Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Titanic and the Loo

A funny thing happened to my heroine, Katie O’Reilly, on the way to the loo when she boarded the Titanic. She couldn’t believe what she saw in the stateroom of Captain Lord Blackthorn (Jack):
“I’m still waiting for you to remove your clothes,” Jack said, agitated. She was not listening to him, marveling instead at the modern appointments in his elegantly furnished cabin. She seemed especially intrigued by the bathroom with its double sink and commode.

Had the girl never seen an indoor toilet before?
I’m sure you’re wondering why his lordship asked Katie to remove her clothes. I’ll tell you this: it’s part of his plan to hide her from the captain and the ship’s officers during the crossing. Kate is reluctant to do what he asks:
“I’m leaving me homeland to be rid of such frippery and do fine and proper work.” Katie started putting her clothes back on. She wasn’t set on going to America all blushes and roses only to be pushed back into service. “No, me lord, I’ll take me chances with the captain.”

“Then you won’t change your mind?”


“Too bad,” he said with a smug attitude. “The countess’s stateroom has its own private bathroom.”

Her eyes bugged out. “You wouldn’t be fooling me?”

What Katie is about to find out is that Titanic’s first class passengers enjoyed such luxuries as an electric heater in their bathroom, linoleum tiles and pure Vinolia Otto toilet soap smelling of lemon and spice. The captain enjoyed his bath with a choice of fresh or seawater, hot or cold.

Third class or steerage had plenty of lavatories, but they didn’t wash much if the number of tubs on board was any indication, as Katie found out:

He shook his head. “I hear there are only two tubs in steerage for seven hundred passengers.

“Two tubs for all them people?”

“Rather cozy, if you ask me.”

“And you call yourself a gentleman?” Katie said. A girl might be convinced to take off her clothes with that kind of talk. That and a private bathroom. “I wouldn’t be surprised if you were like them gents who took advantage of a lady and kissed her full on the mouth.”

He smirked. “The ladies I’ve met have never objected.”

Captain Lord Blackthorn is quite a rogue and finds Katie more than he can handle. Can this plucky Irish lass win the heart of a titled British gentleman?

Or is it just a shipboard romance he’s after? After all, he’s used to a life of privilege and entertaining the most beautiful aristocratic ladies.

Wealth came with its own set of rules and the first passengers played it for all it was worth…will Captain Lord Blackthorn see that his world is coming to an end before it’s too late?

Before he loses Katie?

Next time on Titanic Wednesdays: Titanic, Chocolate Truffles and Romance Novels


Wynter Daniels said...

I'm loving Katie already. Two tubs for 700, huh? It's always sucked to be poor!

Jina Bacarr said...

Thanks, Wynter--yep, 2 tubs. Let's hope they had more than 2 bars of soap!

Even though the washing facilities were iffy for steerage, they did enjoy excellent meals (oatmeal porridge, Swedish bread and marmalade for breakfast) and much better accommodations than on other ships.

Michelle Polaris said...

I know which option I'd choose. I can't stand going a day without a shower.

Jina Bacarr said...

Thanks for stopping by, Michelle! It wasn't easy keeping clean back then. Some form of a shower was available in first class staterooms, acc. to some info I've found, but not like the showers we have today.

Dalton Diaz said...

I love the way the book is shaping up. The details are amazing!

Jina Bacarr said...

Thank you, Dalton! I believe weaving the details of the Titanic into my story is like wearing the right bra--it lifts you up and gives you confidence even if no one ever sees it.

Dalton Diaz said...

Oh, it would be noticed. There's a reason Ash gave me a pen name where I could call myself DD

Jina Bacarr said...

Dalton, not easy to put on your lifebelt!!

...which was made of cork, btw.