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CHAPTER XXI THE FISH THAT WALKED
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 It was with no little apprehension1 that the professor prepared to take his first flight aboard the ship in the realms of the new world. He knew little or nothing of the conditions he might meet with, the density2 of the atmosphere, or how the Mermaid3 would behave under another environment than that to which she was accustomed.
 
Yet he felt it was necessary to make a start. They would have to attempt a flight sooner or later, and Mr. Henderson was not the one to delay matters. So, the last adjustment having been made to the repaired machinery4, they all took their places in the ship.
 
The boys and the professor went to the conning5 tower to direct matters, while Washington and the others were in the engine room to see that the machinery worked properly. Mark gave a last look outside as he closed the big steel cover over the hole through which admission was had to the craft. He thought he might catch a glimpse of the queer shadow, but nothing was in sight. It was like a beautiful summer’s day, save for the strange lights, shifting and changing. But the travelers had become somewhat used to them by this time.
 
The professor turned the valve that allowed the gas to enter the holder6. There was a hissing7 sound and a sort of trembling throughout the entire ship. The dynamos were whizzing away and the negative gravity machine was all ready to start.
 
For several minutes the travelers waited until the big lifting tank was filled with the strong vapor8. They watched the gages which indicated the pressure to be several hundred pounds.
 
“I think we can chance it now,” remarked Mr. Henderson, as he threw over several levers. “We’ll try, at any rate.”
 
With a tremor9 the Mermaid left the surface of the inner earth and went sailing upward toward the—well it wasn’t exactly the sky, but it was what corresponded to it in the new world, though there were no clouds and no blue depths such as the boys were used to. At all events the Mermaid was flying again, and, as the adventurers felt themselves being lifted up they gave a spontaneous cheer at the success which had crowned their efforts.
 
The ship went up several hundred feet, and then, the professor, having brought her to a stop, sent her ahead at a slow pace. He wanted to be sure all the apparatus10 was in good working order before he tried any speed.
 
The Mermaid responded readily. Straight as an arrow through the air she flew.
 
“Well, this is almost as good as being on the regular earth!” exclaimed Jack11.
 
“It’s better,” put in Mark. “We haven’t seen half the wonders yet. Let’s open the floor shutter12, and see how it looks down below.”
 
He and Jack went to the room where there was an opening in the floor of the ship, covered by heavy glass. They slid back the steel shutter and there, down below them, was the strange new world they had come to, stretched out like some big map.
 
They could see mountains, forests, plains, and rivers, the water sparkling in the colored light. Over green fields they flew, then across some stretches where only sand and rocks were to be seen. Faster and faster the ship went, as the professor found the machinery was once more in perfect order. Jack was idly watching the play of tinted13 lights over the surface of the ground.
 
“I wonder what makes it,” he said.
 
“I have tried to account for it in several ways,” said the professor, who had called Washington to the conning tower and come to join the boys. “I have had first one theory and then another, but the one I am almost sure is correct is that hidden volcanic14 fires cause the illumination.
 
“I think they flare15 up and die away, and have become so regular that they produce the same effect as night and day with us. Probably the fires go out for lack of fuel, and when it is supplied they start up again. Perhaps it is a sort of gas that they burn.”
 
“Well, it’s queer enough, whatever it is,” Jack remarked. “What strikes me as funny, though, is that we haven’t seen a single person since we came here. Surely this place must be inhabited.”
 
Mark thought of the strange shadow he had seen, but said nothing.
 
“I believe it is,” the professor answered. “We will probably come upon the inhabitants soon. I only hope they are a people who will do us no harm.”
 
“If they tried any of their tricks we could mount up in our ship and escape them,” said Andy.
 
“Provided they gave us the chance,” Mr. Henderson put in. “Well, we’ll not worry about that now.”
 
For several hours the ship traveled on, until it had come to a different sort of country. It was wilder and not so level, and there were a number of streams and small lakes to be seen.
 
“Are you going to sail all night?” asked Jack.
 
“No,” replied the professor. “I think we’ll descend16 very soon now, and camp out for a while. That lake just ahead seems to offer a good place,” and he pointed17 to a large sheet of water that sparkled in the distance, for by this time they had all gone back to the conning tower.
 
The lake was in the midst of a wood that extended for some distance on all sides, and was down in a sort of valley. The ship headed toward it, and in a short time a landing was made close to shore.
 
“Maybe we can have some fresh fish for supper,” exclaimed Jack as he ran from the ship as soon as the sliding door in the side was opened. “Looks as if that lake had some in it. It is not thick water like in that stream we stopped at,” he added.
 
“I believe you’re right,” old Andy put in, as he turned back to look for some lines and hooks among his traps. He soon found what he wanted, and gave them to the boys, taking his trusty gun along for himself.
 
While the professor, Washington, Tom and Bill remained behind to make some adjustments to the machinery, and to get things in shape for the night, which, they calculated would soon be upon them, Jack, Mark and Andy went down to the shore of the lake. The boys cut some poles from the trees, and baiting the hooks with some fat worms found under the bark, threw in.
 
“Let’s see who’ll get the first bite,” spoke18 Jack. “I’m pretty generally lucky at fishing.”
 
“Well, while you’re waiting to decide that there contest, I think I’ll take a stroll along shore and see if I can see anything to shoot,” Andy remarked.
 
For several minutes the boys sat in silence on the bank of the lake, watching the play of the vari-colored lights on the water. Suddenly Jack felt a quiver on his line, and his pole began to shake.
 
“I’ve got something!” he cried. Then his pole bent19 almost double and he began to pull for all he was worth. “It’s a whopper!” he cried. “Come and help me, Mark!”
 
Mark ran to his friend’s aid. Whatever was on the other end of the line was strong enough to tax the muscles of both boys. They could hear the pole beginning to break. But for the excellent quality of Andy’s line that would have parted some time before.
 
All at once there came a sudden slacking of the pull from whatever was in the water. And so quickly did it cease that both boys went over backward in a heap.
 
“He’s got away!” cried Jack, getting up and brushing some of the dirt from his clothes.
 
“There’s something that didn’t get away!” cried Mark, who had risen to his knees, and was pointing at the lake. Jack looked and what he saw made him almost believe he was dreaming.
 
For, emerging from the water, dragging the pole and line the boys had dropped along with it, was a most curious creature. It was a big fish, but a fish with four short legs on which it was walking, or rather waddling20 along as much as a duck, with a double supply of feet, might do.
 
“Say, do I see that or is there something the matter with my eyes?” sung out Jack, making ready to run away.
 
“It’s there all right!” exclaimed Mark. “Hi! Andy! Here’s something to shoot!” he yelled, for indeed the creature was big enough to warrant attack with a gun. It was about five feet long and two feet through.
 
On and on it came, straight at the boys, as if to have revenge for the pain the fish hook must have caused it, for the barb21 could be seen dangling22 from its lip. On and on it came, waddling forward, the water dripping from it at every step. It had the body and general shape of a fish, save that the tail was rather large in proportion. As it came nearer the boys noted23 that the feet were webbed, like those of a water fowl24.
 
“Come on!” cried Jack. “It may attack us!”
 
At that moment the creature opened its mouth, showing a triple row of formidable teeth, and gave utterance25 to a sort of groan26 and grunt27 combined.
 
This was enough to send Jack and Mark off on a run up the bank, and did they stop until they heard Andy’s voice hailing them.
 
“What’s the matter, boys?”
 
“Come here! Quick!” answered Jack.
 
The fish-animal had halted and seemed to be taking an observation. To do this, as it could not turn its neck, it had to shift its whole body. Old Andy came up on the run, his gun held in readiness.
 
“Where is it?” he asked, and the boys pointed silently.
 
The hunter could not repress a start of astonishment28 as he saw the strange creature. But he did not hesitate a second. There was a crack of the rifle, and the thing, whatever it was, toppled over, dead.
 
Andy hurried up to it, to get a closer view.
 
“Well, this is the limit!” he exclaimed. “First we have grasshoppers29 that can roll peaches as big as hogsheads, and now we come across fish that walk. I wonder what we will see next.”
 
“I don’t want to go fishing in this lake any more,” spoke Jack, as he looked at the repulsive30 creature. “I never want to eat fish any more.”
 
“Same here,” agreed Mark, and old Andy was of the opinion that the thing killed would not make a wholesome31 dish for the table.
 
“There don’t seem to be any game in this section,” he remarked. “Not a sign could I see, nor have I since we have been here, unless you count those grasshoppers. But the fruit is good, I’ll say that.”
 
“Come on, we’d better be getting back,” Mark said, as he noticed it was getting dark. “I’m hungry.”

点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 apprehension bNayw     
n.理解,领悟;逮捕,拘捕;忧虑
参考例句:
  • There were still areas of doubt and her apprehension grew.有些地方仍然存疑,于是她越来越担心。
  • She is a girl of weak apprehension.她是一个理解力很差的女孩。
2 density rOdzZ     
n.密集,密度,浓度
参考例句:
  • The population density of that country is 685 per square mile.那个国家的人口密度为每平方英里685人。
  • The region has a very high population density.该地区的人口密度很高。
3 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。
4 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。
5 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
6 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。
7 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
8 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。
9 tremor Tghy5     
n.震动,颤动,战栗,兴奋,地震
参考例句:
  • There was a slight tremor in his voice.他的声音有点颤抖。
  • A slight earth tremor was felt in California.加利福尼亚发生了轻微的地震。
10 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。
11 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。
12 shutter qEpy6     
n.百叶窗;(照相机)快门;关闭装置
参考例句:
  • The camera has a shutter speed of one-sixtieth of a second.这架照像机的快门速度达六十分之一秒。
  • The shutter rattled in the wind.百叶窗在风中发出嘎嘎声。
13 tinted tinted     
adj. 带色彩的 动词tint的过去式和过去分词
参考例句:
  • a pair of glasses with tinted lenses 一副有色镜片眼镜
  • a rose-tinted vision of the world 对世界的理想化看法
14 volcanic BLgzQ     
adj.火山的;象火山的;由火山引起的
参考例句:
  • There have been several volcanic eruptions this year.今年火山爆发了好几次。
  • Volcanic activity has created thermal springs and boiling mud pools.火山活动产生了温泉和沸腾的泥浆池。
15 flare LgQz9     
v.闪耀,闪烁;n.潮红;突发
参考例句:
  • The match gave a flare.火柴发出闪光。
  • You need not flare up merely because I mentioned your work.你大可不必因为我提到你的工作就动怒。
16 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。
17 pointed Il8zB4     
adj.尖的,直截了当的
参考例句:
  • He gave me a very sharp pointed pencil.他给我一支削得非常尖的铅笔。
  • She wished to show Mrs.John Dashwood by this pointed invitation to her brother.她想通过对达茨伍德夫人提出直截了当的邀请向她的哥哥表示出来。
18 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
参考例句:
  • 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。
19 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。
20 waddling 56319712a61da49c78fdf94b47927106     
v.(像鸭子一样)摇摇摆摆地走( waddle的现在分词 )
参考例句:
  • Rhinoceros Give me a break, were been waddling every day. 犀牛甲:饶了我吧,我们晃了一整天了都。 来自互联网
  • A short plump woman came waddling along the pavement. 有个矮胖女子一摇一摆地沿人行道走来。 来自互联网
21 barb kuXzG     
n.(鱼钩等的)倒钩,倒刺
参考例句:
  • The barb of his wit made us wince.他那锋芒毕露的机智使我们退避三舍。
  • A fish hook has a barb to prevent the fish from escaping after being hooked.鱼钩上都有一个倒钩以防上了钩的鱼逃走。
22 dangling 4930128e58930768b1c1c75026ebc649     
悬吊着( dangle的现在分词 ); 摆动不定; 用某事物诱惑…; 吊胃口
参考例句:
  • The tooth hung dangling by the bedpost, now. 结果,那颗牙就晃来晃去吊在床柱上了。
  • The children sat on the high wall,their legs dangling. 孩子们坐在一堵高墙上,摇晃着他们的双腿。
23 noted 5n4zXc     
adj.著名的,知名的
参考例句:
  • The local hotel is noted for its good table.当地的那家酒店以餐食精美而著称。
  • Jim is noted for arriving late for work.吉姆上班迟到出了名。
24 fowl fljy6     
n.家禽,鸡,禽肉
参考例句:
  • Fowl is not part of a traditional brunch.禽肉不是传统的早午餐的一部分。
  • Since my heart attack,I've eaten more fish and fowl and less red meat.自从我患了心脏病后,我就多吃鱼肉和禽肉,少吃红色肉类。
25 utterance dKczL     
n.用言语表达,话语,言语
参考例句:
  • This utterance of his was greeted with bursts of uproarious laughter.他的讲话引起阵阵哄然大笑。
  • My voice cleaves to my throat,and sob chokes my utterance.我的噪子哽咽,泣不成声。
26 groan LfXxU     
vi./n.呻吟,抱怨;(发出)呻吟般的声音
参考例句:
  • The wounded man uttered a groan.那个受伤的人发出呻吟。
  • The people groan under the burden of taxes.人民在重税下痛苦呻吟。
27 grunt eeazI     
v.嘟哝;作呼噜声;n.呼噜声,嘟哝
参考例句:
  • He lifted the heavy suitcase with a grunt.他咕噜着把沉重的提箱拎了起来。
  • I ask him what he think,but he just grunt.我问他在想什麽,他只哼了一声。
28 astonishment VvjzR     
n.惊奇,惊异
参考例句:
  • They heard him give a loud shout of astonishment.他们听见他惊奇地大叫一声。
  • I was filled with astonishment at her strange action.我对她的奇怪举动不胜惊异。
29 grasshoppers 36b89ec2ea2ca37e7a20710c9662926c     
n.蚱蜢( grasshopper的名词复数 );蝗虫;蚂蚱;(孩子)矮小的
参考例句:
  • Grasshoppers die in fall. 蚱蜢在秋天死去。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • There are usually a lot of grasshoppers in the rice fields. 稻田里通常有许多蚱蜢。 来自辞典例句
30 repulsive RsNyx     
adj.排斥的,使人反感的
参考例句:
  • She found the idea deeply repulsive.她发现这个想法很恶心。
  • The repulsive force within the nucleus is enormous.核子内部的斥力是巨大的。
31 wholesome Uowyz     
adj.适合;卫生的;有益健康的;显示身心健康的
参考例句:
  • In actual fact the things I like doing are mostly wholesome.实际上我喜欢做的事大都是有助于增进身体健康的。
  • It is not wholesome to eat without washing your hands.不洗手吃饭是不卫生的。


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