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LUCK OF SHIPS

THERE IS A STORY OF AN UNNAMED GRAIN SHIP,
A GREAT LAKES THREE-MASTER, THAT LOST HER
LUCK ON A RUN TO BUFFALO. A MAN, NAMED BILL, HAD
FALLEN TO HIS DEATH FROM THE MASTHEAD, AND ON THE FOLLOWING
DAY ANOTHER HAD LOST HIS LIFE. ON ARRIVING AT BUFFALO
THE MEN WENT ASHORE AS SOON AS THEY WERE PAID OFF. THEY WERE
NOT RETURNING BECAUSE, THEY SAID, THE SHIP HAD LOST HER
LUCK. WHILE THE VESSEL WAS DISCHARGING HER
CARGO AT AN ELEVATOR THE STORY GOT AROUND AND THE GRAIN-TRIMMERS
REFUSED TO WORK HER. WHEN THE SHIP WAS UNLOADED SHE WAS
ORDERED TO CLEVELAND TO TAKE ON COAL BUT COULD NOT SIGN A CREW.
THEY MANAGED TO GET A NEW CREW BY GOING TO A CRIMP, WHO RAN
THEM IN FROM SALT WATER. THEY CAME ABOARD TWO-THIRDS DRUNK AND
THE MATE WAS STEERING THEM TO THE FORECASTLE, WHEN ONE
OF THEM STOPPED AND POINTED ALOFT, SAID: "WHAT HAVE YOU
GOT A FIGUREHEAD ON THE MASTHEAD FOR?" THE MATE LOOKED ALOFT
AND THEN TURNED WHITE. "IT'S BILL," HE CRIED, AND WITH THAT
THE WHOLE LOT DID A PIERHEAD JUMP, EVEN THE MATE.
THE CAPTAIN MANAGED TO SIGN ON ANOTHER CREW AND SAILED
FOR CLEVELAND, BUT HE NEVER GOT THERE; HIS VESSEL WAS SUNK
BY A STEAMER OFF DUNKIRK.

Submitter comment: CAPTAIN LUMAS SAYS THAT HE HEARD THIS STORY FROM
HIS FATHER WHO CLAIMED THAT HIS BEST FRIEND WAS
LOST ON THIS ILL-FATED SHIP.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MACKINAC ISLAND

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Curse
BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance

Date learned: 09-00-1963

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