August 15.Here we are at last, but feeling very tired and used up by the long journey from London. How long it seems since we left there (August 9). After a fatiguing and exciting day we reached here at 8 :15 last evening. Yesterday was most wearisome, partly because we had been traveling all the week and partly because we were taken out of our way, being carried to Wurzburg, where we were obliged to wait two hours before we could resume our journey to Kissingen. We should have taken a short cut to Schweinfurt, but as the conductor neglected to look at our tickets we went whizzing past the place. If a gentleman who spoke a little English had not come into our car I do not know how much farther we should have gone, as we had been told that we had only to change at Aschaffenburg and we had already made that change and thought there was no other to make. At Wurzburg there was much confusion about the trains. We knew not which to take. It was dreadful to hear them jabbering away to us in German. Finally a kind man who understood English put us on board the right train. How grateful I was to him. In parting we shook hands with much warmth. Although L. reads French and especially German considerably and I was long ago somewhat familiar with French, neither of us can understand the languages well when spoken. Our trunks were here more than three hours before us. Very glad we were to find in No. 26 a restful room and comfortable beds the German feather bed being put aside.
Yesterday morning it was four weeks since we left New York. L. remarked that “it was four years.” Indeed it does seem a long, long time since we bade our friends good-bye. We have been kindly received at Villa Liebeskind and feel at home. About the first thing we saw on our arrival here last evening as we were starting for our boarding place was a very small wagon on very low small wheels drawn by a cow. Children were in the wagon. It was an amusing introduction to Bad Kissingen.
August 16.-I walked a little with L. last evening, but found myself really ill this morning. After a bad night I dressed myself and we had breakfast in our room. The maid brought me my first glass of mineral water. L. went to Dr. Diruf’s house this morning, conducted by a boy. This afternoon he went to the post office, conducted by a bare-headed girl, both belonging to this Villa. The long, crooked route from London to Bad Kissingen wore upon us both; strangers in strange lands, and hearing strange tongues from day to day, Flemish, French and German, was a new experience to us. Traveling and sight-seeing have been so hard upon us that it does seem as though we never should see our native land again and our own dear home. L. endures the wear and tear pretty well for him, though he too is ill. He is anxious to begin drinking the mineral water. A fog here last night.
August 17.-A load of grass passed our Villa today in a queer looking affair drawn by a cow. A man walked by her side cracking his whip. They crack their whips here a great deal, much to my amusement. Another curiosity has gone bya very small wagon on very small wheels containing two bags which just filled the wagon. A cow drew the wagon and a boy sat in front on the bags. The cow was between two ropes and a man walked along driving her. We have twice seen a cow and a steer hitched together drawing wagons.
August 18.We went yesterday to Dr. Diruf and this morning to the Springs where L. took his first drink of the water he has come so far to get. May a blessing go with it. Yesterday afternoon on our way to the doctor we saw a life-size representation of Christ on the Cross, all in white and gold. Underneath in German were the words, “It is finished.” Above were the letters I. N. R. I.
The doctor prescribed five meals a day for L., who has just taken a glass of milk and a Bismarck roll at half past four. It seems delightful to rest and not have to go continually. There is a great crowd of people at the Springs which keeps moving, but does not diminish.
For those who cannot take the water cold there are places for warming it. The doctor remarked that “we had fallen into a good place.” Mrs. Liebeskind, who is at the head of this Villa, is a widow and an agreeable lady, but cannot speak a word of English. A young lady, Fraulein, who speaks English, acts for her. We are the only Americans here and Lady Hamilton of London is the only English person. Her husband, Lord Hamilton, and her daughter and governess have been here. Recently Lady Hamilton went to ride with the Prince of Schleswig-Holstein. On their return I noticed the exceedingly low courtesy she gave him after being assisted by him from the carriage.
August 19.All who visit this place to use the mineral waters more than a week are required to pay a government tax. An official came to us this morning. Each person is taxed according to the class he belongs toeither first, second or third class. The man put L. in second class. This tax is to pay for the music and all the other arrangements made here for the comfort of the guests. So many thousands come here each year! L. thinks the government ought to make money.