Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Elbe's Captain In a Fog


"I have crossed the ocean 40 times," said Mr. Gustav Bowman, proprietor of the Holland House, to a friend recently, "and during all of my voyages I have never been really anxious about the safety of the ship excepting twice. One of these occasions was during a voyage I once made on the Elbe. We had been running along in the fog for two days and were approaching the Needles at the time. The captain had been unable to take an observation during the two days, and of course could not tell exactly where we were.

"The doubt and uncertainty concerning our whereabouts greatly disturbed my peace of mind. I knew we must be near the dangerous coast, and that we might be run down at any moment by a steamer or ship. I stood chatting with some of my friends about our helpless condition, when the captain came along and said:

" 'Why don't you gentlemen go down to dinner?'

" 'We have been so busy discussing our voyage in the fog and wondering at what moment we shall be sent to the bottom that we have forgotten all about dinner,' I replied.

" Will it relieve your minds, gentlemen,' continued the captain, 'if I tell you that between a quarter to 9 and 9 o'clock tonight we will sight land?'

" 'Of course it will,' we replied in chorus. We did not take very much stock in what he said, but we knew that he was one of the best captains on the Atlantic.'

" ' You can now go down to dinner with contented minds,' laughed the captain as he left us.

"We took the captain's advice, and, sure enough, at the very time he predicted the fog cleared away, and land was sighted. To my mind it was the best illustration of a captain's sense of location I have ever known." — New York Herald.


Fast days, whenever appointed by the president of the United States, are legal holidays in all the states.

Admiral Christopher Newport gave a name to the Rhode Island city.

The British museum has coins or medals of every Roman emperor.

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