The Wishing chair (1)
1.THE STRANGE OLD SHOP
The adventures really began on the day that Mollie and Peter went out to spend thiry-five pence on a present for their mother's birthday.
They emptied the money out of their money-box and counted it.
"Thirty-five ! " said Peter.
" Good ! Now, what shall we buy Mother ? "
" Mother loves old things, " said Mollie.
"If we could find an old shop somewhere, full of old thingsーyou know, funny spoons, quaint vases, old glasses, and beadsーsomething of that sort would be lovely for Mother.
She would love an old tea-caddy to keep the tea in,I'm sure,or perharps an old, old vase.
"All right, " said Peter.
"We'll go and find one of those shops this very day. Put on your hat and come on, Mollie. "
Off they went, and ran into the town.
"It's a shop with the word 'Antiques ' over it that we want," said the Peter.
"Antiques means old things. Just look out for that, Mollie."
But there seemed to be no shop with the word 'Antiques ' printed overit at all.
The children left the main street and went down a little turning.
There were more shops there, but still not the one they wanted.
The Wishing chair (2)
So on they went and came to a small,narrow street whose houses were so close that there was hardly any light in the road !
And there, tucked away in the middle, was the shop with
" Antiques " printed on a label inside the dirty window.
" Good ! " said Peter.
" Here is a shop that sells old things.Look, Mollie, do you see that strange little vase with swans set all round it ?
I'm sure Mother would like that.
It is marked twenty-five pence.
We could buy that and some flowers to put it ! "
So into the old dark shop they went.
It was so dark that the children stumbled over some piled up rugs on the floor.
Nobody seemed to be about.
Peter went to the counter and rapped on it.
A tiny door at the back opened and out came the strangest little man, no higher than the counter top.
He had pointed ears like a pixie.
The children stared at him in surprise.
He looked very cross, and spoke shaply.
"What do you want, making a noise like that ? "
" We want to buy the vase with swans round it," said Peter.
Muttering and grumbling to himself, the little chap picked up the vase and pushed it across the counter.
Peter put down the money.
" Can I have some paper to wrap the vase in ? "
he asked politely.
"You see, it's for my mother's birthday, and I don't want her to see me carring it home. "
Grumbling away to himself, the little man went to a pile of box at the back of the shop and began to open one to look for a piece of paper.
The children watched.
To their enormous surprise a large black cat with golden eyes jumped out of the box and began to spit and snarl at the little man.
He smacked it and put it back again.
He opened another box.
Out of that came a great wreath of green smoke that would about the shop and smelt strange.
The little man caught hold of it as if it were a ribbon and tried to stuff it back into the box again.
But it broke off and went wandering away.
How he stamped and raged !
The children felt quite frightened.
" We'd better go without the paper, " whispered Mollie to Peter, but just then another extraordinary thing happened.
Out of the next box came a crowd of blue butterflies.
They flew into the air, and the little man shouted with rage again.
He darted to the door and shut it, afraid that butterflies would escape.
To the children's horror they saw him lock the door, too, and put the key into his poket !
" We can't get out till he lets us go ! " said Mollie.
"Oh dear, why did we ever come here ? I'm sure that little man is a gnome or something.
The little fellow opened another box, and hey presto, out jumped a red fox !
It gave a short bark and then began to run about the shop, its nose to the ground.
The children were half afraid of being bitten, and they both sat in an old chair together, their legs drawn up off the ground, out of the way of the fox.
It was the most curious shop they had ever been in !
Fancy keeping all those queer things in boxes !
Really, there must be magic about somewhere.
It couldn't be a proper shop.
The children noticed a little stairway leading off the shop about the middle, and suddenly at the top of this, there appeard somebody else !
It was somebody tall and thin, with such a long beard that it swept the ground.
On his head was a pointed hat that made him seem taller still.
" Look ! " said Mollie.
" Doesn't he look like a wizard ? "
" Tippit, Tippit, what are you doing ? " cried the newcomer, in a strange, deep voice, like the rumbling of faraway thunder.
"Looking for a piece of paper ! " answered the little man, in a surly tone.
" And all I find is butterflies and foxes, a black cat, and ー"
" What ! You've dared to open those boxes ! "
shouted the other angrily.
He stamped down the stairs, and then saw the children.
" And who are you ? " he asked, staring at them.
" how dare you came here ? "
" We wanted to buy this vase, " said Peter, frightened.
"Well, seeing you are here, you can help Tippit to catch the fox, " said the tall man, twisting his beard up into a knot and tying it under his chin.
" Come on ! "
" I don't want to, " said Mollie.
" He might bite me. Unlock the door and let us go out. "
" Not till the fox and all the butterflies are caught and put into their boxes again, " said the tall man.
"Oh dear ! "said the Peter, making no movement to get out of the chair, in which he and Mollie were still sitting with their legs drawn up.
" I do wish we were safely at home ! "
The Wishing chair (5)
And then the most extraordinary thing of all happened !
The chair they were in began to creak and groan, and suddenly it rose up in the air, with two children in it !
They held tight, wondering whatever was happening !
It flew to the door,but that was shut.
It frew to the window, but that was shut too.
Meantime the wizard and Tippit were running after it, crying in rage.
" How dare you use our wishing-chair !
Wish it back, wish it back ! "
" I shan't ! " cried Peter.
" Go on, wishing-chair, take us home ! "
The chair finding that it could not get out of the door or a window,frew up the little stairway.
It nearly got stuck in the doorway at the top, which was rather narrow, but just managed to squeeze itself through.
Before the children could see what the room upstairs was like, the chair flew to the window there, which was open, and out it went into the street.
It immediately rose uo very high indeed, far beyond the housetops, and flew towards the children's home.
How amazed they were !
And how tightly they clungto the arms !
It would be dreadful to fall !
"I say,Mollie, can you hear a flapping noise ? "said Peter.
" Has the chair got wings anywhere ? "
Mollie peeped cautiously over the edge of the chair.
" Yes, " she said.
" It has a little red wing growing out of each leg, and they make the flapping noise ! How queer ! "
The chair began to fly downwards.
The children saw that they were just over their garden.
" Go to our playroom, chair, " said Peter quickly.
The chair went to big shed at the bottom of the garden.
Inside was a playroom for the children, and here they kept all their toys and books, and could play any game they liked.
The chair flew in at the open door and came to rest on the floor. The children jumped off and looked at one another.
(つづく 5/15 )
The Wishing chair (6)
" The first real adventure we've ever had in our lives ! " said Mollie,in delight.
" Oh Peter, to think we've got a magic chairー a wishing chair ! "
" Weli, it isn't really ours, " said Peter, putting the swan vase carefully down on the table.
" Perharps we had better sent it bck to that shop. "
" I suppose we had, " said Mollie sadly.
"It woud be so lovely if we could keep it ! "
" Go back to your shop, chair, " commanded Peter.
The chair didn't move an inch !
Peter spoke to it again; still the chair wouldn't move !
There it was and there it stayed.
And suddenly the children noticed that its little red wings had gone from the legs.
It looked just an ordinary chair now !
" See, Mollie ! THe chair hasn't any wings ! " cried Peter.
"It can't fly. I expect it is only when it grows wings that it can fly. It must just have grown them when we were sitting in it in the shop. What luck for us ! "
" Peter ! Let's what till the chair has grown wings again, and then get in and see where it goes ! " said Mollie, her face red with excitement.
" Oh, do let's ! "
" Well, it might take us anywhere ! " said Peter doubtfully.
" Still, we've always wanted adventures, mollie, haven't we ? So we'll try ! The very next time our wishing-chair grows wings, we'll sit in it and fly off again ! "
" Harrah ! " said Mollie.
" I hope it will be tomorrow ! "
The Wishing chair (7)
THE GIANT'S CASTLE
Each day Mollie and Peter ran down to their playroom in the garden, and looked at their wishing-chair to see if it had grown wings again,
But each time they were disappinted.
" It may grow them in the night, " said Peter.
" But we can't possibly keep coming here in the dark to see. We must just be patient."
Sometimes the children sat in the chair and wished themselves away, but nothing happened at all.
It was really very disappointing.
And then one day the chair grew its wings again.
It was a Saturday afternoon, too, which was very jolly, as the children were not at school.
They ran down to the playroom and open the door, and the very first thing they saw was that the chair had grown wings !
They couldn't help seeing this, because the chair was flapping its wings about as if it was going to fly off !
" Quick ! QUick ! " shouted Peter, dragging Mollie to the chair.
" jump in. it's going to fly ! "
They were just in time !
The chair rose up in the air, flapping its wings strongly, and made for the door.
Out it went and rose high in the air at once.
The children clung on tightly in the greatest delight.
" Where do you suppose it is going ? " asked Peter.
" Goodness knows ! " said Mollie.
" Let it take us whatever it wants to ! It will be exciting, anyhow.
If it goes back to that funny shop, we can easily jump off and run away when it goes in at the door. "
But the chair didn't go to the old shop.
Instead it kept on steadily towards the west, where the sun was beginning to sink.
By and by a high mountain rose up below, and the children looked down at it in astonishment.
On the top was an enormous caste.
" Where's this, I wonder ? " said Peter.
" Oh, I say.Mollie, the chair is going down to the castle ! "
Down it went, flapping its rose-red wings.
Soon it came to the castle roof, and instead of going lower and finding a door or a window, the chair found nice flat piece of roof and settled down there with a sigh, as if it were quite tired out !
" Come on, Mollie ! Let's explore ! " said Peter excitedly.
He jumped off the chair and ran to a flight of enormous steps that led down to the inside of the castle.
He peeped down.
No one was about.
" This is the biggest castle I ever saw, " said Peter.
" I wonder who lives here. Let's go and see ! "
They were down the steps, and came to a big staircase leading from landing.
On every side were massive doors, bolted on the outside.
The Wishing chair (9)
The stairs suddenly ended in a great hall.
The children stood and looked in astonishment.
Sitting at an enormous table was a giant as big as six men.
His eyes were on a book, and he was trying to add up figures.
" Three times seven, three times seven, three times seven ! " he muttered to himself.
three times seven:7掛ける3は？
" I never can remember. Where's that miserable little pixie ? If he doesn't know, I'll turn him into a black beetle ! "
The giant lifted up his head and shouted so loudly that both children put their hands over their ears.
" Chinky ! Chinky ! "
A pixie, not quite so so big as the children, came running an enormous boot in one hand, and a very small boot-brush in the other.
" Stop cleaning my boots and listen to me ! " ordered the giant.
" I can't do my sum again. I'm adding up all I spent last week and it won't came right. What are three times seven ? "
" Three times seven ? " said the pixie, with a frightened look on his little pointed face.
" That's what I said, " thundered the badtempered giant.
" I know they are same as seven times three, " said the pixie.
" Well, I don't know what seven times three are either ! " roared the giant.
" You tell me ! What's the good of servant who doesn't know his tables ? Quick ーwhat are three times seven ? "
" I dーdーdーdon't know ! " stammered the poor pixie.
" Then I'll lock you into the top room of the castle till you do know ! " cried the giant, in a rage.
He picked up the pixie and went to the stairs.
Then he saw the children standing there, and he stopped in astonishment.
The Wishing chair (10)
" Who are you, and what are you doing here ? " he asked.
"We've just come on a flying visit, " said Peter.
" We know what three times seven areーand seven times three too. So, if you let that pixie go, we'll tell you. "
" You tell me, then, you clever children ! " cried tha giant, delighted.
" They are twenty-one, " said Peter.
The giant, still holding the pixie tightly in his hand, went across to the table and added up some figures.
" Yes, twenty-one, " he said.
" Now why didin't I think of that ? Good ! "
" Let the pixie go, " begged Mollie.
" Oh no !" said the giant, with a wicked grin.
" he shall be shut up in the top room of my castle, and you shall be my servants instead, and help me to add up my sums ! Come along with me whilst I shut up Chinky. "
He pushed the two angry children on front of him and made them go all the way up the stairs until they came to the topmost door.
The giant unbolted it and pushed the weeping pixie inside.
Then he bolted it again and locked it.
" Quick ! " whisperd Peter to Mollie.
" Let's lace up these steps to the roof and get on to our magic chair. "
So,whist the giant was locking the door, the two of them shot up the steps to the roof.
The giant didn't try to stop them.
He stood and roared with laughter.
" Well, I don't know how you expect to escape that way ! " he said.
" You'll have to come down the steps again, and I shall be waiting here to catch you.
Then what a spanking you'll get ! "
The children climbed out on to the flat piece od castle roof.
There was their chair, standing just where they had left it, it's red wings gleaming in the sun.
They threw themselves into it, and peter cried, " Go to the room where that little pixie Chanky is ! "
The chair rose into the air, flew over the castle roof, and then down to a big window.
It was open, and the chair squeezed itself inside.
The Wishing chair (12)
Chanky the pixie was there, sitting on the floor, weeping.
When he saw the chair coming in, with the two children sitting in it, he was so astonished that he couldn't even get up off the the floor !
" Quick ! " cried Mollie.
"Come into this chair, Chinky. We'll help you to escape ! "
" Who's talking in there ? " boomed the giant's enormous voice, and the children heard the bolts being undone and the key turned to unlock the door ! "
" Quick, quick, Chinky ! " shouted Peter, and he dragged the amazed pixie to the magic chair.
They all three sat in it, huddled together, and Peter shouted, " Take us home ! "
The door flew open and the giant rushed in just as the chair sailed out of the window.
He ran to the window and made a grab at the chair.
His big hand knocked against a leg, and the chair shook violently.
Chanky nearly fell off, but Peter grabbed him and pulled him back safely.
Then they sailed high up into the air, far out of reach of angry giant !
The Wishing chair (13)
" We've escaped ! " shouted Peter.
" What an adventure !
Cheer up, Chinky !
We'll take you home with us ! You shall live with us, if you like.
We have a fine playroom at the end of our garden.
You can live there and no one will know.
What fun we'll have with you and the wishing-chair. "
"You are very kind of me, " said Chinky gratefully.
" I shall love to live with you.I can take you on many, many adventures ! "
" Harrah ! " shouted the two children.
" Loo, Chinky, we're going down to our garden."
Soon they were safely in the garden, and the chair flew in at the open door of the playroom.
Its wings disappeared, and it settled itself down with a long sigh, as if to say, " Home again ! "
" You can make a nice bed of the cushions from the sofa, " said Mollie to the pixie.
" And I'll give you a rug from the hall-chest to cover yourself with.
We must go now, because it is past our teatime.
We'll come and see you again to-morrow.
Good luck ! "
(13/15 The second chapter [The giant castle] 完)
The Wishing chair (14)
THE GRABBIT GNOMES
It was such fun to have a real pixie to play with !
Mollie and Peter went to their playroom every day and talked with Chinky, whom they had so cleverly rescued from the giant's castle.
He refused to have anything to eat, because he said he knew the fairies in the garden, and they would bring him anything he needed.
"Chinky, will you do something for us ? " asked Mollie.
"You know we can't be with the magic chair always to watch when it grows wings, but if you could watch it for us, and come and tell us when you see it has wings, then we could rush to our playroom and go on another adventure.
It would be lovely if you'd do that. "
" Of course, " said Chinky, who was a most obliging, merry little fellow.
"I'll never take my eyes off the chair ! "
Well, will you believe it, that very night, just as Chinky was going off to sleep, and the playroom was in darkness, he felt a strange little wind blowing from somewhere; it was the chair waving its wings about !
Chinky was up in trice, and ran out of the playroom to the house.
He knew which the children's room was, and he climbed up the old pear tree and knocked on the window.
The Wishing chair (15)
It wasn't long before Mollie and Peter, each in warm dressing-gowns, were running down to the playroom.
They lighted a candle and saw the chair's red wings once more.
" Come on ! " cried Peter, jumping into the chair.
" Where are we off to this time, I wonder ? "
Mollie jumped in too, and Chinky squeezed himself beside them.
The chair was indeed very full.
It frew out of the door and up into the air.
The moon was up, and the world seemed almost as light as day.
The chair flew to the south, and then went downwards into a strange little wood that shone blue and green.
"Hallo, hallo ! We're going to visit the Grabbit Gnomes, " said the pixie.
" I don't like that ! They grab everything they can, especialy things that don't belong to them ! We must be careful they don't grab our wishing-chair ! "
The chiar came to rest in a small cleaning ,near to some queer toadstool houses.
The doors were in the great thick stalks, and the windows were in the top part.
No one was about.
"Oh, do let's explore this strange village !" cried Mollie, in delight.
"I do want to "
" Well, hurry up, then, " said Chinky nervously.
" If the Grabbit Gnomes see us here, they will soon be trying to grab this, that, and the other."
（ですが、 あと４回延長して、The Grabbit Gnomes の最後まで 続く）
The Wishing chair (16)
The two children ran off to the toadstool houses and looked at them.
They really were lovey.
How Mollie wished she had one at home in the garden !
It would be so lovely to have one to live in.
" Whatever is Chinky doing? " said Peter, turning round to look.
" He's got a rope or something, " said Mollie, in surprise.
" Oh, don't let's bother about him, Peter. Do look here !
There are six little toadstools all laid ready for breakfast !
Fancy ! They use them for tables as well as for houses ! "
Suddenly there was a loud shout from a nearby toadstool house.
" Robbers ! Burglars ! "
Some one was learning out of the window of a big toadstool house, pointing to the children.
In a trice all the Grabbit Gnomes woke up, and came pouring out of their houses.
" Robbers ! What are you doing here ! Robbers ! "
" No, they are not, " said Chinky, pushing his way through the crowed of excited gnomes.
" They are only children adventuring here. "
" how did you come ? " asked a gnome at once.
" We came in our wishing-chair, " said Mollie, and then she wished she hadn't answered.
For the Grabbit Gnomes gave a yell of delight and rushed off to where their chair was standing in the moonlight.
" We've always wanted one, we've always wanted one ! " they shouted. Come on ! Let's take it safely to our cave where we hide our tresures ! "
" But it's ours ! " cried Peter indignantly.
" Beside, how shall we get back home if you take our chair ? "
But the gnomes didn't pay attention to him.
They raced off to the chair, and soon there wasn't a tiny piece of the chair to be seen, for, to Peter's dismay, all the little gnomes piled themselves into it, and sat thereーon the seat, the back, the arms, everywhere !
" Go to our treasure-cave ! " they shouted.
The chair flapped its red wings and rose up.
The gnomes gave a yell of triumphant delight:
" We're off ! Good-bye ! "
"Oooh ! Look ! " said the Mollie suddenly.
" There's something hanging down from the chair. What is it ? "
" It's a rope ! " said Peter.
" Oh, Chinky, you clever old thing ! You've tied it to the leg of the chair, and the other end is tied to that tree-trunk over there. The chair can't fly away ! "
" No, " said Chinky, with a grin.
" It can't ! I know those Grabbit Gnomes ! I may not know what three times seven are, but I do know what robbers those gnomes are ! Well, they won't find it easy to get away !"
THE GRABBIT GNOMES 残り２回です。
The Wishing chair (18)
The chair rose up high until the rope was so tightly stretched that it could go no father.
Then the chair came to a stop.
There it hovered in the air, flapping its wings, but not moving one scrap.
The gnomes shouted at it and yelled, but it was no good.
It couldn't go any farther.
" Well, the gnomes are safe for a bit. " said Chinky, grinning.
" Now what about exploring this village properly, children ? "
So the two spent half an hour peeping into the quaint toadstool houses; and Chinky gave them gnome-cake and gnome-lemonade, which were perfectly delicious.
All this time the gnomes were sitting up in the wishing-chair, high avobe the trees, shaking their fists at the children, and yelling all kind of threats.
They were certainly well caught, for they could go neither up nor down.
" Now,we'd better go home, " said Chinky suddenly, pointing to the east.
" Look ! ーit will soon be down.
Now listen to me.
I am going to pull that chair down to earth again with your help.
We will pull it down quickly, and it will land on the ground with such a bump that all the gnomes will be thrown off.
Whilst they are picking themselves up, we will jump into the chair, and off we'll go. "
The Wishing chair (19)
" Good idea ! " grinned peter.
So he and Mollie and Chinky went to the rope and pulled hard, hand over hand.
The chair came down from the air rapidly, and when it reached the ground it gave such a bump that every single gnome was thrown off.
" Oooooh ! " they cried. " You wait, you wicked children ! "
But they didin't wait.
Instead, the three of them jumped into the chair, and Peter called out, " Take us home, please ! "
Before the Grabbit Gnomes could take hold of the chair, it had risen up into the air.
But the gnomes pulled at the rope, and down came the chair again.
" Quick ! Cut the rope ! " shouted Peter to Chinky.
Poor Chinky !
He was feeling in every one of his many pockets for his knife, and he couldn't find it.
The gnomes pulled hard at the rope, and the chair went down still farther.
And then hinky found the knife !
He learned over the chair-arm, slashed at the rope and cut it.
At once the chair bounded up into the air, free !
" Home, home ! " sang Peter, delighted.
" I say! Talk about adventures ! Every one seems more excitng then the last ! Wherever shall we go next ? "