In a station café at Territet, a man named Mr. Harris had just finished dinner when the waitress informed him that the Simplon-Orient Express was an hour late. As he drank his coffee, he engaged in small talk with the waitress, asking her about her language skills and offering her a drink or a cigar, both of which she politely declined.
An old man, who had been reading a newspaper, approached Mr. Harris and asked if he was a member of the National Geographic Society. Harris replied that he was not, but his father had been a member for many years.
I beg your pardon if I intrude, but it has just occurred to me that you might be a member of the National Geographic Society.
The two men began discussing various issues of the magazine, including the colored plates of North American fauna, the panorama of the volcanoes of Alaska, and the wild animal photographs of George Shiras three.
The conversation shifted to Colonel Lawrence, a young man who had written a book about Arabia. The old man, Dr. Sigismund Wyer, expressed his interest in nominating Lawrence for membership in the National Geographic Society.
I am sorry you are not a member. But you could obtain nomination through your father?
Harris mentioned that he was waiting for the train to Paris and would be sailing from Havre to the United States.
Dr. Wyer shared that he had never been to America but hoped to attend a meeting of the society someday. He expressed his desire to meet Harris's father, but Harris sadly informed him that his father had passed away the previous year. The two men exchanged cards, with Dr. Wyer's card identifying him as a member of the National Geographic Society. Harris promised to keep the card carefully.
I will keep it very carefully.