Friday, March 12, 2010

12Dec1871, A Day at the Races

Tuesday, December 12th, 1871.
—Came down with the Governor to Kingston for the races ; rather funny my seeing my 1st race in Jamaica ! The barefooted jockeys ride like monkeys and lash the unhappy horses furiously the whole time. The sight was worth coming for of the merry, gaudy swarms of people ; the blackest and ugliest women being sure to be arrayed in yellow, green, and red, with absurd little hats and woolly chignons. There were various small rows and one broken head ; but not a drunken person to be seen. Good old Capt. Cooper and his sister gave us a handsome luncheon. We were surprised at the absence of anything like state ; but Sir J. can't abide it ; he drove into the town in the usual rattletrap, buggy-like carriage and there was no reception ; only the band struck up "God save the Queen" as he walked out of the stand. The dear old music was pathetic to hear, for, as we reached the ground, a telegram was given to the Governor announcing that the Prince of Wales's life was despaired of yesterday. A bewildering and awful event.

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