March 8, 2009
The Durban Castle Steamship
Dubbed "The Porthole Murder Case" by the British tabloids, a steward was sentenced to hang for the disappearance at sea of an aspiring actress.
At noon, shining Chevrolets and Fords began pulling up beside the large white steamship with the lavender hull and the black and red funnel anchored along the quayside.
From the automobiles stepped middle-aged ladies in frumpy summer frocks, comfortable shoes and small feathered hats, all clutching purses in which were the medication they were certain they would need for seasickness on the 14-day voyage that lay ahead.
At the ladies' sides were their husbands; men who were also no longer in their prime wearing their double-breasted suits cut by London or New York's best tailors and their fedoras bought in Paris or Rome.