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August 6 - 

The voyage across has been uneventful except for Bill's continued ill health. We had one day of rough weather, and many days of a heavy swell that kept the West Irmo rocking from side to side in a tiresome way. Everybody blamed it on the way the ship was loaded, with a great deal of manganese ore in the bottom. It should have been counter-balanced by the heavy mahogany logs on deck, but apparently wasn't. Pickles, sauce and jam slid regularly from the center of the dining table into our laps. The food has been nothing to brag about; the bread tastes of slightly moldy flour; the butter is a little rancid; the meat is stale and tough; the only fresh vegetables are potatoes and onions, and canned vegetables are running low; for the last three days there have been no eggs for breakfast; one's choice of vegetables for lunch or dinner is usually "potatoes, beans or spaghetti".

The Murdochs have been swell company, and Mr. Havey and Gus Gustafson have kept us well amused with their comments on life on the West Coast. Everybody is anxious to get home, and the high point of the day comes shortly after twelve noon when Smitty comes and posts the day's run - average, two hundred miles.

The colored passengers have kept pretty much to themselves, except Jo Walker, who is a very nice, well-brought-up, well educated boy, with a good sense of humor. The Reverends are chiefly noted for their enormous appetities; Rev. Peacock eats cake all through dinner, with salad, meat and dessert; Rev. Ricks gets up at 2 in the morning and eats sandwiches in the dining room in solitary gourmandcy.

Bill had no complaint against the food until after we left Dakar. Then he had a spell of dysentery, which he dosed with yatren, and has felt badly after since, with very little appetite and for the last three days considerable nausea. This morning he woke up with a violent pain his stomach, and we spent a worried and anxious day. About noon I asked the Captain what chance there was of getting a doctor out to the ship when we enter quarantine tonight, and he said it would be too late, and it meant too much red tape to get ahold of the proper authorities. Bill grew steadily worse all day however, and finally, when the pilot came aboard at nine o'clock, a letter was sent over to the pilot ship asking them to get word ashore. It was an hour and a half from there to quarantine, and when we dropped anchor we watched the shore anxiously for signs of a lunch coming out to the ship. A little after eleven we saw lights coming out toward us; as the launch grew closer the Fourth Officer haled it "Is that that doctor?" and the comforting reply came back that it was. He was the quarantine doctor, and he bundled Bill off in a Coast Guard Cutter to the Marine Hospital.

August 7 -

We docked at eight this morning, and never has the United States looked quite so good, so comforting and safe as it did today. The Davis and Shippens were on the dock, and as soon as they were within speaking distance they called up "Where's Doc?" I shouted back that he had gone ashore, which puzzled them considerably. Not until they were on board did I tell them that Bill was
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