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IV. 68 82 VI.. . ... XIII.. and the Albanians .. PAGE The Bulgarian Border i II.. Sofia . Constantinople and the Turks . . Across Country X... . . VIII. 105 134 159 183 IX. . 34 49 V. The Last Trail 277 .CONTENTS CHAPTER I. . 246 262 XV. Salonica VII. and the Jews The Dynamiters MONASTIR AND THE GREEKS .. . On the Track of the Turk . Metrovitza XII. USKUB AND THE SERBS XI. . 212 The Long Trail The Trail of the Insurgent 228 XIV. The Road to Rilo The Trail of the Missionaries and the Bulgarians 15 III. . .






He was a very dirty anarchist. a pair of trousers of doubtful suspension. he is dead. and a hungry. shoes in which B his . with long. the other a bankrupt viscount with a bad eye. I selected the nobleman. declined as interpreter. displayed similar pride and lack of enterprise. and the only individuals willing to accompany me were two fallen stars of feeble age. and other Government whom I made approaches. whose salary was an offer of a year. officials double that wage to serve me An to officer in the army.THE BALKAN TRAIL CHAPTER I THE BULGARIAN BORDER Men Sofia. the judge of a 72/. but a word despair . shaggy. is In humble where there little pretence. haunted look. supreme court. of position are proud and prejudiced. in circumstances of was obliged to choose between One was an anarchist. light of head and heavy of heart. He wore a silk-lined frock coat of ample capacity. for the anarchist . unkempt mane. and at last I these luckless linguists. I was bound for the border.

of small stature. But on in selecting my interpreter I felt compelled to act . ' travelled son. and he would have been faithful . in He was public one bright summer evening. and favoured the fashionable dynamite bomb. not quite hoist by his own Old petard. he was agin' the government.. NeverHe had never gone theless he loved my country. in the States. a silk hat of cuffs. veteran is unique in this regard — —he could not procure felt a pension from the United States Government. He was a simple soul before he could execute his plot he was sent to an Englishman. no He was . 2 THE BALKAN TRAIL bygone glory. Do unto the other it hirst. no collar. all he needed to make him generous was little success.' He was for sending Prince Ferdinand to the hereafter. he eternity himself —though shot. but his outfit had ' been created for no little man. the palace. where in the 'sixties he had served (probably soup) with the Stars and Stripes when the But and the Stars and Bars were in the field.' what he would do unto you —but do a Barnacle was an honest man. feet flapped. I knew him well before he died. A wonderful gift of in a few moments I knew his whole gab ' had he He had acquired his knowledge of English history. while he had often the pangs in Bulgaria. hungry there. the park in front of Barnacle had not c known David Harum's feller precept. What had Bulgaria done for him ? the clothes he was wearing had been given Even him by For his country's neglect of her had acquired the Irish complaint.

a Continental count who of had fallen from his high estate. — particularly for food. history. but first did not know this when commissioned the Count to provide days of our journey. price of a for a The good lunch in in London will I keep two men day I Balkan country.THE BULGARIAN BORDER the principle that a clever crook is 3 sometimes a safer companion than an honest simpleton. too. and a master and his man. and But was not all my man got from me. No serious class prejudices hampered me. Turkish. An English correspondent would not have tolerated his patronage. in his age. at his fingers' ends. He was not a dragoman by profession. but still a man good taste a soldier . as well as all the languages of Europe. The Count had Bulgarian. as time has proved. and Russian . and could still. did not return after the war to the land of his birth. and wisely. But in America. I In view of his many accomplishments this agreed to pay him six francs a day and his living travelling expenses. equal pretty much the same thing and we have heard that things which are equal to the same thing are equal to each other. a hamper of food for the . The man with the bad eye proved to be a character with a most romantic past. had been he had commanded a company of cavalry in the Russo-Turkish war. a man and his master. ride me out of my saddle. there was nothing servile about him. and I was content to permit my man to be my companion in a land where I could communicate direct with so few. But he was a Jew. He.

reform. They said he was an emissary of Russia simply because he insisted allies for that the great Slav country and Austria. Isaac Swindelbaum von Stuffsky. After the investment he Pannachoff I sat behind him undined at the noticed and watched him consume three times as much food as an ordinary man. but took our train half the day to cover . which none of the believed.' : an impostor the 1 in his predicament would have flaunted called ' title. and two bottles of native wine cost him more of my money than twice the quantity would have come to in London. 4 THE BALKAN TRAIL Three loaves of bread. When man has no visible means of support in either Bulgaria or Turkey he is always labelled Spy. It was a run of only forty kilometres it from Sofia to Radomir. But he was not the the correspondents latter. came.. he had lived on the meals and the drinks which tales of his exploits in the war that created Bulgaria won him from a her officers. a hunk of Bulgarian cheese. He was ' count Until ' to his face and a Russian spy behind his back. In Bulgaria the term is one of reproach. But the officers of Sofia knew that my man was not a spy. he was too poor. but in Turkey spies are looked up to and envied as among the only regularly paid servants of the Sultan. His string of names did justice to his characteristics. He was a real count Isaac Swindelbaum was all his card bore * . some dried lamb. were sincere in their desire to bring officers about peace in Macedonia.

this road would then be continued to meet it. and the peasants had eager to have their come from miles around. and wellgroomed. Before a low khan (a caravansary) were two cavalry officers and several private soldiers . As a to be result of this riding horses at were not . and clad in their sheepskin coats. bred from the special stables maintained by the Government for the purpose of improving the native stock. and the line is not very profitable. hired when we arrived Radomir so we . The officers were count- horses of — ing animals available for military service in case of war. Our train stopped now and again to pick up some peasant's pig or waited ten minutes for a late passenger. It was early in March the villages at . At one little town there was a striking scene. and all about surged to and fro white-clad. If the Turkish Government would allow a junction railway to be constructed from Uskub or Koumanova up to Egri-Palanka.THE BULGARIAN BORDER the distance. blooded beasts. furry peasants leading all breeds and in all conditions nags which had never eaten other feed than grass. fair. and we had opportunity to see something of the which it stopped. rulers like not civilising institutions. and all Bulgaria as well But the Turkish as Macedonia would reap a benefit. snow on the Balkans had not yet begun the peasants were still to melt. to the south. 5 Radomir is the terminus of the railway and about half-way to the frontier. horses tried and graded. Only one mixed goods and passenger train makes the trip to and from Sofia each day.

cast-off city carriages of drawn by numerous day from me. But the bargain took a long time to to have formed strike. The drivers told my Count that were he not with I me they would get thirty francs a should have thought that charge cheap. who seemed an anti.' I've just hired this man.' the Count informed 'I've got me. the horses abreast as in a chariot. For I an hour he wrangled with these drivers. and talk 1 At demanded what last all the was about. despite nags. patched and strengthened get his team. entered the negotiations. no one else had the chance while he was with me. But. Jew and though he swindled me whenever he had an opportunity. with many had all pieces of rough plank and bits of rope .' will start. but they were I all alike. man This brought them down in the end to regular of mine saved double his wage every day.6 THE BALKAN TRAIL all designs. I'm saving money for you. negotiated for one of the customary cross-country conveyances. particularly fancied a four-horse team. but this hired by the Count had only three. . and he proceeded to inform one of the clamouring coachmen that he was engaged. my my dragofares. off to The delighted driver dashed bells and in a few minutes a jingle of announced his return with the coach. price-elevating presence.' said the Count. ' 1 Good ! them down to twelve then hire a team and we francs. It was a most dilapidated vehicle.American trust.



after breakfast next morning I was from waited on by the governor of the district and staff in all his The governor had instructions . and the peasant nearly collapsed with * surprise. we will take a four-horse team. Americans were but he was going to do the right thing ' by a peasant. Count 1 But I have already engaged this man. I suggested. We shall have to pay him if we take another. and was then the I had to repeat.' 1 Well.' ' I have already engaged man. We have a long drive before this and I don't like moving slowly. sir.' THE BULGARIAN BORDER * 7 I think we had ' better have four horses. He would rob me because. Count.' I told the Count to give him half a day's wages. I think we can afford twelve shillings for a ! conveyance. four horses and a man. It discovered that there was something of in Rob Roy my old Jew. My Sofia.' I The Count expostulated. so we did not arrive there until long after dark. sir.' 1 What's the price of a four-horse team ' ? * They ask fifteen francs.' 1 Count. But I have hired this man. sir.' us. The drive over the mountains to Kustendil consumed six hours. advance had been telegraphed ahead from and soon a body. He asks only twelve francs a day and guarantees to get us over the mountains in the best time possible.' he said again. me later. as he informed rolling in wealth. which he did.

Politically the magistrate and the governor were enemies. and a narrow. the commandeered me for the rest day to talk over old times in America. We went over to Fournagieff 's home. There this hospitality the Bulgarians are not ordinarily so polite. were none too friendly with the Protestant preacher. and the officials. and all three sang old Princeton airs for an hour to the accompaniment of an American melodeon. of the governor acting under the American missionaries. FournagiefPs father was among the refugees from Macedonia who were then in Kustendil. college graduates respectively of Princeton and the One of them was a University of West Virginia. an American correspondent was a great event in the little town. and promised to was method in avail myself of necessary.8 THE BALKAN TRAIL my journey in the Minister of the Interior to facilitate every way. I could not get the old man to admit minister and the judge . and hard on the heels arrival of The came two English-speaking Bulgars. The courtesy between the parties was stiff and measured. the other a minister direction of the When the of the governor and his staff took their leave. all members of the Orthodox Church. I expressed my appreciation it if : of his kindness. having come across the border to escape a search for arms in the Raslog district. There we hunted out a book of college songs. magistrate. a plain building with whitewashed walls of stucco. a low door. and was ready to do anything he could to aid me. ladder-like staircase leading up to the mission-room.

they said. and . him a testimonial vouching for his loyalty to the Padisha. I if I trusted myself to the Turks. of the land should see only the beauties of its horrors. and rightly has a ' name among mountains in the Turks for breeding this district brigands. which enabled him to pass over to Bulgaria by the bridge on the Struma. whereas. there were few fugitives here but the town suits the purposes of the insurgents. and an infinitely larger and more vigilant force than the Turkish Government maintains on the frontier are is necessary to close in it to the committajis. the suspected and arming the peasants of his village. I went under their guidance.' bad The wooded and rugged. There were several bands at I Kustendil at this time. preparing to cross into Turkey. and the leaders of one called the hotel and invited me to accompany them. is but I think there no doubt that he was a Turkish officials local voivoda.THE BULGARIAN BORDER his association 9 with the Committajis (committee-men). I and none I questioned these fellows as to the conditions of the scheme. and learned these : should have to travel by night and . Old FournagiefFs Turkish friend supplied of being a chief. and planned to subject him with but a friendly Turk warned others to an inquisition him of the prospective arrival of troops and advised escape. if should see everything in Macedonia. and saved him the hardship Balkans between and dangers Kustendil of climbing the border Turkish posts. is not a favourite place of refuge. At any rate. of organising .

' and mildly told them like to get rich ? ' This gave the leader an idea. keep closely hidden by day was. but afraid myself to to trust the tender mercies so. I said. and entered my room unannounced. should have to live on the coarsest of native food and sometimes go without any I should not be allowed to talk to anyone. for the band could not take along my and antique interpreter. was much tempted to the adventure. but none much them them. one whenever I I liked. of these 'brigands. I I was very anxious to see one of their fights. asked if they would have one within a reasonable time. . will share * would/ I replied. I expected to see I While a hurried scattering of my guests. The Count did not like the idea of the brigands taking me out of his hands. and raise a beard to hide I I should have to wear the peasant garb peculiar to the district in which I my foreign physiognomy. you will permit us to capture you. came the reply they could have a small . of them so The governor took but otherwise completely ignored At this time the Bulgarian Foreign Office was . was entertaining the committajis the governor returned to the khan to invite me to luncheon. ' Would you I he asked.' If 1 Before I could reply the Count delivered his advice. we whatever ransom we obtain. as changed countenance. which it suited me to follow. Certainly. in at a THE BALKAN TRAIL .



and they took good care to do no internal work. so rested with the governor to make excuse for the inactivity of the law in this case. They had just come back from Macedonia after hiding their arms in the mountains. The governor gave explanation of at his gents He said he knew every one who were in my room. They were on their way to Sofia. had charge of the whole party. I understood. Their outfits covered a wide range of tattered. they were compelled to walk to wherever they would be. not worthy of None of them had ever been to Turkey. If they allowed themselves to be arrested. variety. and took little heed of their scattering. They looked as if they had seen service. they received free transporta- my Count some twenty One gendarme tion to the capital. and had come down to the town to surrender. They were a mongrel crew. While strolling through the town with at a later day. if they avoided arrest. table. there appeared a band of unarmed insurgents under arrest. They belonged to the External Committee. for none of them possessed sufficient money to pay railway or coach fare. and that a woman. and they were set free whereas. the insurall they were bogus warriors. and that arrest. only one clean 'man' among them. and were much torn and A few had military overcoats with many .THE BULGARIAN BORDER declaring emphatically that every effort n made to prevent the passing of was being bands from the Prinit cipality into the sovereign State. where their names were recorded on parole .

and I sent the Count into the band to ascertain if she would honour with an interview. an American correspondent wants to hear ! The whole band. but her uniform was warmer and in better conpatches. and others were wrapped in blankets The woman had no greatlike American Indians.12 THE BALKAN TRAIL some wore native cloaks of broad black and white stripes. and explained his errand in Come a word. I can imagine. is what he said * : with me . than those of the men She carried a needle the patches were and thread. and followed the bad-eyed Count and his captive. coat. My man went up to her with the blunt and burly manner he was wont to wear. including the single guard. They gathered about the girl and me. This. but only one : kind of medicine. She tossed the weapon about and caught it dexterously . and she estimated that she herself had killed and wounded no fewer than eight Turks. in which time they had had five fights. dition perfect. We sat on two empty wine casks in front of a and I took notes as the Count drew from the Amazon an account of her adventures beyond peasant's khan. She caught my eye at once. me grabbed her by the arm. and prompted her memory your story ' whenever it failed on points of detail. While she talked she crossed her trousered limbs and drew a dagger from her legging as a Scot would from his sock. stopped. wheeled round. This band had been in the enemy's country for about six months. the border. though a red cross decorated her arm.



and all her brothers in one day. wandering chiefs. and She had been betrothed to a young man who felt called to the service of his country. In the daytime they rested at the summit of some lonely mountain which commanded a length of road ' and from these crows' nests in the height descended by night to ambush small bodies of Turks or swoop down on little towns. but there are many with the bands. A missionary told me an interest- ing story of one. In concluding her remarks the lady drew a phial of arsenic from her trousers-pocket and informed me that the poison was for the purpose of taking her own life in case of capture by the Turks. . ' . This woman had no mercy on Turks she said they had slain her mother. and the whole band shook hands with me and resumed their march to the railway terminus. my tracks through the Balkans. She was revenge was hers. The missionary met the Amazon. a pretty young woman along a high road near Samakov. and told 13 me how she marched with her brothers-in-arms fifty miles and more a night. her father. The girl asked the : told the following story way to the town. which throws light on the strange mental workings of some of the insurgent about twenty. with and without her companions.THE BULGARIAN BORDER by the handle. This was the only female fighter I encountered on and a breadth of valley. attempting the total destruction of the garrison and the last male Moslem therein. and hope for a soldier of fortune Macedonia. I took her photograph. She threatened her lover that if he joined a revolu- .

but you must continue with the band. The woman must be left several weeks fought side by side. and would not have been able to keep up at all except for the assistance Finally the voivoda of her strong young lover. though they liked the young execute the command. but all to no the to avail. She found in leaves. able to stand the hardships. The girl listened. The chief did not hesitate to woman order the^recognised punishment. it The insurgents punish with death they have no prisons. leaving unknown fate the man refused accompany them. his body later. man well. they both joined the band. Both firm in their purpose. from which he never came forth. entreated. and for But the girl was not and the heavy work soon began to tell on her. did not hesitate to The youth was taken into a secluded dell. That night the insurgents to an . The report of a gun might have attracted Turks. and buried .t4 THE BALKAN TRAIL tionary band she would go with him. stabbed. himself thus delivered and called the man before him Committajis have their work to do and cannot be hampered with women. : * behind to-night. . She began to lag behind the others on the hard night marches. started.' The man protested. and his men. threatened. but no sound escaped.

. and meek and miserable refugees. who were staying at the khan. and would proceed down the frontier mounted. Everybody was anxious to be of service to us. speaking English. gathered to see the strange foreigners depart. because we had discharged our shandrydan at this point.THE ROAD TO RILO C5 CHAPTER II THE ROAD TO RILO A representative body of Bulgarians assembled at the khan on the morning of our departure from Kustendil. such as the forwarding of telegrams and letters. I had to arrange several minor matters. But the judge and the minister managed to secure all of my few commissions. . a box . because they. for want of something better to do. at six o'clock the missionary and the judge appeared and a mounted officer and two gendarmes drew up before the door peasants on their way to the fields. Several army officers. did not have to wait like the others until the Count interpreted my wants. and to send some of my luggage back to Sofia. a deputation of committajis arrived before we had finished the meal . and ready at a word to do anything we required. rose early and ate a five-o'clock breakfast with us . While I was engaged stuffing a toothbrush.

ever busying himself with money matters.' The of the Greek memorandum book over a much ear-marked which he had kept the record number of nights we had slept at his hostelry. and. while two officers who shared a room with us and had like accommodation. correspondingly high for the native vintage. went to the khawji and requested the statement of our account. which know of the Greek's crime. the informed Count (I —after much insistence on the part of the latter —that me we owed him a sum 1 of several napoleons do not remember * the exact amount). passed in Let see your book. he had charged us all When The khanji Greek meets Jew. He tried to put the Count But my Jew was off and get a settlement from me. the innkeeper was a Greek. My man began to talk to the khanji the entire assembly officers. The the com- . fifty for each meal —for which the Bulgarians paid less than a third as much —and let a franc a flagon for the Count's wine. true to Hellenic and more than he had any hope of getting. not to be thrust aside by any principles. mere Greek.' a couple of pairs of socks. the Count. Now. We had been charged three francs per night per cot. were paying less than a franc apiece two francs . in loud.16 of THE BALKAN TRAIL Keating's. loose language. and other absolute necessities into my saddle-bags. What ! ' exclaimed the Jew. and what we had eaten.

Good reasoning. arguing that I should pay at the rate at which I was accustomed to paying. and declined to take one sou off his bill. * agreed.' body joined the Count in abusing the garrulous The Greek stood his ground in a manner worthy of his ancient forefathers. and I took no role of for it. he said sorrowfully. because. The Greek and in a Greek. Everybody generally . he contended. and puff themselves up with pride at having successfully swindled me My old Jew assumed more the I ! throw away money. who do not appreciate it. ? ' Isn't the district safe I asked. The question was offensive. The foreigner. We made so early a start from Kustendil that the . but the native should profit by foreign prices. 17 and even ' the ordinary natives became indignant at this attempt to impose on a foreigner. I offered to split the difference between native and foreign prices. measures to suppress him. for it was generally good. would have you refrain from lavishing it upon Greeks. governor was unable to be present but he sent a representative to wish us a pleasant journey offer ' and to me an escort of gendarmes. It hurts me to be cheated and even if it suits you to . who left the khan most disgruntled. manager than man.' THE ROAD TO RILO mittajis. but the sum to be paid figured out too much ' to meet the approval of the Count. and I did not dislike him While I acted on my own judgment in matters of more or less importance. should not profit by native prices. I always listened to his counsel.

the Count's animal. replied Every district in Bulgaria is perfectly safe. responded to but this only the : brought a dignified silence over the assembly 1 official person. and if we encounter border patrols we shall arouse suspicion. he borrowed one of the officer's and we all halted while he sat on a rock and it fastened to a foot . but the only animals that we could obtain were two tiny packponies full of tantalising pack-train habits. as I expected. having no other to follow. When the old man mounted again his temper had cooled. You can travel anywhere in our land as securely as you can in your own. After the Count had struggled desperately with his little brute ' 1 * ! for quite spurs. The route unconsciously blinking his bad eye. The horse lifted a hind leg . which we are taking is seldom travelled. he brought his heels together gently but firmly.' 18 THE BALKAN TRAIL my inquiries in one breath. an hour. and instead of giving his vicious kick.' interrupted the Count. and could travel all day without showing fatigue.' Then of course we need no escort ? But there is danger. and to old Von Stuffsky the grub was the thing The gendarmes were fairly well mounted.' The Count knew what the company of gendarmes would mean in foraging. They were strong little beasts. for had we not waited. but it was impossible to get them out of a pack-train gait. would have taken him back pony a to its stable. . the governor's representative. and under no circumstance would they travel side by side.

We kept to the north bank as much as possible when compelled. From the crest of the first high hill Macedonia came into view. The . the infidel giaour. There was no high road on our route. so he turned his head around and sought the insect with his teeth. the Mohamedan is price for the hire of the ponies . a franc a day apiece and we paid another franc a day for a boy to go with us and care for them. while quently we had ' often to retrace our steps ' following the river (which was generally fordable). . and then began to learn what the spur meant. sometimes for miles. Once. . and for not even a footpath. This boy was wise he came along on foot. we did not lose sight of the river. across the valley the Christian is the We took a course generally along the Struma. where we stood. was absurd. many miles of We had no guide. because of bad ground. to take the south side. . Conse- and make long detours.THE ROAD TO RILO 19 and kicked viciously at the bite. The land sweeps on as one there is no line to mark where Occident ends and Orient begins but somewhere down there the order of things reverses. Here. we . when we happened to get into a blind canon or meet the edge of a mountain side too steep for descent. For this he got a kick in the nose. But this did not rid him of the annoyance. for there was no other line to keep us within the border. and neither the gendarmes had been over the route before. as we could pass without being halted by frontier guards. near the border as .

and two men appeared. officer hit more 'bull's eyes' than any . high up on the side of a steep. sides the mountains rose almost perpendipossible to get We could not venture the horses into the it seething waters. Fortunately the ponies were cool-headed and sure-footed. When we came in sight of this place the voivoda gave a long. and had gone back the supplies. and had a contest at target-shooting after the meal. and on both cularly. we overtook a committaji pack-train way towards the frontier from Dupnitza Where were the others ? We were all disappointed to hear that the band had had a good opportunity to cross the border the evening before. nor was steep slopes. so them up the we were obliged to make our way back up stream until we found an incline gradual enough to climb.20 THE BALKAN TRAIL to a gorge less than a came hundred feet in breadth. through which the water poured swift and deep. loud whistle. into Turkey without waiting for We ate lunch at the insurgent armoury. For several miles we followed a footpath seldom more than two feet wide. but the gendarmerie of us. We hailed the insurgents and accompanied them to an apparently deserted hut with a little wooden cross at its top. On one such ledge making its with ammunition and provisions for a band. It was often necessary to dismount and make our way on foot. Some of the insurgents were very good marksmen. rocky mountain.



and ravenously bits of garlic. In the afternoon we came upon a faint footpath it which led in our half direction. through it. We round were loaf of all weary and dusty. shrubs grew in patches here and there. but led down to the river again. though no farmhouse or ploughed field excused this sudden transformation. and up to Boborshevo. he had outstripped us early in the day. which I come to regard as to to drink . but almost entirely barren . where we had planned to spend the night. we found it change abruptly into a waggon track. and he returned loaf. and had not yet nor did it seem possible obtain despatched the could supply a for supper ! much else in the village. but the khan's larder contained only a huge brown bread.THE ROAD TO RILO For hours before we came upon this 21 hut we had not passed a single habitation. They have generally a bit of cheese . hungry. and learned that they lived practically by bread alone. with the information that each of four peasant families Not a very promising outlook if I asked the villagers ate nothing else themselves. a few fit the materials for Turkish coffee. We boy to make inquiries. We found our boy already established at the khan . Most of the dwarfed country through which we passed this day was not only uncultivated. and for quite a while after we It left it the mountains were completely deserted. The road began at nowhere. was just the place for a brigand camp. but no woods did we pass in the whole twelve hours' track. After following for an hour.

about an hour a smoking stew was This town afforded about the worst accommodation we had yet found. It was an extra breadth of his grin. which by no means does justice to the The cap which he wore was made (he told us) by an insurgent in a band with which he had travelled as a mascot.22 THE BALKAN TRAIL . But our gendarmes assured us that we should get a supper. the skull and crossbones sometimes bill worn. including the four ponies. his laugh All the creature could do was laugh .' It lacked. large committaji cap bearing the committee's motto. and our indebtedness came to a grand total of eleven francs ! The khan-keeper was a Bulgarian. We gave him supper. where it cuddled up to the Count. He had stabled and fed nine of us. in the usual brass design. while the khanji sharpened his knife. and presently the meal came bleating through the door. thing was dragged back half Then the poor and in set before us. little into the stable. ' Liberty or Death. whereafter I took the preceding photo- graph of him. It is interesting to observe that a Turk swindles you to demonstrate to himself how much more clever . or an onion with which to flavour the bread but meat or fowl or eggs they indulge in only on fete days. and he returned again in the morning for breakfast. however. but it provided a wandering minstrel. The khanji at Boborshevo apologised for the he presented at our departure. but was incessant and infectious. It was allowed to stop in the cafe* for a few minutes.

There was no officer difficulty in securing from the Bulgarian Turkish side. We expected to find a high road leading out of Boborshevo. saying that to eat meat two days in succession would make him ill. but we both got tired of and he soon struck own course. We met him at Kotcharinova this at noon. leaving our escort to await us on the the road to Rilo. permission to visit but we were halted for a quarter of an line while the hour at the magic Turkish sentry called the corporal. much first at home the water as out of sideration for our We had at shown conriver boy by taking him across the his on this. and the corporal called the sergeant. invariably arriving at appointed meeting places an hour or before us. one of our horses. less than half a a border post. and the Bulgarian and Turkish sentries pace side by bridge. at the centre of the a detour to Barakova (such is We made the name of this post).THE ROAD TO RILO he is 23 than is an ' infidel J . because he desires your money a Greek swindles you while both Turk and . To the south mile. He declined a piece of lamb. bayonets fixed. resting at the village more day fountain and making a meal of bread and lump sugar. Greek declare the Bulgarian too stupid to cheat. and . is of Kotcharinova. if there was one it did not lead in east The only road towards the feel as was in another waggon track which again crossed the Struma. but our direction. By this time we had come to it. side. where the casernes of the respective forces stand on the opposite shores of the narrow Struma.

as.' Clever Turk. It is quite absurd. then rose. but the officer would show me only his own room. naturally. . the sergeant went and first waked the commandant. described it as of holes with a The half-dozen fezzed compared favourably Bulgarians. nature of apologies for the Turkish part of the bridge artist. and at a glance in uniforms and arms with the was curious to go through their camp.24 THE BALKAN TRAIL peeped out of his to fetch us.' who spoke some French. but they are all afraid he might find one in their 1 camps. officer. it is the Bulgarians are barbarians. are sections of America still barbarous ? I read of blacks being burned at the stake. were in the . We is is are a highly civilised and our Padisha it a most enlightened and ridiculous to accuse humane monarch. 1 seated on his rough divans. and. who window. who perpetrate all these massacres and other abate- horrible crimes. with ' whom made I visited Barakova a year few boards later. The Turks possess no military secret unknown to the European. 'Tell me. him Now. ' . dressed. and first came The remarks of this smartly uniformed a Graphic between.' said the officer at Barakova.' continued the Turk without ment. and or his army of doing a they single barbarous deed. Turks commit people. I soldiers whom we saw from the bridge were fine specimens of men. we sipped his coffee it is quite absurd for the foreign journals to say that atrocities.



' THE ROAD TO RILO 25 More than a year later I returned to Barakova from the Turkish side and asked the same Turkish commander barracks . it was against all regulations for any- one to step across that border without a pass-avant which could not be issued nearer than at Djuma-bala if anything should happen to us while on the Bul. and the moment was awkward for all parties. and vented upon the Turk three hours' persistent persuasion. and our interpreter was detained in the Turkish barracks as a hostage. There was no other way than to deliver our letters to the Bulgarians in the presence of the Turks. Six other officers accompanied him. garian side. renowned among the Bulgarians as the mountain from which Sarafoff issued his call ' to his brothers —Sarafoff and St. the Padisha would be seriously grieved at his (the officer's) having permitted us to go over into Bulgaria. tively numerous. letters to But we had despatches to forward and post. for permission to visit the offer. a celebrated high peak in Macedonia. ! Paul! —to come over into Mace- donia and help him This was a more productive district than that through which we had passed the day before the land was generally tilled and settlements were compara. And after passing Rilo Silo (Rilo . Bulgarian but he had many excuses to Perhaps the Bulgarian garrison would not like us to visit them unannounced . when finally he consented to take us over the bridge himself. Shortly after leaving Barakova we got the first view of Perim Dagh.

down. the crest of the range to the south forming the border-line. and we needed more warmth than our coats would give. and in this gateway to Turkey stands it the Bulgarian picture. all to As our . is as far as it. the way leads through a dense forest which covers the mountains.26 village). from having followed On both From Rilo sides of the brook rise the Balkans. for the slow up-hill pace of the horses afforded no exercise. ever content to follow pace. down. It its to Rilo is by the side of a rapid brook. and between the big ones. could . the small boulders. know it tumbles. blockhouse shown in the preceding In spite of the fact that was yet winter. but on foot we had the advantage of them. led Their horses had always to be —and did not lead as well as they drove —while our pack-ponies. the air grew yet colder the brook took on icy rims. under unpack our chill the leaves on the trees were thick enough to keep the rays of sun from the road. as I have said. down to the I . elevation increased. source somewhere in the wild woods far above the monastery. up under the line of perpetual tumbles for more than twenty miles over village this. side of the road. The gendarmes. and there was a the grove which soon caused us greatcoats. and snowdrifts lodged by the We dismounted one by one. Silo to Rilo Monastery there is but one pass through these mountains. icicles clung to the bigger boulders. THE BALKAN TRAIL where the long climb to the monastery begins. were better mounted than were the Count and I. The road which has snow. at least.

bleak. one at each end The old convent was built for siege. but long-haired and bearded like this room. and a long-bearded. The sun had long dropped behind the mountains though the day had not yet gone when we emerged from the forest into a clearing. grating on their rusty hinges. of the place. deserted-looking monastery broke The heavy gates were swung back. and beside there is an ancient very old. There was no fireplace or stove in the room which was allotted to me. pared a splendid supper for us. facing on the courtyard. and the first view of — the great.— THE ROAD TO RILO be turned loose. A queer little dwarf them — —who occupied not a monk. Within. The chapel stands it in the centre of the court. and two arched gateways below. tower and dungeon dating from mediaeval times. great rectangular pile four storeys high. are broad balconies. The gendarmerie officer had telegraphed from Rilo Silo that we would arrive that night. Although the foundation of the monastery is . quite a sixth of a mile around. but a broad. tiled chimney came through the wall from an ante-room. built of stone around a spacious court- On the outside a height of sheer wall is broken by small barred windows only above the second floor. and the hospitable monks had got our rooms warm and ready. The Rilo Monastery is a yard. was assigned to the fire in task of waiting on us and stoking the the oven. black-robed priest came forth to welcome us. and presuddenly upon us. 27 and would follow the other animals if as tenaciously as tied to their tails.

The place would be magnificent were it not made hideous with atrocious frescoes. and portray side by side the after torments of the wicked and the bliss of the good. The greater part of the building is now usually unoccupied. is museum at Rilo of old Bulgarian books. but the number has dwindled away until to-day there are but fifty or sixty there. relics. Many a of the sleeping-rooms are likewise decorated in a manner conducive to nightmare. and to enter was to find safety for body as well as soul. which might have originated in the mind of a Dore and must have been executed by a schoolboy.28 THE BALKAN TRAIL most of the present structure and the church date from only 150 years back. of all of which the monks Many of the books were saved . The old abbot said ruefully that since the Bulgarians had become free they are not so willing to enter holy orders as they were ally . The painting of the place is most peculiar. There icons. was always it exempt from ravage by Turkish troops. At one time it sheltered several hundred monks. Out- side the stones are left their natural colour. for some reason. but the courtyard walls are whitewashed and striped with red. when under the Turks. the rafters of almost black from age. and other church are very proud. The balconies and the overhanging which are visible. and its vast. are roof. bare rooms have a most desolate appear- ance. The pictures covering both the outer and inner walls of the chapel. are grouped in pairs or sets. which stands in the centre of the court. Natur- this monastery.



my Count and myself. I was much interested who lived at the monastery. he cut his way through overwhelming numbers of Turkish troops he drew his dagger at another period and crept stealthily along to slay an adversary by surprise and he stretched himself full length on the floor and most extravagant . He took his yataghan and wielded it about him in a desperate manner as he told us of how. THE ROAD TO RILO from destruction at the hands in their late of the 29 Greek priests attempt to Hellenise the Bulgarians by obliterating their language. a powerful mountain fellow who had worn his weapons day and night for thirty years a desperate revoluto the monks' good fare that : . when surrounded on one occasion. tionist engaged in directing the passage of bands . There were many monks. across the Balkans a border officer who had been picked for his nerve and judgment to serve on the Turkish frontier It . took much . We were a strange gathering that sat down memorable night. and invited him and a com- mittaji sojourning there to join us one evening at supper. In the centre of this sombre assembly was our party the brigand. There are presents from in a retired brigand the Sultans.. persuasion and many glasses of the tell monks' good wine to make the brigand adventures into us of his but when he had detail fairly begun he went and gave us substantial demonstration of how he had done his many deeds of valour. in flowing robes and headgear like stove-pipe hats worn upside down. and some articles of intrinsic value.

it But was necessary in some districts. by which all but four managed to escape by sliding down the chasm into a thickly wooded valley below. and no one —not even the holy monks recital. He and his band had been forced by a body of Turks up a mountain side at the back of which was a yawning precipice. and had to his He was an Albanian credit in all seventeen dead men. Half of his men dropped behind bay while the others took them together into a rope. Everybody else at the monastery but myself was accustomed to such narratives as these. The brigand told us that he had chopped off the heads of Turks with a single blow. The . rocks and held the Turks at off their long red sashes and tied —a Christian Albanian—which accounts for the record he kept of his killings. was going across the for the revolution frontier no lack of bloodAmmunition nightly. and preparations were being prosecuted vigorously under the very noses of the Turkish authorities. It was purely my to Towards midnight mittaji assured the conversation officer turned combats to come.3o THE BALKAN TRAIL his rifle over aimed imaginary rocks when giving an account of what he considered the narrowest escape he had ever had. —showed the least for emotion at the bloody benefit. and both the and the com- me there would be letting as soon as the snows melted. where the Government officials were keenly on the alert. to adopt curious means of getting arms into the towns.

the place was crowded with refugees. weeping copiously. The The insurgents buried their load in the Bulgarian all cemetery with due dust to dust and ashes to ashes. and the to fugitives who had come to the monastery escape this in Macedonia had now moved on to the towns and villages further from the inquisition frontier. local voivodas and the following night a select delegation robbed the grave. borne in bags strapped to their backs. A funeral started from an ungarrisoned village near by. special burden of the little girls seemed to be their mothers' babies. There were no refugees at Rilo on the occasion of my first visit. were nearly two thousand quartered in the main building and in the stables and cornbins round about. and others leading ponies and donkeys heavily laden poor possessions . Some reached with all their the monastery driving a cow or two. men and women.THE ROAD TO RILO insurgent told this story of 31 of how a supply dynamite parade bombs was got into Monastir. were apprised of the fact. followed the corpse. But six months There later. attired in gilded vestments. The Turks did not notice that the dead man was exceptionally heavy. Mourners. and required twice the usual number of pall-bearers. Several months had elapsed since the search for arms in the Struma and Razlog districts. when I returned after the revolution in Macedonia. and acolytes swinging incense. . and marched into the town to the solemn chant of a mock priest. and more were arriving daily. but many came The with only what they carried on their backs.

They were these life crosses tattooed there.32 THE BALKAN TRAIL Some of the young mothers bore between their eyes peculiar marks which attracted my attention. at Rilo is Besides this they received soup from the monastery once a day. The refugee soup was boiled in a huge iron cauldron. A caravan of pack-ponies arrived at Rilo every morning. The native costumes of the Macedonians are of . The kitchen It is quite worthy of description. from taking a Christian woman. At noon the refugees gathered in the courtyard with of their villages earthen vessels. which was supplied to the refugees by the Bulgarian Government. on the which feet of stone. which he did with a great wooden spoon almost as long as himself. fire is built in the centre of the is room. and as the names were called they came up to the pot. They told me that marks were for the purpose of preventing from stealing them but I am of the opinion the Turks that the sign of the Cross would not prevent a Moslem . So large was this pot that the cook had to stand on a box to stir the boiling beverage. bringing bread. and a monk handed her a loaf or more of bread according to the number of children she had. The floor. suspended by chains over the fire. and the old grey-bearded cook dished out a big spoonful of soup to each mother. Its walls go up to the rises roof. and the smoke a hundred and escapes through a round hole about a foot in diameter. on the ground floor. but above it there are no other rooms.



and the company made the sign of the Cross three times in drill regularity. . and as there was no hall to spare for use as and this ful as well as pitiable. they were obliged to eat their meals in the open courtyard. and stood facing the chapel. behind the each with half a loaf of bread and a tin spoon. eight round a pot. There were two companies of infantry also quartered here. their meal in the golden light of pine torches fastened to the great pillars which In the Balkans the Christian call to mass is beaten on a pine board. likewise reverencing. The men then seated themselves. and call to six o'clock we rose and saddled horses at the mass. The next lap of our trail was long. The hours of prayer are regular at Rilo. and began support the balconies. and the time of day is told by the shrill tattoo. A few minutes before the supper-hour pots of stew or soup. army fell were set in a row on the stone pavement. or other rations.THE ROAD TO RILO the gayest colours. mess-room. in When the call to mess was sounded the soldiers pots. 33 mid-day scene was beautiBut there was a night scene at the monastery which was even more fascinating. and with one accord the line of yellow-coated men doffed their caps. Their officer. The drums beat again. pronounced the grace.

But over there the Christian drawing drinking water makes way for the Moslem to wash his feet. here. while here the Turk is made to wait his turn like any other man. largest American of college in South-Eastern is outside Constantinople. and many times a day Turks come to the fountain to wash before entering the mosque to prayer just as they do across the border. a primitive. however. It crowned with storks' nests. where boys learning trades may earn part or all of their tuition.34 THE BALKAN TRAIL CHAPTER III THE TRAIL OF THE MISSIONARIES Rilo it is a day's track to Samakov. A mosque and a Turkish fountain still do duty in the market place. also an industrial school. roofed with red tiles. It is conducted by the American missionaries. one dis- The Europe. tinctive feature. built From — largely of mud bricks. possesses. patterned after those most successful in the United States. full of frontier colour and character. . and educates most of the Bulgarian teachers employed Protestant schools throughout Bulgaria and donia. It is it is in the Maceinsti- something more than a theological tute . Samakov is much like other border towns. dreamy town.

THE TRAIL OF THE MISSIONARIES The carpentering department and the are both conducted at a profit. now the State schools afford every advantage the offer Americans can —except the American language. became a quasi-independent State . the Americans have excited. The Servian Government prohibits by law all proselytising D 2 . In the of home and life are taught. which has un- doubtedly assisted in keeping the priests active in developing their own educational institutions. there the no other Balkan country. except perhaps same liberty of thought. but Turkish schools are maintained by the State. It was not until the American missionaries opened a school for girls in their land that the Bulgarians began to educate their women. without intention. for in Rumania. the jealousy of the Orthodox Church. The Bulgarian Government attempts to administer justice to all denominations and to maintain religious equality before the law. It is due to the freedom with the Bul- of religious opinion existing in Bulgaria that the mis- sionaries have become so closely is allied garians. before Bulgaria But that was many years ago. both directly and indirectly. which is 35 printing press credited pro- portionately to the boys girls' school the duties who do the work. and some of the as well as book knowledge. The Bulgarians owe much to the American missionFor one thing. young women are trained for the positions of teachers in the smaller mission schools. aries. The Greeks complain that Greek schools are not subsidised. and the Government comes fairly near to this aim.

The unfortunate missionaries . fore. however.36 THE BALKAN TRAIL The Greeks though they welcomed and sympathy of the missionaries in the Greek to Protestantism. Government officials (adherents of the Orthodox Church. very few of the other races ever seek of admission. while the few Turks who have deserted Mohamedanism have mysteriously disappeared. by delaying necessary permits and privileges as long as possible . those distinctly rebel against who are not converted ' what they term the Christianising of Christians. for the double reason that they are institutions of Protestants and of Bulgarians. But the Bulgarians do not appreciate the work the Americans. And it has been found almost impossible to convert Jews. tolerate the missionaries in his dominions to convert they attempted Mohamedans. of the Orthodox Church in and they favour members making appointments to are. between the devil and the deep sea for while the . So the missionaries are left only the Bulgarians on whom open to work. or they would not . lessons of a character which the missionaries refuse to disseminate. indeed. be elected) make it difficult for the missionaries to extend their work. there- public service. — the aid war of independence —have since enacted laws which The Sultan would not if make the teaching of 'sacred lessons' in the schools compulsory. other . Their schools nationalities in and both churches are to Bulgaria and Macedonia but.' I have said that the Government was just in religious matters the members of the Government. are not.



growing weary. a party of Protestant mis- and teachers foreigner the only —among whom Miss Stone was — the American school at left Samakov and crossed the Turkish frontier to Djumabala. . and sent ' the whole their way except Mrs. whom they detained as a companion for Miss Stone. however. To- wards nightfall of the the Macedonian first day out the do. Turks accuse the Americans of propagating a revoluOf the latter. without an escort. his missionaries But there was one occasion when the American came to be important instruments of the Macedonian revolutionary cause. the tionary spirit amongst the Bulgars.THE TRAIL OF THE MISSIONARIES 37 Bulgarians resent being the subject of missions. a certain feature of which. numbering fifteen. Stone. Early in July 1901. This was in the notorious capture of Miss Ellen M. they are not though the fire education of a peasant naturally tends to spirit. considering that the party. Tsilka. allowed their ponies to straggle. and rode It directly into an ambush the Americans. all members of of them on number without firing a The brigands had no need for the other the company. was too large to be molested. not correctly chronicled at the time. directly guilty. travellers. to ' was an easy matter for the brigands round-up single shot. makes a most sionaries interesting narrative. being Bulgarians. From Djuma they proceeded into Macedonia. as pony is wont to At dark the laid for cavalcade began to ascend a rugged mountain in this disorder.

The Orthodox churchmen had no sympathy for the American evangelist and treated the affair as a grand joke. In a few months the teen collected. of five months from the time (Mr. lest it should be called upon by the United States at a later date to refund the amount. According to accounts sent to the newspapers at the time by correspondents who.38 THE BALKAN TRAIL The sum demanded for Miss Stone's ransom was twenty-five thousand Turkish liras. At the end capture. effective The American the American Government took no release of its subject. of the the Consul-General Dickenson) had accomplished only an agreement with the brigands payment of the sum collected in lieu of the one demanded. and he returned to Constantinople and transferred the work to a committee appointed by the American Minister that Miss Stone should be set at liberty on on instructions from Washington. measures to secure the left to and it was people to subscribe the ransom money. sum of sixty-eight thousand dollars (four- five hundred pounds Turkish) was and the American Consul-General at Constantinople went to Sofia to negotiate the ransom. dogged the footsteps of the three men who . while the Government sought to prevent payment of the ransom on Bulgarian soil. slightly less in value than so many English pounds. with many Turkish soldiers. and hampered by the Government. and he soon found it impracticable to pay the money to the brigands thousand from that side of the border. But in Bulgaria he was annoyed by the people and the press.

House. the headquarters of the American Mission Board. but the committee is bound by a promise to the insurgents to keep it secret certain details. ransom committee. these gentlemen. of the Turkish soldiers for a But the correspondents were sadly duped. Before I Constantinople I called on Mr. after travelling over hundreds of miles of wild mountain roads. 39 the Peet. and paid two agents of the insurgents in paper they (the money at a cross road when committee) managed to escape the vigilance few minutes. for necessity and the committajis in the demanded that they should be placed same category as the Turks. He at the met one day told me I bits of the story it which whetted my curiosity. and regarded as dangerous characters.THE TRAIL OF THE MISSIONARIES formed Messrs. sent the gold back to Constantinople. in the course of a conversation about the . secured bank-notes in its stead. He was proud of having defeated some worthy men among my colleagues and the Turkish police at the same time. whom I American Legation at Constantinople. and Garguilo. Peet at his office. of which he is the dragoman. despaired of paying the ransom in gold. and I am able to give only a bare outline of the adventure. If a member of the committee could tell this tale would make a most readable volume. and resolved to run left to earth. doubling for on the their tracks sometimes daily in their search finally brigands. and. Garguilo. I first learned that the original accounts of the ransoming were erroneous from Mr.

not long after. officer who had five been detached to follow the fourteen thousand . This eventually accomplished the desired effect.4o THE BALKAN TRAIL affair. On Mr. Dickenson's return from Sofia the ransom left at committee once for the Raslog district. was to re-establish communication with the insurgents. which the revolutionary organisation follows closely. for fear lest punishment should be meted out by the Turks to the town which played the important part in the delivery of the ransom. proceeded through others of the principal actors in the little drama. It was my good fortune. The brigands at this juncture had become indignant at the long delay in the payment of the money and had The first broken off negotiations with the Americans. added a few more facts to those Mr. The brigand was the most communicative of all these principals. to meet Dr. the news of the fact was disseminated broadcast throughout Bulgaria and Macedonia. Macedonia I And as encountered many I . then. the band which of member Sandansky's a found had captured Miss Stone. in Bulgaria. work let of the new committee. and I took the opportunity of discussing I the affair with him. Garguilo had given me. and I got from him some details which the ransom committee had been sworn not to divulge. and. I hundred pounds of gold band. but also caused an increase of the . and Mrs. Tsilka at Monastir then the Turkish came upon Mr. in order to the brigands learn that they were on their trail. and later. House at the American mission Stone at Salonica. and also sent to the European press.

It seems the Turks had asked them information of Miss Stone. Trail after trail drew one occasion word came that two frontier Miss smugglers. the most rebellious town of a most rebellious district. blank. without even an excuse on the part of the smugglers for having concocted for it. had professed to and Mrs. ' to conduct a . Tsilka's baby ! and could take the committee to the graves of waiting for the There had been several other reports that the brigands had wearied their ransom and had detailed as this. House going to Bansko. Peet and Garguilo establishing themselves at Djumabala and Dr. captured having seen strangled. tions ' ' The altera- completely denied the first statement. desired to hear. Another examination of the smugglers was made. winter —faring On but meeting with no success. sleeping in comfortless khans and undergoing many hardships. killed captives. of correspondents 41 on the trail of the com- For nearly a month the committee moved from town to town through the snow for it was now — on the coarsest of food. and the following day a telegram announced that they were altering their testimony. After a while the committee broke up. Stone by the Turks. but none so The Turkish authorities at the point from which this evidence came were anxiously petitioned for further facts. and the frightened smugglers according to had replied in the Macedonian manner.THE TRAIL OF THE MISSIONARIES number mittee. what they thought their questioners Messrs.

The bullion was sent under proper guard to the railway station. where the ransom fund had been deposited. just when his every effort should be devoted to the task of freeing the two unfortunate women and suffering untold tortures a new-born babe. Smyth-Lyte. American Consulate. House was the series of missionary meetings. House had got touch with the Mr. and these bodyguards always slept on the .42 THE BALKAN TRAIL Dr. wasting valuable time preaching Christianity to Christians. under the guidance of an insurgent disguised as an ordinary peasant. conveyed from Constanthousand tinople. But the correspondents were not aware that Dr. and his action was severely criticised by the corresponthe journalists saw the case. it brigands the of the money was cases. were delivered to him from the Ottoman Bank. sent for. Smyth-Lyte from the bank. nor did they know that further negotiations for paying the ransom were proceeding into along with the revival meetings at Bansko. After Dr. had visited a delegation of the brigands . House had escaped their vigilance and that of the Turks. five Two containing fourteen hundred gold pieces and weighing four hundred pounds. Two kavasses were sent with Mr. here was a As dents. in who were some sheepfold high in the snow-covered mountains. member of the committee.' only member of the committee who could speak Bulgarian and converse direct with the brigands. where a special car was awaiting it. and. the most valuable man because of his knowledge of the brigands' language.

One of the packhorses accompanying the soldiers was unloaded and the gold strapped on its back but the packages were of unequal sizes. A rickety brougham was ready to take the American and the money to Djuma-bala. Smyth-Lyte was met by a Turkish officer. the troopers formed a cordon about it. he added. and the journey was begun. who were well mounted. But the party had hardly got fairly upon the road when the severe pounding rocks. and twenty trusty The Turk was suave and smartly dressed. The two packages of gold were loaded into the doubtful conveyance. and in this way the money was got over the mountains. Some of the cavalry men went far ahead to . Mr. would be even to the death of the troopers officer who were under his command. for whom the Padisha had the greatest concern. and the trusty troopers non-communicative and very ragged. where the train journey ended. There was a halt and an attempt to patch up the vehicle.THE TRAIL OF THE MISSIONARIES money. of the gold as the carriage carried away it the floor. who informed him. were each called upon to carry a box. until the number of the escort reached a hun- dred. 43 At Demir-Hissar. More troops fell in as the way became more dan. At last the two kavasses. fulfilled Monsieur's commands. gerous. but was useless. and would persist in finding their way under the stomach of the hapless brute. a two days' journey. officer) in polished French. bumped over and down went the the boxes. that he (the was the humble servant of Monsieur the Consul.

44 THE BALKAN TRAIL Kresna Pass. where and others . far behind the cavalcade to cover the But the journey was made without mishap. Government had no idea reap their golden harvest. scout. Smyth-Lyte arrived at Djuma-bala. and delivered over his precious charge. Peet and Garguilo. and the correspondents alike. If they kept close to the money. morning he set off on the return trip with and a guard of half a dozen men. especially through the great a handful of men could ambush an army dropped back rear. the committee. of allowing the bandits to So it came to be the task of the ransoming committee to separate the gold soldiers. 1 Early next his kavasses On the arrival of the money it. apparently from the correspondents and the a hopeless one. soldiers. Turkish and spies about longer the subject of attention The committee was no the money was now . always watching the Turks who surrounded The Turkish spies kept their eyes on the soldiers. met there Messrs. but the soldiers were bent on getting the brigands. and late at night of the second day. reasoned the correspondents and the soldiers. bound The correspondents had no The Turkish other interest than to get the news. Mr. man of of sharp wits Each and almost them had a dragoman the gold. at Djuma there was a general concentration of correspondents. Smyth-Lyte for this section of the narrative. . The committee would decide at a moment's notice 1 I am indebted to Mr. they were to be in at the ransom. the thing. Every corre- spondent present was a untiring energy.

to the intense surprise of everybody. The correspondents railed against it the committee. live who was preaching to the Bul- rest The committee secured a private house to in. for the ransoming committee were wont to walk far for exercise. bringing the money. but after a week of this they grew weary. Here a long took place. he discovered that any exertion whatever distinctly foreign to that gentleman's daily routine. and the tireless no one correspondents were on their track before the dust had settled behind their horses. daily ' Garguilo's habits were at the when comfortably ensconced would have is Embassy at Constantinople. and in one room stored the gold. At the end of a month. accusing of laziness and love of but they. garians. came to Bansko and there still settled down with Dr. House. but the soldiers were always with them. with the Turks. a messenger came from Constantinople. It was not probable that the brigands would venture very near to a village so heavily garrisoned and patrolled as was Bansko. . too. for a visit to some mountain village. After a while Messrs. ostensibly guarding them from other brigands. comfort . grew indolent and took their ease at their khan.' and loiter aimlessly on cold and unattractive mountain roads about the town. dogged the very footsteps of the three men of the committee. Peet and Garguilo.THE TRAIL OF THE MISSIONARIES to leave a telling 45 town . and to watch the gold soon became Had any of them sufficient for the correspondents. At first they. put himself to the trouble of ascertaining what Mr.

One hundred soldiers escorted them back to Demir-Hissar. With great ceremony the two boxes of gold were delivered to him. Garguilo told him that the deed was done. A few days later the committee started on its return and only one correThe others considered that for the present the affair was over. but the money was not paid . Two committee met and escorted them to Salonica.' in a village near Seres. * On the ground there were several torn envelopes.' to the railway. Mrs. until they and two kavasses ate and slept on them were safely delivered back to the Ottoman Bank at Constantinople. There they were carefully placed aboard another special car. The soldiers and the correspondents had lost interest now. and the baby were discovered. ' A of few the days later Miss Stone. Tsilka. At a cross-road they stopped and waited for their trackers. with a small escort spondent. There was they were the same two no mistake about them boxes. paid in paper came to appear in the English and American press . travelling in all the Smyth-Lyte's journey. such as a bank would use to cover notes. At one place on the route Mr. Garguilo and Dr. It is obvious how the story that the money was in paper. When the correspondent came up Mr. . They were still bound tight with iron bands and they still weighed four hundred pounds. House managed to leave their escort and the correspondent a little behind.46 THE BALKAN TRAIL state which had dignified Mr.

I am told. as was an injunction of absolute secrecy concerning also the place and manner in which the money was paid. in preparing the uprising of 1903. unconscious that the gold was going. and the brigands. It was necessary to keep the fact that the ransom had been handed over a complete secret until the captives were released. and they returned with a like weight but not of gold Each night they removed a certain amount of the money. The insurgents say . in order that the Turks should not get on the track of the brigands. and on their return would place the lead — in the bullion all boxes —the vigilant guards about the house Finally. Peet. are spinning this yarn. The return of the boxes to Constantinople with all the pomp and ceremony attendant upn the transport of treasure was not without an object. 47 Garguilo. The money which the revolutionary organisation secured by this capture went a long way. along with accounts of other adventures. whom the committee-men met on their walks. now off duty between revolutions. to admiring friends in Sofia.! THE TRAIL OF THE MISSIONARIES When Messrs. and House took their daily walks about Bansko they went out with heavy packages of gold concealed under their coats. and four hundred pounds of lead filled the boxes. A promise that every effort should be made to throw the Turks off the trail was demanded by the brigands. the fourteen thousand five hundred pieces had been delivered to the brigands. But the time is past when the secret need be kept.

48 THE BALKAN TRAIL that they expected the Government of the United States to exact from the Sultan the price of this ransom. The in three parts of pack-ponies. proud proud of the short cannon. went to prayer meeting at Samakov at the invitation of the American missionaries. But this has not been done. and not the least enthusiastic with ' the cause It is ' is the little mountain battery at Samakov. The mission- prayed fervently and at length that the Mace- donian insurgents might be turned from their wicked The prayer annoyed one of the officers. ways. — a very limited extent ' —that the measures of the committajis were often too drastic.' The entire Bulgarian army is in sympathy with the work of the insurgents. on the backs Bulgarian army has been preparing for fight the Turks. he rose and stalked out of the The others agreed with the missionaries to chapel. of its proficiency at handling them. and. thereby making the Padisha pay for the arms used against himself. to my embarrassment. carried and it is The entire battery got out one morning and took us up into the mountains to show us how the guns worked. and took with us several aries officers of We the garrison. many years to .



Electric cars became numerous. . ' The decorations were in deference to the Evil Eye.49 CHAPTER SOFIA IV AND THE BULGARIANS We drove back to Sofia in a small victoria drawn by four white ponies with blue beads around their necks and a diamond-shaped spot of henna on each forehead. double lines crossing each other at one corner. to emporiums where French gloves and silk hats were on sale. making our Hotel de Bulgarie. but the Bulgarian colours are red. was not peasants. Patriotism was running high in the country at the time. but simply to impress the other respect for the who would have no of the brown • uniform alone. At the head main street we came to a solid E . but he carried a sabre at his side. and green. Here a sturdy gendarme raised his hand for us to stop he was not as large as a London policeman. The chief of police explained to me later that the weapon the town at twilight.' We came down the long valley to Sofia and entered way to the Grand The shops grew from peasant establishments where cheese and onions and odd shapes of bread were spread on open counters. for use. white.

that they are . and the There were tastefully but modestly dressed. high. and. THE BALKAN TRAIL rectangular building. and I was invited forthwith. the officers of the their pay. The American. drab-coloured walls. The massive were wide open. palace was the hotel.50 drab-coloured." He knew who I was strangers a r e conspicuous in Sofia. There was to be a military ball at the officers' club that evening. how goes it ? I see you are from " the land of the free and the brave. : . surrounded by iron gates sentinels. Their atten- tion to me on this occasion is to of be accounted for in the observation an historian. Many members officials army live on Government and wearing ordinary other state were at the the evening dress with some few decorations. waited at the hotel until I had dressed. It is said of Bulgarians that they dislike foreigners. like that The scene was very in at a military hop any civilised country. and their presence becomes known quickly. The officers looked martial ladies is in their simple Russian uniforms.' as this officer was called. which is true to an extent. after dining with me. and one hailed me manner Well. Several Just beyond the army officers in uniform were standing before the Bulgarie as in this familiar • we drove up. ' took me to the dance. wealth in Bulgaria all no the land —and —not a millionaire in pounds in of the ball. and before each paced two This was the palace of the Prince.

question. The reporter intimated that in his opinion a newspaper like mine would hardly send on such a mission a man who was quite as ignorant as I professed to be They are bold. The day before first my departure from Sofia (on this the suspicions of occasion) I excited a local journalist by declining to declare my sympathies. This journalist was my undoing. . Officers who had toasted me when I started for the ! frontier would not return interviewed my salute . They adopted no surreptitious means of making me do so they went straight to the point and demanded my attitude.' was the special cor- respondent of an important newspaper.SOFIA ' AND THE BULGARIANS and their I 51 chiefly a practical people gratitude is a sense of favours to come. and intended to withhold my judgment until I had seen the question from more sides than one. a few weeks later. I and statesmen and politicians barely nodded when E 2 . They granted that this was fair. I intimated that I had come out to the Balkans to take nobody's side I had come ignorant even of the geography of SouthEastern Europe. I did not see what he wrote about me until I returned to Sofia. and found myself completely ignored by the very Bulgars who had been most attentive. and they were anxious that I should sympathise with their cause. these Bulgars. and remarked that an honest man who was not a fool must perforce become a bitter partisan on the Balkan . newspaper men who had me now slunk by in the street.

sought my friend the officer of who spoke American. as . 52 lifted THE BALKAN TRAIL my hat. The young officer did not tell me this in the offensive manner of a candid friend he delivered the . and on con- cluding offered me a native drink. if I could have of no mitigating argument guilt. implying is explanation The Sofia by a gesture this disagreeable you are my guest.' I observed to which the officer assented and signed to me to 1 . The Vitcherna Posta. had been bought with a paltry decoration from his Sultanic Majesty. . had shown me up. who would probably condemn another man for accepting a monetary bribe. he but when he was in was America satisfied my my countrymen had treated him well. No news but such as was favourable to the Turk and hostile to the Bulgar would be published in my paper.. he informed me. but . The Bulgarians are not very politic. accusations straight from the shoulder. I and inquired him if he knew in what way had offended his fellow-countrymen. The proprietor of my paper. drink. The paper had discovered that I had come out to the Balkans pledged to support the Turks. This was undoubtedly deliberate the Bulgarians could not have forgotten I me so soon. He did not hesitate a minute. journal had mistaken me I was not the : over. and my pretended ignorance was simply a bluff. In proof of this statement the fact that I Vampire Post called attention to the had paid frequent visits to the Turkish ' ' Agency before my late departure.

. is They are somewhat this. and the Bulgar's . due to their youth as a nation. by trying to maintain the friendship of both I had my mission. hundred years. are suspicious people. of sympathetic with the Sultan. and with a childlike sensitiveness for pride. He had an antidote prepared for me. which a Slav characteristic. indeed. incurred. The Sultan's representative. visits I Nor were the numerous had paid to the Turkish Commissioner due to any but legitimate reasons. where the diplois matic atmosphere Bulgar and Turk. immediate trip to Constantinople. the hostility of both. The Bulgarians lived under the this trait in their character They excuse by explaining that they for five Mohamedan This is their favourite excuse for all their sins. an revolutionists at many my hotel.SOFIA AND THE BULGARIANS 53 correspondent of the paper whose proprietor had been decorated by the Sultan. But they have also acquired at least one of the Turk's good points selves . at the very outset Thus. obstinate. The strong strain of barbarism in the Bulgar finds symin the breast of the Britisher. accused me of making a suspicious number of calls on Bulgarian officials and of receiving too and when I applied to him for permission to proceed to Macedonia I found many visits and much persuasion all of no avail. makes spends any length of time generally likes An Englishman who among pathy the Bulgarians them. they are dignified and can control them- they seldom lose their tempers and generally act cautiously.

' When a voivoda is killed in Macedonia a high mass for the repose of his soul is celebrated the next Sunday or fete day at the cathedral in Sofia. who. open space of before the cathedral to hear addresses by members who sometimes speak are generally British from the cathedral quite sane. hold they enter church. and not Austria and Russia and their gratitude is chiefly a sense of favours to . resents approach he never becomes friendly. but never suggest the release of Russia's hand. draped in mourning. The speeches advice to often contain foster friendship. Small boys. respect for the ultra-civilised chord in the other also wins its reward. steps. who recognises a diamond in the man who can cut him. They see that their friends. fearing a rebuff and he main. The Bulgarians are most anxious for the favour of Great Britain. hired by the revolutionary committee. he knows. are the Western Powers. the Bulgar doesn't know it. They aspire to become a. great nation and to annex the conquerable territory to their south. ' come. in the vast crayon portraits of the dead heroes. and distance in the presence Now. for the people to see as After mass the congregation gathers the revolutionary committee. At the conclusion of one of these meetings I accom- . but this is exactly the way to gain the esteem of the Englishman. tains for ever a dignity of the stony one.54 THE BALKAN TRAIL man . if they have any. The Bulgar never approaches an Englishman.



and gave three cheers. told aid. In front of the Lion and the Unicorn the shouts were loud and prolonged. They can boast The and of having attained in a quarter of a century a liberty which the Russians have not yet secured. fast grip on the masses the people ance. his Majesty's representative could not acknow- ledge a demonstration hostile to Turkey.SOFIA AND THE BULGARIANS On their 55 panied a crowd to the British Agency. There. Bulgaria are liberal in principle. some were cheering and passing on. But. But the model of the Bulgarians is by no means the great Slav country. the peasants are grateful for their deliver- and many of the politicians are open to bribery. halted. responded promptly. way they passed the Italian Agency. The suffrage is . and made for the residence of the Russian. The Russian. institutions of often in prac- the constitution is democratic. and they waited for an acknowledgment. A silence followed. a State with which the British Government was at peace. The Bulgarians finally moved off. tice . But Russia holds a . of course. and spoke from is his terrace in his own tongue —which sufficiently like Bulgarian to be understood by a them that Bulgaria must bide Russia's time. He Bulgarians of intelligence and education put faith in the promises of the present Russian little Governof ment. that Russia was the friend of all Slavs. unlike the English agent. for the crowd seemed undecided . and Russia would eventually come to their Bulgarian crowd. Bakhmetieff. others were bent on seeing M.

Will you ? tell me what con- stitutes a state of civilisation I hesitated. several years at an by a boy who had spent mission school. It may be the result wonder if England is more than Bulgaria is. it is simply because her aspirations are define civilisation. . and she is no longer amall bitious. jealousies free We is no which sends us are accused of having national And our politics of America. ' American The English papers. more corrupt than that missionaries.' I was unable to When Bulgaria became independent. among the other deputies without removing are anxious to be classed with their fezzes. of your religion religious but on the whole We hear of horrible social crimes there that never occur here.' 56 THE BALKAN TRAIL Mohamedan districts of extended to every male adult. ' Is it a man's education if ? ' he asked. The Bulgarians tion. achieved. the I man. It we are learning as we cannot be that clothes make .' he said. as a result whereof seven Turks represent the the and sit Danube and Turkish border in the Sobranje. people of the West. ' often assert that we are not civilised. and they strive hard for civilisa- displays though a streak of Eastern origin sometimes Once I was asked a significant question itself. and ambitions. Sofia was a . ' It is not our fault fast as we have not education can. England if is certainly not from the former.

several vast and many other Government buildings. without a street paved with anything but cobble stones. so I entered. and looked dubiously at the coachman. a military academy. of which Ivan Markvitchka is the head. I a modest cottage. The dwellings. here '). touka little girl. 1 Touka. a post barracks. But the streets of Sofia have not altogether parted far with the past . ' (' here. modern homes the avenues.SOFIA AND THE BULGARIANS 57 very dirty town. besides a palace and a parliamentary building. A the Minister's daughter. and Still. . upon whom I often called. hotels mark the business quarter. and with but one house of any pretensions. The servant was cooking. from here were the humble homes of two painters and a sculptor. There are parks and public gardens where bands play on summer evenings new streets and avenues have been laid out. responded to my rap Not and invited me in. there are many touches of the old .' To-day. They were instructors at the National Institute of Art. One day I drove out along one of the avenues The coachman drew up call on a Cabinet Minister. he said. the Turkish ' konak. but in places she is absolutely bare. Sofia reminds one of a lanky girl whose spindle shanks and lean arms have outgrown her pinafore. try new avenues and cover the to at gawky child. garden. . to reach out the long by setting far apart. there are a national office. and some of the narrow ones of Turkish times have been widened substantial shops and bank. whose greatest charm was an ample repeated the name of the Minister.

Turkish times Many of the shops are dark. but the water is excellent —brought by pipe from a boiling mineral spring in the mountains a few kilometres distant. low. An ancient Turkish bath and an old mosque stand side by side in front of the market place on the principal trading corner. Behind the mosque and the bath is an open space which resembles an empty lot. for used at this ceremony. A child is not washed when born for fear of its catching cold. The when the of a place is garrison Detachments hundred men of arrive hourly. army has been a great The natives of in it is Macedonia bathe as they marry. three-quarters of an hour later they are turned out clean. . as them no do peasants baptized with water.58 THE BALKAN TRAIL left. closed to the public on Mondays. Macedonian peasants. though they never wash. though the shopkeepers no longer block the pavements with their wares and sit cross-legged among them. a result of oiled christening. letter An open from a Greek office. nor oil is when it is baptized. except on Fridays. The bath is not attractive in appearance. carry with foul odour. of Sofia is scrubbed. priest to the oil American missionaries concerning the use of instead of water at the baptismal demonstrates the Macedonian prejudice against water —except for internal use. Compulsory service training to the in the Bulgarian peasants. only once or twice a lifetime. and dingy. The as priest defended the use of oil on the score the that. each with a towel and a bar brown soap .



and squealing pigs. The The peasants. but the police are never Once called upon to prevent a clash between the two. bolts of homespun cloth. Only pigs and babies are carried. baskets of eggs. . and. the flesh to the bone. is a week the capital crowded with peasants assembled a radius of twenty kilo- from every metres. They begin to gather on Thursday evening.SOFIA Friday AND THE BULGARIANS 59 is both the sabbath of the Turks and the market day of the Bulgars. carts young and old. a red rose in her hair. strings of onions. men and women. carrying a pig over one shoulder. besides. village within Fellow-residents of the same broad. sunny come trooping in. a dozen chickens strung up by the pathises with the pig One sym- and the fowls also. for these poor things have been carried with their heads hanging for probably three hours. every individual afoot and the pack-animals are too heavily laden to . and the pigs always cry. bunches of chickens. bleating lambs. buckets of cheese. with a lash tied so it tightly that and may cut through The girls always laugh on their way to market. clad in lighter clothes than those worn by the mountain men from Vitosh. Of course the pigs are laid down now and again along entirely stops the circulation. carry their owners can carry something more. pretty girl One sympathises with a dressed in holiday costume. The pig is slung by one or both hind legs. over the other feet. and long before the next day breaks the plain in which Sofia lies space is covered with sacks of corn. walk to market.

Where was the boy who asked me what the English word civilised meant ? The Bulgarians are careful of their draught animals. but it Her hair is far below generally changes in both texture and colour considerably above. and some reply about the five hundred years the peasants had spent under the Turks. It is a common summer to see a girl in holiday attire. the proud possessor spends hours making the combination into a score of . dragging a heavy. her waist. with a long-handled dipper throwing water from a puddle on to the backs of sweltering buffaloes as they move In the slowly past. and other ornaments. but they arrive in Sofia with their eyes popping out of the girls sockets. and saves her earnings for brass belt-buckles. girl weaves the cloth for her own spins the threads on her long marches to town. cruelty to prominent Bulgarians generally got This. and her belt-buckle sometimes measures ten inches across. THE BALKAN TRAIL when the happy girls take a rest. perhaps. pigs. The peasant clothes. Her bracelets often weigh over a pound. creaking cart. spliced The lower portion is When such an appendage on to the maiden's own locks.60 the route. they have learned in their term of to subjection sight in the Mohamedan. resembles horsehair. winter each buffalo has his blanket. These pigs which the carry are little but huge hogs are hung in the same manner at various occasions I pointed out this wanton the sides of laden ponies. On whom I knew. bracelets.



' but I needed one badly. I gave up the franc and proceeded to adjust rassed. it pressed and finding a upon me.SOFIA AND THE BULGARIANS 61 thin plaits. The bazaars of other capitals in the Near East are rilled with cheap German and Austrian imitations of native jewellery and dress. the Jews cannot thrive on the close-fisted Bulgars. Franc. but Sofia is freer from this pollution. drew fifty-centime piece. The Jews who Balkans. He was selling key-rings. and I stopped and took one. Israelite among them are fairer in business trans- actions than their co-religionists anywhere else in the I had an interesting experience with an old one day. my keys to the ring. I held up a franc by way of asking the price. undecided away he touched me on the arm. As I started a greasy old purse from a deep pocket in a baggy pair of trousers. whether to do the honest thing or pocket the piece. the Bulgar at horse-trading . The old Jew was embar- him. on the market place. and he said. being unable to argue over the price. He had clearly expected me to bargain with He looked at the franc and then at me. among But while the Jew who has elected to remain the Bulgars has had to surrender some of his principles of gold-getting. which she spreads out across her shoulders and loops together at the end. among other trinkets.' and held up one finger. and. The ring was a common affair and not worth so much. There are few Jews in Bulgaria as compared with the number live in the border State of Rumania .

bewilderment he could friend if not count so much money. an independent person of some thirty years. but it died away almost less instantly.62 is THE BALKAN TRAIL a brother of the world fraternity of stock-dealers. and again and again they each counted the notes over. 1 You are no longer a Turkish subject. and the money was produced in the form of Bulgarian banknotes. and then he asked the mayor. . He said he ' Turkish effendi. but the a tedious The owner of the horse was a simple old peasant. dressed like the other in homespuns and sheepprocess.' said the mayor. but he was assisted in the deal by the mayor of his village. bright market day. After a long wrangle a was finally agreed upon. One when the streets were crowded with peasants and the European garb was almost obliterated. A gleam of joy came over the old man's face when first laid in his the currency was hands. We were not long in finding a bargaining was satis- animal. He asked my he was not swindling him. giving place to one of hope. It was pitiable.' had received many pieces of paper from and they were never worth anything (the Turkish for army has a way of giving paper promises goods and labour). someone were trying to rob him and followed the very words of the deal as they passed from one price man to the other. The if old peasant gripped the bridle of his horse as of the animal. skins. I went with a fellow-correspondent to buy a factory horse.

and the other guests of the insurgent were a Japanese and a Russian who happened to be in Sofia at the time. . It was during the war in the Far East. something. pleading something in Bulgarian. and strangers are always taken to see the work. present there is At only one playhouse in the town. Many of the older inhabitants . understand the Turkish language are learning French. and tried at ease as to whether he possessed to put his mind three hundred good gold francs. it was natural that no two of us thoroughly agreed on any one point. to I him that I did not understand but understood the old man. The old peasant I made his way The among the beasts to where was. . older peasants of Bulgaria are nearly all but State schools teach the younger genera- tions to read and write. and thrust the roll of bills at me. One evening I was invited by Boris Sarafoff the Macedonian leader. mayor shouted Bulgarian . The illiterate. 63 finally loosened his grip but as he delivered over the animal a last pang of fear struck his heart. and he turned Spying hastily about in search of off. Gathered from the four corners of the earth.SOFIA He AND THE BULGARIANS on the bridle. a Turkish theatre. the younger Bulgars They are building a national opera-house in Sofia. I had left the scene and gone over to inspect the buffaloes lying quietly covered with their masters' coats of goats' hair. me at a little distance he came shuffling towards me as fast as his old legs would carry him. to be (jnte of a box party to witness a performance at |$?s place.

but each was tolerant of the others. which was well for it. The pictures were grotesque and ludicrous. in the house. The plays presented . They portrayed the absurdities of the Turk. a bald bass violinist. When of doing things. From the single gallery hung hand-painted works of art only equalled by the mural decorations at Rilo. his peculiar and his chronic inclination to The band. was composed of a fair young lady who beat the drum. . Between the acts the actresses appeared by turns After the band the leading lady had the audience.64 THE BALKAN TRAIL As for Sarafoff. rest.' cost the sum of five francs . which vied with the pictures in keeping early arrivals in good humour until the curtain rose. ' the play's the thing. whitewashed inside. But this was not the only collection to be made. because the music was not included in the price of admission. and two or three normal musicians all led by a youth of not more than fifteen. The work of the band. The building was a rough wooden barn. There were seats to be had for twenty and standing room for ten centimes. rather rickety. a stout matron who blew the cornet. more anon Our box here. the last pull first draught on The lady who simply walked on got at the Turkish theatre are all —and got what she deserved. it was the best in the house with the exception of the royal box. however. was more artistic than that of the painter. way — the play began the beauty instrument to pass a plate who beat the drum left her among the audience in is the same manner that a collection taken in church.

suffers under the Ottoman rule F . is On the whole. But on occasions insurgent bands which have met with defeat across the border have avenged themselves on MohamBut such slaughters happen edans in Bulgaria. visited the mosque of Sofia in token of respect for the religion of his Turkish subjects. and myself. They generally treat and consideration. with less and less frequency. who. The fairness them with Government is jealous of its case against the Turk. He is to the Bulgar very much what the Irishman is to the Englishman. was done with such extravagance. that the Jap. AND THE BULGARIANS is 65 . the funny as well as the exasperating man. except that he holds the position of the man with the gun. the Mohamedan in in Bulgaria better off than his brother Turkey. the Russian. Turkish the principal characters are Turks nians. on ascending the new throne. The Bulgarian peasants are usually on the best of terms with the Turks in their land. as well as Sarafoff. were highly amused. The language employed . Except for individual slaughters. with all functionary's suspicion and corruption. and yet such delicacy. His that impersonation of a Turkish pasha. the actors are Arme- The leading man is a splendid actor. none has taken place for more than ten years.SOFIA comedies. The Turk is the subject of much of the Bulgarian's humour as well as his wrath. and has been most zealous in its efforts to prevent murders of Mohamedans ever since the day Prince Alexander. and on an everdiminishing scale.

which say he cares too venture. And when these Turks pack their goods and chattels and start to trek. almost or quite as theless. to see his Highness cut the ribbon newly finished port of Bourgas. shaking hands and chatting a moment. After the cannon had signalled the fact that the harbour was open to the commerce of the stretched the world. They seem to think as many men have thought for many years that the day of Turkish power in Europe will soon — be past. Prince Ferdinand turned from the end of the and strode back towards the shore.— 66 THE BALKAN TRAIL much as does the Christian. across by special invitation. but the Prince stood still and fixed me with a withering glare. There are parties which think Prince Ferdinand too subservient to the Government. but Russian not much loved. and still others . and parties which think him too independent of the Czar tious. there is Never- a continuous exodus from Bulgaria of Turks and Pomaks (Bulgarians converted to Mohamedanism) to the land where the Mohamedan rules. I little for the man in the sheep- skin coat to risk his princely crown in a military went down. everybody. parties which think him ambiand say that he would be a king. Another correspondent acquainted with us both came to the rescue and . with. they do not stop until they have passed beyond the Bosphorus. When he came to me I extended my hand as I would pier to Mr. The Prince he is of Bulgaria is a shrewd monarch. on a private that train. as I thought. Roosevelt.

SOFIA presented AND THE BULGARIANS 67 me to the Prince. me in my own tongue for for his But he did not apologise F2 . which he said he The Prince mustered his had not employed for many a year. English. and conversed with quite five minutes. rudeness.

Austrian military maps and weighty books on the Balkans. which might be taken for sticks of dynamite these things puffed — up my person. Bulgaria denied him . subjected the baggage to a scandalous search. and my shirt was packed like a life-preserver. As I replaced my fezzed head into mauled garments one of these fiends poked his my compartment again. Both Russia and and the man without a pass- contraband in Turkey. but all they found was a Bulgarian art journal containing a few pictures. ran their hands into the shoes. with approval. ' — . and even lifted the linings of an extra hat . saying. The Customs inspectors entered the train at Mustafa Pasha. My pockets were full of smaller articles of the forbidden class. Allemand.68 THE BALKAN TRAIL CHAPTER V CONSTANTINOPLE AND THE TURKS The Count port is could claim no country. a Colt's and cartridges. Strange things are contraband in Turkey salt. He handed back the Bulgarian journal.' The magazine was printed in German. and. They turned out every bag. perceiving my plight. and many rolls of kodak film. undid the balls of socks. monsieur.

long. Occasional camel caravans lumber along the road beside the tracks. many no larger than drapers' . The train passes down a narrow street between rows of miserable dwellings. by train is come up the Bosphorus. and took my bags through unopened. though they are sold openly such as the is * ' in the streets novels Swiss Family Robinson.. form the kennels of The entrance to Constantinople not attractive.' as Abdul Hamid usurped the throne from his elder brother and works of chemistry containing the term H 2 0. CONSTANTINOPLE AND THE TURKS because there is 69 monopoly in the land . which could but mean named Turk ' ' elder . masters and slaves. . claimed to be German. To see its glories one must almost an antithesis of Sofia. firearms. One is a country town. and squalid barbaric splendour. The approach to Constantinople by train is over a marshy plain. small and new . dictionaries containing the words and brother. but this is only for the purpose of extorting backsheesh. . excavations. and storks rise majestically and sail away as the train passes. Constantinople is more petroleum tins. and cranes. closed with indolent gypsies. the other is an Imperial city. with palaces and paupers. I paid a mijidieh to the chief inspector. The outskirts of Constantinople are repulsive.' because the dog . boxes. roofed with flattened petroleum tins and at the base of the decaying walls of the city. pelicans. great and old. Hamid-Second-Zero Another baggage inspection takes place at Constantinople.

hungry creatures. and it is. in his way. the horrible sights eclipse all others. of morals No city in the world. are pitiable to behold. According to Western ideas. not even has more personality.' beset incurable . is most humane towards animals. with her mighty mosques and towering minarets. unhappy dogs of the imperial city out but the Turk reasons differently what — Allah has given life should live at Allah's will. are seldom cleaned. including laziness.' With the Golden Horn and the Sweet Waters Asia at her feet. 70 It is THE BALKAN TRAIL a world capital. It is fleet. The place is foul. would be a kind- ness to put the of existence .. to the unaccustomed eye. . whereto all Christian countries send their Ministers. The streets. Within the city. starving dogs. Constantinople would seem a glorious city. are so numerous that pedestrians must take the roadway and pitiable beasts of burden labour painfully along under fearful burdens. and one ventures out of doors on wet days he must wade through sloughs of filth. marble palaces and treasure stores. one on every side mangy. ' a place who rules by their where many races meet and Rome. lying on the pavements. and with diseases. But this is not the impression one obtains. human and animal. purposely maimed. to vie with each other for the favours of an Asiatic monarch discord. ' Beggars. A Turk. the Jews and the Christians it who treat them badly. and suffering. except in front of if the palaces and embassies.



Had I been a native non-Moslem they would not have been so If a native Christian kills a dog he is sent gentle. but on attempting to administer it. and seemed to suffer agony. He informed some of the bystanders of my intention. Its hips were crushed. put his hands on my shoulders and gently thrust me back. I went store near by and fetched some chloroto a drug form. to prison —unless he subscribes a sufficient bribe to the court's revenue. of Turkey are more like wolves in appear- ance than domestic animals. and they lifted their hands and pointed towards heaven. They know to a minute the time of its refuse. day each family throws out and if you pass along the streets in the early morning you can mark the houses which have not yet rendered up their daily quota by the canine crew waiting before the door. But the garbage from the houses is the only certain source of subsistence that the dogs have. miserable I 71 saw a puppy rolled over it by a carriage. The dogs harmless. but they are perfectly They rarely find sufficient food. form Very often the Mohamedan's charity takes the of a distribution of food to the dogs.— CONSTANTINOPLE AND THE TURKS In a street in Constantinople one day. a powerful hoja. They recognised me as a foreigner. taste meat. who evidently knew what it was. and seldom effect which may account for their gentleness but their want of proper nourishment has no . and the narrow streets are sometimes blocked by an enormous pack catching bits of bread from the hand of some penance-maker.

shrieking hideously. selves. way. also barred. like steam. When one is a dozen swift runners grab long. shouting at the tops of and stabbing dogs. As it profits officers of the Government nothing to bribe themtion. the municipal fire brigade is still equipped with the primitive hand-pump. Electricity. From the ancient tower of Galata and from the Seraskier Tower in Stamboul. from the minarets their voices They make a tour of which the volunteer firemen are called to duty. the mosques. watchmen keep a look-out discovered half for fires. dart out into the crowded streets.72 THE BALKAN TRAIL their lungs. and also prodding dogs out of their It is firemen uncommon sight to see come down the streets from a not an . is upon night Between them and the firemen in Constantinople. sharp spears. these strange five-mile run dashing along like maniacs. and in a short time streets are swarming with frenzied creatures. descend several hundred ruined stone steps through the darkness slowly with the aid of a tallow taper. is is and the alarm system distinctly original and truly alarming. made hideous As certain as the setting of the sun one's slumbers will be dis- dawn by a most unearthly screeching even worse than that of the London firemen accompanied by the high-pitched yelps of countless dogs. Meanwhile guns have the begun to boom on the Bosphorus. and of scatter in various directions. The Turkish fire department is a curious instituturbed before the — — Modern machinery cannot be brought into Turkey except by bribing the Custom-house.

of The ambition of every chief of volunteers worthy the name is to bring his brigade to the scene of conflagration is first. he searches his out the owner and bargains with him while prepares to band pump—if a satisfactory price can be agreed upon. and have many months' salary due to ' * ' . and orderly manner. competition grows and rows and fights with rival crews more and more furious. course . and the volunteers are driven from the ruins The paid like hungry wolves from a carcass.' CONSTANTINOPLE AND THE TURKS skirted vest 73 with nothing on but a pair of pants. Finally. however. volunteers are pouring in. see others dressed like soldiers and then you will marching in a leisurely . Sultan. This work must be done hurriedly. the paid department does arrive. them. Many regiments of the garrison of Constantinople. for indeed. the volunteers > energetic individuals are the others are members of the regular paid fire department. firemen will accept no gratuities they are soldiers of the Sultan. This. seems to be the purpose of the whole Turkish Government — the safety of the . the as the reward of the first arrivals the choice of the plunder. for they constitute a part of that vast organisation maintained for the express purpose of first his by Abdul Hamid own safety. is Should he find there no loot to be had. of is not that there any danger fire is of the ' paid brigade arriving before the out. are well paid. but other rifer. or perhaps a —sometimes only a fez The .

In former years foreign guests. resigned to the will of Allah. to see this ceremony. Constantinople is full of stories about precautions . for whom Ambassadors and Ministers would vouch.74 THE BALKAN TRAIL Christian of which Mohamedan and the Imperial Ottoman Empire attitude of the ' suffer alike. Extra- ordinary precautions are taken for his safety. Selamlik. and to his will all faithful * ' * followers bow. His escort arrived running. however. who professes to the Mohamcame to edan the belief that no bullet could pierce his flesh until moment prescribed in the Great Book. ' The difference in the ' infidel and that of the faithful is simply that one resents the needless hardships inflicted upon him. the hood of which is said to be of steel. in a pavilion crowded with detectives. An army corps. this privilege has been abolished.' vicegerent on earth. were permitted. The word Islam means I am The Sultan is recognised as Mohamed's resigned. worship surrounded by a bodyguard so solid that the ball of a modern rifle could not have reached him through it. Abdul. massed about his victoria. or public visit to a mosque for which I attended. But since the recent explosion of an infernal machine in the neighbourhood during a Selamlik. does not appear do the faithful of to accept the doctrine of fatalism with the same good grace as his Mohamedan subjects. whereas the other sits and suffers. gathered from every part of the variegated empire. At a prayer. surrounded the palace. The Padisha.

' ! "=> » .


and. for obvious reasons. Once in Paris I met a Greek who had served for two years as a private secretary at Yildiz. often only in order to display to their master their activity. his favourite is ceufs a la coque. A tale from his harem gives day when his nerves were unusually unstrung. I was indeed glad to get the opportunity to talk with a man who had been of the Sultan's household. and many of the tales I had heard. The Greek went on to say that while the Sultan is crazed on the . he drew his revolver and with his own hand shot a wife who caused his suspicion by a sudden change of posture. they were mostly true —in principle.CONSTANTINOPLE AND THE TURKS within the walls of Yildiz Kiosk. These unprincipled servants often find con- spiracies where they do not exist. He said . 75 It is said that the Sultan tests his meals on his servants before he touches them dish it himself. Greeks and other non-Moslems occupy many posts in the Sultan's service where cleverness and an understanding of European character are imperative. It is told that an American lady who pointed out to the Sultan a way by which he could be assassinated received a handsome present. one life. and it is well known that there is an army of spies employed solely to run down plots against the Sultan's that. I repeated to him. This particular Greek incurred the Sultan's suspicions. and again for the rich rewards such * discoveries ' bring. which needed proof. and was clever enough to escape from Constantinople. He did not believe that the Sultan had faith in one word of the Koran certainly he was no fatalist.

he is remarkably He seems to have an uncanny they first power over men. is how it happened. who is ignorant. contest. The only who have been thoroughly equal to him are the Russians they play his own game. deluge ! But the Sultan for the others it is not quite all of his Government. and the Moslems were unhappy.76 THE BALKAN TRAIL life. and is the entire indemnity for the war of 1878. But suddenly the Russians several astounding victories turned the tables and This won over the Japanese. was his rejoicing in his dignified way at the reverses of country's enemy. They have played on his weak point and made a treaty with . set aside says —for distribution at than their —so my informant The Palace Constantinople. The town was much interested in the and the Turk in the street. which is a and he gradually weaves his web of When influence about old and tried ambassadors. meet him they are sanity and his gentility. as in paid annual instalments. one point of plots against his clever at handling men. happened to be in Constantinople again at a time when the Russians were meeting with defeat in Manchuria. surprised at his good beginning people . is life in return for cer- which allow them to take inventory of le Apres moi. him —according ' to this gentleman —guaranteeing ' his throne to him for the rest of his tain privileges his estate. and the Porte probably receive from Russia retaining fees larger I salaries. ' The Palace ' had dis- covered that the sensibilities of the Russian representatives in Turkey were being tried severely by the .

I presented a letter from the Turkish Commissioner at Sofia to a certain Turkish Minister. 1 ' ' thing that is going on in the country. Why do you desire to make this trip ? asked the Turk. During my stay at Constantinople thousands of troops were being shipped to Salonica daily. It is dangerous. and have in them brought first by the foreign posts. but as this fact would hardly accord with the sublime declarations of the Ottoman newspaper. highly as a friend of the Turks.CONSTANTINOPLE AND THE TURKS reports of their defeats in the Far East. yy and that Turkish distress. whose name I must not mention. everybody always lauding the Padisha and praying Majesty. for the safety of his good and gracious Persons who are interested in the provinces subscribe to European papers.' . to lighten the their was put to work which he did most generously.' though I protested my neutrality and I understood that I would receive good treatment at the hands of the officials and get all the news. they were embarked only after nightfall. According to the press of Constantinople ever serene all is throughout is the imperial Ottoman dominions. and the accommodations are very poor. If you will remain here you may come to me daily and I will tell you the truth about every' . and was ushered into his presence The letter. of marvellous imagination. when the inhabitants are mostly behind barred doors. individual censor. recommended me alone. I was told. What I wanted was permission to cross Macedonia beyond the railway.

worth about a farthing. I felt that I should not be allowed to go very During the course of my interview at the Sublime it Porte I received a cup of delightful coffee.' the Turk replied not necessary to pay softly.' I responded. an honest face. The Turk puffed coffee. thinking for at his cigarette and sipped I his a few minutes Until then I .78 THE BALKAN TRAIL Of course I declined this.' said the Minister. then he turned and regarded me. of francs out of the Turks. I was had not provided myself with sufficient small change for a visit to the Turkish Government building. metaleek I A foreign-made metal coin. . but far. and when I hurried out of the door. and copper. ' me to do that. * had thought had You can make thousands and thousands pretended not to take him. On my departure after the interview his attendants were lined up in the corridor I was stripped of had given my last 1 like the servants at a my silver l French hotel. but the most expensive cup of coffee I ever drank. A teskere I me here vised for Salonica. I 1 Thousands and thousands of francs ! ' he repeated impressively. His Excellency said that a telegram would be sent to the Vali of Salonica instructing to go where I would. c Write the truth. him to permit me would be issued to thanked the Turk. * And what would It is I have to do ? ' I asked.



my his attire. very likely his adjutants. and could not await a steamer to take me through the Dardanelles. and I street had hardly got a hundred yards down the when a little old Turk. ' Effendi. My travelling companion. touched me on the arm. I squared Unfortunately. But the . where I changed a lira his tip. which I had had to myself up to this time. and gave him I dis- My me dragoman explained that unless again. him off. and three young officers.CONSTANTINOPLE AND THE TURKS But. and entered with a beaming smile and a grand salaam. unfortunately. thinking perhaps call tributed backsheesh liberally the Minister would never be in to some day I ' I ' might have to make another myself with his doormen.' This coffee- man followed me a quarter of a mile further to the nearest shop. The train makes the trip three times a week. who were the only friends to see seemed unnecessarily depressed. upon him. About twelve officer o'clock the first night out a Turkish compartment. This was extraordinary the Turks are generally more dignified or else more subtle. I 79 did not take a carriage. was a pasha. who proved to be the man who had given me the coffee. backsheesh. on each occasion that have made the journey from Constantinople to Salonica I have been pressed for time. and. and said. I saw by opened the door of . There was not the detachment of troops usually arrayed at the station to do honour to a general about to start on a journey. leaving Constantinople at night.

they pressed their cheeks to his in then gave him the low Turkish Turkish fashion. with a smile. but before we lay down had told him I was an American correspondent. resume When its the third bell sounded the for the train to progress the pasha shook hands warmly with his young friends through window .80 general to the THE BALKAN TRAIL had mirth enough for the moment the train left company. The old man turned to me salute due to his rank. meaning he could speak French. placed the Sultan in a spot and drew a ' about him. he signified of by a benign two fingers to his lips upward and that not a doubt must After a be entertained as to the Sultan's goodness. and up he spun yarns and cracked jokes to the torture of the others. pointing to the his nose. moment he circle circle. loyally to affect who tried amusement. Espion. meaning ' ' made each to sleep I other understand. suit yourself. and turned up In the morning the pasha's orderly brought him a fresh water-melon. At Dede-Aghatch he gave me .' he replied. and that Tripoli. I shrugged my shoulders. his destination was When a lift I said. which means exile. I cannot describe exactly how we only Turkish. * Padisha ? ' with glance a questioning look. and had learned that his medals were in token of distinguished services in the Russo-Turkish war and elsewhere. giving the larger portion to me. and asked by a sign whether I would have the window closed.' he said.' and asked my companion if Turk. which he broke in two.

. but he assassination of their Consul at Monastir placement of this Vali. complacently sipping Monastir. many demands of the Russians at the was the disThe Sultan will comply with any demands the Russians make in earnest. 81 me to a place for then he stepped into a carriage. to take him to the ship in which he was to set sail to his doom. To be exiled without the privilege of seeing ' Constantinople for the last time ' is disgrace. their orderlies and servants. ' In covering this same route a few months later our train passed a special ' stopped on a ' siding.' and brings a subthe interference of it stantial post in Asia. Sitting on the bench in the station yard.' Aboard it was a staff of officers. but to be condemned via an audience with the Sultan spells ' Thou good and infidel ' faithful servant. I recognised the Vali of He. coffee. * away from Powers and carrying with a lordly pension. was the Among now billeted for exile. too. has certain punishments which his subjects seek to win.CONSTANTINOPLE AND THE TURKS a cordial handshake. and directed breakfast . which was waiting for him.

is in part as follows Messieurs the voyagers who descend upon the hotel are requested to hand over to the management any money or articles of value they may have. and playing musical instrualso all noisy conversations. Those who have no baggage must pay every who have it may only do so once a Political discussion It is ments are forbidden. 3. day. and other culinary preparations may . whereas those week. It is one's q. Children of families and their servants should not walk about the rooms. 5. his attention to the regulations as to the drawn shall manner in which he conduct himself during his sojourn at the grand hotel. and hang in gilded frames on the walls of each bedroom in the most conspicuous place.82 THE BALKAN TRAIL CHAPTER VI SALONICA AND THE JEWS When ' the voyager descends upon the Grand Hotel is first d'Angleterre at Salonica. These regulations are printed in gaudy letters in Turkish. 2. A literal : translation from the French i. 4. Coffee. any other game 6. and in French. room in prohibited to present a dressing-gown or oneself outside other negligent costume. in Greek. permitted neither to play at cards nor at of hazard. tea.

built the Thessalonica by Cassander on the site of ancient Therma. bay inspired him to and a short time . and named by him after his wife. 10. Voyagers to take their repast descend to the dining-room. It is. is rarely is afflicted all with Germans. a sister of Alexander the Great. however. The management that of Euro- peans Germans are most in need of lessons in deport- ment . for some reason. I should explain that no insult is meant to the French on the part of the hotel management by employing their language as one of the mediums of instructing its many-tongued guests realises in proper deportall ment. There are several hotels in Salonica which permit guests to sleep on the Salonica is will not floor. of old. the metropolis of Macedonia. Xerxes and his hosts camped on the plains between Therma and the Axius. A double-bedded room pays double for itself. now the Vardar. 11. and French understood by the people of the Near East of the class that patronise a hostelry like the d'Angleterre. and has falls short of being great. forbidden to sleep on the floor. It is older than Constantinople. as the hotel furnishes everything one wants. and an It is important commercial centre. who may do so in their rooms. and the view of a history which just Mount Olympus across the explore the course of the Peneus. but the hotel.SALONICA AND THE JEWS 83 not be prepared in the rooms or procured from outside. with the exception of invalids. save the case where the voyager declares that one bed may be let to another person.

was there when the Turks for history records that the monks within its walls were treacherous to their fellow-Christians the city to the Mohamedans. a certain means of reducing the city. who came down from of the the north and the east. and was finally sold by a Greek emperor to the Venetians. and Under the courtyard of the monastery runs the aqueduct which supplies Salonica with water from the mountains. sold centuries. It became a free city and then a part Byzan- tine Empire. and the monastery is surrounded to-day latticed windows. and supplied Thessalonica five hundred years ago. from whom it was captured in 1430 by the Turks. that the monks of Chaoush (such is the name of the monastery) bartered when the Mohamedans certain privileges besieged Thessalonica. Thessalonica fell into the hands of the Romans. dis- became the chief city on the Via Egnatia. It was access to this. for to be granted after the conquest.— 84 THE BALKAN TRAIL War the Athenians occupied before the Peloponnesian Therma. and seminated Christianity among Bulgarians. by houses with . High up in the Turkish quarter of Salonica which rises in a long slope and then in steps from the sea — is a queer little Greek monastery dating back It unknown came. ished. The Turks have kept flour- but Chaoush has not to Time has moved the Christian quarter down the sea. and other peoples many of the Slavs. their bargain to this day.

* invincible. when searching for this monastery with a who conducted the mission at happened to open by mistake the gate of a Turkish yard. There is a charm about using the liberty one's country commands. and other Mohamedans of little work. and sat out in the narrow street on a stool with a cup of coffee on another before me. and the women themselves were not in I attire to follow us far. Happily the unfortunate error occurred at an hour of the at day when there were no husbands home. stones. I 85 Once. He pointed to three old warships in the harbour . and our retreat in order shortly became an utter rout. loved to ramble up through the Turkish quarter of Salonica where the native ' infidel ' fears to tread. There was a rapid covering of faces by an amazed assembly of females. heels. and innuendoes were soon upon our . I got into conversation with a harmless-looking Turk on the subject of wars and the Powers and I learned from him that the Moslems are going to rise again.SALONICA AND THE JEWS fellow-countryman Salonica. infallible and . Abdul Hamid is a great prophet. and will not stop in their conquests until they have subdued the world. Once at one of these cafes. I generally stopped at a Turkish cafe on the route.' said the Turk. Discovering our but veiled error. with an English boy whom I picked up at Salonica for interpreter. the subject of curious regard by mollahs and hojas in their long cloaks. we closed the gate and moved off women.

which one must naturally pick up. He was a hungry-looking individual himself. watching the children come caf<f-ji by the there. the most powerful force in the world but unfor- tunately they have not enough to eat. and many signs. But with a few words of Turkish. Salonica an order dealt with the decline of the Turkish Empire. While I was in came from Constantinople to purge the library in the military school. from is due to the teachings of the whom all of the young Turks derive. and piastres wall. because I thought the Turks had they had been defeated in the never been defeated field several times His culminating remark had a touch of pathos in it. sat . including modern histories which or indirectly. He pitied me for my . we could generally manage to get coffee and directions.' This ignorance mollahs. directly their knowledge.! 86 THE BALKAN TRAIL (whose machinery had been sold to a second-hand junk dealer years ago) as specimens of the means with which the work was to be accomplished to tell him that even the British and it was useless navy was superior to .' he said. We often went up to the Turkish quarter. exceeding ignorance of history. ' was glad to get the two showing us the way to the we gave him The hosts of ' . that of his Sultan. for the are Padisha. and as a result all reading books. some mollah. and. We always halted at the gates. quoting. were destroyed. but never learned the road to the gate. supplied with stools rested for half and an hour. I judge.



and per- vaded with a quiet less from the ceasefavourite babble of swarming Levantine tradesmen down in the town. but we often strolled through the gates and over to the barren hills beyond. without mishap. strikes. When he is provoked he does not squabble. who drinks first is at the fountain and removes his fez nowhere.SALONICA AND THE JEWS to the fountain with jugs for water. and seldom loses temper. and To the south a stern bit of the sil- old wall on the precipitous corner of a rock was we could never tell whether we pre- ferred this in or out of the picture. Truly a Biblical scene. The hills were especially attractive in the in delightful relief after- noon. There is a great dignity about the ruling race. cooler than the closed-in bay below. the all man for whom others step aside. though the characters were Mohamat spying us. houetted. That is a true . encounter- ing Turks. his He not loud or voluble. covering their faces with special care and the men pass through the eye of the needle hunched up on under-sized asses. At sunset hour we found a spot on the edge of a steep declivity with only a broad expanse of plain between us and the purple mountains of Thessaly. perhaps insurgents. the 87 slip women noiselessly by. and Bulgarians. Albanians. The sun dropped into a dip in these and left the sky for an hour rich in Oriental colouring flaming from behind. edans. of brigands revolutionists . but The and Christian natives of Salonica are generous in warning one of dangers outside the walls.

two things is preferred as is it happens to be at hand generally the unpossessed the desired.88 THE BALKAN TRAIL when either of . was built by Trajan. — has already travelled Salonica is said to be richer than any city in Greece in its ecclesiastical remains. for the most part. stage outdone in characters. There is a mosque of St. mounBut to pass all these of the book. and a minaret at the edifices. though on a smaller scale. now the Eski Metropoli Mosque. Tourists do not come to Macedonia. There are many great by the Romans during their occupation and by the Greeks in their time. after the model. and in complexity of plot. of Justinian. Sophia at Salonica. The Rotunda. built. built corner of each denotes the purpose it serves to-day. but the scene is set in alpine tains on a vaster scale than Switzerland affords. the dome unsupported by columns. and with a history also wars of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. but if they did they would find a show that no other part of Not only is the comic-opera Europe can produce. during the reign marked by the But a fire of four years ago and an earthquake more recently have wrecked the place. It is The circular. like its great sister at Constantinople. and ancient structures. in costumes. have borne well the ravages of time. and was dedicated by him to the rites of the mysterious Cabiri. . so that it is no longer used. of the Pantheon at Rome. test of quality. relics of —for the play comes in in the course and scenery baffles description there are the ages that would interest many a man who far.

the at assembled the under the pretext of witnessing the races. ment among them. At the end of the main street. without distinction of age or sex. stands a triumphal arch generally supposed to have been raised in honour of . is and within the building columns with Corinthian a double row of massive capitals. and inhabitants who had been were arrested at his order. of the best preserved is models of ancient Greek architecture extant said to be the Eski Djuma In the porch are several Doric columns. Although a zealous follower of Christianity.' and the mosque Demetrius. where Theodosius. whose shrine within is revered by Moslems and Christians alike. There are ' The of Church St. his moderation and clemency failed signally on this In order to chastise the people for a movein favour of a charioteer very popular occasion. the last Emperors who were sole masters of the whole massacres for which Salonica is site of of the Roman Empire.SALONICA AND THE JEWS whole of the interior as nothing about tian hands. is 89 richly ornamented with mosaics at Chris- which seem to have belonged to the original temple. caused to be committed one of the bloodiest of famous. and commended by ancient writers as a prince blessed with every virtue. of the Twelve Apostles. which once formed part of the Egnatian Way. Between the Rotunda and the sea is the the Hippodrome. to the number of seven thousand. them divulges adjustment One Mosque. Hippodrome and then barbarously massacred.

floors are all The feet. and the Christian who would stand where the Apostle stood has to make a long pilgrimage of mosques and synagogues. and a triumphal city. and the keepers need no for The customer stands on the narrow pavement. and often smaller. The main street of Salonica. white marble highly wrought.9o THE BALKAN TRAIL The supports are faced with Constantine. to celebrate the return from his victory over the Sarmatians. and one is may take or leave his wares without drawing a word from him. and when one asks the reason. A large percentage of these little places are weapon shops. The prices of the foreign weapons are high. strung across the opening. the explanation is given that they . There are no fewer than seven of these. up off the ground from two to three chairs. The doubt which encompasses the ancient place in Salonica finds its climax in the spot where St. which once formed part of the Via Egnatia. is ten or twelve feet square. where belt-knives from six to eighteen inches in length are made on the premises. and brand-new Spanish models. with no history of every regard to conformity with the supports. representing a battle between Roman troops and barbarians. Paul preached. lined to-day with curious little shops like boxes. entry into a The arch was repaired and plastered over some years ago in a painful manner. Secondhand English revolvers are in the collection. wanted from where he sits on crossed He is a most indifferent salesman. and also gaudy pistols of tremendous bores. and the man within reaches what legs.



. : at the hours of prayer. but seldom do his women. Jew. and the Customs officers have to be paid large sums for passing them. obviously. with nothing to hold it on the foot but a strap across the toes. which are manufactured on the premises. worn like leggings over the trousers. rapidity with which they can be shed. The Turkish woman's favourite footwear is a cross between a sandal and a clog. It is simply a wooden block the shape of the sole of a shoe. and Christian alike. foot-gear. A European cannot keep is them on his feet. This is also the street for native shoes. it has a cover for the toes it is a slipper pointed like a canoe bow.' The most common by every Balkan people. * worn It is charruk. These clogs are hacked with a hatchet out of solid blocks of wood. but the Turk manipulates them with Their great convenience the marvellous dexterity. and. Turk. and an inch or more thick. for . as this has to be done on so many occasions throughout the Turkish day sence of superiors.SALONICA AND THE JEWS are all 91 contraband. The Turk often wears these. dealers will sell to These arms anyone who will buy. The restriction on the is sale of Government places no arms to non-Moslems the : regulation that they shall not possess them. Indian's lacings. is the something more than a sandal. made of skin which are wound high up a pair of thick woollen stockings. and closely It is resembles an American with hide moccasin. and on entering the prewhenever it is desired to sit comfortably. for a Turk is most uncomfortable if he is not sitting on his feet.

A small Jew. one end of which he milks at order. with a huge fez and a man's coat which reached almost to the skirt of his dress. Certain classes of shops in Salonica perambulate. . Over the backs and cuts asses and sure- footed mountain ponies the butcher has an arrange- ment of carving boards. and go of bounded joy and when roasted the unthe native cracking the skull and is picking out the tasty bits nauseating in the extreme. still One has on the lambs. In this street one bodily into the shops of wares. off a lamb chop or a to rise early to roast at his customer's door. The milkman. a red thing with a huge black pompon on a manufactured by the squatting not shouted at. but brings the milk slung over an ass. not the case in Salonica . as is is if or dragged he stops to look at a display This he is in Greek and Jewish quarters. . was a daily . The This is cart has to be largely dispensed with in most com- Turkish towns. the business street of the sits still till man who opens his shop and Allah provides the trade. The entrails of animals are also relished they are eaten as the Italian eats his macaroni. for they are great first. the paving is paratively good there into but the Macedonian has got of the habit of providing for roads paved with cobble stones. does not drive the cow through the streets. chiefly because the streets are paved. see the heads delicacies. in a skin. is kavass. generally a Tzigane. toe.92 THE BALKAN TRAIL in high favour with the Consular and even the shoe turned-up shopkeeper.



and wears proper height. But as it is generally an Albanian. skirt. four-footed draper's shop down off foreign thoroughfares to show * who dressed in Franks. and his skirt is indeed a marvellous garment. Most skirt. in is 1 The most picturesque is to be seen It Salonica that of the Southern Albanian. it simply requires one to get out of its It carries a shelf in front with half a dozen glasses stuck in holes. a copper pitcher in its hand with water for rinsing glasses after Christians have used them. and a curious reservoir of an over-sweet drink on little its back. it does not pester one to buy: road.SALONICA AND THE JEWS nuisance on Consul Avenue.' a white. however. feel of the men of Macedonia wear a form of but especially in Salonica does the new arrival that he has landed among a race dress of bearded women. his I 93 suppose he dragged the aristocratic his father. pleated thing about the length of a Highlander's kilt. his stockings to a The skirted man most in evidence.' but whose bellow was distinctly Levantine. has not many metal pieces to jingle upon the gaily garbed Albanian keeps up a tapping with two glasses as he advances down the street. In summer months the two-footed lemonade stand would be a pleasant encounter were it not so numerous. a sort of ballet like that of the Greek Evzones. is the Jew. But the Albanian is more modest than the Scot. It resembles a dressing-gown made of some bed-curtain . If this receptacle it.

The Jewish an girl dresses in ' Franks ' until she is married. This latter is in the nature of a tight-fitting green cap. regardless of the weather. and also. but in front a short white blouse . straight dropping from the shoulders to the heels. On the Sabbath day. this bag a square lies of several inches is worked wherein the value of the cap. is have worn for countless This is an her expensive trousseau. calculated to last all for she is not to be a burden to her husband in the matter of dress. The cap extends is to a long bag behind. like their husbands. cotton prints. On the in end of pearls. in which her braid of hair stuffed. and yet for their personal no other reason than to enhance beauty do they suffer this oppressive garment on the hot Saturdays of a Salonica summer. In skirts the women. or sofa-cover material. but of the most wonderful designs in cotton prints. go in for gaudy Their waists are cut exceedingly high. a greatcoat of a good black cloth lined with ermine. The most costly garments in the wardrobe are a fur-lined greatcoat cate of her husband's —almost a dupli- — and the covering for her hair. but at her outfit of clothes fashioned after those her wedding she receives as a dowry mothers generations.94 THE BALKAN TRAIL It is plain in cut. falls In the back the skirt from somewhere between is the shoulders. these thrifty Israelites of One would hardly suspect undue vanity. and life. he adds to his costume a long Turkish sash. which the Jew observes devoutly. still with a border of probably red and a chin-strap of another colour.





cut for street wear (and worn winter


well as

lady's ball-dress.

summer) almost as low as a European It becomes difficult for me to give
accompanying photo-

further details of this feminine attire, so I respectfully refer curious ladies to the

graph, which, though snapped for the character it presents, also portrays a specimen of these curious

I believe

that formerly the


religion required



to hide their hair

and the men to wear

but to-day these customs are continued by them from habit, for economy, and with a purpose.

Their purpose in dressing alike


to look alike, as

it is

dangerous in Turkey for a non-Moslem

— or

even a





his fellows in either

wealth or


The Sultan


a danger to himself

tains a staff of levellers

grow powerful, and he mainwho have various means of reducing the man who dares to rise. The successful Turk is exiled other subjects are dealt with in other
one of
his subjects to


once had occasion to send a report to London

dynamite bombs had been discovered by the police in the office of a Bulgarian merchant
that a



just opposite the British post office in Salonica.


Turkish authorities took care to
spondents hear this news.


the foreign corre-


was some weeks




bombs got

so near the British



The business

of the Bulgarian merchant,

whose name was


had been prospering



The merchant received notice one day that a certain sum say, one hundred liras was He had paid all his required of him by the police.

legal taxes, and, being

a stubborn Bulgar, he refused

to subscribe the blackmail.

A second demand, in to him, and still he sent was the form of a warning, took no heed. One morning he arrived at his office
and found his door unlocked. Everything within seemed undisturbed, however, so he set about his In about an hour a detachment of gendarmes duties. arrived with an order to search the premises, and the very first drawer opened by the officer in command infernal machines.' Of course contained a dozen the Bulgar was arrested at once and incarcerated in the White Tower, to escape from which cost him several hundred liras in bribes to gaolers and


Now, the Jew's property
the Turkish yet the


no safer at the hands of
of the Turkish



that of the Christian, and

Jew is a loyal supporter ment. But there are reasons


for this loyalty.


Jews of Salonica, like most of those of Constantinople, found a refuge in Turkey from the Spanish Inquisition,



they have not liberty in the Sultan's dominions,
better than that of the

they have at least equal rights with Christians.

even, perhaps,


who indeed

one of the greatest sufferers from

the oppression of the Turkish Government.

The Turk

the ruler of the land and the privileged person, and


Jew has learned never

to defy his authority.

cares the


Jew who makes the laws so he may make the money ? He has learned to outwit the Turk and to take care to let the Turk take unto himself

that credit.

This would not satisfy one of the

Christian races,
tions to realise



have scores to pay and ambi-

their gratification at defeating the

Turk would only be complete if the Turk suffered the knowledge of the fact. The coveting of Macedonia by the Christian races in and about Turkey is another
cause for the Jews' support of the present administration


under Greek, Serb, Bulgar, and Rumanian


Jews would not occupy the position Most
of the


favoured subjects.


of Salonica

of the

wealthy ones,

wear the who would enjoy


but some

their wealth,

have acquired the protection of foreign Powers, and Viennese and Parisian dress in European clothes.

and makes of clothes are not too good for them, and they travel to Austria and to France regularly in the warm months of the year.

The Hebrew boy is generally educated in
shop, but the girl

his father's

often given a good schooling,


raises her in

mind and morals

above the
the various


she marries




large foreign schools at Salonica there

one for

conducted by the British Mission to the Jews.
affords a



of learning English,

which makes


most popular institution
they can afford to pay.


it is

within the reach

of all classes, because pupils are taken at


But while the school has been B



many years, and an old Scottish mis(who has recently died) preached to the scholars for half a century, there is yet to be recorded a single convert to Christianity. The old Scotchman
conducted for

once told


that he thought a good share of the

blame for his failure was due to the example his own countrymen set. He said he hated to go into the street when the British fleet was in the harbour because
he was invariably asked by some Israelite
to convert

he wanted






pointing at a drunken




rarely seen in the streets
foreign fleet

of Salonica except

when a

in the bay,
fleet is

and the



most numerous when that

The hundred and one bootblacks (all Jews) who infest the cafes of Salonica, and swarm about the



the unfortunate

inmates as they

emerge, are in great glee

when an Englishman
this score, I

They mistook me


an Englishman, but whenever

sought to disillusion a native




was told The Jews all

speak a few words of English, learned, no doubt,


their sisters.

When comes









question a bootblack puts to an Englishman.

Do you want

the English

fleet to


to Salo-


I asked.





They must have acquired



the American missionaries.





English sailor get




much bootshines pay very me make one day English sailor


much drunk


Jews are always very fond of music, and they
Extracts from
like operas

the cafe- chant ants of Salonica on Saturday evenings.







were being rendered by a small troupe of

Italians at one of these places, to

which the entrance

was two piastres about fourpence. But this was beyond the price of the populace, and the masses flocked to another place of amusement a little further down the quay, where no entrance fee was charged, and by purchasing one cup of coffee you could sit and hear the music the whole evening. Here there was a French artist whose repertoire was known by the whole
town, and the audience



a rule to shout for the

songs they desired to hear.


certain duet about

dogs and cats, in which the lady

meowed and a


looking male partner barked, was the Jews' favourite

Late one Saturday evening, when the singers

stopped for a cue, the Jews in the audience began to
bark, which was the recognised signal for the dog


But there were a number of Greeks in the who wanted the lady to sing alone, and they up a call for one of her solos. The respective
down, which

parties attempted to shout each other

raised an unearthly din in the neighbourhood,

soon resulted in a pitched battle.

and But the cry of



brought the conflict to an abrupt terminaand before the gendarmes arrived both the Jews




for their

and the Greeks were scurrying
as their legs could carry them.


as fast

The Jews

are rigorous

observers of the fourth


in so far as they themselves are con-

them do But they have no scruples against enjoying themselves by the labour of others. The small boats in the bay are owned entirely by the Jews, and all the week they hustle But on Saturday for Christian and Turkish patronage.

a stroke of

Under no circumstances will one work on their Sabbath day.

evenings in

summer they

indulge in the hire of Chris-


and Turks to row them up and down the city on the smooth water of the bay. The various Sabbaths in Turkey are somewhat

annoying to the officials will not


Fridays the Turkish

passports or issue teskeres


Saturdays the Jews refuse to shine your boots

on Sundays the Christian shops are closed. But neither the Turks nor the Christians observe their days of Though rest with the same rigour as the Jews do.



impossible to get a


from the Turkish
for a considera-

Konak on

the Turkish Sabbath, a note waiving the

necessity of the

document can be had
the Christian




not an over-strict

observer of Sunday.

unfortunate in possessing a colony of
Besides Turks and

each of the Macedonian races.
Jews, there are

many Greeks and Albanians, some and Servians, and a few Kutzo-Vlachs {Wallachians) and Tziganes, and still another people

they are quite luke- .SALONICA AND THE JEWS peculiar to 101 the town. they carry on. nevertheless. by name Sebatai Sevi. He is an power making jealous his monarch. Indeed. unlike Christians converted by pressure to the religion of the Turk. granted Sebatai the assistance needed persuade ' his followers to plished. declared himself to his people as their long-promised won a certain following. but found no credence at the Palace. their feuds with the Jews. these Jews have the change. Not one is a Turk and one not a Turk. The Government. and the false prophet was given the alternative of death for or himself conversion to Mohamedanism with to it * his all entire flock. woman who pulls her man must necessarily is lack beauty. by the the beautiful One Mohamedan veils is struck in Salonica ladies who walk . His plea was redeemer. garb. the Turks They . At the Sultan's order he was conveyed to Constantinople and taken into the Padisha's presence. are a peculiar Jews alleged to be converted to Moham- edanism. The handsome females who wear the Turkish but do not always cover their sect of faces. and make not become fanatics. like all the other peoples. and example of heard. distinctly to themselves. live. along it streets with their thrown back and impels one to think that the veil down when she sights a so . no doubt. or force was soon accomBut. not even associating with and while they are too few to have a little national entity. turies Their story is this : Some cen- ago a Jew of Salonica.

T to purchase the pretensions of a Turkish their colony. on the which. And there is no the the resource for the peasant against this unjust confiscation. tration. as the first law of the Turkish court interpreted. and even a of the peasant's harvest. These rights they divide into small sections at a profit to the actual collectors tithe is and dispose of The of taxes. They fill largely the role of Government contractors. and for which the Turks are too indifferent to trouble themselves. it generally assumes larger propor- sometimes attaining to a quarter. and practise Sebatai's religion in secret. pasha to the hand of a fair maiden of The Dunmehs are the richest people. as provides that . They never marry outside their own sect. supported by a guard of soldiers. and it is warm about supposed they profess Mohamedanism simply for safety. for which they often pay more than the legal value thereof. half. it is legally one-tenth of the crop. but as collectors. The Dunmehs make a speciality of purchasing the rights to gather tithes. is Koran. not even with the Turks. With their Hebrew instincts for business and their position as Mohamedans. There is a story of long standing to the effect that the little circle of Dunmehs (for this they are called) once sub- scribed a purse of 4.102 THE BALKAN TRAIL the religion. and secure many of the plums in the gift of the adminisin Salonica. which it is impossible for non-Moslems to get. measured by the Turkish tions. they have a decided advantage over the other peoples.

is among the Palace the only man Salonica with courage enough to undertake Government contracts. terror to the heart of both Turk and Christian.— SALONICA AND THE JEWS 103 word of a Christian shall not offset that of a Mohamedan. his proportionately rewarded. an Albanian in the high esteem of Abdul Hamid. He began life as a khanjVs boy. there decorated. These are left to Turks with influence at the Palace at the Palace or at the Porte is . leader. Step by step. ceptional ability. are not often sought by the Dunmehs. learned there how to rob the wayfarer. died off (sometimes by indigestible and sometimes by falling backward on the knife of an ambitious subaltern). striking that his ability was recognised by no less a person than Abdul Hamid. as the men above him pills. is This man's history worthy of recital it reads like that of a self-made millionaire. him a man of exThis self-made man was invited by who saw in the Sultan to Constantinople. Ismail became a In this capacity he did his work so well. But army and other contracts. and attained. friends in Ismail Pasha. He was born of poor but dishonest parents. at the age of eighteen. and with many clique. daring is And . for influence necessary in order to secure any payment from the Turkish Government. and educated himself dispensing with the arts of reading and writing. given the title of Pasha. for which the payment is forthcoming from the Turkish Government. and sent to Salonica with the high . a competency in a brigand band.

— . He dictates the names of the police who shall be employed and naturally has a preference for outlaws kaimakams and other officers of districts hold their places at his pleasure and Government contracts are awarded to Ismail Pasha. are always together. . Naturally.104 THE BALKAN TRAIL first-class spy. commission of of the vilayet. The spy and his man. of course. to grow rich and powerful. Ismail is the trusted ally of Abdul Hamid. which in this makes Ismail Pasha virtual Vali of the vilayet. . and is permitted. therefore. the case man seeks ever to please his spy. be his bid high or low. assigned to the task of reporting to his Padisha the doings of the governor Now. an official in Turkey always knows his spy. and the spy always knows that his man knows him. and they become the most intimate friends.

me over the town When we came to the local branch of build- the Imperial ing Ottoman Bank. But this was no news to me. for. and. my absence the . and the Jew bootblacks the coming ' my shoes had discussed and had told me several exact days on which they would take place. a modern bank * of quite an imposing appearance. took my way the interior of the country. thought. giving it as a reason why I should stop at his hotel instead of at the Cristoforo Colombo. which stood just beside the bank. * I was to in search of exciting copy. I lengthened not my stay in Salonica to await the event. on alighting at the railway station. the Greek porter of the Angleterre had told me of this ' project of the insurgents. as the missionary held a similar view.' left and without the During slightest solicitude for that I behind. A revoluwhile shining ' outrages tionary plot so widely I known could be little more. my fellowcountryman said he had heard that the committee were going to dynamite the place.io5 CHAPTER VII THE DYNAMITERS On the occasion of my first visit to Salonica one of the American missionaries took sightseeing. than a work of native imagination.

The real bourhood the bomb factory of the committajis . a little Bulgarian shop in a narrow. unpretentious street. It was. and the shopkeeper and his customers were only simple. and when I returned from my excursion inland I occupied a room in the Hotel Colombo which directly overlooked it. Someone has said ' Fools wise men deceive by telling the truth. But the Easters came and went without disturbance though the garrison of the town was augmented on every ' — appointed ' day.' All of the special correspondents —gathered like . which rumour fixed upon as but they discovered no insurgents and no dynamite. fulfilled. but so little did I suspect their real character that only three I deserted Salonica again for days before their attack fixed the Albanian district. : upon Easter as both calendars that was a Christian of they knew. dirty peasants. and most of the Asiatic soldiers had been withdrawn from Salonica and sent to join the army for the penetration of Albania. while every Bulgarian barred his door lest the suppression should come without the dynamiting. The Jewish bootblacks had the day for the dynamiting festival.106 authorities THE BALKAN TRAIL raided a Bulgarian khan in the neighof the bank. to all outward appearance. however. factory. to be ready to suppress the * rising of Bulgarians in an expeditious manner. that the promises of the insur- gents were at last lie . It was after many appointed days had passed by without mishap. was not a hundred feet away. I often watched the Bulgars enter and leave the place.



we stretched ourselves out on the seats of our compartment and went to sleep soon after dark. when the correspondents flock together. Bulgarians were restricted in travelling at left the time — the train quietly and repaired to a khan across the road to spend the night. no time it shunting the train. deserted us included. but we all followed the leader to Uskub with our hawk eyes set upon Albania. got a travelling bag ready and boarded the south-bound train at half-past two. but nobody woke and we as slept on. and joined the Turks in the crowded cafe. in Uskub. . ' a quarter from the station. And there we were. lost The in ' train hands. — we were not rivals : he represented a London daily : and I was working for America otherwise we might have resented each other's presence. and after placing of a mile on a siding it. and.' THE DYNAMITERS vultures in 107 Macedonia to prey on the harvest of of death —knew the prediction for Salonica . having nothing to read. for there to Salonica each day. . The news reached us about Instead of noon of the morning after the event. ' frightened Christians. The few other passengers — all Turks. with one other correspondent an Englishman. but one train Englishman was bored by my conversation and I was bored by his. and dynamiting took place. It was in this condition that we arrived By nightfall the in Salonica at half-past ten o'clock us. I eating luncheon. Happily. As it was we rejoiced together at having a clear start of twentyis four hours on the others.

and there was is chance of our getting out of the train without being seen. We also knew averse from taking prisoners on any and naturally supposed that the deeds of the dynamiters for many of whom they were still hunting had not tended to lessen this Mohamedan characteristic. in the faint light of a new moon.108 THE BALKAN TRAIL About midnight I awoke and wondered where I was. and I rose and looked out of the window. Every light was out they must have been extinguished from above or we should have been discovered. and we decided to take to the open at once. and they had also attempted. to destroy a troop train not far from the spot where ours now stood. but not a house was visible. in their dynamite revel. I woke the Englishman. indistinctly. I could discern. and here and there a low. The gas main to the town had been cut by the committajis the night before. thick tree. a waving line of high grass on both sides of the train. dawned upon me that I was aboard a train. We knew that the railways were patrolled little everywhere and doubly guarded in the vicinity of Salonica. jumped to the ground and scurried through the high grass in — — the direction of the town. only a now shone. Whereupon we gathered our bags. that the Turk occasion. Towards the It gradually : city. But to remain in the train and be discovered in the small hours of the morning by some excited Asiatic seemed a greater danger. quietly opened the door. usually aglow with little lights from the water's edge all the few dim lamps way up to the wall on the hills. Fortunately we escaped .

We us. ' was the extent and accent we shouted to them with every variation of we could contrive. We saw the Turk who gave the yell. not forgotten in the excitement that I had was an American. and wound a circle about us keeping at a safe distance from our dynamite. all jabbering high Turkish. and the first to respond to his call for assistance were his companions from within. They located us at once from the noise we were making. and in a minute more there were twenty others by his side. but neither had I forgotten that the Turks consider an American a peculiar species of Englishman. and. convince them that Inglese Effendi this we were only two Englishmen. but still they did not seem to see They size evidently thought of we numbered forty an insurgent band * —and —the usual it took us some time to of our Turkish. for the moon was behind him. and the situation was such that I was willing to forgo detail in explanation. but I am sure he only heard us. as soon as they had loaded and cocked their rifles. rifles in hand.— THE DYNAMITERS from the train without detection. He was near a tent. trusting they would comI prehend our meaning in one form or another. During this manoeuvre an animated discussion took place as to whether —we judged — it were not better to shoot . Six of them rolled out from under the canvas in their clothes. had dropped our bags at the challenge and thrown up our hands. spread out single file like Red Indians. hardly a hundred yards 109 But we had gone when a Turkish shout went up that was both a challenge and an alarm.

French. tried them with discharged English. But the bold fellow was not without grave fears. and the Englishman a rash (who was the moment a volley of Bulgarian. as the manner in which he performed this task amply demonstrated. for our arms were growing numb. and yet we dared not lower them.— no us first THE BALKAN TRAIL and find out afterwards whether we were Bulgarians or not. and German. This process was boring. could to take us prisoners made a long detour and approached . con- our Turkish had linguist) in It failed. cluding And we. these soldiers (as was well for us then that we learned later) had arrived from Asia Minor only a few days before. They had ' understood one variation of our Inglese Effendi' ' and though they could not imagine what English gentle- men beyond the city in the dead of night. Rifles all round us. and the tone of the insurgents' knew not even language. All guns were turned on us ' were doing on a railway line : Rifles to front of us. They shouted to us a score or more questions. We lift them no higher so we stood on our toes to show how willing we were to comply with all sugThen the brave man who had volunteered gestions. but we could understand not a word. there was one among them willing to take the chance of capturing us alive. The Turks signed to us to keep our hands up. But nobody blundered. Rifles to back of us.

was a peaceful spectacle we entered upon. The finger on the trigger was nervous if it was anything like its owner's voice and I dared not even him suddenly and — — tremble his gun. now deserted. One unwound the long red sash from and with an end of it bound my hands. but I held on to it and pretended I was still shackled. and^the passengers. dragged him to my side and bound his wrists with the other end of the red sash. because of their It . but we soon disturbed the composure of the Christians in the place. We across were kept but a few minutes at their camp. lest cast a in we should turn upon bomb. The train crew was stretched out on the floor snoring lustily. and. then taken through the railway station. at our heels. lest I the vibration should drop the hammer of being thus in my captor's power. and the other soldiers followed. a road to the Turkish cafe where the other passengers and the train crew were spending the night. I was made aware of his arrival at my back by a thump in the spine with the muzzle of a loaded and cocked rifle. gripping his hands tightly. considering the fright it would give the Turks to discover me mysteriously at liberty again. Meantime. Our captor's tugging pulled the sash off my wrists. jabbering. led us away to the camp in exactly the same manner as he would have led a pair of buffaloes. Our proud captor then his waist seized the centre of the sash. the other Turks approached. carefully avoiding our baggage.THE DYNAMITERS us from behind stealthily. the Englishman had been surrounded. and two curly-bearded fellows.

explained to our captors who we were and how we and demanded our release. of the red sash and surrounded by ragged did not distract the Mohamedans from hubble-bubbles. We on his pounced upon the conductor before he was feet. and he slyly slunk out of the door.ii2 race. The soldiers knew now that we were foreigners. their on the ends soldiers. our only company through the whole long Indeed. sat THE BALKAN TRAIL on the tables. and deserted us The passport officer. 1 Had we been subjects of from A Turkish term denoting civilians. but leaving the curly-bearded Anatolians and the 4 bashi-bazouks. but the snoring ceased immediately. a Mohamedan. by means of French. sound of an explosion in the town caused them so lift much as to their eyes. and One by one the Christians escaped to the next khan. in contradistinction soldiers. Our dramatic entrance. took it upon himself to relieve us of the bondage of the red sash and returned it to its owner. but they continued to keep us prisoners with the object of securing ransom money. under them. not even the occasional night. their feet folded occupied in sucking hookahs. who records arrivals. whereupon he brought happened to be in the train. and through him. . taking their snoring with them. of abuse from the all Asiatics. apparently without a thought of a thing but their gurgling pipes.' * These Turks remained perched on the tables. and did not attempt to re-bind our hands. But the Asiatics threatened the Christian upon himself a storm he too deserted us.

though they punched each other's faces viciously —not. at least. but I dreaded to show them gold. And not once did he or any of the others use a weapon. until they became violent. The individual who had drawn his bayonet carefully replaced it in its scabbard and slung his gun by a strap over his shoulder before entering the fray. our persons. being foreigners. We refused persistently to comply with their demands for money. disturbing the bashi-bazouks on the tables. Then did not satisfy — they put pressure on the Englishman. but declined to surrender them unless we paid him. When they had given our bags ample time to explode. one of the Turks fetched them to the cafe. were favoured with a grudged respect. but. Hereupon one truculent fellow whipped out his bayonet and shook the blade in our faces. Even this we refused to do. about six piastres. but he declined to reward flatly them and pretended ! to prefer the alternative they offered. The amount him by any means. This realistic entertainment so impressed I me that I rewarded the actor with all the small change possessed. whose rhythmic suck of 1 . at the same time drawing a finger significantly across his throat and gurgling in a manner that must have been copied from life. Bold Briton from him in disgust and proceeded to they turned fight over the shilling I had given them. however. and handed over an empty purse my money was in a wallet. for he explained that he desired to divide the money with his companions.THE DYNAMITERS their Sultan 113 we should probably have had our pockets searched.

' author of ' Alice in Westminster. truly alarming. shook him back to earth. Indeed. The fight concluded and quiet restored. and we appealed to them in French to relieve us from the tender mercies of our tormentors. of their But they sipped their coffee and informed us that the soldiers were not command. and he was oblivious to the presence of the Asiatic hovering over him. for he The him without This time he was was alarmed himself. unaffected. He suspected that we were making a report of the treatment we had received.ii4 THE BALKAN TRAIL the hubble-bubbles could be heard above the irregular sounds of the brawl.' a man who would all write an epigram on the death of a lady love. of We sit could do nothing the rest the night but and study the Turks and listen to the rhythmic gurgles of the hubble-bubble pipes. Early in the morning two army officers arrived and came into the khan for coffee. Now this Englishman was none other than ' Saki. But this proceeding did guards. Perceiving my friend's unfortunate plight. not meet with the approval of our truculent individual walked round behind a word. the English- man got writing materials out of his bag and proceeded to take notes for despatches. In a few minutes Saki's mind had risen above earthly surroundings in search of an epigram on a capture by Turks. these Asiatics seemed to be of nobody's command ! Up to the hour they . and persuaded him to destroy his papers. and drew his bayonet again. I came to the rescue.

streets of the city. The were entered. Asiatics challenging us at every turn. There were already cabs at the station.THE DYNAMITERS took it 115 into their heads to return to the railway station. It was difficult. we at once set about however. We Consul. officer no superior six o'clock came near them. starting arrived at the Consulate just as the Vice- accompanied by the Consular kavass. It was about when they departed. to the hotel it named from America's destroyed the bank. who rose and unslung our carriage approached to their —the We work ride. discoverer. usually crowded at dawn. leaving us without ceremony. This was an opportunity we could not We attached ourselves to the Vice-Consul. and we sought out the British Consul for assistance. was on an official tour of investigation. and the gentle- man protested. but finding been put out of business by the same explosion that After a wash and breakfast we went back to the Angleterre. to gathering an account of the events of the past two days. afford to miss. still deserted by all except soldiers seated when we guns as There were sentinels cross-legged their at every corner. move through the town. bringing passengers for the early train. in carriages. for dynamiters had gone But we were not halted driver on this we had a Turkish drove first who had served as a passport. But he was courteous in his objections 1 2 . and one of these took us into the city.

Vice-Consul was a it careful young man. We the dimensions of the excavations. as far as we . might in Turkey be called a massacre. and we remained with him. therefore. We could paced off only. and. He evidently thought would be useless to provide us with accurate informaand took no trouble to point out to us that the slaughter had not assumed the proportions of what tion.n6 to our THE BALKAN TRAIL company. a fact which concerned us less than graphic accounts of the fighting .M. He seemed to concern himself chiefly with priming himself to contradict in his official despatches the gross exaggerations wherein of his we would undoubtedly indulge and in view services to us we were both sincerely sorry to . disappoint him. though the routes taken by the carts in which they were collected could still be traced to the trenches by clotted drippings of blood and bloody wads of rags on the roads. last spadeful of earth was just being shovelled into the long graves as we entered the gates. taking the word of the Turkish official that the bodies were laid but one row deep. estimated that there could not be more than twenty in a trench — and. but the The Consul led the way to the Bulgarian cemeteries in the hope of being able to count the corpses. estimate the number. with little confidence in correspondents. H. for it is a duller story to say a thousand people were put to the sword than to give in detail the way a single Christian died. The dead were all now removed from the streets. His of great solicitude was to know the exact number the slain on both sides.



. We were told that containing It is said to special customers of this shop went away nightly with heavy baskets. because the iron front They made an of the place was stoutly barred. and two of them climbed in cautiously with lighted lanterns. by means of which they were able to blow up the bank. dead or alive. that which I shop opposite to little The I shop was had watched so often from in the Hotel Colombo. which had come the way from France and had been passed by officials Turkish Customs tial on the payment ' of substan' backsheesh. all of them. The peasants my window had seen enter was only the and leave the place had been. 117 knew. many The stock displayed in disguise. and we waited in the street to see what they would discover within They were compelled to enter first by a side window. within —nor did they—but they feared . there were but three trenches throughout the From site of the cemetery the we followed the Consul to the Ottoman Bank and passed with him through busily engaged uncovering a tunnel little the cordon of troops which surrounded the ruins. Workmen were under the street leading from a a vital spot beneath the bank. opening large enough for a man to pass through. insurgents in front a ruse to cover the real merchandise. I do not think they expected to discover any Bulgarians.THE DYNAMITERS city. the earth excavated have taken the insur- now suspected of during each day. gents forty days to cut the tunnel. The soldiers were preparing to break into the den of the dynamiters.

The revolutionary attack on Salonica was directed primarily against Europeans and European institutions. and a basket containing a strange assortment of other things. in the order named.' The Imperial Bank and is owned and conducted largely Ottoman by Frenchmen Italians. on the covers whereof were instructions for use printed in three languages —French. several yards of fuse. a hunk of native cheese. a few In the basket were of steel lugs for pounds making bombs more deadly. They began the eventful day with an attempt to blow up a troop train leaving sageries Maritimes for the ' An crowded with Anatolian soldiers. a bottle half full of wine. ' . and a wooden box with a small quantity of dynamite. as a threat and in punishment for the non' interference of the civilised nations in behalf of the Christians of Macedonia. The dynamite. infernal machine was placed on the railway interior. is English. and a string of prayer beads. was carefully packed in cardboard boxes. and German.n8 to tread THE BALKAN TRAIL on dynamite. There some irony in the fact that the explosives supplied to the insurgents by France did most damage to citizens of the country from which they came. They passed these trophies out of the window and permitted us to examine them. the Guadalquivir belonged to the Mes- Company. in the shape of cubes two inches thick. and against these institutions the insurgents accomplished their most successful dynamite work. They found a sword of the pattern in use in the Bulgarian army.

and without him. heavy bag into a cabin nearer the enginefew minutes before the ship weighed anchor the Bulgarian hailed a small boat and went ashore. travelling the requisite vised. and towed the ship back into port. rescued the crew and passengers. Their next exploit was more cleverly contrived. and set the vessel afire. leaving A all his baggage behind. it 119 track over which the train was to pass in the early was timed to go off a few minutes too and exploded before the train reached the spot. before a terrible explosion amidships wrecked the engine-room. as A and in for Bulgarian. possessing himself a for merchant. however.THE DYNAMITERS morning. it is The concussion was of such violence that said to have shaken the houses on the quay. injured. He inspected the steamer. pretending mere state curiosity. and learned that the rooms amidships first-class were allotted only to passengers holding tickets . sailed the ship But he did not return. teskere Turkey duly Constantinople took second-class passage aboard the Guadalquivir. whereupon he paid the difference in fare and shifted a room. nearly two miles away. cut the steering gear from the wheel-house. It was the destruction describing of the French steamer. Another vessel in the harbour went to the assistance of the Guadalquivir. but The engineer and several firemen were severely no one was killed. There was a suspicion of foul play. She was hardly in off motion. ostensibly to speak to a friend on the quay. . and went aboard with his luggage a few hours before the ship sailed. but soon.

missiles. and. Before the lights of the city had finished flickering. who in some cases jumped out and threaded the wondering crowds. exploded promptly at eight o'clock. and attempted to throw them into the thickest groups.120 THE BALKAN TRAIL but the cause of the explosion was not definitely fixed until that night. several and drew up before the bank. way to the midst of before hurling their deadly They made for the places where their bombs would do damage among the foreign element and the most prominent citizens. The ' plot was well planned. already alarmed. The Macedonians did not linger tried to catch till are well drilled in scurrying into their houses. they the troops came. * The dynamiters is some on the wing. watch the ship burn. proprietor the Alhambra of shell personally pointed out to us the holes made in his curtains and and gave us pieces he had gathered . The his stage. a carriage dashed up to each of the principal open-air cafes along the water-front.' but a bomb of a poor weapon for use against the individual. But the people. An ' infernal machine placed under a viaduct which carried the gas main over a little gulley. and few of the explosions in the cafes did really effective work. their In each of them were two or more desperate men. and this was the signal for the general attack. recognising the attack at last. and grew until at evening the whole town was on the quay little suspecting that this was the day for the Crowds soon collected to — long-promised dynamiting. were on the qui vive.

this work. bombs caused the things wildest panic everywhere. Then The other insurgents entered the courtyard of the Hotel Colombo and hurled bombs into the doors of the German skittle club. in the skittle club at the time got out with their The explosions ably ineffective. the charge beneath the off. and their confederates were elsewhere attacking bank was set A vast hole was rent in the rear wall of the building. The Bulgarians who had this work in charge were evidently the pick of the band.THE DYNAMITERS in his 121 yard . and all but one of thirty Germans of the who were lives. Four of them alighted from their carriage in front Those of the building and several others behind it. but two tables and three coffee-cups and the complete record of the destruction one man was wrought at his establishment. escaped with his family before the building succumbed to the fire. but they seem to have been remark- They were thin-shelled (I have seen several). Bank was thorough. The manager who lived above the offices. they began casting bombs at the windows. in the guise of gentlemen. While these two divisions of dynamiters were at various places. suc- ceeded in getting near enough to the two soldiers on guard to overpower them and cut their throats. a low building at the back of the bank. club was demolished and the Colombo shattered. Dynamite requires confinement to be thoroughly The destruction of the Imperial Ottoman effective. some three and some four inches in . attacking the front. the skittle front of the Hotel of the bank.

house was one of the insurgent rendezvous. who witnessed through the blinds one block of one of the mission windows. the mission. that those who But will not join them shall suffer for their weakness. at the The American property was not . seemingly almost under their door. leaving the excited to wreak is their vengeance on the unarmed Bulgar. About an hour little after the explosions at the bank. pretty fight took place 'twixt dynamite and for the account of which of I am indebted largely to the wife it a missionary. at Salonica is The American Mission the spot where the an Oriental block cut by crooked streets —away from It Ottoman Bank stood. though half unknown and unsuspected. was opposite an antiquated Turkish fort. have blown themselves to pieces while loading The dynamiters escaped in most instances. in one place the insurgents were trapped. and a rifle. bombs began exploding. In some cases —in the mountains—they shells. soldiers After doing their work they sought cover. and next door to the is German school. This a part of their system. On the other side of the school a little house with a broad balcony overlooking the This little schoolyard. with a hole for loading.— 122 THE BALKAN TRAIL diameter. while the party of Americans watched the burning of bank from the back side of the house. The shells and the dynamite were imported separately and put together The insurgents appear in various places in the town. to have had little knowledge in the manipulation of the bomb other than what was contained in the printed instructions.

the object of the attack




waited until

it was directed against the The insurgents had, apparently, the troops from the fort were drawn off

to other parts of the city before beginning their job.

bombs from the balcony down at a corner of the building, where they exploded. The detonations were deafening, but the whole damage
They threw

to the school



than that which a single


would have wrought if put into one of the rooms. But the fort opposite had not been left entirely deserted, and a few minutes after the first report it opened fire from the battlemented walls. The Turks were soon reinforced by two detachments of troops
which came up from opposite



in the darkness, mistook the other for insurgents


fired into


fight continued, during

For more than two hours the which probably forty bombs

exploded and hundreds of

cracks rent the


The missionary's wife
out on the terrace




had seen the

Bulgarians light their fuses in the room, then dash

and throw the bombs into the times the Turks attempted to rush the place, but the street was narrow and stoutly walled, and whenever they came up the Bulgarians dropped bombs into them and drove them

Towards the last the insurgents staggered out and only dropped their bombs. As they lit the fuses the Americans saw one of them bleeding from a wound
in the face,

and the other from the



the defence ceased, and the Turks charged the


They battered
in the door

fortress successfully.


dragged out the garrison, both undoubtedly beyond
earthly suffering.



the dynamiters went

up with


by an


some were

by the



streets during the night,

but a majority

was told

town safely before morning and made their way, singly and severally,
insurgent) got out of the
to join other


in the mountains.

Early the following morning the Turkish population

came down from the

hill in

a body, yataghans

in hand, ready to

clear out the Bulgarian quarter.

But Hassan Fehmi Pasha, the Vali of Salonica, had anticipated this descent of the 'faithful,' and himself drove out and cut them off and persuaded them to leave the work to the soldiers. A house-tohouse search of the Bulgarian quarter was begun at once, and every male Bulgarian of fighting age was hounded out. They had barred their doors and
hidden themselves in the darkest corners of their

But the bars did not defy the

soldiers' axes,


their hiding places

were generally shallow, and

practically the whole

male population was locked up
arrested in this

Bias Kuler


(White Tower) and the prison in the


No women were

it is


but one was shot in the

streets. The was that her figure was padded with dynamite bombs. Just two months prior to this general incarceration of Bulgarians a general amnesty had taken place. The




by a single Irade reprieved all Bulgarian The prisons of European Turkey were prisoners.
thrown open,
were treated


were brought back from across

the seas and set free.

and criminal offenders

Brigands returned to the moun-

petty thieves to the

revolutionary bands.

and insurgents to Among the last was the chief



internal organisation/




returned from Asia Minor to resume supreme com-


of the committajis.

This was one of the fea'

tures of the Austro-Russian





Sultan evidently desired to begin

with a grand

display of beneficence, perhaps foreseeing the result
of this liberality.



Government, at any

rate, appreciated the error of the act

and protested



being executed; but Great Britain had

given a mandate to Russia and Austria to do in Turkey what one of them cannot do at home, and what both
are seriously doubted of honestly desiring.

Almost as absurd as
the general arrests which

this general

amnesty were


followed the


Not only was the Bulgarian community Salonica put behind bars, but an attempt was made






This proved a failure for two reasons

the Turks could not catch the revolutionists, and they

had not gaols enough to contain the unarmed Bulgars.


the gaols were







extraordinary tribunals were created in the several
consular towns to judge the prisoners.
I visited


of these while


in session.'

the outskirts


the town


for this function.

The building was a shanty it had been whiteThe usual cellar (an excava;

tion under a

prisoners in

Macedonian house) served to hold the A score of them, manacled, waiting.

were brought from the gaols every morning, and

choked into

dark hole, whence, one at a time,

they were unchained from their partners and sent

up the ladder into the court. Three dreamy looking Turks and two corrupted Christians (a feature of the reforms) tried the peasants. There were no witnesses at least not when I was present and the case seemed to go for or against the prisoner as he him-


could persuade the sleepy judges of his inno-


evidence, pro

The judges never asked a question the whole and con, was drawn by one Turk in a

shabby uniform, who stood before the handcuffed prisoner, questioned him, and then advised the judges

— sleeping—of his testimony. Judgment was by no means summary was not Who are you — Ivan Ivanoff.' — Guilty Every Bulgar had an









hour or more to


So slow was the process


these courts that another amnesty took place before

they had tried half the prisoners.

Nevertheless, the



condemned was



many months

the weekly steamer which conveys political prisoners
into exile

was crowded on touching at Salonica. The week we spent at Salonica after the dynamiting bristled with incident. The days we devoted to gathering news and material for letters,' and the



we put in writing up.' In making our rounds of the town it seemed that every sentry would have his turn challenging us, and the Turkish post office

on searching






relieving at night

me, for the time being, of




we were not

from the investigation of the now

Every patrol passing the Angleterre would rouse the house and ask why the candles burned at so late an hour in the room we occupied. We had just time each day to swallow a hasty dinner at the little restaurant opposite the hotel when the all in hour, sun-down, arrived. But we took a supper of yowolt (a kind of curdled milk) and bread to our rooms to eat at midnight. At six o'clock each morning we were on our way to the railway station to hand our despatches to the Consular kavass. Of course we could trust none of our stuff to the Turkish telegraph or post offices. For one thing, no report was permitted to pass the censor which did not
cautious authorities.
4 '






the insurgents as





word throughout a despatch would lend a colour to it. There is, besides, no assurance

that either a letter or a telegram will ever reach
destination through the Turkish institutions

and so

we had deposited a sum


money with

the telegraph

operator at Ristovatz, the Servian frontier station,

and sent our despatches to him by either

of the



take the mails of the English, French, and

Austrian post offices to the frontier daily.

One morning,


we had worked


night and



got to bed only after delivering our despatches safely
into the hands of the French messenger, a skirted

kavass with a tremendous revolver,

we were


awakened at nine o'clock by a continuous booming We knew it was a foreign of cannon in the harbour. fleet, and had rather looked forward to its arrival, but we were perfectly willing to have it stay away altogether It boomed on and on rather than come at this hour. until there was nothing for us to do but get up and go to see how many warships and whose they were. We dressed and went up on the broad terrace of the Cercle de Salonique, to which the American Consul
had given us cards. There we breakfasted and watched them sail into the bay under Olympus, still
snow-capped, standing higher than the cloud
line, his

smaller companions tapering off to his right and

There was a coarse rumble as the heavy chain of

warship, an Austrian, followed


anchor to a


For a week we watched the Italians and the

Austrians rivalling each other in this naval demonstration.


Austrian, then an Italian


then three




the end of the week
their anchors in

nearly a score of foreign ships

swung on


parallel lines, the torpedo boats close in to the

shore and the big ships in deeper water.


nation could


the other appear the stronger in the

eyes of the Turks or, more particularly, the Albanians.

The Turkish flagship, which has swung at anchor in the bay of Salonica for the past ten years, floats an admiral's colours. The admiral had been warned

but they were all disgusted with them before they left. The Vali sent down K a . Got no money anyhow. . and his . The Bulgarians had thought they would all be released from prison. but his Government had not informed 129 that there would be a naval demonstration in the him that In con- every ship that entered would salute him.' Salonica the wife of one of During the week of sentinels and excitement at my friends at the American I I had known them only a few months. .THE DYNAMITERS bay. for small coin. sequence he was unprepared to of guns. fire some hundreds ammunition was soon exhausted so he gave orders to switch his flag up and down twentyone times to each foreign ship. All the peoples but the Mohamedans had rejoiced at the arrival of the foreign ships. and mission died. 4 Never get drunk so much as English. and for a week the Star and Crescent rose and fell at the Turk's hind mast. but was asked to be one of the pall-bearers with several of the English residents there. 1 The English float no come ? ' asked a Jew boot- black of me with a glance of disgust at a group of ? Italian sailors passing. • What's the matter with these fellows ' I inquired. was the only other American in the town. otherwise the town would be bombarded the Jews had thought the sailors would hire their boats to come ashore the Greeks had thought the officers would dine nightly at their hotels and the Tziganes had made their children learn enough words of French to beg .

' .' said the Englishman. was now necessary vised. surrounded by fezzed soldiers. and the first question of the dignitary who drafts the ' ' passports was.) But the Turkish official must have a reason for everything. (The correspondent represented the Graphic.' The country is magnificent.' replied the Turk. ' understand it is very fine. following hearse through the deserted streets afoot. inquire in Englishman brewing in disappear The some way got a tip that trouble was Monastir. 1 why an ' artiste desired to go to Monastir. and they accompanied the funeral to the English cemetery to protect a number of Bulgarian women who wanted to follow the remains of their friend to the grave. To see the country I —among all other things. its which The town was resuming began to normal quiet and we elsewhere.I i 3o THE BALKAN TRAIL detachment of troops to prevent any disturbance. in After the European them came a train of native hacks.' as the word correspondent always shocks the Turk. for him to secure a teskere — already possessed one and needed but to have mine On application to his Consul for this docu' ment he was advised to designate himself artist. in gaol. or in hiding. and he and I made ready to for excitement one morning. It was a strange the sight —the parade of semi- these peasants whose husbands were dead. leaving the other correIt spondents in the dark as to where we had gone. community followed. ' but the caf6-chantants are closed now.

pause before anyone ventured to approach him . with blood trickling . within a stone's throw of the Angleterre. It was a rainy day. and we the whole corps of corre: We spondents — —were lingering over our lunch at the time. expecting either a dynamite Europeans ' or a massacre of Christians. 131 was the only artist known to this enlightened had thought that all the live insurgents had But left Salonica and we were going on their trail. it instant door. attack on ' At the first everyone jumped up. on • idly speculating What next ? ' when several shots rang out almost in front of the place.THE DYNAMITERS The caf e-chantant artiste official. Curiosity soon got the better of fear. there Then a black soldier went up. and one. But the firing stopped almost the had begun. but of us those — behind —forced the front file out into the street. and was doomed to die before we left. The body of a boy some eighteen or twenty years of age lay pale and lifeless in a There was a short gutter half full of dirty water. approached the body. one desperate dynamiter had remained in town. and three minutes after the shooting It we were on * the spot. felt the body carefully and relieved it of an iron bomb and two sticks of dynamite. We were both. and we moved towards the There the crowd hesitated for a moment. He chose the hour and place himself about two o'clock of the day before we left. He had no sooner done this than two other Asiatics was an infernal machine under his coat.' was only seventy yards up the street from the Hotel d' Angleterre.

man. I —through many clenched teeth. had cut a cabman out of a job. The slaughtered youth was said to have come from a small town up the railroad. Before he had struck blows. 1 must search you before you go in. He loitered about which the aroused suspicion. began again his and dealt three blows at the stomach of the victim trailing through the mud. but the negro thrust him back officer too. butt downwards. He was a Bulgarian school teacher. to smash in the victim's face. . his goal.' Here the ' ' The young hand and feigning ! . his muttering Turkish —curses. . with drawn bayonet.i32 THE BALKAN TRAIL his face. an officer caught hold of his sword arm and violently pushed him back and for a moment there was a rapid argument. at door challenged him. unable to control himself. however. Then he put his bayonet between his teeth and took hold of the feet. followed by a tussle. holding a paper in his indignation. came and dragged the body through the mire and the now freed Asiatic. In his attempt to blow up the telegraph office (this was his object) he went down to the place dressed as a European. The other white soldier raised his gun. and helped to throw the dead Bulgar upon a Jew's The old Jew drove off rapidly he cart standing by. curses. down set upon it with imagine the bayonet. and when he one of the collected his courage sentries and started to enter. is said to have exclaimed. Let me pass I want to send off this telegram. In a few minutes four soldiers and the across the street.' The guard answered.

and sent two balls into him. but before he could withdraw it. threw him on his back. . grabbed him by the throat. A letter was found on the boy's body stating that he had successfully carried out one piece of dynamiting and hoped to accomplish this.THE DYNAMITERS 133 young Bulgar thrust his hand into his pocket for a bomb. the stalwart guard. who was twice the size of the Bulgar.

whom .. to They now inhabited by Turkish frontier guards. The conductor. we were told. There is a line of old Roman are watch-towers along the coast.45 p.m. But this is not the only reason the journey consumes such a length of time. they would probably drive if the railways charged more than the carriage-man's rate per hour. as the natives are accustomed to paying for transportation by the hour. Our train pulled slowly out of Salonica at 8 a. half an hour late in spite of the liberal time-table.. however. was most interesting.134 THE BALKAN TRAIL CHAPTER VIII MONASTIR AND THE GREEKS The train to Monastir is very slow : it takes the best part of a day to go about a hundred miles. informed us that. and dragged slowly into Monastir at 5. is due to the fact that while the Sultan seeks to limit the number and the terminal lengths of the Sublime Porte sees railways in his dominions. fit to subsidise these under- takings of foreign companies according to the mileage covered. This.m. dilapidated things resembling Roman ruins in England. Wherever there are two ways between towns the track invariably takes the longer. somewhat of a wag. The trip.

already to remain in view until is still we We Vardar Valley and burrow into the hills. at every bridge brush huts. but him off from view. we appreciated his company on this journey inland. stands Olympus. and jogged our memories of the ancient Greeks. He goes along with the train just as the moon does . and gradually winds a tortuous way. forests. spans across the chasms. 135 Greek smugglers must pay tribute in order to bring in bay. up. the bag of bread the train dropped A sea of mountains rolls away on all sides. few hours the In a line is a succession of alternating tunnels and bridges and —passages through the mountain-tops and At every tunnel's mouth was a little group of tents and from which ragged guards emerged to get off. Of course. range of unworthy hills suddenly cuts Distance lends enchantment. and insignificant things. up. On the nearer slopes rectangular carpets of yellow corn and red and white poppies spread out at irregular intervals. The old fellow had carried us back to schooldays. proximity makes importance. cross the Behind these towers. On . until a close and keeping steady pace with you. and admired the majestic manner in which our old friend travels. and looked upon him as a sort of sentinel of civilisation here on the border 'twixt East and West. forty miles away.MONASTIR AND THE GREEKS goods duty free. After leaving the plain the train begins to climb over a watershed. across the The historic mountain. towns. passing over minor objects. up to the snow and the clouds. had got to know Olympus well.

which tumble through town's Passing the streets of the town on their falls. across a far valley. the longer way round.— 136 THE BALKAN TRAIL fields the second line the off are less distinct. on an island just large enough to hold a mosque. besides being impracticable. base of the mountains. Shortly after midday the and emerges Watertown. Further the mountains blur out into blue and grey. of course. There is always incentive for wild imagination in Macedonian moun- . precipice that falls abruptly from the back of Vodena the track crosses the mountain streams. The train does not cross the lake. stands a lone minaret is said. of a score of slender silver ribbons trailing down a edge. and perhaps there is some truth in the record. a mountain bowl of clear green water. — all that remains. the threads the eye of a high peak in sight. and finally mix colour with the train clouds. Around the but in view. taking. To bridge a Macedonian lake is like putting a pot-hat on an American Indian. most mountain direct route to the town. for again that would be too direct it circles the shore at the . of It does not descend to Vodena the plain and is climb again. more tunnels and over more when in the open. It is a legend in the Caza of Ostrova that the lake rose suddenly from springs about a hundred years ago . for that. for at one end. sides the train winds for an hour through bridges. way to the fantastic Not the least of the charms on this road to Monastir is Lake Ostrova. it of a once populous village.



probably ten years of age. to be retained until we left town. One children and three girls. but this day not a single native dug-out * was drawn up on the beach. like the gypsies. and yet. When at the village on the shore of the lake. Her hair. Friends were gathered at several stops to greet him.' are to be had at Ostrova station.MONASTIR AND THE GREEKS tains. We God told the Albanian his child ' was pretty. of them gathered at the station to Albanians appear Slav peasants often suspend business. was a rich auburn though the roots of it were black. avert evil ! Marshalla —May It is bad luck if in Turkey to receive a compliment. Her finger-nails were likewise dyed with henna. We 1 asked the Albanian he had many children. of course. This is the only hotel . sleeveless jacket of blue over a white blouse. A field of white fezzes swept away from the car window in every direction for a hundred yards.' was the reply. They threw their arms about him and pressed girl. Generally fresh trout. 137 Several regiments of Albanians were camped and every man meet our train. At Monastir we surrendered our teskeres to a Turkish official. Aboard our train was an Albanian bey returning ' with his little daughter from a pilgrimage to Mecca. which hung in a single bunch under a soft blue homespun kerchief. and a — loose. faces with him. and took a carriage to the Hotel Belgrade. but none of them noticed the She was a marvel of beauty. ' still kicking. ! which ' caused him to exclaim in alarm. unveiled. She wore richly figured bloomers.

' The ' hilarious his first lesson at once.' he wrote have learned the noble language from We ' were astounded. there much * name.' I do not pronounce correctly.. The other Englishman suggested an it opera hat for cross-country travel. in the hope that his compatriot would spring in the company official of an of Albanian and get shot.' said the Italian . An Italian the Ottoman Bank had taught himself English. and expressed in French our ' unfortunate ignorance of foreign tongues.' Italian it is not spelt spell it as it is The was an earnest student. But we did not recognise the language. and always wore a silk hat. books. and was enraptured when we arrived. There were some queer characters among us. and wrote : Always pronounce English as not pronounced. Englishman gave the unhappy Italian He took the pencil. A officers special commissioner ' of the Daily News took mission so seriously that he never smiled. 138 in the THE BALKAN TRAIL town . and soon . 1 and on the back of a letter wrote am speaking English. from 1 The man drew a pencil : his pocket. * Perhaps I next. the others are is all khans. ' By its presumption the Hotel Belgrade got the patronage of both the correspondents and the reforming 4 reformajis —as the his and officials were derisively dubbed. in a In spite of the immortal William. It was with much pride that he addressed us at supper. That is your own tongue. but even of this we understood not a word.

until we protested. regularly scrubbed. of a chicken ? ' chirped the English- man and 1 the special commissioner of the Daily News almost smiled. the bedrooms were supplied with tallow candles. Turkish.' we said.' The Italian went with us to the bazaars one rugs. Italian conversed with the proprietor for a few minutes. morning to look at some * but he took us only to second-hand dealers. man The asked if there One day the Englishwas any chicken on the bill of fare. It was a most depressing place except Its bare board floors were for the amusing Italian. as you might imagine. Nevertheless. Life-size prints of King Alexander and Queen . The front door was braced with stout props. The dining-room was a gruesome place. which came for the garbage. and then informed us that there was 'a kind of a chicken. which were set in place every evening soon after twelve o'clock.' The Hotel Belgrade was. We do not want old ' rugs. and much noise from miserable dogs in front of it. 139 Before we left the hotel he was inter- preting to the proprietor for us. from the garbage in the street.MONASTIR AND THE GREEKS made progress. It is a —what do you call it ? —a goose. . and we seldom found extraneous Oh. sir.' said he. there was a bad smell about the place. this being sundown but the doors of the rooms were The steep staircase was lighted with without bolts.' * What kind . you want young ones. 1 — things in either the food or the beds. kept by a Servian. smoky kerosene lanterns.

but it was never required to walk further than the length of a short rope. . was even poisson on the menu. me to Belgrade) they hung there matter of . ! ' Servian ' . and khans but I had run out of Keating's. The capacity had it was a frisky ! ' became disgusted with the hotel. and by frequent visits at . and was not prepared to lay out money for new pictures.' fins of the fish of if there . of bits daily in lamb its the stumps cigarettes thrown direction Some of us protested to the proprietor. What exclaimed the horrified were promptly swallowed. I . King Peter. At the open door to the yard stood a smelly ram that had become bow-legged from its own It was so fat it could hardly waddle. The unfortunate animal was afflicted with the capacious appetite of both goat and pig it was able to eat anything and continually. And everybody fed it. This was before the assassination of the monarchs but after the event (which called . tried the I had made friends with the missionaries (one needs no introductions in Macedonia). There was no sentiment in the the proprietor simply possessed no portrait still. kill my luck this ? Stomackovitch has brought insatiable good fortune to bow-legged ram house for eleven years with the been tied in the hotel yard ever since lamb.140 THE BALKAN TRAIL Draga stared down from the badly papered walls. the 1 * potage legumes. It got the uneaten vegetables from weight. and offered to buy the creature if he would have it killed.

' ' Condition three was a compromise.' I The room floor. We do not send for our post on Sundays. fearing that perhaps I was afflicted with evil habits . * I perceive. roll got for my goodness was on the first It held a big downy bed.' ' You attend service ' 1 do. • We So I allow no strong drink in this house. Now. Indian corn for dinner. and while more than anxious for the society of a fellow-countryman. Bond for permanent board and lodging. and I applied to Mr.' remarked Mr.' MONASTIR AND THE GREEKS the mission I 141 found that they were in the habit of having waffles for breakfast. they hesitated at taking me. and home-made biscuits for supper. wherein one could a rug on the There was on a washstand a china wash-bowl and pitcher instead of the petroleum tin with faucet My window in the khan yards for guests who wash.' I replied. about without danger or discomfort. covered with storks' nests. floor. These attractions of the American home were irresistible. Bond. ' 1 Do you smoke ? ' can do without tobacco quite easily. ' I can go for my own ? letters.' said the missionary. and Mrs. looked out on the garden and over the red-tiled roofs of the town. the missionaries are Puritan people. The residence was situated on the border between . so before adopting me the dear old people put me to a test.

My visit began in the height of a after the panic. taught at the school. corner. his wife. lived near our house. than a hundred. Bond in his duties. Christian girls. Tsilka assisted Mr. conducted by two American women with the assistance of several Bulgarians educated at Samakov. No attack came from the Bulgarians. of select seminary for the better classes. but the promises of trouble were fulfilled . They were all Bulgarians. planned trouble for Monastir on the following fete. Rumour. under in- structions from the Governor-General. well. Among and Vlachs from Krushevo. The Vali. George's Day. prepared to assist the soldiers. It was never dull at the mission. and in the next street was the girls' school. being in an ugly mood. the scholars were Greeks from Fiorina. Tsilka They both spoke English quite and the accounts they gave of the long captivity and the ransom were extremely exciting. of course. and ' the brigand baby.142 THE BALKAN TRAIL Round the the Turkish and the Bulgarian quarters. having several pupils The school was grades and boarding who came from a hundred miles around. with the exception of one family of Albanians. quite prosperous. St. as well as Bulgarians and Albanians. Tsilka. The school was a sort all.' born in captivity. There was always something in- teresting going on. The number of people in the congregation was less was the church . in the upper room of a large wooden building. and the civilian Mohamedans. Tsilka. got his garrison in readiness to combat an attack by dynamiters. which stalked rampant Salonica outrages. and Mrs. husband of Mrs.



as he had brought no food. and told to remain until relieved. There was mission. One day he arrested a peasant who came to the mission to take his place. it required but a them to work. signal to start 143 Turks all ready. would shoot a foreign giaour as quickly as they would a native infidel. The Vali sent a soldier to escort the Englishman and me.MONASTIR AND THE GREEKS nevertheless. being giaours. The trooper was given us for protection from the Bulgarians. for he was an armed Mohamedan. He came discovered one morning at nine o'clock. We the poor fellow weeping. Then came the panic. Christians closed their shops and barred their doors. The Bulgar died. ' ' who at first assisted them. The missionaries fed him. came . on our daily trips through the streets. who. one is led to believe. and asked the cause. and the streets were deserted except for Mohamedans. who brought with him a strip of matting in lieu of a prayer rug. His task was severe. and he remained twenty-four hours longer before another soldier The object of putting a guard in front of the mission was twofold. and the mob of bashi-bazouks slaughtered some forty other infidels before being dispersed by the soldiers. and nine o'clock next morning found him still at his post. also a guard assigned to duty at the This was a youthful Turk. but we kept our eye fixed upon him. He had been posted here to guard the mission. The signal came in a row between a Turk khanji and a Bulgar baker over payment for a long due account.

If nightfall overtook ox-teams or buffalo-carts within the city. It was peculiar ponies. was the evidence produced It was carefully saved. and their masters slept It was uncanny stumbling into munching fed.144 T HE BALKAN TRAIL in his hand. and shown to was written upon it. the horned beasts were unyoked where they were. Sometimes. Often the men were mortally wounded and had to be supported on the backs of the stumbling This was a gloomy spectacle. and the Consuls sent their kavasses with a lantern to escort us. As we proceeded down the streets the challenges would come from a hundred yards away. in which the economical peasant had brought my week's washing. led by would pass down the cobble-stone road back to the mission bringing the wounded soldiers into the casern. hills. beasts at night. To go about the town at night was thrilling. Several times we were invited to dine at the Consulates. The patrols and sentinels had orders to arrest and later to shoot any man discovered on the streets without against him. The washing-list — — a lantern. with a bundle and went away with a large piece of brown paper neatly folded back This piece of paper. to the night. the Vali. blanketed and in the carts. a line of cavalry ponies. would jump to his feet on our return as the light of the lantern turned the corner of our narrow street. when a fight had taken place in the neighbouring their masters. for the Turks never brought in their . and our Albanian trusty would reply Even our own guard in a deep commanding tone.

there was always one hour of the day when a fearful row raged. dressed ready for baking. they are sensi- tive over losses. to be ready for an insurgent surprise. The Consul was a Scot.MONASTIR AND THE GREEKS wounded till 145 the streets were deserted . but the bulldog was a novel and disturbing L . This. ' on the anniversary day itself all infidels braced the bars behind their doors. indeed. During an anxious period in Monastir there came around an anniversary of the Sultan's accession day. who owned a British bulldog and employed an Albanian kavass. McGregor by name. and Mohamedans re' mained in their homes by order of the Vali . after putting out all the lights At night we the house and crossed the street to the school. It was a curious sight to see these preparatory parades made pass down the streets with the potential dinner. and Turkish designs in night-lights were arranged on the hills. The latter is common to Consuls. for was the only parade to honour the Padisha. and ladies —climbed —a precaution of the to the top of the house to see the hills. and left only a doubled guard remained in the streets. The streets were beflagged with Star and Crescent. The day their before the celebration long lines of soldiers to the various way from the camps and caserns town ovens. in a huge pan on his shoulder. That was the hour the British Consul took his daily walk. But no matter how intense the quiet in Monastir. illuminations on the Not a sound was to be heard over the entire city. each with a whole lamb.

and for empty stomachs. and of nobody would give him work. the hired girl for tea. dog-fight passed Whenever a protracted daily- down the semi-deserted streets. unusual story. to live on. and sometimes they were peculiar people. but. the dog not required to brook the insult in peace. salaaming submissively with their thin hands crossed upon their inquire their business.146 element. came towards the was sent to put the kettle on visitors There were always at the mission. The native dog.) insur- This Bulgar had called at the mission —here he showed some embarrassment —to see how much money he would receive if he and his family became . is is averse to permitting an outsider within his sacred pre. One morning a forlorn native appeared at the door with a dejected wife and two miserable children . and now he had nothing (It ' . a "wave of protest from the native canines followed in his wake. that the British Consul was out for his and when the disturbance mission. confinement his shop had been plundered by bashibazouks. garian. cincts like the native Mohamedans. THE BALKAN TRAIL As the fatted pup strode the narrow streets between his master and his master's man. unlike the Turk. 'twas known walk . they stood in a row. We went out to and heard the following not The man was unfortunately a Bulthat crime had been cast into prison During his in the general incarceration of his race. ' was a case No Bulgars need apply men who employed sympathy with the Bul- garians were suspected of gents.

The Macedonian smiled. the Servians had given one of his brothers several liras to become a Servian. so he said and in the same breath told us that he had two brothers. He was made to understand. and told him that he would not become an American if he chose to join the Protestant Church. and out of it gave the man a couple of mijidiehs. Bulgarian. He. here many minent family. pure and simple. Mace- donian to see why men to happy countries theirs. The missionaries had a British relief fund at their disposal at this time. and asked how such a thing was possible. and. hat this beneficence was a in gift. and explained that his was a proprevalent in parts of Macedonia. up comfortable homes in come out and live in a land like give another occasion we received a visit from a more enlightened Macedonian. too.MONASTIR AND THE GREEKS 1 147 Americans ' ! The missionary explained that the Protestant Church did not offer pecuniary inducements and other mundane rewards for converts. . and Rumanian Churches. and no way meant as a bribe to induce him to leave It is difficult for the the Orthodox Church. One day Mr. however. This peculiar phenomenon. for the influence their sion ' ' conver- would mean. I was puzzled. was a Bulgarian. On came to my notice for the first time. Servian. Bond filed a despatch at the telegraph L 2 . while the Greeks had outbid all the other Churches for the other brother. as did the Greek. one of whom was a Servian and the other a Greek.

sent a message ' assembly reading Greetings in the name of the Lord. Three days later a gendarme called at the mission to ascertain who this Lord was. Next day. were submitted to him. A reunion of the missionaries of European Turkey was taking place at Samakov. particularly if the Lord for He wanted to know whom this telegram was being sent. this he gave the missionaries permission to publish all the texts except one —that of Love one another. When the missionary informed him that the Lord had been a Jew.' clerk accepted the despatch The telegraph and the money. but the Turk was suspicious. but went away without further inquiry. which it was desired to print on Easter cards. carefully cross-examined the missionary. he called again. The missionary wrote out a brief statement. thinking it and the Monastir to the staff. and who must therefore be in Monastir. and asked if Mr.148 office THE BALKAN TRAIL which brought us a call from the police. however.' . nor was the payment for it ever refunded. Bond would kindly put the statements he had made in writing for the bimbashee. But the telegram was never sent. the Turk was surprised. unwise to go to Bulgaria at this particular moment. Mr. The censor required a thorough understanding Receiving of each passage before he would pass it. Quite as subtle was the reasoning of the censor when a number of quotations from the Bible. was either a Russian or an Austrian. pointing out that the Koran mentioned the Man in question. Bond explained and to him at length.



MONASTIR AND THE GREEKS impera. immunity from attack by Turkish troops if they became Greeks. we hoped to get some information The Metropolitan was reputed to be the most violent propagandist in the Monastir vilayet. and their names were Armensko was one of of the Bulgarian For thus counteracting the work . correspon- dent of the Daily Mail. the scene of a recent massacre. if they remained Bul- and assuring them. duly written in a great book. where of the affair. 149 this precept being contrary to the policy of divide et by which the Sultans have defeated the Christian peoples. and took us. Just beyond Fiorina the Turks turned us back. of the stout in the com- pany Mr. the villages visited. on the authority of the Vali. warning them of massacre garians. with the object of getting through to Armensko.' In fear of punishment and hope ' of reward whole villages of terrified peasants swore allegiance to the Patriarchate. On a short visit to Fiorina I once secured an abundance is of first-hand evidence of the manner in which the great Greek propaganda in conducted. to the residence of the Greek Metropolitan. I this district went to Fiorina without authority. both subject races and Great Powers. for many generations. exhorting all recalcitrant Christians to return to the Patriarchate. He had recently made an extended tour through his district under the escort of a body of Turks. at our request. Reginald Wyon.

hook-nosed. ragged. jerked itself back. who had held us up one night at Salonica quartered in They had possession of the lower floor. of an indifferent quality. The Turks. of which the only furniture was several small round coffee-stools. walked the bare boards of our was not necessary to inform him A tousled head poked itself out of a door ready to say something a bishop shouldn't. as far as see. but. behind the usual divans. a of Then he appeared excitement. The walls were hung with Turkish rugs. It siesta. and the other occupants of the house because the where our bishop was taking a shoeless. There were probably one could forty curly-bearded. and their mats were spread throughout the vast hall. the reclining forms. for serving the Turkish Government as a chief of spies. which were part of the construction of the building. . climbed the steep and stalked through a broad bare corridor. spying us. We picked our the house. footfalls sounded like thunderclaps. and the bishop was Organisation. and barely moved for us to pass. greasy Anatolians —the same fellows.' according to the insurgents. committees. arrival. The Asiatics lolled about the steps and slept in the hall. We in were required to wait flutter fifteen minutes for his holiness to don his robes. — way among steps. to a reception-room.150 THE BALKAN TRAIL also. and a large room at one side resembled an arsenal. as is their way. condemned to death by the Internal ' At the time of our arrival the bishopric was garrisoned with Turkish troops.

His beard and hair were almost entirely grey. there was no I saw I was to be treated likewise hope of escape so I bent to the ordeal. Then. the bishop cautioned us to believe every word he said. The old man here paused. and we could publish everything he if even the committajis slew him for for it. as a preliminary to a lengthy Indeed. at our request.MONASTIR AND THE GREEKS 151 Pouring out unintelligible apologies. we could said. He explained the presence of the soldiers below letter . the interpreter to . with of about sixty years pronounced Hellenic features. to save the bishop the trouble of mounting a stool in all his — — robes. discourse on Bulgarian atrocities. and smacked him twice on each round cheek. he rushed up to my fat friend. He wore no hat. The Metropolitan was a man of age. but both were full and abundant still. threw his arms around him. The bishop was was a great chance and the unexpected arrival of two newspaper correspondents for him. from the insurgents telling he had received a him they would kill him unless he desisted from thwarting their diabolical propaganda. It quite caused him to lose his dignity for the time being in an effort to do the cause he espoused a service. and his long hair was drawn straight back and done in a knot. like a woman's. After he had finished with little me the loving soul re- stooped and gave even the dragoman four sounding kisses. alive to opportunities. take his word as we could that of an English gentle- man. being the elder.

he declared that he informed the authorities whenever he learnt that there was a band in the district. questioned by us. who. but this was not in the line of his discourse. These were the phans of a man who had These been assassinated by the ' committajis because he refused to contribute to their revolutionary fund.' another to the kitchen for coffee and jelly. were sent into the room. the bishop proposed. and material arrive. should lodge us that night. in The professors joined the bishop blaspheming the Bulgars.152 THE BALKAN TRAIL translate his remarks. but our host-to-be only substantiated accounts of atrocities at the appeal of the others. Three little girls. who had to be They court esied dressed. Then he resumed during the course of which the professors began to and with them came also a member of the Greek community. several attendants and while interrupted. brigands ' had murdered several priests in the district. We asked the bishop for some information of the affair at Armensko. as they or- entered and kissed our hands. said the Metropolitan. great question The dis- was the Bulgarian propaganda. mutilated their bodies in a shocking manner. and still — ' a fourth on another mission — all for our enlightenment his lecture. was or before their churches as a warning to their compatriots. and. No too severe for such fiends. and he evidently did not care to complicate the Balkan question for our uninitiated minds. and laid them in the high-roads punishment. He . benefit. he called and despatched them in different directions two to the Greek school for professors.

It was obvious that the old man had more to say. Then. man * said. as they would have been to another native. and then informed the bishop of the band's plans . but we put him off until we had The interpreter eaten. us.' MONASTIR AND THE GREEKS pensed with the massacre as a ' 153 . with a touch of resentment in his voice. and the peasants were not afraid to talk to him. I I wish / knew English let would write the truth. A meal was already served when we arrived at his house. tion to the authorities. the old . and re- We took notes of the Metropolitan's remarks. but Finally. Tell the Englishmen. ' * that the bishop is a terrible liar ! was an English boy.' letters to the Times and the world know went home with the Greek to whose tender mercy the bishop had consigned us for the night. closed and bolted the door. and cautiously approached our dragoman. attired in her newest native frock. trembling at the honour. we should permit any to go we started to leave. stood ready to wait on the old But from man drove her the room. and his daughter. a pretty girl about twelve We years of age. spring. mistake of the Turks did.' he said in a whisper. . whom we had picked up at Salonica. and the bishop had transmitted the informaThe traitor was discovered.' they should not have done what they turned to the insurgent question. as he was dissatisfied that unrecorded. again carefully ejecting his gentle off- he proceeded to inform us that the father of orphans we had seen had joined an insurgent the little band.

but the Turks did not give persuasion. and found as many as sixty living creatures huddled together in the two churches. the Turks had met a body of 400 insurgents at Ezertze and been defeated. a village of about 160 upon the inhabitants. women. whom we saw some revolting crimes had been committed upon the women. but the carcases of pigs. mittee. the Greek he told the people that and tell came they should go out and meet them them they were Greeks. The human bodies had burned lying all been buried. horses. were still among the ruins.154 THE BALKAN TRAIL When said. and plundered and burned the houses. and on their way passed through Armensko. The Turks came. the Greek and the Bulgarian. They gave the . the Turks the Metropolitan was in if Armensko. and cows decomposing and befouling the atmosphere. had not been destroyed. slaughtered about 130 men. hence his death. the Turks turned back towards Fiorina. which. announce their national The troops who destroyed Armensko were commanded by Khairreddin Bey. Some houses. though plundered. a man already notorious According to a report of the comfor his methods. Without warning they fell Roman Catholic sisters of charity. and children. them time to the peasants went out to meet them. after their return. At any rate. said that The sisters. secured permission from the Governor-General to proceed to Armensko and relieve the wounded. They arrived a week after the affair. who conduct a free dispensary at Monastir.



Greek bands commit upon communities of politics atrocities less only in extent than the atrocities of the Turks. Sometimes Servian bands enter the people. their vocabularies containing some Greek and many Turkish words ' . and they spoke the same the .' The Greeks ' were received by the Greek hospital. rivalry between the racial parties not be denned as races —works —they canand hostile death and disaster Bulgarian among the Macedonian peasants. and permitted them to go to the relief of no more massacred villages. The peasants were all the same people the same blood coursed through their veins. language. and those severely wounded they took on to Monastir. But the propagandas also greatly benefit the The Bulgarian. The sisters brought the survivors to Fiorina. but the admittance was refused those who had rejected the offer 1 of Metropolitan of Fiorina else to to become Greeks.' and some were Bulgarians.' and there was nowhere take them but to the Turkish hospital. Servian.MONASTIR AND THE GREEKS foreign Consuls at Monastir details of the affair. a corrupted Bulgarian. ' * the Turkish the gymnasiums offer the inducements of higher . Greek. field. and Rumanian schools tolerated by the Government because they — divide the Macedonians tion of —give the peasants an educaIn the large centres which they would not acquire at the hands Government. The The subjects of the Sultan do not love one another. but some were 1 * Greeks. 155 and Governor-General was indignant.

And the other races to some extent copy the Turk. clergy us. I found sympathy with the Bulgarian cause among many Greeks. for which professors are brought from Budapest and Vienna. but wiser men explained that many members of the Greek community spoke Slav languages and Vlach. Indeed. official A ' little ' . or a census of the population showing more in the land Mohamedans than there are inhabitants. and in and art. simply because the Bulgarians are righting the Turks. boarded. of Normandy are not British. thing like figures never bothers one of the elect a Turk can supply documents proving anything — a map coloured red as far as Vienna. Some of the Greek partisans contended that the major part of the country was peopled by Greeks. but that they are Greeks. As far as the peasants are concerned.' . But figures lie in Turkey. and lodged without charge. nevertheless. 'The inhabitants they said.156 THE BALKAN TRAIL some cases music education. Vlachs. and the Servians. All this effort is to possess the greatest share of community when the division of the country comes. The Greek prove their hard to influence and other propagandists worked They brought documents to contentions. Children are often supplied with clothes. because their sympathies are Greek. I believe it would make very little difference whom the country goes to. as long as the Government is liberal and equitable.

by means not wholly righteous They verted said the adhesion of the other races to the . there a century converting the Before the creation of the Exarchate. and all Greeks claim the Vlach communities. evidently a Latin tongue. in the hope of securing territorial compensa- . abolishing When it the new Church was . Patriarchate was entirely natural artificially the Bulgarians con- with brigand bands. Some Greek munities of partisans claim also the Servian com- Macedonia because the Servians have no autocephalous church. Rumanians. established they stamped and many Bulgarians were afraid to leave the old Church.' — MONASTIR AND THE GREEKS 1 157 But is not this sympathy unnatural —the ? work of your clergy. they strove to destroy the Bulgarian language. in when was but one Orthodox Church it European Turkey. and remain to-day faithful to the Patriarchate and members of the Greek comschismatic — munity. The Greeks for fear that an autonomous Macedonia which the Bulgarian committees are striving would be annexed by Bulgaria. are a people They speak a language Rumanians. until such time as Macedonia becomes Hellenic. from the schools and churches. The kingdom of Rumania claims these people. and conducts a propaganda among them to retain them. akin to the similar to that of the or Wallachians. therefore. The Greeks. as in the case of East Rumelia. The Kutzo-Vlachs. for They have been at work country. support the Turks.

. the division of Macedonia.158 tion THE BALKANjiTRAIL —a corner of Bulgaria. violently. trade treaties and Greek shipping in Danube was severely taxed. not being concivil tiguous to Turkey. The Greeks contested the separation tion of and sought to prevent by force the installathe Vlach clergy. Until 1905 the Vlach churches were also under the direct control of the Patriarchate but Rumanian their in- influence at Constantinople then obtained dependence. war upon Greece. was unable to give battle with armed bands. Rumania. perhaps —at . the Diplomatic connections were severed. and declared a abolished.

him —though. there is still deterring danger of arrest on suspicion at his destination or en route.— 159 CHAPTER IX ACROSS COUNTRY Travel in Turkey is severely restricted. If he is a non- Moslem he officers is suspected of nothing worse than being is a revolutionist. the doctor arrived after the pasha's death. limits of the They may travel to the few railway lines without serious annoy- . and . a" in high favour at Court. only set upon by polite police is but if he be Mohamedan. So highly was the pasha esteemed that the Sultan sent one of his own Greek. teskere. If a native the succeeds in obtaining a or the vise thereto. he I required to deal with the spies of the Sultan. from Constantinople to attend incidentally. once witnessed in Salonica the impressive military funeral of a pasha who had been physicians. in spite of his papers. necessary for making a journey. Foreigners fare better. But the unfortunate Turk had not possessed sufficient of Abdul Hamid's confidence him permission to visit Constantinople for which he had applied several months before in order to have an operation performed there by to secure for — competent surgeons.

* we soon heads. the terminus of one railway. across a section of Macedonia things line. gave the animals their ' we learned to balance. but they pulled on curb bits. steeds. awaited us and fell in with us without so much as a salaam. rode out of Monastir perched high on Turkish at a dizzy distance above our diminutive tions At first we sought to secure our lofty posiby a tight grip of the reins. from Monastir.' ' We saddles. Only on one occasion did we get of away from the railways with the consent authorities.— THE BALKAN TRAIL 160 ance — if they confine their stops to Consular towns. an intermediary point on the north-and-south As might be supposed. six mounted men. and so tortured our poor little ponies that sacrificed our pride. a man who demanded was The journey and got them. the country was comparatively quiet at the time. and the authorities informed us (the Englishman and me) that all insurgents had been suppressed. and Europeans Turkey the name includes Americans) are never allowed to leave the railways without an escort. Across their faded chests many yellow stripes —in lieu of gold braid which designated them of the corps of Zaptiehs. Just outside the town our escort. to Veles. Three of them wore shoes of the regulation order . and gripped leather until and generally stretched off colour. ' To enter the interior. tied up in places. much patched where they sat. the crops were being gathered. the This was at the instance of a certain Consul. They were the usual ragged beggars.' however. permission (in is seldom given.

they were all good. of trje Christians and the Mohamedan chiflics are M . their animals . flute-like cigarette-holder. while the boot was large enough to admit a long. a tobacco-pouch. Macedonia affords a wealth of interA est. and had none but natural short trot yet they gaits. possessed tassels. The fezzes of this brigade were the one ment. but the others were more fortunate. Two at a time they trot. The ponies and the in was most uncomfortable unless one rose This the Zaptiehs were unable to do. and one even showed signs of having been pressed at a not far distant date those which sat —unlike upon Christian heads. thereby we did in the same time. They did not seem to understand for though the ponies they rode could all. took turns at riding with us at a steady covering the same distances ride across while the others galloped and walked alternately.ACROSS COUNTRY issued 161 by the Imperial Ottoman commissary departOf these latter two possessed native woollen stockings and charruks. In consequence the horse suffered. have been managed without any bit at all kept a heavy hand on a cruel curb. . were small. The leather legging hardly met about the calf to which it was applied. and lacing was necessary to fill a slight breach. Your escort is a study in Turk every peasant you meet is a new picture the mud-brick houses . uniform thing other than their guns . and the third had a high boot on one foot and a shoe and leather legging on the other. We discovered early that our escort were very poor horsemen. and a flint. the saddle.

like this with the small boy You can sympathise on a journey who cried because he had all. prosperous valley. The insurgents had boasted that the crops would not be harvested this year. and our We traversed the escort was therefore quite small. but they were made up of such huts as brigands would not stoop to enter. with an uncer- — tain lope and an unsound bark —came at it . It many sweets he could not eat them should be a happy. but only the irreligious fellow would accept the same favour from us.' a waggon-track. big framed and thick coated but a bread-fed. it. and the villages hide themselves in obscure corners of the mountains. us.' he said. trial One of the Zaptiehs drew his sword and gave at a low bush near his horse's feet a swing but a peasant This came crying before it after the dog. skirted one village and passed through another. They gave us lights from their cigarettes. A sheep-dog. but the corn and the . which we followed. Our route the first day lay through open country. length of the Monastir valley and stayed the night so at Prelip. skinny animal. and and absorb the scenery.162 THE BALKAN TRAIL you must stop at times curious and picturesque. and rolled cigarettes for us. and called the brute off got within reach of the Turk's blade. The Zaptiehs smoked continually as they rode. The cornfields hug the towns. for Nature smiles on but it is desolate and almost deserted. The • high road. for which I They will not take fire from a asked the reason. was a Turk of less religious fervour than his fellows. ' giaour.

and he gives way in places to its lines it . It becomes in time an integral part of the animal. or else them with a bit of rope. ' long. and Mohamedan carts which made us give them the right of way. and when it does leave a back and sometimes skin. their husband. came up The to our horses to beg. We passed Christian caravans which took the fields to give us the road. even to covering their henna-tipped fingers. and bore themselves like a ruling race. The animals are not pegged out or tied together when the caravan halts. reaching from before the animal's is shoulders to his haunches. down to the half-grown boys. often brings hair.ACROSS COUNTRY tobacco were already on their 163 way to market. carried a revolver. riding a dwarfed donkey. appeared to be as poor as the Christians. it conforms somewhat to his shape. latticed saddle. doffing their dejected fezzes and standing abject with hands clasped on their stomachs as we passed. and once two veiled women. The system practised is to lock their fore feet with short-chained iron cuffs. however. The Turks. The others. gathering their faded rags about them. Nevertheless. M2 . and the heavy-saddled pack-animals are relieved only of their loads. The former were unarmed and most meek. lot of the animals in Macedonia is similar to The one survives on grass as the other lives by bread alone. The that of the people.' The peasant lies down to sleep at night in his clothes. various means of propelling the beasts to tie There are of burden. with it. seldom removed. carried pistols and guns.

and the pressure is till the animal attains the required speed. covered with driver walks slimy mud. his long. but thin and scant. A buffalo teams. In tures are larger this condition his skin resembles the hide of a rhino- ceros. beside him with a long- handled dipper. and the buffalo cow gives considerably more and richer milk than the domestic variety. and requires is constant care. snake-like tail stick. kept on These last instruments are gently pressed against the hind quarters. carries a pointed stick or a staff with a nail in the end. coarse blanket him from the cold a thing of broad stripes. straight-necked. oxen and . and at every puddle replenishes the supply of cooling mud. but only the carriage-driver uses the Western donkey is generally sat upon sideways. and continually beaten with the heels the horseman wears heavy spurs the driver of pack-trains. In the winter the black beast maintains the same measured pace. knock-kneed crea- and more powerful than the ox. but then he wears a different covering. His hair is long. The buffalo. crude. probably in the same piece of cloth. not astride. protects His thick. and he is addicted to early baldness on the back. which twists is a heavy creature and unable lifts to acquire speed rapidly. . and veritably it about the tantalising These pitiful-eyed. — .164 THE BALKAN TRAIL lash. spun by the peasant wife. When the weather is warm he drags his slow soft. brown and white. But the buffalo an exceedingly delicate creature. made of the same material of which his master's cloak is woven. way The along the roads.

an institution of the Government designed to ' protect ' Christian peasants from ' brigands. carried our luggage. possessed but one ear.' Albanian and Bulgarian. A stout cord was put and twisted with a stick until all circulation in the tail was stopped. a wire nail was driven into it in four places. swollen to an abnormal size. by strange mishap. big bird's-nest built on soldier's The a gun. We asked what had become of the other. and we were exceedingly sorry that we could not prescribe for either for their own ideas of doctoring border on superstition. especi- the Monastir district. when the appendage had become numb.ACROSS COUNTRY 165 At several places at which we stopped the peasants came to us to ask medical advice for themselves and their animals. it and were There ally in told that had been cut off piece by piece to cure repeated is fits. The horse died its tail close around to the root of complications. Then. the marks of the peasants. witnessed (and protested against) the treatment of an unfortunate horse which had. At one village we . A horse which. nestling wears a costume and carries He is a field guard. as The the Austro-Russian reform scheme provides. ing a This he often accomplishes by becom- band of the former. The GovernorGeneral will show you yard-long petitions stamped with many tiny seals. of a member . at a stage of the journey. often to be seen in Macedonia. and seem to follow the plan of killing pain by pain. pleading that no Christians be put to guard them. a thing resembling a stilts. including lockjaw.

the country swarmed with soldiers. There are always two Though the revolution had not yet occurred. Albanians. and the peasant population was still engaged in peaceful pursuits. of a half-hearted Christian. Occasionally we met a guard with handcuffed Albanians. lightened people of the country. when laying their nest. prisoners. passed us by. and . signatures to these petitions are not secured in the by a Turk with a loaded gun they are bona really do not want the protection peasants The fide. will designate this bird a vulture. The Turkish guard is a contemptuously His band is strong enough to tolerant creature. there is no other call upon them except for the needs of the bird in the The committee's agents. and the old comrades would drop from their horses and embrace each other. Cavalry and infantry patrols. Turks.166 THE BALKAN TRAIL . and who will only bring disaster upon them. pressing cheeks first one side and then the other. and so long as they pay the annual tribute of so many sheep or goats. explain that to a Macedonian peasant. who has probably never before handled a gun. — cause before Europeans. defend the peasants from other marauders. tell you how he exacts maidens of the peasants but the Greeks. We were yet an hour off from Prelip when the white . not what it is to an Englishman or an American. and Asiatics. who is claim to be the enthis. and so much grain. sides to a question. general way. Bulgarians and sometimes Now and then a member of our escort would meet a long-lost friend.

They followed us visible we a narrow veiled street. at the other side of . and the Turks are too dignified to do more than bestow a casual glance at any Greeks their But in the morning our appearance caused a commotion in the town. men. When we at their entered Prelip the natives were gathered gates preparatory to withdrawing for the night. opium. the one to crossed the other to beg of us . Bulgarians deserted the market-place. most innocent but covered with the deadly blooms of houses on the edge streets. ' they have their boundaries. left shops. traveller. At this street begins the Turkish quarter. field. and some in the narrow were hung from roof to leaves. and here and there red poppies had wandered in to stud the golden Once the road led by a milk-white in appearance. Turkish . and children until joined in our train. Vlachs followed us with their pack- animals. came after us.ACROSS COUNTRY tents about the 167 to the cornfields. clean. Soon we came The corn was ripe and glowing under fields. Jews and gypsies sell. town came into view. which only a few women were is then the whole throng came ' to an abrupt stop. It was too late for Christians to follow.' We walked on through the quiet. What They the matter with the crowd ? ' I asked one of our guards.' he replied . ground strings of tobacco changing colour in the sun. women. ' are like the dogs. Many with of the town. the slanting rays of the evening sun.

and bashi-bazouks. swinging a red handkerchief. on his way to a wedding feast. . Albanians with white skull-caps. while with a lighter stick in the other hand they kept up a rapid tattoo. and the drums had two notes apiece. and the strain of a single bar of music went for hours. This was rather an exceptional case the Mohan> A gypsy minedans generally resented my camera. of course. This took the form of an almost uninterrupted flutes and The flutes had a range of about three shrill chords. squatting by the roadway smoking. which varied little more than the music. those of the male side of the house. led the way round a circle formed by the crowd and set the figures. protested that the Evil Eye would be upon him if I took his likeness. fezzes. of course. ' ' inform him. of men gave the dance.168 THE BALKAN TRAIL quarter and came upon a group of bashi-bazouks. of which. The leader of the line. Monotony is bliss to the Mohamedan. but I snapped him It would have been unkind to while he argued. We then followed the Tzigane to the wedding. a thing of shreds and patches. With the right hand and a heavy stick the drummers beat a slow. we were permitted to witness only the street celebrations. They were kind enough to rise and permit me to photograph them standing. They played by ear. The dance was evidently . who had been called into service as village guards. steady boom. strel. There were Turks with red soldiers. A long mixed line dance to the monotonous music of two reed two crude bass drums.



to have his place filled sooner or later. The Englishman chose a Greek barbershop.ACROSS COUNTRY copied from the Bulgarian horo. 169 Sometimes the leader now and would fall out. and was shaved by a man with a characteristic nose of large proportions. We had begun to withdrew then a in favour of the second man. faces. unless he produced the proper change forthwith he would have his olfactory organ promptly and vigorously pulled. resolving here to abolish the dangerous likeness in so far as our beards were con- we repaired forthwith to the nearest barbers'. and. which is worth nineteen piastres in Prelip. and the threat was put into execution. But more than this no gentle persuasion could move him to give. At this the Englishman protested. and man in the line look like Bulgarian insurgents. and I had my hair cut by accident. My companion trounced a Greek barber at Prelip. The English' ' man enlisted his services to make known to the man with the nose that. At the conclusion of the ordeal he inquired the price. and received five piastres in change. and the Greek yielded up another small coin. He handed the Greek a mijidieh. Among the crowd which had gathered to see the Frank shaved was one accommodating individual who spoke a garbled French. But nobody protested. and was told that he owed the sum of two piastres. to the wonderment and increase of the crowd. with full crops of hair and unshaven cerned. This had no effect. and the Greek produced another insignificant . But on went the dizzy dance to the doleful sound all the afternoon.

THE BALKAN TRAIL Again the interpreter was employed. So again the Englishman laid his hands on the Greek. But the Turk. which . out of the way of the pedestrians. For the moment I I forgot ' that a shake of the head in Turkey means * yes. and straightened pose. The shop occupied the narrow pavement with the dogs. wood on the saw. and a nod means was rescued from the reclining during the wall against which I had been process of shaving. and again without result. and poor this time so ill-used the him and told him to help himself with piastres from the money drawer. My was stool. a cane-bottomed and some utensils made in Austria. without alternative. with a single clip. consisting of a Turk and a towel. the conductor on the horse-car at Constantinople and Salonica punches the tickets for the station at which one gets aboard instead of that to which he the wood-sawyer rubs the is destined . took off a large bunch of hair. He writes backwards great .170 coin. After shaving me with a heavy weapon. of having up for the pur- my hair combed. experience was less thrilling. the Turk held up a formidable pair of scissors by way of asking if I wished to have my hair cut. and left me. The Englishman took the proper change and that he handed the key to man departed. I thought.' I no ' —and shook my head. I discovered a Turkish barbershop. The Turk does a way to many things in an opposite which we do them. to be barbered in the latest Prelip fashion. but the disfiguring of me.



always pitched on from the nearest fountain. There were a score of Zaptiehs in the charge of a fat but ragged sergeant. feathering oars. it is In the interior of Macedonia for the authorities to preserve the not necessary same show of order that is required in Consular towns. Despite this survey of the route. Studded over the steep wherever a great boulder protruded far enough for a footing. one of the garrison would bring us cool water . turns the blades forward instead of backward the the soldier. at us. Turks' heads peered down and silently assured us that the road was over- looked for miles beyond. men we the foremost a mile in slope advance. who gave me his name but could not write it. five of our straggled out to the front. soldiers were suspended between us and the clouds. For several hours the road led along the sides of a stream winding between two ridges of mountains. this was a part of the country through which Sarafoff operated. and our escort for the next stage of the journey came to the khan for us. The mountains were said to be infested with invilayet surgents . 171 the sailor. Whenever the highest we came to a blockhouse. peak. slopes. foreign officers of the reform scheme told me he had found but two sub-lieutenants in the whole Kossovo who could read and write.ACROSS COUNTRY he holds between his legs officer salutes . This is nothing extraordinary one of the . . As we would descend one steep could see the vanguard climbing the next. which the mountains often pierced.

This was a hard day's ride. but not one cent to maintain. Millions to retain. Macedonia sparsely inhabited. But the contract had not called for bridges. Not a single village did we pass this day. and this and several other excellent roads. most of them leading towards miles . only one is lone wayside khan. We got off our horses and penetrated the crowd. took us an hour to get to the island. without paying the tax by the Turkish Regie. which lay in our route. and and came to the This was too open a spot visible from any — of the surrounding hills — for brigands to divide spoils .172 THE BALKAN TRAIL The road was good for had been constructed only a year before. selling direct to consumers. and rode away into the mountains. It would not be exact levied — — to say that we were in the saddle ten hours. We filled pockets for two metaleeks a penny between us and proceeded on our way up the opposite mountain-side. and meanwhile men mounted their horses others appeared from unseen places meeting. and it was necessary for us to ford every stream. many it the Bulgarian border. so bridges there were none. But a few months after this excursion a war-scare set the Government to honest work. In the centre sat This he was a Turk with two sacks of cut tobacco. Once we came over the valley below crest of a hill and descried a gathering of twenty or thirty men far down split in a in a —a It little island formed by a thin stream. were hurriedly completed. . for we dismounted and walked over many steep mountains. nevertheless the business was illicit.



The Albanian asked where we had come from. There was but one sleeping-room in the khan. where going. The bazaar began at the bridge and ended at a Turkish khan. dropped by the only bridge in wooden water-wheels. We wanted to take the room and pay for all six beds. as rapidly as he could put the questions which that noise is polite in Turkey. whether married or not. an Albanian. The ranking man among them. A Turk would not have spoken without some substantial motive. and addressed us in French.— ACROSS COUNTRY six in the evening. tions After our ablu- we repaired to the front of the house. and the of the inevitable petroleum proprietor's son brought us clean but exceedingly rough towels. was difficult for the Englishman. We tin in washed at the tap the stable. both understood as this was all good was also the It the other officers made drinking coffee. We an Anatolian regiment pitched beside the vast caverns of Veles. bound by . rose as we appeared. and crossed down view of many primitive equipped with six cots lieu of mattresses . filled with loose cornshucks in was no other furniture in the room. and offered to let us have there the other four beds. however. where a officers dozen or more Turkish sat sipping coffee. how old we were. at which we alighted. in We taste. but the landlord preferred to accommodate two Turkish friends. and this chamber was the Vardar. allowing 173 but we were on the road from six in the morning until passed through the camp of two hours for halts.

upon it was weary. offered more excuse . I many queer people in the course of in such my was experienced all a situation. and not only answered alacrity. and they invited us to dine with them at invitation. We looked foreign to the place. having come in in the manner of the company. so I dropped myself but the other man got upon the divan and I let his feet hang. the officers' mess —an exceptional We went with them to off their quarters in a clean Turkish house. laddersmall. like staircase We climbed a bare.174 THE BALKAN TRAIL the heavy fetters of British restraint. and ours were the only bare heads. Once in a while a Turk would remove . divan. and quite impossible for him to sip his coffee But. a narrow street half covered by the extended second storey. mouthful as though in the height of This display of good manners met with a cordial reception by the Turks. There was a covered a mattress on one stretching from end to end of the floor. on the other side. for when the officers were seated there were pairs of shoes on the floor. and while I he was speaking after each sucked coffee and sighed heavily bliss. with long. the Albanian's questions with but put them straight back to him. many rugs on the rough boards. interrogatory readily and with any contact with travels. unpainted and entered a thing like room side. but ours were the his fez only feet to be seen. and the long cushion for reclining. likewise stretching the length of and a high the wall. I know many . to reply to this marked show of pleasure.

and the others stood around behind us. Six of us sat in so many chairs.— ACROSS COUNTRY 175 and rub his head. but no plates were distributed. When the meal came on we all drew around a small wooden table. and a delightful little Turkish nut were served and left in the room an hour before dinner. was placed in the centre of the table. required to stick our forks and spoons into the single dish and dig for ourselves. Then there was fruit and coffee. even as We were all the Englishman had done previously. A strong native drink. who shed his shoes One of the at the door and entered in stocking feet. but generally the red cap sat somewhere on the skull of its owner. and reached over our heads for their food. for we were ravenous. At this meal I failed in Turkish manners. There was wine. varied from stewed and removed when it was empty. officers made the boy tell us what good masters the Turks are. was well that we did. a fork. Radishes. going through five courses of lamb. dish at a time a spoon. The English- — man and and it I ate heartily of these. We One were each supplied with a hunk of bread. The meal lamb to little squares of lamb toasted on sticks. and five of the Turks drank it devout Mohamedans . which changed colour like absinthe when water was added mastica it is called was served by a Bulgarian boy. roasted monkeynuts. and a towel. do not. and when the meat was gone to sop our bread in the gravy. But we were both continually withdrawing our forks as another . sliced apple.

The reed flute played in the Turkish street harmonises with the character of the country. but then the Albanian caused the officers to give us a two minutes' handicap at the succeeding dishes. of how they had lost us the night before. answering the chal- lenges of the night patrols.' but the whine of a Turk at close quarters. the other man retaliated with had our Alice. man advanced stand.' . We * revenge Bolt. .176 THE BALKAN TRAIL his. After dinner there was Turkish music —which was not pleasant. accompanied by the nasal chant. they were informed that we had ' disappeared ' . which followed us from the quarters. and is not unattractive but in a close room its monotony is inclined to put the weary travellers to The low wail of a Mohamedan priest calling sleep. the khanji had not seen us leave with the Turkish officers. when we emerged two soldiers to c in the morning they proved to be whom ' the authorities had assigned the duty of shadowing us. is facial contortions necessary to his conducive to bad dreams. . Ben Several of the officers escorted us back to the khan through the silent street. Arriving at the khan about nine o'clock. There we . Two officers' dark figures. with much amusement. which the Turks did not under- Of the first few courses we got very little. the ' faithful ' from a minaret is ' like the sighing of the pines. They told us. entered the khan behind us and found them stretched themselves on the floor before the door of the general sleeping-room.

had informed the Konak of our sudden change of destination. We were surprised that they permitted us to proceed. Istip and told us of a fight * in progress ' at Garbintzi. hurried information as We gathered as much we could about off for the route. The only place they could offer N . and set Garbintzi before noon. and the kaimakam despatched four Zaptiehs to accompany us. We Our planned to go unescorted. Being anxious to reach the scene of the combat as quickly as possible. but this was not to be. tains. An came up we entered the town and greeted us like long-lost brothers. when. the advising He informed us that kaimakam had received a telegram from Veles him of our approach.ACROSS COUNTRY This alarmed the soldiers. coming to the Turkish quarter.' In the morning a negro merchant arrived at the khan from the east. guide. hired a Turkish guide. but the chance of seeing a fight caused us to change our plans. 177 and they started on a search for us. and had a mission to perform. and instructing him to see that we were treated in a manner befitting our exalted positions. a little village about eight hours' ride to We had intended to take the train that afternoon for Uskub. they heard strange sounds never before perpetrated in Veles. in pursuance of police orders. * This was the song of Sweet Alice. They were about to report our disappearance to headquarters. He was a Turk. we rode as rapidly over the moun- and came officer to Istip about six o'clock.

I may explain. probably fearing not. We were presented to the kaimakam.' . But we Another did not attempt to shoot the kaimakam. ' Twenty-five. what ' . and informed we were sure he already knew. Information had evidently been given by our escort we carried revolvers. and the official congratulated the Englishman on belonging to that great race which had so long befriended the Turks. great so To me he said he thought it wonderful New York paper would send so youthful many miles on so important a mission. he informed * us. was because The Turk is a gentleman.178 THE BALKAN TRAIL who had so honoured Istip with such worthy guests. that we were on our way to Garbintzi. * but as we have come this far I guess we'll visit the scene. The fight is over the troops have just returned.' the kaimakam. perhaps the spy attached to the governor. that officer. also entered and occupied a seat beside his quarry. drew up chairs. That is unfortunate. for two officers entered the room through a door at the back.' I replied. The kaimakam. ' look eighteen.' I replied. was the kaimakam's own house. and seated themselves immediately behind us. Then the kaimakam brought his compliments to an end and sat silent. We sought to end the uneasy interview.' He did not ask it why I I wore could no moustache. a visit. lived above the gaol. ' that a a man How You old are you ? ' he asked. Nobody spoke for forty seconds.

An officer visited us during the evening to ascertain what time an escort should be ready to take us back. feigning extreme dejection. We left the house extremely disappointed. slept there.— ACROSS COUNTRY But the kaimakam guessed we wouldn't. We went to our guide. We rose at five o'clock next morning.' he said. * 179 I have orders. instructed him to saddle. Putting the question to us was only a point of politeness the horses : were being watched. But the hour was early for the Turks. if the Turkish version were based on fact. Two soldiers had and one set off at a run to the Konak. going back to Veles. and be ready himself at eight o'clock next morning we were . dressed hurriedly. and. and on the way to the khan for he had said nothing about putting us up began to think out a plan for getting to Garbintzi. and went to the stables. The Englishman added that. You must that . — — .' We suggested the Governor-General making a mistake if we were not allowed to visit Garbintzi we must conclude that the reports that massacre and arson had accompanied the fight were true. ' to prevent you from was going any further. But the kaimakam shook his head he had his instructions. it would be well to let us verify it. The information we gave him agreed with that we had given the Turkish guide which had been imparted to him. and we got out of town without a soldier on our heels. return to Veles. N 2 .

it. He it won't go. But we did not reckon with our guide. he was frightened. ' At so last we got the information. There was a parley of ten minutes. and it would take four hours to go by it from the Garbintzi spot where 1 we stood.' came the * He has a wife and children depending on him. when much ' time and all had taken the Turkish which we had heard to convey that fatal negation. He answered that there was a way. When we called a halt and asked him if there was not a road over the mountains to Garbintzi. and an officer has been to him last night and told him .' Lead us over we said to the dragoman. ' not go at any price. during which our nerves were at high tension.' There was no time for argument. How much He will does he want ? ' the Englishman reply. and would. we calculated that we could get there before being overtaken. but the road was bad. report that we had . expected to see a troop of Every minute we cavalry coming after us. who repeated the words to the guide. no doubt. demanded. even though we went by a roundabout route.i8o THE BALKAN TRAIL We passed the sentinels on the border of the town in the direction of Veles until and rode hard on a It hill we had passed out of sight of a blockhouse which stood high a few miles beyond. was a ride of barely ninety minutes from Istip to by road with a good hour's start. fairly gone by towards the railway.

turned our horses' heads off. and the peasants were all in their clothes.ACROSS COUNTRY that he should lead us to Veles and nowhere It 181 else. ' and said demurely. towards a village of some ten houses a few miles half way up The dragoman followed. and child in the village collected about these queer travellers. They were dancing a horo. We made our way Lead us back to Veles. see you.' ' Please leave us.' slowly.' they begged. our last card played. woman. ' ' came the answer. literally brightest was Sunday.' Several old women began We returned to our guide. here without and taken you to see a village which they had destroyed. left Were the Turks to find out that one of us had a teskere. as we still argued. for we have refused to arm. would one of them guide us over the mountains. The guide would not leave the road following instructions. said the headman of the village. liras. * and get away before the Turks to cry.' was no use arguing. It to Veles. Every man. They understood the dragoman's Bulgarian. but our appearance among them broke up the festivities. ' 1 Why Why ? ! ' I asked. they would come and do the same to this place. the man who should take you over those mountains would be shot by the committajis. as was apparent by the state Not for a hundred of alarm into which they fell. and waited at the next . a mountain We side.

' . who thinks his intelligence * superior to that of a mere giaour. but ways we had learned a lesson Turk. Defeated in the is we had of the been. who kept a close cordon about us for the rest of the journey back to the railway.182 THE BALKAN TRAIL for a cloud of dust khan on our trail to develop into a troop of cavalry.

which he was military inspector. and a careful sleuth. way. officer a well-dressed on such occasions he introduced himself before we had taken our seats. . He was no other than Hamdi Pasha. ceremony. though we needed no protection. so he informed us. There was only one and this was occupied by whose trousers had been pressed The Turkish gentleman stood not upon inside out. the police. pretending to wait upon us only for our When we departed two mounted gen- darmes accompanied us to the railway station. as convenience. immediately inquired our life history. It was raining heavily when we arrived at Uskub . with painful politeness. of Albanian extraction. as does his admiring British contemporary compartment in the train. and soon divulged what purported to be his. he alleged. the youngest general in the Turkish army. .i*3 CHAPTER X USKUB AND THE SERBS After our attempt closely their to evade the authorities we were is watched until we left Veles. assisted us in taking tickets for Uskub —an unnecessary courtesy— and went with us to we secured a comfirst-class the train to see. on his of way to the Bulgarian border. that fortable compartment.

of Then the bedraggled band struck up one Sousa compositions several which have been Orientalised for the Ottoman army. a picked sharing a great white umbrella. saluted. apparently the conductors of a Bulgarian gymnasium temporarily out of business. doing the German * goose ' step.' foreign Consul. Before the school teachers paraded a grinning gypsy bearing on his back a bundle of old muskets. Behind the soldiers straggled several hundred Albanians. in of one. nevertheless. with us on either side of him. acquired from the Kaiser's officers in the Sultan's service.' train in cattle-cars marked of. who had come in bold letters.' fezzes. a priest. up on our Hommes. raw Redifs (first reserves).184 THE BALKAN TRAIL company of Nizams (regulars) was drawn up in honour of our travelling companion. proceeded to the Hotel Turati. and the company marched away through the slush. wise in the this But a Government. The pasha alighted. 1 See. and. These were Christians impregnated with the sense of free men's rights. which showy effort spattered the mud on civil pedestrians on both sides of the narrow street. see ' ! said the pasha. and presented arms as the train pulled in. told us that gypsy and his parcel of . There are the guns. ' They were captured ways of the wily in arms. Francs. ' in a language they knew not 8 Chevaux ou 48 And behind the Arnauts trailed a score of prisoners protesting violently at being driven to gaol through the mire. They were attired and handcuffs with the exception who wore only the manacles in common — with the others.



wholly free of a Levantine atmosphere.USKUB AND THE SERBS rifles 185 was the ostentatious advance guard of every detachment of Bulgarian prisoners. Servia. it is difficult They have become assimiand in some sections Their to determine one from the other. has been described as a prolongation of and Bulgaria. stern place with a breath of the intercourse. thanks to the restrictions of travel and tains It is Uskub is a upon it. here where the two races blend. language. not good is friends. though their morals are of a peculiar code. The provincial delimitations of Turkey were undoubtedly designed with a view to encompassing under the same administration Albania. of which Uskub the capital. as many The hostile elements as possible. but. The manoeuvre was designed to deceive those representatives of the Powers and newspaper correspondents who were moun- particularly prying. lated to an extent in these ages. The two enmity of their ancient emperors. They have duplicate religions. differences between the Servians and the Bulraces have long since forgotten the in five centuries garians of Macedonia are almost entirely a matter of education. It is call peopled principally by Arnauts the Albanians —as the Turks —and Slavs. but an eight hours' journey from Salonica. The Kossovo vilayet. and of the Slavs again there are Bulgarians and Servians. . can be spoken of as one. both men of character. These Albanians and Slavs are natural enemies. and of similar suffering under a mutual monarch they have at heart but one desire.

A European cut of worn by those who attend the Bulgarian gymnasium. unavailing against the power of the great neighbour. and sought to acquire a right of large. straight away to the coast. arguing that the Bulgarians. time. Servian patriots laid claim to all the Slav elements in the districts to the south. the Servians turned from the Adriatic and faced the ^Egean. for ever. dwarfed State. prior to 1878.186 THE BALKAN TRAIL The peasants dress and only the partisans and propagandists are is similar ideas. hoping for the annexation of Bosnia and Hertzegovina and a union with Montenegro. identical customs. the territorial ambition and that of the Bulgarians did not The Servians aspired to a confederation of all Serbs. injustice. had been assimilated by . clothes by their attire. alike. thereby severing the two Serb States apparently for of the Servians Servian nationalists were horrified at this and frenzied attempts were made to undo But all efforts were this act of the famous treaty. and in desperate fear of being shut in from the sea all time. while a military jacket attests the addistinguishable herents of the rival school. originally a Tartar people. At one clash. way by that route to the world at Notwithstanding the fact that in Macedonia only what is between known as Old Uskub and Servia — that section of Kossovo extensively Servia proper— is peopled by Serbs. a petty. But the Treaty of Berlin gave a mandate to Austria-Hungary to occupy two Turkish provinces peopled by Serbs.

' monetary aid and the support of that Power's agents in the distressed land. This business of cornering communities sive. to rival the strong. she does this in the guise of Christian sympathy. and nowhere south of Uskub did the Servian campaign seriously worry the two big propagandas. for ever attired in military greatcoat accompanied by bristling and Muscovite cap.USKUB AND THE SERBS the Slavs. 187 The Servians spread their schools beyond the territory rightly theirs. is expen- and little Servia would hardly have been able to cast her claims so far except with from one of the ' interested Powers. snubs the retiring Bui- . tains a and main. In Uskub the Russian Consul. and is still at work disciplining the other little — — * ' country that dared to dispute Russia its honesty of motive. fosters their jealousies. dominant influence on the distress she begets and. the Bulgarians began to show an independent and diplomatic connections with Russia which assumed the form of a dictatorship on the part of the boasted liberator came to be severed for a term of years. only purchased support of their cause was forthcoming from the people. that interested Power adopted Servia as its ward. and always a brace of stalwart bodyguards little with weapons. But below Old Servia. establishing gymnasiums in Salonica and Monastir to compete with the Greeks and Bulgarians in converting the population. she aids the weak among the Balkan States does a work similar to that of the Sultan in Macedonia . unlike the Sultan. When spirit.

upon the Servian was at Russian suggestion that the Servian schools adopted a distinctive uniform. The Austro-Russian accord on Macedonian resembles grace. which is directly opposed to that of the other. this Three years ago ! worthy pair allied agreed to rob the house no more. Russian his is While the gallant diligently engaged advocating the cause of the Serbs. in spite of the pretensions of these confederates. thieves. not so daring. the other.i88 THE BALKAN TRAIL all garian agent. proverbial honour among For centuries these partners of the present have been loitering around the gates of the European estate of the many wives and the torture-chamber. But. —always attempting to get away with something designing. but quite as waited without the walls and made his burly rival return the booty or compensate him (the other) under threat of the police. and on tentious patronage It occasions bestows his prerepresentative. a feature of . after the manner of Russians in Finland and in other lands they have hoped to Russify. ally-in-reforms is Austrian at work advancing the interests of a rival race. The Roman Catholic church at Uskub. Ottoman gentleman with the One of these interested neighbours has been in the habit of rushing in to the rescue whenever a Christian cry escaped the Bluebeard's window . affairs a thieves' alliance the —without that that saving exists however. but planned to enter — and reform it —and re- ceived a mandate so to do from the European Powers. neither has forsaken his pet policy.

who sat next. .' set like little about the churchyard. chief of the gendarmerie contingent. like During the indoor service the Albanian women. where only the Catholics who entered could see. was decorated one dusty many large summer day with garlands of mountain flowers and A vast Mohamedan banner floated flags. betook ourselves to witness the celebration. attracted by the Albanians converging upon the place from all directions. streamed away from the tower to the high mud walls about the churchyard. hung a large print of Francis Joseph much bemedalled. It was the feast of Corpus Christi. contained life-sized pictures of the Saviour's labour to the Crucifixion. occupied one side of the church. relieved and glorified by a Salonica frock-coat covering the venerable person of the Christian Vali. This decrepit representative of the Sultan was playing a game similar to that of the gaily garbed gendarmes. and strings of little and none was visible of Abdul Hamid. and the Englishman and I. alternately Turkish and Austro-Hungarian. He was selected by the Porte several years ago as a . the brilliant uniform of Count de Salis. Over the door. and the men the other. emblem of the from one side of the Christian belfry and an equally Dual Monarchy from the other flags. The darkened church was aglow with many candles around the crucified Christ. veiled their Mohamedan sisters. and the fourteen chapels ' stations of the Cross.USKUB AND THE SERBS 189 the Austrian propaganda. In the pew of honour sat the Austrian reformajis in full feather.

but he of performing them or he the Austrians flaunted their religious zeal before the Catholic Albanians. each carrying a lighted candle. Two proud Albanian boys swung the incense lamps. The delegates at their divine duties. and then followed the Austrian Consul and other Austrian officers and the people. Count and the Christian Vali.igo THE BALKAN TRAIL affairs. The ordeal of kneeling in the grass was trying to the trousers of the Count and painful to the rheumatic limbs of the venerable Christian Vali. I must say. most unholy expressions. co-governor with the Turkish Vali because of general incapacity and indifference to His duties were was incapable would not have received the appointment. just as ostensibly to reform the province.' kneeling and praying a few moments at each. preceded the procession scattering rose-leaves. priests and people left the chanting. This day he was displaying the Christian sympathy of his Sultanic master. and made a tour of the stations. and at the conclusion of the ceremony the poor old Christian with the fez presented . and the candles. the Count was required to assist to his feet on whom It each occasion. was a windy day. borne gingerly at arm's length. wore on their faces. and four others bore a panoply of silk over the heads First behind the priests came the of the priests. and spattered the gorgeous uniform and the ample frock-coat. At the conclusion Christi of the indoor service on Corpus church day. dressed in gayest shalvas. Little flower-girls. sputtered.

all right. A and strange female of daring demeanour. . appeared at the hotel.USKUB AND THE SERBS stuffing the 191 the appearance of having eaten his supper without end of a napkin in his collar. But there came a day when the latter. but this here document belongs your auntie. never been seen before in Her species had Uskub. on her heels arrived the ubiquitous policeman with compliments and his veiled demands for information.' . but he was not content with its this. and for ' peared to annoy the after that I * some time (of the two English correspondents whom was one) were severely snubbed by the Austrian officers. Her skirt was 44 protruded. two unsympathetic newspaper official standing by at this ceremony. and would have her pass- big red seal. my fine feller ! You can have Abdul's rag to all right. Religion and politics make an unhappy mixture of they war within one like custard and cucumbers. She possessed a port with * teskere. and her other gar- ments were more like a man's than a woman's. apparty. dividing the Englishmen and the Russians from the Austrians and the Jews. mostly Vienna correspondents. unheralded alone. An imaginary but effective barrier was thrown across the middle of the dinner-table. The presence correspondents. all shockingly short. and contained a hip-pocket. were forced to fraternise again. and gave it to him. from which the blued butt of a Colt's Her Fast his hat was a duplicate of mine. Not much. overwhelmed by curiosity.

but this was of no avail. besides Turkish and Albanian. Nicola saw that the fearful female belonged to none nised of the known races. . seeing that was able to converse with the lady. so ' when she appeared at dinner he seated her with me She recogat once. and dubbed me the superhuman interpreter. and even inquiries. at once made use of gentle me to present their compliments and make The pragmatical Russian subsequently developed his witticism. Nicola. Albanian women took fright. Russians. all the languages of Europe. His accomplish- ments comprised ing English. a little He spoke French.' The woman who speaks no he called her and the name clung use. includ• No human to her. and the English. ' ! the Russians offered his services. Servian. language. Bulgarian. covered their faces and scurried into their houses. I who hailed from Yorkshire.' the Englishman. which flapped at every native she met. as he was kicked out by the Turk. . attempted to interpret. Tziganes fled madly down the roads. Rumanian. he exclaimed Of what use are all my tongues One of piteously. the Albanian waiter.IQ2 THE BALKAN TRAIL The gentle police understood her not. The Turk Christian) called in a miserable Christian (she must be who of spoke. but not a word any kind had he in common with the curious ' stranger. Between meals the unknown prowled the town carrying a small black box with a covered eye. and Austrians. and Greek. Jews.

This was too much for the Turks . is an event which does not The stranger stalked through hill the covered bazaar. putting the place in a panic for the time being. the troops refusing to obey orders. and snapped officer of it. never before accomplished on the the garrison. into custody by the commander himself. who was caught in the act She was taken of aiming her spell-box at the cannon. The triggers fell with a unison of clicks rifle-range. 193 the Turk of habitual immobility suffered a rude shock Now. but the of a native in the crowded streets are episodes which do visit of an apparition from Mars take place every day. aimed the eye of her black box at them. and climbed the steep out cartridges to the citadel. up in front of the line of There soldiers blinking at far-off targets through the sights of empty guns. The Vali ordered out his state coach o .USKUB AND THE SERBS to his equipoise. the potting of a peasant and the hold-up not disturb the tranquillity of Uskub. and established for ever his reputation for bravery by ejecting the interloper. and detained until a fast rider could find the Vali and learn from him whether this were not an Austrian spy in disguise. business was already at a standstill. and was accustomed to strange sights. and the garrison completely demoralised. where the army practised at range-shooting with- — an she marched boldly economy in ammunition. emerged from the barracks at a pace Turks seldom acquire. The artillery barracks was next to receive the spook. An who had been educated in Ger- many.

' my countrywoman. Can you not It will * if it persuade after the it to depart ? The Consul tapped his head and rolled his eyes. it is nestled in a valley of death. and the Moslem heaved a comprehending sigh. manner best understood of the Moslem. I have assigned police to follow it for its protection. a fallen. of a Tombstones are always the prominent feature desert of dead. and English. and took his departure. roams at large another day. expressed his gratitude. you can bet your sweet life I ain't sorry I hit on somebody in this benighted land who can speak plain United States. and well might it be . but Uskub resembles an oasis in a Acres of them in general disorder. and far out into . but I fear even they will be powerless to preserve it. be shot. Next day all Uskub knew that it was mad. Jews. * after she had shaken hands with Russians. . THE BALKAN TRAIL and with four outriders in the shape of trusty troopers unafraid of his man or superman. and Moslem and Christian alike bowed low in holy reverence as it passed. coming last to me.' Uskub is ordinarily a quiet and sober town. O exalted Consul.' said the Vali. and in 4 ten minutes the governor of Kossovo got to business. Turkish town. Austrians. said 'Well. The preliminary less compliments were cut unusually short. few erect but mostly toppling or surround the town and stretch long arms into it they flank the main road and dot the side streets.' 194 forthwith. made than way to the British Consulate.



friends giving place rapidly to one another as is borne along. one's mind is wont to that have 195 the country lone deserted stones stand where no man's The sight is gruesome. and massacres large picture the many made this sea of silent slabs. very short. who lives in a cave burrowed under the ground like the abodes of those he watches. because she. tramped back to the road over the resting-place of believers. In many Turkish towns you will find streets turned out of their natural course to leave the grave of a Turk undisturbed. but the six feet of earth allotted to the dead Turk generally remains his until Judgment Day. and history records no general slaughter of them since the battle of Kossovo. This is the explanation —Christians plant bones on top of bones. The body of a Turk is borne on a litter on the shoulders of his friends. and the distance from his is home to the grave a continual commotion about the corpse. But a proportion of the graves are those of Mohamedans. and not behind it is a Christian burial-ground and almost daily a funeral procession passes the hotel to one or the other of these burial-grounds. there the body If the deceased was very popular.USKUB AND THE SERBS hand has been for ages. was in a terrible dilemma after the American adventuress had snapped his photograph. On tery. one side of the Hotel Turati far is a Turkish ceme. The old sexton of a cemetery in Uskub. a giaour. each of them taking a turn for a few minutes as pall-bearer. 02 . more than four centuries agone.

and sons of the priests. far The peasants gather from of the best they can afford. One brat too large to go unclad. But we give them nothing. precede chanting as they march.196 THE BALKAN TRAIL The Christians do not carry their dead on their shoulders. and the friends follow the body. so his mother's apron is tied around his waist. and the high half of his anatomy exposed the double-headed dolls in the Strand. peasants for the souls of the departed. also. parade on foot in full the funeral vestments. and place them on the Candles are stuck about the food fine shreds tinsel graves of the dead. Priests pass from grave to grave praying with the serve as acolytes. who At is the conclusion of the ceremony the sacrificial food distributed to the poor —or rather the poorer —and lazy gypsies gather with many naked babies at the borders of the cemetery. and paper cut in arranged over it. A strange sacrifice for the dead takes place quarterly in the Christian cemetery. We have seen these . convey the corpse on a litter Priests to lower it into a wooden coffin in the grave. and near bringing cakes and pans of boiled wheat. single As is arms and head go down like the garment drops over them. Leaving the ceremony the foreigner is beset by these beggars. especially the naked urchins. one of which a somersault. but they. They is follow one to the gate of the hotel. one carrying the coffin-lid. But he hopes is to elicit a piastre by his cutting capers. swing censers. according to the requirements of decency regarded by the Turks.

A round and ragged brown urchin who blacks boots and swallows the money he reone day through the favour his funny face had found with the foreigners at the hotel. we give to the latter. it is his religion to pay by ' charity the way of deceased souls through the golden gates. to work. 197 and knowing the day's wages of a field labourer in Turkey to be infinitely less. and generally stands It is somewhere near the graveyards. serving the gypsies are a filthy people. On calling for the bootblack one morning he appeared leading a blind beggar. There circle of is a Tzigane quarter in every large town in it Turkey. to the tins. shanties made of flattened petroleum as abodes. its The Tzigane maims is a brat.USKUB AND THE SERBS fellows count their day's collection. shining boots and swallowing before the hotel ceives. a part of And it is the fool Christian who ' gives . object and live for the most part by begging or stealing. caves in hillsides. Next morning the brat was back again with his blacking-box. They stand alone in the world as a people without a religion. holes in old walls. and remained in some of the countries from community. always the most squalid quarter. They and a burden They seldom till the soil. . But nobody patronised him now. and by begging the family supported. bettered his position small coins. and their primitive instincts lead them to follow the natural bent of man to prey upon others. and the two departed jabbering viciously. They came into Europe on the heels of the Turk.

' 1 Almoon. for every Christian community. The weather asks * ' : is well. . constant cup of coffee. . is your husband's name ? Almoon." ' Here the wise man studies the document ' closely.' the " Most beloved of ' ' my wives. are many curious booths.' . ' Our husband. on the road that up to the citadel. In one of in the the Balkan States they are exempt from military they cannot be held to routine of their talent for music. and What . in Christians do not patronise his talents. " I I wish you are well. before a pot of writing fluid. Ah. others they are generally assigned to duty in the bands because leads Across the old stone bridge. sits A him slips questionable character of doubtful race Turkish fashion in one the size of a draper's box. a tobacco-box. faithful to the wishes of letter. and a Natives pass up this hill to the market place behind the old fort. . and a pepper-box of sand. veiled lady replies. . some common paper. the flattering fellow begins to read. there are several peasants who can read and write tion. the Padisha.198 THE BALKAN TRAIL hats which he service. several of wooden pens." am well.writer necessary. ? ' From whom asks the sage of cipher. as been compelled to recede. also a flint. abstain from the corruption of educa- and thereby make the A ' * veiled lady presents a letter at the booth. but Mohamedans. yes effendi. and on market days the is man of letters very busy. . thanks to the propagandas. The buffaloes are well.



I my hope you are 1 Effendi. u I interrupts. Obviously the thing to do sell it in to buy silver coin in Salonica.' Your husband's writer does not form his letters The woman pays two more metaleeks. reply. Turkey a gold piece seems to have no fixed value . Almoon. I am well." ' What 1 1 did you say your husband's name is ? Almoon. ' * Our husband. and employs his trained memory. I think. ' this letter. Some time later she returns again. worth 103 it piastres.' wives. you should have told his me ' ! Another hole in the wall. is it ? ' another From whom again the question.' again the 1 " Most beloved wife.' Ah. wish you well. and is in Monastir 107 or 108. 1 " Most beloved of well.' is the am woman sister.— USKUB AND THE SERBS A 4 199 The woman pays two metaleeks. yes . but in Uskub Monastir and brings 105. The intelligent man of letters recognises her this time." by " the weather is well. . well. lira. he deals in money. is In Constantinople a pound Turkish in Salonica only 101. He but charges a piastre (twopence) for changing a In silver coins are bought by him at current value. the keeper clinking coin no doubt as to race. but actually it is the price of silver that varies. • way I of variation. * from my Ah." " * ' he begins. few weeks later the same woman appears with letter.

red. twenty-two in Manchester. Tuesday in is the market day in Uskub. where the Turkish garrison performs its silent target practice. These last are presses for fezzes.! — 200 THE BALKAN TRAIL shillings in Imagine getting twenty-three change for a pound in Liverpool. crowded with men and women in gay and gruesome Albanian shepherds and their lean dogs mind sit flocks of fat-tailed sheep. view of the surrounding country for many miles. and lemons corking the respective bottles and other permanent shops line the hill road and flank the covered bazaars. White Albanian caps and Turkish fezzes are also on sale. resembling at no distance and scalp-locks of Red Indians. faced with rows of huge bottles containing green. Lemonade booths. which are put in shape for two metaleeks. in faded ghost gowns. line the front of this formid- able-looking shop. like great the scalps closed mouth of cannon. and twenty in London Over the opening tassels of a larger booth bunches of blood-coloured skull-caps hang by long black or blue a foot or more in length. blood oranges. Christian peasants hand-worked waistcoats of who have come afoot . and garbs. selling gaudy hue . But the real fair is held only once a week on the open space above. and the scene behind the ancient fortress above the Vardar. and yellow drinks —limes. and a row of heavy brass blocks. is hilltop alone worth going to Turkey to see. is littered The vast with native goods for sale or exchange. their spectral wives.

201 all from new grain to ice (in the summer . Our defeat at Is tip had not been forgotten. hunks of bread. display sorts of country commodities.USKUB AND THE SERBS or on asses or driving primitive ox-carts. several hours' ride towards the Bulgarian border. dispose of horses. had sent us many miles at must have exclusive news. who had duped and deceived . to be the cool. time) from the white peaks in the disis tance Turks have a little rough lumber (there . a Turk. gathered who knows how ? — Tziganes are always on the horse market. a third man. among most ragged men in the concourse. but the true correspondent always prefers to date his stuff at the firing-line. which had taken place two days before at a spot in the mountains above a then hamlet named Pschtinia. This was justification for breaking the Turks' cordon about us. that there was no chance of securing permission to seek the scene of this fight. old boots. swearing a Bulgarian and a gypsy to an exchange of cows. sure. A photo- graph shows a bargain being made. One of the Austrians came in with the account of a combat between a Servian band and a Turkish regiment. considered report of reports written at headquarters. To assure ourselves that we were taking no un- necessary risk. we called on the Governor-General. is Our papers heavy expense. and we Better reading. Since we had awaited only a reasonable excuse for taking a reasonable risk. not the much in Macedonia) and Turkish soldiers.

these brigands are killed themselves. We left the pasha's presence But his threat of Buipretending disappointment. 1 There shall tell .' . they hope to make trouble * at But. excellency. ' As I have often told you. sent orders to turn and were prevented from you back.' Even with escort one is unsafe. have letters from the chiefs threatening to Powers. as ' we sipped his coffee. visiting Garbintzi. the interior effendi. is nothing to hide. But I can permit no more travelling in the interior. * gentleman to Ah. your we excellency.' said Hussein Hilmi Pasha. . and I you the truth about all affairs. Come to me. Surely.' The same old story. you went to I Istip. They 1 are fiends. though he was always too much display delight in our dilemma.202 us THE BALKAN TRAIL many times —no doubt to his quiet of a satisfaction. this is a mistaken policy on your part must gather that there is something to hide from correspondents. They can fire you from a mountain side high up above.' We had put down this argument 1 section of the country. before.' a consul. you may give us an escort. it is dangerous in one cannot say where a " brigand " —his excellency meant a Bulgarian kill — insurgent I * may be lurking to shoot the European. they do not care if they But we were permitted to cross a most lawless and were stopped only when we sought to visit the scene of a fight. for us As you with the know. .

We cult were going to Pschtinia. Having got the bells safe under a seat. and commenced to discuss the matter. A jingle of many bells announced the arrival of our carriage next morning at ten o'clock Turkish (about 5. The danger of was the minor protested.USKUB AND THE SERBS garian ' 203 brigands ' did not disturb us. and hired him to be on hand the following morning at nine o'clock. Turkish time. Late that evening we sent our dragoman for a Turkish coachman. You hired me to go to Kalkandele. and we were diffi- willing to take the chance of encountering Albanians. the hour at which we planned to leave. possessed sufficient of the first had dealt a year. but they would also have the effect of disturbing sleeping guardhouses and apprising them of the fact vehicles that we were bound on a country collision journey. The bells were for the purpose of warning other coming the opposite way along steep roads.' 1 We have changed our minds. to take us to Kalkandele. The Englishman and I with the Ottoman authorities for more than two requisites. but there was no time for argument. off as is Pschtinia.30). but in the opposite We knew the native coachman's ways. . and we ordered the driver to relieve his ponies of their noisy necklaces. The game was not it required simply coolness and courage and a knowledge of the ways of the Turk. an Albanian town about the same distance direction. risk. we The Turk told ' him to drive to Pschtinia.' .

A mile and a half through a million gravestones.204 1 THE BALKAN TRAIL But I have told the police you were going to Kalkandele. We drove quietly through the deserted streets. but our Turk on the box served us as a passport. We urged — . the Konak. his head swinging a mechanical half-circle as we came into view and passed out again. stretching from the crooked roadway on either side across the sweep of a broad plateau —this was nerve-racking. back. Drowsy patrols who had fallen asleep by the wayside looked up from the corners as we drove by. Our Turk soon learned that we were no meek and native Christians. who blinked his heavy eyes and stared stupidly down like a waking sentinel owl. and rather than lose his job altogether he obeyed our commands. one wheel of our shandrydan maintaining a rhythmic creak —but no one speaking.' and without doubt the first guardhouse on the road to the west had instructions to turn us Exactly . the ponies' hoofs pattering softly in the thick cushion of dust. Even the guardhouse at the far side of the Vardar was content to let us pass at this sleepy hour. We were in full view from the citadel. the lucky beads on their harness rattling. and several minarets a black beetle crawling along a crooked chalk line drawn through a never-weeded prairie of white stone stalks and sheaves. the barracks. seeing that our team was not equipped with country bells. We passed under the barracks observed only by the on the crest of the cliff.

down the — ! — from his panting steeds. We breathed freei . and to raise his at the rate at which fee a mijidieh. mountain sides. and But the this drear graveyard came at trail to last. protesting that his horses would not last to Pschtinia let we were going. We promised to him give them a long rest at our destination. only a trace broke the Turk in a rage. with occasional promptfugitive gait. our driver became unruly. terrified the peasants in their harvesting. to drive back to Uskub at his own pace. all of which. making desperate swerves. We made Pschtinia at eleven the wonder. we were on our journey long before the guardhouse on the road to Kalkandele had given us up and reported our failure to pass their way. but he was out of temper and did not stop to reply. We passed Albanians and Bulgarians. drew the shepherds' dogs. kept the horses to their Our rattle-trap dashed through the cornfields. and of his drew visions wrath . and climbed up empty.USKUB AND THE SERBS we took end of turns in casting sly glances behind. the in a stroke clipping dreamy Uskub from the scene. From time to time slowing his pace and refusing to use his whip. and the sweat pouring rolled and scattered grazing sheep. We switched and plunged fairly started sharply on a waggon into the hills. who may have been brigands and insurgents. 205 the driver to lay on the lash and crawl quicker. he would permit us to see . assisted by its passengers. and questions were asked our driver. left. We chuckled at the expense of Hilmi Pasha. ings.

it barren but for dwarfed yellow shrubs. inflicted by the Turks with heavy sticks.206 THE BALKAN TRAIL of the interior for ourselves. we who had was a forlorn place for a last stand against overwhelming odds sight of every sheltered. and said that the villagers worst mauled had been taken to Koumanova to the doctor. from Uskub east to Djuma-bala. Drama near the sea. stopped and beaten the peasants tested they having harboured the insurgents (which they pro- and carried off the headmen to The old men insisted on showing prison at the town. milk provided by different It climbed to the battlefield with two guides escaped mauling. a dismiles. and from there on the Bulgarian border to tance. of Pschtinia. gathered round us and kissed our hands. —a vast gravel dome. and were now in the gaol not). After the fight the Turks had passed through Pschtinia on their way back to barracks at for Koumanova. us the welts on their backs and bruises on their legs. we were foreign Consuls their grievances. all told. When we had and drunk of eaten of the eggs and brown bread. no more We grew bold here and planned to march on foot across Macedonia. had there. The inhabitants thinking many bandaged and come to inquire into limping. villagers. and out of human habitation. even the village tance to pack of The band had been discovered some disthe north. of three hundred and you shall see whether we carried out this resolution. and chased by an ever-increasing pursuers until driven to bay at this high .

and buried them in the cemetery. and completely their stripped . were sold by the soldiers on the market place at Koumanova. . That was evident. Turk. carried them down to the village. which had come from Belgrade.' said the peasants. and disfigured. Little piles of stone a foot high. The villagers said the soldiers came back to Pschtinia and tore the battlefield. showing the haste with which they had been thrown together. The peasants of Pschtinia rolled the bodies in coarse striped buffalo blankets.USKUB AND THE SERBS peak. the to Some time after the soldiers had withdrawn. a bloody rag or two. when the soldiers stormed the crest and the end of the insurgents was a matter of seconds. 207 to reach The insurgents attempted evidently off a forest on a neighbouring height. Holes in the pink * earth. were still standing. embedded in the marked the places where the dynamite bombs had struck at the last charge. On the slope of the dome we picked up Martini cases. a scattering of empty Mauser cartridge-cases. Not so much of value as an old shoe remained on the The next day the strong outfits of the insurgents. behind each a dark brown spot. with bits of cast iron firmly rock. a few peasants ventured the top. but the Turks cut them before they could reach it. the Turks had taken away own dead. The calibre was stamped in Turkish characters. and dome was desolate again. They found the bodies of twenty-four battered Servians. the village priest performing the burial service. A rough wooden cross was raised over each grave.

as a parting fish. and. whose peasant. In crossing a trackless moor to the road that led where our Turk would take us. He had noted that the Englishman gave backsheesh. He had and had his horses. more direct. and poured forth their blessings on our Christian heads. * ' He himself belonged to the world-fraternity of cabinstincts men. * Bulgarians.' . gathered around our carriage as we prepared to start. as the stream. but his cousin.' descending to the village to your party ? On so we found our Turk been fed. but they reared them again when the ? Turks were gone. he said.' * * Then this band was an enemy But they were Christians. whom man who. hale and halt. East or West he took us. to out his soul. already harnessing his team. The villagers. with a great something to see. and they were all in a more tractmood. we lost the road. Our driver took us home by a different route. able Several small boys brought us dirty little fried fish. deposited the smoky carcases whence they had been drawn wriggling an hour before. 1 Are you Servians ' we asked the peasants. about two inches long. when is the spirit was a Turkish of war is with- as true a gentleman as Occident or Orient produces. 208 crosses THE BALKAN TRAIL down . a vary nowhere. We took the we crossed rewarding the young villagers. and for an hour wandered aimlesslv till we met an armed . effendi. gift. and was wont to put us in his countrymen's way.

and after a keyhole not less than five inches high.USKUB AND THE SERBS man us. and told to wait until the key was fetched. greeted with a dignified salaam and a shake of the There are no superiors social classes is among the Turks across which the hand-shake is debarred. It was five o'clock when we arrived at a great wall of mud bricks. diameter and a foot and a half long. infinitely higher and better built than those surrounding the average Macedonian dwelling. We drove round wondering which he ignored gate and asking questions with a smile. but dilapidated and showing long want of care. a pasha . The huge oak gate was swung back. We then peered through the keyhole. interval spied the inmate returning from the house toiling under the weight of an iron key of robust entered. 209 with a woman who covered her face at sight of The armed man asked the usual questions of our Turk. It reply were continued. and gave him directions. of our Turk. Finally. and entirely obscured the view within. Deference shown only in the salaam. which burst still like far-off was some time before a answer came over the walls. walls The enclosed a vast irregular area. the Our driver stood up on the box and trumpet blasts on began a hallooing. the latter drawing gradually some minutes a man spoke through Our Turk descended from the carriage-box. was recognised by him within. and after a brief nearer. The call and the surroundings. we approached a high designed after the fashion of that leading to the Sublime Porte. and we hand.

led out of the harem into the dwelling of the exiled bare like the other house. a bimbashee than an ordinary mortal effendi. was filled with newly harvested A bold rooster. dust-covered stairs to a turret at the point of the roof. The harem. and a bey a lower dip of hand and head than a bimbashee. marble divans wives were built grain.210 THE BALKAN TRAIL bow with an extra twist of the hand receiving a lower than that given a bey. and. The house was handsome for this part of the country. resembling the Bridge of Sighs. The house was shown to us by both the keeper and his wife. crept along the sky-line. which overlooked the surrounding walls and afforded a view brilliant of the encircling mountains. A southern sun was setting in an Oriental sky. Late in the evening we passed through the long cemetery and entered Uskub. A lord. silhouetted in the glow. The only pictures on the walls were plaster common paintings on the now cracked and for five falling. and a train of three buffalo teams. The Turk who welcomed us was the the keeper. cackled to half the corn. empty home of an exiled bey. a Mohamedan woman. where in nooks. Lights were out for . bridge. who. though. the only lord of the manor. with his wife. the only occupant of this vast estate. a dozen happy hens and scattered We helped the keeper eject the usurper and his feminine following. We climbed the creaky. but depleted even of furniture. of course. wore no veil.



Nicola roused from his slumbers bars. and we proceeded after to the gates of Hotel Turati. but our driver's Turkish rang true. 211 We were halted several times. and removed the P2 . where. much knocking.USKUB AND THE SERBS the night. and patrols paced the streets.

who at that time played opposed this view. to combat the reforms imposed upon the Sultan by the Powers. of voice of public crier Mecho.' bessa. my brothers ! You must be ready and for the Holy War. God and the country The Seven Kings l are banded together. all When you hear for the second time the small. great and small. Ipek. . but we do not fear them. and range your- selves under the banners. fear. The of clans agreed upon a or truce. in the opera comique. The British Consul at Uskub had suggested that it would be sheer slaughter to create Christian police But the arrogant Russian.212 THE BALKAN TRAIL CHAPTER XI METRO VITZA AND THE ALBANIANS 1 Listen. nor would they frighten us if debts have nothing to they were seventy. or as many more. first fiddle 1 among the Albanians. blood feuds were declared off for the time. of ages. The feature of the reforms which gave them most offence was the mixed gendarmerie. and the Albanians Jakova. Those who have blood pardon them. gather great ages between seven and seventy. and other districts neighbouring all Metrovitza banded together. is The number probably an error of public crier Mecho.

and. and the chiefs went forward to parley with the Turkish commander : they were faithful followers of the Padisha. over-confident and swaggering with pride. They were met by a volley from the troops. who make game of mad methods. a short march. But. The Albanians did not believe that the Sultan's would fire on the faithful.METROVITZA AND THE ALBANIANS 213 . and fire if threatened to the Albanians advanced. agreed to the Austro-Russian demands with alacrity. and when they came to the Consular town they found the roads blocked with infantry and covered by cannon. retired. much cut up. Albanians to the visited Vutchitrin. to destroy the newly established Consulate. thousand foregathered and But arriving there they found the Turkish kaimakam had sent the sorry Serbs away to of several number a secret place of safety. This was not . and when the whole force had gathered they marched boldly upon the town by two roads at the same time. they boasted openly of what they would do. probably for no other reason than that it was English and the Turks. what he would But the Turk could not be moved. a dire disappointment for the Albanians they projected bigger sport for the follow- ing day and kept the peace during the night. The Albanians halted. The public crier made his second call. and sent six Servian gendarmes to Vutchitrin. made a year Russian before. to fulfil a promise. Early next morning they set forth for Metrovitza. doing only desire. A body of them occupied an old mill across soldiers .

sickly fellow with a sad visage. saw him on trial at The next morning M. and. He was Uskub. you will not ! ' said the dervish scornfully. officers. after collecting their dead with the tacit permission of the Turks withdrew to their own towns. followed — — . exclaimed. The garrison of Metrovitza. Stcherbina. a slim. and when the soldiers gathered at the cafes in the evening. indeed. At one not 1 cafe a fanatic dervish. and officials the Turks doing honour and service against their convictions went out to inspect the line of battle. and fired upon the garrison from there until shelled out. 1 You ! Oh. Then the whole number. uniform.' said little voice. sympathised thoroughly with the Albanian had failed. no. and a troop of soldiers. The garrison was sore and sullen. it was to deplore the day's work and to speculate upon the effort that did. every Mohamedan The Government had got more than it bargained for. And is there a ? single Mohamedan who a piping will rid us of this giaour 1 will. which was largely Albanian.' repeated the other. a soldier who had been I in the fight. after working his ' hearers to frenzied pitch. attired in Russian by a Cossack. But the Russian Consul was not to — — escape. ' I will. Padisha's will. two heavily armed kavasses.' 214 a little THE BALKAN TRAIL stream which bordered the barracks.

METROVITZA AND THE ALBANIANS the plan of which. not only . The display of the Russian dead was truly Russian. were soon after the fugitive. the Russian had As the Consul in great state passed. But the Russians were not satisfied with this sentence and demanded a new trial and at the second hearing. at Uskub (a mock affair with the verdict pre. the soldier started at a mad pace down the slope. flinging away his gun. fired a fatal ball into the ' infidel's ' body. Cossack claimed. Abdul Hamid is averse from capital punishment. Russian Consul at Monastir. deed done. directed. The the telling shot.determined) Before he the soldier was condemned to death. The Consul's retinue. but also a soldier who stood by and saw the it. over the rocks toward the mountains of Albania. but he travelled a hundred yards before they wounded him. surprised for a firing fast . moment. prison for a term of fifteen years. required thus to degrade himself. the sen- presented arms —which the Russians exact of the One Mohamedan. Stcherbina But a few months later. ! the murderer of M. tinels 215 it was alleged. and no doubt fired. . was executed the White Czar pardoned the murderer of M. to aim. At his first trial the murderer was condemned to Strange to say. were The ways are wonderful of the Turk and the ways of the Russian and similar. and made no attempt to prevent hanged at Russian command. lowered his gun quickly as the Consul passed before him at a distance of three paces. Roskowsky. Then. and without waiting Turks.

Christians. They were going to fight. This moving catafalque was dragged from Metrovitza met along the route by Servian and Bulgarian clergy and such Consuls as would participate in the demonstration. But Abdul Hamid had kept them armed for generations for his own purposes. and opened for services at the chief stations. side and each end an immense white cross. Consuls all participating. The power object of these proceedings seemed to be to impress Turks. and replaced More Anatolians were .216 THE BALKAN TRAIL of car. Turkish soldiers and officials doing honour. Alas ! for the power its of Russia. From Constantinople came a commission of holy men with gifts from the Sultan and arguments from the Koran to conciliate the injured Albanians. and Jews alike with the of Russia. and result delighted Turks and Jews and many Christians. lined The body goods ing. they would not be reconciled. M. At Salonica the body was laid in to state in a new Bulgarian church. would bring them to terms. Stcherbina was placed on a bier in a and completely covered with mourn- on each Salonica. and now no amount of backsheesh. or multiloquence about their transgressing the will of God. So the Albanian soldiers were districts brought out of the Albanian by purely Turkish regiments. from which there was a great parade to a Russian man-of-war. the Japanese war soon followed. had chosen his bodyguard from among them because of their faithfulness.

—threatening a —and fleet Two small encounters took place. But Russia was pressing naval demonstration with the Black Sea the Sultan fought his faithful friends. and Those who knew the Turkish Government doubted that actual hostilities against the Albanians would take place. where they were de- probably pensioned life. for had not his own safety been secured. and made altogether better off than they It is had been ' hitherto. and I We were invited to soldiers. was accessible without the permission of Hilmi Pasha. to Constantinople. badly armed and without organisation. and awaiting us with a body- found a Russian kavass guard of It was not a far walk from the station to the Consulate. drooping to within six feet of the road beneath. Of course the Albanians. it can be taken he would have preferred war with the ' Seven Kings.METROVITZA AND THE ALBANIANS mobilised at Verisovitch. visit the Russian Consulate. being on the railway. were easily defeated. which we recognised from a distance by the tremendous tricolour that floated from the balcony. The Consulate was situated between the barracks and a . ' supposed that the Sultan fixed his Albanian bodyguard before he sent an army against their brothers. a Dane. and an English- man. went up to see the battle ground.' Metro vitza. 217 brought over from Asia Minor in vast numbers. The chiefs were made prisoners for and taken corated.




of Turkish soldiers,


and on several



diately about the house, were small detachments of

picked troops.
First to greet us as

we entered

the door

was the

Cossack, in bushy busby, blue dress with large white



and many weapons.

He was

a moth-like creature, hair, beard, and skin

the same sickly pallor, and eyes of a dull blue.






they were Albanians

traitors, in their


But the Consul, M. Mashkov,
full of fire,

late of



actually pugnacious, and, so he told

ready to die in his country's service.


telegram arrived a few minutes after



containing a warning that the Sublime Porte had
received a letter from




informing the Turkish Government of their intention
to assassinate another Russian consul.
of this telegram

The object


origin of





at a loss to understand, but such warnings to


come constantly from the Turkish Government. They have killed M. Stcherbina,' said M. Mashkov







but they cannot


the Russian


The Dane asked the Consul if he really thought he would be assassinated, and M. Mashkov replied, 1 expect to leave Turkey as M. Stcherbina did. If

the Albanians do not


me, the Bulgarians





glad to record that our entertaining and

generous host

—whose ideas and sympathies,

I regret,

do not agree with mine



soon transferred to

Egypt, and got away from Turkey

We tramped over the battlefield in the same manner
that the dead Russian had done, with Russian kavasses

and Turkish

soldiers for our protection,

and a Turkish

who spoke French

as a conductor.



sembled a Russian commission, and the sentinels
rose from the ground
life all

passed one the sins of


Every time we came back to my

probably in
the most romantic country in Europe,
the world.
It is a lawless



land where

might makes


and parts



are as forbidding

to the foreigner as darkest Africa.

In the country

around Ipek, Jakova, and Prisrend, and even Kalkan-

homes of men are strongholds built of stone, with no windows on the ground floors, and those above mere loopholes. At the corners of a village or
dele, the

estate are kulers, towers of

defence, from which the

enemy can be seen far down The first law of the land

the road.

the law of the gun, as

But the country is more Wild West. was the American border in the old days, and men have banded together in clans for offensive and defensive purposes. There is no education in Albania the Turks have kept the country illiterate and promises have come
in the

thickly populated than

to be bonds.

It is

because the Albanians keep their
as his body-

word that Abdul Hamid has chosen them


But the Albanian has no regard
it is

for the


he has not sworn

and, though the petty thief

considered brave work to




Albanian customs are dangerous to break, and are

handed down the generations unwritten as sacredly as
are feuds.


strange customs exist.

To compli-

ment an unmarried woman, for instance, is provocaA blood enemy is under amnesty tion for death. while in the company of a woman. A woman may shoot a fiance* who breaks his betrothal or call upon the young man's father to kill him. If a man commits
murder, and, flying for his
another, friend or foe, he

enters the house of





the case,



he takes refuge

in the

house of a brother of
not remain there for

man he

He may


but for three days he can live on the best the

house provides.


that time


up, he






Twenty-four hours


given him


his escape

after that the bessa

over and the

blood feud begins.
In their national dress the Albanians of the North

always distinguishable.
usually white,

The men wear baggy



the ankle.


each side of them and over the back
of rich black silk cording.

a broad

Very often a design
leg to

rich red tapers

down each

the knee.


broad sash (over a leather


between trousers



serves as holster for pistol


short, richly

and yataghan. worked waistcoat reaches down to




All \NI.\N.



the top of the sash, but misses meeting across the


six inches.

The costumes



in various

parts of Albania.

In Southern Albania


men wear

pleated ballet skirts like the Northern


For headgear the Albanian generally wears a tiny, tight-fitting white skull-cap which looks in the sun like
a bald spot.

Some wear caps





which a

rich, full, flowing silk tassel of

black or dark


to the shoulders.
of the hair

The cut


The men

of one

section will have their heads closely shaven, except in

one circular space about an inch across.
tuft curls



down underneath the cap






Others will shave the top of the head

where the cap
the head



reason in this


as the

Mohamedan seldom removes

his fez, the heat over

thereby equalised.

There are a dozen

other cuts, none of which beautify the Albanian
nevertheless, he

always of striking appearance.
are of pure

The Albanians



broad-shouldered men, with

fine faces.

They They

are quite unlike


of the other people of Macedonia,

even speaking a totally different language.
nothing definite


of their origin,

it is

more than

probable that they are the descendants of the ancient


once occupied


the western side of

the Balkan Peninsula, and were gradually driven to

the mountains of Albania
of Greeks,

by the

successive invasions



and Turks.



Albania has never been wholly subdued or




conquered by Servian princes in

the Middle Ages, and under

them attained a


but at the Turkish conquest


into a wild state.

The majority of the Albanians have become Mohamedans, chiefly because the religion carried with it the right to bear arms and other privileges. In Turkey in Europe,' there is an account of

a characteristic Albanian conversion.

Until about a

hundred years ago the inhabitants of a certain little group of villages in Southern Albania had retained






repel the continual attacks of a neighbouring




they met in a church, solemnly swore

that they would fast until Easter, and invoked
saints to

work within that period some miracle that
their miserable lot.
If this

would better


request were not granted, they would




day came, but no


from saint

and the whole population embraced Islam.' Soon afterwards, the change of faith was rewarded they obtained the arms which they desired, and had
or angel,

the satisfaction of

massacring their old


and taking possession of their lands. Northern and Southern Albanians are quite difThe Ghegs and the Tosks they are ferent peoples.
respectively called.

The Tosks are less turbulent than Northern brothers. They are ruled by beys, or





forward. every tribe contains both Mussulmans and Christians. The Albanians have overrun have found the sections their all Macedonia. looting. and unless they do his bidding to the modest extent he demands. of But beyond their own borders and Kossovo from which the Servians . A Catholic propaganda pro- by Austria. in a feudal manner. burning. The frontier line of Albania has been extended in this Servia. and murdering the Servians of the vilayet of Kossovo. and.METROVITZA AND THE ALBANIANS hereditary 223 landlords. a means of getting rid of them is found. This demonstrates that is little there fanaticism among them. They often make raids into the neighbouring State. It would be difficult for the Turks to carry out there the custom of disarming Christians. way far up into Old Even the frontier of Servia proper is not regarded by these lawless mountain men. in proselytes. is In the North. They way in large numbers as far as Constantinople. They receive their titles from the Turk. These beys owe an allegiance to the Sultan. with the exception of one which is all Catholic. as they have done into Bulgaria when quartered as soldiers on that border. there not this handle to is whip tected clan. The clan is stronger than the religious feeling. But the loyalty of Ottoman Government has secured the Christian as well as Mohamedan Ghegs by They are allowing them to to pillage and kill their non-Albanian neighbours ever pressing their hearts' content. however.

You an Albanian and compliment a Turk if you take either for the other. both parties in a case will go . But the Turk different . They enlist for the guns and cartridges. have they are held within certain bounds. districts In many Albanian from military the Turkish the Albanians are exempt service. resisted reforms for But the Albanians have always the reason that reforms would is interfere with their privileges. he is fanatically subordinate. If they thought their Padisha in earnest Turkish private and peasant would never resist a measure of reform. is Even in the skull-cap his head-covering. The establishment of law was one of Hilmi Pasha's additions If this the Austro-Russian scheme of reforms ! reform is ever applied. a company refuse to board a train because some officials contraband tobacco had been taken from them by the of the foreign monopoly that exists in is Turkey. punched their kicked them. The disarming courts in Albania to of the Albanians indispensable to reforms in Macedonia. insult The Albanian looks down on the Turk. but large numbers of them join army as volunteers. for Sometimes the Albanians show very little regard Once at Salonica I saw their Turkish officers. An Albanian seldom wears a Turkish army the low white Turkish fez.224 THE BALKAN TRAIL fled. On several occasions I like have seen Turkheads and the ish soldiers stand officers inanimate things while their pulled their ears.

and the Serbs. deported. He received Q . where may be given authority over a district or province which will more than pensate him for his loss. the Bulgarians. as empire no harm. Should a leader appear among them who threatens organisation or civilisation. effect as yet but on the . and im- prisoned. an emissary of the Sultan arrives with gifts and decorations. He was trial. There is no free Albanian border with the Greeks. Albanians the Turks are too clever at their control. 225 and the result will be — no matter which way the verdict goes—the death Of late years attempts of the judge. he If the chief is not to venal. but the Turks deny the very existence of the Albanian language. stolen by Turkish soldiers. One evening the professor disappeared. he is enticed or taken secretly by force Constantinople. A few years ago some of the wealthier inhabitants of a certain town started a school to teach their children their own tongue. He was held for eight months without and then as arbitrarily released. have been made by eduAlbanian cated Albanians residing in Bucharest and in Italy to create an agitation for autonomy these movements have had no . and the Turks are able to prevent the Albanians from becoming educated. com - but where he can work the state.METROVITZA AND THE ALBANIANS into court with all their weapons. There are Catholic schools in Northern Albania and Orthodox Greek in Southern Albania. The publication of Albanian books is prevented and Albanian schools are suppressed.

there is only one place along the coast at which ships stop. Only on one occasion. and as we never had adequate excuse. The man. was killed by the members of a hostile clan. . There is no railway across Albania. and the Albanian has been taught to suspect every European as a spy come to reconnoitre for a foreign Power. A safely few men from civilisation have been to the heart of this romantic country. The It is position of the Albanians in Turkey is unique.226 THE BALKAN TRAIL when he This was at Cortia. protests that he cannot afford the The Turk European safe passport across Albania. it is In order to get there necessary to acquire the friendship and the confidence of the chief of a clan. however. we left the Balkans without fulfilling our earnest desire to cross it. with all his escort. them Turks to subdue and govern but the Sultans have preferred to give them of the strip of Adriatic land power licence and to keep the they occupy a lawless barrier against the West. and encountered Albanians everywhere in Macedonia. did anyone trusting himself to an Albanian chief lose his life. it is said. To take the risk of entering Albania without reason seemed foolhardy. the usual Turkish shrug of the shoulders asked the reason for the outrage. and the foreigner is forbidden by both Albanian and Turk. in the . and to get from him a promise of safe passport. where the Turk's rule is not merely nominal. We touched the country. and to this day a blood feud lasts as a result. from the east and from the west.

effendi . 1 This is a small town.' We were not searching a Turkish bath. bound visible. the mountains of Albania often and we touched. and asked questions. we They did not stop us. German as it The Austrian-Lloyd steamer dropped anchor in the bay. The ship lay at anchor an hour. The same cringing. We were going down the shore to take Albanian. lasted some time all longer. — — — a bath. and we explained by signs that ' we were going out to swim. you have not sufficient time. until leaving the officials talking. Italian. among Italian and other ports. but ordered the soldiers to follow . the same swaggering Albanians. effendi. and also cover any insurgents with whom we might have rendezvous. and see what our object really was and they stood behind bushes and rocks from which they could watch us. at The place has as many names Hagio Saranda. and several queer.' We knew we had. and we went ashore. Q2 . unwieldy rowboats small barges came up alongside for a few boxes of Austrian goods. unarmed Christians. Slav. has houses. for Greece. Turkish. But. the same suspicious officials and ragged soldiers.— METROVITZA AND THE ALBANIANS 227 We sailed down the Adriatic from Trieste. The Turks bowed politely as we landed. we are sorry there is no bath here. The argument broke off rudely.

. The Man of Yorkshire got together again and appointed a day to start on the journey we had planned long since. and no correspondent had personal knowand I ledge of the state of affairs that caused this exodus. and attempted to draw up at a Turkish blockhouse. We spent the intervening night at a lone khan. bound in an opposite direction. Alexander was not safe enough to be trusted with the Again we hired a carriage with a Turkish secret. We gave him no hint. The Turk protested. was a two days' journey. the frontier town at which we proposed to leave the carriage and take to our legs. miles away from any other habitation. had the temerity to ask the reason for luggage. We instructed Alexander the Bulgar to appear on the morning with a pair of socks in his pocket. but by vigorous methods we got the horses past this danger spot at a Alexander . To Egri-Palanka. and again we sucdriver to take us to Kalkandele ceeded in getting out of town while the Turks dozed. Twenty- thousand peasants from Turkey had taken refuge in Bulgaria.228 THE BALKAN TRAIL CHAPTER XII THE LONG TRAIL There was excuse five for us to cross Macedonia.



and the Turk declared the had eggs which had seen better days. the rest ground. It was too cold to sleep. however. This was some comfort to us.THE LONG TRAIL pace which did not give the Turkish officer 229 time to make up his mind. Supper over. the other alternative being the floorless There were no rugs for us to lie on and no covering. hundreds of the ' enemy . we stretched our- selves out for the night. and goat's milk with wool in it. which we paced most of the night.' battle of the night. on benches. was tossed. but Christian food unfit to eat. groaned and sleep. one upon the table. doors. insensible with drink. Alexander and the Turk consumed a quantity of heady wine and advised us to do so. unbarred the and escaped to the still high road. We had hardly laid ourselves down in this unholy place than the plagues of Egypt gat about us. but snored nevertheless * . ' I'm glad. Alexander and the Turk. impossible for us. We we liked not the stuff. Through the windows we saw the sleepers by the dim light of a taper. gritty black bread. tossing and fighting. I am glad all was not peaceful with you and the Turk.' said Alexander the Bulgar Man of emerged much the Yorkshire when scarred from the lying dead upon the expanse of his sturdy chest. and no one thought of undressing.' Even across the table from which we had supped half an hour before they came at us in battalions. We shook ourselves. Stable for beast and stable for man were one and the same at the khan.

a wash. but it was part of the game we were playing to pretend to despise walking. The Englishman and I could have outstripped the ill-conditioned Turks in a mile. our direction traced. and though the arms moved and the mouth talked the eyes remained closed.230 ' THE BALKAN TRAIL You mistake. and never again left us until we left Egri-Palanka. we slept pro- foundly. and your groans were 1 Ah. and instructions to turn us back had been wired on. we drank well at supper . and other sights. .' tossing all night long.' 1 Why. rest. announcing that they were and safety. After many gracious bows and compliments. awaited us on the outskirts of Our escape from Uskub had been discovered.' said Alexander ' . feigning After a meal.' After vast deviations to ford streams and avoid bridges. and we stopped a dozen times to rest. we saw you pitiful. we arrived at Egri-Palanka. for our service The all polite chief introduced us to the others. When we left the town to climb to the Bulgarian monastery a troop of soldiers suddenly appeared to augment our following. monsieur. the policeman invited himself into our carriage. and a short followed fatigue. officer As we expected. to visit the gypsy quarter. by the gendarmes. where he was joined by several gendarmes. He conducted us to the khan. a smiling police the town. the kaimakam. and we salaamed and shook hands. we went.

who was then dragged from the box and hustled through three acres before he knew what had got him. in the lead. the authorities of Egri-Palanka seemed relieved and assured. our escort did not surround us it followed at a distance of half a mile. we left further After an hour of this we were quite a mile We had packed our few effects in shape to sling over our shoulders. bound back the way we had come. night without was to be delivered at Uskub that and upon the presentation of it he was to receive his fare. Considering our foreign .THE LONG TRAIL 231 The high road to Uskub was without a crossing. It of standing barley came off ! How we slogged through that corn back. and when we departed the following day. to relieve the horses and to get a sight of the party in the rear. susceptibilities. venient bend in the road At a con- we halted our shandrydan. and behind. At every stiff we got out. passed Alexander his pack. Had we paid him he would have gone to Palanka again to pick up another load. and handed a letter to the driver. presenting a large and . The letter fail. apparIt was exand further from the pace we were setting. We pulled up the hood of the carriage —not because of the sun hill —and hustled the driver. tremely hot. one sack for Alexander. ently. with the and down into the toiling valley. looking perspiration streaming off our faces. They were them suffering. This much through the mouth of the equally bewildered Alexander. to see our driver away through the dust.

and a peering for Turkish patrols on the red line of high road below! betting that I was fun the first day. was glad to lose the first day. — We it spied a snug. We schoolmaster to persuade them we were not. 1 Yes. where .' he said.232 discreet THE BALKAN TRAIL carriage hood to the unsuspecting hill escort. There was the soldiers little danger that they would bring us. secluded because there was no minaret at dark. Presently a kindly shut out the road. But we learned that there were three down upon . and sun. we struck our route by the map and the Three or four miles up the road the driver would come to the military post already mentioned. Man of Yorkshire we would not be caught before the night. knowing the habit of the Turk to visit vengeance upon the town that harbours committajis. master gave us supper and shelter. A couple was the most we could count on before the a day of dodging roads and skirting villages. —and dropped down to little was Servian. and the Servian schoolare Bulgarian.' he said. It village — Christian. the optimistic I lost. What of scrambling up perpendicular mountain It sides. We renewed the wager for the following day. pursuit was started. 4 The peasants think you Committaji told the ? ' 1 we asked. he would halt to feed his horses overtake him. We made wager of a mijidieh. and he would of hours tell the escort would of our flight.

families of Turkish peasants living in the village,


and was quite on the cards that they would trot over to Kratovo, half an hour away, and come back with a cheery gang of Anatolians or Albanians, whose habit in dealing with insurgents is to fire the house in which they are and shoot them
indeed, alarmed us.

emerge from the flames. So we sent our compliments to the Turks (Mohamedans must be treated with deference) and requested them to call which they did, and were
as they

convinced that

we were not



we spent a most uncomfortable



on the rough gallery rolled in rugs, watching the firefire brigade,' falling asleep flies and listening for the from dead weariness and starting out of it at every



away from the Servian

village early the

following morning, taking a guide for the direction in

which we were bound, but not divulging our destination.


shook him


when we

got the lay of the

country and were certain of our maps again.

About noon we dropped,
monastery of Lesnova.
in the courtyard, the

as intended,

into the



down by a


brown-timbered structure enclos-

ing three sides,

and over the mud wall on the fourth

stretched the valley into the blue distance.



beggar in a filthy state devoured food like a ravenous



it down unchewed with great gulps of The old abbot who came out to greet us said

they could do nothing for the man's ailments



who become
which had

are no doctors in the country, and folk


Here we got the



of events

driven the Christian peasants to Bulgaria.

The story

was the same we had heard so often before


new except
our long

the details of tortures.

Of these there are
adventure of

sufficient in later chapters

for this, the

The monks gave us a good meal, and we
an hour on a comfortable divan,

slept for

we were



soles of


boots and those of Alex'



had gone, which, from their absence of heels, caused me to walk as on eggs for many miles, and made my insteps very sore. The Englishman's clumsy footgear outlasted mine by many hours still, I do not believe in British

we had now come to call Sandy and we were driven to native charruks


Shortly after one o'clock

we were on the climb again,
led over a big hill

up a decent path for once, which towards the town of Sletovo. A
appeared, as
the top of the



we looked down from behind a bush


even barracks to add a charm.

was surrounded by tents, with The first sight of us soldier, and intelligent from one of those tents by any our trekking was over By great luck a trail led off to the right, which seemed to skirt the tents entirely, and we picked our way cautiously down it, concealed by a shoulder of the hill. At the bottom the trail turned straight into the town. There was another


path somewhere to the right leading away
to get to
it ?


but how we had made up our minds for a dash through some corn we came on the connecting link, a dry watercourse, and we were soon on the
Just as
circular tour.

But now, while keenly watching the






an ancient tower—probably of Out—appeared on our right

side this, with his rifle leaning against the wall, squatted

a sentry, dirgeing a dismal Oriental lay.

He was not more than two hundred yards off, and commanded a view of our heads and shoulders above the corn but I am there was nothing for it except to go ahead. eye one songster with confident that I watched that and the town on the opposite side with the other. For five minutes our fate hung on the balance. Our no one but a man from hats were unmistakable


wears anything with a brim to


in that

part of the country. Once his dull eye was caught by our headgear we were booked. But the amiable creature sang on, his mind probably back in Anatolia and we dropped out of sight to the next stream and

took a big drink.

Late that afternoon a few drops of rain came down, a delightful sensation to the parched and dusty foot*




but presently


increased to sheets of

water driven before a cold wind, and for half an hour we clung, soaked, to the slimy face of a bank, with

down our necks. Then the storm blew over. The path, awkward at any time, was like a switchback skating-rink, down which we


waterfalls dribbling


and staggered with
horrible swoops

and marvel-

lous recoveries, to a boiling yellow torrent below, about

had hoped was sorry though neither of us admitted it that we had There was to seek shelter on this side of the stream.
as fordable as the Mississippi in flood. to do a greater distance this day, but neither of us


an attractive-looking place near at hand, but a
bidding minaret stood high above the poplars



we pushed on

to the


Christian village.

two days, travelled for four and muscle, wet to the We began to lose skin, and chilled to the bone. temper with each other, and vented our feelings upon


had slogged


we were

sore in every joint



spoke seldom, except at meals, when our

spirits revived,


in the fresh hours of the morning.

Now we

were sour and snappish, and each disagreed

with whatever the other proposed.

The constant

and the heavy marching were beginning to tell on our dispositions. And we had hardly begun our

was sorry I lost the bet. Perhaps the other man was too. The headman of a Bulgarian village received us

with the hand-shake that


the sign of friendship.


thought we were insurgents.

one in the



They were harbouring on a wooden platform

under the low thatch of

his roof,


pulled off our

wringing things to the last stitch, half the village
looking on, absorbed and unabashed.

Clad in our








scrambled through the stable to an opening through



which we could discern a fire burning. Our host's wooden sandals were not easy to keep a balance on. With smarting eyes I groped through the smoke
towards the
in the wall

window,' a two-foot hole for chickens
fire in

on the ground


sat, feet


stretched towards the


the middle of the

hard earth





hanging up our garments to
crawled towards me, and

made out The dry.

the hostess



sat coughing

and blinking

at the native bread-making.



round, earthen

then taken off and was then buried in the embers, and, when hot enough, put on the top of the dough. This primitive oven turns out a fine crust,

was made red hot on the

the dough slapped into



but the middle of the loaf is very pasty. Sandy now appeared with an armful of wet things,

and hung the hats on a bundle of clothes and wrappings by the fire, which began to squeal. We discovered that this was the youngest member of the family,

approaching a score in number.

After the row had died

down we gathered

that our


This consisted of the usual was prepared. and walls, with a straw mat and homemade rugs to sleep on, and a couple of red bolsters. Here we sprawled and supped under the interested eyes of a donkey and a bundle of torch-lit natives




who squatted

outside the door.

In the morning our


much amuseI

The assembly— which,



watched us through the entire night—was much



puzzled over what

seemed to think was an attempt



part to swallow a small brush greased with

pink paste.

broke into a general laugh when

my hair, being sure I was combing it for another
of the patrols


we we

learned later

which was sent out after us arrived at this village an hour after

but the peasants had no idea whither we had


The torrential stream had subsided into a babbling brook when we forded it, about eight o'clock, and
boldly took the high road to Kotchana.








and kept
time rice

course until within dangerous proximity of the town,

then struck


into the fields



was the season when the fields were flooded, and way across was by the tops of the embankments, which held us high to the view of anyone in the neighbourhood. We had gone too far to retrace our
the only


when we discovered we were in Turkish fields. came suddenly to a dry patch of ground. A score more Turkish women, their veils slung back over
were working the ground
in their

their shoulders, their loose black cloaks laid to one

gaudy bloomers.


sight of us there

was a wild

flutter for veils


not a sound.

We maintained our well-drilled blankness of expression

and passed on,

soldiers three, single



advance breaking through the weeds when
of the



upon the husband


The bey was lying

The old Turk seemed rather ashamed of the fright he had displayed. Alexander keeping watch.' rescue rear.THE LONG TRAIL shading his face. and levelled Of course I did not pull my gun. watching his later. How we escaped one after another seemed so incredible to the Turkish authorities. a great umbrella The rotund gentleman grunted. Franks had passed. shouting quickly. as Christians the right of way. great. ! That worthy. up. stepped to one side and bowed us were English. while we were enjoying a refreshing and much-needed wash in a cool mountain stream. 239 supine upon his back in the grass. This day we encountered many pitfalls. We were afraid that the bey would hurry into authorities that Kotchana and inform the he still two strange work. as occasion. women About three hours however. That we were foreign was evident from the fact that we carried arms. Inglese effendi. He seemed uncertain for a was man or nightmare. I I fell back. and slowly opened his eyes. slyly tucking his revolver into his red sash. in my gaudy revolver. but when I was awake. but as long as we could see him maintained his post. moment whether I spoke he knew he feet. that they seriously suspected * when we were finally rounded we had come by an underground ' route. ' had done on a previous Alexander to the in our Inglese. a cavalry patrol of half a dozen men came up at full gallop. and. from a covered position informed his Majesty the Mohamedan that we I had said. He scrambled to his it full drew a face. .

Bulgarians must be martyrs. Towards midday Sandy waxed mutinous. We heard . feet. The peasants along our route this day were numerous. and we had no difficulty in hiring a horse for Alexander. for him. by pay or unarmed Bulgarian we encountered. * ' If you are killed. but his spirit rankled under the dangers into which he was led like a lamb. however. We gathered fellow-travellers to the number of probably fifty. Threats availed nothing Finally pleading was of no use. both Bulgars and Turks. The Turks could take him. In skirting Vinitza the boy lay down in a corn patch and refused to budge. able questions. . who asked the usual innumerall Sandy. but what give will the Turkish Government fair to my poor mother ? We had not been Sandy. had not yet come. and promised to get a horse intimidation. from the for him. his body. almost beneath their horses' hoofs. we became too conspicuous. it we took his pack and carried first as well as our own.' will receive he would frequently remark.240 THE BALKAN TRAIL had just time to We duck behind a sandbank. Then. On this condition ! he struggled to his Poor Sandy the worst. He was a most submissive servant while we travelled like gentlemen. would tell all he knew to whoever asked. in spite of admonitions. for it was market day at Vinitza. and now the soul could go from He was resigned . The all soles had again gone from his shoes. your parents much money.

with their huge red were so impressive to the going. A sense of peace pervaded the growing accustomed to our company. falling ignorant soldiers that they feared to lay hands on us. and. We that direction . Sandy.' But on * and we replied. covered thirty miles in ten hours during which our for midday meal was and he insisted off a loaf of bread bought I a metaleek from a peasant Turk. spurned they When discovered their dilemma their tone became surly and We sional fragrant with honeysuckle defile most and wild roses. gave him a piastre on giving me change. narrow came down place. to us. rather nasty. R . direct. we relief of enjoyed the a comparatively good road and no towns or encampments. and he lied.' ' Palanka. of abrupt termination.' * Kratovo in his soft Slav way. much armed. and would speak with us insulting. This was the longest day's track we made. They asked whither we were Towards Pechovo. and occacool breaths from the pines on the slopes above passed through a long. But he knew no more than the natives whither we were bound A party of Turkish peasants. He said he had not told them whence we had come. and there at But the pass came to an its mouth sat a band twenty soldiers ! For a few minutes things looked seals.! THE LONG TRAIL him say ' 241 ' Skopia. behind the next hill in we deserted our peasant following and struck off on our own route. We cussed Sandy. but our British and American passports.

at the foot of the hill on which we had and our slumbers would not have been so peaceful had either we or the Turks known of the others' presence. wended our hiding. We rose very early in the morning and started off on three miserable ponies gathered by our host from neighbouring mountain men. . until an hour after nightfall we entered Djumabala. whither he had fled leaving a pretty wife and six small children. lumps from a of sugar.' 242 THE BALKAN TRAIL We encountered a Bulgarian who lived on a hill- side about an hour off. and way to his hut for our last night in the Man of Yorkshire still another mijidieh. but as out being noticed we skirted Tsare- —who could enter the place with—went in and procured two large Sweetened bread and cool water . * Ah. the peasant able to give us only bread to put into our packs. A dilapidated blockhouse stood slept. I owed the hut was We too full. joined him. slept in the open. and an supported by our red attitude of assurance. well One can always get another wife ! said Sandy. The man who accompanied us to bring back the horses had just returned from Bulgaria. soldiers were unofhcered and could not read. The mountain men had been voselo. The seals. * Brute ! ' observed the ! Man of Yorkshire. We had hardly pro- ceeded two hundred yards when we were challenged by a Turkish post. under a tree . fall made our lunch after which we plodded on. again passed us on.



We went to the gaol and demanded his release. Hilmi had some hard words for us.' ' into Turkish the signatures arrived at the Consulate • Mor-o-bos ' in one case. and got permission for us to proceed with our dragoman. The Consul visited Hilmi Pasha (who was then in Salonica). first The of them arrived in five. Fifteen minutes. . the least of which were ' Ces vagabonds ! We received a telegram in Turkish from the Consul. Meanwhile we ' tele graphed to the British Consul-General at Salonica. This difficulty — — deadlock lasted for a week. And the Turks released him. We We had done half our journey rest.' I replied. —the hardest half. After discussion by wire which required several days instructions came from our old friend Hilmi Pasha to send us back. We knew where to look for him. were certain of the We expected some with the Turks. without our Sandy. and we had much.' in another ' Booth and Moore. Sandy disappeared. But we refused to go without Sandy. signing the telegrams in one instance Moore and Translated Booth. They were positive that he was the committaji who had brought us through their country. We were known to our friends by these names there- after. Bot-o-more ' in the other. and they refused to let him proceed with us.' THE LONG TRAIL ' 243 ? ' How long do you give the police asked the Man 6 of Yorkshire.

The kaimakam read. to a Christian. to the door shouting. He offered us He offered us cigarettes.' said we. but your interpreter must be left behind. kaimakam's interpretation French. as you desire. went back to the kaimakam. * and we declined them. gives * of the He puzzled over the characters for a few minutes. The reply came took it at midnight. Monsieur Boot et Monsieur Mo-re\ you may depart for Drama. We told In the morning we him nothing of the first.. He came to present the kaimakam's compliments and to say that by a strange coincidence the permission we sought had just arrived from the Governor-General . * Kaimakam us. we are going out of is here to-morrow morning and our interpreter going with Good-morning. Ce n'est pas ma faute An hour to us in later an officer during our sojourn who had been attached at Djuma was ushered by Sandy. 244 THE BALKAN TRAIL * and took it to the kaimakam for interpretation. Another telegram to the Consul-General. Bey.' We felt somewhat sick. Ce ' ! n'est pas ma faute. then wrote in Telegraphed to you yesterday. Hilmi Pasha to permission proceed to Drama and take interpreter.' left We to the turned on our heels and without salaaming bey or to any of his sitting The kaimakam jumped to his * satellites.' We chairs. but we declined to sit. feet and followed us messieurs.



and it took four days to get to The trail was hard.THE LONG TRAIL 245 We rode away from Djuma-bala with a large escort. where Miss Stone had been ransomed passed . the scene of a wicked massacre . through the ruins of Kremen. untrodden path crossed a trackless lava formation of many skulls miles that resembled a vast boneyard of giant and scattered skeletons. . dropped down the river Mesta by a long. Drama. and made our way slowly through the wildest and most beautiful mountains I have ever seen. We worked around Perim Dagh to Mahomia spent a night at Banisko. .

and Italian. Com- bats and massacres were located.000 peasants in the vilayet the numbers of killed and of Monastir were homeless. careful was a man of nerve. partial or entire. The was a summary of the summer's work. and stated that 60. This envoy extraordinary. It announced the razing. Illustrating the report was a map which had been drafted by a skilled . pleading his cause before the foreign representatives at a hostile capital. of 120 villages. and judgment. German. and where possible final report wounded were given. he had a knowledge of three European languages. French. resource. Besides his other accomplishments. The contents of these periodical papers were a record of recent activities on the part of both insurgents and Turks. and was therefore able to translate the official insurgent reports from the original Bulgarian into languages understood of the Consuls. as well he had to be.246 THE BALKAN TRAIL CHAPTER XIII THE TRAIL OF THE INSURGENT The Consuls and two newspaper of correspondents cordoned at the storm centre received comprehensive and accurate reports what was happening in the surrounding country through a secret emissary of the revolutionary committee.

like us. Hitherto had been the practice left the for Governor-General (who. annoyed the chief officer of re- forms exceedingly that foreign consuls and correspondents should give credence to the reports of the insurgents in preference to those of his office. total The dissemination * of such information during the general rising' defeated the designs of the lawful administration. because of consular sceptistill cism as to their accuracy. to black. His worry. of course. nevertheless. but Insurgent no record of defeat at the hands of the insurgents was ever permitted. was only on the score of effect in . and.' Now the limit of had to be raised.THE TRAIL OF THE INSURGENT hand and manifolded by machine corner explained the meanings of tensities of colour in .' and the Imperial Ottoman reports the " now invariably defeated the losses ' brigands. however. Invariably such a ' them of several destruction of brigands proved on unofficial information to It be a massacre of non-combatants. Until number of casualties on the Turkish side in any single combat had been limited to three killed and two wounded. the Turkish police were hard on the it trail of the enemy in of their midst. had Uskub more active fields) to inform foreign consuls only of such serious disorders as he could not hope to keep from them. his Excellency Hilmi loss to would occasionally announce a hundreds. indicating effacement. from white. 247 a key in the the different in- which the villages were marked. total escape. bands seldom numbered more than a Pasha ' hundred .

This was our first meeting with the agent of the revolutionary committee. but seldom twice in the same manner. the papers meant . the insurgent at a certain house within the hour the was imperative.jawed Servian of years. I You are English correspondents in ? ' he inquired in a low voice * I German. One day we case received a message asking us to meet . youthful secretary For many weeks thereafter the envoy extraordinary and his first delivered the in- criminating documents. We made our way to the place indicated. Of course. dressed as a fez. some six-and-twenty European with the exception of entered the Hotel Belgrade for a cup of coffee —one act which never attracts suspicion. I have a confidential communication to make. Will you take me to your room ? We went to the Englishman's room. of the distinguished hostelry except for The cafe* was otherwise deserted the Englishman and me. looked us over while he sipped his coffee. We are.248 THE BALKAN TRAIL .' said my comprehending companion. turbed his excellency indeed very A the square. not over fifteen. and the Servian explained his mission whereupon he opened the door and called in a boy. and carrying a basket of eggs. then addressed us cautiously. and there received the revolutionist'sjreport . for us were among the eggs. The stranger seated himself near us. Europe the tacit implication as to his veracity dislittle. clad in a Greek gabardine.

THE TRAIL OF THE INSURGENT with the 249 apolo- map already mentioned. soldiers and bashi-bazouks. house this morning while I was The boy found me. The man gised for being unable to bring his final paper to us. hundred thousand Albanian and Turkish soldiers were crowded into the Monastir vilayet to repress the armed insurrection. Albanians. me not to return. and do not know that he eluded his pursuers perhaps . I must not be to-day. They have my brother. Turk and Turk alike. and warned For me it is fortunate that ' seen in the street They came to the out and took him. and climbed high up the mountain behind the caserne. was thronged with Turkish warriors. when the There native rajah gives cause for castigation. hale men and halt men a onearmed soldier and a hump-backed dwarf carried guns.' and such resident Mohamedans ' ' * 1 An : inscription on the blade of a yataghan possessed by the author reads « Open the door to me in both worlds. and European Turks. and continued. otherwise seldom utilised. is glory for Mohamed in the despatch of 1 an infidel. tents stretched across the parade ground. The certain military hospital was surrounded by fills tents.' We never saw the Servian committaji again. crowded. The vast barracks was over. A subdued delight the breast of the gentle Turk. Anatolians.' . Nearly a and material profit in the plunder reaped. they were too close on his Monastir trail. and renders the combative Albanian loyal to the Padisha. my work here is done.

a meagre force with which to contest the Ottoman authority.250 THE BALKAN TRAIL as were not called to the colours sharpened their yataghans and joined unorganised in the work of the army. and only the labour of the struggle continued. With quiet. and a poor result for the price that had been paid in men and morals. several The insurgents had been gathering arms for Many murders had been committed in years. this force on the warpath the town became Such Bulgarians as had not gone to the mountains became Greeks or Servians. . — whereof all fit animals were soon kept stabled. paying for them in paper promises in consequence and Vlachs also kept close to their houses. and some had taken place in Bulgaria 1 many The figures were given me by Boris Sarafoff. the pack-ponies came back bringing in the wounded of the Turks. Honest stirred. and for a time the race disappeared from the streets. animals and teams as they appeared on the streets. At night. toil ceased. In the early morning. assess. when Monastir was still again. The revolutionary committee had declared the — * general rising ' of the peasants with less 1 than ten thousand rifles of all patterns. each laden with four ample tins of petroleum. Greeks and some days only soldiers selling plunder held the market The army commandeered the better packplace. Macedonia in the forced collection of levied ments. before the town detachments of troops started for the moun- tains with many pack-ponies.

women. 251 brought insur- about in the Turkish search for arms friendly many gents had given their lives fetching the arms from and hostile frontiers. because of a specific upon the Greek communities. foreign accent Certain insurgent leaders in Greece. The design revolution was declared in the vilayet of Monastir. chiefs of the 1 The high committee never expected to defeat the Turks with their inadequate force of untrained peasants . even though the came Not all the munitions of war secretly brought into the country through Bulgaria. gave their whole sympathy to the fanatics. and many other Macedonians. 1 Greeks and Bul- massacring both alike. but it . among other reasons. and much dynamite was imported through the Turkish Custom-house at Salonica. hostile to the Bulgarians . the entire population of many villages. . was to provoke the They thousands of of were willing to pay the their brother lives of many Macedonians for the accomplishment their desire —the country's autonomy. their purpose Sultan to set his soldiers upon the Christians. was not only the insurgents who were frenzied probably 40.THE TRAIL OF THE INSURGENT massacres of innocent peasants had been . went to the mountains unarmed.000 men. They were The Turks called them Christian fanatics. You have seen in a previous chapter how the Turks at repression recognised no difference between garians. And all the Bulgarians who remained in their villages. purchasing who spoke Greek without a worked arms with the connivance of the Greek authorities under the pretext that they were leaders of Greek bands. This was the general rising. cause of the committajis. and children.

bearing congratulations and the Order of the Mijidieh in diamonds for Bakhtiar the Brave. who put to the sword and the torch both exarchist and patriarchist community. leaving Mohamedans. ' ' . always ' tractable under pressure. directed one Bakhtiar Pasha. they drew the Turks in force to the retaking of these places.' stood the Turk better. A storm of protest came from Athens. whence they (the insurgents) the ' Greeks ' to the vengeance of the would cautiously withdraw. promise. 252 THE BALKAN TRAIL The insurgents underlaid deliberate plans to of Greek clergy had some assurance that Bulgarians alone would be 'repressed. Nevaska and Klissura. They draw him down upon the communities politics. putting the Turkish soldiers to death. the Greek Minister at Constantinople demanded the immediate his of general from command army ' . honour of the Turkish in the interest and and the Sultan. promised to punish the offending pasha. hostile By capturing lightly garrisoned towns whose inhabitants adhered to the Greek Church. Forthwith the deviceful monarch despatched a special messenger from Constantinople to Monastir. With the support relief of amthis bassadors of the Powers.. simultaneously chiefly against commander of the most bloodthirsty body of soldiers and the most rapacious band of bashi-bazouks. But there came a day when Abdul Hamid kept a Two Greek towns. They argued that measure must be met by measure Greek priests converted by threatening Bulgarian peasants with the Turk.



Some time elapsed before the Turks saw fit to retake the towns. others travelling in companies. 1 But massacre and the burning of villages conand refugees entered Monastir in large numbers. Several hundred women and children who victories. it lunch. This was told voivoda who led the band. me in person by TchakalarorT. visited the Governor. who was most active. ' . the . and leading no asses laden with petroleum. the survivors of Smelivo were allowed to enter Monastir. and during the ' interval the Sultan was persuaded not to further alienate Greek sympathies.' At the approach of a strong body of Turks the insurgents retired. and leaving several bottles of on the ground. The news of this came to the Consuls in a very few hours. poisoning the Mastica with arsenic.General at once and protested whereupon tinued. some coming in alone. blades sheathed. to appear as if the band had left hurriedly at the approach of the Turks.' arrived from Smelivo. and the Austrian. one of Bakhtiar's were driven back from Monastir by troops.THE TRAIL OF THE INSURGENT 253 were captured by insurgents and the Turkish garrison put to death. and the soldiers entered the town in military order. whom she had thought dead. but had seen alive Beside this record of the Turks stands a most dastardly deed on the Retiring from Nevaska a party of them laid a diligent trail to a spot in the mountains where they carefully prepared a 1 part of the insurgents. One day a woman among the refugees went to Herr Kraal and asked him to obtain the release of a son. though without further reduction of their numbers.

Austrian dragoman accompanied the Turkish police the boy was found and restored to his mother. Two place small boys were brought into Monastir ' by a was Turkish soldier and * offered for sale on the market informant. girls Most of them were and women stolen by force or enticed from their own homes by Mohamedans. I ascertained from him that he had. along with other plunder. ' Since Herr Kraal has protested.' said the ' rescuer of Christians. during our presence in Monastir. the native alleged. Through the instrumentality Jean and I were brought together. in a period of twenty years. The Consul caused where the boy was kept. An . according to my and the children were 'purchased from the Turk for four ' mijidiehs. his dragoman to ascertain and on learning the exact house. A subscription raised among some Greeks.254 in the THE BALKAN TRAIL custody of certain Turks. participated in the rescue of of the Greek Vice-Consul. he called on Hilmi Pasha and stated the case. orders have been issued that no . The most recent instance of this fortunately infrequent practice occurred. For what purpose would a Mohamedan steal a Christian child ? The Consul gave the Governor-General the location of the house. this curious character seventeen of his compatriots. and threatened to send his dragoman and kavasses to release the child unless the police were put to the job at once. Dragoumis. There was a Greek in Monastir known as a professional redeemer of stolen Christians. His excellency was horrified at such a charge against a Turk.

They told. and companion and I . saw among the refugees in the Greek hospital a woman whose shoulder had been almost severed from her body with a single sword slash another woman whose hand had been cut off with a sabre the arm. It is is always difficult in is Turkey to know true and what stranger. interpreted for me on this occasion. They told in many instances of dogs gorging upon the unburied dead which is quite probable the hungry.' Jean Dragoumis himself. she said. false. to impose upon the Sometimes they invent or em- bellish incidents simply for vain notoriety.— THE TRAIL OF THE INSURGENT more 255 stolen children shall be brought into Monastir. a splendid young Greek. with deliberate intent to prejudice your sympathy. for one consideration or another. and again into Monastir from the surtales. where they had been shot for no other reason than their race which was undoubtedly true. We saw a small boy who had been shot through the head. had held her infant. which was hacked to pieces at her feet. The of refugees who came rounding country told some terrible They told dead lying unburied by the roadway. having been flayed alive it —which I do not inflict is not in the Turk's nature to lingering torture. just what Even the peasants will attempt. . My — a small girl who had been stabbed in several places. in one case. They told of . of children having been thrown alive into a burning lime-kiln which is possible. bread-fed dogs of Turkey would devour any flesh. — women believe .

We inquired what ' ' comprised accidents. desires the prosperity of the country and the welfare sacrificing sleep and quiet day and his night. They were found with wounds. and therefore .' But. thinking how to perfect lofty purposes. lightened master. where evidence.' replied the loyal servant of the Sultan. all a Greek. through which we could see bandaged men.' This deviceful M.256 THE BALKAN TRAIL many in These were the most cruel of hospital. our benefactor and enof all his subjects without exception. ward. Towards the close of the revolution a Turkish * proclamation addressed to the peasants in the mountains in true ' was placarded throughout the vilayet. where there were a number of In a women's wounded the Bulgarians. Ottoman fashion. cases in the On one Turkish occasion we succeeded entering the civil hospital. we were told.D. a few. some them appear to be wounded. in part as follows There is no need to mention how much : It read. bandaged heads and limbs were dutiful in plain doctor. was indeed worthy of the Sultan's service. for variety. informed us that his patients were * suffering ' from of " feminine complaints. to 1 must have attempted commit suicide.' At the barred door of a prison ward.' 1 Oh. that this was the accident ward.' we said. others amputated their own arms while cutting wood. his Im- perial Majesty the Padisha. Some fell out of trees.



for the pre- for the guarding of police of life and the execution of the laws bodies and gendarmes are enlisted for the saving . All the civilised people of Europe and elsewhere regard with horror their deeds. 257 Every- where courts are approved and established servation of the rights of the people of faithful subjects . . and property guards are appointed for the spreading of education schools are opened roads and . which destroy the peace of the land. and great impatience everywhere— with — the suppression of these enemies to peace and order is awaited. deceive the inhabitants and commit various repulsive transgressions.' I have the honour to transmit herewith a transreport of the British Consul covering this docu- lation of the proclamation to the Bulgarians. not wishing the people to be benefited by these favours.' ran the official ment. as also are begun everywhere various other needed benefits. The Imperial Government observes with sorrow that many people still rebel notwithstanding that until now. it has proceeded with marked clemency toward . illusory 1 'The ! list of reforms accomplished is purely ') But some evil-minded • ones. for the lies There is not the least ground and assurances with which the Bulgarians are deceived. and for this end part of is apportioned. bridges are constructed for the people to carry food and merchandise the local income (' .' continued the pro- clamation.THE TRAIL OF THE INSURGENT commands the execution of certain benefits. because of its great mercy. and regarding only their own selfish interest.

" l The rebels did not run toward the mercy of the Imperial Government. THE BALKAN TRAIL But since Government cannot coolly see the order of the country destroyed and the peaceful population subjected to murders and other evils. for the last time. but their privations with the many of them. because of bands and the approach of all winter. and with specific assurance they ventured back. the Turks said. and the men were manacled and marched away towards Fiorina. . their names would be recorded and they would then be set free. commanded by The italics are the author's. wherever they are sent. and those who do not return and run towards the mercy of the Imperial Government will be punished and destroyed in the severest their fashion. heard an account of how in one instance a party of some forty men and a hundred women and children received a message from a detachment of the army promising them safety this if they would return to their village.258 the agitators. began to return from the mountains to their homes or the sites of them. About half-way to town a they met a larger body of 1 soldiers. to disperse and kill most severely the disturbers and their followers who the still remain in rebellion. Therefore. the Bulgarians their fireside who have been deceived and have left and their trades are invited to return to homes and villages. seeking on I occasions to avoid the Turkish troops. They were met on the way by the Turks. it categorically orders the commanders of the troops. where.

were thrown into the stream. * ignorant of the story. so the story goes. What became of the heads be put to death forthwith. in former years. Monsieur Moore.' ' Where did you say the Bulgarians were from S2 ? asked the Governor.' he declared when I connone of the Sultan's men would do such a cluded . however.' THE TRAIL OF THE INSURGENT superior officer. the ranking No adequate reply forthcoming. slew them. taken many pictures of Turkish soldiers and officers standing behind tables on which were laid the battered heads of Bulgarians and other ' brigands. to procure soon after this it some. and decapitated their bodies.' I said. deed.' But heads all are no longer brought into Monastir.' 1 But your excellency. . and the photo- grapher has been forbidden to display of this nature. cannot be denied. (A photographer at Monastir has. a visit to Hilmi Pasha's office incident I took occasion to mention to his excel- asked ' He was completely me for details. and No. I pictures was able. none could say. ' I Metropolitan of Fiorina called on the know that the kaimakam and requested him to have the bodies drawn out of the The main facts of the story water and buried. man gave orders that the peasants should The troops set upon the handcuffed men. 259 who demanded why Bulgarians had been made prisoners.) On lency. no. The headless bodies.

' he said.' and told him. ' the town was I lie. There were not one of treachery . l .' ' contended. Turks never With your pronunciation and the you gave I did not recognise the sixty Bulgarians killed. have been returned inhabitants of Krushevo.260 I { THE BALKAN TRAIL consulted my note-book place. Now Hilmi Pasha informed me that bashi-bazouks had done the work. Ah. The officers. I but the act of treachery remains. some further in- formation on other notably that of Krushevo. recollect now. which were driven off by the bashi-bazouks.' to the This statement was both an important admission and an interesting announcement. and while occupied fighting the insurgents the troops ' * could not prevent the bashi-bazouks from plundering.' said Hilmi. I have . many. but they were many. not forty. I and I sent it at once to the Times. for which But a few days later I on visiting lost the was now correspondent. error in the figures affair. I have had thirty bashi-bazouks arrested. At first the Turks contended that the insurgents had burned and pillaged the Vlach town. There is no such I * Perhaps have not pronounced the name properly.' The inspector-general volunteered affairs. it But the deed was happened two days before the Sultan granted pardon to the rebels. tried to keep them off the heels of the army. Krushevo I was comname. yes. Monsieur Moore. and from one of I have just received a report my officers stating that four thousand animals.



and to gull the correspondents. we were able to collect much valuable information. He sent a communication to Mr. McGregor informing him that he had received a letter from the committajis announcing that they intended to assassinate a British consul. When the Governor-General learned via London and Constantinople —the nature of the reports the corredis- spondents were sending through. he was turbed. words the —considered and ' this * The Consul I use his a step taken by the authoria Turkish out- — ties in order to cast suspicion on the Bulgarians in likely eventuality of much more rage. 261 pelled to contradict his excellency's information as to In spite of the efforts of the authorities to suppress the news of what was happening. a British correspondent. or an American missionary. much of and sought to frighten us out the country. and through the Consular post to get our despatches safely to the Servian frontier. whatever the nationality of anyone guilty of a crime against a British subject.' . whence they were wired to London uncensored. the responsibility of the Imperial Government will be the same.— THE TRAIL OF THE INSURGENT the return of stolen cattle.' consequently reminded Hilmi Pasha that.

This was the morning after my Was interview with Hilmi Pasha.. . at which version of the Krushevo I had received the Turkish I to affair.m. fellow wearing wicked weapons. and we forded the rivers. unintelligible to His remarks were me. and in less than eight hours we were taken * My to Krushevo. and read 1 : Be ready for ten o'clock Turkish shall bring horses. defeat the Governor-General again ? dragoman and I were ready when the guide arrived.' surrendered. but he presented a card containing a few words in bad English. It was from a consul.' The Monastir Valley was almost deserted. which can be trusted I an Albanian and you shall be taken to Krushevo. Bridges were down. and discovered myself in clutches of a tremendous Albanian.262 THE BALKAN TRAIL CHAPTER XIV ON THE TRACK OF THE TURK A rude the shaking roused me from I my slumbers at the a skirted early hour of 4.30 a. a man who gave me much assistance. Occasionally parties of soldiers and bashi-bazouks were potting at .

ON THE TRACK OF. tall mountain to the Vlach town in the A party of Albanians drove pack-animals to the ruins of a Greek monastery half-way up the mountain. and began at noon to climb the sky. and the use of the camera might be restricted to-morrow. perhaps at peasants. the a dozen Turkish graves on a around them a score slain officials. wives of the We reached the ruins of the guardhouse at the high point in the road and dropped into the wrecked town there was not a moment to lose. in their sashes. some carrying short adzes and axes yataghan . THE TURK 263 something. still There were tracks of the Turks everywhere. guns. There was yet daylight. We traversed the long plain without mishap. there a battery had been posted. . A Turk saw me hand . Near Krushevo we passed Turks on the road. Our stay in Krushevo was of doubtful duration how long we could avoid the clutches of the garrison was a question. was. There was trace of black ghosts. earthworks for the . But . tins. the carcase of a stolen ass. too level bank. Here a company had camped. . killed to settle dis- pute between Moslem claimants. over my tired horse it He knew what and anxiously unstrap my kodak. across a fissure in the mountain Adam Aga's bashi-bazouks had divided booty barricades of stone where the tents had been. as the Albanian wears his others bore hand-pumps of reed. of the insurgents. lying about the to gather the petroleum walls. and told me not to use it. Our difficulties were not serious.

and instead to the He was a mild-mannered man. through the night. We got a supper. The doors were splintered where the adzes had been applied.264 this THE BALKAN TRAIL took a minute to translate. which the Turks had not the petroleum gave out . therefore. school at Monastir. A young girl spoke English she attended the mission . and of taking my instrument but a second to snap. vived. which had been saved from the Turks. me in hand himself. though they for which he held a paper note redeemable with interest Principality of by the invited isited Macedonia ! Another Vlach me till to his home. he set off and I kaimakam for instructions. Natives in long gabardines and fezzes emerged from holes and hollow walls and followed me. it was. sat with us on the balcony. from another two iron forks and a spoon. A Vlach home from Rome to marry He and his sweetheart had surhad lost everything they had. From one came a bowl. . The insurgents had made him pay fifty pounds (Turkish). was a memorable night. lost to him for an hour. also spoke English. the family with their fingers. and. The house was bare. A rough wooden table had been constructed of a barn door and blocks of wood. Ruined Vlachs slunk in It We spent the night here. only pillaged. stripped of every rug. all eating from the big bowl. The house stood high upon a rock and overlooked the area of hollow walls. plunged into the wreckage. The younger members of the family were sent scurrying to the neighbours.

' The Vlach traitor knew he was known.' I replied.' * They are the same country. and looked sheepish. but you should see America. and I got the rest of the account that night. Some three hundred insurgents under 'Peto-theVlach and four other leaders had taken the town by ' surprise. the Greek school which the insurgents had used as Government offices. told us the tale of their city. Once the Vlachs stopped abruptly and changed the subject to England. * This is the story of Krushevo : Just after midnight on the morning of August (this 2. In the soldiers. little rock-built caserne were fifteen in Turkish and the Konak and officials private their houses were ten or twelve Turkish families and of and a few soldiers. : The Vlach who spoke English interrupted The man who has just arrived is a spy.' still containing bodies. He did not remain long.' I reverted to Krushevo.ON THE TRACK OF THE TURK whispering. a rattle of rifles and a prolonged hurrahing broke the quiet of the peaceful mountain town. the woods above where the spies had been executed. and Hell Hole. Wallachians (or Vlachs) in the . 265 In the dim light of a crescent moon they pointed out the Konak where the Turks had been killed. What sort of a place was Angle* terre * ? A pretty good place. The inhabitants the town were Christians. making notes in the dark. was the day that the general rising was 1903 proclaimed).

killing eight or The soldiers and escape from the more insurgents as they fled. the insurgents broke into the shops and appropriated all the petroleum they the Konak. and a steep. the could find. THE BALKAN TRAIL and a colony of Bulgarians. In the morning the insurgents placed red flags about the town and formed a provisional Government. afire to light the Konak and make certain the death of the Turks. fifteen to twenty Turkish and officials were but shot down as they emerged from the flames the women and who is fell children were given safe escort to a Vlach house. consisting of 1 to provide for the needs of the two Bulgarians and three Wallachians. rocky slope behind the building lent an easy exit. and applied the torch. caserne. After surrounding the Government buildings to prevent the escape of the Turks. From . appointing a commission of the inhabitants. This they pumped on offices and the telegraph soldiers with the municipal fire-pump. . The kaimakam was absent on a visit to Monastir. The Turkish telegraph clerk likewise escaped but the Government officials who were in the town died to a man. The night was black. woman and a girl Whether they were shot by accident or intention on the part of a committaji not known. day and current . The flames stores I believe.266 majority. rifles were able to grab their caserne. were burned with the Turkish buildings. spread. were set and a dozen private houses and Some. with the exception of one as they came out.



Bulgarians and Wallachs of the town joined the insurgent ranks. all the inhabitants dis- carded the Three chiefs of bands were appointed. men of the town who summoned to appear before possessed wealth were the military commission. They began at once to raise fortifications. whose duties were drastic. taken into the woods. and later required any lead that could be moulded More bands arrived.' 267 Without instruction fez. them into Monastir.ON THE TRACK OF THE TURK affairs. and a number of into rifle balls. altogether augmenting the number to over six hundred. The cannon were who brought one worthless. No protests means was and no pleading affected the commission. a military commission. On the first day the insurgents made a house-tohouse visitation and requested donations of food. of and were left to the Turks. act Their first was to condemn to death two ardent Patriwho had spied for the Turks on the organisation and preparations of the local committee for insurrection in the district. and slain. and in every instance the . The men were made prisoners. A list had been made (the information given by members of the organisation On the second day the whose homes were in Krushevo) of the standing and approximate wealth of each notable in the community. and made two wooden cannon such as had archists been used in the Bulgarian revolt of the 'seventies. As these headmen appeared before the ' ' triumvirate a sum in proportion to his demanded from each.

Business. About the town. and Open-air gave the service a strange military tone. the com- . The news of the capture of Krushevo reached 3. By that time with eighteen cannon. however. was paralysed. and no cruelties were committed. who were gathering about the town. in arms. When the guns were in position on favourable heights above the town. been assembled. redeemable liberation of Macedonia.268 THE BALKAN TRAIL the time limit. were three or four thousand bashi-bazouks from Turkish villages in the neighbourhood. an attempt made to retake the three thousand soldiers. money was forthcoming within than 1. The market place was closed and provisions diminished and attempts . During the ten days of the insurgent occupation sentinels and patrols saw to the order and tranquillity of the town. Bakhtiar Pasha. Detachments of insurgents were present.000/. the emissaries to the neigh- bouring villages being stopped by Turkish soldiers and bashi-bazouks. and in exchange was given printed paper money. On the following Sunday the priests of both the Greek and the Bulgarian churches were ordered to hold a requiem for the repose of the souls of the committajis who had fallen in the capture of Krushevo. to introduce flour failed. and the people were addressed by the leaders of the bands. meetings were held on the same day. More at the was collected in this way. had also. Mon astir August but not until nine days later was place.

It is said that he shot himself with his fall last cartridge. but some took up favourable positions on the mountain roads town. Most of the insurgents then escaped through a thick wood which appeared to have been leading into the left open for them. of the troops. rather than into the hands of the Turks. But benefiting by one of the frequent general amnesties he returned to Macedonia. a native of Krushevo. . Peto declared that he would never surrender his town back to the oppressor the others could escape if they would. others occupied barricaded resisted the buildings in the outskirts. the Turks could not again enter Krushevo except over his dead body. sent 269 down a written message asking the insurgents to surrender.ON THE TRACK OF THE TURK mander refused. and Turks for Two of the leaders. He was made prisoner in 1886 and exiled to Asia Minor. he took up a position by the main road and held it for five hours. He was thirty-five years of age. and led the organisation Krushevo and the neighbouring district. and an artillery fire The insurgents was begun. insurrectionary of rejoined the movement. The natives put on their fezzes again. He had been fighting the Turks for seventeen years. died Peto-the-Vlach was a picturesque character. fighting. At a conference of the leaders immediately prior to the Turkish attack. awhile. Peto and Ivanoff. With eighteen men who elected to die with him. and a delega- tion of notables bearing a white flag went out to the .

and in a few donia. They knew that Patriarchist church was the richest in Mace- The carving on the altar was particularly and there were rich silk vestments and robes. a notorious scoundrel of Prelip. Then a barrel of oil was emptied nto it and squirted upon its walls the torch was it . and fine bronze crosses. whose rapacity had been satisfied. They went to this church first. less bashi-bazouks and made to empty clothes Further on more Turks. rushing. view of the left the representative citizens. full Arriving at headquarters of the general. Bakhtiar is said to have shared the proceeds of the loot. bashi-bazouks knew the . The Turks entered the town in droves ready for The their work. Its doors were battered down in a mad rush. town. and shooting.270 THE BALKAN TRAIL of Bakhtiar camp their Pasha to surrender the town. and told them he could do nothing with ' those bashi-bazouks ' —though beside him sat Adam Aga. situated on an eminence from which there was a proceedings. demanded the and shoes they wore. costly. who had brought up the largest detachment of bashi-bazouks. shouting. . with barely cloth to cover their loins. offered a protest along with the surrender. minutes was stripped by the frenzied creatures to the very crucifixes. and with whom. subsequently. its richest stores and the wealthiest houses they had dealt with the Vlachs on market day for years. silver candlesticks and Communion service. Bakhtiar had their clothes returned to them. their On way they v/ere stopped by the soldiers and pockets.

A few pretty girls are said to have been But the carried off to the camps of the soldiers. and. and then ignited as the Two hundred and three shops church had been.ON THE TRACK OF THE TURK applied. held at arm's length. many There were pack and draught animals and cattle to the number The Turks appropriated these. and good clothes were taken from their backs. 271 and the first flames in the sack of Krushevo burst forth. of many thousands. Infants were snatched from their mothers' breasts. was not many hours' ride from the railway terminus at Monastir. and three hundred and sixty-six private houses were pillaged and burned. of the Vlachs possessed private carriages. The Turks who were not fortunate enough to get into the church went to work on the stores. the shops rifled of their contents. The Greek church was on the market place among the shops. The people who remained in their homes were threatened with death unless they revealed where they had hidden their treasure. Turks outside the town met them and took from them any money or valuables they had. Krushevo. It sword. Some of the inhabitants escaped from their homes and fled into the woods. . Door after door was cut through with adzes. and six hundred others were simply rifled —because the petroleum gave out. with its thrifty was the wealthiest city in Macedonia. Turks were mostly bent on loot. for the purpose of making this journey. and threatened with the Wallachian population.

he argued. which suffered only pillage bore the hacks of adzes and axes. clothes. silver and pack-animals. carpets went away to the Turkish villages in the neighbourhood. rifles. They are pleased when the Sultan issues orders to suppress giaours. explained to me that the ' unfortunate conflagration was caused by the explosion of shells. Vlachs are rich and thrifty. which. Soldiers and bashi-bazouks. linen. any civilised nation would have employed in capturing the town. Christians who firing happened to be selves. and houses. furniture. Every house in Krushevo was The gates of six hundred houses ignited individually. in their way. The houses were Hilmi Pasha had ' constructed solidly of stone. of the Vlachs' pack-animals. bedding. with thick slate roofs all cut from the mountain-side. Seven thousand animals were taken by the Turks This work went on for forty-eight hours. loading waggons jewellery. night was demoniacal. plate.272 drove off THE BALKAN TRAIL the cattle in herds. and on the backs one went back. in flames. Turks indolent and poor. —and not The first Three hundred houses were in and dashing firing and out among them were slashing yelling fiends. Krushevo was built on rock in a slight depression in the top of a range of mountains. fighting among themsplashing oil breaking in doors. and loaded the spoils from the stores and homes in the carriages and carts. Money. holding hands as — Turks do — still lurked about with their adzes in their .

entered one house through which two cannon balls had passed. stains of petroleum trailed down. A few of the inhabitants signed from fright. and instruc- The sacking of came back to the Turkish commander to secure a paper signed by all the townsfolk declaring that the work had been done by the insurgents. with tions the exception of the Bulgarian church. and most doubtful mittajis. of all is would have respected any terms made with the com- The reason that the Bulgarian houses T . could hardly be true. it is doubtful that the leaders that the Turk could have got alive to close quarters with Bakhtiar Pasha. 273 On the walls. It was said by the Greeks nate the insurgents —who tried by every means to incrimi—that the leaders of the bands bought immunity for the Bulgarian inhabitants by a payment to Bakhtiar Pasha of the money they had But this widely circulated collected from the Vlachs. The ranks of the insurgents were largely filled by Wallachians .ON THE TRACK OF THE TURK belts. A strange fact which puzzled many was that. but most of the Vlachs were not intimidated. the insurgents had lost two hundred men in resisting the Turks . That such a negotiation could have been conducted at such a moment is hardly probable. in Krushevo made a deep impression Monastir. statement. most of which I still stood. But there was not a mark of flame as a result. which went out from Athens. The Governor-General concocted a story to tell foreign consuls and correspondents. no section of the Bulgarian quarter was plundered. where the news soon arrived.

sheep raisers. taking along a wooden cannon as evidence of their guilt. Turkish dogs. With some exceptions the bodies were gathered by the soldiers and thrown into shallow trenches in the streets. consular intervention. many and of the houses. thigh skulls. chained them two by two. The surviving prisoners were at once released. made of 116 innocent Vlachs. labourers. pangs the covered . and three weeks after the recapture I saw in a dry canal. was well known to the Turks that the Bulgarians. picked clean. were miserably poor who travelled as far as Salonica. through prisoners together. having captured no insurgents. It .' and some. were mostly merapplied. gorging upon them. On the road they brained five men. who are small farmers. driven out by chills and of hunger. but that was not generally permitted. chants and comparatively well to do. and while the Wallachs. The people sought to bury their dead. The soldiers. I was told. which ran After remaining in the through the town under bones and backbones. But this was done with no thoroughness. and marched them to Monastir. ribs. They found bodies of their relatives and friends lying about the streets. woods for two days the terror-stricken people who had escaped from the town began to return. had been shot on emerging.274 THE BALKAN TRAIL is were not entered either that the Turks dreaded dynamite or that the poorer Bulgarian quarter was not worth plundering perhaps both these reasons . Many of the inhabitants had hidden in this partly * hell hole. I think.



women. will die. and those who will live. Those who will die. will live. men. children. were mounted ready to leave Krushevo when a native woman came out of the crowd bringing a small boy. the wounds tales. as the stench told too well.ON THE TRACK OF THE TURK The drug store of the 275 town had been sacked and burned. and Hilmi replied. to enter of many mortifying. to see the wounded women. T 2 She wants you to take the boy back to Monastir/ . their injuries barely tended. Turkish cheers at evening prayer for Abdul Hamid. .' I attempted to enter some of the Bulgarian homes The at Krushevo. The Roman Catholic sisters at Monastir applied to Hilmi Pasha for permission to go to the relief of Krushevo and take But they had told foreign consuls and medicines. A young and less efficient medical man was left alone to care for 150 wounded. and infants lying on the floors. and children died from wounds not Each evening at sundown the awful stillness of Krushevo was shocked by three long-drawn. and the doctor who owned it had been killed. correspondents what they had seen at Armensko. She went up to the interpreter and spoke We to him 1 in a whisper. triumThey were phant shouts from a thousand throats. in Mohamedan fashion. the Padisha. but they were still tightly barred. And vital. inmates pleaded with me to pass on lest the Turks should come after me and punish them for telling ' But the Vlachs were bolder they besought me and see the havoc the Turks had wrought.

me loosened. behind my saddle and did not He sat quietly bother me much. He had no luggage but a loaf of heavy bread. so I took the boy. That is all right. The horses picked their way slowly over the rough cobble As we wound into a side street the grip about and I turned to see the youngster slip down from the horse. He waved his hand to me and ran like a hare down a narrow lane. and towards sundown we reached Monastir safely. . He was about eight years old.' ' We can't do that. as we went stones. I was apprehensive about the journey back. * on our way to the mission.276 said THE BALKAN TRAIL my man. and she wants to get her boy to a safer place. But the woman wept.' said the dragoman.' I replied. * She says no native is allowed to leave Krushevo. and he wore kissed but a single garment. and she my hand. We never saw the boy again. a gabardine.

Damien Grueff remaining in active command of some The other sixty bands of a thousand men in all. when the snows began supreme chief. and and many of the to fall high chiefs of the Internal Revolutionary Committee. the Balkans. and for ten miles in every direction outposts watched the roads. met on Bigla Dagh. insurgents were parolled until summoned The committajis had hoped that the general * rising'— or. The revolution had not accomplished its purpose all it had brought about was a beggarly extension of the Austro-Russian But there was no use continuing to fight. again. the insurgents called Damien Grueff. tajis About six hundred commit- were gathered with the voivodas. — — in safe hiding-places for another year. The fighting season was over. the upon a conference. reforms. rather.277 CHAPTER XV THE LAST TRAIL Late in September. The organisation was reduced to a winter status. A triple line of sentinels cordoned the mountain. The peasants were beginning to return to their villages or the sites of them and what arms they still possessed had better be taken from them and stored . the suppression which they fore- .

with support from the Governments of Italy and France. together with their Foreign Ministers. . The British Foreign Minister. The programme was altered. as a compromise with Lord Lansdowne. while at Murzsteg. urged upon the Turkish Government the necessity of a rapid and thorough repression of the rising. It was announced during the revolution that the Russian Czar and the Austrian Emperor would meet. agreed to extend their scheme of reforms. however. their faith in the this they They put most and of in sympathy of Great Britain. The Austro-Russian alliance objected to this. Petersburg that the interview of the Emperors would in no way alter their Macedonian programme. on the contrary.. that Macedonia be placed under the control of a governor-general independent of the Sultan and responsible to the Powers alone. and warned Bulgaria early and often against entering into the conflict. Austria and Russia. made no mistake —though Great Britain has tried for a long time to sympathise with the Turks. proposed to the Austrian and Russian until much hope Foreign Ministers. At the wanton suppression of the feeble rising it was the British Government that advocated the delivery of the province from Turkish control. 278 THE BALKAN TRAIL for it saw —would cause the Powers of Europe to make Macedonia autonomous. and especially Russia. but. at Murzsteg and to this conference it the Bulgarians attached was declared from Vienna and St. in spite of previous declarations to the contrary.

for the appointment of foreign . to assist . one Austrian and one Russian. Germany. where change in the civil officials. April 1906. . the British officers operate. this in consideration of the Sultan. and minor massacres take place from time to time the insurgents maintain their organisation. skeleton bands continue to roam tortion. officers and for taxation. financial. provided Hilmi Pasha for the 279 is The Murzsteg programme. and each of them. as well as France. Pasha remains absolute governor of the Rumelian provinces. Except in the district of is little more effective Drama. declined to detail a civil The Russian ment.' THE LAST TRAIL known. continue their work of plunder and ex- murders are numerous. agents (the first was withdrawn) of govern- have both been men with Russian ideas The Austrians sufficient (the first of whom died) have Hilmi been without support from Vienna. who opposed staff. but Italy and Great Britain insisted on participating in this work. as the new scheme ' appointment of two civil agents. During 1905 Lord Lansdowne again pressed for The Italian and French effective measures of reform. . sent a contingent of five officers and a chief to Turkey. the country. and other reforms. and occasionally fights occur. left Soldiers and unpaid. and the second Austro-Russian programme remains at this writing. there condition of Macedonia. The two most interested Powers would have employed only Austrian and to reform the Turkish gendarmerie Russian officers to reorganise the Turkish gendarmerie. reform desperately. little than the first.

garia. which . who conducted them on to the next. They dropped almost due south. The band were destined ultimately to return to Bul120 miles away but they were doomed to . dropped south from Bigla Dagh around Fiorina to convey news of the revolution's end to certain other bands. and to gather arms from the peasants.2 8o THE BALKAN TRAIL ' ' Governments again gave him some support. Germany advised ships. They travelled found the local organisations. Boris Sarafoff with ninety . Towards the end of the year Austria and Russia invited the other Powers to participate in an international naval demonstration to wrest from the Sultan financial autonomy for Macedonia. separated. disarmed the ' irregulars.' and secreted the rifles and munitions. bound in different directions on various missions. They now avoided encounters with the Turks. the voivodas. with their bands. spending thirty-four days. on the march back to the free land. passing along the crest of the mountain range to the east of Lake Presba. At the limit of each revolutionary district the band were met by a guide. The British Foreign Office at once agreed to participate. and proposed that the demonstration should exact also effective reforms in the judicial administration of Macedonia. cover several times this distance. the Sultan to accede. but would send no After the conference on Bigla Dagh. by night and rested by day. but the two most interested Powers again opposed whole-hearted measures. men.



then up across the Monastir-Salonica railway. of ' Halt was sent out to meet the newcomers. seeing the folly . should be after the appointed Lest the party who were approaching Turks. and the happened to band waited in vain. The band were much attached to Detcheff. The voices became foff's distinct. Here was the first failure of the organisation. What the peasant was never known. 281 driving but with several other bands. At every mile-post along the railway was a military camp or a blockhouse. and hotheads among the men were for following the Turks. A call was heard. ' ' . utilising the cuts the water has made in centuries of flow through the mountains. and the insurgents were relieved to hear the Bulgarian tongue. The number of the enemy was evidently small. lieutenants. and north by a zigzag trail past Prelip to the Vardar above Kuprili. At the side of the Vardar runs the railway from Servia to Salonica. also an ex-Bulgarian officer. and in quick succession the ! ' crack of several rifles. but shortly hour several voices were heard. and they took themselves off hurriedly in the direction they had come. Detcheff did not return. One of Sara- named Detcheff. The local guide did not appear at the appointed meeting-place.THE LAST TRAIL Bakhtiar Pasha's forces were then Sarafoff. the insurgents took the precaution to remain silent. but Sarafoff. slipped through in safety and proceeded down around Fiorina.

travelling fast to escape possible trackers. walled waterway which carried flood- . below. speaking only in whispers throughout the next day. with the aid of Austrian military maps. both ends down the preci- Two by two. The rope had The insurgents arrived laid themselves at the river before morning. was difficult marching in the dark without a Suddenly the man who knew band came rope the ground. to the edge of a which they carried tree. for every half-hour a patrol of Asiatic or Albanian would pass at a languid pace and an enticing range along the railway below. and the insurgents dared not light a match to look at a map. They down on an It elevation covered with a thick growth of shrub. soldiers was a tantalising day. of tents and brush huts. and the other went and fell. Almost immediately below the band was a narrow. Then to be one end of the rope was pulled. and. the to a watercourse men dropped down up around the saved. The hiding-place of the band overlooked the river and the railway for — — about a mile in each direction. one on each line of the rope. To the south.282 THE BALKAN TRAIL of this. A stout was unrolled and slung trailing around a pice. yawning chasm. was a camp of half a dozen tents guarding a bridge to the north. led and danger It them off at once towards the river. tree. was another. Sarafoff planned his crossing and the route to be taken thereafter. but did not dare to cross without a survey. about half a mile away. . about a quarter of a mile.

and one by one the men climbed down through the culvert and launched out into the night train passed south about nine o'clock. more fastidious than the others. off their clothes to make the and attempted to hold them. 283 water from the mountain. * Very like Kipling's ! warriors who took Lungtungpen naked The other men suppressed their laughter at the discomfited group only because of the dangerous proximity of the to the north. This quartet arrived at the . This done. down under the tracks into The waterway was now dry. was immediately renewed. stream. lost their clothes. the insurgents drew up trek ' at a . two strong swimmers descended to the river with the rope and fastened it securely from one shore to the other. finding that they needed both hands to the rope. dressed in cartridge belts their but they had saved guns and dynamite bombs. Arriving on the opposite bank. they scurried into the woods. The Vardar is not very deep.THE LAST TRAIL the river. Four of the men. The the ' last man at the other side. And there was about two hours left before the moon rose. over their heads. The Then the Turks relaxed their vigilance. took passage. and all four. with their guns. Before day dawned. point of reassembling these. camp and made up between them costumes to cross the stream loosened the rope for the shivering four. As soon as the puff of the engine had died away in the distance. and two others pulled him over and . but its current is terrific. they returned and informed the chief.

and it broke the monotony of the days in watch the patrols pass on the highways with the bands to fight or not to in eluding the troops little It is generally fight . they elected to rest for thirty- day was uneventful. The insurgents took two sheep and roasted them whole for their evening . . but sometimes they are surprised by the Turks. and cavalry patrols . where. One morning. by rest within soldiers. the Mohamedans offered up the cheers for three evening their Padisha. discovering the nature of his guests. who. were sent out to intercept him. roused his sheep and drove them out roofs and the insurgents crept in under the low brush on to the warm straw. worn out with a week's hard marching. a first The .284 THE BALKAN TRAIL The barking of the sheepfold on a mountain-side. difficult to But it was not elude these. the band lay down to two hundred yards of a vast camp of At sunset. dogs woke the old shepherd. but as the second began to dawn on the heights one of the pickets. accident. Sarafoff until and his band succeeded they arrived in the neighbourhood of a Bouff.' uttered three curses upon Sultanic It had come to be known to the Turks that Sarafoff was making his way to the Bulgarian border a reward was offered for his head. being town named six hours. for the cavalry could not leave the roads hiding to below. 'his and the insurgents Majesty. meal.

THE LAST TRAIL boy of fourteen. to low in the bushes he and his party attained the eminence. perhaps three hundred strong. Another body of Turks. and announced that soldiers were climbing the slope on his side. and the trap was tight. which would offer some protecSarafoff picked eight men from his band tion. and it required but a moment for him to decide upon his plan of battle. were already coming over one of the two mountain crests. rushed into 285 the news that camp with little the Turks were entering the insurgents were camped. And with from various other points soon came similar information. — — and until started for this boulder. in charge of a lieutenant. sentries to hear his The insurgents were about their chief in an instant command. valley in which the The boy had hardly delivered this news when a picket from the summit of the ridge to the east rushed in breathless. 1 The other slope the only way of escape open to the band was so steep as to be impossible of ascent except by aid of the low bush that covered it. The band were occupying the base of a narrow dip. the nine men got to the rock with the loss of but one . leaving lie the others.' one end of which was closed by an insurmountable wall of sheer stone. The surprise was complete. There was a huge rock. By climbing fast and taking the shelter of the shrubs. and the other now blocked by probably two hundred Turkish soldiers. lodged halfway up the open mountain-side. Sarafoff had studied the lie of the land overnight.

leaving him now but though all of the other insurgents had not yet four reached the point of the peak he vacated the boulder. First. his men would have and the sacri- been picked fice they filled it. and took up the band had been the fusillade which these had already begun. of Sarafoffs position on the and a few got far above him to his left. and. they scattered. band heard the fire and started to pick their way up around the rock to the summit of the peak. south. Only one spot. dropped beside the main body. for two reasons. and around to the right boulder. without waiting to take breath. — — scurried up the ascent. now descending of the the opposite slope. The four men scattered. to the was smooth and bare. The heights were a mass of broken boulders which afforded protection to their enemies as well as to the insurgents. 286 of their fire of THE BALKAN TRAIL number. All five succeeded in gaining the little fort at the top. as the Not until then did they return the the Turks. and this space the Turkish commander took off as fast as the precaution not to occupy. While waiting surrounded. as the others had done. for Sarafoff. When the Turks succeeded in picking off three more of Sarafoffs men.. evidently did not appear to him to be necessary . It took them two hours to make the ascent. and during this time some of the Turks wound As soon of their main body comrades. Between these two raking fires the place would have been untenable had not the insurgents above kept these parties of Turks replenishing their numbers every minute.

The insurgent fire slackened under this hail. the opening acted as a bait for the hard- them into the passage. They had taken up secure places behind rocks. of which soldiers were massed in strong Sarafoff surmised that this was a trap. the flying splinters of shell and stone meant certain death to anyone who dared to put his head above the rocks. The reinforcements came — for the sake of speed. chose to fight it out where the lives of the band would cost the Turks dearest. and was deployed as a patrol to prevent any other band which might be in the neighbourhood from coming to the but it relief of Sarafoff. and the Turkish commander. for which they had sent to a near-by town. while realising the hopelessness of his position. to storm the position. The target was rather small and decidedly indefinite. The artillery could not be brought into close quarters for the same reason. made no attempt desultory firing. but finally when the artillerymen succeeded in getting the range. and for nearly an hour the shells went over or fell short Shortly before noon the cannon opened of the insurgent position. The cavalry could not get into action because of the roughness of the ground. and. in the shape of cavalry and artillery. ordered . evidently supposing that the band had been materially reduced in number. fire. Until ten o'clock the Turks. was posted on an eminence quite within range.THE LAST TRAIL pressed insurgents. tempting 287 secondly. certain of success. on each side force. and keeping up a they awaited the arrival of reinforcements.

At a lull in the din there were * ' repeated shouts from the Turks in Bulgarian (which many of them speak). When but on they came ! the foremost of little them got to within twenty yards of the insurgents began to throw their bombs. expecting a hand-to-hand encounter at the last. ! ' Lay down your arms and is surrender. If hold out until nightfall. and these infernal machines checked their advance for a time. fell The riflemen did their . Turks the on every side fort. dodging from rock to rock. and cautioned the others to make every rifle shot strike its He himself. men ' to fall alive into the hands of the Turks respect promises to his accepting the It * his knowledge of how they precluded any idea of the band could infidels tempting offer. The Turks have a terror of the dynamite bomb. drew his sword. and closing in on all sides —except in the space purposely left open. was now of after one o'clock. an assault from The cannon fire was dis- continued for fear of working slaughter among the charging soldiers. there was a slight chance for some lines them to cut their . Sarafoff ordered half of his men to lay down mark. work well. and will surely pardon of you ! But the leader had no thought allowing himself and his . Sarafoff the Padisha ' good.288 THE BALKAN TRAIL all sides. and the Turks came forward to the attack. and strapped to his hand. way through the Turkish with bombs sacrifice make any but the Turks would certainly to storm the position before dark . their guns and prepare their dynamite. laid aside his it gun.

men who blow out their own brains half-dozen and then. and accordingly. Sarafoff gave to the men who had stayed with him the order to fix bayonets and follow those who had gone before. less than fifty men of the original ninety gathered together in the dense forest on the far side of the mountain appointed as the place of meeting. but while they waited. and kept a zone about their hot with exploding this shells. for its hold on another peak. Their throats were parched. men. the insurgents began again to cast their dynamite. and float over to they abated when a dense. lighting the last bombs with long to hold off the Turks yet a few minutes. When night fell. fuses. and down some of the drawn and haggard faces streaks of blood were trickling. in order that they might . They were blackened from smoke. Perhaps the Turks longed their fire for one of these to break from this. and. and thick. 289 —the great Sarafoff was cordoned and would not have The day was inclement. The Turks waited until cannonade all should conclude. the open space left by the Turks with such A pistol was loaded for each of the wounded could not escape. At the moment that the blackness was little fortress complete. the insurgents dispersed except Sarafoff and fifteen of his dashed for precision. each acting for himself. black clouds hung over many of the mountains. all-enveloping wreath followed this course.THE LAST TRAIL another opportunity to escape. Sarafoff judged that they would storm laid his plans his shelter in the protecting mist. u .

There was much coarse. course now was to the north-east. single line. and in the garb of ordinary peasants. the Turkish soldiers passed through Bouff and murdered a few old men and defenceless women whom still they found there (the other inhabitants being They fired many of the houses and pillaged the town. stripped of their insurgent paraphernalia. On returning to garrison. and had to be gagged. and there was very little of anything valuable left. woods in a long. and made their way to the edge of the next revolutionary district. and of these commodities the two insurgents collected as much as they could carry and returned to their in the mountains). and they made filed day after the The insurgents fight the band tracks for their destination as straight as the Turkish . where the chief thereof was awaiting them. and some Indian corn. went down into Bouff for food. and proceeded on their way. and a few of them were off their heads with fatigue and excitement. the local guide leading.2Q0 THE BALKAN TRAIL and they were famished with hunger. They all lay as quiet as mice throughout the night. They replenished their spent supply of ammunition from the secret stores of the villagers Their in the mountains. When they got to the village. uncooked flour scattered about. At nightfall of the out of the resumed their march. and the next day two of the most innocentlooking members of the band. they found it had been visited with the vengeance of the Turks. comrades.

not expecting such audacity. a way Turkish sentinels have. guns loaded filed over the arrived in and cocked. was glad to get this order. me The leggings. bayonets fixed. streets of Sofia were crowded with com- mittajis. whence to Sofia their march was a triumphant procession. but the instrument passed over the Turkish border. and Kustendil. arriving without further adventure at the friendly frontier. in brown uniforms. received orders late one evening to proceed at I once to Sofia and prepare to accompany the Bulgarian army. He selected a passing place within earshot of a blockhouse. which was mobilising on the Turkish I frontier. A sentinel sat in Turkish fashion before the door. They were mostly members of General Tzoncheffs committee who had fought along . where. and obeyed instructions. fur caps. To the time of the Turk's music the insurgent band border. white woollen and sandals. The British Consul then secured a passavant for me. though I knew there would be no war. the patrols would be less active. he judged. so the leader decided to cross the border close to one of the smaller posts. The Turkish guard would certainly be on the watch for the band.THE LAST TRAIL camps and patrols 291 would permit. wailing a doleful dirge through his nose. In a civilised country my identity would have been challenged. which could be seen plainly in the moonlight. by which I was described as a man of a round figure and black moustaches.

Pride had flown. Later. bands from Grueffs organisation began to arrive. It was at a cafe that I got the story of Sarafoff's Trail. These soldiers of fortune had become indifferent to everything but revolution.292 THE BALKAN TRAIL the Struma. and. . They did not care how Not they looked or what they did. and a worse gang of beggars they. They were generally to be found at the cheaper cafes. There were several leaders who had been prominent in the revolution. with I sought the count my old interpreter. again. spent many hours among the insurgents. Work ! They are hunters of men. sitting over the rough tables recounting their adventures. I never saw.



but no alterations in the text. which was legal. 'The beginning of the revolutionary movement goes following information regarding the Macedonian mittees back to the years 1893-94. same object. the legal one worked up the known principles for an autonomy. ' By the very nature of things the legal organisation in Bulgaria became the representative of the Macedonian cause before Europe. Though the two organisations . which were proclaimed by a memorandum to the Powers and to the Press in 1896. which was revo- lutionary .—F. but its real. open organisation. M. 'The revolutionary work was carried on by the two organisations in harmony until the year 1901. two organisations one At in this time there were already — Macedonia. There are some eliminations. each organi- sation acting in its sphere for the separated in their way of action. In accordance with the revoluwell- tionary organisation. substantial work began from 1895. the other in Bulgaria.293 APPENDIX THE MACEDONIAN COMMITTEES The Comwas contained in a letter from General Tzoncheff to me.

under full the pressure of the European diplomacy. of a character of Several intrigues split as were invented with the object to represent the fundamental principal differences. who was chosen by us. The in murder of a of the Rumanian professor. and refused to quit the committee. Russian. Sarafoff and the other members of the committee. Bucharest. The public opinion in the prinBalkan States. Damian Groueffs. as needs and the circumstances dictated. and in Europe was excited. in fact. and thus to save the situation. 'In 1901 the harmony was destroyed. The Bulgarian Government. But Sarafoff cipality. in the could not at that time realise how grave the situation was. Thus Deltcheff from 1899 to 1901 worked conjointly and signed the resolutions of the High Macedonian Committee under the presidency of Boris Sarafoff. one and the same. We asked Sarafoff and the other members of the committee to retire. and other deeds brought Bulgaria to the verge war with Rumania. especially of the gave its support to the disunion in the different revolutionary currents organisation. New elements. last insurrection was again have three revolutionary currents ours.— THE BALKAN TRAIL The members the of the 294 were. one passed into the other. gave a revolutionary impulse to the legal organisation in Bulgaria by acts which were very compromising. including Deltcheff. supported Sarafoff. and the so-called anarchical cur- Now we . chiefly the extremists or the anarchical current. ' The union between the brought about during the broken up. Michailyano. encouraged by the extreme popularity of the cause. All the Macedonian leaders have belonged and participated to the two organisations.

which a free field will open to inhabitants for progress. its members act nearly Some of them—for Sandansky and Tchernopeeff— deeds in Macedonia during the last two years have made population which have brought great calamities on the civilised world. if they . that the Christian a good government. laid even are tions for the understanding strong a have to then hope efforts succeed fully. their Lacking often and members go to extremes. and. rent at the head of which stand B. and in an unfavourable for such is that time and freedom the second place our interest dictates fulfil their promise for should be given to the Powers to fail. but a disciplined all at not This last current is anarchical. and make discipline life impossible for the inhabitants. is not and will not be an tion in Europe political situaIn the first place the present action . Groueff we have Damian of current and others. civilisation. organisation. which the Macedonians. we put to able be will which organisation revolutionary down the elements in the pernicious and demoralising power to its all Macedonian movement and use all attain the object and the desire of the (of) Macedoniansits establishment in the country a civilised government and administration. With the much with the not any fundamental differences. 'The immediate object surrection. Sandansky.APPENDIX 295 Sarafoff. are very injurious to the cause of made for an 'During the last months efforts were The foundaunderstanding between us and Groueff. well-defined objects. the of sympathies the and have alienated in the country Their aim is to throw terror and anarchy instance. and economical in- prosperity. independently. If these down.

And then to tighten the organisation and to give a strong impulse to the movement. but to the ineffective measures of the diplomacy. NEW-STREET SQUARE I ONDON . so as to be ready for another struggle.' Sl'OTTISWOODE AND TRINTED BY CO. LTD.. when the political situation permits and if the reforms fail.296 THE BALKAN TRAIL is world should see that this failure not due to the Mace- donians.



MAR f n 1994 .

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