Boarding Vessels For Trade - How Runners are Treated by Saucy Stewards.
In all seaport towns the arrival of a strange vessel is hailed with joy by ship chandlers and butchers, and the scramble of rival runners is laughable if not profitable. The badinage between the bidders for trade, although not classical, is forcible, and many are the tricks of the trade that are made public.
Yesterday morning before daylight, the brig Roscius, an old time craft, came into this port for the first time in years, and her arrival was enough to call all the runners in the creek to arms. Some of the early birds boarded the brig before she made a landing, while others, who wanted the captain to be at leisure, waited until she was securely fastened to the dock before they presented their case and landed their wares.
Among the latter was a ship chandler who hastily locked his door after placing upon the platform samples of his goods, and hurried down to the brig. It struck him when he boarded the craft that eight or ten runners who stood around on the decks - wore a sad, dejected look as though they had been repulsed, and thinking that he was the man the captain desired to see, braced up, passed his left hand over his face and approached the kitchen door.
Putting on his blandest smile and with his tongue ready to wag, he bowed familiarity to the cook, who was busy getting up "lop scouse stew." The cook, a little dried up old fellow and a cripple opened on the ship chandler with a broadside that would have staggered the Monitor. Squinting one eye and shifting his quid of plug over to the starboard, the has dispenser said: "Ye're another of thim, eh! Well blas ye're dirty mugs, ye boord a vessel loike so many Malay pirates. Git ashore, ye blasted land lubber, or I'll skiver ye on the carving knife! Where d'ye trade? Out of that ye ye dirty scuff an lave me to get the bruck'usht for the min. Tin of ye before six o'clock, enough to carry the brig away."
The blast was too much for the chandler and the last seen of him he was talking with a butcher up town and telling him how to get the brig's custom.
He will board no more vessels for trade this season unless he is escorted by the 48th Regiment.