酷兔英语



[Illustration: Front cover art]

[Frontispiece: "'Oh, Ruth,' she said, 'The foreign gentleman has

come!'"]

_THE RED NURSERY SERIES_

THE GAP IN THE FENCE

BY

FREDERICA J. TURLE

Author of

"The Squire's Grandchildren," "Jerry O'Shassenagh," etc., etc.

_WITH TWELVE ILLUSTRATIONS BY WATSON CHARLTON_

LONDON:

THE SUNDAY SCHOOL UNION

57 AND 59 LUDGATE HILL, E.C.

1914

CONTENTS

CHAPTER.

I.--HAVER GRANGE

II.--A QUEER VISITOR

III.--THE LITTLE FOREIGN GIRL

IV.--FAIRIES

V.--HAPPY DAYS

VI.--UNA ASKS A QUESTION

VII.--SECRETS

VIII.--THE GYPSIES ON THE COMMON

IX.--UNA'S PET

X.--WHAT THE YOUNG MAN SAID

XI.--SAD DAYS

XII.--HER FATHER'S SECRET

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

Front cover art

"'OH, RUTH,' SHE SAID, 'THE FOREIGN GENTLEMAN

HAS COME!'" . . . . . . _Frontispiece_

"YOU MUSTN'T LAUGH, ANY OF YOU--PROMISE!"

SHE RAISED HER HEAD AND LOOKED AT NORAH GRAVELY.

"'FAIRIES! FAIRIES!' SHE CRIED, CLAPPING HER HANDS."

"THERE, IN THE OLD BRICK WALL, WAS A TINY OAK DOOR!"

"SHE WAS STILL BENDING OVER THE BASIN WHEN SHE HEARD

A TAP, TAP, TAP."

"SHE CAME ACROSS TOM SEATED ON THE GROUND."

"'THERE THEY ARE!' TOM SAID SUDDENLY."

"'OH, TOM, IT'S ALIVE!' CRIED UNA."

"THE CHILDREN FOLLOWED HIM OUT INTO THE SUNSHINE."

"UNA SAT BESIDE HIM, FANNING HIM."

"'I WAS JUST WONDERING IF I SHOULD TELL YOU,' SAID UNA."

Back cover art

THE GAP IN THE FENCE.

CHAPTER I.

HAVER GRANGE.

Think of the prettiest garden you have ever seen: a dear,

old-fashioned, sunny garden, with masses of snapdragon and white lilies

and carnations, and big yellow sunflowers; and damask roses, and white

cluster roses, and sweet-smelling pink cabbage roses, and tiny yellow

Scotch roses--in fact, every kind of rose you can think of, except

modern ones. Then you can imagine the Vicarage garden at Haversham.

Not that all these flowers were out in August; indeed, the best of the

roses and all the carnations were over by then, but the garden was

still gay with lots of other kinds of flowers; and dear little twisting

paths led the way under shady nut-trees to the kitchen garden and

orchard, where apricots and plums turned golden and red in the

sunshine, and the apple-trees were so laden that it seemed quite

wonderful to think the branches did not break with the weight of the

fruit.

The summer holidays were half over now, and already Mother had begun to

look over the boys' socks and shirts for the next term at school, and

the girls had begun to talk seriously of the holiday tasks, which had

been lightheartedly put on one side when they first came home from

school with eight long weeks of idleness before them.

They were all having tea under the big ash-tree on the lawn one very

hot afternoon, when Philip announced a rather important piece of news.

"Haver Grange is let," he said.

"_Is_ it? Oh, Philip, how do you know? Who told you? Who has taken

it, and when are they coming?" asked the others.

For over twelve years now the old Grange had been empty--except for a

very deaf old man and his wife who lived there as caretakers. The

present owner liked better to travel about the world than to live

quietly in England, and his sons generally spent their holidays with

him abroad.

But although the same old board had stood beside the big iron gates

with "This House to be Let Furnished" written upon it in large white

letters, no one had come to live in it, and the children had grown to

look upon the Grange garden, with its moss-grown walks and weedy flower

beds, as their especial property.

"Mrs. Mills told me when I went to buy mother's stamps just now," said

the boy. "She said an Italian gentleman had taken it, or an Austrian

or a Frenchman--she didn't know which," and Philip laughed as he helped

himself to a piece of cake.

Just then the vicar turned in at the gate and crossed the lawn towards

them.

"Don't bother father with questions until he has had a cup of tea,"

said Mrs. Carew, and six eager faces were turned towards the vicar as,

with a sigh of relief, he seated himself under the shade of the tree.

"I think to-day is the hottest day we have had this year," he said, as

he took the cup Ruth handed him and began to stir his tea, while he

chatted to his wife about the poor woman he had been to see.

Ruth sighed.

"Isn't your tea nice, father?" she asked. "You have hardly drunk any

of it yet."

"Very nice, thank you, dear," said her father.

Norah got down from her seat and carried the big milk jug round to his

side.

"Won't you have some more milk, father?" she said. "Perhaps your tea

is too hot, and you can't drink it quickly."

"But I don't want to drink it quickly," said her father.

He looked in a puzzled way at his wife, and Mrs. Carew laughed.

"I told the children to let you drink one cup of tea in peace before

they bothered you with questions," said she.

"I think I know what the questions will be about," said the vicar.

He drank the rest of his tea and handed the cup to Philip.

"Father! _Have_ you heard Haver Grange is let?" said the boy.

"And whom it's let to?" asked Ruth.

"And whether there are any children?" asked Norah.

"One question at a time!" said their father, laughing. "Yes, I heard

from Mr. Denny that the Grange had been let to a foreign gentleman, who

is coming to live there very soon, I believe, as the caretakers have

orders to have the house in readiness before the end of this week; but

where he comes from and whether he has any children I do not know."

Dan had been opening and shutting his mouth for the last two minutes.

"Father!" he burst out at last, "_Do_ you think he will have the gap in

the fence boarded up?"

"The gap in the fence? My dear Dan, what do you mean?" asked his

father.

"He means the gap where we used to get through and have picnics in the

Grange grounds," said Ruth, "but we haven't been there for a long time

now. Have you and Dan been lately, Norah?"

"Yes," said Norah, "Dan and I often go and sit there. Shan't we ever

be able to go any more?" And the little girl looked quite sad.

"No," said Mr. Carew; "certainly you must not go again. Little

trespassers! I had no idea you were in the habit of going there for

picnics or anything else."

"What's trespassers?" asked Dan.

"People who break through other people's fences and get taken up and

put in prison," said Philip, as Mr. and Mrs. Carew left the tea-table

and went towards the house. "Just fancy! You and Norah might have

been quietly having a picnic in the glen one day when some fat old

policeman would come along and take you both off to prison."

"Levick wouldn't," said Norah stoutly. "Levick's a very nice man. Dan

and I often go to see him and his wife and baby."

"Well, Levick isn't the only policeman in the world," said Philip

teasingly. "I saw a very fat, red-faced old policeman in Borsham the

other day, and he had a little twinkle in his eye, which seemed to say:

'Where are the little boy and girl who have been breaking through the

Grange fence?'"

"Oh, Philip, don't be silly," said Mary, seeing that her little brother

was looking rather grave. "You know policemen wouldn't take up people

and put them in prison unless they were doing anything really wrong."

"But perhaps _some_ policemen would, Mary," said Dan. "Perhaps _all_

policemen are not nice, kind policemen like Levick, who live in dear

little white cottages like Levick's cottage, and have dear little

babies like Levick's baby, and lots of little pigs like Levick's pigs."

The other children burst out laughing.

"No, of course they are not all exactly like Levick," said Philip, who

was a little ashamed of himself for having frightened his little

brother; "but I was only joking when I said that about the policeman in

Borsham, Dan. What a little duffer you are!"

"Tell us about Jack the Giant-killer, then," said Dan coaxingly; and

Philip sat down good-naturedly and told his little brother and sister

story after story, until it was bedtime.

The next morning, when Philip went to the schoolroom to finish the

Latin translation which he meant to have done the evening before, he

found Ruth seated at the table with pen, ink and paper before her, and

a very blank look on her face.

"What are you doing?" he asked in surprise; for Ruth was a very lazy

little girl as a rule, and was seldom seen either reading, writing or

working.

"It's my holiday task," she said dismally. "I can't think of anything

to say."

"What have you got to write about?" asked Philip.

"Alfred the Great," said Ruth. "I know about him burning the cakes;

but I can't think of anything else, and Mary has half done hers. Miss

Long has offered a prize for the one who does it best."

"I wish old Jones would offer a prize for _my_ holiday task," said

Philip. "I can't get this stuff into my head!" and the boy turned to

his Latin with a sigh.

"It's because we've had holidays, I think," said Ruth. "My mind feels

quite empty, you know; and I think of all sorts of silly things instead

of my essay."

"Perhaps that is why we have holiday tasks," said Philip.

Just then hasty footsteps sounded along the passage, and Norah burst

into the room like a whirlwind.

"Oh, Ruth," she said, quite out of breath with running so fast, "the

foreign gentleman has come; and what do you think? He has got

children; at least, he has a little girl, and she's about my age, Mrs.

Mills says; because Mrs. Brown's son has been doing some painting at

the Grange, and he saw a little girl one day, and Mrs. Brown told Mrs.

Mills that he said she looked a 'regular caution.' I wonder what that

means--not like little English girls, I expect. Oh, Ruth! don't you

_wish_ we could see her?"

"Norah, you really do talk too much," said Ruth, as her little sister

paused for breath. "You bring out all your words in a rush together,

and no one can hear half you say; and I'm sure mother wouldn't like you

to chatter like that with Mrs. Mills. What have you been to the shop

at all for, this morning?"

"To buy some string for Tom," said Norah. She was generally rather

hurt when Ruth put on her elder-sisterly air, because she tried so hard

to be "old" and sensible during the holidays, so that Ruth might talk

to her sometimes and tell her secrets as she did to Mary, instead of

always treating her as one of the little ones. But to-day she was too

excited to pay much attention to Ruth's reproof, and turned to Philip

for sympathy.

"Philip, isn't it lovely?" she said. "Perhaps we shall be great

friends, the little girl and I, and go to tea with each other, and do

things like that. Oh, I should _love_ to have a little girl to be

friends with!"

CHAPTER II.

A QUEER VISITOR.

For some days nothing more was heard of the new tenants at Haver

Grange, and when Sunday came the children were quite excited at the

idea of seeing the foreign gentleman and his little girl in church.

When Stephen said that perhaps they would not come to church this first

Sunday, the others scouted the idea with scorn, and the eyes of all the

Carews were turned towards the Grange pew as they went in.

It was a big, old-fashioned, high-walled pew, and no one had ever sat

in it as long as the children could remember; though Mrs. Jinks; the

verger's wife, dusted it well and beat up the cushions with great

energy every Thursday when she cleaned the church.

The pew was empty this morning; but it was early yet, and the children

sat in eager expectation until the last clang of the bell sounded and

the vicar entered.

"Such a pity to be late the first morning," thought Norah, as she rose

to her feet with the others; but as the minutes passed, and still

neither the foreign gentleman nor his little girl appeared, she began

to think that perhaps Stephen was right after all.

"Oh, mother, _when_ do you think we shall see her?" said Norah, on

their way home from church that morning. "They've been here ever since

Tuesday, and we haven't seen anything of them yet. Don't you think

they will ever come to church here, mother--the little foreign girl and

her father?"

"I don't know, dear," said her mother. "Perhaps they will later on;

but father is going to call on Monsieur Gen (I think that is the

foreign gentleman's name) in a few days, and perhaps, afterwards, he

will be able to tell you something about the little girl."

But when the vicar called at the Grange a few days later, the strange,

foreign-looking servant who opened the door told him that his master

did not receive visitors; and as Mr. Carew walked down the drive he

wondered what reason the foreign gentleman could have for coming to

live at Haversham.

The last few days of the holidays went by very quickly; and it was just

two days before the elder children went back to school that they saw

their new little neighbour for the first time.

"If you want to see the little Spanish girl, come quick!" cried Tom,

throwing open the schoolroom door; and in a moment the others had flung

down their books and work and had followed him downstairs and out into

the garden.

"Hurry!" cried Tom, panting as he rushed across the lawn; and they

reached the gate just as a stout, elderly woman and a pale-faced little

girl, dressed in a quaintly-frilled black frock, paused for one moment

before it.

The child gazed solemnly at the group of rosy-faced, happy-looking

children on the other side of the gate; then she said something in a


生词表:
  • cabbage [´kæbidʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.卷心菜;洋白菜   (初中英语单词)
  • seriously [´siəriəsli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.严肃;严重,重大   (初中英语单词)
  • holiday [´hɔlidi] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.假日,假期,节日   (初中英语单词)
  • italian [i´tæliən] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.意大利 n.意大利人   (初中英语单词)
  • bother [´bɔðə] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.打扰 n.麻烦(事)   (初中英语单词)
  • relief [ri´li:f] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.救济;援救;减轻   (初中英语单词)
  • opening [´əupəniŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.开放;开端 a.开始的   (初中英语单词)
  • lately [´leitli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.近来,不久前   (初中英语单词)
  • policeman [pə´li:smən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.警察   (初中英语单词)
  • twinkle [´twiŋkl] 移动到这儿单词发声  vi.&n.闪烁;眨眼   (初中英语单词)
  • cottage [´kɔtidʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.村舍;小屋;小别墅   (初中英语单词)
  • ashamed [ə´ʃeimd] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.惭愧;不好意思   (初中英语单词)
  • reading [´ri:diŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.(阅)读;朗读;读物   (初中英语单词)
  • writing [´raitiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.书写;写作;书法   (初中英语单词)
  • breath [breθ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.呼吸;气息   (初中英语单词)
  • running [´rʌniŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.奔跑的;流动的   (初中英语单词)
  • painting [´peintiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.绘画;(油)画;着色   (初中英语单词)
  • chatter [´tʃætə] 移动到这儿单词发声  vi.&n.饶舌;闲聊   (初中英语单词)
  • sensible [´sensəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.感觉得到的   (初中英语单词)
  • old-fashioned [´əuld´feʃənd] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.老式的;过时的   (初中英语单词)
  • monsieur [mə´sjə:] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.先生   (初中英语单词)
  • downstairs [,daun´steəz] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.在楼下 a.楼下的   (初中英语单词)
  • nursery [´nə:səri] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.托儿所;苗床;养鱼场   (高中英语单词)
  • picnic [´piknik] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.郊游 vi.(去)野餐   (高中英语单词)
  • seeing [si:iŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  see的现在分词 n.视觉   (高中英语单词)
  • translation [træns´leiʃən, trænz-] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.翻译;译文;译本   (高中英语单词)
  • expectation [,ekspek´teiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.期待(望);预期   (高中英语单词)
  • solemnly [´sɔləmli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.严肃地,庄严地   (高中英语单词)
  • idleness [´aidlnis] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.懒;闲着不干事   (英语四级单词)
  • readiness [´redinis] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.准备就绪;愿意   (英语四级单词)
  • schoolroom [´sku:lru:m, -rum] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.教室   (英语四级单词)
  • elderly [´eldəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  a. 较老的,年长的   (英语四级单词)
  • damask [´dæməsk] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.锦缎 a.缎子的   (英语六级单词)
  • august [ɔ:´gʌst] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.尊严的;威严的   (英语六级单词)
  • grange [´greindʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.农场;庄园   (英语六级单词)
  • especial [i´speʃəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.特别的,特殊的   (英语六级单词)
  • reproof [ri´pru:f] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.谴责;责备   (英语六级单词)

  • 上传人 欢乐鱼 分享于 2017-06-26 18:00:27
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