How Steiner missed the train at Oldenzaal

Ilkley, Hillside, August 5, 1923

My dear Edith Maryon,

I am well; I will now tell you the story of our late arrival. We, Mrs Steiner, Mr Pyle, Dr Wachsmuth and I, travelled according to the rulebook from Stuttgart to Oldenzaal, the station where you enter the Netherlands. There I was taken off the train because they wanted to look at my declared luggage at customs. So, I went through passenger control, and there they asked for our passports. But the man did not immediately return Mrs Steiner’s passport. She had remained on the train. He said he had to see her in person. He would therefore bring her passport to us on the train. So I got back on the train with only my passport. But shortly before departure, Mrs Steiner’s passport was still not returned. So, I put on my coat – mind you, I didn’t go without a coat – to go after the passport. But lo and behold, the train pulled away. Mrs Steiner, Mr Pyle and Dr Wachsmuth were on the train, and I had stayed behind in Oldenzaal. I quickly inquired what had happened to the passport. It was already on the train. So, everything was in order. Except I was not on the train. So, I promptly got the stationmaster to phone the next station where the train was to stop, saying that my escaped travelling companions should get off there – in Almelo – and that I would then catch up with them on the next train. That next train was already waiting. I got on, so I found Mrs Steiner, Mr Pyle, and Dr Wachsmuth back in Almelo. Now all four of us had to stay in Almelo. We got good rooms there; there was a wedding in the hotel, people were screaming and dancing, it was a terrible spectacle.

The next day we travelled on via Hoek of Holland-Harwich. After that, we travelled directly to Ilkley, where we arrived on Saturday evening, 24 hours late. It did not matter that we were delayed, except that we never got to London. So I’ll just have to trust that the snow will come through the post. (Probably snuff that Edith Maryon sent to Steiner is meant; it is known that Steiner loved it).

So, this was a journey filled with romance. Thank you very much for the letter. I found it here on my arrival. I am glad to hear things are not too bad over there, and I hope they are getting better and better. Tonight, I have to give my first lecture. Today, despite all the romance of the journey, I am sufficiently rested. We are already in the north of England. From there, I send my warmest thoughts

Rudolf Steiner

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 263a – BRIEFWECHSEL / Briefe – Sprüche – Skizzen (page 129-130)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger 


Edith Maryon  (9 February 1872, in London – 2 May 1924, in Dornach, Switzerland)