The courier. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1894-1903, April 13, 1895, Page 6, Image 6

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(Written for The Cocbiee by C. Y. Smith.)
Shall 1 not take mine case in mine inn.. Mr. Shakespeare.
It would seem not. Mr. Smith.
AT 11 o'clock Saturday Juno 18, 1S92 I stood on Pier No. 40
Cunard wharf Now Yorlr City lost in tho whirl of bustling
truckmen amidst trunks of all sizes and description,
bundles, packages, boxes, valises, men, women, babies, umbrellas,
canes, dogs and misellaneous articles. About ten men were trying
to Bell me a steamer chair at the same time. I was alone so far as
any of my acquaintances were concerned, and realizing the danger
of being trampled on, for I am not as large in stature as some people I
know, I quickly directed my steps onwarJ in order to avoid the ruph.
The great steamer Elruria, a magnificent vessel lazily lay by the
wharf. Her mighty slues rested above like a fortress. As I stepped
my left foot on the gangway, my right foot being the last to trod on
American lumber, a umall portion of my throat contracted and it was
with much difficulty that I.swallowetti lump which had in the mean
time gathered in the rear portion of my mouth. Slowly I crowded
my way through thftjnanyhuman beings that were pushing in all
directions and was soon standing by the railing where I could watch
the surging mass.
The deck of the steamer was full and tho wharf below was full.
There was a great geal of kissing going on; some were crying; others
were laughing and having a beautiful time. Some were excited and
some were not; others had lost their friends arid relatives and could
not find them, and others had no relatives or friends there to loose.
I was among this number. Out of all the motley throng, there was
not one to whom I could say good bye, not onr whose hand I could
grasp in farewell, and just before It was time -for the great steamer
to start on her watery journey, I strtce'' my eyes to find just one
familiar face to which I might cast a smile of recognition, but there
was none there, not even one. So when, at 11:30 the lines were cast
off and the propellers began slowly to move and the distance between
the steamer and wharf to widen, I saw the passengers throw kisses
to their friends and relatives, and the air filled with Hying handker
chiefs and umbrellas and shouts of good bye, pleasant journey and
the like. I did as did tho rest. I threw kisses, waved my handker
chief shouted good bye and farewell, and for ten minutes or so I was
as sociable as any body.
In a few moments the pier, black with those who had come to take
a last long look upon departing friends, was lost to view and Mrs.
Liberty was seen standing on her pedestal high, over the starboard
bow of the Etruria. She had not changed much since I saw her
last and was quite busy enlightening the world when we passed her
by. I waved to her my handkerchief and followed with my eyes the
waves as they broke from the bow of the steamer and gradually
diverged until they tossed their saucy foam against her rock founda
tion. We were heading for the open sea and the clanging of the
gong notified the passengers that dinner was now ready. I entered
the companion way and decended the spiral stair way leading to the
dining room and at the further end of the room on the second seat
from the end, convenient for hasty exit in case of unforseen events,
I sat me down to partake of the substantial brought by colored
waiters who were later on to be feed for services not rendered. On
my right sat my highly valued friend Frank. He had a slight advan
tage over me in the way of size and was particularly exempt from
sea troubles. Directly opposite us sat five of the fair ones represent
ing various portions of the United States, to whom I was introduced
by our guardian Mr. Shepherd who with hie wife officiated over the
flock. Our special artist and wife from Boston with a lady from New
York occupied seats at the other end of the table. I ate a swanking
dinner and was too busy to talk much to my companions, although
I said I was glad to meet them and exchanged the usual courtesies
incident to an introduction. I noticed that every chair in the room
was occupied by passengers who seemed eager to eat all they could
in order to keep even with the commissary department. When the
meal was over I sought the fresh salt air on the promenade deck
Slowly meandering along I finally sat down upon a chest close to
the railing overlooking the second class cabin and steerage, musing
as to the ups and downs of life in a general way, and contemplating
what sort of an effect would be produced upon persons with weak
stomachs by a given number of waves of a certain velocity rolling
against a vessel of a known tonnage on which said persons were pass
engers. As I sat there it seemed to me as if somebody v as moving
the steamer. I looked anxiously around me and seeing no special
activity among my fellow travellers concluded I was mistaken.
However my seat became uncomfortable and my feet which bad been
swinging indifferently in tho air I placed firmly upon tho deck and
tried to look unconcerned. It was a beautiful day overhead, though
a little dubious below. The sea gulls which had been flitting about
the mast heads and sailing in graceful curves through the air were
leaving us one by one and the shores of America began to grow dim
in the distance.
Soon I realized my situation. For seven days and seven nights I
was to be subjected to the elements without, and seven days and
seven nights to the elements within. I was on a large ocean steamer
which was fast seeking the midst of a gigantic sea where tho winds
blew and the waters inhabited with mighty whales, sharks and
devouring sea-Borpents, tossed and foamed mountain high. Over
head the boundless sky. Beneath the boundless sea. The land was
out of sight. The steamer on which I sailed was but a molecule in
comparison 'with the vasty deep and I could easily infer from the
surrounding circumstances that against such odds I was powerless;
1 stood no show on the ocean. My desire was to be happy but not
sociable. The mightiness of the sea filled me with awe and wonder
mingled with doubt Supper was called but I failed to respond.
For reasons of my own I preferred to remain on deck. A two days
trip on tho Pacific Ocean, from San Pedro to San Francisco, when
the waters had were turbulent, had given mo sufficient experi
ence in aquatic life, to fully realize the truth of tho saying that
"There are moments when we widh t be alone." There were others
on the deck stretched out in steamer chairs who did not take any
notice of the dinner gong and I felt confident if one could have
ascertained their thoughts he would have found them for the greater
part confined to the uncertainty of food on shipboard. 1 have never
been fully able to understand under what inspiration tho poet wrote
the following lines.
" Oh who can tell
The joy he feels,
When o'er the sea
The vessel reels?"
I shall avoid many of the details of the six days that followed.
My warm friend Frank was very kind in my hours of misery, and
every night he tucked me in my little cot and during the day kept
me nicely wrapped up in blankets and otherwise looked out for my
comfort. Occasionally some of the party would come around to the
place where I was seen to a disadvantage and enquire how I ftlt but
I never was very enthuiiastic. One of the party who lives in St. Joe,
Missouri was extremely discontented during the entire trip and
really looked quite melancholy so Frank told me. I did not see her
from the time we ate our first dinner until we arrived at Liverpool.
We were so near, and yet so far.
The most difficult feat I found necessary to perform, was the
descent of the spiral stairway at night and to walk the entire length
of the dining saloon along a narrow hall to a much narrower state
room where the air was very close; the- port hole being kept closed
on account of te sea washing in at night. To ascend in the morn
ing was twice as sorrowful but seven nights I descended and seven
mornings I ascended and for five days I never took the time to
remove ray wardrobe once horrible as it may seem, and I used to
wash my face in the salt sea air that blew around the promenade
deck in the day time. The deck steward would sometimes bring
me something to eat, and I remember well at one time he gave me
some French peas, about ten, which I ate with a wholesome relish,
but my ambition was at such a low ebb that I refrained from asking
for more. I would at times watch the steward come out of the
companionway with plates of food for my contemporaries in trouble
and my appetite would be appeased and often I would eat a piece of
chicken and a little potato and although I relished tigs very much
and once in a while ate an orange with difficulty I seldom if ever
cared for pork. I have known people who have been made to feel
very uneasy by merely mentioning pork in their presence when they
- were on the water. The laBt thing at night before retiring down my
spiral retreat 1 took a glass of hot lemonade. It acted as a bracer
for my long journey to the stateroom and toned the system
(To be continued next week.)