The next time I come I shall go to even fewer places and see more people.
If the Harpers don't look out our interests will clash. I look at it like this. I can always see the old historical things and take my children up the Nile, but I want now to make friends with the Mammon of unrighteousness and the men of the hour. I may want to occupy an hour or two myself some day and they can help me. If America starts in annexing islands she will need people to tell her how it is generally done and it is generally done, I find, by the English. I may give up literature and start annexing things like Alexander and Caesar and Napoleon. They say there will be another crisis in Cairo in a month or so. If that be true I am all right and solid with both parties. But it has got to be worth while of course or I won't go back. There is a king living in a fine palace across the square from my window, one of his officers is now changing the guard in the rain. I hope to call on the king because I like his guard. They wear petticoats and toes turned up in front. Don't you mind what I say about liking politics and don't think I am not enjoying the show things. I have a capacity for both that is so far unsatisfied, and I am now going out in the rain to try and find the post-office. Lots of love.
I am well and have been well (except sea sick) since February
P. S.--A funeral is just passing the window with the corpse exposed to view as is the quaint custom here, to add to its horror they rouge the face of the corpse and everybody kisses it. In the Greek church they burn candles for people and the number of candles I have burnt for you would light St. Paul's, and you ought to be good with so much war being expended all over Athens for you. You buy candles instead of tipping the verger or putting it in the poor box, or because you are superstitious and think it will do some good, as I do.
Orient Express. Somewhere in Bulgaria on the way to London.
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."