Thursday, April 8, 2010

April 8, 1920

Early to-day a sail boat was sighted and any diversion like that on an ocean voyage soon creates excitement. It looks like a very frail craft to be out. Some of the party told stories of their ancestry that came over in sail boats and were two months in crossing. We thought of Columbus and his voyages of discovery, as we never did before. Some of our party are quite clever in propounding riddles and conundrums.

I am surprising myself with what alacrity I can mount to that upper berth, when I go to our state room to retire. It is a case of not “standing upon the order of our going but to go at once.” We feel the rock of the vessel more in dining room and state room, than above or on deck, but I never feel sick when lying down. The getting up in the morning is a little more formal. First upon awaking, we eat an orange and munch a sea-cracker and lie there and dread to begin the process. We muster courage, hang our little mirror in the port-hole window and arrange our hair. Usually we lie down again and think it over. The second stage is to get on our shoes and stockings - then another rest. The dressing is done in double-quick time and armed with storm coat and steamer rug we make a run for the deck and the air - then we are all right.

I am chairman of the committee for tonight’s entertainment, with Anna George of New York and Mrs. Harry Warner of Chicago as the other members. We have arranged for a solo first by Mrs. Teasdale, wife of the Senator from Wisconsin, to be followed by a talk by Major Lewis on the war. Major Lewis is a Britisher who won great distinction in the Dardanelles and was Knighted by the King. He was wounded and shell shocked. 1228 men were with him at the beginning of the engagement and only 237 came back. Next - is to be the District School with Martin Chuzzlewit (The Rev. Mr. Wightman) as school master. Miles Standish and other noted characters are among the pupils. I am to preside.

This has been a rather uncomfortable day. One of the kind when you are not exactly sick, but feel all “stirred up” like and you want to be real quiet.

My room-mates thought I was heroic because I insisted upon throwing off any imaginary discomfort, dressing fresh for dinner and presiding at the meeting to-night. We had a big crowd and fun was rampant.

Some of our fellow passengers are disgruntled ex-saloon keepers and their families going back to the old country where they can pursue their business unmolested. Others are Belgians and others in sympathy with them. We enter into no arguments but look pleasant and smile, and gradually the ice is melting and they begin to think that we are pleasant people after all.

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