Our next work was directed toward providing sleeping accommodations in the log cabin. A large log was laid on the floor the full length of the cabin, as far out as possible without interfering with the opening of the front door. Stakes were laid across this log, with their opposite ends wedged in between the logs of the wall. A nail or two in each slab held it in place. This formed a sort of shelf 12 feet long, which was divided at the center to form two bunks, each wide enough for two persons. But as there were six of us in the society, we had to provide two more berths. A stout post was set into a hole in the ground, and nailed firmly at the bottom to the lower berth log and at the top to one of the roof beams. This post supported a second berth log, which extended the full length of the building at a height of about 3 feet from the floor, and was wedged at the ends between the logs of the house. Cleats were nailed to the walls under this berth log to make it perfectly secure. Then slabs were nailed across it to form the two bunks.
Stopping up the Chinks.
The log cabin was completed by stopping up all the chinks between the logs of the walls. Strips of wood and bits of bark plastered with mud were driven into all the cracks and crevices until everything was made perfectly tight.
When our log cabin was completed we immediately transferred our camp from the tent to the hut. But at the very outset we were confronted with the problem of getting drinking water. We hadn’t thought of that before. It was easy enough to move the filter barrels, but when it came to moving the water wheel we could find no suitable place for it anywhere near the log cabin. The water of Lake Placid was too quiet, while the mill-race and the rapids on the other side of Kite Island ran so swiftly that we were afraid the water wheel would be swept away with its course. The matter was carefully considered at a special meeting of the society. It occurred to Bill that we might build a windmill in place of the water wheel, and use it to pump water from a well which could be dug near the hut.
“We wouldn’t have to use a filter, then,” he said.
“Why not?” I asked.
“Why, because the sand of the island will strain out all the dirt in the water. You see, the water in the well will have to soak in from the river, and by the time it gets through all the gravel and sand between the river and the well it ought to be filtered pretty clear.”
Digging the Well.