Alice Wilde: The Raftman’s Daughter, A Forest Romance – eBook


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SKU: 4324801358176882


That ar’ log bobs ’round like the old sea-sarpint, muttered Ben Perkins to himself, leaning forward with his pole-hook and trying to fish it, without getting himself too deep in the water. “Blast the thing! I can’t tackle it no how;” and he waded in deeper, climbed on to a floating log, and endeavored again to catch the one which so provokingly evaded him. Ben was a “hand” employed in David Wilde’s saw-mill, a few rods farther up the creek, a young fellow not without claims to admiration as a fine specimen of his kind and calling. His old felt-hat shadowed hair as black as an Indian’s, and made the swarthy hue of his face still darker; his cheeks and lips were red, and his eyes blacker than his hair. The striped wammus bound at the waist by a leather belt, and the linen trowsers rolled up to the knees, were picturesque in their way and not unbecoming the lithe, powerful figure. Ben had bobbed for saw-logs a great many times in his life, and was a person too quick and dextrous to meet with frequent accidents; but upon this day, whether the sudden sight of a tiny skiff turning the bend of the river just below and heading up the creek threw him off his guard, or what it was, certain it is, that stretching forward after that treacherous log, he lost his balance and fell into the water. He did not care for the ducking; but he cared for the eyes which saw him receive it; his ears tingled and his cheeks burned as he heard the silvery laugh which greeted his misfortune. Climbing up on to a log again, he stood dripping like a merman and blushing like a peony, as the occupant of the boat rowed nearer. “Keep out the way them logs, Miss Alice, or ye’ll get upsot!” he cried, glad of an excuse for attracting attention from his own mishap. “I can take care of myself, thank you,” was the gay answer. “Do you see father’s boat coming, anywhere in sight, Ben? He was to be home this afternoon; and I took a fancy to go down and meet him.” “I don’t see nuthin’ of it. That war a mighty big raft he took down to Centre City; the biggest raft that ever floated on that river, I reckon. He mought not be home for two or three days yet, Miss Alice. Gorry! but won’t he hev a heap of money when he sells that ar’ raft!”


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