The immediate effect on the jam was not apparent. It fell forward into the opening made by the explosion, and a light but perceptible movement ran through the waiting timbers up the river. But the men, running out immediately, soon made it evident that the desired result had been cheap nike air max attained. Th nike air max classic eir efforts now seemed to gain definite effects. An uneasiness ran through the hitherto solid structure of the jam. Timbers changed position. Sometimes the whole river seemed to start forward a foot or so, but before the eye could catch the motion, it had again frozen to immobility.
“That fetched the key logs, all right,” said Welton, watching.
Then all at once about half the breast of the jam fell forward into the stream. Bob uttered an involuntary cry. But the practised rivermen must have foreseen this, for none were caught. At once the other logs at the breast bega M n to topple of their own accord into the stream. The splashes threw the water high like the explosions of shells, and the thundering of the falling and grinding timbers resembled the roar of artillery. The pattern of the river changed, at first almost imperc nike air max 95 eptibly, then more and more rapidly. The logs in the centre thrust forward, those on the wings hung back. Near the head of the jam t M he men worked like demons. Wherever the timbers caught or hesitated for a moment in their slow crushing forward, there a dozen men leaped savagely, to jerk, heave and pry with their heavy peavies. Continually under them the footing shifted; sullen logs menaced them with crushing or complete engulfment in their grinding mill. Seemingly they paid no attention to this, but gave all their energies to the work. In reality, whether from calculation or merely from the instinct that grows out of long experience, they must have pre-estimated every chance.
“What bully team work!” cried Bob, stirred to enthusiasm.
Now the motion quickened. The centre of the river rushed forward; the wings sucked in aft nike air max sale er from either side. A roar a nike air max 90 sale nd battling of timbers, jets of spray, the smoke of waters filled the air. Quite coolly the rivermen made their way ashore, their peavies held like balancing poles across their bodies. Under their feet the logs heaved, sank, ground together, tossed above the hurrying under-mass, tumultuous as a close-packed drove of wild horses. The rivermen rode them easily. For an appreciable time one man perched on a stable timber watching keenly ahead. Then quite coolly he leaped, made a dozen rapid zigzag steps forward, and stopped. The log he had quitted dropped sullenly from sight, and two closed, grinding, where it had been. I cheap nike air max n twenty seconds every man was safely ashore.
The river caught its speed. Hurried on by the pressure of water long dammed back, the logs tumbled forward. Rank after rank they swept past, while the rivermen, leaning on the shafts of their peavies, passed them in review.
“That was luck,” Welton’s voice broke in on Bob’s contemplation. “It’s just getting dark. Couldn’t have done it without the dynamite. It splinters nike air max 1 up a little timber, but we save money, even at that.”
“Billy doesn’t carry that with the other supplies, does he?” asked Bob.
“Sure,” said Welton; “rolls it up in the bedding, or something. Well, John Harvey, Junior,” said he to that youth, “what do you think of it? A little different driving this white water than pushing logs with a pike pole down a slack-water river like the Green, hey?”
“Yes, sir,” the boy nodded out of his Indian stolidity.
“You see now why a man has to start young to be a riverman,” Welton told Bob, as they bent their steps toward camp. “Poor little John Harvey out on that jam when she broke would have stood about as much chance as a beetle at a woodpecker prayer meeting.”
Part 1 Chapter 15
Two days later Welton returned to the mill. At his suggestion Bob stayed with the drive. He took his place quie nike air max tly as a visitor, had the good sense to be unobtrusive, and so was tolerated by the men. That is to say, he sat at the camp fires practically unnoticed, and the rivermen talked as though he were not there. When he addressed any of them they answered him with entire good humour, but ordinarily they paid no more attention to him than they did to the trees and bushes that chanced to surround the camp.
The drive moved forward slowly. Sometimes Billy packed up every day to set forth on one of his highly adventurous drives; again camp stayed for some time in the same place. Bob amused himself tramping up and down the river, reviewing the operations. Occasionally Roaring Dick, in his capacity of river boss, accompanied the young fellow. Why, Bob could not imagine, for the alert, self-contained little riverman trudged along in alm M ost entire silence, his keen chipmunk eyes spying restlessly on all there was to be seen. When Bob ventured a remark or comment, he answered by a grunt or a monosyllable. The grunt or the monosyllable was never sullen or hostile or contemptuous; merely indifferent. Bob learned to economize speech, and so got along well with his strange companion.
By the end of the week the drive entered a cleared farm country. The cultivation was crude and the clearing partial. Low-wooded hills dotted with stumps of the old forest alternated with willow-grown bottom-lands and dense swamps. The farmers lived for the most part in slab or log houses earthed against the winter cold. Fences were of split rails laid “snake fashion.” Ploughing had to be in and out between the blackened stumps on the tops of which were piled the loose rocks picked http://nike.28shou.com/ from the soil as the share turned them up. Long, unimproved roads wandered over the hills, following roughly the section lines, but perfectly willing to turn aside through some man’s field in order to avoid a steep grade or soft going. These things the rivermen saw from their stream exactly as a trainman would see them from his right-of-way. The river was the highway, and rarely was it considered worth while to climb the low bluffs out of the bottom-land through which it flowed.
In the long run it landed them in a town named Twin Falls. Here were a water-power dam and some small manufactories. Here, too, were saloons and other temptations for rivermen. Camp was made above town. In the evening the men, with but few exceptions, turned in to the sleeping tent at the usual hour. Bob was much surprised at this; but later he ca nike air max 90 me to recognize it as part of a riverman’s peculiar code. Until the drive should be down, he did not feel himself privileged to “blow off steam.” Even the exceptions did not get so drunk they could not show up the following morning to take a share in sluicing the drive through the dam.
All but Roaring Dick. The latter did not appear at all, and was reported “drunk a-plenty” by some one who had seen him early that morning. Evidently the river boss did not “take this drive serious.” His absence seemed to make no difference. The sluicing went forward methodically.
“He’ll show up in a day or two,” said the cook with entire indifference, when Bob inquired of him.
That evening, however, four or five of the men disappeared, and did not return. Such was the effect of an evil example on the part of the foreman. Larsen took charge. cheap nike air max trainers In almost unbroken series the logs shot through the sluiceways into the river below, where they were received by the jam crew and started on the next stage of their long journey to the mills. In a day the dam was passed. One of the younger men rode the last log through the sluiceway, standing upright as it darted down the chute into the eddy below. The crowd of townspeople cheered. The boy waved his hat and birled the log until the spray flew.
But hardly was camp pitched two miles below town when one of the jam crew came up
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