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Empress of Ireland - by David Mills
Slicing its way West across the Atlantic was the ship I was emigrating in, from England to Canada – Empress of Ireland.
I was up on deck one night when something strange struck me. The smoke from the smokestack, which had been going steadily astern, had started to drift to one side, a little, then a lot. I watched, curiously, until it returned to where it had been, and could only conclude the ship had done a circle. But why, in the middle of the Atlantic, would a huge ocean steamer do that?
The following morning I asked the Chief Steward. “I'm not supposed to tell anyone, but as you saw it happen, I guess you'd better know,” he said. “Last night we lost a passenger, heart problem, and buried him at sea. We had to do a circle to get the wind and current right. Now please keep it quiet, sir.”
So, here I am keeping it quiet. Shhh! That was 52 years ago.
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