Tales about Paul Bunyan

W. B. Laughead. Tales about Paul Bunyan. Vol. II.
Minneapolis: Red River Lumber Company, 1916.

Illustrated by W.B. Laughead
Illustrated by W.B. Laughead

Excerpt from:
Tales about Paul Bunyan. Vol. II.

It has not always been smooth sailing for Paul Bunyan. He has had setbacks and losses the same as every logger. All successful loggers are men who are never licked, never quit, who will face and overcome all odds and whose iron will and resourceful brain can turn many a catastrophe into victory.

Such a man is Paul Bunyan; many a time the mistakes of an ignorant foreman or straw boss would have ruined a less powerful man. The winter of the blue snow Shot Gunderson was foreman on the Big Tadpole River. He landed all of his logs in a lake and in the spring, when ready to drive, he boomed the logs three times around the lake before he found there was no outlet to it. The lake was surrounded by high banks, the nearest drivable stream was ten miles away, and apparently the logs were a total loss.

Now here's where the brains come in. Paul had a cook named Sourdough Sam who made everything but coffee out of sour dough. He had only one arm and one leg, the other members having been lost when his sour dough barrel blew up. Paul had Sam mix enough sour dough to fill the big water tank and hitching Babe to the load, hauled it over and dumped it into the lake. When the mass "riz," as Sam said, a mighty lava-like stream poured forth and carried the logs over the hills to the river. To this day you will find a land locked lake named Sourdough in north of Akeley.

Another time a foreman named Chris Crosshaul took a big drive of Paul's down the Mississippi to New Orleans and it was discovered when the logs were in the New Orleans boom that he had driven the wrong logs. It was up to Paul to drive them back upstream.

Can't be done? Watch Paul. He feeds Babe so much salt that he drinks the upper Mississippi dry every day and sucks the rest of the water up stream. On this swift northbound current the logs were carried back to Minnesota.

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