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
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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