what does "creep along in his wake"mean?
That was the proper way to do it. But November 22 was not a proper day. Looking down the main corridor, Rusk realized that his solemn announcement had startled no one. Indeed, it had been something of an intrusion; he hadn't told the passengers anything they hadn't known already. Baffled, he tried to imagine how they had found out. The truth— that the other members of the Cabinet who had been with him in the stateroom had ignored his seniority, creeping along in his wake and passing the word sotto voce to their wives—did not occur to him.