March 18th

A beautifully clear day but the same disagreeable head sea. I went upstairs a little while ago to see a ship we were passing. When I went up she was abreast, but very soon we left her far behind – and thus it has been with every ship we ever sailed with.

The water looks beautifully blue, and the white crests with their beautiful spray dazzling in the sun. For the three of four last days we have had many birds constantly flying around our ship. They are pleasant company. I love to see them. This morning we had in the Cabin a butterfly for a visitor. Willie had just time to see it when it disappeared among our confusion of trunks and was seen no more. Oh, how glad I shall be to arrive at San Francisco if it is for nothing else than to reduce things to some order. I cannot feel comfortable or settled with things piled up in such disorder.

Colin now has the only place we had to put things in, and the boy is determined not to feel well enough to take his sailor berth again. He seems to have a perfect horror of again going out there, and if we remark on his improvement, he is sure to feel much worse the next day. Williams said a long time ago that the boy was playing sick in great part and making himself out much more weak than he really was. At first I could not think so, it seemed to be wronging the poor boy, but for the last two weeks I have perfectly agreed with Williams. I have watched the boy very closely when he had no idea my eyes were upon him. He is a different child when he thinks he is unnoticed. Williams made up his mind some time ago that it would not do to let things go forward, but I cannot get him to tell the child so. Colin has once or twice asked me if the Captain would not take him as far as San Francisco as a passenger and then let him return home. I must urge him on, for then the boy will have no inducement to act otherwise than as he feels.

The days that Mary washed and ironed, I washed and dressed Willie and put him to sleep. He was delighted, for I have always washed him myself, and indeed done for him almost everything, till Mary came to me. This morning the little fellow begged so hard for dear Mama to wash him that I could not resist. Willie is the most affectionate little creature imaginable. He does love his Papa and Mama dearly and he would love to have them do everything for him. He is a good little darling and constantly improving in every way.