Only Charlie Left

'Which room shall it be next?' said Mr Wonka as he turned away and darted into the lift.

'Come on! Hurry up! We must get going! And how many children are there left now?'

Little Charlie looked at Grandpa Joe, and Grandpa Joe looked back at little Charlie. 'But Mr Wonka,' Grandpa Joe called after him, 'there's … there's only Charlie left now.'

Mr Wonka swung round and stared at Charlie.

There was a silence. Charlie stood there holding tightly on to Grandpa Joe's hand. 'You mean you're the only one left?' Mr Wonka said, pretending to be surprised. 'Why, yes,' whispered Charlie. 'Yes.'

Mr Wonka suddenly exploded with excitement. 'But my dear boy,' he cried out, 'that means you've won!' He rushed out of the lift and started shaking Charlie's hand so furiously it nearly came off. 'Oh, I do congratulate you!' he cried. 'I really do! I'm absolutely delighted! It couldn't be better! How wonderful this is! I had a hunch, you know, right from the beginning, that it was going to be you! Well done, Charlie, well done! This is terrific! Now the fun is really going to start! But we mustn't dilly! We mustn't dally! There's even less time to lose now than there was before! We have an enormous number of things to do before the day is out! Just think of the arrangements that have to be made! And the people we have to fetch! But luckily for us, we have the great glass lift to speed things up! Jump in, my dear Charlie, jump in! You too, Grandpa Joe, sir! No, no, after you! That's the way! Now then! This time I shall choose the button we are going to press!' Mr Wonka's bright twinkling blue eyes rested for a moment on Charlie's face.

Something crazy is going to happen now, Charlie thought. But he wasn't frightened. He wasn't even nervous. He was just terrifically excited. And so was Grandpa Joe. The old man's face was shining with excitement as he watched every move that Mr Wonka made. Mr Wonka was reaching for a button high up on the glass ceiling of the lift. Charlie and Grandpa Joe both craned their necks to read what it said on the little label beside the button.

It said … UP AND OUT.

'Up and out,' thought Charlie. 'What sort of a room is that?' Mr Wonka pressed the button. The glass doors closed. 'Hold on!' cried Mr Wonka.

Then WHAM! The lift shot straight up like a rocket! 'Yippee!' shouted Grandpa Joe. Charlie was clinging to Grandpa Joe's legs and Mr Wonka was holding on to a strap from the ceiling, and up they went, up, up, up, straight up this time, with no twistings or turnings, and Charlie could hear the whistling of the air outside as the lift went faster and faster. 'Yippee!' shouted Grandpa Joe again. 'Yippee! Here we go!'

'Faster!' cried Mr Wonka, banging the wall of the lift with his hand. 'Faster! Faster! If we don't go any faster than this, we shall never get through!'

'Through what?' shouted Grandpa Joe. 'What have we got to get through?'

'Ah-ha!' cried Mr Wonka, 'you wait and see! I've been longing to press this button for years! But I've never done it until now! I was tempted many times! Oh, yes, I was tempted! But I couldn't bear the thought of making a great big hole in the roof of the factory! Here we go, boys! Up and out!'

'But you don't mean …' shouted Grandpa Joe, '… you don't really mean that this lift …' 'Oh yes, I do!' answered Mr Wonka. 'You wait and see! Up and out!'

'But … but … but … it's made of glass!' shouted Grandpa Joe. 'It'll break into a million pieces!'

'I suppose it might,' said Mr Wonka, cheerful as ever, 'but it's pretty thick glass, all the same.'

The lift rushed on, going up and up and up, faster and faster and faster …

Then suddenly, CRASH! – and the most tremendous noise of splintering wood and broken tiles came from directly above their heads, and Grandpa Joe shouted, 'Help! It's the end! We're done for!' and Mr Wonka said, 'No, we're not! We're through! We're out!' Sure enough, the lift had shot right up through the roof of the factory and was now rising into the sky like a rocket, and the sunshine was pouring in through the glass roof. In five seconds they were a thousand feet up in the sky.

'The lift's gone mad!' shouted Grandpa Joe.

'Have no fear, my dear sir,' said Mr Wonka calmly, and he pressed another button. The lift stopped. It stopped and hung in mid-air, hovering like a helicopter, hovering over the factory and over the very town itself which lay spread out below them like a picture postcard! Looking down through the glass floor on which he was standing, Charlie could see the small far-away houses and the streets and the snow that lay thickly over everything. It was an eerie and frightening feeling to be standing on clear glass high up in the sky. It made you feel that you weren't standing on anything at all.

'Are we all right?' cried Grandpa Joe. 'How does this thing stay up?'

'Sugar power!' said Mr Wonka. 'One million sugar power! Oh, look,' he cried, pointing down, 'there go the other children! They're returning home!'


The Other Children Go Home

'We must go down and take a look at our little friends before we do anything else,' said Mr Wonka. He pressed a different button, and the lift dropped lower, and soon it was hovering just above the entrance gates to the factory.

Looking down now, Charlie could see the children and their parents standing in a little group just inside the gates.

'I can only see three,' he said. 'Who's missing?'

'I expect it's Mike Teavee,' Mr Wonka said. 'But he'll be coming along soon. Do you see the trucks?' Mr Wonka pointed to a line of gigantic covered vans parked in a line near by.

'Yes,' Charlie said. 'What are they for?'

'Don't you remember what it said on the Golden Tickets? Every child goes home with a lifetime's supply of sweets. There's one truckload for each of them, loaded to the brim. Ah-ha,' Mr Wonka went on, 'there goes our friend Augustus Gloop! D'you see him? He's getting into the first truck with his mother and father!'

'You mean he's really all right?' asked Charlie, astonished. 'Even after going up that awful pipe?'

'He's very much all right,' said Mr Wonka.

'He's changed!' said Grandpa Joe, peering down through the glass wall of the elevator. 'He used to be fat! Now he's thin as a straw!'

'Of course he's changed,' said Mr Wonka, laughing. 'He got squeezed in the pipe. Don't you remember? And look! There goes Miss Violet Beauregarde, the great gum-chewer! It seems as though they managed to de-juice her after all. I'm so glad. And how healthy she looks! Much better than before!'

'But she's purple in the face!' cried Grandpa Joe.

'So she is,' said Mr Wonka. 'Ah, well, there's nothing we can do about that.'

'Good gracious!' cried Charlie. 'Look at poor Veruca Salt and Mr Salt and Mrs Salt! They're simply covered with rubbish!'

'And here comes Mike Teavee!' said Grandpa Joe. 'Good heavens! What have they done to him? He's about ten feet tall and thin as a wire!'

'They've overstretched him on the gum-stretching machine,' said Mr Wonka. 'How very careless.'

'But how dreadful for him!' cried Charlie.

'Nonsense,' said Mr Wonka, 'he's very lucky. Every basketball team in the country will be trying to get him. But now,' he added, 'it is time we left these four silly children. I have something very important to talk to you about, my dear Charlie.' Mr Wonka pressed another button, and the lift swung upwards into the sky.


Charlie's Chocolate Factory

The great glass lift was now hovering high over the town. Inside the lift stood Mr Wonka,

Grandpa Joe, and little Charlie.

'How I love my chocolate factory,' said Mr Wonka, gazing down. Then he paused, and he turned around and looked at Charlie with a most serious expression on his face. 'Do you love it too, Charlie?' he asked.