Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1836-1922 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
Newspaper Page Text
CAPTAIN ISRAEL REFORMS
By George Munson
(Copyright by W. G. Chapman.)
Of all the bucko captains along the
New England shore,- Qapt. Jonadab
Israel was the acknowledged mas
ter. He could make a man see him
self as a white-livered cur instead of
a hero in a half-dozen of withering
words, and he had a string of lan
guage that was the envy of every
sailorman afloat. He had a fist like
a boulder and almost as hard, and a
muscle as big as an elephant's leg be
hind it. There had never been a
tobacco made that he couldn't smoke
all day, and all liquor tasted the same
to him, except water, which he said
He didn't have much trouble get
ring crews, because, with all his fail
ings, he was a fair man and the grub
was good. However, he was a terror
at times before he met Widow Abi
gail at Biddeford.
Widow Abigail had had her eye on
him for a long time and the captain
knew it The thought of some day
being allowed to marry Widow Abi
gail was the star of his life. No mat
ter if Widow Abigail was 47 and
plump; no matter if she did have a
bit of a tongue, the captain wor
I learned all about the affair from
little Mrs. Jerrold, who kept the sum
mer boarding house where I spend
my vacations. Widow Jerrold was
33, with mouse-colored hair and a
peaclies-and-cream complexion. She
had a shy, demure way that took with
the men. But nobody could get Wid
ow Jerrold to say "yes" to him, and
nobody except the captain wanted to
get Widow Abigail to say "yes" to
him. Naturally the two widows
hated each other. The captain
boarded at Widow Jerrold's house
when his ship was in port.
"He's going to get Widow Abigail,"
1 said to Widow Jerrold.
"Maybe" she answered with, Jier.
shy smile. "It will be a good thing
for him, perhaps."
"Why?" I asked dubiously.
"Capt. Israel," said Widow Jerrold,
"needs a woman's refining influence
in his life. Widow Abigail has been
teaching him to stop drinking and
That was true enough. Captain
Israel was becoming a changed man.
Everybody could see it in his man-
Standing Miserably in the Middle of
ner. When his mate let the rope slip
and a box of blankets went overboard
down among the lobster pots the cap
tain turned a glassy eye on him
"You you you please be so kin
as to be a bit more cautious, Mr.
Ford," he said.
"Aye, sir," said the mate, trern-
uiuig in uib snuea. v,.
CaDt. Israel was on the reforming:
tack. He drank nothing but milk
and barley,waterand-hjs speech-was