When the question of my own references came up I begged in a humorous way that, having heard J. P.’s views about the value of testimonials, my friends should be spared the useless task of eulogizing me.
“No, my God!” exclaimed J. P. “None of them shall be spared. What I said about testimonials is all perfectly true; but it only serves to show what sort of person a man must be who can’t even get testimonials. No, no; if a man brings references it proves nothing; but if he can’t, it proves a great deal.”
Our voyage to New York was marred by but one distressing feature, the behavior of two infants, one of whom cried all day and the other all night. J. P. stood it very well. I think he regarded it as one of the few necessary noises. He suffered from it, of course, but the only remark he ever made to me about it was:
“I really think that one of the most extraordinary things in the world is the amount of noise a child can make. Here we are with a sixty-mile gale blowing and some ten thousand horse-power engines working inside the ship, and yet that child can make itself heard from one end of the boat to the other. I think there must be two of them; the sound is not quite the same at night. Now, Mr. Ireland, do, just for the fun of it, find out about that. Don’t let the mother know—I wouldn’t like to hurt her feelings; but ask one of the stewards about it.”
In due course we reached New York. The Liberty, which had crossed directly from Marseilles, met us at quarantine, and Mr. Pulitzer was transferred to her without landing. The rest of us joined the yacht the same evening. That night we sailed for Bar Harbor.
BAR HARBOR AND THE LAST CRUISE
During the forenoon of the following day we dropped anchor opposite the water-front of Mr. Pulitzer’s Bar Harbor estate. The house was situated right on the rocky foreshore, and was backed by extensive grounds which completely cut it off from the noise of the traffic on the main road.
By means of a flight of granite steps, leading down from a lawn laid along the whole of the house-front, within containing walls, access was had to a pier to the end of which was attached a floating pontoon affording an easy means of boarding the yacht’s boats or the launches which were kept at Chatwold for use when the house was occupied.
Chatwold was a big, rambling place, which had been added to from time to time until it was capable of accommodating about twenty people in addition to J. P., whose quarters were in a large granite structure, specially designed with a view to securing complete quietness. This building was in the form of a tower about forty feet square and four stories high. On the ground floor was a magnificent room, occupying the whole length of the tower and two-thirds of its breadth, which served as a library and dining-room for J. P. On the side facing the sea there was a large verandah where Mr. Pulitzer took his breakfast and where he sat a great deal during the day when he was transacting business or being read to.