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5.Settling in at Craggy-Tops
  Settling in at Craggy-Tops
  It seemed ages before Aunt Polly got through to Mr Roy. The master wasworried and puzzled. Jack1 and Lucy-Ann had not returned, of course, and atfirst he had thought they had gone off for one of their walks, and that Jackhad found some unusual bird and had forgotten all about time.
  But as the hours went by and still the children had not come back, hebecame seriously worried. It did not occur to him that they might have gonewith Philip, or he would have telephoned to the boy’s aunt at once.
  He was most relieved to hear Mrs Sullivan, Philip’s aunt, speaking,giving him the news that the children were safe.
  ‘They arrived here with Philip,’ she said, with some sharpness. ‘I cannotthink how it was that they were allowed to do this. I cannot possibly keepthem.’
  Mr Roy’s heart sank. He had hoped for one wild moment that hisproblem concerning Jack and Lucy-Ann, and that tiresome2 parrot, wassolved. Now it seemed as if it wasn’t.
  ‘Well, Mrs Sullivan,’ said Mr Roy politely, though he did not feel at allcivil, ‘I’m sorry about it. The children went down to see Philip off, and Isuppose the boy persuaded them to go with him. It’s a pity you could notkeep them for the rest of the holidays, as they would probably be happierwith you and Philip. No doubt they have told you that their uncle cannothave them back these holidays. He sent me a cheque for a large sum ofmoney, hoping that I could have them. But I should be pleased to hand thisover to you if you felt that you could take charge of them, and we could getMr Trent’s consent to it.’
  There was a pause. ‘How much was the cheque?’ asked Mrs Sullivan.
  There was another pause after Mr Roy told her the sum of money thathad been sent. It certainly was a very generous amount. Mrs Sullivanthought quickly. The children would not cost much to keep. She could seethat they kept out of Jocelyn’s way. That girl Lucy-Ann could help Dinahwith the housework. And she would be able to pay off a few bills, whichwould be a great relief to her.
  Mr Roy waited hopefully at the other end of the wire. He could not bearthe thought of having the parrot back again. Jack was bearable, Lucy-Annwas nice – but Kiki was impossible.
  ‘Well,’ said Mrs Sullivan, in the sort of voice that meant she wasprepared to give in. ‘Well – let me think now. It’s going to be difficult –because we’ve so little room here. I mean, though the house is enormous,half of it is in ruins and most of it is too draughty to live in. But perhaps wecould manage. If I use the tower-room again . . .’
  Philip and the others, who could hear everything that was being said byMrs Sullivan, looked at one another in delight. ‘Aunt Polly’s giving in!’
  whispered Philip. ‘And oh, Jack – I bet we’ll have the old tower-room forour own. I’ve always wanted to sleep there and have it for my room, butAunt Polly would never let me.’
  ‘Mrs Sullivan, you would be doing me a great kindness if you couldmanage to take the children off my hands,’ said Mr Roy earnestly. ‘I willtelephone at once to Mr Trent. Leave it all to me. I will send you the chequeat once. And if you should need any more money, let me know. I reallycannot tell you how obliged I should be to you if you could manage this forme. The children are quite easy to manage. Lucy-Ann is sweet. It’s onlythat awful parrot – so rude – but you could get a cage for it, perhaps.’
  ‘Oh, I don’t mind the parrot,’ said Mrs Sullivan, which surprised Mr Royvery much. Kiki gave a loud squawk, which Mr Roy heard down thetelephone. Well – Mrs Sullivan must be a remarkable3 woman if she likedKiki!
  Not much more was said. Mrs Sullivan said she would write to Mr Trent,after she had heard again from Mr Roy. In the meantime she undertook tolook after the children for the rest of the holidays.
  The receiver clicked as she put it down. The children heaved a sigh ofrelief. Philip went up to his aunt.
  ‘Oh, thanks, Aunt Polly,’ he said. ‘It will be fine for me and Dinah tohave friends with us. We’ll try and keep out of Uncle’s way, and help youall we can.’
  ‘Dear Polly,’ said Kiki affectionately, and actually left Jack’s shoulder tohop on to Aunt Polly’s! The children stared in astonishment4. Good old Kiki!
  She was playing up to Aunt Polly properly.
  ‘Silly bird!’ said Aunt Polly, hardly liking5 to show how pleased she was.
  ‘God save the Queen,’ said Kiki unexpectedly, and everyone laughed.
  ‘Philip, you and Jack must have the tower-room for your own,’ said AuntPolly. ‘Come with me, and I’ll see what can be arranged. Dinah, go to yourroom and see if you would rather share it with Lucy-Ann, or whether shewould rather have Philip’s old room. They open out of one another, soperhaps you would like to have the two rooms.’
  Dinah went off happily with Lucy-Ann to examine the room. Lucy-Annwished she was sleeping nearer to Jack. The tower-room was a good wayfrom where she herself would sleep. Jack took Kiki and went to a highwindow, settling on the window seat to watch the sea-birds in their restlesssoaring and gliding6 outside.
  Philip went to the tower-room with his aunt. He felt very happy. He hadbecome very fond of Jack and Lucy-Ann, and it was almost too good to betrue to think they had come to stay with him for some weeks.
  The two of them went down a cold stone passage. They came to anarrow, winding7 stone stairway, and climbed up the steep steps. Thestairway wound round and round, and at last came out into the tower-room.
  This was a perfectly8 round room whose walls were very thick. It had threenarrow windows, one facing the sea. There was no glass in it at all, and theroom was draughty, and full of the sound of the crying of birds, and theroaring of the waves below.
  ‘I’m afraid this room will be cold for you two boys,’ said Aunt Polly, butPhilip shook his head at once.
  ‘We shan’t mind that. We should have the windows wide open if therewas any glass. Aunt Polly. We’ll be all right. We shall love it up here. Look– there’s an old oak chest to put our things in – and a wooden stool – andwe can bring a rug up from downstairs. We only need a mattress9.’
  ‘Well – we can’t possibly get a bed up those narrow stairs,’ said AuntPolly. ‘So you will have to have a mattress to sleep on. I’ve got an olddouble one that must do for you. I will send Dinah up with a broom and acloth to clean the room a bit.’
  ‘Aunt Polly, thanks awfully10 again for arranging all this,’ said Philip, halfshyly, for he was afraid of his hardworking aunt, and although he spent allhis holidays with her, he felt that he did not really know her very well. ‘Ihope Mr Trent’s cheque will cover all your expenses – but I’m sure Jackand Lucy-Ann won’t cost much.’
  ‘Well, Philip,’ said Aunt Polly, shutting the lid of the old chest andturning to the boy with a troubled face, ‘Well, my boy, you mustn’t think Iam making too much fuss – but the fact is, your mother hasn’t been at allwell, and hasn’t been able to send nearly as much money for you as usual –and, you see, your school fees are rather high – and I’ve been a bit worriedto know what to do. You are old enough now to realise that dear old UncleJocelyn is not much use in bearing responsibility for a household – and thebit of money I have soon goes.’
  Philip listened in alarm. His mother was ill! Aunt Polly hadn’t beengetting the money as usual – it all sounded very worrying to him.
  ‘What’s the matter with Mother?’ he asked.
  ‘Well – she’s very thin and run-down, and she’s got a dreadful cough, shesays,’ answered Aunt Polly. ‘The doctors say she must have a long rest – bythe sea if possible – but how can she give up her job?’
  ‘I shan’t go back to school,’ said Philip at once. ‘I shall find a job myselfsomehow. I can’t have Mother working herself to death for us.’
  ‘You can’t do that,’ said Aunt Polly. ‘Why, you are not even fourteen yet.
  No – now that I have a little money coming in from Mr Trent for these twochildren, it will ease things a good deal.’
  ‘This house is too big for you,’ said Philip, suddenly noticing how tiredhis aunt looked. ‘Aunt Polly, why do we have to live here? Why can’t weleave and take a nice little house somewhere, where you wouldn’t have towork so hard, and which wouldn’t be so lonely?’
  ‘I’d like to,’ said Aunt Polly, with a sigh, ‘but who would buy a placelike this, half ruined and in such a wind-swept, desolate11 spot? And I shouldnever be able to get your uncle to move. He loves this place, he loves thiswhole coast, and knows more about it than anyone else in the world. Well,well – it’s no good wishing this and that. We must just go on until you andDinah are old enough to earn your living.’
  ‘Then I shall make a home for Mother, and she and Dinah and I will livetogether happily,’ thought Philip, as he followed his aunt downstairs tofetch the old mattress. He called to Jack, and the two boys, with muchpuffing and panting, got the awkward mattress up the narrow stairway. Kikiencouraged them with shrieks12 and squawks. Joe, the handyman, frowned atthe noise. He seemed to think Kiki was directing her screeches13 at him, and,when she found that her noises annoyed him, she did her best to make himjump by unexpected squawks in his ear.
  Joe was taking up a small table and Jack’s trunk. He set them down in thetower-room and looked out of the window. He seemed very bad-tempered,Philip thought. Not that he was good-tempered at any time – but he lookedeven sulkier than usual.
  ‘What’s up, Joe?’ said Philip, who was not in the least afraid of the sullenman. ‘Seeing things?’
  The children had laughed over Joe’s idea that there were ‘things’
  wandering about at night. Joe frowned.
  ‘Miss Polly shouldn’t use this room,’ he said. ‘No, that she shouldn’t, andI’ve telled her so. It’s a bad room. And you can see the Isle14 of Gloom fromit too, when the mists lift – and it’s bad to look on the Isle of Gloom.’
  ‘Don’t be silly, Joe,’ said Philip, laughing.
  ‘Don’t be silly, Joe,’ repeated Kiki, in an exact imitation of Philip’svoice. Joe scowled15 at both boy and bird.
  ‘Well, you take my word, Master Philip, and don’t you go looking at theIsle of Gloom more than you can help. This is the only room you can see itfrom, and that’s why it’s a bad room. No good ever came from the Isle ofGloom. Bad men lived there, and bad deeds were done there, andwickedness came from the isle as long as anyone remembers.’
  With this very weird17 warning the man departed down the stairs, his eyesangry, as he gazed back at the two boys with a scowl16.
  ‘Pleasant fellow, isn’t he?’ said Philip, as he and Jack unrolled themattress. ‘Half mad, I think. He must be daft to stay on here and do thework he does. He could get much more money anywhere else.’
  ‘What’s this Isle of Gloom he talks about?’ said Jack, going to thewindow. ‘What a weird name! I can’t see any island, Tufty.’
  ‘You hardly ever can see it,’ said Philip. ‘It lies right out there, to thewest, and there is a reef of rocks round it over which waves continuallybreak, flinging up spray. It seems always to have a mist hanging over it. Noone lives there, though people used to, years and years ago.’
  ‘I’d like to go there,’ said Jack. ‘There must be hundreds of birds on thatisland – quite tame and friendly. It would be marvellous to see them.’
  ‘Tame and friendly. What do you mean, Freckles18?’ said Philip, insurprise. ‘Look at the birds here – afraid even of Kiki!’
  ‘Ah, but the birds on the Isle of Gloom would not have known man atall,’ said Jack. ‘They would not have learnt to be wary19 or cautious. I couldget some simply marvellous photographs. Gosh, I’d like to go there!’
  ‘Well, you can’t,’ said Philip. ‘I’ve never been myself, and no one has, asfar as I know. Look – will this be the best place for the mattress? We don’twant it too near the window because the rain would wet it – and it oftenrains here.’
  ‘Put it where you like,’ said Jack, lost in dreams about the misty20 islandand its unknown birds. He might see birds there that he had never seen at all– he might find rare nests and eggs. He might take the most wonderful birdphotographs in the world. Jack was quite determined21 to go to the Isle ofGloom if he could, in spite of all Joe’s frightening tales.
  ‘Come on down to the others,’ said Philip at last, putting the last of theirclothes into the chest. ‘I can’t say you’ve been much help, Jack. Come on,Kiki.’
  They went down the narrow, winding stair to find the others. It was goodto think of the weeks ahead, with no work, no lessons – just bathing,climbing, rowing. They certainly would have fun!


1 jack 53Hxp     
  • I am looking for the headphone jack.我正在找寻头戴式耳机插孔。
  • He lifted the car with a jack to change the flat tyre.他用千斤顶把车顶起来换下瘪轮胎。
2 tiresome Kgty9     
  • His doubts and hesitations were tiresome.他的疑惑和犹豫令人厌烦。
  • He was tiresome in contending for the value of his own labors.他老为他自己劳动的价值而争强斗胜,令人生厌。
3 remarkable 8Vbx6     
  • She has made remarkable headway in her writing skills.她在写作技巧方面有了长足进步。
  • These cars are remarkable for the quietness of their engines.这些汽车因发动机没有噪音而不同凡响。
4 astonishment VvjzR     
  • They heard him give a loud shout of astonishment.他们听见他惊奇地大叫一声。
  • I was filled with astonishment at her strange action.我对她的奇怪举动不胜惊异。
5 liking mpXzQ5     
  • The word palate also means taste or liking.Palate这个词也有“口味”或“嗜好”的意思。
  • I must admit I have no liking for exaggeration.我必须承认我不喜欢夸大其词。
6 gliding gliding     
v. 滑翔 adj. 滑动的
  • Swans went gliding past. 天鹅滑行而过。
  • The weather forecast has put a question mark against the chance of doing any gliding tomorrow. 天气预报对明天是否能举行滑翔表示怀疑。
7 winding Ue7z09     
  • A winding lane led down towards the river.一条弯弯曲曲的小路通向河边。
  • The winding trail caused us to lose our orientation.迂回曲折的小道使我们迷失了方向。
8 perfectly 8Mzxb     
  • The witnesses were each perfectly certain of what they said.证人们个个对自己所说的话十分肯定。
  • Everything that we're doing is all perfectly above board.我们做的每件事情都是光明正大的。
9 mattress Z7wzi     
  • The straw mattress needs to be aired.草垫子该晾一晾了。
  • The new mattress I bought sags in the middle.我买的新床垫中间陷了下去。
10 awfully MPkym     
  • Agriculture was awfully neglected in the past.过去农业遭到严重忽视。
  • I've been feeling awfully bad about it.对这我一直感到很难受。
11 desolate vmizO     
  • The city was burned into a desolate waste.那座城市被烧成一片废墟。
  • We all felt absolutely desolate when she left.她走后,我们都觉得万分孤寂。
12 shrieks e693aa502222a9efbbd76f900b6f5114     
n.尖叫声( shriek的名词复数 )v.尖叫( shriek的第三人称单数 )
  • shrieks of fiendish laughter 恶魔般的尖笑声
  • For years, from newspapers, broadcasts, the stages and at meetings, we had heard nothing but grandiloquent rhetoric delivered with shouts and shrieks that deafened the ears. 多少年来, 报纸上, 广播里, 舞台上, 会场上的声嘶力竭,装腔做态的高调搞得我们震耳欲聋。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
13 screeches 768b01a6950f3933d9acf3e0c092f65e     
n.尖锐的声音( screech的名词复数 )v.发出尖叫声( screech的第三人称单数 );发出粗而刺耳的声音;高叫
  • The boy's screeches brought his mother. 男孩的尖叫声招来了他母亲。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The woman's screeches brought the police. 这个妇女的尖叫声招来了警察。 来自辞典例句
14 isle fatze     
  • He is from the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea.他来自爱尔兰海的马恩岛。
  • The boat left for the paradise isle of Bali.小船驶向天堂一般的巴厘岛。
15 scowled b83aa6db95e414d3ef876bc7fd16d80d     
怒视,生气地皱眉( scowl的过去式和过去分词 )
  • He scowled his displeasure. 他满脸嗔色。
  • The teacher scowled at his noisy class. 老师对他那喧闹的课堂板着脸。
16 scowl HDNyX     
  • I wonder why he is wearing an angry scowl.我不知道他为何面带怒容。
  • The boss manifested his disgust with a scowl.老板面带怒色,清楚表示出他的厌恶之感。
17 weird bghw8     
  • From his weird behaviour,he seems a bit of an oddity.从他不寻常的行为看来,他好像有点怪。
  • His weird clothes really gas me.他的怪衣裳简直笑死人。
18 freckles MsNzcN     
n.雀斑,斑点( freckle的名词复数 )
  • She had a wonderful clear skin with an attractive sprinkling of freckles. 她光滑的皮肤上有几处可爱的小雀斑。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • When she lies in the sun, her face gets covered in freckles. 她躺在阳光下时,脸上布满了斑点。 来自《简明英汉词典》
19 wary JMEzk     
  • He is wary of telling secrets to others.他谨防向他人泄露秘密。
  • Paula frowned,suddenly wary.宝拉皱了皱眉头,突然警惕起来。
20 misty l6mzx     
  • He crossed over to the window to see if it was still misty.他走到窗户那儿,看看是不是还有雾霭。
  • The misty scene had a dreamy quality about it.雾景给人以梦幻般的感觉。
21 determined duszmP     
  • I have determined on going to Tibet after graduation.我已决定毕业后去西藏。
  • He determined to view the rooms behind the office.他决定查看一下办公室后面的房间。


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