Jenny Lind: the Swedish Nightingale

By Gladys Denny Shultz | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TEN
Departure and Arrival

THE CROWDS had started assembling long before daybreak. They packed the docks nearest the spot where the S. S. Atlantic lay at anchor, not far from shore, and the lines were rapidly extending up and down the banks of the Mersey. The river itself was filling with craft, large and small.

It was still early morning when the head of the Liverpool police roused John Hall Wilton, whom Barnum had sent back to England to help Jenny in the arrangements for her departure, to say that if the Lind party were to arrive at the quay between 9 and 10 A.M., as had been planned, the authorities could not guarantee to keep Jenny from injury in the crush that would inevitably ensue.

The plans were hastily changed, and at a quarter of eight, Jenny and her fellow artists slipped out of their hotel by a side door, where a police escort was waiting. To escape detection, the carriages took a devious route, through byways and alleys, to a dock where a river boat was moored. Even so, a group of idlers on the dock recognized Jenny, and were so delighted to have a close look at her that the police had difficulty in getting the men to stand back and let the party through. Though the intentions of the men could not have been friendlier, Jenny was white and trembling when she boarded the river boat, which carried them to the S. S. Atlantic without further incident.

Just before 10:30, the hour appointed for sailing, a carriage drove up to the S. S. Atlantic's dock at a furious pace, a man in clergyman's garb

-165-

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