Adventures and Letters
Richard Harding Davis

Part 3 out of 7

be in "Paris, France" as Morton used to say and I shall get
clean and put on my dress clothes but whether I shall go see
Yvette Guilbert or Rusticana again I do not know. Perhaps
I shall just paddle around the fountain in the Place de la
Concorde and make myself thoroughly at home. With a great
deal of love to Dad and Nora and Chas and all.


At the time that Richard's first travel articles appeared some
of his critics took umbrage at the fact that he was evidently
under the delusion that he had discovered London, Gibraltar,
Athens, Paris, and the other cities he had visited, and that
no one else had ever written about them. As a matter of fact
no one could have been more keenly conscious of what an
oft-told tale were the places that he had chosen to describe.
If Richard took it for granted that the reader was totally
unacquainted with the peoples of these cities and their ways,
it was because he believed that that was the best way to write
a descriptive article, always had believed it, and believed it
so long as he wrote. And whatever difference of opinion may
have existed among the critics and the public as to Richard's
fiction, I think it is safe to say that as a reporter his work
of nearly thirty years stood at least as high as that of any
of his contemporaries or perhaps as that of the reporters of
all time. As an editor, when he gave out an assignment to a
reporter to write an article on some well-worn subject and the
reporter protested, Richard's answer was the same: "You must
always remember that that story hasn't been written until
YOU write it." And when he suggested to an editor that he
would like to write an article on Broadway, or the Panama
Canal, or the ruins of Rome and the editor disapproved, Richard's
argument was: "It hasn't been done until _I_ do it." And it was
not because he believed for a moment that he could do it better
or as well as it had been done. It was simply because he knew
the old story was always a good story, that is, if it was seen
with new eyes and from a new standpoint. At twenty-eight he
had written a book about England and her people, and the book
had met with much success both in America and England. At
twenty-nine, equally unafraid, he had "covered" the ancient
cities that border the Mediterranean, and now Paris lay before
him! This thought--indeed few thoughts--troubled Richard very
much in those days of his early successes. He had youth,
friends, a marvellous spirit of adventure, and besides there
are many worse fates than being consigned to spending a few
months in Paris, having a thoroughly joyous time, taking a few
mental notes, and a little later on transferring them to paper
in the quiet of a peaceful summer home at Marion.

Chief among his friends in Paris at this time was Charles Dana
Gibson, who was living in a charming old house in the Latin
Quarter, and where the artist did some of his best work and
made himself extremely popular with both the Parisians and the
American colony. In addition to Gibson there were Kenneth
Frazier, the portrait-painter, and Tina, Newton, and James
Eustis, the daughter and sons of James B. Eustis, who at that
time was our ambassador to France, a most genial and kindly
host, who made much of Richard and his young friends.

PARIS, May 5, 1893.

It is a narrow street with apartment houses of gray stone and
iron balconies along either side of it. The sun sets at one
end of the street at different times during the day and we all
lean out on the balconies to look. On the house, one below mine,
on the other side of our street, is a square sign that says:



A great many beautiful ladies with the fashionable red shade
of hair still call there, as they used to do when the proper
color was black and it was worn in a chignon and the Second
Empire had but just begun. While they wait they stretch out
in their carriages and gaze up at the balconies until they see
me, and as I wear a gold and pink silk wrapper and not much
else, they concentrate all their attention on the wrapper and
forget to drop a sigh for the poet. There are two young
people on the sixth floor opposite, who come out on the
balcony after dinner and hold on to each other and he tells
her all about the work of the day. Below there is a woman who
sews nothing but black dresses, and who does that all day and
all night by the light of a lamp. And below the concierge
stands all day in a lace cap and black gown and blue, and
looks up the street and down the street like the woman in
front of Hockley's. BUT on the floor opposite mine there is
a beautiful lady in a pink and white wrapper with long black
hair and sleepy black eyes. She does not take any interest in
my pink wrapper, but contents herself with passing cabs and
stray dogs and women with loaves of bread and bottles in their
hands who occasionally stray into our street. At six she
appears in another gown and little slippers and a butterfly
for a hat and says "Good-by" to the old concierge and trips
off to dinner. Lots of love to all.

PARIS, May llth, 1893.

I am still somewhat tentative as regards my opinion of the
place, what it will bring me in the way of material I cannot
tell. So far, "Paris Decadent" would be a good title for
anything I should write of it. It is not that I have seen
only the worst side of it but that that seems to be so much
the most prominent. They worship the hideous Eiffel Tower and
they are a useless, flippant people who never sleep and yet do
nothing while awake. To-morrow I am going to a pretty inn
surrounded by vines and trees to see a prize fight with all
the silly young French men and their young friends in black
and white who ape the English manners and customs even to "la
box." To night at the Ambassadeurs the rejected lover of some
actress took a gang of bullies from Montmartre there and
hissed and stoned her. I turned up most innocently and
greatly bored in the midst of it but I was too far away to
pound anybody-- I collected two Englishmen and we went in
front to await her re-appearance but she had hysterics and
went off in a cab and so we were not given a second
opportunity of showing them they should play fair. It is a
typical incident of the Frenchman and has made me wrathy. The
women watching the prize fight will make a good story and so
will the arms of the red mill, "The Moulin Rouge" they keep
turning and turning and grinding out health and virtue and

I dined to night with the C-----s and P----s, the Ex-Minister
and disagreed with everybody and found them all very middle
class as to intellect. An old English lady next to me said
apropos of something "that is because you are not clever like
Mr. ---- and do not have to work with your brains." To which I
said, I did not mind not being clever as my father was a many
times millionaire," at which she became abjectly polite. Young
Rothenstein is going to do a picture of me to-morrow morning.
There is nothing much more to tell except that a horse stood
on his fore legs in the Bois the other day and chucked me into
space. I was very sore but I went on going about as it was
the Varnishing day at the new salon and I wished to see it. I
am over my stiffness now and if "anybody wants to buy a
blooming bus" I have one for sale and five pairs of riding
breeches and two of ditto boots. No more riding for me--- The
boxing bag is in good order now and I do not need for
exercise. The lady across the street has a new wrapper in
which she is even more cold and haughty than before. "I sing
Tarrara boom deay and she keeps from liking me."


PARIS, May 14th, 1893.

Things are getting more interesting here and I shall probably
have something to write about after all, although I shall not
know the place as I did London. Will Rothenstein has drawn a
picture of me that I like very much and if mother likes it
VERY, VERY much she may have it as a loan but she may not
like it. I did not like to take it so I bought another
picture of him, one of Coquelin cadet and now I have two.
Coquelin gave him his first commission when he was nineteen,
two years ago, and then asked him to do two sketches. After
these were done Coquelin told him by letter that he would give
him half what they had agreed upon for the big picture for the
two sketches and begged the big picture as a gift. So
Rothenstein cut the head and shoulders out of the big one and
sent him the arms and legs. It is the head he cut out that I
have. When Rothenstein and I and Coquelin become famous, that
will make a good story. I have also indulged myself in the
purchase of several of Cherets works of art. They cost three
francs apiece. We have had some delightful lunches at the
Ambassadeurs with Cushing and other artists and last night I
went out into the Grande Monde to a bal masque for charity at
the palace of the Comtesse de la Ferrondeux. It was very
stupid and the men outnumbered the women 30 to 1, which are
interesting odds. To-day we went to Whistler's and sat out in
a garden with high walls about it and drank tea and laughed at
Rothenstein. The last thing he said was at the Ambassadeurs
when one of the students picking up a fork said, "These are
the same sort of forks I have." Rothenstein said "yes, I did
not know you dined here that often." Some one asked him why
he wore his hair long, "To test your manners" he answered. He
is a disciple of Whistler's and Wilde's and said "yes, I
defend them at the risk of their lives." Did I tell you of
his saying "It is much easier to love one's family than to
like them." And when some one said "Did you hear how Mrs. B.
treated Mr. C., (a man he dislikes) he said, "no, but I'm glad
she did." It was lovely at Whistler's and such a contrast to
the other American salon I went to last Sunday. It was so
quiet, and green and pretty and everybody was so unobtrusively

Rothenstein wore my rosette and made a great sensation and I
was congratulated by Whistler and Abbey and Pennell.
Rothenstein said he was going to have a doublebreasted waistcoat
made with rosettes of decorations for buttons. Tomorrow Lord
Dufferin has asked me to breakfast at the Embassy. He was at the
masked ball last night and was very nice. He reminds me exactly
of Disraeli in appearance. It is awfully hot here and a Fair for
charity has asked me to put my name in "Gallegher" to have it
raffled for. "Dear" Bonsal arrives here next Sunday, so I am in
great anticipation. I am very well, tell mother, and amused.
Lots of love.


PARIS, June 13, 1893.

There is nothing much to say except that things still go on.
I feel like one of those little India rubber balls in the jet
of a fountain being turned and twisted and not allowed to
rest. Today I have been to hear Yvette Guilbert rehearse and
thought her all Chas thinks her only her songs this season are
beneath the morals of a medical student. It is very hot and
it is getting hotter. I had an amusing time at the Grand Prix
where Tina won a lot of money on a tip I gave her which I did
not back myself. In the evening Newton took me to dinner and
to the Jardin de Paris where they had 10 franc admittance and
where every thing went that wasn't nailed. The dudes put
candles on their high hats and the girls snuffed them out with
kicks and at one time the crowd mobbed the band stand and then
the stage and played on all the instruments. The men were all
swells in evening dress and the women in beautiful ball
dresses and it was a wonderful sight. It only happens once a
year like the Yale-Princeton night at Koster and Bials except
that the women are all very fine indeed. They rode
pig-a-back races and sang all the songs. I had dinner with
John Drew last night. I occasionally sleep and if Nora
doesn't come on time I shall be a skeleton and have no money
left. As a matter of fact I am fatter than ever and can eat
all sorts of impossible things here that I could never eat at
home. I lunch every day with the Eustises and we dine out
almost every night. I consort entirely with the poorest of
art students or the noblest of princesses and so far have kept
out of mischief, but you can never tell for this is a wicked
city they say, or it strikes me as most amusing at present
only I cannot see what Harper and Bros. are going to get out
of it. I said that of London so I suppose it will all
straighten out by the time I get back.




When the season in Paris had reached its end, Richard returned
to London and later on to Marion, where he spent the late
summer and early fall, working on his Mediterranean and Paris
articles, and completing his novel "Soldiers of Fortune." In
October he returned to New York and once more assumed his
editorial duties and took his usual active interest in the
winter's gayeties.

The first of these letters refers to a dinner of welcome given
to Sir Henry Irving. The last two to books by my mother and
Richard, and which were published simultaneously.

NEW YORK, November 27, 1893.

The dinner was very fine. I was very glad I went. Whitelaw
Reid sat on one side of Sir Henry Irving and Horace Porter on
the other. Howells and Warner came next. John Russell Young
and Mark Twain, Millet, Palmer, Hutton, Gilder and a lot more
were there. There were no newspaper men, not even critics nor
actors there, which struck me as interesting. The men were
very nice to me. Especially Young, Reid, Irving and Howells.
Everybody said when I came in, "I used to know you when you
were a little boy," so that some one said finally, "What a
disagreeable little boy you MUST have been." I sat next a
chap from Brazil who told me lots of amusing things. One story
if it is good saves a whole day for me. One he told was of a
German explorer to whom Don Pedro gave an audience. The
Emperor asked him, with some touch of patronage, if he had
ever met a king before. "Yes," the German said thoughtfully;
"five, three wild and two tame."

Mark Twain told some very funny stories, and captured me
because I never thought him funny before, and Irving told some
about Stanley, and everybody talked interestingly. Irving
said he was looking forward to seeing Dad when he reached
Philadelphia. "It is nice to have seen you," he said, "but I
have still to see your father," as though I was not enough.

NEW YORK, 1893.

I cannot tell you how touched and moved I was by the three
initials in the book. It was a genuine and complete surprise
and when I came across it while I was examining the
letterpress with critical approbation and with no idea of what
was to come, it left me quite breathless-- It was so sweet of
you-- You understand me and I understand you and you know how
much that counts to me-- I think the book is awfully pretty
and in such good taste-- It is quite a delight to the eye and
I am much more keen about it than over any of my own-- I have
sent it to some of my friends but I have not read it yet
myself, as I am waiting until I get on the boat where I shall
not be disturbed-- Then I shall write you again-- It was
awfully good of you, and I am so pleased to have it to give
away. I never had anything to show people when they asked for
one of your other books and this comes in such an unquestionable
form-- With lots of love.


NEW YORK, 1893.

I got your nice letter and one from Dad. Both calling me many
adjectives pleasing to hear although they do not happen to
fit. So you are in a third edition are you? These YOUNG
writers are crowding me to the wall. I feel thrills of pride
when I see us sitting cheek by jowl on the news-stands.
Lots of love.

In February, 1894, Richard was forced by a severe attack of
sciatica to give up temporarily the gayeties of New York and
for a cure he naturally chose our home in Philadelphia, where
he remained for many weeks. Although unable to leave his bed,
he continued to do a considerable amount of work, including
the novelette "The Princess Aline," in the writing of which I
believe my brother took more pleasure than in that of any
story or novel he ever wrote. The future Empress of Russia
was the heroine of the tale, and that she eventually read the
story and was apparently delighted with it caused Richard much
human happiness.


March 5th.

I am getting rapidly better owing to regular hours and light
literature and home comforts. I am not blue as I was and my
morbidness has gone and I only get depressed at times. I am
still however feeling tired and I think I will take quite a rest
before I venture across the seas. But across them I will come no
matter if all the nerves on earth jump and pull. Still, I think
it wiser for all concerned that I get thoroughly well so that
when I do come I won't have to be cutting back home again as I
did last time. We are young yet and the world's wide and there's
a new farce comedy written every minute and I have a great many
things to do myself so I intend to get strong and then do
them. I enclose two poems. I am going to have them printed
for my particular pals later. I am writing one to all of you
folks over there.




"I have wandered up and down somewhat in many different lands
I have been to Fort Worth, Texas, and I've tramped through Jersey sands,
I have seen Pike's Peak by Moonlight, and I've visited the Fair
And to save enumeration I've been nearly everywhere.
But no matter where I rested and no matter where I'd go,
I have longed to be on Broadway


Some people love the lilies fair that hide in mossy dells
Some folks are fond of new mown hay, before the rainy spells
But give to me the orchids rare that hang in Thorley's store,
And in Fleischman's at the Hoffman, and in half a dozen more
And when I see them far from home they make my heart's blood glow
For they take me back to Broadway


Let Paris boast of boulevards where one can sit and drink
There is no such chance on Broadway, at the Brower House,
`I don't think.'
And where else are there fair soubrettes in pipe clayed tennis shoes,
And boys in silken sashes promenading by in twos
Oh you can boast of any street of which you're proud to know
But give me sleepy Broadway


Let poets sing of chiming bells and gently lowing kine
I like the clanging cable cars like fire engines in line
And I never miss the sunset and for moonlight never sigh
When `Swept by Ocean Breezes.' flashes out against the sky.
And when the Tenderloin awakes, and open theatres glow
I want to be on Broadway



"John Drew, I am your debtor
For a very pleasant letter
And a lot of cabinet photos
Of the `Butterflies' and you
And I think it very kind
That you kept me so in mind
And pitied me in exile
So I do, John Drew.


John Drew, 'twixt you and me
Precious little I can see
Of that good there is in Solitude
That poets say they view.
For _I_ hate to be in bed
With a candle at my head
Sitting vis a vis with Conscience.
So would you, John Drew.


John Drew, then promise me
That as soon as I am free
I may sit in the first entrance

As Lamb always lets me do.
And watch you fume and fret
While the innocent soubrette
Takes the centre of the stage a--
Way from you, John Drew."

R. H. D.

In the summer of 1894 Richard went to London for a purely
social visit, but while he was there President Carnot was
assassinated, and he went to Paris to write the "story" of the
funeral and of the election of the new President.

VERSAILLES, June 24, 1894.

I am out here to see the election of the new President. I
jumped on the mail coach and came off in a hurry without any
breakfast, but I had a pretty drive out, and the guard and I
talked of London. The palace is closed and no one is admitted
except by card, so I have seen only the outside of it. It is
most interesting. There is not a ribbon or a badge; not a
banner or a band. The town is as quiet as always,
and there are not 200 people gathered at the gate through
which the deputies pass. Compared to an election convention
in Chicago, it is most interesting. How lively it is inside
of the chamber where the thing is going on I cannot say. I
shall not wait to hear the result, but will return on the coach.

Nothing could be more curious than the apparent indifference
of the people of Paris to the assassination of the President.
Two days after he died there was not a single flag at half
mast among the private residences. The Government buildings,
the hotels and the stores were all that advertised their
grief. I shall have an interesting story to write of it for
the Parisian series. Dana Gibson and I will wait until after
the funeral and then go to Andorra. If he does not go, I may
go alone, but perhaps I shall go back to London at once. This
has been an interesting time here, but only because it is so
different from what one would expect. It reads like a
burlesque to note the expressions of condolence from all over
the world, and to mark the self-satisfaction of the French at
attracting so much sympathy, and their absolute indifference
to the death of Carnot. It is most curious. We have an ideal
time. Never before have I had such jolly dinners, with such
good talk and such amusing companions.


LONDON, July 15, 1894.

Mr. Irving gave a supper last night to Mme. Bernhardt and Mme.
Rejane. There were about twenty people, and we ate in the
Beefsteak Room of the Lyceum Theater, which is so called after
the old Beefsteak Club which formerly met there. I had a most
delightful time, and talked to all the French women and to
Miss Terry, who sent her love to Dad. She said, "I did not
SEE him this last visit; that is, I saw him but I did not
see him." Her daughter is a very sweet girl, and the picture
Miss Terry made on her knees looking up at Bernhardt and
Rejane when they chattered in French was wonderful. Neither
she nor Irving could speak a word of French, and whenever any
one else tried, the crowd all stood in a circle and applauded
and guyed them. After it was over, at about three in the
morning, Miss Terry offered me a lift home in her open
carriage, so she and her daughter and I rode through the empty
streets in the gray light for miles and miles, as, of course,
I did not get out of such company any sooner than I had to do.
They had taken Irving's robe of cardinal red and made it into
cloaks, and they looked very odd and eerie with their yellow
hair and red capes, and talking as fast as they could.




About January 1, 1895, Richard accompanied by his friends
Somers Somerset and Lloyd C. Griscom, afterward our minister
to Tokio and ambassador to Brazil and Italy, started out on a
leisurely trip of South and Central America. With no very
definite itinerary, they sailed from New Orleans, bent on
having a good time, and as many adventures as possible, which
Richard was to describe in a series of articles. These
appeared later on in a volume entitled "Three Gringos in

January, 1895.

On board Breakwater at anchor. You will be pleased to hear
that I am writing this in a fine state of perspiration in
spite of the fact that I have light weight flannels, no
underclothes and all the windows open. It is going to storm
and then it will be cooler. We have had a bully time so far
although the tough time is still to come, that will be going
from Puerto Cortez to Tegucigalpa. At Belize the Governor
treated us charmingly and gave us orderlies and launches and
lunches and advice and me a fine subject for a short story.
For nothing has struck me as so sad lately as did Sir Anthony
Moloney K. C. M. G. watching us go off laughing and joking in
his gilded barge to wherever we pleased and leaving him standing
alone on his lawn with some papers to sign and then a dinner
tete-a-tete with his Secretary and so on to the end of his
life. It was pathetic to hear him listen to all the gossip
from the outside world and to see how we pleased him when we
told him we were getting more bald than he was and that he
would make a fine appearance in the Row at his present weight.
He had not heard of Trilby!!

We struck a beautiful place today called Livingston where we
went ashore and photographed the army in which there was no
boy older than eighteen and most of them under ten. It was
quite like Africa, the homes were all thatched and the
children all naked and the women mostly so. We took lots of
photographs and got on most excellently with the natives who
thought we were as funny as we thought them. Almost every
place we go word has been sent ahead and agents and consuls
and custom house chaps come out to meet me and ask what they
can do. This is very good and keeps Griscom and Somerset in a
proper frame of awe. But seriously I could not ask for better
companions, they are both enormously well informed and polite
and full of fun. The night the Governor asked Somers to
dinner and did not ask us we waited up for him and then hung
him out over the side of the boat above the sharks until he
swore he would never go away from us again. Griscom is more
aggravatingly leisurely but he has a most audacious humor and
talks to the natives in a way that fills them with pleasure
but which nearly makes Somers and I expose the whole party by
laughing. Today we lie here taking in banannas and tomorrow I
will see Conrad, Conrad, Conrad!! Send this to the Consul.
Lots of love.

SAN PEDRO--SULA--February, 1895.

The afternoon of the day we were in Puerto Cortez the man of
war Atlanta steamed into the little harbor and we all
cheered and the lottery people ran up the American flag. Then
I and the others went out to her as fast as we could be rowed
and I went over the side and the surprise of the officers was
very great. They called Somers and Griscom to come up and we
spent the day there. They were a much younger and more
amusing lot of fellows than those on the Minneapolis and
treated us most kindly. It was a beautiful boat and each of
us confessed to feeling quite tempted to go back again to
civilization after one day on her. Their boat had touched at
Tangier and so they claimed that she was the one meant in the
Exiles. They told me that the guide Isaac Cohen whom I
mentioned in Harper's Weekly carries it around as an
advertisement and wanted to ship with them as cabin boy. We
left the next day on the railroad and the boys finding that
two negroes sat on the cowcatcher to throw sand on the rails
in slippery places bribed them for their places and I sat on
the sand box. I never took a more beautiful drive. We did
not go faster than an ordinary horse car but still it was
exciting and the views and vistas wonderful. Sometimes we
went for a half mile under arches of cocoanut palms and a
straight broad leafed palm called the manaca that rises in
separate leaves sixty feet from the ground. Imagine a palm
such as we put in pots at weddings and teas as high as Holy
Trinity Church and hundreds and hundreds of them. The country
is very like Cuba but more luxuriant in every way. There are
some trees with marble like trunks and great branches covered
with oriole nests and a hundred orioles flying in and out of them
or else plastered with orchids. If Billy Furness were to see in
what abundance they grew he would be quite mad. It is a great
pity he did not come with us. This little town is the terminus
of the railroad and we have been here four days while Jeffs the
American Colonel in the Hondurean Army is getting our outfit.
It has been very pleasant and we are in no hurry which is a
good thing for us. It is a most exciting country and as
despotic as all uncivilized and unstable governments must be.
But we have called on the Governor of the district with Jeffs
and he gave us a very fine letter to all civil and unmilitary
authorities in the district calling on them to aid and protect
us in every way. I am getting awfully good material for my
novel and for half a dozen stories to boot only I am surprised
to find how true my novel was to what really exists here.
About ten years ago ---- disappeared, having as I thought
drunk himself to death. He came up to me here on my arrival
with a lot of waybills in his hand and I learned that he had
been employed in this hole in the ground by a railroad for two
years. I remembered meeting him at Newport when I was still
at Lehigh, and last night he asked me to dinner and told me
what he had been doing which included everything from acting
in South America to blacking boots in Australia. His boss was
a Pittsburgh engineer who is apparently licking him into shape
and who told me to tell his father that he had stopped
drinking absolutely. His colored "missus" sat with us at the
table and played with a beetle during the three hours I stayed
there during which time he asked me about ---- who he said had
ruined him. He told me of how ---- had done and said this, and
the contrast to the thatched roof and the mud floor and the
Scotch American engineer and the mulatto girl was rather
striking. I never had more luck in any trip than I have had on
this one and the luck of R. H. D. of which I was fond of boasting
seems to hold good. That man of war, for instance, was the only
American one that had touched at Puerto Cortez in TEN years and
it came the day we did and left the day we did. We saw a big
lithograph of Eddie Sothern in a palm hut here so we went
before a notary and swore to it and had three seals put on the
paper and sent it him as a joke. We start tomorrow the 22nd
so you see we are behind our schedule and I suppose you people
are all worried to death about us. We will be much longer
than six days on our way to Tegucigalpa as we are going
shooting and also to pay our respects to Bogran the
ex-president and the man who is getting up the next
revolution. But we take care to tell everyone we are
travelling for pleasure and are great admirers of Bonilla the
present president. Somers and I are getting on famously. He
is a very fine boy with a great sense of humor and apparently
very fond of me. We had five men counting Jeffs who we call
our military attache and Charwood and four drivers and eleven
mules so it is quite an outfit. In Ecuador with one more man
it would constitute a revolution.


DEAR FAM: SANTA BARBARA--January 25, 1895.

We are not at Tegucigalpa as you observe but travelling in
this country. "As you see it on Broadway " and as you see it
here are two different things. We have had five days of it so
far and rested here today in order to pay our respects to General
Bogran the ex-president of the Republic. It is still six days to
Tegucigalpa. The trip across Central America will certainly
be one of the most interesting experiences of my life. It is
the most beautiful country I have seen and the most barbarous.
It is also the hottest and the most insect-ious and the
dirtiest. This latter seems a little view to take of it but
it means a great deal as the insects prevent your doing
anything in a natural way; as for instance sitting on the
grass or sleeping on the ground or hunting through the bushes.
It is pretty much as you imagine it is from what you have
read, that covers it, and I have discovered nothing new by
coming to see it. I only verify what others have seen. The
people are most uninteresting chiefly because they are surly
to Americans and do not make you feel welcome. I do not mean
that I did not do well to come for I am more glad that I did
than I can say only I have not, as I have been able to do
before, found something that others have not seen. I never
expect to see such a country again unless in Africa. If you
leave the path for ten yards you would never get back to it
except by accident and you could not get that far away unless
you cut yourself a trail. In some places the mail route which
we follow and over which the mail is carried on the backs of
runners is cut in the rock and we go down steps as even as
those of the City Hall and for hours we travel over rough
rocks and stones and a path so narrow that your knees catch in
the vines at the side. The mules are wonderfully sure footed
and never slip although they are very little, and I am pretty
heavy. The heat is something awful. It bakes you and will
dry your pith helmet in ten minutes after you have soaked it
in water. But the scenery is magnificent, sometimes we ride
above the clouds and look down into valleys stretching fifty
miles away and see the buzzards half a mile below us. Then we go
through forests of manaca palms that spread out on a single stem
sideways and form arches over our heads with the leaves hanging
in front of us like portiers or we cross great plains of grass
and cactus and rock. The best fun is the baths we take in the
mountain streams. They are almost as cool as one could wish and
we shoot the rapids and lie under the waterfalls and come out
with all the soreness rubbed out of us as though we had been
massaged. We went shooting for two days but as they had no
dogs we did not do much. I got the best shot of the trip and
missed it. It was a large wild cat and he turned his side full
on but I fired over him. Somers and I spent most of the time
firing chance shots at alligators, but they never gave us a
good chance as the birds warn them when they are in danger.
One old fellow fifteen feet long beat us for some time and
then Somers and I started across the river to catch him
asleep. It was like the taking of Lungtepen. We had our
money belts around our necks and our shoes in one hand and
rifles in the other. The rapids ran very fast and the last I
saw of Somerset he was sitting on the bank he had started from
counting out wet bank notes and blowing the water out of his
gun barrel. I got across all right by sticking my feet
between rocks and put on my shoes and crawled up on the old
Johnnie. He smelt of musk so strong that you could have found
him in the dark. I had, a beautiful shot at him at fifty
yards but I was too greedy and ran around some rocks to get
nearer and he heard me and dived. I shot a macaw, one of those
overgrown parrots with tail feathers three feet from tip to tip.
I got him with a rifle and as Griscom had got his with a shotgun
I came out all right as a marksman although I was very sore at
missing the wild cat. We sleep in hats and we sleep precious
little for the dogs and pigs and insects all help to keep us
awake and I cannot get used to a hammock. The native beds are
made of matting such as they put over tea chests, or bull's hide
stretched. Last night I slept in a hut with a woman and her
three daughters all over fifteen and they sat up and watched
me prepare for bed with great interest. I would not have
missed this trip for any other I know. I wanted to rough it
and we've roughed it and we will have another week of it too.
We have some remarkable photographs and the article ought to
be most interesting. Bogran proved to be a very handsome and
remarkable man and we had a very interesting talk with him.
From Tegucigalpa we will probably go directly to Venezuela
across the Isthmus of Panama and not visit another Republic.
We have all travelled too much to care to duplicate, and that
is what we would be doing by remaining longer in Central
America. A month of it will be enough of it and we will not
get away from Amapala before the first of February. We are
all well and happy and dirty and sing and laugh and tell
stories and listen to Griscom's anecdotes of the aristocracy
as we pick our way along. So goodbye and God bless you all.


February lst, 1895.

4th, 1895.

Here we are at last, the trip from Santa Barbara where I
last wrote you was made in six days. It was not so
interesting as the first part because it was very
high up and the tropical scenery gave way to immensely tall
pines and other trees that might have been in California, or
the Rockies. The Corderillas which is the name of the
mountains we crossed are a continuation, by the way, of the
Rockies, and the Andes but are not more than 4,000 feet high.
We had two very hot days of it in the plains of Comgaqua where
there was once a city of 60,000 founded by Cortez but where
there are not now more than 6,000. The heat was awful. We
peeled all over our faces and hands and dodged and ducked our
heads as though some one were biting at us. My saddle and
clothes were so hot that I could not place my hand on them.
At one village we heard that a bull fight was to be given at
the next fifteen miles away, so we rode on there and arrived
in time to take part. They had enclosed the plaza with a
barricade of logs seven feet high, bound together with vines.
They roped a big bull and lassoed him all over and then a man
got on his back with spurs on his bare feet and held on by the
ropes around the bull's body and by his toes and threw a cloak
over the bull's eyes when ever it got too near any one-- They
stuck it with spears until it was mad and then let the lassoes
slip and the bull started off to tear out the torreadors. I
thought it would be a great sporting act to kodak a bull while
it was charging you and so we all volunteered to act as
torreadors and it was most exciting and funny. It was rather
late to get good results but I got some pretty good pictures
of the bull coming at me with his head down and then I'd skip
into a hole in the wall. The best pictures I got were of
Somers and Griscom scrambling over the seven foot barriers with
the bull in hot chase. We all looked so funny in our high boots
and helmets and so much alike that the savages yelled with
delight and thought we had been engaged especially for their
pleasure. Our "mosers," or mule drivers treated us most
insolently but we could not do anything because Jeffs. had
engaged them and we did not want to interfere with his
authority but at a place the last day out one of them told
Jeffs. he lied and that we all lied. He had lost or stolen a
canteen of Griscom's and they had said we had not given it to
him. Jeffs. went at him right and left and knocked him all
over the shop. There were half a dozen drunken mule drivers
at the place and we thought they would take a hand but they
did not. That night Jeffs. thought to try us to see what we
would have done and left us bathing in a mountain stream and
rode on ahead and hid himself behind a rock in a canon and lay
in ambush for us. We were jogging along in the moonlight and
Somerset was reciting the "Walrus and the Carpenter," when
suddenly Jeffs. let out a series of yells in Spanish and
opened fire on us over our heads. Somerset was riding my mule
and I had no weapons, so I yelled at him to shoot and he fell
off his mule and ran to mine and let go at the rock behind
which Jeffs. was with the carbines. So that in about five
seconds Jeffs.' curiosity was perfectly satisfied as to what
we would do, and he shouted for mercy. We thought it was a
sentry or brigands and were greatly disappointed when it
turned out to be Jeffs. We got here last night and a dirtier
or more dismal place you never saw. We had telegraphed ahead
for rooms but nothing was in order and we were lodged much
worse than we had been several times in the interior where
there was occasionally a clean floor. This morning we wrote
direct to the President, asking for an interview
or audience and did not ask our Consul to help us because
Jeffs. had asked him in our presence to come meet us and he
said he would after he had done talking to some other men, but
he never came. Before we heard from Bonilla however, we
learned that the Vice-president who has the same name was to
be sworn in so we went to the palace along with the populace
in their bare feet. We sat out of sight but the English
Consul who was the finest looking person in the chamber--all
over gold lace--saw us and asked that we be given places in
front, which the minister of something asked us to take but we
objected on account of our clothes. Somers had on a flannel
suit that looked exactly like pajamas and lawn tennis shoes.
But as soon as the ceremony was over they insisted on our
going in to the banquet hall and in spite of our objections we
were there conveyed and presented to Bonilla who behaved very
well and after saying he had received our letters but had not
had time to read them left us and avoided us, which was what
we wanted for we looked like the devil. We met everybody else
though and took the English and Guatemalian Consuls back to
our rooms and gave them drinks and then we went to their
rooms, so the day went very pleasantly. The President sent us
a funny printed card appointing an audience at eleven
to-morrow. It is exactly what you would imagine it would be,
the soldiers are barefooted except about fifty and the
President leaned out of the window in his shirt sleeves after
the review and they have not plastered up the holes in his
palace that his cannon made in it just a year ago to-day, when
he was fighting Vasquez, and Vasquez was then on the inside
and Bonilla on the hills. I forgot to tell you
that this morning a boy about sixteen years old, with a
policeman's badge and club came to our window and talked
pleasantly with us or at us rather, while we shaved and guyed
him in English. Finally we found that he had come to arrest
Jeffs. so we told him where Jeffs. was but he preferred to
watch us shave and we finished it under his custody. Then we
went to the Commandante and found that the mosers had had
Jeffs. arrested for not paying them on their arrival at
Tegucigalpa, as we had distinctly told them we would not do
but at San Pedro from where we took them, on their return. It
was only a spite case suggested by Jeffs. thrashing their
leader. The Commandante gave them a scolding and we went out
in triumph.

February 4th--

Your cable received all right. We were very glad to hear. We
have decided to go on by mules to Manaqua, the Capital of
Nicaragua, and from there either to Corinto or to Lemon on the
Atlantic side. We had to do this or wait here ten days for
the boat going south at Amapala. It is moonlight now so that
we can avoid the heat of the day. Yesterday we went out
riding with the President, who put a gold revolver in his hip
pocket before he started and made us feel that uneasy lies the
head that rules in this country. He had two horses that had
never been ridden before, as a compliment to our powers, the
result was that the Vice-president's horse almost killed him,
which I guess the President intended it should and the horse
Griscom rode backed all over the town. He was a stallion and
had never been ridden before that day. Mine was a gentle old
gee-gee and yet I felt good when we were all on the ground again.
The British consul gave Somers a fine reception and raised the
flag for him and had the band there to play "God Save the Queen,"
which he had spent the whole morning in teaching them. Griscom
and I called on our Consul and played his guitar. We bought one
for ourselves for the rest of the trip.

I want you to do something for me: keep all the unfavorable
notices you get. I know Mother won't do it, so I shall expect
Nora to make a point of saving them from the waste-paper
basket. If there is not a lot of them when I get back, I will
raise a row.


MANAQUA-NICARAGUA-February 13, 1895.

I had a great deal to tell you, but we have just received
copies of the Panama Star and have read of the trolley riots
in Brooklyn, a crisis in France, War in the Balkans, a
revolution in Honolulu and another in Colombia. The result is
that we feel we are not in it and we are all kicking and
growling and abusing our luck. How Claiborne and Russell will
delight over us and in telling how the militia fired on the
strikers and how Troop A fought nobly. Never mind our turn
will come someday and we may see something yet. We have had
the deuce of a time since we left Tegucigalpa. Now we are in
a land where there are bull hide beds and canvas cots instead
of hammocks and ice and railroads and direct communication
with steamship lines. Hereafter all will be merely a matter
of waiting until the boat sails or the train starts and the
uncertainties of mules and cat boats are at an end. It is
hard to explain about our difficulties after we left Tegucigalpa
but they were many. We gave up our idea of riding here direct
because they assured us we could get a steam launch from Amapala
to Corinto so we rode three days to San Lorenzo on the Pacific
side and took an open boat from there to Amapala. It was rowed
by four men who walked up a notched log and then fell back
dragging the sweeps back, with the weight of their bodies.

It was a moonlight night and they looked very picturesque
rising and sinking back and outlined against the sky. They
were naked to the waist and rowed all night and I had a good
chance to see them as I had to lie on the bottom of the boat
on three mahogany logs. By ten the next day we were too
cramped to stand it, so we put ashore on a deserted island and
played Robinson Crusoe. We had two biscuits and a box of
sardines among five of us but we found oysters on the rocks
and knocked a lot off with clubs and stones and the butts of
our guns. They were very good. We also had a bath until a
fish ran into me about three feet long and cut two gashes in
my leg. We reached Amapala about four in the afternoon. It
was an awful place; dirt and filth and no room to move about,
so we chartered an open boat to sail or row to Corinto sixty
miles distant. You see, we could not go back to Tegucigalpa
until the steamer arrived which is to take us South of Panama
and we could not go to Manaqua either and for the same reason
that we had sent back our mule train and we would not wait in
Amapala partly because of fever which had been there and
partly because we wanted to get to Corinto where they have ice
and to see Manaqua. The boat was about as long as the
Vagabond and twice as deep and a foot or two more across her
beam. There were four of us, five of the crew and two natives
who wanted to make the trip and who we took with us. It was
pretty awful. The old tub rocked like a milk shake and I was
never so ill in my life, we all lay packed together on the ribs
of the boat and could not move and the waves splashed over us but
we were too ill to care. The next day the sun beat in on us and
roasted us like an open furnace. The boat was a pit of heat
and outside the swell of the Pacific rose and fell and
reflected the sun like copper. We reached Corinto in about
twenty four hours and I was never so glad to get any place
before. The town turned out to greet us and some Englishmen
ran to ask from what boat we had been ship wrecked. They
would not believe we had taken the trip for any other reason.
They helped us very kindly and would not let us drink all the
iced water we wanted and sent us in to bathe in a place
surrounded by piles to keep out the sharks and by a roof to
shelter one from the sun. Corinto proved to be all that
Amapala was not; clean, cool with very excellent food and
broad beds of matting. I liked it better than any place at
which we have been, we came on here the next day to see the
President and found the city hot, dusty and of no interest.
There is an excellent hotel however and we had a talk with the
President who was a much better chap than Bonilla being older
and more civilized. Of course there is absolutely no reason
or excuse for us if we do not get control of this canal. If
only that it would allow our ships of war to pass from Ocean
to Ocean instead of going around the horn. The women are
really beautiful but that has nothing to do with the canal.
Tomorrow morning we return to Corinto as Somers and
I like it best. Griscom would like to go on across by the
route of the canal which would be a good thing were we certain
of meeting a steamer at Simon or Greytown, but the Minister
who went last month that way had to wait there sixteen days.
So, we will probably leave Corinto on the 17th or 20th, there
are two steamers, one that stops at ports and one that does
not. They both arrive together. I do not know which we will
take but--this letter will go with me. Up to date I think the
trip will make a good story but it will have to be a personal
one about the three of us for the country as it stands is
uninteresting to the general reader for the reason that it
DUPLICATES itself in everything. But with our photographs
and a humorous story, it ought to be worth reading and I have
picked enough curious things to make it of some value.

February 15,--Corinto.

We are back here now and rid of that dusty, dirty city. You
would be amused if you saw this place and tried to understand
why we prefer it to any place we have seen. There is surf
bathing at a half mile distant and a good hotel with a great
bar where a Frenchman gives us ice and the sea captains and
agents for mines and plantations in the interior gather to
play billiards. Outside there are rows of handsome women with
decollete gowns and shining black hair and colored silk scarfs
selling fruit and down the one street which faces the bay are
a double row of palms and the store where two American boys
have a phonograph. They are the only Americans I have met who
have or are taking a dollar out of this country. They play
the guitar and banjo very well. One of them was on the
Princeton glee club and their stories of how they have toured
Central America are very amusing. Lots of Love.


S. S. Barracouta--Off San Juan

February 21, 1895.

Today I believe is the 21st. We are out two days from Corinto
off San Juan on the boundary of Costa Rica and lie here some
hours. Then we go on without stopping to Panama arriving
there about the 25th. On the 28th we take the steamer to
Caracas. We will be at Caracas a week and then go straight
home. But in the meanwhile we will have got one mail at Colon
when we go there to take the boat for Caracas and glad I will
be to get it. We have had a summary of the news in the Panama
Star and a bundle of Worlds telling all about the trolley
strike and that is all except Dad's cable at Tegucigalpa that
we have heard in nearly two months. I am very sorry that the
distances have turned out so much longer than we expected and
that we had that unfortunate ten days wait for the steamer. I
know you want me home and I would like to be there but I do
not think I ought to go without seeing Caracas. It helps the
book so much too if one runs it into South America for no one
in the States thinks much of Central and does not want to read
about it. At least I know I never did. We have had a most
amusing time with the two phonograph chaps. One of them has
been an advertising agent and a deputy sheriff and chased
stage coach robbers and kept a hard-ware store and is only
twenty-five and the other has not had quite as much experience
but has been to Princeton, he is 23. The mixture of narratives
which change from tricks of the hard-ware trade to dances at
Buckingham Palace and anecdotes of Cliff House supper parties at
San Francisco are very interesting. I am going to write a book
for them and call it "Through Central America with a Phonograph"
or "Who We Did, and How We Done Them." We sing the most
beautiful medleys and contribute to the phonograph. I had to
protest against them announcing "Her Golden Hair was Hanging Down
her Back" by Richard Harding Davis and Somerset kicked at their
introducing "God Save the Queen" as sung by "His Grace the Duke
of Bedford" which they insist in thinking his real title and his
name; if he would only confess the truth. You cannot have any
idea of how glad I am that I took this trip, just this
particular trip, not for any interest it will be to the gentle
reader but for the benefit it has been to me. All the things
I was nervous about have been done and should I get nerves
again as I suppose I always will in one form or another I can
get rid of them by remembering how I got rid of them before
during this most peculiar excursion. For though I and we all
told the truth about being well, we were in a most trying
place at times and the ride we took and the sail to get away
from possible fever was very much of a strain. I do not see
how Griscom kept up as he did for he was an invalid and very
nervous when he started. But he showed great sporting blood.
It was much better having three than two and he furnished us
with much amusement at which he never complains. His
artlessness and his bad breaks which keep us filled with
terror make the most entertaining narratives and he tells them
on himself and then keeps on making new ones. One night Jeffs
came down with fever through bathing in the mountain streams, a
practice which did not hurt us but which natives of the country
cannot do in safety, and I confess I was scared. Jeffs pulled
through in a few days. It was odd that the man who had lived
here eleven years should have been the only one to give up
throughout the whole trip and he was a good sport, too.

I will have the Central American stories all done or nearly so
by the time we reach New York which is one of the comforts of
this over abundance of sea voyages. I have the lottery story
nearly written and am wondering now if Bissell will let me
publish it. Would it not be a good idea to have Dad, if he
knows him, explain about how I went South to write it and just
what it is and get his official sanction or shall I write or
get the Harper's to write when I get back. The lottery people
in joke offered $10,000 if they could write the story
themselves. And sometimes I wish they would for it is the
hardest kind of work. I do not want to advertise their old
game and yet I cannot help doing it, in a way. We put in at
Punta Arenas and I found a woman looking at us with an opera
glass and shortly after she sent out to say she knew me and
that she wanted me to come up. It seemed I met her in
Elizabeth, New Jersey with Eddie Coward where she was playing
in private theatricals. Since then as a punishment no doubt
she has lived here and her husband is Minister of the Navy
with one gun boat. This trip is very hot and I sleep on deck
and look up at the stars and the light on the jib and the
smoke spoiling the firmament. It makes you feel terribly far
away from the centre of civilization in front of the fire and
you all trying to make out where we are at. I hope you know
more about it than we do.

It is the worst country for getting about that I ever heard
of. It has revived my interest and belief in all such
beautiful things as buried treasures and hidden cities and
shooting men against stone walls and filibusters. There are
not many of these stories but every man tells them differently
so they have all the freshness of a new tale. There is no ice
on this boat or lemons or segars. It is the first time so
they say that it has happened in twelve months, but after this
it must be better. At Panama they fine the ice man $1000
every day his machine breaks and so we have hopes. I feel so
very, very selfish off down here and leaving you all alone and
it makes me lose my temper more than usual when all these
delays occur but I promise to be good hereafter and we will be
together soon now by the end of March sure and I hope you will
not miss me too much, as much as I miss all of you. Sometimes
I wish you could see some of these islands and the long
shadowy sharks and the turtles, there are thousands of turtles
as big as tubs just floating around like empty bottles, but I
have never on the whole taken a trip when I so seldom wished
that the family were around to enjoy it. It used to hurt me
during the Mediterranean trip but there is not much that would
please you in this outfit. I like it because I am satisfied
to go dirty for weeks at a time and to talk to the engineer or
the queer passengers and to pick up stories and improve my
geography but I do not think the scenery would compensate
either Nora or you or Dad for the lack of necessities and
CLEANTH. When we were crossing the continent I don't
believe I had a spot on me as big as a nickel without three
bites on it, all sorts of bites, they just swarmed over you
all sizes, colors and varieties. They came from dogs, from
the sand, from trees, from the grass, from the air.
The worst were little red bugs that lay under the leaves
called carrapati's and that came off on you in a hundred at a
time. And there were also "jiggers" that get under your nails
and leave eggs there. Some times we could not sleep at all
for the bites and you had to carry a brush to brush the carripats
off every time you passed through bushes. It's the
damnedest country I was ever in now that I have time to think
of it. The other day I was going in to bathe and the sand was
so hot that I could not get to the breakers and so I went
yelling and jumping back to the grass and the grass was just
one mass of burrs, so I gave another yell and leaped on to a
big log and the log was full of thorns. That's the sort of
country it is. And then after you do make a dash for the surf
a shark makes a dash for you and you don't know what you are
here for anyway. It had its humorous side and it was very
funny, especially as it never turned out otherwise, to see the
men scamper when the sharks came in. They never scented us
for ten minutes or so and then they would swim up and we would
give a yell and all make for the shore head over heels and
splashing and shrieking and scared and excited. There would
always be one man who was further out than the rest and he
could not hear on account of the waves and we would all line
up on the beach and yell and dance up and down and try to
attract his attention. But you would see him go on diving and
playing along in horrible loneliness until he turned to speak
to some one and found the man gone and then he would look for
the others and when he saw us all on the shore he would give
one wild whoop out of him and go falling over himself with his
hair on end and his eyes and mouth wide open. I saw one shark
ten feet long but we would have died of the heat if we had not
bathed so we thought it was worth it. That's over now because
we cannot get any more sea bathing. Just around Panama.
Finest place seen yet.


PANAMA, February 28th, 1895.

Griscom has awakened to the fact that he is a Press
correspondent and is interviewing rebels who come stealthily
by night followed by spies of the government and sit in
Griscom's room with the son of the Consul General, as
interpreter. Somerset and I refuse to be implicated and sit
in the plaza waiting for a file of soldiers to carry Griscom
off which is our cue for action. There is a man-of-war, the
Atlanta, the one we made friends with at Puerto Cortez,
lying at Colon and so we feel safe. We may now be said to be
absorbing local color. That is about all we have done since
we left Amapala. And if it were not that you are all alone up
there, I would not mind it. I would probably continue on. We
know it now as we do London or Paris. We can distinguish sea
captains, lawyers in politics, commandantes, oldest residents,
gentlemenly good for nothings, shipping agents and commission
dealers, coffee planters and men who are "on the beach" with
unerring eye. We know the story of each before he tells it,
or it is told by some one else. The Commandante shot a lot of
men by the side of a road during the last revolution, first
allowing them to dig their own graves and is here now so
that he can pay himself by stealing the custom dues,
the lawyer politician has been to Cornell and taken a medical
degree in Paris and aspires to be a deputy and only remembers
New York as the home of Lillian Russell. The commission
merchants are all Germans and the coffee planters are all
French. They point with pride to little bare-foot boys
selling sea shells and cocoanuts as their offspring, although
they cannot remember their names. The sea captains you can
tell by their ready made clothes of a material that would be
warm in Alaska and by them wearing Spanish dollars for watch
guards and by the walk which is rolling easily when sober and
pitching heavily toward the night. The oldest resident always
sits in front of the hotel and in the same seat, with a
tortoise shell cane and remembers when Vasquez or Mendoza or
Barrios, or Bonilla occupied the Cathedral and fired hot shot
into the Palace and everybody took refuge in the English
Consulate and he helped guard the bank all night with a
Springfield rifle. The men who are on the beach have just
come out of the hospital where they have had yellow fever and
they want food. This story is intended to induce you to get
rid of them hurriedly by a small token. Sometimes out of this
queer combination you will get a good story but generally they
want to show you a ruined abbey or a document as old as the
Spanish occupation or to make you acquainted with a man who
has pearls to sell, or a coffee plantation or a collection of
unused stamps which he stole while a post-office employee.
Our chief sport now is to go throw money at the prisoners who
are locked up in a row of dungeons underneath the sea wall. The
people walk and flirt and enjoy the sea breeze above them and the
convicts by holding a mirror between the bars of the dungeons can
see who is leaning over the parapet above them. Then they hold
out their hands and you drop nickels and they fail to catch
them and the sentry comes up and teases them by holding the
money a few inches beyond their reach. They climb all over
the crossbars in their anxiety to get the money and look like
great monkeys. At night it is perfectly tremendous for their
is only a light over their heads and they crawl all over the
bars beneath this, standing on each other's shoulders and
pushing and fighting and yelling half naked and wholey black
and covered with sweat. As a matter of fact they are better
content to stay in jail than out and when the British Consul
offered to send eight of them back to Jamaica they refused to
go and said they would rather serve out their sentence of
eight years. This is the way the place looks and I am going
to introduce it in a melodrama and have some one lower files
down to the prisoners.

After some not very eventful or pleasant days at Caracas,
Richard sailed for home and from the steamer wrote the
following letter:

March 26th--On board S. S. Caracas.


Off the coast of God's country. Hurrah! H---- did not come
near us until the morning of our departure when he arrived at
the Station trembling all over and in need of a shave. But in
the meanwhile the consul at Caracas picked Griscom and myself
up in the street and took us in to see Crespo who received us
with much dignity and politeness. So we met him after all and
helped the story out that much.

There is not much more to tell except that I was never so glad
to set my face home as I am now and even the roughness of this
trip cannot squelch my joy. It seems to me as if years had
passed since we left and to think we are only three days off
from Sandy Hook seems much too wonderfully good to be
possible. Some day when we have dined alone together at
Laurent's I will tell you the long story of how Somers and Gris
came to be decorated with the Order of the Bust of Bolivar the
Liberator of Venezuela of the 4th class but at present I will
only say that there is a third class of the order still coming
to me in Caracas, as there is 20 minutes still coming to Kelly
in Brooklyn. It was a matter of either my getting the third
class, which I ought to have had anyway having the third class
of another order already, and THEIR GETTING NOTHING, or our
all getting the 4th or 5th class and of course I choose that
they should get something and so they did and for my aimable
unselfishness in the matter they have frequently drunken my
health. I was delighted when Somers got his for he was
happier over it than I have ever seen him over anything and
kept me awake nights talking about it. I consider it the
handsomest order there is after the Legion of Honor and I have
become so crazy about Bolivar who was a second Washington and
Napoleon that I am very glad to have it, although I still sigh
for the third class with its star and collar.

The boys are especially glad because we have organized a
Traveller's Club of New York of which we expect great things
and they consider that it starts off well in having three of
the members possessors of a foreign order. We formed the club
while crossing Honduras in sight of the Pacific Ocean and its
object is to give each other dinners and to present a club
medal to people who have been nice to and who have
helped members of the club while they were in foreign parts.
It is my idea and I think a good one as there are lots of
things one wants to do for people who help you and this will
be as good as any. Members of the club are the only persons
not eligible to any medal bestowed by the club and the
eligibility for membership is determined by certain distances
which a man must have travelled. Although the idea really is
to keep it right down to our own crowd and make each man
justify the smallness of the club's membership by doing
something worth while. I am President. Bonsal is vice
president. Russell treasurer and Griscom Secretary. Somerset
is the solitary member. You and Sam and Helen and Elizabeth
Bisland are at present the only honorary members. We are also
giving gold medals to the two chaps who crossed Asia on
bicycles, to Willie Chanler and James Creelman, but that does
not make them members. It only shows we as a club think they
have done a sporting act. I hope you like the idea. We have
gone over it for a month and considered it in every way and I
think we are all well enough known to make anybody pleased to
have us recognize what they did whether it was for any of us
personally or for the public as explorers. On this trip for
instance we would probably send the club medals in silver to
Admiral Meade, to Kelly, to Royas the Venezuelan Minister for
the orders to the Governor of Belize, to the consul at La
Guayra and to one of the phonograph chaps. In the same way if
you would want to send a medal to any man or woman prince or
doctor who had been kind, courteous, hospitable or of official
service to you you would just send in a request to the
committee. Write me soon and with lots of love

In April, 1895, Richard was back in New York, at work on his
South and Central American articles, and according to the
following letters, having a good time with his old friends.

NEW YORK, April 27, 1895.

I read in the paper the other morning that John Drew was in
Harlem, so I sent him a telegram saying that I was organizing
a relief expedition, and would bring him out of the wilderness
in safety. At twelve I sent another reading, "Natives from
interior of Harlem report having seen Davis Relief
Expeditionary Force crossing Central Park, all well. Robert
Howard Russell." At two I got hold of Russell, and we
telegraphed "Relief reached Eighty-fifth street; natives
peacefully inclined, awaiting rear column, led by Griscom;
save your ammunition and provisions." Just before the curtain
fell we sent another, reading: "If you can hold the audience
at bay for another hour, we guarantee to rescue yourself and
company and bring you all back to the coast in safety. Do not
become disheartened." Then we started for Harlem in a cab
with George and another colored man dressed as African
warriors, with assegai daggers and robes of gold and high
turbans and sashes stuck full of swords. I wore my sombrero
and riding breeches, gauntlets and riding boots, with
cartridge belts full of bum cartridges over my shoulder and
around the waist. Russell had my pith helmet and a suit of
khaki and leggins. Griscom was in one of my coats of many
pockets, a helmet and boots. We all carried revolvers,
canteens and rifles. We sent George in with a note saying we
were outside the zareba and could not rescue him because the
man on watch objected to our guns. As soon as they saw George
they rushed out and brought us all in. Drew was on the stage,
so we tramped into the first entrance, followed by all the
grips, stage hands and members of the company. The old man
heard his cue just as I embraced him, and was so rattled that
when he got on the stage he could not say anything, and the
curtain went down without any one knowing what the plot was
about. When John came off, I walked up to him, followed by
the other four and the entire company, and said: "Mr. Drew, I
presume," and he said: "Mr. Davis, I believe. I am saved!"
Helen Benedict happened to be in Maude Adams' dressing-room,
and went off into a fit, and the company was delighted as John
would have been had he been quite sure we were not going on
the stage or into a box. We left them after we had had a
drink, although the company besought us to stay and protect
them, and got a supper ready in Russell's rooms, at which
Helen, Ethel Barrymore, John and Mrs. Drew, Maude Adams and
Griscom were present.


NEW YORK, November, 1895.

The china cups have arrived all right and are a beautiful
addition to my collection and to my room, in which Daphne
still holds first place.

What do you think Sir Henry sent me? The medal and his little
black pipe in a green velvet box about as big as two bricks
laid side by side with a heavy glass top with bevelled edges
and the medal and pipe lying on a white satin bed, bound down
with silver--and a large gold plate with the inscription "To
Richard Harding Davis with the warmest greetings from Gregory
Brewster--1895"-- You have no idea how pretty it is,
Bailey, Banks and Biddle made it-- It is just like him to do
anything so sweet and thoughtful and it has attracted so many
people that I have had it locked up-- No Burden jewel robbers
here-- My friend, the Russian O---- lady still pursues me and
as she has no sense of humor and takes everything seriously,
she frightens me-- I am afraid she will move in at any
moment-- She has asked me to spend the summer with her at
Paris and Monte Carlo, and at her country place in Norfolk and
bombards me with invitations to suppers and things in the
meantime. She has just sent me a picture of herself two feet
by three, with writing all over it and at any moment, I expect
her to ring the bell and order her trunks taken up stairs-- I
am too attractive-- Last night I dined with Helen and Maude
Adams, who is staying with her. I want them to board me too.
Maude sang for us after dinner and then went off to see Yvette
Guilbert at a "sacred concert" to study her methods. I went
to N----'s box to hear Melba and we chatted to the
accompaniment of Melba, Nordica and Plancon in a trio--the
Ogre, wore fur, pearls, white satin and violets. It was a
pink silk box. Then I went down to a reception at Mrs. De
Koven's and found it was a play. Everybody was seated already
so I squatted down on the floor in front of Mrs. De Koven and
a tall woman in a brocade gown cut like a Japanese woman's--
It was very dark where the audience was, so I could not see
her face but when the pantomime was over I looked up and saw
it was Yvette Guilbert. So I grabbed Mrs. De Koven and told
her to present me and Guilbert said in English-- "It is not
comfortable on the floor is it?" and I said, "I have been at
your feet for three years now, so I am quite used to it"--for
which I was much applauded-- Afterwards I told some one to tell
her in French that I had written a book about Paris and about her
and that I was going to mark it and send it and before the woman
could translate, Guilbert said, "No, send me the Van Bippere
book"-- So we asked her what she meant and she said, " M. Bourget
told me to meet you and to read your Van Bippere Book, you are
Mr. Davis, are you not?"-- So after that I owned the place and
refused to meet Mrs. Vanderbilt.

Yvette has offered to teach me French, so I guess I won't go
to Somerset's wedding, unless O---- scares me out of the
country. I got my $2,000 check and have paid all my debts.
They were not a third as much as I thought they were, so
that's all right.

Do come over mother, as soon as you can and we will meet at
Jersey City, and have a nice lunch and a good talk. Give my
bestest love to Dad and Nora. How would she like Yvette for a
sister-in-law? John Hare has sent me seats for to night-- He
is very nice-- I have begun the story of the "Servants' Ball"
and got well into it.

and lots of love.


The following letter was written to me at Florence. The novel
referred to was "Soldiers of Fortune," which eventually proved
the most successful book, commercially, my brother ever wrote.
Mrs. Hicks, to whom Richard frequently refers, is the
well-known English actress Ellaline Terriss, the wife of
Seymour Hicks. Somerset is Somers Somerset, the son of Lady
Henry Somerset, and the Frohman referred to is Daniel Frohman,
who was the manager of the old Lyceum Theatre.

Early in November, William R. Hearst asked my brother to write
a description of the Yale-Princeton football game for The
Journal. Richard did not want to write the "story" and by
way of a polite refusal said he could not undertake it for
less than $500.00. Greatly to his surprise Hearst promptly
accepted the offer. At the time, I imagine this was by far
the largest sum ever paid a writer for reporting a single

December 31st, 1895.
New York.
The Players.

New Year's Eve.

I am not much of a letter writer these days, but I have
finished the novel and that must make up for it. It goes to
the Scribners for $5,000 which is not as much as I think I
should have got for it. I am now lying around here until the
first of February, when I expect to sail to Somerset's
wedding, reaching you in little old Firenzi in March. We will
then paint it. After that I do not know what I shall do.
The Journal is after me to do almost anything I want at my
own figure, as a correspondent. They have made Ralph London
correspondent and their paper is the only one now to stick to.
They are trying to get all the well known men at big prices.

I have had such a good time helping Mrs. Hicks in Seymour's
absence. She had about everything happen to her that is
possible and she is just the sort of little person you love to
do things for. She finally sailed and I am now able to attend
to my own family.

The Central American and Venezuelan book comes out on February
lst. Several of the papers here jokingly alluded to the fact
that my article on the Venezuelan boundary had inspired the
President's message. Of course you get garbled ideas of things
over there and exaggerated ones, as for instance, on the Coxey
army. But you never saw anything like the country after that war
message. It was like living with a British fleet off Sandy Hook.
Everybody talked of it and of nothing else. I went to a
dinner of 300 men all of different callings and I do not
believe one of them spoke of anything else. Cabmen, car
conductors, barkeepers, beggars and policemen. All talked war
and Venezuela and the Doctrine of Mr. Monroe. In three days
the country lost one thousand of millions of dollars in
values, which gives you an idea how expensive war is. It is
worse than running a newspaper. Now, almost everyone is for
peace, peace at any price. I do not know of but one jingo
paper, The Sun, and war talk is greeted with jeers. It was
as if the people had suddenly had their eyes opened to what it
really meant and having seen were wiser and wanted no more of
it. Your brother, personally, looks at it like this.
Salisbury was to blame in the first place for being rude and
not offering to arbitrate as he had been asked to do. When he
said to Cleveland, "It's none of your business" the only
answer was "Well, I'll make it my business" but instead of
stopping there, Cleveland uttered a cast iron ultimatum
instead of leaving a loophole for diplomacy and a chance for
either or both to back out. That's where I blame him as does
every one else.

Sam Sothern is in Chicago and we all wrote him guying letters
about the war. Helen said she was going to engage "The Heart
of Maryland" company to protect her front yard, while Russell
and I have engaged "The Girl I Left Behind Me" company with
Blanch Walsh and the original cast.

We sent Somerset a picture of himself riddled with bullets.
And Mrs. Hicks made herself famous by asking if it was that
odious Dunraven they were going to war about.

My article was a very lucky thing and is greatly quoted and in
social gatherings I am appealed to as a final authority.

The football story, by the way, did me a heap of good with the
newspapers and the price was quoted as the highest ever paid
for a piece of reporting. People sent for it so that the
edition was exhausted. The Journal people were greatly pleased.

Yvette Guilbert is at Hammerstein's and crowds the new music
hall nightly, at two dollars a seat. Irving and Miss Terry
have been most friendly to me and to the family. Frohman is
going to put "Zenda" on in New York because he has played a
failure, which will of course kill it for next year for Eddie,
when he comes out as a star. I have never seen such general
indignation over a private affair. Barrymore called it a case
of Ollaga Zenda. They even went to Brooklyn when Eddie was
playing there and asked him to stage the play for them and how
he made his changes and put on his whiskers. Poor Eddie, he
lacks a business head and a business manager--and Sam talks
and shakes his head but is little better. Lots of love and
best wishes for the New Year.




The years 1896--1897 were probably the most active of
Richard's very active life. In the space of twelve months he
reported the Coronation at Moscow, the Millennial Celebration
at Budapest, the Spanish-Cuban War, the McKinley Inauguration,
the Greek-Turkish War and the Queen's Jubilee. Although this
required a great deal of time spent in travelling, Richard
still found opportunity to do considerable work on his novel
"Captain Macklin," to which he refers in one of his letters
from London.

As correspondent of the New York American, then The
Journal, Richard went from Florence, where he was visiting
me, to Moscow. He was accompanied by Augustus Trowbridge, an
old friend of my brother's and a rarely good linguist. The
latter qualification proved of the greatest possible
assistance to Richard in his efforts to witness the actual
coronation ceremony. To have finally been admitted to the
Kremlin my brother always regarded as one of his greatest
successes as a correspondent.

En route--May 1896.

The night is passed and with the day comes "a hope" but during
the blackness I had "a suffer"-- I read until two--five
hours--and then slept until five when the middle man who had
slept on my shoulder all night left the train and the second one
to whom Bernardi was so polite left me alone and had the porter
fit me up a bed so that I slept until seven again-- Then the
Guardian Angel returned for his traps and I bade him a sleepy
adieu and was startled to see two soldiers standing shading their
eyes in salute in the doorway and two gentlemen bowing to my kind
protector with the obsequiousness of servants-- He sort of
smiled back at me and walked away with the soldiers and 13
porters carrying his traps. So I rung up the conductor and he
said it was the King's Minister with his eyes sticking out of his
head--the conductor's eyes--not the Minister's. I don't know
what a King's Minister is but he liked your whiskey-- I am now
passing through the Austrian Tyrol which pleases me so much
that I am chortling with joy-- None of the places for which my
ticket call are on any map--but don't you care, I don't care--
I wish I could adequately describe last night with nothing but
tunnels hours in length so that you had to have all the
windows down and the room looked like a safe and full of
tobacco smoke and damp spongey smoke from the engine, and bad
air. That first compartment I went in was filled later with
German women who took off their skirts and the men took off
their shoes. Everybody in the rear of the car is filthy dirty
but I had a wash at the Custom house and now I am almost clean
and quite happy. The day is beautiful and the compartment is
all my own-- I am absolutely enchanted with the Tyrol-- I have
never seen such quaint picture book houses and mills with
wheels like that in the Good for Nothing and crucifixes
wonderfully carved and snow mountains and dark green forests--
The sky is perfect and the air is filled with the sun and the
train moves so smoothly that I can see little blue flowers, baby
blue, Bavarian blue flowers, in the Spring grass. Such dear
old castles like birds nests and such homelike old mills and
red-faced millers with feathers in their caps you never saw
out of a comic opera-- The man in here with me now is a
Russian, of course, and saw the last Coronation and knows that
my suite is on the principal Street and attends to my changing
money and getting an omelette-- I can survive another night
now having had an omelette not so good as Madam Masi's but
still an omelette-- I have now left Munich and the Russian and
a conductor whom I mistook for a hereditary prince of Bavaria,
with tassels down his back, has assured me he is going to
Berlin, and that I am going to Berlin and much else to which I
smile knowingly and say mucho gracia, wee wee, ya ya, ich
ich limmer and other long speeches ending with "an er--"


May 15th, 1896. Moscow.

We left Berlin Monday night at eleven and slept well in a
wagon-lit. That was the only night out of the five that I
spent in the cars that I had my clothes off, although I was
able to stretch out on the seats, so I am cramped and tired
now. At seven Monday morning the guard woke us and told us to
get ready for the Custom House and I looked out and saw a
melancholy country of green hills and black pines and with no
sign of human life. It was raining and dreary looking and
then I saw as we passed them a line of posts painted in black
and white stripes a half mile apart on each side of the train
and I knew we had crossed the boundary and that the line of
posts stretched from the Arctic Ocean to the Black Sea and from
the Pacific to the Caucasus Mountains and the Pamirs. It gave me
a great thrill but I have had so many to-day, that I had almost
forgotten that one. For two days we jogged along through a level
country with meanthatched huts and black crows flying continually
and peasants in sheepskin coats, full in the skirt and tight at
the waist, with boots or thongs of leather around their feet.
The women wore boots too and all the men who were not soldiers
had their hair cropped short like mops. We could not find any
one who understood any language, so as we never knew when we
would stop for food, we ate at every station and I am of the
opinion that for months I have been living on hot tea and caviar
and hash sandwiches. The snow fell an inch deep on Wednesday and
dried up again in an hour and the sun shone through it all.
So on the whole it was a good trip and most interesting. But
here we are now in a perfect pandemonium and the Czar has not
yet come nor one-fifth even of the notables. It is a great
city, immense and overpowering in its extent. The houses are
ugly low storied and in hideous colors except the churches
which are like mosques and painted every color. I confess I
feel beaten to night by the noise and rush and roar and by so
many strange figures and marvellous costumes. Our rooms are
perfect that is one thing and the situation is the very best.
If the main street were Fifth Avenue and Madison Square the
Governor's Square, his palace would be Delmonico's and our
rooms would be the corner rooms of the Brunswick, so you can
see how well we are placed. We can sit in our windows and
look down and up the main street and see every one who leaves
or calls upon the Governor. We are now going out for a dinner
and to one of many cafe-chantants and I will tell you the rest
to-morrow, when I get sleep, for after five nights of it I
feel done up, but I feel equally sure it is going to be a
great experience and I cannot tell you how glad 1 am that I
came. Love to you all and to dear Florence in which
Trowbridge, who is a brick, joins me.


Moscow--May 1896.

There was a great deal to tell when I shut down last night,
but I thought I would have had things settled by this time and
waited, but it looks now as though there was to be no rest for
the weary until the Czar has put his crown on his head. The
situation is this: there are ninety correspondents, and twelve
are to get into the coronation, two of these will be
Americans. There are five trying for it.

Count Daschoff, the Minister of the Court, has the say as to
who gets in of those five. T. and I called on him with my
credentials just as he was going out. Never have I seen such
a swell. He made us feel like dudes from Paterson, New
Jersey. He had three diamond eagles in an astrakan cap, a
white cloak, a gray uniform, top boots and three rows of
medals. He spoke English perfectly, with the most politely
insolent manner that I have ever had to listen to; and eight
servants, each of whom we had, in turn, mistaken for a prince
royal, bowed at him all the brief time he talked over our
heads. He sent us to the bureau for correspondents, where
they gave me a badge and a pocketbook, with my photo in it.
They are good for nothing, except to get through the police
lines. No one at the bureau gave us the least encouragement as
to my getting in at the coronation. We were frantic, and I went
back to Breckenridge, our Minister, and wrote him a long
letter explaining what had happened, and that what I wrote
would "live," that I was advertised and had been advertised to
write this story for months. I dropped The Journal
altogether, and begged him to represent me as a literary light
of the finest color. This he did in a very strong letter to
Daschoff, and I presented it this morning, but the Minister,
like Edison, said he would let me know when he could see me.
Then I wrote Breck a letter of thanks so elegant and
complimentary that he answered with another, saying if his
first failed he would try again. That means he is for me, and
at the bureau they say whichever one he insists on will get
in, but they also say he is so good-natured that he helps
every one who comes. I told him this, and he has promised to
continue in my behalf as soon as we hear from Daschoff.

The second thing of importance is the getting the story, IF
WE GET IT, on the wire. That, I am happy to say, we are as
assured of as I could hope to be. I own the head of the
Telegraph Bureau soul, body and mind. He loves the ground T.
and I spurn, and he sent out my first cable today, one of
interrogation merely, ahead of twelve others; he has also
given us the entree to a private door to his office, all the
other correspondents having to go to the press-rooms and
undergo a sort of press censorship, which entails on each man
the cutting up of his story into three parts, so as to give
all a chance. I gave T. three dictums to guide him; the first
was that we did not want a fair chance--we wanted an unfair
advantage over every one else. Second, to never accept a "No"
or a "Yes" from a subordinate, but to take everything from
head-quarters. Third, to use every mouse, and not to trust to
the lions. He had practise on the train. When he told me we
would be in Moscow in ten hours, I would say, "Who told you
that," and back he would go to the Herr Station Director in a
red gown, and return to say that we would get there in twenty
hours. By this time I will match him against any newspaper
correspondent on earth. He flatters, lies, threatens and
bribes with a skill and assurance that is simply beautiful,
and his languages and his manners pull me out of holes from
which I could never have risen. With it all he is as modest
as can be, and says I am the greatest diplomat out of office,
which I really think he believes, but I am only using old
reporters' ways and applying the things other men did first.

My best stroke was to add to my cable to The Journal,
"Recommend ample recognition of special facilities afforded by
telegraph official"--and then get him to read it himself under
the pretext of wishing to learn if my writing was legible. He
grinned all over himself, and said it was. After my first
story is gone I will give him 200 roubles for himself in an
envelope and say Journal wired me to do it. That will fix
him for the coronation story, as it amounts to six months'
wages about. But, my dear brother, in your sweet and lovely
home, where the sun shines on the Cascine and the workmen
sleep on the bridges, and dear old ladies knit in the streets,
that is only one of the thousand things we have had to do. It
would take years to give you an account of what we have done
and why we do it. It is like a game of whist and poker
combined and we bluff on two flimsy fours, and crawl the next
minute to a man that holds a measly two-spot. There is not a
wire we have not pulled, or a leg, either, and
we go dashing about all day in a bath-chair, with a driver in
a bell hat and a blue nightgown, leaving cards and writing
notes and giving drinks and having secretaries to lunch and
buying flowers for wives and cigar boxes for husbands, and
threatening the Minister with Cleveland's name.

John A. Logan, Jr., is coming dressed in a Russian Uniform,
and he wore it on the steamer, and says he is the special
guest of the Czar and the Secretary of the visiting mission.
Mrs. P. P. is paying $10,000 for a hotel for one week. That
is all the gossip there is. We lunched with the McCooks today
and enjoyed hearing American spoken, and they were apparently
very glad to have us, and made much of T. and of me. We only
hope they can help us; and I am telling the General the only
man to meet is Daschoff, and when he does I will tell him to
tell Daschoff I am the only man to be allowed in the
coronation. I wish I could tell you about the city, but we
see it only out of the corner of our eyes as we dash to bureau
after bureau and "excellency" and "royal highness" people, and
then dash off to strengthen other bridges and make new
friends. It is great fun, and I am very happy and T. is
having the time of his life. He told me he would rather be
with me on this trip than travel with the German Emperor, and
you will enjoy to hear that he wrote Sarah I was the most
"good-natured" man he ever met. God bless you all, and dear,
dear Florence. Lots of love.


Moscow--May, 1896.

I have just sent off my coronation story, and the strain of this
thing, which has really been on me for six months, is off. You
can imagine what a relief it is, or, rather, you cannot, for no
one who has not been with us these last ten days can know what we
have had to do. The story I sent is not a good one. It was
impossible to tell it by cable, and the first one on the entry
was a much better one. I do not care much, though; of course, I
do care, as I ought to have made a great hit with it, but there
was no time, and there was so much detail and minutia that I
could not treat it right. However, after the awful possibility,
or rather certainty, that we have had to face of not getting any
story at all, I am only too thankful. I would not do it again
for ten thousand dollars. Edwin Arnold, who did it for The
Telegraph, had $25,000, and if I told you of the way Hearst
acted and Ralph interfered with impertinent cables, you would
wonder I am sane. They never sent me a cent for the cables
until it was so late that I could not get it out of the bank,
and we have spent and borrowed every penny we have. Imagine
having to write a story and to fight to be allowed a chance to
write it, and at the same time to be pressed for money for
expenses and tolls so that you were worn out by that alone.
The brightest side of the whole thing was the way everybody in
this town was fighting for me. The entire town took sides,
and even men who disliked me, and who I certainly dislike,
like C. W. and R---- of the Paris Embassy, turned in and
fought for my getting in like relations. And the women--I had
grand dukes and ambassadors and princes, whom I do not know by
sight, moving every lever, and as Stanhope of The Herald,
testified "every man, woman and child in the visiting and
resident legation is crazy on the subject of getting Davis
into the coronation." They made it a personal matter, and
when I got my little blue badge, the women kissed me and each
other, and cheered, and the men came to congratulate me, and
acted exactly as though they had got it themselves.

It was a beautiful sight; the Czarina much more beautiful and
more sad-looking than ever before. But it was not solemn
enough, and the priests groaned and wailed and chanted and
sang, and every one stood still and listened. All that the
Czar and Czarina did was over ten minutes after they entered
the chapel, and then for three hours the priests took the
center of the stage and groaned. I was there from seven until
one. Six solid hours standing and writing on my hat. It was
a fine hat, for we were in court costume, I being a
distinguished visitor, as well as a correspondent. That was
another thing that annoyed me, because Breckinridge, who has
acted like a brick, did not think he could put me on both
lists, so I chose the correspondents' list, of course, in
hopes of seeing the ceremony, but knowing all the time that
that meant no balls or functions, so that had I lost the
ceremony I would have had nothing; but he arranged it so that
I am on both lists. Not that I care now. For I am tired to
death; and Trowbridge did not get on either list, thanks to
the damned Journal and to his using all his friends to help
me, so that I guess I will get out and go to Buda Pest and
meet you in Paris. Do not consider this too seriously, for I
am writing it just after finishing my cable and having spent
the morning on my toes in the chapel. I will feel better
tomorrow. Anyway, it is done and I am glad, as it was the
sight of the century, and I was in it, and now I can spend my
good time and money in gay Paree. Love to all.


From Moscow Richard went direct to Buda Pest, where he wrote
an article on the Hungarian Millennial.


CHAS: May 8th, 1896.

I have just returned from the procession of the Hungarian
Nobles. It was even more beautiful and more interesting than
the Czar's entry than which I would not have believed anything
could have been more impressive-- But the first was military,
except for the carriages, which were like something out of
fairyland--to-day, the costumes were all different and
mediaeval, some nine hundred years old and none nearer than
the 15th Century. The mis en scene was also much better.
Buda is a clean, old burgh, with yellow houses rising on a
steep green hill, red roofs and towers and domes, showing out
of the trees-- It is very high but very steep and the
procession wound in and out like a fairy picture-- I sat on
the top of the hill, looking down it to the Danube, which
separates Buda from Pest-- The Emperor sat across the square
about 75 yards from our tribune in the balcony of his palace.
We sat in the Palace yard and the procession passed and turned
in front of us-- There were about 1,500 nobles, each dressed
to suit himself, in costumes that had descended for
generations--of brocade, silk, fur, and gold and silver
cloth-- Each costume averaged, with the trappings of the
horse, 5,000 dollars. Some cost $1,000, some $15,000. Some
wore complete suits of chain armor, with bearskins and great
black eagle feathers on their spears just as they were when
they invaded Rome-- Others wore gold chain armor and
leopard or wolf skins and their horses were studded with
turquoises and trappings of gold and silver and smothered
in silver coins-- It would have been ridiculous if they had
not been the real thing in every detail and if you had not
known how terribly in earnest the men were. There is no other
country in the world where men change from the most blase and
correct of beings, to fairy princes in tights and feathers and
jewelled belts and satin coats-- They were an hour in passing
and each one seemed more beautiful than the others-- I am very
glad I came although I was disappointed at missing the
accident at Moscow. It must have been more terrible than
Johnstown. I found the ----s quite converted into the most
awful snobs but the people they worship are as simple and well
bred as all gentle people are and I have had the most
delightful time with them. It is so small and quiet after
Moscow, and instead of being lost in an avalanche of embassies
and suites and missions, I have a distinct personality, as
"the American," which I share with "the" Frenchman and four
Englishmen. We are the only six strangers and they give us
the run of all that is going on-- At night we dine at the most
remarkable club in the world, on the border of the Park, where
the best of all the Gypsey musicians plays for us-- The music
is alone worth having come to hear, and the dear souls who
play it, having been told that I like it follow me all around
the terrace and sit down three feet away and fix their eyes on
you, and then proceed to pull your nerves and heart out of you
for an hour at a time-- One night a man here dipped a ten
thousand franc note in his champagne and pasted it on the
leader's violin and bowed his thanks, and the leader bowed in
return and the next morning sent him the note back in an
envelope, saying that the compliment was worth more
than the money-- The leader's name is Berchey and the
Hungarians have never allowed him to leave the country for
fear he would not be allowed to come back-- He is a fat, half
drunken looking man, with his eyes full of tears half the time
he plays. He looks just like a setter dog and he is so
terribly in earnest that when he fixes me with his eyes and
plays at me, the court ladies all get up and move their chairs
out of his way just as though he were a somnambulist--

I leave here Wednesday and reach Paris Friday MORNING the
eleventh-- You must try to meet me at the Cafe de la Paix at
half past nine-- Wait in the corner room if you don't wish to
sit outside and as soon as I get washed I will join you for
coffee. It will be fine to see you again and to be done with
jumping about from hotel to hotel and to be able to read the
signs and to know how to ask for food. Russian, German and
Hungarian have made French seem like my mother tongue--




In December, 1896, Richard and Frederic Remington, the artist,
were commissioned by the New York Journal to visit Cuba
which was then at war with Spain. It was their intention to
go from Key West in the Vamoose, a very fast but frail
steam-launch, and to make a landing at some uninhabited point
on the Cuban coast. After this their plans seem to have been
to trust to luck and the kindliness of the revolutionists.
After waiting for some time at Key West for favorable weather,
they at last started out on a dark night to make the crossing.
A few hours after the Vamoose had left Key West a heavy
storm arose--apparently much too violent for the slightly
built launch. The crew struck and the captain finally refused
to go on to Cuba and put back to Key West. Shortly after this
Remington and my brother reached Havana by a more simple and
ostentatious route. This was my brother's first effort as a
war correspondent, and I presume it was this fact and the very
indefiniteness of the original plan that caused his mother and
father so much uneasiness. And, indeed, it did prove
eventually a hazardous exploit.

way to Key West.
December 19, 1896.


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