On Tuesday morning, when
Mrs. Morelle and her party arrived at Boston, they learned from an
advertisement in the newspaper that they must he on hoard the next
morning at eight o'clock, as the steamer was to sail at nine.
“I am glad of tha"' said Grimkie; “for now the sooner we are off the
better." Only he added, after a moment's pause, “we shall not have a
chance .to change the rest of our money.''
“True" said Mrs. Morelle; “and I think I shall have nearly forty dollars
over, after I have paid the bill at the hotel."
“That would get us eight sovereigns more," said Grimkie.
“I don't know what I shall do with that money," said Mrs. Morelle. “It
is in bank bills, which will be of no use in England, and it will make
me considerable trouble to carry them with me all the time of my tour."
“Perhaps we might get five-dollar gold pieces with the money her# at the
hotel," said Grimkie, “and that would be much better than to carry the
bills, for we can sell the gold pieces in Liverpool to the brokers
there, for nearly as much as they are worth.”
“That will be the best thing that we can do,” said Mrs. Morelle.
So Grimkie took the money and went to the bar of the hotel, and the
barkeeper said he could change it into gold just as well as not. He
accordingly gave Grimkie eight half-eagles, and Grimkie, after wrapping
them up carefully in a paper by themselves, put them into the top of his
money bag, with the rest of the coin, and then put the whole carefully
away in his aunt's trunk.
The next morning, at half-past-seven, a coach which Grimkie had ordered
the night before, came to the private door of the Tremont House, in
Tremont Place, and took the whole party in, with their luggage, and
conveyed them to East Boston, where the steamer was lying.
As soon as they arrived upon the pier, they found themselves in the
midst of a scene of great bustle and excitement.
Carriages were arriving in rapid succession, bringing passengers to the
ship. Piles of trunks and carpet-bags were lying upon the pier, and a
line of sailorlike-looking men were engaged in taking them on hoard. As
soon as Grimkie’s baggage—for from this time he called it all his, since
he had now the exclusive charge of it—was set down, Grimkie paid the
fare, and the coachman, mounting upon the box, wheeled his carriage
round, and drove away. Very soon one of the porters from the ship came
and took up one of the trunks to carry it on board.
“Johnnie," said Grimkie, “you go with Aunt and Florence on board, after
this man, and see where he puts this trunk, and then come back here.
I'll stay in the meantime, and watch the rest."
So John led the way in following the porter over the plank, while his
mother and Florence followed him; As soon as he got on board, he saw the
porter put down the trunk in a sort of open space in the middle of the
deck, with a great many others, and in a moment afterward several more
were piled up upon it and around it, so that it rapidly disappeared from
John found a place near by where Mrs. Morelle could stand, a little out
of the way of the crowd, and then immediately hastened back over the
plank to where he had left Grimkie on the pier.
“Grimkie," said he, “they have covered our trunk all up with fifty
others, and I don’t see how we shall ever get it again.”
“Never mind," said Grimkie; “we'll wait and see how the other passengers
Just at this moment some porters came and took up the two remaining
trunks, and heaving them up upon their shoulders, began to walk with
them on board. Grimkie and John followed, bringing with them the valise
and several other similar things. When they arrived on board they saw
the two trunks deposited with the other baggage, and where they soon
began rapidly to disappear from view.
“Now," said Grimkie, “we will go down and put the valise in our
The deck and all the passages leading below, were crowded with people
going and coming. A large proportion of these people were friends of the
passengers, who had come to accompany them on board, in order to see the
ship and the state-rooms which their friends were to occupy. Grimkie led
the way through this crowd, working forward slowly, as well as he could,
and followed by the rest of his party. Indeed there were two lines of
people moving in contrary directions, and Grimkie supposed that by
following the one that was going on, he should sooner or later find his
He was right in this calculation. He was soon conducted to a door which
led into a narrow but very elegant passage-way. In the middle of this
passage-way was a door to the right, leading into a magnificent saloon,
with a walk up and down the middle of it, and rows of long tables on
each side. The aspect of this room was very brilliant, but Grimkie had
only time to glance at it, for opposite to it, on the other side of the
passage-way were three other openings, the center one opening into a
most spacious and elegant china closet, and each of the two side ones
leading down a flight of winding stairs, with very bright brass
hand-rails on the sides to take hold of in descending.
On reaching the foot of the stair-case, the party entered a bewildering
mass of passages and open spaces, all elegantly finished, with highly
polished woods, and handsomely carpeted, and lighted moreover with
strangely placed skylights and panes of glass placed in rows near the
ceiling. Grimkie thought that he knew from the plan exactly where to
look for his aunt's state-room, but he found himself completely
bewildered and lost. There were various stateroom doors opening all
around him. He went into one or two of them and looked at the numbers
inscribed upon the berths, but they were not the right ones. .
At length he met a very respectable middle aged woman, who seemed to
belong on board. She was in fact the stewardess. Grimkie asked her if
she would show him state-room number twenty-three and twenty-four.
“Ah yes,” said she, “with a great deal of pleasure. This is it. It is
one of the three best state-rooms in the ship.”
Grimkie stood back and allowed his aunt to go into the state-room first,
and then the other children and finally he himself, followed.
The state-room was in size like what in a house on land would be called
a large closet, being about seven feet wide and eight feet long. Across
the end of it, and against the side of the ship, were two berths one
above another, with pretty curtains before them, and a space underneath
the lowermost berth, where trunks might be placed. Along one of the
sides there extended a wide settee, covered with a hair-cloth cushion,
and on the other side two wash-stands in the two corners, with a short
and narrow seat, also covered with a haircloth cushion, between them.
There was a looking-glass over the settee, and various little shelves,
with ledges upon the outer edge of them, to prevent the things from
rolling off in a heavy sea. There were also sundry large brass pins for
hanging cloaks and dresses upon, and brass rings projecting from the
walls in the corners to put tumblers into.
Opening into the upper berth was a small, round window, deep set in the
thickness of the ship's side, and there was also a very thick piece of
glass, of prismatic shape, set in the deck above, making a sort of
window there, six inches by three. Over the door, too, and extending
along the whole of that side of the state-room, was a row of panes of
glass, which admitted light from the passage-way, and from other panes
set in mysterious recesses above.
Mrs. Morelle as soon as she had entered the state-room, drew back the
curtain of the lower berth, and laid her shawl and her parasol upon the
bed, while Grimkie placed the valise under the little seat between the
two wash-stands. Mrs. Morelle then sat down upon the settee and looked
around to take a survey of the place, and then at the sky-light, above.
At the same time she drew a long breath and said,
“Ah me! This is rather a small cell to be shut up in as a prisoner for
“Oh mother!” exclaimed Florence, “we shall not be shut up here. We can
go about all over the ship."
“You children will do that,” said Mrs. Morelle, “but I shall be shut up
here. I shall be sick.”
“But mother you will not be sick all the voyage" said Florence.
“Perhaps not" said she. “I am sure I shall not be very sick, all the
voyage. After a day or two I shall be only comfortably sick, and you
will all be perfectly well I am quite sure, and can run about wherever
Then rising from her seat she said,
“But I need not begin my imprisonment yet. Let us go up on deck and see
the people come on board.”
So they all left the state-room, and making their way through the crowd
as well as they could, they went up to the upper deck, where they found
a great number of ladies and gentlemen assembled in various groups—some
standing and others sitting upon settees and camp-stools, while the
pier, which was here in full view, was crowded with other parties coming
and going, and with porters bringing more trunks and baggage on board.
Grimkie found seats for his party, and they all sat down. They remained
in these places an hour, amusing themselves with the extraordinary
spectacle which was exhibiting itself around them.
As the time drew nigh, for the sailing of the ship, the excitement of
the scene was increased by the steam which having now been raised in the
boilers to its full tension, and not yet being allowed to expend its
energies in turning the paddles, made its escape through the waste-pipe
with a thundering roar which made it almost impossible for the friends
who were taking leave of each other to hear the parting word. From time
to time the bell was rung, loud and rapidly, to warn those who were only
on board as visitors to go on shore. A long and crowded procession of
these visitors poured over the bridge to the pier, and when all were
gone the bridge itself was raised, and hoisted to the shore, by a vast
tackle and fall. The noise of the steam now suddenly ceased. The hawsers
at the bow and at the stem were cast off, the paddle-wheels commenced
their motion, and the ship began slowly to move away from the pier. A
moment afterward two guns were fired one after another from the bows of
the ship, with a deafening sound. The passengers standing along the
hand-railing of the upper deck waved their hats and handkerchiefs to
their friends who thronged the pier, and who waved their hats arid
handkerchiefs in return. Many of them were in tears. Mrs. Morelle
herself might have experienced some misgivings and have felt a little
homesick and gad, at parting thus from her native land, and setting out
upon so long a voyage with only three children, as it were, for her
companions,— but she was going to meet her husband; and when a wife is
going to meet a husband that she loves, or a mother to her son, she
rarely experiences any misgiving. Her heart reposes with so much
confidence and hope, upon the end of her journey, that she seldom
shrinks very much from any thing to be encountered on the way.