فصل 08

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فصل 08

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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The Baudelaire orphans stood outside the gates of the Lucky Smells Lumbermill and looked at an ambulance rushing past them as it took Phil to the hospital. They looked at the chewed-up gum letters of the lumbermill sign. And they looked down at the cracked pavement of Paltryville’s street. In short, they looked everywhere but at the eye-shaped building.

“We don’t have to go,” Violet said. “We could run away. We could hide until the next train arrived, and take it as far as possible. We know how to work in a lumbermill now, so we could get jobs in some other town.”

“But what if he found us?” Klaus said, squinting at his sister. “Who would protect us from Count Olaf, if we were all by ourselves?”

“We could protect ourselves,” Violet replied.

“How can we protect ourselves,” Klaus asked, “when one of us is a baby and another one can barely see?”

“We’ve protected ourselves before,” Violet said.

“Just barely,” Klaus replied. “We’ve just barely escaped from Count Olaf each time. We can’t run away and try to get along by ourselves, without glasses. We have to go see Dr. Orwell and hope for the best.”

Sunny gave a little shriek of fear. Violet, of course, was too old to shriek except in emergency situations, but she was not too old to be frightened. “We don’t know what will happen to us inside there,” she said, looking at the black door in the eye’s pupil. “Think, Klaus. Try to think. What happened to you when you went inside?”

“I don’t know,” Klaus said miserably. “I remember trying to tell Charles not to take me to the eye doctor, but he kept telling me that doctors were my friends, and not to be frightened.”

“Ha!” Sunny shrieked, which meant “Ha!”

“And then what do you remember?” Violet asked.

Klaus closed his eyes in thought. “I wish I could tell you. But it’s like that part of my brain has been wiped clean. It’s like I was asleep from the moment I walked into that building until right there at the lumbermill.”

“But you weren’t asleep,” Violet said. “You were walking around like a zombie. And then you caused that accident and hurt poor Phil.”

“But I don’t remember those things,” Klaus said. “It’s as if I…” His voice trailed off and he stared into space for a moment.

“Klaus?” Violet asked worriedly.

“…It’s as if I were hypnotized,” Klaus finished. He looked at Violet and then at Sunny, and his sisters could see that he was figuring something out. “Of course. Hypnosis would explain everything.”

“I thought hypnosis was only in scary movies,” Violet said.

“Oh, no,” Klaus answered. “I read the Encyclopedia Hypnotica just last year. It described all these famous cases of hypnosis throughout history. There was an ancient Egyptian king who was hypnotized. All the hypnotist had to do was shout ‘Ramses!’ and the king would perform chicken imitations, even though he was in front of the royal court.”

“That’s very interesting,” Violet said, “but—”

“A Chinese merchant who lived during the Ling Dynasty was hypnotized. All the hypnotist had to do was shout ‘Mao!’ and the merchant would play the violin, even though he had never seen one before.”

“These are amazing stories,” Violet said, “but—”

“A man who lived in England in the nineteen twenties was hypnotized. All the hypnotist had to do was shout ‘Bloomsbury!’ and he suddenly became a brilliant writer, even though he couldn’t read.”

“Mazée!” Sunny shrieked, which probably meant “We don’t have time to hear all these stories, Klaus!”

Klaus grinned. “I’m sorry,” he said, “but it was a very interesting book, and I’m so pleased that it’s coming in handy.”

“Well, what did the book say about how to stop yourself from being hypnotized?” Violet asked.

Klaus’s grin faded. “Nothing,” he said.

“Nothing?” Violet repeated. “An entire encyclopedia about hypnosis said nothing about it at all?”

“If it did, I didn’t read any of it. I thought the parts about the famous hypnosis cases were the most interesting, so I read those, but I skipped some of the boring parts.”

For the first time since they had walked out of the gates of the lumbermill, the Baudelaire orphans looked at the eye-shaped building, and the building looked back at them. To Klaus, of course, Dr. Orwell’s office just looked like a big blur, but to his sisters it looked like trouble. The round door, painted black to resemble the pupil of the eye, looked like a deep and endless hole, and the children felt as if they were going to fall into it.

“I’m never skipping the boring parts of a book again,” Klaus said, and walked cautiously toward the building.

“You’re not going inside?” Violet said incredulously, a word which here means “in a tone of voice to indicate Klaus was being foolish.”

“What else can we do?” Klaus said quietly. He began to feel along the side of the building to find the door, and at this point in the story of the Baudelaire orphans, I would like to interrupt for a moment and answer a question I’m sure you are asking yourself. It is an important question, one which many, many people have asked many, many times, in many, many places all over the world. The Baudelaire orphans have asked it, of course. Mr. Poe has asked it. I have asked it. My beloved Beatrice, before her untimely death, asked it, although she asked it too late. The question is: Where is Count Olaf?

If you have been following the story of these three orphans since the very beginning, then you know that Count Olaf is always lurking around these poor children, plotting and scheming to get his hands on the Baudelaire fortune. Within days of the orphans’ arrival at a new place, Count Olaf and his nefarious assistants—the word “nefarious” here means “Baudelaire-hating”—are usually on the scene, sneaking around and committing dastardly deeds. And yet so far he has been nowhere to be found. So, as the three youngsters reluctantly head toward Dr. Orwell’s office, I know you must be asking yourself where in the world this despicable villain can be. The answer is: Very nearby.

Violet and Sunny walked to the eye-shaped building and helped their brother up the steps to the door, but before they could open it, the pupil swung open to reveal a person in a long white coat with a name tag reading “Dr. Orwell.” Dr. Orwell was a tall woman with blond hair pulled back from her head and fashioned into a tight, tight bun. She had big black boots on her feet, and was holding a long black cane with a shiny red jewel on the top.

“Why hello, Klaus,” Dr. Orwell said, nodding formally at the Baudelaires. “I didn’t expect to see you back so soon. Don’t tell me you broke your glasses again.”

“Unfortunately, yes,” Klaus said.

“That’s too bad,” Dr. Orwell said. “But you’re in luck. We have very few appointments today, so come on in and I’ll do all the necessary tests.”

The Baudelaire orphans looked at one another nervously. This wasn’t what they had expected at all. They expected Dr. Orwell to be a much more sinister figure—Count Olaf in disguise, for instance, or one of his terrifying associates. They expected that they would be snatched inside the eye-shaped building, and perhaps never return. Instead Dr. Orwell was a professional-looking woman who was politely inviting them inside.

“Come on,” she said, showing the way with her black cane. “Shirley, my receptionist, made some cookies that you girls can eat in the waiting room while I make Klaus’s glasses. It won’t take nearly as long as it did yesterday.”

“Will Klaus be hypnotized?” Violet demanded.

“Hypnotized?” Dr. Orwell repeated, smiling. “Goodness, no. Hypnosis is only in scary movies.”

The children, of course, knew this was not true, but they figured if Dr. Orwell thought it was true then she probably wasn’t a hypnotist. Cautiously, they stepped inside the eye-shaped building and followed Dr. Orwell down a hallway decorated with medical certificates.

“This way to the office,” she said. “Klaus tells me he’s quite a reader. Do you two read as well?”

“Oh yes,” Violet said. She was beginning to relax. “We read whenever we can.”

“Have you ever encountered,” Dr. Orwell said, “in your reading, the expression ‘You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar’?”

“Tuzmo,” Sunny replied, which meant something along the lines of “I don’t believe so.”

“I haven’t read too many books about flies,” Violet admitted.

“Well, the expression doesn’t really have to do with flies,” Dr. Orwell explained. “It’s just a fancy way of saying that you’re more likely to get what you want by acting in a sweet way, like honey, rather than in a distasteful way, like vinegar.”

“That’s interesting,” Klaus said, wondering why Dr. Orwell was bringing it up.

“I suppose you’re wondering why I’m bringing it up,” Dr. Orwell said, pausing in front of a door marked “Waiting Room.” “But I think all will be clear to you in just a moment. Now, Klaus, follow me to the office, and you girls can wait in the waiting room through this door.”

The children hesitated.

“It will just be a few moments,” Dr. Orwell said, and patted Sunny on the head.

“Well, all right,” Violet said, and gave her brother a wave as he followed the optometrist farther down the hallway. Violet and Sunny gave the door a push and went inside the waiting room, and saw in an instant that Dr. Orwell was right. All was clear to them in a moment. The waiting room was a small one, and it looked like most waiting rooms. It had a sofa and a few chairs and a small table with old magazines stacked on it, and a receptionist sitting at a desk, just like waiting rooms that you or I have been in. But when Violet and Sunny looked at the receptionist, they saw something that I hope you have never seen in a waiting room. A nameplate on the desk read “Shirley,” but this was no Shirley, even though the receptionist was wearing a pale-brown dress and sensible beige shoes. For above the pale lipstick on Shirley’s face, and below the blond wig on Shirley’s head, was a pair of shiny, shiny eyes that the two children recognized at once. Dr. Orwell, in behaving politely, had been the honey, instead of the vinegar. The children, unfortunately, were the flies. And Count Olaf, sitting at the receptionist’s desk with an evil smile, had caught them at last.

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