AS SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT TO IRELAND
by Margaret Dixon McDougall
A TOUR THROUGH IRELAND
OFF - EXPERIENCES IN A PULLMAN CAR - HOARDING THE "ONTARIO" - THE CAPTAIN -
THE SEA AND SEA-SICKNESS - IMAGININGS IN THE STORM - LANDING AT
On January 27th I bade good-bye to my friends and set my face resolutely
towards the land whither I had desired to return. Knowing that sickness
and unrest were before me, I formed an almost cast-iron resolution, as
Samantha would say, to have one good night's rest on that Pulman car
before setting out on the raging seas. Alas! a person would persist in
floating about, coming occasionally to fumble in my belongings in the
upper berth. Prepared to get nervous. Before it came to that, I sat up
and enquired if the individual had lost anything, when he disappeared.
Lay down and passed another resolution. Some who were sitting up began
to smoke, and the fumes of tobacco floated in behind the curtains, clung
there and filled all the space and murdered sleep. Watched the heavy
dark shelf above, stared at the cool white snow outside, wished that all
smokers were exiled to Virginia or Cuba, or that they were compelled to
breathe up their own smoke, until the morning broke cold and foggy.
Emerged from behind the curtains, and blessed the man who invented cold
water. Too much disturbed by the last night's dose of second-hand smoke
for breakfast at Island Pond. The moist-looking colored gentleman who
was porter, turned back to Montreal before we reached Portland. I
strongly suspect that a friend had privately presented him with a fee to
make him attentive to one of the passengers, for he came twice with the
most minute directions for finding the Dominion Line office, at
Portland. Still his conscience was unsatisfied, for finally he came with
the offer of a tumbler full of something he called pure apple juice.
There are some proud Caucasians who would not have found it so difficult
to square a small matter like that with their consciences.
It was pleasant to look at the comfortable homes on the line as we
passed along. Not one squalid looking homestead did we pass; every one
such as a man might be proud to own. All honor to the State of Maine.
The train was three hours late - it was afternoon when we arrived in
Portland. Following the directions of my colored friend, I went up an
extremely dirty stair into a very dirty office, found an innocent young
man smoking a cigar. He did not know anything, you know, so sat grimly
down to wait for the arrival of some one who did. Such a one soon
appeared and took a comprehensive glance of the passenger as he took off
"Passenger for the 'Ontario,'" explained the innocent young man.
"Take the passenger over to the ship," said the energetic one,