Page 197

We got down to the lower end of the lake and through the rapids, six miles below the lake. At that particular stage of the water, it was a bad place. There were four huge rocks, probably as large as a room, just barely showing a foot or six inches out of the eater. Three of them were diagonally across the river, with another one oppostie about a half as large as a house.

After I got through, I turned my boat around so I could watch Neil, as I was afraid he wouldn't make a sharp enough turn to avoid being carried into the last rock. When he came in there, he got a little too close to the first rock, and instead of getting by the last one he just came right up against it broadside. The canoe filled with water. He grabbed hold of her coat collar just as the boat broke in two, and half went either side of the rock. Everything in it went off whirling. As luck would have it, he fought the water until he got close enough to one piece of the boat to grab hold of it. He was still holding her but they had been under several times.

Mrs. Merriman was facing the other way, and hadn't seen what happed. I said to her "I'm going ashore. As soon as the boat touches, you jump out." She said, "Oh, are they in trouble?" Of course, she couldn't get out quickly. I ran the boat up onto a gravel bar, jumped out, and lifted her out, and set her on the shore. Then I was too heavily loaded to go to the rescue, so I dumped out one trunk. When I got out where they were drifting with the piece of canoe, I said, "Mac, when I get alongside near enough, you let go that boat, and grab mine and I'll tow you ashore." There were still big rocks, but it was getting more shallow. Finally it was only waist deep on them, or perhaps up under their arm pits.

I said, "Wait a little, but he thought he could make it and let go of the boat. At that, I put the pole on the bottom and gave a big shove to get out of their way. But they lost their balance and down they went again. As he slipped, Mac threw his hands out in front of him, to protect his face from rocks, I suppose, and she got a strangle hold on him.

Knowing they could stand up in the shallow water, I stood there and watched for a minute, but they did not come up. I saw a foot and a hand. So I turned my boat around and paddled ashore and waded in there and got hold of them and pulled them out. His feet were in one direction and hers in the opposite. She was unconscious.