Oh, policeman, policeman, you do me great wrong
('Way! Hey! Blow the man down!)
I'm a Flying Fish sailor, just home from Hong Kong—
Give me some time to blow the man down!)
With pardonable and understandable pride, that old-time sailorman remonstrated with the peeler for mistaking his identity. And it's safe to bet that no small amount of that pride came from the imagination-stirring name of his ship, the clipper Flying Fish.
Those were the days in which ships were named Herald of the Morning, Flying Cloud, Sweepstakes and the like. The name of a ship was the battle-cry of her men; the hard-pressed shellback had but to bellow "State of Maine!" or "Nightingale!" from the bottom of a heap of waterfront plug-uglies—or police—and any of his shipmates within hearing would fly to his aid with table-legs, paving-stones or any other weapon which came readily to hand.