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Adventures and Letters

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.
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