07 January 2010

from Winter Holiday, chapter XI, Cragfast Sheep (Arthur Ransome)

He remembered then that, after the sheep was lowered, one of the others would have to go all the way back and down into the gully to untie it before they could let him have the rope for the return journey. All that time he would have to sit on the ledge there, with his back against the face of the rock, and wait, and wait, and not look down at his feet. Well, those buzzards were still there.

And then, suddenly, he was startled by a shout from Roger, out of sight above him.

'Here come the dogs!'

And away to the left, far below him, he saw the sledge party coming up the gully, and knew that they had seen him.

John would be there to undo the sheep. It was too late now to try again, but he did wish he had been able to manage a rather more seamanlike knot.

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