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The Tearful Tale Of Captain Dan

Written by: Ellis Parker Butler | Biography
 A sinner was old Captain Dan;
 His wives guv him no rest:
He had one wife to East Skiddaw
 And one to Skiddaw West.
Now Ann Eliza was the name Of her at East Skiddaw; She was the most cantankerous Female you ever saw.
I don’t know but one crosser-grained, And of this Captain Dan She was the wife at Skiddaw West— She was Eliza Ann.
Well, this old skeesicks, Captain Dan, He owned a ferryboat; From East Skiddaw to Skiddaw West That vessel used to float.
She was as trim a ferry-craft As ever I did see, And on each end a p’inted bow And pilothouse had she.
She had two bows that way, so when She went acrost the sound She could, to oncet, run back ag’in Without a-turnin’ round.
Now Captain Dan he sailed that boat For nigh on twenty year Acrost that sound and back ag’in, Like I have stated here.
And never oncet in all them years Had Ann Eliza guessed That Dan he had another wife So nigh as Skiddaw West.
Likewise, Eliza Ann was blind, Howas she never saw As Dan he had another wife Acrost to East Skiddaw.
The way he fooled them female wives Was by a simple plan That come into the artful brain Of that there Captain Dan.
With paint upon that ferry-craft, In letters plain to see, Upon the bow— to wit, both ends— Her name he painted she.
Upon the bow toward East Skiddaw This sinful Captain Dan He painted just one single word— The same which it was “Ann”; And on the bow toward Skiddaw West He likewise put one name, And not no more; and I will state “Eliza” was that same.
Thus, when she berthed to Skiddaw West Eliza Ann could see How Dan for love and gratitood Had named her after she; And likewise when to East Skiddaw That boat bow-foremost came, His Ann Eliza plain could see The vessel bore her name.
Thuswise for nigh on twenty year, As I remarked before Dan cumfuscated them two wives And sailed from shore to shore.
I reckon he might, to this day, Have kept his sinful ways And fooled them trustin’ female wives, Except there come a haze: It was a thick November haze Accompanied by frost, And Dan, in steerin’ ‘crost the sound, He got his bearin’s lost.
So Dan he cast his anchor out, And anchored on the sound; And when the haze riz some next day, His boat had swung clean round.
So, not bethinkin’ how it was, Dan steered for Skiddaw West; For he had sot up all that night, And shorely needed rest.
Well, when into his ferry-slip His ferry-craft he ran, Upon the shore he seen his wife: To wit, Eliza Ann.
Says he, “I’ll tie this vessel up And rest about a week; I need a rest,” and ‘t was just then He heard an awful shriek.
“O Villyun!” shrieked Eliza Ann.
“Oh! What—what do I see? You don’t not love me any more! You’ve done deserted me!” She pointed to that ferry-craft With one wild, vicious stare.
Dan looked and seen the telltale name Of “Ann” a-painted there! What could he do? He done his best! “Lost! Lost! Alas!” he cried; And, kicking off his rubber boots, Jumped overboard—and died!



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