When evening came, Stuart still sat by
the river. He had a light supper: a cheese sandwich and a drink of water. He
slept that night in the warm grass, and the sound of the river was in his
In the morning the sun was warm and
bright and Stuart went to swim again. After breakfast he left his car under a
cabbage leaf and walked to the post-office. He wanted to fill his fountain-pen
from the ink-well in the post-office. When he climbed to the table where the
ink-well was, he saw that the door opened, and a girl came in. She was about
two inches high. She wore a pretty dress and walked with her head held high.
"That must be Harriet Ames!" thought
Stuart and hid behind the ink-well.
The girl went to the mail-boxes,
2 opened her mail-box and took out her letters. She was very
pretty and it was the first time that Stuart saw a person who wasn't taller
than himself. He wanted to get down to the floor and speak to her, but he was
afraid to speak to a girl whom he didn't know.
his boldness left him, and he stayed behind the ink-well. Only when Harriet
was out of sight 3 Stuart went out of the post-office and ran
to the store.
"Have you any letter paper?" he asked
his friend the storekeeper. "I must write a letter."
The storekeeper helped Stuart to climb
up to the counter and found some nice letter-paper for him. Stuart took out
his fountain-pen, set down on a box of matches and began a letter to Harriet.
"MY DEAR MISS AMES," he wrote. "I am a
young person of modest proportions. 4 I was born in New York
City, but at the present moment I am travelling on business. My travels have
brought me to your town. Yesterday the storekeeper in the general store told
me about you."
At that moment Stuart's pen ran dry.
5 "Oh, dear! I have forgotten to fill my fountain-pen!" cried
Stuart. "Please give me a bottle of ink," he said to the storekeeper. The
storekeeper brought a bottle of ink, but it was so big that Stuart could not
reach the top of it. So the storekeeper took Stuart by the tail and lowered
him, head first, 6 into the bottle. Stuart filled his pen and
went back to his letter.
me, Miss Ames, for my boldness, but there are very few people in the world who
are only two inches high. I say 'two inches', but I am a little taller than
that. 7 My only drawback is that I look like a mouse. If you
want to meet me, come to the river tomorrow about five o'clock. Don't tell
anything to your parents about my letter. I am afraid that they won't like my
letter and my mouselike appearance. 8 But you know better
your father and mother than I do and I need not give you advice.
"I am staying by the river in a
beautiful place at the foot of the hill. Would you like to go for a row in my
canoe tomorrow afternoon? 9 At sundown the river flows
quietly in the long shadows of the trees and these spring evenings are the
best time for boatmen. I like the water, dear Miss Ames, and my canoe is like
an old good friend."
Stuart forgot in his excitement
10 that he had no canoe. "So I shall wait for you at the
river about five o'clock. And now I must finish my letter.
"Yours very truly, 11
Stuart put the letter into the
envelope and turned to the storekeeper.
"Where can I get a canoe?" he asked.
"Here," said the storekeeper. He went to the souvenir counter 12
and took down a little birchbark canoe. Stuart looked at it for a long time.
"Does it leak?" he asked.
"It is a nice boat," said the
storekeeper. "It will cost you seventy-five cents."
Stuart took out his money and paid the
man. Then he looked inside the boat, but did not see any paddles. "What about
paddles?" 13 he asked.
storekeeper searched among the souvenirs, but he could not find any paddles.
So he went to the ice-cream counter and came back with two little cardboard
spoons for ice-cream.
"You can use these spoons instead of
paddles," he said.
Stuart took the spoons, but he did not
"Of course, I can use them instead of
paddles, but I don't want to meet an American Indian when I have one of these
things in my hand," he said.
The storekeeper carried the canoe and
the paddles out in front of the store and set them down in the street. Stuart
took a piece of rope from his pocket, tied the paddles to the canoe, put the
canoe up on his head and walked away. He was proud that he could handle boats
so easily, and liked to show off. 14
1 walked with her head
held high — шла, высоко подняв голову
2 the mail-boxes —
ящики для писем (адресату могут доставлять письма не домой, а в почтовое
отделение, в специальный ящик с его номером)
3 was out of sight —
скрылась из виду
4 I am a young person
of modest proportions. — Я молодой человек скромных размеров.
5 Stuart's pen ran dry
- в ручке Стюарта кончились чернила
- опустил его вниз головой (букв, головой вперед)
7 I am a little taller
than that — я немного повыше
8 my mouselike
appearance — моя мышиная наружность
9 Would you like to go
for a row in my canoe tomorrow afternoon? — He хотите ли завтра после обеда
покататься со мной в челноке?
10 in his excitement
— от волнения
11 Yours very truly —
12 souvenir counter —
прилавок с памятными подарками
13 What about
paddles? — А где же весла? (букв. А как насчет весел?)
14 liked to show off
— любил покрасоваться