The Toronto Daily Star

Jessie Peuchen Listened to Father's Graphic Story, Then
Wished Him Many Returns


The Woman Waiting at Hotel
Adorned With Jewels

Like Waltz at Funeral


No Discord in the Down-Town
Crowd That Waited Dumbly
for the Dread News.

By a Member of the Star's Women's

New York, April 18. ------Up at the Waldorf waited the crowd who know. When your friend is a millionaire you don’t have to cry long for the truth. The financial significance [sic] of deaths gains recognition where the emotional goes unheeded.

Nevertheless, despite the fact that these beautifully gowned women did not have the spectre of uncertainty to face the concourse in the halls in the drawing rooms [sic] in the offices. [sic] and on the stairways of the big hotel differed but little in essential from the mob that filled 14th street. The gowns were costlier but the gleams of hope, the joy of recognition, and the numb despair of certain tragedy is just the same at the Waldorf as it would be in the Ward.
Perhaps the upper classes are less sympathetic. [sic] There didn’t seem to be a discord in the down-town crowd. Here, the blond-haired woman with the big black hat sits in the room to be left smoking a cigarette, while her sister in anticipated mourning waits dumbly in the hall.

Like Waltz Music at a Funeral.

Yonder in the big carved chair, sits a woman who might been posing for Empress Theodosia, only the jewels comport [sic?] so ill with the dead white and hectic pink of the massaged and rouged face under the puffs of tinted hair. Three bracelets, two pearl chains, rings without number [sic], some of the barbaric size, a sunburst that is fairly tropical and earrings that would touch the withered shoulders if she stooped, make something as inappropriate in this waiting crowd as the tinkle of a waltz at a funeral.

Here and there, too, a reporter holds forth metallically to a crowding audience. Men who have got the truth minus all fear, at second and are apt to be better narrators than those who have stared it in the face within rounding-up distance, and the hour is late, we’d best get to business.

The noiseless elevator and the soft red carpet of the hotel must be a welcome change to a man who rowed all night and swung exhausted on the deck of the rescue ship. They certainly look good to us after our over-the-town chase for news, and we’re very ready indeed to settle down into the proffered chair while Jessie and Alan take the bed. Mr. Thompson sdstan [sic] by the grate and the major occupies the place of honor.

An Enthralling Story.

From time to time, as the story proceeds, Jessie interrupts with a quick question, her mother makes a loud voiced comment, or the reporters venture a query. Other than that, the man in the neglige [sic] shirt [sic] the rough suit and the sweater, goes on with his terrible recital, to an enthralled audience. You have the story on another page. The awful suddenness of the catastrophe, the shocking carelessness and unpreparedness, the privations of the lonely drifters in the ice-cumbered sea, all sound so unbelievable here in this warm, light room. To leave money and jewelry [sic] and valuable gifts, and take three oranges and a tie pin is what one might expect in topsy-turvydom. To find a deck crowd of ladies in evening dress and the most unconventional of negligee, to hear of trousseaux lost and jewels to the value of thirty-five thousand dollars sunk in the sea from the possession of a single woman seems like the things one reads about [sic] but never touches personally.

Home on his Birthday.

And when the story is done, and we have been led through the darkness by the drunken quarter-master, picked up by the Carpathia and treated royalty to blankets and coffee, the strangeness of it all is still further emphasized by Jessie, who turns laughing to the narrator, “Father”, she cries, “it’s almost twelve o’clock, and I haven’t wished you many happy returns. Did you remember, it’s your birthday?”

Related Biographies:

Arthur Godfrey Peuchen


Jason D. Tiller

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