1 A jetty projected into the river.
2 On the whole river there was nothing that looked half so nautical.
3 It was upward of thirty days before I saw the mouth of the big river.
4 Then I remembered there was a big concern, a Company for trade on that river.
5 As a matter of fact, I had plenty to do in fishing my command out of the river.
6 The traffic of the great city went on in the deepening night upon the sleepless river.
7 On the fifteenth day I came in sight of the big river again, and hobbled into the Central Station.
8 She was determined to make no end of fuss to get me appointed skipper of a river steamboat, if such was my fancy.
9 I had my shoulders against the wreck of my steamer, hauled up on the slope like a carcass of some big river animal.
10 While I stood horror-struck, one of these creatures rose to his hands and knees, and went off on all-fours towards the river to drink.
11 The flood had made, the wind was nearly calm, and being bound down the river, the only thing for it was to come to and wait for the turn of the tide.
12 A deadened burst of mighty splashes and snorts reached us from afar, as though an ichthyosaurus had been taking a bath of glitter in the great river.
13 Going up that river was like traveling back to the earliest beginnings of the world, when vegetation rioted on the earth and the big trees were kings.
14 At night sometimes the roll of drums behind the curtain of trees would run up the river and remain sustained faintly, as if hovering in the air high over our heads, till the first break of day.
15 One of them, a stout, excitable chap with black mustaches, informed me with great volubility and many digressions, as soon as I told him who I was, that my steamer was at the bottom of the river.
16 I listened, I listened on the watch for the sentence, for the word, that would give me the clew to the faint uneasiness inspired by this narrative that seemed to shape itself without human lips in the heavy night-air of the river.
17 The old river in its broad reach rested unruffled at the decline of day, after ages of good service done to the race that peopled its banks, spread out in the tranquil dignity of a waterway leading to the uttermost ends of the earth.
18 They had started two days before in a sudden hurry up the river with the manager on board, in charge of some volunteer skipper, and before they had been out three hours they tore the bottom out of her on stones, and she sank near the south bank.
19 But there was in it one river especially, a mighty big river, that you could see on the map, resembling an immense snake uncoiled, with its head in the sea, its body at rest curving afar over a vast country, and its tail lost in the depths of the land.
20 I was smoking my pipe quietly by my dismantled steamer, and saw them all cutting capers in the light, with their arms lifted high, when the stout man with mustaches came tearing down to the river, a tin pail in his hand, assured me that everybody was 'behaving splendidly, splendidly,' dipped about a quart of water and tore back again.
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