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In January 1903 when Lord Carnarvon was intent on a visit to the United States we were forced through illness to forfeit the passage booked on the Celtic, due out of Liverpool on 14 January. The illness of our son Lord Porchester, detained us. However, when he rallied, we boarded the Oceanic on 28 January of that year and arrived in New York on 5 February, a day later than scheduled by the White Star’s timetable. There had been head winds and heavy seas. Foolishly one American newspaper The New York Times said the real reason for the delay was owing to “ a heavy cargo of titled foreigners”. The Oceanic, the second ship so named by the White Star Line was a most modern vessel thankfully built only for speed. But she also possessed electric lighting and refrigeration. On board, like us travelling in the saloon, we met our Wiltshire neighbours from Longford Castle, Jacob and Julian Pleydell-Bouverie, the 6th Earl and Countess of Radnor, as well as the Earl’s sister Lady Wilma, Countess of Lathom. My husband greatly admired the 5th Earl Radnor’s horse stud which was all but broken upon his death in 1900. Julian, Countess of Radnor, had the profound spark of founding the Wiltshire Nursing Association. I simply despised America. A cross-examination by a dreary custom officials before we could even disembark made an upsetting start. The vulgar scene witnessed of Rosalind, Lady Cheywynd, being photographed and declared in her home City of New York “ the most beautiful woman in the ship” was equally in gross bad taste. Many great social affairs had been arranged by the fashionable folk of Gotham, Newport and Washington Society interested in us more as zoo animals than their honoured guests. These were mostly luncheon parties where females only were present and this was not my own concept of fun. I discovered quickly that I had nothing in common with any of them. I grew tired of hearing that we had all awakened in England to the realization that it was essential to spend winter in New York. The opposite was true; it was their City’s maid and matrons who craved drawing room acquaintance with desirable persons such as myself from the smart worlds of Paris and London. In New York we stayed briefly at the Waldorf Astoria which was full of intolerable German Embassy officials, and the Countess Cassini, the garrulous wife of the Russian Ambassador. Lord Carnarvon’s handsome Pembroke cousin, Michael Herbert, sent us a warm greeting, he had been newly appointed to the British Embassy in Washington. This American sojourning was almost entirely for my husband’s amusement, pleasure and rest. He had been to the country before but planned an extensive tour motoring, fishing, horse-racing and shooting. Lord Carnarvon’s physician, Dr Marcus Johnson, also accompanied him from England. The time spent on the East coast over we proceeded westward to California. We favoured its milder climate. My father, Alfred de Rothschild, had generously arranged an introduction in San Francisco to his banker friend of his, Mr William Alford, whom we found charming. Both my husband and I wrote warmly to him with our grateful thanks. Less than charming was a ridiculous ball given by Mamie Stuyversant Fish. During one dance the ladies were expected to lead guinea pigs on their arms whilst dancing with their male escourts. This was both hilarious and disastrous as the small creatures screeched and then began to soil the dance floor area. My husband, who had for a few years gradually increased the racing stable at Highclere, had his first taste of Californian horse racing at the track of the famous Oakland where he was the guest of Richard McCreary of Burlingame. I met Mr McCreary at an enjoyable evening dinner subsequently given on our behalf by Mr. Jeremiah Lynch. It was held in the quaintly named Owl Room of the Bohemian Club, also in San Francisco. The Club’s decorations were wonderfully lavish. Apple and orange blossoms were arranged in a large bowl in the centre of the table. Candelabra with yellow silk shades added a soft glow to the scene. Clusters of foliage also decorated the walls and were hung over pictures making a charming effect. We had attracted a flutter of attention in the American newspapers. There was splendid praise for my choice of selecting evening wear made of black lace. They found it irresistible to refrain from comment upon my piquante French type of beauty. Dr Marcus Johnson proved a singularly loyal companion to me during the long spells alone during the day when my husband was meeting with his American friends of an earlier acquaintance. My husband even insisted in exploring the City sights of San Francisco at night, with friends of his from a overseas opera touring company. Johnny consoled me. He simply took hold of my arm and we promenaded together around the hotel court. Neither he nor I, nor any lady should have any desire to see this country’s common herd including its infernal Chinese Quarter – which so greatly fascinated Lord Carnarvon. American slang -so called- drew me to make certain fastidious remarks. I also wrote down a number of these curious phrases, unheard in England, even more inane when viewed with their absurd explanation keys. The language of the Yankies, like their unpleasant manners and their attitude I found to be sloppy, rude and rough. On our last evening back in New York the lift-boy of the hotel even spat out “gum” at my feet. Oh! how I longed to be back in Merry England. To great relief we left New York on 8 April, once more on the Oceania, and thus arrived back in Liverpool on 15 April. I never set foot again in America