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4 4 THE SUN AND NEW YORK HERALD, SUNDAY, AUGUST 29, 1920.
Red Cross Camera Men in Thrilling Adventures Abroad
..re. to know why you ar, trying to a town of KM Wtitlflf until It wu ml. for on. of th. ,b-t taHor. In indon .t .lo,t
Under Fire in Montenegro, Frostbitten in
Siberia, Baked in Sahara, They Keep on
Turning Crank Filming Sultan's Harem
By HERBERT ASBURY
1-HE Hummer .un poured It. blistering
ray. upon the little Montenegrin
town of Rleka n. It etretched It.
sprnwly length In a valley northwe.t of
Lake Scutari. It I. a typical Balkan village,
with a long street on which fronted rows
of mud house, baked hard by the sun and
wind, with here and there a stone .tructure
sticking out from the other buildings Im
posing edifices in such surroundings, but In
reality tottering, ramshackle affairs erected
by masons whose zeal got the belter of their
And the whole place wa. dismally, hope
lessly dead. Now and then a shutter would
hang, a door would slam somewhere In the
town, and the scolding voice of a mother
would be heard. But the only visible signs
of life were a very small and very dirty
boy driving a lazily grunting pig up the
street and an equally small and dirty little
girl who sat on the edgo of the village water
ing trough and listlessly paddled her feet In
the water. Except for these the town might
have been the ruins of a prehistoric settle
ment. Into this wilderness of silence and heat
rumbled a venerable Balkan cart drawn by
two ancient Montenegrin oxen and with
Major Alexander F. Edouart and Major E.
J, Swift, moving picture photographers for
the American Bed Cross, sitting precariously
in the back, their equipment piled under and
over and around them. The ox Is a patient
beast, with a singleness and fixity, of pur
pose that passes belief, and these oxen were
typical of their kind. They knew that in
this village there was a great pump and
hard by a great watering trough filled to
the brim wllji cool, sweet water. They had
felt the need of the refreshing fluid ever
since they left Cattaro, eleven miles away,
early in the morning, and it was now late in
the afternoon. Their one purpose in life
was to get to that water by the shortest and
most direct r.oute, therefore they plodded
steadily onward III the middle of the road.
They paid no more attention to the shouts
and frenzied gesticulations of the driver who
walked patiently beside them than If he
They moved on down the village street to
the market place, but neither the rattle and
hump of the cart nor the shouts of the
driver aroused the town from Its slumbers.
The boy with the pig did not even turn
around; he presently disappeared beyond
the confines of the village. Nothing that
was alive remained in sight save the little
girl who paddled her feet In the trough.
She was still sitting there when the cart
rumbled up, the oxen shoved their muzzles
into tho water alongside her feet, and the
two Americans clambered to the ground.
Then It occurred to her that there might be
something of Interest in the strangers, so
curiously dressed In their khaki uniforms.
Life in a Montenegrin Village.
She removed her feet from the trough,
stuck her thumb in her mouth and began
an intensive study of the phenomena so
fortunately presented to her. She became
tremendously interested as the Americans
began to unload from the cart various
strange machines and Instruments. She
listened appreciatively, also, tdthe language
of the strangers, which, alas, was not what
her tender ears should have heard. Still,
she could not understand It, although she
recognized immediately that It was de
cidedly vigorous and explosive.
Major Edouart and Major Swift finally
removed all of their moving picture ma
chines and other belongings from the cart,
and then Major Edouart felt Impelled to
give the contraption a hearty kick.
"If we could take this thing back home,"
he .aid, "and get It down to Coney Island.
w could make the Bump-the-bumps con
cession look like thirty cents!"
"Don't Joke about It." protested Major
Swift. "Thar ride was a serious matter."
"We came hero to take picture, of life In
a Montenegrin village." Major Edouart went
on, "hut where I. It?"
"Blow whistle," suggested Major Swift.
Major Edouart grunted in disgust and
turned to the small girl.
"Where are all the people?" ho demanded,
The girl removed her thumb from her
spell over him with your devil machine! 1
"Our machine Is not a devil machine,"
said Major Edouart with great dignity. "We
have no dealings with devils! This machine
bring, long life and prosperity. Whoever m
fortunate enough to come within the Influ
ence of our great machine will have much
success In the world, and will be enriched
with vast treasure, and will command the
respect of his neighbors!"
"You swear It?"
"On my honor as an American," replied
the Major. "Tell the Great One that In
my country we have heard much of his
wisdom and his vast wealth, and I have
come blither by command of l'resldnnt Wil
son to endow him with the benefits that
can be conferred only by my great ma
chine!" "Ah!" cried the riflemnn, "Wilson!
Five Thousand Entered in Pigeon Derby
INVENTOBS of airplanes who conceived
the notion of human flights from the
fast flying crow and the carrier pigeon
ire, in spite of all their great skill, able
jo do honor to the latter for the splendid
reliability shown as a carrier, for these men
of genius realize that apart from the air
plane there is as yet no swifter messenger
of the air.
At tho big homing pigeon Derby to be run
next month in St. Louis it Is expected that
the birds will record a 'speed of at least a
mile a minute. Great interest Is being
shown In this race by pigeon fanciers all
over this country and Europe. Belgium,
where pigeon racing amounts to a national
sport, will have representatives at St. Louis
to witness the all day race on September 25.
Five thousand birds have been entered
for this race, and are now busily engaged
in making daily trial flights, each day in
creasing by a few miles their flying record.
For the actual race these fleet little mes
sengers will be released Ih pairs from 2,500
villages and towns within a 500 mile radius
of St. Louis. This big number of towns
cover, a representation of twenty-four
States, and from these towns and S.ates the
racers will carry messages tucked under
tlielr tiny wings, and made secure by a bit
of sealing wax, from the Mayor or other
local official to the Governor of Missouri.
These messages will he received by Gov.
Gardner, who will act with others In Judg
ing the race and awardlrfg the prizes. Ho
will be assisted In this by Frank P. Lucke,
president of the International Federation of,
American Homing lHgeon Fanciers, and by
officers of the pigeon division of the United
Stales Signal Corps, who likewise are show
ing a keen Interest in the race. In fact,
their cooperation to the big Derby is being
frtven in many ways. For Instance, In the
Mge work ol training, in the daily trial
flights, the army recruiting stations within
a few hundred miles of St. Louis are assist
ing greatly by releasing the pigeons for
their homeward flight at the precise hour.
The war suddenly brought the pigeon to
the front again as a messenger of the first
L gg a lnttniMifrr--"""-- - Bw I
the oAnnRn UCbCK I . VM W UW 'gSf. '
him to return to Albania.
Th. f.me of the Great On. had fon. toe
fore him, and h. wa. a personage of trernen
dou. Importance In Rlek. He had never
Men a motion picture camera, and he had
never heard of one. He "Was tr.m.ndou.ly
Impressed by the whir of th. .tranfe ma
chine a. Major Edouart turned th. crank.
He wanted to buy It. The Major refused to
.ell It. The Great One then said that h.
would take It anyway, hut gave up the Idea
when Major Edouart threatened him with
the wrath of America and an lnvaalon of
men armed with devil machine., who would
cast a terrible .pell over the entire land.
Major Edouart and Major Swift are one of
six moving picture teams which the bureau
of motion pictures of the American Bed
Cross maintains overseas "shooting" scene,
such a. their experience tell, them would
be Interesting to American audiences and aid
In furthering tho relief work of the Bed
Cross. All ofrfhe teams are headquartered
In Europe, and they have gone all over the
continent and Into out of the way place,
where the Inhabitants never heard of mo
tion pictures and where any sort of strange
machine Is a devil machine come to cast a
spell over them and blight their crops and
cause ruin and famine and death.
Major Edouart particularly ha. come In
contact with this sort of thing, because a
great deal of his work has been done In the
Balkans, and there Is no other place In the
world, with the exception of interior Africa,
where fear and Ignorance and superstition
hold such sway. Time after time he has
been in danger of his Ufe In getting pictures
which to an American audience, with no
knowledge of the difficulties involved In
putting the scene on the silver sheet, are but
ordinary pictures of life In a Balkan village.
He has taken many pictures of strange and
curious things, but in letters which he has
written hack home he has said that there Is
Just one picture whl"h he will never forget.
The Rich Old Woman in a Cava.
Major Edouart found n colony of Monte
negrin refugees living in a cave In the
mountains under terrible conditions of hy
giene and sanitation. He photographed
them after he had with difficulty overcome
their fears, and when they found that the
pictures were going to that great land of
milk and honey across the seas they Insisted
that he take separate pictures of the wealth
iest Inhabitant of the cave.
MAJOR ALEX F. EDOUART.
mouth, smeared her sleeve across ner nose,
scratched herself vigorously In half a dozen
places, and suddenly let go a blast of lan
guage. "She says," Major Edouart translated,
"that they're all asleep."
"Well," Major Swift remarked, "we can
take a picture of the town and the cart and
the little girl, anyway."
They completed the setting up of the
camera, and got ready to "shoot" the market
place. But Major Edouart had no more than
begun to turn the crank when the crack of
a rifle shot broke the stillness, and then
came another. The shots seemed to be
signal. All along the street windows and
doors popped open and heads popped out,
but nobody ventured out of the houses.
"What', the trouble now?" Major Edouart
asked the little girl.
She bestowed upon him another blast of
"She says." he translated, "that the rich
man Is coming."
At one end of the long street appeared the
figure of a man, who seemed to be scouting.
rank and transformed pigeon flying from
a sport Into an important branch of the
army service Pigeon enthusiasts believe
that the big race will do much to sustain
the enthusiasm In the United State, for
pigeon flying that was roused by the part
pigeons played as "runners" in the A. E. F.
Officers of the United States Army are
loud in praise of the part the little feathered
messengers played In the world war. The
Signal .Corps nigeon section had more than
12,000 birds nud numbered twenty officers
and 542 enlisted men.
In the St. Mihiel drive 567 American birds
were used. Of the 202 used in tank work,
24 were killed in action. In the Argonne
offensive 442 birds were used and 403 im
portant messages delivered.
During the St. Louis Derby officers of the
pigeon division of the Signal Corps will ex
hibit several of the hero birds that saw
service in France and have been cited for
bravery and awarded Distinguished Ser
vice Cross. Amcng these will be "President
Wilson," who reached his loft on the French
fiont with an Important message after hav
ing his right leg shot off. by a German
"The Mocker," another veteran of the
world war, will also attend the St. Louis
Derby. "The Mocker" Is perhaps the
most famous of all the hero birds. It was
he that on the Beaumont front September,
1918, reached the rear with a message giv
ing the location of advancing German bat
teries. TMs Information enabled American
artillerymen to silence the enemy guns In
twenty minutes. This little -hero returned
to his loft covered with blood, with one eye
shqt a way.
"Spike," another hero bird that will be
among the distinguished guests at the big
race, has the record of having carried fifty
two wnr messages. He came out of the war
Many of the pedigreed birds who will take
part in the race are from this sort of stock.
They were all bred and are now lodged In
the great loft built expressly for this pur'
iiose by the United Dcujr Company at St.
Louis. The pigeon Derby will represent a
feature of the annual convention of eight
More than that, he was sleuthing. He crept
forward and with many gestures with hi"
hands and his rifle he spied out the lay of
the land. Then he turned and waved at some
one back of him behind a bend in the road,
and presently another man Joined him. Both,
as they came nearer and nearer to the mar
ket place, were seen to be veritable walking
arsenate. They carried rifles ajid stuck In
their belts were swords whose great, bare
blades gleamed In the sunlight. Bandoliers
from vhieh peeped Innumerable cartridges
were swung across their chests, and hanging
from various strategic points of their cloth
ing were a dozen and more oblong affairs of
metal homemade Montenegrin bombs, ter
rible things that are likely to explode at
any minute, and when they do they send
their destructive forces upward, downward
and sldewise, In all directions.
The moving picture camera was half hid
den by the American., the driver and the
cart, and the two scouts evidently didn't see
It. They came forward steadily, and pres
ently around the bend In the road came a
small parade a tall, heavily bearded, ex
ceedingly pompous man, striding fiercely
along In the centre of the street, with two
heavily armed riflemen on either side of him,
another In front of him and a sixth' behind
Major Edouart turned to the little girl.
"She says," he translated, "that this Is
a very great man, the richest man In the
world! I guess we'd better 'shoot' him."
They quickly moved the camera into the
centre of the market place and awaited the
coming of the parade. By this time heads
were showing from almost every door and
window of the village. It was evident that
the coming, and goings of the great man
and his fearsome bodyguard were matters of
great community interest and pride. Excla
mations of awe; and admiration came from
the people as they crowded to the fronts of
their houses to see the great man pass, and
Major Edouart cranked vigorously at the
motion picture camera. The light was good
and It should be a fine picture.
But the people about the market place
saw what he was doing. It was extraor
dinary that a stranger should stand In the
centre of their village, point a curious ma
chine at the pride of the town and turn a
crank. A great shouting went up, and it
came to the ears of the great man and his
retinue. They looked and saw the camera
with Major Edouart standing behind It turn
ing the crank.
The bearded man Immediately squatted
in the middle of the road and his fierce re
tainers gathered about him, forming a solid
phalanx and effectually screening him from
the lens of the motion picture machine.
Then suddenly a rlflo cracked and a bullet
hummed and crackled its way through the
air above Major Edouart's head, and then
another crashed Into, the side of the cart.
"Here's life for you!" cried Major Swift.
Major Edouart hastily Jerked the camera
to the ground and Joined his companion be
hind the ox cart, which formed a fairly ef
fective barricade against further firing.
Tho great man continued to squat In the
road, but presently one of his bodyguard,
a fierce figure literally covered with arma
ment, came forward into the market place
and approached the ox cart behind which
Major Edouart and Major Swift crouched.
The former rose and confronted the rifle
man, who came to a halt some fifteen feet
away, cast an uneasy glance at the camera
and held his rifle ready for instant use.
"Th. Great One," the rifleman said, "de-
THE PRETTIEST GIRL in tie DESERT OASIS of TOGGOURT,
"Exactly," said Major Edouart. "Bid the
Great One proceed on his journey. We do
net come to cast a spell over him."
The rifleman executed a most complicated
and gorgeous salute, and then ran back
to where the great man still squatted un
comfortably in -the . Montenegrin dust. There
arose then among the retainers of the Great
One a tremendous clatter of conversation,
apparently a discussion of the relative mer
its of negotiation and massacre, but at length
the great man himself stilled the clamor
with uplifted hand. He then rase to his
feet, his bodyguard arranged itself about
him, and he proceeded with great dignity
Into the market place, the procession com
ing to' a halt In front of the ox cart
Catting a Spell for Success.
It was a simple enough matter for Major
Edouart after that. Moving picture men
who scour the far corners of the earth for
interesting pictures, who visit the dstricts
where fear and ignorance and superstition
are the common lot, must be glib and con
vincing talkers If they are to succeed and
it was a great tribute to the glibness of
Major Edouart and his companion th'.t with
in fifteen minutes the Great One and his
bodyguard were marching and counter
marching in front of the motion - picture
camera, in order that they might absorb the
beneficent rays of the strange machine and
so become rich and powerful In the land.
By dint of much questioning Major
Edouart learned that the Great One was an
Albanian, the richest man 'in all of Albania
and one of the most powerful of the native
leaders. But the war had played havoc with
his power and his treasure. 'The Italians
had come into the country, driven away hi.
herds and flocks aud taken ftlm prisoner.
In one of the towns on the Albanian coast
the Great One had been Imprisoned, but he
had stabbed his guard and escaped into the
mountains, where he was Joined by a few of
his devoted followers. He had then made
his wiv Into Montenegro, and was now lead
ing a life of pompous importance in the little
"We desire to ihow the great Americans,"
said the head man of the colony, "that we,
too, have much property!"
It was then arranged that the wealthiest
inhabitant should come forth with her prop
erty and be photographed. Major Edouart
expected to see a dowager, perhaps a Mon
tenegrin princess, hung and garlanded with
the family Jewels; he had visions of treasure
of an exceeding vastness. So he carefully
set uo his camera in front of a rock, upon
which the wealthy one was to sit surrounded
by her treasure, and soon everything was
ready for the picture.
Then from the cave came a wrinkled, tired
old woman, and behind her a man marched
carrying a hen, and after him another man
carying a squealing pig.
These were the treasure!
""-With an Immense amount of ceremony the
old woman was' seated on the rock, the hen
was placed in her l,ap and the pig was teth
ered at her feet. ('
The greater part of the work of the Bed
Cross photographers has been done In Eu
rope, especially in the various war zones,
but many of the teams hnve been sent on
side trips to Asia and Africa. The most
recent of these were a trip which one of the
teams made to Africa to photograph the
child rug weavers of the Sahara, and a Jour
ney which Harold Wyckoff and Dr. Orrln
Wlghtman made through Bussla into Sibe
ria and to the American troops stationed at
Archangel. The last named team went
through Bumania also, taking pictures of
the Queen doing relief work among her sub
jects and various phases of Bumanian life.
They had but one great adventure In this
country, but it was one which Dr. Wight
man I. not apt to forget very soon.
A Treasured Pair of Breeches.
The moving picture teams travel light,
and seldom carry any-clothing beyond what
they wear on their backs. It was ro with
Dr. Wlghtman and Mr. Wyckoff on the
Rumanian expedition. Dr. Wlghtman had
pair of breeches that were the atml of
bis eye, heavy English whipcord, made by everywhere.
fabulous cost. He felt, ana rignuy.
hi. breeches were worth all the ntl of his
equipment put together.
They arrived one night at a .mall Ru
manian village, and when morning came Dr.
Wlghtman'. priceless breeches were miming.
Circumstance, prevented him from Joining
In the search for them, but Wyckoff arou.ed
the whole village and was unable to locate
them. Finally the local police were called
in, and a great bearded detective the other
member of th force besides the chltt was
sent to the hotel to find the missing wear
ing apparel. He came Into the presence
of Dr. Wlghtman, and the doctor .tared at
him in amazement.
"That detective," he confided to Wyckoff
"ha. got on my pants!"
It required considerable negotiation to In
duce the bearded Rumanian cop to surren
dcr them. It developed that he had pur
chased them at an enormou. price from
one of the servants of the hotel, and he
considered therefore that they were his
property. Questions of previous ownership
did not disturb him; he had bought them,
therefore he owned them.
Superstitious F.ar in Russia.
The Wyckoff-Wlghtman team had to com
bat Ignorance, and .uperatltlon and Bol
shevism throughout Russia. The natives
were so fearful of the strange moving pic
ture camera' that they wouldn't come within
many feet of (it without making the sign
of the cross to protect themselves against
a possible evil .pell they thought the
clicking lens was the evil eye and th.
Ilolshevlk commissaries who ruled the small
towns gave them no end of trouble. It was
always necessary not only to grease their
palms with much gold but to photograph
them In various pompous poses. The pho
tographers, too, had to promise faithfully
thnt when the pictures were shown there
would be titles on them proclaiming the Bol
shevists as saviors of humanity.
In Archangel and northern Siberia Mr.
Wyckoff and Dr. Wlghtman found very cold
weather. The highest temperaturewhlle they
were there was .12 degrees below zero. Sev
eral time, their fingers were frosted while
taking pictures, and on one occasion when
n battalion of Canadian troops drilled In
front of the camera a great many of the
soldiers come out of the manoeuvre with
frozen hands and feet. They found, how
ever, that the American, were warmly
dressed and well fed. The only criticism Mr
Wyckoff had to offer In a conversation with
the writer the other day was that the arnr
Mithoritles had put heavy soles on the
otherwise soft boots Issued to the troops.
Tho soles retained the cold and caused a
number of frozen feet, and they also made
tr.'ivelltng over the Ice very difficult.
The Red Cross uniforms worn by the
photographers and the fame of the Red
Cross everywhere has enabled them to Ij
taln pictures that ordinarily they would
never have been able to get, and they have
nent back films that have been the ambi
tion of the news reel camera men for
years. One of the best things In this line
was done by Captain Merle LaVoy. who
made the first motion pictures of the Sultan
of Turkey and the Interior of his harem
and the royal palace. He also photographed
the whirling dervishes, and obtained fine
pictures of various Moslem religious cere
monies. Including the Sacrifice of the Seven
Sheep In a Constantinople mosque.
Motion Picturing the Sultan.
Photographing the Sultan, and especially
the interior of the Sultan's harem, was an
undertaking to daunt the hardiest moving
picture man. But by virtue of the Bed Cross
uniform and by a liberal application of the
recognized treatment for itching palm Capt.
La Voy finally obtained royal permission to
take movies of the Sultan and his household,
including the beauties of the harem. The
photographer,' being an industrious reader
of the Arabian Nights and being also famil
iar with the gorgeous harems construct d
by moving picture producers for their great
Oriental dramas, hud visions of dark eyed
ho oris and languishing beauties, but alas!
the beauties of the Sultan's harem were not
such as brought forth the ravings of the
descriptive artists who wrote the Arabian
Nights. A great' many of them, unfortu
nately, were fat, and a great many more,
showed a decided tendency to frowslness.
However, Capt. La Voy photographed them
and took pictures of the Sultan signing im
portant documents and walking In his gar
den and doing all manner of things, and
when he had finished he made sufficient
exposures to set before the American people
the whole household machinery of the Sub
lime Porte and head of the Moslem faith. It
had never been done before.
Taking pictures of Interesting scenes
throughout the far corners of the world,
however, is not the only task of the Red
Cross picture makers. The bureau was or
ganized at the beginning of the war with
W. E. Waddell as director as an agency for
the spread of Red Cross propaganda, and it
is still used lnrgely for this purpose. That
Is to say, whenever it is possible a picture
is made to tell, somewhere, a Red Cross
story and carry a Red Cross message, al
though this cannot be done, of course, with
purely scenic views. But many reels have
been taken showing Bed Cross work and
the efforts of the great mother to heal the
sick and distressed in all parts of the world.
These pictures are propaganda pictures be
cause they show the American people what
the Red Cross is doing with their money;
yet at the same time they are proof that
the money Is being well spent and wisely.
MORE rapid changes In animal and
vegetable life are taking place In
New Zealand than almost any
where else In the world. The native Poly
nesian race Is disappearing ibefore the Eu
ropean; the native wild animals amount to
little In contest with the imported species,
many of which now run wild; the streams
are full of American and European trout,
which attain an enormous size, and even
the forests are being replaced by the plant
ing of foreign trees as the native ones dis
appear. Eleven million larches, oaks, spruces.
Douglas firs and eucalyptus have already
been planted and vast numbers of seedlings
ate coming in all the time. The reason for
replacing the native trees with species from
the United States, Europe and Australia la
that those of New Zealand are too slow of
growtn, although some of them produce
excellent timber. The Implantations thrive