264 a hair-dresser's experience
commence pulling on their boots ; then there was a ter¬
rible swearing and pitching, ripping and tearing.
Of course, such a dignified set as I was with, never
would be suspected.
On one occasion I traveled with the same party on
a canal boat; when night drew on, this same young
lady said, "Iangy, we must have some fun as the peo¬
ple's faces are too long. Two hundred passengers, and
nothing going on, this will never do." All my readers
who have traveled on a canal boat know, that only a
curtain separates the ladies from the gentlemen. The
berths were generally swinging. The young lady
having a sharp pen-knife for her own use, secured
her brother's before he retired, and gave it to me.
We moved the curtain a little bit, and sawed and cut
the rope of the upper berth till it was almost cut
through. A very portly old gentleman took posses¬
sion of the berth, and he had just turned himself
over, when down he came with a most terrible crash,
berth and all falling on a very small man, who was
in the berth below him, and away they rolled into
the ladies' cabin.
Most of the ladies there had been asleep; being
awakened by the noise, they were terribly frightened,
and screamed dreadfully; this young lady screamed
as loud or even louder than the rest, as if just awaking;
while the little man called out he was killed, and the
portly old gentleman was trying to make apologies to
the ladies for frightening them.
It was altogether a laughable scene. At last the
captain and chambermaid came, and the gentlemen
rated them soundly for having such insecure ropes.
The captain said, since he had been a captain, there