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'Who do these things?' Dan asked, and straightened his back at the bench as he turned the schooner end-for-end in the vice to get at her counter.

'Them which don't wish other men to work no better nor quicker than they do,' growled Mr Springett. 'Don't pinch her so hard in the vice, Mus' Dan. Put a piece o' rag in the jaws, or you'll bruise her.

This from "Rewards and Fairies" by Kipling.

I do not understand what the line below means.

and straightened his back at the bench as he turned the schooner end-for-end in the vice to get at her counter.

  1. What does "turned the schooner end-for-end" mean?

  2. What does "to get at her counter" mean? Is there any counter on the schooner?

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    What part of it don't you understand? Do you know what the words mean? Which words are confusing you? – Catija Aug 5 '16 at 23:30
  • Please use your dictionary! See #34 at this link at Dictionary.com. – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Aug 5 '16 at 23:43
  • Thank you for your advice! as he turned the schooner end-for-end in the vice to get at her counter. 1 What does "turned the schooner end-for-end" mean? 2 What does "to get at her counter" mean? Is thre any counter on the schooner? I am glad if can have any suggestion. – Hiroshi Inagaki Aug 6 '16 at 22:53
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    “turn end for end” means to turn 180 degrees-literally put the front end where the back end was and vice versa. The counter or counter deck is part of the stern of some boats. – Jim Aug 7 '16 at 2:54
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    Thank you for your answer and advice. They are so helpful! – Hiroshi Inagaki Aug 8 '16 at 0:33
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Your passage is taken from Kipling's short story The Wrong Thing in a collection of stories entitled Rewards and Faries.

The first line of the story states

Dan had gone in for building model boats

Your passage describes Dan working on one of his models, where the boat is held in a vice

here

The counter of the boat is

The part of the stern above the waterline that extends beyond the rudder stock culminating in a small transom. A long counter increases the waterline length when the boat is heeled, so increasing hull speed.

here

So what Dan is doing is repositioning his model boat to be able to work on the back portion.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thank you so much for your detailed instruction. I visually understand what Dan was doing!! – Hiroshi Inagaki Aug 9 '16 at 0:47

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