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This is just to say that I am alive and sleepy, and that my head is still its normal size, although I have at last found one man in Boston who has read one of my stories, and that was Barrymore from New York. The Fairchilds’ dinner was a tremendous affair, and I was conquered absolutely by Mr. Howells, who went far, far out of his way to be as kind and charming as an old man could be. Yesterday Mrs. Whitman gave a tea in her studio. I thought she meant to have a half dozen young people to drink a cup with her, and I sauntered in in the most nonchalant manner to find that about everybody had been asked to meet me. And everybody came, principally owing to the “Harding Davis” part of the name for they all spoke of mother and so very dearly that it made me pretty near weep. Everybody came from old Dr. Holmes who never goes any place, to Mrs. “Jack” Gardner and all the debutantes. “I was on in that scene.” In the evening I went with the Fairchilds to Mrs. Julia Ward Howe’s to meet the S—-s but made a point not to as he was talking like a cad when I heard him and Mrs. Fairchild and I agreed to be the only people in Boston who had not clasped his hand. There were only a few people present and Mrs. Howe recited the Battle Hymn of the Republic, which I thought very characteristic of the city. To-day I posed again and Cumnock took me over Cambridge and into all of the Clubs where I met some very nice boys and felt very old. Then we went to a tea Cushing gave in his rooms and to night I go to Mrs. Deland’s. But the mornings with the Fairchilds are the best.
DICK.

In the spring of 1891 my mother and sister, Nora, went abroad for the summer, and the following note was written to Richard just before my mother sailed:

DEAR DICK:

This is just to give my dearest love to you my darling. Some day at sea when I cannot hear you nor see you, whenever it is that you get it–night or morning—you may be sure that we are all loving and thinking of you.

Keep close to the Lord. Your Lord who never has refused to hear a prayer of yours.

Just think that I have kissed you a thousand times.

MOTHER.

FRANKLIN SQUARE, NEW YORK.

June, 1891.

DEAR MOTHER:

Your letters are a great delight to me but I think you are going entirely too quickly. You do not feel it now but you are simply hurrying through the courses of your long dinner so rapidly that when dessert comes you will not be up to it. A day or two’s rest and less greed to see many things would be much more fun I should think, and you will enjoy those days more to look back to when you wandered around some little town by yourselves and made discoveries than those you spent doing what you feel you ought to do. Excuse this lecture but I know that when I got to Paris I wanted to do nothing but sit still and read and let “sights” go– You will soon learn not to duplicate and that one cathedral will answer for a dozen. And I am disappointed in your mad desire to get to Edinboro to get letters from home, as though you couldn’t get letters from me every day of your life and as if there were not enough of you together to keep from getting homesick. I am ashamed of you. But that is all the scolding I have to do for I do not know what has given me more pleasure than your letters and Nora’s especially. They tell me the best news in the world and that is, that you are all getting as much happiness out of it as I have prayed you would. I may go over in September myself. But I would only go to London. Now, then for Home news. I have sold the “Reporter Who Made Himself King” to McClure’s for $300. to be published in the syndicate in August. I have finished “Her First Appearance” and Gibson is doing the illustrations, three. I got $175. for it.

I am now at work on a story about Arthur Cumnock, Harvard’s football captain who was the hero of Class Day. It will come out this week and will match Lieut. Grant’s chance. In July I begin a story called the “Traveller’s Tale” which will be used in the November Harper. That is all _I_ am doing.

So far the notices of “Gallegher” have been very good, I mean the English ones.

I went up to Class Day on Friday and spent the day with Miss Fairchild and Miss Howells and with Mr. H. for chaperone. He is getting old and says he never deserved the fuss they made over him. We had a pretty perfect day although it threatened rain most of the time. We wandered around from one spread to another meeting beautifully dressed girls everywhere and “lions” and celebrities. Then the fight for the roses around the tree was very interesting and picturesque and arena like and the best of all was sitting in the broad window seats of the dormitories with a Girl or two, generally “a” girl and listening to the glee club sing and watching the lanterns and the crowds of people as beautiful as Redfern could make them.

Half of Seabright was burnt down last week but not my half, although the fire destroyed all the stores and fishermen’s houses and stopped only one house away
from Pannachi’s, where I will put up. I am very well and content and look forward to much pleasure this summer at Seabright and much work. I find I have seldom been so happy as when working hard and fast as I have been forced to do these last two weeks and so I will keep it up. Not in such a way as to hurt me but just enough to keep me happy. DICK.

NEW YORK, August 1891.
From The Pall Mall Budget Gazette.

“The Americans are saying, by the way, that they have discovered a Rudyard Kipling of their own. This is Mr. Richard Harding Davis, a volume of whose stories has been published this week by Mr. Osgood. Mr. Davis is only twenty-six, was for sometime on the staff of the New York Evening Sun. He is now the editor of Harper’s Weekly.”

That is me. I have also a mother and sister who once went to London and what do you think they first went to see, in London, mind you. They got into a four wheeler and they said “cabby drive as fast as you can,” not knowing that four wheelers never go faster than a dead march–” to–” where do you think? St. Paul’s, the Temple, the Abbey, their lodgings, the Houses of Parliament–the Pavilion Music Hall–the Tower–no to none of these–“To the Post Office.” That is what my mother and sister did! After this when they hint that they would like to go again and say “these muffins are not English muffins” and “do you remember the little Inn at Chester, ah, those were happy days,” I will say, “And do you remember the Post Office in Edinburgh and London. We have none such in America.” And as they only go abroad to get letters they will hereafter go to Rittenhouse Square and I will write letters to them from London. All this shows that a simple hurriedly written letter from Richard Harding Davis is of more value than all the show places of London. It makes me quite PROUD. And so does this:

“`Gallegher’ is as good as anything of Bret Harte’s, although it is in Mr. Davis’s own vein, not in the borrowed vein of Bret Harte or anybody else. `The Cynical Miss Catherwaight’ is very good, too, and `Mr. Raegen’ is still better.”

But on the other hand, it makes me tired, and so does this:

“`The Other Woman’ is a story which offends good taste in more than one way. It is a blunder to have written it, a greater blunder to have published it, and a greater blunder STILL to have republished it.”

I suppose now that Dad has crossed with Prince George and Nora has seen the Emperor, that you will be proud too. But you will be prouder of your darling boy Charles, even though he does get wiped out at Seabright next week and you will be even prouder when he writes great stories for The Evening Sun.

RICHARD.

The Players,

16 Gramercy Park.

24th, 1891.
DEAR FAMILY:

I had a great day at the game and going there and coming back. I met a great many old football men and almost all of them spoke of the “Out of the Game” story. Cumnock, Camp, Poe, Terry and lots more whose names mean nothing to you, so ignorant are you, were there and we had long talks. I went to see Cleveland yesterday about a thing of which I have thought much and talked less and that was going into politics in this country. To say he discouraged me in so doing would be saying the rain is wet. He seemed to think breaking stones as a means of getting fame and fortune was quicker and more genteel. I also saw her and the BABY. She explained why she had not written you and also incidentally why she HAD written Childs. I do not know as what Cleveland said made much impression upon me–although I found out what I could expect from him–that is nothing here but apparently a place abroad if I wanted it. But he thought Congress was perfectly feasible but the greatest folly to go there. DICK.

CHAPTER V
FIRST TRAVEL ARTICLES

For Richard these first years in New York were filled to overflowing with many varied interests, quite enough to satisfy most young men of twenty-seven. He had come and seen and to a degree, so far as the limitation of his work would permit, had conquered New York, but Richard thoroughly realized that New York was not only a very small part of the world but of his own country, and that to write about his own people and his own country and other people and other lands he must start his travels at an early age, and go on travelling until the end. And for the twenty-five years that followed that was what Richard did. Even when he was not on his travels but working on a novel or a play at Marion or later on at Mount Kisco, so far as it was possible he kept in touch with events that were happening and the friends that he had made all over the globe. He subscribed to most of the English and French illustrated periodicals and to one London daily newspaper which every day he read with the same interest that he read half a dozen New York newspapers and the interest was always that of the trained editor at work. Richard was not only physically restless but his mind practically never relaxed. When others, tired after a hard day’s work or play, would devote the evening to cards or billiards or chatter, Richard would write letters or pore over some strange foreign magazine, consult maps, make notes, or read the stories of his contemporaries. He practically read every American magazine from cover to cover–advertisements were a delight to him, and the finding of a new writer gave him as much pleasure as if he had been the fiction editor who had accepted the first story by the embryo genius. The official organs of our army and navy he found of particular interest. Not only did he thus follow the movements of his friends in these branches of the service but if he read of a case wherein he thought a sailor or a soldier had been done an injustice he would promptly take the matter up with the authorities at Washington, and the results he obtained were often not only extremely gratifying to the wronged party but caused Richard no end of pleasure.

According to my brother’s arrangement with the Harpers, he was to devote a certain number of months of every year to the editing of The Weekly, and the remainder to travel and the writing of his experiences for Harper’s Monthly. He started on the first of these trips in January, 1892, and the result was a series of articles which afterward appeared under the title of “The West from a Car Window.”

January, 1892.
(Some place in Texas)

I left St. Louis last night, Wednesday, and went to bed and slept for twelve hours. To-day has been most trying and I shall be very glad to get on dry land again. The snow has ceased although the papers say this is the coldest snap they have had in San Antonio in ten years. It might have waited a month for me I think. It has been a most dreary trip from a car window point of view. Now that the snow has gone, there is mud and ice and pine trees and colored people, but no cowboys as yet. They talk nothing but Chili and war and they make such funny mistakes. We have a G. A. R. excursion on the train, consisting of one fat and prosperous G. A. R., the rest of the excursion having backed out on account of Garza who the salient warriors imagine as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. One old chap with white hair came on board at a desolate station and asked for “the boys in blue” and was very much disgusted when he found that “that grasshopper Garza” had scared them away– He had tramped five miles through the mud to greet a possible comrade and was much chagrined. The excursion shook hands with him and they took a drink together. The excursion tells me he is a glass manufacturer, an owner of a slate quarry and the best embalmer of bodies in the country. He says he can keep them four years and does so “for specimens” those that are left on his hands and others he purchases from the morgue. He has a son who is an actor and he fills me full of the most harrowing tales of Indian warfare and the details of the undertaking business. He is SO funny about the latter that I weep with laughter and he cannot see why– Joe Jefferson and I went to a matinee on Wednesday and saw Robson in “She stoops to Conquer.” The house was absolutely packed and when Joe came in the box they yelled and applauded and he nodded to them in the most fatherly, friendly way as though to say “How are you, I don’t just remember your name but I’m glad to see you–” It was so much sweeter than if he had got up and bowed as I would have done.

SAN ANTONIO

I knew more about Texas than the Texans and when they told me I would find summer here I smiled knowingly– That is all the smiling I have done—Did you ever see a stage set for a garden or wood scene by daylight or Coney Island in March–that is what the glorious, beautiful baking city of San Antonio is like. There is mud and mud and mud–in cans, in the gardens of the Mexicans and snow around the palms and palmettos– Does the sun shine anywhere? Are people ever warm– It is raw, ugly and muddy, the Mexicans are merely dirty and not picturesque. I am greatly disappointed. But I have set my teeth hard and I will go on and see it through to the bitter end– But I will not write anything for publication until I can take a more cheerful view of it. I already have reached the stage where I admit the laugh is on me– But there is still London to look forward to and this may get better when the sun comes out—I went to the fort to-day and was most courteously received. But they told me I should go on to Laredo, if I expected to see any campaigning– There is no fighting nor is any expected but they say they will give me a horse and I can ride around the chaparral as long as I want. I will write you from Laredo, where I go to-morrow, Saturday–

DICK.

At Laredo Richard left the beaten track of the traveller, and with Trooper Tyler, who acted as his guide, joined Captain Hardie in his search for Garza. The famous revolutionist was supposed to be in hiding this side of the border, and the Mexican Government had asked the United States to find him and return him to the officials of his own country.

In Camp, February 2nd.
DEAR MOTHER:–

We have stopped by the side of a trail for a while and I will take the chance it gives me to tell you what I have been doing. After Tyler and I returned to camp, we had a day of rest before Captain Hardie arrived. He is a young, red-moustached, pointed-bearded chap with light blue eyes, rough with living in the West but most kind hearted and enthusiastic. He treats me as though I were his son which is rather absurd as he is only up to my shoulder. It is so hot I cannot make the words go straight and you must not mind if I wander. We are hugging a fence for all the shade there is and the horses and men have all crawled to the dark side of it and are sleeping or swearing at the sun. It is about two o’clock and we have been riding since half-past seven. I have had a first rate time but I do not see that there has been much in it to interest any one but myself and where Harper Brothers or the “gentle reader” comes in, I am afraid I cannot see, and if I cannot see it I fear he will be in a bad way. It has pleased and interested me to see how I could get along under difficult circumstances and with so much discomfort but as I say I was not sent out here to improve my temper or my health or to make me more content with my good things in the East. If we could have a fight or something that would excuse and make a climax for all this marching and reconnoitering and discomfort the story would have a suitable finale and a raison d’etre. However, I may get something out of it if only to abuse the Government for their stupidity in chasing a jack rabbit with a brass band or by praising the men for doing their duty when they know there is no duty to be done. This country is more like the ocean than anything else and drives one crazy with its monotony and desolation. And to think we went to war with Mexico for it– To-day is my tenth day with the troops in the camp and in the field and I will leave them as soon as this scout is over which will be in three days at the most. Then I will go to Corpus Christi and from there to the ranches but I will wait until I get baths, hair cuts and a dinner and cool things to drink– One thing has pleased me very much and that is that I, with Tyler and the Mexican Scout made the second best riding record of the troop since they have been in the field this winter. The others rode 115 miles in 32 hours, four of them under the first Sergeant, after revolutionists, and we made 110 miles in 33 hours. The rest of the detachment made 90 miles and our having the extra thirty to our credit was an accident. On the 31st Hardie sent out the scout and two troopers, of which Tyler was one, to get a trail and as I had been resting and loafing for three days, I went out with them. We left at eight after breakfast and returned at seven, having made thirty miles. When we got in we found that a detachment was going out on information sent in while we were out. Tyler was in it and so we got fresh horses and put out at nine o’clock by moonlight. That was to keep the people in the ranch from knowing we were going out. We rode until half-past three in the morning and then camped at the side of the road until half–past six, when we rode on until five in the afternoon. The men who were watching to see me give up grew more and more interested as the miles rolled out and the First Sergeant was very fearful for his record for which he has been recommended for the certificate of merit. The Captain was very much pleased and all the men came and spoke to me. It must have been a good ride for Tyler who is a fifth year man was so tired that he paid a man to do his sentry duty. We slept at Captain Hunter’s camp that last night and we both came on this morning, riding thirty miles up to two o’clock to-day. From here we go on into the brush again. I am very proud of that riding record and of my beard which is fine. I will finish this when we get near a post-office.

DICK.

February 4th– We rode forty miles through the brush but saw nothing of Garza, who was supposed to be in it. But we captured 3 revolutionists, one of whom ran away but the scout got him. Hardie, Tyler, who is his orderly, and the scout and I took them in because the rest of the column was lagging in the rear and the Lieutenant got bally hooly for it. Tyler disarmed one and I took away the other chaps things. Then we took a fourth in and let them all go for want of evidence and after some of the ranch men had identified them.

CORPUS CHRISTI, February 6.

We ended our scout yesterday, and camped at Captain Hunter’s last night– Mother can now rest her soul in peace as I have done with scoutings and have replaced the free and easy belt and revolver for the black silk suspenders and the fire badge of civilization. I am still covered with 11 days dirt but will get lots of good things to eat and drink and smoke at Corpus Christi to night, where I will stay for two days. I am writing this on the car and a ranger is shooting splinters out of the telegraph poles from the window in front and has a New York drummer in a state of absolute nervous prostration. I met the Rangers last night as we came into camp and find them quite the most interesting things yet. They are just what I expected to find here and have not disappointed me. Everything else is either what we know it to be and know all about or else is disappointingly commonplace. I mean we know certain things are picturesque and I find them so but they have been “done” to death and new material seems so scarce. I am sometimes very fearful of the success of the letters– However, the Rangers I simply loved. They were gentle voiced and did not swear as the soldiers do and some of them were as handsome men as I ever saw and SO BIG. And such children. They showed me all their tricks at the request of the Adjutant General, who looks upon them as his special property. They shot four shots into a tree with a revolver, going at full gallop, hit a mark with both hands at once, shot with the pistol upside down and the Captain put eight shots into a board with a Winchester, while I was putting two into the field around it. We got along very well indeed and they were quite keen for me to go back and chase Garza. They are sure they have him now. I gave the Captain permission to put four shots into my white helmet. He only put two and the rest of the company thinking their reputations were at stake whipped out their guns and snatched up their rifles and blazed away until they danced the hat all over the ranch. Then remorse overcame them and they proposed taking up a collection to get me a sombrero, which I stopped. So Nora’s hat is gone but I am going to get another and save myself from sunstroke again. The last part of the ride was enlivened by the presence of three Mexican murderers handcuffed and chained with iron bands around the neck, that is Texas civilization isn’t it–

I have had my dinner and a fine dinner it was with fresh fish and duck and oysters and segars which I have not had for a week. I am finishing this at Constantine’s and will be here for two days to write things and will then go on to King’s ranch and from there to San Antonio, where I will also rest a week. I will just about get through my schedule in the ten weeks at this rate. I had a good time in the bush and am enjoying it very much though it is lonely now and then– Still, it is very interesting and if the stories amount to anything I will be pleased but I am constantly wondering how on earth Chas stood it as he did. He is a hero to me for I have some hope of getting back and he had not– He is a sport– How I will sleep to night–a real bed and sheets and pajamas, after the ground and the same clothes for eleven days.

of love.

DICK.

While Richard was travelling in the West, his second volume of short stories, “Van Bibber and Others,” was published. The volume was dedicated to my father, who wrote Richard the following letter:

PHILADELPHIA, February 15, 1892.
MY DEAR OWN DICK:

I have not been the complete letter writer I should have been, as I told you on Saturday, but I know you will understand. Your two good letters came this evening, one to Mamma and one to Nora. They were a good deal to us all, most, of course, to your dear mother and sister, who have a fond, foolish fancy or love for you–strange–isn’t it? Yes, dear boy, I liked the new story very, very much. It was in your best book and in fine spirit, and I liked, too, the dedication of the book–its meaning and its manner. I am glad to be associated with my dear boy and with his work even in that brief way. You may not yet thought about it after this fashion, but I have thought a good deal about it. Reports come to me of you from many sources, and they are all good, and they all reflect honor upon me– Upon me as I’m getting ready to salute the world, as our French friends say. It is very pleasant to me as I think it over to feel and to know that my boy has honored my name, that he has done something good and useful in the world and for the world. I have something more than pride in you. I am grateful to you. If this is a little prosie, dear old fellow, forgive it. It is late at night and I am a little tired, and being tired stupid. You saw The Atlantic notice of your work. I wish you could have heard Nora on the author of it, who would not have been happy in his mind if he had unhappily heard her. She went for that Heathen Chinee like a wild cat. No disrespect to her, but, all the same, like a wild cat. To me it was interesting. I did not agree with it, but here and there I saw the flash of truth even in the adverse praise. I should have had more respect for the author’s opinion if he had liked that vital speck, Raegen. If he could not see the divine, human spark in that–a flash from Calvary, what is the use of considering him? My greatest pride in you, that which has added some sweetness and joy to my life, has been the recognition that something of the divine element was given you, and that your voice rang out sweet and pure at a time when other voices were sounding the fascinations of impurity. That, like Christ, you taught humanity. Don’t be afraid of being thought “fresh,” fear to be thought “knowing.” Life isn’t much worth at best,–it is worth nothing at all unless some good be done in it—the more, the better. Don’t make it too serious either. Enjoy it as you go, but after a fashion that will bring no reproach to your manhood. Don’t be afraid to preach the truth and above all the religion of humanity. Good night, dear boy. I’m a little tired to night.
With great love,

DAD.

ANADARKO-February 26th, 1892.
DEAR FAMILY:–

I could not write you before as I have been traveling from pillars to posts, (a joke), in a stage, night and day. I went to Fort Reno from Oklahoma City where they drove me crazy almost with town lots and lot sites and homestead holdings. It was all raw and mean, and greedy for money and a man is much better off in every way in a tenement on Second Avenue than the “owner of his own home” in one of these mushroom cities– So I think. I went to Fort Reno by stage and it seemed to me that I was really in the West for the first time– The rest has been as much like the oil towns around Pittsburgh as anything else. But here there are rolling prairie lands with millions of prairie dogs and deep canons and bluffs of red clay that stand out as clear as a razor hollowed and carved away by the water long ago. And the grass is as high as a stirrup and the trees very plentiful after the plains of Texas. The men at Fort Reno were the best I have met, indeed I am just a little tired of trying to talk of things of interest to the Second Lieutenant’s intellect. But I had to leave there because I had missed the beef issue and had to see it and as it was due here I pushed on. This post is very beautiful but the men are very young and civil appointments mainly, which means that they have not been to West Point but had fathers and have friends with influence and they are fresh. But the scenery around the post is delightfully wild and big and there is an Indian camp at the foot of the hill on which the fort is stuck. Mother, instead of going to Europe, should come here and see her Indians. Only if she did she would bring a dozen or more of the children back with her. They are the brightest spot in my trip and I spend the mornings and afternoons trying to get them to play with me. They are very shy and pretty and beautifully barbaric and wear the most gorgeous trappings. The women, the older ones, are the ugliest women I ever saw. But the men are fine. I never saw such color as they give to the landscape and one always thinks they have dressed up just to please you. I have spent most of my time and money in buying things from them but they are very dear because the Indians take long to make them and do not like to part with them. I have had rough times lately but I think I would be content to remain in the west six months if I could. It is the necessity of leaving places I like and pushing on to places I don’t, I dislike. Reno was fine with a band and lots of fine fellows. This post is not so queer but they are so young– It makes a great bit of color though with the yellow capes of the cavalry and the soldiers wig–waging red and white flags at other soldiers eight miles away on other mountains and the Indians in yellow buckskin and blankets and their faces painted too. I went to the beef issue to-day–it was not a pretty sight and most barbarous and cruel. I also went to a council at which the chiefs were protesting against the cutting down of their rations which is Commissioner Morgan’s doing and which it is expected will lead to war– We went in out of curiosity and without knowing it was a Council and were very much ashamed when one of the Chiefs rose and said he was glad to see the officers present as they were the best friends the Indians had and the only men they could respect in times of peace as a friend, or in times of war as an enemy. At which we took off our hats and sat it through. Mother’s blood would rise if she could hear the stories they tell, and they are so dignified and polite. They have an Indian troop here, like the one described in The Weekly, which you should read and the Captain told them I was a great Chief from the East, whereat all the soldiers who were of noble lineage claimed their privilege of shaking hands with me, which had a demoralizing effect upon the formation and the white privates were either convulsed with mirth or red with indignation. But you cannot treat them like white men who do not know their ancestors– Dad’s letter was the best I have ever got from him and he had always better write when he is tired. I will always keep it.

DICK.

DENVER–March 7, 1892.
DEAR FAMILY:

I arrived in Denver Friday night and realized that I was in a city again where the more you order people about the more they do for you, being civilized and so understanding that you mean to tip them. I found my first letter on the newsstand and was very much pleased with it, and with the way they put it out. The proof was perfect and if there had been more pictures I would have been entirely satisfied, as it was I was very much pleased. My baggage had not come, so covered with mud and dust and straw from the stages and generally disreputable I went to see a burlesque, and said “Front row, end seat,” just as naturally as though I was in evening dress and high hat–and then I sank into a beautiful deep velvet chair and saw Amazon marches and ladies in tights and heard the old old jokes and the old old songs we know so well and sing so badly. The next morning I went for my mail and the entire post office came out to see me get it. It took me until seven in the evening to finish it, and I do not know that it will ever be answered. The best of it was that you were all pleased with my letters. That put my mind at rest. Then there was news of deaths and marriages and engagements and the same people doing the same things they did when I went away. I did not intend to present any letters as I was going away that night to Creede, but I found I could not get any money unless some one identified me so I presented one to a Mr. Jerome who all the bankers said they would be only too happy to oblige. After one has been variously taken for a drummer, photographer and has been offered so much a line to “write up” booming towns, it is a relief to get back to a place where people know you.–I told Mr. Jerome I had a letter of introduction and that I was Mr. Davis and he shook hands and then looked at the letter and said “Good Heavens are you that Mr. Davis” and then rushed off and brought back the entire establishment brokers, bankers and mine owners and they all sat around and told me funny stories and planned more things for me to do and eat than I could dispose of in a month.

I am now en route to Creede. Creede when you first see it in print looks like creede but after you have been in Denver or Colorado even for one day it reads like C R E E D E. All the men on this car think they are going to make their fortunes, and toward that end they have on new boots and flannel shirts, and some of them seeing my beautiful clothing and careful array came over and confided to me that they were really not so tough as they looked and had never worn a flannel shirt before. This car is typical of what they told me I would find at Creede. There are rich mine owners who are pointed out by the conductor as the fifth part owner of the “Pot Luck” mine, and dudes in astrakan fur coats over top boots and new flannel shirts, and hardened old timers with their bedding and tin pans, who have prospected all over the state and women who are smoking and drinking.

I feel awfully selfish whenever I look out of the car window. Switzerland which I have never seen is a spot on the map compared to this. The mountains go up with snow on one side and black rows of trees and rocks on the other, and the clouds seem packed down between them. The sun on the snow and the peaks peering above the clouds is all new to me and so very beautiful that I would like to buy a mountain and call it after my best girl. I will finish this when I get to Creede. I expect to make my fortune there.
DICK.

CREEDE, March 7.

A young man in a sweater and top boots met me at the depot and said that I was Mr. Davis and that he was a young man whose life I had written in “There was 90 and 9.” He was from Buffalo and was editing a paper in Creede. He said I was to stop with him– Creede is built of new pine boards and lies between two immense mountains covered with pines and snow. The town is built in the gulley and when the spring freshets come will be a second Johnstown. Faber, the young man, took me to the Grub State Cabin where I found two most amusing dudes and thoroughbred sports from Boston, Harvard men living in a cabin ten by eight with four bunks and a stove, two banjos and H O P E. They own numerous silver mines, lots, and shares, but I do not believe they have five dollars in cash amongst them. They have a large picture of myself for one of the ORNAMENTS and are great good fellows. We sat up in our bunks until two this morning talking and are planning to go to Africa and Mexico and Asia Minor together.–Lots of love. DICK.

Very happy indeed to be back in his beloved town, Richard returned to New York late in March, 1892, and resumed his editorial duties. But on this occasion his stay was of particularly short duration, and in May, he started for his long-wished-for visit to London. The season there was not yet in full swing, and after spending a few days in town, journeyed to Oxford, where he settled down to amuse himself and collect material for his first articles on English life as he found it. In writing of this visit to Oxford, H. J. Whigham, one of Richard’s oldest friends, and who afterward served with him in several campaigns, said:

“When we first met Richard Harding Davis he was living, to all practical purposes, the life of an undergraduate at Balliol College, Oxford. Anyone at all conversant with the customs of universities, especially with the idiosyncrasies of Oxford, knows that for a person who is not an undergraduate to share the life of undergraduates on equal terms, to take part in their adventures, to be admitted to their confidence is more difficult than it is for the camel to pass through the eye of a needle or for the rich man to enter heaven. It was characteristic of Davis that although he was a few years older than the average university “man” and came from a strange country and, moreover, had no official reason for being at Oxford at all, he was accepted as one of themselves by the Balliol undergraduates, in fact, lived in Balliol for at least a college term, and happening to fall in with a somewhat enterprising generation of Balliol men he took the lead in several escapades which have been written into Oxford history. There is in the makeup of the best type of college undergraduate a wonderful spirit of adventure, an unprejudiced view of life, an almost Quixotic feeling for romance, a disdain of sordid or materialistic motives, which together make the years spent at a great university the most golden of the average man’s career. These characteristics Davis was fortunate enough to retain through all the years of his life. The same spirit that took him out with a band of Oxford youths to break down an iron barrier set by an insolent landowner across the navigable waters of Shakespeare’s Avon carried him, in after years, to the battlefields where Greece fought against the yoke of Turkey, to the insurrecto camps of Cuba, to the dark horrors of the Congo, to Manchuria, where gallant Japan beat back the overwhelming power of Russia, to Belgium, where he saw the legions of Germany trampling over the prostrate bodies of a small people. Romance was never dead while Davis was alive.”

That Richard lost no time in making friends at Oxford as, indeed, he never failed to do wherever he went, the following letters to his mother would seem to show:

OXFORD–May, 1892.
DEAR FAMILY:

I came down here on Saturday morning with the Peels, who gave an enormous boating party and luncheon on a tiny little island. The day was beautiful with a warm brilliant sun, and the river was just as narrow and pretty as the head of the Squan river, and with old walls and college buildings added. We had the prettiest Mrs. Peel in our boat and Mrs. Joseph Chamberlain, who was Miss Endicott and who is very sweet and pretty. We raced the other punts and rowboats and soon, after much splashing and exertion, reached the head of the river. Then we went to, tea in New College and to see the sights of the different colleges now on the Thames. The barges of the colleges, painted different colors and gilded like circus band-wagons and decorated with coats of arms and flying great flags, lined the one shore for a quarter of a mile and were covered by girls in pretty frocks and under-grads in blazers. Then the boats came into sight one after another with the men running alongside on the towpath. This was one of the most remarkable sights of the country so far. There were over six hundred men coming six abreast, falling and stumbling and pushing, shouting and firing pistols. It sounded like a cavalry charge and the line seemed endless. The whole thing was most theatrical and effective. Then we went to the annual dinner of the Palmerston Club, where I made a speech which was, as there is no one else to tell you, well received, “being frequently interrupted with applause,” from both the diners and the ladies in the gallery. It was about Free Trade and the way America was misrepresented in the English papers, and composed of funny stories which had nothing to do with the speech. I did not know I was going to speak until I got there, and considering the fact, as Wilson says, that your uncle was playing on a strange table with a crooked cue he did very well. The next morning we breakfasted with the Bursar of Trinity and had luncheon with the Viscount St. Cyres to meet Lord and Lady Coleridge. St. Cyres is very shy and well-bred, and we would have had a good time had not the M. P.’s present been filled with awe of the Lord Chief Justice and failed to draw him out. As it was he told some very funny stories; then we went to tea with Hubert Howard, in whose rooms I live and am now writing, and met some stupid English women and shy girls. Then we dined with the dons at New College, so–called because it is eight hundred years old. We sat at a high table in a big hall hung with pictures and lit by candles. The under-grads sat beneath in gowns and rattled pewter mugs. We all wore evening dress and those that had them red and white fur collars. After dinner we left the room according to some process of selection, carrying our napkins with us. We entered a room called the Commons, where we drank wines and ate nuts and raisins. It was all very solemn and dull and very dignified. Outside it was quite light although nine o’clock. Then we marched to another room where there were cigars and brandy and soda, but Arthur Pollen and I had to go and take coffee with the Master of Balliol, the only individual of whom Pollen stands in the least awe. He was a dear old man who said, “O yes, you’re from India,” and on my saying “No, from America”; he said, “O yes, it’s the other one.” I found the other one was an Indian princess in a cashmere cloak and diamonds, who looked so proud and lovely and beautiful that I wanted to take her out to one of the seats in the quadrangle and let her weep on my shoulder. How she lives among these cold people I cannot understand. We were all to go to a concert in the chapel, and half of the party started off, but the Master’s wife said, “Oh, I am sure the Master expects them to wait for him in the hall. It is always done.” At which all the women made fluttering remarks of sympathy and the men raced off to bring the others back. Only the Indian girl and I remained undisturbed and puzzled. The party came back, but the Master saw them and said, “Well, it does not matter, but it is generally done.” At which we all felt guilty. When we got to the chapel everybody stood up until the Master’s party sat down, but as it was broken in the middle of the procession, they sat down, and then, seeing we had not all passed, got up again, so that I felt like saying, “As you were, men,” as they do out West in the barracks. Then Lord Coleridge in taking off his overcoat took off his undercoat, too, and stood unconscious of the fact before the whole of Oxford. The faces of the audience which packed the place were something wonderful to see; their desire to laugh at a tall, red-faced man who looks like a bucolic Bill Nye struggling into his coat, and then horror at seeing the Chief Justice in his shirt-sleeves, was a terrible effort–and no one would help him, on the principle, I suppose, that the Queen of Spain has no legs. He would have been struggling yet if I had not, after watching him and Lady Coleridge struggling with him, for a full minute, taken his coat and firmly pulled the old gentleman into it, at which he turned his head and winked.

I will go back to town by the first to see the Derby and will get into lodgings there. I AM HAVING A VERY GOOD TIME AND AM VERY WELL. The place is as beautiful as one expects and yet all the time startling one with its beauty.

DICK.

When the season at Oxford was over Richard returned to London and took a big sunny suite of rooms in the Albany. Here he settled down to learn all he could of London, its ways and its people. In New York he had already met a number of English men and women distinguished in various walks of life, and with these as a nucleus he soon extended his circle of friends until it became as large as it was varied. In his youth, and indeed throughout his life, Richard had the greatest affection for England and the English. No truer American ever lived, but he thought the United States and Great Britain were bound by ties that must endure always. He admired British habits, their cosmopolitanism and the very simplicity of their mode of living. He loved their country life, and the swirl of London never failed to thrill him. During the last half of his life Richard had perhaps as many intimate friends in London as in New York. His fresh point of view, his very eagerness to understand theirs, made them welcome him more as one of their own people than as a stranger.

LONDON, June 3, 1892.
DEAR FAMILY:

I went out to the Derby on Wednesday and think it is the most interesting thing I ever saw over here. It is SO like these people never to have seen it. It seems to be chiefly composed of costermongers and Americans. I got a box-seat on a public coach and went out at ten. We rode for three hours in a procession of donkey shays, omnibuses, coaches, carriages, vans, advertising wagons; every sort of conveyance stretching for sixteen miles, and with people lining the sides to look on. I spent my time when I got there wandering around over the grounds, which were like Barnum’s circus multiplied by thousands. It was a beautiful day and quite the most remarkable sight of my life. Much more wonderful than Johnstown, so you see it must have impressed me. We were five hours getting back, the people singing all the way and pelting one another and saying funny impudent things.

My rooms are something gorgeous. They are on the first floor, looking into Piccadilly from a court, and they are filled with Hogarth’s prints, old silver, blue and white china, Zulu weapons and fur rugs, and easy chairs of India silk. You never saw such rooms! And a very good servant, who cooks and valets me and runs errands and takes such good care of me that last night Cust and Balfour called at one to get some supper and he would not let them in. Think of having the Leader of the House of Commons come to ask you for food and having him sent away. Burdett-Coutts heard of my being here in the papers and wrote me to dine with him tonight. I lunched with the Tennants today; no relation to Mrs. Stanley, and it was informal and funny rather. The Earl of Spender was there and Lord Pembroke and a lot of women. They got up and walked about and changed places and seemed to know one another better than we do at home. I think I will go down to Oxford for Whitsuntide, which is a heathen institution here which sends everyone away just as I want to meet them.

I haven’t written anything yet. I find it hard to do so. I think I would rather wait until I get home for the most of it. Chas. will be here in less than a week now and we will have a good time. I have planned it out for days. He must go to Oxford and meet those boys, and then, if he wishes, on to Eastnor, which I learn since my return is one of the show places of England. I am enjoying myself, it is needless to say, very much, and am well and happy.

DICK.

During these first days in England Richard spent much of his time at Eastnor, Lady Brownlow’s place in Lincolnshire, and one of the most beautiful estates in England. Harry Cust, to whom my brother frequently refers in his letters, was the nephew of Lady Brownlow, and a great friend of Richard’s. At that time Cust was the Conservative nominee for Parliament from Lincolnshire, and Richard took a most active part in the campaign. Happily, we were both at Lady Brownlow’s during its last few tense days, as well as on the day the votes were counted, and Cust was elected by a narrow margin. Of our thrilling adventures Richard afterward wrote at great length in “Our English Cousins.”

LONDON, July 6, 1892.
DEAR MOTHER:

On the Fourth of July, Lady Brownlow sent into town and had a big American flag brought out and placed over the house, which was a great compliment, as it was seen and commented on for miles around. Cushing of Boston, a very nice chap and awfully handsome, is there, too. The same morning I went out to photograph the soldiers, and Lord William Frederick, who is their colonel, charged them after me whenever I appeared. It seems he has a sense of humor and liked the idea of making an American run on the Fourth of July from Red-coats. I doubt if the five hundred men who were not on horseback thought it as funny. They chased me till I thought I would die. The Conservative member for the county got in last night and we rejoiced greatly, as the moral effect will help Harry Cust greatly. His election takes place next Monday. The men went in to hear the vote declared after dinner, and so did two of the girls, who got Lady Brownlow’s consent at dinner, and then dashed off to change their gowns before she could change her mind. As we were intent on seeing the fun and didn’t want them, we took them just where we would have gone anyway, which was where the fighting was. And they showed real sporting blood and saw the other real sort. There were three of us to each girl, and it was most exciting, with stones flying and windows crashing and cheers and groans. A political meeting or election at home is an afternoon tea to the English ones. When we came back the soldiers were leaving the Park to stop the row, and as we flew past, the tenants ran to the gate and cheered for the Tory victory in “good old lopes.” When we got to the house the servants ran cheering all over the shop and rang the alarm bell and built fires, and we had a supper at one-fifteen. What they will do on the night of Cust’s election, I cannot imagine– burn the house down probably. Cushing and I enjoy it immensely. We know them well enough now to be as funny as we like without having them stare. They are nice when you know them, but you’ve GOT to know them first. I had a great dinner at Farrar’s. All the ecclesiastical lights of England in knee-breeches were there, and the American Minister and Phillips Brooks. It was quite novel and fun. Lots of love. I have all the money I want.

DICK.

With Cust properly elected, Richard and I returned to the Albany and settled down to enjoy London from many angles. Although my brother had been there but a few weeks, his acquaintances among the statesmen, artists, social celebrities, and the prominent actors of the day was quite as extraordinary as his geographical and historical knowledge of the city. We gave many jolly parties, and on account of Richard’s quickly acquired popularity were constantly being invited to dinners, dances, and less formal but most amusing Bohemian supper-parties. During these days there was little opportunity for my brother to do much writing, but he was very busy making mental notes not only for his coming book on the English people, but for a number of short stories which he wrote afterward in less strenuous times. We returned to New York in August, and Richard went to Marion to rest from his social activities, and to work on his English articles.

CHAPTER VI

THE MEDITERRANEAN AND PARIS

It was, I think, the year previous to this that my mother and father had deserted Point Pleasant as a place to spend their summer vacations in favor of Marion, on Cape Cod, and Richard and I, as a matter of course, followed them there. At that time Marion was a simple little fishing village where a few very charming people came every summer and where the fishing was of the best. In all ways the life was most primitive, and happily continued so for many years. In, these early days Grover Cleveland and his bride had a cottage there, and he and Joseph Jefferson, who lived at Buzzard’s Bay, and my father went on daily fishing excursions. Richard Watson Gilder was one of the earliest settlers of the summer colony, and many distinguished members of the literary and kindred professions came there to visit him. It was a rather drowsy life for those who didn’t fish–a great deal of sitting about on one’s neighbor’s porch and discussion of the latest novel or the newest art, or of one’s soul, and speculating as to what would probably become of it. From the first Richard formed a great affection for the place, and after his marriage adopted it as his winter as well as his summer home. As a workshop he had two rooms in one of the natives’ cottages, and two more charming rooms it would be hard to imagine. The little shingled cottage was literally covered with honeysuckle, and inside there were the old wall-papers, the open hearths, the mahogany furniture, and the many charming things that had been there for generations, and all of which helped to contribute to the quaint peaceful atmosphere of the place. Dana Gibson had a cottage just across the road, and around the corner Gouverneur Morris lived with his family. At this time neither of these friends of Richard, nor Richard himself, allied themselves very closely to the literary colony and its high thoughts, but devoted most of their time to sailing about Sippican Harbor, playing tennis and contributing an occasional short story or an illustration to a popular magazine. But after the colony had taken flight, Richard often remained long into the fall, doing really serious work and a great deal of it. At such times he had to depend on a few friends who came to visit him, but principally on the natives to many of whom he was greatly attached. It was during these days that he first met his future wife, Cecil Clark, whose father, John M. Clark of Chicago, was one of the earliest of the summer colonists to build his own home at Marion. A most charming and hospitable home it was, and it was in this same house where we had all spent so many happy hours that Richard was married and spent his honeymoon, and for several years made his permanent home. Of the life of Marion during this later period, he became an integral part, and performed his duties as one of its leading citizens with much credit to the town and its people. For Marion Richard always retained a great affection, for there he had played and worked many of his best years. He had learned to love everything of which the quaint old town was possessed, animate and inanimate, and had I needed any further proof of how deeply the good people of Marion loved Richard, the letters I received from many of them at the time of his death would show.

In the early fall of 1892 Richard returned to his editorial work on Harper’s Weekly, and one of the first assignments he gave was to despatch himself to Chicago to report the Dedication Exercises of the World’s Fair. That the trip at least started out little to my brother’s liking the following seems to show. However, Richard’s moods frequently changed with the hour, and it is more than possible that before the letter was sent he was enjoying himself hugely and regarding Chicago with his usual kindly eyes.

Chicago Club,
DEAR FAMILY: October 2, 1892.

Though lost to sight I am still thinking of you sadly. It seems that I took a coupe after leaving you and after living in it for a few years I grew tired and got out on the prairie and walked along drinking in the pure air from the lakes and reading Liebig’s and Cooper’s advs. After a brisk ten mile walk I reentered my coupe and we in time drew up before a large hotel inhabited by a clerk and a regular boarder. I am on the seventh floor without a bathroom or electric button–I merely made remarks and then returned to town in a railroad train which runs conveniently near. After gaining civilization I made my way through several parades or it may have been the same one to the reviewing stand. My progress was marked by mocking remarks by the police who asked of each other to get on to my coat and on several occasions I was mistaken by a crowd of some thousand people for the P—-e of W—-s, and tumultuously cheered. At last I found an inspector of police on horseback, who agreed to get me to the stand if it took a leg. He accordingly charged about 300 women and clubbed eight men–I counted them–and finally got me in. He was very drunk but he was very good to me.

Once back from Chicago Richard divided his time between his desk at Franklin Square, his rooms on Twenty-eighth Street, and in quickly picking up the friendships and the social activities his trip to England had temporarily broken off. Much as he now loved London, he was still an enthusiastic New Yorker, and the amount of work and play he accomplished was quite extraordinary. Indeed it is difficult to understand where he found the time to do so much. In addition to his work on Harper’s he wrote many short stories and special articles, not only because he loved the mere writing of them, but because he had come to so greatly enjoy the things he could buy with the money his labors now brought him. His pleasures had increased as steadily as the prices he could now command for his stories, and in looking back on those days it is rather remarkable when one considers his age, the temptations that surrounded him, and his extraordinary capacity for enjoyment, that he never seems to have forgotten the balance between work and play, and stuck to both with an unswerving and unceasing enthusiasm. However, after four months of New York, he decided it was high time for him to be off again, and he arranged with the Harpers to spend the late winter and the spring in collecting material for the two sets of articles which afterward appeared in book form under the titles of “The Rulers of the Mediterranean” and “About Paris.” He set sail for Gibraltar the early part of February, 1893, and the following letters describe his leisurely progress about the Mediterranean ports.

NEW YORK, February 3, 1893.
DEAREST MOTHER:

This is a little present for you and a goodby. Your packing-case is what I need and what I shall want, and I love it because you made it. But as YOU say, we understand and do not have to write love letters; you have given me all that is worth while in me, and I love you so that I look forward already over miles and miles and days and months, and just see us sitting together at Marion and telling each other how good it is to be together again and holding each other’s hands. I don’t believe you really know how HAPPY I am in loving you, dear, and in having you say nice things about me. God bless you, dearest, and may I never do anything to make you feel less proud of your wicked son.

DICK.

Off Gibraltar,
DEAR MOTHER: February 12, 1893.

Today is Sunday. We arrive at Gibraltar at five tomorrow morning and the boat lies there until nine o’clock. Unless war and pestilence have broken out in other places, I shall go over to Tangiers in a day or two, and from there continue on my journey as mapped out when I left. I have had a most delightful trip and the most enjoyable I have ever taken by sea. These small boats are as different from the big twin-screw steamers as a flat from a Broadway hotel.

Everyone gets to know everything about everyone else, and it has been more like a yacht than a passenger steamer. When I first came on board I thought I would not find in any new old country I was about to visit anything more foreign than the people, and I was right, but they are most amusing and I have learned a great deal. They are different from any people I know, and are the Americans we were talking about. The ones of whom I used to read in The Atlantic and Blackwood’s, as traveling always and sinking out of sight whenever they reached home. They, with the exception of a Boston couple, know none of my friends or my haunts, and I have learned a great deal in meeting them. It has been most BROADENING and the change has been SUCH a rest. I had no idea of how tired I was of talking about the theater of Arts and Letters and Miss Whitney’s debut and my Soul. These people are simple and unimaginative and bourgeois to a degree and as kind-hearted and apparent as animal alphabets. I do not think I have had such a complete change or rest in years, and I am sure I have not laughed so much for as long. Of course, the idea of a six months’ holiday is enough to make anyone laugh at anything, but I find that besides that I was a good deal harassed and run down, and I am glad to cut off from everything and start fresh. I feel miserably selfish about it all the time.

These Germans run everything as though you were the owner of the line. The discipline is like that of the German Army or of a man-of-war, everything moves by the stroke of a bell, and they have had dances and speeches and concerts and religious services and lectures every other minute. Into all of these I have gone with much enthusiasm. We have at the captain’s table Dr. Field, the editor of The Evangelist, John Russell, a Boston Democrat, who was in Congress and who has been in public life for over forty years. A Tammany sachem, who looks like and worships Tweed, and who says what I never heard an American off the stage say: “That’s me. That’s what I do,” he says. “When I have insomnia, I don’t believe in your sleeping draughts. I get up and go round to Jake Stewart’s on Fourteenth Street and eat a fry or a porterhouse steak and then I sleep good—that’s me.” There is also a lively lady from Albany next to me and her husband, who tells anecdotes of the war just as though it had happened yesterday. Indeed, they are all so much older than I that all their talk is about things I never understood the truth about, and it is most interesting. I really do not know when I have enjoyed my meal time so much. The food is very good, although queer and German, and we generally take two hours to each sitting. Dr. Field is my especial prey and he makes me laugh until I cry. He is just like James Lewis in “A Night Off,” and is always rubbing his hands and smacking his lips over his own daring exploits. I twist everything he says into meaning something dreadful, and he is instantly explaining he did not really see a bullfight, but that he walked around the outside of the building. I have promised to show him life with a capital L, and he is afraid as death of me. But he got back at me grandly last night when he presented a testimonial to the captain, and referred to the captain’s wife and boy whom he is going to see after a two years’ absence, at which the captain wept and everybody else wept. And Field, seeing he had made a point, waved his arms and cried, “I have never known a man who amounted to anything who had not a good wife to care for–except YOU–” he shouted, pointing at me, “and no woman will ever save YOU.” At which the passengers, who fully appreciated how I had been worrying him, applauded loudly, and the Doctor in his delight at having scored on me forgot to give the captain his testimonial.

There are two nice girls on board from Chicago and a queer Southern girl who paints pictures and sings and writes poetry, and who is traveling with an odd married woman who is an invalid and who like everyone else on board has apparently spent all her life away from home. I have spent my odd time in writing the story I told Dad the night before I sailed and I think it in some ways the best, quite the best, I have written. I read it to the queer girl and her queer chaperon and they weep whenever they speak of it, which they do every half hour. All the passengers apparently laid in a stock of “Gallegher” and “The West” before starting, and young women in yachting caps are constantly holding me up for autographs and favorite quotations. Yesterday we passed the Azores near enough to see the windows in the houses, and we have seen other islands at different times, which is quite refreshing. Tomorrow I shall post this and the trip will be over. It has been a most happy start. I am not going to write letters often, but am going head over ears into this new life and let the old one wait awhile. You cannot handle Africa and keep up your fences in New York at the same time. I am now going out to talk to the Boston couple, or to propose a lion hunt to Dr. Field.

Since I wrote that last I have seen Portugal. It made me seem suddenly very far away from New York. Portugal is a high hill with a white watch tower on it flying signal flags. It is apparently inhabited by one man who lives in a long row of yellow houses with red roofs, and populated by sheep who do grand acts of balancing on the side of the hill. There is also a Navy of a brown boat with a leg-of-mutton sail and a crew of three men in the boat–not to speak of the dog. It is a great thing to have a traveled son. None of you ever saw Portugal, yah!

I am now in Gibraltar. It is a large place and there does not seem to be room in this letter, in which to express my feelings about Moors in bare legs and six thousand Red-coats and to hear Englishmen speak again. When I woke up Gibraltar was a black silhouette against the sky, but toward the south there was a low line of mountains with a red sky behind them, dim and mysterious and old, and that was Africa. Then Spain turned up all amethyst and green, and the Mediterranean as blue as they tell you it is. They wouldn’t let me take my gun into Gibraltar.
They know my reputation for war.

DICK.

GIBRALTAR.

February 14th, 1893.
DEAR MOTHER:

The luck of the British Army which I am modestly fond of comparing with my own took a vacation yesterday as soon as I had set foot on land. In the first place Egypt had settled down to her sluggish Nile like calm and cholera had quarantined the ship I wanted to take to Algiers, shutting off Algiers and what was more important Tunis. The Governor was ill shutting off things I wanted and his adjutant was boorish and proud and haughty. Then I determined to go to Spain but found I had arrived just one day too late for the last of the three days of the Mardi Gras and too early for bull fights. Had I taken Saavedra’s letters I should have gone to Madrid and met the Queen and other proud folks. So on the whole I was blue. But I have now determined to take a boat for Tangier at once where I have letters to the Duke de Tnas who is the Master of the Hounds there and a great sport and they say it is very amusing and exciting. In a fortnight I shall go to Malta. I called on Harry Cust’s brother and told him who I was and he took me in and put me at the head of the table of young subalterns in grand uniforms and we had marmalade and cold beef and beer and I was happy to the verge of tears to hear English as she is spoke. Then we went to a picnic and took tea in a smuggler’s cave and all the foxterriers ran over the table cloth and the Captain spilt hot water over his white flannels and jumped around on one leg. After which we played a handkerchief game sitting in a row and pelting the girls with a knotted handkerchief and then fighting for it– During one of these scrimmages Mulvaney, two others and Learoyd came by and with eyes front and hands at their caps marched on with stolid countenances, but their officers were embarrassed. It is hard to return a salute with your face in the sand and a stout American sitting on your neck and pulling your first lieutenant’s leg. I am now deeply engaged for dinners and dances and teas and rides and am feeling very cheerful again. I am also very well thank you and have no illnesses of any sort. You told me to be sure and put that in– As you see, I have cut out half of my trip to avoid the cholera, so you need not worry about THAT. To-day I am going over the ramparts as much as they will allow and to-morrow I go to Tangier where I expect to have some boar hunting. I would suggest your getting The Evangelist in a week or two as Dr. Field’s letters cover all I have seen. I do not tell you anything about the place because you will read that in the paper to the H. W. but I can assure you the girls are very pretty and being garrison girls are not as shy as those at home in England. I am the first American they ever met they assure me every hour and we get on very well notwithstanding.

You can imagine what it is like when Spaniards, Moors and English Soldiers are all crowded into one long street with donkeys and geese and priests and smugglers and men in polo clothes and soldiers in football suits and sailors from the man-of-war. Of course, the Rock is the best story of it all. It is a fair green smiling hill not a fortress at all. No more a fortress to look at than Fairmont Park water works, but the joke of it is that under every bush there is a gun and every gun is painted green and covered with hanging curtains of moss and every promenade is undermined and the bleakest face of the rock is tunnelled with rooms and halls. Every night we are locked in and the soldiers carry the big iron keys clanking through the streets. It is going to make interesting reading.
DICK.

GIBRALTAR.

DEAR MOTHER: February 23rd, 1893.

AEneas who “ran the round of so many chances” in this neighborhood was a stationary stay at home to what I have to do. If I ever get away from the Rock I shall be a traveller of the greatest possible experience.

I came here intending to stay a week and to write my letter on Gib. and on Tangier quietly and peacefully like a gentleman and then to go on to Malta. I love this place and there is something to do and see every minute of the time but what happened was this: All the boats that ever left here stopped running, broke shafts, or went into quarantine or just sailed by, and unless I want to spend two weeks on the sea in order to have one at Malta, which is only a military station like this, I must go off to-morrow with my articles unwritten, my photos undeveloped and my dinner calls unpaid. I am now waiting to hear if I can get to Algiers by changing twice from one steamer to another along the coast of Spain. It will be a great nuisance but I shall be able to see Algiers and Tunis and Malta in the three weeks which would have otherwise been given to Malta alone. And Tunis I am particularly keen to see. While waiting for a telegram from Spain about the boats, I shall tell you what I have been doing. Everybody was glad to see me after my return from Tangier. I dined with the Governor on Monday, in a fine large room lined with portraits of all the old commanders and their coats-of-arms like a little forest of flags and the Governor’s daughter danced a Spanish dance for us after it was over. Miss Buckle, Cust’s fiancee, dances almost as well as Carmencita, all the girls here learn it as other girls do the piano. On Tuesday Cust and Miss B. and another girl and I went over into Spain to see the meet and we had a short run after a fox who went to earth, much to my relief, in about three minutes and before I had been thrown off. There are no fences but the ground is one mass of rocks and cactus and ravines down which these English go with an ease that makes me tremble with admiration. We had not come out to follow, so we, being quite soaked through and very hungry, went to an inn and it was such an inn as Don Quixote used to stop at, with the dining-room over the stable and a lot of drunken muleteers in the court and beautiful young women to wait on us. It is a beautiful country Spain, with every sort of green you ever dreamed of. We had omelettes and native wine and black bread and got warm again and then trotted home in the rain and got wet again, so we stopped at the guard house on the outside of the rock and took tea with the officer in charge and we all got down on our knees around his fire and he hobbled around dropping his eyeglasses in his hot water and very much honored and exceedingly embarrassed. I amused myself by putting on all the uniforms he did not happen to have on and the young ladies drank tea and thawed. This is the most various place I ever came across. You have mountains and seashore and allamandas like Monte Carlo in their tropical beauty and soldiers day and night marching and drilling and banging brass bands and tennis and guns firing so as to rattle all the windows, and picnics and teas. I am engaged way ahead now but I must get off tomorrow. On Washington’s birthday I gave a luncheon because it struck me as the most inappropriate place in which one could celebrate the good man’s memory and the Governor would not think of coming at first, but I told him I was not a British subject and that if I could go to his dinner he could come to my lunch, so that, or the fact that the beautiful Miss Buckle was coming decided him to waive etiquette and he came with his A. D. C. and his daughter and officers and girls came and I had American flags and English flags and a portrait of Washington and of the Queen and I ransacked the markets for violets and banked them all up in the middle. It was fine. I turned the hotel upside down and all the servants wore their best livery and everybody stood up in a row and saluted His Excellency and I made a speech and so did his Excellency and the chef did himself proud. I got it up in one morning. Helen Benedict could not have done it better.

I had a funny adventure the morning I left Tangier– There was a good deal of talk about Field (confound him) and my getting into the prison and The Herald and Times correspondents were rather blue about it and some of the English residents said that I had not been shown the whole of the prison, that the worst had been kept from us. Field who only got into the prison because I had worked at it two days, said there was an additional ward I had not seen. I went back into this while he and the guard were getting the door open to go out and saw nothing, but to make sure that the prison was as I believed an absolute square, I went back on the morning of my departure and climbed a wall and crawled over a house top and photographed the top of the prison. Then a horrible doubt came to me that this house upon which I was standing and which adjoined the prison might be the addition of which the English residents hinted. There was an old woman in the garden below jumping up and down and to whom I had been shying money to keep her quiet. I sent the guide around to ask her what was the nature of the building upon which I had trespassed and which seemed to worry her so much– He came back to tell me that I was on the top of a harem and the old woman thought I was getting up a flirtation with the gentleman’s wives. So I dropped back again.

It will be a couple of months at least before my first story comes out in The Weekly. I cannot judge of them but I think they are up to the average of the Western stories, the material is much richer I know, but I am so much beset by the new sights that I have not the patience or the leisure I had in the West– Then there were days in which writing was a relief, now there is so much to see that it seems almost a shame to waste it.

By the grace of Providence I cannot leave here until the 28th, much to my joy and I have found out that I can do better by going direct to Malta and then to Tunis, leaving Algiers which I did not want to see out of it-Hurrah. I shall now return to the calm continuation of my story and to writing notes which Chas will enjoy.

DICK.

GIBRALTAR-February 1893.
DEAR MOTHER:

Morocco as it is is a very fine place spoiled by civilization. Not nice civilization but the dregs of it, the broken down noblemen of Spain and cashiered captains of England and the R—- L—-‘s of America. They hunt and play cricket and gamble and do nothing to maintain what is best in the place or to help what is worst. I love the Moors and the way they hate the Christian and the scorn and pride they show. They seem to carry all the mystery and dignity of Africa and of foreign conquests about them, and they are wonderfully well made and fine looking and self-respecting. The color is very beautiful, but the foreign element spoils it at every turn. One should really go inland but I shall not because I mean to do that when I reach Cairo. Everybody goes inland from here and Bonsal has covered it already. He is a great man here among all classes.

I have bought two long guns and three pistols three feet long and a Moorish costume for afternoon teas. I shall look fine. My guide’s idea of pleasing me is to kick everybody out of the way which always brings down curses on me so I have to go back and give them money and am so gradually becoming popular and much sought after by blind beggars. You can get three pounds of copper for a franc and it lasts all day throwing it right and left all the time. I made a great tear in Bonsal’s record today by refusing to pay a snake charmer all he wanted and then when he protested I took one of the snakes out of his hands and swung it around my head to the delight of the people. I wanted to show him he was a fakir to want me to pay for what I would do myself. It was a large snake about four feet long. Then my horse and another horse got fighting in the principal street in the city standing up on their hind legs and boxing like men and biting and squealing. It was awful and I got mine out of the way and was trod on and had my arm nearly pulled off and the crowd applauded and asked my guide whether I was American or English. They do not like the English. So with the lower classes I may say that I am having a social success.
DICK.

Off Malta–March 1, 1893.
DEAR MOTHER:

I have been having a delightful voyage with moonlight all night and sunlight all day. Africa kept in sight most of the time and before that we saw beautiful mountains in Spain covered with snow and red in the sunset. There were a lot of nice English people going out to India to meet their husbands and we have “tiffin” and “choota” and “curry,” so it really seemed oriental. The third night out we saw Algiers sparkling like Coney Island. I play games with myself and pretend I am at my rooms reading a story which is very hard to pretend as I never read in my rooms and then I look up and exclaim “Hello, I’m not in New York, that’s Algiers.” The thing that has impressed me most is how absolutely small the world is and how childishly easy it is to go around it. You and Nora MUST take this trip; as for me I think Willie Chanler is the most sensible individual I have yet met.

All the fascination of King Solomon’s Mines seems to be behind those great mountains and this I may add is a bit of advance work for mother, an entering wedge to my disappearing from sight for years and years in the Congo. Which, seriously, I will not do; only it is disappointing to find the earth so small and so easily encompassed that you want to go on where it is older, and new. The worst of it is that it is hard leaving all the nice people you meet and then must say good-bye to. The young ladies and Capt. Buckle and Cust came down to see me off and Buckle brought me a photo four feet long of Gib, an official one which I had to smuggle out with a great show of secrecy and now I shall be sorry to leave these people. Just as I wrote that one of the officers going out to join his regiment came to the door and blushing said the passengers were getting up a round robin asking me to stop on and go to Cairo.

Since writing the above lots of things have happened. I bid farewell to everyone at Malta and yet in four hours I was back again bag and baggage and am now on my way to Cairo. Tunis and the Bey are impossible. As soon as I landed at Malta I found that though I could go to Tunis I could not go away without being quarantined for ten days and if I remained in Malta I must stay a week. On balancing a week of Egypt against a week of Malta I could not do it so I put back to this steamer again and here I am. Tomorrow we reach Brindisi and we have already passed Sicily and had a glimpse of the toe of Italy and it is the coldest sunny Italy that I ever imagined. I am bitterly disappointed about Tunis. I have no letters to big people in Cairo only subalterns but I shall probably get along. I always manage somehow with my “artful little Ikey ways.” It was most gratifying to mark my return to this boat. One young woman danced a Kangaroo dance and the Captain wept and all the stewards stood in a line and grinned. I sing Chevalier’s songs and they all sit in the dining room below and forget to lay out the plates and last night some of the Royal Berkshire with whom I dined at Malta came on board and after hearing the Old Kent Road were on the point of Mutiny and refused to return to barracks. Great is the Power of Chevalier and great is his power for taking you back to London with three opening bars. Malta was the queerest place I ever got into. It was like a city, country and island made of cheese, mouldy cheese, and fresh limburger cheese with holes in it. You sailed right up to the front door as it were and people were hanging out of the windows smoking pipes and looking down on the deck as complacently as though having an ocean steamer in the yard was as much a matter of course as a perambulator. There were also women with black hoods which they wear as a penance because long ago the ladies of Malta got themselves talked about. I was on shore about five hours and saw some interesting things and with that and Brindisi and the voyage I can make a third letter but Tunis is writ on my heart like Calais.

Today Cleveland is inaugurated and I took all the passengers down at the proper time and explained to them that at that moment a great man was being made president and gave them each an American cocktail to remember it by and in which to toast him I am getting to be a great speech maker and if there are any more anniversaries in America I shall be a second Depew.

It is late but it is still the season here and it will be gay, but what I want to do now is to go off on a little trip inland although Cairo is the worst of all for it is surrounded by deserts and nothing to shoot but antelope and foxes and those I SCORN. I want Zulus and lions. I shall be greatly disappointed if I do not have something to do outside of Cairo for I have had no adventures at all. It is just as civilized as Camden only more exciting and beautiful although Camden is exciting when you have to get there and back in time for the last edition. From what I have already seen I am ready to spend a month in Cairo and then confess to knowing nothing of it. But we shall see. There may be a W A R or a lion hunt or something yet if there is not I shall come back here again. I must fire that Winchester off at least once just for all the trouble it has given me at custom houses. Something exciting must happen or I shall lose faith in the luck of the British army which marches shoulder to shoulder with mine. If I don’t have any adventures I shall write essays on art after this like Mrs. Van. Love and lots of it.

DICK.

CAIRO, March 11, 1893.
DEAR MOTHER:

In a famous book this line occurs, “He determined to go to that hotel in Cairo where they were to have spent their honeymoon,” or words like that. He is now at that hotel and you can buy the famous book across the street. It is called “Gallegher.” So–in this way everything comes to him who waits and he comes to it. “Gallegher” is not the only thing you buy in Egypt. You ride to the Pyramids on a brake with a man in a white felt hat blowing a horn, and the bugler of the Army of Occupation is as much in evidence as the priest who calls them to prayer from the minaret. I left the people I liked on the Sultey last Thursday in the Suez Canal and came on here in a special train. It is very cold here, and it is not a place where the cold is in keeping with the surroundings. You see people in white helmets and astrakan overcoats. It is an immense city and intensely interesting, especially the bazaars, but you feel so ignorant about it all that it rather angers you. I wish I was not such a very bad hand at languages. That is ONE THING I cannot do, that and ride. I need it very much, traveling so much, and I shall study very hard while I am in Paris. Our consul-general here is a very young man, and he showed me a Kansas paper when I called on him, which said that I was in the East and would probably call on “Ed” L. He is very civil to me and gives me his carriages and outriders with gold clothes and swords whenever I will take them.

It is so beastly cold here that it spoils a lot of things, and there are a lot of Americans who say, “I had no idea you were so young a man,” and that, after being five years old for a month and playing children’s games with English people who didn’t know or care anything about you except that you made them laugh, is rather trying. I am disappointed so far in the trip because it has developed nothing new beyond the fact that going around the world is of no more importance than going to breakfast, and I am selfish in my sightseeing and want to see things others do not. And if you even do see more than those who are not so fortunate and who have to remain at home, still you are so ignorant in comparison with those who have lived here for years and to whom the whole of Africa is a speculation in land or railroads, it makes you feel like such a faker and as if it were better to turn correspondent for the N. Y. Herald, Paris edition, and send back the names of those who are staying at the hotels. That is really all you can speak with authority about. When you have Gordon and Stanley dishes on the bill-of-fare, you feel ashamed to say you’ve been in Egypt. Anyway, I am a faker and I don’t care, and I proved it today by being photographed on a camel in front of the Pyramids, and if that wasn’t impertinence I do not know its name. I accordingly went and bought a lot of gold dresses for Nora as a penance.

As a matter of fact, unless I get into the interior for a month and see something new, I shall consider the trip a failure, except as a most amusing holiday for one, and that was not exactly what I wanted or all I wanted. After this I shall go to big cities only and stay there. Everybody travels and everybody sees as much as you do and says nothing of it, certainly does not presume to write a book about it. Anyway, it has been great fun, so I shall put it down to that and do some serious work to make up for it. I’d rather have written a good story about the Inauguration than about Cairo.

I am well, as usual, and having a fine loaf, only I don’t think much of what I have written–that’s all.

DICK.

CAIRO, March 19th, 1893.
DEAR MOTHER:

I went up the Pyramids yesterday and I am very sore today. It sounds easy because so many people do it, but they do it because they don’t know. I have been putting it off, and putting it off, until I felt ashamed to such a degree that I had to go. Little had never been either, so we went out together and met Stanford White and the Emmetts there, and we all went up. I would rather go into Central Africa than do it again. I am getting fat and that’s about it–and I had to half pull a much fatter man than myself who pretended to help me. I finally told them I’d go alone unless the fat man went away, so the other two drove him off. Going down is worse. It’s like looking over a precipice all the time. I was so glad when I got down that I sang with glee. I hate work like that, and to make it worse I took everybody’s picture on top of the Pyramid, and forgot to have one of them take me, so there is no way to prove I ever went up. Little and I hired two donkeys and called them “Gallegher” and “Van Bibber” and raced them. My donkey was so little that they couldn’t see him–only his ears. Gallegher won. The donkey-boys called it Von Bebey, so I don’t think it will help the sale of the book.

Today we went to call on the Khedive. It was very informal and too democratic to suit my tastes. We went through a line of his bodyguard in the hall, and the master of ceremonies took us up several low but wide stairways to a hall. In the hall was a little fat young man in a frock coat and a fez, and he shook hands with us, and walked into another room and we all sat down on chairs covered with white muslin. I talked and Little talked about me and the Khedive pretended to be very much honored, and said the American who had come over after our rebellion had done more for the officers in his army than had anyone else, meaning the English. He did not say that because we were Americans, but because he hates the English. He struck me as being stubborn, which is one side of stupidness and yet not stupid, and I occasionally woke him to bursts of enthusiasm over the Soudanese. His bursts were chiefly “Ali.” Little seemed to amuse him very much, and Little treated him exactly like a little boy who needed to be cheered up. I think in one way it was the most curious contrast I ever saw. “Ed” Little of Abilene, Kansas, telling the ruler of Egypt not to worry, that he had plenty of years in which to live and that he would get ahead of them all yet. Those were not his words, but that was the tone, he was perfectly friendly and sincere about it.

This place appeals to me as about the best place with which to get mixed up with that I know, and I’ve gone over a great many maps since I left home and know just how small the world is. So, I sent the Khedive my books after having asked his permission, and received the most abject thanks. And as Cromer called on me, I am going to drop around on him with a few of them. Some day there will be fine things going on here, and there is only one God, and Lord Cromer is his Prophet in this country. They think that Mohammed is but they are wrong. He is a very big man. The day he sent his ultimatum to the Khedive telling him to dismiss Facta Pasha and put back Riaz Pasha, he went out in full view of the Gezerik drive and played lawn tennis. Any man who can cable for three thousand more troops to Malta and stop a transport full of two thousand more at Aden with one hand, and bang tennis balls about with the other, is going in the long run to get ahead of a stout little boy in a red fez. It is getting awfully hot here, almost hot enough for me, and I can lay aside my overcoat by ten o’clock in the morning. Everyone else has been in flannels and pith helmets, but as they had to wear overcoats at night I could not see the advantage of the costume.

DICK.

I open this to say that ALL of your letters have just come, so I have intoxicated myself with them for the last hour and can go over them again tomorrow. I cannot tell you, dearest, what a delight your letters are and how I enjoy the clippings. I think of you all the time and how you would love this Bible land and seeing the places where Pharaoh’s daughter found Moses, and hearing people talk of St. Paul and the plagues of Egypt and Joseph and Mary just as though they had lived yesterday. I have seen two St. Johns already, with long hair and melancholy wild eyes and bare breasts and legs, with sheepskin covering, eating figs and preaching their gospel. Yesterday two men came running into town and told one of the priests that they had seen the new moon in a certain well, and the priest proclaimed a month of fasting, and the men who pulled us up the Pyramid had to rest because they had not eaten or drunk all day. At six a sheik called from the village and all the donkey–boys and guides around the Sphinx ran to get water and coffee and food. Think of that–of two men running through the street to say that they had seen the new moon in a well, when every shop sells Waterbury watches and the people who passed them were driving dogcarts with English coachmen in top-boots behind. Is there any other place as incongruous as this, as old and as new?

DICK.

ATHENS, March 30, 1893.
DEAR MOTHER:

I am now in Athens, how I got here is immaterial. Suffice it to say that never in all my life was I so ill as I was in the two days crossing from Alexandria to Piraeus, which I did with two other men in the same cabin more ill than I and praying and swearing and groaning all the time. “It was awful.”

“I have crossed in many ships upon the seas And some of them were good and some were not; In German, P & O’s and Genoese, But the Khedive’s was the worst one of the lot. We never got a moment’s peace in her For everybody’d howl or pray or bellow; She threw us on our heads or on our knees, And turned us all an unbecoming yellow.”

Athens is a small town but fine. It is chiefly yellow houses with red roofs, and mountains around it, which remind you of pictures you have seen when a youth. Also olive trees and straight black pines and the Acropolis. There is not much of it left as far as I can see from the city, but what there is is enough to make you wish you had brushed up your Greek history. I have now reached the place where Pan has a cave, where the man voted against Aristides because he was humanly tired of hearing him called the Just and where the Minotaur ate young women.

What was in the Isle of Crete but the rock from which the father of Theseus threw himself–is still here! Also the hill upon which Paul stood and told the Athenians they were too superstitious. You can imagine my feelings at finding all of these things are true. After this I am going to the North Pole to find Santa Claus and so renew my youth.

I regret to say that it is raining very hard and Athens is not set for a rainstorm. It is also cold but as I have not been warm since I crossed the North River with Chas. amid cakes of ice that is of no consequence. When I come here again I come in the summer. The good old rule that it is cold in winter and warm in summer is a good enough rule to follow. You have only to travel to find out how universally cold winter is. last night I was in Cairo, I got in a carriage and drove out alone to the Pyramids. It was beautiful moonlight. I got a donkey and rode up around them and then walked over to the Sphinx. I had never understood or seen it before. It was the creepiest and most impressive thing I ever had happen to me, I do believe. There was no one except the two donkey-boys and myself and the Sphinx. All about was the desert and above it the purple sky and the white stars and the great negro’s head in front of you with its paws stretched out, and the moonlight turning it into shadows and white lines. I think I stood there so long that I got sort of dizzy. It was just as if I had been the first man to stumble across it, and I felt that I was way back thousands of years and that the ghosts of Caesar and Napoleon and Cleopatra and the rest were in the air. That was worth the entire trip to me. This place promises to be most exciting, the New York artists are all here, they are the most jauntily dull people I ever met. Do you know what I mean? They are very nice but so stupid. I don’t let them bother me. Who was the chap who wrote about the bottle of Malvoisie? because I got a bottle of it for BREAKFAST and it is NO GOOD. It is like sweet port. But on account of the poem and its being vin du pays I got it.

Dear Mother, I wish you were here now and enjoying all these beautiful things. I got you a present in Cairo that will amuse you. Had I stayed on in Cairo I should have had much and many marks of distinction from the English. Lady Gower-Browne, who found out from them that I had called and that they had done nothing except to be rude, raised a great hue and cry and everything changed. What she said of me I don’t know but it made a most amusing difference. General Walker galloped a half mile across the desert to give me his own copy of the directions for the sham battle, and I was to have met Cromer at dinner tete-a-tete, and General Kitchener sent apologies by two other generals and all the subalterns called on me in a body. That was the day before I left. I don’t know what Lady Gower-Browne said, but it made a change which I am sorry I could not avail myself of as I want politics as well as memories.

The next time I come I shall go to even fewer places and see more people.

If the Harpers don’t look out our interests will clash. I look at it like this. I can always see the old historical things and take my children up the Nile, but I want now to make friends with the Mammon of unrighteousness and the men of the hour. I may want to occupy an hour or two myself some day and they can help me. If America starts in annexing islands she will need people to tell her how it is generally done and it is generally done, I find, by the English. I may give up literature and start annexing things like Alexander and Caesar and Napoleon. They say there will be another crisis in Cairo in a month or so. If that be true I am all right and solid with both parties. But it has got to be worth while of course or I won’t go back. There is a king living in a fine palace across the square from my window, one of his officers is now changing the guard in the rain. I hope to call on the king because I like his guard. They wear petticoats and toes turned up in front. Don’t you mind what I say about liking politics and don’t think I am not enjoying the show things. I have a capacity for both that is so far unsatisfied, and I am now going out in the rain to try and find the post-office. Lots of love.

DICK.

I am well and have been well (except sea sick) since February

P. S.–A funeral is just passing the window with the corpse exposed to view as is the quaint custom here, to add to its horror they rouge the face of the corpse and everybody kisses it. In the Greek church they burn candles for people and the number of candles I have burnt for you would light St. Paul’s, and you ought to be good with so much war being expended all over Athens for you. You buy candles instead of tipping the verger or putting it in the poor box, or because you are superstitious and think it will do some good, as I do.

Orient Express. Somewhere in Bulgaria on the way to London.

April 14th, 1893.
DEAR MOTHER:

Tuesday I wrote you a letter in the club at Constantinople telling you how glad I would be to get out of that City on April 17th on the Orient Express which only leaves twice a week on Thursdays and Mondays. So any one who travels by the Orient is looked upon first as a millionaire and second, if he does not break the journey at Vienna, as a greater traveller than Col. Burnaby on his way to Khiva. Imagine a Kansas City man breaking the journey to New York. After I wrote you that letter I went in the next room and read of the Nile Expedition in search of Gordon–this went through three volumes of The Graphic and took some time, so that when I had reached the picture which announced the death of Gordon it was half past five and I had nothing more to do for four days– It was raining and cold and muddy and so I just made up my mind I would get up and get out and I jumped about for one hour like a kangaroo and by seven I was on the Orient with two Cook men to help me and had shaken my fist at the last minaret light of that awful city. So, now it is all over and it is done– I have learned a great deal in an imperfect way of the juxtaposition of certain countries and of the ease with which one can travel without speaking any known languages and of the absolute necessity for speaking one, French. I am still disappointed about the articles but selfishly I have made a lot out of the trip. You have no idea how hard it is not to tell about strange things and yet you know people do not care half as much for them as things they know all about– No matter, it is done and with the exception of the last week it was F I N E.

“I’m going back to London, to `tea’ and long frock coats I’m done with Cook and seeing sights
I’m done with table d’hotes
So clear the track you signal man From Sofia to Pless, I’m going straight for London On the Orient Express.

I’m going straight for London
O’er Bulgaria’s heavy sands
To Rotten Row and muffins, soles,
Chevalier and Brass Bands
Ho’ get away you bullock man
You’ve heard the whistle blowed
a locomotive coming down the Grand Trunk Road.”

This is a great country and I want to ask all the natives if they know “Stenie” Bonsal. They are all his friends and so are the “Balkans,” and all the little Balkans. Nobody wears European clothes here. They are all as foreign and native and picturesque as they can be, the women with big silver plates over their stomachs and the men in sheepskin and tights and the soldiers are grand. We have been passing all day between snow covered mountains and between herds of cattle and red roofed, mud villages and long lakes of ice and snow– It is a beautiful day and I am very happy. (Second day out) 15th—We are now in Hungary and just outside of Buda Pesth “the wickedest city in the world,” still in spite of that fact I am going on. I am very glad I came this way– The peasants and soldiers are most amusing and like German picture-papers with black letter type– I shall stop a day in Paris now that I have four extra days.

DICK.

In sight of Paris–April 16–1893.
DEAREST MOTHER:

has been the most beautiful day since February 4th. It is the first day in which I have been warm. All through I have had a varnish of warmth every now and again but no real actual internal warmth–I am now in sight of Paris and it is the 16th of April, in the eleven weeks which have elapsed since the 4th of February I have been in Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, Egypt and Morocco. I have sat on the Rock of Gibraltar, sailed on the Nile and the Suez Canal and crossed through the Dardanelles, over the Balkans, the steppes of Hungary and the Danube and Rhine. I have seen the sphinx by moonlight, the Parthenon and the Eiffel Tower and in two days more I shall have seen St. Paul’s. What do you think I should like to see best now? YOU. I have been worrying of late as to whether or not I should not come home now and leave Paris for another time because it seems so rough on you to leave you without either of your younger sons for so long. But I have thought it over a great deal and I think it better that I should do Paris now and leave myself clear for the rest of the year. I promise you one thing however that I shall not undertake to stay away so long again; it is too long and one grows out of things. But nothing I feel, will be so easy or so amusing as Paris and I intend to get through with it soon and trot home to you by the middle of August AT THE VERY LATEST. So, please write me a deceitful letter and say you do not miss me at all and that my being so near as Paris makes a great difference and that I am better out of the way and if Chas goes to London I shall be near him in case he forgets to put on his overshoes or involves us in a war with G. B. Now, mother dear, do write me a cheerful letter and say that you do not mind waiting until the middle of August for me and when I come back this time I shall make a long stay with you at Marion and tell you lots of things I have not written you and I shall not go away again for ever so long and if I do go I shall only stay a little while. You have no idea how interesting this rush across the continent has been. I started in snow and through marshes covered with ice and long horned cattle and now we are in such a beautiful clean green land with green fields and green trees and flowering bushes which you can smell as the train goes by. I now think that instead of being a cafe-chantant singer I should rather be an Austrian baron and own a castle on a hill with a red roofed village around it. I have spent almost all of the trip sitting on the platform and enjoying the sight of the queer peasants and the soldiers and old villages. Tonight I shall