Adventures and Letters HTML version

The Japanese-Russian War
During the fall and early winter of 1903 Richard and his wife lingered on in Marion, but
came to New York after the Christmas holidays. The success of his farce "The Dictator"
had been a source of the greatest pleasure to Richard, and he settled down to playwriting
with the same intense zeal he put into all of his work. However, for several years Robert
J. Collier and my brother had been very close friends, and Richard had written many
articles and stories for Collier's Weekly, so that when Collier urged my brother to go to
the Japanese-Russian War as correspondent with the Japanese forces, Richard promptly
gave up his playwriting and returned to his old love--the role of reporter. Accompanied
by his wife, Richard left New York for San Francisco in February.
February, 1904.
We are really off on the "long trail" bound for the boundless East. We have a charming
drawing-room, a sympathetic porter and a courtly conductor descended from one of the
first Spanish conquerors of California. We arranged the being late for lunch problem by
having dinner at five and cutting the lunch out. Bruce and Nan came over for dinner and
we had a very jolly time. They all asked after you all, and drank to our re-union at Marion
in July. Later they all tried to come with us on the train. It looked so attractive with
electric lights in each seat, and observation car and library. A reporter interviewed us and
Mr. Clark gave us a box of segars and a bottle of whiskey. But they will not last, as will
Dad's razors and your housewife. I've used Dad's razors twice a day, and they still are
perfect. It's snowing again, but we don't care. They all came to the station to see us off
but no one cried this time as they did when we went to South Africa. Somehow we
cannot take this trip seriously. It is such a holiday trip all through not grim and human
like the Boer war. Just quaint and queer. A trip of cherry blossoms and Geisha girls. I
send all my love to you.
SAN FRANCISCO, February 26th.
We got in here last night at midnight just as easily as though we were coming into Jersey
City. Before we knew it we had seen the Golden Gate, and were snug in this hotel. Today
as soon as we learned we could not sail we started in to see sights and we made a record
and hung it up high. We went to the Cliff House and saw the seals on the rocks below, to
the Park, the military reservation, Chinatown, and the Poodle Dog Restaurant. We also
saw the Lotta monument, the Stevenson monument, the Spreckles band stand, the place
where the Vigilance Committee hung the unruly, and tonight I went to a dinner the
Bohemian Club gave to the War correspondents. I made a darned good speech. Think of
ME making a speech of any sort, but I did, and I had sense enough not to talk about the
war but the "glorious climate of California" instead and of all the wonders of Frisco. So, I