Great hemlock! but he kep' a cussin' dictionary, Pretty Quick

did! Whenever he heard any new words he must 'a' writ 'em down,

an' then studied 'em all up in the winter-time, to use in the

spring drive."

"Swearin''s a habit that hed ought to be practiced with turrible

caution," observed old Mr. Wiley, when the drivers had finished

luncheon and taken out their pipes. "There's three kinds o'

swearin',--plain swearin', profane swearin', an' blasphemious

swearin'. Logs air jest like mules: there's times when a man

can't seem to rip up a jam in good style 'thout a few words

that's too strong for the infant classes in Sunday-schools; but a

man hedn't ought to tempt Providence. When he's ridin' a log

near the falls at high water, or cuttin' the key-log in a jam, he

ain't in no place for blasphemious swearin'; jest a little easy,

perlite'damn' is 'bout all he can resk, if he don't want to git

drownded an' hev his ghost walkin' the river-banks till kingdom

come.

"You an' I, Long, was the only ones that seen Pretty Quick go,

wa'n't we?" continued Old Kennebec, glancing at Long Abe

Dennett (cousin to Short Abe), who lay on his back in the grass,

the smoke-wreaths rising from his pipe, and the steel spikes in

his heavy, calked-sole boots shining in the sun.

"There was folks on the bridge," Long answered, "but we was the

only ones near enough to see an' hear. It was so onexpected, an'

so soon over, that them as was watchin' upstream, where the men

was to work on the falls, wouldn't 'a' hed time to see him go

down. But I did, an' nobody ain't heard me swear sence, though

it's ten years ago. I allers said it was rum an' bravadder that

killed Pretty Quick Waterman that day. The boys hedn't give him

a 'dare' that he hedn't took up. He seemed like he was

possessed, an' the logs was the same way; they was fairly wild,

leapin' around in the maddest kind o' water you ever see. The

river was b'ilin' high that spring; it was an awful stubborn jam,

an' Pretty Quick, he'd be'n workin' on it sence dinner."

"He clumb up the bank more'n once to have a pull at the bottle

that was hid in the bushes," interpolated Mr. Wiley.

"Like as not; that was his failin'. Well, most o' the boys were

on the other side o' the river, workin' above the bridge, an' the

boss hed called Pretty Quick to come off an' leave the jam till

mornin', when they'd get horses an' dog-warp it off, log by log.

But when the boss got out o' sight, Pretty Quick jest stood right

still, swingin' his axe, an' blasphemin' so 't would freeze your

blood, vowin' he wouldn't move till the logs did, if he stayed

there till the crack o' doom. Jest then a great, ponderous log

that hed be'n churnin' up an' down in the falls for a week, got

free an' come blunderin' an' thunderin' down-river. Land! it

was chockfull o' water, an' looked 'bout as big as a church! It

come straight along, butt-end foremost, an' struck that jam, full

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