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Success! The body was moving. After years of work, here was a human life! I looked at him. How can I describe my feelings? The man was terribly ugly. He had thick black hair and white teeth, but his skin was yellow and dry. His eyes were very pale. He was a monster.

If you say the name Frankenstein, people immediately think of a large, ugly monster. A terrible monster that kills people. But the monster in this story does not have a name — Frankenstein is the name of a young scientist. He learns the secret of life and creates a monster from parts of dead bodies. The monster is clever and strong. At first he looks for love and wants to be kind. But he is also very large and very ugly. When people see him, they fear and hate him. Soon, the monster learns to hate people and he becomes evil. Terrible things happen. Frankenstein has learned how to create life. But will this life destroy him ?

The story of Frankenstein is known all over the world. A lot of film makers have taken ideas from the story. Sometimes, writers have changed the story, making it even more frightening. But the scientist and his terrible creation are always at the centre of the story.

Frankenstein is probably the most famous horror story in the world. The book was the work of a young woman called Mary Shelley. She wrote it in the summer of 1816, when she was only nineteen years old.

Mary Shelley was born in 1797. Her parents were both famous writers and thinkers. Her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, died when she was a baby. She wrote an important book about the position of women. Mary's father, William Godwin, believed that people are not bad. They be come bad because bad things happen to them. If people learn about evil, they become evil. Mary’ father was her teacher, and she agreed with a lot of his ideas. father was her teacher, and she agreed with a lot of his ideas.

At that time, people were also learning a lot of new things about science. They were, for example, discovering something very important called electricity. Perhaps this was the secret of life? Mary Shelley read and talked about these new ideas with her father and her friends.

In May 1814, Mary met Percy Bysshe Shelley. Shelley later became a popular English writer, and his poems are very famous. He and Mary fell in love, and two months later Mary left England with him. They travelled around Europe together. When Shelley's first wife died, in December 1816, he married Mary.

Mary and Shelley spent the summer of 1816 in Switzerland, at Lake Geneva. They were very happy there. Another friend of theirs, Byron, was also staying at a house near the lake. It was a very wet summer. They could not go out for walks, or go sailing on the lake. So to amuse themselves, the friends told stories. Frightening stories were very popular at that time. Late one night, Byron suggested a game. Who could write the most interesting horror story ?

Mary's story was the best, and it became famous later as the book Frankenstein. The book was a big success for the young writer. People were very surprised that it was written by a young woman.

When Mary Shelley wrote her book, she was living in Switzerland. She described the beautiful mountains, and the glacier, the 'Sea of Ice', in her story. These places are now very popular for holidays. But when she was in Switzerland, there were no trains or buses. It was not easy to travel through the mountains. It was slow and uncomfortable, and the roads were very steep.

Mary Shelley learned a lot from her father's ideas and from all the books that she read. She put these ideas into her story. She wanted to show that the monster was good at first. He became evil because people were stupid and unkind. The story also shows that scientific work can be very, very dangerous.

^ The First Letter

My dear sister Margaret

I am writing to you from my ship. We have travelled a long way, and we are now in the far north. It has been a difficult and dangerous journey, but we are safe. There is ice all around the ship and it is very cold. We are waiting for an improvement in the weather before we continue.

I have something interesting to tell you. A few days ago, we found a man in the sea. He was travelling across the ice, but his dogs died. He was alone. We were hundreds of miles from land, so we were very surprised.

'Where are you going?' he asked. He was from a foreign country, but he spoke in English. I told him about our journey to the North Pole*.

The man climbed onto the ship. He was half-dead with cold and tiredness. He was thin and ill and could not say very much. We took him to the kitchen so he could warm himself. The poor man was completely frozen. We gave him dry, warm clothes. Then he ate some soup and slept.

Now our strange visitor feels better. He is a very interesting man, but he is very unhappy. He wants to come to the North Pole with us. He often looks out into the water. He is looking for something — or somebody. I do not know who he is. But I can see that he has suffered terribly. His eyes are sad and sometimes he seems quite crazy.

At first, I did not want to ask him too many questions. He seemed very nervous. Then, when he was not so hungry and cold, we had some interesting conversations. I started to like the man and I wanted to be his friend. He has a quick and intelligent mind. I told him a little about myself. He knows now that I left England on my travels six years ago. And here I am, looking for the North Pole. I will not return home until I succeed.

'You have hope,' he said to me. 'You have no reason to be unhappy. But I have lost everything and I cannot start life again.' He looked extremely sad as he said this. Then he was silent and went to bed.

Yesterday, the man promised to tell me about his life.

'My story is very strange, sad and frightening. But perhaps people will learn something from it,' he said.

I have decided to write it all down, in his own words. When I have done that, I will send it to you. I know it will be very strange, Margaret. But I think it will also be very interesting.

I will write to you again soon,

Your loving brother

Robert Walton

^ Chapter 1 Young Frankenstein

My name is Victor Frankenstein. I come from Geneva, in Switzerland, and my family is one of the most important in that country. When I was very young, my parents travelled a lot. I was their only child, and they took me with them. My parents were kind and they loved me very much. My earliest memories are happy ones.

When I was about five years old, we stayed for a week at Lake Como in Italy. My mother was a kind woman and visited a poor family on a farm. They had five children. Four had dark hair like the man and his wife but the other child, a girl, had fair hair and looked quite different. The farmers wife told my mother the child's history.

The girl's name was Elizabeth Lavenza, and she was the daughter of a rich man from Milan. Her mother died when she was born. Elizabeth's father died too, trying to free his country from a bad government. He lost everything — his house and his money. It was all taken away. His child was left with this family.

My mother wanted to have another child very much. And she wanted a daughter. When she saw Elizabeth, she loved her immediately. She wanted to bring Elizabeth up as her own child. She talked to the farmer and his wife about her idea. The farmer and his wife loved the girl, but they agreed. They were not rich. They wanted Elizabeth to have a good life. So they agreed that the child could live with us.

Everyone loved Elizabeth. She and I were brought up together, and she was like a sister to me. We were good friends and never fought. The differences between us brought us closer together. Elizabeth was calm and happy. She enjoyed reading poems and she loved the mountains around our home in Switzerland. I was interested in facts. I wanted to discover everything about the world around me. The world, to me, was full of secrets, and I wanted to find the answers to them.

My parents then had another son, Ernest. He was seven years younger than me. Later, another brother was born. His name was William. We stopped travelling and moved to Geneva. We also had a country house at Belrive, on the eastern side of the lake. Belrive was away from the city and we enjoyed a quiet life there. We spent more and more time at the country house. I became close friends with a boy called Henry Clerval. He was the son of a businessman from Geneva. He was a very clever boy and he read a lot of adventure stories.

I was extremely happy as a child. My parents were always kind to us. They did not have many rules and we always enjoyed ourselves. We could do what we liked. Life was amusing and fun.

But my mind was full of questions. I wanted to learn, not to play children's games. I read a lot of books on science. The most interesting subject to me was chemistry. I was interested in the secrets of the sky and the earth, of the natural world. My friend Henry was interested in history, adventures and dreams. Elizabeth loved us and had a very kind heart. Her goodness shone like a light in our calm, pleasant home. Her smile, soft voice and beautiful eyes brought happiness to our lives.

One day, when I was about fifteen years old, we saw a terrible storm at our house in Belrive. It came from behind the mountains. I stayed and watched it with excitement. As I stood by the door, I suddenly saw a stream of fire pour from an old and beautiful tree. It was about 60 feet from our house. When the lightning disappeared, only the bottom of the tree was left. The tree was completely destroyed.

After that, I never forgot the power of the lightning. I was very interested in electricity, and in the power that exists in all natural things. I wanted to learn more about different kinds of science. So I started to study these subjects with even more excitement than before. At that time, perhaps, an idea began to form in my mind. But that idea brought only misery to my later years.

When I reached the age of seventeen, my parents decided to send me to the University of Ingoldstadt. But before I left, a terrible thing happened. It was the first of many terrible things that happened in my life.

Elizabeth became very ill and her life was in danger. My mother did not want to leave Elizabeth's bedside. She looked after her day and night. After three days, Elizabeth got better but then my mother quickly became very ill too. We soon realized that she was dying. As she lay in bed, close to death, she took my hand and Elizabeth's hand.

' Children,' she said,' I am putting all my hopes in the two of you. I want you to marry. I believe that your marriage will bring you future happiness. It will make your father happy too. Elizabeth, my love, I want you to take my place. Look after my younger children. I am sorry that I am leaving you all. It is so hard. But I must hope that I will meet you in another world.'

Without my mother, the house was empty and cold. Elizabeth was very sad, but she helped me and the rest of my family. We tried to forget about death; we had to live for the future. Elizabeth was sweet and kind to us, and I loved her very much.

The day came when I had to leave for Ingoldstadt. Henry Clerval spent the last evening with us. He could not come to university with me, because his father wanted his son to work with him. It was difficult for me to leave my best friend. We did not want to say goodbye. But in the morning they were all there - my father, Henry and Elizabeth. They watched me leave and I promised to write.

I arrived at Ingoldstadt and started studying. I was good at science and decided to give all my time to it. On my first day, my new teacher, Mr Waldman, told me to forget everything that I already knew.

' If you want to become a real scientist,' he said, ' you must learn all the sciences. But I want to teach you chemistry. That is an area of science that is growing. We are discovering new things all the time. So it is a very important subject.'

I listened carefully to Mr Waldman. He took me to his laboratory and showed me his experiments. I was very excited by everything that I saw. Mr Waldman gave me a list of new books to read.

At the end of the day, I was tired but happy. I will always remember that day, because it decided my future.

^ Chapter 2 Frankenstein Creates Life

I became a good student. From the first day, chemistry was my favourite subject. Mr Waldman was an excellent teacher and I met the other scientists at the university. I worked on experiments in the laboratory all the time. Sometimes I stayed there all night until the stars disappeared from the sky. In the mornings, I was tired but happy. I went to my lessons, read a lot of books and understood more and more.

For two years I worked hard and did not visit Geneva. I wanted to discover where life came from. I wanted to experiment with science as much as possible. I wanted to create life. But first I had to understand death. I studied the human body. I also studied dead bodies. I was very interested in the change from life to death. I saw how a body changes. I learned how bodies are made.

And what was the result of all my experiments ? I discovered the secret of life. I learned how to create life. I was very surprised and extremely happy. At first, I did not know what to do with my new powers. I could create life, but life needs to be inside a body. So I went to hospitals and looked at more dead bodies. I took parts of human bodies back to my laboratory. After a few months, I began to create a human form.

It was difficult work. I decided to make the person very large and tall. It was easier to work on a large body. I worked in secret in my laboratory at the top of the house. The summer months passed. The weather was beautiful, but I never went outside. I was too busy. I did not want to stop my work for anything. I forgot about my friends and my family. I did not write to them. I knew that my father and Elizabeth and Henry worried about me. I received letters, but I did not answer them. I thought only about my experiment.

Autumn came. My work was nearly finished, but my health was not good. I could not eat or sleep. I did not talk to anyone Every night I felt ill and very nervous. I was afraid. But I could not stop.

One cold night in November, I saw the first result of my hard work. The body of the man in front of me had no life in it. It was one o'clock in the morning, and rain was falling outside. Nervously I used my tools to create life inside the< body. Then I saw his yellow eyes open. He breathed and moved his arms and legs.

Success! The body was moving. After years of work, here was a human life! I looked at him. How can I describe my feelings The man was terribly ugly. He had thick black hair and whit( teeth, but his skin was yellow and dry. His eyes were very pale. He was a monster.

After nearly two years of this experiment, I looked at the ugly monster and misery and fear filled my heart. My dream disappeared. I ran out of the laboratory and went to my bedroom I threw myself on the bed and tried to forget about the monster.

But when I fell asleep, I had wild dreams. I thought I saw Elizabeth. She was walking in Ingoldstadt. When I kissed her, her mouth became cold. It was like a kiss of death.

I woke up, shaking with fear. The yellow light of the moon was shining through the window, and the monster was standing next to my bed. He looked at me. His mouth opened and he made some sounds, but I could not listen. The monster touched my arm, but I escaped from him. I ran downstairs, out of the house, and stayed away until early morning. Then, slowly, I went inside and listened for every sound. I did not ever want to see him again. I felt fear and misery. But I was also very sad. My dream was dead, and my hopes were destroyed.

At six o'clock I went outside again, for a walk. The sky was black and it was raining heavily. I was afraid to go back to my room. So I continued walking and got wetter and wetter. I came to a hotel and waited outside for a few minutes. Then I saw Henry Clerval.

' My dear Frankenstein,' he cried,' I am so glad to see you! I have just come from Geneva. At last, my father has given me permission to study at the university here.'

For the first time in many months, I felt happy and calm. I welcomed my friend happily. I took his hand and in a few minutes I forgot all my misery. We walked towards the university together.' I am very pleased to see you, Henry,' I said. 'Tell me about my family. How are my father and brothers? And Elizabeth?'

' Very well, and very happy. But they are worried because you do not write to them.' Henry stopped and looked at my face. ' My dear Victor,' he continued,' you seem so thin and pale — so ill.You look tired. Have you been awake all night?'

'You have guessed right, Henry. I have been very busy with one piece of work. I have not rested enough. But I hope that this work is now finished. I am free.'

We arrived at the door of my house. I did not want to see the monster. I did not want Henry to see it. So I told Henry to wait at the bottom of the stairs. I went up to my room and I opened the door slowly. I went inside but it was empty.

' The monster has run away,' I thought. I could not believe my good luck. My enemy was not there.

I went downstairs to get Henry. We went to my room and had breakfast. But I could not sit at the table. I was so happy. I jumped over the chairs and laughed wildly.

'My dear Victor,' Henry cried. 'What is the matter? Do not laugh like that.You are ill! How did this happen ?'

' Do not ask me,' I cried. Then I thought I saw the monster in the room. I put my hands in front of my eyes.' Oh, save me!' I shouted, and fell on the floor.

This was the beginning of a long nervous illness. For many months, Henry was my only nurse. He did not tell my family about my illness. He did not want to worry them.

During my illness, I talked about the monster. Henry could not understand me. He believed that I was imagining strange things. But I returned to the same subject again and again. He realized that it was not a dream. There was a terrible reason for my illness.

Slowly, Henry brought me back to good health and I became calm again. One day, when I looked out of the window, I noticed new leaves on the trees. It was spring. I felt much better.

' Dear Clerval,' I said,' how can I thank you ? You have been so kind to me.You came here to go to university. But you have been a nurse all winter. I am very sorry.'

' It does not matter, Victor,' he replied. ' You do not need to thank me. I will be happy if you are well. That is enough for me. But promise me one thing. Please write a letter to your father and to Elizabeth. You have been silent for a long time, and they are very worried about you. They do not really understand how ill you have been.'

' Of course I will,' I replied. ' They are the most important people in my life. They are always in my thoughts.'

'Then maybe you are well enough to read this.' Henry gave me a letter.' It arrived a few days ago.'

It was from Elizabeth, and it was a very kind, friendly letter. She told me about my father and my brothers. She asked me to write back. I was very happy to read her letter, and I wrote back immediately.

Two weeks later, I was able to leave my room, and I returned to the university. But I did not want to study science now. I took everything out of my laboratory. When I saw my chemistry equipment, I felt very nervous again. I hated chemistry.

Henry did not like science. He wanted to study foreign languages, I was very happy to study with him and I enjoyed my new classes. I did not want to leave Henry alone in a place he did not know very well. So we spent the summer together happily and I decided to return to Geneva at the end of the autumn. I was ready to go home.

Winter arrived, and there was a lot of snow. The roads were terrible. It was impossible to travel and I had to wait until the spring.

The month of May arrived, I waited for a letter from my father before I decided on a date for my return. While we waited, Henry and I went on a holiday. We walked in the countryside around Ingoldstadt. It was very beautiful, and we enjoyed ourselves. Henry was an excellent friend to travel with. My health was much better now. The blue sky and lovely green fields made me strong. When we arrived back at the university, we both felt calm and happy.

^ Chapter 3 William Is Dead

A letter from my father was waiting for me. He had terrible news. My sweet young brother William was dead!

' Last Thursday, we all went for a walk to Plainpalais,' wrote my father. ' The evening was warm and calm. William and Ernest were playing a game. Suddenly, we noticed that William was lost. We searched for him everywhere. Then we returned to the house, but he was not there. I found my dear son later, but he was dead. He was murdered! William had a small picture of your mother in his pocket, and this picture was stolen. Was this the reason for the murder ? Oh,Victor, we are all so sad! Please come home to Geneva. Elizabeth spends all day crying. Only you с help her.'

Henry watched me as I read. My happiness turned to misery. I threw the letter on the table and covered my face with my hands.

' Frankenstein!' cried Henry. ' My dear friend. What has happened?'

While Henry read the letter, I walked up and down the room.

• 'I must go to Geneva immediately,' I told Henry. My eyes
were full of tears.' Come with me to order the horses.'

I travelled to Geneva alone, and my journey was very sad and lonely. So many thoughts came into my mind.

' I have not been to Geneva for six years,' I said to myself,' and a lot of things have changed.' I felt afraid but I did not know why.

The road ran by the side of Lake Geneva. I looked up at the mountains. I loved the view, but I felt so unhappy. As I crossed the lake in a boat, a storm began. I watched the lightning on the top of the mountains. Then the weather got worse. I walked home through the heavy rain. It was beautiful but frightening.

'Dear, sweet little brother William,' I thought.'Is this storm for you?' Suddenly I stopped.There was someone behind a tree.'No,' I thought. 'It cannot be ...' Yes! It was the monster! I saw him clearly when lightning lit up the sky. I knew that it was him. It was the terrible, ugly monster that I created in Ingoldstadt.

Why was he here ? Then a thought came into my mind. Was he the murderer of my little brother? I knew immediately that he was. I looked again for the monster. I saw him climbing the mountain; then he disappeared in the grey rock.

Oh, why did I create that terrible monster? I thought about my experiments. I remembered another rainy night, two years ago

- the night that I gave him life.' My own creation has murdered my brother!' I thought. Nobody can imagine my misery. I could not tell my father the true story. I could not tell anyone.

I arrived home early in the morning.

'They have found the murderer, Victor!' said my brother, Ernest.

'How did they do that?' I cried.'Nobody can follow him! It is impossible!'

Ernest did not understand what I was saying.' The police have arrested Justine Moritz. She murdered William!'

I looked at Ernest. Justine was a sweet girl who helped Elizabeth. She worked hard and looked after William. Elizabeth was very kind to her, and everybody loved her.When my mother was dying, Justine was her nurse.

' Nobody can believe that!' I cried.' It is wrong!'

'We found the picture of mother in her pocket. She stole it from William. That proves it, doesn't it ?'

We were soon joined by Elizabeth. She was six years older too and she was more beautiful now. She welcomed me warmly, but her eyes were full of sadness.

' I do not believe that Justine is guilty. She is not a criminal,' said Elizabeth.

' I hope that we can prove it,' I replied.

The trial was the next day, and we defended Justine. But I could not say who the real criminal was. We tried to prove that Justine was not guilty. Justine did not know why the picture was in her pocket. She could not explain it. The judge did not believe her. The court decided that she was guilty. The punishment was death.

I felt very unhappy. I was responsible for the deaths of two people - my little brother William, and kind, sweet Justine. I was responsible for my family's pain and misery. My father and brother and Elizabeth were all suffering and I could not help them. I could not make them all happy again. And I had a terrible feeling. ' There will be more tears,' I thought.' The monster will return.'

^ Chapter 4 Frankenstein Finds the Monster

After the trial, we went back to Belrive. I liked staying there. I loved the lake. Often, at night, I waited until the rest of the family were asleep and took a boat onto the water. Sometimes I went into the middle of the lake. It was quiet and calm, and I could sit in the boat with my thoughts. My family were still crying for William. Justine was dead, and the true murderer was free. But I could not tell Elizabeth my thoughts. I was the real criminal.

I was in a state of complete misery. I knew that I was responsible. I was guilty because the monster was my creation. I wanted to find him and destroy him.

Nearly two months after the death of Justine, I decided to leave the house and travel to the mountains. I wanted to go to Chamonix. It was a place that I knew well. I often visited it when I was a boy. I went on a horse for the first part of the journey. It was the middle of August, and the weather was good. I travelled through the valley. The high mountains around me were wonderful. I loved their mystery, and the power of nature made me less afraid.

I crossed the river Arve and arrived in the valley of Chamonix. It was beautiful. There was snow on the tops of the mountains, and between the trees there were small, pretty houses. In the evening, I came to the village. Tired after my journey, I fell asleep immediately.

The next day, I decided to climb to the top of one of the mountains, Montanvert. The path was difficult and dangerous. It was raining and the sky was dark. When I arrived at the top, it was nearly midday. I sat on a rock and looked down. Below was the great glacier, like a sea of ice. Soon, the clouds disappeared and I climbed down onto the glacier. I spent two hours crossing it, then I stood and looked at the mountains of Mont Blanc and Montanvert. The sun came out above the clouds. The ice shone brightly.

Suddenly, I saw a man on the ice. He was quite far away, but he was coming quickly towards me. The man took long steps across the ice. Then I realized who it was. It was the monster! I was angry and I was frightened. I wanted to fight him. I wanted to kill him.

' Go away, you terrible monster!' I screamed.' Or stay and die! I want to destroy you. But I cannot bring back the two people that you have killed!'

'Everybody hates me, and you hate me too,' replied the monster. 'But you created me. You are responsible for me. You made me, but now you want to destroy me. You do not know my misery. How can you play with life like this ? Please listen to me and help me. Do what I ask. Then I will leave you and be good. I will never see you again. I will not make any trouble for you. And I will not hurt anyone again. If you refuse, I will kill all your friends!

'You cannot understand how I feel,' continued the monster. 'The dark sky is much kinder to me than people are. The mountains and cold ice are my only home. You say that I am a murderer. But you want to murder me! Believe me, Frankenstein. At first, I was kind and good, but people were unkind to me. The law says that a person can defend himself. Even if he is guilty. Please listen to my story. Then you can judge me.'

^ Chapter 5 The Monster's Story

When I heard the monster's words, I felt kinder towards him.Yes, I created him. I was responsible for his happiness or unhappiness. I decided that I must listen to his story. He went across the ice, and I followed him. It started raining again. We sat down by a fire in a small hut on the mountain. The monster began to speak.

'At first I was alone and I was hungry. I took some clothes from your house, but I was cold. I do not remember very much, but I remember the forest near Ingoldstadt. I quickly learned how to live there. I ate leaves and fruit, and I drank from the river. I was not quite human, so I did not need good food. I did not know who I was. I did not know where I came from. But learned about life. I enjoyed the song of the birds. My eyes saw light and dark - the sun in the day and the moon at night.

' Sometimes, I searched for food all day. I did not know how to make a fire. I could not get warm. One day, I saw a little hut on a hill. The door was open, so I went inside. An old man sat by the fire. He turned when he heard a noise. He looked at me and screamed. Then he ran outside, across the fields, as quickly as he could. There was some bread, milk and cheese on the table. It was the man's breakfast. I was very hungry, and I ate it quickly. I liked the hut because it was dry and warm. I fell asleep on the floor.

'Later, I continued walking across the fields. Evening came and I arrived in a village. It seemed so wonderful! I looked at the houses and other buildings. Vegetables grew in the gardens. I went into a farmhouse. The people in there looked at me and screamed. Everyone in the village became angry. Children ran away, but men attacked me with stones. I escaped to the fields. I was frightened and unhappy.

'I found another small hut, and I went inside. I could not stand up inside it, but I slept on the floor. I was happy to find a dry place. There I could escape from the bad weather. And I could escape from the cruel world of people.

'I stayed in my hut. Nobody saw me there. I cleaned it and covered the holes in the walls with wood and stones. Near the hut was a pool of water. I found a cup to drink from. I had to steal food, but I was safe.

'At the side of the hut was a small house. I watched the people who lived there. Later I learned their names. There was an old man, Mr de Lacey, and his son Felix and daughter Agatha. I listened to their voices. Slowly I learned some words and began to understand their language. I found it easy to copy the sounds.

At first, I only learned words like "sister", "brother", "bread" and "wood". Later, I could speak and understand more and more. I enjoyed my simple life living next to the de Laceys.

' The de Laceys came from a good family in France, but now they were quite poor. They grew vegetables in the garden, but they were often hungry. They only had a little money for milk and bread. So I did not steal any food from them. I ate what I could find in the forest.

' Agatha was a sweet, kind young woman, and I wanted to be her friend. I thought she was beautiful and good. She made me happy. I watched Felix go into the forest every morning. He stayed there all day. When he returned, he was carrying wood for the fire. He worked very hard, so I decided to help them. At night, I went into the forest and cut wood for the family fire. I left piles of wood outside the door of the house. They were very pleased, and I enjoyed helping them. Now Felix had more time for work in his garden or repairs to the house. I tried to help them in other ways too. I swept the snow from the path. I watched Felix working, and then I did some of his work at night. They never saw me. They did not know who was helping them. But they were always grateful.

' I watched the de Lacey family and learned a lot from their love and their kindness. They were beautiful and polite. Mr de Lacey went for walks with his son. Agatha often sang to her father. Their lives were simple and good.

'But I saw my face in a pool of water. They could not love me or be kind to me. I was an ugly monster. When the family went out, I went into the house. I looked at their books and slowly I learned to read. You gave me intelligence. From their books I learned about the world. I learned about different countries, about history and science. More than anything, I wanted friends and I wanted love. But I frightened people. They thought I was cruel. They thought that I wanted to hurt them.

'One day, I tried to talk to old Mr de Lacey. His eyes were very bad, and he could not see anything." He will talk to me," I thought." He cannot see me, so he will not judge me." I waited until Agatha and Felix were out of the house.

' I knocked at the door.

" Who is there ? " said the old man.

'" Excuse me," I replied." I am a tired traveller. Please can I sit near your fire for a few minutes ?"

'" Come in," said Mr de Lacey. " You can sit here with me and rest."

'" I am alone," I told Mr de Lacey." I have no friends. I need help, but I am afraid to ask people for it. When I meet people, they send me away. They see me as a terrible monster. But I am not a criminal."

'" I believe you," said the old man. " I can only judge your words. But how can I help you ? "

'There was a noise at the entrance to the house. Felix and Agatha were coming home. It was time to speak!

'" Oh please save me and protect me!" I cried. " I have no family or friends. Only you. I know you are kind and good. I need you ..."

But who are you ? " cried Mr de Lacey.

' The door opened. Felix and Agatha saw me and their father together. I cannot describe their faces. They thought that I was attacking Mr de Lacey.

' When they looked at me, they started screaming. Agatha fell to the ground in fear. Felix pulled me away from his father. He picked up a stick and hit me very hard. I was in pain and very unhappy. Quickly, I escaped and went back to my hut.'

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