v 7.00.00
23 Jan 2024
updated 23 Jan 2024

Hotel William Penn


Dearest Hen,

This may be the last letter you get before I arrive (though I may write more) because the sailings are not very frequent, & letters may get hung up in New York waiting for a boat. I am now headed definitely outward, and return to New York for my last clean-up the day after tomorrow. I have booked my passage on the Majestic, boarding on Friday 12th & sailing shortly after midnight the next morning. I should arrive, if weather is good, Friday forenoon the 19th, tho' I am not at all sure of the time.

Would you like to meet me at Waterloo & spend a night in London? I shall send you a radio the day before we land, and you can wire me (to meet the boat at S'hampton) whether you will be at Waterloo or whether I am to come straight on to Chesterfield. If you can come, we could do a show &c in the grand manner as a last fling.

I got one letter from you at last, the writing so bad and the grammar worse that I might be pardoned for supposing you'd had a stroke, but I was ever so glad to hear from you at all.

Since last I wrote I have done Chicago, Detroit, & Cleveland. In Cleveland I was very kindly looked after by Mr Wm. Hopkins, lately City manager of the place, and wherever we went he was greeted & saluted by all ranks, from lift boys & programme girls to Mayors & Chiefs of Police. It was in fact a Royal Progress, as I told him. He took me to a pageant at the new City Hall, most magnificent ("I built it") and took me behind the scenes during the performance, where all the undressed, grease-painted actresses swarmed, & carpenters & electricians expectorated, & prompters prompted. And every one bowed down and made obeisance. Quite an experience.

The next day he took me after my work was done, to the Air Port ("I built it") where the same open sesame & same deference. Spent an hour in the control room, hearing the pilots all over USA telling where they were, what the weather was like, &c, and getting their orders for direction & for landing. Most amazing.

I found Mr Hopkins a very well-educated & cultured man, with a fine taste in literature, so as a small return for his many kindnesses I presented him with the Life of Marlborough, by Churchill. I dedicated it

"To William I of Cleveland
Robert III of Scotland
With gratitude for many Royal favours."

He was much pleased.

On Sunday in Cleveland I went to the Episcopal Cathedral where I was impressed with the good simple singable tunes to which Psalms, hymns, Creed &c were set, and the firm quick tempo of them all. A vast improvement on the bad tunes & drawling pace of the C. of E. Also noted with amazement how the Dean preached a perfectly silly sermon with such eloquence & oratory that it sounded wonderful. That [took] some doing.

It appears that the Episcopal religion is the fashionable one in U.S., and when anyone makes a fortune, he and his all change to it for social reasons. It is recounted that a Jewess, whose husband made a fortune in some illicit way, joined the Episc. Ch. with a huge initial donation. She asked to meet the prominent Church members, & was obliged with a vast Church tea-party, at which all the guests were Jewesses (late of her own Synagogue).

I got in here last evening in time to take Nancy M. [?] to dine & a picture. Poor soul, it is pathetic how she appreciates these interludes.

My arm still bad, which accounts for rotten writing. No hope of curing it until I leave.

Love to you & family,