H. Stanhope to Kathleen, Falkland Islands, November 15, [1899]

BCARS
Add Mss 412, Box 6 File 4-10

H.M.S. “Beagle”
Falkland Islands
15 Nov.

Dear Miss O’Reilly

I received yours of 20th Sept on 24th Oct, just 2 days after I had written to you from Sapetyba Bay where we were having our regatta. I was so sorry to hear your father having been so ill, and I hope the change to England will completely restore both your father and mother to complete health. I suppose you will not be going to England before the Spring. If you like the idea of a visit to England yourself, I’m sure you deserve it, after all the work and anxiety you have had, and I do admire very much the way you have managed to pull both your parents back to health again. Well, here I am at the place I hoped to avoid. I left the Squadron & arrived at Monte Video only to find the ship put in to quarantine. it was a horrid sell. all on account of a case of plague which occurred somewhere in Brazil, and we had’nt been to an inhabited spot for a fortnight. However they would’nt listen to the voice of reason & had to go to a place & have our clothes disinfected, the ship fumigated & then do 5 days quarantine. When it was over I gave the men their leave, [?] &c, & started off, arriving here about 6 days later after howling gales, snow, hail & all the rest of it. and to find ourselves on arrival in the most benighted corner of Her Majesty’s dominions and we shall have to do a month here. How I shall be counting the days for the ship that comes down to take our place. It is a most primitive spot; from the Governor to the labourer and their ladies, all are on the same level – anyhow at any function, such as a dance, that may take place. But the cold after Rio is too dreadful, although this month corresponds with May in British Columbia. After the experience of the passage down in the “Beagle thing”, it is not pleasant to contemplate that we shall have to go through the same again when we return to Monte Video. I hope that will be the last, & that on arrival there we shall have news of the ship coming out from Engalnd to take our place and make a start home soon after. Anyhow I’m afraid that it will be March at the earliest before we reach British shores. If you land there about then or after, it will be an added pleasure for me to see the O’Reilly girl again and if I have to tell my mother that the O’Reilly girl is in England & has’nt been to see her, how angry my Mama will be. I have had a return of the old enemy, & dont think I’ve slept for a week but I’m not worrying about things. only I wish I knew it was time to get away from here & could see the “Pegasus” coming around the corner.

Kind regards to all.

Ever yours sincerely

Harry Stanhope

P.S. I have just had a line from the Commodore, & we have our order for England where we should arrive in February, most thrilling & unexpected.

 

Back to 1899 Correspondence

This collection of letters has been digitized from an earlier transcription project and is for informational purposes only. This transcription has not been verified against the originals. Researchers interested in these letters should consult the original documents housed at the BC Archives.

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