In 1887, and again in 1888, Bailey and I took our holidays together, visiting Normandy, Paris, Belgium, Holland and the Rhine, doing a great deal of walking, which he liked as much as I. He was the prince of travelling companions, always gay and sprightly, and spoke French with great fluency. His happy disposition, unfailing good humour, and keen enjoyment of everything, even of the occasional discomforts that arose, as in travelling discomforts will arise, especially when funds are not too plentiful, made every hour of our holiday enjoyable. He had the happy gift of seeing always the humorous and the best side of things. He acted as paymaster on our tours and presented with great regularity records of our joint expenditure with the neatness and accuracy of the perfect accountant. Never a pipe smoker, he had no special interest in pipes, but to me the happiness of our first holiday was increased by the colouring of a new meerschaum. In this delightful art I was a disciple of Samuel Swarbrick, though I needed not, as he did, the services of another in the early stages of the colouring process. Whoever has been the votary of a meerschaum will understand the pride with which I frequently displayed my pipe and its deepening colour to Bailey, often to his great amusement I must admit. In a hotel in the city of Antwerp, where we stayed for several days, we occupied adjoining bedrooms having a communicating door. One night, towards early morn, but before daylight had dawned, I was suddenly awakened out of a sound sleep, and to my astonishment saw Bailey with lighted candle standing by my bedside, with a serious look on his face. “Great Scott! what’s the matter?” I exclaimed. “My dear boy, I can’t sleep; do let me see your pipe,” he answered. With such like pleasantries he beguiled the happy times we spent together.
In these years I had another pleasure: I learned to ride, taking lessons in horsemanship at a riding school in Belfast. I soon acquired a firm seat, and my good friend H. H. (who was a practised horseman, and then lived in Belfast too) and I had many delightful rides in the beautiful country around the city. For many years, so far as opportunity and means allowed, I indulged myself in this best of all exercises.