Travel Letters: Wells (1880)

MY DEAR MARY, — Thank you for your letter, which was very good to get. We are too near home (for we sail a week from tomorrow) for me to write you a great long answer, but it just occurs to me that I may reach Boston at some untimely hour, and want to get into my house, while you and William are comfortably sleeping at Nahant. So will you ask him, about the time we are expected, to leave the house keys at the Brunswick, directed to me, and I can get them there. I will thank you when I see you.

We have had a beautiful time. It has always rained except just where we were, and everybody has seemed to go out of his, her, or its way to make us happy. Now we are getting a few days down here among the southern towns. We have just come back from Glastonbury, which was very pretty, and I am writing to you in a queer little mahogany coffee-room. John is beside me, writing an immense letter to his wife, which is a thing that all my traveling companions have done in their several turns. At the other end of the table, an old gentleman with a bald head is studying a railway time-table, and his wife, who is very ugly, is asleep in an armchair in the southeast corner. At the northeast corner of the room, a man is eating his supper of fried sole and boiled eggs. The old gentleman has just called for a glass of ” brown brandy and soda water,” and he seems to think it will taste good. There is a row in the hall because an omnibus has just arrived from the station with some more guests, and the landlady is running about like an over-busy hen. That is about all that seems to be going on tonight in Wells. The old gentleman, who seems to be the liveliest member of the party, has got his drink, and is ordering a boiled sole for his break-fast at half past eight to-morrow morning. Now Wells is perfectly quiet. Not a sound.

Ever yours affectionately (if you don’t forget about the keys ), P.