'Probably all the excitement at the thought of going home,' he offered, sounding unconcerned.

'I hope so,' replied Anne. 'I don't want him to be sick on a six - day sea voyage.'

'He'll be just fine by tomorrow,' said Richard, issuing an unheeded direA - tive, but when Anne went to wake William the next morning, she found him covered in little red spots and running a temperature of one hundred and three. The hotel doctor diagnosed measles and was politely insistent that William should on no account be sent on a sea journey, not only for his own good but for the sake of the other passengers. There was nothing for it but to leave him in bed with his stone hot water bottle and wait for the departure of the next ship. Richard was unable to countenance the three - week delay and decided to sail as planned. Reluctantly, Anne allowed the hurried changes of booking to be made. William begged his father to let him accompany him: the twenty - one days before the Aquitania was due back in Southampton seemed like an eternity to the child. Richard was adamant,,and hired a nurse to attend William and convince him of his poor state of health.

Anne travelled down to Southampton with Richard in the new Rolls - Royce.

'I shall be lonely in London without you, Richard,' she ventured diffidently in their parting moment, risking his disapproval of emotional women.

'Well, my dear, I dare say that I shall be somewhat lonely in Boston without you,' he said, his mind on the striking cotton workers.

Anne returned to London on the train, wondering how she would occupy herself for the next three weeks. William had a better night and in the morning the spots lookcd less ferocious.

Doctor and nurse were unanimous however in their insistence that he should remain in bed. Anne used the extra time to write long letters to the family, while William remained in bed, protesting, but on Thursday morning he got himself up early and went into his mother's room, very much back to his normal self. He climbed into bed next to her and his cold hands immediately woke her up. Anne was relieved to see him so obviously fully recovered. She rang to order breakfast in bed for both of them, an indulgence William's father would never have countenanced.

There was a quiet knock on the door and a man in gold and red livery entered with a large, silver breakfast tray. Eggs, bacon, tomato, toast and marmalade - a veritable feast. Williasn looked at the food ravenously as if he could not remember when he had last eaten a full meal. Anne casually glanced at the morning paper. Richard always read The Times when he stayed in London so the management assumed she would require it as well.

'Oh, look,' said William, staring at the photograph on an inside page,'a picture of Daddy's ship. What's a CA - LA - M=, Mommy?, All across the width of the newspaper was a picture of the Titanic.

Anne, unmindful of behaving as should a Lowell or a Cabot, burst into frenzied tears, clinging on to her only son. They sat in bed for several minutes, holding on to each other, William wasn't sure why. Anne realised that they had both lost the one person whom they had loved most in the world.

Sir Piers Campbell, young Stuares father, arrived almost immediately at Suite of the Ritz Hotel. He waited in the lounge while the widow put on a suit, the only dark piece of clothing she possessed. William dressed himself, still not certain what a 'calamity' was. Anne asked Sir Piers to explain the full implications of the news to her son, who only said, 'I wanted to be on the ship with him, but they wouldn't let me go.' He didn't cry because he refused to be - tieve anything could kill his father. He would be aniong the survivors.

In all Sir Piers' career as a politician, diplomat and now e.hairman of Kane and Cabot, London, he had never seen such self - containment in one so young. Presence is given to very few, he was heard to remark some years later. It had been given to Richard Kane and had been passed on to his only son.

The lists of survivors, arriving spasmodically from America, were checked and double - checked by Anne. Each confirmed that Richard Lowell Kane was still missing at sea, presumed drowned. After a further week even William almost abandoned hope of his father's survival.

Anne found it hard to board the Aquitania, but William was strangely eager to put to sea. Hour after hour, he would sit on the observation deck, scanning the featureless water.

'Tomorrow I will find him,' he promised his mother, at first confidently, and then in a voice that barely disclaimed his own disbelief.

'William, no one can survive for three weeks in the Atlantic., 'Not even my father?'

'Not even your father!

When Anne returned to Boston, both grandmothers were waiting for her at the Red House, mindful of the duty that had been thrust upon them.