"The paper is now subjected to the water-proof process, and the skin, with its keelson, inwales, and dead-woods attached, is then placed in the carpenter's hands, where the frame is completed in the usual manner, as described for wooden boats. The paper decks being put on, it is then ready for the brass, iron, and varnish work.
It was of no great amount; but, arriving just then in the very "nick o' time," was doubly welcome; and under its magical influence, a large quantity of superfluous timber soon disappeared from the banks of Mud Creek. Ah! the squatter's clearing, with its zigzag fence, its girdled trees, and white dead-woods! It is no longer recognisable.
This manner was observable in the half-mechanical courtesy, with which he removed the bars, and took hold of the stranger's horse as also in some phrases of welcome, to which he gave utterance in my hearing. For myself, I was no longer regarded, any more than if I had been one of the dead-woods that stood around the clearing.
No one to be seen no one to be heard! Without the cabin, as within, reigned a profound silence. Not a living thing in sight save the black vultures a score of which, perched on the dead-woods overhead, and fetid as their food, were infecting the air with their carrion odour.
"About the first shot? Who is to give the signal?" "I've thort o' that a'ready. It'll be all right, promise ye." "In what way can you arrange it?" "This way. Thur's a hunk o' deer-meat in the house: I mean to fetch that out, and chuck it over thur, into the middle o' the clarin'. Ye see them buzzarts up thur on the dead-woods?" I nodded in the affirmative.