Sunday. June 11th. Fayal Hotel.
To the Calderra! Miss Roxie Dabney, Miss Alice, Mr Herbert, Miss Smith, Mr Sanisberry, Mr Wallach and myself. We met the Dabneys and were delayed an hour by Mr Wallach, who slept until late, so we did not get off until 10 o’c. We had some inexperienced little donkey boys and wrecks of animals. The boys always goaded on the donkeys at the wrong time and we had all sorts of mishaps. The way was the bed of a narrow stream, full of boulders and small stones. Miss Roxie first went over backwards. Mr Herbert would not ride – it was such a stupid brute. Miss Alice thrown – then her animal laid down on his back in a hole. Whenever the boys tried to move him he would kick, the saddle was broken and it was half an hour before he was extricated. Two other donkeys going down at the same time. Finally the road was so bad that we had to give up riding and walk. The distance is 9 miles. The scenery looking back much like the view going up to the Seven Cities tho’ on a somewhat smaller scale and we had the addition of Pico. At the top we fairly shouted with delight – It is one of the most perfect craters to be found. 1700 ft deep and 5 miles around, the sides covered with verdure that resembles the moss on a moss [?] – at the bottom a little lake and in the centre another little crater. Miss Dabney told me she had felt an earthquake on the edge of the crater. We had a delicious lunch which Mr Sanisberry took delight in serving – and Miss Smith then went with him & Mr Dabney to the bottom while the rest of us talked and lounged. Miss Dabney told me the history of her family and a great deal about the island, the old customs, etc. They were English people, a member of the family died off the Islands and so their attention was called to the place. The grandfather was very fond of mild climates and after a year or two in Boston decided to live here for a time. Her father married a Miss Pomeroy and she came out with the intention of staying ten years. The circumstances of the Webster tragedy kept them here and the present family lives here from year to year always talking of going back. Her father was adored by the Portuguese – was a father to them all in generosity and was a very sympathetic, warm-hearted man. He would always listen to everybody’s complaints and trials and pleasures with equal interest. She says that they must always be aliens in spite of having good friends in Fayal on acct of their difference in religion. They cannot do for people as they could if there was not this barrier. Formerly there was some Portuguese society and a great deal of aristocracy in Fayal – but families have been separated and a more common class of people have arisen to fill their places – the manners of the people have deteriorated too. From what she says I imagine the time may come when they will go to the States to live. The Dabneys are intensely patriotic. When Wm James a brother of the [?] was here he said he thought it wonderful how intensely American they were after so many hears of foreign life.
A dense mist filled the calderra at intervals, and then it was beautiful to see the mist dispelled and the calderra appear again. After the party returned who went to the bottom they had athletic sports, jumping over donkey backs, etc. Coming home we turned off the direct path so as to go over the stone bridge at Flamingos and our path from the turn was through fields of broom, with hedges of hygrangias [sic] and wild roses. The donkeys could hardly go along, the path was so narrow, it was a pretty sight, our animals decorated with flowers, filing through the country. We had some tearing canters and got home to find that the Azores was in. Everybody had letters – we had on from Papa. Donkey riding certainly agrees with me for I had a little headache when I started out this morning and came back after 18 miles of it as fresh as new. Mr & Mrs Lee back again.