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Karlsson on the Roof

“Think of it! A house full of steam engines,” said Eric, “several hundred steam engines!”

“Well, I haven’t actually counted how many there are left, but I think there are several dozen,” said Karlsson. “Every now and then one explodes, of course, but I am pretty sure there are two dozen left, anyway.”

“Perhaps I could have one?” said Eric.

“Of course,” said Karlsson, “of course!”

“Right away?” asked Eric.

“Well, I’ve got to look it over first,” said Karlsson. “Adjust the safety valve and things like that. Calm, be calm! You shall have it another day.”

Eric began to collect the pieces of what had once been his steam engine. “What will Daddy say?” he murmured in a worried voice.

Karlsson raised his eyebrows in surprise. “About the steam engine?” he said. “It’s a small matter. Tell him for me he needn’t worry. I would tell him myself if I had time to stop and see him. But I think I’d better go home now and attend to my house.”

“I’m glad you came,” said Eric, “even though the steam engine … Will you come back another time?”

“Calm, be calm!” said Karlsson, and he turned the button in his middle. The engine began to cough, and Karlsson stood waiting for power to take off. Then he rose and flew twice around the room.

“The engine is coughing,” he said. “I think I will have to go to a garage for servicing. Could do it myself, of course,” he said, “because I’m the World’s Best Steam Engineer, but I haven’t time… no, I think I’ll go to a garage.”

Eric, too, thought it would be the wisest thing to do.

Karlsson steered out through the open window, and his fat little body looked beautiful against the star-spangled spring sky.

“Hi-ho, Eric!” he said, waving his chubby hand.

And Karlsson was gone.

Chapter 2 - Karlsson Builds a Tower

“I told you his name’s Karlsson and that he lives on the roof,” said Eric. “What’s so strange about that? People can live where they like, can’t they?”

“Now then, Eric, don’t be silly,” said Mommy. “You nearly frightened the life out of us. You might have got killed when the steam engine exploded.

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