Книга Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. Содержание - 16 Vita-Wonk and Minusland
Vita-Wonk and Minusland
'It's up to you, Charlie my boy,' said Mr Wonka. 'It's your factory. Shall we let your Grandma Georgina wait it out for the next two years or shall we try to bring her back right now?'
'You don't really mean you might be able to bring her back?' cried Charlie.
'There's no harm in trying, is there … if that's the way you want it?'
'Oh yes! Of course I do! For Mother's sake especially! Can't you see how sad she is!'
Mrs Bucket was sitting on the edge of the big bed, dabbing her eyes with a hanky. 'My poor old mum,' she kept saying. 'She's minus two and I won't see her again for months and months and months – if ever at all!' Behind her, Grandpa Joe, with the help of an Oompa-Loompa, was feeding his three-month-old wife, Grandma Josephine, from a bottle. Alongside them, Mr Bucket was spooning something called 'Wonka's Squdgemallow Baby Food' into one-year-old Grandpa George's mouth but mostly all over his chin and chest. 'Big deal!' he was muttering angrily. 'What a lousy rotten rotten this is! They tell me I'm going to the Chocolate Factory to have a good time and I finish up being a mother to my father-in-law.'
'Everything's under control, Charlie,' said Mr Wonka, surveying the scene. 'They're doing fine. They don't need us here. Come along! We're off to hunt for Grandma!' He caught Charlie by the arm and went dancing towards the open door of the Great Glass Elevator. 'Hurry up, my dear boy, hurry up!' he cried. 'We've got to hustle if we're going to get there before!'
'Before what, Mr Wonka?'
'Before she gets subtracted of course! All Minuses are subtracted! Don't you know any arithmetic at all?'
They were in the Elevator now and Mr Wonka was searching among the hundreds of buttons for the one he wanted.
'Here we are!' he said, placing his finger delicately upon a tiny ivory button on which it said 'MINUSLAND'.
The doors slid shut. And then, with a fearful whistling whirring sound the great machine leaped away to the right. Charlie grabbed Mr Wonka's legs and held on for dear life. Mr Wonka pulled a jump-seat out of the wall and said, 'Sit down Charlie, quick, and strap yourself in tight! This journey's going to be rough and choppy!' There were straps on either side of the seat and Charlie buckled himself firmly in. Mr Wonka pulled out a second seat for himself and did the same.
'We are going a long way down,' he said. 'Oh, such a long way down we are going.'
The Elevator was gathering speed. It twisted and swerved. It swung sharply to the left, then it went right, then left again, and it was heading downward all the time – down and down and down. 'I only hope,' said Mr Wonka, 'the Oompa-Loompas aren't using the other Elevator today.'
'What other Elevator?' asked Charlie.
'The one that goes the opposite way on the same track as this.'
'Holy snakes, Mr Wonka! You mean we might have a collision?'
'I've always been lucky so far, my boy … Hey! Take a look out there! Quick!'
Through the window, Charlie caught a glimpse of what seemed like an enormous quarry with a steep craggy-brown rock-face, and all over the rock-face there were hundreds of Oompa-Loompas working with picks and pneumatic drills.
'Rock-candy,' said Mr Wonka. 'That's the richest deposit of rock-candy in the world.'
The Elevator sped on. 'We're going deeper, Charlie. Deeper and deeper. We're about two hundred thousand feet down already.' Strange sights were flashing by outside, but the Elevator was travelling at such a terrific speed that only occasionally was Charlie able to recognize anything at all. Once, he thought he saw in the distance a cluster of tiny houses shaped like upside-down cups, and there were streets in between the houses and Oompa-Loompas walking in the streets. Another time, as they were passing some sort of a vast red plain dotted with things that looked like oil derricks, he saw a great spout of brown liquid spurting out of the ground high into the air. 'A gusher!' cried Mr Wonka, clapping his hands. 'A whacking great gusher! How splendid! Just when we needed it!'
'A what?' said Charlie.
'We've struck chocolate again, my boy. That'll be a rich new field. Oh, what a beautiful gusher! Just look at it go!'
On they roared, heading downward more steeply than ever now, and hundreds, literally hundreds of astonishing sights kept flashing by outside. There were giant cog-wheels turning and mixers mixing and bubbles bubbling and vast orchards of toffee-apple trees and lakes the size of football grounds filled with blue and gold and green liquid, and everywhere there were Oompa-Loompas!
'You realize,' said Mr Wonka, 'that what you saw earlier on when you went round the factory with all those naughty little children was only a tiny corner of the establishment. It goes down for miles and miles. And as soon as possible I shall show you all the way around slowly and properly. But that will take three weeks. Right now we have other things to think about and I have important things to tell you. Listen carefully to me, Charlie. I must talk fast, for we'll be there in a couple of minutes.