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儿童英语读物 The Mystery of the Spider's Clue CHAPTER 5 The Search Continues

时间:2017-10-18 06:42来源:互联网 提供网友:qing   字体: [ ]

“The millionaire sure left hard clues,” Benny said the next morning.

The Aldens were standing1 on the front lawn of Mrs. Spencer’s house. They had arrived to wash the outside of her windows. Just moments before, the elderly owner had come out to greet the children before going back inside the house.

“I wonder who he was,” Benny went on. “The mysterious millionaire, I mean.”

Henry turned on the hose2. “There’s no way of knowing,” he said as he filled the buckets with water.

Jessie added cleaning solution to the water. “It’s funny that he wanted to keep his identity such a secret.”

“We know one thing for sure,” said Benny. “The millionaire was somebody who liked mysteries.”

Violet nodded. “And he was good at making them up, too.”

“But we’re even better at solving them!” Benny was quick to remind them.

Jessie laughed. “I wonder just how good we are at washing windows.”

“There’s only one way to find out,” said Henry.

With that, everyone grabbed3 a rag and set to work. Henry leaned the ladder against the house and climbed up to reach the top windows. Jessie, Violet, and Benny tackled4 the lower windows. While they worked, the children were each lost in thought about the mysterious millionaire and his strange clues.

“You really ought to take a break, children,” a voice called out to them some time later. “If you’re interested, I have some cold apple cider.”

Violet turned to see Mrs. Spencer poking5 her head out of an opened window. Wisps of snowy-white hair fluttered6 in the breeze.

“Apple cider sounds great, Mrs. Spencer,” Violet called back to her, while Benny let out a cheer. The four children had been working hard all morning and were ready for a break.

Henry stepped down from the ladder. “I guess we’re done here anyway,” he said. The Aldens stood back to admire their work.

“We did a good job,” Benny said proudly, and the others agreed.

Inside, Mrs. Spencer poured apple cider into tall glasses while Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny sat around the table in her cheery little kitchen.

“What dear children you are!” said Mrs. Spencer, smiling over at them. As she sat down, she reached into her pocket and pulled out some dollar bills. “I want to give you a little something for—”

Jessie shook her head firmly. “Please put your money away, Mrs. Spencer.”

“You deserve a reward for your hard work,” insisted Mrs. Spencer.

“Grandfather says hard work is its own reward,” Violet told her quietly.

Mrs. Spencer hesitated for a moment. Then she tucked7 the money into her pocket again. “Your grandfather is a wise man,” she said. “And a lucky one, too.”

Benny looked puzzled. “Lucky?”

“He’s very lucky indeed to have such wonderful grandchildren.” Mrs. Spencer gave them a happy smile. “Just look at how the sun comes shining through those clean windows! Oh, I shall enjoy watching the birds even more now.”

The children chatted happily with the elderly woman. She talked for a while about Sam and how good he’d always been to her. Later, when she got up to answer the phone, the Aldens cleared away the empty glasses, waved good-bye, and walked back outside.

“Mrs. Spencer is such a sweet lady, isn’t she?” Violet said.

“You know what I think?” Benny piped up as he helped give the rags a good wringing-out. “I think this is why Sam washes windows.”

“What do you mean, Benny?” asked Henry.

“I think he does it because he likes making people happy.”

Jessie nodded. “Sam’s always thinking of others.” She hung the buckets over the handlebars of her bike. “I just hope we can solve the mystery for him.”

“Oh, if only we could figure out that Little Boy Blue clue!” cried Violet. “I can’t stop thinking about it.”

“And we won’t stop,” Henry said firmly. “Not until we come up with an answer.”

Everybody nodded except Benny.

“I’m too hungry to think,” he said.

Henry laughed. “We get the hint, Benny. Let’s go home and get something to eat.”

It wasn’t long before the Aldens were enjoying a delicious lunch of cheese sandwiches, Mrs. McGregor’s homemade potato chips, and crisp apples.

“If we can’t figure it out,” Henry said, “we’ll have to ride up and down the streets again.” The children were still talking about the Little Boy Blue clue as they sat in the kitchen of their grandfather’s big white house.

“You’re right, Henry.” Jessie poured Benny another glass of milk. “And that means going back to the Morningside neighborhood to hunt for the hollow tree. We didn’t quite finish checking out all the streets.”

Benny swallowed a bite of his sandwich. “We searched most of them, though,” he reminded them. “We went all the way up Ice Pond Road almost as far as—” Benny stopped talking. He was suddenly staring wide-eyed at his brother and sisters.

“What is it?” asked Henry.

“We . . . we got almost as far as Blue Street!”

Henry, Jessie, and Violet looked at Benny in amazement8. “Of course!” cried Jessie.

“The Little Boy Blue nursery rhyme’s telling us to go to Blue Street!”

Henry gave his younger brother a big smile. “Great thinking, Benny!”

After they finished lunch, the children went out to the boxcar to study the map again.

“It’s a very long street,” observed Violet, pointing on the map to where Blue Street started and where it ended. “Any idea where we should begin?”

“I’m not sure,” Jessie answered, without taking her gaze off the map. “But at least we’ve narrowed it down to just the one street—even if it is a long one.”

Henry smiled a little and said, “I think we can narrow it down even more. I have a feeling we should be looking right about here.” Henry put his finger on the map just where Blue Street crossed Ice Pond Road.

“Why do you say that, Henry?” Violet asked curiously9.

“Remember how the Spider’s Clue poem goes?” asked Henry. Then he began to recite: “When the sheep in the meadow/ And the cow in the corn/ Do a figure eight/ In the early morn.” Then he straightened up and looked over at his brother and sisters. “Does that remind you of anything? The part about the figure eight, I mean.”

Jessie, Violet, and Benny thought hard for a minute. Then Jessie’s face brightened as she suddenly caught on. “I do figure eights whenever I go skating!”

Henry nodded. “Exactly.”

Benny was confused. “Jessie’s a good skater, but what does that have to do with anything?”

Just then Violet said, “Oh!” She put one hand over her mouth in surprise. “I think I know what Henry means. Skaters can do figure eights on ice ponds!”

“Ice Pond Road!” cried Benny. “Come on!” He was already halfway10 out of the boxcar. “Let’s go check it out.”

The Aldens set off for the Morningside neighborhood once again. In no time at all they reached the corner of Ice Pond Road and Blue Street. The children hopped11 off their bikes and took a good look around at the four corners of the intersection12. Their gaze took in a barbershop, a vacant lot overgrown with weeds, a bookstore, and a small restaurant with a pink awning13.

But there wasn’t a hollow tree anywhere in sight.

“I don’t get it.” Violet checked out the street signs again. “According to the clues, this should be the spot.” She looked over at Henry. “Right?”

Henry nodded. “Has to be,” he said.

“Then where’s the hollow tree?” asked Benny.

Puzzled, they all looked at one another. Then Jessie shook her head.

“Something doesn’t add up,” she said. “Maybe we read the clues wrong.”

“What now?” Benny wanted to know, his shoulders slumped14 with disappointment.

The Aldens looked at one another. They didn’t know what to do.


1 standing 2hCzgo     
  • 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。
2 hose bdqzP     
  • Connect the hose to the tap and turn on the tap.把水管接在龙头上,打开水龙头。
  • After raining,I always hose the yard out.雨后,我总是用软管把院子冲干净。
3 grabbed grabbed     
v.抢先,抢占( grab的过去式和过去分词 );(尤指匆忙地)取;攫取;(尤指自私、贪婪地)捞取
  • He was grabbed by two men and frogmarched out of the hall. 他被两个男人紧抓双臂押出大厅。
  • She grabbed the child's hand and ran. 她抓住孩子的手就跑。
4 tackled 4b6ff8fbb7a32c10c6138dc501f126ab     
解决( tackle的过去式和过去分词 ); 应付; 与某人交涉; 向某人提起(问题或困难情况)
  • The robber tried to run away but a man tackled him. 强盗企图逃跑,但一个人把他抓住了。
  • The policeman tackled the thief. 警察捕捉小偷。
5 poking poking     
n. 刺,戳,袋 vt. 拨开,刺,戳 vi. 戳,刺,捅,搜索,伸出,行动散慢
  • He was poking at the rubbish with his stick. 他正用手杖拨动垃圾。
  • He spent his weekends poking around dusty old bookshops. 他周末都泡在布满尘埃的旧书店里。
6 fluttered 85b1a29c3fca2cf40850cc8ee4dc354e     
v.飘动( flutter的过去式和过去分词 );(心)快速跳动;振翼,拍翅膀
  • Flags fluttered in the breeze. 旗帜在微风中飘扬。
  • Imes concluded from her fluttered look that she had spent the money. 艾姆斯从她慌张的眼神推断出她花光了钱。 来自《简明英汉词典》
7 tucked 33959fcef78ea8033c2079d9ef67ff32     
塞进( tuck的过去式和过去分词 ); 翻折; 盖住; 卷起
  • She tucked up her skirt and waded into the river. 她撩起裙子蹚水走进河里。
  • She tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ears. 她把一缕散发夹到了耳后。
8 amazement 7zlzBK     
  • All those around him looked at him with amazement.周围的人都对他投射出惊异的眼光。
  • He looked at me in blank amazement.他带着迷茫惊诧的神情望着我。
9 curiously 3v0zIc     
  • He looked curiously at the people.他好奇地看着那些人。
  • He took long stealthy strides. His hands were curiously cold.他迈着悄没声息的大步。他的双手出奇地冷。
10 halfway Xrvzdq     
  • We had got only halfway when it began to get dark.走到半路,天就黑了。
  • In study the worst danger is give up halfway.在学习上,最忌讳的是有始无终。
11 hopped 91b136feb9c3ae690a1c2672986faa1c     
跳上[下]( hop的过去式和过去分词 ); 单足蹦跳; 齐足(或双足)跳行; 摘葎草花
  • He hopped onto a car and wanted to drive to town. 他跳上汽车想开向市区。
  • He hopped into a car and drove to town. 他跳进汽车,向市区开去。
12 intersection w54xV     
n.交集,十字路口,交叉点;[计算机] 交集
  • There is a stop sign at an intersection.在交叉路口处有停车标志。
  • Bridges are used to avoid the intersection of a railway and a highway.桥用来避免铁路和公路直接交叉。
13 awning LeVyZ     
  • A large green awning is set over the glass window to shelter against the sun.在玻璃窗上装了个绿色的大遮棚以遮挡阳光。
  • Several people herded under an awning to get out the shower.几个人聚集在门栅下避阵雨
14 slumped b010f9799fb8ebd413389b9083180d8d     
大幅度下降,暴跌( slump的过去式和过去分词 ); 沉重或突然地落下[倒下]
  • Sales have slumped this year. 今年销售量锐减。
  • The driver was slumped exhausted over the wheel. 司机伏在方向盘上,疲惫得睡着了。
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