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CHAPTER IV WHAT DID MARK SEE?
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 “Well, I’m glad you’ve decided1 at last,” the professor remarked. “Now come inside and we’ll see how the ship works.”
 
Once over his fright, Washington made himself at home on the craft he had helped build. He went from one room to another and observed the engine.
 
“She certainly am workin’” he observed with pride. “Are we still goin’ up, Perfessor?”
 
“Still mounting,” replied Mr. Henderson. “We are now three hundred feet above the earth,” he added as he glanced at a registering gage2.
 
The great air pump was set going and soon from the after tube, a big stream of the compressed vapor3 rushed. It acted on the ship instantly and sent the craft ahead at a rapid rate. By elevating or depressing the tube the craft could be sent obliquely4 up or down. Then, by forcing the air from the forward tube, the Mermaid5 was reversed and scudded6 backward.
 
But it was more with the ship’s ability to rise and descend7 that Professor Henderson was concerned, since on that depended their safety. So various tests were made, in generating the gas and using the negative gravity apparatus8.
 
All worked to perfection. Obeying the slightest turn of the wheels and levers the Mermaid rose or fell. She stood still, suspended herself in the air, or rushed backward and forward.
 
Of course the machinery9 was new and did not operate as smoothly10 as it would later, but the professor and his friends were very well satisfied.
 
“Now we’ll try something new,” said the scientist to the two boys as they stood beside him in the tower. “I only hope this part succeeds, and we shall soon be off on our voyage.”
 
He turned several levers. There was a hissing11 sound as the gas rushed from the container, and the ship began to settle down.
 
“What’s th’ matter? Are we goin’ t’ hit th’ earth?” yelled Washington, rushing from the engine room.
 
“Keep quiet,” ordered the professor. “We are only going down, that’s all.”
 
“But good land! Perfesser!” exclaimed the colored man. “The ocean’s right under us! You forgot you sailed away from the island! We’ll be drowned suah!”
 
“Leave it to me,” said Mr. Henderson. “The Flying Mermaid is going to take a bath!”
 
“As long as it swims it will be all right,” observed Mark in a low tone to Jack12. “I’m glad I can take care of myself in the water.”
 
Before Jack could reply the Mermaid seemed to take a sudden dive through the air. The next instant she struck the water with a splash that sent the waves rolling all about. The craft rocked violently to and fro on the surface of the sea. For a while there were anxious hearts aboard, for there was no certainty but that the ship might not sink to the bottom.
 
But the old professor had not calculated and builded in vain. After rocking about like a vessel13 newly launched, the strange craft rode safely and upright on the water. It set down far enough to bring the propelling tubes well under, but not so far but that the conning14 tower was well out and there was a small deck available.
 
“Now to see if we can conquer the water as we did the air!” cried the professor. “Mark, start the air pump. Jack, you steer15, for I want to watch the machinery under the additional strain.”
 
From the rear tube rushed such a volume of air that the ocean near it bubbled and foamed16. The ship trembled from stem to stern, and then, after hanging for an instant as if undecided what to do, it began to move forward as easily as though it had never sailed any other element than the sea.
 
“She fits her name!” the professor cried. “She is indeed the Flying Mermaid, for she sails the ocean as easily as she navigates17 in the clouds!”
 
For a mile or two the craft was sent ahead over the waves. Then it was reversed and run backwards18. Satisfied that his long months of work had not gone for naught19, the professor after trying several experiments, decided to try and raise the ship while in motion.
 
With Jack and Mark to look after the air pumps, while Washington, Tom and Bill busied themselves in the engine room, Mr. Henderson began to generate the gas and start the negative gravity apparatus. All the while the craft was forging ahead.
 
There was again the hissing sound that told of the aluminum20 holder21 being filled. For a few minutes there seemed to be no change, the Mermaid plowing22 forward.
 
Then like a bird rising from the waves, or like a flying fish leaping from the sea to escape some pursuing monster of the deep, the new ship shot up diagonally from the surface and winged its way into the upper regions of the air.
 
“Success! Success!” cried the professor. “This proves all I wanted to know. Now we are ready for our great trip!”
 
Great were the rejoicings in the camp that night. It was like living over again the days when they were aboard the diving Porpoise23 or the flying Monarch24. To the recollections were added the anticipations25 of what was before them in the trip to the interior of the earth.
 
Busy days followed, for there was still much to be done to the Flying Mermaid. The machinery, which was only partly completed, had to be finished. Besides this the professor was working on some apparatus, the use of which he did not disclose to any one. It was stored aboard the ship at the last minute.
 
Plenty of provisions had to be taken aboard, and many supplies needed to work the Mermaid and insure that it would go to the end of the voyage. The materials for generating the gas and negative gravity, spare parts, records for the automatic piano and other things were stored away.
 
Some guns and ammunition26 were taken along as were a few revolvers, since old Andy had said it was best to prepare for any thing in the shape of enemies or wild beasts that might be met with in the interior regions.
 
It was decided to make the start by sailing along the surface of the sea for several days, as in the event of any weakness in the machinery being discovered there would be less danger. If, at the end of four days, no trouble developed, the professor said he would send the Mermaid into the air and make the rest of the voyage through the sky.
 
The night before the start was to be made the professor, with the boys, Washington and the other helpers, went about through the various shops and buildings, locking them up securely. For they could not tell how long they would be away, and they had to leave behind much valuable material.
 
As there were several things that needed attention they divided the work up. Mark had finished his share and was walking back toward the living cabin where they were all quartered, when, down at the shore, near where the boat was moored27, he fancied he saw, in the gathering28 darkness, a moving figure.
 
“I wonder who that can be,” he thought. “All the others are near the machine shop, for I just left them there. Perhaps it’s some one trying to spy out how the Mermaid is built.”
 
Knowing the professor wanted his secret well guarded, Mark walked softly toward the little dock that served as a place whence the Mermaid could be easily boarded. As he approached he saw the figure moving. Something struck the boy as peculiar29.
 
Though the object had some of the characteristics of a man it did not walk like a human being, but shuffled30 along more like a huge ape or monkey. It seemed bent31 over, as if it stooped toward the ground.
 
“Who are you?” called Mark suddenly.
 
For an instant the figure halted and then hurried on faster than before, with a curious, shuffling32 walk. It was approaching the ship.
 
Somehow it struck Mark as if it was an uncanny being; an inhabitant of some other world. Then he laughed at his half-fear, and started on a run toward the dock.
 
“If it’s some tramp trying to find a place to sleep he’d better not go aboard the ship, he might do some damage,” the boy thought.
 
He could hardly see the figure now as it had passed into the shadow cast by the boat. He was about to summon the professor to make an investigation33, when Washington started going the search light which was placed just over the door of the living cabin. It was kept there as a sort of beacon34 light, as, near the island was a dangerous ledge35 of rocks.
 
Then, in the blinding white glare from the big lantern as Washington accidentally swung it toward the Mermaid, Mark beheld36 a strange sight.
 
The figure he had been watching stood out in bold relief. Though it was shaped like a human being it was not like any person the boy had ever seen. It seemed covered with a skin twice too large for it; a skin, which, in spite of the clothes that concealed37 it, hung in folds about the arms and legs, dropping pendent like from the neck like a big garment, and flapping in the wind.
 
For an instant Mark was so startled he cried out, and the professor and the others ran to see what was the matter.
 
“There—by the ship! A horrible creature!” exclaimed Mark.
 
Shouting to Washington to keep the light steady in the direction of the dock, Mr. Henderson ran toward the moored Mermaid. Jack, Andy, Bill and Tom, with Mark in the rear followed him.
 
“Nothing here,” said the scientist, after a careful search about. “Are you sure you saw something, Mark?”
 
“Positively,” replied the lad with a shudder38. He described the vision of the darkness.
 
“I guess it was a big otter39, or maybe an enormous turtle,” the professor said.

点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 decided lvqzZd     
adj.决定了的,坚决的;明显的,明确的
参考例句:
  • This gave them a decided advantage over their opponents.这使他们比对手具有明显的优势。
  • There is a decided difference between British and Chinese way of greeting.英国人和中国人打招呼的方式有很明显的区别。
2 gage YsAz0j     
n.标准尺寸,规格;量规,量表 [=gauge]
参考例句:
  • Can you gage what her reaction is likely to be?你能揣测她的反应可能是什么吗?
  • It's difficult to gage one's character.要判断一个人的品格是很困难的。
3 vapor DHJy2     
n.蒸汽,雾气
参考例句:
  • The cold wind condenses vapor into rain.冷风使水蒸气凝结成雨。
  • This new machine sometimes transpires a lot of hot vapor.这部机器有时排出大量的热气。
4 obliquely ad073d5d92dfca025ebd4a198e291bdc     
adv.斜; 倾斜; 间接; 不光明正大
参考例句:
  • From the gateway two paths led obliquely across the court. 从门口那儿,有两条小路斜越过院子。 来自辞典例句
  • He was receding obliquely with a curious hurrying gait. 他歪着身子,古怪而急促地迈着步子,往后退去。 来自辞典例句
5 mermaid pCbxH     
n.美人鱼
参考例句:
  • How popular would that girl be with the only mermaid mom!和人鱼妈妈在一起,那个女孩会有多受欢迎!
  • The little mermaid wasn't happy because she didn't want to wait.小美人鱼不太高兴,因为她等不及了。
6 scudded c462f8ea5bb84e37045ac6f3ce9c5bfc     
v.(尤指船、舰或云彩)笔直、高速而平稳地移动( scud的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • White clouds scudded across the sky. 白云在天空疾驰而过。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
  • Clouds scudded across the sky driven by high winds. 劲风吹着飞云掠过天空。 来自辞典例句
7 descend descend     
vt./vi.传下来,下来,下降
参考例句:
  • I hope the grace of God would descend on me.我期望上帝的恩惠。
  • We're not going to descend to such methods.我们不会沦落到使用这种手段。
8 apparatus ivTzx     
n.装置,器械;器具,设备
参考例句:
  • The school's audio apparatus includes films and records.学校的视听设备包括放映机和录音机。
  • They had a very refined apparatus.他们有一套非常精良的设备。
9 machinery CAdxb     
n.(总称)机械,机器;机构
参考例句:
  • Has the machinery been put up ready for the broadcast?广播器材安装完毕了吗?
  • Machinery ought to be well maintained all the time.机器应该随时注意维护。
10 smoothly iiUzLG     
adv.平滑地,顺利地,流利地,流畅地
参考例句:
  • The workmen are very cooperative,so the work goes on smoothly.工人们十分合作,所以工作进展顺利。
  • Just change one or two words and the sentence will read smoothly.这句话只要动一两个字就顺了。
11 hissing hissing     
n. 发嘶嘶声, 蔑视 动词hiss的现在分词形式
参考例句:
  • 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
12 jack 53Hxp     
n.插座,千斤顶,男人;v.抬起,提醒,扛举;n.(Jake)杰克
参考例句:
  • I am looking for the headphone jack.我正在找寻头戴式耳机插孔。
  • He lifted the car with a jack to change the flat tyre.他用千斤顶把车顶起来换下瘪轮胎。
13 vessel 4L1zi     
n.船舶;容器,器皿;管,导管,血管
参考例句:
  • The vessel is fully loaded with cargo for Shanghai.这艘船满载货物驶往上海。
  • You should put the water into a vessel.你应该把水装入容器中。
14 conning b97e62086a8bfeb6de9139effa481f58     
v.诈骗,哄骗( con的现在分词 );指挥操舵( conn的现在分词 )
参考例句:
  • He climbed into the conning tower, his eyes haunted and sickly bright. 他爬上司令塔,两眼象见鬼似的亮得近乎病态。 来自辞典例句
  • As for Mady, she enriched her record by conning you. 对马德琳来说,这次骗了你,又可在她的光荣历史上多了一笔。 来自辞典例句
15 steer 5u5w3     
vt.驾驶,为…操舵;引导;vi.驾驶
参考例句:
  • If you push the car, I'll steer it.如果你来推车,我就来驾车。
  • It's no use trying to steer the boy into a course of action that suits you.想说服这孩子按你的方式行事是徒劳的。
16 foamed 113c59340f70ad75b2469cbd9b8b5869     
泡沫的
参考例句:
  • The beer foamed up and overflowed the glass. 啤酒冒着泡沫,溢出了玻璃杯。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The man foamed and stormed. 那人大发脾气,暴跳如雷。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
17 navigates 958df1f5bfaf5943d4890ea6c3cd4bd4     
v.给(船舶、飞机等)引航,导航( navigate的第三人称单数 );(从海上、空中等)横越;横渡;飞跃
参考例句:
  • Dolpins also navigates by some kind of echo system. 原来海豚也是借助某种回声系统寻向的。 来自辞典例句
  • Navigates in menus, lists, choice screens and into edited texts. 可以操纵菜单、列表、屏幕选项和进入编辑文本。 来自互联网
18 backwards BP9ya     
adv.往回地,向原处,倒,相反,前后倒置地
参考例句:
  • He turned on the light and began to pace backwards and forwards.他打开电灯并开始走来走去。
  • All the girls fell over backwards to get the party ready.姑娘们迫不及待地为聚会做准备。
19 naught wGLxx     
n.无,零 [=nought]
参考例句:
  • He sets at naught every convention of society.他轻视所有的社会习俗。
  • I hope that all your efforts won't go for naught.我希望你的努力不会毫无结果。
20 aluminum 9xhzP     
n.(aluminium)铝
参考例句:
  • The aluminum sheets cannot be too much thicker than 0.04 inches.铝板厚度不能超过0.04英寸。
  • During the launch phase,it would ride in a protective aluminum shell.在发射阶段,它盛在一只保护的铝壳里。
21 holder wc4xq     
n.持有者,占有者;(台,架等)支持物
参考例句:
  • The holder of the office of chairman is reponsible for arranging meetings.担任主席职位的人负责安排会议。
  • That runner is the holder of the world record for the hundred-yard dash.那位运动员是一百码赛跑世界纪录的保持者。
22 plowing 6dcabc1c56430a06a1807a73331bd6f2     
v.耕( plow的现在分词 );犁耕;费力穿过
参考例句:
  • "There are things more important now than plowing, Sugar. "如今有比耕种更重要的事情要做呀,宝贝儿。 来自飘(部分)
  • Since his wife's death, he has been plowing a lonely furrow. 从他妻子死后,他一直过着孤独的生活。 来自辞典例句
23 porpoise Sidy6     
n.鼠海豚
参考例句:
  • What is the difference between a dolphin and porpoise?海豚和和鼠海豚有什么区别?
  • Mexico strives to save endangered porpoise.墨西哥努力拯救濒危的鼠海豚。
24 monarch l6lzj     
n.帝王,君主,最高统治者
参考例句:
  • The monarch's role is purely ceremonial.君主纯粹是个礼仪职位。
  • I think myself happier now than the greatest monarch upon earth.我觉得这个时候比世界上什么帝王都快乐。
25 anticipations 5b99dd11cd8d6a699f0940a993c12076     
预期( anticipation的名词复数 ); 预测; (信托财产收益的)预支; 预期的事物
参考例句:
  • The thought took a deal of the spirit out of his anticipations. 想到这,他的劲头消了不少。
  • All such bright anticipations were cruelly dashed that night. 所有这些美好的期望全在那天夜晚被无情地粉碎了。
26 ammunition GwVzz     
n.军火,弹药
参考例句:
  • A few of the jeeps had run out of ammunition.几辆吉普车上的弹药已经用光了。
  • They have expended all their ammunition.他们把弹药用光。
27 moored 7d8a41f50d4b6386c7ace4489bce8b89     
adj. 系泊的 动词moor的过去式和过去分词形式
参考例句:
  • 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。
28 gathering ChmxZ     
n.集会,聚会,聚集
参考例句:
  • 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。
29 peculiar cinyo     
adj.古怪的,异常的;特殊的,特有的
参考例句:
  • He walks in a peculiar fashion.他走路的样子很奇特。
  • He looked at me with a very peculiar expression.他用一种很奇怪的表情看着我。
30 shuffled cee46c30b0d1f2d0c136c830230fe75a     
v.洗(纸牌)( shuffle的过去式和过去分词 );拖着脚步走;粗心地做;摆脱尘世的烦恼
参考例句:
  • He shuffled across the room to the window. 他拖着脚走到房间那头的窗户跟前。
  • Simon shuffled awkwardly towards them. 西蒙笨拙地拖着脚朝他们走去。 来自《简明英汉词典》
31 bent QQ8yD     
n.爱好,癖好;adj.弯的;决心的,一心的
参考例句:
  • 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。
32 shuffling 03b785186d0322e5a1a31c105fc534ee     
adj. 慢慢移动的, 滑移的 动词shuffle的现在分词形式
参考例句:
  • Don't go shuffling along as if you were dead. 别像个死人似地拖着脚走。 来自英汉文学 - 嘉莉妹妹
  • Some one was shuffling by on the sidewalk. 外面的人行道上有人拖着脚走过。 来自英汉文学 - 嘉莉妹妹
33 investigation MRKzq     
n.调查,调查研究
参考例句:
  • In an investigation,a new fact became known, which told against him.在调查中新发现了一件对他不利的事实。
  • He drew the conclusion by building on his own investigation.他根据自己的调查研究作出结论。
34 beacon KQays     
n.烽火,(警告用的)闪火灯,灯塔
参考例句:
  • The blink of beacon could be seen for miles.灯塔的光亮在数英里之外都能看见。
  • The only light over the deep black sea was the blink shone from the beacon.黑黢黢的海面上唯一的光明就只有灯塔上闪现的亮光了。
35 ledge o1Mxk     
n.壁架,架状突出物;岩架,岩礁
参考例句:
  • They paid out the line to lower him to the ledge.他们放出绳子使他降到那块岩石的突出部分。
  • Suddenly he struck his toe on a rocky ledge and fell.突然他的脚趾绊在一块突出的岩石上,摔倒了。
36 beheld beheld     
v.看,注视( behold的过去式和过去分词 );瞧;看呀;(叙述中用于引出某人意外的出现)哎哟
参考例句:
  • His eyes had never beheld such opulence. 他从未见过这样的财富。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The soul beheld its features in the mirror of the passing moment. 灵魂在逝去的瞬间的镜子中看到了自己的模样。 来自英汉文学 - 红字
37 concealed 0v3zxG     
a.隐藏的,隐蔽的
参考例句:
  • The paintings were concealed beneath a thick layer of plaster. 那些画被隐藏在厚厚的灰泥层下面。
  • I think he had a gun concealed about his person. 我认为他当时身上藏有一支枪。
38 shudder JEqy8     
v.战粟,震动,剧烈地摇晃;n.战粟,抖动
参考例句:
  • The sight of the coffin sent a shudder through him.看到那副棺材,他浑身一阵战栗。
  • We all shudder at the thought of the dreadful dirty place.我们一想到那可怕的肮脏地方就浑身战惊。
39 otter 7vgyH     
n.水獭
参考例句:
  • The economists say the competition otter to the brink of extinction.经济学家们说,竞争把海獭推到了灭绝的边缘。
  • She collared my black wool coat with otter pelts.她把我的黑呢上衣镶上了水獭领。


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