Page:The Romance of Isabel, Lady Burton.djvu/150

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The Romance of Isabel Lady Burton

and 656 above the stream. The old road winds beneath it; the Sardinians call it the Ponte Carlo Aberto. A few more difficulties, and at 10.30 a.m., Wednesday, April 7, we arrived at the Hôtel des Bergues, Geneva. The poor horses were delighted the moment they saw Geneva below, and put on a spurt of themselves.

The Hôtel des Bergues, Geneva (at the time I write), is the second best hotel here; we have three cheerful rooms on the lake, and a dull table d'hôte at five o'clock. The lake is like blue crystal, on which we have a five-ton sailing-boat; the sky without a cloud; the weather like May. The nights are exquisite. The peasants are ugly; they wear big hats, and speak bad French. It is a terrible place for stomach-ache, owing to the mountain water. The religion is a contrast to Italy—little and good. As I am Number Three of our party, I have had all along to make my own life and never be in the way of the married couple. We arrived here in time for the railway fête; there were flags and feux de joie, bands, and a magnificent peasant ball. Our Minister for Switzerland, whose name was Gordon, came for the fête (the French Minister refused). He dined here, spent the evening with us, and took us to the ball. The Union Jack floated at our windows in his honour. A pretty place Geneva, but very dull. The spring begins to show itself in the trees and hedges. I long for the other side of the lake. We walk and sail a great deal.

I have not heard a word from Richard, and I am waiting like Patience on a monument in grand expectation of what the few months may bring, relying on