Marooned – 13

Marooned in Crater Lake by Alfred Powers

 To the crossed strings, or bridle, he tied one end of his two thousand feet of twine. He tore his handkerchief into strips, which he pieced into a string and which he tied in the center of the pendant loop. Then from his shirt, he slashed off a section of additional cloth and tied it to the lower end of the handkerchief string.

The signal was ready to carry upward its message of an imprisoned boy. Jim had built a kite!

A breeze to fly it was the next need. He held it up in front of him, but the pressure against it was hardly noticeable. Something of the calm of morning still prevailed. He looked across and up at his barometers on the rim the trees and saw by their comparative quiet that the wind had not yet come in from the mountain-tops. He would be patient until the afternoon.

At two o’clock, from a perch as high up as he could gain, he held the precious kite above his head. If it ever dropped into the water, all his labor would be lost. He held the kite up and threw it from him, but it dropped down, not to the water, for he gave it but little line, and, besides, he held the tail in his hand. It seemed a lifeless thing.

Many times he tried. Always it dropped. It seemed without buoyancy. It was heavy and spiritless, without the grace and lightness of flight. His heart sank. It would not fly!

He adjusted and readjusted the bridle. He subtracted from and added to the tail. Still it fell like a shot bird. For an hour he tried.

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