Kiss the angels for me, both of them!
Your affectionate daughter,
DEAREST MAMMA,—We got here this morning after such a night!—The sleeping cars are too amusing. Picture to yourself the arrangement of seats I told you about going to the Spleists, with a piece put in between to make into a bed, and then another bed arranged on top, these going all down each side and just divided from the aisle by green curtains; so that if A. likes to take a top berth and B. an underneath one, they can bend over their edges, and chat together all night, and no one would know except for the bump in the curtains. But fancy having to crouch up and dress on one’s bed! And when Octavia and I peeped out of our drawing-room this morning we saw heaps of unattractive looking arms and legs protruding, while the struggle to get into clothes was going on.
A frightful thing happened to poor Agnes. Tom’s valet, who took our tickets, did not get enough, not understanding the ways, and Tom and the senator and the Vicomte had tossed up which two were to have the drawing-room, and Tom lost; so when Hopkins, who is a timid creature, found a berth did not mean a section, he of course gave up his without saying anything to Tom, and as the conductor told him there was not another on the train he wandered along and at last came to Agnes’s. She had a lower berth next our door, and was away undressing me. Hopkins says he thought it was an unoccupied one the conductor had overlooked, so he took it, and when Agnes got back and crawled in in the dark she found him there!! There was a dreadful scene!! We heard Hopkins scream, and I believe he ran for his life, and no one knows where he slept.
Agnes said it was too ridiculous and “tres mauvais gout” on his part to make such a fuss over “un petit accident de voyage.” “Je puis assurer Madame la Marquise,” she said, “que s’il etait reste c’eut ete la meme chose. Son type ne me dit rien!” At the same time she does not think these trains “comme il faut!”
We were just in time for an early breakfast when we arrived at this hotel, and the quaintest coloured gentlemen waited on us; they were rather aged, and had a shambling way of dragging their feet, but the most sympathetic manners, just suited to the four honeymoon pairs who were seated at little tables round. That was a curious coincidence, wasn’t it, Mamma, to find four pairs in one hotel in that state. None of the bridegrooms were over twenty-five, and the brides varied from about eighteen to twenty-eight; we got the senator to ask about them, and one lot had been married a week, and they each read a paper propped up against their cups, and did not speak much, and you would have thought they were quite indifferent; but from where I sat I could see their right and left hands clasped under the table! Another pair with