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儿童英语读物 The Mystery of the Star Ruby CHAPTER 6 Jessie’s Treasure

时间:2017-10-20 02:06来源:互联网 提供网友:qing   字体: [ ]

“Let’s go look at the place where we saw that person last night,” Benny said the next morning.

“Before breakfast?” Violet asked, teasing her brother. “I thought you’d be starving, like always.”

“A new mystery is more important,” Benny declared.

“It’ll only take a few minutes,” Henry said, leading the way down the trail.

At the flume, Jessie stopped and looked down. “Somebody was digging, all right. See the shovel1 marks?”

Benny nudged the pile of loose dirt with the toe of his sneaker.

“Isn’t this where Donald Hodge dumped his buckets the other day?” he asked.

“You’re right!” Violet said. “He threw his ore away and complained he couldn’t find anything.”

“But that doesn’t answer who would come back after dark,” Henry said. “What was that person looking for?”

“This is a tougher case than I thought,” Benny said. “We definitely can’t solve it before breakfast.”

Jessie laughed. “Is that a hint? Okay, let’s go eat!”

After breakfast, the Aldens went to the entry booth. Grandfather bought everyone a large bucket of native stone.

Donald, Jonathan, and Sybil each ordered one as well. With only a few more days in the contest, everyone was eager to pan as many buckets as possible.

“I want to see my buckets being filled,” Donald said to the woman at the entry booth.

“I’m sorry, sir,” she said, hefting his buckets onto the wheelbarrow. “We’re too busy for that today. Everyone is buying special buckets. A lot of them were filled last night.”

“How do I know I’m not being cheated?” Donald said.

The woman looked worried. “I’ll ask Mr. Knight2 to come down and you can talk to him.”

“Never mind!” Donald pushed the wheelbarrow to the flume.

“I don’t know why Donald is so suspicious,” Sybil said as they all found places along the flume. “Cecil would never sell native-stone buckets that weren’t filled with ore from his mine.”

Henry wondered if Donald might not have reason to be suspicious. A lot of mysterious things had already happened at Ruby3 Hollow.

It was another hot day. The Aldens were glad the flume was shaded.

“These are good buckets,” Jonathan remarked, as he worked next to Jessie. “I’ve found three rubies4 already.”

The others were doing well, too. Everyone had stones in their plastic containers. Everyone except Jessie.

She rinsed5 the stubborn North Carolina ore thoroughly6 and carefully sorted through the rocks left behind, but couldn’t find a single gemstone.

“I’ll buy you another bucket,” Grandfather told her.

“I still have a little more left in this one,” she said, dumping the remaining ore into her tray.

As soon as she rinsed the tray in the rushing water, she saw a large rock in one corner. She picked it up and rubbed the dirt off with her fingers. Then she rinsed it again.

She held the huge, reddish, glossy8 rock up to the light.

Jonathan gasped9. “Jessie! That’s the biggest ruby I’ve ever seen!”

Jessie was so startled, she nearly dropped her stone. “You’re kidding!”

Sybil left her place in the line and came over. She whistled at the size of Jessie’s stone.

“Take it to the grading window,” Sybil advised.

All the Aldens went with Jessie to the jewelry10 shop. No one else was at the grading window.

Jessie handed her rock to the man at the counter. “Jonathan said this is a ruby.”

The man’s eyes widened. “Young lady—not only is this an enormous ruby, it’s a star ruby!”

“I found a ‘Goldilocks’?” Jessie couldn’t believe it.

The gem7 inspector11 was on the phone, dialing. “Mr. Knight needs to see this.”

Cecil Knight came down from the main office immediately. He examined Jessie’s ruby through a jeweler’s loupe, a special lens that fit over one eye. After a moment, he looked up at the Aldens with a surprised grin on his face.

“Great day in the morning!” he exclaimed. “That’s the biggest star ruby that’s ever been found in this mine, at least since my family took it over.”

“Is Jessie rich?” Benny wanted to know.

“Your sister could be very rich,” Mr. Knight told him. “And famous as well.”

Jessie blushed. “I don’t want to be famous. And we have enough money.”

“Some people believe that rubies bring the wearer health, wealth, and wisdom,” Mr. Knight said to her. He winked12 at Grandfather. “But I think your granddaughter is already wise.”

“She’s the levelheaded one in the family,” Grandfather agreed proudly.

Cecil Knight gave the stone back to Jessie. “If you should decide to make this into a ring—and it’ll be a doozy!—wear it on your left hand. According to tradition, you won’t have any enemies.” Then he added, “If you decide to sell the stone, I’d love to have it in my museum.”

Jessie wrapped the ruby in a piece of tissue that the man at the grading window gave her and put it in her plastic container. She slid the container carefully into the pocket of her backpack.

“Jessie, do you want me to keep your stone?” offered Grandfather. “It might be safer with me.”

“I’d like to look at it more,” she told him. “I won’t let my pack out of my sight. I promise.”

“Are you ready for lunch?” Grandfather asked the children.

Benny answered for all of them. “Yes!”

The dining room was nearly filled when the Aldens walked in. Many people stood up and cheered.

“Why is everyone clapping?” Violet asked Grandfather.

“I think it’s because of Jessie’s incredible find,” he replied.

“How does it feel to discover a treasure?” Jonathan asked Jessie.

She sat down, embarrassed at all the attention. “It could have been any of us. The ruby just happened to be in my bucket—it was just luck.”

“What are you going to do with it?” Sybil asked, passing the basket of Italian bread. Today was spaghetti day.

“I was thinking, suppose we sell the stone and buy books for that library that was struck by lightning,” Jessie suggested. “But it’s a family decision.”

“That’s a great idea!” Benny said. “Let’s do it!”

The others agreed.

“Jessie’s stone is bigger than yours,” Sybil said to Donald. “And it’s a star ruby. Unless somebody finds a bigger star ruby than Jessie’s, she will win the contest.”

“It isn’t over until it’s over,” Donald said levelly.

After lunch, the kids went hiking again. When the afternoon shadows grew long, they headed back to the cabins.

Violet unlocked the door to her and Jessie’s cabin. She immediately spotted13 a white envelope lying on the rug just inside the door.

“This has your name on it,” she said, handing it to Jessie.

“It must be from Grandfather,” Jessie said absently as she opened the envelope. Then she gasped.

“What is it?” Violet asked.

Wordlessly, Jessie showed the note to Violet.

WISE UP AND GO HOME—OR ELSE! read the crudely lettered message. It was unsigned.

“I guess Mr. Knight was wrong about the ruby protecting me,” Jessie said in a worried voice. “I have made an enemy, after all.”

Then another thought occurred to her.

What if the ruby I found has put us all in danger?

The girls told the boys about the note on their way to dinner.

“Let’s not mention it to Grandfather,” said Violet. “It would just worry him.”

“We can solve this case ourselves,” Henry said confidently. “We’ve figured out lots of mysteries before.”

In the dining room, everyone was excitedly chatting about the contest. There was only one more day left.

“I sure wish that star ruby had been in my bucket,” Sybil said wistfully. “I’ve been coming here for years and have never found one.”

“Maybe you will tomorrow,” said Benny. “Maybe we’ll all find star rubies!”

The others laughed as they ate hamburgers and fries.

It was too dark and cool to linger outside after dinner. Even though the days were hot, late-summer nights in the mountains were chilly14.

The Alden children went back to Violet and Jessie’s cabin to discuss the mystery.

They passed Jessie’s note around.

Henry noticed something about the paper.

“It’s been ripped from a notebook,” he said. “One of those little ones with three rings.”

“Jonathan carries a notebook like that,” Benny remembered. “He keeps his lists in it.”

“That’s right,” Violet said, nodding. “But why would he send us a threatening note? He seems so nice.”

“We can’t rule out anyone as a suspect,” said Jessie.

Just then there was a shout outside.

Henry ran to the door. “It’s Mr. Knight!”

“Hey, everybody!” Cecil Knight called. “Come see this!”

Doors to all the cabins were flung open and guests streamed out onto the lawn. The Aldens ran out, too.

Strange globes of light hovered15 in the sky over the mountain. Everyone oohed and aahed.

“Those are the same lights we saw our first night here!” Benny exclaimed.

“They do look like flying saucers,” Sybil remarked, tipping her head back.

“Now that I’ve seen them better,” Jonathan muttered, “I think the lights are a trick of the atmosphere.”

Seen them better? Violet wondered. When had Jonathan seen the lights before?

Just as suddenly as the lights appeared, they vanished behind the crest16 of the mountain. The show over, the guests filed back inside their cabins.

When Jessie walked into their cabin, she sensed something was wrong.

Her backpack was on the floor where she had left it.

But the outer pocket was unzipped.

She dug through it frantically17.

“Violet!” she cried. “The ruby is gone!”


1 shovel cELzg     
  • He was working with a pick and shovel.他在用镐和铲干活。
  • He seized a shovel and set to.他拿起一把铲就干上了。
2 knight W2Hxk     
  • He was made an honourary knight.他被授予荣誉爵士称号。
  • A knight rode on his richly caparisoned steed.一个骑士骑在装饰华丽的马上。
3 ruby iXixS     
  • She is wearing a small ruby earring.她戴着一枚红宝石小耳环。
  • On the handle of his sword sat the biggest ruby in the world.他的剑柄上镶有一颗世上最大的红宝石。
4 rubies 534be3a5d4dab7c1e30149143213b88f     
红宝石( ruby的名词复数 ); 红宝石色,深红色
  • a necklace of rubies intertwined with pearls 缠着珍珠的红宝石项链
  • The crown was set with precious jewels—diamonds, rubies and emeralds. 王冠上镶嵌着稀世珍宝—有钻石、红宝石、绿宝石。
5 rinsed 637d6ed17a5c20097c9dbfb69621fd20     
v.漂洗( rinse的过去式和过去分词 );冲洗;用清水漂洗掉(肥皂泡等);(用清水)冲掉
  • She rinsed out the sea water from her swimming-costume. 她把游泳衣里的海水冲洗掉。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The clothes have been rinsed three times. 衣服已经洗了三和。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
6 thoroughly sgmz0J     
  • The soil must be thoroughly turned over before planting.一定要先把土地深翻一遍再下种。
  • The soldiers have been thoroughly instructed in the care of their weapons.士兵们都系统地接受过保护武器的训练。
7 gem Ug8xy     
n.宝石,珠宝;受爱戴的人 [同]jewel
  • The gem is beyond my pocket.这颗宝石我可买不起。
  • The little gem is worth two thousand dollars.这块小宝石价值两千美元。
8 glossy nfvxx     
  • I like these glossy spots.我喜欢这些闪闪发光的花点。
  • She had glossy black hair.她长着乌黑发亮的头发。
9 gasped e6af294d8a7477229d6749fa9e8f5b80     
v.喘气( gasp的过去式和过去分词 );喘息;倒抽气;很想要
  • She gasped at the wonderful view. 如此美景使她惊讶得屏住了呼吸。
  • People gasped with admiration at the superb skill of the gymnasts. 体操运动员的高超技艺令人赞叹。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
10 jewelry 0auz1     
  • The burglars walked off with all my jewelry.夜盗偷走了我的全部珠宝。
  • Jewelry and lace are mostly feminine belongings.珠宝和花边多数是女性用品。
11 inspector q6kxH     
  • The inspector was interested in everything pertaining to the school.视察员对有关学校的一切都感兴趣。
  • The inspector was shining a flashlight onto the tickets.查票员打着手电筒查看车票。
12 winked af6ada503978fa80fce7e5d109333278     
v.使眼色( wink的过去式和过去分词 );递眼色(表示友好或高兴等);(指光)闪烁;闪亮
  • He winked at her and she knew he was thinking the same thing that she was. 他冲她眨了眨眼,她便知道他的想法和她一样。
  • He winked his eyes at her and left the classroom. 他向她眨巴一下眼睛走出了教室。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
13 spotted 7FEyj     
  • The milkman selected the spotted cows,from among a herd of two hundred.牛奶商从一群200头牛中选出有斑点的牛。
  • Sam's shop stocks short spotted socks.山姆的商店屯积了有斑点的短袜。
14 chilly pOfzl     
  • I feel chilly without a coat.我由于没有穿大衣而感到凉飕飕的。
  • I grew chilly when the fire went out.炉火熄灭后,寒气逼人。
15 hovered d194b7e43467f867f4b4380809ba6b19     
鸟( hover的过去式和过去分词 ); 靠近(某事物); (人)徘徊; 犹豫
  • A hawk hovered over the hill. 一只鹰在小山的上空翱翔。
  • A hawk hovered in the blue sky. 一只老鹰在蓝色的天空中翱翔。
16 crest raqyA     
  • The rooster bristled his crest.公鸡竖起了鸡冠。
  • He reached the crest of the hill before dawn.他于黎明前到达山顶。
17 frantically ui9xL     
ad.发狂地, 发疯地
  • He dashed frantically across the road. 他疯狂地跑过马路。
  • She bid frantically for the old chair. 她发狂地喊出高价要买那把古老的椅子。
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