Chapter XXI

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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 XXI

AN EVENING ON THE RIVER

When Stuart came back to his camp by the river, he was tired and hot. 1 He put the canoe in the water and saw that it leaked. In a few seconds it was half full of water.

"Oh, dear," he said, "the canoe leaks! I paid seventy-five cents for it, and now I shall not be able to take Harriet out in this boat."

Then he pulled the canoe out on the bank for repairs. He found a hole in the bottom. Then he climbed a fir-tree and found some gum. With this gum he stopped the leak. 2 Stuart was a good seaman but he was afraid to get into trouble. 3

He carried stones from the bank down to the water and put some into the boat for ballast. 4 Then he decided to try the canoe. It was all right, but Stuart was sorry that he did not have anything better than a cardboard spoon for a paddle.

All that afternoon Stuart worked on the canoe. In the evening he opened a can of ham, cut a dandelion and had a light supper of ham and dandelion milk. After supper he lay down under a flower, shut his eyes and dreamed about his trip with Harriet.

"I shall swim and get her a water-lily and she will see what a good swimmer I am," he thought.

Suddenly Stuart opened his eyes and sat up. He remembered his letter to Harriet.

"I dropped it into the. letter-box but it was so small! Perhaps the postman did not see it!" he thought.

He lay for a while and listened to the sound of the river, then he fell asleep.

The next morning was cloudy. Stuart hid the canoe under a cabbage leaf, tied it to a stone and went to the town to buy some new shirts.

Stuart returned from the town with a headache. He was nervous. He spent the afternoon trying on different shirts and combing his whiskers. 5 He put on a clean shirt at two o'clock, another at three o'clock, and another at a quarter past four. About five o'clock he began to look at his watch nervously. He combed his whiskers once more 6 and looked at the sky. The sky was rainy.

Stuart was so tired that he decided to lie down for a moment and have a little rest. But as soon as he closed his eyes he heard a voice behind him.

"Hello," said the voice, "are you Mr. Little?"

It was Harriet!

"Hello," said Stuart and got up quickly. "Yes, I am Stuart Little. It's nice of you to come." 7

"It was very good of you to ask me," 8 said Harriet and smiled. She looked very nice. She wore a white sweater and a black skirt and carried a box of peppermints in her hand.

"Not at all," 9 said Stuart. "I only wish we had better weather. 10 I am afraid it is going to rain."

Harriet looked at the sky. "Oh, well," she said, "if it. rains, it rains." 11

"Of course," repeated Stuart, "if it rains, it rains. My canoe is not far from here. May I help you?" And he offered her his arm. Stuart was a very polite mouse, but Harriet said that she did not need any help. She was a strong girl and was not afraid to fall.

"I'll show you my canoe," said Stuart. "It is there, under that cabbage leaf. I have hidden it in the morning. This way, please... 12 But where is it?"

Stuart's heart sank. 13

"Somebody has stolen the canoe!" he said with tears in his eyes.

Then he began to run up and down the bank. 14 He looked for the canoe everywhere. Harriet helped him in his search. At last they found the canoe. It looked awful.

"Some big boy 15 took it and played with it!" thought Stuart.

Mud was all over the boat, one of the paddles was broken, and a long piece of rope was tied 16 to one end. It looked just like a birchbark canoe looks when big boys play with it.

Stuart was heart-broken. He did not know what to do. He sat down on the bank and buried his head in his hands. 17

"What's the matter?" asked Harriet.

"Miss Ames," said Stuart in a trembling voice. "I prepared everything so beautifully. And now look!"

"Oh, we can repair this canoe and go out in it," said Harriet.

But Stuart did not like the idea.

"It's no use," 18 he said. "Look at that rope! I shall never be able to get it off." 19

"Never mind the rope!" 20 said Harriet. "We can pretend that we are fishing." She could not understand why Stuart was so heart-broken.

"I don't want to pretend that I am fishing," cried Stuart. "Besides, look at that mud! Look at it!"

Harriet sat down beside Stuart. She offered him a peppermint but he shook his head. He could not eat.

"Well," she said, "it is beginning to rain. If you are not going to take me out in your canoe, I shall go home. I don't understand why you are so heart-broken. Would you like to come up to my house? 21 After dinner you may take me to the dance. It will cheer you up."

"No, thank you," said Stuart. "I don't know how to dance. Besides, I am going to get up early in the morning. I'll be on the road at daybreak."

"Are you going to sleep out in all this rain?" 22 asked Harriet.

"Certainly," said Stuart. "I'll sleep under the canoe."

Harriet shrugged her shoulders.

"Well," she said, "good-bye, Mr. Little."

"Good-bye, Miss Ames," said Stuart. "I am sorry that our evening on the river had to end like this." 23

"So am I," said Harriet. And she walked away, leaving Stuart alone with his broken dreams and his broken canoe.

 

 

1 he was tired and hot — он устал, и ему было жарко

2 stopped the leak — заделал течь

3 to get into trouble — попасть в беду

4 for ballast — в качестве балласта (см. ниже for a paddle — в качестве весла, вместо весла)

5 Не spent the afternoon trying on different shirts and combing his whiskers. — Он провел середину дня, примеряя разные рубашки и расчесывая усы.

6 once more — еще раз

7 It's nice of you to come. — Как мило, что вы пришли.

8 It was very good of you to ask me — Очень любезно было с вашей стороны пригласить меня

9 Not at all — Не стоит благодарности

10 I only wish we had better weather. - Мне бы только хотелось, чтобы погода была получше.

11 if it rains, it rains — дождь так дождь

12 This way, please... — Сюда, пожалуйста...

13 Stuart's heart sank. — У Стюарта упало сердце.

14 up and down the bank — вдоль берега, взад и вперед

15 Some big boy — Какой-то большой мальчишка

16 was tied — был привязан

17 buried his head in his hands — обхватил голову руками,

18 It's no use — Бесполезно

19 I shall never be able to get it off. — Мне ни за что не удастся ее отвязать.

20 Never mind the rope! — He обращайте внимания на веревку!

21 Would you like to come up to my house? — He хотите ли зайти ко мне домой?

22 to sleep out in all this rain - спать под открытым небом в такой дождь

23 I am sorry that our evening on the river had to end like this. — Мне жаль, что наш вечер на реке так закончился,

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