Historias de Misterio y Detectives



The Case of the
Arctic Hero

2m 09s - American English


Dr. DeLator is talking to his young friend Charles Makin...


Don't tell me, Charles; let me guess. You were trying to impress a young lady, but your plan backfired and you got your face slapped.

Charles nodded glumly, and said:


This time I was absolutely sure I had my story down pat. Yet, something went wrong. I can't figure out what.


Well, what happened?


You've heard of Gertrude Morgan? Her grandfather sailed with Admiral Byrd and a cousin climbed Mount Everest. If you haven't combed icicles from your whiskers, you don't rate with her.


So, what did you do?


Well, I took her to dinner on Christmas Eve, and it seemed a good time to bring out my Arctic Circle story. I opened by commenting that I had once spent Christmas Eve in less comfortable surroundings. And then I told her about the morning that Lieutenant Craven and I were mushing back to the Navy's Arctic Observation Weather Station. Suddenly Craven fell and fractured his leg. Ten minutes later the stretch of ice we were crossing broke loose and we began to drift out to sea.


That sounds like an impressive story! What then?


I realized Craven and I and the dogs would freeze to death unless I started a fire. Alas, we had used up all our matches. I got out a small magnifying glass from our instrument kit. And then I tore off sheets from our reports and laid them on a steel instrument box. By focusing the sun's rays through the glass onto the paper, I started a good fire. Fortunately, a boat picked us up after twenty‑four hours. The captain said I was something of a hero.


But I'll bet Miss Morgan didn't think so, Charles. And no wonder!

Source: English Teaching Forum


What was wrong with Charles's story?



backfired: was not successful; had the reverse of the desired effect (salir el tiro por la culata, fallar)
got your face slapped: did something that caused someone to slap his face in anger or disgust (te abofetearon la cara).
: indicated agreement by moving the head in a quick downward motion
(asintió con su cabeza).
glumly: sadly (apenado, tristemente)
I had my story down pat
: I had memorized the story perfectly (recordaba mi historia perfectamente)
Yet: but (pero).
something went wrong: something made the undertaking unsuccessful (algo anduvo mal).
figure out: understand, reason out; determine, discover (comprender).
You've heard of Gertrude Morgan?: Notice that the meaning of this question is something like "I'm sure you've heard of Gertrude Morgan, haven't you?" (Conoces a Gertrude Morgan, ¿no?).
Admiral Byrd: Richard Evelyn Byrd, an American naval officer and explorer, who explored Antarctica in 1928 and in later years
(Almirante Byrd).
pointed pieces of ice (trozos de hielo).
whiskers: hair growing on the sides of a man's face (patillas).
You don't rate with her: she doesn't consider you worthy of esteem (no eres importante para ella).
So: an introductory particle that forms a connection with the previous utterance (entonces).

Christmas Eve: the night before Christmas Day (Nochebuena, víspera de Navidad).
Arctic Circle story:
The Arctic Circle is an imaginary Circle parallel to the equator (la historia del Círculo Polar Artico).
traveling on foot over snow, usually with a dog sled (caminando por la nieve).
expanse; continuous extent or distance (franja).
What then?
: What happened then?
(¿Qué ocurrió luego?)
alas: an exclamation expressing regret, sorrow, or concern (lamentablemente).
used up
: exhausted the supply of; used all of
got out
took out (saqué, extraje).
instrument kit
a set of instruments or tools in a compact portable container (instrumental).
tore off
pulled away by force; ripped away (rompí, desgarré).
: individual pieces of paper
(hojas de papel).
picked us up:
rescued us by taking us on board (nos recogió).
something of
to some extent; somewhat (algo así como).
I'll bet
(colloquial): I'm quite sure  (apuesto que).
no wonder
: very understandably; with good reason (no es de extrañar).

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