The River

By Gary Paulsen

"We wish you to do it again."

These phrases, spoken to Brian Robeson, will switch his existence. years past, Brian used to be stranded on my own within the wasteland for fifty four days with not anything yet a small hatchet. but he survived.

Now the govt desires him to return into the desert in order that astronauts and the army can study the survival suggestions that saved Brian alive. quickly the undertaking backfires, even though, leaving Brian with a wounded associate and an extended river to navigate. His purely wish is to construct a raft and check out to move the injured guy 100 miles downstream to a buying and selling post--if the map he has is accurate.

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The pilot stayed in his seat and Brian moved the passenger seat ahead and clambered out of the aircraft, stepped at the glide after which to the dry grass. Neat, he inspiration, neat and fresh. the concept got here into his brain that it was once a gorgeous day. The sunlight used to be out, there have been small popcorn clouds relocating around the sky, it used to be a delicate summer season afternoon. Then, instantly—in simply that a part of a second—he replaced. thoroughly. He turned, unexpectedly, what he’d been prior to on the lake. a part of it, it all; within it all in order that each . . . unmarried . . . little . . . factor grew to become vital. He didn’t simply listen birds making a song, not only a heritage sound of birds, yet every one chook. He listened to every poultry. positioned it, knew the place it used to be through the sound, listened for the sound of alarm. He didn’t simply see clouds, yet mild clouds, scout clouds that got here ahead of the heavier clouds which can suggest rain and perhaps wind. The clouds have been popping out of the northwest, and that intended that climate would include them. no longer might, yet might. There will be rain. this night, overdue, there will be rain. His eyes swept the clearing, then up the sting of the clearing, and in these sweeps he knew—he knew the clearing and the woods. there has been a stump there that most likely held grubs; hardwood there for a bow, and willows there for arrows; a online game path, most likely deer, relocating off to the left intended different issues, porcupines, raccoons, endure, wolves, moose, skunk will be relocating at the path and into the clearing. He flared his nostrils, smelled the air, pulled the air alongside the perimeters of his tongue in a hissing sound and tasted it, yet there has been not anything. simply summer time smells. The tang of pines, delicate air, a few mustiness from rotting plants. No animals. a minimum of, not anything clean. Derek had noticeable the switch, used to be observing him. “What occurred? ” Brian shook his head. “Nothing. ” “Yes—something did. You replaced. thoroughly. You’re now not a similar individual. ” Brian shrugged. “I was once simply . . . issues. Seeing them. ” “Tell me,” Derek acknowledged. He took a laptop out of his pocket. “Tell me every thing you observed. ” “Right now? ” “Yes. ” “Shouldn’t we allow the pilot cross first? ” Derek became as though seeing the aircraft for the 1st time. “Oh, definite. I virtually forgot. He has to come again. Let’s sell off, after which he can move and you'll inform me—” “No. ” “What? ” Brian had made the choice simply as he dozed off within the airplane and it had settled into his brain whereas he slept. He knew it was once the correct factor to do. “We’re unlikely to dump. ” “What are you conversing approximately? ” Brian checked out the lake, the clearing, the clouds. Seven, 8 hours to rain. “I suggest, if we sell off all that gear—everything however the kitchen sink, such as you said—this entire enterprise may be ruined, wasted. ” “I don’t see what you mean—what occurs if now we have difficulty? ” Brian nodded. “That’s it precisely. we have now difficulty. That’s what this can be all approximately. you need to examine, but when you might have all that backup, it’s simply extra video games. It’s no longer genuine. You wouldn’t have that if the location have been genuine, might you? ” “But we don’t need to use it.

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