A-Rafting on the Mississip'

By Charles Edward Russell | Go to book overview

Chapter VIII
THROUGH FIRE, FOG, AND CYCLONE

BUT we have still much to do with Hanks and the Dr. Franklin.

Soon after this stout old craft had participated in the Rollingstone story and had polished off the Nominee, she had an encounter of another kind with the steamer Galena of the same line. It happened in Maquoketa Slough, which, next to Coon Slough and the Davenport bridge, had earned the imprecations of pilots. The point at the lower end of the slough was covered with a dense growth of thickets and trees, so that it was impossible to see through, above, or beyond them, and the channel there was close inshore. The Franklm was bound down. Just as she reached the point, the Galena rounded the outer edge of it, bound up. The next instant the Galena hit the Franklm on the starboard side just forward of the boilers. The crash was terrific; the Franklin sank at once, but quick and expert work saved every life aboard.

Man seems to learn most effectively by butting his head against his own stupidities. There had long been needed a law compelling steamboats to sound their whistles whenever they entered upon dark, narrow, or tangled places. It was the obvious thing to do, therefore nobody did it. But this disaster to the Franklin

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