When his Gethsemane came upon him, he was rated the richest lumberman in the state of Washington; his twenty-thousand board-feet capacity per day sawmill had grown to five hundred thousand, his ten thousand acres to a hundred thousand.
Applying his log-rule to the small end of each log, he noted the diameter of the log and from the scale on the rule read the number of board-feet in the log. Already Charley had done a little scaling of logs and he went at the work readily. As he scaled pile after pile of logs, he worked faster and faster, acquiring greater facility with every measurement.
The contents of each pile he noted down, a log at a time, on a bit of paper. When he had finished the work, he totaled up the board-feet, and whistled when he realized what a tremendous quantity of lumber was contained in the log piles he had been measuring. "Gee!" he said to himself. "At the price lumber is selling for now, those logs are worth a small fortune. Gad!
Then all Johns descend their several paths, to congregate at the store and estimate the stranger as though he were so many board-feet of lumber in the tree or so many pounds of beef on the hoof. In every settlement there is somebody who makes a pleasure of gathering and spreading news.