The crowd in this hotel are totally different looking to Chicago. Some have moustaches, and some even look like sportsmen, and as if they led an idle life and enjoyed it; and a few of the women are lovely, pure pink and white, and golden haired, and that air of breezy go-aheadness which is always so attractive. And all of them seem well dressed, though naturally one or two freaks are about, as in every country.
The food was as excellent as in all the places, and rather more varied—dishes with wonderful salads and ices; and after dinner we sat in the hall and made plans, and Gaston said such entreprenant things in my ear that I was obliged to be really angry with him. So to pay me out he sulked, and then devoted himself to Mercedes. Men are really impossible people to deal with, aren’t they, Mamma? So ridiculously vain and unreasonable. I shall be glad to see Mr. Renour again; he was quite different; respectful and yet devoted, not wanting to eat one up like Gaston, and I am sure incapable of treating me like Harry has. I suppose by now they have got right up into Africa. I wonder if she is going to shoot lions, too, or be a shikari or cook his food. I am sure she would look hideous roughing it without her maid. Her hair has to be crimped with tongs, and she has to have washes for her complexion, and things. You know, Mamma, though I don’t care a bit, the whole affair has upset me so that the dear Senator noticed I was not quite myself after the post came in, and asked me if there was anything else I wanted that he could do for me. And when I told him only to teach me to be a brazen heartless creature, as hard as nails, he held my hand like I held his, and pressed it, and said we should soon be in the sunshine where the winds did not blow.
“You are too broad gauge to want things like that,” he said; “those bitter thoughts are for the puny growths.”
And I suddenly felt inclined to cry, Mamma; I can’t think why. So I came up to bed;—and I am homesick and I want Hurstbridge and Ermyntrude, and what’s the good of anything?
Your affectionate daughter,