Her father would take his gun down from the wall and clean it. Out in the snowy forest all day, it might have gotten wet and the inside of the gun was sure to be dirty from gun-powder smoke. It is very important to clean your tools. Her father was a hunter and they lived on the meat he could get in the forest. People today do not need guns to get meat. However we still need to keep our tools clean whether it is a computer, wrench or a gun.
So her father would take a metal rod (long straight stick) from its place under the gun and fasten a piece of clean cloth on its end. He stood the bottom end of the gun in a frying pan beside the fireplace and poured boiling water from the tea kettle into the gun. Then quickly, he dropped the metal rod in and rubbed it up and down, up and down. The hot water blackened with powder smoke spurted out (when water comes out quickly) through the little hole on which the cap was placed when the gun was loaded and ready to shoot. The cap was made of a metal called brass, with a small piece of high quality gun powder used to fire the gun.
He kept pouring in more water and washing the gun with the cloth on the metal rod, until the water ran out clear and clean. Then the gun was clean. The water must always be boiling, so that the heated steel would dry very quickly. If it was not dry, it might rust.
Then her father put a clean cloth with oil on the metal rod and while the gun was still hot he oiled it well on the inside. With another clean cloth, also with oil on it, he rubbed it all over outside, until every bit of it was oiled and clean.
The Little House in the Big Woods
Chapter 1 - Part 1: Introduction
Chapter 1 - Part 2: Wolves in the Night
Chapter 1 - Part 4: Smoked Meat
Chapter 1 - Part 5: Food for Winter
Chapter 1 - Part 6: Butchering Time
Chapter 1 - Part 7: After Butchering Time
Chapter 1 - Part 9: Winter Night
Chapter 1 - Part 10: About the Author & Where to Find the Book
Chapter 2 - Part 1: Winter Days and Winter Nights
Chapter 2 - Part 2: Jack Frost
Chapter 2 - Part 3: Laura and Mary Helped Mother with the Housework
Chapter 2 - Part 4: Churn on Thursday
Chapter 2 - Part 5: The Best Time of All
Chapter 2 - Part 6: Her Father Began to Play his Fiddle and Sing
Chapter 2 - Part 7: Father Told Stories
Chapter 2 - Part 8 - The Story of Grandfather and the Panther
Chapter 3 - Part 1: Introduction (The Long Rifle)
Chapter 3 - Part 2: Making Bullets
Chapter 3 - Part 3: Cleaning the Gun
Chapter 3 - Part 4: Loading the Gun
Chapter 3 - Part 5: Where and Why to Keep a Gun
Chapter 3 - Part 6: The Story of her Father and the Voice in the Forest Part 1
Chapter 3 - Part 7: The Story of her Father and the Voice in the Forest Part 2
by John Larrysson
A native English speaker who has been teaching practical English in Hong Kong for over two decades.