Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book

With Illustrations by Dave McKean


Rattle his bones Over the stones It’s only a pauper Who nobody owns TRADITIONAL NURSERY RHYME

CHAPTER ONE

How Nobody Came to the Graveyard

THERE WAS A HAND IN the darkness, and it held a knife.



The knife had a handle of polished black bone, and a blade finer and sharper than any razor. If it sliced you, you might not even know you had been cut, not immediately.



The knife had done almost everything it was brought to that house to do, and both the blade and the handle were wet.

The street door was still open, just a little, where the knife and the man who held it had slipped in, and wisps of nighttime mist slithered and twined into the house through the open door.



The man Jack paused on the landing. With his left hand he pulled a large white handkerchief from the pocket of his black coat, and with it he wiped off the knife and his gloved right hand which had been holding it; then he put the handkerchief away. The hunt was almost over. He had left the woman in her bed, the man on the bedroom floor, the older child in her brightly colored bedroom, surrounded by toys and half-finished models. That only left the little one, a baby barely a toddler, to take care of. One more and his task would be done.



1 из 201