The sky was star-strewn as Garland's punt slipped away from the island. It was intensely still, a whisper of water round the moving prow, the sibilant dip of the paddle the only sounds. He could see the water as a pale, winding shimmer ahead, dotted with star reflections like small, scattered flowers. Once, rising to make sure of his course, he saw the tiny yellow light in a ranch house far away.
"All right," said Henry, "you come with us, and Sol, you and Jim Hart can do the fishing and the quarreling, with nobody to bother you." "Jest my luck," said Shif'less Sol, "to be left on a desert island with an ornery cuss like Jim Hart." Henry, setting the paddle against the bank, gave the canoe a great shove, and it shot far out into the lake. Paul looked back.
Kolory was a sort of Knight Templar—a soldier-priest; for he often wore the dress of a Marquesan warrior, and always carried a long spear, which, instead of terminating in a paddle at the lower end, after the general fashion of these weapons, was curved into a heathenish-looking little image. This instrument, however, might perhaps have been emblematic of his double functions.
Then another stood up to the paddle and steered the canoe swiftly along the stream, which was an arm of a greater river emptying into the lake. What could they want of her? Jeanne mused. Perhaps a ransom, she had heard such tales, though it was oftener after a battle that a prisoner was released by a ransom.
On account of the correspondence of filthy loves with dunghills and bogs, it was commanded the sons of Israel, "That they should carry with them a paddle with which to cover their excrement, lest Jehovah God walking in the midst of their camp should see the nakedness of the thing, and should return," Deut, xxiii. 13, 14.
The water got in his ears and up his nose and choked him. And then it was so dreadfully wet! But he would grit his teeth and keep at it. After a while he got so that he could paddle around a little. Gradually he lost his fear of the water. Then he found that because he naturally moved so quickly he could sometimes catch foolish minnows who swam in where the water was very shallow.
It was aggravating to be thus outstrippped and the boys started to paddle with all their might. For a little while they actually seemed to gain on Randy, but a lively puff of wind came down the creek, and the Water Sprite took a spurt that made the chase hopeless.
He was astride this bolsa, with a small parcel of bread and meat done up in a piece of cloth; another piece of cloth, such as we used for making our signal-stations, he had fixed into a sail; and with a paddle he was directing his precarious craft right out into the broad bay, to follow the general direction of the schooners and boats that he knew were ascending the Sacramento River.
At that moment a remarkably high wave leaped over the side of the boat, and wet Johnny to the skin. "Just enough wind to make it pleasant!" gasped the little fellow. "O, dear! O, dear!" sighed the girls, in despair. "Ugh! how my arms ache!" groaned Johnny, stopping to rub them. "Guess I wouldn't say much if I was nothing but a girl, and didn't have to paddle!"
"Paddle to the mainland and kill some farmer's cow to get beef?" "No, indeed," Laura said, laughing. "We must, however, make an attempt to coax some of the finny denizens of the lake out of it and into Lizzie's fry-pan." "Fishing!" cried Dorothy. "I never went fishing in my life," complained Lil. But the other girls of Central High were not like Lil no, indeed!