The cabmen, too, who twice a week, on the night when the A.S.N. Company's passenger-boat was due to arrive, used to range a battalion of blazing lamps opposite the ship, were very amusing in their way. They got down from their perches and told each other impolite stories in racy language, every word of which reached me distinctly over the bulwarks as I sat smoking on the main-hatch.
He had been in much better circumstances than he was now, for he had been first officer and then captain of a passenger-boat plying along the coast of California, but he had lost his ship and a number of passengers had been drowned. "Drink, I guess," said Winter. Of course there had been an enquiry, which had cost him his certificate, and then he drifted further afield.
These new-comers are people of uncouth voices and loud laughter, and behave themselves as if they were trying to turn their expedition to as much account as possible in the way of enjoyment. John's boat, the regular passenger-boat, is now coming in, and probably brings the mail.
Should the weather be rough at any time when we have seaports to visit, "Lorelei" and her consort will have to lie in harbor, and the party must be satisfied to do the journey on a commonplace passenger-boat. But on such a day as this there was no danger, no excuse for seasickness, although I half expected the ladies to ask if we were safe. Apparently, however, the doubt did not enter their heads.
Finally I always did the thing, if after long study it seemed the right thing to do, or if some one else had not done it in the meantime; just as I finally told Captain Sproule that I expected to work on a passenger boat the next summer, and was told by him that he had sold his boat to a company, and was to be a passenger-boat captain himself the next summer; and would sign me on if I wanted to stay with him which I did.
Sometimes a very distinguished person or two is aboard the yacht with our little company, personages known to the Bey, who having arrived on the passenger-boat, accept invitations for a cruise around the island, or to dine aboard the yacht as she rides at anchor before the town.
A passenger-boat, whose engines move with the utmost possible economy, having no cargo but the food of her inmates, will carry only coal enough for thirty-three or -four days' consumption. This is the maximum. The majority cannot carry twenty-five days' supply.
While Captain Lawry was considering the practicability of running the Woodville between certain places on the lake as a passenger-boat, he was startled by receiving a huge government envelope, containing a liberal offer for the use of his steamer as a despatch boat on southern rivers.
Procuring a wherry, and a boy to row it, he had boarded the Missisque as she passed up the lake; and, though the sloop was not a passenger-boat, Captain John had consented to land him at Shoreham. Mr. Randall was a landsman, and had a proper respect for squalls and tempests, even on a fresh-water lake.