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首页 » 经典英文小说 » Mary Derwent » CHAPTER III THE FOREST WALK
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When the missionary1 arose from his knees—for to that position he had unconsciously fallen—Mary stood beside him, quiet and smiling.
“Come, my child,” he said, taking Mary by the hand, and leading her up from the ravine. “It is almost night, and you have wandered far from the island; see, the woods are already dusky. The birds and squirrels are settling down in the leaves; you would have been afraid to go home in the dark.”
“I might have been lost, but not afraid,” answered Mary, in a sad voice; “after this, darkness will be my best friend.”
“But the forest is full of Indians, Mary, and now, since the English have excited them against us, no white person is safe after dark; I will go home with you; but, after this, promise me never to come alone to the woods again.”
“The Indians will not harm me,” answered Mary, with a mournful smile; “they pity me, I think, and love me a little, too. I am not afraid of them; their tomahawks are not so sharp as Jason Wintermoot’s words were this morning.”
As she spoke2 there was a rustling3 among the bushes at their right, and through the purple gloom of the woods they saw a group of Indians crouching4 behind a rock, and glaring at them through the undergrowth. One had his rifle lifted with a dusky hand, creeping towards the rock; the others were poised5 for a spring. 16Mary saw them, and leaped upon a rock close by, protecting the missionary from the aim taken at his life.
“Not him—not him!” she cried, flinging up both arms in wild appeal; “shoot me! You don’t know how I long to die.”
The Indians looked at each other in dismay. The threatening rifle fell with a clang upon the rock, and instead of an assault the savages6 crept out from their ambush8, lighting9 up the dusky ravine with their gorgeous war-dresses, and gathered around the young girl, like a flock of tropical birds surrendering themselves to the charms of a serpent.
Mary met them fearlessly; a wild, spiritual beauty lighted up her face. The Indians lost their ferocity, and looked on her with grave tenderness; one of them reached forth10 his hand, she laid hers in the swarthy palm, where it rested like a snowdrop on the brown earth; he looked down upon it, and smiled; her courage charmed him.
“The white bird is brave, the Great Spirit folds his wing over her which is pure like the snow,” he said, addressing his companions in their own language.
Mary knew a little of the Shawnee tongue, and looking up at the savage7 said, very gently:
“Why harm my father? The Great Spirit covers him, also, with a wing which is broad and white, like the clouds. Look in his face. Is he afraid?”
The Indians drew back, and looked fiercely at the missionary, gathering12 up their rifles with menacing gestures.
He understood their language well, and spoke to them with that calm self-possession which gives dignity to courage.
“My children,” he said, “what wrong have I done that you should wish to kill me?”
The leading savage set down his gun with a clang upon the rock.
17“You have sat by the white man’s council-fire down yonder. The Great Father over the big water is our friend, but you hate the Indian, and will help them drive us through the wind gap into strange hunting grounds.”
“I am not your enemy. See, I carry no tomahawk or musket13; my bosom14 is open to your knives. The Great Spirit has sent me here, and He will keep me free from harm.”
Unconsciously the missionary looked at the deformed15 girl as he spoke. The Indians followed his glance, and changed their defiant16 gestures.
“He speaks well. Mineto has sent his beautiful medicine spirit to guard him from our rifles. The medicine father of the Shawnees is dead, his lodge17 is empty. The white bird shall be our prophet. You shall be her brother, live in the great Medicine Lodge, and dream our dreams for us when we take the warpath. Do we speak well?”
The missionary pondered a moment before he spoke. He read more in these words than one not acquainted with Indian customs might have understood.
“Yes,” he said at last, “I will come to your Medicine Lodge, and tell you all the dreams which the Great Spirit sends to me. She, too, will love the Indians, and dream holy dreams for them, but not here, not in the Medicine Lodge. She must stay in Monockonok among the broken waters. The Great Spirit has built her lodge there, under the tall trees, where the Indians can seek her in their canoes. Go back to your council-fire, my children, before its smoke goes out. I will light the calumet, and smoke with you. Now the Great Spirit tells me to go with this child back to Monockonok. Farewell.”
He took Mary Derwent by the hand, turned his back on the menacing rifles without fear, and walked away unmolested.
18Mary had wandered miles away from home; nothing but the superior knowledge of her guardian18 could have found her way back through all that dense19 and unequal forest. It was now almost nightfall; but a full moon had risen, and by its light this man, accustomed to the woods, guided their way back towards the river. But after the wildest of her excitement had worn away, Mary began to feel the toil20 of her long walk. She did not complain, however, and the missionary was unconscious of this overtax of strength till she sank down on a broken fragment of rock utterly21 exhausted22. He stopped in great distress23, and bent24 over her. She smiled, and attempted to speak, but the pale lids drooped25 over her eyes, and the strength ebbing26 completely from her limbs left them pale and limp. She lay before him entirely27 senseless, with the moonbeams falling over her like a winding-sheet.
Nothing but the angels of Heaven could see or understand the look of unutterable thankfulness which came to his noble features as the missionary stooped and took the young girl in his arms. A smile luminous28 as the moonlight that played upon it stole over his whole face, and the words that broke from his lips were sweet and tender, such as the Madonna might have whispered to her holy child.
He took no pains to bring her back to life, but when she did come to, soothed29 her with hushes30, and laid her head tenderly upon his shoulder till she fell asleep, smiling like himself.
As he came in sight of Monockonok a swell31 of regretful tenderness swept all his strength away more surely than fatigue32 could have done. He sat down upon a fallen tree on the bank just opposite the island and looked down into the sweet face with a gaze of heavenly affection. His head drooped slowly down, he folded her closer, and pressed his lips upon the closed eyes, the forehead, the lips, and cheeks of the 19sleeping child with a passion of tenderness that shook his whole frame.
“Oh, my God, my God! forgive me if this is sinful! my soul aches under this excess of love; the very fountains of my life are breaking up! Father of heaven, I am thine, all thine, but she is here on my breast, and I am but human.”
Deep sobs33 broke away from his heart, almost lifting her from his bosom; tears rained down his face, and dropped thick and fast amid the waves of her hair.
His sobs aroused Mary from her slumber34. She was not quite awake, but stirred softly and folded her arms about his neck. How the strong man trembled under the clasp of those arms! how he struggled and wrested35 against the weakness that had almost overpowered him, and not in vain! A canoe was moored36 under a clump37 of alders38, just below him. It belonged to the island, and in that Mary must be borne to her home. He was obliged to row the canoe, and of course must awake her. Once more he pressed his lips upon her face, once more he strained her to his heart, and then with loving violence aroused her.
“Mary—come, little one, wake up, wake up! See how late it is! Grandmother will be frightened.”
“Let me alone—oh! please let me alone!” murmured the weary child.
“No, Mary, arouse yourself; you and I have slept and dreamed too long. There, there! look around. See how the moonlight ripples39 upon the river! Look at the island; there is a light burning in the cabin. They are anxious no doubt at your long stay. Come, child, let us be strong: surely you can walk to the river’s brink40.”
Yes, Mary could walk again; that sweet sleep had given back her strength. She sat down in the canoe, tranquilized and happier than she had ever hoped to be again. The bitterness of the morning had entirely 20passed away. They floated on down the river a few minutes. Then the missionary bent to his oars41, and the canoe shot across the silvery rapids, and drew up in a little cove11 below the house.
The missionary stepped on shore. Mary followed him.
“Are you happier now? Are you content to live as God wills it?” he said, extending his hand, while his eyes beamed upon her.
“Yes, father, I am content.”
“To live even without earthly love?”
Mary shrunk within herself—it takes more than a few words, a struggle, or a single prayer to uproot42 a desire for human love from a woman’s heart.
He did not reason with her, or upbraid43 her then, but only said:
“God will find a way—have no fear, all human beings have some road to happiness if they will but let the Heavenly Father point it out. Good-night Mary.”
“Good-night,” responded the young girl, while her eyes filled with grateful tears; “good-night, my father!”
He turned around, laid his hands on her head, and blessed her, then stepped into the canoe and disappeared along the path of silver cast downward by the moon. The young girl smiled amid her tears. How dark it was when he found her at noontide; how bright when he went away!
Mary Derwent entered that log-cabin a changed being. She scarcely understood herself, or anything that had filled her life up to that day. Her own nature was inexplicable44. One great shock had thrust her forward, as it were, to a maturity45 of suffering; her smile became mournful and sad in its expression, as if the poor creature had become weary of life and of all living things. She never again joined in the childish sports of her companions.


1 missionary ID8xX     
  • She taught in a missionary school for a couple of years.她在一所教会学校教了两年书。
  • I hope every member understands the value of missionary work. 我希望教友都了解传教工作的价值。
2 spoke XryyC     
n.(车轮的)辐条;轮辐;破坏某人的计划;阻挠某人的行动 v.讲,谈(speak的过去式);说;演说;从某种观点来说
  • They sourced the spoke nuts from our company.他们的轮辐螺帽是从我们公司获得的。
  • The spokes of a wheel are the bars that connect the outer ring to the centre.辐条是轮子上连接外圈与中心的条棒。
3 rustling c6f5c8086fbaf68296f60e8adb292798     
n. 瑟瑟声,沙沙声 adj. 发沙沙声的
  • the sound of the trees rustling in the breeze 树木在微风中发出的沙沙声
  • the soft rustling of leaves 树叶柔和的沙沙声
4 crouching crouching     
v.屈膝,蹲伏( crouch的现在分词 )
  • a hulking figure crouching in the darkness 黑暗中蹲伏着的一个庞大身影
  • A young man was crouching by the table, busily searching for something. 一个年轻人正蹲在桌边翻看什么。 来自汉英文学 - 散文英译
5 poised SlhzBU     
  • The hawk poised in mid-air ready to swoop. 老鹰在半空中盘旋,准备俯冲。
  • Tina was tense, her hand poised over the telephone. 蒂娜心情紧张,手悬在电话机上。
6 savages 2ea43ddb53dad99ea1c80de05d21d1e5     
未开化的人,野蛮人( savage的名词复数 )
  • There're some savages living in the forest. 森林里居住着一些野人。
  • That's an island inhabited by savages. 那是一个野蛮人居住的岛屿。
7 savage ECxzR     
  • The poor man received a savage beating from the thugs.那可怜的人遭到暴徒的痛打。
  • He has a savage temper.他脾气粗暴。
8 ambush DNPzg     
  • Our soldiers lay in ambush in the jungle for the enemy.我方战士埋伏在丛林中等待敌人。
  • Four men led by a sergeant lay in ambush at the crossroads.由一名中士率领的四名士兵埋伏在十字路口。
9 lighting CpszPL     
  • The gas lamp gradually lost ground to electric lighting.煤气灯逐渐为电灯所代替。
  • The lighting in that restaurant is soft and romantic.那个餐馆照明柔和而且浪漫。
10 forth Hzdz2     
  • The wind moved the trees gently back and forth.风吹得树轻轻地来回摇晃。
  • He gave forth a series of works in rapid succession.他很快连续发表了一系列的作品。
11 cove 9Y8zA     
  • The shore line is wooded,olive-green,a pristine cove.岸边一带林木蓊郁,嫩绿一片,好一个山外的小海湾。
  • I saw two children were playing in a cove.我看到两个小孩正在一个小海湾里玩耍。
12 gathering ChmxZ     
  • He called on Mr. White to speak at the gathering.他请怀特先生在集会上讲话。
  • He is on the wing gathering material for his novels.他正忙于为他的小说收集资料。
13 musket 46jzO     
  • I hunted with a musket two years ago.两年前我用滑膛枪打猎。
  • So some seconds passed,till suddenly Joyce whipped up his musket and fired.又过了几秒钟,突然,乔伊斯端起枪来开了火。
14 bosom Lt9zW     
  • She drew a little book from her bosom.她从怀里取出一本小册子。
  • A dark jealousy stirred in his bosom.他内心生出一阵恶毒的嫉妒。
15 deformed iutzwV     
  • He was born with a deformed right leg.他出生时右腿畸形。
  • His body was deformed by leprosy.他的身体因为麻风病变形了。
16 defiant 6muzw     
  • With a last defiant gesture,they sang a revolutionary song as they were led away to prison.他们被带走投入监狱时,仍以最后的反抗姿态唱起了一支革命歌曲。
  • He assumed a defiant attitude toward his employer.他对雇主采取挑衅的态度。
17 lodge q8nzj     
  • Is there anywhere that I can lodge in the village tonight?村里有我今晚过夜的地方吗?
  • I shall lodge at the inn for two nights.我要在这家小店住两个晚上。
18 guardian 8ekxv     
  • The form must be signed by the child's parents or guardian. 这张表格须由孩子的家长或监护人签字。
  • The press is a guardian of the public weal. 报刊是公共福利的卫护者。
19 dense aONzX     
  • The general ambushed his troops in the dense woods. 将军把部队埋伏在浓密的树林里。
  • The path was completely covered by the dense foliage. 小路被树叶厚厚地盖了一层。
20 toil WJezp     
  • The wealth comes from the toil of the masses.财富来自大众的辛勤劳动。
  • Every single grain is the result of toil.每一粒粮食都来之不易。
21 utterly ZfpzM1     
  • Utterly devoted to the people,he gave his life in saving his patients.他忠于人民,把毕生精力用于挽救患者的生命。
  • I was utterly ravished by the way she smiled.她的微笑使我完全陶醉了。
22 exhausted 7taz4r     
  • It was a long haul home and we arrived exhausted.搬运回家的这段路程特别长,到家时我们已筋疲力尽。
  • Jenny was exhausted by the hustle of city life.珍妮被城市生活的忙乱弄得筋疲力尽。
23 distress 3llzX     
  • Nothing could alleviate his distress.什么都不能减轻他的痛苦。
  • Please don't distress yourself.请你不要忧愁了。
24 bent QQ8yD     
  • He was fully bent upon the project.他一心扑在这项计划上。
  • We bent over backward to help them.我们尽了最大努力帮助他们。
25 drooped ebf637c3f860adcaaf9c11089a322fa5     
弯曲或下垂,发蔫( droop的过去式和过去分词 )
  • Her eyelids drooped as if she were on the verge of sleep. 她眼睑低垂好像快要睡着的样子。
  • The flowers drooped in the heat of the sun. 花儿晒蔫了。
26 ebbing ac94e96318a8f9f7c14185419cb636cb     
(指潮水)退( ebb的现在分词 ); 落; 减少; 衰落
  • The pain was ebbing. 疼痛逐渐减轻了。
  • There are indications that his esoteric popularity may be ebbing. 有迹象表明,他神秘的声望可能正在下降。
27 entirely entirely     
  • The fire was entirely caused by their neglect of duty. 那场火灾完全是由于他们失职而引起的。
  • His life was entirely given up to the educational work. 他的一生统统献给了教育工作。
28 luminous 98ez5     
  • There are luminous knobs on all the doors in my house.我家所有门上都安有夜光把手。
  • Most clocks and watches in this shop are in luminous paint.这家商店出售的大多数钟表都涂了发光漆。
29 soothed 509169542d21da19b0b0bd232848b963     
v.安慰( soothe的过去式和过去分词 );抚慰;使舒服;减轻痛苦
  • The music soothed her for a while. 音乐让她稍微安静了一会儿。
  • The soft modulation of her voice soothed the infant. 她柔和的声调使婴儿安静了。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
30 hushes 5fd5de2a84398b65b93e535a6e18e9af     
n.安静,寂静( hush的名词复数 )
  • Following the roar, out rushed a tiger from among the hushes. 一声吼叫,呼地从林子里冲出一只老虎来! 来自互联网
31 swell IHnzB     
  • The waves had taken on a deep swell.海浪汹涌。
  • His injured wrist began to swell.他那受伤的手腕开始肿了。
32 fatigue PhVzV     
  • The old lady can't bear the fatigue of a long journey.这位老妇人不能忍受长途旅行的疲劳。
  • I have got over my weakness and fatigue.我已从虚弱和疲劳中恢复过来了。
33 sobs d4349f86cad43cb1a5579b1ef269d0cb     
啜泣(声),呜咽(声)( sob的名词复数 )
  • She was struggling to suppress her sobs. 她拼命不让自己哭出来。
  • She burst into a convulsive sobs. 她突然抽泣起来。
34 slumber 8E7zT     
  • All the people in the hotels were wrapped in deep slumber.住在各旅馆里的人都已进入梦乡。
  • Don't wake him from his slumber because he needs the rest.不要把他从睡眠中唤醒,因为他需要休息。
35 wrested 687939d2c0d23b901d6d3b68cda5319a     
(用力)拧( wrest的过去式和过去分词 ); 费力取得; (从…)攫取; ( 从… ) 强行取去…
  • The usurper wrested the power from the king. 篡位者从国王手里夺取了权力。
  • But now it was all wrested from him. 可是现在,他却被剥夺了这一切。 来自英汉文学 - 嘉莉妹妹
36 moored 7d8a41f50d4b6386c7ace4489bce8b89     
adj. 系泊的 动词moor的过去式和过去分词形式
  • The ship is now permanently moored on the Thames in London. 该船现在永久地停泊在伦敦泰晤士河边。
  • We shipped (the) oars and moored alongside the bank. 我们收起桨,把船泊在岸边。
37 clump xXfzH     
  • A stream meandered gently through a clump of trees.一条小溪从树丛中蜿蜒穿过。
  • It was as if he had hacked with his thick boots at a clump of bluebells.仿佛他用自己的厚靴子无情地践踏了一丛野风信子。
38 alders 2fc5019012aa8aa07a18a3db0aa55c4b     
n.桤木( alder的名词复数 )
39 ripples 10e54c54305aebf3deca20a1472f4b96     
逐渐扩散的感觉( ripple的名词复数 )
  • The moon danced on the ripples. 月亮在涟漪上舞动。
  • The sea leaves ripples on the sand. 海水在沙滩上留下了波痕。
40 brink OWazM     
  • The tree grew on the brink of the cliff.那棵树生长在峭壁的边缘。
  • The two countries were poised on the brink of war.这两个国家处于交战的边缘。
41 oars c589a112a1b341db7277ea65b5ec7bf7     
n.桨,橹( oar的名词复数 );划手v.划(行)( oar的第三人称单数 )
  • He pulled as hard as he could on the oars. 他拼命地划桨。
  • The sailors are bending to the oars. 水手们在拼命地划桨。 来自《简明英汉词典》
42 uproot 3jCwL     
  • The family decided to uproot themselves and emigrate to Australia.他们全家决定离开故土,移居澳大利亚。
  • The trunk of an elephant is powerful enough to uproot trees.大象的长鼻强壮得足以将树木连根拔起。
43 upbraid jUNzP     
  • The old man upbraided him with ingratitude.那位老人斥责他忘恩负义。
  • His wife set about upbraiding him for neglecting the children.他妻子开始指责他不照顾孩子。
44 inexplicable tbCzf     
  • It is now inexplicable how that development was misinterpreted.当时对这一事态发展的错误理解究竟是怎么产生的,现在已经无法说清楚了。
  • There are many things which are inexplicable by science.有很多事科学还无法解释。
45 maturity 47nzh     
  • These plants ought to reach maturity after five years.这些植物五年后就该长成了。
  • This is the period at which the body attains maturity.这是身体发育成熟的时期。


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