“I’m ready,” said Peter.

He was in the water to his knees; now he went in to his waist. It was cold, biting cold; his teeth clicked, 杭州按摩理疗 but he did not say anything about it. He looped his arms about the stub and through one of the leather thongs, and from the opposite side of the log his father twisted the fingers of one hand tightly in 杭州家庭式spa his coat. Then they began to move. His feet lost bottom and the cold water shot up to his armpits, taking his breath away. His father grinned cheerfully at him and he tried to grin back. In a moment they were in the current and the shore began to slip past them with amazing swiftness. It was not unpleasant, except for the icy chill of the water, which seemed to take the place of blood in his veins. There was no resistance against his body; the log carried them buoyantly and smoothly, so that after a little he had courage to look about him.

Their log had swung quickly into mid-stream, and[54] they were overtaking a more slowly moving mass of driftwood. The thought came to Peter that it was like a race. Then something alive caught his eyes on the flotsam. It was a furry, catlike creature with short, perky ears and a fox’s face, 杭州足疗手推 and he could almost have touched it with his hands when they passed.

“A fisher-cat,” said his father. “He will have a nice swim when he hits the rapids!”

Peter was wondering just how much of a chance the 杭州保健 fisher-cat had when something drifted against him. It was a drowned porcupine, floating belly up. The porky must have had a nice swim, too!

He shivered. The roar of the rapids was growing, and it was no longer pleasant to hear. The musical cadence which distance had given it was gone, and a sullen, snarling undertone of menace and wrath began to pound at the drums of his ears. In the twilight it looked as though they were racing straight into the mouth of a huge churn out of which milky froth was spouting.

Then two things happened which seemed odd to Peter. The dead porcupine was clinging to the log as if some sort of life 杭州spa养生按摩会所 held it there, and the fisher-cat’s raft of driftwood which they had overtaken and passed was now passing them. To Peter this last was unaccountable, but to Donald McRae, who understood the whims and caprices 杭州足浴按摩论坛 of flood currents, there was no mystery about it. For a moment the fisher-cat seemed about to make a leap for the log. Then he huddled back and disappeared[55] with his raft in the rougher water that preceded the gray wall of spume.

The man’s hand tightened its hold on Peter.

“Hang on and don’t get scared,” he cried. “We’ll go through this like a rubber ball!”

That was the last Peter heard of his voice, and suddenly his father’s face was blotted out from his vision. A huge mouth opened and engulfed them. He could feel himself going down it, with roaring gloom and mighty explosions of water bursting itself against great 杭州桑拿足浴 rocks all about him. For a space which seemed an eternity he gave himself up for lost, and he wanted to scream out to his father. But the water smothered him. It thrust him under, buried him, then tossed 杭州有名气的足疗店 him up to breathe. He hung on, as his father had told him, and after three or four minutes which were so many hours to him he could breathe easier and the roaring grew less.

They had come through a half-mile of the rapids then. The last of the rocks snapped at them, like growling dogs at their heels, and suddenly the water grew deep


and smooth where it swung shoreward in a great eddy. For the first time Peter felt a hurt. It was his father’s hand, holding him in a grip that only death could have broken. And then he saw his father’s face. Donald McRae was gasping for breath. Even Peter would never know the fight he had made 杭州夜网狼女 to keep the log running right during those three or four minutes in the rapids.


Slowly the current brought them to the shore. It was the shore they wanted, too, with its deep evergreen forests and 杭州洗浴24小时 its hundreds of miles of untrailed hiding-places. The big pool was dotted with drifting masses of débris. One of these, very near to them, Peter was sure he recognized. But the fisher-cat was no longer on it.

He was terribly cold, and when at last his father brought the end of the log to the shore and helped him out to


dry ground the boy fell down in a sodden heap. He was ashamed of himself and tried to get up.

Donald McRae took one of his hands.

“You must walk, Peter—run if you can. Come on!”

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