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Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 102, June 4, 1892   By:

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VOL. 102.

June 4, 1892.



At the Douane, Ostend. Just off Princesse Henriette ; passengers hovering about excitedly with bunches of keys, waiting for their luggage to be brought ashore. Why can't they take things quietly like me ? I don't worry. Saw my portmanteau and bag labelled at Victoria. Sure to turn up in due time. Some men when they travel insist on taking hand bags into the carriage with them foolish, when they might have them put in the van and get rid of all responsibility. The douaniers are examining the luggage don't see mine as yet. It's all right , of course. People who are going on to Brussels and Antwerp at once would naturally have their luggage brought out first. Don't see the good of rushing about like that myself. I shall stay the night here put up at one of the hotels on the Digue, dine, and get through the evening pleasantly at the Kursaal sure to be something going on. Then I can go comfortably on by a mid day train to morrow. Meanwhile my luggage still tarries. If I was a nervous man luckily I'm not . Come that's the bag at all events, with everything I shall want for the night.... Annoying. Some other fellow's bag.... No more luggage being brought out. Getting anxious at least, just a shade uneasy. Perhaps if I asked somebody Accost a Belgian porter; he wants my baggage ticket. They never gave me any ticket. It did occur to me (in the train) that I had always had my luggage registered on going abroad before, but I supposed they knew best, and didn't worry. I came away to get a rest and avoid worry, and I won't worry.... The Porter and I have gone on board to hunt for the things. They aren't there . Left behind at Dover probably. Wire for them at once. No idea how difficult it was to describe luggage vividly and yet economically till I tried. However, it will be sent on by the next boat, and arrive some time in the evening, so it's of no consequence. Now for the Hotel. Ask for the bus for the Continental . The Continental is not open yet. Very well, the Hôtel de la Plage , then. Closed! All the hotels facing the sea are , it seems. Sympathetic Porter recommends one in the town, and promises to come and tell me as soon as the luggage turns up.

[Illustration: "Please, de tings!"]

At the Hotel. Find, on getting out of the omnibus, that the Hotel is being painted; entrance blocked by ladders and pails. Squeeze past, and am received in the hall by the Proprietress and a German Waiter. "Certainly they can give me a room my baggage shall be taken up immed " Here I have to explain that this is impracticable, as my baggage has unfortunately been left behind. Think I see a change in their manner at this. A stranger who comes abroad with nothing but a stick and an umbrella cannot expect to inspire confidence, I suppose. I remark to the Waiter that the luggage is sure to follow me by the next boat, but it strikes even myself that I do not bring this out with quite a sincere ring. Not at all the manner of a man who possesses a real portmanteau. I order dinner the kind of dinner, I feel, that a man who did not intend to pay for it would order. I detect this impression in the Waiter's eye. If he dared, I know he would suggest tea and a boiled egg as more seemly under the circumstances.

On the Digue. Thought, it being holiday time, that there would be more gaiety; but Ostend just now perhaps a little lacking in liveliness hotels, villas, and even the Kursaal all closely boarded up with lead coloured shutters. Only other person on Promenade a fisher boy scrooping over the tiles in sabots . I come to a glazed shelter, and find the seats choked with drifting sand, and protected with barbed wire. This depresses me. I did not want to sit down but the barbed wire does seem needlessly unkind. Walk along the sand dunes; must pass the time somehow till dinner, and the arrival of my luggage... Continue reading book >>

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