- زمان مطالعه 7 دقیقه
- سطح خیلی سخت
دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»
این فصل را میتوانید به بهترین شکل و با امکانات عالی در اپلیکیشن «زیبوک» بخوانید
متن انگلیسی فصل
As Violet and Klaus Baudelaire stood, still in their nightgown and pajamas, backstage at Count Olaf’s theater, they were of two minds, a phrase which here means “they felt two different ways at the same time.” On one hand, they were of course filled with dread. From the murmur of voices they heard on the stage, the two Baudelaire orphans could tell that the performance of The Marvelous Marriage had begun, and it seemed too late to do anything to foil Count Olaf’s plan. On the other hand, however, they were fascinated, as they had never been backstage at a theatrical production and there was so much to see. Members of Count Olaf’s theater troupe hurried this way and that, too busy to even glance at the children. Three very short men were carrying a large flat piece of wood, painted to look like a living room. The two white-faced women were arranging flowers in a vase that from far away appeared to be marble, but close up looked more like cardboard. An important-looking man with warts all over his face was adjusting enormous light fixtures. As the children peeked onstage, they could see Count Olaf, in his fancy suit, declaiming some lines from the play, just as the curtain came down, controlled by a woman with very short hair who was pulling on a long rope, attached to a pulley. Despite their fear, you see, the two older Baudelaires were very interested in what was going on, and only wished that they were not involved in any way.
As the curtain fell, Count Olaf strode offstage and looked at the children. “It’s the end of Act Two! Why aren’t the orphans in their costumes?” he hissed to the two white-faced women. Then, as the audience broke into applause, his angry expression turned to one of joy, and he walked back onstage. Gesturing to the short-haired woman to raise the curtain, he strode to the exact center of the stage and took elaborate bows as the curtain came up. He waved and blew kisses to the audience as the curtain came down again, and then his face once again filled with anger. “Intermission is only ten minutes,” he said, “and then the children must perform. Get them into costumes, quickly!”
Without a word the two white-faced women grabbed Violet and Klaus by the wrists and led them into a dressing room. The room was dusty but shiny, covered in mirrors and tiny lights so the actors could see better to put on their makeup and wigs, and there were people calling out to one another and laughing as they changed their clothes. One white-faced woman yanked Violet’s arms up and pulled her nightgown off over her head, and thrust a dirty, lacy white dress at her to put on. Klaus, meanwhile, had his pajamas removed by the other white-faced woman, and was hurriedly stuffed into a blue sailor suit that itched and made him look like a toddler.
“Isn’t this exciting?” said a voice, and the children turned to see Justice Strauss, all dressed up in her judge’s robes and powdered wig. She was clutching a small book. “You children look wonderful!”
“So do you,” Klaus said. “What’s that book?”
“Why, those are my lines,” Justice Strauss said. “Count Olaf told me to bring a law book and read the real wedding ceremony, in order to make the play as realistic as possible. All you have to say, Violet, is ‘I do,’ but I have to make quite a speech. This is going to be such fun.”
“You know what would be fun,” Violet said carefully, “is if you changed your lines around, just a little.”
Klaus’s face lit up. “Yes, Justice Strauss. Be creative. There’s no reason to stick to the legal ceremony. It’s not as if it’s a real wedding.”
Justice Strauss frowned. “I don’t know about that, children,” she said. “I think it would be best to follow Count Olaf’s instructions. After all, he’s in charge.”
“Justice Strauss!” a voice called. “Justice Strauss! Please report to the makeup artist!”
“Oh my word! I get to wear makeup.” Justice Strauss had on a dreamy expression, as if she were about to be crowned queen, instead of just having some powders and creams smeared on her face. “Children, I must go. See you onstage, my dears!”
Justice Strauss ran off, leaving the children to finish changing into their costumes. One of the white-faced women put a flowered headdress on Violet, who realized in horror that the dress she had changed into was a bridal gown. The other woman put a sailor cap on Klaus, who gazed in one of the mirrors, astonished at how ugly he looked. His eyes met those of Violet, who was looking in the mirror as well.
“What can we do?” Klaus said quietly. “Pretend to be sick? Maybe they’d call off the performance.”
“Count Olaf would know what we were up to,” Violet replied glumly.
“Act Three of The Marvelous Marriage by Al Funcoot is about to begin!” a man with a clipboard shouted. “Everyone, please, get in your places for Act Three!”
The actors rushed out of the room, and the white-faced women grabbed the children and hustled them out after them. The backstage area was in complete pandemonium—a word which here means “actors and stagehands running around attending to last-minute details.” The bald man with the long nose hurried by the children, then stopped himself, looked at Violet in her wedding dress, and smirked.
“No funny stuff,” he said to them, waggling a bony finger. “Remember, when you go out there, just do exactly what you’re supposed to do. Count Olaf will be holding his walkie-talkie during the entire act, and if you do even one thing wrong, he’ll be giving Sunny a call up there in the tower.”
“Yes, yes,” Klaus said bitterly. He was tired of being threatened in the same way, over and over.
“You’d better do exactly as planned,” the man said again.
“I’m sure they will,” said a voice suddenly, and the children turned to see Mr. Poe, dressed very formally and accompanied by his wife. He smiled at the children and came over to shake their hands. “Polly and I just wanted to tell you to break a leg.”
“What?” Klaus said, alarmed.
“That’s a theater term,” Mr. Poe explained, “meaning ‘good luck on tonight’s performance.’ I’m glad that you children have adjusted to life with your new father and are participating in family activities.”
“Mr. Poe,” Klaus said quickly, “Violet and I have something to tell you. It’s very important.”
“What is it?” Mr. Poe said.
“Yes,” said Count Olaf, “what is it you have to tell Mr. Poe, children?”
Count Olaf had appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, and his shiny eyes glared at the children meaningfully. In one hand, Violet and Klaus could see, he held a walkie-talkie.
“Just that we appreciate all you’ve done for us, Mr. Poe,” Klaus said weakly. “That’s all we wanted to say.”
“Of course, of course,” Mr. Poe said, patting him on the back. “Well, Polly and I had better take our seats. Break a leg, Baudelaires!”
“I wish we could break a leg,” Klaus whispered to Violet, and Mr. Poe left.
“You will, soon enough,” Count Olaf said, pushing the two children toward the stage. Other actors were milling about, finding their places for Act Three, and Justice Strauss was off in a corner, practicing her lines from her law book. Klaus took a look around the stage, wondering if anyone there could help. The bald man with the long nose took Klaus’s hand and led him to one side.
“You and I will stand here for the duration of the act. That means the whole thing.”
“I know what the word ‘duration’ means,” Klaus said.
“No nonsense,” the bald man said. Klaus watched his sister in her wedding gown take her place next to Count Olaf as the curtain rose. Klaus heard applause from the audience as Act Three of The Marvelous Marriage began.
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