Adventures and Letters HTML version

of Garza who the salient warriors imagine as a roaring lion seeking whom he may
devour. One old chap with white hair came on board at a desolate station and asked for
"the boys in blue" and was very much disgusted when he found that "that grasshopper
Garza" had scared them away-- He had tramped five miles through the mud to greet a
possible comrade and was much chagrined. The excursion shook hands with him and
they took a drink together. The excursion tells me he is a glass manufacturer, an owner of
a slate quarry and the best embalmer of bodies in the country. He says he can keep them
four years and does so "for specimens" those that are left on his hands and others he
purchases from the morgue. He has a son who is an actor and he fills me full of the most
harrowing tales of Indian warfare and the details of the undertaking business. He is SO
funny about the latter that I weep with laughter and he cannot see why-- Joe Jefferson and
I went to a matinee on Wednesday and saw Robson in "She stoops to Conquer." The
house was absolutely packed and when Joe came in the box they yelled and applauded
and he nodded to them in the most fatherly, friendly way as though to say "How are you,
I don't just remember your name but I'm glad to see you--" It was so much sweeter than if
he had got up and bowed as I would have done.
I knew more about Texas than the Texans and when they told me I would find summer
here I smiled knowingly-- That is all the smiling I have done---Did you ever see a stage
set for a garden or wood scene by daylight or Coney Island in March--that is what the
glorious, beautiful baking city of San Antonio is like. There is mud and mud and mud--in
cans, in the gardens of the Mexicans and snow around the palms and palmettos-- Does
the sun shine anywhere? Are people ever warm-- It is raw, ugly and muddy, the
Mexicans are merely dirty and not picturesque. I am greatly disappointed. But I have set
my teeth hard and I will go on and see it through to the bitter end-- But I will not write
anything for publication until I can take a more cheerful view of it. I already have
reached the stage where I admit the laugh is on me-- But there is still London to look
forward to and this may get better when the sun comes out---I went to the fort to-day and
was most courteously received. But they told me I should go on to Laredo, if I expected
to see any campaigning-- There is no fighting nor is any expected but they say they will
give me a horse and I can ride around the chaparral as long as I want. I will write you
from Laredo, where I go to-morrow, Saturday--
At Laredo Richard left the beaten track of the traveller, and with Trooper Tyler, who
acted as his guide, joined Captain Hardie in his search for Garza. The famous
revolutionist was supposed to be in hiding this side of the border, and the Mexican
Government had asked the United States to find him and return him to the officials of his
own country.
In Camp, February 2nd.