A HARD JOKE
The steamer Chautauque, on one of her return trips from Detroit, recently, as is usual, ascended the ship canal at Monroe (Mich.) for passengers and freight. While there, a steamboat, schooner, and one or two scows, entered the mouth of the canal and so arranged their position as completely to prevent all ingress or egress. Meanwhile, the Chautauque, having discharged and received cargo, was returning to the lake. On arriving at the mouth of the canal, and finding it blocked, Capt. Dustin thus addressed the captain of the schooner:
"Will you allow some of my men to cast off your lines, and permit us to pass, we will make all tort again?"
"No, sir," replied the captain, emphatically, "we don't change our position for any such craft."
Capt. Dustin, thinking perhaps the man was not in earnest, sent some of his hands ashore with the friendly purpose of removing the schooner, intending as soon as the boat was through, to replace her, without trouble to her crew. The captain of the schooner, discovering their object, sent his hands ashore, armed with clubs and iron bars, and under instructions to resist any efforts to cast off the lines, by which the schooner was fastened: at the same time giving Capt. Dustin to understand he did not intend to move an inch.
A few moments passed in ineffectual expostulation, convinced the Capt. that he must fight hi way through, or lose his trip.
"Now," said he, "it's not necessary to spend any further time in words, if you don't move your vessel out of my way, I'll run into her and knock her out."
"Ha! ha! my dear fellow," responded the captain of the schooner, "you must be joking, now. We "ain't afraid of any such threat. We've got too much timber here for any such dug out as yours."
"Hold on to your steam," said Dustin to his engineer, "and back her, we'll show them what this 'old dug out' can do."
The little boat was backed to a sufficient distance to give her a full headway, and aimed directly for the schooner's bow. "Now let her go, boys, with a will, and be sure to hit her square."
The boat seemed to leap from the water with the first revolution of the paddles, and rushing on with the speed of thought, and under the full impulse of a powerful engine, struck the schooner by the side of her stem, and cut her to within a foot of the water.
v"There," said Dustin, "that's one of my jokes, and now if you don't get out of my way, I'll crack another just like it, and let daylight in upon your cargo."
The schooner mizzled, and the Chautauque came on. - Toledo Blade.