Physicians, surgeons, and
dentists offered in large numbers to come along, and, like all the
professional men, offered to come without pay, to serve in any
capacity, and to pay, even, for the privilege of so serving.
There was no end of compositors and reporters who wanted to come, to
say nothing of experienced valets, chefs, and stewards. Civil
engineers were keen on the voyage; "lady" companions galore cropped
up for Charmian; while I was deluged with the applications of would-
be private secretaries. Many high school and university students
yearned for the voyage, and every trade in the working class
developed a few applicants, the machinists, electricians, and
engineers being especially strong on the trip. I was surprised at
the number, who, in musty law offices, heard the call of adventure;
and I was more than surprised by the number of elderly and retired
sea captains who were still thralls to the sea. Several young
fellows, with millions coming to them later on, were wild for the
adventure, as were also several county superintendents of schools.
Fathers and sons wanted to come, and many men with their wives, to
say nothing of the young woman stenographer who wrote: "Write
immediately if you need me. I shall bring my typewriter on the
first train." But the best of all is the following - observe the
delicate way in which he worked in his wife: "I thought I would
drop you a line of inquiry as to the possibility of making the trip
with you, am 24 years of age, married and broke, and a trip of that
kind would be just what we are looking for."
Come to think of it, for the average man it must be fairly difficult
to write an honest letter of self-recommendation.
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