CHARLOTTE AMALIE, U.S. Virgin Islands (AP) _ Neither rain, nor sleet nor gloom of night kept a load of mail from reaching its destination, but a detour to Puerto Rico certainly slowed it down.

About 2,000 pieces of mail - including Christmas gifts and well aged fruitcakes - are scheduled to be delivered to this U.S. territory on Monday, 2 1/2 years after they were sent.

Virgin Islands Postmaster Alvin O. Davis said he has ordered a crew to work overtime to immediately sort the mail and send it to the intended recipients.

Why the delay?

Davis said a trailer containing the mail made a stopover in neighboring Puerto Rico in November 1985. Inexplicably, it languished at a San Juan dock.

Someone finally stumbled across the meandering missives, and the mail was sent on the final, 60-mile leg of its journey.