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Hello Grandmamma 你好,姥姥
Hello Grandmamma
As soon as I was out of the Ballroom1, I took off like a flash. I streaked2 down the corridor,went through the Lounge and the Reading-Room and the Library and the Drawing-Room and cameto the stairs. Up the stairs I went, jumping quite easily from one to the other, keeping well in againstthe wall all the time. "Are you with me, Bruno?" I whispered.
"Right here," he said.
My grandmother's room and my own were on the fifth floor. It was quite a climb, but wemade it without meeting a single person on the way because everyone was using the lift. On the fifthfloor, I raced along the corridor to the door of my grandmother's room. A pair of her shoes wasstanding outside the door to be cleaned. Bruno was alongside me. "What do we do now?" he said.
Suddenly, I caught sight of a chambermaid coming along the corridor towards us. I saw atonce that she was the one who had reported me to the manager for keeping white mice. Not,therefore, the sort of person I wanted to meet in my present condition. "Quick!" I said to Bruno.
"Hide in one of those shoes!" I hopped3 into one shoe and Bruno hopped into the other. I waited forthe maid to walk past us. She didn't. When she came to the shoes, she bent4 down and picked them up.
In doing this, she put her hand right inside the one I was hiding in. When one of her fingers touchedme, I bit it. It was a sillY thing to do but I did it instinctively5, without thinking. The maid let out ascream that must have been heard by ships far out in the English Channel, and she dropped the shoesand ran like the wind down the corridor.
My grandmother's door opened. "What on earth is going on out here?" she said. I dartedbetween her legs into her room and Bruno followed me.
"Close the door, Grandmamma!" I cried. "Please hurry!"???????????????????She looked around andsaw two small brown mice on the carpet.
"Please close it," I said, and this time she actually saw me talking and recognised my voice.
She froze and became absolutely motionless. Every part of her body, her fingers and hands and armsand head became suddenly as stiff as a marble statue. Her face turned even paler than marble and hereyes were stretched so wide I could see the whites all around them. Then she started to tremble. Ithought she was going to faint and fall over.
"Please close the door quickly, Grandmamma," I said. "That awful maid might come in."She somehow managed to gather herself together enough to close the door. She leaned againstit, staring down at me white-faced and shaking all over. I saw tears beginning to come out of her eyesand go dribbling6 down her cheeks.
"Don't cry, Grandmamma," I said. "Things could be a lot worse. I did get away from them.
I'm still alive. So is Bruno."
Very slowly, she bent down and picked me up with one hand. Then she picked Bruno up withthe other hand and put us both on the table. There was a bowl of bananas in the centre of the tableand Bruno jumped straight into it and began tearing away with his teeth at one of the banana skins toget at the fruit inside.
My grandmother grasped the arm of her chair to steady herself, but her eyes never left me.
"Sit down, dear Grandmamma," I said.
She collapsed7 into her chair.
"Oh, my darling," she murmured and now the tears were really streaming down her cheeks.
"Oh, my poor sweet darling. What have they done to you?""I know what they've done, Grandmamma, and I know what I am, but the funny thing is that Idon't honestly feel especially bad about it. I don't even feel angry. In fact, I feel rather good. I knowI'm not a boy any longer and I never will be again, but I'll be quite all right as long as there's alwaysyou to look after me." I was not just trying to console her. I was being absolutely honest about theway I felt. You may think it odd that I wasn't weeping myself. It was odd. I simply can't explain it.
"Of course I'll look after you," my grandmother murmured. "Who is the other one?""That was a boy called Bruno Jenkins," I told her. "They got him first."My grandmother took a new long black cigar out of a case in her handbag and put it in hermouth. Then she got out a box of matches. She struck a match but her fingers were shaking so muchthat the flame kept missing the end of the cigar. When she got it lit at last, she took a long pull andsucked in the smoke. That seemed to calm her down a bit.
"Where did it happen?" she whispered. "Where is the witch now? Is she in the hotel?""Grandmamma," I said. "It wasn't just one. It was hundreds! They're all over the place!
They're right here in the hotel this very moment!"She leant forward and stared at me. "You don't mean... you don't actually mean... you don'tmean to tell me they're holding the Annual Meeting right here in the hotel?""They've held it, Grandmamma! It's finished! I heard it all! And all of them including TheGrand High Witch herself are downstairs now! They're pretending they're the Royal Society for thePrevention of Cruelty to Children! They're all having tea with the Manager!""And they caught you?"
"They smelt8 me out," I said.
"Dogs' droppings, was it?" she said, sighing.
"I'm afraid so. But it wasn't strong. They very nearly didn't smell me because I hadn't had abath for ages."
"Children should never have baths," my grandmother said. "It's a dangerous habit.""I agree, Grandmamma."
She paused, sucking at her cigar.
"Do you really mean to tell me that they are now all downstairs having tea?" she said.
"I'm certain of it, Grandmamma."
There was another pause. I could see the old glint of excitement slowly coming back into mygrandmother's eyes, and all of a sudden she sat up very straight in her chair and said sharply, "Tellme everything, right from the beginning. And please hurry."I took a deep breath and began to talk. I told about going to the Ballroom and hiding behindthe screen to do my mouse-training. I told about the notice saying Royal Society for the Prevention ofCruelty to Children. I told her all about the women coming in and sitting down and about the smallwoman who appeared on the stage and took off her mask. But when it came to describing what herface looked like underneath9 the mask, I simply couldn't find the right words. "It was horrible,Grandmamma!" I said. "Oh, it was so horrible! It was... it was like something that was going rotten!""Go on," my grandmother said. "Don't stop."
Then I told her about all the others taking off their wigs10 and their gloves and their shoes, andhow I saw before me a sea of bald pimply11 heads and how the women's fingers had little claws andhow their feet had no toes.
My grandmother had come forward now in her armchair so that she was sitting right on theedge of it. Both her hands were cupped over the gold knob of the stick that she always used whenwalking, and she was staring at me with eyes as bright as two stars.
Then I told her how The Grand High Witch had shot out the fiery12 white-hot sparks and howthey had turned one of the other witches into a puff13 of smoke.
"I've heard about that!" my grandmother cried out excitedly. "But I never quite believed it!
You are the first non-witch ever to see it happening! It is The Grand High Witch's most famouspunishment! It is known as 'getting fried', and all the other witches are petrified14 of having it done tothem! I am told that The Grand High Witch makes it a rule to fry at least one witch at each AnnualMeeting. She does it in order to keep the rest of them on their toes.""But they don't have any toes; Grandmamma."
"I know they don't, my darling, but please go on."So then I told my grandmother about the Delayed Action Mouse-Maker, and when I came tothe bit about turning all the children of England into mice, she actually leapt out of her chairshouting, "I knew it! I knew they were brewing15 up something tremendous!""We've got to stop them," I said.
She turned and stared at me. "You can't stop witches," she said. "Just look at the power thatterrible Grand High Witch has in her eyes alone! She could kill any of us at any time with thosewhite-hot sparks of hers! You saw it yourself!""Even so, Grandmamma, we've still got to stop her from turning all the children of Englandinto mice."
"You haven't quite finished," she said. "Tell me about Bruno. How did they get him?"So I described how Bruno Jenkins had come in and how I had actually seen him with my owneyes being shrunk into a mouse. My grandmother looked at Bruno who was guzzling16 away in thebowl of bananas.
"Does he never stop eating?" she asked.
"Never," I said. "Can you explain something to me, Grandmamma?""I'll try," she said. She reached out and lifted me off the table and put me on her lap. Verygently, she began stroking the soft fur along my back. It felt nice. "What is it you want to ask me, mydarling?" she said.
"The thing I don't understand", I said, "is how Bruno and I are still able to talk and think justas we did before."
"It's quite simple," my grandmother said. "All they've done is to shrink you and give you fourlegs and a furry17 coat, but they haven't been able to change you into a one hundred per cent mouse.
You are still yourself in everything except your appearance. You've still got your own mind and yourown brain and your own voice, and thank goodness for that.""So I'm not really an ordinary mouse at all," I said. "I'm a sort of mouse-person.""Quite right," she said. "You are a human in mouse's clothing. You are very special."We sat there in silence for a few moments while my grandmother went on stroking me verygently with one finger and puffing18 her cigar with the other hand. The only sound in the room wasmade by Bruno as he attacked the bananas in the bowl. But I wasn't doing nothing as I lay there onher lap. I was thinking like mad. My brain was whizzing as it had never whizzed before.
"Grandmamma," I said. "I may have a bit of an idea.""Yes, my darling. What is it?"
"The Grand High Witch told them her room was number 454. Right?""Right," she said.
"Well, my room is number 554. Mine, 554, is on the fifth floor, so hers, 454, will be on thefourth floor."
"That is correct," my grandmother said.
"Then don't you think it's possible that room 454 is directly underneath room 554?""That's more than likely," she said. "These modern hotels are all built like boxes of bricks.
But what if it is?"
"Would you please take me out on to my balcony so I can look down," I said.
All the rooms in the Hotel Magnificent had small private balconies. My grandmother carriedme through into my own bedroom and out on to my balcony. We both peered down to the balconyimmediately below.
"Now if that is her room," I said, "then I'll bet I could climb down there somehow and get in.""And get caught all over again," my grandmother said. "I won't allow it.""At this moment," I said, "all the witches are down on the Sunshine Terrace having tea withthe Manager. The Grand High Witch probably won't be back until six o'clock or just before. That'swhen she's going to dish out supplies of that foul19 formula to the ancient ones who are too old to climbtrees after gruntles' eggs."
"And what if you did manage to get into her room?" my grandmother said. "What then?""Then I should try to find the place where she keeps her supply of Delayed Action Mouse-Maker, and if I succeeded then I would steal one bottle of it and bring it back here.""Could you carry it?"
"I think so," I said. "It's a very small bottle.""I'm frightened of that stuff," my grandmother said. "What would you do with it if you didmanage to get it?"
"One bottle is enough for five hundred people," I said. "That would give each and every witchdown there a double dose at least. We could turn them all into mice."My grandmother jumped about an inch in the air. We were out on my balcony and there was adrop of about a million feet below us and I very nearly bounced out of her hand over the railingswhen she jumped.
"Be careful with me, Grandmamma," I said.
"What an idea!" she cried. "It's fantastic! It's tremendous! You're a genius, my darling!""Wouldn't it be something?" I said. "Wouldn't that really be something?""We'd get rid of every witch in England in one swoop20!" she cried. "And The Grand HighWitch into the bargain!"
"We've got to try it," I said.
"Listen," she said, nearly dropping me over the balcony once again in her excitement. "If webrought this off, it would be the greatest triumph in the whole history of witchery!""There's a lot of work to do," I said.
"Of course there's a lot of work to do," she said. "Just for a start, supposing you did manage toget hold of one of those bottles, how would you get it into their food?""We'll work that out later," I said. "Let's try to get the stuff first. How can we find out for sureif that's her room just below us?"
"We shall check it out immediately!" my grandmother cried. "Come along! There's not asecond to waste!" Carrying me in one hand, she went bustling21 out of the bedroom and along thecorridor, banging her stick on the carpet with each step she took. We went down the stairs one flightto the fourth floor. The bedrooms on either side of the corridor had their numbers painted on thedoors in gold.
"Here it is!" my grandmother cried. "Number 454." She tried the door. It was locked ofcourse. She looked up and down the long empty hotel corridor. "I do believe you're right," she said.
"This room is almost certainly directly below yours." She marched back along the corridor, countingthe number of doors from The Grand High Witch's room to the staircase. There were six.
She climbed back up to the fifth floor and repeated the exercise.
"She is directly below you!" my grandmother cried out. "Her room is right below yours!"She carried me back into my own bedroom and went out once again on to the balcony. "That'sher balcony down there," she said. "And what's more, the door from her balcony into her bedroom iswide open! How are you going to climb down?"
"I don't know," I said. Our rooms were in the front of the hotel and they looked down on tothe beach and the sea. Immediately below my balcony, thousands of feet below, I could see a fence ofspiked railings. If I fell, I'd be a gonner.
"I've got it!" my grandmother cried. With me in her hand, she rushed back into her own roomand began rummaging22 in the chest-of-drawers. She came out with a ball of blue knitting-wool. Oneend of it was attached to some needles and a half-finished sock she had been knitting for me. "This isperfect," she said. "I shall put you in the sock and lower you down on to The Grand High Witch'sbalcony. But we must hurry! Any moment now that monster will be returning to her room!"



1 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。
2 streaked d67e6c987d5339547c7938f1950b8295     
adj.有条斑纹的,不安的v.快速移动( streak的过去式和过去分词 );使布满条纹
  • The children streaked off as fast as they could. 孩子们拔脚飞跑 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
  • His face was pale and streaked with dirt. 他脸色苍白,脸上有一道道的污痕。 来自辞典例句
3 hopped 91b136feb9c3ae690a1c2672986faa1c     
跳上[下]( hop的过去式和过去分词 ); 单足蹦跳; 齐足(或双足)跳行; 摘葎草花
  • He hopped onto a car and wanted to drive to town. 他跳上汽车想开向市区。
  • He hopped into a car and drove to town. 他跳进汽车,向市区开去。
4 bent QQ8yD     
  • He was fully bent upon the project.他一心扑在这项计划上。
  • We bent over backward to help them.我们尽了最大努力帮助他们。
5 instinctively 2qezD2     
  • As he leaned towards her she instinctively recoiled. 他向她靠近,她本能地往后缩。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He knew instinctively where he would find her. 他本能地知道在哪儿能找到她。 来自《简明英汉词典》
6 dribbling dribbling     
n.(燃料或油从系统内)漏泄v.流口水( dribble的现在分词 );(使液体)滴下或作细流;运球,带球
  • Basic skills include swimming, dribbling, passing, marking, tackling, throwing, catching and shooting. 个人基本技术包括游泳、带球、传球、盯人、抢截、抛球、接球和射门。 来自互联网
  • Carol: [Laurie starts dribbling again] Now do that for ten minutes. 卡罗:(萝莉开始再度运球)现在那样做十分钟。 来自互联网
7 collapsed cwWzSG     
  • Jack collapsed in agony on the floor. 杰克十分痛苦地瘫倒在地板上。
  • The roof collapsed under the weight of snow. 房顶在雪的重压下突然坍塌下来。
8 smelt tiuzKF     
  • Tin is a comparatively easy metal to smelt.锡是比较容易熔化的金属。
  • Darby was looking for a way to improve iron when he hit upon the idea of smelting it with coke instead of charcoal.达比一直在寻找改善铁质的方法,他猛然想到可以不用木炭熔炼,而改用焦炭。
9 underneath VKRz2     
  • Working underneath the car is always a messy job.在汽车底下工作是件脏活。
  • She wore a coat with a dress underneath.她穿着一件大衣,里面套着一条连衣裙。
10 wigs 53e7a1f0d49258e236f1a412f2313400     
n.假发,法官帽( wig的名词复数 )
  • They say that wigs will be coming in again this year. 据说今年又要流行戴假发了。 来自辞典例句
  • Frank, we needed more wigs than we thought, and we have to do some advertising. 弗兰克,因为我们需要更多的假发,而且我们还要做点广告。 来自电影对白
11 pimply 1100651dc459cba6fd8a9b769b1448f7     
  • Now, we won't submit to impertinence from these pimply, tipsy virgins. 现在我们决不能忍受这群长着脓包、喝醉了的小兔崽子们的无礼举动。 来自辞典例句
  • A head stuck out cautiously-a square, pimply, purplish face with thick eyebrows and round eyes. 车厢里先探出一个头来,紫酱色的一张方脸,浓眉毛,圆眼睛,脸上有许多小疱。 来自互联网
12 fiery ElEye     
  • She has fiery red hair.她有一头火红的头发。
  • His fiery speech agitated the crowd.他热情洋溢的讲话激动了群众。
13 puff y0cz8     
  • He took a puff at his cigarette.他吸了一口香烟。
  • They tried their best to puff the book they published.他们尽力吹捧他们出版的书。
14 petrified 2e51222789ae4ecee6134eb89ed9998d     
  • I'm petrified of snakes. 我特别怕蛇。
  • The poor child was petrified with fear. 这可怜的孩子被吓呆了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
15 brewing eaabd83324a59add9a6769131bdf81b5     
n. 酿造, 一次酿造的量 动词brew的现在分词形式
  • It was obvious that a big storm was brewing up. 很显然,一场暴风雨正在酝酿中。
  • She set about brewing some herb tea. 她动手泡一些药茶。
16 guzzling 20d7a51423fd709ed7efe548e2e4e9c7     
v.狂吃暴饮,大吃大喝( guzzle的现在分词 )
  • The kids seem to be guzzling soft drinks all day. 孩子们似乎整天都在猛喝汽水。
  • He's been guzzling beer all evening. 整个晚上他都在狂饮啤酒。 来自《简明英汉词典》
17 furry Rssz2D     
  • This furry material will make a warm coat for the winter.这件毛皮料在冬天会是一件保暖的大衣。
  • Mugsy is a big furry brown dog,who wiggles when she is happy.马格斯是一只棕色大长毛狗,当她高兴得时候她会摇尾巴。
18 puffing b3a737211571a681caa80669a39d25d3     
v.使喷出( puff的现在分词 );喷着汽(或烟)移动;吹嘘;吹捧
  • He was puffing hard when he jumped on to the bus. 他跳上公共汽车时喘息不已。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • My father sat puffing contentedly on his pipe. 父亲坐着心满意足地抽着烟斗。 来自《简明英汉词典》
19 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!
20 swoop nHPzI     
  • The plane made a swoop over the city.那架飞机突然向这座城市猛降下来。
  • We decided to swoop down upon the enemy there.我们决定突袭驻在那里的敌人。
21 bustling LxgzEl     
  • The market was bustling with life. 市场上生机勃勃。
  • This district is getting more and more prosperous and bustling. 这一带越来越繁华了。
22 rummaging e9756cfbffcc07d7dc85f4b9eea73897     
翻找,搜寻( rummage的现在分词 ); 海关检查
  • She was rummaging around in her bag for her keys. 她在自己的包里翻来翻去找钥匙。
  • Who's been rummaging through my papers? 谁乱翻我的文件来着?


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