Illness and Accidents
This quotation from Milly’s diary is likely describing sea sickness. While being stuck on a boat amid choppy waters would be trying in and of itself, there were also much more severe illnesses to be wary of during a long voyage. The turn of the 20th century gave the world its sixth major outbreak of cholera, a bacterial infection that brought with it a shockingly large death toll (Major Epidemics).
The scene depicted in the above quotation is likely not an unfamiliar one: a crowded station, people running across platforms in an effort to catch their train and reach their destination on time. Sometimes, by whatever means necessary. The image of a man diving through a train window like an action hero in a spy movie is certainly a comical one. Not all railway accidents, however, had such an air of comedy, nor did they turn out so well for those involved. For instance, in October of 1854, a passenger train was seven hours behind on its schedule when it struck a gravel train running just west of Chatham, Ontario. The accident caused by the tardy train came to be known as the worst North American railway disaster of the time, killing fifty-two and injuring forty-eight (Railway History).