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For all you know, a witch might be living next door to you right now.
Or she might be the woman with the bright eyes who sat opposite you on the bus this morning.
She might be the lady with the dazzling smile who offered you a sweet from a white paper bag in
the street before lunch.
She might even — and this will make you jump — she might even be your lovely school-teacher
who is reading these words to you at this very moment.
Look carefully at that teacher. Perhaps she is smiling at the absurdity of such a suggestion. Don't
let that put you off. It could be part of her cleverness.
I am not, of course, telling you for one second that your teacher actually is a witch. All I am
saying is that she might be one. It is most unlikely. But — and here comes the big "but" — it is not
Oh, if only there were a way of telling for sure whether a woman was a witch or not, we could
round them all upand put them in the meat-grinder.
Unhappily, there is no such way. But there are a number of little signals you can look out for,
little quirky habits that all witches have in common, and if you know about these, if you remember
them always, then you might just possibly manage to escape danger.
(After R. Dahl)
1 they are so hard to catch их так трудно поймать
2 the fact remains факт остается фактом
3 As far as children are concerned [ken'S3:nd] Что касается детей
4 For all you know, a witch might be living next door to you Как знать, возможно, ведьма
вами по соседству
5 Don't let that put you off Это не должно сбить вас с толку
6 Oh, if only there were a way... Ax, если бы существовал способ...
7 to round [raund] up согнать в одно место, произвести облаву
8 meat-grinder ['mi:t,grainda] мясорубка
9 that all witches have in common зд. свойственные всем ведьмам
Three months passed. Little by little Andrew got used to this strange town, surrounded by the
mountains, and to the people most of whom worked in the mines. The town was full of mines,
factories, churches and small dirty old houses. There was no theatre, not even a cinema the workers
could go to after work. But Andrew liked the people. They spoke little and worked much. They
liked football, and what was more interesting, they were fond of music, good classical music. He
often heard the sound of a piano, coming from this or that house.
It was clear to Andrew now, that Doctor Page would never see a patient again. Manson did all
the work, and Mrs Page received all the money. She paid out to Manson less than one sixth of that
— twenty pounds and sixteen shillings a month. Almost all of it Andrew sent to the University to
pay his debt.
But at that time the question of money was not important to him. He had a few shillings in his
pocket to buy cigarettes and he had his work, and that was more than enough for him.
He had to work hard and to think much for he saw now that the professors at his University had
given him very little to know about practical medicine.
He thought about all that walking in the direction of Riskin Street. There in Number 3 he found a
small boy of nine years of age ill with measles. "I am sorry, Mrs Howells," Andrew said to the boy's
mother. "But you must keep Idris home from school." (Idris was Mrs Howells' other son.)
"But Miss Barlow says he may come to school."
"Oh? Who is Miss Barlow?"
"She is the teacher."
"Miss Barlow has no right to let him come to school when his brother has measles," Andrew said
Five minutes later he entered a classroom of the school. A very young woman of about twenty or
twenty-two was writing something on the blackboard.
She turned to him.
"Are you Miss Barlow?"
"Yes." Her large brown eyes were looking at him friendly.
"Are you Doctor Page's new assistant?"
Andrew reddened suddenly.
"Yes," he said, "I'm Doctor Manson. You know Idris' brother has measles and so Idris must not
"Yes, I know, but the family is so poor and Mrs Howells is so busy. If Idris stays at home, he
won't get his cup of milk.
And, Doctor Manson, most of the children here have had measles already."
"And what about the others? You must send that boy home at once."
"Well, Doctor," she interrupted him suddenly. "Don't you understand that I'm the teacher of this
class and here it's my word that counts?"
"You can't have him here, Miss Barlow. If you don't send him home at once, I'll have to report
"Then report me, or have me arrested if you like." She quickly turned to the class. "Stand up,
children, and say: 'Good-bye, Doctor Manson. Thank you for coming.' "
Before Andrew could say a word the door closed quietly in his face.
(After A. Cronin)
1 mine шахта
2 ill with measles ['mi:zlz] больной корью
3 Howells ['haualz]
4 Idris ['aidris]
5 keep from school не пускать в школу
6 Barlow ['ba:leu]
7 here it's my word that counts зд. здесь я хозяйка
8 I'll have to report you. Мне придется заявить на вас в полицию.
9 have me arrested пусть меня арестуют
10 in his face зд. у него перед носом
AN EXPLOSION AT NIGHT
All that month Andrew worked from early morning till late at night. He loved his work. His
patients were already almost well. The results of his work were even better than those of Denny's.
The epidemic was coming to an end.
On the tenth of November Denny suddenly rang him up.
"Manson! I'd like to see you. Can you come to my place at three o'clock? It's important."
"Very well. I'll be there!"
On the way to Denny's house he saw Doctor Bramwell.
"Ah, Manson, my boy! I'm so glad to see you."
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