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Rated: E · Fiction · Drama · #2220330
A famous musician’s story is told from aboard the Titanic on her fateful maiden voyage.
One
Demise


“Many brave things were done that night, but none were more brave than those done by men playing minute after minute as the ship settled quietly lower and lower in the sea. The music they played served alike as their own immortal requiem and their right to be recalled on the scrolls of undying fame.”

Titanic Second Class Passenger
April 1912


R.M.S Titanic
North Atlantic Ocean
April 14, 1912
11:39 P.M


“It’s bloody cold out here, is it not?” Fleet said as he looked out into the vast, dark horizon. And faintly, blending in with its surroundings, was a large object obstructing the beautiful horizon ahead.

Frederick Fleet and his co-lookout, both looked out into the distance. Without having their binoculars equipped on them, it made seeing the object very, very difficult.

“You see that?” Fleet asked. He lifted his arm out and pointed out into the front of the ship. “Look right there,” Fleet continued. “What is that?”

The two lookouts squinted their eyes, trying to figure out what it was that was lurking in front of Titanic. Then it hit them.

“Iceberg!” Fleet said as he quickly turned around to dial the Bridge. He needed to warn them of the impending doom ahead. The phone began ringing. Another thirty seconds went by before anyone answered.

“Hello?” Third Officer Pitman said as he answered the call from the lookouts nest. “What is it? Is something wrong?”

Without hesitation, Fleet responded “Iceberg. Right ahead!”

“Thank you for this information,” Third Officer Pitman said as he hung up the phone. And as he did that, First Officer Murdoch came running onto the Bridge. He gave his first, of series, order.

“Hard to Starboard!” Murdoch yelled as the helmsman quickly began turning the wheel to the left as fast as he could.

Murdoch then ran to the telemeter to send a full astern to the engine room. He pulled the golden lever back to “Full Astern” and pulled it forward again. The change of speed request was sent.

Once the wheel was hard over, the helmsman responded. “She’s hard over sir.” He was holding the wheel in place with all of his might.

Murdoch ran back outside to see if his ship would miss the iceberg. Titanic slowly began turning to its left as fast as she could.

He gripped the railing and watched the ship slowly begin her turn away from the impending doom just hundreds of feet ahead.

The telemeter dinged back, indicating the engines were now going full astern. Murdoch looked back at the Bridge. Third Officer Pitman, Helmsman Hitchins, and Second Officer Lightoller were all standing in silence waiting to see Titanic dodge her first Iceberg.

With the engines full astern and the rudder hard over to Starboard, there was simply no way the ship would hit the iceberg—head on at least.

She got closer and closer. Murdoch was sweating, with sweat pouring down his face like a dripping faucet.

“Come on, come on!” He said as the bow nearly missed the iceberg. Then the ship struck the iceberg, with it scraping down her starboard bow.

The entire ship began shaking, and it could be felt everywhere. Helmsman Hitchins was gripping the wheel as it shook violently.

Murdoch ran back to the bridge and gave his second order. “Hard to Port!”

Hitchins then began turning the wheel back to his right to turn the Titanic away from the iceberg so her propellers wouldn’t be impacted and potentially broken off by the ice.

Suddenly, to Murdoch’s right, he looked up at the gigantic iceberg slowly moving past him. It was towering over the Titanic, like the Empire State Building.

Murdoch went back onto the Bridge to talk to the other officers. As he did that, Captain Smith came onto the bridge half dressed.

“What happened?” Captain Smith asked as he looked around at the panicked Officers, including William Murdoch.

“An iceberg, Sir,” Murdoch said. “I tried turning hard to Starboard, but she wasn’t fast enough. I also put the ships full astern. But she hit. I logged the collision at 11:40p.m. I then ported around the iceberg.”

Captain Smith's face went from having a tired look to an extremely concerned look. He walked outside and looked over the side of the ship to see if he could spot any damage or ice residue.

There was nothing. He turned around to face Murdoch and Lightoller. “Where’s Mr. Andrews? We need to exchange words.”

Ala Cartè Cafe
11:39 P.M
R.M.S Titanic


“Wedding Dance is one of my favorites,” Theodore said as the band continued to play on in the cafè. They were playing classical tunes to accommodate the First Class passengers.

It was getting late, and outside it was completely dark. You couldn’t see past the emitting light coming from Titanic. The waters were calm, and there were no crosswinds anywhere. Chilly it was though.

The band would only play two more tunes before retiring for the evening to their cabins. As they were playing the Wedding Dance, a slight and subtle jolt shook the entire cafè.

“What was that?” Roger asked as he continued playing his Cello.

“Probably just the engines. I wouldn’t worry,” Wallace said. “That’s normal for a gigantic ship like her.”

“Are you sure? That didn’t feel normal at all,” Roger mentioned.

“I assure you everything will be alright my kind man,” Wallace reassured.

“Alright.”

The band continued to play on as if undisturbed by the sudden jolt. A few minutes passed by without any cause for concern.

At approximately 11:50 PM, Roger again expressed concern for the liner. There was a noticeable slant forward, like a slanted slide.

Everyone was putting their instruments away, except for Theodore. He put the piano lid down, and locked it shut. Wallace locked his violin away into its black case along with the boe.

He picked it up. “No need for concern. This is the safest liner afloat. No man, object, or anything for that matter can sink her. Ask the designer himself. I hear he’s on board Titanic for her Maiden Voyage.”

“I actually saw him this morning for Sunday Church Services,” Percy mentioned.

“If you’re concerned about the safety of everyone on board this ship, I advise you to go speak with Mr. Andrews,” Theodore said as he grabbed his hat and put it on. “Good night gentlemen.”

Wallace put his hand on Roger’s left shoulder and faintly smiled. “You young men always have the slightest insight to how a vessel like Titanic operates. If anything is wrong, we would have been informed by now, my friend. Go back to your cabin and get some sleep. Goodnight Roger. See you tomorrow morning.”

Wallace proceeded to walk out of the cafè to head back to his cabin to turn in for the night. Once he was in the hallway, a stewardess approached him. She had a life vest on.

“Madam?” Wallace asked. “Is everything okay?”

She was voiceless, the panic and fear running through her veins. Her eyes showed every emotion she was feeling. That told Wallace a lot.

“They told us,” she began to say in a shaky voice, “that we must get everyone up to the main deck immediately. A lifeboat drill is it.”

“At this hour?” Wallace asked as he reached into his pocket to grab his pocket watch. The time read 11:56 p.m. A lifeboat drill this late is quite out of the ordinary.

The first class Grand Staircase was littered with fancy furniture, maple wood paneling, tiled floor with hints of gold embedded in it. The most impressive of them all was the large glass dome that was above. In the center of the dome and staircase was a large chandelier that hung down to give off enough light to see.

“It is quite odd that we’re having a lifeboat drill this late of an hour. What is really going on?” Wallace asked as a male steward came running down the hallway and into the Grand Staircase.

“Lilliana?” He yelled. “What are you doing? Captain gave us clear orders! So do them now!”

Wallace looked at the man. “Do you know what is happening?”

“I know the ship is taking on water. I was in the mail room when water just started pouring into the ship. Me and a few other people quickly escaped, leaving behind tons of mail from England.”

Wallace frowned. Roger came walking out of the Ala Cartè Cafè and approached Wallace and the two crew members. “I felt a jolt. I overheard someone say the ship is taking on water?”

“Indeed she is. Passengers who were taking evening strolls, say they saw a massive object slowly gliding by the starboard side of her. It was so close that you would have reached out and touched it.”

Roger glanced to his right at Wallace. He hit his arm ever so slightly. “Told you there’s something wrong,” he said as he focused his attention on the male steward. “Is she going to sink?”

There was suddenly silence among everyone. Passengers who turned in early for the evening were being awoken all around the ship. First, Second, and Third Class.

The slant forward was becoming more and more apparent as time went on, causing panic to erupt throughout the entire liner.

“If you’d excuse us,” the male steward said. “No need to worry. I’m sure we’ll be back on our way shortly. They’re doing an inspection as we speak. In fact, we’re sailing at about 10 knots right now until the inspection is done. Just go back to your cabins. Good evening gentlemen.”

And off the two steward’s went, walking frantically down the hallway towards more First Class cabins. Roger and Wallace exchanged a few more words.

“I told you there is something wrong. And by the sounds of it, I don’t think we’ll be going back to sleep for awhile. I’m heading back to my cabin in the meantime. See you soon, Wally.”

“Good evening Roger.”

And after that, Wallace began his walk back down to his Second Class Cabin. He passed many other stewards and stewardesses on his way.

Back at his cabin, he gently set his violin down on the chair and walked over to his small vanity with a mirror. Laying on the top was a letter he began writing to his wife Maria Robinson.

He pulled his chair back and sat down. He grabbed his dip pen and dipped it in the ink cup. He scrapped the old letter and began an entirely new letter.

His room had a bed, with a curtain to hide his bed. It was meaty made, the curtain tucked back. A sink and mirror hung on the wall next to the bed. A towel was draped from the sink, hanging down.

Hartley began writing his letter:

To my dearest Maria,

I hate having to tell you this news, but I fear I will not be returning home next week. The Maiden voyage of Titanic was splendid the past few days.

I am currently back at my cabin, waiting to hear anything further of what is really happening aboard this majestic vessel.

I am unable to stay, unwilling to leave. I have played my tunes many times on this voyage and tonight will sadly be my last.

I had asked a crew member what was going on. When I was playing in the Ala Cartè Cafè at approximately 11:40, I felt a sudden jolt rock the entire ship. It was subtle. Not everyone noticed it. My Bandmate, Roger Bricoux, had also felt the shaking. There was no panic among anybody.

I mustn’t worry, right?

As he was writing his letter, someone had knocked on his door. He looked back at his door and got up. He approached the door and opened it slightly. It was Captain Edward J. Smith and Thomas Andrews.

“Good evening, Mr. Hartley,” Thomas Andrews greeted. “May we come in? I’m afraid this is urgent.”

“Urgent?” Wallace questioned as he further opened his door and allowed the two gentlemen to come into his cabin. “Please—come in.”

Wallace shut the door behind them. Thomas and Edward were standing in the small room.

“What is going on, Mr. Andrews?” Wallace asked. “I felt something unorthodox.”

Thomas sighed, as did Captain Smith. “We struck an iceberg,” Smith stated.

“An iceberg?” Wallace said shocked. “Was that the shaking and sudden jolt I felt?”

Captain Smith nodded.

“We have just finished our damage evaluation,” Thomas Andrews said. “And by the looks of the damage, Titanic will founder.”

“What he means is that Titanic will sink in time,” Smith mentioned.

“She's sinking?”

“Yes,” Andrews said. “I thought my watertight, state of the art, counter methods would forbid the ship from sinking, but my designs were flawed.”

“How long do we have?”

“I predict that she will disappear beneath the water in about an hour or hour and a half. Not much time at all.”

“The reason we came here was to ask you and your fellow band mates to play ragtime tunes to calm the passengers.”

“I thought this was a lifeboat drill?”

“I told my crew to tell no one the real reason. This is all my fault,” Smith said. “If only I had listened.”

“Listened to what?”

“The ice warnings. This could’ve all been avoided.”

Wallace chuckled. He tossed his arms up into the air and turned his back against the two gentlemen. “Mr. Andrews this is not your fault.”

“I know.”

“You want me to play until she’s under?” Wallace asked. “Is that it?”

“Only until rescue arrived. We’ve been in contact with a nearby vessel. Hopefully they will arrive soon,” Captain Smith said.

“I’ll do it,” Wallace said as he turned around to face them once more. “For the sake of the people. Don’t think for one second, Captain Smith, that I’m doing this for you. I’m not. I’ll do as you ask.”

“Thank you kindly,” Thomas Andrews said. “Your bravery is much appreciated.”

Captain Smith and Thomas Andrews proceeded for the door. Thomas opened it. “Get a life jacket on and head up to the main deck please. Lifeboats are being prepared as we speak.”

“I will most certainly do that. Thank you gentlemen.”

The cabin door closed, leaving Hartley alone in his cabin. He immediately grabbed his violin and took one last glance around his cabin. A cabin he will never see again. He had a plan, and he intended to make that plan useful.

He walked towards the door and opened it. With his violin in its case, he shut the door behind him. The only things he was missing were his wife’s letter and a life jacket.

He was ready to play some of the finest ragtime tunes before Titanic completely sinks.


Two
Birth of a Legend

June 7th, 1878
Colne, Lancashire, England


“It’s a boy!” Elizabeth said as she looked down at her newborn baby boy. She comfortably cradled in her arms, keeping him warm. He had a white, cotton, blanket wrapped around his tiny naked body.

The gas lamp, hanging on the wall alongside both sides of the bed, continued to burn and emit light. Albion, Elizabeth’s husband, sat in a chair next to the bed, admiring the beauty of his newborn son.

He cried and whined. He moved unsteadily around in his blanket. Elizabeth and Albion tried their very best to keep him as calm as possible.

“I have an idea for a name,” Albion said.

“And what’s that dear?”

“Wallace for his first name. Henry for his middle name, and Hartley for his last.”

“I love that name,” Elizabeth said as she looked down at him with the biggest smile on her face. She was still breathing heavily, along with sweating a lot as well.

“Welcome to the World, my Wallace Henry Hartley. I can already see you making a big difference in this time and future.”

“He’s going to grow up to be an icon one day. I can feel it,” Albion said.

“That’ll be our son one day.”

10 Years Later
September 1, 1888


“Wallace?” Albion said as he walked into Wallace’s bedroom. He was still asleep.

Albion silently walked over to his bed and took a seat at the end of it. He reached up to the gas lantern hanging on the wall just over his bed. He twisted it to ignite the flame. Light began shining, lighting up everything in the corner of the bedroom.

“Wake up, son,” Albion said as he set his hand down on his shoulder and gently shook him. He squirmed around for a moment before opening his eyes.

His rubbed his eyes clean of crust and fluttered them. He looked up at his father.

“Good morning,” Albion said. “Ready for your first day of school as a third grader?”

“Yes papa. I will be downstairs in a minute,” Wallace said as he threw the covers off of him. He was still wearing his white, cotton, gown his mother had sown for him for his birthday.

Albion walked over to the door. Before he closed the door he smiled at his precious, young man.

“You mustn’t be late. We don’t want to upset your mother.”

“I understand Papa,” Wallace responded as Albion shook his head and gently shut the bedroom door. He then walked away down the stairs and went into the kitchen.

Once Wallace was all dressed, he sat down on his bed to put on his shoes. He tied the laces to both shoes as best as he could. He buttoned up his brown vest and put his hat on. After that, he brushed his clothing free of wrinkles and proceeded on to go downstairs.

“Good morning, Wallace,” Elizabeth said as she prepared a plate of freshly cooked breakfast for him. He takes a seat at the small, rounded wooden table. He takes his hat off and sets it down on the tabletop.

Albion, Wallace’s father took a seat next to him. Elizabeth brought over two full plates of breakfast.

“Eggs, bacon, seasoned potato skins, and toast to finish,” Elizabeth said as she set the two plates down in front of Albion and Wallace.

She went back to the counter to grab her plate. Once back at the table, she took a seat. She grabbed her fabric cloth and set it down on her lap neatly.

“Now,” she began, “Who would like to say a prayer on this fine morning?”

“I’ll do it mama,” Wallace said.

Everyone grabbed hands and nealt their heads. They all closed their eyes.

“Good morning, Lord,” Wallace began. “The Hartley family would like to thank you for providing this delicious breakfast on this fine morning. We wouldn’t have food to fill our stomachs if it were not for you, Lord. And we thank you for that.

“Mama would like to thank you for blessing her with a child. Oh I hope that it is a boy, yes indeed I do. I cannot wait. Even if it is a sister, I wouldn’t mind.

“Papa would like to thank you for blessing him each and every day as he travels to and from the chapel. Papa told me that he plans on showing his choir a new song. I am ecstatic to find out what that song is, ain’t that right papa?” Wallace asked.

“Yes,” Albion said, with his eyes still closed and his head tilted down, with a smile. Elizabeth chuckled.

“Hurry up honey. Food will be cold by the time you’re done,” Elizabeth said.

“Thank you, my Lord, for everything you do for this family. Amen,” Wallace concluded.

Everyone grabbed their forks and began eating their breakfast together. “Milk will be delivered this afternoon sometime. I’ll be shopping with the ladies from work. Can you sign for it, honey?” Elizabeth asked politely.

“Of course.”

“Thank you.”

“So Wallace,” Elizabeth said as she redirected her sight at Wallace. She smiled. “We both have something we’d like to ask you.”

“What is mama and papa?” He asked curiously as he stuffed the fork into his mouth and ate some seasoned potato skins.

“We overheard your music teacher talking about your sudden interest in playing an instrument? Is that true?”

Wallace froze. He was shocked that they found out about that. He was planning on asking them for a violin soon, but now was not the right time. He nods.

“Yes mama,” he responded as he swallowed the potato skins. “I want to try that instrument with the boe and strings.”

“The cello?”

“No. It’s smaller.”

“The violin?”

“That’s the one.”

“And who would teach you?” Elizabeth asked.

“Myself.”

“Very optimistic. I love that about you, son,” Albion said. “Tell you what?”

He leaned in closer as did Wallace. “When your mama goes to take a nap, we’ll go look at instruments? How does that sound?”

“Sounds amazing. I cannot wait.”

Albion leaned back in his chair and glanced at Elizabeth. She smiled.

“Like I said when he was born, he’s going to be an icon one day. And this is just the beginning of it,” Elizabeth mentioned.

Albion and Wallace both smiled. “And like I said, that will be our boy. I can already see him being the best there is. And maybe, just maybe, he’ll be so good, the Cunard Line will ask him to perform on their vessels one day?”

“Oh how that’d be so wondrous!” Elizabeth said as her cheeks got super red.

April 8, 1912
R.M.S Titanic
2 Days Until Maiden Voyage


“Ahh, good morning Mr. Hartley. What a fine day, is it not?” Joseph Bruce Ismay, the head of White Star Line, said as he held his hand out to shake Wallace’s hand.

Wallace and Mr. Ismay were meeting for the first time in the grandest part of the new luxury liner, the Grand Staircase in First Class. Accompanying Mr. Ismay was Thomas Andrews. He was Titanic’s designer. The man who birthed the Titanic’s design and concept.

“Good morning, gentlemen,” Hartley said in a pleasant and uplifting tone. He was carrying his brown leather violin case in his left hand.

Wallace gently set the case down on the white, tiled floor next to him. He shook both gentlemen’s hands.

“What a fine day indeed, Mr. Ismay,” Wallace said as he briefly shook Joseph’s hand.

Thomas smiled. He pulled his left arm out from behind his back to shake Wallace’s hand.

Thomas Andrews and Joseph Ismay were wearing elegant and proper tuxedos. White, button up shirts with a black bow tie at the collar area, black pants, and shoes. Thomas was wearing a gray coat. Ismay was wearing a black coat. The two gentlemen fancied extremely pricy leather black shoes. They were shiny, almost as if they had purchased them just hours ago.

“Nice to meet you, Mr. Andrews. I’m Wallace Henry Hartley. I’ll be your Bandmaster for the Maiden Voyage of this fine vessel.”

“We’re glad you could make history with us,” Thomas said delightfully as he switched subjects suddenly. “To compete with the Cunard Line, Mr. Ismay here came to me one evening with an idea,” Thomas said as he glanced over at Joseph.

“Indeed I did. While I was out dining with Mr. Pierre, of the Harland and Wolff Shipbuilding yard in Belfast, a bright and absurd idea came to me. I told Mr. Pierre that we should build three massive liners to compete with Cunard.”

Wallace stood there with his hands behind his back, politely listening to the story that Joseph was telling about his outrageous and vigorous plan.

“And I didn’t want to compete for speed, no. I wanted to compete with luxury. And so, that night I drew up a concept on a napkin. I kept it in my pocket until I met with Thomas.”

“When he told me the idea of building such mass and exotic liners, I felt a bit nervous about bringing something that enormous to life. But here we are today. It took two years to build her. I cannot wait to see what our incoming guests will say once they board,” Thomas said.

“I’m excited to be a part of her Maiden Voyage. I would personally like to thank Mr. Ismay for booking us on this ship. I look forward to playing for everyone,” Wallace said happily.

Joseph nodded his head and smiled. “Glad to hear that. No person, not related to building or designing Titanic has ever stepped foot on here. You’re the first person besides Captain Smith, the crew, me, and Mr. Andrews,” Ismay said, “now would you care for a tour of the ship?”

Wallace kneeled down to pick his violin case up to carry it once more. “Of course. Thank you.”

He began following close behind Joseph Ismay and Thomas Andrews. The first place to show Wallace was the Grand Staircase.

The stained maplewood architecture on the walls, the white tiled flooring with hints of gold and black, the maplewood railings, and the clock at the top of the first flight of stairs. It was telling the time, as it should be.

The dome above caught the attention of Wallace. He walked over to the railing and looked up. The glass dome was so beautiful, Wallace became frozen, admiring the beauty of the entire Grand Staircase.

“Truly beautiful decorations and architecture, Mr. Andrews,” Wallace mentioned, complementing Thomas’ work on design and layouts.

“Thank you, Wallace,” Thomas responded, accepting the pleasant complement. They continued walking around, showing Wallace where everything was. They didn’t want him getting lost on his first day aboard, especially with all of the immigrating and rich passengers. It would be too crowded and bewildering.

“Done here, we have the Ala Cartè Cafè, and the Starboard Promenade Deck. On your left is the Port Promenade Deck, and Chapel for Sunday Worshipping,” Ismay said as he continued pointing everything out and where it was situated on the ship.

“When I arrived here and looked up at the ship, Titanic looked almost as if it were a floating city. Truly magnificent if I say so myself.”

“That’s what she’s intended to be, of course,” Ismay stated. “And the best of all—she’s unsinkable. Nothing can sink this here fine vessel. Not even God could sink the Titanic.”

Thomas intruded on the conversation Joseph and Wallace were having. “Mr. Ismay. This ship isn’t unsinkable. In fact nothing is unsinkable. I designed Titanic to withstand significant damage to the first four watertight bulkheads. Any more damage than that, she wouldn’t stay afloat much longer.

“But I assure you Wallace that you are on one of the safest vessels in the world. Proper safety precautions were taken to ensure that every passenger has the feeling of being safe at sea,” Thomas concluded.

Joseph sighed. “Well we won’t have to worry about that, will we?”

“Well,” Thomas Andrews said. “It is still considered spring. And because of that, icebergs will be a major factor in crossing the Atlantic safely.”

“Like I said, unsinkable. Until I see that a ship of this mass sinks, I won’t believe it.”

“Everyone here has different opinions of things,” Thomas said to Wallace as he glanced at him. “Just let him have his moment to shine. Yes I was the one who designed her, but Ismay is the owner. He’s over-ecstatic about the entire voyage. We’ll definitely catch some press when we dock in New York on April 17.”

They were now walking down a long, narrow but brightly lit hallway. Doors lined the Starboard and Portside walls. It seemed as if this ship would never end.

The hallway was decorated with red carpet with gold lining, the walls were made of white, oak wood architecture and paneling. Lamps mounted on the walls every other cabin door, shined bright.

“This is First Class cabins,” Ismay mentioned. “Some of the wealthiest men will board this ship in four days and reside here for the voyage to New York.”

“If you don’t mind my asking Sir, how much does a First Class ticket cost?”

“Anywhere from £150 pounds, to £4,350 pounds for a Parlour Suite.”

“That’s really high up there Mr. Ismay,” Wallace said.

“Half of the cost would go towards servicing Titanic. Operating a vessel of this size is very costly, you know.”

“I understand. Especially with the high coal prices these days.”

“White Star has transferred all of their remaining coal reserves from other ships in the fleet to Titanic to power her for her Maiden Voyage,” Thomas Andrews explained.

“That’s amazing. Must take large quantities to power her?”

“Indeed. 852 tons of coal needs to be burned a day to generate steam. She’s the Queen on water,” Thomas said.

“Queen on Water,” Wallace repeatedly said to himself mentally. “I like the sound of that.”

“Down this way gentlemen,” Ismay said as he turned right to go down another hallway. This hallway had Second Class cabins situated on each side of the hallway.

“This is where you’ll be located on departure day,” Thomas mentioned. “That goes for your band as well. They’ll all be residing in Second Class.”

As they continued walking, the hallway came to an end, splitting off to the right and left. The right, obviously, went back towards the Grand Staircase. The left would take them deeper astern to explore more amenities Titanic had to offer.

“Down here, you’ll have Turkish Baths, a Smoking Lounge, and a Library. Conveniently located nearby is the Hospital. If you or your band mates were to fall ill, that would be the place to go for treatment.”

“I’m not going to want to leave this ship. After the voyage I will want to stay on it, if that’s okay? Just for the voyage home?” Wallace asked.

“You’re book through your employer for her voyage to and from New York City,” Ismay stated. “You will be located in Second Class for both voyages.”

About another forty minutes went by. Thomas and Joseph have both shown Wallace around so he, again, wouldn’t get lost.

By now they’ve made their way up to the Bridge. Thomas has told Wallace that the Captain would like to meet him and introduce himself. Wallace accepted and followed the two gentlemen onto the Bridge.

First Officer William Murdoch, Second Officer Lightoller, and the Captain himself are all on the Bridge discussing detours in case of ice.

“Good morning, gentlemen,” Joseph said pleasingly.

William, Captain Smith, and Lightoller all glanced up from the map. “Mr. Ismay? Mr. Andrews? We weren’t expecting you for another twenty minutes,” Captain Smith stated.

“I apologize, Edward, but Mr. Wallace Hartley here arrived a little earlier than expected. The tour was not as long as I thought it would have been,” Thomas explained.

“Ahh, I see,” Captain Smith said as he approached Wallace, Thomas, and Joseph. He reached out to shake Wallace’s hand with a smile included.

“It’s nice to meet you, Sir,” Captain Smith said as they finished shaking hands. “I’m Edward John Smith, Captain of the R.M.S Titanic.”

In return Wallace smiled brightly. He gently set his violin case down on the hardwood deck flooring. First Officer William Murdoch and Second Officer Lightoller walked over to, also, introduce themselves to Wallace.

“Nice to meet you, lad,” First Officer Murdoch greeted. “I’m William.”

“I’m Charles. Nice to meet you, Son,” Second Officer Lightoller introduced.

Outside, the skies were a murky gray; overcast if you’d consider that term it. There was almost no breeze. The waters of the Harbour were calm with no disturbance. Only would it be disturbed when a boat comes sailing by. But today the Harbor was quiet and abnormally calm for Southampton.

Dock workers were operating stories high and monumental cranes over Titanic. They were slowly loading Titanic with edible goods, wine, and mail bound for the United States of America. It was a slow and rigorous process.

“Thank you for attending the Maiden Voyage with us Mr. Hartley. If you ever have any questions of any regard, or need to talk, you will know where I will be. Right here,” Captain Smith said. “I must get back to work now. I’ll be seeing you again soon.”

“Good day gentlemen,” First Officer Murdoch said as he and Lightoller both walked away, following behind the Captain.

“I apologize about that,” Mr. Ismay apologizes. “We are working on a tight schedule.”

“I understand the pressure and rampage, Mr. Ismay,” Wallace mentioned, “I have worked on many liners before joining Titanic.”

Thomas, Joseph and Wallace all walked off the Bridge and back out onto the Portside Poop Deck. Lining the edge of the ship, were wooden lifeboats. They were stationed on their Davits. And in the case of an emergency, or the need to evacuate the ship, these lifeboats would be quickly prepared, loaded with passengers, and then launched.

But Titanic was the safest liner afloat, is she not? In two days time, she would set sail for Cherbourg and Queenstown to pick up more passengers. From there, she will sail to New York City. Her arrival date in New York is April 17, 1912.

“Thank you for meeting us, Wallace,” Thomas said as he reached out to again shake hands with Wallace. Joseph did the same.

“Good day, gentlemen. I’ll be seeing you again shortly,” Wallace said as he walked down the ramp, and onto the Pier.

There was a vehicle waiting stationary. A driver was occupying the driver’s seat, and Wallace’s fiancè Maria was sitting in the backseat.

When the driver noticed Wallace approaching the vehicle, he got out of his seat and opened the door for him, closing it behind Wallace once he was inside the vehicle.

“I still cannot believe you’re going to be playing on that ship. It’s monumental and seemingly endless,” Maria stated.

Wallace glanced out of the window as the vehicle's engine ignited. He was looking up at the towering Titanic.

“That she is,” he said, “that she is.”



Three
A Building Panic


R.M.S Titanic
Northern Atlantic Ocean
1:00 a.m


“Wedding Dance, gentlemen,” Wallace said to his band mates.

The skies were still calm as could be, offering a breathtaking view of bright, gleaming stars. And if you concentrated precisely enough, you could make out some constellations like the Little Dipper and the Big Dipper.

The Titanic’s bow was now about halfway underwater. The lights from the submerged portholes gave off an eerie glow underwater. The nameplate Titanic was nearing the waterline as she slumped further and further underwater.

The order to uncover the lifeboats was given around midnight, a mere 20 or so minutes after the ship struck the berg. The official order to begin loading the lifeboats was given at 12:45a.m, one hour after the collision.

Second Officer Lightoller was on the Portside, overseeing lifeboat preparations while First Officer Murdoch was on the Starboard.

Passengers alike were all ordered to come outside onto deck to begin loading the lifeboats. As for the band, they were standing just outside the First Class Grand Staircase entranceway playing their fine tunes to try and keep the panic among the passengers at a bare minimum. They were playing on the Starboard side of the ship.

“I never once thought this ship would ever sink,” Theodore mentioned.

“Even the most grandest man made objects, such as Titanic, are not unsinkable my friend,” Wallace said, “everything has a weakness. And unfortunately for Titanic, it was an iceberg.”

“Are we going to play all night or get on a lifeboat?” Roger asked as both him and Wallace played the melody to Wedding Dance harmonically together.

As they played on, a loud boom sound could be heard. The night sky lit up, briefly giving off the false vision of daylight. It was a bright distress rocket fired from the Bridge.

Everyone, including the passengers and crew all froze and watched the sparks sprinkle down and fizzle out just a few feet above the ship. After that, everyone resumed their doings.

If you looked in the direction of the bow, you could see water slowly creeping higher and higher. The Titanic was truly sinking.

Wallace glanced over at Roger. He sighed heavily, continuing to slide his bow across the strings on his violin. “If you are a true gentleman, you would stay until the very end.”

As he said that, Thomas Andrews went walking by frantically. He was headed for the Bridge. Wallace and Thomas briefly exchanged eye contact. Thomas slightly nodded his head and continued on.

On the Bridge, Captain Smith, Fourth Officer Boxhall, and QuarterMaster Rowe were all present. Boxhall was loading another distress rocket into the launcher.

“Mr. Andrews,” Captain Smith said. “I wasn’t expecting you—“

Without hesitation, Thomas interrupted him. The sweat was slowly running down his face, with his cheeks being bright roses red. “Why are the lifeboats being launched with minimum capacity?”

Captain Smith was baffled by Thomas’s interruption. Captain Smith was not doing the one main thing he was commissioned to do—give orders and Captain the ship. He was not only leaving his crew to save as many onboard as possible, but failing the passengers.

“Minimum capacity? I have the order to load women and children first to both Officer Murdoch and Officer Lightoller twenty minutes ago,” Captain Smith argued.

“Well go tell them to load them to full capacity. If you don’t, I will,” Thomas ordered. “The boats were designed to carry 65 people per boat, dammit!”

Captain Smith did not verbally respond to Thomas’s outlandish order. He didn’t need to. He was doing everything he could to save as many people as he could. If he was doing the best he could, why is he allowing lifeboats to be lowered half full?

Thomas Andrews stormed away. He proceeded on to go to the Portside of Titanic. That’s where Officer Lightoller was supervising the lifeboat preparations.

Among the crowd of panicking passengers, Officer Lightoller could be seen standing by the davit system. A lifeboat was hanging overboard with about fifteen people already on. Mostly women and crying and confused children.

“Lower away,” Lightoller announced to the two davit operators. Thomas Andrews ran up to Lightoller.

“Stop! That boat is not full,” Thomas said outraged.

Officer Lightoller glanced over at Thomas Andrews. “I’m trying to save people here, Mr. Andrews. Now if you’d please excuse me!”

“You will not lower that boat! Not as long as I’m here! You will allow more passengers onboard this once!” Thomas raised his voice angrily at Officer Lightoller.

Officer Lightoller examines Thomas’s body language precisely. He looked at Thomas from head to toe. He then put his head up confidently.

“Very well,” Lightoller said. He was a bit agitated by Thomas’s order. Why was he following this mans orders? He’s not the Captain of the ship, Mr. Smith is.

“Women and Children,” Lightoller said, “if you’d all step forward please. One by one if you will.”

Thomas felt a brief sense of relief. Finally someone listened to him. How could someone like Officer Lightoller be so cruel to the brittle lives of human beings? That was a question Thomas Andrews would take to his watery grave.

He walked away going towards the stern to oversee more lifeboat preparations. He mostly wanted to see if lifeboats were being filled to full capacity. He pulled out his golden, round pocket watch from his jacket pocket. It had a chain which was clipped onto his pocket. He glanced at the time.

It was now 1:20 a.m. Thomas gulped and put the watch back in his pocket.

If only I hadn’t been overridden to add more lifeboats, Thomas thought mentally to himself. Than maybe everyone could be saved.

Back on the Starboard side, the band had just finished playing Wedding Dance. Everyone took a brief lapse before starting their next elegant tune.

They all looked around. Launched lifeboats could be seen drifting further away from the vessel, slowly disappearing into the great abyss. On the horizon, Wallace noticed a flashing light. He pointed it out to his fellow bandmates.

“Look,” he said. “Over there. Do you see that?”

Roger, Theodore, and John all squint their eyes to see the faint flashing light on the close horizon.

“Could that be a rescue ship?” Roger asked.

“Let’s not make any assumptions just yet. It could just be a twinkling star,” John said.

“Or a ship attempting to contact us,” Wallace theorized. “It seems really close. I wonder how close we are to them.”

“Someone should alert the Captain,” Roger said.

“If only we knew where he was, I would do it,” Wallace said. “But we have our orders. Keep playing, and keep the passengers calm.”

“Hopefully someone will notice the strange light and try to contact them back. Let’s hope someone on the Bridge does,” Wallace concluded.

He put his violin back up to his neck and rested his head on the belly of it. “Valse Septembre.”


Four
The Sinking of Titanic

R.M.S Titanic
Northern Atlantic Ocean
2:07 a.m


The life of the infant liner was coming to an end. Her nameplate was now underwater. The railings that lined the ship on the bow were now just inches from being consumed by the murky Atlantic water.

The slant forward was now so noticeable, people were beginning to make their way for the stern. In hopes of staying out of the freezing water as long as possible, that was their goal.

Wallace and his three other bandmates were continuing to play, despite the exploding panic and fear surrounding them.

“Wallace, we should really go now!” Roger warned, glancing down towards the bow. Water was pouring over the forecastle deck, quickly submerging it underwater.

“No!” Wallace said. “Do you want to go down as gentlemen? Or go down as cowards? Captain Smith requested we keep the passengers calm.”

“The damn thing is sinking, Wallace! The boats are all gone as I know of, and in the next few minutes, we will all be in the freezing water.”

“Do you not think I know that Mr. Bricoux?” Wallace said, filling with slight anger and irritation. Wallace never used his bandmates’ last names up until now. But because they were scared and panicked, he had to step onto new turf in trying to control their feelings. And that included using their last names for some apparent reason.

Roger remained silent. He had nothing further to say to his bandmaster. He put his bow down. Wallace and Theodore both stopped playing their instruments as well.

“Will we see each other again, or are we?” Roger asked, breaking his brief silence.

Wallace lowered his violin and bow. The power, lighting the ship up, faded out. The electric was failing. Everyone knew Titanic wouldn’t be afloat much longer.

The night sky continued to rage over everyone. The stars continue to sparkle and decorate the bland black abyss. If only there were a Moon, maybe the sinking would have never happened.

The lights that had been spotted earlier this evening, had now vanquished. Has any sign of rescue now left everyone’s mind? Was rescue still going to come? Or would everyone perish with the grand, luxury liner: R.M.S Titanic?

“I will allow you three to go. But just remember this one thing: you will all be remembered as panicked band members of the Titanic that fled at the very last possible moment. I’ll remain here at my post. Farewell everyone.”

The power continued to fade in and out for the next couple of minutes. Roger, Theodore, and John all began walking away at around 2:10 a.m, bound for the stern.

As they were walking away, Wallace repositioned his violin and bow. He began playing one final elegant tune: Nearer My God to Thee.

Screaming, crying, and scared passengers were all fleeing to the stern of the dying vessel. The bow had now just slumped underwater, water rushing over the deck rapidly.

He began sliding his bow across the strings, playing the first couple of chords of the song by himself. Roger, Theodore, and John all glanced back with a look of guiltiness on their faces.

Were they really going to leave their friend and bandmaster, Wallace Hartley, to play the final tune by himself? Do they really want to go down with Titanic as cowards? Or as gentlemen?

And so, they walked back over to Wallace and surrounded him. And as the next chord began, they all joined in. Moaning and creaking could be heard as the rear end of the vessel slowly ascended into the air. It was becoming more difficult by the minute to stand. Deck chairs, and other loose necessities were quickly sliding down towards the bow and into the water.

Captain E.J Smith was gone, nowhere to be found. Where could he have gone wandering off to? His passengers and crew needed him to guide them to temporary safety—the stern.

Distant sounding rushing water could be heard in the near distance. Wallace, Roger, Theodore, and John all stopped playing briefly and gazed at the fast sinking bow. Water was now approaching the main deck.

“Wallace, now would be a good time—,” Roger said.

“Keep playing!”

As they continued to play, they were being pushed out of the way by scouring passengers, and crew. The power almost died once more, but rebrightened itself.

The last of the lifeboats, the collapsible ones anyways, were being prepared in a hurried and rushed fashion. The oars of the boats were leaned up against the wall with two crew members at the top pushing the lifeboats down.

Because of the immense weight, the oars snapped like thin twigs, with the lifeboat tumbling over onto the deck upside down.

“First Officer Murdoch?” Wallace questioned as Murdoch stopped and looked at them blankly.

Wallace looked down at his right hand and saw a revolver. He gulped as he looked back up at William.

“You’re relieved of your posts, gentlemen. You may leave now. Get to the Stern!”

Wallace put his violin down. He put his bow in his left hand and held out his right hand. Murdoch briefly glanced down at the gesture and accepted. The two shook hands for the final time.

“Please don’t do what I think you will do. That’s not the way—,” Wallace warned in an angered and upset tone.

“You’re a good man, Mister Hartley,” First Officer Murdoch said as he rested his hand on Wallace’s left shoulder. He smiled. “I tried, but failed. I not only failed everyone on this ship, but their families, friends, children, and all of my crew below me. It’s my decision. And it’s final.”

First Officer Murdoch took his hand off of Wallace’s shoulder. And before walking away, he looked at Wallace’s green coat. The top button wasn’t buttoned, and the collar of the jacket was not properly positioned.

William fixed the issues and patted Wallace on the shoulder. He grabbed his hat and nodded at Johnathan, Theodore, and Roger.

“Farewell gentlemen,” Murdoch said as he glanced at Wallace one last time. “And farewell to you my good man. It was a pleasure knowing you.”

Murdoch then walked away and disappeared among the crowd. Wallace pulled out his pocket watch for the final time. It was now 2:11 a.m.

Water was now flooding the poop deck and the Bridge. Wallace put his violin back up and continued playing the final tune. Nearer My God to Thee would be his last and most grandest tune ever played.

“Finish this with me gentlemen,” Wallace said, “that is my last request.”

A loud and sudden gunshot was heard aft the middle funnel, followed by the sounds of splashing water. Someone had clearly been shot, but who?

Wallace knew. Roger, John, and Theodore all shook like they were scared. Indeed they were scared, but only because the gunshot was unexpected.

“Go save yourselves, fellas,” Wallace ordered.

As the three walked away slowly, carrying their instruments in their cases, what sounded like gunshots was actually the support cables holding the funnels up, snapping under intense stress. One by one, the cables snapped.

And after that, the first funnel had collapsed, taking with it many people’s lives, including John Jacob Astor. He was among the dozen victims killed by the fallen funnel.

The other three band members suddenly joined Wallace, John, and Roger just outside the Grand Staircase entrance and just below the second funnel base.

John Fredrick Preston Clark, John Wesley Woodword, and Percy Cornelius Taylor were their names. Wallace Hartley, John Hume, and Roger Bricoux all turned around to look at their fellow bandmates.

“I assume you all are not getting on the last boat up there?” Percy questioned as he pointed at the flipped over collapsible lifeboat drifting away as the deck sank lower into the black water.

The boat had over a dozen scared passengers clinging on for their lives, while also not trying to overturn the boat again and fall back into the water. A terrible scene to witness. And to think that all of this could have been prevented.

“I’m afraid not, kind Sir,” John Hume said, “but we are prepared to go down as gentlemen so to say.”

“As are we,” Percy Taylor replied.

“Good,” Wallace said, “let’s take a moment to say our goodbyes.”


Five
Gentlemen, I Bid You Farewell

R.M.S Titanic
Northern Atlantic Ocean
2:14 a.m


"Goodbye Wallace," Theodore said as he gave Wallace one last solemn hug goodbye. "I better see you again, you hear?"

The two hugged briefly, with Theodore backing up a step. He gazed at Wallace. Wallace smiled faintly. Roger and John both shook Wallace's hand and said their final words.

"Take care lad," John said, "it was a pleasure getting to play with you tonight."

"The pleasure was all mine," Wallace said softly.

The teeth-chattering, frigid cold water was rapidly approaching. The slant forward was becoming more unstable and difficult to stand on.

"Now grab onto something and say a final prayer with me," Wallace stated.

John, Roger, and Theodore all grabbed onto the same railing as Wallace, gripping their instrument cases tightly.

"As we say our final prayer to you Lord, I would like to say that I am grateful for everything that has come before me during my lifetime. Meeting my beautiful wife, learning such a beautiful sounding instrument, playing on monstrous liners like the Lusitania, Lucania, and Maurentania," Wallace said as Roger began his final prayer.

"Lord, if I may say," Roger began, "this was the most modern and luxurious liner the world has ever known. But why did she have to sink? In the paper, they said she was unsinkable, so again why did she sink? I am grateful for having the opportunity to come aboard this vessel and entertain the passengers. That is one memory I will never forget. I am also grateful for having such loyal, and dedicated bandmates. In the afterlife, I hope we can all continue to sound the tunes we did here tonight. I thank you, Lord, for listening in on my final prayer."

"As I go down with this vessel, I will take one thing to my watery grave. The pride and joy of playing onboard this historic, ill-fated liner," John Hume began, "and once I'm gone, I know for certain who's care I will be in—yours. I'm prepared to depart this world, and join you and up in the heavens. My final wish is to have my family prepare a service upon my body's arrival back home—if they find my body that is. Anyway, I thank you for your time. Farewell."

And before Percy could begin his prayer, he was pulled underwater vigorously. John Hume and Roger Bricoux were also pulled under, leaving behind Wallace, John Fredrick Preston Clark, Theodore Brailey, and Percy Taylor.

They were never seen again from this moment forward. Wallace glanced back at his remaining band members.

"Gentlemen," he began, "I bid you farewell."

"Farewell, Wallace," Theodore said.

"Take care, son," John Fredrick Preston Clark said as he patted Wallace on the shoulder two times.

And just like that, they began walking away in the direction of the stern. Wallace remained put. Once the others were lost amongst the crowd, Wallace turned around to look at the water ahead of him. He gulped and took a deep breath in, and then exhaled quickly.

He stood stationary in his spot, letting the water drag him into the vast, black ocean. The stern of Titanic was now almost at its peak height.

The sounds of screaming passengers continued. Wallace closed his eyes and lifted his head up towards the sky. Not a minute went by before he was sucked underwater, losing his violin case in the process. He sincerely went down as a gentleman.

Northern Atlantic Ocean
April 23, 1912


It was a cloudy morning, with the overcast slowly decaying away as the Sun awoke on the horizon. A ship, which was named the C.S Mackay-Bennett, was sailing towards the site where the R.M.S Titanic had gone down just weeks earlier. She had already recovered a large sum of bodies, putting those in the cargo hold over ice to preserve their bodies for burial on land.

The tragic remains of what once was nothing, became visible to all eyes. Floating remains of those who lost their lives still littered the surrounding area.

Debris and wreckage also littered the area. The ocean was choppy today due to the moderate gusts of wind coming in from the north. As the Sun continued to rise, the clouds continued to disappear.

It was chilly outside, due to the cold front that had overcome the area the day the Titanic set sail.

As the ship came to a stop, the crew onboard prepared two lifeboats. Those lifeboats would be launched with two crew inside.

The search and recovery mission was ordered by the White Star Line and the British Parliament. The ship came to a full stop in the center of the scene.

"I can't imagine what it must have been like," Richard Westeros, an Irishman, said as he leaned over the railing to look down at the water.

"Terrifying," Ronald Bronx said.

Both Richard and Ronald were crew members aboard the C.S Mackay-Bennett. Ronald and Richard both boarded the uncovered lifeboat, while two other crew members handled the davit.

They began lowering the boat into the water. Two minutes went by before the boat touched the surface. Richard and Ronald both grabbed an oar and slowly pushed the boat away from the ship.

Once they were a couple feet away from the ship, they began hoisting the bodies of the perished victims onto the lifeboat. One by one, they continued to recover the bodies from the water.

Hours went by before the ship could no longer take on any more of the bodies. They would sail to Halifax, Canada to deliver the bodies.

Before the lifeboat was lifted back up onto the ship, Richard had spotted a floating piece of paper in the water.

He leaned over the side of the crowded lifeboat and grabbed the paper out of the water. Richard examined the paper. It was indeed a letter; an unfinished letter. It was addressed to Maria.

"What is it, Richard?" Ronald asked curiously.

"A letter."

"To whom?"

"Maria."

"What does it say?"

"It's hard to read. But I'm sure once it dries out, we will be able to read it than. All I can say is that it's to his "dearest Maria," Richard said.

"My heart aches. I can't bare see the looks on this gentlemen's family's faces once they read this. Truly sad indeed," Ronald responded as a male body wearing a brown overcoat, black boots, and green socks.

Both Richard and Ronald hoisted the body up onto the boat and gave the body the #224.

Once back onboard the ship, she set sail for Halifax. From Halifax, the bodies would be returned to their families.

"There's a case floating here too," Richard said as he lifted the leather case out of the water. It had some weight to it.

It had golden latches. Richard opened it to find a violin inside with a bow. The case must have belonged to this man.

"He could be one of the band members aboard?" Ronald questioned.

Ronald looked in the coat pockets for any identification. The first thing he grabbed was a metal cigarette case with the initials W.H.H engraved on it.

"W.H.H?" Ronald said.

"Maybe whoever knew this man back home can identify him?"

"C'mon lads," another crew member said, "we don't have all day."

And so they closed the case, put the cigarette case back in the pocket, and rowed back to the ship. They attached the manila ropes to the boat, and began their ascent to the main deck.

Liverpool, England
May 13, 1912


"Good morning," Albion said as he stood on the pier. The crew were unloading coffins with bodies in them. Engraved on the coffins were the numbers given to them when they were recovered.

Coffin number 224 was brought off of the ship and set down in front of Albion. He kneeled down and rested his hands on the coffin, taking the lid off to see the body inside.

"Is this your son, Mr. Hartley?"

Albion sighed, recalling all of the memories he had shared with his great son before Titanic was even a living vessel.

The time when he was a little boy and he asked for a violin. That was one of Albion's favorite memories. Seeing the excitement on Wallace's face, and seeing him play his first tunes when he received his violin. Those memories will go to Albion's grave along with him.

"There's also a letter here," Richard said, "it's for a Maria? We found it floating nearby his body."

Richard banded Albion the letter. It was folded up neatly. He unfolded the paper. The W.S.L logo was at the top with its symbolic red flag with a white star in the center. And below that symbol was the name 'Royal Steamer Titanic'.

He began reading the letter mentally.

To my dearest Maria,

I hate having to tell you this news, but I fear I will not be returning home next week. The Maiden voyage of Titanic was splendid the past few days.

I am currently back at my cabin, waiting to hear anything further of what is really happening aboard this majestic vessel.

I am unable to stay, unwilling to leave. I have played my tunes many times on this voyage and tonight will sadly be my last.

I had asked a crew member what was going on. When I was playing in the Ala Cartè Cafè at approximately 11:40, I felt a sudden jolt rock the entire ship. It was subtle. Not everyone noticed it. My Bandmate, Roger Bricoux, had also felt the shaking. There was no panic among anybody.

I mustn't worry, right?

The green outerwear, brown coat, black shoes, and green socks. His body was still freezing cold. His skin a light gray color, with his hair messy and frozen.

The violin case was also stored inside the coffin, making it easy to identify Wallace. Just last year, Albion had purchased this leather case for Wallace for his birthday. He was surprised to see that Wallace had still used it, despite having another black leather case for it back home.

"Thank you good man for bringing him home," Albion said as Elizabeth exited the vehicle parked a few feet back and came running over to him.

"Is that my boy? My poor baby boy?" Elizabeth cried. "Why did he have to leave us? He could have stayed home where it was safe! That darn man—what's his name? J. Bruce Ismay? I'm going to have some foul words to say to him!"

Albion stood back up and turned around. He stopped her from getting any closer to the coffin by holding his arms around Elizabeth. He didn't want her seeing their son like this. It would only break her even more.

"Go back to the car," Albion said, "please. It will only make you more upset my dear."

"I want to see him," Elizabeth argued. "He's my son!"

"I know my dear," Albion said, "I know."

May 18, 1912
Colne, Lancashire, England
Keighley Road Cemetery


Albion, Elizabeth, and Helen were all dressed in their finest attire. Helen and Elizabeth both had handkerchiefs on hand to stop the constant falling tears from their watery eyes.

It had seemed that everyone in Colne had come to honor and cherish the memory that Wallace had left behind.

"Many ladies and gentlemen showed up today," the Priest said, "it is truly extraordinary."

"How many?" Elizabeth asked, holding a white clothed handkerchief in her hand. She was extremely emotional.

A month ago, she had injured her leg, and was unable to see her precious boy off on the maiden voyage of Titanic. The last letter she had received from him was when he was sailing West. He wished her a blessed recovery.

The cemetery was small compared to other surrounding cemeteries. Brick homes located on the other side of the road.

"Before I forget Helen," Albion said as he reached into his front coat pocket. He pulled out the unfinished letter that Wallace had began writing, but never returned to when the ship was sinking.

She gladly accepted it and faintly smiled. "Is this from my finest gentlemen?" She asked.

"It is, indeed."

"Thank you for bringing this to me," she thanked gratefully. "I will cherish this for as long as I live. Thank you again."

"No need to thank me," Albion said, "he would have wanted you to have this."

She glanced down at the folded up letter, hesitant to unfold it and bare witness to what the contents would read.

Maybe later, she thought. Maybe when I am willing.

It was a bright, sunny day out. The wind howled as it blew, and the trees rocked back and forth with the wind.

Flowers surrounded the coffin, with roses and other proper floral items were resting on top of the coffin. A picture sat next to the casket on the left of Wallace. That same picture would later go on to be the picture used in the daily newspaper to commentate Wallace's unforgettable legacy.

"The choir and I are going to preform his favorite tune—Nearer, My God, to Thee," Albion mentioned as the choir men and women began to arrive.

"He would like that very much, would he not?."

"He would."

"I just wish upon the twinkling star above that he could be here today. To hold him tight, and to exchange words about the fascinating voyage aboard Titanic. Oh the memories that could have been."

"I share the same emotions as we speak," Helen said.

"Everything will be alright," Albion said. "As we stand here today, on this plush, soft green grass, he watches from the heavens above. He's happy. I just have that odd feeling. And you two should be too. For him."

"Yes we should," Helen said, "for Wallace."

"For Wallace," Albion and Elizabeth said in unison.

...The End...

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