Adventures and Letters HTML version
Central And South America
About January 1, 1895, Richard accompanied by his friends Somers Somerset and Lloyd
C. Griscom, afterward our minister to Tokio and ambassador to Brazil and Italy, started
out on a leisurely trip of South and Central America. With no very definite itinerary, they
sailed from New Orleans, bent on having a good time, and as many adventures as
possible, which Richard was to describe in a series of articles. These appeared later on in
a volume entitled "Three Gringos in Venezuela."
On board Breakwater at anchor. You will be pleased to hear that I am writing this in a
fine state of perspiration in spite of the fact that I have light weight flannels, no
underclothes and all the windows open. It is going to storm and then it will be cooler. We
have had a bully time so far although the tough time is still to come, that will be going
from Puerto Cortez to Tegucigalpa. At Belize the Governor treated us charmingly and
gave us orderlies and launches and lunches and advice and me a fine subject for a short
story. For nothing has struck me as so sad lately as did Sir Anthony Moloney K. C. M. G.
watching us go off laughing and joking in his gilded barge to wherever we pleased and
leaving him standing alone on his lawn with some papers to sign and then a dinner tete-a-
tete with his Secretary and so on to the end of his life. It was pathetic to hear him listen to
all the gossip from the outside world and to see how we pleased him when we told him
we were getting more bald than he was and that he would make a fine appearance in the
Row at his present weight. He had not heard of Trilby!!
We struck a beautiful place today called Livingston where we went ashore and
photographed the army in which there was no boy older than eighteen and most of them
under ten. It was quite like Africa, the homes were all thatched and the children all naked
and the women mostly so. We took lots of photographs and got on most excellently with
the natives who thought we were as funny as we thought them. Almost every place we go
word has been sent ahead and agents and consuls and custom house chaps come out to
meet me and ask what they can do. This is very good and keeps Griscom and Somerset in
a proper frame of awe. But seriously I could not ask for better companions, they are both
enormously well informed and polite and full of fun. The night the Governor asked
Somers to dinner and did not ask us we waited up for him and then hung him out over the
side of the boat above the sharks until he swore he would never go away from us again.
Griscom is more aggravatingly leisurely but he has a most audacious humor and talks to
the natives in a way that fills them with pleasure but which nearly makes Somers and I
expose the whole party by laughing. Today we lie here taking in banannas and tomorrow
I will see Conrad, Conrad, Conrad!! Send this to the Consul. Lots of love. DICK.