The news that she had gone of course now spread rapidly and by lunch time Riseholme had made up its mind what to do and that was hermetically to close its lips for ever on the subject of Lucia. You might think what you pleased, for it was a free country, but silence was best. But this counsel of perfection was not easy to practice next day when the evening paper came. There, for all the world to read were two quite long paragraphs, in Five o'clock Chit-Chat, over the renowned signature of Hermione, entirely about Lucia and 25 Brompton Square and there for all the world to see was the reproduction of one of her most elegant photographs, in which she gazed dreamily outwards and a little upwards, with her fingers still pressed on the last chord of (probably) the Moonlight Sonata. . . . She had come up, so Hermione told countless readers, from her Elizabethan country seat at Riseholme (where she was a neighbour of Miss Olga Bracely) and was settling for the season in the beautiful little house in Brompton Square, which was the freehold property of her husband and had just come to him on the death of his aunt. It was a veritable treasure house of exquisite furniture, with a charming music-room where Lucia had given Hermione a cup of tea from her marvellous Worcester tea service. . . . (At this point Daisy, whose hands were trembling with passion, exclaimed in a loud and injured voice, The very day she arrived!) Mrs. Lucas (one of the Warwickshire Smythes by birth) was, as all the world knew, a most accomplished musician and Shakespearean scholar and had made Riseholme a centre of culture and art. But nobody would suspect the blue stocking in the brilliant, beautiful and witty hostess whose presence would lend an added gaiety to the London season.Daisy was beginning to feel physically unwell. She hurried over the few remaining lines and then ejaculating Witty! Beautiful! sent de Vere across to Georgie's with the paper, bidding him to return it, as she hadn't finished with it. But she thought he ought to know. . . . Georgie read it through and with admirable self restraint, sent Foljambe back with it and a message of thanks--nothing more--to Mrs. Quantock for the loan of it. Daisy, by this time feeling better, memorised the whole of it.Life under the new conditions was not easy, for a mere glance at the paper might send any true Riseholmite into a paroxysm of chattering rage or a deep disgusted melancholy. The Times again recorded the fact that Mr. and Mrs. Philip Lucas had arrived at 25 Brompton Square, there was another terrible paragraph headed 'Dinner,' stating that Mrs. Sandeman entertained the following to dinner. There was an Ambassador, a Marquis, a Countess (dowager), two Viscounts with wives, a Baronet, a quantity of Honourables and Knights and Mr. and Mrs. Philip Lucas. Every single person except Mr. and Mrs. Philip Lucas had a title. The list was too much for Mrs. Boucher, who, reading it at breakfast, suddenly exclaimed:I didn't think it of them. And it's a poor consolation to know that they must have gone in last.Then she hermetically sealed her lips again on this painful subject and when she had finished her breakfast (her appetite had quite gone) she looked up every member of that degrading party in Colonel Boucher's Who's Who.
E.F. Benson
Alejandro de Humboldt National ParkOutside of the major cities, the great majority of Cuba is agricultural or undeveloped. Cuba has a number of national parks where it is possible to see and enjoy some plants and animals that are truly unique to the region. Because it is relatively remote and limited in size, the Cuban Government has recognized the significance and sensitivity of the island’s biodiversity. It is for these reasons many of these parks have been set aside as protected areas and for the enjoyment of the people.One of these parks is the Alejandro de Humboldt National Park, named for Alexander von Humboldt a Prussian geographer, naturalist and explorer who traveled extensively in Latin America between 1799 and 1804. He explored the island of Cuba in 1800 and 1801. In the 1950’s during its time of the Cuban Embargo, the concept of nature reserves, on the island, was conceived with development on them continuing into the 1980’s, when a final sighting of the Royal Woodpecker, a Cuban subspecies of the ivory-billed woodpecker known as the Campephilus principalis, happened in this area. The Royal Woodpecker was already extinct in its former American habitats. This sighting in 1996, prompted these protected areas to form into a national park that was named Alejandro de Humboldt National Park. Unfortunately no further substantiated sightings of this species has bird has occurred and the species is now most likely extinct. The park, located on the eastern end of Cuba, is tropical and mostly considered a rain forest with mountains and some of the largest rivers in the Caribbean. Because it is the most humid place in Cuba it can be challenging to hike. The park has an area of 274.67 square miles and the elevation ranges from sea level to 3,832 feet at top of El Toldo Peak. In 2001 the park was declared a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site. Tours are available for those interested in learning more about the flora & fauna, wild life and the natural medicines that are indigenous to these jungles.The Exciting Story of Cuba by award winning Captain Hank Bracker is available from Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, BooksAMillion.com and Independent Book Vendors. Read, Like & Share the daily blogs & weekly From the Bridge commentaries found on Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter and Captain Hank Bracker’s Webpage.
Hank Bracker