On Tour with Queen Marie


The Peace Arch—Glacier National Park


Early this morning the train stopped at Elaine again and, according to our friend Sam Hill's pet scheme, we proceeded to visit the Peace Arch, another of the dreams of his life, which he had erected here to commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of peace between the United States and Canada. He told me he felt that these arches should be built all over the world, and should take the place of fortifications which were only a barrier and a menace. His peace arch rides across a frontier where no gun has ever been fired. Above the portal is engraved the motto, "Children of One Mother," on one side, and on the other, "No Gate Will Ever Be Closed Here." We were rather disillusioned but not really surprised to find that this arch of which we had heard so much was, like the Maryhill museum, built of stucco and in a rather dilapidated condition, studded with electric lights.

In his speech Mr. Hill said that the Canadian-American frontier was unique in the world; that it stretched over three thousand miles unguarded by any fort; that this should be a symbol for all frontiers; and that it had been his dream to have the Queen consecrate the ground with her presence.

The Queen answered that she was very happy to be here and honor her friend; that she hoped this arch would be one of many to come which would break the barrier of all frontiers and unite the nations in love. Mr. Hill's face glowed with delight as she spoke and there was a general feeling of good will. He was to leave the train when we reached the borders of Washington State.

The rest of the day was very hectic and one felt the absence of Mr. Morris's guiding hand as no body knew exactly what they were to do next, and we were continually jumping on and off the train and taking motor rides in a most disorderly fashion. This was the day of Mr. Hill's supremacy. Everybody had stepped aside and given him free rein.

The Prince and Princess, who are mad about motoring, took advantage of this opportunity to run their cars to Seattle. We saw them from the train windows while we were at lunch and they had much fun trying to keep up with us, to our encouraging shouts. That afternoon Mme. Procopiu and I went shopping in Seattle while Her Majesty was the guest of Mr. Hill. He must have been overjoyed to have at last a real talk with Her Majesty.

At the dinner party that evening at Mr. Hill's house, the Mayor, Mrs. Landis, and her husband, a professor at the University, and the Governor and his wife, were also guests. Mr. Hill made no attempt to disguise his sadness at parting from the Queen. His adoring knightly devotion is most unusual and, as she said in her speech at Maryhill, she knew there was no sacrifice too great for him to make for her. When we left Mr. Sam Hill's house that night we knew that this was to be "Good-by" and the dinner, therefore, was not extremely amusing under the circumstances. The lady Mayor, swathed in pink tulle, sat next to the Queen who was dressed in a black chiffon and velvet gown very much in keeping with this rather somber occasion.

That afternoon I had been to the hairdresser, and when the shop-girls found I was one of the royal party they all gathered around ecstatically to have me tell them about Queen Marie. They clapped their hands with delight when I described her gowns and jewels, and got a great thrill out of it. When I left they presented me with a box of toilet preparations to take to Her Majesty with their most sincere compliments. She seemed quite touched with this gift when I delivered it to her after we reached our cars.

Sunday, November 7.

Somehow I woke this morning completely exhausted. They say in the papers to-day that the Queen herself is feeling the strain, and I can well understand this. Besides the physical exhaustion which we all suffer, she must be fagged out with her constant mental exertions, for she writes and speaks from the train constantly. The first sign she has given of lagging energy was to-day when she sent for Mr. Morris and asked him to cut down the programs and dispense with some of the banquets.

In the afternoon, after several stops along the way, we arrived in Spokane, lying at the foot of the mountains, where the Queen was received at the Country Club and presented with a Red Indian doll in war dress and also with countless bouquets to add to her store of gifts which accumulate day by day. That evening we passed the northern part of Idaho, where the Governor came aboard and visited with the Queen. I sat and talked with Mr. Shipley and Mr. Kenyon, the secret service man, who told me with much gusto many interesting stories about train disasters, robberies and murders, until late into the night, when I went to my uneasy couch.

Monday, November 8.

At 7 A.M., the usual hour for rising on the royal train, my maid knocked and brought me my breakfast. The sun was just rising, as I pushed the curtains aside, over the snow-buried mountains in a narrow pass of the Rocky Mountains.

It was cold and snowy when we arrived at Glacier Park Station about an hour later, but we were all enthused over the sights the Queen was to see. Nearby a hotel, made of great logs still in their rough bark, marks the entrance to the park which, at this time of the year is closed, unfortunately, and the roads on account of the snowdrifts are so impassable that we could go no farther. In the distance, tantalizingly out of reach, we saw the high peaks and felt all the lure of the untrammeled wilderness.

Indians, surrounding a group of tepees erected in honor of the Queen's visit, met us and as soon as the royal party approached, they began to dance and beat on drums. Here again she was presented with a war-bonnet of eagle feathers. The costumes of these Blackfoot Indians differed greatly from those of the tribe in North Dakota. Here they were dressed in white leather garments ornamented with many beads, with ermine tails and skins hanging from their vestments. A rugged, weather-beaten old chief, nearly blind, gave a long dissertation, standing within a few inches of the Queen's ear. He spoke in the language of the tribe and hailed the Queen by the new name of "Morning Star." He then addressed his remarks to the Prince and called him "Mountain Chief." The delighted Princess in the meantime was led into a tepee by the Indian women who clothed her in a white skin robe similar to their own, embroidered in quantities of blue beads and with a belt of blue and sandals to match. They put on her a war-bonnet of eagle feathers, and her face was painted a bright red. When she emerged from the tent and the old chief addressed his attention to her, he called her "Pretty Dove" while the tribe cheered loudly. Afterwards all sat down on the ground on both sides of two long logs and began beating the wood with sticks and bones to accompany a chant. There was the very feeling of another world sounding in their spaced cadences, mournful and wild. The Queen witnessed the whole enthralling ceremony with all the delight of her imaginative heart.

It was nine o'clock when we left Glacier Park. I was asked to take breakfast with Colonel Carroll. One cannot fail to see the Colonel's side of the matter when one realizes how difficult it is to control such a mixed crowd of people as forms the constituency of the train at present. He necessarily has to be firm. So much has been said on the subject that I need not elaborate. It is not easy to control or organize so large a party.

On my way through the train I stopped to see Miss Loie Fuller, and found her in bed, propped with pillows and swathed in chiffons. Her keen eyes peered at me over her tortoiseshell spectacles as I entered. She had been a lifetime friend of Mr. Hill and was sorry to see him leave. She told me at she would probably leave the party shortly as she wished to get back to New York to adjust her affairs before returning to Europe. Her adoration of the Queen is beyond words. I believe there is nothing she would not do for her. Such disinterested friendship is rare indeed. I consider her a woman of far-sighted intelligence. With it she is a dreamer and a philosopher.

The Queen is keenly appreciative of these traits in her friend, and gave expression to her faith in Miss Fuller in her speech at Maryhill. That day we were invited to lunch with the Queen in her car, and we referred to Miss Fuller's devotion, and the Queen spoke with much tenderness.

We had such a jolly time at lunch. The two young people were there. They asked me a hundred questions about Chicago and what there was to do there. When I told Ileana of the wonderful swimming pool at the Women's Athletic Club, she fairly hugged me as she begged to be taken there. These quarters are rather cramped for an active, still growing girl. She was adorable that day in her prized Indian costume which is so becoming. The Prince said he would like to see the stockyards, but he wouldn't take the Princess there.

The Queen told us she had enjoyed her trip so much, with few exceptions, but one must take the bad with the good and the good had been very good. We spoke about different events of the journey, the banquet at Buffalo, the reception at Winnipeg, the ball at Vancouver, each unique in its way. I was shown a magnificent silver fox scarf which had been presented to the Queen at St. Paul. We had a delightfully informal time, one of those golden occasions when all is harmony. At Billings, Montana, more than five hundred people came to the Union Station to visit the palatial dining-car, all bedizened in the royal colors, which had been attached to Queen Marie's Special at Laurel.

Late in the afternoon we stopped to see the Anaconda copper smelters at Great Falls.