a northern countryside

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER III THE BANKS OF THE RIVER The river-bank boys pick up, as easily as they breathe, knowledge as miscellaneous as the drift piled on the shores. They know all the shoals and principal eddies, without the aid of buoys. They know the ways and seasons of the different fish. They learn to recognize the owner's marks on the logs, and they know the times and ways of all the humbler as well as the larger river craft, the scows and smacks, and the " gundalows" which spend mysterious month after month hauled up among the sedges at the mouths of the streams. Their own row-boats are heavy, square at both ends, and clumsy to row, but as I have said, they are out in them in the spring before the floating ice is out of the river, rescuing logs and fragments of lumber from between the ice-cakes. There is a good deal to the business of picking up logs. The price for returning" strays " to the right owners is ten cents a log (the rate increasing as you go down stream), and a good many can be towed at once by a small boat. The price per log rises to twenty-five cents, near the sea. In times of high freshet, the up-river booms often break, and then there is a tremendous to-do at the mouth of the river: men, women, and children, all who can handle or half-handle a dory, are at work at log-rescuing. Incoming ships have found the surface of the ocean brown with logs at these times, and have a great work to get through them. Logs that have lost their marks are called " scalawags," and these are sold for the benefit of the log-driving company. Hollow- hearted pine logs are known by the curious term " concussy," or " conquassy." To show the immense change in the prices of lumber, the best pine lumber, which in 1870 was worth ten dollars a thousand feet, is now one hundred dollars a thousa... --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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