Urging my wife to whip up her horse, we set off at full speed, making the best way we could over the fallen trees and the brush heaps, which lay like so many articles placed on purpose to keep up the terrific fires that advanced with a broad front upon us.
By this time we were suffering greatly from the effects of the heat, and we were afraid that our horses would be overcome and drop down at any moment.
A singular kind of breeze was passing over our heads, and the glare of the burning trees shone more brightly than the daylight. I was sensible of a slight faintness, and my wife looked pale.
The heat had produced such a flush in the child’s face that, when she turned toward either of us, our grief and anxiety were greatly increased.
* * * * *
Directions for Reading.—What tone of voice should be used in reading the lesson?
Should the rate of reading be slow or rapid?
Point out two paragraphs requiring a somewhat different rate.
Should the feelings expressed in the lesson be rendered in a quiet or loud tone?
Different inflections are sometimes used, simply to give variety to the reading and not for emphasis.
In the first paragraph, mark inflection of night, day, horses, cattle, woods, us.
* * * * *
de voured’, eaten up greedily, as by wild animals.
por’cu pine, a kind of animal.
smold’der ing, burning slowly; smoking.
in suf’fer a ble, not to be borne.
shift’ed, moved about; changed position.
sti’fling, stopping the breath.
dismal, gloomy; cheerless.
un grate’ful, not thankful.
rem’e died, relieved; cured.
* * * * *
A FOREST ON FIRE.
Ten miles are soon gone over on swift horses; but yet, when we reached the borders of the lake we were quite exhausted, and our hearts failed us. The heat of the smoke was insufferable, and sheets of blazing fire flew over us in a manner beyond belief.
We reached the shore, however, coasted the lake for a while, and got round to the sheltered side. There we gave up our horses, which we never saw again.
We plunged down among the rushes, by the edge of the water, and laid ourselves down flat, to await the chance of escaping from being burned or devoured. The water greatly refreshed us, and we enjoyed the coolness.
On went the fire, rushing and crashing through the woods. Such a morning may we never again see! The heavens themselves, I thought, were frightened.