The Steamboat

In the bustling harbor of New Orleans smoke rises from the passing ships into the evening sky, and the boisterous foghorns blare all over the port. Sitting there I wondered if I would ever get to ride on one of those grand boats. Quietly, I said to myself, “Homeless orphans would never get to ride on such a magnificent steamboat.” It was late and I knew I needed to find a place to sleep for the night.
After debating between whether to sleep in the doorway of the 1st State Bank, or against a building in the alley across from 5th street, Mr. Scott, the wealthy owner of the bank passed by. I stood up when he approached me. Fearing he would call the cops I began to apologize, “Sorry sir I didn’t mean to…,” but he cut me off. He then asked “Do you have a place to sleep tonight?” Choosing my words carefully, I simply answer “No.” “Well, let’s fix that problem,” he stated and he took my hand and led me to his mansion.
The home was in a part of town I had never seen before. Mr. Scott was an older man who spoke perfect English. “While we may come from different parts of town,” he said “We are both without family.” I felt he was the nicest person I had ever met. His home had five bedrooms and he told me to choose which one I wanted. That night I slept soundly on a real bed. I didn’t realize how exhausted I had been. It was mid morning when I awoke, and I realized that the maid brought me a new set of clothes to wear. They were the best clothes I have ever owned and were made of good quality. Then to my surprise, Mr. Scott asked me if I wanted to go for a walk about town so we could talk and get to know one another better. Our conversation flowed smoothly and I told him about myself and he shared his life story with me.
As we walked, we passed by the busy harbor and I stopped in awe to see a huge steamboat passing by. The fog horn was blasting out loud, when Mr. Scott stopped to see I wasn’t following. He walked over to me and asked “Do you like boats Henry?” I answered vigorously “Yes,” “I love steamboats!” I began to babble on about my love of steamboats and my dream of riding on one.
Mr. Scott said, “Henry I was wondering if tomorrow you would be up for a ride on my steamboat?” I was thrilled, my dream was about to come true. I thought I had just been asked to have the world. I couldn’t speak; I was too overjoyed to think that I would get the chance to go on a steamboat! After I was over the shock I said “I WOULD LOVE TO!”
We made our way to board the boat, it was a clear day and the steamboat was a magnificent site. As I stepped onboard it felt magical. I was so happy, I finally fulfilled my dream that I thought would never happen. The steamboat began to chug up the river with its twin smokestacks belching out plumes of steam into the sky.
Mr. Scott’s boat was like no other steamboat I had seen; it was huge! It had a dining cabin, a bedroom for overnight trips, a captain’s lounge, and a huge deck. Mr. Scott gave me a personal tour of the boat and we ate lunch on the deck. After lunch Mr. Scott came over to me and said “Henry I have something very important I want to ask you,” I said “What is it?” I asked. “Well,” he said “I was wondering if you were ok with me adopting you?” “Would you want to become part of my family?” I have never been asked something so important, and for age 9 that’s very important, but I already knew my answer. My heart was beating wildly, and I said, “Yes, Mr. Scott I would be so glad to be a part of your family!” As I looked up at Mr. Scott, I said something I had never said to any one before, I said, “Thank-you, Dad.”





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