It was the example of these hardy and agile lumbermen, trained from childhood to sport with danger, which inspired Viggo and his followers with a desire to show their mettle.
"Sergeant Henning," said the General to his ever-faithful shadow, "take a squad of five men with you, and cut steering-poles for those for whom boat-hooks cannot be procured. You will be the last to leave shore. Report to me if any one fails to obey orders."
"Shall be done, General," Marcus responded, with a deferential military salute.
"The bows, you understand, will be slung by the straps across the backs of the men, while they steer and push with their poles."
"Certainly, General," said Marcus, with another salute.
"All right, General," answered Marcus, with a third salute.
And now began the battle. The East-Siders, fearing that a stratagem was intended, when they saw the enemy moving up the stream, made haste to follow their example, capturing on their way every stray log that came along. They sent ineffectual showers of arrows into the water, while the brave General Viggo, striding two big logs which he had tied together with a piece of rope, and with a boat-hook in his hand, pushed proudly at the head of his army into the middle of the wide basin.
Halvor Reitan was clever enough to see what it meant, and he was not going to allow the West-Siders to gain the heights above him, and attack him in the rear. He meant to prevent the enemy from landing, or, still better, he would meet him half-way, and drive him back to his own shore.