“Lura, this is the time when we are most vulnerable.” Joseph says as the four of us approach the disembarkation officer, a French official.
I’m nervous. Joseph knows that in stress I clasp my mother’s pendant to my chest. Gently putting his hand over mine, he says, “It will be alright.” He smiles and adds, “I think you can let go now.”
“Let go of what?”
Another smile and, “Your pendant.”
The officious French functionary looks over my travel documents. I never had this kind of scrutiny when travelling first-class. “Madame Myer, I see that you travelled alone to France.”
I answer, my voice cracking, “Yes that’s true.”
“Who then are these girls who now accompany you?”
Before I can answer a question that I had not anticipated, Katie pipes up, “Aunt Lura, please we must hurry. I see papa waving from the dock. Oh, please hurry.”
The official looks at Katie as Ada Mae screams, “Papa,” and waves toward the pier.
He turns and looks. There must be a hundred men waving in the direction of the ship. With an audible, “hum,” he hands me my papers. The girls and I hurry down the gangplank.
Joseph saunters down moments later.