Page:1880. A Tramp Abroad.djvu/194

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182
ASSUMING RESPONSIBILITIES.

"We returned to Neckarsteinach, plunged our hot head into the trough at the town pump, and then went to the hotel and ate our trout dinner in leisurely comfort, in the garden, with the beautiful Neckar flowing at our feet, the quaint Dilsberg looming beyond, and the graceful towers and battlements of a couple of medieval castles (called the "Swallow's Nest"[1] and "The Brothers") assisting the ragged scenery of a bend of the river down to our right.

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AN EXCELLENT PILOT—ONCE!

We got to sea in season to make the eight-mile run to Heidelberg before the night shut down. We sailed by the hotel in the mellow glow of sunset, and came slashing down with the mad current into the narrow passage between the dikes. I believed I could shoot the bridge myself, so I went to the forward triplet of logs and relieved the pilot of his pole and his responsibility.

We went tearing along in a most exhilarating way, and I performed the delicate duties of my office very well indeed for a first attempt; but perceiving presently, that I really was going to shoot the bridge itself instead of the archway under it, I judiciously stepped ashore. The next moment I

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  1. The seeker after information is referred to Appendix E for our Captain's Legend of the "Swallow's Nest" and "The Brothers."