The locations named are in western New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. Lamington, NJ (pg. 20) is near exit 26 on Interstate 78, east of the Delaware River. Lumberville, PA (pg. 24) is on the West side of the Delaware River on Highway 32, about half-way between Bethlehem and Philadelphia, 25 miles southwest of Lamington. The Pennsylvania Canal runs along the west bank of the Delaware river. The Delaware and Raritan Canal is on the east bank. Raven Rock (pg. 24) is across the river from Lumberville, about a half mile northeast.
There are several large islands that may have inspired the story. About 5 miles north (upriver) of Lumberville is Walls Island and Prahls Island where the river is aligned north/south, as shown on the map on page 16. About two miles east (downriver) is Eagle Island and Hendrick Island.
The use of white lead indicates the lack of understanding of its poisonous nature.
This is a glossary of terms that are unfamiliar (to me).
Balustrade A rail and the balusters (posts) that support it.
Belay To secure a rope by winding it on a cleat or pin.
Brad Slender wire nail having a small barrel shaped head.
Bulkhead An upright partition dividing a ship into compartments to provide structural rigidity and limit the spread of leaks or fire.
Clapboard Long narrow board with one edge thicker than the other. Used to cover the outer walls of frame structures.
Dint Force; effort; power.
Drawknife Knife with a handle at each end of the blade. A drawing motion shaves a surface. Also known as a drawshave.
Fall and Tackle Apparatus for raising heavy loads. A rope and pulley blocks.
Ferrule Metal ring put around a tool handle to prevent splitting.
Freshet Sudden overflow of a stream caused by heavy rain or a thaw.
Gunwale Upper edge of the side of a vessel. Gunnel Could serve as a gun mount.
Journal Part of a rotating shaft that turns in a bearing.
Keelson Timber fastened above and parallel to the keel of a boat for strength.
Percaline Lightweight glossy cotton fabric used for book binding.
Pintle Pin on which another part pivots.
Scantling Small timber for construction.
Sheave Wheel with a grooved rim, used as a pulley.
Slab Outside of a log cut off to square it for lumber.
Spoke-shave Drawknife for shaping spokes and rounded edges.
Stay (a mast) Strong rope or wire used to support a mast.
Step (a mast) Place a mast in its step (block where the heel of a mast is fixed).
Thole Device on to the gunwale (side) of a boat to hold the oar. Acts as a fulcrum for rowing.
Trunnion Pin; two small cylindrical projections on a cannon on which it pivots. French "trognon" means "stump".
White lead Lead carbonate, a heavy white poisonous powder, used in paint pigments.
End of Transcriber's Notes
THE SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN BOY.
The SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN BOY
The Camp at Willow Clump Island
By A. RUSSELL BOND
MUNN & CO., Publishers 1906
COPYRIGHT, 1905, BY MUNN & CO., NEW YORK
PRESS OF THE KALKHOFF COMPANY NEW YORK
All boys are nature lovers. Nothing appeals to them more than a summer vacation in the woods where they can escape from the restraints of civilization and live a life of freedom. Now, it may appear to be a bit of presumption to attempt to advise the boy camper how to spend his time. Surely the novelty of outdoor life, the fascinating charm of his surroundings, will provide him plenty of entertainment.
But, after all, a camp generally affords but two major amusements, hunting and fishing. These have been fully covered by a vast number of books. However, there is another side of camp life, particularly in a boys' camp, which has been very little dealt with, namely, the exercise of one's ingenuity in creating out of the limited resources at hand such devices and articles as will add to one's personal comfort and welfare. It is, therefore, the aim of this book to suggest certain diversions of this character for the boy camper which, aside from affording him plenty of physical exercise, will also develop his mental faculties, and above all stimulate that natural genius which is characteristic of every typical American boy. To this end the story contains descriptions of a large collection of articles which can be made by any boy of average intelligence, not only in the camp but at home as well.
The use of a narrative to connect the various incidents marks a departure in this class of book, and it is believed that the matter will thus be made more realistic and interesting. In all cases full directions are given for making the various articles. While it is not presumed that the directions will be slavishly followed, for this would defeat the general aim of the work, yet all the principal dimensions are given so that they can be used, if desired.
I beg to acknowledge the courtesy of Mr. Daniel C. Beard and Mr. Henry D. Cochrane in supplying a number of photographs. The directions for making the lee boards (page 119) were obtained from data furnished by the latter. Many of the details recorded in the chapter on Tramping Outfits are to be accredited to Mr. Edward Thorpe. In the preparation of this book I have received valuable assistance from my colleague, Mr. A. A. Hopkins.
A. RUSSELL BOND. NEW YORK, October, 1905.
The Old Trunk. Christmas Vacation. "Bill's" Skate Sail. Willow Clump Island. Organizing the Society.
The Double Swedish Sail. The Single Swedish Sail. The Lanteen Sail. The Danish Sail. Bat's Wings.
SNOW SHOES, SKIS AND SWAMP SHOES
Chair Seat Snow Shoe. Barrel Stave Snow Shoe. Barrel Hoop Snow Shoe. The Sioux Snow Shoe. The Iroquois Snow Shoe. The Ainu Snow Shoe. The Norwegian Ski. The Swamp Shoe or Swiss Snow Shoe.
Farewell Meeting. Word from Uncle Ed. The Canvas Tent. Adjustable Ridge Pole. Tie Blocks. The Annex.
PREPARING FOR THE EXPEDITION
Tent Fly. Provisions and Supplies. Umbrella Rib Crossbow. Megaphone. The Scow.
OFF TO THE ISLAND
A Unique Alarm Clock. The Trip to the Island. Preliminary Exploration. A Rustic Table. The Small Filter. The Barrel Filter. The Klepalo.
The Surveying Instrument. Spirit Levels. The Tripod. Surveyor's Chain. Surveyor's Rod. A Simple Method of Surveying. Mapping the Island.
Swimming on a Plank. Shooting the Rapids. Restoring the Drowned. How to Work over a Patient Alone.
The Spar Bridge. The Rope Railway. The Suspension Bridge. The Pontoon Bridge. The King Rod Truss. Stiffening the Bridge. The King Post Bridge.
Uncle Ed's Departure. A Visit from Mr. Schreiner. The Sailing Canoe. Stretching on the Canvas. The Rudder. The Deep Keel. Canoe Sails. Lee Boards. Indian Paddling Canoe.
The Grass Hut. The Goblins' Dancing Platform. Dutchy Takes a Dare. A Path Up the Fissure. Rope Ladders. The Derrick. The Tree House. Sliding Doors.
TROUBLE WITH THE TRAMPS
The Scow is Stolen. A Council of War. Vengeance. A Double Surprise. Tramp-proof Boat Mooring.
WIGWAGGING AND HELIOGRAPHING
Wigwag Signals. The Wigwag Alphabet. Abbreviations. Wigwagging at Night. The Heliograph. The Single Mirror Instrument. The Sight Rod. The Screen. Focusing the Instrument. Heliograph Signaling. The International Telegraph Code. The Double Mirror Instrument.
ICE BOATS, SLEDGES AND TOBOGGANS
Breaking Camp. The Ice Boat. The Sledge. The Toboggan. The Rennwolf. Ice Creepers.
THE SUBTERRANEAN CLUB A Cave-in. Excavating for the Cave. Covering the Cave. The Big Bug Club. Midnight Banquets. The Club Pin. The Combination Lock.
A Sail in the Scow. Our Craft Strikes the Ice. The Scooter Scow. A Sprit Sail. Scooter Sailing. A Meeting of the Society. An Interview with Mr. Van Syckel. The Scooter Canoe.
AN ARCTIC EXPEDITION
Willow Clump Island in Winter. Kindling a Camp Fire. The Outdoor Fireplace. A Stone-paved Fireplace. A Cold Night in the Hut. Mountain Climbing. A Poor Shelter. A Costly Camp Fire. A Friend in Time of Trouble.
Sleeping Bags. Bill's "Mummy Case." The "A" Tent. A Camp Chair. A Camp Bed. The Camp Bed in a Shower. A Nightmare. Pack Harness. Riveting.
THE LAND YACHT
The Frame of the Yacht. A Simple Turnbuckle. Stepping the Mast. Mounting the Frame on Bicycle Wheels. The Tiller. A "Leg-of-Mutton" Sail. A Sail Through the Country.
Bill's Cave. The Barrel Stave Hammock. The Barrel Armchair. The Summer Toboggan. Tailless Kites. A Five-foot Malay Kite. An Eight-foot Malay Kite. The Elastic Belly Band. Putting the Kites to Work. The Diamond Box Kite.
THE WATER WHEEL
The Water Wheel. Surveying for the Water Wheel. Towers for the Water Wheel. The Wheel. The Buckets. The Paddles. The Receiving Trough. Setting Up the Towers. Mounting the Water Wheel. Cooling the Filter Barrel. The Canvas Bucket. Mr. Halliday's Water Wheel.
THE LOG CABIN
Foundation of Log Cabin. A Logging Expedition. The Log Raft. The Sail-Rigged Raft. Building the Log Cabin. The Roof of the Log Cabin. Door and Window Frames. The Fireplace. The Proper Way to Build a Stone Wall. The Floor of the Cabin. The Door Hinges and Latch. The Window Sash. Bunks. Stopping up the Chinks.
Digging the Well. The Windmill Tower. The Crank Shaft. The Wind Wheel. A Simple Brake. The Pump. Pump Valves. Action of the Pump.
THE GRAVITY RAILROAD
The Car. The Flanged Wheels. Car Axles. Mounting the Wheels. The Railway Truck. The Carpenter's Miter Box. Laying the Track. The First Railway Accident. Testing the Track.
THE CANTILEVER BRIDGE
Frames for the Cantilever Bridge. Erecting the Towers. Setting up the Frames. Binding and Anchoring the Structure. The Center Panels of the Bridge. A Serious Interruption. Dispossessed. Farewell to Willow Clump Island. Reddy's Cantilever Bridge.
THE SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN BOY.
"Bill," he was it, the Scientific American Boy, I mean. Of course, we were all American boys and pretty scientific chaps too, if I do say it myself, but Bill, well he was the whole show. What he didn't know wasn't worth knowing, so we all thought, and even to this day I sometimes wonder how he managed to contrive and execute so many remarkable plans. At the same time he was not a conceited sort of a chap and didn't seem to realize that he was head and shoulders above the rest of us in ingenuity. But, of course, we didn't all have an uncle like Bill did. Bill's Uncle Ed was one of those rare men who take a great interest in boys and their affairs, a man who took time to answer every question put to him, explaining everything completely and yet so clearly that you caught on at once. Uncle Ed (we all called him that) was a civil engineer of very high standing in his profession, which had taken him pretty much all over the world, and his naturally inquisitive nature, coupled with a wonderful memory, had made him a veritable walking encyclopedia. With such an uncle it is no wonder that Bill knew everything. Of course, there were some things that puzzled even Bill. But all such difficulties, after a reasonable amount of brain-work had failed to clear them, were submitted to Uncle Ed. Uncle Ed was always prompt (that was one thing we liked about him), and no matter where he was or what he was doing he would drop everything to answer a letter from the society.
The Old Trunk.
But hold on, I am getting ahead of my story. I was rummaging through the attic the other day, and came across an old battered trunk, one that I used when I went to boarding-school down in south Jersey. That trunk was certainly a curiosity shop. It contained a miscellaneous assortment of glass tubes, brass rods, coils of wire, tools, fish hooks—in fact, it was a typical collection of all those "valuables" that a boy is liable to pick up. Down in one corner of the trunk was a black walnut box, marked, with brass letters, "Property of the S. S. I. E. E. of W. C. I." On my key-ring I still carried the key to that box, which had not been opened for years. I unlocked the box and brought to light the "Records and Chronicles of the Society for the Scientific Investigation, Exploration and Exploitation of Willow Clump Island." For hours I pored over those pages, carried back to the good old times we used to have as boys along the banks of the Delaware River, until I was brought sharply back to the present by the sound of the dinner bell. It seemed that the matter contained in those "Chronicles" was too good to be kept locked up in an old trunk. Few boys' clubs ever had such a president as Bill, or such a wonderful bureau of information as Uncle Ed. For the benefit of boys and boykind in general, I decided then and there to publish, as fully as practicable, a record of what our society did.
This was how the society came to be formed. Bill, whom I met at boarding-school, was an orphan, and that's why he was sent to boarding-school. His uncle had to go down to Brazil to layout a railroad, I believe, and so he packed Bill off to our school, which was chosen in preference to some others because one of the professors there had been a classmate of Uncle Ed's at college. Bill roomed with me, and naturally we became great chums. When Christmas time came, of course I invited him to spend the holidays with me. My home was situated in the little village of Lamington, on the Jersey side of the Delaware River. Here we arrived late at night on the Saturday before Christmas. A cold wind was blowing which gave promise of breaking the spell of warm weather we had been having, and of giving us a chance to try our skates for the first time. True to our expectations, the next day was bitterly cold, and a visit to the canal which ran along the river bank, just beyond our back fence, showed that quite a thick skim of ice had formed on the water. Monday morning, bright and early, found us on the smooth, slippery surface of the canal. "Us" here includes, in addition to Bill and myself, my two younger brothers, Jack and Fred, and also Dutchy Van Syckel and Reddy Schreiner, neighbors of ours. It was the custom at the first of December every year to drain out most of the water in the canal, in order to prevent possible injury to the canal banks from the pressure of the ice. But there was always a foot or two of water covering the bottom of the canal, and this afforded a fine skating park of ample width and unlimited length, while the high canal banks on each side protected us from the bitter wind that was blowing. Toward noon, however, the wind shifted and swept at a terrific rate down the narrow lane between the canal banks. We could scarcely make headway against the blow. It was too much for Bill, who wasn't as used to skating as we were. He sat down in a sheltered nook and commenced to think. When Bill sat down to think it always meant that something was going to happen, as we soon learned.
"Say, Jim," said he to me, "have you got any canvas up at the house?"
"No," I replied. "What do you want it for?"
"I want to rig up a skate sail. If you have an old sheet, that will do just as well."
"Well, I guess I can find you an old sheet. Do you think you can make one?"
"Sure thing," answered Bill, and off we went to the house, where I received my first lesson on the practical genius of my chum.
"Bill's" Skate Sail.
The old sheet which Mother furnished us was laid out on the floor and two corners were folded over to the center as shown in the drawing, making a triangle with base 7 feet long and sides each about 4 feet 6 inches long. The surplus end piece was then cut off, and a broad hem turned and basted all around the edges of the triangle. Bill wanted to work the sewing machine himself, but Mother was afraid he would break something, so she sewed down the hem for us. Then, under Bill's supervision, she re-enforced the corners by sewing on patches of cloth. Along the diagonal a strip of heavy tape was sewed, leaving loops at intervals, which afterward were cut and provided means for tying the sail to the mast. Tie strings of tape were also sewed at the corners, as shown in the illustration, and then a trip was made to the garden in search of suitable spars. A smooth bean pole of about the right weight served for the mast, and another stick with a crotch at one end served as the boom or cross-spar. The spars were cut to proper length, and the sail was then tied on, as illustrated, with the crotch of the cross-spar fitted against and tied to the center of the mast. A light rope, long enough to provide plenty of slack, was tied to the ends of the mast to assist in guiding the sail when in use. In the meantime I had procured another sheet from one of our neighbors, and Bill helped me make a sail for myself. It was not until long after dark that we finished our work.
Willow Clump Island.
The next day we tried the sails and it didn't take me very long to learn how to steer the device. The wind had changed again and this time blew up the canal. We took the line of least resistance, and went skimming up the ice lane like birds for several miles before we realized how far we were getting away from home. As we rounded a bend in the canal, much to my astonishment, I saw just before us the bridge at Raven Hill, eight miles from our town. We started to go back, but the wind was too strong for us, and there wasn't much room in which to do any tacking; nor could we make any progress when the sails were folded. I began to get extremely tired and rather exasperated at Bill for not having thought of the return trip before he led me such a hot pace up the canal. But Bill was getting tired, too.
"Look here, Jim," he said, "we haven't covered a mile, and I'm worn out."
"Why in thunder didn't you think of this before we started?" I returned.
"How much money have you with you?" was the reply.
"What's that got to do with it?"
"I'll tell you in a minute. How much have you?"
A careful search of my dozen odd pockets netted the sum of twenty-seven cents.
"I have fifty-nine," said Bill, "and that makes eighty-six altogether, doesn't it? Isn't there a railroad depot near here?"
"There is one at Raven Hill, and the next is at Lumberville. That is about eleven miles from home."
"Well," said Bill, "at three cents each per mile that would amount to sixty-six cents. Let's sail on to Lumberville and then take the train back."
On we sped to Lumberville, only to find that the next train was not due until noon, and it was now just half past ten.
Time never hung heavy on our hands. Out on the river we espied an island. I had heard of this island—Willow Clump Island, it was called—but had never been on it; consequently I fell in with Bill's suggestion that we make it a visit. Owing to the rapids which separated the island from the Jersey shore, we had to go up stream a quarter of a mile, to where a smooth sheet of ice had formed, over a quiet part of the river; thence we sailed down to the island along the Pennsylvania side.
"What a capital island for a camp," cried Bill, after we had explored it pretty thoroughly. "Have you ever been out camping?"
I had to confess I never had, and then Bill gave me a glowing account of his experiences in the Adirondacks with his uncle the year before, which so stirred up the romance in me that I wanted to camp out at once.
"Shucks!" said Bill, "We would freeze in this kind of weather, and besides, we've got to make a tent first."
We then sat down and made elaborate plans for the summer. Suddenly the distant sound of a locomotive whistle interrupted our reveries.
"Jiminy crickets!" I exclaimed. "That's the train coming through Spalding's Cut. We've got to hustle if we are to catch it."
We were off like the wind, and a merry chase brought us to the Lumberville depot in time to flag the train. We arrived at Lamington at half past twelve, a trifle late for dinner, rather tired and hungry, but with a glowing and I fear somewhat exaggerated account of our adventure for the credulous ears of the rest of the boys.
Organizing the Society.
The camping idea met with the hearty approval of all, and it was decided to begin preparations at once for the following summer. Dutchy, whose father was a member of a geographical society, suggested that we form a society for the exploration of Willow Clump Island. By general acclamation Bill was chosen president of the society, Dutchy was made vice-president, Reddy was elected treasurer, and they made me secretary. It was Dutchy who proposed the name "The Society for the Scientific Investigation, Exploration and Exploitation of Willow Clump Island." It was decided to make an expedition of exploration as soon as we could make skate sails for the whole society.
The duties of the secretary, as defined in the constitution which Dutchy Van Syckel drew up, were to keep a record of all the acts of the society, the minutes of every meeting, and accurate detailed descriptions of all work accomplished. Therefore, while the rest of the society was busy cutting up old sheets, levied from the surrounding neighborhood, and sewing and rigging the sails under Bill's direction, I, with pad and pencil in hand, took notes on all the operations.
The Double Swedish Sail.
Bill evolved some new types of sails which differed materially from the type described in the first chapter. One was a double sail—"the kind they use in Sweden," he explained. One of the sheets which the foraging party brought in was extra large; it measured approximately two yards and a half square. This was folded on itself, making a parallelogram seven feet six inches long and three feet nine inches wide. The sheets we had were all rather worn and some were badly torn, so that we had to make our sails of double thickness, sewing patches over the weak spots. A broad hem was turned down at each end, and heavy tape was sewed on, leaving loops as before, to attach them to the spars. This reduced the length of our sail to seven feet three inches. The end spars were spaced apart by a light pole about ten feet long, to which they were tied at the points of intersection. The spars were also braced by halyards looped over the ends of the pole in the manner indicated in the drawing (Fig. 7). It took a crew of two boys to manipulate this sail. In use, the pole of the rig was carried on the shoulders, and the sail was guided by means of ropes attached to the lower corners of the vertical spars. These ropes in nautical language are called "sheets." The boy at the rear was the pilot and did the steering, because his position behind the sail gave him an unobstructed view in all directions. When changing tack the sail was lifted overhead to the other side of the crew.
The Single Swedish Sail.
Another sail of similar form, but for use of one boy only, is shown in Fig. 10. This had a height of six and one-half feet at the forward end and three feet at the rear; and its length was five feet. This sail was very satisfactory in light winds, owing to its great area. In use we found that it was very important to keep the lower edge against the leg, as indicated by the arrow. The rig was manipulated just like the double Swedish sail, lifting it over the head when it was desired to change tack.
The Lanteen Sail.
The lanteen sail we found to be a very good rig. It was made in the form of a triangle, measuring eight feet on one side, seven and one-half feet on another side and six and one-half feet on the third. The six and one-half foot side was secured to a boom, and the seven and one-half foot side to a yard. The yard and boom were hinged together by a leather strap nailed on as shown in Fig. 12, and to this hinge a rope was attached, which served as a sheet. These spars were secured to a mast erected perpendicularly to the boom and intersecting the yard a little above its center. We had had some trouble with the first sails we made in keeping the base of the sail against the body, and to overcome this difficulty Bill proposed tying the bottom of the mast to the leg. This was a rather risky thing to do, as we learned later, for in case of accident it would be difficult to get clear of the sail. It was Reddy who finally solved the problem by rigging up a step for the mast. It consisted of a leather tag tied to the leg, and provided with a hole into which the bottom of the mast was fitted. To prevent the mast from slipping too far into the step the lower portion of it was whittled down, leaving a shoulder which rested on the leather. Bill later devised another step, which consisted of a wooden block (Fig. 14) strapped to the leg and formed with a shallow socket to receive the end of the mast.
The Danish Sail.
But the most satisfactory sail we found to be the Danish sail, though it was not until we had served quite a long apprenticeship and sustained many pretty bad falls that we mastered the art of manipulating these sails properly. Our ideas on this sail were obtained from a French illustrated paper which Dutchy Van Syckel picked up in his father's library. This sail was formed with a topsail so arranged that it could be lowered when the wind was too strong. The dimensions of the sail as we made it are given in the drawing (Fig. 15). The top of the sail was lashed to a spar, which was connected by a short stick to another spar tied to the mainsail about eighteen inches lower down. The sail was strengthened with an extra strip of cloth along the lower spar, and the tie strings were applied in the usual way. The connecting stick, or topmast we may call it, was hinged to the lower spar by means of a short piece of leather strap, which was passed round the spar in the form of a loop and its two ends nailed to the bottom of the topmast. The topmast extended above the upper spar a short distance, and to this we fastened the flag which our society had adopted. A couple of strong cords were secured to the center spar to provide for fastening the sail onto the skater. Tied to the lower corners of the mainsail were two sticks which were used for guiding the sail when in flight.
The different methods of sailing with this rig are shown in Figs. 17-20. When sailing with the wind the skater would stand very erect, bending backward in proportion as the wind blew fresher. By inclining the sail in one direction or the other, the skater could tack to port or starboard. When moving against the wind by skating in the usual way, the body was bent forward in such manner that the sail lay horizontal, so that it would not offer a purchase for the wind.
One more sail deserves mention. It was Bill's idea, and it came near to ending his career the first day he tried it. It had no spars at all, but was merely a strip of cloth of somewhat triangular shape. The upper side was tied to the head, and the two corners to the wrists, while the lower portion was tied to the ankles. This converted him into a huge white-winged bat. Bill had to try it at once, even though the rest of the sails were not finished, and a very comical spectacle he made as he flapped his wings in his endeavors to tack. When the wind was too strong for him he had merely to drop his arms and thus lower sail. At length he became tired of holding his arms out at full length, and I got him a stick to put over his shoulders and rest his arms on. But that stick was Bill's undoing, for coming around a sudden bend in the canal he caught the full force of the wind, which knocked him flat on his back before he could disentangle himself from the stick and lower sail. It took us some time to bring him back to consciousness, and a very scared lot of boys we were for a while. However, the lesson was a good one, for after that we were very cautious in experimenting with sails that had to be tied on, such as the Danish rig and the lanteen rig, before Reddy invented the mast step.
It was not until the day after Christmas that the sails were all completed, but then there was scarcely any wind blowing and we could not attempt the expedition to the island.
SNOW SHOES, SKIS AND SWAMP SHOES.
The next day, Sunday, it began to snow, and we realized that our chance of skating up to Willow Clump Island was spoiled. All the afternoon it snowed, and the next morning we woke to find the ground covered to a depth of eight inches and snow still falling. But who ever heard of a boy complaining because there was snow on the ground? Here were new difficulties to overcome, new problems to solve, and new sports provided for our amusement. There was no disappointment shown by any of the members of the S. S. I. E. E. of W. C. I., as they met in the woodshed immediately after breakfast to discuss proceedings for the day. There seemed to be but one way of reaching the island, and that was by means of snow shoes. Bill had only a vague idea of how snow shoes were made.
Chair Seat Snow Shoe.
The first pair was made from a couple of thin wooden chair seats which we found in the shed. They proved quite serviceable, being very light and offering a fairly large bearing surface. The chair seats were trimmed off at each side to make the shoes less clumsy, and a loop of leather was fastened near the center of each shoe, in which the toe could be slipped. This shoe possessed the disadvantage of being too flat and of picking up too much snow when used.
Barrel Stave Snow Shoe.
Another pair of shoes was made from barrel staves. At first one stave was made to serve for a shoe, but we found that two staves fastened together with a pair of wooden cleats were much better. Jack was the proud inventor of these shoes and insisted that they were far more satisfactory than the elaborate ones which were later devised.
Barrel Hoop Snow Shoe.
Now that Jack had shown his ingenuity, Fred thought it was his turn to do something, and after mysteriously disappearing for the space of an hour we saw him suddenly come waddling back to the shed on a pair of barrel hoops covered with heavy canvas. He had stretched the canvas so tightly across the hoops that they were bent to an oval shape. It was claimed for these shoes, and with good reason, that they were not so slippery as the barrel stave shoe, for they permitted the foot to sink slightly into the snow.
After dinner, Dutchy came back with a book of his father's, a sort of an encyclopedia in which several different kinds of snow shoes were illustrated. Reddy, whose father owned a sawmill, volunteered to provide us with strips of hickory from which to make the frames.
The Sioux Snow Shoe.
The Sioux snow shoe was the first type we tackled. Two strips of hickory 4 feet long and 3/4 inch square in section, were bent over a pair of spreaders and securely fastened together at each end. The spreaders were about 12 inches long and located about 15 inches apart. They were notched at the ends, as shown in Fig. 26, to receive the side strips, which were not fastened together until after they had been nailed to the spreaders. We found that the most satisfactory way of fastening together the ends of the hickory strips was to bolt them together. When the frame was completed, we began the tedious process of weaving in the filling or web of the snow shoe. First we cut notches in the edges of the spreaders, spacing these notches an inch apart. Then we procured several balls of heavy twine at the corner store. Tying one end of the cord to the right side stick about three inches below the forward spreader, we stretched a strand down to the notch at the left end of the lower spreader. The strand was drawn taut, and after making several twists around it the cord was tied to the left side stick three inches above the spreader. From this point the cord was stretched to the notch at the right end of the upper spreader, twisted several times and brought back to the starting point. The cord was now wrapped around the side stick for a space of about an inch, and then carried down to the second notch on the lower spreader, whence it was woven through the other two strands and tied about the left side stick about four inches from the spreader. Thus the weaving continued, passing the cord alternately over and under any cross strands encountered. In order to make the left side correspond with the right, a separate cord was wound around it, filling up the space between the strands of the web. The filling above and below the spreaders could not be so methodically done, but we managed to weave the strands quite neatly with about the same mesh as used at the center. To facilitate the weaving we improvised a rough needle of a piece of wire. The latter was bent double to receive the cord which was wedged in between the two arms of the needle.
The Iroquois Shoe.
But the best snow shoe we made was the Iroquois shoe. The frame of this shoe was made of hickory strips of the same width and thickness as used in the Sioux shoe, but 8 feet long. The strips were bent in a loop and the ends were bolted together. How to bend the wood without breaking it seemed a very difficult problem. Wood, we knew, could be easily bent without breaking if boiled or steamed for a while; but we had nothing large enough in which to boil a strip of wood 8 feet long. Bill hit upon the plan of wrapping the stick with burlap and then pouring boiling water on it until it became sufficiently soft to bend easily. An old oats-sack was cut up into strips and wound onto the hickory sticks for a distance of 18 inches at each side of the center. We then repaired to the kitchen to do the steaming. The hickory stick was held over a large dish-pan filled with boiling water, and from this we dipped out the water and poured it slowly over the burlap wrapping of the stick. After a little of this treatment the stick was sufficiently steamed to permit of bending to the required shape. The ends were then firmly secured by means of bolts passed through bolt holes which had been previously drilled. The frame was completed by fitting the spreader sticks in place, after which it was laid away to dry. When the frame was perfectly dry we started weaving the web. In this case, however, instead of cord we used cane strips, which we had bought from a chair caner. This necessitated drilling holes in the side sticks to receive the cane strips. The web consisted of strands crossing each other diagonally, as illustrated. Our second pair of Iroquois snow shoes was made with a web of rawhide which we bought from a hardware store at Millville.
The Ainu Snow Shoe.
One of the snowshoes described in the book was very much like Fred's barrel-hoop snow shoe in appearance. According to the description, it was a type used by the Ainus, a peculiar people living in the cold northern islands of Japan. As the shoe seemed quite simple and rather unique, we thought we would make one like it. Two hickory strips each 4 feet long were bent to a V-shape and lashed together, forming an oval about 2 feet 6 inches long by 18 inches wide. The frame was held to oval shape by tying the sides together. Then the filling was woven in, running the strands diagonally, as shown in Fig. 32.
We had excellent weather for snow shoes after that snowstorm. A thaw followed by a cold spell caused a thick crust to form on the snow which would nearly hold us up without the aid of our snowshoes. We were rather awkward with those shoes for a while, trying to keep them clear of each other, and we found it particularly hard to turn sharply without causing one shoe to run foul of the other. But with a little practice we soon felt quite at home on them. In order to prevent cutting the web with our heels, we found it necessary to wear rubbers.
Our vacation came to an end before we were prepared for the expedition to Willow Clump Island. But before leaving the subject on snow shoes, two more shoes remain to be described, namely the Swiss snow shoe and the Norwegian ski. The Swiss shoe was made during the summer and the ski during the following winter.
The Norwegian Ski.
The Norwegian ski was made of close-grained wood, 1 inch thick, 3-1/2 inches wide and 6 feet long. About 18 inches from the forward end the wood was planed down to a thickness of 1/4 of an inch. This end was placed in the dish-pan of boiling water, and in a short time it was pliable enough to permit of bending. It was secured in the proper bent position by slipping the toe end of the shoe between the banisters on the back porch and nailing a cleat back of the heel end. When the ski was perfectly dry the toe strap was nailed on just back of the balancing point, and also another strap, to be secured about the ankle. Then a cleat was nailed onto the ski to fit against the heel of the shoe. In use we found it best to cut a groove in the bottom of the ski, so as to give us a better grip on the snow in climbing up hills. With the skis we had to use short poles or "ski sticks" to assist in starting, stopping and steering when coasting. The ski stick was a bean pole provided with a wooden block near the lower end, to prevent it from being forced too far through the snow.
The Swiss Snow Shoe or Swamp Shoe.
The Swiss shoe was made primarily to assist us in exploring some boggy land a short distance up the river from our island. The original swamp shoes were made from the bottoms of two old baskets, and they worked so admirably that it was decided to equip the whole society with them. Uncle Ed, when told about them, informed us that that was the kind of snow shoe used in Switzerland. Of course, we could not afford to destroy a pair of baskets for each member of the club, and so we had to weave the shoes from the willows which grew on the island.
We had a farewell meeting of the society the evening before Bill and I had to return to boarding-school. At this meeting plans were made for the Easter vacation. We also considered the matter of getting parental permission for our summer outing. So far we had been afraid to breathe a word of our plans outside of the society, since Fred had said something about it in the presence of Father and had been peremptorily ordered to banish all such hair-brained, Wild West notions from his head. We realized from that incident that the consent of our parents would not be so very easily obtained. But Bill came forward with a promising suggestion. He would write to his Uncle Ed and see if he couldn't be persuaded to join the expedition. At first we demurred. We didn't want a "governor" around all the time. But Bill assured us that his uncle was "no ordinary man"; that he would not interfere with our plans, but would enter right into them and give us many valuable pointers. Though not by any means convinced, we told him to go ahead and invite his uncle, as that seemed about the only means of winning over our fathers and mothers. The society was then adjourned until our Easter vacation began, each member promising to earn and save as much money as he could in the meantime to buy the materials for a tent and provisions for the summer outing.
Word From Uncle Ed.
Bill's letter to Uncle Ed was answered as quickly as the mail could travel to Brazil and back. Uncle Ed heartily approved of our plans, and said that he would be delighted to join the expedition. He could not be on hand before the 1st of July, but that would give us plenty of time to make all necessary preparations. He told us not to worry about gaining the consent of our parents. He would write to them and see them all personally, if necessary to win their approval.
The Canvas Tent.
When at last spring arrived and we returned to Lamington on our Easter vacation, quite a sum of money had been collected, nearly $15.00, if I remember rightly; at any rate plenty to buy the materials for a good-sized tent and leave a large surplus for provisions, etc. Bill figured out on paper just how much canvas we would need for a tent 7 feet wide by 9-1/2 feet long, which he estimated would be about large enough to hold us. It took 34 yards, 30 inches wide. Then we visited the village store to make our purchase. Canvas we found a little too expensive for us, but a material called drill seemed about right. It cost ten cents a yard, but since we wanted such a quantity of it the price was reduced to a total of $3.00. We repaired to the attic to lay out the material.
First we cut out four lengths of 5 yards and 26 inches each. The strips were basted together, lapping the edges 1 inch and making a piece 17 feet 2 inches long by 9 feet 9 inches wide. Mother sewed the breadths together on the machine, using a double seam, as in sail making; that is, two parallel rows of stitching were sewed in; one along each overlapping edge, as shown in Fig. 38. A 1 inch hem was then turned and sewed at the ends of the goods, so that the piece measured exactly 17 feet long. It served for the roof and side walls of the tent. Our next operation was to cut three strips 11 feet long, and sew them together with a double seam as before. This piece was now slit along the center line m, Fig. 39, making two lengths 3 feet 8 inches wide. The strips were then cut along the diagonal lines a a, forming the end walls or doors, so to speak, of the tent. In sewing on the door flaps we started first at the bottom of the side c, sewing it to the side edge of the main piece, as shown in Fig. 40, and running the seam up for a distance of exactly 3 feet 6 inches. After all the door strips had been sewed along their c edges the sewing was continued up the diagonal or a edges. In cutting out the door pieces we had allowed 1 inch on each side for hems and seams, so that the door pieces met without lapping at the exact center of the main or body piece, that is, at the peak of the tent.
Our next step was to fasten the necessary ropes and loops. Ten 8-foot lengths of light rope were procured. These were fastened at the top of the side walls, that is, 3 feet 6 inches from the ends of the main or body piece, one at each corner and one on each seam. The cloth was strengthened at these points with patches sewed on the inside. At the bottom of the side walls we sewed on loops of heavy tape. These were spaced about 15 inches apart. Along the b edges of the door pieces tie strings of tape were fastened. A rope 15 feet long was attached to the peak at the front and at the rear of the tent. The front and rear posts of the tent were made from scantlings measuring 2 by 4 inches, which were procured from Mr. Schreiner's lumber yard. They were planed smooth and sawed off to a length of 7 feet 6 inches. A slot was cut in the end of each stick to a depth of 6 inches and measuring slightly over an inch in width. For the ridge pole a strip 1 inch thick, 2-1/2 inches wide and 10 feet long was secured. This was fitted into the slotted ends of these posts, where it was fastened by wooden pegs slipped into holes drilled through the ends of the posts and the ridge pole. A number of these peg holes were provided, so that if the canvas stretched the ridge pole could be raised or lowered to prevent the walls from dragging on the ground. We set up the tent in our back yard to see if it was properly constructed. Twelve stakes were required, ten for the sides and one for the ridge stays at the front and rear. The side stakes were driven into the ground at a distance of about 8 feet from the center of the tent. First we tied the guy ropes to the stakes, but later we found it much easier to secure them with tie blocks.
These were made of wood 1/2 inch thick, 1 inch wide and each measured 3 inches long. A hole was drilled into the block at each end and through these holes the rope was threaded. A knot in the rope then held the end from slipping out. The loop between the two holes, or the bight, as sailors would call it, was now slipped over the stake, and the rope hauled tight by drawing up the tie block, as shown in Fig. 43. A still later improvement consisted in making ties of stout galvanized iron wire, bent to the form shown in Fig. 44. The wooden ties were apt to swell and split open when exposed to the weather, while the wire ties could always be relied upon.
The walls of the tent were held down along the bottom by railway spikes hooked through the tent loops and driven into the ground. Wooden pegs with notches to catch the loops would have served as well, but Dutchy happened to find a number of the spikes along the track and in his usual convincing manner argued that they were far better than pegs because their weight would hold the cloth down even if they were not firmly embedded in the ground.
We were surprised to find out how small the tent was after it was set up. We could see at once that when we had put in all the stores and provisions we would need, there would not be room enough for six boys and a man to stretch themselves out comfortably in it. Bill had evidently made a miscalculation, but he suggested that we remedy the error by building an annex for our kitchen utensils and supplies.
This gave us a two-room tent, which we found to be quite an advantage. Twelve more yards of drill were bought and cut into two strips, each 17 feet 2 inches long. The breadths were then sewed together, and the ends turned up and hemmed to make a piece 17 feet long and 4 feet 9 inches wide. Tape loops were then sewed on as before, and ropes were fastened on at the top of the side walls, that is, 3 feet 6 inches from the ends of the strips. We thought it would be better to have a slanting ridge on the annex, so we cut out a wedge-shaped piece from the center of the two strips, as shown by dotted lines B B in Fig. 46. This wedge-shaped piece measured 2 feet at the outer end of the annex, and tapered down to a point at the inner end. The canvas was then sewed together along these edges. Tie strings were sewed to the inner edge of the annex and corresponding ones were attached to the main tent a little ways back from the edge, so that the two could be tied together, with the annex lapping well over on the roof and side walls. A notch was cut out of the peak of the annex, so that it could be tied around the rear post of the tent, and notches were cut at the top of the side walls to permit passing the cloth around the wall ropes. Instead of supporting the ridge of the annex on a ridge pole, we used the rear guy line of the tent, propping it up with a scantling about 5-1/2 feet long.
PREPARING FOR THE EXPEDITION.
School closed on the 21st of June that year, just ten days before the expected arrival of Uncle Ed. The first thing we did was to set up our tent in the back yard and camp out so as to become acclimatized. It is good that we did this, for the very first night a heavy summer shower came up which nearly drenched us. The water beat right through the thin canvas roof of our tent. Had we been able to afford the best quality of canvas duck, such an occurrence would probably have been avoided. But we solved the difficulty by using a tent fly; that is, a strip of canvas stretched over the tent and spaced a short distance from it to break the fall of the rain drops.
Again we had to visit the village storekeeper; this time we bought out his whole remaining stock, sixteen yards of drill. This was cut into four-yard strips, which were sewed together as before and the ends turned up and hemmed. Tie strings were sewed to the ends of the strips so that the fly could be tied to the wall ropes of the tent. At the ridge the fly was supported about six inches above the tent rope by a second ridge pole held by pegs in the top holes of the tent posts.
Provisions and Supplies.
The ten days before Uncle Ed arrived were busy indeed. We had to gather together the necessary provisions and supplies. Our personal outfits were very simple. Each member supplied himself with a change of underwear, a bathing suit, a blanket and a toothbrush. A single comb and brush served for the entire society, and was used on Sundays, the only day we really dressed up. All the rest of the time we lived in our bathing suits, except, of course, on cold rainy days. Our kitchen outfit consisted of a large cooking pot, two kettles, a frying pan, a coffee pot, a small oil stove, a half-dozen each of plates, cups, saucers, knives and forks, a dozen spoons, two tablespoons, and, in addition, several large plates and bowls for pantry use. We also took with us a dish-pan and several dish-towels. For our larder we collected the following: A bag of flour, ten pounds of sugar, two pounds of salt, three pounds of coffee, four pounds of oatmeal, four pounds of butter, two pounds of lard, six pound of beans, six pounds of rice, three pounds of bacon, six cans of condensed milk, a dozen eggs, box of pepper, and several jars of canned peaches and pears, and also a half dozen glasses of jelly.
It was Dutchy who suggested that we have a chicken yard, in connection with our camp, to supply us with fresh eggs. It was a capital idea, and by the dint of some coaxing we managed to secure the loan of a half dozen hens and a rooster.
Our miscellaneous list included a spade, pick and shovel, an ax, a hatchet, two large pails, a barn lantern, a can of kerosene, a dozen candles, a cocoa box filled with matches, a pair of scissors, needles, buttons, pins and safety pins, a spool of white and another of black cotton, fishing tackle, a roll of heavy twine, a coil of rope, and a set of dominoes and checkers. But most important of all was a chest of tools belonging to Reddy. These were all collected when Uncle Ed arrived. Dutchy also contributed a large compass, which we found very useful later on, for surveying the island.
Reddy had a shotgun which he wanted to bring along, but my father, and Dutchy's as well, wouldn't let us go camping if there was to be any gunpowder along, so we had to leave it behind. Of course we didn't miss it at all when we got to the island, because there was so much else to do; but we all agreed with Dutchy, that "it wouldn't be no sort of a scientific expedition without takin' a gun along." As a substitute I suggested a bow and arrow. They all laughed at such a "kiddish" idea; all but Bill, I mean.
"It ain't such a bad notion," said he, "only a crossbow would be better. I've seen them made out of umbrella ribs so they'd shoot like greased lightning." Of course we had to have one of these wonderful weapons. Down in the ash heap we found two broken umbrellas with 27-inch ribs. Bill selected ten good ribs, from which he wrenched off the spreaders with a pair of pliers. The ribs were then bound together by winding stout twine around them. The winding was very evenly and closely done, so that the cord completely covered the ribs, making a solid rod of spring steel. But before winding we had laid in between the ribs a piece of heavy twine, to which the bowstrings could be tied after the bow was all wound. The stock of our crossbow was cut out of a board of soft wood 1 inch thick to as near the shape of a gun as we could get it. A hole was drilled through the muzzle end to receive the bow, and then the bowstring was tied fast. Along the upper edge of the barrel a V-shaped channel was cut. The channel was not very deep, only enough to receive a tenpenny nail with the head projecting half-way above the sides. A notch was cut across the barrel, through this channel, at the trigger end, and a trigger made of heavy iron wire, bent to the shape shown in Fig. 51, was hinged to the gun by a bolt which passed clear through the stock and through both eyes of the trigger. By using two nuts on the bolt, and tightening one against the other, they were prevented from working loose and coming off. When we wanted to fire the gun the bowstring was drawn back, and held by slipping it into the notch, and a nail was laid in the channel with its head against the bowstring. Then, on pulling the trigger, the bowstring was lifted out of the notch, and sent the nail off sailing. The long-grooved barrel insured a very good aim.
Another device we made in preparation for the expedition was a megaphone. A sheet of light cardboard 30 inches square was procured. At the center of one edge a pin was stuck into the cardboard, then a piece of stout thread was looped over the pin and the two ends were knotted together just 5 inches from the pin. Another knot was a also made 29 inches from the pin. Now, with a pencil hooked into the loop, and resting first against the inner knot and then against the outer one, two arcs were drawn on the paper, one of 5-inch radius and the other of 29-inch radius. A line was now drawn from the pin to the point where the longer arc met the right hand edge of the paper, and a dotted line was drawn from the pin to a point 1-1/2 inches from the edge at the other end of the arc. From a point 1 inch to the left of the pin we then drew a line to the left end of the arc. With a scissors we cut the cardboard along the arcs and straight lines, all but the dotted line, leaving a piece of the shape shown in Fig. 55. This piece was rolled into a cone with the right edge lapped over the left edge and lying against the dotted line. In this position it was held by means of several brass fasteners of the kind shown in Fig. 56.
A mouthpiece was formed out of a block of wood in which a large hole had been drilled. The block was then cut away until the walls were quite thin. The hole was reamed out at the top, as shown in Fig. 57, and the outer surface was tapered so that the small end of the megaphone would fit snugly on it.
We planned to reach our camping grounds by way of the canal, and had provided for that purpose a large scow, which we expected to tow up to Lumberville and drag over to the river.
Our scow was made as follows: Two 3/4-inch pine boards, 12 inches wide and 12 feet long, were selected from Reddy's father's lumber pile. These were used for the side pieces of the boat, and we tapered them off at the end to a width 3-1/2 inches. This was done by making a straight cut from the end to a point three feet back along the edge of the board and then rounding off the edge with a draw-knife. When one board had been shaped, it was used as a pattern for the other, which was thus cut to exactly the same size. For the end pieces two strips, 4 inches wide and 2 feet 10-1/2 inches long, were sawed out of a 1-inch board. Then for the bottom we procured a number of 3/4-inch boards, 12 feet long and 8 inches wide, which we cut into 3-foot lengths. At Bill's suggestion, before nailing the parts together, we secured some strips of flannel, which were saturated with paint, and laid between the seams so as to make the boat perfectly water-tight. The side and end boards were then nailed together, with the strips of flannel between, the side boards overlapping the end boards, as shown in Fig. 59. After planing down the end boards until their edges laid flush with the edges of the side pieces, the bottom boards were nailed on, strips of cloth being inserted between them, as well as along the edges of the side and end boards. To brace the bottom a 3/4-inch board was placed at the center, inside the boat, and bent down against the floor, to which it was nailed with wire nails. The nails were driven into the board from the outer side of the boat and were clinched inside. Along the upper edges of the side boards two strips 2 inches wide and 1 inch thick were nailed. Two notches were cut in the inner side of each strip before it was nailed on. The notches were 1/2 inch deep, 1-1/2 inches wide, 3 inches apart and about 5-1/2 feet from the stern end. When the strips were nailed in place these notches formed sockets to receive the row locks. A strip was also nailed across the stern of the boat and formed with two central notches, to receive the row locks for a steering oar. This strip, however, was 3 inches wide, and projected 1 inch above the end board, so as to lie flush with the deck boards, which were later applied. Six thole pins, 1/2 inch thick, 4-1/2 inches long and 2 inches wide, were cut out of an oak board. The lower end of each pin was reduced to a width of 1-1/2 inches for a length of 2 inches. The thole pins were then fitted snugly in the notches. Two cleats, nailed to the side boards inside, 7 inches below the upper edge, served to support a seat board 1 inch thick and 2 feet 10-1/2 inches long. The aft edge of the seat was about 10 inches forward of the row locks. The boat was completed by nailing on a couple of deck boards at each end. The oars were made of 2-inch pine boards, 5 feet long and 5 inches wide. They were blocked out at Mr. Schreiner's sawmill and then shaped and smoothed down with a draw-knife and spoke-shaved. They were 1-1/4 inches at the handle and 2 inches immediately below, tapering down to a diameter of 1-1/4 inches at the top of the blade. The blades were 18 inches long, 5 inches wide, and planed down to a thickness of 1/4 inch along the edges.
OFF TO THE ISLAND.
The morning of July 2d dawned bright and clear, but long before daybreak the members of the S. S. I. E. E. of W. C. I. were astir. The jolly red sun peeping over the eastern hills witnessed an unaccustomed sight. Six greatly excited boys were running back and forth from the barn to the canal, bearing all manner of mysterious bundles, which were carefully deposited in a freshly painted scow. Yes, all six of us were there.
A Unique Alarm Clock.
We hadn't expected to see Reddy Schreiner at such an early hour, for he was always a sleepyhead, and no alarm clock would ever wake him. But this was an exceptional day, and, besides, Reddy was quite an original chap. He had taken one of the borrowed roosters into his room the night before, and when, early in the morning, Mr. Chanticleer had mounted the footboard of the bed, flapped his wings and given vent to his opinion of a boy who persisted in sleeping at that late hour of the day, the noise was too much for even Reddy's drowsy sensibilities.
The Trip to the Island.
Our scow was not large enough to carry all the things we had to take with us, but as Mr. Schreiner was going to take Uncle Ed up in his wagon, we left the rest of our luggage for him to bring along. We boys walked the eleven miles up the canal to Lumberville, towing the barge. It was a tiresome task; but we divided the work into two-mile shifts, two boys towing at a time and then each taking a mile ride as steersman in the boat. It was about noon when we arrived at Lumberville, and then we had to unload our boat before we could haul it out of the canal and down to the river. The river on the Jersey side of the island was so shallow that we waded across, pushing the boat ahead of us. The current was too swift to permit of rowing, and it was rather hard for us to keep our footing. But we managed to reach our destination finally without any mishap. The island was thickly wooded, except for a small clearing where we landed. The first thing we did was to unpack our eatables, and Jack, the cook, soon had an appetizing pan of bacon and eggs sputtering on the kerosene stove.
As no better position offered at the time we pitched our tent in the clearing, pending a thorough search for a more suitable place elsewhere. Around the tent we dug a trench about a foot deep to prevent water from entering our quarters when it rained. It was about time for Uncle Ed and Mr. Schreiner to appear with the rest of our luggage, so we did not have time to do much exploring, but sauntered southward along the shore, always on the lookout for their arrival. About a quarter of a mile from the tent we came across the wreck of an old bridge, which had been washed down by some freshet. This was a great find, and served us many purposes, as will appear later.
While we were examining the wreck we heard a distant "halloa" from the mainland. There was Uncle Ed sitting on a pile of goods on the railroad bank looking for all the world like an Italian immigrant. We answered with a shout and scrambled back to the clearing. Then we ran splashing through the water, pushing the boat before us. It didn't take us long to load up and carry him back to the island.
A Rustic Table.
Uncle Ed entered into our fun at once. He was as enthusiastic as a boy over the surroundings, and when we told him of the old bridge he started right off to investigate, taking the ax with him. Soon he had pried off a number of the planks, which we used for a flooring to our tent. Then he built us a table out of four forked sticks, driven into the ground, and supporting two cross sticks, on which a pair of planks were laid.
The Small Filter.
"Well, now, boys," said Uncle Ed, wiping the perspiration from his forehead, "I am as thirsty as a whale. Where do you get your drinking water? Is there a spring on the island?"
We told him that we used the river water.
"What, river water I That won't do at all," he cried. "You'll all have the typhoid fever. We must build a filter. I brought some charcoal with me for this very purpose."
Taking one of our pails he broke a hole in the bottom of it and stuffed a sponge in the hole. A layer of small stones was then placed in the pail, over this a layer of broken charcoal with the dust carefully blown out, then a layer of clean sand, and finally a layer of gravel. Each layer was about two inches thick. The pail was suspended from a branch in a cool place and proved an excellent filter, the water trickling out through the sponge being perfectly pure and sweet, no matter how dirty it had been when poured in; but the capacity of the filter was too small, and Uncle Ed said he would make us a larger one on the morrow if no spring was discovered in the meantime.
The sun was getting low in the west, and we therefore postponed the exploration of our island until the following day. We had been up since four o'clock that morning and had done some pretty hard work; so, immediately after supper, we turned in and, lulled by the murmuring of the river, were soon fast asleep.
The Barrel Filter.
Immediately after breakfast the next day we started out in two parties to search the island. The only discovery of any moment was that made by Dutchy's party, which found a small island separated from ours by a narrow channel, through which the water ran like a mill-race. No spring was discovered, so Uncle Ed had to construct his large filter. Bill and I went over to Lumberville in search of a couple of cider barrels and a pailful of charcoal. The barrels were placed one on top of the other after cutting a large hole in the top of the lower barrel, and a smaller one in the bottom of the upper one. The latter opening was covered by an inverted saucer. Over this we spread a 3-inch layer of coarse sand, then a 2-inch layer of charcoal, a 4-inch layer of clear, sharp sand, and a 2-inch top layer of gravel. The lower barrel was provided with a faucet, through which we could draw off the filtered water as desired. In order to keep the water cool we placed the filters in a shady place near the river, and piled up earth around the lower barrel.
"Now, boys," said Uncle Ed, "form in line there, and we will go through a fire drill."
He arranged us about five feet apart in a line extending from the filter to the river. We had six pails, and these Dutchy filled one at a time, passing them up the line to Reddy, who emptied them into the upper barrel and then threw them back to Dutchy to be refilled. Working in this way it did not take long to fill up the filter, and the burden of keeping the barrels full, instead of falling on one person, was shared alike by all.
Our camp outfit was further augmented by a dinner call. We discovered the necessity of such a call on our very first day of camping. Dutchy was so excited by his discoveries of the morning that he started out alone in the afternoon to make a further search. The rest of us were lazy after the noon meal, and were lolling around taking it easy during the heat of the day, and discussing plans for the future. But Dutchy's energetic nature would not permit him to keep quiet. He took the scow and waded with it against the strong current to the deeper and quieter water above the island. Then he rowed a long way up stream. He was gone all the afternoon. Supper time came and still he didn't appear. The sun was high, and I presume he didn't realize how late it was getting. Finally, just at sunset, he came drifting down with the current, tired and hungry, and ready for a large meal. But we had finished our supper an hour before, and poor Dutchy had to be content with a few cold remnants, because the cook had declared he wouldn't prepare an extra meal for a fellow who didn't have sense enough to know when it was meal time.
Then it was that Uncle Ed bethought himself of the klepalo.
"You ought to have some sort of a dinner call," he declared, "so that anyone within a mile of camp will know when dinner is ready."
"Did you ever hear of a klepalo? No? Well, I was down in Macedonia a couple of years ago inspecting a railroad, and I stopped off for the night at a small Bulgarian village. The next day happened to be a Prasdnik, or saint's day, and the first thing in the morning I was awakened by a peculiar clacking sound which I couldn't make out. Calling my interpreter I found out from him that it was a klepalo for calling the people to church. The people there are too poor to afford a bell, and so in place of that they use a beam of oak hung from a rope tied about the center, and this beam is struck with a hammer, first on one side, and then the other. Sometimes an iron klepalo is used as well, and then they strike first the beam and then the iron bar, so as to vary the monotony of the call. I found that the wooden klepalo could be heard for a distance of about one and a half miles over land, and the iron one for over two miles. Now we can easily make a wooden klepalo for use in this camp, and then if Dutchy, or any of the rest of us, keep within a mile and a half of camp there won't be any trouble with the cook."
So we built a klepalo, getting from Lumberville a stick of seasoned oak, 1-1/2 inches thick, 6 inches wide and 4 feet long. A hole was drilled into the stick at the center, and by a rope passed through this hole the beam was suspended from a branch overhanging the camp. Jack, the cook, regularly used this crude device to call the hungry horde to meals.
One of the first things we did after getting fairly settled in our new quarters was to make a complete survey of Willow Clump Island and its immediate surroundings. Our surveying instruments were made as follows:
The Surveying Instrument.
Out of a 1-inch board we cut a base 15 inches long and 4 inches wide. In the center we sawed out a circular opening of about 3 inches diameter and covered this at the bottom by a circular piece 1 inch thick and 5 inches in diameter, thus forming a socket in which our compass fitted snugly. A hole 1 inch in diameter was drilled through the center of this circular piece to receive the pivot pin of a tripod. Across each end of the baseboard we secured a block 4 inches long, 2 inches wide and 1 inch thick. A 1-inch sight hole was drilled through each block at its center. A ring of cardboard, on which Uncle Ed marked with radial lines the 360 degrees of the circle, was placed over the compass socket, with the zero and 180 degree marks pointing toward the sight blocks. The outer faces of the end blocks were now wet with mucilage and a hair was stretched vertically across the center of each sight hole. The hairs were then adjusted by sighting through the holes and moving the nearer hair sidewise until it was exactly in line with both the zero and the 180 degree marks on the cardboard. Then a hair was stretched horizontally across the center of each sight hole. Great care was taken to place the hairs at exactly the same height above the baseboard. To protect the hairs after they were adjusted, they were covered with a piece of glass, which was secured in place by tacks driven into the wood with their heads projecting over the edges of the glass.
From one of his pockets Uncle Ed produced two small bottles, the kind used for holding homeopathic pills. These he filled nearly to the top with water, corked them and wedged them into grooves cut lengthwise in the baseboard at opposite sides of the cardboard ring. These grooves were filled with putty, and to make sure that the bottles were level with the baseboard the latter was floated on a bit of quiet water and the bottles were pressed down at one end or the other until the bubble within rested at the exact center.
The tripod head was formed of a wooden disk 5 inches in diameter, with a wooden pin projecting from its center adapted to engage the hole in the circular piece above referred to. To the bottom of the tripod head were nailed three blocks 2 inches long and 1 inch square in cross-section. The tripod legs were made of light strips of wood, 3/8 inch by 1 inch by 5 feet long, which we secured from one of the mills at Lumberville. Each leg was formed of two of these strips, nailed securely together to within 20 inches of the top. At the upper ends the strips were spread to receive the blocks on the tripod head. In this position they were held by headless wire nails driven into the ends of the blocks and fitting into holes drilled in the strips. For a plumb line we tacked a cord to the center of the tripod head, and attached a good-sized sinker to its lower end. In connection with this plumb line we occasionally used a protractor consisting of a semicircle of cardboard 5 inches in diameter, on which the degrees of the circle were marked off with radiating lines, as illustrated in Fig. 76. By holding the straight edge of this protractor against the base of the tripod, and noting the number of degrees between the 90 degree mark and the plumb line, we could tell at a glance at what angle from the horizontal the instrument was tipped.
We made a surveyor's chain of wire links, each 12 inches long, instead of 7.92 inches, which is the length of a standard surveyor's link. The wire we used was No. 16 galvanized iron, which was rather stiff and difficult to bend. In order to make all the links of exactly the same size and shape we used a form, around which they were bent. The form consisted of a 1-inch board in which two 1/2 inch holes were drilled, just 11-1/2 inches apart, measured from their centers. An oak pin, 1/2 inch in diameter, was driven into each hole and projected about an inch above the board. Two blocks of oak were secured to the baseboard, just before each pin, as shown in Fig. 78. This form gave great satisfaction. A groove was cut in the side of one of the pins to receive the ring of a completed link, while the wire was passed through this ring and bent around the peg to form the ring of the new link. After each link was formed it was carefully measured, and, if too long, was shortened by flattening the rings endwise, or, if too short, was lengthened by pinching together the sides of the rings. There were fifty links in our chain, and every tenth one was formed with a double ring at the end, so as to distinguish it from the rest (see Fig. 79).
The Surveyor's Rod.
We completed our outfit by making a surveyor's rod out of a straight stick of wood about 6 feet long. A target or sighting disk was mounted on the stick. This disk was 6 inches in diameter, and was sawed out of a 6-inch square hoard by making straight cuts across the corners and then smoothing off the edge to a perfect circle with a draw-knife. The thickness of the disk was only 1/2 inch. At the back of the disk we fastened a block of wood with a slot cut in it to receive the rod, as shown in Fig. 81. To hold the disk at different heights on the rod a small bolt was used. The nut on this bolt was slipped into a hole on the block at the bottom of the slot and held in place by driving in nails about it, as illustrated in Fig. 82. The bolt was then passed through the hole and threaded through the nut, with its inner end bearing against the rod. The disk could thus be held at any desired position by tightening up the bolt. A piece of white paper was now pasted over the disk. The paper was marked off into quarters, and opposite quarters were painted black so that it would be easy to sight, from a distance, the exact center of the target.
A Simple Method of Surveying.
Of course, none of us had studied trigonometry, but Uncle Ed devised a very simple method by which we could determine distances quite accurately without much figuring.
"If you will tell me the length of one side of a triangle and the angles it makes with the other two sides," said Uncle Ed, "I'll tell you the length of the other two sides and the size of the third angle. This is how I will do it:
"Say the line is 6 inches long and one angle is 35 degrees, while the other is 117 degrees. Let us draw a 6-inch straight line. This we will call our base line. Now we will place the base edge of our protractor on the base line with its center at the right hand end of the line. At the 37 degree mark we will make a dot on the paper so, and draw a line from the right hand end of the base line through this dot. Now we will do the same thing at the opposite end, making a dot at 107 degrees from the line, and draw a line from the left hand end of the base line through this dot. If we extend these lines until they intersect, we will have the required triangle, and can measure the two sides, which will be found to be about 12 inches and 8 inches long, and the third angle will measure just 26 degrees. It doesn't make any difference on what scale we draw the triangle, whether it be miles, yards, feet, inches or fractions of an inch, the proportions will be the same. If the base line had been 6 half-inches, or 3 inches long, and the same angles were used, the other two lines would measure 12 half-inches, or six inches, and 8 half-inches, or 4 inches. If the base line were 6 quarter-inches long, the sides would be 3 inches and 2 inches long.
"Now, for example, I am going to measure the distance to that tree over there. Get out your chain and measure off a straight line 10 feet long. Now, I'll set the surveying instrument with the plumb-bob right over the end of this line, and sight through the two sight holes until I bring the, two vertical hairs in line with each other and the tree. Look at the compass needle. It points to the 173 degree mark on the cardboard ring. Now, Bill, you hold the rod at the other end of our base line while I swing this instrument around and sight it. There, the needle points to 92 degrees, and subtracting this from 173 the difference, 81 degrees, is the angle at the right end of our base line. We'll do the same thing at the other end of our line. See, the compass needle points to 189 degrees, and now sighting to the pole at the other end of the line we find that the needle points to 268. The difference, 79 degrees, is therefore the size of the angle at the left end of our base line. Now we will draw this out on paper, as we did our first triangle, using quarter-inches to represent feet. Our base line was 10 feet long, and we will therefore draw a line 10 quarter-inches, or 2-1/2 inches long, on our drawing board. On this line we will construct the triangle, using the angles 81 and 79 degrees. There, that's how our triangle looks, and the right hand side measures 7-1/4 inches, while the left hand side measures 7-5/16 inches. That is, 29 quarter-inches for one side and 29-1/4 quarter inches for the other. As each quarter-inch represents a foot, you will find that the tree is about 29 feet from the right end of our base line and 29 feet 3 inches from the left hand end. Of course, our instrument is not perfect, neither is our drawing; but if you measure it off with the chain you will see that I am not very far from correct."
Mapping the Island.
Most of our surveying was done by actual measurement, the surveying instrument being used only to determine the exact direction of the measurement. However, there were some measurements which we could not make directly with the chain. For example, we wished to know just how far it was from our tent to the Jersey shore of the river. We measured off a base line along our shore 400 feet long and sighted to a point directly across the river from our tent. The angle in front of our tent was 90 degrees, and at the other end of the base line was 73 degrees. When we drew out our triangle on the scale of 100 feet to the inch we found that the shorter side directly in front of the tent was almost exactly 13 inches long. This meant that the river at this point was 1,300 feet wide, nearly a quarter of a mile. On the other side of the island we found, in the same way, that the river at its narrowest point was about 500 feet wide. This portion of the river we named Lake Placid, as the water was very still and quite deep. This was due to a sort of natural dam formed at the lower end of our island. The small island that Dutchy found was kite-shaped, with a tail of boulders which extended almost all the way across to a rocky point on the Pennsylvania shore. The channel between "Kite Island," as we called it, and Willow Clump Island was not more than fifteen feet wide in some places, and through this the water swept with a swift current down past a narrow neck of land to join the main current. This narrow stretch of land we named the Tiger's Tail, owing to its peculiar shape. It was in the hook at the end of this tail that we discovered the old bridge wreck above referred to. From the tip of the Tiger's Tail to Point Lookout, at the extreme upper end of Willow Clump Island, it was a little under a half-mile. The shore all along Lake Placid was very steep, except near Point Lookout. At one place there was a shallow bay which we called the lagoon.
Lake Placid was a favorite swimming place for us. We used to plunge in from the branches of a tree which overhung the water a little ways above the lagoon and made a natural springboard. We could all swim like ducks, except Dutchy, who couldn't do anything but paddle. However, Uncle Ed was an expert, and he took Dutchy in hand and soon made a pretty good swimmer out of him. He also taught us some fancy strokes. Of course I took no record of these lessons. You would hardly expect me to sit on the bank with a book in hand jotting down notes while the rest were splashing around in the cool water having the best of fun in the world, and even if I had, I wouldn't republish the notes here, because whoever heard of a boy learning to swim while reading a book on the subject? A beginner had better leave books alone and plunge right into the water. He will soon learn to keep himself afloat and can then practise any fancy strokes that he sees others try. Then, again, don't try to learn in shallow water, because you will never do it. Of course it doesn't pay to jump into water that is over your head unless there is a good swimmer near by to help you out. But you will never learn to swim until you have become accustomed to putting your head under water. You can not swim with a dry face. The first time we went swimming, we couldn't persuade Dutchy to try it. The water was deep right up to the very bank and he had never been in over his head. Instead he sat up in the diving tree swinging his feet and trying to hide the fact that he was having a dull time.
"Say, we've got to douse that fellow," said Reddy.
"You're right; he needs a wash," said Jim. "Let's sneak up behind him and chuck him in."
They landed a little ways up the stream behind a large bush and then crept down stealthily on their victim. But Dutchy had his suspicions aroused and saw them coming. He scrambled out of the tree in a jiffy and tore off into the woods as fast as his legs could carry him.
Swimming on a Plank.
We didn't expect to see him again that afternoon, for the pace he was leading should have carried him miles in no time; but while he couldn't swim, Dutchy had his own ideas of fun on the water. It was about twenty minutes later that we saw him coming down-stream lying full length on one of the 2-inch planks taken from the bridge wreck. He was paddling himself along with arms and legs hung over the sides of the plank. We all gave him a cheer, and then started out to have some fun with him. We tried to pull him off his raft, but he stuck on like a leech. It was only when we made his craft turn turtle that Dutchy got his head under water. But it wasn't a moment before he scrambled back on top again, gasping and sputtering to get the water out of his nose and mouth.
Uncle Ed all this time had been sunning himself on the bank, when suddenly he uttered a shout of warning. We were right at the mouth of the mill-race. For the moment we forgot about Dutchy, and swam out for shore. Before we realized it Dutchy was caught in the current, and was being swept full tilt down the stream. My but wasn't he scared. I can see him yet clinging for dear life to the plank, his face the color of ashes and his eyes bulging out in terror. First he tried to make for the bank, but the water was so swift that when the front end of the board struck land the rear end swung around in a circle, carrying him on again, but backward this time, before we could reach him. Two or three more times the plank struck the bank and turned him around, while we raced along the high bank, scrambling down to catch him every time he headed for shore, but each time just missing him. Then he swung out past the Tiger's Tail into the open river just above the rapids. Fortunately he was going along headforemost this time, and Uncle Ed, who had just arrived, panting and breathless, from running, shouted to him to keep his head and steer for a narrow opening between two jutting boulders. I don't know whether Dutchy did any steering or not, but the raft shot straight through the opening, and was lost in a cloud of spray. In a moment he reappeared below the rapids, paddling like mad for a neck of land on the Pennsylvania side of the river.
Dutchy would never own up that he was afraid. He never told a lie under other circumstances, but when it came to a question of courage he had the habit of stretching facts to the very limit. Even in this case, he said that he started out with the idea of shooting the rapids, and if we hadn't flustered him so, he would not have bumped into the bank and turned about so many times. Dutchy was a very glib talker. He nearly persuaded us that it was all done intentionally, and his thrilling account of the wild dash between the rocks and through the shower of spray stirred us up so that we all had to try the trick too.
Shooting the Rapids.
The next day, while Uncle Ed was taking a nap, we stole off to the upper end of Lake Placid, each one towing a plank. We needn't have been so afraid of Uncle Ed, for we found out later that he intended to try a plank ride through the rapids himself next time he went in swimming. Down Lake Placid we paddled in single column to the mill-race. In a moment the current had caught us and we were off. I shall never forget the thrilling ride down the swirling mill-race, the sudden pause as we shot out into the open river, the plunge between the boulders and the dive through the spray. It was all over too soon. Something like coasting—whiz, whiz-z-z, and a half-mile walk. Were it not for the trouble of hauling the planks back by the roundabout course along the Pennsy shore we would have thought shooting the rapids a capital game.
Restoring the Drowned.
It was on the second day after Dutchy's exploit of the rapids that Bill came so near drowning. He probably would have drowned if Uncle Ed hadn't been on hand to work over him. Bill was a fine swimmer, but even the best of swimmers will sometimes get a cramp, so it is never safe for anyone to go into the water without some one at hand to help him out in case of accident. In the present case Bill was doing some fancy strokes by himself over near the Pennsy shore, while the rest of us were watching Uncle Ed give Dutchy a lesson in swimming. All of a sudden Bill threw up his hands and sank. I happened to glance up as he did it. We thought he was fooling at first, but soon made out that he was in genuine trouble. Uncle Ed dropped Dutchy to my tender care, and raced over with a powerful stroke to the spot where he had last seen his nephew. He failed to find him on the first dive, but the second time was successful and he carried the lifeless body to the Pennsylvania shore. In the meantime I had landed Dutchy and with the rest of the boys had crossed the lake. Uncle Ed first laid Bill on his back and hastily wiped dry the mouth and nostrils. Then he pried his jaws apart, holding them open with a piece of wood wedged in between the teeth. After which he turned him on his face over a log which was placed under his stomach. By stomach I do not mean the bowels, but the real stomach, which lies just under the ribs in front. Then he pressed with a good weight on the back directly over the log for nearly a minute, causing the water to flow out of the mouth. Dutchy had by this time rowed across in the scow, in which fortunately there happened to be some of Uncle Ed's clothing. This he took and rolled into a bundle, then Bill was laid on his back over the roll of clothing, which was arranged to raise the pit of his stomach above the rest of his body. Uncle Ed now wrapped a handkerchief around his forefinger, and with it wiped out Bill's mouth and throat. Reddy, who was the least excited of the lot, was told to draw Bill's tongue forward so as to prevent it from falling back and choking the windpipe. This he did with the dry part of the handkerchief, drawing the end of the tongue out at the corner of the mouth, and holding it there while Uncle Ed and I started the pumping action, which produced artificial respiration. I was directed to grasp Bill's arms just below the elbows, and swing them vertically in an arc until the hands met the ground again above the head. This expanded the chest. Uncle Ed at the same time stood over the body with his elbows on his knees and hands extended, as illustrated in Fig. 88. Then I swung the arms up and back to the sides of the body, but just before the hands touched the ground Uncle Ed seized the body in both hands just below the ribs, and as soon as I touched the arms to the ground he swung forward with all his weight on his hands, squeezing the waist and pushing upward so as to force out the air in the chest. Then he slowly counted, one, two, three, four, all the time steadily increasing the pressure, until at the signal four, with a final push, he shoved himself to the first position, shown in Fig. 88. At the same signal I drew the arms up again over the head, and held them there while Uncle Ed again counted four; then I returned the arms to the sides, and Uncle Ed repeated the squeezing process. These movements were continued for about three minutes, and then Bill gave a short, faint gasp. We kept on with the artificial respiration, assisting the gasps, which gradually grew stronger, until they had deepened into steady breathing. Then we stripped off the wet bathing suit, and wrapping Bill in Uncle Ed's clothing, laid him in the bottom of the boat. While Dutchy hurried the boat across, Uncle Ed rubbed the patient's arms and legs. The rest of us swam over and ran for blankets from the tent. Bill was wrapped in one of the blankets and the other was used as a stretcher, on which we carried him to the tent. Then one of us was sent post-haste across to Lumberville for some whiskey, which was diluted in hot water and given the patient a teaspoonful at a dose, every fifteen minutes at first, and then at less frequent intervals. Uncle Ed kept Bill in bed all the next day for fear of congestion of the lungs. He told us that unless the patient kept perfectly quiet for a couple of days, he was liable to be seized with a sudden attack of hard breathing that might choke him to death in a short time. To stop such an attack he told us that the best plan was to apply a mustard plaster to the chest, and if the patient commenced to gasp, to start pumping the arms and squeezing the waist so as to help him breathe. After Bill had come around and was himself again Uncle Ed gave us a thorough drill in methods of restoring the drowned. He laid down on the grass and made us practise on him the various directions which he gave us.
How to Work Over a Patient Alone.
"If you boys hadn't been so excited," he said, "I would have made you rub Bill's body and limbs while we were pumping the air into him, but I knew you would get in the way, and be more of a bother than a help. You must learn to be calm in any accident; excitement doesn't pay. Keep steadily and slowly at your pumping, for you might have to do it for four hours before the patient comes to." He taught us just how to swing the arms and squeeze the ribs to best advantage, and how to hold the tongue without getting in the way of the arms as they were pumped back and forth. There was also a special way of rubbing the arms and legs. The limbs were always rubbed upward, or toward the body, with the bare hands, or a dry cloth if there was one at hand, but this all had to be done without interfering with the pumping action. "If the patient doesn't come around in five minutes," he said, "turn him on his face again over the roll of clothing, or any other suitable substitute, and press out the water from the stomach, rolling him first to one side and then to the other; be sure to get all the water out." When we had learned our lesson well, Uncle Ed took Dutchy for his patient, and proceeded to show us how a man could work over him alone. First he went through the operation of squeezing the water out of him, and drying his nose and mouth, much to the patient's discomfort; then he drew Dutchy's tongue out of the corner of his mouth, holding it there by closing the jaws on it, and holding the jaws together by passing a handkerchief over his chin and lapping it over his head. After that he began to pump, seizing the patient's arms and swinging them up over the head and back, as before. Just as the arms were dropped back to the sides of the body, he squeezed them in against the ribs, at the same time drawing upward toward the head and counting four each time, as he had done before. But the lesson was abruptly interrupted by Dutchy, whose imagination was worked up to such a pitch that I actually believe he thought he had been drowning. Anyway, he squirmed out of Uncle Ed's grasp, and wouldn't play patient any longer. For several days after that we couldn't persuade him to venture near deep water.
Willow Clump Island was, for the most part, a trackless wilderness, and as soon as we had made our map we laid out roads to the different important points. Our main highway ran from Point Lookout to Tiger's Tail. This road was made rather winding, to add to its picturesqueness, and from it a number of shorter roads branched off.
We ran a bridge across the mill-race at its narrowest point. This bridge was made of trees which we had cut down in making our road. It was quite a piece of engineering, built under Uncle Ed's guidance. Two frames were made of the shape shown in Figs. 91 and 92. The side sticks were 15 feet long and spaced about 10 feet apart at the base by crosspieces. At the upper end one frame was made 6 feet wide and the other 5 feet wide. The side and cross spars were mortised together and secured by lashing a rope around them. To make the frames more rigid we braced them with diagonal braces nailed on. When completed we set the frames up on opposite sides of the stream and with ropes carefully lowered their upper ends until they interlocked, the side spars of each frame resting on the cross spars of the other. In the angles formed by the crossing side spars a center spar was laid, and a number of floor beams or spars were stretched to this from the opposite shores. On these a flooring was spread made of saplings, cut and trimmed to the right size. A rustic railing on each side of the bridge completed the structure.
The Rope Railway.
The mill-race was crossed further down by a rope line on which we rigged a traveling carriage. A light manila rope was used, anchored to a tree at each side about fifteen feet from the ground. A pulley block with a wheel or sheave 4 inches in diameter was mounted to travel on the rope. Suspended from this block by means of fall and tackle was a swing seat. This, as shown in Fig. 94, was merely a board fastened with four rope strands to the ring of the tackle block. A single rope was used, with the ends tied firmly together. The loop thus formed was passed through the ring of the tackle block and the opposite ends were twisted over the ends of the seat board in the manner illustrated in Fig. 95. The tackle blocks were quite small, having 2-inch sheaves, and they, together with the large pulley or "traveling block," as we called it, cost us about $2.50. Two light ropes were fastened to the large traveling block, each rope long enough to reach across the stream. The ropes extended to opposite anchorages, where each was passed over a branch of the tree and belayed on a cleat within easy reach. A fellow could draw himself up clear of the ground by pulling on the free end of the fall, as a painter does; then tying the swing fast in this position, he would pull himself across the stream by means of the rope stretched to the opposite anchorage. The swing could be drawn back by the next one who wanted to cross. We also used this aerial line for transporting loads from one island to the other.
Our aerial railway didn't last long. We soon tired of it, and instead utilized the materials for a rope suspension bridge. We procured from Lumberville half a dozen old barrels and used the staves as a flooring for the bridge. The staves were linked together by a pair of ropes at each end woven over and under, as indicated in the drawing Fig. 97. Notches were cut in the staves to hold the ropes from slipping off. The flexible flooring thus constructed was stretched across the river and secured to stakes driven firmly in the ground. A pair of parallel ropes were extended across the stream about three feet above the flooring, with which they were connected at intervals of five feet. The bridge was 25 feet long, and while rather shaky, owing to the fact that there were no braces to prevent it from swaying sidewise, still it was very strong and did excellent service.
At the head of the mill-race, where the channel was fifty feet wide, we built a pontoon bridge. We were fortunate in securing six good cider barrels at low cost, also a quantity of "slabs" from one of the sawmills of Lumberville. "Slab" is the lumberman's name for the outside piece of a log which is sawn off in squaring up the sides. We made a raft of these materials and floated them down the river to Lake Placid. The bridge was made by anchoring the barrels in the channel about eight feet apart, and laying on them the floor beams, which supported a flooring of slabs. The floor beams were narrow planks 1 inch by 4 inches, taken from the bridge wreck, and they were placed on edge to prevent sagging. Of course we had no anchors for securing the barrels, but used instead large stones weighing about 100 pounds each, around which the anchor lines were fastened. We found it rather difficult to sink these improvised anchors at just the right places, for we were working at the very mouth of the mill-race, and were in constant danger of having our scow sucked down into the swirling channel. Once we were actually drawn into the mill-race and tore madly down the rushing stream. By Bill's careful steering we managed to avoid striking the shore, and just as we were off the Tiger's Tail Reddy succeeded in swinging a rope around an overhanging limb and bringing us to a sudden stop. A moment later we might have been dashed against the rocks in the rapids below and our boat smashed. Shooting rapids in a scow is a very different matter from riding through them on a plank.
The King Rod Truss.
Our bridge building operations were not entirely confined to the island. Two of them were built on the Schreiner grounds at Lamington. Reddy Schreiner's home was situated a little distance above the town where Cedar Brook came tumbling down a gorge in the hills and spread out into the Schreiners' ice pond. Thence it pursued its course very quietly through the low and somewhat swampy ground in the Schreiners' back yard. Over this brook Reddy was very anxious to build a bridge. Accordingly, before returning to school in the fall Bill made out a careful set of plans for the structure, and after we had gone the rest of the society, under Reddy's guidance, erected the bridge.
The structure was a cross between a suspension bridge and a spar bridge. The banks of the stream were so low that, instead of resting the floor of the bridge on top of the inclined frames, as we had done over the mill race, it was suspended from the spars by means of wires. The crossing ends of the spars were nailed together and their lower ends were firmly planted about four feet apart in the banks of the brook. A stick nailed to the apex of each pair of spars served temporarily to brace them apart. The center cross beam of the bridge was now suspended from the spars by means of heavy galvanized iron wire (No. 14, I should say). The beam was hung high enough to allow for stretch of the wire, making the roadway incline upward from both sides to the center. Aside from carrying the floor of the bridge, this beam was used to brace the inclined spars when the temporary crosspiece was removed. The ends of the beam projected about thirty inches beyond the bridge at each side, and they supported braces which extended diagonally upward to the crossing ends of the spars. When this was done the temporary crosspiece above referred to was removed. As the span between the center cross beam and the banks was a little too long to provide a steady floor, a couple of intermediate cross beams were suspended from the inclined spars. The floor beams were then laid in place and covered with a flooring of slabs.