Both my child and I
were seasick all the way, and the voyage lasted sixteen days. Our
misery was very great.
The passengers were few in number, only a couple of Mexican
miners who had been prospecting, an irritable old Mexican woman,
and a German doctor, who was agreeable but elusive.
The old Mexican woman sat on the deck all day, with her back
against the stateroom door; she was a picturesque and indolent
There was no diversion, no variety; my little boy required
constant care and watching. The days seemed endless. Everbody
bought great bunches of green bananas at the ports in Mexico,
where we stopped for passengers.
The old woman was irritable, and one day when she saw the
agreeable German doctor pulling bananas from the bunch which she
had hung in the sun to ripen, she got up muttering "Carramba,"
and shaking her fist in his face. He appeased her wrath by
offering her, in the most fluent Spanish, some from his own bunch
when they should be ripe.
Such were my surroundings on the old "Newbern." The German
doctor was interesting, and I loved to talk with him, on days
when I was not seasick, and to read the letters which he had
received from his family, who were living on their Rittergut (or
landed estates) in Prussia.