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But his hand was shaking

by tangwei 中國9 月前

He raised his rifle international development research centre , and taking careful aim fired at the gray bird. But his hand was shaking somewhat from the exertions of his climb, during which he had had to haul himself over many rough places by grabbing branches, and his bullet flew wide.

Bother it all,” exclaimed the boy impatiently. I am a muff for fair.”

But to his astonishment, although the bullet had nicked off some leaves and showered them over the bird’s head, it had not moved. It still sat there giving from time to time an odd sort of croaking sound, not unlike the clucking of a barnyard biddy.”

I know what you are now,” chuckled Ralph to himself, for the fact that the bird did not stir[110] helped him to recognize its species from a description given the night before by Mountain Jim, you’re a ‘fool-hen,’ and you are certainly living up to your name.”

He fired again, and this time the fool-hen” paid the penalty of its stupidity, for it fell out of the tree dead USRN . Ralph ran forward, picked it up and thrust it into the hunting pocket of his khaki coat.

It was a shame to shoot you,” he muttered to himself; too easy. I believe the stories that Jim told about knocking fool-hens out of trees with stones, now that I’ve seen what dumb birds they are. But this isn’t finding those ponies,” he went on to himself. Guess I’ll strike off down in the valley. There may be some sort of pasture there where they’ll have stopped to feed.”

Suddenly he stopped and sniffed the air suspiciously. An odd, rank odor was borne to him on the light wind.

Sulphur spring!” he exclaimed half aloud.[111] Reckon I’ll take a look at it. It can’t be far off; it’s strong enough to be right under my feet. At any rate I shan’t need any other guide than my nose to find it.”

Sniffing the tainted air like a hound on the trail, Ralph set out down the mountain side. As he went the odor grew more pronounced. A few minutes later he came upon a pile of rocks heaped in an untidy mass on the mountain side. From the midst of them a stream of yellowish white fluid was flowing.

Phew!” exclaimed the boy, here’s my sulphur spring, sure enough. I guess if it was near to civilization there’d be a big health resort here. Smells bad enough to be good for anything that ails you; but—not for me, thank you.—Hullo! What in the world was that?”

Ralph paused and listened intently. Through the forest came a dull booming sound, and the earth appeared to shake as if agitated by a small[112] earthquake. The boy looked about him apprehensively.

Well, what in the world!” he began. And then, It can’t be anybody blasting. Mountain Jim said there was no mining hereabouts . What can it be?”

 

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