All pleasures, mixed or unmixed, must end, and the qualified joy of our drive through San Sebastian came to a close on our return to our hotel well within the second hour, almost within its first half. When I proposed paying our driver for the exact time, he drooped upon his box and, remembering my remorse in former years for standing upon my just rights in such matters, I increased the fare, peseta by peseta, till his sinking spirits rose, and he smiled gratefully upon me and touched his brave red cap as he drove away. He had earned his money, if racking his invention for objects of interest in San Sebastian was a merit. At the end we were satisfied that it was a well-built town with regular blocks in the modern quarter, and not without the charm of picturesqueness which comes of narrow and crooked lanes in the older parts. Prescient of the incalculable riches before us, we did not ask much of it, and we got all we asked. I should be grateful to San Sebastian, if for nothing else than the two very Spanish experiences I had there. One concerned a letter for me which had been refused by the bankers named in my letter of credit, from a want of faith, I suppose, in my coming. When I did come I was told that I would find it at the post-office. That would be well enough when I found the post-office, which ought to have been easy enough, but which presented certain difficulties in the driving rain of our first afternoon. At last in a fine square I asked a fellow-man in my best conversational Spanish where the post-office was, and after a moment's apparent suffering he returned, "Do you speak English?" "Yes." I said, "and I am so glad you do." "Not at all. I don't speak anything else. Great pleasure. There is the post-office," and it seemed that I had hardly escaped collision with it. But this was the beginning, not the end, of my troubles. When I showed my card to the poste restante clerk, he went carefully through the letters bearing the initial of my name and denied that there was any for me. We entered into reciprocally bewildering explanations, and parted altogether baffled. Then, at the hotel, I consulted with a capable young office-lady, who tardily developed a knowledge of English, and we agreed that it would be well to send the chico to the post-office for it. The chico, corresponding in a Spanish hotel to a piccolo in Germany or a page in England, or our own now evanescing bell-boy, was to get a peseta for bringing me the letter. He got the peseta,though he only brought me word that the axithorities would send the letter to the hotel by the postman that night. The authorities did not send it that night, and the next morning I recurred to my bankers. There, on my entreaty for some one who could meet my Spanish at least half-way in English, a manager of the bank came out of his office and reassured me concerning the letter which I had now begun to imagine the most important I had ever missed. Even while we talked the postman came in and owned having taken the letter back to the office. He voluntarily promised to bring it to the bank at one o'clock, when I hastened to meet him. At that hour every one was out at lunch; I came again at four, when everybody had returned, but the letter was not delivered; at five, just before the bank closed, the letter, which had now grown from a carta to a cartela, was still on its way. I left San Sebastian without it; and will it be credited that when it was forwarded to me a week later at Madrid it proved the most fatuous missive imaginable, wholly concerning the writer's own affairs and none of mine?

I cannot guess yet why it was withheld from me, but since the incident brought me that experience of Spanish politeness, I cannot grieve for it. The young banker who left his region of high finance to come out and condole with me, in apologizing for the original refusal of my letter, would not be contented with so little. Nothing would satisfy him but going with me, on my hinted purpose, and inquiring with me at the railroad office into the whole business of circular tickets, and even those kilometric tickets which the Spanish railroads issue to such passengers as will have their photographs affixed to them for the prevention of transference. As it seemed advisable not to go to this extreme till I got to Madrid, my kind young banker put himself at my disposal for any other service I could imagine from him; but I searched myself in vain for any desire, much less necessity, and I parted from him at the door of his bank with the best possible opinion of the Basques. I suppose he was a Basque; at any rate, he was blond, which the Spaniards are mostly not, and the Basques often are. Now I am sorry, since he was so kind, that I did not get him to read me the Basque inscription on the front of his bank, which looked exactly like that on the bank at Bayonne; I should not have understood it, but I should have known what it sounded like, if it sounded like anything but Basque.

Everybody in San Sebastian seemed resolved to outdo every other in kindness. In a shop where we endeavored to explain that we wanted to get a flat cap which should be both Basque and red, a lady who was buying herself a hat asked in English if she could help us. When we gladly answered that she could, she was silent, almost to tears, and it appeared that in this generous offer of aid she had exhausted her whole stock of English. Her mortification, her painful surprise, at the strange catastrophe, was really pitiable, and we hastened to escape from it to a shop across the street. There instantly a small boy rushed enterprisingly out and brought back with him a very pretty girl who spoke most of the little French which has made its way in San Sebastian against the combined Basque and Spanish, and a cap of the right flatness and redness was brought. I must not forget, among the pleasures done us by the place, the pastry cook's shop which advertised in English "Tea at all Hours," and which at that hour of our afternoon we now found so opportune, that it seemed almost personally attentive to us as the only Anglo-Saxon visitors in town. The tea might have been better, but it was as good as it knew how; and the small boy who came in with his mother (the Spanish mother seldom fails of the company of a small boy) in her moments of distraction succeeded in touching with his finger all the pieces of pastry except those we were eating.