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Notes of a War Correspondent by Richard Harding Davis

Part 3 out of 3

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approved of our credentials, and showed us the proper trail which we
managed to follow until they had disappeared, when the trail
disappeared also, and we were again lost in what seemed an
interminable valley. But just before nightfall the fires of the
commando showed in front of us and we rode into the camp of General
Christian De Wet. He told us we could not reach the bridge that
night, and showed us a farm-house on a distant kopje where we could
find a place to spread our blankets. I was extremely glad to meet
him, as he and General Botha are the most able and brave of the Boer
generals. He was big, manly, and of impressive size, and, although
he speaks English, he dictated to his adjutant many long and Old-
World compliments to the Greater Republic across the seas.

We found the people in the farm-house on the distant kopje quite
hysterical over the near presence of the British, and the entire
place in such an uproar that we slept out in the veldt. In the
morning we were awakened by the sound of the Vickar-Maxim or the
"pom-pom" as the English call it, or "bomb-Maxim" as the Boers call
it. By any name it was a remarkable gun and the most demoralizing of
any of the smaller pieces which have been used in this campaign. One
of its values is that its projectiles throw up sufficient dust to
enable the gunner to tell exactly where they strike, and within a few
seconds he is able to alter the range accordingly. In this way it is
its own range-finder. Its bark is almost as dangerous as its bite,
for its reports have a brisk, insolent sound like a postman's knock,
or a cooper hammering rapidly on an empty keg, and there is an
unexplainable mocking sound to the reports, as though the gun were
laughing at you. The English Tommies used to call it very aptly the
"hyena gun." I found it much less offensive from the rear than when
I was with the British, and in front of it.

From the top of a kopje we saw that the battle had at last begun and
that the bridge was the objective point. The English came up in
great lines and blocks and from so far away and in such close order
that at first in spite of the khaki they looked as though they wore
uniforms of blue. They advanced steadily, and two hours later when
we had ridden to a kopje still nearer the bridge, they were
apparently in the same formation as when we had first seen them, only
now farms that had lain far in their rear were overrun by them and
they encompassed the whole basin. An army of twenty-five thousand
men advancing in full view across a great plain appeals to you as
something entirely lacking in the human element. You do not think of
it as a collection of very tired, dusty, and perspiring men with
aching legs and parched lips, but as an unnatural phenomenon, or a
gigantic monster which wipes out a railway station, a cornfield, and
a village with a single clutch of one of its tentacles. You would as
soon attribute human qualities to a plague, a tidal wave, or a slowly
slipping landslide. One of the tentacles composed of six thousand
horse had detached itself and crossed the river below the bridge,
where it was creeping up on Botha's right. We could see the burghers
galloping before it toward Ventersburg. At the bridge General Botha
and President Steyn stood in the open road and with uplifted arms
waved the Boers back, calling upon them to stand. But the burghers
only shook their heads and with averted eyes grimly and silently rode
by them on the other side. They knew they were flanked, they knew
the men in the moving mass in front of them were in the proportion of
nine to one.

When you looked down upon the lines of the English army advancing for
three miles across the plain, one could hardly blame them. The
burghers did not even raise their Mausers. One bullet, the size of a
broken slate-pencil, falling into a block three miles across and a
mile deep, seems so inadequate. It was like trying to turn back the
waves of the sea with a blow-pipe.

It is true they had held back as many at Colenso, but the defensive
positions there were magnificent, and since then six months had
passed, during which time the same thirty thousand men who had been
fighting then were fighting still, while the enemy was always new,
with fresh recruits and re-enforcements arriving daily.

As the English officers at Durban, who had so lately arrived from
home that they wore swords, used to say with the proud consciousness
of two hundred thousand men back of them: "It won't last much longer
now. The Boers have had their belly full of fighting. They're fed
up on it; that's what it is; they're fed up."

They forgot that the Boers, who for three months had held Buller back
at the Tugela, were the same Boers who were rushed across the Free
State to rescue Cronje from Roberts, and who were then sent to meet
the relief column at Fourteen Streams, and were then ordered back
again to harass Roberts at Sannahspost, and who, at last, worn out,
stale, heartsick, and hopeless at the unequal odds and endless
fighting, fell back at Sand River.

For three months thirty thousand men had been attempting the
impossible task of endeavoring to meet an equal number of the enemy
in three different places at the same time.

I have seen a retreat in Greece when the men, before they left the
trenches, stood up in them and raged and cursed at the advancing
Turk, cursed at their government, at their king, at each other, and
retreated with shame in their faces because they did so.

But the retreat of the burghers of the Free State was not like that.
They rose one by one and saddled their ponies, with the look in their
faces of men who had been attending the funeral of a friend and who
were leaving just before the coffin was swallowed in the grave. Some
of them, for a long time after the greater number of the commando had
ridden away, sat upon the rocks staring down into the sunny valley
below them, talking together gravely, rising to take a last look at
the territory which was their own. The shells of the victorious
British sang triumphantly over the heads of their own artillery,
bursting impotently in white smoke or tearing up the veldt in
fountains of dust.

But they did not heed them. They did not even send a revengeful
bullet into the approaching masses. The sweetness of revenge could
not pay for what they had lost. They looked down upon the farm-
houses of men they knew; upon their own farm-houses rising in smoke;
they saw the Englishmen like a pest of locusts settling down around
gardens and farm-houses still nearer, and swallowing them up.

Their companions, already far on the way to safety, waved to them
from the veldt to follow; an excited doctor carrying a wounded man
warned us that the English were just below, storming the hill. "Our
artillery is aiming at five hundred yards," he shouted, but still the
remaining burghers stood immovable, leaning on their rifles, silent,
homeless, looking down without rage or show of feeling at the great
waves of khaki sweeping steadily toward them, and possessing their


We knew it was a battle because the Japanese officers told us it was.
In other wars I had seen other battles, many sorts of battles, but I
had never seen a battle like that one. Most battles are noisy,
hurried, and violent, giving rise to an unnatural thirst and to the
delusion that, by some unhappy coincidence, every man on the other
side is shooting only at you. This delusion is not peculiar to
myself. Many men have told me that in the confusion of battle they
always get this exaggerated idea of their own importance. Down in
Cuba I heard a colonel inform a group of brother officers that a
Spanish field-piece had marked him for its own, and for an hour had
been pumping shrapnel at him and at no one else. The interesting
part of the story was that he believed it.

But the battle of Anshantien was in no way disquieting. It was a
noiseless, odorless, rubber-tired battle. So far as we were
concerned it consisted of rings of shrapnel smoke floating over a
mountain pass many miles distant. So many miles distant that when,
with a glass, you could see a speck of fire twinkle in the sun like a
heliograph, you could not tell whether it was the flash from the gun
or the flame from the shell. Neither could you tell whether the
cigarette rings issued from the lips of the Japanese guns or from
those of the Russians. The only thing about that battle of which you
were certain was that it was a perfectly safe battle to watch. It
was the first one I ever witnessed that did not require you to calmly
smoke a pipe in order to conceal the fact that you were scared. But
soothing as it was, the battle lacked what is called the human
interest. There may have been men behind the guns, but as they were
also behind Camel Hill and Saddle Mountain, eight miles away, our
eyes, like those of Mr. Samuel Weller, "being only eyes," were not
able to discover them.

Our teachers, the three Japanese officers who were detailed to tell
us about things we were not allowed to see, gazed at the scene of
carnage with well-simulated horror. Their expressions of countenance
showed that should any one move the battle eight miles nearer, they
were prepared to sell their lives dearly. When they found that none
of us were looking at them or their battle, they were hurt. The
reason no one was looking at them was because most of us had gone to
sleep. The rest, with a bitter experience of Japanese promises, had
doubted there would be a battle, and had prepared themselves with
newspapers. And so, while eight miles away the preliminary battle to
Liao-Yang was making history, we were lying on the grass reading two
months' old news of the St. Louis Convention.

The sight greatly disturbed our teachers.

"You complain," they said, "because you are not allowed to see
anything, and now, when we show you a battle, you will not look."

Lewis, of the Herald, eagerly seized his glasses and followed the
track of the Siberian railway as it disappeared into the pass.

"I beg your pardon, but I didn't know it was a battle," he apologized
politely. "I thought it was a locomotive at Anshantien Station
blowing off steam."

And, so, teacher gave him a bad mark for disrespect.

It really was trying.

In order to see this battle we had travelled half around the world,
had then waited four wasted months at Tokio, then had taken a sea
voyage of ten days, then for twelve days had ridden through mud and
dust in pursuit of the army, then for twelve more days, while battles
raged ten miles away, had been kept prisoners in a compound where
five out of the eighteen correspondents were sick with dysentery or
fever, and finally as a reward we were released from captivity and
taken to see smoke rings eight miles away! That night a round-robin,
which was signed by all, was sent to General Oku, pointing out to him
that unless we were allowed nearer to his army than eight miles, our
usefulness to the people who paid us our salaries was at an end.

While waiting for an answer to this we were led out to see another
battle. Either that we might not miss one minute of it, or that we
should be too sleepy to see anything of it, we were started in black
darkness, at three o'clock in the morning, the hour, as we are told,
when one's vitality is at its lowest, and one which should be
reserved for the exclusive use of burglars and robbers of hen roosts.
Concerning that hour I learned this, that whatever its effects may be
upon human beings, it finds a horse at his most strenuous moment. At
that hour by the light of three paper lanterns we tried to saddle
eighteen horses, donkeys, and ponies, and the sole object of each was
to kick the light out of the lantern nearest him. We finally rode
off through a darkness that was lightened only by a gray, dripping
fog, and in a silence broken only by the patter of rain upon the corn
that towered high above our heads and for many miles hemmed us in.
After an hour, Sataki, the teacher who acted as our guide, lost the
trail and Captain Lionel James, of the Times, who wrote "On the Heels
of De Wet," found it for him. Sataki, so our two other keepers told
us, is an authority on international law, and he may be all of that
and know all there is to know of three-mile limits and paper
blockades, but when it came to picking up a trail, even in the bright
sunlight when it lay weltering beneath his horse's nostrils, we
always found that any correspondent with an experience of a few
campaigns was of more general use. The trail ended at a muddy hill,
a bare sugar-loaf of a hill, as high as the main tent of a circus and
as abruptly sloping away. It was swept by a damp, chilling wind; a
mean, peevish rain washed its sides, and they were so steep that if
we sat upon them we tobogganed slowly downward, ploughing up the mud
with our boot heels. Hungry, sleepy, in utter darkness, we clung to
this slippery mound in its ocean of whispering millet like sailors
wrecked in mid-sea upon a rock, and waited for the day. After two
hours a gray mist came grudgingly, trees and rocks grew out of it,
trenches appeared at our feet, and what had before looked like a lake
of water became a mud village.

Then, like shadows, the foreign attaches, whom we fondly hoped might
turn out to be Russian Cossacks coming to take us prisoners and carry
us off to breakfast, rode up in silence and were halted at the base
of the hill. It seemed now, the audience being assembled, the
orchestra might begin. But no hot-throated cannon broke the
chilling, dripping, silence, no upheaval of the air spoke of Canet
guns, no whirling shrapnel screamed and burst. Instead, the fog
rolled back showing us miles of waving corn, the wet rails of the
Siberian Railroad glistening in the rain, and, masking the horizon,
the same mountains from which the day before the smoke rings had
ascended. They now were dark, brooding, their tops hooded in clouds.
Somewhere in front of us hidden in the Kiao liang, hidden in the tiny
villages, crouching on the banks of streams, concealed in trenches
that were themselves concealed, Oku's army, the army to which we were
supposed to belong, was buried from our sight. And in the mountains
on our right lay the Fourth Army, and twenty miles still farther to
the right, Kuroki was closing in upon Liao-Yang. All of this we
guessed, what we were told was very different, what we saw was
nothing. In all, four hundred thousand men were not farther from us
than four to thirty miles--and we saw nothing. We watched as the
commissariat wagons carrying food to these men passed us by, the
hospital stores passed us by, the transport carts passed us by, the
coolies with reserve mounts, the last wounded soldier, straggler, and
camp-follower passed us by. Like a big tidal wave Oku's army had
swept forward leaving its unwelcome guests, the attaches and
correspondents, forty lonely foreigners among seventy thousand
Japanese, stranded upon a hill miles in the rear. Perhaps, as war,
it was necessary, but it was not magnificent.

That night Major Okabe, our head teacher, gave us the official
interpretation of what had occurred. The Russians, he said, had
retreated from Liao-Yang and were in open flight. Unless General
Kuroki, who, he said, was fifty miles north of us, could cut them off
they would reach Mukden in ten days, and until then there would be no
more fighting. The Japanese troops, he said, were in Liao-Yang, it
had been abandoned without a fight. This he told us on the evening
of the 27th of August.

The next morning Major Okabe delivered the answer of General Oku to
our round-robin. He informed us that we had been as near to the
fighting as we ever would be allowed to go. The nearest we had been
to any fighting was four miles. Our experience had taught us that
when the Japanese promised us we would be allowed to do something we
wanted to do, they did not keep their promise; but that when they
said we would not be allowed to do something we wanted to do, they
spoke the truth. Consequently, when General Oku declared the
correspondents would be held four miles in the rear, we believed he
would keep his word. And, as we now know, he did, the only men who
saw the fighting that later ensued being those who disobeyed his
orders and escaped from their keepers. Those who had been ordered by
their papers to strictly obey the regulations of the Japanese, and
the military attaches, were kept by Oku nearly six miles in the rear.

On the receipt of Oku's answer to the correspondents, Mr. John Fox,
Jr., of Scribner's Magazine, Mr. Milton Prior, of the London
Illustrated News, Mr. George Lynch, of the London Morning Chronicle,
and myself left the army. We were very sorry to go. Apart from the
fact that we had not been allowed to see anything of the military
operations, we were enjoying ourselves immensely. Personally, I
never went on a campaign in a more delightful country nor with better
companions than the men acting as correspondents with the Second
Army. For the sake of such good company, and to see more of
Manchuria, I personally wanted to keep on. But I was not being paid
to go camping with a set of good fellows. Already the Japanese had
wasted six months of my time and six months of Mr. Collier's money,
Mr. Fox had been bottled up for a period of equal length, while Mr.
Prior and Mr. Lynch had been prisoners in Tokio for even four months
longer. And now that Okabe assured us that Liao-Yang was already
taken, and Oku told us if there were any fighting we would not be
allowed to witness it, it seemed a good time to quit.

Other correspondents would have quit then, as most of them did ten
days later, but that their work and ours in a slight degree differed.
As we were not working for daily papers, we used the cable but
seldom, while they used it every day. Each evening Okabe brought
them the official account of battles and of the movements of the
troops, which news of events which they had not witnessed they sent
to their separate papers. But for our purposes it was necessary we
should see things for ourselves. For, contrary to the popular
accusation, no matter how flattering it may be, we could not describe
events at which we were not present.

But what mainly moved us to decide, was the statements of Okabe, the
officer especially detailed by the War Office to aid and instruct us,
to act as our guide, philosopher, and friend, our only official
source of information, who told us that Liao-Yang was occupied by the
Japanese and that the Russians were in retreat. He even begged me
personally to come with him into Liao-Yang on the 29th and see how it
was progressing under the control of the Japanese authorities.

Okabe's news meant that the great battle Kuropatkin had promised at
Liao-Yang, and which we had come to see, would never take place.

Why Okabe lied I do not know. Whether Oku had lied to him, or
whether it was Baron-General Kodama or Major-General Fukushima who
had instructed him to so grossly misinform us, it is impossible to
say. While in Tokio no one ever more frequently, nor more
unblushingly, made statements that they knew were untrue than did
Kodama and Fukushima, but none of their deceptions had ever harmed us
so greatly as did the lie they put into the mouth of Okabe. Not only
had the Japanese NOT occupied Liao-Yang on the evening of the 27th of
August, but later, as everybody knows, they had TO FIGHT SIX DAYS to
get into it. And Kuroki, so far from being fifty miles north toward
Mukden as Okabe said he was, was twenty miles to the east on our
right preparing for the closing in movement which was just about to
begin. Three days after we had left the army, the greatest battle
since Sedan was waged for six days.

So our half year of time and money, of dreary waiting, of daily
humiliations at the hands of officers with minds diseased by
suspicion, all of which would have been made up to us by the sight of
this one great spectacle, was to the end absolutely lost to us.
Perhaps we made a mistake in judgment. As the cards fell, we
certainly did. But after the event it is easy to be wise. For the
last fifteen years, had I known as much the night before the Grand
Prix was run as I did the next afternoon, I would be passing rich.

The only proposition before us was this: There was small chance of
any immediate fighting. If there were fighting we could not see it.
Confronted with the same conditions again, I would decide in exactly
the same manner. Our misfortune lay in the fact that our experience
with other armies had led us to believe that officers and gentlemen
speak the truth, that men with titles of nobility, and with the
higher titles of general and major-general, do not lie. In that we
were mistaken.

The parting from the other correspondents was a brutal attack upon
the feelings which, had we known they were to follow us two weeks
later to Tokio, would have been spared us. It is worth recording
why, after waiting many months to get to the front, they in their
turn so soon left it. After each of the big battles before Liao-Yang
they handed the despatches they had written for their papers to Major
Okabe. Each day he told them these despatches had been censored and
forwarded. After three days he brought back all the despatches and
calmly informed the correspondents that not one of their cables had
been sent. It was the final affront of Japanese duplicity. In
recording the greatest battle of modern times three days had been
lost, and by a lie. The object of their coming to the Far East had
been frustrated. It was fatuous to longer expect from Kodama and his
pupils fair play or honest treatment, and in the interest of their
employers and to save their own self-respect, the representatives of
all the most important papers in the world, the Times, of London, the
New York Herald, the Paris Figaro, the London Daily Telegraph, Daily
Mail, and Morning Post, quit the Japanese army.

Meanwhile, unconscious of what we had missed, the four of us were
congratulating ourselves upon our escape, and had started for New-
Chwang. Our first halt was at Hai-Cheng, in the same compound in
which for many days with the others we had been imprisoned. But our
halt was a brief one. We found the compound glaring in the sun,
empty, silent, filled only with memories of the men who, with their
laughter, their stories, and their songs had made it live.

But now all were gone, the old familiar faces and the familiar
voices, and we threw our things back on the carts and hurried away.
The trails between Hai-Cheng and the sea made the worst going we had
encountered in Manchuria. You soon are convinced that the time has
not been long since this tract of land lay entirely under the waters
of the Gulf of Liaotung. You soon scent the salt air, and as you
flounder in the alluvial deposits of ages, you expect to find the
salt-water at the very roots of the millet. Water lies in every
furrow of the miles of cornfields, water flows in streams in the
roads, water spreads in lakes over the compounds, it oozes from
beneath the very walls of the go-downs. You would not be surprised
at any moment to see the tide returning to envelop you. In this
liquid mud a cart can make a trail by the simple process of
continuing forward. The havoc is created in the millet and the
ditches its iron-studded wheels dig in the mud leave to the eyes of
the next comer as perfectly good a trail as the one that has been in
use for many centuries. Consequently the opportunities for choosing
the wrong trail are excellent, and we embraced every opportunity.
But friendly Chinamen, and certainly they are a friendly, human
people, again and again cheerfully went far out of their way to guide
us back to ours, and so, after two days, we found ourselves five
miles from New-Chwang.

Here we agreed to separate. We had heard a marvellous tale that at
New-Chwang there was ice, champagne, and a hotel with enamelled bath-
tubs. We had unceasingly discussed the probability of this being
true, and what we would do with these luxuries if we got them, and
when we came so near to where they were supposed to be, it was agreed
that one of us would ride on ahead and command them, while the others
followed with the carts. The lucky number fell to John Fox, and he
left us at a gallop. He was to engage rooms for the four, and to
arrange for the care of seven Japanese interpreters and servants,
nine Chinese coolies, and nineteen horses and mules. We expected
that by eight o'clock we would be eating the best dinner John Fox
could order. We were mistaken. Not that John Fox had not ordered
the dinner, but no one ate it but John Fox. The very minute he left
us Priory's cart turned turtle in the mud, and the largest of his
four mules lay down in it and knocked off work. The mule was hot and
very tired, and the mud was soft, cool, and wet, so he burrowed under
its protecting surface until all we could see of him was his ears.
The coolies shrieked at him, Prior issued ultimatums at him, the
Japanese servants stood on dry land fifteen feet away and talked
about him, but he only snuggled deeper into his mud bath. When there
is no more of a mule to hit than his ears, he has you at a great
disadvantage, and when the coolies waded in and tugged at his head,
we found that the harder they tugged, the deeper they sank. When
they were so far out of sight that we were in danger of losing them
too, we ordered them to give up the struggle and unload the cart.
Before we got it out of dry-dock, reloaded, and again in line with
the other carts it was nine o clock, and dark.

In the meantime, Lynch, his sense of duty weakened by visions of
enamelled bathtubs filled with champagne and floating lumps of ice,
had secretly abandoned us, stealing away in the night and leaving us
to follow. This, not ten minutes after we had started, Mr. Prior
decided that he would not do, so he camped out with the carts in a
village, while, dinnerless, supperless, and thirsty, I rode on alone.
I reached New-Chwang at midnight, and after being refused admittance
by the Japanese soldiers, was finally rescued by the Number One man
from the Manchuria Hotel, who had been sent out by Fox with two sikhs
and a lantern to find me. For some minutes I dared not ask him the
fateful questions. It was better still to hope than to put one's
fortunes to the test. But I finally summoned my courage.

"Ice, have got?" I begged.

"Have got," he answered.

There was a long, grateful pause, and then in a voice that trembled,
I again asked, "Champagne, have got?"

Number One man nodded.

"Have got," he said.

I totally forgot until the next morning to ask about the enamelled

When I arrived John Fox had gone to bed, and as it was six weeks
since any of us had seen a real bed, I did not wake him. Hence, he
did not know I was in the hotel, and throughout the troubles that
followed I slept soundly.

Meanwhile, Lynch, as a punishment for running away from us, lost his
own way, and, after stumbling into an old sow and her litter of pigs,
which on a dark night is enough to startle any one, stumbled into a
Japanese outpost, was hailed as a Russian spy, and made prisoner.
This had one advantage, as he now was able to find New-Chwang, to
which place he was marched, closely guarded, arriving there at half-
past two in the morning. Since he ran away from us he had been
wandering about on foot for ten hours. He sent a note to Mr. Little,
the British Consul, and to Bush Brothers, the kings of New-Chwang,
and, still tormented by visions of ice and champagne, demanded that
his captors take him to the Manchuria Hotel. There he swore they
would find a pass from Fukushima allowing him to enter New-Chwang,
three friends who could identify him, four carts, seven servants,
nine coolies, and nineteen animals. The commandant took him to the
Manchuria Hotel, where instead of this wealth of corroborative detail
they found John Fox in bed. As Prior, the only one of us not in New-
Chwang, had the pass from Fukushima, permitting us to enter it, there
was no one to prove what either Lynch or Fox said, and the officer
flew into a passion and told Fox he would send both of them out of
town on the first train. Mr. Fox was annoyed at being pulled from
his bed at three in the morning to be told he was a Russian spy, so
he said that there was not a train fast enough to get him out of New-
Chwang as quickly as he wanted to go, or, for that matter, out of
Japan and away from the Japanese people. At this the officer, being
a Yale graduate, and speaking very pure English, told Mr. Fox to
"shut up," and Mr. Fox being a Harvard graduate, with an equally
perfect command of English, pure and undefiled, shook his fist in the
face of the Japanese officer and told him to "shut up yourself."
Lynch, seeing the witness he had summoned for the defence about to
plunge into conflict with his captor, leaped unhappily from foot to
foot, and was heard diplomatically suggesting that all hands should
adjourn for ice and champagne.

"If I were a spy," demanded Fox, "do you suppose I would have ridden
into your town on a white horse and registered at your head-quarters
and then ordered four rooms at the principal hotel and accommodations
for seven servants, nine coolies, and nineteen animals? Is that the
way a Russian spy works? Does he go around with a brass band?"

The officer, unable to answer in kind this excellent reasoning, took
a mean advantage of his position by placing both John and Lynch under
arrest, and at the head of each bed a Japanese policeman to guard
their slumbers. The next morning Prior arrived with the pass, and
from the decks of the first out-bound English steamer Fox hurled
through the captain's brass speaking-trumpet our farewells to the
Japanese, as represented by the gun-boats in the harbor. Their
officers, probably thinking his remarks referred to floating mines,
ran eagerly to the side. But our ship's captain tumbled from the
bridge, rescued his trumpet, and begged Fox, until we were under the
guns of a British man-of-war, to issue no more farewell addresses.
The next evening we passed into the Gulf of Pe-chi-li, and saw above
Port Arthur the great guns flashing in the night, and the next day we
anchored in the snug harbor of Chefoo.

I went at once to the cable station to cable Collier's I was
returning, and asked the Chinaman in charge if my name was on his
list of those correspondents who could send copy collect. He said it
was; and as I started to write, he added with grave politeness, "I
congratulate you."

For a moment I did not lift my eyes. I felt a chill creeping down my
spine. I knew what sort of a blow was coming, and I was afraid of

"Why?" I asked.

The Chinaman bowed and smiled.

"Because you are the first," he said. "You are the only
correspondent to arrive who has seen the battle of Liao-Yang."

The chill turned to a sort of nausea. I knew then what disaster had
fallen, but I cheated myself by pretending the man was misinformed.
"There was no battle," I protested. "The Japanese told me themselves
they had entered Liao-Yang without firing a shot." The cable
operator was a gentleman. He saw my distress, saw what it meant and
delivered the blow with the distaste of a physician who must tell a
patient he cannot recover. Gently, reluctantly, with real sympathy
he said, "They have been fighting for six days."

I went over to a bench, and sat down; and when Lynch and Fox came in
and took one look at me, they guessed what had happened. When the
Chinaman told them of what we had been cheated, they, in their turn,
came to the bench, and collapsed. No one said anything. No one even
swore. Six months we had waited only to miss by three days the
greatest battle since Gettysburg and Sedan. And by a lie.

For six months we had tasted all the indignities of the suspected
spy, we had been prisoners of war, we had been ticket-of-leave men,
and it is not difficult to imagine our glad surprise that same day
when we saw in the harbor the white hull of the cruiser Cincinnati
with our flag lifting at her stern. We did not know a soul on board,
but that did not halt us. As refugees, as fleeing political
prisoners, as American slaves escaping from their Japanese jailers,
we climbed over the side and demanded protection and dinner. We got
both. Perhaps it was not good to rest on that bit of drift-wood,
that atom of our country that had floated far from the mainland and
now formed an island of American territory in the harbor of Chefoo.
Perhaps we were not content to sit at the mahogany table in the
glistening white and brass bound wardroom surrounded by those eager,
sunburned faces, to hear sea slang and home slang in the accents of
Maine, Virginia, and New York City. We forgot our dark-skinned
keepers with the slanting, suspicious, unfriendly eyes, with tongues
that spoke the one thing and meant the other. All the memories of
those six months of deceit, of broken pledges, of unnecessary
humiliations, of petty unpoliteness from a half-educated, half-bred,
conceited, and arrogant people fell from us like a heavy knapsack.
We were again at home. Again with our own people. Out of the happy
confusion of that great occasion I recall two toasts. One was
offered by John Fox. "Japan for the Japanese, and the Japanese for
Japan." Even the Japanese wardroom boy did not catch its
significance. The other was a paraphrase of a couplet in reference
to our brown brothers of the Philippines first spoken in Manila. "To
the Japanese: 'They may be brothers to Commodore Perry, but they
ain't no brothers of mine.'"

It was a joyous night. Lieutenant Gilmore, who had been an historic
prisoner in the Philippines, so far sympathized with our escape from
the Yellow Peril as to intercede with the captain to extend the rules
of the ship. And those rules that were incapable of extending broke.
Indeed, I believe we broke everything but the eight-inch gun. And
finally we were conducted to our steamer in a launch crowded with
slim-waisted, broad-chested youths in white mess jackets, clasping
each other's shoulders and singing, "Way down in my heart, I have a
feeling for you, a sort of feeling for you"; while the officer of the
deck turned his back, and discreetly fixed his night glass upon a
suspicious star.

It was an American cruiser that rescued this war correspondent from
the bondage of Japan. It will require all the battle-ships in the
Japanese navy to force him back to it.


I am going to try to describe some kits and outfits I have seen used
in different parts of the world by travellers and explorers, and in
different campaigns by army officers and war correspondents. Among
the articles, the reader may learn of some new thing which, when next
he goes hunting, fishing, or exploring, he can adapt to his own uses.
That is my hope, but I am sceptical. I have seldom met the man who
would allow any one else to select his kit, or who would admit that
any other kit was better than the one he himself had packed. It is a
very delicate question. The same article that one declares is the
most essential to his comfort, is the very first thing that another
will throw into the trail. A man's outfit is a matter which seems to
touch his private honor. I have heard veterans sitting around a
camp-fire proclaim the superiority of their kits with a jealousy,
loyalty, and enthusiasm they would not exhibit for the flesh of their
flesh and the bone of their bone. On a campaign, you may attack a
man's courage, the flag he serves, the newspaper for which he works,
his intelligence, or his camp manners, and he will ignore you; but if
you criticise his patent water-bottle he will fall upon you with both
fists. So, in recommending any article for an outfit, one needs to
be careful. An outfit lends itself to dispute, because the selection
of its component parts is not an exact science. It should be, but it
is not. A doctor on his daily rounds can carry in a compact little
satchel almost everything he is liable to need; a carpenter can stow
away in one box all the tools of his trade. But an outfit is not
selected on any recognized principles. It seems to be a question
entirely of temperament. As the man said when his friends asked him
how he made his famous cocktail, "It depends on my mood." The truth
is that each man in selecting his outfit generally follows the lines
of least resistance. With one, the pleasure he derives from his
morning bath outweighs the fact that for the rest of the day he must
carry a rubber bathtub. Another man is hearty, tough, and inured to
an out-of-door life. He can sleep on a pile of coal or standing on
his head, and he naturally scorns to carry a bed. But another man,
should he sleep all night on the ground, the next day would be of no
use to himself, his regiment, or his newspaper. So he carries a
folding cot and the more fortunate one of tougher fibre laughs at
him. Another man says that the only way to campaign is to travel
"light," and sets forth with rain-coat and field-glass. He honestly
thinks that he travels light because his intelligence tells him it is
the better way; but, as a matter of fact, he does so because he is
lazy. Throughout the entire campaign he borrows from his friends,
and with that camaraderie and unselfishness that never comes to the
surface so strongly as when men are thrown together in camp, they
lend him whatever he needs. When the war is over, he is the man who
goes about saying: "Some of those fellows carried enough stuff to
fill a moving van. Now, look what I did. I made the entire campaign
on a tooth-brush."

As a matter of fact, I have a sneaking admiration for the man who
dares to borrow. His really is the part of wisdom. But at times he
may lose himself in places where he can neither a borrower nor a
lender be, and there are men so tenderly constituted that they cannot
keep another man hungry while they use his coffee-pot. So it is well
to take a few things with you--if only to lend them to the men who
travel "light."

On hunting and campaigning trips the climate, the means of transport,
and the chance along the road of obtaining food and fodder vary so
greatly that it is not possible to map out an outfit which would
serve equally well for each of them. What on one journey was your
most precious possession on the next is a useless nuisance. On two
trips I have packed a tent weighing, with the stakes, fifty pounds,
which, as we slept in huts, I never once had occasion to open; while
on other trips in countries that promised to be more or less settled,
I had to always live under canvas, and sometimes broke camp twice a

In one war, in which I worked for an English paper, we travelled like
major-generals. When that war started few thought it would last over
six weeks, and many of the officers regarded it in the light of a
picnic. In consequence, they mobilized as they never would have done
had they foreseen what was to come, and the mess contractor grew rich
furnishing, not only champagne, which in campaigns in fever countries
has saved the life of many a good man, but cases of even port and
burgundy, which never greatly helped any one. Later these mess
supplies were turned over to the field-hospitals, but at the start
every one travelled with more than he needed and more than the
regulations allowed, and each correspondent was advised that if he
represented a first-class paper and wished to "save his face" he had
better travel in state. Those who did not, found the staff and
censor less easy of access, and the means of obtaining information
more difficult. But it was a nuisance. If, when a man halted at
your tent, you could not stand him whiskey and sparklet soda,
Egyptian cigarettes, compressed soup, canned meats, and marmalade,
your paper was suspected of trying to do it "on the cheap," and not
only of being mean, but, as this was a popular war, unpatriotic.
When the army stripped down to work all this was discontinued, but at
the start I believe there were carried with that column as many tins
of tan-leather dressing as there were rifles. On that march my own
outfit was as unwieldy as a gypsy's caravan. It consisted of an
enormous cart, two oxen, three Basuto ponies, one Australian horse,
three servants, and four hundred pounds of supplies and baggage.
When it moved across the plain it looked as large as a Fall River
boat. Later, when I joined the opposing army, and was not expected
to maintain the dignity of a great London daily, I carried all my
belongings strapped to my back, or to the back of my one pony, and I
was quite as comfortable, clean, and content as I had been with the
private car and the circus tent.

Throughout the Greek war, as there were no horses to be had for love
or money, we walked, and I learned then that when one has to carry
his own kit the number of things he can do without is extraordinary.
While I marched with the army, offering my kingdom for a horse, I
carried my outfit in saddle-bags thrown over my shoulder. And I
think it must have been a good outfit, for I never bought anything to
add to it or threw anything away. I submit that as a fair test of a

Further on, should any reader care to know how for several months one
may keep going with an outfit he can pack in two saddle-bags, I will
give a list of the articles which in three campaigns I carried in

Personally, I am for travelling "light," but at the very start one is
confronted with the fact that what one man calls light to another
savors of luxury. I call fifty pounds light; in Japan we each were
allowed the officer's allowance of sixty-six pounds. Lord Wolseley,
in his "Pocketbook," cuts down the officer's kit to forty pounds,
while "Nessmut," of the Forest and Stream, claims that for a hunting
trip, all one wants does not weigh over twenty-six pounds. It is
very largely a question of compromise. You cannot eat your cake and
have it. You cannot, under a tropical sun, throw away your blanket
and when the night dew falls wrap it around you. And if, after a day
of hard climbing or riding, you want to drop into a folding chair, to
make room for it in your carry-all you must give up many other lesser

By travelling light I do not mean any lighter than the necessity
demands. If there is transport at hand, a man is foolish not to
avail himself of it. He is always foolish if he does not make things
as easy for himself as possible. The tenderfoot will not agree with
this. With him there is no idea so fixed, and no idea so absurd, as
that to be comfortable is to be effeminate. He believes that
"roughing it" is synonymous with hardship, and in season and out of
season he plays the Spartan. Any man who suffers discomforts he can
avoid because he fears his comrades will think he cannot suffer
hardships is an idiot. You often hear it said of a man that "he can
rough it with the best of them." Any one can do that. The man I
want for a "bunkie" is the one who can be comfortable while the best
of them are roughing it. The old soldier knows that it is his duty
to keep himself fit, so that he can perform his work, whether his
work is scouting for forage or scouting for men, but you will often
hear the volunteer captain say: "Now, boys, don't forget we're
roughing it; and don't expect to be comfortable." As a rule, the
only reason his men are uncomfortable is because he does not know how
to make them otherwise; or because he thinks, on a campaign, to
endure unnecessary hardship is the mark of a soldier.

In the Cuban campaign the day the American forces landed at Siboney a
major-general of volunteers took up his head-quarters in the house
from which the Spanish commandant had just fled, and on the veranda
of which Caspar Whitney and myself had found two hammocks and made
ourselves at home. The Spaniard who had been left to guard the house
courteously offered the major-general his choice of three bed-rooms.
They all were on the first floor and opened upon the veranda, and to
the general's staff a tent could have been no easier of access.
Obviously, it was the duty of the general to keep himself in good
physical condition, to obtain as much sleep as possible, and to rest
his great brain and his limbs cramped with ten days on shipboard.
But in a tone of stern reproof he said, "No; I am campaigning now,
and I have given up all luxuries." And with that he stretched a
poncho on the hard boards of the veranda, where, while just a few
feet from him the three beds and white mosquito nets gleamed
invitingly, he tossed and turned. Besides being a silly spectacle,
the sight of an old gentleman lying wide awake on his shoulder-blades
was disturbing, and as the hours dragged on we repeatedly offered him
our hammocks. But he fretfully persisted in his determination to be
uncomfortable. And he was. The feelings of his unhappy staff,
several of whom were officers of the regular army, who had to follow
the example of their chief, were toward morning hardly loyal. Later,
at the very moment the army moved up to the battle of San Juan this
same major-general was relieved of his command on account of illness.
Had he sensibly taken care of himself, when the moment came when he
was needed, he would have been able to better serve his brigade and
his country. In contrast to this pose is the conduct of the veteran
hunter, or old soldier. When he gets into camp his first thought,
after he has cared for his horse, is for his own comfort. He does
not wolf down a cold supper and then spread his blanket wherever he
happens to be standing. He knows that, especially at night, it is
unfair to ask his stomach to digest cold rations. He knows that the
warmth of his body is needed to help him to sleep soundly, not to
fight chunks of canned meat. So, no matter how sleepy he may be, he
takes the time to build a fire and boil a cup of tea or coffee. Its
warmth aids digestion and saves his stomach from working overtime.
Nor will he act on the theory that he is "so tired he can sleep
anywhere." For a few hours the man who does that may sleep the sleep
of exhaustion. But before day breaks he will feel under him the
roots and stones, and when he awakes he is stiff, sore and
unrefreshed. Ten minutes spent in digging holes for hips and
shoulder-blades, in collecting grass and branches to spread beneath
his blanket, and leaves to stuff in his boots for a pillow, will give
him a whole night of comfort and start him well and fit on the next
day's tramp. If you have watched an old sergeant, one of the Indian
fighters, of which there are now too few left in the army, when he
goes into camp, you will see him build a bunk and possibly a shelter
of boughs just as though for the rest of his life he intended to
dwell in that particular spot. Down in the Garcia campaign along the
Rio Grande I said to one of them: "Why do you go to all that
trouble? We break camp at daybreak." He said: "Do we? Well, maybe
you know that, and maybe the captain knows that, but I don't know it.
And so long as I don't know it, I am going to be just as snug as
though I was halted here for a month." In camping, that was one of
my first and best lessons--to make your surroundings healthy and
comfortable. The temptation always is to say, "Oh, it is for only
one night, and I am too tired." The next day you say the same thing,
"We'll move to-morrow. What's the use?" But the fishing or shooting
around the camp proves good, or it comes on to storm, and for maybe a
week you do not move, and for a week you suffer discomforts. An hour
of work put in at the beginning would have turned it into a week of

When there is transport of even one pack-horse, one of the best helps
toward making camp quickly is a combination of panniers and bed used
for many years by E. F. Knight, the Times war correspondent, who lost
an arm at Gras Pan. It consists of two leather trunks, which by day
carry your belongings slung on either side of the pack-animal, and by
night act as uprights for your bed. The bed is made of canvas
stretched on two poles which rest on the two trunks. For travelling
in upper India this arrangement is used almost universally. Mr.
Knight obtained his during the Chitral campaign, and since then has
used it in every war. He had it with Kuroki's army during this last
campaign in Manchuria. {6}

A more compact form of valise and bed combined is the "carry-all," or
any of the many makes of sleeping-bags, which during the day carry
the kit and at night when spread upon the ground serve for a bed.
The one once most used by Englishmen was Lord Wolseley's "valise and
sleeping-bag." It was complicated by a number of strings, and
required as much lacing as a dozen pairs of boots. It has been
greatly improved by a new sleeping-bag with straps, and flaps that
tuck in at the ends. But the obvious disadvantage of all sleeping-
bags is that in rain and mud you are virtually lying on the hard
ground, at the mercy of tarantula and fever.

The carry-all is, nevertheless, to my mind, the most nearly perfect
way in which to pack a kit. I have tried the trunk, valise, and
sleeping-bag, and vastly prefer it to them all. My carry-all differs
only from the sleeping-bag in that, instead of lining it so that it
may be used as a bed, I carry in its pocket a folding cot. By
omitting the extra lining for the bed, I save almost the weight of
the cot. The folding cot I pack is the Gold Medal Bed, made in this
country, but which you can purchase almost anywhere. I once carried
one from Chicago to Cape Town to find on arriving I could buy the bed
there at exactly the same price I had paid for it in America. I also
found them in Tokio, where imitations of them were being made by the
ingenious and disingenuous Japanese. They are light in weight,
strong, and comfortable, and are undoubtedly the best camp-bed made.
When at your elevation of six inches above the ground you look down
from one of them upon a comrade in a sleeping-bag with rivulets of
rain and a tide of muddy water rising above him, your satisfaction,
as you fall asleep, is worth the weight of the bed in gold.

My carry-all is of canvas with a back of waterproof. It is made up
of three strips six and a half feet long. The two outer strips are
each two feet three inches wide, the middle strip four feet. At one
end of the middle strip is a deep pocket of heavy canvas with a flap
that can be fastened by two straps. When the kit has been packed in
this pocket, the two side strips are folded over it and the middle
strip and the whole is rolled up and buckled by two heavy straps on
the waterproof side. It is impossible for any article to fall out or
for the rain to soak in. I have a smaller carry-all made on the same
plan, but on a tiny scale, in which to carry small articles and a
change of clothing. It goes into the pocket after the bed, chair,
and the heavier articles are packed away. When the bag is rolled up
they are on the outside of and form a protection to the articles of
lighter weight.

The only objection to the carry-all is that it is an awkward bundle
to pack. It is difficult to balance it on the back of an animal, but
when you are taking a tent with you or carrying your provisions, it
can be slung on one side of the pack saddle to offset their weight on
the other.

I use the carry-all when I am travelling "heavy." By that I mean
when it is possible to obtain pack-animal or cart. When travelling
light and bivouacking by night without a pack-horse, bed, or tent, I
use the saddle-bags, already described. These can be slung over the
back of the horse you ride, or if you walk, carried over your
shoulder. I carried them in this latter way in Greece, in the
Transvaal, and Cuba during the rebellion, and later with our own

The list of articles I find most useful when travelling where it is
possible to obtain transport, or, as we may call it, travelling
heavy, are the following:

A tent, seven by ten feet, with fly, jointed poles, tent-pins, a
heavy mallet. I recommend a tent open at both ends with a window cut
in one end. The window, when that end is laced and the other open,
furnishes a draught of air. The window should be covered with a flap
which, in case of rain, can be tied down over it with tapes. A great
convenience in a tent is a pocket sewn inside of each wall, for
boots, books, and such small articles. The pocket should not be
filled with anything so heavy as to cause the walls to sag. Another
convenience with a tent is a leather strap stretched from pole to
pole, upon which to hang clothes, and another is a strap to be
buckled around the front tent-pole, and which is studded with
projecting hooks for your lantern, water-bottle, and field-glasses.
This latter can be bough ready-made at any military outfitter's.

Many men object to the wooden tent-pin on account of its tendency to
split, and carry pins made of iron. With these, an inch below the
head of the pin is a projecting barb which holds the tent rope. When
the pin is being driven in, the barb is out of reach of the mallet.
Any blacksmith can beat out such pins, and if you can afford the
extra weight, they are better than those of ash. Also, if you can
afford the weight, it is well to carry a strip of water-proof or
oilcloth for the floor of the tent to keep out dampness. All these
things appertaining to the tent should be tolled up in it, and the
tent itself carried in a light-weight receptacle, with a running
noose like a sailor's kit-bag.

The carry-all has already been described. Of its contents, I
consider first in importance the folding bed.

And second in importance I would place a folding chair. Many men
scoff at a chair as a cumbersome luxury. But after a hard day on
foot or in the saddle, when you sit on the ground with your back to a
rock and your hands locked across your knees to keep yourself from
sliding, or on a box with no rest for your spinal column, you begin
to think a chair is not a luxury, but a necessity. During the Cuban
campaign, for a time I was a member of General Sumner's mess. The
general owned a folding chair, and whenever his back was turned every
one would make a rush to get into it. One time we were discussing
what, in the light of our experience of that campaign, we would take
with us on our next, and all agreed, Colonel Howze, Captain Andrews,
and Major Harmon, that if one could only take one article it would be
a chair. I carried one in Manchuria, but it was of no use to me, as
the other correspondents occupied it, relieving each other like
sentries on guard duty. I had to pin a sign on it, reading, "Don't
sit on me," but no one ever saw the sign. Once, in order to rest in
my own chair, I weakly established a precedent by giving George Lynch
a cigar to allow me to sit down (on that march there was a mess
contractor who supplied us even with cigars, and occasionally with
food), and after that, whenever a man wanted to smoke, he would
commandeer my chair, and unless bribed refuse to budge. This seems
to argue the popularity of the contractor's cigars rather than that
of the chair, but, nevertheless, I submit that on a campaign the
article second in importance for rest, comfort, and content is a
chair. The best I know is one invented by Major Elliott of the
British army. I have an Elliott chair that I have used four years,
not only when camping out, but in my writing-room at home. It is an
arm-chair, and is as comfortable as any made. The objections to it
are its weight, that it packs bulkily, and takes down into too many
pieces. Even with these disadvantages it is the best chair. It can
be purchased at the Army and Navy and Anglo-Indian stores in London.
A chair of lighter weight and one-fourth the bulk is the Willisden
chair, of green canvas and thin iron supports. It breaks in only two
pieces, and is very comfortable.

Sir Harry Johnson, in his advice to explorers, makes a great point of
their packing a chair. But he recommends one known as the
"Wellington," which is a cane-bottomed affair, heavy and cumbersome.
Dr. Harford, the instructor in outfit for the Royal Geographical
Society, recommends a steamer-chair, because it can be used on
shipboard and "can be easily carried afterward." If there be
anything less easy to carry than a deck-chair I have not met it. One
might as soon think of packing a folding step-ladder. But if he has
the transport, the man who packs any reasonably light folding chair
will not regret it.

As a rule, a cooking kit is built like every other cooking kit in
that the utensils for cooking are carried in the same pot that is
used for boiling the water, and the top of the pot turns itself into
a frying-pan. For eight years I always have used the same kind of
cooking kit, so I cannot speak of others with knowledge; but I have
always looked with envious eyes at the Preston cooking kit and water-
bottle. Why it has not already been adopted by every army I do not
understand, for in no army have I seen a kit as compact or as light,
or one that combines as many useful articles and takes up as little
room. It is the invention of Captain Guy H. Preston, Thirteenth
Cavalry, and can be purchased at any military outfitter's.

The cooking kit I carry is, or was, in use in the German army. It is
made of aluminum,--weighs about as much as a cigarette-case, and
takes up as little room as would a high hat. It is a frying-pan and
coffee-pot combined. From the Germans it has been borrowed by the
Japanese, and one smaller than mine, but of the same pattern, is part
of the equipment of each Japanese soldier. On a day's march there
are three things a man must carry: his water-bottle, his food,
which, with the soldier, is generally carried in a haversack, and his
cooking kit. Preston has succeeded most ingeniously in combining the
water-bottle and the cooking kit, and I believe by cutting his water-
bottle in half, he can make room in his coffee-pot for the food. If
he will do this, he will solve the problem of carrying water, food,
and the utensils for cooking the food and for boiling the water in
one receptacle, which can be carried from the shoulder by a single
strap. The alteration I have made for my own use in Captain
Preston's water-bottle enables me to carry in the coffee-pot one
day's rations of bacon, coffee, and biscuit.

In Tokio, before leaving for Manchuria, General Fukushima asked me to
bring my entire outfit to the office of the General Staff. I spread
it out on the floor, and with unerring accuracy he selected from it
the three articles of greatest value. They were the Gold Medal cot,
the Elliott chair, and Preston's water-bottle. He asked if he could
borrow these, and, understanding that he wanted to copy them for his
own use, and supposing that if he used them, he would, of course,
make some restitution to the officers who had invented them, I
foolishly loaned them to him. Later, he issued them in numbers to
the General Staff. As I felt, in a manner, responsible, I wrote to
the Secretary of War, saying I was sure the Japanese army did not
wish to benefit by these inventions without making some
acknowledgment or return to the inventors. But the Japanese War
Office could not see the point I tried to make, and the General Staff
wrote a letter in reply asking why I had not directed my
communication to General Fukushima, as it was not the Secretary of
War, but he, who had taken the articles. The fact that they were
being issued without any return being made, did not interest them.
They passed cheerfully over the fact that the articles had been
stolen, and were indignant, not because I had accused a Japanese
general of pilfering, but because I had accused the wrong general.
The letter was so insolent that I went to the General Staff Office
and explained that the officer who wrote it, must withdraw it, and
apologize for it. Both of which things he did. In case the
gentlemen whose inventions were "borrowed" might, if they wished,
take further steps in the matter, I sent the documents in the case,
with the exception of the letter which was withdrawn, to the chief of
the General Staff in the United States and in England.

In importance after the bed, cooking kit, and chair, I would place
these articles:

Two collapsible water-buckets of rubber or canvas.
Two collapsible brass lanterns, with extra isinglass sides.
Two boxes of sick-room candles.
One dozen boxes of safety matches.
One axe. The best I have seen is the Marble Safety Axe, made at
Gladstone, Mich. You can carry it in your hip-pocket, and you can
cut down a tree with it.
One medicine case containing quinine, calomel, and Sun Cholera
Mixture in tablets.
Toilet-case for razors, tooth-powder, brushes, and paper.
Folding bath-tub of rubber in rubber case. These are manufactured to
fold into a space little larger than a cigar-box.
Two towels old, and soft.
Three cakes of soap.
One Jaeger blanket.
One mosquito head-bag.
One extra pair of shoes, old and comfortable.
One extra pair of riding-breeches.
One extra pair of gaiters. The former regulation army gaiter of
canvas, laced, rolls up in a small compass and weighs but little.
One flannel shirt. Gray least shows the dust.
Two pairs of drawers. For riding, the best are those of silk.
Two undershirts, balbriggan or woollen.
Three pairs of woollen socks.
Two linen handkerchiefs, large enough, if needed, to tie around the
throat and protect the back of the neck.
One pair of pajamas, woollen, not linen.
One housewife.
Two briarwood pipes.
Six bags of smoking tobacco; Durham or Seal of North Carolina pack
One pad of writing paper.
One fountain pen, SELF-FILLING.
One bottle of ink, with screw top, held tight by a spring.
One dozen linen envelopes.
Stamps, wrapped in oil-silk with mucilage side next to the silk.
One stick sealing-wax. In tropical countries mucilage on the flap of
envelopes sticks to everything except the envelope.
One dozen elastic bands of the largest size. In packing they help to
compress articles like clothing into the smallest possible compass
and in many other ways will be found very useful.
One pack of playing-cards.
One revolver and six cartridges.

The reason for most of these articles is obvious. Some of them may
need a word of recommendation. I place the water-buckets first in
the list for the reason that I have found them one of my most
valuable assets. With one, as soon as you halt, instead of waiting
for your turn at the well or water-hole, you can carry water to your
horse, and one of them once filled and set in the shelter of the
tent, later saves you many steps. It also can be used as a nose-bag,
and to carry fodder. I recommend the brass folding lantern, because
those I have tried of tin or aluminum have invariably broken. A
lantern is an absolute necessity. When before daylight you break
camp, or hurry out in a wind storm to struggle with flying tent-pegs,
or when at night you wish to read or play cards, a lantern with a
stout frame and steady light is indispensable. The original cost of
the sick-room candles is more than that of ordinary candles, but they
burn longer, are brighter, and take up much less room. To protect
them and the matches from dampness, or the sun, it is well to carry
them in a rubber sponge-bag. Any one who has forgotten to pack a
towel will not need to be advised to take two. An old sergeant of
Troop G, Third Cavalry, once told me that if he had to throw away
everything he carried in his roll but one article, he would save his
towel. And he was not a particularly fastidious sergeant either, but
he preferred a damp towel in his roll to damp clothes on his back.
Every man knows the dreary halts in camp when the rain pours outside,
or the regiment is held in reserve. For times like these a pack of
cards or a book is worth carrying, even if it weighs as much as the
plates from which it was printed. At present it is easy to obtain
all of the modern classics in volumes small enough to go into the
coat-pocket. In Japan, before starting for China, we divided up
among the correspondents Thomas Nelson & Sons' and Doubleday, Page &
Co.'s pocket editions of Dickens, Thackeray, and Lever, and as most
of our time in Manchuria was spent locked up in compounds, they
proved a great blessing.

In the list I have included a revolver, following out the old saying
that "You may not need it for a long time, but when you do need it,
you want it damned quick." Except to impress guides and mule-
drivers, it is not an essential article. In six campaigns I have
carried one, and never used it, nor needed it but once, and then
while I was dodging behind the foremast it lay under tons of luggage
in the hold. The number of cartridges I have limited to six, on the
theory that if in six shots you haven't hit the other fellow, he will
have hit you, and you will not require another six.

This, I think, completes the list of articles that on different
expeditions I either have found of use, or have seen render good
service to some one else. But the really wise man will pack none of
the things enumerated in this article. For the larger his kit, the
less benefit he will have of it. It will all be taken from him. And
accordingly my final advice is to go forth empty-handed, naked and
unashamed, and borrow from your friends. I have never tried that
method of collecting an outfit, but I have seen never it fail, and of
all travellers the man who borrows is the wisest.


{1} From "A Year from a Reporter's Note Book," copyright, 1897, by
Harper & Brothers.

{2} From "A Year from a Reporter's Note Book, copyright, 1897,
Harper & Brothers."

{3} For this "distinguished gallantry in action," James R. Church
later received the medal of honor.

{4} Some of the names and initials on the trees are as follows: J.
P. Allen; Lynch; Luke Steed; Happy Mack, Rough Riders; Russell; Ward;
E. M. Lewis, C, 9th Cav.; Alex; E. K. T.; J. P. E.; W. N. D.; R. D.
R.; I. W. S., 5th U. S.; J. M. B.; J. M. T., C, 9th.

{5} A price list during the siege:


I certify that the following are the correct and highest prices
realised at my sales by Public Auction during the above Siege,


FEBRUARY 21st, 1900.

Pounds s. d.
14 lbs. Oatmeal 2 19 6
Condensed Milk, per tin 0 10 0
1 lb. Beef Fat 0 11 0
1 lb. Tin Coffee 0 17 0
2 lb. Tin Tongue 1 6 0
1 Sucking Pig 1 17 0
Eggs, per dozen 2 8 0
Fowls, each 0 18 6
4 Small Cucumbers 0 15 6
Green Mealies, each 0 3 8
Small plate Grapes 1 5 0
1 Small plate Apples 0 12 6
1 Plate Tomatoes 0 18 0
1 Vegetable Marrow 1 8 0
1 Plate Eschalots 0 11 0
1 Plate Potatoes 0 19 0
3 Small bunches Carrots 0 9 0
1 Glass Jelly 0 18 0
1 lb. Bottle Jam 1 11 0
1 lb. Tin Marmalade 1 1 0
1 dozen Matches 0 13 6
1 pkt. Cigarettes 1 5 0
50 Cigars 9 5 0
0.25 lb. Cake "Fair Maid" Tobacco 2 5 0
0.5 lb. Cake "Fair Maid" 3 5 0
1 lb. Sailors Tobacco 2 3 0
0.25 lb. tin "Capstan" Navy Cut Tobacco 3 0 0

{6} The top of the trunk is made of a single piece of leather with a
rim that falls over the mouth of the trunk and protects the contents
from rain. The two iron rings by which each box is slung across the
padded back of the pack-horse are fastened by rivetted straps to the
rear top line of each trunk. On both ENDS of each trunk near the top
and back are two iron sockets. In these fit the staples that hold
the poles for the bed. The staples are made of iron in the shape of
the numeral 9, the poles passing through the circle of the 9. The
bed should be four feet long three feet wide, of heavy canvas,
strengthened by leather straps. At both ends are two buckles which
connect with straps on the top of each trunk. Along one side of the
canvas is a pocket running its length and open at both ends. Through
this one of the poles passes and the other through a series of straps
that extend on the opposite side. These straps can be shortened or
tightened to allow a certain "give" to the canvas, which the ordinary
stretcher-bed does not permit. The advantage of this arrangement is
in the fact that it can be quickly put together and that it keeps the
sleeper clear of the ground and safeguards him from colds and

Book of the day: