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قراءة كتاب Honey-Bee 1911

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‏اللغة: English

Honey-Bee 1911

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
الصفحة رقم: 8

copper-pans, pastry-moulds, copper-jugs, goblets of gold and silver, and mottled wood, not to mention iron roasting-jacks, artistically forged, and the huge black cauldron which hung from the pothook. He promised neither to disturb nor to damage anything. I refused his request, and he disappeared muttering vague threats. The third night, it being Christmas, this same dwarf returned to the chamber where I slept. He was accompanied by innumerable others, who pulled me out of bed and carried me to an unknown land in my nightgown. 'Such,' they said as they left me, 'such is the punishment of the rich who refuse even a part of their treasure to the industrious and kindly dwarf folk who work in gold and cause the springs to flow.'"

Thus said the toothless old woman, and the Duchess having comforted her with words and money, she and the two children retraced their way to the castle.

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     Which tells of what can be seen from the Keep of Clarides

It was one day shortly after this that Honey-Bee and George, without being observed, climbed the steps of the watch-tower which stands in the middle of the Castle of Clarides. Having reached the platform they shouted at the top of their voices and clapped their hands.

Their view extended down the hillside divided into brown and green squares of cultivated fields. Woods and mountains lay dimly blue against the distant horizon.

"Little sister," cried George, "little sister, look at the whole wide world!"

"The world is very big," said Honey-Bee. "My teachers," said George, "have taught me that it is very big; but, as Gertrude our housekeeper says, one must see to believe."

They went the round of the platform.

"Here is something wonderful, little brother," cried Honey-Bee. "The castle stands in the middle of the earth and we are on the watch-tower in the middle of the castle, and so we are standing in the middle of the earth. Ha! ha! ha!"

And, indeed, the horizon formed a circle about the children of which the watch-tower was the centre.

"We are in the middle of the earth! Ha! ha! ha!" George repeated.

Whereupon they both started a-thinking.

"What a pity that the world is so big!" said Honey-Bee, "one might get lost and be separated from one's friends."

George shrugged his shoulders.

"How lucky that the world is so big! One can go in search of adventures. When I am grown up I mean to conquer the mountains that stand at the ends of the earth. That is where the moon rises; I shall seize her as she passes, and I will give her to you, Honey-Bee."

"Yes," said Honey-Bee, "give her to me and I will put her in my hair."

Then they busied themselves searching for the places they knew as on a map.

"I recognise everything," said Honey-Bee, who recognised nothing, "but what are those little square stones scattered over the hillside?"

"Houses," George replied. "Those are houses. Don't you recognise the capital of the Duchy of Clarides, little sister? After all, it is a great city; it has three streets, and one can drive through one of them. Don't you remember that we passed through it last week when we went to the Hermitage?"

"And what is that winding brook?"

"That is the river. See the old stone bridge down there?"

"The bridge under which we fished for crayfish?"

"That's the one; and in one of the niches stands the statue of the 'Woman without a Head.' One cannot see her from here because she is too small."

"I remember. But why hasn't she got a head?"

"Probably because she has lost it."

Without saying if this explanation was satisfactory, Honey-Bee