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首页 » 经典英文小说 » The Ice Queen » Chapter XVI. HOW TUG MADE "TWITCH-UPS."
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 "It's cold work, though," Katy replied, "sitting so still out on that ice. I am just stiff."
"I'll fix that all right," Tug1 said, showing some small forked and notched2 sticks he had cut out of oaken chips. "Come out with me, and I'll show you how to set a trap that will drop itself, or, rather, where the bird shuts his own prison door."
Gathering3 up Jim's blocks and slabs4 of ice, the whole party climbed to the top of the hummock5, which, as I have said, was almost the only spot in the wide plain free from deep snow, and Tug went to work.
Making a little hole in the ice, he wedged into it a short, flat-topped peg6, and packed a handful of snow about its base.
Then with the brick-like blocks of ice he arranged a hollow square around the peg. On top of the peg he laid the flattened7 side of the stem of a forked stick, like a letter  laid flat, and on top of that, as though it were a continuation of the peg, he set a post about ten inches high. Asking Aleck to hold these twigs9 in position for him, he took one of the slabs, lodged10 an end of it on the rim11 of the little wall made by his "bricks," and gently rested the other end upon the top of the post, which was held in its upright position under the pressure, at the same time keeping the  in place. This arranged, he spread crumbs12 about the trap and thickly inside. Then he announced it ready.
"Oh, I see how it works," Katy cried. "The bird, in leaping down, is almost sure to perch13 on the forked twig8, or, at least, to strike it. That throws it out of place, and tumbles the whole cover down, shutting him in."
"Correct!" said Tug, admiringly, as he went to work on a second trap of the same kind.
This set, all left the hummock (except Jim, who agreed to take his turn, wrapped in a blanket, at watching the strings14) and joined labor15 in making two or three more of the new ice traps, for now that the birds were plenty, they wanted to capture as many as possible.
"If only I had some sort of a spring," Tug announced, "I could make twitch-ups. I've all the rest of the fixin's, 'cause I found some horse-hairs in my 'shop' this morning; but I don't see how I am to get a springy twig or a strip of whalebone. I had some old umbrella-ribs, but I didn't bring 'em along. Wish I had."
Aleck thought over all his stores, but could remember nothing that would answer the purpose. "How about your ramrod?" he asked.
"Too stiff," Tug replied.
So they gave up talking, and attended to their work. Suddenly Aleck went to the log, split off a strip of oak, and whittled17 it into a thin rod. "How is that?" he said, as he handed it to his comrade.
Tug beat his hands and blew on his aching fingers a while before answering. Then he bent18 the rod gently, but before it was curved half as far as he needed, it broke.
"No good. Nothing but hickory will stand the strain."
"I'll tell you what you might do, perhaps," Katy suggested, having come out just in time to witness this little trial. "The handle of the boat-hook is hickory. If you could make an oak handle for that, you could split the hickory up into springles, couldn't you?"
"That's so!—that's a bright idea. Try it, Tug," and the Captain ran off for the boat-hook. The shaft19 of this was straight-grained, well-seasoned, and tough, but an oaken staff would serve its purpose quite as well.
"I should think that would answer first-rate," said Tug, "but you had better whittle16 out your oak stick first. It would be rough to be caught suddenly without any handle to our boat-hook."
"That's so," Aleck assented20, and took his axe21 to split a suitable piece from the log.
The making and shaping of a new handle, even in the rough, cost him much labor with his few tools. It was nearly an hour, therefore, before he was ready to pull the irons off the old handle and fasten the new one into its place; and fully22 another hour had passed by the time this difficult job had been done.
Then, with great care, and by the help of little wedges, a clean, straight splinter about as thick as your finger was split from the tough hickory staff. It was tried by the trapmaker, very gently at first, and bent well, so that it was pronounced serviceable, though not as good as a green twig or sapling, such as one would cut in the woods for the same purpose. It would answer to try with, however, and after a bit of luncheon23 they watched Tug make his twitch-ups—or, at least, all did except the one on duty at the strings. As Tug himself had to take a turn, he didn't get his traps done in time to put them up that day.
Next morning, however, all were out bright and early to help him do so. The snow-flakes had been there before, however, and one unfortunate had stepped on a treacherous24 fork, and was caught.
Having arranged two more ice-boxes and letter  traps, for which the pieces had been cut yesterday, they all gathered around Tug to watch him set his first twitch-up.
With one of the tent spikes25 he dug a slanting26 hole in the ice, into which he inserted one end of his hickory splint, which was about four feet long, fastening it firmly by ramming27 ice and snow down into the hole beside it, which would quickly freeze solid. A short distance from the foot of the splint he then laid down a short board, which was braced28 at the foot (or end farthest from the splint) against the side of a trough cut in the ice. The remaining three sides of the board were then fenced in by small blocks of ice.
Next, taking from his pocket a cord made by twisting two horse-hairs together, he slipped one end through a loop in the other, thus making a noose29, and tied it to the top of the hickory splint. This done, he bent down the splint until he hooked its tip under the nearest end, or head, of the board, which was raised a couple of inches from the ground. Spreading the noose carefully out upon the board, he sprinkled within a particularly nice lot of crumbs, then laid a little train away from the foot of the board as a leader, and the snare30 was ready. The weight of the bird treading upon the board to get the bait would press it down enough to let the lightly caught whip end of the splint spring up: this would pull the noose with a sudden movement, and the bird would find itself dangling31 in the air by the legs or a wing, or possibly by the neck.
Removing their captive, and resetting32 the square trap, the whole party went out of sight to await further results. Yesterday they had captured thirteen birds in all, and had eaten only nine. With three more traps, they ought to do better to-day, and so accumulate a little stock ahead.
"At any rate," Katy observed, "we've plenty of refrigerator room to keep them in."
They had, indeed—a refrigerator about a hundred miles square!


1 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。
2 notched ZHKx9     
  • Torino notched up a 2-1 win at Lazio. 都灵队以2 比1 赢了拉齐奧队。
  • He notched up ten points in the first five minutes of the game. 他在比赛开始后的五分钟里得了十分。
3 gathering ChmxZ     
  • 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。
4 slabs df40a4b047507aa67c09fd288db230ac     
n.厚板,平板,厚片( slab的名词复数 );厚胶片
  • The patio was made of stone slabs. 这天井是用石板铺砌而成的。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The slabs of standing stone point roughly toward the invisible notch. 这些矗立的石块,大致指向那个看不见的缺口。 来自辞典例句
5 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。
6 peg p3Fzi     
  • Hang your overcoat on the peg in the hall.把你的大衣挂在门厅的挂衣钩上。
  • He hit the peg mightily on the top with a mallet.他用木槌猛敲木栓顶。
7 flattened 1d5d9fedd9ab44a19d9f30a0b81f79a8     
  • She flattened her nose and lips against the window. 她把鼻子和嘴唇紧贴着窗户。
  • I flattened myself against the wall to let them pass. 我身体紧靠着墙让他们通过。
8 twig VK1zg     
  • He heard the sharp crack of a twig.他听到树枝清脆的断裂声。
  • The sharp sound of a twig snapping scared the badger away.细枝突然折断的刺耳声把獾惊跑了。
9 twigs 17ff1ed5da672aa443a4f6befce8e2cb     
细枝,嫩枝( twig的名词复数 )
  • Some birds build nests of twigs. 一些鸟用树枝筑巢。
  • Willow twigs are pliable. 柳条很软。
10 lodged cbdc6941d382cc0a87d97853536fcd8d     
v.存放( lodge的过去式和过去分词 );暂住;埋入;(权利、权威等)归属
  • The certificate will have to be lodged at the registry. 证书必须存放在登记处。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Our neighbours lodged a complaint against us with the police. 我们的邻居向警方控告我们。 来自《简明英汉词典》
11 rim RXSxl     
  • The water was even with the rim of the basin.盆里的水与盆边平齐了。
  • She looked at him over the rim of her glass.她的目光越过玻璃杯的边沿看着他。
12 crumbs crumbs     
int. (表示惊讶)哎呀 n. 碎屑 名词crumb的复数形式
  • She stood up and brushed the crumbs from her sweater. 她站起身掸掉了毛衣上的面包屑。
  • Oh crumbs! Is that the time? 啊,天哪!都这会儿啦?
13 perch 5u1yp     
  • The bird took its perch.鸟停歇在栖木上。
  • Little birds perch themselves on the branches.小鸟儿栖歇在树枝上。
14 strings nh0zBe     
  • He sat on the bed,idly plucking the strings of his guitar.他坐在床上,随意地拨着吉他的弦。
  • She swept her fingers over the strings of the harp.她用手指划过竖琴的琴弦。
15 labor P9Tzs     
  • We are never late in satisfying him for his labor.我们从不延误付给他劳动报酬。
  • He was completely spent after two weeks of hard labor.艰苦劳动两周后,他已经疲惫不堪了。
16 whittle 0oHyz     
  • 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。
17 whittled c984cbecad48927af0a8f103e776582c     
v.切,削(木头),使逐渐变小( whittle的过去式和过去分词 )
  • He whittled a simple toy from the piece of wood. 他把那块木头削成了一个简易的玩具。
  • The government's majority has been whittled down to eight. 政府多数票减少到了八票。
18 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。
19 shaft YEtzp     
  • He was wounded by a shaft.他被箭击中受伤。
  • This is the shaft of a steam engine.这是一个蒸汽机主轴。
20 assented 4cee1313bb256a1f69bcc83867e78727     
同意,赞成( assent的过去式和过去分词 )
  • The judge assented to allow the prisoner to speak. 法官同意允许犯人申辩。
  • "No," assented Tom, "they don't kill the women -- they're too noble. “对,”汤姆表示赞同地说,“他们不杀女人——真伟大!
21 axe 2oVyI     
  • 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。
22 fully Gfuzd     
  • The doctor asked me to breathe in,then to breathe out fully.医生让我先吸气,然后全部呼出。
  • They soon became fully integrated into the local community.他们很快就完全融入了当地人的圈子。
23 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。
24 treacherous eg7y5     
  • The surface water made the road treacherous for drivers.路面的积水对驾车者构成危险。
  • The frozen snow was treacherous to walk on.在冻雪上行走有潜在危险。
25 spikes jhXzrc     
n.穗( spike的名词复数 );跑鞋;(防滑)鞋钉;尖状物v.加烈酒于( spike的第三人称单数 );偷偷地给某人的饮料加入(更多)酒精( 或药物);把尖状物钉入;打乱某人的计划
  • a row of iron spikes on a wall 墙头的一排尖铁
  • There is a row of spikes on top of the prison wall to prevent the prisoners escaping. 监狱墙头装有一排尖钉,以防犯人逃跑。 来自《简明英汉词典》
26 slanting bfc7f3900241f29cee38d19726ae7dce     
  • The rain is driving [slanting] in from the south. 南边潲雨。
  • The line is slanting to the left. 这根线向左斜了。
27 ramming 4441fdbac871e16f59396559e88be322     
n.打结炉底v.夯实(土等)( ram的现在分词 );猛撞;猛压;反复灌输
  • They are ramming earth down. 他们在夯实泥土。 来自辞典例句
  • Father keeps ramming it down my throat that I should become a doctor. 父亲一直逼我当医生。 来自辞典例句
28 braced 4e05e688cf12c64dbb7ab31b49f741c5     
adj.拉牢的v.支住( brace的过去式和过去分词 );撑牢;使自己站稳;振作起来
  • They braced up the old house with balks of timber. 他们用梁木加固旧房子。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The house has a wooden frame which is braced with brick. 这幢房子是木结构的砖瓦房。 来自《简明英汉词典》
29 noose 65Zzd     
  • They tied a noose round her neck.他们在她脖子上系了一个活扣。
  • A hangman's noose had already been placed around his neck.一个绞刑的绳圈已经套在他的脖子上。
30 snare XFszw     
  • I used to snare small birds such as sparrows.我曾常用罗网捕捉麻雀等小鸟。
  • Most of the people realized that their scheme was simply a snare and a delusion.大多数人都认识到他们的诡计不过是一个骗人的圈套。
31 dangling 4930128e58930768b1c1c75026ebc649     
悬吊着( dangle的现在分词 ); 摆动不定; 用某事物诱惑…; 吊胃口
  • 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。
32 resetting 8b631b0acab967515a7b12e88c643e11     
v.重新安放或安置( reset的现在分词 );重拨(测量仪器指针);为(考试、测试等)出一套新题;重新安置,将…恢复原位
  • Range represents the maximum strain which can be recorded without resetting or replacing the strain gage. 量程表示无需重调或重装应变计就能记录到的最大应变。 来自辞典例句
  • Adding weight to the puddle jumper by resetting its inertial dampeners. 通过调节飞船的惯性装置来增加重量。 来自电影对白


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