I stared up at the great ship before me, the Titanic. They’d called it the unsinkable, the greatest ship ever built, and incredibly, I’d be traveling on it to America. I could hardly take in the thought. What was more, this would be its maiden voyage, which made the whole thing twice as incredible.
“Impressive, isn’t she, miss?”
I turned to see a wealthy-looking gentleman standing behind me. He wore a black top hat and overcoat, and had a round, rather reddish face. I nodded, trying to hide my embarrassment at being caught staring. For a moment, I wondered where I’d seen the gentleman before, but then I shook it off and answered his question. “Indeed, sir. Will you be traveling on her as well?”
He nodded. “I shall. But I have not introduced myself. I am Richard Barstable.”
I frowned slightly, my brown eyes sparking with hidden anger. I knew the name all too well. Mr. Barstable had been employing my father when he was killed. I had always blamed him for what had happened. Still, I hid this. “I’m pleased to meet you, sir. I’m Elisabeth Smithson.”
Mr. Barstable nodded thoughtfully. “The pleasure is mine, I’m sure. Smithson, you said? Where do I know that name?”
I swallowed hard. “My father, perhaps? William Smithson? He worked for you.” I bit back tears, remembering how Father had been killed after falling from the roof of a building on Mr. Barstable’s property where he’d been repairing the roof. Mother had died soon afterwards, leaving me on my own at the age of seventeen. Now, three years later, I had finally earned passage to America so I could leave these memories behind.
Mr. Barstable nodded. “Ah, yes. Your father. A good man. I am quite sorry, miss.”
I nodded, not quite sure how to respond. Finally, I picked up my bag and turned towards the ship. “I need to get on board, sir.”
“Of course. Perhaps I will see you on our voyage?”
“Perhaps. Good day, sir.” I hurried away, hoping that I never saw Mr. Barstable again.
The voyage went smoothly for the first few days. My 3rd-class compartment, though very small and a bit cramped, was enough to suit my needs. I saw Mr. Barstable once or twice, but it was always from a distance, and I slowly began to forget my anger towards him once more.
What will next? You'll have to wait until Thursday to find out! Thank you for reading and for your patience.