Shoe-Bar Stratton - Chapter 34
文章來源:未知 文章作者:enread 發布時間:2021-02-24 07:33 字體: [ ]  進入論壇
In that instant of supreme1 horror, Mary Thorne found time to be thankful that terror struck her momentarily dumb. For now, with lips parted and a cry of warning trembling there, she saw that it was too late. Like a pointer freezing to the scent2, Lynch's whole body had stiffened3; one hand gripped the leveled Colt, a finger caressed4 the trigger. At this juncture5 a cry would almost surely bring that tiny, muscular contraction6 which might be fatal.
From behind the ledge7 Buck8's hat had disappeared, and a faint creak of saddle-leather told the girl that he had dismounted and by so doing must have moved a trifle out of range.
Sick with horror and desperation, the girl's eye fell upon a stone lying at her feet--a jagged piece of granite9 perhaps twice the size of a baseball. In a flash she dropped the bridle10-reins and, bending, caught it up stealthily. Freckles11 pricked12 his ears forward, but with a fleeting13, imploring14 touch of one hand against his sweaty neck, Mary steadied herself for a moment, slowly drew back her arm, and, with a fervent15, silent prayer for strength, she hurled16 the stone.
It grazed Lynch's face and struck his wrist with a force that jerked up the barrel of the revolver. The spurt17 of flame, the sharp crack of the shot, the clatter18 of the Colt striking the edge of the precipice19, all seemed to the girl to come simultaneously20. A belated second afterward21 Lynch's furious curses came to her. With dilated22 eyes she saw him snatch frantically24 at the sliding weapon, and as it toppled out of sight into the cañon barely an inch ahead of his clutching, striving fingers, she thrilled with sudden fierce joy.
"Curse you!" he frothed, springing up and rushing at her. "You--"
"Buck!" she screamed. "Quick! His gun's gone! He--"
A blow from his fist struck her mouth and flung her backward against the horse. Half fainting, she saw Freckles lunge over her shoulder and heard the vicious click of his teeth snapping together. But Lynch, ducking out of reach of the angry horse, caught Mary about the waist and dragged her toward the precipice.
Involuntarily she closed her eyes. When she opened them again, stirred by the curious silence and the sudden cessation of all movement, she found herself staring dazedly26 into the face of Buck Green.
He stood very quietly just inside the narrow entrance to the ledge, not more than ten feet from her. In one hand was a six-shooter; the other hung straight at his side, the fingers tightly clenched27. As he met her bewildered glance, his eyes softened28 tenderly and the corners of his lips curved in a momentary29, reassuring30 smile. Then abruptly31 his face froze again.
"Yuh take another step an' down she'll go," said a hoarse32 voice close to the girl's ear.
It was Lynch; and Mary, her senses clearing, knew whose hands gripped her so tightly that she could scarcely breathe. Glancing sidewise, she hastily averted33 her eyes. She was standing34 within six inches of the edge of the precipice. For the first time she could look down into those sheer depths, and even that hurried glimpse made her shiver.
"Well, I admit you've got the bulge35 on me, as it were." Buck's voice suddenly broke the silence. "Still, I don't see how you're going to get out of this hole. You can't stand like this forever."
Mary stared at him, amazed at his cool, drawling, matter-of-fact tone. She was still more puzzled to note that he seemed to be juggling36 with his revolver in a manner which seemed, to say the least, extraordinarily37 careless.
"I can stand here till I get tired," retorted Lynch. "After that-- Well, I'd as soon end up down there as get a bullet through my ribs38. One thing, I wouldn't go alone."
"Suppose I offered to let you go free if you give up Miss Thorne?" Stratton asked with sudden earnestness.
"Offer? Hell! Yuh can't fool me with that kind of talk. Not unless yuh hand over yore gun, that is. Do that, an' I might consider the proposition--not otherwise."
Buck hesitated, his eyes flashing from the weapon he whirled so carelessly between his fingers to Lynch, whose eyes regarded him intently over the girl's shoulder.
"That would be putting an awful lot of trust in you," he commented. "Once you had the gun, what's to prevent you from drilling me--Oh, damn!"
He made a sudden, ineffectual grab at the gun, which had slipped from his fingers, and missed. As the weapon clattered39 against the rocks, Lynch's covetous40 glance followed it involuntarily. What happened next was a bewildering whirl of violent, unexpected action.
To Mary it seemed as if Buck cleared the space between them in a single amazing leap. He landed with one foot slipping on the ragged25 edge of the precipice, and apparently41 threw his whole weight sidewise against Lynch and the girl he held. Just how it happened she did not know, but in another moment Mary found herself freed from those hateful, gripping hands and flung back against her horse, while at her feet the two men grappled savagely43.
Over and over on the narrow confines of the sloping ledge they struggled fiercely, heaving, panting, with muscles cracking, each seemingly possessed44 with a grim determination to thrust the other into the abyss. Now Buck was uppermost; again Lynch, by some clever trick, tore himself from Stratton's hold to gain a momentary advantage.
Like one meshed45 in the thralls46 of some hateful nightmare, the girl crouched47 against her horse, her face so still and white and ghastly that it might well have been some clever sculptor's bizarre conception of "Horror" done in marble. Only her eyes seemed to live. Wide, dilated, glittering with an unnatural48 light, they shifted constantly, following the progress of those two writhing49 bodies.
Once, when Lynch's horse snorted and moved uneasily, she caught his bridle and quieted him with a soothing50 word, her voice so choked and hoarse that she scarcely knew it. Again, as the men rolled toward the outer side of the ledge and seemed for a moment almost to overhang the precipice, she gave a smothered51 cry and darted52 forward, moved by some wild impulse to fling her puny53 strength into the scale against the outlaw54.
But with a heave of his big body, Buck saved himself as he had done more than once before, and the struggle was resumed. Back and forth55 they fought, over and over around that narrow space, until Mary was filled with the dazed feeling that it had been going on for ever, that it would never end.
But not for an instant did she cease to follow every tiny variation of the fray56, and of a sudden she gave another cry. Gripped in a fierce embrace, the two men rolled toward the entrance to the ledge, and all at once Mary saw one of Lynch's hands close over and instantly seize the revolver Buck had dropped there.
Instantly she darted forward and tried to wrest57 it from his grasp. Finding his strength too great, she straightened swiftly and lifting one foot, brought her riding boot down fiercely with all her strength on Lynch's hand. With a smothered grunt58 his fingers laxed, and she caught up the weapon and stepped quickly back, wondering, if Lynch came uppermost, whether she would dare to try to shoot him.
No scruples59 now deterred60 her. These had vanished utterly61, and with them fear, nervousness, fatigue62, and every thought of self. For the moment she was like the primitive63 savage42, willing to do anything on earth to save--her man! But so closely were the two men entwined that she was afraid if she shot at Lynch the bullet might injure Buck.
Once more the fight veered64 close to the precipice. Lynch was again uppermost; and, whether by his greater strength, or from some injury Buck had sustained against the rocks, the girl was seized by a horrible conviction that he had the upper hand. Knees gripping Stratton about the body, hands circling his throat, Lynch, apparently oblivious65 to the blows rained on his chest and neck, was slowly but surely forcing his opponent over the ragged margin66 of the ledge. It was at this instant that the frantic23 girl discovered that her weapon had suffered some damage when it fell and was quite useless.
Already Buck's head overhung the precipice, his face a dark, strangled red. Flinging the revolver from her, Mary rushed forward and began to beat Lynch wildly with her small, clenched fists.
But she might as effectually have tried to move a rooted tree, and with a strangled cry, she wound her fingers in his coarse black hair and strove with all her strength to drag Lynch back.


1 supreme PHqzc     
  • It was the supreme moment in his life.那是他一生中最重要的時刻。
  • He handed up the indictment to the supreme court.他把起訴書送交最高法院。
2 scent WThzs     
  • The air was filled with the scent of lilac.空氣中彌漫著丁香花的芬芳。
  • The flowers give off a heady scent at night.這些花晚上散發出醉人的芳香。
3 stiffened de9de455736b69d3f33bb134bba74f63     
  • He leaned towards her and she stiffened at this invasion of her personal space. 他向她俯過身去,這種侵犯她個人空間的舉動讓她繃緊了身子。
  • She stiffened with fear. 她嚇呆了。
4 caressed de08c4fb4b79b775b2f897e6e8db9aad     
愛撫或撫摸…( caress的過去式和過去分詞 )
  • His fingers caressed the back of her neck. 他的手指撫摩著她的后頸。
  • He caressed his wife lovingly. 他憐愛萬分地撫摸著妻子。
5 juncture e3exI     
  • The project is situated at the juncture of the new and old urban districts.該項目位于新老城區交界處。
  • It is very difficult at this juncture to predict the company's future.此時很難預料公司的前景。
6 contraction sn6yO     
  • The contraction of this muscle raises the lower arm.肌肉的收縮使前臂抬起。
  • The forces of expansion are balanced by forces of contraction.擴張力和收縮力相互平衡。
7 ledge o1Mxk     
  • They paid out the line to lower him to the ledge.他們放出繩子使他降到那塊巖石的突出部分。
  • Suddenly he struck his toe on a rocky ledge and fell.突然他的腳趾絆在一塊突出的巖石上,摔倒了。
8 buck ESky8     
  • The boy bent curiously to the skeleton of the buck.這個男孩好奇地彎下身去看鹿的骸骨。
  • The female deer attracts the buck with high-pitched sounds.雌鹿以尖聲吸引雄鹿。
9 granite Kyqyu     
  • They squared a block of granite.他們把一塊花崗巖加工成四方形。
  • The granite overlies the older rocks.花崗巖躺在磨損的巖石上面。
10 bridle 4sLzt     
  • He learned to bridle his temper.他學會了控制脾氣。
  • I told my wife to put a bridle on her tongue.我告訴妻子說話要謹慎。
11 freckles MsNzcN     
n.雀斑,斑點( freckle的名詞復數 )
  • She had a wonderful clear skin with an attractive sprinkling of freckles. 她光滑的皮膚上有幾處可愛的小雀斑。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
  • When she lies in the sun, her face gets covered in freckles. 她躺在陽光下時,臉上布滿了斑點。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
12 pricked 1d0503c50da14dcb6603a2df2c2d4557     
刺,扎,戳( prick的過去式和過去分詞 ); 刺傷; 刺痛; 使劇痛
  • The cook pricked a few holes in the pastry. 廚師在餡餅上戳了幾個洞。
  • He was pricked by his conscience. 他受到良心的譴責。
13 fleeting k7zyS     
  • The girls caught only a fleeting glimpse of the driver.女孩們只匆匆瞥了一眼司機。
  • Knowing the life fleeting,she set herself to enjoy if as best as she could.她知道這種日子轉瞬即逝,于是讓自已盡情地享受。
14 imploring cb6050ff3ff45d346ac0579ea33cbfd6     
  • Those calm, strange eyes could see her imploring face. 那平靜的,沒有表情的眼睛還能看得到她的乞憐求情的面容。
  • She gave him an imploring look. 她以哀求的眼神看著他。
15 fervent SlByg     
  • It was a debate which aroused fervent ethical arguments.那是一場引發強烈的倫理道德爭論的辯論。
  • Austria was among the most fervent supporters of adolf hitler.奧地利是阿道夫希特勒最狂熱的支持者之一。
16 hurled 16e3a6ba35b6465e1376a4335ae25cd2     
v.猛投,用力擲( hurl的過去式和過去分詞 );大聲叫罵
  • He hurled a brick through the window. 他往窗戶里扔了塊磚。
  • The strong wind hurled down bits of the roof. 大風把屋頂的瓦片刮了下來。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
17 spurt 9r9yE     
  • He put in a spurt at the beginning of the eighth lap.他進入第八圈時便開始沖刺。
  • After a silence, Molly let her anger spurt out.沉默了一會兒,莫莉的怒氣便迸發了出來。
18 clatter 3bay7     
  • The dishes and bowls slid together with a clatter.碟子碗碰得丁丁當當的。
  • Don't clatter your knives and forks.別把刀叉碰得咔噠響。
19 precipice NuNyW     
  • The hut hung half over the edge of the precipice.那間小屋有一半懸在峭壁邊上。
  • A slight carelessness on this precipice could cost a man his life.在這懸崖上稍一疏忽就會使人喪生。
20 simultaneously 4iBz1o     
  • The radar beam can track a number of targets almost simultaneously.雷達波幾乎可以同時追著多個目標。
  • The Windows allow a computer user to execute multiple programs simultaneously.Windows允許計算機用戶同時運行多個程序。
21 afterward fK6y3     
  • Let's go to the theatre first and eat afterward. 讓我們先去看戲,然后吃飯。
  • Afterward,the boy became a very famous artist.后來,這男孩成為一個很有名的藝術家。
22 dilated 1f1ba799c1de4fc8b7c6c2167ba67407     
adj.加寬的,擴大的v.(使某物)擴大,膨脹,張大( dilate的過去式和過去分詞 )
  • Her eyes dilated with fear. 她嚇得瞪大了眼睛。
  • The cat dilated its eyes. 貓瞪大了雙眼。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
23 frantic Jfyzr     
  • I've had a frantic rush to get my work done.我急急忙忙地趕完工作。
  • He made frantic dash for the departing train.他發瘋似地沖向正開出的火車。
24 frantically ui9xL     
ad.發狂地, 發瘋地
  • He dashed frantically across the road. 他瘋狂地跑過馬路。
  • She bid frantically for the old chair. 她發狂地喊出高價要買那把古老的椅子。
25 ragged KC0y8     
  • A ragged shout went up from the small crowd.這一小群人發出了刺耳的喊叫。
  • Ragged clothing infers poverty.破衣爛衫意味著貧窮。
26 dazedly 6d639ead539efd6f441c68aeeadfc753     
  • Chu Kuei-ying stared dazedly at her mother for a moment, but said nothing. 朱桂英怔怔地望著她母親,不作聲。 來自子夜部分
  • He wondered dazedly whether the term after next at his new school wouldn't matter so much. 他昏頭昏腦地想,不知道新學校的第三個學期是不是不那么重要。
27 clenched clenched     
v.緊握,抓緊,咬緊( clench的過去式和過去分詞 )
  • He clenched his fists in anger. 他憤怒地攥緊了拳頭。
  • She clenched her hands in her lap to hide their trembling. 她攥緊雙手放在腿上,以掩飾其顫抖。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
28 softened 19151c4e3297eb1618bed6a05d92b4fe     
(使)變軟( soften的過去式和過去分詞 ); 緩解打擊; 緩和; 安慰
  • His smile softened slightly. 他的微笑稍柔和了些。
  • The ice cream softened and began to melt. 冰淇淋開始變軟并開始融化。
29 momentary hj3ya     
  • We are in momentary expectation of the arrival of you.我們無時無刻不在盼望你的到來。
  • I caught a momentary glimpse of them.我瞥了他們一眼。
30 reassuring vkbzHi     
  • He gave her a reassuring pat on the shoulder. 他輕拍了一下她的肩膀讓她放心。
  • With a reassuring pat on her arm, he left. 他鼓勵地拍了拍她的手臂就離開了。
31 abruptly iINyJ     
  • He gestured abruptly for Virginia to get in the car.他粗魯地示意弗吉尼亞上車。
  • I was abruptly notified that a half-hour speech was expected of me.我突然被通知要講半個小時的話。
32 hoarse 5dqzA     
  • He asked me a question in a hoarse voice.他用嘶啞的聲音問了我一個問題。
  • He was too excited and roared himself hoarse.他過于激動,嗓子都喊啞了。
33 averted 35a87fab0bbc43636fcac41969ed458a     
防止,避免( avert的過去式和過去分詞 ); 轉移
  • A disaster was narrowly averted. 及時防止了一場災難。
  • Thanks to her skilful handling of the affair, the problem was averted. 多虧她對事情處理得巧妙,才避免了麻煩。
34 standing 2hCzgo     
  • After the earthquake only a few houses were left standing.地震過后只有幾幢房屋還立著。
  • They're standing out against any change in the law.他們堅決反對對法律做任何修改。
35 bulge Ns3ze     
  • The apple made a bulge in his pocket.蘋果把他口袋塞得鼓了起來。
  • What's that awkward bulge in your pocket?你口袋里那塊鼓鼓囊囊的東西是什么?
36 juggling juggling     
n. 欺騙, 雜耍(=jugglery) adj. 欺騙的, 欺詐的 動詞juggle的現在分詞
  • He was charged with some dishonest juggling with the accounts. 他被指控用欺騙手段竄改賬目。
  • The accountant went to prison for juggling his firm's accounts. 會計因涂改公司的帳目而入獄。
37 extraordinarily Vlwxw     
  • She is an extraordinarily beautiful girl.她是個美麗非凡的姑娘。
  • The sea was extraordinarily calm that morning.那天清晨,大海出奇地寧靜。
38 ribs 24fc137444401001077773555802b280     
n.肋骨( rib的名詞復數 );(船或屋頂等的)肋拱;肋骨狀的東西;(織物的)凸條花紋
  • He suffered cracked ribs and bruising. 他斷了肋骨還有挫傷。
  • Make a small incision below the ribs. 在肋骨下方切開一個小口。
39 clattered 84556c54ff175194afe62f5473519d5a     
  • He dropped the knife and it clattered on the stone floor. 他一失手,刀子當啷一聲掉到石頭地面上。
  • His hand went limp and the knife clattered to the ground. 他的手一軟,刀子當啷一聲掉到地上。
40 covetous Ropz0     
  • She is envious of Jane's good looks and covetous of her car.她既忌妒簡的美貌又垂涎她的汽車。
  • He raised his head,with a look of unrestrained greed in his covetous eyes.他抬起頭來,貪婪的眼光露出饞涎欲滴的神情。
41 apparently tMmyQ     
  • An apparently blind alley leads suddenly into an open space.山窮水盡,豁然開朗。
  • He was apparently much surprised at the news.他對那個消息顯然感到十分驚異。
42 savage ECxzR     
  • The poor man received a savage beating from the thugs.那可憐的人遭到暴徒的痛打。
  • He has a savage temper.他脾氣粗暴。
43 savagely 902f52b3c682f478ddd5202b40afefb9     
adv. 野蠻地,殘酷地
  • The roses had been pruned back savagely. 玫瑰被狠狠地修剪了一番。
  • He snarled savagely at her. 他向她狂吼起來。
44 possessed xuyyQ     
  • He flew out of the room like a man possessed.他像著了魔似地猛然沖出房門。
  • He behaved like someone possessed.他行為舉止像是魔怔了。
45 meshed 105a3132403c3f8cb6e888bb4f2c2019     
  • The wheels meshed well. 機輪嚙合良好。
  • Their senses of humor meshed perfectly. 他們的幽默感配合得天衣無縫。
46 thralls 7f8295383bcf33e2fa8b8e809a62fded     
n.奴隸( thrall的名詞復數 );奴役;奴隸制;奴隸般受支配的人
  • He was accused of stirring up the thralls against their masters. 有人指責他鼓動奴隸反抗主人。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
  • He forced his thralls into hard labour. 他逼迫他的奴隸們干苦役。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
47 crouched 62634c7e8c15b8a61068e36aaed563ab     
v.屈膝,蹲伏( crouch的過去式和過去分詞 )
  • He crouched down beside her. 他在她的旁邊蹲了下來。
  • The lion crouched ready to pounce. 獅子蹲下身,準備猛撲。
48 unnatural 5f2zAc     
  • Did her behaviour seem unnatural in any way?她有任何反常表現嗎?
  • She has an unnatural smile on her face.她臉上掛著做作的微笑。
49 writhing 8e4d2653b7af038722d3f7503ad7849c     
(因極度痛苦而)扭動或翻滾( writhe的現在分詞 )
  • She was writhing around on the floor in agony. 她痛得在地板上直打滾。
  • He was writhing on the ground in agony. 他痛苦地在地上打滾。
50 soothing soothing     
  • Put on some nice soothing music.播放一些柔和舒緩的音樂。
  • His casual, relaxed manner was very soothing.他隨意而放松的舉動讓人很快便平靜下來。
51 smothered b9bebf478c8f7045d977e80734a8ed1d     
(使)窒息, (使)透不過氣( smother的過去式和過去分詞 ); 覆蓋; 忍住; 抑制
  • He smothered the baby with a pillow. 他用枕頭把嬰兒悶死了。
  • The fire is smothered by ashes. 火被灰悶熄了。
52 darted d83f9716cd75da6af48046d29f4dd248     
v.投擲,投射( dart的過去式和過去分詞 );向前沖,飛奔
  • The lizard darted out its tongue at the insect. 蜥蜴伸出舌頭去吃小昆蟲。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
  • The old man was displeased and darted an angry look at me. 老人不高興了,瞪了我一眼。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
53 puny Bt5y6     
  • The resources at the central banks' disposal are simply too puny.中央銀行掌握的資金實在太少了。
  • Antonio was a puny lad,and not strong enough to work.安東尼奧是個瘦小的小家伙,身體還不壯,還不能干活。
54 outlaw 1J0xG     
  • The outlaw hid out in the hills for several months.逃犯在山里隱藏了幾個月。
  • The outlaw has been caught.歹徒已被抓住了。
55 forth Hzdz2     
  • The wind moved the trees gently back and forth.風吹得樹輕輕地來回搖晃。
  • He gave forth a series of works in rapid succession.他很快連續發表了一系列的作品。
56 fray NfDzp     
  • Why should you get involved in their fray?你為什么要介入他們的爭吵呢?
  • Tempers began to fray in the hot weather.大熱天脾氣煩燥。
57 wrest 1fdwD     
  • The officer managed to wrest the gun from his grasp.警官最終把槍從他手中奪走了。
  • You wrest my words out of their real meaning.你曲解了我話里的真正含義。
58 grunt eeazI     
  • He lifted the heavy suitcase with a grunt.他咕嚕著把沉重的提箱拎了起來。
  • I ask him what he think,but he just grunt.我問他在想什麼,他只哼了一聲。
59 scruples 14d2b6347f5953bad0a0c5eebf78068a     
n.良心上的不安( scruple的名詞復數 );顧慮,顧忌v.感到于心不安,有顧忌( scruple的第三人稱單數 )
  • I overcame my moral scruples. 我拋開了道德方面的顧慮。
  • I'm not ashamed of my scruples about your family. They were natural. 我并未因為對你家人的顧慮而感到羞恥。這種感覺是自然而然的。 來自瘋狂英語突破英語語調
60 deterred 6509d0c471f59ae1f99439f51e8ea52d     
v.阻止,制止( deter的過去式和過去分詞 )
  • I told him I wasn't interested, but he wasn't deterred. 我已告訴他我不感興趣,可他卻不罷休。
  • Jeremy was not deterred by this criticism. 杰里米沒有因這一批評而卻步。 來自辭典例句
61 utterly ZfpzM1     
  • Utterly devoted to the people,he gave his life in saving his patients.他忠于人民,把畢生精力用于挽救患者的生命。
  • I was utterly ravished by the way she smiled.她的微笑使我完全陶醉了。
62 fatigue PhVzV     
  • The old lady can't bear the fatigue of a long journey.這位老婦人不能忍受長途旅行的疲勞。
  • I have got over my weakness and fatigue.我已從虛弱和疲勞中恢復過來了。
63 primitive vSwz0     
  • It is a primitive instinct to flee a place of danger.逃離危險的地方是一種原始本能。
  • His book describes the march of the civilization of a primitive society.他的著作描述了一個原始社會的開化過程。
64 veered 941849b60caa30f716cec7da35f9176d     
v.(尤指交通工具)改變方向或路線( veer的過去式和過去分詞 );(指談話內容、人的行為或觀點)突然改變;(指風) (在北半球按順時針方向、在南半球按逆時針方向)逐漸轉向;風向順時針轉
  • The bus veered onto the wrong side of the road. 公共汽車突然駛入了逆行道。
  • The truck veered off the road and crashed into a tree. 卡車突然駛離公路撞上了一棵樹。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
65 oblivious Y0Byc     
  • Mother has become quite oblivious after the illness.這次病后,媽媽變得特別健忘。
  • He was quite oblivious of the danger.他完全沒有察覺到危險。
66 margin 67Mzp     
  • We allowed a margin of 20 minutes in catching the train.我們有20分鐘的余地趕火車。
  • The village is situated at the margin of a forest.村子位于森林的邊緣。
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