Here passes the fourth full day of reading Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa, Or, The History of a Young Lady and the fortunes of our humble crew, what remains of it, continue to darken.
We sped our path, going forward into Clarissa at the same time that we fled the giants made of rock, into the dense forest. Indeed, we have reached the eleven-hundred page mark. And, we press onward.
There was a creature we met in the forest that we can barely describe. It was half bear, half wolf, and half deer (it was a very big creature). We worried for our lives, but it undertook in the most erudite and formal words to give us advice on our situation. Unfortunately, the advice it gave changed from moment to moment.
At first it advised us to throw ourselves upon the mercies of the first group of rock creatures. Then, it told us that our best and only course was to return to the second group, to live our lives under what they would do for us. Then, at alternate times, it told us to still be on our ship and to never have left home at all. Of course, we killed it.
Indeed, that was probably our best course. After butchering and smoking its flesh we finally again had adequate provisions and pressed forward.
But…the land turned cold. In fact, we found ourselves adrift in an arctic land of nothing but snow and ice. No end in sight. It became colder as we traveled, and colder. No game, no plants, nothing that we might eat.
We might have eaten our sled dogs (we had thought ahead enough to bring dogs and sleds in case we found occasion to travel though such territories), but some fool slipped and let the dogs in on the vote. Due to their unbroken block of votes and advocacy we instead at Jenkins, the former cook.
The situation did not improve from there. We marched onward, but our provisions were nearly gone and the crew dropped dead one after the other. Those that remain are gaunt, frost-bitten and tattered shells of their former selves. Each hour less remain alive than the hour before.
Still, we march onward and force our way through Clarissa. Until a possible route home presents itself…what else can we do? (And dear lord help us, Jenkins was as delicious as the sled dogs insisted he would be.)