On how he came to travel to Liberia with his 23-year-old cousin:
I had never been out of Europe; I had not very often been outside England, and to choose Liberia and to involve my cousin Barbara, a twenty-three-year-old girl, in the adventure was, to say the least, rash.
My invitation to her can only be excused because I had drunk too much champagne at my brother Hugh’s wedding, and I never expected her to accept. I did my best afterwards to discourage her. I sent her a League of Nations report on conditions in the interior, on the unchecked diseases, on Colonel Davis’s savage campaign against the Kru tribes and on President King’s private export of slaves to Fernando Po.
The report had rendered me nervous, and Sir Harry Johnston’s account of his travels in the interior, his endless difficulties with carriers, whom he could only take from village to village, made me realise that perhaps Liberia was a tough venture for a young man who had never been further than Athens on an Hellenic cruise.
I felt the need of a companion, but I panicked, when the champagne had worn off, at my choice. Luckily for me my cousin appeared unmoved by the reading material I sent her, [...].