DEAR GERTIE, It is a very lovely morning on the Rhine. I am afraid that it will be hot by and by, when the steamboat comes along and we start to go up the river ; but at present, before breakfast, it is very lovely. There is a pretty village with trees and a church tower just across the river, and the little boats keep coming and going, and the children on the bank, in front of the hotel, are playing like kittens, and everything is as bright and sunshiny as if there wasn’t such a thing as trouble in the world. Speaking of kittens, I wonder if you have found the little thing that used to hide away in the barn, and that the boy couldn’t catch for a quarter of a dollar. But perhaps she has grown to be a big cat, and isn’t worth the catching now, which is the way with a good many people. When you want them you cannot get them, and when you get them you don’t want them.
A man has just come and set up a stand in the square under my window to sell cherries, and the children are looking at them hard, and no doubt wishing that they had two cents. I would give them two dollars apiece all around if I could talk German as well as they can. And so we all want something which we have not got. I wonder what you want. If it ‘s anything in Europe, write a letter and tell me the name of it instantly, and I will get it for you.
We left London on Thursday morning, and I shall not see it again till the 1st of August, when I shall go there to get my playthings together before I sail in the Pavonia on the 3d. I have had a very beautiful time there, but now I am glad to be traveling again and on my way to the great mountains. I wish you were with me and were here this morning. I would give you some cherries.
I long to see the pony. Next year I think we must have one of our own, or would you like a donkey bet-ter, for which G. B. advertised? We must consult Tood about it. My best of love to you all and to “Tom.” Goodby. Your uncle, P.