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Chapter VI. NORSE TALES.
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 The pain of this farewell did not long cloud their faces. Tug1 and Jim had had no luncheon2, and were growing anxious for something to eat. Down at the mouth of the river stood a small cabin, often occupied in early spring by the sportsmen who went for a day's duck-shooting in the great marshes3 that spread right and left on both sides of the stream. It was buried among big cottonwood and sycamore trees, and was pretty snug4. Besides, it had a fireplace, into which somebody had stuck a long iron bolt pulled out of some bit of wreckage5 on the beach, and which served as a great convenience in the rude cooking of the sportsmen.
 
At this cabin our party proposed to spend the first night. They thought it would be an easy letting down from sleeping in their beds at home to the tenting they feared they might have to do afterwards. Katy had been the one to suggest this, and Tug had earnestly supported the idea.
 
"Things don't seem so hard when they come upon you gradually, as the kind-hearted man said when he cut off his dog's tail a little piece at a time, so the pup wouldn't mind it."
 
The sun was just disappearing straight up the river behind them as the cabin came in sight; and before its half-closed door
 
"'All bloody7 lay the untrodden snow,'"
as Kate exclaimed, misquoting her "Hohenlinden" to suit the red glow of the rich evening light.
 
"Hurrah8 for supper!" screamed Jim; and with an extra spurt9 they swung the boat up to the bank.
 
A little sweeping10 with a broom made of an alder11 branch cleared the cabin of the snow that had blown into the cracks and fallen down the mud-and-stone chimney. This done, Aleck called to them to listen to his first orders, which he had written down in a note-book, and now read as follows:
 
Captain's Order No. 1.—Any order given by the Captain must be obeyed by the person to whom it is addressed, unless his reason for not doing so will not keep till camping-time; merely not liking12 the duty is no excuse.
 
Captain's Order No. 2.—The Captain will say when and where camp shall be made, and immediately upon stopping to camp the duties of each person shall be taken up as follows: the Captain shall secure the boat, get out the tent, and proceed to set it up; Tug shall take the axe13 and get fuel for the fire; Kate shall see to the building of the fire and the preparation of food; Jim shall help Kate, particularly in carrying articles needed, and in getting water; and all, when these special duties are finished, shall report to the Captain for further duty.
 
Captain's Order No. 3.—Any complaints or suggestions must be made in council, which will commence after camp work is completed and supper is over, and not before.
 
"There," said Aleck, "do you agree to that?"
 
"Yes—agreed!" shouted three voices in chorus.
 
"Then pitch in, all of you; you know your work."
 
At this Tug seized the axe, Aleck and Jim went to the sledge14, and Katy began to kindle15 a little blaze on the hearth16 with some bits of dry wood she found lying about, so that when Tug had brought an armful of sticks, a good fire was quickly crackling. Then the iron pot, full of water, was hung upon the old spike17, where the blaze began curling around its three little black feet in a most loving way.
 
"Jimkin," called the girl to her brother, who was gazing with delight at the bright fire, "Jimkin, bring me all those paper packages at the stern of the boat, and be careful of the white one—it's eggs."
 
 
"I guess there won't be much tent to set up to-night, Aleck," he remarked, as he found the Captain, who had hauled the sledge well up on the bank and tied it securely to a tree, now busy in dragging out the sail.
 
"No," was the reply, "but the canvas'll come handy. Tell Tug I say he'd better get a big heap of wood together, for we're going to have a cold night. The wind has turned to the north, and is rising."
 
When he had taken the canvas up to the cabin, he called Jim to help him, and they brought in the mess chest, the rolls of bedding, and the piece of spare canvas which had covered the prow18. Then, telling Jim to take the little sled that had been dragged behind the boat, and haul to the door the wood Tug had cut among the trees not far away, Aleck seized the shovel19 and began heaping snow against the northern side of the house, where there were many cracks between the lower logs. But his hard work to shut them up in this way seemed to be in vain, for the wind, which was blowing harder and harder every minute, whisked the snow away about as fast as he was able to pile it up. Kate, stepping out to see what he was about, came to his rescue with a happy thought.
 
"I read in Dr. Kane's book of arctic travels, that when they make houses of snow they throw water on them, which freezes, and holds them firm and tight. Couldn't you do that here? It's cold enough to freeze anything."
 
 
Aleck thought he might, and bidding Kate go back to her fireside, he called the other boys to help him; then, while Jim stuffed the cracks with snow, Aleck and Tug alternately brought water from a hole cut in the river ice, and dashed it against the chinking. Some of the water splashed through, and a good deal was tossed back in their faces and benumbed their hands, so that it was hard, cold work; but before long a crust had formed over the snow-stuffed cracks, and Katy came to the door to say that she couldn't feel a draught20 anywhere. The roof was pretty good, and when, tired and hungry, but warm with their exercise (except as to their toes and fingers), the three lads went in and shut the door, they found their quarters very snug, and didn't mind how loud the gale21 howled among the trees outside. Rex, especially, seemed to enjoy it, curling down at the corner of the fireplace as though very much at home.
 
Meanwhile Katy bustled22 about, setting out plates, knives, and forks on the top of the mess chest, which she had covered with the clean white paper in which her packages had been wrapped. She had put eight eggs to boil in the kettle, which were now done, and were carefully fished out, while the coffee-pot was bubbling on the coals, and letting fragrant23 jets of steam escape from under the loosely fitting cover. A cut loaf of bread lay on the table, and beside it a tumbler of currant jelly, "as sure as I am a Dutchman"—which was Tug's favorite way of putting a truth very strongly indeed, though he wasn't that kind of a man at all. The eagerness to taste this sweetmeat brought out the melancholy24 fact that by some accident there was only one spoon in the whole kit25.
 
 
 
"We'll fix that all right this evening," Aleck remarked. "I'll whittle26 wooden ones out of sycamore."
 
"Shall I broil27 some mutton-chops, or will you save those for breakfast?"
 
"Broil 'em now," cried Jim.
 
"Hold your opinion, Youngster, till your elders are heard," was Tug's rejoinder. "I vote we save 'em."
 
"So do I."
 
"And I."
 
"Done," says Captain Aleck. "Give us the chops for breakfast, Miss Housekeeper28."
 
"Then supper's all ready," she said, and took her seat on a stick of wood, pouring and passing the coffee, while the eggs and the bread and butter went round. By the time the meal was finished it had become dark, but this did not matter, since there was no need to go out of doors.
 
"How shall I wash the dishes?" asked Katy, with a comical grin, as she rose from the table. "I couldn't bring a big pan."
 
"Well," suggested Aleck, "you can clean out your kettle, refill it with water—Jim, there's business for you!—and then wash them in that."
 
"That's a matter never bothered me much when I was camping," added Tug, dryly. "I just scrubbed the plates with a wisp of grass, and cleaned the knives and forks by jabbing 'em into the ground a few times."
 
While the dishes were washing Aleck opened the tent bundle, and laid the mast across two pegs29 that somebody had driven into the north wall of the room just under the ceiling beams, perhaps to hang fishing-poles on. Then, with Tug's aid, he tied to the mast the inner hem6 of the sail-cloth, which thus hung loosely against the wall, like a big curtain, shutting out every draught.
 
"That's splendid!" cried Katy, watching them from the end of the room where the fire was.
 
"So is this!" came a voice from overhead, making them all look up in surprise.
 
It was Jim, who, unnoticed by any one, had clambered into the loft30, which had been floored over about two thirds of the room, and who was now thrusting his red face down through the open part.
 
"What do you think I've found?"
 
"Give it up. I knew of a man who died after asking conundrums31 all his life," answered Tug, gravely, "and I've fought shy of 'em since."
 
 
"Tell us at once, Jimkin," called out Aleck.
 
"Straw!" shouted Jim.
 
"Pshaw!" was the next rejoinder heard.
 
"No rhymes, Katy," Aleck admonished32. "Is it clean, Youngster?"
 
"Cleaner than he is, I should say, by his face," said Tug, and with some reason, for the loft was dusty.
 
"Don't know; you can see for yourself," and down came a great yellow armful.
 
It was pounced33 upon, and, proving dry and fresh, the delighted Jim was ordered to send down all he could find, which was laid on the floor, not far from the fire, and covered with the spare canvas. This made a soft sort of mattress34, upon which each one could spread his blankets, and sleep with great comfort, since there was plenty for all.
 
"Sha'n't have so good a bed as this another night," groaned35 Aleck.
 
"Can't tell—maybe better!" said the cheerful Tug.
 
The warmest place was set apart for Katy, and Aleck made a small screen, covered with a newspaper curtain, which separated her from the other three, who were to sleep side by side. These preparations made, the fire was heaped high with fresh wood, and then the little quartet took their ease, lounging on the springy straw before it, and indulging in a quiet talk over the busy day just finished, or what they were likely to meet on the morrow.
 
Aleck said something about being able to travel by compass in case they were caught in a snow-storm, which was what he dreaded36 the most, when Jim asked him to explain the compass to him, leaving Katy's side and going over to where his big brother was stretched out at the other corner of the fireplace. The girl, thus deserted37, went to the valise in which she kept her small articles, and came back with a book.

点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 tug 5KBzo     
v.用力拖(或拉);苦干;n.拖;苦干;拖船
参考例句:
  • We need to tug the car round to the front.我们需要把那辆车拉到前面。
  • The tug is towing three barges.那只拖船正拖着三只驳船。
2 luncheon V8az4     
n.午宴,午餐,便宴
参考例句:
  • We have luncheon at twelve o'clock.我们十二点钟用午餐。
  • I have a luncheon engagement.我午饭有约。
3 marshes 9fb6b97bc2685c7033fce33dc84acded     
n.沼泽,湿地( marsh的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • Cows were grazing on the marshes. 牛群在湿地上吃草。
  • We had to cross the marshes. 我们不得不穿过那片沼泽地。 来自《简明英汉词典》
4 snug 3TvzG     
adj.温暖舒适的,合身的,安全的;v.使整洁干净,舒适地依靠,紧贴;n.(英)酒吧里的私房
参考例句:
  • He showed us into a snug little sitting room.他领我们走进了一间温暖而舒适的小客厅。
  • She had a small but snug home.她有个小小的但很舒适的家。
5 wreckage nMhzF     
n.(失事飞机等的)残骸,破坏,毁坏
参考例句:
  • They hauled him clear of the wreckage.他们把他从形骸中拖出来。
  • New states were born out of the wreckage of old colonial empires.新生国家从老殖民帝国的废墟中诞生。
6 hem 7dIxa     
n.贴边,镶边;vt.缝贴边;(in)包围,限制
参考例句:
  • The hem on her skirt needs sewing.她裙子上的褶边需要缝一缝。
  • The hem of your dress needs to be let down an inch.你衣服的折边有必要放长1英寸。
7 bloody kWHza     
adj.非常的的;流血的;残忍的;adv.很;vt.血染
参考例句:
  • He got a bloody nose in the fight.他在打斗中被打得鼻子流血。
  • He is a bloody fool.他是一个十足的笨蛋。
8 hurrah Zcszx     
int.好哇,万岁,乌拉
参考例句:
  • We hurrah when we see the soldiers go by.我们看到士兵经过时向他们欢呼。
  • The assistants raised a formidable hurrah.助手们发出了一片震天的欢呼声。
9 spurt 9r9yE     
v.喷出;突然进发;突然兴隆
参考例句:
  • He put in a spurt at the beginning of the eighth lap.他进入第八圈时便开始冲刺。
  • After a silence, Molly let her anger spurt out.沉默了一会儿,莫莉的怒气便迸发了出来。
10 sweeping ihCzZ4     
adj.范围广大的,一扫无遗的
参考例句:
  • The citizens voted for sweeping reforms.公民投票支持全面的改革。
  • Can you hear the wind sweeping through the branches?你能听到风掠过树枝的声音吗?
11 alder QzNz7q     
n.赤杨树
参考例句:
  • He gave john some alder bark.他给了约翰一些桤木树皮。
  • Several coppice plantations have been seeded with poplar,willow,and alder.好几个灌木林场都种上了白杨、柳树和赤杨。
12 liking mpXzQ5     
n.爱好;嗜好;喜欢
参考例句:
  • The word palate also means taste or liking.Palate这个词也有“口味”或“嗜好”的意思。
  • I must admit I have no liking for exaggeration.我必须承认我不喜欢夸大其词。
13 axe 2oVyI     
n.斧子;v.用斧头砍,削减
参考例句:
  • Be careful with that sharp axe.那把斧子很锋利,你要当心。
  • The edge of this axe has turned.这把斧子卷了刃了。
14 sledge AxVw9     
n.雪橇,大锤;v.用雪橇搬运,坐雪橇往
参考例句:
  • The sledge gained momentum as it ran down the hill.雪橇从山上下冲时的动力越来越大。
  • The sledge slid across the snow as lightly as a boat on the water.雪橇在雪原上轻巧地滑行,就象船在水上行驶一样。
15 kindle n2Gxu     
v.点燃,着火
参考例句:
  • This wood is too wet to kindle.这木柴太湿点不着。
  • A small spark was enough to kindle Lily's imagination.一星光花足以点燃莉丽的全部想象力。
16 hearth n5by9     
n.壁炉炉床,壁炉地面
参考例句:
  • She came and sat in a chair before the hearth.她走过来,在炉子前面的椅子上坐下。
  • She comes to the hearth,and switches on the electric light there.她走到壁炉那里,打开电灯。
17 spike lTNzO     
n.长钉,钉鞋;v.以大钉钉牢,使...失效
参考例句:
  • The spike pierced the receipts and held them in order.那个钉子穿过那些收据并使之按顺序排列。
  • They'll do anything to spike the guns of the opposition.他们会使出各种手段来挫败对手。
18 prow T00zj     
n.(飞机)机头,船头
参考例句:
  • The prow of the motor-boat cut through the water like a knife.汽艇的船头像一把刀子劈开水面向前行驶。
  • He stands on the prow looking at the seadj.他站在船首看着大海。
19 shovel cELzg     
n.铁锨,铲子,一铲之量;v.铲,铲出
参考例句:
  • He was working with a pick and shovel.他在用镐和铲干活。
  • He seized a shovel and set to.他拿起一把铲就干上了。
20 draught 7uyzIH     
n.拉,牵引,拖;一网(饮,吸,阵);顿服药量,通风;v.起草,设计
参考例句:
  • He emptied his glass at one draught.他将杯中物一饮而尽。
  • It's a pity the room has no north window and you don't get a draught.可惜这房间没北窗,没有过堂风。
21 gale Xf3zD     
n.大风,强风,一阵闹声(尤指笑声等)
参考例句:
  • We got our roof blown off in the gale last night.昨夜的大风把我们的房顶给掀掉了。
  • According to the weather forecast,there will be a gale tomorrow.据气象台预报,明天有大风。
22 bustled 9467abd9ace0cff070d56f0196327c70     
闹哄哄地忙乱,奔忙( bustle的过去式和过去分词 ); 催促
参考例句:
  • She bustled around in the kitchen. 她在厨房里忙得团团转。
  • The hostress bustled about with an assumption of authority. 女主人摆出一副权威的样子忙来忙去。
23 fragrant z6Yym     
adj.芬香的,馥郁的,愉快的
参考例句:
  • The Fragrant Hills are exceptionally beautiful in late autumn.深秋的香山格外美丽。
  • The air was fragrant with lavender.空气中弥漫薰衣草香。
24 melancholy t7rz8     
n.忧郁,愁思;adj.令人感伤(沮丧)的,忧郁的
参考例句:
  • All at once he fell into a state of profound melancholy.他立即陷入无尽的忧思之中。
  • He felt melancholy after he failed the exam.这次考试没通过,他感到很郁闷。
25 kit D2Rxp     
n.用具包,成套工具;随身携带物
参考例句:
  • The kit consisted of about twenty cosmetic items.整套工具包括大约20种化妆用品。
  • The captain wants to inspect your kit.船长想检查你的行装。
26 whittle 0oHyz     
v.削(木头),削减;n.屠刀
参考例句:
  • They are trying to whittle down our salaries.他们正着手削减我们的薪水。
  • He began to whittle away all powers of the government that he did not control.他开始削弱他所未能控制的一切政府权力。
27 broil xsRzl     
v.烤,烧,争吵,怒骂;n.烤,烧,争吵,怒骂
参考例句:
  • Bake,broil,grill or roast foods rather than fry them.烧烤或烘烤而不要油炸食物。
  • He is in a broil of indignation.此刻他正怒气冲冲。
28 housekeeper 6q2zxl     
n.管理家务的主妇,女管家
参考例句:
  • A spotless stove told us that his mother is a diligent housekeeper.炉子清洁无瑕就表明他母亲是个勤劳的主妇。
  • She is an economical housekeeper and feeds her family cheaply.她节约持家,一家人吃得很省。
29 pegs 6e3949e2f13b27821b0b2a5124975625     
n.衣夹( peg的名词复数 );挂钉;系帐篷的桩;弦钮v.用夹子或钉子固定( peg的第三人称单数 );使固定在某水平
参考例句:
  • She hung up the shirt with two (clothes) pegs. 她用两只衣夹挂上衬衫。 来自辞典例句
  • The vice-presidents were all square pegs in round holes. 各位副总裁也都安排得不得其所。 来自辞典例句
30 loft VkhyQ     
n.阁楼,顶楼
参考例句:
  • We could see up into the loft from bottom of the stairs.我们能从楼梯脚边望到阁楼的内部。
  • By converting the loft,they were able to have two extra bedrooms.把阁楼改造一下,他们就可以多出两间卧室。
31 conundrums a46e5f8b66d51238c7a4a31d910cc653     
n.谜,猜不透的难题,难答的问题( conundrum的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • After all the conundrums of Hungary, the second Turkish Grand Prix promises much. 继匈牙利站所有猜不透的事之后,第二届土耳其大奖赛许诺了太多。 来自互联网
  • I see conundrums, dilemmas, quandaries, impasses, gnarly thickets of fateful possibility with no obvious way out. 眼看问题经纬万端,进退两难、入困境,死路一条,盘根错节的命定可能性,但找不到明显的出路。 来自互联网
32 admonished b089a95ea05b3889a72a1d5e33963966     
v.劝告( admonish的过去式和过去分词 );训诫;(温和地)责备;轻责
参考例句:
  • She was admonished for chewing gum in class. 她在课堂上嚼口香糖,受到了告诫。
  • The teacher admonished the child for coming late to school. 那个孩子迟到,老师批评了他。 来自《简明英汉词典》
33 pounced 431de836b7c19167052c79f53bdf3b61     
v.突然袭击( pounce的过去式和过去分词 );猛扑;一眼看出;抓住机会(进行抨击)
参考例句:
  • As soon as I opened my mouth, the teacher pounced on me. 我一张嘴就被老师抓住呵斥了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The police pounced upon the thief. 警察向小偷扑了过去。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
34 mattress Z7wzi     
n.床垫,床褥
参考例句:
  • The straw mattress needs to be aired.草垫子该晾一晾了。
  • The new mattress I bought sags in the middle.我买的新床垫中间陷了下去。
35 groaned 1a076da0ddbd778a674301b2b29dff71     
v.呻吟( groan的过去式和过去分词 );发牢骚;抱怨;受苦
参考例句:
  • He groaned in anguish. 他痛苦地呻吟。
  • The cart groaned under the weight of the piano. 大车在钢琴的重压下嘎吱作响。 来自《简明英汉词典》
36 dreaded XuNzI3     
adj.令人畏惧的;害怕的v.害怕,恐惧,担心( dread的过去式和过去分词)
参考例句:
  • The dreaded moment had finally arrived. 可怕的时刻终于来到了。
  • He dreaded having to spend Christmas in hospital. 他害怕非得在医院过圣诞节不可。 来自《用法词典》
37 deserted GukzoL     
adj.荒芜的,荒废的,无人的,被遗弃的
参考例句:
  • The deserted village was filled with a deathly silence.这个荒废的村庄死一般的寂静。
  • The enemy chieftain was opposed and deserted by his followers.敌人头目众叛亲离。


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