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首页 » 经典英文小说 » The Ice Queen » Chapter VII. THE FIRST DAY ON THE LAKE.
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 No howling gale1 disturbed their rest that night, and on the next morning, which was Friday, the third day out, breakfast had been disposed of long before the hour of rising on the previous day. What had they for breakfast? Hot and tender buckwheat cakes, with syrup2 made from maple3 sugar melted in a tin cup. The boiled ham and some crackers4 were put where they could be got at easily for luncheon5.
The stowing of the loose goods in the boat took no longer than Katy required to get the mess kit6 packed after breakfast. As the day was fine, and the ice, as far as they could see to the southward, whither their course lay, was smooth and free from snow, the sled was loaded with cut wood and rushes, ready for making a fire, and Jim was appointed to drag it.
As they were leaving the cabin, after a last look to see that nothing had been forgotten, Katy spoke7 up:
"Why can't we take along some of this nice straw? It doesn't weigh anything to speak of."
"Oh, we can't," says Jim, crossly. "Girls are always trying to do things they know nothing about."
"May's well begin to rough it now as any time; can't expect a cabin and a straw mattress8 every night," was Tug9's somewhat gruff remark as he went to the sledge10.
"But," the girl persisted, rather piqued11 when she saw how her suggestion had been received, "it might be very nice to spread it on the floor of the tent. Seems to me you might take it."
She was talking to Aleck now, who, she knew by his face, opposed the plan; but he, seeing how much in earnest she was, went back, gathered up a big armful of the cleanest straw, and heaped it in the stern of the boat, while she brought a second bundle.
This matter settled, Aleck and Tug put their heads through the new harness, and were soon rushing along at a stirring pace, while Katy skated behind, holding on to the stern of the boat to steady it; Jim followed with his sled, and Rex galloped12 here and there as suited him.
The ice for miles together had been swept clean by the wind, and was like a vast, glaring sheet of plate-glass. Most of it was a deep, brilliant green. Here and there would be stretches of milky13 ice, and now and then great rounded patches would suddenly meet them, which were black or deep brown, and at first frightened them by making them believe a patch of open water suddenly yawned in their path. But, when they examined closely, they could see that this black ice was two or three feet thick, like all the rest on the open lake.
They were never at any time more than a mile or so from the edge of the great marshes14 which bordered the low margin16 of the lake, and at noon they knew they had skated twelve miles, by reaching a certain island standing17 just in front of the reedy shallows.
Thither18 they gladly turned for luncheon; skates were unbuckled, a big fire was built, the snow was cleared away, and the spare canvas spread down to sit upon, while Katy prepared to warm up the extra supply of coffee she had made in the morning for this purpose.
Not much talking had been done on the march; breath was too badly needed to be wasted in that way; but now "tongues were loosed," and a rattling19 conversation kept time with the crackle of the dead sticks on the fire.
"Captain," said Tug, "have you noticed how that ridge20 in the ice bends just ahead, and seems to stand across our course?"
"Yes, I have, and I fear it will be troublesome to cross. Jimkin, you're nimble; climb that cottonwood, and tell us what you can see."
"All right," said Jim, and was quickly in the tree-top.
"It looks like a rough, broken ridge, stretching clear to shore. I guess we'll have to climb over it. I can't see any break."
"Where do you think is the easiest place?"
"About straight ahead, where you see that highest point. Right beside it is a kind o' low spot, I think."
"Well, then," said the Captain, "we'll aim for that. Hurry up your lunch, Katy, and let's be off."
Half an hour later they arrived at the bad place.
"It must be a hummock21," said Katy, "such as I have read about in Dr. Kane's book—only not so large, I suppose. He says that the ice-sheet, or floe22, gets cracked and separated a little; then the two floes will come together again with such force that they lap over one another, or else grind together, and burst up edgewise along the seam."
"That's just the way this is; but, hummock or no hummock, it must be crossed," said Aleck.
"Mebbe I could find a better place," suggested Jim, "if I should go along a little way."
"Well, try it, Youngster. And, Tug, suppose you take a scout23 in the other direction."
Tug went off, but soon returned, reporting a worse instead of better appearance, and Aleck, who had climbed over, came back to say that the ridge was about twenty-five yards wide.
"How does it look?" asked Katy.
"Why, it looks as though a lot of big cakes of ice had been piled up on edge, and then frozen into that rough shape, or lack of shape. I should say the ridge is ten feet high in the middle, and on the other side it is a straight jump down for about six feet. But it's worse everywhere else. We must take our skates off the first thing."
This done, they stood up, ready to drag the boat as near to the hummock as possible. But it was hard pulling, for the slope was pretty steep and rough.
"Where's that Jim, I wonder?" cried Aleck. "I'll teach The Youngster not to run off the minute any work is to be done. Jim!"
But no boy answered the call, nor several others. Tug stood up on the boat, and Katy climbed to a high point of ice, but neither could see anything. Then they all became alarmed, fearing he might have fallen into one of those holes that here and there are found in the thickest ice, and always stay open. It is an easy matter to skate into one, but a very hard one to get out again. It was the thought of this that made Katy run in the direction whither Jim had started, but her brother called her back.
"Wait, Katy. We'll put on our skates. Probably The Youngster's hiding, and I'll box his ears when I catch him. This is no time for fooling."
With quick, nervous fingers they fastened their straps24, and then rushed down along the foot of the hummock as though on a race, Tug carrying one of the drag-ropes. The tracks could be followed easily enough until they left the good ice and turned in towards the hummock, where they came to an end, which looked as though Jim might have taken off his skates. Here the boys hallooed, then climbed to the top of a great, upturned table of blue ice, and called again. But the most complete silence followed their words—such a silence as can never be known on land among the creaking trees or rustling25 grass; an absolute, painful stillness. Not even an echo came back.
At this they were puzzled and frightened, and Katy wanted to cry, but fought back her tears. They descended26, and went slowly onward27, now and then getting upon elevated points, and calling. At last they stopped, utterly28 at their wits' end where or how to search next, and Katy's tears rolled down her cheeks unchecked.
"Cheer up, Sis," said Aleck, and took her hand in his as they skated slowly onward; "cheer up! we'll try again on that big block ahead."
This block overlooked a broader part of the hummock, and wasn't far from land. They struggled over the jagged border, and hoisted29 Katy upon it to see what she could see.
"Nothing," was her report; "nothing but ice, and ice, and ice, and a gray edge of marsh15. Oh, Jim! Jim! where are you?"
"Here—help me out."
Each looked at the other in amazement30, for the voice, though faint, seemed right beside them.
"Here, down between the cakes—help me out."
The words came distinctly, and gave them a clew. Katy peeped over the farther edge of the block, and there she saw the little fellow's face peering up at her out of the greenish light of a sort of pit into which he had fallen. Two great cakes of ice had been thrown up side by side, leaving a space about two feet wide and ten feet deep between them. The blowing snow that filled most of the crevices31 of the hummock had here formed a bridge, which had let Jim through when he stepped upon it, never suspecting the chasm32 it concealed33.
"Hurt?" asked Tug.
"Not a bit, but pretty well scared. I thought you fellows were never coming. I've been in here two hours."
"Two hours! Oho, that's good! Twenty minutes would about fill the bill. You ain't tired so quick of a warm, snug34 place like that, are you?"
"Just you try it, and see how you like its snugness35. drop me an end of that rope, will you?"
"Give him the rope's end, Tug; he deserves it in another way, but we haven't time to-day. Now, then—yo-heave-o!" and up came the lost member, not much the worse for his adventure.
Then began the difficult work of crossing the hummock. In front of the boat lay a steep slope of glassy ice, and beyond and above that a series of steps and jagged points, forming about such a plateau as a big heap of building-stone would make, only here the fragments were larger.
All four, going to the top of the first slope, pulled the boat upward until the forward runners were just balanced on the crest36. Then a hook on one of the ropes came loose; four young people fell sprawling37; and the boat dropped backward with a rush to the very bottom of the ridge, where it upset.
"Now," said Aleck, when they had set the boat upright again, and found nothing broken; "now let us take out all the loose stuff, and so lighten her as much as we can."
This was done.
"We three fellows," was the Captain's next order, "will drag her up again, and Katy must go behind with the boat-hook, and stick it into the ice behind the boat, to hold it, like a chock-block under a wagon38 wheel, whenever it shows any signs of slipping back. Now, everybody be careful."
The steady pulling, with Katy's pushing and guiding, got the front runners safely over the edge of the sloping side, and gave them a chance to rest. But when they tried to move it forward enough to bring the stern up, the boat couldn't be budged39, because the ice in front was so full of ruts and ridges40.


1 gale Xf3zD     
  • 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。
2 syrup hguzup     
  • I skimmed the foam from the boiling syrup.我撇去了煮沸糖浆上的泡沫。
  • Tinned fruit usually has a lot of syrup with it.罐头水果通常都有许多糖浆。
3 maple BBpxj     
  • Maple sugar is made from the sap of maple trees.枫糖是由枫树的树液制成的。
  • The maple leaves are tinge with autumn red.枫叶染上了秋天的红色。
4 crackers nvvz5e     
adj.精神错乱的,癫狂的n.爆竹( cracker的名词复数 );薄脆饼干;(认为)十分愉快的事;迷人的姑娘
  • That noise is driving me crackers. 那噪声闹得我简直要疯了。
  • We served some crackers and cheese as an appetiser. 我们上了些饼干和奶酪作为开胃品。 来自《简明英汉词典》
5 luncheon V8az4     
  • 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。
6 kit D2Rxp     
  • 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。
7 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。
8 mattress Z7wzi     
  • 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。
9 tug 5KBzo     
  • 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。
10 sledge AxVw9     
  • 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。
11 piqued abe832d656a307cf9abb18f337accd25     
v.伤害…的自尊心( pique的过去式和过去分词 );激起(好奇心)
  • Their curiosity piqued, they stopped writing. 他们的好奇心被挑起,停下了手中的笔。 来自辞典例句
  • This phenomenon piqued Dr Morris' interest. 这一现象激起了莫里斯医生的兴趣。 来自辞典例句
12 galloped 4411170e828312c33945e27bb9dce358     
(使马)飞奔,奔驰( gallop的过去式和过去分词 ); 快速做[说]某事
  • Jo galloped across the field towards him. 乔骑马穿过田野向他奔去。
  • The children galloped home as soon as the class was over. 孩子们一下课便飞奔回家了。
13 milky JD0xg     
  • Alexander always has milky coffee at lunchtime.亚历山大总是在午餐时喝掺奶的咖啡。
  • I like a hot milky drink at bedtime.我喜欢睡前喝杯热奶饮料。
14 marshes 9fb6b97bc2685c7033fce33dc84acded     
n.沼泽,湿地( marsh的名词复数 )
  • 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》
15 marsh Y7Rzo     
  • There are a lot of frogs in the marsh.沼泽里有许多青蛙。
  • I made my way slowly out of the marsh.我缓慢地走出这片沼泽地。
16 margin 67Mzp     
  • We allowed a margin of 20 minutes in catching the train.我们有20分钟的余地赶火车。
  • The village is situated at the margin of a forest.村子位于森林的边缘。
17 standing 2hCzgo     
  • After the earthquake only a few houses were left standing.地震过后只有几幢房屋还立着。
  • They're standing out against any change in the law.他们坚决反对对法律做任何修改。
18 thither cgRz1o     
  • He wandered hither and thither looking for a playmate.他逛来逛去找玩伴。
  • He tramped hither and thither.他到处流浪。
19 rattling 7b0e25ab43c3cc912945aafbb80e7dfd     
adj. 格格作响的, 活泼的, 很好的 adv. 极其, 很, 非常 动词rattle的现在分词
  • This book is a rattling good read. 这是一本非常好的读物。
  • At that same instant,a deafening explosion set the windows rattling. 正在这时,一声震耳欲聋的爆炸突然袭来,把窗玻璃震得当当地响。
20 ridge KDvyh     
  • We clambered up the hillside to the ridge above.我们沿着山坡费力地爬上了山脊。
  • The infantry were advancing to attack the ridge.步兵部队正在向前挺进攻打山脊。
21 hummock XdCzX     
  • He crawled up a small hummock and surveyed the prospect.他慢腾腾地登上一个小丘,看了看周围的地形。
  • The two young men advanced cautiously towards the hummock.两个年轻人小心翼翼地向小丘前进。
22 floe ijHx4     
  • Two penguins are standing on ice floe.两只企鹅站在一块浮冰上。
  • Somehow the seal manages to reach a tiny ice floe.不知何故,海豹设法到达了一块小浮冰上。
23 scout oDGzi     
  • He was mistaken for an enemy scout and badly wounded.他被误认为是敌人的侦察兵,受了重伤。
  • The scout made a stealthy approach to the enemy position.侦察兵偷偷地靠近敌军阵地。
24 straps 1412cf4c15adaea5261be8ae3e7edf8e     
n.带子( strap的名词复数 );挎带;肩带;背带v.用皮带捆扎( strap的第三人称单数 );用皮带抽打;包扎;给…打绷带
  • the shoulder straps of her dress 她连衣裙上的肩带
  • The straps can be adjusted to suit the wearer. 这些背带可进行调整以适合使用者。
25 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
26 descended guQzoy     
  • A mood of melancholy descended on us. 一种悲伤的情绪袭上我们的心头。
  • The path descended the hill in a series of zigzags. 小路呈连续的之字形顺着山坡蜿蜒而下。
27 onward 2ImxI     
  • The Yellow River surges onward like ten thousand horses galloping.黄河以万马奔腾之势滚滚向前。
  • He followed in the steps of forerunners and marched onward.他跟随着先辈的足迹前进。
28 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。
29 hoisted d1dcc88c76ae7d9811db29181a2303df     
把…吊起,升起( hoist的过去式和过去分词 )
  • He hoisted himself onto a high stool. 他抬身坐上了一张高凳子。
  • The sailors hoisted the cargo onto the deck. 水手们把货物吊到甲板上。
30 amazement 7zlzBK     
  • All those around him looked at him with amazement.周围的人都对他投射出惊异的眼光。
  • He looked at me in blank amazement.他带着迷茫惊诧的神情望着我。
31 crevices 268603b2b5d88d8a9cc5258e16a1c2f8     
n.(尤指岩石的)裂缝,缺口( crevice的名词复数 )
  • It has bedded into the deepest crevices of the store. 它已钻进了店里最隐避的隙缝。 来自辞典例句
  • The wind whistled through the crevices in the rock. 风呼啸着吹过岩石的缝隙。 来自辞典例句
32 chasm or2zL     
  • There's a chasm between rich and poor in that society.那社会中存在着贫富差距。
  • A huge chasm gaped before them.他们面前有个巨大的裂痕。
33 concealed 0v3zxG     
  • 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。
34 snug 3TvzG     
  • 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。
35 snugness 520d42eb7014ae4df6fe371826980c5e     
  • The transition from the terminal's warm snugness to the harshness of the night outside was startling. 从温暖舒适的机场大楼进入室外的风雪之夜,真是触目惊心的转变。 来自辞典例句
36 crest raqyA     
  • The rooster bristled his crest.公鸡竖起了鸡冠。
  • He reached the crest of the hill before dawn.他于黎明前到达山顶。
37 sprawling 3ff3e560ffc2f12f222ef624d5807902     
adj.蔓生的,不规则地伸展的v.伸开四肢坐[躺]( sprawl的现在分词 );蔓延;杂乱无序地拓展;四肢伸展坐着(或躺着)
  • He was sprawling in an armchair in front of the TV. 他伸开手脚坐在电视机前的一张扶手椅上。
  • a modern sprawling town 一座杂乱无序拓展的现代城镇
38 wagon XhUwP     
  • We have to fork the hay into the wagon.我们得把干草用叉子挑进马车里去。
  • The muddy road bemired the wagon.马车陷入了泥泞的道路。
39 budged acd2fdcd1af9cf1b3478f896dc0484cf     
v.(使)稍微移动( budge的过去式和过去分词 );(使)改变主意,(使)让步
  • Old Bosc had never budged an inch--he was totally indifferent. 老包斯克一直连动也没有动,他全然无所谓。 来自辞典例句
  • Nobody budged you an inch. 别人一丁点儿都算计不了你。 来自辞典例句
40 ridges 9198b24606843d31204907681f48436b     
n.脊( ridge的名词复数 );山脊;脊状突起;大气层的)高压脊
  • The path winds along mountain ridges. 峰回路转。
  • Perhaps that was the deepest truth in Ridges's nature. 在里奇斯的思想上,这大概可以算是天经地义第一条了。


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