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XIX CIRCUS PLANS
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 Joel practised the part of so many animals in the next week that the little brown house people became quite accustomed to any strange grunting1 or roaring they might chance to hear, as if a whole menagerie were let loose. Only Mamsie forbade that such noise should be allowed within doors. And every once in a while Joel would rush into the kitchen, with "Polly, how does an elephant scream?" and "Tell me, Polly, does a kangaroo cry this way?" until Polly was quite worn out.
 
"I guess you'll be glad when that circus of Joe's is over with," said Ben. "I pity you, Polly. I'd enough sight rather chop wood for Mr. Blodgett."
 
"Well, you needn't," cried Polly, "pity me, Ben, for Joel's so very happy. And poor Mr. Blodgett! O dear, it's too bad his barn's all burnt up."
 
"And the horse and the cow," said Ben, very soberly.
 
"Hush2!" warned Polly, looking around to see if Phronsie heard. Luckily, she was in the bedroom, sitting down by the lower bureau drawer, which was open, and trying on her red-topped shoes, getting every button into the wrong button-hole. "Oh, Ben," Polly rushed up to whisper in his ear, "I do think that was too dreadful for anything."
 
"Yes," said Ben; "it was Mrs. Blodgett sent you word she was sorry she hadn't any milk to send to Phronsie now and then."
 
"Good Mrs. Blodgett!" exclaimed Polly, with the tears in her brown eyes. "Oh, I do wish we had something to send her!" she sighed.
 
And Ben sighed too. Because, as he had been working at Deacon Blodgett's pretty steadily3 the last few weeks since the fire, he had noticed how the neighbors and friends had been sending in things to show how sorry they were for the Blodgett family, and it grieved him dreadfully that the Peppers seemed to be about the only ones left out. So now he preserved a gloomy silence.
 
"Well, come, dear me," cried Polly, when she saw this, and, remembering her mother's advice, to think first before she spoke4 the words that might work mischief5, she brightened up. "P'r'aps some chance will come to us to show dear Mrs. Blodgett that we are sorry for 'em, if we can't send 'em things."
 
"P'r'aps," said Ben. But he still looked gloomy. "I can do my work just as well's I know how," he thought; "but I'm going to do that, anyway, so I don't see what other chance there'll be."
 
"Whom are you going to invite to see your circus, Joel?" asked Polly, a few nights later, when, as usual, after supper, Joel was haranguing6 loudly on the great show to take place, and even little David was wound up to such a pitch of enthusiasm that Mrs. Pepper, on seeing his red cheeks, felt a dozen times inclined to send him to bed ahead of the time. But his happy little face appealed to her strongly, and she argued to herself, "I don't know but what 'twould hurt him quite as much to disappoint him, as to let him sit up half an hour longer. Thank fortune, it's seven o'clock now!" So David was saved being sent off to bed, until it was time for Joel to go too.
 
"I ain't a-goin' to invite any one," said Joel; "no, sir-ree! Everybody's got to pay to come into my show."
 
"How much do we pay?" asked Polly. "O dear me, Joe, I don't b'lieve you'll get many people to see it."
 
"Pins, I s'pose," said Ben.
 
"Yes," said Joel, "pins, an' good ones, too, not crooked7, bent8 old things."
 
"Pins cost money," said Mrs. Pepper, looking up from her work-basket. "I suppose you know that, Joel?"
 
"Well, we can't let folks in without paying," said Joel, in deep anxiety. "'Twouldn't be a circus if we did."
 
"I tell you," said Polly, seeing his forehead all puckered9 up in wrinkles; "why don't you have some tickets, Joel, made out of paper, you know, and marked on 'em for ten cents and five cents?"
 
"Where'd you get the paper, Polly?" asked Ben, who was very practical. "Better not propose anything you can't carry out. Look at Joe's face," he whispered, under cover of the shouts from the two boys.
 
"O dear me!" cried Polly, whispering back, "we never have anything! It's perfectly10 dreadful, Ben; and we must help Joe. And you know yourself there aren't any pins hardly in the house, and Mamsie couldn't give us one of those."
 
"You must think of something else besides paper, for that's just as bad as pins," said Ben, with perfect faith that Polly would contrive11 a good way out of the difficulty.
 
Polly put her head into her two hands, while Joel was vociferating, "Oh, tickets! Goody! Polly's going to make 'em! Polly's going to make 'em!" in a way to fill her with dismay, while she racked her brains to think what would satisfy Joel as entrance money to his circus.
 
"Now, children," she said briskly, lifting her head, her hands falling to her lap, "Ben says we can't manage the tickets very well, because we haven't any paper." She hurried on, "Be still, Joe!" as she saw signs of a howl. "But I'll tell you something else you might have, Joel, and we've got plenty of 'em, and they're round, and oh, so nice!" By this time her voice had such a confident ring, and she laughed so gayly, that little Davie cried out, "I know it's nice, Polly," and even Joel looked enthusiastic.
 
"It's just as nice," declared Polly, clasping her hands. "Oh, you can't think! And I'll help you gather some."
 
"What is it?" screamed Joel; "do tell, Polly."
 
"It's cheeses," said Polly; "don't you know, Joe, out in the yard?" They were the little, round, green things, so called by the children, that grew on a little plant in the grass, and they used to pick and eat them.
 
"Oh, they're not money," said Joel, falling back, horribly disappointed.
 
"Neither are tickets money," said Polly, airily; "they only mean money; and the cheeses can mean it just as well. Besides, they're round."
 
"And I think the cheeses are a great deal better than anything, to pay with," said Ben, coming to Polly's rescue. "And you can charge as much as you want to, you know, Joe, 'cause they're plenty."
 
"So I can," cried Joel, quite delighted at this. "Well, you must pay fifty, no, seventy-five cheeses to get in, Ben."
 
"Oh, I guess I shall spend my time picking seventy-five cheeses!" cried Ben; "you must let me in cheaper'n that, Joel."
 
"You may come in for ten, then," said Joel, coming down with a long jump, very much alarmed lest Ben should not be able to get in. And as for having the circus without him--why, that would be dreadful!
 
"You do think up such perfectly beautiful things, Polly," cried David, huddling12 up close to her, and lifting his flushed cheeks.
 
"Dear me!" exclaimed Polly, catching13 sight of them, "your face is awful red." And she caught Mother Pepper's eye.
 
"I know it," said Mrs. Pepper, the troubled look coming back. She laid down her work. "Come here, David, and let Mother see you."
 
So Davie got up from the ring on the floor, and ran over to his mother, and climbed in her lap. "I don't see what 'tis," she said, looking him over keenly. Then she made him open his mouth, and she got a spoon and looked down his throat. "It isn't red," she declared, "and I don't believe it's sore."
 
"No," said little Davie, "it isn't sore, Mammy. Mayn't I go back, now?" he asked, looking longingly14 over at the group on the floor.
 
"I know what's the matter with Dave," said Ben, wisely. "He's been so many animals this week, Joel's made him, that he's tired to death."
 
"I think you're right, Ben," said Mrs. Pepper. "Well now, Davie, Mother is sorry to send you to bed before the time--it's ten minutes yet to half-past seven; but she thinks it best."
 
"Do you, Mamsie?" said Davie.
 
"Yes, I do," said Mrs. Pepper, firmly. "I really think it's best. You're all tired out, and to-morrow I guess you'll wake up as bright as a cricket."
 
"Then I'll go if you want me to," said David, with a sigh, and sliding out of her lap he went slowly out and up to the loft15.
 
"I haven't got to go for ten minutes," sang Joel after him. "Goody, ain't I glad!"
 
"It's too bad Davie had to go," mourned Polly; "but I suppose it's best."
 
"Yes," said Ben, "he'd be sick if he didn't. It's most too bad he has to go alone, though," and his blue eyes rested on Joel's face.
 
Joel began to squirm uncomfortably.
 
"Don't you think 'twould be nice, Joe," said Polly, "for you to go with Davie? He's so much littler; it's too forlorn for him to go up to bed alone."
 
"No, I don't," snapped Joel. "I'm going to stay down and talk over my circus. You may get in for ten cheeses, too, Polly," he said magnificently.
 
"Thank you," said Polly, coldly.
 
Joel gave her a queer look. "And I'm going to let Sally Brown in for ten. No, she's got plenty of cheeses in her yard, she's got to pay more," he rattled16 on. Polly and Ben said nothing.
 
"I'll go if you want me to, Polly," at last Joel sniffed17 out.
 
"I don't want you to," said Polly, still with a cold little manner, "unless you want to go yourself, Joel. But I should think you would want to, when you think of poor little Davie going up there alone. You know you don't like to do it, and you're such a big boy."
 
Joel struggled to his feet. "I'll go, Polly," he shouted. Mamsie flashed him a smile as he dashed past and stumbled up the steps of the loft.
 
But the next morning David didn't seem to be bright and wide awake as a cricket, and although there was nothing the matter with him, except he still had his red cheeks and complained when any one asked him if he felt sick, that he was tired, that that was all, Mother Pepper kept him in bed. And that night he came down to sleep in Mamsie's big bed, and Polly had a little shake-down on the floor.
 
"I wish I could ever be sick!" said Joel, when he saw the preparations for the night.
 
"Oh, Joel, don't wish such perfectly dreadful things," said Polly.
 
"Well, I never sleep with Mamsie," said Joel, in an injured tone. "And Davie gets all the good times."
 
"Now, Joel," said Mrs. Pepper, the morning after that, "I'm sorry to disappoint you, but you can't have your circus awhile yet, till Davie gets real strong. So you must rest your animals," she said with a smile, "and they'll be all the better when the right time comes."
 
Joel, swallowing his disappointment as best he could, went out and sat on the back steps to think about it. He sat so very still, that Polly ran out after a while to look at him. "Oh, Joe, you aren't crying!" she said in dismay.
 
"No," said Joe, lifting his head; "but, Polly, I'm afraid my animals will all run away if I don't have the circus pretty soon. Don't you s'pose Mamsie'll let me have it in the bedroom Dave could sit up in the bed and see it."
 
"Dear me, no," cried Polly. "The very idea!" Whenever Polly said, "The very idea!" the children knew it was perfectly useless to urge anything. So now Joel sank back on the doorstep and resigned himself to despair.
 
"I tell you what I'd do if I were you, Joey," said Polly, kindly18, and running down to sit beside him. "I'd think up all sorts of different things, and get all ready, every speck19. There's really a great deal to do. And then I'd pick cheeses all the spare time I had. Oh, I'd pick lots and lots!" Polly swept out her arms as if enclosing untold20 numbers. "And--"
 
"What do I want to pick cheeses for?" asked Joel, interrupting. "The folks that pay has to pick 'em, I sh'd think."
 
"I know it," said Polly; "but if you pick a good many cheeses, you can give away some tickets, you know--comple--comple--well, I don't just know what they call 'em. But they let folks in without paying."
 
"And that's just what I don't want to do," cried Joe, in high dudgeon. "Hoh, Polly Pepper, I sh'd think you'd know better'n that!"
 
"It's just this way, Joel," said Polly, trying to explain. "Folks that give a show always send some tickets to their friends, so they don't have to pay. I should think you'd want to; why, just think," she jumped off from the step and stood before him in great excitement, "I never thought of it before," and the color rose high on her cheek. "You can ask dear Mrs. Beebe, and Mr. Beebe, and--"
 
"I won't have Ab'm," cried Joel; but he was very much impressed, Polly could see, by her plan.
 
"No, of course not," said Polly. "Ab'm has gone back West."
 
"And Mrs. Beebe says she ain't ever going to have him again at her house," added Joel.
 
"Well, never mind; and you can ask Mrs. Blodgett. She was so good to send Phronsie milk; and she's had her barn burnt."
 
"Well, Sally Brown'll have to pay," said Joel, as Mrs. Pepper called Polly to come in to her work. And he jumped off the step and began to pick cheeses with all his might.

点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 grunting ae2709ef2cd9ee22f906b0a6a6886465     
咕哝的,呼噜的
参考例句:
  • He pulled harder on the rope, grunting with the effort. 他边用力边哼声,使出更大的力气拉绳子。
  • Pigs were grunting and squealing in the yard. 猪在院子里哼哼地叫个不停。
2 hush ecMzv     
int.嘘,别出声;n.沉默,静寂;v.使安静
参考例句:
  • A hush fell over the onlookers.旁观者们突然静了下来。
  • Do hush up the scandal!不要把这丑事声张出去!
3 steadily Qukw6     
adv.稳定地;不变地;持续地
参考例句:
  • The scope of man's use of natural resources will steadily grow.人类利用自然资源的广度将日益扩大。
  • Our educational reform was steadily led onto the correct path.我们的教学改革慢慢上轨道了。
4 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。
5 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。
6 haranguing b574472f7a86789d4fb85291dfd6eb5b     
v.高谈阔论( harangue的现在分词 )
参考例句:
  • He continued in his customary, haranguing style. 他继续以他一贯的夸夸其谈的手法讲下去。 来自辞典例句
  • That lady was still haranguing the girl. 那位女士仍然对那女孩喋喋不休地训斥。 来自互联网
7 crooked xvazAv     
adj.弯曲的;不诚实的,狡猾的,不正当的
参考例句:
  • He crooked a finger to tell us to go over to him.他弯了弯手指,示意我们到他那儿去。
  • You have to drive slowly on these crooked country roads.在这些弯弯曲曲的乡间小路上你得慢慢开车。
8 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。
9 puckered 919dc557997e8559eff50805cb11f46e     
v.(使某物)起褶子或皱纹( pucker的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • His face puckered , and he was ready to cry. 他的脸一皱,像要哭了。
  • His face puckered, the tears leapt from his eyes. 他皱着脸,眼泪夺眶而出。 来自《简明英汉词典》
10 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。
11 contrive GpqzY     
vt.谋划,策划;设法做到;设计,想出
参考例句:
  • Can you contrive to be here a little earlier?你能不能早一点来?
  • How could you contrive to make such a mess of things?你怎么把事情弄得一团糟呢?
12 huddling d477c519a46df466cc3e427358e641d5     
n. 杂乱一团, 混乱, 拥挤 v. 推挤, 乱堆, 草率了事
参考例句:
  • Twenty or thirty monkeys are huddling along the thick branch. 三十只猴子挤在粗大的树枝上。
  • The defenders are huddling down for cover. 捍卫者为了掩护缩成一团。
13 catching cwVztY     
adj.易传染的,有魅力的,迷人的,接住
参考例句:
  • There are those who think eczema is catching.有人就是认为湿疹会传染。
  • Enthusiasm is very catching.热情非常富有感染力。
14 longingly 2015a05d76baba3c9d884d5f144fac69     
adv. 渴望地 热望地
参考例句:
  • He looked longingly at the food on the table. 他眼巴巴地盯着桌上的食物。
  • Over drinks,he speaks longingly of his trip to Latin America. 他带着留恋的心情,一边喝酒一边叙述他的拉丁美洲之行。
15 loft VkhyQ     
n.阁楼,顶楼
参考例句:
  • We could see up into the loft from bottom of the stairs.我们能从楼梯脚边望到阁楼的内部。
  • By converting the loft,they were able to have two extra bedrooms.把阁楼改造一下,他们就可以多出两间卧室。
16 rattled b4606e4247aadf3467575ffedf66305b     
慌乱的,恼火的
参考例句:
  • The truck jolted and rattled over the rough ground. 卡车嘎吱嘎吱地在凹凸不平的地面上颠簸而行。
  • Every time a bus went past, the windows rattled. 每逢公共汽车经过这里,窗户都格格作响。
17 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
参考例句:
  • 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》
18 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。
19 speck sFqzM     
n.微粒,小污点,小斑点
参考例句:
  • I have not a speck of interest in it.我对它没有任何兴趣。
  • The sky is clear and bright without a speck of cloud.天空晴朗,一星星云彩也没有。
20 untold ljhw1     
adj.数不清的,无数的
参考例句:
  • She has done untold damage to our chances.她给我们的机遇造成了不可估量的损害。
  • They suffered untold terrors in the dark and huddled together for comfort.他们遭受着黑暗中的难以言传的种种恐怖,因而只好挤在一堆互相壮胆。


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