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Adventure of a Kite

Posted by ploymeesin in Books & Reference | March 8, 2013 | 0 Comments

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We arrived in a large, grassy meadow, sloping down to a low hedge. Beyond the hedge was a very large field, and beyond that field another large field, which had some high trees at the farthest end. In the tops of these trees was a rookery; we knew these trees very well, because we often used to walk that way, partly because it was a nice walk, and partly because an old woman, whom we were all very fond of, kept an apple and gingerbread-nut stall under the largest tree. However, as I said before, these trees were a long way off—two whole fields off—more, two whole fields and all the meadow. At the top of the meadow, near where we stood, there was also a high tree, and at the foot of this we laid down the Kite.

“O, James,” said my brother, “do you think we shall be able to make the Kite fly as high as the tree we are under?”

“As high!” said James White, “six times as high, at the very least.”

He now carefully unfolded the tail from the body of the Kite, being very particular to undo all the tangles near the tassel, which made quite a bunch; but he brought it out perfectly. One end of the ball of twine was now attached to the body of the Kite. He then raised it up with the right hand, holding out the tail in three great festoons with the left, and in this way walked to and fro very uprightly and with a stately air, and turning his head in various quarters, to observe the direction of the wind. Suddenly he dropped the tail upon the ground, and lifting up the Kite with his right hand in the air, as high as he possibly could, off he ran down the meadow slope as fast as his legs could carry him, shouting all the way, “Up, up, up! rise, rise, rise! fly, Kite, in the air!” He finished by throwing the Kite up, continuing to run with the string in his hand, allowing it to slip through his fingers as the Kite[13] rose. The breeze caught the Kite, and up it went in fine style. It continued to rise rapidly, and we ran to and fro underneath, shouting all the time, “O, well done, James White, and well done, Kite!”

By the excellent management of James, the Kite rose and rose, till we all said, “O, how high! how wonderful!” And then James White said he was satisfied.

Now you are all to recollect that this Kite was very large. In the story I told you in summer, where the making of this Kite was described, you remember that it was said to be as tall as James White himself, and of course very much broader. The consequence was, that this Kite was extremely strong. So we all sat down on the grass to hold the string, which James White said was necessary, as the Kite struggled and pulled so hard. It was now up quite as high as the string would allow it to go. But the wind seemed to be increasing, and James White said he began to be rather afraid that he must draw the Kite downwards, for fear it should have a quarrel with the wind up in the clouds, and then some accident might happen. We accordingly began to draw down the Kite slowly, winding the string upon the stick as it gradually descended. But notwithstanding all this care, an accident did happen after all.


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