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Strangers by Harry Harrison

Harry Harrison

Harry Harrison

There was I on the rusty deck of the Maria Bella heading off home. Depressing. The summer was over. Europe was saying an indifferent goodbye. I spat into the ocean and turned my back on Europe.
Africa was waiting on the other side of the strait, just hazy green hills from here. Yet it was a continent, with jungles, deserts, exotic cities, elephants, cannibals …
I was saying good-bye to Africa too — without ever even seeing it. Andy Davis: ex-student, ex-painter. Back to the country which would grab me the second my foot touched the shore. The Army. The job. Responsibilities. I could see it all and I was deeply depressed.
A group of bagged men appeared on the deck. A new passenger? I moved over for a better view. My only fellow passenger was an old French priest with red eyes and not a word of English. Captain Sebastiano spoke a kind of English, but we didn’t understand each other well. So another passenger would really help since I didn’t want to talk to myself.
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They are making a mistake

They are making a mistake

They are making a mistake. I keep telling them, but they just look at me and nod their heads and say yes, we know we’re making a mistake.
Like I had to be humoured or something.
So now I’m going to see Beresford again.
I remember the way he shook my hand that day.
That day. What day? Yesterday. Hell, it seems a year ago.
Well, Beresford said, so you’re leaving us. How does that feel?
I said I felt — but I couldn’t think of the right word.
A million dollars I felt like. I felt like I was God. But these expressions didn’t really express it. At last I got the right word for him.
I feel myself again, I said. He nodded. He knew what I meant. He’d seen my type before.
So there isn’t any doubt they cured me. You don’t get that feeling unless you’re You again.
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Crocodile as a pet

Crocodile as a pet Crocodile as a pet after B. Myers

If the one thing in the whole world you’ve always wanted is a crocodile, then here is how to get one.
You don’t even have to leave home. You can send away for it.
You don’t have to tell your parents or grandparents about it. They won’t notice.
When the box comes, open it. But be careful. Don’t throw away the little bird. The bird is the crocodile’s toothpick. He always sits on the crocodile’s back.
Now you have the crocodile. But what will you do with him?
When he is small, he will be a nice pet. Children you’ve never seen before will want to play with you. It’s great for your science project too.
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Lesson at the pond by Jennifer Lebedev

Lesson at the pond

Lesson at the pond

Far away and in the mountains there was a castle. In the big castle lived only a man, his cook and his dog. Their names were Wil, Curtis and Pip-Pop. They lived a happy life. Not far from the castle and in the woods there was a pond. Although the pond was small, many creatures lived there: frogs, snakes, fish, flies, worms and even a toad. At the pond creatures were often sad.
One day a frog, two fish and a fly were talking together at the pond. They were not happy.
The frog, whose name was Frankie, jumped onto a lily pad and looked at himself in the water. «Have you seen Curtis from the castle?» he asked. «He has a long, handsome mustache. I don’t like my face. I want a mustache.»
The two fish, whose names were Sheldon and Shanna, swam over to the lily pad. They looked at the frog and then they looked at themselves. «Have you seen Wil from the castle?» they asked. «He has shiny glasses. We don’t like our eyes. We want glasses.»
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The Patient by Conan Doyle

Patient by Conan Doyle
One October evening when Sherlock Holmes and I returned to our rooms in Baker Street we found a gentleman waiting for us. “Good evening,” said Holmes. “What can I do to help you?”
“My name is Percy Trevelyan,” said our visitor. “Well, some very strange things have been happening recently at my house and I felt that I ought to come and ask for your advice and your help.”
Sherlock Holmes sat down and lit his pipe. “You are welcome to both!” he said. “Please tell me all the details.”
“I am a doctor,” said our visitor. “I graduated from London University and began to work at King’s College Hospital. I continued to devote myself to research. My special interest is catalepsy and I wrote a book on this subject which won a prize. There was a general impression that a distinguished career lay before me. But, gentlemen, I had no money and a man who wants to become a specialist must live in a good house, have a horse and carriage. Suddenly, however, an unexpected incident opened up quite a new prospect for me.
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Name on the Wall by Robert Marmorstein

Name on the Wall

Steve Mason had lived in New York for three years. His address book was filled with the phone numbers of girls he knew and had dated. Then why, he wondered, was he sitting in a phone booth about to dial PL 1-2450 — the phone number of a girl he had never seen or even heard about?
Because he was curious.
He had seen the name Pam Starr and the number PL 1-2450 twice in one week. The first time had been on the wall of a phone booth on 42nd Street. It was just one of the many names and numbers written on the phone booth wall. Then a minute ago he saw the name and number again — this time near a phone in a drugstore. The name Pam Starr was the same.
The handwriting was the same. And beneath it the same person had written, ‘Quite a chick.’
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Water Closet

Water Closet

An English schoolteacher was looking for rooms in Switzerland. She called upon the local schoolmaster to help her find an apartment that would be suitable. Such rooms were found, and she returned to London for her belongings. She remembered that she had not noticed a bathroom, or as she called it, “a water closet.” She wrote to the schoolmaster and asked if there as a “W.C.” in or near the apartment.
The schoolmaster, not knowing the English expression was puzzled by the “W.C.”, never dreaming that she was talking about a bathroom. He finally sought advice from the parish priest. They concluded that she must mean a Wayside Chapel. The lady received the following letter a few days later:
Dear Madam,
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Betrayal by C. Fremlin

Betrayal

Maisie Allen’s lips stretched in a tight little smile of satisfaction as she surveyed the poky suburban house with its prim lace curtains. So this was what Mark had come to after thirty years! The godlike Mark had come to this in the end!
It was the end, of course. The unspecified female relative who had written to Maisie in a crabbed and elderly hand had made that perfectly clear. Mark had at most a few more months to live, and he wanted to see his old friend Maisie Allen before he died; that was the gist of the letter which Maisie now fingered almost lovingly with her tight black glove.
The triumph of it! Mark, who had once thought that he owned the world, that he owned Maisie and could demand of her anything he liked: Mark, who now lay dying in this squalid street with only some aged cousin to look after him. Not even a wife or a family to show for all that proud young strength! A little secret smile hovered round Maisie’s mouth as she rang the bell.
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Never Trust a Lady

never trust a lady

Victor Canning (1911—1986) is a British crime and mystery writer who is famous for his spy and espionage thrillers. Canning wrote more than 50 novels and a number of short stories. Among his best works are “Panthers’ Moon”, “The Golden Salamander”, «The Whip Hand”, “Vanishing Point”, “The Boy on Platform One ”. His stories are full of excitement, suspence and humour.

Never Trust a Lady
Everyone thought that Horace Demby was a good, honest citizen. He was about fifty and unmarried, and he lived with a housekeeper who worried over his health. Actually, he was usually very well and happy except for attacks of hay fever in the summer time. He made locks and was successful enough at his business to have two helpers. Yes, Horace Demby was good and respectable — but not completely honest.
Fifteen years ago Horace had served his first and only time in prison for stealing jewels. Horace didn’t want to become honest; he only wanted to make sure that his dishonesty never got him into trouble again.
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Unicorn in the Garden

Unicorn in the Garden

Unicorn in the Garden

Once upon a sunny morning a man who sat in a breakfast nook looked up from his scrambled eggs to see a white unicorn with a gold horn quietly cropping the roses in the garden. The man went up to the bedroom where his wife was asleep and woke her.
«There’s a unicorn in the garden,» he said. «Eating roses.»
She opened one unfriendly eye and looked at him. «The unicorn is a mythical beast,” she said, and turned her back on him.
The man walked slowly downstairs and out into the garden. The unicorn was still there; he was now browsing among the tulips.
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