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Davey was standing over her. The candle had got so low she could hardly see what he was 

offering her.  
"What is it?"  
It was like a long cigarette. Everybody else seemed to be holding one.  
"What is it?"  
"Come on, Jan, you know."  
Yes, she knew. So that was the smell: pot. She felt sick. The room spun in front of her eyes. She 
felt herself sweating.  
The candle seemed to grow six feet tall. She struggled to her feet.  
"Hey, kid. What's up?"  
Davey grabbed her arm, and looked accusingly at her.  
"Where are you going?"  
Jan pulled her arm away from him. "I don't know — I — I need some air, that's all. Let me go, 
He was smiling but it was a hard smile. "OK," he said. "Suit yourself. You must be nuts, or 
something. We were just about to have some food, too."  
But Jan didn't hear him. She was already at the door, leaving a Christmas gathering for the 
second time that day.  
(After M. Rodgers)  
1 to starve to death умирать от голода  
2 layabout [leiabaut] бездельник  
3 incense ['inserts] ладан, фимиам  
4 pot [pot] разг. марихуана  
5 nuts [nAts] слэнг псих, чокнутый 
Iwas born at Number Nineteen, Tummill Street, London. My mother died when I was five years 
old. She died fifteen minutes after my sister Polly was born.  
As my father worked from morning till night, he had no time to look after Polly and me, so he 
married again soon.  
He married Mrs Burke, who was much younger and more good-looking than my mother.  
But I did not like my stepmother and she did not like me. So we began to hate each other; but she 
did not show her hatred when my father was at home.  
She beat me very often and she made me work very hard. From morning till night she found 
work for me to do. I looked after the baby. When she was awake, I took her for a walk, carrying her 

in my arms, and she was very heavy. I cleaned the rooms, went shopping, etc. There was always 

work for me to do. 
One day a woman came to see my stepmother and they drank a lot of gin. All the money that my 
father had left for our dinner was spent. When the woman went home, my stepmother said to me in 
tears, "Oh, what shall I do, Jimmy, dear, what shall I do? Your father will come home soon, and 
mere's no dinner for him. He will beat me cruelly!  
What shall I do, what shall I do?"  
I was sorry for her, she had tears in her eyes, and she called me "Jimmy, dear" for the first time. I 
asked her if I could help her and she said at once, "Oh, yes, you can help me! When your father 
comes home in the evening,  
Jimmy, dear, tell him that you lost the money he left for our dinner."  

"How could I lose it?" I asked in surprise.  
"You can tell him that I sent you to buy some food.  
Suddenly a big boy ran against you and the money fell out of your hand and you could not find 
it. That will be very easy to say, Jimmy, dear, please, say it to у our father!"  
"But he'll give me a good beating1 for it!" "Oh, no, he won't! I shall not let him beat you, you 
may be sure! Here is a penny for you, go and buy some sweets with it!"  
So I went off and spent my penny on sweets.  
When I came back and opened the door, my father was at home waiting for me with his waist-
belt in his hand. I wanted to run out of the room, but he caught me by the ear.  
"Stop a minute, young man!" he said.  
"What have you done with the money?"  
"I lost it, Father," said I in fear and looked at my stepmother.  
"Oh, you lost it! Where did you lose it?"  
"In the street, Father. Ask Mrs Burke, she knows!"  
I told him what my stepmother had asked me to tell him. I was not much surprised that he did not 
believe my story.  
But my stepmother's words surprised me very much.  

"Yes, he told me the same thing," she said, "but he is a liar! He has spent your money on sweets. 

I can't beat him, he is your child, but you can give him a good beating!"  
And she stood by while my father beat me with his belt till the blood showed. I hated my 
stepmother so much now that I wanted to see her dead.  
(After J. Greenwood)  
1 to give a good beating выпороть, устроить хорошую взбучку 
In fairy-tales, witches always wear silly black hats and black cloaks, and they ride on 
But this is not a fairy-tale. This is about REAL WITCHES.  
The most important thing you should know about REAL WITCHES is this.  
Listen very carefully. Never forget what is coming next.  
REAL WITCHES dress in ordinary clothes and look very much like ordinary women. They live 
in ordinary houses and they work in ORDINARY JOBS.  
That is why they are so hard to catch. 
Luckily, there are not a great number of REAL WITCHES in the world today. But there are still 
quite enough to make you nervous. In England, there are probably about one hundred of them 
Some countries have more, others have not quite so many. No country in the world is completely 
free from WITCHES.  
A witch is always a woman.  
I do not wish to speak badly about women. Most women are lovely. But the fact remains that all 
witches are women. There is no such thing as a male witch.  
As far as children are concerned, a REAL WITCH is the most dangerous of all the living 
creatures on the earth. What makes her doubly dangerous is the fact that she doesn't look dangerous. 
Even when you know all the secrets (you will hear about those in a minute), you can still never 
be quite sure whether it is a witch you are looking at or just a kind lady.  

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