stranded log."

As this well-known simile fell upon the ear, there was a general

stir in the group, for Turrible Wiley, when rhetorical, sometimes

grew tearful, and this was a mood not to be encouraged.

"All right, boss," called Ike Billings, winking to the boys;

"we'll be there in a jiffy!" for the luncheon hour had flown, and

the work of the afternoon was waiting for them. "You make a

chalk-mark where you left off, Mr. Wiley, an' we'll hear the rest

to-morrer; only don't you forgit nothin'! Remember't was the

Kennebec you was talkin' about."

"I will, indeed," responded the old man. "As I was sayin' when

interrupted, I may be a stranded log, but I'm proud that the mark

o' the Gard'ner Lumber Comp'ny is on me, so't when I git to my

journey's end they'll know where I belong and send me back to the

Kennebec. Before I'm sawed up I'd like to forgit this triflin'

brook in the sight of a good-sized river, an' rest my eyes on

some full-grown logs,'stead o' these little damn pipestems you

boys are playin' with!"


There was a roar of laughter at the old man's boast, but in a

moment all was activity. The men ran hither and thither like

ants, gathering their tools. There were some old-fashioned

pickpoles, straight, heavy levers without any "dog," and there

were modern pickpoles and peaveys, for every river has its

favorite equipment in these things. There was no dynamite in

those days to make the stubborn jams yield, and the dog-warp was

in general use. Horses or oxen, sometimes a line of men, stood

on the river-bank. A long rope was attached by means of a steel

spike to one log after another, and it was dragged from the

tangled mass. Sometimes, after unloading the top logs, those at

the bottom would rise and make the task easier; sometimes the

work would go on for hours with no perceptible progress, and Mr.

Wiley would have opportunity to tell the bystanders of a

"turrible jam" on the Kennebec that had cost the Lumber Company

ten thousand dollars to break.

There would be great arguments on shore, among the villagers as

well as among the experts, as to the particular log which might

be a key to the position. The boss would study the problem from

various standpoints, and the drivers themselves would pass from

heated discussion into long consultations.

"They're paid by the day," Old Kennebec would philosophize to the

doctor; "an' when they're consultin' they don't hev to be

doggin', which is a turrible sight harder work."

Rose had created a small sensation, on one occasion, by pointing

out to the under boss the key-log in a jam. She was past

mistress of the pretty game of jackstraws, much in vogue at that

time. The delicate little lengths of polished wood or bone were

shaken together and emptied on the table. Each jackstraw had one

of its ends fashioned in the shape of some sort of implement,--

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