Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, стр. 23

'Oh, yes,' cried Charlie, 'I think it's the most wonderful place in the whole world!'

'I am very pleased to hear you say that,' said Mr Wonka, looking more serious than ever. He went on staring at Charlie. 'Yes,' he said, 'I am very pleased indeed to hear you say that. And now I shall tell you why.' Mr Wonka cocked his head to one side and all at once the tiny twinkling wrinkles of a smile appeared around the corners of his eyes, and he said, 'You see, my dear boy, I have decided to make you a present of the whole place. As soon as you are old enough to run it, the entire factory will become yours.'

Charlie stared at Mr Wonka. Grandpa Joe opened his mouth to speak, but no words came out.

'It's quite true,' Mr Wonka said, smiling broadly now. 'I really am giving it to you. That's all right, isn't it?'

'Giving it to him?' gasped Grandpa Joe. 'You must be joking.'

'I'm not joking, sir. I'm deadly serious.'

'But … but … why should you want to give your factory to little Charlie?'

'Listen,' Mr Wonka said, 'I'm an old man. I'm much older than you think. I can't go on for ever. I've got no children of my own, no family at all. So who is going to run the factory when I get too old to do it myself? Someone's got to keep it going – if only for the sake of the Oompa-Loompas. Mind you, there are thousands of clever men who would give anything for the chance to come in and take over from me, but I don't want that sort of person. I don't want a grown-up person at all. A grown-up won't listen to me; he won't learn. He will try to do things his own way and not mine. So I have to have a child. I want a good sensible loving child, one to whom I can tell all my most precious sweet-making secrets – while I am still alive.'

'So that is why you sent out the Golden Tickets!' cried Charlie.

'Exactly!' said Mr Wonka. 'I decided to invite five children to the factory, and the one I liked best at the end of the day would be the winner!'

'But Mr Wonka,' stammered Grandpa Joe, 'do you really and truly mean that you are giving the whole of this enormous factory to little Charlie? After all …'

'There's no time for arguments!' cried Mr Wonka. 'We must go at once and fetch the rest of the family – Charlie's father and his mother and anyone else that's around! They can all live in the factory from now on! They can all help to run it until Charlie is old enough to do it by himself! Where do you live, Charlie?'

Charlie peered down through the glass floor at the snow-covered houses that lay below. 'It's over there,' he said, pointing. 'It's that little cottage right on the edge of the town, the tiny little one …'

'I see it!' cried Mr Wonka, and he pressed some more buttons and the lift shot down towards Charlie's house.

'I'm afraid my mother won't come with us,' Charlie said sadly. 'Why ever not?'

'Because she won't leave Grandma Josephine and Grandma Georgina and Grandpa George.'

'But they must come too.'

'They can't,' Charlie said. 'They're very old and they haven't been out of bed for twenty years.'

'Then we'll take the bed along as well, with them in it,' said Mr Wonka. 'There's plenty of room in this lift for a bed.'

'You couldn't get the bed out of the house,' said Grandpa Joe. 'It won't go through the door.'

'You mustn't despair!' cried Mr Wonka. 'Nothing is impossible! You watch!'

The lift was now hovering over the roof of the Buckets' little house.

'What are you going to do?' cried Charlie.

'I'm going right on in to fetch them,' said Mr Wonka.

'How?' asked Grandpa Joe.

'Through the roof,' said Mr Wonka, pressing another button.

'No!' shouted Charlie.

'Stop!' shouted Grandpa Joe.

CRASH went the lift, right down through the roof of the house into the old people's bedroom. Showers of dust and broken tiles and bits of wood and cockroaches and spiders and bricks and cement went raining down on the three old ones who were lying in bed, and each of them thought that the end of the world was come. Grandma Georgina fainted, Grandma Josephine dropped her false teeth, Grandpa George put his head under the blanket, and Mr and Mrs Bucket came rushing in from the next room.

'Save us!' cried Grandma Josephine.

'Calm yourself, my darling wife,' said Grandpa Joe, stepping out of the lift. 'It's only us.'

'Mother!' cried Charlie, rushing into Mrs Bucket's arms. 'Mother! Mother! Listen to what's happened! We're all going back to live in Mr Wonka's factory and we're going to help him to run it and he's given it all to me and … and … and … and …'

'What are you talking about?' said Mrs Bucket.

'Just look at our house!' cried poor Mr Bucket. 'It's in ruins!'

'My dear sir,' said Mr Wonka, jumping forward and shaking Mr Bucket warmly by the hand, 'I'm so very glad to meet you. You mustn't worry about your house. From now on, you're never going to need it again, anyway.'

'Who is this crazy man?' screamed Grandma Josephine. 'He could have killed us all.' 'This,' said Grandpa Joe, 'is Mr Willy Wonka himself

It took quite a time for Grandpa Joe and Charlie to explain to everyone exactly what had been happening to them all day. And even then they all refused to ride back to the factory in the lift.

'I'd rather die in my bed!' shouted Grandma Josephine.

'So would I!' cried Grandma Georgina.

'I refuse to go!' announced Grandpa George.

So Mr Wonka and Grandpa Joe and Charlie, taking no notice of their screams, simply pushed the bed into the lift. They pushed Mr and Mrs Bucket in after it. Then they got in themselves. Mr Wonka pressed a button. The doors closed. Grandma Georgina screamed. And the lift rose up off the floor and shot through the hole in the roof, out into the open sky.

Charlie climbed on to the bed and tried to calm the three old people who were still petrified with fear. 'Please don't be frightened,' he said. 'It's quite safe. And we're going to the most wonderful place in the world!'

'Charlie's right,' said Grandpa Joe.

'Will there be anything to eat when we get there?' asked Grandma Josephine. 'I'm starving! The whole family is starving!'

'Anything to eat?' cried Charlie laughing. 'Oh, you just wait and see!'