Chapter 4

2016-10-11 09:49| 发布者: admin| 查看: 137| 评论: 0

摘要: .


The Grand High Witch

Part 1



1.The next day, a man in a black suit arrived at the house carrying a brief-case, and he held a long conversation with my grandmother in the livingroom.

2.I was not allowed in while he was there, but when at last he went away, my grandmother came in to me, walking very slowly and looking very sad.

3."That man was reading me your father's will," she said.

4."What is a will?" I asked her.

5."It is something you write before you die," she said.



1."And in it you say who is going to have your money and your property.

2.But most important of all, it says who is going to look after your child if both the mother and father are dead."

3.A fearful panic took hold of me.

4."It did say you, Grandmamma?" I cried.

5."I don't have to go to somebody else, do I?"



1."No," she said."Your father would never have done that.

2.He has asked me to take care of you for as long as I live, but he has also asked that I take you back to your own house in England.

3.He wants us to stay there.""But why?" I said.

4."Why can't we stay here in Norway? You would hate to live anywhere else! You told me you would!"

5."I know," she said."But there are a lot of complications with money and with the house that you wouldn't understand.



1.Also, it said in the will that although all your family is Norwegian, you were born in England and you have started your education there and he wants you to continue going to English schools."

2."Oh Grandmamma!" I cried."You don't want to go and live in our English house, I know you don't!"

3."Of course I don't," she said."But I am afraid I must.

4.The will said that your mother felt the same way about it, and it is important to respect the wishes of the parents."



1.There was no way out of it.

2.We had to go to England, and my grandmother started making arrangements at once.

3."Your next school term begins in a few days," she said, "so we don't have any time to waste."

4.On the evening before we left for England, my grandmother got on to her favourite subject once again.

5."There are not as many witches in England as there are in Norway," she said.



1."I'm sure I won't meet one," I said.

2."I sincerely hope you won't," she said, "because those English witches are probably the most vicious in the whole world."

3.As she sat there smoking her foul cigar and talking away, I kept looking at the hand with the missing thumb.

4.I couldn't help it.I was fascinated by it and I kept wondering what awful thing had happened that time when she had met a witch.



1.It must have been something absolutely appalling and gruesome otherwise she would have told me about it.

2.Maybe the thumb had been twisted off.

3.Or perhaps she had been forced to jam her thumb down the spout of a boiling kettle until it was steamed away.

4.Or did someone pull it out of her hand like a tooth? I couldn't help trying to guess.

5."Tell me what those English witches do, Grandmamma," I said.




1."Well," she said, sucking away at her stinking cigar, "their favourite ruse is to mix up a powder that will turn a child into some creature or other that all grown-ups hate."

2."What sort of a creature, Grandmamma?"

3."Often it's a slug," she said.

4."A slug is one of their favourites.

5.Then the grown-ups step on the slug and squish it without knowing it's a child."

6."That's perfectly beastly!" I cried.

7."Or it might be a flea," my grandmother said.




1."They might turn you into a flea, and without realising what she was doing your own mother would get out the flea-powder and then it's goodbye you."

2."You're making me nervous, Grandmamma.

3.I don't think I want to go back to England."

4."I've known English witches", she went on, "who have turned children into pheasants and then sneaked the pheasants up into the woods the very day before the pheasant-shooting season opened."


Part 2



1."Owch," I said."So they get shot?

2."Of course they get shot," she said.

3."And then they get plucked and roasted and eaten for supper."

4.I pictured myself as a pheasant flying frantically over the men with the guns, swerving and dipping as the guns exploded below me.



1."Yes," my grandmother said, "it gives the English witches great pleasure to stand back and watch the grown-ups doing away with their own children."

2."I really don't want to go to England, Grandmamma."

3."Of course you don't," she said.

4."Nor do I. But I'm afraid we've got to."

5."Are witches different in every country?" I asked.



1."Completely different," my grandmother said.

2."But I don't know much about the other countries."

3."Don't you even know about America?" I asked.

4."Not really," she answered.

5."Although I have heard it said that over there the witches are able to make the grown-ups eat their own children."




1."Never!" I cried."Oh no, Grandmamma! That couldn't be true!"

2."I don't know whether it's true or not," she said.

3."It's only a rumour I've heard."

4."But how could they possibly make them eat their own children?" I asked.

5."By turning them into hot-dogs," she said.

6."That wouldn't be too difficult for a clever witch."



1."Does every single country in the world have its witches?" I asked.

2."Wherever you find people, you find witches," my grandmother said.

3."There is a Secret Society of Witches in every country."

4."And do they all know one another, Grandmamma?"

5."They do not," she said. "A witch only knows the witches in her own country.



1.She is strictly forbidden to communicate with any foreign witches.

2.But an English witch, for example, will know all the other witches in England.

3.They are all friends. They ring each other up. They swop deadly recipes.

4.Goodness knows what else they talk about.

5.I hate to think." I sat on the floor, watching my grandmother.



1.She put her cigar stub in the ashtray and folded her hands across her stomach.

2."Once a year," she went on, "the witches of each separate country hold their own secret meeting.

3.They all get together in one place to receive a lecture from The Grand High Witch Of All The World."

4."From who?" I cried." She is the ruler of them all," my grandmother said.

5."She is all-powerful. She is without mercy.



1.All other witches are petrified of her.

2.They see her only once a year at their Annual Meeting.

3.She goes there to whip up excitement and enthusiasm, and to give orders.

4.The Grand High Witch travels from country to country attending these Annual Meetings."

5."Where do they have these meetings, Grandmamma?"



1."There are all sorts of rumours," my grandmother answered.

2."I have heard it said that they just book into an hotel like any other group of women who are holding a meeting.

3.I have also heard it said that some very peculiar things go on in the hotels they stay in.

4.It is rumoured that the beds are never slept in, that there are burn marks on the bedroom carpets, that toads are discovered in the bathtubs,

5.and that down in the kitchen the cook once found a baby crocodile swimming in his saucepan of soup."



1.My grandmother picked up her cigar and took another puff, inhaling the foul smoke deeply into her lungs.

2."Where does The Grand High Witch live when she's at home?" I asked.

3."Nobody knows," my grandmother said.

4."If we knew that, then she could be rooted out and destroyed.

5.Witchophiles all over the world have spent their lives trying to discover the secret Headquarters of The Grand High Witch."


Part 3



1."What is a witchophile, Grandmamma?"

2."A person who studies witches and knows a lot about them," my grandmother said.

3."Are you a witchophile, Grandmamma?"

4."I am a retired witchophile," she said.

5."I am too old to be active any longer.

6.But when I was younger, I travelled all over the globe trying to track down The Grand High Witch.

7.I never came even close to succeeding."



1."Is she rich?" I asked."She's rolling," my grandmother said.

2."Simply rolling in money.

3.Rumour has it that there is a machine in her headquarters which is exactly like the machine the government uses to print the bank-notes you and I use.

4.After all, banknotes are only bits of paper with special designs and pictures on them.



1.Anyone can make them who has the right machine and the right paper.

2.My guess is that The Grand High Witch makes all the money she wants and she dishes it out to witches everywhere."

3."What about foreign money?" I asked.

4."Those machines can make Chinese money if you want them to," my grandmother said.

5."It's only a question of pressing the right button."



1."But Grandmamma," I said, "if nobody has ever seen The Grand High Witch, how can you be so sure she exists?"

2.My grandmother gave me a long and very severe look.

3."Nobody has ever seen the Devil," she said, "but we know he exists."

4.The next morning, we sailed for England and soon I was back in the old family house in Kent, but this time with only my grandmother to look after me.



1.Then the Easter Term began and every weekday I went to school and everything seemed to have come back to normal again.

2.Now at the bottom of our garden there was an enormous conker tree, and high up in its branches Timmy (my best friend) and I had started to build a magnificent tree-house.

3.We were able to work on it only at the weekends, but we were getting along fine.

4.We had begun with the floor, which we built by laying wide planks between two quite far-apart branches and nailing them down.

5.Within a month, we had finished the floor.



1.Then we constructed a wooden railing around the floor and that left only the roof to be built.

2.The roof was the difficult bit.

3.One Saturday afternoon when Timmy was in bed with 'flu, I decided to make a start on the roof all by myself.

4.It was lovely being high up there in that conker tree, all alone with the pale young leaves coming out everywhere around me.

5.It was like being in a big green cave.



1.And the height made it extra exciting.

2.My grandmother had told me that if I fell I would break a leg, and every time I looked down, I got a tingle along my spine.

3.I worked away, nailing the first plank on the roof.

4.Then suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I caught sight of a woman standing immediately below me.

5.She was looking up at me and smiling in the most peculiar way.



1.When most people smile, their lips go out sideways.

2.This woman's lips went upwards and downwards, showing all her front teeth and gums.

3.The gums were like raw meat.

4.It is always a shock to discover that you are being watched when you think you are alone.

5.And what was this strange woman doing in our garden anyway?



1.I noticed that she was wearing a small black hat and she had black gloves on her hands and the gloves came nearly up to her elbows.

2.Gloves! She was wearing gloves!

3.I froze all over."I have a present for you," she said, still staring at me, still smiling, still showing her teeth and gums.

4.I didn't answer."Come down out of that tree, little boy," she said, "and I shall give you the most exciting present you've ever had." 



Part 4



1.Her voice had a curious rasping quality.

2.It made a sort of metallic sound, as though her throat was full of drawing-pins.

3.Without taking her eyes from my face, she very a slowly put one of those gloved hands into her purse and drew out a small green snake.

4.She held it up for me to see. "It's tame," she said.

5.The snake began to coil itself around her forearm. It was brilliant green.



1."If you come down here, I shall give him to you," she said.

2.Oh Grandmamma, I thought, come and help me!

3.Then I panicked. I dropped the hammer and shot up that enormous tree like a monkey.

4.I didn't stop until I was as high as I could possibly go, and there I stayed, quivering with fear.

5.I couldn't see the woman now.



1.There were layers and layers of leaves between her and me.

2.I stayed up there for hours and I kept very still.

3.It began to grow dark.At last, I heard my grandmother calling my name.

4."I'm up here," I shouted back."Come down at once!" she called out.

5."It's past your suppertime."



1."Grandmamma!" I shouted."Has that woman gone?"

2."What woman?" my grandmother called back."The woman in the black gloves!"

3.There was silence from below.

4.It was the silence of somebody who was too stunned to speak.

5."Grandmamma!" I shouted again."Has she gone?"

6."Yes," my grandmother answered at last."She's gone.



1.I'm here, my darling.I'll look after you.

2.You can come down now."I climbed down.I was trembling.

3.My grandmother enfolded me in her arms."I've seen a witch," I said.

4."Come inside," she said."You'll be all right with me."

5.She led me into the house and gave me a cup of hot cocoa with lots of sugar in it.




1."Tell me everything," she said.I told her.

2.By the time I had finished, it was my grandmother who was trembling.

3.Her face was ashy grey and I saw her glance down at that hand of hers that didn't have a thumb.

4."You know what this means," she said.

5."It means that there is one of them in our district.



1.From now on I'm not letting you walk alone to school."

2."Do you think she could be after me specially?" I asked.

3."No," she said."I doubt that.One child is as good as any other to those creatures."

4.It is hardly surprising that after that I became a very witch-conscious little boy.



1.If I happened to be alone on the road and saw a woman approaching who was wearing gloves, I would quickly skip across to the other side.

2.And as the weather remained pretty cold during the whole of that month, nearly everybody was wearing gloves.

3.Curiously enough though, I never saw the woman with the green snake again.

4.That was my first witch. But it wasn't my last.




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