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首页 » 经典英文小说 » The Ice Queen » Chapter XIX. ADRIFT ON AN ICE RAFT.
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 Meanwhile Aleck, startled by the upset of the sled and Jim's disappearance1, had let go of his support. Now, seeing Jim safe, he was trying to regain2 it, when suddenly Tug3 saw him throw up his hand and sink out of sight.
Tug knew what that meant, and that there was not an instant to spare. Tearing off his coat—he had thrown aside his overcoat in the heat of the work before-he watched till he saw Aleck rising through the clear water, then dashed in, followed by the noble dog, and grasped his hair. Aleck hung in his hold a dead weight, as though life had gone; but Tug knew that the fatal end had not come yet, and that this was only the fainting of utter exhaustion4 and the cramping5 paralysis6 of cold. Cold! Tug had felt the dreadful chill striking through and through him the instant he had touched the water. Already it was clogging7 his motions and overcoming his strength with a fearful numbness8 that would fast render him powerless. And Aleck had been in that stiffening9, paralyzing flood several minutes!
All this went through Tug's mind, as on a dark night a flash of lightning enters and leaves the pupil of the eye; it took "no time at all," and the instant he had hooked his fingers in Aleck's hair he shouted to Katy to shove out the sled where he might reach it. She did so, and by it drew both the lads to the ice, the brave rescuer grasping the friendly box and towing his senseless Captain.
Then a new difficulty presented itself. Aleck was perfectly10 helpless, and like a log in the water; or worse than that, for he would sink if Tug loosed his hold. How should they get him out?
Katy saw this problem, and said to Tug, as soon as the ice had been reached, while she knelt at the brink11 of the splashing water:
"Let me hold his head up—I can do it—until you can climb out; then both of us together, I guess, can drag him up on to the ice. Oh dear! will he ever come to?"
Her tears blinded her eyes, but she dashed them away, and took firm hold upon Aleck's collar, while Tug scrambled12 out. Then, while Katy held his head above the curling, gurgling little waves that the wind was chasing, Tug slipped one end of the rope under Aleck's arms, and made a loop about his body, by which they were able to drag his lifeless form out upon the ice, as though he were a fish or a seal.
"Now let's have the sled!" screamed Tug, minding neither his own freezing garments nor Katy's anguish14; and having pulled this from the water, he and Katy lifted Aleck upon it, and set off as fast as they could for the tent, whither the miserable15 Youngster had already started in a staggering trot16, with many groans17 and rough tumbles. The others overtook him, and all went on together; but Jimkin got no comfort, for Aleck might be drowned—they did not know; while Jim, though certainly miserable, was alive and active, enough so, at least, to look after himself.
"How fortunate that there happened to be a kettle of hot water on the fire!"
"Yes. Now here we are. We'll have to drag him through the low doorway19 heels first. Help me lift him off the sled, Katy."
Laid on straw and overcoats by the warm fire, Tug quickly stripped off the Captain's wet clothes, while Katy brought warm blankets, and wrapped him in them.
"Didn't you say you had a little bottle of brandy, Katy?"
"Yes; Miss Marshall told us we ought never to go on a long journey without it, and I brought it along for fear something like this might happen. Here it is."
Taking the bottle, Tug forced a few drops between Aleck's lips and saw them trickle20 down his throat. A minute later there was a stronger throb21 of the fluttering heart, a quiver of the eyelids22, and a faint, sighing groan18, which the anxious watchers could just hear. At this sign of returning life they rose and grasped each other's hands. The tears Katy had so bravely kept back when she had had work to do and no time to cry came now in an unrestrained shower; but they were tears of joy, for the Captain was waking up all right.
Now poor little Jim got some attention, and Katy left them to themselves while the three boys helped each other to get rid of their icy clothes and crawl into the blankets and warm straw of their bedrooms, as they called the hull23 of the boat. This done, Katy came back and made hot tea for her three tucked-up patients, which so revived them that Tug and Jim begged to be allowed to get up as soon as their clothes had been dried; but Aleck said he wanted to sleep two weeks, and so would stay in bed a little longer.
As for Rex, whose heroism24 in bringing back Aleck's floating coat, when he was unable to aid his drowning master himself, had been forgotten until now, he was content to lie in a snug25 corner and wait for the half-frozen fish his mistress had promised him should presently be the reward of his faithfulness.
That eventful day came to an end without anything further to disturb their peace. Aleck rose towards evening, and went out fishing with Jim and Tug, catching26 two or three pickerel. The night passed in unusual quiet, for the wind, though steady, was not a whistling gale27, nor did the grinding roar of moving ice come to their ears, as it had sometimes during the previous daytime.
In the morning the same clouds were overhead, the same vague haze28 hid the horizon, the same waste of ice and water surrounded their lonely camp, the same quiet breeze breathed steadily29 across the lake, and, but for occasional noises of their own making, the whole world seemed profoundly still. This was depressing, and the spirits of each one of our young adventurers sank to a level with the flat ice and the dull gray sky; yet it was evident that nothing could be done except to wait as patiently as possible for some change.
"If yez can't be aisy, be as aisy as ye can," remarked Tug, quoting an excellent Irish rule of life under adverse30 circumstances; but the pleasantry met with only a faint smile from his disheartened companions. All thought that any active perils31 would be better than this motionless, objectless gloom, so threatening because so still and uncertain.
"I wonder if we haven't stopped drifting," said Katy, as they were pretending to eat a bit of luncheon32, for which nobody had much appetite; and, more for the sake of doing something than because it seemed to make much difference whether they had come to a standstill or not, they took a few chips to the edge of the floe33, and threw them into the water. These tossed up and down on the gentle waves, but did not change their position at all, so our navigators concluded their floe to be at last stationary34.
"How far do you think we have drifted?" Jim asked his brother.
"Well," Aleck replied, "I've been studying over that. We don't know just when we started nor exactly when we stopped—if we have stopped—nor whether we have gone steadily on. I have seen something of drifting ice, and I should say we had gone probably between twenty and twenty-five miles, all right out into the middle of the lake."
"Then you have some idea of where we are?"
"Oh, yes; that's quite easily calculated by 'dead-reckoning,' as sailors say."
The west wind now began to subside35, and before long the air became still and the mists thicker, with dense36, low clouds massing close overhead. On land it must have been a warm, thawing37 day. Out here it was always chilly38, but the four persons were not uncomfortable, even when their overcoats were unbuttoned, partly, however, because they had become accustomed to constant exposure.
Before the sun went down the air grew much cooler, and the fog thinned out, while the wind freshened and worked around until it blew briskly and very cold from the north. This soon swept away the mists, but not the clouds; yet light enough remained just before dusk to give Aleck a brief look to the northward39. He could see a great field of rough ice, apparently40 made up of broken pieces crushed and jammed together, stretching in that direction to the horizon. This horizon was broken in one place, however, by a darker patch, that looked as though it might be land; but before he could examine it more carefully it had become lost in the darkness.
Returning to the house, the Captain ordered every preparation to be made for a possible removal. While Katy cooked their evening meal, the boys worked with axe41 and shovel42 until they had freed the runners under the boat, so that she could be dragged away quickly. Then the wall was taken down, and the boxes stowed carefully. Several of them had been emptied during the long halt, and it made the lads feel very grave to notice how low their stock of provisions and lamp-oil had run. Jimmy refused to see the use of all this hard work when everything seemed as safe as ever it was, and Aleck confessed that he had no better reason for his precautions than that the weather had changed, and it was best to be on the safe side—in which he showed himself a good commander.
"We won't take the tent down, Jim, nor throw in the mess kit43, nor roll away our good beds, till we find we have to; but, if the ice should drop from under our feet at this moment, we could scramble13 into the boat, and have our necessary property with us."
Katy, meanwhile, had set half a ham boiling—they had only one more left after this—and was only waiting for it to be done before going to bed, for it was late in the evening, and much colder than usual, since the hummock44 no longer sheltered them from this new wind, which blew in under the boat where the snow had been shovelled45 away, and threatened to tear the frail46 hut to pieces. Finally the ham was done, and the girl crept shivering to Jim's side amid the straw and quilts, thoroughly47 frightened and weary.
She had not been there five minutes when there came a quick series of crashing reports, such as she had heard before. The ice was breaking up again. Tug was quickest to jump out, calling to all to stay in the boat till he came back. They could feel the ice shake and tip under them—or, at any rate, imagined they could—while the wind was blowing snow-flakes in their scared faces. It seemed an age, though really it was hardly a minute, before Tug came back and said they were afloat upon a small piece—a piece only a few yards square.
"Then," said Aleck, decisively, "we must take to the boat and get off this cake, for the wind is blowing us right back into the open lake, and we couldn't live out there. I think I saw land just north of us, and we must try to reach it, or, at any rate, to get upon the big ice-field in front. It's our only hope."
He and Tug were buttoning their overcoats and tying tippets about their heads and necks, but talking at the same time.
"Now for our orders, Captain."
"Well, then, listen. Katy and Jim must not step out of the boat unless I say so. They must light the lantern, ship the rudder, roll up the bedding and stow it under the thwarts48, and fix everything as snug as they can. Jim's place will be forward; Katy will stay by the tiller; and remember, whatever happens, that the compass direction is due north. Now, Tug," he continued, "you and I will throw this kitchen stuff aboard, and let The Youngster pack it away the best he can. Then, down with the oars49 and mast and canvas. We must hurry."
So saying, he snatched the kettle, ham and all, from the fire, and tossed it into the boat, where it lit on Jim's foot, and was greeted with an angry howl. The other goods and the spare canvas followed. Then they began to tear down the roof, and in five minutes this had been piled in a stiff, frozen heap on the bow of the boat, for they thought there would be no time to bend and fold it into shape. It was all the united efforts of the four could do to hoist50 it over the low gunwale.
All these preparations took perhaps fifteen minutes—a quarter of an hour of terror, for now the great cake was plainly rocking under their feet. Then calling Jim out of the boat to help them, the three put their heads through the collars of the drag-ropes, and tried their best to move the boat, but it wouldn't budge51 an inch.
"We must throw off that icy canvas. I should think it weighs a hundred pounds," Tug remarked.
"Yes, off with it!" ordered Captain Aleck.
This done, they tried again, and slowly and laboriously52 worked the boat twenty or thirty paces towards the edge of the ice, when it became clogged53 with the fast-falling snow, and could be pushed no farther.


1 disappearance ouEx5     
  • He was hard put to it to explain her disappearance.他难以说明她为什么不见了。
  • Her disappearance gave rise to the wildest rumours.她失踪一事引起了各种流言蜚语。
2 regain YkYzPd     
  • He is making a bid to regain his World No.1 ranking.他正为重登世界排名第一位而努力。
  • The government is desperate to regain credibility with the public.政府急于重新获取公众的信任。
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 exhaustion OPezL     
  • She slept the sleep of exhaustion.她因疲劳而酣睡。
  • His exhaustion was obvious when he fell asleep standing.他站着睡着了,显然是太累了。
5 cramping 611b7a8bb08c8677d8a4f498dff937bb     
  • The bleeding may keep my left hand from cramping. 淌血会叫我的左手不抽筋。
  • This loss of sodium can cause dehydration and cramping. 钠流失会造成脱水和抽筋。
6 paralysis pKMxY     
  • The paralysis affects his right leg and he can only walk with difficulty.他右腿瘫痪步履维艰。
  • The paralysis affects his right leg and he can only walk with difficulty.他右腿瘫痪步履维艰。
7 clogging abee9378633336a938e105f48e04ae0c     
  • This process suffers mainly from clogging the membrane. 这种过程的主要问题是滤膜的堵塞。
  • And you know that eyewitness that's been clogging up the airwaves? 你知道那个充斥着电视广播的目击证人?
8 numbness BmTzzc     
  • She was fighting off the numbness of frostbite. 她在竭力摆脱冻僵的感觉。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Sometimes they stay dead, causing' only numbness. 有时,它们没有任何反应,只会造成麻木。 来自时文部分
9 stiffening d80da5d6e73e55bbb6a322bd893ffbc4     
n. (使衣服等)变硬的材料, 硬化 动词stiffen的现在分词形式
  • Her mouth stiffening, she could not elaborate. 她嘴巴僵直,无法细说下去。
  • No genius, not a bad guy, but the attacks are hurting and stiffening him. 不是天才,人也不坏,但是四面八方的攻击伤了他的感情,使他横下了心。
10 perfectly 8Mzxb     
  • The witnesses were each perfectly certain of what they said.证人们个个对自己所说的话十分肯定。
  • Everything that we're doing is all perfectly above board.我们做的每件事情都是光明正大的。
11 brink OWazM     
  • The tree grew on the brink of the cliff.那棵树生长在峭壁的边缘。
  • The two countries were poised on the brink of war.这两个国家处于交战的边缘。
12 scrambled 2e4a1c533c25a82f8e80e696225a73f2     
v.快速爬行( scramble的过去式和过去分词 );攀登;争夺;(军事飞机)紧急起飞
  • Each scrambled for the football at the football ground. 足球场上你争我夺。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • He scrambled awkwardly to his feet. 他笨拙地爬起身来。 来自《简明英汉词典》
13 scramble JDwzg     
  • He broke his leg in his scramble down the wall.他爬墙摔断了腿。
  • It was a long scramble to the top of the hill.到山顶须要爬登一段长路。
14 anguish awZz0     
  • She cried out for anguish at parting.分手时,她由于痛苦而失声大哭。
  • The unspeakable anguish wrung his heart.难言的痛苦折磨着他的心。
15 miserable g18yk     
  • It was miserable of you to make fun of him.你取笑他,这是可耻的。
  • Her past life was miserable.她过去的生活很苦。
16 trot aKBzt     
n.疾走,慢跑;n.老太婆;现成译本;(复数)trots:腹泻(与the 连用);v.小跑,快步走,赶紧
  • They passed me at a trot.他们从我身边快步走过。
  • The horse broke into a brisk trot.马突然快步小跑起来。
17 groans 41bd40c1aa6a00b4445e6420ff52b6ad     
n.呻吟,叹息( groan的名词复数 );呻吟般的声音v.呻吟( groan的第三人称单数 );发牢骚;抱怨;受苦
  • There were loud groans when he started to sing. 他刚开始歌唱时有人发出了很大的嘘声。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • It was a weird old house, full of creaks and groans. 这是所神秘而可怕的旧宅,到处嘎吱嘎吱作响。 来自《简明英汉词典》
18 groan LfXxU     
  • 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。
19 doorway 2s0xK     
  • They huddled in the shop doorway to shelter from the rain.他们挤在商店门口躲雨。
  • Mary suddenly appeared in the doorway.玛丽突然出现在门口。
20 trickle zm2w8     
  • The stream has thinned down to a mere trickle.这条小河变成细流了。
  • The flood of cars has now slowed to a trickle.汹涌的车流现在已经变得稀稀拉拉。
21 throb aIrzV     
  • She felt her heart give a great throb.她感到自己的心怦地跳了一下。
  • The drums seemed to throb in his ears.阵阵鼓声彷佛在他耳边震响。
22 eyelids 86ece0ca18a95664f58bda5de252f4e7     
n.眼睑( eyelid的名词复数 );眼睛也不眨一下;不露声色;面不改色
  • She was so tired, her eyelids were beginning to droop. 她太疲倦了,眼睑开始往下垂。
  • Her eyelids drooped as if she were on the verge of sleep. 她眼睑低垂好像快要睡着的样子。 来自《简明英汉词典》
23 hull 8c8xO     
  • The outer surface of ship's hull is very hard.船体的外表面非常坚硬。
  • The boat's hull has been staved in by the tremendous seas.小船壳让巨浪打穿了。
24 heroism 5dyx0     
  • He received a medal for his heroism.他由于英勇而获得一枚奖章。
  • Stories of his heroism resounded through the country.他的英雄故事传遍全国。
25 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。
26 catching cwVztY     
  • There are those who think eczema is catching.有人就是认为湿疹会传染。
  • Enthusiasm is very catching.热情非常富有感染力。
27 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。
28 haze O5wyb     
  • I couldn't see her through the haze of smoke.在烟雾弥漫中,我看不见她。
  • He often lives in a haze of whisky.他常常是在威士忌的懵懂醉意中度过的。
29 steadily Qukw6     
  • The scope of man's use of natural resources will steadily grow.人类利用自然资源的广度将日益扩大。
  • Our educational reform was steadily led onto the correct path.我们的教学改革慢慢上轨道了。
30 adverse 5xBzs     
  • He is adverse to going abroad.他反对出国。
  • The improper use of medicine could lead to severe adverse reactions.用药不当会产生严重的不良反应。
31 perils 3c233786f6fe7aad593bf1198cc33cbe     
极大危险( peril的名词复数 ); 危险的事(或环境)
  • The commander bade his men be undaunted in the face of perils. 指挥员命令他的战士要临危不惧。
  • With how many more perils and disasters would he load himself? 他还要再冒多少风险和遭受多少灾难?
32 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。
33 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。
34 stationary CuAwc     
  • A stationary object is easy to be aimed at.一个静止不动的物体是容易瞄准的。
  • Wait until the bus is stationary before you get off.你要等公共汽车停稳了再下车。
35 subside OHyzt     
  • The emotional reaction which results from a serious accident takes time to subside.严重事故所引起的情绪化的反应需要时间来平息。
  • The controversies surrounding population growth are unlikely to subside soon.围绕着人口增长问题的争论看来不会很快平息。
36 dense aONzX     
  • The general ambushed his troops in the dense woods. 将军把部队埋伏在浓密的树林里。
  • The path was completely covered by the dense foliage. 小路被树叶厚厚地盖了一层。
37 thawing 604d0753ea9b93ae6b1e926b72f6eda8     
n.熔化,融化v.(气候)解冻( thaw的现在分词 );(态度、感情等)缓和;(冰、雪及冷冻食物)溶化;软化
  • The ice is thawing. 冰在融化。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
  • It had been snowing and thawing and the streets were sloppy. 天一直在下雪,雪又一直在融化,街上泥泞不堪。 来自英汉文学 - 嘉莉妹妹
38 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。
39 northward YHexe     
  • He pointed his boat northward.他将船驶向北方。
  • I would have a chance to head northward quickly.我就很快有机会去北方了。
40 apparently tMmyQ     
  • An apparently blind alley leads suddenly into an open space.山穷水尽,豁然开朗。
  • He was apparently much surprised at the news.他对那个消息显然感到十分惊异。
41 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。
42 shovel cELzg     
  • 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。
43 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。
44 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。
45 shovelled c80a960e1cd1fc9dd624b12ab4d38f62     
v.铲子( shovel的过去式和过去分词 );锹;推土机、挖土机等的)铲;铲形部份
  • They shovelled a path through the snow. 他们用铲子在积雪中铲出一条路。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The hungry man greedily shovelled the food into his mouth. 那个饿汉贪婪地把食物投入口中。 来自辞典例句
46 frail yz3yD     
  • Mrs. Warner is already 96 and too frail to live by herself.华纳太太已经九十六岁了,身体虚弱,不便独居。
  • She lay in bed looking particularly frail.她躺在床上,看上去特别虚弱。
47 thoroughly sgmz0J     
  • The soil must be thoroughly turned over before planting.一定要先把土地深翻一遍再下种。
  • The soldiers have been thoroughly instructed in the care of their weapons.士兵们都系统地接受过保护武器的训练。
48 thwarts ba268d891889fae488d94d41e38e7678     
阻挠( thwart的第三人称单数 ); 使受挫折; 挫败; 横过
  • Matcham steady and alert, at a sign from Dick, ran along the thwarts and leaped ashore. 麦青机警、镇静地照着狄克向他做的手势,急急地沿着船上的座板,跳到岸上。
  • He laid himself down under the thwarts and waited, panting. 躺在坐板下面,气喘吁吁地等着开船。
49 oars c589a112a1b341db7277ea65b5ec7bf7     
n.桨,橹( oar的名词复数 );划手v.划(行)( oar的第三人称单数 )
  • He pulled as hard as he could on the oars. 他拼命地划桨。
  • The sailors are bending to the oars. 水手们在拼命地划桨。 来自《简明英汉词典》
50 hoist rdizD     
  • By using a hoist the movers were able to sling the piano to the third floor.搬运工人用吊车才把钢琴吊到3楼。
  • Hoist the Chinese flag on the flagpole,please!请在旗杆上升起中国国旗!
51 budge eSRy5     
  • We tried to lift the rock but it wouldn't budge.我们试图把大石头抬起来,但它连动都没动一下。
  • She wouldn't budge on the issue.她在这个问题上不肯让步。
52 laboriously xpjz8l     
  • She is tracing laboriously now. 她正在费力地写。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • She is laboriously copying out an old manuscript. 她正在费劲地抄出一份旧的手稿。 来自辞典例句
53 clogged 0927b23da82f60cf3d3f2864c1fbc146     
(使)阻碍( clog的过去式和过去分词 ); 淤滞
  • The narrow streets were clogged with traffic. 狭窄的街道上交通堵塞。
  • The intake of gasoline was stopped by a clogged fuel line. 汽油的注入由于管道阻塞而停止了。


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