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A New Home The Begining

By: TAnnaKirk
TAnnaKirk's Profile

Age: not specified
Sex: not specified
Location: not specified

Other Passer Name(s):
not specified

A New Home
Chapter 1:
Preparing to Leave

"Its time to go." Charles said to his family, as he looked on the farm that his family had worked all of his life. His wife and daughter stood beside him staring as well. They were saying their final goodbyes.

The night before they had a farewell party with their neighbors, many of whom were leaving as well. They were heading to Dublin one of the major ports in Ireland, but it was the closest to their home town. The port in which they would leave out of. They were all heading to the land of the free. Many of those leaving were joining members of the Mormon church. The Sullivan's were interested in the church, but they had not been converted, yet. They were however sponsored by members, because they were interested and they needed to leave Ireland.

Millie held a handkerchief to her lips, as she cried softly. This was the only home she had known. Now she was leaving for good. Her family had suffered tremendously from the potato famine. It was devastating all of Ireland, and her family had finally had it.

Millie turned away from her home, as her father picked up the arms of the cart. The cart had all their earthly possessions on it, that they were taking to the new world. Even though she was fourteen years old, she carried with her, the one thing that she had of value, her prized doll. She planned to pass it down to her own little girl someday. Her father had told her she would be able to find someone in America. She wasn't certain. Her pa did not understand. She had a secret love there in Ireland, but his family could not go to America. She was uncertain she could ever love again. How could she tell her father? Around her neck she had a locket, one that her love had given her. She kept it hidden from her pa, because she was certain he would not approve. It was an inexpensive locket, it probably cost at least a weeks worth of pay. That was a lot of money, for someone who was so poor. Her poor mother did not even know about the boy.

On Millie's father's left stood her mother. Catherine had been poorly for nearly a year. Millie's father hoped by going to America the climate would help Catherine's health. Catherine sobbed quietly into her own handkerchief. She was leaving everything behind, including her parents. She would never be able to visit her parent's grave again. She also was leaving her dead baby behind. Catherine and Charles had never told Millie about the son that had died when Catherine was little, and now Millie would never know. How could Catherine tell Millie about him?

The family was leaving so much heartache and hardship behind. Just so they could make a better life in America. Catherine and Charles could not place another burden on Millie's young shoulders.

Charles saw the despair in his wife and daughter's eyes. There was nothing he could do. Everything was set, all that was not going with them had either been sold or given away. There was nothing left in Ireland for them.

He knew about Millie's secret love, but had said nothing. He did not approve of the boy, but it did not matter now. The boy was not going to America with them, and it was more than likely he would never come to America, therefore he did not need to worry.

He felt that Millie would find a reasonable suitor in America. If not Charles would assist in finding her one. It was not as if Millie did not have a dowry. He had made certain of it. It was the one thing he would not touch, even when money had been hard to come by. The money was hidden in the doll that Millie treasured so much. The doll had been Catherine's mother's. One that her father had brought back from one of his many voyages, before the sea had claimed his life.

A New Home
Chapter 1:
Preparing to Leave

With a big sigh, "Let's move out," He said to his wife and daughter.

They turned and joined a group of people that were making their way to the coast. There were about ten families in the group not including the Sullivan's. There were a few young children, and Millie offered to assist the mothers with the young children, giving the mothers a break every now and then.

When they reached the port's docks it was quite busy and loud. Much of the noise came from the sailors yelling and cursing. While other noise came from babies crying and people talking. The smell was almost overwhelming. There were many different odors, including the smell of rotten fish. Millie and her mother wrinkled up their noses at the odors and blushed at the cursing of the sailors.

"Charles, is there anywhere we may go, that is not as noisy and smelly?" Catherine asked.

Charles looked around. He had a little money, that he had received for the sell of many of their possessions, but not much. They still needed to gather supplies for their boat trip over. He would be fed, like most of the crew, but it would not be much. Not enough for his wife and child. "Lets go to the General Store. We need to buy supplies, and if we have enough left over we can find a place to get tea."

Before they left the docks, Charles searched around for someone to keep an eye on their cart for them. Finding a young boy, he hired him. "Stay with us, and keep an eye on the cart. I will pay ye two pounds for keeping an eye on the cart. I will also buy ye a meal."

The boy nodded in excitement. "I will stay with ye, no problem. No one will mss with thy cart. They will have to deal with me if they do."

Catherine nodded in agreement. "Maybe we could buy some yarn, too. I know it is an extravagant, but it would be something to wile away the time on the voyage. Millie and I would be able to work on a blanket , shawl or something. Depending on how much yarn we are able to buy."

Millie perked up at this. She had been able to bring one book with her, but she knew that she would finish it before the voyage was over. She had not been certain what she would do during the rest of the voyage. Knitting was another of her favorite activities. She also followed the advice of the Prophet that the Mormon missionaries had spoken of. She was keeping a diary. She had it tucked it into her bodice, because there had been no room in her luggage. She hoped that her pa would not be disappointed with her.

Charles frowned. "It is possible, but we must consider provisions to eat first. We have a long journey ahead of us. However I agree that you should have something to do. Idle hands are the devil's plaything."

Catherine shook her head. "Millie will have other things to do as well. I wish her to continue her education. I have brought along some advance study books for her. She will continue her studies, as well."

A New Home
Chapter 1:
Preparing to Leave

Millie was disappointed. She had hoped that her ma would not have room in her luggage for school books, but she should have known. Education was important to her ma. Her ma insisted that Millie be able to read, write, and do arithmetic. Maybe her pa would not be disappointed after all. If her ma insisted on bringing her school books, then they would be happy that she had brought some tablets to keep a journal. Millie started to speak up, but then held her tongue. She had not been spoken to, and her pa was real strict about that. Children could not interrupt an adult conversation, that was his rule. Millie had learned this lesson at a young age. Her pa was real strict about certain things, and this was one of them.

Charles looked sharply at Millie, but said nothing. She had held her peace, and he was proud of her. He knew that Millie did not wish to continue her studies, but he happened to agree with his wife about education. He could read and write, but not as well as his wife. It was his wife that had taught him how to read and write. Catherine had been a tutor to many of the landlord's children. When the children had completed their studies in books, she had been permitted to take the books home for her own child. This was unusual, but it sometimes happened. Millie was lucky to have the opportunity to study, and he knew it. "Millie should have writing tablets as well. She should continue practicing her writing. I hast brought our Family Bible. She could practice reading it. The missionaries had left us the Book of Mormon, I believe we should all read it. Millie thee looks almost bursting to say something. What is it my daughter?"

Millie let out a deep breath. Now that she had a chance to speak she wasn't certain how to tell her father about the journal that she had in her bodice. She wasn't trying to hide it, but it did look that way. With a small smile Millie gave in and told, "Pa, I have my journal. It is in my bodice. I could not fit it in my luggage." Blushing she continued, "I brought as many things as I could, pa. I didn't want to leave a lot of my things, so I chose carefully. I just didn't have room for my journal." She ended with tears in her eyes and eyes lowered.

Charles let out a big and hearty laugh. "Daughter, if that is the only place thou had to packeth thy journal, then there is nothing to be ashamed of. I'm proud that thou hast considered keeping a journal of up most importantance. Thou shalt still have writing tablets. I say that thee will likely have lots to write about on our voyage. However keep what thee spendeth to a bare minimum. We have to keep an eye on the weight of our luggage."

As they talked they walked and found the General Store. It wasn't very far from the wharves. Inside there was a bustling trade going on. Women were buying yardage and dry goods for their needs. While the men were talking about the different ships that were coming and going. Many of the men were there preparing to leave on one of the ships. They were there with their wives and children.

Catherine turned to Millie and said. "I might even have room in my trunk to buy some yardage for a new dress for ye. We will have to see how much money we have to spend. Thy pa saved us some money by working on the ship. I might even see if I might work in the galley. That might help, too. It might help with some of our groceries."

Nearby the General Store, captains were signing on crew. Catherine only had to ask her husband what ship they were sailing out on, and then she could talk to the captain of that ship. "Charles, what ship are we sailing out on?"

Charles looked perplexed for a moment as he thought. "We are leaving on the HMS Monarch of the Sea. Why, my wife?"

A New Home
Chapter 1:
Preparing to Leave

Catherine shrugged. "I thought I might see if the captain could use a hand in the kitchen. It would assist with the food situation."

Charles held up a hand. "Catherine, I will not have my wife working in the galley of the ship. My wife should not have to work."

Catherine shook her head at his stubbornness. "Charles, we could use the extra money. This would be just for this voyage. It is not like I am signing on permanently with the ship. If I were to work in the galley, then we could use the money to buy other items."

Charles threw up his hands. "I have married a stubborn woman. Aye, do what ye must, but be ye quick about it. We must finish up here."

Catherine hurried over to the tables with Charles and Millie close on her heels. Several of the captains laughed as they saw Catherine hurry to the tables. Very seldom did women apply to work on the ships, and very few captains hired women.

"Which of you is the captain of the HMS Monarch of the Sea?" Catherine demanded. She ignored some of the sneers that she received from some of the Captains. She knew that her husband stood behind her, and he would not allow them to touch her.

One of the laughing captains sobered up when she asked this question. "That would be I, dear lady. What can I do for ye? " He cast a look at one of the other captains as he said this.

Drawing herself up to her full height of five foot two inches, she responded, "I wondered if ye could use an extra cook in thy galley this voyage. I am a pretty good cook, if I should say so myself. My husband, daughter and I are headed to America."

The captain cast a look behind Catherine. "Ye would allow thy wife to work on the ship? Do ye not work?"

Charles stepped forward somewhat offended. "Aye, I work. I am already a crewman aboard thy ship, Captain. My wife has a mind of her own, though. As she told me, we could use the extra money, that we would save if she worked in the galley."

The captain glanced at the young girl that stood behind Charles and Catherine. "And the young lady? Does she wish to work as well? Are ye all seeking free passage to America?" He asked sarcastically.

This angered Charles, "Now see here! We are not seeking a hand out! Our voyage is paid for by a sponsor and by my working on thy ship! My wife only wishes to earn her keep! Ye leave my daughter out of this!"

The captain stood up. "Now simmer down! I mean no offense. I have had too many of ye men come up seeking to sign on with me crew so they can get a free ride to America! Thy wife wishes to work, fine! She work. I pay her two pounds a day, plus meals. I'll even throw in meals for the young lady, but she stays out of me galley if she does not want to work. I catch her in me galley, and I'll have her scrubbing the decks. Ye understand?"

A New Home
Chapter 1:
Preparing to Leave

Millie nodded frightened. Charles stepped back, "The pay is up to my wife, but it seems like a fair bargain. My daughter will stay away from the galley."

The captain sat down shaking his head. "Very well, ma'am. Do ye agree to these terms? When I say your daughter stays away from the galley, that means no free hand outs either. She will receive her food when ye eat, not before then or after then. Ye will be able to take thy final meal of the day back to thy living area. Now that ye and thy husband are members of the crew, me can offer ye both living quarters with the crew. Normally we do not have separate quarters for women, or married couples, but I think we can take one of the rooms and convert it for husband, wife and child. Me short handed on officers, so it would be one of the officers quarters, just do not expect all of the amenities that an officer would receive. This will also allow ye more room to bring more items aboard. If ye is certain the young girl does not wish to work, that's fine, but me could use a cabin boy, or in this case a cabin girl."

Millie shook her head in consternation. "No, Sir. I must continue my studies, as my ma and pa wish." Millie's hand flew to her mouth as soon as she spoke. She had spoken out of turn. She wasn't certain if she should have answered the captain. For she wasn't even certain if he had spoken to her or not. However she did not wish to work for this obnoxious person, who had insulted her ma.

"Ye heard the lady, captain. I believe ye have received the final word on that." Charles replied. He did not approve of Millie speaking out, but this once he believed she was right to do so. She could make that decision on her own. It wasn't as if they were hurting for money, not now anyway.

The captain nodded. He picked up his quill and dipped it in the ink well. "What is thy name then?"

"Catherine. Catherine Sullivan." Catherine replied. Glad there would be no more discussion on the subject. She had been worried that the captain would push her daughter into working on the ship, now she knew her daughter would be safe.

"Very well, Mrs. Sullivan. Ye has signed on as Chef's mate. Under the terms we have agreed upon. See my first officer O'Leary, when you board ship, and he'll give ye thy cabin assignment, Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan thy first shift will be tomorrow first light. Do not be late. Miss Sullivan, me better hear good reports on thy studies, or me might change me mind about putting ye to work. Especially if me don't locate a cabin boy." The captain laughed at this as if it were a joke.

Millie shook her head. "My studies are important to me than any job on a ship. This is my parents wish, anyway." She gave a small smile to her pa.

"We will see ye on the ship, captain. We have some things we need to pick up for the voyage." Charles took Catherine's arm and turned. "Come, Millie. We will pick up the things we spoke of now that thy ma is working in the galley. I believe we can afford to buy the material for a couple of new dresses."

Millie smiled at this. She had an idea or two about what type of things she wanted to make. That was if her pa had enough money to buy the things. "May I have some rock candy and licorice, Pa?"

A New Home
Chapter 1:
Preparing to Leave

Charles laughed, "Of course. Why not? As I stated it will be a long voyage. There won't be any chance for candy on board. If thee wants the candy to last thee throughout the voyage, ye will have to ration it out."

Millie laughed at this too. "I will, Pa. Are ye going to buy anything special for thyself, Ma?"

Caroline shook her head. "Charles, may we find somewhere to sit down. I need to find a place to sit down for a few minutes."

Charles sobered up real quick. "Aye, we shall go to the tea room, and have some tea. Ye may rest there, before we go shopping. I really didn't want ye working. Ye has not been feeling well."

Catherine waved him off. "I will do what I must. Our daughter should have the opportunity to study."

As the Sullivan's walked away, the captain mulled over the discussion he had just had with them, and the one he had overheard. He arched an eyebrow, and looked at the captain next to him. "Me be back shortly. Me take a break. Anyone heading to America, tell them to hang out. Might as well sign them on. Seems no one wants to work permanently aboard ships anymore, or they've already been signed on."

The captain stood and stretched then followed the Sullivan family to the tea room. Inside he found several ladies sipping tea. It was not hard to locate the Sullivan family. He walked over to their table. "May I join ye?"

Charles looked up and nodded. He was quite surprised to see the captain of the ship in the tea room. "Feel free to join us."

The captain sat down next to Charles, as Charles scooted over. "It seems me made a bad first impression. Me may have a proposition for ye. If ye are willing to answer a couple of questions first."

Charles nodded in consent. "There is no harm in asking a question or two. Ask away."

Placed on the spot, the captain took a deep breath. "Me wonders, are ye educated? Me means, can ye read and write?"

Charles nodded. "Aye, I am. As is my wife. Why do ye ask?"

The captain smiled. He was missing a couple of front teeth. "That officer's position me mentions. Only thing that is required is for ye to be able to read and write. How is thy arithmetic?"

Charles frowned. "It's fair. My wife can assist me if necessary."

Nodding the captain looked down at his hands. "Very well. Here's what me's got. Me needs a purser on me ship. Me also needs me a second officer. The second officer should have some sea experience, but right now me is getting ready to sail. Me cans not be choosy. Here's me proposition. Me promotes ye to second officer with the job of purser. Ye wish thy daughter to have herself an education. I propose to teach her about the stars." Shrugging. "Teach her how to steer by them. It would be helpful to a land lubber too. Ye would be doing me a favor, and thy daughter would further her education. No strings attached."

A New Home
Chapter 1:
Preparing to Leave

Charles looked at his daughter, then at the captain. "Aye, I would like to see my daughter further her education. Ye have a deal."

The captain stood. "Good... good... Me will up thy pay, as well and ye has earned that cabin me have put ye in. Here is an advance on thy pay," He said reaching into his pocket. "Make certain ye get some star maps for thy daughter. She will need them."

Catherine perked up at the thought of furthering education. She always sought ways to further hers. "Captain, if it would not be too much trouble, I would like to learn about the stars as well. I could teach ye arithmetic as well. It would be a fair deal."

The captain looked at Catherine. "Would ye be willing to teach me to read? Me's always wanted to be able to read."

Catherine nodded. "Aye, I could do this, in exchange for learning about the stars."

"Very well, Mrs. Sullivan. I am willing to teach ye about the stars as well." With that the captain rose to leave the tea room. "Meet me on deck after last meal each night. Just after sunset. We will have our lessons then, about the stars that is. I expect my lessons on reading after each meal." Without waiting for a response the captain turned and left the tea room.

Catherine looked down at the money that the captain had given them. It was a hundred dollars. "Why that's more than a month's pay. What is he playing at, Charles?"

Charles shook his head. "I believe he may be trying to win the hand of our daughter."

Millie spoke up at this. "No, pa, please! Ye said that I would be able to find a husband in America. I do not wish to have a sailor for a husband, pa."

"Daughter, I did not say he would win it. I said he was trying to win thy hand. Do not interrupt again." Charles said sternly to his daughter.

Millie calmed down. "Aye, pa. I'm sorry, sir."

Charles' eyes softened. "Ye must learn to trust me, daughter. I believe ye are destined for better. I would not place ye in a situation that would lead to an unhappy marriage."

Millie smiled and nodded. "I know, pa. I should have held my peace, sir."

It was hard to be upset with his daughter. He loved her with all his heart, but he knew that he had to be firm with her. "Just remember that in the future, daughter. Speaking out of turn will get ye in more trouble than speaking up." Turning to his wife. "Are ye ready to do a little shopping now, or do we need to wait a little longer, my wife?"

Catherine nodded. "I am ready, my husband. I just had a weak spell, 'tis all. The long walk and the heat were a little too much for me."

A New Home
Chapter 1:
Preparing to Leave

"When we reach America, the new climate should help thy health. They say the streets are paved with gold. I hope so, that means we should have a better time of it there." Charles said forlornly.

A young man caught Millie's eye as he passed them in the street. She let out a small gasp as he passed. Millie quickly covered her mouth, realizing she might give herself and him away. She bit her lower lip trying to figure out how she could get away from her parents, and catch up with him, before they left.

Charles looked over at Millie questioningly. "Millie are ye ok?"

"Yes, pa. Something just startled me, pa. I guess it's just I'm not used to so many sights and sounds." Millie found it hard to lie to her pa. She had never actually lied to him before. If he found out, she'd be in loads of trouble.

"Very well. Let's get a move on. Knowing ye ladies, we will be in the mercantile for awhile." He said with a smile. "We may have more room, now, but please be sensible about what you are purchasing. Remember, ye are working and studying as well."

Caroline and Millie shook their heads and laughed. "My husband," Caroline responded. "We will find time. We always do. Plus, being able to sew, knit, and embroider is proper for a young lady's education. All proper young ladies, in Ireland, include this in their curriculum. Maybe, after working for the captain for awhile, I could persuade him into allowing me to include a few cooking and proper table setting lessons in Millie's education. I did not wish to push it."

With that the family stood and left the tea room. They headed back to the General Store. "Please keep an eye on the time. We do not wish to miss the launch of our ship. I do not know when we will have another opportunity such as this." He checked there cart that they had left outside the General Store. The young boy that he had hired was still with the cart, and all looked well. To the young boy, "Ye continue to keep an eye on the cart. We will be a little longer. I know I hired ye for while we shopped, but if ye assist us with bringing the baggage aboard ship, I'll pay ye extra, son."

The young boy nodded eagerly. "Aye, I will help ye, Sir. No one will mess with this cart, not while Willie is around." He said with a bright grin.

Charles laughed and clapped Willie on the shoulder. "I believe that, I do. Keep up the good work, and there will be a nice tip in it for ye."

Charles turned and followed the women up the steps into the General Store. He had noticed that Willie had no shoes on. He wondered Willie needed shoes, but he did not want to embarrass the boy. To himself, "I wonder if Willie likes rock candy, like Millie?" He decided to get some for Willie anyway. It would be a nice treat for the boy.

Inside he found his wife and daughter. They were looking at material, thread and other items for sewing and embroidery. They had already picked out the yarn that they wished to take with them. It was laid to one side.

Millie turned to her pa, as he walked up, holding up some gingham material. "What do ye think, pa? Should I get this, for a new dress? I could make an apron out of some of the material, as well."

A New Home
Chapter 1:
Preparing to Leave

Charles looked at the material that Millie held up. "I think my girls look fine in anything they chose. Thy ma has a good eye." He said with a twinkle in his eye.

Catherine blushed at the compliment. "Thank ye, my husband. I just know what our daughter and I like. Certain colors and materials look good on us. We should buy some wool to make under garments for all of us. I'm certain that the nights will be cold onboard ship."

Charles nodded. "True, me wife. I shall buy kerosene for the lanterns in our room, as well. Millie will need light to study by. I believe we will more than likely use more than our allotment of kerosene for this."

"I have included candles in our purchases as well, Charles. That should help with the lighting situation." Catherine said with a smile. She was quite happy that they would finally be heading to Ireland.

Charles turned to Millie, "Do not forget to get pencils and writing tablets for the trip. Those are important as well."

"Yes, pa. That is on me list as well. Ma and I have selected a couple of more school books for me to study. Ma felt I should study geography and science as well." Millie responded with a frown on her face.

"Thy ma is a smart lady. Ye would be good to listen to her. Ye are receiving an education, that most girls and boys in our situation are denied. Ye be grateful, for what ye get." Charles chastised his daughter.

Chastised, Millie looked down at her boots. "Yes, pa."

Catherine spoke up at this, "Now, Charles don't be to harsh on the girl. She would not have a chance to study these subjects if it had not been for the captain. The merchant also suggested a book on Astronomy, the study of the stars, when he discovered that Millie would be learning about the stars. We have the star maps that the captain told us to get. They are at the counter already."

Charles looked at his wife. "Catherine, our daughter should not be impertinent. Ye should not contradict me either. I allow ye to speak thy mind at times, but not in public, my wife."

The family finished up their shopping. They purchased everything they had intended, along with a few amenities. They had gotten Millie some silk stockings, and some extra food for when she might be hungry and could not get anything extra to eat.

With their purchases bundled up, the family left the General Store. Outside they found Willie and the cart. Everything was still as they had left it. Charles handed Willie the rock candy. "I thought ye might enjoy a small treat for your troubles. My Millie enjoys rock candy, I hope ye do too."

Willie eagerly took the rock candy from Charles. "Aye, Sir. I do enjoy rock candy. Thank ye for the candy, Sir."

"Ye are quite welcome. Help us load the packages onto the cart, and we should be on our way. We have about an hour before the ship leaves port. We should get onboard and find our berth. We will have time to settle in before we leave. I'm certain ye ladies would like to be on deck for the leaving."

A New Home
Chapter 1:
Preparing to Leave

"Maybe, Charles, but I want to rest before then. Millie should rest as well. I shall leave it up to Millie if she wishes to be on deck or not."

Millie looked excited at the thought. She hoped that her beloved might have found a berth onboard the ship. There was no chance to find him before they left, if not. "I would like to, pa. This will be the last time I'll ever see my homeland. Saying goodbye sounds like a good idea."

"Then let us go. There is no time to waste." Charles was still concerned about his wife, but he knew there was no use to press her about it.

Willie picked up one side of the cart while Charles picked up the other side. Catherine and Millie followed behind them and returned to the docks.

The docks seemed busier than earlier. Another ship had docked in port while they were away. Others had arrived as well, heading for new opportunities.

Charles and his family found the HMS Monarch of the Sea after asking for directions. After checking in with the First Officer, Charles returned to the family.

"It seems that the captain has spoken to the First Officer. We are on deck two. Seems to be a good location. I start my first shift tomorrow morning as well. The First Officer tells me to settle my family in first, he has everything under control. That was nice of him. Me thought I'd have to start right away."

The family and Willie made their way up the gang plank with the baggage. It took Willie several trips to bring all the baggage on board. He helped unpack the baggage and put things away. Once everything was completed Charles handed Willie five pounds. This was more than enough, and more than the price that they had agreed upon, but he felt that the boy had more than earned it.

Willie looked around the cabin earnestly. "I wish I was going with ye, Sir. I would love to escape Ireland, as well."

"I understand, son. However, I just can not help ye. Ye might check with the captain, though. Last I heard, he was still looking for a cabin boy. Ye might get hired on and can get to America that way."

Willie brightened at this then looked down in the face. "I can not leave my mother, though. She would be heartbroken. Me pa died several years ago, I'm all she has left."

"Talk to the captain. He maybe able to find something for her to do as well. It never hurts. He mentioned to my daughter she could scrub the decks. He might need a maid or something."

Willie nodded, " I will at that. It would be better than nuttin'. It would be good for me ma, also."

Charles nodded. "Ye better get a move on, then. The ship leaves port not long from now."

Willie ran out of the cabin. His first stop was to find the captain. He found the captain who was willing to hire them both. The captain even agreed to give Willie and his ma some spending money, and would hold off launching for thirty extra minutes, for Willie to get to home and back with his ma and some baggage. The captain had told Willie to limit the baggage to one bag each.

A New Home
Chapter 2:
The Voyage

An hour and a half after the Sullivan family boarded the ship, the Monarch of the Sea left port. She had aboard her one extra family that had not been on the original passenger list, and Willie was quite happy. It had not been hard to talk his ma into leaving with him. She was prepared for a new start, but had not known how to go about doing it. Willie had earned extra money helping other passengers board the ship, and was able to buy enough bedding for the passage.

On the top deck, Millie stood with her pa. Her ma was still feeling under the weather and chose to remain in their cabin while they went above deck.

"Pa, may I look around top deck before we leave port? I just want to see what the ship looks like, pa." Millie asked.

Charles nodded. "Jest ye don't wonder too far off, now. I's don't want to have to go looking fer ye. Stay ye away from them there sailors too. They no good."

Millie frowned, "I will, pa. I just want to see who else is aboard, pa. Maybe there are some other girls my age on board. Maybe, with ma's permission, I could teach them how to read and write, like me, pa. Why should I be the only one, on this here ship, that can read and write, that is my age?"

"That is a lofty goal me daughter. Ye have my permission, if ye wish to do it. Though, ye are right, ye should get thy ma's permission as well. Ye might have more than young girls that want to learn to read and write. Ye may have older women who want to learn as well."

Millie laughed at this. "Ye maybe right, pa. I will not deny anyone the chance to learn. However, I'd like to meet more girls my age, pa."

"Aye and maybe a few boys, too, I'm certain. Remember what thy pa said. Stay away from the sailors." Charles turned back to the sea, allowing his daughter to explore.

His daughter walked away shaking her head. Her pa was not that far off about meeting boys, but it was one boy she had in mind, and she hoped he was aboard. She knew it was a possibility he was a sailor. It was the only way he would be able to get to America. It meant though, that he had most likely run away from home, because she had not seen his parents with him.

As she walked the top deck meeting others, Millie searched the faces of the boys both passengers and sailors. The more she looked the more she despaired. She could not locate him. He had not made this trip, that was for certain. To herself Millie mused, "Maybe it was my mind playing tricks on me. I wanted him to come to America so badly that I thought I saw him."

As she spoke with some of the girls her age, she let it be known's that she was willing to teach others to read. There seemed to be a general approval amongst the girls. Many said they would have to ask their pas. She had not counted on this, but she understood. The girls could not go behind their pa's backs. They were brought up that way.

Charles looked up as Millie returned to his side. He saw the look of a mixture of excitement and disappointment on her face. "Ye look disappointed me child. Did ye not get the response ye hoped for?"

A New Home
Chapter 2:
The Voyage

She shrugged. "It was a mixture, pa. Many of the girls were eager, but they needed to speak with their pas. We will just have to wait and see. I still need to get approval from ma, anyhow. I told them this. Though I'm certain ma would approve. She's a teacher herself."

"Aye that she is, me child. If a body is willing to learn, she is willing to teach. Ye were eager as a child. Ye would soaked up knowledge like a sponge. Now ye avoid it like the plague." Her pa grinned to soften the blow.

"Pa, I just don't think all this knowledge is necessary. Why? What am I going to do with it?" Millie shot back with her grin on her face.

"Ye never know, child. In America, they say anything's possible. Maybe women can do more in America with knowledge. Knowledge is supposed to set ye free." Charles contemplated this idea for a moment. "Maybe they are right. If I had book smarts, I might have been able to do more in Ireland."

"Pa, I don't know. Maybe, maybe not. It was hard to find jobs there, on top of the Potato Famine. Many men were out of work. This is a fresh start for us. Ye have learned to read and write. That is more than many men from Ireland that are heading to America. People from our station in life did not have the privilege of the rich. We just got lucky, that's all. Ma was smart, and was raised in a rich family's home. Luckily she befriended the daughter who taught her everything she was learning. If it hadn't been for her, ma may have never learned, and we would be in the same boat as the others." Millie could see her pa's point though. She had just made his point for him, and she laughed.

Charles turned from the rail. "Let's go back below, and check on thy ma. She is probably worrying about us by now. I believe we might be able to get us a meal. I'll have to check with the captain, to be certain. He said nothing about a meal today, and we don't start our shifts until tomorrow." He arched an eyebrow and grimaced. "It's not that I don't want to work, it is just I hope that we don't have to wait until tomorrow to eat."

Millie followed her pa bellow to their cabin. There they found her ma sitting up and reading. Caroline looked up as they walked in. "How was the launch?" She asked.

Charles walked over to the bed and kissed his wife on the forehead. "Went off without a hitch. I am sorry ye missed it, but I am glad ye are looking better. How do ye feel?"

"Better, now. I am hungry, though." Caroline rose from the bed. "Did ye meet any other young girls, Millie?"

Millie nodded. "Ma, I wanted to ask ye. May I teach the other girls to read and write, too? It would help pass the time on the voyage, ma."

Caroline nodded. "I do not see why not. As long as ye keep up with thy own studies. Where would ye teach them? I do not think the captain would approve of them being in the cabin, Millie."

A New Home
Chapter 2:
The Voyage

Catherine nodded. "I do not see why not. As long as ye keep up with thy own studies. Where would ye teach them? I do not think the captain would approve of them being in the cabin, Millie."

She thought a moment before answering her ma. "Below decks. Down where they are housed, ma. That's the only place I can think of."

Charles nodded. "That sounds like a plan. I will see to the vittals. I will speak to the captain. He may allow us to eat from the galley, seeing as he gave us the day off. I do not believe he thought of this." He smiled as he left.

"Sit, Millie and tell me all about the launch. Was it noisy? Were there a lot of people on deck?" Catherine said as she sat back down on the bed.

Millie sat down and told her mother all about the sights and sounds of the launch. She told her about the different odors that she could smell. Not all of the odors were pleasant. There had been a lot of cursing from the sailors, and she had been offended by that. She told of how her pa had allowed her to walk the deck and speak to others. How her pa teased her about looking at boys, too. She tried to paint a mental picture of what it was like on deck when they had left port.

"Ma, ye would not believe how hectic it was. The noise could overwhelm a body. It was fun though. I wouldn't have missed it for anything in the world." Exclaimed Millie.

Charles returned after a period of time. "The captain has agreed to allow us to eat in the dining room. He stated that now that I was an officer, I could eat in the dining room with my family. Accept for when you are on duty, Catherine." In Charles' arm he had a uniform.

Seeing the uniform, Millie asked excitedly, "What's that, pa?"

Catherine looked over to see what Millie was talking about. "Aye, Charles. What is that?"

"This my family is my uniform. I carry the field promotion rank of Ensign." Charles said with a grin. "It seems, my wife, that ye shall have a uniform as well. Ye will obtain thine from the Head Cook. Thy rank, it appears, is Chef's Mate."

"That is what the captain had stated. I'm not surprised. However I am happy that ye received a promotion. The rank of an officer gives ye status in most places." Catherine said with a grin.

Millie joined in on the jibing. "All is well and good, but can we go eat now, please. I'm so hungry I could eat a horse."

Charles laughed. "Of course, my daughter. I do not think ye shall have to eat a horse though. The meal looks good. There seems to be enough to feed an army, or at least a whole ship."

"Mmmmm... sounds good, Charles." Catherine said.

"Shall we go, then." Charles asked, offering his wife his arm.

Millie followed her parents out of the cabin. She made certain that the door was closed behind her.

A New Home
Chapter 2:
The Voyage

The meal was well laid out. There was fish and other fares from Ireland. The captain joined the diners for part of the meal. He shared a few jokes and a welcoming speech, before retiring to his own cabin.

The Sullivans had joined another family at a table. Their conversation ranged around many subjects. However the conversation always returned to what they might do when they arrived in America.

Charles was uncertain as of yet. He wasn't certain if he wanted to continue farming or try his hand at something else. Catherine had agreed to help in the store of the sponsors, to help pay for their voyage.

Charles was uncertain as of yet. He wasn't certain if he wanted to continue farming or try his hand at something else. Catherine had agreed to help in the store of the sponsors, to help pay for their voyage.

Millie figured she'd help her ma, as well. Seeing as there was nothing else she could do. Someone mentioned to Millie that she might be able to become a teacher. She was old enough, and if she was interested.

Catherine perked up at the idea. "I might try my hand at teaching, too. There's no harm in trying. That is after I have worked off the money for our passage."

"With the money we make working aboard ship, we can pay most of it off. Ye should not have to work in the General Store for long. Especially with the both of ye working in the store."

"Charles, ye know we are going to need some of that money to set up house, when we arrive. We can not live with the Miller's all of our lives." Catherine stated.

"Do not worry thy little head about that, Catherine. I am prepared for that." Charles said with a mischievous smile.

TAnnaKirk (Rate Passer) added to this story on Tue, Mar 06 2012 10:25:00 EST
Print A New Home The Begining
Genre: Adventure
Created: 03-06-2012
Word Count: 8401

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