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 pick-poles, straight, heavy levers

without any "dog," and there were modern pick-poles 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


"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,--a rake, hoe, spade, fork, or mallet. All the

pieces were intertwined by the shaking process, and they lay as they

fell, in a hopeless tangle. The task consisted in taking a tiny

pick-pole, scarcely bigger than a match, and with the bit of curved wire

on the end lifting off the jackstraws one by one without stirring the

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