Adventures and Letters HTML version
were flying, turned back and alone charged the two troops. "You idiot"! yelled the
Umpire, "don't you know you and your horse are shot to pieces?" "Sure, I know it,"
yelled the trooper "but, this ---- horse don't know it."
Early in the fall of 1909 Richard returned from Marion to New York and went to
Crossroads, where for the next three years he remained a greater part of the time. They
were years of great and serious changes for him. An estrangement of long standing
between him and his wife had ended in their separation early in 1910, to be followed later
by their divorce. In September of that year my mother died while on a visit to Crossroads.
After my father's death life to her became only a period of waiting until the moment came
when she would rejoin him--because her faith was implicit and infinite. She could not
well set about preparing herself because all of her life she had done that and, so, smiling
and with a splendid bravery and patience she lived on, finding her happiness in bringing
cheer and hope and happiness to all who came into the presence of her wonderful
personality. The old home in Philadelphia was just the same as it had been through her
long married life--that is with one great difference, but on account of this difference I
knew that she was glad to spend her last days with Richard at Crossroads. And surely
nothing that could be done for a mother by a son had been left undone by him. Through
these last long summer days she sat on the terrace surrounded by the flowers and the
sunshine that she so loved. Little children came to play at her knee, and old friends
travelled from afar to pay her court.
In the winter of 1910-11 my brother visited Aiken, where he spent several months. The
following June he went to London at the time of King George's coronation, but did not
write about it. Again, in November, 1911, he visited my sister in London, but returned to
New York in January, 1912, and spent a part of the winter in Aiken and Cuba. At Aiken
he found at least peace and the devotion of loving friends that he so craved, but in
London and Cuba, which once had meant so much to him, he seemed to have lost interest
entirely. But not once during these years did he cease working, and working hard. On
almost every page of his diary at this period I find such expressions as "wrote 500 words
for discipline." And again "Satisfaction in work of last years when writing for existence,
has been up to any I ever wrote."
And in spite of all of the trouble of these days, he not only wrote incessantly but did some
of his very finest work. Personally I have never seen a man make a more courageous
fight. To quote again from his diary of this time: "Early going to my room saw red
sunrise and gold moon. I seemed to stop worrying about money. With such free pleasures
I found I could not worry. Every day God gives me greater delight in good things, in
beauty, and in every simple exercise and amusement."
Twice during these difficult days he went to visit Gouverneur Morris and his wife at
Aiken, and after Richard's death his old friend wrote of the first of these visits: