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A brave dog

paragraph 1

At this moment there was a wild cry of
terror
heard a short distance ahead of them. Rushing forward they
observed
an Indian woman flying
frantically
down the river's bank towards the waterfall, a hundred
yards
above which an object was seen
struggling
in the water.

paragraph 2

"'Tis her child," cried Joe, as the mother's
frantic
cry
reached his ear. "It'll be over the fall in a minute! Run, Dick, you're quickest."

paragraph 3

They had all started forward at speed, but Dick and Crusoe were far ahead, and
abreast
of the spot in a few seconds.

Questions

  1. What tense is "They had all started forward at speed..." ?
  2. Can you change this to past Simple? What else must change to agree?

paragraph 4

"Save it,
pup
," cried Dick, pointing to the child, which had been caught in an
eddy
, and was for a few moments
hovering
on the edge of the stream that rushed
impetuously
towards the fall.

paragraph 5

The dog at once
jumped
from the
bank
and in a few seconds reached the child and caught it
firmly
. Then he turned to swim back, but the
swift
-flowing water had got hold of him. Bravely he
struggled
and lifted the child out of the water but his powerful
efforts
to
stem
the
current
were in
vain
. Each moment he was carried still further down until he was on the
brink
of the fall, which though not high, was the most dangerous on the river. He raised himself high out of the
stream
with the
vigour
of his
last
struggle
and then fell over into the
abyss
.

Questions

  1. What does 'last' mean in "...with the vigour of his last struggle.." ?

paragraph 6

By this time the poor mother, as if she had
anticipated
the result, was already in a
canoe
, as close to the fall as it was possible for her to go with safety. The little bark danced like a
cockle
shell on the
turmoil
of waters as the mother stood with uplifted
paddle
and staring eyeballs awaiting the reappearance of the child.

paragraph 7

The dog came up instantly but alone, for the
dash
over the fall had
wrenched
the child from his
grasp
. He looked around
eagerly
for a moment and then caught sight of a little hand raised above the boiling flood. In one moment he had hold of the child again, and, just as the
prow
of the mother's canoe touched the
shore
, he brought the child to land.

Questions

  1. Do you know a verb which could replace 'came up' in this paragraph?

paragraph 4

The mother
sprang
to the spot,
snatched
the child from him and
gazed
in
anguish
on its deathlike face. Then she laid her cheek on its cold breast and stood motionless. After a few moments she was
conscious
of some slight movement in the little body and a gentle motion of the hand. The child still lived! Opening up her blanket she drew the covering close around the child, and sitting down on the bank,
wept
aloud for joy.

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