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儿童英语读物 The Comic Book Mystery CHAPTER 2 A Surprise Invitation

时间:2017-10-26 02:51来源:互联网 提供网友:qing   字体: [ ]

“Do you have a green cape1?” Benny asked Mrs. McGregor.

The housekeeper2 looked at Benny who was wearing a purple T-shirt that belonged to Violet. The shirt came down to his knees.

“I’m afraid not,” she told him. “But I have a green scarf. Will that do?”

With Mrs. McGregor’s green silk scarf tied around his neck like a cape, Benny buzzed around the house. The Aldens’ dog, Watch, scampered3 with him, barking at this new game.

When Benny was trying to jump over the footstool, he nearly ran into Grandfather.

“Whoa!” said Grandfather. “Who are you?”

“I’m Captain Fantastic!” Benny said.

“Oh, yes, the superhero character in the comic book,” said James Alden. “Tell me, Captain Fantastic, what makes you so fantastic?”

“I can do anything!” Benny waved his arms for emphasis. “I can jump over buildings and run faster than the wind. I can swim like a fish and see in the dark.”

“Well, Mr. Fantastic, it sounds like you’d be very handy to have around,” Grandfather said, laughing.

“Captain Fantastic!” Benny protested. “Captain Fantastic does good all over the world. And when he isn’t wearing his suit, he’s an ordinary scientist. The kind that studies bugs4.”

“I smell something wonderful coming from the kitchen,” said Grandfather. “I bet it’s Mrs. McGregor’s famous macaroni and cheese casserole. Maybe you ought to change back into Benny Alden for supper.”

Benny giggled5. “It was me all along, Grandfather!” Then he ran upstairs to his room to change.

Violet, Jessie, and Henry were gathered around the window seat in the hall.

“Supper’s almost ready,” Benny told them.

“We were talking about the note we found in the comic,” said Jessie.

“What about it?” asked Benny.

Violet patted the window seat cushion, inviting6 Benny to sit beside her. “We think it’s important. Maybe it has something to do with the comic book artist Sid Hoyt.”

“Like what?” Benny wanted to know.

“It’s somehow connected to that issue number nine we bought,” said Henry. “We’d like to find out more.”

Benny’s eyes widened. “Do you think we’ve found a mystery?”

“Maybe,” said Jessie with a smile. It had been a while since the Aldens were last involved in a case. They were very good at solving mysteries. “Wouldn’t it be neat if we could meet Mr. Hoyt? Maybe he would sign our special comic book.”

“But we don’t know where he lives,” said Violet. “Al Conrad only said he lives in Connecticut. That’s a whole state. He could be anywhere.”

“How will we find him?” Benny asked.

“Let’s ask Grandfather,” Henry said. “He knows about things like that.”

Grandfather did know how to find a person’s address.

“Go to the Greenfield Library,” he instructed them. “There are phone books for every county and major city in this state. If the person you’re looking for is listed, he’ll be in one of those phone books.”

“We’ll go tomorrow,” said Jessie. Maybe, she thought, we have stumbled onto another mystery!

The next morning, the children rode their bicycles into town again. Along the way, they stopped to watch some construction workers building a new house. ANOTHER FINE HOUSE BY ROLLINS CONSTRUCTION, the sign proclaimed. Cars and trucks belonging to the workers were parked along the curb7.

“They’ve done a lot more work on the house since last week,” Henry commented. “Yesterday the crew was off.”

Benny watched a worker sawing some boards. “I want to be a house builder when I grow up,” he said admiringly.

“I thought you were going to be Captain Fantastic,” said Jessie, teasing.

Then Benny noticed that the worker with the saw had long hair tucked up into her hard hat.

“Hey, that’s a lady house builder!” he exclaimed.

“Don’t be so surprised,” said Violet. “Women can do any job they want, even build houses.”

At that moment, the woman glanced up from her work and looked across the street at the Aldens as if she had heard them. Jessie knew the woman couldn’t hear them over all the hammering. But something in the woman’s intense stare made her nervous.

“We’d better get moving,” she said, climbing back on her bike.

They pedaled swiftly to the library. Inside, Henry asked where they would find the Connecticut telephone books.

“Upstairs in the reference room,” the librarian replied.

In the reference room, another librarian directed them to several phone books on a low shelf.

Henry pulled out all the phone books and put them on a table.

“Connecticut has eight counties,” he said. “There is a phone book for each county, plus ones for the cities of Hartford, New Haven8, and Stamford. I’ll take four. Jessie, you take four, and Violet will take three.”

“What will I do?” asked Benny. He could read a little, but not such tiny print.

“Find some paper,” Jessie told him. She began skimming her first book. “Does ‘Hoyt, S.’ count?”

“Yes,” said Henry, taking out the note they found in the comic book. “His name is Sid, but you might see ‘Hoyt, Sidney,’ too. Sid is usually short for Sidney.”

The children were silent as they leafed through one book after the other.

Then Violet jumped up in excitement. “Bingo! I bet this is him!”

The others leaned in to read the entry.

“‘Hoyt, Sid, 145 Oak Tree Circle, Putnam,’” Violet read aloud.

Jessie nodded. “I found a ‘Hoyt, S.’ in this book, but your Sid sounds like he’s the one.” She carefully copied the information, including the man’s phone number, on a piece of paper Benny found.

“Where is Putnam?” Violet wanted to know.

“I went to Putnam with Grandfather once,” Henry said. “It’s only about thirty minutes from Greenfield. What a lucky break for us!”

“Can we ride there on our bikes?” Benny asked.

Henry shook his head. “It’s too far. Wait a minute.”

He went over to the reference librarian and came back with a folded pamphlet. “Here’s a bus schedule. A bus goes from Greenfield to Putnam three times a day.”

“We’ll call Mr. Hoyt as soon as we get home,” said Jessie excitedly. “If Mr. Hoyt says it’s okay I’m sure Grandfather will let us visit him.”

Thump9, thump, thumpity-thump!

Several books had suddenly dropped from the shelves of the bookcase behind the children.

“How did those books fall?” asked Violet.

“Let’s check.” Henry led the way around to the other side of the bookcase.

No one was there.

The children replaced the books on the shelf, then returned to their table.

The paper on which Jessie had written Sid Hoyt’s address was still there. But the note they had found in the comic book was missing.

“The note is gone!” exclaimed Violet.

Jessie looked at Henry. “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”

“That someone knocked those books out so we would leave the table?” he said. “Yes, I think that’s possible.”

“Who took our note?” Benny asked. “And why?”

They looked around for clues.

Violet got down on her hands and knees. “Look at this.” She brushed some yellowish powder near the table leg.

“That might be a clue,” said Jessie. “But lots of people come in the library, so the powder may not have been left by the person who took the note. At least we have Mr. Hoyt’s address and phone number. Let’s go home and call him.”

The Aldens rode straight home, not even stopping to see the progress on the new house.

They ran upstairs to use the phone in the hall.

“Who wants to call?” said Violet. “Not me!” She was shy and sometimes had trouble talking to strangers.

“I’ll do it!” Benny offered.

“I’m sure Mr. Hoyt would love to talk to you, Benny, but maybe I should call him the first time,” said Henry.

Jessie gave him the paper with the information.

Henry dialed the number, then waited. “I got his answering machine,” he told the others. Henry left a message with the Aldens’ phone number and the reason he called.

“Now we have to wait for him to call back,” Benny said.

They didn’t have to wait long. A short while later, Grandfather came out to the boxcar, where the kids were playing.

Benny jumped up. “Did Mr. Hoyt call us back?” he asked.

“No, but Mrs. Hoyt did.” Grandfather grinned. “Nancy Hoyt is an old friend of Mrs. McGregor. They sometimes play bridge together. She invited you over to meet her husband—and they’d like you to stay for lunch!”


1 cape ITEy6     
  • I long for a trip to the Cape of Good Hope.我渴望到好望角去旅行。
  • She was wearing a cape over her dress.她在外套上披着一件披肩。
2 housekeeper 6q2zxl     
  • A spotless stove told us that his mother is a diligent housekeeper.炉子清洁无瑕就表明他母亲是个勤劳的主妇。
  • She is an economical housekeeper and feeds her family cheaply.她节约持家,一家人吃得很省。
3 scampered fe23b65cda78638ec721dec982b982df     
v.蹦蹦跳跳地跑,惊惶奔跑( scamper的过去式和过去分词 )
  • The cat scampered away. 猫刺棱一下跑了。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • The rabbIt'scampered off. 兔子迅速跑掉了。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
4 bugs e3255bae220613022d67e26d2e4fa689     
adj.疯狂的,发疯的n.窃听器( bug的名词复数 );病菌;虫子;[计算机](制作软件程序所产生的意料不到的)错误
  • All programs have bugs and need endless refinement. 所有的程序都有漏洞,都需要不断改进。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The sacks of rice were swarming with bugs. 一袋袋的米里长满了虫子。 来自《简明英汉词典》
5 giggled 72ecd6e6dbf913b285d28ec3ba1edb12     
v.咯咯地笑( giggle的过去式和过去分词 )
  • The girls giggled at the joke. 女孩子们让这笑话逗得咯咯笑。
  • The children giggled hysterically. 孩子们歇斯底里地傻笑。 来自《简明英汉词典》
6 inviting CqIzNp     
  • An inviting smell of coffee wafted into the room.一股诱人的咖啡香味飘进了房间。
  • The kitchen smelled warm and inviting and blessedly familiar.这间厨房的味道温暖诱人,使人感到亲切温馨。
7 curb LmRyy     
  • I could not curb my anger.我按捺不住我的愤怒。
  • You must curb your daughter when you are in church.你在教堂时必须管住你的女儿。
8 haven 8dhzp     
  • It's a real haven at the end of a busy working day.忙碌了一整天后,这真是一个安乐窝。
  • The school library is a little haven of peace and quiet.学校的图书馆是一个和平且安静的小避风港。
9 thump sq2yM     
  • The thief hit him a thump on the head.贼在他的头上重击一下。
  • The excitement made her heart thump.她兴奋得心怦怦地跳。
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