In the short story "The Last Cruise of the Judas Iscariot", by Edward Page Mitchel, Captain Cram, a sailor of Main, who builds a schooner with three masts to be frowned upon by the people of the town who consider it against nature. Later, the schooner runs into many accidents and sinks many cargoes. Believing that she is possessed by an evil spirit, captain Cram gives it the name Judas the Iscariot. In its last cruise, she starts sailing in good manner, carrying a heavy load of stones, then later it approaches a fog bank. Captain Cram moves with the crew to a boat and leave her to herself. They are not able to see her because the fog encloses their boat, but they hear the whistling of a steamer. Captain Cram says, describing the incident:

"I hope that feller's well underwrit," said the captain grimly, "for the Judas'll never go down afore she's sarched him out'n sunk him."

I want to make sure if what I understood is right. He means by the first sentence that hopes the captain of the steamer is well and all right, is this right? However, I couldn't understand the second sentence. I hope that someone might explain it.

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    I believe underwrit means insured - and the rest implies that the Judas will find him and sink him. Commented Sep 17, 2018 at 22:39

1 Answer 1


I hope that feller's well underwrit

This means he hopes the other ship has good insurance. Underwriting means committing to pay someone in the event of loss under an insurance contract.

He'll need the insurance because

the Judas'll never go down afore she's sarched him out'n sunk him.

(afore is a dialect form of before and sarched is searched)


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