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Chapter 6.54 Albany to Niagara (continued)

During the time taken up at each lock, (about 7 minutes), boys were always ready to jump on with baskets of fine apples, pears, candy, berries etc., And many customers they generally found.  They often have poached corn, of which the Yankees seemed very fond.  We overtook today a girl with a fine basket of blueberries, she willingly parted with for a few cents, and goodnaturedly ran along with us for half a mile, as the purchasers seemed in no hurry to pay for the berries until they had eaten them.  They were however, very liberal and gave us all a handful.

We were continually passing and overtaking boats.  There are 4000 upon the Erie Canal, most of which are always in motion, tho’ some are laid up, as unfit for use.  The boatmen have a particular mode of passing each other so that there is seldom any difficulty, except when a surly fellow chooses to make it -  The rope slides under the boat - but if it should by mismanagement come over, it would sweep every person and baggage, which is always kept there, off the deck.  To prevent such an accident, there is to every boat a strong iron[1]blade & hook firmly fastened to the bow, so as to cut or to hold the ‘tow line’ of the passing boat, should it rise.

Most of those we saw were laden with produce, especially flour from the western countries.  Met one, filled ‘en masses’ with...continues on 6.55 

[1]The blade is so sharp and so placed that it is sure to cut