National Geographic : 1914 Aug
Photo by Kolb Brothers AN AIR MATTRESS IN CONNECTION WITH A SLEEPING BAG GAVE US A LIGHT, DRY, COMFORTABLE BED, EVEN ON WET SAND OR ROCKY, UNEVEN GROUND sight, and I wondered if she would sink; but with the rhythm of a pendulum she rose each time she fell, getting smaller and smaller in the distance until the end of the rapid was reached. "Did you get the picture?" This was my brother's question, and one which I found myself unable to answer. I knew that I had the start. I was just as cer tain that I had taken the long run after he had regained the oars, for I had care fully followed him, looking through the finder, but had no idea what I was doing when the boat upset. My brother was still determined to run the Edith through, feeling sure that his first passage gave him the experience necessary to handle it successfully. I advised waiting until morning, for it was now getting late in the day; but he said "he would sleep better with the rapid be hind us, instead of having to run it on the following morning, and with one boat below the rapid I could save him if it came to the worst." While he walked back to the Edith I built a fire, then returned to my station in the Defiance. It seemed that he would never come. Finally he appeared above the rapid and paused an instant before making the plunge. It was now in the gloaming and this was indistinct, but I could make out that he had missed his channel and was carried into a vortex of contending waves. He disappeared for an instant; then the bottom of the boat, stern first, was shot out of the water and fell over, upside down. This was all I could see. Boat and all apparently had disap peared. I launched the Defiance and waited. Soon a dark line appeared ris ing on the waves. It was the bottom of the Edith. I listened, but if there was any call it was drowned in the roar of the water. The boat was gradually drawing nearer and I prepared to save her, having made up my mind that a dark object in the middle of the stream was my brother on a rock.