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AS IT APPEARS TO AN AMERICAN GIRL IN CONSTANTINOPLE
Constantinople, November 18, 1921.
EAR SAM: Didn't you just shriek when you heard that I had gone
to Constantinople? Returned to
my native land, as it were-I and my Oriental tendencies. I'd always dreamed, and this time "dreamed true." And it's
a hundred times more fascinating than I ever imagined. I love it!
It happened suddenly. My brother Cleveland has lived abroad so long we thought he had forgotten he had a family; and the last two and a half years he had been in Constantinople. cabled for me to come direct by water, and go home with him across the continent, after perhaps a year. I just flew, for fear he would change his mind, and sailed in ten days.
Everybody said: "Oh, but aren't you afraid? The bugs and diseases in those dreadful Eastern places!" But truly, I never saw one really objectionable bug! Only cockroaches; but what are they to an ex-Greenwich Villager? The rest must have been there, but I simply ignored them.
II left New York on a Greek steamer early in September. It took three weeks. The passengers were a rather unexciting lot-Middle-Western missionaries bound for Smyrna; a tobacco man on his sixty-fourth trip across; a sweet mother and literary daughter, who took me under their care when we stopped; a Russian girl (being, I suspect, deported from the United States) who played the piano with such passion that its strings broke.
It was a miserable, cold morning when we anchored in the Bosphorus. The famous picture-the minarets of Stamboul, the forest of masts in the Golden Horn, outlined against the gray skylooked ghostly and dead. I shivered.
Then before any one else had thought of going ashore came my darling Clee. He took me and all my possessions. We stopped at an American destroyer on the way ashore, where I was given a warm welcome and American coffee and toast.
Have you ever seen a little paper called the "Far Seas," published by our Navy in Turkish waters? It ran from the time of the Crimean evacuation (November, 1920) until now, but I hear that it is being threatened by the present Economy Wave in Washington. It is a healthy and interesting thing in a place which is too interesting but not at all healthy for the grown-up children that are our sailors.
Going ashore, the beautiful, ghostly picture of Constantinople vanishes. One plunges into a vortex of fighting, shouting people, either bullying or cringing, pushing you off the narrow sidewalks unless you have a cane and push them first. Raucous voices of street peddlers deafen you. Whining beggar women with borrowed babies pull at your sleeve and tell you how beautiful you are and pinch the baby to make it cry. Hideously deformed creatures crawl along under your feet. Allied officers, haughty and immaculate, tear through the streets in motors, and the Turkish traffic policeman draws up at salute, then jumps to get out of the way. There are new Turkish ladies with painted eyes and lips displayed to the world below a thrown-back veil; old-fashioned ones with the charchaf down (but very thin, if they are pretty); Greek girls with thick ankles; starving Russians with hopeless dull eyes selling paper flowers or pitiful little dusty cakes; a camel train lurching down the street; a hamal, or human express wagon, carrying a piano on his back; spahis (French Moroccans) striding, tall and handsome in turbans and red-lined cloaks; fat sleepy Turks sitting in café windows all day long, smoking narghilehs and drinking endless cups of coffee. Dirt, disorder, and poverty everywhere. Fairytale palaces, falling in ruins. Refugees without a roof over their heads. This is hardly the romantic, languorous life, with its undercurrent of tragedy, of Pierre Loti's tales, of our imaginings. The tragedy is nakedly apparent. The Then three perfect days in Athens. We "Sick Man" is dead, and little pieces of
My table companions were two nice boys going into our consular service, and Leo, a young Greek of Bolshevist tendencies. Leo was rather amusing on deck, where he could argue his very advanced views on life and letters; but he wielded a wicked toothpick at table all the time except when in the very act of gorging himself with everything in sight. He would look up, find me lost in wonder at him, and say, "What's the matter you sick? You eat too few!" I afterward found that toothpicks are quite the thing in Greece, and that throughout the Near East it is a sign of appreciation and good breeding to make a great noise with your soup and coffee. We stopped one day at Naples, and saw Vesuvius at dawn against trailing pink and purple clouds. Pompeii, and had heavenly glimpses of gardens, with the blue sea beyond, through open whitewashed doors, as we tore through the streets.
did the bazaars and the ruins and had a picnic on the Plain of Marathon, and spent most of the time at the Acropolis, just drinking it in. I know now what phrase "immortal beauty" means.
is will be followed by another letter from ntinople in an early issue.
him are being devoured by all sorts of parasites. It is life spread. out on the dissecting table that you may see in Turkey now. I have nothing to do but watch it, study it from the inside, meeting Turks, Russians, Greeks, Armenians, as well as the British, French, and Italian
Forces of Occupation, socially. Living in a hotel and keeping house in my own apartment give different angles on life.
Of course Clee knew everybody, and very soon I did. I went to the Pera Palace at first. That is one of the two good hotels. I slept in linen sheets, had breakfasts in bed, shoes shined, bath water drawn, without so much as lifting a finger. But private baths are unknown, and the public conveniences are places to shut your eyes and nose in. You pay fifty piasters (thirty-five cents) for a bath, and if there are too many mad English or Americans staying there, who will bathe every day, you must make an appointment, hours ahead of time, and then have to threaten to leave, before you get it. Water is very precious.
I registered of course as "Miss," but neither the proprietor nor any one else there ever called me anything but Madame. When Clee would bring me home from a party, the porter would avert his eyes and smile discreetly as we said good-night. Old ladies would beam upon us and whisper, "Nouveaux mariées! Comme ils sont contents!" I must be either a bride or a sweetheart. Attractive young men simply do not wander about the East with their sis ters. It isn't done!
The first feeling you get is of a confusion of nationalities that never can agree because of different religions, ignorance, corrupt government (until the British took things in hand). There is no census kept; you can have a dozen children, or get sick of it all and drop into the Bosphorus, and probably never be noticed. The newspapers are miser able affairs with no real news in them, if the British organ, the "Orient News," is any standard. Constantinople is a perfect Babel of different languages. I am now living with my brother in an apartment. Our household staff consists of Anna, a dear motherly German-Serb. who speaks every known language except English and Chinese; Rosa, the Armenian scrubwoman, “nothing but an animal," according to Anna; old oneeyed Mehmed, a Turkish patriarch over whom I stumble in the hall mornings as he sits on the floor cleaning our shoes: he has a deadly fear of Rosa, who could "put an evil eye on him" if she got angry. Our landlord, a Spanish Jew, keeps a room for himself on the outer hall, where he scurries in and out like a rabbit. He gives himself a thorough wash once a week, when he is going to call on his Russian sweetheart, and invariably leaves the water running and floods the whole place.
It seems to me that there must always be one strong power to hold this mélange together. The Turks are too indolent and too weak. The English have cleaned up the city considerably,
they say. What must it have been before they came! Its picturesque dirt and rags must have been too highly flavored even for my romantic imagination!
The famous street dogs are gone; some years ago they became too numerous and were put on a barren island in the Marmora to eat each other and gradually die. Of course a Turk could not actually kill one himself! One day, looking out of my window, I saw a dog lying on the sidewalk below, surrounded by a group of Turks. One held its head. another ran for water, the rest looked on with expressions of solicitude. I thought, "These people have hearts, after all! Nobody anywhere could be kinder to a sick animal!" Suddenly the dog stiffened, died-the crowd melted. The dead dog lay there, walked over unnoticed, until a street-cleaner finally swept him up. If it had been a man, it would have been the same. I saw a Russian lying dead on the street one morning. Nobody paid any particular attention. Human life is very cheap out here.
To a resident on the spot Turk, Armenian, Greek, Jew, are all rascals and barbarians according to our code of living; the Turk perhaps appears a shade more civilized. He is a poor business man, and is rather more honest than the rest. An American business man here told me that he would take the word of a Turk any time in preference to that of a Greek or an Armenian. And the Jews are completely outclassed. There is an old Levantine proverb, "It takes three Jews to cheat a Greek, and three Greeks to cheat an Armenian." The Turk is an agreeable rascal, anyway. I was very much amused by an experience that I had with a charming young Turk, Osman Bey. Osman belonged to a very aristocratic family, had lived for some years in America, and was married to a pretty American girl. I had often visited their house in Stamboul, and they had called on us. I was selling tickets for a Russian Relief tea-dance at our Embassy, and called to sell some to the Osman Beys. He said that charity was a corner-stone of the Mohammedan faith. He was very glad to help the suffering Russians, although he did think that the Americans might consider that the Turks, too, had their refugees in the city-26,000 of them, starving quietly and with dignity, and nobody was making any fuss over them! At any rate, he bought some tickets, and gave me a check. When presented for payment, it was returned marked, "No Funds." I have seen Osman several times since. His manners are beautiful; always agreeable and entertaining. Very curious people!
Some tourists in Athens asked me if it really was safe to go to Constantinople now. They had heard all sorts of things. It certainly is. An American, I believe, is the most popular person anywhere in the Near East at present. Everybody else has an ax to grind. After long doubting they've begun to be
lieve that we haven't. They laugh at our simplicity, but love us. I can walk into any shop and take home anything I like, without money or guaranty. The shopkeepers urge me to. I did not understand at first. "But you are an American!" They will send rugs on approval, to try as long as we like.
Of course we don't have to trust entirely to their love. We have six destroyers now in the Bosphorus, under command of Admiral Bristol, our High Commissioner to Turkey. Our destroyers protect American interests here, on the Black Sea, and down along the coast of Asia Minor.
Admiral and Mrs. Bristol are absolutely perfect for their position. The Embassy is "my home" while here, as the Admiral says, so I see a great deal of them. He is very handsome, and has an eye that looks straight through you. Every one adores him. Under him, our Embassy has become the friendliest spot in Constantinople-a meeting-place for all nationalities. The Admiral can dance or play bridge all night, and be at the breakfast table at eight, go through the daily papers, have a French lesson, and be at his desk at nine. And his aides are expected to do the same. Mrs. Bristol is just as energetic. She is also beautiful, and talented socially; just the mistress for an Embassy. She is the heart and soul of the Disaster Relief Committee, formed at the time of the Crimean evacuation, which is tireless in its efforts for the helpless Russians-some 35,000 of them, stranded in Constantinople because no other country will have them.
There must be about four hundred Americans in Constantinople-the Em bassy, Consulate, and Navy; the American College people; the Y. W. and Y. M. C. A.; Near East Relief; the Standard Oil and Tobacco people. There are no theaters; one or two respectable restaurants. The Russians have brought good music, but most of the entertaining begins at the Embassies. In spite of the fact that ours is small, that Congress allows practically no funds for entertaining (one must pay for the privilege of being an American diplomat), ours is the gayest of all.
The British Embassy affairs are a bit stiff. The French and Italians only have a few big balls during a season. They are poor, and do not go to parties (excepting at the Embassies) because they cannot return them.
It's a delirious life for a British or American girl. Thousands of British officers (the most handsome creatures on earth-so slim and straight, and just poured into their uniforms); fiery Italians and French; the mad, impulsive, pathetic Russians; all lonely for women of their own class to talk to, all new and strange and exciting. Our own Navy admire the beautiful Russians, just take a brotherly interest in us. Our Near East Relief girls are marrying the British officers at an alarming rate. One girl-a new arrival-was asked what im
pressed her the most about Constantinople. "Being cut in on twelve times during one dance," was the candid reply. You can imagine what a good time I have, being the only unmarried American woman, outside of the relief organizations. It will be hard to come down to earth when I get home.
Every meal is a party. This is an average day: Breakfast in bed, at ten. Ready for lunch at one. Clee doesn't come home at noon, but I am never alone. Probably lunch at the Muscovite, with a party of from two to eight, until 3:30. You, like almost any other good American, will turn a bright green when I tell you what we would have for an average little luncheon party. Cocktails first. Then vodka with the caviare; white wine with the fish; Burgundy with a pheasant; champagne with the dessert; coffee and a liqueur; and whisky-sodas to taste the rest of the afternoon. Thus strengthened, one dresses for tea. If it is a tea-dance, it lasts from five to eight. But any missing brother or husband may be found at the "cocktail hour"-from six to eight at the Constantinople Club, enjoying a little bridge or the latest rumor. Around 9:30 dinner begins; and is served in a leisurely fashion until midnight. Then we wonder what we will do this evening. Perhaps there is a dance somewhere; if not, bridge; or Rector's (a dancing club, with American music); or Maxim's (a wilder place, but everybody goes), kept by an American Negro with a titled Russian wife. And so, home and to bed, just before dawn.
Motherly old Anna gets utterly worn out with us once in a while. She says we will die. Last night she said she was going to get a big string and tie me to my bed for twenty-four hours. I told her I had every intention of going to bed at sunset to-night. She said, "Non-non. Après le dîner, quelqu'un vient―heidi! heidi! vite! vite!" "Heidi" being Turkish for "go."
It sounds like an utterly useless existence and of course it would pall after a while. But it's the people that I meet that make it worth while; people who know so much, and yet don't take life so solemnly as it's taken in America. To know people who will be figures in history: General Wrangel; Sir Horace Rumbold, British High Commissioner; Sir Charles Harington, Commander-inChief of British Forces here; Baron Uchida, Japanese High Commissioner; members of the reigning Turkish house; Mr. Thomas, a vice-president of the Standard Oil, representing Standard Oil interests in Europe, and a very powerful influence during the war. To see these people at play; I'm just absorbing it like a sponge. Has any girl ever had a happier life than I? Why should I be so lucky?
More, later. Must run and dress now for a party. I'll tell you all about it, and about some of these fascinating people, in my next. As always,
A CLASSIC OF AMERICAN SPORT
BY GEORGE PALMER PUTNAM
RE you going to the series?" A friend asked me that just after my return from a month's jaunt to the Pacific coast.
"What series?" I asked.
"The World's Series, of course," he replied. "The baseball championship."
"Probably. . . . But I have just seen the settling of another World's Championship that makes the Polo Grounds show look like a censored classic."
Which of course was saying a good deal, but at least it focused the attention of my baseball-enthusiast friend, to whom forthwith was told the story of another really great epic of American sportsmanship, the Round-Up at Pendleton, Oregon-a superspectacular championship of which he, like many another Easterner, had never even heard.
Each year there are a number of these rodeos, or round-ups, throughout the West, perhaps the most notable of them being held at Pendleton, Oregon. Thither, with a group of Nationally known authors, I went this autumn. Our itinerant writers, who ranged from Frederick O'Brien and "Dr. Walter E. Traprock" of rather dissimilar South Sea fame, to Wallace Irwin and Charles Hanson Towne, were inevitably forthwith dubbed the "rough writers." honor of the literary visitors the slogan of the Pendleton show, which normally is "Let 'Er Buck," was paraphrased to "Let 'Er Book."
The Round-Up is a great deal more than a merely "Wild West show." It is wild and Western enough and reminiscent of the picturesque past. But it is much more than an exhibition. It is a competition. It is a pennant race in which America's best horsemen and most competent cowboys compete.
Pendleton itself is a prosperous town in the heart of the wheat and cattle country of eastern Oregon. Normally, I suppose, its population is some fifteen thousand. But during the three days of the Round-Up, when it is the focus of interest for most of the Pacific Northwest and an increasing number of Eastern seeing-America-first-ers, it expands miraculously to thrice that size. Well over thirty thousand enthusiasts paid admission on the last day of this year's show. Which at that compares pretty well with a Polo Grounds attendance, especially considering that Pendleton is some three thousand miles from Eastern population centers and that the whole State of Oregon hasn't as many people as Brooklyn.
Consider, then, a frontier town-albeit a modern one with paved streets, porcelain tubs, elevators, and all the metropolitan trimmings-entirely turned over for three hectic days to the show, which the town itself owns and conducts, not
"THE GREATEST WRESTLING IN THE WORLD"
for profit but for the downright glamour of it and the glory of the West that was and is. Cowboy clothes are the order of the day-woolly "chaps," swashbuckling spurs clinking from leather boots, broadrimmed Stetsons, gay-colored silk shirts and scarfs, and, above all, gaudy vests hued like unto the aurora borealis.
"Assuredly," as Charles Hanson Towne punned it, "here is where the vest begins."
There is a saying, epitomizing generosity, that one "would give you his shirt." Just that happened in Pendleton, for our hosts at once insisted that we exchange our becollared drab affairs for their own giddy silk creations. In celebration of which hospitable transfer Wallace Irwin perpetrated a song that forthwith became the popular Round-Up hit and doubtless by now echoes merrily throughout cowland, to the tune of "Tourelay:"
When I was in Oregon scratching the dirt,
I met a young cowboy who gave me his shirt.
The shirt it was silk, and the shirt it was red,
So I held out my hand and these fine words I said:
"Cowboy, O Cowboy, I hope you do well,
You're a good-natured, bulldogging son of a swell."
So I put on the shirt, and I tucked in the tail,
And beat it back East on the Oregon Trail.
The show itself is staged on a quartermile track and in an arena at its center, the whole surrounded by bleachers and grand stands. There is, of course,
racing of all kinds bareback, pony express (where the riders shift the saddle from one horse to another at each change), Indian squaw, and, most picturesque of all, the wild-horse race, which last is an unexampled epic of concentrated excitement. A score of absolutely unbroken horses-animals who have felt neither bridle nor saddlesnorting, raging, are turned into the track. At a signal a group of mounted cowboys go after them, each ultimately roping one. Then, in a welter of wildeyed, fighting, biting, rolling, bucking creatures, the rider and his assistant somehow contrive to get a bandage over the horse's eyes, which, after frantic struggles, quiets him enough to make saddling possible. Then off with the eye bandages and on with the race-and often enough, off with the rider! Remember, no horse ever has been ridden. Their one interest is to get rid of saddle and rider. They have no intention whatever of going around the track. Instead they buck and "sunfish," actually roll over on the ground, and generally mill around like four-footed demons gone mad.
A wonderfully unforgetable sight is that concentrated inferno of insane horseflesh and roistering fearless manflesh. This year, just to see a lean buckaroo named Punch Guyette ride the bereft cayuse which luck wished on him -ride him right side up and upside down, horse and rider somehow somersaulting quite completely, with Punch remaining in the saddle, all with a whoop and a laugh, was in itself quite worth the trip from New York.
And that wild-horse race was, of
course, only a detail, a sort of curtainraiser, a tasty appetizer for the big events. The contests for bucking, bulldogging, and roping are the top-line attractions. And working up to the championship decisions of the last day are a welter of hair-raising elimination trials, so that the fifty or so riders are put through their paces, under all sorts of circumstances, and the crowd is fairly saturated with a veritable saturnalia of exciting sights.
Those Round-Up names mean little to us back here. Suffice to say that Yakima Canutt (who this year rode third in the bucking) is a Babe Ruth of cowland. Howard Tegland, world champion, and Ray Bell-who wears a neat white collar even when astride twelve hundred pounds of horse-hided insanity-are every bit as well known out there as Dempsey and, say, Harold Bell Wright; while the Western reputations of marvelous women riders like Mabel Strickland and Bonnie McCarroll rank right up with Mary Pickford and Elsie Ferguson.
The bucking horses which supply the motive power, so to speak, for the riding contests are the pick of the untamable "bad" animals of all the West. Their names become historic. There "Lena" (no lady, she!), "U-tell-Em," "Bill McAdoo," "Wiggles," "Angel," and others. This year two especially badmannered beasts were christened "Doc Traprock" and "George Putnam." Neither, we regret to state, succeeded in unseating his rider!
The matter of getting the saddle on a "bad horse" is a problem in itself, solved by the "wranglers." Ultimately the rider gets aboard, but not necessarily for long, for those horses know every trick imaginable likely to encourage an immediate divorce between them selves and the unwelcome stranger perched upon their hurricane deck. Be the horse a trained bucker or an outlaw, he can be counted upon for all sorts of gymnastics, ranging from the "side wind" and "sunfish" and "weave" to the straight buck and the high dive, not to mention the pleasant trick of rearing and falling back on the rider.
They ride with only a halter, no reins or bridle being used. And they must ride with style-ride "slick"-that is, straight up, with a close seat, and "no daylight showing." And really to impress the judges the rider must "rake" the shoulders and rump of his horse with his blunted spurs, and "fan" the animal at every jump, swinging his hat with a full arm sweep. And, above all, he must not "pull leather" or touch the saddle with either hand.
And then the roping. That means to ride after a wild Texas long-horn steer, get a lasso around his horns, throw him, and "hogtie" him by fastening his four feet together while the cow-pony at the other end of the rope holds the steer helpless on the ground. And it must all be done under two minutes.
But, from the standpoint of individual muscular prowess and sheer human grit, "bulldogging" is the showiest event of
all. The steer is driven out of a chute. and he emerges much as a limited mail train comes out of a tunnel. They give him about thirty feet start, and then the man starts after him on a horse running like a scared jack-rabbit. The horse draws alongside and the man leans over, hooks an arm around the steer's horn, and slides from the saddle. The horse goes on, so does the steer for a few jumps, the man dragging through the dust and acting as a brake. Finally the two come to rest. Then the man reaches for the steer's nose and, clasping his hands around it with the horn between his arms, leans backward and tries to throw the animal. Sometimes the steer shakes him loose, sometimes it whirls and tosses him, but we have seen a man bring down an animal in seventeen seconds from the time he started after him. They call it bulldogging, but it's the greatest wrestling in the world.
And let this be clear: there is no cruelty to animals. The broken bonesand necks too-are the lot of the twolegged contestants. Not an animal this year was injured. It is the men and the women who take the big risks and get the real hurts.
"Let 'er buck!"
"Ride 'em, cowboy!"
Those cries of the Round-Up echo still in our ears, and the memory of all that goes with them is a magnet that inevitably will draw us again westward to this courageous competition -an epic of sportsmanship so essentially American.
FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND
FREEDOM TO WORK
BY FREDERICK M. DAVENPORT
MEMBER OF THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
This is the fourth of a series of letters from the Middle
ENRY and me," Governor Allen of Kansas and William Allen White, the famous editor and publicist of the same State, have given dramatic publicity to the Industrial Court experiment in the famous sunflower commonwealth. Henry is at the moment haling Bill before the high courts of the State to determine whether Bill's theory of free speech under the law is or is not sound. We all have a right to speak of these fine personalities in this undeferential manner, because that is the way they do it in Kansas, and Henry and Bill do it themselves. Their recent legal controversy has undoubtedly ruffled their nervous systems, but it doesn't appear to have shattered their friendship.
As I understand it, it all came about over the railway strike. Bill is an instinctive and militant idealist and lives in Emporia. Emporia is a railway shop
in essential industries. Senator Davenport comments on the good and bad effects of the political experiment, so far as they appear to the people of the Middle West up to the present time.-THE EDITORS.
town on the Santa Fé. The shopmen there are neither aliens nor seditionists nor men who love violence or anything of the sort. They are just plain Americans whose children are in the high school and who sit on the school board and are generally a part of the backbone of a very democratic community. Bill is universally respected in the highest degree in his home community, as he is by everybody in America who knows him and his influence for the right. When the strike started, he got in touch with the shopmen in the town and was a sort of guide, philosopher, and friend. He was anxious for them to pull through without violence of any kind. He expressed fifty per cent of sympathy for them. He said it was a good cause because living conditions had not reached the point where wages should have come down, but it was a bad strike because it was likely to inflict a heavy loss upon
the farmers of Kansas and the West. But he was willing to go with them fifty-fifty, and he wanted them to be men of peace.
In an important railway shop town the shopmen are apt to be a very dominating part of the population. In time of strike the merchants carry them on credit, and it is to the advantage of the merchants in the long run to display a kindly bias toward the men who have temporarily left their jobs. One of the methods adopted at Emporia of exhibiting kindly feeling was the posting of placards in the windows of the merchants expressing a hundred per cent sympathy with the strikers. Bill came down to the "Gazette" office one morning and he passed the placards on every block. When he got to his desk, he said to one of the boys, "Go out and get me one of those posters." Bill marked out the one hundred per cent and put fortynine per cent just below it and hung t1