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儿童英语读物 The Mystery of the Haunted Boxcar CHAPTER 8 The Light Returns

时间:2017-11-14 08:29来源:互联网 提供网友:qing   字体: [ ]
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From his window, Henry could see a light that seemed to float across the yard. He raced down the stairs and opened the back door as quickly as he could, hoping to catch the “ghost” before whoever it was disappeared.

The light stopped bobbing across the yard and suddenly went out. In the darkness, Henry could make out the figure of a person in the middle of the yard. Suddenly the figure began to run, and Henry could hear the sound of pounding footsteps as the person faded into the darkness.

“Hey! Stop!” Henry called out. But whoever it was had disappeared.

A moment later, Jessie appeared on the stairs in her robe. “What happened?” she asked. She joined Henry in the open doorway1.

“Someone was sneaking2 across our yard,” Henry said. “I saw a light moving toward the boxcar. But as soon as I opened the door, whoever it was turned the light off and ran away. I guess I surprised him.”

“Him?” Jessie repeated. “So you don’t think it was Amelia? Remember, she had that flashlight in her car!”

“Maybe,” said Henry. “Except for one thing. The person ran off toward the Murrays’.”

“Really?” Jessie said, her eyes wide. “So you think it was Claire or Professor Murray?”

“I don’t know,” said Henry. “It was too dark to see for sure. But it definitely wasn’t Claire — the person I saw was an adult.”

Henry and Jessie stood looking out at the dark yard together. After a little while, they stepped back into the house and shut the door.

“I don’t think he or she will come back tonight,” Henry said.

“We can tell the others in the morning,” Jessie said. “No point in waking them now. They had a long day.”

“So did we,” said Henry. “Let’s go back to bed.”

The next morning Henry told Benny and Violet what he had seen the night before.

“What would Professor Murray have been doing in our yard in the middle of the night?” asked Violet.

“He was going to the boxcar again,” said Benny. “But why does he want to see it in the middle of the night?”

“And why doesn’t he just ask our permission?” said Violet.

“Maybe we were right before, maybe he’s trying to scare us so we will give away the boxcar,” said Henry.

Jessie frowned at her brother. “I can’t believe that.”

“Should we do something?” Violet asked.

“Let’s see if everything is okay in the boxcar,” Jessie suggested.

As they ran across the lawn, Watch joined them.

“Come on, boy,” Benny said.

The boxcar door was shut. When they rolled it open, everything inside was in its place.

“No harm done,” Henry said. “I have a feeling that whoever it was, I scared him or her off last night. They were moving pretty fast.”

“Do you think this has anything to do with the diary?” asked Jessie.

“How could it? No one even knows about the diary,” Violet pointed3 out.

“But maybe someone does. … ” Jessie said.

“Speaking of the diary, can we read the rest of it?” Benny asked. “I want to know what happened to Isabel.”

“Yeah, me too,” said Henry and Violet.

“I’ll go get it,” said Jessie.

The other children settled down on the floor of the boxcar. Watch lay down beside Benny.

Jessie came back a few minutes later with the diary. She sat down and opened it. Flipping4 the pages, she mumbled5, “Now where were we? Oh, here.”

Jessie read about how Isabel and Rebecca had played together during the hot summer days. One day they found a tiny kitten in the woods. “She’s black with a white line down her nose and a white tummy. Her paws are white. I’m going to call her Mittens6. Mama says I can keep her.”

“She found a kitten, and we found a dog!” said Benny, rubbing Watch’s belly7.

“Remember when we found Watch?” said Jessie, looking up from the diary. “He had a thorn in his foot.”

“You removed it,” Violet recalled. “And he’s been our pet ever since.”

Jessie turned the page. “This entry is dated August 15. Hey, it’s good news!” She read aloud, “Papa has found a job! We are so happy. Mama has found us a small apartment and soon school will begin again.”

Jessie read on. The next entry was from the following day. “We are packing up our things and leaving this cozy8 boxcar. I’ll miss it.”

“We missed it, too,” said Benny. “We were so glad when Grandfather moved it here.”

Jessie continued reading, “I’m going to leave this diary here, because this part of my life is ending. Mama says I’m getting too big to play with dolls, so Rebecca is going to stay here, too. Louis will help me make her a special hiding place with some wood we found. I’ll bury the diary and put a note in Rebecca’s pocket. I hope some day someone else will live in the boxcar and find Rebecca. She will lead them on a mystery.”

“That’s just what happened!” said Benny.

Jessie read the last line. “I hope other children will enjoy the mystery I’ve left behind.” Jessie closed the diary.

“Is that all there is?” asked Benny.

“Yes,” said Jessie.

“But what happened to Isabel’s family? Were they okay?” Benny wanted to know.

“I think so,” Jessie said. “Her father found a new job and the family left the boxcar for a new home — just like we did.”

The children all thought about Isabel and her family.

“I wish we could find out what happened next,” Benny said, frowning.

“Well,” Henry said thoughtfully. “Maybe there is a way.”

“How?” the others asked.

“We could go ask Professor Murray,” he said.

“Professor Murray?” Jessie repeated. “You really do think he knows about the diary!”

“No, it’s not that,” said Henry. “He’s a historian. His job is studying the past. Remember he said he’s in Greenfield to do research. Maybe we could go to the library and do our own research — about Isabel.”

“But she wasn’t famous,” said Jessie. “They wouldn’t have a book about her.”

“No, but maybe Professor Murray might have some ideas about where else to look for information,” Henry said.

“Yes, he might,” Jessie said. “Good idea, Henry.”

“And maybe while we’re there, we could ask Claire to play with us,” Violet suggested.

The Aldens told Mrs. McGregor where they were going, and a few minutes later they were ringing the bell at the Murrays’ house.

Florence Murray opened the door. “Hello!” she said, a big smile on her face. “I’ll go get Claire.”

She started up the stairs, calling for Claire.

Jessie said, “And is Professor Murray home, too?”

Ms. Murray turned around. “Yes, why do you ask?”

“We have a question for him,” Henry said.

“He’s on the phone, but I’ll tell him you’re here,” Ms. Murray said. “Why don’t you sit down in the living room?”

“Thanks,” said Henry.

Henry, Jessie, and Benny went into the living room while Violet waited for Claire at the foot of the stairs. After a few minutes, Claire came down the stairs slowly, a shy smile on her face.

“Hi!” said Violet.

“Hello,” Claire replied.

“Want to play some soccer?” Violet asked.

“Sure,” Claire said.

Violet told the others she and Claire would be outside.

As they walked toward the Aldens’, Violet said, “We’re going to the library later if you want to come.”

“Thanks,” said Claire, “but I was there yesterday with my dad. My aunt took out a bunch of books for me.”

They went into the garage to get a ball.

“I love to read,” Violet said.

Claire smiled. “I know.”

Violet was surprised by her comment.

Claire stammered9, “I mean, I do, too.” Then she paused. “I bet your boxcar is a great place to read.”

“Yes, it is,” said Violet. She frowned slightly, still wondering what Claire had meant when she said, “I know.”

But before Violet could say anything else, Claire had picked out a soccer ball and was dribbling10 it into the backyard.

“Come on!” she called to Violet.

Meanwhile, at Florence Murray’s house, Professor Murray had just finished his phone call.

He came down the stairs and into the living room. “Hello,” he said to the Aldens. “Florence said you wanted to see me?”

Henry said, “We’ve come to ask your advice.”

“About giving that boxcar to the museum?” he asked, looking pleased.

“No, actually, it’s not that,” Henry said.

Professor Murray frowned.

“We want to learn about someone who lived a long time ago,” Henry explained, “but we’re not sure where to look.”

“Who?” the professor asked.

“Nobody famous,” Henry said quickly. “Just a local woman. How would we get information about her?”

“Try the local library,” Professor Murray said. “Ask the librarian to look her up, see if there are any records of her or her family. If that doesn’t work, you can always look at old newspapers and see what you find.”

“Old newspapers!” said Jessie. “That’s a great idea.”

“Thanks, Professor Murray!” said Henry. He led the others outside.

They found Violet and Claire playing soccer in the Aldens’ backyard. They joined in and played a lively game until lunchtime.

“I guess I’d better head back to my aunt’s,” Claire said.

“See you later!” the Aldens called.

After a bite to eat, they told Mrs. McGregor they were going to the library to see what they could learn about Isabel Wile11.

“I can’t wait to see what you find,” Mrs. McGregor said.

“Neither can we,” Benny said with a grin. “It’s like another treasure hunt!”

 


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 doorway 2s0xK     
n.门口,(喻)入门;门路,途径
参考例句:
  • They huddled in the shop doorway to shelter from the rain.他们挤在商店门口躲雨。
  • Mary suddenly appeared in the doorway.玛丽突然出现在门口。
2 sneaking iibzMu     
a.秘密的,不公开的
参考例句:
  • She had always had a sneaking affection for him. 以前她一直暗暗倾心于他。
  • She ducked the interviewers by sneaking out the back door. 她从后门偷偷溜走,躲开采访者。
3 pointed Il8zB4     
adj.尖的,直截了当的
参考例句:
  • He gave me a very sharp pointed pencil.他给我一支削得非常尖的铅笔。
  • She wished to show Mrs.John Dashwood by this pointed invitation to her brother.她想通过对达茨伍德夫人提出直截了当的邀请向她的哥哥表示出来。
4 flipping b69cb8e0c44ab7550c47eaf7c01557e4     
讨厌之极的
参考例句:
  • I hate this flipping hotel! 我讨厌这个该死的旅馆!
  • Don't go flipping your lid. 别发火。
5 mumbled 3855fd60b1f055fa928ebec8bcf3f539     
含糊地说某事,叽咕,咕哝( mumble的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • He mumbled something to me which I did not quite catch. 他对我叽咕了几句话,可我没太听清楚。
  • George mumbled incoherently to himself. 乔治语无伦次地喃喃自语。
6 mittens 258752c6b0652a69c52ceed3c65dbf00     
不分指手套
参考例句:
  • Cotton mittens will prevent the baby from scratching his own face. 棉的连指手套使婴儿不会抓伤自己的脸。
  • I'd fisted my hands inside their mittens to keep the fingers warm. 我在手套中握拳头来保暖手指。
7 belly QyKzLi     
n.肚子,腹部;(像肚子一样)鼓起的部分,膛
参考例句:
  • The boss has a large belly.老板大腹便便。
  • His eyes are bigger than his belly.他眼馋肚饱。
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