(Great Characters in Literature)

Characters Discussed

Dan Harrow

Dan Harrow, a tall, stooped, broad-shouldered young man. He is a naïve newcomer on the canal who, after brief jobs on two canal boats, becomes captain of the Sarsy Sal after Samson Weaver’s death. At last, feeling that the canal is not the place for him, he returns to farm life.

Molly Larkins

Molly Larkins, his tall, strapping, amoral cook, blowsy looking but attractive. She formerly cooked for Jotham. Although she likes Dan and remains with him for a time, she pities Jotham after he is beaten by Dan, and she returns to the chastened bully.

Fortune Friendly

Fortune Friendly, an old, red-faced, skinny canal character and rascal, a former divinity student who still preaches occasionally when he needs money.

Joseph P. “Gentleman Joe” Calash

Joseph P. “Gentleman Joe” Calash, a cruel-faced canal highwayman for whose capture a large reward is offered. He aids Dan in a fight with Jotham and rescues him after a second fight. He is at last caught and killed.

Jotham Klore

Jotham Klore, a big, black-bearded, tobacco-chewing canal bully who is knocked out twice by Calash and who knocks out Dan in a fight over Molly. In a final fight, Dan wins a great victory.

Jacob Turnesa

Jacob Turnesa, a hook-nosed, pale-faced Jewish peddler who picks up Dan and gives him a volume of William Shakespeare’s plays.

Hector Berry

Hector Berry, a henpecked canal boatman.


Penelope, his nagging, dictatorial wife.

Solomon (Sol) Tinkle

Solomon (Sol) Tinkle, a bald, diminutive canal boatman.

Mrs. Gurget

Mrs. Gurget, Sol’s fat, good-natured cook and mistress, addicted to rum noggins.

Julius Wilson

Julius Wilson, the owner of the canal boat Xerxes.

Benjamin (Ben) Rae

Benjamin (Ben) Rae, the big Jewish steersman of the Xerxes.

William Wampy

William Wampy, the cook and fiddler on the Xerxes.

Lucy Cashdollar

Lucy Cashdollar, the operator of an agency supplying women as cooks for lonely canal men.

Samson Weaver

Samson Weaver, the captain of the Sarsy Sal. He dies shortly after hiring Dan.

Mr. Butterfield

Mr. Butterfield, the agent for whom Samson and Dan work.