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hem their compass on its Jacob’s-staff, their chain, their field notes, their maps and their axes. Arrived at the scene of operations, they unsaddled and picketed their horses. Then commenced a search for the “corner,” established nearly fifty years before by the dead and gone surveyor, a copy of those field notes now guided them. This was no easy matter. The field notes described accurately the location, but in fifty years the character of a country may change. Great trees fall, new trees grow up, brush clothes an erstwhile bare hillside, fire denudes a slope, even the rocks and boulders shift their places under the coercion of frost or avalanche. The young men separated, shoulder deep in the high brakes and alders of a creek bottom, climbing tiny among great t nike air max 1 sale rees on the open slope of a distant hill, clambering busily among austere domes and pinnacles, fading in the cool green depths of the forest. Finally one would shout loudly. The other scrambled across.
“Here we are,” Bob said, pointing to the trunk of a huge yellow pine.
On it showed a wrinkle in the bark, only just appreciable.
“There’s our line blaze,” said Bob. “Let’s see if we can find it in the notes.” He opened his book. “‘Small creek three links wide, course SW,'” he murmured. “‘Sugar pine, 48 in. dia., on line, 48 links.’ That’s not it. ‘Top of ridge 34 ch. 6 1. course NE.’ Now we come to the down slope. Here we are! ‘Yellow pine 20 in. dia., on line, 50 chains.’ Twenty inches! Well, old fellow, you’ve grown some since! Let’s see your compass, Elliott.”
Having thus cut the line, they established their course and nike air max 1 grey went due north, spying sharply for the landmarks and old blazes as mentioned in the surveyor’s field notes.
When they had gone about the required distance, they began to look for the corner. After some search, Elliott called Bob’s attention to a grown-over blaze.
“I guess this is our witness tree,” said he.
Without a word Bob began to chop above and below the wrinkle in the bark. After ten minutes careful work, he laid aside a thick slab of wood. The inner surface of this was shiny with pitch. The space from which it had peeled was also coated with the smooth substance. This pitch had filmed over the old blaze, protecting it against the new wood and bark which had gradually grown over it. Thus, although the original blaze had been buried six inches in the living white pine wood, nevertheless the lettering was as clear an nike air max 1 d sharp as when it had been carved fifty years before. Furthermore, the same lettering, only reversed and in re nike air max 1 ebay lief, showed on the thick slab that Bob had peeled away. So the tree had preserved the record in its heart.
“Now let’s see,” said Bob. “This witness bears S 80 W. Let’s find another.”
This proved to be no great matter. Sighting the given directions from the two, they converged on the corner. This was described by the old surveyor as: “Oak post, 4 in. dia., set in pile of rocks,” etc. The pile of rocks was cheap air max 1 now represented by scattered stones; and the oak post had long since rotted. Bob, however, unearthed a fragment on which ran a single grooved mark. It was like those made by borers in dead limbs. Were it not for one circumstance, the searchers would not have been justified in assuming that it was anything else. But, as Bob pointed out, the passageways made by borers are never straight. The fact that this was so, established indisputably that it had been made by the surveyor’s steel “scribe.”
Having thus located a corner, it was an easy matter to determine the position of a tract of land. At first hazy in its general configuration and extent, it took definition as the young men progressed with the accurate work of timber estimating. Before they had finished with it, they knew every little hollow, ridge, ravin nike air max 1 premium e, rock and tree in it. Out of the whole vast wilderness this one small patch had become thoroughly known.
The work was the most pleasant of any Bob had ever undertaken. It demanded accuracy, good judgment, knowledge. It did not require feverish haste. The surroundings were wonderfully beautiful; and if the men paused in their work, as they often did, the spirit of the woods, which as always had drawn aside from the engrossments of human activity, came closer as with fluttering of wings. Sometimes, nervous and impatient from the busy, tiny clatter of facts and figures and guesses, from the restless shuttle-weaving of estimates and plans, Bob looked up suddenly into a deathless and eternal peace. Like the cool green refreshment of waters it closed over him. When he again came to the surface-world Air Max 1 of his occupation, he was rested and slowed down to a respectable patience.
Elliott was good company, interested in the work, well-bred, intelligent, eager to do his share–an ideal companion. He and Bob discussed many affairs during their rides to and from the work and during the interims of rest. As time went on, and the tracts to be estimated and plotted became more distant, they no longer attempted to return at night to Headquarters. Small meadows offered them resting places for the day or the week. They became expert in taking care of themselves so expeditiously that the process stole little time from their labours. On Saturday afternoon they rode to headquarters to report, and to spend Sunday.
Part 5 Chapter 9
Toward the end of the season they had worked well past nike air max 1 leopard the main ridge on which were situated Welton’s operations and the Service Headquarters. Several deep canons and rocky peaks, by Thorne’s instructions, they skipped over as only remotely available as a timber supply. This brought them to the ample circle of a basin, well-timbered, wide, containing an unusual acreage of gently sloping or rolling table-land. Behind this rose the spurs of the Range. A half-hundred streams here had their origin. These converged finally in the Forks, which, leaping and plunging steadily downward from a height of over six thousand feet, was trapped and used again and again to turn the armatures of Baker’s dynamos. After serving this purpose at six power houses strung down the contour line of cheap air max 1 its descent, the water was deflected into wide, deep ditches which forked and forked again until a whole plains province was rendered fertile and productive by irrigation.
All this California John, who rode over to show them some corners, explained to them. They sat on the rim of the basin overlooking it as it lay below them like a green cup.
“You can see the whole of her from here,” said California John, “and that’s why we use this for fire lookout. It saves a heap of riding, for let me tell you it’s a long ways down this bluff. But you bet we keep a close watch on this Basin. It’s the most valuable, as a watershed, cheap nike air max 1 of any we’ve got. This is about the only country we’ve managed to throw a fire-break around yet. It took a lot of time to do it, but it’s worth while.”
“This is where the Power Company gets its power,” remarked Bob.
“Yes,” replied California John, drily. “Which same company is putting up the fight of its life in Congress to keep from payin’ anything at all for what it gets.”
They gave themselves to the task of nike air max 1 red descending into the Basin by a steep and rough trail. At the end of an hour, their horses stepped from the side of the hill to a broad, pleasant flat on which the tall trees grew larger than any Bob had seen on the ridge.
“What magnificent timber!” he cried. “How does it happen this wasn’t taken up long ago?”
“Well,” said California John, “a good share of it _is_ claimed by the Power Company; and unless you come up the way we did, you don’t see it. From below, all this looks like part of the bald ridge. Even if a cruiser in the old days happened to look down on this, he wouldn’t realize how good it was unless he came down to it–it’s all just trees from above. And in those days there were lots of trees easier to come at.”
“It’s great timber!” repeated Bob. “That ‘sugar’s’ eight feet through if it’s an inch!”
“Nearer nine, nike air max 1 black ” said California John.
“It’ll be some years’ work to estimate and plot all this,” mused Bob. “If it’s so important a watershed, what do they _want_ it plotted for? They’ll never want to cut it.”
“There ain’t so much of it left, as you’ll see when you look at your map. The Power Company owns most. Anyway, government cutting won’t hurt the watershed,” stated California John.
As they rode forward through the trees, a half-dozen deer jumped startled from a clump of low brush and sped away.
“That’s more deer than I’ve seen in a bunch since I left Michigan,” observed Bob.
“Nobody ever gets into this place,” explained California John. “There ain’t been a fire here in years, and we don’t none of us have any reason to ride down. She’s too hard to get out of, and we can see her too well from the lookout. The rest of the country fe els pretty much the same way.”
“How about sheep?” inquired Elliott.
“They got to get in over some trail, if they get in at all,” California John pointed out, “and we can circle the Basin.”
By now they were riding over a bed of springy pine needles through a magnificent open forest. Undergrowth absolutely lacked; even the soft green of the bear clover was absent. The straight columns of the trees rose grandly from a swept floor. Only where tiny streams trickled and sang through rocks and shallow courses, grew ferns and the huge leaves of the saxifrage. In this temple-like austerity dwelt a silence unusual to the Sierra forests. The lack of undergrowth and younger trees implied a scarcity of insects; and this condition meant an equal scarcity of birds. Only the creepers and the great pileated woodpeckers seemed to inhabit t air max 1 leopard print hese truly cloistral shades. The breeze passed through branc

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