Elizabeth turned her head, when they reached the point where they were to descend the mountain, and thought that the slow fires that were glimmering under his enormous kettles, his little brush shelter, covered with pieces of hemlock bark, his gigantic size, as he wielded his ladle with a steady and knowing air, aided by the back-ground of stately trees, with their spouts and troughs, formed, altogether, no unreal picture of human life in its first stages of civilization.
A deep and careless incision had been made into each tree, near its root, into which little spouts, formed of the I bark of the alder, or of the sumach, were fastened; and a trough, roughly dug out of the linden, or basswood, was I lying at the root of each tree, to catch the sap that flowed from this extremely wasteful and inartificial arrangement.
Meanwhile one of the carriers who were in the inn thought fit to water his team, and it was necessary to remove Don Quixote's armour as it lay on the trough; but he seeing the other approach hailed him in a loud voice, "O thou, whoever thou art, rash knight that comest to lay hands on the armour of the most valorous errant that ever girt on sword, have a care what thou dost; touch it not unless thou wouldst lay down thy life as the penalty of thy rashness." The carrier gave no heed to these words (and he would have done better to heed them if he had been heedful of his health), but seizing it by the straps flung the armour some distance from him.
Shortly after this, another, not knowing what had happened (for the carrier still lay senseless), came with the same object of giving water to his mules, and was proceeding to remove the armour in order to clear the trough, when Don Quixote, without uttering a word or imploring aid from anyone, once more dropped his buckler and once more lifted his lance, and without actually breaking the second carrier's head into pieces, made more than three of it, for he laid it open in four.
This time, as we went into the trough of the sea and were swept, there were no sails to carry away.
As before, the Ghost swung out of the trough, lifting her deck again out of the sea, and dashed before the howling blast.
Soon you see him returning with Kolory, who bears the god Moa Artua in his arms, and carries in one hand a small trough
, hollowed out in the likeness of a canoe.
In this exercise I once met an accident, which had like to have cost me my life; for, one of the pages having put my boat into the trough, the governess who attended Glumdalclitch very officiously lifted me up, to place me in the boat: but I happened to slip through her fingers, and should infallibly have fallen down forty feet upon the floor, if, by the luckiest chance in the world, I had not been stopped by a corking-pin that stuck in the good gentlewoman's stomacher; the head of the pin passing between my shirt and the waistband of my breeches, and thus I was held by the middle in the air, till Glumdalclitch ran to my relief.
Another time, one of the servants, whose office it was to fill my trough every third day with fresh water, was so careless as to let a huge frog (not perceiving it) slip out of his pail.
Even they essayed to make him "loop the loop"--rushing him down an inclined trough
at so high speed of his legs, accelerated by the slash of whips on his hindquarters, that, with such initial momentum, had he put his heart and will into it, he could have successfully run up the inside of the loop, and across the inside of the top of it, back-downward, like a fly on the ceiling, and on and down and around and out of the loop.
Often, as I still lay at the bottom and kept no more than an eye above the gunwale, I would see a big blue summit heaving close above me; yet the coracle would but bounce a little, dance as if on springs, and subside on the other side into the trough
as lightly as a bird.
I had seen to it that a sea anchor was rigged, and even now the men had completed their task, and the Coldwater was swinging around rapidly, her nose pointing once more into the wind, and the frightful rolling consequent upon her wallowing in the trough was happily diminishing.
Down into the trough we went, wallowing like the carcass of a dead whale, and then began the fight, with rudder and propellers, to force the Coldwater back into the teeth of the gale and drive her on and on, farther and farther from relentless thirty.
That commonest of village sights was lacking here--the public pump, with its great stone tank or trough
of limpid water, and its group of gossiping pitcher-bearers; for there is no well or fountain or spring on this tall hill; cisterns of rain-water are used.
Fedot, don't let out the gelding, but take it to the trough
, and we'll put the other in harness."