daughter of the family, but at the end of six weeks she announced that a
girl who couldn't tell whether the clock was going "forrards or
backwards," and who rubbed a pocket handkerchief as long as she did a
sheet, would be no help in her household.
The Crambrys had daily walked the five or six miles from their home to
the Edgewood bridge during the progress of the drive, not only for the
social and intellectual advantages to be gained from the company
present, but for the more solid compensation of a good meal. They all
adored Rose, partly because she gave them food, and partly because she
was sparkling and pretty and wore pink dresses that caught their dull
The afternoon proved a lively one. In the first place, one of the
younger men slipped into the water between two logs, part of a lot
chained together waiting to be let out of the boom. The weight of the
mass higher up and the force of the current wedged him in rather
tightly, and when he had been "pried" out he declared that he felt like
an apple after it had been squeezed in the cider-mill, so he drove home,
and Rufus Waterman took his place.
Two hours' hard work followed this incident, and at the end of that time
the "bung" that reached from the shore to Waterman's Ledge (the rock
where Pretty Quick met his fate) was broken up, and the logs that
composed it were started down river. There remained now only the great
side-jam at Gray Rock. This had been allowed to grow, gathering logs as
they drifted past, thus making higher water and a stronger current on
the other side of the rock, and allowing an easier passage for the logs
at that point.
All was excitement now, for, this particular piece of work accomplished,
the boom above the falls would be "turned out," and the river would
once more be clear and clean at the Edgewood bridge.
Small boys, perching on the rocks with their heels hanging, hands and
mouths full of red Astrakhan apples, cheered their favorites to the
echo, while the drivers shouted to one another and watched the signs and
signals of the boss, who could communicate with them only in that way,
so great was the roar of the water.
The jam refused to yield to ordinary measures. It was a difficult
problem, for the rocky river-bed held many a snare and pitfall. There
was a certain ledge under the water, so artfully placed that every log
striking under its projecting edges would wedge itself firmly there,
attracting others by its evil example.
"That galoot-boss ought to hev shoved his crew down to that jam this
mornin'," grumbled Old Kennebec to Alcestis Crambry, who was always his
most loyal and attentive listener. "But he wouldn't take no advice, not
if Pharaoh nor Boat nor Herod nor Nicodemus come right out o' the Bible
an' give it to him. The logs air contrary to-day. Sometimes they'll go
along as easy as an old shoe, an' other times they'll do nothin' but
bung, bung, bung! There's a log nestlin' down in the middle o' that jamDownload<<BackPagesMainNext>>