Poor Relations

THERE was nothing to distinguish the departure of the Murmania from that of any other big liner leaving New York in October for Liverpool or Southampton. At the crowded gangways there was the usual rain of ultimate kisses, from the quayside the usual gale of speeding handkerchiefs. Ladies in blanket-coats handed over to the arrangement of their table-stewards the expensive bouquets presented by friends who, as the case might be, had been glad or sorry to see them go. Middle-aged gentlemen, who were probably not at all conspicuous on shore, at once made their appearance in caps that they might have felt shy about wearing even during their university prime. Children in the first confusion... alles anzeigen expand_more
THERE was nothing to distinguish the departure of the Murmania from that of any other big liner leaving New York in October for Liverpool or Southampton. At the crowded gangways there was the usual rain of ultimate kisses, from the quayside the usual gale of speeding handkerchiefs. Ladies in blanket-coats handed over to the arrangement of their table-stewards the expensive bouquets presented by friends who, as the case might be, had been glad or sorry to see them go. Middle-aged gentlemen, who were probably not at all conspicuous on shore, at once made their appearance in caps that they might have felt shy about wearing even during their university prime. Children in the first confusion of settling down ate more chocolates from the gift boxes lying about the cabins than they were likely to be given (or perhaps to want) for some time. Two young women with fresh complexions, short skirts, tam o' shanters, brightly colored jumpers, and big bows to their shoes were already on familiar terms with one of the junior ship's officers, and their laughter (which would soon become one of those unending oceanic accompaniments that make land so pleasant again) was already competing with the noise of the crew. Everybody boasted aloud that they fed you really well on the Murmania, and hoped silently that perhaps the sense of being imprisoned in a decaying hot-water bottle (or whatever more or less apt comparison was invented to suggest atmosphere below decks) would pass away in the fresh Atlantic breezes. Indeed it might be said, except in the case of a few ivory-faced ladies already lying back with the professional aloofness of those who are a prey to chronic headaches, that outwardly optimism was rampant... weniger anzeigen expand_less
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