Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Parkstone, Dorset to Violet Isabel Wallace [address not recorded] on 5 August .
Re. Violet's itinerary, request for alpine plants; Ma's (Annie Wallace) health; trip to Tufa pits with her brother William and Mr C Reid; (fossil) leaf beds at Flag Hind Chine and Bournemouth; new chess player Mr Adams; disappointing attempts with telescope, stand needed; Mr Ponton leaving for Baden.
A typical letter handwritten by author in English and signed by author.
An original MS
Pages with text: 4
Transcriber: Murphy, Will
Transcription date: July 8, 2011
Scrutiny: 15/01/2013 - Catchpole, Caroline;
Signed off: no
Sunday Morning. Aug[ust] 5.
My dear Violet
Your post-card just came. Glad to find you are all right in the midst of the glories of the Alps. It is perhaps well that the Bernese Alps are left for the last, because they are the finest of all, & if you had seen them first the rest might have been poor by comparison. I hope you will be able to walk back over the St. Gothard[sic] pass & through the celebrated valley of the Devil’s Bridge. Get to Fusio as soon as you can, and ascertain about parcel-post, and send me a good lot of small alpine plants. You will see thousands there.
[] I enclose the mysterious telegram which arrived after you left. I went to the P[ost] office to ask if it really was Norwich, and the telegraph clerk said yes it was, he was quite certain. That is what I could not send an intelligible telegram to you.
Ma got bad rheumatism from the Tufa-pit & the boat, & was in bed two days. All night now. Will had another day there with Mr. C. Reid, & I also on Friday. More leaves & shells & flint-flakes and bits of skull but no backbones at all! Mr. C. Reid is off now for the Brit[ish] Ass[ociatio]n & Switzerland. When he comes back he hopes to have [] power to excavate & find out more about the age of the Tufa. The new chess-player, Mr. Adams, came up on Thursday evening & beat me three games right off! I was not quite in good order, & hope to do better next time, but he is certainly the best player here. Mr. C. Reid went with Will one day to the leaf-bed near Flag Hind Clive[?] and he says it is all covered up by the debris. They went on to the Bournemouth bed and found a few nice leaf impressions. It has been very dull & cloudy every night here and we have not been able to try the telescope once. One evening [] we took it out but it was so damp that the whole tube & glasses got covered with dew & we could see nothing. I will get [a] proper stand so that we can see something at ‘Xmas.
Let us know about the journey -- whether you slept anywhere, how long you were in the train, at what hour you reached Lucerne &c. &c. Where you first saw the mountains. Haow you live at the hotels, &c. I hope you are keeping your journal daily & hourly, & will send us a copy as promised.
Mr. Ponton leaves for good next month. He is going to Fribourg in Baden. No more news here.
Your affectionate Pa | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]
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