Click below for facts about the Titanic and her two sister ships as well
as the Rescue Ship.
"The Rescue Ship"
Rose's Diary contains her
thoughts and feelings while she was on the Titanic. It also
contains things that occurred in her life before boarding Titanic
and things that occurred after the Titanic tragedy.
|The day of sailing, I had a sense of foreboding and dread. I selected a black outfit to wear, but when Cal saw me in it he asked me to change, telling me it was not fitting to wear black for sailing. Mother asked me why I wanted to wear black and I told her I felt like it. She told me she did not have time for my childish exhibitions today and selected something in white with a large purple hat.
All the while Cal kept pacing and looking at his watch urging me to hurry or the ship would sail without us. When we reached the docks, I got my first sight of Titanic. I was taken by how big she actually was, but beyond that it was just another ship. I am afraid Cal was disappointed because I was not as impressed as he thought I would be. My mind was on other things. I was feeling apprehensive about the return trip home to Philadelphia. I knew that when I returned home, my life would never be my own again. I felt like a prisoner awaiting his execution. Did I make the correct choice when I said I would marry Cal? What lies beyond for me I thought?
Once on board, a steward showed us to our staterooms on B-deck. The maids had begun to assist me in unpacking my things. A week before, Cal had taken me shopping in Paris, where I found a quaint little shop that had some very interesting paintings. I bought several over Cal's disapproval and then spent the afternoon in a nearby park while Cal did some shopping of his own. He said he wanted to get me the perfect engagement present.
I was arranging the paintings in the sitting room when Cal suddenly appeared and made a rude remark calling them finger paintings. The only thing Cal knew about art was its investment value. What he said next embarrassed me. Trudy had remarked about the newness of everything and she would be the first to sleep underneath the sheets, then Cal came up behind me and placed his arms around my waist. He whispered in my ear that when he crawled between the sheets tonight he would also be the first. I had never been with a man before. What I knew about such things I learned from the girls at boarding school. I angrily pushed him away when I noticed Trudy blushing because she had overheard him. I felt like crying.
Later that evening, Titanic had stopped at Cherbourg to take on some passengers. It was JJ and his new wife. John Astor was a close friend of the family. It had created such a scandal when he had remarried a girl that was half his age. He introduced me to Madeline and we exchanged greetings.
Then I overheard a woman scolding the stewards for being so slow. Mother told me that was Margaret Brown and she had struck a fortune in gold in Colorado. She whispered to me "New Money." Mother was belittling of any one who came into sudden wealth and would not have anything to do with them. I could never understand her. It was just an accident of birth that I was born into such a prominent family as Father's. Mother was only a seamstress when she met him but he did not seem to care because he loved her. One time he scolded me when he caught me making fun of some girls less fortunate than myself. He told me it was not how much a person had that mattered but what they were on the inside that counted.
Friday afternoon, mother, Cal and I were having lunch in the Palm Court room. I was only there because Cal had insisted that I be with him. He told me it was a business luncheon and it was very important that I be there with him because Mr. Ismay was a family man and Cal wanted to make a good impression. I told Cal I would although I knew I was going to have a dreadful time. Actually, I think Cal just wanted to show me off.
Hockley Steel had supplied White Star Lines with some of the steel that was used in Titanic's hull. Several thousand tons as Cal liked to boast to everyone. Cal, true to his nature was greedy for more business. Mr. Ismay was going on about Titanic and I lit myself a cigarette to relieve the boredom. Mother voiced her disapproval, but it was Cal who humiliated me in front of the others by taking the cigarette from my hand while everyone watched. He made me feel like a child.
Inside I was furious and I wanted to humiliate Cal like he had just done to me. When Mr. Ismay began to explain why he named the ship Titanic, I interrupted him, asking if he was at all familiar with Freud's theory of the male preoccupation with size. I can still remember the expressions on their faces. The anger was building up inside of me and to avoid any more unpleasant exchanges I excused myself from the table.
I walked out onto the first class deck as far as I could go and just stared at the ocean. I was angry because Cal and mother were trying to rearrange my life. No one seemed to care about my feelings. It was then that I felt someone was watching me. Turning my head, I noticed this young man staring right at me. I blushed when I met his eyes and quickly looked away but when I looked back he was still staring. I was thinking he was quite rude, doesn't he know it is impolite to stare at people.
Then I heard Cal's voice and felt him take my arm. He said that he hoped I was proud of myself and wanted to know what obsessed me to make that rude remark to Mr. Ismay and embarrass the whole dinner party. I told Cal I wanted him to leave me alone and I stormed back down the deck and headed for my room with Cal following closely behind me. He went on about my inappropriate behavior and demanded that I apologize to those people that I had made so uncomfortable with my outburst. I did not want to argue with him so I went back and made my apologies.
During dinner later that evening, I just stared at my food while others around me did not even notice my existence. My hopes and dreams seemed to be slipping away and I felt chained to a destiny that I was not ready for. Events were already in motion and they were moving much
too fast for me. I felt like screaming but they were so engrossed in their endless boring dinner conversation that they probably would not have heard me. I was so angry that I did not realize that I had just pricked the skin on my hand with my crab fork, drawing blood. That immediately brought me to my senses and when mother saw the look on my face she asked if anything was the matter.
I told mother I was feeling a little ill and wished to go lie down for a while.
I excused myself and retired to my bedroom. As I undid my hair I gazed at my reflection in the large mirror on my dressing table. It's as if all my pent-up emotions suddenly broke through the dam that I built for them. Tears welled up in my eyes as I angrily brushed aside the items that were on my table. In my outburst, the hand mirror that father had gotten for my
13th birthday fell off and cracked. On picking it up, it brought back a flood of memories of you father. You were the only one that seemed to care. Why did you have to leave me so soon? I rushed crying out the door and went through the first class entrance to the ship's deck. I ran down the deck towards the back of the ship, rudely bumping into people but really not caring anymore.
Before I realized what was happening, I was at the stern climbing over
the railing and staring intently at the black water swirling below. It
was like a magnet drawing me towards it. I just remember thinking that
they would all be sorry when I'm gone.
Then I heard a voice behind me. I
turned and saw this young man who I recalled as the same person that was
staring at me earlier in the afternoon. I did not know how he got there
but I warned him not to come any closer or I would let go. I cautiously
watched as he slowly moved to the far side of the stern away from me.
Had he been following me I thought to myself? What was he doing here
anyway? Then he said, "no you won't". I glared at him at so rudely telling
me what I would do or not do, just like everyone else in my life and I
told him what I thought of his observation.
He began to take off his jacket and unlaced his shoes and told me if I
jump he would have to jump in after me. I thought he was acting like a
lunatic and I told him he was crazy and the fall alone would kill him.
He just kept staring right at me and he told me that that he was more
concerned about the water being so cold. I asked him how cold? When he
replied freezing, I realized in my desire to want to kill myself, that
I did not realize that the water would be so cold. This made me pause to
think about what I was trying to do and then he asked me if I had ever
been to Wisconsin? I honestly had no idea of what he was talking about
and I looked at him in confusion. Then he started to explain ice fishing
His conversation was beginning to
annoy me and impatiently I told him that I knew what ice fishing was and
gritted my teeth. He sheepishly apologized and said he did not think an
indoor girl like myself would know about it. Then he spoke about him
falling through the ice, and that got my attention. I realized that if I
had jumped and survived the fall, the freezing water would have been an
There was something about him that
intrigued me. Up to this point I had never met anyone quite like him. He
told me that he was not looking forward to jumping in after me but now
he had no choice. I told him he was crazy but then he pointed out to me
that I was the one who was dangling off the back of the ship. He had me
there and I sort of smiled at him. He started to coax me back over the
rail and I realized how foolish and silly my actions had been. As he
offered me his hand, he introduced himself as Jack. I told him my name
and my eyes met his. There was such a soft and gentle look in his face.
Suddenly I lost my footing and
slipped. I began screaming but I felt his hand tighten around my own as
he held me dangling. I thought I was going to slip and fall to my death
and began to scream some more. He looked into my eyes and calmly told me
to pull myself up that he would not let go. All fear left me and I put
my complete trust in him. I managed to get a grip again and I could feel
his muscles tensing as he slowly pulled me back over the railing.
We fell crashing to the deck and
my screams must have attracted the attention of some crewmen. They
immediately assumed that Jack had been trying to take advantage of me
because he was lying on top of me and my stocking was ripped. I must
have tore it on the railing somehow.
Soon they had Jack in handcuffs
and one of the men told another to go and get Cal. He must have known
who I was although I did not recognize him. When Cal arrived he angrily
began accusing Jack and I realized that Jack would be in serious trouble
if I did not do something fast. I told Cal it was an accident and I made
up a story about wanting to see the ships propellers and slipping and
Jack saving me. The master at arms asked Jack if that was the way it
happened and I gave Jack a look hoping he would play along. I was
relieved when Jack understood and reaffirmed my story. They released
him. Jack nearly wound up in the brig because of me.
Cal lead me back to my room but
not until Col. Gracie asked Cal to give something to Jack. Cal offered
Jack 20 dollars. This offended me because Cal did not even thank Jack
for saving my life. He tried to repay his kindness and heroism with
money of all things! I curtly asked Cal if that was the going rate for
saving someone you loved. Cal could see I was upset with him, but what
he did next surprised even me. He invited Jack to join us for dinner the
next night. Little did Cal know that his invitation would be the thing
that brought Jack into my life. Other wise we would have been like two
ships that passed in the night.
As I was preparing for bed, Cal
knocked on my door before letting himself in. He said he knew I had been
feeling melancholy lately and he wanted to lift my spirits. He held a
small velvet box in his hand, which he opened to reveal the most
exquisite necklace I had ever seen. He told me this was my engagement
present from him. He had wanted to give it to me at the engagement gala
when we arrived home, but he decided that now would be a good time and
hoped it would brighten my spirits. So this is what Cal had been looking
for last week in Paris I thought. It was a very antique piece "Le
Coeur de la Mer." Cal called it. It is French for "Heart of
He placed it around my neck and I felt its weight around my throat as
the large diamond reflected the light back into the mirror. He softly
told me that there would be nothing he would deny me if I would not deny
him. I wondered if this was also Cal's way of getting me to come to his
bed. The necklace seemed too close around my neck like a dog collar and
made me feel like I was something that Cal owned and could control, like
one of his thoroughbred racehorses or priceless art collection.
That night I had a hard time
falling asleep. I had been entertaining second thoughts about my
upcoming marriage but now it was too late to back out. I could not get
Jack out of my mind. He was so much different than Cal, and our two
worlds were so far apart. Cal referred to his kind as gutter rats but I
seemed to sense something special about him. Had Cal been able to love
me more with tenderness and feelings and see me as a person instead of
showering me with expensive gifts, perhaps Jack would have never come