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pitagoras Tresfonsitas

Inglés(XLII)

En el capítulo XXII Sam Clemens y un amigo van al lago Tahoe.

Vocabulario:


Hombro SHOULDER
aserradero SAWMILL

La frase wolfishly hungry es similar a la castellana "con hambre de lobos".

El lago Mono

Continúa Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain narrando sus viajes. Así el lector hace un doble recorrido: por un lado, va conociendo lugares del lejano Oeste; y por otro, es testigo del nacimiento de un escritor que al principio de objetividad sólo le pone un único elemento de desequilibrio: el sentido del humor.

Así, podemos visitar el Lago Mono, en la vecina California, y saber de las "moscas buceadoras": You can hold them under water as long as you please--they do not mind it--they are only proud of it. When you let them go, they pop up to the surface as dry as a patent office report, and walk off as unconcernedly as if they had been educated especially with a view to affording instructive entertainment to man in that particular way.

También nos describe Twain, a su peculiar modo, la cadena trófica del lago: All things have their uses and their part and proper place in Nature's economy: the ducks eat the flies--the flies eat the worms--the Indians eat all three--the wild cats eat the Indians--the white folks eat the wild cats--and thus all things are lovely. La realidad difiere un poco de lo que Mark Twain describió: las moscas y las pequeñas quisquillas (a las que él llamó "worms") se alimentan de las algas del lago; las aves, por su lado, se alimentan de las moscas y los pequeños crustáceos; en cuanto a los indios de la época parece que se alimentaban de las moscas.

Luego tenemos a Twain ejerciendo el periodismo en Virginia City. Y más tarde siendo testigo de un terremoto en San Francisco.

Después el escritor se desplaza a las Islas Sandwich del Pacífico Norte (hoy Islas Hawai). Aprovecha para darnos su opinión sobre la muerte del capitán Cook: Wherever he went among the islands, he was cordially received and welcomed by the inhabitants, and his ships lavishly supplied with all manner of food. He returned these kindnesses with insult and ill-treatment. Perceiving that the people took him for the long vanished and lamented god Lono, he encouraged them in the delusion for the sake of the limitless power it gave him; but during the famous disturbance at this spot, and while he and his comrades were surrounded by fifteen thousand maddened savages, he received a hurt and betrayed his earthly origin with a groan. It was his death-warrant. Instantly a shout went up: "He groans!--he is not a god!" So they closed in upon him and dispatched him.

También nos habla de las muchachas indígenas: At noon I observed a bevy of nude native young ladies bathing in the sea, and went and sat down on their clothes to keep them from being stolen. I begged them to come out, for the sea was rising and I was satisfied that they were running some risk. But they were not afraid, and presently went on with their sport. They were finished swimmers and divers, and enjoyed themselves to the last degree.

De vuelta al continente describe el modo de pasar el tiempo en el barco, cuando la falta de viento les mantenía parados en el Océano: I will mention that the gentlemen gave a good part of their time every day, during the calm, to trying to sit on an empty champagne bottle (lying on its side), and thread a needle without touching their heels to the deck, or falling over.

Ya en San Francisco el escritor da una conferencia dentro del género humorístico y regala a un hombre de nombre Sawyer, y de risa fácil, una entrada. Este era el modo en el que el tal Sawyer recibía un chiste lanzado por Twain: Sawyer, whose hearty countenance was seen looming redly in the centre of the second circle, took it up, and the house was carried handsomely. Inferior jokes never fared so royally before.

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