• Published 3rd Feb 2023
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Up The Ohio Canal - BlueBook

J.H. Wilkins is a prominent Cleveland businessman in 1850. He takes a trip on the canal boat Sylph to Akron. However, it turns out to be more than he bargained for when he catches the eye of the boat's captain... a lady pony!

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Lock 27: Johnny Cake

“We got stuck here once!” Rosemary announced, as we pulled into the next lock, just a few miles up the canal.

“Stuck!?” said I, contemplating our nondescript surroundings. “Do tell.”

“It was winter. Well, late October, but it felt like winter.” The captain explained, as the Sylph bounced along the lock walls. “The levels were low…”

“The water levels?” I interjected.

“Who’s telling this story, me or you?” Rosemary feigned irritation, but nodded her head in response to my query. “Where was I? The levels, right. They were low. So we got stuck; couldn’t raise the boat high enough to get to the other side.”

“What did you do then?”

“There wasn’t much to do. We tied up, and waited it out.” Rosemary steered the Sylph deftly out into the middle of the channel.

“You left out the best part, Cap.” Mr. Garfield had appeared from the cabins below, his head emerging from the hatch behind me so suddenly it caused me to start.

Regaining my composure, I turned to face the new participant in the conversation. “What, pray tell, might that be Mr. Garfield?”

“Well, it was snowing and raining something fierce, and we couldn’t hardly get into town. So we were stuck here for a week, and had nothing to eat but Johnnycake!”

I turned to Rosemary, with a look on my face which must have betrayed my credulity. She nodded in confirmation of Garfield’s statement. “Which is why all the boys now call it “Johnnycake Lock”. Which is a mite confusing, as the next lock they call Pancake Lock. No idea why that is.”

Garfield began to walk towards the bow. “I’d take a pancake over a Johnnycake any day of the week.”