"`Leaving Mexico City to-morrow afternoon at 3 o'clock.'
"That was Richard Harding Davis--no hesitancy, no vacillation. He was always willing to go, to take any chance, to endure discomfort and all if he had a fighting opportunity to get the news. The public now knows that Davis was arrested on this trip, that Huerta refused to make good on the interview, and that it was only through the good efforts of the British Ambassador at the Mexican capital he was released. But Davis went.
"There was an echo of this journey to the Mexican capital several months later after the conflict in Europe had been raging for a few weeks. Lord Kitchener announced at one stage of the proceedings he would permit a single correspondent, selected and indorsed by the United States Government, to accompany the British army to the front. Of course, all the swarm of American correspondents in London at the time were eager for the desirable indorsement. Mr. Davis cabled back the conditions of his acceptance. Immediately Secretary of State Bryan was called in Washington on the long-distance telephone.
"`Lord Kitchener has announced,' the Secretary of State was told, `that he will accept one correspondent with the British troops in the field, if he is indorsed by the United States Government. Richard Harding Davis, who is in London, represents a string of the strongest newspapers in the United States for this syndicate, and we desire the indorsement of the State Department so he can obtain this appointment.'
"`Mr. Davis made us some trouble when he was in Mexico,' answered Mr. Bryan. `He proceeded to the Mexican capital without our consent and I will have to consider the matter very carefully before indorsing him. His Mexican escapade caused us some diplomatic efforts and embarrassment.' (What the Secretary of State did to bring about Mr. Davis's release on the occasion of his Mexican arrest is still a secret of the Department.)
"Mr. Bryan did not indorse Mr. Davis finally, which was well, since Lord Kitchener of Khartum kept the selected list of correspondents loafing around London on one pretext or another so long they all became disgusted and went without an official pass from `K. of K.' As soon as Mr. Davis was told he would not be appointed he proceeded to Belgium and returned some of the most thrilling stories written on this conflict at great personal risk."
DO NOT BLAME me for this long delay in writing. God knows I wanted every day to "talk" to you. But we were on the "suspect" list, and to make even a note was risky. The way I did it was to exclaim over the beauty of some flower or tree, and then ask the Mexican nearest me to write the name of it HIMSELF in MY notebook. Then I would say, "In English that would be----" and I would pretend to write beside it the English equivalent, but really would write the word that was the key to what I wished to remember. So, you see, a letter at that rate of progress was impossible. It was a case of "Can't get away to cable you today; police won't let me!" However, we are all safe at home again. As a matter of fact, I had a most exciting time, and am dying to tell you the "insie" story. But the one I sent the papers must serve. I promised myself I would give the FIRST soldier, marine and sailor I met on returning a cigar, and the first sailor was the CHAPLAIN OF THE FLEET, Father Reany. But he took the cigar and gave me his blessing. I am now burning candles to St. Rita. What worried me the MOST was how worried YOU would be; and I begged Palmer not to send the story of our first arrest. But other people told of it, and he had to forward it. You certainly made the wires BURN! and had the army guessing. One officer said to me, "I'm awfully sorry to see you back. If you'd only have stayed in jail another day your wife would have had us all on our way to Mexico." And the censor said, "My God! I'm glad you're safe! Your wife has MADE OUR LIVES HELL!" And quite right, too, bless you! None of us knows anything, but it looks to me that NOTHING will induce Wilson to go to war. But the Mexicans think we ARE at war, and act accordingly. They may bring on a conflict. That is why I am making ready in case we advance and that is why I cabled today for the rest of my kit. I have a fine little pony, and a little messenger boy who speaks Spanish, to look after the horse, and me.
And now, as to your LETTERS, they came to-day, five of them, COUNT 'EM, and the pictures did make me laugh. I showed those of the soldier commandeering the vegetables to Funston and he laughed. And, I did love the flowers you sent no matter HOW homesick they made me! (Oh). I do not want a camera.