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首页 » 经典英文小说 » The Ice Queen » Chapter XVII. THE BREAKING UP OF THE ICE.
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 Breakfast was late the next morning, for Katy proposed to vary their fare by frying some snow-birds with bacon, and Jim was called upon to help pluck and prepare them—work which did not please that young gentleman very much.
"I suppose now we shall have nothing but snow-birds, snow-birds," he growled1.
"Do try and be a little more cheerful, Jim," said Katy. "You are always grumbling2 about something."
"What else do you want?" asked Tug3. "You have got beef, though it's dried, and bacon and poultry4."
"Flesh, fowl5, and good red herring," quoted Aleck, from an old proverb.
"All but the herring," grunted6 The Youngster, crossly. "Now if only we had some fish—"
"Fish!" Tug shouted, leaping to his feet. "Never thought of it, as I'm a Dutchman! Why shouldn't we? We have only got to cut a hole in the ice, and 'drop 'em a line,' as the man told his wife to do when he went off to Californy."
"Strange we never thought of that," said Katy.
"Strange? I'm the biggest dolt7 in three counties. Why, I'll catch you some be-'utiful muskallonge for dinner. Come on, Captain. Let's cut a hole while the boy is cleaning those twopenny tomtits."
"Hold on!" cried the disgusted Jim; "I'm coming too."
"No, no, my dear child" (Tug's voice was that of a pitying mother). "Remember Captain's order. You're to be a nice boy, and help in the kitchen. Maybe we'll let you cut the heads off our fishes, if you do well with the birds. Ca-a-reful!" and the tormentor8 dodged9 a club hurled10 by the angry lad, who wished (and said so) that he was only a little bigger.
Jim and Katy both felt it was hard indeed that he should be deprived of this particular fun, in which he took so much interest, and it seemed as though the big fellows might have waited. The cook would willingly have let her scullion depart, but an order was an order, and he had to stay, plucking savagely11 at the pretty feathers of the innocent buntings, and declining to come back to good-humor, until the lads returned with the report that they had cut two holes in the thin ice that formed over the "lead," which, the reader will remember, was crossed just a few rods back, and now were ready to set their lines.
Here was a chance of revenge. Jim's own line was the most important one in their small stock. He was tempted12 to refuse to let them use it; but he was not a bad fellow, and a better heart prevailed.
"You'll find my line and pickerel spoon in that little box of things in our chest," he said.
Tug walked up to him and offered his hand.
"Jeems, I'll accept your apology for throwing sticks of wood at your uncle, and call it square. Agreed?"
"Yes!" said Jim, with a laugh, and peace was restored.
Doubtless you expect an entertaining chapter out of the fishing, but it can't be given if we are to stick to the facts of this cruise. No: the big muskallonge they hoped to catch was somewhere under the ice, but whether it was because he didn't see their bait, or was not tempted, or knew better than to bite, certain is it that none of these giants of winter fishing were caught. With the toothsome pickerel they had better luck, and several were taken on this first and on following days, so that Jim did not lose all the fun by his unlucky engagement in the kitchen. The greatest adventures of the trip were not so much in fishing and hunting as in being fished and hunted after; and these were to begin without much delay.
The day the log was found and the first snow-birds were captured it had turned cold again, and it remained so for a whole week; but our heroes were kept busy in watching the traps, which caught them more snow-birds than they could eat; in attending to the fishing; and in getting wood. The snow did not melt at all, for the weather was very cold indeed, and sometimes the wind blew frightfully, but always in such a way that the hummock13 sheltered the tenthouse pretty well, so that, with the help of a big fire, they could keep warm enough. For amusement, they marked out a checker-board, and played checkers and other games. They tried their hands—or, rather, their heads—at spinning yarns14 also; they examined each other in geography or grammar, and held spelling competitions, choosing words out of Dr. Dasent's book, which they came to learn almost by heart. At all these studious entertainments Katy was likely to be ahead. But when the subject was turned to arithmetic, Aleck became teacher, for that was his favorite study.
Thus the week had passed, and its close completed the fifteenth day since they had left home, which seemed very far away now. They had no anxiety so long as the weather held cold; or, if any one felt worried, he did not talk about it.
At the end of this week, however, the wind changed in the night to the southward, so that on the eighth morning of their stay in the igloo they found the air almost as balmy as spring, with a gentle breeze from the south. The sun was shining, also, and no birds came near the house all day. This was compensated15 for, however, by their taking the largest pickerel yet. Towards noon it clouded up, and began to rain, melting the snow with such rapidity that the whole region was covered with slush. The shapeless tent-roof let streams of water pour in at the sides, and, altogether, affairs were very disagreeable.
No one felt disposed to grumble16, however, since, when the snow had been washed away, or cold weather came again to freeze solid the slush and surface-water, they could go ahead on their journey—something all were extremely anxious to do.
The wind continued to blow from the south all night, and when Aleck went out next morning he hurried back with an alarmed face to report that distant open water could be seen in that direction.
"The snow has almost gone. I must take a scout17 after breakfast, and see what the prospect18 is."
As soon as the coffee and fried pickerel had been disposed of, therefore, Aleck set out, taking Jim with him.
When two hours had passed, and the scouts19 did not return, Tug and Katy became alarmed, and went to the crest20 of the ridge21. It had grown so foggy, however, that nothing could be seen.
"Hadn't we better make a big smoke," Katy suggested, "as a signal? The fog might lift for a minute, and give them a chance to catch sight of it. They must be lost."
"It's a good idea, as are most of your notions, Katy. I'll get some of that wet root-wood, and make a fire on top of the hummock."
It was done, and another hour passed. Chilly22 with the fog and the raw wind, they had gone down into the hut to get warm, and were just attending to the "kitchen" fire, when their ears were startled by a loud, sharp noise, like the report of a distant cannon23, only much sharper; then another, still louder; then a third, somewhat nearer; and, after a minute's interval24, a fourth tremendous crash, close by the house, which trembled under their feet and over their heads as though an earthquake had shaken it.
"The ice is cracking!" Tug cried, seizing Katy's hand, and dragging her to the boat, into which both jumped in terror.
An instant later Tug recovered himself. "This is no use," he said. "Our ice is firm just here, and I don't hear her bursting any more. Let's go outside."
"Don't you think we'd better put some of the food-boxes and things into the boat, so that they won't be lost if the ice here should break to pieces suddenly?"
"Yes, we might do that. Let's hurry."
Five minutes was enough for this work, and then both went out and climbed upon the hummock. They found the whole appearance of things changed towards the south and east. Where, yesterday, had lain one broad white field of solid ice, as far as the eye could reach, now were spread before them (for the fog had lifted a little, so that they could see better) the long, slow waves of a lake of blue water, filled with cakes and wide sheets of floating ice.
"Oh! oh!" Katy cried, wringing25 her little hands at the thought, "Aleck and Jim are drowned."
"No, I guess not," said Tug, encouragingly. "They are probably safe on some of those big pieces of ice."
"But how will they ever get back?"
"I don't know," her companion answered, slowly. "If only this terrible fog would go away, so that we could see something, perhaps we might help them. I don't know what we can do now but to keep up our smoke."
"I wonder if we are afloat?" Katy asked, trying to steady her voice, for she saw how useless it was to weep when so much might be required of her any minute. "Ah, Rex, good dog, what shall we do now? Can't you find your master?"


1 growled 65a0c9cac661e85023a63631d6dab8a3     
v.(动物)发狺狺声, (雷)作隆隆声( growl的过去式和过去分词 );低声咆哮着说
  • \"They ought to be birched, \" growled the old man. 老人咆哮道:“他们应受到鞭打。” 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He growled out an answer. 他低声威胁着回答。 来自《简明英汉词典》
2 grumbling grumbling     
adj. 喃喃鸣不平的, 出怨言的
  • She's always grumbling to me about how badly she's treated at work. 她总是向我抱怨她在工作中如何受亏待。
  • We didn't hear any grumbling about the food. 我们没听到过对食物的抱怨。
3 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。
4 poultry GPQxh     
  • There is not much poultry in the shops. 商店里禽肉不太多。
  • What do you feed the poultry on? 你们用什么饲料喂养家禽?
5 fowl fljy6     
  • 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。
6 grunted f18a3a8ced1d857427f2252db2abbeaf     
(猪等)作呼噜声( grunt的过去式和过去分词 ); (指人)发出类似的哼声; 咕哝着说
  • She just grunted, not deigning to look up from the page. 她只咕哝了一声,继续看书,不屑抬起头来看一眼。
  • She grunted some incomprehensible reply. 她咕噜着回答了些令人费解的话。
7 dolt lmKy1     
  • He's a first-class dolt who insists on doing things his way.他一意孤行,真是蠢透了。
  • What a donke,dolt and dunce!真是个笨驴,呆子,兼傻瓜!
8 tormentor tormentor     
n. 使苦痛之人, 使苦恼之物, 侧幕 =tormenter
  • He was the tormentor, he was the protector, he was the inquisitor, he was the friend. 他既是拷打者,又是保护者;既是审问者,又是朋友。 来自英汉文学
  • The tormentor enlarged the engagement garment. 折磨者加大了订婚服装。
9 dodged ae7efa6756c9d8f3b24f8e00db5e28ee     
v.闪躲( dodge的过去式和过去分词 );回避
  • He dodged cleverly when she threw her sabot at him. 她用木底鞋砸向他时,他机敏地闪开了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He dodged the book that I threw at him. 他躲开了我扔向他的书。 来自《简明英汉词典》
10 hurled 16e3a6ba35b6465e1376a4335ae25cd2     
v.猛投,用力掷( hurl的过去式和过去分词 );大声叫骂
  • He hurled a brick through the window. 他往窗户里扔了块砖。
  • The strong wind hurled down bits of the roof. 大风把屋顶的瓦片刮了下来。 来自《简明英汉词典》
11 savagely 902f52b3c682f478ddd5202b40afefb9     
adv. 野蛮地,残酷地
  • The roses had been pruned back savagely. 玫瑰被狠狠地修剪了一番。
  • He snarled savagely at her. 他向她狂吼起来。
12 tempted b0182e969d369add1b9ce2353d3c6ad6     
  • I was sorely tempted to complain, but I didn't. 我极想发牢骚,但还是没开口。
  • I was tempted by the dessert menu. 甜食菜单馋得我垂涎欲滴。
13 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。
14 yarns abae2015fe62c12a67909b3167af1dbc     
n.纱( yarn的名词复数 );纱线;奇闻漫谈;旅行轶事
  • ...vegetable-dyed yarns. 用植物染料染过色的纱线 来自辞典例句
  • Fibers may be loosely or tightly twisted into yarns. 纤维可以是膨松地或紧密地捻成纱线。 来自辞典例句
15 compensated 0b0382816fac7dbf94df37906582be8f     
补偿,报酬( compensate的过去式和过去分词 ); 给(某人)赔偿(或赔款)
  • The marvelous acting compensated for the play's weak script. 本剧的精彩表演弥补了剧本的不足。
  • I compensated his loss with money. 我赔偿他经济损失。
16 grumble 6emzH     
  • I don't want to hear another grumble from you.我不愿再听到你的抱怨。
  • He could do nothing but grumble over the situation.他除了埋怨局势之外别无他法。
17 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。
18 prospect P01zn     
  • This state of things holds out a cheerful prospect.事态呈现出可喜的前景。
  • The prospect became more evident.前景变得更加明朗了。
19 scouts e6d47327278af4317aaf05d42afdbe25     
侦察员[机,舰]( scout的名词复数 ); 童子军; 搜索; 童子军成员
  • to join the Scouts 参加童子军
  • The scouts paired off and began to patrol the area. 巡逻人员两个一组,然后开始巡逻这个地区。
20 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。
21 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。
22 chilly pOfzl     
  • I feel chilly without a coat.我由于没有穿大衣而感到凉飕飕的。
  • I grew chilly when the fire went out.炉火熄灭后,寒气逼人。
23 cannon 3T8yc     
  • The soldiers fired the cannon.士兵们开炮。
  • The cannon thundered in the hills.大炮在山间轰鸣。
24 interval 85kxY     
  • The interval between the two trees measures 40 feet.这两棵树的间隔是40英尺。
  • There was a long interval before he anwsered the telephone.隔了好久他才回了电话。
25 wringing 70c74d76c2d55027ff25f12f2ab350a9     
  • He was wringing wet after working in the field in the hot sun. 烈日下在田里干活使他汗流满面。
  • He is wringing out the water from his swimming trunks. 他正在把游泳裤中的水绞出来。


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