外语教育网
您的位置:外语教育网 > 英语文化视窗 > 文学与艺术 > 小说 正文
  • 站内搜索:

Rolf in the Woods(Chapter11)

2006-09-08 19:31

  CHAPTER XI The Thunder-Storm and the Fire Sticks

  When first Rolf noticed the wigwam's place, he wondered that Quonab had not set it somewhere facing the lake, but he soon learned that it is best to have the morning sun, the afternoon shade, and shelter from the north and west winds.

  The first two points were illustrated nearly every day; but it was two weeks before the last was made clear.

  That day the sun came up in a red sky, but soon was lost to view in a heavy cloud-bank. There was no wind, and, as the morning passed, the day grew hotter and closer. Quonab prepared for a storm; but it came with unexpected force, and a gale of wind from the northwest that would indeed have wrecked the lodge, but for the great sheltering rock. Under its lea there was hardy a breeze; but not fifty yards away were two trees that rubbed together, and in the storm they rasped so violently that fine shreds of smoking wood were dropped and, but for the rain, would surely have made a blaze. The thunder was loud and lasted long, and the water poured down in torrents. They were ready for rain, but not for the flood that rushed over the face of the cliff , soaking everything in the lodge except the beds, which, being four inches off the ground, were safe; and lying on them the two campers waited patiently, or impatiently, while the weather raged for two drenching hours. And then the pouring became a pattering; the roaring, a swishing; the storm, a shower which died away, leaving changing patches of blue in the lumpy sky, and all nature calm and pleased, but oh, so wet! Of course the fire was out in the lodge and nearly all the wood was wet. Now Quonab drew from a small cave some dry cedar and got down his tinder-box with flint and steel to light up; but a serious difficulty appeared at once —— the tinder was wet and useless.

  These were the days before matches were invented. Every one counted on flint and steel for their fire, but the tinder was an essential, and now a fire seemed hopeless; at least Rolf thought so.

  "Nana Bojou was dancing that time," said the Indian.

  "Did you see him make fire with those two rubbing trees? So he taught our fathers, and so make we fire when the tricks of the white man fail us."

  Quonab now cut two pieces of dry cedar, one three fourths of an inch thick and eighteen inches long, round, and pointed at both ends; the other five eighths of an inch thick and flat. In the flat one he cut a notch and at the end of the notch a little pit. Next he made a bow of a stiff, curved stick, and a buckskin thong: a small pine knot was selected and a little pit made in it with the point of a knife. These were the fare-making sticks, but it was necessary to prepare the firewood, lay the fire, and make some fibre for tinder. A lot of fine cedar shavings, pounded up with cedar bark and rolled into a two-inch ball, made good tinder, and all was ready. Quonab put the bow thong once around the long stick, then held its point in the pit of the flat stick, and the pine knot on the. top to steady it. Now he drew the bow back and forth, slowly, steadily, till the long stick or drill revolving ground smoking black dust out of the notch. Then faster, until the smoke was very strong and the powder filled the notch. Then he lifted the flat stick, fanning the powder with his hands till a glowing coal appeared. Over this he put the cedar tinder and blew gently, till it flamed, and soon the wigwam was aglow.

  The whole time taken, from lifting the sticks to the blazing fire, was less than one minute.

  This is the ancient way of the Indian; Rolf had often heard of it as a sort of semi-myth; never before had he seen it, and so far as he could learn from the books, it took an hour or two of hard work, not a few deft touches and a few seconds of time.

  He soon learned to do it himself, and in the years which followed, he had the curious experience of showing it to many Indians who had forgotten how, thanks to the greater portability of the white man's flint and steel.

  As they walked in the woods that day, they saw three trees that had been struck by lightning during the recent storm; all three were oaks. Then it occurred to Rolf that he had never seen any but an oak struck by lightning.

  "Is it so, Quonab?"

  "No, there are many others; the lightning strikes the oaks most of all, but it will strike the pine, the ash, the hemlock, the basswood, and many more. Only two trees have I never seen struck, the balsam and the birch."

  "Why do they escape?"

  "My father told me when I was a little boy it was because they sheltered and warmed the Star-girl, who was the sister of the Thunder-bird."

  "I never heard that; tell me about it."

  "Sometime maybe, not now."

相关热词:小说
栏目相关课程表
科目名称 主讲老师 课时 免费试听 优惠价 购买课程
英语零起点 郭俊霞 30课时 试听 150元/门 购买
综艺乐园 ------ 15课时 试听 100元/门 购买
边玩边学 ------ 10课时 试听 60元/门 购买
情景喜剧 ------ 15课时 试听 100元/门 购买
欢乐课堂 ------ 35课时 试听 150元/门 购买
趣味英语速成 钟 平 18课时 试听 179元/门 购买
剑桥少儿英语预备级 (Pre-Starters) ------ ------ 试听 200元/门 购买
剑桥少儿英语一级 (Starters) ------ ------ 试听 200元/门 购买
剑桥少儿英语二级 (Movers) ------ ------ 试听 200元/门 购买
剑桥少儿英语三级 (Flyers) ------ ------ 试听 200元/门 购买
初级英语口语 ------ 55课时 ------ 350元/门 购买
中级英语口语 ------ 83课时 ------ 350元/门 购买
高级英语口语 ------ 122课时 ------ 350元/门 购买
基础英语辅导课程
郭俊霞 北京语言大学毕业,国内某知名中学英语教研组长,教学标兵……详情>>
郭俊霞:零基础英语网上辅导名师
钟平 北大才俊,英语辅导专家,累计从事英语教学八年,机械化翻译公式发明人……详情>>
钟平:趣味英语速成网上辅导名师

  1、凡本网注明 “来源:外语教育网”的所有作品,版权均属外语教育网所有,未经本网授权不得转载、链接、转贴或以其他方式使用;已经本网授权的,应在授权范围内使用,且必须注明“来源:外语教育网”。违反上述声明者,本网将追究其法律责任。
  2、本网部分资料为网上搜集转载,均尽力标明作者和出处。对于本网刊载作品涉及版权等问题的,请作者与本网站联系,本网站核实确认后会尽快予以处理。本网转载之作品,并不意味着认同该作品的观点或真实性。如其他媒体、网站或个人转载使用,请与著作权人联系,并自负法律责任。
  3、联系方式
  编辑信箱:for68@chinaacc.com
  电话:010-82319999-2371