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THE HOCK ISLAND ARGUS. SATURDAY. JANUARY 21. 1911.
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H "To? , ii'X t j.'T" T -Vv, To the boys surprise there was no ice at all in directions. There was several hours work for the
I thased oy tne 5
S Ira km fr:
Th. steady downpour of March Vain afforded felMfi
huge eatisfaction to two boys. Matthew Streeter M,tP 53
and Guy Morse, who were in the Streeter barn lay- . 0$ TJ '
in plans for vacation week. They were sorting an '
outfit of rusty traps. andtheir talk ran on things Kfe
not found in books. ' 'MmS
tarts to take us to the field meet."
"You're Just right," agreed Guy. "Jeff Peters
told me Bnvcr Pond was Just alive with muskrats.
There twenty-five cent3 for every one we can
ibrirr 1m Then if we can catch a fev mink they
r - jp some."
Hear that rain," Matthew chuckled. "V.'e
couldn't have struck it better if we had ordered
the weather oursei
;ives. The ice will be rotten and
the raiuk anJ rats will be on the .
breaking. up, and th
The boys parted, agreeiks to meet on the appointed-hour
. on Monday n:orning. If the next day
ras a long Sunday it is not to be wondered at.
What boy, with a trace of the foreit-ransj'ns ances
tor in him, could contemplate a week out o doors,
free from school and book3. without getting excited?
The village in which they lived was at the mouth
of Bad River, where it ec.pties into the Missouri.
The rain ; fell stead ly all day. The ice in the Mis
souri .was . showing unmistakable signs of breaking
tip. Matthew, who lived a hulf-n-ile out cf the vil
lage, acEoes Bad River, came in the evening to ak
Guy to stay'with him during the night. Permission
was granted. ' and the two boys splashed away
through the wet and gathering dirkcess.
How much they slept that night would be diffi
cult to say. Whenever the clock struck the hour the
one or the other would say: "Now we've got to go
to sleep," and they would turn over and make an
other' attemrt They heard sounds through the
Bight a creaking and groaning and an occasional
crash that told them the ice was moving; but
whether In the creek or in the Missouri they could '
not telL After a while they dropped off to sleep,
and thought their eyes had hardly closed whea the "
alarm at the head of the bed began to ring. They
AT A STEEP PART OF THE BANK THEY
iprane up and dressed and went downstairs, where
Mrs. Streeter. who understood ihe hidden spr;n?s of
boy nature, had left a table set with a tempting
After breakf." sting they slirped softly out of the
house The ri;n had stopped. From the river came
the unmistakable flap, flap of water.
Matthew seized his friend's arm. "The ice Is out,
old boy' ay. -if it is. we can take the boat and
won't bare to carry these traps "
lr.vet:ea::on proved that they were right. Exult
lag, the boys hastened to the boat-hou6e. let down
morning.' said. Matthew. "Guy. we're go-
,toake enough on this! trapping before school
the skiff, and etowed In traps, guns, and lunch
basket. Their course -would lead them about five
miles up Bad River. The current of the stream ran
exceedingly swift in its rapid drop from the hiJl coun
try to the Missouri, but during high water, such as
now prevailed, there was room to skirt the side3
and avoid the current.
BEHIND THEM A WALL OF ICE AND
the river. They had never known it to clear o
quickly. In- the gray light that was coming the;.'
could see below them the broad bosom of the Mis-
6uri COTrd witb floating ice.
The upward course of the boat was slow, but he
trip was fall of interest. Frequent stops were made
to look for "signs." They halted for an hour or
HUNG FOR AN AWFUL MOMENT.
more at the mouth of a small creek and set out
several traps. It was noon when, they pulled the
boat up to a low swale that led down to the river
and unloaded lunch box and baggage.
"Whew!" exclaimed Matthew. "This pulling
make3 a fellow hungry. Let's eat."
The sun had come out and now shone warmly on
the bank against which they spread thetr lunch.
While they were eating they heard heavy reports
from some distance up the river, and wondered
"Somebody shooting,- Guy commented. "But it
must be heaTy loads."
It was a mile from this point across the marsh
to the pond where they expected to do most cf
the trapping. They left the boat tied securely,
shouldered traps and guns and walked to the pond.
Here they found ample evidence of the plentifuiness
of muskrats. Their conical, grass-covered mounds
were cropping out of the coarse marsh grass in all
WATER ROLLED AND" ROARED.
boys, hunting out the most favorable places for tho
traps and setting them. It was late in the afternoon
when the work was finally completed and they
btaried back to the boat.
The first sight of the river brought an exclama
tion to their lips. They knew the water was rising
but had not realized how rapidly, end now. saw it
had apread to a point several yards above the tree
which held their boat. There was no difficulty in
wading out to it, and the novelty of the situation
added pleasure to the experience.
"Won't we go home singing. Matt," Guy exulted.
"When we hit that current Just watch us."
"Let's pull up to the Island before we go back,"
suggested Matthew. "At the rate thi.s current is
running we can go home in less than am hour."
It was agreed, and the skiff was agin headed up
stream. There was no difficulty now In finding slow
water along either side. The little river was
swelled to a stream twenty or thirty rods wide. A3
they advanced, the explosions which thoy had heard
at noon begat again and the boys' curiosity was
aroused. Floating fragments of ice came down
stream, sometimes in such quantities as to stay
The island which the boys were haded for was
a long, narrow strip of land. Just below a point
where Bad River makes a sharp bfnd. They had
sighted the low bushes on the island when another
explosion, now much louder and clearer, came to
"What do you reckon they are doirg?" Ouy de
manded. "Do you suppose any one would be dy
namiting fish this time of year?"
"Well, we'll go on till we find out," said Matthew.
"If some one is skooting fish they ought to be re
ported." They reached the foot of the island and fastened
the boat. From around the bend cf the river they
could hear voices. The island was covered with
dense underbrush that made progress difficult.
Trees and bushes obstructed the view no that they
could not see above the bend of the river until on
the extreme upper end of the i?land. They were
Just stepping clear of the brush when a man's
"Watch out. now! All hands out!"
Then they saw. Two ej three hundred yard
above them a mighty dam of ioe was lodged, stretch
ing from bank to bank and level with the tops of
The boys stood frozen with horror as they grasp-
jDcrwiTthV street comes
Smiling' like thejsummer sun ;
Bows-and nods to all around him. "
H' " Grccts thc boys wth eyes
-llvVvE'en'the dogs seem glad to
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All the. air is full or
T nnori are "i
.'Lookine like a thunder-cloud
Greets no one unless to grumble;
Gets no smile from all the' .tL V
People call him proud and
Say? He must'livein
in - .
MrTBTso i kind and" loving ;Mr7L., With cares oppressed, v
I can tell. without much troublewhicb of them we all like.best.'.
I -a. THE a.
Elizabeth and Mary are the most peculiar girls!
Elizabeth has braided hair and Mary bobbing curls;
. But that's the only diuerence between the happy
And when you see the swinging braid you know
the curls are there.
They live across the roadway and they wave a
fond "Good night."
And they call across "Good-morning," at the very
They do their work together and they study and
And they have to see each other at least twenty
times a day!
They talk and laugh and chatter till you'd think
that they had spid
Every single thing that could be found within a
small girl's h;d.
F,ut when they sleep together after talking all the
They have to wake each other up they have so
much to say!
You'll scarce believe this story, but In all the
tongues we spe;ik.
Whether French or German, English, Latin, Portu
guese or Greek,
Sufficient words are lacking, and a language all
ed the meaning of the situation. The men were dvna
miting an Ice jam and they were directly in Its path!
For a minute they stood watching the yellow
water spurt through fissures in the dam. Then
back they tore through the underbrudh toward the
boat. Vines tripped them and thorns impeded their
progress. It seemed to their wildly heating hearts
that their feet were standing still. Such an aval
anche of ice and water would sweep unimpeded
across the little island, destroying everything In Its
The toys had. in fact, tr versed but half the
island when a heavier siiotk thnn any yet heard
shook the ground beneath heir feet. There was an
answering grinding roar, a series of stunning
crashes, not unlike cannonading, and the pounding
hearts of the boys grew faint with fear. A wild dash
brought them to the boaf, with torn clothing and
bleeding hands and faces. Guy tugged frantically
at the knot which held the rope.
"Cut It!" sci earned Matthew. "Here!" He
whipped out his knife am! severed the rope and
they leaped into the skiff.
Th?re was not a second to lose. Behind them, and
towering high above, a wall of ice and water roiled
and roared and pi'inged. like a mad bo;. at in pur
suit. Like a bubble driven before a breath the tiny
eklff darted down-stream in response to the quick
strokes of the bor. Matthew had the oars end
fiuy used the r.teerlng paddle behind to hasten their
They knew nothing of the rate such bodies of wa
ter travel. There was no time to think or plan. A
glance behind at the wide-spreading arms of the
Ice wall told them there was no possibility of au
escape through the slow water at. the side of the
river. With the help of the swift current they rJght
be able to keen ahead of It for a distance migLS.
even gain enough time to make a landing.
Guy steered the skiff directly into midstream
and the i for life beean. Now had the boys
reason to oters the training they had had on the
liver. The ash oars bent and boiled through the wa
ter; the little skiff tped Kke an arrow down the
stream. But the fury In pursuit of them swept
along with equal epeed. The roar of the grindin?
ice made speech impossible. On and on they went,
Matthew, laboring at the oafs, was growing faint.
The perspiration was streaming from his face and
the oar-strckea were losing their regularity. Guy
of fun. J J
see him. Jl
V " ill
ms . rttL Lf
PM ILL 8 PS.
Has this clever pair invented for their use when
They let me hear it one day, and my brain It simply
To hear thoju Rlihly saying each unut ternMe word!
Yet they tell me Mary cannot learn a Klng'e Latin
And Elizabeth in German has been e;en time i
When I ak them if they'll kirnlly clear the matter
up for me
They simply stand and gigolo, and then say, "Why
don't you fee?"
I know they think e Ftupid, though they're always
And they sometimes come and tell me when they've
had a little fight.
I see tliein walking slow'y with their heads an Inch
I find them in the orchard cutting up an apple
I see them making bonfires or a very shaky swing.
And I fear I fometimes hear them when they're
Hut what I reajly ant to know-nnd never can find
Is what on earth that couple has to talk so much
arose to change with him. and the reef of floating
Ice before the Jim ground Into the tern of the
boat. ' .
Fresh muscles drove the boat ahead again and
gave temporary saft-ty. A half mile farther the
chas-e went on. fiuy, in turn, became exhausted,
panting for breath. Suddenly, he fell back in the
boat and the oars dropped from his hand.
A sob burt from Matthew's lipn, but he sprang
forward and seized the oars. A boy of Hlxteen may
endure much, but it wn never Intended that he
fchould p;ia through a crisis nucii as thlx. Matthew's
fouratseas nil b it foiMciking him. The'fury behind
.-him seemed to have human intelligence. It pressed
rearer and nearer with grinding roar. The boy's
i mind WRft bcfoinlng fonfiiped. His arms were heavy
and pulled flugglKiily et the oar. Ouy t up In the
bottom of Hie boat, then jy back ai;aln moaning.
The action aroi'scd Matthew for a final effort. A
i-ense of ro.-i!'jrwlh!!lfy '-nnie to him. HI own trou-blr-s
were forgMla. and he saw that if Guy was to
be saved be murf do it. He looked sro'ind to get
hU bearing. They were npi.-fng a point where a
sharp bend !u the river brought the current near
a steep bank. Here, if at all. they nuiHt land. Be
low thin point t!3e river ran In a straight line Into
Gathering all renia'ning utrenjrth. Matthew drove
the skiff toward this point. The distance between
skiff and ice opened a little. The boat win gaining.
In a morrjent it was over. The boat crashed into
the bark and both boys were thrown forward Into
the waler Mr.tthew sprang to bis feet and, half
dregglng. half lifting his companion, stagvered up
the back. The shadow of the ke wall was over him
before he reached the top. The arm of the Ice ex
tended beyond hlrn. grappling hungrily for Us prey.
a steep part of the bank they hung for sn swful
moment. rahle to move. Then they lurched for
ward over thb H -and the le jam went past with
a roar, smashing the f'Han eggshell, and cut
ting down every obstruction iw ?? jtb.
It was dark and 'Mandy, the co7, m washing
the supper dixbes when two white faced boys crept
into her kifchn. They sat down by the fire an
talked In whimpers of the fate that had pursued
them. It bad seemed so real, so certain, that even
now they could scarcely believe that they had es
caped. nd, for months afterward, they would talk
of r with ae. '
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