February 28th

Another fine day, good wind all day. We are now about six hundred miles from the equator – gained two hundred and four miles today.

Williams feels much better, for this I am rejoiced. Willie quite well – full of fun and frolic. Williams thinks I give too much of my time to poor little sick Colin Campbell, and in consequence neglect my Willie boy. I read one of the Arabian Night’s Tales, or rather part of a long one, to the poor child this morning. He was suffering sadly from pains in his chest and side, also from a headache, and looked so sad and lonely that from my heart I pitied him. Was glad to be able to read and so afford him any amusement. I also played three games of chess with him early this morning and found him a much better player than myself. This is all I have done for him this day, except talking to him occasionally for a few moments. I hardly think, as Williams fears, that my Willie boy’s love will be weaned from me.

This evening, and indeed every evening lately, I played backgammon for about an hour with Williams and afterwards a few games of cards. For a wonder I kept awake. I don’t know why it is, but cards almost invariably put me to sleep. Let me be ever so wide awake when I commence, soon my eyelids began to feel wondrous heavy and my head will nod. I love this not. I used to like a game well enough occasionally, but have had so much of them ever since being at sea that their sight almost makes me sick.