Sections of the diary:

5 ~ Week 2 on the Dakota - no land in sight

September 29, 1905 ~ Friday
Cold and damp as usual. Not many out on deck. It is no pleasure to go out when you have to bundle up so to keep from freezing. We passed through a school of porpoises last evening. Will saw them but as we were below we missed them. They followed the ship for an hour or so. I would be outside much more if it were not for the babies. It is too cold for them and I do not like to leave them very long at a time.

Everything on the ship is bum lately. The meals are simply awful. I am really hungry for something good again. The steward is known as Mutt Medley because he serves so much mutton. He is drunk half the time and is always quarreling with the 2nd steward.

September 30, 1905 ~ Saturday
Still cold and disagreeable. The dining room is our loafing place. Dorothy's teeth are bothering her and she is so cross. Marjorie is having a splendid time. The first officer Mr. Barrison has taken a fancy to her. She calls him the big man and he surely is a big fellow. Seven of the officers eat in our dining room and as they don't have a very strenuous life of it they stop to play with the children. The 4th officer, Mr. Smith, teases Marcise all the time, while they all seem to like Dorothy. Mr. Piles, the 3rd Freight Officer, is known as the man who can't hold a job. One young fellow looks so much like Storm Chapman. Mr. and Mrs. Nelis have joined our crowd in the dining room and have some great times. They have traveled a great deal and are interesting company. Mr. Nelis spent the spring in California then came to the Fair at Portland, then to her brother's at Seattle. She did not know until the night before she sailed that she was coming, but expected to start for NY instead. They were married a year ago last April but have not been together very much. Something like our own experience only Mr. Nelis had a good job all the time. He is erecting engineer at the Sterling Boiler Co. and I imagine gets a pretty good salary. I like her so much, she is so quiet and prim in her ways, so different from Mrs. Wilson who seems to think dress is the most important part of a woman's life.

I sent some clothes to the laundry and almost tumbled over when I got the bill - $3.30 for thirty pieces. One of the hats that blew over in the storm Monday was found lodged on the place at the side of the ship where the quartermaster stands when sounding the depth of the water.

October 1, 1905 ~ Sunday

Foggy and cold this morning. There is church upstairs but none of us care to go up. They are too exclusive to suit me. One of the missionaries is taking over a phonograph with full set of records to assist him in his missionary work. Wish I had some of the money he has spent in his tour around the world and to think that the poor suckers at home are paying for it all. No foreign missions for me. My money stays home.

A Japanese man died in steerage last night and is to be buried at sea sometime this evening. The fact is kept very quiet as they do not want the passengers to know about it. The poor fellow's story is a pathetic one. He has been sick for some time with consumption and was going home to die. No friends or relatives were with him and all the attention he received was from some of the men on board. His mother was to have met him in Yokohama. No one knew when he died. One of the boys went down to see if he could get him anything for breakfast and found him dead in his berth.

The only way we tell it is Sunday, we have chicken for dinner and every one puts on their Sunday clothes. Mrs. Nelis dresses very plainly but Mrs. Wilson wears some flashy clothes. She dresses Marcise much better than I do my babies, but then she only has one while I have two to provide for. She or rather Yei keeps Marcise's hair curled up in rags every night. I tried it for a few days but Marjorie says she likes braids best because they don't pull.

I have started to write letters home and write some every day. There is not much to write about each day. We have not seen a ship since we left Seattle. They say the captain stays just as far from every other ship as he can. We have never seen him down in 2nd Cabin. He is a "Dutcher" and draws the color line very closely. Mr. Roberts, superior officer, is all right. He is always joking. The crew, with one or two exceptions, seems very pleasant. The chief engineer is in the room next to us. He has a parrot that keeps life interesting. Every day the children want to go see Polly.

After dinner we left the children with Yei and went up on deck. At seven o'clock the man who had died was thrown overboard. There was no impressive service such as you read about but everything was hurried through with. The body was dressed and put in a wooden coffin, weighted with scrap iron. A Japanese flag was draped over the coffin. Chinese deck hands carried the coffin to where a part of the rail had been removed. There a slide made of a plank raised at one end had been placed and at a word from the commanding officer the coffin was placed on this and slid into the sea. Not a dozen words were spoken. No burial service was read although there were a number of ministers aboard. No taps were sounded, no volley fired but silently and quickly he was sent to his last resting place. Only a few passengers were present. It had a very depressing effect on us who were there. We learned that there were no metal caskets on board and a white person would be treated the same way if he should die on board the Dakota. The captain had not increased his popularity any by what he had done. We are only about three days from Japan and everyone felt that it would have shown much better spirit to have carried the body home so that the poor fellow's friends could have given it decent burial.

There is a Chinaman upstairs who has been in America for 27 years and is going home to take charge of the new railroad being built at Canton. He is to get a salary of $1000. Mex a month. Mrs. Wilson says that is not very much but it sounds big to me. Mrs. Lee, his wife is a German woman and is very nice, is well educated and a refined woman in every way. They have three children that look like Americans rather than Chinese. The little girl is a little beauty. She is five next Xmas, has the most beautiful eyes and olive complexion. I just fell in love with her. They all wear European costumes of course and seem like a very nice family. 


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