After the crowd of villagers had dispersed on that merry Christmas day of the sled race, Nicholas was stopped at the door of the cottage where he had spent the last year by a lean, dark looking man who looked as though he had never smiled in his life. It was Bertram Marsden the wood carver of the village, who all the children called “Mad Marsden” because he lived alone, rarely spoke to anybody and chased the children away from his door with black looks and harsh words.
“You haven’t forgotten have you Nicholas that you move to my house today?” Marsden asked gruffly.
Nicholas looked up. Oh no, he hadn’t forgotten, and he well knew why Marsden had offered to take him in for the last year of his life as a wandering orphan. The only reason he was willing, even eager, to feed and clothe Nicholas was because for almost five years now he had watched the work he had been doing with his old pocketknife, and realized that Nicholas would make a very good and cheap apprentice for him. Once again Nicholas packed his few belongings onto his new sled, said a grateful farewell to the family he was leaving, and followed Mad Marsden home to his mean looking cottage on the outskirts of the village. On entering the cottage, Nicholas stepped immediately into the main workroom of the wood carver. Here was found his bench, worktable, tools and an assortment of wood. Marsden pointed to a door in the corner and said, “You can store your belongings in there. Nicholas stood in the middle of the untidy room, looking around in dismay. “There’s a bed you can sleep on and you might as well put that pretty sled away for good. We have no time here to go romping in the snow. Come now Nicholas, don’t stand there gawking. Put away your belongings; you have much to learn here. “I’m going to make a good wood carver of you. There’ll be no time for silly little dolls and wooden toys. You’ll have to earn your keep here. Oh, by the way you can keep that tribe of young children that always follow you about away from here, do you understand me boy?"
Nicholas bowed his head and went silently to work putting away his small bundle of belongings.
So Nicholas started to work for the mad old wood carver and learned that his father’s old pocket-knife was a clumsy tool compared with the beautifully sharp knives and chisels that Marsden used. He learned to work for hours on end, bent over the bench beside his master, patiently going over a piece of wood until it was smooth as a piece of glass.
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The evening before Christmas
|Jazyk:||Počet slov:||1 398|
|Referát vhodný pre:||Stredná odborná škola||Počet A4:||3.8|
|Priemerná známka:||2.92||Rýchle čítanie:||6m 20s|
|Pomalé čítanie:||9m 30s|