Lemony snicket the austere academy

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НазваниеLemony snicket the austere academy
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Дата публикации26.03.2014
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and relieved," Klaus said. "What do you mean, you've solved our problem? My sisters and I have been thinking about it all day, and we've gotten nowhere. We don't know what Coach Genghis is up to, although we're sure he's up to something. And we don't know how we can avoid meeting him after dinner, although we're sure that he'll do something terrible if we do."

"At first I thought he might simply be planning to kidnap us," Violet said, "but he wouldn't have to be in disguise to do that."

"And at first I thought we should call Mr. Poe after all," Klaus said, "and tell him what's going on. But if Count Olaf can fool an advanced computer, he'll surely be able to fool an average banker."

"Toricia!" Sunny said in agreement.

"Duncan and I have been thinking about it all day, too," Isadora said. "I filled up five and a half pages of my notebook writing down possible ideas, and Duncan filled up three."
"I write smaller," Duncan explained, handing his fork to Violet so she could take her turn at the meat loaf they were having for dinner.
"Right before lunch, we compared notes," Isadora continued, "and the two of us had the same idea. So we sneaked away and put our plan into action."
"That's why we weren't at lunch," Duncan explained. "You'll notice that there are puddles of beverages on our tray instead of glasses."

"Well, you can share our glasses," Klaus said, handing his to Isadora, "just like you're letting us share your silverware. But what is your plan? What did you put into action?"

Duncan and Isadora looked at one another, smiled, and leaned in close to the Baudelaires so they could be sure no one would overhear.

"We propped open the back door of the auditorium," Duncan said. He and Isadora smiled triumphantly and leaned back in their chairs. The Baudelaires did not feel triumphant. They felt confused. They did not want to insult their friends, who had broken the rules and sacrificed their drinking glasses just to help them, but they were unable to see how propping open the back door of the auditorium was a solution to the trouble in which they found themselves.
"I'm sorry," Violet said after a pause. "I don't understand how propping open the back door of the auditorium solves our problem."

"Don't you see?" Isadora asked. "We're going to sit in the back of the auditorium tonight, and as soon as Nero begins his concert, we will tiptoe out and sneak over to the front lawn. That way we can keep an eye on you and Coach Genghis. If anything fishy happens, we will run back to the concert and alert Vice Principal Nero."

"It's the perfect plan, don't you think?" Duncan asked. "I'm rather proud of my sister and me, if I do say so myself."

The Baudelaire children looked at one another doubtfully. They didn't want to disap-point their friends or criticize the plan that the Quagmire triplets had cooked up, particularly since the Baudelaires hadn't cooked up any plan themselves. But Count Olaf was so evil and so clever that the three siblings couldn't help but think that propping a door open and sneaking out to spy on him was not much of a defense against his treachery.

"We appreciate you trying to solve our problem," Klaus said gently, "but Count Olaf is an extremely treacherous person. He always has something up his sleeve. I wouldn't want you to get into any danger on our behalf."

"Don't talk nonsense," Isadora said firmly, taking a sip from Violet's glass. "You're the ones in danger, and it's up to us to help you. And we're not frightened of Olaf. I'm confident this plan is a good one."

The Baudelaires looked at one another again. It was very brave of the Quagmire triplets not to be frightened of Olaf and to be so confident about their plan. But the three siblings could not help but wonder if the Quagmires should be so brave. Olaf was such a wretched man that it seemed wise to be frightened of him, and he had defeated so many of the Baudelaires' plans that it seemed a little foolish to be so confident about this one. But the children were so appreciative of their friends' efforts that they said nothing more about the matter. In the years to come, the Baudelaire orphans would regret this, this time when they said nothing more about the matter, but in the meantime they merely finished their dinner with the Quagmires, passing silverware and drinking glasses back and forth and trying to talk about other things. They discussed other projects they might do to improve the Orphans Shack, and what other matters they might research in the library, and what they could do about Sunny's problem with the staples, which were running out quite rapidly, and before they knew it dinner was over. The Quagmires hurried off to the violin recital, promising to sneak out as quickly as they could, and the Baudelaires walked out of the cafeteria and over to the front lawn.

The last few rays of the sunset made the children cast long, long shadows as they walked, as if the Baudelaires had been stretched across the brown grass by some horrible mechanical device. The children looked down at their shadows, which looked as flimsy as sheets of paper, and wished with every step that they could do something else-anything else-other than meet Coach Genghis alone on the front lawn. They wished they could just keep walking, under the arch, past the front lawn, and out into the world, but where could they go? The three orphans were all alone in the world. Their parents were dead. Their banker was too busy to take good care of them. And their only friends were two more orphans, who the Baudelaires sincerely hoped had snuck out of the recital by now and were spying on them as they approached the solitary figure of Coach Genghis, waiting for them impatiently on the edge of the lawn. The waning light of the sunset-the word "waning" here means "dim, and making everything look extra-creepy"-made the shadow of the coach's turban look like a huge, deep hole.

"You're late," Genghis said in his scratchy voice. As the siblings reached him, they could see that he had both hands behind his back as if he were hiding something. "Your instructions were to be here right after dinner, and you're late."

"We're very sorry," Violet said, craning her neck to try and catch a glimpse of what was behind his back. "It took us a little longer to eat our dinner without silverware."

"If you were smart," Genghis said, "you would have borrowed the silverware of one of your friends."

"We never thought of that," Klaus said. When one is forced to tell atrocious lies, one often feels a guilty flutter in one's stomach, and Klaus felt such a flutter now. "You certainly are an intelligent man," he continued.

"Not only am I intelligent," Genghis agreed, "but I'm also very smart. Now, let's get right to work. Even stupid children like yourselves should remember what I said about orphans having excellent bone structure for running.

That's why you are about to do Special Orphan Running Exercises, or S.O.R.E. for short."

"Ooladu!" Sunny shrieked.

"My sister means that sounds exciting," Violet said, although "Ooladu!" actually meant "I wish you'd tell us what you're really up to, Genghis."
"I'm glad you're so enthusiastic," Genghis said. "In certain cases, enthusiasm can make up for a lack of brainpower." He took his hands from behind his back, and the children saw that he was holding a large metal can and a long, prickly brush. The can was open, and an eerie white glow was shining out of the top. "Now, before we begin S.O.R.E., we'll need a track. This is luminous paint, which means it glows in the dark."

"How interesting," Klaus said, although he'd known what the word "luminous" means for two and a half years.

"Well, if you find it so interesting," Genghis said, his eyes looking as luminous as the paint, "you can be in charge of the brush. Here."

He thrust the long, prickly brush into Klaus's hands. "And you little girls can hold the paint can. I want you to paint a big circle on the grass so you can see where you are running when you start your laps. Go on, what are you waiting for?"

The Baudelaires looked at one another. What they were waiting for, of course, was Genghis revealing what he was really up to with the paint, the brush, and the ridiculous Special Orphan Running Exercises. But in the meantime, they figured they'd better do as Genghis said. Painting a big, luminous circle on the lawn didn't seem to be particularly dangerous, so Violet picked up the paint can, and Klaus dipped the brush into the paint and began making a big circle. For the moment, Sunny was something of a fifth wheel, a phrase which means "not in a position to do anything particularly helpful," but she crawled alongside her siblings, offering moral support.
"Bigger!" Genghis called out in the dark. "Wider!" The Baudelaires followed his instructions and made the circle bigger and wider, walking farther away from Genghis and leaving a glowing trail of paint. They looked out into the gloom of the evening, wondering where the Quagmire triplets were hiding, or if indeed they had managed to sneak out of the recital at all. But the sun was down now, and the only thing the orphans could see was the bright circle of light they were painting on the lawn and the dim figure of Genghis, his white turban looking like a floating skull in the night. "Bigger! Wider! All right, all right, that's big and wide enough! Finish the circle where I am standing! Hurry up!"

"What do you think we're really doing?" Violet whispered to her brother.

"I don't know," Klaus said. "I've only read three or four books on paint. I know that paint can sometimes be poisonous or cause birth defects. But Genghis isn't making us eat the circle, and you're not pregnant, of course, so I can't imagine."

Sunny wanted to add "Gargaba!" which meant "Maybe the luminous paint is serving as some sort of glowing signal," but the Baude-laires had come full circle and were too close to Genghis to do any more talking.
"I suppose that will do, orphans," Genghis said, snatching the brush and the can of paint out of their hands. "Now, take your marks, and when I blow my whistle, begin running around the circle you've made until I tell you to stop."

"What?" Violet said. As I'm sure you know, there are two types of "What?" in the world. The first type simply means "Excuse me, I didn't hear you. Could you please repeat yourself?" The second type is a little trickier. It means something more along the lines of "Excuse me, I did hear you, but I can't believe that's really what you meant," and this second type is obviously the type Violet was using at this moment. She was standing right next to Genghis, so she'd obviously heard what had come out of the smelly mouth of this miserable man. But she couldn't believe that Genghis was simply going to make them run laps. He was such a sneaky and revolting person that the eldest Baudelaire simply could not accept that his scheme was only as evil as the average gym class.
"What?" Genghis repeated in a mocking way. He had obviously taken a page out of Nero's book, a phrase which here means "learned how to repeat things in a mocking way, in order to make fun of children." "I know you heard me, little orphan girl. You're standing right next to me. Now take your marks, all of you, and begin running as soon as I blow my whistle."

"But Sunny is a baby," Klaus protested. "She can't really run, at least not professionally."
"Then she may crawl as fast as she can," Genghis replied. "Now-on your marks, get set, go!"

Genghis blew his whistle and the Baudelaire orphans began to run, pacing themselves so they could run together even though they had different-sized legs. They finished one lap, and then another, and then another and another and then five more and then another and then seven more and then another and then three more and then two more and then another and then another and then six more and then they lost track. Coach Genghis kept blowing his whistle and occasionally shouted tedious and unhelpful things like "Keep running!" or "Another lap!" The children looked down at the luminous circle so they could stay in a circle, and the children looked over at Genghis as he grew fainter and then clearer as they finished a lap, and the children looked out into the darkness to see if they could catch a glimpse of the Quagmires.

The Baudelaires also looked at one another from time to time, but they didn't speak, not even when they were far enough away from Genghis that he could not overhear. One reason they did not speak was to conserve energy, because although the Baudelaires were in reasonably good shape, they had not run so many laps in their lives, and before too long they were breathing too hard to really discuss anything. But the other reason they did not speak was that Violet had already spoken for (hem when she had asked the second type of "What?" Coach Genghis kept blowing his whistle, and the children kept running around and around the track, and echoing in each of their minds was this second, trickier type of question. The three siblings had heard Coach Genghis, but they couldn't believe that S.O.R.E. was the extent of his evil plan. The Baudelaire orphans kept running around the glowing circle until the first rays of sunrise began to reflect on the jewel in Genghis's turban, and all they could think was What? What? What?

CHAPTER EIGHT
"What?" Isadora asked.

"I said, 'Finally, as the sun rose, Coach Genghis had us stop running laps and let us go to bed,'" Klaus said.

"My sister didn't mean that she didn't hear you," Duncan explained. "She meant that she heard you, but she didn't believe that's really what you meant. And to tell you the truth, I can scarcely believe it myself, even though I saw it with my own eyes."

"I can't believe it either," Violet said, wincing as she took a bite of the salad that the masked people had served for lunch. It was the next afternoon, and all three Baudelaire orphans were doing a great deal of wincing, a word which here means "frowning in pain, alarm, or distress." When Coach Genghis had called last night's activities S.O.R.E., he had merely used the name as an acronym for Special Orphan Running Exercises, but the three children thought that the name S.O.R.E. was even more appropriate than that. After a full night of S.O.R.E., they'd been sore all day. Their legs were sore from all their running. When they'd finally entered the Orphans Shack to go to sleep, they had been too tired to put on their noisy shoes, so their toes were sore from the claws of the tiny territorial crabs. And their heads were sore, not only from headaches, which often occur when one doesn't get enough sleep, but also from trying to figure out what Coach Genghis was up to in making them run all those laps. The Baudelaire legs were sore, the Baudelaire toes were sore, the Baudelaire heads were sore, and soon the muscles on the sides of the Baudelaire mouths would be sore from wincing all day long.

It was lunchtime, and the three children were trying to discuss the previous evening with the Quagmire triplets, who weren't very sore and not nearly as tired. One reason was that they had been hiding behind the archway, spying on Genghis and the Baudelaires, instead of running around and around the luminous circle. The other reason was that the Quagmires had done their spying in shifts. After the Baudelaires had run the first few laps and there was no sign of them stopping, the two triplets had decided to alternate between Duncan sleeping and Isadora spying, and Duncan spying and Isadora sleeping. The two siblings promised each other that they would wake up the sleeping one if the spying one noticed anything unusual.
"I had the last shift," Duncan explained, "so my sister didn't see the end of S.O.R.E. But it doesn't matter. All that happened was that Coach Genghis had you stop running laps and let you go to bed. I thought that he might insist on getting your fortune before you could stop running."

"And I thought that the luminous circle would serve as a landing strip," Isadora said, "for a helicopter, piloted by one of his assistants, to swoop down and take you away. The only thing I couldn't figure out was why you had to run all those laps before the helicopter showed up."
"But the helicopter didn't show up," Klaus said, taking a sip of water and wincing. "Nothing showed up."

"Maybe the pilot got lost," Isadora said.
"Or maybe Coach Genghis became as tired as you did, and forgot to ask for your fortune," Duncan said.

Violet shook her sore head. "He would never get too tired to get our fortune," she said. "He's up to something, that much is for sure, but I just can't figure out what it is."
"Of course you can't figure it out," Duncan said. "You're exhausted. I'm glad Isadora and

I thought of spying in shifts. We're going to use all our spare time to investigate. We'll go through all of our notes, and do some more research in the library. There must be something that can help us figure it out."
"I'll do research, too," Klaus said, yawning. "I'm quite good at it."

"I know you are," Isadora said, smiling. "But not today, Klaus. We'll work on uncovering Genghis's plan, and you three can catch up on your sleep. You're too tired to do much good in a library or anywhere else."
Violet and Klaus looked at each other's tired faces, and then down at their baby sister, and they saw that the Quagmire triplets were right. Violet had been so tired that she had taken only a few notes on Mr. Remora's painfully dull stories. Klaus had been so tired that he had incorrectly measured nearly all of Mrs. Bass's objects. And although Sunny had not reported what she had done that morning in Nero's office, she couldn't have been a very good administrative assistant, because she had fallen asleep right there in the cafeteria, her little head on her salad, as if it were a soft pillow instead of leaves of lettuce, slices of tomato, gobs of creamy honey-mustard dressing, and crispy croutons, which are small toasted pieces of bread that give a salad some added crunch. Violet gently lifted her sister's head out of the salad and shook a few croutons out of her hair. Sunny winced, made a faint, miserable noise, and went back to sleep in Violet's lap.
"Perhaps you're right, Isadora," Violet said. "We'll stumble through the afternoon somehow and get a good night's sleep tonight. If we're lucky, Vice Principal Nero will play something quiet at tonight's concert and we can sleep through that as well."
You can see, with that last sentence, just how tired Violet really was, because "if we're lucky" is not a phrase that she, or either of her siblings, used very often. The reason, of course, is quite clear: the Baudelaire orphans were not lucky.
Smart, yes. Charming, yes. Able to survive austere situations, yes. But the children were not lucky, and so wouldn't use the phrase "if we're lucky" any more than they would use the phrase "if we're stalks of celery," because neither phrase was appropriate. If the Baudelaire orphans had been stalks of celery, they would not have been small children in great distress, and if they had been lucky, Carmelita Spats would not have approached their table at this particular moment and delivered another unfortunate message.

"Hello, you cakesniffers," she said, "although judging from the baby brat you're more like saladsniffers. I have another message for you from Coach Genghis. I get to be his Special Messenger because I'm the cutest, prettiest, nicest little girl in the whole school."
"If you were really the nicest person in the whole school," Isadora said, "you wouldn't make fun of a sleeping infant. But never mind, what is the message?"

"It's actually the same one as last time," Carmelita said, "but I'll repeat it in case you're too stupid to remember. The three Baudelaire orphans are to report to the front lawn tonight, immediately after dinner."

"What?" Klaus asked.

"Are you
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