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


"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 force, so't

every log in it shivered. There was a crack,--the crack o' doom, sure

enough, for Pretty Quick,--an' one o' the logs le'p' right out an'

struck him jest where he stood, with his axe in the air, blasphemin'.

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