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LAST CHAPTER IN GIRL'S FLIGHT FROM WAR
ESCAPES FROM STEERAGE TO STATEROOM
CHAPTER VI. ESCAPE FROM
By Louise Townsend Nicholl.
"There are two extra berths in my
room. Why not come and take
them?" an American girl told us.
"Why not, indeed," thought we.
Without further bother we went
below and got our bags and took
them over to the half-empty room
and made ourselves comfortable. It
was the first sleep we had had, and
even an uneasy conscience, which it
did not occur to me to have, could not
have kept me awake.
The, next morning I went to the
purser to pay, if I could. It cost $30,
and I had just that much, in Ameri
can money, for I had spent my last
English penny at Queenstown, send
ing it back with the tender for a cable
dispatch which, after all, was never
"What room is it?" asked the stew
ard, suspiciously. "I didn't know
there were any more empty places."
I told him and he said he would
send over for my bags.
"O, never mind." I said. "I brought
them over myself yesterday after
noon. You see I slept there last
night," I concluded, quite innocently.
And then the storm broke. The
man looked at me in horror and
"Do you mean to say you picked
up your things and walked out of
third into second?" he asked.
It seemed there is a sort of feeling
about third and second which I had
not known about.
"Why, young woman," he went on,
but rather weakly, "if you were a
man I would put you in irons."
He looked at me again and then
he began to laugh. He laughed on
and on and on. Several times he tried
to speak but couldn't Finally he
gasped: "Well, you American girls
jiave got me beat,"
And so I was out of steerage. But
I often used to go back and look down
into the pit where the emigrants
were, so stoical, so sea-sick, so silent,
excepting when they burst out into
their weird songs in the evening or
gathered together for some great test
For that was their best amuse
ment, to find out who was the strong
est man. There was a prizefighter
among them, and he fixed up all sorts
of matches between all kinds of
youths, and they boxed until the lip
of every contestant ran blood.
But there were always some so
apathetic that no fight nor song could
move them. They lay all day on the
canvas-covered platforms, sleeping or
gazing straight ahead of them, ex
cept when the meal-bell rang. All day
long the ships echoed with meal-bells,
for there were three sittings at both
the third and second-class tables, and
two at the first.
It was a strange trip. The weather
was rough and cold until the last
few days, when the long northern
route we took veered toward New
York. Then the sun came out for a
day or two, and things looked normal
Rumors were our daily fare. The
war news came in by wireless every
morning, and Walter's mother avoid
ed the hatless, white-haired man for
several hours after the ship's paper
was out For days it was customary
to fear being turned around and head
ed again for England. But when we
were half-way across, and this fear
could not longer be cherished, we
turned our dread towards Halifax,
where the hatless man, and his co
terie had premonitions of landing,
penniless and at midnight
When Halifax was safely passed we
were bound straight for Boston.
Feverish fingers traced the course on
the map in the gangway all day long:,
ana far into the night, and showed