and straightway assures me of the Bulgarian official
respect for an Englishman by grasping me warmly by the hand. The passport
office is in the second story of a mud hovel, and is reached by a
dilapidated flight of out-door stairs. My bicycle is left leaning against
the building, and during my brief interview with the officer a noisy
crowd of semi-civilized Bulgarians have collected about, examining it
and commenting unreservedly concerning it and myself. The officer, ashamed
of the rudeness of his country - and their evidently untutored minds,
leans out of the window, and in a chiding voice explains to the crowd
that I am a private individual, and not a travelling mountebank going
about the country giving exhibitions, and advises them to uphold the dignity
of the Bulgarian character by scattering forthwith. But the crowd doesn't
scatter to any appreciable extent; they don't care whether I am public or
private; they have never seen anything like me and the bicycle before,
and the one opportunity of a lifetime is not to be lightly passed over.
They are a wild, untamed lot, these Bulgarians here at Zaribrod, little
given to self-restraint. When I emerge, the silence of eager anticipation
takes entire possession of the crowd, only to break forth into a spontaneous
howl of delight, from three hundred bared throats when I mount into the
saddle and ride away into - Bulgaria.

My ride through Servia, save over the Balkans. has been most enjoyable,
and the roads, I am agreeably surprised to have to record, have averaged
as good as any country in Europe, save England and France, though being
for the most part unmacadamized; with wet weather they would scarcely
show to such advantage. My impression of the Servian peasantry is most
favorable; they are evidently a warm-hearted, hospitable, and withal a
patriotic people, loving their little country and appreciating their
independence as only people who have but recently had their dream of
self-government realized know how to appreciate it; they even paint the
wood-work of their bridges and public buildings with the national colors.
I am assured that the Servians have progressed wonderfully since acquiring
their full independence; but as one journeys down the beautiful and
fertile valley of the Morava, where improvements would naturally be seen,
if anywhere, one falls to wondering where they can possibly have come
in. Some of their methods would, indeed, seem to indicate a most deplorable
lack of practicability; one of the most ridiculous, to the writer's mind,
is the erection of small, long sheds substantially built of heavy hewn
timber supports, and thick, home-made tiles, over ordinary plank fences
and gates to protect them from the weather, when a good coating of tar
or paint would answer the purpose of preservation much better. These
structures give one the impression of a dollar placed over a penny to
protect the latter from harm. Every peasant owns a few acres of land,
and, if he produces anything above his own wants, he hauls it to market
in an ox-wagon with roughly hewn wheels without tires, and whose creaking
can plainly bo heard a mile away. At present the Servian tills his little
freehold with the clumsiest of implements, some his own rude handiwork,
and the best imperfectly fashioned and forged on native anvils. His plow
is chiefly the forked limb of a tree, pointed with iron sufficiently to
enable him to root around in the surface soil. One would think the country
might offer a promising field for some enterprising manufacturer of such
implements as hoes, scythes, hay-forks, small, strong plows, cultivators,

These people are industrious, especially the women. I have entry met a
Servian peasant woman returning homeward in the evening from her labor
in the fields, carrying a fat, heavy baby, a clumsy hoe not much lighter
than the youngster, and an earthenware water-pitcher, and, at the same
time, industriously spinning wool with a small hand-spindle. And yet
some people argue about the impossibility of doing two things at once.
Whether these poor women have been hoeing potatoes, carrying the infant,
and spinning wool at the same time all day I am unable to say, not having
been an eye-witness, though I really should not be much astonished if
they had.



The road leading into Bulgaria from the Zaribrod custom-house is fairly
good for several kilometres, when mountainous and rough ways are
encountered; it is a country of goats and goat-herds. A rain-storm is
hovering threateningly over the mountains immediately ahead, but it does
not reach the vicinity I am traversing: it passes to the southward, and
makes the roads for a number of miles wellnigh impassable. Up in the
mountains I meet more than one " Bulgarian national express " - pony pack-
trains, carrying merchandise to and fro between Sofia and Nisch. Most
of these animals are too heavily laden to think of objecting to the
appearance of anything on the road, but some of the outfits are returning
from Sofia in "ballast" only; and one of these, doubtless overjoyed
beyond measure at their unaccustomed lissomeness, breaks through all
restraint at my approach, and goes stampeding over the rolling hills,
the wild-looking teamsters in full tear after them. Whatever of this
nature happens in this part of the world the people seem to regard with
commendable complacence: instead of wasting time in trying to quarrel
about it, they set about gathering up the scattered train, as though a
stampede were the most natural thing going. Bulgaria - at least by the
route I am crossing it - is a land of mountains and elevated plateaus, and
the inhabitants I should call the "ranchers of the Orient," in their
general appearance and demeanor bearing the same relation to the plodding
corn-hoer and scythe-swinger of the Morava Valley as the Niobrara cow-boy
does to the Nebraska homesteader. On the mountains are encountered herds
of goats in charge of men who reck little for civilization, and the
upland plains are dotted over with herds of ponies that require constant
watching in the interest of scattered fields of grain. For lunch I halt
at an unlikely-looking mehana, near a cluster of mud hovels, which, I
suppose, the Bulgarians consider a village, and am rewarded by the
blackest of black bread, in the composition of which sand plays no
inconsiderable part, and the remnants of a chicken killed and stewed at
some uncertain period of the past. Of all places invented in the world
to disgust a hungry, expectant wayfarer, the Bulgarian mehana is the
most abominable. Black bread and mastic (a composition of gum-mastic and
Boston rum, so I am informed) seem to be about the only things habitually
kept in stock, and everything about the place plainly shows the proprietor
to be ignorant of the crudest notions of cleanliness. A storm is observed
brewing in the mountains I have lately traversed, and, having swallowed
my unpalatable lunch, I hasten to mount, and betake myself off toward
Sofia, distant thirty kilometres. The road is nothing extra, to say the
least, but a howling wind blowing from the region of the gathering storm
propels me rapidly, in spite of undulations, ruts, and undesirable road
qualities generally. The region is an elevated plateau, of which but a
small proportion is cultivated; on more than one of the neighboring peaks
patches of snow are still lingering, and the cool mountain breezes recall
memories of the Laramie Plains. Men and women returning homeward on
horseback from Sofia are frequently encountered. The women are decked
with beads and trinkets and the gewgaws of semi-civilization, as might
be the favorite squaws of Squatting Beaver or Sitting Bull, and furthermore
imitate their copper-colored sisters of the Far West by bestriding their
ponies like men. But in the matter of artistic and profuse decoration
of the person the squaw is far behind the peasant woman of Bulgaria. The
garments of the men are a combination of sheepskin and a thick, coarse,
woollen material, spun by the women, and fashioned after patterns their
forefathers brought with them centuries ago when they first invaded
Europe. The Bulgarian saddle, like everything else here, is a rudely
constructed affair, that answers the double purpose of a pack-saddle or
for riding - a home-made, unwieldy thing, that is a fair pony's load of

At 4.30 P.M. I wheel into Sofia, the Bulgarian Capital, having covered
one hundred and ten kilometres to-day, in spite of mud, mountains, and
roads that have been none of the best. Here again I have to patronize
the money-changers, for a few Servian francs which I have are not current
in Bulgaria; and the Israelite, who reserved unto himself a profit of
two francs on the pound at Nisch, now seems the spirit of fairness itself
along-side a hook-nosed, wizen-faced relative of his here at Sofia, who
wants two Servian francs in exchange for each Bulgarian coin of the same
intrinsic value; and the best I am able to get by going to several
different money-changers is five francs in exchange for seven; yet the
Servian frontier is but sixty kilometres distant, with stages running
to it daily; and the two coins are identical in intrinsic value. At the
Hotel Concordia, in Sofia, in lieu of plates, the meat is served on
round, flat blocks of wood about the circumference of a saucer - the
"trenchers" of the time of Henry VIII.- and two respectable citizens
seated opposite me are supping off black bread and a sliced cucumber,
both fishing slices of the cucumber out of a wooden bowl with their

Life at the Bulgarian Capital evidently bears its legitimate relative
comparison to the life of the country it represents. One of Prince
Alexander's body-guard, pointed out to me in the bazaar, looks quite a
semi-barbarian, arrayed in a highly ornamented national costume, with
immense Oriental pistols in waistband, and gold-braided turban cocked
on one side of his head, and a fierce mustache. The soldiers here, even
the comparatively fortunate ones standing guard at the entrance to the
prince's palace, look as though they haven't had a new uniform for years
and had long since despaired of ever getting one. A war, and an alliance
with some wealthy nation which would rig them out in respectable uniforms,
would probably not be an unwelcome event to many of them. While wandering
about the bazaar, after supper, I observe that the streets, the palace
grounds, and in fact every place that is lit up at all, save the minarets
of the mosque, which are always illumined with vegetable oil, are lighted
with American petroleum, gas and coal being unknown in the Bulgarian
capital. There is an evident want of system in everything these people
do. From my own observations I am inclined to think they pay no heed
whatever to generally accepted divisions of time, but govern their actions
entirely by light and darkness. There is no eight-hour nor ten-hour
system of labor here; and I verily believe the industrial classes work
the whole time, save when they pause to munch black bread, and to take
three or four hours' sleep in the middle of the night; for as I trundle
my way through the streets at five o'clock next morning, the same people
I observed at various occupations in the bazaars are there now, as busily
engaged as though they had been keeping it up all night; as also are
workmen building a house; they were pegging away at nine o'clock yestefday
evening, by the flickering light of small petroleum lamps, and at five
this morning they scarcely look like men who are just commencing for the
day. The Oriental, with his primitive methods and tenacious adherence
to the ways of his forefathers, probably enough, has to work these extra
long hours in order to make any sort of progress. However this may be,
I have throughout the Orient been struck by the industriousness of the
real working classes; but in practicability and inventiveness the Oriental
is sadly deficient. On the way out I pause at the bazaar to drink hot
milk and eat a roll of white bread, the former being quite acceptable,
for the morning is rather raw and chilly; the wind is still blowing a
gale, and a company of cavalry, out for exercise, are incased in their
heavy gray overcoats, as though it were midwinter instead of the twenty-
third of June. Rudely clad peasants are encountered on the road, carrying
large cans of milk into Sofia from neighboring ranches. I stop several
of them with a view of sampling the quality of their milk, but invariably
find it unstrained, and the vessels looking as though they had been
strangers to scalding for some time. Others are carrying gunny-sacks of
smear-kase on their shoulders, the whey from which is not infrequently
streaming down their backs. Cleanliness is no doubt next to godliness;
but the Bulgarians seem to be several degrees removed from either. They
need the civilizing influence of soap quite as much as anything else,
and if the missionaries cannot educate them up to Christianity or
civilization it might not be a bad scheme to try the experiment of
starting a native soap-factory or two in the country.

Savagery lingers in the lap of civilization on the breezy plateaus of
Bulgaria, but salvation is coming this way in the shape of an extension
of the Eoumelian railway from the south, to connect with the Servian
line north of the Balkans. For years the freight department of this
pioneer railway will have to run opposition against ox-teams, and creaking,
groaning wagons; and since railway stockholders and directors are not
usually content with an exclusive diet of black bread, with a wilted
cucumber for a change on Sundays, as is the Bulgarian teamster, and since
locomotives cannot be turned out to graze free of charge on the hill-sides,
the competition will not be so entirely one-sided as might be imagined.
Long trains of these ox-teams are met with this morning hauling freight
and building-lumber from the railway terminus in Eoumelia to Sofia. The
teamsters are wearing large gray coats of thick blanketing, with floods
covering the head, a heavy, convenient garment, that keeps out both rain
and cold while on the road, and at night serves for blanket and mattress;
for then the teamster turns his oxen loose on the adjacent hill-sides
to graze, and, after munching a piece of black bread, he places a small
wicker-work wind-break against the windward side of the wagon, and,
curling himself up in his great-coat, sleeps soundly. Besides the ox-
trains, large, straggling trains of pack-ponies and donkeys occasionally
fill the whole roadway; they are carrying firewood and charcoal from the
mountains, or wine and spirits, in long, slender casks, from Roumelia;
while others are loaded with bales and boxes of miscellaneous merchandise,
out of all proportion to their own size.


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