The Champion of the World by Roald Dahl

The Champion of the World by Roald Dahl

The petrol was not sold all day, but the gas station worked. The protagonist of the book and his friends were sitting at the table and consulting. They were studying the plans and preparing for the evening. Soon the day came to the end. The men went outside, closing all the gasoline pumps. The friends asked Gordon to take off his bright yellow sweater. Under the moonlight, it would shine very brightly and they would definitely be noticed. Gordon argued for some time, but then he agreed. After all, the mission was too serious. The men put on dark sweaters, trousers and hats. They would go to prison if they made a mistake in their plan. They were going to become poachers. The men decided to get into the protected area to begin the hunt. Otherwise they would not be able to get a pheasant.

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The Champion of the World by Roald Dahl

All day, when not selling petrol, we had been leaning over the table in the office of my petrol station, preparing the raisins. We had a hundred and ninety-six of them to do altogether, and it was nearly evening before we had finished.

‘Don’t they look wonderful!’ Claud cried, rubbing his hands together hard. ‘What time is it, Gordon?’

‘Just after five.’

The Champion of the World by Roald Dahl

Through the window we could see a car arriving at the petrol pumps, with a woman at the wheel and about eight children in the back, eating ice creams.

‘We ought to be going soon,’ Claud said. ‘The plan won’t work if we don’t arrive before sunset.’ He was getting nervous now.

We both went outside, and Claud gave the woman her petrol. When she had gone, he remained standing in the middle of the yard, looking anxiously up at the sun.

‘All right,’ I said. ‘Lock up.’

He went quickly from pump to pump, locking each one.

‘You’d better take off that yellow sweater,’ he said. ‘You’ll be shining like a light out there in the moonlight.’

‘I’ll be all right.’

‘You will not,’ he said. ‘Take it off, Gordon, please. I’ll see you in three minutes.’

He disappeared into his hut behind the petrol station, and I went and changed my yellow sweater for a blue one.

When we met again outside, Claud was dressed in a pair of black trousers and a dark-green sweater. On his head he wore a brown cloth cap pulled down low over his eyes.

‘What’s under there?’ I asked, staring at his unusually thick waist.

He pulled up his sweater and showed me two very thin but very large white cotton bags tied neatly and tightly around his waist. ‘To carry the stuff,’ he said.

‘I see.’

‘Let’s go,’ he said.

‘I still think we ought to take the car.’

‘It’s too risky. They’ll see it parked.’

‘But it’s over five kilometers up to that wood.’

‘Yes,’ he said. ‘And I suppose you realize we can get six months in prison if they catch us.’

‘You never told me that…

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