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4 The Secret Workers
4 The Secret Workers
The next evening, Grandpa Joe went on with his story.
‘You see, Charlie,’ he said, ‘not so very long ago there used to be thousands of people
working in Mr Willy Wonka’s factory. Then one day, all of a sudden, Mr Wonka had to
ask every single one of them to leave, to go home, never to come back.’
‘But why?’ asked Charlie.
‘Because of spies.’
‘Yes. All the other chocolate makers1, you see, had begun to grow jealous2 of the
wonderful sweets that Mr Wonka was making, and they started sending in spies to steal
his secret recipes. The spies took jobs in the Wonka factory, pretending that they were
ordinary workers, and while they were there, each one of them found out exactly how a
certain special thing was made.’
‘And did they go back to their own factories and tell?’ asked Charlie.
‘They must have,’ answered Grandpa Joe, ‘because soon after that, Fickelgruber’s
factory started making an ice cream that would never melt, even in the hottest sun. Then
Mr Prodnose’s factory came out with a chewing-gum that never lost its flavour however
much you chewed it. And then Mr Slugworth’s factory began making sugar balloons that
you could blow up to huge sizes before you popped them with a pin and gobbled them
up. And so on, and so on. And Mr Willy Wonka tore his beard and shouted, “This is
terrible! I shall be ruined! There are spies everywhere! I shall have to close the factory!”

‘But he didn’t do that!’ Charlie said.
‘Oh, yes he did. He told all the workers that he was sorry, but they would have to go
home. Then, he shut the main gates and fastened them with a chain. And suddenly,
Wonka’s giant chocolate factory became silent and deserted3. The chimneys4 stopped
smoking, the machines stopped whirring, and from then on, not a single chocolate or
sweet was made. Not a soul went in or out, and even Mr Willy Wonka himself
disappeared completely.
‘Months and months went by,’ Grandpa Joe went on, ‘but still the factory remained
closed. And everybody said, “Poor Mr Wonka. He was so nice. And he made such
marvellous5 things. But he’s finished now. It’s all over.”
‘Then something astonishing happened. One day, early in the morning, thin columns6
of white smoke were seen to be coming out of the tops of the tall chimneys of the
factory! People in the town stopped and stared. “What’s going on?” they cried.
“Someone’s lit the furnaces7! Mr Wonka must be opening up again!” They ran to the
gates, expecting to see them wide open and Mr Wonka standing8 there to welcome his
workers back.
‘But no! The great iron gates were still locked and chained as securely9 as ever, and Mr
Wonka was nowhere to be seen.
‘ “But the factory is working!” the people shouted. “Listen! You can hear the
machines! They’re all whirring again! And you can smell the smell of melting chocolate
in the air!” ’
Grandpa Joe leaned forward and laid a long bony finger on Charlie’s knee, and he said
softly10, ‘But most mysterious of all, Charlie, were the shadows in the windows of the
factory. The people standing on the street outside could see small dark shadows moving
about behind the frosted glass windows.’
‘Shadows of whom?’ said Charlie quickly.
‘That’s exactly what everybody else wanted to know.
‘ “The place is full of workers!” the people shouted. “But nobody’s gone in! The gates
are locked! It’s crazy! Nobody ever comes out, either!”
‘But there was no question at all,’ said Grandpa Joe, ‘that the factory was running.
And it’s gone on running ever since, for these last ten years. What’s more, the chocolates
and sweets it’s been turning out have become more fantastic and delicious all the time.
And of course now when Mr Wonka invents some new and wonderful sweet, neither Mr
Fickelgruber nor Mr Prodnose nor Mr Slugworth nor anybody else is able to copy it. No
spies can go into the factory to find out how it is made.’
‘But Grandpa, who,’ cried Charlie, ‘who is Mr Wonka using to do all the work in the
‘Nobody knows, Charlie.’
‘But that’s ahsurd! Hasn’t someone asked Mr Wonka?’
‘Nobody sees him any more. He never comes out. The only things that come out of
that place are chocolates and sweets. They come out through a special trap door in the
wall, all packed and addressed, and they are picked up every day by Post Office trucks.’
‘But Grandpa, what sort of people are they that work in there?’
‘My dear boy,’ said Grandpa Joe, ‘that is one of the great mysteries of the chocolate-
making world. We know only one thing about them. They are very small. The faint
shadows that sometimes appear behind the windows, especially late at night when the
lights are on, are those of tiny people, people no taller than my knee…’
‘There aren’t any such people,’ Charlie said.
Just then, Mr Bucket, Charlie’s father, came into the room. He was home from the
toothpaste factory, and he was waving an evening newspaper rather excitedly. ‘Have you
heard the news?’ he cried. He held up the paper so that they could see the huge
headline. The headline said:


1 makers 22a4efff03ac42c1785d09a48313d352     
  • The makers of the product assured us that there had been no sacrifice of quality. 这一产品的制造商向我们保证说他们没有牺牲质量。
  • The makers are about to launch out a new product. 制造商们马上要生产一种新产品。 来自《简明英汉词典》
2 jealous 7abz6     
  • He was jealous when he discovered that she loved someone else.当他发现她爱别人的时候,他吃醋了。
  • An honorable Chinese citizen should be jealous of his own rights.一名光荣的中国公民应当珍惜自己的公民权利。
3 deserted GukzoL     
  • The deserted village was filled with a deathly silence.这个荒废的村庄死一般的寂静。
  • The enemy chieftain was opposed and deserted by his followers.敌人头目众叛亲离。
4 chimneys 48e7c43d24e5ee82b4a29b22bbe474f5     
n.烟囱( chimney的名词复数 );烟筒;(岩石间可供攀登的)狭孔;狭缝
  • the silhouette of chimneys and towers 烟囱和塔楼的轮廓
  • You can differentiate between the houses by the shape of their chimneys. 你可以凭借烟囱形状的不同来区分这两幢房子。 来自《简明英汉词典》
5 marvellous MBJx6     
  • It's marvellous how he's managed to climb that far.他怎么能爬得那么远,真不可思议。
  • She has a marvellous voice with an extraordinary range.她歌喉甜美,音域奇广。
6 columns columns     
n.柱( column的名词复数 );纵队;栏;(舰队的)纵列
  • The temple is supported by marble columns. 这座庙宇由大理石柱支撑。
  • There are two columns on each page of this dictionary. 这本词典每一页有两栏。 来自《简明英汉词典》
7 furnaces 5c0530c0bfb530a3e89b54c1f739e7e1     
熔炉,火炉( furnace的名词复数 )
  • We took turns stoking the furnaces. 我们轮番给锅炉添煤。
  • They cleverly hid small lumps of gold in their furnaces. 他们狡猾地将小块金子藏在炼丹炉里。 来自英汉非文学 - 科学史
8 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。
9 securely ojQzY3     
  • She chained the wolf securely to the post.她用铁链把那只狼锁在那根柱子上。
  • The straps hold the baby in securely.带子把婴儿安全地系在里面。
10 softly HiIzR4     
  • He speaks too softly for her to hear.他讲话声音太轻,她听不见。
  • She breathed her advice softly.她低声劝告。


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