The Most Beautiful View in the World... (and other stories)
by Kathleen Nelson Illustrated by Janet King
Blank Screen Publishing
BLANK SCREEN PUBLISHING 3 Blue Anchor Yard London E1 8LR blankscreenbooks.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org A Paperback Original Printed in the United Kingdom © Copyright 2013 Text Kathleen Nelson 2013 Illustrations Janet King The rights of Kathleen Nelson and Janet King to be identified as the authors of this work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No reproduction, copy or transmission of this publication may be made without written permission. No paragraph of this publication may be reproduced, copied or transmitted or saved without written permission or in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright Act 1956 (as amended). ISBN: 978-0-9574715-1-1 A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library OTHER CHILDREN’S BOOKS FROM BLANK SCREEN PUBLISHING The Princess in the Purple Tower by Ellie Crowe & Janet King What Will Dr. DooLots do Today? by Jodie Rudge & Keeno Baker Stories I read to my daughter at bedtime by Patris Gordon & Janet King
For David and Roy Nelson and Candida Spencer
The Most Beautiful View in the World... (and other stories)
The Most Beautiful View in the World
8 An Angel with Striped Stockings
28 The Ghost of Greyfriars Bobby
44 The Puppeteer
The Most Beautiful View in the World
ortimer G. Opulent was the richest man in the world. He was wealthier than any King or Emperor, and his money –
carefully invested by clever bankers – made him richer every day. Even when he sat around doing nothing he was making money. He had made his fortune by being cruel and ruthless, and now he intended to enjoy all the beautiful things in the world around him.
Mortimer Â G. Â Opulent Â became Â greedy Â for Â beauty Â the Â way Â he Â had Â previously Â been Â greedy Â for Â money. Â He Â surrounded Â himself Â only Â with Â people Â and Â objects Â that Â were Â beautiful. Â He Â was Â a Â man Â of Â exquisite Â taste, Â and Â was Â offended Â by Â anything Â that Â was Â not Â perfect. Â His Â wife Â of Â the Â moment Â was Â always Â young Â and Â pretty, Â and Â as Â soon Â as Â she Â grew Â older, Â or Â less Â perfect Â in Â DSSHDUDQFHKHZRXOGGLYRUFHKHUDQGÂżQGD\RXQJHU more Â attractive Â woman Â to Â be Â his Â wife. Â â€œWe Â are Â told Â not Â to Â judge Â by Â appearances!â€? Â he Â would Â exclaim. Â â€œWhat Â nonsense! Â Appearance Â is Â all Â that Â matters! Â Appearance Â is Â everything!â€? He Â collected Â art Â and Â sculptures Â by Â old Â masters, Â diamonds Â and Â emeralds Â large Â as Â eggs, Â and Â priceless Â porcelain. Â His Â many Â houses, Â with Â their Â famous Â gardens, Â were Â situated Â in Â the Â worldâ€™s Â most Â spectacular Â places. Â Above Â all Â else Â Mortimer Â G. Â Opulent Â loved Â a Â house Â with Â a Â beautiful Â view. Â As Â his Â collection Â of Â treasures Â grew Â he Â
became Â bored Â with Â objects Â and Â found Â himself Â turning Â more Â and Â more Â to Â the Â beauties Â of Â nature. Â Â Â He Â employed Â specially Â trained Â 9LHZÂżQGHUVWRVHHNRXWWKHZRUOGÂśVPRVWZRQGHUIXO views. Â He Â would Â sigh Â with Â greedy Â joy Â at Â each Â new Â vista Â and Â buy Â a Â house Â beside Â it, Â where Â he Â could Â gaze Â at Â his Â surroundings Â until Â he Â grew Â restless Â again. Â +RZHYHUPDJQLÂżFHQWWKHVFHQHU\ZDVVRRQHURU later Â he Â grew Â bored. Â He Â lived Â beside Â hills Â and Â valleys, Â waterfalls Â and Â glaciers, Â jungles Â and Â tropical Â islands, Â DQGGHHSLQKLVKHDUWKHZDVGLVVDWLVÂżHG+HORQJHGWR ÂżQGDSODFHZKLFKZRXOGEHVRSHUIHFWWKDWKHZRXOG never Â need Â to Â move Â again: Â a Â place Â he Â could Â call Â home Â at Â last. â€œThere Â must Â be Â a Â place Â somewhere,â€? Â he Â told Â the Â 9LHZÂżQGHUVÂł7KHUHPXVWEHDSODFHZKLFKKDVthe Â most Â EHDXWLIXOYLHZLQWKHZRUOG,QHHG\RXWRÂżQGLWIRUPHÂ´
Âł,WKLQN6LUÂ´EHJDQRQHRIWKH9LHZÂżQGHUVWLPLGO\ â€œI Â donâ€™t Â employ Â you Â to Â think, Â you Â imbecile!â€? Â he Â said. Â Â â€œI Â employ Â you Â to Â ÂżQG!â€? The Â thought Â of Â this Â perfect Â view Â began Â to Â obsess Â 0RUWLPHU*2SXOHQW:KHQWKH9LHZÂżQGHUVFDPH to Â him Â with Â pictures Â of Â yet Â another Â sandy Â beach Â with Â palm Â trees Â or Â some Â glittering Â mountain Â range, Â he Â swept Â them Â away Â impatiently. â€œThis Â beach, Â Sir, Â is Â the Â most Â amazing...â€? â€œIâ€™ve Â seen Â all Â this Â before!â€? Â he Â would Â bellow. Â â€œWhat Â am Â I Â paying Â you Â for? Â I Â want Â the Â very Â best Â in Â the Â world!â€? +HVDFNHGKLVÂżUVWWHDPRI9LHZÂżQGHUVDQG employed Â a Â more Â expert Â and Â ruthless Â bunch Â of Â men, Â ZKRSURPLVHGWRÂżQGKLPZKDWKHGHVLUHG â€œIâ€™m Â tired Â of Â all Â the Â moving Â around,â€? Â he Â told Â them. Â â€œSurely Â I Â pay Â enough Â for Â you Â WRÂżQGPHZKDW,ZDQWWKHPRVWEHDXWLIXO view Â in Â the Â world!â€?
â€œOf Â course, Â of Â course, Â Sir,â€? Â soothed Â his Â new Â head Â PDQÂł:HVKDOOÂżQG\RXWKHPRVWEHDXWLIXOYLHZLQWKH whole Â world Â and Â you Â will Â never...â€? â€œThen Â get Â on Â with Â it!â€? Â he Â screeched. 6RPHPRQWKVODWHUWKHKHDG9LHZÂżQGHUFDPHWRKLP with Â news Â from Â his Â secret Â sources Â that Â the Â worldâ€™s Â most Â beautiful Â view Â was Â in Â Wales. â€œWales! Â Where Â on Â earth Â is Â Wales?â€? A Â map Â of Â the Â world Â was Â produced Â and Â Wales Â was Â pointed Â out. â€œWell, Â well. Â Whoâ€™d Â have Â thought Â it? Â Great Â Britain! Â Do Â you Â have Â reliable Â information Â on Â this?â€? â€œOh Â yes, Â SLUÂ´VDLGKLVKHDG9LHZÂżQGHUÂł0\VRXUFHV DUHTXLWHGHÂżQLWHWKDWÂ´ â€œThen Â to Â Wales Â we Â shall Â all Â go Â at Â once!â€? Â interrupted Â the Â worldâ€™s Â richest Â man. Â He Â was Â also Â the Â worldâ€™s Â UXGHVWPDQIRUKHFRXOGQHYHUOHWDQ\RQHÂżQLVKD sentence. Â He Â happened Â to Â be Â in Â one Â of Â his Â many Â
American homes at the time, so he ordered the 3UHVLGHQWLDO6XLWHRQWKH¿UVWOX[XU\OLQHUDFURVVWKH Atlantic. He spent much of the crossing in a state of impatient excitement, pacing up and down the decks, VKRXWLQJDWHYHU\RQHLQVLJKW:KHQWKHVKLS¿QDOO\ arrived in England, he chartered a stagecoach to take him to Wales. He bellowed at his coachman not to
spare Â the Â horses, Â and Â brandished Â the Â whip Â himself Â on Â VHYHUDORFFDVLRQVXQWLOÂ¿QDOO\WKH\UHDFKHGWKHERUGHU between Â Wales Â and Â England. The Â problem Â was Â that Â no Â one Â knew Â exactly Â where Â in Â Wales Â this Â beautiful Â view Â was. Â Mortimer Â G. Â Opulent Â VHWKLV9LHZÂ¿QGHUVWRZRUNZKLOVWKHWULHGWRWDONWR the Â local Â people.
â€œNo Â one Â will Â tell Â us Â anything!â€? Â he Â wailed, Â after Â yet Â another Â day Â spent Â tramping Â around Â in Â the Â rain. Â â€œTheir Â language Â is Â quite Â impossible, Â and Â I Â canâ€™t Â believe Â we Â ZLOOÂżQGWKHZRUOGÂśVPRVWEHDXWLIXOYLHZKHUHLQWKLV damp Â climate. Â â€œThe Â trouble Â is, Â Sir, Â that Â the Â people Â wonâ€™t Â co-Âoperate Â ZLWKXVÂ´VDLGKLVKHDG9LHZÂżQGHUÂł,ÂśPVXUHWKDWWKH\ know Â where Â it Â is, Â but Â they Â wonâ€™t...â€? â€œThen Â they Â shall Â be Â made Â to Â tell!â€? Â shouted Â Mortimer Â G. Â Opulent. Â â€œHavenâ€™t Â you Â offered Â them Â money?â€? â€œOh Â yes, Â Sir,â€? Â the Â head Â man Â said. Â â€œThey Â are Â not Â rich Â people, Â yet Â they Â refuse Â our Â money, Â however Â much Â we Â offer Â them. Â Â They Â seem...â€? Âł7KH\VHHPZKDWH[DFWO\'HÂżDQW6WXEERUQ Stupid!â€? Mortimer Â G. Â grew Â white, Â then Â red, Â then Â purple Â in Â the Â face. Â He Â stamped Â his Â foot Â several Â times. â€œHow Â dare Â they Â defy Â ME!â€? Â he Â roared. Â At Â last Â he Â
calmed Â down, Â and Â smiled. Â It Â was Â a Â particularly Â nasty Â smile. â€œVery Â well,â€? Â he Â said. Â â€œWe Â shall Â make Â them Â talk.â€? +HFRPPDQGHGKLV9LHZÂżQGHUVWREHJLQNLGQDSSLQJ local Â children. Â Soon Â he Â had Â brought Â terror Â and Â confusion Â to Â the Â land. Â Desperate Â parents Â offered Â to Â tell Â him Â anything Â in Â return Â for Â their Â children, Â and Â he Â was Â GLUHFWHGDOORYHU:DOHVEXWVWLOOKHFRXOGQRWÂżQGD YLHZWKDWVDWLVÂżHGKLP â€œThe Â information Â is Â being Â kept Â from Â me,â€? Â he Â snarled. Â Â â€œThey Â think Â they Â can Â keep Â this Â view Â for Â themselves. Â I Â shall Â show Â them. Â I Â have Â been Â too Â lenient Â up Â until Â now. Â Kidnapping Â children Â hasnâ€™t Â worked Â so Â I Â am Â going Â to Â try Â torturing Â them!â€? +LV9LHZÂżQGHUVZHUHLQVWUXFWHGWRFDWFKWKHÂżUVWWZR children Â they Â came Â across Â and Â bring Â them Â back, Â tied Â up Â and Â blindfolded. ,WVRKDSSHQHGWKDWWKHÂżUVWWZRFKLOGUHQWKH\FDPH
upon Â were Â a Â brother Â and Â sister Â called Â Morgan Â and Â Megan. Â Morgan Â was Â nine Â and Â little Â Megan Â was Â only Â four. Â She Â was Â dragged Â screaming Â and Â sobbing Â in Â front Â of Â Mortimer Â G. Â Opulent. â€œShut Â the Â brat Â up!â€? Â he Â instructed Â his Â head Â man. â€œWait, Â Sir!â€? Â said Â the Â boy. Â â€œI Â shall Â calm Â my Â sister Â down.â€? Â He Â spoke Â rapidly Â to Â the Â little Â girl Â in Â Welsh Â and Â KHUZDLOVWXUQHGWRVQLIĂ€HVÂł1RZKRZFDQZHKHOSÂ´ â€œI Â am Â more Â inclined Â to Â think Â itâ€™s Â your Â parents Â who Â might Â be Â able Â to Â help Â us Â if Â they Â hear Â you Â two Â screaming Â loudly Â enough.â€? â€œWe Â donâ€™t Â have Â parents, Â Sir,â€? Â said Â Morgan Â politely, Â tugging Â at Â his Â blindfold. Â â€œWe Â live Â in Â the Â cottage Â further Â down Â the Â valley Â with Â our Â grandfather, Â who Â is Â our Â only Â relative. Â He Â is...â€? â€œReally? Â And Â does Â your Â grandfather Â know Â the Â area Â well? Â Does Â he Â know Â where Â the Â best Â views Â are Â round Â here?â€?
“No one better, Sir,” said the little boy. “My grandfather knows the hills and sea-cliffs round here better than any man alive. Views are his speciality. He loves a good sea-view, and in particular he knows...” “Lead us to him at once!” commanded Mortimer G. Opulent.
â€œCertainly, Â Sir, Â if Â you Â could Â just Â take Â this Â blindfold Â off.â€? 7KH9LHZÂżQGHUVWRRNWKHEOLQGIROGVRIIDQG marched Â the Â children Â roughly Â ahead Â of Â them. Â Little Â Megan Â whimpered Â and Â her Â brother Â continued Â to Â talk Â soothingly Â to Â her Â in Â Welsh. Before Â long Â they Â came Â to Â a Â shabby Â looking Â cottage. Â â€œPush Â the Â door Â open Â and Â take Â the Â brats Â inside!â€? Â ordered Â Mortimer Â G. Â Opulent. $IUDLOROGPDQVDWE\DQHPSW\ÂżUHSODFHDQGWXUQHGWR them Â with Â eyes Â that Â looked Â half Â blind. Â â€œPlease Â untie Â my Â sister, Â Sir,â€? Â said Â Morgan, Â â€œand Â my Â grandfather Â will Â tell Â you Â all Â you Â want Â to Â know. Â I Â can Â translate Â all Â that Â my Â grand...â€? â€œDo Â as Â he Â says!â€? 7KH9LHZÂżQGHUVXQWLHGWKHOLWWOHJLUODQGVKHUDQ trembling, Â into Â her Â grandfatherâ€™s Â arms. â€œExplain Â to Â your Â grandfather Â that Â we Â are Â looking Â for Â the Â Best Â View Â in Â the Â World,â€? Â said Â Mortimer Â G. Â Opulent. Â â€œIf Â
Published on Jul 20, 2013
A lovely children's book with four short and mysterious tales - bound to surprise, delight and thrill young curious minds...