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Adventures and Letters

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.
Yours,
MOTHER.
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.
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