Time-Traveling English Schoolteachers Part 2

About the time-traveling English schoolteachers who claim to have been transported over one hundred years in the past, history and account of their story.

The Adventure--of Adventures

From what they reconstructed afterward, here is what they saw and here is what they encountered:

Moberly, alone, saw a woman shaking a white cloth out of the window of a building. Jourdain, alone, saw some old-fashioned farm implements including a plow, lying on the grass. They both viewed 2 men wearing what appeared to be masquerade costumes--small tricornered hats and long grayish-green coats--and thought them to be gardeners. They asked these men the way to the Petit Trianon, and one man answered mechanically that they must continue ahead. Then, off to the right, Jourdain, alone, saw a cottage, with a woman passing a jug to a young girl standing in the open doorway.

Jourdain remembered later, how she felt as they had plodded onward. "I began to feel as though I were walking in my sleep; the heavy dreaminess was oppressive." Finally, they reached the edge of a wood, where they could see a man seated near the steps of a garden kiosk, its columns topped by a round roof. Moberly also recalled her reactions: "Everything suddenly looked unnatural, therefore unpleasant; even the trees behind the building seemed to have become flat and lifeless, like a wood worked in tapestry. There were no effects of light and shade and no wind stirred the trees. It was all intensely still."

The 2 ladies had a closer glimpse of the man near the steps, and they were frightened. He was swarthy, pockmarked, and he wore a large hat and heavy black cloak. "The man's face was most repulsive--its expression odious," Moberly recalled. About to hasten away, the 2 women saw a younger man who apparently had come from behind some rocks that hid the path. He was handsome, his hairstyle resembling "an old picture," and his face was flushed. He spoke to them eagerly in oddly accented French, trying to divert them from the path they had taken. They finally understood that he was giving them directions to the Petit Trianon.

Following the young man's directions, Moberly and Jourdain took another path to their right, crossed an attractive rustic bridge spanning a tiny ravine, skirted a narrow meadow, and at last came upon the Petit Trianon. On the lawn before the Trianon they stopped, and Annie Moberly watched an aristocratic lady--wearing a large white hat, and an old-fashioned long-waisted green bodice above a full short skirt--sitting and sketching the scenery. She was rather pretty, although not young, and she stared at Moberly. Then a uniformed official emerged from the Petit Trianon to escort the English ladies through the chateau before sending them away.

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