... Of Surviving the Wilderness
Out of the corner of my eye I could see a cloud of dust gaining on me – it was Paul. He had kicked in his after burners and was going flat out.
By now he was almost beside me and over the roar of the engines I heard, “…..the clutch”.
I yelled back, “I’m pushing as hard as I can”. There was no mistaking what I heard next - “NOOO.. take your foot off the clutch”.
The field we were combining had a gentle slope at one end. As I went over the crest and started down the slope the tractor naturally started going faster.
From watching Paul drive the truck I knew that if you pushed in the clutch you slowed down. So, I pushed in the clutch.
What I did not know was if you pushed in the clutch, while going downhill, and with a combine behind you that you would go faster. So here I was – gaining speed, the end of the field approaching and I’ve got to slow down or I’m not going to make the turn and will end up in the trees.
Luckily Paul had noticed I was traveling somewhat faster than he was.
I heard him yell, “step on the brake”. So I did.
But that didn’t seem to have much effect -probably because I still had my other foot on the clutch.
Paul’s voice was a little louder now, “THE BRAKE, THE BRAKE”.
By now I was standing up, gripping the steering wheel with both hands and pushing on the pedals as hard as I could. Unfortunately a 10-year-olds body does not weigh very much and it was not having the desired effect.