Project Gutenberg's Birdseye Views of Far Lands, by James T. Nichols

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Title: Birdseye Views of Far Lands

Author: James T. Nichols

Release Date: March 16, 2009 [EBook #28340]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Peter Vachuska, Chuck Greif, Martin Pettit and
the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at





Author of "Lands of Sacred Story,"
"The World Around," etc.




Published by
University Place Station

Copyrighted 1922




Birdseye Views of Far Lands is an interesting, wholesome presentation of something that a keen-eyed, alert traveler with the faculty of making contrasts with all classes of people in all sorts of places, in such a sympathetic way as to win their esteem and confidence, has been able to pick up as he has roamed over the face of the earth for a quarter of a century.

The book is not a geography, a history, a treatise on sociology or political economy. It is a Human Interest book which appeals to the reader who would like to go as the writer has gone and to see as the writer has seen the conformations of surface, the phenomena of nature and the human group that make up what we call a "world."

The reader finds facts indicating travel and study set forth in such vigorous, vivid style that the attention is held by a story while most valuable information is being obtained. The casual reader, the pupil in the public school and student in the high school, professional men and women, will all find the book at once highly interesting and instructive. In no other book with which I am acquainted can so much that is interesting be learned of the world in so short time and in such a pleasing way.

Teachers in rural schools will find the book especially helpful. It will inspire the pupils in the upper grades in these schools to do some observation work themselves and to in this manner seek to learn their own localities better, while at the same time it will suggest the collection of materials about other countries, their peoples, products, characteristics and importance from sources other than text books.

Every rural school as well as every high school and public library in the land should have one or more copies of this book.

   W. F. Barr             
Dean College of Education
Drake University   


The contents of this book have appeared, in substance, in Successful Farming, a magazine that has a circulation of more than eight hundred and fifty thousand copies per issue, and the book is published largely at the request of many of the readers of this journal.

The author began traveling in foreign countries many years ago. Some of the countries described in the book have been visited many times and often with unusual opportunity to see places and people as they really are.

When the writer began traveling it was with no thought of ever writing for a magazine or publishing a book. It is only natural, however, that one would read what others say about the countries he expected to visit. Travel books and articles were often read in public libraries and the habit was formed of making extensive notes, sometimes entire sentences being copied in notebook without the use of quotation marks or any reference whatever to the author. It is therefore impossible to give credit where credit is often due.

No literary merit is claimed for the book. The information was gained in every possible way and the book is sent forth hoping that it will be suggestive and helpful, especially to those who find it impossible to visit foreign lands. If the eye of an author of a book or magazine article should read the following pages and fall upon a thought or sentence that is familiar it will be evidence that your book or article was very helpful to the one who writes these lines. This book is simply an effort to pass some of the worth while things on to others.

Jas. T. Nichols handwritten signature.


[Pg 5]


The Land of Opposites—China

A half century ago the world laughed at Jules Verne for imagining that it would ever be possible to go around the world in eighty days. It was not until years later that Nellie Bly, a reporter, actually encircled the globe in that space of time. Now we are dreaming of making such a journey in ten days and our aeroplanes are flying at a rate of speed that would take one around the world in eight days. At this hour thousands of young men can handle these flyers as easily and with almost as little danger as they can handle an automobile. With aerial mail routes already established in many countries it will not be long until mail service by aeroplane will be established around the world.

This book is a series of Birdseye Views of Far Lands something the same as one would see on a flying visit to various countries. In this way it will be possible to get glimpses of countries on every continent in one small volume and thus give interesting and valuable information about countries and peoples in all parts of the world. Young people especially are in the mind of the writer. As most of the information was secured by rambling through these countries and rubbing elbows with the common people it will be difficult to keep from using the personal pronoun quite often.

It is fitting that our first view be of China which is one of the oldest civilizations on the earth. This great agricultural people have tilled the same soil for forty centuries and in most cases it yet produces more per acre than the soil of perhaps any[Pg 6] other country. The Chinese are a great people. Although they are just awakening from a sleep that has lasted twenty centuries or more, yet the world can learn many valuable lessons from them. They used to embody the genius of the world and even yet have skill along certain lines that is simply amazing. Many of the great inventions that have blessed the world and which we are using today were wrought out by these people and it will not be out of place here to recount some of their achievements.

The Chinese invented printing five hundred years before Caxton was born and the Peking Gazette is said to be the oldest newspaper in the world. They invented paper nearly eighteen centuries ago and had books hundreds of years before the days of Gutenburg. They invented the compass twenty centuries before Jesus was born in Bethlehem. They invented gunpowder ages ago and were the first people to use firearms. They used banknotes and bills of exchange long before other nations, and the modern adding machine is founded upon a principle which has been used by them a thousand years. They discovered the process of rearing the silkworm and they dressed in silk when our forefathers wore clothing made of the skins of animals. The writer has crossed the Atlantic more than a dozen times on ships with watertight compartments, a so-called modern safety device, but the Chinese had watertight compartments in their junks hundreds of years before modern steamships were ever dreamed about.

To the Chinese we must credit the making of asbestos, the manufacture of lacquer, the carving of ivory and many other important industries. Even today they make the finest dishes and the[Pg 7] best pottery. At one time they built a tower two hundred and fifty-six feet high entirely of porcelain. Ages ago they dug the longest and in some respects the greatest canal ever dug on earth, the Grand Canal of China, which was a thousand miles long and some of which is in use to this day. They built the Great Wall of China which was fifteen hundred miles in length and which was a greater undertaking than the building of the Pyramids of Egypt.

The Chinese were the first people to coin money in a mint; the first to have a standard of weights and measures; the first to have a system of marking time. They had a celestial globe, an observatory, and noted the movements of heavenly bodies more than four thousand years ago. A Chinaman was the first to distill and use intoxicating liquor and for this he was dismissed from the public service by the ruler who said, "This will cost someone a kingdom some day." They are industrious, resourceful and skillful and should they become warriors and introduce modern methods and instruments of warfare the world would be up against the most frightful peril of all ages. Napoleon Bonaparte said of China, "Yonder sleeps a mighty giant and when it awakens it will make the whole world tremble."

The Chinese are one of the strongest races of people in existence. They have only been conquered twice but in both cases they absorbed their conquerors and made Chinese of them. Although old, out of date and slow, they have principles in their civilization that will last as long as time, and China will be a great nation long after some of the so-called great nations now in existence are forgotten.

[Pg 8]

With the exception of Russia as it was before the world war, the Chinese Empire is perhaps the largest the world has ever known. Its population comprises one-fourth of the human race. If the single state of Texas were as densely populated as at least one of the provinces of China, there would be living in this one state more than two hundred million people or nearly twice as many people as are now living in the whole United States. The resources of this great country are almost boundless. There is said to be coal enough in China to furnish the whole world fuel for a thousand years. While in China I was told of one mountain that has five veins of coal that can be seen without throwing a shovelful of dirt. Some years ago the German government investigated the iron resources of China and published the fact that they are the finest in the world. This no doubt explains one reason why Germany was trying to get a foothold in China.

But in agriculture the Chinese shine. As noted above they have tilled the same soil for four thousand years. Some of this soil too is very thin and poor but it produces as well today as it did a thousand years ago. While most of their methods are the oldest and crudest that can be found, yet in some other ways the whole world can learn lessons from them. They use fertilizer in the form of liquid and put it on the growing plant rather than on the soil as we do. The farmer will feed his plants with the same regularity and care that our farmers feed and care for their horses and cattle. Every drop of urine and every particle of night soil is preserved for fertilizer. This is saved in earthen jars and gathered, mostly by women, each morning. A Chinese contractor paid the city of[Pg 9] Shanghai $31,000 in gold in a single year for the privilege of collecting the human waste and selling it to the farmers around near the city. Where a beast of burden is at work a boy or girl is near with a long handled dipper ready to catch the urine and droppings as they fall.

In China the farmers have always been held in high esteem. While the scholar is highest, the farmer is second on the list in the social scale. It is interesting to know that the soldier is fifth or last on the list because his work is to destroy rather than to build up. The hoe is an emblem of honor in China. For hundreds of years the Emperor with his nobles went every spring to the Temple of Agriculture to offer sacrifice. After this ceremony they all went to a field near the temple and paid honor to the tillers of the soil. At a yellow painted plow, to which was hitched a cow or buffalo, with a yellow robed peasant leading, the Emperor dressed as a farmer put his hand to the plow and turned nine furrows across the field while bands of musicians chanted the praises of agriculture. Even the Empress set the example of honest agricultural toil by picking the leaves from the mulberry trees, early each spring, to be fed to silk worms.

All China is a network of canals and the Chinese are a race of irrigators. Both men and women stand from daylight until dark walking on a sort of a windlass turning an endless chain with buckets on it, one end of which is in the canal and the other end up on the bank, pumping the water up to flood the rice fields or irrigate the growing crops. No people toil harder or more earnestly than do these simple people. While they grow an[Pg 10] abundance of vegetables, yet rice and tea are the greatest products of China.

The great rivers of the empire are so liable to disastrous floods that in many of the lower lands the people content themselves with fishing and raising geese and ducks. A duck farm is most interesting. A large shed by the river, or a raft, will serve as a shelter for the night. The farmer of course sleeps in this shed. Early in the morning he opens the door and out come the ducks. At night they return from every direction scrambling over each other to get in. The Chinaman sits near the door with a long bamboo pole herding them in. He even trains drakes to assist him and they care for the flock something like a good shepherd dog will care for sheep.

The Chinese do nearly everything backward or opposite from the way we do it. The reading in their books begins at the end. Instead of across the page the lines are up and down with footnotes at the top. The Chinaman laughs at a funeral and cries at a wedding. He beckons you to come when he wants you to go away. Instead of shaking his friend's hand in greeting him he shakes his own hands. When he gets puzzled instead of scratching his head as we do he kicks off his shoe and scratches the bottom of his foot. When he gets mad at another he kills himself imagining that his dead spirit will haunt the enemy and make life miserable for him. Men often do crochet work while women dig ditches and drive piling. Men wear petticoats and women wear trousers.

The Chinese launch ships sideways. Their compass points to the south. In building a house they make the roof first and the foundation is the last thing they put in. The key in the door turns [Pg 11]backward to lock it. The kitchen is in the front while the best room is in the back of the house. When a Chinaman sprinkles clothes for ironing purposes he uses his mouth as the sprinkler. I never had a collar washed in China that was not ironed wrong side out. He pays the doctor when he is well and stops the pay the moment he gets sick. You can almost bank on a Chinaman doing anything the opposite from the way you do it and he laughs at your way as much as you do at his.

[Pg 12]


The Pearl of the Orient—Philippines

Of all the islands in the eastern seas, none are more interesting than our own Philippines. Like the genuine pearl which is the result of a bruise and the outcome of suffering, these pearls of the far east are said by geologists to be the result of great volcanic forces that tore them away from the continent and set them out six hundred miles as "gems in the ocean." More than three thousand there are of these islands all together, and their combined area is nearly equal to that of Japan or California. I visited the Philippines a short time before the world war broke out and at that time there were seven million acres of arable land unoccupied and some of it could be entered and purchased for ten cents per acre.

This is a land where the storms of winter never blow but where from month to month and age to age there is good old summer time. Children are born, grow to manhood, old age, and die without ever seeing fire to keep them warm for they never need it. A range of twenty degrees is about all that the spirits in the thermometer ever show, for the minimum is seventy-two and the maximum ninety-two degrees. While the nights are cool and the days warm, yet a case of sunstroke was never known and but once in a generation has a hundred in the shade been recorded.

About the most unpleasant feature is the little tiny ants. They find their way into everything. Table legs must be placed in jars of water and yet they find their way to the top of the tables.[Pg 13] Then there is dampness everywhere. Books soon become mildewed or unglued and the finest library will soon have the appearance of a secondhand bookshop.

Almost all kinds of tropical fruits can be raised in the Philippines. I drove out from Manila to the home of Mr. Lyon, who is a regular Burbank. He located on some of the worst soil to be found and undertook to demonstrate that anything that will grow on any spot on the earth will grow there and he practically succeeded. He has sent to India, California, Egypt and nearly everywhere for the rarest orchids and most delicate plants. To eat of the fruits of every kind of tree and hear him tell the story of plants and shrubs and trees in his Garden of Eden is an experience one cannot forget.

The story of how these islands came into our possession is still fresh and vivid in the memory of thousands. Spanish cruelty had reached the climax and Admiral Dewey was commanded to "find the Spanish fleet and sink it to the bottom of the sea." As the great ship upon which I went into and out of this harbor plowed the waves I lived over again that marvelous May day in 1898. It was one of the great days in our history. As the fleet entered the harbor word came to the flagship that they were entering a territory covered with submarine mines, yet Admiral Dewey signaled, "Steam ahead." A little later word came that they were in direct range of the guns at the fort and once more the Admiral signaled "Steam ahead." Still later word came that they were entering the most dangerous mine-infested district of all and were liable any instant to be blown to atoms, and once more the fearless Admiral signaled "Steam ahead." The result was that the long dark night[Pg 14] of Spanish rule was ended and a new era was ushered in.

The transformation brought about since that memorable day is almost unbelievable. The whole country has been revolutionized. Railroads and macadamized roads have been built with steel and concrete bridges and where it used to be almost impassable it is now a pleasure to travel. Schools and colleges have been established. A bureau of labor has averted many strikes. A constabulary force of nearly five thousand men has done wonders in suppressing brigandage, bringing the savage tribes into subjection and preserving the peace in general. This force is somewhat similar to the mounted police system of Saskatchewan in Canada and is a terror to evil doers.

A bureau of health has transformed the city of Manila from a fever-infested hotbed of contagious diseases to one of the most healthful cities on the globe. Six thousand lepers have been collected and established in a colony on an island. The number of cases of small-pox has been reduced from forty thousand to a few hundred per year. Cholera, which used to sweep away tens of thousands is almost unknown. With a dozen or more great hospitals and more than three hundred boards of health, great things have been accomplished.

I was much interested in the report of Francis Burton Harrison who was a recent governor general of the Philippines who said, "During the war this race of people was intensely and devotedly loyal to the cause of the United States. It raised a division of Filipino volunteers for federal service and presented destroyers and a submarine to the United States Navy; it oversubscribed its quota in[Pg 15] Liberty bonds and gave generously to Red Cross and other war work. America was criticised and even ridiculed for her altruism in dealing with this problem. The idea of training tropical people for independence was thought to be idealistic and impracticable. The result was quite to the contrary. Once more idealism has been shown to be the moving force in working out the destinies of nations. That is what America has done to the Philippines."

"If the city of Manila could, by some genius of modern times, be laid down in Europe and ticketed, labeled, bill-posted and guide-booked, it would be famous," says one authority. The city contains an area of more than fifteen square miles and is more densely populated per mile of street than New York. When civil government was established in 1901 the conditions were deplorable. The streets were narrow and filthy and there was no sewer system to speak of. The river and dirty canals divided and subdivided the city. There was practically no water system and disease and death lurked in almost every shadow.

Now the city is fast becoming one of the world's great cities and one of the most healthful cities on the globe. The streets have been widened, many of them, and are kept clean. A water system brings pure water to almost every household and a great sewer system takes away the filth. The Manila Hotel is worth a million and a park or square on the water front covers hundreds of acres of ground.

The great Y. M. C. A. buildings were thronged as in no other city the writer ever visited. The fire department is up-to-date, the police system well organized, and even in the great Bilibid prison the[Pg 16] reforms introduced are second to none in any prison. This prison covers seventeen acres of ground, making it one of the largest in the world. Many of its fifty buildings are built around a circle and in the tower at the center, watchmen, who can see the entire prison, stand night and day.

Through the kindness of the officials the writer was allowed to go into this tower one afternoon as the five thousand prisoners came from the shops, formed into companies and went through a thirty-minute drill. The band played throughout and as the men were formed into companies we from the tower could see each individual company although they were hidden from each other. The great body of men moved like the wheels of a great clock. They stood, knelt, touched hands, lay down, arose, walked and exercised, keeping time with the music in a way that was wonderful to behold. Cells for prisoners have long since been done away. They mingle in companies in large sunny, clean, dormitories, where they visit, read and sing.

In the heart of Manila there remains "all that is mortal" of one of the most interesting spots in the eastern world. It is the old, old capital city and its story is the story of the Philippines. The old walls of this inner city were built some four hundred years ago and could they speak, the whole world would listen with amazement and horror. There were seven gates in this old wall and they were closed and opened by means of gigantic windlasses.

Then, too, the story of the old Fort Santiago almost rivals that of the Tower of London. Here were found, when we took it, mysterious underground passages, store rooms and magazines, dark and hidden chambers some of which were nearly[Pg 17] half filled with skeletons. The stories that center around this old fort make one shudder to hear them. Possibly they are exaggerated, but there are many today who believe them. As an example, we are told that a woman had been walled up in a cell, with only a small opening through which food was shoved in, the day her baby was born and when the Americans came they found her and her sixteen-year-old child in this dark room. The child had never had even a glimpse of the sunlight.

When I climbed upon this old fort and saw the stars and stripes waving in the breeze, where for more than three hundred years the Spanish emblem had terrorized the people, I thought of the mighty changes that the American flag had brought. That memorable day in 1898 when our own General Merritt met the Spanish governor-general and arranged for the surrender of the city, was one of the greatest days in the history of the orient.

People in Manila slept but little that eventful night for somehow they had gotten the idea that the coming morning would be their day of doom. When the sun arose they hardly breathed. For a whole week they were afraid to venture from their homes. But there was no pillage, no plunder and no bloodshed. When the amazed people found courage to venture out, their astonishment knew no bounds. It was almost too good to be true that American occupation meant the dawning of a new, and for them, a glorious day, and it is not surprising that such a report could be given as Governor General Harrison submitted in 1919.

Soon after he came from the Philippines I heard Rev. Homer C. Stuntz recount many of his experiences there and will give a single one of these as[Pg 18] memory recalls it. As Bishop of the Methodist church he had been there about six months when one day a fine looking young Filipino came to his home and asked for a private interview. He insisted on having doors and windows closed and blinds all down. Mr. Stuntz said he had no idea what the man wanted. When they were alone with door locked and with evidence of great agitation the young man said: "I have come many miles to see you and ask you a question that means more to us Filipinos than any other question that I could ask." Mr. Stuntz said that as yet he had no idea what was troubling the man until he continued: "I want to know, sir, if it is now safe—the soldiers say it is, but I cannot believe it—to have a copy of the Protestant Bible in my house and read it to my family?"

Mr. Stuntz said the whole thing seemed so strange to him that he was silent for a moment, when the man continued: "Sir, this is a very important question to us Filipinos. You know the law under which we have lived here is this," and quoting from section 219 of the Penal Code of Spain in the Philippines, said: "If any person or persons shall preach or teach or otherwise maintain any doctrine or doctrines not established by the state, he shall be deemed guilty of a crime and shall be punished at the discretion of the judge." Then, to the amazement of Mr. Stuntz, the man continued: "Under the operation of that law my own father was dragged from our house and we never saw him alive again. That was when I was eleven years old. I have supported my mother as best I could, and now I have a wife and two children. I want to know if it is safe."

[Pg 19]

It was with a heart thrilling with pride that this great American took the young man to the window and as he opened the blind and the window itself and saw the stars and stripes proudly waving in the breeze and with tears running down his face said to him: "My dear man, as long as yonder flag waves over the city you may take the Bible and climb up on the ridgeboard of your house at high noon each day, three hundred and sixty-five days in the year and read it as loud as you can and no man shall harm you." Three months later Mr. Stuntz went to that man's home city, spoke from half past seven until midnight, announced that he would speak in the same building at six o'clock the next morning, and an hour before the appointed time five hundred people were in line waiting to get in.

[Pg 20]


The Country America Opened to Civilization—Japan

Three hundred and fifty years ago there were perhaps a million Christians in Japan. The great Jesuit missionary, Francis Xavier, introduced the religion of the Nazarene into Japan in 1849, and it spread like a prairie fire. But in the course of time the Japanese leaders turned against the priests and leaders of the new religion and undertook to obliterate everything Christian from their civilization.

They placed a price upon the head of every Christian. They made what they called footplates, a plate about the size of a shoe sole with a picture of Christ upon it. When a person was brought whom they suspicioned as being a Christian they put this footplate down and commanded the accused one to stamp it. If this was done freely the person was allowed freedom, for they said no Christian would step on the face of Christ. If the accused one refused to do this the horrors of his torture were so great that death was a release. The writer of these lines has seen some of those old footplates that have been preserved to this day.

Stone signboards were placed along the highways of Japan upon which were written: "So long as the sun shall continue to warm the earth, let no Christian be so bold as to enter Japan; and let all know that the King of Spain himself, or the Christian's God, or the great God of all, if he dare violate this command, shall pay for it with his head." I saw one of these old signboards on exhibition in a museum in Tokyo. Japan closed her[Pg 21] ports, established a deadline around her domain and allowed no ships to land, shut out the world and became a hermit nation.

It was the eighth of July, 1853, that a fleet of vessels boldly crossed the forbidden line and dropped anchor in what is now known as Yokohama harbor. It was Commodore Perry and the stars and stripes were waving from the ship masts. At once there was great excitement on shore and soon boats with men wearing swords were along the ships' sides trying to explain that they were on forbidden territory.

The men in the small boats were told emphatically that only the highest official could come on board. One of the men represented that he was second in rank and when he was allowed to come on board Commodore Perry refused to see him. After a parley this Japanese officer was made to understand that the expedition bore a letter from the President of the United States to the Emperor of Japan and that it could be delivered only to the officer of the highest rank. When the Japanese officer produced the notifications warning all ships against entering the port, the lieutenant refused to receive them.

Returning to the shore the officer came back to the ship in an hour or two saying that his superior would not receive the letter addressed to the Emperor; that he doubted that the Emperor would receive the letter at all. He was instantly informed that if the superior officer did not come for the letter at once the ships would proceed up the Bay of Yeddo and deliver the letter without him. Of course this ultimatum created great excitement and the officer finally asked a stay in the proceedings until the next day.

[Pg 22]

During the night signal fires blazed from the mountain tops and bells sounded the hours. In the next few days the famous letter, which was incased in a golden box of a thousand dollars value, was delivered. Nothing very definite was accomplished, however, and the fleet came home. The next year Commodore Perry returned with a larger fleet, another letter, and with presents of various kinds. These consisted of cloth, agricultural implements, firearms and a small locomotive with cars and a mile of circular track for the miniature train, together with a telegraph line to go around it.

The interest and curiosity caused by this miniature railway was wonderful. People walked hundreds of miles to see it. When some of the dignitaries were told that in the United States of America there were many large trains in which hundreds of passengers were carried they could hardly believe it. One of these officials said that if big trains could carry passengers little ones ought to be able to do so. It was then arranged for him to take a ride. With his flowing robe he was assisted to mount one of these little cars like as if it were a donkey. The whistle was blown, the steam turned on and away he went around the circle and it created as much excitement as a balloon once did at a circus in this country.

Finally, it was suggested that a treaty be made between the United States and Japan. On board the flagship of Commodore Perry was a minister of the gospel who was consulted and after much discussion a clause was inserted giving America the right to erect or establish places of worship in Japan and a promise that Japan would abolish the practice of trampling on the face of Christ and the cross.

[Pg 23]

At first our missionaries were restricted to certain localities and they had a time of it. Less than twenty-five years ago this treaty was revised and until this was done no Christian missionary could leave these restricted areas without permission from the Japanese government. This treaty also gave Japan the right to send their missionaries to the United States and thus we have a half hundred Buddhist temples on the Pacific coast at the present time.

On landing at Yokohama, one of the first places I went to visit was the great bronze idol of Kamakura, which is but eighteen miles from Yokohama. It is about fifty feet high, and it is called the "Great Buddha" or "Diabutsa." It is a thousand years old and a horrible looking affair. I went up into the hollow image which is ninety-seven feet in diameter. I wanted to scratch the eyes out, for they are said to be made of solid gold. Years ago there was a temple over this image, so it is said, but a great tidal wave swept the building away. Now they are collecting money from tourists to erect another temple, so they say. They tackle every American for a subscription and strangely enough they get a lot of money out of them.

Speaking of heathen temples brings to mind a large one that I visited in Tokyo. It is dedicated to a fox. The people used to believe, some of them do yet, that when one dies his spirit enters the form of some animal. A man is afraid to throw a rock at a dog for fear he will hit his old grandfather—he doesn't know but that his grandfather's spirit entered that particular dog. So they dedicate their temples to these lower animals and often take better care of animals than poor people.

In this Tokyo temple mentioned there is a great[Pg 24] image in one end of the building and below it a money chest nearly as large as a trunk the lid of which is like a hopper. Of course it takes money to keep up the temple and the followers of Buddha come here to worship. They always pay before they pray. A lot of us pray and then don't pay. Fortune tellers are nearly always in heathen temples. The gambling instinct abounds. The people too often undertake to deceive their gods by making promises that they will do so and so if successful when they never intend to fulfill the promises. It makes one's heart ache to see people bow down before these lifeless idols. Most of these temples are hotbeds of immorality as many of the treacherous priests have neither principle nor conscience.

One night I went to a real Japanese hotel. Of course, in a great city like Tokyo, there are plenty of English or European hotels, but in this case I went for the experience. Before entering we had to take off our shoes. No person enters a real Japanese house with shoes on. However, they wear clogs that can be kicked off at the door. Entering a small vestibule of the hotel a servant bowed, seated us, took off our shoes, put them up like checking one's grip, brought slippers and assisted in putting them on, then invited us in. The proprietor bowed and began to apologize. The Japanese always apologize. A friend was with me and the landlord said that he was very sorry that he had no rooms good enough for such dignified guests to sleep in, but he would give us his best.

Bidding us follow him he led the way upstairs. I simply could not keep the slippers on my feet so took them off and carried them, one in each hand. At the top of the stairway a door slid open and a Japanese lady began laughing. I expect she is [Pg 25]telling yet about a foreigner who once came to the hotel who thought slippers were to wear on his hands. On reaching the rooms, amidst profuse apologies, he named the price which was double the amount named on the printed card. When my friend called his attention to his published prices he said: "Yes, but I will make you fine gentlemen a discount," and proceeded to discount the price to that named on his card.

The city of Tokyo is a little world in itself. It contains nearly three million people. It covers more than twenty-eight square miles of territory. Its streets are generally narrow and in much of the city there is practically no sewer system. The refuse and night soil is all saved and sold for fertilizer. If a fire should get well started it looks like a great portion of the city would go up in smoke for most of the houses are of flimsy material and would burn like haystacks.

They have no system of numbering houses and to hunt for some certain one is like hunting for a needle in a haymow. Like in all cities the people are pleasure loving and the parks and shows are well attended. In the very heart of the city is a square mile of territory given entirely up to the lowest form of evil. It is undoubtedly one of the most wicked spots on the globe.

One must not judge the Japanese people or even the people of Tokyo by this standard, however, for no people ever made such tremendous strides as have the Japanese nation since the days of Commodore Perry. The great Imperial University of Tokyo makes one think of Yale or Harvard. The buildings are modern and the campus beautiful and well kept. Passing through these grounds a friend pointed out the most noted buildings. [Pg 26]Entering them I found the most modern and up-to-date equipment. One large building is devoted exclusively to the study of earthquakes. The Japanese know more about earthquakes than any other people.

The students are taught how to erect buildings earthquakeproof. The most powerful seismographs in the world are in this university. I saw a record of the San Francisco earthquake that was made by these instruments—just when it started, when it was at the worst, length of time it lasted and all about it. Here in this building is a picture of a place where, during an earthquake, the ground was opened and a lot of people had fallen perhaps a hundred feet down. The photograph was evidently taken just as the ground was closing and the people below were waving good-bye to those above as they were going to their death.

Japan has been called the land of flowers and cherry blossoms or The Flowery Kingdom. It is one of the most interesting countries on the globe to visit. While shut away to themselves these people developed a civilization of their own which is far superior, in most respects, to that of other oriental peoples. Their experience with Christianity, corrupt though it was, no doubt gave them the start. The entire area of Japan is but little larger than California and most of it is very mountainous and yet so wonderful are they in the development of agriculture that nearly sixty million people live upon the products of their soil.

The Japanese people think a lot of America for they recognize the fact that to America they owe more than to any other nation. Their friendship for us is real too, if one can judge anything by mingling with the people. All this talk about Japan[Pg 27] attacking America is too ridiculous to think seriously about, even though we have not treated them as we should in all cases. If you were in Tokyo today you would see the stars and stripes just below their own flag, and you would see more American flags than of all other nations combined, barring of course, their own.

[Pg 28]


The Transformation of a Nation—Korea

The Palestine of eastern Asia is Korea. While called the "Land of the Morning Calm," it has been the battleground of the eastern world for centuries. Japan on the east has looked upon Korea as a "sword pointed at her heart." China on the south has always felt that Korea practically belonged to her, while the Great Bear on the north has looked longingly for ages toward this coveted land. The same can be said of Manchuria as well.

Until recent years the world knew but little of this country. It was really a "Hermit Nation." The people lived in walled cities and allowed no outside people to come in. Less than a half century ago signboards could be seen along the highways upon which was written: "If you meet a foreigner, kill him; he who has friendly relations with him is a traitor to his country." It is said that they actually kept the country along the sea shore barren and unattractive while in the interior the people lived on the fat of the land. The mountain peaks were great beacon towers lighted up every night to signal to the capital that no danger threatened and all was well along the borders.

In area, Korea is about as large as Minnesota. The population is more than fifteen millions. Except in the northern part, which is as cold as Minnesota, the climate is delightful. Nearly everything that will grow in Japan will grow in Korea. The surface is largely mountains and plains. In the mines are gold, copper, iron and coal, as well as other minerals. The silk industry is becoming[Pg 29] one of great value and although every mountain forest has been cleared, some paper is made.

Perhaps in no other country in the world has such an effort been made to keep men and women apart as in this strange land. In Seoul, the capital city, they used to toll a bell at eight in the evening which meant that men must go indoors and let women on the streets. Blind men, officials, and certain others were exempt. Any man with a doctor's prescription was allowed on the streets, but so many of these were forged that much trouble resulted. At midnight the bell tolled again and after that hour men could circulate on the streets freely without danger of arrest.

The people in Korea nearly all dress in white no matter what their work may be. Men and women dress much alike. A curious custom among married women is the wearing of waists that expose the entire naked breasts. This is all but beautiful and as some one says, gives the appearance of a shocking show window. The theory is, so they say, that to cover the breasts is to poison the milk. No man really amounts to much in Korea until after he is married, but that is largely true in our country. There, however, silence is the wife's first duty. Marriage customs are much like those in Japan where parents make the matches. It is said that often the husband never hears the voice of his wife until after marriage and even then she keeps silent for as long as a month.

The Korean people have some happy times together in spite of some of these strange customs. One of their national festival days is called "Swing day." Swings are prepared nearly everywhere and people drop their work and swing. The Koreans are different from any other people in the far[Pg 30] east and when they play they play with all their might. Men and boys love to hunt the swimming holes along the streams and they seem to enjoy this sport as do our own men and boys in America.

While Korea has been a battleground for ages yet it was opened up to modern civilization by Japan something like America, through Commodore Perry, opened up Japan. Later on Korea paid tribute to China. The great crisis came in 1894 when the battle royal was waged between Japan and China for this land. On September 15th of that year a great battle occurred on land and two days later, in the mouth of the Yala River occurred what is said to be the first great naval battle of history in which modern warships were used. In this battle the Chinese fleet went to the bottom of the sea and soon Port Arthur was besieged and taken and the Japanese army started across the country with the cry, "On to Peking." This opened the eyes of the Chinese and Korea was surrendered and was practically annexed by Japan and its name changed to Chosen. Since that time Korean civilization has gone forward by leaps and bounds and is fast becoming a country that has to be reckoned with. The story of Japan's dealings with Korea during these years contains some mighty dark spots. These things have aroused the indignation of the whole civilized world and the end is not yet.

To plant the seed of Christianity on Korean soil has required a great effort and the story of the transformation of this nation that has occurred within the past forty years is as thrilling as can be found in the history of modern missions. It was the pleasure of the writer to travel to the far east with one who has been on the field in Korea[Pg 31] for twenty-five years. Thirteen of these years were spent in the city of Pyeng Yang which became the scene of one of the greatest revivals in all the history of the Christian church.

At the time that Mr. and Mrs. Swallen, who were sent as missionaries by the Presbyterian church (Mrs. Swallen was my traveling companion), to Pyeng Yang, it was said to be the most wicked city in Korea. So frightful were the conditions that boys in their play would often drag the corpse of a person who had died during the night through the streets the next day, unmolested. It is almost impossible to believe the story of things that occurred almost daily in this city.

The first building of the mission was but eight feet square, not much larger than a storebox. As at that time men and women were always separate in public gatherings, the men met at one hour and the women at another. Soon the building was doubled in size. When the Swallen's took charge the mission was called the Central church. Then came the great revival wave and the church grew to a great congregation. A new building seating between five and six hundred was erected and before it was finished it was too small. About one hundred members then withdrew to form another congregation in another part of the city. A little later another hundred started still another congregation.

As the Central church building was even yet far too small they erected a great building that will seat two thousand. The interest was so great that other congregations had to be formed and at the time Mrs. Swallen told me this wonderful story, out from this little store-box mission seven great congregations had been formed in different parts[Pg 32] of the city. Besides this the movement spread to the country and nearly thirty congregations had grown from this central mission.

Then came the great revival of 1910 which attracted so much attention. These people started the cry, "A million converts in one year." The work was systematized. Bible classes were formed and every Christian became a real missionary. Volunteers were called for, who could give one or more days to the work. Nearly everyone volunteered and during the first three months it was estimated that seventy-five thousand days of personal work was promised. Great earnestness and enthusiasm were manifest everywhere.

The pastor of this Central church and one of his elders formed the habit of going to the church every morning at dawn for prayer. This soon became known and others wished to join them. One Sunday morning the pastor announced that all who wished to do so might join them the following morning and the bell would be rung at four thirty. At one a. m. the people began gathering and at two o'clock more than one hundred were present. For four mornings these meetings were kept up and between six and seven hundred were present each morning. On the fourth morning the pastor asked how many would give one or more days of service and every hand went up, more than three thousand days work being promised.

The secret of this mighty revival seems to have been caused by the study of the Bible and prayer. Everyone carried a New Testament. Bible training classes were formed and sometimes two thousand men actually gathered to study the Bible. In the churches in Korea, even yet men and women sit apart from each other. A petition divides the[Pg 33] building but both men and women can see the minister. Men keep their hats on in church, but all, both men and women, take off their shoes before entering. To see these shoes, or clogs, is quite a sight. They are placed in racks made for that purpose, each having their own particular place in the rack.

As might be expected trouble over shoes is not unheard of. Some of the women who are not over scrupulous sometimes take the best pair of shoes. In fact this custom became so universal that the women were taught to make and carry with them to church a small muslin bag. On reaching the church the women now take off their shoes, place them in the bag, and take them into the building with them. All, both men and women, sit on the floor. In some of the churches now small mats are piled high at the door and each takes one of these to sit on. One remarkable feature of these Korean churches is that each church is self-supporting from the beginning. Instead of leaning upon others they are taught to depend upon themselves.

The World's Sunday School Convention was recently held in Tokyo. A significant thing about the invitation cabled to this country for this convention was the fact that it was signed by Japan's leading captain of industry and the Mayor of Tokyo as well. A Business Man's Sunday School Party had toured both Japan and Korea before this, however. In almost every one of the forty cities visited this party was met by governors, mayors, chambers of commerce, boards of education, railroad officials, as well as Christian workers and the friendly attitude of Japan toward America was manifest in every possible way, at[Pg 34] the very time too when the California legislature was stirring up so much trouble between the two nations.

But the greatest demonstration of all on this entire trip was that made in Seoul, Korea. The day was perfect. The great throng marched to the parade grounds, a Sunday school banner leading the way. Only members of Sunday schools and officials were admitted and fourteen thousand seven hundred Sunday school workers, by actual count, went into the grounds. It is said that the Japanese officials who for the first time witnessed an array of the Sunday school forces of Seoul looked troubled. It was in the month of May and the bushes of the old palace yard were abloom in white and red. As the great multitude sang the Christian hymns in the Korean language the very buildings almost trembled.

[Pg 35]


A Great Unknown Land—Manchuria

Of all the lands in eastern Asia perhaps the least is known about Manchuria of any of them. And yet one of the finest sleeping cars I ever traveled in was on the South Manchurian railway. I had a large roomy compartment to myself. In it was a comfortable bed, or berth, a folding washstand and writing desk, electric fan, and various other conveniences. While this was an eastern model sleeper, an American pullman was also attached to the train for those who preferred it.

For two hundred and seventy years the Manchurians furnished the rulers for the whole Chinese Empire. The Empress Dowager was a Manchu. Born in a humble home, at the age of sixteen she became a concubine of the Emperor. She was so diligent in study and self-improvement that she was elevated to the position of first concubine and later became the mother of the Emperor's son and was raised to the position of wife. When her son was but three years of age the Emperor died and she swept aside all aspirants to the throne, placed her son upon it with herself as regent until he was of age. For forty-seven years, in a country where women had scarcely any power, this marvelous woman ruled one-fourth of the human race.

Manchuria is a little larger than the combined area of Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri. It is located at the northeast of China and until recently formed a part of the Chinese Empire. While nearly all kinds of grain and [Pg 36]vegetables are grown, the one great staple crop of Manchuria is the soybean. Think of growing two million tons of these beans per year! Before the war Manchurian beans were shipped all over the world. In a Manchurian city I asked a business man to tell me the chief sights of the city and he said: "We have nothing here but bean mills. It is beans, beans, beans." In the hills and mountains nearly all kinds of wild beasts are found. The Manchurian tiger is perhaps most dreaded of all.

Perhaps the best known place in Manchuria is Port Arthur. Years ago the Chinese had what they believed to be an impregnable fortress in Port Arthur, but the wily Japanese battered it down in twenty-four hours. Later on the Russians got it and worked seven years on the fortifications and gun emplacements and really felt that they had it secure. Although the forts were built on the Belgian plan and Port Arthur was as secure as Antwerp, yet the unconquerable Japanese took it with a loss of only a thousand or fifteen hundred men. Nature has been kind to Port Arthur by throwing up the mountains of "The Chair," "The Table," and the "Lion's Mane," but the best defense that nature provides has to give way before the genius of the human brain.

Only a little more than four miles from Port Arthur is the city of Dalney, also called Dairen. It is a beautiful little city of fifty or sixty thousand people with a good street car system and many modern buildings. On landing I went to the Yamato hotel and found comfortable quarters at a reasonable price. The South Manchurian railway operates a string of these Yamato hotels. This is a Japanese railway and operates with a steamship line crossing the Yellow Sea and the great[Pg 37] Trans-Siberian railroad, or rather did so before the world war. In Dalny I found a good Y. M. C. A. building with an American secretary. This association has good buildings in nearly every large oriental city especially if it is near the coast. One can hardly realize the debt of gratitude civilization owes to this organization. These buildings are oases on the great oriental desert where the American traveler can find rest and a quiet home.

At the close of the war between Russia and Japan by the treaty of Portsmouth, Russia agreed to transfer to Japan without compensation and with the consent of the Chinese Government, the South Manchurian Railway between Port Arthur and Changchun, a distance of four hundred and thirty-six miles, "together with all rights, privileges, and properties appertaining thereto in that region, as well as all coal mines in said region belonging to or worked for the benefit of the railway." The Chinese Government also agreed not to construct any parallel lines that would injure the interests of this railway, so the Japanese have an iron hold upon the whole proposition.

To travel the full extent of this railway in the late fall is an interesting experience. The soil is of a reddish color and the fall plowing was already done. The methods of farming used in China largely prevail here. I saw many of them taking their beans, grain, and other produce to market. Along the dusty highway the oxen slowly trudged, drawing great wooden wheeled carts. On one occasion the engine had frightened the oxen and they had their heads up and tails flying as the loaded cart bumped along over the field with the driver doing all he could to get them back into the highway. Women and children were often [Pg 38]sitting on the ground in the villages, seemingly without any work whatever to do.

The Manchurian people are larger physically than the Chinese and are better looking. But some one has said of the Manchu, "he knows not, neither does he learn." They say that he only bathes once a year and does not care who owns the ground as long as he can till it, and that it does not bother him in the least to see his wife and daughter sit on the stone fence for hours picking the lice from each other's head. The women folks are largely slaves of fashion and still persist in trying to stunt the growth of their feet. Even while they do this they often work in the harvest field, wash their clothing along the streams, clean out the donkey stable, and do all kinds of outdoor work. While baking bread, spanking their children and doing other household duties, they are not slow in looking after and waiting upon their lordly husbands.

Some years ago a plague of the most deadly description swept over northern Manchuria. It was so terrible and fatal that when one was stricken there was but little hope for recovery. It was so contagious that when one member of a family took it, generally the entire family perished, as simply a whiff of the breath of one stricken was sufficient to give it to another. The government made every effort to cope with the situation but the difficulties were tremendous and the scourge spread like a prairie fire. More than forty-two thousand took it and it is said that not a single one recovered.

The ground was frozen so hard that it was impossible to dig graves for the dead and preparation was made for cremating bodies. This created consternation among the Manchus. Every possible[Pg 39] subterfuge was resorted to to conceal cases of the plague and bodies were often hidden in the snow all winter long. Dr. Jackson, a brilliant young physician of the Irish Presbyterian Mission in Manchuria, was stricken and died, as did Dr. Mesny, a splendid French physician. Early the next spring the plague ceased as suddenly as it broke out and has never appeared again in any country. However, many believe the "influenza" is a modification of this plague.

Mukden, the Manchurian capital city, has been called "The Asiatic Armageddon!" It is a walled city and contains a couple of hundred thousand people. During the Russian-Japanese war a portion of it is said to have been eight different times in the hands of the Russians and Japanese. The streets are unpaved; dirt and filth abounds. There are many big dirty restaurants. The Manchus are great feeders. They eat between meals, soup and vegetables and most everything else. The temperature of Mukden is about the same as Saint Paul, Minnesota.

The Imperial Tombs are not far from Mukden. The road to these tombs is paved with stones. This is called the "Road of the Spirit." On each side are six great life-sized stone animals. It is thought that these signify the Emperor's rule over certain countries. Visiting the great Ming Tombs near Nanking, China, one sees many of these large stone animals.

Not far from Mukden one can get a look at the great Wall of China, the building of which is said to be the greatest undertaking of all history. It was fifteen hundred miles long, fifty feet thick at the bottom and from twenty-five to forty feet high. It was built over mountains, across valleys and[Pg 40] rivers and down into the sea. There were towers about every three hundred yards and although built more than two thousand years ago, much of it is in good repair to this day. It took a million men ten years to do the job of building it. The Chinese and Manchus were great wall builders. Their cities were always walled.

Mukden stands on a plain but its walls are forty feet high and thirty feet thick at the top. At each corner, and over each of the eight gateways there used to be a tower, and then the great Drum Tower and Bell Tower were in the midst of the city. Nearly every city had its big Drum Tower upon which drums were beaten if the city was in danger or an enemy near. Here in Mukden nearly all these towers have been taken down, but large portions of the old city walls remain. There are said to be very many more men than women in the city today. Until 1905, it is said, the city never had a policeman. The gates were closed at dark and the city became silent as the streets were not lighted. There is not enough light in the streets yet at night to hardly be noticed. The old patriarchal family system often prevails. Sometimes a family will be composed of a hundred people—several generations. The following from Dugald Christie will give a glimpse of some of the strange customs of these people.

He says: "There was in Mukden a wealthy family who had land in the country adjoining that of some poor people. A dispute arose over boundaries and they went to law. Having money to back him the rich man won the case. The next day a son of the poor man committed suicide at the rich man's door and he had to compensate the parents heavily. When that was settled another son did[Pg 41] the same, calling on all to witness that he did this because of the injustice his parents had suffered at the hands of this man. This time a much heavier indemnity was demanded and after months of haggling it was paid. Then a third son killed himself in like manner and the payment of the still further increased blood money reduced the once wealthy man to a state poorer than his rival. Again the law suit was heard and this time the country family won the case."

Another Manchurian city of note is Harbin. This is located in the great agricultural district of the country. Twenty-five or thirty years ago this was open prairie, but one night two Russians pitched their tent on the spot that is now the center of the city. Like Jonah's gourd, the city almost grew up in a night. For years it was about the worst city to be found, there being at least one murder committed almost every day. After changing trains at midnight and rambling around a few hours I would say that it is not filled with saints yet. During the Russian-Japanese war it was one of the great gateways, more than a million soldiers passing through it.

From Harbin west one passes through the Kuigan mountains. This is said to be the coldest place of like latitude on the globe. Here grows in abundance the Edelweiss, which is so rare and so prized in Switzerland. Mr. Taft, in "Strange Siberia," calls attention to the fact that one of the Manchurian towns here is named for Genghis Khan, who was one of the great military geniuses of the old days. He united the vast hordes of warring tribes of Siberia into one vast army and swept over this whole country like a mighty conqueror. Our American soldiers who were sent to this section[Pg 42] of the Far East sure got a glimpse of Manchuria that they will never forget.

Before the world war many of the Chinese and Manchus crossed the line and worked in the Russian gold mines and grew rich, but they had a time getting their gold out of Russia without being discovered. But their cuteness is proverbial. Even Chinamen die, and they as well as the Manchus must sleep their long sleep in their native land. In a certain Russian city it is said that these Chinese were paying great attention to the dead bodies of their kindred in preparing them for the journey back home. The Russians became suspicious and peeping through a keyhole at the embalming processes these policemen discovered that gold dust was blown from a tube into the dead man's skull. This let the cat out of the bag, for these Chinese were making the bodies of the dead the carriers of gold, for as soon as the bodies reached home the gold was extracted.

[Pg 43]


The Land of Sorrow—Siberia

Away yonder in eastern Siberia, on the banks of the Amur River, high on the projecting cliff stands a huge iron cross which can be seen many miles away. Upon this Christian emblem is inscribed one of the greatest sentences in all the literature of the world. Here it is: "Power lies not in force but in love." Strange it is indeed that such an emblem and such an inscription should be found in the wilds of this country. But many are the strange sights one beholds on a journey across this great lonely, strange, and sad land. Having crossed this country it is my purpose to recount some of the observations and experiences of the journey.

But few people today realize the immensity of Siberia. You could take a map of the whole United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, and add to it a map of Great Britain, Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Austria (before the war), Holland, Denmark, the Turkish Empire, Greece, Roumania, and Bulgaria, and lay all these together down on Siberia alone and have territory left. Nearly five thousand miles of the main line of the great Trans-Siberian railway are in this one country.

The building of this railroad was a gigantic undertaking and its construction cost the Russian Government four hundred million dollars. With all our boasted American hustle it took twenty years to build the Canadian Pacific railway from coast to coast. The Trans-Siberian is more than[Pg 44] twice as long and was completed in half that length of time. Before the war there was hardly ever an accident on this railway. Every verst (about two-thirds of a mile) there is a little guardhouse and there was always a man or woman, generally a woman, standing with a flag as the train passed. I crossed on the International Sleeping Car train. It took ten days and ten nights and the average speed was more than twenty miles per hour.

The berths on this train were very comfortable. They were crosswise of the car while ours are lengthwise. The train consisted of two first-class, two second-class sleepers, a diner and a baggage car. These international trains ran once a week each way before the war and sometimes one had to purchase a ticket weeks in advance to go at a given time. When all berths were sold those who had none simply had to wait a week for the next train. I was the lone American on the train all the way across. There were a number of Englishmen and many Frenchmen on board.

My roommate was an old sea captain from Scotland. He had been on the sea forty-six years. Unfortunately his baggage was left at Harbin. He asked the chief of the train to wire back that it be forwarded on the next train, giving or rather offering a tip of a few shillings, but the chief would not give him any satisfaction. The next day the captain tried again, offering a tip of an English pound. This had the desired effect. In a few days we discovered that the English Consul from Yokohama was on board and laid the matter before him. Not long after this the train chief came and apologized and gave back the tip. I have wondered many times whether or not the captain ever received his baggage.

[Pg 45]

The dining car was a regular saloon on wheels. The first thirty minutes were spent by the waiters in soliciting orders for drinks. If you did not order anything to drink you were always served last. I had heard that it was almost impossible to get anything to eat on this train unless you were liberal in giving tips. So I started out to break the record—to cross Siberia without giving a tip on the diner. All went well for a couple of days. I was served all right. In fact, as long as I had the exact change everything was lovely. But when I gave the collector a bill he never came back with any change and I had to give it up. Such a feat as crossing Siberia without giving a tip in the diner could not be performed. The prices were not exorbitant, however, for one could get a fairly good meal for a dollar at that time.

Some of the great rivers of the world are in Siberia. It is said that if all the steel bridges on this main line were placed end to end they would make a great steel structure more than thirty miles long. These were all built too by Russian engineers. Lake Baikal is a long, narrow body of water in the heart of Siberia. It is said to be the most elevated lake on the globe and has the distinction of being the only body of fresh water in which seals will live. In some places no bottom has been found. When the railroad was first built trains were taken across this lake on gigantic ferries.

As the winters are long and cold, great ice-breakers were built to take the trains across during the winter time. It is actually said that these ice-breakers would slowly plow their way through thirty-six inches of ice. During the Russian-Japanese war these were too slow so they laid down[Pg 46] heavy steel rails on the ice and all winter long trains were speeded across on this ice railway. Some time ago I made this statement in a lecture and as soon as the last word was spoken a Russian came forward saying: "I was a soldier in the Russian army and walked across this lake on the ice and saw them laying the rails at the time. It was then nearly sixty below zero."

Siberia is the greatest wheat country on earth. All our great northwest, with Canada thrown in, is but a mere garden spot as compared with Siberia. There are multiplied millions of acres of the finest wheat fields in the world in this great country that are as yet untouched. The Siberian women make the best bread of any cooks the world around. It is as white as the driven snow and so good and nourishing that no one who eats it can ever forget the taste.

Siberia is also one of the greatest dairy countries in the world. When the war broke out Siberia was actually supplying a large portion of Europe with dairy products. In two Siberian cities there were thirty-four large butter and dairy establishments. The Russian Government sent a professor of agriculture around the world to study the science and art of buttermaking. The results of his investigation were published in pamphlet form and sent to buttermakers and agriculturists. It is said that sometimes a thousand tons of Siberian butter have been delivered in London in a single week. It is also said that Great Britain was purchasing five million dollars worth of eggs per year from Siberia when the war broke out.

I learned something of the superstition of the Siberian peasant when cream separators were first introduced. It is said that when these hard [Pg 47]working people were told of machines that would separate the cream from milk instantly they declared that only a machine with a devil in it could do such a thing. But an enterprising foreigner went ahead and built a factory and about the time he had some of the separators ready for delivery a mob gathered, wrecked the factory and smashed the separators into smithereens, declaring that they would not have machines with devils in them in their country. That was years ago, however, and they have long since learned to use and appreciate these machines.

But the saddest sights I saw in Siberia were the trains loaded with exiles. These cars were not much better than stock cars and had iron bars across the windows. The sad faces within made one's heart ache to see them. As I rode in a comfortable car with a good bed to sleep in it was hard to keep from thinking of these unfortunate people who were herded like cattle in cold, dirty cars day after day and night after night for a month. Food was thrown to them almost as though they were pigs and at best this food was of the coarsest and most unsavory kind.

But their journey, packed in these unwarmed and unsanitary cars was so much better than what exiles had endured before the railroad was built, that one can hardly make a comparison. Then the exiles had to make the long four thousand mile journey on foot. It took about two years. Most of the convicts wore chains on their ankles that weighed five pounds and chains on their wrists that weighed two pounds. Sometimes these chains wore the flesh from the bones and the pain, as they trudged along their way, was simply terrible. Men and women were herded in droves like cattle.[Pg 48] They had to make so many miles each day through storm or sunshine. Often it was midnight before they reached the sheds in which were the sleeping benches. Here they had to lie down on bare planks without any covering. There was no ventilation in these sheds except a bare window or two in the gable. In summer they sweltered and in winter they nearly froze to death.

As these unfortunate people slowly trudged along, the heartless guards on horseback whipped them and often prodded them with bayonets. Sometimes both men and women fell fainting and dying along the wayside. As two were nearly always chained together, the living was unlocked from the dead, the body kicked out of the way and even left unburied. In the heat of summer the dust nearly suffocated them and in the late autumn and early spring (they stopped in winter quarters in the coldest months), they often floundered along through mud nearly knee deep. Often the mud was frozen in the morning and their feet would break through. Perhaps their shoes were completely worn out, but no mercy was shown them and they had to make their way barefooted.

There was one thing the guards could not do, however, and that was to keep them still. As they went on their way they kept up a kind of a wail that was said to be the saddest chant that human ears ever heard. For miles and miles this mournful wail could be heard by the few people who lived in villages along the way. Sometimes, however, these villages were fifty or a hundred miles apart. But this wail was kept up continually. Every plan imaginable was used to stop it, but this could not be done and the guards and officers grew accustomed to it and let it go. No wonder that[Pg 49] even yet in Siberia the call of the milkmaid is something like the wail of the exiles.

One of the most thrilling events during the war was the opening of the Siberian prison doors in the spring of 1917, when more than one hundred thousand exiles walked out as free men and women. In the great Irkutsk prison a company of men were watching some of their fellow prisoners being flogged when a man appeared at the door saying: "Russia is a republic and you are all free." Instantly all was excitement. The officers fled for their lives. Even the prison blacksmiths fled, for they had welded the shackles on thousands of prisoners and they feared vengeance. Other smiths were pressed into service and were compelled to work all night long cutting these iron chains. Many were chained to wheelbarrows and of course could not get away until their irons were broken. A committee of public safety was formed at once and precautions taken. A banquet was prepared in the dismissed governor's palace and sixty men whose chains had not been cut loose sat down at the table with their chains rattling.

In one place the priest, while performing his duties in the church, heard the news and announced it. Fifty men rushed out to kill the local police captain who had been a regular tyrant. As they came to his home they were met by the captain's ten-year-old daughter, who stood in front of her father and calmly said: "You will have to kill me first," and thus she saved his life.

In five days after the revolution, six thousand exiles had reached Irkutsk from other prisons. By the way, Irkutsk is the capital of eastern Siberia and here the greatest prisons were located. It is said that as many as one hundred thousand [Pg 50]prisoners have been in the great prisons in and around this city at one time. There were no trains for these freed exiles and they camped along the railroad track. Every day the company became larger. At one time it was said that fifty thousand sledges were rushing toward the railroad as fast as horses, dogs and reindeer could drag them. The snow was already melting and they were determined to get to the railroad before it was too late.

Those who think the great Russian Empire is nothing but cold, bleak, barren waste, will have to think again. In 1913 there were eleven million acres planted in potatoes, five and one-half million acres of flax and hemp and nearly two million acres in cotton. They even had one hundred and fifty thousand acres in tobacco. In all there were in cultivation nearly four hundred million acres of land. In 1914 Russia and Siberia possessed thirty-five million head of horses, fifty-two million head of cattle, seventy-two million sheep, and fifteen million head of hogs.

[Pg 51]


The Home of Bolshevism—Russia

Of All the countries in Europe, conditions in Russia are perhaps most deplorable. With the granary of the world her people have the least food. A few years ago her laws were the most rigid of all countries, now she is nearest without law of any of them. With all her boundless resources, she is as helpless as a child. Like poor old blind Samson, she has lost her strength and is a pitiful sight to behold.

But the purpose of this article is not to recount the horrors the war brought to Russia. I would much rather tell something about the people as I saw them just before the war, and their country and cities in times of peace. Some day these people will have a stable government. They have suffered for a long time, but out of it all will come a purified people and a government in which the people will have some rights and privileges worth while. The writer of these lines does not pose as a prophet, but will say that in twenty-five years Russia will have the best government in Europe.

The Russian people are a race of farmers. When the war broke out eighty-five per cent of the people lived in the country. Although a nation having one-sixth of the earth's surface, yet she has only a few large cities. It is actually said that years ago people had to be chained in the cities to keep them from moving to the country.

The people, as a rule, are honest-hearted, hard-working people, who have never had a chance. They are ignorant and often superstitious. They have been used to hardship and cruelty. In the old days a man was beaten three hours a day for debt and after a month sold as a slave if no one[Pg 52] came to his rescue. Thieves and other criminals were hanged, beheaded, broken on a wheel, drowned under the ice or whipped to death. "Sorcerers were roasted alive in cages; traitors were tortured by iron hooks which tore their sides into a thousand pieces; false coiners had to swallow molten metal," says one writer.

Woman was considered the property of man and her glory was to obey her husband as a slave obeys his master. No eyes could look upon her face and she was shut up like a prisoner. They used to think that if a husband beat his wife it was the sign he loved her. The Russian proverb says: "I love thee like my soul, but I beat thee like my jacket."

Never will I forget the time spent in Moscow. The great center of the city is the Kremlin Palace and at the time of my visit it contained riches untold. Of course, the Bolshevists have looted it long before this. In it at that time was the largest gun ever made before the war, but it had never been fired. Also the largest bell ever cast was there, but this had never been rung. In front of this palace is the famous Red Square, and this has no doubt been red with blood many times during these terrible years of Bolshevist rule. If the very stones upon which people walk could speak, a wave of horror would sweep around the world.

Perhaps the most curious church in the world is that of Saint Basil the Blessed, which is in the city of Moscow. It has nearly a dozen spires most curiously built and no one seeing it can ever forget it. It is said that the eyes of the Italian architect who built it were put out so he could never build another like it. The Russian people are very religious and Moscow is their sacred city. At the sight of the glittering crosses the peasants coming[Pg 53] into the city for the first time would often fall upon their faces and weep.

This sacred city has passed through some horrible times. Famine has raged and the ravages of hunger caused parents to eat the flesh of their own children. Pestilence at one time stalked through the city like a mighty conqueror and a hundred and twenty thousand people perished before it could be checked. Nearly the entire city has gone up in smoke on more than one occasion and yet it still lives. When I was there its streets were ablaze with electric lights at night and thronged with shopping multitudes by day, but all this is changed at this time.

If we can believe the historian, orgies have taken place in this city that would make it, for the time being, a rival of Hades itself. When the Russians turn against a man their hatred knows no bounds. In one case they caught a pretender for the throne and almost continuously for three days they tortured him in every imaginable way, shape and form. After he was finally killed they were so afraid that he might come to life that they took his body, burned it to ashes, loaded them in a cannon and fired it, scattering them to the four winds.

One of the empresses of Russia became enraged at one of the princes whose wife had died and she compelled him to marry an old ugly woman whose nickname was "Pickled Pork." One historian says: "The marriage festival was celebrated with great pomp: representatives of every tribe and nation in the Empire took part, with native costumes and musical instruments: some rode on camels, some on deer, others were drawn by oxen, dogs and swine. The bridal couple were borne in a cage on an elephant's back. A palace was[Pg 54] built entirely of ice for their reception. It was ornamented with ice pillars and statues, and lighted by panes of thin ice. The door and window posts were painted to represent green marble: droll pictures on linen were placed in ice frames. All the furniture, the chairs, the mirrors, even the bridal couch, were ice. By an ingenious use of naphtha the ice chandeliers were lighted and the ice logs on the ice grates were made to burn! At the gates two dolphins of ice poured forth fountains of flame: vessels filled with frosty flowers, trees with foliage and birds, and a life-sized elephant with a frozen Persian on its back adorned the yard. Ice cannon and mortars guarded the doors and fired a salute. The bride and groom had to spend the night in their glacial palace."

For centuries the common people of Russia were afraid to open their mouths. Detectives were everywhere and half of the people exiled to Siberia had no idea what they had committed. One of the secret service men might visit a peasant home disguised as a tramp or agent. Allowed into the humble home he would examine the books on the table if any were there, and should he find a sentence tabooed by the government, the farmer who gave the stranger a place to eat and sleep would likely be exiled, although he had never read a line in the book.

I have seen these detectives on trains, at depots, in hotels, always watching everybody. No proprietor of a hotel would keep a stranger over night without the guest's passport in his possession. One of these secret service men might come in at midnight and if he found a stranger or even a name on the register without an accompanying passport, the landlord might have to go to prison and of[Pg 55] course they took no chances. As soon as I registered at a hotel in Moscow the landlord had to have my passport in his possession.

All things considered it is not at all surprising that when the restraint was removed the people went to the greatest possible extreme. It is not surprising that they all wanted to talk and speechify. Every man had some grievance or something to talk about. While the peasants were honest and trusted each other, yet there have developed so many traitors that now they do not know who they can trust. The great mass of people are like a lot of sheep without a shepherd and can be led or driven in any direction. Of all people, they are perhaps most to be pitied.

A Russian gentleman recently expressed his conviction to the writer that the only hope for the country is in the church people. They are very religious and the Orthodox church was rich in priceless treasure and lands. But the Bolshevists looted and robbed the churches, which of course enraged the people. They were held in check by alluring promises, but these promises were not fulfilled and their eyes are now opened and they will rise up, so this man hopes, and overthrow Bolshevism. One thing is certain and that is that the Bolshevist leaders have recently made all kinds of concessions to the people.

As the darkest days in the history of the Chosen Race in Bible times was when "every man did what was right in his own eyes," so these Russian folks have been passing through just such a time. There has not been any law to speak of and every man has been doing as he pleases with everything he could get his hands on. But as Russia has produced some of the master minds of the ages some[Pg 56] of us believe that some of these times a leader will appear who will bring order out of chaos. As a rule, in the days agone, when the people of a great nation were really ready for a mighty step forward the good Lord raised up a man to lead them.

Passing the great estate of Tolstoi I could not help thinking of one of his marvelous word pictures and as it concerns everyone of us it will not be out of place to call attention to it here. As the story goes a youth had fallen heir to his father's estate and this taste of wealth made him crazy for the lands adjoining the little homestead. One fine morning this young man was greeted in the highway by a fine looking nobleman who said he had taken a liking to him and had decided to give him all the land he could cover during one day. As they stood at the corner of the little homestead at the grave of his father the stranger said to the young man: "You may start now and walk all day, but at sundown you must be back here at your father's grave."

Without even stopping to tell his wife the good news, or bid her and their little child good-bye, the young man started. At first thought he decided to cover a tract six miles square which would mean a walk of twenty-four miles, but he had only gotten well started when the plan was enlarged to a square of nine miles. The morning was so cool and fine and he felt so strong that he increased it to twelve miles and still later he made it a square of fifteen miles, which would mean a walk of sixty miles before sundown. By noon he had made the thirty miles but so great was his fear of failure he decided not to stop for lunch. An hour later he saw an old man at a wayside spring, but felt[Pg 57] that he must not stop even for a drink of water and rushed on his way.

By the middle of the afternoon he had discarded his coat and a little later threw away his shirt. An hour before sunset it was a race for life. His heart had almost stopped beating and his eyes began to bulge from their sockets. As the sun touched the horizon he was still many rods from the starting point. With all the strength of both body and soul he lunged forward and just as the sun went out of sight he staggered across the line and fell into the arms of the stranger who was there to meet him, but when he fell he was dead.

"I promised him," said the stranger, "all the ground he could cover. Strictly speaking, it is about two feet wide and six feet long. And I drew the line here at his father's grave because I thought he would rather have the land he could cover close to his father than to have it anywhere else." "Then the stranger—death—slipped away," says Dr. Hillis, who tells the story, saying: "I always keep my pledge." So they buried the man with the land-hunger.

The Russian people have just gotten a taste of liberty and are as crazy as was the man with the land-hunger. All hope and trust that they will see their condition before the nation comes to a death struggle, but they have passed the meridian and entered the dangerous part of the day and if the leader does not soon come who can stop their onward sweep, they will be in the last great struggle and the death rattle will be heard. But terrible as the situation is at this writing, however, there are some signs of a better day, and as long as there is life there is hope. Some of us still believe that the day will come when Russia will be a mighty and powerful nation.

[Pg 58]


The Nation That Conquers the Sea—Holland

We read in ancient history that Xerxes whipped the sea, but this chapter will give a glimpse of a nation that conquers the sea. A million acres of the best land in Holland have actually been rescued from the water, and at this hour a large lake is being drained which means that hundreds of thousands of acres will soon be rescued from the sea and be made to blossom as the rose.

The country of Holland is about the size of the state of Maryland. One-fourth of its entire area is below the sea level, and its great dykes were they placed end to end, would make an immense dam more than fifteen hundred miles long and in some places from thirty to sixty feet high. Almost the entire country is a network of canals. A single one of these canals cost more than fifteen million dollars and it is less than fifty miles in length.

The faith of these Holland people in times of adversity is one of the wonders of history. For a hundred years they struggled against powerful Spain, but their faith saved them. It is said that at the siege of Leyden they were reduced to such desperate straits that all they had to eat was dogs and cats. In derision they were called "dog and cat eaters." They replied to their enemies: "As long as you hear the bark of a dog or the mew of a cat the city holds. When these are gone we will devour out left arms, retaining the right to defend our homes and our freedom. When all are gone we will set fire to the city and with our wives and children perish rather than see our families destroyed and our religion desecrated."

[Pg 59]

Think of it! A country one-half of which is below the level of the water, some of it sixteen feet lower than the ocean, which is only a few miles away! What watchfulness and anxiety bordering upon fear must occupy every moment, both day and night! In a single century there were thirty-five great inundations which literally swallowed up several hundred thousand people. Instead of being disheartened, like ants, they went to work at once to rebuild the dykes, and with the aid of hundreds of gigantic windmills pumped the water back into the sea.

These windmills are not only used to pump water, but they saw wood, grind corn, crush seeds, make paper, and do about everything else. While they are imperilled all the time by water, they make the water serve them in numerous ways. Their fences are ditches filled with water. How their cattle and horses have been trained to stay in, a small lot surrounded by narrow ditches filled with water which they could easily jump over, is a mystery, but every visitor to Holland has seen it with his own eyes.

These Dutch people are great farmers and stock raisers. As their country has no minerals, the people depend upon agriculture more perhaps than in any other part of the world. Supporting a population of four hundred and seventy people to the square mile, every foot of the land of course is tilled carefully. The main agricultural product is potatoes, of which they raise about one hundred million bushels per annum. Then come oats, twenty million bushels, rye, fifteen million and about a third as much wheat.

The Hollanders build ships, refine sugar, dredge oysters, distill liquor and brew beer. They [Pg 60]manufacture carpets, leather and paper goods, make chocolate, cut diamonds as well as produce gold and silver articles and pottery. The farmer uses his cow like one of the family. He keeps her in the house when the weather is cold, washes and combs her hair more often than his own, and keeps her room as clean as the parlor. She chews her cud contentedly and the only thing about her which is tied up is her tail, which is generally fastened to a beam above to keep it from getting soiled. Of course, milk, butter and cheese are not a small part of the living of these people. Often in a Holland home the sitting room, dining room and sleeping room are one and the same. People often sleep in bunks one above the other like berths on a ship or sleeping car.

The great bird in Holland is the stork, which is kept and given a home because of the service rendered in keeping down toads and frogs. The people who live in the lowest ground make nests for the storks upon posts erected for the purpose, and almost every Dutch city has a pet colony of these birds. The Dutch folk-lore tells of the tragedy of the stork colony away back in the fifteenth century which occurred during the breeding season. The town of Delft caught fire and when the older storks made ready for flight their offspring were too young to fly and too heavy to be carried, and rather than leave their young, the old birds went back to their nests and perished.

The two great recreation amusements that everybody engages in are cycling and skating. Roads are good so that the former can be practiced the year around, while the latter, of course, can only be indulged in during the winter time. These people become so skilled on the ice that they can[Pg 61] beat an express train, and to skate a hundred miles in an afternoon is an ordinary excursion. Some years ago a record of four miles in five minutes was established which is "going some" on skates.

In the beginning of winter when the skating season opens, the young men and maidens have a great time going to the city of Gouda. The young men go to buy long pipes and bring them home safely in their mouths or pockets. The fair maidens try to waylay them and break these pipes. Likewise the maidens purchase brittle cakes and attempt to carry them home in bags without breaking them up, and the young men endeavor to knock the bags from their hands and thus, "break the cake." They all have a gay time.

Skating is ruled by a sort of a national society. The fee is so small that everyone can join it. This society decides when skating is safe, marks the routes and employs sweepers to keep these highways clear from snow, etc. Everyone must obey the rules laid down by this society, consequently accidents are rare. One week each year they have a great festival called the "Kermis," which is not unlike the old-fashioned carnival in this country. All kinds of amusements are engaged in and all have a jolly time. St. Nicholas Day, which occurs on December fifth, is also a great day in Holland, especially for the children.

The largest city in Holland is Amsterdam, which contains more than one-half million people. This is a walled city, but the walls are water in the shape of canals. There are four of them, the outermost being called the Single or "Girdle." Across these canals are smaller canals running diagonally and the city itself is as though built on a thousand islands.

[Pg 62]

These larger canals are almost filled with ships of various sizes and boats and barges fill the smaller ones. The city has the appearance of being built on the water, canals serving the purposes of streets. The ground used to be a great marsh and the entire city is practically built on piles which are driven down sometimes eighty feet.

One great palace in the city stands upon fourteen thousand piles. One would think the buildings would collapse in the course of time, and some of them are all out of shape, but the people are so used to seeing the buildings lean, almost like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, that they think nothing about it. Once in awhile the road will give way under a heavily loaded truck, but they pry the load out, repair the roadway, and go ahead as though the highway were built upon solid rock.

That the people of Amsterdam are religious is shown by the fact that there are many large churches in the city. The front of the great palace called the Dam has a hundred windows and only one little insignificant entrance. It has been called "the palace without a door." Just across the square is the Exchange with a great portico supported by seventeen columns. Some have called this "A door without a house."

Like New York, Amsterdam has its Ghetto, in which more than sixty thousand Jews are packed almost like sardines in a box, and most of these live in the direst poverty and misery imaginable. However, just beside this Ghetto live wealthy Jewish families, and one of the great synagogues is so magnificent that they claim it represents the Temple of Solomon.

As noted above the gigantic task of draining the Zuyder Zee has already been started. This great[Pg 63] lake is a hundred miles long and half as wide, and used to be a great forest. Between seven and eight hundred years ago, this forest and some better lands consisting of farm lands and cities, were destroyed by the River Chim. A writer in the Scientific American, quoted in the Literary Digest, says:

"Then Neptune looked down with longing eyes for his own. About the middle of the thirteenth century, the North Sea broke through the upper sand dunes and swept over the land. Hundreds of villages with their inhabitants were engulfed and destroyed. Geographical continuity was obliterated, and Holland found herself cut in two by an ocean eighty-five miles long from north to south, and from ten to forty-five broad. It proved, moreover, quite as treacherously dangerous a sea as that which divided her from Britain."

The capital city of Holland contains more than a quarter of a million people. Perhaps the most outstanding building in The Hague is the Palace of Peace. It was dedicated August 28, 1913. Something like twenty countries contributed materials for this great building. The granite in the base of the walls came from Norway and Sweden, the marble in the great corridor is Italian; Holland supplied the steps in the great stairway, and the group of statuary at the foot of this stairway came from Argentina.

The stained glass in the windows of the Court of Law came from Great Britain, and the rosewood in the paneling of the Council Chamber is Brazil's contribution. Turkey and Roumania each supplied carpets, Switzerland furnished the clock, and Belgium the iron work on the door at the main entrance. Our own contribution was a group[Pg 64] of statuary in marble and bronze at the first landing of the great stairway. Russia and China furnished vases, Japan sent silken curtains, and France furnished a magnificent painting. Thus the nations builded together and we all hope the dream for which this Palace of Peace stands will soon become a reality. We are glad that the building is now open again.

For more than four years Holland occupied perhaps the most difficult position in which any country was ever placed. Every day of that time she was between the "devil and the deep sea." Compelled to be ready for invasion every moment, yet trying to remain strictly neutral, she had the job of feeding hundreds of thousands of refugees. These were anxious months and years, but the Dutch did most remarkably well and kept their heads above water all the time. No people were more happy to see peace come although they were compelled to harbor the greatest enemy civilization ever had.

[Pg 65]


The Nation That the World Honors—Belgium

During the world war the eyes of the world were upon Belgium and it is quite fitting that an article be devoted to this little country whom the world honors. Although one of the smallest of all the independent nations yet before the invasion this little country stood eighth in wealth and sixth in export and import trade among the nations. Texas is more then twenty times as large as Belgium. Although not nearly all her land is under cultivation yet she supported seven and a half million people and before the war it is said she had no paupers.

This little country has been called the "balance wheel of the world's trade." The city of Antwerp is said to have forty miles of quays—ahead of New York City. When the war broke out Belgium had just completed a ten million dollar canal and had spent eighty million dollars on her waterways. Her commercial and industrial interests were amazing. She had one hundred and eighty factories for the manufacture of arms alone. A single engine factory in Liege turned out two thousand large engines complete, annually. The zinc foundries and cycle works of this one city are world famous.

Belgium had the cheapest railroad fare of any country on earth. Twenty-four of her thirty-two lines were government owned. One could purchase a third-class ticket, good for five days going anywhere over these lines for $2.35. One could ride to his work on the railway train twenty miles[Pg 66] and back each day for a whole week for the insignificant sum of thirty-seven and one-half cents. This made it possible for even the poorest people to travel and many of them did. The city of Brussels had two hundred passenger trains entering and leaving the two great depots every twenty-four hours.

Belgium gave the world the greatest example of thrift ever known. Surely, if ever a nation needed such an example, we did and do. Belgium could live well from the crumbs that fall from our tables. Were the American people as thrifty as the Belgians, we could save all the war cost us, including the soldiers' bonus, in a generation. There, everybody works, even father. While the people are poor, yet, as noted above, it was a country without paupers and will soon be so again.

The government paid interest on savings and encouraged even the poorest to have a savings account. Such an account could be started with one franc and could be opened at any post office. Our thrift stamp idea came from Belgium. The farmer or working man could buy a small plot of ground, build a little home for his family, be insured against sickness or accident, even though he hardly had a dollar to start with. The government would back him and he could borrow money from the national savings bank system.

The Belgians are said to have the best courts in existence. With a single judge in the Supreme Court, cases are reviewed quickly while everything is fresh in mind and witnesses and all other evidence is easily obtained, and the decisions of the lower courts either reversed or sustained at once without any lost motion whatever. The lower[Pg 67] courts are open for the settlement of all disputes. The judge cross-questions both sides without any lawyers to interfere and the poorest wage earner can have his wrongs righted without a cent's expense. The assistance of an attorney is hardly ever needed and not one decision in a hundred is appealed.

The contribution of Belgium to farming and stock raising has been immense. Most of the soil is thin and has been used for centuries, and yet she raises more than twice as much wheat per acre as the Dakotas and harvests as much as $250 worth of flax per acre. A few centuries ago the district between Antwerp and Ghent was a barren moor called Weasland. Today every inch of this land is cultivated and is dotted by some of the finest farms in Belgium. This entire sandy district was covered, "cartload by cartload, spadeful by spadeful with good soil brought from elsewhere." It is now like a great flower garden and in fact much of it is flower beds. The city of Ghent is known as the flower city of Europe, there being a hundred nursery gardens and half as many horticultural establishments in the suburbs of this one city.

A marvelous thing about Belgian agriculture is that they rotate the soil rather than the crops. Their methods of intensive farming are so wonderful that if North and South Dakota could be farmed as is Belgian soil, nearly all the people in the United States could move to these two states and be fed. Belgium is a land of very small farms and it is said that the poorest agricultural laborer has a better chance to become a land owner than in most any other country. Until auto trucks made their appearance the great drays of London and New York were drawn by Belgian horses. Belgian[Pg 68] stallions often take the blue ribbons at our great state fairs and our farmers have found that the Belgian breeds of stock are second to none. Even Belgian hares are most prolific and most profitable of any breed of rabbits in this country today.

The contribution in architecture of this little country to the world has been so great and her churches and public buildings so stately that Belgium has been called, "The Jewel box of Europe." Of course, many of her great cathedrals and public buildings were damaged or destroyed, but they will, in a large measure, at least, be restored.

The art of Belgian painters is world famous and graces the finest galleries in both Europe and America. Many of the paintings of Rubens and other master artists are almost priceless. As lace makers the women of Belgium are famous the world around. From early morning until late at night these toilers sit in their low chairs and the skill with which they shoot the little thread-bobbins back and forth across the cushions is indescribable. Neither men nor women in Belgium are overly much given to amusements. They work with all their might, but when the national holidays come they abandon themselves to the amusements for the moment and have a most enjoyable time.

While many are illiterate, the Belgians are giving much attention to schools these times. Even while they were guests of France, with their government located at Havre, they established twenty-four schools for the children and a single woman had more than five thousand pupils under her care and direction. They also established large schools at that place for disabled soldiers and many of them became not only skilled workers, but [Pg 69]inventors. One of these disabled men invented a process to make artificial limbs out of waste paper and it is said that these limbs are the best made. Many of these legless soldiers with artificial limbs can walk so well that one would never imagine that they had been wounded.

Providence seems to have made Belgium the great battlefield of Europe. Nearly every great general of European history has fought on Belgian soil. When the Spaniards looted Belgian cities and set up the inquisition it seemed as though the very imps of the lower regions were turned loose. I have looked upon many of the instruments of torture that can still be seen in European museums and they were even more terrible than anything used in the late war. Again and again has Belgian soil been drenched with blood. Only a little more than one hundred years ago the hosts of Napoleon and Wellington decided the destiny of nations at the battle of Waterloo.

Here was this great hive of industry, with the wheels of her factories humming and her people happy, industrious and contented up to that fateful day in August, 1914. No people were more loyal to their ideals, more trustful of others or more anxious to serve humanity than these honest-hearted, hard-working people. They felt secure, for the treaty which protected them had been signed by all the nations around them. This treaty had been held sacred for more than eighty years and was to last as long as time. It had held them secure during the great crisis of 1870-1871 and when the war cloud gathered in Austria and Servia they felt secure.

Soon, however, it became plain that Germany had been planning for years to crush this little[Pg 70] country like an egg shell. Four double-track lines of railway had been built up to the Belgian border. Miles of concrete platforms had been built, but no suspicions had been aroused. When the enemy started across Belgium he had better maps of the country than any Belgian had ever seen. At once many Germans in Belgium left their homes silently and the surprise of Belgian neighbors can be better imagined than described when they saw their old friends coming back with the enemy's army. They had been spies all these years.

When the great siege guns were brought from their hiding places in the Krupp factories into Belgium, the foundations for them were already there. These guns were so heavy that the London Times stated that it took thirteen traction engines to pull a single one of them. They threw shells that weighed almost a ton twenty miles and a single one of them would destroy a building as large as our own national capital building in Washington. So accurately had these foundations been placed that scarcely a single shell was wasted.

It is said that years ago some so-called German university men asked the Belgian Government for permission to study the geology of their country. This permission was granted freely. But these were mostly military men and spent months investigating and surveying and marking certain places. Once more these men came to the Belgian Government stating that they wished to study the formation of rocks and soil which would necessitate digging into the earth and as they did not wish to be bothered by the public, asked permission to build barricades around the places where they worked. Their request was granted instantly and[Pg 71] by this means they built the foundations for these great siege guns.

Finally the fateful day came. Germany told Belgium that she intended going across her territory anyway and if she would allow this to be done peaceably she would pay her double price for everything destroyed; that it would be to her best interests to allow this and that she might have twelve hours to think it over. In the darkest hours of the war, when it seemed that the Germans would be victorious, I heard the Belgian minister in Washington say in an address: "Yes, they gave us twelve hours to decide, but they gave us eleven hours and fifty-nine minutes too much time." As long as time, it will be remembered to the glory of Belgium that she told Germany instantly to stay upon her own territory; that the world would never say that Belgium went back upon her word; that if war came she would remain neutral as in the treaty she had agreed to do. The minister referred to above also said in this darkest hour: "They now have all but three hundred square miles of our territory, but what will it profit a man though he gain the whole world and lose his own soul.' We have lost our property, but we have saved our soul, and if it were to do over again we would do exactly the same thing."

Brave little Belgium! For four and one half years she stood bleeding and with her head bowed in sorrow! Her homes were destroyed, her old men and women shot down like dogs, her women outraged, her youths and maidens enslaved, her little children misused, but Belgium still lives, and always will live in the hearts of men and women wherever civilization is known! Her King and Queen were brave and heroic through all those[Pg 72] horrible times; her church leaders could not be bought or sold, and her common people were true as steel. As a nation she blundered in days agone, but what nation has not made mistakes? Belgium saved democracy for a thousand years and is today the nation that the whole world honors.

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A Glimpse of America's Friend—France

Although great in history, France is but a small country. It is interesting to note that all France could be placed in the state of Texas and there would be room enough left for Belgium, Holland, Denmark and Switzerland, one in each corner. Even then, Delaware and the District of Columbia could be put in for good measure and the Lone Star State would still have more than eight hundred square miles to spare.

About half of the people of France depend wholly upon agriculture for their living. Instead of living on farms as we do they live in small villages. Their farms are very small, generally running from two to fifteen acres. As a rule, the soil is thin and unproductive, but with their patient toil, careful methods of farming and a very liberal use of fertilizer they raise abundant crops. Just about half of the soil of France is tilled and about one-eighth is used for grazing while all the famous vineyards of this country cover but about four per cent of the ground. The balance is in forests and streams, highways, canals, and railways.

When the war broke out there were about four million French families who owned their homes and a thriftier and more industrious people could hardly be found. In 1871, when the heartless Bismarck insisted on having a one billion dollar indemnity, besides the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine, he thought he had the people of France throttled for a generation, but to his very great amazement every dollar of this huge sum was paid[Pg 74] in less than three years. This fact is but an indication that the French are a race of savers.

A silent revolution in the habits of the peasant people has been the outcome of the war. Ages ago an uprising took the land away from wealthy owners and gave it to the peasants. A few years later Napoleon had enacted or rather established a Code by which a man's property was equally divided between his children. Thus, if a man died leaving four children and an eight-acre farm, it was divided into four strips of two acres each. Then, in the course of time, one of these children died leaving four children, his two-acre farm was divided into four strips of a half acre each.

Thus a great portion of the land is cut up into little strips and gardens. Through the intermarriage of children a family might own several of these strips of land, often miles from each other. This often brought complications and made it impossible to introduce modern farm implements and do away with much of the drudgery of peasant life.

This is one advantage that grew out of the war in many places. In the devastated areas all landmarks were often obliterated and in many cases the government brought in tractors and plowed great fields which before the war were hundreds of little farms and gardens. Then, too, many of these peasants became greedy, selfish individualists. Each man worked by himself and for himself and the idea of co-operation was almost unknown. No ordinary farmer ever became able to have modern farm implements himself and they never dreamed that several of them could go together and purchase a binder, a thresher or tractor. Their one standby was the hoe and not only[Pg 75] the man but his wife and children often had to work from daylight until dark to keep the wolf from the door.

Since the war a new day has dawned for the French peasantry. It was very hard for some of them to give up their old notions and customs, but it meant a new order for all who were in the pathway of the war. While the city of Paris has been always known as the Gay City, yet the people in the country did not enjoy life in any such way. They had no amusements, no daily papers, and in some places no songs. The famous Man with the Hoe is a picture of the French farmer. In many of the rebuilt villages now they have amusements and movies and in many cases public libraries have been started.

It is said that in many of the farmhouses of the French peasantry may be seen hanging little colored prints representing the main professions. At the top of a stairway stands a king with the motto: "I rule you all," on a step below is a priest who says: "I pray for you all;" still farther down stands the soldier who says: "I defend you all;" but at the bottom of the stairway is the peasant whose motto is: "I feed you all." The French peasant seemed to take this for granted and never imagined that while doing it he might have advantages and pleasures that would help to make life worth living.

Of course, there are great industries and industrial centers in France. The city of Lille was, before the war, the Pittsburg of France. This city was not only the center of the textile industry, but had scores and hundreds of factories and machine shops of all kinds. While the city itself was not totally destroyed, the factories were almost [Pg 76]completely ruined. In some cases railroad tracks were laid into the buildings and whole trainloads of costly machinery were shipped out of the country. I saw the inside of many of these buildings where high explosives were used and all that was left was the shell of the building, the inside being one mass of twisted iron girders and broken concrete.

Of course, the idea of the enemy was to make it impossible for French factories to ever again compete with their own so they attempted to destroy all they left. They especially looked after all patterns and plans and thought they were making a clean sweep. In one case a great factory that covered sixty acres of ground was destroyed. But the owners had a branch factory in southern France and immediately began manufacturing duplicate machinery so that when the war closed all that was needed was the transportation facilities to get the machinery to Lille.

In the great coal fields about Lens the works and machinery were so completely destroyed that one could hardly tell there were coal mines in the district at all. The writer went over these ruins after the war closed and it is simply beyond the imagination to picture the actual conditions at that time. The course of small rivers and streams were changed so that the water could be run into these mines.

One quite remarkable distinction is noticeable to a stranger going through France and that is that an occasional factory seems to be located in the midst of an agricultural district. The land may be farmed on all sides up to the factory buildings. The men often work in these factories while the women and children and old men do the work on the farms.

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Portions of southern France are noted for the beautiful vineyards. Bordeaux and other brands of wine are famous the world around. Some of our boys are laughing yet about the French methods of making wine. The grapes are gathered and piled into a great vat. When this receptacle is filled, men, women and children take off their shoes and most all of their clothes and climb in. Here they walk and jump and tramp until the whole thing is a mass of pulp. In the meantime, the wine is continually draining out and being cared for by others.

After they have tramped out all the juice possible by this method the remains are put into a great press something like a cider press. After all the wine has been extracted by these various methods, they use the pulp in the manufacture of a powerful intoxicant, but this is not generally used as a beverage. Of course, all understand that in many places they have modern machinery and make wine along scientific lines, but in many cases they use these old methods to this day.

The courage of the French people is sublime. Even in the darkest days their faith never wavered and they firmly believed they would be victorious. As a monument of this faith there is in Paris today the most wonderful painting perhaps that was ever put upon canvas. It is called the "Pantheon de Guerre" and is a marvelous cycloramic painting of the war. It was opened up to the public soon after the armistice was signed and the writer saw it while attending the Peace Conference.

Many remember the wonderful representation of the Battle of Gettysburg which used to be in Chicago. This Paris cyclorama is along the same line, but ten times more wonderful. It is three[Pg 78] hundred and seventy-four feet in circumference and forty-five high. The actual preparation of this began in October, 1914, and while the army of the invaders was within thirty miles of Paris and the big guns were shaking the city, more than twenty artists were working on the marvelous production.

The central figure is a woman, mounted upon a high pedestal, which stands in front of a huge temple, and she is holding aloft the laurel wreath of victory. Upon the first step of a giant stairway which leads to the temple is a group of French heroes which includes Joffre, Foch, Petain and many others, while in front of them are guns and flags bearing marks of conflict. The only allusion to Germany in the whole painting is in the battle-scarred flags and guns which were used in the first battle of the Marne. Upon this gigantic stairway are life-size figures of more than five thousand people nearly everyone of which is a life sketch of some French hero of the war. Among them are many women whose heroic work and influence will live forever.

Just across on the opposite side of the painting from this scene is depicted a gigantic tomb on the top of which is a group of soldiers holding aloft a great coffin in which is a dead companion. At the base and on the steps is a woman dressed in mourning, kneeling in the attitude of prayer, while nearby is a wreath inscribed to the unknown dead. Back of the tomb in the distance you can see the rays of the setting sun and in some indescribable way they are lighting up the faces of those on the temple stairway like a beautiful rainbow of promise, while the tomb itself is left in the shadows of the declining day.

[Pg 79]

In the group representing Belgium it is only natural that Edith Cavil should have a prominent place. To be sure King Albert and his queen and others are there. As in Belgium the first casualties occurred it is fitting that here alone is seen a wounded man and the Red Cross workers are caring for him as he lies upon a stretcher. Here too, are seen the broken pieces of a cathedral tower with a chalice and altar and Cardinal Mercier in his priestly robes, while lying on the steps between him and the king is the torn "scrap of paper."

But it would take pages of this book to give an adequate description of the entire panorama. Of course, all the allies are represented. In a group representing the United States, President Wilson is one of the chief figures. I am told that the picture of General Pershing is a life-sized painting, which he was kind enough to sit for, to be used in this production. Here is also seen an American Indian, a cowboy, a merchant and an artisan. An American flag is borne aloft while four West Point cadets suggest training and leadership. Women relief workers of all kinds are seen. Then extending entirely around the room above and back of all these groups is a profile map of France from the Channel to the Swiss border. Here can be seen the principal towns and cities involved during the war. Here, too, can be seen all the modern implements of war and everything is actual or life size.

As I stood gazing upon this wonderful production of artistic genius, my own brain almost reeled and staggered at the immensity and vividness of it. One moment the perspiration would break out and the next moment it was hard to keep the tears back. Pride, beauty, indignation, mourning, [Pg 80]genius, art, science, invention, generalship, statesmanship, honor, love, tenderness, devotion, heroism and glory are all intermingled in a most marvelous way. The opportunity to behold and study this great panorama of the war is almost worth a trip to Paris. Then to think of the faith and courage it must have taken to work on and on while the shells from the big guns were bursting at regular intervals during the day and the bombs dropping from the aeroplanes above at night; all this fills and thrills one's heart with admiration for the French people.

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Some Impressions of the Great Peace Conference

For a month the writer listened to the heartbeat of nations as their representatives were gathered in the city of Paris. No other city ever had within its borders so many of the statesmen of nations. There were worked out the beginnings of the great problems that will mean the life of civilization.

Should the nations of the earth plan and make preparation for another war the race is imperilled. It is either universal peace or universal doom. Either some plan to stop war or preparation for the final judgment. Quit fighting or quit living. Peace or death.

The late war revealed the possibilities of human genius. Man's power to destroy has been discovered and across the sky can be seen in letters of blood the warning, "Abolish war or perish." Some say the war ended six months too soon, but had it continued that much longer, the probable results are too awful to contemplate. The Angel of Destruction had the sword lifted over Germany, but it was as though divine providence stayed his hand.

American genius was just coming into play. For instance, we are told that a gas had been discovered that is so deadly that a few bombs filled with it and dropped upon a city would all but wipe it out of existence. When the armistice was signed hundreds of tons of that gas were ready for use and on the way to the battle front. Other inventions and discoveries have since been brought out that are too deadly to even talk about.

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No one can describe the Peace Conference without giving great credit to our president, for without him it seemed that the leaders were unable to get anywhere. When he said that the time had come when the civilized nations of the earth should form an organization to abolish war the enthusiasm of the common people knew no bounds. A committee was at once appointed to work out a constitution for such an organization and President Wilson was made the chairman.

Some problems touch only the rich and others have to do with the poor alone; some interest only the capitalist and others interest only those who toil with their hands; some absorb the thought of only the white race while others have to do with the black and yellow races; some have to do only with the educated while others reach none but the ignorant; but here is a problem that has to do with every family on the earth, rich or poor, capitalist or laboring man, white, black and all other colors and races—in fact, it touches every home and will do so as long as people live upon the earth.

To abolish war would rejoice the heart of every mother who has gone into the jaws of death to give birth to a son. It would bring gratitude from the heart of every wife and sweetheart whose face has been bathed with tears as the last good-bys were on their lips. It would be a blessing to every child now living, as well as to the generations yet unborn. It would thrill the heart of every lover of justice and mercy and would answer the heart longings of millions who have prayed without ceasing for the reign of peace on earth among men of good will.

When President Wilson enunciated the fourteen points some wiseacres laughed and criticised, but[Pg 83] these very points formed the basis of the armistice and the Good Lord only knows how many American lives were saved to say nothing of English, French, Italian and all the rest. No one knows how many are alive and well today who would have been sleeping in unknown and unmarked graves had the armistice been detained a single week.

The American headquarters in Paris during the Peace Conference were in the Hotel Grillion, which is on the Place de la Concorde in the heart of the city. The room number 351 belonged to the suite occupied by Colonel House and it was really the birth chamber of the League of Nations. The nineteen men who made up the committee belonged to fourteen nations. President Wilson, as chairman, called them together in this room. The first meeting of this committee was held February third and was very brief. In all, ten meetings were held and all were held in this room. President Wilson presided at all but one of them. Each man brought his suggestions in writing so there would be no chance for misunderstanding. Full discussion of all points was always encouraged. When the entire constitution was worked out it was agreed to unanimously and it was then ready to be presented to the Peace Conference.

Until the Peace Treaty was ready to sign all meetings of the great conference were held in the Foreign Ministry building in Paris. This is across the river Seine from the Concorde. Many supposed all meetings were held at Versailles but this is a mistake. Versailles is a city of some sixty thousand people and about ten miles from Paris. The old Palace is there but the great Hall of Mirrors where the treaty was finally signed could not[Pg 84] be comfortably heated in the winter time. So for that as well as other reasons the meetings were held in Paris.

Through Mr. Ray Stannard Baker I received a pass to the Peace Conference. These passes were only given to newspaper men and I represented People's Popular Monthly. The great day was February fourteenth, 1919. On this date eighty-four statesmen representing twenty-seven nations, the combined population of which is more than twelve hundred million people, were seated around one table. Clemenceau was the chairman of the conference and sat at the head of the table. By his side sat our own president, who at that time, towered head and shoulders above the statesmen of the world. Let politicians rave and senators criticize, yet the fact remains that Woodrow Wilson will have a place in history by the side of the immortal Lincoln and Washington.

When he was introduced our president read the constitution, or covenant as it was called, and then made some remarks concerning it. While I stood listening to him as he thrilled the hearts and held almost breathless this company of statesmen and noted their faces as he said: "We are now seeing eye to eye and learning that after all, all men on this earth are brothers," my eyes are swimming in tears and I don't know yet whether it was the man speaking, what he said, or the way he thrilled those men, that caused it. I do know, however, that it was one of the greatest moments I ever lived.

Near the end of the table sat the black man from Liberia. How his face shone and his eyes sparkled when he heard these words! When he reached his homeland he no doubt told his people how the[Pg 85] great American president championed a plan to abolish war and told the statesmen of the Peace Conference that the world is learning that all men on this earth are brothers, and the very hills of that black land echoed with praises for America.

Since that day the Chinese, who have never been warriors and love America anyway, have talked in their tea rooms and joss houses about the American President's plan to abolish war. In the villages of far away India, in the homes of the Sea Islanders and in fact wherever human beings have congregated they have talked of a world peace. But it was the peoples of the downtrodden, war-stricken nations especially who looked to our president as the great champion of liberty and freedom. They believed that he was the "Big Brother" and that the country that he represented would see that they were treated fairly.

Representing the great western giant whose genius, power and marvelous accomplishments of a few short months filled all Europe with amazement and far out-distanced anything they had done in the three years before, standing at the head of the only unexhausted nation and which could dictate the policies of the world—for this man to go to the Peace Conference with a plan to forever abolish war, it simply won for himself and our country the admiration and confidence of the statesmen of the world. Nothing like it had ever been seen before and the gratitude of all knew no bounds.

Then the modest, dignified, unselfish bearing of our president among them turned gratitude into love and devotion. The words of far-sighted wisdom spoken everywhere brought from the greatest statesmen the recognition of leadership. [Pg 86]Without a single effort on his part to put himself forward, he became the natural leader of all.

A single instance of his thoughtfulness will be given. I was determined to see the tomb where General Pershing stood when he uttered the famous words: "Lafayette we have come," and which made the whole French nation doff its hat and cheer. After hours of searching and miles of walking and inquiries galore, the place was found, but the door to the enclosure had to be unlocked with a silver key. When entrance was gained and the spot finally reached, there on the tomb was a wreath of flowers nearly as large as a wagon wheel and which, when they were fresh, must have been beautiful beyond words to described. Upon it was a card on which had been written in English the words: "The President of the United States of America. In memory of the great Lafayette from a fellow servant of liberty."

Then came the months of haggling, the work of selfish politicians both at home and abroad, and finally the rejection by our own people of the greatest piece of work since the beginning of the Christian era, all of which makes one who knows the real situation hang his head in shame. Why any living mortal in America could oppose a plan that has for its object the abolition of war is simply amazing to the people of Europe. Just before I left Paris in 1919 a French business man said to me: "I understand that the cables are saying that you have some men in your country who are opposing your president and this effort to abolish war. What kind of men have you got over there, anyway? Go back and tell them that it is not only the greatest thing for America that he came over[Pg 87] here but it is one of the greatest things for the whole world that ever happened."

In the fall of 1921 I made another trip to Europe and the change was beyond any power to describe. People who looked upon America as the one great nation of the earth almost sneered when they mentioned our attitude toward the League of Nations. They have almost lost confidence in us and it will be hard to regain it. France is especially bitter. Perhaps the result of the Disarmament Conference, which is practically the same thing under another name, will help them to forget some things, but the French will be slow to take up with it. We are all proud of the part our leaders had in this great meeting in Washington, but had our government stood enthusiastically for the League of Nations it would have saved hundreds of millions of dollars that we now have to dig up in taxes, and at the same time saved famine, fighting and hatred that it will take a long time to overcome.

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The Nightmare of Europe—Alsace-Lorraine

"I congratulate you on the annexation of an open sore to your Empire," said Emperor Francis Joseph of Austria to the German Kaiser when Alsace-Lorraine was ceded to Germany by the Treaty of Frankfort at the close of the Franco-Prussian War, in 1871. As we entered the world war to fight for the downtrodden people of the world, determined that people must have their rights and that the peril of military autocracy must be crushed forever, the problem of Alsace-Lorraine became a great problem to America. Every citizen of the United States should know something of this little country that has been called "The Nightmare of Europe."

Germany made every possible effort to blind the eyes of the world in regard to the facts about these provinces. She constantly declared there was no Alsace-Lorraine problem. In 1881, the Kaiser, in speaking of these provinces gave utterance to these words: "Germany would leave her eighteen army corps and her forty-two million people on the field of battle rather than surrender a single stone of the territory won in 1871." Because Mr. Daniel Blumenthal, who lived in Alsace all his life, was mayor of one of the important cities there and a member of the German Reichstag and the Alsace-Lorraine Senate for years, dared to tell the world the truth about his country, he was condemned to death eight times. He lived, however, and then they imposed upon him sentences of penal servitude that aggregated more than five hundred years'[Pg 89] time. This man finally got out of Germany and the whole world then listened to his story.

First, take a look at the provinces. They are located, as you know, at the northeast corner of France. Together they are about as large as the Yellowstone National Park, or the size of about six Iowa counties. The soil is the most fertile to be found in Central Europe. The hills are richly wooded with fir, oak and beech, as well as other varieties. Corn, flax, tobacco, grapes and various fruits are grown. The great wealth, however, is in the minerals. Iron, lead, copper, coal, rock salt and even silver are there. Manufacturers of cotton and linen are plentiful.

In the old days this country was a part of ancient Gaul and the Romans had it for five hundred years. When Rome broke up it became a part of France, and so remained until about the middle of the tenth century, at which time it came under the jurisdiction of Germany. Later on Alsace became a part of the Holy Roman Empire. During these days it was made a republic under the direction of a bishop and became a decapole, or province with ten free cities. This league of free cities had control for two hundred years, and with this in mind it is easy to see where and how this principle of liberty and freedom was born in the hearts of these people.

At the close of the Thirty Years War, at the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, these provinces came back to France and constituted a part of this country until the close of the Franco-Prussian War when Germany took it. The Treaty of Frankfort, which ceded this land to Germany was, as some one says, "not a treaty of peace but a treaty of hatred." Bismarck declared that Metz and [Pg 90]Strassburg had been an open door through which France came again and again to invade Germany and he proposed to lock the door and throw the key into the well. Of course he had an eye upon the rich iron mines which were absolutely necessary to Germany in her preparation for a world war.

This country has been a battlefield for centuries. It was the religious battleground in the seventh century. The Thirty Years War devastated almost every foot of the territory. It is said that in one community there was not a wedding for twelve years and not a baptism for fifteen years. Strassburg with its great university and priceless library was burned. The writer of these lines passed through this country years ago where it is said that there were two hundred square miles of cemeteries instead of farms.

In 1870-1871 came the Franco-Prussian War and once more these provinces were largely devastated. Somehow the people got an inkling that their land might go to Germany and at once they were up in arms about it. They sent a delegation of twenty-eight men to the national assembly at Bordeaux with the following appeal: "Alsace-Lorraine are opposed to alienation. These two provinces, associated with France for more than two centuries in good and evil fortune and constantly opposed to hostile attack, have consistently sacrificed themselves in the cause of national greatness; they have sealed with their blood the indissoluble compact that binds them to French unity. With one accord, citizens who have remained in their own homes and the soldiers who have hastened to join the colors, proclaim by their votes or by their action on the field, to Germany and to the world, the unalterable determination to remain French."

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When the decision was reached to give these provinces to Germany they sent the following appeal to the nations of Europe: "Europe cannot permit or ratify the abandonment of Alsace and Lorraine. The civilized nations, as guardians of justice and national rights, cannot remain indifferent to the fate of their neighbor under pain of becoming in their turn victims of the outrages they have tolerated. Modern Europe cannot allow a people to be seized like a herd of cattle; she cannot continue deaf to the repeated protest of threatened nationalities. She owes it to her instinct of self-preservation to forbid such abuses of her power. She knows too that the unity of France is now, as in the past, a guarantee of the general order of the world, a barrier against the spirit of conquest and invasion. Peace concluded at the price of cession of territory could be nothing but a costly truce, not a final peace. It would be for a cause of international unrest, a permanent and legitimate provocation of war."

Even after this wonderful appeal, still another final plea was made, but it did no good. The heartless Bismarck had France by the throat and other nations seemed afraid to champion the cause of these helpless people. Thus the whole world reaped the reward of silence when great principles were involved. I have given the protest almost in full, quoting it from David Starr Jordan, that readers of this chapter can behold the evil effects of accepting a peace when the rights of people are left out of the question.

A provision in this Treaty of Frankfort allowed those who wished to cross the line into France to go. Of course this would involve leaving their homes, their farms, their old neighbors and [Pg 92]everything else that they could not take along. More than a year was given for this and on the last day of grace one author says: "All those who had means of transportation rode in carts, wagons, carriages, running over the black roads. Whole families drove their cattle. Old men dragged themselves on, leaning on the shoulders of young women who bore at the breast new-born children. Sick men, who wished not to die German, were carried bodily that they might draw their last breath on the frontier of Nancy and thank heaven to die on French soil."

Then the Germans tried to blot out all traces of France. The French language was forbidden in schools, on advertisements or even on tombs. Police and secret service men watched the inhabitants and men were imprisoned for any demonstration whatsoever that exalted France. The frontier was closed, all communication with France was cut off and no one could cross the border without a passport that was vized by the German Ambassador in Paris. This was done until the death of Bismarck. In spite of all this, whenever a chance was given for the people to choose between France and Germany, they chose France. It must be remembered too, that a half million people crossed the line into France while they could and that a half million German immigrants had taken their places.

All through the years France had mourned for her lost provinces and refused to be comforted. Many times I have seen the mourning figure of Strassburg, which is in the Place de la Concorde, in the heart of the city of Paris. This statue represents the distress of Alsace-Lorraine and "around this figure the war spirit of France rallied for forty[Pg 93] years." It is said that flowers were placed at this figure every day for forty years.

When General Joffre and the French army entered Alsace in August, 1914, the joy of the people knew no bounds. How they wept and rejoiced as the bands played the Marseillaise! French flags that had been hidden away for forty-three years were brought out and such scenes of rejoicing have rarely been witnessed. The same was true in Paris. A great company of Alsatians formed a procession and marched to the Strassburg statue on the Concorde. The procession was led by Alsatian women who carried palm branches. All marched bare-headed to the statue. Ladders were placed against the monument. An Alsatian climbed to the top and wound a broad tri-colored sash around the statue. The crowd cried: "Away with the crepe" and instantly all signs of mourning that had surrounded the statue for forty-three years were torn away.

As might be expected, when the French army was driven out of Alsace later on, the people suffered untold misery. The Good Lord only knows what they went through. Thousands were condemned to prison for the awful crime of manifesting their French sentiments. A single word that reflected upon what Germany had done in any way would send one to prison. A lawyer by the name of Berger was sentenced to prison for a term of eight years for casually alluding to the invasion of Belgium. The number of women condemned to prison was enormous, for the women were more outspoken and less respectful to the Germans than the men.

Neither did prison sentences end it; sentences of death were very many. The press was not allowed[Pg 94] to mention those who were shot. It was reported that thirty thousand of the people in these provinces were imported into Germany. But those days have gone by and it is certain that never again will Germany wield the sceptre over these provinces. Of course in this brief glimpse of Alsace-Lorraine many very important matters could not be mentioned at all, but these are sufficient to show why they could not help hating the people who have been heartless in their effort to subdue some of their blood relatives.

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The Home of the Passion Play—Oberammergau

Nestled at the foot of the mountains in the highlands of Bavaria, is the little village of Oberammergau, the home of the world-famous Passion Play. Although of German extraction, these humble people were opposed to war with all their power, but when it came they were compelled to submit. One of the saddest pictures during the war was that of these people as it was given by Madaline Doty, which was published in the Atlantic Monthly in 1917.

This writer said: "The village was silent and the people were in great distress. There were no carriages or even push carts; no smiling people, no laughter, and no gay voices were heard. Old people sat about as if dazed. Five hundred and fifty out of eighteen hundred population had gone to war." The village was bankrupt. There was no money. It was like a plague-stricken place. The theater building was locked up. The little stores had nothing to sell. No person was allowed more than one egg per week and but few could get that. People were on the point of starvation.

During the season of 1910 the writer made the journey to Oberammergau on purpose to see the Passion Play and this chapter is but a brief description of it. Journeying from Zurich, Switzerland, to Oberammergau a stop was made at Munich. From that place there is but one little dinky railroad and one of the greatest mobs I ever got into was at the depot in Munich. A thousand people were trying to get on a train that could carry[Pg 96] only a few hundred. Finding a porter who was persuaded to open a compartment with a silver key a half dozen of us had a comfortable place. The distance to the mountain village is less than one hundred miles, but it took from five in the evening until midnight to reach it.

Having purchased a ticket for the play on the following day weeks before, and with it lodging for two nights, a gentleman took me from the depot to the home of one of the players and I went to bed. Early the next morning while eating breakfast at the home, on looking through the door I discovered that one end of the house was a cow stable. Going from the house all that was necessary was to follow the crowd, for people seemed to be coming from everywhere. Passing through the winding, narrow streets, soon the large theater building was reached.

This building is one hundred and forty feet square. The roof is supported by six gigantic arches that are sixty-five feet high in the center. The floor is built on an incline so that every one of the four thousand seats is a good one. The stage reaches entirely across the building and is in the open air, the whole end of the building open. At each end of the stage are small buildings representing the Palace of Pilate and the Palace of the High Priest. Back about twenty feet from the edge of the stage is a covered stage with a curtain and in which the tableaus are arranged. There are fourteen entrances to the building.

The large orchestra is just in front of the stage but lower than the people, so unless one happens to be near the platform the musicians cannot be seen at all. The end of the entire building being open, the rain beats in and the cheapest seats are[Pg 97] those where one is likely to get wet should it rain. The orchestra is kept dry by a large canvas that is pulled out when the rain begins. Back in the inner covered stage is a network of ropes, pulleys, lances, arms for Roman soldiers, dishes for banquets, costumes and wardrobes for the players, all in perfect order and ready for use at a moment's notice.

The play itself occupies about eight hours. There are six hundred and eighty-five people in it, but only one hundred and twenty speaking parts. The principal actors are not many, but during the play there are many children as well as old men and women take part. There are twenty-two tableaus; seventy-six scenes and in all eighteen acts. The tableaus represent Old Testament prophecies of the events portrayed. It must be remembered, however, that the play represents only the events that occurred during the last week of Christ's life.

The music is simply wonderful. For generations these mountain people have been developing a tenderness and pathos that really grips one's heart. The music was composed by a man by the name of Dedler, about one hundred years ago, and while it gives expression to the composer's tender heart, yet experts say that it reminds them of Hayden and Mozart. The paintings in the building are those of great masters. It took an entire year to paint the scenery for the play in 1910, but they could not afford to spend so much upon it in 1922. The curtains and costumes are of fine material, nothing shoddy or cheap about it.

The story of the beginning of the Passion Play is as interesting as a novel. It was in the year 1633. A pestilence was raging in the villages in the[Pg 98] mountains of Bavaria and death rode down the valleys like a mighty conqueror. Hundreds were smitten and the hand of death could not be stayed. Whole villages were depopulated and even the dead were left unburied. For a while the village of Oberammergau was favored, while neighboring villages were stricken. A line of sentinels were stationed around the village and a strict quarantine was maintained. Finally, love of home and the desire to see his family caused a laboring man, Casper Schushler, who was working in another village, to steal through the line and spend an evening at his own family fireside.

In a couple of days all was changed. The songs of the children were hushed in silence, for this man had brought the plague into the village. In thirty-three days eighty-four had perished and scores of others were smitten by the hand of death. It was a great crisis and looked as though that soon there would not be left among the living enough to bury the dead. A public meeting was called. It was a sad gathering of hollow-eyed men and women. They spent the whole day in earnest prayer. They vowed to the Lord that day that if he would hear their petition and save them, they would repent of their sins as a token of their sincerity, and that they would try to re-enact the scenes of Calvary and thus give an object lesson of God's love for humanity.

The chronicler says that from that moment the hand of death was stayed. Not another person in the village died from the plague. Every one smitten recovered and by this they knew that the Lord had heard their prayers. At once they set about to carry out their vow. From that day forward they aimed to give the object lesson every ten years and[Pg 99] have done so except on occasions when they have been hindered by war, as two years ago. In 1910 a quarter of a million people endured the hardships and inconveniences of a long, tiresome journey, sometimes spending many hundred dollars, to see the play.

The day I spent there was one of the shortest days in my memory. Sermons not an hour long have sometimes seemed longer than this entire day. A strange silence was everywhere. There was no gaiety such as one sees at a theater. There was no applause, no laughter. Criticise it if you will, condemn it if you like, yet the fact remains that it is the greatest object lesson of the ages. It would be hard for any man to see it and not come away with a more tender heart and a better appreciation of the world's Redeemer. The late William T. Stead truly called this play "The Story That Has Transformed the World."

No other story so fills and thrills the soul. I saw non-Christian men sit trembling with emotion and great tears rolling down their faces. Sometimes one's indignation was so aroused that it was hard to sit still. At other times the fountains of the great deep were broken up and one's heart would nearly burst. On this particular day every one of the four thousand seats were taken and five hundred people stood up from morning until evening. It is as impossible to describe the Passion Play as it is to describe a song. It is real life before your eyes. I have never yet seen pictures of it that did not make me heart-sick, for it is impossible to give a true picture of it on the screen.

On years when the play is given it generally begins about the middle of May and closes the last of September. They give it regularly on Sunday and[Pg 100] Wednesday of each week during this time. During the busy season it is often repeated for the overflow on Monday and Thursday and occasionally on Friday. Tickets for the regular play are generally sold out beforehand but as usual a great many reach the place without tickets and have to be accommodated in this way.

All the years the highest ambition of the boys and girls in the village is to so live that they will be chosen for some prominent part in the play. No one can be chosen unless born in the village and this confines it to the village. No one is chosen for a prominent part if there is anything against his character and that places a premium on right living. Hence one can easily see their reason for hating war with all their power. While narrow in their peculiar religious ideas, no doubt, yet a more consecrated and devoted class of people are perhaps not found in another village on earth.

All told there are nearly a thousand people who are connected in some way with the play and as the population of the village is less than two thousand, it practically takes in every family and sometimes every member of the family. The choosing of the important players is always an important event in the village. After a season closes no characters are chosen for seven years. At length the day arrives when the committee of fourteen who are to choose the leading characters for the play three years hence is elected. It is a great day. The assembly meets in the town hall. Every parishioner has a vote. The mayor of the village is chairman.

After this committee of fourteen is duly elected a meeting is soon called. It takes several months to consider the problem. Every player must sign[Pg 101] a contract to carry out his part to the best of his ability. Offenders are punished with great severity. Married women are barred from the prominent parts. It is said that more than one hundred rehearsals are held before the opening day.

The receipts for a season are enormous. The sale of post cards and souvenirs greatly add to the sum. It is not surprising that these people are often accused for running the play for the money there is in it. But the leading characters only receive a few hundred dollars for the season's work. The church receives a large amount. The theater building and upkeep represents a fortune. To care for the thousands who attend, the town must have a good water supply, an up-to-date sanitary system, and many things that would be uncalled for in an ordinary town. Located as it is away in the mountains, it is very difficult to have the things that are necessary in the way of improvements.

The people of Oberammergau are a humble, hard-working people. Their main business is wood carving and they are experts in this work. Without the Passion Play season the demand for their product would not be so great. As is said above these people are very religious. They have a very expensive church or two. On a peak of one of the highest mountains in the vicinity is a gigantic cross. This is kept polished and when the sun shines upon it the sight is very beautiful. Many journey to the top of this mountain and the view richly repays one for the difficult climb.

[Pg 102]


The Country Where the War Started—Servia

It was a Servian lad who started the war, or rather the fire was all ready to start and he lit the match. Whether he was hired to do this or not as has been reported may never be known as he died before the investigation had been completed. Nevertheless, this deed aroused the interest of the world in a country that was almost unknown before the war.

Servia is not quite as large as the state of Indiana. The population is about double that of Indiana and the climate about the same as this state. The northern boundary is, or was at the outbreak of the war, the Danube river, on the east Bulgaria, on the south Greece, while on the west were Albania, Montenegro and Austria. She was shut away from any seaports all the years, and most of the time surrounded by enemies, the greatest of these being Austria on the west and Turkey to the east.

In natural resources Servia is one of the richest countries in Europe, being productive of soil, good climate, well watered and having large mineral wealth. The Moravia river runs across the great plain in middle Servia and is to the country much the same as the Nile is to Egypt. Corn is cultivated everywhere in the country and is perhaps the greatest crop, while wheat also is largely raised. While various fruits are widely grown the plum orchards are the most numerous. Grapes also are grown extensively. Gold, silver, copper, iron and coal are found in many parts of the[Pg 103] country. It is interesting to know that a Belgian company has perhaps the largest anthracite coal mine in Servia. Also, there are three and one-half million acres of forests in this small country.

The Servians are a race of peasant farmers, eighty per cent of the people being tillers of the soil. Most of the farms, however, are very small. The average farm is less than twenty acres. Servia perhaps leads the world in home owners according to population. Nine-tenths of the farmers own their farms. This is largely due to laws and old customs. The law allows a man a minimum farm of five acres with a team of oxen and farming implements and no one can take these from him for debt no matter how just may be his claim. Another law requires everyone to contribute a certain quantity of corn or wheat each year to a municipal institution to be lent in time of need or for seed to anyone and at a very moderate rate of interest.

Another old custom among the Servians is for the entire community to go and help any man, who may be unfortunate, harvest his grain. This is made a great day and singing and laughing can be heard all day long in the fields, and in the evening they have certain religious ceremonies which end in a feast with music and dancing. These are great events for the young folks. It is a custom among the girls for those who are open for engagement to wear a red feather in their hair. Of late years the farmers have an organization that is not unlike the grange that we used to have in this country. Through this they get better markets for what they have to sell and lower prices for what they have to buy. Many who read these lines can call to mind some of the great times that people[Pg 104] used to have in the meetings and great days in granger times.

The Servians have some queer customs in regard to death and funerals. Almost every Servian prepares boards with which to make his own coffin and keeps them in a dry place ready for use when he dies. Old women save up money and sew it in their dresses, to be used to pay their funeral expenses. If a farmer is able to afford it he generally keeps a barrel of whisky in his cellar, to be drunk at his funeral.

When the body of a dead person is in the house no one eats anything and the floors are not swept. After the funeral the floors are swept and the broom thrown away. For a day after one dies a little bread and a glass of wine are kept in the room with the dead body. They believe the soul tarries awhile and might want to eat and drink. They also believe that the soul lingers on earth forty days after death, visiting old familiar places and on the fortieth day ascends to heaven.

On the day of a funeral an animal, likely a sheep, but never a goat, is killed at the grave in the presence of one holding a wax candle. This animal is then roasted and those attending the funeral have a feast, the guests each bringing something to eat with the roast. Women never sing or wear flowers or jewelry during the first year of mourning.

European civilization owes much to the Servians. For hundreds of years these people have fought to save Europe from invasion. They have been the bulwark of Christendom against the unspeakable Turk and his religion. The bitter trials and hardships of the Servians have made them brave, heroic and self-sacrificing. This is especially[Pg 105] true of the women as the following incident among many will show.

After all the hardships of the Balkan War, when diseases and suffering were everywhere; when the land had been left uncultivated and hunger stalked across the country and the women in both town and country had toiled unceasingly; after all these days of misery, when Austria was mentioned to a peasant woman she declared that she was ready for fresh sacrifices. Being reminded of what it would mean to have war again she said: "What matters the leaves and twigs that fall, provided the tree remains standing."

There has been a very bitter feeling in Servia against the Austrians since 1908. In that year Austria had trampled under foot her sacred treaties and by brute force annexed Bosnia and Herzegovnia, Servia's neighbors, and had threatened the very existence of Servia herself. In the streets of Belgrade, their capital city, on that occasion there was a vast demonstration held almost in silence and every Servian pledged to do or die at his country's call. They well knew that a conflict was coming. In that war they had done a noble part but when it came to the settlement Austria practically refused to allow Servia an Adriatic port and other advantages she had justly earned.

From that day until the world war broke out, Austria backed and assisted by German secret agents, tried to stir up Albania and Bulgaria against Servia. Turkey too was only waiting for a chance to plunder this country. But worst of all and greatest of all, Servia had the audacity to block the Kaiser's Berlin to Bagdad railway scheme which was to go through Belgrade.

[Pg 106]

Now the time had arrived when something must be done to provoke a war with Servia and annihilate her. The self-appointed world ruler of Germany had decreed it. As he was dictating the policy of Austria she must find some excuse to do the job. Then came the fateful day, July 29, 1914. On that day the Crown Prince of Austria and his wife were assassinated at Sarajevo by a Servian youth.

Not a thing was done openly for twenty-four days. At once on the assassination of the Austrian Grown Prince, the Kaiser called in his war lords and financiers and other great men of his coterie. He asked if all were ready for war. The army and navy men said they were ready instantly. The financiers said they could be ready in two weeks. They were told to get ready. While this was being done the Kaiser with the Austrian war lords worked out a plan by which the act of this Servian youth could be laid upon the nation and be made an excuse for war. So on the twenty-fourth day after the assassination came the ultimatum from Austria. It came as a thunderclap out of a clear sky.

The little country was only allowed forty-eight hours to concede the unheardof demands. Diplomats tried to get Austria to extend the time, but she refused to do so. Sir Edward Grey of England led in an effort to bring about arbitration after Austria had declared war, and he all but succeeded for Austria and Servia both agreed to submit their differences to arbitration and Russia agreed to this. But just here Germany openly butted in and declared that she would not arbitrate anything and thus the war went on until it had involved[Pg 107] nation after nation and practically the whole world was into it either directly or indirectly.

When the declaration of war came to Servia, their old king was in bad health and was at a sanitarium. He had appointed his son to the regency. But at the word of war, old King Peter left the watering-place and started for the front. With flag in hand he came to the troops and addressed the men saying: "Soldiers, your old king has come to die with you; if there be any who are afraid let him turn back." It is easy to imagine the result. Not one of them turned back, and they easily routed the enemy and swept all before them. But the story of these terrible years can only be mentioned. The year 1914 was a year of victory for the Servians. But later on came the tremendous reverses, the awful typhus fever and the heroic retreat over the mountains. This retreat is one of the saddest and yet one of the most heroic pages of history. Finally France was able to come to the rescue and the Servians found a refuge on the island of Corfu. Had it not been for France the Servian nation would have been all but annihilated.

While Servia has never made a contribution to civilization as has Belgium, she has played such a noble part that she will always have a large place in the heart of mankind. She has kept the Turk from invading Europe for centuries and it is hard to realize just what that means. The Turk has always been a plunderer and has cursed everything he touched. But his cup of iniquity has been filled to overflowing and the death rattle is in his throat.

Providence has thus used Servia in a most wonderful way. Her great vision has been a united[Pg 108] country with all the Servians included, where they can work out their own problems and live in peace and harmony. These people are devoutly religious, most of them belonging to the Greek Orthodox church. They have great respect for learning. They are a most hospitable people and any foreigner is always made a welcome guest. They are well read in history but have never been favorably inclined toward either German education or language. They admire and love the French and invited the French Government to open a school in Belgrade. They have their own literature and folklore, their own popular music and national songs. The following are some of their bright proverbs of which they have a great many:

"It is better to serve a good man than to give orders to a bad man.

"It is better to suffer injustice than to commit it.

"It is better to die honestly than to live dishonestly.

"It is better to have a good reputation than a golden belt.

"As long as a man does not dishonor himself no one can dishonor him.

"Debt is a bad companion.

"He who wishes to rest when he is old must work when he is young.

"The lie has short legs.

"An earnest work is never lost.

"The unjustly acquired wealth never reaches the third generation.

"A kind word opens the iron door.

"God sometimes shuts one door that he may open a hundred other doors.

[Pg 109]

"It is better to weep with the wise than to sing with the fool.

"In the forest a tree leans upon tree, in a nation a man leans on man.

"Where there is no fear of God there is no shame of man.

"Where there is no wife there is no home.

"Where the devil cannot cause mischief he sends an old woman and she does it.

"Work as if you are to live a hundred years, pray to God as if you were to die tomorrow."

[Pg 110]


A World-Famous Land—Palestine

The most fascinating and lureful land on the globe is the little country we call Palestine. Since it was wrested from the unspeakable Turk during the world war, the eyes of the world have been focused upon it to a greater degree than ever. It is the dearest spot to civilization. From it have gone the greatest and most powerful influences for good that ever affected humanity. It produced the one great character which is today the great center of history. The date of his birth is the recognized beginning of the greatest era in the history of mankind. The calendars of the world have been changed by the Galilean carpenter.

Palestine is less than one-eighth as large as Wisconsin. Smaller than Greece or Italy or England or even Belgium, it has a greater history perhaps than all these combined. The book it produced is the foundation of history, literature and law. The hills and valleys, mountains and rivers are hallowed by the memory of him who wore the crown of thorns. The writer of these lines will never forget the tender memories aroused when standing on the sacred spots in this world-famous land.

The man who said: "Palestine is the world in a nutshell," told the exact truth. Between snow-capped Mount Herman on the north, which is ten thousand feet above the ocean, and the Dead Sea on the south, which is thirteen hundred feet below the level of the ocean, are found all the zones and climates that can be found on the globe. The geologist finds here not only all the formations of rock[Pg 111] found on the earth, but all the geological periods and ages. The botanist finds here about all the plants, shrubs and flowers; the zoologist finds most all the animals and the ornithologist finds most all the birds, while the ichthyologist finds all the fishes.

It used to be thought that there was at least one exception to the above named rule: that there was at least one type of fish that could not be found in Palestine. The exception was a type of fish found by David Livingstone in an inland lake in tropical Africa. Nature has provided the male of this peculiar fish with a large head and made him the protector of the school of little fishes when they are first hatched out so that in time of danger he opens his gills and the little ones swim into his mouth where they will be safe. The habit is unheard of and unparalleled among any fish in the world, so it is said. While for years it was supposed that this family of fish was found only in tropical Africa, yet some years ago one of this very type of fish was caught in the sea of Galilee.

It was the privilege of the writer to visit Palestine some years ago with a converted Jew as a guide. We fell in together on an Italian steamship on the way from Italy to Egypt. On account of the bubonic plague which was raging in Egypt at the time we were thrown together again unexpectedly, leaving Egypt on the same ship bound for Syria. We were quarantined together on a ship in a Syrian harbor and became so well acquainted that he was persuaded to act as my guide through Palestine.

Our first landing place on this sacred soil was at the city of Haifa, which is located at the foot of Mount Carmel near the northern part of the [Pg 112]country. Haifa is a small city of some ten thousand people and to visit the market place in the early morning makes one think that the people are very much alive. Not far from the city are shown some rock-cut chambers in Mount Carmel that are said to be the very rooms where Elisha conducted his school for the young prophets.

On the top of this mountain perhaps four or five miles from Haifa is a sort of a natural amphitheater and in this an old, old, rock-cut altar that is pointed out as the place where Elijah and the prophets of Baal had the great test to see whose god would answer by fire. At the foot of the mountain is a large mound which is to this day called the "Priest's Mound" and which is the traditional burial place of the false prophets who were slain at that time.

From Haifa we went to Nazareth which is about eighteen miles in an eastward direction. We traveled for several miles along a railroad that the builders had started and then abandoned. The story told me at the time as to why this project was abandoned became quite significant when the war broke out, although it was told me several years before this happened. They said an English company secured the right to build a railway from Haifa to Damascus. About the time the work was started the Kaiser came to visit Palestine.

Great preparation had been made for this visit and as a worshipper (?) he visited all the sacred places. On his return he spent a week in Constantinople with the Sultan of Turkey and that immediately after this visit this Turkish ruler decided that this railway would give the English too much power and the company was compelled to give up the work. Of course the railway was [Pg 113]finished later on, but not by the English. As it developed after the war broke out, the Kaiser and the Sultan of Turkey had worked together for years.

Stopping by the highway a Mohammedan woman was drawing water at a well and on request she cheerfully gave us a drink. These people never refuse to help even an enemy get a drink of water so I was told. The women do most of the hard work in Palestine. Where we stopped to pay the government tax that was always collected from travelers, I saw a man and woman building a stone wall. The only thing the man did was to sit on the wall while the woman mixed the mortar and carried both it and the stone to him. She even had to lift the stone up on the wall without any assistance from him, but he did manage to spread the mortar alone.

Spread out before us was the great Plain of Esdraelon, which was often spoken of as the world's greatest battlefield. Here more battles that decided the destiny of nations have been fought than on any other spot on the globe. To behold the place where "The stars in their courses fought against Sisera" and a score of other world-famous struggles was a marvelous sight to say the least.

Nazareth is a beautiful little city on the side of a mountain. The streets are narrow, the paving stones are worn slippery, and the shops are all open to the streets. In the Church of the Annunciation they point out "Joseph's Workshop" and "Mary's Kitchen" and with great solemnity show you the tools used by the Galilean carpenter and the cooking utensils used in the sacred home. There is in Nazareth one building the walls of which perhaps were standing nineteen hundred[Pg 114] years ago. This old wall is hoary with age and the Hebrew characters above the door indicate that it used to be a Jewish synagogue. Possibly it was the place where the great sermon was preached which so enraged the people that they tried to mob the preacher, but he escaped from their hands.

An amusing experience was when we visited the Hall of Justice. The officials found that we had come into their city without permission from the authorities at Haifa. At once we were held up and fined. The fines and costs amounted to sixty cents each and I had to pay one dollar and twenty cents for myself and guide. When this was paid they gave us permission to proceed on our journey. That all might know that we had this permission it was so stated upon the back of our passports.

The last thing I remember before going to sleep one night in the city of Nazareth was the loud talk of a crazy man in the street near the window. As there were no asylums for these unfortunate people they often just wandered around. I visited the only asylum for crazy people in all Syria at that time, and Dr. Waldimier told me with his own lips that it took him nineteen long years to get permission from the Turkish government to found the institution.

From the top of the mountain near Nazareth one has a wonderful view of the entire country. As Palestine is less than one hundred and fifty miles long and but one-third as wide one can see almost entirely over the land from some high elevation. To the east and southeast of the top of this mountain lies the great Jordan valley with the mountains of Moab in the background. It was from one of these peaks, Mount Nebo, that Moses[Pg 115] viewed the landscape o'er. Only about fifteen miles to the northeast lies the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias and Lake of Gennesaret. One cannot see the water in this lake, but the depression where it lies is very marked.

To the north is the "Horn of Hattin," where the famous Sermon on the Mount was given to the assembled multitude. Still further is Mount Hermon which was the scene of the transfiguration. Still farther away are the mountains of Lebanon. To the west is old Mount Carmel and beyond that the great Mediterranean Sea. Stretched out to the southwest is the Plain of Esdraelon, and beyond that the mountains of Samaria. Just east of this plain are Mount Tabor and Gilboa. One can stand for hours and not get tired of looking for every foot of the ground is historic.

[Pg 116]


A World-Famous City—Jerusalem

The history of the world is largely the story of the rise and fall of great cities. In these great centers one can feel the heart-throb of civilization. Some of the great cities of today are famous for their size, such as New York and London; some for their beauty, like Paris and Rio Janeiro; some for their culture and learning, as Boston and Oxford; some for their manufacturing and commercial supremacy, as Detroit and Liverpool. But there is one city on the globe not nearly as large as Des Moines, not at all beautiful, its people neither cultured nor learned, has no factories and one narrow gauge railway takes care of most of its commerce, and yet it is by far the most famous city of all time. It is the city of Jerusalem.

The site of the city was once owned by a farmer whose name was Oman. He had a threshing floor on the top of Mount Moriah. The city as it is today is on top of two mountains, but the valley between has been filled up so that it is almost like one continuous mountain top. Higher mountains are practically on every side so that the moment one sees the city he thinks of the scripture, "As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so is the Lord round about his people."

To get an idea of the city as it was when the war broke out you must imagine a city of about sixty thousand people, without street cars, electric lights, telephones, waterworks, sewer system or any modern improvements whatever. However, General Allenby's entrance into the city in December, 1917, was the beginning of a new era. In three months[Pg 117] the English did more for the city than the Turk did in a thousand years.

There is an old Arab legend which says: "Not until the River Nile flows into Palestine will the Turk be driven from Palestine." Of course this was their way of saying that such a thing would never come to pass for the Turk actually believed that he had such a hold on that country that there was no power on earth that could make him give it up. But when the English started from Egypt they not only built a railroad as they went toward Jerusalem, but not far from the Nile they prepared a great filtering process to cleanse the water, and then laid a twelve-inch pipe and brought the pure water along with them for both man and beast.

Wherever they stopped for a length of time in the desert, "the glowing sands became pools," as the prophet had forecasted, and the desert began to "blossom as the rose." Sixty-five days after General Allenby entered the Jaffa Gate into the city of Jerusalem the water pipe or system was brought into the city and the Canadian engineer had made the Arab legend a reality, bringing the sweet waters of the Nile, a hundred and fifty miles away, into the City of the Great King.

Jerusalem is to this day a walled city. The walls average some thirty feet high and are about fifteen feet thick at the top. It is a little less than two and one-half miles around the city wall, but the city itself has outgrown these limitations, quite a portion of it being on the outside of the wall. The hotel at which the writer stopped while visiting the city some years ago, was located outside the wall, as are many of the best buildings. The[Pg 118] streets are narrow, the houses have flat tops and many of them are but one or two stories high.

There was a time, however, when this city boasted of having the finest building ever erected by the hands of man, viz: Solomon's Temple. This was built on Mount Moriah which was a great flat mountain top of uneven rock. Great arches were built around the sides and then the top leveled off until the large temple area was formed. Below the sides of this area are still seen the massive rooms that are called Solomon's stables. The writer rambled for hours through these great underground vaults and saw the holes in the stone pillars where the horses were tied. Here multiplied thousands took refuge during some of the memorable sieges that the city went through.

Not far away are the great vaults known as Solomon's Quarries. Here is where the massive stones were "made ready" and the master builder's plans were so perfect that, "there was neither hammer nor ax nor any tool of iron heard in the temple while it was in building." The marks of the mason's tools and the niches where their lamps were placed can be seen to this day. It is a remarkable fact that in sinking shafts alongside the temple wall, great stones have been discovered but no stone chips are found by them. There are numerals and quarry marks and special mason marks on some of these stones but they are all Phoenician, thus confirming the Bible account that Hiram, the great Phoenician master builder prepared the stones and did the building for King Solomon.

Jerusalem has several large churches the most noted of which is the one built over the traditional tomb of Christ. It is called the "Church of the[Pg 119] Holy Sepulchre." For sixteen hundred years there was no question but what this tomb was the identical one in which the body of Christ was laid. This church as it stands today is a magnificent building with two great entrances. The sad thing about it is the fact that it is divided up into various chapels, each held by sects of so-called Christians, and a large-armed guard has to be kept in the church to keep these fanatical people from killing each other. Before soldiers were placed there, scenes of conflict and bloodshed were very common indeed—a sad spectacle for Jews and Moslems and other enemies of the Christ to gaze upon.

In the Church of Pater Noster I counted the Lord's Prayer in thirty-two different languages inscribed on marble slabs so that almost any person from any country can read this prayer in his own language. In this connection it is interesting to note that at the gate entrance to the Pool of Bethesda the scripture story of the healing of the impotent man is written, or rather inscribed, beneath the arch, in fifty-one different languages.

One of the large churches in the city was dedicated by the ex-kaiser when he visited the city in 1898. It was later found out that this German church was built for military purposes. During the war a wireless outfit and great searchlights were found in its tower. This self-appointed world ruler is represented on the ceiling of the chapel of a building on Mount Olivet in a companion panel with the Deity. In this same building the ex-kaiser is represented as a crusader by a figure and the Psalmist is painted with the moustache of a German general. When the ex-kaiser entered the city of Jerusalem, a breach was made[Pg 120] in the wall near the Jaffa Gate, so instead of entering through the gate like an ordinary mortal, he went in through a hole in the wall. He would no doubt be glad now to go through another "hole in the wall" to have his liberty.

To the writer, however, perhaps the most interesting place in or about the entire city is the Garden Tomb and Mount Calvary. This is almost north of the Damascus gate and on the great highway from Jerusalem from the north. Mount Calvary is only a small hill. The Jews speak of it as the Hill of Execution, or the Skull Place, as the outline of the hill seen from a certain direction resembles the form of a gigantic skull. It is said that no Jew cares to pass this place after night and if he passes it in daylight he will mutter a curse upon the memory of him who presumed to be the King of the Jews.

Near this Skull Place is an old tomb that just fits the Bible narrative, viz: "Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new sepulchre wherein never man was yet laid." This tomb was discovered many years ago by General Gordon and is often spoken of as Gordon's Tomb, also called the Garden Tomb. When excavating about it a wall was found which proved to be a garden wall the end of which butts up against Mount Calvary. One writer who has examined every nook and corner says in regard to this tomb: "It stands in the mass of rock which forms the northern boundary of a garden which literally runs into the hillside to the west of Mount Calvary itself."

One of the first things noted as the writer went into this tomb was the fact that it is a Jewish tomb. They made their tombs different from those of any[Pg 121] other people. That it was a "rich man's tomb" is also very certain, as is the fact that it dates back to the Herodian period in which Jesus lived. There is also some frescoed work upon it showing that it was held sacred by the early Christians. Then the "rolling stone" and the groove in which it was placed is very interesting. This was something like a gigantic grindstone which rolled in the groove and was large enough to cover the opening when the tomb was closed.

While in and about Jerusalem the writer visited the famous "Upper Room," the "Jew's Wailing Place," the "Mosque of Omar," which stands upon the very spot where Solomon's Temple used to stand, the "Way of Sorrows," the "Ecco Homo Arch," the "Castle of Antonio," "Tower of David," the "Pool of Siloam," and a great many other interesting places. The Garden of Gethsemane and the Mount of Olives as well as scores of other places were fascinating but it would take a large volume to describe them all.

[Pg 122]


A World-Famous River—The Jordan

The great Mississippi and Amazon rivers are noted for their length; the Hudson and the Rhine for their scenery; the Thames and Tiber for the great cities on their banks; the Volga and the Dneiper for their commerce; the Nile and the Yellow rivers for their annual overflow, the former to give life and the latter to destroy; and the Euphrates and Tigress for the ruins of mighty cities of other days.

But this chapter is a description of a river only a little more than two hundred miles in length, no scenery to speak of near it, never a great city on its banks, no sail or steamboat for commerce ever traveled upon its waters, no one scarcely ever cared whether it was within its banks or not, and not even any ruins worth while along its shores; and yet it is today and has been for centuries the most famous river on the face of the earth.

It is the River Jordan, and a glimpse of it brings forth some of the most wonderful characteristics possessed by any river, as well as many historical events that make their memories dear to the hearts of men and women wherever civilization has found its way. Unlike all other rivers which rise in some elevated place and flow toward the sea level, nearly every mile of this river is below the surface of the ocean.

At the foot of Mount Herman in northern Palestine there is a spring of water that is almost ice cold. That spring is but a few hundred feet above sea level. The water from this spring is joined by that of several other springs and small rivulets[Pg 123] caused by the melting snows on the mountain, flows to the south a distance of a few miles, and forms a small lake which is about three miles wide and four miles long. This lake is just on a level with the Mediterranean Sea which is only about thirty miles to the west. This is spoken of in the Bible as "the waters of Merom." From the southern end of this lake the Jordan begins.

The first ten and one-half miles the water falls six hundred and eighty feet to where it enters the Sea of Galilee. This pear-shaped body of water is a little more than a dozen miles long and half that wide and is surrounded by mountains. The river enters through a small canyon at the northwest and passes out through another canyon at the south end. Sometimes the wind will rush down the canyon at the northwest and in a few moments the waters of the lake are like a great whirlpool. These sudden storms often imperil any small boats which may be out on the sea as was the case in Bible times when the Master was sleeping and his disciples awakened him, saying: "Lord, save us; we perish."

From this body of water to the point where the Jordan empties into the Dead Sea is only sixty-five miles by airline, but the way the river winds like a gigantic serpent, one would travel twice that distance were he to go in a boat. This Jordan valley is from four to fourteen miles wide and the mountains on each side rise to the height of from fifteen hundred to three thousand feet.

Within this Jordan valley is what might be called an inner valley which is from a quarter of a mile to a mile wide, and from fifty to something like seventy-five feet deep. This might be called the river bottom and the river winds like a snake[Pg 124] in this smaller valley. That boy was a wise lad who wrote a description of the Jordan as follows: "The Jordan is a river which runs straight down through the middle of Palestine, but if you look at it very closely, it wriggles about." When the river overflows it simply covers the bottom of this inner valley.

As noted above, the Sea of Galilee is six hundred and eighty feet below the level of the ocean. During this sixty-five miles (airline) to the Dead Sea, it falls more than six hundred feet more, so that the Dead Sea itself is about thirteen hundred feet below the level of the Mediterranean Sea which is only forty miles west. Should a canal be cut across to the Mediterranean which would let the water through, not only would the Dead Sea and the River Jordan disappear, but the Sea of Galilee be included in a great inland sea east of Palestine.

While the Jordan as well as other smaller streams flow continually into the Dead Sea, it is said that it never raises an inch. This, with the fact that this body of water has no outlet whatever, makes a problem to which geologists and scientific men have failed to give a satisfactory solution. Of course, the water evaporates very rapidly, but in the spring when the Jordan overflows and pours a much greater volume of water into it, how does it come that it evaporates so much faster than at any other time in the year?

When the writer visited the Dead Sea the water was as smooth as glass. The water is so salty that a human body will not sink in it at all. Should the body go under it will bob up again like a cork. I have never learned to swim; in deep water simply cannot keep my feet up, but in the Dead Sea they could not be kept down, and of course I could[Pg 125] swim like a duck. Nothing grows near this body of water. Everything about it is dead. Like some people, it is always receiving but never giving. At the mouth of the Jordan one can see dead fish floating on the water. When carried by the swift current into this salty water they soon die.

The River Jordan runs very swiftly. It is about the size of the Des Moines river in northern Iowa, not nearly so large as this river in the southern part of the state. At the fords of the Jordan I waded out into the stream but the current was so swift that I did not attempt to go entirely across.

Here at this ford occurred some of the greatest events of Bible history. On the plain just east of the river the Children of Israel were encamped when Moses went up on Mount Nebo, looked over the Promised Land, folded his arms and peacefully passed into the great beyond. It must have been an exciting day for the entire camp when they last saw their great leader become a mere speck on the mountain side and finally disappear altogether. They not only never saw him again but they never were able to find a trace of his body.

There must have been much speculation among these people as to what became of Moses until in some miraculous way Joshua was informed that the great leader was dead and that he must now take charge and lead the people across the Jordan into the Promised Land. After thirty days mourning for Moses, the great company marched down to the river; it was opened for them and they crossed on dry ground. The record also states that this crossing was at the time when the river was out of its banks and this whole bottom, nearly a mile wide, was a rushing torrent. Perhaps this accounts for the fact that the enemies who had[Pg 126] taken possession of the Promised Land were totally unprepared for their coming, feeling secure while the river was so high and dangerous.

Another great event which occurred was when the old prophet Elijah and the young prophet Elisha crossed the river together and the young man came back alone later on for Elijah was taken up to heaven in a whirlwind. Now fifty young men had followed the two prophets to the river and when Elisha came back alone and told them how the chariot of fire came after Elijah they simply couldn't believe it and finally went across and searched the mountains for three days trying to find his body. Failing to find the body, together with the fact that they had witnessed the parting of the waters when the two men went over and the same when Elisha came back alone, was sufficient evidence to them that the young prophet had told the truth.

Evidently this event created a great impression all over the country and young men came to the school for the prophets which was located near, that the buildings had to be enlarged. Every student borrowed an ax and went to work felling trees along the river bank. In one case the ax flew off the handle and went into the water. The young man was greatly troubled about this for it was a borrowed one. Word reached the prophet Elisha and he came out and caused the ax to come to the surface.

But perhaps the greatest of all events that occurred at this place was the baptism of Christ. John the Baptist must have been the Billy Sunday of his day for the crowds that came to hear him were immense. One day among others who came was a fine looking young man who asked for [Pg 127]baptism. But the preacher knew him and refused, saying that he was unworthy to do this, but the young man, who was no other than the Master himself, explained the situation and the preacher hesitated no longer.

In connection with the River Jordan and the bodies of water at each end, it is interesting to note that the first man to take the level and give to the world the remarkable facts about the physical characteristics of this wonderful and world-famous river, was an American. His name was Lynch and he was a lieutenant in the American Navy. At the close of the Mexican War, our Government permitted Lieutenant Lynch to take ten seamen and two small boats and make this exploration. The boats were taken overland to the Sea of Galilee and launched and this man and his helpers went down the river to the Dead Sea in them, and thus gave to the world the remarkable facts about this wonderful country.

[Pg 128]


The Playground of Moses—Egypt

Next to Palestine, Egypt is perhaps the most interesting country on the globe to visit. For great antiquity and splendor no land surpasses this cradle of civilization. The science, art and architecture of the Egyptians is the marvel of leading men even to this day. The schools of Egypt produced the greatest characters of all ages before the coming of Christ. The wisdom of this ancient race as well as some of the engineering feats command the respect of these modern days.

Take a map of Texas and California together, place a map of modern Egypt upon it and you will have enough left to make West Virginia. Ancient Egypt was only about one-fourth as large as modern Egypt. The greater portion of the land always has been and is today a desert. The thirteen million people practically live on the narrow valley of the Nile in a strip of territory from five to fifteen miles wide except down near the sea.

Not far from Cairo is a place called Fayoum. The name means "A Thousand Days." A missionary told me how it got this name. When Joseph was an old man some of the younger officers wanted him deposed and they said that he was no longer fit to be at the head of affairs. They said that near the city was a great swamp and if he were capable he would have drained this land. They, of course, did not think this was possible, hence the suggestion.

Putting their heads together they went to the old councillor and persuaded him to put the impossible task up to Joseph believing that his failure[Pg 129] would be so ignominious that he would be deposed. At once Joseph called Egypt's greatest civil engineers, outlined his plan, took hundreds of laborers, went to work and in sixty days the swamp was completely drained. When the old adviser was taken out to see how well the work was done, he was so amazed that he exclaimed: "That would have been a mighty work for a thousand days," and it is called Fayoum to this day. Today the gardens and orchards of Fayoum are among the finest and most productive in all Egypt.

No one can go over this land without walking in the footsteps of Moses, for Egypt was his playground. Of course I was shown the exact (?) spot where the little ark was found among the bullrushes in the River Nile. When Pharoah's daughter saw the little child she was touched and thus the destiny of a nation hung on the cry of a little child. Miriam, the sister of Moses appeared just in the nick of time and when the princess told her to call one of the Hebrew women her feet hardly touched the ground in her effort to get her mother to the spot. When the little hands were held out toward the joyous mother she was told to take the child and nurse him and thus she was paid wages for bringing up her own child upon whom the sentence of death had been pronounced.

Not far from the spot mentioned above is the famous Nilometer that Moses looked upon many a time. As I went down the steps to get a nearer view of this measuring apparatus a panorama of the old days seemed to come before my eyes. The very life of the people depended upon the overflow of the Nile. June 17th was one of the great days for on that day almost as regular as the sunrise the upper Nile began to rise. A few days later an[Pg 130] anxious crowd gathered to see the water mark on the Nilometer begin to come up. About July third the criers started on their daily rounds through the city announcing the measurement. If it was up to normal the people were happy and if not they were sad. When the rise was about twenty feet the "Completion" or "Abundance of the Nile" was announced and preparation was made for the opening of the canal which time was a regular jubilee among the people.

All night long before this ceremony rockets were fired at intervals and in the morning at the appointed time the governor and those with him "cut the dam" and the inundation started. For more than a month the canals were full, and the fields were flooded and a thin coat of fine pulverized soil was spread over the ground like a carpet and when seed was placed in the ground it grew like in a hothouse. At Cairo the Nile would often rise twenty-five feet.

During these days a great deal of irrigating is done all through the season. In some places ponderous machinery is used but to this day a large portion of work is done by hand. One of the most common sights along the Nile is the shadoof. This is a long pole with a weight on one end and a bucket on the other. Hour after hour half dressed men and women will dip up water and pour it into irrigation ditches. Great wooden waterwheels are also used and an ox or donkey or man or woman or a blinded camel will go round and round and you can hear this wooden wheel squeak for a mile. The little buckets on the waterwheel keep an almost endless stream flowing into the irrigation ditch.

[Pg 131]

Another method is a sort of a paddle wheel on a windlass upon which a native will walk hour after hour. This turns a kind of an endless chain something like the old-fashioned cistern pump with which we are all familiar. In Egypt nearly everything is done by hand as man power is cheaper than machinery. I saw them grading a railroad with wheelbarrows, not even a cart or a donkey on the job. The great bridge across the Nile used to be opened by hand and boats pulled through by hand. It was a most interesting sight to the writer for a hundred or more men to get hold of a large rope and begin to heave-to. Soon the boat would begin to move slowly.

As a rule people in Egypt are very poor. The plague of flies has not yet ceased in Egypt. Children are dirty and often diseased and the streets of the old portion of the city of Cairo literally swarm with them. While the people generally look quite hearty and well fed, yet beggars are everywhere. "Backsheesh" is about the first word the little child learns to speak and the last word an old beggar lisps before he dies. From noon until two-thirty or three o'clock shops are closed and thousands of people drop down where they are and go to sleep. Riding through old Cairo at this time of day my donkey had to pick his way, often stepping over people who were sound asleep.

Many of the customs of Egyptians always have been different from those of other nations. Here women seldom pray to any god but men pray to all of them. Women carry burdens on their shoulders while men carry them on their heads. Women buy and sell in the market while their men sit at home and spin. The daughter instead of the son is supposed to care for the old folks[Pg 132] when they become feeble and helpless. In kneading dough they use their feet while in handling mud they use their hands. Other peoples consider themselves above the beasts but the Egyptians made gods of the beasts and worshipped them. When an ancient enemy attacked Egypt, dogs, cats, and other beasts were driven at the head of the army and the Egyptians would surrender rather than run the risk of killing their sacred animals.

The people in Egyptian cities do not eat their evening meal until from eight to ten at night. The restaurants have their tables in the streets and the people eat and shop at the same time. Watching the people at a large restaurant in Cairo, one night, I wrote down a list of the articles offered for sale while they were eating their evening meal. Here is the list: Alarm clocks, nuts, bread, lead pencils, fish, knives, cards, live chickens, cigars, cigarettes, cakes, eggs, mutton, matches, melons, watches, flowers, rugs, fancy boxes, stands, socks, perfumes, balloons, fruits of all kinds, slippers, canes, neckties, whips and guns.

In addition to these venders, blind beggars and cripples, traveling musicians, gamblers with all kinds of devices, fortune tellers with wheels of fortune and many others were among the people all the time. After eating, many of the people drink wine and play cards until the early morning. All this time nearly everybody was talking at once and it was a regular circus to watch them. Several times hot words were passed but as a rule the people were in good humor and seemed to be having a good time.

One of the much used and often abused beasts in Egypt is the camel. Riding a camel for the first[Pg 133] time is quite an experience. The beast will lie down, but it is continually snarling and when it gets up you go through all kinds of motions. As I rode around the great pyramid and sphinx on one of these beasts the swing was not unlike that of a great rocking chair and while this ship of the desert did not seem to be going fast I noticed that the driver was running and the donkey alongside was on the gallop most of the time.

At the time I was in Egypt one could purchase a fairly good camel for a little less than one hundred dollars. These beasts can live on next to nothing. They will strip a shrub of leaves and stems. A camel can eat and drink enough at one time to last it a week or ten days. The natives say that it lives on the fat of its hump. When a camel is weary from a long march across the desert the hump almost disappears and then as it eats its fill the hump becomes strong and hard again. It will carry a burden of from five to six hundred pounds.

The city of Cairo is full of interesting sights. The streets of the better portion of the city are well paved and the buildings substantial and several stories high. The streets are sprinkled by hand. These men carry a skin of water—often half a barrel—and by means of a nozzle they throw it everywhere. There are many beautiful parks and drives in and about the city. The wonderful palms and other trees furnish shade and although the sun shines very hot it is quite cool under these trees.

Runners go ahead of carriages containing prominent persons telling people to get out of the way for so and so is coming. Many people stop and look as they go by. An interesting sight was a wedding procession. It was headed by a band and[Pg 134] an enclosed carriage with a black cloth over it contained the bride while the groom walked alongside holding on to the carriage. Following along behind on foot were the relatives and the rabble of the streets. My guide explained that when a wedding takes place a cloth is hung from the window and kept there for three days so one can go through the city and pick out the homes where they have had a wedding within that time.

One of the lost arts is the Egyptian method of embalming the bodies of the dead. It seems that they believed that the spirit will return to the body in the course of time and they undertook to preserve the body as near perfect as possible until that time arrived. There are multiplied thousands of these mummies in Egypt. In the great museum in Cairo the mummy of the Pharoah who made the burdens of the enslaved Hebrews heavier can be seen today. Little did he think that in thousands of years the descendants of these people would spit in the face of his mummy, but they often do that very thing.

In the old days it is said that they used to license robbery and govern it by law. The spoil was taken to the robber chief and the victim could go and claim his property and by paying a certain per cent of its value recover the property, after which the man who did the stealing could secure from the chief his portion of the proceeds. We laugh at this but how much worse is it than some of the things we license today?

I had a most pleasant visit in the home of Dr. Ewing, a United Presbyterian missionary. The United Presbyterian people have done and are doing a most remarkable work in Egypt. A visit to their mission in Cairo was wonderfully [Pg 135]interesting to say the least. I was presented with some coins there, the smallest of which was worth, at that time, one-sixteenth of a penny, but the missionaries assured me that those coins were seldom used except in church collections.

[Pg 136]


A Country With a Thousand Rivers—Venezuela

Years ago two miners worked together for months and finally came to know each other as Tom and Jack. One day Tom was not well and could not do much but watch Jack dig. After noting some movements of the body that seemed familiar he said: "Jack, where did you come from?" The two men sat down and talked of boyhood days and found that they were born in the same community and had played together when they were small boys. Here they had worked together for months without knowing that they were neighbors; they actually got up and shook hands with each other.

Venezuela is our nearest neighbor to the south. This country is nearer to Florida than New Orleans is to New York and yet we have lived side by side for four hundred years and hardly knew we were neighbors. We might have been friends and greatly assisted each other all these years. Is it not about time we were getting acquainted and shaking hands with each other?

It is surprising to know that Venezuela is as large as Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, the two Virginias, North and South Carolina and Georgia combined. It is a country that has a thousand rivers. In some parts of it you can travel for days in regions where as yet no white man has ever set his foot. One writer says that of all the countries[Pg 137] in the world Venezuela is the one for which God has done the most and man has done the least.

This great country has been called the hunting ground of South America. This is not so much because of the abundance of game, although all kinds of wild animals are plentiful; it has been given this appellation because of its unstable government. Its treasury has been looted again and again. Even the president of Venezuela was for years a criminal. He robbed merchants of other countries who tried to do business with his government. He imprisoned those who refused to assist him and ran things in a high-handed way. Business firms of other lands found this out and did not care to do business with such a country or help develop its resources in any way.

We are not ashamed of our revolution in 1776 for its purpose was to gain our independence. During the past seventy or eighty years Venezuela has had more than a half hundred revolutions but generally they were gotten up to give an excuse for pillage and robbery rather than to make a better country or government. Things are better now, however, and a new day is dawning for these unhappy people.

The main port or entrance to this country is La Guaira and sailors say it is about the worst port to enter in the world. This port city contains about fifteen thousand people and has but a single street. The high mountains are so near the sea that there is only a narrow strip of land at the foot and on this narrow strip the city is built. The sea is nearly always rough and the weather always hot. How people can endure such extreme heat all the time is a mystery.

[Pg 138]

All along this coast strip of Venezuela are plantations generally covered with cocoa trees. From the beans of this tree are made cocoa and chocolate. Coffee is also a staple crop. At the piers will be noticed bags of coffee and cocoa beans, great quantities of rubber and piles of hides. As we are nearer to them than other foreign countries we now use much of their products. The population of this great country is only a little more than that of the state of Iowa.

Back only six or eight miles, in a direct line, from La Guaira and the blue waters of the Caribbean sea, high up in the mountains is a great valley in which is located the capital city of Venezuela. This city, Caracas, is about as large as Sioux City, Iowa, but to get to it is some job. It is only about twenty-five miles by rail and this railroad was about as difficult to build as any of our mountain railroads. The tracks cling to the mountain sides almost like vines cling to brick walls, and the curves are so short that one riding in the end coach can nearly reach the engineer. One can look hundreds of feet into caverns and gorges that seem almost like the bottomless pit.

Venezuela got its name from Venice, Italy, in the following way. One of the earliest explorers sailing along the coast saw the Indian villages built on piles in the water along the shore and was reminded of the Italian city and called the country Venezuela, which means "little Venice."

Here lived Las Casas, a priest who was the Indian's greatest champion in the early days and who is said to be the father of African Slavery in the new world. It was he who suggested that negroes be imported to labor in the fields and mines that the Indians might have an easier time.[Pg 139] Brought from Africa to work that the Indians might rest, these black people became the slaves of all.

Venezuela was the birthplace of the great Simon Bolivar and other patriots who were fired with enthusiasm against Spanish oppression and literally gave their lives that the colonies might be free. Even the coins of the old days were stamped with Bolivar's name and everywhere he is revered as the George Washington of that country.

In one of the large museums is a room in which are kept the great liberator's clothing, saddle, boots and spears and these things are as sacred to them as the Ark of the Covenant was to the Jews. In this same room is a portrait of Washington upon which is the inscription: "This picture of the liberator of North America is sent by his adopted son to him who acquired equal glory in South America."

Through this country runs one of the world's greatest rivers, the Orinoco, which with its tributaries furnishes more than four thousand miles of navigable rivers. This great river system drains a territory of three hundred and sixty thousand square miles.

It is rather strange that in this country with lovely and productive valleys whose irrigated orchards and gardens make a regular paradise, that the farming classes should be poor and ignorant, without ambition or education and be satisfied to live in comfortless, tumble-down huts without furniture or any of the improvements that make life worth living. But such is the case. Here where there are millions of coffee trees, fields of sugar cane and orchards of oranges, lemons and all kinds of tropical fruit, where the farmer could[Pg 140] be happiest, he is about the most miserable creature that could be found. In his miserable home he has no lamp or candle, no books or papers of any sort.

While Venezuela is rich in mines and forests, grain and livestock, coffee and rubber, dyes and medicines, gold and copper, lead and coal, to say nothing of tropical fruits and vegetables, she has another product that makes her known the world around. This is asphalt, or mineral pitch as it is sometimes called. This makes the smoothest street paving of any material known. It is also used extensively for calking vessels, making waterproof roofs, lining cold storage plants, making varnishes as well as shoe blacking as well as in a hundred other ways.

At the mouth of the Orinoco river is the Island of Trinidad upon which is the famous pitch lake. This is the most noted deposit of asphalt known. This lake is a mile and a half across and looks, from a distance, like a pond surrounded with trees. Nearing it, however, one soon discovers that it contains anything but water.

This material is of a dark green color and at the border is hard and strong enough to bear quite a heavy weight, but near the center it is almost like a boiling mass. The asphalt is dug from the edges of the lake, loaded on carts, hauled to the port and from there shipped to nearly every country on the globe. Two hundred thousand tons per year have been taken from the lake and yet there is no hole to be seen. Negro workmen dig it to the depth of a couple of feet and in a week or so the hole is level with the top again.

The government of Trinidad has leased the asphalt lake to an American company and the [Pg 141]income amounts to nearly a quarter of a million dollars per year. Nobody knows how deep the asphalt bed is for borings have been made a hundred feet or more deep and there was no bottom. The heat is intense all around this lake.

About fifty miles from the coast in Venezuela there is another asphalt lake and the material in it is of finer quality than at Trinidad, but it is hard to reach. Some believe that the two deposits are connected by a subterranean passage and supplied from the same source. It was from this inland lake of asphalt that the material was procured to protect the New York subway tunnels from moisture, so it is said.

In the central part of Venezuela are the llanos which are said to be about the best pasture lands in the world. The chief industry here is cattle raising. More than two million head of cattle feed, upon these llanos, but they are capable of feeding many times that number.

One reason why the people of this country have no ambition to lay up for the future or even get large herds of cattle has been because of the numerous revolutions of the past. Every time they have succeeded in getting large herds of cattle or stores of grain a revolution would come and their property be seized and often destroyed.

No people can be prosperous and happy without a stable government, schools and colleges and the influences that are uplifting. This is the great need of many of the countries of South America today. Just here it is well for the farmers of this country to congratulate themselves. The writer of these lines has traveled nearly all over the world and having been a farmer all his early life it is[Pg 142] only natural that he would try to study the problems of the farmers in all lands.

It is therefore with pride that one can say that considering all the complex problems with which the American farmer has to grapple, he is a hundred times better off than his brother farmers in any country in the world. He is more independent, has more privileges, more opportunities for making the most of life, has higher ideals, and lives better than the tillers of the soil in any other country on earth.

[Pg 143]


A Land of Great Industries—Brazil

You could take a map of the whole United States, lay it down on Brazil and still have room for England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Denmark and Switzerland left. Walk around Brazil and you have traveled a distance equal to two-thirds of a journey around the globe. If every man, woman and child in the United States were placed in Matto Grasso, the state in Brazil where Roosevelt discovered the "River of Doubt," in 1914, that state would not have as many people to the square mile as England has at this moment. If all the people on earth were placed in Brazil the population of that country would not be as dense as that of Belgium today.

Brazil could produce enough rubber to supply the whole world with automobile tires for generations and never have to plant another rubber tree to do it, that is, of course, if all her rubber forests could be utilized. From a single Brazilian port is shipped one-fourth of all the coffee used in the whole world. In a single Brazilian state there are ten thousand coffee plantations that have more than fifty thousand trees each and six hundred of them have more than one hundred thousand trees each.

Brazil might be called the "jewel box" of the world. Her diamond fields rival those of South Africa. Her mines produced a single stone that sold for fifteen million dollars. One writer says: "Of all the fabulous tales related of bonanza princes the palm for extravagance belongs to the early mining days of Brazil, when horses were[Pg 144] shod with gold, when lawyers supported their pleadings before judges with gifts of what appeared at first sight to be oranges and bananas, but proved to be solid gold imitations, when guests were entertained at dinner with pebbles of gold in their soup and when nuggets were the most convenient medium of exchange in the money market."

Would you like to go nutting? Brazil has the greatest groves on earth. Some of these nut trees grow to a height of a hundred and fifty feet and have a girth of twenty feet, fifty feet up from the ground. A single tree is said to produce as many as three tons of nuts during a season. In the trees of Brazil are found sixteen hundred species of birds. There are parrots galore and sixty-five varieties of woodpeckers have been catalogued. One family of birds in Brazil are said to be devout Christians as they never work but six days in the week.

One would naturally suppose that in Brazil the weather would be extremely hot as the equator runs across the great Amazon valley. But the nights are cool and sunstroke is unknown. Frost can be seen in the highlands at certain times in the year. While fevers rage in parts of the land, yet most of the country is conducive to good health. The very dangerous parts of the Amazon valley are limited to certain parts of the country.

Some years ago at a contest in Paris between twelve hundred children the first prize for healthy appearance was given to a boy born in Manaos of Amazonian parents. This city is in the very heart of the jungle in the Amazon valley. There is one authenticated case of a man in this valley who lived to be one hundred and forty-five years old.

[Pg 145]

In the dense forests of the uplands of Brazil there are people who are living in the stone age of culture. They are practically wild tribes who know nothing about the use of metal, in fact, they know but little about civilization. They are said to be ignorant of common food such as bananas and rice. They seem to have no idea of a supreme being, believe in a soul that goes wandering about after death.

In some parts of Brazil rice is cultivated quite extensively and it makes a cheap food. It is said that in one place a man from Louisiana is running an experimental rice farm showing the Brazilian farmers how to cultivate Japanese rice. Rather strange, isn't it, that United States farmers should be teaching the Brazilian farmers Japanese agriculture?

A peculiar thing about the land of Brazil is the absence of earth worms. In our country these worms improve the physical condition of the soil but there this lack is made up by the multiplied millions of ants that burrow down deep into the earth. In our country, too, the chemical changes of winter help prepare the soil for the coming crops, but in Brazil there is no winter season when the land "sleeps" and it does not seem to be necessary.

While in the great rubber industry of Brazil the trees grow and produce with but little if any cultivation, this is not true of the coffee trees. They have to be cultivated and carefully looked after. Insect pests that are so destructive to coffee trees in many countries, are almost absent in Brazil and this fact has not a little to do with making this the greatest coffee country in the world. In the state[Pg 146] of Sao Paulo almost the entire energies of the people are absorbed in the coffee industry.

This state is a little larger than Colorado and is the most powerful state of the twenty that make up the United States of Brazil. The name of the capital is the same as that of the state and the city of Sao Paulo is about as large as Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is noted for its beauty and industry. The climate is delightful, always cool, but never freezing cold. With more than one hundred elementary schools besides numerous high schools and colleges it is perhaps the greatest educational center of the country. Near this city is the largest coffee plantation in the world. It contains something like eight million trees and takes about eight thousand people to run it. This one plantation produces twenty million pounds of coffee annually and there are thirty railroad stations upon it.

A well kept coffee tree is about twelve feet high when full grown. The leaves are a shiny green, a little like holly. The trees bloom in September and fill the air with fragrance. As the white blossoms fade the berries begin to form. May is the harvest time. Harvest hands come in large numbers as they do in Kansas or the Dakotas during the wheat harvest. Workmen are paid according to the amount they gather and some of them gather fifty pounds a day.

The coffee berries are first stripped from the tree then raked and piled into baskets. Next they are run through a machine that takes the bean out of the covering, then into tanks of water where they are thoroughly washed and then comes the drying process. It used to take weeks to get the coffee beans well dried and men had to watch and keep stirring the piles continually, but quite [Pg 147]recently a new process was discovered by which they are dried by steam.

After the coffee beans are thoroughly dried they are run through rollers that break the skin covering and great ventilators blow the chaff away. Then the beans are poured into a gigantic sieve with different sized holes which are chutes in reality and from which endless streams of coffee graded according to size run into a large room. At each stream stand women who pick out imperfect or damaged grains. The coffee is then sacked and is ready for shipment. The ordinary bag of coffee weighs about one hundred and twenty pounds. Santo is the great coffee port and here can be seen ships from every civilized land taking on cargoes of coffee. If it is well kept coffee gets better with age, so it can be piled in great warehouses for months or even years and not deteriorate. Nearly a dozen million bags of coffee are shipped from Santo annually and as we are the greatest coffee drinkers in the world about half of the entire crop comes to us.

Formerly many of the coffee plantations were worked by slaves. Negroes were brought from South Africa, as they were brought to work in the cotton fields in the south in anti-slavery days. In the year 1888 Brazil freed her slaves and the sudden freeing of a half million slaves almost demoralized the coffee and sugar industries of the country. Many of these negroes thought that freedom meant that they would never have to work any more and they became loafers and often criminals. Of course thousands of them drifted to the great centers of population and Brazil has had and is still having her share of race troubles.

[Pg 148]

Many of the workers on the coffee plantations at present are Italians. They come in large numbers to work on these estates. Each family is given a certain number of trees to look after; sometimes a single family will take care of several thousand trees. They have to do a lot of hoeing and weeding. The soil is almost red and these workmen take on largely the color of the soil as their faces and clothes are stained with red dust and water. Families are furnished houses to live in and they live their own lives as if they were in their home country.

After coffee and rubber comes sugar. For many years Brazil furnished more sugar than any other country; now there are a half dozen countries ahead of her in the production of sugar. This is largely accounted for, not so much because of inability to produce, as because of the antiquated methods in use. There are places in the country where it is said that the same variety of sugar has been grown for two hundred years and that without any attempt on the part of the planters to restore the soil.

One of the first things ever exported from Brazil was tobacco. This weed has been grown there ever since the country was discovered. Modern methods of culture are now being used so more of it will be produced than ever. They say, too, that Brazil produces as fine a quality of tobacco as Cuba. Cotton is also produced in large quantities.

The Brazilians are an interesting people. I like them. They are always courteous and polite. Men often tip their hats to each other and kiss each other's hands. In Rio de Janeiro nearly everyone is well dressed. The women are good looking.[Pg 149] The Brazil people are more friendly than any other South American people. The language, except among the Italians and other foreigners, is largely Portuguese while in practically all other South American countries the people speak Spanish.

Although Brazil has millions of acres of the best timber in the world I never saw a wooden building in their great capital city. In Rio, nearly every automobile factory in the United States is represented. In this land of rubber they have no manufacturing plants to utilize it. Wages for common laborers are low and yet the people only work part of the time. In coaling a ship the men will work like beavers for a couple of hours and then sit down and smoke and talk as long and no urging them to work seems to do any good. One can make a living there with half the work it takes here and that is all they care for.

The Brazilians have some odd customs. People always carry their burdens on their heads. Baskets as large as barrels are carried in this way without a bit of trouble. They say that four men will carry a heavy piano on their heads but I never saw them moving one. On almost every street there are venders of sweetmeats, vegetables, brooms, baskets and furniture. I saw one vender with two dozen brooms, a dozen mops, two chairs, and a lot of other truck on his head. He had the chairs hooked on the brooms, baskets on the chairs and a lot of other stuff piled up so that he looked like a moving express wagon.

Streets in Brazilian cities are often named for days or months. I noticed one of the prominent streets in Rio named "13th of September," another "15th of November." Rio de Janeiro means[Pg 150] "River of January." I never saw a chimney in the city, yet the streets and many of the houses are washed every night. Everything is shining. They seem to have a wonderful appreciation of beauty and never in any other city in the world have I seen more beautiful or artistic shop windows.

Everybody seemed to be in a good humor. Policemen are small of stature, but they direct the street traffic in a most wonderful way. Everybody smiles and there is no loud talking, or drunkenness. The national drink is coffee and there are coffee shops with tables and cups everywhere. Men often drink a cup or two of coffee a dozen times a day. There are hundreds of coffee shops in Rio. Of course, liquor is sold in many places, but it is mostly drunk by foreigners. I never saw a Brazilian drinking liquor in their capital city.

[Pg 151]


Uruguay and Paraguay

Uruguay is the smallest of the South American republics. It is just a little larger than the state of Oklahoma. It is a little wedge between Brazil and Argentina and is, all in all, the most advanced country in South America. At the time of the visit of the writer it was the only country in South America whose dollar was worth a hundred cents. The population is about a million and a quarter—eighteen to the square mile. The principal industry is stock raising. The country has something like nine million head of cattle and fifteen million head of sheep. The meat packing business is enormous for such a small country.

Fray Bentos, a town near Montevideo, boasts of the largest establishment in the world for the preparation of beef extract. The tall chimneys of this great factory make it look like a large city. The employees number thousands. They are well cared for and contented. There are no strikes there. They are well paid while able to work and pensioned when they reach old age.

Thus, the Leibig company, has given all South America an example of the better way to treat men and women who toil. Schools are provided for the children. The religious nature is looked after, the company furnishing a church building. The company also provides hospitals for the sick. The cottages of the working people are supplied with electricity and are quite comfortable.

This company has its own gas and water systems. In the great slaughter house many hundred head of cattle are killed each day. It only takes[Pg 152] eight minutes from the time an animal is killed until it is in the refrigerating rooms ready to be made into beef extract. Every drop of blood is saved in this factory, being dried and made into chicken feed or something else that is useful. Chicago, however, goes Fray Bentos one better for there you know the squeal is caught by the phonograph and the records sold for grand opera.

This establishment is not the only one of its kind in Uruguay. There are many other great plants where meat is chilled or frozen in the most modern, up-to-date way. In no country in the world is meat more carefully or scientifically cared for than in these great establishments and no one need be afraid to eat the meat that comes from Uruguay. The inspection is said to be the most rigid of any packing plants in the world.

The Uruguayan boasts that every acre of ground in his country is productive. The grass is green the year around and stock does not have to be housed and fed in winter as in our country. All the grains and vegetables that will grow in our middle west will grow in Uruguay and there the farmers never have such a thing as a killing frost.

The greatest city in Uruguay is Montevideo, the capital city. It is located on the Rio de la Plata river, which really seems more like a sea than a river, being sixty-two miles wide at this place. Buenos Aires is but a hundred and ten miles away and to reach it you just go angling across this great river. Montevideo is larger than Kansas City, Missouri. It has many splendid buildings, but no skyscrapers. The parks or plazas as they are called, are as pretty as nature and the hands of man can make them.

[Pg 153]

These people claim that Montevideo is the most healthful city on the globe, but the traveler often finds the same claim made for other cities. Most of the streets are narrow but are well paved and generally quite clean. Their street car system is certainly a good one. When the street is wide enough for a double track the tracks are laid close to the sidewalks which leaves the center of the street free for autos and other vehicles. This plan could certainly be adopted by the cities in our country and be a blessing. I had no idea that any city contained so many beautiful homes and flower gardens until I took a ride into the suburbs of this city. Almost every home, or villa, has a rose garden and there must be many wealthy people for it takes a tremendous amount of labor to keep these wonderful flower gardens in such good order.

The people of Uruguay as a whole are better educated and brighter looking than the people of most other South American countries. Their schools and colleges are said to be the very best. The people, as a rule, dress well and seem to be prosperous and happy. A ramble through the streets and plazas lingers in one's memory like a pleasant dream.

Away to the north in the very heart of the south central part of the continent is the country of Paraguay. While nearly twice as large as Uruguay it has but few more than half as many people and a majority of them are women. This ought to be called a bachelor's paradise.

Paraguay came to be a woman's country in the following manner. Years ago Paraguay got into trouble with Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina, all her neighbors, at the same time. These countries[Pg 154] combined their forces and all but annihilated the Paraguayan army. As all the able bodied men were in the army they were nearly all killed. It used to be said that there were five women to every man in Paraguay and from all reports conditions have not greatly changed yet. It is almost dangerous for an unmarried man to show his head.

The country is naturally divided into two parts, eastern and western. The most of the people live in the eastern part for the western part is flat and the rivers overflow, covering a great portion of the country. No wonder that great swarms of ferocious mosquitoes make parts of the country almost uninhabitable, fever-infested and unhealthy. Besides these unpleasant features the heat is often almost unbearable.

The summer in Paraguay lasts from October to March and the winter from April to September, July and August being the coldest months. The Parana river takes to the sea a greater volume of water than our great Mississippi. Near the place where the Iguassu river empties into the Parana are the famous Iguassu Falls which are twice as wide and fifty feet higher than Niagara Falls.

In the eastern part of Paraguay are great orange groves and all kinds of tropical fruits. The oranges are delicious and are so plentiful that they are fed to the pigs. As many as thirty are sometimes sold for a penny. Wheat and corn are grown and tobacco and cotton plantations are numerous.

They say that in Paraguay a great many of the women smoke, but I imagine that this is greatly exaggerated. The same has been said of other South American countries but after traveling more than twelve thousand miles in and around this country I here record the fact that in not more[Pg 155] than a case or two did I see a woman smoking. My traveling company only saw two or three cases so we are forced to think that many talk who do not know. For if any large number, as is often reported, used the weed in this way we would have discovered it.

There is a very valuable tree that grows in Paraguay that is not often found in other countries. It is called the quebracho tree. The name really means "ax-breaker," and the wood is almost as hard as iron. A quebracho log will not float upon water, but will sink like iron. This wood makes the most valuable railroad ties known.

But a certain variety of the quebracho tree is much more valuable for another purpose, viz: the tanning of leather. For ages the world's great tanneries used the bark of oak, hemlock and other trees for that purpose. But it was discovered that not only the bark of this tree but the wood itself makes better tanning extract than any other bark or tree known.

In the heart of the continent there is a vast plain that takes in not only western Paraguay but reaches into Brazil and Bolivia on the north and Argentina on the south. This is called the Gran Chaco and it is nearly as large as the state of Texas. Most of this region is as yet unexplored. In parts of it are tribes of wild Indians as well as wild and ferocious beasts, alligators and snakes that are usually found in tropical jungles. In other parts are grassy plains suitable for cattle and other livestock. Already there are many ranches here, one of the largest of which is run by a stockman from the United States.

Here in this far away and unknown country are millions of acres of quebracho forests in which[Pg 156] this tanning extract is already being made. Thousands of men are employed in the forest to cut the trees and others with oxen haul them to the factories where hundreds of expert workmen are making this extract and shipping it to all parts of the world. It is said that a single one of these companies owns two million acres of this forest land. More than ten thousand men are employed by this one firm, so it is said, and as might be expected it is a United States company.

But perhaps the greatest industry in Paraguay is the tea called by the name of the country. In their country they call it "mate." It is much more valuable than ordinary tea. It is a stimulant that leaves no bad effect and is said to be more healthful than the tea we use. People who have a good supply of this tea can work harder and with less fatigue than by using any other stimulant known.

The plant or tree from which this "mate" is secured often grows as large as an orange tree and the leaves are green and shiny. There are thousands of acres of this growing wild and the product made from that in the wild state is as good as any. Thousands of Indians, as well as white people, are engaged in the harvesting and shipping of this tea.

The largest city in Paraguay is Asuncion, the capital city. It is nearly as large as Des Moines, Iowa, and a portion of it is simply the ruins of the ancient city that was ruled by tyrants. One can see the massive uncompleted tomb where the last of these rulers expected to be buried. The two million dollar palace in which he lived in luxury and unspeakable vice can also be seen. But another part of the city is modern and up-to-date.

[Pg 157]

Before closing this article at least one man noted in the story of Paraguay should be mentioned. He was the first of the tyrants that ruled immediately after Paraguay freed herself from Spanish oppression. His name was Dr. Jose R. G. Francia and, according to the historian, for twenty-five years he was the government of Paraguay. In all history no man ever so dominated and controlled a nation as did he. He had no confidants or assistants. No one was allowed to approach him on terms of equality. He neither received nor sent consuls from or to any foreign countries. He was the sole foreign merchant of his country.

This man was gloomy and peculiar and assumed supreme power without marrying, was against the educated classes and ordered wholesale executions. So fearful was he of assassination that he lived in several houses and no one but himself knew where he would sleep at night. When he walked the streets guards walked both in front and behind him. The very news that he was out was sufficient to clear the streets. And yet, powerful and cruel that he was, the humblest Indian could receive a hearing and justice from him. He was modest in a way, abstemious and never used his power for selfish indulgence. He was one of the wonders of history.

[Pg 158]


The Wonderful Argentine Republic

The wonderful Argentine Republic is a little world in itself. Take all the United States east of the Mississippi river, add the state of Texas, place them in the Argentine Republic and there will be room for more. Here you can find some of the highest and most rugged mountains and then you can travel two thousand miles and hardly find a hill worthy of the name.

From the torrid heat of the north you can go to the cold, bleak glacial regions of the south, all in Argentine. The seasons are just the opposite from ours. July is their coldest month and the hottest time in the year is in January. The north side of the house is the sunny side. In the Argentine there are some of the finest forest regions imaginable and then you can travel a thousand miles across level plains and never see a tree.

The southern part of Argentina used to be called Patagonia. This is the Alaska of South America. The extreme southern point is the island of Tierra del Fuego, which is divided between Argentina and Chile. Argentina's part of the island is as large as the state of Massachusetts.

Argentina has nearly five hundred million acres of ground that can be cultivated and this great area is extended over well watered plains, all of which are so accessible to the sea that the simplest railway construction is all that is necessary. Of this vast area only about one-fifth has as yet been cultivated or brought within the present railway area.

[Pg 159]

At present the country has less than one-tenth as many miles of railway as the United States and what they have is practically under English control. Engines and cars are all of English pattern. American locomotive works make engines for some of these lines, but everyone of them must be made strictly according to the English pattern.

One-fifth of the eight million people in the Argentine live in Buenos Aires, the capital city. This city is the Paris of South America and is one of the great cities of the world. Here can be seen more extravagance perhaps than in any other city in the world. The advertised rates in the best hotels are from twelve to sixty dollars per day and these hotels are nearly always crowded. The writer attended a luncheon given by the United States Chamber of Commerce at the Hotel Plaza. The price was three dollars and a half per plate; there was scarcely anything to eat and the waiters expected a dollar tip from each man.

These people buy their clothes in Paris and are only satisfied with the latest fashion. They drink French liquor in French style and demand the best Parisian comedy and opera in their theaters. The Colon theater is finer than anything in New York, and rivals any playhouse in Europe. It seats thirty-seven hundred and fifty people and I am told that a man cannot get in unless he is dressed in an evening suit.

Buenos Aires boasts of the greatest newspaper on the globe and surely no other paper rivals it when it comes to service to its patrons. That paper is the La Prensa and it is housed in a beautiful building. The office of its editor in chief makes one think of a king's palace. This paper provides a company of the best physicians and surgeons[Pg 160] who minister to all who apply free of charge. Its expert lawyers give council and advice free, its skilled teachers of music instruct all who enter one or more of the five series of classes. The prizes given annually by this journal for altruistic acts and deeds of heroism are worth a large sum. The chemical, industrial and agricultural bureaus are a boon to those interested in such subjects.

This city also has the greatest race tracks in any land and the weekly races are generally attended by from thirty to fifty thousand people. The money bet on a single day's races often runs into hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the Jockey Club that owns the race tracks is so rich that it is embarrassing to get its money spent.

Of all the cemeteries the writer ever visited, the aristocratic burying ground in Buenos Aires caps the climax. To be laid away in this ground costs a fortune. The tombs, many of them, are above the ground and nearly every family tomb is a little chapel. Here the living friends gather on certain days, visit, drink tea, and smoke cigarettes with coffins all around them. In many of these tombs chairs are always in order with flowers arranged, kept so by the servants of the tomb.

There are thirty-six public markets in the city, some of which are very large. The wool market alone covers thirty acres of ground and the iron and steel building cost four million dollars. In it are seventy-two cranes and elevators and fifty million pounds of wool can be stored at one time. Not far from this building is another almost as large where the sheep are killed. The arrangements are so complete and the men so skilled that it is said a single man has killed as many as six thousand sheep in a day.

[Pg 161]

Buenos Aires is a city of locked doors. People never think of leaving their homes even for a few moments without locking the doors. If a business house or hotel has a rug at the door on which to wipe the shoes it will be chained fast. Stealing and pilfering is carried on extensively all over the city. Shippers claim that there is an international organization for stealing at the port cities all along the coast and it is hard to get at. In one shipment of thirty automobiles twenty-nine of the boxes had been opened and the set of tools taken. It is the custom at that factory to pack the set of tools in a certain corner of the case. A hole was cut exactly in the right place and the set of tools neatly taken out. In two instances that I was told about a drygoods firm had shipments opened and ten thousand dollars worth of silks and velvets taken.

Near the city is said to be the largest dairy in the world. They milk seven thousand cows and this is done with the latest and most up-to-date machinery. At an annual stock show recently the crowds were so dense that men paid five dollars each to get near enough to the judges to see them do their work. The sale at the close was attended by five thousand people. The champion shorthorn bull sold for more than forty thousand dollars of American money. The champion Hereford sold for $32,737.00 and a two-year-old bull sold for $23,643.00. One ram sold for more than four thousand dollars.

The Argentine could be made a great sugar producing country, but for some reason this industry is not being developed very rapidly. During the war special inducements were offered but the 1919 crop was but little more than that of 1913. There are only forty-three mills and refineries in[Pg 162] the whole country and the surplus for exportation for 1919 was only three hundred thousand tons and that is insignificant when one thinks of the possibilities of this great industry.

But one can hardly think of Argentina without thinking of cattle ranches and wheat fields. It is in these industries that she shines. She now has thirty million head of cattle, but strange as it may seem she had as many ten years ago. She has thirty million sheep which makes her the greatest wool producing country on earth except Australia and if I am correctly informed she is not far behind that country.

In Argentina the country is called "Elcampo" and the large farms "Estancias." These great estancias often consist of thousands of acres. A single one of them is said to be as large as the state of Rhode Island. The owners generally have good houses but do not live in them much of the time. They are in Buenos Aires, or traveling in Europe, and their children are in the colleges and universities. A number of overseers look after the farm but the work is largely done by foreigners, mostly Italians. Their lives are far from easy.

The homes of these workers are generally made of mud. The floors are often nothing but the bare ground. These people are generally called colonists and work the soil on shares. They are in debt to start on; the overseers generally manipulate things so that they often never do get out of debt. The poor man's children do not have much in common with those of the rich. They are generally kept entirely separate from each other.

While the cities are filled with beautiful parks and clinging roses are nearly everywhere, yet I never saw a country town with any thing beautiful[Pg 163] in sight. The streets of these towns are either mud holes or dust piles, no work whatever being done upon them. The houses and stores are one-story buildings and often look like hovels. The one exception is the railroad station and often that is quite well kept.

There are no four-wheeled wagons like ours in this country. All the hauling is done on large lumbersome carts often pulled by oxen. But they sure load them heavy; how they get so much stuff on them is a mystery. Much of the farming is slovenly done. While England produces thirty bushels of wheat per acre the rich fields of Argentine only produce eleven bushels per acre. This is but little more than half as much per acre as is raised in Saskatchewan and Argentine soil is fully as rich as Canadian grain fields.

I crossed the great Argentine plain in October. Wheat was just beginning to head. Corn planting was in progress. Alfalfa fields were green while both trees and flowers were in bloom. But in riding six hundred miles without a hill, or tree except those planted by the hands of man, the journey soon became monotonous. Thousands of acres were almost covered with cattle and sheep.

On Sunday men and women were in the fields almost the same as any other day. At the towns almost the entire population came down to see the International train go through. This train only runs twice a week. The young women were dressed in their best but they were never with the young men. They would parade up and down the platform while the young men would go in the other direction and the lads and lassies hardly seemed to notice each other.

[Pg 164]

The train ran almost on the dot. A hotbox delayed it thirty minutes on one occasion but it was carefully watched. At every stop for hours the train would hardly come to a standstill before a couple of men were at that box. The engines have no bells on them and the whistle is blown just before the train starts rather than before it stops as in our country. The train was largely made up of sleepers and a diner. The cars were quite comfortable. The berths are crosswise rather than lengthwise as in our sleepers. Everything on this train, however, from fare to eats was very expensive.

On many of the larger farms the better breeds of stock are being raised, agricultural schools are springing up and scientific farming is being talked about. The government is taking a hand along many lines. Some of the great estancias are being divided and subdivided. The Welch people have a large settlement where better methods are being introduced. The Jews have a large colony and even the Italians are looking forward to a better day. Men from this country are entering in small numbers but with ideas that will revolutionize things, and especially the school house. An Englishman truly said: "Wherever the Germans go you find the arsenal; wherever the French go you find the railroad; wherever the British go you find the custom house, but wherever the Americans go you find the school house."

[Pg 165]


Yankeedom of South America—Chile

On account of their energy and enterprise the people of Chile have been called the Yankees of South America. They are a quick tempered people but often show a disposition to be whiter than their skin would signify.

On a railroad train I saw a well-dressed young Chilean raise the car window. Behind him was an elderly man who did not like the wind blowing in and he evidently made some sign to the conductor, who simply put the window down.

This angered the young man who raised the window again. A little later the conductor came back and said something to the young man who lowered the window immediately. The old gentleman had moved by this time and I supposed that the incident was closed.

A little later the young man called the conductor and had him go and apologize to the old gentleman who came and sat down in the seat with the young man. Then they settled their differences, smoked and visited together like old friends. I felt a sort of admiration for these men that they would settle their difference on the spot and became friends. Such a procedure is much better than carrying a grouch.

The country of Chile is a narrow strip of land from fifty to two hundred and fifty miles wide, but so long that if one end were placed at New Orleans the other end would reach to the Arctic Circle. The mighty ridge of the Andes mountains extends almost the entire distance. One of these[Pg 166] peaks in Chile is nearly five miles high—the highest on the globe except Mount Everest.

In Chile there are many rich valleys yet much of the land is a desolate desert. One writer suggests regarding this awful silent region that the Desert of Sahara is a botanical garden in comparison with it. I traveled five hundred miles along this desert without seeing a tree or a blade of grass. This was in the northern part where it never rains. Much of the southern part is covered with water-soaked forests.

Yet this Chilean desert is almost as valuable as a gold mine. Here are the only large deposits of nitrate of soda in the world. While no plants of any kind grow in this desert yet from it is obtained the product that farmers all over the world use for fertilizer. Plants of all kinds must have food to make them grow and this Chilean desert alone furnishes this food in abundance and in suitable form.

Many millions are invested in establishments to get this nitrate, or saltpeter as it is often called, from the worthless material with which it is mixed and railroads to carry it to port. Little towns have sprung up along the seashore where the nitrates make up cargoes of hundreds of ships which carry this fertilizer to all parts of the world.

A gentleman who lives in Santiago told me how he could set out tomato plants in the best soil, take a little handful of nitrates that look like common salt, dissolve it in water and pour it on the soil and the difference it would make is almost unbelievable. But a spoonful dropped on the plant will kill it. It never rains on these nitrate beds—if it did they would be worthless.

[Pg 167]

Of course, the people who do the work in these deserts or in the little ports along the shore have a hard life. No green lawns or trees adorn their villages. The dust is irritable and the people are a hard-looking class. In one of these towns which I saw, Antofagasta by name, the water the people use is brought nearly two hundred miles. The people used to drink champagne mostly for it was cheaper than water.

Not far from Antofagasta are the great salt plains, said to be large enough to supply the whole world with this commodity for generations. The real nitrate beds are from fifteen to fifty miles from the ocean and at least three thousand feet above sea level. The largest beds are from four to five hundred miles in length so the supply is practically inexhaustible. When the nitrates are richest they are mixed with rock—about half and half. It is blasted out with dynamite, loaded on carts and dumped into great machines that grind it to a coarse powder, then thrown into immense tanks of boiling water where it forms in crystals on the sides and bottom. The water is then drawn off, the white sparkling stuff shoveled onto drying boards and when thoroughly dry is sacked and shipped.

The liquid that is drawn off from these vats is made into iodine, which is so valuable that a cask of it is worth several hundred dollars. Chile owns about all the nitrate deposits yet discovered. She exports millions of tons of it annually, levies a tax on every ton of it and thus the government receives an immense income each year from this one industry.

In addition to the nitrate industry, Chile has immense stores of copper, tin and other metals.[Pg 168] At one port where the ship stopped a small boat brought out a few sacks of copper ore. It took but a few minutes to put it on board but one of the officers said it was worth thirteen thousand dollars. At another Chilean port six hundred tons of tin were added to our cargo. Chile is about the only country in South America where coal is found in anything like large quantities.

Of course such a mountainous region is volcanic. There are many earthquakes but they seldom do much harm. My first night in Chile was spent in Los Andes and I had not been in bed five minutes until an earthquake shock made it tremble like a leaf. But the people are so used to it that they pay no attention whatever to these minor quakes. At the time San Francisco was ruined, Valparaiso was all but destroyed but you would never know it by a visit to the city now.

Chile includes a large part of the island of Tierra del Fuego. At the very southern tip of this is Cape Horn. This is a gigantic rock fourteen hundred feet high that juts out into the ocean and the great waves that continually lash against it make it perhaps the most dreaded spot by sailors in all the trade routes of the world. On all sides are wrecked vessels and this rock has been named the Giant Headstone in the Sailor's Graveyard.

It was the famous Magellan who discovered the water passage above Cape Horn and it is called the Strait of Magellan. While safer than the route around Cape Horn, yet many are the stories of shipwreck, hunger and suffering told by those who went this way during the earlier days. Here are some of the names of places along the Strait: "Fury Island," "Famine Reach," "Desolation[Pg 169] Harbor," "Fatal Bay," "Hope Inlet," and "Last Wreck Point."

No one lives down at this point but tribes of Indians. It was the signals and campfires of these Indians that caused Magellan to call the island "Tierra del Fuego." The name means "Land of Fire." These Indians are said to be one of the lowest classes of human beings in existence today. Although the weather is very cold these savages wear but little clothing—in fact, they wore none until of later years they began getting cast off garments from wrecks and are now making some of their own clothing from the skins of animals.

On this strait is located Punta Arenas, which is the southernmost town in the world. It is directly south of Boston and farther south of the equator than Winnipeg is north of it. Only about a thousand people live here. Many of them are rough characters and live hard and comfortless lives. This town is the only port within a thousand miles.

Although cold and cheerless most of the time, yet millions of sheep are raised in this southern land and Punta Arenas is the shipping point. A kind of coarse grass grows here that is nourishing and sheep thrive and live for weeks alone on the open plains. Wool, hides and meat are brought to this port and shipped to the outside world. Of course all clothing, building material and machinery must be brought in for there are no factories in Punta Arenas.

Santiago, the capital of Chile, is located in a valley that has been called the "Garden of South America." This valley is seven hundred miles long, fifty or sixty miles wide and hundreds of feet above sea level. On the east are the snow-capped Andes and on the west the coast ranges.[Pg 170] On the mountain slopes on either side are the great herds of cattle and sheep and lower down the rich fields of alfalfa and grain, fruit and flowers.

Strange to say the farming is nearly all done with oxen. I counted six yoke of oxen in a ten-acre field. Women as well as men work in the fields. The fences are made of stone but in many parts of the valley you never see a stone in the field. If they have any modern farm machinery I did not see it. All the fields are irrigated, as it seldom rains in this valley in the summer time.

Most of the best land is owned by wealthy men who live in the city. Those who do the work are mostly Indians or half breeds, and they have but few of the comforts of life. Many of the farms are great tracts and there is a store where the worker can purchase what he needs but the prices are high and he is kept in debt. A country can never really prosper where the tillers of the soil are ignorant and have no say in the affairs of the government.

It is in this valley where most of the Chileans live. While in other parts of the country there are but two people to the square mile, here in this valley there are seventeen to the square mile. Here are most of the schools and colleges, cities, railways and manufacturing plants. When about sixty per cent of the people are illiterate and this class is almost entirely the laboring class it does not look as if conditions would be changed very soon.

I saw more drinking in Chile than in any other South American country. A portion of the city of Valparaiso seems to be given over almost entirely to the liquor dealers and the people who[Pg 171] throng that district are hard-looking folks. The fag ends of civilization seem to have gathered here. This is the only city in South America where I was accosted by both men and women and they almost try to hold one up in the streets in broad daylight.

Nearly all the Chilean women dress in black. A black shawl is worn and you would think they are all dressed in mourning, but they are not. This black cloth is called a manto and all women, both rich and poor, wear them. The business portion of the city of Valparaiso is built on a narrow strip of land at the foot of a high hill.

All along there are elevators or lifts as they call them. For a couple of pennies you can step into one of these lifts and be taken up a hundred feet or more. While one lift goes up another comes down as they are always built in pairs. There are winding ways where horses and donkeys can walk up but no wheeled vehicle can be taken up or down for it is too steep.

For this reason the dairymen and venders all have donkeys or small horses. A dairyman will have a couple of large milk cans, one on either side of the beast, or perhaps a small barrel on the top of a frame or saddle. The man leads or drives the animal and they are so sure-footed that they can go up a place so steep that one not used to climbing could not make the ascent.

There are but few North Americans in Chile. I had breakfast (they call the noon meal breakfast) with the American Club. There were but twenty-five or thirty present, mostly business men. But few of these men are satisfied to stay long in Chile.

The American Y. M. C. A. is doing some good work in Valparaiso, as in all other South American cities. The rooms are well patronized and[Pg 172] it was homelike to see the leading magazines of the United States upon the reading table. The Sunday afternoon program that I attended was well gotten up and very interesting.

While in Chile you see more to remind you of the United States than in any other South American country but I was not favorably impressed with the people. They will not compare in looks or actions with the people east of the Andes. Lack of education, culture and refinement are noticeable everywhere. Religion and morality are conspicuous by their absence and one cannot but pity those who live among them although one sees some good traits in many of them.

[Pg 173]


The Switzerland of South America—Bolivia

In the very heart of the South American continent there is a vast table-land nearly as large as the great Mississippi valley, that some titanic convulsion has boosted up nearly three miles in the air. This great plateau is hemmed in by mountains, the coast range on the west and the main range on the east.

These mountain peaks rise as high as twenty-two thousand feet. In these heights, two and one-half miles above sea level is Lake Titicaca, which is one hundred and sixty miles long and thirty miles wide. This lake, which is the highest body of water in the western hemisphere, is fed by streams of water from the Andes and is so cold that ice is formed along the edge every night in the year although the lake itself is never frozen over. The lake has no outlet and the color of the water is a steely blue.

This lake forms the northwestern border of Bolivia. Situated as it is, including both mountains and table-land, Bolivia has been called the Switzerland of South America. It is more than twelve times as large as the state of Iowa and is the cradle of the ancient civilization that made up the world-famous Inca empire which existed many centuries ago.

The people of Bolivia today have the blood of this ancient race in their veins and they are an industrious people. Visiting a mission school in Buenos Aires I was much impressed by one young man who seemed to be the peer of the two hundred students in the school.

[Pg 174]

On talking to this young man I found that he was from Bolivia. How he heard about this mission school I have forgotten, but the story of how he tramped two hundred miles over the mountains and then across the great Argentine plains determined to reach this school and work his way through, could not be forgotten. On Sunday morning I went to the American church and this fellow was at the door as an usher and the friendly greeting and winning smile he had for everyone gave me great respect for him and his people as well.

Portions of this great Bolivian plateau are very beautiful. One noted naturalist coming from Paraguay said as he beheld this region, "If tradition has lost the records of the place where Paradise is located the traveler who visits these regions of Bolivia feels at once the impulse to exclaim: 'Here is Eden.'"

Here grows the famous chincona tree from which we get quinine. Also the coca plant from which we get cocaine. Perhaps when the dentist pulled your tooth he used cocaine that came from this country. The natives chew the coca leaf as a stimulant. It is actually said that by the use of this leaf a man can go for many hours without food and perform feats of endurance that seem to us impossible.

The cultivation of the coca plant is one of the important industries of eastern Bolivia. The plant grows as a shrub and must not be confused with the cocoa tree from the beans of which our chocolate and cocoa are made. The Bolivians produce eight to ten million pounds of coca leaves annually. The telegraph system of portions of this region is made up of fleet-footed Indians and it is[Pg 175] said that with a supply of coca leaves and parched corn they can run fifty miles a day.

Here too grows the quinna which is not only a substitute for wheat but more nutritious and easier raised if reports are true. Cotton and sugar are produced in Bolivia as are the nutmeg and castor bean. Oranges and all such fruit are also grown in some parts of this country. But the supply and variety of medicinal plants is remarkable. The list includes aconite, arnica, absinthe, belladonna, camphor, cocaine, ginger, ipecac, opium, sarsaparilla and a lot of others.

But this great inland country is noted the world around for its rich mines. Mount Potosi is often spoken of as a mountain of silver. It is said that not only millions but billions of dollars worth of silver have been taken from this one mountain. There are said to be six thousand abandoned mines on its slopes to say nothing of the hundreds that are being worked today. The city of Potosi used to be the largest city in the western hemisphere and was ten times its present size when the early settlements of the United States were but small villages.

While the silver in this mountain is not nearly exhausted by any means, yet it was discovered that deeper down is a mountain of tin. Bolivia has been furnishing more than one-fourth of the world's supply of tin for many years.

On the hills back of the city of Potosi can still be seen the thirty-two lakes or reservoirs that used to furnish water for the city and mines. It took half a century to complete this great ancient water system. The largest of these lakes is three miles in circumference and thirty feet deep. Each lake is surrounded by five sets of walls and two of these[Pg 176] reservoirs are sixteen thousand feet above sea level. All this mighty work was done before railroads were ever dreamed of. Only recently a railroad was built into this mining city and many of these abandoned mines are being opened again.

The capital of Bolivia used to be Sucre. In fact, it is still the nominal capital of the republic. Here live many of the wealthy mine owners of the region. The Supreme Court is held here and the new government palace is a stately building. The richest cathedral in Bolivia is here and the image of the Virgin in it is made of solid gold adorned with jewels and is worth a million dollars.

There are nine public parks or plazas in the city of Sucre and through one of these flows two streams of pure water. The one on the north side runs north and finally reaches the Atlantic Ocean through the great Amazon river while the other flows southward reaching the sea through the Rio de la Plata river.

The capital of Bolivia as we know it is La Paz, but only the legislative and executive departments are in this city. Although La Paz is more than twelve thousand feet above sea level it is located in the bottom of a deep canyon. Back of the city is the giant peak of Mount Illimani which pierces the sky at the height of twenty-one thousand feet. While the weather is always warm in the day time it gets very cool at night, sometimes freezing cold. As they have no heating stoves it is very uncomfortable to sit quiet.

The farmers of Bolivia live in little villages as a rule and know but little of the comforts of life. Their houses are built of mud and both people and animals often live in the same room. Their farms have to be irrigated and the people are skilled in[Pg 177] this work. The plows used are wooden sticks and generally pulled by oxen. As in other South American countries the land is mostly owned by wealthy men who let it out on shares to common farmers who are generally kept in debt and have but little independence.

The question of fuel for cooking purposes is one of their great problems. As our early settlers on the western plains had to use buffalo chips for fuel, these people use a great deal of donkey and llama dung for the same purpose. They bake their bread in small community ovens that are built something like a large barrel with a dome shaped top. On bread baking day they build a fire of moss, bushes and dry dung and heat the stove oven. Then they remove the coals, put their bread in and when it is baked you may be sure that it does not smell very good.

The great beast of burden in Bolivia is the llama, which looks something like a cross between a camel and a sheep. Like the camel it can go for days without food or drink. It can be turned out and will make its living browsing on coarse grass, moss and shrubs that grow on the mountains. It is an intelligent animal and if loaded a little too heavily will lie down and refuse to budge until the load is lightened.

The women of these Indian farmers and herders dress rather queerly. They put on many bright colored skirts all of a different hue. As the day grows warmer they remove a skirt showing one of a different hue. They are proud of their skirts and take much pride in showing each other their fine clothing.

These women too are nearly always at work. If they are walking along driving llamas they are[Pg 178] working as they walk winding wool into yarn or knitting some garment. With juices from plants the yarn is colored and by means of a loom which any woman among them can make they weave this yarn into a kind of cloth.

In Bolivian cities there are large markets to which these Indian women especially resort. On the ground are little piles of fruit, coca leaves and other products. They have no scales and sell by the pile. The gardeners will sell their products of onions, beans, parched corn and all such stuff in this way.

Thus the people of this great inland empire live above the clouds. One of their railroads is a half mile higher than Pike's Peak in places and one of their cities, Aullagus, lacks but a hundred feet of being as high as this. They have four cities more than fourteen thousand feet above sea level, twenty-six above the thirteen thousand foot line, and seventy-three cities above the twelve thousand foot line. Of the one hundred and fifty-one cities in Bolivia most every one is above the eleven thousand foot line. Truly this land is the "Switzerland of South America."

[Pg 179]


The Land of Mystery—Peru

When we reach the backbone of Peru we are not only above the clouds as in Bolivia, but we are surrounded by mystery. Here can be seen today the ruins of temples that were richer perhaps than any of those of the countries with which we are all so familiar. This article, however, will largely have to do with the Peruvian country as it is today. You could take a map of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, North and South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma, place them all on the map of Peru and have territory left.

The country runs largely north and south, having some fourteen hundred miles of sea coast. In the north is a great desert plain, but in this almost lifeless desert there is a great valley in which is a most interesting city. The name of this city is Piura and it is on a small river bearing the same name. This river is more like the Nile in Egypt than any other river known. Up and down this river are farms and plantations with irrigation ditches leading to fields of rice and grain, sugar cane and cotton as well as other valuable farm products.

But upon the rise of the water in the river depends the life and prosperity of the people. Like the people of Egypt and the Nile, these people look upon this river with feelings of reverence. They have a great feast day for the river. In their spring time when the snows melt the river gradually rises, spreading over the valley bottom and[Pg 180] filling all the low places and irrigation ditches with water.

As the time for this rise approaches every traveler from upstream is questioned and on the day the big rise is due the great feast day is proclaimed and the people, generally five thousand or more, march toward the coming tide to meet the water. If there is an abundance of water they are sure of a great harvest. With fife and drum they meet the oncoming flood and go back with it; if it is a great flood they are happy and merry, but if the tide is low they are sad and gloomy for they know that many will be hungry.

It rains here about once in seven years and these are called the seven year rains. Following the showers there is a wonderful burst of life everywhere. Quick growing grasses cover the land with a carpet of green and fragrant blossoms fill the air with sweetness; but in a short time, except where the irrigation ditches reach the land, the entire region once more becomes a yellow, parched desert.

In this valley grows the best cotton that is produced anywhere. It is a well known fact among cotton growers that Piura cotton has a peculiar strength of fiber that makes it sell for nearly double the price of that grown in our southern states. As goats can live where other animals will starve, this valley is also noted for its great goat herds which make their living on the dry mountain sides.

The greatest seaport of Peru is Callao. If the sea were rough this would be a dangerous harbor for all ocean liners must anchor far from the docks as only very small ships can approach them. I counted forty-two ocean liners in the harbor so[Pg 181] you can imagine that it is a busy place. These liners represented nearly every sea-faring country on the globe.

The city of Callao has had its ups and downs. Some one has said that the chief product of Peru is revolutions and Callao has had its share of them. Also, nearly every earthquake along the coast gives this city a shaking up. At one time many years ago when the city had a population of some six thousand people there came an earthquake followed by a mighty tidal wave that only left two persons alive. The very site of the city sunk beneath the waves of the ocean and never came up, the present city being built upon a new site entirely.

The short ride from Callao to Lima, the capital city, is interesting. Here one is introduced to the famous "mud fence," as the fences are all made of mud. Little patches of ground are tilled and bananas, pears, oranges, and all kinds of fruit and vegetables as well as corn and other grain grow in abundance. Everything looks ancient. The ground is plowed by oxen hitched to a wooden stick. The mud huts and houses of the farmers are almost as bare of furniture as a hen coop and almost as dirty. It hardly seems possible that people so near the port as well as the capital city could be so far behind the times.

The railroad runs along the Rimac river, but this is nearly dry much of the time, the water being used for irrigating purposes. Everything smells bad and the people are even dirtier than in Chile. Of course, there are some beautiful spots in the country and plazas in the cities, but all this gush about the beauty and loveliness of things in general makes one tired.

[Pg 182]

I saw more turkey buzzards and vultures in ten minutes in the city of Lima than I ever saw before all put together. At the slaughter house one can see a stream of blood running in the open soil and I suppose the offals are dumped out for the vultures to devour. The Rockefeller Foundation has set apart twenty-five million dollars, so I understand, to be spent in twenty-five Peruvian cities for the purpose of cleaning them up and providing sanitary systems for them. The leaders of this foundation have certainly found an appropriate place to spend money. I have seen four or five of the cities that are to benefit by this appropriation and they all sure do need cleaning up.

In Lima, of course, I went to the great cathedral. Everybody does this for it is about the most outstanding thing to be seen. It is said to be the largest cathedral in South America. The corner stone was laid by the great Pizarro himself in 1535. His bones are in the cathedral now. I saw them. They are in a coffin the side of which is made of glass. The very holes that were made in the bones when they tortured him can be seen. The guide declared that such is the case and of course he would not yarn to a stranger in a sacred church.

The houses in Lima are, as a rule, only one story high. The tops are flat and many of them are almost covered with chicken coops. They say that many a rooster is hatched, grows up to old age and enters the ministry without ever having set foot upon the ground.

The small plaza in front of the cathedral is really beautiful and there are some good substantial buildings around it. The large depot is a modern, well built stately building. The streets are narrow and the shop doors are open to the[Pg 183] street. The doors of these shops are corrugated iron and are raised up like the cover of a roll-top desk. Above the shops are the residences of the more well-to-do class. Little balconies are built out over the sidewalk and here the "idle rich" ladies sit and watch the crowds below.

To me a very interesting place was a building that used to be a sort of a place of refuge something like the cities of refuge we read about in the Bible. In the wide door, so they say, there used to be a chain stretched across and any man who could reach this was safe regardless of the crime he had committed. No officers or law could touch him. Of course, he was in the power of the keepers of the refuge. They could enslave him for life or kill him and no law could touch them. At least this is the story told me by a resident of the city.

But the briefest article about Peru should not leave out at least a mention of the wonderful mountain railways of the country. The Central Peruvian railway tracks reach the dizzy height of 15,865 feet above sea level, which is almost a mile higher than the famous Marshall Pass in the Rockies. This railroad too is a standard gauge. To reach this altitude the train passes over forty-one bridges, one of which is two hundred and fifty feet high. It passes through sixty tunnels, the highest one of which is the Galeria tunnel, which is 15,665 feet above the sea.

This railroad, perhaps the most wonderful ever constructed, was built by Henry Meiggs, an American contractor from New York. Some eight thousand men were employed in the construction and in some places in order to gain a foothold to begin their work they had to be swung down from dizzy[Pg 184] heights above and held while they cut a safe place in the rocks.

As might be expected many men were killed during the building of this railway. Once a runaway engine crashed into a derrick car on the top of a bridge and the debris can be seen in the valley below to this day. Several Americans lost their lives in this one accident. It is quite remarkable, however, that there has not been a single accident where a life was lost since the construction was completed years ago. This line is two hundred and fifty miles in length and every mile cost a snug fortune. It takes a train almost ten hours to reach the summit and the average rise the entire distance is twenty-seven feet per minute.

Near Callao are some islands which are very interesting to tillers of the soil especially. In passing them I noticed millions and millions of birds. For many centuries these islands have been the nesting places for these sea fowl. Not only have these birds lived and died here but multiplied thousands of seal have come here to breed. The droppings of these millions of birds and animals and the accumulating bodies of the dead have decayed and made a kind of grayish powder. This substance is called guano and it is hundreds of feet thick.

Hundreds of years ago it was discovered that this substance is the best fertilizer known. In the early days the Incas took every precaution to distribute this guano to agriculturists in the country. Districts of this deposit were allotted to certain territories and the boundaries of each district were clearly defined and all encroachments upon the rights of others were severely punished. No one was allowed to go about these islands during[Pg 185] the breeding season under pain of death and the same penalty was meted out to any man who killed either birds or animals here.

Of late years millions of dollars worth of this guano have been shipped to all parts of the world. While the islands are closed to shipping during the breeding season and it is thought that many of the birds especially have been frightened away, yet they come in such numbers at times that it is said that the sky is darkened as they fly over.

[Pg 186]


The World's Great Crossroad—Panama Canal

Perhaps the greatest achievement of history, both in length of time of construction and in service to humanity, stands to the credit of the United States. The Panama Canal was dug in less time than it took to build the causeway in Egypt to get the stone from the quarries to where it was wanted for the big pyramid. This canal, too, is wholly an American achievement. It was planned by American brains, constructed by American engineers and with American machinery, and paid for with American gold, and every American has great reason to be proud of it.

We paid the Republic of Panama ten million dollars for the lease on the zone through which the canal passes, and are now paying the same government two hundred and fifty thousand dollars per year to keep them in a good humor. We bought the ground again from individual owners and have agreed to pay Colombia twenty-five million dollars to keep her from raising a racket. We paid the French forty million dollars for the work they did and the machinery they left so the whole thing, lock, stock and barrel, ought to be ours without any question.

It was published on supposedly good authority that some of the machinery we used was purchased from Belgium, that we could not make it in America. While visiting Mr. P. B. Banton, the chief office engineer, some time ago I asked him about this and he said the only machinery Belgium furnished was to the French. We tried to[Pg 187] repair and use part of this but it had to be discarded entirely.

We purchased two gigantic cranes to use in the work from Germany, but one of them collapsed and both had to be rebuilt by American machinists before they would do the work they were guaranteed to do. The only parts used in the canal that were not made in America, according to Mr. Banton, are some gigantic screws which were made in Sweden. It so happened at that time that Sweden was the only country that had machinery to make such screws, and while we could have easily constructed such machinery, it was cheaper to get them from Sweden and this was done. After making this statement, Mr. Banton got the drawings and explained them, and later on I saw some of them in the Gatun-Locks. If I remember correctly they are about eight inches in diameter and forty or fifty feet long.

Speaking of drawings and blue prints this official said: "There are more than eighty thousand drawings in this one room." Of course, the original blue prints and complicated drawings of the canal are sealed up in a great bomb-proof vault, kept dry by electricity. Although I had passed through the canal on a ship and rode up and down it on the train it was only after talking an hour with this engineer and then going into the control station tower and watching boats taken through the Gatun lock system, going into the tunnels below and watching the gigantic cog wheels and wonderful machinery, that I began to appreciate the real ingenuity and brain work of this colossal achievement.

On his last voyage to the new world Columbus visited Panama and was told by the Indians that[Pg 188] beyond a narrow strip of land was the "Big Water." He sailed up the Chagres river a distance, failed to find it, and died believing that they were mistaken. About ten years later Balboa climbed to the top of a tree not far from where Culebra Cut is located and saw the "Big Water." Four hundred years later almost to the day the water was turned into the canal and thus America united the world's greatest oceans.

After completing the Suez Canal and thus uniting the world's greatest seas, the French people believed they could dig across the Isthmus of Panama, but digging through Culebra Cut thousands of miles from home was much different from digging across the level plain of Suez only a few hundred miles away. A canal without locks is entirely different from one where great ocean liners must be lifted eighty-five feet above sea level.

Then Panama was a jungle, where disease-carrying mosquitoes were swarming in districts where heat was almost unbearable. True, their medical skill was the best and their hospitals of the latest design, but where they cured hundreds thousands died like flies. Added to all these disadvantages was extravagance and waste, greed and graft, mismanagement and misappropriation of funds to say nothing of palaces and princely salaries for officials.

The result was that after spending more than two hundred million dollars of the people's money, the whole scheme collapsed, and the work stopped. De Lesseps himself was arrested, disgraced, and imprisoned and died with a broken heart a little later in an insane asylum. The French had worked seven years, and now for four years not a wheel turned. Then they organized a new [Pg 189]company and worked at intervals ten years more until 1903, when we bought them out. During these years a half dozen nations developed projects and made surveys but no digging was done except by the French until we took charge in 1904.

The Canal Zone is a strip of land ten miles wide across the Isthmus of Panama, the distance being about forty miles from shore to shore. It is less than this, however, in a straight line. The canal runs from northwest to southeast, the Atlantic end at the north being about twenty-two miles west of the Pacific end at the south. This seems rather strange but we must remember that the Isthmus is in the shape of the letter S and it so happens that the shortest point runs in the direction named.

Of course it would have been impossible for us to have dug the canal without a tremendous loss of life had it not been for the advance of medical science. Until we took charge this was one of the worst fever-infested districts on the globe. But just about this time it was discovered that the mosquito carries the germ of yellow fever and other contagious diseases. These pests breed in stagnant water and it was discovered that kerosene on the water forms a film on the surface that means death to the newborn mosquito. Then began one of the greatest battles of all history, the fight to eradicate the mosquito pest.

Colonel Gorgas had charge of the forces and he was determined to do the job well. Tracts of the jungle were burned over, ditches to drain stagnant pools were dug, and every barrel was looked after. Hundreds of Negroes with oil cans sprayed almost every nook and corner of the Zone with kerosene. Houses were screened, every case of sickness was looked after, and the result was soon manifest. A[Pg 190] mighty victory was won by Gorgas and today the Canal Zone is as healthful as any tropical country on earth. Of course, people criticized and joked about the mosquito brigade, but the colonel went ahead pouring oil upon the water, cleaning up filth, and compelling sanitary measures, paying not the slightest attention to the harping critics.

At the north end of the Zone are the cities of Cristobal and Colon, the latter in Panama. The fact is they are practically one city, the railroad being the dividing line. While Cristobal is clean and beautiful much of Colon is dirty and rum soaked. Somebody said to me: "Colon is that part of the city where you can buy a drink," and it sure looks it.

While it is only about forty miles across the isthmus yet the canal is fifty miles long. The fact is they had to dredge out to deep water which is about five miles at each end. Entering the channel at the north it is about seven miles to the Gatun locks. There are three pairs of these locks and they lift the vessel to Gatun Lake, which is eighty-five feet above sea level. It is twenty-four miles across this lake to Culebra Cut, which extends about nine miles through the hills, and to the first lock on the Pacific side. This lock lowers the ship about thirty feet to Miraflores Lake, which is a little more than a mile in length. Here are two pairs of locks which lowers the ship to sea level and then it is about eight miles or a little more to deep water. Counting all the distance occupied by the locks we have the fifty miles.

Gatun Lake was made by a great dam across the Chagres river. This dam is a stupendous piece of work, being a half mile wide at the bottom, a mile and a half long, and more than one hundred[Pg 191] feet high. A gigantic spillway allows the surface water to run over. During the dry season, about four months, the river does not supply enough water to run the locks so Gatun Lake must furnish the supply. This lake at present covers one hundred and sixty-four square miles, and last year it was lowered five feet during the dry season. The land has been purchased for the extension of the lake and the great spillway can be raised twenty feet higher if necessary so that a shortage of water is practically impossible.

Each lock in the canal is a thousand feet long, one hundred and ten feet wide, and the average height about thirty feet, so they hold a tremendous amount of water. Every ship passing through empties two lock chambers full of water into the ocean at each end. It is an interesting fact that at the Atlantic the tide only makes a difference of two and a half feet, at the Pacific side the difference is more than twenty feet. While the low lock gates at the Atlantic side are sixty-four feet high the low lock gates at the Pacific side are eighty-two feet high.

I was permitted to go into the control station tower at the Gatun lock system and see three ships taken through, also into the tunnels below to see the machinery in operation and it is a sight never to be forgotten. To take a ship through these locks the operator sets in motion twice ninety-eight gigantic electric motors and it is all done without an audible word being spoken. Every possible emergency has been provided for. Could an enemy ship by any manner of means get into the canal and undertake to ram the gates it would be helpless as far as any damage is concerned. Mighty chains guard the gates and it is impossible to get[Pg 192] the gates closed without these chains being raised to their places. Emergency gates are provided so the water can all be shut off, the locks emptied and repairs made in the bottoms of the lock chambers, if necessary.

At the continental divide the Culebra Cut is almost five hundred feet deep and more than a half mile wide at the top. The channel itself is three hundred feet wide and forty-five feet deep. There have been half a hundred slides and a single one of them brought down an area of seventy-five acres. Think of a seventy-five acre field all sliding in at once, every foot of which had to be dug out!

The worst trouble was when the bottom bulged up from below. Some little time before my visit a large tree came up from the bottom. It had been rolled in by one of those fearful slides and long afterwards came up from the bottom. Somebody has figured out that if all the dirt that has been taken from Culebra Cut was loaded on railroad cars they would, if coupled together, make a train that would reach around the world four times.

The canal cost about four hundred million dollars. The tolls now amount to almost a million dollars a month so it is more than paying expenses. The ship upon which I passed through paid seven thousand dollars toll, but it was one of the largest ships that pass through. Now that the danger from slides is practically over and trade routes are being established it ought to be a paying investment.

[Pg 193]


The Seven Wonders of the World

A few years ago the editor of one of the great magazines of America sent out a thousand letters to as many scientists and great men scattered among all civilized nations in an effort to get the consensus of opinion as to what might be called the seven wonders of the modern world. A ballot was prepared containing fifty-six subjects of scientific and mechanical achievement and blank spaces in which other subjects might be written. Each man was asked to designate the seven he felt were entitled to a place on the list. He, of course, was not confined to the printed list and could write in others that were better entitled to a place than those on the printed list.

About seventy per cent of these ballots were returned properly marked and the result was most interesting indeed. At once it was discovered that a complete change in human intelligence or judgment has taken place since the ancient Greeks made their list of the seven wonders of the world. Today the standard of measurement as to what should be classed in such a list is service to humanity, while in the old days the standard of measurement was or at least had largely to do with brute force.

It is not surprising, therefore, that wireless telegraphy should have the highest place on the list. Guglielmo Marconi is far more worthy to be remembered than the king who built the great Pyramid in Egypt. This brilliant Italian, when but fifteen years of age was reveling in the dreamland wonders of electricity and when but twenty[Pg 194] had the theory practically worked out and his patience and enthusiasm were simply amazing. He actually tried more than two thousand experiments along a single line before he was able to demonstrate the truth of one of his own theories.

No one crosses the Atlantic Ocean these days who is not impressed with the marvels of this wonderful discovery. Through it the seven seas have became great whispering galleries. One of the greatest races the writer ever saw he did not see at all. For three days and nights two great ocean liners raced across the deep and never came in sight of each other at all. Yet every few hours we all knew just which ship was gaining and it was really a most exciting race. A few hours after Roosevelt was shot in Milwaukee I heard the news by wireless although I was on board a ship in the China Sea on the other side of the world.

The telephone was given second place in the list of modern wonders. It is hard to realize that the telephone only dates back to 1875. It was during that year that Alexander Graham Bell and his assistant, Thomas A. Watson, were making experiments in a building in Boston. Mr. Watson was in the basement with an instrument trying without success to talk with Mr. Bell in the room above. Finally the latter made a little change in the instrument and spoke and Mr. Watson came rushing upstairs greatly excited, saying: "Why, Mr. Bell, I heard your voice distinctly and could almost understand what you were saying."

The next year the imperfect telephone was exhibited at the Centennial in Philadelphia, but for a time it was the laughing stock of most people and hardly anyone ever dreamed that it would ever be more than a mere plaything. One day[Pg 195] Dom Pedro, the Emperor of Brazil, who knew Mr. Bell personally, came in. With him was Sir William Thompson, the great English scientist. The emperor was given the receiver and placed it to his ear and was suddenly startled, saying: "My God, it speaks." This amused all, but greatly interested the man of science and thus the telephone was brought into prominence. While at the World's Fair in San Francisco I sat with a receiver and heard a man speaking in New York as plainly as though he were in the next room. Sitting within the sound of the waves of the Pacific, I was connected up with Atlantic City and heard the waves of the Atlantic.

The third largest number of votes were given to the aeroplane and since the birdmen played such a part in the world war these scientists were correct in giving the flying machine a place among the wonders of the modern world. The fourth place was given to Radium, the fifth to Antiseptics and Antitoxines, the sixth to Spectrum Analysis, and the seventh to the marvelous X-Ray. Had eight subjects been called for the Panama Canal would have had a place, for it lacked but eleven votes of tie for seventh place. It can, therefore, be called the eighth wonder of the modern world.

How different were the ideas of men during the days of ancient Greece. It is a remarkable fact that among the seven wonders of the ancient world only one of them was of any real service to humanity. True, one or two of them served as tombs for the dead and one of them was a sort of a pleasure resort, but it proved a curse rather than a blessing. The one of real service was the Pharos, or lighthouse, at Alexandria, Egypt. This was a gigantic structure more than four hundred feet[Pg 196] high on the top of which a great fire was kept burning at night, thus serving as a lighthouse. The structure was so large at the base and the winding roadway so spacious that it is said a team of horses could be driven to the summit. The entire building has long since disappeared, but while in Alexandria its location was pointed out to me.

In the list of ancient wonders, however, the Pyramids of Egypt were given first place. There are seventy-seven of these pyramids altogether. Three of them are located less than a dozen miles from Cairo, the others being up the river Nile a half day's journey. The largest is known as the Pyramid of Cheops and is nearest Cairo. It covers thirteen acres of ground and is four hundred and fifty feet high. My first sight of it was a disappointment for after all it is nothing but a pile of stone, and seems smaller to the eye than it really is. When one walks along by its side and begins the ascent to the top, however, its immensity begins to grow and impress the mind.

Heroditus, the Father of History, says a hundred thousand men worked on this pyramid at one time and that it took twenty years to build it. It was scientifically and mathematically constructed ages before modern science or mathematics were born. The one who planned it knew that the earth is a sphere and that its motion is rotary. It is said that in all the thousands of years since it was built not a single fact in astronomy or mathematics has been discovered to contradict the wisdom of those who constructed it.

On the north side of the pyramid, about fifty feet up, there is a narrow tunnel that runs down at an angle of twenty-six degrees to the center of the field that forms its base. The tunnel is so true that[Pg 197] from the bottom one can see the star, that is near the North Star, which is supposed to have been directly in the north when the structure was built. After you have descended eighty-five feet in this tunnel there is another tunnel that runs up to the center of the structure where there are some large rooms or chambers. The pyramid was supposed to have been built for a tomb and these rooms are called the king's chamber, the queen's chamber, etc. In these rooms there are large mummy cases, but they are empty at the present time. One great satisfaction for me in visiting the pyramids was the fulfilling of a life-long desire to see all that is left of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

The third ancient wonder was the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. These gardens were in reality a great artificial mountain built upon massive arches. It was four hundred feet high and terraced on all sides and according to historians beautiful beyond description. Not only were beautiful flowers and shrubbery kept growing, but large forest trees as well. On approaching it this great mountain seemed to be suspended or hanging in the air—hence the name. Water was brought from the river and the ruins of these vast waterworks are said to be the marvel of civil engineers even to this day.

It seems that these hanging gardens were built to please the wife of one of the most powerful monarchs of the old days. This queen had been brought up among the hills, and as Babylon was located on a great level plain she was dissatisfied and pined away for the hills and forests of her home land. To please her the king accomplished this mighty work. Today the whole thing, in fact, the entire city of Babylon, is nothing but a pile of[Pg 198] ruins. Portions of the city have been excavated, however, and old records have been found in the ruins that throw light on many customs and phases of life in those days. Even the paving brick were stamped with the name of the king and anyone who visits the British Museum in London can see samples of them today.

The next in the list of ancient wonders was the Temple of Diana at Ephesus. It is said that this temple was two hundred years in building. It was more than four hundred feet long and half as wide. The foundation was made earthquake-proof. The temple proper was supported by one hundred and twenty-seven columns which were sixty feet high. Each of these columns was a gift from a king. They tell us that the great stairway was carved from a single grapevine and that the cypress wood doors were kept in glue a lifetime before they were hung on their hinges.

The image on the top of this temple was said to have fallen from heaven, but in reality it was carved from ebony and the men who did the work were put to death so they could not deny its celestial origin. It is said that around this image stood statues which by an ingenious invention could be made to shed tears. Another invention moistened the air in the temple with sweet perfume. The treasures of nations and the spoil of kingdoms were brought here for safe keeping and criminals from all nations fled to this temple, for when they reached it no law could touch them. No wonder that when the preaching of the Apostle Paul interfered with the business of the tradesmen who sold souvenirs of the image that they gathered up a mob and cried out for the space of two hours: "Great is Diana of the Ephesians," and ran[Pg 199] the apostle from the city. Today this temple with the city itself is nothing but ruins.

Passing not far from the Island of Rhodes some years ago I tried to at least imagine that I could see the great statue called the Colossus of Rhodes which was given a place among these seven ancient wonders, but as not a vestige of it remains on the island it required a great stretch of the imagination to behold it. But although given this prominence it was not as large or as beautiful as the Statute of Liberty that graces New York harbor. It only took twelve years to build it and after standing fifty-six years it was overthrown by an earthquake and after nearly a thousand years the metal was used for other purposes. The other ancient wonders were the Statue of Jupiter that was made of ivory and gold by Phidias, and the Mausoleum of Artemisia. Both of these have long since passed out of existence.

Brute force is no longer the measure of power or influence. Neither are towering structures or mighty tombs. The standard of measurement these days is the ability to serve. We are learning that the Galilean carpenter told the truth when he said: "He who would be great among you let him be servant of all." Service is one of the greatest words in human language. The man, or the institution, or the magazine that can render the greatest measure of service to the largest number of people is more powerful and influential than all the seven wonders of the ancient world put together.

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