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首页 » 经典英文小说 » Young Peggy McQueen » BOOK II. CHAPTER I. Poor Kammie.
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BOOK II. CHAPTER I. Poor Kammie.

SUMMER was done; autumn itself was far spent, and once more near the suburbs of a pretty and fashionable seaside town the Wandering Minstrels had pitched their camp.
The dear old life by the dear old sea had commenced again, and Peggy and Johnnie were very happy; so, too, was white-faced wee Willie, while as for the giant—well, nothing ever put him out.
Father Fitzroy was jolly enough also, because he was drawing good houses with his new play, and selling many flutes2. What more could heart of wanderers wish? Ah! well, nobody ever is altogether content in this world, and there were times when Fitzroy thought his life had been almost thrown away, and that he might be better off than he now found himself—lessee of the “Lyceum,” for instance. But better days might even be in store for Fitzroy. So he lit another huge{121} cigar, and took up a new flute1 to see if he could improve it.
There were woods all round this seaside town, more romantic even than the forests about Bootle-super-Mare, because there were hills and rocks in them, and a rushing river and a waterfall. Although there were but few leaves now on the trees, and winds tossed the branches to and fro, it was pleasant to walk on the silent turf beneath, or to climb the cliffs and gather the last wild-flowers of the year.
Peggy was more often alone than with Johnnie Fitzroy during these rambles3. She never asked him to come, and he was a strange and wayward boy, who never made up his mind to do anything until the last moment.
The sea was usually more sullen4 in temper now, yet Peggy loved it in its every mood, and liked to lie on the shingle5 and watch its waves chasing each other shorewards, erecting6 their white manes and spending their wild-beast fury on the beach. They sang a song that was eternal, and it was that eternal song she liked to lie and listen to.
Was Peggy becoming a dreamer of dreams as she lay by the seashore, the blood-hound{122} by her side ever watchful7, the chameleon8 on her wrist or shoulder? I could not say for certain, but I know she sometimes wondered what her future life might be. There were people who lived in great mansions9 like that of the snowy-haired lady she had met that day in the park, and who, simply because they have money, must be happy, because they can go where they like, and do what they like—theirs surely must be life in a sort of fairyland—the fairyland of wealth and greatness! Was she herself longing10 for an existence like this, and if ever it came to her, would she not look back to the days that had been so happy, in woods and wilds, with Kammie, with Ralph, and—well, and with Johnnie?
She used to return in the autumn twilight11, coming back to camp through the town itself, with its clean and beautiful streets, and with everywhere around her signs of a life in which she mingled12 not, and about which she knew little or nothing.
The evenings were colder now, for it was the month of September, and while stars were becoming visible in the blue-green of the east, and struggling with the dying glow of the twilight, lights sprang up in the houses{123} and villas13 she passed by, and as people at this seaside resort seldom drew their blinds down, Peggy, though by no means inquisitive14, could not help having a peep inside, and a glimpse of the happiness and cosiness15 of many a family circle. The crimson16 or blue hall-lights looked very pretty, she thought. How big and rich-like even the great hall-mats, and the clean, shining linoleum17! Here was a pretty cottage, and its snug18 drawing-room, and white-haired gentleman quietly reading in an easy-chair, his wife knitting by the fire, a cat and dog on the hearth-rug. A peaceful scene! And Peggy sighed, she knew not why. She would have liked just such a father and mother as that to tuck her up in bed of a winter’s night, in a room with a real fire in a real pretty grate, and pictures on the walls—to tuck her nicely up, and then, perhaps, sing soft, sweet lullabies to her till she glided19 away into the land of dreams.
Here is a party in a parlour not quite so pleasant. Yet the room is beautiful, and the ladies and gentlemen who stand around the table playing ping-pong are well-dressed, and all look happy and gay. And here again she paused a minute, to gaze into a room in which{124} were five or six fair-haired and pretty young children, each engaged in some parlour game, a big black cat right in the centre of the table, and a hobby-horse in one corner of the room—it was as good as a pantomime. Then came a great house with great windows, brilliantly lighted with flittering balls of electric lamps. It was a hotel dining-room, and those were the guests all sitting at the dozens of tables, looking like kings and queens. Waiters bringing silver trays glided hither and thither20, and on the snow-white table-cloth lay silver and gold dishes, and sparkling glasses, and flowers of every hue21. Peggy sighed again, but could not even yet say why she did so.
She turned and came slowly back. But she increased her speed when she came in sight of her own little cosy22 camp, the tent lit up and as white as linen23, the lights streaming from the caravan24 windows. She sighed no longer.
One night, when everybody was out of the camp, save old Molly and herself, Peggy sat at the tent table. And Peggy felt very sad, for Kammie, her weird25, old-world pet, had been ailing26 for weeks, and had got thinner and thinner, and colder and colder. He had{125} taken no food, and when placed on the grass he hardly moved. Indeed, when laid on his side he scarcely cared to wriggle27 into a more comfortable position. He was on his little branch of wood, and had gone to sleep with one arm raised, which he did not seem to have the strength to take down again.
Peggy had been sitting in the tent for hours watching him. She did not even want to play. Presently she got up, and, followed by Ralph, walked down the winding28 pathway that led from the sea-road and shingle to the camp. She leaned over the gate, and as she did so noticed a figure advancing. She was a little timid, but Ralph gave voice at once to a welcoming bay, and sprang forward to place two friendly paws on Johnnie’s shoulder.
“Oh, Johnnie,” she said, when he got close to her; “poor Kammie.”
“Not dead?”
“No; maybe not dead, but I’m sure he is going home.”
Then the innocent child began to sob29 and cry in her handkerchief.
Johnnie and she covered the cage up that night. They could not bear to see their favourite so very white and with so little colour in his tail.{126}
Next morning the change came. Kammie was dead in reality now. The wonderful circular, brown, wrinkled eyelids30 that had always been a bonnie brown were black. The sides only of the body were jet black, every other part pale, white almost as snow, only about the gills a sunset glow of red. The tail was speckled yellow and gray.
Yes, Kammie was beautiful in Death. Stiff and stark31 he lay in state all that day, and on the morning after, they placed him in a little coffin32 of cardboard, and he was laid to rest in a grave that Willie had made in a distant corner of the field. And they planted a flower to mark the spot.


1 flute hj9xH     
  • He took out his flute, and blew at it.他拿出笛子吹了起来。
  • There is an extensive repertoire of music written for the flute.有很多供长笛演奏的曲目。
2 flutes f9e91373eab8b6c582a53b97b75644dd     
长笛( flute的名词复数 ); 细长香槟杯(形似长笛)
  • The melody is then taken up by the flutes. 接着由长笛奏主旋律。
  • These flutes have 6open holes and a lovely bright sound. 笛子有6个吹气孔,奏出的声音响亮清脆。
3 rambles 5bfd3e73a09d7553bf08ae72fa2fbf45     
(无目的地)漫游( ramble的第三人称单数 ); (喻)漫谈; 扯淡; 长篇大论
  • He rambles in his talk. 他谈话时漫无中心。
  • You will have such nice rambles on the moors. 你可以在旷野里好好地溜达溜达。
4 sullen kHGzl     
  • He looked up at the sullen sky.他抬头看了一眼阴沉的天空。
  • Susan was sullen in the morning because she hadn't slept well.苏珊今天早上郁闷不乐,因为昨晚没睡好。
5 shingle 8yKwr     
  • He scraped away the dirt,and exposed a pine shingle.他刨去泥土,下面露出一块松木瓦块。
  • He hung out his grandfather's shingle.他挂出了祖父的行医招牌。
6 erecting 57913eb4cb611f2f6ed8e369fcac137d     
v.使直立,竖起( erect的现在分词 );建立
  • Nations can restrict their foreign trade by erecting barriers to exports as well as imports. 象设置进口壁垒那样,各国可以通过设置出口壁垒来限制对外贸易。 来自辞典例句
  • Could you tell me the specific lift-slab procedure for erecting buildings? 能否告之用升板法安装楼房的具体程序? 来自互联网
7 watchful tH9yX     
  • The children played under the watchful eye of their father.孩子们在父亲的小心照看下玩耍。
  • It is important that health organizations remain watchful.卫生组织保持警惕是极为重要的。
8 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。
9 mansions 55c599f36b2c0a2058258d6f2310fd20     
n.宅第,公馆,大厦( mansion的名词复数 )
  • Fifth Avenue was boarded up where the rich had deserted their mansions. 第五大道上的富翁们已经出去避暑,空出的宅第都已锁好了门窗,钉上了木板。 来自英汉文学 - 嘉莉妹妹
  • Oh, the mansions, the lights, the perfume, the loaded boudoirs and tables! 啊,那些高楼大厦、华灯、香水、藏金收银的闺房还有摆满山珍海味的餐桌! 来自英汉文学 - 嘉莉妹妹
10 longing 98bzd     
  • Hearing the tune again sent waves of longing through her.再次听到那首曲子使她胸中充满了渴望。
  • His heart burned with longing for revenge.他心中燃烧着急欲复仇的怒火。
11 twilight gKizf     
  • Twilight merged into darkness.夕阳的光辉融于黑暗中。
  • Twilight was sweet with the smell of lilac and freshly turned earth.薄暮充满紫丁香和新翻耕的泥土的香味。
12 mingled fdf34efd22095ed7e00f43ccc823abdf     
混合,混入( mingle的过去式和过去分词 ); 混进,与…交往[联系]
  • The sounds of laughter and singing mingled in the evening air. 笑声和歌声交织在夜空中。
  • The man and the woman mingled as everyone started to relax. 当大家开始放松的时候,这一男一女就开始交往了。
13 villas 00c79f9e4b7b15e308dee09215cc0427     
别墅,公馆( villa的名词复数 ); (城郊)住宅
  • Magnificent villas are found throughout Italy. 在意大利到处可看到豪华的别墅。
  • Rich men came down from wealthy Rome to build sea-side villas. 有钱人从富有的罗马来到这儿建造海滨别墅。
14 inquisitive s64xi     
  • Children are usually inquisitive.小孩通常很好问。
  • A pat answer is not going to satisfy an inquisitive audience.陈腔烂调的答案不能满足好奇的听众。
15 cosiness f5dffb13d164f17049f24ce2f3d6a365     
  • In the evening a log fire would provide cosiness. 晚上点起篝火会让人感到温暖舒适。 来自柯林斯例句
16 crimson AYwzH     
  • She went crimson with embarrassment.她羞得满脸通红。
  • Maple leaves have turned crimson.枫叶已经红了。
17 linoleum w0cxk     
  • They mislaid the linoleum.他们把油毡放错了地方。
  • Who will lay the linoleum?谁将铺设地板油毡?
18 snug 3TvzG     
  • He showed us into a snug little sitting room.他领我们走进了一间温暖而舒适的小客厅。
  • She had a small but snug home.她有个小小的但很舒适的家。
19 glided dc24e51e27cfc17f7f45752acf858ed1     
v.滑动( glide的过去式和过去分词 );掠过;(鸟或飞机 ) 滑翔
  • The President's motorcade glided by. 总统的车队一溜烟开了过去。
  • They glided along the wall until they were out of sight. 他们沿着墙壁溜得无影无踪。 来自《简明英汉词典》
20 thither cgRz1o     
  • He wandered hither and thither looking for a playmate.他逛来逛去找玩伴。
  • He tramped hither and thither.他到处流浪。
21 hue qdszS     
  • The diamond shone with every hue under the sun.金刚石在阳光下放出五颜六色的光芒。
  • The same hue will look different in different light.同一颜色在不同的光线下看起来会有所不同。
22 cosy dvnzc5     
  • We spent a cosy evening chatting by the fire.我们在炉火旁聊天度过了一个舒适的晚上。
  • It was so warm and cosy in bed that Simon didn't want to get out.床上温暖而又舒适,西蒙简直不想下床了。
23 linen W3LyK     
  • The worker is starching the linen.这名工人正在给亚麻布上浆。
  • Fine linen and cotton fabrics were known as well as wool.精细的亚麻织品和棉织品像羊毛一样闻名遐迩。
24 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。
25 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。
26 ailing XzzzbA     
  • They discussed the problems ailing the steel industry. 他们讨论了困扰钢铁工业的问题。
  • She looked after her ailing father. 她照顾有病的父亲。
27 wriggle wf4yr     
  • I've got an appointment I can't wriggle out of.我有个推脱不掉的约会。
  • Children wriggle themselves when they are bored.小孩子感到厌烦时就会扭动他们的身体。
28 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。
29 sob HwMwx     
  • The child started to sob when he couldn't find his mother.孩子因找不到他妈妈哭了起来。
  • The girl didn't answer,but continued to sob with her head on the table.那个女孩不回答,也不抬起头来。她只顾低声哭着。
30 eyelids 86ece0ca18a95664f58bda5de252f4e7     
n.眼睑( eyelid的名词复数 );眼睛也不眨一下;不露声色;面不改色
  • She was so tired, her eyelids were beginning to droop. 她太疲倦了,眼睑开始往下垂。
  • Her eyelids drooped as if she were on the verge of sleep. 她眼睑低垂好像快要睡着的样子。 来自《简明英汉词典》
31 stark lGszd     
  • The young man is faced with a stark choice.这位年轻人面临严峻的抉择。
  • He gave a stark denial to the rumor.他对谣言加以完全的否认。
32 coffin XWRy7     
  • When one's coffin is covered,all discussion about him can be settled.盖棺论定。
  • The coffin was placed in the grave.那口棺材已安放到坟墓里去了。


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