Where did you think you learned to ride a log?”
“I’ve been around a little at the booms.”
“I see. Well, it’s a different proposition when you come to working on ’em in fast water.”
“Where you from?”
“Down Greenville way.”
“Back to the farm now, eh?”
“I suppose so.”
“Don’t like the notion, eh?”
“No!” cried the boy, with a flash of passion.
“Still like to tackle the river?”
“Yes, sir,” replied M the young fellow, again encased in his sullen apathy.
“If I send you back to-morrow, would you like to tackle it again?”
“Oh, yes!” said the boy eagerly. “I didn’t have any sort of a show when you saw me to-day! I can do a heap better than that. I was froze through and couldn’t handle myself.”
“What you so stuck on getting wet for?” he inquired.
“I dunno,” replied the boy vaguely. “I just like nike air max 95 the woods.”
“Well, I got no notion of drownding you off in the first white water we come across,” said Welton; “but I tell you what to do: you wait around here a few days, helping the cook or Billy there, and I’ll take you down to the mill and put you on the booms where you can practise in still water with a pike-pole, and can go warm up in the engine room when you fall off. Suit you?”
“Yes, sir. Thank you,” said the boy quietly; but there was a warm glow in his eye.
By now it was nearly dark.
“Guess we’ll bunk here to-night,” Welton told Bob casually.
Bob looked his dismay.
“Why, I left everything down at the other camp,” he cried, “even my tooth brush and hair brush!”
Welton looked at him comically.
“Me, too,” said he. “We won’t neither of us be near as much trouble to ourselves to-morrow, will we?”
So he had overhear M d the riverman’s remark that morning. Bob laughed.
“That’s right,” approved Welton, “take it easy. Necessities is a great comfort, but you can do without even them.”
After supper all sprawled around a fire. Welton’s big bulk extended in the acme of comfort. He puffed his pipe straight up toward the stars, and swore gently from time to time when the ashes dropped back into his eyes.
“Now that’s a good kid,” he said, waving a pipe toward the other fire where the would-be riverman was helping wash the dishes. “He’ll never be a first-class riverman, but he’s a good kid.”
“Why won’t he make a good riverman?” asked Bob.
“Same rea nike air max classic son you wouldn’t,” said Welton bluntly. “A good white water man has to start younger. Besides, what’s the use? There won’t be any rivermen ten year from now. Say, you,” he raised his voice peremptori nike air max 90 sale ly, “what do you call yourself?”
The boy looked up startled, saw that he was indicated, stammered, and caught his voice.
“John Harvey, sir,” he replied.
“Son of old John who used to be on the Marquette back in the seventies?”
“Yes, sir; I suppose so.”
“He ought to be a good kid: he comes of good stock,” muttered Welton; “but he’ll never be a riverman. No use tryi nike air max ng to shove that shape peg in a round hole!”
Part 1 Chapter 14
Near noon of the following day a man came upstream to report a jam beyond the powers of the outlying rivermen. Roaring Dick, after a short absence for examination, returned to call off the rear. All repaired to the scene of obstruction.
Bob noticed the slack water a mile or so above the jam. The river was quite covered with logs pressed tight against each other by the force of the interrupted curren M t, but still floating. A little farther along the increasing pressure had lifted some of them clear of the water. They upended slightly, or lay in hollows between the others. Still farther downstream the salient features of a jam multiplied. More timbers stuck out at angles from the surface; some were even lifted bodily. An abattis formed, menacing and formidable, against which even the mighty dynamics of the river pushed in vain. Then at last the little group arrived at the “breast” itself–a sullen and fearful tangle like a gigantic pile of jackstraws. Beneath it the diminished river boiled out angrily. By the very fact of its lessened volume Bob could guess http://nike.28shou.com/ at the pressure above. Immediately the rivermen ran out on this tangle, and, after a moment devoted to inspection, set to work with their peavies. Bob started to cheap nike air max trainers follow, but Welton held him back.
“It’s dangerous for a man not used to it. The jam may go out at any time, and when she goes, she goes sky-hooting.”
But in the event his precaution turned out useless. All day the men rolled logs into the current below the dam. The _click!_ clank! clank! of their peavies sounded like the valves of some great engine, so regular was the periodicity of their metallic recurrence. They made quite a hol cheap nike air max e in the breast; and several times the jam shrugged, creaked and settled, but always to a more solid look. Billy, the teamster, brought down his horses. By means of long blocks and tackle they set to yanking out logs from certain places specified by Roaring Dick. Still the jam proved obstinate.
“I hate to do it,” said Roaring Dick to Welton; “but it’s a case nike air max 90 of powder.”
“Tie into it,” agreed cheap nike air max Welton. “What’s a few smashed logs compared to hanging the drive?”
Dick nodded. He picked up a little canvas lunch bag from a stump where, earlier in the day, he had hung it, and from it extracted several sticks of giant powder, a length of fuse and several caps. These he prepared. Then he and Welton walked out over the jam, examining it carefully, and consulting together at length. Finally Roaring Dick placed his charge far down in the interstices, lit the fuse and walked calmly ashore. The men leisurely placed themselves out of harm’s way. Welton joined Bob behind a big burned stub.
“Will that start her sure?” asked Bob.
“Depends on whether we guessed right on the key log,” said Welt nike air max sale on.
A great roar shook the atmosphere. Straight up into the air spurted the cloud of the explosion. Through the white smoke Bob could s nike air max 1 ee the flame and four or five big logs, like upleaping, dim
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Where did you think you learned to ride a log?”