Jonas found it pretty good walking after this. The snow was not so deep as it had been; and the path which the log had made was hard and smooth. He concluded that it must have been made by such a log, and, of course, if he followed it, that it would take him directly to the house of the man whom he wanted to see.
After walking about a mile, he came to the house. It was a small farm-house, in the woods. There were a great many large logs, lying each side of the road near it, ready to be drawn to the mill.
Jonas went up towards the door, which was in the end of the house. As he drew near to it, he saw a boy’s head behind an enormous pile of wood. He went around it, and found that the boy was about as big as Jonas himself. He was rolling down a large stick of wood, and had an axe in his hand, as if he was going to chop it.
“Does Mr. Woodman live here?” said Jonas.
“Yes,” said the boy; “but he isn’t at home.”
“Where is he?” said Jonas.
“He is out in the lot, falling trees,” said the boy.
“How far is it from here?” asked Jonas.
“O, about a good half mile.”
“Which way?” said Jonas.
“Out yonder,” said the boy; and he pointed back of the house, where a rough sled-road led into the woods. “You can hear his axe.”
Jonas listened, and he heard distinctly the sound of an axe in the woods behind; presently it ceased. Immediately after, there was a prolonged crash, which echoed back from the mountains.
“There goes a tree,” said the boy.
Jonas was sorry to have to leave Oliver so long, but he wished to persevere until he should find the man, as he knew that the farmer was very desirous of having the business done that day. So he told the boy that he believed he would go and see if he could find Mr. Woodman; and then he set off in the direction which the boy had indicated.
This road was so sheltered by the woods, that the snow was not much drifted; and, besides, it had been kept open by the teams, which had been employed in hauling out pine logs. When Jonas got in to the end of the road, he heard the strokes of the axe, at a short distance on the right.
He looked that way, and found that the man was standing at the foot of a tall tree, of very large size; and he was cutting through the trunk of it, about two feet from the top of the snow. He saw that it was nearly off, and so he thought he would wait a moment, where he was, and see it fall. He observed that Mr. Woodman occasionally looked up the stem of the tree, between the strokes of his axe, as if to see whether it was beginning to fall.
After a few strokes more, he stepped back from the foot of the tree to one side. Jonas wondered why he left his work before the tree fell. He looked up to the top of it, and he perceived that it was moving. It was bending over very slowly indeed. It moved, however, faster and faster, and presently began to come tearing down between the branches of the other trees, and, at length, descended with a mighty crash to the ground. Jonas thought that it was a very fine spectacle indeed. He wished that Oliver had been there to see it.