the chief mate

“There used to be a queer character on the Seattle ‘front that we used to call: “The Chief Mate”. About all he owned was an extensive collection of discarded ship’s officer’s caps, and he used to parade slowly up and down the board-walk in a different one every day. Likely as not, he’d wear them inside out, for variety. Nobody seemed to know where or how he lived. He never talked to anybody. But every once in a while he would scare the daylights out of a person by coming up behind them and suddenly yelling {Begin deleted text}”{End deleted text} Whrooo! {Begin deleted text}”{End deleted text}. Then he’d pass on without a word and without looking back to see the effect.”

[The Chief Mate]

Geoff Manaugh of BLDGBLOG reminded me of this incredible story with his post on Shanghai tunnels.