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首页 » 双语小说 » The Circus of Adventure 布莱顿少年冒险团7,王子与马戏团 » 11 Happenings in the night
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11 Happenings in the night
  Happenings in the night
  The moonlight streamed down over the countryside as Bill and his wife set out. ‘What a lovelynight!’ said Bill. ‘As light as day, almost!’
  They went up the tiny lane, hurrying as much as they could. ‘I’ll ask at the farm if Mr Ellis canbring you back,’ Bill said. ‘I won’t stay even a minute. I’m worried about Gussy. I may get aglimpse of Madame Tatiosa and her companion – but I don’t particularly want them to see me.’
  They were passing a little copse of trees, a patch of dense1 black shadow in the surroundingmoonlight. Bill and his wife walked by, not seeing a small movement in the shadows.
  Then things happened very quickly indeed. Four shadows came from the copse of trees, runningsilently over the grass. Bill turned at a slight sound – but almost as he turned someone leapt onhim and bore him to the ground.
  Mrs Cunningham felt an arm round her, and a hand pressed over her mouth. She tried toscream, but only a small sound came from her.
  ‘Don’t struggle,’ said a voice. ‘And don’t scream. We’re not going to hurt you. We just wantyou out of the way for a short time.’
  But Bill did struggle, of course. He knew what these men were after – Gussy! He groaned2 inanger at himself. This was a trick, of course! Old Aunt Naomi hadn’t had a fall! There had been noreal message from the farm. It was all a ruse3 to get them out of the house, so that it would be easyto kidnap Gussy.
  Someone gagged his mouth by wrapping a cloth firmly round his face. He could hardly breathe!
  He wondered how his wife was getting on, but he could see and hear nothing. He stoppedstruggling when at last his arms were pinned behind him, and tied together with rope.
  There was nothing he could do. It was four against two, and as they had been taken by surprisethey were at a great disadvantage. Perhaps he would be able to undo4 the rope that bound him whenhis captors had gone to get Gussy. He might still prevent the kidnapping.
  Mrs Cunningham was scared, and did her best to get away, but one man was quite sufficient tohold her and bind5 her hands and feet. She too was gagged so that she could not scream.
  ‘We are sorry about this,’ said a man’s voice, quite politely. ‘It is important to us to take thelittle Prince out of your hands. His country needs him. We shall not harm him in any way – andwe have not harmed you either. We have merely put you to some inconvenience. Once we havethe Prince one of us will come to untie6 you, if it is possible. If not – well, you will be found bysome farm worker early in the morning.’
  The men left Bill and his wife against a haystack, protected from the wind. One of them hadgone through Bill’s pockets first, and had taken out the key of the cottage.
  Bill listened as the men went off. Were they gone? He rubbed his head against the ground tryingto get off the cloth bound round his face. Was his wife all right?
  He was furious with himself. To walk into a trap as easily as all that! The woman with themessage must have been one of the gang, of course. No wonder she wouldn’t come in. He shouldhave been suspicious about that. An ordinary messenger would have waited for them and thenwalked to the farm in their company.
  He remembered the ‘ting’ of the telephone that Jack7 said he had heard that afternoon. That musthave been Madame Tatiosa or her companion telephoning to their headquarters to say that theyknew where the Prince was, and requesting help to capture him. Another car must have comedown that evening with other members of the gang. It all fitted in so well – but poor Bill saw theplot after it had been carried out, instead of before!
  He wondered what was happening at Quarry8 Cottage. He believed the man who had said that hewas not going to harm the little Prince. All they wanted to do was to depose9 his uncle and setGussy up in his place. Poor Gussy! He would be made to do all that the gang wanted, and his lifewould be very miserable10.
  Nothing was happening just then at Quarry Cottage. All the five children were fast asleep, andso was Kiki. The window of the boys’ bedroom was shut, as Bill had ordered – but of what usewas that when the enemy had the key to the front door!
  Time crept on – and eleven o’clock came. Philip’s alarm clock went off under his pillow,whirring in a muffled11 way that woke him up with a jump. At first he didn’t know what the noisewas, then he remembered.
  ‘Eleven o’clock!’ he thought, and slid his hand under his pillow to stop the alarm ringing. Hesat up. Moonlight poured into the room, and made everything silvery. Just the night for badgers13!
  He padded across the room and shook Jack. ‘Wake up! Eleven o’clock!’ he whispered, rightinto his ear. He did not mean to wake Gussy, and have him clamouring to go with them! ButGussy was very sound asleep indeed. The moonlight streamed on to his face, and showed up thelong lock of hair that had fallen as usual over his forehead.
  Kiki awoke as soon as the alarm went off. But she was used to muffled alarm clocks, and merelygave a little yawn, and stretched her wings. If the boys were going out, she was quite ready!
  Nothing would persuade her to be left behind.
  The two boys dressed quickly in shorts, jerseys14 and rubber-soled shoes. They took a last glanceat Gussy. His mouth was wide open again. Jack grinned as he remembered the bits of grass thatKiki had popped into it on Sugar-Loaf Hill.
  They crept downstairs, pausing outside Bill’s bedroom door to make sure all was quiet, and thatBill and his wife were asleep.
  ‘Can’t hear a thing,’ whispered Jack. ‘They must be very sound asleep! Not even a snore fromBill!’
  This wasn’t very surprising, of course, as Bill was at that moment struggling with his ropes ashe lay in the shelter of the haystack.
  ‘We’ll go out the back way,’ whispered Philip. ‘The front door creaks a little. Don’t bump intoanything in the hall, for goodness’ sake.’
  Kiki was on Jack’s shoulder, as quiet as the dormouse in Philip’s pocket. She could always bedepended on to keep silent when it was necessary. She knew quite well that the boys were tryingnot to be heard. She pecked Jack’s ear affectionately, wondering what he was up to on thismoonlight night.
  The boys went out of the back door, and then stood still, debating which way to go.
  ‘I think I’ll come up to the little wood with you first,’ said Jack. ‘I might pop down to the quarrylater, to hear the owls15 there, and see if I can watch them swooping17 on mice or rats.’
  So they went silently to the wood on the east side of the cottage, making no noise in theirrubber-soled shoes. They kept to the shadows of the hedges, afraid that someone might see them,even in this deserted18 spot. The moonlight was so very brilliant!
  They came to the wood. Philip knew what type of place badgers would visit, and he led Jack toa hedge overshadowing a big bank.
  ‘This is the sort of place to wait about in,’ he said. ‘Let’s squeeze into that bush there.’
  They crouched19 down in the black shadows. An owl16 suddenly hooted20 nearby, and Kiki at oncehooted back, copying the long, quavering hoot21 exactly, and making Jack jump.
  ‘Shut up, Kiki,’ he whispered fiercely. ‘You’ll bring all the owls down on us with your hooting22.
  Gosh, here comes the one you mimicked23!’
  An owl swooped24 by his head, and he ducked. So did Kiki! Kiki longed to hoot again. She lovedpuzzling any other bird.
  She kept silent, half-sulky The boys listened with their sharp ears, watching for any movement.
  Suddenly Jack gave Philip a nudge. A long, snake-like animal was hurrying by.
  ‘Stoat,’ whispered Philip in Jack’s ear. ‘And what’s this? A hedgehog!’
  The hedgehog was curious about the black shadows sitting under the bush. He came fearlesslyup to investigate. Philip put out his hand slowly, and the hedgehog sniffed25 it over. Jack quiteexpected to see him climb on to Philip’s knee! No creature was ever afraid of him.
  But the hedgehog was hungry and he ran off to find the slugs he liked best. The boys thought hewent along as if he was a little clockwork animal. They waited for the next night creature toappear.
  And this time it was a badger12! It really was. Philip drew in his breath sharply. He had hardlyhoped to see one so soon. It was a biggish creature, with a curiously26 striped black and white face.
  It stood absolutely still in the moonlight, sniffing27, wondering if it could smell a danger-smell – asmell of humans?
  But the wind blew from the badger to the boys, and he could smell nothing. He could hardly beseen as he stood in the full moonlight, because the black and white stripes down his face were soexactly like the black and white shadows of this moonlit night.
  ‘Perfect camouflage28!’ whispered Philip, and Jack nodded. Then he nudged Philip. Somethingelse was coming.
  ‘Young badgers!’ thought Philip, in delight. ‘A family party – yes, there’s mother badger at theback. What a bit of luck!’
  The young badgers were skittish29 little bear-like things. They began to play about, and the twoboys watched their curious games, quite fascinated.
  The little badgers began to bounce. They really did bounce, on all four legs, jumping up anddown in the same place, looking like fat, furry30 balls. They bounced at one another! One knockedanother over, but in a flash he turned a somersault, came up under the first badger and knockedhim over!
  This head-over-heels game seemed a favourite one, and the young badgers played it for sometime. Then the parents gave a little call, and went off into the wood; the young ones stopped theirgame and followed.
  Jack gave a little laugh. ‘What an amusing sight! I’ve never seen animals play that game before!
  Do all badgers turn head-over-heels like that?’
  ‘I’ve heard so,’ said Philip. ‘A keeper once told me that a grown badger will spring traps thatway – he just turns himself head-over-heels on the trap, sets it off, and then takes the bait! All heloses is a few hairs off his back.’
  An owl hooted again, some way off. It was a tawny31 owl calling. Then there was a screech32 froma barn owl. Kiki stirred on Jack’s shoulders. She was longing33 to do a bit of hooting and screechingherself!
  ‘I think I’ll go back now,’ said Philip, getting up. ‘I’d like to stay and watch for a few morecreatures to come by, but I’m afraid I shall fall asleep. You coming, Jack?’
  ‘Well – I rather think I’ll go and wander round that quarry a bit,’ said Jack. ‘I’d like to see whatowls are there – and I’d like to give old Kiki the chance of calling them, to see if she really canbring them to her. I know she’s longing to try. Aren’t you, Kiki, old bird?’
  Kiki muttered something into his ear, afraid of speaking out loud. Jack got up and stretched.
  ‘Well, you get to bed, and I’ll come when I’m ready,’ he said. ‘I’ll be about half an hour, I expect.
  Don’t be surprised if you hear thousands of hoots34 in a little while, once Kiki gets going!’
  Philip went back to the cottage, and Jack made his way to the quarry. Little did they guess whata shock they were both going to get in the next ten minutes!


1 dense aONzX     
  • The general ambushed his troops in the dense woods. 将军把部队埋伏在浓密的树林里。
  • The path was completely covered by the dense foliage. 小路被树叶厚厚地盖了一层。
2 groaned 1a076da0ddbd778a674301b2b29dff71     
v.呻吟( groan的过去式和过去分词 );发牢骚;抱怨;受苦
  • He groaned in anguish. 他痛苦地呻吟。
  • The cart groaned under the weight of the piano. 大车在钢琴的重压下嘎吱作响。 来自《简明英汉词典》
3 ruse 5Ynxv     
  • The children thought of a clever ruse to get their mother to leave the house so they could get ready for her surprise.孩子们想出一个聪明的办法使妈妈离家,以便他们能准备给她一个惊喜。It is now clear that this was a ruse to divide them.现在已清楚这是一个离间他们的诡计。
4 undo Ok5wj     
  • His pride will undo him some day.他的傲慢总有一天会毁了他。
  • I managed secretly to undo a corner of the parcel.我悄悄地设法解开了包裹的一角。
5 bind Vt8zi     
  • I will let the waiter bind up the parcel for you.我让服务生帮你把包裹包起来。
  • He wants a shirt that does not bind him.他要一件不使他觉得过紧的衬衫。
6 untie SjJw4     
  • It's just impossible to untie the knot.It's too tight.这个结根本解不开。太紧了。
  • Will you please untie the knot for me?请你替我解开这个结头,好吗?
7 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。
8 quarry ASbzF     
  • Michelangelo obtained his marble from a quarry.米开朗基罗从采石场获得他的大理石。
  • This mountain was the site for a quarry.这座山曾经有一个采石场。
9 depose bw6x5     
  • The witness is going to depose.证人即将宣誓做证。
  • The emperor attempted to depose the Pope.皇帝企图废黜教皇。
10 miserable g18yk     
  • It was miserable of you to make fun of him.你取笑他,这是可耻的。
  • Her past life was miserable.她过去的生活很苦。
11 muffled fnmzel     
adj.(声音)被隔的;听不太清的;(衣服)裹严的;蒙住的v.压抑,捂住( muffle的过去式和过去分词 );用厚厚的衣帽包着(自己)
  • muffled voices from the next room 从隔壁房间里传来的沉闷声音
  • There was a muffled explosion somewhere on their right. 在他们的右面什么地方有一声沉闷的爆炸声。 来自《简明英汉词典》
12 badger PuNz6     
  • Now that our debts are squared.Don't badger me with them any more.我们的债务两清了。从此以后不要再纠缠我了。
  • If you badger him long enough,I'm sure he'll agree.只要你天天纠缠他,我相信他会同意。
13 badgers d3dd4319dcd9ca0ba17c339a1b422326     
n.獾( badger的名词复数 );獾皮;(大写)獾州人(美国威斯康星州人的别称);毛鼻袋熊
  • Badgers had undermined the foundations of the church. 獾在这座教堂的地基处打了洞。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • And rams ' skins dyed red, and badgers' skins, and shittim wood. 5染红的公羊皮,海狗皮,皂荚木。 来自互联网
14 jerseys 26c6e36a41f599d0f56d0246b900c354     
n.运动衫( jersey的名词复数 )
  • The maximum quantity of cotton jerseys this year is about DM25,000. 平方米的羊毛地毯超过了以往的订货。 来自口语例句
  • The NBA is mulling the prospect of stitching advertising logos onto jerseys. 大意:NBA官方正在酝酿一个大煞风景的计划——把广告标志绣上球服! 来自互联网
15 owls 7b4601ac7f6fe54f86669548acc46286     
n.猫头鹰( owl的名词复数 )
  • 'Clumsy fellows,'said I; 'they must still be drunk as owls.' “这些笨蛋,”我说,“他们大概还醉得像死猪一样。” 来自英汉文学 - 金银岛
  • The great majority of barn owls are reared in captivity. 大多数仓鸮都是笼养的。 来自辞典例句
16 owl 7KFxk     
  • Her new glasses make her look like an owl.她的新眼镜让她看上去像只猫头鹰。
  • I'm a night owl and seldom go to bed until after midnight.我睡得很晚,经常半夜后才睡觉。
17 swooping ce659162690c6d11fdc004b1fd814473     
俯冲,猛冲( swoop的现在分词 )
  • The wind were swooping down to tease the waves. 大风猛扑到海面上戏弄着浪涛。
  • And she was talking so well-swooping with swift wing this way and that. 而她却是那样健谈--一下子谈到东,一下子谈到西。
18 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。
19 crouched 62634c7e8c15b8a61068e36aaed563ab     
v.屈膝,蹲伏( crouch的过去式和过去分词 )
  • He crouched down beside her. 他在她的旁边蹲了下来。
  • The lion crouched ready to pounce. 狮子蹲下身,准备猛扑。
20 hooted 8df924a716d9d67e78a021e69df38ba5     
(使)作汽笛声响,作汽车喇叭声( hoot的过去式和过去分词 )
  • An owl hooted nearby. 一只猫头鹰在附近啼叫。
  • The crowd hooted and jeered at the speaker. 群众向那演讲人发出轻蔑的叫嚣和嘲笑。
21 hoot HdzzK     
n.鸟叫声,汽车的喇叭声; v.使汽车鸣喇叭
  • The sudden hoot of a whistle broke into my thoughts.突然响起的汽笛声打断了我的思路。
  • In a string of shrill hoot of the horn sound,he quickly ran to her.在一串尖声鸣叫的喇叭声中,他快速地跑向她。
22 hooting f69e3a288345bbea0b49ddc2fbe5fdc6     
(使)作汽笛声响,作汽车喇叭声( hoot的现在分词 ); 倒好儿; 倒彩
  • He had the audience hooting with laughter . 他令观众哄堂大笑。
  • The owl was hooting. 猫头鹰在叫。
23 mimicked mimicked     
v.(尤指为了逗乐而)模仿( mimic的过去式和过去分词 );酷似
  • He mimicked her upper-class accent. 他模仿她那上流社会的腔调。 来自辞典例句
  • The boy mimicked his father's voice and set everyone off laughing. 男孩模仿他父亲的嗓音,使大家都大笑起来。 来自辞典例句
24 swooped 33b84cab2ba3813062b6e35dccf6ee5b     
俯冲,猛冲( swoop的过去式和过去分词 )
  • The aircraft swooped down over the buildings. 飞机俯冲到那些建筑物上方。
  • The hawk swooped down on the rabbit and killed it. 鹰猛地朝兔子扑下来,并把它杀死。
25 sniffed ccb6bd83c4e9592715e6230a90f76b72     
v.以鼻吸气,嗅,闻( sniff的过去式和过去分词 );抽鼻子(尤指哭泣、患感冒等时出声地用鼻子吸气);抱怨,不以为然地说
  • When Jenney had stopped crying she sniffed and dried her eyes. 珍妮停止了哭泣,吸了吸鼻子,擦干了眼泪。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The dog sniffed suspiciously at the stranger. 狗疑惑地嗅着那个陌生人。 来自《简明英汉词典》
26 curiously 3v0zIc     
  • He looked curiously at the people.他好奇地看着那些人。
  • He took long stealthy strides. His hands were curiously cold.他迈着悄没声息的大步。他的双手出奇地冷。
27 sniffing 50b6416c50a7d3793e6172a8514a0576     
n.探查法v.以鼻吸气,嗅,闻( sniff的现在分词 );抽鼻子(尤指哭泣、患感冒等时出声地用鼻子吸气);抱怨,不以为然地说
  • We all had colds and couldn't stop sniffing and sneezing. 我们都感冒了,一个劲地抽鼻子,打喷嚏。
  • They all had colds and were sniffing and sneezing. 他们都伤风了,呼呼喘气而且打喷嚏。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
28 camouflage NsnzR     
  • The white fur of the polar bear is a natural camouflage.北极熊身上的白色的浓密软毛是一种天然的伪装。
  • The animal's markings provide effective camouflage.这种动物身上的斑纹是很有效的伪装。
29 skittish 5hay2     
  • She gets very skittish when her boy-friend is around.她男朋友在场时,她就显得格外轻佻。
  • I won't have my son associating with skittish girls.我不准我的儿子与轻佻的女孩交往。
30 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。
31 tawny tIBzi     
  • Her black hair springs in fine strands across her tawny,ruddy cheek.她的一头乌发分披在健康红润的脸颊旁。
  • None of them noticed a large,tawny owl flutter past the window.他们谁也没注意到一只大的、褐色的猫头鹰飞过了窗户。
32 screech uDkzc     
  • He heard a screech of brakes and then fell down. 他听到汽车刹车发出的尖锐的声音,然后就摔倒了。
  • The screech of jet planes violated the peace of the afternoon. 喷射机的尖啸声侵犯了下午的平静。
33 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。
34 hoots 328717a68645f53119dae1aae5c695a9     
  • His suggestion was greeted with hoots of laughter. 他的建议引起了阵阵嗤笑。
  • The hoots came from the distance. 远处传来呜呜声。


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