The Days of Bruce by Grace Aguilar

June 24th

Day before yesterday we passed Honolulu almost four in the afternoon. The day was lovely and as the Islands were in view quite early in the morning, I spent most of the day on deck, our awning affording a delightful shelter. We passed very near Honolulu, had a fine view in passing. I should like to have made a second visit to the place, but that was quite out of the question. On to China we must go as soon as possible. However, my eyes had a feast. All things looked even more beautiful than last year. We now being a month and a half earlier, the city really looked quite familiar, even to recognizing houses, and the valley back looked surpassingly beautiful. Last year I was sadly disappointed in the appearance of the coconut trees, this year most agreeably so. Last year I saw this tree for the first time. It was late in the season, August, and the foliage was most scanty. This year, full and luxuriant. Their tops had a beautiful feathery appearance. We had a fine view of these trees, they growing quite down to the water’s edge. This Island on which Honolulu is situated is striking and very beautiful in its appearance. Its volcanic nature is most manifest. A long line of mountains traverse the Island. Their ridges as jagged, ragged and sharp pointed as one can conceive. From the water’s edge extending up to this range of mountains is one continuous concession of beautiful valleys. Honolulu is situated on gentle rising ground. The town is large – extends for some distance along a semi-circular bay, and extending back in the beautiful valley. Hills, beautiful, verdant hills, rise up on all sides and an extinct volcano frowns on one end of the town. Lovely place, I would like much to spend a month with you and walk and ride through your beautiful valley and over your hills and spray beaten shores. That magnificent beach with its ever rolling waves and beautiful spray would be my early morning sunset and evening favorite.

We all enjoyed this beautiful Island view – my Williams more than anyone. His eyes scarce ever would turn from it. I believe we both had the thought that it might be our last view, for Williams speaks quite seriously of remaining home after this voyage. I think without a doubt he will, if this visit to China proves as successful as we hope. How very, very pleasant it will be to have a home and all our children with us.

Day before yesterday commenced a book of two volumes by Grace Aguilar “The Days of Bruce”; found it extremely interesting and very well written, much more so than any other work I have read of hers. It is of a higher order. Finished it this afternoon.

This afternoon Willie, papa and I had quite a frolic at hide-and-seek. Willie loves dearly to have his papa join in his plays. I was the one to hide and as papa was the one to help find, I sought out the best places our Cabin could afford. One proved so good that even Williams could not find me although he came into the room and stood within a foot of me three or four times. At last gave it up and turned Willie over to Mary, who, seeing me go into that room soon let Willie find me. Oh how my love for this bright and lovely boy grows and strengthens every day and how the sweet one returns it with the best love of his little affectionate heart. He does indeed love me with his whole heart, also his dear papa but notwithstanding all this he is a little perverse at times. He has always been very anxious to kiss his papa and have him put him in bed, both for his morning nap and at night. Lately he has been just as anxious to have him called, and busy as his father may sometimes be on deck, if it is a possible thing, he ever comes. But when he comes Willie will have nothing to do with him. “I don’t want to kiss papa”, and his father has to go away. At first he commenced it in play and would sometimes cry bitterly to have his father come back and kiss him. Now, until today, he seemed to think he must follow it up. Today he called his papa while he was in my Cabin and asked him if he would not “please kiss little Willie”. In a moment his father with his own beautiful smile was at his side and Willie’s arms were soon around his neck. This perverseness at times in Willie has really troubled me of late. I almost feared his father would not love him as dearly and for the last four or five days have punished him for refusing to kiss him morning and night when he acted thus.