United States of America
May 12th, 1898
My Beloved Angee,
I had quite an eventful day y'day – we left San Antonia at 9.30am and arrived at this prosperous town (Waco) soon after 5 – the heat was very great and long before we reached this town it was pretty evident from the crowds of people travelling and the smart way they were dressed that it was a Gala day somewhere – well it was the first day of a 3 days' carnival and the whole population were just given up to this thing – of course if I had known of it I should have gone through to Dallas the next stopping place. On reaching the hotel which was crowded I was met with the not very welcome words – we are quite full Sir, which made me look very seriously to the lady to whom I explained my position and when telling her that I only required a room for one night she said I could have a room if I gave it up at 7.30 the following morning – this I agreed to and was then shown the best and largest room in the house for which I was indeed more than thankful and gave it up again at the appointed hour this morning having made good use of it for 9 hours. All windows and door were open – a venetian door taking the place of the ordinary door so that I had no protection from the various sounds both inside and outside – the music and screaming and yelling were kept up until the small hours and tired as I was it was difficult to get any sleep until the Babel of noises has ceased.
On my way from San Antonia we stopped at a place called Austin for dinner, 20 minutes being allowed – well I enjoyed the meal and walked out and saw my train moving off and one or two running after it. It was a long way down the platform when I first saw it so that the distance was considerable – the gentleman in front of me reached the rear carriage and found the iron gate closed so he jumped on the step and succeeded in opening the gate and then fell flat on his back on the ground – I continued the chase and made an attempt to jump the step and slipped my foot but kept hold of some iron work connected with the train and made a second jump which was successful but when I reached the platform of the carriage the door was locked and there were no passengers in this carriage, so I had to hold fast until the train stopped – then I shouted and called attention and even then it was five minutes perhaps before one of the guards came and opened the door – I have not heard anything about the person who fell but hope he was not injured. Of course I complained to the guard who knew I had gone to dine that no notice was given of the departure of the train but his reply was – the time was up and he did not appear to consider anything else. It was a most perilous thing to do and I really was surprised at myself that I attempted it and that I was able to run without being distressed in any way. I felt it was an occasion for thanksgiving the special mercy that preserved me through it all. The trains move away slowly from the depots or had they started off like they do in England of course I should have had no chance of catching it up.
Have been encouraged in the business this morning and taken a nice order from the best man.
The Capital, Little Rock, Arkansas. May 15th 1898
I left Dallas last night (Saturday) and arrived here for breakfast this morning – a distance of about 350 miles – very very weary and was glad to lay down upon my bed for a couple of hours and have not been out for the day. I was glad as always to get your letter of April 29th with enclosure from Daisy and my German friend – also received a letter from Mr Shapland which I have answered. Please give my kind love to Eliza, whom I am glad to hear is better also to Eunice.
Was hoping to find it cooler here as it is so much further North than Dallas but the glass keeps in the old place between 80 & 90 and the flies are quite a plague – my next step will be St Louis and I am feeling home – probably leaving New York for 1st Wednesday in June. The hot weather and night travelling do take all the strength out of me.
Glad to see you are enjoying the stay at Ilfracombe – D.V. I shall return to Barnstaple direct on arrival at L'pool and how thankful I shall be to see your dear face once more and to be at home – God grant us this mercy – much love to you and all our dear ones and believe me my dearest Angee.
Being very affectionate Husband