My, what a day! This first afternoon on the steamer was quite an eventful one. But then the first day on an expedition usually is. We arrived at the dock a bit later than Professor Ross had intended. There seemed to be road blockages on every street possible on the way to the dock. If our taxi driver had not been so adroit we would have missed our ship all together.
Then, just before we boarded, Gene arrived. Honestly, the boy surprised me. I truly didn’t think he cared anymore. I would have written him from Egypt anyway, even if he did not see me off. He is my childhood friend, and that at least should count for something even though he has become a bit of a dandy and drunkard. I never thought it would happen knowing him the way I do. My greatest hope is that he will find a better path to take. His kiss goodbye was quite startling, but on further consideration, I do not think it meant anything and am convinced Gene will find another lady to call his “girl” when I’m gone. I only hope she will lead him down that right path.
Enough of my old friend. Mrs. Billings and I have settled quite nicely into our rooms. They are adjoined to my professor’s cabin by a well-appointed sitting room. This whole arrangement is far more than I had bargained for. Very posh way for a girl to travel on expedition I’d say. But I suppose Mrs. Billings likes her comforts. I just hope she didn’t have to shell out a pile of extra money to take me with her. I like to make my own way.
Tonight at dinner Professor Ross was very protective for some reason. He appeared to be scanning the other passengers with intense interest and such a set expression of annoyance on his face that I thought it would surely stay that way. I thought he’d kill the young man who asked me to dance. Honestly, he must have been a brave one just to approach the table. Poor fellow, his friends all laughed at him when he went back to his own table defeated.