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
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.
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.
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
Stuart was heart-broken. He did not
know what to do. He sat down on the bank and buried his head in his hands.
"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.
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.
"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 —
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
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
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
17 buried his head in
his hands — обхватил голову руками,
18 It's no use —
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,