Slike strani

a pity his blood was lost to the desert, so old and aristocratic is his lineage. He is Seglawie Jedran, and also of that rare strain, Ibn ed Derri; in the imperial stables of Russia and of Japan are horses to which he is related. He is particularly gentle and affectionate, and he adores his mistress. Nedjran always takes exception to the petting of any one else in. his presence, but Mahruss never displays an atom of jealousy. Like the others, he wears no shoes, recently traveling one hundred and twenty-seven miles in. three days over hard valley roads, and reaching his journey's end in the best of condition; the proof that he was unshod during the trip lay in the fact that his hoofs showed the marks of no nails.

One of the most remarkable Arabians is America is Obeyran I, or the Old Man, as he is dubbed at the ranch. He was born in the Palmyrian desert in 1879; when I first saw him he had just been ridden at a gallop over seventeen miles of mountain. road, which was considered nothing at all in the way of a run, and he was then as full of life as a colt, impatient of restraint, restive at his tether and eager to be off again, all of which is remarkable in a

horse thirty-one years of age. He is sound of wind and perfect of limb as in his early youth. He was pure white until he was twenty-six, when his snowy coat became flecked with gray. He was one of the twenty-eight Arabian horses and mares imported to this country in 1893, by special permission of the Sultan, to be shown at the World's Fair. They were all of exceeding rarity and value, and each of them was to be returned to the desert, dead or alive. But the men who financed the project became involved in debt, the animals were seized, and an auction was announced. The Bedouin grooms, rather than give up their beloved charges to be profaned by the hand of a Christian, killed fourteen of them before they were discovered; of the remainder, all were shipped to England save three, one of which was Obeyran. Apparently he has not a few years of usefulness still before him-just what the length of his life will prove to be is a question of great interest. His is by no means an uncommon. case of longevity.

Another interesting personage is Yusanet, a little bay mare belonging to the family of Kehilan-al-Muson. The members


Ibn Mahruss and his mistress. Perfect type of Arabian head.

of this branch are always known as the "listeners," and they go back to a mare that lived some three thousand years ago. She stood all day long in an attitude of listening, and walked round and round the camp with restless ears pricked forward and every nerve alert. The Bedouins could not tell what she heard or whence the sound came; they gave her some grain and she ate a mouthful and then listened as before. During that entire day they could not discover the cause of her mysterious behavior. That night a hostile tribe descended upon them and half the men were slain-one of the most terrible massacres known to the Arabs. Strange to say, to this day a Kehilan-al-Muson seems always to be listening; it will invariably have this habit to a far more pronounced degree than the animals of any other family. The snapshot of little Yusanet plainly illustrates this peculiar trait, for her unconscious pose is a very characteristic attitude.

Their endurance is a constant source of wonder to those who are not familiar with them. Mr. and Mrs. Tully rode from Oakland, a distance of sixty-five miles by road, in five hours and a half; it was in December, just after a heavy rain, when the highways were in very bad condition; for several months previous to this, the horses had had but little exercise, yet the next day after reaching the ranch they showed no effects whatever of the trip. A halfArab sixteen days old belonging to Mrs. Phoebe A. Hearst, made the trip from Pleasanton to Los Gatos, a distance of forty-eight miles, in one day, and was as full of life the following day as if he had not traveled at all. One of the mares ran at full speed, not once slackening her flying pace, for twelve miles before she lessened her long, swift gallop; Mrs. Tully, who was riding, did not urge her on, nor did she try to check her for she wished to see how far she would of her own accord continue that rate of speed, and her amazement was great when she found how far it really was. Any one who is a horseman must admit that this is by no means a common feat.

We often read of the desert horses being cared for by their masters like their own families, and from this we are apt to form the opinion that they are delicate

and must always have the best of care in order to thrive. Such is not the case. True it is that the Bedouins give their steeds the best they can afford, but one must take into consideration the Arabs' mode of living. They are nomadic, wandering from place to place in heat and in cold, with only the protection of a tent between them and the sky. There are no fenced pastures, and when the horses are not being ridden, they are tethered in the camp without exercise; one of the mares at the ranch still has the marks of the hobbles with which she was fastened as a colt. The khans are miserable affairs, both for man and beast, and the animals stabled there in winter are frequently forced to stand in slush up to their knees, with cold draughts blowing about them. Owing to the arid character of the country in the dry season, food is often scarce and water at a premium. Not infrequently a Bedouin will gallop his mount for several days over the rough and stony desert places, the mercury a hundred and twenty in the shade, and both will have so little sustenance it is a marvel how they survive, yet neither of them seem to be inconvenienced by what we would consider grievous hardships. In spite of such handicaps of environment, or perhaps of them, the Arabian horses are endowed with constitutions that are singularly robust. They do not need luxuriant fare; in fact, they eat much less than other breeds, two quarts of oats a day, with but little hay, sufficing to keep them in splendid condition. Nor must they have careful housing: they have thrived exceedingly at El Rancho de las Resas, the climate of California being not unlike that of Arabia in some respects. Mrs. Tully does not pamper them in the least, but takes them out in all sorts and conditions of weather. Since she has owned them, but one case of illness, a slight attack of colic, has occurred among them.

Their docility is proverbial, a vicious Arabian being unheard of in the desert. This is due to the fact that through all the years the two have been associated, the Bedouin has treated his horse with universal kindness, lavishing upon him the same affection he gives his children. The result is an animal that is unafraid, and gentle, and intelligent to a degree.


mare at El Rancho de las Rosas received a bad cut in her shoulder, and it was necessary to take twelve stitches, three of them in the deep muscles, to close the wound. No anaesthetic was available, and she actually stood there and let them sew up the hurt, without moving. Mrs. Tully stood beside her, with an arm about her head, and she would lean against her mistress and quiver, while her eyes filmed. over with the excruciating pain, yet she remained quiet. She knew that they were trying to help her. They do not require breaking, but only the briefest of instruction before they may be ridden; a child is

know nothing about sugar or sweets, and will not eat the dainties of which most horses are fond. Occasionally one will take dates or raisins, but more often they refuse even their fruits of the desert. They do care greatly, however, for petting; they like especially to have their ears rubbed, and their eyes; Nedjran will yawn prodigiously, a sign of great content, when he is thus favored. They do not permit you to touch their noses, but always turn away their heads as a gentle hint for you to desist they dislike having their wind in any way obstructed.

As has been said, Mrs. Tully has been

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as safe on their back as the most experienced rider, and an ordinary straight curb bit is sufficient to hold the most highlystrung of them. If they feel that you are falling off, they will at once check their speed, no matter how swiftly they are going, that you may regain your seat; of the gentle art of bucking stiff-legged, as practiced in its perfection by our Western mustangs they know nothing. Their affection is like that of a dog in its constancy and er during. They love you for what you are, not for what you give them. They

accustomed to horses all her life; she has ridden since she was three years of age. She is therefore entirely capable of judging between the Arabians and the other breeds. Like every one else who has come to know the former, she has reached the conclusion that there is no comparison, absolutely, between them and what we Americans or English consider good animals. For the qualities of endurance, intelligence, docility and economy, the Arabian excels the best of thoroughbreds as an educated Caucasian excels an abo

rigine. This is not an extravagant statement. It is an incontrovertible fact, and after one has looked into the matter a bit, an inevitable conclusion. It is a question of race, that most powerful factor in the development of any created thing, be it man or beast. For forty centuries the Bedouins have kept the blood of their horses pure. When all Europe was a wilderness peopled by savages, before Rome was founded or Greece was famed, the desert steed had won his high estate. Major Upton, an Englishman who is a recognized authority on the subject, states that there is in Arabia to-day a family of horses the genealogy of which extends back in an unbroken line for thirty-five hundred years. The pedigrees of the animals have been kept inviolate through all these centuries; if a man is killed in battle and his mount taken by his enemy, the widow of the slain man at once sends to the victor the lineage of the captured horse-it is a law of the desert. Certain formalities, the same to-day as in ages gone, are observed,

A characteristic attitude.

which make impossible any chance of mistake in pedigree. The difference between this breed and all others is also borne out automatically. The former has one less lumbar vertebrae, and two less in the tail; the ulna, which in other horses is a mere splint, in the Arabian is a solid bone as large as the thumb; his bones are all like ivory in their hardness. The shape of his head is different; the articulation of the neck, where it joins the shoulder, is different: giving that peculiarly proud carriage of the head. Small wonder, then, that the result of these countless years of most careful discrimination is a horse which greatly outclasses the best that Europe or America can produce, since the latter has comparatively so few years of civilizing influences behind him.

When Arabians are crossed with lesser strains, the results are most interesting; the Arabian blood being stronger, the characteristics of that breed predominate in the descendants, and added strength with endurance are always to be found


where one parent is of desert origin. Very often a half-Arab can scarcely be distinguished in appearance from one that is fullblooded. At the ranch were many colts whose mothers were either of thoroughbred or common unpedigreed stock, and in every they had the little pointed noses, finely formed ears, and other markings of their sire. Racing stock is much improved by an admixture of Arabian blood, added swiftness with increasing longevity and strength being the advantages derived. An instance of what the Eastern strain will do for common stock is in the crossing of an Arabian with a mustang; one of the sons of Obeyran I, whose mother was an ordinary mustang, won the first prize at the New York State Fair in the yearling class, competing against many standard trotting colts.

The Western mustang is of curious descent. Far back there is in him a strain of Arabian blood, brought to America by the Spanish explorers whose horses were left in the New World when


their masters returned to the Old. Though several hundred years have elapsed, and the Arabians have long since disappeared, to this day the native horse of the West is frequently found with Arabian characteristics at once recognizable by one familiar with the desert breeds. The mustang is short-bellied and compact, and his limbs are slender, while his endurance is pro

verbial. It must be admitted that owing to abuse, his disposition is not all that might be wished, but this fault can be invariably overcome by kindness, as has been repeatedly proved. Since in a cross the docility. and the strength of the Arabian always predominate, an ideal saddle animal will undoubtedly arise from the introduction of the desert stock on the Pacific Coast.



I cannot stick to the text, somehow,
Or write what I ought to say;
For a robin sings, and a blue-eyed boy,
Whistles a roundelay:

And the lilt of the song, and the swing of the tune,

Get into my head to-day.

The deacons want a doctrinal talk,

On what the Master saith:

How He smites the wicked on every side,
And snuffs them out with a breath.
That the world is full of wickedness,
And the wages of sin is death.

Perhaps the wages of sin is death;
But the words seem hard to say,
With the song of the bird and the tune
of the boy,

Filling my soul to-day:

Is there really sin in this world of ours, And is death the price we pay?

How can I preach of sin and death,
When my heart is so blissfully stirred?
Whistling the tupe of the blue-eyed boy,
And singing the song of the bird:
For love has come, and the miracle
Of miracles has occurred.

I could preach of this love to the end of time:

And then through eternity.

Of a love as boundless as the sky;

As wide and deep as the sea.

A wonderful love: not the love of God, But the love of a woman for me.

The deacons urge that sinners be scourged,
And pierced with fiery dart.
To me the world is a world of love,
Where wickedness has no part.

I wonder if ever such love as mine,
Enters a deacon's heart?

So I go to my task with a faltering step-
Dreaming of what is to be.

And, while I expound the word of God,
My heart will be roaming free,
With a lilting bird, and a whistling boy,
And this love that has come to me.

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