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kneeling before a chair on which he had set a glass of cold water and a pocket mirror, shaving himself by the light of a coiled taper. The job was so well done, however, that it was evident that he had shaved under difficulties before. Later, when we were in the hot, arid country where water is so scarce, I learned that a half cup of water could serve for the toilet purposes of this same gentleman and his wife and still furnish him enough for his shave.

By sunrise we had had our breakfast and were on our way up the pass. As we climbed higher the view became wilder and more extended. At one time we could see ten zig-zags in our road below us, while above and around were snow-capped peaks and grassy slopes, on which the light of the rising sun gave effects which well-repaid us for the exertion of an early start. At the summit of the pass there is a great change in

the character of the scenery, and as we looked toward the south, instead of the heavily wooded and grass-covered slopes through which we had been coming, stretched out before us we saw the great Armenian plateau, above which rises the barren cone of many an extinct volcano. For some miles our route lay along the shores of Lake Goktchii, a beautiful sheet of water 53 miles long by 23 miles wide, the surface of which is 700 feet above the top of Mount Washington. The region is inhabited by the adherents. of several religious sects. From this region come a portion of the Dukhobortsi, of whom so much has been said of late years because of their emigration to British Columbia rather than give up their religious tenets, which forbid their bearing arms for any reason. The followers of another sect subsist entirely upon milk during Lent. We stopped at the little village of Jélénovka, on the

shores of the lake, and were entertained at dinner by the Molokani, as the members of one of these sects are called. Our repast was quite elaborate for that part of the country. It consisted of soup made from corned beef and cabbage, all being served in one dish, with whipped sour cream as a sauce; fresh trout from the lake, and boiled chicken. The last would have been very delicious had it not been for the sauce of sour cream and horseradish, which gave it a flavor which none but the educated taste could appreciate. One of the desserts consisted of watermelon, muskmelon, and pears cut into small pieces, mixed with grapes and plums, covered with a hot syrup and served in hollowed-out segments of melon rind. Grapes and melons grow to perfection in the irrigated fields on the Armenian plateau.

While passing through the village I had stopped to look at a very cunning baby, but what was my surprise during

dinner to be told that I was wanted by some peasants in the front yard. There I found lined up before the door, under the generalship of the mother of the baby I had admired, several women dressed in their best Sunday clothes, and each one with a highly polished and carefully dressed babe in her arm. Never having attended a baby show, I can safely say that this was the proudest set of women I had ever seen. Unfortunately these people are very superstitious, fastening blue beads not only upon their children, but also upon their animals, to ward off the evil eye. were afraid of my camera, and departed hurriedly when they saw it pointed their way, only three succeeding in making politeness overcome fear.


For many miles after leaving the lake there was not a tree or a shrub to break the monotony of the scene as far as the eye could reach. The plain is a dreary waste of ancient lava. The houses oft

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entimes are built on the slopes of the mountains, and of the blocks of lava in such a way as to be almost indistinguishable therefrom at a short distance. The dwellings are made mostly one story high, with flat mud roofs, and often are surmounted with piles of straw. This straw, as we soon observed, is put to a curious use in the making of fuel. It is cut up and mixed with the manure as that is taken fresh from the stable. Cakes about ten inches in diameter and two or three inches thick

are made from this mixture and plastered on to the sunny side of the house to dry. When thoroughly dry they are piled up in pyramidal and conical heaps beside the front door, usually reaching far above the tops of the dwellings. These great piles beside every house make a striking feature of the landscape, and incidentally indicate the wealth of the householder and the desirability of his daughter's hand in marriage.

The house usually consists of two rooms, one for the family, while the other is used as a stable. A hole dug in the ground in the center of the front room answers as a stove. The fuel is broken up and put into the hole, while from an iron rod laid across it hangs the earthen vessel which contains the food to be cooked. There is no chimney to carry out the dense smoke which this fuel makes; a simple hole in the roof serves as an outlet, and as one door furnishes light and air for both room and stable, the ventilation cannot be considered perfect. At night the people roll themselves up in rugs and sleep on the ground around the fireplace. Roads are rarely or never repaired. When a

An Armenian Household

hole becomes so deep that the wheels of a wagon cannot touch bottom or there is danger of a sheep getting lost in it if it gets larger, a new road is made around the hole. If a bridge tumbles down or is swept away, the people change their route, if possible, so as to cross where they can ford the stream.

Late in the afternoon of the second day, as we reached the summit of the ridge we were climbing, the full grandeur of Mt. Ararat burst upon us, and even the most experienced travelers in the party could but marvel at the view, the peculiar colors of a sunset in an arid region making the snow-capped mountain a never-to-be-forgotten picture. The peak is isolated and dominates the country for fifty miles around. It has two summits-one, Great Ararat, which is 17,260 feet in altitude, and the other, Little Ararat, 13,093 feet high-the two being connected by a ridge or saddle more than 8,000 feet above the sea. As the surrounding plain has an elevation of but 3,000 feet, these great solitary cones are much more impressive than most other mountain masses of equal elevation. There is a belief cur


The Ancient Mosque at Erivan

rent among the peasants that Great Ararat has never been ascended since Noah's time, and that no human being can ascend it and live. The summit has been gained, however, by several travelers, and two of our party succeeded, after much exposure and hardship, in reaching the highest point. The unfortunate death of another who made the attempt probably served to strengthen the prevailing opinion of the peasants. Little Ararat presents no mountaineering difficulties, and twenty of the men of our party climbed to its top.

Erivan, the present capital of the province of Russian Armenia, is situ ated on the Zanga River, about 30 miles from Mt. Ararat. It has belonged to Russia since 1827. Before that time it was the stronghold of the Turks and Persians alternately, and as a result is an extremely interesting place, containing the ruins of the palaces and fortifications of the different nations, while it remains essentially Persian in its characteristics. The lofty brick and mud walls along the river were built by the Turks, and, although formidable in Medieval times, they would certainly offer very little resistance to the attack

of modern weapons, even if they were in good repair. The Persian quarter of the city is most interesting, the narrow, crooked streets and lanes, filled with men, veiled women, camels, and donkeys, presenting a curious scene. On one side of the street might be seen a barber plying his trade, holding his patient's head against the side of the house while he shaved the narrow strip from forehead to crown or dyed his whiskers that peculiar red color which all Persians affect. Opposite the barber, or perhaps beside him, one might find a public stove covered with little pots filled with mutton stew, or a huge frying pan filled with a mixture of fish and tomatoes. Here one stumbles upon an entrance to a caravanserai or khan, there upon a long, dark passage to a public bathing place, where the men

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congregate to smoke, sip coffee, gossip, and bathe.

The khans are great courtyards, surrounded by barren rooms or alcoves, in which, on payment of a small sum, a traveler may make himself and his camel or donkey as comfortable for the night as his resources of bedding will permit. A small open cistern in the middle of the space receives the drainage of the courtyard, and at the same time furnishes water to the occupants of the khan for washing, cooking, and drinking. I have seen a man wash his face and hands in the reservoir while another was drawing water from it with which, apparently, to do his cooking, this, too, in spite of the presence of the pump beside the cistern.

In the hotels it seemed impossible to put down hat, umbrella, or gloves and find them in their place again. Articles would disappear, and when the propri

etor was sent for and told that the things must be found at once, there would be great running hither and thither, with the resulting report that they could not have been left where you said they were. At the suggestion of police assistance, however, the articles would be forthcoming, a servant bringing them up and asking naïvely if these could be the missing articles, at the same time remarking that he had found them in a place not at all that in which they actually had been left. One gentleman of our party who had a dress hat with him besides his traveling cap had it taken from his room four times in two days, and, although he left Erivan at last with it in his possession, had not traveled far before he discovered that it was gone, and that time for good.

It was interesting to watch the natives baking bread. The dough is rolled out into sheets three or four feet long, about

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