Charlie and the chocolat.., p.4
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       Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, p.4
 

         Part #1 of Charlie Bucket series by Roald Dahl
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  'I think,' he said quietly, 'I think... I'll have just one more of those chocolate bars. The same kind as before, please.'

  'Why not?' the fat shopkeeper said, reaching behind him again and taking another Whipple-Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight from the shelf. He laid it on the counter.

  Charlie picked it up and tore off the wrapper... and suddenly... from underneath the wrapper... there came a brilliant flash of gold.

  Charlie's heart stood still.

  'It's a Golden Ticket!' screamed the shopkeeper, leaping about a foot in the air. 'You've got a Golden Ticket! You've found the last Golden Ticket! Hey, would you believe it! Come and look at this, everybody! The kid's found Wonka's last Golden Ticket! There it is! It's right here in his hands!'

  It seemed as though the shopkeeper might be going to have a fit. 'In my shop, too!' he yelled. 'He found it right here in my own little shop! Somebody call the newspapers quick and let them know! Watch out now, sonny! Don't tear it as you unwrap it! That thing's precious!'

  In a few seconds, there was a crowd of about twenty people clustering around Charlie, and many more were pushing their way in from the street. Everybody wanted to get a look at the Golden Ticket and at the lucky finder.

  'Where is it?' somebody shouted. 'Hold it up so all of us can see it!'

  'There it is, there!' someone else shouted. 'He's holding it in his hands! See the gold shining!'

  'How did he manage to find it, I'd like to know?' a large boy shouted angrily. 'Twenty bars a day I've been buying for weeks and weeks!'

  'Think of all the free stuff he'll be getting too!' another boy said enviously. 'A lifetime supply!'

  'He'll need it, the skinny little shrimp!' a girl said, laughing.

  Charlie hadn't moved. He hadn't even unwrapped the Golden Ticket from around the chocolate. He was standing very still, holding it tightly with both hands while the crowd pushed and shouted all around him. He felt quite dizzy. There was a peculiar floating sensation coming over him, as though he were floating up in the air like a balloon. His feet didn't seem to be touching the ground at all. He could hear his heart thumping away loudly somewhere in his throat.

  At that point, he became aware of a hand resting lightly on his shoulder, and when he looked up, he saw a tall man standing over him. 'Listen,' the man whispered. 'I'll buy it from you. I'll give you fifty pounds. How about it, eh? And I'll give you a new bicycle as well. Okay?'

  'Are you crazy?' shouted a woman who was standing equally close. 'Why, I'd give him two hundred pounds for that ticket! You want to sell that ticket for two hundred pounds, young man?'

  'That's quite enough of that!' the fat shopkeeper shouted, pushing his way through the crowd and taking Charlie firmly by the arm. 'Leave the kid alone, will you! Make way there! Let him out!' And to Charlie, as he led him to the door, he whispered, 'Don't you let anybody have it! Take it straight home, quickly, before you lose it! Run all the way and don't stop till you get there, you understand?'

  Charlie nodded.

  'You know something,' the fat shopkeeper said, pausing a moment and smiling at Charlie, 'I have a feeling you needed a break like this. I'm awfully glad you got it. Good luck to you, sonny.'

  'Thank you,' Charlie said, and off he went, running through the snow as fast as his legs would go. And as he flew past Mr Willy Wonka's factory, he turned and waved at it and sang out, 'I'll be seeing you! I'll be seeing you soon!' And five minutes later he arrived at his own home.

  12

  What It Said on the Golden Ticket

  Charlie burst through the front door, shouting, 'Mother! Mother! Mother!'

  Mrs Bucket was in the old grandparents' room, serving them their evening soup.

  'Mother!' yelled Charlie, rushing in on them like a hurricane. 'Look! I've got it! Look, Mother, look! The last Golden Ticket! It's mine! I found some money in the street and I bought two bars of chocolate and the second one had the Golden Ticket and there were crowds of people all around me wanting to see it and the shopkeeper rescued me and I ran all the way home and here I am! IT's THE FIFTH GOLDEN TICKET, MOTHER, AND I' VE FOUND IT!'

  Mrs Bucket simply stood and stared, while the four old grandparents, who were sitting up in bed balancing bowls of soup on their laps, all dropped their spoons with a clatter and froze against their pillows.

  For about ten seconds there was absolute silence in the room. Nobody dared to speak or move. It was a magic moment.

  Then, very softly, Grandpa Joe said, 'You're pulling our legs, Charlie, aren't you? You're having a little joke?'

  'I am not!' cried Charlie, rushing up to the bed and holding out the large and beautiful Golden Ticket for him to see.

  Grandpa Joe leaned forward and took a close look, his nose almost touching the ticket. The others watched him, waiting for the verdict.

  Then very slowly, with a slow and marvellous grin spreading all over his face, Grandpa Joe lifted his head and looked straight at Charlie. The colour was rushing to his cheeks, and his eyes were wide open, shining with joy, and in the centre of each eye, right in the very centre, in the black pupil, a little spark of wild excitement was slowly dancing. Then the old man took a deep breath, and suddenly, with no warning whatsoever, an explosion seemed to take place inside him. He threw up his arms and yelled 'Yippeeeeeeee!' And at the same time, his long bony body rose up out of the bed and his bowl of soup went flying into the face of Grandma Josephine, and in one fantastic leap, this old fellow of ninety-six and a half, who hadn't been out of bed these last twenty years, jumped on to the floor and started doing a dance of victory in his pyjamas.

  'Yippeeeeeeeeee!' he shouted. 'Three cheers for Charlie! Hip, hip, hooray!'

  At this point, the door opened, and Mr Bucket walked into the room. He was cold and tired, and he looked it. All day long, he had been shovelling snow in the streets.

  'Cripes!' he cried. 'What's going on in here?'

  It didn't take them long to tell him what had happened.

  'I don't believe it!' he said. 'It's not possible.'

  'Show him the ticket, Charlie!' shouted Grandpa Joe, who was still dancing around the floor like a dervish in his striped pyjamas. 'Show your father the fifth and last Golden Ticket in the world!'

  'Let me see it, Charlie,' Mr Bucket said, collapsing into a chair and holding out his hand. Charlie came forward with the precious document.

  It was a very beautiful thing, this Golden Ticket, having been made, so it seemed, from a sheet of pure gold hammered out almost to the thinness of paper. On one side of it, printed by some clever method in jet-black letters, was the invitation itself - from Mr Wonka.

  'Read it aloud,' said Grandpa Joe, climbing back into bed again at last. 'Let's all hear exactly what it says.'

  Mr Bucket held the lovely Golden Ticket up close to his eyes. His hands were trembling slightly, and he seemed to be overcome by the whole business. He took several deep breaths. Then he cleared his throat, and said, 'All right, I'll read it. Here we go:

  'Greetings to you, the lucky finder of this Golden Ticket, from Mr Willy Wonka! I shake you warmly by the hand! Tremendous things are in store for you! Many wonderful surprises await you! For now, I do invite you to come to my factory and be my guest for one whole day - you and all others who are lucky enough to find my Golden Tickets. I, Willy Wonka, will conduct you around the factory myself, showing you everything that there is to see, and afterwards, when it is time to leave, you will be escorted home by a procession of large trucks. These trucks, I can promise you, will be loaded with enough delicious eatables to last you and your entire household for many years. If, at any time thereafter, you should run out of supplies, you have only to come back to the factory and show this Golden Ticket, and I shall be happy to refill your cupboard with whatever you want. In this way, you will be able to keep yourself supplied with tasty morsels for the rest of your life. But this is by no means the most exciting thing that will happen on the day of your visit. I am preparing other surprises that are even more marvello
us and more fantastic for you and for all my beloved Golden Ticket holders - mystic and marvellous surprises that will entrance, delight, intrigue, astonish, and perplex you beyond measure. In your wildest dreams you could not imagine that such things could happen to you! Just wait and see! And now, here are your instructions: the day I have chosen for the visit is the first day in the month of February. On this day, and on no other, you must come to the factory gates at ten o'clock sharp in the morning. Don't be late! And you are allowed to bring with you either one or two members of your own family to look after you and to ensure that you don't get into mischief. One more thing - be certain to have this ticket with you, otherwise you will not be admitted.

  (Signed) Willy Wonka.'

  'The first day of February!' cried Mrs Bucket. 'But that's tomorrow!. Today is the last day of January. I know it is!'

  'Cripes!' said Mr Bucket. I think you're right!'

  'You're just in time!' shouted Grandpa Joe. 'There's not a moment to lose. You must start making preparations at once! Wash your face, comb your hair, scrub your hands, brush your teeth, blow your nose, cut your nails, polish your shoes, iron your shirt, and for heaven's sake, get all that mud off your pants! You must get ready, my boy! You must get ready for the biggest day of your life!'

  'Now don't over-excite yourself, Grandpa,' Mrs Bucket said. 'And don't fluster poor Charlie. We must all try to keep very calm. Now the first thing to decide is this who is going to go with Charlie to the factory?'

  'I will!' shouted Grandpa Joe, leaping out of bed once again. 'I'll take him! I'll look after him! You leave it to me!'

  Mrs Bucket smiled at the old man, then she turned to her husband and said, 'How about you, dear? Don't you think you ought to go?'

  'Well...' Mr Bucket said, pausing to think about it, 'no... I'm not so sure that I should.'

  'But you must.'

  'There's no must about it, my dear,' Mr Bucket said gently. 'Mind you, I'd love to go. It'll be tremendously exciting. But on the other hand... I believe that the person who really deserves to go most of all is Grandpa Joe himself. He seems to know more about it than we do. Provided, of course, that he feels well enough...'

  'Yippeeeeee!' shouted Grandpa Joe, seizing Charlie by the hands and dancing round the room.

  'He certainly seems well enough,' Mrs Bucket said, laughing. 'Yes... perhaps you're right after all. Perhaps Grandpa Joe should be the one to go with him. I certainly can't go myself and leave the other three old people all alone in bed for a whole day.'

  'Hallelujah!' yelled Grandpa Joe. 'Praise the Lord!'

  At that point, there came a loud knock on the front door. Mr Bucket went to open it, and the next moment, swarms of newspapermen and photographers were pouring into the house. They had tracked down the finder of the fifth Golden Ticket, and now they all wanted to get the full story for the front pages of the morning papers. For several hours, there was complete pandemonium in the little house, and it must have been nearly midnight before Mr Bucket was able to get rid of them so that Charlie could go to bed.

  13

  The Big Day Arrives

  The sun was shining brightly on the morning of the big day, but the ground was still white with snow and the air was very cold.

  Outside the gates of Wonka's factory, enormous crowds of people had gathered to watch the five lucky ticket holders going in. The excitement was tremendous. It was just before ten o'clock. The crowds were pushing and shouting, and policemen with arms linked were trying to hold them back from the gates.

  Right beside the gates, in a small group that was carefully shielded from the crowds by the police, stood the five famous children, together with the grown-ups who had come with them.

  The tall bony figure of Grandpa Joe could be seen standing quietly among them, and beside him, holding tightly on to his hand, was little Charlie Bucket himself.

  All the children, except Charlie, had both their mothers and fathers with them, and it was a good thing that they had, otherwise the whole party might have got out of hand. They were so eager to get going that their parents were having to hold them back by force to prevent them from climbing over the gates. 'Be patient!' cried the fathers. 'Be still! It's not time yet! It's not ten o'clock!'

  Behind him, Charlie Bucket could hear the shouts of the people in the crowd as they pushed and fought to get a glimpse of the famous children.

  'There's Violet Beauregarde!' he heard someone shouting. 'That's her all right! I can remember her face from the newspapers!'

  'And you know what?' somebody else shouted back. 'She's still chewing that dreadful old piece of gum she's had for three months! You look at her jaws! They're still working on it!'

  'Who's the big fat boy?'

  'That's Augustus Gloop!'

  'So it is!'

  'Enormous, isn't he!'

  'Fantastic!'

  'Who's the kid with a picture of The Lone Ranger stencilled on his windcheater?'

  'That's Mike Teavee! He's the television fiend!'

  'He must be crazy! Look at all those toy pistols he's got hanging all over him!'

  'The one I want to see is Veruca Salt!' shouted another voice in the crowd. 'She's the girl whose father bought up half a million chocolate bars and then made the workers in his peanut factory unwrap every one of them until they found a Golden Ticket! He gives her anything she wants! Absolutely anything! She only has to start screaming for it and she gets it!'

  'Dreadful, isn't it?'

  'Shocking, I call it!'

  'Which do you think is her?'

  'That one! Over there on the left! The little girl in the silver mink coat!'

  'Which one is Charlie Bucket?'

  'Charlie Bucket? He must be that skinny little shrimp standing beside the old fellow who looks like a skeleton. Very close to us. Just there! See him?'

  'Why hasn't he got a coat on in this cold weather?'

  'Don't ask me. Maybe he can't afford to buy one.'

  'Goodness me! He must be freezing!'

  Charlie, standing only a few paces away from the speaker, gave Grandpa Joe's hand a squeeze, and the old man looked down at Charlie and smiled.

  Somewhere in the distance, a church clock began striking ten.

  Very slowly, with a loud creaking of rusty hinges, the great iron gates of the factory began to swing open.

  The crowd became suddenly silent. The children stopped jumping about. All eyes were fixed upon the gates.

  ' There he is!' somebody shouted. 'Thats him!'

  And so it was!

  14

  Mr Willy Wonka

  Mr Wonka was standing all alone just inside the open gates of the factory.

  And what an extraordinary little man he was!

  He had a black top hat on his head.

  He wore a tail coat made of a beautiful plum-coloured velvet.

  His trousers were bottle green.

  His gloves were pearly grey.

  And in one hand he carried a fine gold-topped walking cane.

  Covering his chin, there was a small, neat, pointed black beard - a goatee. And his eyes - his eyes were most marvellously bright. They seemed to be sparkling and twinkling at you all the time. The whole face, in fact, was alight with fun and laughter.

  And oh, how clever he looked! How quick and sharp and full of life! He kept making quick jerky little movements with his head, cocking it this way and that, and taking everything in with those bright twinkling eyes. He was like a squirrel in the quickness of his movements, like a quick clever old squirrel from the park.

  Suddenly, he did a funny little skipping dance in the snow, and he spread his arms wide, and he smiled at the five children who were clustered near the gates, and he called out, 'Welcome, my little friends! Welcome to the factory!'

  His voice was high and flutey. 'Will you come forward one at a time, please,' he called out, 'and bring your parents. Then show me your Golden Ticket and give me your name. Who's first?'

  The big fat boy stepped up. 'I'm Au
gustus Gloop,' he said.

  'Augustus!' cried Mr Wonka, seizing his hand and pumping it up and down with terrific force. 'My dear boy, how good to see you! Delighted! Charmed! Overjoyed to have you with us! And these are your parents? How nice! Come in! Come in! That's right! Step through the gates!'

  Mr Wonka was clearly just as excited as everybody else.

  'My name,' said the next child to go forward, 'is Veruca Salt.'

  'My dear Veruca! How do you do? What a pleasure this is! You do have an interesting name, don't you? I always thought that a veruca was a sort of wart that you got on the sole of your foot! But I must be wrong, mustn't I? How pretty you look in that lovely mink coat! I'm so glad you could come! Dear me, this is going to be such an exciting day! I do hope you enjoy it! I'm sure you will! I know you will! Your father? How are you, Mr Salt? And Mrs Salt? Overjoyed to see you! Yes, the ticket is quite in order! Please go in!'

  The next two children, Violet Beauregarde and Mike Teavee, came forward to have their tickets examined and then to have their arms practically pumped off their shoulders by the energetic Mr Wonka.

  And last of all, a small nervous voice whispered, 'Charlie Bucket.'

  'Charlie!' cried Mr Wonka. 'Well, well, well! So there you are! You're the one who found your ticket only yesterday, aren't you? Yes, yes. I read all about it in this morning's papers! Just in time, my dear boy! I'm so glad! So happy for you! And this? Your grandfather? Delighted to meet you, sir! Overjoyed! Enraptured! Enchanted! All right! Excellent! Is everybody in now? Five children? Yes! Good! Now will you please follow me! Our tour is about to begin! But do keep together! Please don't wander off by yourselves! I shouldn't like to lose any of you at this stage of the proceedings! Oh, dear me, no!'

  Charlie glanced back over his shoulder and saw the great iron entrance gates slowly closing behind him. The crowds on the outside were still pushing and shouting. Charlie took a last look at them. Then, as the gates closed with a clang, all sight of the outside world disappeared.

  'Here we are!' cried Mr Wonka, trotting along in front of the group. 'Through this big red door, please! That's right! It's nice and warm inside! I have to keep it warm inside the factory because of the workers! My workers are used to an extremely hot climate! They can't stand the cold! They'd perish if they went outdoors in this weather! They'd freeze to death!'

 
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