Friday, May 15, 2015

Monday, May 15th, 1882

Monday May 15th Fayal Hotel.
A delicious breakfast, in addition to the usual fare here we had fresh [?] strawberries - at dinner cucumbers, sweet peas and lettuce. There is a lovely garden connected with the place where we can pick all the flowers we wish, beautiful roses, pinks, etc. and eat bananas, nespras, etc. There are walks and seats and in one corner a grand old tree whose roots cover a large extent of ground. It is the only one on the island and is called La Bello Sombre. At ten o'c ten donkeys appeared and we all started off on a drive. Such a comical sight I have never beheld. We selected our donkeys and mounted. They use a saddle which is built high above the beast, with two horns in front and behind. The reins are let loose, one sits sideways clinging on to the horns for dear life - no stirrups - and a small boy runs behind carrying a long stick with a sharp steel point in the end with which the donkeys are goaded on. As we started, Dr Robertson declared that the married Bicknell would be thrown before he got back - the latter protested that he was a great horseman and did not see how it could possibly happen. The boys gave a yell sounding like "Presqu la bon[?]"! and flourished their sticks, the donkeys plunged into a hard galop [sic], my hat went over my eyes, my hair down my back, my saque[?] off the front of the saddle - as I hurried to call Dr. to stop my beast, for we cannot drive them ourselves[?] & the boys do not speak English, I saw Mrs Lee in a ditch, looking forward the boastful Bicknell was seen on his back his donkey lying beside him. We collected ourselves together again, the brutes being stopped by a cry from the boys [?] which cannot be made by any ordinary woman & since so as to be successful, and went on chasing like mad when off went Bicknell again and Townsend with him against a stone wall. We all managed to rub ourselves pretty thoroughly. Finally I stayed behind with Mrs Lee as we wished to enjoy the scenery which was glorious. The road lay along the sea and the lava rocks in the water, the side hills covered with vegetation and Pico beyond. The ultra marine of the sea were all fascinating. The air sparkled and the road was perfectly smooth. The boys were tipped by the way with wine which made them more excitable and they enjoyed goading on the donkeys to a tearing pace and seeing the Americans go off their backs against a stone wall. There [sic] walls were covered with wild flowers and English ivy. The inhabitants of the houses came out and added their shouts to those of the boys, trying to make the donkeys go on faster. In the afternoon we went to the Franciscan Church, which is very large with several chapels, gloomy and mysterious looking. There were innumerable figures of ghostly looking saints - and only one chapel with two figures of the Virgin that were tolerably good and a [?] decorated like those we saw at Flores. The paintings above the grand altar were good too. The women in their quaint coats and capotes made a very strange sight kneeling on the stones - there was a woman there who takes care of the altar. She showed us the priests vestments and took us about the garden in the rear where they grow flowers for the decoration of the altar. She loaded us with roses, marigolds and carnations and even too the annunciation lilies from before the shrine of the Holy Virgin for us. We went to a basket store and I bought an American Importers, Mr Stimson a sofa[?] for myself. We went to a shoe store where some of the ladies were measured for boots at $3. which would be $11. at home. Mr Wallach bought a pair of pumps, or ordered them rather, which he would pay $15. for in Washington and gets them for $5 here. We had singing in the evening from the young men in Chorus and Mrs Robertson and Grace & I played. Grace and I had a talk about Mr W. this evening and she told me that he offered himself [proposed] on board the boat with Mama and the Portuguese gazing on, seated in that horrid old Cabin. He never leaves her for a moment though he does not betray by his countenance that he takes any interest in her. She is very sentimental over him I can see but is only fascinated by his chivalric devotion to her I think. He has a very refined nature, is full of deep feeling and loves her very much - but he has been brought up to have an unlimited supply of money and I fancy his [?]. He has not enough intellect for Grace to be permanently satisfied with him. I don not know yet what she is going to do. It will not be particularly pleasant to be in the same boat with him all the way to Boston. In point of family and money he might be considered a great catch. We have decided to stay here on Grace's acct. We think it will be better for her to have the rest here and then the trip home will do her more good. If we go to St Michaels and Terceira there will be too much getting in and out of boats and sight seeing. I have a pang over St Michaels but philosophize - I shall have the opportunity to stand by my theory that  it is better to see one place thoroughly and get the spirit of it, than to do more sight seeing. The people here are very plain, almost [?] - more common than in Flores. The Mr Stinson who is at this Hotel has been in Bratto [Brattleboro] is a cousin of Dr Pettee and Mr Conant, the violin maker. There is also an Englishman in the house whom I've not yet seen, who told Townsend that he had been introduced to me through Page Shea and had met Kitty Brooks. He is travelling for a N.Y. house to Lisbon and through Europe. I cannot imagine who he can be, Townsend & the Robertson's torment Grace & Mr Wallach every chance they have. He has decided not to go by Sarah to St Michaels. The Lees are going to stay too as Mr Lee is not as well and the Bicknells, Taylor & Kent. I can see that Grace is very much agitated over her affaire de coeur.

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