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Chapter 3

Tuesday, Oct. 22nd
Squally today. I'm mad. I don't believe there ever was a girl in the world who had to stand so much teasing as I do. I don't mind a little. I am not very easily teased, I think, but sometimes it becomes unbearable, and I go in my stateroom and slam the door in somebody's face. Then every night, after I retire to my stateroom, I have to prop open my eyes and listen to a long recital of Mrs. Ballard's distresses until I cannot stand it another minute and fall off asleep.
Mr. De Silver is mad again. He was chasing me this morning for something I had. I sprang in at the cabin door and went through the passage way with a rush, and at the other end the Doctor caught me. Mr. De Silver jumped through the door after me in such a hurry that he struck his head a violent blow against the top of the door. He was really pretty badly hurt. I heard the fuss, ran back, and supposing that he was making a fuss for nothing, told him "it served him right" upon which he was highly offended. But he gets mad so often that I don't mind it at all and just let him get over it when he likes. He generally goes to his stateroom and turns in, and I meantime tantalize him by having all manner of fun in the cabin with anybody who happens to be in the humor. He is always very glad to "come till." It is raining again and all hands are in the cabin.

Wednesday, Oct. 23rd
Another dull day. Have been asleep for two or three hours. I go to bed regularly every day at 12 o'clock and stay until half past two, when Mrs.
Ballard wakes me, as we dine at three. Mr. De Silver has quite "come till." Thought he would soon. Mrs. B. upset and brake a bottle of brandy all over the stateroom floor while I was asleep, and I woke up thinking I was in a bar room. Harry broke the lid of my watch safe which Mother gave me; and I wanted to break his neck for it, but didn't, being afraid of his mother.

Thursday, Oct. 24th
We drifted backward toward New York 19 miles last night; that's encouraging. These calms are really very hand to undergo. Such an old tub as this ship is, I never heard of. She can't sail when she has a wind; and when she has none, she can't even lie still, but sails backwards.

Mr. Hanford proposed to me this morning that He and I should "start out on foot." We can't help getting in a bad humor. The heat is very intense.

Friday, Oct. 25th
These calms are so very uninteresting that I have not any ideas at all. Pa is in much better spirits than he has been. His health is good too. Helped the captain this morning to make a dog vane out of chicken feathers, and that is the amount of my day's work. Made a whole apron this week. I have to make a white apron every week so that I can put on clean on Sunday, and by Monday evening one would hardly guess what its original color had been. We manage to dress up a little on Sundays. All the gentlemen smack their lips when I wear a clean dress and white aprons. They say it does them good to see something fresh. Uncle John declares he don't know whether he stands on his head or his heels. He is a very gay old gentleman, always making gallant speeches to me or saying something funny. Oh, but it is hot. Such weather!

Saturday, Oct. 26th
Last evening Mr. Craven said that he knew we would be going at the rate of five knots an hour by 9 o'clock this morning. The doctor said "no," so they made a bet on it. In case we were going at the aforesaid rate, the doctor was to take half a tumbler of salts; in case we were not, Mr. Craven was to take the dose. This morning at 9 o'clock we were making three knots, so Mr. Craven stiffed up and swallowed the half tumbler of salts with the air of a hero.

Saw a bottle floating, carefully sealed, and supported on sticks, which had evidently been set adrift with the design of having it picked up. Tried hard to catch it, but in vain.

Had slap jacks for dinner. One of the gentlemen told me to be sure and put down in my log that I ate four and 'lots of 'lasses." Felt decidedly homesick last evening. Uncle John would whistle "Life let us cherish." Then this morning I happened to open my prayer book just at a place where I found two little larkspur wreaths which Madge made and put in there one day.
We have been becalmed for two blessed weeks. It takes all the spunk and life out of us. Mother used to think I was giddy and wild and wonder what would tame me. I guess if she was to see her daughter now, she would think she was tamed. Last night I would just as lief the old ship had gone to the bottom and taken us all with her as not. I would not have turned a straw to hinder it. Somehow or other I wish Bell was here. If we couldn't have tall times!. The ship wouldn't hold us. I wish Hen had come along with us.

Sunday, Oct. 27th
A fine day. Sailing a little, but not much. It seems like Sunday. Everybody is quiet and the most of us have our Bibles. Ollie got out his maple sugar as it seemed to be getting mouldy -- and passed it around. Little did we dream when we made that sugar out in the woods that it would be eaten away out on the Atlantic ocean. I am lazy today, very lazy. The less I do, the less I want to do. I'll come off that though when I get on land again. Pa is improving amazingly and laughs heartily at all our distresses. Every morning, just after breakfast, the gentlemen hold an indignation meeting on the gallant forecastle, and every evening one is held in the cabin. We have lots of fun at them.

Monday, October 28th
It is reception day at "our house," that is, our stateroom. Mrs. Ballard & I are both "at home." Ollie called, then Mr. Craven and Mr. De Silver. The
doctor sent a messenger, saying that "he would do himself the honor of calling were it not that he was laid up in his bunk with the colic." I could not sympathise with him, but thought that Bell would if she was here. He was very indignant when I laughed at him and declared that I "had no sympathy for man or beast." All the passengers are very angry. We have just found out that we have been beautifully "sold" by Jewett & Crockett. The curses showered upon them are not loud but deep. Everything is coming to a conclusion, and here we are becalmed.

Tuesday, Oct. 29th
No wind today at all. Here we are 50 days out and not to the line yet when we ought to be to the Cape. The like never was heard of before. We just lie here under this tropical sun and bob around like a cork in a wash tub. If we had decent living, it wouldn't be so bad; but our fare is wretched. Doctor says he thinks that all who survive this voyage will have dyspepsia all the rest of their lives. If we ever get to China, which looks to me extremely doubtful, we will be apt to kill ourselves eating the first day.

The other night one of the gentlemen went on deck in the middle watch and found the mate asleep at his post and the man at the wheel following his example. The idea of being exposed to all the casualties of the sea and every creature on board asleep! Why, on any other ship, if the officer slept during his watch on deck, he would be put off duty at once and disgraced; and the man who slept at the wheel would be very severely punished. But the captain goes to bed and seems to care little or nothing what becomes of the ship. The officers & men all know it and take advantage accordingly.

Last night the phosphorescent appearance of the water was splendid. The wake of the ship was one multitude of dancing stars and great lines of dazzling light.
I wish I had the morning paper. We don't appreciate the papers at home a bit more than we do many other things which we would be so glad of now.
Tuesday night 10 o'clock.

Have been below all evening. A squall came up, and we all had to come down. Spent a merry evening in the cabin though. The captain makes himself very scarce. He knows that all are down on him. I shouldn't wonder if there would be mutiny soon, fore and aft. The captain is universally censured. He started very fair, but has become utterly careless of everything and is drunk all the time. He doesn't attend to the business at all. All the men see of him is out on the main deck playing with the pigs and dog and singing snatches of low songs. Mr. Craven & I have been having very brilliant success this afternoon playing euchre against Ollie and Mr. De Silver. The latter has been looking daggers at me all evening because I was sitting beside the doctor.

It is going to be a very hot night. At home, the evenings are beginning to get cool, and the folks gather around the fire. I know just what they are
about. I can see the table drawn out before the fire, "Pearl" burning on it, Mother with her knitting and the rest strewed about as suits them best. Charlie is there, I suppose, but Arthur is not. Then the bell tingles for worship. I wonder who plays: Bell or Joe, I suppose. Then Madge and Sam go to bed; the rest fall off into a chat about things in general' then they have apples, cider, etc. And Mother says, "I wonder where Father, Ollie & Ruth are tonight. I should like to see them and wish they had some of these apples." And here we are, away, out on the sea in a dead calm and would be glad of the good things which the folks at home don't want. But the folks at home don't know it.

Wednesday, Oct. 30th
Dead calm still, but we have got so used to it that a little wind would frighten us. Have got at last a cask of pretty good water. What we call good water here I wouldn't let my horse drink at home, and she wouldn't drink it if I wanted her to. It is about the color of good strong boneset and about as cool as new milk, to say the least of it. We generally have rainwater to drink after the deck and rigging have been well washed down with it, by which time it is so full of tar that we can hardly open our mouths after drinking it. The good water is (?) water which we brought from New York and such water as the folks at home wouldn't wash their hands in.

I never was sufficiently thankful for my very strong digestive powers, but here I find the good of it -- such things as we have to digest. Yesterday at dinner the captain sent the cabin boy for a pick axe to cut the pudding with; and when it was out, it resembled India rubber more than anything else. Things are really very bad, but not so bad but that they might be "much worser," as Aunty says.

Thursday, Oct. 31st
This is "bean day," and as usual my dress is uncomfortably tight since dinner. I am always hungry, eat anything and everything notwithstanding all the advice I get about dyspepsia. Nothing hurts me. I manage to work or rather play it all off if it has to be with little Harry and Jack the dog.

The doctor handed me a bottle of ether this morning just for fun, and I inhaled so much that it like to have fixed me. We have a little breeze today and hope to reach the line this week.

Friday, Nov. 1st
Caught a dolphin this morning and are now fishing for a big shark which has been swimming around the ship all day. A whaling vessel, the "Midas," lay off from us at the distance of two or three miles and this morning, about 10 o'clock sent off a boat containing the captain, mate and five men. They came up in the most beautiful little boat I ever saw. Our men let down the steps, and in a few minutes they were all on board. Great excitement prevailed. The captain was a splendid looking fellow. They stayed about an hour. They had been out five months. We gave them some papers which they were very glad to get. One of our sailors this morning caught, in a bucket, a Portuguese man-of-war, a species of Nautilus and a most beautiful and wonderful creature. Ollie preserved it. One of the gentlemen got stung by it. Its sting is like a nettle.

Went forward last evening with Ollie to see the sailors dance. Felt like going down and helping them. Some of them danced most splendidly and would do credit to any ballroom. Captain called all the passengers on the upper deck to have some explanation in regard to the dissatisfaction which prevails. It ended in much hard feeling on both sides. The captain says he will not put into any port until he gets to Hong Kong. We are in a bad box and don't see any way of getting out. Almost every one blames the other for something.

Mr. De Silver & doctor, being hard up for something to squabble about, quarrelled over me; and now they are at loggerheads, each one considering the other "no gentleman." Such a time as we are having surely no other ship's company ever had before or will have again.

Saturday, Nov. 2nd
We think we have at last got to the southeast trades. It is a beautiful day with a pleasant breeze, and all hands are in a better humor. We met, passed and saluted a very pretty French ship this morning. She ran up her colors, so did we; and as we pased, each ship dipped her flag three times. A salute between ships is very pretty.

Played chess with Ollie and got checkmated. Went to bed on the strength of it. Think I will have to rub up my chess a little.

Sunday, Nov. 3rd
Fine breeze; all hands good-natured. See a great many flying fish. They jump up in all directions, and great big fish jump after them and catch them.

We expect to cross the line tomorrow or next day. Everybody is dressed up today. Seems to me we are an awfully heathenish set, but I don't see how we can help it. We are a little better than we seem to be though, after all, I guess. Have been out on the gallant forecastle. I think it is the pleasantest place on the ship. The gentlemen can go there when they like, but the ladies must not. Ollie or some of the rest take me forward though pretty often. Think I should like to take the carriage and horses this morning and drive out to Mr. Scott's Church. Wouldn't I like´it though?

Sunday night, 10 o'clock
A beautiful night. Nobody but me, who has enjoyed it, can conceive of the deliciousness of a night at sea in the tropics. No moon tonight, but such starlight! The north star and great bear have left us, but Orion still lingers. We shall see the Southern Cross soon. The air is so exhilarating, the motion of the ship so gentle, myriads of starfish shining and darting fathoms down in the clear blue water, our wake one long sheet of silver and dancing stars, the singing of the sailors, the picturesque groups on deck, the deep solemn stillness all around over the great world of waters, and our ship a little world by itself riding the bright waves like a living thing. I think a person ought to be good at sea if they can be good any place, instead of quarreling and keeping up such a fuss as we do. I think if I was out at sea alone in a little boat on such a still, balmy night as this, I would either die or go crazy in an hour from the effects of the dead stillness. For there is not a living thing to break the perfect stillness. I like it though here.

Pa is very good and indulgent. The sea air has strengthened his nerves. They don't either of them have any fault to find with me. I guess I am pretty good too. I guess Bell and I are both better girls with several thousand miles between us. She has Joe, who is the best girl in the world and quiet, sober, thoughtful Charlie for companions. And I have Ollie, who is wise, grave, prudent, proper, & precise and Pa to look after me; so I expect by the time we meet again, all the Old Boy will be taken out of us both; and we will be very proper, good girls.

Monday, Nov 4th
Crossed the line today at precisely 12 o'clock. Had a great time. Neptune came aboard with his wife, barber and servants, dressed in the most outlandish unheard of style and riding on the gun carriage, which was ornamented for the occasion. They shaved, shampooed and checked all the gentlemen. I was watching the fun with great delight, standing in a safe place, however, as I did not know but they might catch me. Presently the captain called me to examine the texture of Neptune's beard. I went over, and we were looking it it when suddenly about six buckets full of salt water came down over me from the deck above amid roars of laughter. I rushed for the cabin but could not get in. Then I started round the corner, hoping to escape by the quarter deck; but a bucket of water met me at every turn. I thought I was drowned and gave myself up for lost, when the captain came to the rescue; and I retreated to my stateroom with the water pouring off of me in streams; and my eyes, ears, and hair have been full of salt ever since. Pa & Uncle John got well ducked too, but shaved Harry. The cabin boy had so much tar put in his hair that he had to go and get it shaved close. It is a queer old custom, but everyone has to undergo it with good grace; the more resistance one makes, the more roughly he is handled. All hands look clean after it though. We are making five or six knots this morning.

Tuesday, Nov. 5th
Caught a bird this morning, a very pretty one, dove colored with a white head, long black bill and web footed. It came on board quite early in the morning. I was dressed but had not left my room. The doctor caught it, brought it down and seeing my door half open, threw it into my room. I was much surprised to see it of course, so we took a ribbon, wrote the name of the ship on it and date, tied it around its neck and let it go. It was like a duck and soon disappeared.

Wednesday, Nov. 6th
A fine breeze. Codfish day. If there is one thing that I do hate and detest more than another, it is codfish. We have it twice a week -- Wednesdays and Saturdays. If that is what Yankees live on, I am glad and thankful that I didn't go to New England this summer. I never taste it. I am sufficiently amused with the smell of it and don't desire a nearer acquaintance.

Broke my tumbler and have to drink out of a mug. Lost a bet which I made with Mr. De Silver in regard to a passage in Shakespeare and had to make him a necktie. Pa is very well and in good spirits. Ollie busy composing an ode. Captain & Mrs. Cooper in pretty good humor, Mrs. Ballard a little dry, her boy a regular nuisance, all the rest busy doing nothing but teasing me. I am amiable as could be expected under the circumstances.

Cut out and began a pair of drawers for Ollie today. Don't know when I'll finish them, haven't any idea. We are sailing nicely today; hope we will keep this wind for a while.

Thursday, Nov 7th
Feel sleepy and played out. Plagued the doctor. He declared he would not go to bed until I did, so I said I would go. Went to my stateroom and turned in. Doctor went to his; but no sooner had he got fairly established on his shelf, than I jumped up and came out in the cabin again. As soon as he heard me, he came out too. I went back again to bed then and so did he. But in a few minutes I slipped out again. Mrs. Ballard got to laughing, and in a few minutes the doctor's head poked out of his door, and he soon followed it. Pretty soon I wanted to go to sleep in good earnest, but he declared I shouldn't. So he and Mr. Craven set themselves to keep me awake. As soon as I turned in, one of them shut the door close; the other slipped out on deck and put up the dead light. Of course nobody could breathe in such an oven. But as fast as I would get up and open them, they would shut them again and drum on the wall. Mrs. Ballard would not take my part, but only laughed. And at last I was obliged to get up. I'll pay them well yet. It is most awfully hot!

Friday, Nov 8th
Somehow or other it is very dull today although we have a good wind. Played chess with Ollie and checkmated him three games out of five.

Saturday, Nov. 9th
Dreamed last night I went home. Mother was so glad to see me. Told them I was hungry, and Bell brought me a blackberry pie, and I ate so much that mother carried it off for fear I would be sick. Thought that Bell had been picking blackberries. Her hands were all stained; and as she held one side of the plate and I the other, she laid her hand beside mine and laughed at the contrast. It was a very vivid dream indeed. I woke up provoked that I had lost the blackberry pie. A little wind and sailing slowly.

Sunday, Nov. 10th
Our breeze still continues, but it is very warm. We are used to that though; in fact we are getting used to almost everything. Our sea biscuits are getting very lively. When we break a piece, half a dozen worms and bugs fall out. Find all manner of such things in the soup. It adds to the flavor though. When mine is brought to me, I never look at it until I have shaken the pepper box well over it. As long as I don't see it, I can eat it. We have some catsup which Mr. Craven says is manufactured in China out of roaches; nevertheless, it disappears fast. This morning at tiffin I was cutting up just a little when Pa called to me from his stateroom. I thought, "Now my time's come," but went in. He and Ollie were each on their shelf. I shook in my shoes, thinking that something was up. Pa asked me about something that happened last evening, which I explained satisfactorily; and that was all. Stayed in there an hour or two, talking about things in general and then left. When I passed through the cabin, it was deserted by all but Mr. Craven, who gave me a look of such consideration that I could hardly keep from laughing; but I walked soberly to my stateroom, went to bed, and did not get up until dinner time, at which time all the gentlemen were on their good behavior & gravity and so, of course, was I.

Had a gale night before last, which blew the fore top gallant sail all to ribbons; but we have got a new one up now. What wouldn't I give for a letter
rom home and today's paper.

Monday, Nov. 11th
Just done dinner. Have been rummaging over my trunk today and putting things to rights generally. Mrs. Ballard is in some trouble and has been treating me to an extra ditty. Between her and Mrs. Cooper I am teetotally disgusted. After I bid them both "good-bye" in Hong Kong, I don't want to see another woman until I get home and see my Mother, who is (thank heaven) an exception to women in general. I am disgusted with the sex. To be between a Yankee & an English woman, both selfish, deceitful, backbiting, mischief making, prying, peeping, and a dozen other things, is intolerable. I never heard anybody who had a tongue equal to Mrs. Ballard's. Mary Cook & Betty Jerdan are not a circumstance to her. Most fortunately for me, I have got into a habit of abstraction. Sometimes she talks to me for half an hour, and I don't hear a word she says. I think she is the most awkward person I ever saw. The gentlemen tremble when they see her start from the sofa to go to the other end of the cabin, draw up their feet and hold their breath and coat tails, as visions of upset chairs, overturned stools and trodden on toes float across their minds; and I have overheard some very irreverent remarks about "Madam" as they call her. As for me, when I am sitting quietly in my stateroom saying, "Now I'm at peace," and she walks in, shuts the door and sits down on a trunk, I quake equal only to Belshazzar of old. "Madame" seems to like me pretty well, and sometimes I have cause to regret it. Bell knows what an affectionate Yankee is. Heaven protect me from ever meeting with another.

Tuesday, Nov. 12th
Dead calm. I don't know what we should do if it wasn't for the magnificent nights: nothing visible but sea and sky and both flashing and sparkling. Have nearly finished two pair of drawers for Ollie. Did not know that there was a right and wrong side to the drilling and so made them partly right side out and partly wrong. Feel a little cheap about it. Hope he won't notice it.

Wednesday, Nov. 13th
Dead calm. Today we witnessed the phenomenon of the sun being in the zenith, straight overhead, so as to cast no shadow. The heat is intense, and folks fast losing their good humor. I sleep away the greater part of the time.

Thursday, Nov. 14th
Calm still continues. Very hot! Cannot think of doing anything but keep cool.

Friday, Nov. 14th
Dead calm. 69 days out and I am tired to death of everything and
everybody. Cod fish day. It is enough to make a cat laugh to see the long faces when the soup is removed and the cod fish brought on. Had a most indescribable dish for dessert today. When it was brought in, everybody laughed. Uncle John said it looked like a brick that had been drunk. Captain sent Harry (the cabin boy) out to ask the cook what it was. He sent in word that it was "four deck potato rapsodel with melodeon sauce." When the name was announced, it was greeted with most uproarious laughter; and there was a general "taking down" of it on paper. It was queer stuff, and the sauce was black as the ace of spades. I rather think we will all appreciate good living when we get it.

Oh, these abominable calms. I'm not in a good humor, I know. I'm tired to death of Mr. De Silver. He is around me so much and so ridiculously jealous. I'm provoked at Mr. Craven & the doctor, for they never let me alone. I do wish I could be dormant like the frogs all the rest of the voyage and never see any of them again.

Pa is well and sports a mustache. Ollie is restless for want of something to do. Seems to me I would like to launch one of the stewardess' washtubs with a couple of broomsticks for oars, get in it, and go ahead and tow this old ship along. I wonder if we are doomed to stay in this one spot forever. It looks like it now.