بخش 03

مجموعه: مجموعه بدبیاری ها / کتاب: شروع ناگوار / فصل 3

بخش 03

توضیح مختصر

  • زمان مطالعه 7 دقیقه
  • سطح سخت

دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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متن انگلیسی فصل

Mr. Poe tipped his hat to Justice Strauss, who smiled at the children and disappeared into her lovely house. Klaus stepped forward and knocked on Count Olaf’s door, his knuckles rapping right in the middle of the carved eye. There was a pause, and then the door creaked open and the children saw Count Olaf for the first time.

“Hello hello hello,” Count Olaf said in a wheezy whisper. He was very tall and very thin, dressed in a gray suit that had many dark stains on it. His face was unshaven, and rather than two eyebrows, like most human beings have, he had just one long one. His eyes were very, very shiny, which made him look both hungry and angry. “Hello, my children. Please step into your new home, and wipe your feet outside so no mud gets indoors.”

As they stepped into the house, Mr. Poe behind them, the Baudelaire orphans realized what a ridiculous thing Count Olaf had just said. The room in which they found themselves was the dirtiest they had ever seen, and a little bit of mud from outdoors wouldn’t have made a bit of difference. Even by the dim light of the one bare lightbulb that hung from the ceiling, the three children could see that everything in this room was filthy, from the stuffed head of a lion which was nailed to the wall to the bowl of apple cores which sat on a small wooden table. Klaus willed himself not to cry as he looked around.

“This room looks like it needs a little work,” Mr. Poe said, peering around in the gloom.

“I realize that my humble home isn’t as fancy as the Baudelaire mansion,” Count Olaf said, “but perhaps with a bit of your money we could fix it up a little nicer.”

Mr. Poe’s eyes widened in surprise, and his coughs echoed in the dark room before he spoke. “The Baudelaire fortune,” he said sternly, “will not be used for such matters. In fact, it will not be used at all, until Violet is of age.”

Count Olaf turned to Mr. Poe with a glint in his eye like an angry dog. For a moment Violet thought he was going to strike Mr. Poe across the face. But then he swallowed—the children could see his Adam’s apple bob in his skinny throat—and shrugged his patchy shoulders.

“All right then,” he said. “It’s the same to me. Thank you very much, Mr. Poe, for bringing them here. Children, I will now show you to your room.”

“Good-bye, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny,” Mr. Poe said, stepping back through the front door. “I hope you will be very happy here. I will continue to see you occasionally, and you can always contact me at the bank if you have any questions.”

“But we don’t even know where the bank is,” Klaus said.

“I have a map of the city,” Count Olaf said. “Good-bye, Mr. Poe.”

He leaned forward to shut the door, and the Baudelaire orphans were too overcome with despair to get a last glimpse of Mr. Poe. They now wished they could all stay at the Poe household, even though it smelled. Rather than looking at the door, then, the orphans looked down, and saw that although Count Olaf was wearing shoes, he wasn’t wearing any socks. They could see, in the space of pale skin between his tattered trouser cuff and his black shoe, that Count Olaf had an image of an eye tattooed on his ankle, matching the eye on his front door. They wondered how many other eyes were in Count Olaf’s house, and whether, for the rest of their lives, they would always feel as though Count Olaf were watching them even when he wasn’t nearby.

CHAPTER Three

I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed this, but first impressions are often entirely wrong. You can look at a painting for the first time, for example, and not like it at all, but after looking at it a little longer you may find it very pleasing. The first time you try Gorgonzola cheese you may find it too strong, but when you are older you may want to eat nothing but Gorgonzola cheese. Klaus, when Sunny was born, did not like her at all, but by the time she was six weeks old the two of them were thick as thieves. Your initial opinion on just about anything may change over time.

I wish I could tell you that the Baudelaires’ first impressions of Count Olaf and his house were incorrect, as first impressions so often are. But these impressions—that Count Olaf was a horrible person, and his house a depressing pigsty—were absolutely correct. During the first few days after the orphans’ arrival at Count Olaf’s, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny attempted to make themselves feel at home, but it was really no use. Even though Count Olaf’s house was quite large, the three children were placed together in one filthy bedroom that had only one small bed in it. Violet and Klaus took turns sleeping in it, so that every other night one of them was in the bed and the other was sleeping on the hard wooden floor, and the bed’s mattress was so lumpy it was difficult to say who was more uncomfortable. To make a bed for Sunny, Violet removed the dusty curtains from the curtain rod that hung over the bedroom’s one window and bunched them together to form a sort of cushion, just big enough for her sister. However, without curtains over the cracked glass, the sun streamed through the window every morning, so the children woke up early and sore each day. Instead of a closet, there was a large cardboard box that had once held a refrigerator and would now hold the three children’s clothes, all piled in a heap. Instead of toys, books, or other things to amuse the youngsters, Count Olaf had provided a small pile of rocks. And the only decoration on the peeling walls was a large and ugly painting of an eye, matching the one on Count Olaf’s ankle and all over the house.

But the children knew, as I’m sure you know, that the worst surroundings in the world can be tolerated if the people in them are interesting and kind. Count Olaf was neither interesting nor kind; he was demanding, short-tempered, and bad-smelling. The only good thing to be said for Count Olaf is that he wasn’t around very often. When the children woke up and chose their clothing out of the refrigerator box, they would walk into the kitchen and find a list of instructions left for them by Count Olaf, who would often not appear until nighttime. Most of the day he spent out of the house, or up in the high tower, where the children were forbidden to go. The instructions he left for them were usually difficult chores, such as repainting the back porch or repairing the windows, and instead of a signature Count Olaf would draw an eye at the bottom of the note.

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