In twenty-four hours every available smith was at work, forging ice-axes and picks. Rapp was going to cut the frozen Vistula and set the river free. The Dantzigers laughed aloud. "It will freeze again in a night," they said. And it did. So Rapp set the ice-cutters to work again next day.

You're going by your heart, Minnie, and not by your head, and in this toss, heads win." But with my new puffs on the back of my head, and my letter in my pocket, I wasn't easy to discourage. Thoburn shouldered his pick and, headed by Doctor Barnes, the ice-cutters started out in single file. As they passed the news stand Doctor Barnes glanced at me, and my heart almost stopped.

The opening of large tracts by the ice-cutters commonly causes a pond to break up earlier; for the water, agitated by the wind, even in cold weather, wears away the surrounding ice. But such was not the effect on Walden that year, for she had soon got a thick new garment to take the place of the old.

It looks like solidified azure, as, far off, it is drawn through the streets. These ice-cutters are a merry race, full of jest and sport, and when I went among them they were wont to invite me to saw pit-fashion with them, I standing underneath.

The professional ice-cutters were bringing up daily a large supply of great gleaming transparent blocks from the river, both for the building of the band-house and for the summer supply of Rideau Hall, so there was no lack of material.