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首页 » 经典英文小说 » The Ice Queen » Chapter XXVII. ANOTHER ENCOUNTER WITH THE WILD DOGS.
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 They trudged1 slowly on again until they thought they must be close to the farther end of the island, when they found progress interrupted by a low headland of rocks partly covered by the brush of a fallen tree-top. In trying to get past it they became entangled2 in the branches, and Tug4 said he "'lowed they'd have to light the lantern."
With great care, therefore—for matches were precious—this was done, and its rays at once showed them that they were not the first persons who had been there that night. Branches were freshly broken, and the snow was trampled5. They set up a combined shout (and bark) as soon as this was perceived, but nothing came back except the dull echo of their voices and the rustle6 of the sleet7 and snow among the leafless and dripping branches.
"Well," said Tug, when he realized this, "our cue is to follow the tracks anyhow."
Crushing through the branches, they saw that the tracks, which had approached from the other side of the rocks and brush, led them to the trunk of the tree, and that then Aleck (if, indeed, it were he who had made them) had walked along the trunk towards its roots. Of course they followed, Tug going ahead with the lantern; but when they arrived at the great base of upturned roots they could not see where Aleck had leaped off, or that he had leaped off at all. On one side the snow lay smooth and untouched; on the other, close under and around the mass of dead roots, was a little thicket8 of low bushes and a shoulder of black rock. Beyond these the snow had not been disturbed.
This was very mysterious, and chilled their hearts with a nameless fear. They came close together on the high log, and talked almost in whispers. Jim held Tug's arm with both hands, and trembled so that his teeth chattered9, and the tears rolled down his cheeks; while Tug himself, old and brave and strong as he was, was so scared (as he often said afterwards) that every creak and moan of the laboring10, ice-coated trees seemed a frightful11 voice, and all the flitting lights and shadows cast by their lantern among the dark trunks and swaying hemlock12 branches took on shapes that it chilled his blood to look at. Even Rex seemed to catch the panic, and cowered13 at their feet with bristling14 hair.
There had been only a moment of this helpless, causeless terror—and no doubt they would quickly have thrown it off—when they were roused by a real danger, which they knew in an instant. All ghosts and goblins, forms and voices, vanished at once, for they heard the wolfish howl of the dreaded15 dogs.
"Only mastiffs or hounds," you may exclaim, "such as we pass on the street every day, and babies play with, rolling over and on them unharmed!"
Very true; but these dogs had become savage16 again by their wild life; and no traveller in his sledge17 on the steppes of Siberia, or postman belated in the Black Forest at New Year, was ever in more danger from wolves than were these two lads from the dogs, if the animals chose to attack them. Perhaps they had not yet been quite long enough in the wilderness18 to have overcome their once well-learned fear of men, and so would hesitate to attack, in open fight, the beings that heretofore had been their masters; but this was all the hope the boys could have.
"The dogs!" cried Jim, in a hoarse19 whisper.
"Yes," said Tug, through his teeth. "Here! give me the lantern, quick: we must have a fire."
The tangle3 of dead roots was quite dry, and kindled20 easily when the lantern-candle was held against it, so that it was scarcely a minute before a bright blaze was crackling.
That moment had been enough, however, for the near approach of the dogs, as they knew by the increasing loudness of their cries, to which Rex bravely responded; and it was not long before they heard them crashing through the underbrush, and saw their eyes—fiery21 pairs of dots which reflected the firelight in flashes of green or red—though the forms of the savage animals were hidden in the gloom.
Tug had hastily lopped off a young sapling and trimmed it into a long, rough club, which he now held in the fire, in hope that the green wood would get hardened, or perhaps even ablaze22. Jimmy clutched the hatchet23 tightly in his right hand, and his open jackknife in his left, while Rex bristled24 and barked. All the goblin fright had vanished, and the boys no longer trembled because sleet and wind made uncanny noises, or the firelight seemed to summon eldritch forms from the aisles25 of darkness between the hemlocks26.
There seemed to be three of the fierce brutes27, and they stopped as they came in sight of the fire and the group ready to receive them; but after a short pause the largest dog, with a tremendous bark, rushed forward, the others following savagely29 at his heels. Rex was crouching30 and ready, so that before either of the boys could seize his collar he had sprung to meet his foes31, and had gone down under their combined weight.
It was one of the strangest dog-fights known to history, and had the strangest end. In his broad collar, his long hair, and his greater health the Newfoundland had the advantage; but he was one and his foes were three, and they had no chivalrous32 ideas of fairness or mercy in a fight, but were savages33, bent34 not only upon the death of their victim, but upon tearing him in pieces and devouring35 him afterwards.
No sooner did Tug see Rex leap, and perceive the charge upon him, than he shouted "Give it to 'em!" and sprang into the snow, punching the nearest brute28, bayonet fashion, with the hot tip of his sapling spear, while Jim got in at least one good blow with his hatchet. It sank almost to the haft in the neck of one of the youngest dogs, and he dropped dead with scarcely a shudder36.
Meeting this unexpected resistance, so determined37, fiery (Tug's sapling bore a little streamer of flame, like the banner on the head of a Cossack's lance), and so fatal to one of their number, the two remaining dogs were abashed38, and let go of Rex, intending to fight with their human assailants. But they had no time to make the change. Seeing that he must follow up his advantage, Tug charged again, and fairly put the startled brutes to flight by the combined force of his yells and his blazing bayonet, backed by Jim and his terrible hatchet.
When the boys saw that the dogs had really run away, they turned to look after their own brave ally, but he was nowhere to be seen, though the blazing stump39 lit up the whole scene of the battle.
"Why, where's Rex?" they asked one another, and called and whistled. Could he have fled into the forest? Impossible. Hark! was not that a faint whine40?—and another?
"Do you think he can be dying, and has hid himself in the brush?" asked Jim. "They say wounded animals do do that."
"Looks like it," Tug admitted. "Here, Rex!"
A more distinct yelp41, as though the dog was in pain, came to their ears, and they began to search in all the shadowy places.
"Poke42 up the fire a bit, Jimmy—let's have a little more light."
Jim hastened to follow out this suggestion, and in doing so entered the little thicket which I have mentioned between the shoulder of rock and the log. Suddenly he pitched almost headlong into a dark hollow. He drew back hastily, but as he did so, parting the bushes, he heard Rex's yelping43 come plainly up, as though from beneath the sod.
"Hello! Rex has fallen down a hole," he exclaimed. "Come here, Tug!"
Sure enough, there was the mouth of a pit, how deep they could not tell, though they could see the Newfoundland's eyes shining at what did not seem so very great a distance.
"Why, Rex, old fellow, are you hurt?" they called out; and the dog answered by a short bark, which ended in a pitiful whine of pain.
"Get the lantern, Jim; we must try to see what kind of a place this is; and look out where you step. This is a cave country, as I told you awhile ago. You may fall through 'most anywhere in this darkness."
The lantern was brought, and tied on the end of a pole, with a handkerchief. Rex began to utter a series of peculiarly short, sharp barks when he saw the light descending44, and they knew he was dancing about by the way his eyes moved.
When about twelve feet of the pole had been lowered the lantern rested, and they knew the bottom had been reached. By its faint glow Rex could be seen standing45 on his legs, apparently46 not much hurt.
"There's something else down there that Rex seems to bother himself about a good deal," reported Jim, who was lying down and peering over the edge. "Move the lantern this way a little. It looks—Oh, Tug, it's a man!—it's Aleck, and he's dead!"


1 trudged e830eb9ac9fd5a70bf67387e070a9616     
vt.& vi.跋涉,吃力地走(trudge的过去式与过去分词形式)
  • He trudged the last two miles to the town. 他步履艰难地走完最后两英里到了城里。
  • He trudged wearily along the path. 他沿着小路疲惫地走去。 来自《简明英汉词典》
2 entangled e3d30c3c857155b7a602a9ac53ade890     
adj.卷入的;陷入的;被缠住的;缠在一起的v.使某人(某物/自己)缠绕,纠缠于(某物中),使某人(自己)陷入(困难或复杂的环境中)( entangle的过去式和过去分词 )
  • The bird had become entangled in the wire netting. 那只小鸟被铁丝网缠住了。
  • Some military observers fear the US could get entangled in another war. 一些军事观察家担心美国会卷入另一场战争。 来自《简明英汉词典》
3 tangle yIQzn     
  • I shouldn't tangle with Peter.He is bigger than me.我不应该与彼特吵架。他的块头比我大。
  • If I were you, I wouldn't tangle with them.我要是你,我就不跟他们争吵。
4 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。
5 trampled 8c4f546db10d3d9e64a5bba8494912e6     
踩( trample的过去式和过去分词 ); 践踏; 无视; 侵犯
  • He gripped his brother's arm lest he be trampled by the mob. 他紧抓着他兄弟的胳膊,怕他让暴民踩着。
  • People were trampled underfoot in the rush for the exit. 有人在拼命涌向出口时被踩在脚下。
6 rustle thPyl     
  • She heard a rustle in the bushes.她听到灌木丛中一阵沙沙声。
  • He heard a rustle of leaves in the breeze.他听到树叶在微风中发出的沙沙声。
7 sleet wxlw6     
  • There was a great deal of sleet last night.昨夜雨夹雪下得真大。
  • When winter comes,we get sleet and frost.冬天来到时我们这儿会有雨夹雪和霜冻。
8 thicket So0wm     
  • A thicket makes good cover for animals to hide in.丛林是动物的良好隐蔽处。
  • We were now at the margin of the thicket.我们现在已经来到了丛林的边缘。
9 chattered 0230d885b9f6d176177681b6eaf4b86f     
(人)喋喋不休( chatter的过去式 ); 唠叨; (牙齿)打战; (机器)震颤
  • They chattered away happily for a while. 他们高兴地闲扯了一会儿。
  • We chattered like two teenagers. 我们聊着天,像两个十多岁的孩子。
10 laboring 2749babc1b2a966d228f9122be56f4cb     
n.劳动,操劳v.努力争取(for)( labor的现在分词 );苦干;详细分析;(指引擎)缓慢而困难地运转
  • The young man who said laboring was beneath his dignity finally put his pride in his pocket and got a job as a kitchen porter. 那个说过干活儿有失其身份的年轻人最终只能忍辱,做了厨房搬运工的工作。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • But this knowledge did not keep them from laboring to save him. 然而,这并不妨碍她们尽力挽救他。 来自飘(部分)
11 frightful Ghmxw     
  • How frightful to have a husband who snores!有一个发鼾声的丈夫多讨厌啊!
  • We're having frightful weather these days.这几天天气坏极了。
12 hemlock n51y6     
  • He was condemned to drink a cup of hemlock.判处他喝一杯毒汁。
  • Here is a beech by the side of a hemlock,with three pines at hand.这儿有株山毛榉和一株铁杉长在一起,旁边还有三株松树。
13 cowered 4916dbf7ce78e68601f216157e090999     
v.畏缩,抖缩( cower的过去式 )
  • A gun went off and people cowered behind walls and under tables. 一声枪响,人们缩到墙后或桌子底下躲起来。
  • He cowered in the corner, gibbering with terror. 他蜷缩在角落里,吓得语无伦次。
14 bristling tSqyl     
  • "Don't you question Miz Wilkes' word,'said Archie, his beard bristling. "威尔克斯太太的话,你就不必怀疑了。 "阿尔奇说。他的胡子也翘了起来。
  • You were bristling just now. 你刚才在发毛。
15 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)
  • 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》
16 savage ECxzR     
  • The poor man received a savage beating from the thugs.那可怜的人遭到暴徒的痛打。
  • He has a savage temper.他脾气粗暴。
17 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。
18 wilderness SgrwS     
  • She drove the herd of cattle through the wilderness.她赶着牛群穿过荒野。
  • Education in the wilderness is not a matter of monetary means.荒凉地区的教育不是钱财问题。
19 hoarse 5dqzA     
  • He asked me a question in a hoarse voice.他用嘶哑的声音问了我一个问题。
  • He was too excited and roared himself hoarse.他过于激动,嗓子都喊哑了。
20 kindled d35b7382b991feaaaa3e8ddbbcca9c46     
(使某物)燃烧,着火( kindle的过去式和过去分词 ); 激起(感情等); 发亮,放光
  • We watched as the fire slowly kindled. 我们看着火慢慢地燃烧起来。
  • The teacher's praise kindled a spark of hope inside her. 老师的赞扬激起了她内心的希望。
21 fiery ElEye     
  • She has fiery red hair.她有一头火红的头发。
  • His fiery speech agitated the crowd.他热情洋溢的讲话激动了群众。
22 ablaze 1yMz5     
  • The main street was ablaze with lights in the evening.晚上,那条主要街道灯火辉煌。
  • Forests are sometimes set ablaze by lightning.森林有时因雷击而起火。
23 hatchet Dd0zr     
  • I shall have to take a hatchet to that stump.我得用一把短柄斧来劈这树桩。
  • Do not remove a fly from your friend's forehead with a hatchet.别用斧头拍打朋友额头上的苍蝇。
24 bristled bristled     
adj. 直立的,多刺毛的 动词bristle的过去式和过去分词
  • They bristled at his denigrating description of their activities. 听到他在污蔑他们的活动,他们都怒发冲冠。
  • All of us bristled at the lawyer's speech insulting our forefathers. 听到那个律师在讲演中污蔑我们的祖先,大家都气得怒发冲冠。
25 aisles aisles     
n. (席位间的)通道, 侧廊
  • Aisles were added to the original Saxon building in the Norman period. 在诺曼时期,原来的萨克森风格的建筑物都增添了走廊。
  • They walked about the Abbey aisles, and presently sat down. 他们走到大教堂的走廊附近,并且很快就坐了下来。
26 hemlocks 3591f4f0f92457ee865b95a78b3e9127     
由毒芹提取的毒药( hemlock的名词复数 )
27 brutes 580ab57d96366c5593ed705424e15ffa     
兽( brute的名词复数 ); 畜生; 残酷无情的人; 兽性
  • They're not like dogs; they're hideous brutes. 它们不像狗,是丑陋的畜牲。
  • Suddenly the foul musty odour of the brutes struck his nostrils. 突然,他的鼻尖闻到了老鼠的霉臭味。 来自英汉文学
28 brute GSjya     
  • The aggressor troops are not many degrees removed from the brute.侵略军简直象一群野兽。
  • That dog is a dangerous brute.It bites people.那条狗是危险的畜牲,它咬人。
29 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。
30 crouching crouching     
v.屈膝,蹲伏( crouch的现在分词 )
  • a hulking figure crouching in the darkness 黑暗中蹲伏着的一个庞大身影
  • A young man was crouching by the table, busily searching for something. 一个年轻人正蹲在桌边翻看什么。 来自汉英文学 - 散文英译
31 foes 4bc278ea3ab43d15b718ac742dc96914     
敌人,仇敌( foe的名词复数 )
  • They steadily pushed their foes before them. 他们不停地追击敌人。
  • She had fought many battles, vanquished many foes. 她身经百战,挫败过很多对手。
32 chivalrous 0Xsz7     
  • Men are so little chivalrous now.现在的男人几乎没有什么骑士风度了。
  • Toward women he was nobly restrained and chivalrous.对于妇女,他表现得高尚拘谨,尊敬三分。
33 savages 2ea43ddb53dad99ea1c80de05d21d1e5     
未开化的人,野蛮人( savage的名词复数 )
  • There're some savages living in the forest. 森林里居住着一些野人。
  • That's an island inhabited by savages. 那是一个野蛮人居住的岛屿。
34 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。
35 devouring c4424626bb8fc36704aee0e04e904dcf     
吞没( devour的现在分词 ); 耗尽; 津津有味地看; 狼吞虎咽地吃光
  • The hungry boy was devouring his dinner. 那饥饿的孩子狼吞虎咽地吃饭。
  • He is devouring novel after novel. 他一味贪看小说。
36 shudder JEqy8     
  • The sight of the coffin sent a shudder through him.看到那副棺材,他浑身一阵战栗。
  • We all shudder at the thought of the dreadful dirty place.我们一想到那可怕的肮脏地方就浑身战惊。
37 determined duszmP     
  • I have determined on going to Tibet after graduation.我已决定毕业后去西藏。
  • He determined to view the rooms behind the office.他决定查看一下办公室后面的房间。
38 abashed szJzyQ     
adj.窘迫的,尴尬的v.使羞愧,使局促,使窘迫( abash的过去式和过去分词 )
  • He glanced at Juliet accusingly and she looked suitably abashed. 他怪罪的一瞥,朱丽叶自然显得很窘。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The girl was abashed by the laughter of her classmates. 那小姑娘因同学的哄笑而局促不安。 来自《简明英汉词典》
39 stump hGbzY     
  • He went on the stump in his home state.他到故乡所在的州去发表演说。
  • He used the stump as a table.他把树桩用作桌子。
40 whine VMNzc     
  • You are getting paid to think,not to whine.支付给你工资是让你思考而不是哀怨的。
  • The bullet hit a rock and rocketed with a sharp whine.子弹打在一块岩石上,一声尖厉的呼啸,跳飞开去。
41 yelp zosym     
  • The dog gave a yelp of pain.狗疼得叫了一声。
  • The puppy a yelp when John stepped on her tail.当约翰踩到小狗的尾巴,小狗发出尖叫。
42 poke 5SFz9     
  • We never thought she would poke her nose into this.想不到她会插上一手。
  • Don't poke fun at me.别拿我凑趣儿。
43 yelping d88c5dddb337783573a95306628593ec     
v.发出短而尖的叫声( yelp的现在分词 )
  • In the middle of the table sat a little dog, shaking its paw and yelping. 在桌子中间有一只小狗坐在那儿,抖着它的爪子,汪汪地叫。 来自辞典例句
  • He saved men from drowning and you shake at a cur's yelping. 他搭救了快要溺死的人们,你呢,听到一条野狗叫唤也瑟瑟发抖。 来自互联网
44 descending descending     
n. 下行 adj. 下降的
  • The results are expressed in descending numerical order . 结果按数字降序列出。
  • The climbers stopped to orient themselves before descending the mountain. 登山者先停下来确定所在的位置,然后再下山。
45 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。
46 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。


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