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Mark Twain > Life On The Mississippi > Chapter 37

Life On The Mississippi

Chapter 37

                     The End of the 'Gold Dust'

FOR, three months later, August 8, while I was writing one of these
foregoing chapters, the New York papers brought this telegram--

                         A TERRIBLE DISASTER.


'NASHVILLE, Aug. 7.--A despatch from Hickman, Ky., says--

'The steamer "Gold Dust" exploded her boilers at
three o'clock to-day, just after leaving Hickman.
Forty-seven persons were scalded and seventeen are missing.
The boat was landed in the eddy just above the town,
and through the exertions of the citizens the cabin passengers,
officers, and part of the crew and deck passengers were
taken ashore and removed to the hotels and residences.
Twenty-four of the injured were lying in Holcomb's dry-goods
store at one time, where they received every attention before
being removed to more comfortable places.'

A list of the names followed, whereby it appeared that of the seventeen dead,
one was the barkeeper; and among the forty-seven wounded, were the captain,
chief mate, second mate, and second and third clerks; also Mr. Lem S. Gray,
pilot, and several members of the crew.

In answer to a private telegram, we learned that none of these was
severely hurt, except Mr. Gray. Letters received afterward confirmed
this news, and said that Mr. Gray was improving and would get well.
Later letters spoke less hopefully of his case; and finally came one
announcing his death. A good man, a most companionable and manly man,
and worthy of a kindlier fate.

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