We declined the offer of a roof that night, preferring to sleep in the open here, for the evening was quite warm. We went to work the next morning when the whistle sounded at the dredge. Beyond caulking a few leaks in the boats, little was done with them. The tin receptacles holding our photographic plates and films were carefully coated with a covering of melted paraffine; for almost anything might happen, in the one hundred miles of rapid water that separated us from our home.

Lee's Ferry was an interesting place, both for its old and its new associations. This had long been the home of John D. Lee, well known for the part he took in the Mountain Meadow Massacre, and for which he afterwards paid the death penalty. Here Lee had lived for many years, making few visits to the small settlements to the north, but on one of these visits he was captured. There were six or seven other buildings near the large stone building where we took our meals, so arranged that they made a short street, the upper row being built against a cliff of rock and shale, the other row being placed halfway between this row and the river. These buildings were all of rock, of which there was no lack, plastered with adobe, or mud. One, we were told, had been Lee's stronghold, it was a square building, with a few very small windows, and with loopholes in the sides. At the time of our visit it was occupied by two men; one, a young Englishman, recently arrived from South Africa - a remittance-man, in search of novelty - the other a grizzled forty-niner. Much could be written about this interesting group of men, and their alluring employment. There were some who had followed this work through all the camps of the West - to Colorado, to California, and to distant Alaska as well, they had journeyed; but it is doubtful if, in all their wanderings, they had seen any camp more strangely located than this, hemmed in with canyon walls. To us, their dredge and the steamboat up the river seemed as if they had been taken from the pages of some romance, or bit of fiction, and placed before us for our entertainment.

There were other men as well, just as interesting m their way as the "old-timers," the sons of some of the owners of this proposition, - clean-cut young fellows, - working side by side with the veterans, as enthusiastic as if on their college campus.

One feature about the dredge interested us greatly. This was a tube, or sucker, held suspended by a derrick above a float, and operated by compressed air. The tube was dropped into the sand at the bottom of the river, and would eat its way into it, bringing up rocks the size of one's fist, along with the gravel and sand. In a few hours a hole, ten or fifteen feet in depth and ten feet in diameter, would be excavated. Then the tube was raised, the float was moved, and the work started again. The coarse sand and gravel, carried by a stream of water, was returned to the river, after passing over the riffles; the screenings which remained passed over square metal plates - looking like sheets of tin - covered with quicksilver. These plates were cleaned with a rubber window-cleaner, and the entire residue was saved in a heavy metal pot, ready for the chemist.

One day only was needed for our work, and by evening we were ready for the next plunge. We might have enjoyed a longer stay with these men, but stronger than this desire was our anxiety to reach our home, separated from us by a hundred miles of river, no extended part of the distance being entirely free from rapids. We had written to the Grand Canyon, bidding them look for our signal fire in Bright Angel Creek Canyon, in from seven to ten days, and planned to leave on the following morning. Nothing held us now except the hope that the mail, which was due that evening, might bring us a letter, although that was doubtful, for we were nearly a week ahead of our schedule as laid out at Green River, Utah.

As we had anticipated, there was no mail for us, so we turned to inspect the mail carrier. He was a splendid specimen of the Navajo Indian, - a wrestler of note amoung his people, we were told, - large and muscular, and with a peculiar springy, slouchy walk that gave one the impression of great reserve strength. He had ridden that day from Tuba, an agency on their reservation, about seventy miles distant. This was the first sign of an Indian that we had seen in this section, although we had been travelling along the northern boundary of their reservation since leaving the mouth of the San Juan. These Indians have no use for the river, being children of the desert, rather than of the water. Beyond an occasional crossing and swimming their horses at easy fords, they make no attempt at its navigation, even in the quiet water of Glen Canyon.

Some of the men showed this Indian our boats, and told him of our journey. He smiled, and shrugged his massive shoulders as much as to say, he "would believe it when he saw it." He had an opportunity to see us start, at least, on the following morning.

Before leaving, we climbed a 300-foot mound on the left bank of the Paria River, directly opposite the Lee ranch. This mound is known as Lee's Lookout. Whether used by Lee or not, it had certainly served that purpose at some time. A circular wall of rock was built on top the mound, and commanded an excellent view of all the approaches to the junction of the rivers. This spot is of particular interest to the geologist, for a great fault, indicated by the Vermilion Cliffs, marks the division between Glen Canyon and Marble Canyon. This line of cliffs extends to the south for many miles across the Painted Desert, and north into Utah for even a greater distance, varying in height from two hundred feet at the southern end to as many thousand feet in some places to the north. Looking to the west, we could see that here was another of those sloping uplifts of rock, with the river cutting down, increasing the depth of the canyon with every mile.

We had now descended about 2900 feet since leaving Green River City, Wyoming, not a very great fall for the distance travelled if an average is taken, but a considerable portion of the distance was on quiet water, as we have noted, with a fall of a foot or two to the mile, and with alternate sections only containing bad water. We were still at an elevation of 3170 feet above the sea-level, and in the 283 miles of canyon ahead of us - Marble Canyon and the Grand Canyon combined - the river descends 2330 feet, almost a continuous series of rapids from this point to the end of the Grand Canyon.

After a hasty survey from our vantage point, we returned to the river and prepared to embark. As we left the dredge, the work was closed down for a few minutes, and the entire crowd of men, about forty in number, stood on an elevation to watch us run the first rapid. The Indian had crossed to the south side of the to feed his horse and caught a glimpse of us as we went past him. Running pell-mell down to his boat, he crossed the river and joined the group on the bank. About this time we were in the grip of the first rapid, a long splashy one, with no danger whatever, but large enough to keep us busy until we had passed from view.

A few miles below this, after running a pair of small rapids, we reached a larger one, known as the Badger Creek Rapid, with a twenty-foot drop in the first 250 feet, succeeded by a hundred yards of violent water. Emery had a little difficulty in this rapid, when his boat touched a rock which turned the boat sideways in the current, and he was nearly overturned in the heavy waves which followed. As it was, we were both drenched.

About the middle of the afternoon, twelve miles below Lee's Ferry, we reached the Soap Creek Rapid of which we had heard so much. The rapid had a fall of twenty-five feet, and was a quarter of a mile long. Most of the fall occurred in the first fifty yards. The river had narrowed down until it was less than two hundred feet wide at the beginning of the descent. Many rocks were smattered all through the upper end, especially at the first drop. On the very brink or edge of the first fall, there was a submerged rock in the centre of the channel, making an eight-foot fall over the rock. A violent current, deflected from the left shore, shot into this centre and added to the confusion. Twelve-foot waves from the conflicting currents, played leap-frog, jumping over or through each other alternately. Clearly there was no channel on that side. On the right or north side of the stream it looked more feasible, as the water shot down a sloping chute over a hundred feet before meeting with an obstruction. This came in the shape of two rocks, one about thirty feet below the other. To run the rapid this first rock would have to be passed before any attempt could be made to pull away from the second rock, which was quite close to the shore. Once past that there was a clear channel to the end of the rapid, if the centre, which contained many rocks, was avoided. Below the rapid was the usual whirlpool, then a smaller rapid, running under the left wall. This second rapid was the one that had been so fatal for Brown. The Soap Creek rapid in many ways was not as bad as some we had gone over in Cataract Canyon, but there were so many complications that we hesitated a long time before coming to a decision that we would make an attempt with one boat, depending on our good luck which had brought us through so many times, as much as we depended on our handling of the boat.

It was planned that I should make the first attempt while Emery remained with the motion-picture camera just below the rock that we most feared, with the agreement that he was to get a picture of the upset if one occurred, then run to the lower end of the rapid with a rope and a life-preserver.

After adjusting life-preservers I returned to my boat and was soon on the smooth water above the rapid, holding my boat to prevent her from being swept over the rock in the centre, jockeying for the proper position before I would allow her to be carried into the current. Once in, it seemed but an instant until I was past the first rock, and almost on top of the second. I was pulling with every ounce of strength, and was almost clear of the rock when the stern touched it gently. I had no idea the boat would overturn, but thought she would swing around the rock, heading bow first into the stream, as had been done before on several occasions. Instead of this she was thrown on her side with the bottom of the boat held against the rock while I found myself thrown out of the boat, but hanging to the gunwale. Then the boat swung around and instantly turned upright while I scrambled back into the cockpit. Looking over my shoulder, when I had things well in hand again, I saw my brother was still at the camera, white as a sheet, but turning at the crank as if our entire safety depended on it. After I landed the water-filled boat, however, he confessed to me that he had no idea whether he had caught the upset or not, as he may have resumed the work when he saw that I was safe.

Then we went to work to find out what damage was done. First we found that the case, which was supposed to be waterproof, had a half-inch of water inside, but fortunately none of our films were wet. Some plates which we had just exposed and which were still in the holders were soaked. The cameras also had suffered. We hurriedly wiped off the surplus water and piled these things on the shore, then emptied the boat of a few barrels of water.

This one experience, I suppose, should have been enough for me with that rapid, but I foolishly insisted on making another trial at it with the Edith, for I felt sure I could make it if I only had another chance, and the fact that Emery had the empty boat at the end of the rapid and could rescue me if an upset occurred greatly lessened the danger. The idea of making a portage, with the loss of nearly a day, did not appeal to me.

Emery agreed to this reluctantly, and advised waiting until morning, for it was growing dusk, but with the remark "I will sleep better with both boats tied at the lower end of the rapid," I returned to the Edith. To make a long story short I missed my channel, and was carried over the rock in the centre of the stream. The Edith had bravely mounted the first wave, and was climbing the second comber, standing almost on end, seemed to me, when the wave crested over the stern while the current shooting it from the side struck the submerged bow and she fell back in the water upside down. It was all done so quickly, I hardly knew what had occurred, but found myself in the water, whirling this way and that, holding to the right oar with a death-grip. I wondered if the strings would hold, and felt a great relief when the oar stopped slipping down, - as the blade reached the ring. It was the work of a second to climb the oar, and I found I was under the cockpit. Securing a firm hold on the gunwale, which had helped us so often, I got on the outside of the boat, thinking I might climb on top. About that time one of the largest waves broke over me, knocking me on the side of the head as if with a solid object, nearly tearing me from the boat. After that I kept as close to the boat as possible, paddling with my feet to keep them clear of rocks. Then the suction of the boat caught them and dragged them under, and for the rest of the rapid I had all I could do to hang to the boat. As the rapid dwindled I began to look for Emery, but was unable to see him, for it was now growing quite dark, but I could see a fire on shore that he had built. I tried to call but was strangled with the breaking waves; my voice was drowned in the roar of the rapid. One of the life-preservers was torn loose and floated ahead of me. Finally I got an answer, and could see that Emery had launched his boat. As he drew near I told him to save the life-preserver, which he did, then hurriedly pulled for me. I remarked with a forced laugh, to reassure him, "Gee, Emery, this water's cold."

He failed to join in my levity, however, and said with feeling, "Thank the good Lord you are here!" and down in my heart I echoed his prayer of thanks.

Somehow I had lost all desire to successfully navigate the Soap Creek Rapid.

But our troubles were not entirely over. Emery had pulled me in after a futile attempt or two, with a hold sometimes used by wrestlers, linking his arm in mine, leaning forward, and pulling me in over his back I was so numbed by the cold that I could do little to help him, after what, I suppose, was about a quarter of an hour's struggle in the water; although it seemed much longer than that to me.

We then caught the Edith and attempted to turn her over, but before this could be done we were dragged into the next rapid. Emery caught up the oars, while I could do nothing but hold to the upturned boat, half filled with water, striving to drag us against the wall on the left side of the stream. It was no small task to handle the two boats in this way, but Emery made it; then, when he thought we were sure of a landing, the Edith dragged us into the river again. Two more small rapids were run as we peered through the darkness for a landing. Finally we reached the shore over a mile below the Soap Creek Rapid. We were on the opposite side of the stream from that where we had unloaded the Defiance. This material would have to stay where it was that night.

While bailing the water from the Edith we noticed a peculiar odour, and thought for a while that it might be the body of the man who was drowned at the ferry, but later we found it came from a green cottonwood log that had become water-soaked, and was embedded in the sand, close to our landing. It was Emery's turn to do the greater part of the camp work that night, while I was content to hug the fire, wrapped in blankets, waiting for the coffee to boil.