On the third day after our return to Grossetto, we gathered together our damaged effects, and packed them into refractory trunks. Then we held the customary discussion with the landlord concerning the effrontery of his account, and drove off once more toward Follonica. We could scarcely recognize the route for the one we had recently passed over; and it was not until we came to the scene of our wreck, and found the diligence stranded high and dry upon the roadside, that we could believe the whole landscape about us had been flooded three days before. The offending stream had shrunk back to its channel, and now seemed to feign an unconsciousness of its late excess, and had a virtuous air of not knowing how in the world to account for that upturned diligence. The waters, we learned, had begun to subside the night after our disaster; and the vehicle might have been righted and drawn off - for it was not in the least injured - forty-eight hours previously; but I suppose it was not en regle to touch it without orders from Rome. I picture it to myself still lying there, in the heart of the marshes, and thrilling sympathetic travel with the spectacle of its ultimate ruin:
We reached Follonica at last, and then the cars hurried us to Leghorn. We were thoroughly humbled in spirit, and had no longer any doubt that we did ill to take the diligence at Civita Vecchia instead of the steamer; for we had been, not nineteen hours, but four days on the road, and we had suffered as aforementioned.
But we were destined to be partially restored to our self-esteem, if not entirely comforted for our losses, when we sat down to dinner in the Hotel Washington, and the urbane head-waiter, catching the drift of our English discourse, asked us, -
"Have the signori heard that the French steamer, which left Civita Vecchia the same day with their diligence, had to put back and lie in port more than two days on account of the storm? She is but now come into Leghorn, after a very dangerous passage."