Tuesday, May 9th Off Flores.
A glorious day - in bed until 10 o'c. After breakfast I wrote a letter for Mr Phillips to his wife and he was quite touched by my offering to do it. Phillips & Cabot are called the "latest" partnership. He took me apart and made me exchange a Portuguese coin with one of his - & made me promise to keep the one he gave me as a lucky stone. He said he had been all over the world and promised in the far west, the Indians have been after him for years but he has always been successful, had good luck and he is sure the coin he gave me will bring the same to me. Such a character! Right out of one of Bret Harte's stories, so unconventional, rough, outspoken and warm hearted. He says in Whist, "a sardine of a trick". Milly Smith is having a time with Mr Adams whose attentions are becoming embarrassing - such elevated affairs! Grace in the meantime on terms of coolness with Mr Wallach. It is all like boarding school life, trifles are of such importance to us. Just after breakfast the Capt announced land to the West. It seemed a low cloud at first then changed t a dull lead color, gradually brightening until a well defined island appeared with a violet pink, ashes of roses atmosphere. As we came nearer to it, it seemed rugged & mountainous, little verdure in the way of trees - it looked like a Nevada mountain. By the middle of the afternoon we were near enough to see that Flores deserves its name - it rises from the sea abruptly to the height of 3000 ft. but every available spot cultivated to the utmost as we rounded the island we could see clusters of low stone houses about a Spanish looking church - all set in the midst of verdure. The grain and grass fields were hedged about and were beautifully green and fresh. As different views of the island came upon us the outlines were most picturesque. Such an atmosphere. It was enchantment. There was a rock 150 ft. high in the ocean near Flores - Marechino - we saw a whale spouting near by - the Cap't says there is a large lake on top the island - the caldera which is the crater of an extinct volcano. There are ranches & orange groves - The town for which we are bound is Santa Cruz - It lies close to the shore and from the ship we see a large cathedral, a small fort, some shabby looking houses and an American flag flying. A boat came out as we arrived opposite the town (there is no wharf or anchorage here) with the American Consul, Custom House officer, pilot and Portuguese sailors aboard, they came on to the Sarah and did the ordinary business that attends the arrival of a ship. They jabbered and gesticulated well. Were very interesting to us. An island, Corvo, near by is about quarter as large as Flores. Mr Phillips told us that there are 29 homes on this island and the settlers here have kept off new people for years as they must pay taxes if 30 are built there. They are independent of all government. The Cap't denies this story however. He has been very gracious today and treated us all to a box of candy. Mr Bicknell treated with herrings on this exultant occasion and Mrs Robertson, prunes. Grace heart the Capt. tell the Consul that he had never had passengers who made so little complaint as our crown. Poor Grace has been in bed all day. Everybody has been devoted and "treated" her continually. We had our first really beautiful sunset, a red sky and blazing sun, dying away under a heavy black cloud. We walked on the top of the house until late, feeding gulls and watching the sunset over the island - then came in for Whist and now our journals. We expect to lie on & off the island all night. The cargo is on deck ready to be taken ashore most if it, it seems no time at all since we left America - it has been one long, pleasure day ever since. We brought each of us, $5. worth of Portuguese money and had a great time reckoning up our new money.
Since we have arrived at this point of merely floating, I have been free from headache for the first time since I left Boston. Without being really ill since that first Sunday out, I have had a dull feeling, a pressure in my head continually. I can hardly imagine now what it would be to be free from it. Mrs Lee knew Will Mead & has asked about him. The first class villain went ashore tonight. Mr Phillips description of Flores - "a volcaneous country, all throwed up." Saw a sun-fish today.