PART 1 The three children at the breakfast table looked at one another in great disappointment. Their parents had just told them that they were not be going to Polseath, their usual summer holiday place, this year. Their mother and father were going to Scotland by themselves and they had arranged for Julian, Dick and Anne to go and stay with Uncle Quentin and Aunt Fanny at Kirrin Bay. The children knew that Uncle Quentin was their father’s brother and a scientist, but they had never met him and they didn’t know very much about him or their Aunt Fanny. “What’s Kirrin Bay like, Mother?” “It’s quite big, Julian. Lovely and blue with a funny sort of island at the entrance to the bay.” “I just feel as if it’s the right sort of place somehow. It sounds sort of adventurous.” “Oh, Dick, you always say that wherever you go!” “Have Aunt Fanny and Uncle Quentin got any children?” “Yes, Anne, just one. A daughter called Georgina. She’s about eleven.” “Same age as me! Fancy having a cousin we’ve never seen, Julian!” “Yes, Dick, I wonder what Georgina’s like. Funny name, more like a boy’s than a girl’s. So she’s eleven, same as you, Dick, a year younger than me and a year older than Anne.” “Aunt Fanny is delighted you’re going. She says it’ll be so good for Georgina to have company.” “She must be jolly lonely, all by herself.” “You will have to be careful not to disturb Uncle Quentin. He’s working very hard and he isn’t very good-tempered when he’s disturbed.” “We’ll be as quiet as mice in the house. When are we going?” “Next Tuesday. I’ll just pack swimming costumes and jerseys and jeans for you.” “Oh, wonderful! I’m tired of wearing school clothes. It’ll be lovely to wear jeans again.” “Well, you’ll soon be doing just that, Anne.”
PART 2 Tuesday soon came and they all set off in the car. It was a long journey and they stopped for a picnic on the way. At last the car topped a hill and there was the shining blue sea. The three children gave a yell. They thought it all looked marvellous. In no time at all they drew up outside their Aunt Fanny’s house, called Kirrin Cottage. It wasn’t really a cottage but a big old house built of white stone. Roses climbed over the front of it and the garden was full of flowers. The children’s aunt had been watching for the car and came running out. “Welcome to Kirrin. Come in!” “Where’s Georgina?” “Oh, the naughty girl, I told her to wait in the garden for you. I must tell you, children, you may find George a bit difficult at first. You mustn’t take any notice of that, she’ll soon come round.” “Do you call her George? I thought her name was Georgina.” “So it is, but George hates being a girl and we have to call her George as if she were a boy.” “Hallo, Quentin! I hope these three won’t disturb you in your work.” “Quentin has a room on the other side of the house, I don’t expect he’ll be disturbed.” “Where’s George?” “Gone off somewhere again.” “She wants a good talking to. Well, children, I hope you have a good time here.” “I’m afraid we’ll have to leave straightaway. We’re booked into a hotel tonight and we have to check in. Goodbye, my dears, be good!” “We will, goodbye!” “Bye, Mommy and Daddy!” “Goodbye!” “Now, children, I’ll show you your rooms. Follow me upstairs…” (noise of steps up the staircase) “Now, you two, boys, will share this room. And Anne, you’ll be sharing with George in here.”
“I do wish Georgina would come. I want to see what she’s like.” “Well, she’s a funny girl, but she’s very loyal. Once she makes friends with you, she’ll always be your friend.” (Anne yawns) “Oh dear, poor Anne! How tired you are. You must all go to bed straightaway. Good night, my dears.” “Good night, Aunt Fanny.” “Good night, Auntie.” “Anne, you are an idiot. You know quite well what grown-ups think as soon as you yawn.” “I’m sorry. I couldn’t help it. Anyway, you’re yawning now, Dick. And Julian too!” So they were. Soon they were all tucked in and fast asleep. Long before Georgina came up to bed. They were so tired they heard nothing until the sun woke them in the morning.
PART 3 When Anne awoke, she looked across at the other bed, she could just see the top of a curly head and that was all. “I say, are you Georgina?” “No.” “Oh, …er… then who are you?” “I’m George! I hate being a girl; I like doing the things boys can do and I can do them better. You’re to call me George. Let’s get dressed.” “Oh, all right, I don’t care what I call you; anyway, you look like a boy.” “Do I really? Don’t you hate being a girl?” “No, of course not. I like pretty frocks and I love my doll.” “Oh, you are a baby!” (knock on the door) “Anne, aren’t you ready? Cousin Georgina, come out and see us.” “Hello!” “Well, I never…!?! She just ignored us.” “She won’t answer you if you call her Georgina.” “Oh well, let’s go down to breakfast.” (noise of steps running down the stairs) “Good morning, children. Here’s your breakfast. You must take your cousins to see the bay this morning, George.” “I’m going fishing.” “You are not! You’re going to take your cousins to the bay, do you hear me?” “Yes! (sigh) Come on then, you lot, if you want to go.” (birds singing) “You can go fishing if you want to, George. If you don’t want to be with us… you needn’t.” “But we’d like you to, if you’d like to be with us.” “I’ll see. I only make friends with people if I like them.” “So do we. We may not like you, of course.” “Oh, well, you may not, of course.”
“Look at that rocky island with a ruined castle on it! I wonder what it’s called.” “It’s called Kirrin Island. It’s a lovely place to go. I might take you there on my boat some day, but I don’t promise.” “Who did it belong to?” “Me. At least it will belong to me some day. It will be my very own island and castle.” “What do you mean? Kirrin Island can’t belong to you.” “You ask my mother if you don’t believe me.”a Treasure Island – Texto áudio
“Of course we believe you. But it does sound a bit extraordinary. Children don’t usually own islands, even funny little ones like that.” “It isn’t a funny little island; it’s lovely. There are rabbits there as tame as can be. The castle is wonderful too even if it is in ruins.” “Tell us how the island belongs to you, George.” “Years ago my mother’s family owned nearly all the land around here, then they got poor and they had to sell most of it, but they could never sell the little island because nobody thought it was worth anything.” “I’d buy it at once if I had the money.” “All that’s left of what mother’s family owned is Kirrin Cottage and a farm. And Kirrin Island. Mother’s sort of given it to me. It’s my own private island and I don’t let anyone go there unless they get my permission.” “I do hope you’ll be friends with us and take us there one day soon.” “Well, I might. I’ve never taken anyone there yet.” “The tide is going out. It looks as if we could wade over to the island.” “No, it’s only possible to get to it by boat. There are rocks all about and you have to now exactly where to row a boat. There are lots of wrecks about.” “Wrecks? Are there any to see?” “Just one. And that’s on the other side of the island. You can just see the broken mast if you row over on a calm day and look down into the water. That wreck really belongs to me, too.”
“How can it?” “It was a ship belonging to one of my great-great-grandfathers. He was bringing bars of gold back in his ship and it got wrecked off Kirrin Island.” “What happened to the gold?” “Nobody knows. Divers have been down, but they couldn’t find any gold.” “I wish I could see the wreck.” “Well, we might go this afternoon. The water is so calm and clear today.” “Oh, how wonderful!” (abridged)
Published on Jun 1, 2009