Life On The Mississippi By Mark Twain




















































































































































 -   When the width has reached a
hundred yards, the banks begin to peel off in slices half an acre wide - Page 160
Life On The Mississippi By Mark Twain - Page 160 of 539 - First - Home

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When The Width Has Reached A Hundred Yards, The Banks Begin To Peel Off In Slices Half An Acre Wide. The Current Flowing Around The Bend Traveled Formerly Only Five Miles An Hour; Now It Is Tremendously Increased By The Shortening Of The Distance.

I was on board the first boat that tried to go through the cut-off at American Bend, but we did not get through.

It was toward midnight, and a wild night it was - thunder, lightning, and torrents of rain. It was estimated that the current in the cut-off was making about fifteen or twenty miles an hour; twelve or thirteen was the best our boat could do, even in tolerably slack water, therefore perhaps we were foolish to try the cut-off. However, Mr. Brown was ambitious, and he kept on trying. The eddy running up the bank, under the 'point,' was about as swift as the current out in the middle; so we would go flying up the shore like a lightning express train, get on a big head of steam, and 'stand by for a surge' when we struck the current that was whirling by the point. But all our preparations were useless. The instant the current hit us it spun us around like a top, the water deluged the forecastle, and the boat careened so far over that one could hardly keep his feet. The next instant we were away down the river, clawing with might and main to keep out of the woods.

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