Pleasant River and Edgewood, the glassy mirror of the Saco

broadens suddenly, sweeping over the dam in a luminous torrent.

Gushes of pure amber mark the middle of the dam, with crystal and

silver at the sides, and from the seething vortex beneath the

golden cascade the white spray dashes up in fountains. In the

crevices and hollows of the rocks the mad water churns itself

into snowy froth, while the foam-decked torrent, deep, strong,

and troubled to its heart, sweeps majestically under the bridge,

then dashes between wooded shores piled high with steep masses of

rock, or torn and riven by great gorges.

There had been much rain during the summer, and the Saco was very

high, so on the third day of the Edgewood drive there was

considerable excitement at the bridge, and a goodly audience of

villagers from both sides of the river. There were some who

never came, some who had no fancy for the sight, some to whom it

was an old story, some who were too busy, but there were many to

whom- it was the event of events, a never-ending source of

interest.

Above the fall, covering the placid surface of the river,

thousands of logs lay quietly "in boom" until the "turning out"

process, on the last day of the drive, should release them and

give them their chance of display, their brief moment of

notoriety, their opportunity of interesting, amusing, exciting,

and exasperating the onlookers by their antics.

Heaps of logs had been cast up on the rocks below the dam, where

they lay in hopeless confusion, adding nothing, however, to the

problem of the moment, for they too bided their time. If they

had possessed wisdom, discretion, and caution, they might have

slipped gracefully over the falls and, steering clear of the

hidden ledges (about which it would seem they must have heard

whispers from the old pine trees along the river), have kept a

straight course and reached their destination without costing the

Edgewood Lumber Company a small fortune. Or, if they had

inclined toward a jolly and adventurous career, they could have

joined one of the various jams or "bungs," stimulated by the

thought that any one of them might be a key-log, holding for a

time the entire mass in its despotic power. But they had been

stranded early in the game, and, after lying high and dry for

weeks, would be picked off one by one and sent down-stream.

In the tumultuous boil, the foaming hubbub and flurry at the foot

of the falls, one enormous peeled log wallowed up and down like a

huge rhinoceros, greatly pleasing the children by its clumsy

cavortings. Some conflict of opposing forces kept it ever in

motion, yet never set it free. Below the bridge were always the

real battle-grounds, the scenes of the first and the fiercest

conflicts. A ragged ledge of rock, standing well above the

yeasty torrent, marked the middle of the river. Stephen had been

stranded there once, just at dusk, on a stormy afternoon in

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