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;j VOLUME LXXIV-NO. 151.
; : - •*:;- In .the little fishing port of Cancale.
• .famous all over France for Its oysters,
'■■'. and in the lower part of it, near the jetty,
• where the fishermen and merchants are
•;"' Wont to assemble, the one to sell their
:. catch snd the other to buy it, stands an
unpretentious but snug little inn called
y "the.; Pigeon Blanc. Its hostess was the
• Widow Letaquennou, whom her numerous
patrons commonly addressed, as is the
■:. -virstpm of the country, by her maiden
•; name, Elise— a handsome, bright- eyed
Lauiballaise, just turned 30, who had come
'.';. to .the seaboard with her parents as a
.: - : child,: had crown up in the little com
•. pi unity as if she belonged to the "pays."
.and, one turn of fortune's wheel after
.'. another, had become landlady of the best
•••: frequented hostelry in tbis picturesque
and thriving little town.
';;:- ";£lise Letaquennou was an exceptional
'•'. woman among the Bretons, who are pc
:.. culiarly clannish and attached to their own
•iunprogressive, primitive ways, and there
lore indifferent to what the rest of the
world is doing. She set an example to
;'/• Cancale not generally imitated, for in
Some parts it is malodorous and dilapi
dated. Being a bustling, active and orderly
manager, with a keen perception of what
'constitutes domestic comfort, her house
.; was a model of cheerfulness and cleanli
ness for the stranger, and habitues natur
ally flocked thither for their cider or verre
:y of cognac, or to pass the evenings over
'•. cards or dominoes in the harmless Breton
'.■'.way, and nowhere else could a fish supper
. 'be cooked to such perfection or a dish of
•':."." oysters be served so daintily.
:• Big, burly Cancale line fishermen
'".: were constantly to be found in the cheery
'.kitchen, with its plank-laid, sanded floor,
■-.'•" and roof hung with cordage and packages
..' of. small wares for customers out of sup
plies. They were in her presence more
restrained In their boisterous moments
'-,'. after a successful night's fishing than they
V were wont to be on the Brest side of St.
.7 Male, for a word from the widow would
bring the most turbulent roysterers into
;.--.,; subsidence. Her ascendency over the
;.':. rough seafaring folks who dropped in at
; ; the Pigeon Blanc was maintained by tact
and. firmness, which gave her influence
.- quite as potent a hold as that of a com
• : mander over the forecastle. She had a
• -ready sparkling humor and a genu
■:-:^TnS; -j sympathy with seafarers which
: elicited their respect in return, and
: '..s . earned something akin to devo
'■-'-; tirjfp ■■ from them by re/using to let men
.... ..quaff more cider than was good for tbem,
■'•: ''tr to squander money in folly when the
?::!o."Ssteriug was over in the spring or the cod
.fishers returned from Terre Neuve in the j
/autumn, their rockets well lined with gold j
/.. .vTie^es ascfte earnings of the season. * The j
:, ..xvfnow frowned upon disorder and disso- I
. Inteness, and in. virtue of her genial good !
• qualities was not only supposed to be the
.. . sirn fling figurehead ot most of the vessels
■ in which her admirers sailed, but was the
..; 'occasion of profound heartaches among a
;;' few prosperous captains who thought she
..should not mourn the departure of her hus
band forever, especially when a change of
• state would Dring her happy choice to an
, anchor in the Pigeon Blanc."
The only other permanent resident of
the hos-.elry besides Blanche, the servant,
was Madame Eetaquennni's father, Pere
Jacques, a bale old man of 65, whose prin
cipal occupation, when not attending to
hi* little farm in the vicinity, was to sit in
a corner whiffing his pipe aud listening to
the. gossip at the tables. Letaquennou.
Bliss's husband, had served In the army
of the Loire during the Cerman invasion
and had. lost hi* life after the siege of
Paris, when the Versailles troops stormed
the capital from housetop to housetop and
suppressed the Communards. This touch
of war came home to Eiise with almost in
supportable bitterness; but the edge wears
"off the sharpest grief, and the years which
had passed left it only as a memory.
bat wish the consolations of the church
and the round of daily duty to keep her
from moping, she had long recovered her
buoyant ami joyous temperament,
• ■.. St." Malo sends forth every year scores of
• •'brig* and schooners which prosecute the
•;Cod-fishery off Newfoundland all through
.'...' the summer, repairing when necessary for
•..'supplies to St. Pierre and Miqnelon, the
• ;• little French possessions to the south of
•Ifje-. mainland, and returning with full
cargoes of cured fish in the autumn. Both
.: in. the. spring and autumn the port of St.
'•Malo presents a busy scene not at ail
• characteristic of other period-, the general
": commerce being very limited on account of
• high, tides and difficulties of navigation.
... The crews for the cod vessels are drafted
: fn>o_ every village on the coast of Brittany
and-, a " considerable number are drawn
• from, that nursery of seamen, the hay of
,•: Granville, on the western side of which
• lies Caucale, well within sight of that
•'.•'-world-ran owned wonder in ecclesiastical
'•.: architecture, the Mont St. Michel, which
looms upon the horizon in the direction of
. .The Pigeon Blanc was aglow with feast
ing and merriment one night in April to
-.celebrate the departure of the fishing fleet
• for the banks of Newfoundland. ft was a
...reunion of the seamen and their friends
appropriate as an adieu for those who
v . were to be so long severed and as a rendez
vous for the completion of arrangements.
Members of the crew of half a dozen craft
; .bound for the other side of the Atlantic
•were there, and at the head of two of the
big tables sat Captain Lapaix of the
l'Aigle brig and Captain Boulu of the Loup
; ' topsail schooner, who had long betn rivals
v not only In the capture of fish in the foggy
. . . region at the month of the St. Lawrence,
: .but were regarded as sailing a close match
in the good graces of the widow, as a prize
; in a fair-haven. In the Breton sense of
being substantial in property which would
finable them to retire, or fit out a Cancale
• • .fishing-lugger for operations at home, they
.. : were both eligible bachelors bordering
•: upon 40 and were in the habit of vowing
.. • that every trip should be their last, and
■ then, they would pay attention to the grow
■. ing of cabbages for the Breton's national
'••" soup. whether they were worthy rovers
. or the lyneof Duguay Trouin, the priva
..: te.er whose name stands high in the bis
tory . of M - Malo. higher than that of
•Chateaubriand, is not an opinion left to
• . the.reader to decide. They were in their
••• ?_?£ «*"* • on . TO eminent that they were the
only navigator, worthy to pay homage to
• -«f IV ,l aDc l? act - thought the adoration
• of. the other dispensable. As for Elise
. • she balanced her gracious recognition of
. • heir judiciously and KaTe them
.• to.understand that she was in no hurry to
• . decide which she should make happy! or ■
; .whether some other forlorn representative
v of misery in suspense might not be prefer
;•" ..The tables groaned beneath a load ot
good: fare, rough but appetizing for men
whocome in from the sea well whetted
\ After the cabbage and bread soup of the
• ' country came greatdishes of fish and vege
\° tables, conger eel. viellle, skate and sau
.* sages, great pieces of pork, piles of
• potatoes, huge loaves of bread like small
cart-wheels, and mighty jugs of cool cider,
for which the little hostelry had a renown
in a thirsty neighborhood. Elise and
Blanche had aeauitted themselves famously
iv the preparations, as on former occa
sions, and the company were in as light
hearted a mood as at a wedding feast.
The clatter of knives and plates at length
relaxed, and the clink of glasses in toast
and health drinking succeeded. They
drank to the success of cod-fishing and the
voyage; they drank to a whole chapter of
complimentary sentiments, which were ac
companied with songs iv all manner of
keys, and they still had a few litres of
cider to circulate when the widow's wel
fare was toasted.
"Tins time will finish it." shouted the
tall and grim Captain Lapaix, whose
mellow expression lent some air of tender
ness to a rugged visage, as he glanced at
the widow with as much grace as a harpoon.
"Eiise. this is my last voyage. 1 shall
come bask to Cancale, and then, sapristi"
. And be thumped the table with his
fist, as if "sapi is. i" settled the future to
"Oui, par exemplp," rejoined the widow
with an amused look. "That's been the
song for. five years. When the spring
comes you are off for cod."
"Ah. ha! this time, Elise, I' Aisle will
"You say so! You fly too high
"Yes, it will alight, beside the Pigeon
"Not if the Loud gets sight of the Eagle."
"Bravo!" shouted the company.
"You carry too much sail, capltaine,"
cried the portly Boulu, from his side of the
room. "You are on the wrong tack, by St.
Jacques, and will never fetch port."
"Not with the charts of the Loup," re
sponded the lean commander of the Eagle.
THE TWO BRIGS SAILED AWAY.
"Elise. ta santel The church candles, big ! schooner had been sighted off Cape Frehel
as a mast, wlii be lighted when we anchor i from the semaphore station, and two days
in fie Ranee, n'cat pas?" thereafter the little jolly dumpling of a
"Oh, la! la! A man married is a. bird in : rnau himself bounced into the Pigeon
: a cage. Off you would fly when the sun | Blanc, threw his hat merrily up to the roof
1 came out and ihe door opened." and danced a quick ten with several i
"What, with mv wings clipped? No, I ' ronettes friskily, all in presence of the
shall only go fishing for turbot and lobster i widow, who regarded his antics with the
. then." j good humor inseparable from this second
"That's what I intend to do. Eli«e, with j stage of tne nautical comedy.
my new boat, and you will go sailing with "Ah! Monsieur le Caoitaine. what have
me," said Boulu. with a merry twinkle in I you done with Captain Lapalx? Saprieti]
his eve. M shall venture no more on the ; A man like a poplar should have given
' sea .... t i tne slin to a jack pudding as broad as
"Ma foil A lovely yacht with me on I long. How lucky you are!"
board, fit to go to Havre for a show! You i "Elise, Elise!" It is my fortune. The
j would complain that your wife is too beau- I Loup is in harbor, and go am 1. Now for
tiful." | the music, Cancale and the Pigeon Blanc.
"Eli«e, I am yours when I come back," I What a day it is to win a race with such a
; pleaded Boulu. prize!" And he ventured to take the
"What happiness!" widow's hand in his and to essay a salute
"Pourquoi non! Wait till October, of her cheek, which compliment she
j There will be no more fish left on the adroitly evaded.
banks of Terre Neuve." "You rogue! You think a joke is a wed-
No. not if you keep going there. Ah, ding. You must learn to dance a hit more
captain, a widow knows when she s When spring comes the Loup will co to
happy, lou are all flatterers and shifty sea again."
and deep as the sea. When the cider's j "But not with Le Capifaine Boulu No
: good the fields grow roses." , ma chere Elise, in Cancale 1 hoist my flag.
"Eh, bienl i_lise, you are the queen of \ A*a me the day. and what a feast we shall
the roses. You will look handsome in i have. All the matelots of the port to drain
church f beside me! I am a proper posy the barriques of cider, and Lapaix to drink
m __s£!. f _. ._ , ,-,,-. „ success! Ha. ha ! He mourns his bride
"With the leaves falling," interjected and a little purse, which will plant mv
Blanche as she glanced at the rotund orchard. Ta saute, Elise! Vive le peche
; navigator's scanty locks. demorue! Bonne heure au Pigeon Blanc '"
"le9, and changing color soon." added At.d the captain executed another pas
the widow. seu l and rolled himself into a chair of
I "That s from cold weather and fogs, ample capacity.where helooked supremely
: Tbe fire of the Pigeon Blanc has the right ! benevolent behind a cheerful measure of
l warmth." j cider. He was the talk of the port during
"Only for the good people privileged to j the morning, and had a not surprising
sit by it. Who is to carry the' legs?" I ;
"Trust me for that, Ells*! First get
the candles lighted and then we shall sing
i by the hearth."
"Well, don't both get drowned and then
; one of you may have a chauce," laughed the
j widow roguishly with a teasing look and
arch set of her coifed head.
"Oh, ho! Ha, ha!" And the company
broke Into merriment and banter, and
shouted, "Which is it to be? Who is to
"A race for the bride!" roared Pierre
Lerpux. "Royals and bonnets spread!
Captain Lapaix, good fortune!"
"Captain Boulu wins," vociferated the
friends of the round favorite, and then
there was a clattering of cider glasses, and
Widow Letaquennou, who thought her joke
had been accepted too seriously, had her
health toasted rapturously.
"You mean it?" said the thin Lapaix,
with a touch of earnestness.
"That settles it," said the happy Boulu.
. "Don't stay too long. The bells may
ring merrily before you see Cancale again.
; 'Femme bonne, vaut une couronne.'
j Messieurs les capitaines, nous verrons!
j Only one of you get drowned, and as for
: the other he can swim ashore."
"Ah! Elise. you tease us. Boulu, a race
with you I First in port first in favor!
The last comer to salute the victor."
"Parbleul a race be itl Oui, par ex
emple, the Loup is a good runner. Tho
first round Cape Frehel hoists tbe flag
Elise, the Loup will win I"
And so the understanding, half In ear
nest and half in jest, was duly ratified aud
vowed with a bumper in cider, and then
the big kitchen was cleared of all impedi
ments of furniture, and the company for a
good hour Imd a lively set-to in dancing,
the rival captains in turn leading the fair
Elise through the quadrille and telling one
another tbat the dancing would be more
merry., in the autumn, as to which the
widow gave the caution that the sea is
wide and abounds in fine fish.
The Loup and l'Aigle sailed within the
same week from St. Malo, had a prosper
ous voyage and were without delay out on
the fishing-grounds and their crews put to
work catching the cod which there have
abounded since the historical time of
Jacques Cartier, tbe discoverer of Can
ada, who also was a St. Maloene. The
season, with brief spells at St. Pierre or
Miquelon, passes in booking all the fit-h
tbat can possibly be lured on to the lines
and splitting and preserving them for the
French market. The peche de mo rue is
one of the most important that the French
follow, and employs thousands of men.
This year tbe luck of tbe catch was
1 1 )IT _X fl I W NI I ■ 1 9 Bpl 1 1 1 1 ;_M 1 I
SAN FRANCISCO, SUNDAY MORNING, OCTOBER 29, 1893.
not remarkable, and Captain Lapaix
and Captain Boulu, although eager
to spread their canvas for the return voy
age, were compelled to prosecute the
fishery as long as the habits of the king of
the gadidse and the conditions of weather
permitted. It was the middle of Sep
tember when they battened down the
hatches and took their departure for St.
Malo. To give further eclat to their race
they had laid modest wagers of 500 iran
on the event, and the crows had the
stimulus of prize money for a dinner,
whichever vessel first got into the hands of
the pilot. AU the St. Malo skippers were
in the secret, and had enjoyed many
jocose sallies in bunting signals and other
wise at the expense of the love-forlorn
sons of Neptune, who now took leave of
the dreary banks, as each confidently
believed, for a clime bathed in perpetual
Not one of the good skippers had
thought it dutiful and polite to write an
eudearing epistle to Cancale, depicting the
miseries of exile far from France and com
forting the desolate object of their affec
tions with assurances, which would have
been mostly fictitious, that she was unfor
gettably present in their thoughts. The
widow bad her own opinion of the con
stancy of wooers and had no pronounced
sentimentality on the possibility of again
changing her name. The French who
have acquired a little property are accus
tomed to take a prosaic view of the re
sponsibilities of married life and to weigh
something more than the inclination of
the heart in matches. Nor are marriages,
on the average, unhappy on this account,
there being perhaps just as much real
sentiment associated with prudence as
with the precipitate independence of the
lovesick in other countries, who consult
nobody about their vows of devotion and
often wed hastily to repent at leisure.
The widow therefore did not break her
heart about the silence of the absent, and
continued to bo beamingly radiant as the
presiding divinity of her»hostelry, to which
her guests came as usual for good cheer.
Returning vessels from Newfoundland
brought returning crows, and by and by
Elise had news of the L'Aigle and Loup,
the prospects of the season and gossip
about the race, about which she was sub
jected to the customary freedom of banter.
The postman one morning in mid October
brought the news that Captain Boulu's
THE HOSTESS AND HER CUSTOMERS.
number of friends to entertain, who came
to congratulate him on tho salubrious
effects of the fogs of Terre Neuve, all of
which the debonair fishing skipper took in
Nothing untoward befell the Eagle on
the voyage home, beyond failing to reach
port first. The brig had encountered head
winds and was nearly a month behind the
Loup, a tardy passage, which caused her
rakish commander to turn quite grumpy
at the weather and everything else ere he
caught sight of Chateaubriand's tomb
in tho roads of the Ranee. Poor man, he
was doomed to more fishing on the banks,
when be had hoped to take bis ease on
Madame Letaquennou was as genial and
unconstrained in her manner as she was
wont to be, and the captain concluded that
the Pigeon Blanc was -till a good place
for supper and dominoes and a pipe, espe
cially as at games he invariably conquered
tbe not very intellectual Boulu.
Everybody in Cancale knew the day of
the wedding. Everybody had an interest
in the event, and there would be at least
two days' feasting for relatives and all
comers, and more dancing than the decor
ous would favor. The dapper and suave
little tailor, Jean Robidou. who made Sun
day clothes for the fishermen in ihe Rue
lrosnais, and who was an accomplished
violinist and a great favorite at: parties
wbeu he gave the time to merry trippers,
was indispensable as sole orchestra, and
was prepared to fiddle a inarch on the joy
ous homeward promenade from church,
after the manner of tho middle ages, when
the merrymaKers went in procession
across the meadows. The bride "had
I shown the pride of the peasantry
l in decking herself out in the costume
of the Lamballaise, with a little more
lace than is usually displayed on the
wide - spreading coif, which is looped
around the head fantastically, but other
wise soberly gowned and, shawled, with a
little pocketed apron for her kerchief
and gloves, .and buckled shoes, as becomes
a Bretonne of tho city. She looked co
que.ttishly jaunty as with Pere Jacques,
Blanche, M. Ridel, the fish merchant; M.
Poulard, the proprietor of oyster parks;
Madame and Malle Leroy, the milliners,
! and Veuve Sevestre of the grocery oppo
\ site the Pigeon Blanc, she stepped into the
hall of the Mairle for the civil ceremony,
as a preliminary to the ecclesiastical,
which all the good Bretons look uoonas
the real marriage. But the widow's buoy-
J ant spirits were a little dashed by the dis
covery that the rotund Boulu had not ar
rived. He was just a little out of breath,
perhaps, coming uphill, said the comfort
ers, and they were ready with other ex
cuses when the minutes ran past with
painful indifference to their lacerated no
tions of punctuality.
The Pere Jacques thought of his own by
gone years, and how long it was since be
had carried a bouquet for his bride, and
tiie widow recalled the promptitude of the
defunct Letaquennou when he led her to
the altar a year before the war. But still
the time was ticked off by the demonstra
tive clock at the Mairie, and no Boulu in
sight, which implied that he was not any
where in the vicinity as he was a passably
identifiable object. When noon came and
the bridegroom still tarried the'dooraeeper
Verdier sighed for his dejeuner and a van
ished fee at the same time, and looked com
passionately at the perplexed group as
much as to say that marriages were not
Then the widow grew petulant and
nettled, then she chided man in general
for perfidy, and finally a few tears relieved
her pent-up feelings, and off she set down
the Rue Saint-Pair tor the Pigeon Blanc,
hoping to escape observation by taking an
obscure route. The feast awaited the
i feasters, but in the absence of Boulu no
body had any appetite, and even the dap
per tailor bad not the courage to screw up
one string of the violin, and kept that
mirth-evoking companion serenely dor
mant in its bag. The Pigeon Blanc had
never known so sad a day. and It was all
owing to the vagrant but unfortunate
Boulu, whose absence was so unaccount
Now what had happened to the errant
skipper was very simple, as the destinies
of sailors are horoscoped. On the Friday
the good man had gone to St. Malo by dili
gence to arrange a little surprise for his
bride, and he quite succeeded beyond ex
pectations. He had ordered a beautiful
little watch, bespangled with three clusters
of tiny jewels and enameled in azure, with
.a design of the i.oup in a calm, and the
watchmaker had not been able to construct
such an exquisite lady's chronometer him
self, but bad to send therefor to Paris.
The Parisian horlogerie had no doubt re
solved to produce a proper work of art,
which requires time to finish, and the
St. Malo tradesman had solemnly vowed
it should be iv Boulu's possession on
the eve of the wedding; if not he was to
be pitched headlong from the Port Rou
lant, which would have been quite as
dreadful as a header from the Tarpeian
[lock, since it would have broken bis neck.
Now the jeweler was overwhelmed with
; grief when the expectant bridegroom cast
at shadow across the greater part of his
shop, upon being informed that the fairy
present was not yet in 'St. Malo. But the
letter sing its dispatch had arrived.
There it was, explicit in date and informa
tion, and unless the heavens fell, a thing
that had never happened since the days
when the dogs patrolled the town, the
watch would be there in the morning.
This comforted Boulu, whose sanguine
truthfulness immediately drew a picture of
his bride gazing at the watch and himself
as commander of the Loup in the azure
enamel, and the diligence at 6 o'clock in
the morning would land him in Cancale be
fore the widow had time to inquire tor
| him. With this roseate forecast of events
I cheerfully conjured up, he strolled past the
cathedral, without confessing, down to
j the harbor quay, and there met at one of
I the cozy haunts where mariners flock
! several other Terre Neuve skippers, re
! markably urbane, although personally
! they had no greater success in life than a
I safe return from the fishery with a good
I cargo. 3£_B
Tho pilot, who had often boarded
I Boulu's schooner and navigated it into
I the roads of St. Malo, invited a party of
| pleasure on board his lugger in honor of
i the captain and his impending transla
! tion out of celibacy, and tbe afternoon
being bright and inviting, nothing more
j agreeable among friends could be pro
posed. The lugger put out to sea, got
| more breeze in the offing than was neces
sary for a pleasure trip, had to take shel
i ter in the lee of the Isles de Chaussey,
equally distant from St. Malo and Can
cale, and then had to beat back next day
! against a blustering head wind. By the
| time the captain got back to St. Malo he
! should have been five mortal hours a Bene
j dick, and being still a bachelor be drifted
i altogether from the moorings of com-
mendablc propriety, tried to restore his
courage aud equanimity with generous
wine, and went to bed in St. Malo with
more Spanish castles in bis bead than be
could afford to furnish. .
When he ruefully entered the Pigeon
Blanc on the Sunday he cast a greater
shadow across the floor than he had done
at the jeweler's. The: widow had swept
a wav the feast and all recollection of her
fickle adorer bu t indignation at his abom
inable thoughtlessness. His excuses only
threw her, into tantrums of scorn and rage,
and he was compelled to beat a retreat
discomfited and wrecked in hopes. As far
as is known he still has the : watch from
Paris, but as to what fair one will wear it
Boulu is discreetly reserved, knowing by
sad misfortune the chances between the
cup and the lip. As for the Widow
Letaquennou, ''he has changed; her name
and Is now Mine. Robidou. As the tailor
aud violinist was the only presentable
man who attended the rendezvous at the
Mairie, and he; was a marry grig of a
fellow quite fitted to adorn the Pigeon
Blanc as , her spouse, she allowed him to
join another wedding procession, and since
that august occasion his music has been of
incomparable charm, and' dances at the'
; Pigeon Blanc are tripped rlgnt merrily. 1
The captains who won and lost: occasion
ally go there also, since it is impossible to
bear resentment against the widow that
was. D. J. Mcßobebts.
Something About Those
Who Are at the Island.
WHERE OFFICERS WILL GO.
Expected That the Mohican Will Re
lieve the Philadelphia at Honolulu.
The Monterey's Boilers.
You wait one hour and a half and you
ride three-quarters of an hour. That's the
way you get to Mare Island Navy-yard.
Yes, you do something — you change.
From streetcar to ferry-boat, from ferry
boat to train, from train to ferry-boat, and
from this ferry-boat to another ferry-boat.
That's the trip from San Francisco. Each
time you change there's a lone delay, dur
ing which the train and ferry hands fuss
with the baggage and Incidentally ex
change reminiscent remarks and read ex
tracts from comic papers. Several officers
are said to have left San Francisco lieu
tenants and arrived at the yard full-
fledged commanders. But this is only a
legend of the station, and implicit reliance
should not be placed in it. However, it
Commander Nicoll Ludlow.
shows how the trip is regarded, particu
larly when the slowness of promotion in
the American navy is taken into consid
The word "change" has but one mean
! ing to the veteran of Ibis reservation of
i Uncle Sam's. It means "move" and only
that. A marine officer, who for years has
been going back and forth between San
Francisco, was in a restaurant in this city
a few days ago. Ho stood at the desk,
where he had planked down a double
eagle beside the check that told the value
of what ho had eaten, and gazed abstract
edly out ot the window.
"Change, sir!" exclaimed the cashier,
pushing three fives and some silver toward
the guest. <J|S
Captain seized his parcels, ran out
into the street and jumped into a car,
never thinking of what he had left behind
until near the ferry.
_Not in many a year has the yard been as
Chief Engineer Engard.
lively as it is at present. All day long is
kept up a rat-a-tap-tap as hundreds of
hammers keep pounding on the plates of
the Boston, knocking away the rust that
accumulated during the long cruise in the
South Pacific. The white cruiser's hull
proved a surprise to theorists when she
went into drydock last week. She had
been longer in the water without cleaning
than any modern man-of-war had belore.
and it was expected that her plates would
be so badly pitted as to need renewal in
many places. But the pitting process, it
is found, is confined to one or two spots,
and the belief is that after the rust is re
moved heavy coats of paint will suffice to
preserve the hull.
But the Boston is in bad shape other
wise. Her machinery needs overhauling,
aud, in fact, repairs are needed in every
part.- So she is placed out of commission,
and it will probably be six months before
she steams out to sea again. The first of
the coming week her officers will be scat
tered to different parts of the country.
They pave been together on a long cruise,
and one that has been one of the most ex
citing of modern naval voyages.
Leaving New York in 1891 the Boston
steamed down the Atlantic and then up to
Valparaiso, arriving there at a time when
it was' expected that war might be de
clared against Chile at any moment. Later
she went to Honolulu, and under the or
ders of the late Captain Wiltse the officers
raised the stars and stripes over what they
believed would from then on be new ter
ritory. But after months of guarding that
flag on shore the Rush poked her yellow
nose into port, having Commissioner
Blount on board, who bade tbem haul
down the flag.
Now the time has come for the officers
to go to other duties. Captain Day. Lieu
tenant-Commander Very 'and Lieutenants
Young and Laird will go East for shore
duty, as their cruise is up. Lieutenant
Rush has been ordered to the Albatross.
Paymaster Hobbs is eastward bound. Sur
geon Magruder Is laid up in the hospital
with a * recurring attack of the Chagres
fever, which be contracted years ago at
Panama. Several of the , ensigns and
cadets will join the Mohican.
As for the latter ship she will be ready
for; sea again within thirty or. forty days.
New plates are needed behind her boilers,
and with this repair it is said her ma
chinery will last as. long as the hull. It is
believed at the yard that she will be
ordered to Honolulu about December, to
relieve the Philadelphia. The officers now
on board will probably remain, with one
or two exceptions.
Surgeon Simons, whose sea tlmo is more
than up, has been detached and ordered
East. Assistant Surgeon Bage will proba
bly attend to the medical duties on board
until some one is ordered from the East, or
Dr. Lewis, now stationed at the yard, may
get the sea billet in ber. He is more than
due for one. Commander Ludlow's time
is up In January. He may be relieved
before the Mohican sails again and be
given an important office iv Washington,
Surgeon Simons and His Inhaler.
for his services are well regarded by the
administration, and again, he may go to
sea for a short cruise.
The officers of the Mohican are slowly
recovering from the attacks of bronchitis,
souvenirs of the Alaskan climate, but
their favorite form of dissipation still con
sists in inhaling the' vapor from a com
pound mixed by Dr. Simons. The surgeon
himself is his own best customer, for he
also is a sufferer.
There is a steward on the Mohican who
has been carefully trained by Paymaster
Stanton, but who recently fell from grace.
The lad's name is lto. and he came from
that laud of brownies, Japan.
Paymaster Stanton is caterer for the
Mohican's wine mess and lto is steward.
Pay takes great pride in the variety of
drinks on board, and a few evenings since
spoke of his complete stock while some
navy-yard officers were visiting the ward
room mess, ending by asking what they
would have. -•" ( -
"Beer," was the reply.
"Beer, lto!" called out the paymaster.
"What make do you prefer? We have
A well-known Eastern beverage was
. "Throe bottles of , lto," said Pay.
The Stewart walked away, then returned
and said, "Las' bottle sol' yesterday;
you no order more."
"By jove. that's so!" exclaimed Stanton.
"Careless of me. Name something else."
An export beverage was called for.
"lto, three bottles of ," again called
This time the steward said: "All right,
only it very warm down in hoi."
"He means, gentlemen," explained
Stanton, "that the last case brought up
has be-'ii used and that he fears the others
which are in the storeroom below are too
warm. However, we will order them up."
"Never mind," said one of the visitors,
"give us ."
"lto. three bottles of in a
hurry," once more said Pay.
This time lto stood still and for several
seconds was in deep thought. Then he
leaned toward the paymaster and said in
a whisper that every one heard :
"1 forget what you tell me say when
officers ask for this kind beer."
Stanton capitulated, hauled down his
flag and the visitors enjoyed a California
beer gulped down between guffaws of
Forward of the Mohican lies the Mon
terey, which in spite of the slurs heaped
upon her is to-day the finest man-of-war
in the United States navy. Shells the only
ship flying the stars and stripes that could
to-day staud before a modern ironclad and
receive shot after shot, giving as good as
sent. Time and service have proven that
her boilers are all right, that her machinery
works perfectly and that she is a success
In every respect. Speaking of his ship
Captain Kemoff said yesterday:
VI have no complaint to make regarding
her. I never saw machinery work more
smoothly, and I cannot even suggest where
changes for the better might be made. The
articles against the Monterey were in
spired. They were not truthful; in fact,
they had not even a single fact as a founda
tion. 1 Certain newspapers were interested
in abusing the work of the Pacific Coast
shops. Their reporters would come on
board and have logbooks and records
placed at ; their disposal by the chief en
gineer, who would also give them any ad
ditional Information they desired. It was
not to bis interest to boom tbe Monterey.
PRICE FIVE CENTS.
He is a naval officer, assured of a position,
and in her only for a cruise. His next
trip may be in an Eastern-built ship. So
he simply told the truth.
"After talking with him the reporter
would ask permission to go below. There
he would talk with some dissatisfied coal
heaver, and the next day under flaming
headlines would appear an article which
would tell of the terrible condition of the
Monterey's boilers. It would be an inter
view with the coal-heaver, while not a
word uttered by the engineer, a man whose
education enables him to speak under
standing^ on such matters, would be pub
lished. I have been tempted time and
again to answer these articles, but it is
folly to contradict lies. Now the boat has
proved what she is.
"Special stress was laid on the wortb
lessness of the two Scotch boilers. This
allegation I disproved entirely on our re
cent cruise to the sound. I ordered only
the Scotch boilers used on the trip north.
We steamed to Seattle using only twenty
tons of coal a day. Now just compare this
record with that make by the Boston on
her recent trip north. She used nearly
forty tons of coal a day and she in of only
3189 tons displacement. The Monterey,
with only two Scotch boilers going, con
sumed only half the amount of coal, trav
eling nearly as fast, and her displacement
is exactly 1000 tons greater."
Astern of the Mohican lies the Alba
tross, tho best equipped vessel for the
purpose in the world. She was constructed
for the Fish Commission, but at present is
detailed by the President for special
service in the navy. She is manned by
naval officers and men detailed for the
Ensign Eldridge, who was taken sick
on the Mohican at Port Townsend las.
May, and who passed several weary
months at tbe Marine Hospital in the yard,
is on duty again, and has joined tbis white
The Albatross has many curios on
board in the way of strange members of
the tinny tribe captured while scientists
were at work from her decks; also in
the way of fishing-tackle and deep-sea
Work on the Monadnockis being rapidly
pushed, and her turrets now nearly fash
ioned will soon be placed on board. The
Monterey's armor is also being put on,
and in a month she will be complete in
every respect. Work will soon be begun
on the old Hartford, and before a year is
passed she will probably be in commission
This rebuilding of old ships Is peculiar
to the American navy. The Mohican is
an example of it. Acordlng to the books
she is one of the oldest vessels in the ser
vice, whereas in fact she is of compara
tively recent construction. Her recon
struction was begun at a time when Con
gress would not vote for building new ships
but would vote money to repair old ones.
So the Mohican was repaired Irom year to
year until finally nothing was left of tho
old vessel but her keel. During all this
time the wood that was being put in her
had opportunity to season, and to-day she
is one of the stanchest boats afloat.
One day last week 1 accepted a kind
invitation extended by Major Bartlett,
and went with him while he made his
weekly inspection of the marine bar
racks. This place seems the best kept,
most comfortable of its kind in the United
States. The rooms are large, airy. and
provided with comfortable beds; a" great
relief from the narrow hammocks on
shipboard. The dlning-hall would ac
commodate 500 people, whereas the full
complement to-day is 150. But the unique
place is the reading-room and billiard
Two apartments are devoted .to
amusement and instruction, and the floor
space is as large as the entire deck of a
man-of-war. In one room there are two
tables at which the manners can play for
the nominal sum of three cents a game. In
the second sixty-five current periodi
cals are kept constantly on file. There
are few libraries in the United States that
have this number.
Life at the yard is now quite gay so
The little hand-me-down yellow doc
carts with hand-me-down horses, are seen
on the roadways, blue uniforms and brass
buttons In contrast by the side of female
attire. Every afternoon one or more
games of tennis are going, and some excel
lent shooting is found on the upper end of
the island. Another hop is being arranged,
and some night this week the sailloft will
be the scene of festivity.
But those stationed at the yard do not
like their billets, and the reason Is the
unnecessary delays encountered in visiting
San Francisco. They hope for better and
Quicker service, and then Mare Island
Navy-yard will be an ideal spot.
C. H. Wetmork.
A QUEER CRAFT.
An Old Missouri River Captain Sails
Away on a Keg.
Kansas City Times.
Captain — — . an old river man. created
quite a sensation by the peculiarity of the
craft In which be once navigated the Mis
souri River. He was quite a sportsman,
and on one of bis hunting excursions his
skiff was stolen or got adrift. leaving him
near a small town about twenty miles
above his home. He disliked to walk that
distance, and concluded to make a raft and
float down. He lashed together four small
logs, five or six feet long, in the form of a
square, laid a piece of plank across and
then placed a discarded nail keg in the
middle; then he got a newspaper, and,
lighting bis pipe, shoved off into the
Floating swiftly along he passed in front
of a negro cabin. The old negro stood on
the bank and hailed him :
"Whar' coin', cao'n, on dat t'lng?"
"Coin' to St. Lonis!"
"Goin' on dat kag?"
"Fo' Gord !" was all the astonished ne
gro could say. r\
The captain, rather wondering at the
negro, looked at his feet and found that
on account of his weight and the water
soaked condition of the logs they had dis
appeared beneath the surface of the
water, leaving nothing but th» keg to
show upon what he was riding. ■ Not at all
disconcerted, however, he continued his
voyage and arrived home in safety.
In England the blind form .08 per cent
of the population, in Scotland .07 per cent,
and in Ireland .11 per cent, or in England
and Wales one person in every 1236 is
blind, in Scotland one In 1439, and in Ire
land one in B L^§gggggffl