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The Ancient Ones 老女巫们
The Ancient Ones
The Grand High Witch stood on the very centre of the platform, and those dangerous eyes of
hers travelled slowly around the audience of witches who were sitting so meekly1 before her. "All
those over seventy put up your hands!" she barked suddenly.
Seven or eight hands went up in the air.
"It comes to me", said The Grand High Witch, "that you ancient vuns vill not be able to climb
high trrrees in search of grrruntles' eggs."
"We won't, Your Grandness! We are afraid we won't!" chanted the ancient ones.
"Nor vill you be able to catch the crrrabcrrruncher, who lives high up on rrrocky cliffs," The
Grand High Witch went on. "I can't exactly see you sprrrinting after the speedy catsprrringer either,
or diving into deep vorters to spear the blabbersnitch, or striding the bleak2 moors3 vith a gun under
your arm to shoot the grrrobblesqvirt. You are too old and feeble for those things."
"We are," chanted the ancient ones. "We are! We are!"
"You ancient vuns have served me vell over many years," said The Grand High Witch, "and I
do not vish to deny you the pleasure of bumping off a few thousand children each just because you
have become old and feeble. I have therefore prepared personally vith my own hands a limited
quantity of Delayed Action Mouse-Maker which I will distrrribute to the ancient vuns before you
leave the hotel."
"Oh, thank you, thank you!" cried the old witches. "You are far too good to us, Your
Grandness! You are so kind and thoughtful!"
"Here is a sample of vot I am giving you," shouted The Grand High Witch. She fished around
in a pocket of her dress and brought out a very small bottle. She held it up and shouted, "In this tiny
bottle is five hundred doses of Mouse-Maker! Is enough to turrrn five hundred children into mice!" I
could see that the bottle was made of dark-blue glass and that it was very small, about the same size
as the ones you can buy at the chemist with nose-drops in them. "Each of you ancient vuns vill get
two of these bottles!" she shouted.
"Thank you, thank you, O Most Generous and Thoughtful One!" chorused the ancient
witches. "Not one drop will be wasted! Each of us will promise to squish and squallop and squiggle
one thousand children!"
"Our meeting is over!" announced The Grand High Witch. "Here is the time-table for the
rrreemainder of your stay in this hotel.
"Rrright now, vee must all go out on to the Sunshine Terrace and have tea vith that
rrridiculous Manager.
"Next, at six o'clock tonight, those vitches who are too old to climb trees after grrruntles' eggs
vill rrree-port to my rrroom to rrree-ceive two bottles each of Mouse-Maker. My rrroom number is
454. Do not forget it.
"Then, at eight o'clock, all of you vill assemble in the Dining-Rrroom for supper. Vee are the
lovely ladies of the RSPCC and they are setting up two long tables specially4 for us. But do not forget
to put the cotton plugs up your noses. That Dining-Rrroom vill be full of filthy5 little children and
vithout the nose- plugs the stink6 vill be unbearrrable. Apart from that, rrree- member to behave
normally at all times. Is everything clear? Any questions?"
"I have one question, Your Grandness," said a voice in the audience. "What happens if one of
the chocolates we are giving away in our shops gets eaten by a grown-up?"
"That's just too bad for the grrrown-up," said The Grand High Witch. "This meeting is over!"
she shouted. "Out you go!"
The witches stood up and began gathering7 their things together. I was watching them through
the crack and hoping to heaven they would hurry up and leave so that I might be safe at last.
"Wait!" shrieked8 one of the witches in the back row. "Hold everything!" Her shrieking9 voice
echoed through the Ballroom10, like a trumpet11. All the witches suddenly stopped and turned and looked
towards the speaker. She was one of the taller witches and I could see her standing12 there with her
head tilted13 back and her nose in the air and she was sucking in great long breaths of air through those
curvy pink sea-shelly nostrils14 of hers.
"Wait!" she shouted again.
"What is it?" the others cried out.
"Dogs' droppings!" she yelled. "Just then I got a whiff of dogs' droppings!"
"Surely not!" the others shouted. "There couldn't be!"
"Yes yes!" shouted the first witch. "There it is again! It's not strong! But it's there! I mean it's
here! It's definitely somewhere not too far away!"
"Vot's going on down there?" shouted The Grand High Witch, glaring down from the
"Mildred's just got a whiff of dogs' droppings, Your Grandness!" someone called back to her.
"Vot rrrubbish is this?" shouted The Grand High Witch. "She has dogs' drrroppings on the
brain! There are no children in this rrroom!"
"Hang on!" cried the witch called Mildred. "Hang on everybody! Don't move! I'm getting it
again!" Her huge curvy nose-holes were waving in and out like a pair of fish-tails. "It's getting
stronger! It's hitting me harder now! Can't the rest of you smell it?"
All the noses of all the witches in that room went up in the air, and all the nostrils began to
suck and sniff15.
"She's right!" cried another voice. "She's absolutely right! Dogs' droppings it is, strong and
In a matter of seconds, the entire assembly of witches had taken up the dreaded17 cry of dogs'
droppings. "Dogs' droppings!" they shouted. "The room is full of it! Poo! Poo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-ooo!
Why did we not smell it before? It stinks18 like a sewer19! Some little swine must be hiding not so very
far away from here!"
"Find it!" screamed The Grand High Witch. "Trrrack it down! Rrrootle it out! Follow your
noses till you get it!"
The hairs on my head were standing up like the bristles20 of a nailbrush and a cold sweat was
breaking out all over me.
"Rrrootle it out, this small lump of dung!" screeched21 The Grand High Witch. "Don't let it
escape! If it is in here it has observed the most secret things! It must be exterrrminated immediately!"



1 meekly meekly     
  • He stood aside meekly when the new policy was proposed. 当有人提出新政策时,他唯唯诺诺地站 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He meekly accepted the rebuke. 他顺从地接受了批评。 来自《简明英汉词典》
2 bleak gtWz5     
  • They showed me into a bleak waiting room.他们引我来到一间阴冷的会客室。
  • The company's prospects look pretty bleak.这家公司的前景异常暗淡。
3 moors 039ba260de08e875b2b8c34ec321052d     
v.停泊,系泊(船只)( moor的第三人称单数 )
  • the North York moors 北约克郡的漠泽
  • They're shooting grouse up on the moors. 他们在荒野射猎松鸡。 来自《简明英汉词典》
4 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。
5 filthy ZgOzj     
  • The whole river has been fouled up with filthy waste from factories.整条河都被工厂的污秽废物污染了。
  • You really should throw out that filthy old sofa and get a new one.你真的应该扔掉那张肮脏的旧沙发,然后再去买张新的。
6 stink ZG5zA     
  • The stink of the rotten fish turned my stomach.腐烂的鱼臭味使我恶心。
  • The room has awful stink.那个房间散发着难闻的臭气。
7 gathering ChmxZ     
  • He called on Mr. White to speak at the gathering.他请怀特先生在集会上讲话。
  • He is on the wing gathering material for his novels.他正忙于为他的小说收集资料。
8 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
9 shrieking abc59c5a22d7db02751db32b27b25dbb     
v.尖叫( shriek的现在分词 )
  • The boxers were goaded on by the shrieking crowd. 拳击运动员听见观众的喊叫就来劲儿了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • They were all shrieking with laughter. 他们都发出了尖锐的笑声。 来自《简明英汉词典》
10 ballroom SPTyA     
  • The boss of the ballroom excused them the fee.舞厅老板给他们免费。
  • I go ballroom dancing twice a week.我一个星期跳两次交际舞。
11 trumpet AUczL     
  • He plays the violin, but I play the trumpet.他拉提琴,我吹喇叭。
  • The trumpet sounded for battle.战斗的号角吹响了。
12 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。
13 tilted 3gtzE5     
v. 倾斜的
  • Suddenly the boat tilted to one side. 小船突然倾向一侧。
  • She tilted her chin at him defiantly. 她向他翘起下巴表示挑衅。
14 nostrils 23a65b62ec4d8a35d85125cdb1b4410e     
鼻孔( nostril的名词复数 )
  • Her nostrils flared with anger. 她气得两个鼻孔都鼓了起来。
  • The horse dilated its nostrils. 马张大鼻孔。
15 sniff PF7zs     
  • The police used dogs to sniff out the criminals in their hiding - place.警察使用警犬查出了罪犯的藏身地点。
  • When Munchie meets a dog on the beach, they sniff each other for a while.当麦奇在海滩上碰到另一条狗的时候,他们会彼此嗅一会儿。
16 foul Sfnzy     
  • Take off those foul clothes and let me wash them.脱下那些脏衣服让我洗一洗。
  • What a foul day it is!多么恶劣的天气!
17 dreaded XuNzI3     
adj.令人畏惧的;害怕的v.害怕,恐惧,担心( dread的过去式和过去分词)
  • The dreaded moment had finally arrived. 可怕的时刻终于来到了。
  • He dreaded having to spend Christmas in hospital. 他害怕非得在医院过圣诞节不可。 来自《用法词典》
18 stinks 6254e99acfa1f76e5581ffe6c369f803     
v.散发出恶臭( stink的第三人称单数 );发臭味;名声臭;糟透
  • The whole scheme stinks to high heaven—don't get involved in it. 整件事十分卑鄙龌龊——可别陷了进去。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The soup stinks of garlic. 这汤有大蒜气味。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
19 sewer 2Ehzu     
  • They are tearing up the street to repair a sewer. 他们正挖开马路修下水道。
  • The boy kicked a stone into the sewer. 那个男孩把一石子踢进了下水道。
20 bristles d40df625d0ab9008a3936dbd866fa2ec     
短而硬的毛发,刷子毛( bristle的名词复数 )
  • the bristles on his chin 他下巴上的胡楂子
  • This job bristles with difficulties. 这项工作困难重重。
21 screeched 975e59058e1a37cd28bce7afac3d562c     
v.发出尖叫声( screech的过去式和过去分词 );发出粗而刺耳的声音;高叫
  • She screeched her disapproval. 她尖叫着不同意。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The car screeched to a stop. 汽车嚓的一声停住了。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》


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