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Ch. 13: The Spanish and English Coronations

Interrupted by frequent brief visits to New York Philadelphia, and Boston, Richard and his wife remained in Marion from May, 1901, until the early spring of 1902. During this year Richard accomplished a great deal of work and lived an ideal existence. In the summer months there were golf and tennis and an army of visitors, and during the winter many of their friends came from New York to enjoy a most charming hospitality and the best of duck shooting and all kinds of winter sports.

Late in April, they sailed for Gibraltar on their way to Madrid, where Richard was to report the coronation ceremonies, and from Madrid they went to Paris and then to London to see the coronation of King Edward. It was while on a visit to the Rudyard Kiplings that they heard the news that Edward had been suddenly stricken with a serious illness and that the ceremony had been postponed.


11, St. James's Place,

St. James's Street, S. W.

London.

June, 1902.

DEAR MOTHER:--

This is only to say that at the Kipling's we heard the news, and being two newspaper men, refused to believe it and went to the postoffice of the little village to call up Brighton on the 'phone. It was very dramatic, the real laureate of the British Empire asking if the King were really in such danger that he could not be crowned, while the small boy in charge of the grocery shop, where the postoffice was, wept with his elbows on the counter. They sent me my ticket--unasked--for the Abbey, early this morning, and while I was undecided whether to keep it--or send it back, this came. So, now, I shall frame it as a souvenir of one of the most unhappy occasions I ever witnessed. You can form no idea of what a change it has made. It really seems to have stunned every one--that is the usual and accepted word, but this time it describes it perfectly.

Goodbye,

DICK.


During the summer of 1903 my mother and father occupied a cottage at Marion, and every morning Richard started the day by a visit to them. My brother had already bought his Crossroads Farm at Mount Kisco, and the new house was one of the favorite topics of their talk. The following letter was written by my mother to Richard, after her return to Philadelphia.


September, 1903.

Here we are in the old library and breakfast over. There seemed an awful blank in the world as I sat down just now, and I said to Dad "Its Dick--he must come THIS morning."

You don't know how my heart used to give a thump when you and Bob came in that old door. It has been such a good month--everybody was so friendly--and Dad was so well and happy--but your visits were the core of it all. And our good drives! Well we'll have lots of drives at the Crossroads. You'll call at our cottage every morning and I'm going to train the peacocks to run before the trap and I'll be just like Juno.

There isn't a scrap of news. It is delightfully cool here.

M.


Richard Harding Davis