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."
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.
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. DEAR MOTHER:
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."