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I MAKE ME A RAFT




 

THERE was a great deal of water in the ship’s hold. But the cabin and the storerooms were dry. The boxes of food had not been touched by the water.

I was very hungry, but I had no time to lose. So I filled my pockets with dry biscuits and ate them as I went about.

There were many things on the ship. They might be very useful to me if I had them on shore. But there was no boat, and how could I carry them there?

"I will make a raft." I said to myself.

There were several long pieces of timber on the deck. I tied a rope to each of these so that it would not float away. Then I dropped them, one by one, over the ship’s side.

After this I slid down my rope into the water, and tied these timbers together. They formed a framework that was strong and would not sink.

On top of this framework I laid all the boards I could find.

I now had a very good raft. It was large enough to carry a great many things. All the time I was building it I was planning how to load it.

In the cabin there were three strong boxes, such as sailors use. These I emptied. Then I carried them out and let them down upon my raft.

Of all the things on board, I would need food the most. So I filled the first chest with bread, rice, cheese, and a few pieces of meat.

I found also a small bag of grain, of which I took good care. It was barley.

Then I began to look around for clothing, and found enough to do for many a day.

While I was getting these together I happened to see the carpenter’s chest. It was full of tools.

It was hard work to get it on the raft. I lifted and pulled. I pulled and lifted; and at last I had it alongside of the other boxes. How tired I was!

 

 

I CARRY SOME THINGS ASHORE (я приношу некоторый вещи на берег)

 

IT was now past noon (после полудня), and the tide was coming in (прилив приближался). I could not stop to rest (не мог остановиться отдохнуть).

"I have food, I have clothing, I have tools," I said to myself. "What do I need next (что мне нужно затем = теперь)?"

 

 

Then I thought of the wild animals (подумал о диких животных) and wild men (людях) that I might meet on the shore (которых я мог встретить на берегу). "How shall I protect myself from them (как я буду защищать себя)?" I said.

In the captain's room (в комнате капитана) I found two good guns (нашел два хороших ружья) with a bag of shot and a powderhorn (с сумкой дроби и пороха). There were also two old swords (две старых шпаги), very rusty and dull (очень ржавых и тупых), and a pair of big pistols (пара больших пистолетов).

By looking around, I found also three small kegs of powder (три маленьких бочонка пороха). Two of these were dry (сухим), but the other was wet (мокрым) and good for nothing (хороший для ничего = ни на что не годился).

It took more than an hour to get all these safely placed on my raft (заняло больше часа доставить все это безопасно = как следует уложенным на мой плот). I now had quite a heavy load (довольно тяжелую поклажу), and I began to wonder (начал думать, задаваться вопросом) how I should take it to the shore (как я должен доставить это на берег).

I had no oars nor any sail for my raft (ни весел, ни паруса). But the water was smooth (вода была гладкой), the tide was flowing in (прилив приливал), and a gentle wind was blowing toward the land (тихий ветер дул по направлению к суше).

I loosed the rope (ослабил веревку) that held the raft to the ship (которая держала плот к кораблю = которой плот был привязан к кораблю), and soon began my little voyage (скоро начал мое маленькое путешествие).

The tide was now so high (прилив был сейчас столь высоким) that the dry land was much farther away (что суша была намного дальше) than when I came out. But the raft floated smoothly along (плыл ровно), and drew nearer and nearer to the shore (приближался ближе и ближе к берегу; to draw — тащить; тянуться).

Just as I thought myself safe (только я подумал /что был/ в безопасности), I found that I was entering a strong current (входил в сильное течение) which carried me into a narrow bay (которое отнесло меня в узкий залив) far from my first landing place (вдалеке от моего первого места «приземления» = прибытия).

There the raft stuck fast (натолкнулся быстро) on an ugly sand bar (на ужасный песчаный риф; ugly — уродливый), and was like to be tipped over (был готов быть перевернутым = перевернуться).

But the tide was still rising (все поднимался). Soon the raft floated free (поплыл свободно) and glided slowly along again with the current.

In a short time I found that I was being carried up (меня несло) into a little river with high banks on each side (в маленькую речку с высокими берегами на каждой стороне).

With a piece of plank (с куском доски) for an oar (вместо весла) I pushed the raft toward the shore on my right (толкнул плот к берегу справа). The water was now so shallow (вода была столь мелкой) that I could reach the bottom (что я мог достать до дна).

The raft floated slowly onward (вперед) until it reached a little cove (пока не достиг маленькой бухточки) into which I pushed it. The water there was quite still.

I looked around for a place to land (пристать к берегу). But the banks were steep (отвесными), and if I ran one end of my raft upon the shore (если бы я направил один конец моего плота на берег), the other end might sink so low as to slide all my goods into the water (другой конец мог опуститься, погрузиться так низко, что /мог/ столкнуть все мои товары в воду; to slide — скользить).

The best I could do was to wait till the tide was at its highest (пока прилив не достигнет максимальной высоты). Then I might push a little farther (мог толкнуть немного дальше) inland (от моря, вверх по реке) where the bank was somewhat lower (где берег был немного ниже).

This I did (это я сделал).

The tide rose higher and higher. At last, to my joy (к моей радости), the water reached the top of the bank (вод достигла вершины берега). It covered a level spot of ground beyond (она покрыла полоску, кусок /берега/ на своем /воды/ уровне; level — уровень; beyond — за, по ту сторону).

I waited a little longer (подождал немного дольше). The water on the level space was a foot deep (была в фут глубиной). The tide was beginning to flow out (отступать).

With all my might (со всей своей силой) I pushed the raft into this shallow place (толкнул плот на мелкое место). The tide ebbed fast (отступил быстро). Soon the raft was left high and dry on the land (оставлен высоко и сухим на земле).

It was easy now to unload the goods (легко разгрузить «товар») and carry them to a safe place (отнести в безопасное место).

 

powder [paudə] quite [kwait] island [ailənd]

 


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