Feature Articles - The Life of Evelina Haverfield - Travel Abroad
Evelina loved to travel; she loved the sense of adventure that it provided. Following the death of Henry Haverfield, in 1895, she made a ten-month trip to Mexico and North America as a means of helping her deal with her loss. She sailed from Liverpool, in a cargo ship which stopped two or three days in each port, to load and unload cargo in Panama, Jamaica, and the Mexican ports of Tampico and Veracruz.
While the ship was in each port, Evelina made sightseeing expeditions in and around the area to see as much of local life there as her time permitted.
At Veracruz she was met by Lionel Cardin, a cousin of Henry Haverfield's, and a member of the British diplomatic service in Mexico City. Lionel escorted Evelina to Mexico City by train. Also on the train was a young English lad who had come out on the same ship with Evelina.
He was going to join his father who was working in a mine in Mexico. She knew the boy, who was travelling in another coach, had to get off before reaching Mexico City and take another train to reach his destination.
Concerned that the boy might miss his connection because he didn't speak Spanish, Evelina acted. She made Lionel Cardin get out and put the boy into the other train.
She spent almost six months in Mexico with Lionel and his wife, Anne. They made a valiant effort to entertain their energetic house-guest with drives to points of interest in and around the city, and by including her in official dinner parties.
For part of the summer they
took her with them for a holiday on Lake Chapala. Fortunately for the
Cardins, some of their friends, and other local people she met, took
Evelina out on excursions, since her appetite for constant action was
more than the Cardins' time and effort could satisfy. Her diary
describes several of these.
"Spent all morning in the museum with Senor de Soto, a Mexican friend of the Cardins who speaks English very well, and is most kind about taking me around. Went to the picture gallery and library with Mr. de Soto. Made the acquaintance of Mr. Toomer, an English engineer working in the city. Arranged to go for a ride with him tomorrow. Went to a livery stable and hired a nice looking bay horse."
While at Lake Chapala, she wrote, "I went off to shoot duck at 5 o'clock this morning with an old Indian called Simon. Got five. A really long tramp, very hot and tired. Got back at ten, and after breakfast we all went down to the swimming bath which is truly refreshing. Did some target practice with the Winchester rifle. Went for a swim in the lake with Mrs. Griffiths. Rowed her and Anne about till dark. Such a glorious night, the moon as bright as day."
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"Toc Emmas" was slang for trench mortars.
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