The Balkans from within,
Reginald Wyon

The insurgent provinces


Monastir. I   -   Monastir. II   -   In Uesküb to-day   -   The trip to Salonica

Monastir. I

VIEWED from a little distance, Monastir presents a smiling picture of green trees, above which tower a few minarets. Scarcely a house can be distinguished, except an occasional glimpse of a red-tiled roof and little blue spirals of smoke ascending into the clear mountain atmosphere. Great hills rise gently from this bed of green, with groups of tents dotted on the slopes, and across the still air comes the sound of bugles. Far away lurid flames leap up, burning fiercely and vividly against the sombre background, betraying the beloved handiwork of the Turkish soldier. Even the faint and distant boom of cannon can be heard, and to-morrow we shall be told of the extermination of another band already killed thrice over. Along the broad and dusty avenue a great concourse of people is streaming towards the little station on the very outskirts of the town, and thither we gallop our horses, for the distant scream of a locomotive can be already heard heralding the approach of the Salonica train, with its daily load of misery and vice. Turkish officers in every variety and extreme of military uniforms and smartness, ragged soldiers, stately kavasses keeping an ever watchful eye upon their masters, one or two Europeans, and a motley array of porters throng the platform as very slowly the long train rolls in. A dozen closely


barred vans follow the engine and pass us, till the three or four carriages draw up opposite the station-house, crowded with gendarmes, soldiers, redifs, all fully armed, who noisily descend, jostling the second-class passengers, consisting of officers and officials. Towards the first van marches a squad of zaptiehs, and it is unlocked, disclosing a mass of wild, unkempt faces, blinking piteously in the sudden light. A few sharp commands, a push or a thrust with a rifle-butt, and its contents are disgorged - slowly, because the men therein are chained to each other, or have their arms tightly bound behind their backs, and they are very weak from days of starvation. Some claw at rude bundles, all their worldly belongings, but most are barely clad in rags. They are Bulgarian peasants whose villages have been burnt, their wives and children murdered or driven into the mountains to starve, whither they had followed till hunger has driven them once more into the valleys and into the hands of the soldiers. There were more when they first gave themselves up, but those were weak, and could not keep up on that long march to the nearest railway-station, in spite of the bayonet prods and beatings with the rifle-butts.

An officer explains to us that these are insurgents captured in a recent fight, but we know better. Poor wretches, they never possessed a rifle, else they would not be here and in this plight. Few armed insurgents are ever captured alive. In a long straggling line they totter out on to the road, mere caricatures of mankind, a bundle of bones strung together by a covering of skin, towards the inferno called the prison. How many will ever emerge alive before they are called, weeks or months hence, to the mockery of trial? Probably most of them, for they are hard to kill.

But there are other vans not yet opened: a moan breaks


(Where the Russian Consul Roskowski was shot.)

from them occasionally, more distinct now that the babel of voices has streamed out towards the town. Our continued presence is obviously unwelcome, and we diplomatically withdraw to a point of vantage well hidden in the trees. Here we see the vans unloaded, and the inmates carried to a neighbouring shed till nightfall, when the ambulances will come and carry them to the overcrowded military hospital. They are mostly wounded soldiers, with here and there a mutilated Bulgarian, saved from a lingering but more merciful death on the hills for some reason, perhaps to give information against his comrades or as a trophy. Thoughtfully we mount our horses and ride slowly down the avenue, past the exercising-ground facing the huge barracks. Bugles are blowing incessantly, for the Turkish soldier loves noise, and shouts cleave the air as they proclaim their allegiance to the Padisha at the close of each day.

Half-way a small guard-house breaks the line of trees and the sentry in a slovenly manner "presents arms," for his instructions are to salute all consuls, as we ride by with slightly accelerated pace. There are so few Europeans here beside the consuls that we are invariably saluted as such. It was only a few short weeks ago that the Russian consul drove past this spot and met his awful fate. From this very guard-house came the fatal shot, and it was under this tree that he fell, and the zaptieh smashed in his skull as he lay. On those two trees, next to the guard-house, the murderer and his comrade (whose only crime was that he did not prevent the other shooting) were hanged a few days later, calling to the soldiers to save them, saying, "Ye made us do the deed: save us if ye be men." On the low branches, scarcely high enough to swing them clear, they were strangled, and Holy Russia was avenged. A few hundred


yards farther we pass the military bakehouse and its guard. It is the first house of the town, and the place where more shots were fired at the dead consul's carriage as it drove furiously by.

The main street is crowded as we enter it. Citizens, soldiers, zaptiehs, one and all Turks, enjoying the brief spell of twilight ere darkness sends them hurrying to their homes. Not one European headgear is to be seen, either in the streets or in the open-air cafes. We are alone amongst this mob of fanatics. Patrols of armed soldiers slouch past incessantly; at every street-corner stand sentries, who unwillingly come to "the attention" as we approach. A feeling of uncanniness, of some hidden danger, possesses us - a feeling that we can never quite shake off in Monastir, for there is talk of Christian massacres in the air, of murder, though we jest about it at the consulates over coffee and cigarettes. Yet we have suffered no inconvenience, and, thanks to a little care, we have avoided jostling one of the uniformed Bashibazouks, and have so far escaped insult.

A great clatter comes down the ill-paved street, and a carriage surrounded by mounted gendarmes rattles past. Inside sits a grave-faced bearded man, clad most correctly in frock coat, but with fez. It is the Inspector-General of Reforms, Hilmi Pacha. He salaams gracefully out of the window, but he does not smile as affably as usual. Only this day he has informed our consul that there is a plot afoot to murder either him or us, and he is much grieved because we have responded, declaring our unbelief that it is a Bulgarian plot. Also, he is pained at our accusations of Christian massacres, and that, in spite of his courteous and plausible explanations, we still believe the Turkish soldiers capable of such atrocities, and supply comfortable British


breakfast-tables with the accounts thereof. Men who daily sit with us in secret places, pass with scarcely a glance of recognition. We likewise ignore them, for everywhere there are spies, and we know that a careless "good evening" would be enough to send them to prison and to banishment.

Yet all is orderly and quiet. A stranger might well imagine himself in a most well-conducted Turkish city, for he does not know the sights hidden by the prison, the hospital walls, or in the Bulgarian quarter.

"You see how exaggerated are all the reports of disturbances and cruelties in Monastir," remarked Nazir Pacha suavely, a day or two before, when we admitted the orderliness on the streets. " Now, confess that you expected to see very different things with us."

"In spite of all that we had heard, your Excellency, we did not expect to see what we have seen," we responded truthfully. " There is a very false impression in Europe as to the doings here, and we are doing our best to correct it." His Excellency beamed with pleasure, and handed us another cigarette.

Monastir. II

Painfully and slowly the old woman replaces the evil-smelling bandages upon her grey head. She had just insisted on showing us a terrible scalp wound wantonly given her at the burning of Smilevo by a Turkish soldier, where the only crime of the villagers had been their vicinity to the hills infested by "brigands." Another old woman had begun to sob violently - one of us reminds her of a son whom she saw hacked to pieces; but the younger women do not weep or moan. Only one, half girl, half woman,


sobbed softly as she told of the soldiers who tore the child from her arms and tossed it into the flames of her burning home.

We are in a suburb of Monastir, a collection of houses scattered unevenly up the side of a steep hill bordering on a Turkish cemetery. It is densely packed with human beings, who may not leave the tiny walled-in courtyards before the houses, as many as ten families in one small room. The smell of overcrowding cries powerfully to the heavens, pervading the sweet fresh mountain air even at a distance.

A very few men are amongst this crowd in a somewhat larger court than the rest, which we have chosen at random and entered. We had heard that the victims of Smilevo had come, and that a few of them, thanks to the good offices of the Austrian consul, had been allowed to remain. The rest, many hundred families, are living in the open, scattered in groups upon the plain, without covering and without warm clothing, depending on the charity of the equally poor villagers for bread. God send them help before the winter comes! But after all, what is their lot compared to those in the mountains, where the nights are biting cold and not a village is left standing in the valleys? What are those poor wretches doing in the Ochrida and Dibra districts, where sixty villages are burnt, and, as a consul curtly put it, "8,000 families, reckoned at the average of five persons to the family, are now homeless and entirely destitute in the mountains?"

Smilevo [1] is but one instance of ninety. Soldiers had come fresh from a defeat in the hills, and had suddenly surrounded the flourishing village, setting fire to the outer ring

1. The village of Smilevo was destroyed by Turkish soldiers and Bashibazouks on August 28, and over 200 people massacred.


of houses. Then, as the frightened inmates rushed into the streets, the shooting began; and whilst the soldiers killed and tormented, the Bashibazouks ransacked each house, igniting it when this work was done. Ah, how merrily they ran to and fro, screaming wildly as the circle of flames grew smaller! What sport to the harassed soldiers to kill slowly and with impunity! Verily 'tis better fun than being dynamited in the hills. They take the sword-bayonets now, for fear of shooting each other, and laugh as the pile of dead grows higher. Into the flames with the infants! it is good to hear the mothers shriek, and to cut them down as they run blindly at the butchers, armed only with their teeth and nails. Now it is enough - every house is in flames, and not a thing of value left to the survivors except what they stand up in, huddled together in a paralyzed group outside. Some have run for the hills, a few of the men have escaped the shower of bullets, but most are dotting the wasted crops.

The soldiers, tired even of this work, leave them, and there they stand, robbed in a few short hours of father, mother, husband, wife, or children, their home, and everything that was theirs. And these are but a handful of survivors that crowd around us talking freely now that they are satisfied we are not Turkish spies, showing us pieces of charred bags, skirts, and other articles of clothing cut and slashed to tatters by the bayonets of the soldiers. Their lot, miserable as it is, is heaven compared with thousands of others. Here they are fed by the charity of their neighbours, their wounds tended by the good Sisters of Mercy, and they do not live in hourly fear of another massacre, though each Christian in Monastir knows that even this eventuality is possible - nay, contemplated. It is very different from the


hell on the mountains and on the plains, where the wounds are festering and the only food is often grass and water.

Groups of pretty little orphans are shown us before we depart, taking our way through the Bulgarian quarter proper. The same sights, the same stories, the same misery is hidden behind every wall - not only from Smilevo, but from a dozen other villages too. We have listened to them also, and heard the wearying repetition of fiendish acts of cruelty, too awful ever to tell in the columns of a refined press, and of acts of the basest treachery. It is no wonder that the majority of the refugees prefer to die in the mountains rather than trust to the promises of amnesty in Hilmi Pacha's latest proclamation. It may have been issued in all good faith, but the soldiers have no wish to escort these feeble remnants to the nearest towns, so the men prefer to see their wives and daughters die of more merciful starvation than in the hands of the most brutal soldiery in the world. Some of the more credulous men have already given themselves up, and been shot down in batches. Those still left in the mountains will join the bands after they have buried their families, and wait for the happy chance when a Turkish soldier falls into their hands, so that they can face their enemies with a Mauser and belt of cartridges.

Ah! it is a sad, sad story, this, of the extermination of the Christians in vilayet Monastir, under the unbelieving and unfeeling eyes of Europe, which once rose in righteous wrath at tales not more horrible. It was one massacre in Bulgaria that set Europe in a blaze a quarter of a century ago. Now a dozen equally terrible only leaves us desiring the introduction of "the Reforms!" Nay more, our philanthropists are seeking to prove the Bulgarians guilty of equal atrocities, which are mostly absolutely false. Have


you, good readers, ever tried to imagine yourselves for one moment in these poor wretches' position? Did you ever think of your sweet wives and tender daughters in the hands of - no! it isn't even to be mentioned, is it? Yet I have seen these poor, rough, half-civilized men weep like little children when they have remembered.

But grant me pardon for this digression. We are in Monastir, and have just given a few piastres to a venerable priest clad in a tattered robe, and he is calling down the blessings of God on Europe, whom he sees represented in us. He hastily leaves us, darting up a side alley as swiftly as his feeble limbs will carry him, for a patrol of soldiers is coming down the narrow street. The police-officer scowls at us, and will report that those accursed Giaours have been once more amongst those lying curs of refugees, and the smiling chief of police will gnash his teeth in impotent rage that he cannot drive us from his district and escape the ire of the Sublime Porte. Poor man! he has done his utmost. He has sought to terrify us with hidden threats of murder, in vain has he examined our passport for one flaw in the vise, and the cordon of guards around the town has been trebly warned never to let us pass. But he cannot make us go, neither can he blind us nor rob us of our hearing.

There in the great white house, the Greek hospital, are perhaps the worse sights of all, except in the prison. It is full of victims, Greeks and Servians and Wallachians, but, charitable as it is, it draws the line at Bulgarians. There many tortured remnants from Armensko, from Biloshi, and from Smerdes are to be found. We have seen them all, and left sick and with creeping flesh. There was that wretched woman with a shoulder cleft to the lung, and the woman with protruding brain, her skull smashed by five sabre


cuts, and her left hand lopped off as she tried to snatch her child from the butchers. In those rooms are little children riddled by bullets and cut with knives. These are some of the proofs saved by the Almighty to testify against the bloody Turk, and recording some of the final episodes, we trust, of the Moslem in Europe.

And we who had seen these things were told in the Konak by the general commanding the troops in vilayet Monastir that the duties of the Turkish soldier were very strenuous. They had three duties to perform: firstly, to capture or disperse the bands; secondly, to extinguish the flames of the burning villages; and, thirdly, to escort the women and children to places of safety. [1]

In Uesküb to-day

"Dur!" (Halt!)
"Kim dir o?" (Who goes there?)
"Geri!" (Go back!)

A dim figure can be faintly distinguished in the gloom, that of a Turkish soldier. If his commands - which he will probably round off with a vicious Kopek (Dog!) - are not obeyed on the instant, you will see his rifle come down to "the ready," and the magazine of his Mauser will click ominously. We know that he has stringent orders not to fire under any circumstances on a European; but the man is an Anatolian, totally savage, and of imperfect intelligence. What comfort is it to us to know that he would be hanged with much pomp after our Ambassador at the Porte has energetically demanded retribution for our murder?

1. Remark actually made by Nazir Pacha to the writer, September 6, 1903.


No, it is better to obey, and quickly, seeking a doubtful comfort in the knowledge that to-morrow we will report the insult of "Dog!" to our perspiring consul, who will duly relate to us the apologies offered by the Vali.

"Better not go out at night," remarks the consul; "anything can happen at these times, and men are shot with scant ceremony."

Uesküb does not inspire confidence either by day or night. Through the crowded bazar, straggling up the hill beyond the Vardar to the vast half-ruined fortress on the summit, jostle an appalling number of armed men in the Zouave uniform of the redifs. They have been hastily called in for military service from the villages far and near. Their belts bristle with cartridges, and whether sitting, standing, or walking their rifles are inseparable.

Those savage-looking men in the merest semblance of a uniform, with white skull-caps of felt upon their heads, are Albanians. They are armed now for the first time with Mausers, and they handle their new treasure with obvious affection, their eyes wandering the while towards a group of accursed Christians. Verily these men add not to the peaceful scene, so gay in its Oriental colouring.

Groups of ragged soldiers, their faces burnt nigh black, are to be seen here and there: these are the Asiatic troops sent to save us from a sudden attack from the local soldiery, who are all but out of hand, and whose discipline is nil. Thank Heaven that each day trains bear off hundreds of these men to lonely stations on the Salonica line. As we retrace our steps to the consular quarter and railway-station, we pass the newly established branch of the Ottoman Bank, where nervous clerks sit sweating in the heat. Soldiers stand on guard at every entrance, and


opposite is the city guard-house itself; yet the bank officials are direly afraid, for the Bulgarians have sworn to blow it up sooner or later, and there are some sitting in the office who saw the shattered remains of the bank at Salonica.

"Good-morning!" says the genial director; but he does not smile when we joke him on the ever-present dangers. "I am surprised to find myself alive each morning I awake," he remarks, with an unconscious Irishism. Then we cross the picturesque old bridge, and pause involuntarily to consider the beauties of the mountains which surround the pretty town. It is a wild scene, perfectly in keeping with our feelings. At our feet, upon the dry bed of the river, now a comparatively tiny stream rushing through the centre arches, is a group of tents, that of the guard of the bridge. See, as we bend over the parapet, a sentry waves his arm at us, and a hoarse cry comes up, bidding us not loiter on the bridge. His orders are strict. Who knows but what we may not be desperate men about to drop a bomb at his feet, blowing him and the bridge to pieces?

We pass on, and a dapper young man accosts us, immaculately attired in the height of Western fashion. He is the secretary of a certain Balkan consulate, and, in spite of his light laugh, there is an air of uneasiness about him impossible to conceal. He knows that the Turks have sworn to murder him and his consul on the first attempt at an outrage by the bands, and indeed every European realizes that his life will be worth nothing when the bombs are thrown.

He knows that every detail of the massacre has already been planned at those nocturnal meetings in the mosques. Each house is marked, and every true Mahometan knows his rendezvous and - his duty.

"Will it come to it?" every man asks himself; and our


friend sighs as we twit him unfeelingly on his so thinly veiled anxiety.

"The consuls declare there is no danger. The Vali pooh-poohs the rumours, so why this argument?" we say, tapping his revolver, which bulges in his pocket.

"That is what they must say," he answers gravely.

Poor fellow! he has a young wife far away, and that unmans him.

"Take care of thy master," we call to the huge kavass, clad in gorgeous raiment, and with two great silver-mounted revolvers in his sash.

He salutes us Turkish fashion, pausing a moment to say -

"Seven years have I eaten the bread of my masters, and my duty has been but to stand at their door. The time is coming when perhaps I shall earn my wages."

What strange men are these! - giants in stature with the arms of their adopted country carried proudly in their fez; men who but a few years ago would have been the first to head a massacre of the infidels - now in their pay and ready to sacrifice their lives in their service. It is something to see one of these men challenged at night, and to hear his scornful answer "Kavass!" as he stalks past the threatening rifles of the sentries. And what is more, his countrymen, be they Turks or Albanians, fear him more than his pale-faced master; for they know those great revolvers projecting from his sash are for prompt use, and that the folds hide two or three more such deadly weapons.

Hark! music is approaching, weird and shrill, and from the fort on the hill comes a cloud of dust. Let us hurry to the station, for it is a regiment of Albanians leaving for the south. Taking a position of vantage we watch them swing in through the narrow gates. First, the band of an Asiatic


regiment straggling along with a mere pretence of formation, playing lustily - all clarionets, trombones, cymbals, and drums. Then a battalion of Anatolians, sent ostensibly as a guard of honour, but in reality to check any ebullition of feeling on the part of the mob of fierce men who follow them; rifles carried anyhow at the slope, bayonets stuck in ragged sashes as they carry their handjars or yataghans at home, their belongings stuffed into rude sacks upon their backs, clad in the mere resemblance of a uniform - evidently the cast-off clothes of the already disreputable Anatolians - and the characteristic white skull-caps of their native mountains.

A string of cattle-vans awaits them, and into these they storm, struggling, pushing, and cursing, their officers jostled and ignored, till each wagon seems packed, and still a few score men are left yelling on the platform. Slowly these forsaken ones are absorbed in the low row of vans, and all is ready for departure. The pilot-engine has left, to spring any mine that may be awaiting this harvest; but there is a ceremony still to be performed.

A few bars by the band, and the Colonel raises his hand. "Long live the Padisha!" shout the Albanians lustily; the Anatolian battalion "presents arms," and every Turk touches his breast, his mouth, and his forehead. See the long line of hands flashing upwards like a wave! Twice is this repeated; the engine whistles shrilly, and to the tune of the "Doppel Adler March," comically inappropriate, translated into Turkish music, the long train moves slowly out of the station.

Crack! - a puff of blue smoke rises from a van, another and another. Within a few seconds the train is veiled in a blue haze, as the men empty their rifles in a parting fusillade into the town.




Then the Anatolians march back to the barracks. In vain we search the ranks for one good face, one handsome man. It is not a pleasant sensation to know that our lives depend on them.

A young Austrian meets us at our hotel.

"By the Lord! I nearly got a pill," he says breathlessly, for he is very young; "struck the wall a foot away. Come and see the marks of the other bullets."

The trip to Salonica

"The one great thing to admire in England," said the Turkish officer as we stood together in the corridor of the Uesküb-Salonica train, "is the lack of fanaticism. No country can be great that allows religious frenzy to guide its actions."

I offered no comment, which was superfluous, but I marvelled greatly at such a remark from the lips of a Turk, who was now hanging on the footboard of the carriage. He was in charge of a section of the line, and whenever the tents of the guards appeared, which they did every two or three minutes, he opened the door of the carriage and finally disappeared. Conversation was consequently disjointed, and the intervals I spent in praying that he might not lose his hold, and in admiring the scenery. There are few trips so grandly beautiful as the run from Uesküb, beside the rushing Vardar, towards Salonica: vast gorges, deep ravines, bridges and never-ending tunnels, steep mountains towering above each side of the river, only surpassed in Macedonia by the still finer line to Monastir. And just now a railway trip possesses attractions to the adventurous spirit somewhat akin to the feelings of a racing automobilist. He can


speculate at every bridge whether the train will successfully cross; and in the darkness of each tunnel, if he is of an imaginative turn of mind, he can fancy that he hears the sudden roar of dynamite and the collapse of the mass of rock and earth above him. No train has passed this way since yesterday, and in spite of the formidable show of troops occupying every point of vantage along the line, stories told of their cowardice at night do not inspire confidence. The friendly conductor will point out spidery viaducts where mines have been discovered at the nick of time, and even the most courageous traveller will shudder when he looks down into those gloomy depths.

If we are fearsome, it is nothing to what the ragged soldiers feel at night, when they are afraid to shoot lest they should hit the comrades at their side on the coigns of vantage on the heights. They have been dynamited repeatedly of late, and tents blown to ribbons and shattered corpses look very dreadful in the morning. No wonder they run, and are found by the railway engineers at daybreak hiding pitifully in the maize-fields or up to their necks in the Vardar. Fortunately for us and them, the bands content themselves at present with mere scares. If they meant business, there would not be a bridge or tunnel left intact in the whole of Macedonia, in spite of the battalions who guard them so well by day. At every station we pull up for a wearisome wait, whilst the soldiers crowd round the train and inspect the passengers. A few peasants get in or out, officers exchange greetings with comrades in charge of the line. Then the bell tinkles, and off we go again past the endless row of tents and their slumbering, slovenly occupants. Here and there a sentry presents arms as we roll past.

At Demirkapa I meet our old friends, the regiment of


Albanians, who fired a feu-de-joie into Uesküb as they steamed out of the station, and here I alight for much-desired refreshment. The Albanians have begun well; they arrived only last night, yet they have burnt a village already, and we can see the smoke from the smouldering ruins rising over the top of the little hill. They are lying all about the station, as villainous and cruel a lot of men as could be wished even by Turkey. They are resting from their labours now, and the buxom landlady who serves my meal curses their presence in no measured language. She is only too ready to give me the details of last night's doing, for not a wink has she slept through the long hours of darkness. The shots, the yells, and the despairing screams found each an echo in her motherly heart. "As for murders," she runs on as I bolt my food, for time is strictly limited, "why, we hear of them with no more feeling now than when my maid tells of a hen laying an egg. The soldiers shoot the peasants down in the fields as they work, with no more ado than if they were rats. Why, sir, I saw five Bulgarians beaten here on this very platform two days ago, because they asked the officer who had impressed them into working on the railway to be allowed to return to their village for one day to gather in the remains of their crops. And he had them bastinadoed till their feet ran with blood. Ah! if I had never hated the Turks before, I did at that sight."

"And have you no fear of yourselves, alone amongst this crowd of murderers?"

The good woman shrugs her ample shoulders. "Every European in the country will be massacred ere long. It is only a question of time. Pleasant journey, sir, and safe arrival," she calls after me, as I make a dash for the already moving train.


Travelling is slow-slower than ever now, and 'tis evening as the train glides across the plain of Salonica, with the glimpse of blue sea beyond. Passports undergo their minute inspection for the fifth time that day, and passengers are at liberty to go to the hotel they have selected and mentioned to the police-officer. Through the densely crowded streets we rattle, overtaking primeval tramcars, past the ruins of the Ottoman Bank, grim relic of still vividly remembered horrors, till we alight at the fine hotel on the quay. Hundreds of well-dressed men and women are enjoying the evening breeze after the tropical heat of the day, the fez predominating, it is true, but still the effect is European. It is hard to realize that this town of merchant-palaces, fine cafées, with its luxurious club, is part and parcel of terror-stricken Macedonia; that these smart loungers start at the banging of a door, the result of months of nervous tension. A few days' sojourn here will convince us of that, when the cry for foreign warships is repeated for the hundredth time. At every corner stand sentries with loaded rifles, patrols march to and fro, and the narrow, noisome alleys hidden behind the houses throng with Turkish riff-raff. Every bank and public building is strongly guarded, and soldiers, half-starving amidst this mixture of opulence and misery, beg from door to door. It is not hard to read the thoughts of these men: it is written on their faces as they watch the sleek merchants and their wives and pretty daughters driving by, how each is longing for the time when bombs shall be thrown once more. There is little doubt of what will happen then, unless the British warships arrive in time.

After dinner we stroll to "the Alhambra," and listen to the band, watching the moon's soft rays dancing on the



waters of the bay. And our talk is not of music but of the latest news from the mountains - of trains blown up, and skirmishes on the very outskirts of the town. We discuss the probable plans of Sarafoff and the projected rising in this vilayet to the strains of a Viennese valse, whilst to a selection from "Faust" one tells how the bombs were thrown in this very garden. He tells us only too vividly of the sudden darkness and the awful crash that followed, of the smash of glass, and the screams of the wounded. Another caps the story, how he was arrested that night and threatened till dawn by soldiers, who haled him to their camp; how he was bound and beaten, and robbed of his last piastre.

"My nerve is gone since that night," he concludes, "and I can never pass a soldier now, even in broad daylight, without a creeping sensation down my back. I fear a sudden bullet."

And as we return to our comfortably appointed hotel we catch ourselves glancing hastily over our shoulders when we pass a crouching sentry in the darkness of his corner.

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