Aboard Linan

Tuesday, September 10, 1929

The coast kept its same rugged, barren aspect and we rolled by, often between two green hilly islands, perhaps supporting a white lighthouse high up above the sea. The Dutch boat which left Amoy a couple days after we did and on which Jean’s mother was, crawled up on us all day long as we closed in on a Chinese ship ahead of us.

A glass of water through Jean’s porthole helped her turn out for tiffin. Just before dark a small light was sighted on the surface of the water two hundred yards off. We veered in our course, but after the skipper had had a look through his glasses, we went on. It happened that at this time we were a mile or so ahead of the other two ships. Some three miles in front was a P.&O. steamer which had stopped and had up a distress or accident signal. More than likely there was a man overboard for the light was attached to a lifebuoy—a magnesium compound of some sort that flames up in water.

After dinner the moon came up, or was up over the hills and a liquid surface of shimmering gold, soon to be turned to silver as the night deepened.  The Dutch boat followed up the path and passed in the moonlight, its lights making a pretty picture. Went to bed early—at nine or ten.

Harold pulled the rods out of the deck chairs and I got big-hearted and put cushions under the chairs to ease the surprise. First Mr. Putnam, the Consul, flopped in a chair and kept on going down to the deck. Soon the Capt. came along and seeing the cushion under the chair, pulled it out, then sat down. Just helped himself to a harder fall. Canvas seat and the Captain’s seat hit the deck with a thud. All laughed till the ribs hurt. The Capt. has been a peach—full of fun and the devil. He is quite an amateur photographer and artist. Showed me his work in enlarging and some blamed good pen sketches of Chinese junks, etc. These latter are rickety enough, but at the same time those big sails are really graceful. The mates are all young and fun-loving. Everybody’s happy—I suppose even the three painful sisters who whisper and even try to conceal a smile when a good Scotch joke is cracked.

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