And now the clock struck twelve, and crack! up flew the lid of the snuff-box; there was no snu
ff in it, only a little black gnome, for the box was a puzzle.
"Tin soldier," cried the gnome, "will you keep your eyes to yourself?"
But the tin soldier pretended not to hear.
"Wait till the morning, that's all!" said the gnome.
Now when it was morning and the children came up to the nursery the tin soldier was placed close to the window, and whether it w
as the gnome or a draught of air I don't know, but the window all at once flew open, and the soldier fell out, head over heels, from the third storey into the street below. It was a frightfulflight. His one leg was ri
ght up into the air, and he stood on his helmet with his bayonet sticking in between the flagstones.
The maid-servant and the little boy immediately came down-stairs to look for him, but though they very nearly trod
upon him they did not see him. If the tin soldier had cried out: "Here am I!" they certainly would have found him, but he did not consider it right and proper to ask for help, because he was in uniform.
And now it began to rain; the drops fell thicker and thicker until it poured. When the shower was over two street-boys came that way.
第二天早晨，孩子们都起床了。他们把锡兵移到窗台上去。不知是那妖精在搞什么把戏，还是一阵阴风在作怪，窗子突然打开了。锡兵从三楼倒栽葱地跌到地上来。 这一跤真是可怕极了！ 他的脚直竖起来，倒栽在自己的钢盔中，而他的刺刀插在街上铺设石块的缝里。