Friday, January 02, 2009

03Dec1863, Stranded in Derby

RAILWAY HOTEL, DERBY, Thursday, December 3rd, 1863.
—A day of adventures. First, such a hurricane of wind in the night as I have never heard, which only subsided a little in the day to rise again in the evening. Results in the park were two trees on Prince's Hill, one huge bough near the church and another in the avenue, and a fine chestnut in the shrubbery blown down. The morning I spent peacefully enough, entering the names in the club book for next year ; church, letters, etc. At 2½ set off with Gielen and Rowe, bound for Derby where Papa was to meet us at 6.20 and go on with us to Chatsworth. We got to Dudley with nothing more exciting to remark than the unfortunate station shed at Brettel Lane blown down upon its back. But on leaving Dudley my griefs began. First, Gielen bothered me with a disagreeable bit of abigailums [FN: Talk about servants' affairs.] ; squabbles between her and Ellen, which led, by the bye, to the latter giving me warning immediately after Prayers this morning. After Gielen had said her unpleasant say, I begged her to hold her tongue (not in those words), and morne silence prevailed for some time. Darkness fell, and we stopped dead for more than an hour at some horrible junction on the Dudley side of Burton, while the wind took the opportunity of howling wildly, accompanied by hail which encrusted the windows. The upshot was that we got to Derby at 7.40 instead of 6.20. No Papa ! And there we sat till past 10, waiting for the last London train—which never came in. At that hour into the waiting-room marched a maukin, with a telegram directing me to go to Chesterfield by the 8.15 train ! This delay was caused by the blowing down of the telegraph wires. Nothing now remained to me but to come here, and order dinner and beds. And I was comfortably writing this account of the day's proceedings, when Papa himself turned up, furious with the telegraph ; mutual explanations took place, and now bed, 0 bed !

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