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متن انگلیسی فصل
Thinking about something is like picking up a stone when taking a walk, either while skipping rocks on the beach, for example, or looking for a way to shatter the glass doors of a museum. When you think about something, it adds a bit of weight to your walk, and as you think about more and more things you are liable to feel heavier and heavier, until you are so burdened you cannot take any further steps, and can only sit and stare at the gentle movements of the ocean waves or security guards, thinking too hard about too many things to do anything else. As the sun set, casting long shadows on the coastal shelf, the Baudelaire orphans felt so heavy from their thoughts they could scarcely move. They thought about the island, and the terrible storm that had brought them there, and the boat that had taken them through the storm, and their own treachery at the Hotel Denouement that had led them to escape in the boat with Count Olaf, who had stopped calling out to the Baudelaires and was now snoring loudly in the bird cage. They thought about the colony, and the cloud the islanders had put them under, and the peer pressure that had led the islanders to decide to abandon them, and the facilitator who started the peer pressure, and the secret apple core of the facilitator that seemed no different than the secret items that had gotten the Baudelaires in trouble in the first place. They thought about Kit Snicket, and the storm that had left her unconscious on top of the strange library raft, and their friends the Quagmire triplets, who may also have been caught in the same stormy sea, and Captain Widdershins’s submarine that lay under the sea, and the mysterious schism that lay under everything like an enormous question mark. And the Baudelaires thought, as they did every time they saw the sky grow dark, of their parents. If you’ve ever lost someone, then you know that sometimes when you think of them you try to imagine where they might be, and the Baudelaires thought of how far away their mother and father seemed, while all the wickedness in the world felt so close, locked in a cage just a few feet from where the children sat. Violet thought, and Klaus thought, and Sunny thought, and as the afternoon drew to evening they felt so burdened by their thoughts that they felt they could scarcely hold another thought, and yet as the last rays of the sun disappeared on the horizon they found something else to think about, for in the darkness they heard a familiar voice, and they had to think of what to do.
“Where am I?” asked Kit Snicket, and the children heard her body rustle on the top layer of books over the snoring.
“Kit!” Violet said, standing up quickly. “You’re awake!”
“It’s the Baudelaires,” Klaus said.
“Baudelaires?” Kit repeated faintly. “Is it really you?”
“Anais,” Sunny said, which meant “In the flesh.”
“Where are we?” Kit said.
The Baudelaires were silent for a moment, and realized for the first time that they did not even know the name of the place where they were. “We’re on a coastal shelf,” Violet said finally, although she decided not to add that they had been abandoned there.
“There’s an island nearby,” Klaus said. The middle Baudelaire did not explain that they were not welcome to set foot on it.
“Safe,” Sunny said, but she did not mention that Decision Day was approaching, and that soon the entire area would be flooded with seawater. Without discussing the matter, the Baudelaires decided not to tell Kit the whole story, not yet.
“Of course,” Kit murmured. “I should have known I’d be here. Eventually, everything washes up on these shores.”
“Have you been here before?” Violet asked.
“No,” Kit said, “but I’ve heard about this place. My associates have told me stories of its mechanical wonders, its enormous library, and the gourmet meals the islanders prepare. Why, the day before I met you, Baudelaires, I shared Turkish coffee with an associate who was saying that he’d never had better Oysters Rockefeller than during his time on the island. You must be having a wonderful time here.”
“Janiceps,” Sunny said, restating an earlier opinion.
“I think this place has changed since your associate was here,” said Klaus.
“That’s probably true,” Kit said thoughtfully. “Thursday did say that the colony had suffered a schism, just as V.F.D. did.”
“Another schism?” Violet asked.
“Countless schisms have divided the world over the years,” Kit replied in the darkness. “Do you think the history of V.F.D. is the only story in the world? But let’s not talk of the past, Baudelaires. Tell me how you made your way to these shores.”
“The same way you did,” Violet said. “We were castaways. The only way we could leave the Hotel Denouement was by boat.”
“I knew you ran into danger there,” Kit said. “We were watching the skies. We saw the smoke and we knew you were signaling us that it wasn’t safe to join you. Thank you, Baudelaires. I knew you wouldn’t fail us. Tell me, is Dewey with you?”
Kit’s words were almost more than the Baudelaires could stand. The smoke she had seen, of course, was from the fire the children had set in the hotel’s laundry room, which had quickly spread to the entire building, interrupting Count Olaf’s trial and endangering the lives of all the people inside, villains and volunteers alike. And Dewey, I’m sad to remind you, was not with the Baudelaires, but lying dead at the bottom of a pond, still clutching the harpoon that the three siblings had fired into his heart. But Violet, Klaus, and Sunny could not bring themselves to tell Kit the whole story, not now. They could not bear to tell her what had happened to Dewey, and to all the other noble people they had encountered, not yet. Not now, not yet, and perhaps not ever.
“No,” Violet said. “Dewey isn’t here.”
“Count Olaf is with us,” Klaus said, “but he’s locked up.”
“Viper,” Sunny added.
“Oh, I’m glad Ink is safe,” Kit said, and the Baudelaires thought they could almost hear her smile. “That’s my special nickname for the Incredibly Deadly Viper. Ink kept me good company on this raft after we were separated from the others.”
“The Quagmires?” Klaus asked. “You found them?”
“Yes,” Kit said, and coughed a bit. “But they’re not here.”
“Maybe they’ll wash up here, too,” Violet said.
“Maybe,” Kit said uncertainly. “And maybe Dewey will join us, too. We need as many associates as we can if we’re going to return to the world and make sure that justice is served. But first, let’s find this colony I’ve heard so much about. I need a shower and a hot meal, and then I want to hear the whole story of what happened to you.” She started to lower herself down from the raft, but then stopped with a cry of pain.
“You shouldn’t move,” Violet said quickly, glad for an excuse to keep Kit on the coastal shelf. “Your foot’s been injured.”
“Both my feet have been injured,” Kit corrected ruefully, lying back down on the raft. “The telegram device fell on my legs when the submarine was attacked. I need your help, Baudelaires. I need to be someplace safe.”
“We’ll do everything we can,” Klaus said.
“Maybe help is on the way,” Kit said. “I can see someone coming.”
The Baudelaires turned to look, and in the dark they saw a very tiny, very bright light, skittering toward them from the west. At first the light looked like nothing more than a firefly, darting here and there on the coastal shelf, but gradually the children could see it was a flashlight, around which several figures in white robes huddled, walking carefully among the puddles and debris. The shine of the flashlight reminded Klaus of all of the nights he spent reading under the covers in the Baudelaire mansion, while outside the night made mysterious noises his parents always insisted were nothing more than the wind, even on windless evenings. Some mornings, his father would come into Klaus’s room to wake him up and find him asleep, still clutching his flashlight in one hand and his book in the other, and as the flashlight drew closer and closer, the middle Baudelaire could not help but think that it was his father, walking across the coastal shelf to come to his children’s aid after all this time. But of course it was not the Baudelaires’ father. The figures arrived at the cube of books, and the children could see the faces of two islanders: Finn, who was holding the flashlight, and Erewhon, who was carrying a large, covered basket.
“Good evening, Baudelaires,” Finn said. In the dim light of the flashlight she looked even younger than she was.
“We brought you some supper,” Erewhon said, and held out the basket to the children. “We were concerned that you might be quite hungry out here.”
“We are,” Violet admitted. The Baudelaires, of course, wished that the islanders had expressed their concern in front of Ishmael and the others, when the colony was deciding to abandon the children on the coastal shelf, but as Finn opened the basket and the children smelled the island’s customary dinner of onion soup, the children did not want to look a gift horse in the mouth, a phrase which here means “turn down an offer of a hot meal, no matter how disappointed they were in the person who was offering it.”
“Is there enough for our friend?” Klaus asked. “She’s regained consciousness.”
“I’m glad to hear it,” Finn said. “There’s enough food for everyone.”
“As long as you keep the secret of our coming here,” Erewhon said. “Ishmael might not think it was proper.”
“I’m surprised he doesn’t forbid the use of flashlights,” Violet said, as Finn handed her a coconut shell full of steaming soup.
“Ishmael doesn’t forbid anything,” Finn said. “He’d never force me to throw this flashlight away. However, he did suggest that I let the sheep take it to the arboretum. Instead I slipped it into my robe, as a secret, and Madame Nordoff has been secretly supplying me with batteries in exchange for my secretly teaching her how to yodel, which Ishmael says might frighten the other islanders.”
“And Mrs. Caliban secretly slipped me this picnic basket,” Erewhon said, “in exchange for my secretly teaching her the backstroke, which Ishmael says is not the customary way to swim.”
“Mrs. Caliban?” said Kit, in the darkness. “Miranda Caliban is here?”
“Yes,” Finn said. “Do you know her?”
“I know her husband,” Kit said. “He and I stood together in a time of great struggle, and we’re still very good friends.”
“Your friend must be a little confused after her difficult journey,” Erewhon said to the Baudelaires, standing on tiptoes so she could hand Kit some soup. “Mrs. Caliban’s husband perished many years ago in the storm that brought her here.”
“That’s impossible,” Kit said, reaching down to take the bowl from the young girl. “I just had Turkish coffee with him.”
“Mrs. Caliban is not the sort to keep secrets,” Finn said. “That’s why she lives on the island. It’s a safe place, far from the treachery of the world.”
“Enigmorama,” Sunny said, putting her coconut shell of soup on the ground so she could share it with the Incredibly Deadly Viper.
“My sister means that it seems this island has plenty of secrets,” Klaus said, thinking wistfully of his commonplace book and all the secrets its pages contained.
“I’m afraid we have one more secret to discuss,” Erewhon said. “Turn the flashlight off, Finn. We don’t want to be seen from the island.”
Finn nodded, and turned the flashlight off. The Baudelaires had one last glimpse of each other before the darkness engulfed them, and for a moment everyone stood in silence, as if afraid to speak.
Many, many years ago, when even the great-great-grandparents of the oldest person you know were not even day-old infants, and when the city where the Baudelaires were born was nothing more than a handful of dirt huts, and the Hotel Denouement nothing but an architectural sketch, and the faraway island had a name, and was not considered very faraway at all, there was a group of people known as the Cimmerians. They were a nomadic people, which meant that they traveled constantly, and they often traveled at night, when the sun would not give them sunburn and when the coastal shelves in the area in which they lived were not flooded with water. Because they traveled in shadows, few people ever got a good look at the Cimmerians, and they were considered sneaky and mysterious people, and to this day things done in the dark tend to have a somewhat sinister reputation. A man digging a hole in his backyard during the afternoon, for instance, looks like a gardener, but a man digging a hole at night looks like he’s burying some terrible secret, and a woman who gazes out of her window in the daytime appears to be enjoying the view, but looks more like a spy if she waits until nightfall. The nighttime digger may actually be planting a tree to surprise his niece while the niece giggles at him from the window, and the morning window watcher may actually be planning to blackmail the so-called gardener as he buries the evidence of his vicious crimes, but thanks to the Cimmerians, the darkness makes even the most innocent of activities seem suspicious, and so in the darkness of the coastal shelf, the Baudelaires suspected that the question Finn asked was a sinister one, even though it could have been something one of their teachers might have asked in the classroom.
“Do you know the meaning of the word ‘mutiny’?” she asked, in a calm, quiet voice.
Violet and Sunny knew that Klaus would answer, although they were pretty sure themselves what the word meant. “A mutiny is when a group of people take action against a leader.”
“Yes,” Finn said. “Professor Fletcher taught me the word.”
“We are here to tell you that a mutiny will take place at breakfast,” said Erewhon. “More and more colonists are getting sick and tired of the way things are going on the island, and Ishmael is the root of the trouble.”
“Tuber?” Sunny asked.
“‘Root of the trouble’ means ‘the cause of the islanders’ problems,’” Klaus explained.
“Exactly,” Erewhon said, “and when Decision Day arrives we will finally have the opportunity to get rid of him.”
“Rid of him?” Violet repeated, the phrase sounding sinister in the dark.
“We’re going to force him aboard the outrigger right after breakfast,” Erewhon said, “and push him out to sea as the coastal shelf floods.”
“A man traveling the ocean alone is unlikely to survive,” Klaus said.
“He won’t be alone,” Finn said. “A number of islanders support Ishmael. If necessary, we’ll force them to leave the island as well.”
“How many?” Sunny asked.
“It’s hard to know who supports Ishmael and who doesn’t,” Erewhon said, and the children heard the old woman sip from her seashell. “You’ve seen how he acts. He says he doesn’t force anyone, but everyone ends up agreeing with him anyway. But no longer. At breakfast we’ll find out who supports him and who doesn’t.”
“Erewhon says we’ll fight all day and all night if we have to,” Finn said. “Everyone will have to choose sides.”
The children heard an enormous, sad sigh from the top of the raft of books. “A schism,” Kit said quietly.
“Gesundheit,” Erewhon said. “That’s why we’ve come to you, Baudelaires. We need all the help we can get.”
“After the way Ishmael abandoned you, we figured you’d be on our side,” Finn said. “Don’t you agree he’s the root of the trouble?”
The Baudelaires stood together in the silence, thinking about Ishmael and all they knew about him. They thought of the way he had taken them in so kindly upon their arrival on the island, but also how quickly he had abandoned them on the coastal shelf. They thought about how eager he had been to keep the Baudelaires safe, but also how eager he was to lock Count Olaf in a bird cage. They thought about his dishonesty about his injured feet, and about his secret apple eating, but as the children thought of all they knew about the facilitator, they also thought about how much they didn’t know, and after hearing both Count Olaf and Kit Snicket talk about the history of the island, the Baudelaire orphans realized they did not know the whole story. The children might agree that Ishmael was the root of the trouble, but they could not be sure.
“I don’t know,” Violet said.
“You don’t know?” Erewhon repeated incredulously. “We brought you supper, and Ishmael left you out here to starve, and you don’t know whose side you’re on?”
“We trusted you when you said Count Olaf was a terrible person,” Finn said. “Why can’t you trust us, Baudelaires?”
“Forcing Ishmael to leave the island seems a bit drastic,” Klaus said.
“It’s a bit drastic to put a man in a cage,” Erewhon pointed out, “but I didn’t hear you complaining then.”
“Quid pro quo?” Sunny asked.
“If we help you,” Violet translated, “will you help Kit?”
“Our friend is injured,” Klaus said. “Injured and pregnant.”
“And distraught,” Kit added weakly, from the top of the raft.
“If you help us in our plan to defeat Ishmael,” Finn promised, “we’ll get her to a safe place.”
“And if not?” Sunny asked.
“We won’t force you, Baudelaires,” Erewhon said, sounding like the facilitator she wanted to defeat, “but Decision Day is approaching, and the coastal shelf will flood. You need to make a choice.”
The Baudelaires did not say anything, and for a moment everyone stood in a silence broken only by Count Olaf’s snores. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny were not interested in being part of a schism, after witnessing all of the misery that followed the schism of V.F.D., but they did not see a way to avoid it. Finn had said that they needed to make a choice, but choosing between living alone on a coastal shelf, endangering themselves and their injured friend, and participating in the island’s mutinous plan, did not feel like much of a choice at all, and they wondered how many other people had felt this way, during the countless schisms that had divided the world over the years.
“We’ll help you,” Violet said finally. “What do you want us to do?”
“We need you to sneak into the arboretum,” Finn said. “You mentioned your mechanical abilities, Violet, and Klaus seems very well-read. All of the forbidden items we’ve scavenged over the years should come in very handy indeed.”
“Even the baby should be able to cook something up,” Erewhon said.
“But what do you mean?” Klaus asked. “What should we do with all the detritus?”
“We need weapons, of course,” Erewhon said in the darkness.
“We hope to force Ishmael off the island peacefully,” Finn said quickly, “but Erewhon says we’ll need weapons, just in case. Ishmael will notice if we go to the far side of the island, but you three should be able to sneak over the brae, find or build some weapons in the arboretum, and bring them to us here before breakfast so we can begin the mutiny.”
“Absolutely not!” cried Kit, from the top of the raft. “I won’t hear of you putting your talents to such nefarious use, Baudelaires. I’m sure the island can solve its difficulties without resorting to violence.”
“Did you solve your difficulties without resorting to violence?” Erewhon asked sharply. “Is that how you survived the great struggle you mentioned, and ended up shipwrecked on a raft of books?”
“My history is not important,” Kit replied. “I’m worried about the Baudelaires.”
“And we’re worried about you, Kit,” Violet said. “We need as many associates as we can if we’re going to return to the world and make sure that justice is served.”
“You need to be in a safe place to recuperate from your injury,” Klaus said.
“And baby,” said Sunny.
“That’s no reason to engage in treachery,” Kit said, but she did not sound so sure. Her voice was weak and faint, and the children heard the books rustling as she moved her injured feet uncomfortably.
“Please help us,” Finn said, “and we’ll help your friend.”
“There must be a weapon that can threaten Ishmael and his supporters,” Erewhon said, and now she did not sound like Ishmael. The Baudelaires had heard almost the exact same words from the imprisoned mouth of Count Olaf, and they shuddered to think of the weapon he was hiding in the bird cage.
Violet put down her empty soup bowl, and picked up her baby sister, while Klaus took the flashlight from the old woman. “We’ll be back as soon as we can, Kit,” the eldest Baudelaire promised. “Wish us luck.”
The raft trembled as Kit uttered a long, sad sigh. “Good luck,” she said finally. “I wish things were different, Baudelaires.”
“So do we,” Klaus replied, and the three children followed the narrow beam of the flashlight back toward the colony that had abandoned them. Their footsteps made small splashes on the coastal shelf, and the Baudelaires heard the quiet slither of the Incredibly Deadly Viper, loyally following them on their errand. There was no sign of a moon, and the stars were covered in clouds that remained from the passing storm, or perhaps were heralding a new one, so the entire world seemed to vanish outside the secret flashlight’s forbidden light. With each damp and uncertain step, the children felt heavier, as if their thoughts were stones that they had to carry to the arboretum, where all the forbidden items lay waiting for them. They thought about the islanders, and the mutinous schism that would soon divide the colony in two. They thought about Ishmael, and wondered whether his secrets and deceptions meant that he deserved to be at sea. And they thought about the Medusoid Mycelium, fermenting in the helmet in Olaf’s grasp, and wondered if the islanders would discover that weapon before the Baudelaires built another. The children traveled in the dark, just as so many other people had done before them, from the nomadic travels of the Cimmerians to the desperate voyages of the Quagmire triplets, who at that very moment were in circumstances just as dark although quite a bit damper than the Baudelaires’, and as the children drew closer and closer to the island that had abandoned them, their thoughts made them heavier and heavier, and the Baudelaire orphans wished things were very different indeed.
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