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The Actuary Puzzled

The Actuary Puzzled image
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Wo íind thn following hummrotta artl in Col. McCroa's Loa Átnid thê ƒ■". A New York gentleman at dinnor" on board a Canard steamer laid a wagor with tlio captain that lio could not give him a correct answor within a minute, to Ule fullowing question : - " A Yankee rushcd into a bootmaker'a s'.oro in Broadr.-uj-. ' ilerö look gharp ! "' criod lio, ' just off for California - ship snilx in half au hour - want a pair of boots - look alive ! " Down tumbled the boots oiF the shelves : frozn Whidh he vus soori flttud. ■ lhw mucli ? ' ' Five dollars." ' Give me ehange tor this fifty dollar bill - sharp - quick. The bootmaker, not haring chango, íuslicd to a money-ohanger. ' Quick, give me change for this ñfty-dollarbill - passenget just off to California ! " and in a few min - utes away ran tho Yankee with Lis boots and lüs cliange - off to California, of oouise. In abotit ili httur aftcrwards the money clianger came down to tlie bootmaker. 'Halloa! see,' quoth he, ' this is :i bad bill ; pay me down lit'ty dollars at oiice ' ; which the poor fullow, muoh ilisguated, had to do. Now how muuh did tliu bcotlüakel' lose ? " " Come, Captain, answer, quick - no thinking ubout ït. Eh, sir ? ïlow much did he f " " Why, one huudred dollars, of couvse." Thcre was a sliout of laughtei round the table, and cries of' ' right,' ' wrong,' in all directions. " Why, j-ou target," cried ono, " that the boots wero paid lor. " What's that to do with it 't " suid another ; " didn't the Yankee curry them ofH, and wasn't the bill bad 'i " " Of coilrse it Was," said his neigh bor, " the Captain's right." " Bet you a Bovereign he wrong. "Done; wnatdo yousayitisV" dollars alid the boots. Am I right, sir 'f" But the New Yorker only laughed, and tlxi chorus witli hiiu hecaine loudor. The question spread from table to table, riskt down, round the storn, and up the jjl.-i t sido, " What dicl tLo bootmaker lose ? " until our ears were doafened with the ;iiis'ui't and bets. At length it roaohod a great big Boston man, who had set up among us a sort of oracle, for he wore long, straight black clothos of a clerical cut, and, above hia grey hcad and huge, flapping oars, a nionstious .shovel hut. We liad all taken him for a superannuatcd bishop, until lus friends let out that he was head of a great insüranco offioe all his lifo, deep in all t b.e mysteries of poliey and premium ; so that vciily it was thought assurance indeed, wlion a pert onsign said, " Now, I'll teil you what, old btlek, bet you that you don't teil right off - What did tho boot makei losoï" " Sir," said the big man with mueh gravity, " I decline tho bet, but shall be happy to answer your question if you put" it." So he -was told, and then tho pert ensign again, " Now tellusquiek, old boy - ■ What did tbs bootiuaker Iojö ''. " " What ili.l he lose sir? Why, ho lost, of course, flfty dollars on the one hand, whieh he retuincd to the money changer, and the fort y -live which he gave the rogue - he lost, sir, of oourse, ninety-fivo dollars and the boots." lint, alas for tho Bishop looking brother, u ludierous shout of derision trom sonie oue who had found it out greet(d his ïvply, ypon which lic rose with a heavy frown and went on deck. Then rose tho cry, " What did the bootmaker lose ? " trom all parts of the table. " Fifty dollars," cried a venturosoine guesü. " Forty-üve," ciiod another, equalW eonfideiit of his reasons. But the tïew Yorker only suiiled and laughed withal, telling us to givo roasons for our answers. The veiy waiters casriod itinto the pantiy, Uike-house, and galleys, whenee it went to the second-class ijassongers and the forecastle, until all round the ship, in a circle froin tho rcd-hot funnel where mostly we did congrégate, was heard the familiar cry - "what did the bootmakei .-i-. 't " Reader - What was it, and why '


Old News
Michigan Argus