Sunday, May 24, 2015

Wednesday, May 24th, 1882

Wednesday. May 24th. Fayal Hotel.
This afternoon Miss Smith & I went to the Dabneys to play Lawn tennis and had a perfect time. There is a long avenue with high walls on each side leading up to their lodge. Their grounds are quite extensive overlooking an edge of the town and Pico. There is a fine tennis ground infront, the house is immense, white with large verandas in front covered with a little vine called Ficus which bears a fig and clings very close to walls and fences. The Portuguese houses have a basement which is used for store rooms, the sargum, then one goes up stairs and rings a bell at the top. We were given enough to hunt for the bell below and had an absurd time trying to get in, making so much noise that Miss Dabney put her head over the verandah and discovered us. The parlor door was locked so she went around to unfasten it and ushered us in to a very large room, with bare floor and straw rugs, very Southern in character and very refined. They are such a charming family that it was a pleasure to sit there and look at them and their surroundings. We watched a few games of tennis – and then Mrs Dabney & Miss Alice took me to their garden which is beyond realisation. I have never seen anything approaching it – very extensive and filled with the greatest variety of plants and trees. Besides all kinds of flowers which we see wild and in hot houses, there was a superb Norfolk pine, the largest north of the equator, Southern cypresses, cork trees, cinnamon, tea plant, rice paper tree, there were stone walls and stone steps leading to sheltered nooks, and lover’s walks all covered with ivy, ferns and senilax[?] a tropical profusion mingled with green grass and cool air. It was a sight never to be forgotten and Miss Dabney was as lovely as all the rest. They showed me “the earthquake house.” The first consul here began the garden and they have gone on cultivating and adding to it from year to year. They seem so happy in it and not at all s[?]ted – They loaded me with flowers and some native ivy which I shall try to transport to America. They showed me a Madeira palanquin and offered a litter with some men to carry it for Grace. The poor girl has 205 B.B.B.’s [I have no idea what this means?] – We are contemplating leaving the Hotel if we can find another where there are no d[?].

We saw Pico for the first time in all it’s glory, from the Dabney’s verandah this afternoon. The top was covered with snow and tere was a pale pink sunset light over it. I never saw so beautiful a sight, as this mountain rising to a peak from the sea to the height of 7640 ft. The shape is very fine and one gets an effect which is very rare in mountain peaks when rising from a range. The Fayalese love Pico dearly and it is their barometer. When Pico has “a cap on it’s head” it is safe to predict rain – when Pico is clear it will certainly be pleasant. This is such a damp climate that it is not good for weak lungs and is very debilitating in warm weather, Miss Dabney says. She has been three weeks in America, at Roxbury, Milton and Cambridge. I am in love with her.

We had fresh sardines for breakfast.

Whist. Fayal Hotel.
English Counting.
Mr Lee & I against Mrs Lee & Miss Smith
14 points against 18 points
4 points against 5 points
5 points against 9 points
13 points Mr S & I against -- Mr D & Miss S
7 points against 22 points Mrs L & Miss S
5 points against 4 points Mrs L & Miss N
Mr Lee & I 38 points
Against 58 points

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