APRIL 13th, 1912/MORNING POST
Friends, I spent this morning visiting with Captain Smith and several crew members as they discussed our route. The Titanic is well out in the Atlantic now, and running at 21 knots. By noon today we will have covered 805 miles. Because of warnings regarding icebergs, our safety-conscious captain has decided to take a southerly route for the purpose of steering clear of the icy monsters. Let me assure you, this will not slow down our voyage. We will continue to move forward at a comfortable but safe rate of speed. Here on the Titanic we are all about the safety and comfort of our passengers.
We do expect temperatures to be a bit on the chilly side over the next couple of days, so keep that in mind as you head out to the decks. Ladies, this would be a wonderful time to show off those furs and stoles. I plan to wear a luscious fur-lined coat this evening at dinner. The coat was loaned to me by a good friend, (Mrs. Patterson) who insisted I wear it while onboard the ship. Iris is beside herself, as she thinks it’s not fashionable enough. By now, you’ve probably guessed that Iris cares far too much about where I go, what I do, and what I wear. I suppose that’s a story for another day.
If you find yourself too chilly, don’t forget our heated pool and Turkish baths. They will provide you with all the warmth you could need. I understand the card games have gotten rather heated, as well. Then again, that might have something to do with the fact that half a dozen well-known gamblers are onboard. (Cool down, fellas! Take a stroll on the boat deck if things get too fired up.)
Speaking of things getting fired up, let me offer a side note: I know that many of you have heard the story of John Coffey, one of our stokers who jumped ship back in Queenstown. I’ve heard the rumors that he had a “strange sense of foreboding” about this trip. I, for one, place no stock in such things and hope you don’t, either. We wish Mr. Coffey well, but feel his concerns were exaggerated, at best.
That’s it for this morning, folks. Why not post pictures of the coats you plan to wear? I know that many of you can’t wait to don your favorite stole!
APRIL 13th, 1912/AFTERNOON POST
I met the loveliest young women this afternoon while strolling the Promenade Deck. Her name is Jessie Leitch, and she is the niece of a very kindly man named John Harper, a reverend from London. Jessie filled my ears with stories about her uncle. I dare say, she’s very proud of him, and of his little daughter, Nina, who is only six. Poor little Nina lost her mother some time ago, so Jessie serves as the child’s governess and seems quite content to do so.
Jessie’s uncle, Rev. Harper, is pastor of the Walworth Road Baptist Church in London. According to Jessie, he has been engaged to fill the Moody Church pulpit in Chicago, Illinois. Jessie is terribly excited about this move and can hardly wait to get to Chicago. I have heard of Chicago, of course, but have never been there. (Isn’t that the town that caught fire a few years ago? I want to steer as far away from the disaster zone as possible, thank you very much!)
Jessie shared the most interesting story about her uncle. He has had multiple near-drowning incidents in his life! Once, when he was a toddler (he nearly drowned when he fell into a well, but was resuscitated by his mother). Again, in his mid-twenties, he was swept out to sea by a reverse current and barely survived. And again, at thirty-two, he faced death on a leaking ship in the Mediterranean. My goodness. . .the man is unsinkable. (A good fellow to have around on a ship, I dare say!)
Then again, Jessie insists that has more to do with his faith. I’m not so sure. Hard as I try to believe in such things, I still find it difficult. Perhaps, in time, Jessie will win me over to her way of thinking.
Have you met any of the ministers while onboard? Which ones have caught your interest? Feel free to share.
Side note: I tried to talk Reverend Harper into singing a hymn at our talent show, but, alas, he could not be persuaded.
APRIL 13th, 1912/EVENING POST
Friends, I’ve just spoken with Captain Smith, who has asked me to let you know about tomorrow morning’s Sunday services here aboard the Titanic. He plans to preside over a Church of England service in the First Class dining saloon. In the second class dining saloon a similar service will be held by assistant purser, Reginald Barker. Father Thomas Byles will conduct a Catholic Mass in the Second Class lounge, (followed by another for steerage passengers).
I cannot say with any assurance that you will find me in any of those services, however. As much as I want to believe that the Almighty has a hand in my journey, my faith—what little there is of it—wavers. If you knew, truly knew, all that I have been through, all I have been asked to sacrifice, you would understand. At least, I think you would. When I spoke with Jessie Leitch earlier this afternoon, she seemed interested in my journey and promised to pray for me. I have no doubt she is doing so, even now.
Many of you I have grown to love and trust over the past few days and will, I feel sure, want to speak with me personally about my faith journey, as well. Perhaps you can somehow convince me that I should not only attend one of tomorrow’s services, but open myself up to the possibility that God cares about my situation. Right now, I’m simply not sure. If approached with great care, I might be won over. Who knows. Right now I simply know that the ache inside of me grows too hard to bear at times. I cover it up with fun-loving activities, but the real me—the one nobody sees—wonders if her much-anticipated life in New York will be just as empty as the one she left behind in England.
Much to ponder as my head hits the pillow. Goodnight, all.