Nice is charmingly situated in a small plain near the French frontier at the foot of the triple-ridged mountains, which shelter the city on the north and east against northern winds, while the river Paglion bounds Nice on the west. Far beyond stretch the snow-clad peaks of the Maritime Alps.
In the cold season thousands of foreigners, especially the English, visit this winter paradise. On the high background are Roman ruins and an old castle enclosed by bastioned walls; leading to two squares, one of which is surrounded with porticoes, are streets embellished with theater, public library, baths, and handsome homes that are frescoed externally. In Nice the patriot Garibaldi first saw the light, and just above the town on a sunny hillside lies buried the illustrious Gambetta.
Lucille was soon able to sit on the portico and watch the vessels in the harbor come and go, also parties of excursionists in pleasure boats, and well dressed people in the shade of the great palms on the adjacent promenade. Thus hours went pleasantly by while Leo often played delightfully on his guitar.
Few if any places in the world are like the Riviera where in winter months royalty and aristocracy gather. Here come the gay world of fashion and the delicate in health to beg of death a respite of a few more days. The physician in attendance upon Lucille advised much outdoor air, and frequent coach rides along the shore were taken to Cannes, to Monaco, and Mentone.
In the seaport town of Cannes, a bright gem set in groves of olives and oranges, Napoleon landed from Elba on the first of March, 1815. The tri-color of France was again thrown to the breeze, and en route to Paris Napoleon received on every hand the renewed allegiance of officers and garrisons. The French were wild with excitement, but Europe was filled with amazement. Again France was conquered without the shedding of blood, a victory unparalleled in history.
Lucille particularly enjoyed the ride of eight miles east along the peaceful Mediterranean, also the visit to Monaco, capital of the principality of its own name, with an area of about 34,000 acres. Monaco is beautifully situated on a promontory in the sea, and has an attractive palace and cultivated terraces. The ruling prince resides here six months and at Paris the other six months.
Monte Carlo is a veritable bit of paradise so far as nature and art can work wonders. Around this famous gambling resort grow aloes, orange trees, and tufted palms. Within the handsome casino weak humanity of all nationalities is allured by glittering promises of wealth. No wonder a dozen or more suicides occur every month.
It was three o’clock on the sixth day of the stay at Nice, when Colonel Harris sitting on the porch of the hotel and using a marine glass, discovered to the southwest a tiny craft rapidly approaching Nice. For three days he had been anxiously watching and waiting for the arrival of the “Hallena,” built at Harrisville for the son of his special friend Mr. Harry Hall.