ONCE more John Reed sailed for Italy, once more expecting to see that country enter the war, but this time on the side of the Allies. Mabel Dodge came to see him off, and from the boat he wrote her the letter that ended two years of intermittent intimacy. A friend, at his request, destroyed all the letters Mrs. Dodge had written him. They saw little of each other thereafter, but she remained convinced that she was the only person who understood John Reed.
From Italy he wrote his mother. "I have come to hate Europe," he said. "After this trip I want to stay in America about a year, and not return to Europe until I take you and Harry over here, after the war." But he was looking forward to the new adventure: "Of course it will be different, and better, in the East. The Caucasus is something like Mexico, they say, and I'm sure I'll like the people. It will be great to get on a horse and ride over mountain passes where Genghis Khan invaded Europe." And it was fun to be a noted war-correspondent: "I find that I am a celebrated figure already, as all the people on the boat have read my 'works.' Am treated with amusing marked deference by all."
Italy was disappointingly calm, but there were rumors of the imminent capture of Constantinople, and Reed and Robinson went on to Salonika. Their ship left from Brindisi and nosed up the Greek coast beyond Piraeus. In Salonika, where men talked twenty languages, they spoke with British agents, Armenian merchants, and Greek boot-blacks from America. Sitting at a table in the Place de la Liberté, they watched Greek, French,