WILLIAM - online children's book

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206                                WILLIAM
language. I hope to be the man to make the first known record of the speech of the Martians."
William, who was feeling much stimulated by his little meal and was beginning to enjoy being a Martian, decided to please the old gentleman by saying a few words in the Martian language. He turned his fixed, unflinching stare upon him and said :
" Flam gobba manxy pop gebboo."
Trembling with eagerness, the old gentleman wrote it in his little notebook:
" Flam gobba manxy pop gebboo."
" It may not be spelt right, of course," he said to the girls, " but I think that using our native spelling I have more or less correctly reproduced the sounds. I think that I have actually obtained the first phonetic record in our language of the Martian speech. ..."
William, who was warming to his performance, rose from his seat and began to wander round the room, uttering strange sounds and making strange gestures, all of which the elderly gentleman, whose excitement was steadily increasing, noted in his book. Some of them he interpreted to the still paralysed girls.
" That's the clock. He's never seen a clock before. Evidently they don't have them on his planet . . . he's probably asking what the bureau's for. He means, I think, that he likes the flowers . . . different flowers probably from the ones that grow on his planet. Did you hear that ? ' Crumbs.' By ' Crumbs,' he evidently means the window. I must get that down."
By " Crumbs," however, William didn't mean the window. He meant that he had distinctly caught a glimpse of his father in the wood that surrounded the house.
" His expression has changed," said the old man. " Do you notice that a look of weariness has come over his face ? All this must be most exhausting for him. He must have passed through a most exhausting time coming here at all. I think that he should have a rest
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