The Valley of the Giants eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 383 pages of information about The Valley of the Giants.

The Colonel was visibly moved.  “If your information is authentic,” he said slowly, “I suppose I’ll have to build a mill on tidewater and log the timber.”

“’Twon’t pay you to do that at the present price of redwood lumber.”

“I’m in no hurry.  I can wait for better times.”

“Well, when better times arrive, you’ll find that John Cardigan owns the only water-front property on this side of the bay where the water’s deep enough to let a ship lie at low tide and load in safety.”

“There is deep water across the bay and plenty of water-front property for sale.  I’ll find a mill-site there and tow my logs across.”

“But you’ve got to dump ’em in the water on this side.  Everything north of Cardigan’s mill is tide-flat; he owns all the deep-water frontage for a mile south of Sequoia, and after that come more tide-flats.  If you dump your logs on these tide-flats, they’ll bog down in the mud, and there isn’t water enough at high tide to float ’em off or let a tug go in an’ snake ’em off.”

“You’re a discouraging sort of person,” the Colonel declared irritably.  “I suppose you’ll tell me now that I can’t log my timber without permission from Cardigan.”

Old Bill spat at another crack; his faded blue eyes twinkled mischievously.  “No, that’s where you’ve got the bulge on John, Colonel.  You can build a logging railroad from the southern fringe of your timber north and up a ten per cent. grade on the far side of the Squaw Creek watershed, then west three miles around a spur of low hills, and then south eleven miles through the level country along the bay shore.  If you want to reduce your Squaw Creek grade to say two per cent., figure on ten additional miles of railroad and a couple extra locomotives.  You understand, of course, Colonel, that no Locomotive can haul a long trainload of redwood logs up a long, crooked, two per cent. grade.  You have to have an extry in back to push.”

“Nonsense!  I’ll build my road from Squaw Creek gulch south through that valley where those whopping big trees grow.  That’s the natural outlet for the timber.  See here:”  [graphic]

Colonel Pennington took from his pocket the rough sketch-map of the region which we have reproduced herewith and pointed to the spot numbered “11.”

“But that valley ain’t logged yet,” explained Henderson.

“Don’t worry.  Cardigan will sell that valley to me—­also a right of way down his old railroad grade and through his logged-over lands to tidewater.”

“Bet you a chaw o’ tobacco he won’t.  Those big trees in that valley ain’t goin’ to be cut for no railroad right o’ way.  That valley’s John Cardigan’s private park; his wife’s buried up there.  Why, Colonel, that’s the biggest grove of the biggest sequoia sempervirens in the world, an’ many’s the time I’ve heard John say he’d almost as lief cut off his right hand as fell one o’ his giants, as he calls ’em.  I tell you, Colonel, John Cardigan’s mighty peculiar about them big trees.  Any time he can get a day off he goes up an’ looks ’em over.”

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The Valley of the Giants from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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