Boekgegevens
Titel: First English reading book: Engelsch leesboek voor instituten, gymnasiën en hoogere burgerscholen: met Nederlandsche woordenlijst
Auteur: Herrig, Ludwig
Uitgave: Arnhem: J. Voltelen, 1869 *
Auteursrechten: Zie auteursrechten
Citeerinstructie: Bijzondere Collecties van de Universiteit van Amsterdam, UBM: IWO 513 H 21
URL: https://schoolmuseum.uba.uva.nl/bookid/LCSM_204683
Onderwerp: Taal- en letterkunde naar afzonderlijke talen: Engelse taalkunde
Trefwoord: Leesvaardigheid, Engels, Leermiddelen (vorm)
* jaar van uitgave niet op de gebruikelijke wijze verkregen, mogelijk betreft het een schatting
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■108
shift a point or two, which would be the
best chance for us of the two.'
But the wind did not shift, and the rain
did not descend, and before the evening
set in, the fire was within two miles of
them, and distant roaring rent the air; the
heat and smoke became more oppressive,
and the party were under great alarm.
As the sun set, the wind became even
more violent, and now the flames were
distinctly to be seen, and the whole air
was filled with myriads of sparks. The
fire bore down upon them with resistless
fury, and soon the atmosphere was so op-
pressive, that they could scarcely breathe;
the cattle galloped down to the lake, their
tails in the air, and lowing with fear. There
they remained, knee-deep in the water, and.
huddled together.
'Well, Malachi,' said Mr. Campbell, 'this
is very awful. What shall we do?'
'Trust in God, Sir; we can do nothing
else,' replied Malachi.
The flames were now but a short distance
from the edge of the forest; they threw
themselves up into the air in high columns;
then, borne down by the wind, burst through
the boughs of the forest, scorching here
and there on the way the trunks of the
large trees; while such a torrent of sparks
and ignited cinders was poured down upon
the prairie, that, added to the suffocating
masses of smoke, it was impossible to re-
main there any longer.
'You must all go down to the punt, and
get on board,' said Malachi. 'There is not
a moment for delay; you will be smoth-
ered if you remain here. Mr. Alfred, do
you and Martin pull out as far into the
lake as is necessary for you to be clear of
the smoke and able to breathe. Quick,
there is no time to be lost, for the gale
is rising faster than before.'
There was, indeed, no time to be lost.
Mr. Campbell took his wife by the arm;
Henry led the girls, for the smoke was so
thick that they could not see the way, Per-
cival and Strawberry followed. Alfred and
Martin had already gone down to get the
boat ready. In a few minutes they were
in the boat, and pushed ofl" from the shore.
The boat was crowded, but being flat-bot-
tomed she bore the load well. They pulled
out about half a mile into the lake, before
they found themselves in a less oppressive
atmosphere. Not a word was spoken until
Martin and Alfred had stopped rowing.
*And old Malachi and John, where are
they?' said Mrs. Campbell, who, now that
they were clear of the smoke, discovered
■that these were not in the boat.
'Oh, never fear them, Ma'am,' replied
Martin; 'Malachi stayed behind to see if
he could be of use. He knows how to take
care of himself, and of John too.'
'This is an awful visitation,' said Mrs.
Campbell, after a pause. 'Look, the whole
wood is now on fire, close down to the
clearing. The house must be burnt, and
we shall save nothing.'
'It is the will of God, my dear wife;
and if we are to be deprived of what little
wealth we have, we must not murmur, but
submit with resignation. Let us thank
Heaven that our lives are preserved.'
Another pause ensued; at last the silence
was broken by Emma.
'There is the cow-house on fire — I see
the flames bursting from the roof.'
Mrs. Campbell, whose hand was on that
of her husband, squeezed it in silence. It
was the commencement of the destruction
of their whole property — all their labours
and efforts had been thrown away. The
winter was coming on, and they would be
houseless — what would become of them!
All this passed in her mind, but she did
not speak.
At this moment the flames of the fire
rose up straight to the sky. Martin per-
ceived it, and jumped up on his feet.
'There is a lull in the wind,' said Alfred.
'Yes,' replied Martin, and continued hold-
ing up his hand, 'I felt a drop of rain.
Yes, it 's coming; another quarter of an
hour and we may be safe.'
Martin was correct in his observation;
the wind had lulled for a moment, and he
had felt the drops of rain. The pause
continued for about three or four minutes ,
during which the cow-house burnt furiously,
but the ashes and sparks were no longer
hurled down on the prairie; then suddenly
the wind shifted to the south-east, with such
torrents of rain as almost to blind them.
So violent was the gust, that even the punt
careened to it; but Alfred pulled its head
round smartly, and put it before the wind.
The gale was now equally strong from the
quarter to which it had changed, the lake
became agitated and covered with white
foam, and before the punt reached the
shore again, which it did in a few minutes,
the water washed over its two sides, and
they were in danger of swamping. Alfred
directed them all to sit still, and raising
the blades of the oars up into the air, the
punt was dashed furiously through the
waves, till it grounded on the beach.
Martin and Alfred jumped out into the
water and hauled the punt further before
they disembarked ; the rain still poured