Another school teacher was boarding at our place, as they usually did. McCormick's were moving, and she asked me if I wanted to make a trip over there. I had promised to take a light stove over anyway, so I agreed. It was winter time and raining to beat the band. The water was high. I hitched the oxen to the sled, put the stove on it, and drove them to the lake on the old channel. I had a canoe there, so I took the stove off the sled and slid it into the canoe. Then I turned the yoke of oxen around and started them for home, and we went on down to McCormick's in the canoe.
In the afternoon it rained and rained and we visited and visited. Finally, I said we had to go while it was daylight. We stayed on a little longer and it began to get dark. I said we'd have to go, as we had no lantern and we couldn't stay after dark. I said we'd have a devil of a time getting up river to the canoe. However, the girls persuaded her to stay for supper. She thought we could make it, so we stayed.
There was only a little piece of road between where we left our canoe and the Lake. Then just cow paths from the road down to the creek about a quarter of a mile. This creek crossed the trail. There was a little alder log, about eight inches through, that we crossed on in daylight by using a stick to balance ourselves. It was slippery with moss. We had to land in the mouth of the river and walk that quarter of a mile.
When we started back in the dark I told this teacher, I would try to find my way and she could hang onto my coat. I had to go back through this bunch of brush and find the trail. It was crooked and not cut out at all, but you could tell if you were in it by the hard-packed feeling underfoot. We would go a ways then get off the trail. Then I'd have her stand still and keep talking while I circled around her, widening out until I located the trail again.
While we were going up this trail I got to thinking about the little footlog ahead. It was raining and I told her the log was slippery and in the dark it would be impossible to walk it. But, I said, we could sit down and hitch ourselves across. She said she could do it if I could.
Finally we came to a log which I thought was the right one. I sat down and she right behind me, and we crawled out on that log quite a way. Suddenly there was a flash of lightning and I saw that it was not the right log. This one stuck out over the river. We backed up fast. We finally came to the creek.