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Crowd Endangers Steamer to Get Passing Glimpse of Humorist Mark Twain

Crowd Endangers Steamer to Get Passing Glimpse of Humorist Mark Twain

Collision Between Steamer Sylvester and Yacht Kanawha Narrowly Averted

--Author Responds To Calls.

It was a very close shave that the steamer John Sylvester had yesterday morning as she was proceeding down the river for the exposition grounds with 1,200 people aboard.

The steam came within an ace of colliding with H. H. Rogers' steam-yacht the Kanawha. It was a frightened crown of passengers for a short time. The yacht was clearly at fault.

If the vessels had come together it would have been what is known as a "sideswipe" collision. It is a question as to which vessel would have gotten the worse of it.

Crowd Wanted to See Mark.

The Sylvester was just below Fort Norfolk making pretty good time when the Kanawha crept up on the steamer. As it had been printed that Mark Twain, the famous humorist, was aboard the Standard Oil magnate's vessel, the passengers on the steamer all seemed to get on the starboard side of the vessel, which caused her to careen. There were cries for Twain. The skipper of the yacht heard them and it appeared that he tried to run his vessel as close to the steam as possible.

The master of the yacht evidently did not count on the current for the yacht was swept close to the steamer and it appeared that a collision was inevitable. Seeing the danger, the master of the yacht steered away and soon the vessels were far apart.

Mr. Clemens, whose nom de plume is Mark Twain, heard the shouting. He had been seen in the saloon of the yacht, his thick, bushy white locks standing out plainly through the windows.

The demand for his presence on the deck was so great that the famous writer came out, took off his hat and bowed. A mighty shout went up from the passengers on the steamer. Then Mark retired. He wore that famous white suit. On his head was a yachting cap. The yacht anchored near the warships.

Second Narrow Escape.

While the Sylvester was going through the long lane of warships in the Roads she had another narrow escape from colliding, this time with the yacht Embia, of New York. Again it was the fault of the other vessel, for the yacht tried to cross the bow of the steamer. The captain of the steamer exercised rare judgment and maneuvered his vessel so that she steered clear of the white flyer that got in her way.

The police lines in the Roads were drawn tight. The Sylvester hadn't proceeded far before a navy launch hove in sight and the commander through the megaphone warned the master of the steamer not to get within the lines.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1924. It may be copyrighted outside the U.S. (see Help:Public domain).