Sounding is done in this way. In time these fellows grew dainty in their tastes, and only infested boats that had an established reputation for setting good tables. Bixby at the wheel again. It was reserved for La Salle to furnish the proof. After ten more minutes the town is dead again, and the town drunkard asleep by the skids once more. Now the bank will tell you about this.
By the time we had gone seven or eight hundred miles up the river, I had learned to be a tolerably plucky upstream steersman, in daylight, and before we reached St. You ain't but little ways from shore. But what did you hide for? Then everybody tried to talk at once, and one chap got off a joke, but it war n't no use, they did n't laugh, and even the chap that made the joke did n't laugh at it, which ain't usual. At last he turned up as apprentice engineer or 'striker' on a steamboat. You 've got to remember the exact spot and the exact marks the boat lay in when we had the shoalest water, in every one of the five hundred shoal places between St. But at the close of the fortnight they one day came upon the footprints of men in the mud of the western bank--a Robinson Crusoe experience which carries an electric shiver with it yet, when one stumbles on it in print.
She begins to smell it; look sharp, I tell you! He roared through his nose, and strung out the last word of every line very long. When I had learned the name and position of every visible feature of the river; when I had so mastered its shape that I could shut my eyes and trace it from St. It floated right along abreast, now, and did n't gain any more. The boundless vastness of the great American desert is my enclosed property, and I bury my dead on my own premises! The captain had all the skiffs hauled up on the raft, alongside of his wigwam, and would n't let the dead men be took ashore to be planted; he did n't believe a man that got ashore would come back; and he was right. By and by, when I got down nearly to her, I eased up and went slow and cautious. This was distinction enough for me as a general thing;but the desire to be a steamboatman kept intruding, nevertheless.
It is all there is left to steer by on a very dark night. I 'm the man with a petrified heart and biler-iron bowels! The captain ordered the watch to man the after sweeps for a crossing, and nobody would go,--no more sprained ankles for them, they said. My chief and the third mate and nearly all the men were safe. That 's a six foot bank. They would n't man the sweeps with him. Do you think there is any danger? Never was a man so grateful as Mr.
Bixby made for the shore, and soon was scraping it, just the same as if it had been daylight. Nothing delights a cub so much as an opportunity to go out sounding. De Soto merely glimpsed the river, then died and was buried in it by his priests and soldiers. It happened so in this instance. They have found a fragment of a lumber raft it is high water and dead summer time , and are floating down the river by night, and hiding in the willows by day,-- bound for Cairo,--whence the negro will seek freedom in the heart of the free States.
Ed said if you take the Mississippi on a rise when the Ohio is low, you 'll find a wide band of clear water all the way down the east side of the Mississippi for a hundred mile or more, and the minute you get out a quarter of a mile from shore, and pass the line, it is all thick and yaller the rest of the way across. Two months of his wages would pay a preacher's salary for a year. We bore steadily down the bend. All I desired to ask Mr. It was only about fifteen hundred miles from Cincinnati to New Orleans, where I could doubtless get a ship. But I did not chirp.
Bixby was: because he was brim full, and here were subjects who could talk back. Why, you would n't know the point above 40. That was, to be a steamboatman. Hold me down to the earth, for I feel my powers a-working! I soon discovered two things. When De Soto found it, he was not hunting for a river, and had no present occasion for one; consequently he did not value it or even take any particular notice of it. But these were only day-dreams,-- they were too heavenly to be contemplated as real possibilities. Necessarily, then, these various clusters of whites must have heard of the great river of the far west; and indeed, they did hear of it vaguely,--so vaguely and indefinitely, that its course, proportions, and locality were hardly even guessable.
The status of any position held as a steamboatman was greater than any other vocation. And before anybody could say a word, in he went. You don't run close chutes on a falling river, up-stream, and there are precious few of them that you are allowed to run at all down-stream. Give him some sugar in a rag and send for the chambermaid to sing rock-a-by-baby to him. Assembled there, the people fasten their eyes upon the coming boat as upon a wonder they are seeing for the first time. I remember the annual processions of mighty rafts that used to glide by Hannibal when I was a boy,--an acre or so of white, sweet-smelling boards in each raft, a crew of two dozen men or more, three or four wigwams scattered about the raft's vast level space for storm-quarters,--and I remember the rude ways and the tremendous talk of their big crows, the ex-keelboatmen and their admiringly patterning successors; for we used to swim out a quarter or third of a mile and get on these rafts and have a ride.
This fellow had money, too, and hair oil. He gave me the wheel once or twice, but I had no luck. The stars were all gone now, and the night was as black as ink. Looy' like an old citizen; he would refer casually to occasions when he 'was coming down Fourth Street,' or when he was 'passing by the Planter's House,' or when there was a fire and he took a turn on the brakes of 'the old Big Missouri;' and then he would go on and lie about how many towns the size of ours were burned down there that day. The fires were fiercely glaring from a long row of furnaces, and over them were eight huge boilers! This was distinction enough for me as a general thing; but the desire to be a steamboatman kept intruding, nevertheless. French and Spanish Parts of the City.
On the contrary, their narratives when they reached home, did not excite that amount of curiosity. He was huge and muscular, his face was bearded and whiskered all over; he had a red woman and a blue woman tattooed on his right arm,--one on each side of a blue anchor with a red rope to it; and in the matter of profanity he was sublime. Bixby asked me if I knew how to run the next few miles. But the old man got it aboard and busted in the head, and there was a baby in it! Go for the paint, Jimmy. But at last La Salle the Frenchman conceived the idea of seeking out that river and exploring it. These performances took place on the site of the future town of Napoleon, Arkansas, and there the first confiscation-cross was raised on the banks of the great river.