Adventures and Letters HTML version

First Travel Articles
For Richard these first years in New York were filled to overflowing with many varied
interests, quite enough to satisfy most young men of twenty-seven. He had come and seen
and to a degree, so far as the limitation of his work would permit, had conquered New
York, but Richard thoroughly realized that New York was not only a very small part of
the world but of his own country, and that to write about his own people and his own
country and other people and other lands he must start his travels at an early age, and go
on travelling until the end. And for the twenty-five years that followed that was what
Richard did. Even when he was not on his travels but working on a novel or a play at
Marion or later on at Mount Kisco, so far as it was possible he kept in touch with events
that were happening and the friends that he had made all over the globe. He subscribed to
most of the English and French illustrated periodicals and to one London daily newspaper
which every day he read with the same interest that he read half a dozen New York
newspapers and the interest was always that of the trained editor at work. Richard was
not only physically restless but his mind practically never relaxed. When others, tired
after a hard day's work or play, would devote the evening to cards or billiards or chatter,
Richard would write letters or pore over some strange foreign magazine, consult maps,
make notes, or read the stories of his contemporaries. He practically read every American
magazine from cover to cover--advertisements were a delight to him, and the finding of a
new writer gave him as much pleasure as if he had been the fiction editor who had
accepted the first story by the embryo genius. The official organs of our army and navy
he found of particular interest. Not only did he thus follow the movements of his friends
in these branches of the service but if he read of a case wherein he thought a sailor or a
soldier had been done an injustice he would promptly take the matter up with the
authorities at Washington, and the results he obtained were often not only extremely
gratifying to the wronged party but caused Richard no end of pleasure.
According to my brother's arrangement with the Harpers, he was to devote a certain
number of months of every year to the editing of The Weekly, and the remainder to travel
and the writing of his experiences for Harper's Monthly. He started on the first of these
trips in January, 1892, and the result was a series of articles which afterward appeared
under the title of "The West from a Car Window."
January, 1892.
(Some place in Texas)
I left St. Louis last night, Wednesday, and went to bed and slept for twelve hours. To-day
has been most trying and I shall be very glad to get on dry land again. The snow has
ceased although the papers say this is the coldest snap they have had in San Antonio in
ten years. It might have waited a month for me I think. It has been a most dreary trip from
a car window point of view. Now that the snow has gone, there is mud and ice and pine
trees and colored people, but no cowboys as yet. They talk nothing but Chili and war and
they make such funny mistakes. We have a G. A. R. excursion on the train, consisting of
one fat and prosperous G. A. R., the rest of the excursion having backed out on account