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Chapter 21 In which a contract is concluded before witnesses_哈尔的移动城堡 Howl’s Moving Castle_双语小说



Most people ran after the scarecrow. Sophie ran the other way, through the broom cupboard into the shop, grabbing her stick as she went.
“This is my fault!” she muttered. “I have a genius for doing things wrong! I could have kept Miss Angorian indoors. I only needed to talk to her politely, poor thing! Howl may have forgiven me a lot of things, but he’s not going to forgive me this in a hurry!”
In the flower shop she hauled the seven-league boots out of the window display and emptied hibiscus, roses, and water out of them onto the floor. She unlocked the shop door and towed the wet boots out onto the crowded pavement. “Excuse me,” she said to various shoes and trailing sleeves that were walking in her way. She looked up at the sun, which was not easy to find in the cloudy gray sky. “Let’s see. Southeast. That way. Excuse me, excuse me,” she said, clearing a small space for the boots among the holiday-makers. She put them down pointing the right way. The she stepped into them and began to stride.
Zip-sip, zip-zip, zip-zip, zip-zip, zip-zip, zip-zip, zip-zip. It was as quick as that, and even more blurred and breathless in both boots than in one. Sophie had brief glimpses between long double strides: of the mansion down at the end of the valley, gleaming between trees, with Fanny’s carriage at the door; of bracken on a hillside; of a small river acing down into a green valley; of the same river sliding in a much broader valley; of the same valley turned so wide it seemed endless and blue in the distance, and a towery pile far, far off that might have been Kingsbury; of the plain narrowing toward mountains again; of a mountain which slanted so deeply under her boot that she stumbled in spite of her stick, which stumble brought her to the edge of a deep, blue-misted gorge, with the tops of trees far below, where she had to take another stride or fall in.
And she landed in crumbly yellow sand. She dug her stick in and looked carefully round. Behind her right shoulder, some miles off, a white, steamy mist almost hid the mountains she had just zipped through. Below the mist was a band of dark green. Sophie nodded. Though she could not see the moving castle this far away, she was sure that mist marked the place of flowers. She took another careful stride. Zip. It was a fearsomely hot day. The clay-yellow sand stretched in all directions now, shimmering in the heat. Rocks lay about in a messy way. The only growing things were occasional dismal gray bushes. The mountains looked like clouds coming up on the horizon.
“If this is the Waste,” Sophie said, with sweat running in all her wrinkles, “then I feel sorry for the Witch having to live here.”
She took another stride. The wind of it did not cool her down. The rocks and bushes were the same, but the sand was grayer, and the mountains seemed to have sunk down the sky. Sophie peered into the quivering gray glare ahead, where she thought she could see something rather higher than rock. She took one more stride.

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