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首页 » 经典英文小说 » The Adventures of Joel Pepper27章节 » XVIII IN THE LITTLE BROWN HOUSE
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XVIII IN THE LITTLE BROWN HOUSE
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 The delights of that day at Strawberry Hill never died out of remembrance, as Joel and David went over it constantly, so that the whole Pepper family soon felt that they had been of the company in the stage-coach along with Mr. Tisbett. Only when once the story was told of the trouble with Jim, as it was by David, Mrs. Pepper decided1 that that should never be referred to again. But her black eyes glowed when little David proudly related how Joel had stopped the beating that Jim's father was giving him, although the account was much delayed, Davie was in such a tremble.
 
But the dinner! The two boys couldn't tell enough times to suit themselves or their audience, about that wonderful meal.
 
"How did it taste?" asked Polly, as Joel finished the description of Mrs. Green's raspberry shortcake, and smacked2 his lips over it.
 
"Just like all the best things you ever tasted in your life, Polly Pepper," he answered. "And the juice ran out all over it, and there was sugar on top."
 
"Oh, Joel," cried Polly, incredulously, "not sugar on top, and inside too!" and she paused to think how such a fine shortcake could taste.
 
"Yes, there was," said Joel; "lots and lots of sugar, Polly Pepper, was all sprinkled on top. Wasn't it, Dave?"
 
"Yes," said little Davie, and his mouth watered as he thought of it.
 
"And sugar inside--was it sweet?" persisted Polly, still standing3 quite still.
 
"As sweet as anything," declared Joel, positively4, and bobbing his stubby black head. "You can't think what a shortcake that was, Polly, if you try ever so hard."
 
"Mamsie," cried Polly, suddenly, "do you suppose we'll ever have one? Do you?"
 
"Maybe," said Mrs. Pepper, not looking into the brown eyes, but keeping her own bent5 on her work; "but I wouldn't think of it, Polly, if I were you. Things don't happen if you sit down and fold your hands and watch for 'em."
 
"Well, I don't b'lieve it will ever happen that we do get a shortcake, any more than we had a chicken pie," said Polly, turning away with a sigh.
 
"Why, you had your chicken pie, Polly," cried Joel, "only 'twas a goose."
 
"Old gray goose!" said Polly, scornfully. "It was trimmed with a posy, though, and that was nice, wasn't it, Mammy?" brightening up.
 
"Yes, indeed," cried Mrs. Pepper, cheerily; "and you baked it so good, Polly."
 
"So it was baked good," said Polly, all her good humor returning. "And it did not make so much matter, did it, Mamsie, that he was tough?"
 
"No, indeed," said Mrs. Pepper, laughing; "he lasted all the longer, you know, Polly."
 
"Mean old gray goose!" exclaimed Joel, at the remembrance; "he most broke my teeth, trying to eat him."
 
"Do you remember, Joe, how you teased for the drumstick?" laughed Polly. "You soon put it down on your plate, didn't you?"
 
"Yes," said Joel, bobbing his head, "I remember, Polly. I couldn't bite a single thing off. Mean old goose!"
 
"He looked nice," said little Davie, thoughtfully, "he was so brown, and there were Polly's flowers on top of him."
 
"Yes," said Polly, "those were nice, children. Well, p'r'aps we'll get a really and truly chicken pie sometime. And if the old stove would behave, and not have these dreadful holes coming all the time, where the putty tumbles out, it would be perfectly6 splendid. Now," cried Polly, running up to the stove, and shaking her brown head at it, "you've got to do your very best. If you don't, I'm sure I shall just give up!"
 
"Will you cry, Polly?" asked Phronsie, creeping up behind her.
 
"Yes, maybe," said Polly, recklessly. "Yes, I really think I shall have to cry, Phronsie, if that old stove lets the putty Ben put in last week tumble out again."
 
"Then it mustn't, Polly," said Phronsie, very decidedly, "let the--What is it Ben put in?"
 
"The putty, child," said Polly.
 
"It mustn't let the putty tumble out," said Phronsie. Then she ran up to the stove, and laid her little face up against its cold, black surface, for on summer afternoons there was never any fire in it. "You mustn't be naughty, old stove," she said, "for then Polly will cry."
 
"Oh, Phronsie!" cried Polly, "you've smutted your face, and blacked up your nice clean dress," and she pulled her back in dismay.
 
"O dear!" whimpered Phronsie, in distress7, as she looked down at the long black streak8 across her pink calico gown. "I didn't mean to, Polly; truly, I didn't."
 
"Never mind," said Mrs. Pepper, looking across the kitchen; "Mother'll wash it out for you by and by. Put on another one, Polly."
 
"Let me wash it, Mammy," begged Polly, carrying Phronsie off to wash her face and get her into another gown.
 
"No, you'll only spread it more, for you don't know how, Polly," answered Mother Pepper. So Polly, feeling as if there were a great many things she must grow up and learn, hurried off with Phronsie into the bedroom.
 
And then it was that Joel suddenly thought of the circus he meant to have whenever the time came ready. "Come on out to the woodpile, Dave," he said, "and let's talk it over."
 
It was a good two hours after when Joel and David clambered down from the woodpile, and ran into the house.
 
"Joel," said Mother Pepper, "you forgot to fill up the wood box; see, it's nearly empty."
 
"It's always empty," Joel began, his head nearly bursting with big plans for his circus.
 
"Joel," said Mrs. Pepper, sternly, "don't let me ever hear you fret9 at your work again. Go straight out and bring in the kindlings."
 
"And I'm going to help, too," cried David, skipping after. So it wasn't very long before the two boys had brought in two good basketsful of kindlings, which just filled the wood box behind the stove.
 
"I'm glad it's done," remarked Joel, with great satisfaction, knocking off the little splinters sticking to his fingers.
 
"People always are glad when their work is finished," said Mrs. Pepper, breaking off a fresh needleful of thread.
 
"Shall you be glad, Mamsie?" suddenly asked Joel, who never could get over the idea that it was a perfect delight to his mother to sit and sew.
 
"Of course she will," cried Polly, unguardedly. "Mamsie's tired to death sewing and working all the time."
 
Little David's face grew very long, and he turned away, hoping no one would see him cry. Joel burst into a loud fit of sobbing10.
 
"I think--it's--too--too bad," he blubbered, covering his face with his arm, "that Mamsie has--has--to sew and work--all the time."
 
"Now you see, Polly," said Mrs. Pepper, putting aside her work and drawing Joel on her lap, "what mischief11 a few words can do. There, there, Joel, don't cry," and she patted his black hair. "Mother's glad to work for her children, and she gets rested when they're good." But Joel sobbed12 on, and she had to repeat it many times before he would wipe his tears, and be comforted. Little Davie drew near silently, to hear what she said.
 
Phronsie, in the bedroom, saw Joel in Mamsie's lap, and Davie hanging over her chair, and she pattered across the kitchen floor. "Take me, too, do Mamsie," holding out her arms.
 
"So Mamsie will," cried Mrs. Pepper, heartily13, and drawing her up to sit next to Joel, on her lap. When little Davie saw that, "I wish there was room," he said softly, "to hold me, too, Mamsie."
 
"Well, there is," said Mother Pepper, opening her arms, "and for Polly, too," for she saw Polly's head drooping14 from her reproof15.
 
"Oh, Mamsie!" cried Polly, running over to her, to get within the good arms, though she couldn't sit on her lap, of course, as there were three little Peppers there already; "I'm sorry I spoke16, but I didn't think."
 
"Didn't think makes most all of the trouble in this world," said Mrs. Pepper, gravely; "so see to it that next time you don't have to make that excuse, Polly child," and she dropped a kiss on Polly's red cheek.
 
"It's just this way, children," she went on, smiling on all the bunch; "Mother is really glad to work, and every stitch she puts in, she keeps thinking, now that's for Ben and Polly and Joel and David and Phronsie." Mother Pepper's black eyes went lovingly around on all the faces so near her own. "And I keep looking ahead, too, to the time when the little brown house people are going out into the world and--"
 
"Oh, we aren't ever going out into the world, Mammy," declared Polly, in alarm. "We are going to stay in the little brown house forever'n ever."
 
"Forever'n ever," echoed Phronsie, folding her hands tightly together; while the two boys vociferously17 protested that nothing should ever drive them out of the little brown house. "No, not even to live over in Strawberry Hill with nice Mrs. Green."
 
"Well, anyway, we must all live and grow up so that the little brown house won't be ashamed of us," said Mrs. Pepper, "and that's what Mother is working for; so don't let me hear any more crying about it. Now remember, all of you." With that she opened her arms wide again. "Now scamper18 off," she said, with a bright smile, and she picked up her sewing and sent her needle cheerily in and out once more.
 
That evening, after the supper things were all cleared away, Joel began by drawing Davie off in a corner to whisper mysteriously. "Let him alone, Polly," said Ben, in a low voice. "Joe'll tell of his own accord, pretty soon."
 
And sure enough, it wasn't ten minutes. Mother Pepper had gone into the bedroom to tuck Phronsie away for the night, when Joel said triumphantly19, "We know something, Dave and me, and we won't tell what 'tis."
 
"All right," said Ben, coolly. "Polly, I guess I'll mend Mamsie's washboard. I shan't have another chance so good this week."
 
"I wish you would, Bensie," said Polly, well pleased, for Polly dearly loved everything kept mended up, and "shipshape," as Mrs. Pepper used to say. "I'll spread the paper down so you don't get any mess on the floor." So she ran to the pile of old weekly newspapers her mother always saved, when any of the Badgertown people sent her a copy, as they did once in a while, and flapping one open, she soon had a "paper carpet," as she said merrily, on the floor. And Ben, coming out from the woodshed, with the washboard in his hand, together with the hammer and nails, the kitchen began to hum with the noise.
 
"Yes," said Joel, loudly, "we do; we know something real fine, Dave and I. Don't we, Dave?" with a nip on Davie's little arm.
 
"Ow!" said Davie.
 
"That so?" assented20 Ben, coolly.
 
"Yes, and we aren't goin' to tell, either," said Joel, "not a single word; so there, Ben!" Then he began to whisper as fast as he could to David.
 
"You'll tell, yourself, Joe, without anybody's asking," said Ben, as Joel began again with: "It's perfectly splendid, Ben Pepper. And oh, Polly, you don't know what we do; does she, Dave?"
 
"Polly and I will know pretty soon," added Ben.
 
"No, you won't, either," contradicted Joel. "We aren't ever in all this world goin' to tell of the circus I'm goin' to--"
 
"There!" shouted Ben, throwing down the hammer. "You've told it, Joe, just the same as I knew you would. Ha, ha!"
 
"Don't, Ben," begged Polly, "it teases Joel. Well, we don't know what kind of a circus you are going to have, Joey," she said kindly21, "so we'll be just as much surprised when we see it."
 
"Will you?" cried Joel; "well, then, Polly, I'd rather tell the whole, if you'll be surprised when you see all the animals."
 
"I guess you will," said Ben, in a low voice; "there's no danger in promising22 that."
 
"I truly will, Joey," promised Polly. "Do be still, Ben."
 
"Well, to begin with, Polly, there's going to be a rhodo--What's that you told us about in your story of the circus?"
 
"Hoh, hoh!" laughed Ben, busily at work over the washboard, "there's your rhododendron, Polly. I thought Joel wouldn't forget to have one in his circus."
 
"Go on, Joel," said Polly, with a cold shoulder for Ben. "Now I know your circus is going to be perfectly elegant," she cried enthusiastically, running over to their corner. "Do tell us about it, Joel."
 
Joel, vastly complimented that Polly took such an interest in his plan, now began lustily to set it forth23, and little Davie piped in whenever there was a chance for a word, which wasn't often. And finally Ben said, "I guess I'll move my washboard and the 'paper carpet' up there with you all," and Polly said, "Oh, do, Ben."
 
And presently they were all so very jolly, Ben deciding not to say anything more of Polly's rhododendron, that none of them knew when Mother Pepper said above their heads, "I thought you didn't know 'twas five minutes past your bedtime, Joel and David," pointing to the clock.
 

点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 decided lvqzZd     
adj.决定了的,坚决的;明显的,明确的
参考例句:
  • This gave them a decided advantage over their opponents.这使他们比对手具有明显的优势。
  • There is a decided difference between British and Chinese way of greeting.英国人和中国人打招呼的方式有很明显的区别。
2 smacked bb7869468e11f63a1506d730c1d2219e     
拍,打,掴( smack的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • He smacked his lips but did not utter a word. 他吧嗒两下嘴,一声也不言语。
  • She smacked a child's bottom. 她打孩子的屁股。
3 standing 2hCzgo     
n.持续,地位;adj.永久的,不动的,直立的,不流动的
参考例句:
  • 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。
4 positively vPTxw     
adv.明确地,断然,坚决地;实在,确实
参考例句:
  • She was positively glowing with happiness.她满脸幸福。
  • The weather was positively poisonous.这天气着实讨厌。
5 bent QQ8yD     
n.爱好,癖好;adj.弯的;决心的,一心的
参考例句:
  • 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。
6 perfectly 8Mzxb     
adv.完美地,无可非议地,彻底地
参考例句:
  • The witnesses were each perfectly certain of what they said.证人们个个对自己所说的话十分肯定。
  • Everything that we're doing is all perfectly above board.我们做的每件事情都是光明正大的。
7 distress 3llzX     
n.苦恼,痛苦,不舒适;不幸;vt.使悲痛
参考例句:
  • Nothing could alleviate his distress.什么都不能减轻他的痛苦。
  • Please don't distress yourself.请你不要忧愁了。
8 streak UGgzL     
n.条理,斑纹,倾向,少许,痕迹;v.加条纹,变成条纹,奔驰,快速移动
参考例句:
  • The Indians used to streak their faces with paint.印第安人过去常用颜料在脸上涂条纹。
  • Why did you streak the tree?你为什么在树上刻条纹?
9 fret wftzl     
v.(使)烦恼;(使)焦急;(使)腐蚀,(使)磨损
参考例句:
  • Don't fret.We'll get there on time.别着急,我们能准时到那里。
  • She'll fret herself to death one of these days.她总有一天会愁死的.
10 sobbing df75b14f92e64fc9e1d7eaf6dcfc083a     
<主方>Ⅰ adj.湿透的
参考例句:
  • I heard a child sobbing loudly. 我听见有个孩子在呜呜地哭。
  • Her eyes were red with recent sobbing. 她的眼睛因刚哭过而发红。
11 mischief jDgxH     
n.损害,伤害,危害;恶作剧,捣蛋,胡闹
参考例句:
  • Nobody took notice of the mischief of the matter. 没有人注意到这件事情所带来的危害。
  • He seems to intend mischief.看来他想捣蛋。
12 sobbed 4a153e2bbe39eef90bf6a4beb2dba759     
哭泣,啜泣( sob的过去式和过去分词 ); 哭诉,呜咽地说
参考例句:
  • She sobbed out the story of her son's death. 她哭诉着她儿子的死。
  • She sobbed out the sad story of her son's death. 她哽咽着诉说她儿子死去的悲惨经过。
13 heartily Ld3xp     
adv.衷心地,诚恳地,十分,很
参考例句:
  • He ate heartily and went out to look for his horse.他痛快地吃了一顿,就出去找他的马。
  • The host seized my hand and shook it heartily.主人抓住我的手,热情地和我握手。
14 drooping drooping     
adj. 下垂的,无力的 动词droop的现在分词
参考例句:
  • The drooping willows are waving gently in the morning breeze. 晨风中垂柳袅袅。
  • The branches of the drooping willows were swaying lightly. 垂柳轻飘飘地摆动。
15 reproof YBhz9     
n.斥责,责备
参考例句:
  • A smart reproof is better than smooth deceit.严厉的责难胜过温和的欺骗。
  • He is impatient of reproof.他不能忍受指责。
16 spoke XryyC     
n.(车轮的)辐条;轮辐;破坏某人的计划;阻挠某人的行动 v.讲,谈(speak的过去式);说;演说;从某种观点来说
参考例句:
  • They sourced the spoke nuts from our company.他们的轮辐螺帽是从我们公司获得的。
  • The spokes of a wheel are the bars that connect the outer ring to the centre.辐条是轮子上连接外圈与中心的条棒。
17 vociferously e42d60481bd86e6634ec59331d23991f     
adv.喊叫地,吵闹地
参考例句:
  • They are arguing vociferously over who should pay the bill. 他们为谁该付账单大声争吵。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Annixter had cursed him so vociferously and tersely that even Osterman was cowed. 安尼克斯特骂了他的声音之大,语气之凶,连奥斯特曼也不禁吓了一跳。 来自辞典例句
18 scamper 9Tqzs     
v.奔跑,快跑
参考例句:
  • She loves to scamper through the woods of the forest.她喜欢在森林里的树林中穿梭嬉戏。
  • The flash sent the foxes scampering away.闪光惊得狐狸四处逃窜。
19 triumphantly 9fhzuv     
ad.得意洋洋地;得胜地;成功地
参考例句:
  • The lion was roaring triumphantly. 狮子正在发出胜利的吼叫。
  • Robert was looking at me triumphantly. 罗伯特正得意扬扬地看着我。
20 assented 4cee1313bb256a1f69bcc83867e78727     
同意,赞成( assent的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • The judge assented to allow the prisoner to speak. 法官同意允许犯人申辩。
  • "No," assented Tom, "they don't kill the women -- they're too noble. “对,”汤姆表示赞同地说,“他们不杀女人——真伟大!
21 kindly tpUzhQ     
adj.和蔼的,温和的,爽快的;adv.温和地,亲切地
参考例句:
  • Her neighbours spoke of her as kindly and hospitable.她的邻居都说她和蔼可亲、热情好客。
  • A shadow passed over the kindly face of the old woman.一道阴影掠过老太太慈祥的面孔。
22 promising BkQzsk     
adj.有希望的,有前途的
参考例句:
  • The results of the experiments are very promising.实验的结果充满了希望。
  • We're trying to bring along one or two promising young swimmers.我们正设法培养出一两名有前途的年轻游泳选手。
23 forth Hzdz2     
adv.向前;向外,往外
参考例句:
  • The wind moved the trees gently back and forth.风吹得树轻轻地来回摇晃。
  • He gave forth a series of works in rapid succession.他很快连续发表了一系列的作品。


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