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THE HARD WAY
They were about to start Christmas lunch. The family were all sitting expectantly round the table: Dad, Mum, Ron and Jennie — and Jan.
Everybody was talking at once. Dad was waiting, a bit impatiently, to say what he said every year as he cut the first slice of turkey.
Jan didn’t feel like talking. She was thinking of Davey, and didn’t really pay any attention to the other people at the table.
When she saw the table — the huge brown turkey in front of her father, the dishes of potatoes and vegetables — she thought of Davey’s words the night before. «We’re killing ourselves with too much food and three quarters of the world are starving to death…»
«A bit of turkey, Jan?»
Jan hesitated, then took a deep breath and said, «No turkey for me, thank you.»
Silence. The other members of the family stared at her.
«It’s horrible,» said Jan, trembling a little.» — We are eating like pigs and they’re starving —»
«Who’s starving?» Dad asked, looking puzzled.
«Oh, everybody — the rest of the world —you know, you see enough of it on TV!»
Mr. Morris stood still in front of the turkey. He was trying to keep control of himself. «So you think we’re all a lot of pigs, do you? And where did you get that idea from?»
«Davey said —»
«Oh, Davey said, did he? That long haired layabout? Well, shall I tell you what you can do?»
«Jim!» Jan’s mother put her hand on his arm, but he shook her off. He was in a terrible rage.
«Shall I tell you what you can do?» he went on.
«You can get out of here and spend the rest of your Christmas with your Davey.»
Jan knew her father didn’t like Davey, but she hadn’t expected this rage.
«You’re wrong, Dad,» she said. «Davey doesn’t deserve that sort of criticism.»
The rest of the family didn’t say a word as Jan left the room, crying.
There was nobody else around in the streets at three o’clock that after noon. It was Christmas Day, after all. Most people were inside watching TV, or eating.
She was walking towards Davey’s house. Her father had told her to go and spend the rest of Christmas with him, and that was what she was going to do. I
She was lucky: Davey was in.
«Hi, Jan! Fancy seeing you here! I thought you were spending Christmas in the heart of the family, eating Christmas pudding and all that stuff.»
«Well, I was, but … can I come in, Davey?»
There was a slight pause before he said. «Sure. I’ve got a few people here, but one more won’t make any difference.»
It was pretty dark in the room. There was one candle, burning in a saucer on a shelf in one corner of the room. Jan couldn’t see how many people there were, but she guessed about seven or eight; they were all sitting, or lying on the floor. Indian music was coming from somewhere.
There was a smell, too: of damp, and old cooking, and something Jan didn’t recognize — incense perhaps?
Jan sat down. She was feeling tired and, she had to admit, hungry. She wondered if Davey had, after all, any food.
Nobody was talking. The music droned on. The air got thicker and thicker, and the strange smell got stronger and stronger.
«Want one, Jan?»
Davey was standing over her. The candle had got so low she could hardly see what he was offering her.
«What is it?»
It was like a long cigarette. Everybody else seemed to be holding one.
«What is it?»
«Come on, Jan, you know.»
Yes, she knew. So that was the smell: pot. She felt sick. The room spun in front of her eyes. She felt herself sweating.
The candle seemed to grow six feet tall. She struggled to her feet.
«Hey, kid. What’s up?»
Davey grabbed her arm, and looked accusingly at her.
«Where are you going?»
Jan pulled her arm away from him. «I don’t know — I — I need some air, that’s all. Let me go, Davey.»
He was smiling but it was a hard smile. «OK,» he said. «Suit yourself. You must be nuts, or something. We were just about to have some food, too.»
But Jan didn’t hear him. She was already at the door, leaving a Christmas gathering for the second time that day. (After M. Rodgers) I
1 to starve to death умирать от голода
2 layabout [‘lei’abaut] бездельник
3 incense [‘inserts] ладан, фимиам
4 pot [pot] ( разг.) марихуана
5 nuts [nAts] слэнгпсих, чокнутый
I was born at Number Nineteen, Tummill Street, London. My mother died when I was five years old. She died fifteen minutes after my sister Polly was born.
As my father worked from morning till night, he had no time to look after Polly and me, so he married again soon.
He married Mrs. Burke, who was much younger and more good-looking than my mother.
But I did not like my stepmother and she did not like me. So we began to hate each other; but she did not show her hatred when my father was at home.
She beat me very often and she made me work very hard. From morning till night she found work for me to do. I looked after the baby. When she was awake, I took her for a walk, carrying her in my arms, and she was very heavy. I cleaned the rooms, went shopping, etc. There was always work for me to do.
One day a woman came to see my stepmother and they drank a lot of gin. All the money that my father had left for our dinner was spent. When the woman went home, my stepmother said to me in tears, «Oh, what shall I do, Jimmy, dear, what shall I do? Your father will come home soon, and mere’s no dinner for him. He will beat me cruelly!
What shall I do, what shall I do?»
I was sorry for her, she had tears in her eyes, and she called me «Jimmy, dear» for the first time. I asked her if I could help her and she said at once, «Oh, yes, you can help me! When your father comes home in the evening,
Jimmy, dear, tell him that you lost the money he left for our dinner.»
«How could I lose it?» I asked in surprise.
«You can tell him that I sent you to buy some food.
Suddenly a big boy ran against you and the money fell out of your hand and you could not find it. That will be very easy to say, Jimmy, dear, please, say it to у our father!»
«But he’ll give me a good beating1 for it!» «Oh, no, he won’t! I shall not let him beat you, you may be sure! Here is a penny for you, go and buy some sweets with it!»
So I went off and spent my penny on sweets.
When I came back and opened the door, my father was at home waiting for me with his waist-belt in his hand. I wanted to run out of the room, but he caught me by the ear.
«Stop a minute, young man!» he said.
«What have you done with the money?»
«I lost it, Father,» said I in fear and looked at my stepmother. II
«Oh, you lost it! Where did you lose it?»
«In the street, Father. Ask Mrs. Burke, she knows!»
I told him what my stepmother had asked me to tell him. I was not much surprised that he did not believe my story.
But my stepmother’s words surprised me very much.
«Yes, he told me the same thing,» she said, «but he is a liar! He has spent your money on sweets. I can’t beat him, he is your child, but you can give him a good beating!»
And she stood by while my father beat me with his belt till the blood showed. I hated my stepmother so much now that I wanted to see her dead.
(After J. Greenwood)
1 to give a good beating — выпороть, устроить хорошую взбучку II
A NOTE ABOUT WITCHES
In fairy-tales, witches always wear silly black hats and black cloaks, and they ride on broomsticks.
But this is not a fairy-tale. This is about REAL WITCHES.
The most important thing you should know about REAL WITCHES is this.
Listen very carefully. Never forget what is coming next.
REAL WITCHES dress in ordinary clothes and look very much like ordinary women. They live in ordinary houses and they work in ORDINARY JOBS.
That is why they are so hard to catch.
Luckily, there are not a great number of REAL WITCHES in the world today. But there are still quite enough to make you nervous. In England, there are probably about one hundred of them altogether.
Some countries have more, others have not quite so many. No country in the world is completely free from WITCHES.
A witch is always a woman.
I do not wish to speak badly about women. Most women are lovely. But the fact remains that all witches are women. There is no such thing as a male witch.
As far as children are concerned, a REAL WITCH is the most dangerous of all the living creatures on the earth. What makes her doubly dangerous is the fact that she doesn’t look dangerous.
Even when you know all the secrets (you will hear about those in a minute), you can still never be quite sure whether it is a witch you are looking at or just a kind lady.
For all you know, a witch might be living next door to you right now.
Or she might be the woman with the bright eyes who sat opposite you on the bus this morning.
She might be the lady with the dazzling smile who offered you a sweet from a white paper bag in the street before lunch.
She might even — and this will make you jump — she might even be your lovely school-teacher who is reading these words to you at this very moment.
Look carefully at that teacher. Perhaps she is smiling at the absurdity of such a suggestion. Don’t let that put you off. It could be part of her cleverness.
I am not, of course, telling you for one second that your teacher actually is a witch. All I am saying is that she might be one. It is most unlikely. But — and here comes the big «but» — it is not impossible.
Oh, if only there were a way of telling for sure whether a woman was a witch or not, we could round them all up and put them in the meat-grinder. III
Unhappily, there is no such way. But there are a number of little signals you can look out for, little quirky habits that all witches have in common, and if you know about these, if you remember them always, then you might just possibly manage to escape danger.
(After R. Dahl)
1 they are so hard to catch — их так трудно поймать
2 the fact remains — факт остается фактом
3 As far as children are concerned [ken’S3:nd] Что касается детей
4 For all you know, a witch might be living next door to you — Как знать, возможно, ведьма живет с
вами по соседству
5 Don’ t let that put you off! Это не должно сбить вас с толку
6 Oh, if only there were a way… Ax, если бы существовал способ…
7 to round [raund] up — согнать в одно место, произвести облаву
8 meat-grinder [‘mi:t,grainda] мясорубка
9 that all witches have in common — (зд.) – свойственные всем ведьмам III
Three months passed. Little by little Andrew got used to this strange town, surrounded by the mountains, and to the people most of whom worked in the mines. The town was full of mines, factories, churches and small dirty old houses. There was no theatre, not even a cinema the workers could go to after work. But Andrew liked the people. They spoke little and worked much. They liked football, and what was more interesting, they were fond of music, good classical music. He often heard the sound of a piano, coming from this or that house.
It was clear to Andrew now, that Doctor Page would never see a patient again. Manson did all the work, and Mrs. Page received all the money. She paid out to Manson less than one sixth of that — twenty pounds and sixteen shillings a month. Almost all of it Andrew sent to the University to pay his debt.
But at that time the question of money was not important to him. He had a few shillings in his pocket to buy cigarettes and he had his work, and that was more than enough for him.
He had to work hard and to think much for he saw now that the professors at his University had given him very little to know about practical medicine.
He thought about all that walking in the direction of Riskin Street. There in Number 3 he found a small boy of nine years of age ill with measles. «I am sorry, Mrs. Howells,» Andrew said to the boy’s mother. «But you must keep Idris home from school.» (Idris was Mrs. Howells’ other son.)
«But Miss Barlow says he may come to school.»
«Oh? Who is Miss Barlow?»
«She is the teacher.»
«Miss Barlow has no right to let him come to school when his brother has measles,» Andrew said angrily.
Five minutes later he entered a classroom of the school. A very young woman of about twenty or twenty-two was writing something on the blackboard.
She turned to him.
«Are you Miss Barlow?»
«Yes.» Her large brown eyes were looking at him friendly.
«Are you Doctor Page’s new assistant?»
Andrew reddened suddenly.
«Yes,» he said, «I’m Doctor Manson. You know Idris’ brother has measles and so Idris must not be here.»
«Yes, I know, but the family is so poor and Mrs Howells is so busy. If Idris stays at home, he won’t get his cup of milk.
And, Doctor Manson, most of the children here have had measles already.»
«And what about the others? You must send that boy home at once.» IV
«Well, Doctor,» she interrupted him suddenly. «Don’t you understand that I’m the teacher of this class and here it’s my word that counts?»
«You can’t have him here, Miss Barlow. If you don’t send him home at once, I’ll have to report you.»
«Then report me, or have me arrested if you like.» She quickly turned to the class. «Stand up, children, and say: ‘Good-bye, Doctor Manson. Thank you for coming.’ »
Before Andrew could say a word the door closed quietly in his face.
(After A. Cronin)
1 mine шахта
2 ill with measles [‘mi:zlz] больной корью
3 Howells [‘haualz]
4 Idris [‘aidris]
5 keep from school не пускать в школу
6 Barlow [‘ba:leu]
7 here it’s my word that counts зд. здесь я хозяйка
8 I’ll have to report you. Мне придется заявить на вас в полицию.
9 have me arrested пуcть меня арестуют
10 in his face зд. у него перед носом iv
AN EXPLOSION AT NIGHT
All that month Andrew worked from early morning till late at night. He loved his work. His patients were already almost well. The results of his work were even better than those of Denny’s. The epidemic was coming to an end.
On the tenth of November Denny suddenly rang him up.
«Manson! I’d like to see you. Can you come to my place at three o’clock? It’s important.»
«Very well. I’ll be there!»
On the way to Denny’s house he saw Doctor Bramwell.
«Ah, Manson, my boy! I’m so glad to see you.»
Andrew smiled. Doctor Bramwell, unlike Lewis, had been friendly towards Manson all that month. «Of course, we have all heard of your work with the typhoid cases, and we are proud of you, my dear boy. You must come to see us one evening.»
Andrew promised to come.
When Andrew entered Denny’s room, he saw immediately that something was wrong with Denny. He was very sad.
After a moment he looked up.
«One of my patients, a boy, died this morning,» he said coldly. «And besides, I have two new typhoid cases. What shall we do?»
Andrew stood at the door, hardly knowing what to say.
«We have to do something about it,» he began. «We must write to the Ministry of Health.»
«We could write a dozen letters but it won’t help much, I tell you. No! There’s only one way to make them build a new sewer.»
«Blow up the old one. And let’s do it tonight!»
«But there will be a lot of trouble if it becomes known.»
Denny looked up angrily.
«You needn’t take part in it if you don’t want to.»
«I’ll go with you,» Andrew answered.
He understood it was a crime, a dangerous game with the police. They might even strike him off at the very beginning of his beautiful career. Yet, he himself did not know why he could not refuse. V
At eleven o’clock that night Denny and he started in the direction of Glydar Street. It was very dark. There was nobody in the street. The town was sleeping.
The two men moved quietly. In the pocket of his coat Denny had six small boxes of dynamite; each box had a hole in it, and a fuse.» There was an electric torch in Andrew’s hand.
Soon they reached the first manhole of the sewer in Glydar Street. Andrew’s heart was beating fast. It was very difficult for them to open the cover, but after a short struggle it was done. Andrew took the electric torch out of his pocket. They saw a dirty stream running on the broken stone floor.
«Nice, isn’t it?» Denny whispered.
«Take a look at the terrible holes in the floor. Take a last look, Manson. People are dying because of this, but the Council doesn’t want to do anything.»
No more was said. Andrew’s hands trembled, but he worked quickly. They set fire to the fuses, then threw the boxes into the dirty stream, put the manhole cover back in its place and ran into the darkness.
They heard an explosion, two, three, four, five and the last.
«By God!» Andrew shouted. «We have done it, Denny.»
He felt it was the best moment in his life. He almost loved the other man now.
They saw people running out of their houses and started walking home by the back ways.
(After A. Cronin)
1 explosion [iks’plau3n] взрыв
2 epidemic [,epi’demik] эпидемия
3 unlike Lewis [1u:is] не в пример Льюису
4 typhoid ftaifoid] брюшной тиф
5 Ministry of Health Министерство здравоохранения
6 sewer [‘sju:a] канализационная труба
7 Blow up the old one. Взорвать старую.
8 strike him off лишить звания врача
9 Glydar Street [‘glaida ‘stn:t]
10 dynamite damamait] динамит
11 fuse [fju:z] бикфордов шнур, фитиль
12 manhole [‘maenhaul] люк
13 Council [‘kaunsl] муниципальный совет V
14 set fire to поджечь
15 by the back ways окольными путями V
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