The Chief Engineer

The Chief Engineer

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The Chief Engineer by Henry Abbott

Published:

1920

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The Chief Engineer

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Book Excerpt

were frozen.

Day after day Bige and I watched the progress of this harvest. Saw the beaver towing the floating logs through the canal into the pond and up the river to the lumber pile where the beaver would dive with his stick and presently come to the surface again, leaving the stick under the water; and we wondered how he did it. Also we discussed possible ways of making a floating stick sink. From our boat we could see the pile of wood below the surface of the water and we could see no stones on the pile.

Bige stoutly argued in support of the theory that the beaver sucked the air out of the pores in the wood, that the water flowed into the vacuum thus produced, making the stick heavy enough to sink. In order to demonstrate his theory, Bige took the axe from camp, cut a poplar sapling an inch and a half in diameter and the usual beaver length, put one end in the water and sucked on the other end of the stick. After repeated trials and failures to make the stick do anything but float,

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