Adventures and Letters
Richard Harding Davis

Part 2 out of 7

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

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:


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.



June, 1891.


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.

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.


The Players,

16 Gramercy Park.

24th, 1891.

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.


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.


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--


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.

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.


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.


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

of love.


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.

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,


ANADARKO-February 26th, 1892.

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.


DENVER--March 7, 1892.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.


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.

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.


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.



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.

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.


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.

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.



February 14th, 1893.

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.


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.


GIBRALTAR-February 1893.

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.

Off Malta--March 1, 1893.

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.


CAIRO, March 11, 1893.

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.


CAIRO, March 19th, 1893.

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.


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


ATHENS, March 30, 1893.

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.


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.

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


In sight of Paris--April 16--1893.

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


Back to Full Books