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United States

I heard many stories in America, where every one is a raconteur, but none was better than this, which my San Francisco host narrated, from his own experience, as the most perfect example of an honest answer ever given. When a boy, he said, he was much in the company of an old trapper in the Californian mountains. During one of their expeditions together he noticed that a camp meeting was to be held, and out of curiosity he persuaded Reuben to attend it with him.

I believe that few statements about America would so surprise English people as that it has beautiful architecture. I was prepared to find Boston and Cambridge old-fashioned and homelike - Oliver Wendell Holmes had initiated me; I had a distinct notion of the cool spaciousness of the White House and the imposing proportions of the Capitol and, of course, I knew that one had but to see the skyscrapers of New York to experience the traditional repulsion! But of the church of St. Thomas on Fifth Avenue I had heard nothing, nor of Mr.

The selective processes of the memory are very curious. It has been decreed that one of my most vivid recollections of Bombay should be that of the embarrassment and half-amused self-consciousness of an American business man on the platform of the railway station for Delhi. Having completed his negotiatory visit he was being speeded on his way by the native staff of the firm, who had hung him with garlands like a sacrificial bull.

One is immediately struck, on landing at Kobe - and continually after - by the littleness of Japan. The little flimsy houses, the little flimsy shops, the small men, the toylike women, the tiny children, as numerous and like unto each other as the pebbles on the shore - these are everywhere. But although small of stature the Japanese men are often very powerfully built and many of them suggest great strength. They are taking to games, too. While I was in the country baseball was a craze, and boys were practising pitching and catching everywhere, even in the streets of the cities.

The journey from San Francisco to Chicago, once the fruit country is passed, is drearily tedious, and I was never so tired of a train.

Once the lay-out of New York has been mastered - its avenues and numbered cross streets - it is the most difficult city in the world in which to lose one's way. But Boston is different. I found Boston hard to learn, although it was a pleasant task to acquire knowledge, for I was led into some of the quietest little Georgian streets I have ever been in, steep though some of them were, and along one of the fairest of green walks - that between the back of Beacon Street and the placid Charles.

"If you can be in India only so short a time as seven weeks," said an artist friend of mine - and among his pictures is a sombre representation of the big sacred bull that grazes under the walls of Delhi Fort - "why not stay in Delhi all the while? You will then learn far more of India than by rushing about." I think he was right, although it was not feasible to accept the advice.

My first experience of Japanese scenery of any wildness was gained while shooting the rapids of the Katsuragava, an exciting voyage among boulders in a shallow and often very turbulent stream in a steep and craggy valley a few miles from Kyoto. Previous to this expedition I had seen, from the train, only the trim rice fields, - each a tiny parallelogram with its irrigation channels as a boundary, so carefully tended that there is not a weed in the whole country. Japan is cut up into these absurd little squares, of which twenty and more would go into an ordinary English field.

In Chicago the weather was wet and cold, and it was not until after I had left that I learned of the presence there of certain literary collections which I may now perhaps never see. But I spent much time in the Museum, where there is one of the finest Hobbemas in the world, and where two such different creative artists as Claude Monet and Josiah Wedgwood are especially honoured.

I was fortunate in the city over which William Penn, in giant effigy, keeps watch and ward, in having as guide, philosopher and friend Mr. A. Edward Newton, the Johnsonian, and the author of one of the best examples of "amateur" literature that I know - "The Amenities of Book- Collecting." Mr. Newton took me everywhere, even to the little seventeenth-century Swedish church, which architecturally may be described as the antipodes of Philadelphia's newer glory, the Curtis Building, where editors are lodged like kings and can be attained to (if at all) only through marble halls.

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