The Voyage

Joe Lanzon

Jack and Jill were preparing for their first long voyage to the United States. They were ticking the list of necessities to put in their luggage – dresses and suits, shirts and scarves, coats, underwear, presents and other items required for their month long stay with their daughter Marge and her American husband Chuck.

Don’t forget the raspberry cake,” he reminded his jittery wife. “Our Marge liked them so much when she was here.” “OK Jack, and the mince pies and the apple pie too!” she added. Their only daughter, now five years living in the States, was their treasure and they were so excited to see her and their granddaughter Cindy, now six months old.

Marge, a typical English rose, had met Chuck when she was working as a stenographer with the London legal firm of ‘Saunders and Anderson’. Chuck, a lawyer by profession with an American firm in New York, had been assigned a six month period of practice with the London firm in order to learn the intricacies of the British legal system.

They fell in love as soon as they clapped eyes on each other and were married after a six month courtship. They immediately set sail for the United States where they set up home in Albany near Chuck’s parents. Jack and Jill missed her terribly. When their granddaughter Cindy was born, they decided to visit them in New York.

This would be Jack’s and Jill’s first experience of a sea voyage and, indeed, of visiting any other country. They had never left the shores of England before. Therefore they made essential arrangements for their long sea voyage as well as preparations to ensure that everything goes according to plan.

After preparing their suitcases and travel documents, they went to sleep intending to catch an early train to Southampton on the morrow. When they woke up however they found that they had overslept. They panicked, hurried downstairs, dressed in a flash, grabbed their suitcases, went to the station and took the first train to Southampton. All throughout the journey, they prayed that they would be in time.

As soon as the train arrived at the station, they took a taxi to the port from where they would board the ship for their long voyage. They insisted with the taxi driver to drive faster. Everything was done in a hurry as time was running out.

As soon as they arrived, they saw that the ship was just sailing out. They were too late! The passengers on board, all in a happy mood, were lining the ship’s deck and waving to relatives and friends on the quay. A band was playing a marching tune. It was a joyous departure. They had just missed it! With tears in their eyes, they both stared sadly at the big passenger ship “Titanic” as it sailed away to her fateful destiny in history.