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Chapter XIII

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Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V
Chapter VI
Chapter VII
Chapter VIII
Chapter IX
Chapter X
Chapter XI
Chapter XII
Chapter XIII
Chapter XlV
Chapter XV
Chapter XVI
Chapter XVII
Chapter XVIII
Chapter XIX
Chapter XX
Chapter XXI
Chapter XXII

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Chapter XIII

A NARROW ESCAPE 1

While he lay there the time came for the boat to take away the garbage. And when Stuart opened his eyes he saw nothing but water. 2 He was already far from the shore!

"Well," 3 thought Stuart, "this is the end. That will be my last trip in this world! I can do nothing. I have to sit here bravely and die like a man. But I don't want to die with egg on my trousers, butter on my coat, orange peel on my cap and banana peel round my waist!"

Stuart became sad and began to think about his home and his father and mother and brother and about Margalo and Snowball. He loved them all except Snowball. "I shall never see them again," he thought, and tears came into his eyes. 4 He began to cry, but suddenly he heard a whisper behind him:

"Stuart!"

He looked around, through his tears, and there, on a big potato, was Margalo!

"Margalo!" cried Stuart. "How did you get here?" "Well," said the bird, ''this morning I sat on the window-sill. I saw how you went out and then hid in the can, and everything that happened after that. I flew out of the window and followed the truck in order to help you."

"Oh, I am so glad to see you," said Stuart. "But how can you help me?"

"If you take hold of my feet," 5 said Margalo, "I can fly home with you. How much do you weigh?"

"Three ounces and a half," 6 said Stuart. "With your clothes on?" 7 asked Margalo.

"Of course," said Stuart. "Then I can carry you easily." "And what if I get dizzy?" 8 asked Stuart.

"Don't look down," said Margalo. "Then you will not get dizzy. Anything is better than death." "Yes, that is true," said Stuart. "Let us start then. Hang on!" 9

Stuart hid his skates under his coat and took hold of Margalo's feet. "All ready!" he cried.

Margalo rose into the sky, and flew over the ocean, toward home.

"Ugh!" 10 said Margalo, when they were high in the air, "you smell bad, Stuart."

"I know that," he said sadly. "It's because of the garbage, I hope that you will not get dizzy."

"I cannot breathe," Margalo answered. "And my heart is beating! You must drop something to make yourself lighter." 11 "Shall I drop my skates? They are under my coat," said Stuart.

"Oh, dear!" the bird cried. "I didn't know that you had skates under your coat. Throw these heavy skates away quickly or 12 we shall both fall down in the ocean."

Stuart threw his skates away and they disappeared in the grey waves. "That is better," said Margalo. "It is all right now. I can already see the sky-scrapers of New York City."

Fifteen minutes later, they flew in through the open window of the Littles' dining-room and landed on the bookshelf. When Mrs. Little heard about their adventure she took Stuart in her hand, though he still smelled bad, and kissed him. Then she sent him upstairs to the bathroom and told George to take Stuart's clothes away.

"How was it there, in the Atlantic Ocean?" asked Mr. Little who never went very far from home.

So Stuart and Margalo told him all about the ocean, and the grey waves with white crests, and the sea-gulls in the sky, and the ships and the strong wind. Mr. Little sighed. He said that some day 13 he hoped to get away from his office and see all those fine things.

Everybody thanked Margalo and at supper Mrs. Little gave her a special cake.

 

1 a narrow escape — на волосок от гибели

2 nothing but water — ничего, кроме воды

3 Well — зд. Ну, что ж

4 tears came into his eyes — на глаза его навернулись слезы

5 If you take hold of my feet — Если ты ухватишься за мои лапки

6 Three ounces and a half — Три с половиной унции (т. е. около 100 г; 1 унция = 28,3 г)

7 With your clothes on? — В одежде?

8 And what if I get dizzy? — А что если у меня закружится голова?

9 Hang on! — Цепляйся!

10 Ugh! — Фу!

11 to make yourself lighter — чтобы весить поменьше

12 or — а то

13 some day — когда-нибудь

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