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THREE Dog Ways 6
6I WAS FIFTEEN then. When the Japanese surrounded the village, your maternal1 grandfather andgrandmother lowered me and your young uncle into a dry well. We never saw them again. Lateron I learned they were killed that very morning.
I don’t know how many days I hunkered down inside that well. Your uncle died there, and hisbody began to stink2. The toad3 and yellow-banded snake stared at me until I nearly died of fright.
I was sure I’d die down in that well. But finally your father and your granddad came along.
Granddad wrapped the fifteen ‘38’ rifles in oil paper and tied them with rope, then carriedthem to the edge of the well. ‘Douguan, look around and make sure nobody can see us.’
Granddad knew that Detachment Leader Leng and the Jiao-Gao soldiers still had their heartsset on these guns. The night before, when he and the others were asleep in a tent at the foot of thevillage wall, Blind Eye, who was keeping guard, heard something bump up against a wax tree onthe downward slope. Then he detected the soft sound of footsteps coming towards the tent; hecould tell there were two people, one brave, the other not so brave. He could hear them breathing.
Raising his rifle, he shouted, ‘Halt right there!’ The men threw themselves to the ground in panicand began crawling backward. Getting a fix on the direction, Blind Eye aimed and pulled thetrigger Bang! He heard the men roll down the slope and dart4 in among the stand of wax trees. Heaimed and fired again. Someone yelled. Granddad and the others, awakened5 by the gunfire, ranup, weapons in hand, just in time to see two dark figures dart across the ditch and vanish into thesorghum field.
‘There’s nobody around, Dad,’ my father said.
‘Remember this well,’ Granddad said.
‘I will. It belongs to Beauty’s family.’
‘If I die,’ Granddad said, ‘come get these guns and use them as a bartering6 chip to join up withthe Jiao-Gao regiment7. They’re at least better than Detachment Leader Leng’s troops.’
‘Let’s not join up with anyone,’ Father said. ‘Let’s recruit our own army. We still have amachine gun.’
Granddad snorted with a wry8 smile. ‘It’s not as easy as you think, son,’ he said. ‘I’m wornout.’
After Father uncoiled the rope from the rickety windlass, Granddad tied it around the bundle ofguns.
‘Are you sure the well is dry?’ Granddad asked.
‘I’m sure Wang Guang and I played hide-and-seek here once.’ Father bent9 over to peer into thewell, where he saw the outlines of two bodies in the dark recesses10.
‘Dad, there’s somebody down there!’ he screamed.
They knelt on the step at the mouth of the well and strained to see who it was.
‘It’s Beauty!’ Father said.
‘Take a good look. Is she alive?’
‘I think I can see her breathing – there’s a snake coiled beside her – and her baby brotherHarmony’s there, too.?.?.?.’ Father’s words echoed off the walls of the well.
‘Are you afraid to go down there?’
‘I’ll go down, Dad. Beauty’s my best friend!’
‘Watch out for that snake.’
‘Snakes don’t scare me.’
Granddad untied11 the well rope from the bundle of guns and secured it around Father’s waist,then lowered him slowly into the well, keeping the weight on the windlass.
‘Be careful,’ Father heard Granddad say from the top of the well as his foot touched aprotruding brick and he stepped down on the floor. The black snake with the colourful bandraised its head menacingly and flicked12 out its forked tongue, hissing13 at Father. During his days offishing and crabbing14 at the Black Water River, Father had learned how to deal with snakes, andhe and Uncle Arhat had eaten one, baked in dry cow dung. Arhat told him that snake meat is acure for leprosy; after eating it, they had both felt hot all over.
Now Father stood at the bottom of the well without moving, and, the instant the snake loweredits head, he reached down, grabbed it by the tail, and shook it with all his might until he heard itsbones crack. Then he grabbed it just behind the head and twisted it hard. ‘Dad,’ he shouted,‘stand clear!’
Granddad backed away from the mouth of the well as the half-dead snake came flying out.
Granddad’s skin crawled. ‘That little imp’s got the nerves of a thief!’
Father helped Beauty sit up and shouted in her ear, ‘Beauty! Beauty! It’s me, Douguan. I’mhere to save you!’
Father tied the rope around Beauty’s waist. Granddad carefully turned the windlass and hauledMother out of the well. Then he brought up the body of my young uncle.
‘Dad, send the guns down!’ Father said.
‘Stand clear.’
The windlass creaked as the bundle of guns was lowered into the well. Then Father untied therope and put it around his waist.
‘Pull me up, Dad,’ he said.
‘Is the rope secure?’
‘Make sure it’s tight. This is no time to be careless.’
‘It’s good and tight, Dad.’
‘Did you tie a square knot?’
‘What’s wrong with you, Dad? It was me who tied the rope around Beauty, wasn’t it?’
Father and Granddad looked down at Beauty as she lay on the ground. Her skin was stretchedtaut over her cheekbones, her eyes were sunken, her gums protruded15, and her hair was a tangledmess. Her baby brother’s fingernails had turned blue.


1 maternal 57Azi     
  • He is my maternal uncle.他是我舅舅。
  • The sight of the hopeless little boy aroused her maternal instincts.那个绝望的小男孩的模样唤起了她的母性。
2 stink ZG5zA     
  • The stink of the rotten fish turned my stomach.腐烂的鱼臭味使我恶心。
  • The room has awful stink.那个房间散发着难闻的臭气。
3 toad oJezr     
  • Both the toad and frog are amphibian.蟾蜍和青蛙都是两栖动物。
  • Many kinds of toad hibernate in winter.许多种蟾蜍在冬天都会冬眠。
4 dart oydxK     
  • The child made a sudden dart across the road.那小孩突然冲过马路。
  • Markov died after being struck by a poison dart.马尔科夫身中毒镖而亡。
5 awakened de71059d0b3cd8a1de21151c9166f9f0     
v.(使)醒( awaken的过去式和过去分词 );(使)觉醒;弄醒;(使)意识到
  • She awakened to the sound of birds singing. 她醒来听到鸟的叫声。
  • The public has been awakened to the full horror of the situation. 公众完全意识到了这一状况的可怕程度。 来自《简明英汉词典》
6 bartering 3fff2715ce56641ff7589f77e406ee4c     
v.作物物交换,以货换货( barter的现在分词 )
  • Parliament would be touchy about bartering British soil for ships. 用英国国土换取舰只,议会感到为难。 来自辞典例句
  • In former times trade was based on bartering--goods were exchanged for other goods. 以前,贸易是以易货(即货物交换)的方式进行的。 来自辞典例句
7 regiment JATzZ     
  • As he hated army life,he decide to desert his regiment.因为他嫌恶军队生活,所以他决心背弃自己所在的那个团。
  • They reformed a division into a regiment.他们将一个师整编成为一个团。
8 wry hMQzK     
  • He made a wry face and attempted to wash the taste away with coffee.他做了个鬼脸,打算用咖啡把那怪味地冲下去。
  • Bethune released Tung's horse and made a wry mouth.白求恩放开了董的马,噘了噘嘴。
9 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。
10 recesses 617c7fa11fa356bfdf4893777e4e8e62     
n.壁凹( recess的名词复数 );(工作或业务活动的)中止或暂停期间;学校的课间休息;某物内部的凹形空间v.把某物放在墙壁的凹处( recess的第三人称单数 );将(墙)做成凹形,在(墙)上做壁龛;休息,休会,休庭
  • I could see the inmost recesses. 我能看见最深处。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • I had continually pushed my doubts to the darker recesses of my mind. 我一直把怀疑深深地隐藏在心中。 来自《简明英汉词典》
11 untied d4a1dd1a28503840144e8098dbf9e40f     
松开,解开( untie的过去式和过去分词 ); 解除,使自由; 解决
  • Once untied, we common people are able to conquer nature, too. 只要团结起来,我们老百姓也能移山倒海。
  • He untied the ropes. 他解开了绳子。
12 flicked 7c535fef6da8b8c191b1d1548e9e790a     
(尤指用手指或手快速地)轻击( flick的过去式和过去分词 ); (用…)轻挥; (快速地)按开关; 向…笑了一下(或瞥了一眼等)
  • She flicked the dust off her collar. 她轻轻弹掉了衣领上的灰尘。
  • I idly picked up a magazine and flicked through it. 我漫不经心地拿起一本杂志翻看着。
13 hissing hissing     
n. 发嘶嘶声, 蔑视 动词hiss的现在分词形式
  • The steam escaped with a loud hissing noise. 蒸汽大声地嘶嘶冒了出来。
  • His ears were still hissing with the rustle of the leaves. 他耳朵里还听得萨萨萨的声音和屑索屑索的怪声。 来自汉英文学 - 春蚕
14 crabbing 4988f9f669ac9f588bcab6dcdc34c130     
v.捕蟹( crab的现在分词 )
  • We ought not to begin by crabbing everything. 我们不应当一开始就对一切事情采取吹毛求疵的态度。 来自辞典例句
  • The boss is always crabbing about my work. 老板对我的工作总是横挑鼻子竖挑眼。 来自辞典例句
15 protruded ebe69790c4eedce2f4fb12105fc9e9ac     
v.(使某物)伸出,(使某物)突出( protrude的过去式和过去分词 )
  • The child protruded his tongue. 那小孩伸出舌头。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The creature's face seemed to be protruded, because of its bent carriage. 那人的脑袋似乎向前突出,那是因为身子佝偻的缘故。 来自英汉文学


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