ACROSS THE ATLANTIC AND BACK.
LIFE ON AN OCEAN LINER.
HOW EMIGRANTS FARE.
(By our Travelling Commissioner)
A COLD MORNING AT LIME-STREET - THE R, J.S. "ADRIATIC" - GREAT INCREASE IN EMIGRATION - ALL SORTS AND CONDITIONS OF MEN - DOWN BELOW - ARRANGEMENTS FOR BERTHING - PARTINGS - PASSING THE DOCTOR - LIFEBOAT DRILL - ON OUR WAY - THE PILOT - FLOOD ON BOARD - THE SHIP'S FIDDLES.
At twenty minutes past seven one cold, gloomy-looking morning in this present year of 1888, I found myself on a platform at Lime-street Station, Liverpool, in company with about as mixed a crowd of people as it has ever been my lot to be among. It is said a fellow-feeling makes us wondrous kind, but I doubt it. On this occasion, at all events, the fellow-feeling made those in possession of it anything but amiable.
Everyone looked cold and cross and bothered - the weather accounted for the first, the early and probably hurried breakfast for the second, and the absence of an interpreter for the third.
We - that is, I and the crowd - were starting on our journey across the Atlantic, the first stage being by special train from Lime-street to the Alexandra Dock, where the White Star liner, the "Adriatic" was berthed, ,and where she was taking her passengers on board. The platform is strewed with boxes, bedding, tins and other impediments peculiar to the emigrant, and everything seems in a state of chaos, notwithstanding the fact that our train is timed to leave at 7-30 and that it is now 7-25.
However, the entrance on the scene of a tall, genial-looking man, who seemed vested with some considerable amount of authority, soon resulted in things being put to rights. The passengers, instiinctively recognising a leader, took their seats quickly, luggage was quickly got in the vans, doors were shut, and thirty seconds, only, behind time, we were off. Barely had we got out of the station when from a neighbouring carriage were the words:
To the West, to the West, to the land of the free.
Were mighty Missouri rolls down to the sea.
rolled out in a rich, deep bass that would have amply repaid its possessor for a little cultivation.
Sitting opposite to me was the gentleman who had so quickly put things straight on the platform, and who I discovered was MR. DEWAR, the official having charge of the arrangements for berthing the steerage passengers on the White Star Line.
"Don't seem to feel leaving the old country much," I remarked.
"Not at all. You would be astonished how cheerful the majority of people are over what must naturally be a very severe wrench. They seem, many of them, rather glad to get away than not," was the reply.
......(To be continued on Saturday)......