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The Riverman - Stewart Edward White

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The Riverman 

by Stewart Edward White


The time was the year 1872, and the place a bend in the river above 
a long pond terminating in a dam.  Beyond this dam, and on a flat 
lower than it, stood a two-story mill structure.  Save for a small, 
stump-dotted clearing, and the road that led from it, all else was 
forest.  Here in the bottom-lands, following the course of the 
stream, the hardwoods grew dense, their uppermost branches just 
beginning to spray out in the first green of spring.  Farther back, 
where the higher lands arose from the swamp, could be discerned the 
graceful frond of white pines and hemlock, and the sturdy tops of 
Norways and spruce.

A strong wind blew up the length of the pond.  It ruffled the 
surface of the water, swooping down in fan-shaped, scurrying cat's-
paws, turning the dark-blue surface as one turns the nap of velvet.  
At the upper end of the pond it even succeeded in raising quite 
respectable wavelets, which LAP LAP LAPPED eagerly against a barrier 
of floating logs that filled completely the mouth of the inlet 
river.  And behind this barrier were other logs, and yet others, as 
far as the eye could see, so that the entire surface of the stream 
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