January 15, 1881

About two weeks ago the report
was spread on the coast that Nat
Smith had been killed in Round
Valley, but we finally concluded
not to write his obituary 'til we
could learn more about it, which
opportunity was afforded us, when
he called in to see us last Wednesday
in an apparently good state
of preservation. He informed us
that he had returned from
Round Valley to his place on the
coast on Friday of last week, after
an absence from home of some
five weeks.

He had taken a load of fish over
to Round Valley and got there just
before the first storm set in about
the beginning of last month, and
when he was ready to return, the
North or Middle fork of Eel river
had swollen so as to be impassable
for teams and horsemen also.

Owing to the fact that the ferry
boat was owned by one party, and
the ferry franchise and the wire
rope intended to be used to swing
the bat on, were in possession of
another party and that these
parties could not come to an
agreement, ferrying across that
stream was entirely suspended for
some three or four weeks, at the
end of which time, Mr. Willis, the
owner of the franchise, began to
haul lumber to the river for the
purpose of building a new boat,
when the owner of the old boat
weakened and sold out to Mr.
Willis.

The latter then started the ferry,
but owing to some casualty or the
inexperience of the person in
charge, the boat by the momentum
obtained in crossing, bedded itself
into the shore and the water
somewhat receding left it high
and dry.

The deck had to be removed
and the gravel shoveled out of the
inside of the boat, after which the
parties in charge concluded to
wait for further action until a
greater rise in the river should
again float the boat.

To this Nat, who in time had
got tired, even of sojourning in
Round Valley, demurred, and used
his argumentative powers to convince
the good people of that section,
that the boat could be moved
back into the stream by ox power.
A trail was finally determined
upon and oxen and rollers and
man power accomplished the feat
and Nat was enabled to cross the
stream at the moderate price of
five dollars ferriage.

Coming to the South Fork of Eel
river it had also to be crossed on
a ferry; the boat being small, however
the wagon had to be taken
in pieces and taken across one
portion at a time, about five round
trips being required to accomplish
the task, the horses being
swum across; for this service only
eight dollars for each team is
charged. It was lucky for Nat that
he sold his fish to good advantage,
else he would have never been
able to come back with his team.