Whisperings of War 291
On March 27, after his return from Trinidad, he writes:
"Well, here we are, back from our little trip along `the path to Nowhere.' [He refers here to some verses I had just published under that title.] We did not get entirely out of the path to Somewhere-thanks to the `hurrying, struggling, and striving' of very kind people who insisted on entertaining us-but we had, at intervals, a number of hours on the path to Nowhere, although, in that latitude, there were no adders' tongues, and the lilies were less in evidence than palms, bougainvillea, scarlet hibiscus and poinsettia in hedges, and rocks and flowering trees, and little green cities of St. Mary's (I wish I had seen Masefield)-and the trade wind tossing the fronds of the palms on the white beaches.
"I loved your letter, and read and re-read every word of it. I think as highly of `Ordeal by Battle' as you do; did I show you the letter Oliver sent me with a copy of the first edition? He has just sent me a copy of the second edition. I am very glad you are taking a rest cure. You sorely needed it, but when you leave Nonkanawha, can't you bring Cortissoz and the Corbins out here for lunch. I am very glad you like my book. My soul was in it. [He had just published "Fear God, and Take Your Own Part."] . . . Well, I don't see much chance of our doing what is right in politics. The trouble is that we have complacently sagged back for fifty years while Germany has surged forward and has forced her nearest competitors to some kind of forward movement in order to avoid death at her hands."
Shortly afterward, when in answer to his suggestion I wrote him that I would bring some of the friends he mentioned to luncheon, he writes: "Three cheers-I shall expect you with the Cortissoz, Corbins, and O'Hara."
That letter was written on April 2, 1916, and shortly afterward I motored those friends to Oyster Bay, and we had a peculiarly delightful luncheon and afternoon, at which I was, as usual, struck with the manner in which he adapted himself to the interest of the individual. Mr. John Myers O'Hara, an Amer-