The British bark Falls of Gary arrived in San Pedro tonight, 144 days from Antwerp, journeying around the Horn to bring a load of cement to Los Angeles. An uneventful journey, except that they arrived one man short. James Milligan, cook and steward, had been drinking heavily before the vessel set off. At one day out he was put to bed by shipmates and when sought again, had vanished. The disappearance is being considered a suicide.
Not a shocking story in and of itself–but one must wonder: cement? Had Los Angeles not evolved to the point of discovering the wonders of water mixed with gypsum? Granted, I love Hassids and Quentin Metsys and Belgian chocolate, but what makes Flemish cement so precious that it must be imported here on three-masted vessels flying the flag of Edward VII?