Now when I had mastered the language of this water and had come to know every trifling feature that bordered the great river as familiarly as I knew the letters of the alphabet, I had made a valuable acquisition.
But I had lost something, too. I had lost something which could never be restored to me while I lived. All the grace, the beauty, the poetry had gone out of the majestic river!
I still keep in mind a certain wonderful sunset which I witnessed when steamboating was new to me. A broad expanse of the river was turned to blood in the middle distance the red hue brightened into gold, through which a solitary log came floating, black and conspicuous in one place a long, slanting mark lay sparkling upon the water in another the surface was broken by boiling, tumbling rings.
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