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儿童英语读物 The Comic Book Mystery CHAPTER 10 Benny’s Super Leap

时间:2017-10-26 04:56来源:互联网 提供网友:qing   字体: [ ]

Jessie raced through the milling crowd to Al Conrad’s booth. A woman with blond hair was talking seriously to Al. A flat, newspaper-wrapped bundle was tucked under one arm.

The woman had on stretch pants and heavy boots, just like the boots that one of the Captain Fantastics had been wearing.

Then Jessie noticed a sprinkling of yellow sawdust on the carpet around Al’s booth.

“There’s the thief,” she cried as the others caught up. “She took our note and prowled around Sid’s house!”

“And that’s Sid’s stolen art,” Henry declared.

Just then, Sid Hoyt came up behind them and shouted.

The woman whirled. When she saw him, she took off.

But the kids expected this.

“We’re the Super-Aldens!” Benny exclaimed, sprinting1 down the aisle2.

The four children ran after the woman, each taking a different route. Being the smallest, Benny was able to dodge3 in and out among people. He tracked the woman down a long aisle as she made for an exit.

One of the vendors4 was unloading a new batch5 of comics. Boxes blocked Benny’s path.

But he jumped higher than he’d ever leaped before to dart6 in front of the woman just as she reached the door.

“Stop right there!” he demanded.

Henry, Jessie, and Violet surrounded the woman so she was unable to escape.

“Who are you?” she asked, breathing hard.

“We’re the Super-Aldens!” Benny told her.

“Very funny. Now get out of my way.” The woman tried to maneuver7 around them.

“I’m afraid they can’t do that,” said Sid, hurrying over.

“Sid!” the woman exclaimed.

“It’s been a long time, Dorian,” Sid said wearily. “You’ve got a lot of explaining to do. Let’s go back to the conference room.”

At that moment, Marvin Peabody and Irene rushed over to them. Marvin had taken off his mask, but still wore the rest of his Captain Fantastic costume.

“What’s going on?” he asked. “I just came from Al Conrad’s booth. He said he’s been robbed. Is that true?”

“He would say that!” the woman hissed8.

Sid slid the package from under her arm. “I believe this belongs to me. Let’s go, Dorian.”

Everyone trooped through the exhibit hall to the Minuteman Conference Room, now empty. They all sat down.

Dorian looked defiantly9 at Sid. “I suppose you’re going to have me arrested, now that you’re a famous cartoonist!”

“I want to hear your side first,” Sid said. “Kids, this is one of my old friends from ABC Comics. Dorian used to be the inker there, when I was the cleanup man. She quit after my Captain Fantastic comic was published.”

“I got tired of making comic books,” Dorian said. “So I went into construction.”

“We saw you working on the new house near the library,” Violet said.

“I saw you, too,” said Dorian. “You look like smart kids—the kind who figure things out.”

“We figured you stole the note from the library,” Henry countered. “And you prowled around Sid’s house.”

“What gave me away?” Dorian asked.

“Sawdust!” Benny exclaimed.

Dorian looked down. “I guess it’s usually on my boots,” she said ruefully.

“You were at Al Conrad’s booth at the antiques show last weekend,” Jessie put in. “You dropped off the fake number nine with the note in it. Al sold it to us by mistake.”

“What else did you figure out?” Dorian wanted to know.

Benny spoke10 up. “You drive the noisy white pickup11 truck. We saw it where the new house is being built.”

“Al told me he’d accidentally sold you the comic before he took the note out,” Dorian said. “When I saw you ride by the construction site on your bikes, I followed you to the library, hoping you had the note with you.”

“I’ve been trying to find out who has been passing counterfeit12 number nines,” Sid said. “These kids solved the case. Why don’t you tell the whole story, Dorian.”

With a heavy sigh, Dorian began. “I was jealous of your success with Captain Fantastic, so I quit. But I kept going to comic conventions. I guess I wanted to get back in the business. I met Al Conrad and we started talking about how hard it was to find Captain Fantastic issue number nine.”

Marvin stared at her. “Is that when you got the idea to make fake comics?”

“Yes,” Dorian replied. “Al said he could make a lot of money if he had an unlimited13 supply. He was kidding. But I told him I could copy Sid’s style and make a new original. Suddenly, Al was very interested.”

“You two couldn’t pull this off alone,” Sid said. “You still needed to print your copies.”

Dorian’s eyes flashed. “Les helped me. He’s working at Golden Lamp Comics. He secretly had the comic printed.”

“Les was my other old friend at ABC Comics,” Sid explained to the children. He turned back to Dorian. “I can’t believe you thought you’d get away with this scheme.”

“We did get away with it,” Dorian said, tossing her hair. “At least, until these kids showed up. We had our plan worked out very carefully.”

She went on to say that Al would sell the comics only to kids like the Aldens, who wouldn’t know the difference between the original number nine and a fake one.

“That’s why Al wouldn’t let Marvin buy the comic we got from him last week,” Jessie interrupted. “He acted like he’d never go back on a deal, no matter how much money Marvin offered him.”

Sid nodded. “Al knew a sharp collector would spot the comic as a fake.”

Henry spoke up. “But you made a mistake.”

Dorian drew in a breath. “Sid’s secret signature! I didn’t know about it! And I never found it when I copied his drawings.”

“How did you find out about it?” asked Benny.

She pointed14 to Marvin and Irene. “I came to one of the fan club meetings at the library.”

Jessie nodded. “We found the business card you gave Marvin.”

“I learned about the secret signature at the meeting,” Dorian said.

“We’re having a contest to see who can find the signature first,” Irene put in. “That’s why we were so excited about Sid’s presentation today. He was going to reveal the location of the signature in number nine. But that was before you stole the art!”

“I had to take it,” Dorian said defensively. “Sid’s original panel with the signature needed to be destroyed. It was too late for me to go back and make another drawing with the signature in it —Al had already sold a lot of fake comics.”

“You prowled around Sid’s house last night,” Benny accused. “You scared his cats. You were trying to break in.”

Dorian slumped15 in her chair. “But you kids came out. I barely got away.”

Benny looked at Marvin. “You followed us from the restaurant the other day. Why?”

Marvin stared at the floor in embarrassment16.

“I was jealous,” he admitted. “I’ve been president of the local fan club for three years and Sid had only talked to me at conventions or on the phone. But you kids had just met him and he was taking you out to eat!”

“I appreciate all my fans,” Sid told him. “But the Aldens were helping17 me. No one on the comic book scene knew them, so they could get information that I couldn’t.”

Violet had a question for Irene. “What were you doing in the conference room? You turned the lights out on us.”

“How did you know that was me?” asked Irene.

Violet pointed. “I saw your red shoes under the screen. The other night you had on pink ballet shoes. You like to wear pretty shoes.”

“Shoes seem to be giving away a lot of people,” Irene said. “I was trying to find Sid’s secret signature. I figured I could see it on the original panel and win our club contest. But the art wasn’t in there and when you came in—I panicked. I want to win the contest. The winner gets a copy of number nine.”

“I’ve been trying to get a copy for you,” Marvin told her. “I know how much you want one. That’s why I kept offering to buy the Aldens’ copy.”

Irene’s face lit up with a smile. “That’s so sweet of you!” Marvin blushed.

“What are you going to do about me?” Dorian asked.

Sid shook his head. “I’m very upset that my young fans have been cheated. But because you and Les were once my best friends, I won’t press charges.”

Dorian looked relieved.

“But—,” Sid added firmly, “you have to destroy the original plates you made of issue number nine, in my presence. Plus all the copies.”

“Don’t forget Al Conrad,” Henry reminded Sid.

“Don’t worry,” Sid said. “Al isn’t getting off, either. He will call each fan on his mailing list and return their money.”

“That seems fair,” Dorian said in a small voice. “I’m sorry, Sid. I shouldn’t have let jealousy18 get the better of me.”

“I’m sorry, too,” Sid said with regret. “We were once such good friends.”

Then he went out to the exhibit hall to confront Al Conrad.

“People shouldn’t let anything get in the way of friendship,” Violet said.

“We’ll be friends forever, even if we are family,” Jessie agreed.

When Sid came back, he gave a slim package to Henry. “I want to thank you. You kids did a terrific job solving this case.”

Henry opened the package. “It’s Captain Fantastic issue number nine!”

“A real one,” Sid said with a grin.

“Thanks!” said Henry, speaking for them all. “Now our collection is complete.”

“We have a present for you, too,” said Violet. From her backpack, she shyly pulled out a copy of their own comic, The Super-Aldens.

“I’ll treasure this,” Sid said.

With the mystery solved, the kids went back to the exhibit hall to enjoy the rest of the convention.

Benny wondered what their next mystery would be about.

It probably won’t be too tough, he thought. Nothing the Super-Aldens can’t handle!


1 sprinting 092e50364cf04239a3e5e17f4ae23116     
v.短距离疾跑( sprint的现在分词 )
  • Stride length and frequency are the most important elements of sprinting. 步长和步频是短跑最重要的因素。 来自互联网
  • Xiaoming won the gold medal for sprinting in the school sports meeting. 小明在学校运动会上夺得了短跑金牌。 来自互联网
2 aisle qxPz3     
  • The aisle was crammed with people.过道上挤满了人。
  • The girl ushered me along the aisle to my seat.引座小姐带领我沿着通道到我的座位上去。
3 dodge q83yo     
  • A dodge behind a tree kept her from being run over.她向树后一闪,才没被车从身上辗过。
  • The dodge was coopered by the police.诡计被警察粉碎了。
4 vendors 2bc28e228525b75e14c07dbc14850c34     
n.摊贩( vendor的名词复数 );小贩;(房屋等的)卖主;卖方
  • The vendors were gazundered at the last minute. 卖主在最后一刻被要求降低房价。
  • At the same time, interface standards also benefIt'software vendors. 同时,界面标准也有利于软件开发商。 来自About Face 3交互设计精髓
5 batch HQgyz     
  • The first batch of cakes was burnt.第一炉蛋糕烤焦了。
  • I have a batch of letters to answer.我有一批信要回复。
6 dart oydxK     
  • The child made a sudden dart across the road.那小孩突然冲过马路。
  • Markov died after being struck by a poison dart.马尔科夫身中毒镖而亡。
7 maneuver Q7szu     
  • All the fighters landed safely on the airport after the military maneuver.在军事演习后,所有战斗机都安全降落在机场上。
  • I did get her attention with this maneuver.我用这个策略确实引起了她的注意。
8 hissed 2299e1729bbc7f56fc2559e409d6e8a7     
发嘶嘶声( hiss的过去式和过去分词 ); 发嘘声表示反对
  • Have you ever been hissed at in the middle of a speech? 你在演讲中有没有被嘘过?
  • The iron hissed as it pressed the wet cloth. 熨斗压在湿布上时发出了嘶嘶声。
9 defiantly defiantly     
  • Braving snow and frost, the plum trees blossomed defiantly. 红梅傲雪凌霜开。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • She tilted her chin at him defiantly. 她向他翘起下巴表示挑衅。 来自《简明英汉词典》
10 spoke XryyC     
n.(车轮的)辐条;轮辐;破坏某人的计划;阻挠某人的行动 v.讲,谈(speak的过去式);说;演说;从某种观点来说
  • They sourced the spoke nuts from our company.他们的轮辐螺帽是从我们公司获得的。
  • The spokes of a wheel are the bars that connect the outer ring to the centre.辐条是轮子上连接外圈与中心的条棒。
11 pickup ANkxA     
  • I would love to trade this car for a pickup truck.我愿意用这辆汽车换一辆小型轻便卡车。||The luck guy is a choice pickup for the girls.那位幸运的男孩是女孩子们想勾搭上的人。
12 counterfeit 1oEz8     
  • It is a crime to counterfeit money.伪造货币是犯罪行为。
  • The painting looked old but was a recent counterfeit.这幅画看上去年代久远,实际是最近的一幅赝品。
13 unlimited MKbzB     
  • They flew over the unlimited reaches of the Arctic.他们飞过了茫茫无边的北极上空。
  • There is no safety in unlimited technological hubris.在技术方面自以为是会很危险。
14 pointed Il8zB4     
  • 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。
15 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。
16 embarrassment fj9z8     
  • She could have died away with embarrassment.她窘迫得要死。
  • Coughing at a concert can be a real embarrassment.在音乐会上咳嗽真会使人难堪。
17 helping 2rGzDc     
  • The poor children regularly pony up for a second helping of my hamburger. 那些可怜的孩子们总是要求我把我的汉堡包再给他们一份。
  • By doing this, they may at times be helping to restore competition. 这样一来, 他在某些时候,有助于竞争的加强。
18 jealousy WaRz6     
  • Some women have a disposition to jealousy.有些女人生性爱妒忌。
  • I can't support your jealousy any longer.我再也无法忍受你的嫉妒了。
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