The Days of Bruce by Grace Aguilar

June 28th

This morning before breakfast was on deck with Willie about an hour. It was a lovely morning but its loveliness was all lost on me. The latter half hour was a long and very disagreeable one. This was occasioned by the behavior of our first mate. He seems to think himself most wise, knowing better what is right and proper than his commanding officer. It is becoming worse and worse. Several times lately he has seemed fit to differ from my husband, objecting to his orders. I only wish Williams would get rid of him in China – at any rate if we take another voyage I shall most earnestly pray not to have him in the party.

Today made 171 miles. This is the third running that we have made this number. From present prospects it will be something more tomorrow. Finished the “Discarded Daughter” this afternoon. Gave Willie a new plaything – a squirrel with a nut in his paws. He was very much delighted – had it on deck for an hour drawing it about in his wagon.

While we were on deck after tea a barrel of rum was discovered among the Chinese. It was ordered on deck by the second mate and thrown overboard – much to the sorrow, no doubt, of the lovers of this fire water and to the manifest joy of the rest. It was quite a scene.

Enjoyed a pleasant walk and talk this evening with my husband. The evening was perfectly beautiful. Williams is sitting at my side reading “The Days of Bruce”. I shall be very glad indeed when he is able to read aloud again. He loves not to be read to, else I could most gladly read aloud. It is so forlorn not to be engaged in the same occupations. He has his and I have mine and it makes me feel lonely and not like myself. It is strange his ear is not well long before this. Its continuing in this state for so long a time makes me feel rather anxious.

Until this evening our ship has rolled comparatively very little but for the last hour and a half it has been rolling away as hard as ever. I tell Williams it is my night benefit. I have given up all hopes of a quiet undisturbed night. Willie cannot grow accustomed to this motion in his sleeping hours, it makes him very wakeful and very restless. Last evening I tried sleeping out in the Cabin thinking if Willie laid crosswise he would not feel the rolling so much. But, alas, I was glad enough about one or two o’clock to fix up my bed and lay the little one in it. He was waking and crying every five minutes. I shall enjoy with all my heart sleeping on shore again.

Now for our backgammon……