NIGHT TRAVELER - Electric Love (Native)
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My dear Helen - I left myself just exactly enough time last night to do the necessary things before starting. Mr. Daly appeared and went to the car with me but he was so tired and sleepy that I refused to let him go in town with me. So we parted in Cambridge and I sleepily went my lonely way, trying to convince myself that I was not coming back by the next car. I found my berth h all right and was abed before we started. I slept but little and looked out several times, once as we came into New London, to see the lights along the waters of the sound and this morning to find a glorious clear off. So now having had breakfast and a little smoke I am scribbling you this line to say that I have nothing to say except that I love you and want to go back to you at Cambridge rather than forward to far-away Alaska. I am going up to Mr. Bishop's very soon and this evening will I hope have something of interest to tell and to send you. Till then, good morning,
My dear - Good morning! I hope you are as well and contented with life as I am this morning. Such perfection of traveling I have never enjoyed before. Weather just right - clear but not hot - no dust - a train that rolls along with perfect () smoothness - and good company if one wants it. We are running this morning thro' the level green fields interspersed with forests of northern Ohio having just left Lake Erie behind. There are almost no flowers in the fields only oceans of green. Yesterday the scenery was far more interesting. I never saw the Hudson to such good advantage. The hills and bluffs covered with a hundred tones of green, amid which here and there a dogwood in full blossom stood out like a huge bouquet. Then the purple Catskill Mts. rising high across the river - lastly as we sat at dinner the gentle rolling hills and fertile meadows of the Mohawk Valley to rest and delight the eye at every new turn. You have no idea of the babel of noise behind me as I write in the smoking room. Above the roar of the train comes the click of a typewriter and the confused voices of twenty men shouting at one another - not exactly the best conditions you will agree with me for writing a letter of any sort especially one where love should be the theme. I started out with a piece of absentmindedness which will I hope turn out all right in the end. Mr. Lilley gave me the little bag of gold of which he wrote and I put it in the safe of the hotel over night. When we were well up the Hudson I was talking to Emerson about jade and Bishop and then with a shock I remembered that I had left the money behind me! I have written back to have it telegraphed to me at Seattle and see no reason why it should not come to me all right but I cannot forgive my self for the carelessness of the act. You see I need someone to look after my money affairs for me. Our steamer is the G.W. Elder, a boat that has been on the Alaska line since it was first established. She has been refitted and is said to be very comfortable We reach Chicago about 2:30 P.M. today and remain there till midnight so we shall have time to run around there quite a bit. I hope to go out to the Chicago University during the afternoon.
My dear - We have been and are traveling much too fast to make letter writing a pleasure. 55 to 65 miles an hour is high speed even on the best of tracks and the cars swing around at a great rate. I have just been aroused from a nap with the announcement that --- A few moments remain before we start on again and I must at least send my greetings. We have been here 2 hours during which we took an electric car ride out to the old Fair Grounds. We are [illegible word] off Goodby - good night love and many kisses from your devoted
My dear - I am very much ashamed that yesterday passed without my getting off a letter to you. The trouble was that I did not start early and therefore did not get to it at all. Now I am up early - six o'clock with us - 9 with you - for a chat before the smoking room fills up with the crowd. We are climbing the Rockies - still going fast however as witness this writing which is better than it would be in ink. So please forgive the pencil on that score. Yesterday was not particularly eventful being chiefly marked by my visits to the private car which is decidedly nice. The car is last on the train and the last third of it is an observation room with big plate windows from floor to roof on end and sides. Comfortable chairs - electric fans - maps conveniently hung - flowers, books - candy, and all the other \"comforts of home\" including the company of the four girls who are jolly and simple and not in the least spoiled by the luxury of their surroundings. We talked and read there nearly all the morning. After lunch I was very sleepy and lay down for a nap to be awakened as told in my abbreviated note of Omaha. We all finally got out to the Fair Buildings which are now empty but produce an effect well worth seeing. Returned to the train we were soon off again at a terrific rate across the Nebraska plains and up the North Platte Valley. There was a grand sunset with high piled masses of silver lined dark clouds and fleecy gold veils and after that was over the girls took some of us back to the observation car for some \"singing\" (God save the mark!). I also sang as you will be distressed to learn but they all stood it nobly and indeed there were some no better than myself. We all enjoyed it anyway and I was thinking of you all the time and so I know was Miss Mary Harriman for the girls are of an age to take a romantic interest in anything like our separation. Altogether both the young ladies and Mrs. H. are very nice and show their millions absolutely not at all which is delightful. I had a grand sleep last night and wake up ready for an interesting day in the mountains. We are in the great grazing country of Wyoming - endless rolling fields of yellowish-green short grass - no bush or tree to break its carpet and rarely a flower. I had always before seen the plains brown, dusty and forlorn and this spring dress gives me an entirely different notion of the country. We have been organized into a regular scientific body with all sorts of officers committees etc. I hope they will succeed withal in making it possible to accomplish much good work. We have all registered in a big \"log book\" and appointed John Burroughs as Historian so we shall have the trip well written up anyhow. We have just brought the first mts. into view - the Laramie Hills and here is Cheyenne where this letter must be mailed. I wish it were a better messenger to carry to you my loving thoughts. Believe me you are ever in my thoughts and shall be till we meet again. Farewell with much love from your devoted
Juneau is an uninteresting town of the typical frontier type - board shanties, pretentious stores, bad streets, innumerable dogs, lots of loafing citizens and now and then a picturesque Indian. The hotel is better than I expected. We have a lovely little naphtha launch to carry us around the harbor and had our supper on board last night, provisions being abundant.
Well here we are in Sitka and as this must be mailed tonight and is already so long that I don't believe you'll read it anyway I will stop here. Give my love to Jeanette and remember me to Miss Búcher and any other of my friends you may see. And for your self - good-night - with all that that sad magic word would imply were I with you.
Toward evening I summoned energy for a walk down the Bay and we were rewarded by finding a fine stream and on its banks an old deserted Indian hut and canoe. I have not mentioned that the only inhabitants of this region are bears whose tracks we were constantly crossing so that we were always in a sort of expectation that each short turn we made might bring us face to face with bruin who was said to be particularly fierce in this locality. Notwithstanding, neither we nor any of the bear hunters in the two camps got sight at the big game and the only captures were mice and many birds by the collectors and some salmon shot in the river. The evening was cold, rainy and miserable, the night was mosquitoey again and I got thoroughly sick of the camp. This morning we saw the steamer coming in and by the time we had packed up our duds the boats were in our creek and by 1:30 P.M. we were all aboard again. We found the steamer party in high spirits over a lovely day in the upper part of the Bay known as Disenchantment Bay so we quite missed the fun and got nothing in return. We landed this afternoon at an Indian village where the seal hunters were in all the glory of their chase - up to the eyes in filth, grease and blubber and it was a relief to get off to the flowers and shrubs of the hillside where we sat or scrambled a couple of hours away. Now all are on board again and we are turned westward down the bay. We lie at Yakutat over night where this letter will be mailed. Then we turn northward once more. We still hope that tomorrow the clouds will lift and give us a glimpse of St. Elias as we pas by. But it is but a poor chance and I have no great expectation that we shall be favored.
My dear: What I wonder have you been doing this glorious fourth! I hope you have had as lovely a day for it as have we here in this charming place. Too charming indeed for I have spent the whole day ashore instead of writing to you as I should have done. For this is the last you will hear of me until we return to Seattle. It is the northern limit of the mail steamers and we are off tonight for a long run to the west and north and leave our communications here. Look on the map and follow us on the following route. First to Unalaska and Dutch Harbor then to the Seal or Prybiloff Islands where we shall see the Fur Seals in their haunts. Then northward to St. Lawrence Island where we shall see the Polar Bear perhaps - then still north and west to the coast of Siberia at Indian Point almost at Behring Straits. That is the plan and then we turn southward again and hurry back to Seattle stopping only at Cook Inlet on the way. We keep our time and shall be in Seattle about Aug. 1st as far as we can now tell. As I write on the upper deck a crowd is admiring the skin of a big bear and her cub shot yesterday by Mr. Harriman on this Island much to the satisfaction of the whole party - for this was one of the main objects of the trip. It is a huge yellowish brown skin and a fine trophy. 59ce067264