Adventures and Letters HTML version
made a great hit. It certainly is one of the few cities that lives up to it's reputation in every
way. I should call it the most interesting city, with more character back of it than any city
on this continent. There are only four deck rooms and we each have one. The boat is
small, but in spite of the crowd that is going on her, will I think be comfortable. I know it
will be that, and it may be luxurious.
On way to Japan.
March 13th, 1904.
About four this afternoon we saw an irregular line of purple mountains against a yellow
sky, and it was Japan. In spite of the Sunday papers, and the interminable talk on board,
the guide books and maps which had made Japan nauseous to me, I saw the land of the
Rising Sun with just as much of a shock and thrill as I first saw the coast of Africa. We
forgot entirely we had been twenty days at sea and remembered only that we were ten
miles from Japan, only as far as New Bedford is from Marion. We are at anchor now,
waiting to go in in the morning. Were it not for war we could go in now but we must wait
to be piloted over the sunken mines. That and the flashlights moving from the cruisers ten
miles away gave us our first idea of war. To-morrow early we will be off for Tokio, as it
is only forty miles from Yokohama. Of course, I may get all sorts of news before we
land, but that is what we expect to do. It will be good to feel solid earth, and to see the
kimonos and temples and geishas and cherry blossoms. I am almost hoping the
Government won't let us go to the front and that for a week at least Cecil and I can sit in
tea houses with our shoes off while the nesans bring us tea and the geishas rub their knees
and make bows to us. I am sending you through Harper's, a book on Hawaii and one of
Japan that I have read and like and which I think will help you to keep in touch with the
wanderers. With all my love to all.
TOKYO, March 22nd, 1904.
The "situation" here continues to remain in such doubt that I cannot tell of it, as it
changes hourly. There are three "columns," so far existing only in imagination. That is, so
far as they concern the correspondents. The first lot have chosen themselves, and so have
the second lot. But the first lot are no nearer starting than they were two weeks ago. I may
be kept waiting here for weeks and weeks. I do not like to turn out Palmer, although I
very much want to go with the first bunch. On the other hand I am paid pretty well to get
to the front, and I am uncertain as to what I ought to do. If the second column were to
start immediately after the first, we then would have two men in the field, but if it does
not, then Collier will be paying $1000. a week for stories of tea houses and "festivals."
Palmer threatens to resign if I take his place in the first column and that would be a loss
to the paper that I do not feel I could make up. If it gets any more complicated I'll wire
Collier to decide.