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.
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. DICK.
CHAPTER V FIRST TRAVEL ARTICLES
For Richard these first years in New York were filled to overflowing with many varied interests, quite enough to satisfy most young men of twenty-seven. He had come and seen and to a degree, so far as the limitation of his work would permit, had conquered New York, but Richard thoroughly realized that New York was not only a very small part of the world but of his own country, and that to write about his own people and his own country and other people and other lands he must start his travels at an early age, and go on travelling until the end. And for the twenty-five years that followed that was what Richard did. Even when he was not on his travels but working on a novel or a play at Marion or later on at Mount Kisco, so far as it was possible he kept in touch with events that were happening and the friends that he had made all over the globe. He subscribed to most of the English and French illustrated periodicals and to one London daily newspaper which every day he read with the same interest that he read half a dozen New York newspapers and the interest was always that of the trained editor at work. Richard was not only physically restless but his mind practically never relaxed. When others, tired after a hard day's work or play, would devote the evening to cards or billiards or chatter, Richard would write letters or pore over some strange foreign magazine, consult maps, make notes, or read the stories of his contemporaries. He practically read every American magazine from cover to cover--advertisements were a delight to him, and the finding of a new writer gave him as much pleasure as if he had been the fiction editor who had accepted the first story by the embryo genius. The official organs of our army and navy he found of particular interest. Not only did he thus follow the movements of his friends in these branches of the service but if he read of a case wherein he thought a sailor or a soldier had been done an injustice he would promptly take the matter up with the authorities at Washington, and the results he obtained were often not only extremely gratifying to the wronged party but caused Richard no end of pleasure.
According to my brother's arrangement with the Harpers, he was to devote a certain number of months of every year to the editing of The Weekly, and the remainder to travel and the writing of his experiences for Harper's Monthly. He started on the first of these trips in January, 1892, and the result was a series of articles which afterward appeared under the title of "The West from a Car Window."
January, 1892. (Some place in Texas)
I left St. Louis last night, Wednesday, and went to bed and slept for twelve hours. To-day has been most trying and I shall be very glad to get on dry land again. The snow has ceased although the papers say this is the coldest snap they have had in San Antonio in ten years. It might have waited a month for me I think. It has been a most dreary trip from a car window point of view. Now that the snow has gone, there is mud and ice and pine trees and colored people, but no cowboys as yet. They talk nothing but Chili and war and they make such funny mistakes. We have a G. A. R. excursion on the train, consisting of one fat and prosperous G. A. R., the rest of the excursion having backed out on account of Garza who the salient warriors imagine as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. One old chap with white hair came on board at a desolate station and asked for "the boys in blue" and was very much disgusted when he found that "that grasshopper Garza" had scared them away-- He had tramped five miles through the mud to greet a possible comrade and was much chagrined. The excursion shook hands with him and they took a drink together. The excursion tells me he is a glass manufacturer, an owner of a slate quarry and the best embalmer of bodies in the country. He says he can keep them four years and does so "for specimens" those that are left on his hands and others he purchases from the morgue. He has a son who is an actor and he fills me full of the most harrowing tales of Indian warfare and the details of the undertaking business. He is SO funny about the latter that I weep with laughter and he cannot see why-- Joe Jefferson and I went to a matinee on Wednesday and saw Robson in "She stoops to Conquer." The house was absolutely packed and when Joe came in the box they yelled and applauded and he nodded to them in the most fatherly, friendly way as though to say "How are you, I don't just remember your name but I'm glad to see you--" It was so much sweeter than if he had got up and bowed as I would have done.
I knew more about Texas than the Texans and when they told me I would find summer here I smiled knowingly-- That is all the smiling I have done---Did you ever see a stage set for a garden or wood scene by daylight or Coney Island in March--that is what the glorious, beautiful baking city of San Antonio is like. There is mud and mud and mud--in cans, in the gardens of the Mexicans and snow around the palms and palmettos-- Does the sun shine anywhere? Are people ever warm-- It is raw, ugly and muddy, the Mexicans are merely dirty and not picturesque. I am greatly disappointed. But I have set my teeth hard and I will go on and see it through to the bitter end-- But I will not write anything for publication until I can take a more cheerful view of it. I already have reached the stage where I admit the laugh is on me-- But there is still London to look forward to and this may get better when the sun comes out---I went to the fort to-day and was most courteously received. But they told me I should go on to Laredo, if I expected to see any campaigning-- There is no fighting nor is any expected but they say they will give me a horse and I can ride around the chaparral as long as I want. I will write you from Laredo, where I go to-morrow, Saturday--