New National Fourth Reader eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 258 pages of information about New National Fourth Reader.

With great exertions, the old man turned the heavy gun to its bearing, and then seizing the string of the lock, he stood back and watched for the next swell that would bring the shark in range.  He had aimed the piece some distance ahead of his mark; but yet a moment would settle his hopes and fears.

Every breath was hushed, and every heart in that old ship beat painfully.  The boat was yet some distance from the boys, while the horrid sea-monster was fearfully near.


Suddenly the silence was broken by the roar of the gun; and, as the old man knew his shot was gone, he covered his face with his hands, as if afraid to see the result.  If he had failed, he knew that his boy was lost.

For a moment after the report of the gun had died away upon the air, there was an unbroken silence; but, as the thick smoke arose from the surface of the water, there was, at first, a low murmur breaking from the lips of the men,—­that murmur grew louder and stronger, till it swelled to a joyous, deafening shout.

The old gunner sprung to his feet, and gazed off on the water, and the first thing that met his sight was the huge body of the shark floating on its back, the shot aimed by him having instantly killed it.

In a few moments the boat reached the daring swimmers, and, greatly frightened, they were brought on board.  The old man clasped his boy in his arms, and then, overcome by the powerful excitement, he leaned upon a gun for support.

* * * * *

Directions for Reading.—­What paragraphs should be read rapidly?  Does the feeling require it?

Use calling tones for the words, “A shark!  A shark!”

* * * * *

Language Lesson.—­Syllabify, accent, and mark sounds of letters in the following words:  Tangiers, Sahara, percussion, excitement, support.

Tell the story in your own words, using the points in the following

Analysis.—­1.  Where the ship was. 2.  The race. 3.  The shark. 4.  The gunner’s trial. 5.  The result.

* * * * *


scant’y, not enough for use.

hu’man, belonging to man or mankind.

cubs, the young of wild animals.

le’gend, a story; a tale.

soot’y, blackened with smoke.

scar’let, of a bright red color.

self’ish ly, as if caring only for one’s self.

knead’ed, pressed and rolled with the hands.

dough, unbaked bread or cake.

* * * * *


  Away, away in the Northland,
    Where the hours of the day are few,
  And the nights are so long in winter,
    They can not sleep them through;

Project Gutenberg
New National Fourth Reader from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.