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首页 » 经典英文小说 » Young Peggy McQueen » CHAPTER VI. Peggy’s Home upon Wheels.
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CHAPTER VI. Peggy’s Home upon Wheels.

PEGGY’S caravan1 was a very pretty, though small, house upon wheels. It was her bed and dressing-room, her study and her boudoir all in one.
Peggy swung here in a dear little hammock at night. The little hair-mattress and the bed-clothes were folded and put away in a locker2 as soon as she got up, but the hammock was left out. It came in handy at the mid-day halt for dinner, to swing beneath the trees. To lie thus, with the blue of the sky above and the warm sunlight flittering through the greenery of branches, with a book in one’s hand, is indeed to enjoy dolce far niente, and as delightful3 an experience as any traveller can enjoy.
Old Molly was Peggy’s coachman; she slept on the floor of the same caravan with Ralph the blood-hound.
If you have never seen the inside of a caravan like Peggy’s you scarce could believe what a charming room it makes. It{64} was all mirrors, brackets, lounges, tiny pictures, photos, and flowers, and at night the swing-lamp was lit, and the fairy lights shimmered4 through the foliage5 and petals6 of bright bouquets7; it looked like the palace of an elfin princess, and pretty Peggy was its presiding genius.
She had always Kammie, when Kammie was awake and not stalking flies, and she had always Ralph, and to these she used to play and sing. But sometimes of an afternoon a gentle knock would be heard at the door, and lo! there was little Willie with his little violin.
“May I come in, Miss Peggy?”
“Oh, yes, Willie.”
Then out came the mandoline. Willie put on the mute, so that the notes of the violin might be softer, sweeter, and more thrilling. Perhaps Johnnie would now enter with his clarionet, and throw in a bar here and there when it would be most effective. I do believe our little people enjoyed these chance concerts, as Willie called them, better than anything else in their wandering lives.
The great saloon of the large caravan, with its after-cabin, was simply a villa8 upon wheels. This was the chief abode9 of Fitzroy and his son Johnnie, who took turn about in driving.{65} But Johnnie also acted as courier, and as the show took up much time on the road, one of this sturdy lad’s principal duties was to ride far ahead, towards evening, to find a suitable field for the camp or settlement. The horses were all fed on good oats, and slumbered10 at night in an extempore stable composed of bamboo poles and canvas.
The caravans11 on that morning, after leaving their pitch and entering the forest, passed many a rustic12 cottage, and so early was it that the pretty rural children rushed to the door just as they had jumped out of bed, not taking time to dress.
“Hooray! Hoo-ooo-ray!” they shouted, waving brown, fat arms in the air. “Hooray, the big, big caravans.”
“Oh, look at the pretty little one!”
“And the fairy lady at the window!”
“Oh, listen to the lion a-roaring for his bekfust.”
“Oh, Maggie, Betsy, Mary, Doddie, come here! Come quick and see the giant and the dwarf13!”
The giant, who was lolling on Willie’s cart, made ogre mouths at them, and the dwarf shrieked14 shrilly15, and squeaked16 and squalled like Punch at the fair.{66}
It was good fun!
But how delightful for the youngsters of a village they soon came to, when the whole show was stopped for twenty minutes in the principal street, that the horses might get water, and the giant stretch his legs!
The giant was the hero then, and the boys vied with each other as to who should get nearest to the giant. The lad who was brave enough to rub his shoulder against Gourmand’s jacket skirts was considered a hero. To rub against a real giant, was among those simple village lads deemed a feat18 to be remembered for ever and a day.
There would be no play to-night, for Father Reginald Fitzroy knew his people needed rest after the fatigues19 of that campaign by the sea. The boys and girls who would have fain crowded into the field and broken up the peace of the encampment were warned that it might be dangerous to come near, as the wild chameleon20 was very restless this evening, and if he escaped there was no saying what might happen. One lad, however, ventured to inquire what sort of an animal a “chameeling” was.
“Something like the awful crocodile of the{67} Nile,” replied Johnnie; “only, instead of seizing his prey21 with his jaws22, he darts23 forth24 a terrible tongue, which is nearly as long as his body, and draws the victim in.”
“Swallers ’em alive, sir?”
“Yes, swallows him alive, and he is slowly tortured to death in his dark inside.”
At that moment the deep-mouthed bloodhound began to bay and roar, and all the crowd backed away from the gate in some confusion.
Only one brave English boy stopped.
“I say, gipsy!”
“Well?” replied Johnnie.
“I’d like to come inside and foight thee for a farthin’ stick o’ toffy.”
“No, I won’t fight,” said Johnnie; “but I’ll wrestle25 you, and if I don’t hold you down half a minute, then throw you over this five-barred gate, I will give you sixpence.”
“Done wi’ thee,” cried the boy, and he stripped to the waist in an instant, and confidently leapt over into the field.
The juvenile26 crowd gathered round to see their champion win. They felt certain of his success. But when they saw Johnnie stripped, and noticed his bulging27 biceps, and the flesh{68} lumped upon his chest and forearms, they began to have their doubts.
Now Johnnie was a strong lad, but not a freak. There was no unshapeliness about his muscular formation. And he had that staying power and nerve which are better even than extra strength. Two villagers (men) volunteered to see fair play, and after shaking hands the lads got into grips.
They both kept their wits about them, and showed considerable skill, but in less than two minutes, Jack17—we must call Johnnie “Jack” on this occasion—cross-buttocked his opponent, and next moment he was on his back. And Jack held him down for fully28 a minute, while wild cheers rent the air. The boy owned up like a man to being beaten.
“Shall I throw you over the gate now?” said Jack.
“N—o, thank you,” was the reply. “I know when I has enough. But shake hands again. You’re the first chap as has ever ‘downed’ Charlie Crockett. Shake again.”
They shook.
“Now,” said Charlie, “I’ll keep away the crowd, as ye says you’re tired and needs peace. But{69}——”
“Well, Charlie?”
“Well, Jack, as they calls you, couldn’t we just see the beautiful young lady once?”
“I’m sure you may,” said Johnnie. (He is Johnnie now, you see.) “Wait!”
And off he ran to camp and saw Peggy. He told her all.
“Couldn’t you sing just one song at the gate?”
Peggy could and would, and Willie the dwarf took his fiddle29 to accompany her. Standing30 on a barrow by the gate, the good-natured girl, who was charmingly dressed, sang not one song but two.
When the cheering had about finished, the strong boy, whom Jack had beaten, jumped into the field and popped a bag into her hand.
“What’s this?” said Peggy, simply.
“Them’s lollipops31, Miss,” he answered, shyly, “with my love, Miss.”
Then he ran right away to hide his blushes before the cool and collected little lady had time to thank him for his lollipops and love.
They all slept very soundly that night, specially32 Peggy, until the early birds singing and pattering on the caravan roof awoke them to the joys of gipsy life.


1 caravan OrVzu     
  • The community adviser gave us a caravan to live in.社区顾问给了我们一间活动住房栖身。
  • Geoff connected the caravan to the car.杰弗把旅行用的住屋拖车挂在汽车上。
2 locker 8pzzYm     
  • At the swimming pool I put my clothes in a locker.在游泳池我把衣服锁在小柜里。
  • He moved into the locker room and began to slip out of his scrub suit.他走进更衣室把手术服脱下来。
3 delightful 6xzxT     
  • We had a delightful time by the seashore last Sunday.上星期天我们在海滨玩得真痛快。
  • Peter played a delightful melody on his flute.彼得用笛子吹奏了一支欢快的曲子。
4 shimmered 7b85656359fe70119e38fa62825e4f8b     
v.闪闪发光,发微光( shimmer的过去式和过去分词 )
  • The sea shimmered in the sunlight. 阳光下海水闪烁着微光。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • A heat haze shimmered above the fields. 田野上方微微闪烁着一层热气。 来自《简明英汉词典》
5 foliage QgnzK     
  • The path was completely covered by the dense foliage.小路被树叶厚厚地盖了一层。
  • Dark foliage clothes the hills.浓密的树叶覆盖着群山。
6 petals f346ae24f5b5778ae3e2317a33cd8d9b     
n.花瓣( petal的名词复数 )
  • white petals tinged with blue 略带蓝色的白花瓣
  • The petals of many flowers expand in the sunshine. 许多花瓣在阳光下开放。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
7 bouquets 81022f355e60321845cbfc3c8963628f     
n.花束( bouquet的名词复数 );(酒的)芳香
  • The welcoming crowd waved their bouquets. 欢迎的群众摇动着花束。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • As the hero stepped off the platform, he was surrounded by several children with bouquets. 当英雄走下讲台时,已被几名手持花束的儿童围住了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
8 villa xHayI     
  • We rented a villa in France for the summer holidays.我们在法国租了一幢别墅消夏。
  • We are quartered in a beautiful villa.我们住在一栋漂亮的别墅里。
9 abode hIby0     
  • It was ten months before my father discovered his abode.父亲花了十个月的功夫,才好不容易打听到他的住处。
  • Welcome to our humble abode!欢迎光临寒舍!
10 slumbered 90bc7b1e5a8ccd9fdc68d12edbd1f200     
  • The baby slumbered in his cradle. 婴儿安睡在摇篮中。
  • At that time my virtue slumbered; my evil, kept awake by ambition. 就在那时,我的善的一面睡着了,我的邪恶面因野心勃勃而清醒着。
11 caravans 44e69dd45f2a4d2a551377510c9ca407     
(可供居住的)拖车(通常由机动车拖行)( caravan的名词复数 ); 篷车; (穿过沙漠地带的)旅行队(如商队)
  • Old-fashioned gypsy caravans are painted wooden vehicles that are pulled by horses. 旧式的吉卜赛大篷车是由马拉的涂了颜色的木质车辆。
  • Old-fashioned gypsy caravans are painted wooden vehicles. 旧时的吉普赛大篷车是涂了颜色的木质车辆。
12 rustic mCQz9     
  • It was nearly seven months of leisurely rustic living before Michael felt real boredom.这种悠闲的乡村生活过了差不多七个月之后,迈克尔开始感到烦闷。
  • We hoped the fresh air and rustic atmosphere would help him adjust.我们希望新鲜的空气和乡村的氛围能帮他调整自己。
13 dwarf EkjzH     
  • The dwarf's long arms were not proportional to his height.那侏儒的长臂与他的身高不成比例。
  • The dwarf shrugged his shoulders and shook his head. 矮子耸耸肩膀,摇摇头。
14 shrieked dc12d0d25b0f5d980f524cd70c1de8fe     
v.尖叫( shriek的过去式和过去分词 )
  • She shrieked in fright. 她吓得尖叫起来。
  • Li Mei-t'ing gave a shout, and Lu Tzu-hsiao shrieked, "Tell what? 李梅亭大声叫,陆子潇尖声叫:“告诉什么? 来自汉英文学 - 围城
15 shrilly a8e1b87de57fd858801df009e7a453fe     
尖声的; 光亮的,耀眼的
  • The librarian threw back his head and laughed shrilly. 图书管理员把头往后面一仰,尖着嗓子哈哈大笑。
  • He half rose in his seat, whistling shrilly between his teeth, waving his hand. 他从车座上半欠起身子,低声打了一个尖锐的唿哨,一面挥挥手。
16 squeaked edcf2299d227f1137981c7570482c7f7     
v.短促地尖叫( squeak的过去式和过去分词 );吱吱叫;告密;充当告密者
  • The radio squeaked five. 收音机里嘟嘟地发出五点钟报时讯号。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
  • Amy's shoes squeaked on the tiles as she walked down the corridor. 埃米走过走廊时,鞋子踩在地砖上嘎吱作响。 来自辞典例句
17 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。
18 feat 5kzxp     
  • Man's first landing on the moon was a feat of great daring.人类首次登月是一个勇敢的壮举。
  • He received a medal for his heroic feat.他因其英雄业绩而获得一枚勋章。
19 fatigues e494189885d18629ab4ed58fa2c8fede     
n.疲劳( fatigue的名词复数 );杂役;厌倦;(士兵穿的)工作服
  • The patient fatigues easily. 病人容易疲劳。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
  • Instead of training the men were put on fatigues/fatigue duty. 那些士兵没有接受训练,而是派去做杂务。 来自辞典例句
20 chameleon YUWy2     
  • The chameleon changes colour to match its surroundings.变色龙变换颜色以适应环境。
  • The chameleon can take on the colour of its background.变色龙可呈现出与其背景相同的颜色。
21 prey g1czH     
  • Stronger animals prey on weaker ones.弱肉强食。
  • The lion was hunting for its prey.狮子在寻找猎物。
22 jaws cq9zZq     
  • The antelope could not escape the crocodile's gaping jaws. 那只羚羊无法从鱷鱼张开的大口中逃脱。
  • The scored jaws of a vise help it bite the work. 台钳上有刻痕的虎钳牙帮助它紧咬住工件。
23 darts b1f965d0713bbf1014ed9091c7778b12     
n.掷飞镖游戏;飞镖( dart的名词复数 );急驰,飞奔v.投掷,投射( dart的第三人称单数 );向前冲,飞奔
  • His darts trophy takes pride of place on the mantelpiece. 他将掷镖奖杯放在壁炉顶上最显著的地方。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • I never saw so many darts in a bodice! 我从没见过紧身胸衣上纳了这么多的缝褶! 来自《简明英汉词典》
24 forth Hzdz2     
  • The wind moved the trees gently back and forth.风吹得树轻轻地来回摇晃。
  • He gave forth a series of works in rapid succession.他很快连续发表了一系列的作品。
25 wrestle XfLwD     
  • He taught his little brother how to wrestle.他教他小弟弟如何摔跤。
  • We have to wrestle with difficulties.我们必须同困难作斗争。
26 juvenile OkEy2     
  • For a grown man he acted in a very juvenile manner.身为成年人,他的行为举止显得十分幼稚。
  • Juvenile crime is increasing at a terrifying rate.青少年犯罪正在以惊人的速度增长。
27 bulging daa6dc27701a595ab18024cbb7b30c25     
膨胀; 凸出(部); 打气; 折皱
  • Her pockets were bulging with presents. 她的口袋里装满了礼物。
  • Conscious of the bulging red folder, Nim told her,"Ask if it's important." 尼姆想到那个鼓鼓囊囊的红色文件夹便告诉她:“问问是不是重要的事。”
28 fully Gfuzd     
  • The doctor asked me to breathe in,then to breathe out fully.医生让我先吸气,然后全部呼出。
  • They soon became fully integrated into the local community.他们很快就完全融入了当地人的圈子。
29 fiddle GgYzm     
  • She plays the fiddle well.她小提琴拉得好。
  • Don't fiddle with the typewriter.不要摆弄那架打字机了。
30 standing 2hCzgo     
  • After the earthquake only a few houses were left standing.地震过后只有几幢房屋还立着。
  • They're standing out against any change in the law.他们坚决反对对法律做任何修改。
31 lollipops 6ceae00b27efc3fb3c0baabc137bec4a     
n.棒糖,棒棒糖( lollipop的名词复数 );(用交通指挥牌让车辆暂停以便儿童安全通过马路的)交通纠察
  • I bought lollipops and a toot-toot bugle. I started for home. 我给她买了棒棒糖,一吹就呜的打响的小喇叭。我就往回走。 来自互联网
  • Our company specialize marshmallows, lollipops, bubble gums, chocolates and toys with candy. 本公司主要出口棉花糖、棒棒糖、泡泡糖、巧克力、儿童玩具等。 来自互联网
32 specially Hviwq     
  • They are specially packaged so that they stack easily.它们经过特别包装以便于堆放。
  • The machine was designed specially for demolishing old buildings.这种机器是专为拆毁旧楼房而设计的。


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