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Today I believe is the 21st. We are out two days from Corinto off San Juan on the boundary of Costa Rica and lie here some hours. Then we go on without stopping to Panama arriving there about the 25th. On the 28th we take the steamer to Caracas. We will be at Caracas a week and then go straight home. But in the meanwhile we will have got one mail at Colon when we go there to take the boat for Caracas and glad I will be to get it. We have had a summary of the news in the Panama Star and a bundle of Worlds telling all about the trolley strike and that is all except Dad's cable at Tegucigalpa that we have heard in nearly two months. I am very sorry that the distances have turned out so much longer than we expected and that we had that unfortunate ten days wait for the steamer. I know you want me home and I would like to be there but I do not think I ought to go without seeing Caracas. It helps the book so much too if one runs it into South America for no one in the States thinks much of Central and does not want to read about it. At least I know I never did. We have had a most amusing time with the two phonograph chaps. One of them has been an advertising agent and a deputy sheriff and chased stage coach robbers and kept a hard-ware store and is only twenty-five and the other has not had quite as much experience but has been to Princeton, he is 23. The mixture of narratives which change from tricks of the hard-ware trade to dances at Buckingham Palace and anecdotes of Cliff House supper parties at San Francisco are very interesting. I am going to write a book for them and call it "Through Central America with a Phonograph" or "Who We Did, and How We Done Them." We sing the most beautiful medleys and contribute to the phonograph. I had to protest against them announcing "Her Golden Hair was Hanging Down her Back" by Richard Harding Davis and Somerset kicked at their introducing "God Save the Queen" as sung by "His Grace the Duke of Bedford" which they insist in thinking his real title and his name; if he would only confess the truth. You cannot have any idea of how glad I am that I took this trip, just this particular trip, not for any interest it will be to the gentle reader but for the benefit it has been to me. All the things I was nervous about have been done and should I get nerves again as I suppose I always will in one form or another I can get rid of them by remembering how I got rid of them before during this most peculiar excursion. For though I and we all told the truth about being well, we were in a most trying place at times and the ride we took and the sail to get away from possible fever was very much of a strain. I do not see how Griscom kept up as he did for he was an invalid and very nervous when he started. But he showed great sporting blood. It was much better having three than two and he furnished us with much amusement at which he never complains. His artlessness and his bad breaks which keep us filled with terror make the most entertaining narratives and he tells them on himself and then keeps on making new ones. One night Jeffs came down with fever through bathing in the mountain streams, a practice which did not hurt us but which natives of the country cannot do in safety, and I confess I was scared. Jeffs pulled through in a few days. It was odd that the man who had lived here eleven years should have been the only one to give up throughout the whole trip and he was a good sport, too.
I will have the Central American stories all done or nearly so by the time we reach New York which is one of the comforts of this over abundance of sea voyages. I have the lottery story nearly written and am wondering now if Bissell will let me publish it. Would it not be a good idea to have Dad, if he knows him, explain about how I went South to write it and just what it is and get his official sanction or shall I write or get the Harper's to write when I get back. The lottery people in joke offered $10,000 if they could write the story themselves. And sometimes I wish they would for it is the hardest kind of work. I do not want to advertise their old game and yet I cannot help doing it, in a way. We put in at Punta Arenas and I found a woman looking at us with an opera glass and shortly after she sent out to say she knew me and that she wanted me to come up. It seemed I met her in Elizabeth, New Jersey with Eddie Coward where she was playing in private theatricals. Since then as a punishment no doubt she has lived here and her husband is Minister of the Navy with one gun boat. This trip is very hot and I sleep on deck and look up at the stars and the light on the jib and the smoke spoiling the firmament. It makes you feel terribly far away from the centre of civilization in front of the fire and you all trying to make out where we are at. I hope you know more about it than we do.
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Adventures and Letters -by- Richard Harding Davis