The whole company walked home with us, but I clung on to the Senator’s arm and let my other be held by the one with the roguish smile of the night before; and Nelson seemed to be extraordinarily gay as he strode beside Octavia, though when we said goodnight, just outside my room, his eyes were full of mist.
I don’t feel the least sleepy, and I am sitting here in the rocking-chair thinking of all our trip, and the different impressions it has made, and how deeply I admire and respect this wonderful people. As soon as they have grown out of being touchy, and rounded off their edges, they will have no equals on earth. This great vast country we have come through seems like the great vast brains of the men from here who are the real nation builders. The successful schemers and business men are remarkable, too, but these are the ones who make for splendour and glory and noble ideas. They are like strong pure air blowing away migraines; and yet the business men also are to be respected; it requires such indomitable pluck in either case, only this kind of outdoor pluck makes male creatures turn more into the things which women love.
There was one point I did not remember to tell you about in its place, and that was the rather pathetic spectacle the boys are, in numbers of families in the East,—tied to their mothers’ apron strings, treated like girls and taken constantly to Europe with or without a tutor; little, blase grandfathers driving motor cars and dressing in grown up clothes. I longed to send them all to Eton and let them get flogged and have to fag and be turned into children first, and then men. I asked the fourteen year old Spleist boy to get me down a branch of blossom far up on an apple tree, and for the world he wouldn’t have rubbed his patent leather boots, even if he had known how to hold on to reach so high. All the children are old, more or less, and wearied with expensive toys and every wish gratified. Only that they are more surrounded with servants and governesses or go to school, numbers and numbers are like “Matilda” on the ship. Out here there don’t seem to be any children, or hardly any, but those there are, I expect, are like everything else in the West, free and growing. But there is one quality which seems exclusively American, West or East, unbounded hospitality and kindly feeling, and ever and always I shall think of them all as dear friends.
Perhaps I shall not be able to post a letter again for some days, Mamma, but good-night now, and fond love from,
Your affectionate daughter,
CAMP OF MOONBEAMS.
DEAREST MAMMA,—When you hear of all I have to tell you you will wonder I can write so quietly. But I will make myself, and keep everything in its place, so that you get a clear picture.