Captain W. H. P. Hains of the R.M.S. Aurania, Cunard Line
If you have ever crossed with Captain W. H. P. Hains, you will surely remember him. He is a tall, distinguished-looking man, with one of those faces that instantly prepossess you.
No mariner whose years run to their end upon the bounding deep is fonder of the sea than the gallant commander of the Aurania ; but as life to merry men has a diversity of charms, Captain Hains loves the sea none the less in that he loves, besides, " things that are of the earth earthy."
If he does not tell a story so frequently as Captain McMickan, he enjoys one just as much, and his hearty laugh is the most complimentary " encore" that ever tickled a raconteur's ear. He has a laughing eye, which invests his face with a kind expression, and makes him a cordial favorite with the passengers.
With the lady passengers he is an especial favorite, and it was perhaps on this account he was unkindly, perhaps jealously, styled the "calico captain." It is not a pleasant-sounding adjective, and I am reluctant to repeat it ; but to those who have ever met this agreeable gentleman it will lose its harsh sound, for they will take it to mean that Captain Hains is one of those men who combine courtesy with courage—qualities which win the admiration not alone of the fair sex, but of mankind as well.
He is the type of man whom one admires for his suavity and kindness as well as respects for his unflinching devotion to duty. It is related of him that a few years ago he had as passengers upon his ship the Mother Superior and several nuns of a Sacred Heart convent in America. One day (so the story runs) he did what no man perhaps ever did before—he kissed the venerable Superior and all her younger nuns, and from that day to this has been a great favorite in the convent of those good women.
Whenever the ship's concert is held—a fixed event upon every trip—Captain Hains endears himself to his passengers by entering heart and soul into the entertainment, and may always be depended upon to sing, "I'm afloat, I'm afloat, and the Rover is Free." These merry little eccentricities of Captain Hains are only mentioned because they well illustrate the happy-hearted humor of the man, who, besides having the skill of the best sailor afloat and the courage of a warrior, has a heart gentle and jovial as a child's.