This phenomenon made us a little suspicious of the foundations of this island which is already invaded by the jealous ocean, and is anchored to the continent only by the cable.
The drive became more charming as the sun went down, and we saw the hills grow purple beyond the Bras d’Or. The road wound around lovely coves and across low promontories, giving us new beauties at every turn. Before dark we had crossed the Middle River and the Big Baddeck, on long wooden bridges, which straggled over sluggish waters and long reaches of marsh, upon which Mary might have been sent to call the cattle home. These bridges were shaky and wanted a plank at intervals, but they are in keeping with the enterprise of the country. As dusk came on, we crossed the last hill, and were bowling along by the still gleaming water. Lights began to appear in infrequent farmhouses, and under cover of the gathering night the houses seemed to be stately mansions; and we fancied we were on a noble highway, lined with elegant suburban seaside residences, and about to drive into a town of wealth and a port of great commerce. We were, nevertheless, anxious about Baddeck. What sort of haven were we to reach after our heroic (with the reader’s permission) week of travel? Would the hotel be like that at Plaster Cove? Were our thirty-six hours of sleepless staging to terminate in a night of misery and a Sunday of discomfort?
We came into a straggling village; that we could see by the starlight. But we stopped at the door of a very unhotel-like appearing hotel. It had in front a flower-garden; it was blazing with welcome lights; it opened hospitable doors, and we were received by a family who expected us. The house was a large one, for two guests; and we enjoyed the luxury of spacious rooms, an abundant supper, and a friendly welcome; and, in short, found ourselves at home. The proprietor of the Telegraph House is the superintendent of the land lines of Cape Breton, a Scotchman, of course; but his wife is a Newfoundland lady. We cannot violate the sanctity of what seemed like private hospitality by speaking freely of this lady and the lovely girls, her daughters, whose education has been so admirably advanced in the excellent school at Baddeck; but we can confidently advise any American who is going to Newfoundland, to get a wife there, if he wants one at all. It is the only new article he can bring from the Provinces that he will not have to pay duty on. And here is a suggestion to our tariff-mongers for the “protection” of New England women.