[Meiringen—Wednesday, 11 August 1869]
Wednesday. Morning a little brighter, thought we would attempt the Grimsel wisely promising ourselves to return at any moment. Got as far as the village of Guttanen, stormier and stormier; Jamie grew quite unhappy at the thought of our two days journey in the rain and snow. (For travellers continually arriving at the little Inn at Guttanen when we were taking wine and bread and a doubtful compound called “Compôte des Prunes” gave us wretched accounts of the trials they had just been through, their faces pinched with cold and their wet and muddy feet bearing out their statements.) So we took counsel together and concluded to go back. Our guides made rueful faces at this and tried to persuade us to go on and Mabel & Tom full of youthful ardor were equally averse to such a proceeding. However we thought it best and turned our faces resolutely towards the swirling valley leaving our guide to follow while we walked on. The stormy mountain once at our backs and the bright valley before Jamie confessed to me that he hated to be dragged up where the Devil carried the best man that ever lived!
There was nothing more to be said. I was glad to return yet did not want to stop again at Meiringen which we had borne about as long as we could. Fortunately the sunset was magnificent so we crossed the Brienz to Lungern before it entirely passed away. Mabel was desperately tired, having run all the way down from Guttanen and ridden at full trot from Imhof to Meiringen on the hardest of horses. She could scarcely see for fatigue. A good reception, wood fire and supper at Lungern cheered us all & sent us comfortable to bed, to sleep on sheets too small & of questionable cleanliness. Fortunately we did not discover all the drawbacks of our inn until the next morning.
We were intensely amused by the saucy behavior of the maid, who first tried to get us off to bed earlier than we wished to go and afterward came in with two companions & read and discussed a letter some one of them had just received. The whole thing was in German so of course we could not altogether understand it but it was sufficiently amusing; especially the next morning her sauciness entertained us, when two French gentlemen having escaped from the Diligence as it came up the hill ordered breakfast in immense haste that they might not lose their places, while she begged them to be easy as they had time enough and to spare.