Marooned – 12

Marooned in Crater Lake by Alfred Powers

 Once more, sleep was difficult, in spite of the fact that it was greatly in arrears. He suffered from the cold more than he had the night before, for he was now deprived of his socks and sweater. The hours seemed interminably long, but he obtained a few brief periods of repose.

In the morning, while it was still dark, he ate his last sandwich; and, as soon as it was light enough, he took his knife and whittled from the pine board three straight thin strips. Two of these splits were about twenty-three inches long. The third was about fifteen inches long. The two longer ones he crossed in the form of an “X,” but with the intersection three or four inches from the center toward the upper ends. The third and shorter he placed horizontally across the other two, its center at their intersection. He lashed the joint with cord. Around the outside; in grooves previously cut in the six ends of the three sticks, he stretched the leader of his trolling line, so that he had a strong and rigid six-sided framework.

With his knife, he cut from the newspaper a covering of the same shape as the framework, but with an inch margin all round.

On a smooth, dry place on his little beach he laid down the paper, and, over this, the framework of sticks and catgut. He then took out of his pocket the book of stamps. With his knife he slit each of the nineteen stamps into four pieces, making in all seventy-six gummed seals, quite narrow, but long enough in each case to have much adhesive tenacity. With these stickers he fastened down the border of paper, which he folded over the catgut rim.

Crossing and adjusting three strings with great care and exactness, he fashioned a “bridle,” and arranged a short pendant loop at the lower end.

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