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have been waiting here hoping to get some sort of credentials from Kitchener. But though Winston Churchill has urged him, and tomorrow is going to urge him again, they give me no hope. So I’ll just go over “on my own” and I bet I’ll see more than anyone else. I have fine papers, anyhow. I am now writing Scribner article, so THAT is off my mind. And now that you are home, I have no “worries.” I wish I had got your cable earlier. I would have had oysters and champagne in BATH TUBS. Give my love to all the flowers, and to Shea and Paedrig, and Tom, and Louise, and Gouvey and the lake. And take SUCH good care of yourself, and love me, and be happy for I do so love you dear one. I DO SO LOVE YOU.


September 15th.

Tonight I got your cable in answer to mine asking if you were well. All things considered twenty-four hours was not so long for them to get the answer to me. You BET I will be careful. I don’t want to get nearer to a German than twenty miles. At the battlefield I collected five German spiked helmets but at the Paris gate they took ALL of them from me. I WAS mad! I wanted to keep them in my “gym,” and pound them with Indian clubs. I wrote all day yesterday, so today I did not work. There is nothing more here to do. And as soon as my contract is up October 1st, I will make towards YOU! Seeing the big battle was great luck. So far I have seen more than anyone. I have had no credentials; and yet have been with ALL the armies. Now I am just beating time, until I can get home. The fighting is too far away even if I could go to it. But I can’t without being arrested. And I am fed up on being arrested. Today all the little children came out of doors. They have been locked up for fear of airships. It was fine to see them playing in the Champs Elysees and making forts out of pebbles, and rolling hoops.

God loves you, dear one, and I trust in Him. But I am awful sick for a sight of you. What a lot we will have to tell each other. One thing I never have to tell you, but it makes me happy when I can. It is this: I LOVE YOU! And every minute I think of you.

With all my love.



PARIS, September 15th, 1914.

I got this morning your letter of August 25th. In it you say kind things about my account of the Germans entering Brussels. Nothing so much pleases me as to get praise from you or to know my work pleases you. Since the Germans were pushed in every one here is breathing again. But for me it was bad as now the armies are too far to reach by taxicab, and if you are caught anywhere outside the city you are arrested and as a punishment sent to Tours. Eight correspondents, among them two Times men and John Reed and Bobby Dunn, were sent to Tours Sunday. I had another piece of luck that day with Gerald Morgan. I taxicabed out to Soissons and saw a wonderful battle. So, now I can go home in peace. Had I been forced to return without seeing any fighting I never would have lived it down. I am in my old rooms of years ago. I got the whole imperial suite for eight francs a day. It used to be 49 francs a day. Of course, Paris that closes tight at nine is hardly Paris, but the beauty of the city never so much impressed me. There is no fool running about to take your mind off the gardens and buildings. What MOST makes me know I am in Paris, though, are the packages of segars lying on the dressing table. Give my love to Dai, and tell her I hope soon to see you. The war correspondent is dead. My only chance was to get with the English who will take one American and asked Bryan to choose, he passed it to the Press Association and they chose Palmer. But I don’t believe the official correspondents will be allowed to see much. I saw the Germans enter Brussels, the burning of Louvain and the Battle of Soissons and had a very serious run in with the Germans and nearly got shot. But now if you go out, every man is after you, and even the gendarmes try to arrest you. It is sickening. For never, of course, was there such a chance to describe things that everyone wants to read about. Again my love to Dai and you. I will see you soon.


In October Richard returned to the United States and settled down to complete his first book on the war. During this period and indeed until the hour of his death my brother devoted the greater part of his time to the cause of the Allies. He had always believed that the United States should have entered the war when the Germans first outraged Belgium, and to this effect he wrote many letters to the newspapers. In addition to this he was most active in various of the charities devoted to the causes of the Allies, wrote a number of appeals, and contributed money out of all proportion to his means. The following appeal he wrote for the Secours National:

“You are invited to help women, children and old people in Paris and in France, wherever the war has brought desolation and distress. To France you owe a debt. It is not alone the debt you incurred when your great grandfathers fought for liberty, and to help them, France sent soldiers, ships and two great generals, Rochambeau and La Fayette. You owe France for that, but since then you have incurred other debts.

“Though you may never have visited France, her art, literature, her discoveries in Science, her sense of what is beautiful, whether in a bonnet, a boulevard or a triumphal arch, have visited you. For them you are the happier; and for them also, to France you are in debt.

“If you have visited Paris, then your debt is increased a hundred fold. For to whatever part of France you journeyed, there you found courtesy, kindness, your visit became a holiday, you departed with a sense of renunciation; you were determined to return. And when after the war, you do revisit France, if your debt is unpaid, can you without embarrassment sink into debt still deeper? What you sought Paris gave you freely. Was it to study art or to learn history, for the history of France is the history of the world; was it to dine under the trees or to rob the Rue de la Paix of a new model; was it for weeks to motor on the white roads or at a cafe table watch the world pass? Whatever you sought, you found. Now, as in 1776 we fought, to-day France fights for freedom, and in behalf of all the world, against militarism that is `made in Germany.’

“Her men are in the trenches; her women are working in the fields, sweeping the Paris boulevards, lighting the street lamps. They are undaunted, independent, magnificently capable. They ask no charity. But from those districts the war has wrecked, there are hundreds of thousands of women and little children without work, shelter or food. To them throughout the war zone the Secours National gives instant relief. In one day in Paris alone it provides 80,000 free meals. Six cents pays for one of these meals. One dollar from you will for a week keep a woman or child alive.

“The story is that one man said, `In this war the women and children suffer most. I’m awfully sorry for them!’ and the other man said, `Yes I’m five dollars sorry. How sorry are you?’

“If ever you intend paying that debt you owe to France do not wait until the war is ended. Now, while you still owe it, do not again impose yourself upon her hospitality, her courtesy, her friendship.

“But, pay the debt now.

“And then, when next in Paris you sit at your favorite table and your favorite waiter hands you the menu, will you not the more enjoy your dinner if you know that while he was fighting on the Aisne, it was your privilege to help a little in keeping his wife and child alive.”

The winter of 1914-15 Richard and his wife spent in New York, and on January 4, 1915, their baby, Hope, was born. No event in my brother’s life had ever brought him such infinite happiness, and during the short fifteen months that remained to him she was seldom, if ever, from his thoughts, and no father ever planned more carefully for a child’s future than Richard did for his little daughter.

On April 11 my brother and his wife took Hope to Crossroads for the first time. In his diary of this time he writes, “Only home in the world is the one I own. Everything belongs. It is so comfortable and the lake and the streams in the woods where you can get your feet wet. The thrill of thinking a stump is a trespasser! You can’t do that on ten acres.”

A cause in which Richard was enormously interested at this time was that of the preparedness of his own country, and for it he worked unremittingly. In August, 1915, he went to Plattsburg, where he took a month of military training.


August, 1915.

This is a very real thing, and STRENUOUS. I know now why God invented Sunday. The first two days were mighty hard, and I had to work extra to catch up. I don’t know a darned thing, and after watching soldiers for years, find that I have picked up nothing that they have to learn. The only things I have learned don’t count here, as they might under marching conditions. My riding I find is quite good, and so is my rifle shooting. As you could always beat me at that you can see the conditions are not high. But being used to the army saddle helps me a lot. I have a steeple chaser on one side and a M. F. H. on the other, and they can’t keep in the saddle, and hate it with bitter oaths. The camp commander told me that was a curious development; that the best gentlemen jockeys and polo players on account of the saddle, were sore, in every sense. Yesterday I rose at 5-30, assembled for breakfast at six, took down tent to ventilate it, when a cloud meanly appeared, and I had to put it up again. Then in heavy marching order we drilled two hours as skirmishers, running and hurling ourselves at the earth, like falling on the ball, and I always seemed to fall where the cinder path crossed the parade ground. We got back in time to clean ourselves for dinner at noon. And then practised firing at targets. At two we were drilled as cavalry in extended order. We galloped to a point, advanced on foot, were driven back by an imaginary enemy, and remounted. We galloped as a squadron, and the sight was really remarkable when you think the men had been together only four days. But the horses had been doing it for years. All I had to do to mine was to keep on. He knew what was wanted as well as did the Captain. After that we put on our packs and paraded at retreat to the band. Then had supper and listened to a lecture. I ache in every bone, muscle, and joint. But the riding has not bothered me. It is only hurling the damned rifle at myself. At nine I am sound asleep. It certainly is a great experience, and, all the men are helping each other and the spirit is splendid. The most curious meetings come off and all kinds of men are at it from college kids to several who are great grand fathers. Russell Colt turned up and was very funny over his experiences. He said he saluted everybody and one man he thought was a general and stood at attention to salute was a Pullman car conductor. The food is all you want, and very good. I’ve had nothing to drink, but sarsaparilla, but with the thirst we get it is the best drink I know. I have asked to have no letters forwarded and if I don’t write I hope you will understand as during the day there is not a minute you are your own boss and at night I am too stiff and sleepy to write.

All love to you.



It is now seven-thirty, and I have had twelve busy hours. They made me pass an examination as though for Sing Sing, then a man gave me a gun that at first weighed eight pounds and then twenty. He made me do all sorts of things with it, such as sentries used to do to me. Then I was given the gun to keep, and packs, beds, blankets, and I made myself at home in a tent; then I was moved to another tent with five other men. Then I got a horse and they galloped us up and down a field for two hours. I lost ten pounds. Then we were marched around to a band. I had a sergeant on either side of me, so I did not go wrong, OFTEN. Then, aching in every bone and with my head filled with orders and commands, I got into the lake and escaped. You can believe I enjoyed that bath. It certainly is a fine thing, and I am glad I enrolled (for every one has been as nice as could be), but I miss you and Hope terribly. It seems years since I saw you. I am going to my cot quick. It is now eight o’clock, and I feel like I had been beaten in a stone crusher. Kiss Hope’s foot for me.

Your loving husband,



I got such a beautiful letter from you! With pictures of Hope playing with the Bunny. It is the best picture yet. I carry it next to my heart because you made it, because it is of her. And she sits up now? Well, I will miss the big clothes-basket. I loved to see her in it. Years ago, when I left home, she was trying to crawl out of it. What you tell me of her–knowing what you mean when you say “Kitty” and “Bunny”–is wonderful. How good it will be! You must come close under my arm, and tell me every little thing. I feel so much better now that we have broken into the last week, and are on the home stretch. We have broken the backbone of the long absence, and, the first thing you know, I’ll be telephoning to have you meet me at White Plains.

This is me sewing up a hole in my breeches. The socks are drying on the line, my rubber bath is on the right. I am now going to Canada. But I’ll be back in half an hour; it’s only 200 yards distant. All the folks here are French, and the signs are in French. Last place we halted I bought lumberman’s socks to wear at night. I sleep very well, for I buy my raincoat full of hay from the nearest farmer, and sleep on that. Today we had another “battle.” It began at 7.30 and ended at one o’clock. We were kept going all that time, taking “cover” behind railroad embankments and stone walls and in plowed fields, finally ending with a bayonet charge. I killed so many I stopped counting.

Don’t let Hope forget her father. Better put on a wrist-watch and my horn spectacles, and hold her the wrong way, so she will be reminded of her Dad.

Good-night, my dearest one. You will never know how terribly I miss you and love you, and want you in my arms, and you holding Hope so that I can have all my happiness in one big armful of all that is good.



The Vitagraph people came today. They have a great film to stir people to preparedness called “The Battle Cry of Peace.” It shows New York destroyed by Germans. They took pictures of several of the better-known men showing “them” preparing. I was taken cleaning my rifle, and, as the captain was passing, I asked him to get in the picture with me and be shown instructing me. He was delighted, but right in the middle of the picture he “inspected” my barrel. I had not cleaned it, and he forgot the camera, and gave me the devil. You can imagine how the crowd roared, and the camera director man was delighted. I wanted it retaken showing the captain patting me on the back.

Roosevelt turned up today, and was very nice. Martin Egan came with him and the British Naval Attache, and they have asked me to dine at a real table at Hotel Champlain with two other men. It will be fine to eat off china. The “hike” begins Friday, and we sleep each night on the ground, but the country we march through is beautiful. All that counts is getting the days behind me and getting you in my arms. Doing one’s “bit” for one’s country is right, but as the man said, “God knows I love my country and want to fight for her, but I hope to God I never love another country.” Good-night, dear, dear one! How wonderful it will be to see and hear you again. Kiss Hope for her Dad.



This is writing with all the love, but with difficulties. I am sitting on a log and the light is a candle. Today we had our first fight. It happened the squad of eight men I am in was sent in advance, and I was 100 yards in front, so I was the first to come in touch with the scouts of the Red Army, and I killed a lot. My squad was so brave that we all got killed THREE TIMES. But as soon as the umpire rode away we would come to life, and go on fighting. Finally, he took us prisoners, and made us sit down and look on at the battle. As we had been running around and each carrying a forty-pound pack, we were glad to remain dead. But we have declared that nothing can kill us tomorrow but asphyxiating gas. I have terrible nightmares for fear something has happened to one of you, and then I trust in the good Lord, and pray him to make the time pass swiftly.

Good-night, and all the love and kisses for you both.


On October 19, 1915, Richard sailed on the Chicago for France and his second visit to the Great War. He arrived at Paris on October 30, and shortly afterward visited the Western front at Amiens and Artois. He also interviewed Poincare, and through him the French President sent a message to the American people. At this time my brother had received permission from the authorities to visit all of the twelve sectors of the French front under particularly advantageous conditions, and was naturally most anxious to do so. However, through a misunderstanding between the syndicate he represented and certain of the newspapers using its service, he found it advisable, even although against his own judgment, to go to Greece, and to postpone his visit to the sectors of the French front he had not already seen. On November 13 he left Paris bound for Salonica.

On Way to France, Oct. 18, 1915.

You are much more brave than I am. Anyway, you are much better behaved. For all the time you were talking I was crying, not with my eyes only, but with ALL of me. I am so sad. I love you so, and I will miss you so. I want you to keep saying to yourself all the time, “This is the most serious effort he ever made, because the chances of seeing anything are so SMALL, and because never had he such a chance to HELP. But, all the time, every minute he thinks of me. He wants me. He misses my voice, my eyes, my presence at his side when he walks or sleeps. He never loved me so greatly, or at leaving me was so unhappy as he is now.”

Goodby, dear heart. My God-given one! Would it not be wonderful, if tonight when I am up among the boats on the top deck that girl in the Pierrot suit, and in her arms Hope, came, and I took them and held them both? You will walk with her at five, and I will walk and think of you and love you and long for you.

God keep you, dearest of wives, and mothers.


October 24.

So many weeks have passed since I saw you that by now you are able to read this without your mother looking over your shoulder and helping you with the big words. I have six sets of pictures of you. Every day I take them down and change them. Those your dear mother put in glass frames I do not change. Also, I have all the sweet fruits and chocolates and red bananas. How good of you to think of just the things your father likes. Some of them I gave to a little boy and girl. I play with them because soon my daughter will be as big. They have no mother like you, OF COURSE; they have no mother like YOURS–for except my mother there never was a mother like yours; so loving, so tender, so unselfish and thoughtful. If she is reading this, kiss her for me. These little children have a little father. He dresses them and bathes them himself. He is afraid of the cold; and sits in the sun; and coughs and shivers. His children and I play hide-and-seek, and, as you will know some day, for that game there is no such place as a steamer, with boats and ventilators and masts and alleyways. Some day we will play that game hiding behind the rocks and trees and rose bushes. Every day I watch the sun set, and know that you and your pretty mother are watching it, too. And all day I think of you both.

Be very good. Do not bump yourself. Do not eat matches. Do not play with scissors or cats. Do not forget your dad. Sleep when your mother wishes it. Love us both. Try to know how we love you. THAT you will never learn. Good-night and God keep you, and bless you.


PARIS, November 1.

Today is “moving” day, and I feel like —- censored word, at the thought of your having the moving to direct and manage by yourself. I can picture Barney and Burke loading, and unloading, and coal and wood being stored, and provisions and ice, and finally Hope brought down to take her third–no–fourth motor ride. And God will see she makes it all safely, and that in her new house you are comfortable.

Last night I dreamed about Hope and you, a long dream, and it made me so happy. Something happened today that you will like to hear. When the war came the French students at the Beaux Arts had to go to fight. The wives and children had nothing to live on. So, the American students, about a dozen of them, organized a relief league. The Beaux Arts is in a most wonderful palace built by Cardinal Richelieu and decorated later by Napoleon. In this they were gathering socks, asphyxiating masks, warm clothes. They were hand painting postcards for fifty cents apiece. The “masters” as they call their teachers, also were painting them. I gave them some money which was received politely, but, as it would not go far, without much enthusiasm. As I was going, I said, “I’ll be back tomorrow to get some facts and I’ll write a story about what you’re doing.” This is the part that is embarrassing to write, but you will understand. They gave a cheer and a yell just as though I had said, “Peace is declared” or “I will give you Carnegie’s fortune.” And they danced around, and shook hands, and Whitney Warren, who is at the head of it, all but cried. Later, he told me the letter I had written for his wife’s fund for orphans by the war had brought in $5000, that was why they were so pleased. So we, you and I, will try to look at it that way, and try to believe that from this separation, which is cruel for us, others may get some benefit. Tomorrow, I am to be received at the Elysee by the President, and I am going to try to make him say something that will draw money from America for the French hospitals. If he will only ask, I know our people will give. In a day or two, I think I will be allowed to see something, but, that you will know best by reading The Times.

Your loving husband is lonely for you, and so it will be always.


November 17th.

My last letter was such a complaining one that I am ashamed. But, not leaving me to decide what was best for the papers, made me mad. Since I wrote, I ought to be madder, for I have been to the trenches outside of Rheims in Champagne; and, had they not deviled the spirit out of me with cables, I believe I could have written such a lot of stories of France that no one else has had the opportunity to write. Believe me no one has yet told the story of the trench war. Anyway, in spite of all the photographs and articles, to me it was all new. I was allowed to go alone, and given carte blanche to see whatever I wished. I saw everything, but it would not be possible to write of it yet. It was wonderful. I was in the three lines, reaching the FIRST line by moonlight. No one spoke above a whisper. The Germans were only 300 to 400 yards distant. But worst of all were the rats. They ran over my feet and I was a darned sight more afraid of them than the Germans. I saw the Cathedral, and the only hotel open (from which I sent you and Hope a postal) was the same one in which we stopped a year ago. I had sent the hotel my book in which I said complimentary things, and I got a great welcome. They even gave me a room with a fire in it, and so I was warm for the first time since I left the Crossroads. And this morning it SNOWED. On my way back to Paris, I stopped to tell the General what I had seen and to thank him. He said, “Oh, that is nothing. When you return, I will take you out myself, and I will show you something worth while.” I am going to carry a rat-trap, and two terriers on a leash. Tonight, when I got back, there was a letter from you, but no writing, but there was a photo of Her, and me holding her. How is it possible that any living thing is so beautiful as my child? How fat, and wonderful, and dear, and lovable, and how terribly I want to hold her as I am holding her in the picture, and how much better as I really don’t need my left arm to hold such a mite), if I had you close to me in it. I miss you so, and love you so! I told Wheeler before I left as I was not going to waste time traveling I would not go to Servia. So, as soon as I arrived, I was fretted with cables to go. I cabled to stop giving me advice, that I had a much better chance in France than anyone could have anywhere else. Maybe, before I arrive, the Greeks will have joined the Germans, in which case, I WON’T LEAVE THE SHIP. I’ll come straight back on her to the Allies.


November 20th.

This is the way Hope’s cat looks, “My whiskers!” she says, “I never knew I was to be let in for anything like this!” When I told her about the big rats in the trenches she wanted to go with me next time, but, today when I told her that the Crown Prince of Servia made his servants eat live mice (he is no longer Crown Prince), she looked just as she does in the picture. “Then, what do _I_ eat in Servia?” she said, and I told her both of us would live on goat’s milk.

You will be glad when I tell you I have been, warm. We came pretty far south in two days, and, the damp chill of Paris is gone. On the train a funny thing happened. An English officer and I got talking and he was press censor at Salonica where I am going after Athens. I asked him to look over the many letters I had and tell me if any of them would be likely to get me in bad, being addressed to pro-Germans, for example. He said, “Well, THIS chap is all right anyway. I’ll vouch for him, because this letter is addressed to me.”


We leave, the Basses, the English officer and I, in a small tub of a boat for Patras, and train to Athens. I will try to go at once to Servia. Harjes, who are the Paris house of J. P. Morgan, gave me a “mission” to try and organize for the Servians the same form of relief as has been arranged for the Belgians. He gave me permission if I saw the need for help was imminent (and it will be) to cable him for whatever I thought the Serbs most needed. So, it is a chance to do much. To get out news will be impossible. However, here I am and tomorrow I’ll be good and seasick.

I have your charm around my neck, and all the pictures, and the luck-bringing cat, and the scapular, and the love you give me to keep me well and bring us soon together. That is the one thing I want. God bless you both, Hope’s dad and your husband.


November 26th.

I am off tonight for Salonica. I am not very cheerful for I miss you very, very terribly, and the further I go, the worse I feel. But now I am nearly as far as I can get, and when you receive this I will–thank God–be turned back to Paris, and London, and HOME! I thought so often of you this morning when I took a holiday and climbed the Acropolis. On the top of it I picked a dandelion for you. It was growing between the blocks of marble that have been there since 400 years before our Lord: before St. Paul preached to the Athenians. I was all alone on the rock, and could see over the AEgean Sea, Corinth, Mount Olympus, where the Gods used to sit, and the Sphinx lay in wait for travelers with her famous riddle. It takes two days and one night to go to Salonica, and the boats are so awful no one undresses but sleeps in his clothes on top of the bed.

Goodby, sweetheart, and give SUCH a kiss to my precious daughter. How beautiful she is. Even the waiter who brought me a card stopped to exclaim about her picture. So, of course, being not at all proud I showed him her in my arms. I want you both so and I love you both SO. And, I wanted you so this morning as I always do when there is a beautiful landscape, or flowers, or palms. I know how you love them. The dandelion is very modest and I hope the censor won’t lose it out, for she has a long way to go and carries a burden of love. I wish I was bringing them in the door of the Scribner cottage at this very minute.


VOLO, November 27.

I got here today, after the darnedest voyage of two days in a small steamer. We ran through a snow storm and there was no way to warm the boat. So, I DIED. You know how cold affects me–well–this was the coldest cold I ever died of. I poured alcohol in me, and it was like drinking iced tea. Now, I am on shore in a cafe near a stove. We continue on to Salonica at midnight. There are 24 men and one woman, Mrs. Bass, on board. I am much too homesick to write more than to say I love you, and I miss you and Hope so, that I don’t look at the photos. Did you get the cable I sent Thanksgiving–from Athens, it read: “Am giving thanks for Hope and you.” I hope the censor let that get by him. The boat I was on was a refrigerator ship; it was also peculiar in that the captain dealt baccarat all day with the passengers. It was a sort of floating gambling house. This is certainly a strange land. Snow and roses and oranges, all at once. I must stop. I’m froze. Give the kiss I want to give to Her, and know, oh! how I love and love and love her mother–NEVER SO MUCH AS NOW.

SALONICA November 30th, 1915.

I got here to night and found it the most picturesque spot I ever visited. I am glad I came. It was impossible to get a room but I found John McCutcheon and two other men occupying a grand suite and they have had a cot put in for me. To-morrow I hope to get a room. The place is filled with every nation except Germans and even they are here out of uniforms. We had a strange time coming. The trip from Athens should have taken two nights and a day but we took four. The Captain of the boat anchored and played baccarat whenever he thought there were enough passengers not seasick to make it worth his while. He played from eleven in the morning until four in the morning. I don’t know now who ran the ship. It is so cold when you bathe, the steam runs off you. I never have suffered so. But, it looked as though every one else was singing “Its going to be a hard, hard winter” from the way they, dress. Tomorrow I am going to buy fur pants. You can’t believe what a picture it is. Servians, French, Greeks, Scots in kilts, London motor cars, Turks, wounded and bandaged Tommies and millions of them fighting for food, for drink, for a place at the “movies,” and more “rumors” than there are words in the directory. To-morrow, I present my letters and hope to get to the “front.” I only hope the front doesn’t come to us. But, it ought to be a place for great stories. All love to you old man, and bless you both. How I look forward to our first lunch in your wonderful home! And to sit in front of your fire, and hear all the news. All love to you both.


December 6, 1915.

I have been away so could not write. They took us to the French and English “front” and away from Greece; we were in Bulgaria and Servia. It was at a place where the three boundaries met. We saw remarkable mountain ranges and deep snow, and some fine artillery. But throwing shells into that bleak, white jumble of snow and rocks–there was fifty miles of it–was like throwing a baseball at the Rocky Mountains. Still, it was seeing something. Now, I have a room, and a very wonderful one. I had to bribe everyone in the hotel to get it; and I have something to write and, no more moving about I hope, for at least a week. I am able to see the ships at anchor for miles, and the landing stage for all the warships is just under my window. As near as McCoy Rock from the terrace. It is like a moving picture all the time. I bought myself an oil stove and a can of Standard oil, and, instead of trying to warm the hotel with my body, I let George do it. But it is a very small stove, and to really get the good of it, I have to sit with it between my legs. Still, it is such a relief to be alone, and not to pack all the time. McCutcheon and Bass, Hare and Shepherd are fine, but I felt like the devil, imposing on them, and working four in a room is no joke. We dine together each night. Except them, I see no one, but have been writing. Also, I have been collecting facts about Servian relief. Harjes, Morgan’s representative in Paris, gave me carte blanche to call on him for money or supplies; but I waited until today to cable, so as to be sure where help was most needed. It is still cold, but that AWFUL cold spell was quite unprecedented and is not likely to come again. I NEVER suffered so from cold, and, as you know, I suffer considerable. All the English officers who had hunted in cold places, said neither had they ever felt such cold. Seven hundred Tommies were frost bitten and toes and fingers fell off. I do not say anything about how awful it is not to hear. But, if I had had your letters forwarded to this dump of the Levant, I never would have got them. Now, I have to wait for them until I get to Paris, but there I will surely get them. Cables, of course, can reach me, but no cables mean to me that you are all right. Nor do I want to “talk” about Christmas.

You know how I feel about that, and about missing the first one SHE has had. But it will be the LAST one we will know apart. Never again!

I want you in my arms and to hear you laugh and see your eyes. I am in need of you to make a fuss over me. McCutcheon and Co. don’t care whether I have cold hands or not. You do. Your ointment and gloves saved my fingers from falling off like the soldiers’ did. And your “housewife” I use to put on buttons, and, your scapular and medal keep me well. But your love is what really lifts me up and consoles me. When I think how you and I care for each other, then, I am scared, for it is very beautiful. And we must not ever be away from each other again. God keep you my beloved, and both my blessings. I cannot bear it–when I think of all I am missing of her, and, all that she is doing. God guard you both. My darling and dear wife and mother of Hope.

Your husband,


SALONICA, December 18th.


I am very blue tonight, and NEVER was so homesick. Yesterday just to feel I was in touch with you I sent a cable through the fog, it said, “Well, homesick, all love to you both.” I did not ask if you and Hope were well, because I KNOW the good Lord will not let any harm come to you. I am certainly caught by the heels this time. And it will be the last time. As you know, I meant only to go to France where no time would be wasted in travel, and I would be able to get back soon. But the blockade held up the ship and on the other one the captain stayed at anchor, and, then when I got here, the Allies retreated, and I had to stay on to cover what is to come next. What that is, or whether nothing happens, you will know by the time this reaches you. So, here I am. For TEN days until this morning we have never seen the sun. In sixty years nothing like it has happened. The Salonicans said the English transports brought the fog with them. Anyway, I got it. My room is right on the harbor. I never thought I would LOVE an oil stove. I always thought they were ill-smelling, air-destroying. But this one saved my life. I wrote with it between my knees, I dry my laundry on it, and use the tin pan on top of it to take the dampness out of the bed. The fog kept everything like a sponge. Coal is thirty dollars a ton. To get wood for firewood the boatmen row miles out, and wait below the transports to get the boxes they throw overboard. I go around asking EVERYBODY if this place is not now a dead duck for news. But they all give me no encouragement. They say it is the news center of the world. I hope it chokes. I try to comfort myself by thinking you are happy, because you have Hope, and I have nobody, except John McCutcheon and Bass and Jimmie Hare, and they are as blue as I am, and no one can get any money. I cabled today to Wheeler for some via the State Department. I went to the Servian camp for the little orphans whose fathers have been killed, and they all knelt and kissed my hands. It was awful. I thought of Hope, and hugged a few and carried them around in my arms and felt much better. Today for the first time, I quit work and went to see an American film at the cinema to cheer me. But when I saw the streetcars, and “ready to wear” clothes, and the policemen I got suicidal. I went back and told the others and they all rushed off to see “home” things, and are there now. This is a yell of a letter, but it’s the only kind I can write. My stories and cables are rotten, too. I have seen nothing–just traveled and waited for something to happen. Goodnight, dearest one. I love you so. You will never know how much I love you. Kiss my darling for me, and, think only of the good days when we will be together again. Such good days. Goodnight again–all love.


HARBOR SALONICA, December 19th.

I am a happy man tonight! And that is the first time I have been able to say so since I left you. The backbone of the trip is broken! and my face is turned West–toward you and Hope. John McCutcheon gave me a farewell dinner tonight of which I got one half, as the police made me go on board at nine, although we do not sail until five in the morning. So there was time for only one toast, as I was making for the door. Was it to your husband? It was not. It was to Hope Davis, two weeks yet of being one year old, and being toasted by the war correspondents in Salonica. They knew it would please me. And I went away very choken and happy. SUCH a boat as this is! I have a sofa in the dining-room, and at present it is jammed with refugees and all smoking and not an air port open. What a relief it will be to once more get among clean people. We must help the Servians, and God knows they need help. But, if they would help each other, or themselves, I would like them better. I am now on deck under the cargo light and, on the top floor of the Olympus Hotel, can see John’s dinner growing gayer and gayer. It is like the man who went on a honeymoon alone. I am so happy tonight. You seem so near now that I am coming West.

How terribly I have missed you, and wanted you, and longed for your voice and LAUGH, and to have you open the door of my writing room, and say, “A lady is coming to call on you,” and then enter the dearest wife and dearest baby in the world!

God bless you, and all my love.


Christmas Eve,


I planned to get to Paris late Christmas night. I cabled Frazier at the Embassy, to have all my letters at the Hotel de l’Empire. I MEANT to spend the night reading of you and Hope. I made a record trip from Salonica. By leaving the second steamer at Messina and taking an eighteen-hour trip across Italy I saved ten hours. But when I got here I found the French Consul had taken a holiday, AND WAS OUT BUYING CHRISTMAS PRESENTS! So, I could not get permission to enter France. With some Red Cross Americans, I raged around the French Consulate, but it was no use. So I am here, and cannot leave UNTIL MIDNIGHT CHRISTMAS. When I found I could not get away, I told Cook’s to give me their rapid-fire guide, and I set out to SEE ROME. The Manager of Cook’s was the same man who, 19 years ago, sold me tickets to the Greek war in Florence, when the American Consulate was in the same building with Cook’s, and Charley was Consul. So he gave me a great guide. We began at ten this morning and we stopped at six. They say it takes five years to see Rome, but when I let the rapid-fire guide escape, he said he had to compliment me; we climbed more stairways and hills than there are in all New York and Westchester County; and there is just one idea in my mind, and that is that you and I must see this sacred place together. On all this trip I have wanted YOU, but NEVER so as today. And I particularly inquired about the milk. It is said to be excellent. So we will come here, and you, with all your love of what is fine and beautiful, will be very happy, and Hope will learn Italian, and to know what is best in art, and statues and churches. I have seen 2900 churches, and all of them built by Michael Angelo and decorated by Raphael; and it was so wonderful I cried. I bought candles and prayers, and I am afraid Christian Science had a dull day. Tomorrow we start at nine, and go to high mass at St. Peter’s, and then into the country to the catacombs, where the early Christians hid from the Romans. It is not what you would call an English Christmas, but it is so beautiful and wonderful that you BOTH ARE VERY NEAR.

I sent you a cable, the second one, because it is not sure they are forwarded, and I hung up a stocking for Hope. One of the peasant women made in Salonica. I am bringing it with me. And the cat is on my window–still looking out on the Romans. The green leaf I got in the forum, where Mark Antony made his speech over Caesar’s body. It is the plant that gave Pericles the idea of the Corinthian column. You remember. It was growing under a tile some one had laid over it–and the yellow flower was on my table at dinner, so I send it, that we may know on Christmas Eve we dined together.

Good-night, now, and God bless you. I am off to bed now, in a bed with sheets. The first in six days. How I LOVE you, and LOVE you. Such good wishes I send you, and such love to you both. May the good Lord bless you as he has blessed me–with the best of women, with the best of daughters. I am a proud husband and a proud father; and soon I will be a HAPPY husband and a HAPPY father.

Good-night, dear heart.


PARIS, December 28th, 1915.

Hurrah for the Dictator! He has been a great good friend to me. I will know to-day about whether I can go back to the French front. If not I will try the Belgians and then London, and home. I spent Christmas day in Rome in the catacombs. I could not wear my heart upon my sleeve for duchesses to peck at. It is just as you say, Dad and Mother made the day so dear and beautiful. I did not know how glad I would be to be back here for while the trip East led to no news value, to me personally it was interesting. But I am terribly tired after the last nine days, sleeping on sofas, decks, a different deck each night and writing all the time and such poor stuff. But, oh! when I saw Paris I knew how glad I was! WHAT a beautiful place, what a kind courteous people. We will all be here some day. Tell Dai she must be my interpreter. All love to her, and you, and good luck to the syndicate. YOUR syndicate. I have not heard from mine for six weeks. They have not sent me a single clipping of anything, so I don’t know whether anything got through or not, and I have nothing to show these people here that might encourage them to send me out again. They certainly have made it hard hoeing. Tell Guvey his letter about the toys was a great success here, and copied into several papers.

Goodbye, and God bless you, and good luck to you.


PARIS, December 31st, 1915.

To wish you and Dai a Happy New Year. It will mean a lot to us when we can get together, and take it together, good and bad. I am awfully pleased over the novel coming out by the Harper’s and, in landing so much for me out of The Dictator. You have started the New Year for me splendidly. I expect I will be back around the first of February. I am now trying to “get back,” but, I need more time. I can only put the trip down to the wrong side of the ledger. Personally, I got a lot out of it, but I am not sent over here to improve my knowledge of Europe, but to furnish news and stories and that has not happened.

I am constantly running against folks who knew you in Florence, and I regret to say most of them are in business at the Chatham bar. What a story they make; the M—-‘s and the like, who know Paris only from the cocktail side. One of our attaches told me to-day he had been lunching for the last 18 months at the grill room of the Chatham, where the “mixed grill” was as good as in New York. He had no knowledge of any other place to eat. The Hotel de l’Empire is a terrible tragedy. They are so poor, that I believe it is my eight francs a day keeps them going; nothing else is in sight. But, it is the exception. Never did a people take a war as the French take this worst of all wars. They really are the most splendid of people. I only wish I could have had one of them for a grandfather or grandmother. Bessie writes that Hope is growing wonderfully and beautifully, and I am sick for a sight of her, and for you. Good night and God bless you and the happiest of New Years to you both.

Your loving brother,


These postcards are “originals” painted by students of the Beaux-Arts to keep alive, and to keep those students in the trenches. They are for Dai.

PARIS, December 31, 1915.

The old year, the dear, old year that brought us Hope, is very near the end. I am not going to watch him go. I have drunk to the New Year and to my wife and daughter, and before there is “a new step on the floor, and a new face at the door,” I will be asleep. Of all my many years, the old year, that is so soon to pass away, has been the best, for it has brought you to me with a closer tie, has added to the love I have for every breath you breathe, for your laugh and your smile, and deep concern, that comes if you think your worthless husband is worried, or cross, or dismayed. Each year I love you more; for I know you more, and to know more of the lovely soul you are, is to love more. Just now we are in a hard place. I am sure you cannot comprehend how her father, her “Dad” and your husband can keep away. Neither do I understand.

But, for both your sakes, I want, before I own up that this adventure has been a failure, to try and pull something out of the wreck. If the government says I CAN, then I still may be able to do something. If it says, “NO,” then it’s Home, boys, Home, and that’s where I want to be. It’s home, boys, home, in the old countree. ‘Neath the ash, and the oak, and the spreading maple tree, it’s home, boys, home, to mine own countree! This is Hope and you. So know, that in getting to you I have not thrown away a minute. I have been a slave-driver, to others as well as to myself. But you cannot get favors with a whip; and, the French war office has other matters to occupy it, that it considers of more importance than an impatient war correspondent. So long as you understand, it will not matter. Nothing hurts, except that you may not understand. The moment I see you, and you see me, you will understand. So, goodnight, and God bless you, you, my two blessings. Here is to our own year of 1915, your year and Hope’s year, and, because I have you both, my year. I send you all the love in all the world.

January 5, 1916.

WHAT PICTURES! WHAT HAPPINESS! What a proud Richard! On top of my writing yesterday that I had had no sketches of yours, and no kodaks of Hope, eight came to-night, and oh! I am so proud, so homesick. What a wonderful nurse and mother you are! Was ever there anything so lovable? And that she should be ours, to hold and to love, and to make happy. These last eight days in Paris, in and out, have made me so homesick for those I love, that you will never know what the delays meant. I felt just the way poor women feel who kidnap babies. In the parks I know the nurse-maids are afraid of me. I stick my head under the hoods of the baby carriages, and stop and stand watching them at play. And tonight when all these beautiful pictures came, I was the happiest father anywhere.

The delay was no one’s fault, not mine anyway, nor can I blame anyone. These people are splendid. They are willing to do anything for one, but it takes time. When they are fighting for their lives and have not seen their own babies in a year, that you want to see yours is only natural and to oblige you they can’t see why they should upset the whole war. But now it looks less as though I would have to call it a failure. And Hope may be proud of me, and you may be proud of me, and I will have enough ammunition to draw on for many articles and letters, and another book.

It has been a cruel time; and when I tell you how I worked to get it over, and to be back with you, you will understand many things. The most important of all will be how I love you. Only wait until I can lay eyes on you, you will just take one look and know that it couldn’t be helped, that the delay was the work of others, that, all I wanted was my Bessie and my Hope.

How heavy she will be, if she is anything like the picture of her on the coverlet, she is a prize baby. And if she is anything like as beautiful as in the baby carriage she is an angel straight from God. I want to sit in the green chair and have you on one knee and her majesty on the other, and have her climb over me, and pull my hair and bang my nose, and in time to know how I love you both.

Goodnight, dear heart, I wish you had had yourself in the picture. I have three in the summer time with you holding her and that is the way I like to see you, that is the way I think of you. I love you, and I love her for making you so happy, and I love her for her sake, and because she is OURS: and has tied us tighter and closer even than it has ever been. I love you so that I can’t write about it, and I am going to do nothing all spring but just sit around, and be in everybody’s way, watching you together.

How jealous I am of you, and homesick for you. Of course, she knows “mamma” is YOU; and to look at you when they ask, “Where’s mother?” Who else could be her mother BUT THE DEAREST WOMAN IN THE WORLD, and the one who loves her so, and in so wonderful a way. She is beautiful beyond all things human I know. If ever a woman deserved a beautiful daughter, YOU DO, for you are the best of mothers, and you know how “to care greatly.”

Good-night, my precious, dear one, and God keep you, as He will, and help me to keep you both happy. What you give me you never will know.



After a short visit to London, Richard returned to New York in February, 1916. During his absence his wife and Hope had occupied the Scribner cottage at Mount Kisco, about two miles from Crossroads. Here my brother finished his second book on the war, and wrote numerous articles and letters urging the immediate necessity for preparedness in this country. As to Richard’s usefulness to his country at this time, I quote in part from two appreciations written after my brother’s death by the two most prominent exponents of preparedness.

Theodore Roosevelt said:

“He was as good an American as ever lived, and his heart flamed against cruelty and injustice. His writings form a text-book of Americanism which all our people would do well to read at the present time.”

Major-General Leonard Wood said:

“The death of Richard Harding Davis was a real loss to the movement for preparedness. Mr. Davis had an extensive experience as a military observer, and thoroughly appreciated the need of a general training system like that of Australia or Switzerland and of thorough organization of our industrial resources in, order to establish a condition of reasonable preparedness in this country. A few days before his death he came to Governors Island for the purpose of ascertaining in what line of work he could be most useful in building up sound public opinion in favor of such preparedness as would give us a real peace insurance. His mind was bent on devoting his energies and abilities to the work of public education on this vitally important subject, and few men were better qualified to do so, for he had served as a military observer in many campaigns.

“Throughout the Cuban campaign he was attached to the headquarters of my regiment in Cuba as a military observer. He was with the advanced party at the opening of the fight at Las Guasiinas, and was distinguished throughout the fight by coolness and good conduct. He also participated in the battle of San Juan and the siege of Santiago, and as an observer was always where duty called him. He was a delightful companion, cheerful, resourceful, and thoughtful of the interests and wishes of others. His reports of the game were valuable and among the best and most accurate.

“The Plattsburg movement took a very strong hold of him. He saw in this a great instrument for building up a sound knowledge concerning our military history and policy, also a very practical way of training men for the duties of junior officers. He realized fully that we should need in case of war tens of thousands of officers with our newly raised troops, and that it would be utterly impossible to prepare them in the hurry and confusion of the onrush of modern war. His heart was filled with a desire to serve his country to the best of his ability. His recent experience in Europe pointed out to him the absolute madness of longer disregarding the need of doing those things which reasonable preparedness dictates, the things which cannot be accomplished after trouble is upon us. He had in mind at the time of his death a series of articles to be written especially to build up interest in universal military training through conveying to our people an understanding of what organization as it exists to-day means, and how vitally important it is for our people to do in time of peace those things which modern war does not permit done once it is under way.

“Davis was a loyal friend, a thoroughgoing American devoted to the best interests of his country, courageous, sympathetic, and true. His loss has been a very real one to all of us who knew and appreciated him, and in his death the cause of preparedness has lost an able worker and the country a devoted and loyal citizen.”

Although suffering from his strenuous experiences in France, and more particularly from those in Greece, Richard continued to accomplish his usual enormous amount of work, and during these weeks wrote his last short story, “The Deserter.”

The following letter was written to me while I was in the Bahamas and was in reference to a novel which I had dedicated to Hope:

MOUNT KISCO–February 28, 1916.

No word yet of the book, except the advts. I enclose. I will send you the notices as soon as they begin to appear. I am so happy over the dedication, and, very proud. So, Hope will be when she knows. As I have not read the novel it all will come as a splendid and pleasant surprise. I am looking forward to sitting down to it with all the pleasure in the world.

You chose the right moment to elope. Never was weather so cold, cruel and bitter. Hope is the only one who goes out of doors.

I start the fires in the Big House tomorrow and the plumbers and paper hangers, painters enter the day after.

The attack on Verdun makes me sick. I was there six weeks ago in one of the forts but of course could not then nor can I now write of it. I don’t believe the drive ever can get through. For two reasons, and the unmilitary one is that I believe in a just God. Give my love to Dai, and for you always


P. S. I am happy you are both so happy, but those post cards with the palms were cruelty to animals.

On the 21st of March, 1916, Richard and his wife and daughter moved from the Scribner cottage to Crossroads, and a few days later he was attacked by the illness that ended in his death on April 11. He had dined with his wife and afterward had worked on an article on preparedness, written some letters and telegrams concerning the same subject and, while repeating one of the latter over the telephone, was stricken. Within a week of his fifty-third year, just one year from the day he had first brought his baby daughter to her real home, doing the best and finest work of his career in the cause of the Allies and preparedness, quite unconscious that the end was near, he left us. In those fifty-two years he had crowded the work, the pleasures, the kind, chivalrous deeds of many men, and he died just as I am sure he would have wished to die, working into the night for a great cause, and although ill and tired, still fretful for the morning that he might again take up the fight.