Charlie and the Chocolate Factory/8

f the sort,' said Mr Wonka. 'I said they looked round.'

'But they don't look round!' said Veruca Salt.

'They look square!'

'They look round,' insisted Mr Wonka.

'They most certainly do not look round!' cried Veruca Salt.

'Veruca, darling,' said Mrs Salt, 'pay no attention to Mr Wonka! He's lying to you!'

'My dear old fish,' said Mr Wonka, 'go and boil your head!'

'How dare you speak to me like that!' shouted Mrs Salt.

'Oh, do shut up,' said Mr Wonka. 'Now watch this!'

He took a key from his pocket, and unlocked the door, and flung it open... and suddenly... at the sound of the door opening, all the rows of little square sweets looked quickly round to see who was coming in. The tiny faces actually turned towards the door and stared at Mr Wonka.

'There you are!' he cried triumphantly. 'They're looking round! There's no argument about it! They are square sweets that look round!'

'By golly, he's right!' said Grandpa Joe.

'Come on!' said Mr Wonka, starting off down the corridor again. 'On we go! We mustn't dawdle!'

BUTTERSCOTCH AND BUTTERGIN, it said on the next door they passed.

'Now that sounds a bit more interesting,' said Mr Salt, Veruca's father.

'Glorious stuff!' said Mr Wonka. 'The Oompa-Loompas all adore it. It makes them tiddly. Listen! You can hear them in there now, whooping it up.'

Shrieks of laughter and snatches of singing could be heard coming through the closed door.

'They're drunk as lords,' said Mr Wonka. 'They're drinking butterscotch and soda. They like that best of all. Buttergin and tonic is also very popular. Follow me, please! We really mustn't keep stopping like this.' He turned left. He turned right. They came to a long flight of stairs. Mr Wonka slid down the banisters. The three children did the same. Mrs Salt and Mrs Teavee, the only women now left in the party, were getting very out of breath. Mrs Salt was a great fat creature with short legs, and she was blowing like a rhinoceros. 'This way!' cried Mr Wonka, turning left at the bottom of the stairs.

'Go slower!' panted Mrs Salt.

'Impossible,' said Mr Wonka. 'We should never get there in time if I did.'

'Get where?' asked Veruca Salt.

'Never you mind,' said Mr Wonka. 'You just wait and see.'


Veruca in the Nut Room

Mr Wonka rushed on down the corridor. THE NUT ROOM, it said on the next door they came to.

'All right,' said Mr Wonka, 'stop here for a moment and catch your breath, and take a peek through the glass panel of this door. But don't go in! Whatever you do, don't go into THE NUT ROOM! If you go in, you'll disturb the squirrels!'

Everyone crowded around the door.

'Oh look, Grandpa, look!' cried Charlie.

'Squirrels!' shouted Veruca Salt.

'Crikey!' said Mike Teavee.

It was an amazing sight. One hundred squirrels were seated upon high stools around a large table. On the table, there were mounds and mounds of walnuts, and the squirrels were all working away like mad, shelling the walnuts at a tremendous speed.

'These squirrels are specially trained for getting the nuts out of walnuts,' Mr Wonka explained.

'Why use squirrels?' Mike Teavee asked. 'Why not use Oompa-Loompas?'

'Because,' said Mr Wonka, 'Oompa-Loompas can't get walnuts out of walnut shells in one piece. They always break them in two. Nobody except squirrels can get walnuts whole out of walnut shells every time. It is extremely difficult. But in my factory, I insist upon only whole walnuts. Therefore I have to have squirrels to do the job. Aren't they wonderful, the way they get those nuts out! And see how they first tap each walnut with their knuckles to be sure it's not a bad one! If it's bad, it makes a hollow sound, and they don't bother to open it. They just throw it down the rubbish chute. There! Look! Watch that squirrel nearest to us! I think he's got a bad one now!'

They watched the little squirrel as he tapped the walnut shell with his knuckles. He cocked his head to one side, listening intently, then suddenly he threw the nut over his shoulder into a large hole in the floor.

'Hey, Mummy!' shouted Veruca Salt suddenly, 'I've decided I want a squirrel! Get me one of those squirrels!'

'Don't be silly, sweetheart,' said Mrs Salt. 'These all belong to Mr Wonka.'

'I don't care about that!' shouted Veruca. 'I want one. All I've got at home is two dogs and four cats and six bunny rabbits and two parakeets and three canaries and a green parrot and a turtle and a bowl of goldfish and a cage of white mice and a silly old hamster! I want a squirrel!'

'All right, my pet,' Mrs Salt said soothingly. 'Mummy'll get you a squirrel just as soon as she possibly can.'

'But I don't want any old squirrel!' Veruca shouted. 'I want a trained squirrel!'

At this point, Mr Salt, Veruca's father, stepped forward. 'Very well, Wonka,' he said importantly, taking out a wallet full of money, 'how much d'you want for one of these squirrels? Name your price.'

'They're not for sale,' Mr Wonka answered. 'She can't have one.'

'Who says I can't!' shouted Veruca. 'I'm going in to get myself one this very minute!'

'Don't!' said Mr Wonka quickly, but he was too late. The girl had already thrown open the door and rushed in.

The moment she entered the room, one hundred squirrels stopped what they were doing and turned their heads and stared at her with small black beady eyes.

Veruca Salt stopped also, and stared back at them. Then her gaze fell upon a pretty little squirrel sitting nearest to her at the end of the table. The squirrel was holding a walnut in its paws.

'All right,' Veruca said, 'I'll have you!'

She reached out her hands to grab the squirrel... but as she did so... in that first split second when her hands started to go forward, there was a sudden flash of movement in the room, like a flash of brown lightning, and every single squirrel around the table took a flying leap towards her and landed on her body.

Twenty-five of them caught hold of her right arm, and pinned it down.

Twenty-five more caught hold of her left arm, and pinned that down.

Twenty-five caught hold of her right leg and anchored it to the ground.

Twenty-four caught hold of her left leg.

And the one remaining squirrel (obviously the leader of them all) climbed up on to her shoulder and started tap-tap-tapping the wretched girl's head with its knuckles.

'Save her!' screamed Mrs Salt. 'Veruca! Come back! What are they doing to her?'

'They're testing her to see if she's a bad nut,' said Mr Wonka. 'You watch.'

Veruca struggled furiously, but the squirrels held her tight and she couldn't move. The squirrel on her shoulder went tap-tap-tapping the side of her head with his knuckles.

Then all at once, the squirrels pulled Veruca to the ground and started carrying her across the floor.

'My goodness, she is a bad nut after all,' said Mr Wonka. 'Her head must have sounded quite hollow.'

Veruca kicked and screamed, but it was no use. The tiny strong paws held her tightly and she couldn't escape.

'Where are they taking her?' shrieked Mrs Salt.

'She's going where all the other bad nuts go,' said Mr Willy Wonka. 'Down the rubbish chute.'

'By golly, she is going down the chute!' said Mr Salt, staring through the glass door at his daughter.

'Then save her!' cried Mrs Salt.

'Too late,' said Mr Wonka. 'She's gone!'

And indeed she had.

'But where?' shrieked Mrs Salt, flapping her arms. 'What happens to the bad nuts? Where does the chute go to?'

'That particular chute,' Mr Wonka told her, 'runs directly into the great big main rubbish pipe which carries away all the rubbish from every part of the factory - all the floor sweepings and potato peelings and rotten cabbages and fish heads and stuff like that.'

'Who eats fish and cabbage and potatoes in this factory, I'd like to know?' said Mike Teavee.

'I do, of course,' answered Mr Wonka. 'You don't think I live on cacao beans, do you?'

'But... but... but...' shrieked Mrs Salt, 'where does the great big pipe go to in the end?'

'Why, to the furnace, of course,' Mr Wonka said calmly. 'To the incinerator.'

Mrs Salt opened her huge red mouth and started to scream.

'Don't worry,' said Mr Wonka, 'there's always a chance that they've decided not to light it today.'

'A chance!' yelled Mrs Salt. 'My darling Veruca! She'll... she'll... she'll be sizzled like a sausage!'

'Quite right, my dear,' said Mr Salt. 'Now see here, Wonka,' he added, 'I think you've gone just a shade too far this time, I do indeed. My daughter may be a bit of a frump - I don't mind admitting it - but that doesn't mean you can roast her to a crisp. I'll have you know I'm extremely cross about this, I really am.'

'Oh, don't be cross, my dear sir!' said Mr Wonka. 'I expect she'll turn up again sooner or later. She may not even have gone down at all. She may be stuck in the chute just below the entrance hole, and if that's the case, all you'll have to do is go in and pull her up again.'

Hearing this, both Mr and Mrs Salt dashed into the Nut Room and ran over to the hole in the floor and peered in.

'Veruca!' shouted Mrs Salt. 'Are you down there!'

There was no answer.

Mrs Salt bent further forward to get a closer look. She was now kneeling right on the edge of the hole with her head down and her enormous behind sticking up in the air like a giant mushroom. It was a dangerous position to be in. She needed only one tiny little push... one gentle nudge in the right place... and that is exactly what the squirrels gave her! Over she toppled, into the hole head first, screeching like a parrot.

'Good gracious me!' said Mr Salt, as he watched his fat wife go tumbling down the hole, 'what a lot of rubbish there's going to be today!' He saw her disappearing into the darkness. 'What's it like down there, Angina?' he called out. He leaned further forward.

The squirrels rushed up behind him...

'Help!' he shouted.

But he was already toppling forward, and down the chute he went, just as his wife had done before him - and his daughter.

'Oh dear!' cried Charlie, who was watching with the others through the door, 'what on earth's going to happen to them now?'

'I expect someone will catch them at the bottom of the chute,' said Mr Wonka.

'But what about the great fiery incinerator?' asked Charlie.

'They only light it every other day,' said Mr Wonka. 'Perhaps this is one of the days when they let it go out. You never know... they might be lucky...'

'Ssshh!' said Grandpa Joe. 'Listen! Here comes another song!'

From far away down the corridor came the beating of drums. Then the singing began.

'Veruca Salt!' sang the Oompa-Loompas.

' Veruca Salt, the little brute,

Has just gone down the rubbish chute

(And as we very rightly thought

That in a case like this we ought

To see the thing completely through,

We've polished off her parents, too).

Down goes Veruca! Down the drain!

And here, perhaps, we should explain

That she will meet, as she descends,

A rather different set of friends

To those that she has left behind -

These won't be nearly so refined.

A fish head, for example, cut

This morning from a halibut.

"Hello! Good morning! How d'you do?

How nice to meet you! How are you?"

And then a little further down

A mass of others gather round:

A bacon rind, some rancid lard,

A loaf of bread gone stale and hard,

A steak that nobody could chew,

An oyster from an oyster stew,

Some liverwurst so old and grey

One smelled it from a mile away,

A rotten nut, a reeky pear,

A thing the cat left on the stair,

And lots of other things as well,

Each with a rather horrid smell.

These are Veruca's new-foundfriends

That she will meet as she descends,

And this is the price she has to pay

For going so very far astray.

But now, my dears, we think you might

Be wondering - is it really right

That every single bit of blame

And all the scolding and the shame

Should fall upon Veruca Salt?

Is she the only one at fault?

For though she's spoiled, and dreadfully so,

A girl can't spoil herself,you know.

Who spoiled her, then? Ah, who indeed?

Who pandered to her every need?

Who turned her into such a brat?

Who are the culprits? Who did that?

Alas! You needn't look so far

To find out who these sinners are.

They are (and this is very sad)

Her loving parents, MUM and DAD.

And that is why we're glad they fell

Into the rubbish chute as well.'


The Great Glass Lift

'I've never seen anything like it!' cried Mr Wonka. 'The children are disappearing like rabbits! But you mustn't worry about it! They'll all come out in the wash!'

Mr Wonka looked at the little group that stood beside him in the corridor. There were only two children left now - Mike Teavee and Charlie Bucket. And there were three grown-ups, Mr and Mrs Teavee and Grandpa Joe. 'Shall we move on?' Mr Wonka asked.

'Oh, yes!' cried Charlie and Grandpa Joe, both together.

'My feet are getting tired,' said Mike Teavee. 'I want to watch television.'

'If you're tired then we'd better take the lift,' said Mr Wonka. 'It's over here. Come on! In we go!' He skipped across the passage to a pair of double doors. The doors slid open. The two children and the grown-ups went in.

'Now then,' cried Mr Wonka, 'which button shall we press first? Take your pick!'

Charlie Bucket stared around him in astonishment. This was the craziest lift he had ever seen. There were buttons everywhere! The walls, and even the ceiling, were covered all over with rows and rows and rows of small, black push buttons! There must have been a thousand of them on each wall, and another thousand on the ceiling! And now Charlie noticed that every single button had a tiny printed label beside it telling you which room you would be taken to if you pressed it.

'This isn't just an ordinary up-and-down lift!' announced Mr Wonka proudly. 'This lift can go sideways and longways and slantways and any other way you can think of! It can visit any single room in the whole factory, no matter where it is! You simply press the button... and zing!... you're off!'

'Fantastic!' murmured Grandpa Joe. His eyes were shining with excitement as he stared at the rows of buttons.

'The whole lift is made of thick, clear glass!' Mr Wonka declared. 'Walls, doors, ceiling, floor, everything is made of glass so that you can see out!'

'But there's nothing to see,' said Mike Teavee.

'Choose a button!' said Mr Wonka. 'The two children may press one button each. So take your pick! Hurry up! In every room, something delicious and wonderful is being made.'

Quickly, Charlie started reading some of the labels alongside the buttons.

THE ROCK-CANDY MINE - 10,000 FEET DEEP, it said on one.

COKERNUT-ICE SKATING RINKS, it said on another.














'Come on, come on!' cried Mr Wonka. 'We can't wait all day!'

'Isn't there a Television Room in all this lot?' asked Mike Teavee.

'Certainly there's a television room,' Mr Wonka said. 'That button over there.' He pointed with his finger. Everybody looked. TELEVISION CHOCOLATE, it said on the tiny label beside the button.

'Whoopee!' shouted Mike Teavee. 'That's for me!' He stuck out his thumb and pressed the button. Instantly, there was a tremendous whizzing noise. The doors clanged shut and the lift leaped away as though it had been stung by a wasp. But it leapt sideways! And all the passengers (except Mr Wonka, who was holding on to a strap from the ceiling) were flung off their feet on to the floor.

'Get up, get up!' cried Mr Wonka, roaring with laughter. But just as they were staggering to their feet, the lift changed direction and swerved violently round a corner. And over they went once more.

'Help!' shouted Mrs Teavee.

'Take my hand, madam,' said Mr Wonka gallantly. 'There you are! Now grab this strap! Everybody grab a strap. The journey's not over yet!'

Old Grandpa Joe staggered to his feet and caught hold of a strap. Little Charlie, who couldn't possibly reach as high as that, put his arms around Grandpa Joe's legs and hung on tight.

The lift rushed on at the speed of a rocket. Now it was beginning to climb. It was shooting up and up and up on a steep slanty course as if it were climbing a very steep hill. Then suddenly, as though it had come to the top of the hill and gone over a precipice, it dropped like a stone and Charlie felt his tummy coming right up into his throat, and

Grandpa Joe shouted, 'Yippee! Here we go!' and Mrs Teavee cried out, 'The rope has broken! We're going to crash!' And Mr Wonka said, 'Calm yourself, my dear lady,' and patted her comfortingly on the arm. And then Grandpa Joe looked down at Charlie who was clinging to his legs, and he said, 'Are you all right, Charlie?' Charlie shouted, 'I love it! It's like being on a roller coaster!' And through the glass walls of the lift, as it rushed along, they caught sudden glimpses of strange and wonderful things going on in some of the other rooms:

An enormous spout with brown sticky stuff oozing out of it on to the floor...

A great, craggy mountain made entirely of fudge, wi