Chapter XXII

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Chapter VI
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Chapter VIII
Chapter IX
Chapter X
Chapter XI
Chapter XII
Chapter XIII
Chapter XlV
Chapter XV
Chapter XVI
Chapter XVII
Chapter XVIII
Chapter XIX
Chapter XX
Chapter XXI
Chapter XXII

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Chapter XXII

TO THE NORTH

Stuart slept under the canoe that night. He woke up at four o'clock. The rain had stopped. 1 The birds began to sing in the trees. Stuart looked up. He always looked at all birds because he hoped to find Margalo among them. But Margalo was not there.

He got into his car and drove off. At the end of the town he found a filling station and stopped to buy some gas,

"Five, please," he said to the owner of the filling station.

The man looked at the tiny automobile in surprise.

"Five what?" he asked.

"Five drops," said Stuart. But the man shook his head and said that he could not sell five drops of gas.

"Why can't you?" asked Stuart. "You need the money and I need the gas."

The owner of the filling station thought a little, then he went inside and came back with a dropper. Stuart opened the tank of his car and the man put in five drops of gas. "I have never done such a thing before," he said.

When everything was over, Stuart paid the money. Then he got in the car, pressed the starter button and drove off.

The sky was bright, and a cloud of morning mist hung over the river. The town was still asleep. Stuart's car went fast along the streets and Stuart was glad to be on the road again.

When he drove out of town he saw two roads. One road led to the west, the other road led to the north. Stuart decided to think the situation over. He stopped his car and got out.

Suddenly he saw a man sitting in a ditch by the side of the road. The man had a heavy leather belt on, and there were spurs on his legs. So Stuart understood that he was a repair-man of the telephone lines.

"Good morning," said Stuart in a friendly voice. The repair-man raised one hand to his head in a salute. 2 Stuart sat down in the ditch beside him and took a deep breath of the fresh, sweet air. 3 "It's going to be a fine day," 4 he said.

"Yes," answered the repair-man, "a fine day. It is nice to climb poles on such a fine day."

"I wish you good weather," said Stuart. "By the by, do you ever see birds at the tops of your poles?"

"Yes, I see a lot of birds," said the repair-man.

"Well, if you meet a bird named Margalo," said Stuart, "please write to me. Here's my card."

"What does she look like? Describe her," said the repairman and took out a pencil and a notebook.

"She is brown," said Stuart. "Brown with a yellow breast."

"Where does she come from?"

"She comes from fields once tall with wheat, from pastures deep in fern and thistle; she comes from vales of meadowsweet and she loves to whistle."

The repairman wrote it all down quickly: "Fields—wheat— pastures, fern and thistle. Vales, meadow-sweet. Likes to whistle." Then he put his notebook and Stuart's card back in his pocket.

"I'll keep my eyes open," 5 he promised.

Stuart thanked him. They sat for a while in silence. Then the man spoke.

"Which way are you going?" 6 he asked. "North," said Stuart.

"North is nice," said the repair-man. "I always like to go north. Of course, south-west is good, too."

"Yes, I think it is," said Stuart thoughtfully.

"And east is also good," continued the man. "But I think you are right if you go north. There is something about north, 7 something unusual. I think that a person who is going north is not making a mistake."

"I think so, too," said Stuart. "From now on I shall travel north 8 until I find my friend Margalo."

"You are a brave fellow," said the repair-man. "By the by, when I am repairing a broken telephone line, I sometimes find wonderful places," continued the repair-man. "Swamps where cedars grow and turtles lie in the sun. I go across fields, and I eat my lunch in pastures covered with fern and thistle, under blue sky. I have spent winter nights in thick woods, where the snow was deep and soft. I know lakes in the north where there is nothing but fish and birds and, of course, the telephone lines. I know all these places well. They are a long way from here, 9 don't forget that. And a person who is looking for something does not travel very fast."

"That is true," said Stuart. "Well, it is time to go. Thank you for your friendly talk."

"Not at all," said the repair-man. "I hope that you will find that bird."

Stuart got out of the ditch, climbed into his car, and drove along the road that led toward the north. He saw the rising sun above the hills on his right. 10 As he looked ahead into the great land that lay before him, the way seemed very long. But the sky was bright, and Stuart felt that it was the right way to go. 11

 

1 The rain had stopped. - Дождь прошел.

2 in a salute — в знак приветствия

3 took a deep breath of the fresh, sweet air — глубоко вдохнул свежий душистый воздух

4 It's going to be a fine day - Прекрасный будет денек

5 I'll keep my eyes open — Буду смотреть во все глаза

6 Which way are you going? — Куда держите путь?

7 There is something about north — В севере есть что-то такое

8 From now on I shall travel north — Отныне я буду двигаться все дальше на север

9 They are a long way from here — До них отсюда далеко

10 on his right — справа от него

11 that it was the right way to go — что он на верном пути

 

 

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