BC: the end...
FC: Clara's Adventure | By Riley Stenehjem
1: The year was 1815. I was on my voyage to America with my family. We had left from Denmark after the bankruptcy. It was my mother and father, two brothers, and three sisters. We were aboard the Freedom, captained by Mr. Wesley Clemins. The voyage was peaceful for the first three weeks. . | We kept to ourselves, not bothering the crew, except maybe for my curious younger brother Andy. We would walk upon the deck, examining the tall masts, watching sailors climb the Royal Yard. I felt the wind blow my hair back as I stood at the bowsprit watching the sun rise and set. We met with Mr. Clemins daily for tea, enjoying his lively stories of the sea. The Freedom was the newest ship that the company owned, built just before this trip
2: There were three other passenger families. Only one family had children, the Jones. They were my age, two daughters, named Emily and Rebbecca. We talked about the new gloves and dresses we would buy upon our arrival. We marveled over the wonders that were waiting for us in America. We were of important cultural status on this brig. We would do no work at all, at least that was the plan at the start. Now I must tell the tale of the unpleasant part of the voyage. It was a cloudy morning, three weeks into our sailing trip. I had taken Andy, Elizabeth, and Joseph on a stroll of the quarter deck. A sailor by the name of Williams greeted us from his post at the wheel. "A bit breezy out, isn't it, Clara?" asked Joseph, the youngest of the family. "Yes, it is, Joseph. Keep your hat on!, or you'll catch cold" I scolded him. He obliged, yanked his woolen cap back on.
3: "Looks like there's a storm on the horizon, children. Best keep to your cabins during it." the sailor informed us. I nodded, like mother told me to do when I was spoken to. "yes, sir." our four young voices chorused. As we walked past the Captain's cabin, he waved at us through the port holes. I waved back, and then he continued to gesture at me, telling us to go inside. I opened the door right as a great blast of wind shot through the brig, sending the Captain's papers flying. "Children." he greeted us. "Hello, Cap'n!" said Andy, sounding like the sailor he was soon to become. Captain Clemins smiled. "Did you need something, sir?" I asked, wishing to return to our cabin. "Yes, Clara, I do. There is a storm brewing. A large storm, and it might delay our arrival. I request of you three to spread that among you family and the other passengers. and, along with that, please tell them to remain below decks until the storm is over, beginning tonight. I would suggest you get all the fresh air you need now while you can." Mr. Clemins instructed. "Yes, sir, I shall do as I am told." I replied, and with a whirl of my skirts, left the cabin. I passed Emily and Rebbecca on the deck. "Hello, Clara!" Emily greeted me. "Hi, Emily, Rebbecca. The captain wishes for me to inform you of the great storm that is brewing. He also says to stay below decks for the length of the storm, beginning tonight. If you'd like some fresh air, get it now when you have the chance." I replied. "Oh, my! I will certainly inform my family of this!" Rebbecca gasped. She took her sister by the arm, and strode with purpose across the deck.
4: After dinner the storm began, like the Captain had predicted. A bell clanged, signaling for all hands. "All hands! All hands!" thundered the first mate's voice. A window in the dining hall looked out onto the sea. Rain poured down, and great streaks of white and yellow light the dark horizon. "To the cabin, children." Mother ordered. My five siblings and I left the dining hall with Emily and Rebbecca. Our parents stayed behind, talking business with the adults. Andy dared to peek his head out on the deck. The opening of the door that led to the deck brought in a torrent of rain, soaking the wooden steps. "Andrew! Get back here!" I snapped at him. My brother turned, his hair matted on his head from the rain, and grinned a goofy grin. We sat in the cabin for what seemed like forever. The storm raged around us. Finally, I decided that the children should go to bed. "Andy, Elizabeth, Joseph, Carrie, and Sarah, get into your beds, please." I ordered them. Moments later my parents returned, and Emily and Rebecca left. A sailor knocked upon our door. "Miss, Sir, you are needed in the Captain's Cabin." With out waiting for a reply, the sailor left. My parents left me in charghe of the children while they went to see what they were needed for.
5: Mother and Father returned quite distraught. "That captain wants us to-to-to... to WORK!" Mother exclaimed. "Work?" I gasped. "Work!" she repeated. "Oh, dear, you agreed. A little cooking and cleaning won't hurt." my Father told her. With a huff and a shake of her head, my mother said, "Oh... I suppose. Early morning tomorrow, darling. Best get to sleep." For three weeks I woke at 5 am, and cooked a meal for 15 sailors. Afterwards, I washed 15 dirty shirts, and fifteen dirty trousers. My normally soft hands became harder from the washing. I watched my brother and father climb high up the masts, once to the royal yard! Finally, I was ever so grateful when I heard the call: "LAND HO!"
6: After returning home, I was happy to return to my usual, ladylike lifestyle. My brother Andy, however, left home at age 16 and became a sailor. I like to remember a quote someone told me aboard the ship: “There's no thrill in easy sailing when the skies are clear and blue, there's no joy in merely doing things which any one can do. But there is some satisfaction that is mighty sweet to take, when you reach a destination that you never thought you'd make."