Adventures and Letters HTML version

Also keep in mind that I am going as a correspondent only and must keep out of the way
of fighting and that I mean to do so, as Chamberlain says we want descriptive stories not
brave deeds-- Major Flint who has arranged the trip for us was down there with Maceo as
a correspondent. He saw six fights and never shot off his gun once because as he said it
was not his business to kill people and he has persuaded me that he is right, so I won't do
anything but look on-- I have bought at The Journal's expense a fifty dollar field glass
which is a new invention and the best made. I have marked it so that you can see a man
five miles off and as soon as I see him I mean to begin to ride or run the other way--no
one loves himself more than I do so you leave me to take care of myself. I wish I could
give you any idea of the contempt the four returned correspondents who talked to me,
have for the Spaniards. They have seen them shoot 2,500 rounds without hitting men at
200 yards and they run away if the enemy begins on them first. However, you trust to
Richard-- We have a fine escort arranged for us and Michaelson speaks Spanish perfectly
and has been six months scouting over the country.
KEY West, December 26, 1896.
I got your letters late last night and they made me pretty solemn. It is an awfully solemn
thing to have people care for you like that and to care for them as I do. I can't tell you
how much I love you. You don't know how much the pain of worrying you for a month
has meant to me, but I have talked it all out with myself, and left it to God and I am sure I
am doing right. As Mrs. Crown said, "There's a whole churchful up here praying for
you," and I guess that will pull me through. Of course, dear, dear Mother thought she was
cross with me. She could not be cross with me, and her letter told me how much she
cared, that was all, and made me be extra careful. But I need not promise you to be
careful. You have an idea I am a wild, filibustering, hot-headed young man. I am not. I
gave the guides to understand their duty was to keep us out of danger if we had to walk
miles to avoid it. We are men of peace, going in, as real estate agents and coffee-planters
and drummers are going in on every steamer, to attend to our especial work and get out
again quick. I have just as strong a prejudice against killing a man as I have against his
killing me.
Lots and lots of love. Don't get scared if you don't hear for a month, although we will try
to get our stories back once a week, but you know we are at the convenience of the
Cubans who will pocket our despatches and money and not take the long trip back. Thank
dear Dad for his letter full of good advice. It was excellent. Remington and Michelson are
good men and I like them immensely. Already we are firm friends.
KEY WEST--January 1, 1897.