Mr. Bolton Saw Wife of Ten Days
|One of the most harrowing incidents of the sinking of the
'Clallam', and one which brought tears into the eyes of more than one strong-hearted man, occurred
when the first lifeboat, containing the women and children, was launched from the side of the
doomed ship. The lifeboat, contained the bride of S.F. Bolton, a business man of Alberta, who
with her husband had recently been staying at the Oriental hotel of this city. Mrs. Bolton was
drowned within speaking distance of her husband, who was powerless to render aid and who last
night returned to this city almost insane with grief over the loss of his bride.
Mr. and Mrs. Bolton were wedded in Alberta ten days ago and had been spending their honeymoon on the Sound. They were returning home, by way of Victoria, and took passage for this city on the 'Clallam'. When the vessel first became distressed and it was determined to launch the boats with the women and children. Bolton brought his wife on deck and tenderly handed her down the ladder in charge of Capt. Lawrence, the volunteer who took charge of the life craft.
Passengers who witnessed the parting between Bolton and his wife state that their farewells were heartrending, but this incident did not equal the scene which followed a few minutes later. Bolton stood on the forward deck with his eyes riveted on the mere shell, which with its burden of human freight, was caught up by the angry seas and carried away in the teeth of the storm that lashed the straits into a fury. Suddenly Bolton saw a monster wave tower up and come rolling towards, the frail craft. With a cry of agony he seemed to realize the impending fate of his bride, and hid his face in horror at the situation. A moment later, when he again turned his gaze towards the spot where the boat which carried his precious burden, had last been seen, all evidences of it had vanished. A few piercing screams from women and children reached the deck of the 'Clallam' above the roar of the storm as the sea swallowed up its helpless victims.
Bolton stood for a moment as if transfixed, but when the full import of his loss dawned upon him his grief was pitiable to behold. He strode the deck calling upon the sea to give him back his bride, and passengers for the moment forgot their own peril to sympathize with the distracted husband. Finally Bolton was overcome by the helplessness of his situation, and, becoming desperate, it is believed he would have thrown himself into the sea had not passengers taken him in charge.
"I never witnessed a more harrowing thing than Bolton's grief," said Purser Freer. "His suffering was something terrible to witness, and strong men shed tears at his plight."