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´╗┐Title: Adventures and Letters of Richard Harding Davis
Author: Davis, Richard Harding, 1864-1916
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Adventures and Letters of Richard Harding Davis" ***











Richard Harding Davis was born in Philadelphia on April 18, 1864, but,
so far as memory serves me, his life and mine began together several
years later in the three-story brick house on South Twenty-first
Street, to which we had just moved.  For more than forty years this was
our home in all that the word implies, and I do not believe that there
was ever a moment when it was not the predominating influence in
Richard's life and in his work.  As I learned in later years, the house
had come into the possession of my father and mother after a period on
their part of hard endeavor and unusual sacrifice.  It was their
ambition to add to this home not only the comforts and the beautiful
inanimate things of life, but to create an atmosphere which would prove
a constant help to those who lived under its roof--an inspiration to
their children that should endure so long as they lived.  At the time
of my brother's death the fact was frequently commented upon that,
unlike most literary folk, he had never known what it was to be poor
and to suffer the pangs of hunger and failure.  That he never suffered
from the lack of a home was certainly as true as that in his work he
knew but little of failure, for the first stories he wrote for the
magazines brought him into a prominence and popularity that lasted
until the end.  But if Richard gained his success early in life and was
blessed with a very lovely home to which he could always return, he was
not brought up in a manner which in any way could be called lavish.
Lavish he may have been in later years, but if he was it was with the
money for which those who knew him best knew how very hard he had

In a general way, I cannot remember that our life as boys differed in
any essential from that of other boys.  My brother went to the
Episcopal Academy and his weekly report never failed to fill the whole
house with an impenetrable gloom and ever-increasing fears as to the
possibilities of his future.  At school and at college Richard was, to
say the least, an indifferent student.  And what made this undeniable
fact so annoying, particularly to his teachers, was that morally he
stood so very high.  To "crib," to lie, or in any way to cheat or to do
any unworthy act was, I believe, quite beyond his understanding.
Therefore, while his constant lack of interest in his studies goaded
his teachers to despair, when it came to a question of stamping out
wrongdoing on the part of the student body he was invariably found
aligned on the side of the faculty.  Not that Richard in any way
resembled a prig or was even, so far as I know, ever so considered by
the most reprehensible of his fellow students.  He was altogether too
red-blooded for that, and I believe the students whom he antagonized
rather admired his chivalric point of honor even if they failed to
imitate it.  As a schoolboy he was aggressive, radical, outspoken,
fearless, usually of the opposition and, indeed, often the sole member
of his own party.  Among the students at the several schools he
attended he had but few intimate friends; but of the various little
groups of which he happened to be a member his aggressiveness and his
imagination usually made him the leader.  As far back as I can
remember, Richard was always starting something--usually a new club or
a violent reform movement.  And in school or college, as in all the
other walks of life, the reformer must, of necessity, lead a somewhat
tempestuous, if happy, existence.  The following letter, written to his
father when Richard was a student at Swarthmore, and about fifteen,
will give an idea of his conception of the ethics in the case:



I am quite on the Potomac.  I with all the boys at our table were
called up, there is seven of us, before Prex. for stealing sugar-bowls
and things off the table.  All the youths said, "O President, I didn't
do it."  When it came my turn I merely smiled gravely, and he passed on
to the last.  Then he said, "The only boy that doesn't deny it is
Davis.  Davis, you are excused.  I wish to talk to the rest of them."
That all goes to show he can be a gentleman if he would only try.  I am
a natural born philosopher so I thought this idea is too idiotic for me
to converse about so I recommend silence and I also argued that to deny
you must necessarily be accused and to be accused of stealing would of
course cause me to bid Prex. good-by, so the only way was, taking these
two considerations with each other, to deny nothing but let the
good-natured old duffer see how silly it was by retaining a placid
silence and so crushing his base but thoughtless behavior and


In the early days at home--that is, when the sun shone--we played
cricket and baseball and football in our very spacious back yard, and
the programme of our sports was always subject to Richard's change
without notice.  When it rained we adjourned to the third-story front,
where we played melodrama of simple plot but many thrills, and it was
always Richard who wrote the plays, produced them, and played the
principal part.  As I recall these dramas of my early youth, the action
was almost endless and, although the company comprised two charming
misses (at least I know that they eventually grew into two very lovely
women), there was no time wasted over anything so sentimental or futile
as love-scenes.  But whatever else the play contained in the way of
great scenes, there was always a mountain pass--the mountains being
composed of a chair and two tables--and Richard was forever leading his
little band over the pass while the band, wholly indifferent as to
whether the road led to honor, glory, or total annihilation, meekly
followed its leader.  For some reason, probably on account of my early
admiration for Richard and being only too willing to obey his command,
I was invariably cast for the villain in these early dramas, and the
end of the play always ended in a hand-to-hand conflict between the
hero and myself.  As Richard, naturally, was the hero and incidentally
the stronger of the two, it can readily be imagined that the fight
always ended in my complete undoing.  Strangulation was the method
usually employed to finish me, and, whatever else Richard was at that
tender age, I can testify to his extraordinary ability as a choker.

But these early days in the city were not at all the happiest days of
that period in Richard's life.  He took but little interest even in the
social or the athletic side of his school life, and his failures in his
studies troubled him sorely, only I fear, however, because it troubled
his mother and father.  The great day of the year to us was the day our
schools closed and we started for our summer vacation.  When Richard
was less than a year old my mother and father, who at the time was
convalescing from a long illness, had left Philadelphia on a search for
a complete rest in the country.  Their travels, which it seems were
undertaken in the spirit of a voyage of discovery and adventure,
finally led them to the old Curtis House at Point Pleasant on the New
Jersey coast.  But the Point Pleasant of that time had very little in
common with the present well-known summer resort.  In those days the
place was reached after a long journey by rail followed by a three
hours' drive in a rickety stagecoach over deep sandy roads, albeit the
roads did lead through silent, sweet-smelling pine forests.  Point
Pleasant itself was then a collection of half a dozen big farms which
stretched from the Manasquan River to the ocean half a mile distant.
Nothing could have been more primitive or as I remember it in its
pastoral loveliness much more beautiful.  Just beyond our cottage the
river ran its silent, lazy course to the sea.  With the exception of
several farmhouses, its banks were then unsullied by human habitation
of any sort, and on either side beyond the low green banks lay fields
of wheat and corn, and dense groves of pine and oak and chestnut trees.
Between us and the ocean were more waving fields of corn, broken by
little clumps of trees, and beyond these damp Nile-green pasture
meadows, and then salty marshes that led to the glistening, white
sand-dunes, and the great silver semi-circle of foaming breakers, and
the broad, blue sea.  On all the land that lay between us and the
ocean, where the town of Point Pleasant now stands, I think there were
but four farmhouses, and these in no way interfered with the landscape
or the life of the primitive world in which we played.

Whatever the mental stimulus my brother derived from his home in
Philadelphia, the foundation of the physical strength that stood him in
such good stead in the campaigns of his later years he derived from
those early days at Point Pleasant.  The cottage we lived in was an old
two-story frame building, to which my father had added two small
sleeping-rooms.  Outside there was a vine-covered porch and within a
great stone fireplace flanked by cupboards, from which during those
happy days I know Richard and I, openly and covertly, must have
extracted tons of hardtack and cake.  The little house was called
"Vagabond's Rest," and a haven of rest and peace and content it
certainly proved for many years to the Davis family.  From here it was
that my father started forth in the early mornings on his all-day
fishing excursions, while my mother sat on the sunlit porch and wrote
novels and mended the badly rent garments of her very active sons.
After a seven-o'clock breakfast at the Curtis House our energies never
ceased until night closed in on us and from sheer exhaustion we dropped
unconscious into our patch-quilted cots.  All day long we swam or
rowed, or sailed, or played ball, or camped out, or ate enormous
meals--anything so long as our activities were ceaseless and our
breathing apparatus given no rest.  About a mile up the river there was
an island--it's a very small, prettily wooded, sandy-beached little
place, but it seemed big enough in those days.  Robert Louis Stevenson
made it famous by rechristening it Treasure Island, and writing the new
name and his own on a bulkhead that had been built to shore up one of
its fast disappearing sandy banks.  But that is very modern history and
to us it has always been "The Island."  In our day, long before
Stevenson had ever heard of the Manasquan, Richard and I had discovered
this tight little piece of land, found great treasures there, and, hand
in hand, had slept in a six-by-six tent while the lions and tigers
growled at us from the surrounding forests.

As I recall these days of my boyhood I find the recollections of our
life at Point Pleasant much more distinct than those we spent in
Philadelphia.  For Richard these days were especially welcome.  They
meant a respite from the studies which were a constant menace to
himself and his parents; and the freedom of the open country, the
ocean, the many sports on land and on the river gave his body the
constant exercise his constitution seemed to demand, and a broad field
for an imagination which was even then very keen, certainly keen enough
to make the rest of us his followers.

In an extremely sympathetic appreciation which Irvin S. Cobb wrote
about my brother at the time of his death, he says that he doubts if
there is such a thing as a born author.  Personally it so happened that
I never grew up with any one, except my brother, who ever became an
author, certainly an author of fiction, and so I cannot speak on the
subject with authority.  But in the case of Richard, if he was not born
an author, certainly no other career was ever considered.  So far as I
know he never even wanted to go to sea or to be a bareback rider in a
circus.  A boy, if he loves his father, usually wants to follow in his
professional footsteps, and in the case of Richard, he had the double
inspiration of following both in the footsteps of his father and in
those of his mother.  For years before Richard's birth his father had
been a newspaper editor and a well-known writer of stories and his
mother a novelist and short-story writer of great distinction.  Of
those times at Point Pleasant I fear I can remember but a few of our
elders.  There were George Lambdin, Margaret Ruff, and Milne Ramsay,
all painters of some note; a strange couple, Colonel Olcott and the
afterward famous Madam Blavatsky, trying to start a Buddhist cult in
this country; Mrs. Frances Hodgson Burnett, with her foot on the first
rung of the ladder of fame, who at the time loved much millinery
finery.  One day my father took her out sailing and, much to the lady's
discomfiture and greatly to Richard's and my delight, upset the famous
authoress.  At a later period the Joseph Jeffersons used to visit us;
Horace Howard Furness, one of my father's oldest friends, built a
summer home very near us on the river, and Mrs. John Drew and her
daughter Georgie Barrymore spent their summers in a near-by hostelry.
I can remember Mrs. Barrymore at that time very well---wonderfully
handsome and a marvellously cheery manner.  Richard and I both loved
her greatly, even though it were in secret.  Her daughter Ethel I
remember best as she appeared on the beach, a sweet, long-legged child
in a scarlet bathing-suit running toward the breakers and then dashing
madly back to her mother's open arms.  A pretty figure of a child, but
much too young for Richard to notice at that time.  In after-years the
child in the scarlet bathing-suit and he became great pals.  Indeed,
during the latter half of his life, through the good days and the bad,
there were very few friends who held so close a place in his sympathy
and his affections as Ethel Barrymore.

Until the summer of 1880 my brother continued on at the Episcopal
Academy.  For some reason I was sent to a different school, but outside
of our supposed hours of learning we were never apart.  With less than
two years' difference in our ages our interests were much the same, and
I fear our interests of those days were largely limited to out-of-door
sports and the theatre.  We must have been very young indeed when my
father first led us by the hand to see our first play.  On Saturday
afternoons Richard and I, unattended but not wholly unalarmed, would
set forth from our home on this thrilling weekly adventure.  Having
joined our father at his office, he would invariably take us to a
chop-house situated at the end of a blind alley which lay concealed
somewhere in the neighborhood of Walnut and Third Streets, and where we
ate a most wonderful luncheon of English chops and apple pie.  As the
luncheon drew to its close I remember how Richard and I used to fret
and fume while my father in a most leisurely manner used to finish off
his mug of musty ale.  But at last the three of us, hand in hand, my
father between us, were walking briskly toward our happy destination.
At that time there were only a few first-class theatres in
Philadelphia--the Arch Street Theatre, owned by Mrs. John Drew; the
Chestnut Street, and the Walnut Street--all of which had stock
companies, but which on the occasion of a visiting star acted as the
supporting company.  These were the days of Booth, Jefferson, Adelaide
Neilson, Charles Fletcher, Lotta, John McCullough, John Sleeper Clark,
and the elder Sothern.  And how Richard and I worshipped them all--not
only these but every small-bit actor in every stock company in town.
Indeed, so many favorites of the stage did my brother and I admire that
ordinary frames would not begin to hold them all, and to overcome this
defect we had our bedroom entirely redecorated.  The new scheme called
for a gray wallpaper supported by a maroon dado.  At the top of the
latter ran two parallel black picture mouldings between which we could
easily insert cabinet photographs of the actors and actresses which for
the moment we thought most worthy of a place in our collection.  As the
room was fairly large and as the mouldings ran entirely around it, we
had plenty of space for even our very elastic love for the heroes and
heroines of the footlights.

Edwin Forrest ended his stage career just before our time, but I know
that Richard at least saw him and heard that wonderful voice of
thunder.  It seems that one day, while my mother and Richard were
returning home, they got on a street-car which already held the great
tragedian.  At the moment Forrest was suffering severely from gout and
had his bad leg stretched well out before him.  My brother, being very
young at the time and never very much of a respecter of persons,
promptly fell over the great man's gouty foot.  Whereat (according to
my mother, who was always a most truthful narrator) Forrest broke forth
in a volcano of oaths and for blocks continued to hurl thunderous
broadsides at Richard, which my mother insisted included the curse of
Rome and every other famous tirade in the tragedian's repertory which
in any way fitted the occasion.  Nearly forty years later my father
became the president of the Edwin Forrest Home, the greatest charity
ever founded by an actor for actors, and I am sure by his efforts of
years on behalf of the institution did much to atone for Richard's
early unhappy meeting with the greatest of all the famous
leather-lunged tragedians.

From his youth my father had always been a close student of the classic
and modern drama, and throughout his life numbered among his friends
many of the celebrated actors and actresses of his time.  In those
early days Booth used to come to rather formal luncheons, and at all
such functions Richard and I ate our luncheon in the pantry, and when
the great meal was nearly over in the dining-room we were allowed to
come in in time for the ice-cream and to sit, figuratively, at the feet
of the honored guest and generally, literally, on his or her knees.
Young as I was in those days I can readily recall one of those
lunch-parties when the contrast between Booth and Dion Boucicault
struck my youthful mind most forcibly.  Booth, with his deep-set, big
black eyes, shaggy hair, and lank figure, his wonderfully modulated
voice, rolled out his theories of acting, while the bald-headed, rotund
Boucicault, his twinkling eyes snapping like a fox-terrier's,
interrupted the sonorous speeches of the tragedian with crisp, witty
criticisms or "asides" that made the rest of the company laugh and even
brought a smile to the heavy, tragic features of Booth himself.  But
there was nothing formal about our relations with John Sleeper Clark
and the Jefferson family.  They were real "home folks" and often
occupied our spare room, and when they were with us Richard and I were
allowed to come to all the meals, and, even if unsolicited, freely
express our views on the modern drama.

In later years to our Philadelphia home came Henry Irving and his
fellow player Ellen Terry and Augustin Daly and that wonderful quartet,
Ada Rehan, Mrs. Gilbert, James Lewis, and our own John Drew.  Sir Henry
I always recall by the first picture I had of him in our dining-room,
sitting far away from the table, his long legs stretched before him,
peering curiously at Richard and myself over black-rimmed glasses and
then, with equal interest, turning back to the ash of a long cigar and
talking drama with the famous jerky, nasal voice but always with a
marvellous poise and convincing authority.  He took a great liking to
Richard in those days, sent him a church-warden's pipe that he had used
as Corporal Brewster, and made much of him later when my brother was in
London.  Miss Terry was a much less formal and forbidding guest,
rushing into the house like a whirlwind and filling the place with the
sunshine and happiness that seemed to fairly exude from her beautiful
magnetic presence.  Augustin Daly usually came with at least three of
the stars of his company which I have already mentioned, but even the
beautiful Rehan and the nice old Mrs. Gilbert seemed thoroughly awed in
the presence of "the Guv'nor."  He was a most crusty, dictatorial
party, as I remember him with his searching eyes and raven locks,
always dressed in black and always failing to find virtue in any actor
or actress not a member of his own company.  I remember one
particularly acrid discussion between him and my father in regard to
Julia Marlowe, who was then making her first bow to the public.  Daly
contended that in a few years the lady would be absolutely unheard of
and backed his opinion by betting a dinner for those present with my
father that his judgment would prove correct.  However, he was very
kind to Richard and myself and frequently allowed us to play about
behind the scenes, which was a privilege I imagine he granted to very
few of his friends' children.  One night, long after this, when Richard
was a reporter in New York, he and Miss Rehan were burlesquing a scene
from a play on which the last curtain had just fallen.  It was on the
stage of Daly's theatre at Thirtieth Street and Broadway, and from his
velvet box at the prompt-entrance Daly stood gloomily watching their
fooling.  When they had finished the mock scene Richard went over to
Daly and said, "How bad do you think I am as an actor, Mr. Daly?" and
greatly to my brother's delight the greatest manager of them all of
those days grumbled back at him:  "You're so bad, Richard, that I'll
give you a hundred dollars a week, and you can sign the contract
whenever you're ready."  Although that was much more than my brother
was making in his chosen profession at the time, and in spite of the
intense interest he had in the theatre, he never considered the offer
seriously.  As a matter of fact, Richard had many natural
qualifications that fitted him for the stage, and in after-years, when
he was rehearsing one of his own plays, he could and frequently would
go up on the stage and read almost any part better than the actor
employed to do it.  Of course, he lacked the ease of gesture and the
art of timing which can only be attained after sound experience, but
his reading of lines and his knowledge of characterization was quite
unusual.  In proof of this I know of at least two managers who, when
Richard wanted to sell them plays, refused to have him read them the
manuscript on the ground that his reading gave the dialogue a value it
did not really possess.

In the spring of 1880 Richard left the Episcopal Academy, and the
following September went to Swarthmore College, situated just outside
of Philadelphia.  I fear, however, the change was anything but a
success.  The life of the big coeducational school did not appeal to
him at all and, in spite of two or three friendships he made among the
girls and boys, he depended for amusement almost wholly on his own
resources.  In the afternoons and on holidays he took long walks over
the country roads and in search of adventure visited many farmhouses.
His excuse for these calls was that he was looking for old furniture
and china, and he frequently remained long enough to make sketches of
such objects as he pretended had struck his artistic fancy.  Of these
adventures he wrote at great length to his mother and father, and the
letters were usually profusely decorated with illustrations of the most
striking incidents of the various escapades.  Several of these
Swarthmore experiences he used afterward in short stories, and both the
letters and sketches he sent to his parents at the time he regarded in
the light of preparation for his future work.  In his studies he was
perhaps less successful than he had been at the Episcopal Academy, and
although he played football and took part in the track sports he was
really but little interested in either.  There were half-holidays on
Wednesdays and Saturdays, and when my brother did not come to town I
went to Swarthmore and we spent the afternoons in first cooking our
lunch in a hospitable woods and then playing some games in the open
that Richard had devised.  But as I recall these outings they were not
very joyous occasions, as Richard was extremely unhappy over his
failures at school and greatly depressed about the prospects for the

He finished the college year at Swarthmore, but so unhappy had he been
there that there was no thought in his mind or in that of his parents
of his returning.  At that time my uncle, H.  Wilson Harding, was a
professor at Lehigh University, and it was arranged that Richard should
go to Bethlehem the following fall, live with his uncle, and continue
his studies at Ulrich's Preparatory School, which made a specialty of
preparing boys for Lehigh.  My uncle lived in a charming old house on
Market Street in Bethlehem, quite near the Moravian settlement and
across the river from the university and the iron mills.  He was a
bachelor, but of a most gregarious and hospitable disposition, and
Richard therefore found himself largely his own master, in a big, roomy
house which was almost constantly filled with the most charming and
cultivated people.  There my uncle and Richard, practically of about
the same age so far as their viewpoint of life was concerned, kept open
house, and if it had not been for the occasional qualms his innate
hatred of mathematics caused him, I think my brother would have been
completely happy.  Even studies no longer worried him particularly and
he at once started in to make friendships, many of which lasted
throughout his life.  As is usual with young men of seventeen, most of
these men and women friends were several times Richard's age, but at
the period Richard was a particularly precocious and amusing youth and
a difference of a few decades made but little difference--certainly not
to Richard.  Finley Peter Dunne once wrote of my brother that he
"probably knew more waiters, generals, actors, and princes than any man
who lived," and I think it was during the first year of his life at
Bethlehem that he began the foundation for the remarkable collection of
friends, both as to numbers and variety, of which he died possessed.
Although a "prep," he made many friends among the undergraduates of
Lehigh.  He made friends with the friends of his uncle and many friends
in both of the Bethlehems of which his uncle had probably never heard.
Even at that early age he counted among his intimates William W.
Thurston, who was president of the Bethlehem Iron Company, and J. Davis
Brodhead, one of Pennsylvania's most conspicuous Democratic congressmen
and attorneys.  Those who knew him at that time can easily understand
why Richard attracted men and women so much older than himself.  He was
brimming over with physical health and animal spirits and took the
keenest interest in every one he met and in everything that was going
on about him.  And in the broadest sense he saw to it then, as he did
throughout his life, that he always did his share.

During those early days at Bethlehem his letters to his family were
full of his social activities, with occasional references to his work
at school.  He was always going to dinners or dances, entertaining
members of visiting theatrical companies; and on Friday night my mother
usually received a telegram, saying that he would arrive the next day
with a party of friends whom he had inadvertently asked to lunch and a
matinee.  It was after one of these weekly visits that my mother wrote
Richard the following:

Monday Night.  MY DARLING Boy:

You went off in such a hurry that it took my breath at the last.  You
say coming down helps you.  It certainly does me.  It brings a real
sunshine to Papa and me.  He was saying that to-day.  I gave Nolly a
sort of holiday after her miseries last night.  We went down street and
got Papa a present for our wedding day, a picture, after all, and then
I took Miss Baker some tickets for a concert.  I saw her father who
said he "must speak about my noble looking boy."  I always thought him
a genius but now I think him a man of penetration as well.  Then Nolly
and I went over to see the Russians.  But they are closely boxed up and
not allowed to-day to see visitors.  So we came home cross and hungry.
All evening I have been writing business letters.

Papa has gone to a reception and Charley is hard at work at his desk.

I answered Mr. Allen's letter this morning, dear, and told him you
would talk to him.  When you do, dear, talk freely to him as to me.
You will not perhaps agree with all he says.  But your own thoughts
will be healthier for bringing them--as I might say, out of doors.  You
saw how it was by coming down here.  Love of Christ is not a melancholy
nor a morbid thing, dear love, but ought to make one more social and
cheerful and alive.

I wish you could come home oftener.  Try and get ahead with lessons so
that you can come oftener.  And when you feel as if prayer was a
burden, stop praying and go out and try to put your Christianity into
real action by doing some kindness--even speaking in a friendly way to
somebody.  Bring yourself into contact with new people--not John, Hugh,
Uncle and Grandma, and try to act to them as Christ would have you act,
and my word for it, you will go home with a new light on your own
relations to Him and a new meaning for your prayers.  You remember the
prayer "give me a great thought to refresh me." I think you will find
some great thoughts in human beings--they will help you to understand
yourself and God, when you try to help them God makes you happy my


It was in this year that Richard enjoyed the thrill of seeing in print
his first contribution to a periodical.  The date of this important
event, important, at least, to my brother, was February 1, the
fortunate publication was Judge, and the effusion was entitled "The Hat
and Its Inmate."  Its purport was an overheard conversation between two
young ladies at a matinee and the editors thought so well of it that
for the privilege of printing the article they gave Richard a year's
subscription to Judge.  His scrap-book of that time shows that in 1884
Life published a short burlesque on George W.  Cable's novel, "Dr.
Sevier," and in the same year The Evening Post paid him  $1.05 for an
article about "The New Year at Lehigh."  It was also in the spring of
1884 that Richard published his first book, "The Adventures of My
Freshman," a neat little paper-covered volume including half a dozen of
the short stories that had already appeared in The Lehigh Burr.  In
writing in a copy of this book in later years, Richard said:  "This is
a copy of the first book of mine published.  My family paid to have it
printed and finding no one else was buying it, bought up the entire
edition.  Finding the first edition had gone so quickly, I urged them
to finance a second one, and when they were unenthusiastic I was hurt.
Several years later when I found the entire edition in our attic, I
understood their reluctance.  The reason the book did not sell is, I
think, because some one must have read it."

In the summer of 1882 Richard went to Boston, and in the following
letter unhesitatingly expressed his opinion of that city and its people.

BOSTON, Wednesday.

July 1882.


I left Newport last night or rather this morning.  I stopped at Beverly
and called on Dr. Holmes.  He talked a great deal about mama and about
a great many other things equally lovely in a very easy, charming way.
All I had to do was to listen and I was only too willing to do that.
We got along splendidly.  He asked me to stay to dinner but I refused
with thanks, as I had only come to pay my respects and put off to Dr.
Bartol's.  Dr. Holmes accompanied me to the depot and saw me safely
off.  Of all the lovely men I ever saw Dr. Bartol is the one.  He lives
in a great, many roomed with as many gables, house.  Elizabethan, of
course, with immense fireplaces, brass and dark woods, etchings and
engravings, with the sea and rocks immediately under the window and the
ocean stretching out for miles, lighthouses and more Elizabethan houses
half hid on the bank, and ships and small boats pushing by within a
hundred rods of the windows.  I stayed to dinner there and we had a
very jolly time.  There were two other young men and another maiden
besides Miss Bartol.  They talked principally about the stage; that is,
the Boston Stock Company, which is their sole thought and knowledge of
the drama.  The Dr. would strike off now and then to philosophizing and
moralizing but his daughter would immediately sit upon him, much to my
disgust but to the evident relief of the rest.  His wife is as lovely
as he is but I can't give it to you all now.  Wait until I get home.

The young lady, the youths and myself came up to Boston together and
had as pleasant a ride, as the heat would allow.  I left them at the
depot and went up to the Parker House and then to the Art Museum.  The
statuary is plaster, the coins are copies, and by the way, I found one
exactly like mine, which, if it is genuine is worth, "well
considerable", as the personage in charge remarked.  The pictures were
simply vile, only two or three that I recognized and principally Millet
and some charcoal sketches of Hunt's, who is the Apostle of Art here.
The china was very fine but they had a collection of old furniture and
armor which was better than anything else.  Fresh from or rather musty
from these antiques, who should I meet but the cheerful Dixey and
Powers.  We had a very jolly talk and I enjoyed it immensely, not only
myself but all the surrounding populace, as Dixey would persist in
showing the youthful some new "gag," and would break into a clog or
dialect much to the delectation of the admiring Bostonians.  I am
stranded here for to night and will push on to Newport to-morrow.  I'll
go see the "babes" to night, as there is nothing else in the city that
is worth seeing that I haven't investigated.  I left the
Newburyportians in grief with regret.  I met lots of nice people and
every one was so very kind to me, from the authoresses to the serving
maids.  Good-bye.




In the fall of 1882 Richard entered Lehigh, but the first year of his
college life varied very little from the one he had spent in the
preparatory school.  During that year he had met most of the upper
classmen, and the only difference was that he could now take an active
instead of a friendly interest in the life and the sports of the
college.  Also he had formed certain theories which he promptly
proceeded to put into practical effect.  Perhaps the most conspicuous
of these was his belief that cane-rushes and hazing were wholly
unnecessary and barbarous customs, and should have no place in the
college of his day.  Against the former he spoke at college meetings,
and wrote long letters to the local papers decrying the custom.  His
stand against hazing was equally vehement, and he worked hand in hand
with the faculty to eradicate it entirely from the college life.  That
his stand was purely for a principle and not from any fear of personal
injury, I think the following letter to his father will show:

BETHLEHEM, February 1882.


You may remember a conversation we had at Squan about hazing in which
you said it was a very black-guardly thing and a cowardly thing.  I
didn't agree with you, but when I saw how it really was and how silly
and undignified it was, besides being brutal, I thought it over and
changed my mind completely, agreeing with you in every respect.  A
large number of our class have been hazed, taking it as a good joke,
and have been laughed at by the whole college.  I talked to the boys
about it, and said what I would do and so on, without much effect.
Wednesday a junior came to me, and told me I was to be hazed as I left
the Opera House Friday night.  After that a great many came to me and
advised and warned me as to what I should do.  I decided to get about
fifty of our class outside and then fight it out; that was before I
changed my mind.  As soon as I did I regretted it very much, but, as it
turned out, the class didn't come, so I was alone, as I wished to be.
You see, I'd not a very good place here; the fellows looked on me as a
sort of special object of ridicule, on account of the hat and cane,
walk, and so on, though I thought I'd got over that by this time.  The
Opera House was partly filled with college men, a large number of
sophomores and a few upper class men.  It was pretty generally known I
was going to have a row, and that brought them as much as the show.
Poor Ruff was in agony all day.  He supposed I'd get into the fight,
and he knew he'd get in, too, sooner or later.  If he did he'd be held
and not be able to do anything, and then the next day be blamed by the
whole college for interfering in a class matter.  He hadn't any money
to get into the show, and so wandered around outside in the rain in a
great deal more excited state than I was.  Howe went all over town
after putting on his old clothes, in case of personal damage, in search
of freshmen who were at home out of the wet.  As I left the building a
man grabbed me by my arm, and the rest, with the seniors gathered
around; the only freshman present, who was half scared to death, clung
as near to me as possible.  I withdrew my arm and faced them.  "If this
means hazing," I said, "I'm not with you.  There's not enough men here
to haze me, but there's enough to thrash me, and I'd rather be thrashed
than hazed."  You see, I wanted them to understand exactly how I looked
at it, and they wouldn't think I was simply hotheaded and stubborn.  I
was very cool about it all.  They broke in with all sorts of
explanations; hazing was the last thing they had thought of.  No,
indeed, Davis, old fellow, you're mistaken.  I told them if that was
so, all right, I was going home.  I saw several of my friends in the
crowd waiting for me, but as I didn't want them to interfere, I said
nothing, and they did not recognize me.  When among the crowd of
sophomores, the poor freshman made a last effort, he pulled me by the
coat and begged me to come with him.  I said no, I was going home.
When I reached the next corner I stopped.  "I gave you fair warning,
keep off.  I tell you I'll strike the first man, the first one, that
touches me."  Then the four who had been appointed to seize me jumped
on me, and I only got one good blow in before they had me down in the
gutter and were beating me on the face and head.  I put my hands across
my face, and so did not get any hard blows directly in the face.  They
slipped back in a moment, and when I was ready I scrambled up pretty
wet and muddy, and with my face stinging where they had struck.  It had
all been done so quickly, and there was such a large crowd coming from
the theatre, that, of course, no one saw it.  When I got up there was a
circle all around me.  They hadn't intended to go so far.  The men,
except those four who had beaten me, were rather ashamed and wished
they were out of it.  I turned to Emmerich, a postgraduate, and told
him to give me room.  "Now," I said, "you're not able to haze me, and I
can't thrash twelve of you, but I'll fight any one man you bring out."
I asked for the man that struck me, and named another, but there was no

The upper classmen, who had just arrived, called out that was fair, and
they'd see it fair.  Goodnough, Purnell and Douglas, who don't like me
much, either.  Ruff was beside me by this time.

He hadn't seen anything of it, and did not get there until he heard me
calling for a fair chance and challenging the class for a man.  I
called out again, the second time, and still no one came, so I took
occasion to let them know why I had done as I did in a short speech to
the crowd.  I said I was a peaceable fellow, thought hazing silly, and
as I never intended to haze myself, I didn't intend any one to haze me.
Then I said again, "This is the third time, will one of your men fight
this fair?  I can't fight twelve of you."  Just then two officers who
had called on some mill-hands, who are always dying for a fight, and a
citizen to help them, burst into the crowd of students, shouldering
them around like sheep until they got to me, when one of them put his
arm around me, and said, "I don't know anything about this crowd, but
I'll see you're protected, sir.  I'll give 'em fair play."  One officer
got hold of Ruff and pretty near shook him to pieces until I had to
interfere and explain.  They were for forming a body-guard, and were
loud in their denunciations of the college, and declaring they'd see me
through if I was a stranger to 'em.

Two or three of the sophomores, when they saw how things were going,
set up a yell, but Griffin struck out and sent one of them flying one
way and his hat another, so the yells ended.  Howe and Murray Stuart
took me up to their rooms, and Ruff went off for beefsteak for my eye,
and treated the crowd who had come to the rescue, at Dixon's, to beer.
The next day was Saturday, and as there was to be a meeting of the
Athletic Association, of course, I wanted to show up.  The fellows all
looked at my eye pretty hard and said nothing.  I felt pretty sure that
the sympathy was all with me.

Four men are elected from the college to be on the athletic committee.
They can be nominated by any one, though generally it is done by a man
in their own class.  We had agreed the day before to vote for Tolman
for our class, so when the president announced nominations were in
order for the freshmen class, Tolman was instantly nominated.  At the
same time one of the leading sophomores jumped up and nominated Mr.
Davis, and a number of men from the same class seconded it.  I knew
every one in the college knew of what had happened, and especially the
sophomores, so I was, of course, very much surprised.  I looked
unconscious, though, and waited.  One of the seniors asked that the
nominees should stand up, as they didn't know their names only their
faces.  As each man rose he was hissed and groaned down again.  When I
stood up the sophomores burst into a yell and clapped and stamped,
yelling, "Davis!  Davis!  vote for D!" until I sat down.  As I had
already decided to nominate Tolman, I withdrew my name from the
nominees, a movement which was received by loud cries of "No!  No!"
from the sophs.  So, you see, Dad, I did as you said, as I thought was
right, and came out well indeed.  You see, I am now the hero of the
hour, every one in town knows it, and every one congratulates me, and,
"Well done, me boy," as Morrow '83 said, seems to be the idea, one gets
taken care of in this world if you do what's the right thing, if it is
only a street fight.  In fact, as one of the seniors said, I've made
five friends where I had one before.  The sophs are ashamed and sorry,
as their conduct in chapel, which was more marked, than I made it,
shows.  I've nothing to show for it but a red mark under the eye, and
so it is the best thing that could possibly have happened.  Poor Ruff
hugged me all the way home, and I've started out well in a good way, I
think, though not a very logical one.

Uncle says to tell you that my conduct has his approval throughout.


To which letter my father promptly replied:

PHILADELPHIA.  February 25th, 1882.


I'm glad the affair ended so well.  I don't want you to fight, but if
you have to fight a cuss like that do it with all your might, and don't
insist that either party shall too strictly observe the Markis O'
Queensbury rules.  Hit first and hardest so that thine adversary shall
beware of you.


At that time the secret societies played a very important part in the
college life at Lehigh, and while I do not believe that Richard shared
the theory of some of the students that they were a serious menace to
the social fabric, he was quite firm in his belief that it was
inadvisable to be a member of any fraternity.  In a general way he did
not like the idea of secrecy even in its mildest form, and then, as
throughout his life, he refused to join any body that would in any way
limit his complete independence of word or action.  In connection with
this phase of his college life I quote from an appreciation which M. A.
De W. Howe, one of Richard's best friends both at college and in
after-life, wrote for The Lehigh Burr at the time of my brother's death:

"To the credit of the perceptive faculty of undergraduates, it ought to
be said that the classmates and contemporaries of Richard Harding Davis
knew perfectly well, while he and they were young together, that in him
Lehigh had a son so marked in his individuality, so endowed with
talents and character that he stood quite apart from the other
collegians of his day.  Prophets were as rare in the eighties as they
have always been, before and since, and nobody could have foreseen that
the name and work of Dick Davis would long before his untimely death,
indeed within a few years from leaving college, be better known
throughout the world than those of any other Lehigh man.  We who knew
him in his college days could not feel the smallest surprise that he
won himself quickly a brilliant name, and kept a firm hold upon it to
the last.

"What was it that made him so early a marked man?  I think it was the
spirit of confidence and enthusiasm which turned every enterprise he
undertook into an adventure,--the brave and humorous playing of the
game of life, the true heart, the wholesome body and soul of my friend
and classmate.  He did not excel in studies or greatly, in athletics.
But in his own field, that of writing, he was so much better than the
rest of us that no one of his fellow-editors of the Epitome or Burr
needed to be considered in comparison with him.  No less, in spite of
his voluntary nonmembership in the fraternities of his day, was he a
leader in the social activities of the University.  The 'Arcadian Club'
devoted in its beginnings to the 'pipes, books, beer and gingeralia' of
Davis's song about it and the 'Mustard and Cheese' were his creations.
In all his personal relationships he was the most amusing and
stimulating of companions.  With garb and ways of unique
picturesqueness, rarer even in college communities a generation ago
than at present, it was inevitable that he sometimes got himself
laughed at as well as with.  But what did it all matter, even then?
To-day it adds a glow of color to what would be in any case a vivid,
deeply valued memory.

"It is hard to foresee in youth what will come most sharply and
permanently in the long run.  After all these years it is good to find
that Davis and what his companionship gave one hold their place with
the strongest influences of Lehigh."

But Richard was naturally gregarious and at heart had a great fondness
for clubs and social gatherings.  Therefore, having refused the offer
of several fraternities that did him the honor to ask him to become a
member, it was necessary for him to form a few clubs that held
meetings, but no secrets.  Perhaps the most successful of these were
"The Mustard and Cheese," a dramatic club devoted to the presentation
of farces and musical comedies, and The Arcadia Club, to the
fortnightly meetings of which he devoted much time and thought.  The
following letter to his father will give some idea of the scope of the
club, which, as in the case of "The Mustard and Cheese," gained a
permanent and important place in the social life of Lehigh.


We have started the best sort of a club up here which I am anxious to
tell you of.  It consists of a spread, net price of which will be about
30 cents each, every two or three weeks.  Only six fellows belong and
those the best of the College.  Purnell, Haines and myself founded it.
I chose Charley, Purnell, Reeves, Haines and Howe.  We will meet
Saturday nights at 9 so as not to interfere with our work, and sing,
read, eat and box until midnight.  It is called the "Pipe and Bowl,"
and is meant to take the place that The Hasty Pudding, Hammer and Tongs
and Mermaid do at other colleges.  Two of us are to invite two
outsiders in turn each meeting.  We will hope to have Dad a member,
honorary, of course, when we can persuade him to give us a night off
with his company.  We want to combine a literary feature and so will
have selected readings to provoke discussions after the pipes are lit.
The men are very enthusiastic about it and want to invite Mr. Allen and
you and every one that they can make an honorary member of immediately.

It was first as an associate editor and afterward as editor-in-chief of
the college paper, The Lehigh Burr, that Richard found his greatest
pleasure and interest during his three years at Lehigh.  In addition to
his editorial duties he wrote a very great part of every issue of the
paper, and his contributions included short stories, reports of news
events, editorials, and numerous poems.

As, after his life at college, Richard dropped verse as a mode of
expression, I reprint two of the poems which show him in the lighter
vein of those early days.


     "I'm a Freshman who has ended his first year,
               But I'm new;
     And I do whate'er the Juniors, whom I fear,
               Bid me do.
          Under sudden showers I thrive;
          To be bad and bold I strive,
          But they ask--'Is it alive?'
          So they do.

     I'm a Sophomore who has passed off his exams,
               Let me loose!
     With a mark as high as any other man's,
               As obtuse
          I'm fraternal.  I am Jolly.
          I am seldom melancholy
          And to bone I think is folly,
               What's the use?

I'm a Junior whom exams. have left forlorn,
               Flunked me dead;
So I'll keep the town awake 'till early morn;
               Paint it red.
          At class-meetings I'm a kicker,
          Take no water with my liquor,
          And a dumb-bell's not thicker
               Than my head.

I'm a Senior whose diploma's within reach,
On Commencement Day you'll hear my maiden-speech;
               I will soar!
          I got through without condition;
          I'm a mass of erudition;
          Do you know of a position!"

                         OUR STREET

          "Our street is still and silent,
               Grass grows from curb to curb,

       No baker's bells
          With jangling knells
               Our studious minds disturb.
          No organ grinders ever call,
               No hucksters mar our peace;
          For traffic shuns our neighborhood
               And leaves us to our ease.

          But now it lives and brightens,
                    Assumes a livelier hue;
               The pavements wide,
               On either side,
                    Would seem to feel it too.
               You might not note the difference,
                    The change from grave to gay,
               But I can tell, and know full well,
                    Priscilla walks our way."

Shortly after his return to college Richard celebrated his nineteenth
birthday, and received these letters from his father and mother:

April 17th, 1883.


When I was thinking what I could give to you to-morrow, I remembered
the story of Herder, who when he was old and weak and they brought him
food and wine asked for "a great thought to quicken him."

So I have written some old sayings for you that have helped me.  Maybe,
this year, or some other year, when I am not with you, they may give
you, sometimes, comfort and strength.

God bless you my son--


who loves you dearly--dearly.

  PHILADELPHIA, April 17th, 1883.


You are to be nineteen years old on Wednesday.  After two years more
you will be a man.  You are so manly and good a boy that I could not
wish you to change in any serious or great thing.  You have made us
very happy through being what you have been, what you are.  You fill us
with hope of your future virtue and usefulness.

To be good is the best thing of all; it counts for more than anything
else in the world.  We are very grateful that you have even in youth
been wise enough to choose the right road.  You will find it not easy
to keep upon it always, but remember if you do get off struggle back to
it.  I do not know but I think God loves the effort to do as well as
the act done.

I congratulate you my dear son, on your new birthday.  I wish you
health, happiness and God's loving care.  May he bless you my son
forever.  I enclose a trifle for your pleasure.  My love to you always,
but God bless you dear Dick.


In the fall of 1885, Richard decided to leave Lehigh and go to John
Hopkins University, where he took a special course in such studies as
would best benefit him in the career which he had now carefully
planned.  During this year in Baltimore Richard's letters show that he
paid considerable attention to such important subjects as political
economy and our own labor problems, but they also show that he did not
neglect football or the lighter social diversions.  In a short space of
time he had made many friends, was very busy going to dinners and
dances, and had fallen in love with an entirely new set of maids and
matrons.  Richard had already begun to send contributions to the
magazines, and an occasional acceptance caused him the satisfaction
common to all beginners.  It was in regard to one of these early
contributions that my mother wrote Richard the following letter:


January 1887.


What has become of The Current?  It has not come yet.  If it has
suspended publication be sure and get your article back.  You must not
destroy a single page you write.  You will find every idea of use to
you hereafter.

Sometimes I am afraid you think I don't take interest enough in your
immediate success now with the articles you send.  But I've had thirty
years experience and I know how much that sort of success depends on
the articles suiting the present needs of the magazine, and also on the
mood of the editor when he reads it.

Besides--except for your own disappointment--I know it would be better
if you would not publish under your own name for a little while.  Dr.
Holland--who had lots of literary shrewdness both as writer and
publisher--used to say for a young man or woman to rush into print was
sure ruin to their lasting fame.  They either compromised their
reputations by inferior work or they made a great hit and never played
up to it, afterwards, in public opinion.

Now my dear old man this sounds like awfully cold comfort.  But it is
the wisest idea your mother has got.  I confess I have GREAT faith in
you--and I try to judge you as if you were not my son.  I think you are
going to take a high place among American authors, but I do not think
you are going to do it by articles like that you sent to The Current.
The qualities which I think will bring it to you, you don't seem to
value at all.  They are your dramatic eye.  I mean your quick
perception of character and of the way character shows itself in looks,
tones, dress, etc., and in your keen sympathy--with all kinds of
people--Now, these are the requisites for a novelist.  Added to that
your humour.

You ought to make a novelist of the first class.  But you must not
expect to do it this week or next.  A lasting, real success takes time,
and patient, steady work.  Read Boz's first sketches of "London Life"
and compare them with "Sydney Carton" or "David Copperfield" and you
will see what time and hard work will do to develop genius.

I suppose you will wonder why I am moved to say all this?  It is, I
think, because of your saying "the article sent to St.  Nicholas was
the best you would be able to do for years to come" and I saw you were
going to make it a crucial test of your ability.  That is, forgive me,
nothing but nonsense.  Whatever the article may be, you may write one
infinitely superior to it next week or month.  Just in proportion as
you feel more deeply, or notice more keenly, and as you acquire the
faculty of expressing your feelings or observations more delicately and
powerfully which faculty must come into practice.  It is not
inspiration--it never was that--without practice, with any writer from
Shakespeare down.

me.  I don't say, like Papa, stop writing.  God forbid.  I would almost
as soon say stop breathing, for it is pretty much the same thing.  But
only to remember that you have not yet conquered your art.  You are a
journeyman not a master workman, so if you don't succeed, it does not
count.  The future is what I look to, for you.  I had to stop my work
to say all this, so good-bye dear old chum.



If anything worried Richard at all at this period, I think it was his
desire to get down to steady newspaper work, or indeed any kind of work
that would act as the first step of his career and by which he could
pay his own way in the world.  It was with this idea uppermost in his
mind in the late spring of 1886, and without any particular regret for
the ending of his college career, that he left Baltimore and, returning
to his home in Philadelphia, determined to accept the first position
that presented itself.  But instead of going to work at once, he once
more changed his plans and decided to sail for Santiago de Cuba with
his friend William W. Thurston, who as president of the Bethlehem Steel
Company, was deeply interested in the iron mines of that region.  Here
and then it was that Richard first fell in love with Cuba--a love which
in later years became almost an obsession with him.  Throughout his
life whenever it was possible, and sometimes when it seemed practically
impossible, my brother would listen to the call of his beloved tropics
and, casting aside all responsibilities, would set sail for Santiago.
After all it was quite natural that he should feel as he did about this
little Cuban coast town, for apart from its lazy life, spicy smells,
waving palms and Spanish cooking, it was here that he found the
material for his first novel and greatest monetary success, "Soldiers
of Fortune."  Apart from the many purely pleasure trips he made to
Santiago, twice he returned there to work--once as a correspondent
during the Spanish-American War, and again when he went with Augustus
Thomas to assist in the latter's film version of the play which years
before Thomas had made from the novel.



In the late summer of 1886 Richard returned from Cuba and settled down
in Philadelphia to write an article about his experiences at Santiago
and to look for regular newspaper work.  Early in September he wrote
his mother:

September, 1886.


I saw the Record people to-day.  They said there was not an opening but
could give me "chance" work, that is, I was to report each day at one
and get what was left over.  I said I would take it as I would have my
mornings free to write the article and what afternoons I did not have
newspaper work besides.  This is satisfactory.  They are either doing
all they can to oblige Dad or else giving me a trial trip before making
an opening.  The article is progressing but slowly.  To paraphrase
Talleyrand, what's done is but little and that little is not good.
However, since your last letter full of such excellent "tips" I have
rewritten it and think it is much improved.  I will write to Thurston
concerning the artist to-morrow.  He is away from B. at present.  On
the whole the article is not bad.

Your boy, DICK.

Richard's stay on The Record, however, was short-lived.  His excuse for
the brevity of the experience was given in an interview some years
later.  "My City Editor didn't like me because on cold days I wore
gloves.  But he was determined to make me work, and gave me about
eighteen assignments a day, and paid me $7. a week.  At the end of
three months he discharged me as incompetent."

From The Record Richard went to The Press, which was much more to his
liking, and, indeed it was here that he did his first real work and
showed his first promise.  For nearly three years he did general
reporting and during this time gained a great deal more personal
success than comes to most members of that usually anonymous
profession.  His big chance came with the Johnstown flood, and the news
stories he wired to his paper showed the first glimpse of his ability
as a correspondent.  Later on, disguised as a crook, he joined a gang
of yeggmen, lived with them in the worst dives of the city, and
eventually gained their good opinion to the extent of being allowed to
assist in planning a burglary.  But before the actual robbery took
place, Richard had obtained enough evidence against his crook
companions to turn them over to the police and eventually land them in
prison.  It was during these days that he wrote his first story for a
magazine, and the following letter shows that it was something of a
milestone in his career.


August, 1888.


The St. Nicholas people sent me a check for $50 for the "pirate" story.
It would be insupportable affectation to say that I was not delighted.
Jennings Crute and I were waiting for breakfast when I found the
letter.  I opened it very slowly, for I feared they would bluff me with
some letter about illustrations or revision, or offering me a reduced
subscription to the magazine.  There was a letter inside and a check.
I read the letter before I looked at the check, which I supposed would
be for $30, as the other story was valued at $20.  The note said that a
perfect gentleman named Chichester would be pleased if I would find
enclosed a check for $50.  I looked at Jenny helplessly, and said,
"It's for fifty, Jenny."  Crute had an insane look in his eyes as he
murmured "half a hundred dollars, and on your day off, too."  Then I
sat down suddenly and wondered what I would buy first, and Crute sat in
a dazed condition, and abstractedly took a handful of segars out of the
box dear old Dad gave me.  As I didn't say anything, he took another
handful, and then sat down and gazed at the check for five minutes in
awe.  After breakfast I calculated how much I would have after I paid
my debts.  I still owe say $23, and I have some shoes to pay for and my
hair to cut.  I had a wild idea of going over to New York and buying
some stocks, but I guess I'll go to Bond's and Baker's instead.

I'm going down street now to see if Drexel wants to borrow any ready
money-on the way down I will make purchases and pay bills so that my
march will be a triumphal procession.

I got a story on the front page this morning about an explosion at
Columbia Avenue Station--I went out on it with another man my senior in
years and experience, whom Watrous expected to write the story while I
hustled for facts.  When we got back I had all the facts, and what
little he had was incorrect--so I said I would dispense with his
services and write the story myself.  I did it very politely, but it
queered the man before the men, and Watrous grew very sarcastic at his
expense.  Next time Andy will know better and let me get my own stories

Your Millionaire Son,


I'm still the "same old Dick"; not proud a bit.

This was my mother's reply:


August 1888.


Your letter has just come and we are all delighted.  Well done for old
St. Nicholas!  I thought they meant to wait till the story was
published.  It took me back to the day when I got $50. for "Life in the
Iron Mills."  I carried the letter half a day before opening it, being
so sure that it was a refusal.

I had a great mind to read the letter to Davis and Cecile who were on
the porch but was afraid you would not like it.

I did read them an extremely impertinent enclosure which was so like
the letter I sent yesterday.  That I think you got it before writing

. . .  Well I am glad about that cheque!  Have you done anything on
Gallagher?  That is by far the best work you've done--oh, by far--Send
that to Gilder.  In old times The Century would not print the word
"brandy."  But those days are over.

Two more days--dear boy--


In addition to his work on The Press, Richard also found time to assist
his friend, Morton McMichael, 3d, in the editing of a weekly
publication called The Stage.  In fact with the exception of the
services of an office boy, McMichael and Richard were The Stage.
Between them they wrote the editorials, criticisms, the London and
Paris special correspondence, solicited the advertisements, and
frequently assisted in the wrapping and mailing of the copies sent to
their extremely limited list of subscribers.  During this time,
however, Richard was establishing himself as a star reporter on The
Press, and was already known as a clever news-gatherer and interviewer.
It was in reply to a letter that Richard wrote to Robert Louis
Stevenson enclosing an interview he had had with Walt Whitman, that
Stevenson wrote the following letter--which my brother always regarded
as one of his greatest treasures:

Why, thank you so much for your frank, agreeable and natural letter.
It is certainly very pleasant that all you young fellows should enjoy
my work and get some good out of it and it was very kind in you to
write and tell me so.  The tale of the suicide is excellently droll,
and your letter, you may be sure, will be preserved.  If you are to
escape unhurt out of your present business you must be very careful,
and you must find in your heart much constancy.  The swiftly done work
of the journalist and the cheap finish and ready made methods to which
it leads, you must try to counteract in private by writing with the
most considerate slowness and on the most ambitious models.  And when I
say "writing"--O, believe me, it is rewriting that I have chiefly in
mind.  If you will do this I hope to hear of you some day.

Please excuse this sermon from

Your obliged


In the spring of 1889 Richard as the correspondent of the Philadelphia
Telegraph, accompanied a team of Philadelphia cricketers on a tour of
Ireland and England, but as it was necessary for him to spend most of
his time reporting the matches played in small university towns, he saw
only enough of London to give him a great longing to return as soon as
the chance offered.  Late that summer he resumed his work on The Press,
but Richard was not at all satisfied with his journalistic progress,
and for long his eyes had been turned toward New York.  There he knew
that there was not only a broader field for such talent as he might
possess, but that the chance for adventure was much greater, and it was
this hope and love of adventure that kept Richard moving on all of his

On a morning late in September, 1889, he started for New York to look
for a position as reporter on one of the metropolitan newspapers.  I do
not know whether he carried with him any letters or that he had any
acquaintances in the journalistic world on whose influence he counted,
but, in any case, he visited a number of offices without any success
whatever.  Indeed, he had given up the day as wasted, and was on his
way to take the train back to Philadelphia.  Tired and discouraged, he
sat down on a bench in City Hall Park, and mentally shook his fist at
the newspaper offices on Park Row that had given him so cold a
reception.  At this all-important moment along came Arthur Brisbane,
whom Richard had met in London when the former was the English
correspondent of The Sun.  Brisbane had recently been appointed editor
of The Evening Sun, and had already met with a rather spectacular
success.  On hearing the object of Richard's visit to New York, he
promptly offered him a position on his staff and Richard as promptly
accepted.  I remember that the joyous telegram he sent to my mother,
telling of his success, and demanding that the fatted calf be killed
for dinner that night was not received with unalloyed happiness.  To my
mother and father it meant that their first-born was leaving home to
seek his fortune, and that without Richard's love and sympathy the home
could never be quite the same.  But the fatted calf was killed, every
one pretended to be just as elated as Richard was over his good
fortune, and in two days he left us for his first adventure.

The following note to his mother Richard scribbled off in pencil at the
railway-station on his way to New York:

I am not surprised that you were sad if you thought I was going away
for good.  I could not think of it myself.  I am only going to make a
little reputation and to learn enough of the business to enable me to
live at home in the centre of the universe with you.  That is truth.
God bless you.




Of the many completely happy periods of Richard's life there were few
more joyous than the first years he spent as a reporter in New York.
For the first time he was completely his own master and paying his own
way--a condition which afforded him infinite satisfaction.  He was
greatly attached to Brisbane and as devoted to the interests of The
Evening Sun as if he had been the editor and publisher.  In return
Brisbane gave him a free rein and allowed him to write very much what
and as he chose.  The two men were constantly together, in and out of
office hours, and planned many of the leading features of the paper
which on account of the brilliancy of its news stories and special
articles was at that time attracting an extraordinary amount of
attention.  Richard divided his working hours between reporting
important news events, writing specials (principally about theatrical
people), and the Van Bibber stories, nearly all of which were published
for the first time in The Evening Sun.  These short tales of New York
life soon made a distinct hit, and, while they appeared anonymously, it
was generally known that Richard was their author.  In addition to his
newspaper work my brother was also working on short stories for the
magazines, and in 1890 scored his first real success in this field,
with "Gallegher," which appeared in Scribner's.  This was shortly
followed by "The Other Woman,"  "Miss Catherwaite's Understudy,"  "A
Walk up the Avenue,"  "My Disreputable Friend, Mr. Raegen,"  "An
Unfinished Story," and other stories that soon gave him an established
reputation as a writer of fiction.  But while Richard's success was
attained in a remarkably short space of time and at an extremely early
age, it was not accomplished without an enormous amount of hard work
and considerable privation.  When he first went to New York his salary
was but thirty dollars a week, and while he remained on The Evening Sun
never over fifty dollars, and the prices he received for his first
short stories were extremely meagre.  During the early days on The
Evening Sun he had a room in a little house at 108 Waverly Place, and
took his meals in the neighborhood where he happened to find himself
and where they were cheapest.  He usually spent his week-ends in
Philadelphia, but his greatest pleasure was when he could induce some
member of his family to visit him in New York.  I fear I was the one
who most often accepted his hospitality, and wonderful visits they
were, certainly to me, and I think to Richard as well.  The great event
was our Saturday-night dinner, when we always went to a little
restaurant on Sixth Avenue.  I do not imagine the fifty-cent table
d'hote (vin compris) the genial Mr. Jauss served us was any better than
most fifty-cent table-d'hote dinners, but the place was quaint and
redolent of strange smells of cooking as well as of a true bohemian
atmosphere.  Those were the days when the Broadway Theatre was given
over to the comic operas in which Francis Wilson and De Wolfe Hopper
were the stars, and as both of the comedians were firm friends of
Richard, we invariably ended our evening at the Broadway.  Sometimes we
occupied a box as the guests of the management, and at other times we
went behind the scenes and sat in the star's dressing-room.  I think I
liked it best when Hopper was playing, because during Wilson's regime
the big dressing-room was a rather solemn sort of place, but when
Hopper ruled, the room was filled with pretty girls and he treated us
to fine cigars and champagne.

Halcyon nights those, and then on Sunday morning we always breakfasted
at old Martin's on University Place eggs a la Martin and that wonderful
coffee and pain de menage.  And what a wrench it was when I tore myself
away from the delights of the great city and scurried back to my desk
in sleepy Philadelphia.  Had I been a prince royal Richard could not
have planned more carefully than he did for these visits, and to meet
the expense was no easy matter for him.  Indeed, I know that to pay for
all our gayeties he usually had to carry his guitar to a neighboring
pawn-broker where the instrument was always good for an eight-dollar
loan.  But from the time Richard first began to make his own living one
of the great pleasures of his life was to celebrate, or as he called
it, to "have a party."  Whenever he had finished a short story he had a
party, and when the story had been accepted there was another party,
and, of course, the real party was when he received the check.  And so
it was throughout his life, giving a party to some one whom a party
would help, buying a picture for which he had no use to help a
struggling artist, sending a few tons of coal to an old lady who was
not quite warm enough, always writing a letter or a check for some one
of his own craft who had been less fortunate than he--giving to every
beggar that he met, fearing that among all the thousand fakers he might
refuse one worthy case.  I think this habit of giving Richard must have
inherited from his father, who gave out of all proportion to his means,
and with never too close a scrutiny to the worthiness of the cause.
Both men were too intensely human to do that, but if this great desire
on the part of my father and brother to help others gave the recipients
pleasure I'm sure that it caused in the hearts of the givers an even
greater happiness.  The following letters were chosen from a great
number which Richard wrote to his family, telling of his first days on
The Evening Sun, and of his life in New York.

YORK Evening Sun--1890


Today is as lovely and fresh as the morning, a real spring day, and I
feel good in consequence.  I have just come from a couple of raids,
where we had a very lively time, and some of them had to pull their
guns.  I found it necessary to punch a few sports myself.  The old
sergeant from headquarters treats me like a son and takes the greatest
pride in whatever I do or write.  He regularly assigns me now to
certain doors, and I always obey orders like the little gentleman that
I am.  Instead of making me unpopular, I find it helps me with the
sports, though it hurts my chances professionally, as so many of them
know me now that I am no use in some districts.  For instance, in Mott
and Pell streets, or in the Bowery, I am as safe as any precinct
detective.  I tell you this to keep you from worrying.  They won't
touch a man whom they think is an agent or an officer.  Only it spoils
my chances of doing reportorial-detective work.  For instance, the
captain of the Bowery district refused me a detective the other morning
to take the Shippens around the Chinese and the tougher quarters
because he said they were as safe with me as with any of the other men
whose faces are as well known.  To-night I am going to take a party to
the headquarters of the fire department, where I have a cinch on the
captain, a very nice fellow, who is unusually grateful for something I
wrote about him and his men.  They are going to do the Still Alarm act
for me.

These clippings all came out in to-day's paper.  The ladies in the
Tombs were the Shippens, of course; and Mamie Blake is a real girl, and
the story is true from start to finish.  I think it is a pathetic
little history.

Give my love to all.  I will bring on the story I have finished and get
you to make some suggestions.  It is quite short.  Since Scribner's
have been so civil, I think I will give them a chance at the great
prize.  I am writing a comic guide book and a history of the Haymarket
for the paper; both are rich in opportunities.  This weather makes me
feel like another person.  I will be so glad to get home.  With lots of
love and kisses for you and Nora.


NEW YORK--1890.


Brisbane has suggested to me that the Bradley story would lead anyone
to suppose that my evenings were spent in the boudoirs of the
horizontales of 34th Street and has scared me somewhat in consequence.
If it strikes you and Dad the same way don't show it to Mother.  Dad
made one mistake by thinking I wrote a gambling story which has made me
nervous.  It is hardly the fair thing to suppose that a man must have
an intimate acquaintance with whatever he writes of intimately.  A lot
of hunting people, for instance, would not believe that I had written
the "Traver's Only Ride" story because they knew I did not hunt.  Don't
either you or Dad make any mistake about this.


As a matter of fact they would not let me in the room, and I don't know
whether it abounded in signed etchings or Bougereau's nymphs.

NEW YORK--1890.


Today has been more or less feverish.  In the morning's mail I received
a letter from Berlin asking permission to translate "Gallegher" into
German, and a proof of a paragraph from The Critic on my burlesque of
Rudyard Kipling, which was meant to please but which bored me.  Then
the "Raegen" story came in, making nine pages of the Scribner's, which
at ten dollars a page ought to be $90.  Pretty good pay for three
weeks' work, and it is a good story.  Then at twelve a young man came
bustling into the office, stuck his card down on the desk and said, "I
am S. S. McClure.  I have sent my London representative to Berlin and
my New York man to London.  Will you take charge of my New York end?"

If he thought to rattle me he was very much out of it, for I said in
his same tone and manner, "Bring your New York representative back and
send me to London, and I'll consider it.  As long as I am in New York I
will not leave The Evening Sun."

"Edmund Gosse is my London representative," he said; "you can have the
same work here.  Come out and take lunch." I said, "Thank you, I can't;
I'll see you on Tuesday."

"All right," he said.  "I'll come for you.  Think of what I say.  I'll
make your fortune.  Bradford Merrill told me to get you.  You won't
have anything to do but ask people to write novels and edit them.  I'll
send you abroad later if you don't like New York.  Can you write any
children's stories for me?"

"No," I said, "see you Tuesday."

This is a verbal report of all and everything that was said.  I
consider it a curious interview.  It will raise my salary here or I go.
What do YOU think?  DICK.

NEW YORK--1890.


The more I thought of the McClure offer the less I thought of it.  So I
told him last night I was satisfied where I was, and that the $75 he
offered me was no inducement.  Brisbane says I will get $50 about the
first of October, which is plenty and enough for a young man who
intends to be good to his folks.  I cannot do better than stay where I
am, for it is understood between Brisbane and Laffan that in the event
of the former's going into politics I shall take his place, which will
suit very well until something better turns up.  Then there is the
chance of White's coming back and my going to Lunnon, which would
please me now more for what I think I could make of it than what I
think others have made of it.  If I had gone to McClure I would have
been shelved and side-tracked, and I am still in the running, and
learning every day.  Brisbane and I have had our first serious
difficulty over Mrs. R----, who is staying with Mrs. "Bill."  There is
at present the most desperate rivalry, and we discuss each other's
chances with great anger.  He counts on his transcontinental knowledge,
but my short stories hit very hard, and he is not in it when I sing
"Thy Face Will Lead Me On" and "When Kerrigan Struck High C."  She has
a fatal fondness for Sullivan, which is most unfortunate, as Brisbane
can and does tell her about him by the half hour.  Yesterday we both
tried to impress her by riding down in front of the porch and showing
off the horses and ourselves.  Brisbane came off best, though I came
off quickest, for my horse put his foot in a hole and went down on his
knees, while I went over his head like the White Knight in "Alice."  I
would think nothing of sliding off a roof now.  But I made up for this
mishap by coming back in my grey suit and having it compared with the
picture in The Century.  It is a very close fight, and, while Brisbane
is chasing over town for photographs of Sullivan, I am buying books of
verses of which she seems to be fond.  As soon as she gets her divorce
one of us is going to marry her.  We don't know which.  She is about as
beautiful a woman as I ever saw, and very witty and well-informed, but
it would cost a good deal to keep her in diamonds.  She wears some the
Queen gave her, but she wants more.


NEW YORK--1890.


I am well and with lots to do.  I went up to see Hopper the other
night, which was the first time in three months that I have been back
of a theater, and it was like going home.  There is a smell about the
painty and gassy and dusty place that I love as much as fresh earth and
newly cut hay, and the girls look so pretty and bold lying around on
the sets, and the men so out of focus and with such startling cheeks
and lips.  They were very glad to see me and made a great fuss.  Then
I've been to see Carmencita dance, which I enjoyed remarkably, and I
have been reading Rudyard Kipling's short stories, and I think it is
disgusting that a boy like that should write such stories.  He hasn't
left himself anything to do when he gets old.  He reminds me of Bret
Harte and not a bit of Stevenson, to whom some of them compare him.

I am very glad you liked the lady in mid-air story so much, but it
wasn't a bit necessary to add the MORAL from a MOTHER.  I saw it coming
up before I had read two lines; and a very good moral it is, too, with
which I agree heartily.  But, of course, you know it is not a new idea
to me.  Anything as good and true as that moral cannot be new at this
late date.  I went to the Brooklyn Handicap race yesterday.  It is one
of the three biggest races of the year, and a man stood in front of me
in the paddock in a white hat.  Another man asked him what he was

"Well," he said, "I fancy Fides myself."

"Fides!" said his friend, "why, she ain't in it.  She won't see home.
Raceland's the horse for your money; she's favorite, and there isn't
any second choice.  But Fides!  Why, she's simply impossible.  Raceland
beat HER last Suburban."

"Yes, I remember," said the man in the white hat, "but I fancy Fides."

Then another chap said to him, "Fides is all good enough on a dust
track on a sunny, pleasant day, but she can't ran in the mud.  She
hasn't got the staying powers.  She's a pretty one to look at, but
she's just a 'grandstand' ladies' choice.  She ain't in it with
Raceland or Erica.  The horse YOU want is not a pretty, dainty flyer,
but a stayer, that is sure and that brings in good money, not big odds,
but good money.  Why, I can name you a dozen better'n Fides."

"Still, somehow, I like Fides best," said the obstinate man in the
white hat.

"But Fides will take the bit in her mouth and run away, or throw the
jock or break into the fence.  She isn't steady.  She's all right to
have a little bet on, just enough for a flyer, but she's not the horse
to plunge on.  If you're a millionaire with money to throw away, why,
you might put some of it up on her, but, as it is, you want to put your
money where it will be sure of a 'place,' anyway.  Now, let me mark
your card for you?"

"No," said the man, "what you all say is reasonable, I see that; but,
somehow, I rather fancy Fides best."

I've forgotten now whether Fides won or not, and whether she landed the
man who just fancied her without knowing why a winner or sent him home
broke.  But, in any event, that is quite immaterial, the story simply
shows how obstinate some men are as regards horses and--other uncertain
critters.  I have no doubt but that the Methodist minister's daughter
would have made Hiram happy if he had loved her, but he didn't.  No
doubt Anne ----, Nan ----, Katy ---- and Maude ---- would have made me
happy if they would have consented to have me and I had happened to
love them, but I fancied Fides.

But now since I have scared you sufficiently, let me add for your peace
of mind that I've not enough money to back any horses just at present,
and before I put any money up on any one of them for the Matrimonial
stakes, I will ask you first to look over the card and give me a few
pointers.  I mayn't follow them, you know, but I'll give you a fair
warning, at any rate.

"You're my sweetheart, I'm your beau."


NEW YORK, May 29, 1890.

This is just a little good night note to say how I wish I was with you
down at that dear old place and how much I love you and Nora who is
getting lovelier and sweeter and prettier everyday and I know a pretty
girl when I see 'em, Fides, for instance.  But I won't tease you about
that any more.

I finished a short silly story to night which I am in doubt whether to
send off or not.  I think I will keep it until I read it to you and
learn what you think.

Mr. Gilder has asked me to stay with them at Marion, and to go to
Cambridge with Mrs. Gilder and dear Mrs. Cleveland and Grover
Cleveland, when he reads the poem before D. K. E.

I have bought a book on decorations, colored, and I am choosing what I
want, like a boy with a new pair of boots.

Good-night, my dearest Mama.


In addition to his regular work on The Evening Sun, my brother, as I
have already said, was devoting a great part, of his leisure moments to
the writing of short stories, and had made a tentative agreement with a
well-known magazine to do a series of short sketches of New York types.
Evidently fearful that Richard was writing too much and with a view to
pecuniary gain, my mother wrote the following note of warning:



I wouldn't undertake the "types."  For one thing, you will lose
prestige writing for ----'s paper.  For another, I dread beyond
everything your beginning to do hack work for money.  It is the
beginning of decadence both in work and reputation for you.  I know by
my own and a thousand other people.  Begin to write because it "is a
lot of money" and you stop doing your best work.  You make your work
common and your prices will soon go down.  George Lewes managed George
Eliot wisely.

He stopped her hack work.  Kept her at writing novels and soon one each
year brought her $40,000.  I am taking a purely mercenary view of the
thing.  There is another which you understand better than I-- Mind your
Mother's advice to you--now and all the time is "do only your best
work--even if you starve doing it."  But you won't starve.  You'll get
your dinner at Martin's instead of Delmonico's, which won't hurt you in
the long run.  Anyhow, $1000. for 12,500 words is not a great price.

That was a fine tea you gave.  I should like to have heard the good
talk.  It was like the regiment of brigadier generals with no privates.



This is a letter written by my father after the publication of
Richard's story "A Walk up the Avenue."  Richard frequently spoke of
his father as his "kindest and severest critic."

PHILADELPHIA, July 22nd, 1890.

10.30 P. M.


You can do it; you have done it; it is all right.  I have read A Walk
up the Avenue.  It is far and away the best thing you have ever
done--Full of fine subtle thought, of rare, manly feeling.

I am not afraid of Dick the author.  He's all right.  I shall only be
afraid--when I am afraid--that Dick the man will not live up to the
other fellow, that he may forget how much the good Lord has given him,
and how responsible to the good Lord and to himself he is and will be
for it.  A man entrusted with such talent should carry himself
straighter than others to whom it is denied.  He has great duties to
do; he owes tribute to the giver.

Don't let the world's temptations in any of its forms come between you
and your work.  Make your life worthy of your talent, and humbly by day
and by night ask God to help you to do it.

I am very proud of this work.  It is good work, with brain, bone,
nerve, muscle in it.  It is human, with healthy pulse and heartsome
glow in it.  Remember, hereafter, you have by it put on the bars
against yourself preventing you doing any work less good.  You have
yourself made your record, you can't lower it.  You can only beat it.

Lovingly, DAD.

In the latter part of December, 1890, Richard left The Evening Sun to
become the managing editor of Harper's Weekly.  George William Curtis
was then its editor, and at this time no periodical had a broader or
greater influence for the welfare of the country.  As Richard was then
but twenty-six, his appointment to his new editorial duties came as a
distinct honor.  The two years that Richard had spent on The Evening
Sun had been probably the happiest he had ever known.  He really loved
New York, and at this time Paris and London held no such place in his
affections as they did in later years.  And indeed there was small
reason why these should not have been happy years for any young man.
At twenty-six Richard had already accomplished much, and his name had
become a familiar one not only to New Yorkers but throughout the
country.  Youth and health he had, and many friends, and a talent that
promised to carry him far in the profession he loved.  His new position
paid him a salary considerably larger than he had received heretofore,
and he now demanded and received much higher terms for his stories.
All of which was well for Richard because as his income grew so grew
his tastes.  I have known few men who cared less for money than did my
brother, and I have known few who cared more for what it could buy for
his friends and for himself.  Money to him, and, during his life he
made very large sums of it, he always chose to regard as income but
never capital.  A bond or a share of stock meant to him what it would
bring that day on the Stock Exchange.  The rainy day which is the
bugaboo for the most of us, never seemed to show on his horizon.  For a
man whose livelihood depended on the lasting quality of his creative
faculties he had an infinite faith in the future, and indeed his own
experience seemed to show that he was justified in this belief.  It
could not have been very long after his start as a fiction writer that
he received as high a price for his work as any of his contemporaries;
and just previous to his death, more than twenty years later, he signed
a contract to write six stories at a figure which, so far as I know,
was the highest ever offered an American author.  In any case, money or
the lack of it certainly never caused Richard any worriment during the
early days of which I write.  For what he made he worked extremely
hard, but the reputation and the spending of the money that this same
hard work brought him caused him infinite happiness.  He enjoyed the
reputation he had won and the friends that such a reputation helped him
to make; he enjoyed entertaining and being entertained, and he enjoyed
pretty much all of the good things of life.  And all of this he enjoyed
with the naive, almost boyish enthusiasm that only one could to whom it
had all been made possible at twenty-six.  Of these happy days Booth
Tarkington wrote at the time of my brother's death:

"To the college boy of the early nineties Richard Harding Davis was the
'beau ideal of jeunesse doree,' a sophisticated heart of gold.  He was
of that college boy's own age, but already an editor--already
publishing books!  His stalwart good looks were as familiar to us as
were those of our own football captain; we knew his face as we knew the
face of the President of the United States, but we infinitely preferred
Davis's.  When the Waldorf was wondrously completed, and we cut an
exam. in Cuneiform Inscriptions for an excursion to see the world at
lunch in its new magnificence, and Richard Harding Davis came into the
Palm Room--then, oh, then, our day was radiant!  That was the top of
our fortune; we could never have hoped for so much.  Of all the great
people of every continent, this was the one we most desired to see."

Richard's intimate friends of these days were Charles Dana Gibson, who
illustrated a number of my brother's stories, Robert Howard Russell,
Albert La Montagne, Helen Benedict, now Mrs. Thomas Hastings, Ethel
Barrymore, Maude Adams, E. H.  Sothern, his brother,  Sam, and Arthur
Brisbane.  None of this little circle was married at the time, its
various members were seldom apart, and they extracted an enormous
amount of fun out of life.  I had recently settled in New York, and we
had rooms at 10 East Twenty-eighth Street, where we lived very
comfortably for many years.  Indeed Richard did not leave them until
his marriage in the summer of 1899.  They were very pleasant, sunny
rooms, and in the sitting-room, which Richard had made quite
attractive, we gave many teas and supper-parties.  But of all the happy
incidents I can recall at the Twenty-eighth Street house, the one I
remember most distinctly took place in the hallway the night that
Richard received the first statement and check for his first book of
short stories, and before the money had begun to come in as fast as it
did afterward.  We were on our way to dinner at some modest resort when
we saw and at once recognized the long envelope on the mantel.  Richard
guessed it would be for one hundred and ninety dollars, but with a
rather doubting heart I raised my guess to three hundred.  And when,
with trembling fingers, Richard had finally torn open the envelope and
found a check for nine hundred and odd dollars, what a wild dance we
did about the hall-table, and what a dinner we had that night!  Not at
the modest restaurant as originally intended, but at Delmonico's! It
was during these days that Seymour Hicks and his lovely wife Ellaline
Terriss first visited America, and they and Richard formed a mutual
attachment that lasted until his death.

Richard had always taken an intense interest in the drama, and at the
time he was managing editor of Harper's Weekly had made his first
efforts as a playwright.  Robert Hilliard did a one-act version of
Richard's short story, "Her First Appearance," which under the title of
"The Littlest Girl" he played in vaudeville for many years.  E. H.
Sothern and Richard had many schemes for writing a play together, but
the only actual result they ever attained was a one-act version Sothern
did at the old Lyceum of my brother's story, "The Disreputable Mr.
Raegen."  It was an extremely tense and absorbing drama, and Sothern
was very fine in the part of Raegen, but for the forty-five minutes the
playlet lasted Sothern had to hold the stage continuously alone, and as
it preceded a play of the regulation length, the effort proved too much
for the actor's strength, and after a few performances it was taken
off.  Although it was several years after this that my brother's first
long play was produced he never lost interest in the craft of
playwriting, and only waited for the time and means to really devote
himself to it.

BOSTON, January 22nd, 1891.


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

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


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

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

Just think that I have kissed you a thousand times.



June, 1891.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


The Players,

16 Gramercy Park.

24th, 1891.


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




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

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

January, 1892.  (Some place in Texas)

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


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


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

In Camp, February 2nd.


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


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


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

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

of love.


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

PHILADELPHIA, February 15, 1892.


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


ANADARKO--February 26th, 1892.


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


DENVER--March 7, 1892.


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

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

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

CREEDE, March 7.

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


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

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

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

OXFORD--May, 1892.


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

I will go back to town by the first to see the Derby and will get into
place is as beautiful as one expects and yet all the time startling one
with its beauty.


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

LONDON, June 3, 1892.


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

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

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


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

LONDON, July 6, 1892.


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


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



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

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

Chicago Club,

October 2, 1892.


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

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

NEW YORK, February 3, 1893.


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


Off Gibraltar,
  February 12, 1893.


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

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

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

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

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

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



February 14th, 1893.


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

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



February 23rd, 1893.


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

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

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

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

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


GIBRALTAR--February 1893.


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

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


Off Malta--March 1, 1893.


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

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

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

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

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


CAIRO, March 11, 1893.


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

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

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

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


CAIRO, March 19th, 1893.


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

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

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


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


ATHENS, March 30, 1893.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

April 14th, 1893.


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

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

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

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


In sight of Paris--April 16, 1893.


has been the most beautiful day since February 4th.  It is the first
day in which I have been warm.  All through I have had a varnish of
warmth every now and again but no real actual internal warmth--I am now
in sight of Paris and it is the 16th of April, in the eleven weeks
which have elapsed since the 4th of February I have been in Spain,
France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey,
Greece, Egypt and Morocco.  I have sat on the Rock of Gibraltar, sailed
on the Nile and the Suez Canal and crossed through the Dardanelles,
over the Balkans, the steppes of Hungary and the Danube and Rhine.  I
have seen the sphinx by moonlight, the Parthenon and the Eiffel Tower
and in two days more I shall have seen St. Paul's.  What do you think I
should like to see best now?  YOU.  I have been worrying of late as to
whether or not I should not come home now and leave Paris for another
time because it seems so rough on you to leave you without either of
your younger sons for so long.  But I have thought it over a great deal
and I think it better that I should do Paris now and leave myself clear
for the rest of the year.  I promise you one thing however that I shall
not undertake to stay away so long again; it is too long and one grows
out of things.  But nothing I feel, will be so easy or so amusing as
Paris and I intend to get through with it soon and trot home to you by
the middle of August AT THE VERY LATEST.  So, please write me a
deceitful letter and say you do not miss me at all and that my being so
near as Paris makes a great difference and that I am better out of the
way and if Chas goes to London I shall be near him in case he forgets
to put on his overshoes or involves us in a war with G. B.  Now, mother
dear, do write me a cheerful letter and say that you do not mind
waiting until the middle of August for me and when I come back this
time I shall make a long stay with you at Marion and tell you lots of
things I have not written you and I shall not go away again for ever so
long and if I do go I shall only stay a little while.  You have no idea
how interesting this rush across the continent has been.  I started in
snow and through marshes covered with ice and long horned cattle and
now we are in such a beautiful clean green land with green fields and
green trees and flowering bushes which you can smell as the train goes
by.  I now think that instead of being a cafe-chantant singer I should
rather be an Austrian baron and own a castle on a hill with a red
roofed village around it.  I have spent almost all of the trip sitting
on the platform and enjoying the sight of the queer peasants and the
soldiers and old villages.  Tonight I shall 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 11th, 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 souls.

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 polite.

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.  DICK.

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


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 Venezuela."

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

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.


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 1st, 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

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.  DICK.

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 event.

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

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

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.


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

way to Key West.

December 19, 1896.


I hope you won't be cross with me for going off and not letting you
know, but I thought it was better to do it that way as there was such
delay in our getting started.  I am going to Cuba by way of Key West
with Frederic Remington and Michaelson, a correspondent who has been
there for six months.  We are to be taken by the Vamoose the fastest
steam yacht made to Santa Clara province where the Cubans will meet us
and take us to Gomez.  We will stay a month with him, the yacht calling
for copy and sketches once a week, and finally for us in a month.  I
get all my expenses and The Journal pays me  $3,000 for the month's
work.  The Harper's Magazine also takes a story at six hundred dollars
and Russell will reprint Remington's sketches and my story in book
form, so I shall probably clear $4,000 in the next month or six weeks.
I was a week in getting information on the subject so I know all about
it from the men who have just been there and I want you to pay
attention to what I tell you they told me and not to listen to any
stray visitor who comes in for tea and talks without any tact or
knowledge.  There is no danger in the trip except the problem of
getting there and getting away again, and that is now removed by The
Journal's yacht.  I would have gone earlier had any of the periodicals
that asked me to go shown me any way to get there-- THERE IS NO FEVER
THIS TIME OF YEAR and as you know fever never touches me.  It got all
the others in Central America and never worried me at all.  There is no
danger of getting shot, as the province into which we go, the Santa
Clara province, is owned and populated and patrolled by the Cubans.  It
is no more Spanish than New Jersey and the Spaniards cannot get in
there.  We have the strongest possible letters from the Junta, and I
have from Lamont, Bayard and Olney and credentials in every language.
We will sit around the Gomez camp and send messengers back to the
coast.  It is a three days trip and as Gomez may be moving from place
to place you may not hear from us for a month and we may not hear from
you but remember it was a much longer time than that before you heard
from me when I went to Honduras.  Also keep in mind that I am going as
a correspondent only and must keep out of the way of fighting and that
I mean to do so, as Chamberlain says we want descriptive stories not
brave deeds-- Major Flint who has arranged the trip for us was down
there with Maceo as a correspondent.  He saw six fights and never shot
off his gun once because as he said it was not his business to kill
people and he has persuaded me that he is right, so I won't do anything
but look on-- I have bought at The Journal's expense a fifty dollar
field glass which is a new invention and the best made.  I have marked
it so that you can see a man five miles off and as soon as I see him I
mean to begin to ride or run the other way--no one loves himself more
than I do so you leave me to take care of myself.  I wish I could give
you any idea of the contempt the four returned correspondents who
talked to me, have for the Spaniards.  They have seen them shoot 2,500
rounds without hitting men at 200 yards and they run away if the enemy
begins on them first.  However, you trust to Richard-- We have a fine
escort arranged for us and Michaelson speaks Spanish perfectly and has
been six months scouting over the country.


KEY West, December 26, 1896.


I got your letters late last night and they made me pretty solemn.  It
is an awfully solemn thing to have people care for you like that and to
care for them as I do.  I can't tell you how much I love you.  You
don't know how much the pain of worrying you for a month has meant to
me, but I have talked it all out with myself, and left it to God and I
am sure I am doing right.  As Mrs. Crown said, "There's a whole
churchful up here praying for you," and I guess that will pull me
through.  Of course, dear, dear Mother thought she was cross with me.
She could not be cross with me, and her letter told me how much she
cared, that was all, and made me be extra careful.  But I need not
promise you to be careful.  You have an idea I am a wild,
filibustering, hot-headed young man.  I am not.  I gave the guides to
understand their duty was to keep us out of danger if we had to walk
miles to avoid it.  We are men of peace, going in, as real estate
agents and coffee-planters and drummers are going in on every steamer,
to attend to our especial work and get out again quick.  I have just as
strong a prejudice against killing a man as I have against his killing

Lots and lots of love.  Don't get scared if you don't hear for a month,
although we will try to get our stories back once a week, but you know
we are at the convenience of the Cubans who will pocket our despatches
and money and not take the long trip back.  Thank dear Dad for his
letter full of good advice.  It was excellent.  Remington and Michelson
are good men and I like them immensely.  Already we are firm friends.


KEY WEST--January 1, 1897.


As you will know by my telegram we are either off on a safe sea going
boat or waiting for one.  There is no turning back from here and the
only reason I thought of doing so was the knowledge of the way you
would suffer and worry.  I argued it out that it was selfish in me to
weigh my getting laughed at and paragraphed as the war correspondent
that always Turned Back against a month of uneasiness for you, but
later I saw I could not do it much as I love you for the element of
danger to me is non-existent; it is merely an exciting adventure and
you will have to believe me and not worry but be a Spartan mother.  I
would not count being laughed at and the loss of my own self respect if
I really thought there was great danger, but I do not.  You will not
lose me and if I go now I can sit still next time and say "I have done
better things than that."  If I had not gone it would have meant that I
would have had to have done just that much harder a stunt next time to
make people forget that I had failed in this one.  Now do cheer up and
believe in the luck of Richard Harding Davis and the British Army.  We
have carte blanche from The Journal to buy or lease any boat on the
coast and I rocked them for $1000 in advance payment because of the
delay over the Vamoose.

I am so happy at thinking I am going, I could not have faced anyone had
I not, although we had nothing to do with the failure, we tried to
cross fairly in the damn tub and it was her captain who put back.  I
lay out on the deck and cried when he refused to go ahead, we had
waited so long.  The Cubans and Remington and Michelson had put on all
their riding things but fortunately I had not and so was spared that
humiliation.  What I don't know about the Fine Art of Filibustering now
is unnecessary.  I find many friends of my Captain Boynton or "Capt.
Burke."  Tonight the officers of the Raleigh give me a grand dinner at
which I wear a dress suit and make speeches--they are the best chaps I
ever met in the Navy.  Lots of love and best wishes to Dad and to Nora
for a happy, happy New Year.  You know me and you know my conscience
but it would not let me go back in order to save you anxiety so you
won't think me selfish.  God bless you.


KEY WEST, January 2nd, 1897.


I have learned here that the first quality needed to make a great
filibuster is Patience, it is not courage, or resources or a knowledge
of the Cuban Coast line, it is patience.  Anybody can run a boat into a
dark bayou and dump rifles on the beach and scurry away to sea again
but only heroes can sit for a month on a hotel porch or at the end of a
wharf, and wait.  That is all we do and that is my life at Key West.  I
get up and half dress and take a plunge in the bay and then dress fully
and have a greasy breakfast and then light a huge Key West cigar, price
three cents and sit on the hotel porch with my feet on a rail-- Nothing
happens after that except getting one's boots polished as the two
industries of this place are blacking boots and driving cabs.  I have
two boys to black mine at the same time every morning and pay the one
who does his the better of the two-- It generally ends in a fight so
that affords diversion-- Then a man comes along, any man, and says,
"Remmington's looking for you" and I get up and look for Remington.
There is only a triangle of streets where one can find him and I call
at "Josh" Curry's first and then at Pendleton's News Store and read all
the back numbers of the Police Gazette for the hundredth time and then
call here at the Custom House and then look in at the Cable office,
where Michaelson lives sending telegrams about anything or nothing and
that brings me back to the hotel porch again, where I have my boots
shined once more and then go into mid-day dinner.  In the meanwhile
Remington is looking for me a hundred yards in the rear.  He generally
gets to "Josh's" as I leave the Custom House-- In the afternoon I study
Spanish out of a text book and at three take a bicycle ride, at five I
call at the garrison to take tea with the doctor and his wife, who is
sweeter than angel's ever get to be with a miniature angel of a baby
called Martha.  I wait until retreat is sounded and the gun is fired at
sunset and having commented unfavorably on the way the soldiers let the
flag drop on the grass instead of catching it on the arms as a
bluejacket does, I ride off to the bay for another bath-- Then I take
the launch to the Raleigh and dine with the officers and rejoice in the
clean fresh paint and brass and decks and the lights and black places
of a great ship of war, than which nothing is more splendid.  We sit on
the quarter-deck and smoke and play the guitar and I go home again, in
time for bed.  I vary this programme occasionally by spending the
morning on the end of a wharf watching another man fish and reading old
novels and the "Lives of Captain Walker" and "Captain Fry of the
Virginius," two great books from each of which I am going to write a
short story like the one of the Alamo or of the Jameson Raid-- The life
of Walker I found on the Raleigh and the life of Captain Fry with all
the old wood cuts and the newspaper comments of the time at a book
store here.  I don't know when we shall get away but it is no use
kicking about it, Michaelson is doing all he can and the new tug will
be along in a week anyway.  I shall be so glad to get to Cuba that I
will dance with glee.


MATANZAS, January 15th, 1897.


I sent you a note by Remington which he will mail in the States-- From
here I go to Sagua La Grande.  It is on the northern coast.  I think
from there I shall cross over to Cienfuegos on the Southern coast and
then if I can catch a steamer go to Santiago to see my old friends, at
the Juraqua mines and MacWilliams' ore road and "the Palms"--
Everywhere I am treated well on account of Weyler's order and I am
learning a great deal and talking very little, my Spanish being bad.
There is war here and no mistake and all the people in the fields have
been ordered in to the fortified towns where they are starving and
dying of disease.  Yesterday I saw the houses of these people burning
on both sides of the track-- They gave shelter to the insurgents and so
very soon they found their houses gone.  I am so relieved at getting
old Remington to go as though I had won $5000.  He was a splendid
fellow but a perfect kid and had to be humored and petted all the time.
I shall if I have luck be through with this in a few weeks but it has
had such a set back at the start that I am afraid it can never make a
book and I doubt if I can write a decent article even.  I am so anxious
not to keep you worrying any longer than is necessary and so I am
hurrying along taking only a car window view of things.  Address me
care of Consul General Lee, Havana and confine your remarks to what is
going on at home.  I know what is going on here.  I don't believe half
I hear but I am being slowly converted.  Remington is more excitable
than I am, so don't misunderstand if he starts in violently.  I am
getting details and verifying things.  He is right on a big scale but
every one has lied so about this island that I do not want to say
anything I do not believe is true.  This is a beautiful little city and
after Jaruco, where we slept two days ago, it is Paris.  There we slept
off the barnyard and cows and chickens walked all over the floor and
fleas all over us.  It was like Honduras only filthier.  Speaking of
Paris, tell the Kid I expect to go over to him soon after I return to
New York.

of love.


CARDENAS--North Coast of Cuba.

January 16th, 1897.


It is very funny not knowing what sort of a place you are to sleep in
next and taking things out of a grab bag, as it were-- In Europe you
can always guess what the well known towns will give you for you have a
guide book, but here it is all luck.  Matanzas was a pretty city but
the people were awful, the hotel was Spanish and the proprietor
insolent, though I was spending more of Willie Hearst's money than all
of the officers spend in a week, the Consul could not talk English or
Spanish, he said he hadn't come there "to go to school to no Spaniard"
and he gloried in the fact he had been there three years without
knowing a word of the language.  His vice-Consul was worse and
everything went wrong generally.  Every one I met was an Alarmist and
that is polite for liar.  They asked Remington if he was the man who
manufactured the rifles and gave us the Iowa Democrat to read.  To
night I reached here after a six hours ride through blazing fields of
sugar cane and stopped on my way to the hotel to ask the Consul when
the next boat went to Saqua la Grande-- I had no letter of introduction
to him as I had to the Matanzas consul, but as soon as he saw my card
he got out of his chair and shook hands again and was as hearty and
well bred and delightful as Charley himself and unlike Chas he did not
ask me 14 francs for looking on him.  He is out now chasing around to
get me a train for to-morrow.  But I won't go to-morrow.  My hotel
looks on the plaza and the proprietor and the whole suite of attendants
are my slaves.  It is just as different as can be.  My interpreter does
it, he calls himself MY VALET, although I point out to him that two
shirts and twelve collars do not constitute a wardrobe even with a
rubber coat thrown in.  But he likes to play at my being a
distinguished stranger and I can't say I object.  Only when you
remember the way I was invited to see Cuba and expected to see it, and
now the way I am seeing it from car windows with A VALET.  What would
the new school of yellow kid journalists say if they knew that.  For
the first time on this trip I have wished you were both with me, that
was to night.  I never see anything really beautiful but that it
instantly makes me feel selfish and wish you could see it too.  It has
happened again and again and to night I wish you could be here with me
on this balcony.  The town runs down a slope to the bay and in the
middle of it is the Plaza with me on the balcony which lets out of my
sleeping room-- "the room" so the proprietor tells me, "reserved only
for the Capitain General." It is just like the description in that
remarkable novel of mine where Clay and Alice sit on the balcony of the
restaurant.  I have the moonlight and the Cathedral with the open doors
and the bronze statue in the middle and the royal palms moving in the
breeze straight from the sea and the people walking around the plaza
below.  If it was in any way as beautiful as this Clay and Alice would
have ended the novel that night.

I got a grand lot of letters to-day which Otto, my interpreter brought
back from Havana after having conducted Remington there in safety.  I
must say you are writing very cheerfully now, but I don't wonder you
worried at first but now that I am a commercial traveller with an order
from Weyler which does everything when I find it necessary, you really
must not worry any more but just let me continue on my uneventful
journey and then come home.  I shall have been gone so long and my
friends, judging from Russell and Dana and Irene's letters, will be so
glad to see me, that they will have forgotten I went out to do other
things than coast around in trains.  As a matter of fact this is a
terribly big problem and most difficult to get the truth of, I find
myself growing to be the opposite of the alarmist, whatever that is,
although you would think the picturesque and dramatic and exciting
thing would be the one I would rather believe because I want to believe
it, but I find that that is not so, I see a great deal on both sides
and I do not believe half I am told.  As we used to say at college, "it
is against history," and it is against history for men to act as I am
told they are acting here-- They show me the pueblo huddled together
around the fortified towns, living in palm huts but I know that they
have always lived in palm huts, the yellow kid reporters don't know
that or consider it, but send off word that the condition of the people
is terrible, that they have only leaves to cover them, and it sounds
very badly.  That is an instance of what I mean.  In a big way there is
no doubt that the process going on here is one of extermination and
ruin.  Two years ago the amount  of sugar shipped from the port of
Matanzas to the U. S. was valued at 11 millions a year.  This last year
just over shows that sugar to the amount of  $800,000 was sent out.  In
'94, 154 vessels touched at Matanzas on their way to America.  In '95
there were 80 and in '96 there are 16.  I always imagined that houses
were destroyed during a war because they got in the way of cannon balls
or they were burned because they might offer shelter to the enemy, but
here they are destroyed, with the purpose of making the war horrible
and hurrying up the end.  The insurgents began first by destroying the
sugar mills, some of which were worth millions of dollars in machinery,
and now the Spaniards are burning the homes of the people and herding
them in around the towns to starve out the insurgents and to leave them
without shelter or places to go for food or to hide the wounded.  So
all day long where ever you look you see great heavy columns of smoke
rising into this beautiful sky above the magnificent palms the most
noble of all palms, almost of all trees-- It is the most beautiful
country I have ever visited.  I had no recollection of how beautiful it
was or else I had not the knowledge of other places with which to
compare it.  Nothing out of the imagination can approach it in its
great waterfalls and mossy rocks and grand plains and forests of white
pillars with plumes waving above them.  Only man is vile here and it is
cruel to see the walls of the houses with blind eyes, with roofs gone
and gardens burned, every church but one that I have seen was a
fortress with hammocks swung from the altars and rude barricades thrown
up around the doorways-- If this is war I am of the opinion that it is
a senseless wicked institution made for soldiers, lovers and
correspondents for different reasons, and for no one else in the world
and it is too expensive for the others to keep it going to entertain
these few gentlemen-- I have seen very little of it yet and I probably
won't see much more, but I have seen all I want.  Remington had his
mind satisfied even sooner--but then he is an alarmist and exaggerates
things-- The men who wear the red badge of courage, I don't feel sorry
for, they have their reward in their bloody bandages and the little
cross on their tunic but those you meet coming back sick and dying with
fever are the ones that make fighting contemptible--poor little
farmers, poor little children with no interest in Cuba or Spain's right
to hold it, who have been sent out to die like ants before they have
learned to hold a mauser, and who are going back again with the beards
that have grown in the field hospitals on their cheeks and their eyes
hollow, and too weak to move or speak.  Six of them died while I was in
Jaroco, a town as big as Marion and that had been the average for two
months, think of that, six people dying in Marion every day through
July and August-- I didn't stay in that town any longer than the train
did-- Well I have been writing editorials here instead of cheering you
up but I guess I'm about right and when I see a little more I'll tell
it over again to The Journal-- It is not as exciting reading as deeds
of daring by our special correspondent and I haven't changed my name or
shaved my eyebrows or done anything the other men have done but I
believe I am getting near the truth.  They have shut off provisions
going or coming from the towns, they have huddled hundreds of people
who do not know what a bath means around these towns, and this is going
to happen-- As soon as the rains begin the yellow fever and smallpox
will set in and all vessels leaving Cuban ports will be quarantined and
the island will be one great plague spot.  The insurgents who are in
the open fields will live and the soldiers will die for their officers
know nothing of sanitation or care nothing.  The little Consul has just
been here to see me and we have had a long talk and I got back at him.
He told me he had seen the Franco-German war as a correspondent of The
Tribune and I asked him if he had ever met another correspondent of The
Tribune at that time a German student named Hans who cabled the story
of the battle of Gravellote and who Archibald Forbes says was the first
correspondent to use the cable.  The Consul who looks like William D.
Howells wriggled around in his chair and said "I guess you mean me but
I was not a German student, I was born and raised in Philadelphia and
Forbes got my name wrong, it is Hance."  So then I got up and shook
hands with him in my turn and told him I had always wanted to meet that
correspondent and did not expect to do so in Cardenas, on the coast of

Thank you all for your letters.  I am glad you liked the Jameson book.
I thought you knew I was a F. R. G. S.  It was George Curzon proposed
me and as he is a gold medallist of the Society it was easy getting in.
Lots of love.


Richard returned to New York from Cuba in February, 1897, but the
following month started for Florence to pay me a long-promised visit.
On his way he stopped for a few days in London and Paris.

  59 Rue Galilee,
    Paris, April 1st, 1897.


I got over here to-day after the heaviest weather I ever tackled on
this channel.  Stephen Crane came with me.  I gave him a lunch on
Wednesday.  Anthony Hope, McCarthy, Harold Frederic and Barrie came.
Sir Evelyn Wood instead of coming was detained at the war office and
sent instead a lance Sergeant on horseback with a huge envelope marked
"On Her Majesty's Service," which was to be delivered into my hands--
The entire Savoy was upset and it was generally supposed that war had
been declared and that I was being ordered to the front-- The whole
hotel hung over us until I had receipted for the package and the
soldier had saluted and clanked away.  I gave Crane the letter as a
souvenir.  I also saw Seymour Hicks' first night and recognized 15
American songs in it.

The London Times offered me the position of correspondent on the Greek
frontier.  Every one in London thought it an enormous compliment and
Harold Frederic, Ralph, Ballard Smith and the rest were very envious.
I told them I could not go, but I was glad to have had the compliment
paid me.  Barrie has made out a scenario of the "Soldiers" for dramatic
purposes and has asked the Haymarket management to consider it.  So,
that I guess that it must be good--

So, I also guess I had better finish it-- I leave for Florence to
night.  I am having a fine, fine time and I am so glad you are all well.

Lots of love,


Of the many happy days we have spent together, I do not believe there
were any much more happy than the three weeks Richard remained with me.
It was his first long visit to Italy and from the day of his arrival he
loved the old town and its people who gave him a most friendly welcome.
He had come at a time when Florence was at its best, its narrow quaint
streets filled with sunshine and thronged with idling natives and the
scurrying tourists that always came with the first days of spring.  The
Cascine and the pink-walled roads of the environs were ablaze with wild
roses and here, after his rather strenuous experience in Cuba, Richard
gave himself up to long days of happy idleness.  Together we took
voyages of discovery to many of the little walled and forgotten towns
where the tourists seldom set foot.  Once we even wandered so far as
Monte Carlo, where my brother tried very hard to break the bank and did
not succeed.  But the Richard Harding Davis luck did not fail him
completely and I remember I greatly envied him the huge pile of gold
and notes that represented his winnings and which we did our very best
to spend before we left the land of the Prince of Monaco.  However,
having had his first taste of war, Richard felt that he must leave the
peace and content of Florence to see how the Greeks, with whom he had
much sympathy, were faring with their enemies the Turks.  As it
happened, this expedition proved but a short interruption, and in less
than a month he was once more back with his new-found friends in

April 28, 1897

On the Way to Patras on a Steamer.


It has been a week since I wrote you last, when I sent you the
Inauguration article.  Since then I have been having the best time I
ever had any place ALONE.  I have had more fun with a crowd, but never
have been so happy by myself.  What I would have been had I taken some
other chap with me I cannot imagine.  But the people of this part of
Greece have been so kind that I cannot say I have been alone.  I never
met with strangers anywhere who were so hospitable, so confiding and
polite.  After that slaughter-yard and pest place of Cuba, which is
much more terrible to me now than it was when I was there, or before I
had seen that war can be conducted like any other evil of civilization,
this opera bouffe warfare is like a duel between two gentlemen in the
Bois.  Cuba is like a slave-holder beating a slave's head in with a
whip.  I am a war correspondent only by a great stretch of the
imagination; I am a peace correspondent really, and all the fighting I
have seen was by cannon at long range.  (I was at long range, not the
cannon.)  I am doing this campaign in a personally conducted sense with
no regard to the Powers or to the London Times.  I did send them an
article called "The Piping Times of War."  If they do not use it I
shall illustrate it with the photos I have taken and sell it, for five
times the sum they would give, to the Harpers who are ever with us.  As
I once said in a noted work, "Greece, Mrs. Morris, restores all your
lost illusions."  For the last week I have been back in the days of
Conrad, the Corsair, and "Oh, Maid of Athens, ere We Part."  I have
been riding over wind-swept hills and mountains topped with snow, and
with sheep and goats and wild flowers of every color spreading for
acres, and in a land where every man dresses by choice like a grand
opera brigand, and not only for photographic purposes.  I have been on
the move all the time, chasing in the rear of armies that turn back as
soon as I approach and apologize for disappointing me of a battle, or
riding to the scene of a battle that never comes off, or hastening to a
bombardment that turns out to be an attack on an empty fort.

I live on brown bread and cheese and goat's milk and sleep like a log
in shepherds' huts.  It is so beautiful that I almost grudge the night.
Nora and Mother could take this trip as safely as a regiment and would
see things out of fairyland.  And such adventures!  Late in life I am
at last having adventures and honors heaped upon me.  I was elected a
captain of a band of brigands who had been watching a mountain pass for
a month, and as it showed no signs of running away had taken to dancing
on the green.  I caught them at this innocent pastime and they allowed
me to photograph them and give them wine at eight cents a quart which
we drank out of a tin stovepipe.  They drank about four feet of
stovepipe or thirty-six cents' worth, then they danced and sang for me
in a circle, old men and boys, then drilled with their carbines, and I
showed them my revolver and field-glasses and themselves in the finder
of the camera; and when I had to go they took me on their shoulders and
marched me around waving their rifles.  Then the old men kissed me on
the cheek and we all embraced and they wept, and I felt as badly as
though I were parting from fifty friends.  They told my guide that if I
would come back they would get fifty more "as brave as they" and I
could be captain.  I could not begin to tell you all the amusing things
that have happened in this one week.  I did not want to come at all,
only a stern sense of duty made me.  For I wanted to write the play in
Charley's gilded halls and get to Paris and London.  But I can never
cease rejoicing that I took this trip.  And it will make the book, "A
Year from a Reporter's Diary," as complete as it can be.  That was why
I came.  Now I have the Coronation of the Czar, the Millennial at
Hungary, the Inauguration at Washington, the Queen's Jubilee, the War
in Cuba, and the Greco-Turkish War.  That is a good year's work and I
mean to loaf after it.  You will laugh and say that that is what I
always say, but if you knew how I had to kick myself out of Florence
and the Cascine to come here you would believe me. I want a rest and I
am cutting this very short.

Don't fail to cut anything Dad and Mother don't like out of the
Inauguration article.  You will have me with you this winter on my
little bicycle and going to dances and not paying board to anyone.
Remember how I used to threaten to go to Greece when the coffee was not
good.  It seems too funny now, for I never was in a better place, or
had more fun or saw less of war or the signs of war.


May 7, 1897.

10 East Twenty-Eighth Street-NIT


This is one of the places out of Phroso, but as you never read Phroso I
will cut all that-- I hate to say it so soon again but this is the most
beautiful country to travel over I have seen-- It is a fairy theatrical
grand opera country where everybody dresses in petticoats and gold
braided vests and carry carbines to tend sheep with-- I rode from Santa
Maura (see map) to a spot opposite Prevesa where they said there was
going to be bombarding-- There was not of course but I had I think the
most beautiful ride of my life.  I was absolutely happy--little lambs
bleated and kids butted each other and peasants in fur cloaks without
sleeves and in tights like princes sat on rocks and played pipes and
the sky was blue, the mountains covered with snow and the fields and
hills full of purple bushes and yellow and blue flowers and sheep--
There was a cable station of yellow adobe.  It was the only building
and it looked across at Prevesa but nobody bombarded.  The general gave
me cognac and the cable operator played a guitar for me and the preyor
sang a fine bass, the corporal not to be out done gave me chocolate and
the army stood around in the sun and joined in the conversation
correcting the general and each other and taking off their hats to all
the noble sentiments we toasted.  It was just like a comic opera.
After a while when I had finished a fine hunck of cheese and hard eggs
and brown bread I took a photograph of the General and the cable
operator and the officer with the bass voice and half of the army-- The
other half was then sent to escort me to this place.  It walked and I
rode and there were many halts for drinks and cigarettes.  They all ran
after a stray colt and were lost for some time but we re-mobilized and
advanced with great effect into this town.  I was here taken in charge
by at least fifty sailors and as many soldiers and comic opera brigands
in drawers and white petticoats, who conducted me to a house on the
hill where the innkeeper brought me a live chicken to approve of for
dinner.  Then the mayor of the town turned up in gold clothes and
Barrison Sister skirts and said the General had telegraphed about me
and that I was his-- The innkeeper wept and said he had seen me first
and the chorus of soldiers, sailors and brigands all joined in.  I kept
out of it but I knew the Mayor would win and he did.  Then we went out
to a man-of-war the size of the Vagabond and were solemnly assured
there would be bombarding of Prevesa to-morrow-- I go to sleep in that
hope.  We leave here at seven crossing the river and ride after the
Greeks who are approaching Prevesa from the land side while the
men-of-war bombard it from the river.  At least that is what they say.
I think it is the mildest war on both sides I ever heard of and I
certainly mean to be a Times correspondent next time I play at going to
war-- After being insulted and frightened to death all over Cuba, this
is the pleasantest picnic I was ever on-- They seriously apologized for
not bombarding while I was there and I said not to mention it-- With
lots of love, old man, and to the family



May 16, 1897.


Here I am safe and sound again in the old rooms in Florence.  I was
gone twenty-three days and was traveling nineteen of them, walking,
riding; in sailboats, in the cars, and on steamers.  I have had more
experiences and adventures than I ever had before in three months and
quite enough to last me for years.

After my happy ride through Turkey and the retreat of the Greek army in
Arta, of which I wrote you last, I have been in Thessaly where I saw
the two days' battle of Velestinos from the beginning up to the end.
It was the one real battle of the war and the Greeks fought well from
the first to the last.  I left Athens on the 29th of April with John
Bass, a Harvard graduate, and a most charming and attractive youth who
is, or was, in charge of the Journal men; Stephen Crane being among the
number.  He seems a genius with no responsibilities of any sort to
anyone, and I and Bass left him at Velestinos after traveling with him
for four days.  Crane went to Volo, as did every other correspondent,
leaving Bass and myself in Velestinos.  As the villagers had run away,
we burglarized the house of the mayor and made it our habitation while
the courier hunted for food.  It was like "The Swiss Family Robinson,"
and we rejoiced over the discovery of soap and tablecloths and stray
knives and forks, just as though we had been cast on a desert island.
Bass did the cooking and I laid the table and washed up and made the
beds, which were full of fleas.  But we had been sleeping on chairs and
on the floor for a week so we did not mind much.

The second day we were awakened by cannon and you can imagine our joy
and excitement.  We had it all to ourselves for eight hours, as it took
the other correspondents that long to arrive.  It was an artillery and
infantry battle and about 20,000 men were engaged on both sides.  The
Greeks fought from little trenches on the hills back of the town and
the Turks advanced across a great green prairie.  It was very long
range and only twice did they get to within a quarter of a mile of our
trenches.  Bass and I went all over the Greek lines, for you were just
as safe in one place as in another, which means that it wasn't safe
anywhere, so we gave up considering that and followed the fight as best
we could from the first trench, which was the only one that gave an
uninterrupted view of the Turkish forces.  It was a brilliantly clear
day but opened with a hail storm, which enabled the Turks to crawl up
half a mile in the sudden darkness.  It also gave me the worst attack
of sciatica I ever had.  Fortunately, it did not come on badly until I
reached Volo, when it suddenly took hold of me so that I could not
walk.  The trenches were wet with the rain and we had no clothes to
change to, and two more showers kept us more or less wet all day.  We
had a fine view of everything and I learned a lot.

We were under a heavy fire for thirteen hours and certainly had some
very close escapes.  At times the firing was so fierce that if you had
raised your arm above your head, the hand would have been instantly
torn off.  We had to lie on our stomachs with our chins in the dirt and
not so much as budge.  This was when the Turkish fire happened to be
directed on our trench.  At such times all the other trenches would
fire so as to draw the attack away, and we would have to wait until it
was over.  The shells sounded like the jarring sound of telegraph wires
when one hits the pole they hang from with a stone; and when the shells
were close they sounded like the noise made by two trains passing in
opposite directions when the wind is driven between the cars.  The
bullets were much worse than the shells as you could always hear them
coming, and the bullets slipped up and passed you in a sneaking way
with a noise like rustling silk, or if some one had torn a silk
handkerchief with a sharp pull.  One shell struck three feet from me
and knocked me over with the dirt and stones and filled my nose and
mouth with pebbles.  I went back and dug it out of the ground while it
was still hot and have it as a souvenir.  I swore terribly at the
bullets and Bass used to grin in a sickly way.  It made your hair creep
when they came very close.  One man next me got a shot through the
breast while he was ramming his cleaner down the barrel, and there were
three killed within the limits of our fifty yards.  We could not get
back because there was a cross fire that swept a place we had to pass
through, just about the way the wind comes around the City Hall in the
times of a blizzard.  We called it Dead Man's Curve, after that at
Fourteenth Street and Union Square, because it was sprinkled with dead
ammunition, mules and soldiers.  We came through it the first time
without knowing what we were getting into and we had no desire to go
back again.  So we waited until the sun set.  I took some of the finest
photographs and probably the only ones ever taken of a battle at such
close range.  Whenever the men fired, I would shoot off the camera and
I expect I have some pretty great pictures.  Bass took some of me so if
there is any question as to whether I was at the Coronation, there will
be none as to whether I was at Velestinos.

Our house was hit with two shells and bullets fell like the gentle rain
from heaven all over the courtyard, so we would have been no safer
there than behind the trenches.  We sent off the first account of the
battle written by anybody by midday, and stayed on until the next day
at four when the place was evacuated in good order because, as usual,
the Crown Prince was running away--from Pharsalia this time.

They say in Greece "Lewes, the peasant, won the race from Marathon, but
Constantine the prince, won the race from Larissa."

I was all right until I got to Volo when my right leg refused
absolutely to do its act and I had to be carried on a donkey.  A Greek
thought I looked funny sitting groaning on the little donkey; which I
did--I looked ridiculous.  So he laughed, and Bass and a French
journalist batted him over the face and left me clinging to the
donkey's neck and howling to them to come back and hold me up.  But
they preferred to fight, and a policeman came along and arrested the
unhappy Greek and beat him over the head, just for luck, and marched
him off to jail, just for laughing.

They took me to the hospital ship which was starting, and I came to
Athens that way with one hundred and sixteen wounded; the man on my
right had his ankles gone and the man on the left had a bullet in his
side.  They groaned all night and so did I.  Then when the sun rose
they sang, which was worse.  I never saw anything more beautiful than
the red-cross nurses, and I guess that is the most beautiful picture I
shall ever see--those sweet-faced girls in blue and white bending over
the dirty frightened little peasant boys and taking care of their
wounds.  I made love to all of them and asked three to marry me.  I was
in bed for two days after I got to Athens but had a fine time, as all
the officers from the San Francisco, from the admiral down, came to see
me, and the minister, consul and the rest did all that could have been
done.  I am now all right and was bicycling in the dear old Cascine
this morning.  On the whole it was a most successful trip.  Sylvester
Scovel and Phillips of The World arrived just as it was all over, and
so Bass and I are about the only two Americans who were in it.

The train from Brindisi stopped at Rome on the way back and I went to
see the Pages.  They took me out and showed me Rome by moonlight in one
hour.  It was like a cinematograph.  They are here now and coming to
dinner tonight.  Last night the consul had all our friends to dinner to
welcome me back, and maybe I was not glad.  I had been living on cheese
and brown bread and cold lamb for two weeks, with no tobacco, and
sleeping five hours a night on floors and sofas.  Sometimes the
officers and men fought for food, and we never got anything warm to eat
except occasionally tinned things which we cooked in my kit.  It was
the most satisfactory trip all round I ever had.  I have been twenty
years trying to be in a battle and it will be twenty years more before
I will want to be in another.

On the eighteenth I start for London, stopping one day in Paris to see
the Clarks and Eustises.  It is going to be bigger than the Coronation
for crowds, and Mother need not worry, I shall keep out of it.  The
Minister to Russia sent me word that the Czar's prime minister has
given him my article and that the Czar said thank him very much.  So
that is all right.  Also Hay is to present me to the Prince at the
levee on the 31st of May, and I shall send him a copy, too.  I am
looking forward to London with such joy.  Tell Mother to send me the
Bookbuyer with her article in it.  I have only read the reviews of it,
and they are so enthusiastic that I must have the whole thing quick.
It was such a fine thing to do about Poe, and to give those other two
fetishes the coup de grace.  It reads splendidly and I want it all.
What did Dad think of the Inauguration article?  I send you all my
dearest love and will have lots to tell you when I get back this time.

God bless you all.


Richard left Florence the latter part of May, and went to London where
he had made arrangements to report the Queen's Jubilee.  He began his
round of gayeties by being presented at Court.  The Miss Groves and
Miss Wather to whom he refers in the following letter were the clerks
at Cox's hotel.

LONDON, June 2nd, 1897.


I was a beautiful sight at the Levee.  I wore a velvet suit made
especially for me but no dearer for that and steel buttons and a
beautiful steel sword and a court hat with silver on the side and silk
stockings that I wore at Moscow and pumps with great buckles.  I was
too magnificent for words and so you would have said.  I waited a long
time in a long hall crowded with generals and sea captains and
highlanders and volunteers and cavalry men and judges and finally was
admitted past a rope and then past another rope and then rushed along
into the throne room where I saw beefeaters and life guardsmen and
chamberlains with white wands and I gave one my card and he read out
"R. H. D. of the United States by the American Ambassador" and then I
bowed to the Prince and Duke of York, Connaught and Edinburgh and to
the American Ambassador and then Henry White and Spencer Eddy, the two
Secretaries and the naval attache all shook hands with me and I went
around in a hansom in the bright sunshine in hopes of finding some one
who would know me.  But no one did so I went to Cox's Hotel and showed
myself to Miss Groves and Miss Wather.  I went on the Terrace yesterday
with the Leiters and at O'Connor's invitation brought them to tea.
Labouchere was there and Dillon just out of jail and it was most
interesting.  I am very, very busy doing nothing and having a fine


LONDON, June 21, 1897.


Words cannot tell at least not unless I am well paid for it what London
is like to-day.  In the first place it is so jammed that no one can
move and it is hung with decorations so that no one can see.  Royal
carriages get stuck just as do the humble drayman or Pickford's Van and
royalties are lodging in cheap hotels with nothing but a couple of
Grenadier's in sentry boxes to show they are any better blooded than
the rest of the lodgers.  I also added to the confusion by giving a
lunch to the Ambassador and Miss Hay in return for the presentation.
Lady Henry and Mrs. Asquith sat on either side of him and Mrs. Clark
had Asquith and Lord Basil Blackwood to talk to-- There was also
Anthony Hope, the beautiful Julia Neilson and her husband Fred Terry
and Lady Edward Cecil and Lord Lester-- It went off fine and the Savoy
people sent in an American Eagle of ice, decorated with American flags
and dripping icy tears from its beak.  It cost me five shillings a head
and looked as though it cost that in pounds-- To night I dine with the
Goulds and then go to a musical where Melba sings, Padewreski plays and
then walk the streets if I can until daybreak as I think of making the
night before the procession the greater part of the story.  I send you
a plan showing my seat which cost me twenty-five dollars, the
advertised price being $125. but there has been a terrible slump in
seats.  Love to dear Dad and Nora.


  89 Jermyn Street,

June 25th, 1897.


The Jubilee turned out to be the easiest spectacle to get at and to get
away from that I ever witnessed.  Experience in choosing a place and
police regulations made it so simple that we went straight to our seats
and got away again without as much trouble as it would have taken to
have gone to a matinee.  The stage management of the thing almost
impressed me more than anything else.  For grandeur and show it about
equalled the procession of the Czar and in many ways it was more
interesting because it was concerned with our own people and with our
own part of the world.  Next to the Queen, Lord Roberts got all of the
applause.  He rode a little white pony that had been with him in six
campaigns and had carried him on his march to Candahar.  It had all the
campaign medals presented to it by the War Department and wore them in
a line on its forehead, and walked just as though he knew what a great
occasion it was.  After Roberts came in popularity a Col. Maurice
Clifford with the Rhodesian Horse in sombrero's and cartridge belts and
khaki suits.  He had lost his arm and was easily recognized.  Wilfred
Laurier the French Premier of Canada and the Lord Mayor were the other
favourites.  The scene in front of St. Paul's was absolutely
magnificent with the sooty pillars behind the groups of diplomats,
bishops and choir boys in white, University men in pink silk gowns, and
soldiers, beef eaters, gentlemen at arms and the two Archbishops.  The
best moment was when the collected troops; negroes, Chinamen, East
Indians, West Indians, African troopers, Canadian Mounted Police,
Australians, Borneo police and English Grenadiers all sang the doxology
together in the beautiful sunshine and under the shadow of that great
facade of black and white marble.  Also when the Archbishop of
Canterbury without any warning suddenly after kissing the Queen's hand
threw up his arm and cried out so that you could have heard him a
hundred yards off "Three Cheers for Her Majesty" and the diplomats, and
foreign rajahs and bishops and Salvation Army captains waved their hats
and mortar boards and the soldiers ran their bearskins and helmets on
their bayonets and spun them around in the air.  The weather was
absolutely perfect and there were no accidents.  Last night the
carriages were allowed to parade the streets and for hours the route
was blocked with omnibuses hired by private parties, coster carts,
private carriages, court carriages and the hansoms.  The procession
formed by these was two hours in going one mile.  They passed my
windows in Jermyn Street for three hours and a party of us sat inside
and guyed the life out of them until one in the morning.  We got very
clever at it finally and very impudent and as the people were only two
yards from us my windows being on a level with the tops of the buses
and as we had a flaring illumination that lit up the street completely
we had lots of fun with them especially with the busses, as we
pretended to believe that the advertisements referred to the people on
the top, and we would ask anxiously which lady was "Lottie Collins" and
which gentleman had been brought up on " Mellin's Food"-- We had even
more fun with the swells coming home from the Gala night at the opera
and hemmed in between costers and Pickford's vans loaded down with
women and children.

They called on us for speeches and matches and segars and we kept the
procession supplied with food and drink.  Nobody got mad and they
answered back but we were prepared with numerous repartees and they
were apparently so surprised by finding a party of ladies and gentlemen
engaged in chaffing court officials that they would forget to reply
until they had moved on.  One bus driver said "Oh, you can larff, cause
your at 'ome.  We are 'unting for Jensen on a North Pole Expedition.
We won't be home for three years yet--" Charley seems very happy and he
got a most hearty welcome.  I shall follow him over.  I do not think I
shall go when he does as that would mean seeing people and getting
settled and I must get the Greek war done by the 12th of July and the
Jubilee by the 15th of August.  I know you will not mind, but I have
been terribly interrupted by the Jubilee and by so many visitors.  They
are running in all the time, so I shall try to get the Greek war
article done before I sail and also have a little peaceful view of
London.  I have seen nothing of it really yet.  It has been like living
in a circus, and moving about on an election night.  I am well as can
be except for occasional twinges of sciatica but I have not had to go
to bed with it and some times it disappears for a week.  A little less
rain and more sun will stop it.  I hope you do not mind my not
returning but we will all be together for many months this Fall and I
really feel that I have not had a quiet moment here for pleasure and
work.  It has been such a rush.  I do wish to see dear Dad.  I am so
very sorry about his being ill, and I hope he is having lots of
fishing.  Love to all at Marion--and God bless you.



July 13, 1897.


Today Barrie gave a copyright performance of "The Little Minister"
which Maude Adams is to play in the States.  It was advertised by a
single bill in front of the Haymarket Theater and the price of
admission was five guineas.  We took in fifteen guineas, the audience
being Charley Frohman, Lady Craig and a man.  Cyril Maude played the
hero and Brandon Thomas and Barrie the two low comedy parts--two
Scotchmen of Thrums.  I started to play one of them, but as I insisted
on making it an aged negro with songs, Barrie and Frohman got
discouraged and let me play the villain, Lord Rintoul, in which
character I was great.  Maude played his part in five different ways
and dialects so as to see which he liked best, he said.  It was a bit
confusing.  Then one of the actors went up in the gallery and pretended
to be a journalist critic who had sneaked in, and he abused the play
and the actors with the exception of the man who played Whamond
(himself) whom he said he thought showed great promise.  Maude
pretended not to know who he was and it fooled everybody.  Mrs. Barrie
played the gipsy and danced most of the time, which she said was her
conception of the part as it was in the book.  Her husband explained
that this was a play, not a book, but she did not care and danced on
and off.  She played my daughter, and I had a great scene in which I
cursed her, which got rounds of applause.  Lady Lewis's daughters in
beautiful Paquin dresses played Scotch lassies, and giggled in all the
sad parts, and one actress who had made a great success as one of the
"Two Vagabonds" made everybody weep by really trying to act.  At one
time there were five men on the stage all talking Scotch dialect and
imitating Irving at the same time.  It was a truly remarkable
performance.  Ethel Barrymore goes back on Saturday with Drew to play a
French maid in "A Marriage of Convenience."  She is announced to be
engaged to Hope, I see by the papers.  They are not engaged, of course,
but the papers love to make matches.  Look for me as sailing either on
the 31st on the St. Louis or a week later.  With lots and lots of love.


In the late summer Richard returned to Marion and from there went to
New York.  However, at this time, the lure of England was very strong
with my brother, and early December found him back in London.

LONDON, December 29th, 1897.


I had a most exciting Christmas, most of which I spent in Whitechapel
in the London Hospital.  I lunched with the Spenders and then went down
with them carrying large packages for distribution to the sick.  I
expected to be terribly bored, but thought I would feel so virtuous
that I would the better enjoy my dinner which I had promised to take
with the McCarthys-- On the contrary, I had the most amusing time and
much more fun than I had later.  The patients seemed only to be playing
sick, and some of them were very humorous and others very pathetic and
I played tin soldiers with some, and distributed rich gifts, other
people had paid for, with a lavish hand.  I also sat on a little girl's
cot and played dolls for an hour.  She had something wrong with her
spine and I wept most of the time, chiefly because she smiled all the
time.  She went asleep holding on to my middle finger like the baby in
"The Luck of Roaring Camp."  There were eighty babies in red flannel
nightgowns buttoned up the back who had pillow fights in honor of the
day and took turns in playing on a barrel organ, those that were strong
and tall enough.  In the next ward another baby in white was dying--
Its mother was a coster girl, seventeen years old, with a big hat and
plumes like those the flower girls wear at Piccadilly Circus.  The baby
was yellow like old ivory and its teeth and gums were blue and it died
while we were watching it.  The mother girl was drinking tea and crying
into it out of red swollen eyes, and twenty feet off one of the red
nightgowned kids was playing "Louisiana Lou" on the barrel organ.  The
nurse put the baby's arms under the sheets and then pulled one up over
its face and took the teacup away from the mother who didn't see what
had happened and I came away while three young nurses were comforting
the girl.  Most of the nurses were very beautiful, and I neglected my
duties as Santa Claus to talk to them.  They would stop talking to get
down on their knees and dust up the floor, which was most embarrassing,
you couldn't very well ask to be let to help.  There was one coster who
had his broken leg in a cage which moved with the leg no matter how
much he tossed.  He was like the man "who sat in jail without his
boots, admiring how the world was made," he spent all his waking hours
in wrapt admiration of the cage-- He said to me "I've been here a
fortnight now, come Monday, and I can't break my leg no how.  Yer can't
do it, that's all-- Yer can twist, and kick, and toss, and it don't do
no good.  Yer jest can't do it-- Now you take notice."  Then he would
kick violently and the cage would run around on trolleys and keep the
broken limb straight.  "See!" he would exclaim, "Wot did I tell you--
Its no use of trying, yer just can't do it.  'ere I've been ten days a
trying and it can't be done."

We had a very fine Christmas dinner just Ethel, the McCarthy's and I.
Fanny, tell Charles, brought in the plum pudding with a sprig of holly
in it and blazing, and after dinner I read them the Jackall-- About
eleven I started to take Ethel to Miss Terry's, who lives miles beyond
Kensington.  There was a light fog.  I said that all sorts of things
ought to happen in a fog but that no one ever did have adventures
nowadays.  At that we rode straight into a bank of fog that makes those
on the fishing banks look like Spring sunshine.  You could not see the
houses, nor the street, nor the horse, not even his tail.  All you
could see were gas jets, but not the iron that supported them.  The
cabman discovered the fact that he was lost and turned around in
circles and the horse slipped on the asphalt which was thick with
frost, and then we backed into lamp-posts and curbs until Ethel got so
scared she bit her under lip until it bled.  You could not tell whether
you were going into a house or over a precipice or into a sea.  The
horse finally backed up a flight of steps, and rubbed the cabby against
a front door, and jabbed the wheels into an area railing and fell down.
That, I thought, was our cue to get out, so we slipped into a well of
yellow mist and felt around for each 'other until a square block of
light suddenly opened in mid air and four terrified women appeared in
the doorway of the house through which the cabman was endeavoring to
butt himself.  They begged us to come in, and we did-- Being Christmas
and because the McCarthy's always call me "King" I had put on all my
decorations and the tin star and I also wore my beautiful fur coat, to
which I have treated myself, and a grand good thing it is, too-- I took
this off because the room was very hot, forgetting about the
decorations and remarked in the same time to Ethel that it would be
folly to try and get to Barkston Gardens, and that we must go back to
the "Duchess's" for the night.  At this Ethel answered calmly "yes,
Duke," and I became conscious of the fact that the eyes of the four
women were riveted on my fur coat and decorations.  At the word "Duke"
delivered by a very pretty girl in an evening frock and with nothing on
her hair the four women disappeared and brought back the children, the
servants, and the men, who were so overcome with awe and excitement and
Christmas cheer that they all but got down on their knees in a circle.
So, we fled out into the night followed by minute directions as to
where "Your Grace" and "Your Ladyship" should turn.  For years, no
doubt, on a Christmas Day the story will be told in that house,
wherever it may be in the millions of other houses of London, how a
beautiful Countess and a wicked Duke were pitched into their front door
out of a hansom cab, and after having partaken of their Christmas
supper, disappeared again into a sea of fog.  The only direction Ethel
and I could remember was that we were to go to the right when we came
to a Church, so when by feeling our way by the walls we finally reached
a church we continued going on around it until we had encircled it five
times or it had encircled us, we were not sure which.  After the fifth
lap we gave up and sat down on the steps.  Ethel had on low slippers
and was shivering and coughing but intensely amused and only scared for
fear she would lose her voice for the first night of "Peter"-- We could
hear voices sometimes, like people talking in a dream, and sometimes
the sound of dance music, and a man's voice calling "Perlice" in a
discouraged way as if he didn't much care whether the police came or
not, but regularly like a fog siren-- I don't know how long we sat
there or how long we might have sat there had not a man with a bicycle
lamp loomed up out of the mist and rescued us.  He had his mother with
him and she said with great pride that her boy could find his way
anywhere.  So, we clung to her boy and followed.  A cabman passed
leading his horse with one of his lamps in his other hand and I turned
for an instant to speak to him and Ethel and her friends disappeared
exactly as though the earth had opened.  So, I yelled after them, and
Ethel said "Here, I am," at my elbow.  It was like the chesire cat that
kept appearing and disappearing until he made Alice dizzy.  We finally
found a link-boy and he finally found the McCarthy's house, and I left
them giving Ethel quinine and whiskey.  They wanted me to stay, but I
could not face dressing, in the morning.  So I felt my way home and
only got lost twice.  The Arch on Constitution Hill gave me much
trouble.  I thought it was the Marble Arch, and hence-- In Jermyn
Street I saw two lamps burning dimly and a voice said, hearing my
footsteps "where am I?  I don't know where I am no more than nothing--"
I told him he was in Jermyn Street with his horse's head about twenty
feet from St. James-- There was a long dramatic silence and then the
voice said-- "Well, I be blowed I thought I was in Pimlico!!!"

This has been such a long letter that I shall have to skip any more.  I
have NO sciatica chiefly because of the fur coat, I think, and I got
two Christmas presents, one from Margaret Fraser and one from the
Duchess of Sutherland-- Boxing Day I took Margaret to the matinee of
the Pantomine and it lasted five hours, until six twenty, then I
dressed and dined with the Hay's and went with them to the Barnum
circus which began at eight and lasted until twelve.  It was a busy day.

Lots of love.


LONDON, March 20, 1898.


The Nellie Farren benefit was the finest thing I have seen this year
past.  It was more remarkable than the Coronation, or the Jubilee.  It
began at twelve o'clock on Thursday, but at ten o'clock Wednesday
night, the crowd began to gather around Drury Lane, and spent the night
on the sidewalk playing cards and reading and sleeping.  Ten hours
later they were admitted, or a few of them were, as many as the
galleries would hold.  Arthur Collins, the manager of the Drury Lane
and the man who organized the benefit, could not get a stall for his
mother the day before the benefit.  They were then not to be had, the
last having sold for twelve guineas.  I got TWO the morning of the
benefit for three pounds each, and now people believe that I did get
into the Coronation! The people who had stalls got there at ten
o'clock, and the streets were blocked for "blocks" up to Covent Garden
with hansoms and royal carriages and holders of tickets at fifty
dollars apiece.  It lasted six hours and brought in thirty thousand
dollars.  Kate Vaughan came back and danced after an absence from the
stage of twelve years.  Irving recited The Dream of Eugene Aram, Terry
played Ophelia, Chevalier sang Mrs. Hawkins, Dan Leno gave Hamlet,
Marie Tempest sang The Jewel of Asia and Hayden Coffin sang Tommy
Atkins, the audience of three thousand people joining in the chorus,
and for an encore singing "Oh, Nellie, Nellie Farren, may your love be
ever faithful, may your pals be ever true, so God bless you Nellie
Farren, here's the best of luck to you."  In Trial by Jury, Gilbert
played an associate judge; the barristers were all playwrights, the
jury the principal comedians, the chorus girls were real chorus girls
from the Gaiety mixed in with leading ladies like Miss Jeffries and
Miss Hanbury, who could not keep in step.  But the best part of it was
the pantomime.  Ellaline came up a trap with a diamond dress and her
hair down her back and electric lights all over her, and said, "I am
the Fairy Queen," and waved her wand, at which the "First Boy" in the
pantomime said, "Go long, now, do, we know your tricks, you're Ellaline
Terriss"; and the clown said, "You're wrong, she's not, she's Mrs.
Seymour Hicks."  Then Letty Lind came on as Columbine in black tulle,
and Arthur Roberts as the policeman, and Eddy Payne as the clown and
Storey as Pantaloon.

The rest of it brought on everybody.  Sam Sothern played a "swell" and
stole a fish.  Louis Freear, a housemaid, and all the leading men
appeared as policemen.  No one had more than a line to speak which just
gave the audience time to recognize him or her.  The composers and
orchestra leaders came on as a German band, each playing an instrument,
and they got half through the Washington Post before the policemen beat
them off.  Then Marie Lloyd and all the Music Hall stars appeared as
street girls and danced to the music of a hand-organ.  Hayden Coffin,
Plunkett Greene and Ben Davies sang as street musicians and the clown
beat them with stuffed bricks.  After that there was a revue of all the
burlesques and comic operas, then the curtain was raised from the
middle of the stage, and Nellie Farren was discovered seated at a table
on a high stage with all the "legitimates" in frock-coats and walking
dresses rising on benches around her.

The set was a beautiful wood scene well lighted.  Wyndham stood on one
side of her, and he said the yell that went up when the curtain rose
was worse than the rebel yell he had heard in battles.  In front of
her, below the stage, were all the people who had taken part in the
revue, forming a most interesting picture.  There was no one in the
group who had not been known for a year by posters or photographs:
Letty Lind as the Geisha, Arthur Roberts as Dandy Dan.  The French Girl
and all the officers from The Geisha, the ballet girls from the
pantomime, the bareback-riders from The Circus Girl; the Empire
costumes and the monks from La Poupee, and all the Chinese and Japanese
costumes from The Geisha.  Everybody on the stage cried and all the old
rounders in the boxes cried.

It was really a wonderfully dramatic spectacle to see the clown and
officers and Geisha girls weeping down their grease paint.  Nellie
Farren's great song was one about a street Arab with the words:  "Let
me hold your, nag, sir, carry your little bag, sir, anything you please
to give--thank'ee, sir!"  She used to close her hand, then open it and
look at the palm, then touch her cap with a very wonderful smile, and
laugh when she said, "Thank'ee, sir!"  This song was reproduced for
weeks before the benefit, and played all over London, and when the
curtain rose on her, the orchestra struck into it and the people
shouted as though it was the national anthem.  Wyndham made a very good
address and so did Terry, then Wyndham said he would try to get her to
speak.  She has lost the use of her hands and legs and can only walk
with crutches, so he put his arm around her and her son lifted her from
the other side and then brought her to her feet, both crying like
children.  You could hear the people sobbing, it was so still.  She
said, "Ladies and Gentleman," looking at the stalls and boxes, then she
turned her head to the people on the stage below her and said,
"Brothers and Sisters," then she stood looking for a long time at the
gallery gods who had been waiting there twenty hours.  You could hear a
long "Ah" from the gallery when she looked up there, and then a "hush"
from all over it and there was absolute silence.  Then she smiled and
raised her finger to her bonnet and said, "Thank'ee, sir," and sank
back in her chair.  It was the most dramatic thing I ever saw on a
stage.  The orchestra struck up "Auld Lang Syne" and they gave three
cheers on the stage and in the house.  The papers got out special
editions, and said it was the greatest theatrical event there had ever
been in London.




When the news reached Richard that the Spanish-American War seemed
inevitable he returned at once to New York.  Here he spent a few days
in arranging to act as correspondent for the New York Herald, the
London Times, and Scribner's Magazine, and then started for Key West.

Off Key West--April 24th, 1898.
  On Board Smith, Herald Yacht.


I wrote you such a cross gloomy letter that I must drop you another to
make up for it.  Since I wrote that an hour ago we have received word
that war is declared and I am now on board the Smith.  She is a really
fine vessel as big as Benedict's yacht with plenty of deck room and big
bunks.  I have everything I want on board and The Herald men are two
old Press men so we are good friends.  If I had had another hour I
believe I could have got a berth on the flag ship for Roosevelt
telegraphed me the longest and strongest letter on the subject a man
could write instructing the Admiral to take me on as I was writing
history.  Chadwick seemed willing but then the signal to set sail came
and we had to stampede.  All the ships have their sailing pennants up.
It is as calm as a mirror thank goodness but as hot as hell.  We expect
to be off Havana tomorrow at sunset.  Then what we do no one knows.
The crew is on strike above and the mate is wrestling with them but as
it seems to be only a question of a few dollars it will come out all
right.  We expect to be back here on Sunday but may stay out later.
Don't worry if you don't hear.  It is grand to see the line of
battleships five miles out like dogs in a leash puffing and straining.
Thank God they'll let them slip any minute now.  I don't know where
"Stenie" is.  I am now going to take a nap while the smooth water lasts.


--Flagship New York--

Off Havana,

April 26, 1898.


I left Key West on the morning of the 24th in the Dolphin with the idea
of trying to get on board the flagship on the strength of Roosevelt's
letter.  Stenie Bonsal got on just before she sailed, not as a
correspondent, but as a magazine-writer for McClure's, who have given
him a commission, and because he could act as interpreter.  I left the
flagship the morning of the day I arrived.  The captain of the Dolphin
apologized to his officers while we were at anchor in the harbor of Key
West, because his was a "cabin" and not a "gun" ship, and because he
had to deliver the mails at once on board the flagship and not turn out
of his course for anything, no matter how tempting a prize it might
appear to be.  He then proceeded to chase every sail and column of
smoke on the horizon, so that the course was like a cat's cradle.  We
first headed for a big steamer and sounded "general quarters."  It was
fine to see the faces of the apprentices as they ran to get their
cutlasses and revolvers, their eyes open and their hair on end, with
the hope that they were to board a Spanish battleship.  But at the
first gun she ran up an American flag, and on getting nearer we saw she
was a Mallory steamer.  An hour later we chased another steamer, but
she was already a prize, with a prize crew on board.  Then we had a
chase for three hours at night; after what we believed was the Panama,
but she ran away from us.  We fired three shells after her, and she
still ran and got away.  The next morning I went on board the New York
with Zogbaum, the artist.  Admiral Sampson is a fine man; he impressed
me very much.  He was very much bothered at the order forbidding
correspondents on the ship, but I talked like a father to him, and he
finally gave in, and was very nice about the way he did it.  Since then
I have had the most interesting time and the most novel experience of
my life.  We have been lying from three to ten miles off shore.  We can
see Morro Castle and houses and palms plainly without a glass, and with
one we can distinguish men and women in the villages.  It is, or was,
frightfully hot, and you had to keep moving all the time to get out of
the sun.  I mess with the officers, but the other correspondents, the
Associated Press and Ralph Paine of The World and Press of
Philadelphia, with the middies.  Paine got on because Scovel of The
World has done so much secret service work for the admiral, running in
at night and taking soundings, and by day making photographs of the
coast, also carrying messages to the insurgents.

It is a wonderful ship, like a village, and as big as the Paris.  We
drift around in the sun or the moonlight, and when we see a light,
chase after it.  There is a band on board that plays twice a day.  It
is like a luxurious yacht, with none of the ennui of a yacht.  The
other night, when we were heading off a steamer and firing six-pounders
across her bows, the band was playing the "star" song from the
Meistersinger.  Wagner and War struck me as the most fin de siecle idea
of war that I had ever heard of.  The nights have been perfectly
beautiful, full of moonlight, when we sit on deck and smoke.  It is
like looking down from the roof of a high building.  Yesterday they
brought a Spanish officer on board, he had been picked up in a schooner
with his orderly.  I was in Captain Chadwick's cabin when he was
brought in, and Scovel interpreted for the captain, who was more
courteous than any Spanish Don that breathes.  The officer said he had
been on his way to see his wife and newly born baby at Matanzas, and
had no knowledge that war had been declared.  I must say it did me good
to see him.  I remembered the way the Spanish officers used to insult
me in a language which I, fortunately for me, could not understand, and
how I hated the sight of them, and I enjoyed seeing his red and yellow
cockade on the table before me, while I sat in a big armchair and
smoked and was in hearing of the marines drilling on the upper deck.
He was invited to go to breakfast with the officers, and I sat next to
him, and as it happened to be my turn to treat, I had the satisfaction
of pouring drinks down his throat.  I told stories about Spanish
officers all the time to the rest of the mess, pretending I was telling
them something else by making drawings on the tablecloth, so that the
unhappy officer on his other side, who was talking Spanish to him, had
a hard time not to laugh.  I told Zogbaum he ought to draw a picture of
him at the mess to show how we treated prisoners, and a companion one
of the captain of the Compeliton, who came over with us on the Dolphin,
and who showed us the marks of the ropes on his wrists and arms the
Spaniards had bound him with when he was in Cabanas for nine months.
The orderly messed with the bluejackets, who treated him in the most
hospitable manner.  He was a poor little peasant boy, half starved and
hollow-eyed, and so scared that he could hardly stand, but they took
great pride in the fact that they had made him eat three times of
everything.  They are, without prejudice, the finest body of men and
boys you would care to see, and as humorous and polite and keen as any
class of men I ever met.

The war could be ended in a month so far as the island of Cuba is
concerned, if the troops were ready and brought over here.  The coast
to Havana for ten miles is broad enough for them to march along it, and
the heights above could be covered the entire time by the fleet, so
that it would be absolutely impossible for any force to withstand the
awful hailstorm they would play on it.  Transports carrying the
provisions would be protected by the ships on the gulf side, and the
guns at Morro could be shut up in twenty-four hours.  This is not a
dream, but the most obvious and feasible plan, and it is a disgrace if
the Washington politicians delay.  As to health, this is the healthiest
part of the coast.  The trade winds blow every day of the year, and the
fever talk is all nonsense.  The army certainly has delayed most
scandalously in mobilizing.  This talk of waiting a month is suicide.
It is a terrible expense.  It keeps the people on a strain, destroys
business, and the health of the troops at Tampa is, to my mind, in much
greater danger than it would be on the hills around Havana, where, as
Scovel says, there is as much yellow fever as there is snow.  Tell Dad
to urge them to act promptly.  In the meanwhile I am having a
magnificent time.  I am burned and hungry and losing about a ton of fat
a day, and I sleep finely.  The other night the Porter held us up, but
it was a story that never got into the papers.  I haven't missed a
trick so far except not getting on the flagship from the first, but
that does not count now since I am on board.

I haven't written anything yet, but I am going to begin soon.  I expect
to make myself rich on this campaign.  I get ten cents a word from
Scribner's for everything I send them, if it is only a thousand words,
and I get four hundred dollars a week salary from The Times, and all my
expenses.  I haven't had any yet, but when I go back and join the army,
I am going to travel en suite with an assistant and the best and
gentlest ponies; a courier and a servant, a tent and a secretary and a
typewriter, so that Miles will look like a second lieutenant.

When I came out here on the Dolphin I said I was going to Tampa, lying
just on the principle that it is no other newspaper-man's business
where you are going.  So, The Herald man at Key West, hearing this, and
not knowing I WAS GOING TO THE FLAGSHIP, called Long, making a strong
kick about the correspondents, Bonsal, Remington and Paine, who are, or
were, with the squadron.  Stenie left two days ago, hoping to get a
commission on the staff of General Lee.  So yesterday Scovel told me
Long had cabled in answer to The Herald's protests to the admiral as
follows:  "Complaints have been received that correspondents Paine,
Remington and Bonsal are with the squadron.  Send them ashore at once.
There must be no favoritism."

Scovel got the admiral at once to cable Long on his behalf because of
his services as a spy, but as Roosevelt had done so much for me, I
would not appeal over him, and this morning I sent in word to the
admiral that I was leaving the ship and would like to pay my respects.
Sampson is a thin man with a gray beard.  He looks like a college
professor and has very fine, gentle eyes.  He asked me why I meant to
leave the ship, and I said I had heard one of the torpedo boats was
going to Key West, and I thought I would go with her if he would allow
it.  He asked if I had seen the cable from Long, and I said I had heard
of it, and that I was really going so as not to embarrass him with my
presence.  He said, "I have received three different orders from the
Secretary, one of them telling me I could have such correspondents on
board as were agreeable to me.  He now tells me that they must all go.
You can do as you wish.  You are perfectly welcome to remain until the
conflict of orders is cleared up."  I saw he was mad and that he wanted
me to stay, or at least not to go of my own wish, so that he could have
a grievance out of it--if he had to send me away after having been told
he could have those with him who were agreeable to him.  Captain
Chadwick was in the cabin, and said, "Perhaps Mr. Davis had better
remain another twenty-four hours."  The admiral added, "Ships are going
to Key West daily."  Then Chadwick repeated that he thought I had
better stay another day, and made a motion to me to do so.  So I said I
would, and now I am waiting to see what is going to happen.  Outside,
Chadwick told me that something in the way of an experience would
probably come off, so I have hopes.  By this time, of course, you know
all about it.  I shall finish this later.

We began bombarding Matanzas twenty minutes after I wrote the above.
It was great.  I guess I got a beat, as The Herald tug is the only one
in sight.


Flagship--Off Havana

April 30th, 1898.


You must not mind if I don't write often, but I feel that you see The
Herald every day and that tells you of what I am seeing and doing, and
I am writing so much, and what with keeping notes and all, I haven't
much time-- What you probably want to know is that I am well and that
my sciatica is not troubling me at all--Mother always wants to know
that.  On the other hand I am on the best ship from which to see things
and on the safest, as she can move quicker and is more heavily armored
than any save the battleships-- The fact that the admiral is on board
and that she is the flagship is also a guarantee that she will not be
allowed to expose herself.  I was very badly scared when I first came
to Key West for fear I should be left especially when I didn't make the
flagship-- But I have not missed a single trick so far-- Bonsal missed
the bombardment and so did Stephen Crane-- All the press boats were
away except The Herald's.  I had to write the story in fifteen minutes,
so it was no good except that we had it exclusively--

I am sending a short story of the first shot fired to the Scribner's
and am arranging with them to bring out a book on the Campaign.  I have
asked them to announce it as it will help me immensely here for it is
as an historian and not as a correspondent that I get on over those men
who are correspondents for papers only.  I have made I think my
position here very strong and the admiral is very much my friend as are
also his staff.  Crane on the other hand took the place of Paine who
was exceedingly popular with every one and it has made it hard for
Crane to get into things-- I am having a really royal time, it is so
beautiful by both night and day and there is always color and movement
and the most rigid discipline with the most hearty good feeling-- I get
on very well with the crew too, one of them got shot by a revolver's
going off and I asked the surgeon if I might not help at the operation
so that I might learn to be useful, and to get accustomed to the sight
of wounds and surgery-- It was a wonderful thing to see, and I was
confused as to whether I admired the human body more or the way the
surgeon's understood and mastered it-- The sailor would not give way to
the ether and I had to hold him for an hour while they took out his
whole insides and laid them on the table and felt around inside of him
as though he were a hollow watermelon.  Then they put his stomach back
and sewed it in and then sewed up his skin and he was just as good as
new.  We carried him over to a cot and he came to, and looked up at us.
We were all bare-armed and covered with his blood, and then over at the
operating table, which was also covered with his blood.  He was gray
under his tan and his lips were purple and his eyes were still drunk
with the ether-- But he looked at our sanguinary hands and shook his
head sideways on the pillow and smiled-- "You'se can't kill me," he
said, "I'm a New Yorker, by God--you'se can't kill me." The Herald
cabled for a story as to how the crew of the New York behaved in
action.  I think I shall send them that although there are a few things
the people had better take for granted-- Of course, we haven't been "in
action" yet but the first bombardment made me nervous until it got well
started.  I think every one was rather nervous and it was chiefly to
show them there was nothing to worry about that we fired off the U. S.
guns.  They talk like veterans now-- It was much less of a strain than
I had expected, there was no standing on your toes nor keeping your
mouth open or putting wadding in your ears.  I took photographs most of
the time, and they ought to be excellent--what happened was that you
were thrown up off the deck just as you are when an elevator starts
with a sharp jerk and there was an awful noise like the worst clap of
thunder you ever heard close to your ears, then the smoke covered
everything and you could hear the shot going through the air like a
giant rocket-- The shots they fired at us did not cut any ice except a
shrapnel that broke just over the main mast and which reminded me of
Greece-- The other shots fell short-- The best thing was to see the
Captains of the Puritan and Cincinnati frantically signalling to be
allowed to fire too-- A little fort had opened on us from the left so
they plugged at that, it was a wonderful sight, the Monitor was swept
with waves and the guns seemed to come out of the water.  The
Cincinnati did the best of all.  Her guns were as fast as the reports
of a revolver, a self-cocking revolver, when one holds the trigger for
the whole six.  We got some copies of The Lucha on the Panama and their
accounts of what was going on in Havana were the best reading I ever
saw-- They probably reported the Matanzas bombardment as a Spanish
victory-- The firing yesterday was very tame.  We all sat about on deck
and the band played all the time-- We didn't even send the men to
quarters-- I do not believe the army intends to move for two weeks yet,
so I shall stay here.  They seem to want me to do so, and I certainly
want to-- But that army is too slow for words, and we love the "Notes
from the Front" in The Tribune, telling about the troops at
Chickamauga-- I believe what will happen is that a chance shot will
kill some of our men, and the Admiral won't do a thing but knock hell
out of whatever fort does it and land a party of marines and
bluejackets-- Even if they only occupy the place for 24 hours, it will
beat that army out and that's what I want.  They'll get second money in
the Campaign if they get any, unless they brace up and come over-- I
have the very luck of the British Army, I walked into an open hatch
today and didn't stop until I caught by my arms and the back of my
neck.  It was very dark and they had opened it while I was in a cabin.
The Jackie whose business it was to watch it was worse scared than I
was, and I looked up at him while still hanging to the edges with my
neck and arms and said "why didn't you tell me?"  He shook his head and
said, "that's so, Sir, I certainly should have told you, I certainly
should"-- They're exactly like children and the reason is, I think,
because they are so shut off from the contamination of the world.  One
of these ships is like living in a monastery, and they are as
disciplined and gentle as monks, and as reckless as cowboys.  When I go
forward and speak to one of them they all gather round and sit on the
deck in circles and we talk and they listen and make the most
interesting comments-- The middy who fired the first gun at Matanzas is
a modest alert boy about 18 years old and crazy about his work-- So,
the Captain selected him for the honor and also because there is such
jealousy between the bow and stern guns that he decided not to risk
feelings being hurt by giving it to either-- So, Boone who was at
Annapolis a month ago was told to fire the shot-- We all took his name
and he has grown about three inches.  We told him all of the United
States and England would be ringing with his name-- When I was alone he
came and sat down on a gull beside me and told me he was very glad they
had let him fire that first gun because his mother was an invalid and
he had gone into the navy against her wish and he hoped now that she
would be satisfied when she saw his name in the papers.  He was too
sweet and boyish about it for words and I am going to take a snapshot
at him and put his picture in Scribner's--"he only stands about so


I enclose a souvenir of the bombardment.  Please keep it carefully for
me-- It was the first shot "in anger" in thirty years.

TAMPA, May 3rd, 1898.


We are still here and probably will be.  It is a merry war, if there
were only some girls here the place would be perfect.  I don't know
what's the matter with the American girl--here am I--and Stenie and
Willie Chanler and Frederick Remington and all the boy officers of the
army and not one solitary, ugly, plain, pretty, or beautiful girl.  I
bought a fine pony to-day, her name was Ellaline but I thought that was
too much glory for Ellaline so I diffused it over the whole company by
re-christening her Gaiety Girl, because she is so quiet, all the Gaiety
Girls I know are quiet.

She never does what I tell her anyway, so it doesn't matter what I call
her.  But when this cruel war is over ($6 a day with bath room
adjoining) I am going to have an oil painting of her labelled "Gaiety
Girl the Kentucky Mare that carried the news of the fall of Havana to
Matanzas, fifty miles under fire and Richard Harding Davis."  To-morrow
I am going to buy a saddle and a servant.  War is a cruel thing
especially to army officers.  They have to wear uniforms and are not
allowed to take off their trousers to keep cool-- They take off
everything else except their hats and sit in the dining room without
their coats or collars-- That's because it is war time.  They are
terrible brave--you can see it by the way they wear bouquets on their
tunics and cigarette badges and Cuban flags and by not saluting their
officers.  One General counted today and forty enlisted men passed him
without saluting.  The army will have to do a lot of fighting to make
itself solid with me.  They are mounted police.  We have a sentry here,
he sits in a rocking chair.  Imagine one of Sampson's or Dewey's
bluejackets sitting down even on a gun carriage.  Wait till I write my
book.  I wouldn't say a word now but when I write that book I'll give
them large space rates.  I am writing it now, the first batch comes out
in Scribner's in July.

to you all.


During the early days of the war, Richard received the appointment of a
captaincy, but on the advice of his friends that his services were more
valuable as a correspondent, he refused the commission.  The following
letter shows that at least at the time my brother regretted the
decision, but as events turned out he succeeded in rendering splendid
service not only as a correspondent but in the field.

TAMPA--May 14, 1898.


On reflection I am greatly troubled that I declined the captaincy.  It
is unfortunate that I had not time to consider it.  We shall not have
another war and I can always be a war correspondent in other countries
but never again have a chance to serve in my own.  The people here
think it was the right thing to do but the outside people won't.  Not
that I care about that, but I think I was weak not to chance it.  I
don't know exactly what I ought to do.  When I see all these kid
militia men enlisted it makes me feel like the devil.  I've no doubt
many of them look upon it as a sort of a holiday and an outing and like
it for the excitement, but it would bore me to death.  The whole thing
would bore me if I thought I had to keep at it for a year or more.
That is the fault of my having had too much excitement and freedom.  It
spoils me to make sacrifices that other men can make.  Whichever way it
comes out I shall be sorry and feel I did not do the right thing.
Lying around this hotel is enough to demoralize anybody.  We are much
more out of it than you are, and one gets cynical and loses interest.
On the other hand I would be miserable to go back and have done
nothing.  It is a question of character entirely and I don't feel I've
played the part at all.  It's all very well to say you are doing more
by writing, but are you?  It's an easy game to look on and pat the
other chaps on the back with a few paragraphs, that is cheap
patriotism.  They're taking chances and you're not and when the war's
over they'll be happy and I won't.  The man that enlists or volunteers
even if he doesn't get further than Chickamauga or Gretna Green and the
man who doesn't enlist at all but minds his own business is much better
off than I will be writing about what other men do and not doing it
myself, especially as I had a chance of a life time, and declined it.
I'll always feel I lost in character by not sticking to it whether I
had to go to Arizona or Governor's Island.  I was unfortunate in having
Lee and Remington to advise me.  We talked for two hours in Fred's
bedroom and they were both dead against it and Lee composed my telegram
to the president.  Now, I feel sure I did wrong.  Shafter did not care
and the other officers were delighted and said it was very honorable
and manly giving me credit for motives I didn't have.  I just didn't
think it was good enough although I wanted it too and I missed
something I can never get again.  I am very sad about it.  I know all
the arguments for not taking it but as a matter of fact I should have
done so.  I would have made a good aide, and had I got a chance I
certainly would have won out and been promoted.  That there are fools
appointed with me is no answer.  I wouldn't have stayed in their class


TAMPA, May 29, 1898.


The cigars came; they are O. K. and a great treat after Tampa products.
Captain Lee and I went out to the volunteer camps today:  Florida,
Alabama, Ohio and Michigan, General Lee's push, and it has depressed me
very much.  I have been so right about so many things these last five
years, and was laughed at for making much of them.  Now all I urged is
proved to be correct; nothing our men wear is right.  The shoes, the
hats, the coats, all are dangerous to health and comfort; one-third of
the men cannot wear the regulation shoe because it cuts the instep, and
buy their own, and the volunteers are like the Cuban army in
appearance.  The Greek army, at which I made such sport, is a fine
organization in comparison as far as outfit goes; of course, there is
no comparison in the spirit of the men.  One colonel of the Florida
regiment told us that one-third of his men had never fired a gun.  They
live on the ground; there are no rain trenches around the tents, or
gutters along the company streets; the latrines are dug to windward of
the camp, and all the refuse is burned to WINDWARD.

Half of the men have no uniforms nor shoes.  I pointed out some of the
unnecessary discomforts the men were undergoing through ignorance, and
one colonel, a Michigan politician, said, "Oh, well, they'll learn.  It
will be a good lesson for them."  Instead of telling them, or telling
their captains, he thinks it best that they should find things out by
suffering.  I cannot decide whether to write anything about it or not.
I cannot see where it could do any good, for it is the system that is
wrong--the whole volunteer system, I mean.  Captain Lee happened to be
in Washington when the first Manila outfit was starting from San
Francisco, and it was on his representations that they gave the men
hammocks, and took a store of Mexican dollars.  They did not know that
Mexican dollars are the only currency of the East, and were expecting
to pay the men in drafts on New York.

Isn't that a pitiable situation when a captain of an English company
happens to stray into the war office, and happens to have a good heart
and busies himself to see that our own men are supplied with hammocks
and spending money.  None of our officers had ever seen khaki until
they saw Lee's, nor a cork helmet until they saw mine and his; now,
naturally, they won't have anything else, and there is not another one
in the country.  The helmets our troops wear would be smashed in one
tropical storm, and they are so light that the sun beats through them.
They are also a glaring white, and are cheap and nasty and made of
pasteboard.  The felt hats are just as bad; the brim is not broad
enough to protect them from the sun or to keep the rain off their
necks, and they are made of such cheap cotton stuff that they grow hard
when they are wet and heavy, instead of shedding the rain as good felt
would do.  They have always urged that our uniforms, though not smart
nor "for show," were for use.  The truth is, as they all admit, that
for the tropics they are worse than useless, and that in any climate
they are cheap and poor.

I could go on for pages, but it has to be written later; now they would
only think it was an attack on the army.  But it is sickening to see
men being sacrificed as these men will be.  This is the worst season of
all in the Philippines.  The season of typhoons and rainstorms and
hurricanes, and they would have sent the men off without anything to
sleep on but the wet ground and a wet blanket.  It has been a great
lesson for me, and I have rubber tents, rubber blankets, rubber coats
and hammocks enough for an army corps.  I have written nothing for the
paper, because, if I started to tell the truth at all, it would do no
good, and it would open up a hell of an outcry from all the families of
the boys who have volunteered.  Of course, the only answer is a
standing army of a hundred thousand, and no more calling on the
patriotism of men unfitted and untrained.  It is the sacrifice of the
innocents.  The incompetence and, unreadiness of the French in 1870 was
no worse than our own is now.  It is a terrible and pathetic spectacle,
and the readiness of the volunteers to be sacrificed is all the more
pathetic.  It seems almost providential that we had this false-alarm
call with Spain to show the people how utterly helpless they are.



TAMPA, June 9th, 1898.

Well, here we are again.  Talk of the "Retreat from Ottawa" I've
retreated more in this war than the Greeks did.  If they don't brace up
soon, I'll go North and refuse to "recognize" the war.  I feel I
deserve a pension and a medal as it is.  We had everything on board and
our cabins assigned us and our "war kits" in which we set forth taken
off, and were in yachting flannels ready for the five days cruise.  I
had the devil of a time getting out to the flagship, as they call the
headquarters boat.  I went out early in the morning of the night when I
last wrote you.  I stayed up all that night watching troops arrive and
lending a helping hand and a word of cheer to dispirited mules and men,
also segars and cool drinks, none of them had had food for twenty-four
hours and the yellow Florida people having robbed them all day had shut
up and wouldn't open their miserable shops.  They even put sentries
over the drinking water of the express company which is only making
about a million a day out of the soldiers.  So their soldiers slept
along the platform and trucks rolled by them all night, shaking the
boards on which they lay by an inch or two.  About four we heard that
Shafter was coming and an officer arrived to have his luggage placed on
the Seguranca.  I left them all on the pier carrying their own baggage
and sweating and dripping and no one having slept.  Their special train
had been three hours in coming nine miles.  I hired a small boat and
went off to the flagship alone but the small boat began to leak and I
bailed and the colored boy pulled and the men on the transports cheered
us on.  Just at the sinking point I hailed a catboat and we transferred
the Admiral's flag to her and also my luggage.  The rest of the day we
spent on the transport.  We left it this morning.  Some are still on it
but as they are unloading all the horses and mules from the other
transports fifteen having died from the heat below deck and as they
cannot put them on again under a day, I am up here to get cool and to
stretch my legs.  The transport is all right if it were not so awfully
crowded.  I am glad I held out to go with the Headquarter staff.  I
would have died on the regular press boat, as it is the men are
interesting on our boat.  We have all the military attaches and Lee,
Remington, Whitney and Bonsal.  The reason we did not go was because
last night the Eagle and Resolute saw two Spanish cruisers and two
torpedo boats laying for us outside, only five miles away.  What they
need with fourteen ships of war to guard a bottled up fleet and by
leaving twenty-six transports some of them with 1,400 men on them
without any protection but a small cruiser and one gun boat is beyond
me.  The whole thing is beyond me.  It is the most awful picnic that
ever happened, you wouldn't credit the mistakes that are made.  It is
worse than the French at Sedan a million times.  We are just amateurs
at war and about like the Indians Columbus discovered.  I am
exceedingly pleased with myself at taking it so good naturedly.  I
would have thought I would have gone mad or gone home long ago.  Bonsal
and Remington threaten to go every minute.  Miles tells me we shall
have to wait until those cruisers are located or bottled up.  I'm tired
of bottling up fleets.  I like the way Dewey bottles them.  What a
story that would have made.  Twenty-six transports with as many
thousand men sunk five miles out and two-thirds of them drowned.
Remember the Maine indeed! they'd better remember the Main and brace
up.  If we wait until they catch those boats I may be here for another
month as we cannot dare go away for long or far.  If we decide to go
with a convoy which is what we ought to do, we may start in a day or
two.  Nothing you read in the papers is correct.  Did I tell you that
Miles sent Dorst after me the other night and made me a long speech,
saying he thought I had done so well in refusing the commission.  I was
glad he felt that way about it.  Well, lots of love.  I'm now going to
take a bath.  God bless you, this is a "merry war."


In sight of Santiago--

June 26th, 1898.


We have come to a halt here in a camp along the trail to Santiago.  You
can see it by climbing a hill.  Instead of which I am now sitting by a
fine stream on a cool rock.  I have discovered that you really enjoy
things more when you are not getting many comforts than you do when you
have all you want.  That sounds dull but it is most consoling.  I had a
bath this morning in these rocks that I would not have given up for all
the good dinners I ever had at the Waldorf, or the Savoy.  It just went
up and down my spine and sent thrills all over me.  It is most
interesting now and all the troubles of the dull days of waiting at
Tampa and that awful time on the troopship are over.  The army is
stretched out along the trail from the coast for six miles.  Santiago
lies about five miles ahead of us.  I am very happy and content and the
book for Scribners ought to be an interesting one.  It is really very
hard that my despatches are limited to 100 words for there are lots of
chances.  The fault lies with the army people at Washington, who give
credentials to any one who asks.  To The Independent and other
periodicals--in no sense newspapers, and they give seven to one paper,
consequently we as a class are a pest to the officers and to each
other.  Fortunately, the survival of the fittest is the test and only
the best men in every sense get to the front.  There are fifty others
at the base who keep the wire loaded with rumors, so when after great
difficulty we get the correct news back to Daiquire a Siboney there is
no room for it.  Some of the "war correspondents" have absolutely
nothing but the clothes they stand in, and the others had to take up
subscriptions for them.  They gambled all the time on the transports
and are ensconced now at the base with cards and counters and nothing
else.  Whitney has turned out great at the work and I am glad he is not
on a daily paper or he would share everything with me.  John Fox,
Whitney and I are living on Wood's rough riders.  We are very welcome
and Roosevelt has us at Headquarters but, of course, we see the men we
know all the time.  You get more news with the other regiments but the
officers, even the Generals, are such narrow minded slipshod men that
we only visit them to pick up information.  Whitney and I were the only
correspondents that saw the fight at Guasimas.  He was with the
regulars but I had the luck to be with Roosevelt.  He is sore but still
he saw more than any one else and is proportionally happy.  Still he
naturally would have liked to have been with our push.  We were within
thirty yards of the Spaniards and his crowd were not nearer than a
quarter of a mile which was near enough as they had nearly as many
killed.  Gen. Chaffee told me to-day that it was Wood's charge that won
the day, without it the tenth could not have driven the Spaniards
back-- Wood is a great young man, he has only one idea or rather all
his ideas run in one direction, his regiment, he eats and talks nothing
else.  He never sleeps more than four hours and all the rest of the
time he is moving about among the tents-- Between you and me and the
policeman, it was a very hot time-- Maybe if I drew you a map you would
understand why.

Wood and Gen. Young, by agreement the night before and without orders
from anybody decided to advance at daybreak and dislodge the Spaniards
from Las Guasimas.  They went by two narrow trails single file, the two
trails were along the crests of a line of hills with a valley between.
The dotted line is the trail we should have taken had the Cubans told
us it existed, if we had done so we would have had the Spaniards in the
frontband rear as General Young would have caught them where they
expected him to come, and we would have caught them where they were not
looking for us.  Of course, the Cubans who are worthless in every way
never told us of this trail until we had had the meeting.  No one knew
we were near Spaniards until both columns were on the place where the
two trails meet.  Then our scouts came back and reported them and the
companies were scattered out as you see them in the little dots.  The
Spaniards were absolutely hidden not over 25 per cent of the men saw
one of them for two hours-- I ran out with the company on the right of
the dotted line, marked "our position."  I thought it was a false alarm
and none of us believed there were any Spaniards this side of Santiago.
The ground was covered with high grass and cactus and vines so that you
could not see twenty feet ahead, the men had to beat the vines with
their carbines to get through them.  We had not run fifty yards through
the jungle before they opened on us with a quick firing gun at a
hundred yards.  I saw the enemy on the hill across the valley and got
six sharp shooters and began on them, then the fire got so hot that we
had to lie on our faces and crawl back to the rear.  I had a wounded
man to carry and was in a very bad way because I had sciatica, Two of
his men took him off while I stopped to help a worse wounded trooper,
but I found he was dead.  When I had come back for him in an hour, the
vultures had eaten out his eyes and lips.  In the meanwhile a trooper
stood up on the crest with a guidon and waved it at the opposite trail
to find out if the firing there was from Spaniards or Len Young's
negroes.  He was hit in three places but established the fact that
Young was up on the trail on our right across the valley for they
cheered.  He was a man who had run on the Gold Ticket for Congress in
Arizona, and consequently, as some one said, naturally should have led
a forlorn hope.  A blackguard had just run past telling them that Wood
was killed and that he had been ordered to Siboney for reinforcements.
That was how the report spread that we were cut to pieces-- A reporter
who ran away from Young's column was responsible for the story that I
was killed.  He meant Marshall who was on the left of the line and who
was shot through the spine-- There was a lot of wounded at the base and
the fighting in front was fearful to hear.  It was as fast as a hard
football match and you must remember it lasted two full hours; during
that time the men were on their feet all the time or crawling on their
hands-- Not one of them, with the exception of ----, and a Sergeant who
threw away his gun and ran, went a step back.  It was like playing
blindman's buff and you were it.  I got separated once and was scared
until I saw the line again, as my leg was very bad and I could not get
about over the rough ground.  I went down the trail and I found Capron
dying and the whole place littered with discarded blankets and
haversacks.  I also found Fish and pulled him under cover--he was quite
dead-- Then I borrowed a carbine and joined Capron's troop, a second
lieutenant and his Sergeant were in command.  The man next me in line
got a bullet through his sleeve and one through his shirt and you could
see where it went in and came out without touching the skin.  The
firing was very high and we were in no danger so I told the lieutenant
to let us charge across an open place and take a tin shack which was
held by the Spaniards' rear guard, for they were open in retreat.
Roosevelt ordered his men to do the same thing and we ran forward
cheering across the open and then dropped in the grass and fired.  I
guess I fired about twenty rounds and then formed into a strategy board
and went off down the trail to scout.  I got lonely and was coming back
when I met another trooper who sat down and said he was too hot to run
in any direction Spaniard or no Spaniard.  So we sat down and panted.
At last he asked me if I was R. H. D. and I said I was and he said "I'm
Dean, I met you in Harvard in the racquet court." Then we embraced--the
tenth came up then and it was all over.  My leg, thank goodness, is all
right again and has been so for three days.  It was only the running
about that caused it.  I won't have to run again as I have a horse now
and there will be no more ambushes and moreover we have 12,000 men
around us-- Being together that way in a tight place has made us all
friends and I guess I'll stick to the regiment.  Send this to dear
Mother and tell her I was not born to be killed.  I ought to tell you
more of the charming side of the life--we are all dirty and hungry and
sleep on the ground and have grand talks on every subject around the
headquarters tent.  I was never more happy and content and never so
well.  It is hot but at night it is quite cool and there has been no
rain only a few showers. 'No one is ill and there have been no cases of
fever.  I have not heard from you or any one since the 14th, which is
not really long but so much goes on that it seems so.  Lots of love to
you all.


After reading this over I ought perhaps to say that the position of the
real correspondents is absolutely the very best.  No one confounds us
with the men at the base, and nothing they have they deny us.  We are
treated immeasurably better than the poor attaches who are still on the
ship and who if they were spies could not be treated worse.  But for
Whitney, Remington and myself nothing is too good.  Generals fight to
have us on their staffs and all that sort of thing, so I really cannot
complain, except about the fact that our real news is crowded out by
the faker in the rear.


  Cavalry Division, U. S. Army.
    Headqrs.  Wood's Rough Riders.

June 29th, 1898.


I suppose you are back from Marion now and I have missed you.  I can't
tell you how sorry I am.  I wanted to see you coming up the street this
summer in your knickerbockers and with no fish, but still happy.  Never
mind, we shall do the theatres this Fall, and have good walks downtown.
I hope Mother will come up and visit me this September, at Marion and
sit on Allen's and on the Clarks' porch and we can have Chas. too.  I
suppose he will have had his holiday but he can come up for a Sunday.
We expect to move up on Santiago the day after to-morrow, and it's
about time, for the trail will not be passable much longer.  It rains
every day at three o'clock for an hour and such rain you never guessed.
It is three inches high for an hour.  Then we all go out naked and dig
trenches to get it out of the way.  It is very rough living.  I have to
confess that I never knew how well off I was until I got to smoking
Durham tobacco and I've only half a bag of that left.  The enlisted men
are smoking dried horse droppings, grass, roots and tea.  Some of them
can't sleep they are so nervous for the want of it, but to-day a lot
came up and all will be well for them.  I've had a steady ration of
coffee, bacon and hard tack for a week and one mango, to night we had
beans.  Of course, what they ought to serve is rice and beans as fried
bacon is impossible in this heat.  Still, every one is well.  This is
the best crowd to be with--they are so well educated and so
interesting.  The regular army men are very dull and narrow and would
bore one to death.  We have Wood, Roosevelt, Lee, the British Attache,
Whitney and a Doctor Church, a friend of mine from Princeton, who is
quite the most cheerful soul and the funniest I ever met.  He carried
four men from the firing line the other day back half a mile to the
hospital tent.  He spends most of his time coming around headquarters
in an undershirt of mine and a gold bracelet fighting tarantulas.  I
woke up the other morning with one seven inches long and as hairy as
your head reposing on my pillow.  My sciatica bothers me but has not
prevented me seeing everything and I can dig rain gutters and cut wood
with any of them.  It is very funny to see Larned, the tennis champion,
whose every movement at Newport was applauded by hundreds of young
women, marching up and down in the wet grass.  Whitney and I guy him.
To-day a sentry on post was reading "As You Like It" and whenever I go
down the line half the men want to know who won the boat race-- To-day
Wood sent me out with a detail on a pretense of scouting but really to
give them a chance to see the country.  They were all college boys,
with Willie Tiffany as sergeant and we had a fine time and could see
the Spanish sentries quite plainly without a glass.  I hope you will
not worry over this long separation.  I don't know of any experience I
have had which has done me so much good, and being with such a fine lot
of fellows is a great pleasure.  The scenery is very beautiful when it
is not raining.  I have a cot raised off the ground in the Colonel's
tent and am very well off.  If Chaffee or Lawton, who are the finest
type of officers I ever saw, were in command, we would have been
fighting every day and would probably have been in by this time.  This
weather shows that Havana must be put off after Porto Rico.  They
cannot campaign in this mud.


SANTIAGO, July 1898.


This is just to reassure you that I am all right.  I and Marshall were
the only correspondents with Roosevelt.  We were caught in a clear case
of ambush.  Every precaution had been taken, but the natives knew the
ground and our men did not.  It was the hottest, nastiest fight I ever
imagined.  We never saw the enemy except glimpses.  Our men fell all
over the place, shouting to the others not to mind them, but to go on.
I got excited and took a carbine and charged the sugar house, which was
what is called the key to the position.  If the men had been regulars I
would have sat in the rear as B---- did, but I knew every other one of
them, had played football, and all that sort of thing, with them, so I
thought as an American I ought to help.  The officers were falling all
over the shop, and after it was all over Roosevelt made me a long
speech before some of the men, and offered me a captaincy in the
regiment any time I wanted it.  He told the Associated Press man that
there was no officer in his regiment who had "been of more help or
shown more courage" than your humble servant, so that's all right.
After this I keep quiet.  I promise I keep quiet.  Love to you all.


From Cuba Richard sailed with our forces to Porto Rico, where his
experiences in the Spanish-American war came to an end, and he returned
to Marion.  He spent the fall in New York, and early in 1899 went to

One of the most interesting, certainly the most widely talked of,
"sporting events" for which Richard was responsible was the sending of
an English district-messenger boy from London to Chicago.  The idea was
inspired by my brother's general admiration of the London messenger
service and his particular belief in one William Thomas Jaggers, a
fourteen-year-old lad whom Richard had frequently employed to carry
notes and run errands.  One day, during a casual luncheon conversation
at the Savoy with his friend Somers Somerset, Richard said that he
believed that if Jaggers were asked to carry a message to New York that
he could not only do it but would express no surprise at the
commission.  This conversation resulted in the bet described in the
following letters.  The boy slipped quietly away from London, but a few
days later the bet became public and the newspapers were filled with
speculation as to whether Jaggers could beat the mails.  The messenger
carried three letters, one to my sister, one to Miss Cecil Clark of
Chicago, whom Richard married a few months later, and one to myself.
As a matter of fact, Jaggers delivered his notes several hours before
letters travelling by the same boat reached the same destinations.  The
newspapers not only printed long accounts of Jaggers's triumphal
progress from New York to Chicago and back again, but used the success
of his undertaking as a text for many editorials against the dilatory
methods of our foreign-mail service.  Jaggers left London on March 11,
1899, and was back again on the 29th, having travelled nearly
eighty-four hundred miles in eighteen days.  On his return he was
received literally by a crowd of thousands, and his feat was given
official recognition by a gold medal pinned on his youthful chest by
the Duchess of Rutland.  Also, later on, at a garden fete he was
presented to the Queen, and incidentally, still later, returned to the
United States as "buttons" to my brother's household.

Bachelors' Club,
  Piccadilly, W.

March 15th, 1899.


I hope you are not annoyed about Jaggers.  When he started no one knew
of it but three people and I had no idea anyone else would, but the
company sent it to The Mail without my name but describing me as "an
American gentleman"-- Instantly the foreign correspondents went to them
to find out who I was and to whom I was sending the letter-- I told the
company it was none of their damned business--that I employed the boy
by the week and that I could send him where-ever I chose.  Then the
boy's father got proud and wrote to The Mail about his age and so they
got the boy's name.  Mine, however, is still out of it, but in America
they are sure to know as the people on the steamer are crazy about him
and Kinsey the Purser knows he is sent by me.  After he gets back from
Chicago and Philadelphia, you can do with him as you like until the
steamer sails.  If the thing is taken up as it is here and the fat is
in the fire, then you can do as you please-- I mean you can tell the
papers about it or not-- Somerset holds one end of the bets and I the
other.  There are two bets: one that he will beat the mail to Chicago,
Somerset agreeing to consider the letter you give him to Bruce, as
equivalent to one coming from here.  The other bet is that he will
deliver and get receipts from you, Nora and Bruce, and return here by
the 5th of April-- You and Bobby ought to be able to do well by him if
it becomes, as I say, so far public that there is no possibility of
further concealment-- You have my permission to do what you please-- He
is coming into my employ as soon as he gets back and as soon as the
company give him a medal.

Over here there is the greatest possible interest in the matter-- At
the Clubs I go to, the waiters all wait on me in order to have the
latest developments and when it was cabled over here that the Customs'
people intended stopping him, indignation raged at the Foreign office.

of love,


89 Jermyn Street, S. W.



This is to be handed to you by my special messenger, who is to assure
you that I am in the best of health and spirits-- Keep him for a few
hours and then send him on to Chicago-- As he is doing this on a bet,
do not give him any written instructions only verbal ones.  I am very
well and happy and send you all my love-- Jaggers has been running
errands for me ever since I came here, and a most loyal servitor when I
was ill-- On his return I want to keep him on as a buttons.  See that
he gets plenty to eat-- If he comes back alive he will have broken the
messenger boy service record by three thousand miles.  Personally, it
does not cost me anything to speak of.  The dramatization of the
Soldiers continues briskly, and Maude is sending Grundy back the
Jackal, to have a second go at it.  Maude insists on its being done--so
I stand to win a lot.


Beefsteak Club, 9, Green Street,
  Leicester Square, W. C. Tuesday.



The faithful Jaggers should have arrived to-day, or will do so this
evening-- I am sure you will make the poor little chap comfortable-- I
do regret having sent him on such a journey especially since the papers
here made such an infernal row over it-- However, neither of us will
lose by it in the end--

I dined with Lady Clarke last night and met Lord Castleton there and he
invited me up to Dublin for the Punchtown Races-- I have a great mind
to go and write a story on them-- Castleton is a great sport and very
popular at home and in England and it would be a pleasant experience.
Kuhne Beveridge is doing a bust of me in khaki outfit for the Academy
and also for a private exhibition of her own works, which includes the
Prince of Wales, and the Little Queen of Holland.

Hays Hammond has invited me down to South Africa again, with a promise
of making my fortune, but I am not going as it takes too long.




On May 4, 1899, at Marion, Massachusetts, Richard was married to Cecil
Clark, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John M. Clark of Chicago.  After
the marriage Richard and his wife spent a few weeks in Marion and the
remainder of the summer in London and Aix-les-Bains.

MARION, May 28th, 1899.


You sent me such a good letter about the visit of the three selected
chorus girls.  But what was best, was about your wishing to see me.  Of
course, you know that I feel that too.  I would have it so that we all
lived here, so that Dad could fish, and Nora and Cecil could discuss
life, and you and I could just take walks and chat.  But because that
cannot be, we are no further away than we ever were and when the pain
to see you comes, I don't let it hurt and I don't kill it either for it
is the sweetest pain I can feel.  If sons will go off and marry, or be
war-correspondents, or managers, it does not mean that Home is any the
less Home.  You can't wipe out history by changing the name of a
boulevard, as somebody said of the French, and if I were able to be in
two places at once, I know in which two places I would be here with
Cecil at Marion, and at Home in the Library with you and Dad and The
Evening Telegraph, and Nora and Van Bibber.  You will never know how
much I love you all and you must never give up trying to comprehend it.
God bless you and keep you, and my love to you every minute and always.


Late in January, 1900, Richard and his wife started on their first
great adventure together to the Boer War.  Arriving at Cape Town,
Richard left his wife there and, acting as correspondent with the
British forces for the New York Herald and London Mail, saw the relief
of Ladysmith.  After this he returned to Cape Town, with the intention
of joining Lord Roberts in his advance on Pretoria.  But on arriving at
Cape Town he learned that Lord Roberts did not intend to move for three
weeks, and so decided to say farewell to the British army and to return
to London in a leisurely and sightseeing fashion along the east coast.
It was after they were well started on this return voyage that Richard
conceived the idea of leaving the ship at Durban, going to Pretoria,
and, as he expressed it, "watch the Boers fighting the same men I had
just seen fighting them."

R. M. S. Scot

February 4th, 1900.


A great change has come since I wrote you from Madeira.  We are now on
Summer seas and have regulated the days so that they pass very
pleasantly--not that we do not want to be on land-- I never so much
wanted it-- Somers is with us and is such a comfort.  He is even
younger than he used to be and so quick and courteous and good
tempered.  He is like a boy off on a holiday-- I think he is very much
in love with his wife, but in spite of himself he is glad to get a
holiday, and like all of us he will be so much more glad when he is
homeward bound.  They threatened to shut us out of our only chance of
putting foot on land at Madeira-- In the first place, we were so
delayed by the storm that we arrived at eight o'clock at night, so that
we missed seeing it in its beauty of flowers and palms.  And then it
was so rough that they said it was most unsafe for us to attempt to go
ashore.  It was a great disappointment but I urged that every one loved
his own life, and if the natives were willing to risk theirs to sell us
photographs and wicker baskets it was probably safer than it looked--
So we agreed to die together, and with Somers got our rain coats, and
the three of us leaped into a row boat pulled by two Portugese pirates
and started off toward a row of lamps on a quay that seemed much lower
than the waves.  The remainder on the ship watched us disappear with
ominus warnings-- We really had a most adventurous passage--towards
shore the waves tossed us about like a lobster pot and we just missed
being run down by a coal barge and escaped an upset over the bow anchor
chain of a ship.  It was so close that both Somers and I had our coats
off and I told Cecil to grab the chain-- But we weathered it and landed
at a high gangway cut in the solid rock the first three steps of which
were swamped by the waves.  A rope and chain hung from the top of the
wharf and a man swung his weight on this and yanked us out to the steps
as the boat was on the wave.  The rain beat and the wind roared and
beautiful palms lashed the air with their fronds-- It was grand to get
on shore once again-- At the end of the wharf we were hustled into a
sled on steel runners, like a hearse with curtains around it and drawn
by bullocks-- The  streets were all of mosaic, thousands of little
stones being packed together like corn on a cob.  Over this the heavy
sledge was drawn by the bullocks while a small boy ran ahead through
the narrow streets to clear the way-- He had a feather duster made of
horse's tail as a badge of authority and he yelled some strange cry at
the empty streets and closed houses.  Another little boy in a striped
jersey ran beside and assured us he was a guide.  It was like a page
out of a fairy story.  The strange cart sliding and slipping over the
stones which were as smooth as ice, and the colored house fronts and
the palms and strange plants.  The darkness made it all the more
unreal-- There was a governor's palace buttressed and guarded by
sentinels in a strange uniform and queer little cafe's under vines--and
terraces of cannon, and at last a funny, pathetic little casino.  It
was such a queer imitation of Aix and Monte Carlo-- There were
chasseurs and footmen in magnificent livery and stucco white walls
ornamented with silk SHAWLS.  Also a very good band and a new roulette
table-- Coming in out of the night and the rain it was like a theatre
after the "dark scene" has just passed-- There were some most dignified
croupiers and three English women and a few sad English men and some
very wicked looking natives in diamonds and white waistcoats.  We had
only fifteen minutes to spare so we began playing briskly with two
shilling pieces Cecil with indifferent fortune and Somers losing-- But
I won every time and the croupiers gave me strange notes of the Bonco
de Portugal which I put back on the board only to get more of a larger
number-- I felt greatly embarrassed as I was not a real member of the
club and I hated to blow in out of a hurricane and take their money and
sail away again-- So I appealed to one of the sad eyed Englishmen and
he assured me it was all right, that they welcomed the people from the
passing steamers who generally left a few pounds each with the bank.
But the more I spread the money the more I won until finally the whole
room gathered around.  Then I sent out and ordered champagne for
everybody and spare gold to all the waiters and still cashed in
seventy-five dollars in English money.  It was pretty good for fifteen
minutes and we went out leaving the people open-eyed, and hitting the
champagne bottles-- It was all a part of the fun especially as with all
our gold we could get nothing for supper but "huevos frite" which was
all the Spanish I could remember and which meant fried eggs-- But we
were very wet and hungry and we got the eggs and some fruit and real
Madeira wine and then rowed out again rejoicing.  The pirates demanded
their pay half way to the boat while we were on the high seas but they
had struck the very wrong men, and I never saw a mutiny quelled so
abruptly-- Somers and I told them we'd throw them overboard and row
ourselves and they understood remarkably well-- The next day we were
the admired and envied of those who had not had the nerve "to dare to
attempt."  It was one of the best experiences altogether we ever had
and I shall certainly put Madeira on my silver cup.


After their arrival at Cape Town, where Richard arranged for his wife
to stay during his absence at the British front, he started for
Ladysmith, sailing on the same vessel on which he had left England.

February 18th, 1900

board Scot.


I got off yesterday and am hoping to get to Buller before Ladysmith is
relieved.  I could not get to go with Roberts because Ralph has been
here four months and has borne the heat and burden of the day, so
although I only came in order to be with Roberts and Kitchener I could
not ask to have Ralph recalled-- They wanted me with Roberts and I
wanted it but none of us could make up our minds to turn down Ralph.
So I am going up on this side track on the chance of seeing Ladysmith
relieved and of joining Roberts with Buller later.  I shall be
satisfied if I see Ladysmith fall.  Fortunately I am to do a great deal
of cabling for The Mail every day and that counts much more with the
reading public than letters--

Cape Town is a dusty, wind ridden western town with a mountain back of
it which one man said was a badly painted back drop-- The only
attractive thing about the town is this mountain and a hotel situated
at its base in perfectly beautiful gardens.  Here Cecil is settled.  I
got her a sitting room and a big bedroom and The Mail agent or Pryor
pays her $150 a week and will take good care of her.  It really is a
beautiful and comfortable hotel and grounds and she has made many
friends, and also I forced a pitch battle with a woman who was rude to
her when we visited the hospital-- So, as the hospital people were very
keen to have me see and praise their hospital they have taken up arms
against the unfortunate little bounder and championed Cecil and me.
Cecil had really nothing to do with it as you can imagine-- She only
laughed but I gave the lady lots to remember.

On the other hand every one is as kind and interested in Cecil as can
be.  Mrs. Waldron whose son is Secretary to Milner and his secretary
were more than polite to each of us.  Milner spent the whole evening we
were there talking to Cecil and not to the lady we had had the row
with, which was a pleasing triumph.  He sent me unsolicited a most
flattering personal letter to the Governor of Natal, saying that I had
come to him with my strong letters but that he had so enjoyed meeting
me that he wished to pass me on on his own account.  Cecil asked me
what it was I had talked so much to him about and I asked her if it
were possible she couldn't guess that of course I would be telling him
how to run the colony.  My advice was to bombard Cape Town and make
martial law, for the Cape Towners are the most rotten, cowardly lot of
rebels I ever imagined as being possible.  He seemed so glad to find
any one who appreciated that it was a queen's colony in name only and
said, "Mr. Davis, it is as bad as this--I can take a stroll with you
from these gardens (we were at the back of the Government House) and at
the end of our stroll we will be in hostile territory."

We spent the last day after I had got my orders to join Buller (who
seemed very pleased to have me) calling on the officials for passes
together and they were in a great state falling into their coats and
dressing guard for her and were all so friendly and hearty.  The Censor
seems to think I am a sort of Matthew Arnold and should be wrapped in
cotton, so does Pryor The Mail agent who apologizes for asking me to
cable, which is just what I want to do.  They are very generous and are
spending money like fresh air.  I am to cable letters to Cape Town,
only to save three days.  So, now all that is needed is for something
to happen.  Everything else is arranged.  All I want is to see three or
four good fights and a big story like the relief of Ladysmith and I am
ready and anxious to get home.  I shall observe them from behind an ant
hill--I don't say this to please you but because I mean it.  This is
not my war and all I want is to earn the very generous sums I have been
offered and get home.  We are just off Port Elizabeth.  I will go on
shore and post this there.  With all love.  DICK.

Deal's Central Hotel, East London.

February 20th, 1900.


We are stopping at every port now, as though the Scot were a ferry
boat.  We came over the side to get here in baskets with a neat door in
the side and were bumped to the deck of the tender in all untenderness.
This is more like Africa than any place I have seen.  The cactus and
palms abound and the Kaffirs wear brass anklets and bracelets.  A man
at lunch at this hotel asked me if I was R. H. D. and said he was an
American who had got a commission in Brabants horse-- He gave me the
grandest sort of a segar and apparently on his representation the hotel
brought me two books to sign, marked "Autographs of Celebrities of the
Boer War."  It seemed in my case at least to be premature and hopeful.

Good luck and God bless you.  This will be the last letter you will get
for ten days or two weeks, as I am now going directly away from
steamers.  This one reaches you by a spy gentleman who is to give it to
Rene Bull of The Graphic and who will post it in Cape Town-- He and all
the other correspondents are abandoning Buller for Roberts.  Let 'em
all go.  The fewer the better, I say.  My luck will keep I hope.  DICK.

Imperial Hotel,
  Maritzburg, Natal.

Feb. 23rd, 1900.


I reached Durban yesterday.  They paraded the band in my honour and
played Yankee Doodle indefinitely-- I had corrupted them by giving them
drinks to play the "Belle of New York" nightly.  The English officers
thought Yankee Doodle was our national anthem and stood with their hats
off in a hurricane balancing on the deck of the tender on one foot--
The city of Durban is the best I have seen.  It was as picturesque as
the Midway at the Fair-- There were Persians, Malay, Hindoo, Babu's
Kaffirs, Zulu's and soldiers and sailors.  I went on board the Maine to
see the American doctors--one of them said he had met me on Walnut
Street, when he had nearly run me down with his ambulance from the
Penna Hospital.  Lady Randolph took me over the ship and was very much
puzzled when all the hospital stewards called me by name and made
complimentary remarks.  It impressed her so much apparently that she
and the American nurses I hadn't met on board came to see me off at the
station, which was very friendly.  I have had a horrible day here and
got up against the British officer in uniform and on duty bent-- The
chief trouble was that none of them knew what authority he had to do
anything--and I had to sit down and tell them.  I wonder with
intelligence like theirs that their Intelligence Department did not
tell them the Boers fought with war clubs and spears.  I bought a
ripping pony and my plan is to cut away from all my magnificent
equipment and try to overtake Buller before he reaches Ladysmith and
send back for the heavy things later.  It is just a question of minutes
really and it seems hard to have come 1500 miles and then to miss it by
an hour-- I arrive at Chievely tomorrow at five--that is only ten miles
from where Buller is to night, so were it not for their d----d
regulations I could ride across country and join them by midday but I
bet they won't let me and I also bet I'll get there in time.  Of course
you'll, know before you see this.  Marelsburg is the capital and its
chief industry is rickshaw's pulled by wild Kaffi's, with beads and
snake skins around them and holes in their ears into which they stick
segars and horn spoons for dipping snuff.  The women wear less than the
men and have their hair done up in red fungus.

Well, love to you all, to Nora and Dad and Chas, and God bless you.




I am here at last and counting the days when I shall get away.  War
does not soothe my savage breast.  I find I want Cecil, and Jaggers,
and Macklin to write, and plays to rehearse.  Without Cecil bored to
death at Cape Town, I would not mind it at all.  I know how to be
comfortable and on my second day I beat all these men who have been
here three months in getting my news on the wire.  For I am a news man
now, and have to collect horrid facts and hosts of casualties and to
find out whether it was the Dubblins or the Durbans that did it and
what it was they did.  I was in terrible fear that I would be too late
to see the relief of Ladysmith but I was well in time and saw a fight
the first few hours I arrived.  It is terribly big and overwhelming
like eighty of Barnum circuses all going at once in eighty rings and
very hard to understand the geography.  The Tugela is like a snake and
crosses itself every three feet so that you never know whether you have
crossed it yourself or not.  Every one is most kind and I am as
comfortable as can be.  Indeed I like my tent so much that I am going
to take it to Marion.  It has windows in it and the most amusing trap
doors and pockets in the walls and clothes lines and hooks and
ventilators-- It is colored a lovely green-- I have also two chairs
that fold up and a table that does nothing else and a bed and two
lanterns, 3 ponies, one a Boer pony I bought for  $12. from a Tommy who
had stolen it.  I had to pay $125 each for the other two and one had a
sore back and the other gets lost in my saddle.  But war as these
people do it bores one to destruction.  They are terribly dull souls.
They cannot give an order intelligently.  The real test of a soldier is
the way he gives an order.  I heard a Colonel with eight ribbons for
eight campaigns scold a private for five minutes because he could not
see a signal flag, and no one else could.  It is not becoming that a
Colonel should scold for five minutes.  Friday they charged a hill with
one of their "frontal" attacks and lost three Colonels and 500 men.  In
the morning--it was a night attack--when the roll was called only five
officers answered.  The proper number is 24.  A Captain now commands
the regiment.  It is sheer straight waste of life through dogged
stupidity.  I haven't seen a Boer yet except some poor devils of
prisoners but you can see every English who is on a hill.  They walk
along the skyline like ships on the horizon.  It must be said for them
that it is the most awful country to attack in the world.  It is
impossible to give any idea of its difficulties.  However I can tell
you that when I get back to the center of civilization.  Do you know I
haven't heard from you since I left New York on the St. Louis.  All
your letters to London went astray.  What lots you will have to tell me
but don't let Charley worry.  I won't talk about the war this time.  I
never want to hear of it again.


LADYSMITH.  March 1st, 1899.


This is just a line to say I got in here with the first after a gallop
of twelve miles.  Keep this for me and the envelope.  With my love and
best wishes--


LADYSMITH, March 3, 1900.


The column came into town today, 2200 men, guns, cavalry, ambulances,
lancers, navy guns and oxen.  It was a most cruel assault upon one's
feelings.  The garrison lined the streets as a saluting guard of honor
but only one regiment could stand it and the others all sat down on the
curb only rising to cheer the head of each new regiment.  They are
yellow with fever, their teeth protruding and the skin drawn tight over
their skeletons.  The incoming army had had fourteen days hard fighting
at the end of three months campaigning but were robust and tanned
ragged and caked  with  mud.  As they came in they cheered and the
garrison tried to cheer back but it was like a whisper.

Winston Churchill and I stood in front of Gen. White and cried for an
hour.  For the time you forgot Boers and the cause, or the lack of
cause of it all, and saw only the side of it that was before you, the
starving garrison relieved by men who had lost almost one out of every
three in trying to help them.  I was rather too previous in getting in
and like every-one else who came from outside gave away everything I
had so that now I'm as badly off as the rest of them.  Yesterday my
rations for the day were four biscuits and an ounce of coffee and of
tea, with corn which they call mealies which I could not eat but which
saved my horse's life.  He is a Boer pony I bought from a Tommy for two
pounds ten and he's worth both of the other two for which I paid $125 a
piece.  Tomorrow the wagon carrying my supplies will be in and I can
get millions of things.  It almost apalls me to think how many.
Especially clean clothes.  I've slept in these for four days.  I got
off some stories which I hope will read well.  I can't complain now
that I saw the raising of this siege.  But I hope we don't stay still.
I want to see a lot quickly and get out.  This is very safe warfare.
You sit on a hill and the army does the rest.  My sciatica is not
troubling me at all.  Love to you all and God bless you.


LADYSMITH, March 4th, 1900.


Today I got the first letter I have had from you since we left home.
It was such happiness to see your dear sweet handwriting again.  It was
just like seeing you for a glimpse, or hearing you speak.  I am so
hungry for news of Nora and Chas and you all.  I know you've written,
but the letters have missed somehow.  I sent yours right back to Cecil
who is very lonely at present.  Somerset has gone to the front and
Jim--home--Blessed word!  A little middy rode up to me today and began
by saying "I'm going home.  I'm ORDERED there.  Home-- To England!"  He
seemed to think I would not understand.  He prattled on like a child
saying what luck he had had, that he had been besieged in Ladysmith and
seen lots of fighting and would get a medal and all the while he was
"just a middy."  "But isn't it awful to think of our chaps that were
left on the ship" he said quite miserably.  It is a beastly dull war.
The whole thing is so "class" and full of "form" and tradition and
worrying over "putties" and etiquette and rank.  It is the most
wonderful organization I ever imagined but it is like a beautiful
locomotive without an engineer.

The Boers outplay them in intelligence every day.  The whole army is
officered by one class and that the dull one.  It is like the House of
Peers.  You would not believe the mistakes they make, the awful way in
which they sacrifice the lives of officers and men.  And they let the
Boers escape.  I watched the Boers for four hours the other day
escaping after the battle of Pieters and I asked, not because I wanted
them captured but just as a military proposition "Why don't you send
out your cavalry and light artillery and take those wagons?"  The staff
officer giggled and said "They might kill us."  I don't know what he
meant; neither did he.  However, I'm sick of it but there's nothing
else to talk of.  I hate all the people about me and this dirty town
and I wish I was back.  And I'm going too.  I'll have started by the
time you get this.

I mean to cut out of this soon but don't imagine I'm in any danger.
I'm taking d---d good care to keep out of danger.  No one is more
determined on that than I am.  Dear Mother, this is such a dull letter
but you must forgive me.  I was never so homesick and bored in my life.
It will be better when I go out tomorrow in my green tent and leave
this beastly hole.  I like the tent life, and the horses and being
clean.  I've really starved here for four days and haven't had a clean
thing on me.  God bless you all and dear Nora God bless her and Chas
and the Lone Fisherman.


Outside Ladysmith.

5th March, 1900.


I was a brute to write as I did last night.  But I was so blue in that
miserable town!!!  It was so foul and dirty.  The town smelt as bad as
Johnstown.  My room in the so called hotel stunk, the dirt was all over
the floor and the servants had to be paid to do everything even to
bring you a towel--and then I had no place to write or be alone, and
nothing to eat-- The poor souls at my table who had been in the siege,
when they got a little bit of sugar or a can of condensed milk would
carry it off from the table as though it were a diamond diadem-- I did
the same thing myself for I couldn't eat what they gave me and so I
corrupted the canteen dealer and bought tin things-- I've really never
wanted tobacco so much and food as I have here--to give away I mean,
for it was something wonderful to see what it meant to them.  Three
troopers came into the dining room yesterday and asked if they could
buy some tea and were turned out so rudely that it seemed to hurt them
much more than the fact that they were hungry:  I followed them out and
begged them to come back to my verandah and have tea with me but they
at first would not because they knew I had witnessed what had happened
in the hotel.  They belonged to a very good regiment and they had been
starved for four months.  But in spite of their independence I got them
to my porch.  I had just purchased at awful prices a few delicacies
like sugar and tobacco, marmalade and a bottle of whiskey.  So I gave
them to them and I never enjoyed anything so much-- The poor yellow
faced skeletons ate in absolute silence still fighting with their pride
until I told them I was an American and was a canteen contractor's
friend-- Then I gave them segars and it was too pitiful-- In our
column, if you give a man something extra he says a lot and swears it's
the best drink or the best segar or that you're the best chap he ever
met-- Just as I say it to them when they give me things.  But these
starved bodies tried to be very polite and conversational on every
subject except food--when I offered them the segars which could only be
got then at a dollar twenty-five a piece (they had not cost me that as
I had bought them in Cape Town for two cents apiece!) What has Dad to
say to that for economy?  They accepted them quite as though it was in
Havana--and then leaned back and went off into opium dreams-- Imagine
the first segar after three months.  I am out here now on a bluff, with
two trees in front and great hills with names historical of the siege
of Ladysmith--names which I refuse to learn or remember--I am perfectly
comfortable and were it not for Cecil perfectly content-- If she were
only here it would be perfectly magnificent-- I have a retinue that
would do credit to the Warringtons in the Virginians-- Three Kaffir
boys who refuse to yield to my sense of the picturesque and go naked
like their less effete brothers, two oxen and three ponies, a little
puppy I found starved in Ladysmith and fed on compressed beef tablets.
I call her Ladysmith and she sleeps beside my cot and in my lap when I
am reading--I have also a beautiful tent with tape window panes,
ventilators, pockets inside, doors that loop up and red knobs; also, it
is green so that the ants won't eat it.  Also two tables, two chairs, a
bath tub, two lanterns, and a cape cart--and a folding bed-- In Cuba I
had two saddle bags and was just as clean and just as happy.  One boy
does nothing but polish my boots and gaiters and harness, so that I
look as well as the officers who are not much good at anything but
that.  I must tell you what I think is the saddest story of the siege--
They could not feed the horses, so they kept part of them for scouting,
part to eat and drove 3,000 of them towards the Boers.  Being, well
trained cavalry horses, they did not know how to eat grass, so at bugle
call the whole 3,000 came trotting back again and sentries were placed
at every street to stampede them back into the veldt-- One horse from
one battery met out in the prairie another horse that had been its gun
mate in an artillery regiment five years before in India and the two
poor things came galloping back side by side and passed the sentries
and into the lines and drew up beside their battery.  Another horse
found its rider acting as sentry and when the man tried to drive it
away it thought he was playing with it and kept coming back and finally
the man brought it in to the colonel and cried and asked if it might
have half of his rations of corn.  Good night and God bless you all
with all my love.


March 15th, 1900.


I am on my way back to Cape Town.  This seemed better than staying with
Buller who will not move for two or three weeks.  I shall either go
straight up to Roberts, or we will return to London.  I have seen the
relief of Ladysmith and got a very good idea of it all, and I do not
know but what I shall quit now.  I started in too late to do much with
it and as it is I have seen a great deal.  It is neither an interesting
country nor an interesting war.  But I don't have to stay here to
oblige anybody.  If I do go up to Roberts it will only be to stay for
three weeks at the most and only then if there is fighting.  I won't go
if he is resting as Buller is.  So this will explain why we start home
so soon.  I am very glad I came.  I would have been very sorry always
if I had not, but my heart is not in it as, of course, it was in our
war.  Sometimes they fight all day using seven or eight regiments and
kill a terrible lot of fine soldiers and capture forty Boer farmers and
two women.  It is not the kind of war I care to report.  "Nor mean to!"
I cannot make a book out of what little I've seen but I will come out
about even.  It has been very rough on Cecil.  Today I went to the
Maine and asked Lady Randolph to give me a lift down to Cape Town as
the ship gets there two days ahead of the Castle Steamer.  So, they
were apparently very glad to have me and I am going on Saturday.  I
like it on the ship where I have been spending the day as it is fun
taking care of the wounded and listening to their stories.  I am to
write an article for her next Anglo Saxon magazine on the Passing of
the War Correspondent.  The idea is that he must either disappear
altogether like the Vivandiere or be allowed to do his work.  As it is
now the Government forces him upon the Generals against their will and
so they get back by taking it out of him.  Either they should persuade
the Government that their objections to him are weighty and suppress
him altogether, or recognize him as a part of the outfit.  I don't much
care which as I certainly would never again go with an English army.  I
am sorry the letters home have been so dull but I have had rather hard
luck straight through, and the distances are so very great and the time
spent in covering them seems very wasteful.  I shall be glad I saw it
because it is the biggest thing as to scale that I ever saw of the
sort, and I could not have afforded to have missed being in it.  It is
the first big modern war and all the conditions and weapons are new.  I
don't think the English have learned anything by it, because the fault
lies entirely with their officers who are all or nearly all of one


March 25th, 1900.

Cape Town.

This is just to explain our plans and as they take a bit of explaining
this is meant for the Houses of Clark and of Davis.  So, pass it on--
After Ladysmith was relieved Buller decided he would not move for a
month, so I came back to join Roberts.  I could not do that on first
arriving because there was a Mail man with him.  I meant to do it later
as a Herald man, and to let The Mail go.  But on arriving here, having
spent a week in coming and having sold all my outfit at a loss, I found
that Roberts did not intend to move for three weeks either.  So I
decided I had seen enough to justify my returning.  There were other
reasons, the chief one being that the English irritated me and I had so
little sympathy with them that I could not write with any pleasure of
their work.  My sporting blood refused to boil at the spectacle of such
a monster Empire getting the worst of it from an untrained band of
farmers-- I found I admired the farmers.  So we decided to chuck it and
go to London.  I would not have missed it for anything.  I would never
have been satisfied, if we had not come.  I have seen much of the
country and the people, and of the army and its wonderful organization
and discipline.  I enjoyed two battles--and the relief of Ladysmith is
one of the things to have seen, almost the best, if not the best.
Every officer and correspondent agrees that I got the pick of the
fighting and the "best story."  By the way, I beat all the London
papers in getting out the news by one day.  At least, so Pryor, The
Mail manager tells me.  The paper was very much pleased.  We have now
decided to come home by the East Coast.  It was Cecil's idea and wish
and I was only too glad to do it.  She says we certainly will never
come to this country again.  God help us if we do--and that it would be
criminal to spend seventeen blank days on the West coast when we could
fill in the entire trip North on the East Coast at many ports.  It is a
rather complicated trip as one has to change frequently but it will be
a great thing to have seen.  Cecil has really seen nothing at Cape Town
and on this trip she will be paid for all the boredom that has gone
before.  I have been over part of it and am sure.  Durban alone is one
of the most curious cities I ever saw.  It is like the Midway at the
Fair.  I want her to have some fun out of this.  She has been so
unselfish and fine all through and I hope I can make the rest of the
adventure to her liking-- It is sure to be for after Delagoa Bay it is
all real Africa not the shoddy "colonial" shopkeepers' paradise that we
have here.  And we are going to stop off at Zanzibar for some time
where we have letters to everybody and where Cecil is to draw the
Sultan and I am to play him the "Typical Tune of Zanzibar."  You will
see by our route that we spend two days or a day at many places and so
shall get a good idea of the country.  The Konig is a 5,000 ton ship
and we have two cabins-- From Port Said we will run up to Cairo to get
a dinner and then over to Constantinople to see Lloyd Griscom and the
city which Cecil has never visited.  Then to Paris by way of the Orient
Express.  Then London and back with Charley to Aix.  I feel sure that
one more course there will cure my leg for always.  As it is it has not
touched me once even during the campaign when I was wet and had to
climb hills, and at Ladysmith, where I had no food for a week.  Of
course, if we get tired on the way up we may go straight on from Port
Said to Marseilles and so to London.  It seems funny to look upon Port
Said as being at home, but from this distance it seems as near New York
as Boston-- You will get this when we reach Zanzibar or later and we
will cable when we can.


It was said at the time that Richard left the British forces because
the censors would not permit him to send out the truth about Buller's
advance, and that the English officials resented his going to report
the war from the Boer side.  The first statement my brother flatly
denied, and the fact that it was through the direct intervention of Sir
Alfred Milner, assisted by the efforts of our consul Adelbert S. Hay at
Pretoria, that Richard was enabled to reach the Boer capital seems to
prove the latter charge equally false.  Although throughout the war my
brother's sympathies were with the Boers, and in spite of the fact that
the papers he represented wanted him to report the war from the Boer
side, he persisted in going at first with the British forces.  His
reasons were that he wished to see a great army, with all modern
equipment in action, and that practically all of his English friends
were with the British army.  "My only reason for leaving it", he wrote,
"was the fact that I found myself facing a month of idleness.  Had
General Buller continued his advance immediately after his relief of
Ladysmith I would have gone with his column and would probably have
never seen a Boer, except a Boer prisoner."

Royal Hotel,
  Durban, Natal.

April 5th,  1900.


We arrived here to-day and got off in a special tug together.  We did
the basket trick all right, although the next time it came down a swell
raised the tug and fractured every one in the basket except Sangree and
Rogers, the two New York correspondents who were hanging on by the
upper edges.  Cecil loved the place which is the Midway Plaisance of
cities and we had a good lunch and managed to get into the hotel where
there are over twenty cots in the reading room, and hall.  The
Commandant objected to our going to Praetoria and seemed inclined to
refuse us passes to leave Durban for Delagoa Bay.  He also was rather
fresh to Cecil, so I called him down very hard, and told him if he
couldn't make up his mind whether we would go or not, I'd wire to some
others who would help him to make up his mind quickly.  He said I was
at liberty to do that, so I went out and burned wires over all of South
Africa.  As he reads all the telegrams he naturally read mine and the
next morning he was as humble and white as a head waiter.  But by ten
o'clock my wires began to bear fruit and he began to catch it.  Milner
wired him to send us on at once and apologized to us by another wire so
all is well and we go vouched for by the High Commissioner.


PRETORIA, May 18th, 1900.


I have not had time to write such a long letter as this one must be, as
I have been working on my Ledger and Scribner stories.

Cecil and I started to the "front," which was then May 4th, at
Brandfort with Captain Von Loosberg, a German baron who married in New
Orleans and became an American citizen and who is now in command of
Loosberg's Artillery in the Free State.  The night we left, the English
took Brandfort, so we decided to go only as far as Winburg.  The next
morning the train despatcher informed us Winburg was taken, so we
decided to go to Smalldeel, but that went during the afternoon, so we
stopped at Kronstad.  From there, after a day's rest, we went to
Ventersberg station, and rode across to Ventersberg town, about two
hours away, and put up in Jones's Hotel.  The next day we went down to
the Boer laagers on the Sand river and met President Steyn on the way.
He got out of his Cape Cart and gave Cecil a rose and Loosberg his
field glasses, which Cecil took from Loosberg in exchange for her own
Zeiss glass, and he gave me a drink and an interview.  He also gave us
a letter to St. Reid, who had established an ambulance base on Cronje's
farm, telling him to give Cecil something to sleep upon.  The, Boers
were very polite to Cecil and as she rode through the different camps
every man took off his hat.  We went back to Ventersberg that night and
about two o'clock Cecil came to my room and woke me up with the
intelligence that the British were only two hours away.  She had heard
the commandant informing the landlady, a grand low comedy character
from Brooklyn, who had the room next to Cecil's.  I interviewed the
landlady who was sitting up in bed in curl papers, and with a Webley
revolver.  She was quite hysterical so I aroused Loosberg who was too
sleepy to understand.  The commandant could be heard in the distance
offering his kingdom for a horse and a Cape cart.  Cecil and I decided
our horses were done up and that we were too ignorant of the trail to
know where to run.  So we decided to go to sleep.  In the morning we
confessed that each had been afraid the other would want to escape, and
each wanted only to be allowed to go to sleep again.  Loosberg's Cape
Cart and five mules having arrived we packed our things on it and
started again for the Sand River where we spent the night on Cronje's
farm.  Mrs. Cronje had taken away all the bedding but Dr. Reid gave
Cecil his field mattress and I made one out of rugs and piano covers.
In the morning I found that the iron straps of the mattress had marked
me for life like a grilled beefsteak.  There were only Reid and his
assistant surgeon in the farmhouse and they were greatly excited at
having a woman to look after.

We bade farewell to Loosberg who had found his artillery push, and
started off in his Cape Cart which he wished us to use and take back
for him for safety to Del Hay at Pretoria.  Our objective point was the
railroad bridge over the sand.  The Boers were on one bank, the British
about seven miles back on the other, the trail ran along the British
side of the river which was sad of it.  However, we drove on, I riding
and Cecil and Christian, the Kaffir, in the Cart.  We saw no one for
several hours except some Kaffir Kraals and we almost ran into two
herds of deer.  I counted twenty-six in one herd, they were about a
quarter of a mile away.  We came to a cross road and I decided to put
back as we had lost track of the river and were bearing straight into
the English lines.  Just as we found the river again and had got across
a drift cannon opened on our right.  We then knew we were in between
the Boers and the English but we had no other knowledge of our
geographical position.  Such being the case we decided to outspan and
lunch.  Out-spanning is setting the mules and horses at liberty,
in-spanning trying to catch them again.  It takes five minutes to
out-span, and three hours to in-span.  We had Armour's corned beef and
Libby's canned bacon.  Cecil cooked the bacon on a stick and we ate it
with biscuits captured by our Boer friends at Cronje's farm from the
English Tommies.  About three o'clock we started off again, and were
captured by three Boers.  I was riding behind the cart and threw up my
hands "that quick," but Cecil could not hear me yelling at her to stop
on account of the noise of the cart.  I knew if I rode after her they
would shoot at me, and that if she didn't stop, as they were shouting
at her to do, they would shoot her.  Under these trying circumstances I
sat still.  It caused quite a coolness on Cecil's part.  However the
Boers could see I was trying to get her to halt so they only rode
around and headed her off.  We were so glad to see them that they could
not be suspicious.  Still, as we had come directly from the English
lines they had doubts.  We told them we had lost ourselves and the more
they threatened to take us to the commandant the more satisfied we
were.  I insisted on taking photos of them reading Cecil's passport.
It annoyed them that we refused to be serious, we assured them we had
never met anyone we were so glad to see.  They finally believed us, and
our passports which describe Cecil as my "frau," and artist of Harper's
Weekly, an idea of Loosberg's.  We all smoked and then shook hands and
they went back to their positions.  We next met Christian De Vet one of
the two big generals who is a grand character.  Nothing could match the
wonderful picturesqueness of his camp spread out over the side of a
hill with the bearded fine featured old Van Dyck and Hugonot heads
under great sombreros.  De Vet made us a long speech saying it was only
to be expected that the Great Republic would send men to help the
little Republics, but he had not hoped that the women would show their
sympathy by coming too.  All this with the most simple  earnest
courtesy.  He said "No English woman would dare do what you are doing."
He showed us a farin house on a kopje about five miles off where he
said we could get shelter and where we would be near the fighting on
the morrow.  We rode in the moonlight for some time but when we reached
the house it was filthy and the people were in such terror that we
decided to camp out in the veldt.  We found a grove of trees near by
and a stream of water running beside it so we made a fire there.  We
had only one biscuit left but several cans of bacon and tea.  It was
great fun and we sat up as late as we could around the fire on account
of the cold.  We could see the Boer fires in the moonlight on the hills
and across the Sand, the English flashlights signalling all night.  We
put a rubber blanket on the grass and wrapped up in steamer rugs but
both of us died several times of cold and even sitting on the fire
failed to warm me.  We were awakened out of a cold storage sort of
sleep by pom-poms going off right over our They sounded just as
disturbing I found from the rear as when you are in front of them.
They are the most effective of all the small guns for causing your
nerves to riot.  We climbed up the hill and saw the English coming in
their usual solid formation stretching out for three miles.  We went
back and got the cart and drove to a nearer kopje, but just as we
reached it the Boers abandoned it.  Roberts's column was now much
nearer.  We then drove on still further in the direction of the bridge.
I kept telling Cecil that the firing was all from the Boers as I did
not want Christian to bolt and run away with the cart and mules.  But
Cecil remembered the pictures in Harper's Weekly showing the shrapnel
smoke making rings in the air and as she saw these floating over our
head, she knew the English were firing on us, but said nothing for fear
of scaring Christian.  I had promised to get her under fire which was
her one wish so I said that she was now well under fire for the first
and the last time.  To which she replied "Pshaw!"  I never saw any one
show such self possession.  We halted the cart behind a deserted farm
house, and saddled her pony.  The shells were now falling all over the
shop, and I was scared to distraction.  But she took about five minutes
to see that her saddle was properly tightened and then we rode up to
the hill.  Again the Boers were leaving and only a few remained.  They
warned her to keep back but we dismounted and walked up to the hill.
It was a very hot place but Cecil was quite unmoved.  We showed her the
shells striking back of her and around her but she refused to be
impressed with the danger.  She went among the Boers begging them to
make a stand very quietly and like one man to another and they took it
just in that way and said "But we are very tired.  We have been driven
back for three days.  We are only a thousand, they are twenty
thousand."  Some of them only sat still too proud to run, too sick to
fight!  When the British got within five hundred yards of the artillery
I told her she must run.  At the same moment Botha's men a mile on our
right broke away in a mad gallop, as though the lancers were after
them.  I finally got her on her pony and we raced for Ventersberg with
Christian a good first.  He had lost all desire to out-span.

At Ventersberg we found every one harnessing up in the street and
abandoning everything.  We again felt this untimely desire for food,
and had lunch at Jones's hotel on scraps and Cecil went off to see if
she could loot the cook, as everyone but her had left the hotel and as
we needed one in Pretoria.  A despatch-rider came running to me as I
was smoking in the garden and shouted that the "Roinekes" were coming
in force over the hill.  I ran out in the street and saw their shells
falling all over the edge of the village.  They were only a quarter of
an hour behind us.  I yelled for Cecil who was helping the looted cook
pack up her own things and anyone else's she could find in a sheet.  I
gathered up a dog and a kitten Cecil wanted and left a note for the
next English officer who occupied my room with the inscription "I'd
leave my happy home for you."  We then put the cook, the kitten, the
dog and Cecil in the cart and I got on the horse and we let out for
Kronstad at a gallop.  We raced the thirty miles in five hours without
one halt.  That was not our cruelty to animals but Christian's who
whenever I ordered him to halt and let us rest, yelled that the
Englesses were after us and galloped on.  The retreat was a terribly
pathetic spectacle; for hours we passed through group after group of
the broken and dispirited Boers.  At Kronstad President Steyn whom I
went to see on arriving ordered a special car for me, and sent us off
at once.  We reached here the next morning, Christian arriving a day
later having killed one mule and one pony in his eagerness to escape.
We are going back again as soon as Roberts reaches the Vaal.  There
there must be a stand.  Love and best wishes to you all----


June 8th, 1900.

On board the Kausler.


We engaged our passage on this ship some weeks ago not thinking we
would have the English near Pretoria until August.  But as it happened
they came so near that we did not know whether or not to wait over and
see them enter the capital.  I decided not, first, because after that
one event, there would be nothing for us to see or do.  We could not
leave until the 2nd of July and a month under British martial law was
very distasteful to me.  Besides I did not care much to see them enter,
or to be forced to witness their rejoicing.  As soon as we got under
way and about half the distance to the coast, it is a two days' trip.
We heard so many rumors of Roberts's communication having been cut off
and that the war was not over, that we thought perhaps we ought to go
back-- As we have no news since except that the British are in Pretoria
we still do not know what to think.  Personally I am glad I came away
as I can do just as much for the Boers at home now as there where the
British censor would have shut me off from cabling and mails are so
slow.  With the local knowledge I have, I hope to keep at it until it
is over.  But when I consider the magnitude of the misrepresentation
about the burghers I feel appalled at the idea of going up against it.
One is really afraid to tell all the truth about the Boer because no
one would believe you-- It is almost better to go mildly and then you
may have some chance.  But personally I know no class of men I admire
as much or who to-day preserve the best and oldest ideas of charity,
fairness and good-will to men.


June 29th, 1900.


We are now just off Crete, and our next sight of the blue land will be
Europe.  It means so many things; being alone with Cecil again, instead
of on a raft touching elbows with so many strangers, and it means a
shop where you can buy collars, and where they put starch in your
linen.  Also many beautiful ladies one does not know and men in evening
dress one does not know and green tables covered with gold and little
green and red bits of ivory where one passes among the tables and
wonders what they would think if they knew we two had found our
greatest friends in the Boer farmers, in Dutch Station Masters who gave
us a corner under the telegraph table in which to sleep, with Nelson
who kept the Transvaal Steam Laundry, Col. Lynch of the steerage who
comes to the dividing line to beg French books from Cecil, and that we
had cooked our food on sticks, drunk out of the same cups with Kaffir
servants and slept on the ground when there was frost on it.  It will
be so strange to find that there are millions of people who do not know
Komali poort, who have thought of anything else except burghers and
roor-i-neks-- It seems almost disloyal to the Boers to be glad to see
newspapers only an hour old instead of six weeks old, and to welcome
all the tyranny of collar buttons, scarf pins, watch chains, walking
sticks and gloves even.  I love them both and I can hardly believe it
is true that we are to go to a real hotel with a lift and a chasseur,
where you cannot smoke in the dining-room.  As for Aix, that I cannot
believe will ever happen-- It was just a part of one's honeymoon and I
refuse to cheat myself into thinking that within a week I will be
riding through the lanes of the little villages, drinking red wine at
Burget, watching Chas spread cheese over great hunks of bread and
listening to three bands at one time.  And then the joy to follow of
Home and America and all that is American.  Even the Custom House holds
nothing but joy for me--and then "mine own people!"  It has been six
weeks since we have heard from you or longer, nearly two months and how
I miss you and want you.  It will be a happy day when Dad meets me at
the wharf and I can see his blue and white tie again and his dear face
under the white hat--where you and Nora will be I cannot tell, but I
will seek you out.  We will be happy together--so happy-- It has been
the longest separation we have known and such a lot of things have
happened.  It will be such peace to see you and hold you once again.



July 6th, 1900.


Cecil and I arrived last night tired and about worn out--we had had a
month on board ship and two days in the cars and when we got out at Aix
and found our rooms ready and Francois waiting, we shouted and cheered.
It was never so beautiful as it looked in the moonlight and we walked
all over it, through the silent streets chortling with glee.  They
could not give us our same rooms but we got the suite just above them,
which is just as good.  They were so extremely friendly and glad to see
us and had flowers in all the rooms.  We have not heard a word about
Chas yet, as our mail has not arrived from Paris, but I will cable in a
minute and hear.  We cannot wait any longer for news of him.  I got up
at seven this morning so excited that I could not sleep and have been
to the baths, where I was received like the President of the Republic.
In fact everybody seems to have only the kindest recollections of us
and to be glad to have us back.

Such a rest as it is and so clean and bright and good--Only I have
absolutely nothing to wear except a two pound flannel suit I bought at
Lorenzo Marquez until I get some built by a French tailor.  I must wear
a bath robe or a bicycle suit until evening.  We have not been to the
haunts of evil yet but we are dining there to night and all will be
well.  Cecil sends her love to you all-- Goodbye and God bless you.

Richard and his wife returned to America in the early fall of 1900 and,
after a visit to Mr. and Mrs. Clark at Marion, settled for the winter
in New York.  They took a house in East Fifty-eighth Street where they
did much entertaining and lived a very social existence, but I do not
imagine that either of them regarded the winter as a success.  Richard
was unable to do his usual amount of work, and both he and his wife
were too fond of the country to enjoy an entire winter in town.  In the
spring they went back to Marion.

  MASSACHUSETTS.  May, 1901.

We arrived here last night in a glowing sunset which was followed by a
grand moon.  The house was warm and clean and bright, with red curtains
and open fires and everything was just as we had left it, so that it
seemed as though we had just come out of a tortuous bad dream of
asphalt and L. roads and bad air.  I was never so glad to get away from
New York.

Outside it is brisk and fine and smells of earth and melting snow and
there is a grand breeze from the bay.  We took a long walk to-day, with
the three dogs, and it was pitiful to see how glad they were to be free
of the cellar and a back yard and at large among grass and rocks and
roots of trees.  I wanted to bottle up some of the air and send it to
all of my friends in New York.  It is so much better to smell than
hot-house violets.  Seaton came on with us to handle the dogs and to
unpack and so to-day we are nearly settled already with silver,
pictures, clothes and easels and writing things all in place.  The
gramophone is whirling madly and all is well-- Lots and lots of love.


The following was written by Richard to his mother on her birthday:


June 27th, 1901.


In those wonderful years of yours you never thought of the blessing you
were to us, only of what good you could find in us.  All that time, you
were helping us and others, and making us better, happier, even nobler
people.  From the day you struck the first blow for labor, in The Iron
Mills on to the editorials in The Tribune, The Youth's Companion and
The Independent, with all the good the novels, the stories brought to
people, you were always year after year making the ways straighter,
lifting up people, making them happier and better.  No woman ever did
better for her time than you and no shrieking suffragette will ever
understand the influence you wielded, greater than hundreds of
thousands of women's votes.

We love you dear, dear mother, and we KNOW you and may your coming
years be many and as full of happiness for yourself as they are for us.




Interrupted by frequent brief visits to New York Philadelphia, and
Boston, Richard and his wife remained in Marion from May, 1901, until
the early spring of 1902.  During this year Richard accomplished a
great deal of work and lived an ideal existence.  In the summer months
there were golf and tennis and an army of visitors, and during the
winter many of their friends came from New York to enjoy a most
charming hospitality and the best of duck shooting and all kinds of
winter sports.

Late in April, they sailed for Gibraltar on their way to Madrid, where
Richard was to report the coronation ceremonies, and from Madrid they
went to Paris and then to London to see the coronation of King Edward.
It was while on a visit to the Rudyard Kiplings that they heard the
news that Edward had been suddenly stricken with a serious illness and
that the ceremony had been postponed.

11, St. James's Place,
  St. James's Street, S. W.

June, 1902.


This is only to say that at the Kipling's we heard the news, and being
two newspaper men, refused to believe it and went to the postoffice of
the little village to call up Brighton on the 'phone.  It was very
dramatic, the real laureate of the British Empire asking if the King
were really in such danger that he could not be crowned, while the
small boy in charge of the grocery shop, where the postoffice was, wept
with his elbows on the counter.  They sent me my ticket--unasked--for
the Abbey, early this morning, and while I was undecided whether to
keep it--or send it back, this came.  So, now, I shall frame it as a
souvenir of one of the most unhappy occasions I ever witnessed.  You
can form no idea of what a change it has made.  It really seems to have
stunned every one--that is the usual and accepted word, but this time
it describes it perfectly.


During the summer of 1903 my mother and father occupied a cottage at
Marion, and every morning Richard started the day by a visit to them.
My brother had already bought his Crossroads Farm at Mount Kisco, and
the new house was one of the favorite topics of their talk.  The
following letter was written by my mother to Richard, after her return
to Philadelphia.

September, 1903.

Here we are in the old library and breakfast over.  There seemed an
awful blank in the world as I sat down just now, and I said to Dad "Its
Dick--he must come THIS morning."

You don't know how my heart used to give a thump when you and Bob came
in that old door.  It has been such a good month--everybody was so
friendly--and Dad was so well and happy--but your visits were the core
of it all.  And our good drives!  Well we'll have lots of drives at the
Crossroads.  You'll call at our cottage every morning and I'm going to
train the peacocks to run before the trap and I'll be just like Juno.

There isn't a scrap of news.  It is delightfully cool here.




During the fall and early winter of 1903 Richard and his wife lingered
on in Marion, but came to New York after the Christmas holidays.  The
success of his farce "The Dictator" had been a source of the greatest
pleasure to Richard, and he settled down to playwriting with the same
intense zeal he put into all of his work.  However, for several years
Robert J.  Collier and my brother had been very close friends, and
Richard had written many articles and stories for Collier's Weekly, so
that when Collier urged my brother to go to the Japanese-Russian War as
correspondent with the Japanese forces, Richard promptly gave up his
playwriting and returned to his old love--the role of reporter.
Accompanied by his wife, Richard left New York for San Francisco in

February, 1904.


We are really off on the "long trail" bound for the boundless East.  We
have a charming drawing-room, a sympathetic porter and a courtly
conductor descended from one of the first Spanish conquerors of
California.  We arranged the being late for lunch problem by having
dinner at five and cutting the lunch out.  Bruce and Nan came over for
dinner and we had a very jolly time.  They all asked after you all, and
drank to our re-union at Marion in July.  Later they all tried to come
with us on the train.  It looked so attractive with electric lights in
each seat, and observation car and library.  A reporter interviewed us
and Mr. Clark gave us a box of segars and a bottle of whiskey.  But
they will not last, as will Dad's razors and your housewife.  I've used
Dad's razors twice a day, and they still are perfect.  It's snowing
again, but we don't care.  They all came to the station to see us off
but no one cried this time as they did when we went to South Africa.
Somehow we cannot take this trip seriously.  It is such a holiday trip
all through not grim and human like the Boer war.  Just quaint and
queer.  A trip of cherry blossoms and Geisha girls.  I send all my love
to you.


SAN FRANCISCO, February 26th.


We got in here last night at midnight just as easily as though we were
coming into Jersey City.  Before we knew it we had seen the Golden
Gate, and were snug in this hotel.  Today as soon as we learned we
could not sail we started in to see sights and we made a record and
hung it up high.  We went to the Cliff House and saw the seals on the
rocks below, to the Park, the military reservation, Chinatown, and the
Poodle Dog Restaurant.  We also saw the Lotta monument, the Stevenson
monument, the Spreckles band stand, the place where the Vigilance
Committee hung the unruly, and tonight I went to a dinner the Bohemian
Club gave to the War correspondents.  I made a darned good speech.
Think of ME making a speech of any sort, but I did, and I had sense
enough not to talk about the war but the "glorious climate of
California" instead and of all the wonders of Frisco.  So, I made a
great hit.  It certainly is one of the few cities that lives up to it's
reputation in every way.  I should call it the most interesting city,
with more character back of it than any city on this continent.  There
are only four deck rooms and we each have one.  The boat is small, but
in spite of the crowd that is going on her, will I think be
comfortable.  I know it will be that, and it may be luxurious.


On way to Japan.

March 13th, 1904.

About four this afternoon we saw an irregular line of purple mountains
against a yellow sky, and it was Japan.  In spite of the Sunday papers,
and the interminable talk on board, the guide books and maps which had
made Japan nauseous to me, I saw the land of the Rising Sun with just
as much of a shock and thrill as I first saw the coast of Africa.  We
forgot entirely we had been twenty days at sea and remembered only that
we were ten miles from Japan, only as far as New Bedford is from
Marion.  We are at anchor now, waiting to go in in the morning.  Were
it not for war we could go in now but we must wait to be piloted over
the sunken mines.  That and the flashlights moving from the cruisers
ten miles away gave us our first idea of war.  To-morrow early we will
be off for Tokio, as it is only forty miles from Yokohama.  Of course,
I may get all sorts of news before we land, but that is what we expect
to do.  It will be good to feel solid earth, and to see the kimonos and
temples and geishas and cherry blossoms.  I am almost hoping the
Government won't let us go to the front and that for a week at least
Cecil and I can sit in tea houses with our shoes off while the nesans
bring us tea and the geishas rub their knees and make bows to us.  I am
sending you through Harper's, a book on Hawaii and one of Japan that I
have read and like and which I think will help you to keep in touch
with the wanderers.  With all my love to all.


TOKYO, March 22nd, 1904.


The "situation" here continues to remain in such doubt that I cannot
tell of it, as it changes hourly.  There are three "columns," so far
existing only in imagination.  That is, so far as they concern the
correspondents.  The first lot have chosen themselves, and so have the
second lot.  But the first lot are no nearer starting than they were
two weeks ago.  I may be kept waiting here for weeks and weeks.  I do
not like to turn out Palmer, although I very much want to go with the
first bunch.  On the other hand I am paid pretty well to get to the
front, and I am uncertain as to what I ought to do.  If the second
column were to start immediately after the first, we then would have
two men in the field, but if it does not, then Collier will be paying
$1000. a week for stories of tea houses and "festivals."  Palmer
threatens to resign if I take his place in the first column and that
would be a loss to the paper that I do not feel I could make up.  If it
gets any more complicated I'll wire Collier to decide.

Meanwhile, we are going out to dinners and festivals and we ride.  I
have a good pony the paper paid for Cecil has hired another and we find
it delightful to scamper out into the country.  We have three rooms in
a row.  One we use for a sitting room.  They look very welland as it is
still cold we keep them cheerful with open fires.  We have a table in
the dining-room to ourselves and to which we can ask our friends.  The
food is extremely good.  Griscom and the Secretaries have all called
and sent pots of flowers, and we are dining out every other night.  In
the day we shop and ride.  But all day and all night we the
correspondents plot and slave and intrigue over the places on the
columns.  I got mine on the second column all right but no one knows if
it ever will move.  So, naturally, I want to be on the first.  The rows
are so engrossing that I have not enjoyed the country as I expected.
Still, I am everlastingly glad we came.  It is an entirely new life and
aspect.  It completes so much that we have read and seen.  In spite of
the bother over the war passes I learn things daily and we see
beautiful and curious things, and are educated as to the East, as no
books could have done it for us.  John Bass who was my comrade in arms
in Greece and his wife are here.  They are the very best.  Also we see
Lloyd daily, and the hotel is full of amusing men, who are trying to
get to the front.  Of course, we know less of the war than you do.
None of the news from Cheefoo, none of the "unauthorized" news reaches
us.  Were it not for our own squabbles we would not know not only that
the country was at war but not even that war existed ANYWHERE in the
world.  We are here entirely en tourist and it cannot be helped.  The
men who tried to go with the Russians are equally unfortunate.  Think
of us as wandering around each with a copy of Murray seeing sights.
That is all we really do,  All my love.


YOKOHAMA--April 2, 1904.


I just got your letter dated the 28th of February and the days
following in which you worried over me in the ice coated trenches of
Korea.  I read it in a rickshaw in a warm sun on my way to buy favors
for a dinner to Griscom.  We have had three warm days and no doubt the
sun will be out soon.  The loss of the sun, though, is no great one.
We have lots of pleasures and lots of troubles in spite of the Sun.
Yesterday the first batch of correspondents were sent on their way.  I
doubt if they will get any further than Chemulpo but their going
cheered the atmosphere like a storm in summer.  The diplomats and
Japanese were glad to get rid of them, they were delighted to be off.
Some had been here 58 days, and we all looked at it as a good sign as
it now puts us "next."  But after they had gone it was pretty blue for
some of them were as good friends as I want.  I know few men I like as
well as I do John Bass.  Many of them were intensely interesting.  It
was, by all odds, the crowd one would have wished to go with.  As it
is, I suspect we all will meet again and that the two columns will be
merged on the Yalu.  None of the attaches have been allowed to go, so
it really is great luck for the correspondents.  Tell Chas I still am
buying my Kit.  It's pretty nearly ready now.  I began in New York and
kept on in Boston, San Francisco, and here.  It always was my boast
that I had the most complete kit in the world, and in spite of
Charley's jeers at my lack of preparedness everybody here voted it the
greatest ever seen.  For the last ten days all the Jap saddlers, tent
makers and tinsmiths have been copying it.


TOKIO--May 2, 1904.


Today, we walked into our new house and tomorrow we will settle down
there.  We rented the furniture for the two unfurnished rooms; knives,
forks, spoons, china for the table and extras for 35 dollars gold for
two months.  It took six men to bring the things in carts.  They got
nothing.  Yesterday, I took two rickshaw men from half past twelve to
half past five.  Out of that time they ran and pushed me for two solid
hours.  Their price for the five hours was eighty cents gold.  What you
would pay a cabman to drive you from the Waldorf to Martin's.  I wish
you could see our menage.  Such beautiful persons in grey silk kimonos
who bow, and bow and slip and slide in spotless torn white stockings
with one big toe.  They make you ashamed of yourself for walking on
your own carpet in your own shoes.  Today we got the first news of the
battle on the Yalu, the battle of April 26-30th.  I suppose Palmer and
Bass saw it; and I try to be glad I did what was right by Collier's
instead of for myself.  But I don't want to love another paper.  I
suppose there will be other fights but that one was the first, and it
must have been wonderful.  On the 4th we expect to be on our way to
Kioto with Lloyd and his wife and John Fox.  By that time we expect to
be settled in the new house.


TOKIO, May 22nd, 1904.


You will be glad to hear that the correspondents at the front are not
allowed within two and a half miles of the firing line.  This I am sure
you will approve.  Their tales of woe have just been received here, and
they certainly are having a hard time.  The one thing they all hope for
is that the Japs will order them home.  My temper is vile to-day, as I
cannot enjoy the gentle pleasures of this town any longer and with this
long trip to Port Arthur before I can turn towards home.  I am as cross
as a sick bear.  We were at Yokohama when your last letters came and
they were a great pleasure.  I got splendid news of The Dictator.
Yesterday we all went to Yokohama.  There are four wild American boys
here just out of Harvard who started the cry of "Ping Yang" for the
"Ping Yannigans" they being the "Yannigans."  They help to make things
very lively and are affectionately regarded by all classes.  Yesterday,
they and Fox and Cecil and I went to the races, with five ricksha boys
each, and everybody lost his money except myself.  But it was great
fun.  It rained like a seive, and all the gentlemen riders fell off,
and every time we won money our thirty ricksha men who would tell when
we won by watching at which window we had bet, would cheer us and
salaam until to save our faces we had to scatter largesses.  Egan
turned up in the evening and dined with John and Cecil and me in the
Grand Hotel and told us first of all the story the correspondents had
brought back to Kobbe for which every one from the Government down has
been waiting.  It would make lively reading if any of us dared to write
it.  To-day he made his protests to Fukushima as we mapped them out
last night and the second lot will I expect be treated better.  But, as
the first lot were the important men representing the important
syndicates the harm, for the Japs, has been done.  Of course, much they
do is through not knowing our points of view.  To them none of us is of
any consequence except that he is a nuisance, and while they are
conversationally perfect in politeness, the regulations they inflict
are too insulting.  However, you don't care about that, and neither do
I.  I am going to earn my money if I possibly can, and come home.


TOKIO, June 13th, 1904.


We gave a farewell dinner last night to the Ping Yannigans two of whom
left on the Navy expedition and another one to-morrow for God's
country.  There were eight men and we had new lanterns painted with the
arms of Corea and the motto of the Ping Yannigans.  Also many flags.
All but the Japanese flag.  One of them with a side glance at the
servants said, "Gentleman and Lady:  I propose a toast, Japan for the
Japanese and the Japanese for Japan."  We all knew what he meant but
the servants were greatly pleased.  Jack London turned up to-day on his
way home.  I liked him very much.  He is very simple and modest and
gave you a tremendous impression of vitality and power.  He is very
bitter against the wonderful little people and says he carries away
with him only a feeling of irritation.  But I told him that probably
would soon wear off and he would remember only the pleasant things.  I
did envy him so, going home after having seen a fight and I not yet
started.  Still THIS TIME we may get off.  Yokoyama the contractor
takes our stuff on the 16th, and so we feel it is encouraging to have
our luggage at the front even if we are here.


YOKOHAMA, July 26th, 1904.


We gave in our passes to-day, and sail to-morrow at five.  They say we
are not to see Port Arthur fall but are to be taken up to Oku's army.
That means we miss the "popular" story, and may have to wait around
several weeks before we see the other big fight.  They promised us Port
Arthur but that is reason enough for believing they do not intend we
shall see it at all.  John and I are here at a Japanese hotel, the one
Li Hung Chang occupied when he came over to arrange the treaty between
China and Japan.  It is a very beautiful house, the best I have seen of
real Japanese and the garden and view of the harbor is magnificent.  I
wish Cecil could see it too, but I know she would not care for a room
which is as free to the public view as the porch at Marion.  It has 48
mats and as a mat is 3 x 5 you can work it out.  We eat, sleep and
dress in this room and it is like trying to be at home on top of a
Chickering Grand.  But it is very beautiful and the moonlight is fine
and saddening.  No one of us has the least interest in the war or in
what we may see or be kept from seeing.  We have been "over trained"
and not even a siege of London could hold our thoughts from home.  I
have just missed the mail which would have told me you were at Marion.
I should so love to have heard from you from there.  I do not think you
will find the Church house uncomfortable; and you can always run across
the road when the traffic is not too great, and chat with Benjamin.  I
do hope that Dad will have got such good health from Marion and such
lashers of fish.  I got a good letter from Charles and I certainly feel
guilty at putting extra work on a man as busy as he.  Had I known he
was the real judge of those prize stories I would have sent him one
myself and given him the name of it.  Well, goodbye for a little time.
We go on board in a few hours, and after that everything I write you is
read by the Censor so I shall not say anything that would gratify their
curiosity.  They think it is unmanly to write from the field to one's
family and the young princes forbade their imperial spouses from
writing them until the war is over.  However, not being an imperial
Samaari but a home loving, family loving American, I shall miss not
hearing very much, and not being able to tell you all how I love you.


DALNY, July 27th, 1904.


We left Shimonoseki three days ago and have had very pleasant going on
the Heijo Maru a small but well run ship of 1,500 tons.  Fox and I got
one of the two best rooms and I have been very comfortable.  We are at
anchor now at a place of no interest except for its sunsets.

We have just been told as the anchor is being lowered that we can send
letters back by the Island, so I can just dash this off before leaving.
We have reached Dalny and I have just heard the first shot fired which
was to send me home.  All the others came and bid John and me a
farewell as soon as we were sure it was the sound of cannon.  However,
as it is 20 miles away I'll have to hang on until I get a little
nearer.  We have had a very pleasant trip even though we were delayed
two days by fog and a slow convoy.  Now we are here at Dalny.  It looks
not at all like its pictures, which, as I remember them were all taken
in winter.  It is a perfectly new, good brick barracks-like town. I am
landing now.  The two servants seem very satisfactory and I am in
excellent health.  Today Cecil has been four days at Hong Kong.  Please
send the gist of this letter dull as it is to Mrs. Clark.  When I began
it I thought I would have plenty of time to finish it on shore.  Of
course, after this all I write and this too, I suppose will be
censored.  So, there will not be much liveliness.  I have no taste to
expose my affections to the Japanese staff.  So, goodbye.


July 31st, 1904.


We have been met here with a bitter disappointment.  We are all to be
sent north, although only 18 hours away.  We can hear the guns at Port
Arthur the fall of which they promised us we would see.  To night we
are camping out in one of the Russian barracks.  To-morrow we go,
partly by horse and partly by train.  A week must elapse before we can
get near headquarters.  And then we have no guarantee that we will see
any fighting.  This means for me a long delay.  It is very
disappointing and the worst of the many we have suffered in the last
four months.  I have written Cecil asking her to seriously think of
going home but I am afraid she will not.  Were it not for that and the
disappointment one feels in travelling a week's journey away from the
sound of guns I would be content.  My horse is well and so am I.  It is
good to get back to drawing water, and carrying baggage and skirmishing
about for yourself.  The contractor gave us a good meal and the
servants are efficient but I like doing things myself and skirmishing
for them.  We make a short ride this morning of six miles to Kin Chow
and then 30 miles by rail.  "Headquarters" is about a five days ride
distant.  Tell Chas my outfit seems nearly complete.  Maybe I can buy a
few things I forgot in Boston at Kin Chow.  Fox and I will get out just
as soon as we see fighting but before you get this you will probably
hear by cable from me.  If not, it will mean we still are waiting for a
fight.  The only mistake I made was in not going home the first time
they deceived us instead of waiting for this and worst of all.

to you all.


MANCHURIA, August 14, 1904.

We have been riding through Manchuria for eleven days.  Nine days we
rode then two days we rested.  By losing the trail we managed to
average about 20 miles a day.  I kept well and enjoyed it very much.
As I had to leave my servant behind with a sick horse, I had to take
care of my mule and pony myself and hunt fodder for them, so I was
pretty busy.  Saiki did all he could, but he is not a servant and
sooner than ask him I did things myself.  We passed through a very
beautiful country, sleeping at railway stations and saw two battle
fields of recent fights.  Now we are in a Chinese City and waiting to
see what should be the biggest fight since Sedan.  The Russians are
about ten miles from us, so we are not allowed outside the gates of the
city without a guide.  Of course, we have none of that freedom we have
enjoyed in other wars, but apart from that they treat us very well
indeed.  And in a day or two they promise us much fighting, which we
will be allowed to witness from a hill.  This is a very queer old city
but the towns and country are all very primitive and we depend upon
ourselves for our entertainment.  I expect soon to see you at home.  In
three more days I shall have been out here five months and that is too
long.  Good luck to you all.

R. H. D.

MANCHURIA, August 18th, 1904.

We still are inside this old Chinese town.  It has rained for five
days, and this one is the first in which we could go abroad.  Unless
you swim very well it is not safe to cross one of these streets.  We
have found an old temple and some of us are in it now.  It is such a
relief to escape from that compound and the rain.  This place is full
of weeds and pine trees, cooing doves and butterflies.  The temples are
closed and no one is in charge but an aged Chinaman.  We did not come
here to sit in temples, so John and I will leave in a week, battle or
no battle.  The argument that having waited so long one might as well
wait a little longer does not touch us.  It was that argument that kept
us in Tokio when we knew we were being deceived weekly, and the same
man who deceived us there, is in charge here.  It is impossible to
believe anything he tells his subordinates to tell us, so, we will be
on our way back when you get this.  I am well, and only disappointed.
Had they not broken faith with us about Port Arthur we would by now
have seen fighting.  As it is we will have wasted six months.

Love to Dad, and Chas and Nora and you.


In writing of his decision to leave the Japanese army, Richard, after
his return to the United States, said:

"On the receipt of Oku's answer to the Correspondents we left the army.
Other correspondents would have quit then, as most of them did ten days
later, but that their work and Kuroki, so far from being fifty miles
north toward Mukden, as Okabe said he was, was twenty miles to the east
on our right preparing for the, closing-in movement which was just
about to begin.  Three days after we had left the army, the greatest
battle since Sedan was waged for six days.

"So, our half-year of time and money, of dreary waiting, of daily
humiliations at the hands of officers with minds diseased by suspicion,
all of which would have been made up to us by the sight of this one
great spectacle, was to the end absolutely lost to us.  Perhaps we made
a mistake in judgment.  As the cards fell we certainly did.

"The only proposition before us was this:  There was small chance of
any immediate fighting.  If there were fighting we would not see it.
Confronted with the same conditions again, I would decide in exactly
the same manner.  Our misfortune lay in the fact that our experience
with other armies had led us to believe that officers and gentlemen
speak the truth, that men with titles of nobility, and with the higher
titles of General and Major-General, do not lie.  In that we were

Greatly disappointed at his failure to see really anything of the war,
much embittered at the Japanese over their treatment of the
correspondents, Richard reached Vancouver in October.  As my father was
seriously ill he came to Philadelphia at once and divided the next two
months between our old home and Marion.

On December 14, 1904, my father died, and it was the first tragedy that
had come into Richard's life, as it was in that of my sister or myself.
As an editorial writer, most of my father's work had been anonymous,
but his influence had been as far-reaching as it had been ever for all
that was just and fine.  All of his life he had worked unremittingly
for good causes and, in spite of the heavy burdens which of his own
will he had taken upon his none too strong shoulders, I have never met
with a nature so calm , so simple, so sympathetic with those who were
weak--weak in body or soul.  As all newspaper men must, he had been
brought in constant contact with the worst elements of machine
politics, as indeed he had with the lowest strata of the life common to
any great city.  But in his own life he was as unsophisticated; his
ideals of high living, his belief in the possibilities of good in all
men and in all women, remained as unruffled as if he had never left his
father's farm where he had spent his childhood.  When my father died
Richard lost his "kindest and severest critic" as he also lost one of
his very closest friends and companions.

During the short illness that preceded my brother's death, although
quite unconscious that the end was so near, his thoughts constantly
turned back to the days of his home in Philadelphia, and he got out the
letters which as a boy and as a young man he had written to his family.
After reading a number of them he said:  "I know now why we were such a
happy It was because we were always, all of us, of the same age."



During my brother's life there were four centres from which he set
forth on his travels and to which he returned to finish the articles
for which he had collected the material, or perhaps to write a novel, a
few short stories, or occasionally a play, but unlike most of the
followers of his craft, never to rest.  Indeed during the last
twenty-five years of his life I do not recall two consecutive days when
Richard did not devote a number of hours to literary work.  The centres
of which I speak were first Philadelphia, then New York, then Marion,
and lastly Mount Kisco.  Happy as Richard had been at Marion, the
quaint little village, especially in winter, was rather inaccessible,
and he realized that to be in touch with the numerous affairs in which
he was interested that his headquarters should be in or near New York.
In addition to this he had for long wanted a home of his very own, and
so located that he could have his family and his friends constantly
about him.  Some years, however, elapsed between this dream and its
realization.  In 1903 he took the first step by purchasing a farm
situated in the Westchester Hills, five miles from Mount Kisco, New
York.  He began by building a lake at the foot of the hill on which the
home was to stand, then a water-tower, and finally the house itself.
The plans to the minutest detail had been laid out on the lawn at
Marion and, as the architect himself said, there was nothing left for
him to do but to design the cellar.

Richard and his wife moved into their new home in July, 1905, and
called it Crossroads Farm, keeping the original name of the place.  In
later years Richard added various adjoining parcels of land to his
first purchase, and the property eventually included nearly three
hundred acres.  The house itself was very large, very comfortable, and
there were many guest-rooms which every week-end for long were filled
by the jolliest of house-parties.  In his novel "The Blind Spot,"
Justus Miles Forman gives the following very charming picture of the

"It was a broad terrace paved with red brick that was stained and a
little mossy, so that it looked much older than it had any right to,
and along its outer border there were bay-trees set in big Italian
terracotta jars; but the bay-trees were placed far apart so that they
should not mask the view, and that was wise, for it was a fine view.
It is rugged country in that part of Westchester County--like a choppy
sea: all broken, twisted ridges, and abrupt little hills, and piled-up
boulders, and hollow, cup-like depressions among them.  The Grey house
sat, as it were, upon the lip of a cup, and from the southward terrace
you looked across a mile or two of hollow bottom, with a little lake at
your feet, to sloping pastures where there were cattle browsing, and to
the far, high hills beyond.

"There was no magnificence about the outlook--nothing to make you catch
your breath; but it was a good view with plenty of elbow room and no
sign of a neighbor--no huddling--only the water of the little lake, the
brown November hillsides, and the clean blue sky above.  The distant
cattle looked like scenic cattle painted on their green-bronze pasture
to give an aspect of husbandry to the scene."

Although Richard was now comfortably settled, he had of late years
acquired a great dread of cold weather.  As soon as winter set in his
mind turned to the tropics, and whenever it was possible he went to
Cuba or some other land where he was sure of plenty of heat and
sunshine.  The early part of 1906 found him at Havana, this time on a
visit to the Hon. E. V.  Morgan, who was then our minister to Cuba.
From Havana he went to the Isle of Pines.

ISLE OF PINES, March 26th, 1906.


We are just returning from the Isle of Pines.  We reached there after a
day on the water at about six on Wednesday, 22nd.  They dropped us at a
woodshed in a mangrove swamp, where a Mr. Mason met us with two mules.
I must have said I was going to the island because every one was
expecting me.  Until the night before we had really no idea when we
would go, so, to be welcomed wherever we went, was confusing.  For four
days we were cut off from the world, and in that time, five days in
all, we covered the entire island pretty thoroughly-- It was one of the
most interesting trips I ever took and Cecil enjoyed it as much as I
did.  The island is a curious mixture of palm and pines, one minute it
looks like Venezuela and the next like Florida and Lakewood.  It is
divided into two parties of Americans, the "moderates" and the
"revolutionists."  The Cubans are very few and are all employed by the
Americans, who own nine-tenths of the Island.  Of course, they all want
the U. S. to take it, they differ only as to how to persuade the
senators to do it.  I had to change all my opinions about the
situation.  I thought it was owned by land speculators who did not live
there, nor wish to live there, but instead I found every one I met had
built a home and was cultivating the land.  We gave each land company a
turn at me, and we had to admire orange groves and pineapples,
grapefruit and coffee until we cried for help.  With all this was the
most romantic history of the island before the "gringos" came.  It was
a famous place for pirates and buried treasures and slave pens.  It was
a sort of clearing house for slaves where they were fattened.  I do not
believe people take much interest in or know anything about it, but I
am going to try and make an interesting story of it for Collier.  It
was queer to be so completely cut off from the world.  There was a
wireless but they would not let me use it.  It is not yet opened to the
public.  I talked to every one I met and saw much that was pathetic and
human.  It was the first pioneer settlement Cecil had ever seen and the
American making the ways straight is very curious.  He certainly does
not adorn whatever he touches.  But never have I met so many
enthusiastics and such pride in locality.  To-night we reach the Hotel
Louvre, thank heaven! where I can get Spanish food again, and not
American ginger bread, and, "the pie like mother used to make."  We now
are on a wretched Spanish tug boat with every one, myself included,
very seasick and babies howling and roosters crowing.  But soon that
will be over, and, after a short ride of thirty miles through a
beautiful part of the island, we will be in Havana in time for a fine
dinner, with ice.  What next we will do I am not sure.  After living in
that beautiful palace of Morgan's, it just needed five days of the
"Pinero's" to make us enjoy life at a hotel-- If we can make
connections, I think I will go over to Santo Domingo, and study up that
subject, too.  But, even if we go no where else the trip to the I. of
P.  was alone well worth our long journey.  I don't know when I have
seen anything as curious, and as complicated a political existence.
Love to all of you dear ones.


HAVANA--April 9, 1906.



I have just read about myself, in the April Bookman, which I would be
very ungrateful if I did not write and tell you how much it pleased me.
That sounds as though what pleased me was, obviously, that what you
said was so kind.  But what I really mean, and that for which I thank
you, was your picking out things that I myself liked, and that I would
like to think others liked.  I know that the men make "breaks," and am
sorry for it, but, I forget to be sorry when you please me by pointing
out the good qualities in "Laquerre," and the bull terrier.  Nothing
ever hurt me so much as the line used by many reviewers of "Macklin"
that "Mr.  Davis' hero is a cad, and Mr. Davis cannot see it."  Macklin
I always thought was the best thing I ever did, and it was the one over
which I took the most time and care.  Its failure was what as Maggie
Cline used to say, "drove me into this business" of play writing.  All
that ever was said of it was that it was "A book to read on railroad
trains and in a hammock."  That was the verdict as delivered to me by
Romeike from 300 reviewers, and it drove me to farces.  So, I was
especially glad when you liked "Royal Macklin."  I tried to make a
"hero" who was vain, theatrical, boasting and selfconscious, but, still
likable.  But, I did not succeed in making him of interest, and it
always has hurt me.  Also, your liking the "Derelict" and the "Fever
Ship" gave me much pleasure.  You see what I mean, it was your
selecting the things upon which I had worked, and with which I had made
every effort, that has both encouraged and delighted me.  Being
entirely unprejudiced, I think it is a fine article, and as soon as I
stamp this, I will read it over again.  So, thank you very much,
indeed, for to say what you did seriously, over your own name, took a
lot of courage, and for that daring, and for liking the same things I
do, I thank you many times.

Sincerely yours,


In reading this over, I find all I seem to have done in it is to
complain because no one, but yourself and myself liked "Macklin."  What
I wanted to say is, that I am very grateful for the article, for the
appreciation, although I don't deserve it, and for your temerity in
saying so many kind things.  Nothing that has been written about what I
have written has ever pleased me so much.

R. H. D.

In the spring of 1906 while Richard was on a visit to Providence, R.
I., Henry W. Savage produced a play by Jesse Lynch Williams and my
brother was asked to assist at rehearsals, a pastime in which he found
an enormous amount of pleasure.  The "McCloy" mentioned in the
following letter was the city editor of The Evening Sun when my brother
first joined the staff of that paper as a reporter.

NEW YORK, May 4, 1906.


I left Providence Tuesday night and came on to New York yesterday.
Savage and Williams and all were very nice about the help they said I
had given them, and I had as much fun as though it had been a success I
had made myself, and I didn't have to make a speech, either.

Yesterday I spent in the newspaper offices gathering material from
their envelopes on Winston Churchill, M. P. who is to be one of my real
Soldiers of Fortune.  He will make a splendid one, in four wars, twice
made a question; before he was 21 years old, in Parliament, and a
leader in BOTH parties before he was 36.  In the newspaper offices they
had a lot of fun with me.  When I came into the city room of The Eve.
Sun, McCloy was at his desk in his shirt spiking copy.  He just raised
his eyes and went on with his blue pencil.  I said "There's nothing in
that story, sir, the man will get well, and the woman is his wife."

"Make two sticks of it," said McCloy, "and then go back to the
Jefferson police court."

When I sat down at my old desk, and began to write the copy boy came
and stood beside me and when I had finished the first page, snatched
it.  I had to explain I was only taking notes.

At The Journal, Sam Chamberlain who used to pay me $500 a story,
touched me on the shoulder as I was scribbling down notes, and said
"Hearst says to take you back at $17 a week." I said "I'm worth $18 and
I can't come for less." So he brought up the business manager and had a
long wrangle with him as to whether I should get $18.  The business
manager, a Jew gentleman, didn't know me from Adam, and seriously tried
to save the paper a dollar a week.  When the reporters and typewriter
girls began to laugh, he got very mad.  It was very funny how soothing
was the noise of the presses, and the bells and typewriters and men
yelling "Copy!" and "Damn the boy!" I could write better than if I had
been in the silence of the farm.  It was like being able to sleep as
soon as the screw starts.




During the winter of 1907 the world rang with the reports of the
atrocities in the Congo, and Robert J. Collier, of Collier's Weekly,
asked Richard to go to the Congo and make an investigation.  I do not
believe that my brother was ever in much sympathy with the commission,
as he did not feel that he could afford the time that a thorough
investigation demanded.  However, with his wife he sailed for Liverpool
on January 5, 1907, and three weeks later started for Africa.
Regarding this trip, in addition to the letters he wrote to his family,
I also quote from a diary which he had just started and which he
conscientiously continued until his death.

From diary of January 24th, 1907.  Last day in London.  Margaret Frazer
offered me gun from a Captain Jenkins of Nigeria.  Instead bought
Winchester repeating, hoping, if need it, get one coast.  Lunched
Savoy-Lynch, Mrs. Lynch, her sister--very beautiful girl.  In afternoon
Sam Sothern and Margaret came in to say "Good bye." Dined at Anthony
Hope's--Barrie and Mrs. Barrie and Jim Whigham.  Mrs. Barrie looking
very well, Barrie not so well.  As silent as ever, only talked once
during dinner when he told us about the first of his series of cricket
matches between authors and artists.  Did not have eleven authors, so
going along road picked up utter strangers one a soldier in front of
embracing two girls.  Said he would come if girls came too--all put in
brake.  Mrs. Barrie said the Llewellen Davis' were the originals for
the Darlings and their children in Peter Pan.  They played a strange
game of billiards suggested by Barrie who won as no one else knew the
rules and they claimed he invented them to suit his case.  Sat up until
three writing and packing.  The dinner was best have had this trip in

Compagnie Belge Maritime Du Congo.

S. S.  February 11th, 1907.

To-morrow, we will be in Banana, which is the first port in the Congo.
When I remember how far away the Congo seemed from New York and London,
it is impossible to believe we are less than a day from it.  I am so
very glad I came.  The people who have lived here for years agree about
it in no one fact, so, it is a go-as-you-please for any one so far as
accurate information is concerned, and I am as likely to be right as
any one else.  It has been a pleasant trip and for us will not be over
until some days, for at Matadi, which is up the river, we will probably
live on the steamer as the shore does not sound attractive.  Then I
shall probably go on up the river and after a month or six weeks come
back again.  At Boma I am to see the Governor, one of the inspectors on
board is to introduce me, and I have an idea they will make me as
comfortable as possible, so that I may not see anything.  Not that I
would be likely to see anything hidden under a year.  Yesterday was the
crossing of the Equator.  The night before Neptune, one of the crew,
and his wife, the ship's butcher, and a kroo boy, as black as coal for
the heir apparent came over the side and proclaimed that those who
never before had crossed the Equator must be baptized.  We had crossed
but I was perfectly willing to go through it for the fun.  The Belgians
went at it as seriously as children, and worked up a grand succession
of events.  First we had gymkana races among the kroo boys.  The most
remarkable was their placing franc pieces in tubs of white and red
flour, for which the boys dived, they then dug for more money into a
big basket fitted with feathers and when they came out they were the
most awful sights imaginable.  You can picture their naked black bodies
and faces spotted with white and pink and stuck like chickens with
feathers.  Then the next day we were all hauled before a court and
judged, and having all been found guilty were condemned to be shaved
and bathed publicly at four.  Meantime the Italians, is it not the
picture of them, had organized a revolution against the Tribunal, with
the object of ducking them.  They went into this as though it were a
real conspiracy and had signs and passwords.  At four o'clock, in turn
they sat us on the edge of the great tank on the well deck and splashed
us over with paste and then tilted us in.  I tried to carry the
Frenchman who was acting as barber, with me but only got him half in.
But Milani, one of the Italians, swung him over his head plumb into the
water.  The Frenchman is a rich elephant hunter who is not very
popular.  When the revolution broke loose we all yelled "A bas le
Tribunal" "Vive la Revolution!" and there was awful rough house.  I
made for the Frenchman and went in with him and nearly drowned him, and
everybody was being thrown into the tank or held in front of a fire
cross.  After dinner there was a grand ceremony, the fourth, in which
certificates were presented by an Inspecteur d'Etat who is on board,
and is a Deputy Governor of a district.  Then there was much champagne
and a concert and Cecil and I sat with the Captain, the Bishop, in his
robes and berretta and the two inspectors and they were very charming
to both of us.


Compagnie Belge Maritime Du Congo.

S. S.  February 13th, 1907.


We reached Banana yesterday morning, and the mouth of the Congo, and as
the soldier said when he reached the top of San Juan Hill, "Hell! well
here we are!"  Banana looks like one of the dozen little islands in the
West Indies, where we would stop to take on some "brands of bananas,"
instead of the port to a country as big as Europe.  We went ashore and
wandered around under the palm trees, and took photos, and watched some
men fishing in the lagoons, and we saw a strange fish that leaps on the
top of the water just as a frog jumps on land.  It is certainly hot.
Milani and I went in swimming in the ocean, and got finely cool.  Then
we paddled the canoe back to the ship to show the blacks how good we
were, and got very hot, and the blacks charged us a franc for the
voyage.  To-morrow we will be in Boma, the capital, which is much of a
place with shops and a lawn tennis court.

BOMA, February 15th.

Boma is more or less laid out and contains the official residences of
the Government.  I walked all over it in an hour, and here you walk
very slow.  There are three or four big trading stores AND a tennis
court.  It is, however, a dreary place.  We called on the missionary
and his wife, but she does not speak English and their point of view of
everything was not cheerful or instructive.  Cecil plans to remain on
board while at Matadi and return with this same boat to Boma.  I want
her to go home in this boat or in some other, as I believe Boma most
unhealthy and I know it to be most uncomfortable.  She would have to go
to a hotel which is very hot and rough, although it is clean and well
run.  I am undecided whether to go up the river for ten days, to where
it crosses the equator, or to leave the upper Congo and go up the Kasai
river.  This is off the beaten track, and one may see something of
interest.  I will know better what I will do in an hour, when I get to

MATADI--Feby. 21.

We are now at Matadi.  The Captain invited us to stop on board and it
is well he did.  We dine on deck where the wind blows but the rest of
the ship is being cleaned and painted for the trip North.  Four hatches
are discharging cargo all at once, from four in the morning until
midnight.  Officers and kroo boys get four hours sleep out of the
twenty-four, but I sleep right through it, so does Cecil.  Sometimes
they take out iron rails and then zinc roofs and steel boats, 6000
cases of gin and 1000 tons of coal.  Still, it is much better than in
the Hotel Africa on shore.  Matadi is a hill of red iron and the heat
is grand.  Everything in this country is grand.  The river is, in
places, seven miles wide, the sunsets are like nothing earthly, and the
black people are like brooding shadows of lost souls, that is, if souls
have shadows.  Most of the blacks in this town are "prisoners" with a
steel ring around the neck, and chained in long lines.  I leave on the
23d to go up the Kasai River, because that is where the atrocities come
from and up there there are many missionaries.  I don't want you to
think I say this to "calm your fears," but I say it because it is as
true of this place as of every other one in the world, and that is,
that it is as easy to get about here as it is in Rhode Island.  It is
not half as dangerous as automobiling.  I have not even felt feverish,
neither has Cecil.  I never felt better.  Cecil stays on board and goes
back to Boma.  There she stops a week and then takes another ship back
to London.  She will not wait at Boma for me, at least, I hope not and
cannot imagine her doing so.  In any event, after I start, there will
be no way for us to communicate, and I will act on the understanding
that she has started North.

I have two very good boys and both speak English, and are from Sierra
Leone.  I take a two-day trip of 200 miles by rail, then four days by
boat up the Kasai and then I may come back by boat or walk.  It depends
on how I like it, how long I stay, for I can hope to see very little,
as under a year it would be impossible to write with authority of this
country.  But I'll see more of it than some at home, and I'll hear what
those who have lived here for years have to say.  It is awfully
interesting, absolutely different and more uncivilized than anything I
ever saw.  But all the time you are depressed with how little you know
and can know of it.  I will be here six weeks or two months and then
should get up the coast to London about the middle of May or sooner.


From diary of February 22nd, 1907.

Spent about the worst night of my life.  No mattress, no pillow.  Not
space enough for my own cot.  Every insect in the world ate me.  After
a bath and coffee felt better.  It rained heavily until three P. M.
Read Pendennis, and loved it.  The picture of life at Clavering and
Fairoaks, and Dr. Portman and Foker are wonderful.  I do not know when
I have enjoyed and admired a work so much.  For some reason it is all
entirely new again.  I will read them all now in turn.  After rain
cleared took my slaves and went after "supplies."  Met a King.  I
thought he was a witch doctor, and the boys said he was a dancing man.
All his suite, wives and subjects followed, singing a song that made
your flesh creep.  At Hatton and Cookson's bought "plenty chop" for
"boys" who were much pleased.  Also a sparklet bottle, some whiskey and
two pints of champagne at 7 francs the pint.  Blush to own it was demi
Sec.  Also bacon, jam, milk, envelopes, a pillow.  Saw some ivory State
had seized and returned. 15 Kilo's.  Some taken from Gomez across
street not returned until he gave up half.  No reason given Taylor
agent H. & C. why returned Apparently when called will come down on the
ivory question.  Cuthbert Malet, coffee planter, came call on me.  Only
Englishman still in Service State.  Had much to say which did not want
printed until he out of country which will be in month or two.
Anstrossi has given me side of cabin where there is room for my cot, so
expect to sleep.

STANLEY POOL, Feb. 22nd, 1907.


When you get this, I will be on my way to London.  The rest of my stay
here will be on board two boats, touching at the banks of the Kasai
river.  One I now am on takes me up and another takes me down.  I will
see a great deal that is strange and it is very interesting.
Yesterday, for example, only an hour before our train reached Gongolo
Station, there were three elephants that wandered across the track.  We
were very disappointed not to have seen them.  At the mission house on
the way up, I brought the first ice the mission boys had seen and when
I put a piece in the hand of one, he yelled and danced about as though
it were a coal.  The higher up you go the tougher it gets.  Back in the
jungle, one can only imagine what it is like.  Here all the white men
have black wives, and the way the whip is used on the men is very
different from the lower congo.  The boat is about as large as a
touring car, with all the machinery exposed.  I am very comfortable
though, with my bed and camp chair, and, books to read, when one gets
tired of this great, dirty river.  I, expect to see hippopotamuses and
many crocodiles and to learn something of the "atrocities" by hearsay.
To see for oneself, would take months.  I return from the Kasai
district by a boat like this one, burning wood and with a stern wheel,
reaching Leopoldville, this place, about the 12th of March, and sailing
on the Albertville for Southampton on the 19th of March.  So I should
be in London and so very near you by the 8th of April.  Of course, if I
take a later boat from here, I will be just that much later.  I am
perfectly well, never better.  No fever, no "tired feeling" good
appetite, in spite of awful tough food.  From this place money cannot
be used and I carry a bag of salt and rolls of cloth.  For a bottle of
salt you get a fowl or a turkey, for a tablespoonful an egg, or a bunch
of fruit.  When you write be sure and tell me ALL your plans for the
summer; that is, after you have been to see us.  My dearest love to you


From diary of February 27th, 1907.

Saw two hippos.  Thought Anstrossi said they were buffalo.  So was glad
when I found out what they were.  I did not want to go home without
having seen only two dead ones.  In a few minutes I saw two more.
Anstrossi fired at them but I did not, as thought it not the game when
one could not recover them.  Before noon saw six in a bunch--and then
what I thought was a spit of rock with a hippo lying on the end of it,
turned out to be fifteen hippos in a line!  Burnham has told he had
seen eleven in the Volta in one day.  Before one o'clock, I had seen
twenty-six, and, later in the day Anstrossi fired at another, and shot
a hole in the awning.  That made twenty-seven in one day.  Also some
monkeys.  The hippos were delightful.  They seemed so aristocratic,
like gouty old gentlemen, puffing and blowing and yawning, as though
everything bored them.

From diary of February 28th, 1907.

When just going up for coffee, saw what was so big, looking at it
against horizon, thought it must be an elephant.  Was a young hippo.
Captain Jensen brought boat within eighty yards of him, and both
Anstrossi and I fired, apparently knocking him off his legs, for he
rolled on his side as though his back was broken.  I missed him the
second shot, which struck the water just in front of him.  The other
three shots caught him in the head, in the mouth and ear.  He lay quite
still, and the boys rushed out a gang plank and surrounded him singing
and shouting and cutting his tail to make him bleed and weaken him.
They don't die for an hour but he seemed dead enough, so I went to my
cabin to re-load my gun and my camera.  In three minutes I came out,
and found the hippo still quiet.  Then he began to toss his head and I
shot him again, to put him out of pain.  In return for which he rolled
over into the water and got away.  I was mad.  Later saw four more.
Just at sunset while taking bath another was seen on shore.  We got
within sixty yards of him and all of us missed him or at least did not
hurt him.  He then trotted for the river with his head up and again I
must have missed, although at one place he was but fifty yards away,
when he entered the water, a hundred.  I stepped it off later in the
sand.  I followed him up and hit him or some one of us hit him and he
stood up on his hind legs.  But he put back to land for the third time.
Captain said wait until moon came out.  But though we hunted up to our
waists saw none.  One came quite close at dinner.  Seven on the day.

CONGO RIVER--March 1, 1907.


I have been up the Congo as far as the Kasai river, and up that to a
place called Dima.  There I found myself in a sort of cul de sac.  I
found that the rubber plantations I had come to see, were nine days
journey distant.  In this land where time and distance are so
differently regarded than with us, a man tells you to go to Dima to see
rubber.  He means after getting to Dima, you must catch a steamer that
leaves every two weeks and travel for five days.  But he forgets that
that fact is important to visitors.  As he is under contract to stay
here three years, it does not much matter to him how he spends a month,
or so.  Dima was two hundred yards square, and then the jungle.  In
half an hour, I saw it all, and met every one in it.  They gave me a
grand reception, but I could not spend ten days in Dima.  The only
other thing I could do was to take a canoe to the Jesuit Mission where
the Fathers promised me shooting, or, try to catch the boat back to
England that stops at interesting ports.  Sooner than stop in Boma, I
urged Cecil to take that boat.  So, if I catch it, we will return
together.  It is a five weeks journey, and rather long to spend alone.
In any event my letters will go by a faster boat.  I have had a most
wonderfully interesting visit, at least, to me.  I hope I can make it
readable.  But, much of its pleasure was personal.

I have just had to stop writing this, for what when I get back to New
York will seem a perfectly good reason for interrupting a letter to
even you.  A large hippopotamus has just pushed past us with five baby
hippos in front of her.  She is shoving them up stream, and the papa
hippo is in the wake puffing and blowing.  They are very plenty here
and on the way up stream, I saw a great many, and every morning and
evening went hunting for them on shore.  I wanted the head of a
hippopotamus awfully keenly for the farm.  But of the only two I saw on
land, both got away from me.  I did not shoot at any I saw in the
water, although the other idiot on board did, because if you kill them,
you cannot recover them, and it seems most unsportsmanlike.  Besides, I
was so grateful to them for being so proud and pompous, and real
aristocrats dating back from the flood.  But I was terribly
disappointed at losing both of those I saw on land.  One I dropped at
the first shot, and the other I missed, as he was running, to get back
into the water.  The one I shot, and that everyone thought was dead,
AFTER THE "BOYS" BEGAN TO CUT HIM UP, decided he was not going to stand
for that, and to our helpless dismay suddenly rolled himself into the
water.  If that is not hard luck, I don't know it.  All I got was a bad
photograph of him, and I had already decided where I would hang his
head, and how much I would tip the crew for cutting him up.  It was a
really wonderful journey.  I loved every minute of it and never was I
in better health.

If I only could have known that you knew that I was all right, but
instead you were worrying.  The nights were bright moonlight, and the
days were beautiful; full of strange people and animals, birds and
views.  We three sat in the little bridge of the tinpot boat, and
smoked pipes and watched the great muddy river rushing between
wonderful banks.  There was the Danish Captain, an Italian officer and
the engineer was from Finland.  The Italian spoke French and the two
others English, and I acted as interpreter!!  Can you imagine it?  I am
now really a daring French linguist.  People who understand me, get
quick promotion.  If I only could have been able to tell you all was
well and not to be worried.  At Kwarmouth I have just received a wire
from Cecil saying she expects to leave by the slow boat but will stay
if I wish it.  So, now we can both go by the slow boat if I can catch
it.  I hope so.  must have found Boma as bad as it looked.  God bless
you all.


On April 13, Richard was back in London and in his diary of that date
he writes, "Never so glad to get anywhere.  Went to sleep to the music
of motorcars.  Nothing ever made me feel so content and comfortable and
secure as their 'honk, honk.'"

From diary of April 22nd, 1907.

A blackmailer named H---- called, with photos of atrocities and letters
and films.  He wanted 30 Pounds for the lot.  I gave him 3 Pounds for
three photos.  One letter he showed me signed Bullinger, an Englishman,
said he had put the fear of God in their hearts by sticking up the
chief's head on a pole, and saying, "Now, make rubber, or you will look
like that." Went to lunch with Pearson but it was the wrong day, and so
missed getting a free feed.  Thinking he would turn up, I ordered a
most expensive lunch.  I paid for it.  Evening went Patience, which
liked immensely and then Duchess of Sutherland's party to Premiers.
Saw Churchill and each explained his share of the Real Soldiers row.

From diary of April 28th, 1907.

We went down by train to Cliveden going by Taplow to Maidenhead where
Astor had sent his car to meet us.  It is a wonderful place and the
view of the Thames is a beautiful one.  They had been making
alterations, bathrooms, and putting white enamel tiles throughout the
dungeons.  If Dukes lived no more comfortably than those who owned
Cliveden, I am glad I was not a Duke.  What was most amusing was the
servant's room which was quite as smart as any library or study, with
fine paintings, arm chairs and writing material.  Nannie and Astor were
exceedingly friendly and we walked all over the place.  It was good to
get one's feet on turf again.  They sent us back by motor, so we
arrived most comfortably.  I gave a dinner to the Hopes, Wyndham, Miss
Mary Moore, Ashmead-Bartlett and Margaret.  Websters could not come.
Later, came on here, and had a chat, the Websters coming too.  I read
Thaw trial.

Early in May Richard and his wife returned to Mount Kisco and my
brother at once started in to change his farce "The Galloper" into a
musical comedy.  It was produced on August 12, at the Astor Theatre,
under the title of the "Yankee Tourist," with Raymond Hitchcock as the
star.  The following I quote from Richard's diary of that date:

Monday, August 12th, 1907.

Was to have lunched with Ned Stone but he was in court.  Met Whigham in
street.  Impulsively asked him to lunch.  Ethel and Jack turned up at
Martin's; asked them to lunch.  Ethel and I drove around town doing
errands, mine being the purchase of tickets for numerous friends.
Called on Miss Trusdale to inquire about Harden-Hickey.  She wants her
to go to the country.  Cecil arrived at six.  We had a suite of
eighty-nine rooms.  We dined at Sherry's with Ethel and Jack, Ethel
being host.  Taft was there.  Hottest night ever.  I sat with Jack.  In
spite of weather, play went well.  Bonsals, Ethel, Arthur Brisbane were
in Cecil's box.  Booth Tarkington in Irwin's.  Surprise of performance
was "Hello, Bill" which Raymond had learned only that morning.  Helen
Hale helped him greatly with dance.  People came to supper at Waldorf,
and things went all wrong.  Next time I have a first Night I want no
friends during or after.  Missed the executive ability of Charles
Belmont greatly.



From the fall of 1907 to that of 1908 Richard divided his time between
Mount Kisco, Marion, and Cuba.  In December of 1908 he sailed for
London where he took Turner the artist's old house in Chelsea for the

Cheyne Walk, Chelsea.

December 25.  Christmas Day.


We are settled here in Darkest Chelsea as though we had been born here.
I am thinking of putting in my time of exile by running for Mayor.
Meanwhile, it is a wonderful place in which to write the last chapters
of "Once Upon a Time."  The house is quite wonderful.  In Spring and
Summer it must be rarely beautiful.  It has trees in front and a yard
and a garden and a squash court: a sort of tennis you play against the
angles of walls covered smooth with cement.  Also a studio as large as
a theatre.  Outside the trees beat on the windows and birds chirp
there.  The river flows only forty feet away, with great brown barges
on it, and gulls whimper and cry, and aeroplane all day.  I have a fine
room, and about the only one you can keep as warm as toast SHOULD be,
and in England never is.

Cecil has engaged a teacher, and a model and he is coming here to work.
He is twenty years old, and called the "boy Sargent."  So, as soon as
the British public gets sober, we will begin life in earnest, and both
work hard.  I need not tell you how glad I am to be at it.  I was with
you all in heart last night and recited as much as I could remember of
"Twas the Night Before Christmas," which always means Dad to me, as he
used to read it to us.  How much he made the day mean to us.  I wish I
could just slip in for a kiss, and a hug.  But tonight we will all
drink to you, and a few hours later you will drink to us.  God bless
you all.


December 29th.


A blizzard has swept over London.  The last one cost the City
Corporation  $25,000!!  The last man who contracted to clean New York
of snow was cleaned out by two days of it, to the tune of  $200,000.
Still, in spite of our alleged superiority in all things, one inch of
snow in Chelsea can do more to drive one to drink and suicide than a
foot of it "on the farm."  At the farm we threw a ton of coal against
it, and lit log fires and oil lamps, and were warm.  Here, they try to
fight it with two buckets of soft chocolate cake called Welch coal, and
the result is you freeze.  Cecil's studio is like one vast summer hotel
at Portland Maine in January.  You cannot go near it except in rubber
boots, fur coats and woolen gloves.  My room still is the only one that
is livable.  It is four feet square, heavily panelled in oak and the
coal fire makes it as warm as a stoke hole.  So, I am all right and can
work nicely.  Janet Sothern came to lunch today and Cecil and she in
furs went picture gazing.  Tomorrow we have Capt. Chule to dinner.  He
came up the West coast with us and is accustomed to a temperature of
120 degrees.

New Year's eve we spend with Lady Lewis where we dine and keep it up
until four in the morning.  We will easily be able to get back here but
how we can get a hansom from here to the great city, I can't imagine.
I have seen none in five days.  It is fine to be surrounded by busts of
Carlyle, Whistler, Rosetti and Turner's own, but occasionally you wish
for a taxicab.  Tomorrow I am going on a spree to the great city of
London.  The novel goes on smoothly, and all is well.  I am still
running for Mayor of Chelsea.

Love to you all.


LONDON--January 1, 1909.


I drank your health and Noll's and Charley's last night and so we all
came into the New Year together.  I hope it will be as good for me as
the last.  Certainly Chas. is coming on well with another book.  It is
splendid.  I am so very, very glad.  Some of the very best stories
anybody has written will be in his next book.

We dined at the Lewis's.  There were 150 at dinner and as we live in
Chelsea now--one might as well be in Brooklyn--we were a half hour
late.  Fancy feeling you were keeping 150 people hungry.  I sat at Lady
Lewis's table with some interesting men and one beautiful woman all
dressed in glass over pink silk, and pearls, and pearls and then,
pearls.  She said "Who am I" and I said "You look like a girl in
America, who used to stand under a green paper lamp shade up in a farm
house in New Hampshire and play a violin."  Whereat there was much
applause, because it seemed she was that girl, the daughter of a Mrs.
Van S----, who wrote short stories.  Her daughter was L---- Van S----
now the wife of a baronet and worth five million dollars.  The board we
paid then was eight dollars a week.  Now, we are dining with her next
Monday and as I insisted on gold plate she said "Very well, I'll get
out the gold plate."  But wasn't it dramatic of me to remember her
after twenty two years?


LONDON-February 23, 1909.


George Washington's health was celebrated by drinking it at dinner.  I
had been asked to speak at a banquet but for some strange reason could
not see myself in the part.  The great Frohman arrived last night and
we are all agitated until he speaks.  If he would only like my plays as
some of the actors do, I would be passing rich.  Barrie asked himself
to lunch yesterday and was very entertaining.  He told us of a letter
he received from Guy DuMaurier who wrote "An Englishman's Home" which
has made a sensation second to nothing in ten years.  He is an officer
stationed at a small post in South Africa.  He wrote Barrie he was at
home, very blue and homesick, and outside it was raining.  Then came
Barrie's long cable, at 75 cents a word, saying his play was the
success of the year.  He did not know even it had been ACCEPTED.  He
shouted to his wife, and they tried to dance but the hut was too small,
so they ran out into the compound and danced in the rain.  Then he sent
the Kaffir boys to the mess to bring all the officers and all the
champagne and they did not go to bed at all.  The next day cables,
still at three shillings a word came from papers and magazines and
publishers, managers, syndicates.  And, in his letter he says, still
not appreciating what a fuss it has made, "I suppose all it needs now
is to be made a question in the House," when already it has been the
text of half a dozen speeches by Cabinet Ministers, and three companies
are playing it in the provinces.  What fun to have a success come in
such a way, not even to know it was being rehearsed.  Today Sargent is
here to see what is wrong with Cecil's picture of Janet.  He came early
and said he couldn't tell until he saw Janet, so now he is back again,
and both Janet and Cecil are shaking with excitement.  He is the most
simple, kindly genius I ever met.  He says the head is very fine and I
guess Cecil suspected that, before she called him in.  He says she must
send it to the Royal Academy.  I am now going out to hear more words
fall from the great man, and so farewell.  Seymour and I began work
yesterday on the Dictator.  It went very smooth. All my love to Noll
and to you.


Read the other letter first and then, let me tell you that when I went
out to see Sargent, I found Cecil complaining that she could not
understand just how it was he wanted Janet to pose.  Whereat she handed
him a piece of chalk and he made a sketch of Janet as exquisite as the
morning and rubbed his hands of the charcoal and left it there!  It's
only worth a hundred pounds!  Can you imagine the nerve of Cecil.  I
was so shocked I could only gasp.  But, he was quite charming and
begged her to call him next time she got in a scrape, and gave her his
private telephone number.

Fancy having Sargent waiting to be called up to make sketches for you.
I left Janet and Cecil giggling with happiness.  Janet because she had
been sketched by him and Cecil because she has the sketch.  It's a
three fourths length three feet high, and he did it in ten minutes.  I
am now going to ask her to invite the chef of the Ritz in, to give us a
sketch of cooking a dinner.




In August, 1909, Richard and his wife left Mount Kisco for a visit to
Mr. and Mrs. Clark at Marion.  While there my brother attended and
later on wrote an article on the war manoeuvres held at Middleboro,


August 16th, 1909.


We had a splendid day to day.  I arranged to have Cecil meet me at
eleven at Headquarters in the woods below Middleboro, and I spent the
morning locating different regiments.  Then, after I "met up" with her,
I took her in my car.  Both she and Hiller were awfully keen over it,
so, we got on splendidly.  And, of course, Hiller's knowledge of the
country was wonderfully convenient.  We had great luck in seeing the
only fight of the day, the first one of the war.  Indeed, I think we
caused it.  There was a troop of cavalry with a Captain who was afraid
to advance.  I chided him into doing something, the umpire having
confided to me, he would mark him, if he did not.  But, he did it
wrong.  Anyway, he charged a barn with 36 troopers and lost every
fourth man.  In real warfare he would have lost all his men and all his
horses.  Cecil and Hiller pursued in the car at the very heels of the
cavalry, and I ran ahead with the bicycle scouts.  It was most
exciting.  I am going out again to-morrow.  Lots of Love to you all.



August 19th, 1909.


I got in last night too late to write and I am sorry.  To-day, the war
came to an end with our army, the Red one, with the road to Boston open
before it.  Indeed, when the end came, they were fighting with their
backs to that City, and could have entered it to-night.  I begged both
Bliss and Wood to send in the cavalry just for the moral effect, but
they were afraid of the feeling, that was quite strong.  I had much
fun, never more, and saw all that was worth seeing.  I was glad to see
I am in such good shape physically, but with the tramping I do over the
farm, it is no wonder.  I could take all the stone walls at a jump,
while the others were tearing them down.  I also met hundreds of men I
knew and every one was most friendly, especially the correspondents.
Just as I liked to be on a story with a "star" man when I was a
reporter, they liked having a real "war" correspondent, take it
seriously.  They were always wanting to know if it were like the Real
Thing, and as I assured them it was, they were satisfied.  Some
incidents were very funny.  I met a troop of cavalry this morning,
riding away from the battle, down a crossroad, and thinking it was a
flanking manoeuvre, started to follow them with the car.  "Where are
you going?" I asked the Captain.  "Nowhere," he said, "We are dead."
An Umpire was charging in advance of two troops of the 10th down a
state road, when one trooper of the enemy who were flying, turned back
and alone charged the two troops.  "You idiot"! yelled the Umpire,
"don't you know you and your horse are shot to pieces?" "Sure, I know
it," yelled the trooper "but, this ---- horse don't know it."


Early in the fall of 1909 Richard returned from Marion to New York and
went to Crossroads, where for the next three years he remained a
greater part of the time.  They were years of great and serious changes
for him.  An estrangement of long standing between him and his wife had
ended in their separation early in 1910, to be followed later by their
divorce.  In September of that year my mother died while on a visit to

After my father's death life to her became only a period of waiting
until the moment came when she would rejoin him--because her faith was
implicit and infinite.  She could not well set about preparing herself
because all of her life she had done that and, so, smiling and with a
splendid bravery and patience she lived on, finding her happiness in
bringing cheer and hope and happiness to all who came into the presence
of her wonderful personality.  The old home in Philadelphia was just
the same as it had been through her long married life--that is with one
great difference, but on account of this difference I knew that she was
glad to spend her last days with Richard at Crossroads.  And surely
nothing that could be done for a mother by a son had been left undone
by him.  Through these last long summer days she sat on the terrace
surrounded by the flowers and the sunshine that she so loved.  Little
children came to play at her knee, and old friends travelled from afar
to pay her court.

In the winter of 1910-11 my brother visited Aiken, where he spent
several months.  The following June he went to London at the time of
King George's coronation, but did not write about it.  Again, in
November, 1911, he visited my sister in London, but returned to New
York in January, 1912, and spent a part of the winter in Aiken and
Cuba.  At Aiken he found at least peace and the devotion of loving
friends that he so craved, but in London and Cuba, which once had meant
so much to him, he seemed to have lost interest entirely.  But not once
during these years did he cease working, and working hard.  On almost
every page of his diary at this period I find such expressions as
"wrote 500 words for discipline."  And again "Satisfaction in work of
last years when writing for existence, has been up to any I ever wrote."

And in spite of all of the trouble of these days, he not only wrote
incessantly but did some of his very finest work.  Personally I have
never seen a man make a more courageous fight.  To quote again from his
diary of this time:  "Early going to my room saw red sunrise and gold
moon.  I seemed to stop worrying about money.  With such free pleasures
I found I could not worry.  Every day God gives me greater delight in
good things, in beauty, and in every simple exercise and amusement."

Twice during these difficult days he went to visit Gouverneur Morris
and his wife at Aiken, and after Richard's death his old friend wrote
of the first of these visits:

"It was in our little house at Aiken, in South Carolina, that he was
with us most and we learned to know him best, and that he and I became
dependent upon each other in many ways.  "Events, into which I shall
not go, had made his life very difficult and complicated.  And he who
had given so much friendship to so many people needed a little
friendship in return, and perhaps, too, he needed for a time to live in
a house whose master and mistress loved each other, and where there
were children.  Before he came that first year our house had no name.
Now it is called 'Let's Pretend.'

"Now the chimney in the living-room draws, but in those first days of
the built-over house it didn't.  At least, it didn't draw all the time,
but we pretended that it did, and with much pretense came faith.  From
the fireplace that smoked to the serious things of life we extended our
pretendings, until real troubles went down before them--down and out.

"It was one of Aiken's very best winters, and the earliest spring I
ever lived anywhere.  R. H. D. came shortly after Christmas.  The
spiraeas were in bloom, and the monthly roses; you could always find a
sweet violet or two somewhere in the yard; here and there splotches of
deep pink against gray cabin walls proved that precocious peach-trees
were in bloom.  It never rained.  At night it was cold enough for
fires.  In the middle of the day it was hot.  The wind never blew, and
every morning we had a four for tennis and every afternoon we rode in
the woods.  And every night we sat in front of the fire (that didn't
smoke because of pretending) and talked until the next morning.

"He was one of those rarely gifted men who find their chiefest pleasure
not in looking backward or forward, but in what is going on at the
moment.  Weeks did not have to pass before it was forced upon his
knowledge that Tuesday, the fourteenth (let us say), had been a good
Tuesday.  He knew it the moment he waked at 7 A. M., and perceived the
Tuesday sunshine making patterns of bright light upon the floor.  The
sunshine rejoiced him and the knowledge that even before breakfast
there was vouchsafed to him a whole hour of life.  That day began with
attentions to his physical well-being.  There were exercises conducted
with great vigor and rejoicing, followed by a tub, artesian cold, and a
loud and joyous singing of ballads.

"The singing over, silence reigned.  But if you had listened at his
door you must have heard a pen going, swiftly and boldly.  He was hard
at work, doing unto others what others had done unto him.  You were a
stranger to him; some magazine had accepted a story that you had
written and published it.  R. H. D. had found something to like and
admire in that story (very little perhaps), and it was his duty and
pleasure to tell you so.  If he had liked the story very much he would
send you instead of a note a telegram.  Or it might be that you had
drawn a picture, or, as a cub reporter, had shown golden promise in a
half column of unsigned print, R. H. D.  would find you out, and find
time to praise you and help you.  So it was that when he emerged from
his room at sharp eight o'clock, he was wide-awake and happy and
hungry, and whistled and double-shuffled with his feet, out of
excessive energy, and carried in his hands a whole sheaf of notes and
letters and telegrams.

"Breakfast with him was not the usual American breakfast, a sullen,
dyspeptic gathering of persons who only the night before had rejoiced
in each other's society.  With him it was the time when the mind is, or
ought to be, at its best, the body at its freshest and hungriest.
Discussions of the latest plays and novels, the doings and undoings of
statesmen, laughter and sentiment--to him, at breakfast, these things
were as important as sausages and thick cream.

"Breakfast over, there was no dawdling and putting off of the day's
work (else how, at eleven sharp, could tennis be played with a free
conscience?).  Loving, as he did, everything connected with a
newspaper, he would now pass by those on the hall-table with never so
much as a wistful glance, and hurry to his workroom.

"He wrote sitting down.  He wrote standing up.  And, almost you may
say, he wrote walking up and down.  Some people, accustomed to the
delicious ease and clarity of his style, imagine that he wrote very
easily.  He did and he didn't.  Letters, easy, clear, to the point, and
gorgeously human, flowed from him without let or hindrance.  That
masterpiece of corresponding, the German March through Brussels, was
probably written almost as fast as he could talk (next to Phillips
Brooks, he was the fastest talker I ever heard), but when it came to
fiction he had no facility at all.  Perhaps I should say that he held
in contempt any facility that he may have had.  It was owing to his
incomparable energy and Joblike patience that he ever gave us any
fiction at all.  Every phrase in his fiction was, of all the myriad
phrases he could think of, the fittest in his relentless judgment to
survive.  Phrases, paragraphs, pages, whole stories even, were written
over and over again.  He worked upon a principle of elimination.  If he
wished to describe an automobile turning in at a gate, he made first a
long and elaborate description from which there was omitted no detail,
which the most observant pair of eyes in Christendom had ever noted
with reference to just such a turning.  Thereupon he would begin a
process of omitting one by one those details which he had been at such
pains to recall; and after each omission he would ask himself, 'Does
the picture remain?'  If it did not, he restored the detail which he
had just omitted, and experimented with the sacrifice of some other,
and so on, and so on, until after Herculean labor there remained for
the reader one of those swiftly flashed ice-clear pictures (complete in
every detail) with which his tales and romances are so delightfully and
continuously adorned.

"But it is quarter to eleven, and this being a time of holiday, R. H.
D. emerges from his workroom happy to think that he has placed one
hundred and seven words between himself and the wolf who hangs about
every writer's door.  He isn't satisfied with those hundred and seven
words.  He never was in the least satisfied with anything that he
wrote, but he has searched his mind and his conscience and he believes
that under the circumstances they are the very best that he can do.
Anyway, they can stand in their present order until--after lunch.

"A sign of his youth was the fact that to the day of his death he had
denied himself the luxury and slothfulness of habits.  I have never
seen him smoke automatically as most men do.  He had too much respect
for his own powers of enjoyment and for the sensibilities, perhaps, of
the best Havana tobacco.  At a time of his own deliberate choosing,
often after many hours of hankering and renunciation, he smoked his
cigar.  He smoked it with delight, with a sense of being rewarded, and
he used all the smoke there was in it.

"He dearly loved the best food, the best champagne, and the best Scotch
whiskey.  But these things were friends to him, and not enemies.  He
had toward food and drink the continental attitude; namely, that
quality is far more important than quantity; and he got his
exhilaration from the fact that he was drinking champagne and not from
the champagne.  Perhaps I shall do well to say that on questions of
right and wrong he had a will of iron.  All his life he moved
resolutely in whichever direction his conscience pointed; and although
that ever present and never obtrusive conscience of his made mistakes
of judgment now and then, as must all consciences, I think it can never
once have tricked him into any action that was impure or unclean.  Some
critics maintain that the heroes and heroines of his books are
impossibly pure and innocent young people.  R. H. D. never called upon
his characters for any trait of virtue, or renunciation, or
self-mastery of which his own life could not furnish examples."

In June of 1912 Richard reported the Republican convention at Chicago.
Shortly after this, on July 8, he married at Greenwich, Connecticut,
Miss Elizabeth Genevieve McEvoy, known on the stage as Bessie McCoy,
with whom he had first become acquainted in 1908 after the estrangement
from his wife.

Richard and his wife made their home at Crossroads, where he devoted
most of his working hours to the writing of short stories.  In August
of that year my brother, accompanied by his wife, returned to Chicago
to report the Progressive convention.  During the year 1913 he wrote
and produced the farce "Who's Who," of which William Collier was the
star, and in the fall of the same year spent a month in Cuba, with
Augustus Thomas, where they produced a film version of "Soldiers of
Fortune." In referring to this trip, Thomas wrote at the time of
Richard's death:

"In 1914 a motion-picture company arranged to make a feature film of
the play, and Dick and I went with their outfit to Santiago de Cuba,
where, twenty years earlier, he had found the inspiration for his story
and out of which city and its environs he had fashioned his
supposititious republic of Olancho.  On that trip he was the idol of
the company.  With the men in the smoking-room of the steamer there
were the numberless playful stories, in the rough, of the experiences
on all five continents and seven seas that were the backgrounds of his
published tales.

"At Santiago, if an official was to be persuaded to consent to some
unprecedented seizure of the streets, or a diplomat invoked for the
assistance of the Army or the Navy, it was the experience and good
judgment of Dick Davis that controlled the task.  In the field there
were his helpful suggestions of work and make up to the actors, and on
the boat and train and in hotel and camp the lady members met in him an
easy courtesy and understanding at once fraternal and impersonal.

"The element that he could not put into the account and which is
particularly pertinent to this page, is the author of 'Soldiers of
Fortune' as he revealed himself to me both with intention and
unconsciously in the presence of the familiar scenes.

"For three weeks, with the exception of one or two occasions when some
local dignitary captured the revisiting lion, he and I spent our
evenings together at a cafe table overlooking 'The Great Square,' which
he sketches so deftly in its atmosphere when Clay and the Langhams and
Stuart dine there.  At one end of the plaza the President's band was
playing native waltzes that came throbbing through the trees and
beating softly above the rustling skirts and clinking spurs of the
senoritas and officers sweeping by in two opposite circles around the
edges of the tessellated pavements.  Above the palms around the square
arose the dim, white facade of the Cathedral, with the bronze statue of
Anduella the liberator of Olancho, who answered with his upraised arm
and cocked hat the cheers of an imaginary populace.

"Twenty years had gone by since Dick had received the impression that
wrote those lines, and now sometimes after dinner half a long cigar
would burn out as he mused over the picture and the dreams that had
gone between.  From one long silence he said:  'I think I'll come back
here this winter and bring Mrs. Davis with me--stay a couple of
months.'  What a fine compliment to a wife to have the thought of her
and that plan emerge from that deep and romantic background.

"The picture people began their film with a showing of the 'mountains
which jutted out into the ocean and suggested roughly the five knuckles
of a giant's hand clenched and lying flat upon the surface of the
water.'  That formation of the sea wall is just outside of Santiago.
'The waves tunnelled their way easily enough until they ran up against
those five mountains and then they had to fall back.' How natural for
one of us to be unimpressed by such a feature of the landscape and yet
how characteristic of Dick Davis to see the elemental fight that it
recorded and get the hint for the whole of the engineering struggle
that is so much of his book.

"We went over those mountains together, where two decades before he had
planted his banner of romance.  We visited the mines and the railroads
and everywhere found some superintendent or foreman or engineer who
remembered Davis.  He had guessed at nothing.  Everywhere he had
overlaid the facts with adventure and with beauty, but he had been on
sure footing all the time.  His prototype of MacWilliams was dead.
Together we visited the wooden cross with which the miners had marked
his grave.



Late in April, 1914, when war between the United States and Mexico
seemed inevitable Richard once more left the peace and content of
Crossroads and started for Vera Cruz, arriving there on April 29.  He
had arranged to act as correspondent for a syndicate of newspapers, and
as he had for long been opposed to the administration's policy of
"watchful waiting" was greatly disappointed on his arrival at the
border to learn of the President's plan of mediation.  He wrote to his

CRUZ, April 24, 1914.


We left today at 5.30.  It was a splendid scene, except for the
children crying, and the wives of the officers and enlisted men trying
not to cry.  I got a stateroom to myself.  With the electric fan on and
the airport open, it is about as cool as a blast furnace.  But I was
given a seat on the left of General Funston, who is commanding this
brigade, and the other officers at the table are all good fellows.  As
long as I was going, I certainly had luck in getting away as sharply as
I did.  One day's delay would have made me miss this transport, which
will be the first to land troops.

April 25th.

A dreadnaught joined us today, the Louisiana.  I wirelessed the Admiral
asking permission to send a press despatch via his battleship, and he
was polite in reply, but firm.  He said "No." There are four transports
and three torpedo boats and the battleship.  We go very slowly, because
we must keep up with one of the troop ships with broken engines.  At
night it is very pretty seeing the ships in line, and the torpedo boats
winking their signals at each other.  I am writing all the time or
reading up things about the army I forget and getting the new dope.
Also I am brushing up my Spanish.  Jack London is on board, and three
other correspondents, two of whom I have met on other trips, and one
"cub" correspondent.  He was sitting beside London and me busily
turning out copy, and I asked him what he found to write about.  He
said, "Well, maybe I see things you fellows don't see."  What he meant
was that what was old to us was new to him, but he got guyed

April 27, 1914.

The censor reads all I write, and so do some half-dozen Mexican cable
clerks and 60 (sixty) correspondents.  So when I cable "love," it MEANS
devotion, adoration, and worship; loyalty, fidelity and truth, wanting
you, needing you, unhappy for you.  It means ALL that.


VERA CRUZ, April 30, 1914.

This heat--humid and moist--would sweat water out of a chilled steel
safe; so imagine what it does to me with all the awful winter's
accumulation of fat.  I hate to say it, but I LIKE these Mexicans--much
better than Cubans, or Central Americans.  They are human, kindly; it
is only the politicians and bandits like Villa who give them a bad
name.  But, though they ought to hate us, whenever I stop to ask my way
they invite me to come in and have "coffee" and say, "My house is
yours, senor," which certainly is kind after people have taken your
town away from you and given you another flag and knocked your head off
if you did not salute it.  I now have a fine room.  The Navy moved out
today and I got the room of the paymaster.  It faces the plaza and the
cathedral.  I burned a candle there today for our soon meeting.  The
priests all had run away, so I had to hunt up the candle, and pay the
money into the box marked for that purpose, but the Lord does not run
away, and He will see we soon meet.

May 2nd.

Yesterday I went out on the train that brings in refugees and saw the
Mexicans.  They had on three thousand cartridges, much hair, hats as
high as church steeples, and lots of dirt.  The Selig Moving Picture
folks took many pictures of us and several "stills," in which the war
correspondent was shown giving cigarettes to the brigands.  Also, I had
a wonderful bath in the ocean off the aviation camp.  I borrowed a suit
from one of the aviators, and splashed and swam around for an hour.
My! it was good.  It reminded me of my dear Bessie, because the last
time I was in the ocean was with her.

Maybe you know what is going on, but we do not.  So I just hustle
around all day trying to find news as I did when I was a reporter.  It
is hot enough here even for me, and I have lost about eight pounds of
that fat I laid in during our North Pole winter!

VERA CRUZ--May 8, 1914.


Today, when Wilson ordered Huerta not to blockade Tampico which was an
insult to Mediators and the act of a bully and a coward, AND a
declaration of war, we all got on our ponies to "advance."  Then came
word Huerta would not blockade.  It is like living in a mad house.  We
all are hoping mediators refuse to continue negotiations.  If they have
self respect that is what they will do.  Tonight if Wilson and Huerta
ran for President, Huerta would get all our votes.  He may be an
uneducated Indian, but at least he is a man.  However, that makes no
never mind so far as to my getting back.  The reason I cannot return is
because I have "credentials."  It is not that they want ME here, but
they want my credentials here.  The administration is using, as I see
it, the privilege of having a correspondent at the front as a club.  It
says until war is declared it won't issue any more.  So those
syndicates who have no correspondent and the papers forming them, are
afraid to attack or to criticise the administration for fear they will
be blacklisted.  And those who have a correspondent with his three
thousand dollar signed and sealed pass in his pocket aren't taking any
chance on losing him.  So, I see before me an endless existence in Vera


On May 7 Richard started for Mexico City where, if possible, he
intended to interview Huerta.  At Pasco de Macho he was arrested, but
afterward was allowed to proceed to Mexico City.  Here he was again
arrested, and without being allowed to interview Huerta was sent back
the day after his arrival to Vera Cruz.

Of this Vera Cruz experience John N. Wheeler, a friend of Richard's and
the manager of the syndicate which sent him to Mexico, wrote the
following after my brother's death:

"Richard Harding Davis went to Vera Cruz for a newspaper syndicate, and
after the first sharp engagement in the Mexican seaport there was
nothing for the correspondent to do but kill time on that barren, low
lying strip of Gulf coast, hemmed in on all sides by Mexicans and the
sea, and time is hard to kill there.  Yet there was a story to be got,
but it required nerve to go after it.

"In Mexico City was Gen. Huerta, the dictator of Mexico.  If a
newspaper could get an interview with him it would be a 'scoop,' but
the work was inclined to be dangerous for the interviewer, since
Americans were being murdered rather profusely in Mexico at the time in
spite of the astute assurances of Mr. Bryan, and no matter how
substantial his references the correspondent was likely to meet some
temperamental and touchy soldier with a loaded rifle who would shoot
first and afterward carry his papers to some one who could read them.

"One of the newspapers taking the stories by Mr. Davis from the
syndicate had a staff man at Vera Cruz as well, and thought to 'scoop'
the country by sending this representative to see Huerta, in this way
'beating' even the other subscribers to the Davis service.  An
interview in Mexico City was consequently arranged and the staff man
was cabled and asked to make the trip.  He promptly cabled his refusal,
this young man preferring to take no such chances.  It was then
suggested that Mr. Davis should attempt it.  By pulling some wires at
Washington it was arranged, through the Brazilian and English
Ambassadors at the Mexican capital, for Mr. Davis to interview
President Huerta, with safe conduct (this being about as safe as
nonskid tires) to Mexico City.  Mr. Davis was asked if he would make
the trip.  In less than two hours back came this laconic cable:

"'Leaving Mexico City to-morrow afternoon at 3 o'clock.'

"That was Richard Harding Davis--no hesitancy, no vacillation.  He was
always willing to go, to take any chance, to endure discomfort and all
if he had a fighting opportunity to get the news.  The public now knows
that Davis was arrested on this trip, that Huerta refused to make good
on the interview, and that it was only through the good efforts of the
British Ambassador at the Mexican capital he was released.  But Davis

"There was an echo of this journey to the Mexican capital several
months later after the conflict in Europe had been raging for a few
weeks.  Lord Kitchener announced at one stage of the proceedings he
would permit a single correspondent, selected and indorsed by the
United States Government, to accompany the British army to the front.
Of course, all the swarm of American correspondents in London at the
time were eager for the desirable indorsement.  Mr. Davis cabled back
the conditions of his acceptance.  Immediately Secretary of State Bryan
was called in Washington on the long-distance telephone.

"'Lord Kitchener has announced,' the Secretary of State was told, 'that
he will accept one correspondent with the British troops in the field,
if he is indorsed by the United States Government.  Richard Harding
Davis, who is in London, represents a string of the strongest
newspapers in the United States for this syndicate, and we desire the
indorsement of the State Department so he can obtain this appointment.'

"'Mr. Davis made us some trouble when he was in Mexico,' answered Mr.
Bryan.  'He proceeded to the Mexican capital without our consent and I
will have to consider the matter very carefully before indorsing him.
His Mexican escapade caused us some diplomatic efforts and
embarrassment.'  (What the Secretary of State did to bring about Mr.
Davis's release on the occasion of his Mexican arrest is still a secret
of the Department.)

"Mr. Bryan did not indorse Mr. Davis finally, which was well, since
Lord Kitchener of Khartum kept the selected list of correspondents
loafing around London on one pretext or another so long they all became
disgusted and went without an official pass from 'K. of K.'  As soon as
Mr. Davis was told he would not be appointed he proceeded to Belgium
and returned some of the most thrilling stories written on this
conflict at great personal risk."

May 13, 1914.


DO NOT BLAME me for this long delay in writing.  God knows I wanted
every day to "talk" to you.  But we were on the "suspect" list, and to
make even a note was risky.  The way I did it was to exclaim over the
beauty of some flower or tree, and then ask the Mexican nearest me to
write the name of it HIMSELF in MY notebook.  Then I would say, "In
English that would be----" and I would pretend to write beside it the
English equivalent, but really would write the word that was the key to
what I wished to remember.  So, you see, a letter at that rate of
progress was impossible.  It was a case of "Can't get away to cable you
today; police won't let me!"  However, we are all safe at home again.
As a matter of fact, I had a most exciting time, and am dying to tell
you the "insie" story.  But the one I sent the papers must serve.  I
promised myself I would give the FIRST soldier, marine and sailor I met
on returning a cigar, and the first sailor was the CHAPLAIN OF THE
FLEET, Father Reany.  But he took the cigar and gave me his blessing.
I am now burning candles to St. Rita.  What worried me the MOST was how
worried YOU would be; and I begged Palmer not to send the story of our
first arrest.  But other people told of it, and he had to forward it.
You certainly made the wires BURN! and had the army guessing.  One
officer said to me, "I'm awfully sorry to see you back.  If you'd only
have stayed in jail another day your wife would have had us all on our
way to Mexico."  And the censor said, "My God! I'm glad you're safe!
Your wife has MADE OUR LIVES HELL!"  And quite right, too, bless you!
None of us knows anything, but it looks to me that NOTHING will induce
Wilson to go to war.  But the Mexicans think we ARE at war, and act
accordingly.  They may bring on a conflict.  That is why I am making
ready in case we advance and that is why I cabled today for the rest of
my kit.  I have a fine little pony, and a little messenger boy who
speaks Spanish, to look after the horse, and me.

And now, as to your LETTERS, they came to-day, five of them, COUNT 'EM,
and the pictures did make me laugh.  I showed those of the soldier
commandeering the vegetables to Funston and he laughed.  And, I did
love the flowers you sent no matter HOW homesick they made me!  (Oh).
I do not want a camera.

I have one, and those fancy cameras I don't understand.

The letters you forwarded were wonderfully well selected.  I mean,
those from other people.  One of them was from Senator Root telling me
Bryan is going to reward our three heroic officers who jumped into the
ocean.  I know you will be glad.  There are NO mosquitoes!  Haven't met
up with but three and THEY are not COMING BACK.

I send you a picture of my room from the outside.  From the inside the
view is so "pretty."  Across the square is the cathedral and the trees
are filled with birds that sing all night, and statues, and pretty
globes.  The band plays every night and when it plays "Hello, Winter
Time," I CRY for you.  I paid the band-master $20 to play it, and it is
WORTH IT.  I sit on the balcony and think of you and know just what you
are doing, for there is only an hour and a half difference.  That is,
when with you it is ten o'clock with me it is eight-thirty.  So when
you and Louise are at dinner you can know I am just coming in from my
horseback ride to bathe and "nap."  And when at eight-thirty you are
playing the Victor, I am drinking a cocktail to you, and shooing away
the Colonels and Admirals who interfere with my ceremony of drinking to
my dear wife.

VERA CRUZ, May 20th, 1914.


I got SUCH a bully letter yesterday from you, written long ago from the
Webster.  It said you missed me, and it said you loved me, and there
were funny pictures of you reading the war and peace news each with a
different expression, and you told me about Padrigh and how he runs
down the road.  It made me very sad and homesick, but very glad to feel
I was so missed.  Also you told me cheerful falsehoods about my Tribune
stories.  I know they are no good, and as they are no good, the shorter
the better, but I like to be told they are good.  Anyway, I sat down at
once and wrote a long screed on Vera Cruz and the sleepy people that
five here.

We all live on the sidewalk under the stone porch.  Every night a table
is reserved and by my orders ALL chairs, except mine, are removed.  So
no one can sit down and bore me while I am dining.  Another trick I
have to be left alone is to carry a big roll of cable blanks, and I
pretend to write out cables if anyone tries to talk.  Then I beckon the
messenger (he always sits in the plaza) and say "File that!" and he
goes once around the block and reports back that it is "filed."  If the
bore renews the attack I write another cable, and the unhappy messenger
makes another tour.  The band plays from seven to eight every night.
There are five bands, and I saw no reason why there should not be music
every evening.  After a day in this dirty hotel or dirty city a lively
band helps.  Funston agreed, but forgot, until after three nights with
no band, I wrote him a letter.  It was signed by fake names, asking if
he couldn't get nineteen German musicians into a bandstand how could he
hope to get ten thousand soldiers into Mexico City.  So now we have a
band each night.  That is all my day.  After dinner I sit at table and
the men bring up chairs, or else I go to some other table.  There are
some damn fool women here who are a nuisance, and they now have dancing
in the hotel adjoining, but I don't know them, except to bow, and I
approve of the tango parties because it keeps them away from the
sidewalk.  They ire "refugees," the sort of folks you meet at Ocean
Grove, or rather DON'T meet!  All love to you, and give Patrigh a pat
from his Uncle Richard for looking after you and looking for me, and
remember me to Louise and Shu and everything at home.  I love you so.


VERA CRUZ, May 28, 1914.

I want to be home to see the daisy field with you.  That knee you
nearly busted tobogganing when the daisy field was an iceberg is now

The one and all came this morning and as I expected it was all full of
love from you.  I DID get happiness out of the thought you put in it.
And all done in an hour.  The underclothes made me weep.  I could get
none here.  Not because Mexicans are not as large as I am, but because
no Mexican of any size would wear 'em.  So I've had to wash the few
that the washer-woman didn't destroy myself.  And when I saw the lot
you sent!  It was like a white sale!  Also the quinine which I tasted
just for luck, and the soap in the little violet wrapper made me quite
homesick.  Especially was I glad to get socks and pongee suits, and
shirts.  I really was getting desperate.  God knows what I would have
done without them.

I want to see you so much, and I want to see you in the same setting of
other days, I want to walk with you in the daisy field, and in the
laurel blossoms, and clip roses.  But to be with you I'd be willing to
walk on broken glass.  Not you, too.  Just me.


VERA CRUZ--June 4, 1914.


I am awfully sorry for your sake, you could not get away.  Of course
for myself I am glad that I am to see you and Dai.  At least, I hope I
am.  God alone knows when we will get out of here.  I am sick of it.
Next time I go to war both armies must fight for two months before I
will believe they mean it, and BEFORE I WILL BUDGE.

It is true I am getting good money, but also there is absolutely
NOTHING to write about.  Bryan doesn't know that unless he talks by
code every radio on sixteen ships can read every message he sends to
these waters.  And the State Department saying it could not understand
the Hyranga giving up her cargo is a damn silly lie.  No one is so
foolish as to think the Chester and Tacomah let her land those arms
under their guns unless they had been told to submit to it.  And yet
today, we get papers of the 29th in which Bryan says he has twice
cabled Badger for information, when for a week Badger has been reading
Bryan's orders to consuls to let the arms be landed.  Can you beat
that?  This is an awful place, and if I don't write it is because I
hate to harrow your feelings.  It is a town of flies, filth and heat.
John McCutcheon is the only friend I have seen, and he sensibly lives
on a warship.  I can't do that, as cables come all the time suggesting
specials, and I am not paid to loaf.  John is here on a vacation, and
can do as he pleases.  But I ride around like any cub reporter.  And
there is no news.  Since I left home I have not talked five minutes to
a woman "or mean to!"  The Mexican women are a cross between apes and
squaws.  Of all I have seen here nothing has impressed me so as the
hideousness of the women, girls, children, widows, grandmothers.  And
the refugees, as Collier would say it, are "terrible!"  I live a very
lonely existence.  I find it works out that way best.  And at the same
time all the correspondents are good friends, and I don't find that
there is one of them who does not go out of his way to SHOW he is
friendly.  What I CAN'T understand is why no one at home never guesses
I might like to read some of my own stories. . . .


Of these days in Vera Cruz John T. McCutcheon wrote the following
shortly after Richard's death:

"Davis was a conspicuous figure in Vera Cruz, as he inevitably had been
in all such situations.  Wherever he went, he was pointed out.  His
distinction of appearance, together with a distinction in dress, which,
whether from habit or policy, was a valuable asset in his work, made
him a marked man.  He dressed and looked the 'war correspondent,' such
a one as he would describe in one of his stories.  He fulfilled the
popular ideal of what a member of that fascinating profession should
look like.  His code of life and habits was as fixed as that of the
Briton who takes his habits and customs and games and tea wherever he
goes, no matter how benighted or remote the spot may be.

"He was just as loyal to his code as is the Briton.  He carried his
bath-tub, his immaculate linen, his evening clothes, his war
equipment--in which he had the pride of a connoisseur--wherever he
went, and, what is more, he had the courage to use the evening clothes
at times when their use was conspicuous.  He was the only man who wore
a dinner coat in Vera Cruz, and each night, at his particular table in
the crowded 'Portales,' at the Hotel Diligencia, he was to be seen, as
fresh and clean as though he were in a New York or London restaurant.

Each day he was up early to take the train out to the 'gap,' across
which came arrivals from Mexico City.  Sometimes a good 'story' would
come down, as when the long-heralded and long-expected arrival of
Consul Silliman gave a first-page 'feature' to all the American papers.

"In the afternoon he would play water polo over at the navy aviation
camp, and always at a certain time of the day his 'striker' would bring
him his horse and for an hour or more he would ride out along the beach
roads within the American lines."

    .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

On June 15 Richard sailed on the Utah for New York, arriving there on
the 22d.  For a few weeks after his return he remained at Mount Kisco
completing his articles on the Mexican situation but at the outbreak of
the Great War he at once started for Europe, sailing with his wife on
August 4, the day war was declared between England and Germany.

On Lusitania--August 8, 1914.


We got off in a great rush, as the Cunard people received orders to
sail so soon after the Government had told them to cancel all
passengers, that no one expected to leave by her, and had secured
passage on the Lorraine and St. Paul.

They gave me a "regal" suite which at other times costs $1,000 and it
is so darned regal that I hate to leave it.  I get sleepy walking from
one end of it to the other; and we have open fires in each of the three
rooms.  Generally when one goes to war it is in a transport or a troop
train and the person of the least importance is the correspondent.  So,
this way of going to war I like.  We now are a cruiser and are slowly
being painted grey, and as soon as they got word England was at war all
lights were put out and to find your way you light matches.  You can
imagine the effect of this Ritz Carlton idea of a ship wrapped in
darkness.  Gerald Morgan is on board, he is also accredited to The
Tribune, and Frederick Palmer.  I do not expect to be allowed to see
anything but will try to join a French army.  I will leave Bessie near
London with Louise at some quiet place like Oxford or a village on the
Thames.  We can "take" wireless, but not send it, so as no one is
sending and as we don't care to expose our position, we get no news.
We are running far North and it is bitterly cold.  I think Peary will
sue us for infringing his copyrights.

I will try to get in touch with Nora.  I am worried lest she cannot get
at her money.  As British subjects no other thing should upset them.
Address me American Embassy, London.  I send such love to you both.
God bless you.


Richard arrived in Liverpool August 13, and made arrangements for his
wife to remain in London.  Unable to obtain credentials from the
English authorities, he started for Brussels and arrived there in time
to see the entry of the German troops, which he afterward described so
graphically.  Indeed this article is considered by many to be one of
the finest pieces of descriptive writing the Great War has produced.

For several days after Brussels had come under the control of the
Germans Richard remained there and then decided to go to Paris as the
siege of the French capital at the time seemed imminent.  He and his
friend Gerald Morgan, who was acting as the correspondent of the London
Daily Telegraph, decided to drive to Hal and from there to continue on
foot until they had reached the English or French armies where they
knew they would be among friends.  At Hal they were stopped by the
German officials and Morgan wisely returned to Brussels.  However,
Richard having decided to continue on his way, was promptly seized by
the Germans and held as an English spy.  For a few days he had a most
exciting series of adventures with the German military authorities and
his life was frequently in danger.  It was finally due to my brother's
own strategy and the prompt action of our Ambassador to Belgium, Brand
Whitlock, that he was returned to Brussels and received his official

On August 27, Richard left Brussels for Paris on a train carrying
English prisoners and German wounded, and en route saw much of the
burning and destruction of Louvain.

BRUSSELS, August 17, 1914.


Write me soon and often!  All is well here so long as I know you are
all right, so do not fail to tell me all, and keep me in touch.  If _I_
do not write much it is because letters do not get through always, and
are read.  But you know I love you, and you know twice each day I pray
for you and wish for you all the time.  I feel as though I had been
gone a month.  Gerald Morgan and I got in last night; this is a
splendid new hotel; for $2.50 I get a room and bath like yours on the
"royal suite," only bigger.  This morning the minister did everything
he could for us.  There are about twenty Americans who want
credentials.  They say they will take no Americans, but to our minister
they said they would make exception in favor of three, so I guess the
three will be John McCutcheon, Palmer and myself.  John and I, if
anyone gets a pass, are sure.  With the passes we had, Gerald and I
started out in a yellow motor, covered with flags of the Allies, and
saw a great deal.  How I wished you were with me, you would so have
loved it.  The country is absolutely beautiful.  We were stopped every
quarter mile to show our passes and we got a working idea of how it
will be.  Tonight I dined with Mr. Whitlock, the minister, and John
McCutcheon came in and Irving Cobb.  John and I will get together and
go out.  All you need is a motor car and you can go pretty much
everywhere, EXCEPT near where there is fighting.  So what I am to do to
earn my wages I don't know.  I am now going to bed and I send my
darlin' all love.  Today I sent you a wire.  If it got to you let me
know.  Take such good care of yourself.  Remember me to Louise, and,
WRITE ME.  All love, DEAR, DEAR one.  My wife and my sweetheart.

Your husband,


The following is the last letter that got through.

BRUSSELS, August 21, 1914.


I cannot say much, as I doubt if this will be opened by you.  The
German army came in and there was no fighting and I am very well.  I am
only distressed at not being able to get letters from you, and not
being able to send them.  I will write a long one, and hold it until I
am sure of some way by which it can reach you.


Mrs. Davis had waited in London to meet Richard on his return from the
war, but a misunderstanding as to the date of his return, coupled with
her strong sense of duty to his interests at home, gave occasion for
the letter which follows:

LONDON, August 31, 1914.


Not since the Herald Square days have I had such a blow as when I drove
up to 10 Clarges, and found you gone! IT WAS NOBODY'S FAULT!  YOU WERE
SO RIGHT to go; and I COULD NOT COME.  I am so distressed lest it was
my cable saying I could not get back that decided you to go before the
fifth.  But Ashford says it was not.  He tells me the cable came at
THREE in the morning and that you had arranged to be called at
six-thirty in order to leave for Scotland.  So, for sending that cable
I need not blame myself too much.  I sent you so many messages I do not
know which got through.  But I think it must have been one saying I
could not return in time to see you before the fifth.  THEN, no trains
were running.  The very NEXT DAY the Germans started a troop train, and
I took it.  The reason I could not come by automobile was because I had
a falling out with the "mad dogs" and they would not give me a pass.
So Evans, with whom I was to motor to Holland, got through Friday
afternoon and sent the cable.  As soon as I reached Holland, I cabled I
was coming and kept on telegraphing every step of the journey, which
lasted three days.

I telegraphed last from Folkestone; even telling you what to have for
my supper.  As you directed, Ashford opened the cables, and when I
drove up, he was at the door in tears.  He had made a light in your
rooms and, of course, as I looked up I thought you still were in them.
When they told me I was a day late, I cried, too.  It was the bitterest
disappointment I ever knew.  I had taken the very first train out of
Brussels, the one with the wounded, and for three days had been having
one hell of a time.  But I kept thinking of seeing you, and hearing
your dear voice.  So the trip did not matter.  I was only thinking of
SEEING YOU, and thanking God I was shut of the dirty Germans.  We had
nothing to eat, and we slept on the floor of the train, the Germans
kept us locked in, and, all through even Holland, we were under arrest.
But nothing mattered, because I was so happy at thought of meeting you.
As I said neither of us was at fault.  You just HAD to go, and I could
NOT COME.  But, you can feel how I felt to learn you were at sea.

I was so glad I could use your old rooms.  I went to the table where
you used to write and was so glad I could at least be as near to you as
that.  No other place in London could have held me that night.  Not
Buckingham Palace.  I found little things you had left.  I loved even
the funny pictures on the wall because we had talked of them together.
It was ROTTEN, ROTTEN luck.  But only the Germans and their hellish war
were to blame.  I drove straight to the cable office, and tried to
wireless you, knowing you would feel glad to know I was well, and safe
and sound.  But the cable people could not send my message.  You were
then out of reach of wireless, on the Irish coast.  And for nine days
there was no way to tell you I had come back as fast as trains and
boats and the dirty Germans would let me.  Oh, my dear, dear one, HOW I
LOVE you.  If only I could have seen you for just five minutes.  As it
was, I thought for five days more we would be together.  What I shall
do now, I don't know.  I must go back with either the French or the
English until my contract expires, and then, I can join you.  Tomorrow
I am trying to see Asquith and Churchill to get with the army.  And I
will at once return across the channel.  But, do not worry!  I will
never again let a German come within ONE MILE of me!  After this,
between me and the Germans, there will be some hundreds of thousands of
English or French.  So after this reaches you I will soon be on my way
HOME.  Don't worry.  Get James back and Amelia and everyone else who
can make you comfortable, and trust in the good Lord.  I have your
cross and St. Rita around my neck, and in spite of what the Kaiser
says, God is looking after other people than Germans.  Certainly he has
taken good care of me.  And he will guard you, and our "blessed" one.
And in a little time, dear, DEAR heart, I will be back, and I will
become a grocer.  God love you and keep you, as he does.  And you will
never know HOW I LOVE YOU!  Good night, dearest, sweetheart and wife!
I am writing this at your table, and, thanking God you are going to the
farm, and to peace and happiness.  I SEND YOU ALL THE LOVE IN ALL THE


LONDON, September 3rd.


It was a full moon again tonight and I think you were on deck and saw
it, because by now, you have passed the four days at sea and should be
in the St. Lawrence.  So I knew you saw the moon, too, and I sent you a
kiss, via it.  It was just over St. James Palace but also it was just
over you.

Today has been a day of worries.  Wheeler cabled that the papers wanted
me to be "neutral" and not write against the Germans.  As I am not
interested in the German vote, or in advertising of German breweries
(such a hard word to SAY) I thought, considering the EXCLUSIVE stories
I had sent them, instead of kicking, they ought to be sending me a few
bouquets.  Especially, as I got cables from Gouvey, Whigham, Scribner's
and others congratulating me on the anti-German stories.  So I cabled
Wheeler to tell papers of his syndicate, dictation from them as to what
I should write was "unexpected," that they could go to name-of-place
censored and that if he wished I would release him from his contract
tonight.  Considering that without credentials I was with French,
Belgian and German armies and saw entry of Germans into Brussels and
sacking of Louvain and got arrested as a spy, they were a bit
ungrateful.  I am now wondering WHAT I would have seen HAD I HAD

I saw Anthony Hope at the club last night.  He had to go back to the
country, so I dined alone on English oysters.  Fancy anyone being
NEUTRAL in this war!  Germany dropping bombs in Paris and Antwerp on
women and churches and scattering mines in the channel where they blow
up fishermen and burning the cathedrals!  A man who now would be
neutral would be a coward.  Good night, NEAR, DEAR, DEAR one.  It has
been several weeks since I had sleep, so if I rave and wander in my
letters forgive me.  You know how I am thinking of you.  God bless you.
God keep you for me.

Your husband who loves you SO!

LONDON, September 7th.


I just got your cable saying you were at the farm, and well!  HOW HAPPY
IT MADE ME!  I cabled you to Quebec, and to Mt.  Kisco, and when two
days passed and I heard nothing, today I was scared, so I cabled Gouvey
to look after you, and also to Wheeler.  I went to the Brompton Oratory
today, which is the second most important church here (the cardinal
lives at Westminster) and burned the BIGGEST CANDLE they had for you
and the "blessing."  A big woman all in black was kneeling in the
little chapel and when I could not get the candle to stand up, she
beckoned to one of the priests, and he ran and fixed it.  Then she went
on praying.  And WHO do you think she was?  Queen Amelie of Portugal,
you see her pictures in the Tattler and Sphere opening bazaars.  So she
must be very good or she would not be saying her prayers all alone with
the poor people and seeing that my Bessie's candle was burning.  I have
been waiting here hoping to get some sort of credentials from
Kitchener.  But though Winston Churchill has urged him, and tomorrow is
going to urge him again, they give me no hope.  So I'll just go over
"on my own" and I bet I'll see more than anyone else.  I have fine
papers, anyhow.  I am now writing Scribner article, so THAT is off my
mind.  And now that you are home, I have no "worries." I wish I had got
your cable earlier.  I would have had oysters and champagne in BATH
TUBS.  Give my love to all the flowers, and to Shea and Paedrig, and
Tom, and Louise, and Gouvey and the lake.  And take SUCH good care of
yourself, and love me, and be happy for I do so love you dear one.  I


September 15th.


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

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

With all my love.



PARIS, September 15th, 1914.


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"But, pay the debt now.

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

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

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

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


August, 1915.


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

All love to you.



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

Your loving husband,




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

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

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

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




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

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




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

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


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

On Way to France, Oct. 18, 1915.


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

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

God keep you, dearest of wives, and mothers.


October 24.


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

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


PARIS, November 1.


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

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

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


November 17th.


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


November 20th.

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

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


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

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


November 26th.


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

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


VOLO, November 27.

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

SALONICA November 30th, 1915.


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


December 6, 1915.


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

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

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

Your husband,


SALONICA, December 18th.


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


HARBOR SALONICA, December 19th.

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

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

God bless you, and all my love.



Christmas Eve, 1915.


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

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

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

Good-night, dear heart.


PARIS, December 28th, 1915.


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

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


PARIS, December 31st, 1915.


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

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

Your loving brother,


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

PARIS, December 31, 1915.


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

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


January 5, 1916.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

Theodore Roosevelt said:

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

Major-General Leonard Wood said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

MOUNT KISCO--February 28, 1916.


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

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

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

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


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

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

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