The boy John was sitting on the wharf, watching the ebb of the tide. The current was swift, for there had been heavy rains within a few days; the river was full of drifting logs, bits of bark, odds and ends of various kinds; the water, usually so blue, looked brown and thick. It swirled round the great mossy piers, making eddies between them; from time to time the boy dropped bits of paper into these eddies, and saw with delight how they spun round and round, like living things, and finally gave up the struggle and were borne away down stream. Only, in the real maelstrom, he said, they don't be carried away; they go over the edge, down into the black hole, whole ships and ships, and you never see them again. I wonder where they stop, or whether it goes through to the other side of the world.