September 4, 1882.
DEAR WILLIAM, — The great event of the last week was the meeting of the waters. Two Brooks boys, Arthur and I, came together in the ancient city of Cologne. It was Thursday evening when it happened ; Arthur had started that morning from Mayence and come down the Rhine, the way you know, and I had started from Paris, at an awful hour, and come all the way through by rail, and we met in the hall of the Hôtel d'Hollande at about eight o'clock P. M. We had a long talk that evening, and the next morning we went through the sights of Cologne once more. Then we took rail to Aix la Chapelle, and I saw that again in this new company. I had been there once before this year with James and McVickar.
Then we went to Maestricht, where we spent the night and saw a queer cave. Then we came to Brussels, with various experiences on the way, and once more I found myself in that very familiar town. There we spent a very quiet, pleasant Sunday, went to church, and talked to each other a great deal. Late last night, we bade each other a long, long farewell. This morning, I was called at half past four, and have come today (passing through Cologne again) as far as here.
I have started my journey three or four times already. Now today it really has begun. I have said good by to my last relative, and there is nobody else whom I have any engagement to meet until I land in New York a year hence. I am quite alone. Tomorrow, I am going to Hildesheim and Magdeburg, and the next day to Berlin. There I shall get your letter, which I have missed this week, and which will be very welcome indeed. I have thanked you most heartily for all your letters, and have got to counting upon them as regularly as the week comes round. So do not ever dare to omit. Everybody now is expecting an advance in Egypt, and news of a battle, anyway. France is getting very restless. There are stormy times coming in Europe.
I hope you are all well, and happy as kings and queens, or happier. My love to everybody.