DEAR WILLIAM, At last the great day has come, and we sail this afternoon in the City of Sidney. We have been to see her, and find she is a fine big vessel of three thousand five hundred tons, with large state-rooms on the upper deck, of which we have one apiece. There is only one other passenger besides us. We have not seen him yet, but he is said to be a Russian, and is the United States Commissioner for Alaska. We shall know him well before we get to Yokohama. The captain, first officer, and steward seem to be good fellows, and there is every prospect of a pleasant voyage. Everybody says that it is cool and smooth, and I do not think we shall find it too long. We have laid in some books, and there are big decks for walkee-walkee when we feel the need of exercise.
We shall hope to sail back by the City of Rio de Janeiro, leaving Yokohama on the 21st of August, due in San Francisco about the 5th of September. I hope this will bring me back to Massachusetts in time to get two solid quiet weeks at North Andover before the time to go to New York for General Convention. That will be good, will it not ? . . . Thanks for your letter and your telegram. How often I shall think of you on the long voyage. My kindest love to all of you, and may we be taken care of until we meet in September. Farewell, farewell ?