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Blazed Trail, The

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<SPAN name="link2HCH0053" id="link2HCH0053"> <!-- H2 anchor --> </SPAN> </p> <div style="height: 4em;"> <br /><br /><br /><br /> </div> <h2> Chapter LIII </h2> <p> Wallace Carpenter and Hamilton, the journalist, seated against the sun-warmed bench of Mrs. Hathaway's boarding-house, commented on the band as it stumbled in to the wash-room. </p> <p> "Those men don't know how big they are," remarked the journalist. "That's the way with most big men. And that man Thorpe belongs to another age. I'd like to get him to telling his experiences; he'd be a gold mine to me." </p> <p> "And would require about as much trouble to 'work,'" laughed Wallace. "He won't talk." </p> <p> "That's generally the trouble, confound 'em," sighed Hamilton. "The fellows who CAN talk haven't anything to say; and those who have something to tell are dumb as oysters. I've got him in though." He spread one of a roll of papers on his knees. "I got a set of duplicates for you. Thought you might like to keep them. The office tells me," he concluded modestly, "that they are attracting lots of attention, but are looked upon as being a rather clever sort of fiction." </p> <p> Wallace picked up the sheet. His eye was at once met by the heading, "'So long, boys,'" in letters a half inch in height, and immediately underneath in smaller type, "said Jimmy Powers, and threw his hat in the face of death." </p> <p> "It's all there," explained the journalist, "&mdash;the jam and the break, and all this magnificent struggle afterwards. It makes a great yarn. I feel tempted sometimes to help it out a little&mdash;artistically, you know&mdash;but of course that wouldn't do. She'd make a ripping yarn, though, if I could get up some motive outside mere trade rivalry for the blowing up of those dams. That would just round it off." </p> <p> Wallace Carpenter was about to reply that such a motive actually existed, when the conversation was interrupted by the approach of Thorpe and Big Junko. The former looked twenty years older after his winter. His eye was dull, his shoulders drooped, his gait was inelastic. The whole bearing of the man was that of one weary to the bone. </p> <p> "I've got something here to show you, Harry," cried Wallace Carpenter, waving one of the papers. "It was a great drive and here's something to remember it by." </p> <p> "All right, Wallace, by and by," replied Thorpe dully. "I'm dead. I'm going to turn in for a while. I need sleep more than anything else. I can't think now." </p> <p> He passed through the little passage into the "parlor bed-room," which Mrs. Hathaway always kept in readiness for members of the firm. There he fell heavily asleep almost before his body had met the bed. </p> <p> In the long dining room the rivermen consumed a belated dinner. They had no comments to make. It was over. </p> <p> The two on the veranda smoked. To the right, at the end of the sawdust street, the mill sang its varying and lulling keys. The odor of fresh-sawed pine perfumed the air. Not a hundred yards away the river slipped silently to the distant blue Superior, escaping between the slanting stone-filled cribs which held back the logs. Down the south and west the huge thunderheads gathered and flashed and grumbled, as they had done every afternoon for days previous. </p> <p> "Queer thing," commented Hamilton finally, "these cold streaks in the air. They are just as distinct as though they had partitions around them." </p> <p> "Queer climate anyway," agreed Carpenter. </p> <p> Excepting always for the mill, the little settlement appeared asleep. The main booms were quite deserted. Not a single figure, armed with its picturesque pike-pole, loomed athwart the distance. After awhile Hamilton noticed something. </p> <p> "Look here, Carpenter," said he, "what's happening out there? Have some of your confounded logs SUNK, or what? There don't seem to be near so many of them somehow." </p> <p> "No, it isn't that," proffered Carpenter after a moment's scrutiny, "there are just as many logs, but they are getting separated a little so you can see the open water between them." </p> <p> "Guess you're right. Say, look here, I believe that the river is rising!" </p> <p> "Nonsense, we haven't had any rain." </p> <p> "She's rising just the same. I'll tell you how I know; you see that spile over there near the left-hand crib? Well, I sat on the boom this morning watching the crew, and I whittled the spile with my knife&mdash;you can see the marks from here. I cut the thing about two feet above the water. Look at it now." </p> <p> "She's pretty near the water line, that's right," admitted Carpenter. </p> <p> "I should think that might make the boys hot," commented Hamilton. "If they'd known this was coming, they needn't have hustled so to get the drive down. </p> <p> "That's so," Wallace agreed. </p> <p> About an hour later the younger man in his turn made a discovery. </p> <p> "She's been rising right along," he submitted. "Your marks are nearer the water, and, do you know, I believe the logs are beginning to feel it. See, they've closed up the little openings between them, and they are beginning to crowd down to the lower end of the pond." </p> <p> "I don't know anything about this business," hazarded the journalist, "but by the mere look of the thing I should think there was a good deal of pressure on that same lower end. By Jove, look there! See those logs up-end? I believe you're going to have a jam right here in your own booms!" </p> <p> "I don't know," hesitated Wallace, "I never heard of its happening." </p> <p> "You'd better let someone know." </p> <p> "I hate to bother Harry or any of the rivermen. I'll just step down to the mill. Mason&mdash;he's our mill foreman&mdash;he'll know." </p> <p> Mason came to the edge of the high trestle and took one look. </p> <p> "Jumping fish-hooks!" he cried. "Why, the river's up six inches and still a comin'! Here you, Tom!" he called to one of the yard hands, "you tell Solly to get steam on that tug double quick, and have Dave hustle together his driver crew." </p> <p> "What you going to do?" asked Wallace. </p> <p> "I got to strengthen the booms," explained the mill foreman. "We'll drive some piles across between the cribs." </p> <p> "Is there any danger?" </p> <p> "Oh, no, the river would have to rise a good deal higher than she is now to make current enough to hurt. They've had a hard rain up above. This will go down in a few hours." </p> <p> After a time the tug puffed up to the booms, escorting the pile driver. The latter towed a little raft of long sharpened piles, which it at once began to drive in such positions as would most effectually strengthen the booms. In the meantime the thunder-heads had slyly climbed the heavens, so that a sudden deluge of rain surprised the workmen. For an hour it poured down in torrents; then settled to a steady gray beat. Immediately the aspect had changed. The distant rise of land was veiled; the brown expanse of logs became slippery and glistening; the river below the booms was picked into staccato points by the drops; distant Superior turned lead color and seemed to tumble strangely athwart the horizon. </p> <p> Solly, the tug captain, looked at his mooring hawsers and then at the nearest crib. </p> <p> "She's riz two inches in th' las' two hours," he announced, "and she's runnin' like a mill race." Solly was a typical north-country tug captain, short and broad, with a brown, clear face, and the steadiest and calmest of steel-blue eyes. "When she begins to feel th' pressure behind," he went on, "there's goin' to be trouble." </p> <p> Towards dusk she began to feel that pressure. Through the rainy twilight the logs could be seen raising their ghostly arms of protest. Slowly, without tumult, the jam formed. In the van the logs crossed silently; in the rear they pressed in, were sucked under in the swift water, and came to rest at the bottom of the river. The current of the river began to protest, pressing its hydraulics through the narrowing crevices. The situation demanded attention. </p> <p> A breeze began to pull off shore in the body of rain. Little by little it increased, sending the water by in gusts, ruffling the already hurrying river into greater haste, raising far from the shore dimly perceived white-caps. Between the roaring of the wind, the dash of rain, and the rush of the stream, men had to shout to make themselves heard. </p> <p> "Guess you'd better rout out the boss," screamed Solly to Wallace Carpenter; "this damn water's comin' up an inch an hour right along. When she backs up once, she'll push this jam out sure." </p> <p> Wallace ran to the boarding house and roused his partner from a heavy sleep. The latter understood the situation at a word. While dressing, he explained to the younger man wherein lay the danger. </p> <p> "If the jam breaks once," said he, "nothing top of earth can prevent it from going out into the Lake, and there it'll scatter, Heaven knows where. Once scattered, it is practically a total loss. The salvage wouldn't pay the price of the lumber." </p> <p> They felt blindly through the rain in the direction of the lights on the tug and pile-driver. Shearer, the water dripping from his flaxen mustache, joined them like a shadow. </p> <p> "I heard you come in," he explained to Carpenter. At the river he announced his opinion. "We can hold her all right," he assured them. "It'll take a few more piles, but by morning the storm'll be over, and she'll begin to go down again." </p> <p> The three picked their way over the creaking, swaying timber. But when they reached the pile-driver, they found trouble afoot. The crew had mutinied, and refused longer to drive piles under the face of the jam. </p> <p> "If she breaks loose, she's going to bury us," said they. </p> <p> "She won't break," snapped Shearer, "get to work." </p> <p> "It's dangerous," they objected sullenly. </p> <p> "By God, you get off this driver," shouted Solly. "Go over and lie down in a ten-acre lot, and see if you feel safe there!" </p> <p> He drove them ashore with a storm of profanity and a multitude of kicks, his steel-blue eyes blazing. </p> <p> "There's nothing for it but to get the boys out again," said Tim; "I kinder hate to do it." </p> <p> But when the Fighting Forty, half asleep but dauntless, took charge of the driver, a catastrophe made itself known. One of the ejected men had tripped the lifting chain of the hammer after another had knocked away the heavy preventing block, and so the hammer had fallen into the river and was lost. None other was to be had. The pile driver was useless. </p> <p> A dozen men were at once despatched for cables, chains, and wire ropes from the supply at the warehouse. </p> <p> "I'd like to have those whelps here," cried Shearer, "I'd throw them under the jam." </p> <p> "It's part of the same trick," said Thorpe grimly; "those fellows have their men everywhere among us. I don't know whom to trust." </p> <p> "You think it's Morrison &amp; Daly?" queried Carpenter astonished. </p> <p> "Think? I know it. They know as well as you or I that if we save these logs, we'll win out in the stock exchange; and they're not such fools as to let us save them if it can be helped. I have a score to settle with those fellows; and when I get through with this thing I'll settle it all right." </p> <p> "What are you going to do now?" </p> <p> "The only thing there is to be done. We'll string heavy booms, chained together, between the cribs, and then trust to heaven they'll hold. I think we can hold the jam. The water will begin to flow over the bank before long, so there won't be much increase of pressure over what we have now; and as there won't be any shock to withstand, I think our heavy booms will do the business." </p> <p> He turned to direct the boring of some long boom logs in preparation for the chains. Suddenly he whirled again to Wallace with so strange an expression in his face that the young man almost cried out. The uncertain light of the lanterns showed dimly the streaks of rain across his countenance, and, his eye flared with a look almost of panic. </p> <p> "I never thought of it!" he said in a low voice. "Fool that I am! I don't see how I missed it. Wallace, don't you see what those devils will do next?" </p> <p> "No, what do you mean?" gasped the younger man. </p> <p> "There are twelve million feet of logs up river in Sadler &amp; Smith's drive. Don't you see what they'll do?" </p> <p> "No, I don't believe&mdash;" </p> <p> "Just as soon as they find out that the river is booming, and that we are going to have a hard time to hold our jam, they'll let loose those twelve million on us. They'll break the jam, or dynamite it, or something. And let me tell you, that a very few logs hitting the tail of our jam will start the whole shooting match so that no power on earth can stop it." </p> <p> "I don't imagine they'd think of doing that&mdash;" began Wallace by way of assurance. </p> <p> "Think of it! You don't know them. They've thought of everything. You don't know that man Daly. Ask Tim, he'll tell you." </p> <p> "Well, the&mdash;" </p> <p> "I've got to send a man up there right away. Perhaps we can get there in time to head them off. They have to send their man over&mdash;By the way," he queried, struck with a new idea, "how long have you been driving piles?" </p> <p> "Since about three o'clock." </p> <p> "Six hours," computed Thorpe. "I wish you'd come for me sooner." </p> <p> He cast his eye rapidly over the men. </p> <p> "I don't know just who to send. There isn't a good enough woodsman in the lot to make Siscoe Falls through the woods a night like this. The river trail is too long; and a cut through the woods is blind. Andrews is the only man I know of who could do it, but I think Billy Mason said Andrews had gone up on the Gunther track to run lines. Come on; we'll see." </p> <p> With infinite difficulty and caution, they reached the shore. Across the gleaming logs shone dimly the lanterns at the scene of work, ghostly through the rain. Beyond, on either side, lay impenetrable drenched darkness, racked by the wind. </p> <p> "I wouldn't want to tackle it," panted Thorpe. "If it wasn't for that cursed tote road between Sadler's and Daly's, I wouldn't worry. It's just too EASY for them." </p> <p> Behind them the jam cracked and shrieked and groaned. Occasionally was heard, beneath the sharper noises, a dull BOOM, as one of the heavy timbers forced by the pressure from its resting place, shot into the air, and fell back on the bristling surface. </p> <p> Andrews had left that morning. </p> <p> "Tim Shearer might do it," suggested Thorpe, "but I hate to spare him." </p> <p> He picked his rifle from its rack and thrust the magazine full of cartridges. </p> <p> "Come on, Wallace," said he, "we'll hunt him up." </p> <p> They stepped again into the shriek and roar of the storm, bending their heads to its power, but indifferent in the already drenched condition of their clothing, to the rain. The saw-dust street was saturated like a sponge. They could feel the quick water rise about the pressure at their feet. From the invisible houses they heard a steady monotone of flowing from the roofs. Far ahead, dim in the mist, sprayed the light of lanterns. </p> <p> Suddenly Thorpe felt a touch on his arm. Faintly he perceived at his elbow the high lights of a face from which the water streamed. </p> <p> "Injin Charley!" he cried, "the very man!" </p> <p> <SPAN name="link2HCH0054" id="link2HCH0054"> <!-- H2 anchor --> </SPAN> </p> <div style="height: 4em;"> <br /><br /><br /><br /> </div> <h2> Chapter LIV </h2> <p> Rapidly Thorpe explained what was to be done, and thrust his rifle into the Indian's hands. The latter listened in silence and stolidity, then turned, and without a word departed swiftly in the darkness. The two white men stood a minute attentive. Nothing was to be heard but the steady beat of rain and the roaring of the wind. </p> <p> Near the bank of the river they encountered a man, visible only as an uncertain black outline against the glow of the lanterns beyond. Thorpe, stopping him, found Big Junko. </p> <p> "This is no time to quit," said Thorpe, sharply. </p> <p> "I ain't quittin'," replied Big Junko. </p> <p> "Where are you going, then?" </p> <p> Junko was partially and stammeringly unresponsive. </p> <p> "Looks bad," commented Thorpe. "You'd better get back to your job." </p> <p> "Yes," agreed Junko helplessly. In the momentary slack tide of work, the giant had conceived the idea of searching out the driver crew for purposes of pugilistic vengeance. Thorpe's suspicions stung him, but his simple mind could see no direct way to explanation. </p> <p> All night long in the chill of a spring rain and windstorm the Fighting Forty and certain of the mill crew gave themselves to the labor of connecting the slanting stone cribs so strongly, by means of heavy timbers chained end to end, that the pressure of a break in the jam might not sweep aside the defenses. Wallace Carpenter, Shorty, the chore-boy, and Anderson, the barn-boss, picked a dangerous passage back and forth carrying pails of red-hot coffee which Mrs. Hathaway constantly prepared. The cold water numbed the men's hands. With difficulty could they manipulate the heavy chains through the auger holes; with pain they twisted knots, bored holes. They did not complain. Behind them the jam quivered, perilously near the bursting point. From it shrieked aloud the demons of pressure. Steadily the river rose, an inch an hour. The key might snap at any given moment, they could not tell,&mdash;and with the rush they knew very well that themselves, the tug, and the disabled piledriver would be swept from existence. The worst of it was that the blackness shrouded their experience into uselessness; they were utterly unable to tell by the ordinary visual symptoms how near the jam might be to collapse. </p> <p> However, they persisted, as the old-time riverman always does, so that when dawn appeared the barrier was continuous and assured. Although the pressure of the river had already forced the logs against the defenses, the latter held the strain well. </p> <p> The storm had settled into its gait. Overhead the sky was filled with gray, beneath which darker scuds flew across the zenith before a howling southwest wind. Out in the clear river one could hardly stand upright against the gusts. In the fan of many directions furious squalls swept over the open water below the booms, and an eager boiling current rushed to the lake. </p> <p> Thorpe now gave orders that the tug and driver should take shelter. A few moments later he expressed himself as satisfied. The dripping crew, their harsh faces gray in the half-light, picked their way to the shore. </p> <p> In the darkness of that long night's work no man knew his neighbor. Men from the river, men from the mill, men from the yard all worked side by side. Thus no one noticed especially a tall, slender, but well-knit individual dressed in a faded mackinaw and a limp slouch hat which he wore pulled over his eyes. This young fellow occupied himself with the chains. Against the racing current the crew held the ends of the heavy booms, while he fastened them together. He worked well, but seemed slow. Three times Shearer hustled him on after the others had finished, examining closely the work that had been done. On the third occasion he shrugged his shoulder somewhat impatiently. </p> <p> The men straggled to shore, the young fellow just described bringing up the rear. He walked as though tired out, hanging his head and dragging his feet. When, however, the boarding-house door had closed on the last of those who preceded him, and the town lay deserted in the dawn, he suddenly became transformed. Casting a keen glance right and left to be sure of his opportunity, he turned and hurried recklessly back over the logs to the center booms. There he knelt and busied himself with the chains. </p> <p> In his zigzag progression over the jam he so blended with the morning shadows as to seem one of them, and he would have escaped quite unnoticed had not a sudden shifting of the logs under his feet compelled him to rise for a moment to his full height. So Wallace Carpenter, passing from his bedroom, along the porch, to the dining room, became aware of the man on the logs. </p> <p> His first thought was that something demanding instant attention had happened to the boom. He therefore ran at once to the man's assistance, ready to help him personally or to call other aid as the exigency demanded. Owing to the precarious nature of the passage, he could not see beyond his feet until very close to the workman. Then he looked up to find the man, squatted on the boom, contemplating him sardonically. </p> <p> "Dyer!" he exclaimed </p> <p> "Right, my son," said the other coolly. </p> <p> "What are you doing?" </p> <p> "If you want to know, I am filing this chain." </p> <p> Wallace made one step forward and so became aware that at last firearms were taking a part in this desperate game. </p> <p> "You stand still," commanded Dyer from behind the revolver. "It's unfortunate for you that you happened along, because now you'll have to come with me till this little row is over. You won't have to stay long; your logs'll go out in an hour. I'll just trouble you to go into the brush with me for a while." </p> <p> The scaler picked his file from beside the weakened link. </p> <p> "What have you against us, anyway, Dyer?" asked Wallace. His quick mind had conceived a plan. At the moment, he was standing near the outermost edge of the jam, but now as he spoke he stepped quietly to the boom log. </p> <p> Dyer's black eyes gleamed at him suspiciously, but the movement appeared wholly natural in view of the return to shore. </p> <p> "Nothing," he replied. "I didn't like your gang particularly, but that's nothing." </p> <p> "Why do you take such nervy chances to injure us?" queried Carpenter. </p> <p> "Because there's something in it," snapped the scaler. "Now about face; mosey!" </p> <p> Like a flash Wallace wheeled and dropped into the river, swimming as fast as possible below water before his breath should give out. The swift current hurried him away. When at last he rose for air, the spit of Dyer's pistol caused him no uneasiness. A moment later he struck out boldly for shore. </p> <p> What Dyer's ultimate plan might be, he could not guess. He had stated confidently that the jam would break "in an hour." He might intend to start it with dynamite. Wallace dragged himself from the water and commenced breathlessly to run toward the boarding-house. </p> <p> Dyer had already reached the shore. Wallace raised what was left of his voice in a despairing shout. The scaler mockingly waved his hat, then turned and ran swiftly and easily toward the shelter of the woods. At their border he paused again to bow in derision. Carpenter's cry brought men to the boarding-house door. From the shadows of the forest two vivid flashes cut the dusk. Dyer staggered, turned completely about, seemed partially to recover, and disappeared. An instant later, across the open space where the scaler had stood, with rifle a-trail, the Indian leaped in pursuit. </p> <p> <SPAN name="link2HCH0055" id="link2HCH0055"> <!-- H2 anchor --> </SPAN> </p> <div style="height: 4em;"> <br /><br /><br /><br /> </div> <h2> Chapter LV </h2> <p> "What is it?" "What's the matter?" "What's happened?" burst on Wallace in a volley. </p> <p> "It's Dyer," gasped the young man. "I found him on the boom! He held me up with a gun while he filed the boom chains between the center piers. They're just ready to go. I got away by diving. Hurry and put in a new chain; you haven't much time!" </p> <p> "He's a gone-er now," interjected Solly grimly.&mdash;"Charley is on his trail&mdash;and he is hit." </p> <p> Thorpe's intelligence leaped promptly to the practical question. </p> <p> "Injin Charley, where'd he come from? I sent him up Sadler &amp; Smith's. It's twenty miles, even through the woods." </p> <p> As though by way of colossal answer the whole surface of the jam moved inward and upward, thrusting the logs bristling against the horizon. </p> <p> "She's going to break!" shouted Thorpe, starting on a run towards the river. "A chain, quick!" </p> <p> The men followed, strung high with excitement. Hamilton, the journalist, paused long enough to glance up-stream. Then he, too, ran after them, screaming that the river above was full of logs. By that they all knew that Injin Charley's mission had failed, and that something under ten million feet of logs were racing down the river like so many battering rams. </p> <p> At the boom the great jam was already a-tremble with eagerness to spring. Indeed a miracle alone seemed to hold the timbers in their place. </p> <p> "It's death, certain death, to go out on that boom," muttered Billy Mason. </p> <p> Tim Shearer stepped forward coolly, ready as always to assume the perilous duty. He was thrust back by Thorpe, who seized the chain, cold-shut and hammer which Scotty Parsons brought, and ran lightly out over the booms, shouting, </p> <p> "Back! back! Don't follow me, on your lives! Keep 'em back, Tim!" </p> <p> The swift water boiled from under the booms. BANG! SMASH! BANG! crashed the logs, a mile upstream, but plainly audible above the waters and the wind. Thorpe knelt, dropped the cold-shut through on either side of the weakened link, and prepared to close it with his hammer. He intended further to strengthen the connection with the other chain. </p> <p> "Lem' me hold her for you. You can't close her alone," said an unexpected voice next his elbow. </p> <p> Thorpe looked up in surprise and anger. Over him leaned Big Junko. The men had been unable to prevent his following. Animated by the blind devotion of the animal for its master, and further stung to action by that master's doubt of his fidelity, the giant had followed to assist as he might. </p> <p> "You damned fool," cried Thorpe exasperated, then held the hammer to him, "strike while I keep the chain underneath," he commanded. </p> <p> Big Junko leaned forward to obey, kicking strongly his caulks into the barked surface of the boom log. The spikes, worn blunt by the river work already accomplished, failed to grip. Big Junko slipped, caught himself by an effort, overbalanced in the other direction, and fell into the stream. The current at once swept him away, but fortunately in such a direction that he was enabled to catch the slanting end of a "dead head" log whose lower end was jammed in the crib. The dead head was slippery, the current strong; Big Junko had no crevice by which to assure his hold. In another moment he would be torn away. </p> <p> "Let go and swim!" shouted Thorpe. </p> <p> "I can't swim," replied Junko in so low a voice as to be scarcely audible. </p> <p> For a moment Thorpe stared at him. </p> <p> "Tell Carrie," said Big Junko. </p> <p> Then there beneath the swirling gray sky, under the frowning jam, in the midst of flood waters, Thorpe had his second great Moment of Decision. He did not pause to weigh reasons or chances, to discuss with himself expediency, or the moralities of failure. His actions were foreordained, mechanical. All at once the great forces which the winter had been bringing to power, crystallized into something bigger than himself or his ideas. The trail lay before him; there was no choice. </p> <p> Now clearly, with no shadow of doubt, he took the other view: There could be nothing better than Love. Men, their works, their deeds were little things. Success was a little thing; the opinion of men a little thing. Instantly he felt the truth of it. </p> <p> And here was Love in danger. That it held its moment's habitation in clay of the coarser mould had nothing to do with the great elemental truth of it. For the first time in his life Thorpe felt the full crushing power of an abstraction. Without thought, instinctively, he threw before the necessity of the moment all that was lesser. It was the triumph of what was real in the man over that which environment, alienation, difficulties had raised up within him. </p> <p> At Big Junko's words, Thorpe raised his hammer and with one mighty blow severed the chains which bound the ends of the booms across the opening. The free end of one of the poles immediately swung down with the current in the direction of Big Junko. Thorpe like a cat ran to the end of the boom, seized the giant by the collar, and dragged him through the water to safety. </p> <p> "Run!" he shouted. "Run for your life!" </p> <p> The two started desperately back, skirting the edge of the logs which now the very seconds alone seemed to hold back. They were drenched and blinded with spray, deafened with the crash of timbers settling to the leap. The men on shore could no longer see them for the smother. The great crush of logs had actually begun its first majestic sliding motion when at last they emerged to safety. </p> <p> At first a few of the loose timbers found the opening, slipping quietly through with the current; then more; finally the front of the jam dove forward; and an instant later the smooth, swift motion had gained its impetus and was sweeping the entire drive down through the gap. </p> <p> Rank after rank, like soldiers charging, they ran. The great fierce wind caught them up ahead of the current. In a moment the open river was full of logs jostling eagerly onward. Then suddenly, far out above the uneven tossing skyline of Superior, the strange northern "loom," or mirage, threw the specters of thousands of restless timbers rising and falling on the bosom of the lake. </p> <p>
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