|From left to right, Fay, Julie and Ricky of Crooks Tour fame. This is the colour illustration from their short story Crooks Limited.|
Monday, January 30, 2012
A new friend for Susan and the Carmichaels in Susan's Kind Heart is Oliver Maddison. What nickname does Susan give him and what is his special talent?
The answer to Quiz 20: Ann Burton is in Susan's year at school. She is well known for two things: her lisp and her fame as a "terrible gossip" who is always first with the news.
Opposite the house was the Picture Gallery, which was quite famous, and in front of the houses in Tollgate Road were grass verges surrounded by black and white posts. There really was a tollgate, too, farther up the road, a trap for unwary motorists who had to pay threepence or go round another way; and there was an old millpond where the Carmichael children had fed the ducks in their extreme youth. To Susan, coming from the tenements and drab greyness of Glasgow, Wichwood was like a fairy-tale village. To-night, as they came through, it looked cosy and gay. The little shops were bright and Christmassy; the toyshop had blobs of cotton-wool snow on its windows and crowds of little boys round its door.
From SUSAN PULLS THE STRINGS, Chapter 2, Troubles. Thanks to Pamela Airth for suggesting this section for the quote of the day.
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Penny went off into a dream, thinking about Greta's cooking.
"Well, of course, if you want to stay here all day drooling about food..." said Jill. "But we thought that you'd like to come with us to Innsbruck."
"How can I?" said Penny. "I'm still in quarantine till all the scabs come off, and that won't be for at least another week."
"I shall go in front of you," said John, "ringing a leper bell and calling, 'Unclean" Unclean!'"
Penny giggled and Stephen said, "Good idea, but perhaps a little flamboyant. I thought we'd just drive down in the old jalopy, and you can sit in it while we go into the shops. We want to collect some photographs that we left to be developed."
"Oh, good," said Penny.
From FIVEPENNY MYSTERY, Chapter 3, More Mystery.
From FIVEPENNY MYSTERY, Chapter 3, More Mystery.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
"Are you daft?" said Ricky. "How can I sit there doing nothing but history? It's so jolly dull. Besides, there are other things to think about, such as catching those crooks."
Her friends laughed jeeringly. "Catch those crooks!" said Julie. "You've been trying for years to catch a crook, and so far you haven't even managed to see one, far less catch one!"
"Yes, well, I haven't been very lucky so far," Ricky admitted.
From the short story CROOKS LIMITED.
Monday, January 16, 2012
When we are first introduced to Susan in Susan Pulls the Strings, she is doing her homework. Which subject is she studying?
The answer to yesterday's question: the legendary long-lost treasure at Susan and Midge's school is known as Ronan's Heap.
"Keep by the door," whispered Mike, through shut teeth, "and if we look like being stuck with the kitchen sink - scoot!"
It proved to be a wildly exciting sort of game, something like Tom Tiddler's Ground, Belinda thought, but with terrible penalties if you were caught. They split up; Belinda and Mike went together, and Jennifer and Eleanor, Eleanor still insisting that she would have nothing to do with it, but eventually carried away by the excitement. They moved about lest the other bidders should spot that the sepulchral voices came from them, but most people were so intent on getting a good bargain that they paid no attention to the four children, more or less crawling about among them. They tried to keep near the door always, but only once had to get away in a hurry when Mike, completely carried away, bid fifteen pounds for a horrible-looking wardrobe that the previous bidder thought she was going to get for three pounds ten.
From VENTURE TO SOUTH AFRICA, Chapter 6, The Golden City. The Eliots are making false bids and bumping up the prices at an auction!
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Midge said afterwards that that was one of the worst moments in her life. What with the ghost in the garden and Susan hanging on to her so that she was nearly strangled and Charlotte leaning on her from behind and breathing down her neck, she nearly collapsed. But Charlotte was really peering out at the garden, watching the figure dart from bush to bush, now in deepest shadow, now clearly to be seen in the light of the moon: and suddenly she exclaimed, "It's Willy!"
"Well, thank heaven!" said Midge, giggling a little hysterically. "At least Willy isn't a ghost!"
From SUSAN'S KIND HEART, Chapter 4, Enter First Suspect.
Saturday, January 14, 2012
Jill was furious with Penny when she returned from St. Ursula's Court. "Dr. Wilkinson came again," she said accusingly, "and That Dog wasn't here. Don't you want to sell her?"
"No," said Penny.
"Oh," said Jill, slightly taken aback. "Well," she said, rallying, "how do you expect to make money? Dr. Wilkinson thinks that he might give you three guineas for her, I asked him. Three guineas!"
"That's just it," said Penny. "I know that I've got to sell her to make some cash to give to the Masters, but I don't want to sell her."
From FOURPENNY FAIR, Chapter 10, Reprieve for Candy.
Friday, January 13, 2012
So Tumfy tried again with more strange words and waving of his arms - and suddenly the pile of broken dishes vanished and in their place stood a cluster of little fluffy yellow chickens, who began to run cheep-cheeping about the kitchen floor, pecking at the oatcake crumbs.
"Michty me!" said Tumfy. "Is that not the clever job! Isn't it wonderful what you can do when you're good at the spells?"
From LEFT-HANDED TUMFY, Chapter 1, Grandmother's Tea-set.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Jane Shaw's first novel is Breton Holiday. Where are the girls at the very beginning of the novel?
The answer to yesterday's question: Susan Muddles Through and Susan and the Spae Wife are the two Susan stories set on Arran.
And don't give him the story of your life beginning with your French grandmother," said Ricky, "like you usually do. Just tell him where to go-"
Denise looked slightly offended and began to talk to the driver. He seemed to have a certain amount of difficulty in understanding Denise when she told him Rue du Mont Thabor, but eventually he shouted joyfully oui, oiu, oui, he understoond perfectly, Mont-mumble, mumble and he turned his ancient cab with a wild jerk which sent all the girls tumbling into each other's laps.
"He must be another Frenchman who doesn't understand French," said Fay as they sorted themselves out.
"Not at all," said Denise with dignity. "He's just a wee bit deaf, that's all."
From CROOKS TOUR, Chapter 7, On to Paris.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
"This was a good idea," thought Sara, knocking back her lemonade. "Gosh, I was thirsty!" Halfway through she put down her glass suddenly and felt sick. "I've no money," she thought. "Caroline's got no money. John's got no money. Vanessa never has any money. Nobody's got any money. Oh, gosh, what'll I do? I can't return it now. Here I am sitting in a strange café on the top of a mountain" (Sara was getting a little excited) "drinking lemonade, and I've no money. I'll just have to run for it."
From BERNESE ADVENTURE, Chapter 6.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Clarissa tried to be elder-sisterly. "We can't go sneaking out of the hotel at half-past eleven at night. Aunt Maddy wouldn't like it."
"What the eye doesn't see the heart doesn't grieve over," said Thomas. "It's a bit of luck, really, Uncle James getting malaria."
We all shrieked at Thomas for such a selfish attitude, but of course the awful thing was that he was right, in a way; we certainly would be more free to come and go without Aunt Maddy's eagle eye on us."
From THE TALL MAN, Chapter 3, The Plot.
Monday, January 9, 2012
It's a terrible thing to have to admit, I thought, but I'd be a great deal better off without my family. If I hadn't any family, I wouldn't be sitting here with my life ruined. If I hadn't any family, if I were an orphan, I'd be going to the dance tonight with Edward, I wouldn't be sitting here with a broken heart...
From FAMILY TROUBLE, a short story published in 1961.
Sunday, January 8, 2012
Susan Lyle is not the only Susan in Jane Shaw's stories. There is also a Susan in Venture to South Africa. Who is she?
The answer to yesterday's question: Mrs. Pengelly's most famous delicacy is Cornish splits with cream.
Judy, the Sparrow and the boys came hurrying back. Judy was soaked to the skin, and her teeth were chattering, as the Sparrow said, like castanets, because she had taken a false step in the darkness and fallen into the duck-pond. She stood on the stone floor of the back porch and dripped water, slime and duck weed.
From NORTHMEAD NUISANCE, Chapter 9, Half-term.
Saturday, January 7, 2012
In the Moochers stories, Fiona and Katherine love Mrs. Pengelly's cooking. Which of her delicacies is their particular favourite?
The answer to yesterday's question: Howletts Mead is the residence of Sir Arthur Symes, the Bad Bart.
But as next day happened to be Sunday, Mrs. Storm went all adamant on them, and refused to countenance such secular frivolities. She packed them off to church, where they sat in the Renasay pew (which was placed at right angles to the rest of the congregation, under the minister's nose) and felt very conspicuous and fearful of catching the eye of any of their friends in the body of the kirk, knowing that the inevitable result would be those agonizing and commanding fits of giggling which seemed to take their worst form only in church.
From HIGHLAND HOLIDAY, Chapter 10, In Search of Atmosphere.
Friday, January 6, 2012
Aunt Lucy bustled in and took one look at their spots. "Chicken-pox," she said, and there was general lamentation. "Well, there it is," said Aunt Lucy finally, "holidays or no holidays there's nothing we can do about it. It might have been worse. Get back into bed, Susan, I expect Uncle Charles will keep you in bed for a few days - certainly as long as you're running temperatures. Bill and Charlotte have had it, thank goodness, I'll go and relieve her mind. She's practically bathing in disinfectant and rinsing out her mouth and gargling and changing her clothes!"
From SUSAN'S HELPING HAND, Chapter 1, Chicken-pox.
Thursday, January 5, 2012
|During their stay in Paris, the girls pay a visit to the Musée Grévin, a waxworks museum. Many of the statues there today (Michael Jackson, Tony Blair, etc.) were obviously not there in 1962, but one statue that the girls did see was that of Marat, "murdered in his bath while Charlotte Corday looked on in amazement at what she had done". Below we can see the front of the museum. More pictures of Paris are available at Paris en Photos, which you can view here.|
"Penny!" said the ogre, chuckling in his goblin way. "C'est drôle, ça! That means two sous, n'est-ce pas?"
Jill couldn't be bothered explaining about Penelope, so she said yes.
"Ah, bien," said the ogre, fishing in his waistcoat pocket, "then I have a message for her. A pigeon brought it."
John gasped. "A pigeon brought it?" he said, his eyes shining. "A pigeon brought a message for Penny?"
From TWOPENCE COLOURED, Chapter 11, Market Day.
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
|At the beginning of Chapter 5, the girls take the train up to the Schynige Platte, five thousand feet above Interlaken. This is an Alpine garden, with over 500 kinds of plants, a firm favourite with the tourists. This picture links to Switzerland Trips, which you can access here.|
"Er-" said Aunt Lucy, "Selina Gascoigne has gone away for the weekend and I promised that we'd keep an eye on her family-" she had the grace to be slightly apologetic because it had been borne in on her at last that her family didn't much like their next-door neighbours, the Gascoignes, in fact they hated the sight of them, in spite of all that she could say about their being a charming, talented, clever original and gifted family.
This announcement was greeted with rebellious mutterings which swelled into roars of rage and disgust as soon as Aunt Lucy had hurried back to the kitchen to get on with her chores.
From SUSAN AND THE HOME-MADE BOMB.
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
|At Interlaken, the girls changed trains and travelled up to Rosenberg and checked in at the Hotel Alpenblick, where they were greeted by the excitable hotelkeeper, Herr Diefenbacher. This jolly little man seems to be obsessed with the Eiger and has a collection of clippings about attempts to climb it, especially the north face that overlooks the hotel. Unlike most of the other places mentioned in the book, Rosenberg is a fictional village. In Susan and Friends, Beverley Garmston pinpoints it as being Grindelwald in disguise. However, the girls also pay a visit to Grindelwald. Rosenberg, therefore, is Ricky, Julie and Fay's equivalent of what St.Brioc had been for Caroline and Sara: their own little corner of the country they are visiting. The picture is a postcard of a view of the Eiger from Grindelwald and is probably what the girl's saw while listening to the breathless description of the mountain by Herr Diefenbacher. The photo is a link to a mountaineer's account of adventures in the 1960s, which you can read by clicking here. The picture below shows the area from a different angle and makes the mountain appear even more impressive. This pictures is a link to All-Free-Photos, which you can access by clicking here.|
Today's question is which book in the Penny series is set in Austria?
The answer to yesterday's question: Clarissa, the eldest of the Waring children in the Thomas books, is sometimes called Cluck by her brothers and sister.
New House was delirious with joy and some of the smaller ones nearly fell in the bath in their excitement. Elizabeth, still blushing with embarrassment at the things she had been saying - Can you do a racing dive? and the girl ups and breaks a school record! - had a hasty consultation with the team. "You old dark horse!" she said to Lynette. "Why didn't you tell us you could swim like that?"
From NEW HOUSE AT NORTHMEAD, Chapter 8, Swimming Gala.
Monday, January 2, 2012
|Another random stop on the Crooks Tour. This is Interlaken in the Bernese Oberland, where the girls changed trains to move on to Rosenberg. This image links to the Wikipedia page, which you can go to by clicking here.|
The two policemen were very cheery young chaps. They spoke with strong Afrikaans accents which Rob can mimic, but which I can't reproduce at all, so I'm not going to try, and they seemed very glad to see us. It must have been lonely for them, up there on that bleak hillside. So we gave them some chocolate, and they offered us cigarettes, but of course none of us smoked, and we were just chatting about this and that, about how long they stayed up there at a stretch and if it was cold at nights, when Dizzy said, "Four Basutos on horseback passed us a little while ago, did you notice them? Do you know anything about them?" I'll say this for Dizzy, she's a sticker.
From NOTHING HAPPENED AFTER ALL, Chapter 12, Mealie-Meal.
Sunday, January 1, 2012
[S]uddenly a great uproar broke out at the far side of the big hall and a tall fair young man burst into view and came running towards the girls, hotly pursued by two rather stout porters, in blue smocks, who were shouting and waving their arms.
Ricky's bright blue eyes blazed with excitement. "Here's something at last!" she muttered. "He's running away! He's a crook! He must have robbed a bank or something! Look, the wee fat porter is yelling and shaking his fists! They're yelling Stop thief!"
"As they seem to be yelling in a foreign language," murmured Fay, calm as ever, "I don't see how you can be sure of that."
"Of course I'm sure! It's as plain as the nose on your face. Oh help, what'll we do? We must do something! We must stop him! What'll we - oh help - should we - should I - oh help--"
She took an uncertain step towards the fleeing young man and two very uncertain steps back again as the young man nearly knocked her down as he flashed past. But Julie, who had very little patience with all this shilly-shallying, muttered, "Oh, stop dithering, Ricky," and flung herself straight at the young man's legs.
From CROOKS TOUR, Chapter 2, Crook in the Station.
Today I'm reading Crooks Tour and have decided to have a look at some of the places described in the book. When Ricky, Julie and Fay first enter Switzerland, they are surprised that there are no mountains. The young man that Ricky and Julie mistook for a crook at the train station tells them that the mountains will come later. The first mountain they see is the Jungfrau and "on their left a pretty bright blue lake with chalets and villages and an old castle on its banks and little white steamers sailing up and down on its waters. This was the lake of Thun". A little research shows that this castle is Oberhofen Castle. Quite a magnificent sight. This photograph is a link to Art.com, and a framed copy can be purchased by clicking here.