Thrill of the Paddle

One of the Canoeists
One of the Canoeists.

Sunset — The Return from the Races
Sunset — The Return from the Races.
        He brought forth a variety of garments belonging to himself and his hired man, and the shipwrecked mariners got off their wt clothing. Now, being well housed, fed, and clothed they felt like changed men, and they looked it too; for the farmer was portly and his hired man was slim and small; so, while one man could take several reefs in his clothing and still be kind of lost, the next would be well pinched, and there was quite a vacant space below, where his shoes and trousers; bottoms had parted company. However, happiness does not walk abroad habitually in fine clothing, and in spite of the picturesqueness of their appearance in those old costumes and the big rubber boots and ample shoes furnished by their host, this company was exceedingly cheerful, and perhaps there is no more pleasing place to end this tale than right here.

Along the River Bank
Along the River Bank.
Another old happening had to do with a blockade of logs at Old Hadley. There were two men and two ladies in the party, drifting down the river in a pair of double canoes. Coming upon a half-mile waste of logs in the stream, there was nothing to do but travel around them on dry land. It was one of those quiet, red-hot days, right in the middle of the summer, and the prospect of dragging those canoes over a half-mile of level meadow, shimmering in the baking heat was not pleasant. But the canoes were hoisted up the bank, a paddle run through the painter of one , and the two men grasped it and started off. But the stubble shortly made their shoe soles so slippery that it brought them to a standstill. Then afar off, they espied a haymaker on an iron-toothed arrangement which went combing along the earth scratching up the hay into windows. At stated intervals this thing kicked up its heels, so to speak, and dropped the load it had gathered. Our party gave chase to this vehicle, machine, or whatever it was, and when they overhauled it, held converse with its captain as to his willingness to desist his operations long enough to tow their boats around the boom. He expressed a willingness to do this — for a consideration — and he detached his horse from the scratcher and soon had hitched on to a canoe. The two ladies proceeded to man the craft, or woman it, if that is more correct, and one of the men, being fatigued with his labors, manned the horse, which the haymaker, however, led. So the caravan got under way, and a little later, the canoes were again floating on the cool waters of the Connecticut.

The View up the River With Smith's Ferry
The View up the River With Smith’s Ferry.

The Day of the Races
The Day of the Races.

© Laurel O’Donnell 1996 - 2006, all rights reserved
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