As the boat came out from under the tree, Father and I got on top and drifted down river with it. I had a paddle in my hand. We drifted about a mile, trying all the time to get the boat ashore. Finally came to a stop against some logs that ran way out into the water some twenty or thirty feet from shore. We sat there and looked the situation over.
It was growing dusk. The only way to get to shore was to walk a log that was about eighteen inches under water. Father didn't want me to try it. Said I'd never make it. I had on new shoes, but by standing crosswise of the log and hitching along, at the same time using the paddle, I got ashore. But that didn't help much. Father was still there. I went back. Father said he couldn't do it. But, I finally got hold of his hand and helped him and we got safely to shore. But, where was George Atkins ? Probably drowned, we figured.
There we were ashore, but we had no boat and no food. I decided to take father's pocket knife and go back to the boat to see what I could do about it. So I made the third trip over the submerged log and began cutting the ropes that held our stuff under the overturned boat. About the first thing that got loose was our bedding roll with the rifle and pistol and valuables in it. It went down the river. I cut all the ropes I could reach until finally everthing inside was cut loose. Then I managed to get a little air under the edge of the boat and was able to turn it over. By rocking it back and forth I slopped most of the water out, until I could climb in with my paddle and get ashore to Father.
The only thing that was left in the canoe, was a frying pan that was wedged in the prow. We were just about to get into the boat and go back where we started from when we heard somebody holler. It was George. He had managed to grasp a limb of the tree when the boat went under, and had worked himself around to the shore from the tree. He had tried to follow us as we drifted down stream, but came to a slough too wide to ford. As he couldn't swim he had to walk upstream a long distance until he found a footlog on which to cross. It had taken him all that time to reach us.