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หัวข้อ : The sameness of the swamp
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The sameness of the swamp 1 สัปดาห์, 1 วัน ก่อน  
Mile after mile he wound his way slowly among the trees and the cypress knees, always keeping in touch with the ragged shore line, and watching keenly for any sign of a trail or landing place. He found many of them but they all turned out to be animal trails which showed no trace of a human footstep. They were, nevertheless, intensely interesting to Scott. He had always prided himself on his woodcraft, and these medleys of coon, fox, wildcat and deer tracks were offering him new fields to conquer. He became so interested in them that he traveled on and on from one trail to another, wholly forgetful of time. He found dozens of smaller tracks in the black, plastic mud, tracks which he did not know, and it piqued both his pride and his curiosity. He almost forgot his object in coming there.

He had pottered along this way for several miles, following the crooked shore line of the swamp and stopping to examine every trail when a sudden pang of hunger caused him to glance at his watch. It was three o’clock. He laid his paddle across the bateau in front of him and sat there idly watching the shore while he ate his lunch. He had not thought to bring any water and the black waters of the swamp looked uninviting. However, he was well accustomed to eating dry in the Southwest and made out very well. He decided that he would continue his search till four o’clock and then start for home; but he became so interested that he overstayed his time a little. It was half-past four before he realized it.

Scott knew that he could never reach the landing, probably not even find the passage out of the swamp, before dark, if he retraced his course around the jagged shore line.

It would be much shorter and quicker to go directly across the swamp to the hardwood bottom and then follow that down to the opening. Unfortunately, the sun disappeared behind a bunch of leaden clouds before he had gone very far and left him without a guide. and the utter lack of landmarks made it hard to hold the course, but he felt pretty sure of his directions and paddled on confidently as fast as the cypress knees and partially submerged roots would let him. Fallen trees and clumps of brush forced him to make many short detours which were very confusing. He had come much farther that morning than he had realized.
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