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Letter from Charles Garnet Eden, dated 1898/10/ 1

Harrison College, Barbados

Dear Lottie

I have just been writing to Flo. and have absolutely exhausted my news, so this letter must needs be short and you must apply to her for further information. Much thanks for the book, John and the thin mouse, which caused much amusement. I suppose you had some news of the hurricane before you got my letter. I wondered if I was blown into pieces or not. Some of the results are very amusing. I saw one ... hunting about who said he had not only lost his house, but could not even find the spot. Another man I saw who was trying to find his master's kitchen among a lot of palms piled up by the wind. This however is very frequent. You meet man "Hallo old chap, how did the strorm treat you? Oh not too bad, lost part of the verandha and roof, by the way, you hav'nt seen a spare bedroom knocking about have you? No I am afraid I haven't, but I heard Jones say he had a couple of drawing rooms in his stable which did not belong to him"....

I expect you saw in the papers about the wrecks at St Vincents, the boats broke away from their moorings here and went in a beeline for St Vincents, they lost all their masts and rudders and though they were trailing their anchors behind got there in about three hours, such was the force of the wind and were flung high and dry up the beach within a few yards of each other.


The force of a hurricane is simply wonderful, here we have lignum vitae trees growing, they are the wood rom which the hardest bowls are made, and an ordinary wooden tile has been driven into one so tight as not to be possibly pulled out. Yet the wood is so hard as to turn the edge of a hatchet. There are many such instances in S. Vincent. Here is a woman and child were cut in two by a piece of corrugated iron, there four people were beheaded by a similar accident. The returns, so, far, shew that 15,491 houses have been blown down or otherwise smashed up and two parishes have not yet sent in returns, coming after the potato riots and the murder of the Speaker this hurricane portends bankruptcy in this island and consequently, the return home of yours truly unless I get a knock on the head in the inevitable insurrection. The Home Government seem absolutely to ignore our position, we are bad enough but St. Vincent is probably worse. There they have no money food or clothes, all is washed away by the hurricane, there are plenty og cargoes in harbour but the blacks wont work for less than 10s a day....The General sails for England today to try and persuade the Government in person of the hopelessness of things but I dont suppose it is of any use...

Wednesday evening we had a blue moon and thought we were going to have an earthquake..

Love and kisses to all

Your affectionate Charlie

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