appreciated by his fellow-citizens.
He proposed numerous strategic movements to be made upon the
logs, whereby they would move more swiftly than usual. He
described several successful drives on the Kennebec, when the
logs had melted down the river almost by magic, owing to his
generalship; and he paid a tribute, in passing, to the docility
of the boss, who on that occasion had never moved a single log
without asking his advice.
From this topic he proceeded genially to narrate the
life-histories of the boss, the under boss, and several Indians
belonging to the crew,--histories in which he himself played a
gallant and conspicuous part. The conversation then drifted
naturally to the exploits of river-drivers in general, and Mr.
Wiley narrated the sorts of feats in log-riding,
pickpole-throwing, and the shooting of rapids that he had done in
his youth. These stories were such as had seldom been heard by
the ear of man; and, as they passed into circulation
instantaneously, we are probably enjoying some of them to this
They were still being told when a Crambry child appeared on the
bridge, bearing a note for the old man.
Upon reading it he moved off rapidly in the direction of the
"Bless my soul! I clean forgot that saleratus, and mother's
settin' at the kitchen table with the bowl in her lap, waitin'
for it! Got so int'rested in your list'nin' I never thought o'
The connubial discussion that followed this breach of discipline
began on the arrival of the saleratus, and lasted through supper;
and Rose went to bed almost immediately afterward for very
dullness and apathy. Her life stretched out before her in the
most aimless and monotonous fashion. She saw nothing but
heartache in the future; and that she richly deserved it made it
none the easier to bear.
Feeling feverish and sleepless, she slipped on her gray Shaker
cloak and stole quietly downstairs for a breath of air. Her
grandfather and grandmother were talking on the piazza, and good
humor seemed to have been restored.
"I was over to the tavern to-night," she heard him say, as she
sat down at a little distance. "I was over to the tavern
to-night, an' a feller from Gorham got to talkin' an' braggin'
'bout what a stock o' goods they kep' in the store over there.
'An','says I, 'I bate ye dollars to doughnuts that there hain't
a darn thing ye can ask for at Bill Pike's store at Pleasant
River that he can't go down cellar, or up attic, or out in the
barn chamber an' git for ye.' Well, sir, he took me up, an' I
borrered the money of Joe Dennett, who held the stakes, an' we
went right over to Bill Pike's with all the boys follerin' on
behind. An' the Gorham man never let on what he was goin' to ask
for till the hull crowd of us got inside the store. Then says
he, as p'lite as a basket o' chips, 'Mr. Pike, I'd like to buy aDownload<<BackPagesMainNext>>