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  The Adventures of the New Cut Gang: the Gas-Fitter's Ball

Philip Pullman

The Adventures of the New Cut Gang: the Gas-Fitter's Ball

Détails :
  • Editeur:Penguin Books
  • Première publication: 1995
  • Pas de traduction française
 
  Benny's idea of disguise was a comprehensive one. Finding clothes wasn't too difficult, because his father's workshop was usually full of suits waiting to be altered or paid for. He'd managed to borrow a smallish one in a vivid check, which had been waiting for six months for its owner to come out of prison, and which he was sure wouldn't be missed. It only needed the trousers rolling up nine inches or so and the jacket padding out with newspaper. The sleeves were a bit long, but he could always pretend to have lost both hands ina fight with a shark. To go with the suit he had borrowed a brown bowler hat from his sister Leah's young man Joe.
  Ibce the suit was on, he set about colouring his hair grey with a handful of flour, painting on a vest and sooty moustache with a burned cork, and giving himself a hideous bright red scar from forehead to jaw. He turned his face this way and that in the broken little bitof mirror they had in the hideout, and which they normally used as a periscope, when it wasn't being a heliograph. He couldn't speak; he was lost in admiration
  'What's the matter?' said Thunderbolt after a minute. 'It's not so bad. You just need to--'
  'You know what,' said Benny suddenly, 'I oughter go on the stage.'
  'Like Four-Ball?'
  Danny Schneider, the gang member who'd been condemned to a month in Manchester, was known as Four-Ball because of his juggling skills. There was no doubt that he'd be topping the bill at the Music Hall one day, but that wasn't what Benny had meant.
  'No,' he said. 'Like Henry Irving. They ougter do a play about Sexton Blake, and I could play him. And then when he was tied up in a cellar or summing I could play Dr Skull, the mad scientist. Then when Dr Skull gets killed by one of the evil ape-men I could play a good ape-man and rescue Sexton Blake, and then I could play him again. And then--'
  'But what are you going to do about Mr Whittle?'
  With a mighty effort Benny frowned, shook his head, and brought himself back to the present.
  'Eh? Oh, him. I'll just foller him after he leaves the gasworks. He's bound to return to the scene of the crime, 'cause they always do. Then when I see him do that, I'll make a citizen's arrest.'
  Thunderbolt opened his mouth to point out that Mr Whittle was a leading member of the Board of the Worshipful Company of Gas-Fitters, and he was bound to be visiting Gas-Fitter's Hall before long anyway; but you couldn't argue with Benny, somehow. Thunderbolt watched his leader saunter off in his voluminous check suit, hitching up his trousers for the tenth time in twenty paces, pushing up the bowler hat from the bridge of his nose, a drift of flour trailing behind him, and felt nothing but honest admiration.


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