Letter by Fr Byles to Miss Field

Letter by Fr Byles to Miss Field

Dear Miss Field,

On board ship one has little to do to fill up time so I start to write a letter to you which will be posted at Queenstown to-morrow morning. Everything so far has gone very well, except that I have somewhere managed to lose my umbrella. I first missed it getting out of the train at Southampton, but am inclined to think that I left it at Liverpool St [4]. We started arrived at Southampton in the boat train at 11.30 and started at 12 o'clock very punctually. At one we had lunch. We were then still in Southampton Water, but when we came out of lunch we were between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight.  
At 6.0 [sic] supper, and before coming out of supper we had stopped at Cherbourg, and the tender was just coming alongside with passengers. The tender is a good sized boat of 1260 tons, but by the side of the Noma Titanic she looks as though with a good crane we could lift her out of the water and lay her on deck without feeling any inconvenience. The decks are like this

1.Top deck  
2.Second deck  
3.Deck B.  
4. - C  
5. - D  
6. - E  
7. - F  
8. - G
for promenading  
(1st class only) for promenading  
2nd class smoking room, promenade on both sides  
Library, closed in promenade on both sides  
Dining Saloon and some cabins  
Cabins - Swimming Bath - Turkish Bath  
Cabins  
Cabins
Promenade Deck  
Upper Deck  
Saloon Deck  
Main Deck  
Middle Deck  
Lower Deck
That makes 8 decks above the water line. When you look down at the water from the top deck, it is like looking from the roof of a very high building.  
At the time of writing (7.45) we are still stopping at Cherbourg. The English Channel was decidedly rough to look at, but we felt it no more in the roughest part than when we were in Southampton Water. I do not much like the throbbing of the screws but that is the only motion we feel. I have found two other priests among the 2nd class passengers - one a Benedictine from Bavaria, and one is a secular from Lithuania. I shall not be able to say Mass to-morrow morning, as we shall be just arriving at Queenstown and there will consequently be some confusion, but after that there will be no difficulty about it.  
This letter will be posted in Queenstown tomorrow morning. Of course I must put it in the letter box before we arrive there, so I shall not be able to acknowledge the receipt of any letter that may come there for me.  
I trust Ben went back home alright on Monday evening.  
I will write as soon as I get to New York & you should probably have my letter between the 24th and the 29th.  

Believe me  

Yours Truly,  

T. R. D. Byles

Related Biographies:
Thomas Roussel Davids Byles

Acknowledgements
Joan Barry, USA

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    Added to Encyclopedia Titanica Friday 21st November 2003, last updated .