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A voyage to India nowadays is a continuous social event. The passengers compose a house party, being guests of the Steamship company for the time. The decks of the steamer are like broad verandas and are covered with comfortable chairs, in which the owners lounge about all day. Some of the more industrious women knit and embroider, and I saw one good mother with a basket full of mending, at which she was busily engaged at least three mornings. Others play cards upon folding tables or write letters with portfolios on their laps, and we had several artists who sketched the sky and sea, but the majority read novels and guide books, and gossiped. As birds of a feather flock together on the sea as well as on land, previous acquaintances and congenial new ones form little circles and cliques and entertain themselves and each other, and, after a day or two, move their chairs around so that they can be together. Americans and English do not mix as readily as you might expect, although there is nothing like coolness between them. It is only a natural restraint. They are accustomed to their ways, and we to ours, and it is natural for us to drift toward our own fellow countrymen.
William Eleroy Curtis
Curtis, William Eleroy. Journalist. Born in Akron, OH, November 5, 1850. Graduate of Western Reserve College, 1871. On staff of "Chicago Inter-Ocean," 1873-87; Washington correspondent for "Chicago Record," 1887-1901; "Chicago Record-Herald," 1901-11. Special commissioner from United States to Central and South American republics. Executive officer of International American Conference, 1889-90; director of Bureau of American Republics, 1890-93; chief of Latin-American department ad historical section at World's Columbian Exposition, 1891-93; commissioner of Columbian Exposition to Madrid; and special envoy to the Queen Regent of Spain and Pope Leo XIII, 1892.