Life On The Mississippi By Mark Twain




















































































































































 -  Late one night the boat was approaching Helena, Arkansas; the
water was low, and the crossing above the town in - Page 100
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Late One Night The Boat Was Approaching Helena, Arkansas; The Water Was Low, And The Crossing Above The Town In A Very Blind And Tangled Condition.

X. had seen the crossing since Ealer had, and as the night was particularly drizzly, sullen, and dark, Ealer was considering whether he had not better have X. called to assist in running the place, when the door opened and X. walked in.

Now on very dark nights, light is a deadly enemy to piloting; you are aware that if you stand in a lighted room, on such a night, you cannot see things in the street to any purpose; but if you put out the lights and stand in the gloom you can make out objects in the street pretty well. So, on very dark nights, pilots do not smoke; they allow no fire in the pilot-house stove if there is a crack which can allow the least ray to escape; they order the furnaces to be curtained with huge tarpaulins and the sky-lights to be closely blinded. Then no light whatever issues from the boat. The undefinable shape that now entered the pilot-house had Mr. X.'s voice. This said -

'Let me take her, George; I've seen this place since you have, and it is so crooked that I reckon I can run it myself easier than I could tell you how to do it.'

'It is kind of you, and I swear _I_ am willing. I haven't got another drop of perspiration left in me.

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